Page images
[ocr errors]


training in those days has been preserved. In Wolsey's Statutes (drafted before 1447) for the Ipswich Grammar School, which was to prepare students for bis college at Oxford, there is no mention of verses or of Greek.

An account of Eton in 1560 shows what the schcol had become a quarter of a century after the appointment of Udall as head-master. The sixth form alone learn Greek grammar. The younger boys read Terence, Cicero (Sturm's selection), Vives, and Lucian in Latin. Among the books of the upper forms, besides the Ovid, Virgil, Horace, Catullus, and Martial of modern days, are Cæsar, Lucan, and the epigrams of More.

Verses are written on subjects such as might still be set in the lower forms. There is some attempt to go to nature for poetic inspiration. Before writing

the flowery pleasantness of spring," the boys are sent out at break of day to gather branches of maythorn, taking care not to wet their feet. In "fruitbearing autumn" the plentiful crops must be imagined and described before nutting is allowed. The verse was Latin, with an exception in favor of the gaiety of spring, which was allowed to vent itself in simple English, as still, when his heart is most full, an Eton boy may bid his school farewell in the unpracticed accents of his mother-tongue. The other exercises were declamations, themes, versions, and variations. Excerption of flowers and phrases was also taught in school.

Epigrammatic contests were encouraged, and the writer describes with glee how at Montem new fellows were salted with salt, with Latin gibes, and with their own tears. On the long winter nights the boys acted Latin or English plays written by Udall, “ the father of English comedy." In July a competitive examination was held, that the fittest might be elected to the college.

If the preambles of Acts were history, it would appear that at all the cathedrals founded or reformed by Henry VIII. good stipends were provided for “ readers of Greek, Hebrew, and Latin." When an endeavor was made at Canterbury to exclude the children of the poor from profiting by these endowments, Cranmer made a spirited protest, concluding as follows: "The poor man will for the most part be learned when the gentleman's son will not take the pains to get it. ... Wherefore, if the gentleman's son be apt to learning, let him be admitted; if not apt let the poor man's child that is apt enter in his room." But before long cathedral trust-moneys took another direction.

During the last thirty years before the Reformation there were more grammar schools erected and endowed in England than had been established in three hundred years preceding. These were results of the recovery from the Wars of the Roses, and of the classical revival, which had nowhere more influence than at court. The king himself was learned in the tongues, and took care that his family should be so. Erasmus praises the learning of Queen Catha. rine and the Latin letters of Mary. Ascham read Aristotle's Ethics in Greek with Edward, and made bim translate from Cicero into Greek. Of Elizabeth's Greek he writes to Sturm in the highest terms. Lady Jane Grey, Lady Cecil, Lady Russell, and More's daughter Margaret, are examples of the classical scholarship attained, so far as hawking and hunting permitted, in families connected with the court.

The Reformation greatly diminished the amount of education by the destruction of religious schools. It became necessary " to take diverse orders for the maintenance and continuance of scholars, priests, and curates," which led to

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

the foundation of more grammar schools. But the rapacity of Edward's coun. cil left scanty funds to endow them. The reign of Mary was disastrous to education. The general want of schools, decay of the Universities, and decay of learning. were represented to Elizabeth in the strongest terms. But, except by private liberality, little was done to meet the want.

The statutes of the grammar schools or free schools founded by the Crown and by private benefactors are nearly all on one model, combining classical with religious instruction. The archetype may be found in Dean Colet's Statutes (1509) for St. Pauls. Scholastic Latin was to be strictly excluded, but not so Christian writers in good Latin. The head-master was to be "learned in good and clean Latin literature, and also in Greek, if such may be gotten.” Such was gotten, in the person of Lilly, the author of Propria quce maribus and is in præsenti. Erasmus, who had been much consulted in the whole matter, and helped to draw up the grammar, considered this school to be the best in England.

The statutes the school founded at Manchester (1525), by Bishop Oldham, may serve further to set forth the conception of a grammar school. He had observed that "the children in the same country having pregnant wits had been most part brought up rudely and idly," and determined to give them an opportunity of learning grammar, as being “the ground and fountain of all the other arts and sciences. . . . the gate by the which all other been learned and known in diversity of tongues and speeches." There is no special men. tion of Greek.

The Shrewsbury Grammar School, founded by Edward VI. (1551), is described by Camden as "the best filled in all England, being indebted for its flourishing state to provision made by the excellent and worthy Thomas Ashton." Ten years later, Laurence Sheriff made similar provision for Rugby. Harrow was founded (1571) as "the Free Grammar School of John Lyon.” He names for use many of the best Latin and Greek books, but only one Greek poet, Hesiod. The boys are “to be initiated in the elements of Latin versification very early." And “no girls shall be received to be taught in the same school.” The head-master "may take of the foreigners such stipends and wages as he can get, so that he take pains with all indifferently, as well of poor as of rich."

The statutes of the later free schools generally prescribe verses, and Greek. Archbishop Grindal, for example, requires for St. Bees (1583) "a meet and learned person that can make Greek and Latin verses, and interpret the Greek Grammar and other Greek authors." The only other Greek author named is "the little Greek Catechism set forth by public authority." Archbishop Sandys expects from the Hawkshead School, in Lancashire (1588), that "the chiefest scholars shall make orations, epistles, and verses in Latin and Greek for their exercises," and all the scholars “sball continually use the Latin tongue or the Greek tongue as they shall be able.” Archbishop Harsnet wishes for Chig. well (1629) “a man skillful in the Greek and Latin tongues, a good poet. For phrase and style he is to infuse no other save Tully and Terence; and to read the ancient and Latin poets, no novelties or conceited modern writers."

Latin plays are not much mentioned in the statutes, but were frequently acted; at Shrewsbury weekly. In a few cases Hebrew is required of the head-master, as at Bristol, Southwark (1614), and Lewisham (1652). But in

by far the larger number of schools Greek and Latin alone are specified, and in some it is expressly said that “Greek and Latin only," or "the classics only," are to be tauglit.

Charterhouse (founded 1611) is an exception. For, although the statutes (dated 1627) prescribe " pone but approved authors, Greek and Latin, such as are read in the best esteemed free schools," and Latin and Greek verses every Sunday upon some part of the Second Lesson, it is added that the scholars shall be taught “ to cypher and cast an account, especially those that are less capable of learning and fittest to be sent to trades."

When grammar schools have received new statutes by Act of Parliament, there has seldom been an essential change. At Leeds, an attempt was made to introduce a more modern education. But it was decided in Chancery (1805) that "the Free School in Leeds is a free grammar school for teaching, grammatically, the learned languages, according to Dr. Johnson's definition.” In general, little has been done to meet the requirements of a later age. Endowments have been wasted by the cessation of demand for classical instruction.


The recognition of Greek learning as an indispensable element in literary culture, and of the language as a necessary part of a liberal education, effected in England, three centuries ago, by such men as Grocyn, Linacre, More, Erasmus, and Dean Colet, has been not only questioned, but successfully resisted within the last few years. The demands of modern science and living languages and literatures, and particularly those of Germany and France, have made such impression on public opinion and educational authorities, that by a decision of the Senate of the University of London, in 1872, Greek is no longer required as an obligatory subject at the Matriculation Examination. The Public Scliool Commission, charged with readjusting the relations of the great secondary schools in England to the universities, and to the industrial interests of the age, through their chairman, Lord Lyttleton, have addressed the governing authorities of the universities, no longer to make Greek indispensable to admission or graduation, and to receive candidates who shall stand an adequate test in modern languages and natural science. The House of Convocation of Oxford responded favorably, and after Michaelmas term, 1874, it will be no longer necessary to offer either Greek or Latin for an academic degree. The Senate of Cambridge rejected a similar proposal by only a majority of seven. The head masters of the endowed grammar schools at a recent conference, have pronounced that 'Greek should not be an essential in passing through the university course.'

To the discussions which have grown out of this action, the London Quarterly Review, for April, 1873, contributes an earnest plea against cutting ofl.this right arm of liberal culture.' 'Among ancient studies, we claim for the Greek language and literature the two-fold place of the foundation and the keystone of the arch of knowledge, alike for its utility as the chief basis of all science, philosophy, and art, for its power to keep together every other element in the fabric of mental culture, and for its grace as the ornament of the whole structure.'

To sink the past beneath our feet, be sure
The future would not stand.'


The undersigned, many years since (as early as 1837), in the discharge of official duties, and still earlier in the prosecution of historical studies, having become acquainted with several instances of trust funds for educational uses, if not actually perverted, at least very much neglected, and with many more in which the memory of the original donors had been allowed to perish without a suitable record, resolved to do something, through the preservative of all arts,' to throw around such benefactions the security which publicity of the intentions of the donors could give, and to turn and stimulate the thoughtful and well-guarded liberality of men of ample means into the too much neglected channel of education, literature, and science, by gathering up the history of libraries, academies, colleges, and other institutions of good learning in this and other countries in connection with the biographies of their founders and benefactors. In 1856 we commenced in the American Journal of Education a series of biographical sketches of Harvard, Yale, Brown, Lawrence, and other friends and benefactors less conspicuous by the amount, or opportuneness, but equally deserving of the gratitude of posterity by the motive and aim, of their donations—to the end that whoever feeds the lamp of science, however obscurely, however scantily, may know that sooner or later his name and virtues shall be made conspicuous by its light, and throughout all time accompany its lustre.

We now propose to bring these sketches together as part of a series of volumes entitled Educational Biography. For this purpose, and also to be used in a chapter in the author's Contributions to the History of Education in the United States, the subscriber will be glad to obtain from the President or Treasurer of any educational institution, charged with the administration of any trust funds for the promotion of education, literature and science, an answer more or less extended, as they may find convenient or think proper to make, to the following memoranda. He would earnestly solicit at once a list of all donations over $1,000, with the name and residence of each donor, and the object specified by him in his gift-to be used in a Paper on Educational Benefactions in the United States, for the Vienna Exposition. .

HENRY BARNARD, HARTFORD, Conn., Feb. 22, 1873.

P. 0. Box U.

Memoranda for Biographical Sketches of Benefactors of American Education : 1. Name in full.

6. Date and place of death (if

deceased). 2. Date and place of birth.

7. Date and amount of benefactions of 8. School and professional training. any kind, 4. Life work-place and kind.

(1.) In his own life time. 5. Pecuniary success in life.

(2.) By Will. Please specify: 1. Name of institution created or aided 4. The money value at time of donation (if any);

or beqnest. 2. The special objects set forth. 5. The present estimated money value. 3. The conditions of forfeiture, 6. Any remarks suggested by the results.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »