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really forming the minds of the undergraduates before they have formed their own. The University knows nothing of them except their names in the class list; in their colleges they have no status, and it is quite optional with thein whether they enter the society there or no. Everything is entrusted to them, and no caution whatever is taken for the execution of the trust. As regards the private tutors themselves, I cannot but think it bad for them that the moment they have taken their degree, they should be considered as at once elevated to the highest intellectual eminence, and spend their whole time in teaching that which they have only just barely learnt. The tendency to narrow the mind and generate habits of self-conceit is obvious. It also stands seriously in the way of their acquuring much useful knowledge, though I think this is in some degree compensated by the ardent desire to learn which the habit of teaching is almost sure to produce. Young men are often at this time pressed by college debts, or otherwise in narrow circumstances, and the temptation is irresistible to labour to any extent so as to avoid these embarrassments. I have myself taken ten successive pupils in ten successive hours term after term, a task neither fitting for the tutor nor just to the pupil.

The result of this is that I think the system of private tuition ought to obtain a recognised place in the institutions of the University of which it is the mainspring-that it ought to replace the inefficient system of public inition, that the collegial monopoly ought to be abolished, and a free choice of a tutor left to the undergraduates individually. I think that the University ought to have some power over the tutorial class, so as to ensure, as far as possible, their moral and religious fitness for the trust which they are to execute: their intellectual fitness would have to be ascertained, as hitherto, by the unerring test of competition. I think the number of hours ought to be limited, as well as that of pupils, to be taken by those who are still in statu pupillari : after that I would not attempt any such limi. tation. Those who were unable to pay the amount required for an hour a day might easily combine so as to reduce it to a sum which they could afford. I think also the absence of pupils from lecture ought to be made known to those to whose care they are entrusted in matters of discipline. To make such a system work well, the number of examinations must be increased, so that the student should never feel himself free from this stimulus: and I cannot help thinking that with such superior provision for instruction, a little more might be required than the very

moderate quantum which now forms the standard of the University.

Of the Professorial system I cannot speak from experience, as during my residence in the University it was almost totally in abeyance. I have no very great hopes that it will be of very much service as a means of University education : the only chance will be to make it subservient to the examinations, which would materially detract from its dignity and general utility. University success is in my experience rather the reward of memory than of mind, and is more likely to be secured by fixing facts and doctrines firmly in the memory than by drawing from them remote and subtle inferences, or by establishing between them refined and logical

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distinctions. But the benefits of the Professorial system to those who, after having passed their examinations, are commencing the task, which every intellectual person must achieve for himself, of self-education, and for those who resort to our Universities without the purpose of taking degrees, cannot be overrated. The Professorships are the natural and appropriate reward of those who have distinguished themselves as tutors and examiners, and their multiplication and efficiency would tend above all things to raise the character and promote the efficiency of the University. There is nothing more hopeless than the career of a private tutor at present. He has nothing to look forward to from his occupation but endless labour, leading to no result, and with much more labour and higher acquirements is not so well paid as a country schoolmaster.

I have always looked upon the colleges as clogs to the efficiency of the University, whose benefits they contract within their own limited circle. Without offering any opinion upon their internal reform, I think that the most efficient reformation would be a reformation by competition from without. I am, therefore, clearly of opinion that it ought to be the privilege of every Master of Arts of good character who is so minded to open a hall in connection with the University, subject to such general rules as may be laid down for the government of such institutions by the University authorities. I would leave it to him to provide the buildings and accommodation for the students, and I would trust to competition to lower the expenses of living to the proper point. I am not in favour of allowing very young men to attend lectures, or belong to the University, without being attached to some college or hall, from an apprehension that it would be found impossible to subject them to efficient coercion. My view is, that the University ought to be thrown open as wide as is consistent with the due maintenance of academic discipline.

I regret to see that Sanskrit, for the study of which the bequest of Colonel Boden offers such liberal encouragement, has not been included among the subjects for a proficiency in which honours can be conferred. I must also, as a sincere well-wisher to the University, express my hope that the Physical Sciences will be brought much more prominently forward in the scheme of University education. I have seen in Australia, Oxford men placed in positions in which they had reason bitterly to regret that their costly education, while making them intimately acquainted with remote events and distant nations, had left them in utter ignorance of the laws of Nature, and placed them under immense disadvantages in that struggle with her which they had to maintain. With these remarks,

I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,

ROBERT LOWE.

23

CHAPTER II

ON THE TIMES

(1851)

In the month of April, 1851, Robert Lowe joined the staff of the Times, under Mr. John Walter, whose editor was that remarkable man, John Delane.

Much has been written, and still more has been said, about the unique position which Delane as editor of the Times occupied for over thirty years in the social and political world. There has never been anything in this country to compare with it either before or since. This was in part owing to the supreme position which the Times had achieved under his immediate predecessors, but it was quite as much due to the remarkable qualities of the man himself. Delane was what is called a born editor ; he had the true journalistic nose for scenting out news, and the true editorial eye for discerning the worth and mental capacity of other men. Over and above that he had the feeling of profound interest and personal pride in his journal that a mitred abbot of the middle ages had in his monastery ; and was equally prepared to stand up for its rights and privileges, and to fight for its power and aggrandisement against all comers. He was, of course, a terrific worker, and even when enjoying what Disraeli used to term his social honours, he never for a moment forgot that bis one aim in life was to keep the Times at the head of the journalism of Europe.

Much was made, both by his friends and enemies, of the fact that he had the ear of Lord Palmerston. Men whom he opposed, or whose particular fads he declined to patronise, used to declare that he was ‘nobbled' by Lady Palmerston's hospitality ; but this, though often repeated, even by such men as Cobden and Bright, was never believed by anyone really behind the political scenes of that time. In fact-and it is a social phenomenon in the annals of English journalism -John Delane mixed with the great political nobles of the Palmerston epoch, on terms of perfect equality, and was constantly consulted by the Ministers of State at critical moments.

Robert Lowe commenced his labour as a regular Times leader-writer on April 4, 1851, with an article on Chancery Reform.' Before taking a rapid survey of his first year's contributions to the Times, it may be as well to point out how splendidly endowed and admirably equipped he was for this not altogether new field of intellectual labour. He had reached the mature age of forty; had not only achieved a brilliant record at Oxford by his easy mastery of those branches of study which then led to academic distinction, but by his subsequent years of patient and painful tuition had so thoroughly and indelibly imprinted these studies on his active brain and retentive memory, that, unlike the majority of distinguished University men, he never forgot a tittle of what Alma Mater had taught him. In addition to this, as the testimony of his friends and college contemporaries shows, Robert Lowe had all his life pursued independent and often recondite studies; thus he not only read Hebrew with ease and pleasure, but Sanskrit, and he had not only studied German but he knew Icelandic.

On those great departments of human thought and activity, Law, Commerce, and Education, Robert Lowe was, as few newspaper writers have ever been, an authority. He was not only a brilliant practising barrister, but a profound student of law and jurisprudence ; he had given much time and attention to the subjects of trade, commerce, and finance, and here his

Australian experience as a legislator and fiscal reformer was of great value; while on the subject of education his whole academic as well as his colonial career was one long training.

It was his complaint in after years, as all the world knows, that his own education had been too purely literary, and that those responsible for it had neglected the more practical achievements of modern science. He had probably first felt this deficiency when he became closely intimate with William Sharpe Macleay in Sydney; but it was not until he was brought into official relations with Sir John Simon at the Board of Health, that he fully realised his want of early scientific training. Marvellous as it seems, Sir John Simon declares that Lord Sherbrooke, in spite of his sadly deficient eyesight, took sedulously to the microscope and bent his mind to various branches of physical research and investigation.

With this one single drawback, that of an imperfect scientific education, which nearly all bis contemporaries shared with him, Lowe must have been, when Delane secured his services as a leader-writer for the Times, the most powerful and best trained intellectual athlete who has ever in this country entered the arena of journalism.

No one puts this matter in such a clear light as the late Walter Bagehot in his brief Study,' written in 1871, entitled Mr. Lowe as Chancellor of the Exchequer.''

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His career at Oxford was unusually long; he was not a mere student who took high honours. After that he stayed several years as a working tutor, and has described to a Royal Commission how steadily he worked for ten hours a day as a 'coach,' and how little in consequence he accepts the “romance' of tuition. And the inevitable result has been that Mr. Lowe has become a scholar, not only as young students become such, but as men of maturer years who mean to earn money by it, become scholars. . . . After leaving Oxford, Mr. Lowe made himself not only an excellent English lawyer, but an admirable general jurist. He is acquainted not only with the technicalities of English law, but with the structure of

· Biographical Studies, by the late Walter Bagebot, edited by R. H. Hutton (Longmans).

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