Page images

worse weather, with more lets and stops, than this poor

school-house of mine. Westminster-Hall can bear some witness, beside* much weakness of body, but more trouble of mind, by some such sores, as grieve me to touch them myself; and therefore I purpose not to open them to others. And in the midst of outward injuries, and inward cares, to increase them withal, good Sir Richard Sackville dieth, that worthy gentleman; "That earnest favorer and furtherer of God's true Religion; that faithful servitor to his prince and country; a lorer of learning, and all learned men; wise in all doings; courteous to all persons, shewing spite to none, doing good to many; and as I well found, to me so fast a friend, as I never lost the like before.” When he was gone, my heart was dead; there was not one that wore a black gown for him, who carried a heavier heart for him; than I ; when he was gone, I cast this book away; I could not look upon it, but with weeping eyes, in remembring him, who was the only setter on, to do it; and would have been not only a glad commender of it, but also a sure and certain comfort to me, and mine for it.

Almost two years together, this book lay scattered and neglected, and had been quite given over of me, if the goodness of one had not given me some life and spirit again. God, the mover of goodness, prosper always him and his, as he hath many times comforted me and mine, and, I trust to God, shall comfort more and more. Of whom most justly I may say, and very oft, and always gladly I am wont to say, that sweet verse of Sophocles, spoken by Oedipus to worthy Theseus.

"Εχω γαρ ά 'χω διά σε, κέκ άλλον βροσών. This hope hath helped me to end this book; which if he allow, I shall think my labors well employed, and shall not much esteem the misliking of any others. And I trust he shall think the better of it because he shall find the best part thereof to come out of his school whom he of all men loved and liked best.

Yet some men, friendly enough of nature, but of small judgment in learning, do think I take too much pains, and spend too much time, in setting forth these childrens affairs. But those good men were never brought up in Socrates's school, who saithf plainly, "that no

* Ingrarescente jam ætate. a nocturnis et pomeridianis studiis abhorrebat : Antelucanis el matutinis temporibus legebat, conimentabatur, studebat, scribebat. Erat corpore imbecillis, et valetudinarius, mullis morbis fractus, continentibus febribus correplus, variis, ag rota. tionibus afflictus ; quæ paucis ante mortem annis eum in hecticam febrim conjecerunt. This is taken out of Mr. Grant's excellent Oration on Mr. Ascham. (19)

| For whatsoever I have, I have through thee, and through none other of living men.

(3) Plato in initio Theasis: Αλλά μεν δή, ω Δημόδοκε, και λέγεται γε συμβολή ιερών χρήμα είναι. είπερ εν και άλλη ήτιςών εςιν ιερά, και αυτή άν έιη, περί ης συ νυν συμβολεύει. Ου γάρ έξι περί τα θειοτέρυ αν άνθρωπος βελεύσαιτο, ή περί Παιδείας και αυτό, και των αυτι (ικείων. This Passage is cited by the Author, tho' not so sully. (16.)

man goeth about a more godly purpose, than he that is mindful of the good bringing up both of his own and other men's children.”

Therefore, I trust, good and wise men will think well of this my doing. And of other, that think otherwise, I will think myself, they are but men, to be pardoned for their folly, and pitied for their igno



In writing this book, I have had earnest respect to three special points, truth of religion, honesty in living, right order in learning. In which three ways, I pray God, my poor children may diligently walk; for whose sake, as nature moved, and reason required, and necessity also somewhat compelled, I was the willinger to take these pains.

For, seeing at my death, I am not like to leave them any great store of living, therefore in my life time, I thought good to bequeath unto them, in this little book, as in my will and testament, the right way to good learning: which if they follow, with the fear of God, they shall very well come to sufficiency of living.

I wish also, with all my heart, that young Mr. Robert Sackville, 16 may take that fruit of this labor, that his worthy grandfather purposed he should have done : and if any other do take either profit or pleasure hereby, they have cause to thank Mr. Robert Sackville, for whom specially this my schoolmaster was provided. .

