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of education based on a false and untested German philosophies when they die go to scale of values. No nation possesses a
Oxford. richer heritage of literature than England. The academic treatinent of economics is This literature receives no recognition in perhaps the most instructive. The science Oxford and Cambridge. No staff of pro- is so modern, so unyielding to precise and fessors is appointed to teach it. Students priggish definitions, so amenable to pracare warned not to waste their time over tical applications ; yet it cannot be wholly Shakespeare, Milton, Shelley, Tennyson, passed over. The academic mind sniffed or Browning. What is the true reason of at it for some time, as a dog might a this neglect? It is precisely because Eng- hedgehog, touching it gingerly at this lish literature is alive with modern issues, point and that, not daring to tackle it, yet is steeped in passions of to-day that are unable to leave it alone. It has now rethe feeders of present conduct, because as duced it to an academic study. For this living subjects these do not lie still in the purpose it must secure a rigid orthodox dissecting-room of pedantic scholarship, structure. This it has sought to secure that they are forbidden subjects to the by elevating Adam Smith, Ricardo, Mill, youths who frequent our universities. and one or two more recent writers to a
French, German, Italian are still living position they neither claimed nor deserved languages and literatures, and as such are as authoritative exponents of a cut-andto be discouraged. You must climb to dried logical system. Here appears a them over all sorts of unnecessary barriers. paradox. The academic mind is prone to According to academic authority you must excess of caution. This very caution bas first thoroughly protect yourself by a bred rashness in economics.
In the nathorough grounding in the philologic study' ture of things it is grossly improbable that of “ Old High, Middle High, and Low a study involving so deep and delicate a German, Gothic, or Icelandic.” To these knowledge of the changing social relations men literature means philology, the form and desires of men could be raised into a is more important than the spirit. Dead sound scientific structure in a little more languages are deliberately preferred to liv- than a century after the publication of ing—not, as is sometimes falsely assumed, “ The Wealth of Nations." Yet the acabecause the dead are better. The litera- demic mind is compelled to seem to have ture of Greece and Rome may be abso- achieved this task. Although the very lutely superior, though we have no ade- text-books which are taken as authori. quate standards of measurement. This is ties" bristle with contradiction and annot the reason why they are preferred. tagonism upon the most essential points, They are chosen because they are dead. yet by a judicious process of word-twistThe dead are safe.
ing, selection, and interpretation, a body Philosophy is essentially a speculative of dogma has been improvised into a sysand a dangerous subject ; but its name and tem presenting a specious show of conassociations are too respectable for it to sistency to the hasty observer, who is conbe ignored. It must be taught in the aca- tented not to peer too curiously behind
As it bristles with modern the scene. interests and modern questions, the text- Half their efforts are given to a ludibooks must be ancient. Plato and Aris- crous attempt to buttress up by new shifts totle are dead, their works are abstruse of language this hasty and imperfect strucand set in vexed terminology, and may be ture ; the other half are devoted to aptherefore safely studied. Hegel, Spencer, proaching the science in what is called the Schopenhauer are modern writers; their historic spirit. Though some admirable meaning is apt to break out inconveniently work has been done of this
later order by a among the conventions of polite society, few students, the bulk of it consists of to force their way into the vulgar region laborious collection and arrangement of of the practical in religion, politics and facts and figures which have no appreciable morals. The academic spirit either ignores value, either theoretic or practical, but are them or else submits them to judicious in- dull monuments of patience. This last terpretation, with the view of extracting work illustrates a peculiarly humorous any sting or incentive which may be found trait of the academic person, bis effort to there. It is this preference for devitalized be practical. His idea of being practical theories which has led to the saying that is to set aside all theory and all human
feeling, and to devote himself to a dull wise the efficient growth of society. How collection of human facts, as if these were much of individual development does this solid pebbles, to be picked up, docketed, mean require to be given up! The true and arranged as geological specimens. answer is, None ; for in the long run the Those who know the theoretic-practical freest, best-developed individual life shall man who sits on a Charity Organization only be found in the strongest and most Committee or a School Board, will recog- highly organized society. Although in niz this aspect of the academic
the inore perfect society there must needs The academic spirit turned on practical be specialization of the individual effort, affairs fails from being too purely practi- still the object and effect of such specializacal, just as in theoretic matters it fails tion will be to allow, if not an absolutely from being too purely theoretic. On the even development of individual faculties, one hand, it runs to a Mr. Langham ; on such degree of freedom and exercise of all the other, to a Mr. Gradgrind.
