THE SHIRES OF CAMBRIDGE AND HUNTINGDON
 THE two counties of Cambridge and Huntingdon fit into
one another so closely, and are so much alike, that one
description will serve for both. The northern half of
each county belongs to the Fens, and even beyond the
Fens the fields are for the most part very flat. Both
counties have hills in the south; those of Cambridge
are called the Gog Magog Hills. Green pastures and
meadows with water-ways running through them are to be
seen everywhere; these are dairy counties, that is,
cows are kept from whose milk butter and cheese are
made. The butter of Cambridge is sold in an odd way;
you ask, not for a pound, but for a yard or two yards.
Stilton in Huntingdon gives its name to a famous kind
of cheese, of which gentlemen are fond. A good deal of
corn is grown in Hunts, and Cambridge has large
orchards scattered over the shire.
There are not many important towns in either county;
Eamsey, where are still ruins of the old abbey, St.
Ives, St. Neots, and the county town are the chief
places in the little shire of Huntingdon. The town of
Huntingdon had the honour of giving birth to Oliver
Cromwell, the great opponent of Charles L, who became "
Ldrd Protector of the'Commonwealth."
The towns of Cambridgeshire are, Cambridge, the
cathedral city of Ely, March, Chatteris, Wisbeach,
which is a port, Whittlesea, and Newmarket, where
 most of the people are in some way busied about the
horse races, which take place there seven times a year.
But the one really famous place in the county is
Cambridge, which is known all over the world for
The town of Cambridge stands on level ground, by the
side of the river which forms part of its name; the
stately college buildings, rising from among groups of
splendid trees, distinguish the beautiful town.
Englishmen look upon these buildings with reverent
eyes, not for the sake of their beauty, but for that of
the great men who have been educated within their
walls, and whose names are the glory of England.
History does not declare when Cambridge first became an
University, where all learning was studied, all
students welcome. Most likely it grew up, like the
Universities of Oxford, Paris, and some others, after
the return of the Crusaders, who came home fired with a
desire to possess the wonderful learning they had seen
and heard of in the East.
In early days, the students of Cambridge lived in much
discomfort; scattered through the town in miserable
lodgings, or gathered together in "hostels," or "
inns,*' where many lived under a principal of their
own. But the people of the town charged such high rents
for these poor places that they nearly drove the
scholars away altogether.
This state of things led rich men and women, who cared
about learning, to give land or money for building and
endowing colleges, where the students might live and
study in comfort.
St. Peter's College, or Peterhouse, was the first to be
 built; and it, together with a church and a library of
written books, was the gift of one Hugh de Balsham.
There are now in all seventeen colleges in the
University; and among the most notable of these, are
King's, founded by the "Boyal Saint," Henry VI., which
has the most beautiful chapel in the world, with
"High embowered roof,
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light":—
Trinity, with its noble hall and library of precious
books, and its pleasant walks by Cam; and St. John's,
and Jesus College, on the banks of Cam.
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics