Imatges de pàgina

Within the ten years ending in 1861, Winchester obtained at Oxford in the final examinations, seven classical "Firsts," one mathematical and two in law and modern history; in Moderations, thirteen classical and two mathematical "Firsts;" one Craven scholarship, one Latin verse and three Latin essay prizes, and several prizes for English essays, with other distinctions. We have no return of honors gained at Cambridge, and the number of boys who go thither is probably too small to supply material for a return.

Of the nine Winchester boys who were candidates for commissions in the army, or admission to Sandhurst and Woolwich, in the course of three years four failed, and five passed.

Recommendations. All the general recommendations made by the Commissioners in their report, are applicable to Winchester with the single exception of XXIV. Among the special recommendations are, “that the warden shall be elected by the governing body, shall reside at Winchester, and not be necessarily a graduate of the school, but educated at Oxford and Cambridge, with a salary of £1,700, and a house."

"That the advertisements respecting the elections to scholarships and exhibitions should afford information respecting the limits of age, the subjects of examination, the value of the scholarships or exhibitions, and, as far as possible, the number of vacancies; and that such advertisements should be inserted in the newspapers three months at least before the day of election. .

That the exhibitions should be awarded by competitive examination, open to both scholars and commoners.

That natural science should be open to all.

That the promotion of the boys from division to division should not depena wholly, as it has hitherto done, upon the marks gained for class-work and compositions during the half year, but should depend also in part upon their performances in a special competitive examination occurring once at least in the year.

That a larger amount of translation from English into Latin and Greek verse and prose should be introduced; that the amount of original composition in these two languages should be diminished; and that some part of the original composition in them should be exchanged for translations from Greek and Latin into English, both oral translation (as distinct from construing) and written, and that in estimating the merit of such translations, due regard should be paid to the correctness and purity of the English.

That English composition should be cultivated in the junior division of the sixth form.

That the practice of learning by heart passages from Latin and English authors should be introduced in the sixth form.

That arrangements should be made by which the scholars under the sixth form, instead of being left almost wholly to themselves after six in the evening, should preparo their lessons for the next day in the presence of a tutor or mas ter, as is now the practice in commoners."


John COLET, D. D., Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul's, London, who, as founder of St. Paul's School in 1509–10 and the regulator of its original course of study, exerted a controlling influence on the curriculum and methods of secondary instruction in England, was born in London in 1466--the son of a wealthy silk merchant, Sir Thomas Colet, who was mayor of the city in the years 1486 and 1495. Having improved diligently the best opportunities of education which St. Anthony's School in Threadneedle Street, London, and St. Mary Magdalene College, at Oxford, afforded, he resorted to the Continent, residing four years abroad, and pursuing his studies and holding intercourse with famous teachers and scholars, in France and Italy, as Gaguinus, Deloine, Budæus, Demetrius, Politianus, Hermolaus Barbarus, and Sabinus, and his own countrymen, Grocyne, Latymer, Linacer, and Lilly. His knowledge of Cicero and the best Latin authors, of logic and mathematics, and the Fathers of the Church, was profound, but of Greek literature, was quite limited. But in this last particular he shared the imperfections of that period, especially in England. Dr. Knight in his Life of Dean Colet, from which this memoir is compiled, observes :

Such was the infelicity of those times, that the Greek tongue was not taught in any of our grammar schools, nor was there thought to be any great need of it in the two universities by the generality of scholars. It is worth notice, that Standish, who was a bitter enemy to Erasmus, in his declamation against him, styles him Græculus isie, which was for a long time after the phrase for an heretic, or one falling under the suspicion of heretical pravity. And for this very reason, those very few that understood Greek were afraid to teach it, lest they should be thought to propagate heresy.

