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the reverse of the Esquiline, just at the place where the street of the Carinæ ran along,) to the old mound of Ser. Tullius; to the summits of the Aventine and Palatine, &c.; by which I always fancy that I have retained a more distinct and also a more lively and picturesque image of Rome, than I could otherwise have gained within the same space of time; and, if I were to go again, I think I should do the same thing. Out of Rome I should recommend, as near objects, Tivoli, of course, and the Alban hills, and especially Palestrina (Præneste). If I could get there again, I should wish especially to take the upper road from Rome to Naples, by Palestrina, Anagni, Frosinone, and the Valley of the Garigliano. This is every way a most interesting line, and it might easily include Arpino. I am not sure where you would best come out upon the plain of Naples. I should try to get by S. Germano and Monte Cassino, into the great road from Naples, across to the Adriatic; and so to descend by the Valley of the Voltorno, either upon Capua or straight by Carazzo and Caserta.
Much must depend on the state of the banditti, which is always known on the spot. If they are well put down, as I believe they are, the upland valleys in the central Apennines are most attractive. I had a plan once of turning off from the great road at Terni, then ascending the valley of the Velino to Rieti, and making my way through what they call the Cicolano,—the country of the Aborigines of Cato,-down upon Alba and the Lake Fucinus; from thence you can go either to Rome or Naples, as you like. The neighbourhood of Alba is doubly interesting, as it is close by the field of Scurzola, the scene of Conradin's defeat by Charles of Anjou. In Etruria I would make any efforts to get to Volterra, which is accessible enough, either from Leghorn or from Sienna. If Mr. Macaulay is going into the kingdom of Naples, he will find Keppel Craven's recent book, “ Travels in the Abruzzi,” &c., exceedingly useful,—as a regular guide, I
have not met with a better book. Does he know Westphal's book on the Campagna ? lengthy, but full of details, which are carefully done .
(Two letters, as being closely connected with each other, are here joined.)
(A.) Fox How, August 5, 1838. Just before the holidays, I had a letter from Cardwell, in which he mentioned that there was some scheme for enlarging the sphere of the Degree Examination. I should rejoice at this, but I more desire your old plan of an Examination at entrance, which would be so great a benefit at once to you and to us. With regard to the Examinations, I hear a general complaint of the variableness of the standard ; that new Examiners lay the main stress on the most different things; with some Scholarship is every thing, with others History, with others the Aristotle, &c. Now it is a very good thing that all these should have their turn, and should all be insisted upon; but I think that some notice should be given beforehand, and that a new Examiner should state, like the Prætors at Rome, what points he intended particularly to require ; for at present, the men say that they are often led to attend to one thing, from the experience of the last Examination, and then a new Examiner attaches the greatest importance to something else..
(B.) I hear that you are thinking of extending the range of your Examinations at Oxford, at which I wish you all manner of success. I do not think that you need in the least to raise the standard of your classes, but a pass little go, or even great go, is surely a ridiculous thing, as all that the University expects of a man after some twelve or fourteen years of schooling and lecturing. I think, too, that physical science can nowhere be so well studied as at Oxford, because the whole spirit of the place is against its
undue ascendancy; for instance, Anatomy, which in London is dangerously, as I think, made one of the qualifications for a degree, might be, I imagine, profitably required at Oxford, where you need not dread the low morals and manners of so many of the common medical students...
I have read Froude's volumea, and I think that its predominant character is extraordinary impudence. I never saw a more remarkable instance of that quality than the way in which he, a young man, and a clergyman of the Church of England, reviles all those persons whom the accordant voice of that Church, without distinction of party, has agreed to honour, even perhaps with an excess of admiration.
Rugby, October 5, 1838. Will you thank Wordsworth for his specimen of his Grammar when you write to him? I am glad that he writes it in Latin, being fully convinced that an English Grammar will never be remembered with equal tenacity.
You are indeed too much of a stranger to us, and it would delight us to see you here again, or still more to see you in Westmoreland.
But I know the claims of your parish upon your time; as well as those of your relations. Only, whenever you can come to us, let me beg that you will not let slip the opportunity. .
There seems to me to be a sort of atmosphere of unrest and paradox hanging around many of our ablest young men of the present day, which makes me very uneasy, I do not speak of religious doubts, but rather of questions as to great points in moral and intellectual matters; where things which have been settled for centuries seem to be again brought into discussion. This restless love of paradox, is, I believe, one of the main causes of the growth of
a i. e. the first volume of the first part of Froude's Remains, The other three volumes he had not read,
Newmanism; first, directly, as it leads men to dispute and oppose all the points which have been agreed upon in their own country for the last two hundred years; and to pick holes in existing reputations; and then, when a man gets startled at the excess of his scepticism, and finds that he is cutting away all the ground under his feet, he takes a desperate leap into a blind fanaticism. I cannot find what I most crave to see, and what still seems to me no impossible dream, inquiry and belief going together, and the adherence to truth growing with increased affection, as follies are more and more cast away.
But I have seen lately such a specimen of this and of all other things that are good and wise and holy, as I suppose can scarcely be matched again in the world. Bunsen has been with us for six days with his wife and Henry. It was delightful to find that my impression of his extraordinary excellence had not deceived me; that the reality even surpassed my recollection of what he was eleven years ago.
TO THE EARL OF BURLINGTON, (Chancellor of the University of London.)
Rugby, November 7, 1838. It is with the greatest regret that, after the fullest and fairest deliberation which I have been able to give to the subject, I feel myself obliged to resign my Fellowship in the University of London.
The Constitution of the University seems now to be fixed, and it has either begun to work, or will soon do so. After the full discussion given to the question, on which I had the misfortune to differ from the majority of the Senate, I felt that it would be unbecoming to agitate the matter again, and it only remained for me to consider whether the institution of a voluntary Examination in Theology would satisfy, either practically or in theory, those principles which appeared to me to be indispensable.
I did not wish to decide this point hastily, but after the fullest consideration and inquiry, I am led to the conclusion that the voluntary Examination will not be satisfactory. Practically I fear it will not, because the members of King's College will not be encouraged by their own authorities, so far as I can learn, to subject themselves to it; and the members of University College may be supposed, according to the principles of their own society, to be averse to it altogether. But, even if it were to answer practically better than I fear it will do, still it does not satisfy the great principle that Christianity should be the base of all public Education in this country. Whereas with us it would be no essential part of one system, but merely a branch of knowledge which any man might pursue if he liked, but which he might also, if he liked, wholly neglect, without forfeiting his claim, according to our estimate, to the title of a completely educated man.
And further, as it appeared, I think, to the majority of the Senate, that the terms of our Charter positively forbade that which in my judgment is indispensable; and as there is a painfulness in even appearing to dispute the very law under which our University exists; there seems to me an additional reason why, disapproving as I do very strongly of that which is held to be the main principle of our Charter, I should withdraw myself from the University altogether.
I trust I need not assure your Lordship or the Senate, that I am resigning my Fellowship from no factious or disappointed feeling, or from any personal motives whatever. Most sincerely shall I rejoice if the University does in practice promote the great interests to which the principle appears to me to be injurious. Most glad shall I be if those whose affection to those interests is, I well know, quite as sincere and lively as mine, shall be found to have judged of their danger more truly as well as more favourably.