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what we should now call folk-lore, in which pursuit his knowledge of Anglo-Saxon and of Welsh stood him in valuable stead. He also made large biographical collections which took shape in four books of British biography entitled De Viris Illustribus. Like the contemporary work of Bishop John Bale, Scriptorum Illustrium Maioris Brittannia Catalogus (1548-1559), Leland's Lives are disfigured by many avoidable errors and fables, but are noteworthy as being first in a series of efforts leading up to the Biographia Britannica and the Dictionary of National Biography. Having fulfilled the tasks of both the Nepos and Varro of his age, poor Leland died insane in Parts of England and Wales, was not printed until 1710, 1552, and his greatest work, the Itinerary through most when it was taken up by the great Oxford antiquary, Thomas Hearne.1
While we are on the subject of the topographers and biographers of Henry VIII.'s generation we must not altogether omit mention of Andrew Boorde (1490-1549), who punned his name into "Perforatus," a fantastic prototype of Tom Coryate, or of George Cavendish, author of a well-known Life of Cardinal Wolsey. Boorde travelled in Europe from Sicily and Spain to Denmark, partly as a political agent of Thomas Cromwell. His most important journey, however, was a purely recreative ramble by Antwerp, Cologne, Venice and Rhodes to Jerusalem, and back by Naples, Rome, and the Alps. He wrote an Itinerary of Europe, which has unfortunately perished; but he has left a Book of the Introduction of Knowledge which is, in effect, a kind of handy guide to European travel.
1 Leland's MSS. had, however, been preserved in the Bodlelan and Cotton Libraries, and their riches were largely drawn upon by such famous antiquaries as Camden, Drayton, Stow, Burton, Dugdale, and Wood.
2 Boorde's Introduction and Dietary were edited by Dr. Furnivall for the Early English Text Society in 1870.
As a corrective to the coarse lampoons of Skelton it is desirable for the student of the period to read the pious Life of Cardinal Wolsey, written about 1557 by the great prelate's gentleman usher, George Cavendish (1500— 1562). A devout Conservative and Catholic, Cavendish wrote in an old-fashioned style, with something of the archaic diction of an ancient chronicle. As a record of unwavering fidelity, entirely free from pretension or artifice, his book has an attraction and a literary grace of its own, apart from its critical or artistic merits, which are small. It is the production of a refined, pious, and gentle nature, which looks over many years of quiet melancholy upon a period when he, too, had borne a part in great affairs. The story of Wolsey's death is memorable for the use which seems to have been made of it in the great Elizabethan pageant play of Henry VIII. If Shakespeare or Fletcher saw it at all, they must have seen it in MS.1
The early part of the reign of Henry VIII. was honourably distinguished by the great encouragement given to humane letters, and especially to the teaching of Greek at Oxford and Cambridge. Before the end of the fifteenth century William Grocyn and Thomas Linacre brought back from Italy both knowledge of and enthusiasm for
1 Cavendish's book was extensively circulated in manuscript long before it was printed. It was published in a garbled form in 1641; first separately edited from the author's autograph MS. by S. W. Singer in 1815; reissued with an introduction by Professor H. Morley in 1885; and beautifully printed with original spelling by William Morris, Hammersmith, March, 1893. Cavendish's book is well described in Retrospective Review, v. 1-44.
2 For the rise of the New Learning, more especially at Oxford, and in connection with Colet, Erasmus, and More, see Frederic Seebohm's delightful Oxford Reformers, 1867, 3rd ed. 1887.
OF THE UNIVERSITY
EARLY TUDOR PROSE
the newly found authors of antiquity. They established the study of Greek at Oxford, where they were soon followed by John Colet, who became Dean of St. Paul's, the founder of the Cathedral School there, and the friend of Erasmus and More. Cambridge followed a little later, and the great Erasmus lectured there in Greek for a short time. After him came Sir John Cheke (d. 1557), who became Provost of King's College, Cambridge, and is remembered as "the professor who taught Cambridge and King Edward Greek." Of the pronunciation of that language, moreover, he set up the standard which has ever since prevailed in England. Cheke produced a number of learned and controversial works in Latin. His most notable work in English was a pamphlet, published in 1549, under the title of The Hurt of Sedition, a somewhat uncritical denunciation of the agrarian rising in Norfolk under Robert Ket. Cheke in turn was followed at Cambridge by his more brilliant pupil, Roger Ascham.
