Imatges de pàgina

larly, should be considered to have "wholly and fully " discharged their quadı :ennium in the fourth Lent following the said sermon. In other words, the Lent Term in which a student went through his exercises for his B. A. degree, was allowed to count as one of the necessary twelve. Since that time another of tho required terms has been lopped off, so that now, ten real terms of residence are sufficient. This practice seems to have been introduced prior to 1681; but in Milton's time the interpretation of 1578 was in force. Even then, however, matriculation immediately after joining a College was not rigorously insisted on, and a student who matriculated any time during the Easter Term might graduate B. A. in the fourth Lent Term following. (2.) It was impossible, consistently with the demands of the public service for men of education, that all scholars who had taken their B. A. degree should thereafter continue to reside as punctually as before during the three additional years required for their M. A. degree, and should then farther bind themselves to seven years of active academic duty, if they aspired to the Doctorate in Laws or Medicine, and to still longer probation if they aspired to the Doctorate in Theology. Hence, despite of oaths, there had been gradual relaxations. The triennium of continued resi. dence between the B. A. degree and the M. A. degree was still for a good while regarded as imperative; but after this second degree had been taken, the connection with the University was slackened. Those only remained in the University beyond this point who had obtained Fellowships, or who filled University offices, or who were assiduously pursuing special branches of study; and the majority were allowed to distribute themselves in the Church and through society—there being devices for keeping up their nominal connection with the University, so as to advance to the higher degrees. (3.) Not even here had the process of relaxation stopped. The obligation of three years of continued residence between the B. A. degree and commencing M. A., had been found to be burdensome; and, after giving way in practice, it had been formally abrogated. The decree authorizing this important modification was passed March 25, 1608, so that the modification was in force in Milton's time, and for seventeen years before it. “Whereas," says this decree, "doubt hath lately risen whether actual Bachelors in Arts, before they can be admitted ad incipiendum, (the phrase for "commencing” M. A.,) must of necessity be continually commorant in the University nine whole terms, We, for the clearing of all controversies in that behalf, do declare, that those, who for their learning and manners are according to statute admitted Bachelors in Arts, are not so strictly tied to a local commorancy and study in the University and Town of Cambridge, but that, being at the end of nine terms able by their accustomed exercises and other examinations to approve themselves worthy to be Masters of Arts, they may justly be admitted to that degree." Reasons, both academical and social, are assigned for the relaxation. At the same time, lest it should be abused, it is provided that the statutory Acts and exercises ad incipiendum shall still be punctually required, and also that every Bachelor who shall have been long absent, shall, on coming back to take his Master's degree, bring with him certificates of good conduct, signed by “three preaching ministers, Masters of Arts at least, living on their benefices," near the place where he (the Bachelor) has been longest residing.

[Masson thus treats of the famous tradition of Milton's having been the victim of corporal punishment during his second year's residence at Cambridge:]

The tradition of some incident in Milton's University life, of a kind which his enemies, by exaggerating and misrepresenting it, were able afterwards to use to his discredit, is very old. It was probably first presented in the definite shape in which we now have it, by Dr. Johnson in his memoir of the poet: "I am ashamed to relate what I fear is true, that Milton was one of the last students in either University that suffered the public indignity of corporal correction."

Warton, Todd, and others have entered somewhat largely into the question of the possibility of the alleged punishment consistently with the College practice of the time. On this head there is no denying that the thing was possible enough. The "virgâ a suis corrigatur" of the old statutes certainly remained in force for young under-gradaates both at Oxford and Cambridge. As late as 1649, Henry Stubbe, a writer of so much reputation in his day that Wood gives a longer memoir of him than of Milton, was publicly flogged in the refectory of Christ Church, Oxford, when eighteen years of age, for “ insolent and prag. matical" conduct. Other instances might be produced to show that in any caso Johnson's phrase, "one of the last at either University who," etc., would be historically wrong. There can be no doubt, however, that the practice was getting out of repute. In the new Oxford Statutes of 1635, corporal punishment was restricted (though Stubbe, it seems, did not benefit by the restriction) to boys under sixteen.

Johnson's authority for the statement, we now know, was Aubrey's MS. life of Milton. The original passage is as follows:

“And was a very hard student in the University, and performed all his exercises with very good applause. His first tutor there was Mr. Chappell

, from whipt him whom receiving some unkindness, he was (though it seemed contrary to the rules of the College) transferred to the tuition of one Mr. Tovell, (miswritten for Totey,) who died parson of Lutterworth.”

This passage occurs in a paragraph of particulars expressly set down by Aubrey in his MS. as having been derived from the poet's brother Christopher. It seems impossible, therefore, to doubt that it is in the main authentic. Of the whole statement, however, precisely that which has the least look of authen. ticity is the pungent fact of the interlineation. That it is an interlineation, and not a part of the text, suggests that Aubrey did not get it from Christopher Milton, but picked it up from gossip afterwards; and it is exactly the kind of fact that gossip likes to invent. But take the passage fully as it stands, the interlineation included, and there are still two respects in which it fails to bear out Johnson's formidable phrase, “one of the last students in either University who,” etc., especially in the circumstantial form which subsequent writers have given to the phrase by speaking of the punishment as a public one at the hands of Dr. Bainbrigge, the College Master. (1.) So far as Aubrey hints, the quarrel was originally but a private one between Milton and his tutor, Chappell-at most, a tussle between the tutor and the pupil in the tutor's rooms, with which Bainbrigge, in the first instance, might have had nothing to do. (2.) Let the incident have been as flagrant as might be, it appertains and can appertain only to one particular year, and that an early one, of Milton's undergraduateship. At no time in the history of the University had any except undergraduates been liable by statute to corporal punishment; and even undergraduates, if over the age of eighteen, had usually, if not invariably, been considered exempt.

In St. John's College, the next in magnitude after Trinity, the instruction—it we may judge from the accounts given by Sir Simonds D'Ewes of his studies there in 1618 and 1619—does not seem to have been so systematic. For this reason it may be taken as the standard of what was usual in other colleges, such as Christ's.

D'Ewes, being a pious youth, was in the habit of his own accord, and while yet but a freshman, of attending at the Divinity professor's lectures, and also at the Divinity Acts in the schools. He also attended the public lectures of old Downes, in Greek, (Demosthenes' De Coronâ being the subject,) and of Herbert, the poet, in Rhetoric. This was voluntary work, however, undertaken all the more readily that the lectures were gratis, and when Downes, who was a fellow St. John's, offered to form a private Greek class for the benefit of D'Ewes and a few others, D'Ewes was alarmed, and sheered off. “My small stipend my father allowed me,” he says, “affording me no sufficient remuneration to bestow on him, I excused myself from it, telling him," etc., and keeping out of his way afterward as much as possible. All the education which D'Ewes received in his College, during the two years he was there, consisted—first, in attendance on the problems, sophisms, disputations, declamations, catechisings, and other exercises which were regularly held in the College chapel; secondly, in the daily lessons he received in Logic, Latin, and every thing else, from his tutor, Mr. Holdsworth; and, thirdly, in his additional readings in his own room, suggested by his tutor or undertaken by himself. Here, in his own words, under each of these beads, is an exact inventory of his two years' work:

I. Public Exercises in the Chapel, etc. "Mine own exercises, performed dur- · ing my stay here, were very few-replying only twice in two philosophical Acts; the one upon Mr. Richard Salstonall in the public schools, it being his Bachelor's Act, the other upon Mr. Nevill, a fellow-commoner and prime student of St. John's College, in the Chapel. My declamations, also, were very rarely performed—the first in my tutor's chamber, and the other in the College chapel.”

II. Readings with his Tutor. “Mr. Richard Holdsworth, my tutor, read with me but one year and a half of that time, [i. e. of the whole two years;] in which he went over all Seton's Logic, * exactly, and part of Keckermannt and Molinæus. I Of Ethics or Moral Philosophy he read to me Gelius and part of Pickolomineus;$ of Physics, part of Magirus ;ll and of History, part of Florus."

III. Private Readings and Excercises. "Which [i. e. Florus] I afterward finished, transcribing historical abbreviations out of it in mine own private

* " Dialectica Joannis Setoni, Cantabrigiensis, annotationibus Petri Carteri, ut clarissimis, ita brevissimis explicata. Huic accessit, ob artium ingenuarum inter se cognationem, Gulielmi Buclæi arithmetica: Londoni, 1611.” There were editions of this work, with ex. actly the same title, as early as 1572, from which time it seems to have been the favorite ele. mentary text-book in logic at Cambridge. The appended “Arithmetic" of Buclæus (Buck. ley,) is a series of rules in addition, subtraction, etc., in memorial Latin verse-a curiosity in

its way

t Keckermanni, Barthol. Systema Logicæ. 8vo. Hanov., 1600. Keckermann was also au. thor of "Præcognita Logica : Hanov., 1606;" and of other works.

Molinæus is Peter du Moulin, author, among other works, of an "Elementary Logic."

Who this Gelius was, I do not know; Pickolomineus was, doubtless, Alessandro Piccol. omini, Archbishop of Patras, author, among other works, of one entitled “ Della Institutione Morale: Venet., 1560," of which there may have been a Latin translation.

1 Joannes Magirus was author of " Anthropologia, hoc est Comment, in P. Melancthonis Libellum de Anima: Franc., 1603;" also of “ Phy: i«logia Peripatetica: 1611."


study; in which also I perused most of the other authors [i. e. of those men-. tioned as read with his tutor,) and read over Gellius' Attick Nights and part of Macrobius' Saturnals.

My frequent Latin letters and more frequent English, being sometimes very elaborate, did much help to amend and perfect my style in either tongue; which letters I sent to several friends, and was often a considerable gainer by their answers—especially by my father's writing to me, whose English style was very sententious and lofty. *

I spent the next month, (April, 1619,) very laboriously, very busied in the perusal of Aristotle's Physics, Ethics and Politics, [in Latin translations we presume ;] and I read logic out of several authors. I gathered notes out of Florus' Roman History. At night also for my recreation I read (Henry] Stephens's Apology for Herodotus, and Spenser's Fairie Queen, being both of them in English. I had translated also some odes of Horace into English verse, and was now Englishing his book, "De Arte Poetica.” Nay, I began already to consider of employing my talents for the public good, not doubting, if God sent me life, but to leave somewhat to posterity. I penned, therefore, divers imperfect essays; began to gather collections and conjectures in imitation of Aulus Gellius, Fronto, and Cæsellius Vindex, with divers other materials for other writings.

The names of the books mentioned by D'Ewes. bear witness to the fact otherwise known, that this was an age of transition at Cambridge, out of the rigid scholastic discipline of the previous century, into something different. The avatar of modern Mathematics, as superior co-regnant with Philology in the system of study, had not yet come; and that which reigned along with Philology, or held that place of supremacy by the side of Philology which Mathematics has since occupied, was ancient Logic or Dialectics.* Ancient Logic, we say; for Aristotle was still in great authority in this hemisphere, or rather twothirds of the sphere, of the academic world. Not only were his logical treatises and those of his commentators and expositors used as text-books, but the main part of the active intellectual discipline of the students consisted in the incessant practice, on all kinds of metaphysical and moral questions, of that art of dialectical disputation, which, under the name of the Aristotelian method, had been set up by the school-men as the means to universal truth. Already, however, there were symptoms of decided rebellion. (1.) Although the blow struck at Aristotle by Luther, and some of the other Reformers of the preceding century, in the express interest of Protestant doctrine, had been but partial in its effects, and Melancthon himself had tried to make peace between the Stagirite and the Reformed Theology, the supremacy of Aristotle had been otherwise shaken. In his own realm of Logic he had been assailed, and assailed furiously, by the Frenchman Ramus, (1515—1572;) and, though the Logic of Ramus, which he offered as a substitute for that of Aristotle, was not less scholastic, nor even essentially different, yet such had been the effect of the attack that Ramism and Aristotelianism now divided Europe. In Protestant countries Ramus had more followers than in Catholic, but in almost every University his "Logic" was known and studied. Introduced into Scotland by Andrew Melville, it became a text-book in the Universities of that country. In Oxford, it made little way;

