But at Cambridge, and at our larger colleges, much more than this can be done, and ought to be done. The young men may be taught, as well as examined. The large apparatus of libraries, instruments, and collections, and the greater number of professors and tutors, may be turned to much better account, and made to produce much wider and more valuable results. The increasing demands of the community may be here met, and our high places for education may easily accommodate themselves more wisely to the spirit and wants of the times in which we live. And this, if done at all, must be done speedily; for new institutions are springing up, which, in the flexibility of their youth, will easily take the forms that are required of them, while the older establishments, if they suffer themselves to grow harder and harder in their ancient habits and systems, will find, when the period for more important alterations is come, and free universities are demanded and called forth, that, instead of being able to place themselves at the head of the coming changes and directing their course, they will only be the first victims of the spirit of improvement.1 The changes introduced into the arrangements of the College, which had been supported and defended by Mr. Ticknor, were so broad that it is not matter of surprise to find them met by opposition, and that the experiment, being made by teachers unaccustomed to the system, and who had repeatedly expressed their opinion that changes were unnecessary, should prove unsuccessful. None of the professors, except Mr. Ticknor and Mr. Everett, had enjoyed the opportunities of a thorough training in a European university. Had they shared Mr. Ticknor's advantages, or partaken of his spirit, the result of the attempt at reform would unquestionably have been more satisfactory than it
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1 This pamphlet received strong encomiums from the newspaper press in different parts of the country; but especially emphatic among these were the expressions that came from the organs of the great religious denominations whose sympathies had long been averted from Harvard College, and whose opinions Mr. Ticknor did not share. In the interests of good learning, sectarian feeling gave way, and not only the ‘Boston Recorder and Telegraph,’ but the ‘Journal of Letters, Christianity, and Civil Affairs,’ published at Princeton under the auspices of the College there,—in an article written by the Rev. Mr. Bruen,— warmly commended Mr. Ticknor's views, and his courage and ability in presenting them.
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