Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

saries admissions and qualifications, (such as those now wrung from the 'Quarterly Review') which will swell, and swell the counterpoise of the oppression :-till, at last, the beam trembles—and the scale sinks—and the oppression altogether perishes, or leaves but “ dust in the balance;"—and the schoolmaster triumphs, and rejoices, above all, that such wonders can be wrought by his ministry, and that the sword is but a feeble rush, when set against his power, which has taught men thoroughly to know, and, knowing, steadily to maintain,

" What makes a nation happy, and keeps it so.” We learn that Mr. Southey disapproves, in some respects, of the London University. We were prepared for this ;—but we were not prepared for this capital preface to this disapproval, of which we must indulge ourselves in quoting some of the best passages:

It is possible to raise the standard of knowledge in a community, as it is to raise the standard of comforts and there is not the same danger in raising it; for in the one case uneasy desires and habits of imprudent expenditure may be produced, but with the other the means of enjoyment are imparted, and that enjoyment is the only one in the indulgence of which there can be no excess, and from which no evil can arise. This point will not be contested. Neither is it a question of dispute whether the metropolis is the most convenient place that could be chosen in which to establish a third university. The colleges erected and to be erected in London, cannot have the effect of rendering such an institution less wanted in the north of England ; neither could the foundation of one in the north lessen the necessity for these colleges in London, where the circumstances of the age require them. If the metropolis be, as certainly it is, the most unfitting place to which young men could be brought for collegiate education, who should be under no other restraint than the little which any collegiate discipline, consistent with the usages and spirit and feelings of this nation, can apply, it is as certainly the fittest place in which those who are already domesticated there can receive the education which it is now proposed to offer them, the only place in which the greater number of them can receive it, and the most convenient for all, all things considered.

Wherefore, then, doth Mr. Southey quarrel with the founders of the London University, the necessity for whose foundation he so distinctly admits ?—First, about a name. He calls the appellation “ University, inappropriate and arrogant”-an“ assumption of sovereignty;"-and in a note, in which he quotes Sir William Buck, from Mr. Dyer, he appears to think that such a title is already in force, and that the city of London might claim the dignity of University, seeing that it possesses those valuable institutions of learning, the four Inns of Court, the lesser Inns, and Gresham College. Truly, in many respects, the city of London, in these venerable institutions, offers a very happy likeness of what an University was, not many years ago, and what an University might have long continued to be, but for the general intellectual advancement of the people. In the four Inns of Court“ where degrees are conferred," not a single qualification is required but the eating of a certain number of dinners;—and though lectures “ were delivered there," in days long gone by, it was reserved for the London University first to teach the law student the rationale of his profession, by the most effective mode of oral instruction. Gresham College, too, FEBRUARY, 1829.

0

is on a par with the absurdity of the teaching of the four Inns of Court;-or rather, it goes far beyond them in absurdity. Lectures, during a certain week, are ordered to be delivered in a room over the Royal Exchange ;-We believe they must be in Latin ;--no one goes to hear them, and that circumstance is a lucky one for the lecturer, seeing that no preparation is made, and, that if an audience did gather together, he would be sadly puzzled what to do with them. So much for Mr. Southey's University of the City of London ;—and so much for the “arrogance" of those who, professing and teaching every branch of knowledge, (except that one branch, which the most richly endowed body of men in the world are especially appointed to teach, without fee, to all comers) call this institution“ an University. Thus it is with all such reasonings as the piece of logic before us, which clings to forms rather than to realities ;-and would prefer the ghost of some piece of antiquity to uphold, than the real flesh and blood vigour of an establishment suited to our times, and doing an infinity of good, at a moderate cost, to all who put themselves under its guidance. We rejoice to say that number is not a small one.

But we come at last to the old objection on the score that Divinity is not systematically taught at the London University ; and here Mr. Southey presses into his service pamphleteers and paragraph writers, as if he was proud of the meanest ally, and doubtful of his own unaided prowess.

