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earnest with me to have me say my mind also what I thought concerning the fancy that many young gentlemen of England have to travel abroad, and namely to lead a long life in Italy. His request, both for his authority and good will toward me, was a sufficient commandment unto me to satisfy his pleasure with uttering plainly my opinion in that matter. 'Sir,' quoth 1, 'I take going thither, and living there, for a young gentleman, that doth not go under the keep and guard of such a man as both by wisdom can, and authority dare rule him, to be marvellous dangerous.'
“And why I said so then, I will declare at large now, which I said then privately, and write now openly; not because I do conteinn either the knowledge of strange and divers tongues, and namely the Italian tongue, (which next the Greek and Latin tongue, I like and love above all other,) or else because I do despise the learning that is gotten, or the experience that is gathered in strange countries, or for any private malice that I bear to Italy; which country, and in it nainely Rome, I have always specially honoured, because time was when Italy and Rome have been, to the great good of us that now live, the best breeders and bringers up of the worthiest men, not only for wise speaking, but also for well doing, in all civil affairs, that ever was in the world. But now that time is gone, and though the place reinain, yet the old and present manners do differ as far as black and whice, as virtue and vice.”
Ascham then launches into a long invective against the manners of Italy, and what he calls “the enchant. ments of Circe,” by which Englishmen are in danger of being corrupted in that country. But we shall not follow him through this declamation, which in general
bas comparatively little interest for the modern reader. One or two personal reminiscences only, which it contains, may deserve to be extracted. “In our forefathers' time,” says the author in one place, " when papistry as a standing pool covered and overflowed all England, few books were read in our tongue, saving certain books of chivalry, as they said, for pastime and pleasure." Among these he instances “ La Mort d’Arthure,” the character of which work he draws in no very flattering colours, Yet,” he adds, “ I know when God's Bible was banished the court, and 'La Mort d'Arthure' re, ceived into the prince's chamber," The prince here meant must, we suppose, be King Henry the Eighth. The following notice of the author's visit to Venice afterwards occurs ;
“I was once in Italy myself, but, I thank God, my abode there was but nine days; and yet I saw in that little time, in one city, more liberty to sin than ever I heard tell of in our noble city of London in nine years, I saw it was there as free to sin, not only without all punishment, but also without any man's marking, as it is free in the city of London to choose, without all blame, 'whether a man lust to wear shoe or pantocle, And good cause why; for being unlike in truth of religion, they must needs be unlike in honesty of living. For blessed be Christ, in our city of London, commonly the commandments of God be more diligently taught, and the service of God more reverently used, and that daily in many private men's houses, than they be in Italy once a week in their common churches; where mask. ing ceremonies to delight the eye, and vain sounds to please the ear, do quite thrust out of the churches all service of God in spirit and truth, Yea, the Lord
Mayor of London being but a civil officer, is commonly for his time more diligent in punishing sin, the bent enemy against God and good order, than all the bloody inquisitors in Italy be in seven years.
For their care and charge is not to punish sin, not to amend manners, not to purge doctrine, but only to watch and oversee that Christ's true religion set no sure footing where the Pope hath any jurisdiction."
Having apologized for this digression, Ascham concludes his first book as follows: “But to my matter; as I began plainly and simply with my young scholar, so will I not leave him, God willing, until I have brought him a perfect scholar out of the school, and placed him in the University, to become a fit student for logic, and rhetoric, and so after to physic, law, or divinity, as aptness of nature, advice of friends, and God's disposition shall lead him.”
The second book of the “ Schoolmaster” professes in its title to teach “the ready way to the Latin tongue.” It commences as follows:
“ After that your scholar, as I said before, shall come in deed, first to a ready perfectüess in translating, then to a ripe and skilful choice in marking out his six points; as,
then take this order with him : read daily unto him some book of Tully; as the Third Book of Epistles, chosen out by Sturmius; de Amicitia, de Senectute, or that excellent Epistle, containing almost the whole First Book, ad Q. Fratrem; some comedy of Terence, or Plautus. But in Plautus, skilful choice must be used by the master, to train his scholar to a judgment in cutting out perfectly over old and improper words. Cæsar's Commentaries are to be read with all curiosity, wherein especially (without all exception to be made either by friend or foe) is seen the unspotted propriety of the Latin tongue, even when it was, as the Grecians say, in áxury, that is, at the highest pitch of all perfectness; or some orations of T. Livius, such as be both longest and plainest.
“ These books I would have him read now a good deal at every lecture ; for he shall not now use daily translation, but only construe again, and parse, where ye suspect is any need : yet let him not omit in these books his former exercise, in marking diligently, and writing orderly out his six points; and for translating, use you yourself every second or third day, to choose out some Epistle ad Atticum, some notable commonplace out of his Orations, or some other part of Tully, by your discretion, which your scholar may not know where to find; and translate it you yourself into plain natural English, and then give it him to translate into Latin again, allowing him good space and time to do it both with diligent heed and good advisement.
“Here his wit shall be new set on work; his judgment for right choice truly tried ; his memory for sure retaining better exercised, than by learning anything without the book ; and here, how much he hath pro
fited shall plainly appear. When he bringeth it translated unto you, bring you forth the place of Tully; lay them together, compare the one with the other; commend his good choice, and right placing of words ; show his faults gently, but blame them not over sharply; for of such missings, gently admonished of, proceedeth glad and good heed-taking; of good heed-taking, springeth chiefly knowledge, which after groweth to perfectness, if this order be diligently used by the scholar, and gently handled by the master. For here shall all the hard poiuts of grammar both easily and surely be learned up, which scholars in common schools, by making of Latins, be groping at with care and fear, and yet in many years they scarce can reach unto them.
“I remember, when I was young, in the North there went to the grammar-school little children; they came from thence great lubbers, always learning, and little profiting; learning without book everything, understanding within the book little or nothing. Their whole knowledge by learning without the book was tied only to their tongue and lips, and never ascended up to the brain and head, and, therefore, was soon spit out of the mouth again. They were as men always going, but ever out of the way. And why ? For their whole labour, or rather great toil without order, was even vain idleness without profit. Indeed, they took great pains about learning, but employed small labour in learning ; when by this way prescribed in this book, being straight, plain, and easy, the scholar is always labouring with pleasure, and ever going right on forward with profit. Always Jabouring I say; for, ere he have construed, parsed, twice translated over by good advisernent, marked out his six points by skilful judgment, he shall have neces