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Full text of ""A patriotic investment." .."

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A PATRIOTIC INVESTMENT." 



''Reprinted from the Commencement Issue, 
Yale Alumni Weekly y 



l( 



A PATRIOTIC INVESTMENT, 



[Being an address by the Hon. Andrew D. White at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the 
Yale Class of 1853, delivered in College Street Hall, New Haven, June 22, 1903.] 



Something more than six months ago, 
I was present at the anniversary of the 
most venerable university in Scotland, 
and at one of the main festivities was 
seated next a countryman of ours, whose 
wealth and public spirit have aroused 
not only wonder but admiration on both 
sides the Atlantic. The conversation be- 
tween us having turned upon public 
benefactions of various sorts, I spoke of 
the many great things waiting to be done 
in the United States, whereupon my 
munificent neighbor said: "Name some 
of them." 

Whereat a great joy arose within me; 
a hope large and lucid seemed to swim 
within my ken : the opportunity to giv^e 
substance to ideas and plans and dreams, 
which I had brooded over for years. 
I'ut just at that moment, the tide of 
after-dinner eloquence was turned on in 
full flood, and in an instant it had swept 
away my opportunity — apparently for- 
ever. 

But the flood of eloquence has sub- 
sided; those old ideas, dreams and plans 
reappear ; and now the answer which I 
could not give at St. Andrew's, T purpose 
to give, at least in part, at Yale. I say, 
"in part," for there are a multitude of 
wise benefactions which I may not sug- 
gest here and now. What I now pur- 
pose is, to answer the question : "What 
can wealthy Americans at this moment 
best do for their whole country? for the 
uplifting of its civilization? for the 
strengthening of what is best in its char- 
acter, national and individual? for the 
evolution of better modes of thought 
and action on subjects of most profound 
interest, not only to ourselves, but to the 
nations around us and the centuries to 
follow us ?" 

Looking over the country, and seeking 
agencies already working successfully 
for the steady uplifting of American 
civilization, I see, among the most effec- 
tive, our great universities. They are 
gradually taking rank among the first 
in the world ; they have become a power 
as never before. Rightly did James 



Bryce see in them a main hope for our 
national future. Not only are their 
methods and range of instruction vastly 
superior to those in the days when the 
Class of Fifty-Three was gathered here, 
but their advantages have been enor- 
mously extended. At that time, a student 
body of 500 was considered exceedingly 
large. Now we have universities in 
various parts of the country numbering 
2,000, 3,000, 4,000, and in one case over 
5,000 students. 

The main reason for this improvement 
in methods and range of instruction is, 
that the universities are taking hold up- 
on the national life in ways formerly un- 
thought of. The main reason for this 
increase in numbers is, that the nobly 
ambitious young American more and 
more realizes that, as the national life 
becomes more and more complicated, as 
its problems become more and more in- 
tricate, as tiniversities offer more and 
more instruction in fields which fit men 
for every sort of high intellectual en- 
deavor, his chance, to say the least, is 
better with a university education than 
without it. The result is, that more and 
more, the brightest young men, the most 
energetic, the men of highest purpose 
and clearest thought, are drawn to the 
universities. It would appear, then, that 
these institutions are centers from which 
new influences are most likely to be 
forcefully exerted through the pulpit, the 
press, the courts, the legislatures, and in 
public life generally. 

But is this influence normally exerted 
on public life as yet? I doubt it. In 
our courts, it has a stronghold ; but in 
our county boards, our city councils, 
our legislatures, our congress and our 
seats of executive power, I see no such 
proportion of university-bred men as 
every intelligent American patriot must 
desire. We see noble examples, it is 
true, especially in the executive field — 
of whom are Theodore Roosevelt, John 
Hay, William Howard Taft, Seth Low. 
But I wish to back them with many 
more. Not that I would give university 



A Patriotic Investnicnty 



men a monopoly of public duty, legisla- 
tive or executive. Far from it. On the 
contrary, I would always have in public 
positions a very large proportion of men 
of affairs — men who take the most prac- 
tical hold on the everyday work of life; 
men who have tested theories by reali- 
ties — self-made men, if you choose to 
call them so; but I would certainly have 
our universities much more numerously 
represented than at present. 

