« הקודםהמשך »
bothv universities seem te have been reduced" to the same de-i" plorable condition of indigence and illiteracy.
lt is generally believed, that the resormation of religion in England, the most happy and important event of our annals, was immediately succeeded by a flourishing state of letters. But this was by no means the case. For a long time afterwards an. effect quite contrary was produced. The reformation in England was completed under the reign of Edward the sixth. The rapacious courtiers of this young prince were perpetually grasping at the rewards of literature; which being discouraged or despiscd by the rich,*was neglected by those of moderate fortunes. Avarice and zeal were at once gratified in robbing the clergy of their revenues, and in reducing the church to its primitive apostolical state of purity and poverty ". The opulent see of Winchester was lowered to a bare title: itsssamplest' estates were portioned out to the laity; and the bishop, a creature of the protector Somerset, was contented to receive an inconsiderable annual stipend from the exchequer. The bishoprick of Durham, almost equally rich, was entirely disz solved. A favOrite nobleman of the court occupied the deanery and treasurership of a cathedral with some of its best canonries 0. The ministers of this abused monarch, by
in the succeeding reign that superstitious religion, which they professed to destroy. By thus impoverishing the ecclefiastical dignities, they countenanced the- clamours of the catholics; who declared, that the reformation was apparently founded on temporal views, and that the protestants pretended to oppose the doctrines of the church, solely with a view that they might share in the plunder of its revenues. In every one of these sacrilegious robberies the interest of
_' Burnet, Rer. P. ii. 8.
' See Collier" Eccr. His-r. Records, lxvii. p. 80. _ - learning
sities 9. Ascham, in a letter to the marquis of Northampton, dated 1550, laments the ruin of grammar schools throughout England; and predicts the specdy extinction of the universities from this growing calamity'. At Oxford the public schools were neglected by the professors and pupils, and allotted to the lowest purposes '. were abrogated as antichristian'. Reformation was soon turned into fanaticism. Absurd refinements, concerning the inutility of human learning, were superadded to the just
and rational purgation. of Christianity from the papal cer-
ruptions. The spiritual reformers of these enlightened days,
an innovation almost equally daring with that' of permitting' the service of the church to be celebrated in English: andaccordingly the author, soon afterwards happening to visit
Rome, was incarcerated by the inquisitors of the holy see, as
potentate would inflict executions of so severe a nature, andwhen it wouid be difficult to find devotees hardy enough to die forsi difference of opinion. We must, however, acknowledge, that she enriched both universities with some confiderable benefactions: yet these donations seem to have been made, not from any general or liberal principle of advancing knowledge, but to repair the breaehes of reformation, and to strengthen the return of superstition. It is certain, that her 'restoration of popery, together with the monastic institution, its proper appendage, must have been highly perni, cious to the growth of polite erudition. Yet although the elegant studies were now beginning to suffer a new relapse, in the midst of this reign, under the discouragement of all these inauspicious and unfriendly circumstances, a college was established at Oxford, in' the constitution of which, the founder principally inculcates the use and necessity of
'stithtibns given to eollegiate bodies of this kind, and he is directed to exert his utmost diligence, in tincturing his auditors with a just relish for the graces and purity of the Latin language '*: and to explain critically, in the public hall, for the space of two hours every day, the Offices, De Oratore, and rhetorical treatises of Cicero, the institutes of Wintilian, Aulus Gellius, Plautus, Terence, Virgil, Horace, Livy, and Lucan z together with the most excellent modern philological treatises then in vogue, such as the ELEGANCIES of Laurentius Valla, and the MISCELLANIES of Politian, or any other approved critical tract on oratory or versification '. In the mean time, the founder permits it to the discretion of the lecturer, occasionally to substitute Greek authors in the place of these '. He moreover requires, that the candidates for admisiion into the college be completely skilled in Latinpoetry; and in writing Epistles, then a favorite mode of composition*, and on which Erasm-us ", and Conradus Celtes the restorer of letters in Germany*, had each recently published a distinct systematical work. He injoins, that the students shall be exercised every day, in the intervals of vacation, in composing declamations, and Latin verses both
not only to dialectics and philosophy, but to the more polite
literature'. The statutes of this college were submitted to the inspection of cardinal Pole, one of the chief protectors of the revival of polite letters in England, as appears from a curious passage in a letter written by the founder, now remaining ; which not only displays the-cardinal's ideas of the new erudition, brut shews the state of the Greek language at this period. " My lord Cardinalls grace has had the overseeinge
'" of my statutes. He muche lykes well, that I have therein
" more taught there than I have provyded. This purpose I
'" well lyke: butI fear the (ymes will hot bear it now. I re
" member when I was a yong scholler at Eton', the Greeke _" tonge was growing apace; the studie of which is now " alate much decaidfl" Been Mary was herself eminently learned. But her accomplishments in letters were darkened or impeded by religious prejudices. At the desire of queen
phrase on saint John. The preface is written by Udall, master of Eton school: in which he much extolls her distinguished proficience in literature '. It would have been fortunate, if Mary's attention to this work had softened her temper, and enlightened her understanding. She frequently _'spoke in public with propriety, and always with prudence and dignity.