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Stepney's sake, which laments your long absence as much as a child doth his mother's; or for your native country's sake (London) whereof you ought to have as much care as of your parents. In the last, though least place, be moved by your respect to me, who have dedicated my self wholly to you, and do hugely long for your return. Farewell, and still love, .

Your very affectionate, London, Oct. 23.


8. The dean's table, which in former times had under pretence of good housekeeping been too much prostitute to excess, he reduced to frugality. For he kept himself to one meal a day many years together, both before and after his preferment; which at once cut off all his supper guests (late dinners not a few) and the more, because his entertainment (though neat) was neither costly nor excessive, his sitting short, and his whole discourse such as pleased none but those that were either learned or pious. For soon after he had said grace, his boy read a chapter (distinctly and aloud) out of St. Paul's Epistles, or Solomon's Proverbs; from which he himself for the most part pickt the subject of that meal's discourse; asking not only scholars, but even ordinary people (if they were ingenious) what was the meaning of this or that passage. And he so ordered his words, that though he were holy and grave, yet he seemed no whit tedious or supercilious. And at the end of the meal, when their hunger (not pleasure) was satisfyed, he fell upon another subject : thus dismissing his guests, with as much satisfaction to their minds as refreshment to their bodies, desiring they should depart better men than they came, not with bigger bellies. He was hugely delighted with the conference of his friends, who oft kept him till late at night; but all his conference was either of literature or Jesus Christ. If he had no acceptable friend to chat with (for every one did not please him), his boy did read somewhat to him out of godly books. Sometimes he called me to ride abroad with him, and then he was as merry as any man alive ; but a good book was always his comrade in his journy, and his talk was continually of Christ.

9. He was so much averse from all filthiness, that he could not endure solecisms or barbarous language. He affected neatness in his houshold stuff, clothes, books, meat; but not magnificence. He wore no garments but black, whereas in England doctors in divinity, and other eminent clergymen, commonly wear scarlet. His upper garment was always of cloth, plain and without trimming, which in hard frosts he fortified with fura. And he being an eminent advancer of divine philosophy, lent me two very old Latin copies of the New Testament, when I wrote notes upon it, writ in characters that were like Saxon, and indeed so old, that I was forced to turn child again, and begin anew to learn my alphabet, before I could read them.

10. Whatsoever revenues accrued unto him by the church, he intirely committed to his steward, to be distributed, and spent in house-keeping. His own hereditary rents and profits (which were vast) he himself distributed to pious uses.

For his father being dead, mony flowed in apace from what was left him by inheritance; and lest that being kept should breed some disease in him, he therewith erected a stately new school' in St. Paul's Churchyard, dedicated to the holy child Jesus : whereunto he joined fair dwellings for two school-masters, to whom he assigned libera] stipends, that they might teach gratis, but so as that they should not be enjoined to admit above a certain number, viz. 153'.

11. The whole fabrick he divided into four parts: whereof one (at the entrance) is as it were for the Catechumeni (and yet none is admitted till he can read and write), the second for such as are under the usher. The third part is for those whom the upper master teacheth, These two ends are divided by a curtain, which is drawn to and fro when they please. Above the master's chair stands the holy child Jesus, curiously engraven, in the posture of one reading a lecture, with this motto, Hear him; which words I advised him to set up. And all the young fry, when they come in and go out of school (besides their appointed prayers) salute Christ with an hymn. At the upper end is a chappel, in which divine service may be said. The whole building hath no corners nor lurking-holes for dunces, having neither chamber nor diningroom in it. Every boy has his proper seat distinguished by spaces of wood, and the forms have three ascents. Every class


d Præfat. ad notas in N. T.

7 Stately new school.] Amongst the collections of Bishop Kennett in the British Museum (Bibl. Lansdown, 949), is “A copie of the auncient Statute Book which John Colett delivered to Will. Lillye with his owne hand.”

8 Viz. 153.] “Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three : and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.” John xxi. 11.

containeth sixteen boys (the two lowest much more) and the best scholar of each sits in a seat somewhat more eminent than the rest, with the word CAPITANEUS engraven in golden letters over his head.

12. The masters of this school do not rashly admit of all that are brought, but choice is made of the most towardly wits and best dispositions ; lest in that laborious employment they should toil in vain. For some men in this age are so base (as I told Dr. Colet ©) as to set those to be scholars, who profess divinity (the chief of all sciences), whom for their dull capacity and bad natures they think scarce fit for any other study. He entreated me to seek out a man whom I thought a fit under-master for this his school (Will Lilly being the first upper master). I enquired in many places, but could hear of none. At length being at Cambridg among some Masters of Arts, I propounded it to them. One of them (and he of no mean esteem) smiling, said, “Who would endure to live in that school among boys, that could make a shift to scrape up a livelihood any where else?” I answered modestly, that it seemed to me a very honest employment to instruct young people in learning and good manners: that Christ did not despise that age; that a man could bestow his pains upon no age better; and in no place expect a better effect or reward of his pains than at St. Paul's school, because it is in the midst of London, and London the chief city of the kingdom; where from all other parts the lines (or gentry and ingenious people) meet as in a center. And I added, that if men were truly pious, they would think that they could no way serve God better than by bringing children to Christ. But he drawing up his nose and scoffing, replied, “ If any have a mind to serve Christ, let him go into a mo nastery or religious house.” I answered, that St. Paul

" placed true religion in the duties of charity; and that charity consisted in doing as much good to our neighbours as we could. He rejected that as sillily spoken : “Behold,” quoth he, “we have left all, therein is perfection.” I finally told him, that that man hath not left all, who when it is in his power to do good to very many people, shuns the imployment because he thinks it too mean for him.—And so (lest we should have wrangled) I left the


here see the wisdom of the Scotists.


e Lib. xxxi. epist. 45. p. 2016, g.

