previous next

[156] . . . . Some parts of the glorious old establishment I found much altered and improved; a new and grand quadrangle to Trinity, a superb screen and hall to King's, and other large improvements, finished or going on, among which is a fine University library; so that Cambridge is gaining upon Oxford, where no such improvements have taken place for a long time . . . .

We went [to Professor Smyth's rooms] before nine, and had a very agreeable party. Whewell and Sedgwick, the two great men of the University; Clark, the head of the Medical Department; Peacock, next to Whewell and Sedgwick in general reputation; a considerable number of ladies, among them two Miss Skrines and Miss Wilkins, who sing very well, and whom Smyth calls his nightingales . . . . We had a little supper, and what between the music and excellent talk, stayed very late.

April 15.—Easter Sunday . . . . At two o'clock Dr.Clarke and Mrs. Clarke, and some other of the professors, came and carried us to the afternoon service at King's College Chapel. It was very fine, especially the music, and everything produced its full effect in that magnificent and solemn hall, the finest of its sort, no doubt, in the world. Afterwards I went with Whewell and Sedgwick . . . . to dine in the Hall of Trinity, a grand old place, vast, and a little gloomy and rude, with its ancient rafters; but imposing, and worthy of the first college in the world, for the numbers of great men it has produced . . . . . It is the fashion for a nobleman, when he comes here, to be furnished with a silver cover, forks and spoons, etc., and to leave them when he goes away . . . . . It chanced to-day that I had poor Lord Milton's cover, with his name and arms on it, which led to some sad talk with the Fellows, who retain a very lively recollection of his winning character and striking talents. At our table there were several strangers, the most remarkable of whom were Sir Francis Forbes, just from India, and the famous Joseph Hume, M. P., of radical notoriety.

After dinner, according to ancient custom, a huge silver cup or pitcher was passed round, containing what is called Audit Ale, or very fine old ale which is given to the tenants of the College when they come to audit their accounts and pay their rents. We all drank from it standing up, each, as his turn came, wishing prosperity to the College. When this was over an enormous silver ewer and basin, given by James First's Duke of Buckingham, were passed down, filled with rose-water, into which each one dipped his napkin. . . . . Finally, a small choir of selected singers came into the hall and sang the Latin chants appropriate to the day, with great richness and power,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Trinity (Texas, United States) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William Whewell (3)
Sedgwick (3)
William Smyth (2)
Mary Clarke (2)
Wilkins (1)
Skrines (1)
Peacock (1)
Anton King (1)
Francis Forbes (1)
Clark (1)
Buckingham (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 15th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: