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JOIIN BRINSLY.-1587-1665. LUDUS LITERARIUS: or THE GRAMMAR SCHOOLE; showing how to proceede from the first entrance into learning to the highest perfection required in the Grammar Schooles, with ease, certainty, and delight both to Masters and Schol
intended for the helping of the younger sort of Teachers, and of all Schollers, with all others desirous of learning; for the perpetual benefit of Church, and Common-wealth. London : 1627.
This excellent Treatise of Mr. John Brinsly, of 339 pages, in which “two schoolmasters discourse concerning their functions," is dedicated “to the High and Mighty Prince Henrie, and to the most noble and excellent Duke of York,” and has a Commendatory Preface by Joseph Hall, D. D. The latter dwells on the skill of the author "in making the way unto all learning both short and fair! Our grandfathers were so long under the ferule, till their beards were grown as long as their pens; this age hath descried a nearer way; yet not without much difficulty both to the scholars and teacher: now, time, experience and painfulness, which are the means to bring all things to their height, hath taught this author to yet further how to spare both time and pains unto others, without any change of the received grounds."
The following “ Contents in general of the chief points aimed at and hoped to be effected by this work,” shows a pretty comprehensive survey of the field of linguistic school instruction:
1. To teach Scholars how to be able to read well, and write true Orthography, in a short space.
2. To make them ready in all points of Accidence and Grammar, to answer any necessary question therein.
3. To say without book all the usual and necessary rules to construe the Grammar rules, to give the meaning, use, and order of the Rules; to show the examples, and to apply them: which being well performed, will make all other learning easy and pleasant.
4. In the several Forms and Authors to construe truly, and in propriety of words and sense, to parse of themselves, and to give a right reason of every word why it must be so, and not otherwise; and to read the English of the Lectures perfectly out of the Latin.
5. Out of an English Grammatical translation of their authors, to make and to construe any part of the Latin, which they have learned to prove that it must be so: and so to read the Latin out of the English, first, in the plain Grammatical order; after, as the words are placed in the Author, or in other good composition. Also to parse in Latin, looking only upon the Translation.
6. To take their lectures for themselves, except in the very lowest forms, and first enterers into construction; or to do it with very little help, in some more difficult things.
7. To enter surely in making Latin, without danger of making false Latin, or using any barbarous phrase.
8. To make true Latin, and pure Tully's phrase, and to prove it to be true and pure. To do this in ordinary. moral matters, by that time that they have been but two years in construction.
9. To make Epistles imitating Tully, short and pithy, in Tully's Latin, and familiar.
10. To translate into English, according to propriety both of words and sense: and out of the English to read the Latin again, to prove it, and give a reason of every thing.
11. To take a piece of Tully, or of any other familiar easy Author, Grammatically translated, and in propriety of words, and to turn the same out of the translation into good Latin, and very near unto the words of the Author; so as in most you shall hardly discern, whether it be the Author's Latin, or the scholar's.
12. To correct their faults of themselves, when they are but noted out unto them, or a question is asked of them.
13. To be able in each form (at any time whensoever they shall be opposed, of a sudden, in any part of their Authors, which they have learned) to construe, parse, read into English, and forth of the translation to construe and to read into the Latin of their Authors; first, into the natural order, then into the order of the Author, or near unto it.
14. In Virgil or Horace to resolve any piece, for all these points of learning, and to do it in good Latin:
Construing to give propriety of words and sense.
Scanning the verses, and giving a reason thereof.
Observing the elegancies in tropes and figures.
Noting phrases and epithets. 15. So to read over most of the chief Latin Poets, as Virgil, Horace, Persius, &c., by that time that by reason of their years, they be in any measure thought fit for their discretion, to go unto the University : yea, to go through the rest of themselves, by ordinary belps.
16. In the Greek Testament to construe perfectly, and parse as in the Latin, to read the Greek back again out of a translation Latin or English; also to construe, parse, and to prove it out of the same. To do the like in Isocrates, or any familiar pure Greek Author; as also in Tbeognis, Hesiod, or Homer, and to resolve as in Virgil or Horace.
17. In the Hebrew to construe perfectly, and to resolve as in the Greek Testament; and to read the Hebrew also out of the translation. Which practice of daily reading somewhat out of the translations into the Originals, must needs make them both very cunning in the tongues, and also perfect in the texts of the Originals themselves, if it be observed constantly; like as it is in daily reading Latin out of the Translation.
18. To answer most of the difficulties in all Classical School Authors; as in Terence, Virgil, Horace, Persius, &c.
19. To oppose scholar-like in Latin, to any Grammar questions necessary, in a good form of words; both what may be objected against Lillies' rules, and how to defend them.
20. To write Themes full of good matter, in pure Latin, and with judgment.
21. To enter to make a verse with delight, without any bodging at all; and to furnish with copy of Poetical phrase, out of Ovid, Virgil, and other the best Poets.
22. So to imitate and express Ovid or Virgil, as you shall hardly discern, unless you know the places, whether the verses be the Authors' or the scholars'; and to write verses ex tempore of any ordinary Themes.
23. To pronounce naturally and sweetly, without vain affectation, and to begin to do it from the lowest forms.
24. To make right use of the matter of their Authors, besides the Latin; even from the first beginners: as of Sententiæ and Confabulationculæ Pueriles, Cato, Esop's Fables, Tully's Epistles, Tully's Offices, Ovid's Metamorphosis, and so on to the highest. To help to furnish them, with variety of the best moral matter, and with understanding, wisdom and precepts of virtue, as they grow; and withal to imprint the Latin so in their minds thereby, as hardly to be forgotten.
25. To answer concerning the matter contained in their Lectures, in the Latin of their authors, from the lowest forms, and so upward.
26. To construe any ordinary Author ex tempore. 27. To come to that facility and ripeness, as not only to translate leisurely, and with some meditation, both into English and Latin, as before in the Sections or Articles 10 and 2, but more also, to read any easy Author forth of Latin into English, and out of a translation of the same Grammatically translated, to read it into Latin again. As Corderius, Terence, Tully's Offices, Tully's de natura Deorum, Apthonius. To do this in Authors and places which they are not acquainted with, and almost as fast as they are able to read the Author alone.
28. To write fair in Secretary (style of penmanship), Roman, Greek, Hebrew; as they grow in knowledge of the tongues.
29. To know all the principal and necessary radices, Greek and Hebrew; and to be able to proceed in all the learned tongues of themselves, through ordinary helps, and much more by the worthy helps and means to be had in the Universities.
30. To be acquainted with the grounds of Religion, and the chief Histories of the Bible. To take all the substance of the Sermons, for doctrines, proofs, uses, if they be plainly and orderly delivered, and to set them down afterwards in a good Latin style, or to read them ex tempore in Latin, out of the English ; to conceive and answer the several points of the Sermons, and to make a brief repetition of the whole sermon without book.
31. To be set in the highway, and to have the rules and grounds, how to attain to the purity and perfection of the Latin tongue, by their further labor and practice in the University.
32. To grow in our English tongue, according to their ages and growths in other learning. To utter their minds in the same both in propriety and purity; and so to be fitted for Divinity, Law, or what other calling or faculty soover they shall be after employed in.
33. Finally, thus to proceed together with the tongues in the understanding and knowledge of the learning, or matter contained in the same. To become alike expert, in all good learning meet for their years and studies; that so proceeding still, after they are gone from the Grammar schools, they may become most exquisite in all kinds of good learning to which they shall be applied.
These things may be effected in good sort, through God's blessing, in the several forms, as the scholars proceed, by so many in each form as are apt and industrious, only by the directions following, if they be constantly observed. If the Makers being of any competent sufficiency, will take meet pains, and if the scholars being set to school so soon as they shall be meet, may be kept to learning ordinarily, having books and other necessary help and encouragements. That so all scholars of any towardliness and diligence may be made absolute Grammarians, and every way fit for the University, by fifteen years of age; or by that time that they shall be meet by discretion and governinent. And all this to be done with delight and certainty, both to master and scholars, with strist and contention among the scholars themselves, without that usual terror and cruelty, which hath been practiced in many places, and without so much as severity amongst good natures.
How greatly all this would tend to the furtherance of the public good, every one may judge; which yet it will do so much the more, as the Lord shall vouchsafe a further supply, to the several means and courses that are thus begun, by adjoining daily the helps and experiments of many more learned men, of whom we conceive good hope, that they will be ready to lend their helping hands to the perfecting of so good a Work.
The little treatise of Mr. Cootes (The Schoolmaster) is highly commended by Mr. Brinsly in his Grammar School, as profitable in teaching to spell and read English, and relieving the grammar master of much tedious work-which should be well done before the papil enters on foreign tongues. This should be followed by the Psalms in metre, then the Testament, the School of Virtue, and New School of Good Manners. He dwells on a glaring deficiency in the grammar schools in neglecting to train their pupils in the English tongue, “the purity and elegance of which is the chief part of the honor of our nation.” One chief' means to this end, is reading the best English authors, and continual practice of writing English and translating the Latin author into good readable English.
The author often and strongly enough inveighs against "the continual and terrible whipping," and quotes “Mr. Ascham's” authority against its necessity.
The author closes with a summary of the principal heads of these things which should be kept ever in memory, to be put in practice by the Master continually.
1. To cause all to be done with understanding. 2. To cut off all needless matters, so much as may be, and pass by that which is unprofitable.
3. To note all hard and new words: to observe matter and phrase carefully.
4. To learn and keep all things most perfectly, as they go.
7. To stir up to emulation of adversaries, and to use all good policy for one to provoke another.
8. Continual examining (which is the life of all) and chiefly posing of the most negligent.
9. Right pronunciation. 10. Some exercise of memory daily. 11. To have the best patterns for every thing; and to do all by imitation.
12. The Master to stir up both himself and his scholars to continual cheerfulness.
13. Constancy in order.
14. To get an Idea or short sum and general notation of every Treatise or Chapter.
15. To parallel all by examples, or to give like examples for each thing, and where they have learned them.
16. To see that they have continually all necessaries.
17. To countenance and prefer the best, to be marks for the rest to aim at, and that all may be encouraged by their example.
18. Maintaining authority, by careful execution of justice in rewards and punishments, with demonstration of love, faithfulness and painfulness in our place, with gravity; working by all means a love of learning in the Scholars, and a strift who shall excel most therein, of a conscience to do most honor and service unto the Lord, both presently and chiefly in time to come.
19. In a word, serving the Lord with constant cheerfulness, in the best courses which he shall make known unto us, we shall undoubtedly see bis blessings, according to our hearts.
Mr. Ascham hath these steps to learning: First, Aptness of nature: Secondly, Love of learning: Thirdly, Diligence in right order: Fourthly, Constancy with pleasant moderation : Fifthly, Always to learn of the most learned ; pointing and aiming at the best, to match or go beyond them.
Philip Melanchton also, in his Preface before Hesiod, adviseth after this man. ner : To strive to make Scholars exceeding cunning in every Author which they read. To do this by oft reading and construing over their Authors, causing them to note every thing worthy of observation, with some mark, to run often over those, not regarding how many the Authors are, but how exactly they learn them; chiefly all their sentences and special phrases, that the speech of the children may ever savor of them.
JOHN BRINSLY, author of Ludus Literarius, was born about 1587, in Lincolnshire, and was both schoolmaster and non-conformist minister at Great Yar. mouth. He died in 1665. In 1617 he published Pueriles Confabulationcule, and in 1647, Vocabularium Metricum. The following is the title of a treatise of his printed in 1622:A Consolation for our Grammar Schooles: or a faithful and most comfortable Encouragement
for laying a sure foundation of a Good Learning in our Schooles, and for a prosperous building thereupon. More Specially for all those of the inferior sort, and all ruder countries and places ; namely, for Ireland, Wales, Virginia, with the Summer Islands, and for their more speedie attaining of our English tongue, &c. London, 1622.
EDWARD COOTE—THE ENGLISH SCHOOLMASTER.* Hoole, in his Petty School, refers to the English Schoolmaster as better fitted for master than scholar. But the following homely advice seems very easily understood by the latter :
THE SCHOOLMASTER TO HIS SCHOLARS. "My child and scholar take good heed
If broken-hos'd or shoe'd you go, unto the words that here are set,
or slovenly in your array, And see thou do accordingly,
Without a girdle, or untrust, or else be sure thou shalt be beat.
then you and I must have a fray.
First, I command thee God to serve,
If that thou cry, or talk aloud, then, to thy parents, duty yield;
or books do rend, or strike with knife Unto all men be courteous,
Or laugh, or play unlawfully, and mannerly, in town and field.
then you and I must be at strife. Your cloaths unbuttoned do not use, If that you curse, miscall, or swear, let not your hose ungartered be;
is that you pick, filch, steal, or lye; Have handkerchief in readiness,
If you forget a scholar's part,
then must you sure your points untye. Lose not your books, ink-horns, or pene, If that to school you do not go, nor girdle, garters, hat or band,
when time doth call you to the same; Let shooes be tyed, pin shirt-band close, Or, if you loiter in the streets, keep well your hands at any hand.
when we do meet, then look for blame. Wherefore, my child, behave thyself,
80 decently, in all assays,
and eke obtain thy master's praise."
• The following is the title-page of this once famous school-book, printed from a copy of the fortieth edition, presented to the author of this sketch, by George Livermore, Esq., of Cambridge, Mass.
SCHOOL-MASTER. Teaching all his Scholars, of what age so ever, the most easy, short, and perfect order of
distinct Reading, and true Writing our English-tongue, that hath
ever yet been known or published by any. And further also, teacheth a direct course, how many
unskilful person may easily both under. stand any hard English words, which they shall in Scriptures, Sermons, or else-where hear or read; and also be made able to use the same aptly themselves; and generally whatsoever is necessary to be known for the English speech : 80 that he which hath this book only need. eth to buy no other to make him fit from his Letters to the Grammar School, for an Apprentice, or any other private use, so far as concerneth English : And therefore it is made not only for Children, though the first book be meer childish for them, but also for all other; especially
for those that are ignorant in the Latin Tongue. In the next Page the School Master hangeth forth his Table to the view of all beholders, set
ting forth some of the chief Commodities of his profession. Devised for thy sake that wantest any part of this skill; by Edward Coote, Master of the Free
school in Saint Edmund's-Bury. Perused and approved by publick Authority; and now the 40 time Imprinted : with certain
Copies to write by, at the end of this Book, added.