Newman

Newman

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Newman

Newman

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Excerpt

That in the middle of the eighteenth century a deep intellectual torpor had fallen on the great English seats of learning is well known and has been set on record by Gibbon and Adam Smith. "In the University of Oxford," observes the Scotch economist, "the greater part of the public professors have for these many years given up altogether even the pretence of teaching," Gibbon, who was entered at Magdalen in 1752, is yet more copious and emphatic. "The Fellows, or monks of my time," he says, "were decent easy men, who supinely enjoyed the gifts of the founder; their days were filled by a series of uniform employments, the chapel and the hall, the coffee-house and the common-room, till they retired, weary and well satisfied, to a long slumber. From the toil of reading, or thinking, or writing, they had absolved their conscience; and the first-fruits of learning and ingenuity withered on the ground . . . Their conversation stagnated in a round of college business, Tory politics, personal anecdotes, and private scandal; their . . .

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