UNIVERSITY ITEMS. THE one hundred and twenty-seventh annual session of the

Department of Arts,* and the tenth of the Towne Scientific School, will open on Thursday, September 15th, next, at ten o'clock A. M.

The September entrance examinations will begin on Thursday, the 8th of the month, at ten o'clock A. M., and continue till Wednesday the 14th. Circulars giving full particulars may be had upon application, by letter or in person, to Mr. John B. Webster, janitor, at the University. Candidates who were conditioned at the June examinations will appear for re-examination on the days and at the hours assigned to the subjects in which they failed to pass.

. Other re-examinations—those of students in college who failed to pass for promotion,—will be held during the same week at hours appointed by the Faculty, and announced in special circulars to be had upon application to the janitor as above. These examinations will not be held at any other times than those set, except by special order of the Faculty, upon written application of the student, made before September 5th.

The promoters of the scheme for a fifth year in the Scientific School (making the general course two years, and the technological course three years long,) may congratulate themselves upon at least one result of their effort to lighten the burdens of the scientific students. There has been no falling off in the number of applicants for admission. This result, it was feared, might follow the lengthening of the course, although the minimum age for admission was reduced from sixteen to fifteen, and French was abandoned as a requirement for admission ; and it is a source of no little congratulation that the fact proves as it does. Counting all applicants for full standing, the figures are sixty in 1881, fiftythree in 1880, forty-six in 1879, forty-seven in 1878, and fortyeight in 1877.

Further, the age is generally maintained at sixteen or older, in spite of the reduction of the minimum. The average age of the incoming class will certainly be within a few months of that of the last four, and may attain the standard of previous years.

* Reckoning from the incorporation in 1755. It is the one hundred and thirty-third, is the sessions of the Academy ought to be included.

· Lastly, the lowering of the age-standard and the abandonment of French as a requirement for admission, has no doubt increased the number of public school boys competing for the Towne Scholarships. In 1877, twelve offered themselves; in 1878, eleven ; in 1879, thirteen; in 1880, sixteen ; and in 1881, twenty-four, an increase of fifty per cent. over last year, and of one hundred per cent. over 1877. Before 1877, the number was smaller, even, than twelve,-in one year nine, and another (we make the statement from memory,) seven. Of course, only ten can be admitted; but the prizes are more valuable the larger the number of competitors. And the more wide-spread the knowledge of the scholarships becomes among the scholars of our public schools and their parents, the sooner will that important step be taken by the Board of Education,—the step of founding a free Latin school, in which public scholars can be fitted for the Department of Arts. The merest village in New England has such a school, but Philadelphia is content to teach the three R's,” plus an unconscionable mass of rubbish, neither useful in itself nor disciplinary in its results upon the pupils' minds.

The Preliminary Course in the Medical and Dental Departments will be opened on Monday, September 12th, at ten o'clock,with a lecture by Dr. Elliot Richardson on “Practical Obstetrics.” Other lectures will be delivered in the Preliminary Session by Professors Leidy, Agnew, Pepper, Wood, Goodell, Wormley, Ashhurst, Tyson, Norris, Duhring and Strawbridge, and Drs. Hunter, Nancrede, Mills, White, Curtin and Starr, in their respective departments.

The regular winter session of the one hundred and sixteenth annual course of the Medical Department and the third of the Dental Department will be opened on Monday, October 3d, at twelve o'clock, with an introductory address to the classes by Prof. D. Hayes Agnew, Professor of Surgery.

Prof. Ashhurst is now engaged in editing an International Encyclopædia of Surgery, to be published by Messrs. Wm. Wood & Co., of New York, and to consist of articles written by various eminent surgeons of France, Spain, Austria, Germany and Great Britain, as well as of our own country The whole work will consist of six large octavo volumes, of which the first is expected to be issued in

the coming autumn. It will include those subjects which are considered as pertaining to general surgery, with special articles on operative, plastic, and minor surgery, and on amputation—the latter contributed by the editor himself. Other articles in the first volume will be written by Professors Stillé and Agnew, and Dr. Hunter, of the University ; Dr. Brinton, of the Jefferson Medical College ; Dr. Hunt, of the Pennsylvania Hospital ; Professors Van Buren, Delafield, and Lewis Smith, of New York; Prof. Christopher Jolinston, of Baltimore; Prof. Lyman, of Chicago; SurgeonGeneral Wales, of the U.S. Navy; Prof. Stricker, of Vienna ; Prof. Verneuil, of Paris ; Messrs. Butlin and Mansell-Moullin, of London, etc. The work will be illustrated with lithographs, both colored and plain, and with numerous original wood-cuts.

