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the lecture, and there are no class examinations at the close of the semestre. The professor enters the room after all the students are seated, and leaves it before any rise. A Sprechzimmer is found in the university, in which the professors may afterwards be consulted ; but this permission is a very poor
substitute for that interchange of opinion in the lecture-room itself which is common in English colleges, and the value of which to pushing students cannot possibly be overrated.
The extent of each professor's audience depends, for the most part, on his popularity. Michelet, the well-known successor of Hegel, and expounder of his philosophy, lecturing with a remarkable vehemence on the empiricism of Newton, and the importance of Bacon's method in the attainment of real truth, finds but a scanty attendance. Trendelenburg, the disciple of Herbart, gathers round him a large number of students, whom he succeeds in interesting on subjects of a very abstruse nature by the clear and able manner in which he expresses himself; and Werder, the interpreter of Shakspeare—the one among
many Germans who seem to regret the strange caprice of Providence, that stamped the greatest of thinkers a countryman of those wholly unable to appreciate him,-lecturing with a rare eloquence on the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, finds an eager audience in more than three hundred students.
Very little of what is usually known as student-life exists in Berlin. Although the attendance at the university is numerous, the city is so large and its dimensions are rapidly increasing, that there is an absence of that frequent intercourse and companionship which exist in small towns, and characteristic student-life as something sui generis, which exerts in most cases a very beneficial influence. In Oxford and Cambridge pre-eminently, and to a less extent in Heidelberg, Göttingen, and perhaps Bonn, where the town exists for the university, and not the university for the town, the effects of this intimate union of students is able to be observed. That it is on the whole productive of good results hardly admits of doubt. Education does not consist of stocking the brain with as many facts and methods as possible, or home instruction would undoubtedly prove the most efficacious. But the development of character, the formation of agreeable manners, and above all, the just estimation of the importance of self, are equally essential parts of a young man's education ; and these are best attained when students live together and are thus enabled to interchange ideas, to profit by each other's experience, and to rub off that crust of conceit which too often distinguishes the man who feeds in comparative solitude on his
own thoughts. In Berlin there is little more community of feeling among the students than in London. Many live at home in the houses of their parents ; others who reside elsewhere rent rooms in different parts of the town, according to their means and convenience. German students seldom complete their education at a single university, but travel from one university to another, spending two or three semestres in each. In England such a system would be more troublesome and less advantageous, owing to the fact that the arrangements at the different universities are far more similar in Germany than here. In Prussia not only the universities, but likewise all other educational establishments, are conducted according to some systematic plan, uniformly observed. Here, the love of freedom and self-government is so strong, that the people resist the slightest interference on the part of Parliament as an infraction of their cherished privileges, although Parliament itself is but a representative of the people. If this absurd jealousy did not exist, and all school instruction were under the direct supervision of officers of the Crown, the instruction afforded would not only be superior, but might be conducted according to some recognised system, which would serve to connect all educating bodies and give them a unity of purpose. A German student can pursue his studies equally well at Göttingen as at Bonn or Berlin ; and when he has heard some celebrated professor at one university, he attends the lectures of some other literary star elsewhere, without experiencing any other inconvenience than a change of residence. A university career generally occupies from three to five years, and during this time the student very often visits three separate universities.
The advantages of this practice are represented to be very great. Travel alone serves to expand the ideas considerably; and life in different parts of Germany varies to a greater extent perhaps than in England. The student, moreover, when he visits two or three universities, studies the same subject under different masters; he hears different opinions expressed on the same questions, expounded too by the authors themselves, and not by those who, to serve their own views, may unconsciously misrepresent those of others. He is thus enabled, more intelligibly, to judge between opposing schools, and to divest his mind of any bias it may have early formed. He meets new friends; the sphere of his experience is widened. He moves in a new set of intellectual circles, among strange men with fresh ideas; and although his entire travels may have been confined within a very small area, he returns with ideas considerably enlarged.
