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have been isolated as a 'poet' among the theologians at Cologne, where by this time humanism had many representatives, and where students were found entering, eo nomine, as students of humanity. In 1501 he matriculated at Cologne, and until his death in 1542 he seems (like Kant at Königsberg) never to have set foot outside his University. He was active there as professor in the 'Bursa Cucana' (Kueck's hostel), and as corrector of the press. As to his versatility there can be little doubt; for his 'Orationes quodlibetica' dealt with all the subjects of both trivium and quadrivium; and he was not altogether without wit, though it was very thinly beaten out. For the rest, he seems, as time went on, to have grown more rather than less to trust in his opinons, and he lived to praise Reuchlin.
In the phrase of one of the Epistolæ (ii, 62), Hochstraten, Tungern and Gratius were the 'tria magna candelabra sive lucernæ' of the orthodox at Cologne, to whom some add' Johannes Pfefferkorn, as a lantern or hanging-lamp.' The Brantspiegel' of the last-named (end of 1512) having repeated the twofold charge against Reuchlin of knowing no Hebrew and having been bribed by the Jews, he summed up his case in his 'Defensio' (1513), which, while triumphantly refuting the accusation against his 'Augenspiegel,' held the ancient University up to scorn as sunk into second childhood, and imputed blasphemy to Ortuinus Gratius, who had hailed the Blessed Virgin as Alma Jovis Mater.' The Epistolæ (i, 24) go so far as to charge Reuchlin with very unbecoming scandalmongering' ('scandalizat valde dedecorose') in his 'Defensio'; nor was the pedantry all on one side.
The Emperor Maximilian, whose moods varied, was in June 1513 persuaded by Reuchlin to impose silence on both parties in the dispute; but, only a month later, the Cologne faculty obtained an imperial mandate suppressing the Defensio.' Encouraged by this success, it subsequently secured from the Universities of Cologne, Mainz and Louvain (judiciously substituted for Heidelberg) a condemnation of the still more obnoxious 'Augenspiegel' Erfurt couching its adhesion in a form complimentary to the author. And in August 1514 the Paris Faculty of Theology, to Reuchlin's great chagrin, unanimously condemned the book, Meanwhile, Hochstraten had
audaciously summoned Reuchlin before his tribunal at Mainz; but Pope Leo X, to whom both sides intended to appeal, committed the settlement of the dispute to the Bishops of Speier and Worms, or to one of them. Thus, in March 1514, the young and liberal Count Palatine George, Bishop of Speier, gave his judgment, pronouncing the charges against the 'Augenspiegel' unmerited, illconsidered, unjust, and untrue. Hochstraten was to pay the costs of the suit; but, before the judgment was delivered to him, he had already once more appealed to Rome, where the appeal was entertained.
The question had now become one of international significance. While, in plain-spoken and cordial words, Maximilian commended the case of his councillor Reuchlin to the Holy See, his grandson Charles was writing to Leo X in a directly opposite sense, and the new King of France (Francis I) was urging him to follow the advice of the University of Paris. Hochstraten repaired in person to Rome, where, according to the Epistolæ, he at first appeared with much show of grandeur, 'habens pecuniam in banco' (ii, 6), and where on both sides endless wire-pulling set in. That corruption played its part in the game was unhesitatingly assumed by the writer of the second series (ii, 32); there is but one way in which to gain a cause at Rome; 'if Reuchlin has any money, they say at the Curia, let him send it here.' In the end, the Pope's Commission-according to the trustworthier account, with one dissentient voice-declared the 'Augenspiegel' free from blame; but the Pope, instead of approving the verdict, issued a mandatum de supersedendo, which put off all further proceedings. Neither Hochstraten nor Reuchlin's proctor in Rome, the excellent Johann von der Wick (whose praises are conveyed in the Epistolæ, ii, 53, by the outpouring of a vial of wrath over the head of this 'homo valde audax '), seems to have given up the hope of a favourable papal pronouncement; but it became clear before long that the attempt of the Cologners had failed, and that the decision of the Bishop of Speier, approved by the vote of the Commission at Rome, was permanently valid. The date of issue of the final papal mandate-July 1516-should be borne in mind in connexion with the appearance of the first and second volume respectively of the Epistolæ,
The writings for or against Reuchlin (published after he had, as it were, said his own last word), with which the Leipzig and Frankfort fairs overflowed in these years, are, with the exception of the Epistolæ, all forgotten. To certain of the contributions to the dispute made by Ortuinus Gratius in the years 1514-15 reference will be made below. But note must be taken here of the collection of letters addressed to Reuchlin, published (no doubt by himself) in 1514 under the title of Clarorum Virorum Epistolæ. These letters had no direct bearing upon the Augenspiegel controversy, which remained unmentioned in Melanchthon's introduction to the collection; but they sufficed to show who were the men that acknowledged Reuchlin as the head of their fraternity, and could be depended upon to rally round him. Wherever the humanists gathered, it was their custom to form sodalitates (intimate associations); and, as has been well pointed out by Brecht, the goodly company of the Obscure Ones itself is a sort of humanist parody of this humanist habit. At Erfurt, as has been seen, the Mutianic circle, of which Eobanus Hessus was the poet and Crotus Rubianus the humourist-in-chief, was foremost among the representative circles of German humanism; and it was in that circle that, as an effect of the Augenspiegel controversy, the idea of the Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum' was conceived, and by a member of it that the first volume of the satire was composed.
