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vanished as we continued the perusal of the book. In page 5, he represents some Oxford tutor talking of 'the enormity of a pensioner getting into debt. Now we had always understood that pensioner was exclusively a Cambridge word ; and we know positively that commoner is the ordinary name at Oxford for students who are not on the foundation, and who ‘pay' the full college bills, without having any higher rank; which is what pensioner means. In page 34, and elsewhere, he speaks as though to be chums' were a common thing: the word perhaps has of late been assuming a new sense ; butchums'-i.e., partners of the same room—are said to have long been exceedingly rare in either university. In page 290, he tells of a man who would have been in the first class, but who, from deficiency in the knowledge of divinity, was placed in the second. This must be something new ; for it is currently and confidently stated by Oxford men, that the divinity examination affects solely the passing or not passing of the candidate; and that if he passes at all, it is not allowed to damage his prospects in the class list, however badly he may have done in that particular line. In page 209, he has a strange story of a deception practised on a bishop's chaplain by a candidate for orders, when required to write the usual Latin Sermon. No doubt this must mean the Latin Essay, which is written at the examination; at least, this is all that we can hear of by private information.*
Let these and other things pass; and let us turn a little to the work itself, which has many sensible passages, written with very good feeling :
"All I know about Oxford,' interrupted Fred, 'is what I have heard of wine parties, and riding home from Bullington two on one saddle, breaking glasses as soon as you have drunk out of them, and all in fact which I have picked up from a few reports of actions for debt brought by Oxford tradesmen, and treatises of college life.'
"Then, Fred, you have imbibed the very notions which I am most desirous to keep out of your mind. Such publications do a positive injury to society, showing but part of college life, and that part shamefully exaggerated. The worst is that they fill the minds of school-boys with examples of profligacy and give a taste for dissipation; and instead of things honourable and of good report, in which neither Oxford nor Cambridge would be found wanting on a fair comparison of good and bad together, scenes of folly and of vice are crowded together and set forth in flaming colours, as an average sample of the whole. And why? because forsooth, the minds of those writers who condescend, or are fit to minister to the vulgar
Since the above was written, we have learned positively from two unquestionable sources, that our criticisms are perfectly correct,
palate, have an affinity to vice, but not to virtue, and because there are fifty readers of the lives of profligates to one admirer of such worthies as those enshrined in the pages of good old Isaac Walton. But be advised, Frederic, forget such scenes; they have as little claim to the title of Life in Oxford as a certain Tom and Jerry history of cockfights, the prize-ring, sporting taverns, and the lowest dens of thieves and drunkards, deserved to be called Life in London.
• Stand for a moment in Cheapside; see the unwearied stream of cabs, omnibuses, merchants’ waggons, and vehicles of all kinds ; picture to yourself the establishment, the business, and the commerce of which each must be the representative and the product. Look at the double stream on each side of the way of busy passers to and fro, with quick step and contracted brow, each absorbed in his own enterprises; and when you have formed some kind of estimate of the countless thousands engaged in the honourable duties of commercial life, then ask yourself where are the brutes and the bullies, the madmen and the profligates, whom many are so far imposed on as to believe the chief actors on the vast stage of London life. No less erroneous are the impressions commonly received of our universities. It is not to be denied that London has its thieves, its rakes, and roués, of every grade, from the titled swindler and adulteress, to the lowest pilferer and prostitute of St. Giles's. It is not to be denied, that in Oxford there are those who glory in their shame, buy that for which they cannot pay, keep company with stage-coachmen, and seem to think it the height of gentility and manliness to affect the language of the boor and the appetites of the brute. But look about you as you pass through that city of colleges, and ask where are they, and what is the proportion they bear to the many by whom the very mention of such practises is frowned away in disgust. Compare those of academical education with the other members of society, and then say whether their manners and taste are such as to argue that the exaggerated excesses of the universities are the exception or the rule. Doubtless, youth is the age of inexperience and folly, of strong temptations to commit error, and utter carelessness to conceal it. This is the case all the world over, and not in Oxford only. Temptations are not local. They are more from within than from without; and who will deny that the same number of young men would give quite as much cause for scandal if scattered about the country, as if collected together in colleges. For, though large societies of the young engender a spirit of excitement which encourages slighter excesses, we must not forget that it also originates a public opinion and a sentiment by which the more serious failings are kept in check.
Whenever therefore we hear of defying proctors or tutors, being at the mercy of dunning creditors, and using childish tricks to evade them, climbing college walls, mixing with low company, and being countenanced in intemperance of any kind, we shall do well to consider that the persons who amuse us with such stories have only picked up a tale of the extravagances of some silly fellow in an unguarded moment, and that such practises are known to the majority only to be laughed at and despised.''-pp. 53–56.
In spite of this warning, we somewhat fear that the various tales to be found in this volume will, on the whole, leave on the reader an impression that the University of Oxford has a greater proportion of giddy and profligate members than the writer can mean to admit. Let us hear from him what is the use of going to college :
These remarks, Fred, are quite enough, I hope, to make you understand that the formation of character is the chief object of a university, and that study and lectures are means, but not the only means, to that end.
"Now then let me give you a hasty sketch of the purity of the sphere and numerous influences to which, by the bounty of founders and the mellowing agency of revolving years, youths of tender minds and plastic habits are committed, as it were, to a genial clime, to allow their constitutions, mental and moral, to gain strength, tone, and vigour, before they encounter the corrosive cares and ruder shocks of busy life-before they encounter those gales of adversity which have so often made shipwreck of simple truth and unguarded honesty-before the daily quest of daily bread, malesuada fames et turpis egestas, the evil suggestions of want and the shame of poverty, ever peering in the distance, have absorbed and engrossed us with the cares of the body, and made us forget the untold riches of the mind and the uncounted treasures of one immortal soul.'
