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"You may sit down, sir."

But the Vice-Chancellor, unperturbed, kept on with his inaudible oratory to its natural end.

A professor of illustrious name was next to rise, throwing up a laughing look at the boys, whose tumult bore him down after the first few sentences. What matter? It was idle to pretend that that great audience could follow Latin speeches. They were all to go into print, and he who would and could might read them at his ease. The phrase that undid this genial personage was clarior luce.

"Oh, oh, sir! Lucy who?"
“Clare or Lucy? Try for both, sir."
"We'll surely tell your wife, sir.”
“A sad example to our youth, sir.”
"You shock our guest from Paris, sir.”

The prize English essayist was hardly allowed to recite the first paragraph of his production.

"Very nice.”
“But a great bore.”
“It's not as good as mine."
"That'll do, sir."
"The Vice-Chancellor is gaping, sir.”

"Three cheers for the lady who jilted the Senior Proctor!

Under the storm of enthusiasm evoked by this happy suggestion, the English essayist gave place to the Greek poet, a rosy-cheeked stripling who stood his ground barely two minutes.

"Aren't you very young, my dear ?"
“Will some kind lady kiss him for his mother?”.

The English prize poem, the Newdigate, founded by Sir Roger Newdigate of the George Eliot country, was heard through with a traditional attention and respect, though the poet's delivery came in for occasional criticism.

"You're too singsong, sir."
"Please give him the key, Mr. Lloyd."
Even those few world-famed scholars and statesmen

on whom the University was conferring the high distinction of her D. C. L. were showered with merry impudence, as one by one they advanced to receive the honor, though there were no such lucky shots of wit as signalized, on different occasions, at Oxford or at Cambridge, the greeting of certain popular poets. Holmes was asked from the gallery if he had come in the one-hoss shay, and Longfellow, wearing the gorgeous vestments of his new dignity, was hailed by a cry: "Behold the Red Man of the West.” Even the Laureate, whose prophet locks were flung somewhat more wildly than their wont, was assailed by a stentorian inquiry:

"Did your mother call you early, call you early, Alfred, dear?"

The conferring of degrees upon Oxford students takes place—at irregular intervals, but not infrequently—in the Convocation House. Into a long, narrow room, dignitaries grouped at the top and candidates at the bottom, with guests seated in rows on either side, sweeps the Vice-Chancellor in his gorgeous red and white. He is preceded by the macebearer and followed by two Proctors. Taking the place of honor, he reads a page of Latin, lifting his cap—the Proctors raising theirs in solemn unison-whenever the word Dominus occurs. The lists of candidates for the various degrees are then read, and the Proctors, at the end of each list, rise simultaneously, march a few steps down the hall, wheel with military precision, and like the King of France, march back again. These apparently wayward promenades are supposed to give opportunity for tradesmen with unpaid bills to imperil a candidate's degree by plucking the proctor's gown. The Oxford tradesmen have not availed themselves of this privilege for a century or so, but the term plucked is only too familiar. With many bows and much Latin, even with kneeling that the Vice-Chancellor may tap the learned pates with a Testament, the higher degrees are conferred. Each brand-new doctor withdraws into the robing-room where his waiting friends eagerly divest him of his old plumage and trick him out in gayer hood and more voluminous gown. So arrayed, he returns for a low bow to the Vice-Chancellor, who touches his mortar-board in response. The larger company of candidates for the first degree come forward in groups, each head of a college presenting his own men, and these are speedily made into bachelors.

Out of that student multitude have come—not all, be it confessed, with degrees—many of England's greatest. Noble phantoms haunt by moonlight the Gothic shadows of High Street. The gallant Lovelace, the resolute Pym, Admiral Blake, Sir Philip Sidney, Francis Beaumont, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, Sir Thomas Browne, Dr. Johnson, Dean Swift, Wellington, Peel, Gladstone, Adam Smith, Hamilton, Locke, Hobbes, Blackstone, Newman, Manning, Stanley, Maurice, Faber, Heber, Jeremy Taylor, Whitfield, the Wesleys, the Arnolds, and this is but the beginning of a tale that can never be told. Yet Oxford, “Adorable Dreamer” though she be, has not done as well by her poets as by the rest of her brood. She did not succeed in making a churchman out of Swinburne, nor a saint of Herrick, and as for Landor and Shelley, her eyes were holden and she cast them forth.

Of Shakespeare, an alien figure crossing the path of her gowned and hooded doctors, or watching her “young barbarians all at play”—for Oxford lads knew how to play before ever "Eights Week” was thought of—she seems to have remembered nothing save that he stood godfather to his landlady's baby-boy, little William Davenant, in the old Saxon church of St. Michael's. Oxford let him pay his reckoning at the Crown and go his way unnoted. He was none of hers. Even now, when his name is blazoned on rows upon rows of volumes in window after window of Broad Street, I doubt if the Oxford dons would deem Shakespeare capable of editing his own works.

"Where were you bred?
And how achieved you these endowments, which
You make more rich to owe?”

One would like to fancy that Duke Humphrey's library, beautiful as a library of Paradise, made the poet welcome; but the King's Commissioners had despoiled it in 1550, and more than half a century went by before, toward the close of Shakespeare's life, Sir Thomas Bodley had refounded and refitted it as The Bodleian.

Yet the grey university city, “spreading her gardens to the moonlight, and whispering from her towers the last enchantments of the Middle Age,"—how could she have failed deeply to impress the sensitive spirit of that disregarded wayfarer? Although she had suffered so grievously under the flail of the Reformation, although she was destined to become the battered stronghold of Charles I, the voice within her gates was and is, not the battle-cry, but the murmurous voice of meditation and dream and prayer. As we enter into the sanctuary of her grave beauty, personal chagrin and despair of our own brief mortality fall away. The unending life of human thought is here, enduring, achieving, advancing, with its constant miracle of resurrection out of the old form into the new.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF OXFOKD: Henry James' “Portraits of Places," $1.50, includes many discriminating sketches of English life, among them a brief account of a visit to Oxford. This book and an earlier volume entitled “Transatlantic Sketches” are now issued under the title “English Hours," illustrated by Pennell.

Oxford. Charles W. Boase. (Historic Towns Series.) $1.25.
Oxford. Historical and Descriptive Notes. Andrew Lang.

Memorials and Other Papers. Thomas DeQuincey. $1.00. Chapter on his Oxford Experiences.

Highways and Byways in Oxford and the Cotswolds. H. A. Evans. $2.00.

Our English Cousins. Richard Harding Davis. $1.25. Brief reference to Henley and Chapter on Undergraduate Life at Oxford. The latter was first published in Harper's Magazine, 87:779.

Richard Grant White's "England Without and Within," $2.00, contains a chapter on Oxford and Cambridge first published in The Atlantic, 46:365. September, 1880.

Certain Delightful English Towns. W. D. Howells. The chapter on Oxford first appeared in the North American Review, 183:620, October 5, '06.

Literary Landmarks of Oxford. Lawrence Hutton.

Old Lang Syne. Max Muller. Chapter on Literary Recollections.

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