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dubbed the hell of all diseases'; in nervous ailments, hysteria and hypochondria; in certain cutaneous and bronchial affections. In all these the treatment has proved itself efficacious. In some cases of disease of the liver, and other internal organs, drinking the water is prescribed as well as bathing and inhaling.
There is one fatal kind of malady, that year by year sends hundreds of pilgrims from our northern shores in search of relief and respite from the blight of slow decline.' Can Dax do anything for the consumptive? This question is freely discussed in the little treatise which I carried away with me from 'Les Thermes,' to correct and supplement my memories of the place-Titres Médicaux des Thermes de Dax, comme Station Hivernale.' I infer from the various opinions adduced that although hydropathy is not practised here in pulmonary cases, and the baths are therefore of no account in these, great benefit has been derived from residence at Les Thermes,' attributable to the invariably even temperature and the mild and sedative properties of the air within the establishment; while without, the atmosphere is gently flavoured with two ingredients most wholesome to the lungs, the resinous odours from the neighbouring pine forests, and the saline particles from the more distant Gulf of Gascony. At Pau, Cannes, or Mentone, or at that most breezy and bright of all the health haunts of the Riviera, Bordighera, the pulmonary exiles do not adopt any course of treatment. They resort to these places for the climate, and let it work its silent charm on them. The climate of Dax is as well worth trying as any of these: but it ought not to be tried by every class of invalid. Great pine forests shelter Dax from the north wind, and on the west stretch their protecting arms between it and the sea, which rolls upon the sandy shores of the Landes about fifteen miles away. The lofty Pyrenees, which line the southern horizon, break the force and cool the temper of the 'fierce Siroc.' The east wind, unlike our hard north-easters,' is a fresh and moderate wind that almost always accompanies good weather. This protection from wind, combined with its low situation, and the local warmth of its springs, imparts to the climate a remarkable stillness and soft humidity. The vicinity of the sea and the pine forests contributes to the air enough of saline and resinous emanations to prevent this moist and peaceful calm becoming too sedative. There are none of the extremes of heat and cold here from which one suffers at Pau, or Cannes, where ice lies in the shade and dust in the sunshine, and 'le devant brûle-le dos gêle' is a proverb. The equableness of the temperature is a notable characteristic of the climate. Invalids who need a stimulating climate should seek the Riviera. Those who wish a climate equable, lenitive, and tranquillising, should go to Dax.
Apart from its sanitary conditions altogether, the little town is by no means unattractive. There are Roman remains to be explored; one or two old churches, and several quaint old winding streets.
The British tourist and the 'personally conducted tour' have not
yet rubbed all the Gallic angles of the place and population down. An entertaining market is held, weekly, in the Place near Les Thermes,' where one may study the industries, the dialect, and the costume, of the Landes. There are capital roads for riding and driving, and many pretty walks by the riverside. The river is navigable from Bayonne; and abounds with fish-among which shad and salmon probably offer most sport to the fisher. The royal sturgeon is occasionally caught. No pleasanter stream could be embarked on for boating. Indeed the Adour, from Tarbes to Bayonne, offers a most charming canoe track, through a smiling country of corn and wine and flowers.
Ripas Aturi, qua littore curvo
Sportsmen whose ideas of 'la chasse' soar above the small birds which the Frenchman does not disdain to persecute, will find among the forests the fox, the wild boar, and roe and fallow deer. The vegetation is superb: the magnolia and camellia flourish in the open air; the fruits, especially the peaches, are unrivalled. A native chronicler sums up his commendations of his favourite resort with 'Les femmes Dacquoises sont renommées pour leur beauté et leur coquetterie.'
Within easy reach of Bayonne, which is only twenty miles from Dax, lie Biarritz, Hendaye, Fontarabia, the fatal pass of Roncesvalles, and the historic heights of San Sebastian.
The lines from Bayonne and Pau meet at Dax; and little more than two hours will carry you to the capital of Bearn, where the chateau of our Henry,' as the peasantry still fondly call the hero of Ivry, overlooks the Gave.
In three hours from Dax you can get to Arcachon, where you may bathe in the sea, eat oysters, and inhale pine resin to your heart's content; and the same time will convey you to stately Bordeaux, whence a railway journey of nine hours will carry you past Tours and Orleans to Paris; or one of the many steamers that plough the waters of the Gironde will transport you to the Thames, the Clyde, or the Mersey, should you be homeward bound.
In these days it is so hard to light upon a spot within easy reach of Britain that still retains any picturesque individuality, where life is simple and cheap, and where the foreign element in society is not engulfed in the British, that it becomes a duty to impart the happy discovery when it is achieved. It is still more a duty when such a spot possesses also the exceptional hygienic characteristics which distinguish Dax. Let this sketch discharge-though imperfectly— my debt to the ancient town, with its kindly society, its placid river, and its benignant springs.
R. HERBERT STORY.
ECONOMICAL REFORM AT OXFORD.
BY AN OXFORD TUTOR.
