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Title: Nuts to crack; or Quips, quirks, anecdote and facete of Oxford and Cambridge Scholars

Author: Richard Gooch

Release date: March 4, 2013 [eBook #42247]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Bryan Ness, and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/Canadian Libraries)




Quips, Quirks, Anecdote and Facete






[Pg v]


Though I intend this preface, prelude, or proem shall occupy but a single page, and be a facile specimen of the multum in parvo school, I find I have so little to say, I might spare myself the trouble of saying that little, only it might look a little odd (excuse my nibbing my pen) if, after writing a book, which by the way, may prove no book at all, I should introduce it to my readers,—did I say “Readers?”—what a theme to dilate upon! But stop, stop, Mr. Exultation, nobody may read your book, ergo, you will have no readers. Humph! I must nib my pen again. Cooks, grocers, butchers, kitchenmaids, the roast! Let brighter visions rise: methink I see it grace every room Peckwater round: methink I see, wherever mighty Tom sonorous peals forth his solemn “Come, come, come!” the sons of Oxon fly to Tallboys’ store, or Parker’s shelves, and cry “the Book, the Book!” Methink I see in Granta’s streets a crowd for Deighton’s and for Stevenson’s—anon, [Pg vi]the Book, the Book,” they cry “Give us the Book!” “Quips, Quirks, and Anecdotes?” “Aye, that’s the Book!” And, then, methink I see on Camus’ side, or where the Isis by her Christ Church glides, or Charwell’s lowlier stream, methink I see (as did the Spanish Prince of yore a son of Salamanca beat his brow) some togaed son of Alma Mater beat, aye, laugh and beat his brow. And then, like Philip, I demand the cause? And then he laughs outright, and in my face he thrusts a book, and cries, “Sir, read, read, read, ha, ha, ha, ha!” and stamps and laughs the while;—and then, ye gods, it proves to be the Book,—Quips, Quirks, and Anecdotes—ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! I cry you mercy, Sirs, read, read, read, read! From Eton, Harrow, Winchester, and West, come orders thick as Autumn leaves e’er fell, as larks at Dunstable, or Egypt’s plagues. The Row is in commotion,—all the world rushes by Amen Corner, or St. Paul’s: how like a summer-hive they go and come: the very Chapter’s caught the stirring theme, and, like King James at Christ Church, scents a hum.[1] E’en Caxton’s ghost stalks forth to beg a tome, [Pg vii] and Wynkyn’s shroud in vain protests his claims. “There’s not a copy left,” cries Whitt’s or Long’s, as Caxton bolts with the extremest tome, and Wynkyn, foiled, shrinks grimly into air,

Veil’d in a cloud of scarce black-letter lore.

Had Galen’s self, sirs, ab origine, or Æsculapius, or the modern school of Pharmacopœians drugged their patients thus, they long ago, aye, long ago, had starved; your undertakers had been gone extinct, and churchyards turned to gambol-greens, forsooth. Mirth, like good wine, no help from physic needs:—blue devils and ennui! ha, ha, ha, ha! Didst ever taste champagne? Then laugh, sirs, laugh,—“laugh and grow fat,” the maxim’s old and good: the stars sang at their birth—“Ha, ha, ha, ha!” I cry you mercy, sirs, the Book, the Book, Quips, Quirks, and Anecdotes. Oxonians hear! “Ha, ha, ha, ha!” Let Granta, too, respond. What would you more? the Book, sirs, read, read, read.

’Tis true, my work’s a diamond in the rough, and that there still are sparkling bits abroad, by wits whose wages may not be to die, would make it, aye, the very Book of [Pg viii] Books! Let them, anon, to Cornhill wend their way (p.p.) to cut a figure in Ed. sec. 3d, or 4th, from Isis or from Cam. What if they say, as Maudlin Cole of Boyle, because some Christ-Church wits adorned his page with their chaste learning, “’Tis a Chedder cheese made of the milk of all the parish,”—Sirs, d’ye think I’d wince and call them knave or fool? Methink I’d joy to spur them to the task! Methink I see the mirth-inspired sons of Christ-Church and the rest, penning Rich Puns, Bon-mots, and Brave Conceits, for ages have, at Oxon, “borne the bell,” and oft the table set in royal roar. Methink I see the wits of Camus, too, go laughing to the task,—and then, methink, O! what a glorious toil were mine, at last, to send them trumpet-tongued through all the world!

[1] Sir Isaac Wake says in his Rex Platonicus, that when James the First attended the performance of a play in the Hall of Christ-Church, Oxford, the scholars applauded his Majesty by clapping their hands and humming. The latter somewhat surprised the royal auditor, but on its being explained to signify applause, he expressed himself satisfied.

[Pg ix]


Was Oxford or Cambridge first Founded? 13
Origin of this celebrated Controversy 16
Died of Literary Mortification 17
Sir Simon D’Ewes on Antiquity of Cambridge ib.
Gone to Jerusalem 18
Cutting Retort—Liberty a Plant 19, 20
A Tailor surprised—Declining King George, &c. 20
Classical Jeu D’Esprit—Trait of Barrow 21
Inveterate Smokers 22
Lover of Tobacco—A Wager, &c. 22, 23
Newton’s Toast—Piety of Ray 23
Devil over Lincoln—Radcliffe’s Library 24
Traits of Dr. Bathurst—His Whip, &c. 25
Smart Fellows ib.
Epigram—Tell us what you can’t do? 26, 27
First Woman introduced into a Cloister 27
Cambridge Scholar and Ghost of Scrag of Mutton 28
Comparisons are odious 30
Jaunt down a Patient’s throat—Difference of Opinion 30, 31
Petit-Maitre Physician—Anecdote of Porson 31
Οὐ τόδε οὐδ αλλο—Aliquid—Di-do-dum 32
Bishop Heber’s College Puns ib.
Effect of Broad-wheeled Wagon, &c. 33
Queen Elizabeth and the Men of Exeter College, &c. 34
Oxonians Posed—Lapsus Grammaticæ 35
Latin to be Used—Habit—Concussion[Pg x] 36
Comic Picture of Provost’s Election 37
Sir, Dominus, Magistri, Sir Greene 38
Husbands beat their Wives—Attack on Ladies 39
Doings at Merton—Digging Graves with Teeth 40
Doctor’s Gratitude to Horse—John Sharp’s Rogue 41
Said as how you’d See—Much Noise as Please 42, 43
Mad Peter-house Poet—Grace Cup 44, 45
Tertiavit—Capacious Bowl—Horn Diversion 46
Bibulous Relique—Christian Custom—Feast Days 47
Walpole at Cambridge—College Dinner 16th Century 49, 50
Black Night—Force of Imagination—Absent Habits 52, 53
Anecdotes of Early Cambridge Poets 54
Cromwell’s Pear-tree, &c. 58
Stung by a B—Dr. P. Nest of Saxonists 61
Pleasant Mistake—Minding Roast 62
College Exercise—Bell—Fun—Tulip-time 62, 63
King of Denmark—King William IV. visit Cambridge 64, 65
Queen Elizabeth’s Visit to Oxford and Cambridge 66, 67
First Dissenter in England 67
First English Play extant by Cambridge Scholar 68
Christ-Church Scholars Invented moveable Scenes 70
James I. at Oxford and Cambridge 71
Divinity Act—Latin Comedy 76, 77
Case of Precedence—Smothered in Petticoats 78, 79
Brief Account of Boar’s Head Carols 79
Celebration of, at Queen’s College, Oxon 83
Cleaving Block—Being little 84, 85
Traits of Porson—Wakefield—Clarke 87, 88
Blue Beans—University Bedels—Dr. Bentley 89, 90
Great Gaudy All-Souls Mallard 91
Oxford Dream—Compliments to Learned Men 96, 98
Point of Etiquette—Value of Syllable 101, 102
Cocks may Crow—Profane Scoffers 102
Jemmy Gordon—Oxford Wag 103, 106
Cambridge Frolics—Black Rash[Pg xi] 107, 108
Old Grizzle Wig—Shooting Anecdotes 109, 110
Bishop Watson’s Progress—Paley, &c. 111, 115
Oxford Hoax—Good Saying 116, 117
Walpole a Saint—Oxford famous for its Sophists, &c. 118
Laconic Vice—Usum Oxon—Pert Oxonians 120, 121
Corrupted Latin Tongue—Surpassed Aristotle, &c. 121
Set Aristotle Heels upwards—Art of Cutting 122, 123
Soldiers at Oxford Disputation, &c. 123
Captain Rag—Dainty Morsels 124, 125
Answered in Kind—Powers of Digestion 126, 127
Inside Passenger—Traits of Paley 128, 129
Lord Burleigh and Dissenters—Sayings 134, 135
Porson—Greek Protestants at Oxon 135, 136
Cambridge Folk—Gyps—Drops of Brandy—Dessert for Twenty, &c. 137, 138
Parr’s Eloquence—Address—Vanity, &c. 140
Trick of the Devil—Three Classical Puns 142, 143
Acts—Pleasant Story—Epigram—Revenge 144, 145
Mothers’ Darlings—Fathers’ Favourites 146, 147
Iter Academicum—A Story 148, 149
Anecdotes of Freshmen 150
Lord Eldon—Whissonset Church 151, 152
Boots—Yellow Stockings—Fashion Hair 153, 154
Barber dressed—First Prelate wore Wig 155, 159
Boots, Spurs, &c. prohibited at Oxon 159
Whipping, &c.—Flying Cambridge Barber 159, 160
Isthmus Suez—Drink for Church 160, 161
Good Appetite—College Quiz—The Greatest Calf 162, 163
Like Rabelais—Ambassadors King Jesus at Oxon 163, 164
Effort Intellect—Dr. Hallifax—Dr. Tucker 164, 165
Distich—Skeleton Sermons—Paid First 165, 166
In the Stocks—Hissing—Posing—Gross Pun 167, 168
Family Spintexts—Alcock—Barrow, Parr, &c. 169, 170
Three-headed Priest—Burnt to Cinder 171, 172
Cantab Invented Short-hand—Humble Petition of Ladies[Pg xii] 172, 173
Turn for Humour—Repartees—All over Germany 174, 175
Oxford and Cambridge Rebuses 175
Something in your way—Duns—Out of Debt 177
Queering a Dun—Gray and Warburton 179
Canons of Criticism—Bishop Barrington 181
Pulpit Admonition—Simplicity of great Minds 182
Singularities—Triple Discourse 184, 185
Traits of Lord Sandwich—Lapsus Linguæ 185, 186
Oxford and Cambridge Loyalty—Clubs, &c. 186, 189
Retrogradation—On-dit 190
Worcester Goblin—Cambridge Triposes 191, 192
Records of Cambridge Triposes—Wooden Spoon—Poll—Conceits of Porson, Vince, &c.     193, 194
Classical Triposes—Wooden Wedge—Disney’s Song 197, 198
A Dreadful Fit of Rheumatism 199
Parr an Ingrate—Le Diable—Critical Civilities 200, 201
Sir Busick and Sir Isaac again—Cole: Deum 201, 202
Freshman’s Puzzle 202
Sly Humourist—Noble Oxonian—Oxford Wag—Person of Gravity 203, 204
The Enough 204

[Pg 13]






“Oxford must from all antiquity have been either somewhere or nowhere. Where was it in the time of Tarquinius Priscus? If it was nowhere, it surely must have been somewhere. Where was it?”—Facetiæ Cant.

Here is a conundrum to unravel, or a nut to crack, compared to which the Dædalean Labyrinth was a farce. After so many of the learned have failed to extract the kernel, though by no means deficient in what Gall and Spurzheim would call jawitiveness (as their writings will sufficiently show,) I should approach it with “fear and trembling,” did I not remember the encouraging reproof of “Queen Bess” to Sir Walter Raleigh’s “Fain would I climb but that I fear to fall”—so dentals to the task, come what may. A new light has been thrown upon the subject of late, in an unpublished “Righte Merrie Comedie,” entitled “Trinity College, Cambridge,” from which I extract the following

[Pg 14]


When first our Alma Mater rose,
Though we must laud her and love her,
Nobody cares, and nobody knows,
And nobody can discover:
Some say a Spaniard, one Cantaber,
Christen’d her, or gave birth to her,
Or his daughter—that’s likelier, more, by far,
Though some honour king Brute above her.

Pythagoras, beans-consuming dog,
(’Tis the tongue of tradition that speaks,)
Built her a lecture-room fit for a hog,[2]
Where now they store cabbage and leeks:
And there mathematics he taught us, they say,
Till catching a cold on a dull rainy day,
He packed up his tomes, and he ran away
To the land of his fathers, the Greeks.

But our Alma Mater still can boast,
Although the old Grecian would go,
Of glorious names a mighty host,
You’ll find in Wood, Fuller and Coe:
Of whom I will mention but just a few—
Bacon, and Newton, and Milton will do:
There are thousands more, I assure you,
Whose honours encircle her brow.

Then long may our Alma Mater reign,
Of learning and science the star,
Whether she were from Greece or Spain,
Or had a king Brute for her Pa;
And with Oxon, her sister, for aye preside,
For it never was yet by man denied,
That the world can’t show the like beside,—
Let echo repeat it afar!

[2] The School of Pythagoras is an ancient building, situated behind St. John’s College, Cambridge, wherein the old Grecian, says tradition, lectured before Cambridge became a university. Whether those who say so lie under a mistake, as Tom Hood would say, I am not now going to inquire. At any rate, “sic transit,” the building is now a barn or storehouse for garden stuff. Those who would be further acquainted with this relique of by-gone days, may read a very interesting account of it extant in the Library of the British Museum, illustrated with engravings, and written by a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, to which society, says Wilson, in his Memorabilia Catabrigiæ, “it was given by Edward IV., who took it from King’s College, Cambridge. It is falsely supposed to have been one of the places where the Croyland Monks read lectures.”

[Pg 15]

It matters little whether we sons of Alma Mater sprung from the loins of Pythagoras, Cantaber, or the kings Brute and Alfred. They were all respectable in their way, so that we need not blush, “proh pudor,” to own their paternity. But let us hear what the cutting writer of Terræ Filius has to say on the subject. “Grievous and terrible has been the squabble, amongst our chronologers and genealogists concerning


What deluges of Christian ink have been shed on both sides in this weighty controversy, to prove which is the elder of the two learned and most ingenious ladies? It is wonderful to see that they should always be making themselves older than they really are; so contrary to most of their sex, who love to conceal their wrinkles and gray hairs as much as they can; whereas these two aged matrons are always quarrelling for seniority, and employing counsel to plead their causes for ’em. These are Old Nick Cantalupe and Caius on one side, and Bryan Twynne and Tony Wood on the other, who, with equal learning, deep penetration, and acuteness, have traced their ages back, God knows how far: one was born just after the siege of Troy, and the other several hundred years before Christ; since which time they have gone by as many names as the pretty little bantling at Rome, or the woman that was hanged t’other day in England, for having twenty-three husbands. Oxford, say they, was the daughter of Mempricius, an old British King, who called her from his own name, Caer Memprick, alias Greeklade, alias Leechlade, alias Rhidycen, alias Bellositum, alias Oxenforde, alias Oxford, as all great men’s children have several names. So was Cambridge, say others, the daughter of one Cantaber, a Spanish rebel and fugitive, who called her Caergrant, alias Cantabridge, alias Cambridge. But, that I may not affront either of these old ladies,” adds this facetious but sarcastic writer, “I will not take it upon me to decide which of the two hath most wrinkles * * * *. Who knows but they may be twins.”

Another authority, the author of the History of Cambridge, published by Ackermann, in 1815, says that

[Pg 16]


Had its origin in 1564, when Queen Elizabeth visited the University of Cambridge, and “the Public Orator, addressing Her Majesty, embraced the opportunity of extolling the antiquity of the University to which he belonged above that of Oxford. This occasioned Thomas Key, Master of University, College, Oxford, to compose a small treatise on the antiquity of his own University, which he referred to the fabulous period when the Greek professors accompanied Brute to England; and to the less ambiguous era of 870, when Science was invited to the banks of the Isis, under the auspices of the great Alfred. A MS. copy of this production of Thomas Key accidentally came into the hands of the Earl of Leicester, from whom it passed into those of Dr. John Caius (master and founder of Gonvile and Caius Colleges, Cambridge,) who, resolving not to be vanquished in asserting the chronological claims of his own University, undertook to prove the foundation of Cambridge by Cantaber, nearly four hundred years before the Christian era. He thus assigned the birth of Cambridge to more than 1200 anterior to that which had been secondarily ascribed to Oxford by the champion of that seat of learning; and yet it can be hardly maintained that he had the best of the argument, since the primary foundation by the son of Æneas, it is evident, remains unimpeached, and the name of Brute, to say the least of it, is quite as creditable as that of Cantaber. The work which Dr. John Caius published, though under a feigned name, along with that which it was written to refute, was entitled, ‘De Antiquitate Catabrigiensis Academiæ, libri ii. in quorum 2do. de Oxoniensis quoque gymnasii antiquitate disseritur, et Cantabrigiense longe eo antiquius esse definitur, Londinense Authore: adjunximus assertionem antiquitatis Oxoniensis Academiæ ab Oxoniensi quodam annis jam elapsis duobus ad reginam conscriptam in qua docere conatur, Oxoniense gymnasium Cantabrigiensi antiquius esse: ut ex collatione facile intelligas, utra sit antequior. Excusum Londini, A. D. 1568, Mense Augusto, per Henricum Bynnenum, 12mo.’” and is extant in the British Museum. As may [Pg 17] well be supposed by those who are acquainted with the progress of literary warfare, this work of Dr. John Caius drew from his namesake, Thomas Caius, a vindication of that which it was intended to refute; and this work he entitled “Thomæ Caii Vindiciæ Antiquitatis Academiæ Oxoniensis contra Joannem Caium Cantabrigiensem.” These two singular productions were subsequently published together by Hearne, the Oxford antiquary, who, with a prejudice natural enough, boasts that the forcible logic of the Oxford advocate “broke the heart and precipitated the death of his Cambridge antagonist.” In other words, Dr. John Caius, it is said,


On learning that his Oxford opponent had prepared a new edition of his work, to be published after his death, in which he was told were some arguments thought to bear hard on his own. “But this appears to have as little foundation as other stories of the kind,” says the editor of the History just quoted; “since it is not probable that Dr. John Caius ever saw the strictures which are said to have occasioned his death: for, as Thomas Caius died in 1572, they remained in MS. till they were published by Hearne in 1730;”—a conclusion, however, to which our learned historian seems to have jumped rather hastily, as it was just as possible that a MS. copy reached Dr. John Caius in the second as in the first case; and it is natural to suppose that the Oxford champion would desire it should be so. As a specimen of the manner in which such controversies are conducted, I conclude with the brief notice, that Tony Wood, as the author of Terræ-Fillius calls him, has largely treated of the subject in his Annals of Oxford, where he states, that


When compiling his work on the antiquity of the University of Cambridge, “thought he should be able to set abroad a new matter, that was never heard of before, for the advancement of his own town and University of Cambridge above Oxford;” but “hath done very little or nothing [Pg 18] else but renewed the old Crambe, and taken up Dr. Cay’s old song, running with him in his opinions and tenets, whom he before condemning of dotage, makes himself by consequence a dotard.” According to Sir Simon, “Valence College (i. e. Pembroke Hall) was the first endowed college in England;” “his avouching which,” says Wood, “is of no force;” and he, as might be expected, puts in a claim for his own college (Merton, of Oxford,) “which,” he adds, “Sir Simon might have easily known, had he been conversant with histories, was the oldest foundation in either University.” Therefore, “if the antiquity of Cambridge depends upon Valence College (or rather, upon Peter House,) and that house upon this distich, which stood for a public inscription in the parlour window thereof, it signifies nothing:—

“Qua præit Oxoniam Cancestria longa vetustas
Primatus a Petri dicitur orsa Domo.”

He finally overwhelms his opponent by adding, that Oxford became a public University in 1264, and that a bull for the purpose was obtained the previous year, Cambridge then “being but an obscure place of learning, if any at all.” Thus I have cracked Nut the First. Those who would add “sweets to the sweets” may find them in abundance in the writers I have named already; and the subject is treated of very learnedly by Dyer, in his Dedication to his “Privileges of the University of Cambridge.”


A learned living oriental scholar, and a senior fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge, who thinks less of journeying to Shiraz, Timbuctoo, or the Holy Land, than a Cockney would of a trip to Greenwich Fair or Bagnigge Wells, kept in the same court, in College, with a late tutor, now the amiable rector of Staple——t, in Kent. It was their daily practice, when in residence, to take a ramble together, by the footpaths, round by Granchester, and back to College by Trumpington, or to Madingley, or the Hills, [Pg 19] but more commonly the former; all delightful in their way, and well known to gownsmen for various associations. To one of these our College dons daily wended their way cogitating, for they never talked, it is said, over the omnia magna of Cambridge life. Their invariable practice was to keep moving at a stiff pace, some four or five yards in advance of each other. Our amiable tutor went one forenoon to call on Mr. P. before starting, as usual, and found his door sported. This staggered him a little. Mr. P.’s bed-maker chanced to come up at the instant. “Where is Mr. P.?” was his query. “Gone out, sir,” was the reply. “Gone out!” exclaimed Mr. H.; “Where to?” “To Jerusalem,” she rejoined. And to Jerusalem he was gone, sure enough; a circumstance of so little import in his eyes, who had seen most parts of the ancient world already, and filled the office of tutor to an Infanta of Spain, that he did not think it matter worth the notice of his College Chum. Other travellers, “vox et ratio,” as Horace says, would have had the circumstance bruited in every periodical in Christendom, “quinque sequuntur te pueri.”


Is attributed to the celebrated Lord Chesterfield, when a student of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he is said to have studied hard, and rose daily, in the depth of winter, at four or five. He one day met a drunken fellow in the streets of Cambridge, who refused him the wall, observing, “I never give the wall to a rascal.” “I do,” retorted his Lordship, moving out of the way. It was probably this incident that gave rise to the couplet—

“Base man to take the wall I ne’er permit.”
The scholar said, “I do;” and gave him it.

[Pg 20]


“Qui teneros CAULES alieni fregerit horti.”—Hor.

During the progress of a political meeting held in the town of Cambridge, it so happened that the late Dr. Mansel, then Public Orator of the University of Cambridge, but afterwards Master of Trinity College and Bishop of Bristol, came to the place of meeting just as Musgrave, the well known political tailor of his day, was in the midst of a most pathetic oration, and emphatically repeating, “Liberty, liberty, gentlemen—” He paused,—“Liberty is a plant—” “So is a cabbage!” exclaimed the caustic Mansel, before Musgrave had time to complete his sentence, with so happy an allusion to the trade of the tailor, that he was silenced amidst roars of laughter. Another instance of—


But by an Oxonian, a learned member of Christ Church, is recorded in the fact, that having, for near half a century, been accustomed to walk with a favourite stick, the ferule of which, at the bottom, came off, he took it to his tailor to have it repaired.


The famous antiquary, Thomas Baker, B.D. of St. John’s College, Cambridge, of which he was long Socius Ejectus, lays it down as a principle, in his admirable Reflections on Learning, “that if we had fewer books, we should have more learning.” It is singular that he never published but the one book named, though he has left behind him forty-two volumes of manuscripts, the greater part in the Harleian Collection, in the British Museum, principally relating to Cambridge, and all neatly written in his own hand.


When “honest Vere” Foster, as he is called by “mild [Pg 21] William,” his contemporary at College, and the grandfather of our celebrated traveller, Dr. Edward Daniel Clarke, was a student at Cambridge, where he was celebrated for his wit and humour, and for being a good scholar, St. John’s being looked upon as a Tory college, a young fellow, a student, reputed a Whig, was appointed to deliver an oration in the College Hall, on the 5th of November. This he did; but having, for some time, dwelt on the double deliverance of that day, in his peroration, he passed from King William to King George, on whom he bestowed great encomiums. When the speech was over, honest Vere and the orator being at table together, the former addressed the latter with, “I did not imagine, sir, that you would decline King George in your speech.” “Decline!” said the astonished orator; “what do you mean? I spoke very largely and handsomely of him.” “That is what I mean, too, sir,” said Vere: “for you had him in every case and termination: Georgius—Georgii—Georgio—Georgium—O Georgi!

Another of “honest Vere’s”


Is deserving a place in our treasury. He one day asked his learned college contemporary, Dr. John Taylor, editor of Demosthenes, “why he talked of selling his horse?” “Because,” replied the doctor, “I cannot afford to keep him in these hard times.” “You should keep a mare,” rejoined Foster, “according to Horace—

‘Æquam memento rebus in arduis


Soon after that great, good, and loyal son of Granta, Dr. Isaac Barrow, was made a prebend of Salisbury, says Dr. Pope, “I overheard him say, ‘I wish I had five hundred pounds.’ ‘That’s a large sum for a philosopher,’ observed Dr. Pope; ‘what would you do with so much?’ ‘I would,’ said he, ‘give it to my sister for a portion, that [Pg 22] would procure her a good husband.’ A few months after,” adds his memorialist, “he was made happy by receiving the above sum,” which he so much desired, “for putting a new life into the corps of his new prebend.”


Both Oxford and Cambridge have been famous for inveterate smokers. Amongst them was the learned Dr. Isaac Barrow, who said “it helped his thinking.” His illustrious pupil, Newton, was scarcely less addicted to the “Indian weed,” and every body has heard of his hapless courtship, when, in a moment of forgetfulness, he popped the lady’s finger into his burning pipe, instead of popping the question, and was so chagrined, that he never could be persuaded to press the matter further. Dr. Parr was allowed his pipe when he dined with the first gentleman in Europe, George the Fourth, and when refused the same indulgence by a lady at whose house he was staying, he told her, “she was the greatest tobacco-stopper he had ever met with.” The celebrated Dr. Farmer, of black-letter memory, preferred the comforts of the parlour of Emmanuel College, of which he was master, and a “yard of clay” (there were no hookahs in his day,) to a bishopric, which dignity he twice refused, when offered to him by Mr. Pitt. Another learned


And eke of wit, mirth, puns, and pleasantry, was the famous Dr. Aldrich, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, the never-to-be-forgotten composer of the good old catch—

“Hark, the merry Christ-Church bells,”

and of another to be sung by four men smoking their pipes, which is not more difficult to sing than diverting to hear. His pipe was his breakfast, dinner, and supper, and a student of Christ Church, at 10 o’clock one night, finding it difficult to persuade a “freshman” of the fact, laid him

[Pg 23]


That the Dean was at that instant smoking. Away he hurried to the deanery to decide the controversy, and on gaining admission, apologised for his intrusion by relating the occasion of it. “Well,” replied the Dean, in perfect good humour, with his pipe in his hand, “you see you have lost your wager: for I am not smoking, but filling my pipe.”


Bishop Watson says, in his valuable Chemical Essays, that “Sir Isaac Newton and Dr. Bentley met accidentally in London, and on Sir Isaac’s inquiring what philosophical pursuits were carrying on at Cambridge, the doctor replied, “None; for when you are a-hunting, Sir Isaac, you kill all the game; you have left us nothing to pursue.” “Not so,” said the philosopher, “you may start a variety of game in every bush, if you will but take the trouble to beat it.” “And so in truth it is,” adds Dr. W.; “every object in nature affords occasion for philosophical experiment.”


The Editor of the Literary Panorama, says Corneille Le Bruyer, the famous Dutch painter, relates, that “happening one day to dine at the table of Newton, with other foreigners, when the dessert was sent up, Newton proposed, ‘a health to the men of every country who believed in a God;’ which,” says the editor, “was drinking the health of the whole human race.” Equal to this was


The celebrated naturalist and divine, who (when ejected from his fellowship of Trinity College, Cambridge, for non-conformity, and, for the same reason, being no longer at [Pg 24] liberty to exercise his clerical functions as a preacher of the Gospel,) turned to the pursuit of the sciences of natural philosophy and botany for consolation. “Because I could no longer serve God in the church,” said this great and good man (in his Preface to the Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of the Creation,) “I thought myself more bound to do it by my writings.”


Is a tradition of many ages’ standing, but the origin of the celebrated statue of his Satanic Majesty, which of erst overlooked Lincoln College, Oxford, is not so certain as that the effigy was popular, and gave rise to the saying. After outstanding centuries of hot and cold, jibes and jeers, “cum multis aliis,” to which stone, as well as flesh, is heir, it was taken down on the 15th of November, 1731, says a writer in the Gentleman’s Magazine, having lost its head in a storm about two years previously, at the same time the head was blown off the statue of King Charles the First, which overlooked Whitehall.


Tom Warton relates, in his somewhat rambling Life of Dr. Ralph Bathurst, President of Trinity College, Oxford, that Dr. Radcliffe was a student of Lincoln College when Dr. B. presided over Trinity; but notwithstanding their difference of age and distance of situation, the President used to visit the young student at Lincoln College “merely for the smartness of his conversation.” During one of these morning or evening calls, Dr. B. observing the embryo physician had but few books in his chambers, asked him “Where was his study?” upon which young Radcliffe replied, pointing to a few books, a skeleton, and a herbal, “This, Sir, is Radcliffe’s library.” Tom adds the following

[Pg 25]


When the Doctor was Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, a captain of a company, who had fought bravely in the cause of his royal master, King Charles the First, being recommended to him for the degree of D.C.L., the doctor told the son of Mars he could not confer the degree, “but he would apply to his majesty to give him a regiment of horse!”


An instrument of correction not entirely laid aside in our universities in his time; but (says Tom) he only “delighted to surprise scholars, when walking in the grove at unseasonable hours. This he practised,” adds Warton, “on account of the pleasure he took in giving so odd an alarm, rather than from any principle of reproving, or intention of applying so illiberal a punishment.” One thing is certain, that in the statutes of Trinity College, Oxford (as late as 1556,) scholars of the foundation are ordered to be


“Dr. Potter,” says Aubery, while a tutor of the above college, “whipped his pupil with his sword by his side, when he came to take his leave of him to go to the Inns of Court.” This was done to make him a smart fellow. “In Sir John Fane’s collection of letters of the Paston family, written temp. Henry VI.,” says the author of the Gradus ad Catabrigiam, “we find one of the gentle sex prescribing for her son, who was at Cambridge,” no doubt with a maternal anxiety that he should


as follows:—“Prey Grenefield to send me faithfully worde by wrytyn, who (how) Clemit Paston hathe do his dever i’ lernying, and if he hath nought do well, nor will nought amend, prey hym that he wyll truely BELASH hym tyl he wyll amend, and so dyd the last mastyr, and the best eu’ he had at Cambridge.” And that Master Grenefield might not [Pg 26] want due encouragement, she concludes with promising him “X m’rs,” for his pains. We do not, however, learn how many marks young Master Clemit received, who certainly took more pains.—Patiendo non faciendoFerendo non feriendo.


over the buttery-hatch of Christ-College, Cambridge, and, as Dr. Johnson insinuates in his Life, was the last Cambridge student so castigated in either university. The officer who performed this fundamental operation was Dr. Thomas Bainbrigge, the master of Christ’s College. But as it was at a later date that Dr. Ralph Bathurst carried his whip, according to our friend Tom’s showing, to surprise the scholars, it is therefore going a great length to give our “Prince of Poets” the sole merit of being the last smart fellow that issued from the halls of either Oxford or Cambridge, handsome as he was.

The following celebrated


Printed, says the Oxford Sausage, “from the original MSS. preserved in the ARCHIVES of the Jelly-bag Society,” is somewhere said to have been written by Dr. Ralph Bathurst, when an Oxford scholar:—

One day in Christ-church meadows walking,
Of poetry and such things talking,
Says Ralph, a merry wag,
An EPIGRAM, if right and good,
In all its circumstances should
Be like a JELLY-BAG.

Your simile, I own, is new,
But how dost make it out? quoth Hugh.
Quoth Ralph, I’ll tell you, friend:
Make it at top both wide and fit
To hold a budget full of wit,
And point it at the end.

[Pg 27]


A party of Oxford scholars were one evening carousing at the Star Inn, when a waggish student, a stranger to them, abruptly introduced himself, and seeing he was not “one of us,” they all began to quiz him. This put him upon his mettle, and besides boasting of other accomplishments, he told them, in plain terms, that he could write Greek or Latin Verses better, and was, in short, an over-match for them at any thing. Upon this, one of the party exclaimed, “You have told us a great deal of what you can do, tell us something you can’t do?” “Well,” he retorted, “I’ll tell you what I can’t do—I can’t pay my reckoning!” This sally won him a hearty welcome.


About 1550, whilst the famous Richard Cox, Bishop of Ely, was Dean of Christ-church, Oxford, says Cole, in his Athenæ Cant., “he brought his wife into the college, who, with the wife of Peter Martyr, a canon of the same cathedral, were observed to be the first women ever introduced into a cloister or college, and, upon that account, gave no small scandal at the time.” This reminds me of an anecdote that used to amuse the under-grads in my day at Cambridge. A certain D.D., head of a college, a bachelor, and in his habits retired to a degree of solitariness, in an unlucky moment gave a lady that did not want twice bidding, not bill of exchange, but a running invitation to the college lodge, to be used at pleasure. She luckily seized the long vacation for making her appearance, when there were but few students in residence; but to the confusion of our D.D., her ten daughters came en traine, and the college was not a little scandalized by their playing shuttlecock in the open court—the lady was in no haste to go. Report says sundry hints were given in vain. She took his original invite in its literal sense, to “suit her own convenience.” The anxiety he endured threw our modest D.D. in to a sick-bed, and not relishing the office of nurse [Pg 28] to a bachelor of sixty years’ standing, she decamped, + her ten daughters.


In the days that are past, by the side of a stream,
Where waters but softly were flowing,
With ivy o’ergrown an old mansion-house stood,
That was built on the skirts of a chilling damp wood,
Where the yew-tree and cypress were growing.

The villagers shook as they passed by the doors,
When they rested at eve from their labours;
And the traveller many a furlong went round,
If his ears once admitted the terrific sound,
Of the tale that was told by the neighbours.

They said, “that the house in the skirts of the wood
By a saucer-eyed ghost was infested,
Who filled every heart with confusion and fright,
By assuming strange shapes at the dead of the night,
Shapes monstrous, and foul, and detested.”

And truly they said, and the monster well knew,
That the ghost was the greatest of evils;
For no sooner the bell of the mansion toll’d one,
Than the frolicksome imp in a fury begun
To caper like ten thousand devils.

He appeared in forms the most strange and uncouth,
Sure never was goblin so daring!
He utter’d loud shrieks and most horrible cries,
Curst his body and bones, and his sweet little eyes,
Till his impudence grew beyond bearing.

Just at this nick o’ time, when the master’s sad heart
With anguish and sorrow was swelling,
He heard that a scholar with science complete,
Full of magical lore as an egg’s full of meat,
At Cambridge had taken a dwelling.

The scholar was versed in all magical arts,
Most famous was he throughout college;
To the Red Sea full oft many an unquiet ghost,
To repose with King Pharaoh and his mighty host
He had sent through his powerful knowledge.

To this scholar so learn’d the master he went,
And as lowly he bent with submission,
[Pg 29]Told the freaks of the horrible frights
That prevented his household from resting at nights,
And offered this humble petition:—

“That he, the said scholar, in wisdom so wise,
Would the mischievous fiend lay in fetters;
Would send him in torments for ever to dwell,
In the nethermost pit of the nethermost hell,
For destroying the sleep of his betters.”

The scholar so versed in all magical lore,
Told the master his pray’r should be granted;
He ordered his horse to be saddled with speed,
And perch’d on the back of his cream colour’d steed,
Trotted off to the house that was haunted.

“Bring me turnips and milk!” the scholar he cried,
In voice like the echoing thunder:
He brought him some turnips and suet beside,
Some milk and a spoon, and his motions they eyed,
Quite lost in conjecture and wonder.

He took up the turnips, and peel’d off the skins,
Put them into a pot that was boiling;
Spread a table and cloth, and made ready to sup,
Then call’d for a fork, and the turnips fished up
In a hurry, for they were a-spoiling.

He mash’d up the turnips with butter and milk:
The hail at the casement ’gan clatter!
Yet this scholar ne’er heeded the tempest without,
But raising his eyes, and turning about,
Asked the maid for a small wooden platter.

He mash’d up the turnips with butter and salt,
The storm came on thicker and faster—
The lightnings went flash, and with terrific din
The wind at each crevice and cranny came in,
Tearing up by the root lath and plaster.

He mash’d up the turnips with nutmegs and spice,
The mess would have ravish’d a glutton;
When lo! with sharp bones hardly covered with skin,
The ghost from a nook o’er the window peep’d in,
In the form of a boil’d scrag of mutton.

“Ho! Ho!” said the ghost, “what art doing below?”
The scholar peep’d up in a twinkling—
“The times are too hard to afford any meat,
So to render my turnips more pleasant to eat,
A few grains of pepper I’m sprinkling.”
[Pg 30]
Then he caught up a fork, and the mutton he seiz’d,
And soused it at once in the platter;
Threw o’er it some salt and a spoonful of fat,
And before the poor ghost could tell what he was at,
He was gone like a mouse down the throat of a cat,
And this is the whole of the matter.


Doctor John Franklin, Fellow and Master of Sidney College, Cambridge, 1730, “a very fat, rosy-complexioned man,” dying soon after he was made Dean of Ely, and being succeeded by Dr. Ellis, “a meagre, weasel-faced, swarthy, black man,” the Fenman of Ely, says (Cole) in allusion thereto, out of vexation at being so soon called upon for recognition money, made the following humorous distitch:—

“The Devil took our Dean,
And pick’d his bones clean;
Then clapt him on a board,
And sent him back again.”


“Two of a trade can ne’er agree,
No proverb e’er was juster;
They’ve ta’en down Bishop Blaize, d’ye see,
And put up Bishop Bluster.”

Dr. Mansel, on Bishop Watson’s head becoming
a signboard, in Cambridge, in lieu of the
ancient one of Bishop Blaize.
, p. 7.

Sir Isaac Pennington and Sir Busick Harwood were cotemporary at Cambridge. The first as Regius Professor of Physic and Senior Fellow of St. John’s College, the other was Professor of Anatomy and Fellow of Downing College. Both were eminent in their way, but seldom agreed, and held each other’s abilities pretty cheap, some say in sovereign contempt. Sir Busick was once called in by the friends of a patient that had been under Sir Isaac’s care, but had obtained small relief, anxious to hear his opinion of the malady. Not approving of the treatment pursued, [Pg 31] he inquired “who was the physician in attendance,” and on being told, exclaimed—“He! If he were to descend into a patient’s stomach with a candle and lantern, he would not have been able to name the complaint!”


Was hit off, it is supposed, not by Dean Swift or wicked Will Whiston, but by Bishop Mansel, as follows:—

Sir Isaac,
Sir Busick;
Sir Busick,
Sir Isaac;
’Twould make you and I sick
To taste their physick.

Another, perhaps the same Cambridge wag, penned the following quaternion on Sir Isaac, which appeared under the title of


When Pennington for female ills indites,
Studying alone not what, but how he writes,
The ladies, as his graceful form they scan,
Cry, with ill-omen’d rapture, “killing man!”

But Sir Isaac, too, was a wit, and chanced on a time to be one of a Cambridge party, amongst whom was a rich old fellow, an invalid, who was too mean to buy an opinion on his case, and thought it a good opportunity to worm one out of Sir Isaac gratis. He accordingly seized the opportunity for reciting the whole catalogue of his ills, ending with, “what would you advise me to take, my dear Sir Isaac?” “I should recommend you to take advice,” was the reply.


Whose very name conjures up the spirits of ten thousand wits, holding both sides, over a copus of Trinity ale and a classical pun, would not only frequently “steal a few hours from the night,” but see out both lights and liquids, [Pg 32] and seem none the worse for the carouse. He had one night risen for the purpose of reaching his hat from a peg to depart, after having finished the port, sherry, gin-store, &c., when he espied a can of beer, says Dyer, (surely it must have been audit,) in a corner. Restoring his hat to its resting place, he reseated himself with the following happy travestie of the old nursery lines—

“When wine is gone, and ale is spent,
Then small beer is most excellent.”

It was no uncommon thing for his gyp to enter his room with Phœbus, and find him still en robe, with no other companions but a Homer, Æschylus, Plato, and a dozen or two other old Grecians surrounding an empty bottle, or what his late Royal Highness the Duke of York would have styled “a marine,” id est “a good fellow, who had done his duty, and was ready to do it again.” Upon his gyp once peeping in before day light, and finding him still up, Porson answered his “quod petis?” (whether he wanted candles or liquor,) with

ου τοδε ουδ’ αλλο.

Scotticè—neither Toddy nor Tallow.

At another time, when asked what he would drink? he replied?—“aliquid” (a liquid.)

He was once


That he could pun upon anything, when he was challenged to do so upon the Latin Gerunds, and exclaimed, after a pause—

“When Dido found Æneas would not come.
She mourned in silence, and was Di-do-dum(b).”


The late amiable, learned, and pious Bishop Heber was not above a pun in his day, notwithstanding Dr. Johnson’s anathema, that a man who made a pun would pick a pocket. Among the jeux des mots attributed to him are the following: he was one day dining with an Oxford party, comprises the élite of his day, and when the servant was [Pg 33] in the act of removing the table-cloth from off the green table-covering, at the end of their meal, he exclaimed, in the words of Horace—

“Diffugere nives: redeunt jam gramina campis.”

At another time he made one of a party of Oxonians, amongst whom was a gentleman of great rotundity of person, on which account he had acquired the soubriquet of ‘heavy-a—se;’ and he was withal of very somniferous habits, frequently dozing in the midst of a conversation that would have made the very glasses tingle with delight. He had fallen fast asleep during the time a mirth-moving subject was recited by one of the party, but woke up just at the close, when all save himself were “shaking fat sides,” and on his begging to know the subject of their laughter, Heber let fly at him in pure Horatian—

“Exsomnis stupet Evias.”

The mirth-loving Dr. Barnard, late Provost of Eton, was cotemporary, at Cambridge, with


Who, then a student of St. John’s College, used to frequent the same parties that Barnard did, who was of King’s. Barnard used to taunt him with his stupidity; “and,” said Judge Hardinge, who records the anecdote, “he one day half killed Barnard with laughter, who had been taunting him, as usual, with the simplicity of the following excuse and remonstrance: You are always running your rigs upon me and calling me ‘stupid fellow;’ and it is very cruel, now, that’s what it is; for you don’t consider that a broad-wheeled wagon went over my head when I was ten years old.” And here I must remark upon the injustice of persons reflecting upon the English Universities, as their enemies often do, because every man who succeeds in getting a degree does not turn out a Porson or a Newton. I knew one Cantab, a Caius man, to whom writing a letter to his friends was such an effort, that he used to get his medical attendant to give him an ægrotat (put him on the sick list,) and, besides,

[Pg 34]


till the momentous task was accomplished. And two Oxonians were of late


Because one being asked, “Who was the Mediator, between God and man?” answered, “The Archbishop of Canterbury.” The other being questioned as to “why our Saviour sat on the right hand of God?” replied, “Because the Holy Ghost sat on the left.”


“The men of Exeter College, Oxon,” says Fuller, in his Church History, “consisted chiefly of Cornish and Devonshire men, the gentry of which latter, Queen Elizabeth used to say, are courtiers by birth. And as these western men do bear away the bell for might and sleight in wrestling, so the scholars here have always acquitted themselves with credit in Palæstra literaria.”

And writing of this society reminds me that


Is a living example of the fact, that it does not require great learning to make a great general; nor is great learning always necessary to complete the character of the head of a college. The late Rector of Exeter College, Dr. Cole, raised that society, by his prudent management, from the very reduced rank in which he found it amongst the other foundations of Oxford, to a flourishing and high reputation for good scholarship. Yet he is said one day to have complimented a student at collections, by saying, after the gentleman had construed his portion of Sophocles, “Sir, you have construed your Livy very well.” He nevertheless redeemed his credit by one day posing a student, during his divinity examination, with asking him, in vain, “What Christmas day was?” Another Don of the same college, once asking a student of the society some divinity question, which he was [Pg 35] equally at a loss for an answer, he exclaimed—“Good God, sir, you the son of a clergyman, and not answer such a question as that?” Aristotle was of opinion that knowledge could only be acquired, but our tutor seems to have thought, like the opponents of Aristotle, that a son of a parson ought to be born to it.


Whom I knew, yet was by no means deficient in scholastic learning, and withal a great wag. He was asked, at the divinity examination, how many sacraments there were. This happened at the time that the Catholic question was in the high road to the House of Lords, under the auspices of the Duke of Wellington, and he had been cramming his upper story with abundance of Catholic Faith from the writings of Faber, Gandolphy, and the Bishops of Durham and Exeter. “How many sacraments are there, sir?” repeated the Examiner (of course referring to the Church of England.) The student paused on, and the question was repeated a second time; “Why—a—suppose—we—a—say half a dozen,” was the reply. It is needless to add he was plucked. The following


Is attributed to a certain D.D. of Exeter, who, having undertaken to lionize one of the foreign princes of the many that accompanied the late king and the sovereigns of Russia and Prussia to Oxford, in 1814, a difficulty arose between them as to their medium of communication; the prince being ignorant of the English language, and the doctor no less so with respect to modern foreign languages. In this dilemma the latter proposed an interchange of ideas by means of the fingers, in the following unique address:—“Intelligisne colloquium cum digitalibus tuis?

It would be somewhat awkward for certain alumni if his Grace of Wellington should issue an imperative decree, as Chancellor,


(As Wood says, in his annals, the famous Archbishop Bancroft [Pg 36] did, on being raised to the dignity of Chancellor of Oxford in 1608,) “By the students in their halls and colleges, whereby,” said his Grace, “the young as well as the old may be inured to a ready and familiar delivery of their minds in that language, whereof there was now so much use both in studies and common conversation; for it was now observed (and so it may in these present times, adds Wood,) that it was a great blemish to the learned men of this nation, that they being complete in all good knowledge, yet they were not able promptly and aptly to express themselves in Latin, but with hesitation and circumlocution, which ariseth only from disuse.”


Dr. Fothergill, when Provost of Queen’s College, Oxford, was a singular as well as a learned man, and would not have been seen abroad minus his wig and gown for a dukedom. One night a fire broke out in the lodge, which spread with such rapidity, that it was with difficulty Mrs. F. and family escaped the fury of the flames; and this she no sooner did than, naturally enough, the question was, “Where is the Doctor?” No Doctor was to be found; and the cry was he had probably perished in the flames. All was bustle, and consternation, and tears, till suddenly, to the delight of all, he emerged from the burning pile, full-dressed, as usual, his wig something the worse for being nearly ‘done to a turn;’ but he deemed it indecorous for him to appear otherwise, though he stayed to robe at the risk of his life.


The living Cambridge worthy, William Sydney Walker, M.A. (who at the age of sixteen wrote the successful tragedy of Wallace, and recently vacated his fellowship at Trinity College “for conscience-sake,”) walking hastily round the corner of a street in Cambridge, in his peculiarly near-sighted sidling hasty manner, he suddenly came in contact with the blind muffin-man who daily perambulates [Pg 37] the town. The concussion threw both upon their haunches. “Don’t you see I’m blind?” exclaimed the muffin-man, in great wrath. “How should I,” rejoined the learned wag, “when I’m blind too.”


Upon the death of a provost of King’s College, Cambridge, the fellows are obliged, according to their statutes, to be shut up in their celebrated chapel till they have agreed upon the election of a successor, a custom not unlike that to which the cardinals are subject at Rome, upon the death of a pope, where not uncommonly some half dozen are brought out dead before an election takes place. “The following is a comic picture of an election,” says Judge Hardinge, in Nichols’s Illustrations of Literature, from the pen of Daniel Wray, Esq. dated from Cambridge, the 19th of January, 1743. “The election of a provost of King’s is over—Dr. George is the man. The fellows went into chapel on Monday, before noon in the morning, as the statute directs. After prayers and sacrament, they began to vote:—22 for George; 16 for Thackery; 10 for Chapman. Thus they continued, scrutinizing and walking about, eating and sleeping; some of them smoking. Still the same numbers for each candidate, till yesterday about noon (for they held that in the forty-eight hours allowed for the election no adjournment could be made,) when the Tories, Chapman’s friends, refusing absolutely to concur with either of the other parties, Thackery’s votes went over to George by agreement, and he was declared. A friend of mine, a curious fellow, tells me he took a survey of his brothers at two o’clock in the morning, and that never was a more curious or a more diverting spectacle: some wrapped in blankets, erect in their stalls like mummies; others asleep on cushions, like so many Gothic tombs. Here a red cap over a wig, there a face lost in the cape of a rug; one blowing a chafing-dish with a surplice-sleeve; another warming a little negus, or [Pg 38] sipping Coke upon Littleton, i. e. tent and brandy. Thus did they combat the cold of that frosty night, which has not killed any one of them, to my infinite surprise.” One of the fellows of King’s engaged in this election was Mr. C. Pratt, afterwards Lord High Chancellor of England, and father of the present Marquis of Camden, who, writing to his amiable and learned friend and brother Etonian and Kingsman, Dr. Sneyd Davies, archdeacon of Derby, &c. in the January of the above year, says, “Dear Sneyd we are all busy in the choice of a provost. George and Thackery are the candidates. George has all the power and weight of the Court interest, but I am for Thackery, so that I am at present a patriot, and vehemently declaim against all unstatutable influence. The College are so divided, that your friends the Tories may turn the balance if they will; but, if they should either absent themselves or nominate a third man, Chapman, for example, Thackery will be discomfited. Why are not you a doctor? We could choose you against all opposition. However, I insist upon it, that you shall qualify yourself against the next vacancy, for since you will not come to London, and wear lawn sleeves, you may stay where you are, and be provost,”—which he did not live to be, though he did take his D.D.


A writer in an early volume of the Gentleman’s Magazine has stated, that “the Christian name is never used in the university with the addition of Sir, but the surname only.” Cole says, in reply, “This is certainly so at Cambridge. Yet when Bachelors of Arts get into the country, it is quite the reverse; for then, whether curates, chaplains, vicars, or rectors, they are constantly styled Sir, or Dominus, prefixed to both their names, to distinguish them from Masters of Arts, or Magistri. This may be seen,” he says, “in innumerable instances in the lists of incumbents in New Court, &c.” And, he adds, addressing himself to that illustrious character, Sylvanus Urban, “I could [Pg 39] produce a thousand others from the wills, institutions, &c. in the diocese of Ely, throughout the whole reign of Henry VIII. and for many years after, till the title was abandoned, and are never called Sir Evans, or Sir Martext, as in the university they would be, according to your correspondent’s opinion, but invariably Sir Hugh Evans and Sir Oliver Martext, &c. The subject,” adds this pleasant chronicler, “‘seria ludo,’ puts me in mind of a very pleasant story, much talked of when I was first admitted of the university, which I know to be fact, as I since heard Mr. Greene, the dean of Salisbury, mention it. The dean was at that time only Bachelor of Arts, and Fellow of Bene’t College, where Bishop Mawson was master, and then, I think, Bishop of Llandaff, who, being one day at Court, seeing Mr. Greene come into the drawing-room, immediately accosted him, pretty loud, in this manner, How do you do, Sir Greene? When did you leave College, Sir Greene? Mr. Greene was quite astonished, and the company present much more so, as not comprehending the meaning of the salutation or title, till Mr. Greene explained it, and also informed them,” observes Cole, with his accustomed fulness of information, “of the worthy good bishop’s absences.”


Fuller relates in his Abel Redivivus, that the celebrated President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Dr. John Rainolds, the contemporary of Jewel and Usher, had a controversy with one William Gager, a student of Christ-Church, who contended for the lawfulness of stage-plays; and the same Gager, he adds, maintained, horresco referens! in a public act in the university, that “it was lawful for husbands to beat their wives.”


Is contained in Antony Wood’s “angry account” of the [Pg 40] alterations made in Merton College, of which he was a fellow, during the wardenship of Sir Thomas Clayton, whose lady, says Wood, “did put the college to unnecessary charges and very frivolous expenses, among which were a very large looking-glass, for her to see her ugly face, and body to the middle, * * * * * which was brought in Hilary terme, 1674, and cost, as the bursar told me, above 10£.; a bedstead and bedding, worth 40£., must also be bought, because the former bedstead and bedding was too short for him (he being a tall man,) so perhaps when a short warden comes, a short bed must be bought.” There were also other


When the Vandals of Parliamentary visiters, in Cromwell’s time, perpetrated their spoliations at Oxford, one of them, Sir Nathaniel Brent, says Wood, actually “took down the rich hangings at the altar of the chapel, and ornamented his bedchamber with them.”


The late vice-master of Trinity College, Cambridge, the Rev. William Hodson, B.D., and the late Regius Professor of Hebrew, the Rev. William Collier, B.D., who had also been tutor of Trinity College, were both skilled in the science of music, and constant visiters at the quartett parties of Mr. Sharp, of Green Street, Cambridge, organist of St. John’s College. The former happened one evening to enter Mr. Sharp’s sanctum sanctorum, rather later than usual, and found the two latter just in the act of discussing a brace of roast ducks, with a bowl of punch in the background. He was pressed to join them. “No, no, gentlemen,” was his reply, “give me a glass of water and a crust. You know not what you are doing. You are digging your graves with your teeth.” Both gentlemen, however, out-lived him.

[Pg 41]


The late master of Clare Hall, Cambridge, Dr. Torkington, was one evening stopped by a footpad or pads, in the neighbourhood of Cambridge, when riding at an humble pace on his old Rosinante, which had borne him through many a long year. Both horse and master were startled by the awful tones in which the words, “Stand, and deliver!” were uttered, to say nothing of the flourish of a shillelah, or something worse, and an unsuccessful attempt to grab the rein. The horse, declining acquiescence, set off at a good round pace, and thus saved his master; an act for which the old doctor was so grateful, that he never suffered it to be rode again, but had it placed in a paddock, facing his lodge, on the banks of the Cam, where, with a plentiful supply of food, and his own daily attentions, it lingered out the remnant of life, and “liv’d at home at ease.”


At the time the celebrated Archbishop Sharp was at Oxford, it was the custom in that University, as likewise in Cambridge, for students to have a chum or companion, who not only shared the sitting-room with each other, but the bed also; and a writer, speaking of the University of Cambridge, says, one of the colleges was at one period so full, that when writing a letter, the students were obliged to hold their hand over it, to prevent its contents being seen. Archbishop Sharp, when an Oxford Scholar, was awoke in the night by his chum lying by his side, who told him he had just dreamed a most extraordinary dream; which was, that he (Sharp) would be an Archbishop of York. After some time, he again awoke him, and said he had dreamt the same, and was well assured he would arrive at that dignity. Sharp, extremely angry at being thus disturbed, told him if he awoke him any more, he would send him out of bed. However, his chum, again dreaming the same, ventured to awake him; on which Sharp became [Pg 42] much enraged; but his bed-fellow telling him, if he had again the same dream he would not annoy him any more, if he would faithfully promise him, should he ever become archbishop, to give him a good rectory, which he named. “Well, well,” said Sharp, “you silly fellow, go to sleep; and if your dream, which is very unlikely, should come true, I promise you the living.” “By that time,” said his chum, “you will have forgot me and your promise.” “No, no,” says Sharp, “that I shall not; but, if I do not remember you, and refuse you the living, then say John Sharp is a rogue.” After Dr. Sharp had been archbishop some time, his old friend (his chum) applied to him (on the said rectory being vacant,) and, after much difficulty, got admitted to his presence, having been informed by the servant, that the archbishop was particularly engaged with a gentleman relative to the same rectory for which he was going to apply. The archbishop was told there was a clergyman who was extremely importunate to see him, and would take no denial. His Grace, extremely angry, ordered him to be admitted, and requested to know why he had so rudely almost forced himself into his presence. “I come,” says he, “my Lord, to claim an old promise, the rectory of ——.” “I do not remember, sir, ever to have seen you before; how, then, could I have promised you the rectory, which I have just presented to this gentleman?” “Then,” says his old chum, “John Sharp is a rogue!” The circumstance was instantly roused in the mind of the archbishop, and the result was, he provided liberally for his dreaming chum in the Church.


“In the year 1821,” says Parke, in his Musical Memoirs, “I occasionally dined with a pupil of mine, Mr. Knight, who had lately left college. This young man (who played the most difficult pieces on the flute admirably) and his brother Cantabs, when they met, were very fond of relating the wild tricks for which the students of the University of Cambridge are celebrated. The following [Pg 43] relation of one will convey some idea,” he says, “of their general eccentricity:—A farmer, who resided at a considerable distance from Cambridge, but who had, nevertheless, heard of the excesses committed by the students, having particular business in the before-mentioned seat of the Muses, together with a strong aversion to entering it, took his seat on the roof of the coach, and, being engrossed with an idea of danger, said to the coachman, who was a man of few words, ‘I’ze been towld that the young gentlemen at Cambridge be wild chaps.’ ‘You’ll see,’ replied the coachman; ‘and,’ added the farmer, ‘that it be hardly safe to be among ’em.’ ‘You’ll see,’ again replied the coachman. During the journey the farmer put several other interrogatories to the coachman, which was answered, as before, with ‘You’ll see!’ When they had arrived in the High Street of Cambridge, Mr. Knight had a party of young men at his lodgings, who were sitting in the first floor, with the windows all open, and a large China bowl full of punch before them, which they had just broached. The noise made by their singing and laughing, attracting the notice and exciting the fears of the farmer, he again, addressing his taciturn friend, the coachman, (whilst passing close under the window,) said with great anxiety, ‘Are we all safe, think ye?’ when, before the master of the whip had time to utter his favourite monosyllables, ‘You’ll see,’ bang came down, on the top of the coach, bowl, punch, glasses, &c. to the amazement and terror of the farmer, who was steeped in his own favourite potation. ‘There,’ said coachee (who had escaped a wetting,) ‘I said as how you’d see!’”


When Gray produced his famous Ode for the installation of his patron, the late Duke of Grafton, a production, it is observed, which would have been more admired, had it “not been surpassed by his two masterpieces, the Bard, and the Progress of Poetry,” being possessed of a very accurate [Pg 44] taste for music, which he had formed on the Italian model, he weighed every note of the composer’s music, (the learned Cambridge professor, Dr. Randall,) with the most critical exactness, and kept the composer in attendance upon him, says Dyer, in his Supplement, for three months. Gray was, indeed, a thorough disciple of the Italian school of music, whilst the professor was an ardent admirer of the sublime compositions of Handel, whose noise, it is stated, Gray could not bear; but after the professor had implicitly followed his views till he came to the chorus, Gray exclaimed, “I have now done, and leave you to make as much noise as you please.” This fine composition is still in MS. in the hands of the Doctor’s son, Mr. Edward Randall, of the town of Cambridge.


Gray was not the only modern poet of deserved celebrity, which Peter-House had the honour to foster in her cloisters. A late Fellow of that Society, named Kendal, “a person of a wild and deranged state of mind,” says Dyer, but, it must be confessed, with much method in his madness, during his residence in Cambridge, “occasionally poured out, extemporaneously, the most beautiful effusions,” but the paucity of the number preserved have almost left him without a name, though meriting a niche in Fame’s temple. I therefore venture to repeat the following, with his name, that his genius may live with it:—

The town have found out different ways,
To praise its different Lears:
To Barry it gives loud huzzas,
To Garrick only tears.

He afterwards added this exquisite effusion:—

A king,—aye, every inch a king,—
Such Barry doth appear;
But Garrick’s quite another thing,
He’s every inch King Lear.

[Pg 45]


An ancient cup of silver gilt is preserved by this society, which was given to them by the noble foundress of their college, Lady Mary de St. Paul, daughter of Guy de Castillon, Earl of St. Paul, in France, and widow of Audomar de Valentia, Earl of Pembroke, who is said to have been killed in a tournament, held in France, in 1323, in honour of their wedding day,—an accident, says Fuller, by which she was “a maid, a wife, and a widow, in one day.” Lysons in his second volume, has given an engraved delineation of this venerable goblet; the foot of which, says Cole, in the forty-second volume of his MSS. “stands on a large circle, whose upper rim is neatly ornamented with small fleurs de lis, in open work, and looks very like an ancient coronet.” On a large rim, about the middle of the cup, is a very ancient embossed inscription; which, says the same authority, in 1773, “not a soul in the College could read, and the tradition of it was forgotten;” but he supposes it to run:—

Sayn Denis’ yt es me dere for his lof drenk and mak gud cher.

The other inscription is short, and has an M. and V. above the circle; “which,” adds Cole, “I take to mean, God help at need Mary de Valentia.” At the bottom of the inside of the cup is an embossed letter M. This he does not comprehend; but says it may possibly stand for Mementote. “Dining in Pembroke College Hall, New Year’s Day, 1773,” he adds, “the grace cup of silver gilt, the founder’s gift to her college, was produced at the close of dinner, when, being full of sweet wine, the old custom is here, as in most other colleges, for the Master, at the head of the long table, to rise, and, standing on his feet, to drink, In piam memoriam (Fundatricis,) to his neighbour on his right hand, and, who is also to be standing. When the Master has drunk, he delivers the cup to him he drank to, and sits down; and the other, having the cup, drinks to his opposite neighbour, who stands up while the other is drinking; and thus alternately till it has gone quite through the company, two always standing at a time. It is of no large capacity, and is often replenished.”

This is not unlike[Pg 46]


of the Mertonians, as they call it (says Mr. Pointer,) from a barbarous Latin word derived from Tertius, because there are always three standing at a time. The custom, he says, is a loyal one, and arises from their drinking the King and Queen’s health standing (at dinner) on some extraordinary days (called Gaudies, from the Latin word Gaudeo, to rejoice,) to show their loyalty. There are always three standing at a time the first not sitting down again till the second has drank to a third man. The same loyal custom, under different forms, prevails in all colleges in both Universities. At the Inns of Court, also, in London, the King’s health is drunk every term, on what is called Grand Day, all members present, big-wig and student, having filled “a bumper of sparkling wine,” rise simultaneously, and drink “The King,” supernaculum, of course.


Than the foregoing is in the possession of the Society of Jesus College, Oxford, says Chalmers, the gift of the hospitable Sir Watkins Williams Wynne, grandfather to the present baronet. It will contain ten gallons, and weighs 278 ounces: how or when it is used, this deponent sayeth not. Queen’s College, Oxon, says Mr. Pointer, has its—


So called because it never fails to afford funnery. It is kept in the buttery, is occasionally presented to persons to drink out of and is so contrived, that by lifting it up to the mouth too hastily, the air gets in and suddenly forces too great a quantity of the liquid, as if thrown into the drinker’s face, to his great surprise and the delight of the standers by. Multa cadunt inter calicem supremaque labra.

[Pg 47]


Was the famous chalice, found in one of the hands of the founder of Merton College, Oxford, the celebrated Walter de Merton, Bishop of Rochester and Chancellor of England, upon the opening of his grave in 1659, says Wood, on the authority of Mr. Leonard Yate, Fellow of Merton. It held more than a quarter of a pint; and the Warden and Fellows caused it to be sent to the College, to be put into their cista jocalium; but the Fellows, in their zeal, sometimes drinking out of it, “this, then, so valued relic was broken and destroyed.”


In Merton College, says Pointer, in his Oxoniensis Academia, &c. “is their meeting together in the Hall on Christmas Eve, and other solemn times, to sing a Psalm, and drink a Grace Cup to one another, (called Poculum Charitatis) wishing one another health and happiness. These Grace Cups,” he adds, “they drink to one another every day after dinner and supper, wishing one another peace and good neighbourhood.” This conclusion reminds us of the following anecdote:—

A learned Cambridge mathematician, now holding a distinguished post at the Naval College, Portsmouth, after discussing one day, with a party of Johnians, the propriety of the Dies Festæ, solar, siderial, &c., drily observed, putting a bumper to his lips, “I think we should have jovial days as well.” Every College in both Universities has the next best thing to it,—


In piam memoriam” of their several founders, most of whom being persons of taste, left certain annual sums wherewith to “pay the piper.” Besides minor feast-days, every Society, both at Oxford and Cambridge, hold its yearly commemoration. There is always prayers and a sermon on this day, and the Lesson is taken from Eccl. [Pg 48] xliv. “Let us now praise famous men,” &c. Mr. Pointer says, that at Magdalen College, Oxford, it is “a custom on all commemoration days to have the bells rung in a confused manner, and without any order, it being the primitive way of ringing.” The same writer states that there is


Annually celebrated by this Society, which consists of a concert of music on the top of the Tower, in honour of its founder, Henry VII. It was originally a mass, but since the Reformation, it has been “a merry concert of both vocal and instrumental music, consisting of several merry ketches, and lasts almost two hours (beginning as early as four o’clock in the morning,) and is concluded with ringing the bells.” The performers have a breakfast for their pains. They have likewise singing early on Christmas morning. The custom is similar to one observed at Manheim, in Germany, and throughout the palatinate.

Whoever was the author of the following admirable production, he was certainly not νους-less, and it will “hardly be read with dry lips, or mouths that do not water,” says the author of the Gradus ad Cant.



Hark! heard ye not yon footsteps dread,
That shook the hall with thund’ring tread?
With eager haste
The Fellows pass’d,
Each, intent on direful work,
High lifts his mighty blade, and points his deadly fork.


But, hark! the portals sound, and pacing forth,
With steps, alas! too slow,
The College Gypts, of high illustrious worth,
With all the dishes, in long order go.
In the midst a form divine,
Appears the fam’d sir-loin;
And soon, with plums and glory crown’d
Almighty pudding sheds its sweets around.
[Pg 49]Heard ye the din of dinner bray?
Knife to fork, and fork to knife,
Unnumber’d heroes, in the glorious strife,
Through fish, flesh, pies, and puddings, cut their destin’d way.


See beneath the mighty blade,
Gor’d with many a ghastly wound,
Low the famed sir-loin is laid,
And sinks in many a gulf profound.
Arise, arise, ye sons of glory,
Pies and puddings stand before ye;
See the ghost of hungry bellies,
Points at yonder stand of jellies;
While such dainties are beside ye,
Snatch the goods the gods provide ye;
Mighty rulers of this state,
Snatch before it is too late;
For, swift as thought, the puddings, jellies, pies,
Contract their giant bulks, and shrink to pigmy size.


From the table now retreating,
All around the fire they meet,
And, with wine, the sons of eating,
Crown at length the mighty treat:
Triumphant plenty’s rosy traces
Sparkle in their jolly faces;
And mirth and cheerfulness are seen
In each countenance serene.
Fill high the sparkling glass,
And drink the accustomed toast;
Drink deep, ye mighty host,
And let the bottle pass.
Begin, begin the jovial strain;
Fill, fill the mystic bowl;
And drink, and drink, and drink again;
For drinking fires the soul.
But soon, too soon, with one accord they reel;
Each on his seat begins to nod;
All conquering Bacchus’ pow’r they feel,
And pour libations to the jolly god.
At length, with dinner, and with wine oppress’d,
Down in their chairs they sink, and give themselves to rest.


Sir Robert Walpole, the celebrated minister, was bred at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge. At the first he [Pg 50] raised great expectations as a boy, and when the master was told that St. John, afterwards Lord Bolingbroke, had with others, his scholars, distinguished themselves for their eloquence, in the House of Commons, “I am impatient to hear that Walpole has spoken,” was his observation; “for I feel convinced he will be a good orator.” At King’s College his career was near being cut short by an attack of the small-pox. He was then known as a fierce Whig, and his physicians were Tories, one of whom, Dr. Brady, said, “We must take care to save this young man, or we shall be accused of having purposely neglected him, because he is so violent a Whig.” After he was restored, his spirit and disposition so pleased the same physician, that he added, “this singular escape seems to be a sure prediction that he is reserved for important purposes,” which Walpole remembered with complacency.

Dr. Lamb, the present master of Corpus Christi, Cambridge, in his edition of Master’s History of that College, gives the following copy of a bill, in the handwriting of Dr. John Jegon, a former master, which may be taken as a specimen of


Visitors’ Feast, August 6, 1597, Eliz. 39.
“Imprimis, Butter and eggs xiid.
“Linge xiid.
“Rootes buttered iid.
“A leg of mutton xiid.
“A Poulte iiid.
“A Pike xviiid.
“Buttered Maydes iiiid.
“Soles xiid.
“Hartichockes vid.
“Roast [b]eef viiid.
“Shrimps vid.
“Perches vid.
“Skaite vid.
“Custards xiid.
“Wine and Sugar xxd.
[Pg 51]“Condiments, vinegar, pepper iiid.
“Money to the visitors vis. viiid.
“Money to scholars and officers, cooks, butler, register, Trinitiehall school iiiis. viiid.
“Item, Exceedings of the schollers xxd.
Summa, xxiiiis. xd.
  J. Jegon.

The same authority gives the following curious item as occurring in 1620, during the mastership of the successor of Dr. Jegon, Dr. Samuel Walsall, who was elected in 1618, under the head of


  l. s. d.
“Imp. Tuesday night, a Pottle of Claret and a qt. of Sacke 026
“It. Wednesday, Jan. 31, a pound of sugar and a pound of carriways 0211
“It. Three ounces of Tobacco 046
“It. Halfe an hundred apples and thirtie 016
“It. A pottle of claret and a quart of sacke, Wednesday dinner 026
“It. Two dousen of tobacco pipes 006
“It. Thursday dinner, two pottles of sacke and three pottles and a quart of claret 094
“It. Thursday supp. a pottle of sacke and three pottles of claret 064
“It. Satterday diner, a pottle of claret and a quart 020
“Sum. tot. l. 1147

“Hence it appears,” observes Dr. L., “sack was 1s. 2d. a quart, claret 8d., and tobacco 1s. 6d. an ounce. That is, an ounce of tobacco was worth exactly four pints and a half of claret.” Oxford, more than Cambridge, observed, and still observes, many singular customs. Amongst others recorded in Mr. Pointer’s curious book, is the now obsolete and very ancient one at Merton College, called


Formerly the Dean of the college kept the Bachelor-fellows [Pg 52] at disputations in the hall, sometimes till late at night, and then to give, them a black-night (as they called it;) the reason of which was this:—“Among many other famous scholars of this college, there were two great logicians, the one Johannes Duns Scotus, called Doctor Subtilis, Fellow of the college, and father of the sect of the Realists, and his scholar Gulielmus Occam, called Doctor Invincibilis, of the same house, and father of the sect of the Nomenalists; betwixt whom there falling out a hot dispute one disputation night, Scotus being the Dean of the college, and Occam (a Bachelor-fellow therein,) though the latter got the better on’t, yet being but an inferior, at parting submitted himself, with the rest of the Bachelors, to the Dean in this form, Domine, quid faciernus? (i. e. Sir, what is your pleasure?) as it were begging punishment for their boldness in arguing; to whom Scotus returned this answer, Ite et facite quid vultis (i. e. Begone, and do as you please.) Hereupon away they went and broke open the buttery and kitchen doors, and plundered all the provisions they could lay hands on; called all their companions out of their beds, and made a merry bout on’t all night. This gave occasion for observing the same diversion several times afterwards, whenever the Dean kept the Bachelor-fellows at disputation till twelve o’clock at night. The last black-night was about 1686.”


A learned Cantab, who was so deaf as to be obliged to use an ear trumpet, having taken his departure from Trinity College, of which he was lately a fellow, mounted on his well-fed Rosinante for the purpose of visiting a friend, fell in with an acquaintance by the way side, with whom he was induced to dine, and evening was setting in ere he pushed forward for his original destination. Warm with T. B., he had not gone far ere he let fall the reins on the neck of his pegasus, which took its own course till he was suddenly roused by its coming to a stand-still where four cross roads met, in a part of the country to which he was an [Pg 53] utter stranger. What added to the dilemma, the direction-post had been demolished. He luckily espied an old farmer jogging homeward from market. “Hallo! my man, can you tell me the way to ——?” “Yes, to be sure I can. You must go down hin-hinder lane, and cross yin-yinder common on the left, then you’ll see a hol and a pightal and the old mills, and ——” “Stop, stop, my good friend!” exclaimed our Cantab; “you don’t know I’m deaf,” pulling his ear-trumpet out of his pocket as he spoke: this the farmer no sooner got a glimpse of, than, taking it for a pistol or blunderbuss, and its owner for a highwayman, he clapped spurs to his horse, and galloped off at full speed, roaring out for mercy as our Cantab bawled for him to stop, the muzzle of his horse nosing the tail of the farmer’s, till they came to an opening in a wood by the road side, through which the latter vanished, leaving the Cantab solus, after a chase of some miles,—and upon inquiry at a cottage, he learnt he was still ten or twelve from the place of his destination, little short of the original distance he had to ride when he first started from Cambridge in the morning. This anecdote reminds me of two Oxonians of considerable celebrity, learning, and singular manners. One was the late amiable organist of Dulwich College the Rev. Onias Linley, son of Mr. Linley, of Drury-lane and musical celebrity: he was consequently brother of Mrs. R. B. Sheridan. He was bred at Winchester and New College, and was remarkable, when a minor canon at Norwich, in Norfolk, for


And the ridiculous light in which they placed him, and for carrying a huge snuff-box in one hand, which he constantly kept twirling with the other between his finger and thumb. He once attended a ball at the public assembly rooms, when, having occasion to visit the temple of Cloacina, he unconsciously walked back into the midst of the crowd of beauties present, with a certain coverlid under his arm, in lieu of his opera hat; nor was he aware of the exchange he had made till a friend gave him a gentle hint. He occasionally rode a short distance into the country to [Pg 54] do duty on a Sunday, when he used compassionately to relieve his steed by alighting and walking on, with the horse following, and the bridle on his arm. Upon such occasions he frequently fell into what is called “a brown study,” and arrived at his destination dragging the bridle after him, minus the horse, which had stopped by the way to crop grass. He was one day met on the road so circumstanced, and reminded of the fact by a gentleman who knew him. “Bless me,” said he, with the most perfect composure, “the horse was with me when I sat out. I must go back to seek him.” And back he went a mile or two, when he found his steed grazing by the way, bridled him afresh, and reached his church an hour later than usual, much to the chagrin of his congregation. The late Dr. Adams, one of the first who went out to Demerara after the established clergy were appointed to stations and parishes in the West Indies by authority, was a man of habits very similar to those of Mr. Linley, and very similar anecdotes are recorded of him, and his oddities are said to have caused some mirth to his sable followers. He died in about a year or two, much regretted notwithstanding.


Semper—pauperimus esse,” were nearly all blest with none or a slender competence. But what they wanted in wealth was amply supplied in wit. Spenser, Lee, Otway, Ben Johnson, and his son Randolph, Milton, Cowley, Dryden, Prior, and Kit Smart, poets as they were, had fared but so so, had they lived by poësy only—and who ever dreamed of caring ought for their posterity.

Spencer was matriculated a member of Pembroke College, Cambridge, the 20th of May, 1569, at the age of sixteen, at which early period he is supposed to have been under his “sweet fit of poesy,” and soon after formed the design of his great poem, the Faery Queene, stanzas of which, it is said, on very good authority, were lately discovered on the removal of some of the old wainscoting of the room in which he kept in Pembroke College. He took B. A. 1573, and [Pg 55] M. A. 1576, without succeeding to fellowship, died in want of bread, 1599, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, according to his request, near Chaucer. Camden says of him—

“Anglica, te vivo, vixit plautisque poesis,
Nunc moritura, timet, te moriente, mori!”

In the common-place-book of Edward, Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, preserved amongst the MSS. of the British Museum, is the memoranda:—“Lord Carteret told me, that when he was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, a man of the name of Spenser, immediately descended from our illustrious poet, came to be examined before the Lord Chief Justice, as a witness in a cause, and that he was so entirely ignorant of the English language, that they were forced to have an interpreter for him.” But I have no intention to give my readers the blues. “Nat. Lee” was a Trinity man, and was, as the folk say, “as poor as a church mouse” during his short life, four years of which he passed in Bedlam. An envious scribe one day there saw him, and mocked his calamity by asking, “If it was not easy to write like a madman?” “No, Sir,” said he; “but it is


Otway was bred at St. John’s College, Cambridge. But though his tragedies are still received with “tears of approbation,” he lived in penury, and died in extreme misery, choked, it is said, by a morsel of bread given him to relieve his hunger, the 14th of April, 1685. Ben Jonson, “Rare Ben,” also “finished his education” at St. John’s, nor did I ever tread the mazes of its pleasant walks, but imagination pictured him and his gifted contemporaries and successors, from the time of the minstrel of Arcadia to the days of Kirke White,

In dalliance with the nine in ev’ry nook,
A conning nature from her own sweet book.

But Ben, though “the greatest dramatic poet of his age,” after he left Cambridge, “worked with a trowel at the building of Lincoln’s Inn,” and died poor in everything [Pg 56] but fame, in 1637. Ben, however, contrived to keep nearly as many “jovial days” in a year, as there are saints in the Roman calendar, and at a set time held a club at the same Devil Tavern, near Temple-bar, to which the celebrated Cambridge professor, and reformer of our church music, Dr. Maurice Greene, adjourned his concert upon his quarrel with Handel, which made the latter say of him with his natural dry humour, “Toctor Creene was gone to de tavil.” There Ben and his boon companions were still extant, when Tom Randolph (author of “The Muses’ Looking-Glass,” &c.,) a student of Trinity College, Cambridge, had ventured on a visit to London, where, it is said, he stayed so long, that he had already had a parley with his empty purse, when their fame made him long to see Ben and his associates. He accordingly, as Handel would have said, vent to de tavil, at their accustomed time of meeting; but being unknown to them, and without money, he was peeping into the room where they sat, when he was espied by Ben, who seeing him in a scholar’s thread-bare habit, cried out “John Bo-peep, come in.” He entered accordingly, and they, not knowing the wit of their guest, began to rhyme upon the meanness of his clothes, asking him if he could not make a verse, and, withal, to call for his quart of sack. There being but four, he thus addressed them:—

“I, John Bo-peep, to you four sheep,
With each one his good fleece,
If that you are willing to give me five shilling,
’Tis fifteen pence a-piece.”

“By Jesus,” exclaimed Ben (his usual oath,) “I believe this is my son Randolph!” which being confessed, he was kindly entertained, and Ben ever after called him his son, and, on account of his learning, gaiety, and humour, and readiness of repartee, esteemed him equal to Cartwright. He also grew in favour with the wits and poets of the metropolis, but was cut off, some say of intemperance, at the age of twenty-nine. His brother was a member of Christ Church, Oxford, and printed his works in 1638. Amongst the Memorabilia Cantabrigiæ of Milton is the fact, that his personal beauty obtained for him the soubriquet of

[Pg 57]


And that he set a full value on his fine exterior, is evident from the imperfect Greek lines, entitled, “In Effigie ejus Sculptorem,” in Warton’s second edition of his Poems. Some have supposed he had himself in view, in his delineation of the person of Adam. Every body knows that his “Paradise Lost” brought him and his posterity less than 20l.: but every body does not know that there is a Latin translation of it, in twelve books, in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge, in MS., the work of one Mr. Power, a Fellow of that Society, who printed the First Book in 1691, and completed the rest at the Bermudas, where his difficulties had obliged him to fly, and from whence it was sent to Dr. Richard Bentley, to publish and pay his debts with. However, in spite of his creditors, it still remains in MS. The writer obtained, says Judge Hardinge, alluding I suppose, to “the tempest of his mind and of his habits,” the soubriquet of the “Æolian Exile.” There is also a bust of Milton in the Library of Trinity College, and some of his juvenile poems, &c., in his own hand-writing. Cowley was bread at Trinity College. His bust, too, graces its Library, and his portrait its Hall.


When students, wrote Latin as well as English verses, and the curious in such matters, on reference to this work, will be amused by the difference of feeling with which their Alma Mater inspired them. To Cowley the Bowers of Granta and the Camus were the very seat of inspiration; Milton thought no epithet too mean to express their charms: yet, says Dyer, in his supplement, “it is difficult to conceive a more brilliant example of youthful talent than Milton’s Latin Poems of that period.” Though they “are not faultless, they render what was said of Gray applicable to Milton—


His mulberry tree, more fortunate than either that of Shakspeare, or the pear tree of his contemporary and patron, [Pg 58] Oliver Cromwell, is still shown in the Fellows’ Garden of Christ College, and still “bears abundance in fruit-time,” and near it is a drooping ash, planted by the present Marquis of Bute, when a student of Christ College.


I saw cut down, from the window of my sitting-room, in Jesus-lane, Cambridge (which happened to overlook the Fellows’ Garden of Sidney College,) in March, 1833. The tree is said to have been planted by Cromwell’s own hand, when a student at Sidney College, and, said the Cambridge Chronicle of the 11th of the above month, it seems not unlikely that the original stock was coeval with the Protector. The tree consisted of five stems (at the time it was cut down,) which rose directly from the ground, and which had probably shot up after the main trunk had been accidentally or intentionally destroyed. Four of these stems had been dead for some years, and the fifth was cut down, as stated above. “A section of it, at eight feet from the ground, had 103 consecutive rings, indicating as many years of growth for that part. If we add a few more for the growth of the portion still lower down, it brings us to a period within seventy years of the Restoration; and it is by no means improbable that the original trunk may have been at least seventy or eighty years old before it was mutilated. The stumps of the five stems are still left standing, the longest being eight feet high; and it is intended to erect a rustic seat within the area they embrace.”


At Sidney College, are his bust, in the Master’s Lodge, and his portrait in the Library. The first was executed by the celebrated Bernini, at the request of Ferdinand, Grand Duke of Tuscany, from a plaster impression of the face of Cromwell, taken soon after his death. It was obtained by the late learned Cambridge Regius Professor of Botany, Thomas Martyn, B. D., during his stay in Italy, [Pg 59] and by him presented to the Society of Sidney College, of which he was a fellow. Lord Cork said it bore “the strongest character of boldness, steadiness, sense, penetration, and pride.” The portrait is unique, drawn in crayons, by the celebrated Cooper, and is said to be that from which he painted his famous miniatures of the Protector. In the College Register is a memorandum of Cromwell’s admission to the society, dated April 23, 1616, to which some one has added his character, in Latin, in a different hand-writing, and very severe terms.


Dryden, whom some have styled “The True Father of English Poetry,” was fond of a college life, as especially “favourable to the habits of a student.” He was bread at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he resided seven years, during which he is said never, like Milton and others, to have “wooed the muses.” What were his college habits is not known. The only notice of him at Trinity (where his bust and portrait are preserved, the first in the Library, the second in the Hall,) whilst an undergraduate, is the following entry in the College Register, made about two years after his admission:—“July 19, 1652. Agreed, then, that Dryden be put out of Comons, for a fortnight at least, and that he goe not out of the College during the time aforesaid, excepting to Sermons, without express leave from the Master or Vice-master (disobedience to whom was his fault,) and that, at the end of the fortnight, he read a confession of his crime in the Hall at the dinner-time, at the three fellows’ table.”

His contemporary, Dennis the Critic, seems to have been less fortunate at Cambridge. The author of the “Biographia Dramatica” asserts that he was


Which is denied by Dr. Kippis, in the “Biographia Britannica,” and “when Doctors disagree, who shall decide?” In this case a third doctor steps in for the purpose, in the [Pg 60] person of the celebrated Master of Emmanuel College, Dr. Richard Farmer, who, in a humorous letter, printed in the European Magazine for 1794, says, on turning to the Gesta Book of Caius College, under the head, “Sir Dennis sent away,” appears this entry: “March 4, 1680. At a meeting of the Master and Fellows, Sir Dennis mulcted 3l.; his scholarship taken away, and he sent out of the college, for assaulting and wounding Sir Glenham with a sword.”


College, Cambridge, as I have been told, where he was educated, and lived and died a Fellow. After he became French Ambassador, and was distinguished by his sovereign, he was urged to resign his fellowship. His reply was (probably not having much faith in the longevity of princes’ favours,) “Should I need it, it will always insure me a bit of mutton and a clean shirt!” But it ought also to be added, to his honour, that the celebrated Thomas Baker, the antiquary, having been ejected from his fellowship in the same college, for refusing to take the oaths to William and Mary, Prior generously allowed him the proceeds of his.

The same Cantab was once at the opera, where a conceited French composer had taken his seat adjoining, and being anxious that the audience should know he had written the music, he annoyed our poet by humming every air so audibly as to spoil the effect of the person’s singing the part, one of the greatest artistes of the day. Thus annoyed, Prior ventured to hiss the singer. Every body was astonished at the daring, he being a great and deserved favourite. The composer hummed again,—again Prior hissed the singer, who, enraged at the circumstance, demanded “Why he was subject to such indignity?” “I want that fellow to leave off humming,” said Prior, pointing to the composer, “that I may have the pleasure of hearing you sing, Signor.”

[Pg 61]


Dr. Thomas Plume, a former Archdeacon of Colchester, was the munificent founder of the Cambridge Professorship of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy, which (as in the case of the late Dr. Edward Daniel Clarke and the present George Pryme, Esq. M.A. and M.P.) he was the first to fill; but he was not as fortunate as the former, to fill his chair with unparalleled success,—in fact, his lectures were not quite the fashion. He was smarting under this truth, when he one day met Dr. Pearce in the streets of Cambridge, the Master of Jesus College, whom he addressed with, “Doctor, they call my lectures Plum-B-ian, which is very uncivil. I don’t at all like it, Dr. Pearce.” “I suppose the B. stung you,” rejoined the latter. Here we may not inappropriately introduce a trifle, hit off between Dr. Pearce and the woman who had the care of the Temple Gardens, when he was master there. It is a rule to keep them close shut during divine service on Sundays; but the Doctor being indisposed, and having no grounds attached to his residence save the church-yard, wished to seize the quiet hour for taking a little air and exercise. He accordingly rung the garden bell, and Rachel made her appearance; but she flatly told him she should not let him in, as it was against the Benchers’ orders. “But I am the Master of the Temple,” said Dr. P. “The more shame for you,” said Rachel, “you ought to set a better example;” and the Doctor retired dead beat.


Queen’s College, Oxford, was called “a nest of Saxonists” towards the close of the sixteenth century, when those learned antiquarians and Saxonists, Rawlinson and Thwaites, flourished there. It is recorded of the latter, in Nichols’s Bowyer, that he said, writing of the state of the college, “We want Saxon Lexicons. I have fifteen young students in that language, and but one Somner for them all.” Our Cambridge gossip,

[Pg 62]


(taken notice of by Warton also in the first volume of his History of English Poetry) of a brother Cantab’s having undertaken to translate the Scriptures into Welsh, and rendering vials of wrath (meaning vessels—Rom. v. 8) by the Welsh word Crythan, signifying crowds or fiddles. “The Greek word being φιαλας,” he adds, “it is probable he translated from the English only, where finding vials, he mistook it for viols.” The translator was Dr. Morgan, who died Bishop of St. Asaph, in 1604.


Lord Nugent, on-dit, once called on an old college acquaintance, then a country divine of great simplicity of manners, at a time when his housekeeper was from home on some errand, and he had undertaken to mind the roast. This obliged him to invite his lordship into the kitchen, that he might avoid the fate of King Alfred. Our dame’s stay exceeded the time anticipated, and the divine having to bury a corpse, he begged Lord N. to take his turn at the spit, which he accordingly did, till the housekeeper arrived to relieve him. This anecdote reminds me of the following


By the Younger Bowyer, written at St. John’s College, Cambridge,
November 29, 1719.

