Chapter Twelve - Reed
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GEORGE EDWARD REED, a native of the state of Maine and a graduate of Wesleyan, Class of 1869, knew nothing of Dickinson College, nor had he ever thought of leaving his chosen profession. But when General Fisk went on to describe Carlisle, "in the glorious Cumberland Valley, the gateway to the south," and then the "long and honorable history" of its small but ancient seat of learning; and on top of this, most persuasive of all, the potential for a brilliant future with a right, strong hand at the helm, the thing took hold. He spoke to others. General Horatio C. King gave him his first glimpse of the alumni's strong affection for their college. Invited to visit the campus, Reed found a brass band and yelling students at the station as his train drew in. He addressed them in a crowded chapel. There was a reception, with faculty and prominent trustees, among them William C. Allison and Wilbur Fisk Sadler. Such a welcome, to a man of decision and strong will, his eyes on the future, held high promise. He was unanimously elected, and the College had once more a New Englander at the helm, armed with enthusiasm, noble vitality and minimal experience—prominent forehead with hair parted in the middle, narrow, commanding eyes over a large moustache and strong cleft chin.

General Fisk came to Carlisle for his inauguration, the only trustee from a distance to do so. He presided "with genial manner and frequent sallies of wit" at the ceremony in Bosler Hall.



The student choir sang. "Dutchy" Himes spoke for the faculty, dwelling on its individual merits, and Senior Charles Wesley Straw for the students. To Reed, who had hoped for the pomp and circumstance of academic pageantry, it seemed barbaric.1 Yet when he himself stepped forward to speak and the whole assembly rose, applauding, waving hats and handkerchiefs through the awful din of the "Hip! Rah! Bus! Bis! Dick-in-son-i-en-sis! Tiger!" and the four class yells, he had at least the assurance of a devout following. "His resonant voice and musical cadences," we are told, "thrilled the vast audience present as he in glowing terms pictured Dickinson's future."2

He presided at his first faculty meeting on the next day, April 26, 1889. It included invited guests, and opened with a prayer, beginning this custom.3 Its purpose was to plan a celebration of the centennial of George Washington's presidential inauguration, with Metzger Institute and the Indian School participating. Clearly, the College was in for a change of pace, a break from slow tradition. Reed had already made the round of the five "patronizing conferences," Baltimore, East Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Central Pennsylvania. The conferences, like the older members of the College community, may have felt a chill at the new wind a-blowing. Only the students were jubilant:

We like his pluck in the declaration that we need a million dollars. . . . Sentiment alone will not build up a college. Ready cash and plenty of it is most necessary. Give us the million.4

Here is the key to the long administration of George Edward Reed. He came to transform a small college into a great university. He would soon find a coolness in faculty and alumni who held old ways and traditions dear, an indifference among trustees, with only the students wholly on his side, and he would end with a small college still, but a better one. From the first, things were changed by swift fiat. Chapel services, the most ingrained routine in college life, were given a new look, with all faculty participating. Suddenly, to Himes' indignation and distress, the old Chapel gallery was torn out.5 The President gloated over the amount of rubbish ("225 cart loads") he had had hauled away.6 This attitude was hard to bear, but it was on



the empire-building in the curriculum that faculty could turn a more critical eye.

Two months after his inauguration, Reed came to his first trustee meeting with a program for the College—"popularization of its aims and methods, reforms in its conditions of admission, enlargement of its various curricula, the establishment and development of departments of instruction . . . having no existence at the present time, and improvements in the buildings and upon the campus."7 He had already added a third year to the Preparatory School course in anticipation of new entrance examination requirements. Admission standards for the Modern Language Course must be as strict as for the Latin-Scientific and the Classical, and its graduates should receive the Ph.B. A School of Engineering would be his first step toward university status. The Board approved all this and more, giving him a completely free hand.

He met at once with his faculty, and the introduction of an earned master's degree and doctorates in philosophy and science was voted.8 By fall, however, the M.A. received hesitant but unanimous support, while on the Ph.D. and D.Sc. Reed had five with him and three against, Himes and Harman being joined in opposition by Ovando Byron Super of Modern Languages.9 Morgan, who voted with the majority, readily admitted later the impossibility of maintaining the doctoral program.10 When it was put in operation, it would be found necessary to accept off-campus work, and with this easing of the strain on the small faculty and Library, four young men, from 1893 to 1898, did

receive the Dickinson Ph.D. The M.A. "with examination" continued as a thin stream among the larger number of students coming to receive the traditional and perfunctory one.11 The School of Engineering, possibly conceived as something that might appeal to railroad car manufacturer Allison, never came into being.

One enduring element of graduate study was achieved, but not on Reed's initiative. It was the project of William Trickett, seconded by his friend Sadler. The Dickinson School of Law came into being, a revival of the old Law Department, but now an affiliated corporation with Dr. Reed as President of its forty-four incorporators.12 In the aura of this formidable back-



ing, Trickett would run the whole operation in a very personal way for nearly forty years. Judge Graham's long, inactive tenure had brought the College into some disrepute, as students, attracted by the continuing catalogue announcements, found no substance in them.13 The new Law School was inaugurated with "an appropriate and interesting ceremony" in Bosler Hall, September 30, 1890, and classes began in the former Emory Church, refurbished for the purpose by the ever-generous Allison.14 Trickett, with the prestige of his books and articles published through the last eight years,15 easily mustered a faculty and returned to teaching with all his former strictness of standard intact. Reed had acted boldly to add what would prove a broadening influence of lasting value to the College, and in doing so had lost favor with trustee and alumni partisans of McCauley. McCauley did not hesitate to pronounce the new operation "a fraud."16 Trickett, unperturbed, would continue in Emory until 1918 and then on his own campus, renowned for his learning, for the learning imparted to others in his high, squeaky voice, and for his biting insistence upon precision and punctuality. A life-long bachelor, he had few friends. Judge Sadler, on his faculty from the first, was the closest. Rumor had it, as rumor often will, that they had once been rivals in love and that the girl had chosen Sadler. A new co-ed, 1886, would long remember her first glimpse of Trickett on the street—taut figure, glittering glasses, bristly moustache and goatee—and how the older girls had quickly warned her of a sinner passing by.17

In the Law School Reed had some compensation as his dreams of expansion faded. It had been a shock, after arrival, to find a debt of $16,000 of which he had not been informed.18 Now a floating debt would be with him throughout. His frequent trips afield—largely a continuation of his career as a popular preacher—did not rally rich donors as expected. When he brought to Jacob Tome, "multimillionaire of Port Deposit," his vision of "Tome University," with Dickinson College as its autonomous college of liberal arts, it was brushed aside as far too ambitious a scheme.19 In his frank way, he faced the trustees June 4, 1894, with his failure:

The fashion of the time seems to be to elect to the Presidencies of Colleges, Gentlemen—generally laymen—of independent fortune,

Gentlemen to whom the question of salary is of no particular importance, who themselves are able to lead in the making of subscriptions, and who, by reason of business associations with men of wealth are, presumably, capable of exercising a wider influence in financial lines than is possible to a clergyman dependent upon a meagre salary, and whose song, ordinarily, [is] that of the old itinerant,

"No foot of land do I possess,

Nor cottage in the wilderness."

