"At present I will mention only a few salient features of the place. After Chester, Oxford is, without doubt, the most picturesque city in England: I consider it more picturesque even than Chester. Most of its colleges are several hundred years old, and the style of architecture is medieval. The ancient wall of the city is still standing, and the real beauty of the place is inside the great quadrangles, where are some of the most beautiful gardens and lawns and walks in the world. I recall no city in Europe which can present a more picturesque street than High street, Oxford.
But Oxford is interesting to me as one of the two centres of English culture, and as I wander in these gardens and look at these time-warn and ivy-covered walls and towers, I seem to be nearer, by a little, at least, to the men who have gone out from these classic shades. Here I am shown the cell where Thomas Cranmer was confined, and there I stand on the very spot where Latimer and Ridley were burned. I enter the noble quadrangle of Christ Church, and remember that it was founded by Cardinal Wolsey, and that John Locke, Ben Johnson, Sir Philip Sydney, William Penn, the Duke of Wellington and William E. Gladstone have been among its students. Oriel College reminds us of Sir Walter Raleigh, Bishop Butler, Thomas Arnold and John H. Newman. Corpus Christi once had Coleridge for a pupil, and from University College the ethereal Shelly was expelled. John Wickliff was a fellow of Merton College in 1364, and Frederic W. Robertson and the saintly Helm, the author of the hymn, "From Greenlands lacy Mountains," were students of Brasenose College. And so on I might go, but the list of great names is almost endless. Every building is historic, and every walk has traditions of those whose names the world will not let die.
Every now and then, here in Oxford, we pass famous men on the street, and it seems as natural as the sight of ordinary men elsewhere. Benjamin Jowett, the translator of Plato and the Vice Chancellor of the University, Max Muller, the greatest living writer on comparative religion ; Cannon Liddon, the first preacher in the English church; Principal Shairp, the another of "Culture and Religion ;" John Ruskin, Bonamy Price, and a host of others equally distinguished, attract but little attention. But having said so much for Oxford, patriotism leads me to add one word more. I believe that the average education afforded at both Harvard and Yale is of a higher order than that realized at Oxford. There may be more men here of world-wide reputation than at any university with us, but many of them are here as figureheads, and are no earthly value to the students."