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WALTER HADDON"S CAMBRIDGE MEN, OR HIS EXHORTATION TO PURSUE LEARNING

LTHOUGH my good health has long astray, plunged in a dark sea of diseases, far removed from your eyes and ears and still barely able to behold the new illumination of our Schools, nevertheless, since I am partially recovered from my illness and possess some remaining shreds of healthiness (as if retrieved from a very terrible shipwreck), I have thought fut to exhibit them (such as they are) to you and show you before your eyes. For I have always relied on your supreme, incredible studies, and so a boundless desire has gripped me to place some words in your ears. It so happens that I passed the early times of my boyhood, and then my youth, and finally those of my later years, in accordance with your times. blue And when I reflect on all the stages of my life, I discover none which is removed from you (save when nature or disease has separated us). But this last physical malady has been the worst of all. For it dried up my body's wholesome juices and came close to wholly ruining my mental powers. Therefore this catastrophe has taken me far away from you and I fell into it so deeply that when striving to on my feet I lost my courage, and even when freed from this malady I am nevertheless terrified by its memory. Wherefore this grave, vehement disruption of both mind and body must in the first place be relieved by your display of good will, and then also helped and strengthened by your close attention. In which matter there are two points for you to consider. The first will be to restore your old Haddon (of whom you so often approved), broken and downcast by the violence of the disease, to some semblance of his former self, however he is managing to hold up, having next to no ability, but a good-will not to be taken lightly. The second thing is that, when a semblance of himself stands before your eyes and makes an impression on your minds, as weak and feeble as he appears, nevertheless you be willing to take a closer look and understand him with your minds. And if your kindness will generously grant this, in the first placeI shall have the greatest gratitude for your good will, and next I shall promise that you reap great, rich fruit from your close attention. Although long interrupted, I have not lost all my ability at speaking, and, albeit my wit may be in great part diminished, it is not so completely demolished that it cannot raise itself up anew, especially if some breath of your attention manifests itself. blue
spacer2. I was first a locum tenens blue for my excellent preceptor Thomas Smith, now I am a beneficiary of His Royal Majesty, and have grown in age no small amount. Therefore if I return to less learned, nevertheless (as I think) no less wise and, if I exhibit less eloquence, I assuredly exhibit greater authority. Wherefore, even if I spoke more humbly and scarce dared speak up about another man's affairs, now, minding my own business I shall draw a breath and speak louder, so that everyone may hear me. But what should these shouts, what should this speechifying be? Concerning this, you should keep two points in mind. The will be to present to you some semblance of that Haddon you formerly held in esteem, broken and downcast though he may be and holding himself together as best he may, but possessed of a degree of good will not to be scorned. The other is that, will be willing to pay close attention to him and understand him with your minds, no matter how feeble and diminished he may appear. If out of your generosity you kindly grant these two things, I shall first of all be grateful for your kindness, and secondly I shall promise great and rich rewards for your close attention. For, no matter how long it has been interrupted, nevertheless my speaking ability is not entirely lost and, although my wit may in large part have been depressed, it has not been so oppressed that cannot recover, especially if some showing of your attention should display itsllf.
spacer3. I shall say openly (since speak I must, I take no pleasure in rebuking everyone, or rather confessing our common fault, so that as soon as possible we all might be absolved as soon as possible. We have been devoting ourselves excessively to idleness and sloth, we have been leaving our Schools empty and deserted, Schools which our predecessors wished to be called public because of their free exchange of ideas concerning learning. But thanks to our idleness have shrunken to such a notable degree of poverty that henceforth we should call these common Schools the haunts of certain Professors rather than public Schools belonging to the entire University. But our laziness does not go astray only in these places (although it most serious in them, inasmuch as they exist as public workshops for studies and the honing of wits), but rather this great and horrible sin is indeed creeping abroad and concealing itself within the inner sanctums of our colleges (oh good God!), a sin to be harshly punished by that very God to Whom I have taken my oath. For this God, the supreme Ruler of this world, has placed each man of us in his proper position so that in we might govern the society of this commonwealth by means of discharging our mutual obligations to one another. The piety of our kinsmen has pinned this same hope on us, and supported us at great expense. The academy has demanded us this same diligence from its inmates, and we have sworn our vows. The same is demanded of us by our entire commonwealth once we scatter abroad.
spacer4. And so these things must be performed by us or we must abandon this entire name of the Humanities, in which our studies have always most preened themselves. And we cannot retain not just this name of Humanities peculiar to our learning, but also indeed that humanity which is common to all mankind unless, having once become involved in this traffic in the goodly arts, we so collaborate that from the stores and supplies we first derive profit ourselves, and then the profit may be shared with other men. But my own trade, although it properly deals with laws and dwells on the benches of iurisconsults, nevertheless gradually moves along and that subtle and precise justice of the laws falls silent and is reinforced by a different kind of popular philosophy which operates by broader approaches and, as Aristotle says, illuminates all our actions. blue This assuredly fails in all its parts and universally fail as long as we do not cleave to prudence in investigating the causes of all things, nor reinforce ourselves with patience in our investigation, or banish impatience out of lazy-mindedness. There exist three principal precepts, of which the chief and greatest is that we lead honorable lives. Therefore, unless honorable living is foreign to you, you should not think that my speech concerning the pursuits we have in common does not touch you. Therefore let all sloth be removed from our minds, or rather let these lazy slackings be abolished and uprooted.
spacer 5. Even if no other man is admonishing you but myself, bearing witness and crying out, let this many-headed monstrosity be cast out and removed, this monster made up of a vile medley of all the vices, the plague upon studies, this thing which banishes virtue, this seed of universal naughtiness, idleness. Although I cannot speak about this as a dire and unspeakable poison, let it be banished far from our borders, let it be dismissed from every impulse of our min and body, let it be relegated to faraway lands from which not even its name can reach us. Let is apply ourselves to our efforts, our diligent studies, our sleepless nights, and activities of all kinds by which our minds are refreshed and nourished as if by some most wholesome food. Even if our predecessors were in the habit, this is no reason why we should snore. Quite to the contrary, even if they were able to snore with impunity, we cannot even blink our eyes without committing a great sin. For we abound with the greatest safeguards of all the disciplines which they lacked and flourish with a multitude of the best of professors such as the former age lacked, and God showers with foreign helps blue such as men of earlier ages can recollect? While I briefly expound on these things in detail, pray pay careful attention, as you have begun to do.
spacer 6 . Just as wheat is produced from grains, so learning is acquired from books, and let us first consider those monuments upon which are founded the pursuits of all the greatest arts. With their help Cicero erected the most noble citadel of his eloquence. With their help Aristotle polished the manifold subtlety of his intellect. From these volumes Zeno imbibed the infinity of his tomes and Plato all the variety of his philosophy. With their help the all the rationales of our branches of learning have long been born, have progressed, been confirmed and approved. But after the invasions of barbarian princes had damaged and destroyed them, the wretched shadows of ignorance were established, and by these the epoch of our ancestors was oppressed and even our own age has been infected. For within my memory the scholastic frogs croaked about Holy Scripture. All of our law was besmeared with the filth of the Accurstanii blue to the point that, if Papinianus blue were to come back to life or Scaevola from the preceding century, they would not have recognized their own laws. The scrofula of the Arabs has overspread medicine to the point that medicine requires its own healer. The filth of overseas writers has so befouled philosophy and all manner of the Humanities to the point that nothing of honest and wholesome substance remains within them. Yet we are surrounded on all sides by most excellent books in every department of learning. The light of the Gospels found in Holy Scripture shone brilliantly when Justinian sat on the s throne. The law echoes the utterances of the Caiuses and Pauluses. blue Galen and Hippocrates supply our medicine, and our philosophy flows from the fountains of Aristotle. In every aspect of speech writing. Cicero has refined us to the point that the word “Ciceronian” is popular even in conversations of the uneducated. These are the great advantages supplied by our speechless instructors, and those who can speak follow them.
