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N February 11, 1875, the University of Leiden celebrated the threehundredth anniversary of its foundation. Delegates from all the great universities of Europe gathered in the famous senate-chamber, which Niebuhr called the “most memorable room in Europe in the history of learning,” bearing addresses of congratulation for this joyful occasion. The Hollanders look with peculiar pride on this their favorite university. It commemorates one of the most glorious events in the history of their country. The long Eighty Years' War with Spain had begun. City after city had fallen before the onward march of the Spaniards. The heroic struggle of Haarlem had ended in the capture of the city. Leiden, after a double siege lasting in all nearly a year, was saved by the valor of its citizens. No siege in history surpasses the record of this in heroic bravery and endurance. War, pestilence, and famine hovered over the apparently doomed city. Relief came at

The UNIVErsity building.

last. The great dikes were cut, the sea flowed in over the land, bearing the patriot fleet, and the siege was raised. In token of the national gratitude for the successful defense of the city, the Prince of Orange, with the advice of the Estates of the Realm, decreed the establishment of a university. Never did resolution and action in so important a matter follow in more rapid succession. The Prince sent his recommendation to the States-General December 28, 1574. On January 2, 1575, the letter was read in public session at Delft, and on the following day the resolution was adopted. Up to this time the northern provinces of the Netherlands had been far behind the southern in learning. The great University of Louvain was now wholly in the hands of the Spaniards. How deeply William of Orange felt the need of the establishment of a university on Dutch soil may be inferred. His eldest son and heir, the Count of Buren, had been taken while pursuing his studies at Louvain, and carried a captive to Spain for almost a life-long exile from his native land. While there his whole generous nature was changed, and he became gloomy, austere, and bigoted. The clear vision of the Prince saw that no new national life was possible under the influences which had robbed him of his son. Up to this time the main impulse to learning in Holland, as well as in North Germany, had sprung from the labors of the “Brothers of the Life in Common.” These pure and devoted men, like the friars of a later century in England, labored every where with a strange fervor and self-denying zeal. In the school of Gerald Groot, at Deventer, Thomas à Kempis and Agricola were educated. They contended against abuses in the Church, and sought to introduce the popular language into its ritual. Limited as was the range of their instruction, their services in copying books and in laboring for the elevation of the common people, and their sturdy condemnation of the beggar monks, were of the highest value as a contribution to the advance of learning in Europe. The charter of the University of Leiden was modelled after those of the older universities of the Continent. Motley calls attention to the “ponderous irony” in which it was conceived. Holland still recognized its allegiance to Spain ; the dream of an independent exercise of sovereignty had never entered the thoughts of the people. Hence it was necessary to throw the majesty of the royal name around the establishment of the young university. The charter proceeds in Philip's name to authorize the founding of a university as a reward to the citizens for their rebellion against himself, “especially in consideration of the differences of religion, and the great burdens and hardships borne by the citizens of our city of Leiden during the war with such faithfulness.” Unlike the English and many of the German universities, which sprang from earlier monastic schools, we can trace the history of the University of Leiden from the beginning, and it is interesting to see with what ceremonies the sturdy Dutch burghers found time for its inauguration


in the midst of their long and wearisome war. The Dutch historians describe the stately exercises with great faithfulness and minuteness. After solemn religious services in the cathedral church of St. Peter, a procession was formed, which seems to have consisted of heathen divinities, ancient philosophers and poets, and modern aldermen. The burgher militia came first, in full armor, “in token that, having won liberty for themselves, they would be the defenders of the university.” Next came a magnificent chariot, upon which sat a female figure clothed in white. This was the Holy Gospel. The Four Evangelists attended her on foot, walking on either side of her carriage. Then came Justice, blindfold, mounted upon a unicorn, while those eminent doctors of the law, Julian, Papian, and Tribonian, attended by lackeys and men-atarms, rode by her side. Medicine followed on horseback, bearing in one hand a garland of medicinal herbs, and in the other a treatise on the healing art. Her escort was composed of the most learned physicians of antiquity, Hippocrates, Galen, Theophrastus, and Dioscorides. Philosophy and the Liberal Arts were represented by Minerva in complete armor, with shield, and lance at rest. A noble retinue of ancient philosophers and poets on horseback attended her—Plato and Aristotle, Homer, Cicero, and Virgil. Then came the mace-bearers and beadles with painted staffs, the orator, the professors and doctors in their caps and gowns, the reverend clergy, the burgomasters and state dignitaries, guests of exalted rank, and the great body of citizens. Beneath triumphal arches and over streets strewn with flowers the stately procession moved, amid the thunder of culverins, falconets, and mortars. As it approached the Nuns' Bridge a triumphal barge decorated with flags to the water's edge, and covered with a canopy enwreathed with laurels, cast off and floated to the former cloister of St. Barbara, which had been set apart as the home of the new university. Upon the deck sat Apollo and the Nine Muses in classical attire. Neptune, “who with his waves had saved the city, and who seemed now to guide and welcome this learned company within,” stood at the rudder. As the procession approached, Apollo touched his lyre “with strange skill and grace,” and the organ was played. Apollo and the Muses then left the barge, and awaited the advance of the procession. As the Holy Gospel, Justice, Medicine, and Pallas advanced, each was embraced and kissed in turn by Apollo and all the Nine Muses. Each professor received a similar salutation. Then the whole procession entered the new abode of the uni

