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After what we have lately said of George of Trebisond, taken in connexion with his violent attack on Plato and the Platonists before alluded to, it will be readily believed that the Greeks incorporated into the Italian republic of letters were not milder or more self-governed than their western brethren.

It may be inferred from all this not only that the humanists, on account of their personal pretensions, were incapable of true friendship, but also that the age looked at the ebullitions of their rage and hate, when once put into Latin, with something of a feeling of respect, and with little shock to the moral sensibilities. These were tilts of beaux esprits, and if a lance was plunged too far into a vital part, the man did not die in public estimation.

We add that these same persons who abused at such a rate were not ashamed to flatter. Instances of that continually occur; Filelfo, for instance, as we have seen, wrote dunning letters of this kind, when he was in want of money.

It will seem strange that men with such characteristics, with so little earnestness, dignity, and love of truth, with so much frivolity, self-importance, pretense, and quarrelsomeness,—that à race, whose standard of life and of purpose was far below that of the more grave and serious heathens, should take the lead in society and introduce a new era in modern Europe. But we must remember that, while they did a great work, it was chiefly in the way of destruction, and that for the work of destruction small powers, low purposes are adequate. “ It is easy," says Pindar, “even for the feebler sort of men to shake a state, but to set it up in its place again proves hard indeed, unless God of a sudden become a pilot to its rulers.” Alas, that we have found the first of these sentiments already so true in onr United States, and are forboding the truth of the other! But was it not found so also in the last century! Were not the destroyers then superficial men, and how slowly has the building they pulled down in France risen again out of the ruins! The destroyers of the reformation period were these humanists, the constructors were the reformers, who worked hard and left the work incomplete.

Let us consider very briefly, before we close this Article, some of the ways in which the destructive tendency of humanism was manifested. No direct blows, as we have seen already, were aimed at religion, nor did the humanists desire its downfall, although many of them may have regarded it with entire indifference. There remain then, as the objects of its attacks and its contempt, those sciences which formed the great mass of medieval study, and with which the church system was intimately associated; and especially the monastic form of life which had always shown itself the chief bulwark of the church. The spirit of ancient literature could not fail to bring those who were imbued with it into antagonism both with the monks and with medieval science. And while the greater part even of the clergy swam with the current of humanism, and saw in it nothing to fear, the monks at an early day instinctively regarded it as a latent foe; by their hostility they increased the opposition between them and their enemies; and as the latter gathered almost all the culture of society into their ranks, the contrast between monastic ignorance and the new refinement became continually more and more apparent.

The dislike which these students of antiquity felt towards the representatives of medieval science was one in which dullness, heavy learning, narrowness of view, endless subdivisions, the discipline which makes a plodder, stood on the one side, against geniality, frivolity, love of beauty in form rather than of truth, quickness of perception, and readiness of communication on the other. It was sharpened by envy arising from the difficulty which the humanists found of succeeding in some universities like Bologna, where the law professors received large salaries and almost controlled instruction. The triumph of the new learning seems to us, as we look back, inevitable, for the Roman law was overloaded with glosses and commentaries of most oppressive length and dullness, without clearness or beauty of method, and the school theology was so formal, so endless in its subdivisions, so full of barbarous jargon, as to be extremely revolting and even disgusting. The world could not have endured these dreadful weights and fet

ters for ever. Something else would have brought a revolution in thinking, if humanism had not been called to do this work.

We have seen how Petrarch began to find fault with the old learning of the schools. It is remarkable how sure he felt of ultimate victory. In a passage from one of his letters which Mr. Voigt cites, he uses these words : “Look at those who pass their whole lives in logomachies and sophistries, and weary themselves with idle questions; and listen to my prophecy about them all: All their renown will crumble with them, and one grave will contain their names and their bones.”