And one thing I would have the reader consider in reading this book, that because no schoolmaster hath charge of any child, before he enter into his school; therefore I leaving all former care, of their good bringing up, to wise and good parents, as a matter not belong. ing to the schoolmaster, I do appoint this my schoolmaster then, and there to begin, where his office and charge beginneth. Which charge lasteth not long, but until the scholar be made able to go to the University, to proceed in logic, rhetoric, and other kinds of learning.

Yet if my schoolmaster, for love he beareth to his scholar, shall teach him somewhat for his furtherance, and better judgment in learning, that may serve him seven year after in the University, he doth his scholar no more wrong, nor deserveth no worse name thereby, than he doth in London, who selling silk, or cloth, unto his friend, doth give him better measure, than either his promise, or bargain




[ocr errors]

The idea of the SCHOOLMASTER originated in the table-talk of a company "of wise and good men," who dined together in the chambers of Sir William Cecil, at Windsor Castle on the 10th of December, 1563;—a company which Ascham says, “could hardly then be picked out again out of all England besides."

(I.) Sir William CECIL, for forty years Secretary of State under Queen Elizabeth, and raised to the peerage by the title of Baron of Burleigh, in 1571, was born at Bourn, in Lincolnshire, September 13, 1520,- educated at the grammar school of Grantham and Stamford, at St. John's College, Cambridge, and at Gray's Inn, London, -was married to a sister of Sir John Cheke, in 1541, and on her death in 1543, to a daughter of Sir Anthony Cook in 1545, and was largely concerned in the public affairs of his country and age. He was a hard student in early life, a thoughtful reader of books, as well as observer of men, wise and moderate in liis political measures, and never unmindsul of his family and social duties in his anxious labors for the state. Much light is thrown on the domestic habits of Lord Burleigh, in the “Diary of a Domestic"-or The Complete Statesman," as it is entitled by the writer, who describes himself as having "lived with him during the last twenty-five years of his life.”.

"His kindness, as nature ever leads all men, was most expressed to his children; if he could get his table set round with his young little children, he was then in his kingdom; and it was an exceeding pleasure to hear what sport ko would make with them, and how aptly and merrily he would talk with them, with such pretty questions and witty allurements, as much delighted himself, tho children, and the hearers. He had his own children, grand children, and great grand children, ordinarily at his table, sitting about him like olive branches. * * He was of spare and temperate diet, * and above all things, what business soever was in his head, it was never percieved at his table, where he would be so merry, as one would imagine he had nothing else to do; directing his speech to all men according to their qualities and capacities, so as he raised mirth out of all men's speeches, augmenting it with his own, whereby he was never in want of company, so long as he was able to keep company.

* * His recreation was chiefly in his books, wherewith if he had time, he was more delighted than others with play at cards. Books were so pleasing to him, as when he got liberty from the queen to go unto his country house to take air, if he found Lut a book worth the opening, he would rather lose his riding than his reading. And yet riding in his garden and walks, upon his little mule, was his greatest disport. But, so soon as he came in, he fell to his reading again, or else to dispatching of business.

Liis favorite book was Cicero's Offices. His kindness of nature was seen in his declaration that he entertained malice toward no individual, and thanked God that he never retired to rest out of charity with any man."

While appreciating the advantages of the hest education, and striving to securo them at any price for his own children, Lord Burleigh deemed “human learning, without the fear of God, of great hurt to all youth.” With the most profound Teverence for “divine and moral documents,” his "Advices to his son, Robert Cecil,” are characterized by the shrewdest worldly wisdom.

Son Robert, The virtuous inclinations of ihy matchless mother,* by whose tender and godly care t'iy insancy was governed, together with thy education under so zealous and excellent a tutor, puis me in rather assurance than hope that thou art not ignorant of that sum1.U'n bonum which is only able to make thee happy as well in thy death as in thy life ; I

* Lady Burleigh, was one of tive daughters of Sir Anthony Cook, preceptor of Edward VI., a'l of whom were distinguished for their mental accomplishments, and for their exemplary demeanor as mothers of families. Her death, after sharing his fortunes for forty-three years, Lord Burleigh regarded as the great calamity of his life.




mean the true knowledge and worship of thy Creator and Redeemer; without which all other things are vain and miserable. So that thy youth being guided by so sufficient a teacher, I make no doubt that he will furnish thy life with divine and moral documents. Yet, that I may not cast off the care beseeming a parent toward his child, or that thou shouldest have cause to derive thy whole felicity and welfare rather from others than from whence thou receivedst thy breath and being, I think it fit and agreeable to the afsection I bare ibee, to help thee with such rules and advertisements for the squaring of thy life as are rather gained by experience than by much reading. To the end that, entering into this exorbitant age, thou mayest be the better prepared to shun those scandalous courses whereunto the world, and the lack of experience, may easily draw thec, and because I will not confound thy memory, I have reduced them into ten precepts; and, next unto Moses' Tables, if thou imprint them in thy mind, thou shalt reap the benefit, and I the content. And they are these following:

1. When it shall please God to bring thee to man's estate, use great providence and circumspection in choosing thy wife ; for from thence will spring all thy future good or evil. And it is an action of thy life like unto a stratagem of war, wherein a man can crr but once. If thy estate be good, match near home and at leisure ; if weak, far off and quickly. Inquire diligently of her disposition, and how her parents have been inclined in their youth. Let her not be poor, how generous* soever; sor a man can buy nothing in the market with gentility. Nor choose a base and uncomely creature altogether for wealth ; for it will cause contempt in others and loathing in thee. Neither make a choice of a dwarf or a sool; for by the one thou shalt beget a race of pigmies; the other will be thy continual disgrace; and it will yirket thee to hear her talk. For thou shalt find it to thy great grief, that there is nothing more fulsomet than a she-fool.

And touching the guiding of thy house, let thy hospitality be moderate, and, according to the means of thy estate, rather plenusul than sparing, but not costly; for I never knew any man grow poor by keeping an table. But some consume themselves through secret vices, and their hospitality bears the blame. But banish swinish drunkards out of thine house, which is a vice impairing health, consuming much, and makes no show. I never heard praise ascribed to the drunkard but the well-bearing his drink, which is a better commendation for a brewer's horse or a drayman than for ei. ther a gentleman or a serving man. Beware thou spend not above three or four parts of thy revenues, nor above a third part of that in thy house ; for the other two parts will do no more than desray thy extraordinaries, which always surmount the ordinary by much ; otherwise thou shalt live, like a rich beggar, in continual want. And the needy man can never live happily nor contentedly; for every disaster makes him ready to mortgage or sell. And that gentleman who sells an acre of land sells an ounce of credit; for gentility is nothing else but ancient riches. So that, if the foundation shall at any time sink, the building must needs follow. So much for the first precept.

II. Bring thy children up in learning and obedience, yet without outward austerity. Praise them openly, reprehend them secretly. Give them good countenance, and convenient maintenance, according to thy ability; otherwise thy life will seem their bond. age, and what portion thou shalt leave them at thy death they will thank death for it, and not thee. And I am persuaded that the foolish cockeringø of some parents, and the over-stern carriage of others, causeth more men and wonen to take ill courses than their own vicious inclinations. Marry thy daughters in time lest they marry themselves And suffer not thy sons to pass the Alps ; for they shall learn nothing but pride, blas phemy, and atheism || And if by travel they get a few broken languages, that shall profit them nothing more than to have one meat served in divers dishes. Neither, by my consent, shalt thou train them up in wars; for he that sets up his rest to live by that profession can hardly be an honest man or a good christian. Besides, it is a science no longer in request than use. For soldiers in peace are like chimneys in summer.

