ONE day more than twenty years ago as I was at work in my library in New Haven, I was pleasantly interrupted by the advent of a distinguished-looking elderly gentleman accompanied by an extremely shy young girl. The man was the librarian of Columbia University, formerly president of Ohio State--how fortunate to be able to exchange the terrible job of college president for the agreeable position of librarian!--and the bashful girl was his daughter Dorothy. Dr. Canfield never wasted time or words on preliminaries.
'This is my daughter and she has got to write a thesis in Old French for her Ph. D. at Columbia.'
'God help her!'
'No,you help her!'
'But I don't know anything whatever about Old French. The only French that interests me is modern French.' 'Yes,' said he, 'but you once wrote a thesis in English and got a Ph. D.'
'That is quite true; and I made up my mind then that if the Lord would forgive me I would never write another.'
'Well, this thesis has got to be written, and we have come to New Haven to discuss the method of its production with you.'
I did my best to point out the way in which 'original work,' if it were to be valuable and important, must be done; what to include, what to emphasize, what to omit. Miss Canfield wrote her thesis with the customary bloody