Page images

known in the south of England by the name of sea coal.

communication in good repair.1 This innovation, however, excited many murmurs; and the other great avenues to the capital were long left under the old system. A change was at length effected, but not without much difficulty. For unjust and absurd taxation to which men are accustomed is often borne far more willingly than the most reasonable impost which is new. It was not till many 10 the Spanish muleteers. A traveler of

toll bars had been violently pulled down, till the troops had in many districts been forced to act against the people, and till much blood had been shed, that a good system was introduced.2 By slow degrees 15 reason triumphed over prejudice; and our island is now crossed in every direction by near thirty thousand miles of turnpike road.


On by-roads, and generally throughout the country north of York and west of 5 Exeter, goods were carried by long trains of pack horses. These strong and patient beasts, the breed of which is now extinct, were attended by a class of men who seem to have borne much resemblance to

humble condition often found it convenient to perform a journey mounted on a pack saddle between two baskets, under the care of these hardy guides. The expense of this mode of conveyance was small. But the caravan moved at a foot's pace; and in winter the cold was often insupportable.*

The rich commonly traveled in their

On the best highways heavy articles 20 own carriages, with at least four horses. were, in the time of Charles the Second, generally conveyed from place to place by stage wagons. In the straw of these vehicles nestled a crowd of passengers, who could not afford to travel by coach 25 or on horseback, and who were prevented by infirmity, or by the weight of their luggage, from going on foot. The expense of transmitting heavy goods in this way was From London to 30 Birmingham the charge was seven pounds a ton; from London to Exeter, twelve pounds a ton.3 This was about fifteen pence a ton for every mile, more by a third than was afterwards charged on 35 turnpike roads, and fifteen times what is now demanded by railway companies. The cost of conveyance amounted to a prohibitory tax on many useful articles. Coal in particular was never seen except 4° in the districts where it was produced, or in the districts to which it could be carried by sea, and was indeed always

115 Car. II. c. 1.

The evils of the old system are strikingly set forth in many petitions which appear in the Commons' Journal of 1725-26. How fierce an opposition was offered to the new system may be learned from the Gentleman's Magazine of 1749. & Postlethwaite's Dict., Roads.

Cotton, the facetious poet, attempted to go from London to the Peak with a single pair, but found at Saint Albans that the journey would be insupportably tedious, and altered his plan.5 A coach and six is in our time never seen, except as part of some pageant. The frequent mention therefore of such equipages in We old books is likely to mislead us. attribute to magnificence what was really the effect of a very disagreeable necessity. People, in the time of Charles the Second, traveled with six horses, because with a smaller number there was great danger of sticking fast in the mire. Nor were even six horses always sufficient. Vanbrugh, in the succeeding generation, described with great humor the way in which a country gentleman, newly chosen a member of Parliament, went up to London. On that occasion all the exertions of six beasts, two of which had been taken from the plough, could not save the family coach from being embedded in a 45 quagmire.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]


