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505 however, all the advantages of able it is in any other existing institution, and experienced tutors, the unrestrain- of acquiring a solid foundation either ed use of extensive libraries overflow- in literature or science. The
expence, ing with the best productions in every too, so far from being exorbitant, does, species of learning, the best public not exceed, and in many cases falls far lectures of every description, we would short of, what would necessarily be recandidly hope that all these were not quired in educating any young man rejected when they were daily and for the Pulpit, the Bar, the Senate, or hourly within his reach, and that he any of the superior walks of life. The left the arms of Alma Mater something truth of this statement I can vouch for more than a "mere algebraist," a do- from actual experience. For the vatard in learning, or a driveller in rious opportunities of improvement in science. If he left her, indeed, thus all the different arts and sciences, some unprepared to enter upon the world, it of which have been already pointed was undoubtedly his own fault, and out, daily supplied in those establishthe blame of his failures no more at ments, what would not bave been sataches to the system of education esta- crificed by an Aristotle and a Pliny? blished in his parent University, than Each of our English Universities, to the innocent hatchet, sharpened and for a long time, laid exclusive claim to prepared to cut down the ancient te- their separate and distinct provinces. nant of the forest for the protection Polite Literature and the Muses were and use of mad, is to be attributed the anxiously wooed upon the banks of pain which it causes by involuntarily the Isis, whilst Mathematics and the slipping and lacerating the foot or the Sciences were not less assiduously courtarm of an imprudent operating me
ed amid Granta's academic groves. In chanic. \Ve forbear to notice his sub- consequence, however, of some late sequent struggles and disappointments. improvements in each, we may now They invariably emanated from the Aatter ourselves that philology and same cause, --from his arrogance, his science may go hand in hand, and be indecision, his imprudence, the total a mutual assistance to each other in neglect of the many advantages, and their respective districts. This is certhe upskilful management of those in- tainly the surest method of securing struments which his mode of educa- respectability to each. Amid all those tion had kindly furnished him with, happy emendations, we have neverand which, had they been prudently theless heard that it is the hope and used in after-life, would have undoubi- wish of one of the leading mathemaedly conducted him to honour, to emo- ticians of the present day, and a prolument, and to happiness. His gross fessor of natural philosophy, too, in ingratitude, however, and some other one of our Universities, that he may traits in his character, can admit of no live to see the day when abstract reapossible excuse. He seems to have soning shall supply every use of figures acted much in the same manner as and diagrams, both in pure and mixed another Cantab, also a member of the mathematics. Our sincere wish would same body, and well known to the be the direct contrary of this; we writer of this, who, when a mathema- would heartily pray “ that there never tical examination was approaching, in- may be wanting a supply of fit and variably devoted his attention to the able men to serve God both iu Church perusal of Homer, of Horace, or Vir- and State," and on this account beg gil. His success in those ordeals may “a blessing upon all schools and semibe easily conjectured.
naries of sound learning and religious Exorbitancy, of expense has also education;" but we would devoully been frequenily and confidently urged pray, at the same time, that that peas an argument against University edu- riod may never arrive when the pure cation. "It has been arrogantly asked, geometric reasoning of a Newton, a for all the loss of time and expenditure Maclaurin, a Cotes, and an Atwood, of money necessarily incurred, what may be superseded by a skilful inaradvantages does Alma Mater confer shalling of symbols, the doctrine of vaupon her sons? I would positively riations, as the calculus of the sines. answer, that every opportunity is am. From all those combined advantages,
ply afforded in those seminaries, and however, from this happy union of soihat in a much superior degree to what lid and refined learning, we would GENT. MAG. June, 1827.
Imperfect Education in our Universities. [June, boldly venture to assert that more real or pilfering, a good school for derelopbenests have not accrued to the State, ing genius or mental improvement. and that too at a less expenditure of The general influence of such habits time and money, from any other lite- is, to brutify the man, io quench mind, rary establishment of any kind, than and blunt the moral sense. Many have what have been derived from those escaped the pollutions of Oxford, and pious, ancient, and learned institu- triumphed over all the disadvantages tions.
