Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

have sufficiently disposed earnest matters and of weighty importance. Now because there is no pastime to be compared to that wherein may be found both recreation and meditation of virtue; I have, among all honest pastimes wherein is exercise of the body, noted dancing to be of an excellent utility, comprehend. ing in it wonderful figures (which the Greeks do call Idea) of virtues and noble qualities, and especially of the commodious virtue called prudence, which Tully defineth to be the knowledge of things which ought to be desired and followed; and also of them which ought to be fled from and eschewed. And it is named of Aristotle the mother of virtues, of other philosophers it is called the captain or mistress of virtues, of some the honsewife, forasmuch as by her diligence she doth investigate and prepare places apt and convenient where other virtues shall execute their powers or offices. Wherefore, as Solomon saith, like as in water be showed the visages of them that behold it, so unto men that be prudent the secret of mens' hearts be openly discovered. This virtue being so commodious to man, and as it were the porch of the noble palace of man's reason whereby all other virtues shall enter, it seemeth to me right expedient. that as soon as opportunity may be found, a child or young man be thereto brought up. And because that the study of virtue is tedious for the more part to them that do flourish in young years, I have devised how, in the form of dancing now late used in this realm among gentlemen, the whole description of this virtue, prudence, may be found out and well perceived as well by the dancers as by them who, standing by, will be diligent beholders and markers, having first mine instruction surely graven in the table of their remembrance. Wherefore all they that have their courage stirred toward true honor or perfect nobility, let them approach to this pastime, and either themselves prepare them to dance, or else at the least way behold with watching eyes others that can dance truly, keeping just measure and time. But to the understanding of this instruction they must mark well the sundry motions and measures which in true form of dancing is to be especially observed.

With an ingenuity truly admirable “The Governour" argues for a pastime of which he was evidently very fond, and of a personal accomplishment in which he doubtless excelled, as a school not only of “courtesy " but of that well bal. anced moderation between celerity and slowness which he designates maturity, and also of "Circumspection," of "Industry," of "Modesty," of "Liberality," and of " Mansuetude."

The First Book concludes with a few remarks on other exercises which may be moderately used as an antidote for idleness, which he defines to be not only a vacation from labor but an omission of all honest exercise. He praises the industry of the king of Persia, “who, in a time vacant from the affairs of his realm, planted innumerable trees, which long before he died brought forth abundance of fruit;" but denounces any playing at dice or any form of gambling as the invention of Lucifer and the parent of all the vices, which he illustrates as usual by historic references. He commends "chess of all games wherein is no bodily exercise, for therein is right subtle ingenuity, whereby the wit is made more sharp and remembrance quickened."

But the crowning exercise, on account "of sundry utilities" connected therewith as well as for diversion, is “shooting in a long bow," or the practice of the "noble art of archery." "For in drawing of a bow he doth moderately exercise his arms and the other part of his body; and if his bow be bigger he must add to more strength, wherein is no less valiant exercise than in any other whereof Galen writeth. In shooting at buts, or broad arrow marks, is a mediocrity of exercise of the lower part of the body and legs by going a little distance at a measurable pace. At rovers or pricks, it is at his pleasure that shooteth how fast or softly he listeth to go; and yet is the praise of the shooter neither more nor less, for as far or nigh the mark is his arrow when he goeth softly as when he runneth."

As compared with archery, neither tenis, bowling, clayshe, (or claisse,) pins, or quoiting, can be as much commended. The two last, as well as foot-ball, "are to be utterly rejected," because “of the beastly fury and extreme violence" with which these games are pursued, and the hurts and consequent rancor which these engender."

Also in shooting is a double utility, wherein it excelleth all other exercises and games incomparably. The one is, that it is and alway bath been the most excellent artillery for wars, whereby this realm of England hath been not only best defended froin ontward hostility, but also in other regions a few English archers have been seen to prevail against people innumerable. Also won impregnable cities, strongholds, and kept them in the midst of the strength of their enemies. This is the feat whereby Englishmen have been most dreaded and had in estimation with outward princes, as well enemies as allies. And the commodity thereof hath been approved as far as Jerusalem, as it shall appear in the lives of Richard the First, and Edward the First, kings of England, who made several journeys to recover that holy city of Jerusalem into the possession of Christian men, and achieved them honorably the rather by the power of this feat of shooting.

The premises considered, O what cause of reproach shall the decay of archers be to us now living! yet what irreparable damage either to us or them in whose time need of similar defense shall happen, which decay, though we already perceive, fear and lament, and for the restoring thereof cease not to make ordiances, good laws, and statutes; yet who effectually putteth his hand to continual execution of the same laws and provisions? or beholding them daily broken winketh not at the offenders? But I shall hereof more speak in another place, and return now to the second utility found in shooting in the long bow, which is killing of deer, wild fowl, and other game, wherein is both profit and pleasure above any other artillery.

And verily I suppose, that hefore cross-bows and band-guns were brought into this realm by the sleight of our enemies, to the intent to destroy the noble defense of archery, continual use of shooting in the long bow made the feat so perfect and exact among Englishmen, that they then as surely and soon killed such game which they listed to have, as they now can do with the cross-bow or gun. But this sufficeth for the declaration of shooting, whereby it is sufficiently proved, that it incomparably excelleth all other exercise, pastime, or solace.

The SECOND BOOK of “The Governour" is devoted to the dignities and amenities which constitute the manners of those who attain to the governance of a Public Weal. The first place is given to reverence and obedience to Almighty God from whom proceedeth all honor, and against whom neither noble progeny, succession, nor election can stand. And citing the reproof of Samuel to Saul, who had, contrary to the express command of God, kept the spoils of the enemy as a solemn sacrifice, and under that pretext tried to cover up his own pride, he affirms the great doctrine-"Better is obedience than sacrifice." This is followed by chapters on Personal Dignity and Considerate Utterance, Apparel, Residence, Affability, and Liberality.

The Turn Book is devoted to the cultivation of the virtues of Justice, Faith, Fortitude, Patience, Magnanimity, Abstinence, Continence, Wisdom, Executive Ability, and Deference to the Ability and Experience of others; and we can close our very brief review and imperfect analysis of this early contribution to the educational department of English literature in the language of the author "Children and youth instructed and trained in such form as in this book is declared shall seem to all men worthy to be in authority, honor, and bobleness."

SIR THOMAS SMITH 6. 1519-d. 1577. Sir Thomas Smith, Secretary of State to King Edward VI., and afterward to Queen Elizabeth, was born at Walden, in the County of Essex, in 1514. From the grammar school of his native place he passed to Queen's College in Cambridge, where he became a scholar with John Cheke of St. John's, on the foundation of Henry VII. He was elected Fellow of bis own College in 1531. He made great proficiency in Greek (under John Redman who had studied the language in Paris), and read lectures in the same in 1533 ; taking Homer's Odysses as his subject-adopting the new pronunciation which afterward (1543) became a matter of academic controversy under the Chancellorship of Bishop Gardiner. He was made University Orator in 1538; and in 1539, he resorted to the Continent, studying at Orleans, Paris, and Padua, where he qualified himself for the Doctorate in Civil Law. After three years' sojourn abroad, he returned to Cambridge, where he was made Royal Professor of Law, and private tutor to Edward Earl of Oxford.

In 1547, Doctor Smith was employed in matters of State by the Duke of Somerset, and in the same year was made Provost of Eton College, and Secretary of State to King Edward VI., by whom he was Knighted. In 1548, he went Embassador to Brussels to the Emperor's Council there. In 1549, he sat in an Ecclesiastical Commission, and in the same year in a visitation of Cambridge; and in 1551, he went to Paris in the embassy concerning the Royal Marriage. Under Queen Mary, from 1553 to 1557, he lost all his places, but retained his head on his shoulders, till Elizabeth, in 1559, put him in the Commission of the Peace for Essex, and in 1562, dispatched him to France to negotiate a treaty of peace. While there he composed his Tract on the Commonwealth of England, and his New English

Alphabet. In 1572, he succeeded Lord Burleigh as Secretary of State, and procured an Act of Parliament by which one third part of the rents upon leased property belonging to the Universities and to Eton and Winchester Colleges should be paid in corn at the rate of 68. 8d. per quarter, &c. He died in 1577.

ADVERTISEMENTS AND COUNSELS FOR NOBLEMEN AND COUNSELORS-1557.

1. Tell not all that you think, nor show all that you have, nor take all that you desire, nor say all that you know, nor do all that you can: for lightly shall he lose the favor of his Prince that followeth the commandment of his lusts, and restraineth not them with the bit of reason.

2. Beware you put not fortune in trust with those things that appertain to your person, honor, substance, or conscience: for the nobleman which is wise will not hazard much, in hope to have relief at her hands as often as he shall need.

