While the English universities give but little for the endowment of the positions of approved scientific teachers, and do not logically apply even that tittle for this object, they have another arrangement which is apparently of great promise for scientific study, but which has hitherto not effected much; that is the institution of fellowships. Those who have passed the best examinations are elected as fellows of their college, where they have a home, and along with this, a respectable income, so that they can devote the whole of their leisure to scientific pursuits. Both Oxford and Cambridge have each more than 500 such fellowships. The fellows may, but need not act as tutors for the students. They need not even live in the university town, but may spend their stipends where they like, and in many cases may retain the fellowships for an indefinite period. With some exceptions, they only lose it in case they marry, or are elected to certain offices. They are the real successors of the old corporation of students, by and for which the university was founded and endowed. But however beautiful this plan may seem, and notwithstanding the enormous sums devoted to it, in the opinion of all unprejudiced Englishmen it does but little for science; manifestly because most of these young men, although they are the pick of the students, and in the most favorable conditions possible for scientific work, have in their student career not come sufficiently in contact with the living spirit of inquiry, to work on afterward on their own account, and with their own enthusiasm.
In certain respects the English universities do a great deal. They bring up their students as cultivated men, who are expected not to break through the restrictions of their political and ecclesiastical party, and, in fact, do not thus break through. In the first place, together with the lively feeling for the beauty and youthful freshness of antiquity, they develop in a high degree a sense for delicacy and precision in writing, which shows itself in the way in which they handle their mother-tongue. In the second place the English universities, like their schools, take greater care of the bodily health of their students. They live and work in airy, spacious buildings, surrounded by lawns and groves of trees; they find much of their pleasure in games which excite a passionate rivalry in the development of bodily energy and skill, and which in this respect are far more efficacious than any gymnastic and fencing exercises. It must not be forgotten that the more young men are cut off from fresh air and from the opportunity of vigorous exercise, the more in duced will they be to seek an apparent refreshment in the misuse of tobacco and of intoxicating drinks. It must also be admitted that the English universities accustom their students to energetic and accurate work, and keep them up to the habits of educated society. The moral effect of the more rigorous control is said to be rather illusory.-[Prof. Helmholtz.