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THE MASS AND THE INDIVIDUAL,
Huntington Mason. A CHILD SPEAKS,.
W. H. Field. IN THE SQUARE AT MONTIGNY,
Hulbert Taft. THE THREE TRAVELERS,
.......P. H. Hayes. DeFOREST PRIZE ORATION--THE ITALIAN PLAYS OF SHAKSPERE,
Herbert Wescott Fisher, EXPERT TESTIMONY IN THE CASE OF END VERSUS MEANS,
Ray Morris PAOLO DI RIMINI,
Lee Wilson Dodd. STEPHEN PHILLIPS,
...). M. Hopkins. TWO WOMEN,
George Graves. TOLSTOY'S “WHAT IS ART?"
- James W. Barney. NOTABILIA, PORTFOLIO, MEMORABILIA YALENSIA, EDITOR'S TABLE,
THE YALE LITERARY MAGAZINE.-Conducted by the Students of Yale University. This Magazine established February, 1836, is the oldest col. lege periodical in America: entering upon its Sixty-Fourth Volume with the number for October, 1898. It is published by a board of Editors, annually chosen from each successive Senior Class. It thus may be fairly said to represent in its general articles the average literary culture of the university. In the Notabilia college topics are thoroughly discussed, and in the Memorabilia it is intended to make a complete record of the current events of college life ; while in the Book Notices and Editor's Table, contemporary publications and exchanges receive careful attention.
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THAT man in the mass varies greatly from man in the
individual, is a well-attested and important fact. A mob of men, though its units may be peaceful and lawabiding citizens, trained to order and self-control by years of experience, is a dangerous monster with a ratiocination and impulse distinctly its own. It gives more than it receives. It imposes its will on each single member, and assimilates each unit to its own preponderant whole.
It is liable to gusts of animal passion-panic, rage, frenzywhich civilization is supposed to have trained out of us. Its ethical and intellectual standard is lower than that of most of its members.
The college body is separated so distinctly from the rest of the world, so closely compacted and clearly characterized by its very nature, that it may in some part be considered as a mere mass of men—a mob in fact, with a mob's variation from the individual.
In the mass the college body is conservative in the extreme. It clings to custom and perpetuates and hands
down the traditions which its predecessors cherished. When the old fence was torn down in spite of bitter indignation and appeal from graduate and undergraduate, one might have supposed that an old custom had perished. But no! another fence was bunt inside the Campus, and resentment is fast disappearing. Now, the old fence had a reason for existence; it was a rational means to a proper endthat of enclosing the college property and marking the limits set for Town and Gown. The new fence is hopelessly and touchingly irrelevant. It wanders idly across the Campus, serving no purpose that an ordinary fence is intended for, and used entirely as a seat.
Yet a row of benches, which would be far more comfortable, could never take its place. Such is the force of college conservatism.
This clinging to the old and customary is wanting in a great degree to the individual. The reforms that have recently been made in the society system, in the college papers and the administration of college interests, are due to the energy of half a dozen men, whose enthusiasm has prevailed over the inertia of the mass. The college as a whole resents any, even the most necessary change; and bows only to the inevitable, with sullen resentment.
It is in the mass that we notice the acts of lawlessness and roughness once supposed to be the chief characteristic of college life. No undergraduate in his church at home would deliberately insult his pastor by informing him that his sermon was too long, and demanding that he should stop; yet that is what we do here, and not infrequently. This demand is indirect, of course—by universal shuffling of the feet, or obtrusive coughing; but it is none the less unmistakeable.
Our table-manners, too, vary with the number of men who eat their meals together. In the smaller eating clubs men act very nearly as they would in civilized society. As the clubs grow larger, the manners grow worse, until at Commons we go back very nearly to the habit of primitive
man, whose natural soul had not yet learned the niceties of knife and fork, and despised the enervating influence of the napkin.
At recitation also this difference is apparent. The smaller ones approach very closely that ideal of the true teacher—a band of students working together for a common end, with the distinction of master and pupil practically vanished. In the larger courses this distinction is sharply apparent. The teacher is the pedagogue, and his pupils a lot of very unruly school-boys; indeed, not every teacher is master in his own class-room, and yet were this same professor to give private instruction to any single member of his lawless class, he would find him a quiet and submissive pupil.
In administrative matters the undergraduate body, which within certain limits is allowed to manage its own affairs, tends rather to an oligarchy or a despotism, than to a democracy. The editorial boards of most of the college papers elect their own successors; the athletic teams choose their own captains, who then rule with absolute authority; no supervision is exercised over the Glee Club, which to many thousands all over the country is the sole representative of the college. Yet as individuals we feel our position as citizens of a republic, and clamour against "taxation without representation,” and power that is not responsible.
In other ways the distinction might be drawn between the undergraduate body and individual. Let us take these examples as sufficient, however, and in turn examine the causes which determine this distinction.
There is in the first place the bald influence of the mobthe gross strength of number. The individual is responsible to the authority of the college government—the mass is responsible to no one. One man may be expelled for raising his class flag at the Promenade concert. But three hundred men? The matter is very different. There is safety in numbers, and though such a feeling is essentially cowardice, this immunity is reckoned on.