the Irish Protestant Church has rendered it impossible to endow a Roman Catholic College with public money. Coming then to the Government Bill, we find that it provides a full remedy for one of the hardships from which Irish Catholics at present suffer. If the Bill becomes law, there will be a University open, without conditions, to all Irishmen desirous of taking a degree. No Irishman will be able to complain that he is prevented from proceeding to a degree in his own country, except under conditions which amount to disabilities, and that he must therefore be indebted for the privilege to an English University. It seems to us almost an insult to the Irish to say, that they have no practical grievance, because the University of London will, upon the payment of the necessary expenses, send over examiners to examine students in the Irish Colleges for degrees. The very fact, that Irish students are obliged to have recourse to such a mode of obtaining their degrees, is the best proof of the existence of a real hardship. In removing this cause of complaint, the Government Bill takes one very decided step towards the solution of the difficulty. But it does not solve it completely. It professes to constitute a University which shall be a mere examining Board. Some may urge that this is all that the State can do in creating a new University, as the degree is the only academic benefit which is now conferred directly by the State. But the establishment of the Queen's Colleges, with their large grants of public money, shows that the State quite recently took a more exalted view of its duties. The ideal favoured by Mr. Lowe is, at the best, a meagre and ignoble ideal; it can only recommend itself in days when the value of a degree is measured by a more or less commercial standard. For our part we desire to see a University in Ireland which, if it does not teach, shall at least encourage learning. The difficulty of realizing such an ideal is of course the question of pecuniary assistance to the new University. With this question the Government do not attempt to deal at the present moment, and, if their Bill were presented as an ultimatum, we should certainly have to regard it as a very inadequate proposal.

But why should the Bill be regarded as final? Why should this very complicated problem be dealt with all at once? After the defeat of Mr. Gladstone's Irish University Bill, in spite of his majority in the House of Commons, it can be no reproach to the present Government that it should proceed cautiously, and be content to take one step at a time. We know that the Government considered the question in connection with the principles of the Intermediate Education Act. They were of opinion,' says Lord Cairns, 'that, looking at the question of University

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Education as being closely connected with intermediate education, it would be extremely desirable and advantageous to have some experience of the working of the measure with regard to intermediate before they proceeded to legislate on University Education.' Their hand was, however, forced by the Bill of the O'Conor Don, as we have already pointed out, and the present measure has therefore been produced at a confessedly unseasonable moment. Nevertheless it is easy to perceive that the Bill is based, as far as it goes, on the principles of the Intermediate Education Act. Let us see if there is any reason why future legislation should not proceed still further in the same direction.

Clause (5) of the Act provides that

'It shall be the duty of the Board to promote intermediate secular education in Ireland in the manner provided by the Act, that is to


(1.) By instituting and carrying on a public examination of students.'

Proceeding on this principle, the Government now propose to found a University at which all Irishmen without distinction shall be able to obtain a degree. This is an undoubted boon to a number of Irish Catholics who have hitherto been kept out of the existing Universities.

Section (2) continues:

By providing for the payment of prizes and exhibitions, and the giving of certificates to students.'

It is, we think, evident that the Government looked to embodying this principle in a future measure, for the Lord Chancellor said on the second reading of this Bill:

To the London University a grant of some thousands is made every year for the purpose of giving a reward to those who pass the examination, but that is not endowment; it is not the denominational system; it is open to all comers, and is one of the very best ways of promoting education. And I am quite sure that if the Senate to be created by this Bill were to come to Parliament, and say that, for the purposes of advancing education in Ireland, it would be advisable to offer exhibitions and rewards, no objection would be taken on the ground that it would be denominational.'

It should be remembered that this Bill is introduced in the Upper House, which has no power of disposing of the public funds. We do not see any reason why the measure should not be supplemented, if the House of Commons deem it advisable, by a clause enabling the University to grant scholarships and


exhibitions to matriculated students who are not already in receipt of money derived from University or College Endowments. We think that some such clause as that indicated in italics would be desirable, in order to protect the University from an injustice to which a kindred institution is at present exposed. It is, we believe, felt to be a hardship by many members of the Senate of the London University that, under their existing constitution, there is nothing to prevent the scholarships at their disposal from being carried off by students from Oxford and Cambridge, already in receipt of emoluments from those Universities. Considering the ample endowments of Trinity College, Dublin, and the large sums of money voted by the State to the Queen's Colleges, there would be no injustice in debarring the recipients of these emoluments from competing for prizes in the new University.

