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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 42



POSITION OF PROFESSORS. [II. lectures,—I have had to deliver them to two or three listless men; sometimes I have felt hurt that, in the combined lecture list, when it appeared, I found the junior assistant tutor advertising a course on the same subject, or at the very same hours as my own. But I will allow gratefully that such occasions have been few ; I am pleased to remember that my classes, although they have never been very large, have as a rule been very faithful; that the combination system has brought me far more men than, on the most sanguine computation, it could have taken from me ; and that I believe the real cause why professorial lectures are less useful than they should be, is the perhaps unfortunate fact that nearly all study in Oxford is directed towards the securing of honours in the Class Lists. Tutors, lecturers, and pupils are all working for the Schools ; even the professorial statutes are drawn with a view to usefulness mainly in that direction; nor could any professor, however eminent, expect to get a considerable class to attend eighteen or even twelve lectures a term on any subject that would not pay—if I may use the current language on so solemn an occasion. The result is that, so far as lectures go, the professor has to take his chance of a class among the general run of college lecturers, without that power of commanding attendance which the college lecturers have. It is scarcely surprising that the weaker goes to the wall, and that the professor has to yield his place to younger men who perhaps may themselves owe some portion of their success to what they have learned from him. In saying this, I am not speaking of myself, for it would not be exactly true of me, but on the general question. For myself I am quite ready to accept the consolation and to declare that it is really much better, both for the growth of historical study, and for the development of the educational instrument, that there should be a dozen or fifteen college lecturers working away with large classes when I have only


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