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fellows in wit, labour, and towardness, even the same neither lacked open praise to encourage him, nor private exhibition to maintain him; as worthy Sir John Cheke, if he were alive, would bear good witness, and so can many more. I, myself, one of the meanest of a great number in that College, because there appeared in me some small show of towardness and diligence, lacked not his favour to further me in learning.
“And being a boy, new bachelor of arts, I chanced among my companions to speak against the Pope; which matter was then in every man's mouth, because Dr. Hains and Dr. Skip were come from the Court to debate the same matter by preaching and disputation in the University. This happened the same time when I stood to be fellow there. My talk came to Dr. Medcalfe's ear: I was called before him, and the Seniors; and after grievous rebuke and some punishment, open warning was given to all the fellows, none to be so hardy as to give me his voice at that election. And yet for all those open threats, the good father himself privily procured that I should even then be chosen fellow ; but the election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat. This good man's goodness and fatherly discretion used towards me that one day shall never be out of my remembrance all the days of my life. And for the same cause have I put it here in this small record of learning. For, next God's providence, surely that day was, by that good father's means, Dies natalis to me, for the whole foundation of the poor learning I have, and of all the furtherance that hitherto elsewhere I have obtained.
“This his goodness stood not still in one or two, but flowed abundantly over all that College, and broke out
also to nourish good wits in every part of that University: whereby, at his departing thence, he left such a company of fellows and scholars in St. John's College, as can scarce be found now in some whole University; who either for divinity, on the one side or other, or for civil service to their Prince and country, have been, and are yet to this day, notable ornaments to this whole realm. Yea, St. John's did then so flourish, as Trinity College, that princely house now, at the first erection, was but Colonia deducta out of St. John's, not only for their master, fellows, and scholars, but also, which is more, for their whole both order of learning and discipline of manners. And yet to this day it never took master but such as was bred up before in St. John's; doing the duty of a good colonia to her metropolis, as the ancient cities in Greece, and some yet in Italy at this day, are accustomed to do.
“ St. John's stood in this state uutil those heavy times and that grievous change that chanced anno 1553, when more perfect scholars were dispersed from thence in one month than many years can rear up again. For when the Boar of the Wood had passed the seas, and fastened his foot again in England, not only the two fair groves of learning in England were either cut up by the root, or trodden down to the ground and wholly went to wrack, but the young spring there, and everywhere else, was pitifully nipt and over-trodden by very beasts, and also the fairest standers of all were rooted up and cast into the fire, to the great weakening, even at this day, of Christ's church in England, both for religion and learning
“ And what good could chance then to the Universities, when some of the greatest, though not of the
wisest, nor best learned, nor best men neither, of that side, did labour to persuade that ignorance was better than knowledge; which they meant not for the laity only, but also for the greatest rabble of their spirituality, what other pretence openly soever they made. And therefore did some of them at Cambridge, whom I will not name openly, cause hedge-priests, fetched out of the country, to be made fellows in the University ; saying in their talk privily, and declaring by their deeds openly, that he was fellow good enough for their time, if he could wear a gown and a tippet comely, and have his crown shorn fair and roundly, and could turn his portess and pie readily. Which I speak, not to reprove any order either of apparel or other duty that may be well and indifferently used, but to note the misery of that time, when the benefits provided for learning were so foully misused.
“ And what was the fruit of this seed ? Verily judgment in doctrine was wholly altered; order in discipline very sore changed; the love of good learning began suddenly to wax cold; the knowledge of the tongues (in spite of some that therein had flourished) was manifestly contemned ; and so the way of right study purposely perverted; the choice of good authors, of malice confounded; old sophistry-I say not well,—not old, but that new rotten sophistry—began to beard and shoulder logic in her own tongue; yea, I know that heads were cast together and counsel devised, that Duns, with all the rabble of barbarous questionists, should have dispossessed of their place and room Aristotle, Plato, Tully, and Demosthenes, whom good Mr. Redman, and those two worthy stars of that University, Mr. Cheke and Mr. Smith, with their scholars, had brought to flourish as
notably in Cambridge as ever they did in Greece and in Italy; and for the doctrine of those four, the four pillars of learning, Cambridge then giving place to no Universitv, neither in France, Spain, Germany, nor Italy. Also in outward behaviour, then began simplicity in apparel to be laid aside, courtly gallantness to be taken up; frugality in diet was privately misliked, town-going to good cheer openly used; honest pastimes joined with labour left off in the fields ; unthrifty and idle games, haunted corners, occupied in the nights; contention in youth nowhere for learning; factions in the elders everywhere for trifles.
“ All which miseries at length by God's providence had their end the 16th November, 1558 ;* since which time the young spring hath shot up so fair, as now there be in Cambridge again many good plants (as did well appear at the Queen's Majesty's late being there), which are like to grow to mighty great timber, to the honour of learning and great good of their country, if they may stand their time as the best plants there were wont to do, and if some old dotterel trees, with standing over nigh them, and dropping upon them, do not either hinder or crook their growing; wherein my fear is the less, seeing so worthy a justice of an oyert hath the present oversight of that whole chase, who was himself some time, in the fairest spring that ever was there of learning, one of the forwardest young plants in all that worthy college of St. John's; who now by grace is grown to such greatness, as, in the temperate and quiet shade of his wisdom (next the providence of God and goodness of one), in
* The day of Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne.
+ Sir William Cecil, Principal Secretary of State, and Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.
these our days, religion for sincerity, learning for order and advancement, the commonwealth for happy and quiet government, have, to the great rejoicing of all good men, specially reposed themselves.”
Returning now to the question, whether one, a few, many, or all ought to be followed, he recommends that, in every separate kind of learning, we should imitate only a few, and chiefly some one great writer, the most eminent in that particular department. “And now," he proceeds, TM to know what author doth meddle only with some one piece and member of eloquence, and who doth perfectly make up the whole body, I will declare, as I can call to remembrance, the goodly talk that I have had oftentimes of the true difference of authors with that gentleman of worthy memory, my dearest friend and teacher of all the little poor learning I have, Sir John Cheke.”
Style (genus dicendi), he divides into the poetical, the historical, the philosophical, and the oratorical.
The poetical style, again, he considers may be subdivided into the comic, the tragic, the epic, and the lyric (melicum). Of these distinctions he gives the following illustrations :
" When Mr. Watson in St. John's College, at Cambridge, wrote his excellent tragedy of Absalon,' Mr. Cheke, he, and I, for that part of true imitation, had many pleasant talks together, in comparing the precepts of Aristotle and Horace de Arte Poëticâ, with the examples of Euripides, Sophocles, and Seneca. Few men in writing of tragedies in our days have shot at this mark. Some in England, more in France, Germany, and Italy also, have written tragedies in our time, of which not one, I am sure, is able to abide the true touch