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« Phædrus," where Socrates discusses growth, and indispensable to its proper with his adept the superiority of oral formation; but, when stem and root delivery to written essays for philo- are once developed, you must leave sophical purposes. But even without them to their own direction and imappealing to any authorities, we may pulse, and, provided that sun and rain easily conjecture that the living word are fairly and in due time afforded, the must supersede
the dead letter in power tree will grow of itself, whereas it will and efficacy. There must be more ef- fade and be crippled under a continued fect in listening to a Newton in the artificial treatment which extends bechair demonstrating the laws of motion yond the acme of its growing powers. in their eternal necessity, than in read- Much more so the mind. University ing his “Principia Philosophiæ Natu- education is to be the last stage of ralis." As for the habit of writing mental growth. It comes at a time down from lectures, we should not when body and mind are adult, and all quarrel too much with that; as it is by but finished in their natural stage of far the most immaterial part of the development. For this reason a conproceeding, it should be left to indi.
siderably wider field ought to be left vidual choice, and may have its good, to the intellectual individuality of the partly by affording a document to student. It is a great mistake to be. which the student may refer, and by lieve that doctrines or knowledge were which he may recall the thread of the best imparted to that age by means of lecture to his mind, and partly by fix- the most direct and most
practical training the attention of the hearer on the ing. The best kind of education for words and thoughts of the lecturer by adults is that which is most calculated an outward and
physical means. to produce self-exertion and voluntary Opinions will probably always be efforts of the learner. For self-exer. divided on the question, What means tion is the only true and genuine spring are the best for educating young men of mental improvement. An uniform of an advanced age. Some will advo- and authoritative mode of teaching is cate close superintendence, frequent often even calculated to do much misexaminations, and direct personal in- chief. It bars true genius up within fluence of the masters upon the stu- the trammels of learned traditions; it dent, as the safest course. The German deflects or suppresses talent in its yet Universities have followed the opposite infantine guesses or stammerings; it course, and look upon a system like denies or misapprehends the instinc. that of Oxford, Dublin, or Cambridge, tive gifts of the mind, the innate love or—to turn to a different part of the of truth, and forgets entirely that we globe- of Riga and Dorpat, and of learn nothing so well and so convincmost Universities in other countries, ingly as what we acquire by self-made as derogatory to the dignity both of the researches. professor and student. It may indeed There is certainly as much danger fairly be questioned whether anything is in educating too much as there is in won at all for the purposes of an Univer- educating too little. The German sity, by reducing the professors to the professorial system is intended to steer drudgery of daily tuition, with all its clear of both these extremes, by giving concomitant toil, unpleasantness, ma- the most easy and accessible instrucchinery, and repetition, and on the tion, together with the least degree of other hand, by ushering each student direct teaching. It offers the most into some pre-established method or varied, the most attractive, and the traditional frame of teaching.
most suggestive form of instruction, mind is an organism infinitely finer and leaves the student entirely to judge and more self-acting than any other and use it as he feels himself'disposed. organism nature presents. Yet, the Let no one suppose that such a sysmore independent the mind is in its tem would endanger rather than progrowth than a plant or a tree, and the mote the exertions of the student, by more such a comparison must be con- the absence of more direct inducements sidered as inadequate, the more correct
for learning. and justified we shall be in choosing an It is well known that the German inference from the practice of a gar- student is not behind in industry dener. You may bend and twist a and in patience; nor can we contree, almost into any shape, whilst it ceive why this system should lead to a is young: this is both conducive to its different result. A young man has,
in his twentieth year, we should say, Universities have, indeed, put forth all become wise enough to know that he kinds of theories sometimes useful, does not merely learn in order to please but often fantastic-in many cases prohis professors, and he labours no more found, in some revolutionary; here under the delusion of the school-boy, with an air of venerable antiquity, who fancies he is nicely tricking his there again with the artificial hot-house master whilst he steals away from his forcing of modern wit. Homeopathy school-form. But if the student should has come from Germany-mesmerism ever cease to remember the object of had its origin there-hydropathy emahis stay at the University, the thought nates from thence; rationalism and that he is, by his own choice, remain- mysticism, too, have their adherents ing ignorant amidst a crowd of assidu- there in innumerable shades and rami. ous and intelligent fellow-students, fications. Pantheism is maintained by will induce him more effectually, to some philosophers; scepticism is the amend, than any disciplinary notices result of others' views, and schools or tutorial remonstrances.