What is the cause of this insufficient 
representation of the universities in our 
public life? A pessimist might answer 
me by pointing to Mr. Lecky's book on 
"Democracy and Liberty"; but need we 
go so far? In my opinion, the main 
cause is one which Mr. Lecky does not 
touch. Happily we need not despair ; for 
I believe that it will be found in a fact 
which patriotic munificence can re- 
move; — in the fact that, as a rule, our 
universities do not yet offer their stu- 
dents, who wish to enter public life, the 
instruction which fits them thoroughly 
for it; the instruction which would 
make a university-bred man ipso facto 
presumed to know something more about 
public questions and to handle . them 
more easily than do his fellow citizens. 

We have magnificent provision for in- 
struction in the sciences, in literature, in 
all that pertains to various professions; 
we are rapidly taking the lead of the 
world in much of the instruction having 
to do with the application of science tc 
the arts ; laboratories abound, and at the 
center stands the great new Institution 
for Research at Washington. But I see 
no equal provision for fitting men to 
grapple with the problems of American 
politics. The universities have indeed 
done admirably in part of this field. 
Political economy in its various branches 
is taught far more thoroughly than ever 
before. The same may be said of vari- 
ous departments of history; and here 
and there good work is done in inter- 
national law; but the fact remains, that 
when the average American graduate 
leaves his alma mater, he is rarely, if 
ever, prepared to discuss leading ques- 
tions, or even to study them with refer- 
ence to discussion, in such a rnanner 
that his neighbors recognize in him the 
man who can handle such questions with 
more knowledge and skill than very 
many men who have not had his train- 
ing. In this respect, politics remain very 
much as when Lowell stated the condi- 
tion of things in his "Biglow Papers": 
"God sends country lawyers and sich-like 

wise fellers 
To drive the world's team when it gits 

in a slough." 



May I plead my own experience? It 
happened to me, a few years after my 
graduation, to be tossed into the legisla- 
ture of one of our largest States. 
What led to 'this choice, perfectly un- 
expected to me, was the fact that I had, 
while in a foreign country, published a 
political pamphlet which, though it virtu- 
ally fell dead there, aroused the interest 
of my fellow citizens in one of our in- 
terior cities. I went to the capital of 
the State to take my seat with a hope 
that there were some subjects on which 
I might impress tny ideas, and never 
was man more disappointed. Before I 
had been in the place a week, I envied 
from the bottom of my heart Lowell's 
"country lawyers and sich-like wise fel- 
lers." I looked up with awe to the man 
who had been supervisor, or trustee of 
a public school, or acquainted with the 
practice in our justice's courts. Never 
was a man more unfit for his duties, 
and I burned the midnight oil humbly, 
long and sadly, in making up my ele- 
mentary deficiencies. 

It may be said that the knowledge, 
which I found myself then in need of, is 
of a kind which comes by practice in the 
lower regions of public life. To a cer- 
tain extent, that is true ; and let me 
here confess that never in my life did 
I learn in ten or twenty times the same 
period so much of human nature as 
when, while holding a university profes- 
sorship, I was suddenly made the fore- 
man of a petit jury on a horse case. 
Let me here recommend to the young 
men who go from these halls, that they 
do not slight opportunities to do service 
upon grand juries or petit juries. 

But there is a group of subjects 
which, if well presented to the university 
youth, would, in my opinion, arouse in 
very many a legitimate ambition for dis- 
tinction won by true public service, 
would fit them to realize such an ambi- 
tion in a manner good for themselves and 
for their country, and would enable them 
so to grapple with public questions, 
great or small, as to insure them a hear- 
ing, whether they take part in discussion 
with pen or with tongue ; and let me add 
the opinion that, if this group of sub- 
jects were presented in our universities, 
widely and well, the effect would be 
powerful in steadily uplifting our whole 
civilization, for the more satisfactory 
working of our political institutions 
througiiout their whole range, for the 
betterment of American character, and 
for the healthful influence of our Re- 
public on the world at large. 

