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my feete. For I was reding howe some soules, beinge well fethered, flewe alwayes about heaven and heavenlie matters; other some (others) havinge their fethers mowted' (moulted) awaye and droupinge (drooping), sanke downe into earthlie thinges.
P#.I remembre the place verie wel, and it is wonderfullie sayd of (by) Plato ; and now I se it was no marvell, though (if) your fete fayled you, seyng your mind flewe so fast.
Tox.-I am gladde now that you letted (hindered, interrupted) me, for my head akes with loking on it, and bycause you tell me so, I am verie sorie that I was not with those good feloes you spake upon (spoke of), for it is a verie faire day for a man (one) to shote in.
Phi.—And methinke (methinks), you were a great dele better occupyed, and in better companie, for it is a very faire daye for a man to go to his booke in.
Tox.-Al dayes and wethers wil serve for that purpose, and surelye this occasion (opportunity) was ill lost.
Pür.—Yea, but clere wether maketh clere mindes, and it is best, as I suppose, to spend the best time upon the best thinges, and methought you shote (shot) verie wel, and at that marke at which everye good scholer shoulde most busilie? (carefully, attentively) shote at. And I suppose it to be a great dele more pleasure also to see a soule flye in Plato, then a shafte (arrow flye at the prickes. I graunt you, shoting is not the worst thing in the world, yet if we shote, and time shote, we are not like to be great winners at the lengthe (end). And you knowe also, we scholers have more earnest and weightie matters in hande, nor we be not borne (and we are not born) to (for) pastime and pley, as you know well ynough who sayth (i.e. Cicero, in the Offices.)
Tox.—Yet the same man, in the same place, Philologe, by your leve, doth admitte holsome (healthful), honest (comely),
(1) Mowted, or moulted, fr. low Lat. mutare, to shut up birds that are changing their feathers, hence mowted means, so shut up, and a so, having passed through the process. It was after Ascham's time, apparently, that the 1 blundered its way into the word. In Shakspere, in the only place where it occurs, it is moult. From the Fr. derivative of mutare, muer, we get, mue and mew, with the same meaning. Perhaps some confusion between mutare and multare, as the origin of the word, gave rise to the blunder in the spelling.
(2) Busilie, fr. A.S. bysig, bysi, fr. bysgu, occupation. The early use of this word involved the idea of carefulness or anxiety in the occupation. So where, in 1 Cor. vii, we have “I would have you without carefulness," Wiclif has bisynes.
(3) Philologe seems merely the vocalive case used in addressing Philologus.
and manerlie (well-mannered) pastimes, to be as necessarie to be mingled with sad (serious) matters of the minde, as eating and sleeping is for the health of the body, and yet we be borne (are born) for neyther of bothe (these). And Aristotle himselfe sayth that although it were (would be) a fonde (weak) and childish thinge to be to (too) ernest in pastime and play, yet doth he affirme, by the authority of the ould poet Epicharmus, that a man may use play for ernest matter sake? (for the very sake of earnest business). And in another place, The affirms] that, as rest is for (a restorative for) labour, and medicines for helth, so is pastime, at tymes, for sad (serious) apd weightie studie.
2. LADY JANE GREY AS A STUDENT OF GREEK.
(FROM "THE SCHOLEMASTER,” WRITTEN PROBABLY ABOUT 1565.)
AND one example, whether love or feare3 doth worke more in a child, for vertue and learning, I will gladlie report; which may be hard (heard) with some pleasure, and folowed with more profit.
Before I went into Germanie,' I came to Brodegate (Bradgate) in Lecetershire (Leicestershire) to take my leave of that noble Ladie Jane Grey, to whom I was exceding moch beholdinge (under much obligation). Hir parentes, the Duke and the Duches, with all the houshould, Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, were huntinge in the Parke. I founde her, in her Chamber, readinge Phaedon. Platonis in Greeke, and that with
(1) Ernest matter is in the poss. case, governed by sahe.
(2) Pastime, fr. Fr. passetems. The word was probably rather new in Ascham's time. He and Elyot use it frequently.
