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Classical Humanism

( Originally Published 1921 )

THE enlargement of classical studies, whereby to the old idea of "pure scholarship" was added the conception of opening up the life and thought of antiquity as an avenue to the better comprehension of modern problems, was in point of time the first of the great educational revivals of the nineteenth century. It was largely an Oxford movement, and by reason of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy was long believed to be a direct outcome of the new examination statute. That statute was itself the outcome of the more serious attitude to life which became common towards the end of the eighteenth century and which produced a more zealous type of college tutor; this quickening of intellectual activity co-operated with the stimulus and guidance of studies supplied by the new statute, to promote work among the undergraduates, at first on the old scholarly lines; but in course of time, under the influence of the Greek revival in Germany, which took place in the latter half of the eighteenth century, the newer classical humanism emerged. The change took, however, a considerable time, and was not complete till the fifties. But in the long run the new zeal, which, had it not been replenished by a force more potent than linguistic interest, would probably have died down after a short blaze of fiery energy, was rendered permanent by the discovery of the many messages which ancient Greece had to give to modern England. What were these messages and why did they appeal more to the early Victorian age than to preceding periods?

In the first place, modern democracy was coming to birth. Since 1689 the constitutional machinery of parliamentary government had been so worked out that there was prepared a healthy body into which modern democracy could enter as its soul. In France there was no such body and the ideas underlying the French Revolution had remained an aspiration. In England for a time the body refused to let the soul enter. Then it was that democrats turned to ancient Greece and Rome. Here alone were to be found important communities which had long maintained what at least appeared to themselves to be democratic institutions. These democratic communities had, moreover, originated everything except Christianity which was most valuable in modern civilisation. Democratic Greece had created art, science, literature, and philosophy: democratic Rome had laid the foundations on which the Empire built the edifice of law. The democrat could always turn to classical history when he wished to show what his principles could accomplish. Moreover, he could find in it guidance as well as stimulus. Modern Europe appeared to be evolving on much the same lines as Rome or as the Greek republics ; and, whereas modern history showed only the first half of the story—the rise of states and their transition towards democracy—ancient history completed it with the decline and fall. By studying the causes, first of the rise, then of the stability, and finally of the decline of the ancient communities, it was possible to acquire a political sagacity which could be applied to maintaining modern states and modern civilisation and to avoiding the dangers to which they were exposed at different stages in their evolution. The stimulus which stirred Grote to write his History of Greece was not antiquarianism but zeal for modern liberalism. As Thomas Arnold put it, " Aristotle and Plato, and Thucydides, and Cicero, and Tacitus, are most untruly called ancient writers; they are virtually our own country-men and contemporaries, but have the advantage which is enjoyed by intelligent travellers, that their observation has been exercised in a field outside the reach of common men; and that, having thus seen in a manner with our eyes what we cannot see for ourselves, their conclusions are such as bear upon our own circumstances, while their information has all the charm of novelty, and all the value of a mass of new and pertinent facts, illustrative of the great science of the nature of civilised mani."

In the second place, the French Illumination had striven to undermine the Christian basis of morals. No society can exist without a moral code, and the moral code of Europe had been built on the foundation of the Christian religion. It is true that in England the followers of Voltaire were few in number. Indeed religion was far more potent than it had been a century before. The leaders of thought were now for the most part sincere Christians, whereas in the earlier period belief was often assumed from a notion that religion was a useful restraining force upon the masses. The Wesleyan and Evangelical movements had greatly increased the influence of Christianity over motive. But the more thoughtful Christians saw the danger of sitting still in the hope that, in an age of criticism, young men of enquiring minds would be content to believe in Christianity merely because they had been taught it in childhood. The more thoughtful theists who did not accept or were doubtful about Christianity were equally afraid of bare negation. Eighteenth century France had been destructive; nineteenth century England strove to be constructive. The situation was not unlike that at Athens, when, traditional beliefs having been shaken by the Sophists, Plato turned the tables on the destructive critics by showing the weakness of their own position. Once more Greek philosophy could be studied in the same spirit as that of Plato's original audience, as an antidote to the corrosive power of negation, which appeared to be dissolving the mortar that bound society together. Here was the thought of the most intellectual race that had ever lived, earlier than any of the great Western religions, evolved more from the brain than from the emotions, the result of reflection and not of authority, which nevertheless in essentials supported a belief in the divine ordering of the world, in the inadequacy of purely materialistic explanations, and in the need of an accepted code of morals which should include among other essentials respect for the State.