Mr. F. A. Genth, Jr., M. S., (1876,) has been appointed Assistant in Analytical Chemistry in the Scientisic School, and Mr. Hermann A. Keller, B. S., (1881,) Assistant in Geology and Mining Engineering. The Instructor in Mechanics and the Assistant in Physics have not yet been appointed.

The Towne School is to have, this coming year, a department of Steam Engineering and Iron Shipbuilding, the instructor in charge to be an officer appointed by the United States Government under a recent law.

It cannot but be a matter of satisfaction with University men that, of the six surgeons in attendance upon President Garfield, four, including the consulting surgeons, Agnew and Hamilton, are graduates of the Medical Department of the University. Prof. Hamilton graduated in 1835, Prof. Agnew and Surgeon-General Barnes in 1838, and Dr. Woodward in 1853.

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THE assembly which convened at Newport, R. I., on the with

I of August, 1881, to consult upon matters relating to Civil Service Reform, was noteworthy by reason of its numbers, the standing of those who composed it, and not only the business-like character, but also the entire harmony, of its proceedings.

The call for it emanated from the Executive Committee of the New York Association, and was in effect an invitation to the various Civil Service Reform Associations of the United States to send one or more delegates to attend “an informal conference" at Newport, to consult as to the best methods of securing unity of action in the cause which all have at heart, but which might be weakened by want of that unity.

The response to the call consisted in the presence of delegates from sixteen Associations, the number or delegates aggregating between sixty and seventy. There were represented the Associations of the following places: Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Cambridge, Cleveland, Cincinnati, New York, Newport, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Portsmouth, Providence, Springfield, Mass., St. Louis, and West Newton.

There was a fair amount of young blood in the assembly; but it is by no means true (as reported in a Philadelphia paper,) that, “ with the exception of Curtis, Schurz, Eaton, Wheeler, and O. B. Potter, from New York; and Codman, Crocker, and one or two more from Massachusetts, the conference was made up of young men not long out of college.” On the contrary, by far the greater number of delegates were men either in the prime of life, or those who, perhaps past the point of middle life, brought rich stores of experience and knowledge to infuse into the deliberations that wisdom which can be gained in no other way, and which was evidenced in the eminently practical character of the discussions and the proposed measures of reform. In the language of an editor who wa i present, “No time was wasted during the whole session in useless talk. It is doubtful whether any public convention, managed with all the skill of distinguished parliamentarians, and having its work all laid out for it beforehand, ever accomplished so much vork in

so short a time as did this purely informal and almost impromptu conference, which, in no more than four hours, laid down a programme of reform which contains really everything needful to the deliverance of the country from the evils of patronage.”

Not less remarkable was the harmony of the deliberations. It was, of course, the most natural thing in the world that, among so many men, and with reference to such a complicated matter as the reform of the civil service, there should be differences of opinion as to details. Such differences of view were manifested, and were very frankly expressed and discussed, but always with good temper and courtesy, and with the result of substantial agreement upon every important decision to which the conference came.

The time and place of holding the assembly was half-past two in the afternoon of Thursday, August uith, at the Ocean House. On the morning of that day, it was found that a large number of delegates were in Newport, and an impromptu and entirely private meeting of those present was had, with a view of arranging definite subjects of discussion at the afternoon session, and so saving much valuable time, the practical wisdom of which was manifest throughout the whole of the proceedings.

At the time named in the call, the conference met in the afternoon, Mr. Geo. Wm. Curtis, of New York, being unanimously called to the chair, and Mr. Arthur Hobart, of Boston, appointed secretary:

· The first subject for action was embodied in the following resolution :

Resolveit, That the bill introduced in the Senate by Mr. Pendleton of Ohio, provides a Constitutional, practical and effective measure for the remedy of the abuse known as the spoils system, and that the Associations represented in this conference will use every honorable means, in the press, on the platform, and by petition, to secure its passage by Congress.”

After a full discussion, the resolution was adopted with entire unanimity.

It was next, and unanimously,

Resolved, That we regard it as an important part of a system of competitive examinations that there should be local examinations at various poinis convenient for those who might wish to be examined from the different States,—these examinations, and the local board by

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