Page images
PDF
EPUB

te which Ulysses at different times and under different circumstances would be exposed. This portion of her narrative

may

be considered as an epitome of the Odyssey: and, viewed in this light, it is entertaining and interesting. The tale of complicated disa tress is continued through more than 170 lines, and closes with an apostropke to Ulysses, that conveys a suitable reflection. This reflection Milton's angry adversary has pressed into his service, and applied to his malevolent purposes.

«« Ω σχέτλί, ώς σοι κρείσσον ήν μίμειν πάτρα
Βοηλατούντι, και τον εργάτης μύκλον
Κάνθωνο υπό ζεύγλησι μεσσαβούν έτι,

Πλασταϊσι γύσσης μηχαναΐς οίστρημένα,
*Η τηλικώνδε πείραν ότλήσαι κακων και
* Ten' ergo in istam spem patrem pauperculum
Eduxe, genium sæpe fraudantum suum,
Ut tu bonarum sugeres lac artium ?
Quàm præstitisset te bubulcitarier,
Agitare plaustrum, vel molas trusutiles
Versare aselli sorte simpliciter rudem.

.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

*

Nec in malam rem compulisses literas !" P. 123.

100 pp.

Art. XV. The Literary and Scientific Pursuits of Cambridge.

By the Rev. Latham Wuinewright, A.M. Svo.

45. Od. Hatchard. 1815. To those conceited sciolists, who imagine that an University education only cramps and contines the energies of the mind, the treatise before us will afford an ample, reasonable, and most convincing answer. Other systems indeed may act with greater power as forcing houses to the intellect, pushing it on to an un-' natural and an unprotitable maturity, but it is this alone that progressively expands and invigorates the faculties, ripening them gradually into beauty and strength. If the student is desirous of being taught to discuss with fluency and to argue with sophistry upon subjects which he neither does nor will understand, let him go farther north for his instructions. In our English Universities he will be taught to ascend the bill of science with slow and measured steps; with every incitement to honest industry and laborious research, he will still find that within įheir venerable walls there is no præmium held out to ibe dippancy of precocious talent, or the slang of superficial discussion.

strongly recommend this excellent publication to all those who are desirous of acquainting themselves with the real state of

education

We

education at Cambridge, which is described in language equally: animated and clear. The account of the lectures, &c. is compre. hensive and satisfactory. The following is the description of the annual examivation for the degree of B.A.

“ In the month of January of every succesive year, all who have completed this required residence, and have kept the appointed exercises in the philosophical schools, are called upon to undergo a general and public examination before they can offer themselves for admission to the degree of Bachelor of Arts. This examination takes place in the Senate House, and commencing on the first Monday in Lent term, continues, with scarcely any intermission, for five days. The candidates, it should be observed, are previqusly divided into classes, each class consisting of those whose proficiency appears to be nearly upon an equality, as far as can be a certained from their former disputations the schools. There a e three orders of distinction, termed honours, held out to the ambition of these literary competitors, and in each of these divisions or orders are contained from fourteen to eighteen individuals, though they are not restricted to any precise number ; nor ean any thing be better regulated for the excitement of emulation, and the complete developement of the mental powers. The examiners principally consist of those Masters of Arts who have presided at the disputations in the schools, and who, at the same time, are most distinguished by their experience as preceptors, by their attainments in science, and by their acknowledged impartiality of conduct; and so scrupulously attentive are they to the duties of their arduous and, in many respects, ungrateful office, that it rarely or never happens that any real objection can be discuvered to their decisions, in estimating the comparative merits of the numerous rivals for pre-eminence. Four days are appropriated to questions and problems in Natural Philosophy, and the various branches of mathematical science, commencing so low as with examples in vulgar and decimal fractions and the Elements of Euclid, and at length extending to the most difficult parts of Newton's Principia, Cotes's Harmonia Mensurarum, the analytical works of Dr. Waring, and to the more intricate propositions of the Fluxionary Calculus *.

The

« * In the much-admired critique upon La Place's Méchanique Céleste contained in the XXIInd Number of the Edinburgh Reç view, one of the conjectural causes assigned for the limited progress

which has, for several years past, been made in this country, in the highest departments of mathematical science, is the mode of studying this subject, pursued in the University of Cambridge. When the reviewer asserts that certain portions of Newton and other writers who treat of pure and mixt mathematics in the syn. thetic method, are required to be so completely learned, and so thoroughly impressed on the student's mind, as to enable him to The remaining day out of the five, which, in point of order, is now always the fourth, is occupied by examinations in moral and political philosophy, natural theology, logic, and metaphysics. One very excellent regulation takes place in these examinations, to which I have already adverted, and which I cannot but consider as in many respects superior to the mode adopted by the sister University, and that is, that every answer is required to be given in plain unperplexed writing, even in those cases which admit of oral explanation. This method, while it removes the perpetual obstacle arising from embarrassment, is certainly conducive to a greater degree of accuracy,

answer,

and at the same time creates no impediment to that readiness of reply which, though it is in many cases an india cation of quickness of mind, is frequently nothing more than the result of undeviating application. To whichever plan the prefer, ence be given, it is obvious that he who answers with precision the greatest number of questions in the same portion of time, must be entitled to the honourable distinction of precedence. These written replies are respectively subscribed with the writer's name, and, at the close of each day, they are submitted to the careful perusal of the examiners, who keep an accurate register of the labours of the several candidates, accompanied with their appropriate marks of merit. At the conclusion of the fifth day, after a laborious investi

answer, with the utmost readiness, the interrogations which may be offered to him, he certainly does not widely differ from the truth; but when it appears, by the succeeding remarks, that he considers this to be the whole which is required at the general examination for degrees, his statement becomes liable to the imputation of incorrectness. It is well known to those who are familiar with our mode of proceeding, that no inconsiderable part of the exercises in the Senate House, consists in the solution of problems which are framed by the examiners, with the express design of directing the student's exertion to questions which have not occurred in his former pursuits, or which, at least, have not appeared in that precise shape. But, in addition to this, those amongst the questionists who aim at being included in the two first lists of honours, Wranglers and Senior Optimes, when the Senate House examination for the day is terminated, are afforded another trial of skill at the Moderators' private apartments, on two successive evenings. On these occasions a number of problems are placed before them of a more difficult nature, and which presuppose a more intimate acquaintance with fluxions and the higher parts of algebra. These questions necessarily vary every year, because they are generally framed by those who fill the office of Moderator for the time being, and they are certainly calculated to call forth all the ingenuity and invention of which the student is possessed. I have ventured to say thus-much, because the observations of the reviewer, how, ever just in other respects, appear, in this particular, to be founded on partial information."

[ocr errors]

gation of the accumulated papers, the arbiters complete their final adjudication; on the day following a list of the honorati is publicly affixed in the Senate House, and the scene terminates with the ceremony of admission to the first degree of Bachelor of Arts." P. 77.

The best answer, however, to all its enemies is the proud list of those great names, who have received their education within the walls of Cambridge.

** I cannot resist the opportunity, which here presents itself, of following a great example, and of mentioning the names of a few of those distinguished men, whose celebrity, it is true, no additional praise can increase, but of whom it is not always remembered that' they were educated at Cambridge. They are inserted without any particular regard to chronological accuracy. Archbishop Cranmer; Bishops Ridley, Latimer, and Andrews; Archbishops Whitgift and Parker; Jeremy Taylor, the celebrated bishop of Down; Bishop Walton, the famed editor of the London Polyglott; Castel, who published the Lexicon Heptaglotton ; Ockley, the Orientalist ; Dr. Isaac Barrow ; Cudworth ; Spencer, the writer de legibus Hebræorum; Joseph Mede, Dr. Sath Ward, bishop of Salisbury; Bishop Wilkins; Dr. Henry More, of Christ College ; Lightfoot, the great Hebrew scholar; Pool, the author of the Synopsis ; Bishops Beveridge and Kidder; Dr. Burnet, the master of the Charter House; Archbishop Tillotson;- Bishops Cumberland, Patrick, Stillingfleet; Dr. Conyers Middleton; Bishops Hare, Sherlock, and Hoadly ; Dr. Samuel Clarke; Dr. Sykes ; Bishop Chandler; Dr. Waterland; Wollaston, the author of the Religion of Nature;' Hartley ; Dr. Rutherforth; Dr. Jortin ; Bishops Newton, Hurd, and Law; Dr. Powell and Dr. Ogden, with numerous other great divines.Bacon; Newton ; Whiston ; Oughtred; Roger Cotes, whose early death was so justly lamentel by Newton; Colson; Dr. Robert Smith, the master of Trinity ; Saunderson ; Wallis ; Henry Briggs, the improver of logarithms ; Horrox, who made the first observations on the transit of Venus; Ray; Derham; Harvey, who discovered the circulation of the blood; Dr, Long, the master of Pembroke ; Dr. Stephen Hales the author of Vegetable Statics;'

