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ures reflects disgrace upon the age; an age in which the very paragraph just cited might have cost the free-thinking historian his head. King James, with all his faults, was not of a persecuting temper, and happily, not long after his accession, on the death of Dr Bancroft
, the primacy fell into the hands of Dr Abbott. During the life of this mild and judicious prelate, the church enjoyed a state of comparative peace. In the year 1633, the bigoted and intolerant Laud succeeded Abbott in the primacy, and, as if the unhappy Charles was doomed to inevitable destruction, rekindled the slumbering fires of religious persecution. This haughty prelate went beyond any of his predecessors in his zeal for conformity, insomuch that great numbers of the Puritans were driven to seek relief in exile. Even this, which was permitted by the act of Elizabeth, was denied them at last, and nothing was left for them, but to wait with patience for some favorable turn of affairs.
This was the state of things with regard to religion, in 1640, when the long parliament met. Now, that the origin of this controversy was altogether trivial, we readily grant. The omitting to wear a cope or a surplice, is certainly a small matter; what then are we to think of a government, which punishes such an offence with fine, pillory, and imprisonment? The more insignificant the question, the more atrocious the oppression. If anything marks the utmost refinement in despotism, it is the interference of the state in the common concerns of life, and punishing as crimes, actions in themselves innocent. We have seen in our own days an example of this species of legislation. The late Emperor Paul the First carried his paternal care of his subjects so far, as to regulate the most minute article of dress by an imperial decree. Instances occurred during his reign, of persons of the first rank being executed or sent to Siberia, for appearing in the streets with a shoe-tie of an illegal shape, or with the cock of the hat a little out of the line of the nose.
Upon Mr Hume’s principle, what had the gentlemen to complain of? They knew the law, or might have known it, and had nothing to do but wear their clothes agreeably to statute. Yet can there be the least question, if we may suppose such a thing as a Russian House of Commons, that these would there have been insisted on, and justly, as the worst of all grievances? Would not the minister who recommended, and the officers who enforced them, have been the first objects of popular vengeance ? No man can doubt it; and yet some Russian Hume one hundred years
afterwards, might with great plausibility, after enumerating some of the grosser measures of the government of that day, observe, that these were loudly complained of; but the grievances which tended chiefly to inflame the nation, were shoestrings, and cocked hats.'
This state of affairs in policy and religion may well account for the unanimity which prevailed at the opening of the long parliament. Beyond that period we have not room to extend our remarks. From what has already been said, it will be seen that Mr Hume's account of this epoch in English history, is to be received with great caution. Lord Clarendon, with all his bigotry, is a much safer authority. He avows his object to be the defence of the royal cause. Mr Hume, with equal prejudice and partiality, has a great show of fairness and candor. The former supports his side of the question after the fashion of his day, upon the basis of divine right. He advances his creed with an honest bluntness which puts the reader at his
He confesses many things of his party, without any expression of disapprobation, which no party at the present time would have the effrontery to acknowledge. Accordingly we find that Mr Hume makes but little use of Lord Clarendon in the early stages of the dispute. He prefers to cite the popular historians even for undisputed facts. The change which had taken place in public opinion when Mr Hume's work appeared, will easily account for this circumstance. That sagacious writer well knew, that the Stuarts were not to be defended at that time of day, by the doctrines of Sir Robert Filmer. The most he could hope for was to palliate and gloss over, what he had not the hardihood to defend, a task which he has accomplished with an address worthy of a better end. The train by which the reader is led on, is laid so far back, and followed up with such adroitness, that, before he is aware, the wily historian has him in his toils. When the mind has been thus deluded, the sympathies are artfully plied with the sufferings, in themselves sufficiently moving, of the individuals who fell a sacrifice to popular vengeance. The fates of Strafford, of Laud, and of Charles himself, are placed before us, by the partial historian, in so moving a way as to disarm our resentment at enormities which, if presented in their proper colors, would make even the * True blue Club' turn pale in their seats.
It must not be inferred from these remarks, that we are insensible to the merits of Mr Hume as an historian. His exquisite skill in unravelling the labyrinth of early British history; the masterly discrimination with which he has exposed the absurdities of monkish invention; his clear and lucid view of the progress of the English constitution; bis able developement of the foreign policy of Great Britain ; and the pure and elegant language in which he has clothed his ideas, entitle him to be classed among the best writers of ancient or modern times. His authority, on most points, may be relied on until we come down to the rise of the party distinctions, which have existed in England under various modifications for more than two hundred years; since which time, it is but justice to Mr Hume to say, that an impartial English history is not to be found. We should be glad to pursue the subject still further, and to trace the progress of opinion during the stormy period which succeeded the assembling of the long parliament; the events of which are feelingly and minutely described by Lord Clarendon. We have, however, only room to add, that the American impression of Lord Clarendon's history is a reprint of the late Oxford edition, excepting that the passages in the original manuscript, which were suppressed in former editions, are, in the American copy, incorporated with the text. This we think an improvement upon the English edition, in which these passages are placed by themselves in the margin. The notes of Bishop Warburton are inserted at the foot of each page, instead of being collected at the end of the volume, as in the English copy. These notes seem not to have been intended for publication. We should suppose them to be cursory observations, noted down, as they suggested themselves, in the margin of the book. They are for the most part of no great value, excepting as they discover a degree of liberality, which the general tenor of the Bishop's writings would hardly lead one to expect.
ART. III.-A Tour in Germany, and some of the Southern
Provinces of the Austrian Empire, in the years 1820, 1821, 1822. By John Russell, Esq. Reprinted from the
Second Edinburgh Edition. Boston, 1825. 8vo. pp. 469. At the close of our article on the subject of Universities, in the last number of the North American Review, we expressed VOL. XXVII.-NO. 61.
the intention of following up the general observations, contained in that article, with a more particular account of the course of studies, pursued in some one of the distinguished German institutions. This purpose we now proceed to execute. Although, for the most part, speaking in general terms, we have reference to one of the universities, as the principal object of our description, in order that we may be able to convey as correct and as distinct an idea as possible of the nature of these institutions. Besides, the limits of our observations exclude the minute diversities and peculiarities, that might be pointed out in the various academic institutions of the several German states. The name of the University of Göttingen has, of late, become familiar to American ears; and, for this reason, a delineation of it, drawn from direct and authentic sources, may be acceptable to some of our readers. It is this institution, of which Napoleon observed, that it did not belong to any particular state, nor to Germany alone, but to the whole of Europe.
The public funds for the maintenance and increase of the university of Göttingen are in the hands of a board of overseers (curatorium), who constitute a branch of the state government. They are the depository of the statutes and laws; and make additions and alterations, whenever the academic body recommends it as expedient in the minute reports which are regularly communicated to the government. The academic body is consulted on any question respecting their own laws ; and their opinion is adopted and executed by the overseers. Professors and other officers are appointed on the same principle of mutual conference. The senate of the university consists of two counsellors and a secretary, who must be lawyers of great practical ability, appointed by the curatorium; and of eighteen members, taken from the academic body, three from the theological, four from the legal, three from the medical, and eight from the philosophical faculty. In extraordinary circumstances, the number of the members is sometimes increased. The prorector or rector (president) presides in the senate, which he has authority to convoke. Common affairs are transacted by circular letters. The administration of justice, which extends over all the instructers, students, pastors, and other academic officers, is committed to the vigilance of deputies appointed from the body of the senate, namely, the prorector, the four deans of the four faculties, and the two counsellors. If the prorector is not a lawyer, the ex-dean of the legal faculty assists him. The nature and importance of the business to be transacted determine the number of meetings held by these deputies. Common cases, as those referring to discipline, are decided in the acadernic court, which is in session twice a week, and consists of the prorector, the two counsellors, and the secretary, whose laborious task it is to keep a minute record of the proceedings of the court. The laws of the police, which, however, do not refer to the students, are superintended by three professors, and four magistrates of the city, which contains about nine thousand inhabitants.
The deans of the four faculties, namely, of divinity, law, medicine, and philosophy, (who are annually appointed by rotation from that portion of the professors who have a seat in the senate) preside at the examinations and public disputations, confer the academic honors on the candidates, and conduct all the concerns of their respective faculties. The charge of the prorector is semiannual, or annual, under the repeated sanction of the government. The time of his office may, however, be prolonged whenever circumstances require it. The prorector may also be dean of his faculty, if the duties of both stations should devolve by rotation on the same member of the senate, according to the established rank of the four faculties. The new prorector is appointed six weeks before he enters upon his actual duties; but is, from the hour of his appointment, entitled to a seat in the court of justice. The complicated nature of his duties requires the quickest perception, great versatility of mind, a thorough knowledge of the world, and a sober judgment, sharpened by long experience. Intimate acquaintance with the established laws of the country, and the strictest integrity and firmness of character, are sufficient for the judge of any other tribunal; but the qualifications necessary to render a prorector equal to the importance of his station are much more comprehensive. He regulates and superintends all the motions of the powerful engine ; without his direction, the machinery either stops, or is in disorder. One rash decision, one indiscreet expression of the prorector, may, notwithstanding the honest exertions of the senate, or even of the state-government, produce the most pernicious consequences, with regard to the discipline and safety of the university. By virtue of his executive power, he pronounces sentence in questions previously discussed by the two counsellors, whose office is permanent, and whose coöperation in deciding law questions is of paramount