« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
they were established on the Continent, merely in the power and wealth, north of the Alps. These schools were and other external circumstances, intended for the cultivation of the higher but also in the state of the mind, learning; and such extent and import
and in the extent and character of ance did they attain, as to be called Places of General Study,' 'Literary
that knowledge which the people of Universities,' or 'Academies.' In
this country had acquired. The deed, under Charlemagne and Alfred,
same persons who at one time are and even in Germany under the Othos,
grossly ignorant, and regard all lite. the Church manifested an intellectual rary pursuits with supreme con. spirit much more similar than is gene.
tempt, at another become ingenious rally admitted to the spirit of the Re and inquisitive, and apply to the formation, and of the period of revived cultivation of the sciences with the classical learning. This was manifested greatest ardour. It was now that in her mode of creating the holy Scrip the day of science began to dawn; tures, the Fathers of the church, the and though it was occasionally ancient writers and their languages, the
overcast, the sun gradually attained discoveries made by that age in natural
its meridian splendour. The sciences philosophy, and even its imaginative
which were cultivated in Britain productions, which had, in part, come down from the heroic and heathen ages.
during the eleventh and the follow. I am aware that the existence of any
ing century were, strange to say, similarity between the two periods will numerous. Although the ancient dibe inconceivable to those who see in the vision of the sciences into the TriReformation nothing but a negative vium and Quadrivium, above alluded principle. I, however, believe, that at to, and frequently mentioned by both epochs there prevailed eminently writers at this remote period, does an objective historical spirit, which de not seem to have been strictly ad. sires external fact as a basis for spiritual
hered to in the schools, inasmuch conviction; a spirit which has great
as the following branches of educapower of faith in approved testimony, and can bring such faith to work on
tion were eagerly cultivated, irre. practical life. But tha early era-art
spective of all such arrangement; less and natural—was, of course, exceed
namely, Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, ingly confined as to its absolute amount
Metaphysics, Physics, Ethics, Schoof knowledge and the extent of its views. lastic Divinity, the Canon Law, tbe It disappears, as something quite insig, Civil Law, the Common Law, Arith. nificant, before the glittering pomp and metic, Geometry, Astronomy, Asthe great moral contests of the succeed. trology, and Medicine. ing period, the Age of Chivalry.
The study of Grammar, or of lan" In the eleventh and twelfth centu.
guages, was prosecuted by many ries, however, the schools continued to rise, and to extend their organization,
with considerable ardour and suc
cess : parallel to the general progress of intelli.
a powerful stimulus being gence. Speculative Theology and Phi.
constantly applied by the fact, that losophy were growing out of the narrow
the French and Latin, in the higher Logic and Rhetoric of the ancient
class of society, were chiefly spoken; Trivium and Quadrivium ; † and two
the former being the language of new sources of knowledge - Roman Law, the court, and the latter that of the and Græco-Arabian Natural History Clergy. Our Norman invader prowere opened.” (Pages 3, 4.)
fessed such a cordial hatred of the
English tongue, as to command that Professor Huber, in marking the all the law proceedings should be in progress of learning in this country, the French; so that the children at takes, as a kind of starting point, school were taught the first elements the twelfth century. At this we are of grammar and letters in French, not surprised. A mighty revolu. and not in English. All who wished tion took place at this period, not to appear at court, to converse with "* Studium Generale, Universitas Literaria,
the great, or to be fit for any office Academia."
of importance, were under the ne" | The Trivium included Grammar, Logic,
cessity of acquiring a knowledge of and Rhetoric; and the Quadrivium, Arithmetic,
the French." On the other hand, Geometry, Astronomy, and Music."
the Latin was considered of equal
importance, and was studied by all rank. The Secretary of the Norof the learned professions, or who man informs us, that Editha, the aspired to any reputation in learn- amiable consort of Edward the Con. ing : it was not only the language fessor, after she had examined him of the Church Liturgies, but that in in Latin prose and verse, often which the sciences were taught, all proceeded to attack him with the books composed, all accounts were subtleties of logic, in which she kept, all letters of business or com. excelled; and when she had enpliment were written; in which all tangled him with her acute and scholars daily conversed, many of artful arguments, and obtained the the Clergy preached, not only be- victory, she always dismissed bim fore Synods and Councils, but even with a present of some pieces of to the common people; in a word, money. The unfortunate Heloisa, Bulæus, in his History of the Pari 80 much beloved by the accomplish. sian University, observes, "that the ed Peter Abelard, was one of the Latinity of no age, from the decline most acute logicians of the twelfth to the revival of learning, was so century. The attachment of the terse and elegant as that of the learned to the Aristotelian logic intwelfth century.”.