In the third place, a new spirit was animating art and literature. The cold marble statue felt the warm blood in its veins and the warm breath in its nostrils. Formal stately "classicism" might well receive the homage of courtiers accustomed to the palace of a Louis XIV; but men who had not learned to suppress their feelings at the demand of etiquette still felt it to be true that mentem mortalia tangutat. The emotions were coming to their own. The "Augustan period" had made an unreasonable divorce between form and the feelings which form exists to express. Romanticism was the reaction, when men rebelled against the restrictions which form appeared to impose. It began to be seen that the so-called " classicism " of the preceding period had caught only one aspect of the genuine classical spirit. The very phrase "Augustan" bewrayed it. The principate of Augustus had produced masterpieces of form, but it was essentially an imitative and not an originative epoch. For originality, for the ideas, aspirations, and feelings which had brought classical literature into being, it was seen that we must look not to Rome but to Greece. It was seen too that these things cannot remain fixed unless they are to become wholly artificial, but that, while they cannot be transferred unchanged from one age to another, they can stimulate another age to ideas, aspirations, and feelings of its own. The Renaissance had erred in this respect. It produced a Shakespeare indeed but it had not aimed at so doing. Its conscious aim was to revive classical modes of thought and the classical forms in which to express them. The newer Renaissance sucked the flowers of Hymettus to make honey that should be all its own. The spirit of independence and originality was of Greek stock even when it was displacing classic architecture by Gothic and seeing Nature with its naked eye and not through the glass of ancient literature. A revaluation of classical authors resulted. It cannot be claimed that the new estimate is true absolutely and for ever ; it may in part have been anticipated by some of the thinkers of that many-sided movement, the Renaissance: but it can fairly be asserted that the balance was more correctly adjusted than ever before and that the truer values were more widely accepted. Homer took precedence over Vergil, Aeschylus over Euripides, Plato over Cicero, Thucydides over Plutarch.

Perhaps the common factor in all three new appeals may be expressed by saying that the new age was conscious of unsolved problems whereas the older generation believed that all problems had been solved by the ancients. Both beliefs give a value to literature, history, and philosophy, but the value is different. The old age believed that a full knowledge of religious and philosophic truth, and perfect political institutions, had been attained. Philosophy could therefore be expounded as a formal and logical system. As such it made a cold appeal to the intellect, but, if it were to influence motive, it needed the aid of literature with its concrete examples to stimulate the imagination in matters of personal conduct, and history to fill the same rôle in matters of public conduct. Under such a system art had little to do but to please the taste. But to an age which is conscious of unsolved problems, the values are quite different. The problems of life are not wholly intellectual; it is a sense of values which creates the craving for their solution. Literature or art may be the agency which awakens a sense that a problem exists; they will certainly enhance the feeling of its importance; and it is even possible that they will suggest a solution. This is why Plato, the artistic philosopher, and Aeschylus, the philosophic artist, appealed so much more strongly to the new age than to the old. History too was no longer an exhibition of models for imitation, but a means of suggesting, clarifying and partially solving, problems concerned with human society. Thucydides and Tacitus were the two historians who appeared most "philosophic" to the new age.

England was striving to reconcile political liberty with obedience to law, moral liberty with obedience to duty, and intellectual liberty with religion. Her thinkers were seeking to harmonise to the intellect those principles which her people instinctively seek to combine in their actions.

It was a typically English reaction against the intellectual tendency which had come in from France in the preceding century, dictated by a fear lest the former member of each pair of contending principles was obtaining an undue preponderance. The movement was greatly influenced by contemporary German thought, but only by certain lines of that thought.

It may be therefore useful to distinguish three tendencies in German thought which have manifested themselves in the last century and a half. The first embodies that "divine discontent" with the limitations which necessity imposes on human knowledge and human activity, of which Goethe stands as the representative. From it sprang the efforts to plumb the depths of philosophy, mysticism, and the best of German literature. In its highest form it was inspired by Greece. It was this Graeco-German spirit which inspired Coleridge and became a powerful influence in England. On its dangerous side it became a rebellious spirit, the spirit of Faust, without the restraining power of the Greek aiSws. Eventually this side triumphed, and we have the two consummate rebels, Nietsche, rebel against destiny, and Karl Marx, rebel against society. Milton's conception of Satan might have been enlarged to embrace both, had he been alive to witness their deification of the revolt against human limitation. Discontent may be divine or diabolic. The diabolic kind helped to drive men like Newman into the arms of authority.

The second tendency was the analytic or critical, which sought to understand the feelings which the first sought to actualise. Art, literature, philosophy, and history came to the seers permeated with values; the critics sought to analyse the values, to show how they were transmitted by these media, and to estimate their validity. In each case there was a historical criticism and a philosophical criticism. History, for instance, embraced both an investigation of the truth of records and an interpretation of the significance of the facts thus verified. Philosophy involved both a historical enquiry into the rise of old beliefs and an attempt to construct a new system. Art and literature needed, on the one hand, an enquiry into the authorship of various works and the conditions under which they had been created, on the other, an estimate of their permanent worth. In all of these directions Germany led the way. In many cases England was long content merely to accept the results; but on the whole she was more influenced by the philosophical criticism, or estimate of values, than by the historical. Gradually a tendency arose in Germany to value novelty too highly. There can never be too much criticism so long as it is honestly directed to the search for truth. But it may have another motive, desire for reputation; and academic reputations in Germany came to depend too much on novelty, and too little on soundness of judgment. England's inferiority in original work saved her from this danger. She accepted many of the German contributions to a fuller understanding of the meaning of history, art, and literature, but was cautious in what she accepted. If, for instance, the acceptance of Niebuhr's criticism of early Roman traditions was a gain, a somewhat flippant sceptic-ism as to the later theory which sought to reduce Troy to a sun-myth was no loss, and a non-committal attitude to Wolf's theory that the Iliad was formed by the union of numerous lays into one poem proved in the long run to be sound policy. It took nearly a century before the encouragement of original work became a prominent feature in English universities; but, if not original, our universities were at least eminently sane.

The third feature was the careful fostering of education by the State, which we may regard as part of the efficient State control of everything, 'which was Prussia's special contribution to the life of Germany in the nineteenth century. In organisation, as in the two characteristics which we have been previously considering, there was a good and a bad side, and the good side was apparent first. Germany had a good school in every town a hundred years before England had a moderate one. Two universities long satisfied England, for a similar population twenty would have been considered necessary in Germany. But England has preserved elasticity and liberty. We are tempted to think of the universal admiration which was felt by an earlier age for the efficiency of the Jesuit education; and then to remember that a century and a half later the rigidity of its bonds was seen to be strangling intellectual development. There is a close parallel, though the object of Jesuit education was to maintain a particular theological system and that of Prussian education was to maintain a particular political system.

After this digression we will return to the classical revival. So wide a movement can best be understood by taking typical representatives of its various aspects; we shall therefore group its history round the personalities of three men, very unlike in all other ways, but all shaped by its influence, Thomas Arnold, Newman, and Mark Pattison.

The account which Mr Justice Coleridge wrote of Arnold's undergraduate days for Stanley's Life—Arnold entered Corpus when he was only sixteen years of age—gives a vivid picture of the intellectual activity of a small college which had been influenced by the revival of a working spirit, and shows how the mutual intercourse of inquisitive minds led them to connect classical studies with the real problems of life. Such an attitude was still far from common and Coleridge is clearly still under the sway of the older scholarly ideal. He laments that Arnold "did not leave the college with scholarship proportioned to his great abilities and opportunities." "This," he adds, "arose in part from the decided preference which he gave to the philosophers and historians of antiquity over the poets, coupled with the distinction which he then made, erroneous as I think, and certainly extreme in degree, between words and things, as he termed it." Arnold went up in 1811: forty years later the distinction was more fully recognised. The college consisted of twenty fellows, twenty scholars (some of whom were graduates, as bachelors were obliged to reside) and six gentlemen commoners; there were no commoners. Hence workers predominated, and the smallness of numbers threw men of all years together. The scholars had their junior common room; "we lived on the most familiar terms with each other; we might be, indeed we were, somewhat boyish in manner, and in the liberties which we took with each other; but our interest in literature, ancient and modern, and in all the stirring events of that stirring time was not boyish ; we debated the classic and romantic question; we discussed poetry and history, logic and philosophy; or we fought over the Peninsular battles and the continental campaigns with the energy of disputants personally concerned in them." Such inter-course, Coleridge points out, had an even greater share in forming the outlook of those who shared it than the college tuition. Knowledge and scholarship may come from good teaching, but to produce thought there is nothing like the free air of a university.

From Corpus Arnold went to join a society which has left a permanent impress on English university life, the senior common room of Oriel. We have seen how the new examination statute was carried by three heads of houses, Cyril Jackson of Christ Church, Eveleigh of Oriel, and Parsons of Balliol. Each of these colleges in turn took an intellectual lead within the university. Christ Church had an extraordinary predominance in the class lists up to 18371 and produced the two most famous of our nineteenth century statesmen, Peel and Gladstone : then it fell with a drop. Eveleigh (1781-1814), however, laid the foundation for the predominance of Oriel by inducing his colleagues—no easy task, we may imagine—to throw open fellowships to open competition. Hitherto colleges had restricted their choice to their own members and were in the habit of choosing pleasant companions in preference to men of greater intellectual force. Henceforth Oriel fellowships won a reputation as a surer test of real capacity than even the honours examinations of the university. Mark Pattison writes2, "For nearly thirty years the examinations for Oriel fellowships were conducted upon the principle of ascertaining, not what a man had read, but what he was like. The prizes or classes which a candidate might bring with him to the competition were wholly disregarded by the electors, who looked at his papers unbiassed by opinion outside. Perhaps the word which best expresses what was looked for is originality."

He goes on to point out that the Noetics, as the famous band of Oriel fellows in the twenties came to be called, were rather opinionated; they knew little of continental thought, of Kant or of Rousseau; but they maintained a "wholesome intellectual ferment." Brodrick1 describes them as "a select body, somewhat inclined to mutual-admiration, producing little but freely criticising every-thing": they "applied an unsparing logic to received opinions, especially those concerning religious faith, but their strength lay rather in drawing inferences and in refuting fallacies than in examining and settling the premises from which their syllogisms were deduced." That independence of judgment prevailed at Oriel is obvious if we set the names of Whateley, Arnold, and Hampden against those of Newman, Keble, and Hurrell Froude2. Such was Oriel before the Tractarian Movement.

