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a feeling" of the University? And would Christ Church have dared to execute her vengeance on the advocate of liberty, had the general sentiments of the University run as high in favor of liberality and freedom, as they ran in favor of their opposites ?
Again, the Champion cannot understand how the spirit and feel ing of the University were concerned in refusing Johnson the de. gree of M.A., although he quotes the express narrative by Boswell, that Dr. Adams, when applied to, to know whether such a favor could be granted, thought it too great a favor to be even asked, though Johnson had made so great a figure in the literary world. If it were not the known and unalterable spirit of the University, that induced Dr. Adams to put this decided negative upon so pro. per a proposal, to what cause shall we ascribe his conduct? Had he acted as an individual, and not as expressing what he well knew to be the sentiment of the Body to which he belonged, he would deserve to be held in the same estimation as the Champion himself, who declares it as his opinion, that “ Dr. Adams acted very wisely," and that the publication of LONDON gave Johnson no « real" claim to the honors of the University,--that is, that Johnson did not deserve to be made a Master for the production of a poem, which the whole concentrated talent of Oxford, at this day, could not equal, although higher honors are lavished, each Commemoration, upon foreign counts, foolish baronets, and country squires ! this was and is too much the spirit of the University of Oxford. It is a part of the same spirit that still maintains those awkward and absurd distinctions awkward to the young men who must endure, and absurd to all who may contemplate themthat are fopperies so utterly unworthy of an ancient, and venerable, and-long may we have to add a prospering establishment. Mere title, and mere wealth, have no business with homage and observance in the seats of learning : Momus and Mammon have no right to pedestals in the temple of Apollo.
Upon the subject of Oxford Mathematics we have pronounced already, so that we may hasten to “ the last act of this eventful history," or the supposed " mistakes” of the Reviewer, that invigorate the final chuckles of his adversary.
“He may, if he pleases,” observes the Champion with a sneer, “ continue to speak of Aretinus or Chrysoloras and Erigena, as contemporaries, and leave his readers to suspect him of having gleaned his literary chronology from the Fabliaux." That the Řeviewer should have talked of Chrysoloras, or his pupil Aretinus, who florished in the opening of the fifteenth century, as actual contemporaries with Erigena, who florished in the ninth, none but the Champion will be ready to believe. To me at least it seems quite evident, that the Reviewer is speaking of ages, and
takes into his comprehensive view the whole succession of centu. ries, through which the intellectual light of Europe was dawning into « intenser day.” The Champion, who measures life by Oxford terms, and has no adequate idea of time beyond the compass of a long vacation, may be unable to follow glances so excursive; but no reader, of ordinary sense or powers, would, for a moment, fail to catch and comprehend the meaning of the sentence.
In his next attempt at convicting the Reviewer of error, the close Fellow is still more unfortunate.—“ He may persevere," he says of his opponent, “ when he speaks of Erigena the Scot,' in printing the two last words in capitals, though that philosopher was CERTAINLY not a Scotchman.” And he adds in a note, to suhstantiate this charge, “ He (Erigena) was either an Irishman, or, as Cave rather believes, a Welchman." Who that reads this assertion about “ John of Ayr," as he is expressly called by an authority, which is surely reverenced at Oxford, would not imagine that the Champion had at least Cave upon his side some positive averment from his pen that John was not a Caledonian, or some opinion ventured that Wales was the most probable spot of his nativity ? And who will not be surprised at finding that Care gives neither? The Champion has probably never seen the Historia Literaria ; for his sake, therefore, I will translate from the Latin all that Cave says about the birth of Erigena :-“ John, called Erigena and the The Scot, whom some contend to have been an Englishman born at Ergene on the confines of Wales, some a Scotchman sprung from the town of Ayr, and some to have had Ireland, anciently named Eri or Erin, as his birth place.” The chronologer proceeds, without another syllable concerning his country, or once hinting at a Welch extraction, to relate how John went to France, and was in high favor with Charles the Bald, afterwards taught the liberal sciences, especially geometry and astronomy, at Oxford, and was finally, having retired to a school at Malmesbury, punched to death with pens and styluses by his own pupils, who took umbrage at his sourness and severity. Cave concludes his notice of this worthy's life with a quotation, that still more strongly verifies his claim to Scotch descent. It is from the letter of Anastasius to Charles the Bald, where, after expressing his astonishment at the powers and attainments of some barbarian, that lived far from the society of man, he adds, “I mean 'JOHN THE NATIVE OF SCOTLAND, of whose sanctity in all things I have heard report.”
So much for the Champion's knowledge of Cave. "But I could more easily forgive this ignorance, shameful as it is, of a musty " Quarterly Review, No. LI. p. 246. Historia Literaria, po 5 18.
3 Historia Literaria, p. 549.
invit far be it fromer close or open, coas the
folio quoted by himself, than his want of acquaintance with the works of the elegant and accurate Harris. The following is his account of Erigena, with a story translated from the Annals of Roger de Hoveden, which Harris thinks decisive of the country of learned John :- Joannes Erigena, a Native of SCOTLAND, and who about the same period, or a little later,-(he is talking of the time of Bede and Alcuin) - lived sometimes in France, and sometimes in England, appears to have understood Greek, a rare accomplishment for those countries, in those days. It is related of him, that when he was once sitting at table over against the Emperor, Charles the Bald, the Emperor asked him—How far distant A Scot was from a Sot? - As far, Sir, replied he, as the table's length.”lYou, Mr. Elmsley, who are a wag, will probably insinuate, that the distance is somewhat lengthened now-a-days, but far be it from me to throw any such illiberal reflection upon the members of either close or open Colleges at Oxford ! • To those “happy accidents," as the Champion terms them, Lords Grenville and Wellesley, we may leave the task of thanking him, if they shall think it worth their while, for the complimentary comparison, with which he has honored them, to Epaminondas and Curius Dentatus. But, for myself, in the last place, to leave no point untouched, I beg leave to assure him that I am not at all “disgusted” at the “plagiarism” upon me, of which, with apparent probability, he accuses the Reviewer. I believe the opinion, in my Prize-Essay, to be founded upon truth, and can, therefore, have no objection to its being disseminated as widely as possible.
And now, Sir, our irksome task is brought to a conclusion. I lay down my pen with the solemn resolution, that no cause shall ever again induce me to engage, as judge or party, in a literary quarrel. Had I any personal interest in the case which has been before us, I might say with justice :-- - hic vicTOR cestus artemque repono ! but nothing has been further from my mind than personal feelings, and I must, therefore, rather regret, that the issue of our examination should have been so unfavorable, in some particulars, to the character of an University, that must remain, despite her little faults, her giddy factions,” the perpetual boast and bulwark of piety and learning.
Our sentence, however, as it stands recorded, must be accounted final and decisive. Upon most mature deliberation, the appeal was gravely and pointedly made to my authority, and, in giving language to our mutual sentiments, I have been led into a length and minute
· Philological Inquiries, p. 393.- Harris adds, in a note, “ The word Scotum plainly decides the country of this learned man, which some seem, WITIOUT REASON, to have doubted.”
ness of inquiry, which the gentleman of Oxford had no right to expect, and which the number of my more interesting and important avocations might have easily excused me from undertaking. Our concern with the whole matter is at an end ; and, whatever dissatisfaction the judgment pronounced may give to some persons, it would be beneath our dignity to notice it. To other hands let us commit the conduct of such foolish and unprofitable warfare. If an attack proceed from the fellow of one College, let it be replied to by the fellows of another
when Ralph to Cynthia howls
Your very obedient Servant,
D. K. SANDFORD. Edinburgh, May 11th, 1822,