creased so much during this cenRhetoric, or the art of speaking tury, that many devoted their whole correctly and eloquently, occupied lives to its study, as the most neces. the attention of the youth of this sary and excellent of all pursuits ; country subsequently to the study but this science, which had proof Grammar. This branch of edu: fessedly for its object the discovery cation was much neglected, and and establishment of truth, soon even represented as unnecessary degenerated into mere sophistry, and useless, by many philosophers and a system of contemptible quibof that day, who spent much time, bling. In proof of this assertion, and employed the powers of the one circumstance only shall be admind, on the subtleties of the Aris duced ; and that is on the authority totelian ogic, then
fashionable of John of Salisbury. After assertand admired pursuit. The advan ing, that the most ridiculous and tages of this study, however, were trifling questions were agitated elegantly displayed both in prose among them, he brings forward the and verse, particularly by John of following example: :-" When a hog Salisbury, and Alan de Lisle; whose is carried to a market with a rope productions, while they give a de tied about its neck, which is held at scription of rhetorical science, and the other end by a man,-whether of Latin verse, furnish no unfavour is the hog carried to market by the able representation of the state of rope, or by the man?” This would learning, on these important topics,
to us too ridiculous to be at that period.
named; but, in the estimation of Much time and labour were em the logicians of the period before ployed on Logic. Ingulphus, the us, it appeared in a very serious friend and Secretary of the Con light, who declared, with consum. queror, informs us, that, after he mate gravity, that it was one of had made himself master of the first those questions that could not be and second book of Tully's Rhe solved, -the arguments on both toric, he applied to the study of sides were so persectly equal! Aristotle's Logic, and made greater The Metaphysics and Natural proficiency in it than many of his Philosophy of this period, although contemporaries. A sufficient proof they were taught and studied with this, that the logic of Aristotle was great diligence, consisted of a prostudied by the youth of England at digious number of abstract and subthe commencement of the eleventh tle speculations about entity and century; and not only so, but by non-entity, spirit, primary matter, all who made any pretensions to body, substance, accidents, substanlearning,-including some of the tial forms, occult sciences, solidity, fair sex, and these of the highest extension, cohesion, rest, motion,
time, place, number, magnitude, persons, in the face of the heavens. &c.; which contributed, after all, So much were these astrological nothing to the real knowledge of quacks credited, that there was nature, or benefit of mankind. The scarcely a Prince, or even an Earl, same observations are applicable to or great Baron, in Europe, who did the study of Ethics, or Moral Phi not keep one or more of them in losophy; so that it conduced very his family, to cast the horoscopes of little to enlighten the mind, amend his children, discover the success of the heart, or regulate the life. They his designs, and public events which disputed, with amazing fervour, were to happen. about liberty and necessity; the Medicine, also, which had been means, the ends, and the actions of practised in the darkest ages of moral philosophy,- whether it was Britain as an art, now began to be a practical or speculative science ; studied as a science; but we meet but took no pains whatever to show with few celebrated for their medical the foundations of moral obligation, knowledge, who were not Priests or or to illustrate the nature, limits, Monks. The profession became so and motives of the various duties of lucrative, and so many Monks apmen and of citizens.
