Frank Leward: Memorials
Bantpton to Frank
Bantpton to Frank.
Feast of S. Chad, A.D. 1840.
My Dear Frank,—I am so delighted to hear of your return after your peregrinations round the world. You have heard, I daresay, that I came up last October term. I wish you had stayed at Upton. You would just be thinking of coming up now, and you can form no idea of the beauty of Oxford, or the perfectly enjoyable life we lead. They say it is the happiest time in a man's page 62life, and I do not think anything could be happier. The University is full of interest You remember how fond we used to be of reading about King Charles and the noble stand he made against schism and heresy. Here one seems to live again in that time.
Close by and nearly connected with Oriel is S. Mary's, with its porch and statue of our Blessed Lady just as it was erected by the holy Laud and once formed part of the charges brought against him on his impeachment, as it now shines out a special jewel in his martyr's crown.
New Inn Hall, though plain externally is full of loving interest, for there they turned the rich plate, the free offering of all the Colleges, into money to aid the good King in bis great crusade.
S. Edmund Hall takes us back to an earlier period, when the brave Edmund Rich of Abingdon gladly gave up the immense revenues of his see and went into exile rather than yield one jot of his ecclesiastic right, and was willing to lay down his life for the cause for which he fought, as his great predecessor S. Thomas of Canterbury had done before him.
You would enjoy too the boating. The river is alive every afternoon with joyous crews skimming the Isis with their boats, and we could make many pleasant excursions "rejoicing to Newnham and Godstowe."You must come up next term and stay with me for a week at least. I can get you a bed at my scouts.
Sunday is a perfectly peaceful day at Oxford. Not the morose Puritan's Sabbath, nor the noisy saturnalia of continental Sundays. We on that day enjoy the page 63calm thoughtful repose enjoined by the purer catholicity of our ancient Church, and inter pocula do not disdain social gatherings and festal entertainments. How you would astonish our men at breakfasts and wines by your stories of the antipodes, kangaroos, and other strange sights you have seen on your travels !
I should like, too, on Sunday to take you to S. Mary's to hear Newman the greatest man of the age. You should see his face and hear his voice, you would be reminded of S. Bernard and S. Francis of Assisi He has been particularly kind to me and would be much interested in you if I was to introduce you. I am going in for smalls soon, so I am working for the schools, but at Commemoration I shall be quite free, and you must come to see me then.
Write soon and say you are coming. Meanwhile I am, and always shall be, your very affectionate friend,
C. Augustin Bampton.