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plans-of a most extraordinary nature in Spain; and placed the literature of his country, which, from the phlegmatic temper of the inhabitants was tenacious of antient forms, on a much wider basis than before. To these he added a manual of rhetoric, compiled from Aristotle, Tully, and Wntilian: together with commentaries on Terence, Virgil, juvenal, Persius, and other claffics. He was deputed by Ximenes, with otherd learned linguists, to, superintend the grand Complutensian edition of the bible: and in the conduct of that laborious work, he did not escape the censure of heretical impiety for exercifing his critical skill on the sacred text, according to the ideas of the holy inquisition, with too great a degree of precision and accuracy i.
Even Hungary, a country by no means uniformly advanced with other parts of Europe in the common arts of civilisation, was illuminated with the distant dawning of science. Mattheo Corvini, king of Hungary and Bohemia, in the fifteenth century, and who died in 1490, was a lover and a guardian of literature '=. He purchased innumerable volumes of Greek and Hebrew writers at Constantinople and other Grecian cities, when they were sacked by the Turks: and, as the operations of typography were now but imperfect, employed at Florence many learned librarians to multiply copies of classics, both Greek and Latin, which _he could not procure in Greece '. These, to the number of fifty thousand, he placed in a tower, which he had erected in the metropolis of Budamz and in this library he establish-'ed thirtyxamannenfies, skilled in painting, illuminating, and writ-ing: who, under the conduct of Felix Ragusinus, a
Dalmatian, consummately learned in the Greek, Chaldaic, and Arabic languages, and an elegant designer and painter of ornaments on vellum, attended incessantly to the business of transcription and decoration ". The librarian was Bartholomew Fontius, a learned Florentine, the writer of many philological workso, and a professor of Greek and oratory at Florence. When Buda was taken by the Turks in the year 1526, cardinal Bozmanni offered for the redemption of this inestimable collection, two hundred thousand pieces of the Imperial money: yet without effect, for the barbarous besiegers .defaced or destroyed most of the books, in the violence of seizing the splendid covers and the silver bosses and clasps with which they were enriched P. The learned Obsopaeus relates, that a book was brought him by an Hungarian soldier, which he had picked up, with many others, in the pillage of king Corvino's library, and had preserved as a prize, merely because the covering retained some marks of gold and rich workmanship. This proved to be a manuscript of the ETHIOPICS of Heliodorus; from which, in the year 1534., Obsopaeus printed at Basil the first edition of that elegant Greek romance '1.
But as this incidental sketch of the history of the revival of modern learning, is intended to be applied to the general subject of my work, I hasten to give a detail of the rise and progress of these improvements in England: nor shall I scruple, for the sake of producing a full and uniform view, to extend the enquiry to a distant period.
d Belius,APPARAT.ADHrs'roa.HvN- Turks to enter the room: where he saw
GAR. Dec. i. cap. 5.
* Among other things, he wrote Commentaries on Persius, juvenal, Livy, and Aristotle's POETICI. He translated Pha
si laris's Epistles into the Tuscan language, published at Florence 1491. Crescimbcni has placed him among the the Italian poets. Lambeccius says; that in the year 1665, he was sent to Buda by the emperor Leopold, to examine what remained in this library.- Aster repeated delrys and difficultics, he was at length permitted by the
about four hundred books, printed, and of no value, dispersed on the floor, and covered with dust and filth. Lambeccius supposes, that the Turks, knowing the condition of the books, were ashamed to give him admittance. COMMENT. ne BrBL. VINDORON. lib. c. ix. p. 993.
P COLLICTIO Madero-Schmidiana, Acz ezss. i. p. 310. seq. Belius, ut supr. tom. m. p. 225.
9 In the Punce. See Neandri Pan:PAT. an GNOMOLOG. Stobxi, p. 27.
Efforts were made in our English universities for the revival of critical studies, much sooner than is commonly imagined. So early as the year 1439, William Byngham, rector of Saint John Zachary in London, petitioned king' Henry the sixth, in favour of his grammar scholars, for whom he had erected a commodious mansion at Cambridge, called Gon's House, and which he had given to the college of Clare-hall: to the end, that twenty-four youths, under ,the direction and government of a learned priest, might be there perpetually educated, and be from- thence transmitted, in a constant succession, into different parts of England, to those places where grammar schools had- fallen into a state of desolation'. In the year 1498, Alcock bishop of Ely founded Jesus College in Cambridge, partly for a certain number of scholars to be educated in grammar'. Yet there is reason to apprehend, that these academical pupils in grammar, with which the art of rhetoric was commonly
joined, instead of studying the real models of style, were chiefly trained in. systematic manuals of these sciences, filled with unprofitable definitions and unnecessary distinctions: and that in learning the arts 'of elegance, they acquired the barbarous improprieties of diction which those arts were intended to remove and reform. That the foundations I have mentioned did not produce any lasting beneficial effects, and that the technical phraseology of metaphysics and casuistry still continued to prevail at Cambridge, appears from the following anecdote. In the reign of Henry the seventh, that university was so destitute of skill in latinity, that it was obliged to hire an Italian, one Caius Auberinus, for composing the public orations and epistlcs, whose fee was at the rate of twenty-pence for an epistle '. The same person was employed to explain Terence in the public schools ". Undouhtedly the same attention to a futile philosophy, to, ' unintelligible elucidations of Scotus and Aquinas, notwithstanding the accesslons accruing to science from the establishment of the Humfredian library, had given the same tincture to the ordinary course of studies at Oxford. For, about the year 1468, the univerfity of Oxford complimented Chadworth bishop of Lincoln, for his care and endeavours in restoring grammatical literature, which, as they represent, had long decayed and been forgotten in that seminary '. '
But although these gleams of science long struggled with the scholastic cloud which inveloped our universities, we find the culture of the classics embraced in England much sooner than is supposed. Before the year 1490, many of our countrymen appear to have turned their thoughts to the revival of the study of clasiics: yet, chiefly in consequence of their communications with Italy, and, as most of them were clergymen, of the encouragements they received from the liberality of the Roman pontiffs '. Millyng,*abb'ot of Westminster, about the year 1480, understood the Greek language: which yet is mentioned as a singular accomplishment, in one, although a prelate, of the monastic profession 7. Robert Flemmyng studied the Greek and Latin languages Under Baptista Guarini at Ferrara; and at his return into England, was preferred to the deanery of Lincoln about the