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and, if his readers may sometimes dissent from his opinions, they can never doubt that those opinions have been honestly formed, and that the facts adduced in support of them are correctly stated. In this respect he must take high rank among French historians; and it must be conceded, that his artistic taste is never indulged at the expense of truthfulness of effect, and never misleads either author or reader.
To diligence in research, skill in the arrangement of details, and impartiality of judgment, must be added great breadth and comprehensiveness of view. Mignet never confines himself to a single aspect of his subject, but, having made himself acquainted with all the facts which can affect his judgment of men or of systems of policy, he looks at it as a whole, and presents a finished picture of it to his readers. Hence, among his minor productions, those are the best which relate to the most important personages, or to the most memorable transactions; and the greater the demand on his powers, the greater is the breadth of learning and aptness of quotation which he shows, and the firmer is his grasp of his subject.
His most striking characteristic, however, is his fondness for historical generalization. Here his chief strength lies, and here too we may trace the chief source of his faults. In his desire to bring all historical events under the operation of general laws, he is too apt to overlook the disturbing elements to be found in personal character and the freedom of personal action. At the same time, the soundness of most of his generalizations cannot be denied, and the relations of events are marked with great acuteness and precision. Indeed, in this respect, Augustin Thierry and Guizot alone among French historians are his superiors.
It is mainly to these qualities that we must trace the popularity which his writings have so largely enjoyed among his countrymen; and it is on them that his reputation must rest. That his life may be protracted until the completion of his long-promised “ History of the Reformation," is much to be desired; but, when we remember that he is now upward of seventy years of age, there is too little reason for such a hope.
Art. IV. - OUR COLLEGES.
haugural Address delivered to the University of St. Andrew's, Feb. 1,
1867. By John Stuart Mill, Rector of the University. London: Longmans, Green, Reader, & Dyer. 1867. 8vo, pp. 99. On the Principles of English University Education. By Rev. WilLIAM WHEWELL, M.A. London: John W. Parker, West Strand.
1838. 12mo, pp. 189. The Atlantic Monthly. September, 1866. University Reform. Report of the Committee on Organization. Presented to the Trustees
of Cornell University, Oct. 21, 1866. Albany: C. Van Benthuysen
& Sons. 8vo, pp. 48. Proceedings of the Third Anniversary of the University Convocation
of the State of New York. Held Aug. 7, 8, and 9, 1866. Albany:
Charles Van Benthuysen Sons, Printers. 1866. 8vo, pp. 152. The Atlantic Monthly. April, 1867. Considerations on University
The quickening which every form of social and educational discussion has experienced since the close of the war, has been nowhere more marked than in regard to collegiate education. There is a very wide-spread conviction, that our colleges, as at present organized, are not accomplishing all that this generation has a right to demand of them; and the academical year that is now closing has been distinguished for earnest and profound discussions as to the best method of bringing them fully into sympathy with the spirit of the age. Nor have these institutions themselves been backward or ungracious in recognizing their own shortcomings. While in different parts of the country new universities are springing up, upon broader, or at any rate different, bases, to keep pace with the growth of population and the changed demands of the times, our Harvards and Yales are adapting themselves to the new order of things, with a promptness and cheerfulness which must seem marvellous to those who have been accustomed to regard them as a mere embodiment of conservatism.
The most notable and encouraging feature of the discussion is its hearty and timely protest against the sordid materialism of our age and country. What training will best make men; how the next generation shall be made wiser and better than this, – these are the problems which have most earnestly engaged nien's minds: and so long as these are recognized as the vital questions of education, we may feel assured, that we are going forward, and not backward. It is this that gives its highest value to Mr. Mill's St. Andrew's address, that he, the most advanced and radical thinker of the day, the representative of utilitarianism, the successor of Bentham, has spoken so noble a word for culture, in the interests of the highest utility. Apart from the wisdom of the views themselves, the source from which they come — the man who probably exercises a more powerful influence upon American thought than any one now living - lends every word a peculiar emphasis.
The problem before us as a people is twofold, — the organization of the university itself, in the American acceptation of the term; and the best method of securing that higher education which we call distinctively “liberal," and which Mr. Mill well defines as “the culture which each generation purposely gives to those who are to be its successors, in order to qualify them for at least keeping up, and if possible for raising, the level of improvement which has been attained,” and again as “ what every generation owes to the next, as that on which its civilization and worth will principally depend." This is Mr. Mill's definition of what he calls “university education.” A university, he adds, “is not a place of professional education.” This last is an unessential point, which each community may fairly be allowed to settle for itself, organizing its “ universities," or institutions of highest education, in accordance with its own special customs and needs, as indeed is done now; so that the definition of the university varies widely in different countries. In England, as Mr. Mill says, it is a place designed solely for “ liberal education ;” in Germany, on the other hand, it em- . braces, besides this, all branches of professional education.
It seems to us that we in America have a right to develop such an institution under this name as is best adapted to our national wants, even if, in so doing, we depart from the accepted English definition of the word. In this country we are accustomed to use the term in its broadest and radical sense, as embracing the whole scope of a higher education, as well professional as liberal. For that department of the university which is devoted to a general education, to make men,- not lawyers, physicians, or civil engineers, - we have reserved the word “ college,” which word also we use in a quite different sense from the English, French, or German. That Yale College is a true university, while Brown University is nothing but a college; and that Waterville College, with less than fifty students, has chosen, for the sake of the lofty-sounding title, to dub itself Colby University, - these facts prove only a looseness of practice in the application of the terms: few will question that they are in general distinguished as we have indicated.
The true American university is not, however, confined in its scope to the liberal course of study and the so-called “ gentlemanly professions," which are all that are as yet combined with most of our Eastern institutions. It should embrace every branch of knowledge as science which a man may need, whether for culture or for earning his bread. We question the utility of attempting, in these institutions, to enter into the practical details, whether of agriculture or the mechanic arts, any further than is necessary for illustrating the scientific principles. Law schools and medical schools do not make lawyers and doctors, but adepts in their respective sciences: the application of their theories must be learned by means of office-work and sick-room visiting, before the student is competent to practise by himself. So the agricultural schools, we fancy, will not turn out farmers, but agriculturists; and we are afraid those will be disappointed who expect that — in the East, at any rate, where tilling
the ground is so hard work, and conducted on so small a · scale — common farmers will avail themselves of them to any
VOL. LXXXIII.— NEW SERIES, VOL. IV. NO. I.
great extent. But we may expect from these institutions a powerful influence in raising the standard of agriculture among us; and this science, as well as every other, should be included in a university course. Harvard is not therefore, as yet, a complete type of the American university, inasmuch as it does not aim at embracing all departments of human science.
The first point therefore in the organization of a university, is this broad distinction, generally recognized, between the college, whose object is pure culture, and the professional schools, which prepare a man for earning his living. The former of these entitles the graduate to the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and is properly supplemented, as at the University of Michigan, by a post-graduate course, continuing the general culture of the college course, and entitling to the degree of Master of Arts. We think, therefore, on the ground of this general distinction, that Mr. White, in his admirable scheme for the organization of Cornell University, has made a mistake in putting the “Department of Jurisprudence, History, and Political Economy” among the professional schools, as a department of the “Division of Special Sciences and Arts." His remarks on the importance of this department, and the peculiar benefits our community is likely to derive from it, are eminently just. We are at this moment as a nation suffering more from an ignorance of the most fundamental principles of political science, than from any other cause; and we look with confidence to the new university, under the guidance of Mr. White, to aid in forming a better race of public men: but it seems to us, that this branch of study, not being one which students will follow with a view to a life-profession, but rather to special culture, would properly belong to a post-graduate course.
The second of the two questions indicated above, the nature, scope, and method of liberal education,- is that which has been chiefly discussed, as is natural in a community which has its universities already in existence, and needs only to perfect them. This discussion was opened by Dr. Hedge, in his Alumni address last July; and the general plan