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The evil wi' the guid they tak;
They ca' a gray thing gray, no black;
An' up the rude unbieldy track
O' life, gang gaily.
The few elements in the dream are thus shown to rest upon a very complex structure in Stevenson's character. All the insanities and contradictions arise because they are assumed to refer to immediate and superficial conditions instead of causes deep in the dreamer's life. Even the explanation offered by the dream, so absurd if referred to the storm outside, was true of the inner thoughts.
The artist, says Stevenson in one of his letters, 'goes to nature for facts, relations, values-material; as a man before writing a historical novel, reads up memoirs. But it is not by reading memoirs that he has learned the selective criticism. He has learned that in the practice of his art; and he will never learn it well but when disengaged from the ardent struggle of immediate representation of realistic and ex facto art. He learns it in the crystallization of day-dreams; in changing, not copying fact... This tilt against the realists might add dreams to the agencies that sift and select. But our analysis has shown the limitation common to dream and fantasy alike. No doubt they select and 'crystallize', but where is the preservative quality of form? It counts little that incidents in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were first seen in sleep, nor can we believe that the very expressions of Kubla Khan were dreamed. What is dreamed, like the jackdaw's hoard, is picked up anyhow, and has value only through another setting. We must penetrate to the interests that shaped it, in order to see why Coleridge's dream and Stevenson's had a literary sequel. Beneath both was an emotion strong enough to disturb sleep and to justify elaboration in art. Such emotions are the very fabric of life. The true connexion
1The emotion common to dream and poem was strong enough to produce the illusion that there was no difference between them. But dream was no more verse than either was the prose description of Xanadu over which Coleridge had dozed.
between Stevenson's dreams and art is not that one or two have casually inspired a tale or so, but that both express something deep in his experience. But life is a stream with many undercurrents. Stevenson, with his delight in introspection, was fascinated by this struggle of self with half independent selves which pushed to the surface. To this theme the Chapter on Dreams is devoted
Obstinément le désir qu'on exile
Revient errer autour du gouffre défendu.
A. S. FERGUSON.
COLLEAGUE EXAMINING: A PLEA FOR ITS ADOPTION
IN CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES.
O say that both parties chiefly concerned dislike examinations is to put the matter mildly. There are of course degrees of dislike. The student who feels himself "well up" in his subject may snort for the battle as does the proverbial war horse. But there can be little doubt of the feelings of the man who has wasted his time and who is due to come up for execution. As regards the examiner himself, with a large experience of that species, I have still to meet the man who enjoys this part of his work. There are again degrees of misery lying between the extremes of student after student of one's own teaching coming up to make a fool of himself and the all too rare experience of man after man doing one credit and answering correctly, shortly, and to the point. No doubt from the students' point of view there are degrees in excellence (or the reverse) in examiners. Sitting beside a colleague one has more than once had a feeling that the examinee might have done better had the question been put more plainly or had the examiner kept his temper. The success or failure of a candidate may be due to dietetic errors in his examiner, sometimes, it may be, to the want of a cup of tea.
Of course, to digress for a moment again, it is by no means finally decided whether examinations are the best method of testing a candidate's fitness. In the course of a prolonged discussion on Medical Teaching under the auspices of the Pathological Society of Edinburgh, published recently in book form, it was more than once stated as a consummation devoutly to be desired that written and oral professional examinations should cease. The participants thought it a much better method to decide on a student's work throughout the term, not on his knowledge of a particular set of questions. written down or answered orally within a given time. Still it seems probable that the older and inferior method will persist for some little time to come, and it is worth while now and then to consider how this may best be carried out.
While it may be regarded as axiomatic that the teacher himself should be the person to decide whether a student knows sufficient of the subject he has been studying or not, it is at least open to doubt whether he ought to be the one and only person to decide this. I am aware that there are reputable examining boards consisting entirely of men who have no connexion with the teaching of the candidates. This is the case, for example, with the examining board for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, England. The notion apparently is that the teacher is a prejudiced person in the sense that it is to his interest that as many as possible of his students should pass, and therefore he should not have a deciding voice at the examination. This argument for disinterested examiners has, so far as I know, fortunately never even been hinted at in connexion with university examinations. In such examinations the teacher, it is generally conceded, must have a deciding voice. however, strong arguments for colleague examiners. Human nature is a curious thing; and however conscientious one may be in examining, however careful one may be to eliminate the personal factor, it is almost impossible to shake oneself free from prejudices in examining students. A student has perhaps been impertinent or merely endowed with overflowing animal spirits that have led him to perpetrate some act which has interfered with the discipline of the class. He comes up for examination, is perhaps a little on the defensive and on the outlook for trouble. How easy, if he is on the border line, to refer him to a later occasion. I have known instances of men of this kind, who had antagonized a powerful teacher, failing time and again and at last being compelled to leave that particular school. This of course ought not to be, and the case is met by the system of colleague examining. If the teacher feels that he ought not to correct a certain paper or ought not orally to examine a certain man, it is an easy matter to leave the paper or the candidate to a colleague, if he possesses one. If on the other hand he is alone, he may be faced with a very difficult problem.
Again the inclination may be in the other direction. All teachers have their favourites. Sometimes the favourite is
not the man or woman with the best brains. Some wily students endeavour, for this very reason, to cultivate the soft side of their professors. It is easy for a tactful student to get into the good graces of his teacher. There is no harm in this if the method is to know his work. But one wonders how often in awarding honours personal predilection bears a part. In my own experience quite frequently. When it is merely a matter of pass or plough, erring on the side of leniency is not the same grave offence as is the opposite. Here again the colleague examiner is a correcting force. Presumably, except in the cases of the fair sex, the charm is one which takes some time to act, and the extern examiner will gently indicate that in his opinion the marks should be so much lower.
Here the objector may suggest that this possible difference of opinion between two examiners is a strong argument against their duplication. In my experience occasion for disagreement seldom arises. The practice usually is to strike a mean between the marks awarded by the two examiners. It is quite astonishing how close is the similarity between the standards of men who really know their subject. The man who fails to size up a candidate properly is usually a man who is not himself a teacher.
Another argument for colleague examining is that a duty shared is a duty lightened. This is not merely that the two examiners may correct each their own half of the answers to the written questions but in oral examining it is a very great relief for one examiner to mark while the other asks the questions. In this way a breathing space is secured, brains last longer in a fresh condition and tempers stand the strain.
It may be reasonably argued, where a university department consists of several teachers each of whom takes his or her part in the examining, that this more than meets requirements in relieving pressure and avoiding the one examiner test. I am not at all sure that it does. One of the chief advantages of colleague examining where one at least of the examiners comes from another university is that new and different emphasis is given to the various branches of the subject. A teacher, especially if he is a man of pronounced views and well on in life, is too apt to lay special emphasis