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the eldest of whom obtained a scholarship at St. John's through the interest of Lord Burleigh, and was afterwards appointed to a fellowship of Trinity College by Queen Elizabeth's mandate. He became distinguished for the elegance of his Latin epistolary style.
The only other productions of Aseham that have been printed, besides those already mentioned, are a collection of his Latin letters and poems, made by Mr. Grant, master of Westminster School, the first edition of which appeared in 1576, and a Latin tract against the Romish mass, entitled “ Apologia pro Cæna Dominica contra Missam et ejus præstigias,” said by Anthony Wood to have been published at London in 1577.
His “Schoolmaster” was first published in 4to, at London, in 1571, according to the title-page, but in 1573 according to the colophon, and again, in the same form, in 1589. An edition of the work, in Svo, with notes by Mr. Upton, appeared in 1711, and a second, much improved, in 1743. It was also printed, along with all Ascham's English works, including some of his letters, till then unpublished, in 4to, in 1767, under the care of the Rev. James Bennet. To this edition, which was reprinted in 8vo, in 1815, with the addition of five letters in English addressed to Sir William Cecil, there is prefixed a life of the author by Dr. Johnson.
The facts contained in the above sketch have been principally taken from the Life of Ascham in the Biographia Britannica, which, again, has been for the most part compiled from a Latin oration by Mr. Grant, prefixed to the Letters and Poeins.]
[As an appropriate introduction to Ascham's Schoolmaster, we give here the Letter of Advice and Direction addressed by Cardinal Wolsey to the Masters of Ipswich School, of which he was the founder. In this letter, which is dated 1st September, 1528, the Cardinal lays down a system of teaching, which in its leading principles is very nearly the same with that recommended by Ascham. Indeed, as has been shown by the author of " An Essay on a System of Classical Instruction," (12mo., London, Taylor, 1829,) the method in question appears to have been that which in former times was always followed in teaching Greek and Latin not only in the schools of this country, but in those of the other countries of Europe. The writer to whom we refer remarks, that Wolsey's "charge appears to have been a compilation in great part from the writings of Erasmus," and that “not only the general scheme of its instructions is attributable to this eminent scholar, but whole sentences will be found to have been taken from his works, without the alteration of a single word.” 'The original of the letter is in Latin; but we avail ourselves of the English translation which has been given by the author of the Essay.]
THOMAS CARDINAL OF YORK, &c. TO THE MASTERS OF
1PSWICH SCHOOL, GREETING. “We suppose no one to be ignorant with what mental effort, zeal, and industry, we have always directed our labours to this point; not with a view to our own private advantage, but as far as possible to consult the
welfare of our country, and of all our fellow-subjects. In which one object, we consider we shall reap the richest fruit of patriotism, if with divine blessing we should adorn by cultivation the minds of our country
Influenced therefore by a warmth of affection incredibly great towards our birth-place, which claims our exertions by its own right, we have dedicated a school, not wholly without elegance as a building, as the clearest testimony of our perfect love. But since there seemed but little done in having built a school, however magnificent the structure, unless there should be added skilful masters, we have endeavoured by all means to appoint as its presidents two masters duly selected and approved : under whose tuition, the youth of Britain, from their earliest years, might imbibe morality and learning; naturally considering that the hope of the whole state rests on this stage of life, as that of the harvest on the blade of corn. And that this might succeed more happily and early, we have provided with all care, zeal, and diligence, that, in a little treatise on the instruction of boys, you should have the method and plan of teaching principally necessary for this tender age. It will now in turn be your part, who are masters in our new school, here to exercise the boys with diligence in the rudiments of education ; that as well in
1 elegance of literature, as in purity of morals, they may advance in due order to higher views. And if you strive after this object as carefully as we shall exhibit the plan before your eyes, you will not only now, while we earnestly favour your pursuits, lay us under obligation to yourselves; but you will absolutely make us survive on happy terms with all posterity. Farewell.
“From our own palace, Sept. 1, A.D. 1528. “ In what order boys, admitted into our Academy,
should be taught, and what authors should be lessoned to them.
METHOD FOR THE FIRST CLASS. “ In the first place, it has been not improperly resolved that our school be divided into eight Classes. The first of these is to contain the less forward boys; who should be diligently exercised in the eight parts of speech; and whose now flexible accent it should be your chief concern to form; making them repeat the elements assigned them, with the most distinct and delicate pronunciation ; since raw material may be wrought to any shape whaterer; and according to the hint of Horace,
• The odours of the wine that first shall stain
The virgin vessel, it will long retain ;' on which account it were least proper to deprive this time of life of your due care.
“ FOR THE SECOND CLASS.
“ Next in order, after pupils of this age have made satisfactory progress in the first rudiments, we would wish them to be called into the second form, to practise speaking Latin, and to render into Latin some English proposition; which should not be without point or pertinence; but should contain some piquant or beautiful sentiment, sufficiently suitable to the capacity of boys. As soon as this is rendered, it should be set down in Roman characters; and you will daily pay attention that each of the whole party have this note-book
perfectly correct, and written as fairly as possible with his own hand. Should
think proper that, besides the rudiments, some author should be given at this tender age,
may be either Lily's Carmen Monitorium, or Cato's Precepts ; of course with a view of forming the accent.
“ Of authors, who mainly conduce to form a familiar style, pure, terse, and polished, who is more humorous than Æsop? Who more useful than Terence ? Both of whom, from the very nature of their subjects, are not without attraction to the age of youth.
· Furthermore, we should not disapprove of your subjoining, for this form, the little book composed by Lily on the genders of nouns.
FOR THE FOURTH CLASS.
" Again ; when you exercise the soldiership of the fourth class, what general would you rather have than Virgil himself, the prince of all poets? Whose majesty of verse it were worth while should be pronounced with due intonation of voice.
“ As well adapted to this form, Lily will furnish the past tenses and supines of verbs. But although I confess such things are necessary, yet, as far as possible,