Page:The Chartist Movement.djvu/36

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xxvi
THE CHARTIST MOVEMENT

individual may also be the one which will prove the most profitable to the community. Otherwise, the compulsion imposed on boys and girls, hardly beyond school age, to pledge themselves to adopt a specific career may have unpleasant suggestions of something not very different from the forced labour of the indentured coolie or Chinaman.

Other difficulties stood in Hovell's way. He had to continue his W.E.A. classes until he had completed his obligations to them, and it required moral courage to avoid accepting new ones. The University also had its claims on him, and untoward circumstances made his lectureship much more onerous than it had been intended to be. In the spring of 1911 a serious illness kept me away from work, and between January and June 1912 the University was good enough to allow me two terms' leave of absence. On both occasions Hovell was asked to deliver certain courses of my lectures, and I shall ever be grateful for the readiness with which he undertook this new and onerous obligation. But he gained thereby experience in teaching large classes of students, and it all came as part of the day's work. Despite this his study of the Chartists made steady progress.

A further diversion soon followed. Up to now Hovell's work had lain altogether in the Manchester district, and Wanderjahre are as necessary as Lehrjahre to equip the scholar for his task. The opportunity for foreign experience came with the offer of an assistantship in Professor Karl Lamprecht's Institut für Kultur- und Universalgeschichte at Leipzig for the academic session of 1912-1913. This offer, which came to him through the kind offices of Sir A. W. Ward, Master of Peterhouse, was the more flattering since the Leipzig Institute was a place specially devised to enable Dr. Lamprecht to disseminate his teaching as to the nature and importance of Kulturgeschichte. Reduced to its simplest terms Lamprecht's doctrine is that the social and economic development of society is infinitely more important than the merely political history to which most historians have limited themselves. Not the State alone but society as a whole is the real object