tors from among them. The expenses of Arminius were thus defrayed by the city of Amsterdam while pursuing his studies at Geneva. Hereafter education was to find a home in Holland, and to this end the University of Leiden was granted all the privileges of the most favored foreign


versity. Here an oration, “in praise of theology,” was pronounced, and a banquet followed, “not in superfluity, but sufficient for the desire of each and the need of his nature,” and the Leiden University was formally opened. Since the University of Louvain had been closed to students from Holland by the events of the war and by the Catholic character which it had assumed, Dutch students had pursued their studies at foreign universities, at Heidelberg, Basel, or Geneva. Protestant cities paid the expenses of promising students, with the hope of supplying the churches with pas

schools. It was endowed with the revenues of the ancient Abbey of Egmont, and placed under the charge of curators chosen from among the most eminent and learned men in Holland. Every one connected with the university, even to the lowest official, was exempted from taxation of all kinds, and received his wine, beer, salt, soap, coffee, tea, and books free of duty. A court for the punishment of offenses was granted as one of the prerogatives of the university. Whoever had been received to academic citizenship and enrolled on the books of the university was privileged from arrest throughout the country except at the order of the rector and court. This court was not a purely scholastic tribunal, as in the German universities, but was composed of the rector and four professors and a representation of the city magistracy. The privileges of the court were not limited to students, but all citizens who had received a degree, all strangers who simply visited the university ‘‘ out of curiosity,” but attended no lectures, all clergymen whose names had ever been on an academic roll, and their families and servants, were amenable to this tribunal only. In numerable questions of jurisdiction naturally arose between the university court and the city courts, but upon an appeal to the StatesGeneral questions at issue were always decided in favor of the privileges of the university. Naturally no other tribunal could overrule or review the decisions of this court, though the Prince, in the exercise of his sovereign rights, might pardon or commute a sentence. The punishments which the court might inflict were unlimited in their range, but consisted ordinarily of fines, confinement to the room, and, in graver cases, to banishment for a term of years from the town, and deprivation of all academic privileges. Scourging with the rod was not uncommon in the German universities at this time. One case is on record in the history of Leiden. A theological student received this punishment for some offense, but the infliction of the penalty occasioned such a tumult among the students that a similar sentence was never again imposed. Twice students were condemned to death. One student who had fatally wounded another in a fracas was sentenced to death, but was pardoned by Prince Maurice; another, for theft, seems to have suffered the extreme penalty. The university owes the pre-eminence which it held during the seventeenth cen-" tury to the intelligent oversight and wise munificence of the curators. They sought to obtain the most distinguished scholars of all nations, and to this end spared neither pains nor expense. The acquisition of a professor became a subject of diplomatic negotiation, often of princely mediation. Hence it was said that no university of Europe had so many scholars of renown as Leiden—“nulla Europae totius academia tales habuit viros.” The university became the centre of the scholarship of Europe, and the favored resort


of the learned of England, France, and Germany. At the ter-centennial celebration Professor De Vries could say, in his address of welcome to the assembled delegates from the universities of Europe, standing in the senate-chamber, and pointing to the portraits of distinguished professors which hang on its walls: “To you, Frenchmen, we owe our Joseph Scaliger, that incomparable man, Salmasius, Donellus, and Clusius; to you, Germans, we owe Gronovius, Hermann, Albinus, Ruhnken, and Pestelius; to you, Swiss, we owe Vitruvius, Weisse, and Wyttenbach.” Their learning was cosmopolitan. The universal Latin tongue united scholars in one great brotherhood, and was the source of communication between the learned of different lands. English, French, Dutch, Italian, and German scholars carried on an intimate correspondence and comparison of views. Casaubon and Scaliger corresponded for fourteen years with the greatest regularity, though they had never met; and yet Casaubon could write in his diary, when the news of his great friend's death reached him, “I have lost the guide of my studies, my incomparable friend, the sweet patron of my life.” As the custodians of the rights of scholars, the curators guarded most jealously the prerogatives of the university. Many a Prince of Orange was made to feel that its interests were dearer to them than his favor. Frequently the rector, senate, and the whole body of professors were summoned to deliberate with the curators on important questions affecting the welfare of the university. Their complaints were listened to, controversies reconciled, salaries increased, the rights of subordinates guarded, and presents and special grants made to them. Their books were often

published at the cost of the university, .

