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languages. Before the voyage of Columbus, Spain supplied all Europe with the precious metals. The discovery of America changed the state of things. New mines were found, from which gold could be procured in greater plenty and with less labour. The old works were therefore abandonedit being manisest, those who persisted in laying out capital on them would be undersold and ruined. A new world of literature and science has also been discovered. New, veins of intellectual wealth have been laid open. But a monstrous system of bounties and prohibitions compels us still to go on delving for a few glittering grains in the dark and laborious shaft of antiquity, instead of penetrating a district which would reward a less painful search with a more lucrative return. If, after the conquest of Peru, Spain had enacted that, in order to enable the old mines to maintain a competition against the new, a hundred pistoles should be given to every person who should extract an ounce of gold from them, the parallel would be complete.

We will'admit that the Greek language is a more valuable language than the French, the Italian, or the Spanish. But whether it be more valuable than all the three together may be doubled; and that all the three may be acquired in less than half the time in which it is possible to become thoroughly acquainted with the Greek admits of no doubt at all. Nor does the evil end here. Not only do the modern dialects of the Continent receive less attention than they deserve, but our own tongue, second to that of Greece alone in force and copiousness, our own literature, second to none that ever existed, so rich in poetry, in eloquence, in philosophy, is unpardonably neglected. All the nineteen plays of Euripides are digested, from the first bubbling froth of the Hecuba to the last vapid dregs of the Electra ;, while our own sweet Fletcher, the second name of the modern drama, in spite of all the brilliancy of his wit, and all the luxury of his tenderness, is suffered to lie neglected. The Essay on the Human Understanding is abandoned for the Theotelus and the Phædon. We have known the dates of all the petty skirmishes of the Peloponnesian war carefully transcribed and committed to memory by a man who thouglit that Hyde and Clarendon were two different persons! That such a man has paid a dear price for his learning will be admitted. But, it may be said, he has at least something to show for it. Unhappily he has sacrificed, in order to acquire it, the very things without which it was impossible for him to use it. He has acted like a man living in a small lodging, who, instead of spending his money in enlarging his apartments and filling them up commodiously, should lay it all out on furniture fit only for Chatsworth or Belvoir. His little rooms are blocked up with bales of rich stuffs and heaps of gilded ornaments, which have cost more than he can assord, yet which he has no opportunity and no room to display. Elegant and precious in themselves, they are here utterly out of place; and their possessor finds that, at a ruinous expense, he has bought nothing but inconvenience and ridicule. Who has not seen men to whom ancient learning is an absolute curse, who have laboured only to accumulate what they cannot enjoy? They come forth into the world, expecting to find only a larger university. They find that they are surrounded by people who have not the least respect for the skill with which they detect etymologies, and twist corrupt Epodes into something like meaning. Classical knowledge is indeed valued by all intelligent men; but not such classical knowledge as theirs. To be prized by the public, it must be refined from its grosser particles, burnished into splendour, formed into graceful ornaments or into current coin. Learning in the ore, learning with all the dross around it, is nothing to the common spectator. He prefers the cheapest tinsel, and leaves the rare and valuable clod to the few who have the skill to detect its qualities, and the curiosity to prize them.

No man, we allow, can be said to have received a complete and liberal education unless he have acquired a knowledge of the ancient languages. But not one gentleman in fifty can possibly receive what we should call a complete and liberal education. That term includes, not only the ancient languages, but those of France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. It includes mathematics, the experimental sciences, and moral philosophy, An intimate acquaintance both with the profound and polite parts of English literature is indispensable. Few of those who are intended for professional or commercial life can find time for all these studies. It necessarily follows, that some portion of them must be given up: and the question is, what portion? We say, provide for the mind as you provide for the body,-first necessaries,-then conveniences,-lastly luxuries. Under which of those heads do the Greek and Latin languages come? Surely under the last. Of all the pursuits which we have mentioned, they require the greatest sacrifice of time. He who can afford time for them, and for the others also, is perfectly right in acquiring them. He who cannot, will, if he is wise, be content to go without them. If a man is able to continue his studies till his twenty-eighth or thirtieth year, by all means let him learn Latin and Greek. If he must terminate them at one-and-twenty, we should in general advise him to be satisfied with the modern languages. If he is forced to enter into active life at fifteen or sixteen, we should think it best that he should confine himself almost entirely to bis native tongue, and thoroughly imbue his mind with the spirit of its best writers. But no! The artificial restraints and encouragements which our academic system has introduced have allogether reversed this natural and salutary order of things. We deny ourselves what is indispensable, that we may procure what is superfluous. We act like a day-labourer who should stint himself in bread, that he might now and then treat himself with a poltle of January strawberries. Cicero tells us, in the Offices, a whimsical anecdote of Cato the Censor. Somebody asked him what was the best mode of employing capital. He said, To farm good pasture land. What the next?

