« AnteriorContinuar »
clergymen in full dress, with powder- of their own unambitious and ignorant ed hair and black silk stockings. I self-complacency. But even upon that never saw such a bustle. Some of the occasion, we must say, there appeared audience are said to bring biscuit in to us to be something not a little riditheir pockets, to enable them to sus- culous in the furious zeal with which tain the fatigues of the night; and so many grave academics laid aside the others chew tigs to disguise the chat- sober honours of the inactive toga, and tering of their teeth. The whole is started forth in the unwonted and unconducted with a solemnity that shakes natural succinctness of the sagum, to the firmest nerves.
repell the assault of a “telum imbelle Savage. What a strange species of sine ictu” which had glanced with iminfatuation !
potent malignity against the venerable Johnson. (Solemnly.) Gentlemen, towers of their Alma Mater. A tutor, I must leave you.
or professor of this time-hallowed seSavage. We need not part yet. We minary, feels as severely the slightest shall accompany you home.
sarcasm against its character, as a senJohnson." (Angrily.) Nay, sir, I timental lover does an imputation aam not going home.
gainst the chastity of his mistress. Derrick. Where, then ?
Wrapped in the sable swaddling-bands Johnson. (Sternly.) Sir, 'tis not of his dignity, and strutting for ever agreeable to me to be questioned. I under echoing arches, he soon comes bid you good night.
to fancy himself a constituent part of Derrick. He is off. What can be the gloomy and gothic grandeur which the meaning of this?
is familiar to his eye. He is satisfied Savage. I have a shrewd suspicion that he is a fixture; and, with excusethat this man, venerable for his learn- able vanity, dreams that it is his busiing, and formidable for superior in- ness to be a prop, where nature and tellect, is now stalking towards Cock- art have only meant him to be a penlane. He has an unaccountable hank, dicle. ering after the marvellous.
A more amusing instance of the abDerrick. Impossible !
surd excitability of the Oxonian pride, Savage. It would grieve me to of- has not often been exhibited than in fend him by dogging his steps, but we
this formal little pamphlet of Dr Kidd. can follow, unobserved, at a distance. The doctor himself is, we understand, The lion must be tracked warily. a man of much modesty and merit, Softly--softly—there he goes—just in and withal, one who has commonly the direction I expected. I was sure
been supposed to be a great deal more of it.
free from the besetting prejudices of the place than almost any of his breth
If a man of his acknowledged eminence and excellence can display so much violence upon so little provo
cation, what must be the exquisite No being can be more tenderly alive to the very semblance of offence, or, to the every-day members of the order to
soreness felt upon similar occasions by use a common sort of phrase, more which his name is an ornament,-the thin-skinned, than an Oxford profesWe have a very high respect for and bachelors, and doctors of divinity,
mere common-place masters of arts, the ancient university itself; we scorn
who imagine themselves to be exemand despise the paltry attacks which were made upon its general character the contemplative life” of the Peripa
plifying the highest possible glories of and usefulness a few years ago, by certain sceptical wits, who cannot be per- Christ-church meadow, or assisting in
tetics, when they are swaggering along suaded that there is any thing either all the ineffable grandeur of dulness, good or great beyond the petty sphere
at the diurnal solemnities of the high
table? * An Answer to a Charge against the
The wrath, however, of these ordiEnglish Universities contained in the Sup- nary graduates, intense and ebullient plement to the Edinburgh Encyclopædia.
as its heat may be, commonly evaporBy J. Kidd, M.D. Professor of Chemistry in the University of Oxford. Sold by J.
ates in 'the harmless shape of highParker and by R. Bliss, Oxford ; and Messrs church toasts, and songs from The SauRivington, London, 1818.
sage, uttered with the full emphasis of
KIDD AND BRANDE.
indignation, to the sympathising audi-versity of Oxford by Sir Humphrey ence of a common room. To such Davy, or Professor Leslie, we could transitory, but adequate instruments of have pardoned a zealous academic for academical resentment, we think it
some impatience to wipe off the stigmight have been wise in the worthy ma. But really the smooth gentleman Professor of Chemistry to have left the who talks to the fine ladies at the vindication of the university from the Royal Institution, * about primitive aspersions of Mr Brande.
