Ernest is at this point about nineteen years old, and, whether or
not he has followed his father's wishes and begun to study law,
it is clear that he has not pursued his earlier inclination, as
expressed in Elizabeth's letter to Victor at Ingolstadt (1.5.2), to eschew the public life
and become a farmer. Whatever degree he contemplates, we can
determine from this statement that he is undertaking some
extended program of higher education at the University of Geneva.