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ated gentleman when we say that we owe to him a large debt of gratitude for having introduced us to new fields, and for having made us far better acquainted than we were before with the beauty, spirit, and extent of the Roman literature. In the Senior Humanity class he prelected upon authors whose works receive little consideration in the schools. He explained to us the Fasti of Ovid, thereby opening the richest mine of Latin antiquity and tradition; and, by drawing our attention to such writers as Lucretius, Martial, and Claudian, he made us aware of some of the changes of style and manner which mark the literature of Rome. Under Mr Pillans at least, we can testify, with the utmost confidence, that we felt no retardation, though we had the great advantage of preliminary discipline under the care of the learned and erudite Archdeacon Williams, then Rector of the Edinburgh Academy, before we joined the University. If in other branches of education we were not so fortunate, the blame probably lay with us rather than with the Professors. But our own experience assures us that a vast deal of imaginary evil has been conjured up, and paraded against the present system, as if that system possessed no power of elasticity, and must necessarily contract instead of enlarging its sphere.
As for the argument that it is beneath the dignity of a University to deal with rudimentary elements, we dismiss that at once with the contempt which it deserves. No higher privilege is granted to man, than the power of instruction, however humble or limited that instruction may be. The rich of this earth may learn, and have learned, the highest truths from the lips of a peasant; and pride never assumes a more revolting guise, than when, boasting of its own intellectual achievements, it looks down arrogantly on those below, and disdains to reach out a finger to aid them in their upward ascent. For the honour and reputation of our country, we say, let us maintain the Scottish Universities as we found them, institutions open to the aspiring, how
ever poor they be, without check and without hindrance; and let the doors of knowledge be shut in the face of none who demand it, not as an eleemosynary boon, but on the same terms as are exacted from the richer classes of society.
In the course of the discussion which has arisen on this important point, many rash statements have been hazarded. These it is not our purpose to notice in detail; but one averment recently made by a gentleman who occupies a high position in the educational profession, is of so positive and startling a nature that we cannot pass it over. In a letter addressed to the Lord Advocate on the subject of University Reform, Dr Leonhard Schmitz, Rector of the High School of Edinburgh, while adverting generally to the burgh schools in Scotland, expresses himself thus :"Most of these schools are already in a condition to bring their pupils up to any reasonable standard that may be fixed for admission to a University, while a few, such as the Edinburgh High School and Academy, are actually in advance of the Scottish Universities." When this passage first met our eye, we presumed Dr Schmitz's meaning to be that the pupils leaving the highest classes in the High School and Academy were so far advanced that they could not derive any assistance in their future studies by joining the junior classes of Latin and Greek at any of the Scottish Universities. In that statement we were fully prepared to concur; for both the seminaries referred to have been, and are, most ably conducted by an excellent and learned staff of teachers, under the superintendence of accomplished rectors; and they produce the average crop of promising scholars, as well as of inveterate dunces. But we presently stumbled upon another passage which shows that the previous remark was intended to convey a much more extensive meaning. It is this: "The Edinburgh High School and Academy, which, as I have already remarked, rise above the Universities, in many cases send their pupils to foreign or English Universities, because those of Scotland do not afford the means of continuing the studies
from the point at which they had arrived on leaving the school." This statement is so clear as to require no explanation. In the opinion of Dr Schmitz, no Professor of Latin or Greek in any of the Scottish Universities for the remark applies to them all-advances his pupils to a higher point than is reached in the senior classes of the Edinburgh Academy and High School; of course, by the more intelligent and industrious boys, for we presume that Dr Schmitz has no infallible receipt for the entire abolition of boobies.
