Mary’s troubled reign had covered the[5] five most susceptible years of his youth, and restored to the country, despite its legal excesses, a definitely Catholic tone. Things were soon to change. War by statute against the Mass was first declared in 1559. Edmund Campion had left Oxford by the time that St. John’s, deprived of President after President by the Royal Commissioners, was swept clean of all the dons who favoured, or in any degree tolerated, the jurisdiction of that Apostolic See which safeguarded the doctrine and honour of the Blessed Eucharist. But while he lived in his University world, he lived untouched. He was not looked upon as a Catholic company set up hk .

Nor was he such, if his heart could be fully judged by his outward actions. Buried in literature, philosophy, and pleasant tutorial work, he had become, in his cultured indifference, what St. Jerome’s accusing vision called a “Ciceronian,” and not a Christian: a skin-deep Ciceronian, however. There is only a bare possibility that, on proceeding M.A. in 1564, he escaped taking the wretched Oath of Supremacy, and thereby acknowledging the Queen as[6] Head in spirituals as well as temporals within her realm of England. He stretched his conscience, as many were doing, thinking to help along the unity of faith, thereby defeating that unity for good and all. An almost unprecedented vogue at Oxford had served to blind him: he was so happy, so busy, so needed, so much at home there. Friends encouraged him; undergraduates flocked about him, and imitated his very gait and tone as they never have imitated any one else except Newman hk offshore company .

Campion was a famous Latin scholar; and he was a good Grecian and a good Hebraist: Greek and Hebrew were studies newly revived just before he was born. He spoke as well as he wrote. The flamboyant art of oratory, now almost extinct in our more quiet-coloured century, was then much studied and admired; and Campion was famous for debates and addresses and encomiums. When only twenty, he had been called upon to preach, though a layman, at the re-burial of poor Amy Robsart, Lord Dudley’s young wife, in the University church of St. Mary-the-Virgin;[7] and this he did with great grace and animation, and with no small display of tact, for rumours of a murder with a motive had already got abroad. Such prominence may have come to Campion through Sir Thomas White’s request: Sir Thomas had his associations with Cumnor. Four years later, Edmund Campion was able to put sincere love and sincere grief into a funeral oration (this time a Latin, not an English one) for the good and dear Founder himself, whose body was solemnly interred in the Chapel of his College service apartment hong kong .

In September, 1566, Queen Elizabeth made the first and happier of her two visits to Oxford. In the Queen’s train was Dudley; also a quieter, plainer, less noticed man, but one out of all comparison with him for astute power: this was Sir William Cecil, the Prime Minister, afterwards known far and wide as Lord Burghley. There were farces and tragedies for the Queen at Oxford, there were musical performances, theological disputations, and other academic sports.

In front of the vast assemblage stood forth Master Campion[8] of St. John’s, alone in his ruff, hood and gown. As representative of the University, he welcomed smiling royalty, and Dudley, now Earl of Leicester, Chancellor of the University, and royalty’s magnificent favourite. Campion shone, as well, in the absurd discussions in natural science which followed. The Queen and Dudley marked him, as they could not fail to do; for nothing could exceed the courtliness with which he had performed his task. The Chancellor sent for him in private, and expressed the Queen’s good-will, whereby Campion might bid, through him, for whatever preferment he chose. But Campion, always truly modest and full of ironic humour as well, would ask of his patron nothing, he said, but his continued regard. The young bookman had a real liking for the vicious worldling, liked by several sensitively good men, then and since. Sir William Cecil also took instinctive interest in Campion and his eager dialectics. Altogether, there was no more popular man in Oxford or elsewhere. Campion was on the hilltop of professional and personal success.

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