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endure nightly frays of drunkards, or brutalizing exhibitions by day. Riotous outrages, street fights, and other matters rather inconsistent with the character of christian gentlemen,' lingered at the universities, when they had been put down wherever the influence of the middle classes reached, and kept their ground only in Irish barbarism, or in the select circles of some of our unworthy aristocracy. We do not intend to question that Oxford is at present a place where ' gentlemanly manners' may be learnt; but, without offence, we would suggest that this is no exclusive prerogative of either university : and to claim this as their peculiar honour, is very like confessing that nothing else can be claimed for them. The same consciousness in the authorthat Gower-Street lectures' are very superior to any which Oxford can boast, may be discerned in his disparaging remarks on that institution. A university cannot make its studies, which are its essence, a secondary thing, and choose as its rightful function that most vague and treacherous object, the formation of character, or the producing of christian gentlemen,' without involving itself in absurdity and confusion. Character' may

be formed in the army, or in a workshop; but neither the army nor the workshop will form it the better by making this their direct aim. The valuable lesson of obedience is learnt by serying in a factory; but factories cannot be set up to teach men obedience. Surely a university will then form character best, when it is most efficient as a university, for its own legitimate ends. At present, our academicians (without offence let it be said) have tangled themselves in a ridiculous net ; they have set up a narrow, exclusive, and therefore illiberal, set of studies, which, if followed out, would force all minds, without exception, through a certain routine. When common sense shows that a man may be valuable as a member of society, or even as a magistrate or legislator, without the technical knowledge here obtruded on him ;' they justify him in making academical studies a secondary thing, and cover the offence by saying, that he comes to the university not so much for the studies of the place as to form his character. Instead of enlarging their studies to meet his case, they carve out for themselves a new function, 'formation of character;' which they can always pretend to have fulfilled successfully, and be secure against criticism. They desire to enjoy the honours and emoluments contingent on receiving within their walls the entire rising generation of our aristocracy; and yet, not to have the discomfort of so adapting their studies to the wants of every age as that they may properly enforce them upon all their professed students. In making this charge, we admit that the writer before us evidently leans to the opinion that no one has any business at the university who does not come thither to study. Such he gives as the opinion of his 'Mr. Churton,' a young tutor of the new school. Yet it is clear that he knows it to be impossible to en. force study on all, without great changes in the prevalent idea' of a university. We hope that no one will understand us as declaring war against the Greek classics, in which chiefly the Oxonians pride themselves. If this were the place for enlarging on that topic, we could show that we highly esteem such knowledge, rightly applied. But that is quite different from assenting to the dogma, that a system which has grown up by accident, and whose chief characteristics are drawn from the ignorance and deficiencies of a remote age, is a suitable training for the intellect of the present day. Until a great enlargement of views has been brought about,-until it shall be admitted that Bacon is superior to Aristotle, Adam Smith and Hallam to Thucydides; or to speak more vaguely, until the universities teach the most valuable knowledge which the nation and age can afford; they will never attain moral power to enforce attention on their studies. At present, they dare not exert the sternness of discipline for which they have the legal authority. They are forced to wink at gentlemanly idlers, and to trump up the fancy that the universities exist to form christian gentlemen,' because they feel that it would be unreasonable to expect every body who has talents for it to devote weeks and months to the trashy rhetoric and unsatisfactory ethics of Aristotle, to the tedious narratives of Livy and Polybius, or the witty obscenities of Aristophanes. All these books have their value; but it is too much to demand that they shall be the very staple of the study of a national university, in this nineteenth century, and shall be made so prominent as to exclude things far more valuable. It should be the place of professors to extract what is best, from writers, who are too voluminous or too difficult, in comparison with their intrinsic worth, to be studied by the younger members; whose time would then be economised for other uses.

The writer before us has some very energetic and seasonable protests against the system known at the universities by the name of cramming;' an evil, which nothing can keep down but sound judgment in examiners. The following details will be read with interest :

"The studies of Belton and Lipsley were of a far less wortby kind. A short account of them will serve to explain, while it holds up to yet greater contempt the practice of cramming.

· First, we must observe that all examinations imply the existence of examiners, and examiners, like other mortal beings, lie open to the frauds of designing men, through the uniformity and sameness of their proceedings. This uniformity inventive men have analysed and reduced to a system, founding thereon a certain science, and corresponding art, called cramming. "I will exemplify my meaning by the usual divinity examinations.

Every candidate for a degree is expected to pass a general examination in the Old Testament as well as in the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles. He must also be able to construe the gospels in Greek, and to repeat and prove from scripture the Thirty-nine Articles. For this general examination there are two ways of preparing:

"One is the plain honourable way practised by Allen. He read his Bible carefully, and reflected on every point alike. The result of this is a sound and generally available knowledge of scripture.

