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to State-aid, it is Harvard University. Some of its first buildings were erected by Stateaid. The legislature of Massachusetts has fostered and aided its great museum of comparative zoölogy, and has annually almost, for many years past, made greater or less appropriations for it. We have seen within a few years a national ship, though nominally under the charge and command of an officer of the Navy, really under the charge and direction of Prof. Agassiz and President Hill, and working in connection with the Harvard School of Natural Science.
Do I complain of that? No, I only complain that the head of such an institution should oppose the granting to other worthy institutions the same aid that has been granted to his own. Harvard University can now do very well without such aid. But go into the Western States or the States of the South, and you find all in need of it. Harvard University is over two hundred years old; in the city hard by is the concentrated capital of centuries, but there are no such means for the equipment of institutions in other parts of the country,
Says President Eliot, " It is a noble thing to leave this to the munificence of individuals.” Can we afford to wait as long as Massachusetts has waited for Harvard University? Are you, who come from the West, prepared to wait for two hundred years before you can have a fully-equipped industrial and scientific institution ?
President Eliot himself will not admit that Harvard University is what it ought to be. The best-equipped institution in the country, as it is, it does not compare with a multitude of institutions abroad that are much younger. I maintain that, even if you grant that Massachusetts can do without aid, the other States cannot.
I am reminded of the bill of Mr. Hoar. I would have preferred that something of Mr. Morrill's bill should be ingrafted upon it, making provision for industrial education; but I like the feature of basing the amount appropriated to different States upon the illiteracy in those States. It seems to me that, if an angel from Heaven bad descended and told the Congress of the United States what to do for the salvation of the country from the great mass of barbarism, especially in the Southern States, it would have told those men to pass that law which provides for the primary education of the country; and, for the first ten years, to put that upon the basis of illiteracy, that is educating the freedmen of the South. [Applause.] Still, I think that, if the angel made the system perfect he would include in it a provision for advanced scientific and industrial education also. But President Eliot uses an argument which sadly weakens his position. He says: “You may rely upon individuals for your endowments.” The last report of the Commissioner of Education shows, if I remember rightly, 367 institu tions known as colleges and universities, but you can count on the fingers of one band all those which really deserve the name.
In view of the wretched frittering away of resources, I maintain, secondly, that Stateaid, national aid, is the only means by wbich individual munificence can be wisely directed or properly aggregated. Look at their munificence now; it is spread among so many institutions, and so capriciously, that it is wasted. I can show you one college to which one individual bas given a magnificent telescope, but no one has given any endowment to provide for its use. I can show you another college which has received a great observatory, but with no telescope. I can point to another institution where an individual has made a gift of a magnificent cabinet of minerals, but no provision is made for instruction in mineralogy or metallurgy. I kuow another institution that has a splendid botanical cabinet, but there is no provision for a professorship, and the botanical cabinet has never been used. And so it goes all over the country. We must have nuclei for our institutions, towards which this private munificence can be directed and about which it can be aggregated; otherwise you may go on for a hundred years without having one institution worthy to be compared with those which are springing up in all other parts of the world.
Again, I maintain that national aid and State-aid constitute the only democratic, the only republican method of building up these institution, President Eliot to the contrary notwithstanding. I maintain that, of all utterly undemocratic things and of all unrepublican things, that system is the most undemocratic, the most unrepublican, which allows a dead testator to put his hands forth from his grave and keep them clutched about your systems of instruction. All over the country you see colleges held down from the fact that some man, in his will, fifty or a hundred years ago, attached certain conditions to his bequest which are now outgrown. I maintain that it is utterly anworthy of a republic to allow such control over its institutions by men in their graves. The true way, the manly way, is for the people of the United States to provide for the education of the people of the United States. It is far better to go at this work in such a manly way than to rely upon what can be wheedled out of individuals and then allow them from their graves to control the system.
Again, I maintain that you cannot have a healthy public-school-system without a system that includes the idea of a continued and gradual progress to this advanced education. I hold that the nation ought to provide for a system of education that should include all instruction, primary, secondary, industrial, and scientific, and general. I am aware that some objections are made to this. One objection comes from the laissez-faire school, who say, “Let things alone; all will be well enough.” I do not discover tbat; I discover that, if things are to go on well in a generation, they must be taken care of by the common sense of that generation. Still, I am a believer in the laissez-faire school within its legitimate limits. But what are those limits ? For anything which touches the cupidity of men, their pride, their desire to build up fortunes for themselves and their children, you may rely safely upon individual effort. But where great public interests are involved ; where the security of the country is involved; where there are considerations which individuals do not so strongly feel, embracing interests that stretch far beyond the life of any individual, you have no right to rely wholly upon individual aid; you must rely upon national and State-aid.
