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Single Page Chapter V

PAGE 155:
CHAPTER V

FROM THE COMMENCEMENT OF HIS STUDIES IN THE UNIVERSITY OF UTRECHT, TILL HIS RETURN TO NEW-YORK.

The University of Utrecht, next to that of Leyden, is the oldest institution of the kind in the United Netherlands. It was founded in 1636; and some, no doubt, are ready to associate the idea of a school so ancient and celebrated, with that of commodious and splendid buildings, appropriated to the accommodation of the professors and students. Such an association of ideas is quite natural for an American. He could not, perhaps, but with some difficulty, think of a college, without, at the same time, imagining one or more spacious and elegant edifices as constituting an important or necessary part of it. But the founders of the Dutch Universities were very indifferent about accommodations of this description.

"The external appearance of the Universities," says Guthrie, "is rather mean, and the buildings old; but these defects are amply compensated by

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CHAPTER V

the variety of solid and useful learning taught in them. There are abundance of youth of the principal nobility and gentry, from most countries in Europe, at these seminaries of literature; and, as every one may live as he pleases, without being obliged to be profuse in his expenses, or so much as quitting his night-gown for weeks or months together, foreigners of all ranks and conditions are to be seen here."

And of the one which he attended, Mr. Livingston has left this account: "There were no public buildings belonging to the University of Utrecht. A large hall appertaining to the old Cathedral or Dome Kirk, was occasionally used for public orations and disputations; and, in a hall of the St. Jans Kirk, the public library was deposited. This was not large in respect to the number of books, as it contained chiefly such as were very rare; but it was especially celebrated for a rich collection of manuscripts. The lectures of the professors were all held in their own respective houses. There were also no buildings appropriated as lodgings for the students. They hired chambers, agreeably to their choice, among the citizens. It was usual for them to dine in select parties, in boarding-houses."

"The average number of students at the






        
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