plied to the study and practice of it, Whether the Arabian figures for (deserting their monasteries, and representing numbers were known neglecting their own profession,) and used in Britain at this period, that a canon was made in the Counis doubtful. From the revenue-tolls cil of Tours, A.D. 1163, prohibiting of Henry II., Richard I., and King Monks to stay out of their monasJohn, it appears that they were not teries above two months at then used in the Exchequer ; for all time, teaching or practising physic. the sums in these rolls are marked The Bishops of Rome had long in Roman letters. The learned been engaged in the project of erect. mathematician, Dr. Wallis, has pro- ing a spiritual monarchy, superior duced several authorities, which to all other in worldly aggrandizemake it probable that the Arabian ment and power. Hence Councils arithmetic, called algorism, perform were assembled, composed of Preed by the Arabian figures, was even lates from Christian countries, in known to some learned men in the which laws were enacted, called twelfth century. The Elements of canons, for the government of such Euclid, and several other treatises spiritual monarchy. This compelled on Geometry, were translated out of Bishops and their officials to make the Greek and Arabian languages the canons of the Church their into Latin in this period : the study, in order to direct them when science, however, was but little stu they acted as Judges in their spiritdied. If Geometry were neglected, ual courts. But it was not until Astronomy could not be success the middle of the twelfth century fully cultivated. A considerable de- that the canon-law attained the rank gree of attention was paid to the of a science, and was studied as a motions, situations, and aspects of royal road to the highest honours, the heavenly bodies; but this was and the richest benefices. The study done rather with a view to astro. of the Roman or Civil Law was inlogical prediction, than to discover troduced into England about the the true system of the universe. same time with that of the Canon No science was followed at this Law. A copy of the Justinian Code period with so much enthusiasm as was brought from Rome, A.D. 1140; that—the most fallacious of all—of and Vacarius opened a school in Judicial Astrology. No one at that Oxford, where he read lectures on day was honoured with the name of the Civil Law to crowded audiences. mathematician, but an astrologer; The Common Law was also studied who was believed, by many, to pos with great diligence, as a profession, sess the precious secret of reading by many who, by their skill, acthe fates of kingdoms, the events
of quired not only faine and wealth, war, and the fortunes of particular but also high offices in the state.
Our readers, with the above infor that which already existed. But this mation with regard to the literature
remark refers to the material of knowof the twelfth century, will be pre. ledge, not to the intellectual spirit which pared for Professor Huber's section,
was at work, nor to its results. In the entitled, “Spirit of the twelfth cen
period of the Crusades, the naïve capa
city of belief, transmitted from the pretury, compared to that of the nineteenth, and contrasted with that of neously with the chivalric spirit
ceding age, reached its height simultathe sixteenth."
this it most strangely blended a whimsical fancy and a speculative keenness, by
the working of which its child-like faith “An important and essential siini. was sapped, and the whole system at larity appears to me to exist between the length fell. Then, out of the rubbish general movement of mind in the pre of scholastic speculation and poetical sent nineteenth century, and that in the enchantment, the fifteenth and sixteenth twelfth. Our own age seems to carry centuries dawn upon us, fresh in youth, forward a like spirit, although on a and illustrious by the resurrection of larger scale, and with more abundant heathen art and Gospel faith. The posiresources. Both epochs are character. tive amount of culture, the accumulaized by philosophic speculation; there tions of knowledge, were then far richer is in both a striving like that of Sisy. and fuller than at the earlier epoch. phus, without tangible result, yet never But the mental activity, absolutely conwholly useless ; in both there is a plen- sidered, was much greater in the twelfth tiful supply of materials, not only for century ; even to so feverish a degree, as faith, but also for knowledge. It is true, chiefly to give that age its unpractical we cannot tell whether the wise men of character. Too vigorous a fancy seized the present day will recogvise and admit upon, and consumed, all the materials of the likeness; and still less, what result knowledge. They vanished under the for their own labours it will lead them magical influence of an intellect which to augur. But, instead of dwelling on converted their most solid substance this similarity, and involving ourselves into artificial webs. Even institutions in a period of time which is not yet which professed to be practical, as those within the domain of history, it is more of chivalry and monachism, seem too appropriate to illustrate the spirit of the fantastic and incorporeal for true history; twelfth century, by putting it in contrast while the really substantial matters of with that by which the sixteenth, and fact which chronologically fall into the the latter part of the fifteenth, are cha same period,—the extension of comracterized.
merce, the establishment of the rights of 6 In each of the periods now con chartered cities, the League of the Hanse trasted there was a great movement; nor Towns, these look quite out of place, was the earlier of the two much inferior as though they rather made part of a in the variety and importance of its re more sober age to come.
