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THE LIFE OF CARDINAL POL E.
20 YEYE HEN we consider in them an effential article of faith, is an
what esteem the charac- amazing proof of the infatuation and imters of many men would becility of men. What an idea muft they be held by posterity, had have of the Divine Being, to suppose he
not a blind and bigotted could be delighted to behold Christians
w zeal in religion hurried armed with the sword against each other, them into such actions, as have justly drawn and by that means hurting religion in the on themselves the hatred and deteftation moft etiential manner, when they ought of mankind; we cannot but lament the to have been jointly pouring out their weakness of their minds, the narrowness praises to heaven for being enlightened of their souls, and their little acquaintance with it, and endeavouring to heal their. with the true spirit of the Christian reli- divisions, and reconcile their differences gion, which breathes nothing but charity like brethren, not quarrelling about them and love to all men ; and that so many like bitter enemies, running alter a illustrious deeds of a great man's life thadow, and difputing about ceremonies, should be often sullied by so dire a super- and nice opinions of little impo: tance, ftition, as to have caused him to persecute not as men defirous of being convinced of a brother, for differing only in some spe- the truth, but to maintain them right or culative points of no consequence to our wrong; and all the while neglecting the eternal welfare. We cannot but deplore substance, the improvement of their lives! the infirmity of human nature, which could foi, unfortunately, it has very plainly apbe so absurd as to suppose that the Divine peared that those who have used a furious Being could not be pleased with a pure · zeal of persecution on account of religion, and earnest devotion, flowing from the have in general had as little of it as any, heart, unless accompanied with this or that and been men whose lives would not bear ceremony. Some ceremonies may be useful a severe scrutiny. The true cause of perto preserve decency and order ; but to make fecution has most times proceeded not from September, 1761,
any peculiar love to religion in the per daughter of George duke of Clarence, secutors, nor yet always from a deceitful younger brother to king Edward IV. He convi&tion of even the truth of those doc. was born in the year 15oo, at Stoverton trines they would forcibly impore (which castle in Staffordshire, and was placed at is the only excuse, and a very, very, mise- the age of 7 years in the monastery at rable one it is, that ever can be alledged Shene, near Richmond in Surry, to be in. for it) but in general, from ambition, from Aructed in grammar by the Carthufians. interest, from a sordid love of lucre, and Having remained there five years, he bebecause their doctrines are the foundation came a nobleman of Magdalen college, of their luxury, opulence, and power, and Oxford, where an apartment was assigned the support of them. It is those who have him in the president's lodgings. From been governed by such powerful motives, his cradle, the greatest care had been taken that have been the fondest of persecutions, to form his mind and manners; and the who have imposed on the understandings famous Thomas Linacre, and William of others, and carefully infused into them Latimer, two of the greatest masters in a persecuting spirit, as the only method of those times, of the Greek and Latin sustaining their own sordid ends.
tongues, were appointed his principal Cardinal Reginald Pole, whose life we preceptors. The former of these was one now propore to relate, lived in those un- of the most learned physicians in Europe. happy times, when religious disputes were He projected the foundation of the college at the height ; when men were denied that of physicians, afterwards entered into natural right of liberty of conscience we holy orders, and was reckoned one of the now happily enjoy; and many suffered brightest geniuses; a man who possessed an the most excruciating torments, rather unusual knowledge in different parts of than espouse those opinions they deemed learning, and of a very exemplary life. to be false, or wound their consciences by William Latimer was alio one of the profelling to believe such doctrines as they greatest men of that, age; a master of all were persuaded had no divine foundation. sacred and profane wrinings, and an excelIt was the humanity and moderation of lent divine. They were the joint restorers cardinal Pole, his aversion to violent me- of polite literature, and the learning of the thods, hatred of persecutions, and delire ancients in England, and were in every reof bringing back the people to the church spect the most suitable men to educate and of Rome by mild and gentle usage, recom- inítruct such a young nobleman; who was mended in a reformation of the Romih designed from his very birth to make a clergy, in manners and discipline, that' great figure afterwards in the world. Unhave gained him the admiration of pofte- der their directions and assistance, he made rity, and will cause his name to be ever a very considerable progress in his