To farm middling pasture land. What next? To farm bad pasture land. Now the notions which prevail in England respecting classical learning seem to us very much to resemble those which the old Roman entertained with regard to his favourite method of cultivation. Is a young man able to spare the time necessary for passing through the University? Make him a good classical scholar! But a second, instead of residing at the University, must go into business when he leaves school. Make him then a tolerable classical scholar! A third has still less time for snatching up knowledge, and is destined for active employment while still a boy. Make him a bad classical scholar! If he does not become a Flaminius or a Buchanan, he may learn to write nonsense verses. If he does not get on to Horace, he may read the first book of Cæsar. If there is not time even for such a degree of improvement, he may at least be flogged through that immemorial vestibule of learning, "Quis docet ? Who teacheth? Magister docet. The master teacheth." Would to Heaven that he taught something better worth knowing.

All these evils are produced by the state of our Universities. Where they lead, those who prepare pupils for them, are forced to follow. Under a free system, the ancient languages would be less read, but quite as much enjoyed. We should not see so many lads who have a smattering of Latin and Greek, from which they derive no pleasure, and which, as soon as they are at liberty, they make all possible haste to forget. It must be owned, also, that there would be fewer young men really well acquainted with the ancient tongues. But there would be many more who had treasured up useful and agreeable information. Those who were compelled to bring their studies to an early close, would turn their attention to objects easily attainable. Those who enjoyed a longer space of literary leisure would still exert themselves to acquire the classical languages. They would study them, not for any direct emolument which they would expect from the acquisition, but for their own intrinsic value. Their number would be smaller, no doubt, than that of present aspirants after classical honours. But they would not, like most of those aspirants, leave Homer and Demosthenes to gather dust on the shelves as soon as the temporary purpose had been served. There would be fewer good scholars of twenty-five ; but we believe that there would be quite as many of fifty.

Hitherto we have argued on the hypothesis most favourable to the Universities. We have supposed that the bounties which they offer to certain studies are fairly bestowed on those who excel. The fact however is, that they are in many cases appropriated to particular counties, parishes, or names. The effect of the former system is to encourage studies of secondary importance, at the expense of those which are entitled to preference. The effect of the latter is to encourage total idleness. It has been also asserted, that at some Colleges the distributors of followships and scholarships have allowed themselves to be influenced by party spirit or personal animosity. On this point, however, we will not insist. We wish to expose the vices, not of individuals, but of the system. Indeed, in what we have hitherto written, we have generally had in our eye a College which exhibits that system in the most favourable light,-a College in which the evils which we have noticed are as much as possible alleviated by an enlightened and liberal administration,-a College not less distinguished by its opulence and splendour than by the eminent talents of many of its members, by the freedom and impartiality of its elections, by the disposition which it has always shown to adopt improvements not inconsistent with its original constitution, and by the noble spirit with which it has supported the cause of civil and religious liberty,

We have hitherto reasoned as if all the students at our Universities learnt those things which the Universities profess to teach. But this is, notoriously, not the fact—and the cause is evident. All who wish for degrees must reside at College; but only those who expect to obtain prizes and fellowships apply themselves with vigour to classical and mathematical pursuits. The great majority have no inducement whatever to exert themselves. They have no hope of obtaining the premium ; and no value for the knowledge without the premium. For the acquisition of other kinds of knowledge the Universities afford no peculiar facilities. Hence proceeds the general idleness of collegians. Not one in ten, we venture to say, ever makes any considerable proficiency in those pursuits to which every thing else is sacrificed. A very large proportion carry away from the University less of ancient literature than they brought thither. It is quite absurd to attribute such a stato

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of things to the indolence and levity of youth. Nothing like it is seen elsewhere. There are idle lads, no doubt, among those who walk the hospitals, who sit at the desks of bankers, and serve at the counters of tradesmen. But what, after all, is the degree of their idleness, and what proportion do they bear to those who are active? Is it not the most common thing in the world to see men, who have passed their time at College in mere trifling, display the greatest energy as soon as they enter on the business of life, and become profound lawyers, skilful physicians, eminent writers? How can these things be explained, but by supposing that most of those who are compelled to reside at the Universities have no motive to learn what is taught there? Who ever employed a French master for four years without improving himself in French? The reason is plain. No man employs such a master, but from a wish to become acquainted with the language; and the same wish leads him to apply vigorously to it. Of those who go to our Universities, on the other hand, a large proportion are attracted, not by their desire to learn the things studied there, but by their wish to acquire certain privileges, which residence confers alike on the idle and on the diligent. Try the same experiment with the French language. Erect the teachers of it into a corporation. Give them the power of conferring degrees. Enact that no person who cannot produce a certificate, attesting that he has been for a certain number of years a student at this academy, shall be suffered to keep a shop; and we will venture to predict, that there will soon be thousands, who, after having wasted their money and their time in a formal attendance on lectures and examinations, will not understand the meaning of Parlez vous Français ?