follow each other there, thick and We cannot pass by this occasion quick. Leibnitz, Kant, Fichte, Schelwithout stating some of the historical ling, Hegel bave peopled the German effects by which the German Univer- Universities with their followers. Go sity system has been attended. Im- to a University, there are not two partial observers will admit that Ger- doctors in law or divinity who hold the many boasts of students who are willing same opinions; and even their lectures and able to exert themselves in the often have a strong admixture of inhighest degree possible. Their plod- dividual views and even polemics: the ding disposition has become a standing students, of course, choose their party jest to some English writers, who could too for themselves. This mushroombe foolish enough even for a moment like fertility of doctrines in Germany to depreciate the zeal and fervor of forms a striking contrast to the those youthful and disinterested search- steady, undeviating march of intellect ers after truth. Is not the toilsome in the learned circles of Oxford and and self-dictated, unwearied patience Cambridge, Dublin or London. At of the German student, over his mid- the British Universities, doctrines and night lamp, quite as worthy of respect education are infinitely more positive and praise as the daily reading hours and alike. All the students receive, of an Oxford or Cambridge student, within each College, one and the same who often works for prizes or honours, kind of education; they are all taught under the direction of his tutor? And in the same fixed way, and depend for who that truly appreciates learning their opinions almost solely on the opi. and science will ever indulge in sneer- nions of their tutors or professors, ing at the means and trouble by which who do not much differfrom each other. it must be acquired? The German For this reason it often appears to obUniversities have no cause to disclaim serving foreigners as if the intellects of the epithet with which their adepts English University-men were all mouldare honoured, as long as German Uni. ed in one and the same national shape, versity-men are sought and respected, and stamped by the same influence; and as long as their writings, the fruit nor can it be astonishing that the auof their plodding qualities, are read thoritative character of English Uniand appreciated.
versity education should have this With equal truth it may be said of effect. Compare with them an adept the German Universities that they pro- from a German University, and you mote individuality of intellect and opi. will find him usually swayed by a rest. nion almost to an excess ; of course, less and independent, nay, frantic defor every one is there led, nay, com- sire of research and of theorising on pelled to think and judge for himself, his own account. There is, undoubtand to take nothing on trust. It is edly, much danger as well as some certainly true that lately a great many good with either of these two different learned novelties and doctrinal schools tendencies, which it is not our business have been hatched at the German Uni. here to discuss. But we may, without versities. We do not want to deny- great fear of erring, set it down as a in fact it would be useless-that Ger- fact, that the German University sysmany is possessed of the largest tem, devoid as it is of the principle of amount of intellectual fertility. "Its authority, has gained in intellectual fertility, in the quick growth of science, to hear and learn what he likes, will in production of individual views, generally choose but such lectures as whereas it has, at the same time, lost fall in with his particular profession, in steadiness and concentration of aim, and the different halls of a German and in unity and firmness of doctrine, University are usually filled but by one which have their own particular good, of the four classes of students. There not in science, but in moral and political are but few lectures of common and views, and may rather be said to belong general interest, such as logic, metato the properties of English education. physics, and those on all general to
We trust that the mode of instruc- pics, historical, or philosophical; the tion usual at the German Universities great stock and majority of lectures is so far sufficiently characterised in are altogether addressed by profesits main features. It embraces, as we sional men to professional adepts. In have stated, four distinct branches of this respect the British Universities science - divinity, law, medicine, and form a wide contrast with those of philosophy (that is, classics, natural Germany, and the Continental High sciences and history); four deans and Schools in general. British students one rector are annually chosen by and receive within their colleges all one from among the regular professors, to and the same kind of education, and represent these four learned faculties, no regard is paid to any individual sa they are denominated. These five profession. Their object is said to be men constitute the University Senate, general knowledge, and not profeswho bardly ever interfere with the stu- sional knowledge, and for law and me. dents, over whom they have only a no- dical science, as well as all more pracminal control, except in coming and tical pursuits of any kind whatever, leaving, at their matriculation, and at little or no preparation is made, except their asking for a testimonial or a de- in establishments independent of the gree. They preside, together with the Universities themselves. It is cerordinary and extraordinary professors, tainly not the design of the Universities at public occasions and festivities, in- to form mere business men; but it may vested with richly - decorated velvet be hardly advisable to defer the aprobes. Connected with the Senate is prenticeship for the learned professions also an University Judge, before whom too long Universities should not students may be taken who incur debts, merely be considered as intended to or have been found out duelling, or turn out gentlemen, or to delegate a have committed themselves politically. multitude of scientific drones, or to