The provost during Arnold's time was Copleston (1814-1827), who likewise came from Corpus. A stately don of the old school, he well-nigh ruled the university. He enjoyed a reputation beyond the limits of Oxford and was consulted by Peel on economic questions; he advocated reforms which the majority of Oxonians regarded as dangerous innovations even in the fifties; he put in order the college finances; and he was afterwards a reforming bishop. But it is curious to notice how men who are pushing reforms from within will resent almost identical criticism from without. The Edinburgh Review commenced a series of attacks, mainly true in substance but hostile in form, against the English universities. Playfair, Jeffrey and Sidney Smith were the leaders; and the attack was directed equally against the classical and the mathematical instruction. Copleston took up the cudgels and was believed by Oxonians to have routed his opponents. Reply and counter-reply followed; and the language which was used frequently went beyond what would now be considered seemly in academic discussions. Yet the following would appear to be a just description of the attitude which the Noetics were striving to overthrow. "There is a timid and absurd apprehension on the part of ecclesiastical tutors of letting out the minds of youth upon difficult and important subjects. They fancy that mental exertion must end in religious scepticism ; and, to preserve the principles of their pupils, they confine them to the safe and elegant imbecility of classical learning. A genuine Oxford tutor would shudder to hear his young men disputing upon moral and political truth, forming and pulling down theories, and indulging in all the boldness of youthful discussioni." And the next quotation would appear to express exactly Arnold's objection to the predominance of words over things. "A classical scholar of twenty-three or twenty-four years of age is a man principally conversant with works of imagination. His feelings are quick, his fancy lively, and his taste good. Talents for speculation and original enquiry he has none; nor has he formed the invaluable habit of pushing things up to their first principles, or of collecting dry and uninteresting facts as material of reasoning. He hates the pain of thinking and suspects every man whose boldness and originality call upon him to defend his opinions and prove his assertions2." Scholars have come to value "not the filbert but the shell, not what may be read in Greek but Greek itself 3." The absence of a working atmosphere, the failure of fellows to make contributions to learning, their ignorance of the latest researches, the neglect of mathematics at Oxford, and a tendency to cling to obsolete mathematical methods at Cambridge, were other matters of attack. Copleston's replies are extraordinary evidence how far we have travelled since his day. Indeed to a modern reader they are stronger evidence of the justice of the attacks than anything contained in the attacks themselves. It is hard to realise that a man who was regarded by his contemporaries as among the ablest Oxonians of his day both intellectually and practically should, in carrying on a discussion, be so completely unable to distinguish the wood for the trees. He spends more time in defending himself from a charge of a small slip in his Greek than in meeting serious attacks on the Oxford system ; he indulges in trivial attacks on the opponent's attorney; and he tediously replies to the charges sentence by sentence when a few decisive thrusts might have given him the victory. Yet he was all for giving that training " in seizing the strong point in any subject " which made argument in the Coplestonian style an impossibility for the next generation.

In view of the evidence presented by the attacks of the Edinburgh Review, by Copleston's defence, by Coleridge's attitude, and by Mark Pattison's account of teaching in his undergraduate days, we feel justified in holding that Arnold was the first man, not only in English schools but in English universities, who realised the opportunity which classical instruction offered as an introduction of the pupil to ethical, philosophical, and political problems and who illustrated it in practice in such a way as to evoke imitation. The Reviewers had the idea; the Noetics studied classics in this spirit; but Arnold was the first man known to have taught them in it. Dean Stanley's account, though hackneyed, must be quoted . " He was the first English-man who drew attention in our public schools "—this, we suppose, is generally admitted—" to the historical, political, and philosophical value...of the ancient writers, as distinguished from the mere verbal criticism and elegant scholarship of the last century." "His whole method was founded on the principle of awakening the intellect of every individual boy. Hence it was his practice to teach by questioning;...and his questions were of a kind to call the attention of the boys to the real point of every subject and to disclose to them the exact boundaries of what they knew or did not know....In proportion to their advance in the school he tried to cultivate in them a habit not only of collecting facts but of expressing themselves with facility, and of understanding the principles on which their facts rested. 'You come here,' he said, 'not to read but to learn how to read.' " " Hence also he not only laid great stress on original compositions, but endeavoured so to choose the subjects of exercises as to oblige them to read and lead them to think for themselves." "Style, knowledge, correctness or incorrectness of statement or expression, he always disregarded in comparison with indication or promise of real thought. ' I call that the best theme,' he said, `which shows that the boy has read and thought for himself, that the next best which shows that he has read several books and digested what he has read, and that the worst which shows that he has followed but one book and followed that without reflection."' Arnold's work was done in a school, but it was long before pure scholarship became infused with the new spirit in schools generally. Indeed Mark Pattison states that up to 1834 "scholarship" still maintained the premier place at Oxford in the school of Litterae Humaniores; and that a period ensued in which what was expected was a " knowledge of the books" " page by page " rather than a critical reflection on them; in fact it was not till the fifties that this school definitely assumed a philosophical bias.

The new humanism presented many shapes as it was refracted through the media of different temperaments. Arnold's was the religious spirit cast in a Protestant mould. He is akin to Plato in one of his aspects, as the great Greek puritan. To Arnold the chief revelation of God was to be found in history, and this was why classical history appealed to him so intensely. Progress was divinely directed. Jews, Greeks, and Romans were the three chosen peoples of ancient times. Their history was directed on converging lines with Christianity as their meeting-point. As before Christ States were the appointed means of drawing men nearer to God, so was it God's purpose that they should be afterwards. The sanctification of the State was the goal of progress. Man, as Aristotle held, can only be perfect in society; hence individual perfection and the perfection of society must go hand in hand. The greater the approximation to perfection, the more do Church and State become identical; for they are composed of the same persons. Their relations to God, which constitute them a Church, deter-mine their attitude to each other, when they are regarded as a State. Education is engaged in showing the purpose of God for the individual and for the world; its chief subjects are therefore (I) the Christian religion, (2) the Jewish, Greek, and Roman civilisations, as revealed in their literature and in their history, and (3) modern history. Such is education on its intellectual side; on the side of will and feeling it acts through a miniature Christian society in school or university, which are training grounds for the larger Christian societies of Church and State. Arnold's practice accorded with his theories.

