Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

established in his own house a schola domestica for boys, and himself used to preside in the evening at the lessons. One youth, his secretary, attracted his attention by his music This was Richard Pace, afterwards renowned as a classical scholar and diplomatist. Bishop Langton recognised his abilities, and forthwith despatched him to Italy, paying all his expenses at the university of Padua and Rome.1 At the former place, he says: "When as a youth I began to work at my humanities, I was assisted by Cuthbert Tunstall and William Latimer, men most illustrious and excelling in every branch of learning, whose prudence, probity, and integrity were such that it were hard to say whether their learning excelled their high moral character, or their uprightness their learning.'

At this university he was taught by Leonicus and by Leonicenus, the friend and correspondent of Politian: "Men," he says, as being unable to give higher praise, "like Tunstall and Latimer."' Passing on to Bologna he sat at the feet of Paul Bombasius, "who was then explaining every best author to large audiences." Subsequently, at Rome, he formed a lasting friendship with William Stokesley, whom he describes as " his best friend on earth; a man of the keenest judgment, excellent, and indeed marvellous, in theology and philosophy, and not only skilled in Greek and Latin, but possessed of some knowledge of Hebrew"; whose great regret was that he had not earlier in life realised the power of the Greek language.1 At Ferrara, too, Pace met Erasmus, and he warmly acknowledges his indebtedness to the influence of this great humanist.

1 Richard Pace, De Fructu, p. 27. The work De Fructu was composed at Constance, where Pace was ambassador, and where he had met his old master, Paul Bombasius. He dedicates the tract to Colet, who has done so much to introduce true classical Latin into England, in place of the barbarous language formerly used. The work was suggested to him by a conversation he had in England two years before on his return from Rome, with a gentleman he met at dinner, who strongly objected to a literary education for his children, on the ground that he disapproved of certain expressions made use of by Erasmus. The tract shows on what a very intimate footing Pace was with Bombasius.

'De Fructu, p. 99. Pace published at Venice, in 1522, Plutarchi Cheronei Opuscula, and dedicated the work to Bishop Tunstall. He reminds the bishop of their old student days, and says the translation has been examined by their " old master, Nicholas Leonicus."

• Ibid.

In 1509, Richard Pace accompanied Cardinal Bainbridge to Rome, and was with him when the cardinal died, or was murdered, there in 1514. Whilst in the Eternal City, "urged to the study by the most upright and learned man, William Latimer, he searched the Pope's library for books of music, and found a great number of works on the subject. The cardinal's death put a stop to his investigations; but he had seen sufficient to be able to say that to study the matter properly a man must know Greek and get to the library of the Pope, where there were many and the best books on music "But," he adds, "this I venture

/ to say, our English music, if any one will critically examine into the matter, will be found to display the greatest subtlety of mind, especially in what is called the introduction

N of harmonies, and in this matter to excel ancient music"1 It is unnecessary to follow in any detail the story of the general literary revival in England. Beginning with Selling, the movement continued to progress down to the very eve of the religious disputes. That there was opposition on the part of some who regarded the stirring of the waters with suspicion was inevitable. More especially was this the case because during the course of the literary revival there rose the storm of the great religious revolt of the sixteenth century, and because the practical paganism which had resulted from the movement in Italy was perhaps not unnaturally supposed by the timorous to be a necessary consequence of any return to the study of the classics of Greece and Rome. The opposition came generally from a misunderstanding, and "not so much from hostility to Greek itself as from little aspirations for any learning." This Sir Thomas More expressly declares when writing to urge the Oxford authorities to repress a band of giddy people who, calling themselves Trojans, made it their duty to fight against the Grecians. It is true also that the pulpit was at times brought into requisition to decry "not only Greek and Latin studies," but all liberal education of any kind.1 But, so far as England is concerned, this opposition to the revival of letters, even on the score of the dangers likely to come either to faith or morals, was, when all is said, slight, and through the influence of More, Fisher, and the king himself, easily subdued.* The main fact, however, cannot be gainsaid, namely, that the chief ecclesiastics of the day, Wolsey, Warham, Fisher, Tunstall, Langton, Stokesley, Fox, Selling, Grocyn, Whitford, Linacre, Colet, Pace, William Latimer, and Thomas Lupset," to name only the most distinguished, were not /

1 De Fructu, p. 99.

'De FruetUyf. 51. "Quas vocant proportionum inductions . . . antiquitatem superasse."

1 More to the University of Oxford in Knight's Erasmus, p. 31.

1 Bishop Fisher's love and zeal for learning is notorious. He did all in his power to assist in the foundation of schools of sound learning at Cambridge, and especially to encourage the study of Greek. Richard Croke, the protege of Archbishop Warham and Bishop Fisher, after teaching Greek in 1516 at Leipzig, was sent by Fisher in 1519 to Cambridge to urge the utility of Greek studies at that university. In his Orationes he delivered there, after speaking of the importance of Greek for all Biblical study, he says that Oxford had taken up the work with great avidity, for "they have there as their patrons besides the Cardinal (Wolsey), Canterbury (Warham), and Winchester, all the other English bishops except the one who has always been your great stay and helper, the Bishop of Rochester, and the Bishop of Ely." It was entirely owing to Bishop Fisher's generosity, and at his special request, that Croke had gone to Cambridge rather than to Oxford, where his connection with Warham, More, Linacre, and Grocyn would have led him, in order to carry on the work begun by Erasmus.