spacer 7. And indeed we should place our greatest trust in those men with whom we can converse in our own days. First of all let us consider the man who preaches to us concerning Holy Writ, blue a man endowed with what a variety of learning, what consummate judgment! Let the second place be awarded to that man has been who is my locum tenens, blue since, next to our religion, it is my opinion that civil law is the most important subject. Even if this man’s discourse is not ordered as well as it could have been, the logic of his presentation is framed most excellently. He sees much, reads much, and altogether is endowed with more erudition (as an intelligent man could readily perceive by putting him to the test) than an unschooled man could suspect when listening to him from afar. blue And at this point I must reproach you for your finickiness in being unable to listen to a jurisconsult unless he is eloquent, since for it is not words but rather facts that need to be weighed. I admit that Physic does not have a Professor who is a very ready speaker, blue , but he is most exquisitely learned. We should disdain (or at least not desire overmuch) the flower of eloquence in this man, which is not greatly to be missed if it is lacking. We should look for soundness of knowledge, which in him is most great, and we ought to be especially attentive of him. Friends and colleagues of mine teach Philosophy and Rhetoric, blue so my testimony as their colleague scan scarcely benefit them. Therefore the University itself can bear witness that they are not only well-prepared in discourse and wit, but also in the ability to speak extemporaneously, as can be seen in them both. I pass over the teacher of Dialectics since he is a stranger to me, but I have no doubt that he is well-schooled, since the the University has passed judgement on him, which in my eyes always suffices for a sound verdict. Nowadays instruction in languages, Hebrew is upheld by two pillars, the one national and the other foreign, blue both sound and sturdy as I am informed by those who understand them (for I do not). But you have all heard and can bear in mind what manner of man our Greek teacher blue is, possessed of a sweet and easy manner of discourse, great and varied knowledge regarding both poetry and prose, quick wit, and particularly good memory, and a remarkable ability to speak off the cuff. As you see, this public speech of mine has briefly reviewed our instructors, whom I could praise more lavishly, but they are well known to yourselves.
spacer8. Let these words suffice for that which I wish to convey at the moment, namely that you understand that we abound in books and instructors for all manner of studies, and that must be chalked up to our own dissolute, fatal negligence, if we, having our senses developed in such a home as this, we idly scorn such great opportunities embedded in the very bowels of our University, and allow them to slip by without gaining any profit. But if we perhaps scorn these domestic matters, and do not care to pursue these avenues of learning unless by their means we can achieve great wealth and high dignity, come then, allow me to appeal not only to your sense of honor, but also to your ambition. So come, let us momentarily take wing and fly from the University straightway to the Court, where our Jupiter himself presides, abounding in his power and wealth. Come now, allow me to appeal not only to your sense of honor, but also to your ambition. There the flower of the nobility is the first to greet us, moved by their so admirable zeal for learning, so that education might accrue to them and their kinsmen from all quarters. For in part they come a-flying to us, and in part they summon us to themselves. Nearly all of them are of this opinion, speak thus, and proclaim that they cannot imagine human that human life is endurable in the absence of learning, and that it would be in vain for them to bequeath their acres and their landholdings to their children unless these acquire wisdom and moderation by studying the Liberal Arts, thanks which they can properly manage their affairs. From this ardor of the nobility it is not just this man and that who consort with us but rather nearly entire families have come a-flocking to our University and join our company for the sake of learning. The Rutlands blue have been conspicuous, the Maltravers clan has been notable, and Maltravers blue himself was outstanding among them and in his youth has surpassed many young men in garnering every manner of praise. The Howard crew blue still hang together and the pair of Suffolks, blue supreme and excellent, have recently died (about whom, both for their own sake and for that of their right honorable mother, blue I could make a lengthy speech save that their memory lives on in their sons, and unless I were to expatiate on them as best I could in a separate speech). But we perceive that the gist of this entire discourse of mine is that we should hardly ignore these evidences that such aristocratic personalities of ours burned with such great zeal, and that our arts are not to go unrewarded by fathers who have wished their boyhood to be introduced and in which their young manhood should be trained.
