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EDITOR'S TABLE.

of Trustees of the new college. He proclaimed that the "Free Academy" was dead, that he knew nothing of it, and curtly brushed aside as no longer of interest the objects for which it was founded, and the policy by which they were to be secured. He went back and expatiated on the mediæval origin and classical ideal of colleges and universities, defended the scholastic conception of culture in contrast with modern innovations, eulogized Latin and Greek, and went in for old-fogyism generally. How entirely the spirit of the original undertaking was ignored and disavowed was well illustrated by the fact that when somebody quoted, in behalf of modern scientific culture, an authority whose work upon education has been translated into a dozen languages, and has exerted an immense influence in modifying plans of study, Judge Larremore contemptuously dismissed the matter, by saying that the authority was of no weight, as the author of the book had never been through college, and was nothing but a railroad engineer. Even a railroad engineer might have counted for something, on the theory by which the "Free Academy" was established; but in the policy of the new classical institution this sort of men seemed to get but little consideration.

And thus it came about that New York finds itself the proprietor of a "regular college." The people proposed to have a high-school, free for poor boys who had attended its common schools, to get some adequate preparation for industrial avocations, and which it was supposed could be carried on for $20,000 a year; and they now find themselves cheated out of their intentions, and saddled with an ordinary college, costing $150,000 a year, more or less. Of course, the repudiation of the original school, and of the ideas which led to its establishment, was not submitted to a popular vote, and it is equally certain that, if the projected change had been thus submitted, it would have been overwhelmingly rejected. And yet, by all the reasons at present urged for the continuance of the college, the people would have been in duty bound to establish it. Indeed, the controversy which has been going on in the newspapers of late, as to whether the city of New York shall abolish its college, is chiefly significant as affording a sort of register of public sentiment on the policy of State education. The college has this use, that it forces the extreme issue in regard to the educational functions of government, and it is noteworthy that the contest has elicited strong expressions in favor of committing the whole business of education to the State. Having affirmed the voluntary principle in religion, and denied the right of the State to meddle in this most important concern—having affirmed that the individual is a better judge in this matter than the State can be—when it comes to education, we deny the voluntary principle, deny that individuals here know what is best for themselves, and that the State—that is, the politicians who happen at any time to be in office—is better than the people to be intrusted with the absolute control of the subject. The history of the New York College is merely a sample of the manœuvring by which jobs will be carried, with no reference to the popular will, just in proportion as education is given over to political management.

 

 

THE LIBERTY OF SCIENCE AND EDUCATION.

An interesting controversy has sprung up in Germany upon this subject, the most important utterances of which we have had translated and published for the benefit of American readers.[1] A part of the discussion has been made use of in England and in this

  1. See the addresses of Profs. Haeckel and Virchow, in the Popular Science Monthly Supplement, No. X., and Hellwald's paper in No. XI.