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could not but have hit on before among the rudiments of grammar; but that sublime art which in Aristotle's poetics, in Horace, and the Italian commentaries of Castelvetro, (24) Tasso, Mazzoni, and others, teaches what the laws are of a true epic poem, what of a dramatic, what of a lyric, what decorum is, which is the grand masterpiece to ob
This would make them soon perceive what despicable creatures our common rhymers and play-writers be; and show them what religious, what glorious and magnificent use might be made of poetry, both in divine and human things.
18. From hence, and not till now, will be the right season of forming them to be able writers and composers
in every excellent matter, when they shall be thus fraught with an universal insight into things. (85) Or whether they be to speak in parliament or council, honour and attention would be waiting on their lips. There would then also appear in pulpits other visages, other gestures, and stuff otherwise wrought than what we now sit under, ofttimes to as great a trial of our patience as any other that they preach to us. These are the studies wherein our noble and our gentle youth
(24) Piccolomini and Beni deserve also to be enumerated among the excellent commentators of the Poetics.
(25) The reader will here doubtless call to mind the spendid idea given by Crassus (De Oratore, 1. i.) of the education and acomplishments of an orator. Both Cicero and Milton looked solely to the development of great minds; and from the system of the latter, as from the school of Isocrates, which Cicero compares to the Trojan horse, none but princes in eloquence, had it ever been fully put in practice, would have issued.
ought to bestow their time, in a disciplinary way, from twelve to one and twenty : unless they rely more upon their ancestors dead, than
themselves living. In which methodical course it is so supposed they must proceed by the steady pace of learning onward, as at convenient times, for memory's sake, to retire back into the middle ward, and sometimes into the rear of what they have been taught, until they have confirmed and solidly united the whole body of their perfected knowledge, like the last embattling of a Roman legion. Now will be worth the seeing, what exercises and recreations
and become these studies.
19. The course of study hitherto briefly described is, what I can guess by reading, likest to those ancient and famous schools of Pythagoras, Plato, Isocrates, Aristotle, and such others, out of which were bred such a number of renowned philosophers, orators, historians, poets, and princes all over Greece, Italy, and Asia, besides the flourishing studies of Cyrene and Alexandria. But herein it shall exceed them, and supply a defect as great as that which Plato noted in the commonwealth of Sparta; (20) whereas that city trained up their youth most for war, and these in their academies and Lycæum all for the gown, this institution of
(26) See Plato, De Legibus, I. i. Opera, t. vii. p. 181, sqq. edit. Bekk. Aristotle notices the same defect in the Spartan government; and adds that, though military superiority was the object aimed at by Lycurgus, they had been excelled by their neighbours (the Athenians ?) no less in the virtues of war
breeding which I here delineate shall be equally good both for peace and war. Therefore about an hour and a half ere they eat at noon should be allowed them for exercise, and due rest afterwards; but the time for this may be enlarged at pleasure, according as their rising in the morning shall be early.
20. The exercise which I commend first, is the exact use of their weapon, to guard, and to strike safely with edge or point; this will keep them healthy, nimble, strong, and well in breath; is also the likeliest means to make them grow large and tall, and to inspire them with a gallant and fearless courage, which being tempered with seasonable lectures and precepts to them of true fortitude and patience, will turn into a native and heroic valour, and make them hate the cowardice of doing wrong. They must be also practised in all the locks and gripes of wrestling, wherein Englishmen were wont to excel, (27) as need may often be in fight to tug, to grapple, and to close. And
than in the arts of peace. — Politics, 1. ii. and 1. v. c. 4. Müller, in his “ Hist. and Antiq. of the Doric Race,” endeavours to exalt the political institutions of the Spartans above the popular governments of the Ionians.—Vol. ii. p. 1–269.
(27) Aristotle's remarks on the employment of exercise in education are full of good sense. He allows, as might have been expected, that the culture of the body should precede that of the mind; but is far from inculcating, with many writers, the necessity of acquiring athletic habits of body, which have, on the growth and shape, effects no less injurious than on the intellect. At Sparta, where gymnastic exercises were not pursued as a profession, excessive labour produced no less dangerous results, unfeeling and ferocious habits. During the years preceding
this perhaps will be enough, wherein to prove and heat their single strength.
21. The interim of unsweating themselves regularly, and convenient rest before meat, may, both with profit and delight, be taken up in recreating and composing their travailed spirits with the solemn and divine harmonies of music, (28) heard or learned ; either whilst the skilful organist plies his grave and fancied descant in lofty fugues, or the whole symphony with artful and unimaginable touches adorn and grace the well-studied chords of some choice composer; sometimes the lute or soft organ-stop waiting on elegant voices, either to religious, martial, or civil ditties; which, if wise men and prophets be not extremely out, have a great power over dispositions and manners, to smooth and make them gentle from rustic harshness and distempered passions. (29) The like 'also would
puberty all violent exercises and forced regimens are pernicious ; which is clear from the fact that, of those who won the prize in boyhood in the Olympic contests, not above two or three had again proved victors in manhood.—Politics, l. v. C. 4; see also l. ii. c. 3. Plato, in his Republic, observes that too continuous an application to gymnastics, to the neglect of music, engenders ferocity.—Opera, t. vi. 152. (28) In his L'Allegro he thus describes the delights of music:
“And ever against eating cares,
Lap me in soft Lydian airs,
The hidden soul of harmony.' (29) He here undoubtedly alludes to Plato, who, in various not be inexpedient after meat, to assist and cherish nature in her first concoction, and send their minds back to study in good tune and satisfaction. Where having followed it close under vigilant eyes, till about two hours before supper, they are, by a sudden alarum or watchword, to be called out to their military motions, under sky or covert, according to the season, as was the Roman wont;(30) first on foot, then, as their age permits, on horseback, to all the art of cavalry; that having in sport, but with much exactness and daily muster, served out the rudiments of their soldiership, in all the skill
parts of his works, speaks enthusiastically of the pleasures to be derived from music, which he regarded as a powerful instrument of education. Nowhere, however, has he perhaps expressed himself more beautifully than in the third book of his Republic, (t. vi. p. 153, edit. Bekk.) where Socrates explains to Glaucus in what manner the citizens of a free state should be nurtured : “Whoever is captivated by music, and, yielding himself up to its soothing influence, suffers it to pour in upon his soul through the ears, as through a funnel, those ravishing, sweet, plaintive harmonies we have enumerated, and passes all his days in the alternate joy and sadness produced by the powers of melody, must inevitably be softened, like steel in the fire, and lose whatever was harsh or rude in his nature. Indulged in to excess, however, music emasculates instead of invigorating the mind, causing a relaxation of the intellectual faculties, and debasing the warrior into an effeminate slave, destitute of all nerve and energy of soul.” From the history of modern Italy numerous facts in support of this theory might be collected. The Latin translation of the above passage, by Marsilius Ficinus, without being a strictly literal rendering of the original, is remarkable for great beauty and elevation of language.
(30) On the military exercises of the Romans, see Gibbon, History, &c. vol. i. p. 17—27, and Lipsius de Militià Romana, 1. v. Opera, t. iii. p. 317–340. In the latter work the subject is rendered more intelligible by engravings, rude but useful.