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may say that
keeps many a competent man from making a name among the scholars and literary men of the civilized world. It is true such a man has a plausible excuse. He since “ of making books there is no end” and the majority of those published are perishable and of small value, he will play a wiser part by not adding to the number ; that he had better be a reservoir to supply the streams of his neighbors, informing and improving his immediate associates by his conversation and unwritten learning. But surely when there is room for a new book on a new subject or an old one that has long lain fallow; when new lights can be thrown upon old questions ; when in short a man has acquired a certain combination of knowledge and ideas not to be found in any book, and the acquisition of which he feels would be beneficial to others as it has been to him, ought he not to write a book, his time, and means, and other circumstances permitting? I
much inclined to think so. To sum up, it may be said that, as the utilitarian system inclines a student to communicate more knowledge than he possesses, the English University system will sometimes hinder him from communicating what he has.
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HABITS OF CAMBRIDGE MEN -THEIR
Mens sana in corpore sano.-HORACE.
Some remarks already dropped here and there may have given the reader a hint of the comparison between the intellectual teaching of Cambridge and that of some other places to which I am proceeding, and which is one of the principal objects of this work. Before arriving at this, however, it is necessary to look at our English friends all round, physically, socially, morally, religiously.
To a vegetarian, a teetotaller, a "eupeptic" of any sort (lovely names these are, and show a sublime taste in the people who invented and use them) and, I fancy, to a New Englander generally, the Cantab's life would not appear the most regular, nor the kind of one best adapted to promote health, strength, and longevity. He is never up before halfpast six in the morning, and seldom in bed before twelve at night. He eats a hearty dinner of animal food at 4 P. M., drinks strong malt liquors with it, and not unfrequently strong wine after it. He is not shy of suppers and punch. He often starts himself for his morning's work with the stimulus of a cigar. He reads nine hours a day on a “spirt” the fortnight before examination, writes seven hours a day or
more against time during the examination week, and the week after that does nothing but jollify.
Yet this very man takes better care of himself and has a more philosophical system of living than many a conscientious and pains-taking ascetic, who has spent half his life in declaiming against the wickedness of alcohol and tobacco. For eight or nine months of the year he is in a regular state of training; if he had to walk a match the only change necessary would be for him to drink a little less. His seven hours of sleep (a rather scanty quantity, but enough for most men in good health*) are always the same seven hours of the night. The sponge bath and horse-hair glove are among the regular and daily accessories of his toilet. His breakfast is light and simple--a buttered roll and a cup of tea—and when he is at it he does not worry himself about anything else. He is discreet in his position when at work, and knowing that he has to stoop forward in writing at the examinations, does most of his reading leaning back in his arm chair or standing at a high desk where he strengthens his legs and eases his chest at the same time. After he has dined
could not bribe him to engage in any exertion of body or mind for at least two hours. The most he will do is to lounge to the Union and read the papers, or he may look over some easy and familiar book in his own rooms. But above all, his exercise is as much a daily necessity to him as his food, and by exercise he does not understand driving in a carriage, strolling about, or even playing billiards. “Constitutionals of eight miles in less than two hours, varied with jumping hedges, ditches, and gates ; “pulling” on the river, cricket, football, riding twelve miles without drawing bridle; all combinations of muscular exertion and fresh air which shake a man well up and bring big drops from all his pores, are what he understands by his two hours exercise. See one of these men stripped and observe the healthy state of his skin-that is enough to demonstrate that he is in good condition, even should you overlook his muscular developments
* There can be no Procrustean standard for such things. Some men will be satisfied with six hours, others require eight and a half. I have reason to believe that the average amount of time which a Cambridge reading man passes in bed is rather under than above seven hours.
The staple exercise is walking ; between two and four all the roads in the neighborhood of Cambridge—that is to say within four miles of it-are covered with men taking their constitutionals. Longer walks, of twelve or fifteen miles, are frequently taken on Sundays or days succeeding an examination. The standard of a good walker, is to have gone, not once, but repeatedly, fifteen miles in three hours, without special training or being the worse for it next day. A number of my acquaintances professed to be able to do this. After walking comes boating or "pulling," which is the sport par excellence of an English University, as sword exercise is of a German (this was the illustration given me by a man who had been at both). The men put themselves into extra training for the Spring races, eschew pastry (which an
Englishman never takes much of at any time, generally eating cheese where an American does pie) and confine themselves to a small quantity of liquid, usually malt liquor, during the day. Besides these races, the Cam is always full during the warm season, of men pulling up and down, sometimes one, sometimes two in a boat. Some of the reading men work very hard in the boats. Two Smith's Prizemen and one Senior Classic were prominent boating men during the three years from '42 to '45. Cricket, football, fives, all games of ball in short, are popular in their
There is not so much riding as might be supposed, considering that there is not one Englishman in five hundred of the University-going classes, who cannot ride and does not like to. The expense is the reason generally alleged, and under the circumstances it shows more self-denial than University men usually have the reputation of. There is sufficient business, however, for five or six livery stables, those who keep their own horses being mostly the Noblemen and Fellow-Commoners, and a few of the Fellows. Englishmen have a patent for making any sort of horse leap, and when your Cantab gets on a hired horse, with his own spurs, to take perhaps the first ride he has had for three months, the amount he will get out of him is incredible, and the amount he gets out of himself somewhat remarkable. I recollect once being, with some other men, nine hours on horseback, during which time we took no refreshment and did not once dismount. The whole distance ridden was not more than forty miles, but having to wait some hours for the steeple