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thing of such persons, in other departments, as Boerhaave and Grotius, who have on the continent so eminently promoted a taste for, and the true knowledge of ancient literature. In truth, the method is so proper, and so adequate, that we need not be surprised to find it very generally adopted. For, in fact, at least in full effect, it is the method practised even in England, though the mode be somewhat different." P. 19.

What is here meant by the mode of a method, or how two methods, of which the modes are different, can be in effect the same, we are far from being sure that we know; but had not the learned professor suppressed all that part of Johnson's nar rative and inquiry, which we have printed in italics, we hardly think that he would have quoted the authority of that enlightened and classical scholar in support of his own opinion, that the method of education in the Scotch and Dutch universities is not only proper and adequate to the purposes for which those seminaries were established, but also, in full effect, the method practised even in England! This, however, is not the only passage in Johnson's Life of Burman, which, though much to the purpose in this academical controversy, the professor has kept out of view. The Biographer informs us, that when Burman became himself a professor in the university of Utrecht, he went to Paris, with the view of visiting the libraries, and making those inquiries which might be of advantage to his darling study; but that the vucation of the university allowed him to stay at Paris bul six weeks. Supposing him to have been a month on the journey to and from Paris, and a man so eager to accomplish his purpose would not probably be longer, the boys in the university of Utrecht were not longer abandoned by their teachers at that period, than they are at present in our great schools, but is this the case in the Scotch universities? Mr. Russel, we are persuaded, considers it as of no importance, whether the seminary in which boys are instructed in the learned languages be called a school, a college, or a university, provided they be instructed on the proper plan; and the plan of instruction in the university of Utrecht, in the days of Burman, appears to have been much the same with that pursued, not in the college of Glasgow, but in our great schools.

Mr. Russel, however, seems not to have had recourse to Johnson's Life of Burman, for the discovery of the truth, but to have taken the professor's statement on trust, to which he make the following reply;

"This passage brings to light two facts, neither of them of much importance; first, that the system of the Flemish schools was execrably bad, and next, that Burman was a diligent boy, and became a good classical scholar in spite of every disadvantage. To


say, that the method pursued at Glasgow was the same as that ob served at Utrecht, is merely to assert, in other words, that one wretched system is very like another; while the list of high classical editors and critics,' brought forward by the professor, to prove the excellence of the plan upon which they had been taught, bears no proportion to the number of distinguished characters who have learned Greek and Latin, under the tuition of their mothers and maiden aunts. Though Peter Burman shews a considerable degree of learning in his editions of Lucan and Petronius, it does not necessarily follow, that the surest way to make a good classical scholar is to send a boy to the university in his thirteenth year."

He might have added, that though our own Warburton displays, in all his writings, a greater variety of erudition than threefourths of those who have passed their lives in the most distinguished seats of learning, it does not, therefore follow, that to make a youth equally learned with Warburton, it is only necessary to keep him at a distance from every university.

Mr. Russel's greatest objection to the method of classical edu cation in the Scotch schools and universities, was to the practice of sending boys to college to learn the rudiments of the Greek language, and even the letters in which that language is written. This professor Dunbar considers as an irregular and presumptuous intrusion into his department of literature, and, therefore, in a long passage, which is here fairly quoted, he tells Mr. Russel and his friends, how much is done in the several Greek classes in the college of Edinburgh, what books are read; what pains are taken to make the young gentlemen of the higher classes turn short sentences of English into Greek prose, or Iambic, Trochaic, and Anapastic verse, the laws of which are explained with an accuracy which we have pointed out elsewhere*; and how excellent the specimens are which he has received from many of his pupils of different kinds of verse. All this is, doubtless, very true, but Mr. Russel has the insolence to represent it as nothing to the purpose.

"The question under consideration," says he, and here we must agree with him, "was not, whether any individual professor did his duty, or whether the books he put into the hands of his pupils were the fittest that could be chosen with a reference to their previous attainments; but it was, whether boys should be sent to college to learn the Greek alphabet; and after having learned it, whether or not they should be sent home six months to forget it. All allusion to this topic is carefully avoided by my academical critic.

* See our third vol. p. 17, &c.


He ventures no nearer the dangerous ground than to say, 'I shall pass over every thing that is done in the junior class, only premising, that it is wholly separate and distinct from the senior.' But why pass over the junior class? Is it not about that very class, as the most absurd and nugatory of all plans of teaching, that my remarks were chiefly employed?" P. 28.

Mr. Russel had, in his former work, attributed to the defective mode of classical education in Scotland, the superficial knowledge of the Greek language, which, with a few illustrious exceptions, characterizes, in this age, the literati of that country. This Mr. Dunbar denies, and attributes to a very different cause the general neglect of Greek literature. His account of the matter we shall give in his own words: because, though we are not now reviewing his book, justice requires of us to state the reason we have for supposing that a professor of Greek estimates the value of learning, as shopkeepers and manufacturers estimate the value of their wares.

"There are not," says professor Dunbar, "ten situations in all Scotland which require an extensive, or even a moderate knowledge of Greek literature. Is it thought requisite in the profession of the law? No ordinance requires it. Is it necessary for the qualification of a physician? What injunction has been given to study it? No: Latin and Mathematics were lately prescribed by the college of Surgeons, but not a word of Greek. Does it ever form an important part of the examination of candidates for the church? Even here no very great acquirements in that branch of knowledge will open for them a way within her pale; and when they have succeeded in attaining their wishes, what higher object courts their ambition? In the other ranks of life how few make it their study, or prosecute it to any extent?-All this lamentable deficiency Mr. Russel, with his usual sagacity, will no doubt attribute to the defective system in our university. But let me ask him, if he ever saw any artist fabricating goods which he could not bring to market, or if he brought them there, whatever value he might set upon them, would draw no purchasers? Does he not know that where there is an extensive demand for any article, there will always be an adequate supply.'

Such an apology as this for the decline of Greek literature in Scotland was surely never made before, and will probably never be made again; and if we had heard an over zealous Oxonian express his belief that it might be made by the Greek professor in the boasted university of Edinburgh, we should certainly have considered our countryman as under the dominion of prejudice and resentment for the torrents of obloquy poured from that city on the university of Oxford. If this view of the learned professions in Scotland be indeed correct, there cannot

VOL. V. JAN. 1816.



be more than five situations in that country which require a moderate knowledge of Greek literature; for since it is not to be taught in schools, and is of no use to theologians, lawyers, and physicians, the five Greek Professors are the only men in that part of the united kingdom who can have the smallest occasion ever to open a Greck book. It is not indeed very easy to imagine why even they should take that trouble, or what useful purposes their prelections on Iambic, Trochaic, and Anapastic verse can serve in society; for they are verses, it seems, which draw no purchasers in the market! Mr. Russel, however, thinks very differently from the Professor of the cause of the decline of Greek literature in Scotland, though he agrees with him as to the price of that commodity at present in the market.

"Taking up," says he," the Professor's remarks in this view of their bearing, it cannot be concealed that they are but too just ; for it is an unpleasant truth, that a competent knowledge of Greek is not deemed requisite in Scotland, to qualify a person for holding a place in any of the learned faculties. This circumstance, however, so far from justifying perseverance in a bad system, ought to be regarded as the strongest reason for a speedy change; for Grecian literature is not demanded in candidates for the liberal professions, not so much because it is lightly valued, as because it is not to be found; and it is not to be found merely because the plan upon which it has been hitherto taught, is not calculated, in any point of view, to render such knowledge either accurate or exten sive. The Professor, then, is quite right in his conjecture; for I do, without the least hesitation, attribute all this lamentable deficiency to the defective system, of the universities in relation to their method of teaching Greek, and I will venture to add, that this language will never be generally known nor properly valued, until it be introduced into the regular course of grammar-school education." P. 32,

Our author travels over the whole ground of his former tracts, exposes, with equal ability, the weakness of every attempt that has been made to defend the practice of teaching mathematics and philosophy by public lectures, without regularly examining the students, and obliging them to write essays on the subjects of the lectures and supports all his former conclusions by new facts and illustrations well worthy of the attention of every enlightened Scotchman. That he should have given offence to any man by his letters on this subject, would indeed astonish us, did not we daily see that interest, or supposed interest, hoodwinks the intellectual eye of the most vigorous mind; for no man ever exposed the defects of a system, and at the same time more frankly acknowledged the personal merits of those by whom the system was carried on, than Mr. Russel did in these Letters. He repeatedly declared, that the faults of the Scottish system of li



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beral education are not the faults of the teachers either in the school or colleges, but of the constitution of those schools and colleges themselves; and he represents the Professors in the university of Glasgow, with which he is necessarily best acquainted, as doing all that men can do to counteract the baleful influence of the system which they are obliged to carry on. On no individual Professor, in any university, did he, in that work, throw out the faintest reflection; and if he has treated Mr. Professor Dunbar with very little ceremony in the pamphlet before us, every man, we think, except that learned Professor himself, will find a sufficient apology in Mr. Dunbar's unprovoked attack upon him-upon his moral as well as his literary character. The subject of discussion between them is of great national importance, which must be our apology for having occupied so much of the time of our readers by the review of a pamphlet of 100 pages. It is of importance in England, as well as in Scotland; for though our schools are indisputably so superior to those of our neighbours, as to excite no wish in the breast of any well-educated Englishman, to transplant from the Scot tish schools any practice into our own, perhaps the case is different with respect to the universities.

"The division of the academical year into one session, and one recess, seems to me," said Johnson*, "better accommodated to the present state of life, than that variegation of time by terms and vacations, derived from distant centuries, in which it was probably convenient, and still continued in the English universities. So many solid months as the Scotch scheme of education joins together, allow and encourage a plan for each part of the year; but with us, he that has settled himself to study in the college, is soon tempted into the country, and he that has adjusted his life in the country, is summoned back to his college."

The truth of this observation is supported by every argument urged by Mr. Russel against the Scotch practice of studying the rudiments of the learned languages in colleges; and were Johnson's improvement to be adopted in Oxford and Cambridge, the expence of education now become enormous, in these celebrated seats of learning, would be considerably diminished. But when we have with Johnson allowed to the universities in Scotland a more rational distribution of time, we agree with him, that they are entitled to preference in nothing else certainly not in the lecturing plan by Professors, instead of the method of teaching in the pupil-room by college-tutors, which we have reason to believe was, at no distant period, the mode of teaching in all the old colleges in Scotland.


* Journey to the Western Islands.
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