By a member of Mutian's circle, we said, but not by Mutian himself. Although he afterwards had no goodwill to spare for the Reformation, his sympathetic interest in the Renascence never changed; and he may very probably have highly approved of at least the earlier of the Epistolæ. He may even have suggested some of the sallies contained in them; but he was the last man to have put pen to paper as a literary satirist. Indeed, he cordially disliked communicating his wisdom or learning except by word of mouth; Socrates, he said, had never left aught in writing behind him; and, in truth, what is the written word as compared with the spoken, which goes straight from mind to mind and from heart to heart?
It was at one time thought that the Epistolæ were the composition of several members or correspondents of Mutian's circle at Erfurt; but there is no antecedent
probability in such an assumption, and not a tittle of evidence in its favour. Kampschulte, who first effectively demonstrated the connexion between the Epistolæ and the Erfurters, was also the first to show clearly that Crotus Rubianus and Ulrich von Hutten were principally concerned in the authorship of the work as a whole; but he could not shake off the impression that there was some further collaboration. Böcking, Strauss, Geiger and Krause (the biographer of Eobanus Hessus) worked on this hypothesis, without advancing beyond the conclusion that the inventor of the satire was Crotus, who had the chief hand in the earlier series of letters, while Hutten was chief author of the later. As Mr Stokes reminds us, the general conclusions of these writers had been anticipated, with remarkable insight, by Sir William Hamilton; and they are accepted by Sir John Sandys in his standard work.* It was, however, rightly felt by Brecht, to whose treatise we have already referred, that the external evidence on the subject is insufficient of itself to warrant an absolute conclusion. He has therefore, with it, subjected the internal evidence, especially that of style, to a most careful examination, and may be said to have established, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the two series are internally distinct from one another, and that, of the two, Crotus and Hutten must respectively be regarded as the authors. Buschius (Hermann von dem Bussche) may have contributed an occasional letter,† in which case he was probably the third person of the three, which Erasmus had heard was the number of the authors
*A History of Classical Scholarship,' vol. ii, p. 257.
+ Böcking was fain to ascribe to Buschius i, 19, where enquiry is made of Ortuinus Gratius whether he did not write the beautiful elegy on Magister Sotphi (Gerhard von Zütphen), of which Stephanus Calvastrius (Baldhead?) gives a kind of parody-'nequiter immutatum,' says the indignant poet' in his 'Lamentationes Obscurorum Virorum,' where he quotes the original. Buschius, who was now a hostile rival of Gratius at Cologne, must have had an early knowledge of the poem; but this, as Brecht says, does not prove him to have written the parody, though he may have maliciously sent it on to Crotus. Another letter in which Böcking suspected the co-operation of Buschius is i, 36 (a gross mock defence of Pfefferkorn and his wife), which is dated from Bonn (Verona Agrippina), contains an actual reference to Buschius, and was probably based on a letter from him. Indeed, this and other Epistolæ contain certain parallel passages to his letter to Reuchlin in the Epistolæ Clarorum Virorum,' See Brecht, pp. 145 ff.)
of the Epistolæ ; but it is more likely that he only contributed material. Of the collaboration of Eobanus Hessus there is neither proof nor probability. That of Aperbachius (Petrejus Eberbach) is a really baseless conjecture of Kampschulte's; while the notion that Count Hermann von Neuenahr and the Cologne humanist Joannes Cæsarius were contributors has been exploded.
To Crotus Rubianus, then, who composed, actually or virtually, the whole of the first series of the Epistolæ (the volume published, at the latest, early in 1516, before the issue of the final papal mandate *), the famous satire owed, not only its first blush (an erubescence a non erubescendo) of fame, but also its literary framework and general design. Crotus Rubianus (Johann Jäger von Dornheim, whose Latin appellation is a delightful humanistic puzzle) seems to have been one of those genial spirits who are born to keep alive the gaiety of clubs, universities or nations. His contemporary, Justus Menius, if it was he who wrote the letter which, so far as we know, first ascribed to Crotus the authorship of the Epistolæ,' reminds him that he never allowed the troubles of the times, the decay of the State, or the degeneracy of the Church, to spoil his sleep, appetite or good-humour. He accordingly proposed that his satires and dialogues should be sent forth into the world without his name; and, as may be seen from the chapter devoted to them by Brecht, their authorship is accordingly a subject of contention. It was only to his Apologia' of his patron, Albert of Prussia (1531), that he put his name; and, after this had called forth the aforesaid anonymous letter, he seems to have published nothing more. his return from Prussia he accepted a canonry at Halle, and died (at a date unknown) in communion with the Church of Rome-whether in perfect sympathy with her, who shall say?
But much water had flowed down both the Weser and the Pregel before Crotus had been purged of the ferment which had agitated both him and men of sterner stuff in the days when the German Reformation was still undeclared. One of the earliest of his writings (or of the writings ascribed to him with much probability), Contra
* As to the Appendex' to vol. i, see below.