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dinary supplementary professors and valuable time in disturbing it. Of private lecturers, whose laurels will not course, while the majority of residents allow our reformers to sleep, have no are so young, and while the colleges genius in particular: they are simply continue to manage their own property, meritorious hewers of wood and drawers it is convenient that there should be one of water in the temple of the Muses ; person in college besides the Bursar they advance knowledge because it is who knows something about that subtheir métier.
ject, but an average of twelve hundred It is known that the University a year is rather a high price to pay for of Oxford as distinguished from the the convenience. If the senior tutor, colleges is not very rich, and such or the tutors in rotation, had an extra resources as it has are rather waste couple of hundred a year for presiding fully administered : much is frittered in college meetings, the one 'indispenaway in capricious benefactions for semi sable duty which a head does now ecclesiastical purposes; more (it will would be done better, and the college surprise and edify outsiders to learn would have a revenue available for how much) in providing non-existent exhibitions to clever men whose want students of natural science with all of early training kept them from scholarkinds of luxurious superfluities of ships, and for rewarding the educational study. The disposable wealth of Ox staff, who are certainly underpaid. ford practically consists of the stipends Notwithstanding this it would not surof non-resident fellows and of heads of prise me if the Rectors, Masters, Prohouses, who of course are resident. It vosts, Presidents, and Wardens retained is a proof of the value of keeping up their incomes to the end of the chapter appearances that the outside world has by the assiduous discharge of custodial, not yet begun to suspect that the reve prepositorial, presidential, rectorial, and nues of resident heads are more com magisterial functions. pletely wasted than those of non-resi With the exception of what is absorbed dent fellows. The head of a house by the heads, and of what at some colhas no intelligible duty whatever ex leges has been reserved for the claims cept that of presiding in college meet of poverty or local connection, the reings : for discharging this he is im venues of the colleges are spent in mensely overpaid, and without any tempting hopeful young men to continue fault of his own he discharges this very their education, and postpone their enbadly. In the first place, no college trance into active life, up to three or four likes to give itself a master; and if it is or five and twenty. The system works betrayed into doing so by admiration in this way. At eighteen, or more comfor distinction and ability, the fellows monly at nineteen, not unfrequently at find out their mistake in time to assert twenty, the student obtains an open their independence. The normal head scholarship, tenable for five years, if he is either a dignified person, who would resides so long. He is practically pledged like if he could to govern upon prin- to read for honours, and unless singularly ciples which he knows the college will clever or industrious, he runs a serious not sanction, or an intelligent, perhaps risk by going up for his degree under a distinguished person, who is content four years, which brings us at once to to reign and take his chance of leading. two or three and twenty. Besides, if he Most heads rather than be idle occupy gets a decent degree, he is sure of three themselves with much needless corre or four pupils among the junior men he spondence with fussy parents, which, knows, and he has a year of his scholarwhen it produces any effect at all, does ship to run, so that he is money in pocket harm by persuading a class of well-con by staying on in Oxford to the last; and nected idlers that they confer a favour while he stays, he has more time, more upon the University by condescending taste, more opportunity for reading than to pass two or three years of their he ever will have again. So much for
the average scholar of the average col. without them. Even without this work lege, who is supposed to be capable of of supererogation, to master the text of nothing beyond the very moderate at his books and to assimilate the traditainments required for a safe second, tional view of the other subjects of the which in his case certainly do imply six curriculum, supplies occupation for four hours' honest work a day for four years. years. And his education is not com
Now for the crême de la crême, the pleted yet; he has still from one to three score or two of men who get firsts, or years to spend in reading for a fellowwho ought to get them, and who do ship. He comes under this obligation sooner or later get fellowships. It might as follows: No college can venture to be said that the whole of Oxford really repeat the University examination with exists for them : the teachers exist for the preposterous pretension of enforcing them, since they are the only pupils a higher standard. Accordingly, though who can be said seriously to learn any the range of examination for a degree is thing; the other students exist for them, so wide that very few students could and almost seem to have come to Oxford fill it up by their own reading without to learn the superiority of their success the help of oral tradition, the range of ful competitors. It does not follow that examination for a fellowship is of necesthe system is bad because it avowedly sity wider still, and may be said to preculminates in the few prize examinees suppose a general acquaintance with the that are bred every year : we all believe philosophy of history, and the history that the final cause of the British Con of philosophy and art. Besides, knowstitution is to put twelve men into a ledge is sufficient for a first; for a fellow jury-box to acquit Kelly and settle ship it is necessary to have the faculty the title to the Tichborne estates. of forming and expressing an opinion, Let us admit for the moment that and highly desirable to show something a spiritual