Imatges de pÓgina

In St. John's College, the next in magnitude after Trinity, the instruction—il 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;] and of History, part of Florus."

III. Private Readings and Exercises. "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.

† 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 Piccob 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: ju logia Peripatetica: 1611."




study; in which also I perused most of the other authors [i. e. of those mentioned 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, wbich, under the name of the Aristotelian method, bad 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 bimself 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 Ramisin 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 logic, and the latter system has been philology in conjunction with mathematics. Philology, or at least classic philology, has been the permanent element; the others have alternated in power, as if the one must be out if the other was in.

but there is good evidence that in Cambridge, in the early part of the seventeenth century, Ramus had his adherents.* (2.) A still more momentous influence 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 tho 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 band. Descartes, still alive, and not yet forty years of age, can havo 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 utilitariau principles. The author quotes Bacon throughout; he attacks the Universities for their slavishness to antiquity, and their hesitations between Aristotle 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 confused chaos of needless, frivolous, fruitless, trivial, vain, curious, impertinent, kuotty, ungodly, irreligious, thorny, and hell-hatched disputes, altercations, doubts, questions, and endless janglings, multiplied and spawned forth even to moustrosity and nauseousness ?''t

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 como 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 inuch 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, wo 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, 1636,) is an excellent work."

* Academiarum Examen ; or the Examination of Academies, etc., by John Webster; Loo don, 1653.” It is dedicated to Major General Lambert,

the instruction of the students under their respective tutors, of these also Milton would avail himself to the utmost. He would be assiduous in his attendance at the "problems, catechisings, disputations etc.," in the Chapel. There, as well as in casual intercourse, he would come in contact with Meade, Honeywood, Gell, and other fellows, and with Bainbrigge himself; nor, after a little while, would there be an unfriendly distance between Chappell and his former pupil. Adding all this together, we can see that Milton's education domi, or within the walls of his own College, must have been very miscellaneous. There still remains to be taken into account the contemporary education foris, or in the University schools. Of what this consisted in the statutory attendance at acts, disputations, etc., Milton had, of course, his full share. Seeing, however, that liis • father did not grudge expense, as D'Ewes's father bad done, we may assume that from the very first, and more particularly during the triennium, he attended various courses of instruction out of his College. He may have added to his Greek, under Downes' successor, Creighton of Trinity. If there were any public lectures on Rhetoric, they were probably also by Creighton, who had succeeded Herbert as Public Orator in 1627. Bacon's intention at his death, of founding a Natural Philosophy professorship had not taken effect; but there must have been some means about the University of acquiring a little mathematics. A very little served; for, more than twenty years later, Seth Ward, when he betook himself in earnest to mathematics, had to start in that study ou his own account, with a mere pocketful of College geometry to begin with. In Hebrew, the University was better off, a Hebrew Professorship having existed for nearly eighty years. It was now held by Metcalfe, of St. John's, whose lectures Milton may have attended. Had not Whelock's Arabic Lecture been founded only just as Milton was leaving Cambridge, he might have been tempted into that other oriental tongue. Davenant, the Margaret professor of Divinity, had been a Bishop since 1621; but excellent lectures were to be heard, if Milton chose, from Davenant's successor, Dr. Samuel Ward, as well as from the Regius professor of Divinity, Dr. Collins, Provost of King's. Lastly, to make a leap to the other extreme, we know it for a fact that Milton could fence, and in his own opinion, fence well.

of the results of all these opportunities of instruction, we have already had means of judgiug. There was not in the whole University, I believe, a more expert, a more cultured, or a nobler Latinist than Milton, whether in prose or in verse. His knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew tongues can not at present be so directly tested; but there is evidence of his acquaintance with Greek authors, and of his having more than ventured on Hebrew. That in Logic and Philosophy he had fulfilled all that was to be expected of an assiduous student, might be taken for granted, even were certain proofs wanting, which we shall presently adduce. It seems not improbable that the notes from which, in afterlife, he compiled his summary of the Logic of Ramus, were prepared by him while he was a student at Cambridge. Lastly, in the matter of miscellaneous private reading, there is proof that we can hardly exaggerate what Milton accomplished during his seven academic years. Aulus Gellius, Macrobius, Stephens' Apology for Herodotus, and Spenser's Faerie Queene, are the chief authors on D'Ewes' list; but what a list of authors-English, Latin, French, and Italianwe should have before us if there survived an exact register of Milton's volun. tary readings in his chamber during his seven years at Christ's !

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In addition to Milton's own statement,* Masson cites the testi. mony of Aubrey, Wood, and Philips, as to the great Poet's industry, and exemplary conduct at the University. Aubrey's Statement. He ".

was a very hard student in the University, and performed all his exercises there with very good applause."

Wood's Statement. “There (at Christ's College,) as at school for three years before, 't was usual with him to set up till midnight at his book, which was the first thing that brought his eyes into the danger of blindness. By his indefatigable study he profited exceedingly . . . performed the collegiate and academical exercises to the admiration of all, and was esteemed to be a virtuous and suber person, yet not to be ignorant of his own parts."

Philips' Statement. * Where, in Christ's college . . . he studied seven years, and took his degree of Master of Arts, and, for the extraordinary wit and read, ing he had shown in his performances to attain his degree, : .. he was loved and admired by the whole University, particularly by the Fellows, and most ingenious persons of his House."'

On quitting the university, Milton took up his abode with his father, who had purchased a property in the village of Horton, in Buckinghamshire, devoting himself to the most thorough and comprehensive course of reading-—"beholding the bright countenance of Truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies," and embodying his observations of nature and his pure and beautiful imaginings into the immortal verse of L'Allegro and Il Penseroso, of Lycidas and Comus; and above all, moulding and consolidating his own character and life into “a true poem; that is, a composition and pattern of the best and honorablest things.”

Of this period of his life, in his apology, Milton says,—“My morning haunts are, where they should be, at home, not sleeping, or concocting the surfeits of an irregular feast, but up and stirring; in winter, often ere the sound of any bell awake men to labor, or to devotion; in summer, as oft with the bird that first rouses, or not much tardier; to read good authors, or cause them to be read, till the attention be weary, or memory have it full fraught; then with useful and generous labors, preserving the body's health and hardiness, to render lightsome, clear, and not lumpish obedience to the mind, to religion, and our country's liberty, when it shall require firm hearts in sound bodies to stand and cover their stations." Milton made no pretension to a life without some recreating intermission of labor and serious things,"--but sought in cheerful conversation, and with the harmonies

To one of his opponents, who asserted that he had been “ vomited one of the University after having spent there a riotous youth, he replied in his “ Apology for Smectymnuus;"". It hath given me an apt occasion to acknowledge publicly, with all grateful miod the more than ordinary favor and respect which I found, above any of my equals, at the hands of those courteous and learned men, the Fellows of the College, wherein I spent some years, who at my parting, after I had taken two degrees, as the manner is signified, many ways, how much better it would content them if I could stay, as by many letters full of kindness and loving respect, both before that time, and long after, I was assured of their singular good affection toward me."

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