* Thomas Lupset was educated by Colet, and learnt his Latin and Greek under William Lilly, going afterwards to Oxford. There he made the acquaintance of Ludovico Vives, and at his exhortation went to Italy.

only ardent humanists, but thorough and practical churchmen. Of the laymen, whether foreigners or Englishmen, whose names are associated with the renaissance of letters in this country, such as, for example, the distinguished scholar Ludovico Vives, the two Lillys, Sir Thomas More, John Clement,1 and other members of More's family, there

He joined Reginald Pole in his studies at Padua, and on his return, after acting as Thomas Winter's tutor in Paris, he held a position first as teacher and then in Cardinal Wolsey's household. In his Exhortation to Young Men, persuading them to a good life, "written at More, a place of my Lord Cardinal's," in 1529, he gives a charming account of his relation with a former pupil. "It happeneth," he says, "at this time (my heartily beloved Edmund) that I am in such a place where I have no manner of books with me to pass the time after my manner and custom. And though I had here with me plenty of books, yet the place suffereth me not to spend in them any study. For you shall understand that I lie waiting on my Lord Cardinal, whose hours I must observe, to be always at hand lest I be called when I am not bye, which would be straight taken for a fault of great negligence. I am well satiated with the beholding of these gay hangings that garnish here every wall." As a relief he turns to address his young friend Edmund. Probably Edmund doesn't understand his affection, because he has always acted on the principle he has "been taught, that the master never hurteth his scholar more than when he uttereth and sheweth by cherishing and cokering the love he beareth to his scholars." Edmund is now "of age, and also by the common board of houseling admitted into the number of men, and to be no more in the company of children," and so now he can make known his affection. "This mind had I to my friend Andrew Smith, whose son Christopher, your fellow, I ever took for my son. ... If you will call to your mind all the frays between you and me, or me and Smith, you will find that they were all out of my care for 'your manners.' When I saw certain fantasies in you or him that ja1red from true opinions, the which true opinions, above all learning, I would have masters ever teach their scholars. Wherefore, my good withipol, take heed of my lesson."

1 John Clement, a protege of Sir Thomas More, was afterwards a doctor of renown not only in medicine but in languages. He had been a member of More's household, which Erasmus speaks of as "schola et gymnasium Christians religionis." He is named at the beginning of the Eutopia, and Sir Thomas, in writing to Erasmus, says that Linacr..' declared that he had had no pupil at Oxford equal to him. John Clement translated many ancient Greek authors into Latin, amongst others many letters of St. Gregory Nazianzen and the Homilies of Nicephorus Callistus on the Saints of the Greek Calendar. Stapleton, in his Ties Thorn*

can be no shadow of doubt about their dispositions towards the ancient ecclesiastical r6gime. A Venetian traveller, in 1500, thus records what he had noticed as to the attitude of ecclesiastics generally towards learning:—" Few, excepting the clergy, are addicted to the study of letters, and this is the reason why any one who has any learning, though he may be a layman, is called a clerk. And yet they have great advantages for study, there being two general universities in the kingdom, Oxford and Cambridge, in which there are many colleges founded for the maintenance of poor scholars. And your magnificence (the Doge of Venice) lodged at one named Magdalen, in the University of Oxford, of which, as the founders having been prelates, so the scholars also are ecclesiastics."

It was in England, and almost entirely from the ecclesiastics of England, that Erasmus found his greatest support. "This England of yours," he writes to Colet in 1498, "this England, dear to me on many accounts, is above all most beloved because it abounds in what to me is best of all, men deeply learned in letters."1 Nor did he change his opinion on a closer acquaintance. In 1517, to Richard Pace he writes from Louvain in regret at leaving a country which he had come to regard as the best hope of the literary revival:—" Oh, how truly happy is your land of England, the seat and stronghold of the best studies and

(p. 250), says he had himself seen and examined with the originals these two voluminous translations at the request of John Clement himself. He had married Margaret, the ward of Sir Thomas More, and in the most difficult places of his translation he was helped by his wife, who, with the daughters of Sir Thomas, had been his disciple and knew Greek well. Mary Roper, More's grand-daughter, and the daughter of Margaret Roper, translated Eusebius' History from Greek into Latin, but it was never published, because Bishop Christophorson had been at work on a similar translation. On the change of religion in Elizabeth's reign, John Clement and his wife, with the Ropers, took refuge in the Low Countries. Paulus Jovius, in his Descriptio Britannia:, p. 13, speaks of all three daughters of Sir Thomas More being celebrated for their knowledge of Latin. 1 Erasmi Opera (ed. 1703) Col. 40.

« EdellinenJatka »