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CHAP. V. the impress of the national genius. Of this movement Æneas Sylvius, afterwards pope Pius II, is perhaps entitled to be regarded as the inaugurator. At the time that he became attached to the imperial court, all around him seemed dull and mechanical as of old, and it was with but small success that he endeavoured to arouse the phlegmatic nobles to a sense of the higher pleasures now within their reach. He describes them much as Poggio some thirty years before had described the nobility of England. They prefer their horses and their dogs to poets,' he says, 'and like their horses and their dogs they shall perish and be forgotten'. It must have been an agreeable surprise for him when he one day, at the court of Neustadt, heard a German voice boldly and forcibly defending the merits of the new learning. The voice was that of Gregory Heimburg, a sturdy Teuton, who though at that time, in the enthusiasm of his youth, led captive by the fascinations of the new school, lived to repudiate them The Italian almost entirely and to exemplify, in his career as a jurist, that nervous manly style of eloquence which he regarded as altogether preferable to what seemed to him the effeminate niceties of Italian scholarship. When Eneas Sylvius filled the papal chair he was himself exposed to the lash of Heimburg's vigorous rhetoric; and Voigt in an admirable criticism has enlarged upon the characteristics of these two,—the Italian scholar and the German jurist,-as affording an apt illustration of the points of national contrast that were afterwards more fully brought out in connexion with the progress of the Humanismus in their respective countries. Pope Pius died in the year 1464, and very soon after we have ample evidence that his efforts, and those of others like him, had not been expended on a wholly ungrateful soil. Hegius, who combined in a remarkable degree the learning of the school

scholar and German jurist contrasted.

d. 1464.


Hegius. b. 1420. d. 1480.

1 In another of his writings he thus contrasts the character of learning in demand in Germany with that in Italy:-Teutones omnes cancellariæ aptos arbitrantur qui vel civilis vel canonici juris periti dicuntur, aut quos vocant magistros artium, qui præter garrulam et loquacem dialecticam nihil aliarum artium didi

cere. Florentini eos assumant, quibus Ciceronis et Quintiliani præcepta notissima sunt, poetarum et oratorum imbuti doctrinis, . . . . atque eos si domi non inveniunt foris quærunt.' Hist. Friedrich III p. 327, (quoted by Prantl, Iv 160.)

2 Voigt, pp. 383-9.




d. 1519.

tions on the


man with the spirit of an innovator, is to be found teaching CHAP. V. at Deventer, and, though his own knowledge of Greek was slender, strenuously exhorting his scholars to the acquirement His school at of the language. He had himself been a pupil of the renowned Rudolphus Agricola, and among his scholars was a boy named Gerard. One day Agricola was on a visit to his old pupil, and the youthful Gerard was brought before him as one of whom the master entertained more than ordinary expectations: the great teacher looked at the boy's bright eyes and well-shaped head, and prophesied the future greatness of Erasmus'. At Munster we find the indefatigable Rudolf von Lange watching with untiring greatness over Rudolf von his famous school, introducing new text-books and discarding 6. 139. the old, and remodelling the whole system of instruction, His innovauntil the monks of Cologne were ready to denounce him as methods of a heretic. The counsels of Agricola sustained him in his instruction. work. Your efforts,' wrote the latter, "inspire me with the fondest hope, and I predict that we shall one day succeed in wresting from proud Italy that ancient renown for eloquence of which she has hitherto retained almost undisputed possession, and shall wipe away that reproach of barbarian slothfulness, ignorance, poverty of expression and whatever marks an unlettered race, with which she unceasingly assails us, and Germany shall be seen to be in learning and culture not less Latin than Latium herself. In spirit a not unworthy compeer of these, the theologian, John Wessel, was manfully John Wessel. advocating a less tame submission to the scholastic yoke, and d. 1489. sturdily asserting that if Aquinas was a doctor he was a He disputes doctor too, that he was conversant with three of the ancient of Aquinas. tongues, while Aquinas had known but one, and that imperfectly,—that he had gazed upon Aristotle in his native dress, while Aquinas had scarcely beheld his shadow".

1 Geiger, Johann Reuchlin, Einleitung, pp. x-xi. Von Raumer, Geschichte der Pädagogik, 1 86-9.

2 Unum hoc tibi affirmo, fore aliquando ut priscam insolenti Italiæ et propemodum occupatam bene dicendi gloriam extorqueamus vindicemusque nos, et ab ignavia, qua nos barbaros indoctosque et elingues,

et si quid est his incultius, esse nos
jactitant, exsolvamus, futuramque
tam doctam et litteratam Germaniam
nostram, ut non latinius vel ipsum
sit Latium.' Eichhorn, Geschichte
der Litteratur, 1 157.

3 Ullmann, Reformatoren vor der
Reformation, 11 285-685.

b. 1420.

the authority

Of the foregoing, Agricola, short as was his career, attained to by far the greatest eminence'. His translations from the Rudolphus Greek were numerous and accurate; his Latinity was con

sidered by so competent a judge as Vives, superior to that of Politian; and his treatise on logic became a text-book in our own university. It was not however by these performances that he exercised his chief influence on the age. His most enduring monument is a short, but as Geiger terms it, an 'epoch-making' treatise, the De Formando Studio, which first appeared in the form of a letter to Jacob Barbirianus, dated June 7, 1484.


b. 1443.

d. 1485.