“Ne quicquam sapit, qui sibi ipsi non sapit.”

A goodly parson once there was,
To ’s maid would chatter Latin;
(For that he was, I think, an ass,
At least the rhyme comes pat in.)

One day the house to prayers were met,
With well united hearts;
Below, a goose was at the spit,
To feast their grosser parts.

The godly maid to prayers she came,
If truth the legends say,
[Pg 63]To hear her master English lame,
Herself to sleep and pray.

The maid, to hear her worthy master,
Left all alone her kitchen;
Hence happened much a worse disaster
Than if she’d let the bitch in.

While each breast burns with pious flame,
All hearts with ardours beat,
The goose’s breast did much the same
With too malicious heat.

The parson smelt the odours rise;
To ’s belly thoughts gave loose,
And plainly seemed to sympathise
With his twice-murdered goose.

He knew full well self-preservation
Bids piety retire,
Just as the salus of a nation
Lays obligation higher.

He stopped, and thus held forth his Clerum,
While him the maid did stare at,
Hoc faciendum; sed alterum
Non negligendum erat.

Parce tuum Vatum sceleris damnare.


Writing of the death of a former Master of Magdalen College, “whose whole delight was horses, dogs, sporting, &c.,” which, says Cole, happened on the first of September, the legal day for partridge-shooting to begin, “it put me in mind of the late Dr. Walker, Vice-master of Trinity, a great florist (and founder of the Botanical Garden at Cambridge,) who, when told of a brother florist’s death, by shooting himself in the spring, immediately exclaimed, ‘Good God! is it possible? Now, at the beginning of tulip-time!’”


When Dr. Barrett, Prebend of St. Paul’s, was a student [Pg 64] at Peter-house, Cambridge, he happened to make one of a party of collegians, where it was proposed that each gentleman should toast his favourite belle; when it came to his turn, he facetiously gave “the college-bell!”


“Previous to my attending Cambridge,” says Henry Angelo, in his Reminiscences, “one of my scholars (whom I had taught at Westminster School,) at Trinity College, engaged an Irish fencing-master, named Fitzpatrick,” more remarkable for his native humour than science, and when he had taken too much of the cratur, “was amusing to the collegians, who had engaged him merely to keep up their exercise.” One day, during a bout, some wag placed a bottle of his favourite “mountain dew” (whisky) on the chimney-piece, which proved so attractive, “that as his sips increased, so did the numerous hits he received, till the first so far prevailed, aided by exertion and the heat of the weather, that he lay, tandem, to all appearance dead.” To keep the fun up, he was stripped and laid out like a corpse, with a shroud on, a coffin close to him, and four candles placed on each side, ready to light on his recovery. This jeu de plaisanterie might have been serious; “however, Master Push-carte took care not to push himself again into the same place.”


When the late King of Denmark was in England, in 1763, when he visited Eton, &c., he is said to have made a brief sojourn at Cambridge, where he was received with “all the honours,” and took up his abode (as is usual for persons of his rank) in the lodge of the Master of Trinity. In his majesty’s establishments for learned purposes, as well as throughout all Germany, &c., no provision is made for lodging and otherwise providing for the comforts of students, as in the two English universities; and when he surveyed [Pg 65] the principal court of Trinity, he is said to have had so little notion of an English university, that he asked “whether that court did not comprise the whole of the university of Cambridge?” This royal anecdote reminds me that his present gracious Majesty,


As in duty bound, upon his accession to the throne of his ancestors, a loyal congratulatory address was voted by the members of the University of Cambridge in full senate. This was shortly afterwards presented to his Majesty at St. James’s Palace by the then Vice-Chancellor, Dr. George Thackery, D.D., Provost of King’s College, at the head of a large body of the heads of colleges, and others, en robe. His majesty not only received it most graciously, but with that truly English expression that goes home to the bosom of every Briton, told Dr. Thackery he “should shortly take pot-luck with him in Cambridge.” The term, too, is worthy of particular notice, since it expresses his Majesty’s kind consideration for the contents of the university chest, and the pockets of its members. Oxford, it is well known, is still smarting under the heavy charges incident upon the memorable visit of his late Majesty, George the Fourth, in 1814, with the Emperor Alexander and the King of Prussia and their suites. It would be no drawback upon the popularity of princes if they did take “pot-luck” with their subjects oftener than they do. Let there be no drawback upon hospitality, but let the “feast of reason and the flow of soul” suffice for the costly banquet. In olden times, our monarchs took pot-luck both at Oxford, Cambridge, and elsewhere, without their subjects being the less loyal. Queen Elizabeth and James the First and Second were frequent visitors at both those seats of learning. Elizabeth, indeed, that flower of British monarchs, suffered no designing minister to shake her confidence in her people’s loyalty. She did not confine her movements to the dull routine of two or three royal palaces,—her palace was her empire. She went about “doing good” by the light of her countenance. [Pg 66] She, and not her minister, was the people’s idol. I therefore come to the conclusion, that the expressed determination of his majesty, William the Fourth, to take pot-luck with his good people of the University of Cambridge, is the dawn of a return of those wholesome practices of which we read in the works of our ANNALISTS, when

“’Twas merry in the hall,
And their beards wagged all.”

Wood relates, amongst other humorous incidents, that


In September, 1592, besides plays, &c., there was a disputation in law and physic, and, amongst many questions, was one,—“Whether the air, or meat, or drink, did most change a man?” and a merry Doctor of that faculty, named Richard Ratcliffe, lately Fellow of Merton College, but now Principal of St. Alban’s Hall, going about to produce the negative, showed forth a big, large body, a great fat belly, a side waist, all, as he said, so changed by meat and drink, desiring to see any other so metamorphosed by the air. But it was concluded (by the Moderator) in the affirmative, that air had the greater power of change. One of the questions (the next day) was,—“Whether it be lawful to dissemble in the cause of religion?” written thus, says Gutch, “Non est dissimulandum in causa religionis;” “which being looked upon as a nice question,” continues Wood, “caused much attention from the courtly auditory. One argument, more witty than solid, that was urged by one of the opponents, was, ‘It is lawful to dispute of religion therefore ’tis lawful to dissemble;’ and so going on, said, ‘I myself now do that which is lawful, but I do now dissemble; ergo, it is lawful to dissemble.’ (Id quod nunc ego, de rebus divinis disputans, ego dissimulare; sed quod nunc ego, de rebus divinis disputam, ego dissimulare est licitum; at which her majesty and all the auditory were very merry.)”

[Pg 67]


In the year 1564, she took up her residence at the lodge of the Provost of King’s College, which stood near the east end of King’s Chapel. We well remember the old pile and the solitary trees that branched beside; and much as we admire the splendid improvements to which they have given place, we could almost find it in our hearts to express regret at the removal of those landmarks of the topographist. The hall was her guard-chamber, the dining-room her presence-chamber, and the gallery and adjoining rooms her private apartments. Her visit lasted five days, during which she was entertained with comedies, tragedies, orations, disputations, and other academical exercises. She personally visited every college, and is said to have been so pleased with the venerable, solemn, and scholastic appearance of Pembroke Hall, that she saluted it with the words—

“O Domus antiqua et religiosa!”


According to the author of Historical Anecdotes, &c., was Thomas Cartwright, B. D., Lady Margaret’s Professor and Fellow of Trinity College. He and Thomas Preston (afterwards Master of Trinity Hall,) says Fuller, during Queen Elizabeth’s visit at Cambridge, in 1564, were appointed two of the four disputants in the philosophy-act before her Majesty. “Cartwright had dealt most with the muses; Preston with the graces, adorning his learning with comely carriage, graceful gesture, and pleasing pronunciation. Cartwright disputed like a great, Preston like a gentile scholar, being a handsome man; and the Queen, upon a parity of deserts, always preferred properness of person in conferring her favours. Hereupon, with her looks, words, and deeds she favoured Preston, calling him her scholler, as appears by his epitaph in Trinity Hall chappell.

[Pg 68]

Thomas Prestonæ, Scholarem,
‘Quem dixit princeps Elizabetha suum,’ &c.

Insomuch,” continues Fuller, “that for his good disputing, and excellent acting, in the tragedy of Dido, she bestowed on him a pension of 20 lib. a year; whilst Cartwright received neither reward nor commendation, whereof he not only complained to his inward friends in Trinity College, but also, after her Majesty’s neglect of him, began to wade into divers opinions against her ecclesiastical government.” And thus, according to the authority first cited, he became the first Dissenter in England, and was deprived, subsequently, as a matter of course, of both his fellowship and professorship.

It was most probably for the entertainment of the Royal Elizabeth, that one Thomas Still, M.A., of Christ’s College, Cambridge, afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells, composed and produced


A fact no Cantab need blush at, proh pudor, though the plot is none of the sublimest. It was printed as early as 1575, with the following


“A ryght pythy, pleasant, and merie Comedie, entytuled Gammer Gurton’s Needle; played on the stage not long ago in Christe’s College, in Cambridge, made by Mr. S. Master of Arts. Imprynted at London, in Fleete Streeate, beneth the Conduit, at the signe of Sainte John Evangelist, by Thomas Colwell.” Though altogether of a comic cast, it was not deficient in genuine humour, and is a curious sample of the simplicity which prevailed in this country, in the early days of dramatic art. It is in metre, is spun out into five regular acts, and an awful piece it is, as may be seen by the following


Gammer Gurton having lost her needle, a great hunt is made in search of it, and her boy is directed to blow the [Pg 69] embers of an expiring fire, in order to light a candle to help the search. The witch of a cat has, in the meantime, got into the chimney, with her two fiery eyes. The boy cries, “it is the devil of a fire!” for when he puffs, it is out,—and when he does not, it is in. “Stir it!” bawls Gammer Gurton. The boy does her bidding, and the cat (the fire as he imagines) flies forthwith amongst a pile of wood. “The house will be burnt, all hands to work!” roars the boy, and the cat is discovered by a priest (more cunning than the rest.) This ends the episode, with which the main plot and catastrophe vie. Gammer Gurton, it seems, had, the day before, been mending her man Hodge’s breeches. Now Hodge, in some game of merriment, was to be punished, for some default, with three slaps on the breech, to be administered by the brawny hand of one of his fellow-bumpkins. To that end, his head is laid in Gammer Gurton’s lap; the first slap is given, Hodge bellows out with pain, and, oh! joyful announcement, on searching for the cause of his affliction, the needle is discovered, buried up to the eye in poor Hodge’s posterior portion. The needle is then extracted with becoming demonstrations, and the curtain falls.

Amongst other interesting matters associated with the memory of Queen Elizabeth (beside that of her having given Cambridge that admirable body of statutes upon which all laws for their governance still continue to be framed,) are the following memoranda, extracted by Dyer from Baker’s MSS. in the public library of the University:—

“The 26th daye of Julie, 1578, the Queene’s Majestie came in her progresse intended to Norfolk, to Audley End, at the town of Waldren, accompanied by the Lorde Treasurer, High Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. The Vice Chancellor and Masters of Colleges thoughte meete and convenient for the dischardge of dutie, that the said Vice-Chancellor and Hedds of Coll. should shewe themselves of the Courte, and welcome her Grace into these quarters.” About the end of his oration, the orator (Mr. Bridgewater of King’s College) makes mention, that “Mr. Doctor Howland, then vice-chancellor, [Pg 70] maketh his three ordinarie curtesies, and then kneeling at her Majesty’s feete, presenting unto her—


Of Robert Stephens’s first printing, folio, bound in redd velvett, and lymmed with gold; the arms of England sett upon eche syde of the booke very faire; and on the thirde leafe of the booke, being faire and cleane paper, was also sett and painted in colours the arms of the Universitie, with these writings following: Regiæ Majestati deditissimæ Academiæ Cantabrigiensis Insignia (viz. quatuor Leones cum Bibl. &c.) Also, with the booke, the Vice-Chancellor presented a pair of gloves, perfumed and garnished, with embroiderie and goldsmithe’s wourke, pr. 60s. and these verses:—


“Una quod es semper, quod semper es optima, Princeps,
Quam bene conveniunt hæc duo verba tibi?
Quod pia, quod prudens, quod casta, innuba virgo
Semper es, hoc etiam semper es una modo.

“Et populum quod ames, populo quod amata vicissim
Semper es, hic constans semper et una manes,
O utinam; quoniam sic semper es una, liceret
Una te nobis semper, Eliza, frui?”

Since Cambridge has the merit of producing the first English play, it is but justice here to add, that


This merit is claimed for them by the Oxford historians, and allowed by the historians of the stage, though they have not agreed of the exact period. We are informed, in Leland’s Collectanea, that “the stage did vary three times in the acting of one tragedy.” In other words, there were three scenes employed; but these, it is said by Chalmers, in his History of Oxford University, were the invention of Inigo Jones; and the exhibition, it appears, took place in the Hall of Christ Church, in 1636, (the year Wood places the invention in,) for the entertainment [Pg 71] of the unfortunate Charles the First and his Queen, when, says our annalist, a comedy was performed for their amusement, entitled, “The Passions Calmed, or the Settling of the Floating,” written by Strode, the Public Orator, and moveable scenery introduced with suitable variations; and though there is pretty conclusive evidence that this was not the first time moveable scenes, &c. had been introduced, it is evident they had not come into general use, from the fact that, after the departure of the King and his suite, the dresses and scenery were sent to Hampton Court, at the express desire of the Queen, but with a wish, suggested by the Chancellor of Oxford, the ill-fated Archbishop Laud, that they might not come into the hands of the common players, which was accordingly promised. Leland thinks, however, that moveable scenes were better managed, before this, at Cambridge; and I know not, he says, whether the invention may not be carried back to the year 1583, when the celebrated Polish prince, Alesco, was at Oxford, and for whose entertainment, says Wood (who gives an interesting account of all the particulars of that famous Oxford gaudy,) the tragedy of Dido was acted in the Hall of Christ Church, decorated with scenes illustrative of the play, and the exhibition of “the tempest, wherein it rained small comfits, rose-water, and new artificial snow, was very strange to the beholders.” But other authorities place the invention in 1605, when


And was entertained in the Hall of Christ Church, “with the Latin comedy of Vertumnus, written by Dr. Matthew Gwinne, of St. John’s College, Oxford, and performed by the students of that house, without borrowing a single actor; and it was upon this occasion that the humming of his Majesty took place, referred to in my Preface. In 1621, when James and his court happened to be at Woodstock, the scholars of Christ Church enacted Barton Holyday’s comedy of Τεχνογαμια, or the Marriage of the Arts: but his Majesty relished it so little, as to offer several times to withdraw, and was only prevented by some of his [Pg 72] courtiers representing that his doing so would be a cruel disappointment. This incident gave rise to the well-known epigram—

“At Christ-Church marriage, done before the king,
Lest that those mates should want an offering,
The king himself did offer—what, I pray?
He offered twice or thrice to go away.”


At this period. Wood states, in his Annals, that when King James was entertained at Oxford, in 1605, divers Cambridge scholars went thither out of novelty, to see and hear; and some that pretended to be wits made copies of verses on that solemnity, of which, he says, I have met with one that runs—

To Oxonforde the king is gone,
With all his mighty peers,
That hath in grace maintained us,
These four or five long years.

Such a king he hath been,
As the like was never seen:
Knights did ride by his side,
Evermore to be his guide:
A thousand knights, and forty thousand knights,
Knights of forty pounds a year.

which some attribute to one Lake. This example, he adds, was followed by the Oxonians, when James visited Cambridge in 1614, and “many idle songs” were made by them upon the proceedings at Cambridge, the most celebrated of which is the one entitled, “A Grave Poem, as it was presented in Latin by Divines and others, before his Majesty at Cambridge, by way of Enterlude, stiled ‘Liber novus de adventu Regis ad Cantabrigiam,’ faithfully done into English, with some liberal advantage, made rather to be sung than red, to the tune of ‘Bonny Nell,’” which poem, says Wood, may be seen in the works of the witty Bishop Corbet (by whom it was written,) “printed in 1647.” But in so saying our annalist not only lies under [Pg 73] a mistake, but Mr. Gutch, his editor, has not detected it. The poem is not in the edition of 1647, but in that of 1672, which is the third, corrected and enlarged, and “printed by J. C. for William Crooke, at the Green Dragoon, without Temple Bar;” as all may see who will consult the said editions, both extant in the library of the British Museum. The poem is comprised in twenty-six stanzas, as follows:—

It is not yet a fortnight, since
Lutetia entertained our Prince,
And wasted both a studied toy,
As long as was the siege of Troy:
And spent herself for full five days
In speeches, exercise, and plays.

To trim the town, great care before
Was tane by th’ Lord Vice-Chancellor,
Both morn and eve he cleared the way,
The streets he gravell’d thrice a day;
One stripe of March-dust for to see,
No Provost would give more than he.

Their colledges were new be-painted,
Their founders eke were new be-sainted;
Nothing escaped, nor post, nor door,
Nor gete, nor rail, nor b——d, nor wh——:
You could not know (oh, strange mishap!)
Whether you saw the town or map.

But the pure house of Emanuel,
Would not be like proud Jesebel,
Nor show herself before the king
An hypocrite, or painted thing:
But that the ways might all prove fair,
Conceiv’d a tedious mile of prayer.

Upon the look’d-for seventh of March,
Out went the townsmen all in starch,
Both band and bead into the field,
Where one a speech could hardly wield;
For needs he would begin his stile,
The king being from him half a mile.

They gave the king a piece of plate,
Which they hop’d never came too late;
And cry’d, Oh! look not in, great king,
For there is in it just nothing:
And so preferred with time and gate,
A speech as empty as their plate.
[Pg 74]
Now, as the king came near the town,
Each one ran crying up and down,
Alas, poor Oxford, thou’rt undone,
For now the king’s past Trompington,
And rides upon his brave grey Dapple,
Seeing the top of King’s-Colledge chappel.

Next rode his lordship on a nag,
Whose coat was blue, whose ruff was shag,
And then began his reverence
To speak most eloquent non-sense:
See how (quoth he) most mighty prince,
For very joy my horse doth wince.

What cryes the town? what we? (said he)
What cryes the University?
What cryes the boyes? what every thing?
Behold, behold, yon comes the king:
And every period he bedecks,
With En et Ecce venit Rex.

Oft have I warn’d (quoth he) our dirt,
That no silk stockings should be hurt;
But we in vain strive to be fine,
Unless your Grace’s sun doth shine;
And with the beams of your bright eye,
You will be pleased our streets to dry.

Now come we to the wonderment,
Of Christendom, and eke of Kent,
The Trinity; which to surpass,
Doth Deck her spokesman by a glass:
Who, clad in gay and silken weeds,
Thus opes his mouth, hark how he speeds.

I wonder what your Grace doth here,
Who had expected been 12 year,
And this your son, fair Carolus,
That is so Jacobissimus;
There’s none, of all your Grace refuses,
You are most welcome to our Muses.

Although we have no bells to jingle,
Yet can we shew a fair quadrangle,
Which, though it ne’er was graced with king,
Yet sure it is a goodly thing:
My warning’s short, no more I’ll say,
Soon you shall see a gallant play.

But nothing was so much admired
As were their plays, so well attired;
Nothing did win more praise of mine,
[Pg 75]Than did their Actors most divine:
So did they drink their healths divinely,
So did they skip and dance so finely.

Their plays had sundry grave wise factors,
A perfect diocess of Actors
Upon the stage; for I am sure that
There was both bishop, pastor, curat:
Nor was this labour light or small,
The charge of some was pastoral.

Our plays were certainly much worse,
For they had a brown hobby-horse,
Which did present unto his Grace
A wondrous witty ambling pace:
But we were chiefly spoyl’d by that
Which was six hours of God knows what.

His Lordship then was in a rage,
His Lordship lay upon the stage,
His Lordship cry’d, All would be marr’d:
His Lordship lov’d a-life the guard,
And did invite those mighty men,
To what think you? Even to a Hen.

He knew he was to use their might
To help to keep the door at night,
And well bestow’d he though his Hen,
That they might Tolebooth Oxford men.
He thought it did become a lord
To threaten with that bug-bear word.

Now pass we to the Civil Law,
And eke the doctors of the spaw,
Who all perform’d their parts so well,
Sir Edward Ratcliff bore the bell,
Who was, by the king’s own appointment,
To speak of Spells and Magic Ointment.

The Doctors of the Civil Law,
Urged ne’er a reason worth a straw;
And though they went in silk and satten,
They, Thomson-like clip’d the king’s Latine;
But yet his Grace did pardon then
All treasons against Priscian.

Here no man spoke aught to the point,
But all they said was out of joint;
Just like the Chappel ominous,
In th’ Colledge called God with us,
Which truly doth stand much awry,
Just north and south, yes verily.
[Pg 76]
Philosophers did well their parts,
Which proved them Masters of the Arts;
Their Moderator was no fool,
He far from Cambridge kept a school:
The country did such store afford,
The Proctors might not speak a word.

But to conclude, the king was pleased,
And of the court the town was eased:
But Oxford though (dear sister hark it)
The king is gone but to New-Market,
And comes again ere it be long,
Then you may sing another song.

The king being gone from Trinitie,
They make a scramble for degree;
Masters of all sorts and all ages,
Keepers, subsizers, lackayes, pages,
Who all did throng to come abroad,
With pray make me now, good my Lord.

They prest his lordship wondrous hard,
His lordship then did want the guard,
So did they throng him for the nonce,
Till he bless them all at once,
And cry’d Hodiissime:
Omnes Magistri estote.

Nor is this all which we do sing,
For of your praise the world must ring:
Reader, unto your tackling look,
For there is coming forth a book,
Will spoyl Joseph Bernesius
The sale of Rex Platonicus.

His Majesty was, as usual, entertained with speeches, disputations, and dramatic exhibitions. Fuller relates, that the following


Or Disputation, was kept at Cambridge before this prince, during this visit, where Dr. John Davenant (afterwards Bishop of Sarum) was respondent, and Dr. Richardson, amongst others, opponent. The question was maintained, in the negative, concerning the excommunicating of kings. Dr. Richardson vigorously pressed the practice of St. Ambrose, who excommunicated the emperor Theodosius,—insomuch, says Fuller, that the king, in a great passion, [Pg 77] returned,—“Profecto fuit hoc ab Ambrosio insolentissime factum.” To which Dr. R. rejoined,—“Responsum vere Regium, et Alexandro dignum, hoc non est argumentu dissolvere, sed desecare,”—and so, sitting down, discontinued from any further argument. It was for the entertainment of James during this visit, that


Entitled Ignoramus, was first enacted. It originated in a dispute on the question of precedency, in 1611, when the Mayor, whose name was Thomas Smart, had seated himself in a superior place in the Guildhall of the town, in the presence of the Vice-Chancellor of the University, who asserted his right to the same; but the Mayor refused to resign the seat, till the Vice-Chancellor’s attendants forcibly ejected him. The dispute was laid before the Privy Council, who decided in favour of the Vice-Chancellor. But during the progress of the affair, the Recorder of Cambridge, named Brankyn, stoutly defended the Mayor and Corporation against the rights of the University. This it was that induced the author of the play, Geo. Ruggle, Fellow of Clare-Hall, to show him up, in the pedantic, crafty, pragmatical character of Ignoramus; and if lawyer Brankyn, it is said, had not actually set the dispute agoing, he greatly contributed to keep it alive. At this time King James had long been expected to visit Cambridge, who had a strong prejudice against lawyers, and a ruling passion to be thought the patron of literature. The circumstances suggested to Ruggle the propriety of exposing lawyer Brankyn before his Majesty, in the above character, and to render it the more forcible, he resolved to adopt the common-law forms, and the cant and barbarous phraseology of lawyers in the ordinary discourse. It was, therefore, necessary that he should make himself master of that dialect, in which almost the best amongst them were accustomed to write and even to discourse; a jargon, says Wilson, in his Memorabilia Cantabrigiæ, could not but be offensive to a classical car. He, therefore, took more than ordinary pains to acquaint himself with the technical terms of the profession, and to mark the abuse of them, of which [Pg 78] he has admirably availed himself in the formation of the character of Ignoramus, who not only transacts business, but “woos in language of the Pleas and Bench.” The comedy was enacted before his Majesty by the members of the University, and he was so much delighted with, on dit, either the wit or absurdity, that he caused it to be played a second time, and once at Newmarket. During one of these representations, says Dr. Peckard, formerly Master of Magdalen College, in his Life of Mr. Farrer, “the King called out aloud, ‘Treason! Treason!’ The gentlemen about him being anxious to know what disturbed his Majesty, he said, ‘That the writer and performers had acted their parts so well, that he should die of laughter.’” It was during the performance of this play, according to Rapin and others, that James was first struck with the personal beauty of George Villiers, who afterwards became Duke of Buckingham, and supplanted Somerset in his favour. Thomas Gibbons, Esq. says, in his Collection, forming part of the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum, (No. 980, art. 173.) that “the comedy of Ignoramus, supposed to be by Mr. Ruggle, is but a translation of the Italian comedy of Baptista Porta, entitled Trapulario, as may be seen by the comedy itself, in Clare-hall Library, with Mr. Ruggle’s notes and alterations thereof.” A literary relique that is said to have now disappeared; but it is to be hoped, for the credit of a learned Society, that it is a mistake. Dyer in his Privileges of Cambridge (citing vol. ii. fol. 149 of Hare’s MSS.) gives the judgment of the Earl Marshal of England, which settled this famous controversy. The original document is extant in the Crown Office, in these words:—“I do set down, &c. that the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge is to be taken in commission before the Mayor. King James, also, in the third of his raigne, by letters under the privy signett, commandeth the Lord Ellesmere, Chancellor of England,


in all commissions of the peace or otherwise, where public shew of degrees is to be made.” [Pg 79]


Who had half a score of the softer sex to lisp “Papa,” not one of whom his lady was conjuror enough “to get off,” was one day accosted in Piccadilly by an old Oxford chum, with, “I hope I see your Lordship well.” “Pretty well, for a man who is daily smothered in petticoats, and has ten daughters and a wife to carve for,” was the reply.


“The earliest collection of Christmas carols supposed to have been published,” says Hone, in his Every-Day Book, “is only known from the last leaf of a volume, printed by Wynkyn Worde, in the year 1521. This precious scrap was picked up by Tom Hearne; Dr. Rawlinson purchased it at his decease in a volume of tracts, and bequeathed it to the Bodleian Library. There are two carols upon it: one, ‘a caroll of huntynge,’ is reprinted in the last edition of Juliana Berner’s ‘Boke of St. Alban’s;’ the other, ‘a caroll bringing in the boar’s head,’ is in Mr. Dibdin’s edition of “Ames,” with a copy of it as it is now sung in Queen’s College, Oxford, every Christmas Day. Dr. Bliss of Oxford also printed on a sheet, for private distribution, a few copies of this, and Anthony Wood’s version of it, with notices concerning the custom, from the handwriting of Wood and Dr. Rawlinson, in the Bodleian Library. Ritson, in his ill-tempered ‘Observations on Warton’s History of English Poetry,’ (1782, 4to., p. 37,) has a Christmas carol upon bringing up the boar’s head, from an ancient MS. in his possession, wholly different from Dr. Bliss’s. The ‘Bibliographical Miscellanies’ (Oxford, 1814, 4to.) contains seven carols from a collection in one volume, in the possession of Dr. Cotton, of Christ-Church College, Oxford, ‘imprynted at London, in the Poultry, by Richard Kele, dwelling at the longe shop vnder Saynt Myldrede’s Chyrche,’” probably between 1546 and 1552. “I had an opportunity of perusing this exceedingly curious volume [Pg 80] (Mr. Hone,) which is supposed to be unique, and has since passed into the hands of Mr. Freeling.” “According to Aubrey’s MS., in the Coll. Ashmol. Mus., Oxford,” says a writer in the Morning Herald of the 25th of Dec., 1833, “before the last Civil Wars, in gentlemen’s houses, at Christmas, the first dish that was brought to the table was a boar’s head, with a lemon in his mouth. At Qeeun’s College, Oxford,” adds this writer, “they still retain this custom; the bearer of it brings it into the hall, singing, to an old tune, an old Latin rhyme, “Caput apri defero,” &c. “The carol, according to Hearne, Ames, Warton, and Ritson,” says Dr. Dibdin, in his edition of the second, is as follows:—


Caput apri differo
Reddens laudes domino.
The bore’s heed in hande bring I,
With garlands gay and rosemary,
I praye you all synge merely,
Qui estis in convivio.

The bores heed I understande
Is the thefte servyce in this lande,
Take where ever it be fande,
Servite cum cantico.

Be gladde lordes bothe more and lasse,
For this hath ordeyned our stewarde,
To chere you all this Christmasse,
The bores heed with mustarde.

“This carol (says Warton,) with many alterations, is yet retained at Queen’s College, Oxford,” though “other ancient carols occur with Latin burthens or Latin intermixtures.” But, “Being anxious to obtain a correct copy of this ballad,” says Dr. Dibdin, in his Ames, “as I had myself heard it sung in the Hall of Queen’s College, I wrote to the Rev. Mr. Dickinson, Tutor of the College, to favour me with an account of it: his answer, which may gratify the curious, is here subjoined.

“‘Queen’s College, June 7th, 1811.

“‘Dear Sir,—I have much pleasure in transmitting you [Pg 81] a copy of the old Boar’s Head Song, as it has been sung in our College-hall, every Christmas Day, within my remembrance. There are some barbarisms in it, which seem to betoken its antiquity. It is sung to the common chaunt of the prose version of the Psalms in cathedrals; at least, whenever I have attended the service at Magdalen or New College Chapels, I have heard the Boar’s Head strain continually occurring in the Psalms.

“‘The boar’s head in hand bring I,
Bedeck’d with bays and rosemary;
And I pray you, my masters, be merry,
Quot estis in convivio.
Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino.

“‘The boar’s head, as I understand,
Is the rarest dish in all this land,
Which thus bedeck’d with a gay garland,
Let us servire Cantico.
Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino.

“‘Our steward hath provided this
In honour of the King of Bliss;
Which on this day to be served is,
In Regimensi Atrio.
Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino.’”

“The following,” adds the Doctor, “is Hearne’s minute account of it: (Hist. Guil. Neubrig. vol. iii. p. 743:) ‘I will beg leave here,’ says the pugnacious Oxford antiquary, ‘to give an exact copy of the Christmas Carol upon the Boar’s Head, (which is an ancient dish, and was brought up by King Henry I. with trumpets, before his son, when his said son was crowned) as I have it in an old fragment, (for I usually preserve even fragments of old books) of the Christmas Carols printed by Wynkyn de Worde, (who as well as Richard Pynson, was servant to William Caxton, who was the first that printed English books, though not the first printer in England, as is commonly said,) printing being exercised at Oxford in 1468, if not sooner, which was several years before he printed anything at Westminster, by which it will be perceived how much the said carol [Pg 82] is altered, as it is sung in some places even now, from what it was at first. It is the last thing, it seems, of the book (which I never yet saw entire,) and at the same time I think it proper also to add to the printer’s conclusion, for this reason, at least, that such as write about our first printers, may have some notice of the date of this book, and the exact place where printed, provided they cannot be able to meet with it, as I believe they will find it pretty difficult to do, it being much laid aside, about the time that some of David’s Psalms came to be used in its stead.’”


Is briefly noticed in Pointer’s “Oxoniensis Academia,” as “that of having a boar’s head, or the figure of one in wood, brought up in the hall every year on Christmas Day, ushered in very solemnly with an old song, in memory of a noble exploit (as tradition goes,) by a scholar (a Tabardar) of this college, in killing a wild boar in Shotover Wood.” That is, having wandered into the said wood, which was not far from Oxford, with a copy of Aristotle in his hand (for the Oxonians were of old logicians of the orthodox school in which an Alexander the Great was bred,) and if the latter, as a pupil who sat at the foot of Aristotle, conquered a world, no wonder our Tabardar, as a disciple being attacked by a wild boar, who came at him with extended jaws, intending to make but a mouthful of him, was enabled to conquer so rude a beast, which he did by thrusting the Aristotle down the boar’s throat, crying, in the concluding words of the 5th stanza of the following song—‘Græcum est.’ The animal of course fell prostrate at his feet, was carried in triumph to the college, and no doubt served up with an ‘old song,’ as Mr. Pointer says, in memory of this “noble exploit.” The witty Dr. Buckler, however, is not satisfied with this brief notice of Mr. Pointer’s: but says, in his never-to-be-forgotten exposé, or “Complete Vindication,” of The All-Souls’ Mallard (of which anon,) “I am apt to fear, that it is a fixed principle in Mr. Pointer to ridicule every ceremony and solemn institution that comes in his way, however venerable it may be for its antiquity and significance;” and after quoting Mr. Pointer’s words, [Pg 83] he adds, with his unrivalled irony, “now, notwithstanding this bold hint to the contrary, it seemeth to me to be altogether unaccountable and incredible, that a polite and learned society should be so far depraved, in its taste, and so much in love with a block-head, as to eat it. But as I have never had the honour of dining at a boar’s head, and there are many gentlemen more nearly concerned and better informed, as well as better qualified, in every respect, to refute this calumny than I am, I shall avoid entering into a thorough discussion of this subject. I know it is given out by Mr. Pointer’s enemies, that he hath been employed by some of the young seceders from that college, to throw out a Story of the Wooden-head, in order to countenance the complaints of those gentlemen about short commons, and the great deficiency of mutton, beef, &c.; and, indeed, I must say, that nothing could have better answered their purpose, in this respect, than in proving, according to the insinuation, that the chief dish at one of their highest festivals, was nothing but a log of Wood bedeck’d with bays and rosemary; but surely this cannot be credited, after the university has been informed by the best authority, and in the most public Manner, that a young Nobleman, who lately completed his academical education at that house, was, during his whole residence, not only very well satisfied but extremely delighted with the college commons.”

In the Oxford Sausage is the following


Tam Marti quam Mercurio.

I sing not of Rome or Grecian mad games.
The Pythian, Olympic, and such like hard names;
Your patience awhile, with submission, I beg,
I strive but to honour the feast of Coll. Reg.
Derry down, down, down, derry down.

No Thracian brawls at our rites e’er prevail,
We temper our mirth with plain sober mild Ale;
The tricks of Old Circe deter us from Wine:
Though we honour a boar, we won’t make ourselves Swine.
Derry down, &c.
[Pg 84]
Great Milo was famous for slaying his Ox,
Yet he proved but an ass in cleaving of blocks:
But we had a hero for all things was fit,
Our Motto displays both his Valour and Wit.
Derry down, &c.

Stout Hercules labour’d, and look’d mighty big,
When he slew the half-starved Erymanthian Pig;
But we can relate such a stratagem taken,
That the stoutest of Boars could not save his own Bacon.
Derry down, &c.

So dreadful his bristle-back’d foe did appear,
You’d have sworn he had got the wrong Pig by the ear,
But instead of avoiding the mouth of the beast,
He ramm’d in a volume, and cried—Græcum est.
Derry down, &c.

In this gallant action such fortitude shown is,
As proves him no coward, nor tender Adonis;
No Armour but Logic; by which we may find,
That Logic’s the bulwark of body and mind.
Derry down, &c.

Ye Squires that fear neither hills nor rough rocks,
And think you’re full wise when you out-wit a Fox;
Enrich your poor brains, and expose them no more,
Learn Greek, and seek glory from hunting the Boar.
Derry down, &c.


Is another custom that either was, or is, annually celebrated at Queen’s College, Oxford, not pro bono publico, it seems, but pro bono cook-o! and has a reference, probably, to the exploit in which Milo “proved but an ass,” as observed in the second line of the third verse of the foregoing song. On dit, every Christmas, New Year’s, or some other day, at that season of the year, a block of wood is placed at the hall-door, where the cook stands with his cleaver, which he delivers to each member of the College, as he passes out of the Hall, who endeavours, at one stroke, to sever the block of wood; failing to do which, he throws down half-a-crown, in which sum he is mulct. This is done by every one in succession, should they, as is invariably the case, prove themselves asses in “cleaving of blocks.” [Pg 85] But should any one out-Milo Milo, he would be entitled to all the half-crowns previously forfeited: otherwise the whole goes to the cook.


Lord Byron has said, that a man is unfortunate whose name will admit of being punned upon. The lament might apply to all peculiarities of person and habit. Dr. Joseph Jowett, the late regius professor of civil law at Cambridge, though a learned man, an able lecturer, one that generously fostered talent in rising young men, and a dilettante musician of a refined and accurate taste, was remarkable for some singularities, as smallness of stature, and for gardening upon a small scale. This gave the late Bishop Mansel or Porson (for it has been attributed to both, and both were capable of perpetrating it) an occasion to throw off


Exiguum hunc hortum Jowettulus iste
Exiguus, vallo et muriit exiguo:
Exiguo hoc horto forsan Jowettulus iste
Exiguus mentem prodidit exiguum.


A little garden little Jowett had,
And fenced it with a little palisade:
Because this garden made a little talk,
He changed it to a little gravel walk:
And if you’ld know the taste of little Jowett,
This little garden doth a little show it.


Who had the honour to edit his Adversaria, can both, it is said, bear witness to the fact, that Porson was unlike many pedants who make a display of their brilliant parts to surprise rather than enlighten; he was liberal in the extreme, and truly amiable in communicating his knowledge [Pg 86] to young men of talent and industry, and would tell them all they wanted to know in a plain and direct manner, without any attempt to display his superiority. All, however, agree that the time for profiting by Porson’s learning was inter bibendum, for then, as Chaucer says of the Sompnour—

“When he well dronkin had with wine,
Then would he speak ne word but Latine.”

More than one distinguished judge of his merits


And he never appeared so sore, says one who knew him well, as when a Wakefield or a Hermann offered to set him right, or hold their tapers to light him on his way. Their doing so gave him occasion to compare them to four-footed animals, guided only by instinct; and in future, he said, he “would take care they should not reach what he wrote with their paws, though they stood on their hind legs.” I may here very appropriately repeat the fact, that


As he has shown in his preface to the second edition of his Hecuba. The German critic, Hermann, however, whom he makes to say, in his notes on the Medea, “We Germans understand quantity better than the English,” accuses him of being more dictatorial than explanatory in his metrical decisions. Upon this the professor fired the following epigram at the German:—

Νηΐ δες ἐσντὲ μετρων ὦ Τεύτονες, οὐχ ὁ μὲν, ὃς δ’ ὄυ,
Πάντες πλὴν Ἔρμαννος, ὁ δ’ Ἔρμαννος σφόδρα τέυτων.

The Germans in Greek,
Are sadly to seek;
Not five in five score,
But ninety-five more;
All, save only Hermann,
And Hermann’s a German.

[Pg 87]


Had but little regard for each other, and when the latter published his Hecuba, Porson said—

“What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should publish her?”

At another time, being teased for his opinion of a modern Latin poem, his reply was,—“There is a great deal in it from Horace, and a great deal from Virgil: but nothing Horatian and nothing Virgilian.”

Dr. Parr once asked the professor, “what he thought of the origin of evil?” “I see no good in it,” was his answer.

The same pugnacious divine told him one day, that “with all his learning, he did not think him well versed in metaphysics.” “Sir,” said Porson, “I suppose you mean your metaphysics.”

It is not generally known that during the time he was employed in deciphering the famed Rosetta stone, in the collection of the British Museum, which is black,


And it is here worthy of remark, that it was to another celebrated Cantab, Porson’s contemporary, Dr. Edward Daniel Clarke, the traveller, that we are indebted for that relique of antiquity. He happened to be in Egypt at the time the negociation for the evacuation of that country by the remnant of Bonaparte’s army was progressing between Lord Hutchinson and the French General, Menou. Knowing the French were in possession of the famed Rosetta stone, amongst other reliques, Clarke’s sagacity induced him to point out to Lord Hutchinson the importance of possessing it. The consequence was, he was named as one of the parties to negociate with Menou for the surrender of that and their other Egyptian monuments and valuable reliques which the sçavans attached to the French army had sedulously collected; and notwithstanding every impediment and even insult were heaped upon, and thrown in Clarke’s way, his perseverance was proof against it all. Indeed, [Pg 88]


Whose name and writings are now justly celebrated throughout the civilized world, was from his very childhood (says his biographer, contemporary, and friend, the learned Principal of King’s College, London,) an enthusiast in whatever he undertook, and always possessed, in a very high degree, the power of interesting the minds of others towards any objects that occupied his own. This was remarkably illustrated by his manufacture of


In the third year of his residence, when not more than eighteen, probably the only instance of a member of either university constructing one. It “was magnificent in size, and splendid in its decorations, and was constructed and manœuvred, from first to last, entirely by himself. It was the contrivance of many anxious thoughts, and the labour of many weeks, to bring it to what he wished; and when, at last, it was completed to his satisfaction, and had been suspended for some days in the college hall, of which it occupied the whole height, he announced a time for its ascension. There was nothing at that period very new in balloons, or very curious in the species he had adopted; but by some means he had contrived to disseminate, not only within his own college, but throughout the whole university, a prodigious curiosity respecting the fate of this experiment; and a vast concourse of persons assembled, both within and without the college walls; and the balloon having been brought to its station, the grass-plot within the cloisters of Jesus’ College, was happily launched by himself, amidst the applause of all ranks and degrees of gownsmen, the whole scene succeeding to his wish; nor is it very easy to forget the delight which flashed from his eye, and the triumphant wave of his cap, when the machine, with its little freight (a kitten,) having cleared the college battlements, was seen floating in full security over the towers of the great gate, followed in its course by several persons on horseback, who had undertaken to recover it; [Pg 89] and all went home delighted with an exhibition upon which nobody would have ventured, in such a place, but himself. But to gratify and amuse others was ever the source of the greatest satisfaction to him.” This was one of those early displays of that spirit of enterprise which was so gloriously developed in his subsequent wanderings through the dreary regions of the north, over the classic shores of mouldering Greece, of Egypt, and of Palestine, the scenes of which, and their effects upon his vivid imagination and sanguine spirit, he has so admirably depicted in his writings. This eminent traveller used to say, that the old proverb,


“Was a lie.” Use poker, tongs, shovel, and all,—only keep them all stirring, was his creed. Few had the capacity of keeping them so effectually stirring as he had. Nature seemed to have moulded him, head and heart, to be in a degree a contradiction to the wise saws of experience.


Dr. Bentley said of our celebrated Cambridge Professor, Joshua Barnes, that “he knew about as much Greek as an Athenian blacksmith,” but he was certainly no ordinary scholar, and few have excelled him in his tact at throwing of “trifles light as air” in that language, of which his following version of three blue beans in a bladder is a sample:

Τρεις κυαμοι ενι κυστιδι κυανεηφι.

Equal to this is the following spondaic on


By Kit Smart, who well deserved, though Dr. Johnson denied him, a place in his British Poets. He possessed great wit and sprightliness of conversation, which would readily flow off in extemporaneous verse, says Dyer, and [Pg 90] the three university bedels all happening to be fat men, he thus immortalized them:

“Pinguia tergeminorum abdomina Bedellorum.”

(Three bedels sound, with paunches fat and round.)


It is recorded of another Cambridge Clarke, the Rev. John, who was successively head-master of the grammar schools of Skipton, Beverley, and Wakefield in Yorkshire, and obtained the honourable epithet of “The good school-master”—that when he presented himself to our great critic, Dr. Richard Bentley, at Trinity College, Cambridge, for admission, the Doctor proceeded to examine him, as is usual, and placed before him a page of the Greek text, with the Scholia, for the purpose. “He explained the whole,” says his memorialist, Dr. Zouch, “with the utmost perspicuity, elegance, and ease. Dr. Bentley immediately presented him with a valuable edition of the Comedies of Aristophanes, telling him, in language peculiar to himself, that no scholar in Europe understood them better, one person only excepted.” Dyer has the following


In his Supplement, but supposes it cannot be charged upon the Doctor, “the greatest Greek scholar of his age.” He is said to have set a scholar a copy of Greek verses, by way of imposition, for some offence against college discipline. Having completed his verses, he brought them to the Doctor, who had not proceeded far in examining them before he was struck with a passage, which he pronounced bad Greek. “Yet, sir,” said the scholar, with submission, “I thought I had followed good authority,” and taking a Pindar out of his pocket, he pointed to a similar expression. The Doctor was satisfied, but, continuing to read on, he soon found another passage, which he said was certainly bad Greek. The young man took his Pindar out of his [Pg 91] pocket again, and showed another passage, which he had followed as his authority. The Doctor was a little nettled, but he proceeded to the end of the verses, when he observed another passage at the close, which he affirmed was not classical. “Yet Pindar,” rejoined the young man, “was my authority even here,” and he pointed out the place which he had closely imitated. “Get along, sir,” exclaimed the Doctor, rising from his chair in a passion, “Pindar was very bold, and you are very impudent.”


This feast is annually celebrated the 14th of January, by the Society of All-Souls, in piam memoriam of their founder, the famous Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury. It is a custom at All-Souls’ College (says Pointer, in his Oxoniensis Academia,) kept up on “their mallard-night every year, in remembrance of a huge mallard or drake, found (as tradition goes) imprisoned in a gutter or drain under ground, and grown to a vast bigness, at the digging for the foundation of the college.” This mallard had grown to a huge size, and was, it appears, of a great age; and to account for the longevity, he cites the Ornithology of Willughby, who observes, “that he was assured by a friend of his, a person of very good credit, that his father kept a goose known to be sixty years of age, and as yet sound and lusty, and like enough to have lived many years longer, had he not been forced to kill her, for her mischievousness, worrying and destroying the young geese and goslings.” “And my Lord Bacon,” he adds, “in his Natural History, says, the goose may pass among the long-livers, though his food be commonly grass and such kind of nourishment, especially the wild goose; wherefore this proverb grew among the Germans, Magis senex quam Anser nivalis—Older than a wild-goose.” He might also have instanced the English proverb, “As tough as a Michaelmas goose.” “If a goose be such a long-lived bird,” observes Mr. P., “why not a duck or a drake, since I reckon they may be both ranked in the same class, though [Pg 92] of a different species, as to their size, as a rat and a mouse? And if so, this may help to give credit to our All-Souls’ mallard. However, this is certain, this mallard is the accidental occasion of a great gaudy once a-year, and great mirth, though the commemoration of their founder is the chief occasion; for on this occasion is always sung,” as extant in the Oxford Sausage, the following “merry old song:”—


Griffin, bustard, turkey, capon,
Let our hungry mortals gape on,
And on their bones their stomach fall hard,
But All-Souls’ men have their MALLARD.
Oh! by the blood of King Edward,
Oh! by the blood of King Edward,
It was a swapping, swapping, MALLARD.

The Romans once admired a gander
More than they did their chief commander,
Because he saved, if some don’t fool us,
The place that’s called from the Head of Tolus.
Oh! by the blood, &c.

The poets feign Jove turned a swan,
But let them prove it if they can;
As for our proof, ’tis not at all hard,
For it was a swapping, swapping MALLARD.
Oh! for the blood, &c.

Swapping he was from bill to eye,
Swapping he was from wing to thigh;
Swapping—his age and corporation
Out-swapped all the winged creation.
Oh! for the blood, &c.

Therefore let us sing and dance a galliard,
To the remembrance of the MALLARD;
And as the MALLARD dives in a pool,
Let us dabble, dive, and duck in a bowl.
Oh! by the blood of King Edward,
Oh! by the blood of King Edward,
It was a swapping, swapping MALLARD.

But whoever would possess themselves of the true history of the swapping mallard of All-Souls, must read the “Complete Vindication of the Mallard of All-Souls,” published in 1751, by Dr. Buckler, sub-warden, “a most [Pg 93] incontrovertible proof of his wit,” who for that and other, his effusions, was usually styled, by way of eminence, says Chalmers, in his History of Oxford, “The Buckler of the Mallardians.” His Vindication, it is justly observed, is “one of the finest pieces of irony in our language.” Of course, he is highly indignant at the “injurious suggestions of Mr. Pointer (contained in the foregoing quotations,) who insinuates, that the huge mallard was no better than a goose-a-gander, “magis senex,” &c.; and after citing the very words of Mr. P., he breaks out, “Thus the mallard of All-Souls, whose REMEMBRANCE has, for these three centuries, been held in the highest veneration, is, by this forged hypothesis, degraded into a GOOSE, or, at least, ranked in the same class with that ridiculous animal, and the whole story on which the rites and ceremonies of the mallard depends, is represented as merely traditional; more than a hint is given of the mischievousness of the bird, whatever he be; and all is founded on a pretended longevity, in support of which fiction the great names of Lord Bacon and Mr. Willughby are called in, to make the vilifying insinuation pass the more plausibly upon the world.” “We live in an age (he adds,) when the most serious subjects are treated with an air of ridicule; I shall therefore set this important affair in its true light, and produce authorities “sufficient to convince the most obstinate incredulity; and first, I shall beg leave to transcribe a passage from Thomas Walsingham, (see Nicholson’s Historical Library,) a monk of St. Alban’s, and Regius Professor of History in that monastery, about the year 1440. This writer is well known among the historians for his Historia Brevis, written in Latin, and published both by Camden and Archbishop Parker. But the tract I am quoting is in English, and entitled, Of Wonderful and Surprising Eventys, and, as far as I can find, has never yet been printed. The eighth chapter of his fifth book begins thus:—

“‘Ryghte well worthie of Note is thilke famous Tale of the All-Soulen Mallarde, the whiche, because it bin acted in our Daies, and of a suretye vouched into me, I will in fewe Wordys relate.

[Pg 94] “‘Whereas Henrye Chicele, the late renowned Arch-Bishope of Cantorburye, had minded to founden a Collidge in Oxenforde for the hele of his Soule and the Soules of all those who peryshed in the Warres in Fraunce, fighteing valiantlye under our most gracious Henrye the fifthe, moche was he distraughten concerning the Place he myghte choose for thilke Purpose. Him thynketh some whylest how he myghte place it withouten the eastern Parte of the Citie, both for the Pleasauntnesse of the Meadowes and the clere Streamys therebye runninge. Agen him thynketh odir whylest howe he mote builden it on the Northe Side for the heleful Ayre there coming from the fieldis. Now while he doubteth thereon he dreamt, and behold there appearyth unto him one of righte godelye Personage, saying and adviseing him as howe he myghte placen his Collidge in the Highe Strete of the Citie, nere unto the Chirche of our blessed Ladie the Virgine, and in Witnesse that it was sowthe and no vain and deceitful Phantasie, wolled him to laye the first Stone of the foundation at the corner which turnyth towards the Cattys-strete, where in delvinge he myghte of a Suretye finde a schwoppinge Mallarde imprison’d in the Sinke or Sewere, wele yfattened and almost ybosten. Sure Token of the Thrivaunce of his future Collidge.

“‘Moche doubteth he when he awoke on the nature of this Vision, whether he mote give hede thereto or not. Then advisyth he thereon with monie Docters and learned Clerkys, all sayd howe he oughte to maken Trial upon it. Then comyth he to Oxenforde, and on a Daye fix’d, after Masse seyde, proceedeth he in solemn wyse, with Spades and Pickaxes for the nonce provided, to the Place afore spoken of. But long they had not digged ere they herde, as it myghte seme, within the wam of the Erthe, horrid Strugglinges and Flutteringes, and anon violent Quaakinges of the distressyd Mallarde. Then Chicele lyfteth up his hondes and seyth Benedicite, &c. &c. Nowe when they broughte him forthe behold the Size of his Bodie was as that of a Bustarde or an Ostriche, and moche wonder was thereat, for the lyke had not been been scene in this Londe, ne in anie odir.’

[Pg 95] “Here,” says the Doctor, “we have the matter of fact proved from an authentic record, wherein there is not one word said of the longevity of the mallard, upon a supposition of which Mr. Pointer has founded his whole libel. The mallard, ’tis true, has grown to a great size. But what then? Will not the richness and plenty of the diet he wallowed in very well account for this, without supposing any great number of years of imprisonment? The words of the historian, I am sure, rather discourage any such supposition. Sure token, says he, of the thrivance of his future college! which seems to me to intimate the great progress the mallard had made in fattening, in a short space of time. But be this as it will, there is not the least hint of a goose in the case. No: the impartial Walsingham had far higher notions of the mallard, and could form no comparison of him, without borrowing his idea from some of the most noble birds, the bustard and the ostridge.” Turning to our author’s comment on the last passage of Mr. Pointer, he adds, “However, this is certain, this mallard is the accidental occasion of a great gaudy once a year, and great mirth; for on this occasion is always sung a merry old song.”—“Rem tam seriam—tam negligenter,” exclaims the Doctor; “Would any one but this author have represented so august a ceremony as the Celebration of the Mallard by those vulgar circumstances of eating and drinking, and singing a merry old song? Doth he not know that the greatest states, even those of Rome and Carthage, had their infant foundations distinguished by incidents very much resembling those of the mallard, and that the commemoration of them was celebrated with hymns and processions, and made a part of their religious observances? Let me refresh his memory with a circumstance or two relating to the head of Tolus (will serve to elucidate the fourth line of the second verse of the merry old song) which was discovered at the foundation of the Capitol. The Romans held the remembrance of it in the greatest veneration, as will appear from the following quotation from Arnobius, in a fragment preserved by Lipsius:—‘Quo die (says he, speaking of the annual celebrity) congregati sacerdotes, et eorum ministri, totum [Pg 96] Capitolinum collem circumibant, cantilenam quandam sacram de Toli cujusdam capite, dum molirentur fundamenta invento, recitantes deinde ad cœnam verè pontificiam se recipientes,’ &c. Part of this merry old song (as Mr. P. would call it) is preserved by Vossius, in his book De Sacris Cantilenis Veterum Romanorum. The chorus of it shows so much the simplicity of the ancient Roman poetry that I cannot forbear transcribing it for the benefit of my reader, as the book is too scarce to be in every one’s hand. It runs thus:

Toli caput venerandum!
Magnum caput et mirandum!
Toli caput resonamus.

I make no doubt but that every true critic will be highly pleased with it. For my own part, it gives me a particular pleasure to reflect on the resemblance there is between this precious relique of antiquity, and the chorus of the Mallard.

Oh, by the blood of King Edward,
It was a swapping, swapping Mallard!

The greatness of the subject, you see, is the Thing celebrated in both, and the manner of doing it is as nearly equal as the different geniuses of the two languages will permit. Let me hope, therefore, that Mr. P. when he exercises his thoughts again on this subject, will learn to think more highly of the mallard, than of a common gaudy, or merry making. For it will not be just to suppose that the gentlemen of All-Souls can have less regard for the memory of so noble a bird, found all alive, than the Romans had for the dead skull of the Lord knows whom.”


Dr. Plott relates, in his History of Oxfordshire, that the founder of St. John’s College, Oxford, Sir Thomas White, alderman and merchant tailor of London, originally designed the establishment of his college at his birth-place, Reading, in Berkshire. But being warned in a [Pg 97] dream, that he should build a college for the education of youth, in religion and learning, near a place where he should find two elms growing out of the same root, he first proceeded to Cambridge, and finding no such tree, he repaired to Oxford, where he discovered one, which answered the description in his dream, near St. Bernard’s College. Elated with joy, he dismounted from his horse, and, on his knees, returned thanks for the fortunate issue of his pious search. Dr. Joseph Warton seems to throw a doubt upon Dr. Plott’s narration, observing, that he was fond of the marvellous. The college was founded in the middle of the sixteenth century, and Doctor Plott says, that the tree was in a flourishing state in his day, 1677, when Dr. Leving was president of St. John’s College. Mr. Pointer observes, in his Oxoniensis Academia, “The triple trees that occasioned the foundation of the college, &c. did stand between the library and the garden. One of them died in 1626.”

The following letter, addressed to the Society by Sir Thomas, the founder, a fortnight before his death, the 11th of February, 1566, is a relic worth printing, though it does “savour of death’s heads.”

Mr. President, with the Fellows and Schollers.

“I have mee recommended unto you even from the bottome of my hearte, desyringe the Holye Ghoste may be amonge you untill the end of the worlde, and desyringe Almightie God, that everie one of you may love one another as brethren; and I shall desyre you all to applye to your learninge, and so doinge, God shall give you his blessinge bothe in this worlde and the worlde to come. And, furthermore, if anye variance or strife doe arise amonge you, I shall desyre you, for God’s love, to pacifye it as much as you may; and that doinge, I put no doubt but God shall blesse everye one of you. And this shall be the last letter that ever I shall sende unto you; and therefore I shall desyre everye one of you, to take a copy of yt for my sake. No more to you at this tyme; but the Lord have you in his keeping until the end of the worlde. Written the 27th day of January, 1566. I desyre you all [Pg 98] to pray to God for mee, that I may ende my life with patience, and that he may take mee to his mercye.

“By mee,
Sir Thomas White,      
Knighte, Alderman of London, and        
Founder of St. John’s College, in Oxford.”


A dispute once arose between the Doctors of Law and Medicine, in Cambridge, as to which had the right of precedence. “Does the thief or hangman take precedence at executions?” asked the Chancellor, on reference to his judgment. “The former,” answered a wag. “Then let the Doctors of Law have precedence,” said the Chancellor.


“The names which learned men bear for any length of time,” says Dr. Parr, “are generally well founded.” Dr. Chillingworth, for his able and convincing writings in support of the Protestant Church, was styled


Dr. Sutherland, the friend and literary associate of Dr. Mead, and others, obtained the soubriquet of


John Duns, better known as the celebrated Duns Scotus, who was bred at Merton College, Oxford, and is said to have been buried alive, was called


Another Mertonian, named Occam, his successor and opponent, was named


[Pg 99]

A third was the famous Sir Henry Savile, who had the title of


Bestowed upon him: and a fourth of the Society of Merton College, was the celebrated Reformer, John Wickliffe, who was called


Wood, says, that Dr. John Reynolds, President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, died in 1607, “one of so prodigious a memory, that he might have been called


To “see whom,” he adds, “was to command virtue itself.” If Duns Scotus was justly called “the most subtle doctor,” says Parr, Roger Bacon,


Bonaventure “the Seraphim,” Aquinas the “Universal and Evangelical,” surely Hooker has with equal, if not superior justice, obtained the name of


Bishop Louth, in his preface to his English Grammar, has bestowed the highest praise upon the purity of Hooker’s style. Bishop Warburton, in his book on the Alliance between Church and State, often quotes him, and calls him, “the excellent, the admirable, the best good man of our order.”


Senior, says Wood, who in the reigns of Henry V. and VI. taught and read in Peckwaters Ynne, while it flourished with grammarians, “was one so well seen in verse and prose, and all sorts of humanity, that he went beyond [Pg 100] the learnedest of his age, and was so noted a grammarian, that this verse was made upon him:—

‘Ut rosa flos florum sic Leland grammaticorum;’

Which,” he adds, “with some alteration, was fastened upon John Leland, junior, by Richard Croke, of Cambridge, at what time the said Leland became a Protestant, and thereupon,” observes Wood (as if it were a necessary consequence,) “fell mad:”

‘Ut rosa flos florum sic Leland flos fatuorum.’

Which being replied to by Leland (In Encom. Eruditorum in Anglia, &c. per Jo. Leland’s edit. Lond. 1589,) was answered by a friend of Croke’s in verse also. And here by the way I must let the reader know that it was the fashion of that age (temp. Hen. VIII.) to buffoon, or wit it after that fashion, not only by the younger sort of students, but by bishops and grave doctors. The learned Walter Haddon, Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and afterwards President of Magdalen College, Oxford, in an epistle that he wrote to Dr. Cox, Almoner to Edward IV. (afterwards Bishop of Ely) “doth give him great commendations of his actions and employments, and further addeth (in his Lucubrations) that when he was at leisure to recreate his mind, he would, rather than be idle, ‘Scevolæ et Lælii more—aut velitationem illam Croci cum Lelando perridiculam, vel reliquas Oxonienses nugas (ita enim profecto sunt,’ saith he,) ‘evolvere voluerit, &c.’ Dr. Tresham, also, who was many years Commissary or Vice-Chancellor of the University, is said by (Humfredus in Vita Juelli) ‘ludere in re seria, &c.’” When Queen Elizabeth was asked her opinion of the scholarship of the two great cotemporaries, the learned Buchanan and Dr. Walter Haddon, the latter accounted the best writer of Latin of his age, she dexterously avoided the imputation of partiality by replying: “Buchannum omnibus antepono, Haddonum nemini postpono.”


Was the friend and cotemporary of Erasmus, at Queen’s [Pg 101] College, Cambridge, and was so highly esteemed by that great man, that he called him, “Inter doctos nobilissimus, inter nobiles doctissimus, inter utrosque optimus.” His noble friend once entreated him to


“My Lord,” replied the sage, “nothing is more easy than to say Luther is mistaken: nothing more difficult than to prove him so.”


Was the soubriquet conferred upon the celebrated Etonian, Cantab, Reformer, Provost of King’s College, and Bishop of Hereford, Dr. Edward Fox, by the learned Bishop Godwin. Another Etonian and Cantab, Dr. Aldrich, Bishop of Carlisle, received from Erasmus, when young, the equally just and elegant compliment of



Many humorous stories are told of the absurd height to which the observance of etiquette has been carried at both Oxford and Cambridge. In my time, you might meet a good fellow at a wine party, crack your joke with him, hob-nob, &c., but, unless introduced, you would have been stared at with the most vacant wonderment if you attempted to recognise him next day. It is told of men of both universities, that a scholar walking on the banks of the Isis, or Cam, fell into the river, and was in the act of drowning, when another son of Alma-Mater came up, and observing his perilous situation, exclaimed, “What a pity it is I have not the honour of knowing the gentleman, that I might save him!” One version of the story runs, that the said scholars met by accident on the banks of the Nile or Ganges, I forget which, when the catastrophe took place; we may, therefore, very easily imagine the presence of either a crocodile or an alligator to complete the group.

[Pg 102] Wood, in his Annals of Oxford, has the following anecdote of


“The masters of olden time at Athens, and afterwards at Oxford, were called Sophi, and the scholars Sophistæ; but the masters taking it in scorn that the scholars should have a larger name than they, called themselves Philosophi,—that is, lovers of science, and so got the advantage of the scholars by one syllable.” Every body has heard of Foote’s celebrated motto for a tailor friend of his, about to sport his coat of arms,—“List, list, O list!” But every body has not heard, probably, though it is noticed in his memoir, extant in Nichols’s Literary Anecdotes, that the learned Cambridge divine and antiquary, Dr. Cocks Macro, having applied to a Cambridge acquaintance for an appropriate motto to his coat of arms, was pithily answered with


Every Cantab remembers and regrets the early death of the accomplished scholar, Charles Skinner Matthews, M. A., late Fellow of Downing College, who was “the familiar” of the present Sir J. C. Hobhouse, and of the late Lord Byron. He was not more accomplished than facetious, nor, according to one of Lord Byron’s letters, more facetious than “beloved.” Speaking of his university freaks, his lordship says, “when Sir Henry Smith was expelled from Cambridge, for a row with a tradesman named “Hiron,” Matthews solaced himself with shouting under Hiron’s window every evening—

“Ah me! what perils do environ
The man who meddles with hot Hiron!”

He was also of that


who, under the auspices of ——, used to rouse Lord Mansel (late Bishop of Bristol) from his slumbers in the Lodge of Trinity (College;) and when he appeared at the [Pg 103] window, foaming with wrath, and crying out, “I know you, gentlemen; I know you!” were wont to reply, “We beseech thee to hear us, good Lort!—Good Lort deliver us!” (Lort was his Christian name.) And his lordship might have added, the pun was the more poignant, as the Bishop was either a Welshman himself, or had a Welsh sponsor, in the person of the late Greek Professor, Dr. Lort. Punning upon sacred subjects, however, is decidedly in bad taste; yet, in the reign of the Stuarts, neither king nor nobles were above it. Our illustrious Cantab, Bacon, writing to Prince, afterwards Charles the First, in the midst of his disastrous poverty, says, he hopes, “as the father was his Creator, the son will be his Redeemer.” Yet this great man


But said, towards the close of his chequered life, that “a little smattering in philosophy would lead a man to Atheism, but a thorough insight into it will lead a man back to a First Cause; and that the first principle of religion is right reason; and seriously professed, all his studies and inquisitions, he durst not die with any other thoughts than those religion taught, as it is professed among the Christians.” These incidents remind me that


“Who, to save from rustication,
Crammed the dunce with declamation,”

Is now fast falling into forgetfulness, though there was a time when he was hailed by Granta’s choicest spirits, as one who never failed to “set the table in a roar.” Poor Jemmy! I shall never forget the manner in which he, by one of those straightforward, not-to-be-mistaken flashes of wit, silenced a brow-beating Radical Huntingdon attorney, at a Reform-meeting in Cambridge market-pace. Jemmy was a native of Cambridge, and was the son of a former chapel-clerk of Trinity College, who gave him an excellent classical education, and had him articled to an eminent solicitor, with fine talents and good prospects. But though Jemmy was “a cunning man with a hard head,” such as [Pg 104] his profession required, he had a soft heart,—fell in love with a pretty girl. That pretty girl, it is said, returned his passion, then proved faithless, and finally coquetted and ran off with a “gay deceiver,” a fellow-commoner of Trinity College,—optically dazzled, no doubt, with the purple robe and silver lace, for Jemmy was a fine, sensible-looking man. Poor Jemmy! he was too good for the faithless hussy; he took it to heart, as they say, and, unfortunately, took to drinking at the same time. He soon became too unsettled, both in mind and habits, to follow up his profession with advantage, and he became a bon-vivant, a professed wit, with a natural turn for facete, and the cram-man of the more idle sons of Granta, who delighted in his society in those days when his wits were unclouded, nor did the more distinguished members of the university then disdain to hail him to their boards. For many years Jemmy lived to know and prove that “learning is most excellent;” and having a good classical turn, he lived by writing Themes and Declarations for non-reading Cantabs, for each of which Jemmy expected the physician’s mite, and, like them, might be said to thrive by the Guinea Trade. It is, no doubt, true, that some of his productions had college prizes awarded to them, and that, on one occasion, being recommended to apply for the medal, he indignantly answered, “It is no credit to be first in an ass-race!” Notwithstanding, Jemmy’s in-goings never equalled his out-goings, and many a parley had Jemmy with his empty purse. It was no uncommon thing for him to pass his vacations in quodvidelicet jail—for debts his creditors were well aware he could not pay; but they well knew also that his friends, the students, would be sure to pay him out on their return to college. These circumstances give occasion for the publication of the now scarce caricatures of him, entitled, “Term-time,” and “Non-term.” In the first he is represented spouting to one of his togaed customers, in the latter he appears cogitating in “durance vile.” Besides these, numerous portraits of Jemmy have been put forth, for the correctness of most of which we, who have “held our sides at his fair words,” can vouch. A full-length is extant in Hone’s Every-Day Book, in the [Pg 105] Gradus ad Catabrigiam is a second; and we doubt not but our friend Mason, of Church-Passage, Cambridge, could furnish a collector with several. Poor Jemmy! he has now been dead several years. His latter days were melancholy indeed. To the last, however, Jemmy continued to sport those distinctive marks of a man of ton, a spying-glass and an opera-hat, which so well became him. Latterly he became troublesome to his best friends, not only levying contributions at will, but by saying hard things to them, sparing neither heads of college, tutors, fellows, students, or others whose names were familiar to him. On one occasion, oblivious with too much devotion to Sir John, as was latterly his wont, his abuse caused him to be committed to the tread-millsic transit—and after his term of exercise had expired, meeting a Cantab in the street whose beauty was even less remarkable than his wit, he addressed our recreant with, “Well, Jemmy, how do you like the tread-mill?” “I don’t like your —— ugly face,” was the response. Jemmy’s recorded witticisms were at one time as numberless as the stars, and in the mouth of every son of Granta, bachelor or big-wig; now some only are remembered. He one day met Sir John Mortlock in the streets of Granta, soon after he had been knighted; making a dead pause, and looking Sir John full in the face, Jemmy improvised

“The king, by merely laying sword on,
Could make a knight of Jemmy Gordon.”

At another time, petitioning a certain college dignitary for a few shillings to recover his clothes, pledged to appease his thirst, he said, on receiving the amount, “Now, I know that my redeemer liveth.”

Jemmy, in his glorious days, had been a good deal patronised by the late Master of Trinity College, Bishop Mansel, like himself a wit of the first water. Jemmy one day called upon the bishop, during the time he filled the office of Vice-Chancellor, to beg half-a-crown. “I will give you as much,” said the Bishop, “if you can bring me a greater rogue than yourself.” Jemmy made his bow and departed, content with the condition, and had scarcely half crossed the great court of Trinity, when he espied the late [Pg 106] Mr. B., then one of the Esquire Bedels of the University, scarcely less eccentric than himself. Jemmy coolly told him that the Vice-Chancellor wanted to see him. Into the Lodge went our Bedel, followed close by Jemmy. “Here he is,” said Jemmy, as they entered the Bishop’s presence, arcades ambo, at the same instant. “Who?” inquired the Bishop. “You told me, my Lord,” said Jemmy, “to bring you a greater rogue than myself, and you would give me half-a-crown, and here he is.” The Bishop enjoyed the joke, and gave him the money. A somewhat


In Addison’s Anecdotes, stating, that about the beginning of the eighteenth century, when it was more the fashion to drink ale at Oxford than at present, a humorous fellow of merry memory established an ale-house near the pound, and wrote over his door, “Ale sold by the pound!” As his ale was as good as his jokes, the Oxonians resorted to his house in great numbers, and sometimes stayed there beyond the college hours. This was made a matter of complaint to the Vice-Chancellor, who was desired to take away his license by one of the Proctors. Boniface was summoned to attend accordingly, and when he came into the Vice-Chancellor’s presence, he began hawking and spitting about the room. This the Vice-Chancellor observed, and asked what he meant by it? “Please your worship,” said he, “I came here on purpose to clear myself.” The Vice-Chancellor imagining that he actually weighed his ale, said, “They tell me you sell ale by the pound; is that true?” “No, an’ please your worship.” “How do you, then?” “Very well, I thank you, sir,” said the wag, “how do you do?” The Vice-Chancellor laughed and said, “Get away for a rogue; I’ll say no more to you.” The fellow went out, but in crossing the quod met the proctor who had laid the information against him. “Sir,” said he, addressing the Proctor, “the Vice-Chancellor wants to speak with you,” and they went to the Vice-Chancellor’s together. “Here he is, sir,” said Boniface, as they entered the presence. “Who?” inquired the Vice. “Why, sir,” he rejoined, “you sent me for a rogue, and [Pg 107] I have brought you the greatest that I know of.” The result was, says the author of Terræ-Filius (who gives a somewhat different version of the anecdote,) that Boniface paid dear for his jokes: being not only deprived of his license, but committed to prison.


I recollect once being invited, with another Cantab, to bitch (as they say) with a scholar of Bene’t Coll. and arrived there at the hour named to find the door sported and our host out. We resolved, however, not to be floored by a quiz, and having gained admission to his rooms per the window, we put a bold face upon matters, went straight to the buttery, and ordered “coffee and muffins for two,” in his name. They came of course; and having feasted to our heart’s content, we finished our revenge by hunting up all the tallow we could lay hands on, which we cut up to increase the number, and therewith illuminated his rooms and beat a retreat as quick as possible. The College was soon in an uproar to learn the cause for such a display, and we had the pleasure of witnessing our wag’s chagrin thereat from a nook in the court. This anecdote reminds me of one told of himself and the late learned physician, Dr. Battie, by Dr. Morell. They were contemporary at Eton, and afterwards went to King’s College, Cambridge, together. Dr. Battie’s mother was his jackall wherever he went, and, says Dr. Morell, she kindly recommended me and other scholars to a chandler at 4s. 6d. per dozen. But the candles proved dear even at that rate, and we resolved to vent our disappointment upon her son. We, accordingly, got access to Battie’s room, locked him out, and all the candles we could find in his box we lighted and stuck up round the room! and, whilst I thrummed on the spinnet, the rest danced round me in their shirts. Upon Battie’s coming, and finding what we were at, he “fell to storming and swearing,” says the Doctor, “till the old Vice-Provost, Dr. Willymott, called out from above, ‘Who is [Pg 108]


‘It is I,’ quoth Battle. ‘Visit me,’ quoth the Vice-Provost. Which, indeed, we were all obliged to do the next morning, with a distich, according to custom. Mine naturally turned upon, ‘So fiddled Orpheus, and so danced the brutes;’ which having explained to the Vice-Provost, he punished me and Sleech with a few lines from the Epsilon of Homer, and Battie with the whole third book of Milton, to get, as we say, by heart.” Another College scene, in which Battie played a part, when a scholar at King’s, is the following:—


Given on the authority of his old college chum, Ralph Thicknesse, who, like himself, became a Fellow. There was then at King’s College, says Ralph, a very good-tempered six-feet-high Parson, of the name of Harry Lofft, who was one of the College chanters, and the constant butt of all both at commons and in the parlour. Harry, says Ralph, dreaded so much the sight of a gun or a pair of pistols, that such of his friends as did not desire too much of his company kept fire-arms to keep him at arm’s length. Ralph was encouraged, by some of the Fellows, he says (juniors of course,) to make a serious joke out of Harry’s foible, and one day discharged a gun, loaded with powder, at our six-feet-high Parson, as he was striding his way to prayers. The powder was coarse and damp and did not all burn, so that a portion of it lodged in Harry’s face. The fright and a little inflammation put the poor chanter to bed, says Ralph. But he was not the only frightened party, for we were all much alarmed lest the report should reach the Vice-Chancellor’s ears, and the good-tempered Hal was prevailed with to be only ill. Battie and another, who were not of the shooting party (the only two fellow-students in physic,) were called to Hal’s assistance. They were not told the real state of the case, and finding his pulse high, his spirits low, and his face inflamed and sprinkled with red spots, after a serious consultation they prescribed. On retiring from the sick man’s room, they were [Pg 109] forthwith examined on the state of the case by the impatient plotters of the wicked deed, to whose amusement both the disciples of Galen pronounced Hal’s case to be the black rash! This, adds Ralph, was a never-to-be-forgotten roast for Battie and Banks in Cambridge; and if we may add to this, that Battie, in after life, sent his wife to Bath for a dropsy, where she was shortly tapped of a fine boy, it may give us a little insight into the practice of physic, and induce us to say with the poet—

“Better to search in fields for wealth unbought,
Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught.”

The same Ralph relates a humorous anecdote of


The Doctor, says Ralph, was as good a punch as he was a physician, and after he settled at Uxbridge, in the latter character, where he first opened his medical budget, with the proceeds of his Fellowship at King’s College alone to depend on, Ralph took advantage of a stay in London to ride over to see his old college chum and fellow-punster, and reached his domus in the Doctor’s absence. Ralph’s wig was the worse for a shower of rain he had rode through, and, taking it off, desired the Doctor’s man, William, to bring him his master’s old grizzle to put on, whilst he dried and put a dust of powder into his. But ere this could be accomplished, the Doctor returned, as fine as may be, in his best tye, kept especially for visiting his patients in. As soon as mutual greetings had passed, “Why, zounds, Ralph,” exclaimed the Doctor, “what a cursed wig you have got on!” “True,” said Ralph, taking it off as he spoke, “it is a bad one, and if you will, as I have another with me, I will toss it into the fire.” “By all means,” said the Doctor, “for, in truth, it is a very caxon,” and into the fire went the fry. The Doctor now began to skin his legs, and calling his man, William, “Here,” said he, taking off his tye, “bring me my old wig.” “Mr. Thicknesse has got it, said William. “And where is it, Ralph,” said the Doctor, turning upon his visiter. “Burnt, as you desired; and this illustrates the spirit of all mankind,” [Pg 110] said Ralph; “we can see the shabby wig, and feel the pitiful tricks of our friends, overlooking the disorder of our own wardrobes. As Horace says, ‘Nil habeo quod agam;’—‘mind every body’s business but your own.’” Talking of gunpowder reminds me of


All who know anything of either Oxford or Cambridge scholars, know well enough, that their manners are not only well preserved at all seasons, but that when they are in a humour for sporting, it is of very little consequence whether other folk preserve their manners or not. When the late eccentric Joshua Waterhouse, B. D. (who was so barbarously murdered a few years since by Joshua Slade, in Huntingdonshire,) was a student of Catherine Hall, Cambridge, of which he became a Fellow, he was a remarkably strong young man, some six feet high, and not easily frightened. He one day went out to shoot with another man of his college, and his favourite dog, Sancho, had just made his first point, when a keeper came up and told Joshua to take himself off, in no very classic English. Joshua therefore declined compliance. Upon this our keeper began to threaten. Joshua thereupon laid his gun aside, and coolly began taking off his coat (or, as the fancy would say, to peel,) observing, “I came out for a day’s sport, and a day’s sport I’ll have.” Upon which our keeper shot off, leaving Joshua in possession of the field, from which he used to boast he carried off a full bag. At another time


Gamesomely inclined, were driving, tandem, for the neighbourhood of Woodstock, when passing a stingy old cur, yclept a country gentleman, who had treated some one of the party a shabby trick, a thought struck them that now was the hour for revenge. They drove in bang up style to the front of the old man’s mansion, and coolly told the servant, that they had just seen his master, who had desired them to say, that he was to serve them up a good dinner and wine, and in the meantime show them where [Pg 111] the most game was to be found. This was done, and after a roaring day’s sport, and a full gorge of roast, baked and boiled, washed down with the best ale, port and sherry, the old boy’s cellar could furnish, they made Brazen-nose College, Oxon, 8, p.m., much delighted with the result, and luckily the affair went no further, at the time at least.


“Soon after the death of my father,” says this learned prelate, in his Autobiography, published in 1816, “I was sent to the university, and admitted a sizer of Trinity College, Cambridge, on the 3d of November, 1754. I did not know a single person in the university, except my tutor, Mr. Backhouse, who had been my father’s scholar, and Mr. Preston, who had been my own school-fellow. I commenced my academic studies with great eagerness, from knowing that my future fortune was to be wholly of my own fabricating, being certain that the slender portion which my father had left to me (300l.) would be barely sufficient to carry me through my education. I had no expectations from relations; indeed I had not a relative so near as a first cousin in the world, except my mother, and a brother and sister, who were many years older than me. My mother’s maiden name was Newton; she was a very charitable and good woman, and I am indebted to her (I mention it with filial piety) for imbuing my young mind with principles of religion, which have never forsaken me. Erasmus, in his little treatise, entitled Antibarbarorum, says, that the safety of states depend upon three things, a proper or improper education of the prince, upon public preachers, and upon school-masters; and he might with equal reason have added, upon mothers; for the code of the mother precedes that of the school-master, and may stamp upon the rasa tabula of the infant mind, characters of virtue and religion which no time can efface. Perceiving that the sizers were not so respectfully looked upon by the pensioners and scholars of the house as they ought [Pg 112] to have been, inasmuch as the most learned and leading men of the university have even arisen from that order (Magister Artis ingenique largitor venter,) I offered myself for a scholarship a year before the usual time of the sizers sitting, and succeeded on the 2nd of May, 1757. This step increased my expenses in college, but it was attended with a great advantage. It was the occasion of my being particularly noticed by Dr. Smith, the master of the college. He was, from the examination he gave me, so well satisfied with the progress I had made in my studies, that out of the sixteen who were elected scholars, he appointed me to a particular one (Lady Jermyn’s) then vacant, and in his own disposal; not, he said to me, as being better than other scholarships, but as a mark of his approbation; he recommended Saunderson’s Fluxions, then just published, and some other mathematical books, to my perusal, and gave, in a word, a spur to my industry, and wings to my ambition. I had, at the time of my being elected a scholar, been resident in college two years and seven months, without having gone out of it for a single day. During that period I had acquired some knowledge of Hebrew, greatly improved myself in Greek and Latin, made considerable progress in mathematics and natural philosophy, and studied with much attention Locke’s works, King’s book on the Origin of Evil, Puffendorf’s Treatise De Officio Hominis et Civis, and some other books on similar subjects; I thought myself, therefore, entitled to some little relaxation. Under this persuasion I set forward, May 30, 1757, to pay my elder and only brother a visit at Kendal. He was the first curate of the New Chapel there, to the structure of which he had subscribed liberally. He was a man of lively parts, but being thrown into a situation where there was no great room for the display of his talents, and much temptation to convivial festivity, he spent his fortune, injured his constitution, and died when I was about the age of thirty-three, leaving a considerable debt, all of which I paid immediately, though it took almost my all to do it. My mind did not much relish the country, at least it did not relish the life I led in that country town; the constant reflection that I was [Pg 113] idling away my time mixed itself with every amusement, and poisoned all the pleasures I had promised myself from the visit; I therefore took a hasty resolution of shortening it, and returned to college in the beginning of September, with a determined purpose to make my Alma Mater the mother of my fortunes. That, I well remember, was the expression I used to myself, as soon as I saw the turrets of King’s College Chapel, as I was jogging on a jaded nag between Huntingdon and Cambridge. I was then only a Junior Soph; yet two of my acquaintances, the year below me, thought that I knew so much more of mathematics than they did, that they importuned me to become their private tutor. I undoubtedly wished to have had my time to myself, especially till I had taken my degree; but the narrowness of my circumstances, accompanied with a disposition to improve, or, more properly speaking, with a desire to appear respectable, induced me to comply with their request. From that period, for above thirty years of my life, and as long as my health lasted, a considerable portion of my time was spent in instructing others without much instructing myself, or in presiding at disputations in philosophy or theology, from which, after a certain time, I derived little intellectual improvement. Whilst I was an under-graduate, I kept a great deal of what is called the best company—that is, of idle fellow-commoners, and other persons of fortune—but their manners never subdued my prudence; I had strong ambition to be distinguished, and was sensible that wealth might plead some excuse for idleness, extravagance and folly in others; the want of wealth could plead more for me. When I used to be returning to my room at one or two in the morning, after spending a jolly evening, I often observed a light in the chamber of one of the same standing with myself; this never failed to excite my jealousy, and the next day was always a day of hard study. I have gone without my dinner a hundred times on such occasions. I thought I never entirely understood a proposition in any part of mathematics or natural philosophy, till I was able, in a solitary walk, obstipo capite atque ex porrecto labello, to draw the scheme in my head, and go through every step of the [Pg 114] demonstration without book, or pen and paper. I found this was a very difficult task, especially in some of the perplexed schemes and long demonstrations of the twelfth Book of Euclid, and in L’Hôpital’s Conic Sections, and in Newton’s Principia. My walks for this purpose were so frequent, that my tutor, not knowing what I was about, once reproved me for being a lounger. I never gave up a difficult point in a demonstration till I had made it out proprio marte; I have been stopped at a single step for three days. This perseverance in accomplishing whatever I undertook, was, during the whole of my active life, a striking feature in my character. But though I stuck close to abstract studies, I did not neglect other things; I every week imposed upon myself a task of composing a theme or declamation in Latin or English. I generally studied mathematics in the morning, and classics in the afternoon; and used to get by heart such parts of orations, either in Latin or Greek, as particularly pleased me. Demosthenes was the orator, Tacitus the historian, and Persius the satirist whom I most admired. I have mentioned this mode of study, not as thinking there was any thing extraordinary in it, since there were many under-graduates then, and have always been many in the University of Cambridge, and, for aught I know, in Oxford, too, who have taken greater pains. But I mention it because I feel a complacence in the recollections of days long since happily spent, hoc est vivere bis vita posse priori frui, and indulge in a hope, that the perusal of what I have written may chance to drive away the spirit of indolence and dissipation from young men; especially from those who enter the world with slender means, as I did. In January, 1759, I took my Bachelor of Arts’ degree. The taking of this first degree is a great era in academic life; it is that to which all the under-graduates of talent and diligence direct their attention. There is no seminary of learning in Europe in which youth are more zealous to excel during the first years of their education than in the University of Cambridge. I was the second wrangler of my year. In September, 1759, I sat for a Fellowship. At that time there never had been an instance of a Fellow being elected [Pg 115] from among the junior Bachelors. The Master told me this as an apology for my not being elected, and bade me be contented till the next year. On the 1st of October, 1760, I was elected a Fellow of Trinity College, and put over the head of two of my seniors of the same year, who were, however, elected the next year. The old Master, whose memory I have ever revered, when he had done examining me, paid me this compliment, which was from him a great one:—‘You have done your duty to the College; it remains for the College to do theirs to you.’ I was elected the next day, and became assistant tutor to Mr. Backhouse in the following November.” Every body knows his subsequent career embraced his appointment to the several dignified University offices of Tutor, Moderator, Professor of Chemistry, and Regius Professor of Divinity, and that he died Bishop of Llandaff. I may here, as an apposite tail piece, add from Meadley’s Life of that celebrated scholar and divine,


In the year 1795, during one of his visits to Cambridge, Dr. Paley, in the course of a conversation on the subject, gave the following account of the early part of his own academical life; and it is here given on the authority and in the very words of a gentleman who was present at the time, as a striking instance of the peculiar frankness with which he was in the habit of relating adventures of his youth. “I spent the two first years of my under-graduateship (said he) happily, but unprofitably. I was constantly in society where we were not immoral, but idle and rather expensive. At the commencement of my third year, however, after having left the usual party at rather a late hour in the evening, I was awakened at five in the morning by one of my companions, who stood at my bedside and said, ‘Paley, I have been thinking what a d—d fool you are. I could do nothing, probably, were I to try, and can afford the life I lead: you can do every thing, and cannot afford it. I have had no sleep during the whole night on account of these reflections, and am now come solemnly to inform you, that, if you persist in your [Pg 116] indolence, I must renounce your society.’ I was so struck (continued Paley) with the visit and the visiter, that I lay in bed great part of the day and formed my plan: I ordered my bed-maker to prepare my fire every evening, in order that it might be lighted by myself; I rose at five, read during the whole of the day, except such hours as chapel and hall required, allotting each portion of time its peculiar branch of study; and, just before the closing of gates (nine o’clock) I went to a neighbouring coffee-house, where I constantly regaled upon a mutton-chop and a dose of milk punch: and thus on taking my bachelor’s degree, I became senior wrangler.” He, too, filled the trustworthy and dignified office of Tutor of his College, and deserved, though he did not die in possession of, a bishopric.


I rise about nine, get to breakfast by ten,
Blow a tune on my flute, or perhaps make a pen;
Read a play till eleven, or cock my laced hat;
Then step to my neighbours, till dinner, to chat.
Dinner over, to Tom’s, or to James’s I go,
The news of the town so impatient to know,
While Law, Locke and Newton, and all the rum race,
That talk of their nodes, their ellipses, and space,
The seat of the soul, and new systems on high,
In holes, as abstruse as their mysteries, lie.
From the coffee-house then I to Tennis away,
And at five I post back to my College to pray:
I sup before eight, and secure from all duns,
Undauntedly march to the Mitre or Tuns;
Where in punch or good claret my sorrows I drown,
And toss off a bowl “To the best in the town:”
At one in the morning I call what’s to pay,
Then home to my College I stagger away;
Thus I tope all the night, as I trifle all day.