" Brook Taylor ; Dr. Waring;: Dr. Maskelyne, &c.-Chaucer (according to Mr. Tyrwhit, of Oxford); Spenser; Ben Jonson ; Fletcher ; Beaumont; Sir John Harrington, the translator of the Orlando Furioso.; Bishop Hall, one of our earliest writers of satires; Donne; Waller; Cowley; Milton; Dryden ; Otway; Andrew Narvel; Sackville, Earl of Dorset; Duke of Buckingham, author of The Rehearsal ;' Garth ; Fenton; Broome ; Prior; Lee, the dramatic poet; Ambrose Philips ; Granville, Lord Lansdowne ; Vincent Bourn ; Gray ; Mason.-Crooke and Sir John Cheke, both Greek Professors; Roger Ascham; Bentley ; Davies, the learned president of Queen's; Joshua Barnes ; Dawes the author of Miscellanea Critica ; Ashton; Markland ; Wasse ; Thirlby;

; Stanley, the editor of Æschylus; Taylor, the editor of Lysias and

Demos:

ส์

Demosthenes; Bishop Pearce ; Foster, the defender of Greek ac.cents.-Cowell, the eminent civilian ; Dr. Stukely, Dr. Cave, and Peck, the antiquaries ; Bentham, the historian of Ely; Sir Robert Cotton ; Sir James Burrouglis, tive master of Caius, of architectural fame ; Roger Gale, the antiquary ; Laurence Sterne. -Sir Thomas Smith, secretary of state to Edw. VI. ; Cecil Lord Burleigh ; Sir Francis Walsingham; the great lawyer Sir Edward Coke ; Lord Falkland, so justly panegyrized in Clarendon's History; Sir William Temple; Robert Nelson ; Sir Thomas Gresham; Sir Robert Walpole ; Horace Walpole, Lord Orford ; Lord Chesterfield; and Soame Jenyns. For names of a more recent date, I refer the reader to the ample catalogue contained in the notes to the celebrated Spital Sermon of Dr. Parr.-In those who have arrived at years of maturity, and who fortunately find in the acquisition of knowledge its own reward, a recital, like the present, may serve no other purpose than to generate pleasing reflections. But to those who are in the spring of life, to whom Philosophy is unfolding its earliest blossoms, the retrospect of those great and enviable characters who have adorned their country in past ages, must surely be productive of the happiest effects. It is of little consequence that the ardent expectations of the young are frequently disappointed. The animating influence of emulation is not, on that account, the less beneficial ; and many who may never actually attain the object of their ambition, are yet successfully urged by the contemplation of the shining examples thus held forth to their view, to reject the solicitations of indolence and pleasure, and steadily to pursue the path which leads to honourable independence, to emi. nence of station or to immortality of fame.” P. 93.

Of the principles of Mr. Wainewright we can speak with much satisfaction, the following spirited defence of the high and leading principles of Church and State, as inculcated in the course of a Cambridge education, is well worthy the attention of the reader.

“ Whatever illiberal reflections may have been advanced against the twoUniversities of the realm, by men either avowedly disaffected, or obviously indifferent to the welfare of our civil and ecclesiastical establishments, I may certainly venture to deny that at Cambridge, .orthodoxy is maintained with any uncharitable disregard Lo the opinions of dissentients, or that a zealous attachment to the government of the country is inculcated upon any other ground, than because this preference is sanctioned by an impartial estimate of anterior times, and by the contemplation of the convulsive strug. gles, which have so long distracted the repose of continental Europe. Here, in the bosom of his Alma Mater, the student is taught,

. and taught with justice, to consider our Church Establishment as founded upon principles at once rational and sound, pure and

practical; equally remote from papal superstition and the extravagances of sectarian fanaticism. Here he learns, and learns without dely.

« PreviousContinue »