Sunday, June 16, 2013

Quote of the Day

In the early 18th century there was a major dispute between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge over which should receive the Bishop of Ely's library.  Having decided in favour of Cambridge, King George the First's government had to send a troop of cavalry to Oxford to put down the resulting clamour. The incident provoked two alternative humorous perspectives expressed in verse:

"The King, observing with judicious eyes
The state of both his universities,
To Oxford sent a troop of horse, and why?
That learned body wanted loyalty;
To Cambridge books, as very well discerning
How much that loyal body wanted learning."

(Joseph Trapp)

And in response:

"The King to Oxford sent a troop of horse,
For Tories own no argument but force:
With equal skill to Cambridge books he sent,
For Whigs admit no force but argument."

(William Browne, Literary Anecdotes Vol. III.)

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