This brings back the question re- 
ferred to at the beginning: "What arc 



A Patriotic Investment.'''^ 



the best things which a man or a com- 
bination of men of wealth could do now 
for the comitry as a whole?" And I 
would now make answer : 

The thing which I would recommend 
is the establishment, at the forernost 
institutions of learning in the United 
States, numbering perhaps twenty-five in 
all — north, south, east and west— <)f 
sundry professorships and scholarships 
bearing directly upon public afifairs. 

I. First of all, I would establish, in 
each of these institutions, a professor- 
ship and at least two fellowships in 
Comparative Legislation. Various coun- 
tries have made a beginning in this al- 
ready. The most notable example, per- 
haps, was when Laboulaye was called to 
such a professorship in the College of 
France at Paris. His lectures marked 
an epoch, and they did much to make 
up for the depressing influence upon po- 
litical morality exercised by the Second 
Empire. As one who attended his 
courses of instruction, I can testify that 
nothing could work more strongly and 
healthfully upon the minds of thinking 
young men than his presentation, not 
only of legal ideals, but of practical 
courses of political action based on his 
studies of the best that had been done 
in other countries and in his own coun- 
try at other epochs. Looking at the 
problem as it stands to-day, it would 
seem that nowhere would professors and 
students in this field be supplied with 
such abundant material for thought and 
work, or encouraged by such certainty 
of fruitful results as in our own country. 
To say nothing of the legislation of so 
many other constitutional countries, 
which is open for study to an American 
professor, he has in our own land, not 
only our national legislature, but some 
forty-five state legislatures, constantly 
working at the solution of every sort of 
practical problem in government. Here, 
in the efforts of all these legislative 
bodies, can he study, near at hand, as in 
no other country, all sorts of attempts 
to solve the problems of government, 
from the most crude to the most subtle, 
and from the most wise to the most far- 
cical. The endowment of professorships 
and fellowships at so many centers, to 
which there would be attached the duty 
of studying the best solutions arrived at 
in all these legislatures, foreign and do- 
mestic, could not fail to have a most 
happy influence. At present the in- 
struction in all our law schools is in 
answer to the question, what our law 
is. The instruction which I propose 
should answer the question, what our 
law ought to he. 



The first, result of all these endowed 
professorships and fellowships would 
naturally be, to interest, in all parts of 
the Union, great numbers of young men, 
earnest, vigorous, and, in the best sense, 
ambitious. The next probable result 
would be, that many of these men would 
influence their fellow citizens helpfully 
on various important questions. An- 
other exceedingly likely result would be 
the increasing entrance of such men into 
positions executive and legislative. Yet 
another would be a steady and intelli- 
gent improvement in the laws through- 
out the country; and in addition to this, 
there would come, in the legislation of 
our various States, an increasing tend- 
ency toward homogeneity — a consumma- 
tion most devoutly to be wished. 

It may be said against one of these 
expectations of mine, that the entrance 
of young men thus trained into public 
life does not appear to be by any means 
sure ; that we constantly see men of 
high education passed in the race for 
public position by men of little or none. 
In answer to this, we must concede 
that native force will always be a strong 
factor in contests for public position ; 
but we must bear in mind that hitherto 
our universities, while they have given 
general culture, and a special culture 
fitting men to .speedily help clients, or 
patients, or parishioners, have not given 
a culture which fits a young bachelor 
to stand early on the platform and show 
his fellow citizens that he has a grasp 
of principles underlying practical issues 
and a thoroughness of knowledge bear- 
ing upon them which most other men 
have not. 

- To say that young men, thus thor- 
oughly trained for the most intelligent 
discussion of public questions, would 
not have, in most cases, advantages in 
the competition for honorable position 
in public life, would be an indictment 
against American institutions and the 
American people which, if shown to be 
true, might well make us despair of the 
Republic. So far from this being the 
case, the history of our people, from the 
beginning to the present hour, proves 
that, as a rule, any man who has really 
any thing to say to them on public 
questions, which ought to be said, will 
finally get a hearing and win support. 

2. And now to -^ny second proposal. 
Besides the improvement of law, there is 
needed an improvement of Institutions ; 
and for this purpose I would establish, 
in our more important universities, to 
the number of say twenty or twenty-five, 
professorships and fellowships of Com- 
parative Administration. 



"A Patriotic Investment '' 



Look at the problem in its simplest 
form. Here are 80,000,000 — and soon to 
be 100,000,000 — of the most active- 
minded and energetic people in the 
world. The number of its combinations 
for every purpose seems infinite. There 
are not merely State, county, city, and 
village organizations, but institutions 
dealing with pauperism, inebriety, lunacy, 
feebleness of mind, incipient crime, 
chronic crime, and beside these an in- 
numerable number of minor corpora- 
tions, combinations and arrangements 
bearing upon the public welfare. What 
some of them are our newspapers tell 
us from time to time to our shame, as 
recently in various articles devoted to 
the State of Delaware and the cities of 
Minneapolis, St. Louis and Pittsburg. 
Some other organizations are, no doubt, 
happy in their methods and admirable 
in their results, but the room for im- 
provement still remains large. 

An experience of my own is perhaps 
in point. Several years since I pro- 
posed an experiment on these lines at 
Cornell University, and there was called, 
for a succession of years, as a lecturer 
to the Senior classes, a gentleman emi- 
nent for his theoretical and practical 
grasp of one great class of subjects to 
which I have just referred, namely, the 
proper organization and conduct of in- 
stitutions dealing with crime — incipient 
and chronic, — pauperism, inebriety, 
lunacy, feebleness of mind, and the 
like. The course of lectures which he 
offered was taken by a considerable num- 
ber of students. They became deeply 
interested. Under his lead, they did 
what might be called research work, 
their researches being made at every 
sort of public institution for the relief 
or betterment of their fellow men. Be- 
ginning with the nearest county jail and 
almshouse, they made visits to a large 
number of the principal asylums, pris- 
ons, penitentiaries, reformatories of the 
State of New York, took notes, heard 
what their professor had to say on each, 
asked questions, and took part in dis- 
cussions. Several of these men, since 
that time, have been, in the legislatures 
of New York and other states, among 
the foremost in promoting a wiser man- 
agement of public institutions like those 
they studied during their university 
course. One of themr indeed, has greatly 
distinguished himself by his success in 
devising and securing the passage of 
laws for the improvement of the civil 
service and for the better administra- 
tion of cities in the most populous State 
of our Union. 

3. I now come to my third proposal. 



This has reference to an improvement 
which has already begun and which 
shows admirable fruits. I refer to the 
establishment, on a large and broad 
scale, in the leading universities 
throughout our Union, of Professor- 
ships and Fclloivships in International 
Lazu. We of the Class of '53 were among 
those who saw the feeble beginnings of 
this instruction. Those who came soon 
after us were so fortunate as to receive 
it from him whose memory we so deeply 
venerate — President Woolsey. By him, 
more than by any other since Henry 
Wheaton, international law has been 
brought to bear on American students, 
both as a means of culture and as an 
aid in patriotic endeavor. 

But the provision for such work needs 
to be far more widespread. And first 
in the interest of the great number of 
active-minded young men — for their 
best development, intellectual and moral. 
In the study of international law there 
is not only a constant appeal to those 
intellectual powers which are exerted in 
comprehending and developing its prin- 
ciples, but there is an appeal, no less 
constant, to the conscience of the stu- 
dent and his sense of right and wrong. 
No matter what aberrations have at 
times taken place, the Law of Nations 
is developed especially in accord with 
the rules of right reason ; and in the 
development and statement of these rules 
of right reason there is constant appeal 
to the moral sense of the student. Mod- 
ern international law began with this 
appeal in the minds of Ayala, Gentilis 
and Grotius, and having gone far afield 
indeed under Machiavelli, it returned 
under their influence to its higher ideals 
and better methods in the great arbitra- 
tion treaty of Washington, the Alabama 
Tribunal at Geneva, the Venezuela 
Tribunal at Paris, and the International 
Peace Conference at The Hague. 

But there are other interest^ of a 
more general sort ; look for a moment at 
those of our own country. She is ex- 
tending her relations throughout the 
world as never before : her diplomatic 
corps is every year getting a better hold 
upon the world's affairs, and her con- 
sular service has already become next to 
the largest — if not the largest — in exist- 
ence. In both these services we need a 
larger proportion of men trained in 
those principles of international law 
which give a fitness to grasp and advo- 
cate the principles on which American 
dealings with the nations should be con- 
ducted. We hear much said regarding 
the extension of what is called "Our 
Empire." Many discussions and decla- 



■-. UN!Vn:K3n 
A Patrwth Investment.^ 



5 



rations on this subject have been more 
vivid than illuminating : great space has 
been given in them to men of high pre- 
tensions and low expedients — pretensions 
far transcending justice, and expedients 
far below any which a self-respecting 
nation ought to consider. The training 
of a large body of young men in all 
parts of our country, which I propose, 
would result in a force sure to be felt 
through the pulpit, the press, in popular 
discussion, in the legislative bodies, and 
in the diplomatic and consular services, 
in behalf of national soberness and inter- 
national honesty. 

4. Now to my fourth proposal. It is, 
that there be established, at the leading 
universities of our country, professor- 
ships and fellowships for the History 
of Civilization, and that there be knit 
into them obligatory instruction in Po- 
litical Ethics. In the middle years of 
the last century we had in this country 
a man who made his mark in this field, 
and won the high approval of men as 
far apart as Woolsey, the Helenist-Puri- 
tan President of Yale, and Buckle, the 
agnostic historian of civilization in 
Great Britain. It was my privilege to 
know him well. This man was Francis 
Lieber. But he lived and wrought too 
early, and the Civil War called him 
from academic service to public duties. 
Still his influence was precious, and 
there are many now living who can 
testify to the value of what they then 
gained from him, both morally and in- 
tellectually. But in the growth of 
American universities, the time has now 
come when such professorships can do 
work vast and beneficial. Their pur- 
pose would be, to show what the essen- 
tial progress of mankind in civilization 
has been, and to deduce from this what 
environment should be promoted, and 
what powers should be cultivated for 
the evolution of the civilization which 
we hope for. As to the incorporation 
into the main professorship of a de- 
partment of political ethics, it would, 
I trust, serve to show, in the history of 
civilization, the working of *'a Power 
not ourselves, which makes for Right- 
eousness." An abiding sense of this, 
deeply inwoven, forms a tough warp and 
a serviceable woof for all really great 
statesmanship. There would doubtless 
be other professorships covering vari- 
ous fields of history, general and spe- 
cial ; but I should expect this, which 
I now propose, both to derive light 
from all these and to shed light upon 
them. I should also expect it to be 
effective in so influencing other his- 
torical professorships as to keep out 



of them scholastic pedantry, party 
bigotry, and sectarian narrowness. In 
any case, such a course of instruction 
could not fail to enlarge beneficially 
the minds of those who follow it, to 
heighten in them a sense of civic duty 
and responsibility, and to make them, 
in whatever community their lives may 
be cast, the advocates of those insti- 
tutions and policies which tend to the 
real greatness of the nation. 

5. And now, as the fifth and final fea- 
ture in this group of studies, I would 
suggest professorships and fellowships 
for the History of the United States. 
Many years ago, a Berlin professor, in 
my hearing, scouted the idea that a his- 
tory of the United States could be writ- 
ten at that time or for centuries to come. 
To his mind American history was the 
record of a squalid Tyre and Sidon, the 
annals of fanatics and shopkeepers — or 
say, rather, of beasts of prey more igno- 
ble than Milton's kites and crows. The 
events of the last forty years have ended 
that view ; the}^ have revealed Ameri- 
can history as a subject suggesting in- 
numerable trains of fruitful thought. 
In various universities such professor- 
ships have already been established ; but 
I would have more of them, until lec- 
tures on the growth of our national life 
shall be offered at every university. 
That this would promote a deep feeling 
of enlightened patriotism ; that it 
would stimulate a desire in many to 
join in high public activities for noble 
ends ; that the trains of thought thus 
set in motion would inure to the ad- 
vancement of what is best in legislation 
and policy; that the ideas thus struck 
out would gradually filter down into the 
thinking of the people at large — seems 
to me certain. 

But you will perhaps be surprised that 
I end my group of studies fitting men 
for public life just here, and especially 
that I omit from my list political econ- 
omy and its cognate subjects. I make 
this omission because that department 
is already established in every institu- 
tion fit to call itself even a germ of an 
American university. 

But while providing for these more 
severe studies, I would add two counsels 
of perfection. I would summon to the 
aid of this more severe group the human- 
izing influences of literature and art. 
Large provision is already making in 
our universities for the study of litera- 
ture. We of the Class of '53 recall a 
time when there were at Yale no lectures 
on literature of any sort, ancient or mod- 
ern, and we may well rejoice that there 
are now two professorships devoted to 



A Patriotic Investment,'' 



English literature alone, one of these 
having been founded by a member of 
our own class. What I offer, then, as 
my first counsel of perfection is, that 
there be established something akin to 
these, namely, a Readership in English 
Literature. I would have, in each of 
the leading universities, a fitting person 
appointed to interpret, by the living 
voice, the masterpieces of our English 
tongue. He should not lecture. He 
should read or recite, as Riddle, Locke- 
Richardson, and men like them were 
wont to do. In this way, I would have 
the greatest things in our literature pre- 
sented with th^ least possible note or 
comment. He would prepare the way 
for the professors of our literature. 
The first need of the- great body of 
students is not talk about literature, but 
the literature itself. Those of us who 
have heard Julius Caesar as given by 
Lawrence Barrett, or Hamlet as given 
by Booth, or Bulwer's Richelieu as 
given by Forrest, or Shylock by Irving, 
or Milton's sonnets and Wordsworth's 
sonnets and Ode to Duty by Corson, or 
sundry extracts from the Bible, or from 
the poems of Tennyson, Browning and 
Burns as given by Richardson, have a 
lasting joy in those masterpieces, which 
could never have come by tearing them 
in pieces and analyzing them. 

So much for the humanizing influ- 
ences of literature ; and now for the 
humanizing influence of art. The art 
I would bring to bear upon each of our 
universities is music. It is of all the 
beautiful arts the most powerful. It 
appeals perhaps to a larger audience 
than does any other, and it has this 
immense advantage, that while the mas- 
terpieces of painting, sculpture and 
architecture cannot be brought within 
easy reach of our universities, music in 
its highest development can be brought 
to them perfectly. A picture by 
Raphael, a statue by Michael Angelo, 
a building by Erwin von Steinbach or 
Sansovino cannot be brought to our 
audiences ; but the chorales of Bach, the 
symphonies of Beethoven and Haydn, 
the requiems of Mozart and Cherubini, 
the oratorios of Handel and Men- 
delssohn can be given and are given at 
several of our universities very remote 
from great city centers, in a way which 
would have rejoiced their composers. 

My second counsel of perfection, then, 
is that there be established in each of 
our, say twenty-five leading universities, 
a Professorship of Music in the largest 
sense of the word ; not an instructor to 
give lessons to individuals, but a man 
able to present the evolution of music 



in its grander forms, and to illustrate 
his presentations by means of the king 
of instruments : the organ. I would have 
these organ recitals wrought into the 
life of each of the universities con- 
cerned. That this can be done with 
most satisfactory results, I know ; for 
at two or three of our largest insti- 
tutions I have seen music used 
most effectively to enrich academic life. 
And here let me add that I have seen 
literature and art made to do beautiful 
service as yokefellows. It has been my 
lot, during my lifetime, to enjoy in 
various capitals of the modern world 
many of the things which men who have 
the deepest feeling for art most rejoice 
in ; but never have I known anything 
more uplifting and ennobling than that 
which I have heard in an American 
university chapel ;— public recitals from 
Milton, Wordsworth and other poets 
of the greater inspiration, with organ 
interludes from the mightier masters 
of music surging along the aisles and 
resounding under the arches of those 
vast fabrics of poetry; glorifying the 
whole. 

