The Idea of a University

fame of Ireland as regards its intellectual endowments. It too often happens that the religiously disposed are in the same degree intellectually deficient; but the Irish ever have been, as their worst enemies must grant, not only a Catholic people, but a people of great natural abilities, keen-witted, original, and subtle. This has been the characteristic of the nation from the very early times, and was especially prominent in the middle ages. As Rome was the centre of authority, so, I may say, Ireland was the native home of speculation. In this respect they were as remarkably contrasted to the English as they are now, though, in those ages, England was as devoted to the Holy See as it is now hostile. The Englishman was hard-working, plodding, bold, determined, persevering, practical, obedient to law and precedent, and, if he cultivated his mind, he was literary and classical rather than scientific, for Literature involves in it the idea of authority and prescription. On

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