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multiplicity of German States has secured a freedom to teaching which will not exist when Germany is one. Several of the most distinguished German professors have, to our knowledge, sighed for chairs at Cambridge or Oxford, where they would be members of a self-governing and independent body.

Education in England wants the help of Parliament, not to enact courses of uniform study or to establish some great central and national examination, but to revise statutes which were drawn up for other times, and to set free enormous sums of money for legitimate and fruitful uses. The revenues of Oxford and Cambridge, and the school revenues of every county, would supply an efficient secondary and superior education for the whole country with no other contribution from the State. But in this case self-reform is impossible. The ties and restraints of law can only be broken by Acts of Parliament; and Parliament, if it acted blindly or hastily, would do more harm than good. We arrive, therefore, at the necessity of some responsible person in Parliament who is to organise and direct its action in these matters. The Public School Billwhich is a very small instalment of educational reform-dragged its slow length along for five years, and was at last despatched with indecent haste because it was nobody's precise business to watch over its passage. To redistribute the revenues of our Universities, or to pass a series of measures such as are recommended by the Report to which Mr. Arnold's volume is an appendix, would, at this rate, take at least a hundred years. Let us hope to see a Minister of Education, with just enough power and just a sufficient staff, to take care that the property of schools is on the whole fairly and honestly applied. But we hope we may never see a Minister à la Française. We would rather remain barbarians than purchase civilization at such a price. But, whether any action is taken or none, it is most desirable that we should get a true notion of our neighbours' institutions; and we caution everybody from attempting to do so from Mr. Arnold's book. A Commissioner appointed for this purpose should have a thorough knowledge of English education with industry and perseverance enough to penetrate below the surface of plausible arrangements, and should confine himself to describing exactly what he sees. But men gifted with the insight and veracity of De Tocqueville are rare. Perhaps the best plan is to publish translations of foreigners' reports upon their own institutions, and to correct them by examining Englishmen who have been long resident in the country. Dr. Perry's account of the German universities, given before Mr. Ewart's Committee, is


worth any number of Commissioners' Reports. Of this we are sure, that any one who is intimately acquainted with the education of France, Switzerland, and Germany, and with the best phases of our public schools, will, without hesitation, award the palm to England.

ART. VIII.-1. The Rivers, Mountains, and Sea-Coast of Yorkshire. By John Phillips, M.A., F.R.S., Professor of Geology in the University of Oxford. Second Edition. London,



2. A Month in Yorkshire. By Walter White. Second Edition. London, 1858.

3. Walks in Yorkshire. By W. S. Banks. London and Wakefield, 1866.

4. North Yorkshire: Studies of its Botany, Geology, Climate, and Physical Geography. By John Gilbert Baker. London,


Edited by John Richard

Edited by the Rev. James

5. Memorials of Fountains Abbey. Walbran. (Surtees Society.)

6. Fabric Rolls of York Minster. Raine. (Surtees Society.)

7. Fasti Eboracenses. Lives of the Archbishops of York. By the Rev. W. H. Dixon, Canon Residentiary of York. Edited and enlarged by the Rev. James Raine, M.A. Vol. I. London, 1863.

8. Handbook for Travellers in Yorkshire. London, 1867.

there is no corner of England which

is entirely without relics or memorials connecting it with the general history of the country, there are certain districts which, either from geographical position, from accidents of road or river, or (more rarely) from purely political causes, have been centres of action and scenes of important events from the very earliest times. Such, in an especial manner, are the river-basins of the Thames, the Severn, and the Humber; great waterways leading into the very heart of the kingdom: such are portions of the county of Kent, with its fortresses that since the days of the Romans have kept watch upon the cliffs of the opposite shore, and over the landing places at their own feet; and with its venerable cathedral, itself almost a history in stone ranging throughout more than a thousand years: and such, very noticeably, is the whole of Yorkshire. There is certainly no part of England of equal extent which is so rich in historical sites, or which has maintained so decided a political importance from


the very dawn of history to the present day. The causes are not far to seek. The great North road-the road which Roman legions had constructed, and which remained for long centuries the 'herepath,' the armies' way' by which English troops advanced to and receded from the Scottish border, and by which the Scots in turn found their way into England-led of necessity through Yorkshire. York itself was not only the great capital of the North, and the scene of many an important meeting between the Kings of England and of Scotland, but, as the seat of the Northern Archbishopric, it was an ecclesiastical centre, with a history and an influence at least as interesting and important as the secular story of the province. And within the last century, as the old causes of prominence were beginning to lose something of their weight, the development of the woollen manufacture began in the West Riding; converting, with a rapidity unknown elsewhere in the Old World, what had been little more than villages into vast towns, and bringing the strong, self-reliant Yorkshire character into sharper and closer contact with the rest of England-a contact which has produced, and is producing, the most marked effects on the constitutional history of this country.