But we rocks, and secondary rocks, granite, must put our readers in possession of porphyry, syenite, and serpentine, in the facts before we can expect them to a style of rumbling solemnity, comadopt the opinion which we have pounded of the worst things about formed. It is fair that the plaintiff Darwin and Pinkerton,--and amuses should be permitted to open the case and delights the same enviable audience for himself.
with the leaps of dead frogs, and the “ In a dissertation on the progress of other awe-inspiring wonders of the chemical philosophy, written by Mr Brande, Galvanic battery,--this important per, and prefixed to the Supplement to the fourth
şon, even though he has been permitand fifth editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica, it is asserted, that,excepting in the schools of London and Edinburgh, che- * To give our country readers an idea of mistry, as a branch of education, is either his manner, we quote a few sentences from entirely neglected, or, what is perhaps worse, Mr Brande's very self-complacent essay superficially and imperfectly taught. And on the Rise and Progress of the Royal it is added, that this is especially the case Institution.” at the English universities, and that the
“ Nor of less importance are the popular London pharmacopæia is a record of the lectures delivered weekly in our theatre. It want of chemical knowledge where it is most is here that we behold a sight not to be imperiously required.'
paralleled in the civilized world. It is ** As Professor of Chemistry in the Univer- hither that our countrymen flock to give sity of Oxford, I am, to a certain extent, their all-powerful countenance to pursuits necessarily implicated in the charge here which ennoble the mind. While beauty brought forward ; and I naturally feel de- and fashion continue to patronize mental şirous of defending myself against it; though, improvement, it will ever be unfashionable in the opinion of some, I may be thought to
to be uninformed; while the female classes compromise the dignity of the University, exert their influence to keep alive a love of in answering an accusation made by an in- instruction, it will be doubly disgraceful for dividual not educated among its members,
men to be ignorant. And while we acand probably, therefore, an incompetent knowledge with gratitude the benefit which judge of the scope of an academical educa- science derives from a patronage which is as tion. But I respect Mr Brande, both on irresistible as it is extensive, justice calls upaccount of the honourable rank he holds as
on us to rebut the charge of fickleness. secretary to the royal society, and still more
Since the first foundation of the institution, on account of his industrious exertions in the female part of our audiences has never the promotion of practical chemistry; and I deserted us.' Long may the ladies of Lone shall be happy if, in convincing him that he don continue to derive that healthy and has advanced an assertion not warranted in refined amusement, which results from a fact, I may remove from his mind a preju- perception of the variety and harmony exdice, the existence of which I have perceiv: isting in the kingdoms of nature, and to ened with much regret."
courage the study of those more elegant deNow, we really must not hesitate to partments of science which at once tend to say, that, in our humble opinion, Dr
exalt the understanding and purify the
heart." Kidd has here fallen into the very er
We cannot follow this more appropriately ror which he alludes to in his next
than by the well-known lines of the poet. paragraph, as a distinguishing one of ** They say that learning is diffused and the times. Wherefore all this mighty general, respect for that most absurd and pom- And taste and understanding are so compous of all lecturers and essayists, Mr William Thomas Brande? If he be I'd rather see a sweep-boy suck a penny roll, not one of “ those obscure and illiter
Than listen to a criticising woman. ate sciolists whom the easy courtesy of And as for chemistry, the time of dinner all,
Thank God, I then have other things to the present age would dignify with the
do, man, name of philosopher," who, we should Exceptions 'gainst the fair were coarse and like to be informed, are the persons so shocking, described by Dr Kidd ? Had any seri- I've seen in breeches many a true blue pus charge been made upon the uni.
ted to write one of the introductory “ The physical and experimental sciences dissertations in the Supplement to the then are not neglected in this place. They Edinburgh Encyclopædia, need not,
are not cultivated, indeed, to the same exs we think, have been treated with quite cultivated so far as is compatible with the
tent as in some other schools ; but they are so much respect by a learned and grave views of a system of general education : and functionary of the University of Ox- hence the object of the lecturers in the seveford. The illustrious chemist of the ral branches of those sciences is, rather to institution is, to be sure, himself a present a liberal illustration of their princi. very liberal person. Hear with what ples and practical application, than to run amiable condescension he talks of the into the minutiæ of a technical, or even a lectures which such men as Thomas philosophical, detail of facts. These branches Campbell and Coleridge have delivered of science, in this place at least, may be within the walls of this fashionable considered with reference to divinity, classeminary. One would almost be in-sics, and mathematics, in the same light as clined to imagine that Mr Brande did chariots ; which were destined to assist, but
the supernumerary war-horses of Homer's believe, genius may be well employed not to regulate, the progress of their nobler out of the laboratory.
fellow-coursers. " In favour of the fine arts, we blush not With respect to Chemistry, indeed, it to say that we sometimes relax the academic is the opprobrium of that science, if science strictness of our laws. We consider it no it may even yet be called, that though it has disgrace, that the first masters of poetry, elo
at once dazzled and ameliorated the condiquence, and music, have been heard within tion of the world by the discoveries of phi. our walls ; and we cannot blame the taste losophers like Davy, Scheele, and Wollawhich has drawn overflowing crowds to lis- ston, it has in some respects debased the ten to the charms of such attractive sounds. character of Philosophy itself. It has been Even the most rigid critic, we may be al- the means, that is, of elevating to the title lowed to hope, will not condemn the policy of philosophers a host of individuals, whose of laying under contribution the pleasures of talents were just equal to that species of the lighter muses to enliven the severer inductive reasoning, the nature of which studies of their graver sisters."
