chair, occupied by men of celebrity. There was no other innovation till near the end of the seventeenth century, when Greek was isolated both in Edinburgh and in Marischal College; but the end of regenting was then near.
The old system, however, had some curious writhings. During the troubled seventeenth century, university reform could not command persistent attention. But, after the 1688 Revolution, opinions were strongly expressed in favor of the Melville system. The obvious argument was urged that, by division of labor, each man would be able to master a special subject, and do it justice in teaching. Yet, it was replied that, by the continued intercourse, the masters knew better the humors, inclinations, and talents of their scholars. To which the answer was—the humors and inclinations of scholars are not so deeply hid but that in a few weeks they appear. Moreover, it was said, the students are more respectful to a master while he is new to them.
The final division of subjects took place in Edinburgh in 1708; in Glasgow, in 1727; in St. Andrews, in 1747. In Marischal College, the change was made by a minute of January 11, 1753; but, whether from ignorance, or from want of grace, the Senatus did not record its satisfaction at having, after a lapse of five generations, fulfilled the wishes of the pious founder. In King's College the old system lasted till 1798.
This closes the second age of the universities, and introduces the third age, the age of the professoriate, of lecturing instead of textbooks, the end of disputation, and the use of the English language. It was now, and not till now, that the Scottish universities stood forth, in several leading departments of knowledge, as the teachers of the world.
The second age of the universities was Scotland's most trying time. In a hundred and thirty years, the country had passed through four revolutions and counter-revolutions; every one of which told upon the universities. The victorious party imposed its test upon the university teachers, and drove out recusants. You must all know something of the purging of the university and the ministry of Aberdeen by the Covenanting General Assembly of 1640. These deposed Aberdeen doctors may have had too strong leanings to episcopacy in the church and to absolutism in the state, but they were not Vicars of Bray. The first half of the century was adorned by a band of scholars, who have gained renown by their cultivation of Latin poetry; a little oasis in the desert of Aristotelian dialectics. It would be needless and ungracious to inquire whether this was the best thing that could have been done for the generation of Bishop Patrick Forbes.
Your reading in the history of Scotland will thus bring you face to face with the great powers that contended for the mastery from 1560: the monarchy, always striving to be absolute; the Church, whose position made it the advocate of popular freedom; the univer-