Roger Ascham was born near Northallerton in 1515. His father was house steward in the family of Lord Scrope. He himself was placed in the family of Sir Anthony Wingfield, under whose patronage he entered St. John's College, Cambridge. At Cambridge Ascham joined the progressive party in education, and applied himself diligently to the study of Greek. He was made a fellow of his college, gathered many pupils about him, and was in 1538 appointed Greek reader at St. John's. Besides his proficiency in Greek, Ascham was distinguished for the purity of his Latin epistles and for his beautiful handwriting. Many of his scholars rose to great eminence, and among them William Grindal was so much distinguished that, by Cheke's recommendation, Ascham was called to court as a proper master of languages for the Lady Elizabeth. In defence of his pastime, archery, and to show how well he could handle Platonic dialogue, he wrote and dedicated to
Henry VIII. in 1545 the masterly little treatise called Toxophilus. For this treatise, long regarded as a model of prose style, Ascham received a yearly pension of £10 from the King. He was also chosen orator to the University of Cambridge in the place of Sir John Cheke.
In 1563 Ascham was invited by Sir Edward Sackville to write The Scholemaster, a treatise on education. The book sprang out of a conversation after a dinner in Sir William Cecil's chamber at Windsor. A number of scholars at Eton had run away from the school for fear of beating, and the question arose whether it were better to make the school a house of pleasure or a house of pain. Ascham, as the model pupil of a model teacher, Sir John Cheke, was appealed to by Sackville to decide the issue. The book, commenced with so much alacrity, in the hope no doubt of a considerable reward, was interrupted by the death of the patron, and afterwards sorrowfully and slowly finished in the gloom of disappointment under the pressure of distress. But of the author's disinclination or dejection there can be found no tokens in the work, which is conceived with great vigour, and finished with great accuracy, and perhaps contains the best advice that was ever given for the study of languages. The treatise was practically completed, but Ascham did not live to publish it. He died of a wasting illness on December 30th, 1568. The printers showed no eagerness to print the book, which lay unseen in his study, but was eventually dedicated by his widow, Margaret Ascham, to Sir William Cecil in 1570. Of Ascham's other English works there remains to mention A Report and Discourse of the Affairs and State of Germany, an interesting contemporary account of European politics during the critical time of the struggle between Charles V. and Maurice of Saxony.1
1 The whole works of Roger Ascham were edited by Dr. J. A. Giles, 3 vols. 1865. Toxophilus and The Scholemaster have
Another advocate of the long-bow, who wrote his native tongue with a racier idiom and a homelier strength than Ascham, was Hugh Latimer, the son of a Leicestershire yeoman whose armour the boy had buckled on in Henry VII.'s reign during the Cornish rebellion. Born at Thurcaston about 1486, Latimer threw himself into the cause of New Learning at Cambridge with a zeal fully equal to that of Ascham, but he was destined to be known not as a scholar, but as a preacher. He is well represented in two volumes of Professor Arber's invaluable reprints-Seven Sermons and The Ploughers. The description of his father's house and of the England of his youth is well and deservedly known. He had a plain, shrewd style and a command of graphic detail that ranks him with Bunyan, Defoe, and "Poor Richard." He had an exceptional gift for the jocose. His sermons were full of happy instances and "merry toys," such as the story of the white-bearded old man of Kent, who asserted that the building of Tenterden steeple was the cause of the Goodwin Sands, because before it was built the Goodwin Sands gave no trouble to Sandwich Haven. He was also a master of taunts and fleers. At the trial just before his death he mocked the Bishop of Gloucester in such wise that the court roared with laughter. He had little turn for speculation, but intense moral earnestness, backed up by no small store of irony and invective. "His homely humour breaks in with story and apologue; his earnestness is always tempered with good sense; his plain and simple style quickens with a shrewd mother wit. He talks to his hearers as a man talks to his friends, telling stories of his life at home as a boy, or chatting about the changes and
both been reprinted by Prof. Arber, and The Scholemaster by J. E. B. Mayor, with a Life of Ascham by Hartley Coleridge, 1873 and 1884. There is an agreeable article on the Toxophilus in Retrospective Review, iv. 76-87.