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is different. Thought, as old Anacreon long ago sung, is as much the characteristic of the rougher sex as loveliness is of the gentler one; and to represent the simple majesty of Mind, nothing is better than black or dark colours, which serve to concentrate the eye of the spectator upon the head alone. Indeed, as our farewell suggestion to portrait-painters, we would observe, that the attention of the spectator is always led away from the face in exact proportion to the number of different colours and accessories in the rest of the picture. Hence the rule may be laid down, that if the model has a physiognomy which recommends itself neither by the beauty nor by the expression of its features-and still more, if there is a natural defect to be dissembled or concealed-the artist ought to call to his aid every legitimate accessory, and all the resources of contrasted but well-assorted colours. But if, on the other hand, the inspired artist feel a purity of expression or loftiness of character pertaining to his model, or if a face, to most eyes commonplace, strike him by one of those expressions which he judges to belong only to men
animated by noble ideas in politics, science, arts, or literature,-then it is to the countenance of his model that he should address himself; it is upon it that he should fix his chief attention; so that the resemblance, and the feeling which guided his pencil, may be alike conspicuous in his picture. Everything being subordinate to the physiognomy, the drapery should be of black or sombre colours; and if any ornaments are introduced for the sake of relief, they ought to be of the simplest and most apposite kind. Vandyck may be accepted as a master in this style of portrait-painting; and our artists of the present day, who are so fond of seeking extraordinary effects of light and shade, and by giving to vulgar persons a heroic attitude, or to commonplace countenances the pretence of profound thought, would do well to study the chefs-d'œuvre of that great master, and therein learn how infinitely better beauty may be produced by simplicity of means, by taste in the selection of the draperies and other accessories of the figures, and by attitudes which are not more invariably elegant than they are natural.
HALF a century ago, an elaborate defence of Latin versification, and of classical studies in general, as an indispensable element in every liberal system of education, might well have been deemed superfluous by the journalist. But the wide expansion of academical learning which has recently been inaugurated at both the Universities, combined with the avowed bias of the late Oxford Commission and its friends, fairly impose upon the essayist of 1854 the defence of that time-honoured system, which, as it runs directly counter to the selfish and material tendencies of the age, is always in danger of being disparaged and undermined by the shallow illiberal conceit of modern educational reform. There are few, indeed, in these days, however digni
fied by birth, station, or intellectual culture, who have never paid homage at the shrine of that self-constituted idol, public opinion. We may, it is true, safely congratulate the country upon the comparative soundness of the code of social opinion in the present generation. But it can never be a safe guide. Its dominion is fatal to individuality, the very soul of European as distinguished from Asiatic civilisation: it is the creature of, and is always sympathetically affected by, the cotemporary tone of public practice: it is oftener the exponent of classes than of a truly national sentiment: its stream is rarely equable and clear, but liable to capricious ebbs and violent reactions. Its strong utilitarian bias may well make us tremble for the safety of classical studies, when
Anthologia Oxoniensis. London: Longman, 1846. Sabrina Corolla. London: Bell, 1850.
once reduced to equal terms of competition with more popular branches of education. A period of transition, too, is proverbially critical, both for states, men, and institutions.
We do not, indeed, anticipate the literal fulfilment of Dean Gaisford's prophecy, that the New Examination Statute will prove the ruin of classical learning on the banks of the Isis. But there are many threatening indications on the academic horizon. Last year, not even the unusual splendour of the ceremony at the Installation could elicit from the competitors for the Chancellor's prize a copy of Latin hexameters worthy of the Laurel; not all the political prestige of Lord Derby could infuse a ray of inspiration into the odes composed in his lordship's honour; and one of these effusions, we regret to say, actually passed the University seal disfigured by an egregious solecism.*
Oxford legislation, too, has testified to its own conviction of the tendency of the new to the discouragement of the old studies. Thus, in the recent Examination Statute, while other avenues to distinction are opened, the attainment of a certain standard of classical knowledge is declared an essential qualification for a degree. While, While, therefore, Oxford has cheerfully volunteered to meet the requirements of the age, she has made no compromise: she has founded the alterations in her system upon a clear and secure principle, that of a high general education, based upon classical learning, with some introductory professional instruction in the last stage of the academic career.
We sincerely trust the University will inflexibly maintain herself in this position; but to do so will require no common firmness. She is exposed, on the one hand, to the insidious attacks of professed friends, like the late Commissioners, who would fain have persuaded her to supersede the "lessons of the grammar-school," as they contemptuously term the study of the master-minds of antiquity, after the first public examination; and to allow mere professional learning prematurely to encroach upon the domain of gene
ral mental culture. On the other hand, she is overtly assailed by the vulgar utilitarian outcry of those gentlemen who will never be contented till they have levelled every one with themselves. In this hazardous crisis of the academic era, when so many perilous innovations have been proposed, it may not be superfluous briefly to recapitulate the salient points in support of that principle, whereupon the University has hitherto based her educational reforms. May we venture to ask these enlightened gentlemen, who affect to deride the cultivation of ancient literature as the elegant imbecility of classical scholarship-who talk so loudly of the "useful"-upon what principle they restrict the designation exclusively to certain pet branches of knowledge? It seems to us that, in this utilitarian controversy, the question at issue lies in a nutshell. Society will ever be divided into two classes, one of which can, and the other cannot, afford their children the advantage of a liberal education. Under the former class naturally range themselves the aristocracy and the country gentlemen, beneficed clergymen, the more eminent and prosperous among the votaries of law and physic, and the most flourishing members of the mercantile and manufacturing communities. Is it possible that we can hesitate to apply the term "useful" to that intellectual discipline which, if not the essential, is at any rate the fittest basis of a large and liberal mental culture? It would be superfluous, indeed, to argue the question in reference to the few who are born to the honourable rivalry of the political arena, or the ease and dignity of the country squire. But on candidates for professional distinction it can never be too earnestly impressed that the main object of early education is not to cram the head with mere knowledge, but to develop the faculties and to train the judgment. A man of disciplined faculties, it has been well said, has the command of another's knowledge: a man without them, has not the command of his own. Now, of all the qualities which enable a man to take a lead in the
"Qui gentis eternos honores
Egregiæ egregior (!!) reportas."
are such as afford a direct play to the faculty of judgment. "History," says an eminent critic, to whom we owe several of the foregoing suggestions," history gives fulness, moral philosophy strength, and poetry elevation to the understanding." Nor do they serve only as mutual aids, but as mutual corrections; the one softening and allaying the false peculiar colouring incident to the other.
No modern literature can prove a substitute for the study of the ancient, and especially the Greek masters; for in the Greek models alone are embodied those principles of ideal beauty in art and literature which, says Colonel Mure, though founded on certain primary laws of harmony and propriety, have no separate existence in themselves apart from the works in which they are enshrined. The Greek masterpieces, we say, stand upon a totally different footing from the literature of modern Europe; they claim our admiration and despair, not only for their individual excellence, which indeed may and does exist in the shape of power of expression and originality of conception, apart from the observance of those principles, but for the elementary laws of art which they embody. In Greek letters alone, the purest standards of style are also the noblest productions of national genius. The case is the same in the regions of elegant art. The Greek school of design is the only one which has grown up under the guidance of pure native genius, in spontaneous conformity with the principles of ideal beauty and propriety. In other nations, works of great excellence are counterbalanced by defects and anomalies destructive of their value as standard models. The principles of Hellenic art are equally applicable to the literature of Italy or Spain, of France or of England; and so far from there being any contrariety between the principles of the Classical and the Romantic schools, the merits of the latter will be found to be in unison, its defects as surely at variance, with the laws of Hellenic composition. To il lustrate: "The properties to be chiefly admired in the romantic drama*DAVISON'S Essays.
active business of life, judgment is the foremost. We need hardly say that we mean something very different from the homely faculty styled "common sense" (though, after all, what is really more rare than genuine common sense?)-we mean that master principle which gives its possessor a vigorous hold upon any subject he is led to grapple with; which is the quintessence of the various discipline of the mind; whose very life is comparison and discrimination; and which is assuredly never formed by an early devotion of the understanding to a single study. So much do ideas gain in strength and clearness by intermixture and combination! Nor is this all; in order to train the judgment, the mind must be employed upon subjects congenial to the faculty, and adapted to exercise its perceptions. Those subjects are prodigal in variety, and comprehensive in their range: they embrace the study of religion, ethics, history, eloquence, criticism, and the fine arts. But, miscellaneous as they seem, they are yet held in union by two capital principles of connexion first, that they are all quarried out of man's moral and social nature; next, that, as distinguished from those physical and mathematical sciences "whose speculative perfection is their practical defect," they have one common standard, probability—the very same that Bishop Butler declares to be the guide of life.
The infallible sequence taught by mathematics has no affinity with the mixed relations and contending principles which prevail amid the infinite variety of human affairs." Probability is the terra incognita of the geometer: everything short of demonstration is absolutely beneath his notice." Nor is the study of physical science much more conducive to the discipline of this sovereign faculty. Chemistry, botany, and astronomyuseful studies as subservient to the arts, liberal studies as the food of an ingenious curiosity-contain no lessons of instruction for us in the intricate problems of our moral nature and our social institutions. On the contrary, the studies above mentioned
subjects derived from indigenous sources, spirited portraiture of character, and vivid representation of passion and feeling--are all in strict harmony with classic principles. Its defects, again-the little regard for unity of action, and entire contempt for that of time and place-the confusion of incidents, inconsistencies of chronology or geography, and burlesque admixture of the serious and the ludicrous, are plain violations of the laws, not merely of Hellenic, but of all elegant art.'
It is a thoroughly erroneous, though by no means an uncommon notion, that the classical system of education is medieval in its origin and tone, and ought therefore to be remodelled in sympathy with other great changes in society. The exact reverse happens to be the case. The classical system was founded upon the ruins of the medieval scheme of education, which was professional rather than general-the very system which the utilitarians are seeking to revive, ignorantly supposing it to be the enemy and antidote of mediævalism. It had indeed been theoretically conceived by some of those master-minds who are always in advance of their own age and institutions-among others by the prescient eye of Walter de Merton; but practically it originated with the Reformation, and was essentially in unison with the principles of that movement. That it was thoroughly Baconian in spirit is tolerably clear from the two following sentences, in which the great philosopher censures the medieval plan of education, which thrust logic into the minds of boys only fit recipients of the rules of grammar, and presumed to teach jurisprudence before the mind was capable of embracing science: "Amongst so many great foundations of colleges in Europe, I find it strange that they are all dedicated to professions, and none left free to arts and sciences at large. For if men judge that learning is to be referred to action, they judge well; but in this they fall into the error described in the ancient fable, in which the other parts of the body did suppose the stomach had been idle, because it neither performed the
* Col. MURE, Lit. Ant.
Nor ought we to forget the elegant and liberal recreation with which classical and general studies relieve the many voids which must inevitably occur in professional life. Professional rewards are distributed by no certain rule; and what can be a less enviable state than the lifeless stagnation to which the lawyer and physician are reduced, in the intervals of practice, if incapable of relieving the vacancy of their minds with those literary pursuits which at once invigorate and delight the intellect? Professional talent has indeed been aptly compared to muscular, high mental cultivation to constitutional, strength.
