Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/361

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
347
STUDYING IN GERMANY.

like that of her mate. One female has been taken with both tusks developed, one being seven feet in length, the other five inches longer. Like his fellow-gladiators of the sea, the narwhal will occasionally thrust his gigantic foil into the side of a ship, where it usually breaks off, and, fitting the hole like a plug, seldom causes a leak. Narwhals are generally seen in herds of fifteen or twenty; they will come close about a ship, apparently from curiosity, and it is one of the most entertaining sights of the northern seas to watch them plunging about, spouting spray from their blow-holes, and clashing their long weapons together as if fencing.

 

STUDYING IN GERMANY.
By HORACE M. KENNEDY.

THE tangible influence of Continental Europe, and especially of Germany, upon our thought and life, our education, habits, and morals, is perhaps greater than we are wont to grant or appreciate. This is in part due to the annual transfer of large sections of the German population to our shores and their absorption into our social system; but it is owing still more to the migration of Americans to Germany, where they come in contact with institutions that seem usually to impress them favorably. We often find ourselves speaking, with some chagrin at our own achievement, of German schools, of German purity in municipal government, of German stability and efficiency in the civil service, and of the self-respecting modesty of German boys and girls. Besides the hosts of tourists who jostle each other on the beaten courses of travel between the Rhine and Vienna, there is a steadily growing class of Americans who visit Germany to spend from one to five years in study. The American students at the great German universities now outnumber those from any non-German nation of Europe; and their number is greater than that of all other non-Continental states together. We may divide the American students in Germany into two classes: 1. Boys and girls sent or accompanied thither to get their preliminary education, and ranging in age from twelve to twenty years. These should be subdivided into—first, special students of music; and, second, students of such branches as are taught in our high-schools. 2. Young men, usually graduates of college, who wish to push their studies in special departments. Among the latter are often men who have already practiced their professions. The second class chiefly contains students of philology, medicine, and physics or chemistry. In any case this residence of several years in a foreign country acts profoundly upon the character of the student, and in ways quite outside of his book-knowledge.

First, let us consider those who go to prepare for college, or for a pro-