(3) Love or feare. Ascham had been discussing the discipline of children by flogging, to which he was entirely opposed.
(4) Germanie. Ascham was an attaché of the embassy, which, in 1550, was sent to Charles V. In the summer of this year he went down to Bradgate.
(5) Brodegate, near Leicester, was the seat of her father, the Duke of Suffolk, and she was born there in 1537, so that she was barely fourteen when this visit of Ascham's took place. Ascham, in a letter afterwards written, says she was fifteen at the time of his visit.
(6) Phædon. Ascham, in the letter just referred to, says, “ she understands Greek to admiration. Her skill in writing and speaking Greek is almost past belief."
as moch delite,' as som jentleman wold read a merie tale in Bocase (Boccaccio); After salutation, and dewtie done (compliments paid), with some other taulke, I asked hir, whie she wold leese' (lose) soch pastime in the Parke? Smiling, she answered me; I wisse (truly), all their sporte in the Parke is but a shadoe to that pleasure that I find in Plato. Alas! good folke, they never felt, what trewe pleasure ment. And howe came you, Madame, quoth I, to this deepe knowledge of pleasure, and what did chieffie allure you unto it; seinge, not many women, but verie fewe men, have atteined thereunto ? I will tell you, quoth she, and tell you a troth (truth, fact) which perchance ye will mervell at. One of the greatest benefites that ever God gave me, is, that he sent me so sharpe and severe Parentes, and so jentle a scholemaster. For when I am in presence either of father or mother, whether I speake, kepe silence, sit, stand, or go, eate, drinke, be merie, or sad (grave), be sowyng (sewing), plaiying, dauncing, or doing anie thing els; I must do it, as it were, in soch weight, mesure, and number, even so perfitelie, as God made the world; or else I
(1) Delite, fr. Lat. delectari, and not fr. any Fr. derivative. In its earliest form, delyt, we find it in Robert of Gloucester, and with various derivatives, as delitous and others, it was much employed by English writers. It was about Ascham's time that the spelling changed into delighte. It is difficult to say why it first became delyt or delite, and more difficult to explain why it afterwards changed into delight.
(2) Leese, fr. A.S. leosan or lesan. The words leese and lose seem to have been interchangeable from the earliest time. Robert of Gloucester speaks of " to lese a name," and Robert de Brunne, very little later, writes, “thou loses thi dignite." Wiclif has “He that fyndeth his lyf schal leese it,” Cranmer (in 1539), “ He that fyndeth his lyfe sh ll lose it.” Ascham was one of the last to use leese. It is not found in Shakspere at all.
(3) I wisse, fr. A.S. gewis, certain, undoubted. In the 2nd stage of English, in the 13th century, it became iwisse, exactly the spelling of Ascham. It was often employed by authors, and after a time became ignorantly used as if it were a verb, I wis, I know. It may be so taken above, though the correct rendering gives the better sense. In the “Song of Genesis and Exodus,” a work of the 13th century, we have
“ Tho gan hem dagen wel ivisse,
Then began it to dawn well for them assuredly,
When God led them into bliss. (4) Perchance, a sort of fortuitous word made up of Fr. elements ( par, by, and chance, accident), but not forming a Fr. word. It does not seem to be traceable above the mid. Eng. stage.
am so sharplie taunted, so cruellie threatened, yea presentlie! some tymes with pinches, nippes, and bobbes, and other waies which I will not name, for the honor I beare them, so without measure misordered? (ill-treated), that I thinke my selfe in hell, till tyme cum that I must go to Mr. Elmer,4 who teacheth me 80 jentlie, so pleasantlie, with soch faire allurements to learning, that I thinke all the tyme nothing, whiles (while) I am with him. And when I am called from him, I fall on weeping (a-weeping), because what soever I do els, but (except) learning, is ful of grief, trouble, feare, and whole misliking (utter disgust) unto me. And thus my booke hath bene so moch my pleasure, and bringeth dayly to me more pleasure and more, that in respect of it (in comparison with it) all other pleasures, in very deede, be but trifles and troubles unto me. I remember this talke gladly, both bicause it is so worthy of memorie, and bicause also, it was the last talke that ever I had, and the last tyme that ever I sawe that noble and worthie ladie.
(1) Presentlie. By the etymology, this word should mean at the present moment, immediately. This, however, is the exceptional sense, whereas it generally means after a while__"I'll do it presently," or anon. In Matt. xxvi. 53, “He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels," it seems to have the first meaning, and so in Shakspere (" Julius Cæsar")
“Where is Metellus Cimber ? Let him go
And presently (i.e. immediately) prefer his suit to Cæsar." (2) Bobbes. To bob seems to mean to give a sort of twitch at a person, withdrawing the hand directly after contact. The operation of “bobbing for eels" explains the word.
(3) Misordered, ordered or directed amiss. Disorder subsequently took the place of this word, as dislike did of mislike, which was much in use at this time.
(4) Elmer or Elmar, but more correctly Aylmer. The author of the “Marprelate" tracts nick-named him Mar-elme—an execrable joke surely. He was a friend of Spenser's, and is introduced as one of the interlocutors in the “Shepherd's Calendar" in the eclogue for July, under the soubriquet of Morrell, i.e. ell-moor. He answered John Knox's famous tract on the “Monstrous Regiment (government) of Women," and was made Bishop of London by Elizabeth.
(5) On weeping. One of the latest examples of on before the gerund, afterwards softened into a, as John xxi, 3, “I go a-fishing," and in Shakspere (“Richard III.") " Thou now a-dying say'st thou flatterest me.” Aldis Wright (see his valuable note under letter A in the “Bible Word-Book ") considers the a as equivalent and contemporary with on-and shows the two forms subsisting side by side, as aboard and on board, aloft and on loft (Chaucer), asleep and on sleep (Acts xiii. 36). See also note 1, p. 67.
SIR THOMAS WILSON.
1. ON STYLE.
(FROM "THE ART OF RHETORIQUE,"1 WRITTEN ABOUT 1550.)
MANY are wise, but fewe have the gifte to set foorthe their wisdome. Many can tell their minde in English, but few can use mete> (fitting) termes, and apt order.
Now, an eloquent man being smally: (in a small degree, slightly) learred, can do moche more good in perswading, by shift (change) of wordes, and mete (apt) placing of matter, than a great learned clerke, shall be able, with great store of learning, wantying wordes to set forth his meanyng. Wherfore I moche marveile, that so many seke thonly (merely the) knowledge of thinges, without any minde (desire, care) to commende or set forth their intendement (purpose, intention),
(1) - This book,” says Warton, “may be justly considered as the first book or system of criticism in our language." To this may be added, that Wilson had very much at heart the improvement of English, wh ch, as Ascham remarks, was then written “in a maner so meanlye, both for its matter and handelying, that no man can do worse.” A writer of that day speaks of
“ Wilson, whose discretion did redresse
Our English: barbarism." He, doubtless, did more than any other critic of the times to induce attention to style, or the apt“ setting forth" of the “intendement” of the writer-a point of the highest importance if Composition, whether prose or verse, is to be placed, as it ought to be, among the Fine Arts. The rich fruit of the mental development now advancing hand in hand with mete" expression, was soon after seen in the wonderful productions of the Elizabethan age.
(2) Mele or meet. Most likely of the same origin as mete, to measure, fr. A.S. matan, p.p. meten, and so meaning measured, moderate, fitting. It might also be derived fr. A.S. métan, p.p. gemet. In Sem. Sax, stage, imete was moderate. In A.V. we have, “ Fruits meet for repentance" (i.e. measured by or in accordance with repentance).
(3) Smally or smallie, now obsolete, but long maintained as an antithesis to greatly.
(4) Thonly knowledge = the knowledge only or alone. Only means one-like (0.E. onelych), i.e. as if one and nothing beyond,“ this one and no other." (Richardson's Dict.) The expression then means the knowledge, and nothing else, of things, as distinguished from the setting forth of what the things suggest (“their
3 60 ment ent"), and thus contrasts the gaining and the communicating of knowledge.
and thus contrasts the raining and there This emphatic position is now obsolete.