The Idea of a University

Mr. Black is a man of education and of judgment. He knows the difference between show and substance; he is penetrated with the conviction that Rome was not built in a day, that buildings will not stand without foundations, and that, if boys are to be taught well, they must be taught slowly, and step by step. Moreover, he thinks in his secret heart that his own son Harry, whose acquaintance we have already formed, is worth a dozen young Browns. To him, then, not quite an impartial judge, Mr. Brown unbosoms his dissatisfaction, presenting to him his son's Theme as an experimentum crucis between him and Mr. White. Mr. Black reads it through once, and then a second time; and then he observes—

“Well, it is only the sort of thing which any boy would write, neither better nor worse. I speak candidly.”

On Mr. Brown expressing disappointment,

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