studies; mentioned with honour, whilst his oppo and having observed the regular exercise, nent Gardiner, and the rest of that inter- he took (anno 1515] the degree of nal perfecuting tribe, are detefted, and Batchelor of arts, and petitioned the conhaled by every honelt man, indeed by all gregation for leave to wear such a habit the world. Happy would it be, could it and robes, as were suitable to his birth, and be said cardinal Pole was in every respect to be admitted into the public library. free from blame, or that he had never fuf- Some time after he enteied into deacon's fered himself to be forced into some mea- orders, and (anno 1517] was made presures contrary to his own nature, by those bendary of Roscomb, in the church of who were his superiors in station, but Salisbury, to which was added [an, 1919] greatly his inferiors in piety, candour, and the prebend of Yatminster Secunda, in humanity; we mean the popes. But this the same church; the deanery of Wimwill be mentioned in the course of his bourne monastery, or Minster in Dorsetlije,
shire; and that of Exeter in Devonshire. Cardinal Pole was descended from the These early promotions were the effects of blood royal of England, both by his father the munificent temper of Harry the eighth, and mother, being a younger son of Sir his relation, who directed his breeding to Richard Pole, lord Montague, knight of the church, with a design to raise him to the gaster, and coufin-germain to king the highest dignities in it. Nor was he Henry VII. and of Margaret his wife, undeterving of the royal bounty. To a
large large share of natural parts, were joined rence, he was honourably received, and a sweet and noble temper, and a love of had presents made to him there as well as letters. He was now nineteen years of at other places on the road. At Rome he age ; and having laid a good foundation was entertained with the same respect, and of learning at Oxford, it was determined, having seen the Jubilee, and satisfied his according to the custom of the times, to curiosity in visiting the court, religious send him to Italy for further improvement, honours, and rarities there (these favours where the liberal arts and sciences then, being chiefly procured him by John as they ever did, particularly fourished. Matthew Gilbert, bishop of Ve. 1525 This destination was highly agreeable to rona, who had a great esteem for him; he had urged his own solicitations for him) he returned to England, and was reit ; and the king provided him a support ceived with great affection by their masuitable to his rank, besides the profits of jesties the king and queen, and with the his preferments in the church. He went, highest honour by the court, and all the therefore, accompanied with a learned at- nobility ; the sweetness and politeness of tendance; and on his arrival, after visiting his manners, which he had greatly imseveral universities, he made Padua his proved by his travels, gaining him the love choice, then most fourishing for elo. of all men, as his learoing did their ad. quence. Here he hired a handsome house, miration. and settled a proper hourhold. Such a Thus he saw every thing at court which diftinguished figure could not fail of draw. could poslibly create a fondness in him for ing the eyes of all the learned men of the it; but at present there had no charms for place upon him, and by that means he had his taste. Devotion and study were his it in his power to make the best advantage sole delight, and that he might enjoy of their abilities, towards perfecting the plan them freely, he resolved to retire to his of his studies. To this end, the learned philo. old habitation, among the Carthufians at sopher and excellent Grecian, Nicholas Shene; having obtained a grant from the Leonicus, was of great use to him in phi- king of the apartment which the late lorophy; and he heard his lectures upon worthy dean of St. Paul's, Dr. Colet, had several parts of the works of Plato and built for his own use, in the same exerAristotle. He entertained in his family cises. Two years he passed with great Christopher Longolius, a Belgian, famous pleasure in this retirement, when Henry for the studies of eloquence. At the same VIII, began first to start some scruples time he became familiarly acquainted with about the lawfulness of his marriage with the celebrated Italian Peter Bembo, and queen Catherine of Arragon, which ended with Thomas Lupset an Englishman, emi. in a determination to be divorced from her. nent for oratory, learning, and piety, in as His kinsman foreseeing the commotions great a degree as any person of his coun- this incident would occasion, and that it try. These were the men with whom he would not be in his power to escape be. constantly conversed; and they have told ing involved in them, if he remained in us he became the delight of that part of England, prudently desired the king's leave the world for his learning, politeness, and to go to Paris, under pretence of completa seligious dispofition. At the same time he ing his studies, which was granted him.
was not less the darling of his own Here carrying some learned persons in his 1523 country, where every one endea- train, he passed his time in that tranquil.