Newman equally represents the religious spirit, but his temperament was conservative whereas Arnold's was liberal. By this we mean that, if a new movement arose, Arnold's eye was instinctively cast on the opportunities of so guiding the movement that it might increase the sum of righteousness, whereas Newman instinctively looked at the dangers to the cause of righteousness which might accrue from the disturbance of existing opinions or institutions. Hence Arnold remained a Noetic to the end; but Newman, as he saw more fully the directions in which free enquiry might lead, became alarmed. He recognised, like Arnold, a divine guidance of events, but for him it was that kind of guidance which operates by "turning even the madness of men " to fulfil the divine will. Should we liken the forces of change to a river, Arnold saw the Spirit of God in the stream itself, Newman only in some power which should embank it. So embanked it could be made to subserve the good; but in itself it had the nature of evil. From an early period he recognised this regulating power as being the Church; but, whereas in 1833 he looked to the Anglican Church, in 1845 he seceded to Rome. In 1852, in a series of lectures to the "Catholic University of Ireland," he published his theory of the functions of a university'-. It is a masterly harmonisation of Catholicism and contemporary Oxonianism, and it remains the out-standing and classic exposition of the latter.

As a Catholic, Newman refuses to accept Arnold's view that intellectual education can make a man better or more religious, and that this is its highest aim. The Church alone pronounces on faith and morals; the individual man must believe and obey. Why then is it better to be educated than not to be educated? His answer is that a sound intellectual condition is in itself a good, just as a healthy bodily condition is in itself a good. In what, he goes on to ask, does this healthy condition of mind consist? The English language, he replies, contains no exact word for it; neither wisdom nor knowledge nor learning gives the right idea. It is certainly not professional skill; for that is a means to something else, whereas the healthy mental state is an end in itself—the end sought by a liberal, as opposed to a professional, education. Rather it consists "not merely in the passive reception into the mind of a number of ideas hitherto unknown to it, but in the mind's simultaneous action upon and towards and among these ideas....It is the action of a formative power, reducing to order and meaning the matter of our acquirements; it is a making the objects of our knowledge subjectively our own, or, to use a familiar word, it is a digestion of what we receive into the substance of our previous state of thought....It possesses the knowledge not only of things, but also of their relations; knowledge, not merely considered as acquirement, but as philosophy2." The description of the healthy intellectual state is pure Oxonianism; its dissociation from morals and religion is Catholicism.

He next turns to the subject-matter of a healthy intellectual training. Since beliefs true in themselves may be a source of error if not seen in all their relations, specialisation is an evil. Yet it is necessary for professional efficiency: therefore a liberal education steps in as a prophylactic. " Men whose minds are possessed by some one object take exaggerated views of its importance,... make it the measure of things which are utterly foreign to it, and are startled and despond if it fail them....But the intellect which has been disciplined to the perfection of its powers, which knows, and thinks while it knows,... cannot be exclusive, cannot be impetuous, cannot be at a loss....That perfection of the Intellect which is the result of the clear, calm, accurate vision and comprehension of all things, as far as the finite mind can embrace them, each in its place, and with its own characteristics upon it1." The characteristics therefore of a liberal education are, first, that it is a training in this "philosophical habit of mind which looks for relations and co-ordinates its knowledge; secondly, that it deals more with the "architectonic" sciences, that is, those which best serve to decide the relations of the others to the scheme of knowledge as a whole.—Thus far goes contemporary Oxford; the end is Rome. Man is related to things, to man, and to God; but the last relation is the most fundamental of the three, and the second more important than the first. Theology, as taught by the Church, is therefore the most " architectonic " of the sciences; and other sciences will be good or bad in proportion as they are studied with this background. Arnold on the other hand would have looked on the scheme of knowledge, not as a building of which theology was the cornerstone, but as a flight of steps of which it was the top ; our knowledge of the will of God was to be reached by reflection on the physical world and on human history.

The architectonic hierarchy of the sciences determined for Newman that all must be taught in a Catholic atmosphere; it also established a superiority of the humanities over the physical sciences. In arguing this second position he quotes from his old friend Keble2, who remained an Anglican; and the quotation is as good a statement of the newer humanistic position as could be found. Keble had called the nameless intellectual quality which Newman conceives as the health of the mind by the title of "judgment." Judgment, he affirmed, "lives by comparison and discrimination " ; it gives the student "strength in any subject he chooses to grapple with and enables him to seize the strong point in it." "To do any good to the judgment, the mind must be employed upon such subjects as come within the cognizance of that faculty and give some real exercise to its perception. Here we have a rule of selection by which the different parts of learning may be classed for our purpose. Those which belong to the province of the judgment are religion,... ethics, history, eloquence, poetry, theories of general speculation, the fine arts, and works of wit." All these "are necessary mutually to explain and interpret each other. The knowledge derived from them all will amalgamate." But further, "if different studies are useful for aiding, they are still more useful for correcting each other; for, as they have their peculiar merits severally, so they have their defects, and the most extensive acquaintance with one can produce only an intellect either too flashy or too jejune, or infected with some other fault of confused reading. History, for example, shows things as they are, that is, the morals and interests of men disfigured and perverted by all their imperfections ' of passion, folly, and ambition; philosophy strips the picture too much; poetry adorns it too much; the concentrated lights of all three correct the false peculiar colouring of each and show us the truth." The defence of the classical course as it was in process of being reshaped at Oxford therefore was that the three means to seeing life steadily and seeing it whole were pure literature, history, and philosophy; and that in the literature of ancient Greece there was ready at hand a combination of great poets and orators, historians and philosophers, which was unique. Their study presented two great advantages; first, it was the best available means of understanding "humanity," if the word may be used to signify all which concerns human relations; secondly, it was a training in the "philosophic" habit of looking for the relations and significance of the facts which are learned, without which any kind of knowledge is worthless.