It would be treason to the cause to omit altogether the testimony of those living authorities, whose names gain additional weight from the fact that they are beyond the suspicion of any partiality for antiquated studies, and are therefore by no means open to the charge of being favourable witnesses. The author of England and the English will hardly be suspected of illiberal ideas, yet we question whether any of the professed or professional advocates of classical studies ever pronounced a more glowing yet discriminate eulogium upon them than Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, in his recent address to his literary audience at Edinburgh. It is conceived, indeed, in the same spirit which inspired the following eloquent tribute, paid by the noble Chancellor of the University of Oxford to that ancient classic lore,
"which must be the charm of every youthful mind which gives itself up to that enchanting study, which, impressed be entirely forgotten, or lose its influence upon the mind in early days, will never through long toilsome years. Who that in the days of his early studies has tasted and enjoyed the noble simplicity of old Homer and old Herodotus-the classic elegance of Virgil-the sublime reason
Greece, vol. i. p. 142.
ings of Plato-the dignity, power, and pathos of the Greek tragedians-the graphic accuracy of Thucydides-the easy unaffected narrative of Xenophon-the vigorous terseness of Tacitus-the impassioned eloquence of Demosthenes and
schines-the graceful rhythm and pure Latinity of Cicero-the glorious daring of Pindar-the "curiosa felicitas" of Horace the shrewd homely wit of Terence -the biting sarcasm of Juvenal-who that has delighted in all these in his early and most impressible days, can be so dull and cold as that long years of after toil, and the cares of public life, can wholly quench in him that divinæ particulam auræ,' with which he was inspired by his former, though long-neglected studies? Quo semel est imbuta recens, servabit odorem Testa diu.
And no one, whose mind has been once thoroughly imbued with classic literature, but must feel and acknowledge the
influence which it has exercised in after life upon his mind, and upon the turn and character of his thoughts and arguments and when he seeks to convey his thoughts in language, whether with the pen or with the tongue, though the stream may be drawn "from the pure well of English undefiled," yet there may linger in the draught some flavour of the Heliconian spring; and under the imperceptible influence of the spirit of ancient harmony, the rude accents of our rugged but noble language may mould themselves into periods which may sometimes reflect, although imperfectly, something of the melodious rhythm and the incomparable modulation of those mighty masters of thought and language."
here, in the languages and the literature of nations, which have left indelible traces of their passage on earth; there, in the fruitful vicissitude of history, constantly remodelling and constantly improving the frame of society. Lastly, in philosophy, which reveals the simplest elements and the uniform structure of that wonderful being, whom history, language, and literature successively invest with forms the most varied, yet all connected with some part, more or less important, of his internal constitution. Classical studies keep alive the sacred tradition of the moral and intellectual life of the human race. To curtail or enfeeble such studies would, in my eyes, be an act of barbarism; a crime against all true and high civilisation, and, in some sort, an act of high treason against humanity."
Next, as to the more immediate bearing of classical studies, and a liberal mental culture, on the two leading professions of law and theology: the essential connection of a high general education with a sound knowledge of jurisprudence has alike been insisted upon by every writer on the subject from Blackstone to the present day, and illustrated by Lord Campbell's Lives of our great legal luminaries, especially Lord Mansfield. In our own days, the high authorities of Lord Brougham, Lord Denman, and Mr Baron Parke, have unanimously re-echoed Blackstone's statement, that "the inconveniences" (of learning practice apart from theory, and of cramming a crude mass of statutes without a perception of the principles of jurisprudence) "can never be effectually prevented but by making academical education a previous step to the profession of the common law, and at the same time making the rudiments of law a part of academical education." "It is highly desirable," says Mr Stephen Denison,* "to combine with the elementary study of the law the kindred studies of logic, rhetoric, evidence, and history; all of which would naturally be done at the University, whereas it would not, and probably could not, be done at all at the Inns of Court " And the essential im
Oxford Commission Report, p. 77.
The high authority of Sir John Patteson and Sir John Awdry has recently confirmed the views here expressed. Suggestions with regard to University Reform, by Sir JOHN AWDRY and the Right Hon. Sir J. PATTESON. Oxford, 1854, p. 64.