\HE hand of reform is pressing heavily even on those most conservative of our national institutions--the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Changes are rife in both places: changes of names, localities, and system, and perhaps even more so at Oxford than at the sister University. The Oxonian of thirty years ago, were he tomorrow to revisit the scenes of his college life, might chance to find himself equally bewildered in the mazes of the modern labyrinth of necessary University examinations, and lost-not in amazement only -among the various streets and by-roads of the new town which is springing up in the northern suburbs of the city. Even the 'Parks,' which have themselves had no long existence, and which were once held to be a quiet place of recreation for the hard-worked professor, and a safe nursery-garden for his children to disport in, are shortly destined to become in summer, as they have been for some few years in winter, an arena for athletic display-the Campus Martius of young Oxford. Another twelve months, rumour tells us, may find a line of tramways running down the Corn Market, High Street, and other sacred localities. But it is not our present purpose to enumerate changes that are, after all, at once merely topical and unimportant.
Whether, again, the system of education has sensibly altered for the better, whether the class of men turned out by the Universities in these modern days are wiser or more fitted to fight the battle of the world than their forefathers-on such matters we do not venture to pronounce any opinion. Suffice it to say that the 'powers that be' have doubtless been actuated by the best intentions in accommodating the spirit of their education to the spirit of the times, and we may well leave the question of ultimate results for a future generation to decide.
Nor do we propose meantime to discuss still more radical changes demanded by some. The time has come, so we are told, when the privilege of becoming students of Oxford and Cambridge should no longer be confined to the few, and when these doors of intellectual development should be opened to receive all who care to enter. The establishment of Keble College at Oxford, of Girton at Cambridge,
the admission of unattached students' to either University, are, they assure us, only so many introductory scenes of a play which is far from being completed. We are frank to confess that these agitators of change have many good and sufficient reasons on their side for advocating the extension of University education as well to the poorer classes of society as to the weaker sex. As Oxonians we should be unwilling to play the sorry part of dogs in the manger by growling at the admission of outsiders to share our advantages. Still we would venture to ask that abuses existent in Oxford should be first remedied, and that justice to present members of our University should precede generosity to these future ones. Charity should, in all such cases, begin at home, even if there be no necessity for its ending there.
If an itching after reform has taken possession of the brains of some of our authorities, there is, we beg to suggest, plenty of scope for exercising their ingenuity close at hand. There are sundry points on which reforms would be cordially welcomed by all members of the University. We allude more especially to economic legislation, or, to speak more correctly, the lack of economic legislation, in sundry of our colleges.
That young men of the present day have a tendency to spend money on luxuries is true enough, unfortunately for themselves and their friends. But there surely exists no sufficient reason why the necessary expenditure of the undergraduate should be so heavy as it now is, while the fact that such necessary expenditure varies in degree in different colleges naturally tends to the conclusion that the fault lies very close to the doors of the more expensive ones. If the terminal battels at Jesus and Lincoln may, without undue self-denial on the part of the undergraduate, be kept at the comparatively low average of 30., it is hard to conceive why the average at Exeter and University, given an equal amount of individual economy, should range as high as 40l. or 451.
It was certainly thought some twenty years ago that it was within the bounds of possibility-we say no more-for the annual expenditure of an undergraduate at Oxford not to exceed 100l. The estimated personal expenditure for clothes and pocket-money being 251., this left 751. for necessary college expenses. There are, we know, parents who are still labouring under the impression that 100l. ought to be a sufficient allowance for a young man at Oxford, and their belief is, up to a certain point, justified by the fact that some of the unattached students do actually live for considerably less than that
To the confiding paterfamilias, however, who fancies that with such an allowance his son can be sent up to Balliol-we take Balliol as the recognised centre of intellectual development-the following figures may present an interesting study:
Speaking roughly, therefore, the privilege of being a Balliol man costs an undergraduate resident in the college nearly 8ol. a year in addition to his weekly battels, and it is beyond his power to lessen that sum by any process of personal economy. The weekly battels, which may average some 551. a year, the individual undergraduate may, if he will, keep within moderate bounds; but the college levies its pound of flesh-that matter of 80l.—with rigid exactness as it 'is nominated in the bond.'
Some of the items in this General Account' it may be worth while to examine more particularly.
1. Tuition, 251.-At first sight this charge would seem reasonable enough. The Balliol man has little cause to complain of the efficiency of his instructors. Such lectures as the college may provide for him are sure to be good of their kind. But it is not unfrequently the case that, as matters now stand, a man may choose to take his degree in a school for which no provision has been made by the college in its scheme of lectures. Be that as it may, there are Balliol men who since passing their first public examination have only enjoyed the benefit of college tuition for one hour a week on the average; and for this privilege they pay at the rate of 1l. per hour. College tutors -Balliol College tutors more especially-are presumably clever men; but their service is rated at a high figure.
2. College dues. This item, for some reason best known to the framer of the table given above, appears twice; and the annual charge is about 51. What is exactly meant to be included under the head