The first question which now meets 
us is as to the outlay required for these 
foundations. The sum needed would 
be large — very large ; — but there is 
nothing in that which need discourage 
us. We have seen such splendid gifts 
made by Americans within the last few 
years, that we need not despair when a 
purpose of high national utility is con- 
cerned, no matter at what outlay. Each 
of the professorships I have named 
should be well endowed ; and for the 
fellowships, provision should be made 
sufficient to enlist the most active 
minded and promising students in the 
departments concerned. Some of the 
departments, at a few of our institu- 
tions of learning, have been well pro- 
vided for already, but in the great ma- 
jority of these they only exist imper- 
fectly if at all. Some of them might be 
established here and there by gifts of 
individuals to special institutions ; but 
there are American citizens able, singly, 
to make the complete endowment of all 
at once, and willing to do so, could 
they be persuaded that such a great 
endowment would be well bestowed. 
My hope is that they can be so per- 
suaded. 

The question may now be asked, in 
case some individual or individuals may 
propose to endow such foundations as 
those I have sketched, how shall the 
recipient institutions be selected ? The 
answer is not difficult. A commission 
of competent men, looking over the 



A Patriotic Investments^ 



needs of the country, and in possession 
of proper documentary evidence, could 
easily discern, in the great mass of in- 
stitutions of learning in the United 
States, whether called universities or 
colleges, those which are really leading 
in university work, to the number of 
twenty to twenty-five ; and if, after full 
discussion, the selection should be made 
in the commission, by ballot, there can 
be no reasonable doubt that it would 
meet the needs of the country. 

And now, my dear classmates, I feel 
that there may well be among you many 
who would have preferred, to the sub- 
ject I have presented, something bear- 
ing on our old life together or on the 
world as we have seen it since. If 
such there be, I must throw myself on 
their forbearance, and plead that I have 
obeyed the command, "Look into thy 
heart and write." May I not hope that, 
upon reflection, the hearts of us all 
will, in this matter, beat together? We 
shall open our hearts to each other else- 
where before we part. It is, perhaps, 
well that a party of septuagenarians, 
meeting after a separation of many 
years, reserve some of their emotions 
for each other alone. 

We have lived through one of the 
most important and entrancing periods 
in history; and above all is this true as 
regards our own land. We have seen 
not merely marvelous gain in wealth, 
strength, population, discovery, inven- 
tion, but we have seen progress in the 
deeper realities of civilization. We 
have seen this land pass through great 
trials and emerge all the stronger. We 
have seen slavery abolished and the 
Union firmly established. We have seen 
our government wage war bravely and 
use victory magnanimously. We have 
seen our universities and schools and 
libraries developed beyond our dreams. 
We have seen the United States leading 
in great world politics. We have in- 
deed lived in times to make us idolize 
our country. At this day when, as a 



class, we virtually take final leave of our 
alma mater, our last thoughts go out to 
her and to the glorious nation she 
serves. The greatest of Venetian states- 
men, who had, in a terrible emergency, 
saved the republic he served, and, by 
his policy, taught wisdom to all nations 
and all times, could only, when he came 
to the last moment of his life, utter the 
prayer for the republic, "esto perpetua." 
Such, in an hour like this, may well be 
our utterance. This new century which 
we are allowed barely to enter, is to en- 
dure new trials of our institutions, .to 
face new assaults upon their founda- 
tions, to unravel new fallacies, to ex- 
pose new sophisms, to grapple with new 
fanaticisms, to steer wise courses amid 
new storms of unreason and athwart 
new tides of folly. 

In earlier times and amid simpler 
problems, plain, strong men could lead 
us, and there will always be great place 
and crying need for such; — but just as 
in material progress, the old, strong 
engineers by rule of thumb can no 
longer say the last word, so in all this 
new political and social welter and swirl 
of conflicting and confusing ideas, is- 
sues, doctrines, tides, tendencies, we are 
now to need, more and more, men 
taught to apply to our problems, national 
and international, the wisest thought 
and most skillful practice evolved in his- 
tory or discovered among our con- 
temporaries. 

So long as each generation does its 
part in developing such men, our hearts 
need neither faint nor fear. The latter 
half of the nineteenth century, which 
has passed since we first met here, has 
done nobly. What greathearted, muni- 
ficent, patriotic outlay of life, thought, 
effort and colossal wealth we have seen 
lavished by individual citizens upon our 
country ! Now, let the first half of the 
twentieth century do its part and, with 
Heaven's blessing, the new time shall 
reveal a growth loftier, nobler, better 
than the old. 



i 



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