Newman argued ‘that there is an education necessary and desirable over and above that which may be called professional. Professions differ, and what is an education for one youth is not the education for another; but there is one kind of education which all should have in common, and which is distinct from the education which is given to fit each for his profession. It is the education which made the man; it does not make physicians, surgeons, or engineers, or soldiers, or bankers, or merchants, but it makes men. It is that education which enables the man to adorn the place, instead of the place adorning the man. And this is the education for which you especially come to the University – it is to be made men.’ (Address to the students on the opening of the University, November 1854)
Newman tried to explain ‘what it is to be a man, as distinct from having a profession’: ‘Just as a strong man will make a better soldier than a weak one, so a man thus strong in intellect, thus cultivated and formed, will be able to do a great deal for God and the Church, for his creator, his Lord and Saviour, and for his Christian brethren, which another man could not do.’ (Address to the students on the opening of the University, November 1854)
On the other hand, someone who had grown up ‘without learning to be a real man’ would be a boy all through his life. ‘They have no opinion, no view, no resource; they are not fond of reading or thinking, they cannot amuse themselves; their only amusement is going out of doors for it’. Since they have no opinion, no-one would think of asking them for it; when they are with friends they have nothing to converse about, and their conversation is likely to be empty. ‘Hence they get tired of themselves and of each other, and go out for amusements, and then, perhaps, get into bad amusements, because they have no resources.’ (Address to the students on the opening of the University, November 1854)
‘Gentlemen, if I am called upon to state the difference between a boy and a real man, I should say this – that a boy lives on what is without and around him; the one depends upon others for instruction and amusement, the other is able in great measure to depend upon himself. You come here to learn to pass from the state of boys to the state of men.’ (Address to the students on the opening of the University, November 1854)
A well-trained mind will act with decorum; it will not be thrown off balance by any of the changes of life, but will make the best of all circumstances and conduct itself exactly as it should.