human capacities as sball make the indiIt is this spirit of mingled timidity and vidual life more valuable than the more superstition which has always made our evenly grown but stunted harmony possiuniversities the homes of lost causes and ble to an individual who directly seeks retrograde ideas. Many great men have self-culture, to the exclusion of public sercome out of them ; few have stayed there : vices, in a lower society like our own. no genuine progressive force of any mo- So large a question cannot be settled ment has been generated there. I have here. I name it only to lay my hand
upon tried to show why this must be so. In that inost distinctive vice of academic educational matters you have a wall of thought, excessive intellectualism. The rigid orthodoxy, a worship of authority, divorcement of knowledge from life-the and a superstitious scale of values ; in academic view of knowledge—has led to a other matters, a
66 rush of concession" preferment of certain recherché and formal and indifference-each a fatal barrier to sorts of knowledge which is the worst reenthusiasm and to healthy moral and intel- sult of excessive specialism. It involves lectual life.
not merely an upsetting of the true balThere are two evils rising from the un- ance of human activities, but a buge incaldue specialization of intellectual life. Re- culable waste of talent, perhaps of genius. move the best and ablest specimens of A single illustration will point my meanintellectual manhood from the free average ing. Visiting one of our ancient universisociety, and set them in an artificially pre- ties a little while ago, I called upon one pared atmosphere, to think and read and of the leading teachers, a man of whose write in close communion with one an- rare and extraordinary talents I had ample other, and you set up the condition known experience, a man capable by nature and in the physical world as “ in-breeding ;' early training of the finest work in almost these intellects in-breed, and with the nec- any branch of science or art to wbich he essary natural result-a sterility which should apply himself. I found this man allows no noble issue of thought or deed. devoting his time to the compilation of an This is an inevitable result of a special. elaborate treatise upon
" Some apparent ized society. Another evil result ap- anomalies in the use of un.” The title is pears in the over-specialized individual. characteristic. This scholar would not be No doubt this question of specializa- bold enough to attempt so wide a task as tion in education is a difficult one. An to write upon the laws of the Greek negaall-round harmonious development of all tive. He will deal with exceptions to human faculties is the ideal from the those laws. He will not call them by so individual standpoint. The interests of brusque and assertive a title as excepsociety demand some modification of this tions." He will prefer the terni individual ideal in favor of a social ideal, aiy.” Nor will he affirm they are real which for its attainment requires each in- anomalies. He calls them
apparent dividual to devote himself chiefly to some anomalies." Finally, he refuses the renarrower special work. True educational sponsibility of undertaking more than some progress must ever move along a line of of these ; there may be countless others compromise between this individual and of which he knows not. Hence the comthis social ideal, where the free growth of plete academic title, “ On some apparent the individual may be secured, and like- anomalies in the use of ur."
I have no desire to pose as the utter ed interest that is at war with the modern Philistine, and to declare such work use. spirit which asks for that free competition less. At certain ages and for certain men among intellectual interests, which shall such work is defensible, and its apparently give a fair and equal chance to science and slight character rightly reflects glory on to modern literatures. the student. The grammarian whom To some this squabble about Greek may Browning describes, who
seem of slight import. It is not really “ Settled “Ote's business
It is a skirmish ; the prelude of a Properly bused Otv,
larger battle—the battle of higher popular Gave us the doctrine of the enclitic de," education. Those who recognize the was a necessary worker in the discovery rapidly growing power of the people in of a new intellectual world. But this does politics and industry-above all, those who not justify a man in the forefront of mod- are professed believers in democracy—canern intellectual life in returning to such not fail to see the urgent need of some intrinsically humble work. It is an excess system of higher national education which rising straight from the academic supersti- shall make an enlightened democracy. tion. When knowledge is viewed merely The struggle of the “ baves” and the as an end, assessed with no regard to the “ have nots" is not confined to material wider issues of life, each piece of kuowl. goods. The vested interests of the inteledge comes to have an equal value with lectual classes are indeed not openly arevery other, and is beld to furnish as fine rayed against national education, but sea mental exercise in its pursuit. So you cretly and selfishly they work against it. come to men who actually pride themselves The academic” spirit is an exclusive upon the narrowness of their intellectual endeavors, to the scientist of whom O. W. The fight around the banner of Greek Holmes tells us in his delightful book, indicates this. Those who have got Greek, who expressed such genuine indignation at and have succeeded in bearing it in the being spoken of as an Entomologist, who intellectual market, do not wish to see its blushingly refused the narrow title of a value depreciated. Every parson in the Coleopterist, and felt pride to assert his land whose meagre stock of " classics" is claims to be a Scarabeist. It is easy to too often his only claim to culture, will see how this academic view of knowledge fight hard for his fetish. He is not keenmust bring an utterly false standard of nosed enough to clearly scent the larger values into education.
