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misery,” they passed the time from August of one year to May the 25th of another, when “there came two ships of Hull, and thus, by the blessing of God, came we all eight of us well home safe and sound.”

And thus concludes for the present this series of admirablyedited publications. The “Report for 1855” contains a long list of " works in progress,” which promise at least to equal in interest those which we have now noticed, -necessarily in a most imperfect manner; for ten times our space might have been well filled by the review of these sixteen issues of the Hakluyt Society.


Report of the Commissioners for the Reform of the University of

Cambridge. 1852. Correspondence of the Cambridge Commissioners with the Govern

ment. 1855. Bill for the Reform of the University of Cambridge. 1855. Hansurd's Debates. 1855. Statutes of the University of Cambridge, from the 13th to the 16th

century. By J. Heywood. 2 vols. Bohn, 1855. Cambridge Calendar. Deighton, Cambridge, 1856. Oxford Essays. J. W. Parker and Son, London, 1855. Cambridge Essays. J. W. Parker and Son, London, 1855. The bill for the reform of the University of Cambridge, which will in all probability be again submitted to Parliament this year, as it originally stood embodied to a certain extent the proposals contained in the report of 1852. It was further modified by the Government, in partial compliance with the remonstrances contained in a letter written by five of the commissioners to the Government in the spring of last year, and, as finally amended, contained provisions of the following kind for the reform of the constitution of the University. It proposed, in the first place, to abolish the caput. This body is a committee consisting of six members, holding office for one year. To them all graces, or resolutions, to be laid before the senate, are submitted ; any member has a veto upon the measures proposed, and has it thus in his power to postpone them during his tenure of office. The committee is framed in accordance with the ancient constitution of the University. It contains one representative of each of the three faculties of theology, law, and medicine; one member of the non-regent house, which consists of those M.A.'s who have upwards of five years' standing, and one member of the regent house, which is composed of those who have less; and finally, the vice-chancellor, who is always the junior head of a college. The graces submitted to this body are prepared by the heads of houses, who have thus not only the right of preparing all business for the senate, but have also, through the vice-chancellor's vote in the caput, the power of peremptorily putting a stop to any proceedings of which they may disapprove. The objections to this system are so obvious, that no one defends it; but there is some difference of opinion as to the nature of the body which is to replace it. The government proposed last year a body, to be called the Council of the Senate, which was to consist of four heads of houses chosen by the heads, four professors chosen by the professors, and eight resident members of the senate chosen by the resident members of the senate, half of each of the three constituent parts going out of office every two years. The commissioners wished the whole of the body to be elected by the resident members of the senate, as the corresponding body at Oxford is elected by the congregation. As to its powers, no question was raised. It was to prepare

and to approve of all graces to be laid before the senate by a simple majority, and not, as was the case with the caput, by a unanimous vote. The bill also empowered the University to grant licenses to members of the senate to open their residences for the reception of students, who were to be matriculated and admitted to all the privileges of the University without being of necessity members of any college, and to make regulations for the government of such establishments when so opened; and in order to insure the exercise of these powers, it enacted, that if the University did not frame such regulations to the satisfaction of the commissioners appointed by the bill within a year, it should be incumbent on the commissioners to proceed them. selves to frame the statutes necessary to supply the defect. The bill also conferred upon the colleges, subject to the approval and control in case of default by the commissioners, many powers in relation to the college statutes and revenues; but it contained no provision for the reform of the University statutes, -a most important omission,- and made no reference to the commissioners' proposal for the institution of a general board of

a studies. The bill further enacted, that no oaths or subscriptions shall be necessary for any lay degree; but that no person shall become a member of the senate unless he has signed a declaration of membership of the Church of England, -an unnecessary restriction, which concedes the principle, and takes away the grace of the concession. Coupling this, however, with the power which Dissenters will have under the statute of opening halls of their own, the question may be considered as practically, though most ungracefully, settled, at least for the present.

The solution of the questions at issue between the commissioners and the Government is so inextricably mixed up with the more general question of the functions of the University, that we do not propose to discuss them in detail. Contenting ourselves with the general statement that we are on the whole decidedly in favour of the adoption of the recommendations of the commissioners, we will go on to state the principles which have led us to that conclusion.

The general object of the bill, when amended as proposed, is the transfer of the government of the University from the heads of houses to the resident members of the senate. This has been represented as being nothing more than a contest between what Lord Lyndhurst calls the “grave” and the “youthful” elements in that body. We can well understand the policy of representing the question as being merely one between Conservative and Liberal; but this is not the way to arrive at the merits of any question, least of all such a question as this. Indeed, to any one whose recollections of Cambridge are somewhat more recent than those of the strange old man who, having passed that extreme limit of human life at which strength is but labour and trouble, retains almost all the strength and eloquence which were so conspicuous in the last generation but one,—to younger men, the notion of a wild democracy of resident masters of arts is a great deal more strange than that of a frantic mob of quakers, or a bloodthirsty crew of orators from Exeter Hall. The sheep whom his lordship's imagination invests with wolves' clothing are by taste and habit amongst the most conservative of mankind, and are about as likely to injure the constitution of the body to which they belong by rash reforms, as the ingenuous youth who come up to college from year to year to justify their mothers' alarms by over-application to their studies. We do not like to substitute generalities for facts; but it would be much more like the truth to say that the real question at issue is a question between the colleges represented by the heads of houses, and the University represented by the members of the senate. We believe the question to be one which goes to the very root of all University reform, and that upon its solution the whole character of Cambridge education will depend.

Whoever reads the Elizabethan statutes-still, be it remembered, nominally in force- will be struck by the circumstance that their object is to effect something which no attempts. They prescribe a regular curriculum, enforced by




acts, opponencies, responsions, and attendance upon University lectures, to which the college instruction is considered as entirely subordinate. In short, they recognise examinations, of whatever kind, only as means to an end, and look upon the University, to use the words of the commissioners, as “an educating, and not a prize-giving body.” Competitive examinations, and the whole system of "honours," is of very recent origin. It has grown up since 1746 or 47, in which year the first mathematical honour list was published; but it has been so much extended by the establishment of the classical tripos in 1821, of the natural and moral science triposes in 1851, and by the accumulation of a variety of prizes and University scholarships, that whatever education is now given at Cambridge is given exclusively by means of competitive examinations. It is not at first sight apparent how this is connected with the predominance of the colleges over the University; but the fact may be easily explained.

A system which places success entirely in passing certain tests with distinction, necessarily increases the influence of the colleges, as the college authorities are of necessity better acquainted with their own pupils than professors can be. The consequence of this has been, that the college lectures have almost entirely superseded those given by the professors of the University; and by the operation of a precisely similar cause, they have been themselves, to a great degree, superseded by the instruction given by private tutors. Thus Mr. Cooper, late tutor of Trinity, says:

* The lecturers' functions are superseded to a considerable extent by the private tutors. The competition for university honours is so great, that the students eagerly seize upon any advantage which can improve their prospect of success; and as the private tutor can devote more of his time to the individual student, and carry him more rapidly and with less exertion over his field of study, they lean more upon his assistance than that of the college lecturer. Iu

present state of our mathematical examinations for honours, I believe that it cannot be otherwise. I do not think that the higher classes of students could acquire that readiness in displaying the knowledge they possess which the work of the senate-house demands, without some private assistance in addition to college lectures.” Evidence, p. 153.

Indeed, when the object is to introduce into the mind of the student a definite quantity of information, reproducible on short notice in a certain specific form, the system of private tuition will of necessity supersede all others. Of course, when such a system is fully carried out, the University is reduced to a mere examining-board, and, as far as direct instruction is concerned, the undergraduates might as well come up to London once a year,



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for a week at a time, to be examined, as live at Cambridge. Upon the effect of this system on the students we may quote the following passages from the evidence of Dr. Philpott, the Master of Catharine Hall, and from Dr. Whewell, the Master of Trinity College:

“I believe that the notion prevails extensively among the students that the continued assistance of a private tutor is indispensable for the attainment of high honours ; but I think that this notion does not rest on any good foundation. I am inclined to think, on the contrary, that the continued reliance on a private tutor is in many cases of great injury to the student, and that much sounder and more knowledge would have been acquired [of this we have no doubt], and a higher honour gained (this is contradicted by universal experience], if the student could have been persuaded to rely more on his own strength and resources, and either to depend altogether for guidance and assistance on his college tutor, or to have recourse only occasionally, and towards the end of his course, to the help of private tuition. Instances occur repeatedly of failure to obtain high honours in the case of students who have had the benefit (as they consider it) of continued private tuition, and instances are also to be found [Mr. Cooper expressly contradicts this] in sufficient number to prove the advantage of reliance on a student's own personal exertion, in which high honours have been gained by students who have had little or no private tuition.”

The following are the remarks of Dr. Whewell on the same subject :

“At present, most of the students have private tutors during the greater part of the time that they are here, at an expense of from forty to sixty guineas a year. It would much improve the influence of our Cambridge erlucation upon the minds of the students if they were not commonly allowed to have private tutors, especially during the latter part of their undergraduateship; for the dependence on private tutors enfeebles the mind and depraves the habits of study; and the private tutor's instructions having for their object merely the student's success in a coming examination, without the more general or dignified tone which public teaching naturally assumes, lower the character of our teaching."

Dr. Whewell further observes :

“I began to speak of this subject as a matter of expense; but if I may here pursue it with reference to its other defects, which are made the subjects of inquiry also, I may add my very decided opinion that no system of education which is governed entirely, or even mainly, by examinations occupying short times with long intervening intervals, can ever be otherwise than a bad mental discipline. Intellectual education requires that the mind should be habitually employed in the acquisition of knowledge, with a certain considerable degree of clear insight and independent activity. This is universally promoted by the

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