The physical geography of Yorkshire--understanding by that term not only the surface-outlines, but geology and climate-underlies the whole stream of its history, and has affected it throughout. Although the old territory of the Brigantes, and the Roman province which embraced it, extended from sea to sea, comprising much of Lancashire and Westmorland, the more limited boundaries of the present county are strongly marked by nature. The sea stretches round from the Humber to the mouth of the Tees. The Tees itself forms the border on the north. South and southwest the boundary line is carried along the ridge of high wild moorland, part of the 'back bone of England,' from which the streams flow on one side into Yorkshire, and on the other into Lancashire, Cheshire, and Derbyshire. The short south-eastern boundary between Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire is somewhat less marked; but the great wastes and marshes of this level district were a sort of neutral ground; and here was the 'gate' by which the Roman road, like the modern railway, passed northward into the wood-covered Vale of York. The natural limit on the west is very clearly indicated. All the land of Yorkshire rises gradually from the sea till it reaches the water-shed in the mountain-country, stretching from the sources of the Tees to the southern border of Craven. This water-shed forms the line of division; and, as a natural result of the gradual rise of the land, all the Yorkshire rivers flow eastward, and find their way

into the North Sea. Like the rest of the English streams, they were present at the marriage of the Thames and the Medway :

Then came those sixe sad brethren, like forlorne,
That whilome were, as antique fathers tell,
Sixe valiant knights of one faire nymphe yborne,”
Which did in noble deedes of armes excell,
And wonned there where now Yorke people dwell;
Still Ure, swift Wherfe, and Oze the most of might,
High Swale, unquiet Nide, and troublous Skell;
All whom a Scythian king that Humber hight
Slew cruelly, and in the river drowned quite.'


The epithets assigned to these 'six sad brethren' are still as appropriate as in the days of Spenser. Other rivers which, although unrecorded, we can hardly suppose to have been absent on so great an occasion, would, if the poet had characterized them have found themselves in different case. In the time of 'Great Gloriana' the Aire and the Calder were, no doubt, silver streams, and the old rhyme may have been true enough

'Castleford women must needs be fair,

Because they wash both in Calder and Aire.'

At present, black, defiled, and unsavoury, they call aloud for some powerful and well-disposed Archimage whose skill may restore to them at least a portion of their ancient purity.

The county of York, 'veined' by these many rivers, is about the size of the entire Peloponnesus, and is just half as large as the kingdom of Holland, though it may not impossibly contain quite as much 'dry land.' Politically, it is divided into but three 'Ridings;' but it naturally forms four very distinct districts: The Cleveland and Hambleton hills and moors on the north-east; the Wolds and Holderness on the south-east; and on the west, the north-western hills and dales extending from Mickle Fell to Settle, and thence west of the Ribble to Clitheroe; and the south-western group stretching along the border of the county from the neighbourhood of Huddersfield to the Ribble on its eastern bank. The comparatively narrow valleys or level districts of Ribblesdale, and of the so-called Vale of Pickering, separate these groups on either side; but the main division, running nearly north and south, is the great Vale of York,—' the most beautiful and romantic vale in the world,' said the late Baron Bunsen, the Vale of Normandy excepted.' This is, in fact, a continuation northward of the central level of England; but it is here really a valley, since it is shut in by hills on either

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side-low and wooded south of York, though still forming a decided boundary-but steep and mountainous to the north, where the vale, from the once powerful lords of the district, is sometimes known as the Vale of Mowbray. The valley may fairly be said to stretch from one end of the county to the other, at least 120 miles; but its central and northern portions are those which possess the most marked character. It was the scene from the central part that Cuthbert Tonstal, Bishop of Durham, ‘a famous and learned man, and one of the greatest travellers into foreign nations of that time,' pointed out to Henry VIII., during the King's Yorkshire progress in 1548. The Bishop declared this to be one of the greatest and richest valleys that ever he found in all his travels through Europe, and moved the King to look about him and behould the great mountains and great hills on the east side of the said valley; being called York Wolds and Blackamore; and upon the west hand the high fells of Craven; and all within the county of York.'* The only part of England, at any rate, which can at all be compared to the Vale of York, is the so-called Valley of the Weald, extending between the Surrey hills and the south downs of Sussex. This Weald valley is not so wide as the Vale of York; but is even richer in the depth of ancient oak-forest over which the eye ranges to the opposite heights. The heights themselves,. however, are of different character; and are not to be compared in importance with the 'great mountains and great hills' which border the northern portion of the Vale of York. Such views as are to be gained under favourable circumstances of light and weather from the Hambleton hills above Thirsk, or from the Clevelands further north; from Mowbray Point in the Hackfall Woods, or still better, from the Roman camp of Nutwith above them, are probably unrivalled in England. It is not only that a vast extent of landscape, studded with church and minster tower, with crumbling walls of castle and abbey, and rich with the site of many a famous battle-field, stretches away till it is lost among the grey masses of the opposite hills; but that the whole wide scene, so beautiful and so interesting from its host of associations, is looked upon from a rough foreground, purpled with heather, and broken into deep scars of rock; or, as at Hackfall, from a lofty hill of wood, with a foam-whitened stream dashing onward far below, and then winding out from the hills to glance like a thread of silver across the wide, green landscape. It is the close union of the richest low country scenery with the most pic

Observations by Vavasour of Hazelwood, in Hearne's edition of Leland's

'Collectanea,' vi. 302.


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