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ence appeared to be cherished at Oxford as much as at the sister University, observed, “The character of this University has been misrepresented; it has at all times given, and yet continues to give, great men to the nation. Had Oxford never existed, English history would not have been what it now is, and the English character would, perhaps, have been materially different. This, to those who value the moral power of this country, is a sufficient answer to the harsh assertions which have been made, in relation to its supposed monastic habits, by men who, perhaps, had an interest in debasing the English character to their own conceptions of the dignity of man. To be sure, the lectures you have heard from my nephew this day, on the modern science of geology, are at so great a distance from the ancient scholastic manners of the University, that they have apparently something revolutionary in their character; and it is true, that this science is hardly out of its cradle, and here at Oxford, has been exclusively rocked and nursed by Dr. Buckland, who seems have been brought forward himself, at the right point of time, by nature and education. Yet Oxford has never, at the most distant periods, been insensible to the progress of intellectual improvement, although she has been slow to convince herself that every innovation was an improvement. When Blackstone prepared to deli
ver his Law Lectures, he too was considered an innovator, and was made to feel, in various ways, the influence of established opinions.' &c.—North American Review for April, 1831, art. ix., p. 472.
NOTE (F.) P. 220.
'About the year 1645,' says Dr. John Wallis, 'while I lived in London, (at a time when, by our civil wars, Academical Studies were much interrupted in both our universities,) besides the conversation of divers eminent Divines, as to matters theological, I had the opportunity of being acquainted with divers worthy persons, inquisitive into Natural Philosophy, and other parts of humane learning, and particularly of what hath been called the New Philosophy or Experimental Philosophy.
*We did by agreement, divers of us, meet weekly in London on a certain day, to treat and discourse of such affairs. Of which number were Dr. John Wilkins, (afterwards Bishop of Chester,) Dr. Jonathan Goddard, Dr. George Ent, Dr. Glisson, Dr. Merret, (Doctors in Physic,) Mr. Samuel Foster, then Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College, Mr. Theodore Hank, (a German of the Palatinate, and then resident in London, who, I think, gave the first occasion, and first suggested those meetings,) and many others.
* These meetings we held sometimes at Dr. Goddard's lodgings in Wood Street, (or some convenient place near,) on occasion of his keeping an Operator in his house, for grinding glasses for telescopes and microscopes; and sometimes at a convenient place in Cheapside;* sometimes at Gresham College, or some place near adjoyning. Our business was (precluding matters of theology and state affairs,) to discourse and consider of Philosophical Enquiries, and such as related thereunto; as Physick, Anatomy, Geometry, Astronomy, Navigation, Staticks, Magneticks, Chymicks, Mechanicks, and Natural Experiments, with the state of these studies, as then cultivated at home and abroad. We there discoursed of the circulation of the blood, the valves in the veins, the Vena Lactea, the Lymphatick Vessels, the Copernican Hypothesis, the nature of Comets and New Stars, the Satellites of Jupiter, the Oval Shape (as it then appeared,) of Saturn, the Spots in the Sun, and its turning on its own axis, the Inequalities
* The 'convenient place' to which Dr. Wallis refers, was the Bull-head tavern in Cheapside. -See Aubrey, vol. 2, p. 583.
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- Liet#:43:54. socze of our company juns sem csirt is Dr. Wilkins, then I, È SAL É O Gadiet oes company divided. IN i LI DOCTOR to Deet there as before, uni wa Dan, Fa webad occasion to be there,) ARE SUS É N Enirt Dr. Tard (since Bp. of Soy. 4. Et Bas 90T President of TriI har D:. Peset, (since sir William Teat. Der Eisai Parsician in Ox$ Zras bas, ceived such meetings in cha una brocre os studies into fashion there; meeting first at Dr. Petty's Lodgings (in an Apothecarie's house,) because of the convenience of inspecting Drugs and the like, as there was occasion; and after his remove to Ireland, (tho' not so constantly,) at the Lodgings of Dr. Wilkins, then Warden of Wadham Coll.; and after his removal to Trinity College, in Cambridge, at the Lodgings of the Honourable Mr. Robert Boyle, then resident for divers years in Oxford. Those meetings in London continued, and (after the King's return in 1660,) were increased with the accession of divers worthy and honorable persons; and were afterwards incorporated by the name of the Royal Society, &c., and so continued to this day.'—From Dr. John Wallis's Account of some Passages of his own Life, printed in the App. No. xi. to Preface to Hearne's edition of Peter Langtoft's Chronicle.