Newman, writing in the fifties, acknowledges that natural science, like all kinds of knowledge, possesses a value in itself as knowledge, apart from the specific professional values of separate branches. But the Oriel fellows in the heroic age of the College had been hardly brought into contact with natural science, though one of the most lovable of their number, Baden Powell, was a scientist: but such was the condition of science in Oxford that, when he was appointed Savilian professor of Geometry in 1827, Copleston advised him that it would be useless for him to lecture, as he would not get an audience, and that it would be better for him to devote himself to research'. Science was in fact treated as a hobby of a few eccentric dons, such as Buckland, for whom the Prince Regent erected a professorship of geology, or Daubeny, who combined the professorships of chemistry, botany, and rural economy2. It was not till the great change in attitude which followed Newman's secession in 1845 that Oxford awoke to the existence of science as a serious claimant to a place within the temple of knowledge, and that Acland carried through his scheme for the building of a scientific museum, to which a band of artists, including Burne-Jones and Morris, devoted unsparing endeavours to make the shrine worthy of the newly deified muse. When we find even Jowett treating these claims as menacing "the higher conception of knowledge and of the mind" and antagonistic to "morals and religion and philosophy and history and language," we are not surprised to learn that Keble led the theologians to an attack on geology as unscriptural, or that Newman considers that the value which he theoretically allows to science might be purchased at the cost of greater evils. But it is at a period later than the thirties that science was sufficiently recognised to become a subject for attacks.

In addition to aim and subject-matter a complete theory of a liberal university education must also embrace a view on method. "If I had to choose," writes Newman, "between a so-called university which dispensed with residence and tutorial superintendence and gave its degrees to any person who passed an examination in a wide range of subjects and a university which had no professors or examinations at all, but merely brought a number of young men together for three or four years, and then sent them away as the University of Oxford is said to have done some sixty years since, if I were asked which of these two methods was the better discipline of the intellect—mind, I do not say, which is morally the better, for it is plain that compulsory study must be a good and idleness an intolerable mischief—but if I must determine which of the two courses was the more successful in training, moulding, enlarging the mind, which sent out men the more fitted for secular duties, which produced better public men, men of the world, men whose names would descend to posterity, I have no hesitation in giving the preference to that university which did nothing, over that which exacted of its members an acquaintance with every science under the suns." The importance thus attached to intercourse surmounts the difficulty that, while the studies of a university must be encyclopaedic, the teachers at least must be specialists. They are saved from the evils of specialism by contact with specialists in other branches. "There will be this distinction as regards a professor of law or of medicine or of geology or of political economy in a university and out of it, that out of a university he is in danger of being absorbed and narrowed by his pursuit, and of giving lectures which are the lectures of nothing more than a lawyer, physician, geologist, or political economist; whereas in a university he will know just where he and his science stand 2." Similarly all students will not study theology, but all will be in contact with theological students in a society in which theology is studied.

When we compare Newman's ideal with the account of Oxford given by Sir William Hamilton, by the Edinburgh Reviewers who renewed their attacks in 183o, by Mark Pattison in his Memoirs, and by the evidence given before the Royal Commission, we feel at first at a loss to explain the glaring contrast. Yet it is not hard to explain. The reformers of i800 found in existence a state of things in which the bulk of undergraduates were unaccustomed to serious study and the bulk of tutors to serious teaching. Few fellows of colleges kept up their studies by reading, though intellectual conversation was sometimes studied as a fine art in common rooms. The idea of making new contributions to learning, even of following the new contributions which were being made abroad, was unknown. A minority of intellectual tutors carried the new examination statute; a minority of working undergraduates occupied the places in the class lists. This minority needed a new type of instruction; but, before tutors realised how greatly the position had changed, they were left behind. When lecturing on authors, they knew nothing to say which was not to be found in the printed editions; and they were only awaking to a realisation of the wider philosophical, historical, and literary topics, for a discussion of which the authors might be made the text. Hence the demand of Hamilton and the promoters of the Royal Commission for specialist professors. The Oriel band were composed of the first batch of working undergraduates who had been produced by the new system. Their interests were so wide that they did not wish to specialise; as tutors they were restless students ; they learned the forgotten art of study, but they spent their lives in searching for their intellectual position. A third generation must arise before tutors were sure enough of their position to work out a system of instruction. Meanwhile the bulk of undergraduates were still passmen, of a low intellectual level; and it was for them that college tuition had been designed. Academic organisation was lacking in flexibility, and candidates for honours were still required to attend those lectures, from which they could derive no knowledge or stimulus what-ever. Their real work was done privately or with the new class of private "coaches" who arose to satisfy the new demand, till the third generation of reformers united to demand from Lord John Russell the interference of the State. In the interval the mind of the university had been distracted for twelve years by the controversies arising out of the Tractarian movement (1833-1845).