of a perverted or defective education ; We cannot better close this paper, but the fact is nevertheless true, that which has already been protracted in discipline and professional educamuch beyond its first-intended limits, tion both Oxford and Cambridge are than by an imperfect quotation of a still defective. paragraph, in its sentiments not alto- This is all that Dr. Knox has said; gether inapplicable to the present sub- and this the bitter experience of too ject, and which, for euphonious ca- many verifies. It is perfectly absurd dence and propriety of diction, was to talk of ingratitude to Alma Mater. perhaps never excelled by any writer Why should the errors and rices of in any age or in any language : our Universities be exempt from blame
“Little are that man's feelings to be en- and exposure? They are public provied (says Dr. Johnson) whose emotions of perty, are supported by the public, gratitude and respect are not forcibly ex- and are intended for public usefulness. cited by the view and, we may add, even re- The praise that is their due, will never collection of any place once consecrated by be withheld; but to make that praise wisdom or valour; whose patriotism is not valuable, it must be separated from roused upon the plains of Marathon, or wholesale fulsome flattery. Had Dr. whose piety does not grow warm amid the Knox and others been silent, Oxford ruins of Iona."
would not be even what that UniverYours, &c.
OMICRON. -sity now is. Fair and public inquiry
is fatal only to abuses, and feared only Mr. URBAN,
June 15. by those whose interest it may be to To O the author of the “Defence of support them. But truth must prevail.
the English Universities," whose Take a case to the point. Look at letter, dated from "Kellington," is in the Court of Chancery. One party serted in your last Number, I would says, that its needless delays and exask the following questions.
pensive process defeat the common Are we not mainly indebted to Dr. ends of right and equity; while anoKnox for the exposure and correction ther as stoutly maintains, that it is free of those absurdities in the academical from error, and calls for no reformacourse at Oxford which formerly pre- tion,--that the hope and despair and vailed, and if so, are we not also in- ruin of individuals are unworthy of debted to him for the present compa- notice, when put in competition with ratively improved education of that the blessings it confers upon the counUniversity?
try, and with the deference due to the We have quite enough of flatterers feelings and character of its late venerto pamper indolence and perpetuate able and spotless Judge. Such is the error and prejudice; but he is the true conflict of rival opinions, both in er. friend who warns us of mischief, and tremes. In the mean while, what says points out to parents the dangers that the public voice, seldom wrong in its await their sons. No one ever pre- decrees,—what says that voice, which, tended to deny that great and eminent sooner or later, will be heard, and men have been educated at Oxford; must be obeyed? While it allows but what has that to do with the gene- every credit to the known skill and ral and still more momentous question probity of the late Chancellor, and to of national and professional instruction? he fiats of his legal wisdom, it speaks Talent, we all know, will vanquish loudly and imperatively against the deevery difficulty, and eventually obtain lays, mischiefs, and chicanery of the distinction ; but the mass of students Court of Chancery. In the face of are not highly gifted; and to such im- every opposition, it has forced a Parperfect education is fatal. Æsop was liamentary inquiry into its evils, and a slave; Burns a ploughboy ; Shak- will yet prevail in rendering or restorspeare a deer-stealer; but I do not ing it to what it ought to be a Court consider either slavery, farm-drudgery, of Equity.
507 · Apply this reasoning to the flatterers SOME SPECULATIONS ON LITÈRARY and calumniators of our Universities.
PLEASURES.-No. I. It is not from aspiring candidates for
E are here, perhaps, only ensnug sinecures of fellowships, that we cussion, and risking the frown of must expect sound and honest opi- readers of intelligence in thus seeking nions opon such a subject. Nor is it to amplify a subject which has so often again from Westminster or Edinburgh invoked the speculations of powerful Reviews, or other radical and infidel pens. The theme, however, may yet oracles, that we are to look for a fair admit of an additional illustration or and candid verdict. Where then are we two in its details, which are nearly as to seek it? From a criterion that cannot numerous as the contingencies and vaerr. Confining our attention to the rieties of life. defective education of our Universi
It may possibly be suggested, that ties for holy orders, I would answer: where all are agreed upon the point, Look at the conventicles that are rising further discussion is needless. This is up in almost every parish of the king- not, however, exactly the case. There doni ; look at the efforts now making are numerous individuals in the world in Parliament for a repeal of the Test who think that tranquillity and conLaws; look at the friends, whether tentment of mind, whether enjoyed real or pretended, but many and under the cares of business or in ihe powerful, of the Roman Catholic lap. of indolent recreation, may be said claims; look at the diminished and to impart to those who are subjects of diminishing influence of the Clergy of it as high a satisfaction, as lively a the Church of England; look at these fruition of delight in their several signs of the times, and you will find spheres of occupation, as the philoan answer portentous, and not to be sopher at his desk, or as the poet slighted. But how, it may be asked, luxuriating anid the scenes of nature. are the defects of an University educa- Do not the former, indeed, it is altion for the priesthood made responsi- leged, feel a sort of pain and uneasible for all or any of these infringe- ness when debarred from their cusments upon our Establishment? The tomary spheres of action or sources of reply is direct and painful. The Clergy enjoyment; and all this without the of our Church are not educated as they intervention of a single intellectual ought to be. They have not that zeal; perception? they are not those“ burning and shin- Those, for instance, whose minds ing lights ;” they have not those pro- are unremittingly devoted to commerfessional talents and habits, which are cial pursuits, and who, from their needed to meet and conquer these sole ambition pointing elsewhere, even trials. Their ambition is too worldly, if they had leisure, would want incli-their views too secular,—their time nation for these pleasures,—those and attention at college are wasted whose capacities, whether engendered upon studies not essential to their holy, by nature or acquired through educaand, if rightly considered, arduous tion, (for education has been suffi. and responsible calling ;-while the ciently proved to be no mean instrugrossest neglect of what is essential to ment in stimulating capacity,) never qualify thein for the pastoral office, is reach them,-have not unfrequently not merely known to prevail, but is jus- alleged that they enjoy, in passing tified and lauded by the " faithful sons through life, as high a sense of pleaof Alma Mater," as wise, sacred, and sure or happiness, as the man of ininviolable.
tellectual speculation. Our enemies are active, though we Well, but it may still be alleged are supine ; and however the pretended that, after the able and frequent ilfriends of the Church, in the ease and lustrations which this subject has redignity of apathy, may resist inquiry, ceived, we shall leave this point preand oppose the correction of errors and cisely where we found it. In spite of defecis, the time, I am convinced, is these and other possible objections, a not far distant, when redress may be few further illustrations may not be beyond our power. I am no alarmist; entirely without their interest to the but the prophecy of events is rarely readers of your long-established and fallacious. Fear may exaggerate evils, valuable publication. “As I was in- facts cannot. Oxoniensis. dulging, these reflections,” says Dr.
Goldsmith, “in order to eke out my
[June, page, I formed the following reverie,' under such circumstances, few, it is too wild for allegory, and too regular probable, could withstand the sponfor a dream.". The present writer will taneous flow of impressions and images also fancy himself isolated in a situ- thus excited. ation where he recently enjoyed a While all Nature around, animated train of reflections something similar by the resplendent beams of a mornto those which form the subject of ing sun, sports each in his own inthe following sheets.
stinctive sphere of recreation, we naThe sun had attained the highest turally diverge into speculations converge of Cancer, and was already on nected with the character and comits decline towards another equinox, plexion of our intellectual susceptiwhen the “breezy call” of a morn- bilities. I here imagined the person ing scattering incense from a thou- who had long been in the habit of sand springs, ordained to lure mortals close mental application, whose iafrom repose, guided my footsteps to a tellectual energies have been practisequestered dell of trees, where I was cally trained to investigation and sometimes wont to repair in order to thought, whose susceptibilities are enjoy in silence those moments which keen, to whom the world opens an the busy commerce of the world are extensive, rich, and illimitable field of not always calculated to afford. The inquiry. What a universe of obserdomain which here arrested my course vation and of thought does he not enwas diversified in all the wildness and joy, utterly' unkuown to him whose irregularity of nature. A river skirted sole attention is engrossed in a dull its utmost boundary, whilst the um- round of customary duties, almost mebrageous trees, which overhung its chanical in their influence, where the clear and murmuring stream, partially grasp of mental perception inroles shaded the scenery of the more dis- no original reach of thought! One tant country, affording, however, at of those individuals, whose tenor of intervals a peep at rich pastures and mind, unless perturbed by the conwoodlands beyond, undulating in pic- tingencies of irade, swim down the turesque forms of acclivity and vales. stream of life with tranquillity, has ipA range of lofty hills crowned with deed his enjoyments,-he feels pleatheir summits the back-ground of the sures and gratifications which he terms extended prospect. The grailed seat substantial in the customary routine of a grotto, formed by the joint hand of calculated profits; but he knows of nature and art, invited me to a do- ' not what obstruction ineans; he deser micile amidst objects of more than experienced the ardour and the pain ordinary beauty.
