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The University of Cambridge, in the Eighteenth Century (Classic Reprint)

The University of Cambridge, in the Eighteenth Century (Classic Reprint)

33532809
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Excerpt from The University of Cambridge, in the Eighteenth Century

It is sometimes assumed that the University of Cambridge in the eighteenth century led an isolated existence, remote from the stream of the national life; and that its numerous deficiencies were due to its immunity from external interference and its freedom to wallow in its sin. This generalisation is however more sweeping than accurate; and is certainly quite untrue of that part of the century when the Duke of Newcastle was Chancellor of the university. The following narrative, which can be briefly described as an account of Newcastle's activities as Chancellor, attempts to show that, at least as long as the Duke was a power in Cambridge, the connection between the academic and political worlds, instead of being non-existent, was in reality much too close and intimate to be salutary, and that the university was very far from being left to itself. The abuses were many, but they were not exclusively of home manufacture, and the politicians must shoulder their portion of the blame.

Use has been made of the Newcastle, Hardwicke, and Cole manuscripts in the British Museum; and in defence of the rather numerous extracts from these papers, it can be pleaded that events are generally most vividly described by those who have taken part in them. It is obvious that such a method does not make for brevity, but possibly the loss of conciseness may be compensated for by increase of interest.

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