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There is no social unit smaller than the whole college, the classes having grown too unwieldly for anything more than a political unity, such as the general supervision of class officers. The only other kind of unity is the unity of special forms of activity, or the unity of men who have reached prominence in some respect. The social clubs, of which there are nine in recognized standing, are made up of men from all classes, and are independent of anything more specialized than civilization itself. There are also the Pen and Brush Club; the Stylus, a literary club; the Symposium, a debating club; and the Signet, which seeks to gather together from each class twenty-eight men who are conspicuous in all departments of thought and activity. Beyond this there are numberless societies which combine the members of the smaller clubs into larger groups, thus destroying part of the unity of the smaller clubs, and so large that they lose unity in themselves. It must be said that these combinations and recombinations of students, by which club-life at Harvard is controlled by a comparatively small group of men, most of whom are members of many clubs and societies, not only tends to prevent unity outside the charmed circle, but destroys unity even within it. The smaller clubs are not marked off from each other too definitely for members of many of them to be common members of several larger clubs or societies. This tends rather to form a club-caste, or, in other words, a systein with most of the defects of unity and few of its qualities. The truth is that undergraduate society is made up largely of cliques, the inevitable effect of the forced individualism of Harvard. The more individual a man becomes, the smaller becomes also the number of men with whom he is congenial, and the average Harvard undergraduate has too few of the larger
human qualities upon which all men combine. This is illustrated by the self-conscious effort to arouse college enthusiasm before the great inter-collegiate football games. There is only one student-song which all undergraduates sing with undivided and un. ashamed enthusiasm, “Fair Harvard" itself, which all right-minded students feel to be out of place upon the athletic field. Beyond this, there is a simple cheer, nine "ras "and three “Harvards," which amounts to a succession of fiery grunts, the one form of utterance universal to mankind. This monotonous repetition of the single syllable "ra" (which, however, can be made to express many varied forms of emotion) is conspicuous among the polysyllabic and arbitrary noises made by the supporters of the opposing team, and although its superior dignity and simplicity are always recognized, it is often thought a sign of snobbishness by other universities, which tend to develop their students away from individualism, and, as a result, enable them to combine in many arbitrary expressions of feeling without any tinge of self-consciousness. To this result the caste club-system also contributes, for it tends to civilize members of the caste to a point where football is considered, if not a diversion of the lower animals, at least a little disturbing to the sensibilities of gentlemen: and the fact that the caste is accessible to all who are able to civilize themselves sufficiently keeps it before the minds even of those to whom it is inaccessi. ble, and sets the social standard for the whole University.
It is these defects of individualism which are obvious in the under-graduate relations with other universities. The student of one university sees another university almost exclusively in intercollegiate games, and it is exactly in those games that all the defects of individualism are most apparent. But
to what university do the graduates of nificance, is giving way before the inPrinceton and Yale go to study law, creasingly intellectual modern idea of medicine and philology? To Harvard. effective specialization, which is forced And the reason for which they ridicule upon the attention of freshmen immeHarvard athletics is exactly the reason diately upon entrance into college. for which they choose Harvard for se- Fellowship itself tends to become, in rious advanced study. That individ- President Eliot's phrase, "serviceable ualism, whose effect upon those not fellowship"; undergraduate life, consufficiently developed to profit by it is stantly reminded of its economic value a pseudo-culture, a cynicism, or an ef- and duty prodded into efficiency, feminacy, makes, in those who are suf- ceases more and more to be care-free, ficiently developed for a breadth of ap- irresponsible or impressionable, and preciation, moral as well as intellectual, becomes self-conscious, deliberate and and for an intensity and mastership in immoderately mature. Undergraduates special departments of thought.
who have a sense of propriety have acThis pre-eminence of the profes- cepted this uncongenial situation with sional schools of the University has all its consequences, and have recogbeen attained by one fundamental rule: nized once for all that so-called "colthat every student shall have a pre- lege life,” with its songs, its musical liminary degree in arts or science be- instruments, and the point of view that fore entering. By thus ensuring a lies behind this local color, is now once certain more or less uniform standard for all a thing of the past. It is reof general mental equipment, the vived from time to time with a misschools naturally attract masterly pro- placed enthusiasm, but only to the fessors, who are able to assume certain scorn of those who are dignified enough premises and to proceed on a solid not to bicker with the inevitable. basis, an immense advantage in time For inevitable and inexorable is that and efficiency to all the students. Per- intellectualism which, in the coming haps the greatest value of this provi- generation, will sweep away the gentle sion is that it ensures in the profes- sentiments of Puritan tradition, and sional men of the future a general edu- make of Harvard the factory of Americation which cannot fail to have an can imperialism. Year after year the enlightening effect upon their special Harvard type grows less and less dispractice.
tinct as the American type more and The general tendency is to look upon more defines itself: with the College the degree of A.B. mainly as a prepara
the old-fashioned humanist fades tion for one of these graduate schools. away, with the University the efficient The finality of the old-fashioned under- practitioner of the future emerges. graduate life, with all its human sig
Van Wyck Brooks. The Contemporary Review.