III. Live not in the country without corn and cattle about thee; for he that putteth * Well-born.

* Disgusting.

$ Over-indulgence, I I1: this strong aversion to foreign travel, Ascham sympathized.

his hand to the purse for every expense of household, is like him that keepeth water in a sieve. And what provision thou shalt want, learn to buy it at the best hand; for there is one penny saved in four betwixt buying in thy need and when the markets and seasons serve fittest for it. Be not served with kinsmen, or friends, or men intreated lo stay ; for they expect much, and do lille ; nor with such as are amorous, for their beads are intoxicated. And keep rather two too few, than one too many. Feed them well, and pay them with the most; and then thou mayest boldly require service at their hands.

IV. Let thy kindred and allies be welcome to thy house and table. Grace them with thy countenance, and further them in all honest actions; for, by this means, thou shalt so double the hand of nature, as thou shalt find them so many advocates to plead an apology for thee behind thy back. But shake off those glow-worms, I mean parasites and sycophants, who will feed and fawn upon thee in the summer of prosperity ; but, in an adverse storm, they will shelter thee no more than an arbor in winter.

V. Beware of suretyship for thy best friends. He that payeth another man's debt sceketh his own decay. But if thou canst not otherwise choose, rather lend thy money thyself upon good bonds, although thou borrow it. So shalt thou secure thyself, and pleasure thy friend. Neither borrow money of a neighbor or a friend, but of a stranger; where paying for it, thou shalt hear no more of it. Otherwise thou shalt eclipse thy credit, lose thy freedom, and yet pay as dear as to another. But in borrowing of money be precious of thy word; for he that hath care of keeping days of payment is lord of another man's purse.

VI. Undertake no suit against a poor man with receiving* much wrong ; for besides that thou makest him thy compeer, it is a base conquest to triumph where there is small resistance. Neither attempt law against any man before thou be fully resolved that thou hast right on thy side; and then spare not for either money or pains ; for a cause or two so followed and obtained will free thee from suits a great part of thy life.

VII. Be sure to keep some great man thy friend, but trouble him not for trifles. Compliment him often with many, yet small gifts, and of little charge. And if thou hast cause to bestow any great gratuity, let it be something which may be daily in sight: otherwise, in this ambitious age, thou shalt remain like a hop without a pole, live in obscurity, and be made a fuot-ball for every insulting companion to spuin at.

VIII. Toward thy superiors be humble, yel generous. With thine equals familiar yet respective. Toward thine inseriors show much humanity, and some familiarity: as to bow the body, stretch forth the hand, and to uncover the head; with such like popular compliments. The first prepares thy way to advancement,-the second makes thee known for a man well bred,—the third gains a good report; which, once got, is rasily kept. For right humanity takes such deep root in the minds of the titude, ps they are more easily gained by unprofitable curtesies than by churlish benefits. Yel I advise thee not to affect, or neglect, popularity too much. Seck not to be Essex: shun to be Raleigh Q

IX. Trust not any man with thy life, credit or estate. For it is mere folly for a man to enthral himself to his friend, as though occasion being offered, he should not dare to become an enemy.

X. Be not scurrilous in conversation, nor satirical in thy jests. The one will make thee unwelcome to all company; the other pull on quarrels, and get the hatred of thy best friends For suspicious jests, when any of them savor of truth, leave a bitterness of mind of those which are touched. And, albeit I have already pointed at this inclusively, yet I think it necessary to leave it to thee as a special caution; because I have seen many so prone to quip and gird, I as they would rather lose their friend than their jest And if perchance their boiling brain yield a quaint scoff, they will travel to be delivered of it as a woman with child. These mimble fancies are but the froth of wit." * Though you receive

Not mean.

: Mock and jibe. $ Essex was the idol of the people, his rival, Raleigh, their aversiun, till his undeserved misfortunes attracted their compassion, and his heroism their applause.

[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »