Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/552
548 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
Not all the good qualities of the college professor, however, are prescribed. He possesses some characteristics that grow more or less spontaneously out of the nature of his calling. They are not character- istics which he in any way puts on the market; but they nevertheless make his class one which the world in general may contemplate with advantage to society.
He is usually an example of professional and civic generosity. He gladly gives to his work more than the legal requirement of time, he shares his knowledge freely with the community and the world, and he contributes to local religious and civic enterprise proportionally more in time and money than the wealthy professions with whom he is socially ranked. His hardest work, the scholar's research, is done with- out thought of money. If he takes money for a lecture or other expert service, it is never in the spirit of the ordinary expert. He takes it with something like self-accusation, feeling it an offense against con- science. In the rare, very rare, instances when his pay is more than " nominal," he wraps it up in the term " honorarium " before handling. There is no better proof of his usual attitude toward compensation of this kind than the surprise and sneer of the worldly man when the college professor presents a bill. It is as if a clergyman should charge for funerals. It is a salutary thing for society to have in its midst one class of men who demonstrate the possibility of the uncommercial life.
The college professor is an example of the workman in love with his work, the citizen unenvious, ungrudging, unmeddling, and clean of heart. Old Gate's words on the farmer describe him as well: "They that are occupied in that pursuit are least given to evil counsel." It is a good thing for the state, in these times of asserting rights and com- plaining of duties, to have also some sons of this sort. It has plenty who are not.
The college professor is a pronounced example of courtesy — courtesy of manners and courtesy of mind. He is tolerant and charitable. The habit of his life is the weighing of evidence. His first impulse is to seek his opponent's point of view. Courtesy with him has no con- nection with commerce.
His influence is also for cosmopolitanism and internationalism. . His is the one class to whom traveling is a business as well as a pleasure. He belongs to national and international organizations, and is likely to have personal and epistolary acquaintances in all the intellectual nations of the earth. His is the one class in America that knows the languages of other peoples, and enters into their souls. As a consequence, his heart and his voice are always for brotherhood and peace.
He is a force for conservatism. His teaching and thinking are con- cerned with the widening of his own and his students' horizon — abroad in space to foreign lands, and abroad in time to ages past. He realizes as no one else the immensity of geologic and human experience, and the