25 MAY 1850, Page 1

• The modest mien assumed by Ministers in proposing their

plan of University reform, has not disarmed the fears or prejudices of the learned bodies. In formally announcing the intended issue of the Commission, Lord John Russell . explained to the Chancellors of Oxford and Cambridge, that the projected Commission was only to receive evidence and report, not to advise or decree ; he acknow- ledged past improvements, and only wanted to facilitate their development, by removing obstructions,—such as the limitations of scholarships, 8re.; to. certain counties or families. When the Sultan humbly proposes to kiss the dust off the feet of his fair captive, "'tell him," cries Roxalana, of indomitable nez retrousse, " that my feet have no dust." There are, declares Oxford, through its Ifivas of Houses, no obstacles that have any material effect : the system of study was refornied and " admirably arranged " two centuries ago, and it has undergone repeated improvements since, especially with, in the present century": in fact, the danger is, lest the Commission should check the progress—that "natural and healthy " growth which the Oxford system enjoys, like a plant. Besides, if the Commission be not' compulsory, they, the -Heads of Houses and other dignitaries, may be under "the painful alternative " of with- holding evidence, or suffering the information received by the Commissioners to be partial and imperfect. Cambridge, though not as yet quite so forthally, has protested in like manner, and claimed freedom for " natural " growth ; as though the Universities veritably enjoyed an immortal vegetation.