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CARTER: Sit down. Don't grudge a few minutes to a man in hard luck. I want to tell you about that speech. You're not so busy but that you ought to know.
LINCOLN: Well, yes, perhaps I ought. (Looking at watch.) It's soldiers who are the busy men, not the lawyers, nowadays. I'll be delighted to spend a half-hour with you, Captain Blair, if I won't tire you.
CARTER: That's good of you. By the way, this great man isn't any relation of yours, is he, Mr. Lincoln ?
LINCOLN: He's a kind of connection-through my grandfather. But I know just the sort of fellow he is-you can say what you want.
CARTER: What I want to say first is this: that yesterday he made one of the great speeches of history.
CARTER: I know what I'm talking about. My father was a speaker-all my uncles and my grandfather were speakers. I've been brought up on oratory. I've studied and read the best models since I was a lad in knee-breeches. And I know a great speech when I see it. And when Nellie-my sister-brought in the paper this morning and read that to me, I told her at once that not six times since history began has a speech been made which was its equal. That was before she told me what the Senator said.
LINCOLN: What did the Senator say?
CARTER: It was Senator Warrington, to whom my sister isis acting as secretary. He was at Gettysburg yesterday, with the President's party. He told my sister that the speech so went home to the hearts of all those thousands of people that when it was ended it was as if the whole audience held its breath--there was not a hand lifted to applaud. One might as well applaud the Lord's Prayer-it would have been a sacrilege. And they all felt it down to the lowest. There was a long minute of reverent silence, no sound from all that great throng-it seems to me, an enemy, that it was the most perfect tribute that has ever been paid by any people to any orator. It will live, that speech. Fifty years from now American school-boys will be learning it as part of their education. It is not merely my opinion. Warring
ton says the whole country is ringing with it. And you haven't read it? And your name's Lincoln? Warry, boy, where's the paper Nellie left? I'll real the speech to Mr. Lincoln myself.
(Boy springs to his feet, gets the folded newspaper from the table.)
Boy: Let me read it, Carter,-It might tire you.
(Boy reads the Gettysburg speech. Deep stillness follows, broken by Carter's voice.)
CARTER: It's a wonderful speech. There's nothing finer. Other men have spoken stirring words, for the North and for the South, but never before, I think, with the love of both breathing through them. It is only the greatest who can be a partisan without bitterness; and only such today may call himself not Northern or Southern, but American. To feel that your enemy can fight you to the death without malice, with charity—it lifts the country, it lifts humanity to something worth dying for. They are beautiful, broad words, and the sting of war would be drawn if the soul of Lincoln could be breathed into the armies. Do you agree with me?
LINCOLN (slowly): I believe it is a good speech.
CARTER: Of course, it's all wrong from my point of view. The thought which underlies it is warped, inverted, as I look at it; yet that doesn't alter my admiration of the man and of his words. I'd like to put my hand in his before I die, and I'd like to tell him that I know that what we're all fighting for, the best of us, is the right of our country as it is given us to see it. When a man gets so close to death's door that he feels the wind through it from a larger atmosphere, then the small things are blown away. (Hesitating, he convulsively catches the hand of Lincoln, and draws nearer to the boy.) Yes, Warry, the bitterness of the fight has faded for me. I only feel the love of country, the satisfaction of giving my life for it. The speech-that speech-has made it look higher and simpler-your side as well as ours. would like to put my hand in Abraham Lincoln's
the hand of Lincoln in a convulsive grasp towards him, falls back into his brother's arms, and dies.)
A Practical Marking System
FREDERICK L. SMITH, M. A., ASSISTANT HEADMASTER,
OR nearly fifty years Penn Charter has turned out graduating classes of approximately a half hundred boys. A good percentage of these lads find their way to some ten or fifteen institutions of higher learning. At this season of each year the reports of the scholastic standing of various members of freshman classes begin to come back to the school. same thing is doubtless true of all the leading preparatory schools. The idea of these reports is most excellent. Through them the schools and colleges are able to co-ordinate their efforts. These reports are obviously an incentive to schools to do their best work in preparation for the more advanced studies which follow in college and university.
Why then do not these colleges devise some practical system for reporting results to the "prep" schools?
To be understood at all, the various methods must ultimately be translated into the old reliable 100 per cent system, where all gradations below the perfection, indicated by 100 per cent are instantly recognized.
Merely to indicate the confusion inherent in the present methods of reports, we point out the following:
Princeton divides her students into six groups, and, therefore, a "2" or "3" after each study in a student's report indicates very high standing, while an average group of "6" indicates an unsatisfactory scholastic record near the bottom of the class. Under the Princeton system a "4" group indicates medium or average rating.
At the United States Service Academies at West Point and Annapolis, the marking system is numerical, with "4" the highest mark, indicating perfection, and 2.5 the minimum passing mark,
below which lurks the insidous "bilging."
To translate this sys
tem into the intelligible 100 per cent perfection system, it is necessary only to multiply individual marks by 25, thus showing that a 2.5 minimum is really 62.5 under the proposed universal 100 per cent system.
Certain other colleges adhere strictly to a letter system, and it is among these that confusion runs riot. Harvard, Amherst, Bowdoin, Wesleyan, and various other institutions of learning, employ the letters of the alphabet from A to G, "A" indicating relative perfection, and "F" and "G" degrees of failure.
Pennsylvania and many other colleges employ a letter system based on the initial letter of significant words, for example: "E" indicates "excellence." "G" "good" etc. To one familiar with the Harvard system, the "E" and "G" (the highest grades at Pennsylvania) are symbols of low marks and failure under the Harvard system of marking.
In these days of "efficiency" it seems as though institutions of the highest learning all over the country might at least set the example of providing a uniform marking system, expressed in plain fiigures, which could be understood by any intelligent person in any country on the globe.
Such a system has been for a century and more in successful operation in the Penn Charter School. The results are easily tabulated and as readily understood. This number system is further supplemented by a letter system; all grades between 95-100 are classed as "Highest Honors" (Summa cum Laude) and designated on diplomas as "H.H." Marks between 8.75 and 9.50 are classed as "Honors" (Magna cum Laude) and indicated on reports as "H," while marks between 7.75 and 8.75 are considered "Credits" (Cum Laude). These gradations are printed on the diploma of the school in "shadow" letters, which indicate in clear unmistakable terms the relative scholastic standing of all graduates.
It is obvious that in reporting exact results the numerical system is always employed, while the letters serve as a sort of shorthand, perfectly understood because of its simplicity. These records can
easily be translated into the less exact Latin terms in vogue in many colleges, and of sentimental interest to many of the old graduates.
One need only glance at the multiplicity of unrelated blank forms which come to the average preparatory school to see what room there is for economy in printing and brain power, by adopting this simple, well-tested system of the Penn Charter Scool.
The Teacher's Vision
I see a child, a wonderful thing,
I see a mind, all new and untried,
And a heart and a conscience unstained,
And a body that's whole,
And an untouched soul:
And they're given to me to be trained!
Oh, God, give me strength to measure that mind
And judge it aright,
And develop its might,
As its power completely unfolds.
And then let my heart go to meet that heart;
Let my sympathy help it along;
Let me lighten it sad
And laugh with it glad,
That its spirit may ever be strong.
And that body,—just how shall I keep it thus,
Preserve it so sound and so clean,
Upbuild it by use
And protect from abuse
Oh, God, let a vision be seen!
And that soul untouched,-I will tell the child:
That soul is ever thine;
And oh, may the child
Keep it e'er undefiled,
To return to Thee, clean, in its time.
J. C. G., '19.