". This is one way of preparing for an examination. Knowledge so attained is improving to the mind; and though it may waste a little by keeping, still it will not entirely evaporate as soon as the examination is over; but the professor of the art of cramming reasons as follows:

"The object of the men who apply to me is not to gain knowledge but to gain testamurs. If I could retail these slips of paper at once without being guilty of forgery, it would save a great deal of trouble, and six months after the examinations are over, it would be quite as beneficial to my pupils as any instruction they are capable of receiving. This is my position, not my fault. I should greatly prefer to gain a livelihood by assisting young men of well-formed minds, to take full advantage of a university course, and to attain to that proficiency which an examiner's testamur is supposed to imply. But since parents will be so foolish as to send their sons to college, and to keep them there three years in spite of the clearest evidence that every term a great deal of their knowledge is running out and very

little coming in; and since these sons at last come to me and say, "We know less than when we left school: six months only remain to complete the work for which the university allows four years :' what am I to do? There is competition among private tutors as well as among the members of every other profession. He gets most pupils who has fewest plucks, just as the lawyer has most briefs who obtains most verdicts, without the least regard to the justice of his client's

I must make the most of the six months which remain. To impart sound knowledge is impossible, as I have no time to lay a sure foundation. I must confine myself to that kind of knowledge which will be most serviceable for the present purpose. In other words, mental improvement and available information do not properly belong to my profession. Intellectual attainments with me are only a means to an end—that end being to obtain testamurs. With what kind of intellectual attainments am I concerned ? with such only as come into play at examinations.'

“The first point, therefore, in which a crammer differs from other tutors is in the selection of subjects. While another tutor would teach every part of the books given up, he virtually reduces their quantity, dwelling chiefly on the likely parts.'

"The second point in which a crammer excels is in fixing the at


tention, and reducing subjects to the comprehension of ill-formed and undisciplined minds.

"The third qualification of a crammer is a happy manner and ad. dress, to encourage the desponding, to animate the idle, and to make the exertions of the pupil continually increase in such a ratio, that he shall be wound up to concert pitch by the day of entering the schools.

• In each of these three points, as in all other matters, practice makes perfect. Besides, there is ample scope for genius and inven. tion, and doubtless the most successful tutors have had high natural endowments.

"There was for some years, and perhaps still is, in Oxford, a professor of the art of cramming, of great notoriety. He was once a fellow of one of the colleges, and some say he lost his fellowship by his irregularities and low propensities. Those who condescended to apply to bim had to seek him not uncommonly at some low public house.

• This classic lecturer was described to me by one who had seen him exercising his vocation in terms which I should prejudice the university if I were to repeat. Imagine a man of forty years of age, unwashed, and unshorn, redolent of tobacco, and flushed and bloated with the last night's beer, sitting in a college room, displaying a wondrous volubility and power of memory in classical, logical, and scriptural literature, without a book or any other assistance than a cigar between his finger and his thumb, and a tankard of college ale. Of course the kind of technical memory and illustrations which a man of this degraded taste would introduce are of too painful a nature for any feeling mind to think of, though well, too well, suited, unhappily, to the perverted tastes of that small portion of undergraduates who are so shameless as to countenance him.

"But why do I sully my pages with an allusion to such a disgrace to humanity? It is not only in proof of the estimation in which a talent for cramming is held, but I have also another and a more urgent reason for alluding to this person. His fame has been recorded by others, and that too as if he were a fair average specimen of Ox. ford characters, and not a solitary exception and rare excrescence from a generous stock. If my readers have ever heard of this person, and are disposed to lay the blame on the university which he infests, let them know that the porters of several colleges have or had strict orders not to admit him inside their gates; also, that it was generally believed that any man who had been known to read with him would have a strong prejudice to contend against in the schools.''-pp. 229 -233.

We have observed, that the complaints against the cramming system have exceedingly increased at Oxford, with that of private tutors, in the last twenty years; and that at Cambridge it had already reached a great height, before it was known at Oxford, also side by side with the private tutors. The questions rising out of the remark are too difficult and grave to be treated here; but we are possessed with the belief, that the last change made in the Oxford system of examinations, about the year 1830 (by which, in many respects, they approximated to the mechanical system of Cambridge, in regard to paperwork'), was an unhappy one. By far the most searching questions, are those which are made by word of mouth ; in which an experienced interrogator cannot be deceived. We fear, however, that the prevalent system of laying on the examiners much work, much odium, and little pay, will ensure to the university of Oxford a regular supply of inexperienced and (naturally) injudicious examiners; and thus give fresh aid to the system of cramming. For the worst part of it is, that illjudged questions tend to force this contemptible practice of overloading the memory with details that must instantly be forgotten, on able candidates whose good sense spurns and abhors it.

The writer before us evidently is a favourable type of the current Oxford feeling as regards religion : considering which, we are struck by views which now and then show themselves. The following is rather edifying in its way, concerning a wild youth rusticated' (i.e. temporarily expelled) from college, whose ordination is represented as designed to bring about his future conversion.

"The Rev. A. Croydon is now a very exemplary parish priest. He always was a man of good principles and of a generous nature. It was his honesty and artlessness that used to betray him to college punishment. I do not deny that you may make a good parish priest too. For while I see so much regard for the feelings of others, so much love of truth, generosity and compassion, and so little deliberate preference of vice in your constitution, and, above all, when I observe how much you become sobered down, softened, and humanised, after spending a vacation at home with your family, I am encouraged to hope that there are those seeds of goodness in you which, by the serious reflections inseparable from sermon-writing and sick-visiting, may graciously be quickened into life.' '--pp. 197—198.

We cannot find out who is supposed to say these words : the author has a perplexing mode of putting two-thirds of his book within inverted commas. If the speaker is on this occasion the indulgent and mourning father, yet the sentiment passes without reproof, or apparent consciousness of its error.

It will also be observed how the truth slips out, that whatever the pretended moral advantages of the university, they are not to be compared with the sobering, softening, and humanizing' influences of the domestic circle.

A large part of the book is devoted to the laudable object of warning young men against incurring debts at the university. We wish the author all success in his effort; but we hardly

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