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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 48



43 PRIZE ESSAYS. [II. obvious circumstance—namely, that urgent desire which at present prevails among the Honour men to get speedy returns for their accumulation of class knowledge. Quick returns are generally associated with small profits; and I cannot help thinking that many men, who rush into tutorial work as soon as they have got through the Schools, would do much better, and make ultimately much greater profit, by continuing their reading, or at all events by blending tutorial work with some literary industry such as writing for the Prizes. It looks rather as if they were afraid that the stores of knowledge which have received the brand of the Examination School might lose their freshness and applicability unless they were immediately put to use in one particular way. I am aware that this is no new snare ; and twenty-eight years ago, when I myself was subjected to the temptation, it was hardly less a snare than it is now. But then, as a rule, men went into the Schools younger than they do now ; ' there were fewer Schools and fewer first class men ; less ardent competition perhaps among private tutors, and on the whole more leisure for continued reading. There may be other reasons for the result that I complain of. The ignorance with which the Lothian Prize, a handsome prize of £40, open to all graduates and undergraduates up to their twenty-seventh term, has been disregarded, is, to say the least, curious. The subjects proposed, for which I am in a measure responsible, have perhaps not carried on their face the recommendations of general or popular interest ; and Foreign History does not of course receive so much attention as English History. But none of these is a satisfactory reason. The view which I have every reason to believe that the founder of the Lothian Prize had before him was not merely to stimulate historical reading but really to help to increase the stores of historical knowledge by the production of valuable monographs on points of foreign history.


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