A certain Oxford D.D. at the head of a college, lately expected a party of maiden ladies, his sisters and others, to visit him from the country. They were strangers in [Pg 117] Oxford, therefore, like another Bayard, he was anxious to meet them on their arrival and gallant them to his College. This, however, was to him, so little accustomed to do the polite to the ladies, an absolute event, and it naturally formed his prime topic of conversation for a month previously. This provoked some of the Fellows of his College to put a hoax upon him, the most forward in which was one Mr. H——, a puritan forsooth. Accordingly, a note was concocted and sent to the Doctor, in the name of the ladies, announcing, that they had arrived at the Inn in Oxford. “The Inn!” exclaimed the Doctor, on perusing it; “Good God! how am I to know the Inn?” However, after due preparation, off he set, in full canonicals, hunting for his belles and the Inn! The Star, Mitre, Angel, all were searched; at last, the Doctor, both tired and irritated, began to smell a rat! The idea of a hoax flashed upon his mind; he hurried to his lodgings, at his College, where the whole truth flashed upon him like a new light, and the window of his room being open, which overlooked the Fellows’ garden, he saw a group of them rubbing their hands in high glee, and the ringleader, Mr. H——, in the midst: he was so roused at the sight, that, leaning from the window, he burst out with—“H——! you puritanical son of a bitch!” It is needless to add, that the words, acting like a charm, quickly dissolved their council: but the Doctor, too amiable to remember what was not meant as an affront, himself afterwards both joined in and enjoyed the laugh created by the joke.


Is attributed to the non-juring divine, celebrated son of Oxon, and excellent English historian, Thomas Carte, who, falling under the suspicions of the Government, as a favourer of the Pretender, was imprisoned at the time the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended, in 1744. Whilst under examination by the Privy Council, the celebrated Duke of Newcastle, then minister, asked him, “If he were not a bishop?” “No, my Lord Duke,” replied Carte, [Pg 118] “there are no bishops in England, but what are made by your Grace; and I am sure I have no reason to expect that honour.” Walking, soon after he was liberated, in the streets of London, during a heavy shower of rain, he was plied with, “A coach, your reverence?” “No, honest friend,” was his answer, “this is not a reign for me to ride in.”


Cole says, in his Athenæ Cant., that Horace Walpole latterly lived and died a Sceptic; but when a student at King’s College, Cambridge, he was of “a religious enthusiastic turn of mind, and used to go with Ashton (the late Dr., Master of Jesus College,) his then great friend, to pray with the prisoners in the castle.” Dyer gives the following poetical version of


In his Supplement, on Doctors Long, Short, and Askew:—

What’s Doctor, and Dr., and Doctor writ so?
Doctor Long, Doctor Short, and Doctor Askew.


Bishop Porteus said of himself, when holding the See of Chester, that he “had not interest enough to command a Cheshire cheese.”


“For sophistry, such as you may call corrupt and vain,” says Wood, in the first volume of his Annals, “which we had derived from the Parisians, Oxford hath in ancient time been very famous, especially when many thousands of students were in her, equalling, if not exceeding, that university from whence they had it; a token of which, with its evil consequences, did lately remain,—I mean the [Pg 119] quadragesimall exercises, which were seldom performed, or at least finished without the help of Mars. In the reign of Henry the Third, and before, the schools were much polluted with it, and became so notorious, that it corrupted other arts; and so would it afterwards have continued, had it not been corrected by public authority for the present, though in following times it increased much again, that it could not be rooted out. Some there were that wrote, others that preached against it, demonstrating the evil consequences thereof, and the sad end of those that delighted in it. Jacobus Januensis reports that one Mr. Silo, a Master of the University of Paris, and Professor of Logic, had a scholar there, with whom he was very familiar: and being excellent in the art of sophistry, spared not all occasions, whether festival or other day, to study it. This sophister being sick, and almost brought to death’s door, Master Silo earnestly desired him, that after his death he would return to him and give him information concerning his state, and how it fared with him. The sophister dying, returned according to promise, with his hood stuffed with notes of sophistry, and the inside lined with flaming fire, telling him, that that was the reward which he had bestowed upon him for the renown he had before for sophistry; but Mr. Silo esteeming it a small punishment, stretched out his hand towards him, on which a drop or spark of the said fire falling, was very soon pierced through with terrible pain; which accident the defunct or ghost beholding, told Silo, that he need not wonder at that small matter, for he was burning in that manner all over. Is it so? (saith Silo) well, well, I know what I have to do. Whereupon, resolving to leave the world, and enter himself into religion, called his scholars about him, took his leave of, and dismissed them with these metres:—

‘Linquo coax[3] ranis, cras[4] corvis, vanaque[5] vanis,
Ad Logicam pergo, que mortis non timet[6] ergo.’

[3] Luxuriam scil. luxuriosis, vel potius rixas sophistis.

[4] Avaritiam scil. avaris.

[5] Superbiam pomposis.

[6] Religionem ubi bene viventi non timetur stimulus mortis.

[Pg 120]

Which said story coming to the knowledge of certain Oxonians, about the year 1173 (as an obscure note which I have seen tells me,) it fell out, that as one of them was answering for his degree in his school, which he had hired, the opponent dealt so maliciously with him, that he stood up and spake before the auditory thus: ‘Profectò, profectò, &c.’ ‘Truly, truly, sir sophister, if you proceed thus, I protest before this assembly I will not answer; pray, sir, remember Mr. Silo’s scholar at Paris,’—intimating thereby, that if he did not cease from vain babblings, purgatory, or a greater punishment, should be his end. Had such examples been often tendered to them (adds Wood, with real bowels of compassion,) as they were to the Parisians, especially that which happened to one Simon Churney, or Thurney, or Tourney (Fuller says, Thurway, a Cornish man,) an English Theologist there (who was suddenly struck dumb, because he vainly gloried that he, in his disputations, could be equally for or against the Divine truth,) it might have worked more on their affections; but this being a single relation, it could not long be wondered at.” After these logical marvels, Anthony gives us the following instance of


“Dr. Prideaux, when he resigned the office of Vice-Chancellor, 22nd July, 1626 (which is never done without an oration spoken from the chair in the convocation, containing for the most part an account of the acts done in the time of their magistrateship,) spoke only the aforesaid metres, ‘Linquo coax,’ &c., supposing there was more matter in them than the best speech he could make, frustrating thereby the great hopes of the Academicians of an eloquent oration.”

“Oxford hath been so famous for sophistry, and hath used such a particular way in the reading and learning it,” adds Wood, in treating of the schools, “that it hath often been styled—


So famous, also, for subtlety of logicians, that no place [Pg 121] hath excelled it.” This great subtlety, however, would seem, in a degree, to have departed from our sister of Oxford in 1532, when, they say,


Took a journey to Cambridge, and challenged any to dispute with them there, in the public schools, on the two following questions:—“An jus Civile sit Medicina præstantius?” In English as much as to say, Which does most execution, Civil Law or Medicine?—a nice point, truly. But the other formed the subject of serious argumentation, and ran thus:—“An mulier condemnata, bis ruptis loqueis, sit tertio suspendenda?” Ridley, the Bishop and martyr, then a young man, student or Fellow of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, is said to have been one of the opponents on this interesting occasion, and administered the flagellæ linguæ with such happy effect to one of these pert pretenders to logic lore, that the other durst not set his wit upon him. The Oxford sophistry had so much


There, says Wood, that the purity thereof being lost among the scholars, “their speaking became barbarous, and derived so constantly to their successors, that barbarous speaking of Latin was commonly styled by many

‘Oxoniensis loquenti mos.’

The Latin of the schools, in the present day, is none of the purest at either University. A certain Cambridge Divine, a Professor, who was a senior wrangler, and is justly celebrated for his learning and great ability, one day presiding at an act in Arts, upon a dog straying into the school, and putting in for a share of the logic with a howl at the audience, the Moderator exclaimed, “Verte canem ex.” There have, however, been fine displays of pure Latinity in the schools of both; and it appears


At a very early period, not only in the art of logic itself, [Pg 122] but in their manner of applying it: for in the beginning of 1517, says Wood, about the latter end of Lent (a fatal time for the most part to the Oxonians,) a sore discord fell out between the Cistercian and Benedictine monks, concerning several philosophical points discussed by them in the schools. But their arguments being at length flung aside, they decided the controversy by blows, which, with sore scandal, continued a considerable time. At length the Benedictines rallying up what forces they could procure, they beset the Cistercians, and by force of arms made them fly and betake themselves to their hostels. In fact, he says, by the use of logic, and the trivial arts, the Oxford sophists, in the time of Lent, broke the king’s peace, so that the University privileges were several times suspended, and in danger of being lessened or taken away. Through the corrupt use of it, “the Parva Logicalia, and other minute matters of Aristotle, many things of that noble author have been so changed from their original, by the screwing in and adding many impertinent things, that Tho. Nashe (in his book, ‘Have at you to Saffron Walden,’) hath verily thought, that if Aristotle had risen out of his grave, and disputed with the sophisters, they would not only have baffled him with their sophistry, but with his own logic, which they had disguised, and he composed without any impurity or corruption. It may well be said, that in this day they have done no more than what Tom Nashe’s beloved Dick Harvey did afterwards at Cambridge, that is to say,


With ass’s ears on his head,—a thing that Tom would ‘in perpetuam rei memoriam,’ record and never have done with. Wilson, in his Memorabilia Cantabrigiæ, says of this said Tom Nash, that he was educated at St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he resided seven years, was at the fatal repast of the pickled herrings with the poet Green, and, in 1597, was either confined or otherwise troubled for a comedy on the Isle of Dogs (extant in the MSS. of Oldys,) though he wrote but the first act, and [Pg 123] the players without his knowledge supplied the rest. He was a man of humour, a bitter satirist, and no contemptible poet; and more effectually discouraged and non-plused the notorious anti-prelate and astrologer, Will Harvey, and his adherents, than all the serious writers that attacked them. There is a good character of him, says Oldys, in The return from Parnassus, or Scourge of Simony, which was publicly acted by the students of St. John’s, in 1606, wherein


An elegant term, that is in equal request at the sister university, as well as amongst the coxcombs of the day, adds Wilson, though the members of St. John’s are celebrated for the origin of the term “to cut,”—i. e. “to look an old friend in the face, and affect not to know him,” which is the cut direct. Those who would be more deeply read in this art, which has been greatly improved since the days in which it originated, will find it at large in the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam.


It was a custom of Dr. Kettel, while President of Trinity College, Oxford (says Tom Warton, citing the MSS. of Dr. Bathurst, in his Appendix to his Life of Sir Thomas Pope,) “to attend daily the DISPUTATIONS in the college-hall, on which occasions he constantly wore a large black furred muff. Before him stood an hour-glass, brought by himself into the hall, and placed on the table, for ascertaining the time of the continuance of the exercise, which was to last an hour at least. One morning, after Cromwell’s soldiers had taken possession of Oxford, a halberdier rushed into the hall during this controversy, and plucking off our venerable Doctor’s muff, threw it in his face, and then, with a stroke of his halberd, broke the hour-glass in pieces. The Doctor, though old and infirm, instantly seized the soldier by the collar, who was soon overpowered, [Pg 124] by the assistance of the disputants. The halberd was carried out of the hall in triumph before the Doctor; but the prisoner, with his halberd, was quickly rescued by a party of soldiers, who stood at the bottom of the hall, and had enjoyed the whole transaction.” It was in the grove of this college, during Monmouth’s Rebellion of 1685, that Sir Philip Bertie, a younger son of Robert Earl of Lindsay, who was a member of Trinity College, and had spoken a copy of verses in the theatre at Oxford, in 1683, to the Duke and Dutchess a York, &c., trained a company, chiefly of his own college, of which he was captain, in the militia of the university.


Says Warton, in Monmouth’s Rebellion. It reminds me of a curious anecdote concerning Smith’s famous Ode, entitled Pocockius, which I give from MSS., Cod. Balland, vol. xix. Lit. 104:—“The University raised a regiment for the King’s service, and Christ Church and Jesus’ Colleges made one company, of which Lord Morris, since Earl of Abingdon, was captain, who presented Mr. Urry (the editor of Chaucer,) a corporal (serjeant) therein, with a halberd. Upon Dr. Pocock’s death, Mr. Urry lugged Captain Rag (Smith) into his chamber in Peckwater, locked him in, put the key in his pocket, and ordered his bed-maker to supply him with necessaries through the window, and told him he should not come out till he made


The sentence being irreversible, the captain made the Ode, and sent it, with his epistle, to Mr. Urry, who thereupon had his release.” “The epistle here mentioned,” adds Tom, “is a ludicrous prose analysis of the Ode, beginning Opusculum tuum, Halberdarie amplissime,” &c., and is printed in the fourth volume of Dr. Johnson’s English Poets, who pronounces it unequalled by modern writers. This same Oxonian, Smith, had obtained the soubriquet of


[Pg 125]

By his negligence of dress. He was bred at Westminster School, under Doctor Busby; and it is to be remembered, for his honour, “that, when at the Westminster election he stood a candidate for one of the universities, he so signally distinguished himself by his conspicuous performances, that there arose no small contention between the representatives of Trinity College in Cambridge, and Christ Church in Oxon, which of those two royal societies should adopt him as their own. But the electors of Trinity having a preference of choice that year, they resolutely elected him; who yet, being invited the same time to Christ Church, he chose to accept of a studentship there.”


When our learned Oxonian, Dr. Johnson, was on his tour in the Hebrides, accompanied by Bozzy, as Peter Pindar has it, says an American writer, they had one day travelled so far without refreshment, that the Doctor began to growl in his best manner. Upon this Bozzy hastened to a cottage at a distance, ordered a dinner, and was lucky in obtaining the choice of a roast leg of mutton and the Doctor’s favourite plum-pudding. Upon reaching the house, the appetite of the latter drove him into the kitchen to inspect progress, where he saw a boy basting the meat, from whose head he conceited he saw something descend, by the force of gravity, into the dripping-pan. The meat was at length served up, and Bozzy attacked it with great glee, exclaiming, “My dear Doctor, do let me help you to some,—brown as a berry,—done to a turn.” The Doctor said he would wait for the pudding, chuckling with equal glee, whilst Bozzy nearly devoured the whole joint. The pudding at length came, done to a turn too, which the Doctor in his turn greedily devoured, without so much as asking Bozzy to a bit. After he had wiped his mouth, and begun to compose himself, Bozzy entreated to know what he was giggling about whilst he eat the mutton? The Doctor clapped his hands to both sides for support, as he told him what he saw in the kitchen. Bozzy thereupon [Pg 126] begun to exhibit sundry qualms and queer faces, and calling in the boy, exclaimed, “You rascal, why did you not cover your dirty head with your cap when basting the meat?” “’Cause mother took it to boil the pudding in!” said the urchin. The tables were turned. The Doctor stared aghast, stamped, and literally roared, with a voice of thunder, that if Bozzy ever named the circumstance to any one, it should bring down upon him his eternal displeasure! The following, not very dissimilar anecdote, is told of a Cantab, who was once out hunting till his appetite became as keen as the Doctor’s, and, like his, drove him to the nearest cottage. The good dame spread before him and his friend the contents of her larder, which she described as “a meat pie, made of odds and ends, the remnant of their own frugal meal.” “Any thing is better than nothing,” cried the half famished Cantab, “so let us have it—ha, Bob.” Bob, who was another Cantab, his companion, nodded assent. No sooner was the savoury morsel placed before him, than he commenced operations, and greedily swallowed mouthful after mouthful, exclaiming, “Charming! I never tasted a more delicious morsel in my life! But what have we here?” said he, as he sucked something he held in both hands; “Fish, as well as flesh, my good woman?” “Fish!” cried the old dame, as she turned from her washing to eye our sportsman, “why, Lord bless ye, i’ that bean’t our Billy’s comb!” The effect was not a little ludicrous on our hungry Cantab, whilst Bob’s “Haw! haw! haw!” might have been heard from the Thames Tunnel to Nootka Sound.


Why should we smother a good thing with mystifying dashes, instead of plain English high-sounding names, when the subject is of “honourable men?” “Recte facta refert.”—Horace forbid it! The learned Chancery Barrister, John Bell, K.C., “the Great Bell of Lincoln,” as he has been aptly called, was Senior Wrangler, on graduating B.A., at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1786, with [Pg 127] many able competitors for that honour. He is likewise celebrated, as every body knows, for writing three several hands; one only he himself can read, another nobody but his clerk can read, and a third neither himself, clerk, nor any body else can read! It was in the latter hand he one day wrote to his legal contemporary and friend, the present Sir Launcelot Shadwell, Vice-Chancellor of England (who is likewise a Cantab, and graduated in 1800 at St. John’s College, of which he became a Fellow, with the double distinction of Seventh Wrangler and Second Chancellor’s Medallist) inviting him to dinner. Sir Launcelot, finding all his attempts to decipher the note about as vain as the wise men found theirs to unravel the Cabalistic characters of yore, took a sheet of paper, and having smeared it over with ink, he folded and sealed it, and sent it as his answer. The receipt of it staggered even the Great Bell of Lincoln, and after breaking the seal, and eyeing and turning it round and round, he hurried to Mr. Shadwell’s chambers with it, declaring he could make nothing of it. “Nor I of your note,” retorted Mr. S. “My dear fellow,” exclaimed Mr. B., taking his own letter in his hand, is not this, as plain as can be, “Dear Shadwell, I shall be glad to see you at dinner to-day.” “And is not this equally as plain,” said Mr. S., pointing to his own paper, “My dear Bell, I shall be happy to come and dine with you.”


In both Oxford and Cambridge the cooks are restricted to a certain sum each term, beyond which the college will not protect them in their demand upon the students. All else are extras, and are included in “sizings” in Cambridge; in Oxford the term is “to battel.” The head of a college in the latter university, not long since, sent for Mr. P——, one of his society, who had batteled much beyond the allowance; and after Mr. P—— had endeavoured to excuse himself on the ground of appetite, turning to the account, the Rector observed, “meat for breakfast, meat for lunch, meat for dinner, meat for supper,” and [Pg 128] looking up in the face of the dismayed student, he exclaimed, with his Welsh accent, “Christ Jesus! Mr. P——, what guts you must have.” This reminds me of


Now no more, who is said to have been a great gourmand, and weighed something less than thirty stone, but not much. At the college table, where our D.D. daily took his meal, in order that he might the better put his hand upon the dainty morsels, being very corpulent, he caused a piece to be scooped out, to give him a fair chance. His chair was also so placed, that his belly was three inches from the table at sitting down, and when he had eaten till he touched it, his custom was to lay down his knife and fork and desist, lest, by eating too much, any dangerous malady should ensue. A waggish Fellow of his college, however, one day removed his chair double the distance from the table, which the doctor not observing, began to eat as usual. After taking more than his quantum, and finding that he was still an inch or two from the goal, he threw down his knife and fork in despair, exclaiming, he “was sure he was going to die;” but having explained the reason, he was relieved of his fears on hearing the joke had been played him.


Every Cantab of the nineteenth century must remember our friend Smith of the Blue Boar, Trinity Street, charioteer of that now defunct vehicle and pair which used to ply between Cambridge, New-market, and Bury St. Edmunds, and on account of its celerity, and other marked qualities, was called “The Slow and Dirty” by Freshman, Soph, Bachelor, and Big-wig, now metamorphosed into a handsome four-in-hand, over which our friend Smith presides in a style worthy of the Club itself! He had one day, in olden time, pulled up at Botsham, midway between Newmarket and Cambridge, when there happened to be several Cantabs on the road, who were refreshing their [Pg 129] nags at the “self-same” inn, the Swan, at which the Slow and Dirty made its daily halt. “Any passengers?” inquired Smith. “One inside,” said a Cambridge wag, standing by, whose eye was the moment caught by a young ass feeding on the nettles in a neighbouring nook. Having put his fellows up to the joke, Smith was invited in-doors and treated with a glass of grog; meanwhile, my gentleman with the long ears was popped inside the coach. Smith coming out, inquired after his passenger, whom he supposed one of his friends, the Cantabs, and learnt he was housed. “All right,” said Smith, and off he drove, followed quickly by our wag and party on horseback, who determined to be in at the denouement. Smith had not made much way, when our inside passenger, not finding himself in clover, popped his head out at one of the coach windows. The spectacle attracted the notice of many bipeds as they passed along; Smith, however, notwithstanding their laughter, “kept the even tenor of his way.” At Barnwell the boys huzzaed with more than their usual greetings, but still Smith kept on, unconscious of the cause. He no sooner made Jesus’ Lane, than crowds began to follow in his wake, and he dashed into the Blue-Boar yard with a tail more numerous than that upon the shoulders of which Dan O’Connell rode into the first Reformed Parliament, Feargus included. Down went the reins, as the ostlers came to the head of his smoking prads, and Smith was in a moment at the coach door, with one hand instinctively upon the latch, and the other raised to his hat, when the whole truth flashed upon his astonished eyes, and Balaam was safely landed, amidst peals of laughter, in which our friend Smith was not the least uproarious.


When Paley, in 1762, kept his act in the schools, previously to his entering the senate-house, to contend for mathematical honours, it was under the moderators, Dr. John Jebb, the famous physician and advocate of reform in [Pg 130] church and state, and the learned Dr. Richard Watson, late Bishop of Llandaff. Johnson’s Questiones Philosophicæ was the book then commonly resorted to in the university for subjects usually disputed of in the schools; and he fixed upon two questions, in addition to his mathematical one, which to his knowledge had never before been subjects of disputation. The one was against Capital Punishments; the other against the Eternity of Hell Torments. As soon, however, as it came to the knowledge of the heads of the university that Paley had proposed such questions to the moderators, knowing his abilities, though young, lest it should give rise to a controversial spirit, the master of his college, Dr. Thomas, was requested to interfere and put a stop to the proceeding, which he did, and Bishop Watson thus records the fact in his Autobiography:—“Paley had brought me, for one of the questions he meant for his act, Æternitas pænarum contradicit Divinis Attributis! The Eternity of Hell Torments contrary to the Divine Attributes. I had accepted it. A few days afterwards he came to me in a great fright, saying, that the master of his college, Dr. Thomas, Dean of Ely, insisted on his not keeping on such a question. I readily permitted him to change it, and told him that, if it would lessen his master’s apprehensions, he might put a ‘non’ before ‘contradicit;’ making the question, The Eternity of Hell Torments not contrary to the Divine Attributes: and he did so.” In the following month of January he was senior wrangler.


And used to declare he could read no Latin author with pleasure but Virgil: yet when the members’ prize was awarded to him for a Latin prose essay, in 1765, which he had illustrated with English notes, he was, strange enough, though his disregard of the classics was well known, suspected of being the author of the Latin only. The reverse was probably nearer the truth. It is notorious that


And when, in 1795, he proceeded to D.D., after being [Pg 131] made Sub-Dean of Lincoln, he, in the delivery of his Clerum, pronounced profŭgus profūgus, which gave some Cambridge wag occasion to fire at him the following epigram:—

“Italiam fato profugus, Lavinaque venit
Litora; * * * * *
Errat Virgilius, forte profugus erat.”

He had


In his composition, and some time after the Bishop of Durham so honourably and unsolicited presented him to the valuable living of Bishop Wearmouth, dining with his lordship in company with an aged divine, the latter observed in conversation, “that although he had been married about forty years, he had never had the slightest difference with his wife.” The prelate was pleased at so rare an instance of connubial felicity, and was about to compliment his guest thereon, when Paley, with an arch “Quid?” observed, “Don’t you think it must have been very flat, my Lord?”


A writer, recording his on dits, in the New Monthly Magazine, says, in Paley’s own words, he made it a rule never to buy a book that he wanted to read but once. In more than one respect,


The latter had a great admiration for the canonical dress of his order, and freely censured the practice of clergymen not generally appearing in it. When on a visit to his friend, the celebrated Mr. Roscoe, at that gentleman’s residence near Liverpool, Parr used to ride through the village in full costume, including his famous wig, to the no small amusement of the rustics, and chagrin of his companion, the present amiable and learned Thomas Roscoe, originator and editor of “The Landscape Annual,” &c. [Pg 132] Paley wore a white wig, and a coat cut in the close court style: but could never be brought to patronise, at least in the country, that becoming part of the dress of a dignitary of the church, a cassock, which he used to call a black apron, such as the master tailors wear in Durham.


“When I followed my father,” he says, “on a pony of my own, on my first journey to Cambridge, I fell off seven times. My father, on hearing a thump, would turn his head half aside, and say, ‘Take care of thy money, lad!’” This defect he never overcame: for when advanced in years, he acknowledged he was still so bad a horseman, “that if any man on horseback were to come near me when I am riding,” he would say, “I should certainly have a fall; company would take off my attention, and I have need of all I can command to manage my horse, the quietest creature that ever lived; one that, at Carlisle, used to be covered with children from the ears to the tail.”


Meadly, his biographer, relates, that when asked why he had exchanged his living of Dalston for Stanwix? he frankly replied, “Sir, I have two or three reasons for taking Stanwix in exchange: first, it saved me double housekeeping, as Stanwix was within twenty minutes’ walk of my house in Carlisle; secondly, it was 50l. a-year more in value; and, thirdly, I began to find my stock of sermons coming over again too fast.” He was


And carried his passion for angling so far, that when Romney took his portrait, he would be taken with a rod and line in his hand.


“When residing at Carlisle,” he says, “if I wanted to write any thing particularly well, I used to order a post-chaise, [Pg 133] and go to a quiet comfortable inn, at Longtown, where I was safe from the trouble and bustle of a family, and there I remained until I had finished what I was about.” In this he was


Who, when he meditated his incomparable poem of the “Deserted Village,” went into the country, and took a lodging at a farm-house, where he remained several weeks in the enjoyment of rural ease and picturesque scenery, but could make no progress in his work. At last he came back to a lodging in Green-Arbour Court, opposite Newgate, and there, in a comparatively short time, in the heart of the metropolis, surrounded with all the antidotes to ease, he completed his task—quam nullum ultra verbum.


Soon after he became senior wrangler, having no immediate prospect of a fellowship, he became an assistant in a school at Greenwich, where, he says, I pleased myself with the imagination of the delightful task I was about to undertake, “teaching the young idea how to shoot.” As soon as I was seated, a little urchin came up to me and began,—“b-a-b, bab, b-l-e, ble, babble!” Nevertheless, at this time, the height of his ambition was to become the first assistant. During this period, he says, he restricted himself for some time to the mere necessaries of life, in order that he might be enabled to discharge a few debts, which he had incautiously contracted at Cambridge. “My difficulties,” he observes, “might afford a useful lesson to youth of good principles; for my privations produced a habit of economy which was of infinite service to me ever after.” At this time I wanted a waistcoat, and went into a second-hand clothes-shop. It so chanced that I bought the very same garment that Lord Clive wore when he made his triumphal entry into Calcutta.


The finances of the latter obliged him to leave Cambridge [Pg 134] without a degree; after he had been assistant at Harrow, had a school at Stanmore, and been head master of the grammar school at Colchester, and had become head master of that of Norwich, they remained so low that once looking upon a small library, says Mr. Field, in his Life of the Doctor, “his eye was caught by the title, ‘Stephani Thesaurus Linguæ Græcæ,’ turning suddenly about, and striking violently the arm of the person whom he addressed, in a manner very unusual with him, ‘Ah! my friend, my friend,’ he exclaimed, ‘may you never be forced, as I was at Norwich, to sell that work—to me so precious—from absolute and urgent necessity!’” “At one time of my life,” he said, “I had but 14l. in the world. But then, I had good spirits, and owed no man sixpence!”


The first, it is well known, vacated his fellowship, and left himself pennyless, rather than subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles, from which there is no doubt he conscientiously dissented; and when asked to subscribe his belief in the notorious Shakspeare forgery of the Irelands, his reply was, “I subscribe to no articles of faith.” When Paley was solicited to sign his name to the supplication of the petitioning clergy, for relief from subscription, he has the credit of replying, he “could not afford to keep a conscience,” a saying that many have cherished to the prejudice of that great man’s memory, but which it is more than probable he said in his dry, humorous manner, without suspicion it would be remembered at all, and merely to rid himself of some importunate applicant. Paley, it is well known, notwithstanding the conclusions to which some interested writers have come, was strongly and conscientiously attached to the doctrines and constitution of the Established Church; and it was impossible but that, with his fine common-sense perception, he must have been well aware, that no Established Church, such as is that of England, could long exist as such, if not fenced round by articles of faith. And here I am reminded of an


He was once very much pressed by a body of Divines, [Pg 135] says Collins, in his Life, to make some alteration in the Liturgy, upon which he desired them to go into the next room by themselves, and bring in their unanimous opinion on the disputed points. But they very soon returned without being able to agree. “Why, gentlemen,” said he, “how can you expect that I should alter my point in dispute, when you, who must be more competent to judge, from your situation, than I can possibly be, cannot agree among yourselves in what manner you would have me alter it.”


Were, that he would “never truste anie man not of sounde religion; for he that is false to God, can never be true to man.”

Parents, he said, were to be blamed for “the unthrifty looseness of youth,” who made them men seven years too soon, and when they “had but children’s judgments.”

“Warre is the curse, and peace the blessinge of a countrie;” and “a realme,” he said, “gaineth more by one year’s peace, than by tenne years’ warre.”

“That nation,” he would observe, “was happye where the king would take counsell and follow it.” With such a sage minister, it is not surprising that Elizabeth was the greatest princess that ever lived, nor that she gave such wise laws to Cambridge, whose Chancellor he was.


“When I was seventeen,” Porson once observed, “I thought I knew every thing; as soon as I was twenty-four, and had read Bentley, I found I knew nothing. Now I have challenged the great scholars of the age to find five faults to their one, in any work, ancient or modern, they decline it.” On another occasion, he described himself as


Person declining to enter into holy orders, as the statute of his college required he should do, lost his fellowship at Trinity, after he had enjoyed it ten years; “on which [Pg 136] heart-rending occasion,” says his friend and admirer, Dr. Kidd, “he used to observe, with his usual good humour (for nothing could depress him,) that he was a gentleman living in London without a sixpence in his pocket.” Two years afterwards his friends procured his election to the Regius Professorship of Greek, on the death of Professor Cooke, the sudden news of which event, he says, in a letter printed in Parriana, addressed to the then Master of Trinity, the learned Dr. Postlethwaite, all his ambition of that sort having been long ago laid asleep, “put me in mind of poor Jacob, who, having served seven years in hope of being rewarded with Rachel, awoke, and behold it was Leah.” He had seven years previously projected a course of lectures in Greek, which most unaccountably were not patronised by the Senate.


Mr. Pointer says, in his Oxoniensis Academia, &c., speaking of the curiosities connected with Worcester College, there were “Ruins of a Royal Palace, built by King Henry the First, in Beaumont, near Gloucester-green, upon some parts of which ruins, the late Dr. Woodroff (when principal of Gloucester Hall, now Worcester College) built lodgings for the education of young scholars from Greece, who, after they had been here educated in the reformed religion, were to be sent back to their own country, in order to propagate the same there. And accordingly some young Grecians were brought hither, and wore their Grecian habits; but not finding suitable encouragement, this project came to nothing.”


Fuller says, that Erasmus thus wrote of the Cambridge folk, at the beginning of the sixteenth century. “Vulgus Cantabrigiense, inhospitales Britannos antecedit, qui cum summa rusticitate summum militiam conjunxere.” This [Pg 137] will by no means now apply to the better class of tradespeople, and in no place that I know of is there more hospitality amongst the higher orders of society. Kirk White, in his Letters, is not very complimentary either to


The latter are called scouts in Oxford, and their office borders on what is generally understood by the word valet. The term Gyp is well applied from Γυπς, a vulture, they being, in the broadest sense of the word, addicted to prey, and not over-scrupulous at both picking and stealing, in spite of the Decalogue. I had one evening had a wine party, during the warm season of the year; we drank freely, and two of the party taking possession of my bed, I contented myself with the sofa. About six in the morning the Gyp came into the room to collect boots, &c. and either not seeing me, or fancying I slept (the wine being left on the table,) he very coolly filled himself a glass, which he lost no time in raising to his lips, but ere he had swallowed a drop, having watched his motions, I whistled (significant of recognition,) and down went the wine, glass and all, and out bolted our gyp, who actually blushed the next time he saw me. Another anecdote touching lodging-house keepers, I will head


A certain mistress of a lodging-house, in Green-street, Cambridge, where several students had rooms, having a propensity, not for the ethereal charms of the music so called, but for the invigorating liquor itself, had a habit, with the assistance of what is called a screw-driver, but which might more aptly be termed a screw-drawer, of opening cupboard doors without resorting to the ordinary use of a key. By this means she had one day abstracted a bottle of brandy from the store of one of the students (now a barrister of some practice and standing,) with which, the better to consume it in undisturbed dignity, she retired to the temple of the goddess Cloacina. She had been missed for some time, and search was made, when she was found half seas over, as they say, with the remnant [Pg 138] of the bottle still grasped in her hand, which she had plied so often to her mouth, that she was unable to lift her hand so high, or indeed to rise from her seditious posture. Upon this scene a caricature of the first water was sketched, and circulated by some Cambridge wag; another threw off the following Epigrammatic Conun:

Why is my Dalia like a rose?
Perhaps, you’ll say, because her breath
Is sweeter than the flowers of earth:
No—odious thought—it is, her nose
Is redder than the reddest rose;
Which she has long been very handy
At colouring with drops of brandy.

Another head of a lodging-house is a notorious member of what in Cambridge is called—


This is a society that has existed in the town of Cambridge for ages, whose functions consist in wearing the linen of the students who lodge in their houses after it has been cast off for the laundress. This same individual, however, had a taste for higher game, and one of the students, who had rooms in his house, being called to London for a few days, returning rather unexpectedly, actually found mine host at the head of the table, in his sitting-room, surrounded by some twenty snobs, his friends. Our gownsman very properly resented his impertinence, took him by the collar and waist, and, in the language of that fine old song, goose-a-goose-a-gander, “threw him down stairs.” The rest of the party prudently followed at this hint, leaving the table covered with the remains of sundry bottles of wine and a rich dessert. Thus the affair terminated at that time: but our gownsman being a man of fortune, and one of those accustomed, therefore, to treat his brother students, his friends, sumptuously too, went two or three days after, to his fruiterer’s, to order


“The same as you had on Wednesday?” inquired the fruiterer. “On Wednesday!” he exclaimed with astonishment,—“I [Pg 139] had no dessert on Wednesday!” “Oh, yes, sir,” was the rejoinder, “Mr. —— himself ordered it for you, and, as I before said, for twenty!” The whole matter was soon understood to be, that the lodging-house keeper had actually done him the honour to give his brother snobs, of the dirty shirt fraternity, an invite and sumptuous entertainment at his expense! Of course, he did not remain in the house of such a free-and-easy-gent. I name the fact as a recent occurrence, and


But this is not the only way in which they are fleeced: the minor articles of grocery are easily appropriated: nay, not only easily appropriated, but a duplicate order is occasionally delivered for the benefit of the house. Some tradesmen have made


From various causes. I remember one man who, in six years, beginning life at the very beginning, saved enough to retire upon an independence for the rest of his life. Did he chalk double? I answer not. But students should look to these things. At St. John’s College, Cambridge, the tutors have adopted an excellent plan by which, with ordinary diligence, cheats may be detected: they oblige the tradesmen to furnish them with duplicates of their bills against the students, one of which is handed to the latter, and any error pointed out, they will be forced to rectify.


Is a trick tradesmen have, in the Universities, of persuading students to get into their debt, actually pressing their wares upon them, and then, when their books show sufficient reason, forsooth, they make a mock assignment of their affairs over to their creditors, and some pettifogging attorney addresses the unlucky debtors with an intimation, that, unless the account is forthwith paid, together with the expenses of the application, further proceedings will be taken! though the wily tradesman has assured the [Pg 140] purchaser of his articles that credit would run to any length he pleased: and so it does, and no longer. Such fellows should be marked and cut! It is but justice to add, however, that these observations do not apply to that respectable class of tradesmen, of whom the student should purchase his necessaries. The motto of every student, notwithstanding, who is desirous of not injuring his future prospects in life, by too profuse an expenditure, should be “fugies Uticam,”—keep out of debt!


Some of Dr. Parr’s hearers, struck with a remarkable passage in his sermon, asked him “Whether he had read it from his book?” “Oh, no,” said he, “it was the light of nature suddenly flashing upon me.” He once called a clergyman a fool. The divine, indignant, threatened to complain to the Bishop. “Do so,” was the reply, “and my Lord Bishop will confirm you.”

To the same wit, when a student at Emanuel College, is attributed the celebrated—


Tu doces,” (thou tea-chest!) Others give the paternity to Lord Erskine, when a Fellow Commoner of Trinity College, Cambridge; n’importe, they were friends.


It is related of them, that one day, sipping their wine together, the Doctor exclaimed, “Should you give me an opportunity, Erskine, I promise myself the pleasure of writing your epitaph.” “Sir,” was the reply, “it’s a temptation to commit suicide.” On another occasion more than one authority concur in the Doctor’s thus


“Porson, sir, is the first, always the first; we all yield to [Pg 141] him. Burney is the third. Who is the second, I leave you to guess.”


Peeped out on his one night being seated in the side gallery at the House of Commons, with the late Sir James Mackintosh, &c., where he could see and be seen by the members of the opposition, his friends. The debate was one of great importance. Fox at length rose, and as he proceeded in his address, the Doctor grew more and more animated, till at length he rose as if with the intention of speaking. He was reminded of the impropriety, and immediately sat down. After Fox had concluded, he exclaimed: “Had I followed any other profession, I might have been sitting by the side of that illustrious statesman; I should have had all his powers of argument,—all Erskine’s eloquence,—and all Hargrave’s law.” He had one day been arguing and disagreeing with a lady, who said, “Well, Dr. Parr,


“Madam,” he rejoined, “you may, if you please, retain your opinion: but you cannot maintain it.” Another lady once opposing his opinions with more pertinacity than cogency of reasoning, concluded with the observation, “You know, Doctor,


“No, madam,” he replied, “it is not their privilege, but their infirmity. Ducks would walk, if they could, but nature suffers them only to waddle.”

After some persons, at a party where the Doctor made one, had expressed their regret that he had not written more, or something more worthy of his fame, a young scholar somewhat pertly called out to him, “Suppose, Dr. Parr, you and I were to write a book together!” “Young man,” exclaimed the chafed lion, “if all were to be written in that book which I do know, and which you do not know, [Pg 142] it would be a very large book indeed.” The following are given by Field as his


He was once insisting on the importance of discipline, established by a wise system, and enforced with a steady hand, in schools, in colleges, in the navy, in the army; when he was somewhat suddenly and rudely taken up by a young officer who had just received his commission, and was not a little proud of his “blushing honours.” “What, sir,” said he, addressing the Doctor, “do you mean to apply that word discipline to the officers of the army? It may be well enough for the privates.” “Yes, sir, I do,” replied the Doctor, sternly: “It is discipline makes the scholar, it is discipline makes the soldier, it is discipline makes the gentleman, and the want of discipline has made you what you are.”


By the pert remarks of another tyro,—“Sir,” said he, “your tongue goes to work before your brain; and when your brain does work, it generates nothing but error and absurdity.” The maxim of men of experience, the Doctor might have added, is, “to think twice before they act once.” To a third person, of bold and forward but ill-supported pretensions, he said, “B——, you have read little, thought less, and know nothing.”


Like the more celebrated scholars and divines, Clarke, Paley, Markland, &c., he would join an evening party at cards, always preferring the old English game of whist, and resolutely adhering to his early determination of never playing for more than a nominal stake. Being once, however, induced to break through it, and play with the late learned Bishop of Llandaff, Dr. Watson, for a shilling, which he won, after pushing it carefully to the bottom of his pocket and placing his hand upon it, with a kind of [Pg 143] mock solemnity, he said, “There, my lord Bishop, this is a trick of the devil; but I’ll match him; so now, if you please, we will play for a penny,” and this was ever after the amount of his stake, though he was not the less ardent in pursuit of success, or less joyous on winning his rubber. Like our great moralist, Johnson, he had an aversion to punning, saying, it exposed the poverty of a language. Yet he perpetrated the following


One day reaching a book from a shelf in his library, two others came tumbling down, including a volume of Hume, upon which fell a critical work of Lambert Bos: “See what has happened,” exclaimed the Doctor, “procumbit humi bos.” At another time, too strong a current of air being let into the room where he was sitting, suffering under the effects of a slight cold, “Stop! stop!” said he, “this is too much; at present I am only par levibus ventis.” When he was solicited to subscribe to Dr. Busby’s translation of Lucretius, published at a high price, he declined doing so, by observing, at the proposed cost it would indeed be “Lucretius carus.”


On proceeding to the degree of LL.D. at Cambridge, in 1781, Dr. Parr delivered “in the law schools, before crowded audiences,” says Field, “two theses, of which the subject of the first was, Hæres ex delicto defuncti non tenetur; and of the second, Jus interpretandi leges privatis, perinde ac principi, constat. In the former of these, after having offered a tribute of due respect to the memory of the late Hon. Charles Yorke (the Lord Chancellor,) he strenuously opposed the doctrine of that celebrated lawyer, laid down in his book upon ‘the law of forfeiture;’ and denied the authority of those passages which were quoted from the correspondence of Cicero and Brutus; because, as he affirmed, after that learned and sagacious (Cambridge) critic, Markland (in his Remarks on the Epistles of those two Romans,) the correspondence itself is not genuine. The same liberal and enlightened views [Pg 144] of the natural and social rights of man pervaded the latter as well as the former thesis; and in both were displayed such strength of reasoning and power of language, such accurate knowledge of historical facts and such clear comprehension of legal principles bearing on the questions, that the whole audience listened with fixed and delighted attention. The Professor of Law himself, Dr. Hallifax, afterwards Bishop of St. Asaph, was so struck with the uncommon excellence of these compositions, as to make it his particular request that they should be given to the public; but with which request Dr. Parr could not be persuaded to comply.


Reported of the Doctor,” says Barker, in his Parriana, when on a visit to Dr. Farmer, at Emanuel Lodge. He had made free in discourse with some of the Fellow Commoners in the Combination-room, who, not being able to cope with him, resolved to take vengeance in their own way; they took his best wig, and thrust it into his boot: this indispensable appendage of dress was soon called for, but could nowhere be found, till the Doctor, preparing for his departure, and proceeding, to put on his boots, found one of them pre-occupied, and putting in his hand, drew forth the wig, with a loud shout—perhaps ευρηκα.” “When the late Dr. Watson,” adds the same writer, “presided in the divinity-schools, at


The reputation of whose great learning and ability caused the place to be filled with the senior and junior members of the University, one of the opponents was the late Dr. Coulthurst, and the debate was carried on with great vigour and spirit. When this opponent had gone through his arguments, the Professor rose, as usual, from his throne, and, taking off his cap, cried out—

‘Arcades ambo
Et cantare pares, et respondere parati.’

We juniors, who happened to be present, were much [Pg 145] pleased with the application. Soon after, being in the Doctor’s company, I mentioned how much we were entertained with the whole scene, particularly with the close: he smiled, and said, ‘It is Warburton’s,’ where I soon after found it.”


On a Cambridge beauty, daughter of an Alderman, made by the Rev. Hans De Veil, son of Sir Thomas de Veil, and a Cantab:—

“Is Molly Fowle immortal?—No.
Yes, but she is—I’ll prove her so:
She’s fifteen now, and was, I know,
Fifteen full fifteen years ago.”