Still, much was gained. Arnold's effort to popularise Niebuhr was his chief contribution to university study: but his work at Rugby on its intellectual side may be regarded as working out the school basis on which the "philosophising " of the traditional university classical course could be built. Foreign influences took long to penetrate Oxford, but they came. It was the High Church Conservative school who popularised Kant. They found a philosophical leader in their Scottish academic critic, Sir William Hamilton. If lectures lacked originality and were unsuited to the intellectual needs of honours men, yet tutors were beginning to be conscientious on their own lines. A college lecture was conducted exactly like a lesson to a sixth form and was substantially a construing class ; and this was precisely the point in which the tutors of those days saw its advantage. The doctrine that the pupil must not be a mere listener, which is a truism of school method to-day, was held and practised by our predecessors in their instruction in universities. In the great struggle between the rival policies of college tuition and a university professoriate, the tutorial party took it for granted that the tutor would continue to teach while the professor would lecture, and it was on this that they based the tutor's claim to be giving superior instruction. Strangely enough, in the older universities, the tutorial system is still pre-served, but the modern tutor lectures; while in the modern universities there is nominally a professorial system, but the professor, like his American colleague, often "quizzes."

The Tractarian movement, much as it distracted Oxford thought from academic reform, was itself a sign of intellectual life. It was only by reason of the enlarged opportunities for free thinking that so unconventional a doctrine as the unfettered claim of authority over freedom of thought was rendered possible. Yet to the opposing school of thought which gained the predominance after Newman's secession in 1845, the twelve years of Tractarian controversy appeared to be an age of scholastic barbarism. Under the rule of Hawkins (1828-1874), Oriel undoubtedly lost its old prestige. An autocrat who dreaded to be surrounded by men of superior ability, he dismissed three of his keenest tutors, including Newman, and put in inferior but "safe" men. He damped enthusiasm, became en-grossed in detail, and lived in the past. Mark Pattisonno very impartial witness, to be sure—describes the leading tutors of Oriel after 1831 as "steeped in parochialism," as zealous in study but devoting all their study to theology, and as possessing a very limited knowledge of the classics ; "the college must have become a seminary'."

Newman's secession seemed to the academic liberals as the break-up of an old order; Pattison tells us 2 how a "flood of reform" broke over Oxford, how "in those years every-one was a liberal," how it seemed "a deliverance from the nightmare" of obscurantism. Two new honours schools were instituted in 1852, one of law and history, the other of natural science. The museum was built. The Royal Commission was appointed. Mill replaced Kant as the philosophic guide. The old classical examination was divided into two parts, Moderations in the middle of the undergraduate's career, which should embrace pure scholar-ship, the poets and orators, and the final school of Litterae Humaniores, better known as " Greats," which henceforth became mainly philosophical and historical. Sir William Hamilton's charge that, though parts of philosophical authors are read, they are not studied as " food for speculation," that memorising of the parts and not a view of a work as a whole is what is expected3, ceased to be true. Balliol took the intellectual supremacy under the long mastership of Jenkyns (1819-1854), who, though neither a great scholar nor a commanding personality, was "an unfailing judge of a clever man4," rand, unlike Hawkins, showed no jealousy to men abler than himself, but accepted changes promoted by the fellows, even when he personally disapproved. The chief of these was the opening of scholarships to free competition in 1828 which made a " Balliol " the blue ribbon of schoolboy success. In 1842 Jowett became tutor, and in this capacity and later as master consolidated the ground which Jenkyns had won.

Mark Pattison was as much an outcome of the classical revival as Arnold or Newman, but was in every other respect a contrast to them. The son of a commonplace and not very religiously-minded country clergyman, he came up to Oriel as a shy and awkward freshman in 183o, with an ardent love of classical study which his official instructors failed to satisfy. In 1839 he obtained a fellowship at Lincoln, and for a time came under Tractarian influences, which yielded to a profound reaction. His genius was brilliant and versatile, with more than a touch of egoism and a restless desire to be ever reforming something. "It is impossible for me," he confesses, "to see anything done without an immediate suggestion of how it might be better done. I cannot travel by railway without working out in my mind a better time-table than that in use1." His defeat in his candidature for the rectorship of his college, which he not unfairly regarded as an act of jobbery, embittered him; and his subsequent election did not undo its effect on his character. Happy. in his hours of study; vindictive, melancholy, and pessimistic in his hours of thought; taciturn in society; ardent but bitter under opposition in his attempts at university reform, he became the most brilliant but the saddest figure in mid-Victorian Oxford. Impelled by an insatiable craving for efficiency, he had none of the hope for the future or the love of his fellow men which bestows a blessing on unsuccessful endeavour when it springs from the heart, but could only feel the sting of personal failure when the reforms which his brilliant intellect was ever suggesting were not carried into effect.