voured to heap favours on him; lity which is so much the desire of, and so and particularly Richard Fox, bishop of necessary for, studious persons. In the Winchester, having lately founded the col- mean while, the king prosecuted the affair lege of Corpus Chrifti, in Oxford, entered, of his divorce, and sent to the most noted and made him fellow of it. From Padua universities in Europe, for their opinion as he went to Venice, where he continued to the illegitimacy of the marriage. On for some time, and then visited several this occasion Dr. Pole was desired, or ra. other parts of Italy.
ther commanded, to concur with the Having spent five years abroad, he was king's agents in procuring the subscripnow recalled home; but being very de- tions, and seals of the university of Paris, firous to see the Jubilee, which was to be and other univerfities in France. This celebrated at Rome, he made a tour to greatly perplexed him; but at length, he that city; and pafling by the way of Flo determined to leave the affair wholly to
.. those those whom Henry had joined with him him the moment he was about to speak, in the commission, and to excuse himself to he was not able for some time to utter the king as improperly qualified for fuch a word. The extremity inspired him with an office, fince his studies had ever been courage, and quitting his former purpose, quite of a different kind. But Henry VIII. he fairly spoke his truc sentiments to the was not a man to be put off with such king, which being such as was neither apologies. His temper knew not how to pleasing, nor expected now; Henry, with brook the least incompliance with his hu- a countenance flaming with anger, put his mour; and when Pole returned home, he hand sometimes to his poniard hanging at was advised by all means to clear himself his girdle, as if he intended to kill him,
of all disloyalty, and to prevent but stopped, seemingly overcome with the 1529 further mischief by appealing his fimplicity, humanity, and submission of
majesty's anger. By some means Pole. At length he dismissed him in toleor other the king forgave him ; and having rable temper, without urging the point thus averted the storm for the present, he any more. Pole, however, being apprehenagain retired to his apartments'at Shene, five that further danger would inevitably where he profecured his studies and de- accrue to him, as the king was determined votions for two years, undisturbed.
to have the divorce some way or other, King Henry, perceiving the intentions of and to be acknowledged fupreme head of the court of Rome were only to baffle his the church, he thought it the best way to proceedings carried on under their authori- withdraw; and therefore embraced this ty against Catherine, kindled into a reso. favourable opportunity of the king's paJution to shake off the yoke of that affum- . cific disposition, to apply by some friends ed authority of the papal fee, and to re- to him for his consent, under pretence of ly wholly on his own subjects. To effect a farther improvement in the universities fo extraordinary a change, it became ad abroad: which he obtained ; and his maviseable to found the minds of the chief jesty was so far fatisfied at present, that he persons in the kingdom, how they stood continued his pension for some time *. affected towards it. This was a source of The first place he went to was new troubles for his relation Pole. He Avignon, in the province of Nar. 1532 was now universally esteemed for his bonne in France, which then learning and piety, and was besides of the flourished in the studies of the liberal royal blood. It was observed, that his arts and sciences. The town was under consent would be of great service, as an the Pope's jurisdiction, and he continued example to the rest ; and therefore no there unmolested for the space of a year; means were left unesfayed to win him but the air not agreeing with his conftitu. over. Among other arguments made use tion,, he removed to Padua, and fixed his of on that occasion, the archbishopric of refidence in this beloved university a fe. York, or the bishopric of Winchester, his cond time, now and then making an ex. friends aftured him, should be conferred curfion to Venice. Divinity claimed his on him," if he would clearly new his wii- principal attention, yet not so as to exlingness to please the king, and declare his clude the inferior sciences, Learning and opinion as his majesty defired. Besides, it religion went hand in hand; and nature was further urged, that the preservation or had given him a strong turn to that kind subversion of his family depended, probab of devotion, which in the Roman church ly, upon his conduct at this crítical junc. is characteristically diftinguithed by the ture. Thus irrefiftably pregled on every appellation of Piety. There was one fide,.he at length consented, and repaired Mark, a monk, said to be a person of to the king with a design of giving him great learning and greater piety, who then fatisfaction ; but his conscience checking taught theology: with him, Pole was ex
* It is supposed that his majesty's good will to Pole was occafioned by his having, as is imagined, signed the instrument acknowledging the king's fupremacy, which par. fed the convocation in 1531. This acknowledgment was signed by Fisher, bishop of Rochester, and many other staunch advocates of the papal power ; but then it was equivocal in itself, since it contained this reserve, as far as it was agreeable to tbe law of Cbrift. The king was glad to have it passed any how,