"I can here play the gentleman, enact the student. To such a one as myself, who has been defrauded in his young years of the sweet food of academic institution, nowhere is so pleasant, to while away a few idle weeks at, as one or other of the Universities." Please explain this quote by Charles Lamb in "Oxford in the Vacation," from his collection of essays entitled Essays of Elia.
In this quote from "Oxford in the Vacation," Charles Lamb speaks to loss and desire. He had wished to be able to attend either Oxford or Cambridge but had to go to work instead. Here, he describes the pleasure he derives in the substitute gesture of visiting one of these colleges for a vacation, where he can pretend he is a student and enact for a short time one of his deepest desires.