We could almost prophesy from his character how Greek literature would affect him, when once his shyness had been sufficiently overcome to let him follow his own lines. Greece was the nation which had first struck out on new paths of thought. Wherever Greek literature went, it had imparted intellectual life. Pre-existing beliefs and conventions were powerless before the keen sword thrusts of its penetrating analysis. Life had become joyous; thought was no longer a burden, but a delightful exercise in a boundless, invigorating fresh air; gloom, superstition, and fear, the poisonous growths of ignorance, had perished when exposed to its health-giving influence. Its restoration at the Renaissance had brought civilisation to Europe. Pattison was a scholar of the fifteenth century condemned to live in the mid-Victorian age. Having turned his back on Tractarianism, he came to feel for the clerical party that bitterness which he was too prone to experience towards all who did not agree with him. His attitude to Greece, his attitude to Christianity, his attitude to opponents, can all be seen in one sentence which he wrote of Newman, "He was inspired by the triumph of the Church organisation over the wisdom and philosophy of the Hellenic world; that triumph which, to the Humanist, is the saddest moment in history—the ruin of the painfully constructed fabric of civilisation to the profit of the Church1."

In some ways Oxford' has followed Pattison's lead. He tells us how he was appointed an examiner along with colleagues whose paper qualifications were all better than his own, and how he found himself their equal in scholarship and more than their match in seeing the wider bearings of ancient thought2. He claims to have been the first lecturer on Aristotle at Oxford who tried to exhibit his philosophy as a whole instead of commenting on his works section by section3: and this, which is obviously the right method of dealing with the philosophers and historians of antiquity, is now universal. The reforms instituted as a result of the Royal Commission, and Pattison's support of the professorial system, must be considered in a later chapter. But, generally speaking, we may say that, as regards his attempt to follow the German system and introduce the student to specialised research in his under-graduate days, Oxford did not follow him. He was not satisfied with the form which the school of Litterae Humaniores was assuming and has since retained. "The quantity of original writing produced in" the three hours allowed for each paper "is in itself surprising. But the quality is more so. The best papers are no mere schoolboys' themes spun out with hackneyed commonplaces, but full of life and thought, abounding with all the ideas with which modern society and its best current literature are charged. So totally false are those platform denunciations of the Oxford classical system which assume that it leads its alumni in old-world notions and occupies them with matters remote from modern interests." Yet he thinks that the system has done its work. "The philosophical has been a transition stage, by which we have risen above the mere ' belletristic' treatment of classical literature." His objection to the "philosophical" stage is that conclusions are reached without examining the evidence. " To glean rapidly the current ideas floating about in the schools, to acquire the knack of dexterous manipulation of the terms which express them, to 'put himself in the hands of a practised tutor, to be set in the way of writing in the newest style of thought upon every possible subject and inserting the quotations from Aristotle in their proper place, this is all the student has time to dol." The cause is that philosophy is taught, not by middle-aged specialists who have thoroughly studied one particular branch of the subject, but by some young tutor who "reads in his vacation or in such moments of leisure as he can snatch the last new book on the subject" and "becomes of course an immediate convert to the theory of the latest speculator2." His own desire is to leave Moderations unaltered as an examination in scholarship, and to divide the final school into specialist philological and classical alternatives, banishing philosophy to the Faculty of Law ! Thus, having as it were laid the last brick of the "philosophical" edifice, Pattison proceeded to propose its total demolition, and no more belongs to the present chapter. Yet we may note that the faults which he finds with it consist in precisely those features which Newman considered its merits, and the issue is virtually between a general education for life and a specialised education for academic teaching and research.

The change from the scholarly to the "philosophic" ideal hardly affected Cambridge. The Classical Tripos was instituted in 1822, but at first only candidates who had taken mathematical honours were allowed to sit. Cambridge, however, maintained and, if anything emphasised, the older tradition of "pure scholarship." Thus, Peacock's desire to abolish verse and Greek prose in order to open the classical tripos to candidates who had not specialised in classics at school' would meet with a less favourable reception among Cambridge tutors now than when it was expressed. Indeed there was a marked divergence between the two universities : as far as real influence on the thought of the nation was concerned, Oxford's contributions were mainly humanistic and those of Cambridge mainly naturalistic.

The change in schools was not so marked as at Oxford. The historical and philosophical outlook was only possible with the sixth form, and it has taken a long time to realise that a boy becomes intellectually, though not emotionally, a man at sixteen. Universities influence schools in two ways, by the requirements of scholarship examinations, which determine the syllabus, and by the mental outfit of the teachers who proceed from the universities, which determines the unconscious drift and background of the teaching. The fact that at Oxford scholarship examinations looked more to Moderations than to "Greats" and that at Cambridge there was no equivalent for "Greats" continued to throw the weight into the scale in favour of good composition. It was some time before the essay and the historical and general questions came to rectify the balance. But the mental outfit of teachers often produced a pro-found, though unnoticed, effect. And, as the linguistic side of classics is being more and more threatened by naturalistic studies, the historical, philosophical, social, and political content of the humanities, as a means of training citizens, and at the higher stages of statesmen, is being more and more emphasised. It is not unlikely that, when the general study of the classical languages has passed away, the point of view as to the aims and methods of study which took shape in the course of the new humanistic movement will survive in connection with the study of modern literatures, modern history, and modern philosophy and political economy.

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