* Speaking generally, the old system at Cambridge was philology in conjunction with Ingic, and the latter system has been philology in conjunction with mathematics. Philology, or at least classic philology, bas been the permanent element; the others bave alternated io power, as if the one must be out if the other was in.

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but there good evidence that in Cambridge, in the early part of the seven-
teenth century, Ramus had his adherents.* (2.) A still more momentous influ-
ence was at work, however, tending to modify the studies of the place, or at
least the respect of the junior men for the studies enforced by the seniors.
Bacon, indeed, had died only in 1626; and it can hardly be supposed that the
influence of his works in England was yet wide or deep. It was already felt,
however, more particularly in Cambridge, where he himself had been educated,
with which he had been intimately and officially connected during his life, and
in the University library of which he had deposited, shortly before his death, a
splendidly-bound copy of his Instauratio Magna, with a glorious dedication in
his own hand. Descartes, still alive, and not yet forty years of age, can have
been but little more than heard of. But the new spirit, of which these men
were the exponents, already existed by implication in the tendencies of the
time, as exemplified in the prior scientific labors of such men as Cardan and
Kepler and Galileo. How fast the new spirit worked, after Bacon and Descartes
had given it systematic expression, may be inferred from the fact that in 1653,
there appeared a treatise on the system of English University studies, in which
it was proposed to reform them on thoroughly Baconian and even modern utili-
tarian principles. The author quotes Bacon throughout; he attacks the Uni-
versities for their slavishness to antiquity, and their hesitations between Aris-
totle and Ramus, as if either were of the slightest consequence; he'argues for
the use of English instead of Latin as the vehicle of instruction; he presses for
the introduction of more Mathematics, more Physics, and more of what he calls
the "sublime and never-sufficiently-praised science of Pyrotechny or Chymistry,"
into the course of academic learning. “If we narrowly take a survey," he says,
"of the whole body of their scholastic theology, what is there else but a con-
fused chaos of needless, frivolous, fruitless, trivial, vain, curious, impertinent,
knotty, ungodly; irreligious, thorny, and hell-hatched disputes, altercations,
doubts, questions, and endless janglings, multiplied and spawned forth even to
moustrosity and nauseousness ?''+

Mutatis Mutandis, the course of Milton's actual education at Cambridge, may be inferred from that of D'Ewes. In passing from D'Ewes to Milton, however, the mutanda are, of course, considerable. In the first place, Milton had come to College unusually well prepared by his prior training. Chappell and Tovey, we should fancy, received in him a pupil whose previous acquisitions might be rather troublesome. We doubt not, however, that they did their duty by him. Chappell, to whose charge he was first committed, must have read Latin and Greek with him; and in Logic, Rhetoric, and Philosophy, where Chappell was greatest, Milton must have been more at his mercy. Tovey, also, was very much in the logical and scholastic line, as may be inferred from the fact of his having filled the office of College lecturer in Logic in 1621. Under him, we should fancy, Latin and Greek for Milton would be very much ad libitum; and the former lessons in these tongues would be subservient to Logic. Whatever arrangements for collegiate instruction there were in Christ's, as distinct from

*** The Logic of Ramus," says Professor De Morgan, “ was adopted by the University of Cambridge, probably in the sixteenth century. George Downame, or Downam, who died Bishop of Derry, in 1634, was prælector of logic at Cambridge, in 1590. His “ Commentarii in P. Rami Dialecticam,(Frankfort, 1616,) is an excelleot work."

† Academiarum Examen ; or the Examination of Academies, etc., by John Webster ; Lon don, 1653." It is dedicated to Major General Lambert,

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