The entrance of the sciences into the circle of liberal studies also met powerful opposition. School and university men in general doubted, and most of them denied, that the sciences—physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and the like—were at all essential to culture. And Huxley’s conviction that, “for the purpose of attaining real culture, an exclusively scientific education is at least as effective as an exclusively literary education” was as shocking to the academic world of that day as the advent of a band of shooting cowboys would have been to an English garden party. Huxley states very fairly the working ideal of culture which was held by “the great majority of educated Englishmen” of 1880, and which had shaped the whole course of liberal education during the three centuries preceding: “In their belief,” he says, “culture is obtainable only by a liberal education; and a liberal education is synonymous, not merely with education and instruction in literature, but in one particular form of literature, namely that of Greek and Roman antiquity. They hold that the man who has learned Latin and Greek, however little, is educated; while he who is versed in other branches of knowledge, however deeply, is a more or less respectable specialist, not admissible into the cultured caste. The stamp of the educated man, the University degree, is not for him.” The best-trained university men undoubtedly took a more liberal attitude than this, but schoolmasters in general, and university men of mediocre quality, often maintained this position with patronizing, not to say insolent, superiority.

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