and their extra allowances frequently amounted to more than their ordinary salary. The curators were not merely the protectors of the university, but they became the patrons of learning in general. Preachers and professors banished from their country on account of their religious faith received grants to sustain them in their distress. Scholars from abroad were supplied with money to travel and to pursue certain investigations. Incredible numbers of refugees flocked to Holland during the Thirty Years' War and the period of depression in letters which followed it. This little land was called the “asylum of refuge of men most illustrious for their learning.” The university could not have held its way through these troubled times had it not been for the liberal charter which constituted it. By this it became an independent republic of letters, which preserved it in the main from the arbitrary interference of the government, and from the proscriptiveness of external fashions of thought. In those days a scholar was held to be the glory of the city of his residence and his country. When Scaliger was invited to Leiden, a ship of war was ordered to receive him, and convey him from France to Holland; and when Salmasius returned to his native land upon a visit, after the death of his father, he went in a frigate escorted by the whole fleet to Dieppe. When he visited Sweden and Denmark, royal escorts accompanied him from the borders of one kingdom to the other. When Casaubon went from Geneva to enter upon his professorship at Montpellier, he was met at a distance from the city by a procession of high officials and the regents of the university—an honor not accorded later to the archbishop on his arrival. At first professors were chosen from the same confession, but when once elected, their views were generally inviolate under the prerogatives of the university and the protection of the curators. Only in 1619, at the time of the bitter Arminian controversy, were professors exposed to attack on account of their opinions. Professors in the theological department, though giving a general assent to the national faith, received later full protection and entire freedom of utterance, which has continued until the present day. The influence of one great scholar in advancing the learning of his time is admirably illustrated in the history of Scaliger's connection with the university. Its special renown began with his residence in Leiden. He was elected a professor of belles-lettres in 1593, but it can not be shown that he ever lectured in the university. The fame of his learning and the inspiration of his presence drew students from all lands. When a youth of nineteen he shut himself in his room in Paris, and in two years read through all the Greek authors in prose and verse in regular order, and then turned and with equal industry investigated the Hebrew

and Oriental languages. He was conversant with ancient and most of modern literature. He was the first whose ideal of classical learning embraced a comprehensive view of ancient law and institutions. He spent days in his study forgetful of food. The reverence of his contemporaries for his genius and learning was unparalleled. Casaubon called him “an ocean of knowledge,” the “masterpiece of nature,” “greater in Greek poetry than any since Sophocles and Aristophanes.” Later writers of to-day echo this praise. Hallam calls him “the most extraordinary master of general erudition that ever lived”; and Niebuhr says of him, “Scaliger stood on the topmost point of linguistic learning, and so high in science of all kinds that he was able of himself to acquire, use, and judge all therein.” Whenever Scaliger visited the university an escort of students attended him, and when he entered a lecture-room the professors ceased speaking in his presence. He occupied the seat of honor at the sessions of the senate, and at all public solemnities of the university. When public promotions were held, he was always addressed before the rector magnificus. To Leiden came the boy Grotius when only eleven years old to study under the direction of Scaliger. Here he acquired that scholarship which made him renowned in France even when a mere youth. At seventeen Henry IV. presented him to his sister at Versailles with the words, “Voilà, le miracle de la Hollande.” Later Grotius became a jurist, diplomatist, historian, theologian, the finest writer of Latin verse of his time, the founder of international law, the first to maintain that the ethical principle should underlie all transactions between nations as well as between individuals. The great successor of Scaliger was

"Salmasius, of whom it was said that

“what he did not know was beyond the bounds of knowledge.” Leiden then stood at the head of all the universities of Europe. Scholars called it “the most illustrious academy,” “the glorious hall of all knowledge, the mother of all arts and sciences.” The earliest contest which shook the university was that between the Arminians and the Gomarists, or Calvinists. The leaders of the two sects were both professors. Stadtholder and synod, the States-General and all classes of the peo

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