Cornhill Magazine,  10 (1864), 342–54.

German Professors

[Edward Wilberforce]




Universities, Scientific Practitioners, Patronage, Government, Politics

    Observes that the 'German professorate comprises not merely an immense majority of all the eminent thinkers and writers, the learned and scientific in the country, but all such with very few exceptions' (342). Indeed, the 'twenty-eight universities of Germany (including German Switzerland) contain almost seventeen hundred professors, and the greatest names in history, science, law, theology, and medicine are found in the number', for instance 'Liebig is ordinary professor of chemistry in the University of Hamburg' (342–43). The situation is very different in England, where at Oxford in 1860 'the most eminent Sanskrit scholar in England [i.e. Friedrich Max Müller] stood for the Sanskrit chair [...] and was rejected by a vote of the whole body, and [...] one of the voters assigned as a reason that he "had always voted against the d—d intellect, and trusted that he always might"' (343). Notes, however, that the 'State patronage' afforded to German professors necessarily entails their being 'really under the absolute control of the Government', and it is 'but a few weeks ago since a professor of medicine at Köningsberg was deprived for presiding at a meeting which approved the address of the Chamber of the Deputies after the king had refused to receive it' (346).

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