Page images

ments of a liberal education. The requirement of manual labor from all the students has its obvious advantages. For physical development and the preservation of health three hours daily toil is none too much. As there is pay for this work according to the faithfulness and ability of the student, industrial habits are fostered, and important assistance is furnished in paying the expenses of the student. A collegiate course of study without manual labor destroys the inclination, if not the ability, to engage in the hard work of life. Manual toil is an essential requisite to combine the practical part of an education with the scientific. While this labor is educational in its character, teaching the pupils to combine the theory of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts with the varied labors of the field and the shop, its effects are also beneficial upon the moral character of the students, and the discipline of the institution True, there may be a lack of fashionable foppery and elegance, but young men trained up under the combined influence of physical and intellectual culture are manly in their deportment. The habits of industry and economy formed under such a regime will not so readily allow the manifestation of the wild frolics and reprehensible sports, to which those shut out from profitable bodily exercise are inclined. That self-reliance felt when there is a command of physical energy, resulting from constant practice in usefulʻand intelligent labor, contributes alike to the pleasure and the utility of life.

While we do not expect that the forty thousand young men of Maine who are entering upon industrial pursuits will all receive a liberal education, we do wish to do something in breaking down the wall that has so long separated the educated from the laboring class of the community; so that those who labor may have an opportunity to secure a thorough education, and those who are educated will not be unfitted for manual toil. That those who are educated in professional callings will not be considered as the only class of educated men. That the laborer will not look up with envy to the advantages of a superior class, nor be looked down upon by any, as a class inferior in intelligence and culture. We do expect to stimulate the working men of our State to secure for their children that mental culture which will fit them more thoroughly for their varied employments. We desire to contribute some share in the great work of advancing the intelligence and prosperity of the State, the happiness and comfort of individuals, and the true dignity of man.

Whatever promises to advance among our farmers the science of agriculture, to put more skilled mechanics in our shops, and to give a broader culture to our business men, is certainly worthy of the careful attention of our people. To retain, by the development of our State's resources, our native population, is better policy than to import vast colonies of foreigners, ignorant alike of our language and institutions. In the restless fever of emigration we shall find that “wisdom and knowledge are the stability of the times.'


QUESTION. I would like to inquire how long it is necessary for a young man to stay at the college to get such an amount of information as will prepare him for the business of life. President ALLEN. Our college course occupies four years.

We have a course similar to that of any college designed to afford a liberal education. I do not suppose that it can be very much shortened.

Gov. Periam. Having been one of the official visitors of the State College, it may be proper for me to say a word in regard to the appearance of the students, and the progress which they have made; and I may be excused for some enthusiasm in this matter. It is now almost twenty years since I began to argue that we need a different course of study for that portion of our young men who intend to follow the industrial pursuits of life from any then furnished by our schools, and I have pressed this view at every opportunity, in season, and perhaps some of my friends have thought, out of season. I have felt all the time that the course of study which this college proposes to furnish to the young men of the State was just what was needed. I have had the privilege of visiting that institution three times, once last winter, last spring, and again in the fall; and I can say here without making an extended speech, that I think President Allen and Professor Fernald (who has been in the institution longer than President Allen) need have no fear in putting the students of that college beside students in any other institution in the State or anywhere else, who have been engaged in their studies the same length of time.

I am confident that the three hours' labor every of very great value. It seems to relieve them of any inclination to cut up capers as many college boys are wont to do. President Allen will not find the trouble in his discipline that is found in other

colleges. Those boys are employed; they are given something useful to do; they feel that they are learning something useful all the time, something they are going to practice, and he will not be obliged to discipline them for bad conduct.

I have had an opportunity during the past year of witnessing the exercises in a great many institutions of learning, some of them of high standing, and the students have all acquitted themselves well; but I hesitate not to say that the boys in the college at Orono, considering the time they have been there, taking into consideration their physical and mental powers and everything that goes to make up the elements of success in life, are equal, if not superior, to any class I have ever seen.

I believe that every man who has heard the recitations of those boys, and witnessed their mental and physical improvement, will be ready to attest to the correctness of this statement.