Then, too, there is an economical objection. It is said that such a system costs too much. Does it? I believe it will be seen that the want of it is what costs too much. It is the want of instruction in these technical departinents which costs. But for the fact of Mr. Clarence King's report upon the great diamond-bed-swindle, that one operation would have involved the loss of more money than the entire endowment of all the national institutions for general and industrial education.
But that is not all. You talk of economy. If you will go into any of our State-legislatures you will see a most curious system of ethics in regard to dealing with public institutions. If asked for money to found an asylum for idiots and lunatics, or the blind, or deaf and dumb, you will find our legislatures ready to build palaces for them. and to grant every provision for giving them the best lodgings, the best fare, the best ventilation, and all the conveniences of modern civilization. Millions of dollars are lavished upon your idiots, and deaf and dunib, and blind; and glad am I that it is done; but when you come to ask aid for the development of the young men on whom our civilization is to rest, for the proper care of the young men who are to make or mar the future of the country, there is nothing to be had for them. The future makers of your institutions and laws are left to poor diet, to live in the most wretched buildings. I do not know a college that has good ventilation; this is reserved for your idiots and others of a similar class. I maintain that the system is wrong. “These things ought ye to have done, and not to have left the others undone." Depend upon it, it is a great mistake in our civilization.
Then comes the argument of the demagogue, that advanced education is for the rich and not for the poor. Shallow as the argument is, it is worth looking at. Your rich man can send his son anywhere, to Europe if he will. If there is any class upon whose prosperity this system. tells, it is that great, wide-spread, hard-working poor class; that great majority of poor men, whose sons are to do the work of future generations. [Applause.]
One objection more. Whenever a comparison is made with foreign institutions, it is said that foreign institutions are old and ours are new. That is a wretched mistake. The great majority of the leading scientific and industrial schools of France and Germany are of recent creation. They are more recent than almost any of our great colleges and universities. Those great schools at Berlin, Carlsruhe, and Dresden, and those in France for the most part, are comparatively new schools.
OBJECTIONS. And, finally, it is said there is something dangerous about scientific education. Can this be so? Is it true that dealing with the revelation of God in nature is calculated to do harm to any man ?
Among the many striking passages in Herbert Spencer's Treatise on Education is one of special interest on this point. He asks, What would any author think were a person to come into his presence, praise his works, and dwell upon their beauty and perfection, when the author knew that this flatterer had never read a single page or even a single line of them ? And what, then, must the great Author of all things think of those who come into his presence, extol his works in all moods and tenses, the great Author knowing that this flatterer has never studied out a line in the great book of nature; nay, that he has disconraged others from studying it?
UNION OF LITERARY, SCIENTIFIC, AND INDUSTRIAL STUDIES. But an objection of another sort is raised. It is said, why give instruction in classical branches at all? I answer, for three reasons: First, because the act of Congress does not allow us to exclude them; secondly, because to those who wish them they are an excellent means of culture; thirdly, because we wish to avoid that old mistake of separating industrial and scientific students from classical students. Heretofore students in science and technology have been banished to some little special college, in some remote corner of a town or State, while classical students have had all the prestige arising from connection with large and thoroughly-equipped institutions. We stand upon the principle of considering one student the equal of another-the student in science and industry the equal of the student in classics. We stand against any separation which shall serve to perpetuate that old subordination of men in the new education to men in the old.
MENTAL DISCIPLINE. But it is objected that the new system does not provide for mental discipline. Never was charge more absurd. Discipline comes by studies that take hold of a man and of which he takes hold. Is it not evident that the new system, which adapts studies to the tastes and aims of men, is more sure to take hold and be taken hold of than the old system, which grinds all alike through the same processes and studies ?
SCIENCE, INDUSTRY, AND RELIGION. - And, finally, it is objected to the “new education" that it is “ godless." There is nothing new in this charge. It has been made against every great step in the progress of science or education. And yet it has certainly been found that, although ideas of religion are changed from age to age, the change has tended constantly to make these religious ideas purer and nobler. The majority of the fathers of the Papal Church held the new idea of the rotundity of the earth to be incompatible with salvation. Martin Luther thought Copernicus a blasphemer for his new idea that the earth revolves about the sun, and not the sun about the earth. Dean Cockburn declared the new science of geology a study invented by the devil, and unlawful for Christians. When John Reuchlin and his compeers urged the substitution of studies in the classics for studies in the mediæval scholastic philosophy, their books were burned, and they themselves nai rowly escaped the same fate.
No, my friends, every study which tends to improve the industry of mankind makes men nobler and better. Every study which gives man to know more of the history of his race gives him to see more and more clearly the finger of Providence in history; every study which brings bis mind into contact with the thoughts of inspired men as exhibited in our literatures builds up his manliness and his godliness; and every study
which brings him into close contact with nature, in any of its fields, not less surely lifts him, " through nature, up to nature's God."
