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LORD VISCOUNT PALMERSTON,
SECRETARY AT WAR,
M. P. FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.
The following statement and observations are intended, in some measure, to supply a desideratum which has long been felt by many intelligent persons, desirous of forming an impartial estimate of the merits of those ancient foundations which have been so frequently aspersed by prejudice and calumny. It is somewhat a singular circumstance, that while so many of the higher and middle classes of society resort to Cambridge for the completion of their education, there should exist no description
of its studies and pursuits, claiming confidence by its authority, and at the same time adapted to the purpose of general readers, though the subject is, beyond doubt, closely allied to the best interests of the community. A publication, therefore, which professes to afford some remedy for the want of authorized information respecting this University, cannot be better recommended to the attention of the public, than under the sanction of Your Lordship's name. While it becomes us to rectify the errors of those who gratefully acknowledge the singular advantages resulting from our civil and ecclesiastical establishments, it is equally expedient that we should endeavour to counteract the mis-statements and false accusations of men, who are not only uniformly hostile to all that wears the venerable form of antiquity, but who, in their incoherent projects of reformation, would reduce the attainments of every order of the State, however elevated by rank or dignified by
profession, within the limits prescribed by their own contracted and illiberal views.
It has been objected to the eloquent and splendid defence of our English Universities, affixed to the publication of a great scholar of the present day, that the author conceived it more consistent with prudence to dazzle his readers by a display of the powers of impassioned language, than to enter into a sober detail of what, it is alleged, he was apprehensive might shrink from the test of minute inquiryThis objeetion, then, unfounded as it is, I have here attempted to obviate, as far as it involves the merits of Cambridge; fully persuaded, that, whatever may be the inadequacy of the writer, an undisguised statement of facts will alone be sufficient to vindicate that renowned University, which justly regards Your Lordship as the able and firm supporter of its rights and privileges, from the obloquy of the political innovator, and the intemperate attacks of the unlettered enthusiast, With the warmest
wishes for the undiminished prosperity of our common Alma Mater, and with an ardent expectation, that, when the tumultuous scenes of the present generation shall have passed away, this illustrious institution will remain an imperishable bulwark of religion and learning, I have the honour to be,
Your Lordship's very obedient
And obliged Servant,
In publishiug the following pages, the author has been principally influenced by the suggestions of others. After reading the History of Cambridge, recently published by Mr. Dyer, he has discovered nothing in that work to supersede the necessity of the present, either with reference to the information it is intended to convey, or to the principles which it incidentally inculcates. He trusts that in point of correctness of detail, but little will be found to call
for animadversion, as he had the satisfaction of submitting his manuscript to the inspection of two members of the University, of learning and station, upon whose judgment he could place implicit reliance. It may not be irrelevant to observe, that though the author occasionally speaks in the first person, he has, during the last twelve years, ceased to reside in the University ; but as he continues to be a Member of the Senate, he retains a vote in all its deliberative