If this be so, then assuredly it is time that some active remedy should be devised, for we cannot consent to strangle education at a certain point for the sake of indiscriminate admission. The Academy and High School are institutions of which we have just reason to be proud, and certainly the Universities cannot afford to lose the best educated of the youth of Scotland. They are the salt which should season the others -the class which more than any other is required to stimulate activity among the students. But are the facts really such as Dr Schmitz represents them to be? Strictly speaking, this is matter of opinion, and therefore the learned Rector cannot be offended if we venture to doubt his accuracy. No doubt he has some academical testimony to which he can refer in support of his statement, in so far at least as the University of Edinburgh is concerned; since Professor Blackie, the incumbent of the Greek Chair in Edinburgh, has, in his ardour for the establishment of a staff of University Tutors, sometimes employed a latitude of speech which is liable to misconstruction. Smarting under the annoyance of elementary teaching, he has, we venture to think, exaggerated the difficulties of his position, and he has unwittingly depreciated his own acknowledged power, and suggested doubts as to the efficacy of his practice. Professor Blackie must not be angry with us for dealing with him so frankly. We do not hold the doctrine of Cassius that, "A friendly eye should never see such faults," more especially when we are satisfied that
he has been doing great injustice to himself. But admissions, or rather self-accusations, are dangerous things, and, therefore, we are not surprised to observe that Dr Schmitz should have emphatically dwelt, towards the conclusion of his letter, upon a very sweeping, but really hyperbolical, assertion once made by Professor Blackie, to the effect that the literary Professors in the Scottish Universities lived by poaching on the schools. This, as applied to the Faculty of Arts, was simply an extravagant trope, which did not require a serious answer, and which we are certain was not intended as a substantive charge, because four departments at least, if not five, out of the seven comprehended in the ordinary curriculum, were clearly beyond the reach of the schools, and could not be guilty of an infringement of the literary game-law. Therefore, there were only two departments directly arraigned as poachers, for one of which the incautious Professor admitted that he must answer in person. And as he has confessed the crime, though we do not believe in his real guilt, nothing can be more natural than that Dr Schmitz should move for judgment accordingly. But when Dr Schmitz moves for general judgment against the Classical Professors of Scotland, the case is very different. We must have something better than his own assertion, that his very best pupils cannot be advanced by attending the Senior Humanity class in the University of Edinburgh, or the Senior Humanity and Greek classes in any other of the Universities of Scotland. It is not alleged that classical education in the High School and Academy is now carried to a higher point than was reached some five-and-twenty years ago, when Archdeacon Williams and Dr Carson were at the head of those distinguished seminaries. Dr Schmitz, we apprehend, will hardly venture to make that assertion; and if he does not make and maintain it, then we must conclude either that the Universities of Scotland have, for the last quarter of a century, been behind the schools in respect of classical teaching, or that, during the interval, the Professorial teaching
has degenerated. With regard to the first conclusion, we have already borne testimony, from personal experience, that the Senior Humanity class in Edinburgh was, at the time we allude to, decidedly in advance of the Academy; and, were it possible to cite the Bishop of London as a witness, we are thoroughly convinced that he, who was dux of the Edinburgh Academy, would protest against the idea that the teaching of Sir Daniel Sandford, then Professor of Greek at Glasgow, did not afford him the means of continuing his studies from the point at which he had arrived in the school. In considering a matter of this kind, however, we must not lose sight of the fact that it is the system which is on trial, not the merits of individual Professors, difficult though it be always to observe the distinction. For a good system badly conducted may not be so advantageous to the scholar as an indifferent system, when the teacher is a man of extraordinary talent. Indeed, a good teacher, whatever be his system, is sure to attract, whereas a bad one is sure to repel. The alternative conclusion which implies a degeneracy in the Professorial teaching of the classics throughout Scotland, cannot be discussed without violating the rules of propriety; but this much we may be allowed to say with respect to Glasgow, as the only other University besides that of Edinburgh which receives a sensible augmentation of students from the Academy and High School, that its reputation never stood higher than at the present moment, and that not even a whisper of dissent has been heard against the general applause accorded to the teaching of Ramsay and of Lushington.
We therefore think, and we believe that most men who are conversant with the subject will agree with us, that the very natural enthusiasm of Dr Schmitz in behalf of the schools has carried him too far. But, though that is our decided conviction, we shall not by any means reject his general testimony; especially because we agree with him in thinking that there is ample room for the extension of classical teaching at the Universi
ties of Scotland. Here again we must enter into details in order to explain our views.
By the existing regulations for the curriculum of Arts in the University of Edinburgh, all candidates for degrees in Arts, and all divinity students, must attend the Humanity and Greek classes for at least one session. The Professors of Humanity and Greek are bound to teach two classes, a junior and a senior ; and as they give two hours each day throughout the session to the junior classes, they are actively engaged in teaching at least three hours per diem; and beyond that, they have to correct the exercises of perhaps two hundred students. This is, indeed, a severe amount of academic labour, the mind being kept constantly on the strain; and it is not easy to conceive how a Professor, after two hours' elementary teaching, can address himself to lecture with that amount of energy and freshness which are required in order to give interest to his subject. Besides this, the classes are undeniably too large for efficient teaching by a single man. In a lecturing class a large attendance is no hindrance to the Professor; but in a class which has to be taught, in the more familiar sense of the term, a large attendance is, beyond a certain point, a very great hindrance indeed, since every student is entitled to a certain proportional share of the Professor's special attention. Allowing that fifty minutes in the hour are occupied with the proper business of the class, which has often consisted of one hundred and fifty students, the proportion of time given to each student in the senior classes will be one-third of a minute per day, or a whole minute every third day, or seven minutes in the month, or less than forty minutes in the course of the academical session. That is clearly not enough for efficacious teaching; because it is notorious that the bulk of the students will not give their undivided attention to one of their number repeating a lesson, or floundering through some grammatical difficulty; and though various expedients have been adopted as a remedy, none of them have as yet proved successful. The monitorial system was early introduced by
Professor Pillans, who, in a letter addressed to Sir E. B. Lytton, and noticed in his England and the English, expresses himself satisfied with its application. But, with all respect to the learned Professor, and speaking from our own recollection, we apprehend that he has over-estimated its value. There is a good deal of jealousy among students as to delegated authority. They will willingly obey the Professor, who is their proper captain, but they recalcitrate against the authority of subalterns, who are chosen from the ranks. It is on that ground mainly that we are favourable in certain cases to the appointment of Tutors, for, as regards them, no such jealousy can exist.
It was from the lectures delivered in the Senior Humanity class that we derived the greater portion of the benefit which we have already acknowledged; and we wish that it were possible to carry to still greater length the system of lecturing in the Senior classes. That, however, is a matter which must be left entirely to the Professors, who most properly adapt their mode of teaching to the average capacity and attainments of the classes. We are aware that there are objections to frequent lecturing, before the students are thoroughly conversant with the languages; but this, at least, we may be permitted to say, as an expression of our deliberate opinion, that when a young man has acquired so much knowledge of Greek and Latin that he can compose verses, and translate with fluency and correctness, it is mere pedantry to compel him longer to work at the grindstone. His attention should be thereafter directed exclusively to the spirit, and not the letter, of the classics. "I am," said Sir Walter Scott, no great idolater of the learned languages, excepting for what they contain. We spend in youth that time in admiring the wards of the key which we should employ in opening the cabinet, and examining its treasures." That sentiment we apprehend to be a general one, though it is not generally expressed, owing to a certain degree of cowardice which haunts us whenever classical subjects are brought under discussion. Nevertheless, it is dic
tated by plain common sense. mastery of a dead language is really of little value, except as a key to the literature which made the language of importance. No man, in our day, has occasion to write in Latin, much less in Greek. The literature of both nations is sealed, and the roll made up; and no further scholastic accomplishment is required than the power of easy interpretation. After six or seven years of grammatical drill and exercise in the acquisition of the language at the schools, it is positively hurtful to the student to prolong the process. When he understands the language, let him then apply himself to the literature; and, beyond all question, the exposition of that literature is the proper province of a University Professor. Language for the schools, literature for the Universities -such is the rule that we would inculcate, and even enforce, had we to deal with new institutions-but the institutions are not new; and it is imperatively necessary that we should be cautious in making changes which may seriously affect the privileges heretofore within the reach of the commonalty of Scotland.