Sir John Heathcote, a Cantab, and lessee of Lincoln church, being refused a renewal of the same on his own terms, by the Prebend, Dr. Cobden, of St. John’s College, Cambridge, upon accepting the Prebend’s terms, appointed his late Majesty, then Prince of Wales, to be one of the lives included in the lease, observing, “I will nominate one for whom the dog shall be obliged to pray in the daytime, wishing him dead at night.”


A person might very well conclude, from the observations of the enemies of our English Universities, that the governors of them had the power of selecting the youth who are to graduate at them, or that, of necessity, all men bred at either Oxford or Cambridge ought to be alike distinguished for superior virtue and forbearance, great learning, and great talents. They forget, that they must take them as they come, like the boy in the anecdote. “So you [Pg 146] are picking them out, my lad,” said a Cantab to a youth, scratching his head in the street. “No,” said the arch-rogue, “I takes ’em as they come.” Just so do the authorities at Oxford and Cambridge. I knew a son of Granta, and eke, too,


Whose mind, at twenty, was a chaos, and must from his birth have been, not as Locke would have supposed, a sheet of white paper, ready to receive impressions, but one smeared and useless. Yet Solomon in all his glory was not half so wise as was this scion in his mother’s opinion. She, therefore, brought him to Cambridge, and having introduced him to the amiable tutor of St. John’s College, smirkingly asked him, “If he thought her darling would be senior wrangler?” “I don’t know, madam,” was his reply, in his short quick manner of speaking, pulling up a certain portion of his dress, in the wearing of which he resembled Sir Charles Wetherell, “I don’t know, madam; that remains to be seen.” Poor fellow, he never could get a degree, nor (after having been removed from Cambridge to the Politechnique School at Paris, for a year or two) could he ever get over the Pons Asinorum (as we Cantabs term the fifth proposition of the first book of Euclid.) Another


And they are sure to miscalculate whenever they inter-meddle with such matters, declined entering her two sons at Cambridge in the same year, that, as she said, “They might not stand in each other’s way.” Id est, they were to be both senior wranglers. They, however, never caught sight of the goal. I recollect, on one occasion, the second son being floored in his college mathematical examination. He was said to have afterwards carried home the paper (containing twenty-two difficult geometrical and other problems,) when one of his sisters snatched it out of his hand, exclaiming, “Give it to me,” and, without the slightest hesitation (in good Cambridge phrase,) she “floored[Pg 147] the whole of them, to his dismay. This lady was one of a bevy of ten beauties whom their mamma compassionately brought to Cambridge to dance with the young gentlemen of the University at her parties, and after so officiating for some three or four years, notwithstanding they were all Blues, and had corresponding names, from Britannia to Boadicea, the Cantabs suffered them all to depart spinsters. But Papas also sometimes overrate their sons’ talents and virtues. A gentleman, a few years since, on


To the sub-rector of a certain College in Oxford, as a new member, did so with the observation, “Sir, he is modest, diffident, and clever, and will be an example to the whole College.” “I am glad of it,” was the reply, we want such men, and I am honoured, sir, by your bringing him here.” Papa made his exit, well pleased with our Welshman’s hospitality, for of that country our Sub-Rector, as well as the gentleman in question was. The former, too, had been a chaplain in Lord Nelson’s fleet, in his younger days, and was not over orthodox in his language, when irritated, though a man with a better heart it would have puzzled the Grecian sage to have traced out by candle-light. A month had scarcely passed over, when Papa, having occasion to pass through Oxon, called on the Sub-Rector, of course, and naturally inquired, “How his son demeaned himself?” “You told me, sir,” said the Sub-Rector, in a pet, and a speech such as the quarter-deck of a man-of-war had schooled him in; “you told me, sir, that your son was modest, but d—n his modesty! you told me, sir, he was diffident, but d—n his diffidence! you told me, sir, he was clever; he’s the greatest dunce of the whole society! you told me, sir, he would prove an example to the whole college: but I tell you, sir, that he is neither modest, diffident nor clever, and in three weeks,” added the Sub-Rector, raising his voice to a becoming pitch, “he has ruined half the College by his example!” We can scarcely do better than add to this, by way of tail-piece, from that loyal Oxford scourge Terræ Filius (ed. 1726)—(to be read, “cum grano,” and some allowance for the excited character of the times in which it was written)—

[Pg 148]


Being of age to play the fool,
With muckle glee I left our school
At Hoxton;
And, mounted on an easy pad,
Rode with my mother and my dad
To Oxon.
Conceited of my parts and knowledge,
They entered me into a college
The master took me first aside,
Showed me a scrawl—I read, and cried
Do Fidem.
Gravely he took me by the fist,
And wished me well—we next request
A tutor.
He recommends a staunch one, who
In Perkins’ cause had been his Co-
To see this precious stick of wood,
I went (for so they deemed it good)
In fear, Sir;
And found him swallowing loyalty,
Six deep his bumpers, which to me
Seemed queer, Sir.
He bade me sit and take my glass;
I answered, looking like an ass,
I can’t, Sir.
Not drink!—You don’t come here to pray!
The merry mortal said, by way
Of answer.
To pray, Sir! No, my lad; ’tis well!
Come, here’s our friend Sacheverell;
Here’s Trappy!
Here’s Ormond! Marr! in short, so many
Traitors we drank, it made my crani-
um nappy.
And now, the company dismissed,
With this same sociable Priest,
Or Fellow,
I sallied forth to deck my back
With loads of stuff, and gown of black
My back equipt, it was not fair
My head should ’scape, and so, as square
As chess-board,
A cap I bought, my scull to screen,
Of cloth without, and all within
Of paste-board.
[Pg 149]When metamorphosed in attire,
More like a parson than a squire
They’d dressed me.
I took my leave, with many a tear,
Of John, our man, and parents dear,
Who blest me.
The master said they might believe him,
So righteously (the Lord forgive him!)
He’d govern.
He’d show me the extremest love,
Provided that I did not prove
Too stubborn.
So far so good; but now fresh fees
Began (for so the custom is)
My ruin.
Fresh fees! with drink they knock you down;
You spoil your clothes, and your new gown
You sp— in.
I scarce had slept—at six—tan tin
The bell goes—servitor comes in—
Gives warning.
I wished the scoundrel at old Nick;
I puked, and went to prayers d—d sick
That morning.
One who could come half drunk to prayer
They saw was entered, and could swear
At random;
Would bind himself, as they had done,
To statutes, tho’ he could not un-
derstand ’em.
Built in the form of pigeon-pye,
A house[7] there is for rooks to lie
And roost in.
Their laws, their articles of grace,
Forty, I think, save half a brace,
Was willing
To swear to; swore, engaged my soul,
And paid the swearing broker whole
Ten shilling.
Full half a pound I paid him down,
To live in the most p—d town
O’ th’ nation:
May it ten thousand cost Lord Phyz,
For never forwarding his vis-

[7] Theatre


Is told, and, “in the days that are gone,” is not at all [Pg 150] improbable, that a youth being brought to Oxon, after he had paid the Tutor and other the several College and University fees, was told he must subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles; “with all my heart,” said our freshman, “pray how much is it?”


To both tutors, scholars, scouts, gyps, and others, by their blunders. They will not unfrequently, upon the first tingle of the college bell (though it always rings a quarter of an hour, by way of warning, on ordinary occasions, and half an hour on saints’ days, in Cambridge,) hurry off to hall or chapel, with their gowns the wrong side outwards, or, their caps reversed, walk unconsciously along with the hind part before, as I once heard a soph observe, “the peak smelling thunder.” They are also very apt to mistake characters and functionaries:—I have seen a freshman cap the college-butler, taking him for bursar at least. The persons to be so complimented are the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, the Proctors, the head of your college, and your tutors. When the late Bishop Mansell was Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, he one day met two freshmen in Trumpington-street, who passed him unheeded. The Bishop was not a man to ’bate an iota of his due, and stopped them and asked, “If they knew he was the Vice-Chancellor?” They blushingly replied, they did not, and begged his pardon for omitting to cap him, observing they were freshmen. “How long have you been in Cambridge?” asked the witty Bishop. “Only eight days,” was the reply. “In that case I must excuse you; puppies never see till they are nine days old.”


Was unconsciously walking beyond the University church, on a Sunday morning, which (at both Oxford and Cambridge) he would have been expected to attend, when he [Pg 151] was met by the Master of St. John’s College, Dr. Wood, who, by way of a mild rebuke, stopped him and asked him, “If the way he was going led to St. Mary’s Church?” “Oh, no, sir,” said he, with most lamb-like innocence, “this is the way,” pointing in the opposite direction. “Keep straight on, you can’t miss it.” The Doctor, however, having fully explained himself, preferred taking him as a guide.


Lords Stowel and Eldon both studied at Trinity College, Oxford, with success, and, it is well known, there laid the foundation of that fame, which, from the humble rank of the sons of a Newcastle coal-fitter, raised them to the highest legal stations and the English peerage. The former first graduated, and was elected a Fellow and Tutor of All Soul’s College (where he had the late Lord Tenterden for a pupil) and became Camden Professor. The latter afterwards graduated with a success that would have ensured him a fellowship and other University distinctions, but visiting his native place soon after he took A.B. he fell in love with Miss Surtees (the present Lady Eldon) daughter of a then rich banker, in Newcastle, who returned his affection, and they became man and wife. Her family were indignant, and refused to be reconciled to the young pair, because the lady had, as the phrase ran, “married below her station.” Mr. Scott, the father, was as much offended at the step his son had taken, which at once shut him out from the chance of a fellowship, and refused them his countenance. In this dilemma the new married pair sought the friendship of Mr. William Scott (now Lord Stowell) at Oxford. His heart, cast in a softer mould, readily forgave them,—his amiable nature would not have permitted him to do otherwise. He received them with a brotherly affection, pitied rather than condemned them, and is said to have observed to some Oxford friends, “We must do something for the poor lost young [Pg 152] man!” What a lesson is there not read to mankind in the result! A harsher course might have led to ruin—the milder one was the stepping-stone to the woolsack and a peerage.


A Cantab visited some friends in the neighbourhood of Whissonset, near Fakenham, Norfolk, during the life of the late rector of that parish, who was then nearly ninety, and but little capable of attending to his duty, but having married a young wife, she would not allow him a curate, but every Sunday drove him from Fakenham to the church. In short he was hen-pecked. His clerk kept the village public-house, and was not over-attentive to his duties. Our Cantab accompanied his friends to church at the usual time, arriving at which they found doors close; neither “Vicar or Moses” had arrived, nor did they appear till half an hour after. Under these circumstances our Cantab threw off the following epigram:

Like o’ Whissonset church
In vain you’ll search,
The Lord be thanked for’t:
The parson is old,
His wife’s a scold,
And the clerk sells beer by the quart.

The people who go
Are but so so,
And but so so are the singers;
They roar in our ears
Like northern bears,
And the devil take the ringers.


Have been pretty nearly as arbitrary in our universities as with the rest of the world. When John Goslin was Vice-Chancellor, he is said to have made it


[Pg 153] A student, however, undertook, for a small bet, to visit him in them, and, to appease his wrath, he desired the doctor’s advice for an hereditary numbness in his legs. So far was the Vice-Chancellor from expressing any anger, that he pitied him, and he won his wager. Another vice-chancellor is said to have issued his mandate for all members in statu pupillari, to appear in


The following singular order, as to dress and the excess thereof, was issued by the great statesman, Cecil, Lord Burleigh, as chancellor of the University of Cambridge, in the days of Elizabeth, which is preserved in the Liber Niger, or Black-book, extant in the Cambridge University Library. The paper is dated “from my house in Strand, this seventhe of May, 1588,” and runs thus:—1. “That no hat be worne of anie graduate or scholler within the said universitie (except it shall be when he shall journey owte of the towne, or excepte in the time of his sickness.) All graduates were to weare square caps of clothe; and schollers, not graduates, round cloth caps, saving that it may be lawful for the sonnes of noblemen, or the sonnes and heirs of knights, to weare round caps of velvet, but no hats.”

2. “All graduates shall weare abroade in the universitie going owte of his colledg, a gowne and a hoode of cloth, according to the order of his degree. Provided that it shall be lawful for everie D. D., and for the Mr. of anie coll. to weare a sarcenet tippet of velvet, according to the anciente customes of this realme, and of the saide universitie. The whiche gowne, tippet, and square caps, the saide Drs. and heads shall be likewise bound to weare, when they shall resorte eyther to the courte, or to the citie of London.”

3. “And that the excesse of shirt bands and ruffles, exceeding an ynche and halfe (saving the sonnes of noblemen,) the fashion and colour other than white, be avoided presentlie; and no scholler, or fellowe of the foundation of anie house of learninge, do weare eyther in the universitie or without, &c., anie hose, stockings, dublets, jackets, [Pg 154] crates, or jerknees, or anie other kynde of garment, of velvet, satin, or silk, or in the facing of the same shall have above a 1/4 of a yard of silke, or shall use anie other light kynde of colour, or cuts, or gards, of fashion, the which shall be forbidden by the Chancellor,” &c.

4th. “And that no scholler doe weare anie long lockes of hair vppon his head, but that he be notted, pouled, or rounded, after the accustomed manner of the gravest schollers of the saide universitie.” The penalty for every offence against these several orders being six shillings and eightpence: the sum in which offenders are mulcted in the present day.


Has been not less varied, or less subject to animadversion, than the dress of the members of the universities. The fashion of wearing long hair, so peculiar in the reign of Charles II., was called the Apollo. His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, the present Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, “was an Apollo” during the whole of his residence at Trinity College, says the Gradus ad Cant. Indeed his royal highness, who was noted for his personal beauty at that time, was “the last in Cambridge who wore his hair after that fashion.” “I can remember,” says the pious Archbishop Tillotson, as cited by the above writer, discoursing on this head, viz. of hair! “since the wearing the hair below the ears was looked upon as a sin of the first magnitude; and when ministers generally, whatever their text was, did either find, or make, occasion to reprove the great sin of long hair: and if they saw any one in the congregation guilty in that kind, they would point him out particularly, and let fly at him with great zeal.” And we can remember, since wearing the hair cropt, i. e. above the ears, was looked upon, though not as “a sin,” yet, as a very vulgar and RAFFISH sort of a thing; and when the doers of newspapers exhausted all their wit in endeavouring to rally the new-raised corps of CROPS, regardless of the late noble Duke (of Bedford) who headed them; and, when the rude rank-scented rabble, if they saw any one in the streets, whether time or the tonsor [Pg 155] had thinned his flowing hair, they would point him out particularly and “let fly at him,” as the archbishop says, till not a shaft of ridicule remained! The tax upon hair-powder has now, however, produced all over the country very plentiful CROPS. Charles II., who, as his worthy friend the Earl of Rochester, remarked,

—— never said a foolish thing;
Nor ever did a wise one,

sent a letter to the University of Cambridge, forbidding the members to wear periwigs, smoke tobacco, and read their sermons!! It is needless to remark, that TOBACCO has not yet made its EXIT IN FUMO, and that periwigs still continue to adorn “THE HEADS OF HOUSES.” Till the present all-prevailing, all-accommodating fashion of CROPS became general in the university, no young man presumed to dine in hall till he had previously received a handsome trimming from the hair-dresser (one of which calling was a special appointment to each college.) The following inimitable imitation of “The Bard” of Gray, is ascribed to the pen of the late Lord Erskine, when a fellow-commoner of Trinity College, Cambridge. Having been disappointed of the attendance of his college-barber, he was compelled to forego his commons in hall. But determining to have his revenge, and give his hair-dresser a good DRESSING, he sat down and penned the following “Fragment of a Pindaric Ode,” wherein, “in imitation of the despairing Bard of Gray, who prophesied the destruction of King Edward’s race, he poured forth his curses upon the whole race of barbers, predicting their ruin in the simplicity of a future generation.”


Ruin seize thee, scoundrel Coe!
Confusion on thy frizzing wait;
Hadst thou the only comb below,
Thou never more shouldst touch my pate.
Club, nor queue, nor twisted tail,
Nor e’en thy chatt’ring, barber! shall avail
To save thy horse-whipp’d back from daily fears,
From Cantab’s curse, from Cantab’s tears!
Such were the sounds that o’er the powder’d pride
Of Coe the barber scattered wild dismay,
[Pg 156]As down the steep of Jackson’s slippery lane,
He wound with puffing march his toilsome, tardy way.


In a room where Cambridge town
Frowns o’er the kennel’s stinking flood,
Rob’d in a flannel powd’ring gown,
With haggard eyes poor Erskine stood;
(Long his beard and blouzy hair
Stream’d like an old wig to the troubled air;)
And with clung guts, and face than razor thinner,
Swore the loud sorrows of his dinner.
Hark! how each striking clock and tolling bell,
With awful sounds, the hour of eating tell!
O’er thee, oh Coe! their dreadful notes they wave,
Soon shall such sounds proclaim thy yawning grave;
Vocal in vain, through all this ling’ring day,
The grace already said, the plates all swept away.


Cold is Beau * * tongue,
That soothed each virgin’s pain;
Bright perfumed M * * has cropp’d his head:
Almacks! you moan in vain.
Each youth whose high toupee
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-cropt head,
In humble Tyburn-top we see;
Esplashed with dirt and sun-burnt face;
Far on before the ladies mend their pace,
The Macaroni sneers, and will not see.
Dear lost companions of the coxcomb’s art,
Dear as a turkey to these famished eyes,
Dear as the ruddy port which warms my heart,
Ye sunk amidst the fainting Misses’ cries.
No more I weep—they do not sleep:
At yonder ball a slovenly band,
I see them sit, they linger yet,
Avengers of fair Nature’s hand;
With me in dreadful resolution join,
To Crop with one accord, and starve their cursed line.


Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
The winding-sheet of barber’s race;
Give ample room, and verge enough,
Their lengthened lanthorn jaws to trace.
Mark the year, and mark the night,
When all their shops shall echo with affright;
Loud screams shall through St. James’s turrets ring,
To see, like Eton boy, the king!
[Pg 157]Puppies of France, with unrelenting paws,
That crape the foretops of our aching heads;
No longer England owns thy fribblish laws,
No more her folly Gallia’s vermin feeds.
They wait at Dover for the first fair wind,
Soup-meagre in the van, and snuff roast-beef behind.


Mighty barbers, mighty lords,
Low on a greasy bench they lie!
No pitying heart or purse affords
A sixpence for a mutton-pye!
Is the mealy ’prentice fled?
Poor Coe is gone, all supperless to bed.
The swarm that in thy shop each morning sat,
Comb their lank hair on forehead flat:
Fair laughs the morn, when all the world are beaux,
While vainly strutting through a silly land,
In foppish train the puppy barber goes;
Lace on his shirt, and money at command,
Regardless of the skulking bailiff’s sway,
That, hid in some dark court, expects his evening prey.


The porter-mug fill high,
Baked curls and locks prepare;
Reft of our heads, they yet by wigs may live,
Close by the greasy chair
Fell thirst and famine lie,
No more to art will beauteous nature give.
Heard ye the gang of Fielding say,
Sir John,[8] at last we’ve found their haunt,
To desperation driv’n by hungry want,
Thro’ the crammed laughing Pit they steal their way.
Ye tow’rs of Newgate! London’s lasting shame,
By many a foul and midnight murder fed,
Revere poor Mr. Coe, the blacksmith’s[9] fame,
And spare the grinning barber’s chuckle head.


Rascals! we tread thee under foot,
(Weave we the woof, the thread is spun;)
Our beards we pull out by the root;
(The web is wove, your work is done.)
“Stay, oh, stay! nor thus forlorn
Leave me uncurl’d, undinner’d, here to mourn.”
[Pg 158]Thro’ the broad gate that leads to College Hall,
They melt, they fly, they vanish all.
But, oh! what happy scenes of pure delight,
Slow moving on their simple charms unroll!
Ye rapt’rous visions! spare my aching sight,
Ye unborn beauties, crowd not on my soul!
No more our long-lost Coventry we wail:
All hail, ye genuine forms; fair nature’s issue, hail!


Not frizz’d and frittered, pinned and rolled,
Sublime their artless locks they wear,
And gorgeous dames, and judges old,
Without their tetes and wigs appear.
In the midst a form divine,
Her dress bespeaks the Pennsylvania line;
Her port demure, her grave, religious face,
Attempered sweet to virgin grace.
What sylphs and spirits wanton through the air!
What crowds of little angels round her play!
Hear from thy sepulchre, great Penn! oh, hear!
A scene like this might animate thy clay.
Simplicity now soaring as she sings,
Waves in the eye of heaven her Quaker-coloured wings.


No more toupees are seen
That mock at Alpine height,
And queues, with many a yard of riband bound,
All now are vanished quite.
No tongs or torturing pin,
But every head is trimmed quite snug around:
Like boys of the cathedral choir,
Curls, such as Adam wore, we wear;
Each simpler generation blooms more fair,
Till all that’s artificial expire.
Vain puppy boy! think’st thou you essenced cloud,
Raised by thy puff, can vie with Nature’s hue?
To-morrow see the variegated crowd
With ringlets shining like the morning dew.
Enough for me: with joy I see
The different dooms our fates assign;
Be thine to love thy trade and starve,
To wear what heaven bestowed be mine.
He said, and headlong from the trap-stairs’ height,
Quick thro’ the frozen street he ran in shabby plight.

[8] Sir John Fielding, the late active police magistrate.

[9] Coe’s father, the well-known blacksmith and alderman, now no more.

Whilst we are discussing the subject of hair, we ought not to forget that, according to Lyson’s Environs of London,

[Pg 159]


was Archbishop Tillotson. In the great dining-room of Lambeth Palace, he says, there are portraits of all the Archbishops, from Laud to the present time, in which may be observed the gradual change of the clerical habit, in the article of wigs. Archbishop Tillotson was the first prelate that wore a wig, which then was not unlike the natural hair, and worn without powder. In 1633, 21 James 1st,


“Care was taken,” says Wood, “that formalities in public assemblies should be used, which, through negligence, were now, and sometime before, left off. That the wearing of boots and spurs also be prohibited, ‘a fashion’ (as our Chancellor saith in his letters) rather befitting the liberties of the Inns of Court than the strictness of an academical life, which fashion is not only usurped by the younger sort, but by the Masters of Arts, who preposterously assume that part of the Doctor’s formalities which adviseth them to ryde ad prædicandum Evangelium, but in these days implying nothing else but animum deserendi studium.” It was therefore ordered, “that no person that wears a gown wear boots; if a graduate, he was to forfeit 2s. 6d. for the first time of wearing them, after order was given to the contrary; for the second time 5s., and so toties quoties. And if an


Or other punishment, according to the will of the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors, for every time he wore them.” And in 1608, when


Became Chancellor of Oxford, he decreed amongst other things, “that indecency of attire be left off, and academical habits be used in public assemblies, being now more remissly looked to than in former times. Also, that no occasion of offence be given, long hair was not to be worn; for whereas in the reign of Queen Elizabeth few or none [Pg 160] wore their hair longer than their ears (for they that did so were accounted by the graver and elder sort swaggerers and ruffians,) now it was common even among scholars, who were to be examples of modesty, gravity, and decency.”


Which his college friend, Dyer, has given in his Supplement, under the head “Seria Ludo,” with the happy, original motto—

With serious truths we mix a little fun,
And now and then we treat you with a pun.

The subject of the epigram, he says (the original of which Mr. W. sent to a friend,) “was Mr. Foster, formerly of Cambridge, who, on account of his rapidity in conversation, in walking, and more particularly in the exercise of his profession, was called (by the Cantabs) the Flying Barber. He was a great oddity, and gave birth to many a piece of fun in the university:—

Tonsor ego: vultus radendo spumcus albet,
Mappa subest, ardet culter, et unda tepet.
Quam versat gladium cito dextra, novacula levis,
Mox tua tam celeri strinxerit ora manu.
Cedite, Romani Tonsores, cedite Graii;
Tonsorem regio non habet ulla parem.
Imberbes Grantam, barbati accedite Grantam;
Illa polit mentes; et polit illa genas.


The men of St. John’s College, Cambridge, like every other society in both Oxford and Cambridge, have their soubriquet. From what cause they obtained that of “Johnian Hogs” is yet scarcely settled, though much has been written thereon, extant in The Gradus ad Cant., Facetiæ Cant., and The Cambridge Tart. It proved of [Pg 161] some service, however, to a wag of the society (and to them the merit of punning was conceded in the Spectator’s time,) in giving him an idea for a name for the elegant one-arched covered bridge which joins the superb Gothic court they have lately added to the fine old college, after the designs of Messrs. Hutchinson and Rickman of Birmingham. The question was discussed at a wine party, and one proposed calling it the “Bridge of Sighs,” as it led to most of the tutors’ and deans’ rooms, from whom issued all impositions (punishments,) &c. “I have it!” exclaimed a wag, his eyes beaming brighter than his sparkling glass—“I have it! Call it the Isthmus of Suez!” Id est The Hog’s Isthmus, from the Latin word sus, a sow, which makes suis in the genitive case, and proves our Johnian to be a punster worthy of his school.


Mr. Jones, of Welwyn, relates, on the authority of Old Mr. Bunburry, of Brazen-nose College, that Bishop Kennett, when a young man, being one of the Oxford Pro-Proctors, and a very active one, about James the Second’s reign, going his rounds one evening, found a company of gownsmen engaged on a drinking bout, to whom his then high church principles were notorious (though he afterwards changed them, sided with Bishop Hoadley, and obtained the soubriquet of weather-cock Kennett.) When he entered the room, he reprimanded them for keeping such late hours, especially over the bottle, rather than over their studies in their respective colleges, and ordered them to disperse. One in the company, who knew his political turn, addressed him with, “Mr. Proctor, you will, I am sure, excuse us when I say, we were met to drink prosperity to the church, to which you can have no objection.” “Sir,” was his answer, with a solemn air, “we are to pray for the church, and to fight for the church, not to drink for the church.” Upon which the company paid their reckoning and dispersed. There is a curious print in the Library [Pg 162] of the Antiquarians, of an altar-piece, which the rector of Whitechapel, Dr. Walton, caused to be painted and put up in his church, representing Christ and his twelve apostles eating the passover, wherein Bishop Kennett (the “Traitor Dean,” as his siding with Hoadley caused him to be designated) is painted as Judas.


When a late master of Richmond School, Yorkshire, came, a raw lad in his teens, to matriculate at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was invited to dinner by his tutor, and happened to be seated opposite some boiled fowls, which, having just emptied a plate of his quantum of fish, he was requested to carve. He accordingly took one on his plate, but not being a carver, he leisurely ate the whole of it, minus the bones, not at all disconcerted by the smiles of the other guests: and when the cheese appeared, and his host cut a plateful for him to pass round the table, he coolly set to and eat the whole himself. He, notwithstanding, proved a good scholar, and distinguished himself both in classics and mathematics, is now a canon residentiary of St. Paul’s, and a very worthy divine, who has earned his reputation, preferments, and dignities by his merits only.


The following effusion of humour was the production of a very pleasant fellow, an Oxford scholar, now no more, who, says Angelo, in his Reminiscences, “was a great favourite among his brother collegians,” and a humourist:—“Lost £10 this morning, May 15, 1808, in Peckwater Quadrangle, near No. 6. Any nobleman, gentleman, common student, or commoner, who will, as soon as possible, bring the same back to the afflicted loser, shall, with pleasure, receive ten guineas reward; a suitor shall receive five guineas; and a scout or porter, one guinea. The [Pg 163] notes were all Bank of England notes, I only received this morning from my father. My name is ——, and I lodge at ——, facing Tom Gate, where I am anxiously waiting for some kind friend to bring them to me.—Vivant Rex et Regina.”


Is an epithet applied to those members who, after graduating at one proceeds to a like degree at the other. A party one day disputing as to whether Oxford or Cambridge was the more distinguished seat of learning,—“It can’t affect me,” exclaimed one of them, “for I was educated at both.” Upon which a wag observed, “He reminded him of a calf that was suckled by two cows.” “How so?” said the other. “Why, it turned out the greatest calf I ever knew,” was the retort.

Amongst the musical professors of Cambridge, and not the least, who was organist of King’s College also, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, was Dr. Thomas Tudway. He was a notorious wag, and when several of the members of the University of Cambridge expressed their discontent at the paucity of the patronage, and the rigour of the government of the “proud Duke of Somerset,” whose statue graces their senate house, he facetiously observed—

The Chancellor rides us all without a bit in our mouths.


In him the passion for punning was strong in death, though less profane. When he laid dangerously ill of the quinsy (of which he soon after died,) his physician, seeing some hope, turned from his patient to Mrs. Tudway, who was weeping in despair at his danger, and observed, “Courage, madam! the Dr. will get up May-hill yet, he has swallowed some nourishment.” Upon which Dr. Tudway said, [Pg 164] as well as his disease would permit him to articulate, “Don’t mind him, my dear: one swallow don’t make a summer.”


The Rev. Charles Godwyn, B. D., Fellow of Baliol College, grandson to Dr. Francis G., Bishop of Hereford, in a letter, dated March 14, 1768, printed in Nichols’s Anecdotes, says, “a very sad affair has happened” at Oxford. “The principal of Edmund Hall (Dr. George Dixon) has been indiscreet enough to admit into his hall, by the recommendation of Lady Huntingdon, seven London tradesmen, one a tapster, another a barber, &c. They have little or no learning, but all of them have a high opinion of themselves, as being ambassadors of King Jesus. One of them, upon that title conferred by himself, has been a preacher. Complaint was made to the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. David Durell (principal of Hertford College,) I believe, by the Bishop of Oxford; and he, in his own right, as Vice-Chancellor, had last week a visitation of the hall. Some of the preaching tradesmen were found so void of learning, that they were expelled from the hall.”


Robert Austin, a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, was amanuensis to the famous Arabic professor, Wheelock, who employed him in correcting the press of his Persic Gospels, the first of the kind ever printed, with a Latin translation and notes. Of this surprising young man, he says, “in the space of two months, not knowing a letter in Arabic or Persic at the beginning, he sent a letter to me in Norfolk, of peculiar passages, so that of his age I never met with the like; and his indefatigable patience, and honesty, or ingenuity, exceed, if possible, his capacity.” But his immoderate application brought on a derangement of mind, and he died early in 1654.

[Pg 165]


When Queen Elizabeth was questioned on the subject of her faith in the Sacrament, she dexterously avoided giving offence by replying—

“Christ was the word that spake it,
He took the bread and brake it,
And what his word did make it,
That I believe, and take it.”

Scarcely less ingenious was the reply of Bishop Hallifax, when Regius Professor of Civil Law at Cambridge, upon Dr. Parr and the Rev. Joseph Smith (both resident at Stanmore) applying to him for his judgment on a literary dispute between them. His response was in the following official language, by which he dexterously avoided the imputation of partiality:—

Nolo interponere judicium meum.

His name reminds me that he married a Cooke, the daughter of Dr. William Cooke, Provost of King’s College, Cambridge, for whom George the Third had so great a regard, that he extended it to his children. The Bishop and his wife being at Cheltenham when the King was there, and some person asking why his Majesty paid Dr. Hallifax such marked respect, was answered, “Sir, he married a Cooke.” This being in the presence of


“I, too,” he facetiously remarked, “have a claim to his Majesty’s attention, for I married a cook,” alluding to the fact, that his second wife originally held that rank in his domestic establishment.


A Pembrokian Cantab, named Penlycross, having written an Essay, a candidate for the Norrisian prize (which it was necessary he should subscribe with a Greek or Latin [Pg 166] motto, as well as a sealed letter, enclosing his name, after being for a time at a loss for one,) and having an ominous presentiment of its rejection, he seized his pen and subscribed the following on both:

“Distichon ut poscas nolente, volente, Minerva,
Mos sacer? Unde mihi distichon? En perago.”

“Without a distich, vain the oration is;
Oh! for a distich! Doctor, e’en take this.”


The author of the Pursuits of Literature ridicules the epithet “Skeleton Sermons,” as “ridiculous and absurd,” speaking of those of the Rev. Charles Simeon, M.A. now Senior Fellow of King’s College. When, in 1796, that divine published his edition of Claude’s Essay on a Sermon, with an Appendix containing one hundred Skeleton Sermons, the celebrated Dr. William Cooke, father of the late Regius Professor of Greek, was Provost of King’s, and to him, as in duty bound, Mr. Simeon presented a copy. The Provost read it with his natural appearance of a proud and dignified humility, and, struck with the unfortunate and somewhat ludicrous title of Skeleton Sermons, “Skeletons! skeletons!” he exclaimed, in his significant way, “Shall these dry bones live?” What would the Provost have thought and said, had he lived to see an edition of them in ten volumes 4to. price ten guineas?


The present Vice-Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, being told that one of his pupils, the author of “Alma Mater,” had therein published his bill, coolly replied, “I wish he had paid it first.” Another Cantab had—


Which unluckily stood in the church-yard, and it happening [Pg 167] to be a saint’s day, the congregation were at prayers, of which he was ignorant, when he got a friend to put him in. His friend sauntered away, whether wilfully or not I leave my readers to guess, and he was in vain struggling to release himself, when the congregation issued forth, who were not a little moved at his situation. Many laughed, but one, an old woman, compassionately released him. A similar story is told of the celebrated son of Granta,


Who had afterwards to try a cause in which the plaintiff had brought his action against a magistrate for falsely imprisoning him in the stocks. The counsel for the defence arguing that the action was a frivolous one, on the ground that the stocks were no punishment, his Lordship beckoned his learned brother to him, and told him, in his ear, that having himself been put in the stocks, he could assure him it was no such slight punishment as he represented, and the plaintiff obtained a verdict against the magistrate in consequence.


Parker says, in his Musical Memoirs, that the Oxford scholars once hissed Madame Mara, conceiving she assumed too much importance in her bearing. No wonder they so treated Signor Samperio, one evening at a concert, attracted, when he came forward to sing, by his “tall, lank figure, sunken eyes, hollow cheeks, and shrill voice;” in fact, they hissed him off before he had half got through his cavatina. The gentleman who acted as steward was deeply moved at his situation, and, going up to Samperio, endeavoured to soothe him. But the signor, not at all hurt, replied, “O, sare, never mind; dey may hissa me as much as dey please, if I getti di money.” Another anecdote is told of—


The late musical professor, who was some six feet high, [Pg 168] and scarcely inferior in bulk to the famous Essex miller. He had at last so much difficulty in getting in and out of a stage coach, that whenever he went from Oxford to London to conduct the annual performances at St. Paul’s, for the benefit of the Sons of the Clergy, which he did for many years gratis, his custom was to engage a whole seat to himself, and when once in and seated to remain so till the end of the journey. The fact became known to two Oxford wags, who resolved to pose the Doctor, and to that end engaged the other two inside places, and taking care to be there before him, seated themselves in the opposite corners, one to the right the other to the left, and there the Doctor found them, on arriving to take his place. “How was he to dispose of his corpus?” was the query: they had a clear right to their seats, and no alternative seemed left him, as they declined moving, but to place his head in one corner and his feet in the other. At last our Oxonians, having fully enjoyed the dilemma in which they had placed the Doctor, consented to give way, confessed their purpose, and even the Doctor had the good sense to laugh at his own expense.


When the celebrated Cantab, and editor of Lucretius, Gilbert Wakefield, was convicted of a libel before the late Judge Grose, who sentenced him to fine and imprisonment, turning from the bar, he said, with the spirit of a Frenchman, it was—“gross indeed.” To the same learned Cantab, Dyer attributes the following—


Being asked once his opinion of the poetry of Pye, the then Poet Laureat, his reply was, that he thought very handsomely of some of Mr. P.’s poems, which he had read. This did not suffice, and he was pressed for his opinion of the Laureat-Ode that had just appeared in the public prints. Not having seen it, he desired his friend to read it to him, and the introductory lines containing something [Pg 169] about the singing of birds, Wakefield abruptly silenced him with this happy allusion to the Laureat’s name, in the following nursery rhymes:—

“And when the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing:
And was not this a dainty dish
To set before a king.”


Begun with John Alcock, LL.D., Bishop of Ely, and founder of Jesus College.

“Garrulus hunc quando consumet cunq; loquaces,
Si sapiat, vitet, simul atque adoluerit ætas.”

In 1483, says Wilson, in his Memorabilia Cantabrigiæ, he preached before the University “Bonum et blandum sermonem prædicavit, et duravit in horam tertiam et ultra,” which is supposed to be a sermon that was printed in his lifetime, in 1498, by the famous Pynson, entitled, “Galli Cantus ad Confratres suos Curatos in Synodo, apud Barnwell, 25th September, 1498,” at the head of which is a print of the Bishop preaching to the Clergy, with a cock at each side, and another in the first page. The next most celebrated preacher of this class was


The friend, partly tutor, and most learned contemporary of Newton, whom Charles the Second said was an unfair preacher, leaving nothing new to be said by those who followed him. He was once appointed, upon some public occasion, to preach before the Dean and Chapter in Westminster Abbey, and gave them a discourse of nearly four hours in length. During the latter part of it, the congregation became so tired of sitting, that they dropped out, one by one, till scarcely another creature besides the Dean and choristers were left. Courtesy kept the Dean in his place, but soon his patience got the better of his manners,

“Verba per attentam non ibunt Cæsaris aurem,”

[Pg 170]

and beckoning one of the singing boys, he desired him to go and tell the organist to play him down, which was done. When asked, on descending from the pulpit, if he did not feel exhausted, he replied, “No; only a little tired with standing so long.” A third “long-winded preacher” (and they were never admired at either Oxford or Cambridge, where “short and sweet” is preferred) was


He delivered his justly celebrated Spital Sermon in the accustomed place, Christ-Church, Newgate Street, Easter Tuesday, 1800, before his friend, Harvey Christian Combe, Esq., M.P., the celebrated brewer, then Lord Mayor. “Before the service begun,” says one of his friends, “I went into the vestry, and found Dr. Parr seated, with pipes and tobacco placed before him on the table. He evidently felt the importance of the occasion, but felt, at the same time, a confidence in his own powers. When he ascended the pulpit, a profound silence prevailed. The sermon occupied nearly an hour and a quarter in the delivery; and in allusion to its extreme length, it was remarked by a lady, who had been asked her opinion of it, “enough there is, and more than enough”—the first words of its first sentence,—a bon mot he is said to have received with good humour. As he and the Lord Mayor were coming out of the church, the latter, albeit unused to the facetious mode, “Well,” said Dr. Parr to him, always anxious for well-merited praise, “how did you like the sermon? Let me have the suffrage of your strong and honest understanding.” “Why, Doctor,” returned his lordship, “there were four things in your sermon I did not like to hear.” “State them,” replied Parr, eagerly. “Why, to speak frankly, then,” said Combe, “they were the quarters of the church clock, which struck four times before you had finished it.” “I once saw, lying in the Chapter Coffee-house,” says Dyer, in a letter printed in Parriana, “the Doctor’s Spital Sermon, with a comical caricature of him, in the pulpit, preaching and smoking at the same time, with ex fumo dare lucem issuing from his mouth.”

[Pg 171]


At Cambridge, and eke at Oxford, have taken an opposite course, and from their being to be had at all times, have at the former place, obtained the soubriquet “Hack Preachers.” In the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, they are described as “the common exhibitioners at St. Mary’s, employed in the service of defaulters and absentees. It must be confessed, however,” adds this writer, “that these HACKS are good fast trotters, as they commonly go over the course in twenty minutes, and sometimes less.” Gilbert Wakefield, whom nobody will suspect of forbearance, calls them, in his Memoirs, “a piteous, unedifying tribe.” This, however, can scarcely be applied to the ordinary preachers of the present day, and especial care is taken by the heads of the university that the select preachers (one of whom is named for each month during term-time) do not name substitutes themselves. The following poetic jeu d’esprit, entitled “Lines on three of the appointed Preachers of St. Mary’s, Cambridge, attacking Calvin” were no others than the three eminent living divines, Dr. Butler, Dr. Maltby, Bishop of Chichester, and Dr. Herbert Marsh, Bishop of Peterborough:—

“Three Preachers, in three distant counties born,
The Church of England’s doctrines do adorn:
Harsh Calvin’s mystic tenets were their mark,
Founded in texts perverted, gloomy, dark.
Butler in clearness and in force surpassed,
Maltby with sweetness spoke of ages past;
Whilst Marsh himself, who scarce could further go,
With Criticism’s fetters bound the foe.”

This punning morsel, of some standing in the university, is scarce surpassed by Hood himself:—


Old Doctor Delve, a scribbling quiz,
Afraid of critics’ jibes,
By turns assumes the various phiz
Of three old classic scribes.

Though now with high erected head,
And lordly strut he’ll go by us,
[Pg 172]He once made lawyers’ robes, ’tis said,
And called himself Mac-robius.

Last night I asked the man to sup,
Who showed a second alias;
He gobbled all my jellies up,
O greedy Aulus Gellius.

On Sunday, arrogant and proud,
He purrs like any tom-puss,
And reads the Word of God so loud,
He must be Theo-pompus.


The family of the Spintexts have, it appears, very lately put forth a scion, in the person of a learned divine, a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, who, being appointed a Select Preacher in 1835, delivered a discourse of the extraordinary duration of an hour and a half! The present Father of the University and Master of Peter-house, Dr. Francis Barnes, upwards of ninety years of age, was one of the heads present. He sat out the first three quarters of an hour, but then began to be fidgetty. Another quarter of an hour expired,—the preacher was still in the midst of his discourse. The Doctor (now become right down impatient,) being seated the lowest (next to the Vice-Chancellor) in Golgotha, or the “Place of Skulls,” as it is called, he moved, first one seat higher (the preacher is still on his legs,) then to a third, then to a fourth, then to a fifth; and before the hour and a half had quite expired, he joined one of the junior esquire bedells at the top, to whom he observed, with that original expression of face for which he is so remarkable, “my beef is burnt to a cinder.”


According to the first volume of the Librarian, published by Mr. Savage, of the London Institution; who says, that the first work printed on the subject was by Dr. Timothy [Pg 173] Bright, of Cambridge, in 1598, who dedicated it to Queen Elizabeth, under the title of “An art of short, swift, and secret writing, by Character.”


Before the erection of the Senate-House in the University of Cambridge, the annual grand Commencement was held in St. Mary’s, the University church. “It seems,” says Dyer, in his History of Cambridge, “that on these occasions (the time when gentlemen take their degrees”) that is, the degree of M.A. more particularly, “ladies had been allowed to sit in that part of the church assigned to the doctors, called THE THRONE: it was, however, at length agreed amongst them (the doctors) that ladies should be no longer permitted to sit there; and the place assigned to them was under the throne, in the church.” This invasion of what the fair almost looked upon as the abstraction of a right, led to a partial war of words and inuendos, and the matter was at last taken up by the facetious Roger Long, D.D., Master of Pembroke College, who, he adds, in his Supplement to his History, was celebrated for his Treatise on Astronomy, and for his erection of a sphere in his College eighteen feet in diameter, still shown there. On this humorous occasion, he was a dissentient against the Heads, not a little bustle was excited amongst the Cambridge ladies, a subject for a few jokes was afforded the wags of the University, and he produced his famous music-speech, spoken at the public Commencement of 1714, on the 6th of July, which was afterwards published, but is now very scarce. It was delivered in an assumed character, as “being the Petition of the Ladies of Cambridge,” and is full of whim and humour, in Swift’s best manner, beginning—

“The humble petition of the ladies, who are all ready to be eaten up with the spleen,
To think they are to be cooped up in the Chancel, where they can neither see nor be seen,
But must sit in the dumps by themselves, all stew’d and pent up,
And can only peep through the lattice, like so many chickens in a coop;
[Pg 174]Whereas last Commencement the ladies had a gallery provided near enough,
To see the heads sleep, and the fellow-commoners take snuff.”

