Posts Tagged ‘Oxford’

In 1856 WM Thackeray the author of Vanity Fair, visited the US for his second series of lectures. In St. Louis in between lectures he took time out to sample the local color. While dining at the Barnum’s Hotel he overheard one Irish waiter telling another in awe,’Do you know who that is?’
‘No’ came the answer.
‘That is the celebrated Thacker!’replied the first waiter gloating in his knowledge.
‘What’s he done?’
‘Damned if I know!’
Benjamin Jowett of Oxford was one of its lions and no visit to Oxford was complete without seeing him. Many out -of- towners had their wish fulfilled to catch a glimpse of the famous professor.
At a time when Jowett was busy translating Plato one found his study overlooked into the Bond Street.
Once he brought in a small crowd of gawks and pointing to the window above and said,’This ladies and gentlemen is Balliol College. One of the holdest in the huniversity, and and famous for its herudite of its scholars. The ‘ead of Balliol College is called the Master. The present Master of the College is the most celebrated Professor Benjamin Jowett, Regius Professor of Greek.’ Pointing to the study windows the Cockney stooped down to take a handful of gravel and said in glee, ‘There’ and he threw the gravel against the panes bringing a livid professor to the window. The ruffian announced proudly,’ladies and gentlemen, the Professor Benjamin Jowett himself!’


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Charles Townsend Copeland, a Harvard professor once invited some of his favorite pupils to his chambers. A sophomore asked, “How does one go about learning the fine art of conversation?” The professor lifted an admonishing finger and said:” Listen, my boy.” After a moment’s silence the student said, “Well I’m listening”
Copley said, “That’s all there is to it.”

John Howard Van Amringe of Columbia University was a sworn enemy of coeducation. “It is impossible,” he asserted, “ to teach a boy mathematics if there is a girl in the class.”
“Oh, come professor,” some one protested, ”surely there must be an exception to that.”
“There might be,” snapped Amringe, “but he wouldn’t be worth teaching.”

Sir. Herbert Warren of Magdalen College, Oxford was noted for snobbery. Once an oriental prince, who had entered Magdalen, confided apologetically that in his own language his name meant, ’son of god.’
Sir Herbert after a pause said, “You’d find sons of lots of distinguished men at the College.”

Professor Robert Tyrrell, of Trinity College in Dublin ( who taught Oscar Wilde while he was there,) while holding forth one day, was interrupted by a rude fellow who in the midst of a sentence, asked: “Where is the lavatory?” To which Tyrrell replied, ”First door on the right marked GENTLEMEN, but don’t let that deter you.

Ä. E Houseman the poet and a professor once gave an after dinner speech at Trinity, Cambridge thus: “This great College, of this ancient university has seen some chance sights. It has seen Wordsworth drunk, and Porson sober. And here am I a better poet than Porson, and a better scholar than Wordsworth somewhere betwixt and between.

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