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By no means. As the talented author looks forward, with exulting expectancy, to the wealth and honors together with the self-discipline and acquisition, which his elaborate works shall confer, and prizes them all as the results of earnest toil, so the liberal student is thrilled to yet keener research and more self-denying application, by the humbler prize, which crowns his manliness along with a noble and refining scholarship. The complacency, which springs from such success, is far different from vanity or pride. The stimulus of a reward is needed to induce, not a feverish, but a tireless and productive activity-an activity accomplishing more than it could otherwise hope for, and all the time pressing steadily on toward a lofty standard of attainment. The earnest scholar will labor then with brighter and more practical intuitions, will impress the indolent even with a sense of shame, and beautify the brightening range of a once feeble purpose and character. He will awaken in the thoughtless a new devotion to study, and gradually excite that due appreciation of its advantages, and that wonder in its aims and compass, that animate the true student from the first. The prize system becomes more effective, that it bas quickened the purer scholarship before stimulating that which was defective. From such a stock time only is necessary to ensure the ripest fruits.
But it may be claimed that our system does not offer the highest motives to study. To this we may, perhaps, assent in part. But it is not always best nor expedient to present motives, that are abstractly the purest, to a collection of growing minds. It would be absurd to rely upon the love of study in its essence, or the sense of Christian duty, to stimulate a school of children to close activity. They must first be impelled to effort by simpler and more puerile inducements. Hence, these same incentives are really superior, in tone and tendency, to those absolutely higher. The noblest motives can operate to advantage only upon the mature and cultured mind. A considerable degree of self training must prepare the way for their intellectual reception. The stringent regulations of the academy, and the personal authority of its preceptor are needed, and serve a rightful purpose in a humble sphere of discipline. But to transfer to the College curriculum similar incentives to duty would be preposterous. So, to make a purely religious motive the sole stimulus to Yalensian effort among men of varied prejudices, creeds and attainments, would be palpably impolitic. Were the University composed of matured Christians alone, the experiment might prove more successful. With comparatively young and forming intellects, it is better to allure than to command or to drive to effort. Hence a system, excellent in itself, and healthy in its results, presents a stimulus to Yalensian study, as high as young men at that stage in their education can be expected universally to appreciate. If not the purest, it is certainly a superior and beneficent motor. Though an imperfect incentive by nature, its adaptation to a desired result exalts it above one intrinsically nobler.
We may now turn to our proper theme, and, discarding all further objections to the system itself, consider the distinctive benefits to which it gives rise in the mind of Yale. We note at once its power to call out mental toil. An outgrowth so obvious, yet so valuable, must challenge respect. From the trivial rewards and mimic honors of early childhood, to the end of life, the prize system, when duly curbed, promotes eager, continuous, liberalizing toil. The mind is impelled to the most diligent and the most discriminating processes of which it is capable, by an educating and imperial power.
In the reputation and enlarged esteem, which follow a successful prize contest, an efficient motive to labor appears. This induces, ever in the idle, a degree of diligence which the joy of material and moral victory deepens and consolidates. The hope of excelling one's peers in intellectual vigor, is blended with that of passing an imagined superior, and so uplifting oneself to a higher position in usefulness and influence. As labor grows inviting and grateful, under the same fostering sway, it also is seen to assume a new scope and dignity. Ri. valry has come to reach and vitalize all mental endeavor. The more tangible and immediate gain enforces labor, as a viewless good in the distance could not; so that the less abiding result prepares and exalts the mind for one that is grander. While, too, the consciousness that a common aim is enlisting all competitors, spurs each to increased and closer toil, a secret self-distrust, that has its source in the ability of his rival, nerves him to yet more unflagging industry. It is not one only, but many, that must be satisfied, and this evokes the utmost energy of his intellect. All the while the student is gaining higher selfdiscipline. This indeed is as well the natural outgrowth of his mental application as the acquired necessity in his prosperous struggles after excellence. The exertion that accompanies each contest in the past, and the requirements of every fresh encounter in this intellectual life, alike confer sound and scholarly discipline. A new trial is a new stimulus to mental vigor. As the student measures himself, in candid scrutiny, face to face with a rival, he feels his judgment clearer and his self-reliance deeper for the intellectual task. His finest capacities
are absorbed and concentrated to effect the desired end. Constant and generous strife has unfolded their most skillful and advantageous use. Yet he is prepared for reverses and defeat by a disciplined courage, and his active mind, taught by the lessons of the prize system to repress selfish longings and envious aspiration, subordinates all else to the purpose and moral of an unwelcome defeat. This calm, self-centered, unyielding discipline of the mind and heart, is a noble fruit of a cultivated nature. It may well precede and foster symmetry in taste and intellect. The departments of emulous labor are at once so varied and so remunerating to the genuine student that they open to lawful ambition a complete and liberalizing career. They ensure the vigorous intellect a harmonious culture. The prize system promotes versatility, if it be based on solid acquirements, and rewards original thought, provided it be curbed and spiritualized by a refined taste. It shows the truest success, in a literary sphere, to be attain. able only by a diverse and symmetrical education. Thus symmetry is encouraged and necessitated in scholarly learning and