9 FEBRUARY 1867, Page 1

The friends of the non-sectarian principle in University College, London,

were beaten on Saturday by a narrow majority of 5,- 37 for and 42 against the assertion of the principle that no can- didate, "otherwise the most eligible" for a Professorship, ought to be regarded as "in any manner disqualified" because be might happen to be "an eminent minister or preacher of any Chtiroli or religious sect." The motion, however, was met not by a direct negative, but by "the previous question." Mr. Robert Hittton, some time M.P. for Dublin, and for many years a member of the Council of University College, came down gallantly, at a very advanced age, to rescue his old colleagues from the impending censure by this piece of skilful Parliamentary tactics. He him- self, however, evidently would not have shrunk from a direct negative to the motion of his younger relative, for he declared that in spite of his great respect for Professor Martineau's genus and character, a life spent in "promoting religion" was entirely and obviously incompatible with the duties to which he aspire:1,— a position rather startling to some of the friends of the College ; and so great was his ardour to move "the previous question," that he moved it before any competing or subsequent question was be- fore the meeting. "The previous question" of course caught votes which would not have been given had the motion been met by a direct negative, and on the whole, perhaps, the truest account of the result was that of a distinguished friend of the College,—the

Irish jury's verdict, "Not guilty, but don't do it again." Still, this vote has deprived the College of many of its warmest friends.