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15/08/2016

Leicester would have provided

His interior struggle, from this day forth, went from bad to worse. With the unaffected simplicity of his character, he talked over his difficulties not only with Cheyney, but with any one at Oxford who seemed able to help him. As a consequence, the Grocers’ Company, whose exhibition he still held, heard rumours, grew uneasy, and began to suspect him, ending in 1568 by inviting Campion up to London to save his credit by preaching at Paul’s Cross, and publicly “favouring,” as they expressed it, “the religion now authorized.” He begged for time, and that being granted, for more time. He attended a court of the Company in order to plead engagements, and to say that he was not his own man, while deep in academic duties and at the service of undergraduates: “divers worshipful men’s children,” he calls them. He was Public Orator and Proctor, in fact, by now, as well[20] as Fellow and Tutor of his College. (He never resided long enough to take his Doctor’s degree.) He exacted from the Company a written statement of the dogmas he was expected to avow; and finding it impossible to subscribe to the hot heterodoxy thus laid down, he cut his first tether by resigning his exhibition.

His most brilliant colleague at St. John’s, Gregory Martin, who had protested in vain against Campion’s diaconate (which was to cause the recipient extreme remorse for a long time), had become a convert to Catholicism, and sacrificed all his secular prospects. He wrote to his dear friend to warn him against ambition, and to urge on him escape from moral bondage. “Come!” the fervent letter cried; “if we two can but live together, we can live on nothing. If this be too little, I have money; and if this also fails, one thing is left: ‘they that sow in tears shall reap in joy!’” Such earnest words, though seeming wasted, had their share in shaking Edmund Campion’s rest reenex facial .

With the summer term of 1570 his Proctorate expired. He spent the Long Vacation[21] in tutoring the eight-years-old Harry Vaux, eldest son of Lord Vaux of Harrowden, who afterwards beautifully redeemed his childish promise. The end of Michaelmas term found Campion face to face for the last time with that life which he had so loved, and in which, with his scientific enthusiasm for letters, he had been such a wonderful inspiration to young men. There was no conscious motive in his heart deeper than a thirst for such freedom as had become difficult in a Puritanizing University, when he cut himself loose, slipped out of it for good, and took ship for Ireland.

In the new move he had the approbation of Leicester, and the companionship of a much-attached Oxford disciple, Richard Stanihurst, who is remembered by posterity only for his grotesque translation of Virgil. Campion may well have left home with the understanding that he should have a clear educational field in Dublin, but he arrived a little too late. The outlook had been very bright. Some good men then in power were eager for the revival of the extinct University of Dublin, an ancient Papal foundation,[22] but ruined, as all the great Schools were (most of them permanently, some only temporarily), by the religious changes. The chief supporters of the plan were enthusiastic, far-sighted, and most liberally inclined towards Catholics. Fear and prejudice therefore stepped in, in the person of Elizabeth’s Irish Bishops. The Lord Chancellor, Dr. Weston, wrote privately to the Queen, deploring the popularity of the scheme, and begging her to take the unborn foundation “into her merciful, motherly care.” She followed that advice. In token thereof, in due season arose Trinity College, Dublin, as a complete checkmate to the earlier project, quite safe for evermore from Papist blight. Thus was Campion cheated of a continuance of his natural vocation, in serving upon the staff of the new University. Two of his friends who had most concern in it were James Stanihurst, father of Richard, and Sir Henry Sidney, then Lord Deputy of Ireland, who had proffered it lands and money reenex cps.

Leicester would have provided Campion with a letter of introduction to Sir Henry, his own brother-in-law. The latter’s[23] young son, Philip, was at this time a student in Oxford, where his governor, Thomas Thornton of Christ Church, afterwards Vice-Chancellor, had been constantly in Campion’s society. Sir Henry Sidney always bore himself most kindly towards Campion. The latter lived, a more than welcome guest, under the roof of James Stanihurst, then Recorder of Dublin, and Speaker of the local House of Commons. Stanihurst was the head of an Anglo-Irish family not openly Catholic since Queen Mary’s reign. Indeed, in his public capacity, he had often sided against Catholicism, although he was as friendly as Sidney himself to those who professed it. In the midst of this temporizing household, Campion, himself a temporizer, came during the winter to be doubted by certain bigots outside. Very possibly he was too free-spoken. Campion “came to Ireland believing in practically all Catholic dogmas, even in the Eucharist, and in the authority of the Council of Trent.” The impression may have got abroad that his then unknown variety of Anglicanism differed little from the dangerous creed of times past, lately[24] discovered to be the proper business of the police! Whatever the reason, Campion began to be a marked man. Sir Henry Sidney told Stanihurst with heat, that so long as he was Governor he would see to it that “no busy knave of them all should trouble him,” on Campion’s account. Under this unpleasant circumstance of espial, added to the disappointment he had just undergone, the sensitive exile presently fell ill, and got a most affectionate nursing from the Stanihursts, till his strength revived. He started as soon to write a treatise on a subject of which his mind, up to now, had been full: the character and aim of the ideal youth at the Universities. This De Juvene Academico reminds us of a theme by another great Oxonian who was in Dublin three hundred years later, and had also to face the heartbreaking failure of an Irish University dreamed of, and not to be. Campion afterwards recast his fine little work, and under its second form it is to be found among the few Opuscula published after his death. His comely face and gracious manner were quickly taken into favour in his Dublin[25] circle. While he was gaining a contrary repute on hearsay, the few who had access to him nicknamed him “the Angel reenex cps
 .”