CURRENT LITERAT ETRE.
THREE COLLEGE HISTORIES.
(o. 5s. net.)—Christ's College had, as not a few other Colleges have had, a forgotten founder, who began the work which more powerful hands carried to completion. This was William Bingham, who in 1442 received a license to found a new College by the name of "God's House." The land he acquired for this purpose was actually used for King's College, but in 1446 he bought some other land, which now forms part of the First and Second Courts of Christ's. Dr. Peile has done this first bene- factor due honour, an honour which does not at all diminish the credit due to the Lady Margaret. William Bingham -had scanty means, and after fifty years his foundation was very poorly off indeed, and the intervention of the second fonndress was greatly needed. And here comes in another name, John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, Lady Margaret Beaufort's con- fessor, whom Dr. Peile ranks with Bingham. The early history of the College was hardly such as the foundress would have liked to anticipate. In no direction had her benefactions been more munificent than in the ecclesiastical. She gave vest- ments of the enormous value of £566 8s. 8d. to the chapel, but her foundation became notorious for its Puritanic and Noncon- formist tendencies. "Puritanism in the Time of Elizabeth" is the title of Dr. Peile's most interesting chapters. In the seven- teenth century things were somewhat altered, though the Puritan Milton remains the greatest individual name of which the College can boast. But the general tone of the place was Royalist. One ca use was the frequency of Royal nominations to fellowships. " Lycidas" (Edward Kinge) was thus brought into Christ's, being intruded, one might say, into the place which Milton should have had. Next to Milton, the Platonists, Cudworth, Whichcote, More, and others, are the glory of the College. It is difficult to compare one College with another in respect of famous alumni, but Christ's certainly need fear no rival. Of course there is a great element of luck in the matter, and prestige and wealth go for much. The Colleges that have consciously worked out their own greatness are the exceptions. Were one asked to name them one would look to Oxford and say Belliol and Oriel, but in both cases this distinction is recent. Neither of these two had acquired it a century ago. Dr. Peile has Written an- -admirable book, full of matter excellently arranged.—Christ Church. By the Rev. Henry L. Thompson. (Same publishers and price.)—Mr. Thompson has, we take it, and his preface seems to confirm the conjecture, been over- --powered by the-magnitude of his task. - Christ Church has been so large a part of the national life that it is impossible to tell its story fully in the space available in these "College Histories!, To sketch the careers of the Deans alone, were it at all adequately done, would leave little room for anything else. Here are a few of the names,—Brian Dupla. John Owen, Henry Aldrich, Francis Atterbury, Hugh &miter, Cyril Jackson, George Gaisford, Henry Liddell, men curiously differing from each other in character and -work. The succession has been rapid, thirty-five in three centuries and a half, whereas Christ's, with nearly fifty more years of age, has had but twenty-four masters. Christ Church, also, has to look to a founder who, if not forgotten, is not recognised. Thomas Wolsey's Cardinal College was the real beginning, and had it been permitted to continue, would have been far more splendid than that which acknowledges Henry VI.H. as its founder, though, indeed, this is of ample magnitude. (Mr. Thompson properly censures the unhistorical statement actually made by some preachers in the Bidding Prayer that -Wolsey was the founder. Let him have his proper credit, but not at the sacrifice of truth.) Mr. Thompson tells the story of the "House" with clearness and dignity, and never permits him- self to write as a partisan. If his book is not as interesting as we might have expected, an an d is more of a chronicle than a history, it is the conditions of his task, and not his ability, that must be blamed.7---Woreester College. By G. Henry Daniel, M.A., and R. Barker, B.A. (Same publishers and price.)—This is a par- ticularly interesting book; the subject is of a manageable size,' and has been well managed. Worcester dates back no farther than the beginning of the eighteenth century but it has a prehistorical period, so to speak, of great interest. And it has thus a claim, not of legal force indeed, but not to be lightly put aside, to rank with the oldest of Oxford Colleges. "It stands in the first group of Colleges OA distinguished from Halls," and so may be reckoned with University, Bailie], and Merton. Its first form of existence was Gloucester College, the Oxford headquarters of the Order of St. Benedict (the gateway to the north- east of the College is one of the visible relics of the first period, as are also the domestic buildings on the left-hand side of the Quadrangle). The chapters which deal with this period are as interesting as any in the book, and throw no little light on that much-discussed question, the condition of the monasteries in the century before their fall. Gloucester College was succeeded by Gloucester Hall, which had a not very eventful history, though it received within its walls several notable persons. Then came the curious episode of "Dr. Woodroffe and the Greek College." Dr. 1Voodroffe's ultimate object was to make an alliance between the Anglican and the Eastern Churches, and he sought to attain it by educating promising young Greeks. But he was hampered by want of means and sometimes want of judgment, while his pupils were too often of the type of the Grzetaus esuriens. The College of the present day owes its origin to Sir Thomas Cookes, though he was hardly an ideal of the "pious founder." It has not wanted for benefactors since, and it has been not unworthy of their patronage. But it would be beyond our province to settle its place in the academical hierarchy. Anyhow it has found two very adequate historians in Messrs. Daniel and Barker.