3. Although all men promise to help you if you had need, yet nevertheless

trust not too much thereto. Many of them which now do offer to take armor for your sake, if occasion be offered, will be the first to strike you, to give you the overthrow.

4. In other men's cases meddle not too much, nor in your own enforce not time: for governing you so, you may remain in the good estate you be, or else may easily happen to utter what you were.

5. The danger of noblemen is like to them that be in the top of high and sharp mountains, whence they can not descend but fall: wherefore procure unto yourselves such faithful friends, as will rather stay you from falling, than such as will reach unto you their hands to help you up, when you be down.

6. Do good while you have power thereunto, and never do hurt though you may: for the tears of the offended, and the complaints of the grieved, may one day have place in the sight of God to move him to chastise you, and also be occasion to make the Prince to hate you.

7. Bestow your benefits and offices rather upon the good, than upon your friends: for among your friends it is lawful to depart your goods, but not your conscience. .8. In that you counsel be not affectionate, in that you discounsel be not passionate. Whatsoever you do, do advisedly. For although in the courts of princes, every man beholdeth the worthiness and nobility of the person; yet the more noble a man is, the more he is noted, marked, and hated of others.

9. If you will not err in your counsels, nor stumble in your actions, embrace them that tell you truth, and hate them that flatter you: for much more ought you to love them that advise you, than those that will seem to pity you, when you are in danger.

10. Have always in memory the benefits you have received of others, and enforce yourselves to forget such injuries as others have done unto you.

11. Esteem much that little of your own, and regard not the abundance of others.

12. Endeavor yourself to do good to all men, and never speak evil of them that be absent.

13. Jeopard not the loss of many things for the gain of one thing; neither adventure the loss of one thing certain for many things doubtful.

14. Make much of your dearest friends; and do not procure any enemies. 15. Exalt not the rich tyrant, neither abhor the poor which is righteous.

16. Deny not justice unto the poor because he is poor, neither pardon the rich because he is rich.

17. Do not good only for love, neither chastise only for hatred.

18. In evident cases abide not the counsel of others; and in doubtful cases determine not of yourself.

19. Suffer not sin unpunished, nor well-doing without reward. 20. Deny not justice to him that asketh, nor mercy to him that deserveth it. 21. Chastise not when thou art angry, neither promise any thing in thy mirth. 22. Do evil to no man for malice, neither commit any vice for covetousness. 23. Open not thy gate to flatterers, nor thy ears to backbiters. 24. Become not proud in thy prosperity, nor desperate in thirte adversity. 25. Study to be loved of good men, and seek not to be hated of the evil.

26. Be favorable unto the poor, which may be little, if thou wilt be aided of God against them that be mighty.

DANIEL DEPO E-EDUCATIONAL PROJECTS.

MEMOIR. No author of equal eminence in English literature, not professionally a teacher, or educator, has made so many sagacious suggestions to advance the educational institutions of his country as DANIEL Defoe—who was born in the parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, in the year 1661, and died April 24, 1731-his remains being interred in Bunhill Fields. His father (James Foe -the De was not in Daniel's inherited name) was a Nonconformist, following the Rev. Dr. Annesley, when ejected from his incumbency of Cripplegate, into the meeting-house in Little St. Helen's, Bishopgate street. At the age of fourteen he was sent to the Nonconformist Academy at Newington, then under the direction of Rev. Charles Morton, reputed to be a polite and profound scholar.' He was destined by his parents for the Presbyterian Ministry, but his own predilections were for politics and authorship; and at the early age of twenty-one, he came out with a bold dash at Roger L'Estrange's Guide to the Inferior Clergy. Defoe's pamphlet bore the title of 'Speculum Crape-gownorum; a Looking-glass for the Young Academicks, new Foyld: with Reflections on some of the late High-flown Sermons, to which is added an Essay toward a Sermon of the Newest Fashion. By a Guide to the Inferior Clergy. London: 1682.' The title was adopted in allusion to the crapegowns then in use among the inferior clergy, and the design was to expose and ridicule the High Church faction. Its success was so marked as to induce the author to issue a second part, and the two called forth a reply by L'Estrange himself.

In 1685, he engaged in practical hostility against the government of James II., by joining the standard of the Duke of Monmouth in Dorsetshire-but, saving his head, on the suppression of this. movement, he next engaged in the hosiery trade;, to which he devoted himself, with more or less assiduity, for ten years, but without pecuniary success. His heart was in the discussion of questions which concerned the liberties of the people against, the exaltation.

(417.),

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »