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free. It cannot cry up one study or cry down another. It has no means of bribing one man to learn what it is of no use to him to know, or of exacting a mock attendance from another who learns nothing at all. To be prosperous, it must be useful.

We would not be too sanguine. But there are signs of these times, and principles of human nature, to which we trust as firmly as ever any ancient astrologer trusted to the rules of his science. Judging from these, we will venture to cast the horoscope of the infant Institution. We predict, that the clamour by which it has been assailed will die away,—that it is destined to a long, a glorious, and a beneficent existence, -that, while the spirit of its system remains unchanged, the details will vary with the varying necessities and facilities of every age,—that it will be the model of many future establishments—that even those haughty foundations which now treat it with contempt will in some degree feel its salutary influence,--and that the approbation of a great people, to whose wisdom, energy, and virtue its exertions will have largely contributed, will confer on it a dignity more imposing than any which it could derive from the most lucrative patronage, or the most splendid ceremonial,

Even those who think our hopes extravagant must own that no positive harm has been even suggested as likely to result from this Institution. All the imputed sins of its founders are sins of omission. Whatever may be thought of them, it is surely better that something should be omitted than that nothing should be done. The Universities it can injure in one way only—by surpassing them. This danger no sincere admirer of these bodies can apprehend. As for those who, believing that the project really tends to the good of the country, continue to throw obloquy upon it—and that there are we believe-lo them we have nothing to say. We have no hope of converting them; no wish to revile them. Let them quibble, declaim, sneer,

calumniate. Their punishment is to be what they are. For us, our part has been deliberately chosen—and shall be manfully sustained. We entertain a firm conviction that the principles of liberty, as in government and trade, so also in education, are all-important to the happiness of mankind. To the triumph of those principles we look forward, not, we trust, with a fanatical confidence, but assuredly with a cheerful and steadfast hope. Their nature may be misunderstood. Their progress may be retarded. They may be maligned, derided, nay at times exploded, and apparently forgotten. But we do, in our souls, believe that they are strong with the strength, and quick with the vitality of truth; that when they fall, it is to rebound ; that when they recede, it is to spring forward with greater elasticity; that when they seem to perish, there are the seeds of renovation in their very decay—and that their influence will continue to bless distant generations, when infamy itself shall have ceased to rescue from oblivion the arts and the names of those who have opposed them, the dupe, the dissembler, the bigot, the hireling--the buffoon and the sarcasm, the liar and the lie!

• When the London University was projected, it is well known that its objects were misrepresented, its utility questioned, and the motives of its founders scandalously maligned, by a party who have invariably regarded with hatred and suspicion the establishment of popular Institutions for ihe diffusion of knowledge. Among the most zealous and efficient advocaies of that noble seminary may be ranked the conductors of the Edinburgh Review, who came boldly forward, when their support was much required, to repel the calumnious assertions of its enemies, and to defend the principles of a great national scheme for the improvement of the people. There is an excellent article on the subject in Vol. xlii. page 346 ;?, and one on the King's College, written in a candid and conciliatory spirit, in Vol. xlviii. page 235,


This is the age of reform : next in importance to our religious and political establishments, are the foundations for public education ; and having now seriously engaged in a reform of “the constitution, the envy of surrounding nations, the time cannot be distant for a reform in the schools and universities which have hardly avoided their contempt. Public intelligence is not, as hitherto, tolerant of prescriptive abuses, and the country now demands that endowments for the common weal should no longer be administered for private advantage. At this auspicious crisis, and under a ministry no longer warring against general opinion, we should be sorry not to contribute our endeavour to attract attention to the defects which more or less pervade all our national seminaries of education, and to the means best calculated for their removal. We propose, therefore, from time to time, to continue to review the state of these establishments, considered both absolutely in themselves, and in relation to the other circumstances which have contributed to modify the intellectual condition of the different divisions of the empire.

In proceeding to the Universities, we commence with Oxford. This University is entitled to precedence, from its venerable antiquity, its ancient fame, the wealth of its endowments, and the importance of its privileges : but there is another reason for our preference.

Without attempting any idle and invidious comparison, -without asserting the superior or inferior excellence of Oxford in contrast with any other British University, we have no hesitation in affirming, that comparing what it actually is with what it possibly could be, Oxford is, of all academical institutions, at once the most imperfect and the most perfectible. Properly directed, as they might be, the means which it possesses would render it the most efficient University in existence; improperly directed, as they are, each part of the apparatus only counteracts another; and there is not a similar institution which, in proportion to what it ought to accomplish, accomplishes so little. But it is not in demonstrating the imperfection of the present system, that we principally ground a hope of its improvement; it is in demonstrating its illegality. In the reform of an ancient establishment like Oxford, the great difficulty is to initiale a movement. In comparing Oxford as it is, with an ideal standard, there may be differences of opinion in regard to the kind of change expedient, if not in regard to the expediency of a change at all; but in comparing it with the standard of its own code of statutes, there can be none. It will not surely be contended that matters should continue as they are, if it can be shown that, as now administered, this University pretends only to accomplish a petly fraction of the ends proposed to it by law, and attempts even this only by illegal means. But a progress being determined towards a state of excellence :-λάρχή ήμισυ παντός.