spacer9. If we wish to understand this fully, we can draw a little closer and ascend to the Privy Council of His Royal Majesty, which first of all possesses that eloquent Cecil, blue once our son and fellow-citizen but now a most splendid gentleman, as is established by his great experience in the most serious affairs. It was so devoted to learning and learned men to the extent that he enjoys his relaxation with them insofar as he can, and whatever free time the commonwealth allows him he entirely devotes himself to this delight, thinking that it alone is worthy of a free-born and liberal gentleman. Out of desire for our conversation, Northampton blue would joins in. Since he chances to have no heirs, he has recruited outsiders from our numbers and out of his generosity supports them in their poverty. And God has replaced one Suffolk with another, blue them being so alike that there is no difference between them to prevent us from admiring the one in his youth for his right distinguished character and worship the other in his manhood, cherishing the hope for perfected virtue in the one, and possessing it in the other. The other members of the family are so endowed with ornaments that when Suffolk died he did not appear to be taking up residence in another man, but rather to have returned to his own home. blue Both the Henries blue (belonging indeed to the same household) were endowed with learning and conspicuous patrons of the learned, both were possessed of a mild nature. the greatest possible generosity, and consummate amiability. What about Russel? blue What a steadfast Christian! And take Northumberland. blue Although he could not hear the Muses because of the commotion of Mars, he neverthetess grasped enough by listening from afar that he understood well enough. And concerning this matter in which he perceived himself to be limited, by the hiring one of numbers as a private tutor, he had polished in his son Warwick, blue an outstanding young gentleman enjoying not only the praise of the common people, but also that of our men for his learning and knowledge. Then again, this same commander’s son-in-law Sidney, blue not just attended by the choir of the Muses but also by that of the Graces. And Suffolk also provided for this in the case of his Jane, blue who almost drives me out of miy mind since in both her countenance and her heart she displays a combination of eloquence in prudence (especially in a person of her sex) such as is rarely seen in our age of the world.
spacer 10. But our admiration for these men is put in the shade by that most choice and praise of those royal sisters. Mary is celebrated by the praise by one and all, such as we can call to mind in Laelia and Cornelia, blue unless the praise for tis most outstanding maiden should be all the greater than that of those two renowned matrons. I myself have beheld the other one face to face and I adored Elizabeth, not golden but rather jewel-like for her pure and sweet manner of speech, her exquisite and ready conversation, her so admirable affability. She is so endowed with modesty and gravity, to the extent that I could barely speak or even think as I heard her speak and heeded her discourse. But a far greater amazement gripped me over this boy whom God has willed to shine among us. For there exists in this boy royal, imperial spirits and such a lofty character, such an elevated mind, such a fine combination of the virtues that hover about him, who is illuminated by ornaments gathered from all sides, that we cannot doubt that his majesty has being granted us by an act of heaven. For the things which I have mentioned separately in other outstanding men have so conjoined together in His Royal Majesty that he is possessed of a honeyed mouth, all manner of eloquence, a matchless intellect, wisdom, perfect reasoning, judgment, will, virtue, learning, and in sum all other forms of excellence, and his conspicuous, outstanding and praiseworthiness in all respects.
spacer 11. And so, even this precious and fragrant little fountain is may be permeating the entire body of our commonwealth only by means of unseen veins, nevertheless, everything else brushed aside and ignored, we will cling to the streams of our studies. Therefore, the boyhood of His Royalty, reared in such pure streams, will guarantee that there will be no current in the ocean of our studies that will not flow must prosperously. There is a supreme difference between learning at Court and in the University, but in our sovereign we can see this supreme difference resolved into supreme unity. Not without reason do we call august that ruler of all the world, Augustus, and he is not only equaled, but also very often surpassed. For that Augustus of the Romans understood the Roman language, whereas England's August usunderstands the that very Roman tongue most exquisitely, but has also done a fine job of adding the Greek one. blue And he has superadded the languages they speak overseas with such grace and ability that each one appears to be his native manner of speech. Furthermore that Octavius of olden times passed his young years having acquired only martial glory, but garnered little if any praise for his civic accomplishments or erudition. But our Edward VI has excelled in his magnificent exercises at arms and so taken wing in the arts and adornments of peace that no greater perfection could be perceived in a boy's actions, or even imagined. O God our God, You who lifted up Octavius Augustus, a boy fourteen year old, to govern the Roman state, after having to rescue him from the mire of civil war, and who thereafter required enhancement by the acquisition of many territories, pray breathe this same inspiration upon our king, a lad of the same age, not an Octavius but (which is greater) the son of Henry VII, not Augustus but (which is greater) right august, Edward VIII, a young lad but already more illustrious than his elder ancestors.
