Page images


[ocr errors]




[ocr errors][ocr errors]


government introduced into the college

by doctor Chappel, the late provost, after “ wards bishop of Cork, and used there “ fince the procuring of the late charter, the

thirteenth of Charles the first, has sub“ verted the ancient foundation thereof, “ tends to the discouragement of the natives “ of Ireland, and is a general grievance." This was followed by a message to the lords, to desire the bishop might be sent for to answer such things as might be objected against him.

The representation upon the state of the university of Dublin, which is to be found in the journals of the 4th of March one thousand fis hundred and forty *, I fhall fubjoin at length, as it places a great national object in a just light, and may hereafter be of signal use to the community.

By the original statutes in the reign of
Elizabeth the election of their president is

* Commons Journals, vol. i. p. 351.


[ocr errors]

placed in the fellows, who at present amount CH A P. to feven senior and thirteen junior fellows. Had this institution prevailed, according to

1640. the charter, a noble reward would have been destined for literary merit, and an academical system established in Ireland superior to those of the English universities; but, unfortunately, archbishop Laud iolated the original charter, and gave

this power to the crown.

If there be a reward for real merit, for important information, for depth and inItruction in the abstruse sciences, it exists in a fellowship for the university of Dublin. The fellows are sworn in the most folemn manner to elect the candidate that shall anfwer beft: the examinations continue four days, for two hours in the morning, and two in the afternoon, and are open to every curious person in that city,

The candidates are rigorously examined, and obliged to give answers to the most abstruse questions in Newton's Principia with



CHAP. out a diagram, and to be conversant in

History and Ethics; in Hebrew, Greek, and 3640. Latin; in a word, endowed with a most

ample and complete knowledge of the Belles Lettres.

The fellows who are thus chosen are certainly the best judges of the qualities proper for their president; and it must become a serious object to every well-wisher to his country to have this reformation effected by an act of parliament.

Unfortunately for that seminary, the emás luments of the provostthip, which are said to be above three thousand pounds per annum, have made it a political object; and it has been bestowed as a state employment, and taken entirely out of the academical line.

As this is the only grievance of the kind in his majesty's dominions, it must be supposed, under a prince fo remarkable for his judicious disposition of ecclesiastical and academical patronage, to have been the effect of



gross ministerial representation : but the CHAP, fault is at present in themselves. It is the Nave which makes the tyrant, and acqui

1640. escence, in some sort, justifies violence and public injury.

The university never can thrive till it is restored to its primitive institution. This should be the commencement of that system of education which was proposed by Mr. Orde in the duke of Rutland's administration...

It was in consequence of some observations upon this subject, that offence was given by the author of these remarks in April 'one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven; where, though no personal injury was intended, such an apology was dea manded as could not be listened to; and it being declared by the author that he would sooner perish than make any concession upon such à point, when his own and the credit of the assembly he belonged to was at stake, a satisfaction was then given, which, VOL. II.




CHAP. whatever the offence might be, or in what

ever light it was considered, must be ac1640. knowledged to have been a fair and am

ple reparation.

It is not here intended to revive past animofities, nor to dwell upon the conduct of a great assembly : fuffice it to observe, that their own interests were deeply involved in that question, that the freedom of speech is a most invaluable parliamentary privilege, and that it were to be wished that' power had not interfered and stifled their just feel ings upon that occasion.

The following representation comprehends many particulars, which may be of great moment; but the essential article is that relative to the appointment and election of the provost by the fellows. There is some ambiguity in the sentence relative to strangers, but the author did not think himself warranted to make any alteration, and shall therefore confine his remarks


« PreviousContinue »