“Why,' says Fred, you seem to look upon us as not full grown; as if our marrow were not fully set nor our strength matured. Just as some go to Italy for the benefit of the air while they are what their mothers call 'growing boys,' for fear a sedentary occupation at too early an age should hurt them, so we are to enter a university for the strengthening and maturing of our characters.'
“That is the very idea I intended to convey; the doctors in the one case correspond with the tutors in the other, and society and college lectures to air and exercise: then, our nerves are not tried and tempers fretted by money-making cares and the contentions of business, while our minds are amused and refined by the pure scenery around us, no less in the grey cloisters and verdant gardens of Oxford than in the unclouded beauties of Italy. With many a sea-side patient, physicians tells us, it is not the air, the diet, or the bathing, that is the chief source of health, but the tranquillity of the temper, the repose and serenity of mind, with other secret influences unknown at home, part independent of any of these causes, and part the result of all. Whether we seek to recruit our bodies or our minds, we must not deny the efficiency of little causes, because we can scarcely identify them in the greatness of their effects. This is to stifle science in the very cradle-to throw many a healing balm away, and to disdain to be cured till we are as wise as our physician.
««•The real virtue of collegiate studies,' says an elegant writer, is still as little known by the generality as it was a hundred years ago. Not one in fifty, even of those who have most profited by them, could give the true reasons of their excellence. University studies are but a small part of collegiate education. Professors or lecturers may form the scholar, they cannot make the man.'- It is on this formation of character-a higher aim, surely, than any mere scientific acquirements, that our universities and public schools must take their stand. The best of all knowledge--self-knowledge-is the staple they impart. A man educated in them rarely mistakes his own position or feels uneasy in it. The value of this knowledge is an old truth. It is false to say that the world gives this, and therefore it is a confusion of ideas and an incorrect statement to talk of the advantage of college as giving a knowledge of the world.'
“No, no, Fred, college is not the world; the best part of college --and I shall say more of this by-and by—is that it is a seclusion from the world ; a gradual and tender initiation and most salutary antidote and preparation for the world. Before you commit yourself to a most trying and baneful climate, you would do well to train your body and brace your nerves against the infection of it. Such a baneful climate is the world at large ; such a place of training is a university ; such an antidote to the worst infections of our carnal nature is the intellectual and spiritual education which a university is preeminently calculated to afford.
“Let it be granted, therefore, Fred, that you go to college for the maturing and formation of character after the best of models—the model of the christian gentleman. Painters visit Italy to form a correct taste of the beauties of art; Englishmen enter, or should enter their universities to form a correct taste of the proprieties of social intercourse. "Manners make the man,' says the copy; in real truth it is the man that make the manners, for take care of the inward man and the outward style and manners will take care of themselves; a true gentlemanly style being but the index and expo. nent of a gentle heart.''-pp. 64–67.
Consistently with such views, he rather scornfully quotes against London University College the appellation given to it by Coleridge: 'Gower-Street lecture-room; and in his description of the tendencies of life everywhere else but at Oxford and Cambridge, betrays, we think, the prejudices and ignorance of a mere Oxonian. It is certainly too true, that if the sons of our aristocracy were not sent to a university, but, instead of this, they were idling with grooms, game-keepers, and billiard players (p. 60), or dawdling at the mess and parade; there would be no reason for congratulating them on escaping the dangers of Oxford or Cambridge. But our author is not justified in libelling industrious life, as though its dull routine and strict requirements were a school in which the conscience must be blunted and the heart hardened.
• Tell me where but in one of the universities can you, on any stated morning, meet ten or fifteen young men together accustomed only to the best society, and with minds untainted by the selfishness, the jealousies, the contentions and animosities which the daily strug. gle for daily bread, the galling compromises of an independent spirit, and all the contumely which the deserving from the unworthy takes, insensibly yet indelibly impress upon the heart ; blunting the fine edge of true nobility, and marring the delicate sensibility of the man?'—p. 134.
There is no true morality here; the sentiment, in fact, is, in the present day, analogous to the monkish errors of a past age. The virtue which is reared in the open world, surely far excels in robustness the untried innocence of prosperity and retirement; the “refinement' and 'sensibility? of which is closely akin to selfishness, and is as likely as not to snap on the first exposure to temptation. Moreover, the writer's notion, that the ordinary association of academic youths with each other is so peculiarly profitable, is quite utopian, and opposed to his own good sense and experience.
That the generous friendships sometimes formed in college society, are of great value: that the emulation in study and interchange of thought, cultivated in a large university, is a precious advantage, which mere lectures cannot give; will be cheerfully conceded: nor do we say that these advantages (in the case of a steady young man) may not be well purchased at the expense of leaving the parental roof rather prematurely. But it is paradoxical enough to treat a university, in which young men associate solely or chiefly with one another, as, in itself, and ordinarily, a purer school of virtuous training, than can be found by those who reside in the bosom of a family, and are employed in the study or practice of an arduous profession. There is also a hereditary credulity in these university men, that they, and they alone, rear 'christian gentlemen ;' which is really quite amusing. To claim credit for this, is no doubt as easy as to expatiate on their own orthodoxy, of which they are themselves the judge. The manifest fact is, that a majority of the academic youths come from families in which gentlemenly manners and feelings are established; and this influence from without fixes, in part (but in part only), the same impress on the youthful society within the universities. In moral matters, the universities are passive; at best, they transmit, but do not generate, moral influence. While the country gentlemen were drunkards, so were the university youth ; when the middle classes and the evangelical body began to rise in power, the universities were slowly but surely affected by the new influences which oozed into them. Society at large would no longer