has been of late years so egregiously misThere is something in all this so
taken, and its importance so absurdly main
tained. That man, in truth, must be posutterly ridiculous, that we wonder Dr Kidd could treat any assault upon the draw a general conclusion from a number
sessed of but ordinary abilities, who eannot university or its professors, coming of analogous facts continually passing before from the same quarter, otherwise than his eyes; while, after all, it must be genius with good-humoured indifference, or, alone that can penetrate beyond the limits at the most, with silent contempt. which apparently confine it, and connect at But granting that some reply was ex
once the distant or hidden links in a chain pedient, Dr Kidd was certainly the of philosophical reasoning. It was genius most proper person to make it; and in its fairest form and happiest hour, which we think he has done so very effectu- nexion between the cooling power of a me
discovered to Sir Humphry Davy the conally, although at somewhat too much tallic surface and the extinction of contigulength.
ous flame ; which taught him to extend the “ It is evident,” says he, “ to those who application of an abstract principle to the reflect on the subject, that the whole teror preservation of human life ; and added thus of an academical education, so far at least a more lasting wreath of honour to his as intellectual endowments are concerned, temples, than the decomposition of potash regards the general improvement of its
or of all the alkalies in nature could ever members, rather than their qualification for have conferred. any particular profession : and hence the “ And undoubtedly Lord Bacon did not trite objection, so often even now brought look forward to those easy triumphs over forward, thæt the physical and experimental the mysteries of the material world, whichi sciences are here neglected, can only proceed some seem to expect from the inductive from want of candour or of information. method. He only maintained, what I be. For a candid and enlightened mind would lieve no one is now disposed to deny, that readily allow, that though the discipline of without induction founded on experiment classical and mathematical studies is well or observation, no advances could be reacalculated to form the groundwork of excel- sonably expected in the physical sciences : lence in the physical and experimental sci- but a mind imbued so deeply with the spirić ences, the converse of this is by no means and matter of ancient learning, was not true; witness the deficiency, both with re- likely to overlook the advantages to be despect to taste and reasoning, in the literary rived from the discipline of a classical eduproductions of individuals, whose fame in cation. And if superiority of intellect be other points deservedly ranks high in the shewn in the choice of those experiments or scientific and professional world.
observations on which induction is to resto
and this I think no one will attempt to con- Of what benefit is it to the mind of trovert, it is in the highest degree probable, any man, to have a few superficial nothat the same mind will be more or less tions of the properties of oxides and successfully exerted in the prosecution of alkalies ? And even Mr Brande, we any particular branch of science, in propor- presume, will not pretend that his tion as its powers have been previously ex. ercised by the discipline of general educa. auditors derive any thing more from tion : not indeed that education can com- their attendance upon him. Such municate new powers to the mind, but that learning may be a good enough prepait improves those which it naturally pos- ration for the sesses, and enables it to direct them at once
“ Daily tea is ready' to the most appropriate points of observa- Smug coterie, and literary lady ;” tion. In saying this, however, I do not mean to disparage those self-elevating powers be ridiculed for not furnishing all its
But truly, that any university should of extraordinary talents which occasionally are found to supersede the necessity of any disciples with such “armour of proof,” education, being at once the master and appears to us to be not a little amusing. scholar of themselves.
If she provides an intelligent professor, “ If indeed Mr Brande had asserted, that who teaches regularly, to such as are chemistry was imperfectly cultivated by the inclined, the initiatory part of the generality of the members of the English science, and furnishes every adequate universities, he would doubtless have as. serted a truth, and a truth of which the facility to those who wish to go deeper reason is suficiently obvious ; since nearly into its mysteries, we apprehend she ninety-nine out of every hundred there edu- does all that any man who has ever cated, are destined not for the profession of thought seriously upon the nature and medicine, nor for commerce, but for the purposes of academical education will church, or the bar, or the diplomatic de- suppose to be her duty. Oxford, we partments of the state. I would ask there believe, does all this. Dr Kidd is a fore any reasonable person, not whether it
man of much eminence in all those is likely, but whether it would be desirable, branches of learning which belong to that the preparation for such grave and his profession ; and he delivers every important duties should be interrupted by more than a passing attention to pursuits, year within a trifle of as many lectures which can only be hereafter cultivated as a
as are given even at Guy's Hospital. liberal relaxation from severer studies and His course is. numerously attended, engagements. But if in after life the inter- and it deserves to be so.