of intense thinking,—is awakened te For some moments I inhaled the no enthusiastic perception of feeling. balmy freshness of the morning air, The chain of thought was opened, mingled with the fragrance of odori- and spontaneously wandered through ferous shrubs. The early sun beamed a succession of speculative questions splendour from the east, the feathered connected with the subject. The citribes, roused from their cells by the tizen, for example,-thus flowed the call of morning, filled the ambient air course of my speculations,—at his desk with a song of praise; and whilst some calculating his gains, or pursuing a winged their path towards the blue dull round of customary duties, seldom ether, others Auttered with an unceas- bestows his meditations upon a train ing chorus of praise among the spread of thought or of sentimeni which he ing foliage, painted in matchless vari: deems purely visionary. ety by the pencil of an all-powerful The man of leisure who devotes and unseen artist. The dew-drops, the hours of his life to the mere amusetrembling upon the slender leaf, spark- ments of a country life, who, amidst led like crystals with a thousand trans, objects whose intrinsic beauty can ever lucent rays, vegetation again raised animate and charm, knows no pleaher drooping head, and displayed, in sures but the sound of the echoing rich exuberance, her treasures ; every horn," and the intense anxiety with circumstance combined at once to in- which the sportsman, heedless of all spire pleasure, and to excite busy besides, pursues the keen recreations thought.
which urge him in his career, laughs Soliloquies naturally intrude upon at the fine-drawn speculations, at the the solitude of an individual, and, feigned and visionary gratifications
509 which await the man of cultivated, cannot, from its very nature, admit of mental refinement-knows nothing, absolute demonstration; any thing in it is true, of the pleasures here ima- the shape of mathematical proof is gined. The enjoyments produced by here entirely out of the question ; mental abstraction and association, these are matters in which it is agreed are, to him “like a tale told by an on all hands that much is to be felt idiot," which, if it " signifies" any and understood. thing but folly, is of so recondite and A mind that, by a course of reading equivocal a nature as to be unintelli- and reflection, has become so far inigible to minds upsophisticated by the tiated as to know from its own exerdreams of absolute enthusiasm. These cises, the nature, character, and comand a thousand others, all differing it plexion, and can consequently appremay chance from each other in certain ciate these pleasures, will easily credit shades of temperament, pass through them to exist amongst certain others in life, who never framed to themselves a degree far beyond their own private the possibility of the enjoyınents here experience. While be judges from spoken of.
analogies of the intenseness with which Multitudes who have enjoyed the they may exist, he is sensible that it benefit of education, who have sus- is altogether vain to endeavour to imtained a character of high respectabi- plant an idea of their reality in the lity in the several ways in which they breast of a person whose imagination have shone, would yet, it is more than is barren, whose energies are torpid probable, confess, were the question and cold, and whose exclusions of asked, that “ the noiseless tenor of thought seldom, unless in the calcu. their way,” was accompanied with lations of private interest, take their gratifications as high as those which Aight beyond the ephemeral pursuits attended the hours of persons who in which they are actually engaged. have attained high eminence in lite- Surrounded, for instance, with the rature, and who are famed for their circumstances, or with the objects intervals of abstraction. “ The Mi- which originated the train of thought ser himself," says Professor Ferguson, in which I had engaged, -when all in his Essay on the History of Civil Nature concurred to exhilarate the Society, “can consider his wealth as soul with lively gratitude, and raise it the source of happiness, and has chal- to inspiration, - when earth and air lenged his heir to have more pleasure teems with fragrance and animation, in spending than he in ainassing, his and when gladness smiles upon the fortune."
face of the country, variegated in the Why," says the Doctor, whose most beautiful forms, one of the class speculations on Happiness" indi- last pointed at would merely observe cate a deep insight into human nature, that it was a fine morning, whilst one " may not the man whose object is of the former would probably feel the money, be understood to live a life of kindred energies of bis soul expand pleasure, not only more entire than under a sense of beauty, and his that of the spendthrift, but even as thoughts drawn forth in reverie. The much as the 'virtuoso, the scholar, or latter would indeed discern a sort of the man of taste."
beauty, so far as the colours, forms, What is there, indeed, it will be and fragrance of the objects he views asked by the calculating individual, strikes upon his senses, but he reto invalidate the hypothesis that a per- mains wholly dead to any perception son, whose senses are utterly deaf to beyond: no ideas of harmony, conthe calls of literary speculations, may gruity, and happiness, which rush tread the journey of life, may de- through the imagination and awaken scend into the vale of years, and ex- the energies of the former, would ever perience in as high a degree the emo- strike him. His ideas run, habitually, tions of pleasure and of happiness as in another channel; no conception of the first? The sportsman and the any affinity between the sublime and tradesman feel the keen delights of the beautiful in nature, and the sym-, their several pursuits, as the Poet in his pathies or the meditations of genius, “ frenzied” reveries, or as the Philo- as it often characterizes the human sopher lost in a train of favourite ab- mind, enters for a moment into the straction.
calculations of a breast, which, how.. The question, indeed, is one which ever warmed with the benevolent dis