I have thus sketched very meagerly the growth, thus far, of the “pew education." Its roots are firm, for they take fast hold upon the strongest material necessities of our land. Its trunk is thrifty, for it is fed by the most vitalizing currents of thought wbich sweep through our time; nay, the very blasts of opposition to this growth have but strengthened it. The winter of discontent through which it has passed has but toughened it; and in agriculture and every branch of industry; in every science and art which ministers to either; in all the development of human thought which is to make men better and braver, it is to bear a rich fruitage for the State, for the nation, and for mankind.
Prof. COMFORT, of Syracuse University, thought it the policy of a wise general to strengthen the weak points of his defenses; and for a similar reason he thought educators should turn their attention to what is really a necessity in our system of education, to which allusion had not been made, and that is the importance of a cultivation of the fine arts. We have pushed classical education in Harvard College from the commencement to the present time, when it has secured a strong footing. Scientific education has pushed its way to a considerable extent; manufacturers have demanded that there shall be scientific education to enable them to succeed in their processes. Men shall not live, how. ever, by bread alone, and we have a spiritual as well as a bodily want : and among the three great wants of the spirit is the gratification of the taste; and we in America are acting contrary to what we know of the history of other nations. In Egypt, Greece, and other countries we find that the human spirit was developed harmoniously. We have remained for two hundred years with little or no progress in the fine arts. Should there not be a broad, deep, and thorough education in the esthetic part of our nature. The departinent of architecture, it is agreed, requires culture in esthetics. Architecture is a queen which has a sway over the other arts. As we have almost no art-schools in Amer. ica, it seems that this is a department which needs attention; therefore, if Senator Morrill should ask my advice as to what should be done with the next appropriation, I would say let us have schools of art established, which, alongside the schools of science, may provide for the instruction of our children in art.
I wish the speaker had carried the matter of a national university much further; and, if the money is to go to public education, I wish he had taken the ground that all should go to one institution in the State of New York.
Prof. COMFORT also spoke of the difference between the universities of Europe and those so called in America, and stated that it would cost a million dollars to support the same teaching force in New York which in Berlin costs only 300,000 thalers.
President WHITE. There is one stitch that I dropped in my remarks, which I am reminded of, and that is that all the national aid and Stateaid needed for this work are afforded by the act of 1862. We have
received gifts, in connection with that act, from individuals, to the amount of more than $1,600,000, for institutions in New York; and of this not a dollar would have been given to educational purposes had not this nucleus been afforded. The working of the thing was just this: The leading men in New York saw that there was at last a chance to have something worthy of the State. There was a State with 4,000,000 people who had sent their sons away to be educated. But when they could rely upon the aid of the nation they saw there was a chance to make an institution worthy of the State and commensurate to its wants.
I maintain that we need gifts of this sort, about which private gifts can be aggregated, and that, when we have these, individual gifts will also come in; and we already see examples of it in this country. As we have no laws of primogeniture, as in England, the feeling of patriotism and public spirit leads men of wealth to appreciate colleges and universities; and so I maintain that the nuclei afforded by national and State-aid to our public institutions give an incentive for the establishment and maintenance of such institutions.
REMARKS OF HON. J. S. MORRILL. Hon. J. S. Morrill, United States Senator from Vermont, being present, was called upon; when he said:
Mr. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN: I have been taken by surprise. I believe the president cannot be aware of what the custom is here in Washington, but at all eveninggatherings I think it is not expected that anybody will be ready for dress-parade until after 11 o'clock. It is not that hour now, and certainly I came here with no expectation of being called upon to say anything.
I am, however, very happy to be present among a body of men who are friends of learning of any sort. Education or learning in any line tends to form all men of gen" erous minds into one republic, where there is no jealousy nor envy, but, instead, a broader patriotism and an honest pride in the success of States and individuals.'
But, Mr. President and gentlemen, there is in this coantry an aspiration among the masses at the present time to rise to something higher than can be attained at a common school. There is a spirit of discontent among laboring men, agriculturists, and mechanics all over our country for some boon by which they may be able to rise somewhat higher as men.
Is it to be believed that, among the millions of men who obtain no culture such as is obtained by the five thousand only who are graduated by our present colleges, there are not many men who would rise to distinction and be as much shining lights in the world, if they had the opportunity, as any among that five thousand who have had the opportunity! Allow me to say that it has been my ambition, in the little that I have been enabled to do, to give to a larger number of men an opportunity to develop their full intellectual vigor and strength, and thus to become of greater value to themselves and the nation.
Mr. President, if there is anything that becomes educators it is their enthusiasm. I am glad to see so many gentlemen, as I suppose from all parts of the country, engaged in the work of education. It is their unselfish enthusiasm that leads them to the work, aud there never was holier work than that of educating men and women in all the duties of life and enabling them to worship God intelligently. [Applause.)
The subject was then referred to the committee on national aid to education. Adjourned.