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each College, is, however, introduced into the description of each".
For what may, perhaps, by some readers be deemed too great minuteness in description, the Writer would account by observing, that he has been particularly desirous of giving to his topographical delineations such a distinctness of character, as might enable persons who have never seen Oxford to form, with the assistance of the plan and views, a tolerably accurate notion of the architectural magnificence of a City, the picture of which, as it is thus drawn by a poet of vivid imagination
• Persons who may not choose to visit the buildings of the University in the order in which they occur in the “ Walks,” or who may not have time to inspect more than a few of the principal Collegiate Establishments, will find the volume equally useful; since, by consulting the Index, the description of any particular College, Hall, or Public Edifice, may be instantly found.
and fine taste, is acknowledged not to be flattering:
In this princely land,
Anxious to furnish every species of information which, in a volume descriptive of Oxford, a liberal curiosity might reasonably expect to find, the Writer has prefixed to the “Walks,” by way of introduction, an abstract of the history of the University, an outline of its constitution, and a summary of the regulations respecting the taking of degrees. He has also added to the descriptive portions of the work, notices of a few places in the neighbourhood of the
City; particularly of Blenheim and Nuneham, seats to which few who visit Oxford neglect to extend their
That errors and omissions will be noticed by the informed and attentive reader is but too probable; but for such, if not of magnitude, the Writer will hope to be excused. He will hope this, because he can with truth affirm, that he has spared no pains to render his volume worthy the public acceptance; not indeed as a professed history, but as a comprehensive and faithful sketch of the ancient and present state of Oxford; especially of the University, which, from the well-remembered time of his first becoming acquainted (then, it is true, very imperfectly) with its history, and with the great and inestimable benefits resulting to society from its institution, and happily continued prosperity, he has uniformly regarded with a sentiment of profound and grateful veneration.
To those Heads of Houses and Gentlemen of the University who have, through the Publisher, enriched the work with so much original information, the Writer begs to return his most grateful acknowledgments.
It will be proper to mention, in conclusion, the works to which principally recourse has been had in drawing up the historical and biographical portions of the work. They were Wood's History of the Colleges and Halls of the University of Oxford, Camden's Britannia, Ayliffe's ancient and present State of Oxford, the Beauties of England and Wales, Chalmers's History of the Colleges, &c. Sir John Peshall's ancient and present State of the City of Oxford, and Letters from the Bodleian. From the volumes of Mr. Chalmers, and from the compilation of Sir John Peshall, the most material assistance has been derived.