Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/679

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from the exile Chalcondylas in 1491; but twenty-five years earlier two monks of Canterbury, Hadley and Selling, were students at Padua, Bologna, and Rome (1464-7). According to Leland, Selling attended the lectures of Politian; at Bologna the Greek masters appear to have been Lionorus and Andronicus. To Canterbury the Benedictine monk brought Greek manuscripts and converted his monastery into a house of studies, from which the knowledge of Hellenic literature was carried in more than one direction.

His most celebrated pupil was Linacre. Sent to Oxford about 1480, Linacre studied in Canterbury College, became Fellow of All Souls', and went with Selling in 1486 on an embassy from Henry VII to Pope Innocent. At Florence he shared in the lessons given by Politian to the children of Lorenzo de Medici. From Chalcondylas he learned more Greek than Selling had taught him. It was when Linacre had passed a year in Italy that he persuaded William Grocyn, whom he had known in Oxford, to come out and share his studies. Such was the origin of those famous lectures attended by Sir Thomas More. Of the names we have mentioned two, therefore, represent the Benedictine cloister at Canterbury; Grocyn was a doctor in theology, "almost superstitiously observant," says Erasmus, "of ecclesiastical custom"; Linacre, after graduating in the medical schools at Padua, became physician to Henry VIII, and in the decline of life took priest's orders. Selling translated a sermon of Chrysostom's from Greek into Latin as early as 1488. And the complete Homer as well as the plays of Euripides, once associated with the memory of Archbishop Theodore, which are still preserved in the library of Corpus Christi, Cambridge, may have been among the manuscripts which Selling brought from Italy. In like manner the Livy, the Greek Psalter of the fifteenth century, and the Hebrew and Latin Psalms, in Trinity College Library, were Benedictine treasures.

With this learned Prior we may reckon his friend Langton, in 1483 Bishop of Winchester, from whose "domestic school" came the still more learned Robert Pace, well known as a diplomatist and man of letters. Langton sent Pace to study at Padua and Rome; he was assisted by Cuthbert Tunstal and William Latimer, and was taught by Leonicus. Few among Englishmen, except the clergy, were, as a Venetian traveller observed in 1500, at this time addicted to literature. In religious houses, as at Reading, Ramsey, and Glastonbury, distinct evidence is forthcoming of zeal in scholarship. To these examples may be added Richard Charnock, Prior of St Mary's, Oxford, with whom Erasmus stayed. The registers of the University from 1506 to 1535, the era of Dissolution, prove that the Benedictines kept up a high average of graduates. To the same effect are details gleaned elsewhere, as at Gonville Hall, Cambridge, between 1500 and 1523. Help was constantly given to poor students by monastic houses; hence, when these were swept away, not only did the secular clergy lack recruits, but the