Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/22

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MOST minds in America, as in England, if they think about the subject at all, impute to the two ancient centers of Anglo-Saxon learning—Oxford and Cambridge—an unquestionable supremacy. A halo of greatness surrounds these august institutions, none the less real because to the American mind, at least, it is vague. Half the books students at other institutions require in their various courses have the names of eminent Cambridge or Oxford men upon the fly leaf. Michael Foster's Physiology, Sidgwick's Methods of Ethics, and Bryce's American Commonwealth PSM V56 D0022 Michael Foster.pngMichael Foster, K. C. B., M. A., F. R. S.
Trinity. Professor of Physiology.
are recognized text-books wherever the subjects of which they treat are studied; while Sir Gr. G. Stokes, Jebb, Lord Acton, Caird, Max Müller, and Ray Lankester are as well known to students of Leland Stanford or Princeton as they are to Englishmen. One can scarcely read a work on English literature or open an English novel which does not make some reference to one or other of the great universities or their colleges, inseparably associated as they are with English life and history, past and present. Our oldest college owes its existence to John Harvard, of Emmanuel, Cambridge, and the name of the mother university still clings to her transatlantic offspring. The English institutions have become firmly associated in the vulgar mind with all that is dignified, venerable, and thorough in learning, but, beyond a vague sentiment of admiration, little adequate knowledge on the subject is abroad. American or German universities are organizations not very difficult to comprehend, and a vague knowledge of them is perhaps sufficient. The understanding, however, of those complicated academic communities, Oxford and Cambridge, is a