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SUMMARY of the EXPENDITURE of COUNTY RATES in ENGLAND and WALES for 1792 and 1832, or for such other Year as could be obtained
nearest to each Period, under the several Heads, with the Increase or Decrease of each, together with the Rate per Cent. of Increase or Decrease.
ST. MATTHIAS. SIR,—I hope this may be in time for your forthcoming number, in order to prevent your readers from being misled by an error in “ Gilbert's Clerical Almanac," which I have only just now observed.
In that almanack St. Matthias' day is marked as to be kept on Thursday, 25th of February, and the editor has appended the following note :-“ St. Matthias is fixed to the sixth kalends of March, and is therefore counted backuards from the 1st March, and not forward from the 1st February. This was decided at the council of Trent:* thus in leap year it should be observed on February 25."
It is well known to all acquainted with these subjects that the proper day of this commemoration in leap year has been a matter of dispute. But, so far as the Church of England is concerned, this dispute has been decided against the view taken of it in “ Gilbert's Almanac.” The following notice may be found in "Wheatley on the Common Prayer Book :"-"On February 5th, A.D. 1638, Archbishop Sancroft (who was himself one of the reviewers of the liturgy, and was principally concerned in revising the calendar, and whose knowledge in that kind of learning excelled) published an injunction or order requiring all parsons, vicars and curates, to take notice, that the feast of St. Matthias is to be celebrated (not upon the 25th of February, as the common almanacs boldly and erroneously set in, but) upon the 24th of February, for ever, whether it be leap year or not, as the calendar in the liturgy, confirmed by act of uniformity, appoints and enjoins." A little further on it is observed, that “ from Micrologus, who lived about the year 1080, (200 years before Durand, who is the first that I can find to mention the contrary practice,) it appears the ancient custom was to keep St. Matthias, as our present liturgy now enjoins, even in leap years, upon the 24th.” That such was the intention of the framers of the calendar seems most obvious from the fact, that whereas in Queen Elizabeth's Common Prayer Book it was ordered that the psalms and lessons which serve for the 23rd day of February shall be read again the day following, (this being considered the intercalary day ;) on the later review this was altered, and distinct lessons appointed for February 29th, the now intercalary day.
I am, &c., An OBSERVER OF the Festivals.
The letters which have appeared in the public newspapers between two Irish prelates of the Roman communion and the Bishop of Gloucester deserve notice. The radical Gloucester paper chose to say that the bishop had accused the Irish priests of exhorting their people to murder the protestant clergy, or something to that effect. Bishop Kinsella on this writes a letter much in the strain common with Irish persons of low extraction and little used to civilized society, vulgar in language, and full of wrath and abuse. But, in all probability, his violence and want of reflexion induced him to believe the story, and he wrote in sincerity. Not so Archbishop Murray. He sets out with stating his conviction that the story could not be true, and, having thus guarded himself, he proceeds, because the bishop had not said this, to reply just as if he had, and to say everything that could possibly inflame the mind and feelings of the country against the unfortunate Protestant clergy. This is all intelligible enough. The strong feeling manifested against Archbishop Murray's mode of belief, and against the cruelty and tyranny of its professors, by the large subscriptions* for the unfortunate clergy, are a bitter thorn in his side ; and this is his revenge. The proceeding was altogether in character with the indirect and disingenuous line of conduct which he pursued with respect to Dens. On receiving the Bishop of Gloucester's reply, he writes à most plausible and courteous answer, full of satisfaction and compliment. Why not? He had done all the harm he wished and was able in his first letter ; why should he not be civil in his second ?
* A schismatical council.
But there are two words used by Dr. Murray which deserve special notice. He was sure that a Christian bishop could not have used such words as were ascribed to Bishop Monk! Will Dr. Murray honestly and openly say that he believes any protestant bishop to be a bishop at all ? If he will not, is it to his ingenuousness and his love of truth that the use of such a phrase is to be ascribed ?
Again, he and his brethren, as he tells us, look on the Church of Ireland with no hostile feelings, but as a great bulwark against infidelity! It is doubtless on that account that they are so extremely zealous just now in attempting to drive it and its ministers into the sea! Has not Archbishop Murray sufficient discrimination to know that this is over-acting-that it can deceive no one, and must disgust every one ?
The late proceedings with respect to the Metropolitan University call for the serious consideration of the country. This journal has already often expressed the opinion that the giving to the College in Gowerstreet, or any similar institution, the right of granting degrees in arts could not be a matter of the slightest possible importance, and that the notion of its injuring the elder universities was one which could only provoke a very gentle smile. The grounds on which that opinion was formed remain the same; and, therefore, notwithstanding all the vaunts and boasts at a late meeting in Gower-street of the great and certain superiority of their college over everything which ever was or could be, and notwithstanding the pæan of victory sung by the historian or scribe of the college, that now for the first time education can be accomplished without interference from the church, the opinion is still held that poor Oxford and Cambridge may hope to go on, for a year or two at least, without seeing the grass grow in their streets, or their colleges moulder away under the poisonous breath and withering tonch of clerical instructors. No objection, therefore, is felt, and
• They are understood to amount now to ncarly 90,0001.
