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FOR most of the materials which compose these volumes, the Editor is indebted to large and scarce publications, as well as to MSS. deposited in the Bodleian Library.
To exhibit a view of the customs and manners which have prevailed at different periods, has always appeared to the Editor not only the most useful, but the most pleasant, employment of the antiquary. To this subject he has been particularly attentive; to this most of the anecdotes bear some reference; and, he
hopes, that as they relate to the first University in the world, they will not be entirely destitute of interest.
In a collection of separate and unconnected anecdotes, but little method will probably be expected. Without an ostentatious display of it, however, it has been by no means overlooked. The first volume will be found to contain historical and antiquarian articles relative to the University in general, while the second is confined to those of the different colleges. The third and fourth volumes, after having noticed some of the public establishments, such as the Bodleian Library, the Picture Gallery, the Theatre, &c. contain letters from eminent men, curious articles of biography, miscellaneous anecdotes, and a collection
of historical memoranda ; all of which are more or less illustrative of the manners of our academical predecessors.
To this latter circumstance must be attributed the notice of many events, which, independently of this consideration, and a certain degree of interest they may excite by their locality, might be thought of too trifling a nature for publication.
In making extracts from MSS. and old printed books, the Editor has been careful to preserve, in most instances, not only the quaint and obsolete style, which is often peculiarly adapted to the narrative, but the original spelling, for orthography it cannot be called; the same word being found spelled, by the same writer, in a very different manner. The same attention has been paid to the old punctuation, which, as may reasonably be supposed, appears to have been not less arbitrary than the spelling.
A table of contents is prefixed to each volume; besides which, from thegreat variety of matter contained in this work, it appeared necessary to conclude the whole with a general index.
The Editor has thought proper to say thus much in explanation of his design, to which he has only to add, that should these volumes prove as amusing to those who may honour them with a perusal, as they did to him, while he was employing his lei