PROF. FERNALD. Four years are required for the regular course, but the institution also provides that a briefer course may be taken, under certain circumstances, by those who want to go for some special purpose. If a young man has the knowledge in mathematics necessary to prepare him to enter upon an advanced course, for example, in civil engineering, it is not necessary that he take the four years' course. If he come thus prepared, he can pursue for a shorter season the studies that may be necessary to prepare himself more fully for work in the field. I have in mind now the case of a young man who called upon me but a few days ago, who was formerly a student of mine, and who has been three years in the field as a civil engineer, who wishes to enter the college at the commencement of the next term, if it is possible for him to do so, to carry his studies forward to a degree higher than he has yet been able to do, to prepare himself for wider usefulness in the profession he has chosen. There is this provision for students to study with reference to special emergencies, or for special preparation, and yet, with most young men, the full course is very much more advisable. We have had cases of young men making application to come for a term or two terms, who upon examination proved not to have advanced sufliciently to enter the college at all. We can do very little for such; but a young man who is ready to come to the college and put in time and study and faithful work there, can prepare himself for almost any useful industry that is carried on in this State or any other State.

Our President has said that the college is not a professional institution, that it is designed to give a broad, liberal culture; and yet, notwithstanding its course is broad and comprehensive, and designed to liberally educate the young men, the effort has been made, and undoubtedly will be continued to give these young men, to a considerable extent, a professional training while there. I remember that when Mr. Willard was teaching upon dairy farming, and instructing those boys in what he knew in regard to dairying, he took them into a cheese-room, and gave them practical instruction in the making of cheese, and those boys made cheese and took a great deal of pleasure in it; they learned the art so that they can make cheese as well as any women, The design is, as it has been heretofore, while giving to the students this liberal culture that has been alluded to, to give them as much training as possible in the practical avocations of life.

But, as was stated by our President, it is necessary, as you are all very well aware, in order to become really competent in the profession of farming, that a man devote his life to it, the same as it is necessary for a man to devote himself during his lifetime to any trade or profession in which he would be proficient. But the young men there have an opportunity afforded them of laboring three hours a day, and we are able to direct that labor so that it shall bave some reference to what their future work is to be. On entering the institution we expect the young men to engage in whatever labor can be provided for them. Those young men go on the farm and work just the same as any man works on a farm. They are ready to make fences, to build wall, to dig drains, to attend to planting, to sowing, to orcharding and garden work— they do anything and everything that is done upon a farm. They attend to the milking whenever it is required. An arrangement has been made that the young men of a certain class shall take it upon themselves to milk the cows for the term, and they are paid a certain amount for it. They have that as their regular duty. That is, the three hours' labor that we require of every one, they devote in that way. So that these young man, while they are getting this liberal culture which is to fit them for the duties of citizenship, are acquiring practice in whatever appertains to horticltural and agricultural work.

After 'a time, opportunity is afforded them to direct their labor somewhat with reference to their future work. The course of study is now divided. It will be remembered that when the

institution went into operation, there was but one course provided; it has been broken up into three courses,

-a course in agriculture, a course in mechanical engineering, and also the briefer course to which allusion has been made, which we do not recommend to any young man who can, under fair circumstances, take the full course. We say that unless a young man is so far advanced that it is not necessary for him to go over the preliminary studies, he had better take the four years' course; but provisiou is made for such contingencies, where a young man can only avail himself of a few months to attend to something that shall have direct reference to the particular pursuit which he may have in view.

Then, with this division of the course, after the young men have pursued their studies for a certain length of time, two years, for example,--they determine what particular course they will follow. The studies for the first two years in the several courses being essentially the same, the young man then decides whether he will take the course in agriculture, in civil engineering, in mechanical engineering, or take the elective course, and whichever one of these he chooses, the intention is to direct his labor with reference to that special pursuit. Those who take civil engineering, for example, work in the field. Those young men occupied their hours of labor during the last term in field work, with transit and levelling instruments, acquiring that facility in the use of instruments which they must acquire in order to do efficient field work. I remember that some of the young men run a level from one of the college buildings to a school building about three-quarters of a mile away, and returned, and the error was less an a fivethousandth of an inch. That is engineering that would bring the two parts of a tunnel under the Alps together without any jog. You are well aware that in building the Mt. Cenis tunnel, or the tunnel in Massachusetts under the Hoosac Mountain, the engineer stakes his reputation upon the accuracy of his work, and in tunnelling through a mountain having a base of several miles, it is necessary that the form of the earth be taken into account and that very skilful engineering be done, or else the two parts will come together with a jog, or fail to come together at all. I thought that if those young men could carry a level three-quarters of a mile and return, with an error of less than a five-th&usandth of an inch, they were doing pretty good practical work. Now, the young man who wants to pursue agriculture as a profession,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »