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the proofs of natural and reavealed religion, and a general acquaintance with Scripture history to the time of the Apostles. I do not pretend to dictate to the good sense of the University, but as a member of it, I may be allowed, without presumption, to state, that I think the Greek Gospels, Grotius de Veritate, and the first volume of Bishop Tomline's Theology, are sufficient for the proposed examination. No burden is laid on any man by requiring an acquaintance with these. It is his duty to know these, and if he does not know them by the time he has been two years at the University, there is infinite blame imputable either to his instructors or to himself.
I know very well what may be alleged about the procrastination of these studies till after the degree of A. B. has been taken; but I do not stop to combat arguments of this sort; they bear their own refutation in themselves, like many of those which may be urged by my adversaries on minor topics. If any of these gentlemen will tell me, that it is of no consequence if a young man of twenty dies ignorant of the truths of Christianity, because there is a chance of his living to know them at the age of twenty-two, I will then say that his tutors may have some excuse for withdrawing his attention to them till he has no farther occasion for their services.
So much for this subject. I am content merely to throw out hints on it, because I have little time for more, and trust these will be sufficient for future exertions. Will it be allowed me to state my own view of the improved system, in the most general terms, leaving the detail and modification of them to the sense of the University ?
I would oblige every man, at the expiration of his two first years, to undergo the above-mentioned preparatory examination ; and he should then be called upon to declare whether he intended to graduate in mathematics, or classics, which should not preclude him from offering himself for examination in the senate-house in both. In the senate-house examination, the week for mathematics should proceed as usual. That for classics should follow, in which there should be a first, second, and third class, as in mathematics. Let the senior wrangler preserve his pre-eminence, and next to him the first of the first class classics; then the other wranglers, who, in most cases, should not exceed 15, and then the other first class classics, who should not exceed the like number. Next to these, mathematical senior optimés, not exceeding 14 ; and then second class classics, to the same number. Then the mathematical junior optimés, and the third class classics, whose number should not exceed ten respectively. This would give, supposing each class full, 40 mathematical, and as many classical honors; but it is to be presumed that several men would be ranked in both classes. If the fellowships of the University are distributed with due regard to these honors, no doubt a greater emulation will be excited to excel in both departments.
Σχέδον είρηκα. But I must add a few words on the classical examination. It would of course comprise not merely the construing Greek and Latin, but a variety of questions connected with the passages selected, and depending on history, antiquities, chronology, geography, metrical and philological criticism, and ancient philosophy. And this leads me to a remark, which will perhaps be unpalatable to some of our distinguished scholars, but which truth compels me not to omit. I mean, that our range of Greek reading is at present too much confined. We labor about the dramatic writers too much, to the exclusion of the rest. We weary ourselves with adjusting iambics, and trochaics, and anapæsts, and twisting monostrophics into choruses and dochmiacs, and almost seem to neglect the sense for the sake of the sound. I do not mean to disparage these labors, which are sometimes learned and often ingenious, but I wish merely to hint, that if these things are good, there are also better things than these. We must not forsake the critics, philosophers, orators, and historians of Greece, for a mere branch of her poets; and I fearlessly say, without risk of contradiction from the most competent and able judges, that Plato, Aristot e, Xenophon, Thucydides, Polybius, and Demosthenes, afford more improvement to the taste, and purification to the morals, more exercise for thought and reflection, more dignity to the conceptions, and enlargement to the understanding of the student, than all the Greek tragedies that were ever penned. Not that I affect to slight or despise those noble monuments of the Grecian Muse, which are yet left to us in the works of her dramatic writers ; but I underprize them in comparison of the mighty námes I have enumerated, and think that too much is sacrificed to them, if these are neglected in consequence. This remark, and all those which have preceded it, will, I hope, be taken in good part by all considerate and thinking men.
I wish to offend none; but I am sufficiently aware, that the subject I have handled is of a nature liable to excite the jealousy of some, and awake the fears of others. The attack or defence, however, of these remarks I shall leave to other hands. I appear now, probably, for the first and last time, in the contest. I have said nothing but from an ardent wish for the honor and credit of the University, and the promotion of public good, by directing our studies to great and useful purposes, and enabling the majority of students who come to this place for instruction, to carry something away in one branch of literature, if they cannot in another.
Cambridge, Jan. 15, 1822.
THE RIGHT REVEREND
JOHN, LORD BISHOP OF BRISTOL,
MASTER OF CHRIST COLLEGE,
REGIUS PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY.
Having determined to submit to the Members of our University my thoughts upon the propriety of an additional Examination of Canditates for their first degree, as well as upon the different plans which have been suggested for that purpose, I venture to address myself particularly to your Lordship. My apology for taking this liberty must be, the weight and consequence justly attached to your name, arising not only from the high and important situations which you hold, so much to the satisfaction of the public, both in the Church and in the University, but from the judgment, the candor, and the sound sense by which your sentiments and conduct are iuvariably distinguished. When treating therefore of those studies, in which you have been yourself pre-eminently successful, I am desirous to give my pamphlet some chance of attracting notice, by inscribing it to the personage, whose example ought, of all others, to be proposed as the object of imitation.
The subject, upon which I intend to suggest some considerations, is one of no recent origin: it has been a very prevalent opinion for half a century, or more, that our University would do well to require from its students a. proficiency in some other descriptions of knowledge, besides those at present exacted, as indispensable passports to a degree. It is, however, to the different schemes for the improvement of our system, which have been agitated among us during the last four or five years, that I wish to call attention ; with the hope of being able, by fairly and fully stating the merits of each proposed course of proceeding, to reconcile in some degree the present discordance of sentiment. The strong conviction of my own mind, relative to the method which ought to be pursued, a conviction arising from long and intimate acquaintance with academical education, encourages me to think that a fair consideration of the matter in all its bearings will lead others to the same conclusion. Besides, the candid and dispassionate manner in which all discussions
upon this topic have of late beeu conducted, forming a contrast to the heats which, we are told, were formerly excited by the proposal of new regulations, while it is creditable to the present state of feeling in our body, holds out the prospect of a result favorable to the true interest of these establishments.
You will probably recollect, that in consequence of a very strong and prevalent wish, that our young men should henceforth be examined, previously to their degrees, in theological and classical knowledge, as well as in mathematics, metaphysics, and ethics, there was appointed about three years ago a Syndicate, of which your Lordship was a member, to deliberate upon this topic, and to propose to the University such a plan as appeared most conducive to the object in view. The committee selected for this purpose were persons, in whom the senate was as well disposed to confide upon such a question, as in any of its body : long and repeated were the discussions, and great was the anxiety shown to arrange a scheme, which might answer the intended purpose, and obviate as much as possible certain objections urged from different quarters against the measure. Owing, however, to the great diversity of opinion upon some particulars, and an anxious wish to satisfy every scruple entertained in our community, the proposal resulting from their deliberations fell far short of the general expectation, and did not, indeed, reach the views of the Syndics themselves. Such as it was, it never received either the approbation or condemnation of the senate, being stopped by a negative voice in the Caput. Several other schemes, differing materially from one another, have been subsequently brought forward by individuals; but have all hitherto proved abortive. Upon one only have the suffrages of the members of the senate been taken ; I
mean the plan for examining the students in classics and the elements of theology, and for apportioning honors upon a scale similar to that already established in mathematics : this scheme was proposed in a Grace last year, by the Master of Trinity College, then Vice-Chancellor ; and, although it met with considerable support, was rejected by a majority of voices in the Non-Regent House. The failure of a proposal, brought forward after frequent consultations with the other leading members of our body, recommended by the high station of the proposer, and still more by his character for ability,