Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Spike or Victoria College Review, October 1903



"Wherefore praise we famous men
From whose bays we borrow—
They that put aside To-day
Alt the joys of their To-day
And with toil of their To-day
Bought for us To-morrow!"


Devil driving nail through mortarboard

The greatest act of Cecil Rhodes was his last. Few have yet wakened to the magnitude of the idea and it is probable that no one can jet tally appreciate its importance to the British Empire. Every three years three hundred men of the best stamp will be sent to the ancient University of Oxford to drink in the spirit of English life and of English culture. Every three years three hundred men will seek their native homes with minds strengthened and broadened by contact with the best brain and the best sinew the Empire can produce. In twenty-five years, 2,500 men will have shared the bounty of the great Englishman, will be spreading that which is best in the culture of the past amongst the peoples of the future. There is nothing narrow or parochial in the Bequest of Cecil Rhodes. It is a broad scheme, boldly conceived, nobly planned, — the masterpiece of a statesman.

page 6

We do not intend to discuss here the details of the scheme, though we would be false to our name if we did not protest against a spurious denominational contention trumped up by a local contemporary. The conference of experts which met Dr. Parkin in Wellington and fixed the conditions to be observed, seems to have taken every precaution against the dangers which too often shipwreck boys before they feel their feet in the world, and to have guaranteed that our Rhodes Scholars shall be young enough to enter into the spirit of Oxford life. We are glad to be able to publish an article on this vexed question by Professor Von Zedlitz, whose opinions, as those of an Oxford man, are especially interesting.

We wish, here, however, to draw attention to the far-reaching nature of Mr. Rhodes' conception from a College point of view. There can be no doubt that healthy and vigorous boys throughout the Empire will look to the Rhodes Scholarship as the height of their ambition. Already they are dreaming of it. The picked boys of our Secondary Schools will seek the University Colleges intent on taking that part in the life of the institution which will prepare them for the larger life of the great University. We venture to assert that our College Clubs will be strengthened by men who will see more clearly than they ever saw before, that the ideal of University life is to produce men strong in mind, strong in body, strong in moral fibre, and that this ideal is worth pursuing. If the Rhodes Scholarship makes this thought more real—more living—the founder will deserve the name of prophet.

The influence which the athletic qualification will have upon the College Athletic Clubs will make itself felt in the interest and importance added to the Inter-University College Tournament. Year by year the results of the Easter Meeting will be handed to the Selectors, and there can be no doubt that they will play a considerable part in determining the successful candidate.

The nomination of the candidates by the Professorial Board should lead the Professors to take a more active interest in the College life. Such a stimulus is not needed here, but Victoria College, we understand, is peculiarly fortunate in this respect. Such nomination, too, will minimise the risk of sending students angling for popularity. We have thus an assurance that the Rhodes Scholarship will stimulate the higher nature of youth without depriving it of that manly and unaffected temper which true virtue demands.

It seems then, that here, even at the uttermost part of the earth, the act of Cecil Rhodes, will, for generations untold, in page 7 cite our youth to manliness and culture. It will inspire not only the Scholars, hut the University and its life; and through the Scholars and the University it will send its generous impulse through the nation. Great and glorious as was the idea in the mind of Cecil Rhodes, we believe that he himself never fathomed the greatness and the glory of his last achievement.

"Bless and praise we famous men—
Men of little showing—
For their work continueth
And their work continueth
Broad and deep continueth,
Great beyond their knowing!"

* * * *

It is with the deepest regret that we have to record in this number the first death amongst our own students. Travelling in Canada with his father, Sir James, who was enjoying a holiday after long and honourable service to the University, Douglas Hector met death in a far off land. To Sir James and Lady Hector, bereaved under such distressing circumstances, the students of Victoria College extend their respectful sympathy.