The new departure seems, in many instances, to have worked admirably, and perhaps is the thing now needed in Dickinson College.

As matters now go in our Colleges, the great desideratum here is money. To get money would appear to be the peculiar business of a College President, and if in this he does not succeed, the proper thing—the only thing, indeed—is that he step down and out.

My own success in the line of money-getting has not been so great as I had hoped, largely, it may be, because of inability to give the matter the required time and attention, possibly because my genius does not work in that line ....

But for the persuasion of members of this Board, coupled with the fear that something of harm might come to the College through any sudden action on our part we should have retired from the position we now hold, six months ago. If the needed increase in the resources of the College shall not soon be forthcoming, our conviction is that a man with larger money-getting power should, in the near future, be secured.20

It was a suggestion which might have applied equally well to the Board; and the Board remained content with things as they were.

The professors, on their part, watched the fading of the dream with some evident relief. They were slow in warming to this new president, whose role in teaching was minimal, and concept of his office overreaching. Soon after arrival, Reed had moved from the east end of East, where earlier Presidents had lived, to the former home of Judge John Reed at the corner of High and West Streets. He bought the house himself for the College, and the cooperative Mr. Allison enlarged it for him to double its former size, at a cost of $5,500—and "very sore about it," as Harman informed Himes, "and told Dr. Reed he need not come back. I cannot write more. You can read between the lines, until we see you."21 East had lacked elegance



and had been too close to student uproar for the Doctor. He also separated his office from the "faculty room" in East—"a very undesirable arrangement, as I learned from sad experience."22

Younger as well as the old alumni were disturbed by Reed's disregard of traditions. John M. Rhey, '83, led a bloc which saved the campus wall from demolition.23 At this point Reed had not even that student support he enjoyed so long. His quick denunciation of the constant, carefree window-breaking and other destruction had brought out the old threat of organized rebellion.24 In the face of it, he instituted a damage account to replace the system of a general charge upon everyone for "incidentals." (The students referred to the sport of smashing things as "taking out incidentals.")25 In 1890 there had been a coalition of both students and faculty against him. The Juniors had felt it necessary to purge their class of women. The four girls appealed to the President, who promptly demanded that the action be rescinded. Faculty support of the class was met by Reed with a threat to resign, and those who fain would have had him do so yielded rather than have it conditioned upon their response to the matter at issue.26

What emerged from these first conflicts was the loyalty, admiration and love of the student body. If his tours afield failed to bring money, they did bring students and students with that lasting affection which a friendly admissions officer can inspire. The student population nearly quadrupled in his time. In 1890 he had 152 undergraduates and 100 in Preparatory School. At his retirement the figures were 351 and 124, plus 77 in Law. Here at least was one element of stability.27 Here was Reed's constituency, and it was sustained by more than personal warmth. He improved student living, and permitted, as he tells in that report of 1894, "great liberty of action" in comparison to the strict regulation of the past. He found himself at times at odds with faculty in this area, always yielding when he must with good grace—content perhaps to let the onus rest with them.28 He was not eager to visit condign punishment upon the guilty, as witness the experience of Raphael Hays, '94, working as a student assistant in his office. A constable came stalking in from Lewistown with a warrant



for the arrest of a student charged with having "done wrong by our Nell." "rocky" Reed, severe in aspect as befitted the President of the Board of the School of Law, expressed in clear tones his doubt as to the validity of the papers and advised that they be checked at the courthouse. Raphael slipped out to bring a timely word of warning to the culprit. Next morning brought the following brief interchange:

Reed: Raphael, did you overhear what I said to that officer?

Hays: No, sir.

Reed: Good. I'm glad you did.29

Still later, in interrogating the participants in a riot which had, of all things, grown out of the theft of the co-eds' ice cream in "Ladies' Hall," we find Reed asking one youth the astonishing question, "Was it against me?"

"Oh! No, Doctor! We all love you! We wouldn't do a thing like that against you!"

This reassurance, given in all earnest sincerity, brought from the Doctor an admission that if the to-do had been "against" him he would have resigned.30 That offer to resign seems to have been consistently effective with trustees, faculty and students.

As a first thing, Reed had moved to improve the comforts and dignity of student life. He replaced the old stoves at once with steam heat. His insistence on respect for property went hand in hand with making it respectable—cutting the grass, resetting the stone steps of Old West, that favorite lounging spot of students even in later years when chapel must needs be held in Bosler.31 In short, he brought in both well-being and an air of distinction. No less appreciated, he brought the College teams from the fairground to an athletic field of their own—land in the open lots to the west, between High and Louther Streets.32 In 1909, two years before his retirement, it would be replaced by the present Biddle Field.33

Team sports had all begun with intramural contests. Intercollegiate baseball had been played since 1876, football since 1885. Football, rougher and more popular, met tragedy in its second season with the death of Sophomore E. Herbert Garrison in the Swarthmore game. Faculty minutes reveal a tight



supervision after that, due in part to the perils of the game, and in part to the spirit of mayhem and mischief which attended it on nearly every campus. In 1883, students "in their football suits" had been laughed at, but by January 29, 1898, pride in the local warriors of the gridiron had come to life and we find the Carlisle Daily Herald giving space to the College's new football caps—"light in color, containing the letters D. F. B. T." No mention here of the College colors, though in Songs of Dickinson, 1900, they are recognized in spirited pieces by one young alumnus and three undergraduates. The University of Maryland's Maroon and Black came in 1897—adopted, it is said, after a Dental Department professor won a prize with plates made of maroon and black rubber. The folklore of Bowling Green traces its Olive and Brown to the Dean's admiration of a lady's hat. In more dignified fashion, Dickinson's Red and White go back to the rival red and white roses of the old student societies.34 Intercollegiate basketball and tennis came to Dickinson in 1900, soccer not until 1932.

Meanwhile, if football seemed rowdy and dangerous to many, it could still compare favorably to a cane rush or any of the other "class scraps." These ran high and wild through fall and winter, the lowerclassmen pitted against one another in furious melee, sometimes in an announced battle royal for cane or flag or pants—but always with Juniors abetting the Frosh, Sophs urged on by the Seniors—the struggle seen as part of their initiation into manhood. So also the greater and more dangerous evil of hazing. Hazing did not attract students, and carried always the threat of further trouble, as when the father of John Gibson Cornwell, '97, talked of bringing suit against the College, sounding his anger in the press. Young Cornwell had been bound and gagged by masked students, his head partly shaved and daubed with molasses, and then his whole suffering frame "deluged" with lager beer.35 Reed had first come upon the "evil and barbarous" custom one night soon after his arrival in 1889—following a crowd of boys into a dark room where he saw a Freshman tossed in a blanket to the College yel1.36 At the opening of the next academic year it was announced that "hazing will not be tolerated under any circumstances "37 Yet in the face of every prohibition it continued, supported, after all,



by precisely the same principle which had guided college faculties and trustees for so many years—the idea that stern discipline is the one sure mold of acceptable behavior.

Hazing, often with sadistic byplay, was increasing on almost every American campus. At Carlisle it had its point of concentration in "The Sophomore Band," highly secret, terrorizing Frosh, faculty and the community at large. This organization had even, in time, its official journal, The Onion, "Greatest of all the Dickinson publications," and, as Vol. 1, No. 1 proclaims, "Published in Hell by His Majesty the Devil." The Onion ran from about 1907 to 1911 (all surviving issues are undated). As far as George Edward Reed could make out, all of this organized virulence had grown out of the celebrations of Admiral Dewey's victory at Manila Bay. The Band staged "a night of riot and disorder. To accomplish their purpose the first objective was the demolition of every electric lamp on the campus that under cover of darkness they might conduct their operations without fear of capture or detection. This accomplished, the next objective was to make attacks upon other students and, as usual, to make assaults upon two of the most venerable of the College buildings; then to kindle bonfires upon the campus, and similar outrageous efforts. To check these performances was a very difficult if not impossible task." They were finally checked—if no more—by enlisting a counter force of "resolute upper classman."38

Multiple student conflict and rivalry made the faculty somewhat less an object of combative attention. Yet in February, 1908, when the faculty punished four Sophomores for "Insubordination and Conspiracy," nearly the whole student body seemed about to join them in these odious sins, and forced a lessening of the penalty. Students themselves were beginning to feel a need for regulation. Student self-government emerged from faculty-encouraged efforts to bring some order to counteract the fighting and hazing. The first Pan-Hellenic League voted to dissolve in 1907 after two years, the majority dashing out on campus and giving "a yell to show their satisfaction."39 November 4, 1908, brought the Student Assembly, its stated purpose "to organize the male students of the college into a body so that they may intelligently and in an orderly manner consider



the problems affecting them." Its representative Senate would have lost at once all semblance of authority but for the physical prowess of its President, an older student from the neighboring farmland, "Dad" Peters.40 Completely responsible student government would remain an unrealized dream. An attempt to set up an honor system in 1895 had quickly collapsed.41 It was followed by an "Honor Guild" which Freshmen were encouraged to join, a more gradual approach, persisting for some years but failing to reach its goal.42 Yet Reed's faculty did achieve a situation in which many examinations were unmonitored, with other evidences of a healthy rapport between student and teacher.

A college may well seem one of the most over-organized bodies in existence. In Reed's small but growing group of young people there were more facets of activity than can be detailed here. Everyone belonged, of course, to Belles Lettres or Union Philosophical—girls excepted. The girls had their Harman Society, founded in 1896 and named, with truly feminine sweetness and whimsicality, for coeducation's staunch opponent.43 It had been the year of his retirement, and the old Doctor was enormously pleased and complaisant when the young ladies came to ask his permission. From then on three groups met on Wednesday afternoons, the time set aside over many years for literary society business, and, when the societies had faded out, still kept free of class assignments because of use of the time by faculty committees. There would not be enough girls for a rival to Harman until the McIntire Society was founded in 1921 in the twilight years of this ancient aspect of college life.

Ten fraternities and two sororities were on campus by the close of Reed's administration. Chapter houses had come in. The ever-fluctuating organization of the small group of independent men had begun. The four classes no longer had the solidarity of pre-fraternity days, but were held together by the imminence of battle and by their occasional banquets or other affairs—always planned with great secrecy in order to frustrate attempts at disruption or the kidnapping of speakers and officers. The Class of 1896 had the first Freshman banquet, carried off successfully with the class flag flying from the roof of the Hotel Wellington, despite rumors that the Sophs, aided by



Law and Preps, meant to break it up; and in 1905 the tradition was still maintained, with Professor and Mrs. Filler and the co-ed guests arriving in closed carriages.44 Nineteen Two rich in Phi Betes and hedonists, a class which "never left anything untried," revived the old custom of funereal rites, this time for Walker's text in economics, taught by Major Pilcher—the participants in costume, the songs printed for the convenience of mourners.45 Seniors ended their four years with song and ceremony, including the "class ride," leaving at an early hour for Doubling Gap, tin horns blowing, and back at night after a full day in the hills.46

With all this, there were the Glee Club, College Quartet, Mandolin and Guitar Clubs, and other groups continually rising and fading. The Department of Music, begun with the 1907-08 academic year on a promise of financial support that was not made good, was so successful that Reed recommended its continuance.47 In his determined enthusiasms, Reed was only too ready to start a project at once and hope for the means later, but here it was carried along on the enthusiasm of others also. The Y.M.C.A. was a pervasive hazy influence over a long period, allied to that of the Honor Guild. Small and steadfast, the students' Prohibition League stood as an island among the streams and currents of the time. The professors, as an escape from the duties which otherwise brought them together, had a Faculty Club, social but with a "literary flavor."48 The athletic field was a social meeting place for all as well, and the teams important elements in the complex pattern of the academic body. Over it all the faculty maintained its watchful supervision—a faculty now more loved and respected than ever before, sharing this esteem with such other focal points of familiar affection as Noah Pinkney, waiting outside East with his basket of "Dickinson Sandwiches" ("Fine as silk! Bo'n today, sah!"), and Dick, the lumbering and beloved Great Dane who was photographed with the teams and attended every chapel, occasionally melting the services into gales of laughter by an enormous yawn during prayer or Scripture.49

Alien and fond, the co-eds were a coherent group in the midst of all this, and more so once they were established in "Ladies' Hall," the former Hepburn residence in Pomfret Street



("Lloyd Hall" after 1905). Zatae had set a standard for those who came after, and by 1909 a masculine "irritation of feeling" that 25 per cent of the student body was winning "an altogether disproportionate share of College honors and prizes" reached trustee level.50 A committee, on sober consideration, found "intellectual superiority" equally to blame with "the fact that the women in the College have fewer distractions, by far, to encounter than the men." A strict limitation to 25 per cent was recommended. To most young men, the studious girl was still an object of mingled awe and repulsion. Clyde Bowman Furst, '93, later Secretary of Teachers College, Columbia University, put it in a song with a ponderous refrain

Osteology, morphology,
Biology, histology,

And sciences which make the brain in furious frenzy whirl,

In furious frenzy whirl, in furious frenzy whirl,
Conchology, geology,
Ichthyology, zoology,

Are some of the minor studies of the Dickinson College 


Amy Fisher was the first woman to teach, taking classes in the Preparatory School for two years after her graduation in 1895, where she had delivered one of the commencement "Honorary Orations," Post Tenebra Lux. Gallantly, the Dickinsonian felt the same way:

When Dickinson as a university has her Colleges of Liberal Arts, Medicine, Fine Arts and Law the new woman will also have the opportunity of occupying the executive position in the line of Nisbet, Durbin and Reed.52

The Dickinsonian, still edited by a board drawn from the old literary societies, surely led all extra-curricular activities in endurance and value. We may marvel at its restrained journalism, in the face of all else that was going on. Beginning with both news and literature on a monthly basis, it had now reached biweekly status, and from 1896 to 1902 separated the functions and published a "Monthly Edition" as a literary magazine.53 The twin operation reached a climax under the editorship of Boyd Lee Spahr—"Yodeler" Spahr, a Phi Beta Kappa student of



1900, nicknamed for the most conspicuous of many talents. As with Moncure Conway's Collegian, failure to maintain the full standard brought whip-cracking—in this case a publication by the retired board, The Deadly Parallel.54 Microcosm, the yearbook, almost always a project of the Junior Class, was another perennial flowering, beside which The Onion and other more highly perfumed blossoms briefly shone.

Drama—legitimate drama—had flourished early at Dickinson, with high tragedy the thing for sophisticated Carlisle—"The Fatal Discovery," 1786, "The Fair Penitent," 1797. Yet the curtain of ecclesiastical displeasure had soon descended. It rose again, if only briefly, in the liberation of Reed's years. A drama group was formed in 1894, the year of the downfall of the traditional "Oratorical Burlesques. " Those popular entertainments had ended at the Carlisle Opera House, June 1, 1894, when Freshman Ray Zug, draining his beer bottle, had hurled it at a Sophomore, striking a townswoman in the face and severely injuring her. The new group, active through 1895, revived in the spring of 1901, was organized at the opening of the next term as the Dickinson Dramatic Club.55

Faculty watched with concern. Some professors reported a lessening of attention to study. Anxiety and unease prevailed. On October 19, 1903, "The President of the College was instructed to take such measures as will prevent the ladies of the College from appearing in public as members of the Dramatic Club."56 It was a lady of the College, Mrs. Lucretia Jones McAnney, Matron at Lloyd Hall and later Instructor in Oratory, who revived the flagging activity, and with new brilliance. The Dramatic Club was pulled together once more in response to her incredible proposal of Shakespeare at commencement. Through many discouragements, both incidental and deliberately applied, it was done—"A Midsummer Night's Dream" was staged in front of East College, and with resounding success. So much so that President Reed asked the lady to direct another production for the hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary commencement in 1908. "As You Like It" delighted again a large audience. But alas. One of the many Methodist clergy present a strict constructionist on the Discipline, voiced complaint and Reed, aware of rising hostility, responded. The curtain fell once



more, but would rise again after the election of a new President three years later.57

Debating, so long fostered in the literary societies, had now too much else in competition with it. We find faculty setting debate subjects, a sign of flagging interest. Fresh impetus came in 1902 with a Debating League for intercollegiate contests—and these were further enlivened by the presence of cheerleaders, alert to call for a yell at every telling ratiocination. The Contemporary Club of 1908, an early independent men's organization, was formed around a debating program.58 Debating was still a feature of college life which, more than anything else, brought contemporary issues face to face with the traditional curriculum.

Thanks to the amazing hardihood of academic tradition, the eighteenth century's emphasis on oratory had its peculiar and not too happy effect on the standards of this later day. The commencement oration of Dickinson's early years was a public demonstration of the candidate's learning and competence. Yet as class size increased, orations were cut down in time to five minutes or less, and then the alternative of a senior essay was allowed the same brevity. Under Reed, Seniors had a free month for this final effort, but their productions have all the thinness of a ten-minute oration. Only occasionally, among the hundreds in the College archives, does solid substance appear, as with Guy Carleton Lee's Development of the Council. A Chapter from English Judicial History, or Clyde Furst's Study of the Robin Hood Ballads, and these are thin indeed in contrast to an honors paper of recent years.59

In the curriculum, Reed found students clamoring from the first for more electives. His larger faculty could meet the demand, with due attention to distribution requirements. No one, as Morgan observed, can ever deprive the student of "his God-given right to complain," and here grades and examinations were a prime target from the first.60 Even this late, oral examinations had not been replaced entirely by written ones. The "exemption system" of examination was urged, and rejected, in 1896.61 Letter grades were introduced the next year, replacing professorial comment.62 Hebrew was dropped with Harman's retirement, and while a full course schedule of Greek and Latin



went on, he had taken with him an element of scholarly appreciation that would not easily be replaced.63 Science gained ground with a "Medical Preparatory Course" in 1895 and a Biology Department in 1899, under Henry Matthew Stephens, '92, returning from study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.64 The faculty of ten, at Reed's arrival, had become twenty-one by 1911, in addition to the ten masters in Prep School and Trickett's corps of seven.