and intellectual institute, which may be taken for rudimentary if it is to be worthy of the name, thought. After his success he has still can never be truly democratic, that it to pass a year in Oxford, and this year must always do much for the few is available for completing and digesting and little for the many, and then we the body of ideas which have been shall be able to examine without preju gathering round him for the last six or dice what is the effect of this costly and seven years. elaborate machine upon its limited and Now at last he has to decide the normal product. When our first-class question of his future, unless the position man has taken his degree at two or three of his father decides it for him ; if he has and twenty, he has read more or less of not the near prospect of a seat in Parliatwelve classical authors, so as to translate ment, he has to settle whether he will any part of them at sight, and he is stay in Oxford as a teacher, or go to the capable of reading the rest intelligently; Bar, or take a mastership or a curacy. he is very tolerably grounded in the Up to this point the training and inoutlines of Greek history from Homer to terests of all have been the same, they Demosthenes, of Roman history from have stimulated each other, they have Romulus to Domitian; he has a tolerable criticised each other, they have kept up acquaintance with the course of Greek a constant exchange of ideas and inforspeculation from Thales to Epictetus; mation. And this of itself is a very be knows, generally at the hand, the considerable advantage of the present results of British psychology. Very state of things. But for the system of probably he has learnt to think and fellowships, the men who go to London write upon all these subjects in terms of at twenty-six would go at twenty-one. the philosophy adopted by his “coach;” What keeps them is the prospect of but though he for the most part under being made unnaturally comfortable till stands his fine phrases pretty well, it is they are thirty cr even thirty-five, and probable that he would have done better the certainty that if they do fail in
practical life and the delay in beginning forced to decide principaily by the exdoes not increase their chance of success), amination, because, if it set its heart they will be secure from the most pain upon electing tutors, it would have no ful consequences of failure. What they guarantee of keeping them. And the gain by staying is very different from tutor himself is a different man for hav. the motive which makes them stay; ing had the option of active life open to they gain the academic temper, the him to the last, as the barrister is a temper of the New Academy, the tem different man for having had the option per which is familiar with all ideas, and of lettered ease so long. It is to this is not subjugated by any; which has long intercourse that we owe the inlearnt to act freely and consistently tellectual continuity of the best English without needing at every turn the society, while in other countries, and in support or restraint of mechanical cer none more than in Germany, the lettered tainties, such as traditions supply or class stands aloof contemptuously both majorities manufacture, which is dis- from the Philistine bourgeoisie and the interested enough to look upon all sides feudal aristocracy. of a question because it can bear inde In attempting to describe the formacision. This temper is not learnt in the tion of Oxford society, one naturally world. Men who have begun life young, finds that one has anticipated much of and have been practically useful by hard what there is to say about its character. work, often retain an enlightened in- Those who compose it have acquired terest in the highest questions; but in one from their education the habit of openthing their zeal is hardly ever according mindedness; they have an interest in to knowledge. When a new view or a new ideas because they have no direct intheory comes before them, they begin dividual interest in life; they teach with the question which ought to come each other through their daily interlast; they ask at once : Is it true? They course how to admit, and an art in are impatient to affirm or deny. Con which the German learned are painsidering the indefinite number of impor- fully deficient—the art how not to tant things of which we know little at insist. Perhaps these may seem little all times, and considering the way in things, but they are not without their which they are pressing upon us now, usefulness; they are certainly not withit may be thought as desirable to leaven out their influence. Before we tax the English life with a little of this spirit Universities with barrenness, we should as to maintain a well-to-do duke, and remember that twice within a generation even under the present wasteful system they have launched a theology upon it hardly costs so much.
England. After all, books are a means, Those who stay in Oxford gain at not an end : if the Universities had least as much as they give by their written enough to fill the Bodleian and contact with the birds of passage. It Fitzwilliam libraries twice over, they is the birds of passage who make the could but have influenced thought. competition for fellowships a reality : if it were not for them, though the form “Sunt bona, sunt quædam mediocria, sunt
mala plura of examination might be observed, the
Quæ legis hæc, aliter non fit, avite, liber." appointment would practically be made by the tutors, who would think chiefly It is a great mistake to ascribe the of selecting an useful colleague and superior productivity of the German successor. Fellows would be appointed Universities exclusively to their superior younger, and the reduced interval be- industry and consequent superiority in tween their degree and their election learning. There are German books would not be available for general read which are used at Oxford because no ing; it would suit the candidate better Oxford man could have written them; to acquire a precocious reputation as a there are many German books which successful teacher. As it is, a college is or have been read there because
No. 148.-TOL. XXV.