acquisition. As unbalanced strength is impotent to achieve its object, the prize theory couples it with grace and polish. The rewards of study held out here make acquisition the helpmate of impartment. They refine and etherealize the stronger operations of genius. The reading, that is thus grounded in student culture, is adapted to mould the sensibilities aright, to cultivate a nice discernment, and to secure a delicate and sympathetic appreciation of an author's aim and principles. Such a scholar has his every thought and purpose harmonized into agreement with a true principle of action. His whole culture and character have put on a mantle of symmetry. But this proportionate training by no means impairs his intellectual strength. This has been cultivated from the first, and while hardened by toil and discipline, derives its highest life from symmetry. The sturdy power to think soundly and ably upon an appointed theme—to work accurately and easily upon a complicated task-to talk forcibly and elegantly upon an unexpected topic of debate, flows directly from the surroundings and tendency of the system before us. Here the dormant mind flashes out into sharp vigor
. and elastic keenness. Arduous tasks inure it to toil, competition imparts to its workings robustness and promptitude, while the hopeful wish to triumph in the end, rouses an enduring power to meet and overthrow all obstacles. It is when thus tested, that the student intellect discloses, in its manful struggles, an unsuspected and controlling strength. The motive to mental exertion is enough to facilitate the severest processes, and endear the darkest explorations. Out
of the fiery trial his mind comes purified, bearing with it, as the proof of conscious power, a rugged, athletic discipline. In the attainments essential to success in scholarly competitions in the observation and thought sure to be imposed by all emulous encounters—in the social refinement promoted by the genial comity of student emulation—and in the respect and influence attending success in all prize-issues, we see the elements of an earnest dominant force in culture and character. As the system widens its influence, it must impress upon the student mind more deeply even than now, that feature of quiet, undaunted, persevering strength in thought and action. It will give to the whole intellect a masculine, hardy robustness. Nor does the power of prizes to educate the thinking student stop even here. It manifests itself once more in the grand development of a cultivated mind. The intrinsic capacity and reach of an intellect trained in this method and atmosphere, is nobler in every aspect, while the feeble effort and discouraged application of a student without this expanding stimulus, will accomplish only meagre and unsatisfying results in brain-culture. It is wonderful to watch the rapid mental development of that scholar who has subjected his every power to the prolonged tension of emulous conflict. The zealous and productive exploration, the rigid and protracted exercise of the various intellectual faculties, which the ardor of preparation elicits and commands, only as they are more lasting, are superior in value to that eager, nervous energy and that sharp sense of conscious strength, to that quick perception and discernment and that assured skill and composure on the part of the scholar in the use of his most vigorous and original powers, which the expectant strain and peculiar stimulus of the contest evoke, effecting, not unfrequently, marvellous advances in mental development and mental activity. The rivalry of student with student and class with class is sowing seed for a harvest of ripe after-growths. It is storing in the thoughtful competitor material for reflection and enlightenment—it is leading broad and generous activities into a symmetrical culture--it is working into practical service every mental possibility, while nurturing an uniform mental growth, it will ultimately confer upon the maturer thought and purpose of student-life a rare degree of usefulness and dignity. Each competitive success will lend new ardor to the pursuit of a high triumph. Unknown capacities will be disclosed and unconscious energies called into being by its exhaustive demands. Under the distinctive and benignant sway of the prize system, the student will feel his perceptions quickened, his retentiveness enlarged, his tastes purified, his imagination curbed, his sympathies ennobled, his intercourse unmarred by jealous fancies, his self-mastery and selfpossession confirmed and vitalized. His inner nature will have expanded into a condition of liberal and vigorous refinement. The prize system will have stimulated in him permanent intellectual growths. Nor does it affect the mode alone and results of study. It will extend its influence to the range of scholarship among us. As the feature becomes older and more perfect, it must tend to promote zeal in extraneous study. Collateral authors will grow as familiar to the aspiring scholar as those whom he now looks upon as the sole poets and historians of antiquity. Yale can boast then a varied, no less than a thorough culture. As a natural unfolding of this enthusiasm for study, we shall find the standard of scholarship elevated. Indeed, such has already been the effect of the prize system upon the mind of the University. Rivalry operating upon talented devotion to learning, pushes forward and upward the various contestants who, amid all their genial encounters, are pressing toward a single and an ever-loftier prize. Broader and more discerning scholarship cannot fail to flow from such a system. By fostering so rare a culture, the prize system necessitates for Yalensian learning a higher and wider influence. It awakens reverence, at home and abroad, for the profoundness and elegance of the scholarship here attained. Reacting on the student mind, it impels to closer study and more devoted application. While the influence of our scholarship is thus widened, its tone and province are enlarged. A purer and a more characteristic culture will be seen to result. The entire temper of Yalensian study will be transformed, and its sphere assume a nohler attitude. The motive and reach of all learning among us are thus to be illumined, as the beauty and accuracy of scholarship lend to Yale a grander discipline, and an intenser literary life. We are prepared then to realize the full benignity of a system, which, with all its influences of disciplined strength and graceful symmetry, has culminated at last to form the ground-work an earnest culture, a profound and massive scholarship. J. P. 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