A first act of Reed's had been the dismissal of Aaron Rittenhouse, Thomas Beaver Professor of English Literature, judged incompetent on the basis of disorderly classes. One of the few advantages of enlisting teachers from the ministry was that they could be returned with ease and honor to the Church. Two of Reed's appointments in English became famous campus figures. The Beaver chair was taken in 1890 by a scholarly Down Easter who had left the faculty of Merritt Caldwell's Maine Wesleyan Seminary to earn his Ph.D., Bradford Oliver McIntire. Montgomery Porter Sellers, Class of 1893, had joined McIntire as adjunct that year, becoming full professor in 1905 and Dean in 1928. A shy and industrious bachelor, he long carried half the work of the department at a minimal salary.65 Trustee Wilbur Fisk Sadler, dedicated to the idea of a quality faculty, had resigned from the Board in 1892 over Reed's policy of aiming at the lowest possible salary figure.66 Yet by and large the members of Reed's faculty did honor to themselves and their profession. One finds them feeling concern on the quality of honorary degree recipients, and frowning darkly at the mere rumor that the Athletic Association was enlisting "promising men" upon standards of its own.67 Individually, Reed's faculty was a melange of men with impeccable academic background and achievement, such as Robert William Rogers, Professor of English Bible and Semitic History, or John Frederick Mohler, '87, Professor of Physics; of solid young alumni like Cornelius W. Prettyman, '91, and Mervin Grant Filler, '93; and among these one finds some energetic spirits from other professions, ranging from the brilliant Swiss theologian Michael John Cramer (his wife was a sister of General Grant) to the versatile Major James Evelyn Pilcher (his wife a niece of Mrs. Reed).68



In 1893, Reed organized his faculty under a board of four class deans, with himself as chairman. This group, later the "Committee on Government and Discipline," superceded the senior professor (now Himes) in controlling affairs during the President's absences.69 Three years later, Himes resigned. He had prepared resignation statements in 1892 and 1894, their tenor suggesting an expected alumni reaction that might unseat Reed.70 Some response came, but brought no action. When "Dutchy" resigned, so also did his friend and ally, "Dad" Harman. Himes was fifty-eight, Harman seventy-four. Both had enjoyed student popularity of a more solid sort than Reed's, and Himes long continued the rapport with fraternity affairs, his annual party for Seniors, and the like.

Also in 1896, Reed promoted "Jim Henry" Morgan to Dean of the College. Morgan cites this among evidences of Reed's impartiality, as he had been a supporter of McCauley, while Reed was rated an ally of Trickett.71 There was a more obvious reason. Reed, always lenient, needed a firm hand, and had found it. Morgan was a big man, rough in manner, in class maintaining a precise standard, warm to a good student, harsh to others. In vacation, he hunted, fished, hiked for miles. Now he took up the duties expected of a college dean in that day with all his thoroughness and all the ardor of his own undergraduate career. He was hated—"Reed's penny-dog and doer of dirty work in snooping on students."72 His fame was sung, most of the verses too ribald for preservation, but we have snatches

There is no flesh in Morgan's stony heart; 

It does not feel for man.73

Newspaperman Dean Hoffman, '02, recalled:

He prowled about the campus at all hours, and the students who could pull a fast one without his interference felt they had reached the heights of achievement.... Being somewhat of a physical giant, Dr. Morgan seemed utterly fearless. Sometimes I think he enjoyed the old-fashioned class rush as much as the rest of us. Certainly he did not hang about the fringe of the melee when the two phalanxes collided. He was into it, pulling out boys and tossing them aside or grabbing them by the collars long enough to catalogue them for subsequent


citations or maybe just for the lust of battle. Despite his interference I think the students admired him for the guts he had in mixing up in these physical combats.74

In addition to the Greek of his professorship, Morgan had been teaching Freshman English, Rhetoric, Logic and Political Economy, the latter including "Constitution of the United States" on a discussion basis—"and I am pleased to believe that this has been one of the most pleasant and profitable features of the class. It is a plan I am developing yearly . . . . "75 Succeeding Harman as Librarian, we find him pleading, as so many had done before, for modern books.76 Another editor, Robert Emmet MacAlarney, '93, gives us a still nearer picture of this new force in Reed's faculty:

He was tall, gaunt, with humorous twinkles behind his glasses as he regarded us. Other memory details are diagonal "cutaway" coat with braided edges, lean and knuckly fingers continually playing with a heavy gold watch chain from which depended a Phi Beta Kappa key, a genuinely warm smile and an equally impressive frown when some of us inept students floundered. And he was a swell Grecian. Not the rapt, dreamy scholar type, such as Dr. Harman (whose memory I continue to bless) but the incisive, practical coach. Unless I am mistaken there was a vivid appreciation of pagan beauties beneath Dr. Morgan's classroom carapace. In any event I like to think there was. But since we were a very primitive minded little Methodist college from 1889 to 1893, naturally an instructor did not expatiate on the love of life of the Olympians, or those who frequented the Painted Stoa. But Dr. Morgan cued us, and library digging did the rest. Furthermore he was a square-shooter. Severe, when discipline was at stake—and many of us were unlicked cubs—he "played the game" as a faculty member. I sat under some fine men at Dickinson. In addition to Morgan: Dad Harman, Robert W. Rogers (gallant gentleman, much too fine to waste his time on us), Flip Durrell (math., later of Lawrenceville) and Dutchy Himes. I remember.77

Credit for the founding of the Library Guild, March 3, 1903, a Friends of the Library group dedicated to raising a permanent fund for the purchase of books, should go to McIntire, aided by Filler.78 The need had been recognized by Reed since 1892.79 He was that rara avis, a library-minded



president. Later, aided by the ubiquitous Pilcher, he served a term as State Librarian of Pennsylvania, and was invited by President McKinley to become Librarian of Congress.80 In 1900, he appointed for the first time a Librarian of the College with no other duty, Leon C. Prince, a faculty son and later faculty member; and in 1905 he recommended that the $10,000 from the Alexander E. Patton bequest be added to the Library endowment.81 Prince was succeeded by Captain Alfred John Standing, a former teacher at Indian schools in the West, who doubled as "Curator of Buildings and Grounds," a newly established office.82