On the completion of his university career, the student may become a candidate for the degree of Doctor. To obtain this distinction, the student must produce a certificate of having spent three years in one or more universities, and must submit to the test and to the fee exacted by the particular university in which he desires to graduate. The test consists generally of an essay of thirty-two printed pages, which must exhibit a certain amount of originality, if not in matter, at least in arrangement. The essay is written by the candidate at home. Examinations are imposed in addition by some few universities; but the practice is by no means general. In Berlin, where the degree is considered of most value and most difficult to obtain, the essay must be written in the Latin language. It is, however, by no means necessary that the candidate should perform this part of the task himself; for he is allowed so far to avail himself of the principle of complex co-operation as to hand over his essay when written to be translated by some professional Latinist. The dignity of the university is supported so long as the essay appears in the classical tongue : how it found its way into that language does not concern the authorities. Most other universities will receive the essay in the German language ; and foreigners, who generally meet with considerable leniency, may employ any vehicle for their thoughts which is intelligible to the examiners themselves. In Berlin, the candidate whose essay has been accepted goes through the form of a public presentation, at which certain questions are proposed to him in Latin, which he answers in the same language. The questions and answers are prepared beforehand, and although those assembled are invited to interrogate the candidate, this invitation seldom meets with a response. All these conditions (most of which are very elastic) having been satisfied, the candidate receives the title of Doctor in the special faculty to which he belongs. Those who are not jurists, theologians, or physicians, receive the degree-Doctor of Philosophy. Attendance at a university is not everywhere considered indispensable; and there are many who, having written or edited a work which displays some erudition, and having paid the fee, are admitted to this distinction without further trouble. The fees vary. In Berlin, where in other respects the degree is most difficult to obtain, the degree costs about thirty pounds; in Leipzig it can be obtained for about half that sum; and in other universities it ranges from ten to twenty pounds. Compared with the price of education, the expense of this honour is considerable; and it seems rather anomalous that in a country where the opportunities of learning are so numerous and the cost so trifling, the price charged for a university distinction should be one of the chief difficulties with which the poor student has to contend. The proportion of graduates to non-graduates is far greater in Germany than in England, owing to the double fact, that education is cheaper and a degree more easily obtained. The Doctor's degree is held by members of all learned professions, and there are very few who have any pretensions to learning who do not possess it. Society, in fact, may be divided into three classes : the nobility, including officers of the army, and those mediately or immediately connected with the Government; merchants, including wholesale and retail traders; and Doctors, comprising professors, authors, teachers, and members of the learned professions. If a German degree can be obtained without the hard work a London degree requires, it testifies, in nearly all cases, to a very important fact, and one which exerts a considerable influence on a young man's mental development,—to the attendance during three years at university lectures, and to the frequent intercourse of the student with some of the greatest minds in Europe. Englishmen, on the other hand, are required to show proofs of a more general and, in some cases, a deeper knowledge than is required in Germany; but there are many who receive a university distinction who have never undergone that very training, a university education, which such a degree implies.
In Germany essay-writing takes the place to a great extent of our competitive examination. The difference is considerable between the mental training which is necessary to produce any real contribution towards the advancement of a particular study, and that required to pass a satisfactory examination. The majority of German doctors would probably experience very great difficulty in satisfying the London examiners at any examination for a university degree. The extent of their reading might be wider than that of the candidates who would surpass them ; but the results of it would be potentially and not actually present to their mind. Memory serves as an index to our knowledge where it fails as a cyclopædia : it tells us what volume in our library we should consult, or to what manuscript note we are to refer, though it is unable to give us directly the accurate information we require; and in this way it is eminently serviceable to the author, though valueless to the candidate for examination. Preparation for a public examination necessitates the acquisition of a large number of facts, many of which must sooner or later be forgotten; and it becomes a question of some importance whether such a preparation is not a useless expenditure of time, and whether the mental exercise it enforces
or less valuable than the calm deliberation and thoughtful research which the collocation of different opinions and the estimation of their respective merits demand from the writer of an original essay.
Those who think lightly of a German degree would do well to remember that it testifies, in nearly all cases, to more than the mere fact that the holder of it has written an essay of certain length; for it implies that the student has undergone a systematic school-training which has extended over some years, and has received a university education in the proper and only signification of that word. That these degrees are sometimes, and perhaps too readily, conferred on foreigners who have not submitted themselves to the same mental discipline, ought not to detract from the value of such a distinction when conferred by a university like that of Berlin.
COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE.
By PROF. JACK, Owens College, Manchester. For the last six or seven years we have been in the comfortable habit of quoting from the last official returns on popular education the following statement — that the proportion of scholars to population is in England and Wales, 1 in 7.7 ; in Holland, 1 in 8:11; in France, 1 in 9; in Prussia, 1 in 6-27. It is a curious illustration of the reverence we pay to what people in authority tell us, and of the helplessness which the public feels in the presence of figures, that these remarkable statistics should have remained so long unquestioned. Yet the detailed evidence on which they are based, furnishes the most complete proof that even if there be a sense in which they can be said to mean something, the net result and effect of them is simply to take us into a fool's paradise and leave us there. If such comparisons only made us seem absurd in the eyes of other nations, it would not matter; but they stand, as they have long stood, in the way of any serious legislation, by misleading us fatally as to the extent of our educational destitution.
Let us take the comparison between England and Prussia, confining ourselves to the details of the blue books on which these figures profess to be founded. To begin with, 31 per cent. of the children in our list are under seven years
With scarcely an exception, the Prussian children are above sixthe exception is in one province containing about a ninth part of the country, where the children above five are also included. If we turn to our own latest returns, we find that in our Government schools, 24 per cent. are under six. This figure is pretty much the same as we should calculate from the commissioners' returns, and we shall assume, for the sake