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that the old Common Law recognised As the law now stands, they may perpetual copyright. By six to five enjoy their own during the period of they were of opinion that the statute the author's life, plus seven years, of Queen Anne had destroyed this or the period of forty-two years, right. The House of Lords adopted whichever may chance to prove the the opinion of the majority, reversed longer. the decree of the Court below, and So strangely and so quickly does thus Thomson's Seasons became your the Law colour men's notions of what Seasons, my Seasons, anybody's Sea is inherently decent, that even authors

But by how slender a have forgotten how fearfully they have jority! To make it even more exciting, been abused and how cruelly robbed. it was notorious that the most eminent Their thoughts are turned in quite judge on the Bench (Lord Mansfield) other directions.

I do not suppose agreed with the minority ; but owing they will care for these old-world to the combined circumstances of his memories. Their great ininds having already, in a case practically tossing on the ocean

which pants between the same parties and re dumbly-passionate with dreams of lating to the same matter, expressed royalties. If they could only shame his opinion, and of his being not the English-reading population of the merely a judge but a peer, he was United States to pay for their literaprevented (by etiquette) from taking ture, all would be well. Whether any part, either as a judge or as they ever will, depends upon thempeer, in the proceedings. Had he not selves. If English authors will pubbeen prevented (by etiquette), who lish their books cheap, Brother Sam can say what the result might not may, and probably will, pay them a have been ?

penny a copy, or some such sum. If Here ends the story of how authors they will not, he will go on stealing. and their assignees were disinherited It is wrong, but he will do it. by mistake, and forced to content them says,” observes an American writer, selves with such beggarly terms of “that he was born of poor but honest enjoyment as a hostile legislature doles parents. I say, Bah!” out to them.

AUGUSTINE BIRRELL.

a

" He

105

SOCIAL OXFORD.1

was

a

on

Why is it so difficult to write a book poetry have a sad knack of getting on life at the Unirersities ? Appa confounded in the mists of memory. rently because the writer will in each Mr. Stedman's book is of another type. case be describing some one portion He has gathered together in a single only of that which is essentially diverse volume the contributions of men, the and many-sided. The reader, if he be majority of whom have only just ceased a University man, instinctively dis to be undergraduates, and who theresents from the author, probably be fore naturally attempt to paint Oxford cause another aspect of the common from the standpoint of the underlife is brought before him, quite dif graduate The scheme is large and ferent from that which he knew so comprehensive, but the execution much well. One who, like the present less so. There are some chapters which writer, has returned after some years

to a resident in Oxford are doubtless absence to the Oxford which once interesting, such as that of Mr. Gent

so familiar, feels certain on the religious life, or of Mr. Wells strangeness, not only in the contem on the Final Classical School. But porary phases of its existence, but also the book is full of small inaccuracies : in the books which are written to the table of requirements at the various describe them. There have lately af colleges is not always up to date, nor peared two works on the life of the is it even consistent in different parts University city. One of these is written of the work : some of the essays are by a gentleman who knows the cricket in deplorably bad taste; while that field perhaps better than any other the social condition of Oxford, arena of academic fame: the second is written by the editor, is one of the a collection of essays published under most astounding productions which the editorship of a Mr. Stedman. Both has ever yet served to travesty the of these are in the highest degree life it professes to delineate. disappointing. Dr. Pycroft seems to But it would be waste of space and err through a certain failure of the time to pursue the lucubrations of critical faculty: he is what the lite Mr. Stedman. His aim, despite his rary cant of the day calls a Realist, high-sounding title, is in reality a very which means only that he has not the

limited one. It is to give a passing sepse of proportion, that he does not picture of some of the phases of the know what to tell and what to con young barbarian life, without any ceal. His book is a marvellous com regard for, or knowledge of, that pendium of stories, containing little general social life from which proceed that is new and much which may fer some of the most striking characterisvently be hoped never to have been tics of contemporary Oxford. true,-a hope which casts no slur on An interesting essay might perhaps the writer's good faith, for truth and

be written with the title of or Oxford

at balf-past seven in the evening." The 11. Oxford Memories : a Retrospect after

fashionable hour for dinner transports Fifty Years ; by Rev. J. Pycroft. Two volumes : us to the inner side of the life of that London, 1886.

married tutor whom Mr. Stedman 2. Oxford : its Life and Schools. Edited by A. M. Stedman, M.A., assisted by Members

suffers with such contemptuous conof the University. London, 1887.

