George Streynsham Master.

The Century, Volume 19 online

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teachers, both in lecture-room and labora-
tory, but they are not only teachers. They
are usually free to do some independent
work, each in his own department, — mathe-
matics, biology, physics or languages, — and
such work as possesses permanent or general
value finds i^ way to the literary and sci-
entific world through various channels, in-
cluding the publications of the university
itself. The regular assistant professors are
chosen fix)m the ranks of the associates. In
the inception of the plan there was some
idea of assigning distinct functions to the
university, college and assistant professors;
but it was found to be most effective to
permit this matter to adjust itself, and at
present no rigid distinctions exist The
singular flexibility and adaptability of the
whole institution is well illustrated by this
point. There is no rigid theory to which
the students must be broken in; but, like
an organic life, development goes on in
response to the demands made upon it,
and subordinated to the surrounding con-
ditions. Thus the professors and associates
are free from severe routine work, and are

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saved the danger of falling into ruts in their
modes of thinking and instructing, while the
students are free to live an individual life,
untrammeled by the restrictions of the class.
They are permitted and directed how to
grow, not molded, and hammered, and chis-
eled into form.

In order to. secure to the university a
corps of well-qualified students, a certain
number of fellowships were established,
with a salary of $500 per annum attached.
These fellowships are most carefully be-
stowed, and confer upon the recipient, in
addition to its educational advantages, a
distinction which has been well earned.
Twenty young men, graduates of other col-
leges, who propose to devote themselves
to special work, and who have proved them-
selves capable of so doing, have been thus
gathered about the university.

The training of the students is not con-
fined to hearing lectures, making recitations
and writing themes. The attempt is made
in each department to balance the lecture
system by some other method of training.
In physical science, this is easily accom-
plished by laboratory work. In mathemat-
ics, languages, philology, etc., other means
have to be employed to escape the " tutorial
grind " of the English universities. Special
clubs are formed by the students among
themselves ; societies are organized and con-
ducted by the professors; the main and
most eflfective agency, however, is the sem-
inary. This is an idea borrowed from the
German universities, but greatly modified.
The theses in Gerniany are written and read
in Latin or Greek ; at the Johns Hopkins,
English is used in the main, with practice
at special times in oral Greek and Latin.
Professor Gildersleeve has kindly written,
for this article, this statement of the method
in his school, which will serve to make the
idea clear, and a full exposition of the method
may be found in a paper by him in the
** Princeton Review" for May, 1879, on
"University Work in America ":

•*The first of these seminaries to be set on foot
was the Greek seminarium, which is a modification
of the philological seminarium of the German uni-
Tersities, in accordance with the different conditions
of American philological study. The object of the
Greek seminarium is to traiii the future teacher in
the exegesis and criticism of Greek authors, and to
guide individual research on all the lines of philo-
K>gical in<|uiry, grammatical, literary, historical and
archaeological. To promote this end, it has been
thought best to group the studies of the seminarium
each year about some orgajiic center. In 1877-' 78,
such a center was found in the Attic orators. In
the beginning of the course, the rhetorical writings

of Dionysius of Halicamassus were studied, espe-
cially the treatise, ** De Admiranda vi Demosthenis/*
and the application of his canons of criticism to the
chief Attic orators was observed, and an endeavor
was made, by a close scrutiny of select private ora-
tions of Lysias, Isocrates and Iseus, in comparison
with speeches of Demosthenes on similar tnemes,
to develop new indicia of form. In 18 78-' 79, the
exercises of the Greek seminarium consisted in
analysis, exegesis and criticism of selected tracts of
Lucian, and in the prosecution of researches ijito
the language of Luaan, and the life of the second
century, — such as Lucian's relation to Herodotus ;
the lonism of the " Dea Syria *' and the «*De As-
trologia ; " the use of the optative in Lucian ; Lucian
and Dioeenes Laertius ; traditions as to the oriental
ori^n of Greek philosophy ; the worship of the
Syrian goddess ; Lucian's attitude toward religion ;
Lucian as a student of art Some of the more
elaborate papers were transferred to the Johns
Hopkins Philological Association, which meets once
a month for the purpose of discussing themes of
philological interest. At every such meeting one
major paper is presented and considered, while
minor communications, and reviews of books and
periodicals give the needful variety to the proceed-
ings. Some of these essays have been printed, and
thus the seminarium works outward into the wider
circle of philological life."

In the durection of physical science, every
possible aid is afforded for laboratory work,
— the most expensive and complicated appa-
ratus for the trying of experiments and the
measurement of forces : microscopes, aqua-
ria, from which material for biological study
is gathered, instruments for the measure-
ment of nerve force and the rate of nerve
waves. The instruments are sometimes
singularly simple, and again, as remarkably
intricate. Here, for example, stands an
instrument for measuring approximately the
amount of blood withdrawn from the body to
feed the brain while it is at work. It is the
invention of an Italian named Mosso. It
consists of a horizontal glass tube, open at
one end and communicating at the other by
means of a small India rubber tube with an
open glass vessel on which rests a float. The
float carries an index flnger. Into the large
tube is thrust the arm of the person to be
experimented on; the tube, with the arm
in: it, is made water tight by an India rubber
ring ; water is then admitted by a cock at
the upper side of the glass tube and poured
in until the index flnger is horizontal. The
owner of the arm then engages in con-
versation, or occupies himself with a book.
As the brain requires more blood when it
is working, the arm shrinks, and shrinks in *
proportion as the mental action increases.
A moving strip of paper, upon which the
index flnger makes its record, shows a wa-
vering line, every depression and elevation
of which indicates more or less brain-work.

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Close by this simple piece of mechanism
stands a gigantic and intricate piece of ap-
paratus, which cost $i,ooo, with batteries
and wires, and all sorts of mechanical
devices in bewildering multiplicity. This
machine measures the speed of the nervous
current. It faithfully records the exact frac-
tion of a second which is required for a
message to be sent from a wounded hand,
for instance, to head-quarters, and the return
command from the brain, to withdraw the
injured member from danger. The nerve
and muscular action, which seem practically
to be simultaneous, and to require no time,
are really consecutive, and the time required,
though inappreciable, is accurately measur-

A student, working for several hours each
day, in the physical, physiological, or chemi-
cal laboratory, working with and without
his professors, surrounded by other young
men interested in special lines of inquiry,
has an exceptional opportunity for individual
growth. He has just enough guidance to
save him from wandering away into paths
that lead nowhere, and not enough to take
away his individual responsibility or to crip-
ple his powers of analysis, comparison, dis-
— imination, logical reasoning and practical

judgment He is stimulated into earnest-
ness and shorn of any disposition to out-
cropping conceit. His recitation cannot be
a parrot-like repetition of a form of words;
in fact, it consists rather of an exhibition of
accomplished work, which, either in its
results or in a careful drawing of them,
may be shown to his professor.

These students, it must be remembered,
are not boys; they are men, who have
chosen their work in life, and are ripe for
university freedom. Under such a system
it is not to be wondered at that much val-
uable practical work has been done by the
associates and fellows in the various depart-
ments. Much has been added in the way
of discovery and much in the way of inven-
tion. As an illustration of the latter may be
mentioned Professor Rowland's apparatus
for the determination of the mechanical
equivalent of heat Since the days when
Count Rumford, the persistent upholder of
the mechanical theory of heat, demonstrated
his point by causing water to boil by fric-
tion, down to the present time, the deter-
mination of the working power of heat has
occupied the attention of physicists. It is
a question bound up witli the central theory
of modem physical science, the correlation

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and conservation of force. Mr. Rowland
has kindly written the following explanation
of his valuable invention :

" The object of this investigation was a redetermi-
nation of the mechanical equivalent of heat, or the
amount of work necessary to heat one pound of
water one degree. This quantity was originally
determined by Joule with consiaerable accuracy,
but since his time a large number of inaccurate ex-
perimenters have so confused it that it became
doubtful who was right. Besides, the advance of
science has shown that thermometers of diflferent
glass differ much from one another, and that they
should all be compared with the air thermometer
before use. An elaborate series of researches was
therefore necessary, the most important of which
was made with the instrument shown in Fig. VI.
The apparatus for these researches was constructed
partly by aid of funds contributed by the American
Acaclemy of Sciences in Boston, and partly by the
university. "

'* In the interior of the calorimeter a paddle wheel
is turned rapidly by the shaft, £, whicn is run by a
steam-engine in the next apartment. This paddle-

wheel stirs the water in the calorimeter violently^
and makes it strike against some paddles fixed
firmly to the calorimeter, and thus tends to turn
around also ; this force is measured by the weighty
P, which it lifts. Knowing this force and the num-





ber of revolutions made by the shaft, which is.
recorded on the chronograph seen below, the work
can be calculated. By the friction of the water,
heat is generated, which is measured by a ther-
mometer not shown. So great is this heat produced,,
that the water will commence to boil in two hours
and a half, merely from the violent stirring.

•*The accurate results are about to be published
in the proceedings of the American Academy of
Sciences at Boston, but the principal results may be
stated as follows :

** 1st, that the difference of the ordinary and the
air thermometer at ordinary temperatures is very

" 2d, that the specific heat of water decreases to
about 85^ F., after which it increases.

•• 3d, that the mechanical equivalent of hqat is as
follows :

•'From 40*3 to 41° F 783.4 foot-pounds.

** 600 to 610 F 778.6 •« "

" 800 to 81" F 775.7 " "

" 100° to loio F 776.3 " «*

"The difference from Joule's result is almost
entirely due to Joule having used a mercurial instead
of an air thermometer."

It is not the intention of the trustees of

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the Johns Hopkins to collect a large library.
The best books of reference, all necessary
works of a technical character, are of course
at hand ; in addition to these, new books are
constantly bought and retained till all call
for them has passed; they are then disposed
of at a small price to professors or students
and are removed to give place to others.
Without a library no institution can be
great; but in Baltimore, the want is sup-
plied by the splendid bequest of George
Peabody, and the Peabody Library is not
only open to students of the Johns Hopkins
University, but a catalogue, including the
periodical literature, scientific transactions,
etc., of the Peabody, the Historical Society,
the Mercantile and the University itself, is
printed with initials attached showing where
each volume is to be found, and eventually
it is hoped to have such a catalogue of all
the books in the public institutions of the
city as well. By this means much useless
labor is, and it is hoped much more will be,
spared to the student. By consulting the
catalogue he will immediately see whether
the University Library contains the material
he needs, and if not, whether any of the
other libraries of the city does possess it.

The Peabody Library, although possess-
ing only about sixty thousand volumes, is
one of the best libraries for students in
America. The books have been selected
with great judgment, the reading-rooms
and alcoves are light and spacious, and
every courtesy is offered to students. An ex-
perience of six years of almost daily study

in this library unquestionably gives the
writer the privilege of testifying.

Not only is this mutual help aflforded in
the Ubrary ; the Peabody lecture system, its
musical conservatories, and concert seasons,
as well as its projected art-galleries, will aid
and complement, on the aesthetic side, the
more solid advantages of the university.
It is also proposed that the Academy of
Sciences shall work with the university.
Its president, Philip R. Uhler, is an associate
of the Johns Hopkins and also the librarian
of the Peabody. The medical schools of
Baltimore have access to the biological and
physiological laboratories, as well as to the
lectures of the university. The law classes
have also extended to them invitations to
attend the lectures of the jurists who have
delivered courses in Hopkins Hall. Besides
these special invitations, the literary courses
are fi-ee to the public; a glance at the
names of the non-resident lecturers will give
some idea of what this really means, as an
influence in society.

A great incentive to original research on
the part of the associates is offered by the
publications of the university. All original
work of value finds its way to the public,
without having to conquer the difficulties
and struggle above the obscurity which so
often discourage young and unknown men.
This work, under the fostering care and
censorship of the university, reaches the
outside world indorsed, and at the same
time serves to add dignity to the institution
itself. The third annual report says :

*' Every encoaragement has been given to the
teachers of the university to publish freely. A list
of the various books and papers printed by the resi-
dent members of the university during the last two
vears, under their own names, includes over one
nundred titles; among them are many important
communications to the scientific journals of this
country and of Europe.

** Under the auspices of the university, the * Amer-
ican Journal of Mathematics, Pure and Applied,'
has hien instituted by Professor Sylvester, with the
co-operation of Dr. Story and Professor Rowland of
Baltimore, Professor Peirce of Harvard and Profes-
sor Newcomb of Washington. The * Journal ' ap-
pears in large quarto form, whenever sufficient mate-
rial is presented.

** The researches made in the chemical laboratory
under the direction of Professor Remsen and his
associate, Dr. Morse, are published in occasional
bulletins. Three numbers, including sixty-eight
octavo pages, have already appeared.

*' Communications from the biological laboratory
have been sent to the 'Journal of Physiology,' pub-
lished in Cambridge, Eneland, under the editorial
care of Professor Michael Foster, Dr. Martin, of the
Johns Hopkins University, being one of the asso-
ciate editors.

*' Philological papers have been submitted to the

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American Philologictl Association and to the Amer-
ican Oriental Society bv Professor Gildersleeve,
I>r. Lanman, and others. *

Since this was published, the " Chemi-
cal Notes" have been expanded into the
"American Journal of Chemistry," edited
by Dr. Remsen; the Biological Papers are
now annually collected and published in a
volume edited by Dr. Martin ; and a pros-
pectus has been published of a philological
quarterly, to be edited by Dr. Gildersleeve.

An interesting feature of the University
is the summer school of biology. In the
summer of 1878, a laboratory was estab-
lished at Fort Wool, situated in Chesapeake
Bay, at the mouth of Hampton Roads.
This is an uncompleted fortification, built
upon an artificial island with an area of
about six acres, a mile and a half from one
shore, three miles and a half fix)m the other,
and twenty miles fit>m the ocean. Appli-
cation was made to the government for per-
mission to occupy the large frame build-
ings on the island for a summer laboratory,
and this permission was cordially granted.
Twelve microscopes, the necessary chemi-
cals, the books which would be needed
from the university and Congressional li-
braries, as well as a number which were
lent, or belonged to the members of the
expedition, were taken to the island. The
rest of the apparatus, — aquaria dredges, nets,
tubs, and buckets, — ^besides such simple
furniture as was indispensable, was pur-
chased by the University, the United States
and Maryland Fish Commissions lending
boats, a seine, and a dredge. Thus fur-
nished, the party of twelve took possession
of the improvised laboratory on the 24th
of June, and spent the ensuing eight weeks
in investigation.

The work done in such a laboratory is
usually considered quite outside the prov-
ince of a university, but the outlay was com-
paratively small, and has been far more
than justified by results. The school is not
unlike, in its scope and intention, the fa-
mous Penikese school of Agassiz :

" The laboratory was designed to accomplish four
objects : to furnish advanced students with opportun-
ities for original investii^tion ; to provide material for
winter work in the university ; to enable less ad-
vanced students to become ao^uainted with the
many interesting forms of life which can be studied
only at the sea-shore, and give them an opportu-
nity to become practically acauainted with the meth-
ods of marine zo5logical work ; and to increase our
scientific acquaintance with the zo51ogy of the Ches-
apeake Bay.^'

As a result of the summer's session of

1878, a volume of one hundred and fifty
pages and fourteen plates has been pub-
lished. The report for 1879 is not yet pub-
lished, but from a resunU by Dr. Brooks
of the summer's work, we extract one fact
which seems to illustrate the practical out-
come of the work. One of the main inves-
tigations for the past summer concerns a sub-
ject of wide-reaching interest. Dr. Brooks

