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lishment ardent converts to Hydropathy, determined for the rest of their lives to "throw physic to the dogs," fleeing from it as from some poisonous thing.
It will not do for them to pooh pooh the system, and tell their patients, as many of them do, that it will kill them; such language only betrays ignorance on their part, and will not put down a system which daily gives the lie to their predictions by affording ocular demonstration of its efficacy, in the restored health and blooming cheek of many an emaciated friend. Men are too sensible now-a-days to pin their faith on the dictum of a medical man, who runs down a system without fairly investigating it, and examining the principles on which it acts, to say nothing of the prejudice he must feel in favor of his own particular system; but if a mode of treatment be rational, producing cures when every other system of treatment has failed, and recommend itself to the common sense and reason of mankind, we believe such a principle will make its way despite of all the opposition it may encounter, and this very progress the water cure is at present making.
The very simplicity of the processes of the water cure, which people cannot believe capable of producing the effects ascribed to them, has chiefly militated against its more universal reception, by the lay public, together with the belief (ingrained by long habit,) in the absolute necessity for drugs, in curing disease; but this belief, if not rationally founded, will soon give way: were the condition, however, of affairs reversed, and Hydropathy become as old a system as the Allopathic, this belief, in the efficacy of an old school, might be securely entertained; for no one would think for a moment of exchanging a system, fixed, intelligible and certain in its action, as based on scientific principles, and consonant with the laws of physiology, for the uncertain, groping, empirical, and injurious practice of drug medication.
If it be true that there is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous, there may yet be hope for the Board of Trinity College. Their next step may possibly raise them to the sublime, for their last has made them supremely ridiculous. Having been exposed to the fire of formidable batteries on all sides from north and south, English and Irish, daily, weekly, and monthly, they in solemn conclave resolve to open fire in return and thereupon they plant with mighty preparation, a pop-gun. But we fear, though
- Facilis descensus Averni,
Hic labor, hoc opus est-" A brief narrative of events will introduce our remarks. Since Dr. Sha w's questions on the hustings in April last, drew public attention to the affairs of the college, the newspapers of Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Liverpool, and other places, lave kept up and increased that attention by a continuous series of articles. The public and the board were equally amazed, the former at the state of things now discovered for the first time, the latter at the revolutionary audacity which was not overawed by the venerable aspect of the sacrosanct seven. Iu their dimsay they cast about what to do. Oh, that they could trace some of those sharp missives and a collegiate hand! the arrow marked specially for Alexander's eye,” should be returned with envenomed barb. At last they hit upon a grand move which should, as they hoped, crush the rebellion in the bud. They remembered that two of the Fellows had actually written and signed two letters in the newspapers. To be sure the letters were of the most innocent kind, but that would only render the example more telling. Tuese gentlemen, therefore, were summoned before the board and censured. They were informed that the statutes forbid any one member of the college from prosecutiug another in an external court, on pain of expulsion. It was inconsistent with the spirit of this statute, they were told, to write on College affairs in the public papers. This smells of casuistry. It was at all events, as 'the Saturday Review justly remarked, the queerest recognition on record of the jurisdiction of the press. The Board were ill-advised when they resolved to strain an ancient restriction on the side of strictness. These rusty fetters have a trick of snapping, if screwed too tightly. The fact is, that just as an old woman of eighty will call her grandson a boy after he has passed two score, the worthy seniors are accustomed to regard the non-tutors as mere schoolboys whose youth, in fact, excludes them from tutorships, and who will be frightened out of their wits, and come down on their knees at an angry look from a senior, glad to get off without a whipping. These schoolboys, however, are old enough to be bishops, and many of them are not younger than senior fellows themselves used to be in olden times. So the Board found they had caught a couple of Tartars. The fel. lows censured appealed to the visitors, and presently after, an article was announced to appear in the Dublin University Magazine, which would at once carry the question into the London press. Here was a pretty pickle ! what on earth was to be done ? The first move was to establish a censorship of the press. The publishers were requested to cancel the article. This of course they could not do. Perhaps, however, the Lord Lieutenant would do them the favor to require the author's signature to every article published, in which case collegiate discipline might be brought to bear again. All in vain.
. The article appeared, sharp and decisive, and as was expected, the London papers immediately took up the question. New plans were nooted from day to day. Should they reply? To do so in their own names, would make matters worse. Should they prosecute some one paper for libel? Soupe member of the Board better acquained than the rest with modern facts and ideas, reminded them that the law of libel had been changed. At last a move was actually adopted, that the supposed author should be summoned, and required to confess. We will not venture to affirm that a rack was obtained from the museum to have its persuading powers tried. Fortunately accident prevented the monstrous scheme from being carried out immediately, and the following day (which was Sunday,) brought with it wiser counsels. But something must be done to shew that the Board is not to be trifled with with impunity. Eipua ! the publisher of the Magazine being also bookseller to the University, was informed that he could not retain both offices; no senior Fellow could be expected to enter a shop, in which the first object to meet his senses would be that nasty Magazine with the shocking mass of corruption, which had been stirred in its pages. Thus the only sufferer from the vengeance of the Board hitherto has been a bookseller. With respect to the censure of Messrs. Shaw and Carmichael, the visitors will probably decide before this is published, whether it was justified by the statutes. They will of course make every allowance for the Board, who as a plain matter-of-fact body, could not understand that the phases “tribunal of public opinion,"
“ verdict of the press,
&c., were not to be taken literally as implying a recognised court. It will be a strong temptation to the Archbishop of Dublin, one of the visitors, to read thein a lecture on the influence of words on thought. We shall expect to see this notable instance exposed in the next edition of his Grace's Logic. As the Board, however, have recognised the existence of a public tribunal, we hope they will feel bound to respect its decisions.
If the visitors should decide that writing in the newspapers is within the meaning of the statute what will be the result ? First it is to be observed that the punishment enacted by the statute is, academically speaking, capital, nothing short in fact of expulsion. And we may note that if the board believed two of the fellows to have been guilty of such an offence, they might have told them plainly that the next offence committed after waruing would be visited with expulsion. Would the tribunal of public opinion tolerate such a punishment for such an offence ?' The Board in fact have been endeavouring in their usual antiquated fashion to follow the example of some of the Grecian States, who used occasionally to fortify a law by making it capital to propose its repeal. They have chosen an unlucky precedent, and an unlucky occasion for its imitation. Their attempt must utterly fail. There is no need to sign letters in the newspapers, and the Board will gain little by changing avowed into anonymous publications. They will talk of course of "anonymous scribblers” but with little effect, as long as they make it penal to quit the anonymous. They must then revive the "question” to compel authors to confess, and this they have shown they are at least prepared to attempt.
But moreover, one can surely plead in any court by word of mouth, as well as by writing; and that no less in that court which the Board have just recognised than in the Queen's Bench; the
Board must therefore either shut up the fellows in ceils to prevent communication with the outer world, or must have its system of espionage, its Dionysius' Ear which will convey to its august presence the murmurs of the whole city.
The nearest approach to a violation of this now noted statute which we can call to mind occurred in 1852, before the University Commission, which had some claim to be regarded as a Royal Court, though not judicial, and the authority of which in respect to collegiate matters, the Provost and Senior Fellows expressly declined to acknowledge. Before that court, however, the Provost brought against the whole class of non tutor Fellows, the charge of being useless and a "pursery of discontent."*
The Board might have had some ground for their censure if they had charged the two fellows with a violation of that clause in the fellow's oath, which binds them to promote the health, peace, dignity and comfort of the Senior Fellows. Were they silly enough to imagine that the dignity and comfort of the Senior Fellows would be promoted by the publication of their college affairs ? They know the Board long enough to be aware that publicity is the last thing it desires. Now that the proceedings of former years are being raked up, doubtless the next step will be to demand the regular publication of all proceedings of the Board for the future: alarming foreboding! Why, how could those nice little arrangements of which Senior Fellows now reap the fruits ever have been adopted if publicity had been necessary ? The Board have a vested right to secrecy.t Without it their power is incomplete, even in cases
About two hundred years ago, the Irish Parliament found it necessary to inquire into the conduct of Provost Chappels, and issued a coinmission for the purpose. The scholars alleged that the statute bound them not to give information, but the Parliament made short work of the objection, by suspending the statute. We mention this partly to show that a commission such as that of 1852, would accor. ding to precedent be understood to come within the meaning of the
+ This line of argument suggested in jest, has been actually adopted by the Counsel for the Board. If he had read the oath he would see that the clause cited binds every fellow to promote the welfare, &c. of the College, and of every member thereof, especially the Provost and Senior Fellows. It therefore binds the Senior Fellows to promote the welfare and dignity of the non tutors or scholars. Have they (to borrow Mr. Brewster's polite phrase) forgotten their oath?