Administration could no longer be a faculty sideline. The first Registrar, Chester A. Ames, appeared in 1900.83 In 1906 the President was given an assistant in his development work, and later Morgan, as Dean had to be relieved of some teaching duties.84

President Reed owed most of his success in development to his brethren in the Church, notably to the Rev. Dr. William Wilson Evans, for a time pastor at Carlisle and long a friend and trustee of the College—a man of means and influence, with the portly frame and down—flowering moustache of the turn-of-the-century executive. W. W. Evans had arranged the bequest that brought William Weidman Landis to Dickinson in the Susan Powers Hoffman Chair of Mathematics, and persuaded the Rev. J. Z. Lloyd to transform "Ladies' Hall" into "Lloyd Hall."85 The Central Pennsylvania Conference, and individuals in it, contributed generously but always insufficiently, and always with that possessiveness which discouraged donations from outside the denomination. To Evans and his confreres education must always be secondary to worship. The first major building of Reed's administration, largely an Evans accomplishment, was the Allison Memorial Church, dedicated on March 6, 1892.86 Here was a long-awaited consummation for Carlisle Methodists and yet—at a cost of $40,000—a very minor contribution to the intellectual growth of the College.87 William Clare Allison had had, at Reed's arrival, plans of his own for educational expansion at Dickinson. He would make other gifts, but the long-range plan did not reappear.

Two years earlier, Himes had sounded out Miss Matilda



Wilkins Denny and Mrs. Mary O'Hara Denny Spring of Pittsburgh, and found them favorable to the idea of the old Denny homestead, across West Street from the campus, becoming a College memorial to the family.88 Here was the site, if funds for building could be found. In 1895, work was begun on a large classroom edifice to cost the same as the church. It was completed a year later, largely on borrowed money. At a meeting of December 2, 1896, Reed suggested a subscription, to open with a contribution of $50 from each trustee. General King, newly elected and a man of large ideas, announced himself as in favor and ready to give his share. "No motion being made to carry out this suggestion of the Pres. the matter was dropped." The Rev. Dr. David Henry Carroll spoke for a loan, but against a large loan. General King stood stoutly for borrowing: "Without debt there is no progress. The Building should be finished."89

After eight years of use, Denny Hall was burned to the ground, March 3, 1904. Freshman George Briner, sitting near the door in a third floor classroom, heard a hesitant knock, and, welcoming any interruption, leapt to open it. The shy Adjunct Professor Sellers was there, saying something about smoke coming from Professor Landis's office—not too unusual in the face of Landis's heavy addiction to cigars. However, class was dismissed and all went tumbling down the stairs. Briner and Frank Green ran back up with pails of water, but when they opened the door it was to find the office a mass of flame which swallowed each bucketful with only an angry hiss.90 Rebuilding on an expanded foundation was authorized in June, to be financed by the $17,000 insurance and a campaign based on a complex of memorial elements.91

In 1900 Reed had recommended a new dormitory as "an imperative necessity."92 In its stead, as offering a surer financial return, the flourishing Preparatory School was given a huge but thriftily designed structure, completed in June, 1902. At that time $55,000 was still owing on the work, and Reed was "looking far and wide" for the sum.93 He was still looking when Denny burned. Among those to whom he turned in this desperate plight was Moncure Conway—regarded by Central Pennsylvania's faithful as a mad and dangerous infidel. Conway



had been awarded an L.H.D. in 1892, and while on campus had helped judge the Junior Class orations, insisting upon an "Especial and honorable mention" to William M. Watts for his on Walt Whitman—an author generally regarded (like Conway himself) as suspect and fearsome.94 But now Conway met the crisis. He turned to his friend Andrew Carnegie, with whom he had been working in the cause of international peace. Carnegie, hearing the story of the fire, responded with an offer of $50,000 if the new building could stand as a monument to Conway. Reed, in anguish at a condition that could not be met, told of the commitment to a Denny memorial—and then deftly advanced the cause of the "Collegiate Preparatory Building." The gift came. Reed would always remember his walk through that morning's brilliant sunshine to the home of trustee Edward William Biddle—meeting the Judge outside his door—holding up the envelope—drawing out the letter and check with a trembling hand.95

Later, he asked permission to carve on the facade under Conway's name, "The Gift of Andrew Carnegie." Mr. Carnegie replied tersely that he never allowed his name on a building unless he had paid for the whole of it. Equal to this, Reed replied that its full cost was $63,480. Back came a check for $13,480, and the stone was inscribed.96 So came into being Conway Hall, an excellent boarding school with a complete high school program, from commercial course to college preparatory; beside and within the College, an almost duplicate world of study, teeming with battle and delight, its banners waving overhead, its alma mater devoutly sung to the tune of "Fair Harvard "

The hours we have spent within thy dear walls Are pearls in the setting of life. . . .97

Carnegie's was the largest gift the College had ever received. A heady draft! Freethinker Moncure Conway had opened wide a door, and George Edward Reed's situation was like that of the college student suddenly confronted by satisfactions and opportunities never tasted within home walls. He had made contact with a great new influence in American education, the philanthropic trusts. They were teaching college presidents the value



of the earned Ph.D., and to think in terms of scholarly standards as never before. Nearest at hand to Reed was the Carnegie Corporation for the Advancement of Teaching, founded in 1906 with a capital of $31,000,000. He applied for a place in its pension program, and learned—as had Dickinson's Presbyterians of earlier years—that "sectarianism" can be an encumbrance. Thirteen trustees were present in Philadelphia, February 14, 1907, when Reed proposed a startling declaration:

Resolved, That the Board of Trustees of Dickinson College heartily endorses the action of the President of the College in making application for recognition by the said Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Resolved, second, that the President of the College, who is also ex officio President of the Board of Trustees, be instructed to forward to the President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the following statement of facts:

1. That Dickinson College is under the friendly auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but has never been owned or controlled by any church body.

2. That by the Charter of the College the Board of Trustees is a self-perpetuating body and fills all vacancies in its membership, save such as are filled by Alumni Association organized under a plan for alumni representation sanctioned by the Board of Trustees.

3. That no religious organization, as such, has or can have, representation in the governing body of the College.

4. That under section 9 of the Charter of the College no denominational test is, or can be, imposed in the choice of trustees, officers or teachers, or in the admission of students; neither are denominational doctrines or tenets taught to the students.