descension. No phrase is more common

in our day than that Oxford is in a has made a social blunder. He should transitional stage. Used in the majority talk rather of the latest production of of instances of the intellectual life of the London theatre, or of the picture the University, it is no less true of galleries, neither of which he has prothe social life. The Fellows of colleges bably visited, and the last thing that who meet round their social board in he should reveal to the lady to whom the college halls cannot, even in their he has given his arm is the fact that moments of relaxation, shake them he is a Don and a teacher of underselves entirely free of the interests of graduates. Or possibly our visitor their morning's work. Nor yet can may find his way to some fashionable the dinner-parties, which are so plenti dinner table, where he sits between a ful during term time, keep themselves very worldly lady of the metropolis, unspotted from some of the colours and and a titled fledgling who has recently hues of the academic life from which come up to the University. His eye they spring. Still, Oxford is making will wander round costumes which bear great struggles in this respect, and the marks of Parisian manufacture, though the result is sometimes incon and he will see but rarely those gruous, the intention is clearly to appalling vestments which represent transport itself into an atmosphere the aesthetic yearnings of the Parks. more worldly, more cosmopolitan, There is every grade in this era of more urbane. Thus if the intellec social transition. Now our visitor will tual life be represented as travers feel that the Thames between its ing a transitional stage from the London bridges has poured its turbid older classical and theological studies waters into the primitive and archaic to the newer interests of science simplicity of the Isis : anon he will be and literature, so too the social life reminded of the fact that it is only may be represented as passing from the within recent years that a sudden old academic provincialism to the tone plague of married tutors has rendered and manners of a fashionable metro the evening parties so constant and so politan existence. Naturally then the irritating a tax on strictly limited Oxford dinner-party will represent incomes. nearly every phase between the two The married Fellow is not only an extremes. If, for instance, one were to important factor of Oxford society, visit the Parks at half-past seven, one but in a sense he actually dominates might easily find a small diuner-party it and indeed gives the reason for its of eight or ten, consisting mainly of existence. Before his

appearance,

there tutors and their wives. The subjects was here and there a professorial houseof conversation would be, in the case hold, or the domestic hearth of some of the males, the success of their pupils College Head. But such elements were in examinations, or the last measures kept strictly in academic subordinaof Convocation : in the case of the tion, and wore an apologetic air, as females, it would be an interesting dis- though they knew they were out of cussion of the faults and failings of place. There might be, for instance, their servants. But let our imaginary sitting in state in a sparely-furnished visitor

pass

from the suburbs more to drawing-room, an old gentleman with the interior. He might then find two elderly sisters and some chance himself partaking of a banquet of visitor, whose united conversation was many courses, graced with the presence limited to a visit which they had of some more or less distinguished once paid in long distant ages to strangers, who are famous, or said to be Yorkshire. Such was the type of famous, in their comparatively unknown old University society. It has now lines. If the conversation tends here had to yield to roof-trees and and there to be academic, the author of olive branches innumerable northsuch guilty provincialism feels that he ward of St. Giles, so that the Parks,

can

be seen,

in which their perambulators roam in of hansoms and omnibuses, they use the morning hours, are converted into their own legs, or even, in a few cases, one gigantic nursery.

And other the shameless tricycle. But the spirit families have in consequence migrated

is the same.

As one meets them in into Oxford, drawn thither by the the morning, somewhere about nine schools which the married Fellow has o'clock, hurrying beneath the mutirendered inevitable : families belong lated elms which now fail to hide the ing to retired civilians or officers of erubescent horror of Keble, one might the Army, loosely connected with the interrogate them on their mission, barracks on Bullingdon : families in and be told that they were going which the father, having 10 settled down to "their office.” occupation, is forced to busy himself Meanwhile the married tutor is unwith city-politics or with sighing after doubtedly living in a sort of fool's paraan honorary degree: families barely dise. What is eventually to become of tolerated by the stricter academicians, him, no one knows or thinks it worth and, in retaliation, courting the county while to reflect. As he surveys his families who despise the dinner-tables increasing progeny, does he never count of the tutor.

the
grey

hairs which are showing The agent in all this social change themselves on his temples, and wonder has also had a notable influence on the what will be done with him when he life of the colleges. The married tutor is past his work?

Or does he conhas broken up much of the con sole himself with the chance of getting viviality of Common-room ; for where a professorship, or even the headship some ten or fifteen used to meet of a house, spectatus satis et donatus together, there now

jam rude? But the problem is even gloomily hurrying over their daily more formidable for the colleges; for dishes, a miserable handful of deserted the success of a college is largely bachelors. He has rendered the disci dependent on the possibility of constant pline of the colleges a somewhat replenishment by new blood, and the perfunctory affair, there being so married tutor must inevitably block few officers left within the gates. the

way.

