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13
An Academic Sketch

On the climax of this change I may presently have to say a word. For the present, I have only to observe that, according to the principle of old English law, the University, as such, is a lay, and not an ecclesiastical foundation; and that this principle is a deep principle, and is also a just principle.

We have before us, at the point we have now reached, the idea of the University full-formed, to harbour, cherish, and develop all the knowledge, suitable for training, which the rolling years might add to the human store: both its traditions, and its acquisitions; or, in the words of Euripides—

πατρίους παραδοχάς, ἅς θ' ὁμήλικας χρόνῳ κεκτήμεθ'[1].

In the chart of that knowledge, theology had not a chronological precedence, except as we may presume it in cases where the nucleus of the University lay in Schools attached to ecclesiastical foundations. Speaking generally, the foundation, according to the old formula, was in Arts. The trivium and quadrivium were not tied down to the limitations of their first intention in their several items, but with a more generous and expansive meaning were in possession of the ground[2]: but theology soon obtained its place, and asserted something of a maternal sway.

Let us now proceed to inquire what share, in point of date and amount, fell to England, in the practical

  1. Bacchae, 201 (Elmsley).
  2. De Ménerval, Paris, vol. i. p. 279.