23 AUGUST 1856, Page 10


an unintentional unfairness in your remarks on the recent examination for commissions in the Royal Artillery and admissions to the Woolwich Academy. You contrast Oxford and Cambridge unfavourably with other institutions, from their apparent want of success in the competi- tion. " Of the eleven commissions, Oxford takes one, Cambridge three ; of the thirty admissions, Oxford takes one, Cambridge none, while King's Col- lege, London, takes five. Oxford and Cambridge might advantageously study this operation of cause and effect." According to the present practice in England, it is comparatively rare for men to go into residence at Oxford or Cambridge much under the age of nineteen. But nineteen is the superior limit of age for a candidate for

admission to the Academ Indeed, King's College is frequently used as a place of preparation for thy. e two older Universities. There can, therefore, be no comparison between them ; and it must be a mere accident if there are any candidates from Oxford or Cambridge for admission to the Academy.

Again, with regard to commissions in the Artillery, it must also be a rare occurrence if one of them is sought by an Oxford or Cambridge man. The best students in the Universities seek the college emoluments of fellowships and tutorships, rather than the " bubble reputation at the cannon's mouth. ' Their tastes, views, and predilections, are rarely military ; they aim at dis- tinction in education, in public life, at the bar, in the ministry of the church. The point is illustrated by the case of Mr. Burwell, who occupies the honourable position of second on the list of successful candidates. .Expected certainly to obtain a first-class in classics, he was looked upon as heir to the first vacant fellowship in Clare College. By some unfortunate accident his name appeared in the second class. The rules of his college do not award a fellowship in such a case. I rejoice to see that he has proved himself worthy of his previous reputation, and obtained a compensation for his disappointment, in his success in this recent trial : but if a Cambridge second-class man can beat all the candidates for commissions but one you will allow that the University need not yet fear the competition of King's College, London. One word as to the Irish successes. I rejoice in them, and wish all pros-

perity to the efforts of Messrs. Galbraith and Haughton, the two Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin, who have instituted the " Woolwich class," and who in this and many other respects are exerting themselves most nobly for the improvement of their University. But I hope that they will remember, that as a University, Dublin has higher functions thin to prepare her sons for Woolwich, and not overlook her true mission in the competition for these comparatively unimportant triumphs.

In Ireland, where there is a great want of public schools, the institution

of " Woolwich classes" in the Universities is more desirable than it would be in England. But here, I cannot doubt that youths should be prepared for these military examinations, or at least for the admissions to the Academy, not at Oxford and Cambridge, but at Eton and Winchester. 'Every English public school ought to add to its means of education an effi- cient " modern department." Cheltenham College has one, which is pre- eminently successful. Marlborough College has almost doubled its useful- ness by its modern school. Recently an institution of the same kind has been commenced, under Dr. Vaughan's able supervision, at Harrow. These examples should be imitated everywhere. Why does Rugby, which from its traditions of Arnold ought to be in the van of all improvement, delay to take this esqpntial step?

Believe me, 'Sir, your constant reader, W. R. M.