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we could wish them so appointed as not to occupy the more valuable part of the day.

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" 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 the 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.

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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.


“ The party in the seventh form should regularly have in hand either Horace's Epistles, or Ovid's Metamorphoses 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.


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“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

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volved in reading comedies; of which word


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."


“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 of most weighty affairs of the realın, yet at dinner time he doth seem to lay them always aside ; and findeth ever fit occasion to talk pleasantly of other matters, but most gladly of some matter of learning, wherein he will courteously hear the mind of the meanest at his table."

The company had not long sat down, when Cecil mentioned what he termed a strange piece of news that had been brought him that morning, that several of the Eton scholars had run away from the school for fear of a beating. He added, that he wished schoolmasters would use more discretion than many of them did in correcting their pupils, punishing, as they often did, “ rather the weakness of nature than the fault of the scholar; where. by many scholars, that might else prove well, be driven to hate learning before they know what learning meaneth, and so are made willing to forsake their book, and be glad to be put to any other kind of living."

Some of the company assented to this opinion; others opposed it. Ascham joined those who thought that “ children were sooner allured by love, than driven by beating, to attain good learning; wherein,” he says, “ I was the bolder to say my mind, because Mr. Secretary courteously provoked me thereunto; or else in such a company, and namely in his presence, my wont is to be more willing to use mine ears than to occupy my

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Mr. Wotton, a man of mild nature, with soft voice, and few words, inclined to the same sentiments. " Mr. Mason, after his manner, was very merry with both parties.... Sir Walter Mildmay, Mr. Astley, and the rest said very little; only Sir Richard Sackville said nothing at all.”

“ After dinner,” continues Ascham, “I went up to

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