books on the subject are wanted, and worse; there, as there are no commonfew Oxford men would write on a sub rooms, a professor is probably freer when ject on which they could not write better. he has married a housekeeper than What a learned and methodical person while he has to do battle with a landwrites is sure to be useful, and such a lady: and even in Germany domestic person, if industrious, can write a great interests are generally admitted to have deal, if he will only write upon the given an official tone to the teaching of German conditions, if he will consent the professoriate upon more subjects than to be often trite and often rash, to one. It is equally vain to promise that conceive many things crudely and to if we once make the profession of an express most things heavily, to say Oxford tutor half as good for a family much that the reader could have said man as that of a Rugby master, the for himself, and sometimes, rather than tutor will proceed to choose a line of say nothing, resign himself to say what study and to make discoveries: there is unmeaning
are men in Oxford now quite able and But though it is necessary to sit loose willing to add to our knowledge withto all ideas except the highest, if one is out waiting to be married; it would be to make the best of them, it must not quite sufficient to relieve them of pass be forgotten that there is only one step lectures (which might be done either by from sitting loose to ideas to turning eliminating pass-men
- that is, twoaway from the ideal altogether, and be thirds of the undergraduates-or turncoming absorbed in the pursuit of prac- ing them over to pass-coaches). It may tical interests and the comforts of do be taken for granted that when they are mestic life. Celibacy is not necessarily married, most of them will have to do a school of purity; it is certainly not in like other married men in an expensive itself a school of self-denial, but it is country, and take all the remunerative always a school of detachment and of work that they can fairly do. idealism. The bachelor has given no To sum up what I have to say upon hostages to fortune; he can afford to a subject on which I feel strongly, though follow an idea wherever it leads; he is I speak lightly, there is no doubt that always restless, always dissatisfied. sinecure fellowships are an abuse, that When a man has learnt to make the the indefinite celibacy of college tutors reflection of his own warm hearth his is a hardship. No system can work guiding-star, he has no need to wander healthily under the burden of a conin search of a glimpse of the light which fessed abuse, of an admitted hardship. never was on sea or land; he may prize But that system has spread and is it, but to him it is a luxury: to the spreading through England a free-mabachelor, if he is in any sense a child sonry of critics of all ideas, of connoisof light, some gleams of it are a neces seurs of all knowledge. It would be a sity. At present, Oxford is in the main great pity if this were to disappear and a society of celibates, but already it has leave nothing but a thriving group of ceased to be so exclusively. Already busy, sociable, finishing schoolmasters in the distractions of croquet are added to its place. At the rate at which things those of whist, and afternoon tea as well move in England, University reformers as common-room curtails the hours of have at least three years before thein study; if the virtuous seductions of the to elaborate a scheme for utilizing the nursery are superadded to these tempta revenues which they overrate, and the tions, we can but tremble for the result. prestige which they underrate in orgaIt is in vain that the reformers endeavour nizing a learned order, which will leave to reassure us by pointing to Germany: the world no reason to regret the diletthere the country is poor, the charge of tante culture of a family less, the position of women
A SINECURE FELLOW.
THE LICENSING QUESTION IN SWEDEN.
One afternoon the proprietor of the the subject, and would be glad enough general store of a Californian mining to see no disturbance of the status quo; town was contentedly conning his ledger, but the people who have ideas about it when a stranger, evidently much excited have pushed the question into such and in earnest, came hurriedly in, and prime importance that elections of memstartled him with, “D'you know what bers of Parliament have begun to turn danger you're in what a risk you're upon the single point, whether a candirunning?" "No." "Just come outside, date will support the Permissive Bill of then, and see." And leading the surprised the Alliance enthusiasts, or looks with a grocer to the doorway, he pointed to a friendly eye upon the publicans. Matters keg standing there, on which the super- having reached this pitch, it is clear that, scription, "whiskey," had been written if only for peace and quiet's sake, and on the first bit of cardboard that had come to save our political sense from distorto hand, which happened to be a deuce tion, something must be done, and at of clubs. “ Reckon you see
But by whom? Not long ago it No? Why, some fellow might just come happened, on one of our railways, that along with the three, and take it !” an old gentleman got out of the express
The conduct of the excited gentleman during its five minutes' halt, leaving all in the story was simply owing to his his impedimenta in the carriage. The having lived in such an atmosphere of five minutes expired, the express began “poker” and “euchre,” that he had to move, but the old gentleman had not come to look at everything from a card returned to his seat; whereupon two player's point of view. He is only an fussy, well-intentioned passengers, asexaggerated specimen of that large class suming that he was left bebind, proof people who, having taken up with ceeded to toss his umbrella, rug, hat-box, some one crotchet, twist it into spectacles and carpet-bag out of the window. The through which to regard all other human last and heaviest article was barely out interests. Where the crotchet for the of their hands and dancing on the plattime being is a political or social ques- form, when, from the window of the next tion, such people are sure to make them compartment, a face purple with indigselves felt, and may, if they are on the nation looked out, and propounded right side, do good service to their cause; the hopelessly unanswerable question, for they have all the obstinacy and other “What do you mean by throwing my advantages of enthusiasm. But the mis- luggage out of the train, pray?" Her fortune is that, while the pet question Majesty's Government might fairly put remains unsettled, they refuse altogether a somewhat similar question to the to see its real proportions relatively to various alliances, associations, and unions other questions, and treat this and that which, as if assuming Mr. Bruce not to man as a friend or foe, just according as intend returning to some modification of he does or does not ear spectacles his last year's measure, are now threatenexactly like their own.
ing Parliament with a plurality of Bills, The present position of the liquor each embodying a different scheme of question supplies an obvious illustration Licensing Reform. One party is conof this tendency. There are, probably, vinced that the remedy for existing evils
still a good many Gallios in the country is to abolish the liquor trade altogether; .. who know little, and care less, about another would seek it in a system of