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[91] there with the same injuries, and was finally obliged to change his name and go to Jena. A baker, who had done nothing worse than sue a student for his regular bill, was put into ‘verschuss,’ and, after striving in vain to live independently of the students in a town supported entirely by them, found himself so much in debt, that in despair he shot himself. And the very man in whose house I live, having offended a student in his capacity of confectioner, was compelled, above a year since, to let his shop to another, and has been starving on its rent in the vain hope that the students will at last give up the persecution; but he has just sold it in despair.

These are the bad effects of this remarkable system. That it has its good effects also, you will easily believe; for, if it had not, it would not be tolerated a moment by the government, and indeed could not long exist among a large body of young men who are really studious and regular to a remarkable degree, and whose notions of justice are, like those of all young men, essentially pure and unperverted.

The advantages of the system are, that it gives a character and esprit de corps to the whole motley mass of the students, which, in universities like these in Germany, could not otherwise be given to them; that it enables the pro-rector and professors, by governing a few of the heads of the clubs, to control the entire multitude under them more effectually than the laws will enable, or the spirit of the institution permit them to do directly; and that it introduces in their behavior to one another, and their conduct to the government, a degree of order and decorum, and a general gentlemanly spirit, which nothing else can give to a thousand young men brought together where they have no responsibility, at an age when they have not yet learnt to behave well without a superior influence in some sort to compel to it. The evils, on the contrary, are the captious rules of honor which are maintained by it among the students, terminating in innumerable contemptible duels, and occasionally a flagrant injustice to a citizen,—though certainly to the citizens it does much more good than harm, for they are much more disposed and interested to cheat the students than the students can be to oppress them.

On the whole, therefore, the system seems to me to be bad, and one which ought to be exterminated, though at the same time I must confess to you that many of the professors think otherwise, and are persuaded that, while the laws of the University are so loose and weak, the students must have a municipal system of their own.

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Jena (Thuringia, Germany) (1)

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