In the interesting report on our first page of the change which is being aimed at in the curriculum of the English universities, we may read what has long since been believed and made the basis of action of some of our most prominent universities and colleges. It is undeniable that the modern languages are of supreme importance for men in our age of free intercourse of nations. It is also true that the modern languages have great and beautiful literatures that are well worth studying and enjoying. The classics on their part have the broader claim of being the foundation on which all that has followed has been built. They are full of the greatest beauties, the sublimest thoughts that have ever been recorded. How to choose between the classics and modern languages becomes a hard question. To abandon either entirely for the other is unquestionably wrong. To devote considerable time to the study and appreciation of them both is, it seems to us, the happy mean and the most rational course.
The English schools and universities are notoriously devoted to the classics to the neglect often of even more fundamental knowledge than modern languages-of chemistry and the natural sciences. This agitation is in the right direction and the English mind is a too conservative one to allow the change to become too radical.