fight, but instinctively he feels that if Greek But in order to more fully understand goes, the narrow superstitious “ culture” the barriers to true educational advance, which has enabled him in the past to mould we must take into account what is called the higher education of the land will follow, the inertia of vested interests. I am not When Greek is relegated to its proper now alluding specially to the money en- place as a noble study of the literary few, dowments which everywhere in our coun- the road of democratic education will be try are acting as bounties in support of clearer. antiquated modes of education. It is the When John Bull sees, as he will see, narrow class interests of established educa. that the hard cash he showers upon technitional institutions and methods which are cal education (the only practical education such evil obstacles.
as he deems it) is wasted because special The Greek controversy is a case in point. skill cannot grow faster than general culThree centuries ago the disciples of the ture ; and when, moreover, he recognizes Renaissance had a hard fight to win recog- the danger of entrusting to a populace nition or even toleration for the Greek starving on the three R’s the government language and literature in our schools and of the land and the organization of its universities. All the bigotry and igno. commerce, he will perceive that some sysrance of the age were arrayed against the tem of higher education is a national need. new learning. They fought it out, Greek Now, the bearing of our analysis beand Trojan, and slowly the liberal Hellenic comes evident. A spirit which is out of culture won the day. Now, this Hellenic touch with the larger life of the comn uspirit has hardened into orthodoxy, bas nity, which severs the student from the ciuibred superstition, bas built itself among zen, which shups the free investigation of the clergy and scholars of the land a vest- human problems, wbich applies pedantic and superstitious standards of intellectual cannot entrust to an intellectual oligarchy values, which worships books and is the uncontrolled and irresponsible. slave of authority, can never do the great Just as many chainpions of religious work which is before us.
freedom have been pig-headed Tories in That it should for a moment have politics, so many political Liberals are seemed possible to entrust the higher edu- frightened at the notion of handing over cation of London to a small self-appointed education to the people. Education must, committee of irresponsible persons, bred they hold, be ordered upon an aristocratic in the narrowest educational traditions, basis. Well, in the long run, this is imeven fettered by ecclesiastical traditions, possible. All education is self-education, shows a degree of ignorance which is understanding by “self” not alone the amazing. The ideal which the true denio- individual but the social self." It is cratic university must set before it is not not enough to say we must educate our so much the labor of research, the selec- masters : they must educate themselves. tion and preparation of students who shall That is to say, higher education, as well devote their lives to some special branch as primary and technical education, will of learning, though these functions have be one of the functions of democracy. their importance. It is the citizen-stu- Academic authority, narrow autocratic dent, man and woman, that must be the superstitions cannot do this work for the chief care of the democratic university, people. The incompetence of our unimen and women who, in becoming stu- versities to properly direct so large and dents, shall not relinquish the workshop, new a work is made
amply manifest by rethe duties of the home, the duties of citi- cent experiments. The considerable measzenship, but shall continue to be at one ure of success which has attended the and the same time student, citizen, worker efforts of University Extension Movements and man.
The academic mind does not is due, not to the capacity and enlightenconceive this to be possible ; the student, inent of the universities, but to the fact it imagines, must devote the whole or that the bulk of their members are so some carefully fenced-off years of his life apathetic and so neglectful of the large to study alone. It is the fallacy, the dan- national duties which their endowments ger, the futility of this view which I am
were designed to fulfil, that they have left anxious here to enforce. The academic the administration of this work to a few mind can
never be brought to bend to less academic and more liberal-minded methods of education available to the members of their body. I only allude to workman and the citizen. The elasticity, this attitude of the universities as an illusthe spirit of thonghtful yet bold experi- tration of the temper of the academic mind ment, required for educating heterogeneous wherever it is found. The intellectually masses of workers, is repugnant to the superior person understands neither the prim conception of academic order.
need nor the proper methods of national On the other hand, the true democratic education ; but he is in power, he repreeducation conceives the best intellectual sents a sort of existing government in edulife to be impossible apart from the work- cation—a government which sadly neglects ing human life. It is one function of the its duties, but still possesses the insignia human life bearing a vital relation to the of office and blocks the way. So thorother functions, and not to be separated oughly has he succeeded in stamping on from them. The fallacy of supposing that the middle-class mind certain orthodox the rights and duties of studentship can views of education that many of our freest be left to a few—the academic aristocracy thinkers in religion and politics still remain -is precisely analogous to the fallacy that bide-bound pedants in education. This the rights and duties of citizenship can be shows itself not only among the upholders left to the few—the political aristocracy. of classical education. The fear of enHistory has shown the one to be false ; it trusting education to “the swinish multi. will sbow the other to be false.
tude" is turning the tide of liberal thought The true ideal university shall make it among our historians and our scientists, possible and easy for every man and wom- and is driving such men as Sir H. Maine an in this metropolis to be a student with. and Professor Tyndall into out ceasing to be a worker and a private tism. citizen. The attainment of this ideal we Political freedom and self-government the English people have in some measure a revolt against educational superstitions attained. Industrial freedom and self- and authorities for the attaininept of full government are growing to be a clearly intellectual freedom and self-government. voiced demand. Along with it must come -Contemporary Review.
THE TYRANNY OF THE PARAGRAPH.
* BY ARTHUR WAUGH.
It is only a few months since Mr. Ed- ture. Four years ago it was an article in mund Gosse, writing iv The National Re- the publisher's creed, an article strony and view, raised a cry of warning over the mo- constant, wavering not, that a volume of mentary tendency of English literature. short stories spelled, like the actor manOur field of letters, he found, was gradu- ager's Shakespeare, financial ruin. Tben ally yielding itself to an incursion of there came a new voice making itself heard fiction. Poetry, criticism, belles lettres,
Lan echo of
the East a-calling” in were in danger of neglect ; “the tyranny short, sharp, significant cries—and to-day of the novel” was predominant. In the the short story is the triumph of the bookuniversities no less than in the duller pre- stalls. If Mr. Mudie were to offer to us tocincts of our cathedral towns, in the library day-offer to even the most conscientious of the man of letters as upon the over- student of contemporary literature—works stocked shelves of Mudie's, it was the of the bulk and weight of Pamela and novel that furnished forth the conversa- Clarissa Harlowe, as the latest attractions, tion for the literary breakfast-table, that should we not answer him that “ Life is forced more scholarly literature to remain not long enough for such reading as this ?": unpacked in the publisher's receiving de- Even the most conscientious student bas partment. Mr. Gosse spoke with much resigned himself, in some measure, to the truth and to no little purpose. That, tyranny of the paragraph. however, was a few months
So It came, I think, from America in the rapidly do we live in these later years of first place—this insatiable itch for the the nineteenth century, so readily and un- pithy." America has long been accusgratefully do we change our tastes and re- tomed to live at twice our pace, and, to sign our predilections, in those few months those who are living fast, the paragraph is Mr. Gosse's danger has become absorbed indispensable. It is swallowed with a in another. The novel continues to be mouthful of egg at breakfast, inhaled with published in its tens of thousands, and to the momentary flash of the match at the sell in its tens of hundreds ; it is still, and cigar-end, digested between Notting Hill doubtless will long continue, a factor of Gate and the Mansion House, as the the first importance in the scheme of na- Underground Railway whirls the reader to tional entertainment and education ; but bis office. It enables the breaker of his the novel, after all, is not the worst enemy fast to attend to his newspaper and to bis of literature. A new and a harder tyrant coffee with equal courtesy ; its brevity bas arisen. A cloud, far smaller, at first, ensures the even lighting of his Havana ; than a child's hand, has—in these few its frequent pause and infinite variety enmonths—grown into something. very like able the traveller to recognize each fellowa London fog, uncomely in color, un- passenger on the trivial round, as he enters palatable in taste, unhealthy in atmos- and alights from the carriage. It came in, phere. It is time to busy ourselves with then, with underground railways and inits hindrance and prevention.
creased alacrity--this tyrannous, omniThe world of letters is falling under the present paragraph. At first it was a mere tyranny of the paragraph : the trail of the convenience of cheaper journalism. It new journalism will soon be over it all. enabled the man of no leisure to speak The American passion for “ pithiness” with some show of knowledge about confor something new, reported in the brief- temporary life, lent him just the necessary est possible space-is spending its cruel framework of London day by day, on force upon every department of our litera- which his easier companion could weave