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College, and the Free Academy-gentlemen who seemed to vie with each other in their appreciation of the highly creditable manner in which most of the students passed through the severe ordeal to which they were subjected by their professors, and such visitors as chose to take part in the examination, on being invited to do so by the president. We are certainly of opinion that, neither the Fathers of St. Xavier's nor those of Fordham could have shown such good work as the Brothers did on this occasion. Indeed, the University of New York is the only one of our local institutions at whose examinations we have witnessed such 'excellent evidences of superior mental training.
Certain it is that Columbia College has not been in the habit, for the last seven years, of doing its work so thoroughly; although we are glad to add that it has exhibited considerable improvement during the past year. Without meaning any disparagement of the efforts of the late chancellor, we feel certain
that, if the Rev. Dr. Barnard, his successor, will only be allowed to carry out his own views, “Old Columbia will soon recover its ancient prestige. We cannot say, however, we have much confidence that so proper and necessary a thing will be done. Too many of the rulers of Columbia College are petty tyrants of the most obstinate and vulgar kind; among these is a fourth-rate lawyer, who imagines that because he has some smattering of Blackstone and Coke, and a long antiquated handle to his name, he nas a right to lord it over all the rest. Another thing that weighs like an incubus on old Columbia is “ Anthon's Classics," or rather that gentleman's "copious notes;” if the latter were cut out, the former would do very well, a suggestion which we beg leave to make to the new president, for the case is really a desperate one.
We are glad to see that we have no reason this time to find fault with either Harvard or Yale, for both seem to realize more and more what that portion of the public that is capable of judging expect from them, if only as an example to institutions not possessed of equal advantages. We would cheerfully give extracts from some of the reports of their commencements which we have seen, adding our own testimony to their general truthfulness; but they have already received such extensive publicity that there are few, if any, of our readers who have not seen them.
In glancing accidentally at the pile of manuscript that has accumulated on our table within the last hour or two we are reminded that it will be impossible for us to carry out our
intentions in the present number relative to our female seminaries; we must, however, allude to two or three. The first female catalogue that presents itself is somewhat of a curiosity in its way; we mean that of the Rockland Female Institute for 1864. We presume that the one for 1865 is not yet ready ; but, as it will doubtless be still more attractive than this, we hope that somebody will favor us with a copy. That before us gives us some very handsome specimens of the English language, and some very interesting facts as to the fine salt-water bathing for the ladies to be found at Nyack; the carriages and saddle horses furnished by the reverend president of the institute, “at a moderate charge;"> the immeasurable superiority of that region to all others, &c. After giving a good deal of information of this kind, it says: “Young ladies, with any appreciation of the sublime and beautiful in nature, cannot prosecute their education in the midst of such surroundings without feeling their inspiring and elevating influences in the formation of their character.” (p. 18.) A page or two further on we are told that, “the Latin language, as forming the basis of a large part of the English and other modern languages, is carefully taught,” &c. (p. 22.) We should like to know of what “part” of Webster's Dictionary does it form the basis ?-of the beginning, the middle, or the end? Or must the Anglo-Latin words be picked out from the Anglo-Saxon and placed on a basis? Great stress is placed on “ the refining influence” exercised on the young ladies by the privilege of allowing them to sit at table, and occasionally converse with the faculty. Finally, by way of removing all doubt as to the superiority of everything at Nyack, we are presented with four pages of "testimonials.” in the smallest type. On examining these we find that they emanate from such high authorities in scholastic matters as the " Paterson Guardian," the "Auburn Daily Advertiser,” the “Rockland Daily Journal,” the “ Wisconsin Chief,” &c., &c. We confess that, in reading the highly appreciative, though rather ungrammatical, notices (most of which look very much like each other) given by these journals, we are reminded of a letter once written by the reverend president, enquiring what extent of a notice would be given him should he advertise. But, of nothing does the whole affair remind us so forcibly, as of that passage in the ninth Satire of Juvenal, in which the following lines occur.
“Nam lingua mali pars pessima servi
In agreeable contrast with this is the catalogue of the Deer Park Female Institute. The latter indulges in no hyperbolical expressions of any kind, but gives a plain, chaste, and modest statement of facts. We compare the two together because they have several other features in common. The principal of one as well as of the other is a clergyman; and, if we do not mistake, they belong to the one denomination. If the Rockland Institute is situated on the Hudson the Deer Park Institute is situated on the Delaware, at Port Jervis, New York ; and if the young ladies of the former cannot but feel an inspiring and elevating influence from its “surroundings," surely those of the latterought to feel pretty well inspired and elevated, too; fór we know of none anywhere who can look out from their class-rooms or dormitories on more romantic or sublime scenery. In twenty minutes they can not only cross the Delaware, but pass from the State of New York to that of Pennsylvania, thence to New Jersey, and meet on their way the Erie Railroad and the Delaware and Hudson Canal. But the principal has understanding enough to know that it would be quite possible for an institution to have all these advantages, and yet afford but a very indifferent education for young ladies. Accordingly he indulges iu no high flown language about his surroundings,” but depends rather on other means for elevating the character of the students.
