Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/749

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SCIENCE AND THE COLLEGES.

department, but to stimulate all the others?—not that the zoölogical school grows too fast, but that the others do not grow fast enough? This sounds invidious and perhaps somewhat boastful, but it is you," he said, "and not I, who have instituted the comparison. It strikes me that you have not hit upon the best remedy for this want of balance. If symmetry is to be obtained by cutting down the most vigorous growth, it seems to me it would be better to have a little irregularity here and there. In stimulating, by every means in my power, the growth of the Museum and the means of education connected with it, I am far from having a selfish wish to see my own department tower above the others. I wish that every one of my colleagues would make it hard for me to keep up with him, and there are some among them, I am happy to say, who are ready to run a race with me."

In these words of Agassiz may be seen the keynote of modern university progress. The university should be the great refuge hut on the ultimate boundaries of knowledge, from which daily and weekly adventurous bands set out on voyages of discovery. It should be the Upernavik from which polar travelers draw their supplies, and, as the shoreless sea of the unknown meets us on every side, the same house of refuge and supply will serve for a thousand different exploring parties, moving out in every direction into the infinite ocean. This is the university ideal of the future. Some day it will be felt as a loss and a crime if any one who could be an explorer is forced to become anything else. And even then, after countless ages of education and scientific progress, the true university will still stand on the shore, its walls still washed by the same unending sea, the boundless ocean of possible human knowledge.

The new growth of the American university which we honor to-day is simply its extension and its freedom, so that a scholar can find place within its walls. The scholar can not breathe in confined air. The walls of mediævalism have been taken down. The winds of freedom are blowing, and the summer sunshine quickens the pulse of the scholar in the deepest cloister. In the university of the future all departments of human knowledge, all laws of the omnipresent God, will be equally cherished because equally sacred. The place of science in education will then be the place it deserves—nothing more, nothing less.

Many influences have combined to bring about the emancipation of the American college. Not the least of these is the growth of the State university as an institution existing for all the people, and for no purpose but that of popular instruction. It is a part of the great training school in civics, morals, and economics which we call universal suffrage.