Section (3) proceeds:

'By providing for the payment to managers of schools complying with the prescribed conditions of fees dependent on the result of public examination of students.'

Why should not the principle of this clause be applied at some future time to colleges? A sum of money might be awarded to any college, whether denominational or not, from which a fixed number of students passed the University examinations. The authorities of the denominational colleges would thus be placed on the same footing, relatively to the State, as the managers of denominational elementary schools in England, and denominational intermediate schools in Ireland; that is to say, they would have to support their own colleges, as at present, but their resources would be increased by the University grant for the results they might produce in secular learning. The State would in fact afford indirect help to all who showed their earnestness in the cause of religious education by first helping themselves. Thus the principle of the Elementary Education Act of 1870, which was last year extended to Irish Intermediate Education, would be carried one step higher still, and applied to University Education. The Intermediate Education Act will impart a stimulus to education sufficient to enable the pupils in the intermediate schools to obtain the prizes and exhibitions which will doubtless be given to them, sooner or later, upon entering the new University. We simply propose that the same help should, on the same principles, be afforded to the colleges in which the further education of the students will be carried on, so that they may be able to compete, with credit to themselves, for the higher prizes and scholarships which the Vol. 148.-No. 295. University


University will bestow upon them in the further progress of their studies. In this way the colleges, as well as the schools, will be alike improved, and the same advantages granted to the former as to the latter.

We have reason to believe that such a settlement would be acceptable to many influential members of the Roman Catholic communion, and we think that those who are prepared to do justice to Ireland ought to go as far as this. Beyond this they cannot justly go. Our Irish and Catholic friends will, we hope, give us credit for desiring to treat their claims with consideration and sympathy. They will therefore perhaps listen to the short appeal we shall make to them before we conclude. If they do not accept some such settlement as we have sketched out, what is it they hope to get? Do they trust to the recurrence of another period of Government by Concession, such as that which prevailed from 1869 to 1874? Let them look then on the one hand to the composition of the Liberal party, the principles to which it stands committed, the fractions into which it is divided; let them consider the attitude of the strict Nonconformists, and the temper of the English constituencies; let them further remember the firm determination of the Conservative party with regard to the appropriation of the funds of the Irish Church; and then let them ask themselves what prospect there is of obtaining from Parliament, by means of party combinations, an endowment for a Catholic University. And if party combinations fail them, do they suppose that they will succeed better by intimidation? They may succeed-they have to a great extent succeeded already-in discrediting Parliamentary Government; but how will this help them towards that equality in the matter of University Education, which, if they are only patient and forbearing, the course of time is sure to bring them?




ART. I.-1. Pascal. By Principal Tulloch. Edinburgh and London, 1878.

2. Companions for the Devout Life: Lecture II., The Pensées of Blaise Pascal. By the Very Rev. R. W. Church, M.A., Dean of St. Paul's. London, 1875.

3. Pascal, sein Leben und seine Kämpfe. Von Dr. J. G. Dreydorff. Leipzig, 1870.

4. Études sur Blaise Pascal. Paris, 1876.

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5. Port-Royal. By C. Beard, B.A. Two vols. London, 1861. 6. Pensées, Fragments et Lettres de Blaise Pascal. Par M. Prosper Faugère. Two vols. Paris, 1844.

7. Des Pensées de Pascal; Rapport à l'Académie Française sur la nécessité d'une nouvelle édition de cet ouvrage. Par M. V. Cousin. Paris, 1843.

I of Paris.

N the year 1842 a great surprise came on the literary circles For nearly two centuries the name of Blaise Pascal had been acknowledged by universal consent to be one of the most eminent in the whole range of French literature. Short as his life had been, for he sank at the early age of thirty-nine, 'the fatal age of genius,' under the ravages of disease brought on by excessive study in his youth; and scanty as were the remains which he left behind him to attest the force and character of his intellect; his place among the Immortals was uncontested, and the two small works by which his fame is perpetuated the 'Provincial Letters' and the 'Thoughts'—were reckoned among the comparatively few modern classics, the loss of which would have been an irreparable calamity to the world. This high place they owed to a combination of qualities too seldom associated in the same work. To originality and power of thought they added perfection of form and style. It was their author's fortune to stand at the epoch when French prose was in transition from its early stiffness and uncouth harshness to the transparent perspicacity and flexible grace of its maturity; Vol. 148.-No. 296.



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