Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/92

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

only when the fruit begins to ripen and the calyx to assume its characteristic shape, that they can be readily identified by safe specific marks. Throughout, in short, all the clover traits remain almost the same, except in the matter of the fruiting pods. This is the one weak point of the genus, and this is therefore the place where natural selection has been able to produce fresh differentiating effects. Such a brief consideration of one small group of plants may serve to bring the general principle with which we started into the definite relief of concrete application; and it may also serve to show the vast variety of detail with which Nature effects the self-same object, even within the narrow limits of a single family or genus.—Gentleman's Magazine.


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THE PROBLEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION.

By C. A. EGGERT.

PROFESSOR OF MODERN LANGUAGES IN THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

FEW subjects have of late engaged the attention of the most thoughtful people of this country in a higher degree than the question prominently brought before the public by the recent attempt of the Harvard faculty to open the doors of that famous institution to applicants who might come prepared in all the branches hitherto required for admission, except Greek, for which study they would have had to offer an equivalent in scientific and mathematical work. It has been generally admitted that this work would have been more severe than that required for the Greek, but the opponents of the measure have, nevertheless, assured the public that to omit the Greek would be detrimental to American scholarship, and equivalent to building the educational structure on an unstable foundation. Some of these opponents have gone so far as to assert that the customary college degree, Bachelor of Arts, stands as definitely for Latin and Greek as the degree M.D. stands for the study of medicine. Now, inasmuch as the college is the school in which, according to the best authorities, our young people are expected to gain a higher degree of education than the lower schools, academies, and high-schools can give them, the question. What constitutes the basis of higher education? is answered by the opponents of the Harvard measure in favor of the traditional Latin and Greek course, and that only. But the very fact that men of such high standing in the domain of education as President Eliot and his associates hold a different view should be sufficient to entitle this view to respectful attention. It is, of course, easier to fall back on well-known authorities, and the usage of the past, than to examine carefully into a subject that evidently has at least two very characteristic sides; but if the subject is one that so greatly affects the rising gen-