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On the University of Glasgow-Professor Young.
appoint them of what in their vanity they are apt to account theirs by prescription, but this is an event of so rare occurrence, that it but faintly relieves the general character of our countrymen, and instead of an objection is really an illustration of our argument. In all the cases of Scotsmen carrying this prize, the successful candidate had been long trained before he entered the lists much longer than during the term allotted by the Scotch Colleges.
But the most decisive evidence against the inefficacy of the present system, is our own better acquaintance with Latin than Greek. There are few people of any education at all, who do not know something of Latin, and there are multitudes who know as much of it as is necessary for all common purposes, but there are comparatively few who are even moderately versed in Greek. And why? Plainly because the teaching of it in a great measure is confined to the University, where, if we rightly understand the design of such an institution, instead of learning, we ought to be perfected in the learning acquired elsewhere. Were Latin taught only within the walls of a College, there would be but few good Latin scholars.
A doubt may perhaps occur to some, respecting the propriety of bestowing as much attention on the study of Greek as of Latin. For our part we have no doubt on the subject. If a preference is to be given, surely the language in which Homer sung, and in which Socrates spake, and what is more, in which the oracles of the living God were delivered, is worthy of the first place.
In all that has been said, there is not the most distant intention of depreciating the ability or assiduity of the distinguished individual who fills the Greek chair in Glasgow College. The wonder is, that he has done so much, opposed by a system hurtful as that which is established-too firmly we fear to be shaken by any arguiment of ours. The age of miracles is past, and we are not now to expect from him what would be miraculous indeed, that he should make a good Greek scholar in the seventh part of the time which is required for learning the art of boot or breeches making. If there is a man in existence capable of performing what Mr. Young is expected to perform, Mr. Young is that man. To all the warmth and eagerness of an affectionate teacher, is added in his person the most consummate learning and skill in communication. He was the scholar of Dr. Moor, and enjoyed all the advantages of his friendship and conversation. And now for five and forty years he has taught in his chair,
On the University of Glasgow-Professor Young.
with equal if not greater reputation. During this long period his class has been frequented by youths from every quarter of the globe, and he has had the honour of instructing many, whose names, to the credit of both, will go down to posterity, associated with his, and that of the University of which he has long been the most prominent member. While the language of the "Pleasures of Hope" continues to be read, it will be told of Mr. Young, that he was first to discover the talent of their author, and that to his liberal praise of the youthful bard, we are probably indebted for some of the finest productions of living genius. Indeed Mr. Young's delicate sense of poetical excellence is perhaps the most marked feature in his character. No man seems to enjoy good poetry more exquisitely, or is more capable of communicating his feeling to an audience. In him is fully verified the justness of Horace's observation, si vis me flere, flendum est tibi primum. It may seem strange, but it it is not less true, that in the midst of a lecture on the Digamma, or some such subject, seemingly not much calculated to affect the feelings, he will nevertheless, with perfect propriety, introduce an illustration, which in another place, would produce the same effect upon his hearers, that it does on himself. We have heard him, in illustrating a point of grammar, quote from the Psalms with such effect, that we have forgot the fitness of the quotation, in admiration of the feeling with which it was read. Even in translating Homer, or a chorus of the Edipus Tyrannus, we have perceived an involuntary tear trickle over the cheek of the sage, and produce an effect almost electrical on the more sensible of his class.
Both of the Greek classes open on the tenth of October, and commence with exercises in scanning. These they continue till about the first of November, when they separate each to their proper business. The junior class begins with Moor's Grammar,* and the senior revises what was said or read during last session. The books used in the former are, besides the Grammar, Anacreon, and the Gospel of St. John; in the latter, Lucian, Xenophon, Homer, and a Greek Play. In the conduct of these classes, there is nothing particularly deserving of notice. It is
* There are doubts whether this is the fittest grammar for beginners. Besides that it is written in Latin, it is not so full as Valpy's, and some of the others used in Eng.
On the University of Glasgow-Professor Young.
to the private lecture we must look for the fullest illustration of Mr. Young's talents. Here, as in all the private classes, there are no examinations.
Mr. Young does not, like the Professor of Humanity, lecture on the Antiquities of the nation, whose language it is his business to teach. This is perhaps carrying the matter too far, for though it might be improper to lecture at length on subjects sufficiently discussed in the common school books, there surely would be no harm in giving a short account of the manners and laws of a people, respecting whom the scholar cannot be too much informed. Such an account would at least direct the attention of youth to the study-and this is really greatly to be desired, for there is an ignorance or indifference in regard to Grecian Antiquities, to say the least, very culpable, considering the general acquaintance with those of Rome."
