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problem of the proper optional subjects, and the second a difficulty of a more special character—the curriculum for Honours in Mental Philosophy. The Commissioners proposed to include among the compulsory subjects for the degree four alternatives: (a) Latin or Greek; (b) English or a modern language ; (c) Logic and Metaphysics or Moral Philosophy; (d) Mathematics or Natural Philosophy. It seemed to Professor Bain most undesirable that the study of English should be reduced to the position of an alternative, and he further disapproved of the inclusion of Moral Philosophy, Mathematics, and Natural Philosophy in the list. He carried in the Committee and in the Council the following scheme of compulsory subjects—(a) English, (b) Latin or Greek or a modern language, (c) Logic and Metaphysics; but the Commission declined to modify their proposals in this direction. On the other question, the proposal to make a degree in Greek a sine qua non for candidates for Honours in Mental Philosophy, he felt even more strongly, and he declined to accept "Greek or German" as a satisfactory compromise. He, therefore, disagreed with the alteration to "Greek or German " which had been recommended by the Committee, and the Council agreed, by a majority, to his amendment in favour of deleting the obnoxious clause. When the Commissioners insisted upon retaining the restriction, he urged the Council to use all possible means to prevent its final enactment. The words of the Committee's report bear the impress of his views :—

"In the first place, provided a student can show the knowledge requisite for obtaining Honours, to inquire into the means whereby he has attained this knowledge is an unwarrantable intrusion which serves no end.

"In the second place, it is well understood that for a high knowledge, even of Greek Philosophy itself, Greek is not now indispensable. In point of fact, the modern languages are of much more value for this end. If the CURRICULUM FOR DEGREES IN ARTS. 405


study of Greek should in any way interfere with proficiency in French and German, to pursue it would make a bad bargain."

The wisdom of Professor Bain's protest has been justified by subsequent events. The Commissioners' restriction remained in force for four years; but it was productive of such disastrous results that, in 1890, they were compelled by the pressure of public opinion to make an important concession, by which a student is eligible for Honours in Mental Philosophy if he has passed a qualifying examination in the translation into English of passages from the works of Greek philosophical authors.

It would be tedious to enlarge upon the numerous points of detail in which Dr. Bain regarded the scheme of the Commissioners as capable of improvement, but one further example is valuable as illustrating his general attitude. He resented the distinction drawn by the Commissioners between the maximum salary of £800 assigned to the Aberdeen Chairs of Latin, Greek, Mathematics, and Natural Philosophy, and the maximum salary of £700 assigned to those of Logic, Moral Philosophy, English, and History. The wording of the Committee's report on this Ordinance may well have come from his own pen :—

"It appears to the Committee that in the future conduct of these Chairs as determined by the Degree Ordinances, there will be nothing in the comparative laboriousness of the two sets to justify any such distinction; while if the rarity of the qualifications is considered, there will be an equal absence of any ground for the pecuniary difference. The Committee is, therefore, of opinion that in assigning the total sum allowed for these eight Arts Professors, no such difference should be made between them as is proposed. That is to say, there should be a uniform maximum of £750."

On this, as on many other points, his counsel was disregarded by the Commissioners, but he almost invariably carried with him the support of the graduates of the University of Aberdeen as represented by their General Council, and, in spite of many obstacles, occasionally succeeded in influencing the amendment of the Draft Ordinances by the Commissioners. It was characteristic of him that, having been refused the place on the Commission to which he had a more obvious claim than any man who sat there, he, nevertheless, resolved to do his utmost in the service of the Universities from the humbler platform of a simple graduate. His health fortunately continued good, and he exerted himself to the uttermost, attending meetings of the Committee and the Council with almost perfect regularity. His last appearance in the Council was, very fittingly, for the purpose of moving that his Committee be not re-appointed, as the work of the Commission was by this time practically completed (15th April, 1896).

It happened that, coincidently with the discussions consequent upon the meetings of the Commission, the University of Aberdeen was plunged into a difficult controversy by a scheme for the extension of the University buildings (December, 1891). The difficulty lay in the circumstance that there are two colleges about a mile apart, and the two strongest parties supported one or other of these alternatives—the enlargement of Marischal College or the transference of the Science Classes to King's College, where the cost of sites was a much less serious item of expense. It is needless to enter into the ramifications of the controversy, in which Dr. Bain took a very active part, both personally and as Convener of the Extension Committee of the General Council. His view was that the University Court committed a grave error in adopting one of these alternative plans without waiting until the Commission had formulated its scheme for the new curricula in Arts, Science, and Medicine, when it would be possible to offer a judgment based on the whole facts of

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