THE PROBLEM OF AERIAL NAVIGATION.
In the September number of this Review' Professor Simon Newcomb has written a most interesting article under the above heading. Interesting it is as embodying the ideas of a profound i The Living Age, Oct. 24.
thinker, and also as presenting a view of the subject such as is opposed to that more generally held. He concludes by asking that if his conclusions are ill-founded their fallacy will be shown. The gist of his article, I take it, may be summarized as that, in his A balloon must be very large. It is opinion, (1) aerial navigation is not sometimes forgotten by inventors and likely in the near future to become of others that the whole principle of the such importance as seems generally ascent depends on the displacement of supposed, and (2) that whatever utility the air. A balloon must be of such a may be accomplished in this line will volume as to displace a mass of air be due to the propelled balloon rather more or less equal to its entire weigbt. than to the dynamic flying machine. Air weighs about 76 lbs. per thousand I venture to take a diametrically op
cubic feet. So, no matter how ligbt posite view, and shall attempt to show the materials used or how ethereal the that it is likely to form a problem of gas, the apparatus must have a bulk the very highest moment to English- of over a thousand cubic feet for every men, and that this will result more par- 76 lbs. that is required to be lifted. ticularly from the introduction of the But great bulk implies two draw"flyer.” I have reason to hold more backs. It must offer great resistdecided views on the matter now, for ance to propulsion, which necessisince reading the article I have had an tates powerful engines to drive it at opportunity of travelling some miles any speed through
and through the air in the marvellous ma- speed is all-important in aerial navigachine of Mr. Wilbur Wright. Such an
tion. experience is calculated to prejudice The second drawback to great bulk one strongly in favor of this means of is the difficulty in housing the apparatransport, and to make one realize tus when on the ground and protecting what a vast future there is before us it from strong winds and weather. in the realms of the air. To sit in a Then the material of which a balloon comfortable seat, and, without effort, is made must be costly. It must be free from any jolting or unpleasant very light, and is therefore liable to motion, to be wafted through the air, be easily damaged. It must be absoat forty miles an hour, with a regular lutely gas-tight, for if it be leaky its ity and certainty which is surprising, huoyancy soon decreases. A mere gives one food for reflection indeed. pinhole involves a steady loss of gas; The feeling of safety which this clever so that it has to be constructed of a and experienced aeronaut inspires in very special material and with infinite one displaces all fear of danger.
care, which implies great expense. In order to discuss the first of the The actual cost of the gas, too, to fill conclusions it will be necessary to have
the immense balloon is no mean item in mind some idea of the means by of expense, and it is bound to require which the air is to be navigated, and frequent replenishing. Owing to the this makes it necessary to begin by varying volume of the gas with considering the latter of the two state- changes of temperature, it is necessary ments, that is the asserted superiority to carry ballast or complicated means of the propelled balloon over
the of regulating the altitude. This again "flyer."
involves increasing the capacity of the First let me explain that in disparag- balloon. The housing and the handing the poor old airship, which in the ling of the machine when on the ground past I have so often extolled, it is all add to the expense. only to show that the flying machine The inflammability of the gas is a is preferable; the gas-bag is useful constant source of danger, and, for war enough if we have nothing else with purposes, where it may be desirable to which to navigate thọ air.
use firearms, it seems very unsuitable.
And, "her vulnerability is obvious," as the author owns.
There is a vague possibility of improvement in these respects. The gas might, conceivably, be made uninflammable, and a multitude of cellular compartments might render it less liable to leakage, and so on, but this is going into the uncertainties of the future which we need not discuss.
To recapitulate, any gas-borne airship must be:
(1) Bulky. Therefore comparatively slow for given engine-power, and difficult to handle when on the ground.
(2) Costly, both to build and to maintain.
(3) Fragile and liable to damage.
The advantages of the aeroplane are that two or three men could hold it on the ground even in a gale, and it could easily be housed under the lee of a house or wood. A shed to keep it in is comparatively easy and cheap to construct. The resistance of the air to the propulsion of such a machine is very small, so that it should be capable of travelling infinitely faster for the same propulsive power. Since the covering need not be gas-tight, it can be made of cheaper material, and where the balloon costs thousands of pounds, the flyer need not cost as many hundreds. 'he cost of the gas is done away with, and, requiring but little assistance, the working costs would be much smaller. Finally, from the military point of view, it is practically invulnerable to bullets, nor is it liable to catch fire.