To force students, who have already been exercised in the acquisition of the dead languages for five, six, or seven years in the schools, to attendance for another year on the Junior University classes, would be worse than purgatory; for purgatory was, in theory at least, a state of improvement, whereas this bondage jeopardises the loss of all that had been previously gained. The Senior classes, therefore, are the proper receptacle for them; and the only remaining question is, whether means should not be provided for advancing them still further in classical literature. This is a point of real importance for the character of Scottish scholarship; indeed, we consider it to be the most important point of all. For, as we do not retain our students after they become graduates in connection with the Universities, and as we have not substantial awards such as Fellowships to offer them as an inducement to push their classical studies further, we are the more bound to take care that, so long as they do tarry at the University, they shall have the means
of acquiring a full knowledge not only of the languages, but of the literature of Greece and Rome. We believe that the present arrangements are sufficient as regards the languages, and that every diligent student who leaves the Senior classes, carries away as much knowledge as would enable him to pass a creditable examination. But it does not therefore follow that they are acquainted with the literature; and although we know full well that a thorough knowledge of such literature cannot be acquired without long study and much private reading, still a great deal may be accomplished by way of direction and exposition within the walls of the University. We shall revert to this immediately.
A large portion of the students, however, do not join the Senior classes at once, but enrol themselves for elementary instruction in the Junior classes. Having passed through these, the presumption is that they have gained the point of knowledge at which the better-educated students stood when they entered the Senior classes. But is it to be presumed that they are then so far advanced in classics as to enable them to go forward for a degree, or to enter Divinity Hall? We apprehend not. It seems to us absolutely indispensable that clergymen-and most of the graduates intend to be clergymen -should have a better knowledge of the classical languages than they can possibly acquire by attendance for a single session in the Junior classes. The fact that they select, or are sent to, the lower classes, is a clear proof of the imperfect nature of their previous training; and though industry may do much, it cannot work such a miracle as the transmutation of an ignorant lad into an apt classical scholar within a period of six months. For these reasons, we are strongly of opinion that the arrangements for the curriculum should be so far altered, as to make attendance on the Senior classes compulsory on those who enter as Juniors; in other words, that they should attend the Humanity and Greek classes for two years instead of one. Here, no doubt, we shall be encountered by the cry, which heretofore has been listened
to with too much indulgence, that it would be a great hardship to force young men intended for the ministry, to study Greek and Latin for two separate sessions. In that sense all teaching is a hardship; but hardship or no, it is incumbent upon the Church to provide that its ministers shall be sufficiently educated for their calling, and it is incumbent upon the Universities to see that all graduates shall have attended a proper course. But, in reality, there is no hardship. We require nothing more from a young man when he joins the University, than such a knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages as may enable him to join the Senior classes; and if he is so qualified, the attendance of a session will suffice. If he has not such an amount of knowledge, we are ready to give it him in the Junior classes; but he must, in that case, submit to instruction for a second session.
We entertain no extravagant notions as to the advantages of classical attainments; but we think it necessary that all who offer themselves as candidates for degrees, or who aspire to the office of the ministry, should have a thorough knowledge of the learned languages; and it is with that view that we recommend an alteration in the curriculum. But, beyond this, we are conscious that there is still a serious want in our Universities. No chair exists for the purpose of giving a broad, comprehensive, and distinct view of the state of the literature of Greece and Rome, at different epochs, or of marking the many changes, both in spirit and in form, which are so deeply interesting to the scholar, and which should be treated in connection with the social condition of the states. Nothing of this kind has been as yet attempted; for, although in the Senior classes there are occasional prelections upon particular authors, yet the staple of the study is undoubtedly of a philological kind, and the Professor, for the most part, is expected to proceed
"In the scholar's regal way Of giving judgment on the parts of speech, As if he sate on all twelve thrones up-piled, Arraigning Israel."
The supply of that want would