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Qxonium, Oxford, the famed Athens\oi pnghnd; that glorious Seminary of Learning and Wisdom, whence Religion, Politeness, and Letters, are abundantly dispersed into all Parts of the kingdom: The Town is remarkably fine, whether ypu consider the Elegance of its private Buildings, the Magnificence of its public ones, or the Beauty and Wholesomenefs of its Situation; which is on a Plain, encompassed in such a Manner with Hills shaded with Wood, as to be sheltered on the one Hand from the sickly South, and on the other from the blustering West, but open to the East that blows serene Weather, and to the North the Preventer of Corruption; from which, in the Opiniqn of some, it formerly obtained the Apellation of Belbsitmn. This Town is watered by two Rivers, the Cherwell, and the IJis, vulgarly called the Ouse; and though these Streams join in the fame Channel, 'yet the Ists runs more entire, and witty more Rapidity towards the South, retaining its Name, till, it meets the Thame, which it seems long to have sought, at Wallingsord; thence, called by the compound Name of Thames, it flows the Prince of all Britijb Rivers; of whom we may justly fay, as the Antients did of the Euphrates, that it both sows and waters England.
The Colleges in this famous University are as follow:
In the Reign of Henry III. Walter Merton, Bishop of Rechejter, removed the College he had founded in
Surrey, Surreyy 1274, to Oxford, enriched it, and named it Mertun College; and soon after William Archdeacon of Durham, restored with Additions that Building'of Alfred's, now called University College; in the Reign of Edward I. John Baloil. King of Scotland, or, as some will have it, his Parents, founded Baliol College; in the Reign of Ediuard II. Walter Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter, founded Exeter College, and Hart-Hall; and, in Imitation of him, the King, King's College, commonly called Oriel, and St. Mary's Hall; next Philips a, Wife of Edward III. built Juan's College; and Simon IJIip, Archbishop of Canterbury, Canterbury College; William Wickham, Bishop of Winchester, raised that magnificent Structure, called New College; Magdalen College was built by William Wainjieet, Bishop of Winchester, a noble Edifice, finely situated, and delightful for its Walks: At the fame Time Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, that Great Encourager of Learning, built the Divinity School very splendidly, and over it a Library, to which he gave an 'hundred and twenty-nine very choice Books, purchased at X great Price from Italy, hut the Public has long since been robbed of the Use of them by the Avarice of Particulars: Lincoln College; AU'Souls College; St. Bernard's College; Brazen Nose College; founded by William Smith, Bishop of Lincoln, .in the Reign of Henry VII. its Revenues 'were augmented by Alexander Notuel, Dean of St. PauFs London; upon the Gate of this College is fixed a Nose of Brass: Corpus Christi College built
"by Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester; under his Picture in the College Chapel 2re Lines importing that it is the exact Representation of his Person and Dress.
s, Chri/Fs Church, the largest and most elegant of ,them all, was begun on the Ground of St. Frideshvide's Monastery, by Thomas Woisey, Cardinal of York; to, which . Henry VIII. ,joined., Canterbury College, settled great Revenues upon it, and named it Christ's Church: The fame great Prince, out of (his own Treasury, to the Dignity of the Town, and Ornament of the "University, made the one a Bishop/ick, and instituted Professorships in the other....;
: Jesus College, built by H'u^h Frice, Doctor of Law!: ".'
■ That sine Edifice, the Public Schools, was entire-ly raised by Queen Mary, and adorned with various Inscriptions.
Thus far of the Colleges and Halls, which, for the Beauty of their Buildings, their rich Endowments, and copious Libraries, excell all the Academies in 'the Christian World. We shall add a little of the •Academies themselves, and those that inhabit them.
These Students lead a Life almost monastic; for as the Monks had nothing in the World to do, but, when they had faid their Prayers at stated Hours, to employ themselves in instructive Studies, no more .have these. They are divided into three Tables;: The first is called the Fellows Table, to which are
admitted admitted Earls, Barons, Gentlemen, Doctors, an3 Masters of Arts, but very few of the latter; this is more plentifully and expensively served than the others: The second is for Masters of Arts, Bachelors, some Gentlemen, and eminent Citizens: The third for People of low Condition. While the rest are at Dinner or Supper in a great Hall, where they are all assembled, one of the Students reads aloud the Bible, which is placed on a Desk in the Middle of the Hall, and this Ossice every one of them takes upon himself in his turn; as soon as Grace is said after each Meal, every one is at Liberty either to retire to his own Chambers, or to walk in the College Garden, there being none that has not a de- lightful one. Their Habit is almost the fame as that of the Jesuits, their Gowns reaching down to their Ancles, sometimes lined with Furr; they wear square .Caps; the Doctors, Masters of Arts, and Professors, have another kind of Gown that distinguishes them: Every Student of any considerable standing has a Key to the College Library, for no College is without one. '^;
In an out Part of the Town are the Remains of a pretty large Fortification, but quite in Ruins. We were entertained at Supper with an excellent Concert, composed of Variety of Instruments.
The next Day we went as far as the Royal Palace of Woodstocky where King Ethelred. formerly held a Parliament, and enacted certain Laws. This Palace abounding in Magnificence wasbuilt by Henry I.
• 1 - to to. which he joined a very large Park, enclosed with a Wall, according to John Rose the first Park in England. In this very Palace the present reigning Queen Elizabeth, before she was confined to the Tower, was kept Prisoner by her Sister Mary; while-Ihe was detained here in the utmost Peril of her Life, she wrote with a Piece of Charcoal the following Verses, composed by herself, upon a Window-Shutter:
O Fortune! how thy restless wavering State
Hath fraught with Cares my troubled Wit!
Hath-borne me, and the Joys I quit,
Causing the Guiltless to be Jlrait reserved),.
And freeing those that Death had well deserved: But by her Envy can be nothing wrought, So God send to my Foes alt they have thought.
. ELIZABETH Prisoner.
A. D. M.D.tV.
Not far from this Palace are to be seen near a Spring , of the brightest Water the Ruins of the Habitation of Rosamond Clifford, whose exquisite Beauty so entirely captivated the Heart of King Henry It. that he lost the Thought of all other Women; she is faid to have been. poisoned at last by the Queen. AIL that remains of her Tomb of Stone, the Letters of' which are almost worn out, is what follows: * **##.******.** Adorentj Utque tibi detur requies, Rosamunda, precamun. : !'] This