What more vals of the more important duties should could the university do, unless she afford sufficient leisure for the cultivation of natural science, there is no reason why it skill from her candidates for degrees ?
were to require specimens of chemical may not be cultivated ; and there are those we hope the time is far distant when I am proud in reckoning some of them in she shall adopt any such schemes, to the nu.nber of my nearest friends, who have gratify the capricious taste of such pethus contributed to the advancement not
tulant admonitors as Mr Brande. only of chemistry, but of other branches of
I. K. natural knowledge.”
Chemistry is a science (if indeed that name can as yet be rightly applied POETICAL ACCOUNT OF AN OXFORD to it) which can give no man any title to eminence, unless he devotes to it the whole of his time, and increases MR EDITOR, its boundaries in some remarkable I am happy to inform you, that your manner, by the united efforts of ge- excellent Magazine is daily increasing nius and labour. They who are really in favour both with the graduate and ambitious of the name of chemists under-graduate part of this university. must not expect to obtain their object I enclose you a poetical epistle, writby attending the lectures either of Mr ten by a young gentleman of our col. Brande or Dr Kidd, or of any other lege some years ago. It was addressed teacher. All that these men can do to his father in the country, and acfor them, is to give them the elements companied by Dr Coplestone's first of the art of making experiments; and pamphlet against the Edinburgh Reunless they apply what they have thus view. At the time the whole univerlearned, immediately and indefati- sity was kept in hot water by that now gably, to the purposes of solitary study, forgotten controversy. If you insert they might just as well have never this, I shall be happy to send you, entered the doors of the lecture-room. from time to time, any jeux-d'esprit
which may be circulated among us. Their questions so strict are, their looks are I am, Sir, with much respect, your
so blue, obedient servant,
He's a lucky young dog that can squeeze
himself through; C. C. C., Oxford, May 14, 1818.
What peri], good Lord, modest merit environs
the irons !
While ingenious youth appears humming
and hammering, SINCE the cold-cutting jibes of that Northern
No pity they feel for your stuttering and Review Have tormented and teased uncle Toby and They screw up their brows, and their eye
brows they knit, I'm exceedingly happy in sending you down A defence, which is making much noise in
The more burning your blush is, the sharp
er's their wit ; this town,
At each attic retort, and each recondite pun, Of all our old learning and fame immemo
You the titter can hear round the gallery run, rial, Which is said to be writ by a fellow of Oriel ;
Till you're quite overpowered with their dig.
nified fun; Not that this is designed to elude your com
At last, they just hint, you may seat yourself mand
down, Of presenting a pictureof things as they stand; Alma mater is altered, you plainly will see,
And relinquish all hopes of a graduate-gown, Very much since you entered in seventy-three. Till you line with more Greek your unclas
sical crown. Her externals, indeed, remain nearly alike, But if dismal the terror of PLUCKING apWith a reverend awe the beholder to strike;
pears, The scarfs of our masters--the wigs of our
For a pleasanter tale you may priek up your doctors
ears, The staves of our bull dogs--the sleeves of For I mean to delineate, as well as I can, our proctors;
The far different fate of a fortunate man. Though, e'en here, some small matters, it Our college, 'tis fit my dear father should
must be confessed, Have been changed, and the men are less Turned out a crack man, about two months decently drest.
ago, Some canonical rules to oblivion are creeping, Very strong in his Greek, as a cucumber cool, And from under some gowns boots and gai. So we went in a body and crowded the school.
ters are peeping, But the things which are marked by most First, according to rule, came the book of grave alterations,
the Law, Are the Schools, without doubt, and the For Divinity still keeps, in Oxford, the pas, EXAMINATIONS.
But they soon gave it o'er, when they plain
ly perceived You remember, of old, 'twas a thing under- He could answer so well as to what they bestood,
lieved. These might almost be managed by puppets Every doctrine so perfect ! no slip could they of wood,
find, The mounting of pulpits, the bowing, the Smelling strong of the zeal of an Orthodox
chatting, The chopping of Logic, the rhyming of La- Every Catholic claim with some Scripture tin,
confounding ; These things had no value, except as fore. The unbroken succession of Bishops ex
pounding; Of fine flowing bumpers and fat greasy din- Abhorring, like hell, Mr Gibbon's impiety,
· And expressing a scorn of the Bible Society. And a Bachelor's gown adorned every young
In philosophy next they his bottom must Who could sport the Examining Masters a
And the creed of the Aristotelian church, Ye Saturnian times ! thousands sigh o'er By the worship of ages to Oxford endeared, your lapse,
And almost on a par with the gospel revered ; Yet your joyous return is not distant, perhaps. But so brazen his face is, in vain do they
bully, But, at present, these things wear a different And harass him with Socrates, Plato, and look,
Tully; They have managed it so, sir, by hook or by He so heartily rails at the gardens obscene, crook,
And so lovingly talks of the deargolden mean; That, from honour, 'tis now quite a rarity And so intimate seems with the stoical sage, grown,
That they all put him down for the flower To see a young gentleman alter his gown.
of the age.