Did the limits of a single paper allow us to exhaust the subject, we should, in the first place, consider the state of the University, both as established in law, but non-existent in fact, and as established in fact, but nonexistent in law; in the second, the causes which determined the transition from the statutory to the illegal constitution ; in the third, the advantages and disadvantages of the two systems; and, in the fourth, the means by which the University may be best restored to its efficiency. In the present article, we can, however, only compass—and that inadequately—the first and second heads. The third and fourth we must reserve for a separate discussion, in which we shall endeavour to demonstrate, that the intrusive system, compared with the legitimale, is as absurd as it is unauthorized, that the preliminary step in a reform must be a return to the Statutory Constitution,—and that this constitution, though far from faultless, may, by a few natural and easy changes, be improved into an instrument of academical education, the most perfect perhaps in the world. The subject of our consideration at present requires a fuller exposition, not only from its intrinsic importance, but because, strange as it may appear, the origin, and consequently the cure, of the corruption of the English Universities, is to tally misunderstood. The vices of the present system have been observed, and frequently discussed; but as it has never been shown in what manner these vices were generated, so it has never been perceived how easily their removal might be enforced. It is generally believed that, however imperfect in itself, the actual mechanism of education organized in these seminaries is a time-honoured and essential part of their being, established upon statule, endowed by the national legislature with exclusive privileges, and inviolable as a vested right. We shall prove, on the contrary that it is new as it is inexpedient-not only accidental to the University, but radically subversive of its constitution, without legal sanction, nay, in violalion of positive law,—arrogating the privileges exclusively conceded to another system, which it has superseded, -and so far from being defensible by those it profits, as a right, that it is a Nagrant usurpation obtained through perjury, and only tolerated from neglect.

1. Addenda ad Corpus Statuorum Universitatis Oxoniensis. 4to. Oxonii : 1825. 2. The Oxford University Calendar, for 1829. 8vo. Oxford : 1820.-Vol. li, page 381. June, 1831.

I. Oxford and Cambridge, as establishments for education, consist of two parts of the University proper, and of the Colleges. The former, original and essential, is founded, controlled, and privileged by public authority, for the advantage of the state. The latter, accessory and contingent, are created, regulated, and endowed by private munificence, for the interest of certain favoured individuals. Time was when the Colleges did not exist, and the University was there; and were the Colleges again abolished, the University would remain entire. The former, founded solely for education, exists only as it accomplishes the end of its institution : the latter, founded principally for aliment and habitation, would still exist were all education abandoned within their walls. The University, as a national establishment, is necessarily open to the lieges in general; the Colleges, as private institutions, might universally do as some have actually done-close their gates upon all, except their foundation members.

The University and Colleges are thus neither identical, nor vicarious of each other. If the University ceases to perform its functions, it ceases to exist; and the privileges accorded by the nation to the system of public education legally organized in the University cannot, without the consent of the nalion-far less without the consent of the academical legislature—be lawfully transferred to the system of private education precariously organized in the Colleges, and over which neither the State nor the University have any control. They have, however, been unlawfully usurped.

Through the suspension of the University, and the usurpation of its functions and privileges by the Collegial bodies, there has arisen the second of two systems, diametrically opposite to each other. The one in which the University was paramouni is ancient and statutory; the other in which