The first author on whom the Professor prelects, is Homer. His object is to lay before us a complete view of all the peculiarities in the Homeric diction, as well as to illustrate the prin ciples of general grammar. The field which he thus opens to himself, is as unbounded as are his qualifications for the task. The knowledge which is brought to bear on the subject is immense. Name the science or business from which Mr. Young does not borrow his illustrations, and it is odds, but that you find it impossible.
That much benefit may be derived from this lecture is indisputable. But we have heard the question mooted by the knowing ones, whether the improvement received from the lecture, is equal to the ingenuity of the lecturer? On this serious subject, let those competent decide-we have no opinion which we would venture to offer.
On one point, however, silence would be as unfair as disingenuous. We do not hesitate to aver, that the lecture is not generally understood. By those who are capable of appreciating its value, it is considered a constant treat. But this number, thanks to our fathers, does not include the whole class. It may be said, however, that the Professor should adapt his lecture to the learning of all his auditors. If he did, as the matter now stands, the very design of a private class, which is chiefly intended for the upper students, would be defeated. These will not attend a lecture, which is calculated only for beginners for such we must designate all who have not spent
On the University of Glasgow.-Professor Young.
more than the usual term in the study. Give the students more Greek before they come to college, and this objection will never more be urged.
Mr. Young is the author of the very able and popular " Criticism on Gray's Elegy," a work, which we should not have mentioned here, but for its being the most perfect portrait of himself, that ever was, or perhaps ever will be drawn. As an imitation of Johnson's style, it is by no means equal to Mrs. Barbauld's—as an imitation of his manner, it is impossible to conceive any thing more happy. If the imitation is always observable, the imitator is still more so. Every page we turn over, reminds us, and we dare to say, every one that has attended his class, of his very look and gesture. Who that knows the man, would fail to recognize the author of the following passage? "Though an elegy may be written in a church-yard, as well as in a closet, and in a country church-yard, even better than in a town one; yet courtesy itself must pronounce it fantastical, if an elegy is to be written, to choose out a place for writing it, where the conveniences for that operation are wanting, and where either the common implements exist not at all, or exist by premeditation. Who is there that says, or would be endured to say, 'I will take me pen, ink and paper, and get me into a church-yard, and there write me an elegy, for I do well to be melancholy?' Parnell has carried the matter far enough, when he resolves to get into a church-yard and think melancholy thoughts."
What follows, though perfectly characteristic, has been penned in a very different mood. "The seriousness which closes upon the soul is not the offspring of volition, but of instinct. It is not a purpose, but a frame. The sorrow that is sorrow indeed, asks for no prompting. It comes without a call. It courts not admiration. It presses not on the general eye, but hastens under covert, and wails its desolation alone. Its strong hold is in the heart-there it remains close curtained, unseeing, unseen. Delicacy and taste recoil at the publication of internal griefs. They profane the hallowedness of secret sadness, and suppose selected and decorated expression compatible with the prostration of the soul."
There has been a report of Mr. Young's intending to publish his Saturday lectures on Grammar. We earnestly wish it were true, for the sake of his own fame, and for the benefit of letters in general.
Manse of Bogton, Oct. 1818.
Be ye angry and sin not.-Paul.
Anger is that emotion or passion of the human mind which we experience on receiving, or supposing that we have received an injury or affront; and which prompts us to repel the injury, and to avenge it on the offending party. It ap pears to have been implanted in the original constitution of man, as he at first came out of the hands of his adorable Creator; and therefore the passion in its own nature, and simply consid ered, cannot be sinful. It is true that every principle in man is now, through the corruption of our nature, occasioned by the entrance of sin, become depraved; but anger existed before it was depraved, and being the workmanship of Him who is perfect in purity, must in itself, be an innocent passion allowable on pro per occasions, and to be exercised in a becoming manner. Το endeavour to banish it wholly from our minds would be an attempt equally unwise and fruitless. It has been well observed that there is no passion properly so termed and considered in itself as belonging to human nature, which is absolutely sinful in the abstract nature of it. But if passion be let loose on an improper object, in an improper time or degree, or for too long a continuance, it then becomes criminal, and obtains a distinct name. Esteem placed upon ourselves, and in unreasonable degree, becomes pride. Anger prolonged into a settled temper generally terminates in malice, and if mingled with vices of the will, it also becomes sinful under that consideration. The mettle of a young and vigorous steed is not only harmless, but serviceable, when duly regulated. Much the same way may be said of anger in the mind of man. When meekness is the bridle that restrains it, and wisdom the hand that guides it, all is well; but if it be not under proper government, it breaks through all decorum, grows headstrong and outrageous, and threatens mischief to ourselves and all around us. We are not to submit to anger as to our master, but to govern it as our servant. It should only appear on proper occasions: nor then but under the strictest guard.
There is without doubt a great difference among human beings as to their proneness to the indulgence of anger. Some are constitutionally so cold and phlegmatic, that it can scarce