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published a new Latin translation of ECCLESIASTES, with critical annotations on the Hebrew text, printed at Antwerp in I 523 " This, in an elegant Latin epistle, he dedicates to John Webbe, prior of the Benedictine cathedral convent at Coventry 5 whom he styles, for his singular learning, and attention to the general cause of letters, MONACHORUM Dacvs. John Batmanson, prior of the Carthuslans in London, controverted Erasmus's commentary on the new Testament with a degee of spirit and erudition, which was unhappily misapplied, and would have done honour to the cause of his antagonist '. He wrote many other pieces; and was patronised by Lee, a learned archbishop of York, who opposed Erasmus, but allowed Ascham a pension '. Kederminster, abbot of Winchcombe in Gloucestershire, a traveller tov Rome, and a celebrated preacher before king Henry the eighth, established regular lectures in his monastery, for explaining both scriptures in their original languages ; which were so generally frequented, that his little cloister acquired the name and reputation of a new university'. He was master of a terse and perspicuous Latin style, as appears from a fragment of the HISTORY or WYNCHCQMB Annav, written by himself 2 His erudition is attesssted in an epistle from the university to king Henry the eighth *. Longland, bishop of Lincoln, the most eloquent preacher of his time,
w Theodor. Petreus, 8131.. CALTHUS. edit. Ccl. lfiqg. p. 157.
* Ascham, PISTDL. lib. ii. sip. 77. a. edit. 1581. [See also p. 86. 3.] On the death of the archbishop, in 1544.. Ascham desires, that a part of his pension then due might be paid out of some of the archbishop's greek books: one of these he wishes may be Aldus'sDecaM Ram-on ssGuset, a book which-he couldnot purchase or procure at Cambridge.
X " Non aliter quam si suisset alters no** va UNIVMHTAI, tametsi exigua, claus" 'nun Wynehelcombense tune temporis se
'5 lasten-et." From his own His-ro'tut, a' below. Wood, HlS'I'. Univ. Oxon. i. p. 248. There is an Epistle from Colet, the learned dean of St. Paul's, to this abbot, concerning a passage in saint Paul'sEars-runs, first printed by Knight, from the original manuscript at Cambridge. Knight's L'PE, p. 311.
1 Printed by Dugdale, before the whole osthe original was destroyed in the fire of London. Momsr. i. 188. But a transcript ofa-part remains in Dodsworth, MSS. Bibl. Bodl. lxv. r. Compare A. Wood, ut supr. and ATHIN. Oxon. i. 23.
a UniV' oqu FF' fol. 46' .
m 5 It ought not here to be unnoticed, that the royal library os the kings os England, originally subfisting in the old palace at Weflminster, and lately transferred to the British Museum, received great improvements under the reign of Henry the eighth; who constituted that elegant and judicioas scholar, john Leland, his librarian, about the year 1530. Tanncr, BlBL. pag. 475. Leland, at the dissolution of the monasteries, removed to this royal repofitory a great number of valuable manuscripts; particularly from saint Austin's abbey at Canterbur . Sour-r. BRlT. . 299. One os the e was a manuscript given by Athelstan to that convent, a HARMONY of the Four. Coat-us. Bibl. Re . MSS. i. A. xviii. See the hexasthic of land prefixed. See also SCRIPT. BRlT. ut supra, V. ATHELa-rnuus. Leland says, that he placed in the PALA1'1NE library os Henry the eighth the COMMENTARU m MA'r'ri-ucuu of Claudius, Bede's disciple. lbid. V. CLAunrus. Many of the'manuscripts os this library a pear to have belonged to Henry's predeCe ors; and if we may judge from the splendour os the decorations, were presents. Some os them bear the name of Humphrey duke of Glocester. Others were written at the command of Edward the fourth. I have already mentioned the librarian of Henry the seventh. Bartholomew Traheron, a learned divine, was appointed the keeper of this library by Edward the fixth, with.a salary of twenty mares, in the year 1';4.9. See Rymer's an- xv. p. 351. nder the reign of Elisabeth, Hentzner, a German traveller, who
Before we quit the reign-of Henry the eighth, in this review of the rise of modern letters, let us turn our eyes once more on the universities ; which yet do not always give the tone
to the learning of a nation ".