His De

Few perhaps on turning to the treatise described by so high-sounding an epithet, will fail at first to experience a sense of disappointment. The opening remarks are certainly not distinguished by any great appearance of novelty. Agricola commences by observing that all students have to decide for themselves two preliminary questions,—what they shall study, and how they shall study it. Some, as capacity or circumstances may direct, choose the civil law; others, the canon law; others, medicine. The majority however devote themselves to the empty verbal trifling of an arts course, and give up their time to bewildering disputations and riddles. which for many centuries have found no Edipus, and are never likely to find one: Nevertheless it is his counsel to Barbirianus to make philosophy his choice; only let it,' he says, 'be a philosophy entirely different from that of the schools, let it be the art of thinking aright and of giving Philosophy fitting expression to each thought". Philosophy may be divided into two provinces, moral and natural; the former is

1 Kann ein Mann als der Anfänger und Vorkämpfer deutscher Bildung im 15ten Jahrhundert betrachtet werden, so ist es gewiss Rudolph Agricola.' Von Raumer, 1 62.


Civile jus alius, alius pontificum sanctiones, alius medicinæ artem discendam sumit; plerique etiam loquaces has et inani strepitu crepitantes, quas vulgo artes jam vocamus, sibi vindicant et perplexis disputationum ambagibus vel etiam, ut verius dicam, ænigmatibus diem terunt . . .

His miseras adolescentium onerant aures, hæc subinde ingerunt inculcantque et in plerisque meliorem ingenii spem atque frugem in teneris adhuc annis enecant.' Libellus De Formando Studio, (Coloniæ, 1532), p. 4. The words italicised are worthy of note as corroborating the observations in the preceding chapter, on the extent to which the whole of the arts course was pervaded by the dialectical element.


science an


native lan

not to be sought exclusively in Aristotle, Cicero, and Seneca, CHAP. V. is but to be gathered from the actions and examples which history offers to our notice, and especially from the Holy Scriptures, and the divine and sure precepts they contain. In the latter alone can we find a right conception of the true end of life and perfect freedom from error. The science of nature Natural is less important than that of the moral law, and is to be re- cillary to garded as chiefly ancillary in its character; he recommends however the study of geography, botany, geology, medicine, architecture and painting. But both natural and moral philosophy must be studied in the classical authors, if we would learn at the same time the art of rightly expressing our thoughts; these authors again should be rendered with the greatest possible accuracy into one's mother tongue, and then the student on seeing a Latin word will gradually come to associate it directly with its equivalent in his vernacular. What- Use of the ever, on the other hand, he may wish to express in Latin he guage in must always first of all reduce to accurate expression in his studies. own mind in his own language1. To write with purity and correctness must always precede any attempt at elegance. Further on, he observes that there are three points to which every student must give particular attention: (1) first a clear understanding of his author's meaning; (2) the firm retention of each idea in his memory; (3) the acquisition of a habit of adding to and enriching each idea out of his individual thought. After giving a few hints on the way to study a difficult author and to render the memory more tenacious, Agricola proceeds to amplify on the third point. If we our- Acquired selves, he says, fail to bring to our acquired knowledge some- to be not thing of fresh thought in turn, our learning lies, not like seed but assimiin the fruitful soil, but as it were dead within us; and to prevent this it is necessary that we should not store away what we have acquired and then forget it, but have it, as it were, ready to hand, in order that we may always be able to



only stored


1 'Quidquid apud autores leges, utilissimum fuerit, id ipsum quam maxime propriis et idem significantibus verbis reddere vernaculo sermone.... Si quid scribere voles, op

timum erit, id ipsum quam plenis-
sime rectissimeque patrio sermone
intra animum tuum formare, deinde
Latinis pure proprieque id signifi-
cantibus verbis explicare.' Ibid. p. 8.


CHAP. V. Compare it with whatever we may ourselves discover by original research. It is accordingly useful to categorize our conceptions and to distribute our knowledge under different heads; and also carefully to analyze every conception and acquire a habit of surveying it on every side. In this way the student will acquire the facility of the ancient sophist, who possessed the faculty of speaking impromptu on every given theme.

Real novelty

of thought in

The thought contained in the foregoing outline is now this treatise. almost as commonplace as it was then novel, but it is deserving of notice that we have here,-(1) a distinct repudiation of scholastic models and an appeal to the literary standards of antiquity, at a time when the schoolmen were still omnipotent in Germany; (2) the necessity of an accurate connotation in the use of words, and the value of the vernacular speech in aiding in such a result, clearly pointed out; (3) a plea for the rights of the individual thinker and an assertion of the dignity of the individual enquirer, at a time when almost every mind was bowing in servile submission to the authority of a few great names and that of their almost equally servile


His De

In Agricola's De Inventione Dialectica we are presented with what Prantl characterizes as entirely 'eine ciceronischquintilianische Topik.' The dialectical art, the author considers, is simply a method of establishing the probable. In discussing genus and species he endeavours to reconcile the A popular views of Aquinas with those of Duns Scotus. The treatise, though highly praised by Melancththon as the best of his day, is not one to which Prantl concedes any real originality': it was however in general use long after the author's

manual of logic.

1 'Aber bezüglich des logischen Gebietes denkt er ausschliesslich nur an eine Sammlung topischer Gesichtspunkte, und die Dialektik ist ihm nur eine Methode der Wahrscheinlichkeit, daher er unter den Schriften des Aristoteles, dessen unentwirrbare Dunkelheit auch er, wie die Uebrigen, beklagt, lediglich die Topik berücksichtigt, und zwar dieselbe nach des Boethius Weise mit der ciceronischen verschmelzen will. In solchem

Sinne gibt er im 1 Buche eine Aufzählung der Topen, wobei er gelegentlich der Definition auf die Begriffe genus, species u. dgl. kommt und sich veranlasst findet, betreffs der Universalien die thomistische Auffassung einer similitudo essentialis in Verbindung mit des Scotus Häcceität als den richtigen Standpunkt zu bezeichnen.' Prantl, Gesch. d. Logik, Iv 168.

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