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business is conducted in what re. more especially, a cast of conversa. mains of the old building, and in tion prevails in the common visiting that part of the new structure which parties, which renders an arsas un has been finished. The whole as, to them highly desirable . semblage of buildings has a motley, young student. Irøruci wa irregular appearance, and is desti. obtain access to the ridus ! tute of many of those accommoda- more pleasing form than in.of ki tions, which are required by the loquial intercourse ; nor doek:'l. present state of the institution. edge, thus acquired, lose 21, of its
The plan of education pursued in permanency by the almost i senthe college of Edinburgh, materially sible manner in which it is condiffers from that adopted in the Eng- veyed.. lish universities ; and a comparison The business of the universi. of their respective merits might form ty is entirely conducted through an interesting and important subject the medium of lectures, delivered of discussion. At Edinburgh, the by professors of the different departstudents have much less individual ments of science and literature. The connection with the university than number of professors is about thirty, is the case at Oxford or Cambridge: of whom eleven are connected with they se dispersed in lodgings in dif. the several branches of medical stu. ferent parts of the town, and no di- dy, three with the divinity classes, rect obligation is imposed upon and three with those of law. The them to attend to the daily business remainder are occupied with the of the college. In this respect, per classes of general literature, the lanhaps, too much license is allowed to guages, logick, mathematicks, moral a body of young men, many of whom philosophy, natural philosophy, &c. have never before been dependent on As the emoluments of the different their own guidance, and who are professors depend almost entirely without those connections in the on the fees they receive from thestu. place which might steady their hab. dents, a spirit of individual exertion its of industry, and preserve them is created among them, eminently from the idleness and dissipation to favourable to the general interests of which their situations present so the college. It is worthy of remark, many allurements. It may be re- that the existence of a different sys. marked on the other hand, that the tem in a neighbouring Scotch unigreater distance at which they are versity has been the means of bring. placed from each other, takes away ing it to the extreme verge of anni. one strong temptation to dissolute. hilation ; so true is the old proverb. ness of conduct, and that by this ial saying, that “ money makes the entire freedom from restriction they mare to go,' even where literature is are frequently enabled to form con- the subject of the personification. nections in the town, which are high. The usual fee at Edinburgh tv each ly conducive to their improvement course of lectures is three guineas, as well as temporary gratification. independently of some small gratuFrom what has been said before of ities to the porter who attends ai the the general state of society in Edin- lecture room. The curses continue burgh, it will be evident that the during the whole of the session, or latter circumstance is of peculiar im. from the beginning of Novembro portance in this place. Among a the end of April in the ensuing ve, particular class of the inhabitants, The few which are given during
Vol. V. No. VII.
the summer months are usually of but the various branches of medical shorter duration.
education are still couducted with a I have no means of stating with degree of ability, spirit, and industry exactness the number of students at which continues to this department tending the college of Edinburgh; all the reputation it formerly enjoybut taking the average of the last ed. A sufficient testimony is borne five years, it certainly would not fall to this fact by the increase which much below fifteen hundred. Of has progressively taken place in the this number it is probable that about number of the medical students ; an six hundred are occupied in the stu- increase too considerable, on the dy of physick, three hundred in the whole, to be accounted for by a restudies of divinity and law, and the ference to any causes external remainder in the acquirement of the to the state of the university. languages and of general literature. Among the professors connected Very little distinction with respect with the different branches of medi. to college forms is made among cine, there are six who are distinctly these different classes of students. named the faculty, and who possess At the commencement of the ses. Some peculiar rights in the college. sion, all those who wish it go through A student, proposing to take out a the ceremony of matriculation, which medical degree, must previously at. consists simply in the enrolment of tend the course of lectures delivered the name in the college books, ac- by each of these professors; and at companied by a small donation from the period of graduation, is submit. each individual to the publick libra. ted to their examinations, as a test ry of the university. The society of his admission or non-admission to of the students among themselves is the honours of a diploma. The determined, in great measure, by the professorships, thus distinguished, pursuits in which they are engaged. are those of anatomy, chemistry, The students of medicine, divinity materia medica, the practice of phyand law, regarded as bodies, have lit. sick, physiology, and botany. Extle connection with each other, and cepting the botanical class, which differ very considerably in many of opens in May, the business of all their habits and modes of life. Those these classes is conducted during the engaged in the studies of divinity and six months of the winter session. law, are, with few exceptions, all na. The anatomical theatre is situated tives of Scotland ; a natural conse- in the new part of the college build. quence of the peculiarities in the ings, and is remarkable for its spaScotch church and judicial establish- ciousness and elegance. The disments. In the Latin and Greek secting-room attached to it is large, classes the greater number of the stu- and possesses all the requisite con. dents are very young, and belong veniences; but the difficulty of proprincipally to the town and neigh- curing an adequate supply of subbourhood of Edinburgh.
jects for dissection renders EdinAs a school of medicine, this uni. burgh very greatly inferiour to Looversity undoubtedly ranks higher don as a school for practical anatothan any other at present in exist. my; and it is a general custom witb ence. The important and valuable the young men who take degrees in labours of Cullen, of Black, and of this university to pass a winter in other celebrated contemporary teach the English metropolis, either before ers, are now indeed forever closed; or subsequent to graduation. The
present professor of anatomy, Dr. extremely creditable to the profesMonro, sen. has occupied the chair sor, and very favourable at the same during a period of about fifty years, time to the interests of the universibut now gives only the surgical part ty. The importance of guarding the of the course, the anatomical demon- publick against the impositions of stration being conducted by his son, pretended medical skill may readily Dr. Alex. Monro. The course of be appreciated ; and no method apchemistry at Edinburgh is perhaps su pears so well calculated to effect this periour to any other delivered in the end as the test of a fair and liberal kingdom. Dr.Hope, the present pro- examination, which, while it excludes fessor, and the immediate successor the pretensions of ignorance, may of Dr. Black, conjoins to a thorough give their due value to the informaunderstanding of his subject, a neat- tion and acquirements of the indusness and facility of experiment, which trious student. The number of grad. render his lectures on this important uates at Edinburgh has been pro. branch of science more than usually gressively increasing since the first interesting and valuable. The lec- establishment of the medical school, ture room is not large, but it is fitted and at the present period not unfre. up so as to accommodate a very con- quently exceeds forty annually, of siderable audience ; a measure ren. whom, it is probable that the fordered necessary by the number of eign students compose about a fifth students generally attending this part. The examinations are all concourse. Of the other medical lec- ducted in the Latin language ; a tures the most important, perhaps, practice, which, though disadvanare those on the practice of physick, tageous on some accounts, is not delivered by Dr. Gregory. This without its general utility. The gentleman who has deservedly at first examination, which constitutes tained the highest celebrity as a phy- the principal ordeal of the abilities sician, is known to the literary world of the candidate, takes place priby a metaphysical work, directed vately at the houses of one or other principally against the doctrine of of the faculty; the remainder are necessity, in which he labours to conducted publickly in the library convict the supporters of this doc. of the university ; but though more trine with wilful misapprehension formal, are of much less real impor. and inaccuracy of statement, and to tance and difficulty to the gradu. expose the fallacy of their principles ate. by mathematical reasoning, as well The reputation of. Edinburgh, as as by arguments derived from the a school of divinity and law, is by no nature and attributes of the human means inconsiderable, though more mind. Whatever may be thought confined than that which it derives of Dr. Gregory's metaphysical tal. from the conduct of the medical deents, his merits as a medical teacher partment. The greater number of are certainly very great, his lectures young men who enter into the being rendered particularly valuable church of Scotland, remain for some to the student by the abundance of years in the divinity hall here, as a practical information, which they preparation for the active duties of contain.
the ministerial office, studying the The examinations for degrees of general doctrines of religion, and exmedicine at Edinburgh are conduct. ercising theinselves in pulpit compoed with a strictness and impartiality sition and delivery. A good deal of
doctrinal othodoxy prevails at pre. be expected from a combination of sent among this class of students; the most rare and imposing talents, all, no doub, destined to the future Mr. Stewart's excellence as a lecedification and improvement of the turer on moral philosophy is princi. people, with the generality of whom pally derived from three circuma preacher of the wild party seldom stances ; the accuracy and propor. fails of obtaining credit. Connect- tion displayed in his arrangement of ed with the department of divinity, subjects ; the facility with which are professorships of church history he invests his ideas in all the eleganand Hebrew : the latter study, how. cies of language ; and the extreme ever, is by no means in present vogue copiousness and beauty of the illusamong the divines of the Scotch trations, which he always lends to church ; less so, perhaps, than is the immediate object of discussion. cosistent with its importance as a In these points, perhaps, his merits means of scriptural reference. As are unequalled. If any flaw is dis. a school of law, Edinburgh derives coverable in his philosophical char. great advantages from the facility of acter, it is a too rigid adherence to access to the judicial courts, which the metaphysical opinions of Dr. are open during the greater part Reid, who, though he was undoubt. of the winter session. The lectures edly an ingenious man, and the on Scotch law are delivered by Mr. founder of a distinct school of phiHume, nephew to the historian, and losophy, cannot certainly be ranked are held in considerable estimation ; among the metaphysicians of the there are, besides, lectures on civil first class ; his frequent misappreand publick law, delivered by pro. hension of Berkeley, Hume, and fessors of these respective depart. other opponents, ever hanging as a ments.
dead weight upon his reputation. Among the classes of general lit. In coincidence with this school, proerature in this university, none has fessor Stewart publickly opposes the acquired such high and deserved ce. ancient theory of ideas, as well as lebrity as that of moral philosophy, the modernized doctrine of materi. conducted by professor Stewart. alism and philosophical necessity; An anonymous tribute of applause while he admits the principle of could add little to the reputation common sense as a valid and comwhich this gentleman has obtained petent authority in inquiries of this as an acute inquirer into moral and nature. Any discussion of the ac-. metaphysical truths; as an eloquent curacy of these several opinions and animated teacher of philosophy; would be totally foreign to my presas the accomplished and feeling bi. ent object. ographer of departed merit. In no Of the other classes of general respect. certainly, are the talents of literature in this university, the most Mr. Stewart more eminently con. important, perhaps, is that of natuspicuous, than in the discharge of ral philosophy, conducted by prohis publick duties as a professor. fessor Playfair, whose reputation as The subject entrusted to his care is a man of science has been decidedly one of peculiar importance and diffi. estal lished by his very elegant and culty : interesting to every individ. ingenious illustrations of the Hut. ual of mankind, it involves questions tonian theory. In the conduct of of so complex and intricate a nature, this class, much attention is paid to that its verbal elucidation can only the elucidation of physical truths by mathematical reasoning ; a method precision to the ideas of the youthof inquiry truly interesting in itself, ful student. The classical departand highly important to the student ment at Edinburgh has lately susfrom the accuracy and arrangement tained a great loss in the death of which it gives to his ideas. he professor Dalzel ; whose merits as mathematical chair of the university an accomplished Greek scholar were is at present occupied by Mr. Les universally acknowledged and ad. lie, a gentleman well known to the mired. scientifick world by his excellent The celebrity of Edinburgh, as a Inquiry into the Nature of Heat ; in school for education, is not however, which, whatever may be thought of derived solely from the excellence of the nature of the deductive reason. its college institutions. Several ing, we certainly find proofs of an courses of lectures are delivered, unexampled ingenuity and precision during both the winter and sumof experiments. It was on a note mer sessions, by individuals who attached to this work that a party have no immediate connection with of the Edinburgh clergy grounded the university, but are dependtheir opposition to the appointment ent entirely on their own ex. of Mr. Leslie to the mathematical ertions, or on the eminence they chair, exhibiting in their conduct on may have acquired in the branches this occasion a low, self-interested of science which they respectively and vindictive spirit, for which no teach. The very valuable courses circumstance can plead an adequate of chemistry, conducted by Dr. apology.
Thomson and Mr. Murray, conThe methods of instruction pur- tribute materially to the support sued in the Latin and Greek classes and prosperity of the medical school; at Edinburgh very much resemble while their equally important lathose of common schools ; and even bours, as systematick writers on this the rudiments of the latter language subject, have aided in no slight des are taught in the college by the pro- gree the diffusion of science, which fessor of this department. Though is now become an essential requisite a certain degree of classical acquire to every scheme of liberal education. Anent is more extensively diffused in Mr. Murray's lectures on pharmacy, Scotland than in the southern part and the course of anatomy delivered of the island, it is an undoubted fact by Dr. Barclay, are likewise exthat the proportion of good class- tremely valuable, with a reference ical scholars is much more considers to the character of Edinburgh as a able among the English ; a circum- school for medicine. The latter stance which may be attributed gentleman published, some time ago, principally to the greater variety of a new scheme of anatomical nomenstudies comprehended within the clature, which promises to be proplan of education at the Scotch un ductive of considerable advantage by versities. The question of compar- the greater facility which it affords ative advantage here may adinit of to the labours of the student. some doubt ; but, upon the whole, Among the other literary estabit would seem probable, that the lishments of Edinburgh, the Royal system pursued in Scotland has a Society undoubtedly assumes the more powerful effect in quickening principal place, whether we consider the intellectual exertions, and in give the respectability of its members, or ing clearness, comprehension, and the general importance of the transe