In the year 1531, the learned
By the, interest of Clay
saw this library at Whitehall in 1598, says, that it was well furnished with Greek, Latin, Italian, and French books, all bound in velvet of different colours, yet chiefly red, with clasps os gold and silver; and' that the covers of some were adorned with- pearls and precious stones. I'rlNERAR. Germam'e, Anglia, &e. Noringb. 1629. 8vo. p. v188. lt isa great mistake, that James the first was the first os our kings who founded a library in any of the royal palaces; and that this establishment commenced at St. James's palace, under the patronage of that monarch. This notion wa' first propagated by Smith in his life of Patrick Junius, Vit. Broaths o. e'tc. Lond'. 1707. 4to.pp, 12. 13. 34.. 35. Great part of the royal library, which indeed migrated to St. james's under lames the first, was partly sold and dispersed, at Cromwell's acceflion: together with another inestimable part of its furniture, izooo medals, rings, and gems, the entire collection of Gorla'us's DACTYLlOTHECA, purchased by
rince Henry and Charles the first. It must he allowed, that James the first reatlyenkithed this librar with the boois os lord Lumley and Ca aub'on, and sir Thomas Roe's manuscripts brought from Constantin0ple. Lord Lumley's chiefly consisted Of_ lord A'rundel's, his father in law, a great collector at the dissolution of monasteries. james had previously granted a warrant to fir Thomas Bodley, in 1613, to chuse any books from the royal library at Whitehall, over the Lymr': Chamber. [RBL'IQBODLr
p; Hearne, p. 205. 286. 320.] ' mund,
mund, president of Corpus Christi college, an admirable scholar, a critical writer, and the general friend and correspondent of the literary reformers, he was admitted to all
twenty in number, and amply furnished with the books of antiquity. Among these he found numerous manuscripts of Proclus on Plato, many of which he was easily permitted to carry abroad by the governors of the colleges, who did not know the value of these treasuresc. In the year 153 5, the
siking ordered lectures in humanity, institutions which have
their use for a time, and while the novelty lasts, to be sounded in those colleges of the university, where they were yet wanting: and these injunctions were so warmly approved by the scholars in the largest societies, that they seized on the venerable volumes of Duns Scotus and other irrefragable , logicians, in which they had so long toiled without the at- _
tainment of knowledge, and tearing them in pieces, dispersed them in great triumph about their quadrangles, or gave them away as useless lumberd. The king himself also established some public lectures with large endowments'. Notwithstanding, the number of students at Oxford daily decreased: insomuch, that in 1546, not because a general cultivation of the new species of literature was increased, there were only ten inceptors in arts, and three in theology and jurisprudence'. .
* As all novelties are pursued to excess, and the most beneficial improvements often introduce new inconveniencies, so this universal attention to polite literature destroyed philo
Greek language was now making 'considerable advances at Cambridge, under the instruction of Cheke and Smith; notwithstanding the interruptions and opposition of bishop Gardiner, the chancellor of the univerfity, who loved learning but hated novelties, about the proprieties of pronunciation. But the controversy which was agitated on both sides with much erudition, and produced letters between Cheke and Gardiner equal to large treatises, had the good effect of more fully illustrating the point in debate, and of drawing the general attention to the subject of the Greek literature *. Perhaps bishop Gardiner's intolerance in this respect was like his persecuting spirit in religion, which only made more heretics. Ascham observes, with no small degree of triumph, that instead of Plautus, Cicero, Terence, and Livy, almost the only claffics hitherto known at Cambridge, a more extensive field was opened; and that Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Herodotus, Thucydides, Demosthenes, Xenophon, an Isocrates, were universally and critically studied ". But Cheke being soon called away to the court, his auditors relapsed into dissertations on the doctrines of original sin 'and predestination; and it was debated with great obstinacy and acrimony, whether those topics had been most successfully handled by some modern German divines or saint Austin'. Ascham observes, that at 0xford, ,a decline of' taste in both languages was indicated, by a preference of Lucian, Plutarch, and Herodian, in Greek, and of Seneca, Gellius, and Apuleius, in Latin, to the more pure, antient, and original writers, of Greece and Rome ". At length,