Page images

ty, then


take all hope away from yours, to come to any better estate than you now leave them. And as many mean men's children come honestly up, and are great succour to all their stock, so should none be hereafter holpen by you. But because you seek equality, whereby all cannot be rich, ye would that belike, whereby every man should be poor. And think beside, that riches and inheritance be God's providence, and given to whom of his wisdom he thinketh good.

This book was printed and dispersed among the rebels.

Sir John Cheke was the first scholar of his age, and contributed perhaps more than any other individual to the diffusion of classical literature. As a proof of his industry, as well as of his learning, it deserves to be mentioned, that he translated from the Greek into the Latin, 1. Five books of Josephus's Antiquities. 2. The Ascetic of Maximus the Monk. 3. Plutarck of Superstition. 4. Three of the Philippics of Demosthenes. 5. His three Olinthiacs. 6. His Oration against Leptines. 7. The Orations of Demosthenes and Æschines on the two opposite sides. 8. Aristotle de Ani

. 9. He translated Sophocles and Euripedes literally. 10. And made corrections on Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Xenophon, and other authors.

There is a saving of his, relative to Demosthenes, so just, that it ought not to be omitted. “ None (says he) ever was more fit to make an Englishman tell his tale praiseworthily in an open hearing, either in parliament or pulpit, or otherwise, than this only orator


Sir John wrote, moreover, “ A Treatise of Superstition," which was translated by Mr. William Elstob, and is annexed to Strype's Life of him. . The Latin title is De Superstitione ad Regem Henricum.

The presence of Cheke appears to have been necessary at Cambridge, in order to keep the attention of the members of that university fixed on polite letters : for he was no sooner called away to court, than they relapsed into idle disputations on the doctrines of predestination, original sin, &c. &c. As a further proof of his influence upon the literary progression of his age, we may cite the cotemporary testimony of Roger Ascham; who, in his schoolmaster, speaks in the following com

mendatory strain of him, and of Dr. Redman before mentioned: “At Cambridge also, in St. John's College, in my time, I do know, that not so much the good statutes, as two gentlemen of worthy memory, sir John Cheke and Dr. Redman, by their only example of excellency in learning, of godliness in living, of diligence in studying, of council in exhorting, by good order in all things, did breed up so many learned men in that one college of St. John's, at one time, as I believe the whole university of Louvain in many years was never able to afford."

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »