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and then his popularity drops as suddenly more calm and unpretending scenery of as it rose.
these islands, whether here or in England, Knowledge then is the indispensable go for the first time into parts where physcondition of expansion of mind, and the ical nature puts on her wilder and more instrument of attaining to it; this cannot awful forms, whether at home or abroad, be denied, it is ever to be insisted on; I as into mountainous districts; or let one, begin with it as a first principle; however, who has ever lived in a quiet village, go the very truth of it carries men too far, and for the first time to a great metropolis, confirms to them the notion that it is the then I suppose he will have a sensation whole of the matter. A narrow mind is which perhaps he never had before. He thought to be that which contains little has a feeling not in addition or increase of knowledge; and an enlarged mind, that former feelings, but of something different which holds a great deal; and what seems in its nature. He will perhaps be borne to put the matter beyond dispute is, the forward, and find for a time that he has fact of the great number of studies which lost his bearings. He has made a certain are pursued in a University, by its very progress, and he has a consciousness of profession. Lectures are given on every mental enlargement; he does not stand kind of subject; examinations are held; where he did, he has a new centre, and a prizes awarded. There are moral, meta- range of thoughts to which he was before a physical, physical Professors; Professors stranger. of languages, of history, of mathematics, Again, the view of the heavens which the of experimental science. Lists of ques- telescope opens upon us, if allowed to fill tions are published, wonderful for their and possess the mind, may almost whirl range and depth, variety and difficulty; it round and make it dizzy. It brings in treatises are written, which carry upon a flood of ideas, and is rightly called an intheir very face the evidence of extensive tellectual enlargement, whatever is meant reading or multifarious information; what by the term. then is wanting for mental culture to a per- And so again, the sight of beasts of prey son of large reading and scientific attain- and other foreign animals, their strangements? what is grasp of mind but acquire- ness, the originality (if I may use the term) ment? where shall philosophical repose of their forms and gestures and habits, and be found, but in the consciousness and en- their variety and independence of each joyment of large intellectual possessions? other, throw us out of ourselves into an
And yet this notion is, I conceive, a other creation, and as if under another mistake, and my present business is to Creator, if I may so express the temptation show that it is one, and that the end of a which may come on the mind. We seem Liberal Education is not mere knowledge, to have new faculties, or a new exercise or knowledge considered in its matter; for our faculties, by this addition to our and I shall best attain my object, by actu- knowledge; like a prisoner, who, having ally setting down some cases, which will been accustomed to wear manacles or be generally granted to be instances of the fetters, suddenly finds his arms and legs process of enlightenment or enlargement free. of mind, and others which are not, and Hence Physical Science generally, in all thus, by the comparison, you will be its departments, as bringing before us the
, able to judge for yourselves, Gentlemen, exuberant riches and resources, yet the whether Knowledge, that is, acquirement, orderly course, of the Universe, elevates is after all the real principle of the enlarge- and excites the student, and at first, I may ment, or whether that principle is not say, almost takes away his breath, while rather something beyond it.
in time it exercises a tranquilizing influence For instance, let a person, whose expe- Again, the study of history is said to rience has hitherto been confined to the enlarge and enlighten the mind, and why?
because, as I conceive, it gives it a power their former state of faith and innocence of judging of passing events, and of all with a sort of contempt and indignation, events, and a conscious superiority over as if they were then but fools, and the them, which before it did not possess. dupes of imposture.
