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write the history of the Romans. And for the better accomplishing of the same, he read Cato and Piso in Latin, for gathering of matter and truth, and Thucy. dides in Greek, for the ordering of his history and furnishing of his style.”?
The use of old words, Sir John Cheke is further made to say, is not the greatest cause of Sallust's roughness and darkness. “Read Sallust and Tully advisedly together, and in words you shall find small difference. Yea, Sallust is more given to new words than to old ; though some writers say the contrary.” He then gives some examples, after which he continues: “I could be long in reciting many such like, both old and new words in Sallust: but in very deed, neither oldness nor newness of words maketh the greatest difference betwixt Sallust and Tully; but, first, strange phrases made of good Latin words, but framed after the Greek tongue, which be neither choicely borrowed of them, nor properly used by him; then, a hard composition, and crooked framing of his words and sentences; as a man would say, English talk placed and framed outlandish-like.”
Having concluded his report of this discourse of Sir John Cheke's, our author proceeds: “Some men perchance will smile, and laugh to scorn this my writing, and call it idle curiosity, thus to busy myself in picking about these small points of grammar, not fit for my age, place, and calling to trifle in. I trust that man, be he never so great in authority, never so wise and learned, either by other men's judgment or his own opinion, will yet think that he is not greater in England than Tully was at Rome; nor yet wiser nor better learned than Tully was himself : who at the pitch of threescore years, in the midst of the broil betwixt Cæsar and Pompey,
when he knew not whither to send wife and children, which way to go, where to hide himself; yet in an earnest letter, anong his earnest counsels for those heavy times, concerning both the common state of his country and his own private affairs, he was neither unmindful nor ashamed to reason at large, and learn gladly of Atticus, a less point of grammar than these be, noted of me in Sallust : as whether he should write, ad Piræea, in Piræea, or in Piræeum, or Piræcum, sine prepositione. And in those heavy times he was so careful to know this small point of grammar, that he addeth these words, ‘Si hoc mihi Surnua persolveris, magnâ me molestiâ liberâris.' [If you will resolve me this question, you will deliver me from what gives me great annoyance.]
“ If Tully at that age, in that authority, in that care for his country, in that jeopardy for himself, and extreme necessity of his dearest friends, being also the prince of eloquence himself, was not ashamed to descend to these low points of grammar in his own natural tongue; what should scholars do ? yea, what should any man do, if he do think well-doing better than ill-doing, and had rather be perfect than mean, sure than doubtful, to be what he should be indeed, and not seem what he is not, in opinion ? He that maketh perfectness in the Latin tongue his mark, must come to it by choice and certain knowledge, and not stumble upon it by chance and doubtful ignorance. And the right steps to reach unto it be these, linked thus orderly together,--aptness of nature, love of learning, diligence in right order, constancy with pleasant moderation, and always to learn of them that be best; and so shall you judge as they that be wisest. And these be those rules which worthy
Master Cheke did impart unto me concerning Sallust, and the right judgment of the Latin tongue."
We give entire the few but pregnant sentences in which the style of Cæsar is characterised :
“Cæsar, for that little of him that is left unto us, is like the half face of a Venus, the other part of the head being hidden, the body and the rest of the members unbegun; yet so excellently done by Apelles, as all men may stand still to maze and muse upon it; and no man step forth with any hope to perform the like.
“ His seven books De Bello Gallico,' and three • De Bello Civili,' be written so wisely for the matter, so eloquently for the tongue, that neither his greatest enemies could ever find the least note of partiality in him (a marvellous wisdom of a man, namely writing of his own doings), nor yet the best judges of the Latin tongue, nor the most envious lookers upon other men's writings can say any other but all things be most perfectly done by him.
“ Brutus, Calvus, and Calidius, who found fault with Tully's fulness in words and matter, and that rightly, for Tully did both confess it and mend it, yet in Cæsar they neither did, nor could, find the like, or any other fault.
“ And therefore thus justly I may conclude of Cæsar, that whereas in all others the best that ever wrote in
any time or in any tongue, in Greek (I except neither Plato, Demosthenes, nor Tully), some fault is justly noted, in Cæsar only could never yet fault be found.
“ Yet nevertheless, for all this perfect excellency in him, yet it is but one member of eloquence, and that but of one side neither; when we must look for that example to follow, which hath a perfect head, a whole
body, forward and backward, arms, and legs, and all."
Here the work ends, at least in the form in which we have it. It will be observed, that of the four writers, whose characters the author had proposed to draw, only three are formally treated of; and that there are no observations on Declamation, the last of the six ways which he had enumerated for the learning of tongues. Yet, in his preface, as we have seen, he appears to state distinctly that the work was finished. Considering the circumstances and manner of its publication, it is not unlikely that the concluding portion of the treatise, though really prepared by Ascham, may have disappeared in the interval of several years that elapsed before his papers were sent to the press.
TO MASTER SAMUEL HARTLIB.
BY JOHN MILTON.
I am long since persuaded that to say and do aught worth memory and imitation, no purpose or respect should sooner move us than simply the love of God and of mankind. Nevertheless, to write now the reforming of education, though it be one of the greatest and noblest designs that can be thought on, and for the want whereof this nation perishes, I had not yet at this time been induced but by your earnest entreaties and serious conjurements; as having my mind diverted for the present in the pursuance of some other assertions, the knowledge and the use of which cannot but be a great furtherance both to the enlargement of truth and honest living with much more peace. Nor should the laws of any private friendship have prevailed with me to divide thus or transpose my former thoughts ; but that I see those aims, those actions which have won you with me the esteem of a person sent hither by some good providence from a far country to be the occasion and incitement of great good to this island, and as I hear you have obtained the same repute with men of most approved wisdom and some of the highest authority among us, not to mention the learned correspondence which you hold in foreign parts,