11 APRIL 1903, Page 24


[Under this healing we notice such Books of the week as have not been reserved for review in other forms.]

Oxford at the Cross-Roads. By Percy Gardner, Litt.D. (A. and C. Black. 25. 6d. net.)—A plea by the Professor of Classical Archaeology for a more generous recognition of his own subject may be described by an objector as another form of the old maxim, "nothing like leather." Professor Gardner's book is a great deal more than this. It is a very serious, and to our mind unanswer- able, criticism on the whole course of Oxford study. But such an objector may be more directly met. For certain purposes there is "nothing like leather." We cannot progress conveniently without it. And the subject which Mr. Gardner professes. is really essen- tial to intellectual progress. Take one subject, the study of in- scriptions. Inscriptions are the original authorities of classical history. What would be said of a student of English history who knew nothing of Domesday Book, of Magna Charts, of the Bill of Rights, &c., who had not, we mean, made himself familiar with the original documents ? The Oxford system, though it has been tinkered more than enough, has never been reformed. Thirty years ago the Final School in Literals Humaniores was a powerful instrument of world-education. It has fallen behind the age, and needs large and liberal extension. And what is true of it is true of many other things in the arrangements of Oxford. Every one who wishes well to Oxford should read this book.