A number of the principal humanists had in their youth pursued the study of the law, and turned away from it with disgust, but although the whole class disliked or despised the science of the day, few assumed a polemic attitude towards either the legists or the theologians. One of these few was Valla. While he was teaching eloquence at Pavia, a jurist there publicly expressed the opinion that Bartolo, the eminent teacher of jurisprudence of the fourteenth century, was to be preferred by far to Cicero, that in fact Cicero was an ignorant gabbler, and that the rhetoricians concerned themselves more with words than with things. This called forth a diatribe from Valla, in which he calls Bartolo and other leading law professors by the most opprobrious epithets,—they were asses, and geese, who spoke not the Roman but a barbarous tongue. Even the Emperor Justinian comes in for a share of his bile. The modern jurists, he says, are uncultivated in all branches of. knowledge, and, above all, in the art of speaking with elegance. The destiny of civil law is to be deplored because it is so destitute of interpreters, or rather because those interpreters, whom it now has, cannot be shaken off.

But the dislike of the humanists was much more freely and commonly expressed towards the monks than towards the men of science. Nor did either the spirit of the age or that within the church put restraint upon them. Traversari himself, the general of a religious order, was in habits of daily coinmunication with those who poured their abuse upon men of the same manner of life with his own; and the age was ready to

think ill of a class of men who were at once intriguing, violent, and pretenders to a superior sanctity. Boccaccio and the other novelists delight to represent them in situations where they are false to their principles, and especially to their vows of chastity. Poggio, who had long observed them while a servant of the Papal court, paints them in his facetiæ at once in the most ridiculous situations and in dark colors; his dialogue against hypocrisy, written under Nicholas V., was an in. vective against them. The most zealous of the monks in Italy at this time were the Observantists, a stricter offshoot of the Franciscan order. Against these, more particularly, was the ire of Poggio aroused, for they controlled and disturbed the court of Eugenius IV. The great preacher of the time, Bernardino of Siena, belonged to this reform. Filelfo, having heard him in Milan, made a most calumnious attack on him as defiled with hypocrisy and lust; and intimates that the whole race of monks was like him. The satire, which points at him without calling him by name, Filelfo had the impudence to hand with his other satires to Nicholas V., who had canonized Bernardino,-a proof that he thought the Pope not likely to judge very ill of a humanist, even if he reviled the most active sons of the church.

The opinions of the humanists could not fail to circulate through society, as it came under the influence of their spirit, and admired their culture. But their spirit pervaded the church also to a great degree, and was a source of that indifference to religion, of which, united with refinement and luxury, we shall see signal examples in the next age. A Bembo and a Leo X. will show us the rotten carcass of irreligion covered with a glittering robe of heathen elegance.



It is fortunate that the political victory achieved in the reelection of President Lincoln is generally received, not with noisy exultation, but with calm and thoughtful thankfulness. It gives ground for hope that in rejoicing over triumphs gained and dangers escaped, the nation will not be blind to the severer trial yet to be met, and the fearful responsibilities that will attend it.

At the beginning of the war the nature of the struggle was almost universally misapprehended. We proposed to ourselves to put down certain insurgents—a mere feat of arms. We did not foresce a searching test, not merely of our military capacity, but of the inventive genius, the constructive skill, and the administrative energy without which the fighting faculty of a great nation can never be developed and displayed. Boasting of our productive power and increasing wealth, we little expected a strain upon our resources that should tax them to the utmost. Exulting in a strength to which no burden had yet seemed heavy, and in a spirit to which no disappointment had yet applied a test, we did not expect a prolonged trial of our pluck, in defeat as well as in victory, or an early and pressing need of the “ Mens æqua in arduis." Nor was it onr gravest error that we underrated the magnitude of the military task before us. It had been easy to ventilate patriotic fervor in Independence day orations, but not many of us expected a sweeping blast of temptation and trial that would search out every hollow stick in the forest, and shake to the very roots the sturdy loyalty of the staunchest—a trial that would closely gauge our own appreciation of the boasted blessings and privileges of free government by our willingness to sacrifice for its maintenance wealth and comfort, party ties and inborn prejudices, and even the lives of our bravest and dearest. We had pointed to our free schools and general edu

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