It is the general course of those who patronize an abuse to altribute to it every thing good which exists in spite of it. Thus, the defenders of our Universities commonly take it for granted, that we are indebted to them for all the talent which they have not been able to destroy. It is usual, when their merits come under discussion, to enumerate very pompously all the great men whom they have produced ; as if great men had not appeared under every system of education. Great men were trained in the schools of the Greek sophists and Arabian astrologers, of the Jesuits and the Jansenists. There were great men when nothing was taught but School Divinity and Canon Law; and there would still be great men is nothing were taught but the fooleries of Spurzheim and Swedenberg. A long list of eminent names is no more a proof of the excellence of our Academic institutions, than the commercial prosperity of the country is a proof of the utility of restrictions in trade. No financial regulations, however absurd and pernicious, can prevent a people amongst whom property is secure, and the motive to accumulate consequently strong, from becoming rich. The energy with which every individual struggles to advance, more than counteracts the retarding force, and carries him forward, though at a slower rate than if he were left at liberty. It is the same with restrictions which prevent the intellect from taking the direction which existing circumstances point out. They do harm; but they cannot wholly prevent other causes from producing good. In a country in which public opinion is powerful, in which talents properly directed are sure to raise their possessor to distinction, ardent and aspiring minds will surmount all the obstacles which may oppose their career. It is amongst persons who are engaged in public and professional life that genius is most likely to be developed. Of these a large portion is necessarily sent to our English Universities. It would, therefore, be wonderful, if the Universilies could not

boast of many considerable men. Yet, after all, we are not sure whether, if we were to pass, in review the Houses of Parliament, and the English and Scottish Bar, the result of the investigation would be so favourable as is commonly supposed to Oxford and Cambridge. And of this we are sure, that many persons who, since they have risen to eminence, are perpetually cited as proofs of the beneficial tendency of English education, were at College never mentioned but as idle frivolous men, fond of desultory reading, and negligent of the studies of the place. It would be indelicate to name the living;

but we may venture to speak more particularly of the dead. It is truly curious to observe the use which is made in such discussions as these, of names which we acknowledge to be glorious, but in which the Colleges have no reason to glory,—that of Bacon, who reprobated their fundamental constitution; of Dryden, who abjured his Alma Mater, and regretted that he had passed his youth under her care; of Locke, who was censured and expelled; of Milton, whose person was outraged at one University, and whose works were committed to the flames at the other!

That in particular cases an University education may have produced good effects, we do not dispute. But as to the great body of those who receive it, we have no hesitation in saying, that their minds permanently suffer from it. All the time which they can devote to the acquisition of speculative knowledge is wasted, and they have to enter into active life without it. They are compelled to plunge into the details of business, and are left to pick up general principles as they may. From all that we have seen and heard, we are inclined to suspect, in spite of all our patriotic prejudices, that the young men, we mean the very young men, of England, are not equal as a body to those of France, Germany or Russia. They reason less justly, and the subjects with which they are chiesly conversant are less manly. As they grow older, they doubtless improve. Surrounded by a free people, enlightened by a free press, with the means of knowledge placed within their reach, and the rewards of exertion sparkling in their sight, it would indeed be strange if they did not in a great measure recover the superiority which they had lost. The finished men of England may, we allow, challenge a comparison with those of any nation. Yet our advantages are not so great that we can afford to sacrifice any of them. We do not proceed so rapidly, that we can prudently imitate the example of Light foot in the Nursery Tale, who never ran a race without tying his legs. The bad eilecls of our University system may be traced to the very last, in many eminent and respectable men. They have acquired great skill in business, they have laid up great stores of information. But something is still wanting. The superstructure is vast and splendid; but the foundations are unsound. It is evident that their knowledge is not systematized; that, however well they may argue on particular points, they have not that amplitude and intrepidity of intellect which it is the first object of education to produce. They hate abstract reasoning. The very name of theory is terrible to them. They seem to think that the use of experience is not to lead men to the knowledge of general principles, but to prevent them from ever thinking about general principles at all. They may play at bo-peep with truth ; but they never get a full view of it in all its proportions. The cause we believe is, that they have passed those years during which the mind frequently acquires the character which it ever after retains, in studies, which, when exclusively pursued, have no tendency to strengthen or expand it.

From these radical defects of the old foundations the London University is

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