The reader will perceive that the create a number of young Grecians, above division into four faculties implies with a great amount of general taste a professional character which does not and little practical skill. The country belong to the British Universities. derives no use from general philosophy Every German student decides before and universal information. Its wants his matriculation which profession and are of a more imperative and indivi. which class he will join. The whole dual nature. It requires men fit for plan of his studies and the choice of the higher branches of administrationhis lectures will depend upon this men qualitied to preach the Gospel, to decision. A medical student will hear guard its laws, to cure the sick, or to lectures anatomy, physiology, instruct the rising generations. If the chemistry and phrenologya lawyer Universities were either too haughty will attend prelections on civil, crimi- or too short-sighted to attend to the nal, and common law, or the ancient actual requirements of the country, and modern codes; ibe divinity stu- they would earn little gratitude from a dent will frequent exegetical lectures, people for whom they did not provide, learn Hebrew, read the fathers, hear and from pupils whom they left untit lectures on church history, ethics and for their vocation. General know the dogmas of the Christian faith; ledge is the province of elementary whilst the classical student, according schools and preparatory colleges; in to his particular intentions, will be Germany it is the professed aim of the present at interpretations of Horace, gymnasia. But it is both natural and Pindar, Plato, and Sophocles, or else indispensable that education, in its hear some historian, geographer, ma- final and most advanced stage, should thematician, or astronomer. Thus become professional, or else Universi, each student, though fully at liberty ties can never be seriously said to pre
pare young men for the higher and tory, and then present himself for the learned branches of society.
oral examination, which is conducted We will add here a few words on Uni- by ordinary professors of the University, versity degrees and examinations. It whom the candidate may choose for will be understood from the preceding himself. explanations that the German Univer. Let no one suppose that the examisities do not examine their students at nation for a degree of Doctor et Ma. all. As they do not engage themselves gister, or Doctor of Medicine, was to teach practically, and decline every given away to undeserving persons at direct responsibility for the actual im- any of the Prussian and most of the provements of their scholars, they have larger German Universities. It is true no occasion to examine any student on that, of late, some of the obscurer the use he has made of his time and of Universities have established quite a the University lectures. No prizes are traffic with diplomas, and have granted awarded, no inducements for industry them to foreigners, without requiring held out. It is true that each faculty any oral examination, merely on payannually proposes one prize-question; ing their fees, and sending some essay, and that students of moderate means with other testimonials. This has may, upon applying and giving some brought academical degrees into dis. test of industry, often receive presents repute in Germany as well as abroad ; from the assisting-funds of the Univer- but, as the other Universities did not sity or the Government; but these soli. fail to complain of the said abuse at tary and exceptional cases are by their the Diet at Frankfort, and took other Dature and extent without effect or im. effectual steps in order to compel the goportance for the mass of students. vernments of the lesser German States 'Their industry is not stimulated by to check it, a more scrupulous mode love of gain or love of honour. There of examining has been enforced, and is no list of wranglers or classmen in- is conscientiously observed in Prussia. viting the academician to labour; no Degrees are merely ornamental ; fear of being plucked, to hinder him they give a title or public character, from being as lazy as he likes. The but are no legal test of capacity. Now, industry of the German student is un. in order to ascertain the fitness of selfish and disinterested; he works for young men for office, either for the his own good and for the love of church, or the bar, or the gymnasial science, and not from ambition or or academical chair, or for surgical want. We do not think that his as- practice, it appears a public test is residuity would in general be increased, quisite. But the Universities could, and we feel confident it would not be according to their design and nature, ennoblod, if the somewhat mercenary not meddle with it. The necessary system into which-to German eyes at examinations, therefore, are conducted least-the English universities seem to by commissions appointed by Govern. have fallen, was substituted for the ment to examine young divines, schoGerman system. When a student lars, lawyers, and surgeons, before they leaves bis university, he receives a tes- are permitted to hold office. Here, timonial wherсon the lectures which of course, difference of