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I maining years of Ulrich von Hutten's life. Italy in 1517, his poetic and patriotic services received imperial acknowledgment in the laurel crown with which, on the 12th of July, Maximilian's own hand decorated him at Augsburg. In the same year he entered the service of the enlightened, though worldly prelate, Albert, Archbishop of Mentz and Elector of Brandenburg,-soon, as cardinal, to be a prince of the Church as well as of the empire. In 1518 he accompanied his master to the Diet at Augsburg, convoked to consider the Pope's design of a European war against the Turks, whose conquests under the cruel and ambitious Selim gave good grounds for alarm. Hutten's voice had already been raised in warning.* He watched the proceedings of the Diet with intense interest. His disappointment at its pacific conclusion was probably diminished by the fact that it involved the refusal of the tithes which the Pope demanded for the prosecution of the projected war, but which were sure to have been spent in ministering to the corrupt splendour of the Roman court.
In the following year Hutten took up arms in the war which the Swabian league carried on successfully against his old enemy Ulrich of Wurtemburg, and launched against him a fifth of those declamatory invectives of which we have already spoken. In this campaign he formed an affectionate and serviceable friendship with the celebrated Franz von Sickingen, half independent prince, half robber chief. Even Hutten's restless spirit, however, to which action was as necessary as the air he breathed, began now, after labours and trials so exhausting, to feel the need of repose. He indulged in day-dreams of tranquil literary leisure and married happiness. He had already given expression to his annoyance at the restraints and formality of court life in a dia. logue entitled Aula.t The munificence of his patron Albert of Mentz relieved him from the necessity of service, while continuing to him the salary of his office.
His dream of domestic quiet and literary retirement was soon dispelled. The contentions for the imperial throne which followed on the death of Maximilian in January 1519, opened out many questions of policy and patriotism affecting the relations of Germany to the Papal court. The Lutheran controversy, which Hutten had despised as a stupid monkish quarrel, now presented itself to him in its true light. It was impossible that he should remain long a mere spectator of the struggle. The rest of his life is, as Strauss calls it, a battle against Rome. We can do no more than briefly trace the knight's personal fortunes to his early death in 1523, four years from the period at which we have now arrived.
* Ulrichi de Hutten ad Principes Germaniæ, ut bellum Turcis invebant, exhortatoria.
† The title-page is quaint enough to be given at length: it shows how the art of puffing accompanied the revival of letters. “Ulrichi de Hutten Eq. Germ. Aula. Dialogus. Res est nova, Lector, res est jucunda, lusus perurbanus et facetus: dispeream nisi legisse voles. Vale. Cum privilegio imperiali.”
By unceasing attacks, chiefly in the form of satiric dialogue, on the corruptions and aggressions of the Church, Hutten drew down upon himself the anger of the Pope. Hearing that orders had been issued to send him in chains to Rome, he took refuge, in September 1520, with his friend Franz von Sickingen at the Castle of Ebernburg. From this safe retreat he renewed his attacks in verse and prose.
The enthusiasm which Luther's boldness, especially in the burning of the Papal bull that condemned his writings, had roused, showed that the questions on which the Reformation depended had taken deep hold of the popular mind; the victory or defeat of the good cause hung on its gaining and keeping the sympathies of the people. To them, and not to scholars and
, princes merely, the appeal must be made. Hutten was too quicksighted not to perceive this, and too prompt not to act upon his perception. He had hitherto written only in Latin; henceforth he began to write in German also, and translated some of his earlier works into the vernacular. The poems, dialogues, and letters, which he poured out with such astonishing rapidity from his retreat at Ebernburg did not exclusively engage him. He read Luther's works with Sickingen, and raised his friend's enthusiasm for the great Reformer and his hatred of Rome almost to the height and intensity of his own. In several of Hutten's later dialogues, Sickingen, like the Socrates of Plato, is the interlocutor to whom the author's own sentiments are intrusted, and through whom, as in the Robbers (Predones), he urges the union of the commonalty and peasantry with the equestrian order, in resistance to the civil and intellectual tyranny, and the greedy extortions of the priesthood.
Hutten's restless spirit, however, pined under his enforced confinement. It was better to be a prisoner at Ebernburg than a prisoner at Rome; but to be a prisoner at all chafed him beyond the limits of endurance. To be obliged to sit down and write, when he would be up and doing, was hard to be borne. His violence and extravagance, natural as they were to him, were exaggerated by the denial of a proper field for his activity. He was for immediate recourse to arms against Rome and the empire. Happily these headstrong counsels were overruled.
During Sickingen's service in the war with France, in 1521, Hutten sought another concealment, where he was so well concealed that his hiding-place is to this day unknown. Rejecting liberal offers from the French king, he wandered to Basel, where
Erasmus then resided. The latter, afraid of the consequences of intimacy with one so little in favour in high places, refused to see his former friend. An angry personal controversy was the consequence. The magistracy of Basel, fearful of harbouring him, requested him to leave their city. He proceeded to Mühlhausen. Here he heard of the failure of Sickingen's freebooting expedition against Richard, Archbishop and Elector of Treves; of his retreat to Landstuhl; of its investment and capture, and of the hero's death. His stay at Mühlhausen was short. The rabble, incited by the partisans of the old ecclesiasticism, threatened his safety, and he was compelled to make his escape by night to Zurich, where, at the hands of the reformer Zwingli, "he sought and found protection, help, and consolation."
