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jesties, as well as to my good opinion
of his abilities and disposition. In his INCLOSE an original Letter, I
written in Dec. 1787, by Doctor prose compositions his style of Latin is Davies, then Master of Eton School, very good, his sentimenis strong and to Sir Johw Riggs Miller, the first Ba- lustrations of the subject by examples
clear, with much good sense, and ilronet, respecting his son, the late worthy and lamented Sir John Edward from his own reading and observation, Riggs Miller, bart. on whose death in improving upon those which I have August 1825, the title became extinct. suggested in giving the theme. In It notices, as you will remark, an al- poetical fancy and invention peculiarly
his verses there is an originality of teration in the system at Eton.
his own, his expression neat and eleA Constant READER.
gant, with a rythmn of verse that shews
his good ear ; but still he must conti. London, at Mr. Faulder's, Book
nue to cultivate both species of comseller, New Bond-street.
position with the same if not more dili
gence and accuracy, before I shall be DEAR SIR, Dec. 24, 1787. able to call them exactis minimum disI must first make an apology for tantic, and this is the great mean of my long silence, at which you must improvement while he continues with have been much surprised, if not, as me; this the foundation of his fame I fear, somewhat displeased; but when , as an Eton scholar. In all other parts, I first received your letter, I determnin- his reputation is as high as it can weli ed not to answer it till the holidays, be; but elegance of writing is the fithat during the interval I might have wishing here; therefore I beg you will an opportunity of making more parti- inculcate this to him. Constant pains cular observations on him
who was the in all his exercises ; and in some partisubject of it; then I intended to have cular subjects which suit his fancy, seen you in town, but I did not come still greater exertions to produce a caso early as I thought I should. After pital piece. The longer he continues that I went down again to Windsor to (and I hope at present bis own incliinstal Dr. Langford Canon of Wind- nation accords with your intentions), sor. Upon my return, your House ad- the greater will be his improvement. journed, and I did not endeavour to In regard to his moral character, his find you in town, supposing that you inclination, temper, and other qualiimmediately went down to your villa, ties (points of the greatest consequence, where I hope this will find you. and which you enquire after with an
If I had sat down to write a letter highly commendable and truly paren10 you without any previous inquiries tal anxiety and affection), the result on your part concerning your son, I of my enquiries, confirmed by his tushould have informd you how happy tor and his dame, still tends more to enhe had made me by his great diligence hance my good opinion. I can discoand improvement, by his good beba- ver no evil propensity, but all tending viour and regularity, after his being the contrary way. He is beloved by put into the sixth form; that he had all his schoolfellows, but among his added much to the credit he had gained peers in class, age, &c. his intimates at the last speeches before their Ma- are of the best sort, like himself.
[May, Therefore I most sincerely congratu- destroy confidence, to intercept sym
pathy, and to turn every man's attenet laudo fortunas tuas,
tion wholly on himself. - Such are Qui mtum haberes tali ingenio præditum.”
the remarks of our great national Mo
ralist upon the subject of ingratitude. And I have the greatest confidence By the way of amelioration, he further that he will not hereafter disappoint continues, “there is always danger, our expectations at the University; and lest the honest abhorrence of crime when he comes to a more enlarged in. tercourse with mankind, the disposal violence against the man to whom it
should raise the passions with too much of him when he leaves me must be the subject of another letter or of con: is iinputed. In proportion as guilt is versation when we meet. If you send
more enormous, it ought to be ascer.
tained by stronger evidence.” him to Cambridge, I recommend Tri
If ingratitude, then, from one man nity College ; if to Oxford, Christ
to another who, perhaps, is almost inChurch, and I rather prefer the latter.
different to him in other respects, exI am, dear Sir, with the greatest respect and esteem, your most obedient, bestowed, is to be thus stigmatised,
cepl on account of some small favour obliged, and faithful humble servant,
what ought our sentiments of his guilt J. DAVIES.
