and I believe the effect has been valuable, though undoubtedly less so than if the same system had been pursued and an attempt made to execute the law in other studies.
In regard to the elective system, as it is now called, he says:—
In the modern languages, especially, the operation of the principle of choice was decisive.
The right to choose was presented, it appears, in two hundred and forty instances, and was accepted in two hundred and twenty-seven.
That it has been beneficial in this branch I have had full proof, in the alacrity and earnestness with which a very large proportion of those who have been permitted to choose have pursued the studies they have chosen.
As to the application of Law 61, for ‘divisions with reference to proficiency,’ which was made for only one year and to one class, and during that time very imperfectly administered, he says:—
The remaining branch to which this law was applicable was French; and to this branch its application began three months later than to the other branches, because the Freshmen do not begin French till they have been three months in College, pursuing other studies.
Fifty-five Freshmen entered for French, in January, 1826. Seven of them, who knew more or less of the language, were put at once into an advanced division.
The remaining forty-eight, who were wholly ignorant of it, were broken into five alphabetical divisions, which after March, when their powers became known, were arranged into five divisions according to proficiency.
At the end of the first term there was already a wide difference between them.
At the end of the second there were about two hundred and fifty pages between them.
And at the end of the third term, when the year was completed, there were more than five hundred pages between them, besides a great difference in grammatical progress.
The first of these divisions had, in fact, overtaken the division that began in advance from previous knowledge, and had for three months been studying with them, and, in individual cases, leading them with a decided superiority.
The justice and benefit of such an administration of the law was plainly felt by all the fifty-five, nor has there been a murmur or complaint against it, from the first moment of its application in French to the present time.
On the contrary, it has been felt and used as an advantage by all of them; for while the upper divisions have been