Presently he retired to the little island of Ufnau, in the lake of Zurich; and there, not unattended by friendly ministrations, breathed his last, after a short but violent illness, towards the end of August or the beginning of September 1523, being then thirtyfive years and four months old.
The faults of Hutten's character lie on the surface, and it requires no particular acuteness to discern them. They are those of a warm and passionate temperament. But his merits are as conspicuous,-courage, unselfishness, a ready enthusiasm for what he believed to be true and right, ardent patriotism, and quenchless love of liberty. He lived for great and worthy ends, for which he was satisfied to spend and be spent. Mr. Hallam thinks that Hutten's early death is more likely “to have spared the reformers some degree of shame than to have deprived them of a useful supporter.” It may be so. Hutten was one of a class of men needful at the commencement, often dangerous in the subsequent course of revolutions; powerful to set the forces of change in motion, but little skilful to control and guide their movement. Such men have their place, and do their work; and are to be judged of by what they are, rather than by what they are not. His life, to use his biographer's words, is a rebuke “to those who would without a struggle again hand over to Rome, and to a priesthood in the interest of Rome, the keys of the conscience and intellectual cultivation of the German races;" and yet more so “ to those who would plant a new popedom in the very bosom of Protestantism itself, --to the princes who make their will their law, and to the scholars to whom circumstances and motives of prudence are more than the truth.”
ART. III. RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE STUDY OF
LATIN LITERATURE. Bibliotheca Classica: edited by George Long, M.A., and the Rev.
A. J. Macleane, M.A.--Publii Terentii Comoedia Ser; with a Commentary by the Rev. E. St. John Parry, M.A.-Juvenalis et Persii Satire; with a Commentary by the Rev. A. J. Macleane,
M.A. The Speech of Cicero for Aulus Cluentius Habitus; with Prolego
mena and Notes by William Ramsay, M.A. Trin. Col. Camb.,
Professor of Humanity in the University of Glasgow. Lectures on Roman Husbandry, delivered before the University of
Oxford. By Charles Daubeny, M.D., Professor of Botany and
Rural Economy in the University of Oxford. That till within the last few years the Greek and Latin languages have been cultivated in this country, each after a distinct fashion, we suppose will be generally acknowledged. The cause, or at least one very sufficient cause, is plain enough. We do not often possess a familiar and a critical acquaintance with the same thing. The process by which the former is acquired blunts our ardour for the latter. We do not make a psychological study of our father and mother. We do not get up the Times Newspaper with a gazetteer and an atlas. These are things to be enjoyed as parts of our daily life; not to stand off from us, and be critically probed and dissected. Latin, accordingly, under the old-fashioned system of education was not learned scientifically, because it was learned so easily and so colloquially ; it grew up with us, and became as it were a second mother-tongue. It was not then one of several accomplishments which make up the educated man. It underlay them all. A professor of Latin was deemed as superfluous as a professor of English. Greek, on the contrary, was a specialty—a thing to be pursued, if a man had a turn for it; not otherwise. Add to this the confessedly greater difficulty* of learning Greek, which rendered critical commentaries indispensable when it came to be generally studied; and we shall have said all that is necessary in illustration of the fact laid down.
But of late years a change has come over scholarship. The tradition, which lingered on through the first quarter of the present century, is fast dying out. The habit of Latin composition is no longer enforced with pristine stringency; other branches of knowledge divert the infant mind from that ex.
* Conf. De Quincey's Essay upon Bentley.
clusiveness of diet which is necessary to even partial assimilation. Latin, therefore, is taking its place among other objects of study; and is becoming a subject of curiosity rather than of love. As we say of men, that it is only after their death we can form a just estimate of their characters, so, now that Latin has ceased to be spoken, and is fast ceasing to be written, we begin to investigate its elements. It is becoming that formid
. able affair, “a matter of history.” Our annotations are becoming philological and idiomatic: Madvig is becoming generally known - Oxford has established a professor; and we may almost say that the transition state of Latin scholarship is concluded, and that a new era has commenced.
This is the first point to be noticed. The second is, the completeness of the equipments with which all new classical editions are now ushered into the world. Gray, who lamented the multiplication of Lexicons a century ago, for its tendency to impair the quality of English scholarship, would lift his hands in horror could he witness the growth of dissertations, introductions, excursuses, appendices, and other aids to the indolent, which these latter days have brought forth. The poet's objection was well-founded. Such auxiliaries, however valuable for reasons hereafter to be mentioned, have undoubtedly had one ill effect. Our scholarship is comparatively crude. And if any young aspirant would know the reason why, let him take some portion of a classical author with which he is wholly unacquainted, and endeavour to master it thoroughly without any external assistance. The process will be analogous to that of chewing the bodily food; and he will find that not only has he digested this subject as he never digested one before, but that he has gained a real step in education, and at the same time invigorated his intellectual powers more than ten times the same amount of reading would have done, pursued under the ordinary system. His progress, we admit, will be slow. All those little words which he is apt to pass over as unimportant, when his Lexicon has supplied him with the leading idea of the sentence, will now be, as it were, put to the torture, and compelled to shed their quota of light upon the meaning of the whole. As an idiom which he could not comprehend in the third page, recurs in the tenth, and again, perhaps, in the twentieth, under different combinations, its radical significance will gradually dawn upon his mind, never to be again forgotten. The moods and voices of verbs, and the varying force of compounds, will now become matter of serious consideration. Of the technical allusions, some, as he reads on, will explain themselves, and others he will carefully set aside for separate inquiry. Till at last, by pursuing this exhaustive process, he