to be who can coolly and deliberately P.S. I must now inform you that set down to vilify, by every possible an alteration has been inade these means, the character and worth of aoholidays in our system. That instead other, to whom, perhaps, he is entirely of what were called the “Bacchus indebted for nearly his all, nay, to Verses,” shewn up on Shrove Tues- whom he owes the very weapons which day, a composition is set, to be done in he now so basely and cowardly makes the holidays, and brought by the boys use of against his greatest benefactor ? at their coming, -an 120 or 130 good Charges, illiberal as they are unjust, verses, I hope ; whereas before, they have not unfrequently been made used to make 3, 4, or 500 indifferent against the system of education pursued
I must also in a more authori- in our Universities. These 'accusatative tone, as master, represent to you tions very often originate, too, from (as I have done to the parents of all their own members; from persons my upper boys and others), the great who, brought up and cherished in the hindrance to their improvement, occa- fostering bosom of Alma Mater, have sioned by their long stay after the ho- derived from her, almost solely, all the lidays. I therefore must desire that powers which they possess to traduce your son may come the middle of the and vilify her. Their insinuations 2d week at farthest. The school opens against her gain more ground, and are the 7th of January. The assistant more readily credited, as coming from inasters have been desired by me to men who, long resident within her write on this point to their respective sacred walls, have had sufficient oppupils, but to a great many, as I now portunities to become acquainted with, do to you, I have written myself.- and sufficient leisure and abilities to The composition mentioned above, is investigate and describe to the world very reasonably required to be done in her learning and her morals. What, the holidays, as there is now no repeti- then, can we predicate of those men tion task.
who, in their juvenile years, have eu
joyed every benefit arising from her Mr. URBAN, Kellington, May 9. extensive libraries, her learned profes
TO of the mind has been sors; and not unfrequently censured than Ingratitude. There is, mense incomes and emoluments; beindeed, sufficient reason for looking on sides, have imbibed from her pure those that can return evil for good, fountains the first draughts of every and repay kindness and assistance with species as well of literary as of scientific hatred or neglect, as corrupted beyond knowledge ; but who, in more adthe common degree of wickedness : vanced life, have dared to shoot the nor will he, who has once been clearly most envenomed arrows from the very detected in acts of injury to his bene- bows with which she herself had furfactor, deserve to be numbered among nished them; who, from her favourite social beings-he has endeavoured to sons, on whom she had deigned to
1997.) Defence of the English Universities.
389 shower down her choicest favours, and which seems to have attracted have become, in return, the severest much notice, issued from the juvenile traducers and calumniators of their pen of an Oxonian, who, though in kindly-fostering mother? What can after - life not much distinguished for we possibly say of such men as these? his depth of erudition or critical reShould we not necessarily accuse them, search, certainly claims, with justice, and accuse them with justice too, of a very respectable rank as a pleasing the blackest ingratitude, and that em- and instructive writer on moral and ployed against their kindest benefac- literary subjects. He describes with ior, who, in their tender years, amply minute exactness, several of the trifling supplied them with every means by circumstances which he asserts took which, had they been used with com- place in his parent University, in the mon prudence and discretion, their arduous examination for Bachelor's and future lives might have been rendered Master of Arts' degree. He holds out good, perhaps eminent, and, at all all these, as far as his abilities permit events, some way or other useful to him, to what he conceives to be the society? Have not the first rudiments just contempt and ridicule of the world. of Theology, of Law, and of Physic He forbears, he tells us, to enter into a been, in nine instances out of ten, more minute description of such conimbibed in those distinguished seats of temptible minutiæ. In consequence learning? Is not the State indebted of this neglect in having these exercises to one or other of these seminaries, for properly and rigorously performed acher most sagacious ministers, and her cording to the intention of their first most distinguished legislators and law- sounders, and suffering them thus to yers, who have excelled either in eru. be slurred over by boasted pretence dition or eloquence? To what, then, and form, he insinuates that all good are we originally indebted for those and sound learning has nearly ceased noble institutions to the best, cer- to exist in this once-celebrated seat of tainly, of all buman causes to the the muses. He concludes, also, that propagation of the Christian religion. indolence and dissipation have in a • It is to the piety of Christians that great measure usurped the place of vi. we owe the venerable foundations of gorous discipline and useful knowledge. schools and colleges. It was the love He observes, “ that after all the of Christ which taught those towers to pompous ostentation and profuse exrise on the banks of the Cam and the pense which takes place here, the pubIsis, which have preserved learning and lic has not, of late at least, been inlearned works through the ignorance debted for the great improvements in of the darkest ages of superstition and science and learning to all the Doctors, bigotry, and to them we perhaps are both the Proctors, nor to all the heads also indebted, in a great measure, for of Colleges and Halls laid together, the learning which at present exists in That populous university, London, and the world," as well as for the first that region of literary labour, Scotland, principles and tenets which have so have seized almost every palm of schomuch tended to increase the knowledge lastic honour, and left the sons of Oxof the Arts and Sciences, and which ford and Cambridge to enjoy substanhave led the way to the application of tial comforts in the smoke of the comthem to some of the most extensive mon or combination room. The burand useful improvements in manufac- sar's books are the only manuscripts of tures, and in the arts connected with any value produced in many Colleges : them, for which the present age is so and the sweets of pensions, exhibitions, much distinguished. It has been ob- fines, fellowships, and petty officers, served, that “ infidels, educated in are the chief objects of academical Christian countries, owe what learn- pursuit." The author of these aspering they have to Christianity, and act sions no longer exists. Peace to his the part of those brutes which, when ashes. But I would seriously ask any they have sucked the dam, turn about impartial observer, and who is suffiand strike her.” Such is nearly the ciently acquainted with the politics case with the vilifiers and accusers of and pursuits of the University of Oxour Universities.
ford, to whom those pensions, exhibiThe first attack directed against the tions, fines, fellowships, and petty offimode of discipline and manner of edu- ces are usually awarded ?
Are they cation pursued in these establishments, not assigned, as their original founders
(May, no doubt intended, as rewards for lite- mits; his curiosity is not roused, the rary exertion, for scientific knowledge, spirit of discovery is not awakened." for regular moral conduct, and assi. Little must that man be acquainted duous application? The allotinent of with the nature and extent of a Senatethese emoluments may, I hope, in house examination in that University, most Colleges (I know that it necessa- who does not feelingly know that every rily must in several) be regulated upon nerve of invention, and every spirit of this principle. What can possibly add discovery must be awakened and exmore vigour and energy to an inge- erted to its highest pitch by every comnuous mind in the pursuit of know- petitor for academic honours, and that, ledge of any kind, than the immediate too, on almost every subject of scien- prospect of honour and emolument, tific investigation. The examinations, certainly consequent upon their suc. also, are real, and the respective mecessful labours? The efficacy of the rits of each individual candidate are ascause is, for the most part, in some certained and rewarded, as far as hudegree at least, coinmensurate with man imperfections will allow, with the effect. That mode of education the utmost accuracy and precision. then is certainly by no means to be Having myself been a resident memindiscriminately censured which has ber of that ancient seminary for many reared a Bacon, a Locke, a Halley, a years, the truth of this
staternent, I am, Boyle, a Tickel, and an Addison. from experience, sufficiently enabled That abuses should imperceptibly creep to confirm and establish. The
quesin, and through a lapse of ages dete- tions proposed, alsu, in these exariorate the best regulated establishments, minations being annually published, must necessarily be the lot of all hu- furnish ample means for establishing man institutions. What errors exist. the just censure, or approbation, of a ed, and to what extent they tended to discerning public. vitiate the system of education pursued This last charge, we have every in the University of Oxford at the time reason to believe, emanated from a the above writer was resident within Professor of Natural Philosophy in a her walls, I pretend not to say. That celebrated seminary of learning and they were not many, or such as to in- science, situated in an adjoining counfluence materially juvenile pur- try, and who was not, most probably, suits, or retard the future progress of very accurately acquainted with the any of the sons of Isis, we may safely pursuits, or the method of forwarding conclude from the number of still ex- these pursuits, generally used in our isting characters (who were most pro- English Universities. On that acbably contemporaries with him, and count, therefore, he is certainly not subject to the same mode of discipline), chargeable with ingratitude in the who are at present an ornament and same degree as the former calumniator. honour to themselves, to their profes. He, perhaps, too vainly thought that sions, to their parent University, and by exalting the younger, he should be to the State in general.