But I must sults to the general intellect. We are, not tarry on a question which does not indeed, apt to feel an undue partiality so immediately concern me; nor must I toward the sixteenth century, in compa- seek to decide on the value of the results rison with the twelfth, because the great obtained from the speculative philosophy discoveries of the later epoch still so of that period. Except in circles deseriously affect the whole substance and cidedly deficient in historical cultivation, direction of our outward life. The these are, perhaps, rather too highly, twelfth, on the contrary, has its beams than too slightly, appreciated ; and it is dimmed by a nearer brightness ; nor has now a sort of axiom, that, in that age, it much with which many men in our the struggle to apprehend things which day can sympathize : we must, then, began to outgrow faith,—things which carefully examine every lasting impres had hitherto been believed,-involved sion which it has left. At any rate, the most vitally important questions ; from the East fresh streams were poured that, in so far, the impulse had an excel. in upon that age, to contribute to its lent tendency; that it was diffused outward and inward life ; nor ought we among all ranks more widely than can to assume that these were less abundant again be shown in the annals of history; than those which afterwards overflowed in fine, that such names as Lanfranc, the sixteenth century, when the old Anselm, Abelard, Peter Lombard, Hugo world was recovered, and a new world of St. Victor, Alexander Hall, Albert opened ; much less if, in each instance, the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Duns We compare that which was added with Scotus, Occam, and many others, have a
place in the Golden Book of the Peerage sometimes wounded. It is remarkable of Intellect.
that the speculative schools, old and “When I thus contrast the old and made common cause against the the new studies, let me not be inter new practical studies. These intruders preted to mean, that the germs of the were wholly heterogeneous ; but the new new philosophy are not discoverable at a speculation, having developed itself out much earlier time,-in Alcuin, in Eri of the old, had points of agreement and gena, in the Fathers of the Church. But sympathy with it.” (Pages 5-10.) if a greater fulness of developement may not be taken as a mark of a new epoch, history cannot distinguish old and new ;
The scholastic or Aristotelic phifor the new was ever in the womb of the losophy—to which Professor Huber old.
so often refers, and which induced “ That at this period Law and Medi. the hierarchy of Rome, even at this cine began to be cultivated anew, is well
early period, to hold fast in her known. Yet it is less considered than it
hand the key which alone could redeserves, that in the heart of Christian
veal the arcana of the monastic and Europe they forthwith lost their positive
cathedral school, or of the more nature, and were swallowed in the vortex
public and national seat of learning, of fantasy. At a much later time, (after the Aristotelic Physics, tinged by the
the University—is pre-eminently a Arabian spirit, had spread over western
record of that struggle which has Christendom,) the very same thing hap
subsisted between the efforts of pened to the auxiliary medical sciences.
human reason, on the one hand, to Of course, no place was then left for ex. assert its own freedom and inde. perimental and inductive methods in pendence; and, on the other hand, Natural Philosophy and Medicine. As the coercion exercised over it by for Roman Law, indeed, it was wholly the civil or ecclesiastical powers. untractable to speculation; but for this Taking a general view of the subvery reason it was deprived of all scien. ject, it will be observed to be dis. tific treatment whatever. It won its
tinguished by two very opposite way very slowly on this side the Alps,
characteristics : an unbounded li. in competition with the native jurisprudence. That part only on which the berty of discussion, that advances, Church could graft her claims, attained
with unawed step, into the most a systematic cultivation ; and this was startling curiosities of minute inincorporated with Theology. However, quiry; and a servile addiction to Law and Medicine may be called the the previous determinations and new practical sciences of that day, in sanctions of the venerated authori. contrast to the new dialectical specula- ties of antiquity. We are, there. tions.
fore, not surprised to learn, that the “ The Old School complained, first, that the bold spirit of innovation was re
extravagant attachment manifested
for the Aristotelian Logic, the reignmodelling at will all the dogmas of the ing taste of the dark middle ages, Church ; next, that through its prevalence must ensue an entire oblivion of
should infect not only the sciences the scientific facts laboriously gleaned generally, but also that it should from classic authorities, (for their intrin
cause to fall prostrate before it that sic value was not so much regarded,) of Theology-producing that popuand the study of the old languages them- lar system so well known by the selves would be despised. Bold spirits
of school-divinity, and its and fuent tongues were able, also, with teachers by the title of Schoolmen. out the toil of the Trivium and Qua. The facts alluded to above, so essendrivium, to make themselves important tial to the establishment of the Aris. by a smattering of Dialectics; while the
totelian philosophy, and so conspi. substantial recompences earned by Juris
cuous in the various forms of scho. prudence and Medicine drew off many more minds from the old routine of study.
lastic philosophy, are evidences of Its sincere followers, whether scientific
that struggle under which the sys. ally or spiritually devoted to it, probably
tem gradually rose and established looked on these lucrative branches as de. itself. It was by its artful combina. grading to the nobler feelings; and, in- tion of the two ingredients of the deed, their own self-interest and self. human judgment,--the positiveness importance must likewise have been of dogmatism, and the waywardness