5. That the publication in any periodical of any church, or in any secular year book, or in any educational report, or elsewhere, that Dickinson College is under denominational control is not in harmony with the facts and is made without authority of the Board of Trustees.

Resolved, third, that in order to avoid misunderstanding on the part of the public, the President of the College is herewith directed in the future to report the College as non-sectarian.

This alone might not have passed, as it did, had not Reed combined it with explicit farther objectives of bright promise. It was a play for escape from debt into his vision of the future, a



mingling of artfulness with that imaginative but fully sincere idealism. Dickinson College must have a "Department of Peace and Public Service," grandly housed in a "Temple of Peace," otherwise to be known as "The William Penn Memorial Hall." Conway helped to detail its proposed curriculum, while his son, Eustace, contributed plans for the Temple.98 Conway came to Carlisle and delivered, April 25, 1907, an address jointly celebrating the 225th Anniversary of William Penn's Frame of Government for the People of Pennsylvania, and "the department founded here this day—Peace and Public Service—. . . the first of its kind in any institution."99

His address was the long and weighty effort of an old man, but his massive body, flowing hair and beard, gave it a patriarchal and prophetic cast. Six months later, alone in Paris, his life of searching ardor would end, but now, with final eloquence, he appealed to the single benefactor and to the world:

Implora pace, O my friend from whom I now part. Entreat for peace not of deified thunderclouds but of every man, woman, child thou shalt meet. Do not merely offer the prayer "Give peace in our time," but do thy part to answer it! Then, though the whole world be at strife, there shall be peace in thee. 


But when the plans for the department and temple were brought to the hard-headed little man at Castle Skibo, he turned them down. He had done enough for Dickinson College, and that was that.101 Reed went on. He had at least the pension plan. The February meeting had authorized also a financial campaign, and he would keep his temple in prospect still. Three years later he did find a professor, George A. Crider who took, without salary, the "Chair of Social Problems and Business Institutions," defined as "the first section of the Department of Peace and Public Service."102 He was determined, as Benjamin Rush had been, to balance the hell of war with a heaven of peace—though unable to see it with Rush's glint of ironic humor.103

He was not amused when, striding down the walk to morning chapel, he found a large privy, torn from among the lilacs in some neighboring yard, set up in front of Bosler Hall and identi-



fied by a sign, "DEPARTMENT OF PEACE AND PUBLIC SERVICE." That would have been easier to bear had he not had so many other critics as well. On June 3, 1907, trustees Evans and Carroll moved to reconsider the February statement, as disturbing to the church relationship. This was tabled.104 But opposition to Reed had long been present in the local conference, with charges of loose morals among students, loose doctrine in class and the like. Reed's declaration of 1907 on independence from church control was seen as a crowning perfidy and would be a sore point between Conference and College for the next thirty years.105 At the commencement of 1908 a commission headed by the Rev. Hiles C. Pardoe, author of a novel based on Dickinson history, was investigating, and would report an insoluble "moral" bond.106 Reed's involvement with Moncure Conway was at the same time highly suspect, for all of Judge Biddle's reassurance "that the world of mammon and frivolity possessed no attractions for this serious thinker."107 Reed was more vulnerable on the slow progress of the financial campaign and that continuing annual deficit of $6,000 to $7,000.108 No wonder, then that the harried President yielded so tamely at that commencement of 1908 on the issue of "As You Like It."

Yet in the Board meetings of that year, on King's motion, he was given a rising vote of confidence. One other action also augured well. The young lawyer, Boyd Lee Spahr, was elected "to fill a vacancy in the Philadelphia Conference representation." Here, as at other colleges in these years, we see the young alumni exerting pressure for control, for scholarship over piety, for the professional over the clerical educator. Alumni-elected trustees had come in in 1891, insuring alumni spokesmen on the Board, but these might come and go with their terms.109 Here was the new viewpoint more solidly represented by a man of twenty-eight, as successful in life as he had been in college, not a Methodist, inordinately proud of his school and determined to place and hold it among the best.

Having gained this new blood and promise, the trustees closed their deliberations and went out to the rites and fanfare of Commencement Day. The procession had become more formalized since Nisbet's faculty, trustees and scholars had paraded



out from Liberty Alley to the church on the square so long ago. From Civil War days and for many years, trustee William Ryland Woodward had led it out as Marshal, followed by "Judge" Watts, head janitor, arrayed for the occasion in ministerial black with a tall silk hat and bearing the red-ribboned diplomas on a silver salver, and after him the band, and then the trustees, faculty and the class. Now Horatio King was Marshal, big body, big moustache and sparkling eye. When Reed had first come, only he had worn a gown, then the students followed suit, and now (forced into it by long-applied student pressure) all the faculty moved with him in a flutter of black poplin and the panoply of academic colors.110

On February 16, 1911, Dr. Reed presented his resignation, ending twenty-two years of service, and at their June meeting the Board elected Eugene Allen Noble to succeed him. They acted with three criteria:

1. A Methodist, "preferably a minister."

2. "A man of scholarly attainments, a good business man, with executive ability, capable of managing a large corporation; and able to bring money to Dickinson College."

3. A man "capable of acceptably representing the College in public, preferably an educator."

Noble was an alumnus of Wesleyan, 1891, where he had won the commendation of Caleb T. Winchester as a student of literature. He had headed Centenary, a Methodist junior college for women in New Jersey, from 1902 until 1908, when he had become President of Goucher College.111 There he had been the personal choice of John Frederick Goucher (a Dickinson alumnus of 1868), and later it would be rumored that Goucher was not unwilling to pass the acquisition on to his alma mater.112 Noble's name had been on a list of ten submitted to the meeting by Reed. Experience would show that he measured up to the three criteria well—with the exception of the rather prolix No. 2. He had found grave financial problems at Goucher, found Dickinson's almost as bad, and he lacked the necessary Midas touch.

Immediately after the election, on the motion of Boyd Lee Spahr, a charter revision was approved, authorizing the Board to



elect its own President. The President of the College would continue as a member ex officio, but not as its executive officer.113 This, May 27, 1912, brought the Hon. Edward W. Biddle, President Judge of the Cumberland County Courts, into the new office. Let the President of the College be a Methodist minister. The President of the Board, his superior, was now a layman of conspicuous ability, living within the fold of the Second Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Reed, in looking back upon his own inauguration as primitive and barbarous, may well have been comparing it to Noble's. That took place on Tuesday afternoon, May 28, 1912. General King fired the opening guns with a speech on Dickinson's long history. John K. Tener, Governor of Pennsylvania, administered the "civil oath of office" with an appropriate introduction. A "religious oath" followed, with a delegate of Bishop William Burt officiating. Dr. Evans, Secretary of the Board of Trustees, presented seal and key. Judge Biddle, aided by the Presidents of the Senior and Junior Classes, invested Noble with "the official hood." Dr. Morgan spoke for the faculty, and then the new President came forward with the culminating address, later to be published, a revival of those formal statements on educational policy with which Nisbet and others had begun their careers.114 He pled for "the old discipline," as "a form of educational pragmatism worthy of modern exposition," and in his peroration extolled John Dickinson. Commencement followed on the next day, with honors to prominent men in the scholastic world, to men of wealth and affairs, and even—a quite new departure—to an artist, Timothy Cole.

For the new President was a man of culture before all else—sensitive face, large, thoughtful eyes, the trimmed moustache of the new century. The artistic tastes, the dignity, the emphasis on ceremony, did not appeal widely to college men of this day, although there was one present at this time, Freshman William Wilcox Edel, who watched it all with ardent admiration and would become one of the few student friends of Eugene Allen Noble.115 Happy, too, was Lucretia McAnney, back again at once with Shakespeare. When Noble left, so would she, advancing to the Morningside Players of Columbia University.116



Noble had great personal charm, was delightful in conversation or an after-dinner speech, and imparted to College affairs a new dignity and taste. His commencement ceremonies were models of grace, the fewer orations interspersed not with the blare of a band but with selections such as Franz von Suppe's "Light Cavalry March" or Verdi's "Sextette from Lucia di Lammermoor:n Such matters as student recruitment, pursued so ardently by Reed, he left to others. The enrollment declined sharply—a fatal reversal. He had not yet won the faculty allegiance which Reed had only with some difficulty been able to command. Nor could Reed's popularity with the students be passed on to another. Noble sought to create a new image, and some faculty, some students, did not take to it warmly. A derisive printed sheet, Revelations, 1911-12, went the rounds. Here we learn that Noble's concept of "The Dickinson Type" had brought upon him the detestation of "half the college." He was accused of padding the student damage account to add luxuries to the President's House. One senses a background of faculty murmuring similar to that Reed had faced at first. Morgan, unlikely to have had much personal rapport with the new sophistication, comes in for equivocal praise—"We want to say a few words in behalf of Morgan, we all know what a janus faced, truth juggler he is [but] when he was in college he was a good sport and some what of a hellraiser not at all the 'Dickinson Type.'"

Financially, the new President was already in trouble. By 1911 a debt of $120,000 had accumulated, against an endowment of $320,000, and uncommitted investments were being applied to it, reducing income.117 On May 27, 1912, eve of Noble's inauguration, Treasurer John S. Bursk reported an operating deficit of $4,867, with no funds for urgently needed repairs—"I venture to hope that something will be done to relieve the situation."

Noble gained some relief when the trustees of the Metzger Institute, August 15, 1913, agreed that their building and income should be used henceforth "for the advantage of the students of Dickinson College."118 Lloyd Hall would be sold, and Metzger Hall begin its long term as a dormitory for co-eds. But the financial crisis deepened. Without money for maintenance,



equipment everywhere was falling into deplorable condition. In September, representatives of other colleges were forbidden to visit Conway Hall.119 Noble reported to the Executive Committee, December 5, 1913, that he had appealed to Rockefeller's General Education Board for $50,000.120 There was small chance of such a grant with the burden of debt increasing. Now Morgan, who had made caustic comment at the outset when Noble added four bathrooms to the President's House, was joined by ten other full professors in protesting their unpaid salaries. The Committee met to deliberate on this ten days later, at the Hotel Commonwealth in Harrisburg. A meeting of the Board was called, January 20, 1914, at the University Club, Philadelphia. There Judge Biddle would announce $4,500 owed to faculty, and borrowing power exhausted.121 The places of meeting speak of the crisis. The imminence of bankruptcy and closing must not be noised abroad, or loss of students would bring certain ruin. On April 22, at the University Club, President Noble and nine trustees met in emergency session with eight professors, Morgan McIntire, Mohler, Gooding, Filler, Landis, Prettyman and Stephens. It was William Lambert Gooding, Professor of Philosophy and Education ("a great teacher and every inch a gentleman") who put the trouble in a nutshell: President Noble "lacks the will to do."122

Noble gave his resignation to the Executive Committee, May 8.123 The Board, on the Committee's recommendation, elected Morgan Acting President. There had been pressures for an outsider, but they yielded to the will of the Dean's colleagues; and, indeed, it would have been difficult to find an outsider willing to take over. One glimpses the tensions of the final hour, lightly taken, when Leonard Stott Blakey, short-term Professor of Economics and Sociology, dashes off a letter to "Miss C.":

Commencement is on but its going to prove to be a pretty tame affair. The fireworks are not going off. The powder must be wet. I'm glad President Noble was at his best in the baccalaureate sermon this morning. I wish you might have heard it. He spoke from John 12:21 pointing out the greatness of Hellenism both past and present and showing that its weakness then and now lay in its neglect of the religious, if we may call it that. It has been a hot summer day which

makes it perfectly delightful for commencement. The old campus is beautiful and will no doubt arouse much enthusiasm in the old grad that happens to get back. I love the old building myself.

Tomorrow night the trustees determine upon the future for pres. & policy of the college. So many petty men are busy having their interests pushed by their little group of friends on the board that the old guard on the faculty have become frightened lest they get a figurehead for President and have oiled all wires for Dean Morgan. The Dean has the support of the faculty, for Shadinger and I could see no reason for opposing such a move on the part of the old guard. Its their college, they are its alumni to a man and here they will wait until the first stipend comes from the Carnegie Foundation.124

It was, as Blakey said, an unruffled gathering of alumni and parents. Lucretia McAnney, bless her, did introduce a note of surprise by producing Euripides instead of Shakespeare. It was ''Iphigenia in Tauris " in the Gilbert Murray translation.125 Perhaps she sensed this as a time when Artemis must intercede to prevent the inhuman sacrifice. So, after a fashion, it had come to pass. The Olympians had spoken. A strong, rough hand of their own, "a swell Grecian," would hold the fasces and make destiny.




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