That ferment of aspiration and unrest which produced in the nineteenth century so many forms of religious inquiry, the questioning faith of Tennyson's In Memoriam, Carlyle's turbid discontent with modern civilization and Ruskin's frantic anti-materialism, produced in Johu Henry Newman its most specialized and inspired searcher after spiritual grace,-in short, a religious genius. Newman was born in the City of London not far from the Bank. His father, a banker, was a man of cultivated tastes and is thought to have been of Jewish extraction. His mother came of a Huguenot family and Newman was instructed during his childhood in modified Calvinism.' As a youth he displayed singular intellectual restlessness combined with literary instinct and precocity. He was said to know the Bible by heart. His early passion for Scott provided his imagination with a background of medieval sympathies, and his memory with a piquant reference at a crucial point in the most close-knit controversy of his later life. In 1817 he entered Trinity College, Oxford, and won a scholarship at the end of his first year. The stirrings of the medieval movement were already beginning at Oxford when Newman became a fellow of Oriel College, its special home. After some terms at the law in London, Newman took orders in the Anglican church and by 1829 had become a tutor in Oriel and Vicar of St. Mary's. From contact with Hurrell Froude he soon grew deeply interested in the historic phases of Christianity; the new-old ideas of the Fathers came like music' to his inward ear,' and he conveyed them with burning effect into his clarion University Sermons at St. Mary's. In 1832, with Froude he saw Rome; he came near to death from cholera, paid devout visits to many ancient churches, wrote at Palermo, O, that thy creed were sound, thou Church of Rome,' and on shipboard composed in the twilight of Romanism, Lead Kindly Light, which one of his critics has termed the "March" of the tractarian movement.' The Sunday after Newman reached England, John Keble preached in his pulpit at St. Mary's the sermon on National Apostasy, which is held to have precipitated the Tractarian movement. To meet the rationalistic liberalism and irreligion which were threatening the church from without, two movements, broadly speaking, were advocated within it; - one, in sympathy with the temper of the age, toward more latitude of doctrine and more practical activity; the other, reactionary, toward a more zealous adherence to the forms, traditions and earlier sanctities of the church. It was this latter course that Newman and his friends espoused in the Tracts for the Times. Of this movement Newman was the most powerful writer. In seeking to establish the historical continuity of the English church, he gradually convinced himself of the authenticity of Romanism. He was not yet aware of the approaching position of his own mind, when he examined the subject of Apostolic Succession in his famous Tract Ninety (1841). The dangerousness of his position did not remain undetected by others and aroused the utmost violence of passion. Newman was compelled to leave Oxford and, soon after, it became known that he had entered the Roman fold. What followed is indescribable. Families were broken up. The entire religious world was in a state of almost tragic excitement. Newman alone preserved his calm and what was considered an ominous silence. For twenty years he addressed himself chiefly to his own parish and the men of his adopted faith. Finally, in 1864, a supreme opportunity came for him to address from a point of advantage the public which had reviled him. Charles Kingsley in a review of Froude's History of England, went out of his way to accuse Father Newman' of having justified the principle of dishonesty in the Roman priesthood. In the complicated correspondence, which was afterwards published in full, Newman had all the honors. With resistless logic and dexterity and the perfect poise and sincerity of a christian gentleman he left his assailant in an obvious position of reckless bigotry, wrong-headedness and untruth. Newman could now present to the English world the logic of his religious development, and this he did in his Apologia pro Vita Sua [Defense of his Life]. This is a telling presentation, full of acute personal interest, of the claims which an ancient and established religion can urge upon modern culture, and a justification of faith against the assaults of a fictitious enlightenment.' Upon the elevation of Pope Leo XIII, Newman was made, in 1879, a Cardinal of the Roman church.


Newman's prose style was a remarkable weapon in the hands of a controversialist. Pliant and strong, colloquial but never familiar, subtle and suave without the least insinuation of vulgar slyness, in command of all the nuances of delicate culture which it sparingly uses, it bends and thrusts like a beautifully tempered steel. Even should its matter cease to be of great interest, Newman's prose will always remain poignant for its classic purity and strength.






It were well if the English, like the Greek language, possessed some definite word to express, simply and generally, intellectual proficiency or perfection, such to as health,' as used with reference to the animal frame, and 'virtue,' with reference to our moral nature. I am not able to

tellect by the name of philosophy, philosophical knowledge, enlargement of mind, or illumination; terms which are not uncommonly given to it by writers of this day but, whatever name we bestow on it, it is, I believe, as a matter of history, the business of a university to make this intellectual culture its direct scope, or to employ itself in the education of the intellect, just as the work of a hospital lies in healing the sick or wounded, of a riding or fencing school, or of a gymnasium, in exercising the limbs, of an almshouse, in aiding and 15 solacing the old, of an orphanage, in protecting innocence, of a penitentiary, in restoring the guilty. I say, a university, taken in its bare idea, and before we view it as an instrument of the church, has this object and this mission; it contemplates neither moral impression nor mechanical production; it professes to exercise the mind neither in art nor in duty; its function is intellectual culture; here it may leave its scholars, and it has done its work when it has done as much as this. It educates the intellect to reason well in all matters, to reach out towards truth, and to grasp it.