Now, if we compare the inside machinery in the one Institute with that of the other, we shall find just such a difference as might be expected; the difference between worils and deeds, or that between the fruit and the leaves which sometimes cover it. We suppose we need hardly say that we do not judge either institution merely by its catalogue ; although in general we regard what is said in such pamphlets as a pretty safe criterion of the amount of culture and taste possessed by the principals who issue them. We have, however, had a full opportunity of seeing what is done at the Deer Park Institute; in one of our peregrinations on the Erie Railroad, in October last, we were induced to visit it, and we shall never forget the agreeable surprise we experienced from the superior proficiency of the higher classes both in the ornamental and useful branches of female education. There was no confusion there, no effort at display; the young ladies underwent the examinations of their professors and performed all their exercises with an ease and grace that would have done credit to matrons of culture and refinement receiving company in their own parlors or drawing-rooms.
Still further to the west, it has been our privilege to visit another female seminary-one which, so far as we can judge from appearances, reputation, and other circumstances (for it was during vacation we saw it), is scarcely surpassed in situation, scenery, accommodations, or system of teaching by any similar institution in the east; we mean St. Mary's Academy, Notre Dame, Indiana, which is conducted by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. It is admitted among the enlightened and liberal of all countries and denominations that there are no better seminaries for young ladies than those presided over by nuns. Apart from the excellent example which they afford by the purity of their conduct, their sincere, unostentatious piety, and their proverbial benevolence, they are in general ladies of high culture and refinement; those of them devoted to education invariably so ; and in this country especially there is scarcely a community of them in which there are not included ladies of different nationalities, each capable of teaching her native language in its purity. In addition to this, one can teach painting, another music, another an elegant system of penmanship, &c., so that the students have the benefit of the accumulated knowledge and combined accomplishments of the whole convent. This is particularly true of St. Mary's Academy, which, we believe, is the parent community of the whole sisterhood of the Holy Cross. The buildings and grounds are admirably suited in every respect for the purpose to which they are devoted; but we regret that it is now impossible for us to describe either in our diminished space, further than to remark; in general terms, that the buildings contain all the modern improvements, including steam-heating apparatus throughout, baths in connection with the dormitories, &c. We can bear testimony to the superior excellence of the arrangements, for we had the honor of having all pointed out to us and explained by one of the sisters, whose intelligence and willingness to give every necessary information eminently qualified her for the task. On seeing the whole institution, we were not surprised to learn that two-thirds of the students are Protestants of different denominations. As we cannot speak from our own knowledge of the system of education, we subjoin an extract from the report of one of the Chicago papers of last commencement:
"The address ended, the reporters were invited to a reception, and then drive over to the academy for young ladies, established in connection with the university. General Sherman and his lady were already
there, and the 'Grand Entrance March,' prepared for the occasion opened the proceedings. It was a very brilliant sight to behold such a number of fair young girls, and beautiful women as were there present. The hall, like that at Notre Dame, was arrayed as a theatre, and decorated with a profusion of banners and streamers. Most of the young ladies were dressed in white, and arrayed on either side of the stage in ascending steps. Large crimson curtains fell before the stage, and served as a proscenium. Below, in a roomy circle, four grand pianos were placed, and they were presided over by as many lovely girls, whose long white fingers ran over the keys like the feet of so inany tripping fairies, and made the music wake up in a passion. The audience presented quite a picturesque appearance. The blue and gold of the military—the variously colored silks of the ladies' dresses-the long dark robes of the members of the faculty and the clergy-the black hoods and white tunics of the nuns—the young female visitors in white-and the rosy faces of the Young America -all tended to make a picture not anworthy the pencil of a great artist.
“We have devoted already so much space to the subject that we have none left in which to give a detailed criticism of the performances. It would be unjust, however, not to say that the singing and playing, both on harp and piano, were good, and that Miss K. Putnam delighted all with her sweet voice, and fine execution of the Solo Our Nation Mourns.' The vocal duel "Fairy Bowers,' by the Misses H. Rogers and E. Spears, was also creditable and worthy of mention in this place. “The Play,' however, was the thing, which if it did not catch the conscience of the King,' certainly charmed the ears and hearts of the audience. It was written by a lady belonging to the house, and exceedingly well written. Infinitely higher than the mysteries of the olden tiine, in which churchmen took part, it was somewhat of a similar character in its structure and moral. Miss J. Wood, an exceedingly beautiful blonde, with a face like one of Raphael's Madonnas, sustained the part of Queen Blanche with dignity and talent throughout, and here and there with genuine pathos and power. Miss Sherman (the general's daughter) played Queen Margaret of France with a fine, courtly appreciation of the character, and flung into it all the grace and loveliness of her person, as well as the brilliancy of her talent. Benice, by Miss E. Tong, was also well done, and contrasted admirably with Inez (Miss E. Weld), the Tartar princessthe former representing the timid but aspiring Christian, and the latter a pagan sorceress, who is finally conquered by the living power of the holy faith. Inez was a very superior impersonation of a proud, powerful, wilful, and beautiful pagan, who, in her endeavors to convert her sister, is converted herself. Miss Weld played with earnestness and feeling throughout, and with a natural and graceful but too uniform an action.
· By far the best character, however, was that of Fleda the maniac, by Miss J. Schultz, whom nature apparently has made for a tragic actress. Miss Schultz is a young lady only twelve years of age, but her acting was an inspiration. It was without stress or strain, a perfectly legitimate and natural interpretation of an exceedingly difficult character. The world will hear more of her anon.
“A description of the buildings, grounds, grottoes, chapels, lakes, and general scenery, not forgetting the wonderful chime of bells with its perfect machinery, would not be out of place, but lack of space forbids."
We had intended to give our impressions, to a greater or less extent, of several New York female seminaries, but we now find we must defer doing so. We cannot say more, even