"The investigations regarding the development
of the oyster have led to the important and unex-
pected conclusion that Uie breeding habits of the
American oysters are so different fi-om those of the
oysters of Europe that the methods of artificial
oyster propagation which have been carried to such
perfection in France and elsewhere must in this
country be replaced or supplemented by others.
The eggs of the European oyster are fertilized
and hatched within the shell of^the parent, and are
retained there until the youne are ready to attach
themselves. The most critical period in the life of
the young is the time when tney are discharged
from the parent shell to swim in the water until
they find a place to settle down for life. The adult
oysters are accordingly placed, at the breeding sea-
son, in inlets or basins, among tiles which are pre-
pared to furnish a surface for the attachment of the
young as soon as they escape from the shell of the

** The eggs of the American oyster are discharged
into the water before the^r are fertilized, and as let-
tilization in the open sea is a matte^ of chance, this
is the period of greatest mortality. The experi-
ments of the last summer have shown that the eggs
can be artifidallv fertilized in the laboratory, in a
small quantity of water, and the greatest danger to
the young can thus be escaped. Since the young
American oyster swims at large in the open sea
during the time which the oysters of Europe pass
inside the shell of the mother, the tile system of
culture would seem to be impracticable, for the
tides and currents might carry the young twenty
miles or more from the tiles before they were old
enough to attach themselves. The proper method
in this country seems to be the placing of great
numbers of artificially fertilized eggs in those wa-
ters which are shown by the presence of natural
oyster tanks to be favorable to the growth of the
animals. While tfie French method may be pur-
sued to the advanta^ of the cultivator, and may
therefore be left to individual enterprise, the pro-
posed method would be for the benefit of the wnole
community, and seems to be a proper field for action
by the sUte."

The Johns Hopkins is seeking not only
to perfect itself, but to penetrate downward
into the preparatory schools, and to bring
into harmony with its system even the pub-
lic schools of the city. In order to do this
effectually, courses of laboratory and special
instruction have been given to classes of
teachers, who thus have open to them
courses of instruction which can be had
nowhere else in the United States on any
terms; for the physiological laboratory of the
Johns Hopkins has no peer in this country,

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and the other laboratories few equals and no
superiors. Thus the teachers are gradually
being taught, and the schools are gradually
becoming feeders to the University.

There is one other practical feature of the
University which may be better illustrated
than explained. Besides being a center of in-
struction and a corporation for independent
research, the University endeavors to reach
out laterally, to permeate society with its influ-
ence. Lectures are delivered by some of the
most distinguished scientists and scholars
of the country, as well as by the professors
and associates. For the benefit of the stu-
dents and other attendants at these lectures,
a list of the bibliographY of the subject is
frequently printed. The ' student may thus
study up the literature of the subject, con-
sult authorities, follow parallel courses, with-
out wasting time searching for material. In
the distribution of the free these
lectures, the claims of teachers always take
precedence. In addition to the literary lect-
ures, there are others of a more pracrical
character to which persons specially in-
terested are invited. Such a course was
delivered in 1878, on the waste products of
various trades, and the processes used, and
the possible utilization of such waste material
was discussed. All that chemistry knows
upon the subject was here collected and
presented. To these lectures the principal

tradesmen in Baltimore engaged in chemical
industries were invited.

When the hospital buildings are com-
pleted and the institution in working order,
all possible mutual aid between the univar-
sity and the hospital will be interchanged
It is impossible to determine, now, just how
much will be possible. Meanwhile, with
two such endowments as those of Peabody
and Hopkins, Baltimore is exceptionally


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Author of "The American," "The Europeans," "Daisy Miller," Etc


Bernard's love filled him with a kind of

Online LibraryGeorge Streynsham MasterThe Century, Volume 19 → online text (page 37 of 160)