find such a term; - talent, ability, genius,
belong distinctly to the raw material,
which is the subject-matter, not to that
excellence which is the result of exercise
and training. When we turn, indeed, to
the particular kinds of intellectual perfec-
tion, words are forthcoming for our pur- 20
pose, as, for instance, judgment, taste,
and skill; yet even these belong, for the
most part, to powers or habits bearing
upon practice or upon art, and not to any
perfect condition of the intellect, con- 25
sidered in itself. Wisdom, again, is cer-
tainly a more comprehensive word than
any other, but it has a direct relation to
conduct, and to human life. Knowledge,
indeed, and science express purely intel- 30
lectual ideas, but still not a state or
quality of the intellect; for knowledge, in
its ordinary sense, is but one of its cir-
cumstances, denoting a possession or a
habit; and science has been appropriated 35
to the subject-matter of the intellect, in-
stead of belonging in English, as it ought
to do, to the intellect itself. The con-
sequence is that, on an occasion like this,
many words are necessary, in order, first, 40
to bring out and convey what surely is
no difficult idea in itself,- that of the
cultivation of the intellect as an end;
next, in order to recommend what surely
is no unreasonable object; and lastly, to 45
describe and make the mind realize the
particular perfection in which that object
consists. Every one knows practically
what are the constituents of health or
of virtue; and every one recognizes 50
health and virtue as ends to be pursued;
it is otherwise with intellectual excel-
lence, and this must be my excuse, if I
seem to anyone to be bestowing a good
deal of labor on a preliminary matter.

In default of a recognized term, I have called the perfection or virtue of the in

This, I said in my foregoing discourse, was the object of a university, viewed in itself, and apart from the Catholic Church, or from the state, or from any other power which may use it; and I illustrated this in various ways. I said that the intellect must have an excellence of its own, for there was nothing which had not its specific good; that the word 'educate' would not be used of intellectual culture, as it is used, had not the intellect had an end of its own; that, had it not such an end, there would be no meaning in calling certain intellectual exercises liberal,' in contrast with 'useful,' as is commonly done; that the very notion of a philosophical temper implied it, for it threw us back upon research and system as ends in themselves, distinct from effects and works of any kind; that a philosophical scheme of knowledge, or system of sciences, could not, from the nature of the case, issue in any one definite art or pursuit, as its end; and that, on the other hand, the 55 discovery and contemplation of truth, to which research and systematizing led, were surely sufficient ends, though noth

ing beyond them were added, and that they had ever been accounted sufficient by mankind.

Here then I take up the subject; and, having determined that the cultivation 5 of the intellect is an end distinct and sufficient in itself, and that, so far as words go, it is an enlargement or illumination, I proceed to inquire what this mental breath, or power, or light, or phi-10 losophy consists in. A hospital heals a broken limb or cures a fever: what does an institution effect, which professes the health, not of the body, not of the soul, but of the intellect? What is this good, which in former times, as well as our own, has been found worth the notice, the appropriation of the Catholic Church?

[ocr errors]

ceptacle for storing them; he welcomes them as fast as they come to him; he lives on what is without; he has his eyes ever about him; he has a lively susceptibility of impressions; he imbibes information of every kind; and little does he make his own in a true sense of the word, living rather upon his neighbors all around him. He has opinions, religious, political and literary, and, for a boy, is very posi tive in them and sure about them; but he gets them from his schoolfellows, or his masters, or his parents, as the case may be. Such as he is in his other relations, such also is he in his school exercises; his mind is observant, sharp, ready, re-l tentive; he is almost passive in the acquisition of knowledge. I say this in no disparagement of the idea of a clever

language, natural history, he heaps up the matter of these studies as treasures for a future day. It is the seven years of plenty with him: he gathers in by

I have then to investigate, in the discourses which follow, those qualities and 20 boy. Geography, chronology, history, characteristics of the intellect in which its cultivation issues or rather consists; and, with a view of assisting myself in this undertaking, I shall recur to certain questions which have already been 25 handfuls, like the Egyptians, without. touched upon. These questions are

three: viz. the relation of intellectual
culture, first, to mere knowledge; sec-
ondly, to professional knowledge; and
thirdly, to religious knowledge. In other 30
words, are acquirements and attainments
the scope of a university education? or
expertness in particular arts and pursuits?
or moral and religious proficiency? or
something besides these three? These 35
questions I shall examine in succession,
with the purpose I have mentioned; and
I hope to be excused, if, in this anxious
undertaking, I am led to repeat what,
either in these discourses or elsewhere, 40
I have already put upon paper. And
first, of mere knowledge, or learning, and
its connection with intellectual illumina-
tion or philosophy.

I suppose the prima-facie view which the public at large would take of a university, considering it as a place of education, is nothing more or less than a place for acquiring a great deal of knowledge on a great many subjects. Memory is one of the first developed of the mental faculties; a boy's business when he goes to school is to learn, that is, to store up things in his memory. For some years his intellect is little more than an instrument for taking in facts, or a re

counting; and though, as time goes on, there is exercise for his argumentative, powers in the elements of mathematics, and for his taste in the poets and orators, still, while at school, or at least, till quite the last years of his time, he acquires," and little more; and when he is leaving for the university, he is mainly the crea-. ture of foreign influences and circumstances, and made up of accidents, homogeneous or not, as the case may be. Moreover, the moral habits, which are a boy's praise, encourage and assist this result; that is, diligence, assiduity, regularity, despatch, persevering application. for these are the direct conditions of acquisition, and naturally lead to it. Acquirements, again, are emphatically producible, and at a moment; they are a 45 something to show, both for master and scholar; an audience, even though ignorant themselves of the subjects of an examination, can comprehend when questions are answered and when they are 50 not. Here again is a reason why mental culture is in the minds of men identified with the acquisition of knowledge.


The same notion possesses the public mind, when it passes on from the thought of a school to that of a university: and with the best of reasons so far as this, that there is no true culture without ac

ness and enjoyment of large intellectual possessions?

quirements, and that philosophy presup-
poses knowledge. It requires a great deal
of reading, or a wide range of informa-
tion, to warrant us in putting forth our
opinions on any serious subject; and with-
out such learning the most original mind
may be able indeed to dazzle, to amuse,
to refute, to perplex, but not to come to
any useful result or any trustworthy con-
clusion. There are indeed persons who 10 which will be generally granted to be

profess a different view of the matter, and
even act upon it. Every now and then
you will find a person of vigorous or
fertile mind, who relies upon his own
resources, despises all former authors, 15
and gives the world, with the utmost fear-
lessness, his views upon religion, or his-
tory, or any other popular subject. And
his works may sell for a while; he may
get a name in his day; but this will be 20
all. His readers are sure to find on the
long run that his doctrines are mere
theories, and not the expression of facts,
that they are chaff instead of bread, and
then his popularity drops as suddenly as
it rose.



[ocr errors]

Knowledge then is the indispensable condition of expansion of mind, and the instrument of attaining to it; this cannot be denied, it is ever to be insisted 30 on; I begin with it as a first principle; however, the very truth of it carries men too far, and confirms to them the notion that it is the whole of the matter. A narrow mind is thought to be that which 35 contains little knowledge; and an larged mind, that which holds a great deal; and what seems to put the matter beyond dispute is, the fact of the great number of studies which are pursued in a university, by its very profession. Lectures are given on every kind of subject; examinations are held; prizes awarded. There are moral, metaphysical, physical professors; professors of lan- 45 guages, of history, of mathematics, of experimental science. Lists of questions. are published, wonderful for their range and depth, variety and difficulty; treatises are written, which carry upon their 50 very face the evidence of extensive reading or multifarious information; what then is wanting for mental culture to a person of large reading and scientific attainments? what is grasp of mind but 55 acquirement? where shall philosophical repose be found, but in the conscious

And yet this notion is, I conceive, a mistake, and my present business is to 5 show that it is one, and that the end of a liberal education is not mere knowledge, or knowledge considered in its matter; and I shall best attain my object, by actually setting down some cases,

instances of the process of enlightenment or enlargement of mind, and others which are not, and thus, by the comparison, you will be able to judge for yourselves, gentlemen, whether knowledge, that is, acquirement, is after all the real principle of the enlargement or whether that principle is not rather something beyond it.

For instance, let a person, whose experience has hitherto been confined to the more calm and unpretending scenery of these islands, whether here or in England, go for the first time into parts where physical nature puts on her wilder and more awful forms, whether at home or abroad, as into mountainous districts; or let one, who has ever lived in a quiet village, go for the first time to a great metropolis, then I suppose he will have a sensation which perhaps he never had before. He has a feeling not in addition or increase of former feelings, but of something different in its nature. He will perhaps be borne forward, and find for a time that he has lost his bearings. He has made a certain progress, and he has a consciousness of mental enlargement; he does not stand where he did, he has a new center, and a range of thoughts to which he was before a stranger.

Again, the view of the heavens which the telescope opens upon us, if allowed to fill and possess the mind, may almost whirl it round and make it dizzy. It brings in a flood of ideas, and is rightly called an intellectual enlargement, what ever is meant by the term.

And so again, the sight of beasts of prey and other foreign animals, their strangeness, the originality (if I may use the term) of their forms and gestures and habits, and their variety and independence of each other, throw us out of ourselves into another creation, and as if under another Creator, if I may so express the temptation which may come on the mind. We seem to have new

« PreviousContinue »