none is about to be expressed to the petition made by the Gower, street College for the right of granting degrees in arts. The comic fears expressed at the meeting, and the solemn assurances conveyed in the most solemn manner by Lord Brougham, that the old universities should not be allowed to get away from the new ones by even the position of a letter, that if an Oxford graduate wrote A.M., no power on earth should compel a London graduate to write M.A., unless he liked it better, might, it is imagined, have been spared. Even parliament, and Lord Brougham, and the proprietors of the Gowerstreet College, cannot make that to be which is not; they cannot effect the miracle that a man who has never been at Oxford or Cambridge, shall have resided at Oxford or Cambridge three or four years, and consequently though a London graduate may write M.A., or A.M., just as it seems good to him; he certainly cannot write either M.A., or A.M., Oxf. or Camb. The whole matter will turn upon this,—whether people, even though careless as to religion, think an education at Oxford and Cambridge, with all the old and venerable remembrances and associations, the improved and improving discipline, the control, the reverence for superior age and for existing institutions taught by the whole system, the free, confidential, and salutary intercourse of young men of the highest minds on terms which nothing but a college life will admit, preferable or not preferable to the attending lectures and living in lodgings in London, with no society, or such society as chance introductions, or the peculiar advantages of a great city to a young man who lives in lodgings and has no acquaintances of his own, may present. If society goes on as it is, probably the older universities may survive the institution of even so formidable a rival as that in Gower-street. · If, indeed, Peter Tomkins puts down the House of Lords, and there are no gentlemen required, then, no doubt, things will be altered ; and really one does not know what should be said to prevent sentence against such useless incumbrances, as the old universities will then be, being passed and executed. Till then they are safe enough. How long that may be, indeed, who knows?
What, then, is the objection to the erection of the proposed university? There are several very weighty and important objections, but at the present moment it is intended to advert only to one-viz., the effect which its power to grant degrees is likely to have on the medical profession, and the all but certainty that it must tend to perpetuate and increase certain evils and deficiences which seem to exist in the present systems of medical education, and to prevent the application of those remedies which would tend to elevate the profession itself. Let it not be imagined that a layman in medicine is about to venture on a matter so utterly beyond his powers as any consideration of improvements in the professional part of medical education. Nor, again, let it be supposed that there is any sympathy felt with those fancied reformers in medicine who have been wasting the money of the country, and the time and patience of medical men, so long; and the tendency of whose inquiries, as far as they have been published, seems to be, like that of too many other reformers, to bring everything down to the very lowest level, and (under the specious notion of doing away restrictions, getting rid of abuses, and saving expense,) to take away all the motives and rewards which stimulate distinguished men to exertion, and thus finally and hopelessly to degrade the profession itself. The only view which it can be allowable to take here, is that which has reference to the general bearing of the profession on the state of moral and religious feeling in the country. The great improvements which, by the unsparing exertion of time and talents, it is well known and confessed on all hands that the distinguished members of the profession have at least in some quarters) introduced into the scientific departments of medical education, and the high and admirable character of some of those individuals themselves, are sufficient pledges of their earnest wish to give full and fair consideration to everything which would raise their profession. These few remarks are therefore submitted to their notice in the hope, or rather the certainty, that they will do justice to the writer's intentions, whether they agree in his views and reasonings or not.
It is not, surely, in the year 1836 that it can be required of any one to shew that the experience of all ages and countries has pointed out both the advantage (or rather the necessity) of subjecting the wild, passionate, and enthusiastic period of youth to control, and the certain evils which (looking not to individual cases but to masses of men) flow from the want of it. In no countries, certainly, is this control more rigidly exercised than in some where liberty, not to say
licentiousness, is the boast and the passion of maturer years. The evil generally felt and complained of, indeed, is that this control cannot be made sufficiently effectual. Much of the unjust clamour raised against our elder universities, by persons like Mr. Beverley, latterly, has arisen simply from this—that no system of control can entirely check those who are determined to be vicious. In that respect, all plans of control, all universities, and consequently ours, must always be deficient. But their system of control does much. It rescues very many from temptation, keeps many-who perhaps are not at first open to higher motives—from vice, at all events from habits of vice, by the vigilance exercised, by the knowledge that such a vigilance is exercised, by the certainty that if they persist in profligacy, and are detected in it, they will be punished, disgraced, and removed ; by setting up, if not the highest possible, yet a thoroughly respectable, standard of morals and conduct. Now, in this country, the nobility and gentry, the lawyers, and clergy, are subjected to this system of vigilance and control, not in their boyhood only, but from eighteen to twenty-two or twentythree; and (although, as was said before, many will be vicious in spite of everything, all these persons are thus subject to control, to their own advantage, and to the still greater advantage of the country, because the public erection of a standard of morals to which all must conform for some years (the most critical of their lives) does unquestionably a good deal towards fixing the regular tone of public manners, and because a large body of those who are to fill the highest stations are sent into the world free from habits of vice and immorality.
Now it does seem unquestionably a matter for most serious regret, as well as for deep consideration, that at present the members of the