Under the title of "What is an A. B. Fit For?" the last Sunday edition of the New York Tribune contains an editorial that is so a propos that we present some excerpts. Speaking of the many graduates who are now "in the crisis of their lives," it says: "But after all, is it a crisis? How much do they really begin life when they sally forth with their diploma in hand? In every valedictory oration which will be delivered the same story is told; 'they have girded on their armor and are going into actual battle;' they 'have served their apprenticeship and are ready to take up the labor of life.' Now, if the battle and labor of life mean, which they generally do, to earn one's living, these gallant A. B.s have hardly begun their apprenticeship. Even if a lad's father have money enough to keep him from the necessity of work, and his business life be simply the gentlemanly arts of helping to manage the estate and to fill a place in society, he will find a long training is necessary after he has done with Cicero and Homer before he is fit for either employment. Neither Greek nor Latin nor the higher mathematics have brought him a single idea concerning prudent investments, the capabilities of money in the world's different markets, nor yet the best or most effective part to play in a drawing-room. It is, however, but a small minority of the graduates of '82 who will be called to the responsibilities and powers of a life of moneyed ease; the great mass of American youth in our colleges are given their education as their capital. It is the tool wherewith they are to carve their way at least to a competency. But how? For any part in business life, trade or manufactures, a college training is held to unfit a young man, whether with or without capital. He could not, with his diploma in hand, earned by years of hard study, sell a pound of nails or sugar intelligently. There is not a trade by which the most ignorant man makes his living in which be could now earn a dollar a week, without at least a short apprenticeship. If he wishes to become clergyman, lawyer or doctor, a regular course of two or three years' study is required, and after that a season of weary probation, waiting for hearers, clients and patients, in which he has to learn that new science - how to influence and deal with human nature. Every man, especially every young man, thinks he can edit a newspaper and manage a farm; but let the first-honor man of boasted 'fine literary abilities' go into a newspaper office in search of a position and see what welcome he will meet. He will find that an education is needed which he has never had, even to write Personals or to report a fire. If he follows the multitude and goes West, he will discover in every cattle ranch college-bred men like himself, who are going to work to learn the business from the beginning like any ploughboy before they can have the slightest chance of success. In short, the A. B., however high his rank in class, will find there is only one employment - that of teaching - in which his college training alone, without a corollary of special study, will enable him to earn his living. He cannot put up a prescription or mend a chair, preach a sermon or shoe a horse, pull a tooth or play a super's part, without learning how; and his text-books have not taught him how. Whatever business or trade he may go into, he will find a crowd of youths, often the sons of wealthy men, learning as apprentices, from the very beginning working in a queue, waiting their turn for advancement. After the apprenticeship is over, the scholarship which he has acquired at college will serve a useful part and help him to success. Homer and Legendre will make him not only a better lawyer or preacher, but merchant and miner, simply because they made him a bigger man."
THE COLLEGE GRADUATE.
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