the pride of office occasionally dic- tion of its nature. It is statuted, as tates to the more respectable advo. Doctor Tatham informs us, under the cates of established institutions. authority of an ordinance of King

The corporation of the University Charlesthe First, that the vice-chancel. of Oxford, as assembled in convoca- lor, proctors, and heads of colleges tion, consists of such members of the and halls, shall hold a weekly meet. different minor incorporations or col. ing on Monday, at one o'clock, in leges as have taken the regular de- which all measures shall be discussed gree of Doctor, or of Master of Arts. previous to their being proposed in The convocation, under certain re. convocation ; and farther, it is exstrictions, has the power of enacting pressly provided that the statute shall statutes for the government of the not be altered, without the licence university, and of repealing them; of the same royal authority by which and, as far as it contains within it, it was originally sanctioned.--Docself the means of its own improve. tor Tatham complains, that the stament, is perhaps as well calculated tutable time and place for holding for permanent utility as any institu- this meeting are not observed, and tion which one age can frame, in ne- that a sort of secret junta controul cessary ignorance of the manners of the proceedings of the rest, by means succeeding generations. A great of various illegal manæuvres. The evil has however crept into this high- difficulty of repealing such a statute ly respectable institution, in conse- is obvious, but it is not insurmountaquence of the law, which prevents ble; and until some reformation in the introduction of any measure with this radical point is made, Oxford out the previous sanction of an oli. will always be disposed to resist the garchy, consisting of the heads of improvements of a liberal age, and colleges and halls, which has been will continue to follow the progress aptly compared to the lords of the of knowledge at a distance with slow articles in the ancient Parliament of and unwilling steps. We are aware Scotland.-If these persons were of the importance of “ removing the erected into a separate house, with a instructors of youth far above the neveto on the proceedings of the con- cessity of Aattering prevailing prejuvocation, they might have the same dice,” or of courting public favour power to resist rash and ill-digested by popular arts, and are ready to adinnovations, in the exercise of which mire the beneficial effects of that they have at all times shewn them- haughty tone of independence with selves so vigilant, without the perni- which this proud corporation recious accompaniment of preventing sists every untried system and unthe discussion of useful improvements sound opinion. But, though this be suggested by the progress of know. the last place where rash experiments ledge. But we confess weshould be should be made, we deprecate the ilglad to see this thraldom totally abo. liberal spirit which, arrogating the lished, which has always operated as praise of perfection, would condemn a check to useful improvements, and improvements altogether, and even injured the reputation of the univer- reject them as a subject of discussity. We are indebted to a member sion, and of which truth forces us of this meeting, the Rector of Lin- to confess some vestiges may still be coln College, for a distinct explana, traced in Oxford, fallen as she is

from the abominations of her ancient tioners who have come from a partí. bigotry.

cular school or county ; in others, it The different colleges, along with is open to all the foundationers of their wealth, derived from the piety the college : But, with a very few of their founders and benefactors cer. exceptions, the whole fellowships tain bodies of statutes for their inter- and livings in the gift of the Oxford nal regulation, framed in times of colleges descend in regular succescomparative ignorance and darkness, sion to persons whose first admission but which no power but that of the on the books secured them from the legislature can now alter or innovate. fear of want, and who look forward Many of the conditions of these in- to a certain inheritance, which their tails are utterly impossible, and others exertions can neither hasten nor imare in practice explained away or ne- prove. glected; but enough of them re- Many arguments of serious impormain in full force to afford serious tance may be advanced against the obstacles to the general utility of the interference of the legislature with college foundations. The choice of the principles of English law, which boys to fill up vacancies is in some sanction these perpetuities. They instances limited to certain schools, must be considered, not so much in dioceses, counties, and even parishes, the light of national foundations as frequently with a preference to the private property, and the expediency founder's kindred. Notwithstanding of tampering with any distribution these limitations, it will sometimes of the latter, not positively prejudi. happen that a considerable competi- cial to the public, may beurged on the tion occurs for a vacant scholarship strongest grounds; but this discusfrom some populous county, and in that sion, however interesting, we shall case the best scholar is selected; but, in reserve for some future occasion.general, the admission upon a college There is sufficient room, without enfoundation depends on very different tering upon this question, for any qualificationsfrom geniusand learning. moderate reformer to exercise his ta. In cases where the electors are not re- lents, in provisions for enforcing the strained by statutes, the election is wills of founders and benefactors, usually a matter of private favour.-It where they are consistent with the might be expected that the peaceful ideas of a liberal age, and supplying honours of a fellowship should be the such deficiencies as permit the bounreward of those foundation members, ty intended for the advancement of who have made most progress in their piety and learning to be basely perstudies, and acquired distinction inverted to purposes of private interest. the various exercises prescribed by Even when the choice of the electhe college and the university ; but tors to vacant scholarships is limited wherever the founder may have in. in the manner already mentioned, the tended a fellowship to distinguish me. short notice that is often given of rit, it happens, by a singular but al- a vacancy is calculated to secure the most universal coincidence, that this quiet admission of some one candimerit is most conspicuous in him date, and to prevent a numerous com whose claim is sanctioned by seniori- petition. The vacancy must perhaps. ty:-In some societies the choice of be filled up within a short time ; but a fellow is limited to those founda- if it be certainly known several years