Either with Spartan Above all, he has transformed the severity 'the college must bid him conception of tutorial and collegiate resign,

resign, or else weakly comply with his work. It used to be more or less of a appeal to be left alone for this year personal intercourse with pupils; the also. The colleges are indeed trying tutor living amongst those whom he had to establish retiring pensions; but to teach, always at hand to be consulted, such things do not grow rapidly, and if if necessary, or to punish, should that a sudden edict were now to compel all prove to be his duty. Doubtless there married Fellows to retire, too many used to be some shirking of these of them would have to face the inpossibly disagreeable tasks; still, such teresting question of how to support was the conception universally enter their families

fifteen tained, and the ideal set before men's twenty pounds a year. eyes. It was inevitable, when tutors The advantages which are supposed went to live in the Parks, that such a to compensate for all drawbacks in the notion of their responsibilities should married tutors' scheme are generally be discarded. Their work is now a reckoned under two heads. In the business; and they go down to it in old state of things, clever young the morning, just as city men go down men drifted away to London after to theirs, returning to their homes as obtaining their Fellowships, because the evening shadows begin to gather (or it was not worth their while to sooner), after the fashion of their metro remain under conditions which were politan prototypes. The mode of con monastic, and therefore celibate. By veyance is indeed different, for instead allowing Fellows to marry a direct

on

some

or

encouragement is given to the desire but really difficult task of putting to remain in the University, to do their guests at their ease. The task work for the college to which a man is just as difficult when the hostess may be attached, and to have, in short, has to welcome youthful Fellows of the prospect of a career.

Unfortu Colleges, for the young Don somenately a career is exactly that which times has a supreme contempt for the is not given by the scheme, for it is of wives of his married colleagues. no use to encourage a man to marry Hardest of all perhaps to deal with unless the hope is held out to him of a are the young ladies who come from steady increase of income. But the the Somerville and Lady Margaret married Fellow will earn no more at Halls. Oxford is now getting accusfifty years of age than he does at tomed to these damsels of the higher twenty-five; while the cbances are that education, for they are to be found the expenses of his household will be alike in the lecture-room and the exactly doubled during the interval, drawing-room. And very charming and his Fellowship, owing to agricul doubtless they are ; still, a bachelor tural depression, be probably repre may perhaps be pardoned if he finds sented by a steadily diminishing quan them somewhat irrepressible, and, if tity. The other advantage remains possible, more socially difficult than although it is one of which it is the average undergraduate. difficult to estimate the precise value. And what of the undergraduate It is, of course, the social value of himself ? Has he changed from the the tutorial household, the value of more ancient type ? Has he degenefeminine culture, both to bachelor Fel rated, or has he improved? If any lows and to undergraduates. Bachelor tradesman in Oxford were asked these Fellows, however, do not appear to questions, there can be no doubt about estimate such adornments of their his reply. He would be eager to tell his collegiate existence so highly as they interlocutor that the present race of doubtless should : at all events, bache students are not by any means the lor Fellows are just those whom one same sort of “gentlemen

as they used most rarely meets at dinner-parties, to be ten or fifteen years ago. But the unless they good-naturedly consent feeling of the tradesman has reference to fill a vacant chair at the last rather to the scarcity of money than moment. The advantage to under to any essential change in feelings graduates is probably greater; but

or habits. These are the days of then it requires nothing less than ready money and its prices, where used genius on the part of the lady of to be the days of long credit and exthe house to entertain them well. travagant charges. The shopkeeper The young men themselves do not has to content himself with quick always look happy at an evening returns, and knows that his cusparty, for indeed it is no light matter tomer will be sure to ask him for a to stand in a crowd, to balance a discount for cash. It is a commonplace tea-cup, and to make one's self agree to assert that every age appears dege. able to a lady in a chair some feet nerate to its contemporaries : the halo below the level of one's face. Some of the golden era crowns only the undergraduates are fond of feminine memories of the past. In all probaattentions, over a cup of tea or after bility the young academician of the dinner ; but the majority seem to present day is quite as good as his prefer masculine society, either at their predecessor. Yet certainly there has clubs, at the Union, or in their own been some change in external characrooms. The person to be admired and teristics. Time was when from Merton praised on such occasions is the bostess, College and University College, and and there are one or two in Oxford the Canterbury gate of Christchurch, who shine in the apparently simple there issued a stream of zealous Nim

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