And in like manner, what is called seeing On the other hand, Religion has its own the world, entering into active life, going enlargement, and an enlargement, not of
, into society, travelling, gaining acquain- tumult, but of peace. It is often retance with the various classes of the com- marked of uneducated persons, who have munity, coming into contact with the hitherto thought little of the unseen world, principles and modes of thought of various that, on their turning to God, looking into parties, interests, and races, their views themselves, regulating their hearts, re
, aims, habits and manners, their religious forming their conduct, and meditating on creeds and forms of worship, - gaining death and judgment, heaven and hell, they experience how various yet how alike men seem to become, in point of intellect, difare, how low-minded, how bad, how op- ferent beings from what they were. Beposed, yet how confident in their opinions; fore, they took things as they came, and all this exerts a perceptible influence upon thought no more of one thing than another. the mind, which it is impossible to mis- But now every event has a meaning; they take, be it good or be it bad, and is popu- have their own estimate of whatever haplarly called its enlargement.
pens to them; they are mindful of times And then again, the first time the mind and seasons, and compare the present comes across the arguments and specula- with the past; and the world, no longer tions of unbelievers, and feels what a novel dull, monotonous, unprofitable, and hopelight they cast upon what he has hitherto less, is a various and complicated drama, accounted sacred; and still more, if it gives with parts and an object, and an awful
, in to them and embraces them, and throws moral. off as so much prejudice what it has Now from these instances, to which many hitherto held, and, as if waking from a more might be added, it is plain, first, that dream, begins to realize to its imagina- the communication of knowledge certainly tion that there is now no such thing as is either a condition or the means of that law and the transgression of law, that sin is sense of enlargement, or enlightenment of a phantom, and punishment a bugbear, which at this day we hear so much in that it is free to sin, free to enjoy the world certain quarters: this cannot be denied; and the flesh; and still further, when but next, it is equally plain, that such it does enjoy them, and reflects that it communication is not the whole of the may think and hold just what it will, that process. The enlargement consists, not “the world is all before it where to choose," merely in the passive reception into the and what system to build up as its own mind of a number of ideas hitherto unprivate persuasion; when this torrent of known to it, but in the mind's energetic wilful thoughts rushes over and inundates and simultaneous action upon and towards it, who will deny that the fruit of the tree and among those new ideas, which are of knowledge, or what the mind takes for rushing in upon it. It is the action of a knowledge, has made it one of the gods, formative power, reducing to order and with a sense of expansion and elevation, - meaning the matter of our acquirements; an intoxication in reality, still, so far as the it is a making the objects of our knowledge subjective state of the mind goes, an illu- subjectively our own, or, to use a familiar mination? Hence the fanaticism of in- word, it is a digestion of what we receive, dividuals or nations, who suddenly cast into the substance of our previous state of off their Maker. Their eyes are opened; thought; and without this no enlargement and, like the judgment-stricken king in the is said to follow. There is no enlargement, Tragedy, they see two suns, and a magic unless there be a comparison of ideas one universe, out of which they look back upon with another, as they come before the
mind, and a systematizing of them. We persons who have seen much of the world, feel our minds to be growing and expand- and of the men who, in their day, have ing then, when we not only learn, but refer played a conspicuous part in it, but who what we learn to what we know already. generalize nothing, and have no observaIt is not the mere addition to our knowl- tion, in the true sense of the word. They edge that is the illumination; but the abound in information in detail, curious locomotion, the movement onwards, of and entertaining, about men and things; that mental centre, to which both what we and, having lived under the influence of know, and what we are learning, the ac- no very clear or settled principles, religious cumulating mass of our acquirements, or political, they speak of every one and gravitates. And therefore a truly great everything, only as so many phenomena, intellect, and recognized to be such by which are complete in themselves, and lead the common opinion of mankind, such as to nothing, not discussing them, or teachthe intellect of Aristotle, or of St. Thomas, ing any truth, or instructing the hearer, or of Newton, or of Goethe (I purposely but simply talking. No one would say take instances within and without the that these persons, well informed as they Catholic pale, when I would speak of the are, had attained to any great culture of intellect as such), is one which takes a intellect or to philosophy. connected view of old and new, past and The case is the same still more strikingly present, far and near, and which has an where the persons in question are beyond insight into the influence of all these one dispute men of inferior powers and deon another; without which there is no ficient education. Perhaps they have whole, and no centre. It possesses the
been much in foreign countries, and they knowledge, not only of things, but also of receive, in a passive, otiose, unfruitful their mutual and true relations; knowl- way, the various facts which are forced edge, not merely considered as acquire- upon them there. Seafaring men, for ment but as philosophy.