enabled more effectually to depress the Amid all the din of obloquy on older sister. academical establishments with which A recent and perhaps still more viwe have of late been so forcibly stunned, rulent and illiberal attack has lately -though Oxford may, perhaps, have been directed against the University of had the greatest cause of complaint, Cambridge by one of her own offyet the University of Cambridge has spring-by a favourite son whom she not been less assailed by the coarse and had dignified with her highest hodeafening clainour of illiterate malig- nours. What a return for all her innity, than by tones which, it is no dif- dulgences !—what a scene of iogratificult matter to perceive, can only be tude is here displayed ! But let us the effect of cultivation and refinement. still be cool, and enquire a little further It has been insinuated in a well-known whether any probable existing circumperiodical publication, not more cele- stances can be found which may, in brated for its extensive circulation than any measure, palliate such a torrent of for the ability and talent with which invective. The charge alluded to, made it is conducted, that in the system of its appearance in a late number of the education established at Cambridge, London Magazine, under the signature “ the invention finds no exercise ; the of “Senior Wrangler." This, as every student is confined within narrow li- one in the least acquainted with the
391 University must necessarily know, is which he himself gives us, of his prithe most distinguished scientific ho- mary examination by the late Dean of nour, and generally leads to the most Carlisle. Thus prepared, then, and responsible literary and lucrative situa. by the recommendation of that worthy tions which Alma Mater has in her dignitary, he becomes a member of power to bestow. This writer, we Queen's. He is hospitably received have every reason to believe, was really within her walls under the care of a honoured with that pre-eminent de- tutor not more known and admired gree, upon his taking his Bachelor's. for the elegance of his taste in ancient With the brightest prospects, then, for geometry, than for the kindness and his future life full' in his view, and urbanity of his manners, aud whose which were confirmed nearly to cer- many acts of candid advice for the retainly by the earnest which his kind, gulation of his conduct in College, fostering mother had already given and whose gratuitous instructions on him, he spurns with the utmost peevish- many literary subjects more immeness the almost offered boon, kicks his diately connected with the studies of dam, leaves the University, and arro- the place, the writer of this, though gantly throws himself upon the world. not his pupil, still remembers with In this busy and active scene, so far heartfelt sentiments of gratitude and different in its pursuits, its manuers respect. How long he remained a reand customs, to what he had been sident of this hospitable mansion, for some time habituated in academic where every opportunity was amply retirement, he meets, as might have afforded him of improving his moral been naturally expected, with nothing and religious, as well as his intellecbut disappointment. He turns away tual and literary powers, I do not refrom it with disgust, and unjustly lays collect that he tells us. However, the sole blame of his failure upon the through some unaccountable freak (and place, and the imperfect mode of edu- 10 such he seems to have been very cation used there, and by which he subject during his earlier part of his had been previously instructed. Let life), and before he took his Bachelor's us take a short view of his life, as he degree, he removes to Trinity. His relates it himself, and then enquire finances were already by no means whether such important and gross adequate to his expenses; yet led by a charges can possibly be substantiated. mistaken ambition, he quits a respect
Our “ Senior Wrangler," we have able, for a certainly more arduous and every reason to believe, is a native of a expensive situation. He might have distant northern county. In those re- been comfortably settled in either of mote parts, public seminaries abound. these establishments; in each, his reIn one or other of these establish- sources were more than sufficient, had ments—though certainly none of them they been used with common prudence are eminent for classical versification and moderation, to meet every necesor critical minutiæ-several have re- sary expenditure ; in each, though ceived the first rudiments of their edu- perhaps his " beau-ideal” of a lecture cation, who, in after-life, have shone was not fully realised—he had tutors forth as the brightest luminaries of both able and willing to remind him theology, of law, of physic, of litera- of the proper subjects of study, whether ture, and of the sciences ; though literary or scientific; he had the best perhaps, not so well calculated to form authors at hand to further his improveelegant, yet they have certainly ushered ment in those studies; and he had into the world, and sent for the pur- every thing to prevent bis reading from pose of more mature improvements to becoming rainbling and ineffective. each of our Universities, many solid, Surrounded with those advantages, and substantial, and useful classical scholars. imbued with very little of classical or Our writer, we shrewdly suspect, was historical learning, he dedicates his not educated within the walls of any time and his attention, in a great meaof those ancient foundations, and con- sure, if not exclusively, to the acquiresequently became an inmate of Cam- ment of the mathematical sciences. bridge, labouring under many heavy In these he finally succeeds; and upon and serious disadvantages. His scien- taking his degree, obtains the most tific knowledge at that time seems also distinguished honours. Here then, in not to have been very extensive, if we a small College, was a certain earnest may be allowed to credit the account of future success. Perhaps, at Trinity,