“How he could have delivered it in so sacred a place as St. Mary’s,” says Dyer, “is matter of surprise (though they say, good fun, like good coin, is current any where.”) It is pleasant to see a grave man descend from his heights, as Pope says, “to guard the fair.” Though nobody could probably be much offended at the time, unless the Vice-Chancellor, whom, if we understand the writer’s meaning, he calls an old woman, when he says—

“Such cross ill-natured doings as these are, even a saint would vex,
To see a Vice-Chancellor so barbarous to one of his own sex.”

But the Doctor had


As is further illustrated by the celebrated Mr. Jones, of Welwyn, who calls him “a very ingenious person.” “At the public Commencement of 1713,” he says, “Dr. Greene (Master of Bene’t College, and afterwards Bishop of Ely) being then Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Long was pitched upon for the tripos performance: it was witty and humorous, and has passed through divers editions. Some who remembered the delivery of it, told me, that in addressing the Vice-Chancellor (whom the University wags usually styled Miss Greene,) the tripos-orator, being a native of Norfolk, and assuming the Norfolk dialect, instead of saying Domine Vice-Cancellarie, did very audibly pronounce the words thus,—Domina Vice-Cancellaria; which occasioned a general smile in that great auditory.” I could recollect several other


Of his, if there were occasion, adds Mr. Jones: but his friend, Mr. Bonfoy, of Ripon, told me this little incident:—that he, and Dr. Long walking together in Cambridge, in a dusky evening, and coming to a short post fixed in the pavement, which Mr. B., in the midst of chat and inattention, took to be a boy standing in his way, he said in a [Pg 175] hurry, “Get out of my way, boy.” “That boy, sir,” said the Doctor, very calmly and slily, “is a post boy, who turns off his way for nobody.”


George the Second is said, like his father, to have had a strong predilection for his continental dominions, of which his ministers did not fail, occasionally, to take advantage. A residentiary of St. Paul’s cathedral happening to fall vacant, Lord Granville was anxious to secure it for the learned translator of Demosthenes, Dr. John Taylor, fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge. The King started some scruples at first, but his Lordship carried his point easily, on assuring his Majesty, which was the fact, that “the Doctor’s learning was celebrated all over Germany.”



The learned prelate, at whose expense the rector’s lodgings were built at Lincoln College, Oxford, is commemorated by his rebus, a beacon and a tun, which may still be traced on the walls.


Founder of Jesus College, Cambridge, and Bishop of Ely, either rebused himself, or was rebused by others, in almost every conspicuous part of his College, by a cock perched upon a globe. On one window is a cock with a label from its mouth, bearing the inscription, Εγω ειμι αλεκτωρ: to which another opposite bravely crows, says Cole, Οντως και εγω:

“I am a cock!” the one doth cry:
And t’other answers—“So am I.”

There is a plate of him at the head of his celebrated Sermon, [Pg 176] printed by Pynson, in 1498, with a cock at each side, and another on the first page. The subject of the discourse is the crowing of the cock when Peter denied Christ.


The celebrated founder of Queen’s College, Oxford, who was a native of Cumberland, and confessor to Philippa, Queen of Edward the Third, gave the College, for its arms, three spread eagles; but a singular custom, according to a rebus, has been founded upon the fanciful derivation of his name, from aiguille, needle, and fil, thread; and it became a commemorative mark of respect, continued to this day, for each member of the College to receive from the Bursar, on New Year’s Day, a needle and thread, with the advice, “Take this and be thrifty.” “These conceits were not unusual at the time the College was founded,” says Chalmers, in his History of Oxford, “and are sometimes thought trifling, merely because we cannot trace their original use and signification. Hollingshed informs us, that when the Prince of Wales, afterwards Henry the Fifth, who was educated at this College, went to Court in order to clear himself from certain charges of disaffection, he wore a gown of blue satin, full of oilet holes, and at every hole a needle hanging by a silk thread. This is supposed to prove at least, that he was an academician of Queen’s, and it may be conjectured that this was the original academical dress.” The same writer says, the Founder ordered that the Society should “be called to their meals by the sound of the trumpet (a practice which still prevails, as does a similar one at the Middle Temple, London,) and the Fellows being placed on one side of the table in robes of scarlet (those of the Doctor’s faced with black fur,) were to oppose in philosophy the poor scholars, who, in token of submission and humility, kept on the other side. As late as the last century the Fellows and Taberders used sometimes to dispute on Sundays and holidays.


In an arched recess of the ante-chapel of St. John’s College, Cambridge, is the tomb of the celebrated Dr. Hugh [Pg 177] Ashton, who took part with the famous Bishop Fisher (beheaded by Henry the Eighth) in the erection of the buildings of that learned foundation, and was the second Master of the Society. His tomb, as Fuller observes, exhibits “the marble effigy of his body when living, and the humiliating contrast of his skeleton when dead, with the usual conceit of the times, the figure of an ash tree growing out of a tun.”


Dyer records of the learned contemporary and antiquarian coadjutor of the late Bishop of Cloyne, the Rev. Mr. Leman, a descendant of the famous Sir Robert Naunton, Public Orator at Cambridge, and a Secretary of State, that “his drawing-room was painted en fresco with the scenery around Lake Leman.”


The same relates of himself, that, one day looking at some caricatures at a window in Fleet-street, Peter Pindar (Dr. Wolcot,) whom he knew, came up to him. “There, sir,” said Mr. Dyer to the Doctor, pointing to the caricatures, “is something in your way.” “And there is something in your way,” rejoined the Doctor, pointing to some of the ladies of the pave who happened to be passing. Peter was sure to pay in full.


Have ever been a grievous source of disquietude to both Oxonians and Cantabs. Tom Randolph, the favourite son of Ben Johnson, made them the subject of his muse. But in no instance, perhaps, have the race been so completely put to the blush, “couleur de rose,” as by the following


Horace, Ode XXII. Book I. Imitated.
Integer vitæ scelerisque purus, &c.


The man who not a farthing owes,
Looks down with scornful eye on those
Who rise by fraud and cunning;
[Pg 178]Though in the Pig-market he stand,
With aspect grave and clear-starched band,
He fears no tradesman’s dunning.


He passes by each shop in town,
Nor hides his face beneath his gown,
No dread his heart invading;
He quaffs the nectar of the Tuns,
Or on a spur-gall’d hackney runs
To London masquerading.


What joy attends a new-paid debt!
Our Manciple[10] I lately met,
Of visage wise and prudent;
I on the nail my battels paid,
The master turn’d away dismay’d,
Hear this each Oxford student!


With justice and with truth to trace
The grisly features of his face,
Exceeds all man’s recounting;
Suffice, he look’d as grim and sour
As any lion in the Tower,
Or half starved cat-a-mountain.


A phiz so grim you scarce can meet,
In Bedlam, Newgate, or the Fleet,
Dry nurse of faces horrid!
Not Buckhorse fierce, with many a bruise,
Displays such complicated hues
On his undaunted forehead.


Place me on Scotland’s bleakest hill,
Provided I can pay my bill,
Stay ev’ry thought of sorrow;
There falling sleet, or frost, or rain,
Attack a soul resolved, in vain—
It may be fair to-morrow.

[Pg 179]


To Haddington then let me stray,
And take Joe Pullen’s tree away,
I’ll ne’er complain of Phœbus;
But while he scorches up the grass,
I’ll fill a bumper to my lass,
And toast her in a rebus.

[10] Churton says, in his Lives of the Founders of Brazenose College, Oxford, that “Manciples, the purveyors general of Colleges and Halls, were formerly men of so much consequence, that, to check their ambition, it was ordered by an express statute, that no Manciple should be Principal of a Hall.”


A Cambridge wag who was skilled in the science of electricity, as well as in the art of ticking, having got in pretty deep with his tailor, who was continually dunning him for payment, resolved to give snip “a settler,” as he said, the next time he mounted his stairs. He accordingly charged his electrifying machine much deeper than usual, and knowing pretty well the time of snip’s approach, watched his coming to the foot of the stairs where he kept, and ere he could reach the door, fixed the conductor to the brass handle. The tailor having long in vain sought occasion to catch him with his outer door not sported, was so delighted at finding it so, that, resolving not to lose time, he seized the handle of the inner door, so temptingly exposed to view, determining to introduce himself to his creditor sans ceremonie. No sooner, however, did his fingers come in contact with it than the shock followed, so violent, that it stunned him for an instant: but recovering himself, he bolted as though followed, as the poet says, by “ten thousand devils,” never again to return.


Gray’s letters, and Bishop Warburton’s polemical writings, show, that in more respects than one they were gifted with a like temperament: but in the following instances they form a contrast to each other. In the library of the British Museum is an interesting letter occasioned by the death of the Rev. N. Nicholls, LL.B., Rector of Loud and Bradwell, in Suffolk, from the pen of the now generally [Pg 180] acknowledged author of “The Pursuits of Literature,” J. T. Mathias, M.A., in which he says, that shortly after that elegant scholar, and lamented divine, became a student of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, at the age of eighteen, a friend introduced him to Gray, the poet, at that time redolent with fame, and resident in Peter-House, to speak to whom was honourable; but to be admitted to his acquaintance, or to his familiarity, was the height of youthful, or indeed of any ambition. Shortly after this, Mr. N. was in a company of which Mr. Gray was one; and, as it became his youth, he did not enter into conversation, but listened with attention. The subject, however, being general and classical, and as Mr. Nicholls, even at that early period, was acquainted not only with the Greek and Latin, but with many of the best Italian poets, he ventured, with great diffidence, to offer a short remark, and happened to illustrate what he had said by an apposite quotation from Dante. At the name of Dante, Mr. Gray suddenly turned round to him and said, “Right: but have you read Dante, sir?” “I have endeavoured to understand him,” replied Mr. N. Mr. Gray being much pleased with the illustration, and with the taste which it evinced, addressed the chief of his discourse to him for the remainder of the evening, and invited him to his rooms in Pembroke Hall; and finding him ready and docile, he became attached to him and gave him instruction in the course of his studies, to which, adds Mr. Mathias, “I attribute the extent and value of his knowledge, and the peculiar accuracy and correct taste which distinguished him throughout life, and which I have seldom observed in any man in a more eminent degree.” And I wish every young man of genius might hear and consider, observes Mr. M., commenting upon an incident so honourable to all parties, “the


With modesty and propriety, in the highest, I mean the most learned and virtuous company.” What a different spirit was evinced, in the following incident, by that great polemical writer, Bishop Warburton: but it happily originated

[Pg 181]


Which were the production of Thomas Edwards, an Etonian and King’s College man, where he graduated M.A. in 1734, but missing a fellowship, turned soldier. After he had been some time in the army, says a writer in the Gentleman’s Magazine, for 1779, it so happened that, being at Bath, after Mr. Warburton’s marriage to Mr. Allen’s niece, he was introduced at Prior Park, en famille. The conversation not unfrequently turning on literary subjects, Mr. Warburton generally took the opportunity of showing his superiority in Greek, not having the least idea that an officer of the army understood anything of that language, or that Mr. Edwards had been bred at Eton; till one day, being accidentally in the library, Mr. Edwards took down a Greek author, and explained a passage in it in a manner that Mr. Warburton did not approve. This occasioned no small contest; and Mr. Edwards (who had now discovered to Mr. Warburton how he came by his knowledge) endeavoured to convince him, that he did not understand the original language, but that his knowledge arose from French translations. Mr. Warburton was highly irritated; an incurable breach took place; and this trifling altercation (after Mr. Edwards had quitted the army and was entered of Lincoln’s Inn) produced The Canons of Criticism.


That munificent prelate and Oxonian, Dr. Shute Barrington, sixth son of the first Viscount, and the late Bishop of Durham, a prelate, indeed, whose charities were unbounded, was so conscientious in the discharge of his functions, that he personally examined all candidates for Holy Orders, and, however strongly they might be recommended, rejected all that appeared unworthy of the sacred trust. On one occasion, a relative, relying for advancement upon his patronage, having intimated a desire to enter the [Pg 182] Church, the Bishop inquired with what preferment he would be contented. “Five hundred pounds a year will satisfy all my wants,” was the reply. “You shall have it,” answered the conscientious prelate: “not out of the patrimony of the Church, but out of my private fortune.” The same Bishop gave the entire of 60,000l. at once, for founding schools, unexpectedly recovered in a lawsuit; and amongst other persons of talent, preferred Paley to the valuable living of Bishop Wearmouth, unsolicited and totally unknown to him, save through his valuable writings.


Is recorded of the celebrated Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, the Rev. James Scott, M. A., better known as Anti-Sejanus, who acquired extraordinary eminence as a pulpit orator, both in and out of the University. He frequently preached at St. Mary’s, where crowds of the University attended him. On one occasion he offended the Undergraduates, by the delivery of a severe philippic against gaming; which they deeming a work of supererogation, evinced their displeasure by scraping the floor with their feet (an old custom now scarcely resorted to twice in a century.) He, however, severely censured them for this act of indecorum, shortly afterwards, in another discourse, for which he selected the appropriate text, “Keep thy feet when thou goest to the House of God.”


It is not surprising that our distinguished philosophers and mathematicians have rarely evinced much knowledge of men and manners, or of the ordinary circumstances of life, since they are so much occupied in telling “the number of the stars,” in tracing the wonders of creation, or in balancing the mental and physical powers of man. Our illustrious Cantab, Bacon, says his biographer, was cheated by his servants at the bottom, whilst he sat in abstraction [Pg 183] at the top of his table; and he of whom Dr. Johnson said (the great and good Newton,) that had he lived in the days of ancient Greece, he would have been worshipped as a deity; of whom, too, the poet wrote—

“Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night,
God said, ‘Let Newton be,’ and all was light,”

Caused a smaller hole to be perforated in his room door, when his favourite cat had a kitten, not remembering that it would follow puss through the larger one. Another more modern and less distinguished but not less amiable Cantab, who was Senior Wrangler in his year, one day inquired—


Another distinguished Senior Wrangler, Professor and divine, occasionally amuses his friends by rehearsing the fact, that once, having, to preach in the neighbourhood of Cambridge, he hired a blind horse to ride the distance on, and his path laying cross a common, where the road was but indistinctly marked, he became so absorbed in abstract calculations, that, forgetting to guide his steed aright, he and the horse wandered so far awry, that they tumbled “head over heels,” as the folks say, upon a cow slumbering by the way side. On dit, the same Cantab was one morning caught over his breakfast-fire with an egg in his hand, to minute the time by, and his—


When he went in for A.B. his natural diffidence prevented his doing much in the first four days of the Senate House examination, and he was consequently bracketted low: but rallying his confidence, he challenged all the men of his years, and was Senior Wrangler. This incident caused him to be received with rapturous applause, upon his being presented to the Vice-Chancellor for his degree, on the following Saturday. A few days after he is said to have been in London, and entered one of the larger theatres at the same instant with Royalty itself:—the audience rose with one accord, and thunders of applause followed! [Pg 184]This is too much,” said our Cantab to his friend, modestly hiding his face in his hat, having, in the simplicity of his heart, taken the huzzas and claps to be an improved edition of the Senate House. Another Cantab, who was also a Senior Wrangler, and guilty of many singularities, as well as some follies, one who has unjustly heaped reproach on the head of his Alma Mater (see his “Progress of a Senior Wrangler at Cambridge,” in the numbers of the defunct London Magazine,) had the following quaternion posted on his room door in Trinity:—

“King Solomon in days of old,
The wisest man was reckon’d:
I fear as much cannot be told
Of Solomon the Second.”


Are recorded of the famous Cantab and Etonian, the Rev. George Harvest, B. D., who was one day walking in the Temple Gardens, London, with the son of his patron, the great Speaker Onslow, when he picked up a curious pebble, observing he would keep it for his friend, Lord Bute. He and his companion were going to The Beef-steak Club, then held in Ivy-lane. Mr. Onslow asked him what o’clock it was, upon which he took out his watch, and observed they had but ten minutes good. Another turn or two was proposed, but they had scarcely made half the length of the walk, when he coolly put the pebble into his fob, and threw his watch into the Thames. He was at another time in a boat with the same gentleman, when he began to read a favourite Greek author (for, like Porson, his coat pockets generally contained a moderate library) with such emphasis and strange gesticulations, that


And he coolly stepped overboard to recover them, without once dreaming that it was not terra-firma, and was fished out with great difficulty. He frequently wrote a letter to one person, forgot to subscribe his name to it, and directed [Pg 185] it to another. On one occasion he provided himself with three sermons, having been appointed to preach before the Archdeacon and Clergy of the district. Some wags got them, and having intermixed the leaves, stitched them together in that state, and put them into his sermon-case. He mounted the pulpit at the usual time, took his text, but soon surprised his reverend audience by taking leave of the thread of his discourse. He was, however, so insensible to the dilemma in which he was placed, that he went preaching on. At last the congregation became impatient, both from the length and the nature of his sermon. First the archdeacon slipped out, then the clergy, one by one, followed by the rest of the congregation; but he never flagged, and would have finished


Had not the clerk reminded him that they were the sole occupants of the lately-crowded church. He went down to Cambridge to vote for his Eton contemporary,


When the latter was candidate for the dignity of High-steward of the University, in opposition to Pitt. His lordship invited him to dine with some friends at the Rose Inn. “Apropos, my lord,” exclaimed Harvest, during the meal, “whence do you derive your nick-name of Jemmy Twitcher?” “Why,” said his lordship, “from some foolish fellow.” “No, no,” said Harvest, “not from some, for every body calls you so;” on which his lordship, knowing it to be the favourite dish of his quondam friend, put a huge slice of plum-pudding upon his plate, which effectually stopped his mouth. His lordship has the credit of being the originator and first President of the Cambridge Oriental Club. He was also


Once passing a whole day at some game of which he was fond, he became so absorbed in its progress, that he denied himself time to eat, in the usual way, and ordered a slice [Pg 186] of beef between two pieces of toasted bread, which he masticated without quitting his game; and that sort of refreshment has ever since borne the designation of a Sandwich. Parkes, in his Musical Memoirs, gives him the credit of


It happened, he says, that during a feast given to his lordship by the Corporation of Worcester, when he was First Lord of the Admiralty, a servant let fall a dish with a boiled neat’s tongue, as he was bringing it to table. The Mayor expressing his concern to his lordship, “Never mind,” said he, “it’s only a lapsus linguæ!” which Witty saying creating a great deal of mirth, one of the Aldermen present, at a dinner he gave soon after, instructed his servant to throw down a roast leg of mutton, that he too might have his joke. This was done; “Never mind,” he exclaimed to his friends, “it’s only a lapsus linguæ.” The company stared, but he begun a roaring laugh, solus. Finding nobody joined therein, he stopped his mirth, saying, that when Lord Sandwich said it, every body laughed, and he saw no reason why they should not laugh at him. This sally had the desired effect, and the company, one and all, actually shook their sides, and our host was satisfied.


In 1717, George I. and his ministers had contrived to make themselves so unpopular, that the badges of the disaffected, oaken boughs, were publicly worn on the 29th of May, and white roses on the birth-day of the Pretender, the 10th of June. Oxford, and especially the university, manifested such strong feelings, that it was deemed expedient to send a military force there: Cambridge, more inclined to the Whig principles of the court and government, was at the same time complimented with a present of books. Upon this occasion, Dr. Trapp, the celebrated Oxford poet and divine, wrote the following epigram:—

Our royal master saw, with heedful eyes,
The wants of his two universities:
[Pg 187]Troops he to Oxford sent, as knowing why
That learned body wanted loyalty;
But books to Cambridge gave, as well discerning
How that right loyal body wanted learning.

Cambridge, as may be well supposed, was not backward in retorting: and an able champion she found in her equally celebrated scholar, physician, and benefactor, Sir William Blowne (founder of a scholarship and the three gold medals called after his name,) who replied to Dr. Trapp in the following quaternion:—

The king to Oxford sent a troop of horse,
For Tories know no argument but force:
With equal grace, to Cambridge books he sent,
For Whigs allow no force but argument.

Not that Cambridge was behind Oxford in supporting the unfortunate Charles the First, to whom the several colleges secretly conveyed nearly all their ancient plate; and Cromwell, in consequence, retaliated by confining and depriving numbers of her most distinguished scholars, both laymen and divines, many of whom died in exile: and the commissioners of parliament, with a taste worthy of the worst barbarians, caused many of the buildings to be despoiled of their architectural ornaments and exquisite pieces of sculpture and painted glass. It was at this time appeared the following celebrated poetic trifle, extant in the Oxford Sausage, known as


Written by Herbert Beaver, Esq., of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, when “Gaby” (as the then President, Dr. Shaw, is called, who had been a zealous Jacobite,) suddenly, on the accession of George the First, became a still more zealous patron of the interests of the House of Hanover.

When Gaby possession had got of the Hall,
He took a survey of the Chapel and all,
Since that, like the rest, was just ready to fall,
Which nobody can deny.

And first he began to examine the chest,
Where he found an old Cushion which gave him distaste;
The first of the kind that e’er troubled his rest,
Which nobody can deny.
[Pg 188]
Two letters of Gold on this Cushion were rear’d;
Two letters of gold once by Gaby rever’d,
But now what was loyalty, treason appear’d:
Which nobody can deny.

“J. R. (quoth the Don, in soliloquy bass)
“See the works of this damnable Jacobite race!
“We’ll out with the J, and put G in its place:”
Which nobody can deny.

And now to erase these letters so rich,
For scissors and bodkin his fingers did itch,
For Converts in politics go thorough-stich:
Which nobody can deny:

The thing was about as soon done as said,
Poor J was deposed and G reigned in his stead;
Such a quick revolution sure never was read!
Which nobody can deny.

Then hey for preferment—but how did he stare,
When convinced and ashamed of not being aware,
That J stood for Jennet,[11] for Raymond the R,
Which nobody can deny.

Then beware, all ye priests, from hence I advise,
How ye choose Christian names for the babes ye baptize,
For if Gaby don’t like ’em he’ll pick out their I’s,
Which nobody can deny.

[11] The benefactor who gave the college the Cushion.

Terræ Filius relates the following instance of


Mr. Carty of University College, and Mr. Meadowcourt of Merton College, Oxford (says this writer,) were suspended from proceeding to their next degree, in 1716, the first for a period of one, the second for a period of two years, the latter further, not to be permitted “to supplicate for his grace, until he confesses his manifold crimes, and asks pardon upon his knees, For breaking out to that degree of impudence (when the Proctor admonished him to go home from the tavern at an unseasonable hour,) as to command all the company, with a loud voice, to drink King [Pg 189] George’s health.” And, strange enough, persisting in his refusal to ask pardon, as required, he only ultimately obtained his degree by pleading the act of grace of the said King George, enacted in favour of those who had been guilty of treason, &c. These were, it appears, both Fellows of colleges, and with several others, who were likewise put in the Black-book, were members of a society in Oxford, called


At a meeting of which it was that the king was toasted.


Was one formed, in 1757, by the Wranglers of that year, including the late Professor Waring; the celebrated reformer Dr. Jebb the munificent founder of the Cambridge Hebrew Scholarships; Mr. Tyrwhitt; and other learned men. It was called The Hyson Club, the entertainments being only tea and conversation. Paley, who joined it after he became tutor of Christ College, is thus made to speak of it by a writer in the New Monthly Magazine for 1825:—“We had a club at Cambridge, of political reformers; it was called the Hyson Club, as we met at tea time; and various schemes were discussed among us. Jebb’s plan was, that the people should meet and declare their will; and if the House of Commons should pay due attention to the will of the people, why, well and good; if not, the people were to convey their will into effect. We had no idea that we were talking treason. I was always an advocate for braibery and corrooption: they raised an outcry against me, and affected to think I was not in earnest. ‘Why,’ said I, ‘who is so mad as to wish to be governed by force? or who is such a fool as to expect to be governed by virtue? There remains, then, nothing but braibery and corrooption.’” No particular subjects were proposed for discussion at their meetings, but accident or the taste of individuals naturally led to topics, such as literary and scientific characters might freely discuss. At a meeting where the debate was on the justice or expediency of making some alteration in the ecclesiastical constitution [Pg 190] of the country, for the relief of tender consciences, Dr. Gordon, of Emmanuel College, late Precentor of Lincoln, vehemently opposed the arguments of Dr. Jebb, then tutor of Peter House, who supported the affirmative, by exclaiming, “You mean, Sir, to impose upon us a new church government.” “You are mistaken,” said Paley, who was present, “Jebb only wants to ride his own horse, not to force you to get up behind him.”


Discipline, like every thing else characteristic of our elder institutions, has for some years been fast giving way in our universities. Statutes are permitted to slumber unheeded, as not fitted to the present advanced state of society; and in colleges where it would, as late as the beginning of the nineteenth century, have been almost a crime to have been seen in hall or chapel without a white cravat on, scholars now strut in black ones, “unawed by imposition” or a fine. I can remember the time when this inroad upon decent appearance first begun, and when the Dean of our college put forth his strong arm, and insisted on white having the preference. Men then used to wear their black till they came to the hall or chapel door, then take them off, and walk in with none at all, and again twist them round the neck, heedless whether the tie were Brummell or not, on issuing forth from Prayers or Commons. Like the Whigs, they have by perseverance carried their point, and strut about in black, wondering what they shall next attempt.


That at the time Dr. W—— became Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge, the tutors used to oblige (and it was a custom for) the scholars to stand, cap in hand (if any tutor entered a court where they might be passing,) till the said tutor disappeared. This was so rigorously enforced, [Pg 191] that the scholars complained to the new master, and he desired the tutors to relax the custom. This order they refused to comply with. Upon this the Doctor took down from a shelf a copy of the College Statutes, and coolly read to them a section, where the fellows of the same were enjoined to stand, cap in hand, till the master passed by, wherever they met him; and the Doctor, it is added, insisted upon its observance, on pain of ejection, till at length the tutors gave way.


Foote the comedian was, in his youthful days, a student of Worcester College, Oxford, under the care of the Provost, Dr. Gower. The Doctor was a learned and amiable man, but a pedant. The latter characteristic was soon seized upon by the young satirist, as a source whereon to turn his irresistible passion for wit and humour. The church at this time belonging to Worcester College, fronted a lane were cattle were turned out to graze, and (as was then the case in many towns, and is still in some English villages) the church porch was open, with the bell-ropes suspended in the centre. Foote tied a wisp of hay to one of them, and this was no sooner scented by the cattle at night, than it was seized upon as a dainty morsel. Tug, tug, went one and all, and “ding-dong” went the bell at midnight, to the astonishment of the Doctor, the sexton, the whole parish, and the inmates of the College. The young wag kept up the joke for several successive nights, and reports of ghosts, goblins, and frightful visions, soon filled the imagination of old and young with alarm, and many a simple man and maiden whisked past the scene of midnight revel ere the moon had “filled her horns,” struck with fear and trembling. The Doctor suspected some trick. He, accordingly, engaged the Sexton to watch with him for the detection of the culprit. They had not long lain hid, under favour of a dark night, when “ding-dong” went the bell again: both rushed from their hiding places, and the sexton commenced the attack by seizing [Pg 192] the cow’s tail, exclaiming, “’Tis a gentleman commoner,—I have him by the tail of his gown!” The Doctor approached on the opposite tack, and seized a horn with both hands, crying, “No, no, you blockhead, ’tis the postman,—I have caught the rascal by his blowing-horn!” and both bawled lustily for assistance, whilst the cow kicked and flung to get free; but both held fast till lights were procured, when the real offender stood revealed, and the laugh of the whole town was turned upon the Doctor and his fellow-night-errant, the Sexton.


The Spoon, in the words of Lord Byron’s Don Juan,

“—— The name by which we Cantabs please,
To dub the last of honours in degrees,”

is the annual subject for University mirth, and if not the fountain, is certainly the very foundation of Cambridge University honours: without the spoon, not a man in the Tripos would have a leg to stand upon: in fact, it would be a top without a bottom, minus the spoon. Yet “this luckless wight,” says the compiler of the Cambridge Tart, is annually a universal butt and laughing-stock of the whole Senate-House. He is the last of those men who take honours of his year, and is called a “junior optime,” and notwithstanding his being superior to them all, the lowest of the Ὁι πολλοι, or Gregarious Undistinguished Bachelors, think themselves entitled to shoot their pointless arrows against the “wooden spoon,” and to reiterate the perennial remark, that, “wranglers” are born with golden spoons in their mouths; “senior optimes” with silver spoons; “junior optimes” with wooden spoons, and the Ὁι πολλοι with leaden spoons in their mouths. It may be here, however, observed, that it is unjust towards the undistinguished bachelors to say that “he (the spoon) is superior to them all.” He is generally a man who has read hard, id est, has done his best, whilst the undistinguished bachelors, it is well known, include many men of [Pg 193] considerable, even superior talents, but having no taste for mathematics, have merely read sufficient to get a degree; consequently have not done their best. The muse has thus invoked


When sage Mathesis calls her sons to fame,
The Senior Wrangler bears the highest name.
In academic honour richly deckt,
He challenges from all deserved respect.
But, if to visit friends he leaves his gown,
And flies in haste to cut a dash in town,
The wrangler’s title, little understood,
Suggests a man in disputation good;
And those of common talents cannot raise,
Their humble thoughts a wrangler’s mind to praise.
Such honours to an Englishman soon fade,
Like laurel wreaths, the victor’s brows that shade.
No such misfortune has that man to fear,
Whom fate ordains the last in fame’s career;
His honours fresh remain, and e’en descend
To soothe his family, or chosen friend.
And while he lives, he wields the boasted prize,
Whose value all can feel, the weak, the wise;
Displays in triumph his distinguished boon,
The solid honours of the Wooden Spoon!

That many have borne off this prize who might have done better, is well known too. One learned Cantab in that situation felt so assured of his fate, when it might have been more honourable, had he been gifted with prudence and perseverance, that on the morning when it is customary to give out the honours, in the Senate House, in their order of merit, he provided himself with a large wooden spoon, and when there was a call from the gallery, for “the spoon” (for then the Undergraduates were allowed to express their likes and dislikes publicly, a custom now suppressed,) he turned the shafts of ridicule aside by thrusting the emblem of his honours up high over his head,—an act that gained him no slight applause. Another Cantab, of precisely the same grade as to talent, who was second in the classical tripos of his year, gave a supper on the occasion of the spoon being awarded to him, which commenced with soup, each man being furnished with a [Pg 194] ponderous wooden spoon to lap it with. Another, now a Fellow of Trinity College, who more than once bore off the Porson prize, being in this place of honour, a wag nailed a large wooden spoon to his door. Hundreds of other tricks have been put upon the spoon, next to whom are—


Which, said the great Bentley, in a sermon preached before the University of Cambridge, on the 5th of November, 1715, “is a known expression in profane authors, opposed sometimes, τοις σοφοις, to the wise, and ever denotes the most, and generally the meanest of mankind.” “Besides the mirth devoted character,” (the wooden spoon,) says the writer first quoted, there “are always a few, a chosen few, a degree lower than the Ὁι πολλοι, constantly written down alphabetically, who serve to exonerate the ‘wooden spoon,’ in part, from the ignominy of the day; and these undergo various epithets, according to their accidental number. If there was but one, he was called Bion, who carried all his learning about him without the slightest inconvenience. If there were two, they were dubbed the Scipios; Damon and Pythias; Hercules and Atlas; Castor and Pollux. If three, they were ad libitum, the three Graces; or the three Furies; the Magi; or Noah, Daniel, and Job. If seven, they were the seven Wise Men; or the Seven Wonders of the World. If nine, they were the unfortunate Suitors of the Muses. If twelve, they became the Apostles. If thirteen, either they deserved a round dozen, or, like the Americans, should bear thirteen stripes on their coat and arms. Lastly, they were sometimes styled constant quantities, and Martyrs; or the thirteenth was designated the least of the Apostles; and, should there be a fourteenth, he was unworthy to be called an Apostle!” An unknown pen has immortalized the Ὁι πολλοι, by the following—


“Post tot naufragia tutus.”—Virg.

Thrice happy ye, through toil and dangers past,
Who rest upon that peaceful shore,
[Pg 195]Where all your fagging is no more,
And gain the long-expected port at last.

Yours are the sweets, the ravishing delights,
To doze and snore upon your noontide beds;
No chapel-bell your peaceful sleep affrights,
No problems trouble now your empty heads.

Yet, if the heavenly muse is not mistaken,
And poets say the muse can rightly guess,
I fear, full many of you must confess
That you have barely saved your bacon.

Amidst th’ appalling problematic war,
Where dire equations frown’d in dread array,
Ye never strove to find the arduous way,
To where proud Granta’s honours shine afar.

Within that dreadful mansion have ye stood,
When moderators glared with looks uncivil,
How often have ye d—d their souls, their blood,
And wished all mathematics at the devil!

But ah! what terrors on that fatal day
Your souls appall’d, when, to your stupid gaze,
Appear’d the biquadratic’s darken’d maze,
And problems ranged in horrible array!

Hard was the task, I ween, the labour great,
To the wish’d port to find your uncouth way—
How did ye toil, and fag, and fume, and fret,
And—what the bashful muse would blush to say.

But now your painful terrors all are o’er—
Cloth’d in the glories of a full-sleev’d gown,
Ye strut majestically up and down,
And now ye fag, and now ye fear no more.

But although many men of this class are not gifted with that species of perception suited to mathematical studies, however desirable it may be that the mind should be subject to that best of all correctives, the abstruse sciences, they are often possessed of what may be justly denominated “great talents.” A remarkable instance of this fact was manifested in the person of a late fellow of Trinity (now no longer so—“for conscience-sake,”) who wrote a tragedy whilst still a boy of sixteen or seventeen, that was produced at Covent Garden with success, obtained the only vacant Craven scholarship in his freshman’s year [Pg 196] (always considered a high test of classical ability,) and carried off other classical university prizes. Yet he, when he came to be examined for his degree, though he sat and wrote out whole books of Homer from memory, he was unable to go through the first problem of Euclid: for when told that he must do something in mathematics, he wrote down, after a fashion, the A’s and B’s, but without describing the figure, a necessary accompaniment. Of the omission he was reminded by the examiner—“Oh! the picture, you mean,” was his reply, and, drawing a triangle of a true isosceles cut, instead of an equilateral one, he added thereto, a la heraldique, by way of supporters, two ovals of equal height, which completed his only mathematical effort. His learning and talents, however, procured him his degree and a fellowship. To others, mathematics are an inexhaustible source of delight, and such a mind it was that penned The Address to Mathematics, in “The Cambridge Tart,” beginning—

“With thee, divine Mathesis, let me live!
Effuse source of evidence and truth!”

Porson gave a singular proof of his “fondness for Algebra,” says the Sexagenarian, by composing an equation in Greek, the original being comprised in one line. When resident in college, he would frequently amuse himself by sending to his friends scraps of Greek of a like character, for solution. The purport of one was, “Find the value of nothing.” The next time he met his friend, he addressed him with, “Well, have you succeeded in finding the value of nothing?” “Yes,” replied his friend. “What is it?” “Sixpence I gave the gyp for bringing your note,” was the rejoinder.

The late Professor Vince meeting a fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge, the next morning after a high wind had blown down several of the fine old trees in the walks, some of three centuries’ standing, he was addressed with, “a terrible storm last night, Mr. Professor.” “Yes,” he replied, “it was


“Mathematical wind!” exclaimed the other, “how so, [Pg 197] Doctor?” “Why you see it has extracted a great many roots!” A Johnian one day eating apple-pie by the side of a Johnian fellow, an inveterate punster, he facetiously observed,


Another fellow walking down the hall, after dinner, and slipping some distance on smooth flags, looked over his shoulder and observed to one following him—”An inclined plane.”

Another Cantab, when a student of Bene’t, now rector of H——, Suffolk, sung his song of “divine Mathesis:”—

Let mathematicians and geometricians
Talk of circles’ and triangles’ charms,
The figure I prize is a girl with bright eyes,
And the circle that’s formed by her arms.


This class of Cambridge honours, for which none can become candidates but those who have attained mathematical distinction, was instituted by a Grace of the Senate, in 1822. As its title implies, it is divided into three classes. The first examination took place in 1824, when the Cantabs were saved the labour of gestation, by the last man in the third class being named Wedgewood, which was transposed by some wag to wooden wedge—and by that soubriquet, equivalent to the wooden spoon, all men so circumstanced are now designated in the colloquial phraseology of the University. It is but justice to Mr. W. to add, however, that he also attained the high mathematical distinction of eighth wrangler of his year. By the same decree of the Senate


Was established at Cambridge (answering to the Oxford “Little-go,”) by which all students are required to undergo an examination in Classics and Divinity, in the Lent term of the second year of their residence. The successful [Pg 198] candidates are divided into two classes only: but there is always a select few who are allowed to pass, after an extra trial of skill: these are lumped at the end, and have been designated “Elegant Extracts.” Some wag furnished Jackson’s Oxford Journal with this


No cat has two tails.
A cat has one tail more than no cat.
Ergo—A cat has three tails.

The following song (in the true spirit of a non-reading man) is from the pen of a learned seceding Cantab, the late Dr. John Disney, who, after graduating at Peter-House, Cambridge, LL.B., and for some time officiating as a minister of the Established Church, resigned a living “for conscience sake,” and closed his career as Minister of the Unitarian Chapel, in Essex-street, Strand:—

Come, my good College lads! and attend to my lays,
I’ll show you the folly of poring o’er books;
For all you get by it is mere empty praise,
Or a poor meagre fellowship, and sour looks.


Then lay by your books, lads, and never repine;
And cram not your attics,
With dry mathematics,
But moisten your clay with a bumper of wine.

The first of mechanics was old Archimedes,
Who play’d with Rome’s ships as we’d play cup and ball,
To play the same game I can’t see where the need is,
Or why we should fag mathematics at all.
Then lay by your books, lads, &c.

Great Newton found out the binomial law,
To raise X -|- Y to the power of B;
Found the distance of planets that he never saw,
And we most probably never shall see.
Then lay by your books, lads, &c.

Let Whiston and Ditton star-gazing enjoy,
And taste all the sweets mathematics can give;
Let us for our time find a better employ,
And knowing life’s sweets, let us learn how to live.
Then lay by your books, lads, &c.
[Pg 199]
These men ex absurdo, conclusions may draw,
Perpetual motion they never could find;
Not one of the set, lads, can balance a straw,
And longitude seeking is hunting the wind.
Then lay by your books, lads, &c.

If we study at all, let us study the means
To make ourselves friends, and to keep them when made;
Learn to value the blessings kind heaven ordains,
To make others happy, let that be our trade.


Let each day be better than each day before,
Without pain or sorrow,
To-day or to-morrow,
May we live, my good lads, to see many days more.


Two Cantabs, brothers, named Whiter, one the learned author of Etymologicum Magnum, the other an amiable divine; both were remarkable, the one for being six, the other about five feet in height. The taller was eccentric and often absent in his habits, the other a wag. Both were invited to the same party, and the taller being first ready, slipped on the coat of the shorter, and wended his way into a crowded room of fashionables, to whom his eccentricities being familiar, they were not much surprised at seeing him encased in a coat, the tail of which scarcely reached his hips, whilst the sleeves ran short of his elbows; in fact, it was a perfect strait jacket, and he had not been long seated before he began to complain to every body that he was suffering from a dreadful fit of rheumatism. One or two suggested the tightness of his coat as the cause of his pain; but he remained rheumatic in spite of them, till his brother’s approach threw the whole party into a fit of convulsive laughter, as he came sailing into the room, his coat-tails sweeping the room, en traine, and his arms performing the like service on either side, as he exclaimed, to his astonished brother, “Why, Bob, you have got my coat on!” Bob then discovered that his friends’ hints bordered on the truth, and the two exchanged [Pg 200] garments forthwith, to the amusement of all present.


The Doctor was once staying with the late great and good Mr. Roscoe, when many of the most distinguished Whigs were his guests also, out of compliment to whom the Doctor forbore to indulge in his customary after-dinner pipe. At length, when wine and words had circulated briskly, and twilight began to set in, he insisted upon mounting to his own room to have a whiff solus. Having groped his way up stairs, somewhat exhausted with the effort, he threw himself into what he took to be an arm-chair. Suddenly the ears of the party were assailed with awful moans and groans, as of some one in tribulation. Mr. Roscoe hastened to learn the cause, and no sooner reached the stairs’ foot, than he heard the Doctor calling lustily for his man John, adding, in more supplicatory accents, “Will nobody help a Christian man in distress! Will nobody help a Christian man in distress!” Mr. Roscoe mounted to the rescue, but could not forbear a hearty laugh, as he beheld Dr. P. locked in the close embrace of a large old-fashioned grate, which he had mistaken for an arm-chair, and from which he was in vain struggling to relieve himself.


When Robert the Devil was first produced at Paris, and the opera going folk were on the qui vive for the promised appearance of the Prince of Darkness, a certain Cantab, the facial line of whose countenance bordered on the demoniacal, went to see him make his bow to a Parisian audience, and happened to enter the same loge from whence a Parisian belle was anxiously watching the entrée of Monsieur Le Robert. Attracted by the creaking of the loge door, on suddenly turning her head in its direction, she caught a glimpse of our Cambridge friend, and was [Pg 201] so forcibly struck with the expression of his countenance, that she went into hysterics, exclaiming, “Mon Dieu! Le Diable!”


The famous editor of Demosthenes, John Taylor, D. D. being accused of saying Bishop Warburton was no scholar, denied it, but owned he always thought so. Upon this Warburton called him “The Learned Dunce.” When Parr, in the British Critic for 1795, called Porson “a giant in literature,” and “a prodigy in intellect,” the Professor took it in dudgeon, and said, “What right has any one to tell the height of a man he cannot measure?” A Dutch commentator having called Bentley “Egregius” and “Ὁ πάνυ,” “What right, (said the Doctor) has that fellow to quote me; “does he think that I will set my pearls in his dunghill?” Baxter, in the second edition of his Horace, said the great Bentley seemed to him “rather to have buried Horace under a heap of rubbish than to have illustrated him.” And


Who, to please his religious wife, composed a Greek ode to prove King Solomon wrote Homer’s Iliad, that he was

“Ὅνος πρὸς λύραν—Asinus ad Lyram:”

Joshua replied, that they who said this of him had not understanding enough to be poets, or wanted the Ὁ νοῦς πρὸς λύραν.


I have before spoken of these two Cambridge knights and rival physicians, but there yet remains to be told of them, that on their meeting each other, perchance, in the street or the senate house, the latter addressing his rival in an ironical speech of condolence, to the effect, “I regret [Pg 202] to hear you are ill, Sir Busick.” “Sir, I sick!” (Sir Isaac) retorted the wit, “I never was better in my life!” Many of my readers have no doubt seen the anecdote of Voltaire’s building a church, and causing to be engraved on the front thereof, the vain record,

Voltaire erexit hoc Templum Deo.”

A similar spirit seized a Mr. Cole of Cambridge, who left money either to erect the church or the steeple of St. Clement’s, in Bridge-street, of that town, on condition that his name was placed on the front of it. The condition was complied with to the letter, thus, by the tasteful judgment of some Cambridge wag:—


An admirably turned pun, which, I may add, for the benefit of my English readers, signifies, Worship God. I have already noticed the mathematicalPons Asinorum” of our mother of Cambridge. One of her waggish sons has likewise contrived, for their amusement, a classical Pons Asinorum, known as


I knew a Trinity man of absent habits, who actually, after residing two years in college, having occasion to call upon an old school fellow, a scholar of Bene’t (id est, Corpus Christi College,) before it was rebuilt, was so little acquainted with the localities of the university, that he was obliged to inquire his way, though not two hundred yards from Trinity. Such a man could scarcely be expected to know, what most Cantabs do, that Qui Church, which is situated about four miles from Cambridge, “rears its head” in rural simplicity in the midst of the open fields, seemingly without the “bills of mortality;” for not so much as a cottage keeps it in countenance. This gave occasion for a Cambridge wag to invent the following puzzle:—

“Templum Qui stat in agris,”

Which has caused many a freshman a sleepless night, who, ignorant of the status Qui, has racked his brains to translate the above, minus a Quod pro Qui.