before that this vacancy will occur, might be made as would, in the the electors are guilty of a gross ne- course of a few years, appropriate to glect of duty in not making it as the Oxford foundations, and through public as possible. Every parent them to learned pursuits and the serhas some view or other for his chile vice of the church, a large portion of dren, and cannot be expected, on the talents, the absence of which would short notice of a few weeks, to relin- not occasion a corresponding incon. quish his previous plans, and resolve venience in the naval and military proupon a new profession. Besides, as fessions, or in the counting houses of particular branches of knowledge are a commercial city. Nay, the talents required of the candidates, the acci- adapted to the different professions of dent of having been taught in a cer. life are so extremely various, that in tain way gives a much greater chance claiming the first selection for the of success than the finest talents. Oxford foundations from those who The electors, for example, may be are desirous to stand the competition, bound by their oaths to require the we are not certain but we may fairly composition of Latin verse as an in. be considered as arguing for an absodispensable qualification, and may thus lute redemption from the “uncultibe constrained to admit an ignorant vated waste of human intellect.” It and stupid boy, who has been flug- appears necessary to state this view ged into this practice, in preference of the subject, in anticipation of the to another in all respects his supe- objection, that the country may gain rior. When certain previous qualifi when Oxford suffers. It is stated cations are necessary, it is manifest for the benefit of those only who en. injustice to withhold the means of tertain different views from ours with obtaining them. An undue advan. regard to the dignity of learning and tage is thus afforded to those who science ; but we trust the generality know the private history of a col- of our readers will not think that we lege, and who may be trained for exaggerate the importance of such years for an expected vacancy, while pursuits, if we add our own convicothers know nothing of it till it oc- tion, that the cause of learning re. curs. There are many abuses of this quires no exertion and no sacrifice sort which cannot be traced to the inconsistent with the best interests of restrictions of ancient statutes, or to our country, or with the welfare of any other source than the selfishness the whole human race. or indifference of the electors. In- Some persons may object, that the deed, it generally happens that, where interference of the legislature is unnethere are no restrictions at all, the cessary, and therefore improper, elections proceed upon an avowed when no legal obstacle to improvesystem of favouritism.

ment is to be removed; but we conFor these and other evils arising tend that there is a “dignus vindice from the change of manners and opi- nodus” for the strong arm of power, nions, with a more minute detail of since the experience of ages has which we shall not fatigue our read. shewn the natural propensities of huers, we see no redress but in the wis- man nature to be superior to those dom of the British Parliament. With- inducements which the sense of duty, out encroaching on the spirit of the the love of learning, the emulation of college statutes, such regulations colleges and universities, or public

spirit, may afford for the encourage- cusandus heres, qui reliquias testato. ment of learning and genius. In these ris non in mare secundum ipsius sotimes, when England expects that luntatem abjecit : sed memoria huevery man in every station shall do his manae conditionis sepulturae tradi. duty, the Oxford fellows must not dit.” The Oxford fellows, howbe allowed to slumber in their stalls, ever, ought not to be left to this or to consider their emoluments, whe- hard struggle between their consci. ther derived from private or from ences and their reason. The legislapublic munificence, as intended sole- ture and the courts have ally for the ease and comfort of their ready interfered, and they ought to lives. Many of them are not enga- continue their superintending care ged in the instruction of youth; until these foundations are reconciled but they have all important duties to the progress of reason, and the to discharge in the preservation and probable intentions of those pious advancement of piety and learning, men from whom they derive their and in the distribution of the wealth origin. entrusted to their hands; the per- When a young man enters any col. formance of which duties the public lege, whether as a dependent or inhave a right to enforce by such re- dependent member, he is immediately gulations as their founders, if now placed under one or more of the colalive, would have been the first to lege tutors, whose private lectures in sanction and approve, but which the the classics, logic, and mathematics, weaknesses of men forbid us to ex. and sometimes in other branches, he pect from their own exertions, or the is obliged to attend generally about vigilance of their visitors. We re- two hours a day. The college tuspect their reverence for the memory tors, in some instances, teach differof their benefactors and for the sa- ent branches to the same classes of cred nature of their oaths, and readily young men ; but the best arrangeadmit the danger of a general or un- ment seems to be that which allots guarded substitution of the spirit one department to each tutor, in for the letter of statutes originally in. which he is to instruct different clastended for literal interpretation ; but These tutors are selected by where the conditions have become the head of the college from the deimpossible, or even manifestly absurd, pendent members above a certain they ought to be considered as no standing. The choice is, for obvious longer in existence; nor will any ra- reasons, in general made with great tional person be forward strictly to judgement; so that the persons who interpret against himself the condi- fill these offices are almost always the tions of a compact framed for his best fitted for them that their respecown advantage. “ Quidam,” says tive colleges can supply: Their num. the more liberal spirit of the Roman ber in each college is in proportion law, “ in suo testamento heredem' to the number of under-graduates ; scripsit sub tali conditione, si reli- and in the larger colleges, where quias ejus in mare abjiciat : Quaere. more are wanted, the field of selecbatur, cum heres institutus condi- tion widens with the demand. As it tioni non paruissct, an expellendus is an office of great labour and reest ab hereditate? Modestinus respon- sponsibility, and contributes more to dit : Laudandus est magis, quam ac- the reputation than emolument of those by whom it is discharged, it the practice of English and Latin soon becomes vacant, if by any acci. composition, which forms a branch dent it falls into improper hands; and of education in every college. It is it almost always happens, that those in some colleges usual to have the who understand their duty best, and best of these exercises read weekly, perform it with most credit to them and in others at the end of each term, selves and advantage to their pupils, before the whole college, by the auretain the office longest. If * an thors, as a mark of honour, and stiold college tutor, eminent as a man mulus to future exertion. Those of letters, is rarely to be met with,” who have a turn for verse are expectit is not because “the church drainsed to give some specimen of their the colleges” of such persons ; for abilities in that department. Abridgetheir promotion usually depends up- ments, too, of some books which on the fall of college livings, in which have been read during the term are they take their rotation with the required to be shewn at the college other foundation members ; and even examinations, which take place preindependent on promotion in the vious to each vacation. In some col. church, the office of college tutor is leges, when independent members of such a nature that few persons appear to have little or no knowcare to retain it for any long period ledge of Greek and Latin, as it is of time. Nor is this circumstance, not likely, a degree being out of the upon the whole, to be regretted ; question, that this deficiency will for whatever may be occasionally ever be effectually repaired, the falost in point of experience by its cir- vourite pursuits of the place are someculation, is more than compensated times, with a commendable liberaliin point of vigour and activity. ty, relinquished for the more useful


The great object of every student, study of Blackstone's Commentawho derives any benefit from the Ox- ries; and an attempt is made to fill ford system of education, is distinc- up the intervals of fox-hunting and tion in the examinations for the aca- less manly pleasures with the reflecdemical degrees. All the dependent tions which the pages of English and members, and those intended for holy Roman history may suggest even to orders, are obliged to be examined, the least thoughtful minds. and a large proportion of the inde- The first public or university bupendent members are examined from siness which engages the student's at. choice, or through the influence of tention, is an examination at two their friends. The principal busi- years standing in the classics, in loness of the college tutors'accordingly gic, and the elements of Euclid. consists in lectures in the subjects of This responsio, as it is termed in the these public exercises, or rather, as statute, is well calculated to prepare the word lecture is a little ambigu- for the principal examination, which ous, in daily examining and instruct- takes place a year afterwards; and to ing their pupils in such books and keep this great object of ambition branches of knowledge as may after- in the constant view of the tutors wards insure their proficiency in the and their pupils. Eightcandidates are business of the schools. Beside this examined in a day by the three maspart of his duty, the tutor superin- ters of the schools, in presence of a tends the exertions of his pupils in numerous audience of young men,

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