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dents there, as long as learning shall last, shall be bound unto them, if that trade in study be truly followed which those men left behind them there.
By this small mention of Cambridge I am carried into three imaginations : first, into a sweet remembrance of my time spent there; then, into some careful thoughts for the grievous alteration that followed soon after; lastly, into much joy, to hear tell of the good recovery and earnest forwardness in all good learning there again.
To utter these my thoughts somewhat more largely, were somewhat beside my matter, yet not very far out of the way; because it shall wholly tend to the good encouragement and right consideration of learning, which is
in writing this little book : whereby also shall well appear this sentence to be most true, “ That only good men, by their government and example, make happy times in every degree and state."
Doctor Nicholas Medcalfe, that honourable father, was master of St. John's college when I came thither; a man meanly learned himself, but not meanly affectioned to set forward learning in others. He found that college spending scarce two hundred marks by the year: he left it spending a thousand marks and more. Which he procured not with his money, but by his wisdom; not chargeably bought by him, but liberally given by others by his means, for the zeal and honour they bore to learning. And that which is worthy of memory, all these givers were almost northern men ; who, being liberally rewarded in the service of their prince, bestowed it as liberally for the good of their country: Some men thought therefore, that Dr. Medcalfe was partial to northern men; but sure I am of this, that northern men were partial in doing more good, and giving more lands to the furtherance of learning, than any other countrymen in those days did; which deed should have been rather an exnati, magna Academiæ eo tempore lumina, maxima postea totius reipublicæ ornamenta, viguerunt.
“ Hi enim, et ex his præcipuè Tho. Smithus, Academiæ splendor, et Joan. Checus, Cantabrigiæ decus, suo exemplo, eruditione, diligentia, constantia, consilio, non studendi solum, sed rectè vivendi ordine, ad præclara studia omnes adduxerunt et concitarunt, qui ab eo tempore ad hunc usque diem in Cantabrigia succreverunt, et ad eminentem aliquam doctrinam surrexerunt." Grant.
ample of zewodness for others to follow, than matter of malice for any w enty, as some there were that did.
Truly Dr. Siercanie was partial to none, but indifferent to all; a master for the whole, a father to every one in that college. There was none so poor, if he had either will to goodness, or wit to learning, that could lack being there, or should depart froid thence for any need. I am witness myself, that inoney many times was brought into young men's studies by strangers, whom they knew not. In which doing, this worthy Vicolaus followed the steps of good old St. Nic colaus, that learned bishop. He was a Papist indeed; but would to God, among all us Protestants, I might once see but one that would win like praise, in doing like good, for the advancement of learning and virtue. And yet, though he were a Papist, if any young man, given to new learning, (as they termed it,) went beyond his 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 Di. 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 out of my remembrance all the days of my life. And for the same cause have 1 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, until those heavy tintes, 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 every where else, was pitifully nipt and overtrodden by very beasts; and also the fairest standers of all were rooted
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, p« that ignorance was better than knowledge!" which they meant not for the laity only, but also for the
* “ Anno 1553, et Julii 6to, nobilissimus princeps, Edvardus Sextus, immatura morte, ad hujus regni maximum detrimentum, ad piorum omnium ingentem dolorem, ad omnium Anglorum immensum malum, et Rogeri Aschami magnam calamitatem, diem obiit.” Edv. Grant.
+ See this sentence taken out of St. Chrysostom, cited p. 225.
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 portesse 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, judgement 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 university, 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 the nights : contention in youth no where for learning, factions in the elders every where for trifles.
All which miseries at length, by God's providence, had their end * the sixteenth of November, 1558. Since which
* The day of Queen Elizabeth's happy accession to the throne; though our historians fix it on the seventeenth.
time the young spring hath shot up so fair, as now there be in Cambridge again many goodly 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 theni, do not either hinder or crook their growing: wherein my fear is the less, seeing *so worthy a justice of an oyer 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 these our days religión 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.
Now to return to that question, Whether one, a few, many, or all, ought to be followed ? My answer shall be short: All, for him that is desirous to know all : yea, the worst of all, as questionists, and all the barbarous nation of schoolmen, help for one or other consideration. But in every separate kind of learning, and study by itself, ye must follow chiefly a few, and chiefly some one, and that namely in our school of eloquence, either for pen or talk. And as in portraiture and painting, wise men choose not that workman that can only + make a fair hand, or a well-fashioned leg; but such a one as can furnish up fully all the features of the whole body of a man, woman, and child; and withal is able too, by good skill, to give to every one of these three, in their proper kind, the right form, the true figure, the natural colour, that is fit and due to the dignity of a man, to the beauty of a woman, to the sweetness of a young babe: even
* Sir William Cecil, principal secretary of state, and chancellor of the university of Cambridge. # He seems to have had this passage of Horace in his thoughts :
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