Lib. x. epist. 17 and 18. p. 518, f. and 520, e.

13. Our quick-sighted Dr. Colet saw very well, that the main hope and pillar of a commonwealth consists in furnishing youth with good literature, and therefore did he bestow so much care and cost on this school. Tho it stood him in an infinite sum of mony to build and endow it, yet he would accept of no copartner, One left indeed a legacy of 1001. sterling to the structure of it; but Colet thinking, that if he took it, some lay-people would challenge to themselves I know not what authority over the school, he did by the permission of his bishop bestow it upon holy vestments for the choir. Yet tho he would suffer no layman to have a finger in the building, he entrusted no clergyman (not so much as the bishop, dean, and chapter of St. Paul) nor any of the nobility, with the oversight of the revenues; but some married citizens of honest report. When he was asked why he would do so, he answered, That there was nothing certain in human affairs; but he found least corruption in such men.

14. As all men highly commended him for his school, so many wondered why he would build so stately an house within the bounds of the Carthusian monastery, which is not far from the palace at Richmond'; but he told them, that he provided that seat for himself in his old age, when he should be unfit for labours, or broken with diseases, and so constrained to retire from the society of men. There he intended to philosophize with two or three eminent friends, among which he was wont to reckon me; but death prevented him. For being few years before his decease visited thrice with the sweating sickness' (a disease which

9 Richmond.] “In the year 1414, King Henry V. founded at this place, an house for the maintenance and support of forty monks of the Carthusian order, whom he incorporated by the name of the house of Jesus of Bethlehem at Shene. The foundation charter describes it as built on the north side of his manor house or palace there; being 3125 feet in length, and 1305 feet 8 inches in breadth. . . . . The length of the hall was 44 paces, and the breadth 24: the great quadrangle 120 paces long, and 100 broad : the cloisters a square of 200 paces, and 9 feet in height. Nor was the founder's munificence in the endowment of it, unbecoming the magnificence of the structure itself.”

“ Dr. John Colet, Dean of St. Paul's, and founder of the school there, built him lodgings within these walls, in which, having retired hither on being seized a third time with the sweating sickness, he died 16th September, 1519." Manning and Bray's History of Surrey, vol. i. pp. 417. 420. Cardinal Wolsey, after his disgrace, spent a short time in retirement in this monastery, occupying the lodgings built by Colet. See Cavendish's Life of Wolsey, in this volume.

· Sweating sickness.] “As the plague destroyed the French in Italy, the

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seized no countrymen but English) though he recovered, yet he thereupon grew consumptive, and so died. One physician thought that the dropsy killed him; but when he was dissected, they saw nothing extraordinary, only the capillary vessels of his liver were beset with pustles. He was buried in the south side of the choir of his own cathedral, in a low sepulcher, (which he to that end had chose for himself some years before,) with this inscription, JOHN COLET.

15. In the mean while I shall say somewhat, first of his Nature, secondly of his paradoxical Opinions, and lastly of those Afflictions wherewith his ingenuous piety was exercised; for some whereof he might have thanked his own natural temper. For he was of a very high spirit, hugely impatient of any injury, wonderfully prone to lasciviousness, luxury, and overmuch sleep; to jesting and facetiousness above measure (all this he confessed to me himself), and he was not wholly safe from covetousness. But against each of these he fought such a good fight by philosophy, divine contemplations, watching, fasting, and prayer, that he led the whole course of his life free from the infections of this world ; and as far as I could any way gather (by familiarity and much liberal converse with him) was a pure virgin to his dying day.

sweating sickness consumed very many in England; it seeming to be but the same contagion of the air, varied according to the clime. It was first known in England, 1486, then 1507, then 1517 (when Colet it seems suffered from it last) and in 1528, when it so raged, as it killed ordinarily in five or six hours space, invading even the king's court, where not only sir Francis Pointz, sir William Compton, and Mr. William Cary (two of the king's bed-chamber) died of it;

but the king himself was not without danger.” Lord Herbert in Kennett's Hist. of England, vol. ii. p. 99. The disease was so peculiar to England that it was known as the Sudor Britannicus: some have observed that no stranger in England was touched by this disease, yet the English were chased with it, not only here but in other countries abroad, which made them feared and avoided wheresoever they came. In 1528, however, Germany suffered from it, and the conference at Marpurg between Luther and Zuinglius was, in consequence, broken off. In 1551 it again visited England: : amongst others, two sons of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, and a daughter of Dudley, duke of Northumberland, were sufferers. An interesting letter from Northumberland to the marquis of Northampton, and Cecil (Burghley), in which he gives a minute account of the symptoms of his daughter's illness, has been recently found by Mr. Fraser Tytler in the State Paper Office, and has been printed by him in his England during the reigns of Edward and Mary, vol. ii. p. 115. A treatise on the disease by Dr. Caius, was printed by Grafton in 1552.

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