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this celebrated work. It was first printed in 1573; but it is best known to the public by the edition of Mr. Upton, in 1711, and illustrated with notes. Of the Schoolmaster, Johnson observes, that it " is conceived with great vigour, and finished with great accuracy; and perhaps contains the best advice that was ever given for the study of languages." We may also add, that it is justly esteemed for its judicious characters of ancient authors, for the many just observations it contains, and the various agreeable and valuable passages of English history interspersed throughout.
Ascham very wisely recommends an intermixture of elegant accomplishments and manly exercises with the pursuits of knowledge. After speaking of learning and of the advantages of a good education from various topics, he proceeds:
And I do not mean, by all this my talk, that young gentlemen should always be poring on a book, and by using good studies, should leese' honest pleasure, and haunt no good pastime; I mean nothing less : for it is well known, that I both like and love,
and have always, and do yet still use all exercises and pastimes, that be fit for my nature and hability. And beside natural disposition in judgment, also I was never, either stoic in doctrine, or anabaptist in religion, to mislike a merry, pleasant, and playful nature; if no outrage be committed against law, measure, and good order.
Therefore I would wish, that beside some good time, fitly appointed, and constantly kept, to encrease by reading the knowledge of the tongues, and learning, young gentlemen should use, and delight in all courtly exercises, and gentlemanlike pastimes. And good cause why: for the self same noble city of Athens, justly cominended of me before, did wisely, and upon great consideration, appoint the muses, Apollo, and Pallas, to be patrons of learning to their youth. For the muses, besides learning, were also ladies of dancing, mirth, and minstrelsy: Apollo was god of shooting, and author of cunning playing upon instruments; Pallas also was lady mistress in 'wars. Whereby was nothing else meant, but that learning should be always mingled with honest mirth, and comely exercises; and that war also should be governed by learning and moderated by wisdom; as did well appear in those captains of Athens nained by me before, and also in Scipio and Cæsar, the two diamonds of Rome. And Pallas was no more feared in wearing Ægida, than she was praised for choosing
Oliram; whereby shineth the glory of learning, which thus was governor and mistress, in the noble city of Athens, both of war and peace.
Therefore to ride comely, to run fair at the tilt or ring; to play at all weapons ; to shoot fair in bow, or surely in gun; to vaut lustily; to run, to leap, to wrestle, to swim ; to dance comely; to sing and play on instruments cunningly; to hawk, to hunt, to play at tennis, and all pastimes generally, which be joined with labour, used in open place and on the day light, containing either some fit exercise for war, or some pleasant pastime for peace, be not only comely and decent, but also very necessary for a courtly gentleman to use.
Towards the end of this treatise, there are several pages which treat, incidentally indeed, of the literature, the manners, and the opinions of the age. These passages, to a modern reader, will be considered probably as the most valuable part of the book. The particular views of the author in the observations he makes are of little consequence.
Sir Richard Sackville, that worthy gentleman, of worthy memory, as I said in the beginning, in the queen's privy chamber at Windsor, after he had
talked with me for the right choice of a good wit in à child for learning, and of the true difference betwixt quick and hard wits; of alluring young children by gentleness to love learning, and of the special care that was to be had, to keep young men from licentious living; he was most 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 I, 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 danger
I know divers noble personages, and many worthy gentlemen of England, whom all the syren songs
of Italy could never untwine from the mast of God's word; nor no inchantment of vanity overturn them from the fear of God and love of honesty.
But I know as many, or mo, and some, sometime my dear friends, (for whose sake I hate going into that country the more) who parting out of England fervent in the love of Christ's doctrine, and well furnished with the fear of God, returned out of
Italy, worse transformed than ever was any in Circe's court. I know divers, that went out of England men of innocent life, men of excellent learning, who returned out of Italy, not only with worse manners, but also with less learning; neither so willing to live orderly, nor yet so hable to speak learnedly, as they were at home, before they went abroad.
But I am afraid that over many of our travellers into Italy, do not eschew the way to Circe's court, but go,
and ride, and run, and fly thither ; they make great haste to come to her; they make great suit to serve her; yea, I could point out some with my finger, that never had gone out of England, but only to serve Circe in Italy. Vanity and vice, and any license to ill living in England, was counted stale and rude unto them. And so, being mules and horses before they werit; return swine and asses home again; yet every where very foxes with subtle and busy heads; and where they may, very wolves, with cruel malicious hearts. A marvellous monster, which for filthiness of living, for dulness to learning himself, for wiliness in dealing with others, for maliee in hurting without cause, should carry at once, in one body; the belly of a swine, the head of an ass, the brain of a fox, the womb of a wolf. think we judge amiss, and write too sore against you, hear what the Italian sayeth of the Englishman; what the master reporteth of the scholar, who