example, range from one end of the earth Accordingly, when this analytical, dis- to the other ; but the multiplicity of extributive, harmonizing process is away, the ternal objects, which they have encounmind experiences no enlargement, and is tered, forms no symmetrical and consisnot reckoned as enlightened or compre- tent picture upon their imagination; they hensive, whatever it may add to its knowl- see the tapestry of human life, as it were edge. For instance, a great memory, as I on the wrong side, and it tells no story. have already said, does not make a phil- They sleep, and they rise up, and they find osopher, any more than a dictionary can themselves, now in Europe, now in Asia ; be called a grammar. There are men who they see visions of great cities and wild embrace in their minds a vast multitude regions; they are in the marts of comof ideas, but with little sensibility about merce, or amid the islands of the South; their real relations towards each other. they gaze on Pompey's Pillar, or on the These may be antiquarians, annalists, Andes; and nothing which meets them naturalists; they may be learned in the carries them forward or backward, to any law; they may be versed in statistics; idea beyond itself. Nothing has a drift they are most useful in their own place; or relation; nothing has a history or a I should shrink from speaking disrespect- promise. Every thing stands by itself, fully of them; still, there is nothing in such and comes and goes in its turn, like the attainments to guarantee the absence of shifting scenes of a show, which leave narrowness of mind. If they are nothing the spectator where he was. Perhaps more than well-read men, or men of in- you are near such a man on a particular formation, they have not what specially occasion, and expect him to be shocked or deserves the name of culture of mind, or perplexed at something which occurs; fulfils the type of Liberal Education. but one thing is much the same to him
In like manner, we sometimes fall in with as another, or, if he is perplexed, it is as not knowing what to say, whether it is right ment, and superstition, which is the lot to admire, or to ridicule, or to disapprove, of the many. Men, whose minds are poswhile conscious that some expression of sessed with some one object, take exagopinion is expected from him ; for in fact gerated views of its importance, are feverhe has no standard of judgment at all, and ish in the pursuit of it, make it the measure no landmarks to guide him to a conclusion. of things which are utterly foreign to it, Such is mere acquisition, and, I repeat, no and are startled and despond if it happens one would dream of calling it philosophy. to fail them. They are ever in alarm or
Instances, such as these, confirm, by the in transport. Those on the other hand contrast, the conclusion I have already who have no object or principle whatever drawn from those which preceded them. to hold by, lose their way every step they That only is true enlargement of mind take. They are thrown out, and do not which is the power of viewing many things know what to think or say, at every fresh at once as one whole, of referring them juncture; they have no view of persons, severally to their true place in the univer- or occurrences, or facts, which come sudsal system, of understanding their respec- denly upon them, and they hang upon the tive values, and determining their mutual opinion of others for want of internal redependence. Thus is that form of Uni
sources. But the intellect, which has versal Knowledge, of which I have on a been disciplined to the perfection of its former occasion spoken, set up in the in- powers, which knows, and thinks while it dividual intellect, and constitutes its per- knows, which has learned to leaven the fection. Possessed of this real illumina- dense mass of facts and events with the tion, the mind never views any part of the elastic force of reason, such an intellect extended subject-matter of Knowledge cannot be partial, cannot be exclusive, without recollecting that it is but a part, or cannot be impetuous, cannot be at a loss, without the associations which spring from cannot but be patient, collected, and mathis recollection. It makes everything in jestically calm, because it discerns the end some sort lead to everything else; it would in every beginning, the origin in every end, communicate the image of the whole to the law in every interruption, the limit every separate portion, till that whole be
in each delay; because it ever knows where comes in imagination like a spirit, every- it stands, and how its path lies from one where pervading and penetrating its com- point to another. It is the retpáyuros
τετράγωνος ponent parts, and giving them one definite (four-square) of the Peripatetic, and has meaning. Just as our bodily organs, when the “nil admirari” (freedom from emomentioned, recall their function in the tion) of the Stoic, – body, as the word "creation" suggests the Creator, and "subjects" a sovereign, so,
Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas, in the mind of the Philosopher, as we are
Atque metus omnes, et inexorabile fatum abstractedly conceiving of him, the ele
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis ments of the physical and moral world,
avari sciences, arts, pursuits, ranks, offices,
(Happy is he who has been able to learn events, opinions, individualities, are all
the causes of things, and has cast beneath viewed as one, with correlative functions,
his feet all fears, and inexorable fate, and and as gradually by successive combina
the roar of greedy Acherons.) tions converging, one and all, to the true centre.