spacer 12. God, employ defenses on all sides to protect this residence of Yourself and our treasure-house, this solidier of Yourself and our commander, this servant of Yourself and our salvation, so that no manner of misfortune might destroy this most delicate flower, but rather than, fortified by sturdy sinews he may, first of all, establish Your Religion in all quarters, and then he establish learning, laws and virtue throughout his realm. And indeed he daily bestows all these things, even among ourselves and in these very homes wherein we daily dwell. No matter what direction we take, our footsteps are supported by royal bounty. Men withdrawing into seclusion and a home and a society chock-full of learning do so at royal expense. It is thanks to royal provision that we enjoy laws and by royal indulgences that we enjoy immunities and confer them upon others. In sum, it is thanks to royal mercy and generosity (second only to God) that we are sustained, and thanks to his authority that we flourish. Nor will His Royal Majesty turn his back on us since he himself enjoys outstanding commendation and praise for his learning, since he sees the nobility come a-flocking to us, when he understands that his entire Privy Counsil is either erudite or admirers of learning, his own royal family is populated by well-schooled members, and even his bedchamber is beset with learning outside and likewise resounds with learning within. blue
spacer13. But mostly since he employs learned tutors. The one of whom is Cheke, blue once an inhabitant of our academy, and good gods what an inmate! What eloquence in the man! It was not of the Continental and degenerate kind, but of the ancient and incorrupt Ciceronian variety. How great and manifold his learning, first in his grasp of languages, and then in his understanding of our academic disciplines, He winged his way through those which we call profane and secular in such a way that at the same time he simultaneously absorbed all the works pertinent to our religion and has them stored in his memory. Then, being crammed with such boundless knowlege, he is a humble man, always outspoken in his praise of others but never of himself, and always displayed most dutiful affability to all good men in high places. To put everything of this kind into a nutshell, Cambridge should always rejoice in this man and His Royal Majesty can long make use of him, as I trust he will.
spacer14. Conjoined with Cheke in this responsibility (just as he is in his learning and his piety) is Cox, blue a man of recondite knowledge, much-varied erudition, and a wonderful memory. Two years ago I accompanied Cecil to Cox's home blue to pay him my duty, a little house nearby (or rather a university). And indeed during my visit seemed to be living at Cicero's Tusculan estate (save that there women were bustling about their duties). And indeed in Cox I perceived more wholesome and profitable learning, more in the education of his pious sons and his fatherly efforts than the walls of this household were able to contain. And so, since our arts have made such progress among the nobility that it not only surrounds His Royal Majesty but have been so lavishly inculcated in him, but it is necessary to conclude that it is so lavishly instilled in his royal tutors, it is necessary to conclude that if this a memorable enhancement of our arts has occurred, in if the favorable breeze of favor is blowing, not only of every class of the nobility but also of His Royal Majesty, by our constant studies and efforts we too should set sail towards piety and a knowledge of the goodliest arts.
spacer15. In which matter, trusting in your diligence and sense of duty, I shall cut short the remainder of my speech and, recalling you to a consideration of our present situation, at this point I shall conclude my address. And so, regarding this School over when I now preside, note and in which you see me setting my footprints, a little while ago two leading men of the University, Cheke and Smith, have previously placed theirs. In my discourses I have always compared the two, thinking neither to be better than the other in his pursuits, but both of them to be rated above all others. Within the space of the past few years these men have ascended to the apex of prestige, and the young men among us have derived considerable great profit from their efforts. I could fill a book with the names of others of our men who, thanks to the commendation of their learning, have mounted to the highest dignities. But in my haste I have only been able to speak in general terms and name the chief men. You must especially take their paths, and those of other best and most learned men, to make your way to virtue and learning, so that you might most of all serve the interests of God, and next those of His Royal Majisty, and lastly your own honor, and confer glory upon them.

Finis