We now come to another point, the most important of all. I have already said that in aerial navigation speed is everything. To successfully navigate the air it is essential to be able to go at a rate faster than that of any ordinary wind that may be encountered. As this often attains to twenty or thirty miles an hour, a machine incapable of overcoming such can never
hope to be a practical success. Now airships have been made to achieve this, but, though they may still be improved upon to some extent, there does not seem to be much hope that they can ever greatly exceed such a speed. They might perhaps succeed in travelling forty miles an hour, but even then they would only be able to do their ten miles against a strong wind, which is not a very practicable rate. With the air-car it is different. It has been proved theoretically that the faster an aeroplane is driven the more economical it is. The pressure of the air evidently increases about in proportion to the square of the speed; that is to say, if an apparatus of given area, travelling at twenty miles an hour, develops a pressure under it of 500 lbs., then, if propelled at forty miles it should lift not only double the weigbt, but four times as much, or 2000 lbs. In order to get the machine to travel double the speed it may perhaps be necessary to increase the engine power fourfold, but let the original engine weigh 250 lbs. and we could still easily afford, if required, to put in an engine of four times the weight, and should then be able to carry double the useful load as well.
I think the above arguments are so entirely in favor of the gasless machine as to put the balloon entirely out of the question. But is this a one-sided view? Let see what Professor Newcomb has to say: "There are several drawbacks to every form of flyer, either of which seems fatal to its extensive use, and which, taken together, throw it out of the field of competition."
His first objection to a machine on the aeroplane principle is that, depend. ing on its area for support, the larger the weight to be carried the larger must the horizontal surface be. Hence to make a machine to carry double the weight involves enlarging the surface
in proportion. But as the surface is sistance of any motor. But, besides spread horizontally it requires greatly all this, the stoppage of the engine is additional weight of framework to hardly likely to be of frequent occur. bear the strain. Yes; but in the first rence in the future, when better forms place we do not here propose discuss- of motor are obtainable. How often ing the use of any machine very much does a steamer or a locomotive have bigger than those now in use, and, sec- to stop to adjust the engine? ondly, the surfaces need not neces- We now get to another drawback sarily be spread out in one plane; which is very real; but it applies by arranging them one above another, equally to the propelled balloon. This a very large area of support can be is, that an aerial machine cannot be got without adding much to the navigated for long out of sight of the weight of construction. Then, again, ground. Once it rises into a cloud I have just pointed out that by in- or becomes enveloped in fog, it is imcreasing speed we can increase the lift possible to tell which way one is going. without adding to the area, and as The aeronaut is then in the same pospeed is, for other reasons, so desirable, sition as the mariner at sea, but, exit is highly probable that efforts will posed to rapid and varying currents be made to augment the speed and of wind, he cannot rely on “dead reckso carry greater loads for the same- oning." Fog must always be a hinsized machine.
drance to aerial navigation.
Yet so In nature we find that the area of it is, to a large extent, to marine navithe wings of insects and birds does gation. not increase in at all the same ratio When Professor Newcomb comes to as their weight. Thus a gnat's wings speak of the larger the ship the greater have a surface corresponding to 49 the power and speed, this can only apsquare feet for 1 lb. of weight, a bee ply to two airships on the same model; presents some 5 square feet, while a the remark cannot refer to the comsparrow has under three, a pigeon 144, parison between a bulky airship and a and a vulture only 34 of a square foot compact aeroplane. But even this per pound. If this sort of proportion statement is not quite a happy one. were carried on we should find that He says that "at the present moment our large machines do not call for the two largest ships afloat are also nearly the same relative area as the those of highest speed." He apparsmaller ones.
ently forgets the dashing destroyers The next asserted objection to the racing at thirty-five knots an hour, or flyer whose support is due to its prog- the still smaller motor-boats and hyress through the air is that it cannot droplanes. stop to have its machinery repaired or So much, then, for the arguments in adjusted. This is partially true, but favor of the airship as opposed to the it is a matter of degree. The engines gasless flyer. could be stopped for a few seconds We now come to the second and chief while the machine soars downwards. problem of the discussion, that is as to Then, when we get experienced in whether aerial navigation is likely in practical flight, it seems quite proba- the near future to become of real imble that we shall be able to take ad- portance; that is to say, whether an vantage of the wind currents and soar aerial machine is likely to be able "to like the great birds. It might then compete with the steamship, the railbe possible to remain for long periods way, or the mail-coach in the carriage on end sailing around without the as- of passengers or mails."