Mr. Southey, however, is sufficiently bold in his * Amongst the great advantages of this University to those inhabitants of London who are disposed to cultivate the elegant branches of learning, we think it no mean benefit that, at a convenient hour, and for a very trifling expense, they may, attend lectures on the literature of the modern languages. The professors, in these departments, are all exceedingly able men ;-and most of them are distinguished as popular writers. The professor of Italian literature, well known as an accomplished scholar, will deliver à course of twelve lectures on the Orlando Innamorato of BOJARDO, and BERNI's Rifacimento; the Morgante Maggiore of PULCI; the Orlando Furioso of ARIOSTO; the Amadigi of B. TASSO ; the Ricciardetto of FORTIGUERRA. In the delivery of these lectures abstruse criticism will be avoided, as it is intended to render them interesting, even to persons to whom the study of Italian literature is a matter of mere recreation. The following among other points, will be discussed. A short historical review of the chivalrous ages

will be given, wherein some of the various stories of the romanesque poets will be traced to their first sources, and thus the history of this species of poetry will be inquired into. The main subjects of the several poems will be so separated, that the individual order and connexion of their plans may become evident, in spite of the variety of incidents. The characters of the most remarkable personages will be analyzed and compared. The kind of machinery employed by these poets will be examined, and its peculiarities pointed out and illustrated. The art with which the episodes are introduced, and the beauty of some of them (both as abstract com, positions and constituent parts of a whole poem) will be considered. The descriptive powers of the poets will be weighed, and the general qualities of their style will meet with attention. With reference to the qualities of style, the real merits of BERNI's Rifacimento will be investigated, and the charms of ARIOSTO's diction particularly attended to. Original matter will be distinguished from imitations ; and what is singular and peculiar from what may be considered as parallel similarities.

Authors will be compared one with another, so that they may be severally and duly appreciated. That his arguments may be better understood, the Professor will illustrate them with appropriate quotations. These lectures will begin about the middle of February; and we have the highest expectations they will be productive of great pleasure, as well as the most solid benefit, to those who are fortunate enough to have opportunities of attending them,

assertions, to be able to stand alone; and he calls nick-names, as if he had never felt their annoyance. “ That the scheme, as originally framed, would have tended to loosen and dissolve the ties by which men are attached to the constitution of these kingdoms, we know; and that it was intended to do so we believe.” So says the reviewer. How then-have you not told us “ignorance is rude, censorious, jealous, obstinate, and proud-these being exactly the ingredients of which disobedience is made;" and will a university in which the useful and liberal arts, the sciences, professional learning, and elegant literature are taught, be an exception to your general rule ? But then there is no divinity chair; and “those who are of any denomination which ends in ist or arian, will properly encourage the college in which any religion may be taught, or none." We, individually, have a deep regard for the church of England—but we have not, therefore, a contempt for those who dissent from her doctrines. We neither undervalue their numbers nor their power; and even Mr. Southey dare not undervalue the piety of the greater proportion of them. Have the members of these sects, whom even the most intolerant would not scruple to call Christians, made a rout about this nonteaching of theology in the Loudon University, the stale bug-bear and party-cry against it? Look at the names of its council. There is indeed no bishop there-we wish there had been—but there are several men whom some of the best bishops of the present day would embrace with the warmth of Christian fellowship, and own that their motives were above all suspicion. These men are not afraid to leave their young men, in religious matters, to the care of their parents or guardians, and to the guidance of their spiritual pastors. It is the ordinary course of society with regard to young men, after they have passed the age of the mere schoolboy. And why, then, is the church of England to be afraid of the same course; as if its doctrines would incur the danger of falling into disesteem, if they were not made irksome and ridiculous, as the matin and evening bells of Oxford and Cambridge make them. The truth is, the church will be exclusive, even in matters which do not belong to church discipline ; and it has a right to be so if it please, for it is rich enough, and powerful enough. But why will its mistaken supporters quarrel with others, because they are not exclusive also ? The church has a right, of course, to its colleges in London; but it has no right to say that those are “indifferent to all religion ” who send their children to a place of instruction where there are no exclusions; and that those “ who are attached by feeling and principle to our free constitution in church and state, must necessarily prefer the King's College.” We believe that some of those who are most warmly attached to this constitution, and who have no feeling but that of goodwill towards the church, would rather that she did not make arrogant pretensions to superior holiness, which only cause her adversaries to laugh at ber. The reviewer very properly says of these institutons, “There is room enough for both;" but this room is not honestly to be gained, by narrowing the ground upon which either ought to stand.

The fifth article of the present Number is a most interesting notice of Clapperton's "Second Expedition into the Interior of Africa,' writ

[ocr errors]

ten with that intimate knowledge of the subject, and with that agreeable manner of imparting such knowledge, which has given the

Quarterly' a deservedly high reputation for its mode of treating matters connected with geographical Discovery.

The sixth and seventh articles,—the one, Equitable Jurisdiction over Parents and Children, the other, on the Trade of the United States with the West Indies, we have not had time to peruse.

We have many books on our table which shall receive a speedy notice; our space at present will only allow us to say a word of a pretty trifle,

THE MUSICAL BIJOU. We ought to have noticed the Musical Bijou' at the beginning of the year, inasmuch as it is one of the Annuals—but it is a fitting gift to a fair lady at any season, and needs not the new year to make it acceptable. It is indeed exceedingly suitably got up: the prints are pretty, the songs are pretty, the whole thing is pretty. The waltz, Weber's last composition, is attractive for its own merit, as well as from the singular interest which its being the last effort of a great genius must necessarily throw around it. There are also some very pleasing verses by Sir Walter Scott. But besides these gems, the general character of the whole is extremely agreeable, and singularly well-fitted to make the work a welcome present to the piano-fortes of our fair friends.

THE

LONDON MAGAZINE

No. XII.-MARCH, 1829.

CURRENCY.-MR. TOOKE'S LETTER TO

LORD GRENVILLE.*

[ocr errors]

If the name of Mr. Tooke affixed to a work of this nature werë not of itself a sufficient recommendation, we should venture to point out the matter contained in the 'Letter to Lord Grenville' as peculiarly worthy of the attention of such of our readers as are led, by a sense of its national importance, to take an interest in a subject, the discussion of which affords so little of what, in common parlance, is termed amusement: nor, we are sure, will they deem any apology necessary for the extent of this article, especially at the present moment, when the happy settlement of a question which has long agitated and distracted the political world will, we hope, afford all parties more leisure, as well as more aptitude, for the calm and patient discussion of the numerous questions relating to the financial state of the country. Ever since the great fall of the prices of many commodities, especially of agricultural produce, which took place soon after the passing of the act, commonly called Mr. Peel's Bill,” under which the Bank of England resumed cash payments, a great number and variety of elaborate publications and long speeches have been continually addressed to the legislature and to the public, attributing to that measure effects upon the currency little short of a revolution in the property of the country. “ In the discussion,”

says Mr. Tooke, “ which took place in both Houses of Parliament, at the close of last session, on the Small Note Bill, and in the different pamphlets and articles of the periodical press which have appeared upon the subject of the currency, it seems to have been implicitly assumed, that Mr. Ricardo, and all those who with him maintained that the utmost operation of Mr. Peel's bill on the value of the currency could not exceed three or four per cent., have been manifestly wrong, for that the notorious effect of that bill had been to depress prices to an extent computed by the most moderate at not less than twenty-five per cent., but by the generality of persons at a much higher rate. Assertions to this effect have of late been repeated so often, and with so much confidence, while hardly any, or only

* A Letter to Lord Grenville on the Effects ascribed to the Resumption of Cash Payments on the Value of the Currency.--By Thomas Tooke, Esq., F.R.S. Murray. 1829. MARCH, 1829.

Р

« ForrigeFortsæt »