There are men who, when in difficulties, To have even a portion of this illumina- originate at the moment vast ideas or tive reason and true philosophy is the dazzling projects; who, under the influence highest state to which nature can aspire, of excitement, are able to cast a light, alin the way of intellect; it puts the mind most as if from inspiration, on a subject above the influences of chance and neces- or course of action which comes before sity, above anxiety, suspense, unsettle- them; who have a sudden presence of mind equal to any emergency, rising with and the possession of clever duodecimos, the occasion, and an undaunted magnani- and attendance on eloquent lecturers, and mous bearing, and an energy and keenness membership with scientific institutions, which is but made intense by opposition. and the sight of the experiments of a platThis is genius, this is heroism; it is the form and the specimens of a museum, that exhibition of a natural gift, which no all this was not dissipation of mind, but culture can teach, at which no Institution progress. All things now are to be learned can aim: here, on the contrary, we are at once, not first one thing, then another, concerned, not with mere nature, but with not one well, but many badly. Learning training and teaching. That perfection of is to be without exertion, without attenthe Intellect, which is the result of Educa- tion, without toil; without grounding, tion, and its beau ideal, to be imparted to without advance, without finishing. individuals in their respective measures, There is to be nothing individual in it; and is the clear, calm, accurate vision and com- this, forsooth, is the wonder of the age. prehension of all things, as far as the finite What the steam engine does with matter, mind can embrace them, each in its place, the printing-press is to do with mind; it and with its own characteristics upon it. is to act mechanically, and the population It is almost prophetic from its knowledge is to be passively, almost unconsciously of history; it is almost heart-searching enlightened, by the mere multiplication from its knowledge of human nature; it and dissemination of volumes. Whether has almost supernatural charity from its it be the school-boy, or the school-girl, or freedom from littleness and prejudice; it the youth at college, or the mechanic in has almost the repose of faith, because the town, or the politician in the senate, nothing can startle it; it has almost the all have been the victims in one way or beauty and harmony of heavenly con- other of this most preposterous and pernitemplation, so intimate is it with the cious of delusions. Wise men have lifted eternal order of things and the music of the up their voices in vain; and at length, spheres.
lest their own institutions should be outAnd now, if I may take for granted that shone and should disappear in the folly of the true and adequate end of intellectual the hour, they have been obliged, as far training and of a University is not Learn- as they could with a good conscience, to ing or Acquirement, but rather, is Thought humour a spirit which they could not withor Reason exercised upon Knowledge, or stand, and make temporizing concessions what may be called Philosophy, I shall be at which they could not but inwardly in a position to explain the various mis- smile. takes which at the present day beset the subject of University Education.
THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY
I will tell you, Gentlemen, what has been the practical error of the last twenty years, - not to load the memory of the student with a mass of undigested knowledge, but to force upon him so much that he has rejected all. It has been the error of distracting and enfeebling the mind by an unmeaning profusion of subjects; of implying that a smattering in a dozen branches of study is not shallowness, which it really is, but enlargement, which it is not; of considering an acquaintance with the learned names of things and persons,
I KNOW quite well that launching myself into this discussion is a very dangerous operation; that it is a very large subject, and one which is difficult to deal with, however much I may trespass upon your patience in the time allotted to me. But the discussion is so fundamental, it is so completely impossible to make up one's mind on these matters until one has settled the question, that I will even venture to make the experiment. A