Page:Arte or Crafte of Rhethoryke - 1899.djvu/10

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THE ARTE OR CRAFTE OF RHETHORYKE


I. THE AUTHOR AND HIS CAREER.

Cox himself, scholar, schoolmaster, and preacher in the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, so far as we can reconstruct the story of his career from the confused and defective

Annals of the
Life of Cox.

materials at our command, although playing a minor part, seems to have led a life typical of the times and interesting in its vicissitudes. Educated at both universities, traveling abroad and teaching in three or four of the foreign universities, translating from Erasmus, Melanchthon, and others, writing learned scholia and commentaries, Cox came into touch in one way or another with most of the great men of letters and of learning in his age, and counted among his friends such men as Erasmus, Melanchthon, Leland, Palsgrave, Bale, Faringdon, Toy the printer, and John Hales. He was in public employment, patronized by Cromwell, and pensioned off in a small way[1] among the other beneficiaries from the spoliation of the ancient religious foundations, and so finally became a preacher of the reformed religion under Edward VI and teacher in the grammar schools at Reading, and perhaps at Caerleon and Coventry. Cox thus witnessed and took his share in the two great movements of the first half of the century in England, that of the early Humanism, whose chief representatives were Erasmus and Colet, and that of the religious Reformation which at first was so intimately associated with the movement of Humanism.

Concerning the date of Cox's birth we know nothing. It must be placed before the opening of the sixteenth century, for as early as

Birth and
Early Life

1518 we find the learning of Cox already so well established as to secure for him the honor of delivering a Latin oration at Cracow in Poland.[2] It is probable that by this date Cox was teaching in the Academy at Cracow, where at any rate in 1524 we find him entered as full master.

Between these dates, however, he had traveled elsewhere and had been concerned with other matters, for in 1519 we find the following entry concerning him among the "Accounts at Tournay."[3]

  1. See infra p. 16.
  2. See entry of the title of this oration in list of Cox's works below, p. 18.
  3. In Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII,ed. J. S, Brewer (London 1867), Vol. Ill, No. 153 (24).