skill among he has paid for and attended are men- the candidates is a matter of the tioned, from half-year to half-year ; bighest importance; and the result of each professor usually is requested to these examinations usually decides the vitness his attendance by some little actual improvements of the student, epithet, as Besucht, fleissig besucht, etc. as well as his future prospects. These Beyond this a University does not go. examinations are, therefore, the final The only case where examinations take aim and conclusion of the student's place is when application is made for a effort, who passes them sometimes imdegree. Any person may get a degree mediately, sometimes from one to five from a German University, if he can years after his University-triennium. pass the requisite examination, and Hic Rhodus, hic salta! hereafter will send in a printed essay, with other tes- be all plain sailing: timonials to prove his capacity. The The British Universities are inde. candidate, who may be from any coun- pendent corporations, but those of try or school, has only to pay the fees, Germany are in a great measure deget bis essay acknowledged as satisfac- pendent on the governments. It was the princes who founded and endowed course, never be made to agree with them, and it is the princes too who the present English system. The Ger. can, if they choose, keep them in con- man High Schools profess to teach all stant check. Therefore, the German to all, and consequently know of no Universities are often degraded into a creed ; but as true scientific bodies, kind of political engines, which the they admit argument as the only proof minister of public instruction must of truth, and do not shut the mouth of work, according to the wind of the all other confessions, in order that one court or the immediate inspiration of privileged doctrine may claim the batthe sovereign. Science ought, by its tle-field undisputed. nature, to be independent; and as the The German princes and ministries censorship of an overruling power must are more inclined to interfere with the needs tend to fetter and degrade its political than with the religious opi. representatives, we will trust in a fu- nions of the people. They have in ture generation, and an age yet to some cases deposed, or not promoted, come, when the German Universities such professors or lecturers as had of. may be emancipated from the interfe- fered to their measures an unpalatable rence of their governments. Hitherto resistance. Some time ago the King oppressive measures have only now of Hanover put in force a new consti. and then been carried into effect, and tution in his dominions. He required an appearance of autonomy has been all the higher officers of his State to left to the Universities of the Protestant swear allegiance to the new laws. But and northern states, though less so in seven professors of Göttingen refused Austria. Every person can become doing so, and published a protest a lecturer upon proving his ability be- against the proceedings of Government. fore the existing professors; but his Some eminent lawyers and scholars promotion and salary depend on the were amongst them, such as the two intentions of government, and the sup- brothers Grimm, Gervinus, and Dahlport of his colleagues. If he can meet mann. They were all deprived of their with an audience, if he attracts the chairs in one decree. But this meastudents by his lectures, he cannot well sure only tended to ruin the University. be refused a professorship for any For one morning some hundred stulength of time. The German Univer- dents led the seven victims in triumph sities boast of the principle of universal out of the town, shook the dust off admissibility both for those who want their feet at the gates of Göttingen, to teach and for those who want to and went into exile with their seven learn. No creed or birthplace disables professors. The acclamations of all a person who can prove his capacity, Germany were so loud, and the repufrom becoming either a lecturer or a tation of the professors rose so high, student on whatever subject he pleases. that they got all of them other chairs There are no sectarian or religious at other Universities, and thus drew disabilities at any German University; the majority of the Göttingen students in this respect they differ widely with them into other States. Suchfrom the older British Universities. like demonstrations of liberal sympaThus you may find at any German thies have at all times been frequent in University Lutherans, Calvinists, Ro- Germany, and the princes well know man Catholics, Jews, foreigners from that every oppressive measure they Greece, Russia, England, and Ameri- may adopt is sure to be counteracted by ca, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, the independent and turbulent spirit of Hungary, and Poland, &c., amongst the students. the students. Nor are the protes- We cannot here give a full account sors all of the same creed, except in of the true prevailing features of Gerfaculties of divinity, which, by their man University life a topic which has nature, present entire uniformity of certainly its peculiar attractions, partconfession. Some Universities contain ly for the singularity of the facts to be two faculties of divinity, one for Roman described, partly for the difficulty of Catholics and another for Protestants. a correct and impartial appreciation of This order of things is perfectly com- their ultimate import. Some English patible with the German system of travellers, such as Russell, Laing, Talnon-interference in delivering and re- fourd, and others, have spoken of ceiving knowledge; whereas it can, of German students in terms little flat