Page:An Academic Sketch.djvu/19

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16
The Romanes Lecture 1892

thither in crowds to learn. But on a still wider, and indeed an astonishing scale, did all distinguished teachers repair thither to teach. From the careful work of Dr. Budzinsky[1], it would seem as though a large majority of the more learned men from all the European countries gravitated to Paris, both for study and for the instruction of others, at some period, and often for a large portion, of their lives. It serves, I think, to enhance our idea of the noble enthusiasm for learning that then prevailed, when we thus see that men would not be bound by local circumscriptions, or rest satisfied with anything less than the best and highest of what their world could supply. Again, in its influence as a model, and in its historical greatness as a national and even an international power, none can contest the primacy of Paris. But while thus endeavouring to do justice to the wonderful University of that wonderful city, I believe there is still something to be said which may well satisfy every child of Oxford with regard to the position which then fell to her lot.

We cannot indeed trace so well, as in the case of Paris, her preparation for full academic life by a long experience of teaching institutes less fully organised, and combined by no common link. Some presumption to this effect seems to arise from the rapidity with which the University, when formed, came to tread in the footmarks of her elder, yet scarcely elder,

  1. Die Universität Paris und die Fremden an derselben im Mittelalter. Von Dr. Alexander Budzinsky. Berlin, 1876.