the Colleges have the ascendant, is recent and illegal. In the former, all was subservient to public utility, and the interests of science; in the latter, all is sacrificed to private monopoly, and to the convenience of the teacher. The former amplified the means of education in accommodation to the mighty end which a University proposes ; the latter limits the end which the University attempts to the capacity of the petty instruments which the intrusive system employs. The one afforded education in all the Faculties; the other professes to furnish only elementary tuition in the lowest. In the authorized systems, the cycle of instruction was distributed among a body of teachers, all professedly chosen from merit, and each concentrating his ability on a single object; in the unauthorized, every branch, necessary to be learned, is monopolized by an individual privileged to teach all, though probably ill qualified to teach any. The old system daily collected into large classes, under the same professor, the whole youth of the University of equal standing, and thus rendered possible a keen and steady competition; the new, which elevales the colleges and halls into so many little universities, and in these houses distributes the students, without regard to ability or standing, among some fifty tutors, frustrates all emulation among the members of its small and ill-assorted classes. In the superseded system, the Degrees in all the Faculties were solemn teslimonials that the graduate had accomplished a regular course of study in the public schools of the University, and approved his competence by exercise and examination; and on these degrees, only as such testimonials, and solely for the public good, were there bestowed by the civil legislature great and exclusive privileges in the church, in the courts of law, and in the practice of medicine. In the superseding system, Degrees in all the Faculties, except the lowest department of the lowest, certify neither a course of academical study, nor any ascertained proficiency in the graduate; and these now nominal distinctions retain their privileges to the public detriment, and for the benefit only of those by whom they have been deprived of their significance. Such is the general contrast of the two systems, which we must now exhibit in detail. · System de jure. The Corpus Statutorum by which the University of Oxford is—we should say, ought to be-governed, was digested by a committee appointed for that purpose, through the influence of Laud, and solemnly ratified by King, Chancellor, and Convocation, in the year 1636. The far greater number of those statutes had been previously in force; and, except in certain articles subsequently added, modified, or restricted, (contained in the Appendix and Addenda,) they exclusively determine the law and constitution of the University to the present hour. Every member is bound by oath and subscription to their faithful observance.-In explanation of the statutory system of instruction, it may be proper lo say a few words in regard to the history of academical teaching, previous to the publication of the Laudian Code.

In the original constitution of Oxford, as in that of all the older universities of the Parisian model, the business of instruction was not confided to a special body of privileged professors. The University was governed, the University was taught, by the graduates at large; Professor, Master, Doctor, were originally synonymous. Every graduate had an equal right of teaching publicly in the University the subject competent to his faculty, and to the rank of his degree; nay, every graduate incurred the obligation of teaching publicly, for a certain period, the subjects of his faculty, for such was the condition involved in the grant of the degree itself. The Bachelor, or imperfect graduate, partly as an exercise towards the higher honour, and useful to himself, partly as a performance due for the degree obtained, and of advantage to others, was bound to read under a master or doctor in his faculty a course of lectures ; and the master, doctor, or perfect graduate was, in like manner, after his promotion, obliged immediately to commence, (incipere,) and to continue for a certain period publicly to teach, (regere, some at least of the subjects pertaining to his faculty. As, however, it was only necessary for the University to enforce this obligation of public teaching, compulsory on all graduates during the term of their necessary regency, if there did not come forward a competent number of voluntary regents to execute this function; and as the schools belonging to the several faculties, and in which alone all public or ordinary instruction could be delivered, were frequently inadequate to accommodate the multitude of the inceptors; it came to pass that in these Universities the original period of necessary regency was once and again abbreviated, and even a dispensation from actual teaching during its continuance, commonly allowed.* At the same time, as the University only accomplished the end of its existence through its regents, they alone were allowed to enjoy full privileges in its legislation and government. In Paris, the non-regent graduates were only assembled on rare and extraordinary occasions; in Oxford, the regents formed the House of Congregation, which, among other exclusive prerogatives, anciently constituted the initiatory assembly, through which it behoved that every measure should pass before it could be submitted to the House of Convention, composed indifferently of all regents and non-regents residents in the University.+

This distinction of regent and non-regent continued most rigidly marked in the Faculty of Arts-the faculty on which the older universities were originally founded, and which was always greatly the most numerous. In the other faculties, both in Paris and Oxford, all doctors succeeded in usurping the style and privileges of regent, though not actually engaged in teaching; and in Oxford, the same was allowed to masters of the Faculty of Arts during the statutory period of their necessary regency, even when availing themselves of a dispensation from the performance of its duties; and extended to the Heads of Houses, (who were also in Paris Regens d'honneur,) and to College Deans. This explains the constitution of the Oxford House of Congregation at the present day.

The ancient system of academical instruction by the graduates at large was, however, still more essentially modified by another innovation. The regents were entitled to exact from their auditors a certain regulated fee (pastus, collectum). To relieve the scholars of this burden, and to secure the services of able teachers, salaries were sometimes given to certain graduates, on consideration of their delivery of ordinary lectures without collect. In many universities, attendance on these courses was specially

In Oxford, where the public schools of the Faculty of Arts, in School Street, were proportionally more numerous (there are known by name above forty sets of schools anciently open in that street, i. e. buildings containing from four to sixteen class-rooms) than those in Paris belonging to the different nations of that faculty, in the Rue de la Fouarre, this dispensation was more tar dily allowed. In Paris, the master, who was desirous of exercising this privilege of his degree, petitioned his faculty pro regentia et scholis ; and schools, as they fell vacant, were granted to him by his nation, according to his seniority.

It was only by an abusive fiction that those were subsequently held to be Convictores. or actual residents in the University, who retained their names on the books of a Hall or College

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