Bat Dr. John Fisher, reputed the best preacher and the deepest divine in those times, head of Queen's College in Cambridge, chancellor of that university, chaplain at .court, and afterwards Bishop of Rochester, was of another mind, and very sensible of this imperfection, which made him desirous to learn Greek in his declining years; and for that purpose he wrote to Erasmus, to persuade William Latyiner, an Englishman, (who from his travels had brought home that language in perfection,) to be his instructor in it. Erasmus accordingly wrote to Latymer, and importuned him to it. But he declined the undertaking to teach the bishop at those years, alleging the long time it would require to make any proficiency in that tongue, from the examples of the greatest masters of it then in England, Grocin, Linacer, Tonstal, Pace, and Moore; and to excuse bimself, advised that the bishop should send for a master out of Italy. And as there is no doubt but the consciousness of want of Greek in Colet incited him . not only to attain to some competent knowledge of it himself, but also to lay the foundation of bis school for the better accommodation of others, and to provide a master the best accomplished in that language, and so in effect to be the founder of the first Greek school in England, so not unlike to Dean Colet was Bishop Fisher in this point. For bis want of Greek made him the greater patron and promoter of it in Cambridge, and his being chancellor of the university made it more eminent than Oxford in this respect; knowing therefore the abilities of Erasmus this way, he invited him thither, and supported him in professing that language, which he himself (at last) had made himself master of. And it would bear a general observation, that the worthy founders of colleges and schools have not been always the greatest clerks, though for the most part the wisest and best of men; there was sense and truth I that prelate, William Wickham, Bishop of Winchester, founder of the college there, and New Collego in Oxford, who, when accused of being no scholar, said, he could make scholars, and that was greater.

As for Oxford, its own history and antiquities sufficiently confess, that nothing was known there but Latin, and that in the most depraved style of the schoolmen. Cornelius Vitellius, an Italian, was the first who taught Greek in that university, and from him the famous Grocyne learned the first elements thereof.

In Cambridge, Erasmus was the first who taught the Greek grammar. And 80 very low was the state of learning in that university, “that (as he tells a friend) about the year 1485, the beginning of Henry the VIIth's reigo, therc was nothing taught in that public seminary besides Alexander's 'Parva Logicalia,' (as they called them,) the old axioms of Aristotle, and the questions of John Scotus, till in process of time good letters were brought in, and some knowledge of the mathematics; as also Aristotle in a new dress, and some skill in the Greek tongue, and, by degrees, a multitude of authors, whose names before had not been heard of."

It is certain that even Erasmus bimself did little understand Greek, when he came first into England, in 1497, (13 Henry VII.,) and that our countryman Linacer taught it him, being just returned from Italy with great skill in that language, which Linacer and William Grocyne were the two only tutors that were able to teach it. His first essay was in translating three declamations of Libanius from Greek into Latin in 1503.

The future Dean of St. Paul returned from his continental travels and studies with all the spirit and accomplishments which fitted him for public and court life, and with natural tastes for mere sensual enjoyment which his inherited wealth was calculated to foster, but breaking away from the seductions of both, he consecrated himself to temperance in all things, and to a career of pious, literary, and self-denying usefulness. He was made priest in 1497, and having already received several preferments in the Church, the enjoyment of which did not require residence as was the custom of that period, he retired to Oxford for the larger portion of each year until 1505, when he was made Dean of St. Paul.

While residing at Oxford, he was engaged in public instruction, by reading lectures on the Epistles of St. Paul without any remuneration, and which were much frequented not only by students, but by the most eminent professors and dignitaries of the Church. He here (1498) became personally acquainted with Erasmus, whose letters throw so much light not only on the life and character of his

correspondents, but on the state of education and literary society at that period in England, that we shall introduce extracts from Dr. Knight's account of their intimacy.

Erasmus had lived at Paris, and there had been tutor to several of our young nobility and gentry, particularly to the Honorable Thomas Grey, of the Dorset family, and the Lord Montjoy, by whose means probably he was induced to see England the first time; who, while he was thinking of a journey to Rome, stepped over from Calais to Dover, about the latter end of the year 1497, but seems to have made little or no stay in London, hastening down to Oxford, as the better mart of learning, being thither recommended by the prior and canons of St. Genovese at Paris, to Father Richard Charnock, prior of the regulars of the order of St. Austin, in the college of St. Mary the Virgin, where he was received, and accommodated with diet and lodging, in the most courteous and hospitable manner. Father Charnock, after a short trial of the parts and good qualities of his new guest, gave a character of him to Master Colet, that he was in his opinion, a very excellent person, and of singular worth and goodness; which did so please him, (having also before heard of his fame abroad,) that he had not the patience to wait for an opportunity of seeing this learned stranger, but would make his first address with his pen, and wrote immediately to him from his own chamber an elegant and agreeable epistle, in such a turn of obliging thoughts and words, as showed the writer to be a scholar, a traveler, and a gentleman. He tells him that his friend Brome had heartily recommended him by letter, but that he stood before highly commended to him, as well by the fame of his reputation abroad, as by the testimony of his writings; that while he was at Paris, he well remembers the name of Erasmus was in the mouths of the learned, and that he had there particularly read over an epistle of his to Gaguinus, wherein he had celebrated his industry and skill in drawing up the history of France, which seemed to him to be the specimen of a perfect writer, both for learning aud a knowledge of the world. But still the best recommendation of him was, that the venerable prior, with whom he now 80journed, had yesterday told him, that his new guest, in his opinion, was a very excellent person, and endowed with singular virtues.

To this letter Erasmus immediately returned a very apposite answer, that could he find any thing commendable in himself, he should be proud of being commended by such a worthy person, to whose judgment he allowed so great a weight, that his silent esteem alone had been preferable to all the applauses of a theatre at Rome. But, however, the commendations given him by such a person were so far from exalting him in his own conceit, that he was rather mortified by them, for they only put him in mind what he ought to be. That for his part, he best knew his own failings, and therefore would presume to give a character of himself.

You have in me a man of little or no fortune, a stranger to ambition, a mighty well-wisher to love and friendship, a sort of novice in learning, but yet a great admirer thereof. One who has a profound veneration for any excellence in others, as conscious of the want of it in himself; who can easily yield to any one in learning, to none in integrity; a man sincere, open, free, a hater of false. hood and dissimulation, of a mind lowly and upright, from whom nothing is to be expected besides an honest heart. If, my dear Colet, you can love such a man, and think him worthy of your friendship, you may account me your own as effectually as any thing you can call your own. Your country of England ‘is most pleasant to me upon many accounts, but especially on this—that it abounds with those blessings, without wbich nothing would relish with me, men of admirable learning, among whom no mortal will grudge that I reckon you the chief. ; These two friends being now happy in each other's acquaintance, were not *wanting to improve it to the mutual benefit of one another, particularly at a public dinner in the university, after a Latin sermon, where the table-talk was scholastic and theological, Master Colet sitting as moderator. Among other discourge Colet said, "that Cain's greatest offense, and the most odious in God's sight, was his distrusting the bounty of our great Creator, and placing too much confidence in his own art and industry, and so tilling the ground, while his brother Abel, content with the natural productions of the earth, was only feeding sheep." Upon this argument the whole company engaged, the divine ar'guing by strict syllogisms, while Erasmus opposed in a more loose and rhetori· cal manner, “but in truth," saith Erasmus, "this one divine (Master Colet) was more than a match for us all. He seemed to be filled with a divine spirit, and to be somewhat above a man; he spoke not only with his voice, but with his eyes, his countenance, and his whole demeanor.” When the disputation grew too long, and was too grave and severe for such a cheerful entertainment, Erasmus broke it off, by telling an old story of Cain, from a pretended ancient

author, though purely of his own invention upon the spot, and so they parted i friends. Erasmus, the same year, gives this account of the result of that meetling, to one who was invited to it, Johannes Sixtinus, a learned Phrysian, who then studied in the university of Oxford, and was afterwards incorporated Doctor of Laws, in the year 1510.

Mr. Colet, as he was ambitious of contracting acquaintance with any person of note or virtue or leaming, so be obliged Erasmus in bringing him to the acquaintance of his fellow-citizen, Mr. More, (afterwards Sir Thomas,) of whom he · was used to say, that he was the only wit in the island. And as to Mr. More's

deanery of St. Paul's and himself at Lincoln's Inn, he constantly attended on his excellent lectures.

Erasmus (who made up one of the happy triumvirate) was so well pleased with the air and conversation of Oxford, that like many other students, he staid · till he had spent all his money, and was indebted for his commons. Upon this

exigence, he writ to the Lord Mountjoy, to send him that little money he had in his hands, that he might be just to Father Charnock, who had treated him - with all possible civility and bounty.

In this letter, dated from Oxford in 1498, he remembers the humanity of Colet, as well as of the Prior Charnock, and says, that nothing can be more sweet, lovely, and charming, than the temper and conversation of these two men; he could live even in Scythia, or any the remotest part of the world, with two such agreeable friends and companions. Towards the end of the same year, Erasmus, extremely well pleased with his enjoyments at Oxford, being supplied 'with money, returned to London, to wait upon his pupil, the Lord Mountjoy, and to gain and cultivate a better acquaintance with the men of studies and travels, who at that season of the year resorted to the court and city. • While Erasmus made some stay at Oxford, (in 1499,) the occasions of Master Colet called him to some other part of England, but whatever was the distance

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