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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 56



5o PROPOSED INNOVATIONS. [II. However, whilst with this limitation the permanent chairs may be expected to represent the whole field of teaching, it seems to me most important that for our greater extension we should employ the means which the Board of Historical Studies were among the first to suggest in their answer to the questions of the late Vice-Chancellor, and avail ourselves of the services of professors-extraordinary : that is, as I have begun by saying, find a man who is making himself a great authority and teacher in a special department, and bring him here and make him a professor, not considering whether, when he is gone, we can find another as good to fill his place, but simply taking him as a very good godsend and making the best of him. Of course we should never choose the professor of a worthless subject, but worthless subjects do not often attract the men whose services would be otherwise worth having. Historical teaching, method and criticism, may however be exemplified in very many sections of the great subject : and it might be very well indeed, the general balance being otherwise preserved, to have a professorextraordinary who would exemplify them, for instance, in the minute working out of the lessons of the reign of Edward III, or of the age of the Reformation, or of the reign of Charles I or Queen Anne. So research might be combined with teaching, the discipline of research might be itself inculcated, and the voice of research be made to attune itself to the work of teaching. But whether we want a present reinforcement, or content ourselves with looking forward to a probable development, we must not let the opportunity escape. We must not ask too much, but we must ask the University to keep its eyes open to what we believe to be our certain and noble future, and not to make the modesty of our present petitions the limit of her prospective liabilities in our behalf. We must ask her to secure for us a competence for the moment


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