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sentiment, sufficiently suitable to the capacity of boys. As soon as this is rendered, it should be set down in Roman characters; and you will daily pay attention that each of the whole party have this note-book perfectly correct, and written as fairly as possible with his own hand.
Should you think proper that, besides the rudiments, some author should be given at this tender age, it may be either Lily's Carmen Monitorium, or Cato's Precepts; of course with a view of forming the accent.
“FOR THE THIRD CLASS. “ of authors, who mainly conduce to form a familiar style, pure, terse, and polished, who is more humorous than Æsop? Who more useful than Terence? Both of whom, from the very nature of their subjects, are not without attraction to the age of youth.
" Furthermore, we should not disapprove of your subjoining, for this form, the little book composed by Lily on the genders of nouns.
“FOR THE FOURTH CLASS. “Again ; when you exercise the soldiership of the fourth class, what general would you rather have than Virgil himself, the prince of all poets ? Whose majesty of verse it were worth while should be pronounced with due intonation of voice.
" As well adapted to this form, Lily will furnish the past tenses and supines of verbs. But although I confess such things are necessary, yet, as far as possible, we could wish them so appointed as not to occupy the more valuable part of the day.
“FOR THE FIFTH CLASS. “And now at length you wish to know what plan of teaching we should here prescribe. Your wish shall be indulged. One point that we think proper to be noticed, as of first importance, is, that thic tender age of youth be never urged with severe blows, or harsh threats, or indeed with any sort of tyranny. For by this injurious treatment all sprightliness of genius either is destroyed, or is at any rate considerably damped.
“ With regard to what this form should be taught, your principal concern will be to lesson them in some select epistles of Cicero ; as none other seem to us more easy in their style, or more productive of rich copiousness of language.
“ FOR THE SIXTH CLASS. “Moreover, the sixth form seems to require some history, either that of Sallust, or Cæsar's Commentaries. To these might not improperly be added Lily's Syntax; verbs defective and irregular, in short any you may notice, in the course of reading, as departing from the usual form of declination.
“ FOR THE SEVENTH CLASS. “ The party in the seventh form should regularly have in hand either Horace's Epistles, or Ovid's Metumorphoses or Fasti: occasionally composing verse or an epistle of their own. It will also be of very great importance that they sometimes turn verse into prose, or reduce prose into metre. In order that what is learnt by hearing may not be forgotten, the boy should reperuse it with you, or with others. Just before retiring to rest he should study something choice, or worthy of remembrance, to repeat to the master the next morning.
" At intervals, attention should be relaxed, and recreation introduced : but recreation of an elegant nature, worthy of polite literature. Indeed, even with his studies pleasure should be so intimately blended, that a boy may think it rather a game at learning, than a task. And caution must be used, lest by immoderate exertion the faculties of learners be overwhelmed, or be fatigued by reading very far prolonged: for either way alike there is a fault.
“FOR THE EIGHTH CLASS. “ Lastly, when by exercise of this kind the party has attained to some proficiency in conversation-style, they should be recalled to the higher precepts of grammar; as, for instance, to the figures prescribed by Donatus, to the elegance of Valla, and to any ancient authors whatever in the Latin tongue. In lessoning from these, we would remind you to endeavour to inform yourselves at least on the points it may be proper should be illustrated on each present occasion. For example, when intending to expound at length a comedy of Terence, you may first discuss in few words the Author's rank in life, his peculiar talent, and elegance of style. You may then remark how great the pleasure and utility in
volved in reading comedies ; of which word you should explain the signification and derivation. Next you may briefly but perspicuously unravel the substance of the plot ; and carefully point out the particular kind of verse. You may afterwards arrange the words in more simple order : and wherever there may appear any remarkable elegance; any antiquated, new-modelled, or Grecian phrase ; any obscurity of expression; any point of etymology, whether derivation or composition; any order of construction rather harsh and confused; any point of orthography; any figure of speech, uncommon beauty of style, rhetorical ornament, or proverbial expression ; in short anything proper or improper for imitation, it should be scrupulously noticed to the young party.
“ Moreover, you will pay attention that in play-time the party speak with all possible correctness ; sometimes commending the speaker, when a phrase is rather apposite, or improving his expression, when erroneous. Occasionally some pithy subject for a short epistle in their native tongue should be proposed. And, to conclude, you may exhibit, if you please, some formulæ, which serving as a guide, a given theme may conveniently be treated.
“Furnished with these rudiments in our school, boys will easily display the paramount importance of beginning from the best. Do you but now proceed, and enlighten with most honourable studies your well-deserving country."
ROGER ASCHAM'S SCHOOLMASTER.
“The Schoolmaster” is dedicated by Ascham's widow to Sir William Cecil (afterwards Lord Burleigh), in an address, in which she states, that she is moved to seek his protection for the work, "well remembering," she says, “how much my said husband was many ways bound unto you, and how gladly and comfortably he used in his life to recognise and report your goodness towards him, leaving with me then his poor widow, and a great sort of orphans, a good comfort in the hope of your good continuance, which I have truly found to me and mine." These expressions countenance what has been handed down as to the indifferent circumstances in which Ascham died.
A preface, from the pen of the author, gives an account of the circumstances in which the work originated. On the 10th of December, 1563, while the Queen was at Windsor Castle during the great plague at London, there met at dinner, in Sir William Cecil's chamber, Sir William himself, Sir William Petre, Sir John Mason, Dr. Wotton, Sir Richard Sackville, Sir Walter Mildmay, Mr. Haddon, Mr. John Astley, Mr. Bernard Hampton, Mr. Nicasius (a Greek from Constantinople), and our author. “Mr. Secretary,” says Ascham, “ hath this accustomed manner; though his head be never so full