[Pg 203]


Edmund Gurnay, B.D., Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1601, was a sly humourist. The Master had a great desire to get the garden to himself, and, either by threats or persuasion, get all the rest of the fellows to resign their keys; but upon his application to Gurnay, he absolutely refused to part with his right. “I have got the other fellows’ keys, quoth the master. “Then pray, master, keep them, and you and I will shut them all out.” “Sir, I expect to be obliged; am I not your master?” “Yes, sir (said Gurnay;) and am I not your fellow?” At another time he was complained of to the bishop, for refusing to wear the surplice, and was cited to appear before him, and told, that he expected he should always wear it; whereupon, he came home, and rode a journey with it on. This reminds one of


Then Mr. afterwards Lord Lyttleton, to whom the epithet of “Reprobus,” they say, might have been applied with more justice than it was to the famous Saxon Bishop, St. Wulstan, by the monks of his day. Humour was his lordship’s natural element, and whilst resident at Christ Church, Oxford, he dressed himself in a bright scarlet hunting coat, top-boots and spurs, buckskin breeches, &c., and putting his gown over all, presented himself to the head of his college, who was a strict disciplinarian. “Good God! Mr. Lyttleton,” exclaimed the Dean, “this is not a dress fit to be seen in a college.” “I beg your pardon,” said the wag, “I thought myself in perfect costume! Will you be pleased to tell me how I should dress, Mr. Dean?” The dean was at this time Vice-Chancellor, and happened to be in his robes of office. “You should dress like me, Sir,” said the Doctor, referring to his black coat, tights, knee-buckles, and silk stockings. Mr. Lyttleton thanked him and left, but to the Doctor’s astonishment, he the next day presented himself at the Deanery, drest in Vice-Chancellor’s robes, &c., an exact fac-simile of the dean himself, and when rebuked coolly observed, that he had followed the dean’s directions to the letter.

[Pg 204]


That having a party to supper with him, and being anxious to play the Dean some harmless trick, as his delight was to annoy him, he seized a potato off the dish, stuck it on a fork, and bolted off with it to the deanery, followed by some of his boon companions. This was at one, two, or three in the morning, when all the rest of the college, and of course the Dean, were locked in the embrace of Somnus. Mr. Lyttleton, however, resolving to have his joke, began thundering away at the Dean’s knocker, till roused at last, he put his head out at the window, and in a rage demanded the wants of the applicant. “Do you think, Mr. Dean,” said Mr. L., holding up to his view the forked potato with the coolest effrontery imaginable; “Do you think, Mr. Dean, that this is a potato fit to put upon a gentleman’s table?” Dr. Westphalinge, Canon of Christ Church, afterwards Bishop of Hereford, and one of the Commissioners sent to Oxford to abolish Popish practices, by Elizabeth, says Bishop Godwyn,


“That during a familiar acquaintance with him for many years, he never once saw him laugh,”—“Nunquam in risum viderim solutum.” As an antidote to such eternal gravity, I can scarcely do better than append the following Aristophanic morsel, attributed to Porson, and cry “Hold, enough!” Chorus of Printers’ Imps—“Enough!”


Βλάγκητοι, κύλτοι, δύο βόλστερες, ἤδὲ πιλωβῆρ
Καὶ ἕν ματρέσσον, καὶ λεῦκον καλικο κίρτον,
Καὶ μιὰ καρπεττὴ, κὰι χέστον μαογανο͂ιον
Ἕις κουντερπαννος, κὰι γρατὸν καστο σιδηρον
Ἤδε δύω βοῦροι, δύο τάβλοι, κὰι δύο διττώ.
Τουελλοι δῶσεν, δῶσεν ϕαῦκόι τέ, νιφοὶ τε
Σάυσπαν κὰι στεῦπαν, σπίττον καὶ σμῶκον ἴακον
Γριδίρον, φεῖρπαν, τόγγοι, φενδήρ τὲ, ποκήρ τε,
Κοππὴρ καὶ βοίληρ καὶ κιλλὴρ ἢδε συελτοβ.
Καὶ ἕν βασκητὸν κατα βακχοῦς, καὶ δυό ποττυξ,
Καὶ ἕν δριππίνπαν, κύλερες δυό, καὶ σαλαμάνδηρ
Καὶ δὺο π**ποττοι, σπιττίνπαν, πεῖπ τε το βακχώ.




JUNE, 1835



In Three Volumes, 12mo.
By the Author of “Peter Simple,” “King’s Own,” &c.

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In Three Volumes, 12mo.
By the Author of the “King’s Own,” “Naval Officer,” &c.

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In One large volume, 8vo., containing 600 closely printed pages.


John Thurtell and Joseph Hunt, for the murder of William Ware, at Hertford, January, 1824.

Henry Fauntleroy, Esq., for forgery, at the Old Bailey, October 30, 1824.

Anna Schonleben (Germany), for poisoning, 1808.

John Docke Rouvelett, for forgery, 1806.

John Holloway and Owen Haggerty, for the murder of John Cole Steele, on Hounslow-heath, February 22, 1807.

The unknown Murderer, or the Police at fault (Germany), 1817.

Thomas Simmons, for murder, Oct. 20, 1807.

Major Alexander Campbell, for the murder of Captain Alexander Boyd, at Armagh, in a duel, 1807.

James Stuart, for the murder of Sir Alexander Boswell, in a duel, 1822.

Martha Alden, for murder, 1807.

Francis S. Riembauer, for assassination, 1805.

Eliza Fenning, for an attempt to poison Mr. Olibar Turner and family, April 11, 1815.

William Jones, for murder.

Abraham Thornton, for the murder of Mary Ashford, 1817.

Castaing, the physician, for murder, at Paris, November, 1817.

John Donellan, Esq., for the murder of Sir Theodosius Edward Allesly Boughton; before the Hon. Sir Francis Buller, 1781.

Sir Walter Raleigh, for high-treason, in the reign of James I., A.D. 1602.

James O’Coigley, Arthur O’Connor, John Binns, John Allen, and Jeremiah Leary, for high-treason; at Maidstone, 1798.

Miss Ann Broadric, for the murder of Mr. Errington, 1795.

William Corder, for the murder of Maria Marten, 1827.

William Codlin, for scuttling a ship, 1802.

Joseph Wall, for the murder of Benjamin Armstrong, at Goree, 1802.

Vice-admiral Byng, for neglect of duty; at a court-martial, held on board his majesty’s ship the St. George, in Portsmouth harbour, 1757.

Richard Savage, the poet, James Gregory, and William Merchant, for the murder of James Sinclair, 1727.

Admiral Keppel, for neglect of duty, July, 1778, at a court-martial.

Sir Hugh Palliser, Vice-admiral of the Blue, for neglect of duty, 1779.

Sarah Metyard and Sarah M. Metyard, for murder, 1768.

John Bishop, Thomas Williams, and James May, for the murder of Charles Ferriar, 1831.

Sawney Cunningham, executed at Leith, 1635, for murder.

Sarah Malcolm, for the murder of Ann Price, 1733.

Joseph Baretti, for the murder of Evan Morgan, 1769.

Mungo Campbell, for murder, 1721.

Lucretia Chapman, for the murder of William Chapman, late of Bucks county, Pennsylvania, 1832.

Lino Amalto Espos y Mina, for the murder of William Chapman, at the same court, 1832.

John Hatfield, for forgery, 1803.

Trial by combat, between Henry Plantagenet, duke of Hereford and Lancaster, and afterwards king of England by the title of Henry IV., and Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, earl-marshal of England, 1897.

Captain John Gow and others, for piracy, 1729.

William Burke and Helen McDougal for murder, 1828.

Charles Macklin (the author), for the murder of Thomas Hallam, May 1735.

Mary Young, alias Jenny Diver, for privately stealing, 1740.

George Henderson and Margaret Nisbet, for forging a bill on the dutchess of Gordon, 1726.


John Chide, of Dalry, for the murder of the Right Hon. Sir George Lockhart, of Carnwith, lord-president of the court of sessions, and member of his majesty’s privy council, 1689.

William Henry, duke of Cumberland, for adultery with Lady Grosvenor, 1770.

Robert and Daniel Perrean, for forgery, 1775.

Margaret Caroline Rudd, for forgery, 1775.

Henry White, Jr., for a libel on the duke of Cumberland, 1813.

Philip Nicholson, for the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Bonar, at Maidstone, 1813.

Mr. William Cobbett, for libel, in the court of King’s Bench, 1810.

John Bellingham, Esq., for the murder of the Right Hon. Spencer Perceval, chancellor of the exchequer, in the lobby of the House of Commons, May 11, 1811.

Mary Stone, for child murder, preferred by her sister, at Surry assizes, 1817.

Arthur Thistlewood, James Ings, and others, for high-treason, at the Old Bailey, 1820.

Thomas, earl of Stafford, for high-treason, 1643.

Trial of the Rebels in 1745:

Lords Kilmarnock, Cromartie, Balmerino, and Lovat.—Charles Ratcliffe, Esq.—Townley and Dawson.—Fletcher and Syddall.—Dr. Cameron.

Rob Roy Macgregor, and other Macgregors, 1700 to 1746.

Alexia Petrowitz Czarowitz, presumptive heir to the crown of Russia, condemned to death by his father, 1715.

Joseph Hunton, a Quaker, for forgery, 1828.—His execution.

Captain Witham Kidd, for murder and piracy, 1701.

Remarkable case of witchcraft, before Matthew Hale, 1662.

The Salem Witches.

Sufferers for pretended Witchcraft in Scotland.

Alison Pearson.—Janet Grant and Janet Clark, 1828.—John Cunningham, 1590.—Agnes Sampson, 1591.—John Fien, 1591.—Euphan M’Calzene, 1591.—Patrick Lawrie, 1606.—Margaret Wallace, 1620.—Isobel Young, 1629.—Alexander Hamilton, 1630.—John Neil, 1630.—Janet Brown and others, 1640.

The Samuelston Witches—Isobel Elliot, and nine other women, 1678.

Impostor of Barragan, 1696.

Trial by combat, between Sir John Annesley, Knight, and Thomas Katrington, Esq., 1380.

James George Lisle, alias Major Semple, for stealing, 1795.

Queen Emma, trial by fire-ordeal.

John Horne Tooke, for high-treason, 1791.

Joseph Thompson Hare, for mail-robbery in Virginia, 1818.

Richard Carlile, for a libel, 1819.

Circumstantial Evidence.

Jonathan Bradford.—James Crow.—John Jennings.—Thomas Harris.—William Shaw.

In Two Volumes, 12mo.

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“Though comparisons may be and often are odious, we do not think we shall excite one resentful feeling, even among the travellers whose productions we have reviewed during a course approaching twenty years, when we say that so interesting a publication of that class as the present, has not fallen under our notice.”—London Literary Gazette.


In Two Volumes, 12mo.

Exemplifying the Imperfections of circumstantial Evidence; illustrative of the Tendency of Credulity and Fanaticism; and recording singular Instances of voluntary human Suffering and interesting Occurrences. (Nearly ready.)



Arnaud du Tilh,
The Demetriuses of Russia,
Madam Tiquet,
Francœur, the Lunatic,
Reneé Corbeau,
Madame Rovere,
The Diary of Luc Antonio Viterbi,
      who starved himself to death,      
The Italian Sleep-walker,
William Lithgow, the Traveller
Richard Peeke,
James Crichton,
Mother Damnable,
Valentine Greatraks,
James Naylor,
Henry Jenkins,
John Kelsey,
Lodowick Muggleton,
Mrs. Aphra Behn,
Madame du Barré,
Phebe Brown,
The Mysterious Stranger,
George Bruce,
Mull’d Sack, a notorious Robber,
Sir Jervas Yelvis,
Archibald Armstrong, the Jester,
The Two Brothers,
Anne George Bellamy,
Susanna Maria Cibber,
Joseph Clark,
Titus Oates, alias Bob Ferguson,
Thomas Venner,
Colly Molly Puff,
Eugene Aram,
Matthew Hopkins, the Witch-finder,
Jeffery Hudson,
Blasil de Manfre,
Henry Welby,
Catharine, Countess Dowager of Schwartzburgh,      
Richard Savage,
Lewis de Boissi,
Reverend Father Arthur O’Leary,
John Oliver,
John Overs,
John Bigg,
Mrs. Corbett,
Charlotte Maria Anne Victoire Cordey,
Daniel Dancer, Esq.
Rev. George Harvest,
S. Bisset, the animal Teacher,
Roger Crab,
Rigep Dandulo,
Augustine Barbara Vanbeck,
The Chevalier D’Eon,
Widow of Ephesus,
Mary Frith,
Anne Day,
Countess of Desmond,
Colonel Thomas Blood,
Jane Lane,
Mary Carleton,
Jack Adams,
Samuel Boyce,
Peter the Wild Boy,
Charles Price, alias the Social Monster,
George Alexander Stevens,
Peter Isaac Thelluson,
George Villiers,
Hon. Mrs. Godfrey,
Lady Godiva,
John Philip Barretier,
Oliver Cromwell’s Porter,
Robert Hill, the Learned Tailor of Buckingham,
Charlotte Hutton,
Mrs. Day,
The Abbe Sieyes,
Countess of Strathmore
Elizabeth Perkins,
Margaret Lamburne,
Ninon De L’Enclos,
Madame Des Houlieres,
Mrs. Levy,
Mrs. Lloyd,
Madame de Maintenon,
Catherine de Medicis,
La Maupin.



John Calas,
Elizabeth Canning,
Le Brun,
Richard Coleman,
Jonathan Bradford,      
James Crow,
John Orme,
John Jennings,
Girl at Liege,
Thomas Harris,
John Miles,
A man tried and convicted for the
      murder of his own father,
William Shaw,
Monsieur D’Anglade and his family,
Joan Perry and her two sons,
La Pivardiere,
Duke Dorgan, a story of Irish Life,
William Richardson.


A Female Monster, (effects of ignorance      
      and superstition,)
Yetser, the Fanatic,
The Holy Relics,
Jerome Savonarola,
Simon Morin,
Robert Francis Damiens,
Assassination of the King of Portugal,
Francois Michel,
St. Pol de Leon,
Mr. Stukeley, (eccentric Self-delusion),
Peter Rombert, the Fanatic of Carolina.


Simeon Stylites,
Indian Widows,
Funeral Rites,
Conscientious Murder,
Conscientious Hindoo,
Female Infanticide,
Processions of Penitents in Spain and
Penance by Proxy,
The Indian Penance of Five Fires,
Matthew Loval.


The Miners of Bois-Monzil,
Jaques du Moulin, (the uncertainty
      of human testimony,)
Remarkable discovery of a Murder,
Charles the Twelfth,
Whimsical Marriage,
Algerine Conspiracy,
Extraordinary Adventure,
Otway’s Orphan,
Prison Escapes,
Porral and others,
Reign of Terror,
Remarkable Trial for Murder,
Singular Adventure,
Jemmy Taylor.

In One Volume, 12mo.

In Two Volumes, 12mo.

“Here is a genuine Irish story-book, of the most amusing character. Mr. Lover shows us how to tell a tale in the real Irish manner. We see the people; we hear them; they are dramatized as they exist in nature; and all their peculiarities are touched with a master’s hand.”—Lit. Gaz.


In Three Volumes, 12mo.
By the Author of “Cavendish.”

“A work full of interest and variety. The scenes are traced with a powerful hand.”—Sunday Times.

“These volumes will make a stir in what an old writer calls the ‘wooden world.’ They touch too severely upon blemishes in the discipline, manners, opinions, and principles of our maritime government, not to be eagerly examined and perhaps sharply discussed by naval men.”—Athenæum.

In One Volume, 8vo.

Narrative of a Second Voyage in search of a North-west Passage, and of a Residence in the Arctic Regions, during the Years 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, and 1833. By Sir John Ross, C. B., K. S. A., &c. Including the Reports of Commander J. C. Ross, and the discovery of the Northern Magnetic Pole. With a large Map.

In Two Volumes, 12mo.
By the Author of “The Naval Officer,” “Peter Simple” etc.

“An excellent novel.”—Edinburg Review.

“Captain Marryat may take his place at the head of the naval novelists of the day.”—United Service Journal.

“The adventures of the hero, through bold and stirring scenes, lose not a jot of their interest to the last, while the naval descriptions of sights and deeds on shipboard may be compared with any similar production of which we have any knowledge.”—Atlas.

“A very remarkable book, full of vigour, and characterized by incidents of perfect originality, both as to conception and treatment. Few persons will take up the book without going fairly through it to the catastrophe, which startles the reader by its unexpected nature.”—Literary Gazette.

“Replete with genius. The work will go far permanently to fix the name of Captain Marryat among the most popular and successful writers of fiction of the age.”—Felix Farley’s Bristol Journal.

“A work, perhaps, not to be equalled in the whole round of romance, for the tremendous power of its descriptions, for the awfulness of its subjects, and for the brilliancy and variety of the colours with which they are painted.”—Spectator.


In One Volume, 12mo.

In the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four. His Object being to examine the grand manufacturing Establishments of the Country; and also, to find out the Condition of its Literature and Morals, the Extent of its Commerce, and the practical Operation of “The Experiment.”


In One Volume, 12mo.

The Life of Martin Van Buren, Heir-apparent to the “Government,” and the appointed Successor of General Andrew Jackson. Containing every authentic Particular by which his extraordinary Character has been formed. With a concise History of the Events that have occasioned his unparalleled Elevation; together with a Review of his Policy as a Statesman. By David Crockett.

In Two Volumes 12mo.

“In ‘The Naval Sketch-book’ there are dozens of ‘delicious bits,’ which, we are sure, will delight our readers.”—John Bull.

“The book abounds with animated sketches of naval opinions and character, described to that style which only a thorough-bred seaman can handle.”—Times.

“We do not think that there ever was a more sailorly publication than this.”—Literary Gazette.

“Unquestionably Captain Glascock is inferior to none as a humorous and talented naval writer. His descriptions are true to nature, and his dialogues full of life and entertainment; in short, his Sketches have all the characteristics of a true British seaman.”—Naval and Military Gazette.

In Two Volumes, 12mo.
By the Author of the “Dominie’s Legacy.”

“One of the most powerful and pathetic fictions which have recently appeared.”—Times.


In Two Volumes, 12mo.

Containing—The Victim, The Curate, The Gossip, The Fate of a Genius, Disappointments, The Neglected Wife, The Jew, The Stranger Guest, The Smuggler, Cousin Tomkins the Tailor, The Life of an Author, Remorse, The Sexton’s Daughter, The Old Maid, The Preacher, The Soldier’s Bride, The Mortgagee.

“We cannot withhold from these tales the praise which is due to elegant composition, when intended to promote the cause of morality and religion. In point of elegance, simplicity, and interest, few are so attractive.”—Record.

“Graceful in language, displaying cultivated taste.”—Literary Gazette.

“We welcome it with pleasure—they are told in a pleasant style, and with great feeling.”—Athenæum.

“Evidently the production of an experienced essayist: there is not only considerable power of invention manifested in them, but the diction is always pure, and at times lofty. We should say, he will occupy a very high station among the writers of the day.”—British Traveller.

“We cannot withhold from the author of the work before us the warm praise due to its pious design, and decidedly instructive character. The ‘Tales of a Physician’ are written with very considerable talent. The idea is a happy one.”—Eclectic Review.

“A vein of amiable and highly moral feeling runs through the whole volume.”—Monthly Review.

“The book is well written—an amusing addition to the works of the season.”—New Monthly Magazine.

“There is a high moral tone throughout.”—Spirit and Manners of the Age.

(Nearly ready.)

Author of the “Kuzzilbash.”

In One Volume, 12mo.

“Messrs. Carey & Hart have reprinted the Letters and Essays of Richard Sharp, in a beautiful little volume. These excellent productions fully deserve the distinction of neatest dress. They are sterling literature.”—National Gazette.

“What a pleasant volume! It is the delightful and instructive writing of a cultivated mind upon ordinary occasions and subjects; and the sound sense and elegant literature with which they are treated afford a great treat for judgment and taste to appropriate.”—Literary Gazette.


In Two Volumes, 12mo.
By the Author of “Peter Simple,” &c.

By the Author of “Jacob Faithful,” “King’s Own,” &c.
(In Press.)

In Three Volumes, 12mo.

“The scenes are chiefly nautical, and we can safely say that no author of the present day, not even excepting our own Cooper, has surpassed him in his element.”—U. S. Gazette.

“The sketches are not only replete with entertainment, but useful, as affording an accurate and vivid description of scenery, and of life and manners in the West Indies.”—Boston Traveller.

“We think none who have read this work will deny that the author is the best nautical writer who has yet appeared. He is not Smollett, he is not Cooper; but he is far superior to them both.”—Boston Transcript.

“The scenes are chiefly nautical, and are described in a style of beauty and interest never surpassed by any writer.”—Baltimore Gazette.

“The author has been justly compared with Cooper, and many of his sketches are in fact equal to any from the pen of our celebrated countryman.”—Saturday Evening Post.

“A pleasant but a marvellously strange and wild amalgamation of water and earth is ‘Tom Cringle;’ full of quips and cranks, and toils and pranks. A fellow of fun and talent is he, with a prodigious taste for yarns, long and short, old and new; never, or but seldom, carrying more sail than ballast, and being a most delightful companion, both by land and sea. We were fascinated with the talents of Tom when we met him in our respected contemporary from the biting north. His Log was to us like a wild breeze of ocean, fresh and health-giving, with now and then a dash of the tearful, that summoned the sigh from our heart of hearts; but now that the yarns are collected and fairly launched, we hail them as a source of much gratification at this dull season. Tom Cringle and a Christmas fire! may well join in the chorus of ‘Begones dull care!’—The ‘Quenching of the Torch’ as one of the most pathetic descriptions we over read. The ‘Scenes at Jamaica’ are full of vigour. As a whole, we have no hesitation in pronouncing ‘The Log’ the most entertaining book of the season. There has been a sort of Waverley mystery thrown over the authorship of these charming papers; and though many have guessed the author, yet we take unto ourselves the credit of much sagacity in imagining that we only have solved the enigma:—there are passages in ‘Tom Cringle’ that we believe no living author except Professor Wilson himself could write; snatches of pure, exalted, and poetic feeling, so truly Wilsonian, that we penciled them as we read on, and said, There he is again, and again, and again; to the very last chapter.”—New Monthly Magazine.


By the Author of “Tom Cringle’s Log.”

In Two Volumes, 12mo.
By the Author of “Tom Cringle’s Log.”

“No stories of adventures are more exciting than those of seamen. The warrior of Tom Cringle’s Log is the most popular writer of that class, and those sketches collected not long since into a volume by the same publishers, in this city, were universally read. A large edition was soon exhausted. The present is, we believe, an earlier production, and has many of the same merits.”—Baltimore Gazette.

In Two Volumes, 12mo.
By the Author of “Cavendish.”

In Two Volumes, 12mo.

“These are truly entertaining volumes, fraught with anecdote, and abounding in extraordinary adventures.”—Naval and Military Gazette.

In Two Volumes, 12mo.

The following Notice is from the pen of Mr. Bulwer.

“The peculiar characteristics of Captain Marryatt are shared by some of his nautical brethren; and the author of ‘Cavendish’ has evinced much ability and very vigorous promise in the works that have issued from his pen.”

“We should find it very difficult to be very angry with the ‘Patrician,’ even if he had fifty times his real number of faults, on account of the jovial, easy, reckless, off-hand style of character that seems to belong to him. Our sea portraits multiply so fast, and advance so rapidly in excellence, that we become fastidious, and insist upon a likeness where formerly we were contented with a caricature. ‘Cavendish’ partakes of both.... Into these thousand or rather ten thousand scrapes, we cannot follow him, but the reader may, much to his advantage. The Navarine narrative, in particular, will be read with an interest proportioned to the truth and spirit with which it is told.”—New Monthly Magazine.


New and cheap Edition, in Two Volumes, 12mo., of the

“But it is not our province or intention to enter into a discussion of the veracity of Vidocq’s Memoirs: be they true or false; were they purely fiction from the first chapter to the last, they would, from fertility of invention, knowledge of human nature, and ease of style, rank only second to the novels of Le Sage. The first volume is perhaps more replete with interest, because the hero is the leading actor in every scene; but in the subsequent portions, when he gives the narrative of others, we cannot but admire the power and graphic talent of the author. Sergeant Bellerose is scarcely inferior to the Sergeant Kite of Farquhar and the episodes of Court and Raoul, and that of Adele d’Escara, are surpassed in description, depth of feeling, and pathos, by no work of romance with which we are acquainted.”

From the Boston Traveller.

Memoirs of Vidocq.—He who reads this book, being previously unacquainted with the mystery of iniquity, will find himself introduced at once into a new world: but it is a world which must be known only to be avoided. Never before was such a mass of depravity opened to the mind of inquiry in a single volume. It was well said by Byron, “truth is strange, stranger than fiction.” Whoever passes through the details of this singular exposition, supposing it to contain correct delineations of fact, will be satisfied of the justness of this remark.

“The details of the varied scenes through which he has passed in private and public life, surpass all the creations of fancy, and all the delineations of fact, from the wonderful relations of the Arabian Nights to the renowned exploits of Mr. Lemuel Gulliver; and from the extraordinary sufferings and escapes of the celebrated Baron Trenck to the still more marvellous exploits of the famous Mr. Thomas Thumb.

“It would seem, on following this singular writer through his adventures, as if all the crimes of which human nature is capable, all the horrors of which the universe has heard, all the astonishing incidents which history can dovelop or imagination portray, all the cold-blooded malice of the assassin, and all the varied machinations of the most ingenious and systematic practitioners in the school of vice, in all its varied departments, had been crowded into the life of a single individual, or come beneath his cognizance. The lover of mystery, who delights to “sup upon horrors,” the admirer of romance, who is pleased with the heightened pictures of the most fanciful imagination, and the inquirer into the policy of crime and its prevention, may here have their utmost curiosity satiated.

“Vidocq, during the early portion of his life, was personally initiated into all the mysteries of crime, and becoming afterward a pardoned man, and an active and successful agent of the French police in the city of Paris, “girt with its silent crimes,” as well as its tumultuous depravities, becomes a fit person to delineate its scenes of vice, depravity, and guilt. His work is a study for the novelist, the annalist, the philosopher, and the Christian. But it is a work which should be read with a guarded mind; with it disposition to profit by its lessons, and to avoid scenes which have little enjoyment, and which invariably end in misery.”

In Two Volumes 12mo.
By the Author of “Mothers and Daughters.”

“This is a fashionable novel, and of the highest grade.”—Athenæum.

“Mrs. Gore is undeniably one of the wittiest writers of the present day. ‘The Hamiltons’ is a most lively, clever, and entertaining work.”—Lit. Gaz.

“The design of the book is new, and the execution excellent.”—Exam.


In Two Volumes, 12mo.


“Here, most placable reader, is a title for thee, pregnant with fun, and deeply prophetic of humour, drollery, and all those joyous emotions that so opportunely come to oil the springs of the overworn heart, and prevent the cankering and rust from wearing them away and utterly destroying their healthful elasticity.”—Metropolitan.

“The Old Sailor paints sea scenes with vigour and gusto; now-and-then reminding us of ‘Tom Cringle,’ and with a strong sense of the comical that approaches Smollet.”—Spectator.

“Here we have the ‘Old Sailor’ once more, and in all his glory too! The public will join with us in hailing the reappearance of the ‘old’ boy. He stands at the head of the naval humorists of the nineteenth century. We have rarely seen an affair so richly humorous: it is one of the most amusing and best written volumes of naval fiction we have ever seen.”—Observer.

In Three Volumes, 12mo.
By the Author of “Miserrimus.”

“The ‘Coquette’ is a most amusing library book. Several of the characters are exceedingly well drawn: indeed, they are obviously sketches from life, and there is a sparkling vivacity throughout the whole work.”—New Monthly Magazine.

In Two Volumes, 12mo.
By the Author of “Pin Money,” &c.

“Mrs. Gore certainly stands at the head of the female novelists of the day. But we subjoin the opinion of Mr. Bulwer.”—U. S. Gazette.

“She is the consummator of that undefinable species of wit, which we should call (if we did not know the word might be deemed offensive, in which sense we do not mean it) the slang of good society.

“But few people ever painted, with so felicitous a hand, the scenery of worldly life, without any apparent satire. She brings before you the hollowness, the manœuvres, and the intrigues of the world, with the brilliancy of sarcasm, but with the quiet of simple narrative. Her men and women, in her graver tales, are of a noble and costly clay; their objects are great; their minds are large, their passions intense and pure. She walks upon the stage of the world of fashion, and her characters, have grown dwarfed as if by enchantment. The air of frivolity has blighted their stature; their colours are pale and languid; they have no generous ambition; they are little people! they are fine people! This it is that makes her novel of our social life so natural, and so clear a transcript of the original.”—The Author of Pelham.


In One Volume, 12mo.

“Decidedly one of the most amusing productions of the year. In addition to the adventures of Sir Pumpkin, there are several capital stories, which cannot fail to be popular.”

In One Volume, 8vo.
Author of “Diary of an Ennuyee,” “Characteristics of Women,” &c.

New work.—Messrs. Carey & Hart, Philadelphia, have in press a popular book, ‘The Beauties of the Court of King Charles the Second,’ written by Mrs. Jameson, whose father had been employed by the princess Charlotte to paint cabinet pictures of those too celebrated ladies. The princess died before they were completed, and the consequence was, they were never paid for. The circumstances of the family required some use should be made of the paintings to produce a remuneration; and Mrs. Jameson undertook the delicate task of the letter press, the portraits being engraved in the highest style of art. The London copy costs about twenty-five dollars: the American edition will be an octavo without the portraits. Nell Gwynn, the Duchess of Hamilton, &c. are not unknown characters in history. Mrs. Jameson has executed her department in a remarkably graceful manner.”—Journal of Belles Lettres.

Author of “Darnley,” “Henry Masterton,” &c.

Including Henry V. of England; John, Duke of Bedford; Gonzales de Cordova; Ferdinand, Duke of Alva; Oliver Cromwell; Marshal Turenne; The Great Condé; General Monk; Duke of Albemarle; Duke of Marlborough; The Earl of Peterborough; Marquess of Granby; General Wolfe, &c. &c.

“That Mr. James should have been eminently successful in portraying the lives of illustrious military commanders is not surprising; for it is well known that martial achievements have long been his favourite study.”—Morning Post.

“A more interesting series of memoirs could not be presented to the curiosity of readers, inasmuch as in the lives of such men romantic adventures of the most exciting kind co-exist with the strictest truth.”—Courier.


In Two Volumes, 12mo.
Author of the “Subaltern.”

“The most striking production of Mr. Gleig.”—U. S. Journal.

“One of the most powerful and highly wrought tales we ever read.”—Edinburg Review.

In Two Volumes, 12mo.

In Two Volumes, 12mo.

“A narrative of twenty-seven years’ service in various parts of the world, possessing all the interest of the wildest fiction.”—Sun.

FOR 1836.
Edited by Miss Leslie, author of “Pencil Sketches,” &c.

Among the contributors will be found Washington Irving, Mrs. Butler, J. K. Paulding, G. W. Simms, Miss Sedgwick, Miss Leslie, &c. &c.


A Portrait of Miss Kemble,engraved byCheney.
Smuggler’s Repose,Tucker.
The Orphans,Welch.
Soliciting a Note,Ellis.
John Anderson, my Jo!Lawson.
Prawn Fishers,Graham.
Death of the Stag,Tucker.
Mirkwood Mere,Graham.
A Portrait,Illman.


In Two Volumes, 12mo.

“Admirable—truly, intensely Irish: never were the outrageous whimsicalities of that strange, wild, imaginative people so characteristically described; nor amidst all the fun, frolic, and folly, is there any dearth of poetry, pathos, and passion. The author’s a jewel.”—Glasgow Journal.

“To those who have a relish for a few titbits of rale Irish story-telling,—whether partaking of the tender or the facetious, or the grotesque,—let them purchase these characteristic sketches.”—Sheffield Iris.

“The sister country has never furnished such sterling genius, such irresistibly humorous, yet faithful sketches of character among the lower ranks of Patlanders, as are to be met with in the pages of these delightful volumes.”—Bristol Journal.

“This is a capital book, full of fun and humour, and most characteristically Irish.”—New Monthly Magazine.

“Neither Miss Edgeworth, nor the author of the O’Hara Tales, could have written any thing more powerful than this.”—Edinburgh Literary Gazette.

In two Volumes, 12mo.

“This work has been most extravagantly praised by the English critics: and several extracts from it have been extensively published in our newspapers. It is altogether a better work than any of the kind which has yet appeared—replete with humour, both broad and delicate—and with occasional touches of pathos, which have not been excelled by any writer of the present day. An Edinburgh critic says that ‘neither Miss Edgeworth, nor the author of the O’Hara tales, could have written any thing more powerful than this.’”—Baltimore American.

In two Volumes, 12mo.
Authoress of “Hungarian Tales,” “Polish Tales,” etc.

“Her writings have that originality which wit gives to reality, and wit is the great characteristic of her pages.”—Bulwer’s New Monthly Magazine.

“Light spirited and clever, the characters are drawn with truth and vigour. Keen in observation, lively in detail, and with a peculiar and piquant style, Mrs. Charles Gore gives to the novel that charm which makes the fascination of the best French memoir writers.”—London Literary Gazette.


In Two Volumes, 12mo.

“One of the most interesting and graphic romances it has been our lot to read for many a year.”—Athenæum.

“There was yet an untrodden land for the writer of fiction, and the author of ‘Makanna’ is its discoverer.”—Atlas.

“The narrative includes some daring adventures which would make timid blood shudder at their magnitude.... This work abounds in interest and is written in a style of great vigour and elegance.”—Weekly Times.

“The work does not want to be invested with any fictitious interest; end the talent which is visible in its pages is its best recommendation to public favour.”—Morning Post.

“The attempt was a bold and hazardous one, but it has been fully successful. We have rarely read a production of deeper interest—of interest sustained from the first page to the last. It has been conceived in a fine spirit; the several characters are ably painted.... He is as much at home on the ocean, and there are many scenes on ship-board equal to the best of the great sea-lord, the author of ‘The Spy.’”—New Monthly Magazine.

In One Volume, 18mo.

“‘This is a little volume of the comic,’ which we recollect to have laughed over many a time, in our boyish days, and since. It is old standard fun—a comic classic.”—Baltimore Gazette.

In One Volume, 12mo.

In One Volume, 12mo.

In One Volume, 8vo.


In one Volume, 12mo.

“It is very clever and very entertaining—replete with pleasantry and humour: quite as imaginative as any German diablerie, and far more amusing than most productions of its class. It is a very whimsical and well devised jeu d’esprit.”—Literary Gazette.

In Two Volumes, 12mo.

“Some man of talent has taken up the old story of the Wandering Jew, to try what he could make of a new version of it. He has succeeded in composing as pretty a piece of diablerie as ever made candles burn blue at midnight. The horrors of Der Freischutz are mere child’s play compared with the terrors of the Old Man or the demon Amaimon; and yet all the thinking and talking portion of the book is as shrewd and sharp as the gladiatorial dialogues of Shakspeare’s comedies.”—Spectator.

“A romance, called the ‘Five Nights of St. Albans,’ has just appeared, which combines an extraordinary power of description with an enchaining interest. It is just such a romance as we should imagine Martin, the painter, would write; and, to say the truth, the description of supernatural effects in the book, fall very little short in their operation upon different senses of the magical illusions of the talented artist.”—John Bull.

In Three Volumes, 12mo.
BY L. E. L.
Author of “The Improvisatrice,” “Romance and Reality,” &c.

“But in prose she lives with us: now sanctifying; now satirizing; now glittering with the French in their most brilliant court, playing with diamonds and revelling in wit; then reposing on one of the finest creations that human genius ever called into existence—the holy friendship of Guido and Francesca. The whole range of modern fiction offers nothing like the portraiture of these two cousins; it is at once beautiful and sublime, and yet perfectly natural and true.”—New Monthly Magazine.

“A sparkling and brilliant performance. The observations on life and society have all the acuteness of Le Sage.”—Literary Gazette.

“A book of remarkable power and genius; unquestionably superior to any other production of the present time, with the single exception of the writings of the author of ‘The Last Days of Pompeii.’”—Examiner.

“A novel it is of beauty, grace, eloquence, noble thoughts, and tender feelings, such as none but a lady—and a lady of exquisite genius, too—could write.”—Fraser’s Magazine.

(Nearly ready.)


In One Volume, 12mo.

Being a Practical Treatise on the Preparation of Colour, and their application to the different kinds of Painting; in which is particularly described the whole Art of House Painting. By P. F. Tingry, Professor of Chymistry, Natural History, and Mineralogy, in the Academy of Geneva. First American, from the third London Edition, corrected and considerably improved by a practical chymist.

In One Volume, 12mo.

Or a brief account of the various institutions and public objects in this Metropolis, forming a Guide for Strangers, accompanied by a new Plan of the city. In a neat pocket volume.

In Two Volumes, 12mo.

In One Volume, 8vo.



For every month in the year; with a description of the plants most desirable in each, the nature of the soil and situation best adapted to their growth, the proper season for transplanting, &c.; instructions for erecting a


Also, table of soils most congenial to the plants contained in the work. The whole adapted to either large or small gardens, with lists of annuals, bienniels, and ornamental shrubs, contents, a general index, and a frontispiece of Camellia Fimbriata.




“Hail, wedded love! by gracious Heaven design’d,
At once the source and glory of mankind.”

“We solicit the attention of our readers to this publication, as one, though small, of infinite value.”—Baltimore Minerva.

“‘The Whisper’ is fully deserving the compliments bestowed upon it, and we join heartily in recommending it to our friends, whether married or single—for much useful instruction may be gathered from its pages.”—Lady’s Book.

“The work contains some original suggestions that are just, and many excellent quotations; some of her hints to the ladies should have been whispered in a tone too low to be overheard by the men.”—Daily Chronicle.

In One Volume, 18mo.
Translated from the French, by Daniel J. Desmond.

The Art of Horsemanship.—This is the title of a neat little work translated from the French of Mr. Lebeaud, by Daniel J. Desmond, Esq. of this city, and just published by Carey & Hart. It gives full and explicit directions for breaking and managing a horse, and goes into detail on the proper mode of mounting, the posture in the saddle, the treatment of the animal under exercise, &c. An appendix is added, containing instructions for the ladies, in mounting and dismounting.

The Philadelphia public are under obligations to Mr. Desmond for this translation. We have long needed a manual of horsemanship, to correct the inelegant habits in which many of our riders indulge, and to produce uniformity in the art of equitation. We see daily in our streets, mounted men, who totter in their seats as if suffering under an ague-fit; others who whip, spur, and rant, as if charging an enemy in battle; and again others, of slovenly habits, with cramped knees, and toes projecting outwards, who occupy a position utterly devoid of every thing like ease, grace, or beauty. These things are discreditable to our community, and earnestly do we hope, that this book will have many attentive readers.—Philadelphia Gazette.

In One Volume, 12mo
By Miss Leslie, Author of the “Seventy-five Receipts.”
Price 50 cents.

“‘The 200 Receipts by Miss Leslie,’ published by Carey and Hart of Philadelphia, has been much praised, and we think deservedly. The selection of subjects made by the accomplished writer is of a most tempting and tasteful description, and we must do her the justice to say, that she has treated them in such an eloquent and forcible manner, as to raise in the minds of all dispassionate readers the most tender and pleasurable associations. We commend her to the careful perusal and respect of all thrifty housewives.”—New York Mirror.



A collection of the most valuable Memoirs read to the Medico-Chirurgical Societies of London and Edinburgh; the Association of Fellows and Licentiates of the King and Queen’s College of Physicians in Ireland; the Royal Academy of Medicine of Paris; the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh; the Royal Academy of Turin; the Medical and Anatomical Societies of Paris, &c. &c. &c.

Edited by Isaac Hays, M. D.

In One Volume, 8vo.

Being the course of Lectures on Midwifery, and on the Diseases of Women and Infants, delivered at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital.

By the late Robert Gooch, M. D.

“As it abounds, however, in valuable and original suggestions, it will be found a useful book of reference.”—Drake’s Western Journal.

In One Volume, 8vo.

“In this volume Dr. Gooch has made a valuable contribution to practical medicine. It is the result of the observation and experience of a strong, sagacious, and disciplined mind.”—Transylvania Journal of Medicine.

“This work, which is now for the first time presented to the profession in the United States, comes to them with high claims to their notice.”—Drake’s Western Journal.

In One Volume, 8vo.

“As public journalists, we take this occasion to return him our hearty thanks for the pains he has taken to shed a new light on an obscure and much-neglected topic.”—North Amer. Med. and Surg. Journ. No. XIX.


Extract of a Letter from Edward H. Courtenay, Professor of Mathematics in the University of Pennsylvania.

“The design of the author—that of furnishing a valuable collection of rules and theorems for the use of such as are unable, from the want of time and previous preparation, to investigate mathematical principles—appears to have been very successfully attained in the present volume. The information which it affords in various branches of the pure and mixed Mathematics embraces a great variety of subjects, is arranged conveniently, and is in general conveyed in accurate and concise terms. To THE ENGINEER, THE ARCHITECT, THE MECHANIC—indeed to all for whom results are chiefly necessary—the work will doubtless form a very valuable acquisition.”

In One Volume, 12mo.

With numerous corrections and improvements, and with the addition of a complete treatise on the Genders of French Nouns; as also with the addition of all the French Verbs, both regular and irregular, conjugated affirmatively, negatively, and interrogatively.

Author of “Key to Telemaque,” “Phrases,” &c. &c.

In One Volume, 8vo.
Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in London, of the Royal Medical
Society of Edinburg, Senior Surgeon to the Leeds Public Dispensary.

“It is a source of genuine gratification to meet with a work of this character, when it is so often our lot to be obliged to labour hard to winnow a few grains of information from the great mass of dullness, ignorance, and mistatement with which we are beset, and cannot too highly recommend it to the attention of the profession.”—American Journal of the Medical Sciences, No. X.


In One Volume, 12mo.
With an Appendix containing the experience of the British Practitioners, with many of the new remedies.

In One Volume, 8vo.
Author of “A Complete Treatise on Human Anatomy, comprising Operative Medicine.” Translated from the French, with notes and an Appendix; by


Copy of a letter from William Gibson, M. D. Professor of Surgery in the University of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia, Nov. 5th, 1833.

It gives me pleasure to say that the elementary work on Surgery, by M. Bourgery, and now under translation by Drs. Roberts and Kissam of New York, appears to me well calculated for the use of students. So far as I can judge from examination of a small portion of the English text, justice has been done by the translators to the author of the work.

W. GIBSON, M. D.        
Professor of Surgery in the University of Pennsylvania.

Copy of a letter from George M’Clellen, M. D. Professor of Surgery in the Jefferson Medical College.

Philadelphia, Nov 6th, 1833.

Dear Sirs,

I have examined Bourgery’s manual, or work on Lesser Surgery, and am of opinion that it is an excellent compend, which contains a great deal of matter that will be useful to students. The translation which you are about to make, will deserve a large edition, and I have no doubt will meet with a ready sale.

Yours truly,


      Drs. Roberts and Kissam.

Transcriber’s Notes: Obvious errors in punctuation have been silently corrected. Other than that, printer's inconsistencies in spelling, punctuation, hyphenation, and ligature usage have been retained.