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THE SCHOOLMASTER.

AN ANALYTICAL ACCOUNT OF ASCHAN'S

“ SCHOOLMASTER."

(Roger Ascham was born at Kirby-Wiske, or Kirbyupon-Wiske, near Northallerton, in Yorkshire, about the year 1515. His father, whose name was John, was steward to Lord Scroop, and is said to have been a man of very superior understanding, as well as of eminent integrity: his mother was of a good family. They had two other sons, Thomas and Anthony, both born before Roger, as well as several daughters. John Ascham and his wife are stated to have died on the same day, and almost in the same hour, after a union of forty-seven years.

Roger, who appears to have been born in his father's old age, was in his boyhood taken into the house of Sir Anthony Wingfield, to be educated, at the expense of that gentleman, along with his iwo sons. Their tutor was a Mr. Bond. Here he so greatly took Sir Anthony, by the love he showed for rearling, and the rapid progress he made in his studies, that this generous patron resolved to complete his kindness by sending him to the University. He was accordingly entered of St. John's College, Cambridge, about the year 1530. He soon greatly distinguished himself in this new sphere, especially by his progress in the knowledge of the Greek language,

VOL. I.

then new as a general study in England, and the most fashionable of all others. Ile is said to have acquired the language principally by teaching it to others, a course which he pursued by the advice of his friend, Mr. Robert Pember, who told him that he would learn more by reading to a boy a single fable of Æsop, than by hearing others read Latin lectures on the whole Iliad. He took his degree of B.A. on the 28th February, 1534 ; and on the 23rd March following was elected Fellow of his college. We shall give, at the proper place, the passage in his “Schoolmaster,” in which he relates how he obtained his fellowship through the management of Dr. Nicholas Medcalf, the master of the college, although he had already made himself obnoxious to the authorities by the inclination he had begun to show for the reformed faith. In 1536 he took his degree of M.A. In 1544, he published, with a dedication to Henry VIII., his first work, under the title of “Toxophilus; the School or Partitions of Shooting, contained in two books." It is a treatise in defence of archery, which was at this time Ascham's favourite pastime. Henry was much pleased with this production, and settled a small pension upon the author, who was also the same year chosen to succeed his friend, Sir Johu Cheke, as University orator.

Among Ascham's other accomplishments was great skill in penmanship. Such was his reputation in this line, that he was employed to teach writing to the king's children, Prince Edward and the Princess Elizabeth, as well as to many of the young nobility. In 1546, one of his pupils, Mr. William Grindal, had been selected to be tutor, in the Greek and Latin languages, to the Princess Elizabeth. He died in 1548, and upon this Ascham was invited to court to supply his place. After a short time, however, he appears to have taken offence at something that happened, on which he threw up his appointment, and returned to the University. But in 1550, while he was on a visit to his relations in Yorkshire, he was recalled to court to attend Sir Richard Morysine, who was about to proceed on an embassy to the Emperor Charles V. It was while iourneying to London on this occasion that he paid the visit to Lady Jane Grey, of which we shall quote in the sequel the account given by bimself in his “Schoolmaster.” He embarked with the ambassador for Germany in September 1550, and he remained on the continent for about three years, having in the course of that time visited Italy. In 1552, while residing at the Court of the Emperor, he wrote a small tract, which was afterwards published, under the title of " A Report and Discourse of the Affairs and State of Germany,” in the form of a letter to Mr. John Astley, one of the persons of the Princess Elizabeth's establishment. He appears to have been still abroad when he was appointed, through the interest of Sir William Cecil, Latin Secretary to King Edward VI. The death of Edward, however, in 1552, deprived him both of his places and of his pension, which had been continued to him by that king. In these circumstances, he retired again to the University, conceiving that all his prospects of advancement at court were gone.

It is greatly to the credit of Bishop Gardiner, then

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