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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 his political measures, and never unmindful 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 he 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, the 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 but 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. * * * His 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 best education, and striving to secure 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 reverence for "divine and moral documents," his "Advices to his son, Robert Cecil," are characterized by the shrewdest worldly wisdom.
The virtuous inclinations of thy matchless mother, by whose tender and godly care thy infancy was governed, together with thy education under so zealous and excellent a tutor, puts me in rather assurance than hope that thou art not ignorant of that summum bonum which is only able to make thee happy as well in thy death as in thy life; I
*Lady Burleigh, was one of five daughters of Sir Anthony Cook, preceptor of Edward VI., al 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 af fection I bare thee, 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 thee, 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:
I. 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; for 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 fool; 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 fulsome‡ 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 plentiful than sparing, but not costly; for I never knew any man grow poor by keeping an orderly 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 either 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 defray 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 bondage, 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 cockering of some parents, and the over-stern carriage of others, causeth more men and women 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. † Irk. * Disgusting. In 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 to stay; for they expect much, and do little; nor with such as are amorous, for their heads 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 band 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 seeketh 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 triflesCompliment 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 foot-ball for every insulting companion to spurn at.
VIII. Toward thy superiors be humble, yet generous. With thine equals familiar yet respective. Toward thine inferiors 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 easily kept. For right humanity takes such deep root in the minds of the multitude, Fs they are more easily gained by unprofitable curtesies than by churlish benefits. Yet I advise thee not to affect, or neglect, popularity too much. Seck not to be Essex: shun to be Raleigh ◊
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,‡ 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 nimble fancies are but the froth of wit." *Though you receive. Mock and jibe. § Essex was the idol of the people, his rival, Raleigh, their aversion, till his undeserved misfortunes attracted their compassion, and his heroism their applause.
↑ Not mean.
(2.) SIR WILLIAM PETER, (or Petre,)-born at Exeter, and educated at Exeter College, Cambridge,-employed in visitation of the monasteries, obtained grants of many Abbey lands, was knighted and made secretary of state under Henry VIII., and died in 1572. He was a liberal benefactor to Exeter and All Soul's College.
(3.) SIR JOHN MASON was born of obscure parents in Abingdon, but received a good education from his uncle, a monk of Abingdon Abbey, and at All Soul's College, and in consequence rose to important offices under Henry VIII., Edward IV., Queens Mary and Elizabeth. He was chancellor of the university of Oxford at the time of his death. His maxim was, "DO, and say Nothing." He endowed liberally a hospital at Abingdon.
(4.) NICHOLAS WOTTON, Doctor of Laws, and Dean of Canterbury, was a man of great abilities, and an intimate friend of Lord Burleigh, and employed by him in many important embassies to foreign princes, and was privy counselor to Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Queens Mary and Elizabeth,-secretary of state to Edward VI., and declined the offer of being made Archbishop of Canterbury by Queen Elizabeth. He died poor, when so many public men became rich in sequestration of abbey property.
(5.) Sir Robert Sackville, "although not himself a scholar, was a lover of learning, and all learned men;" and in his descendants, for many generations, the office of patron seemed hereditary. The name of his grandson, Charles, Earl of Dorset comes down to us loaded with the panegyrics of poets and artists whom he befriended. Prior's dedication to his son, is one of the most elegant panegyrics in the English language, and Pope's Epitaph will make Dorset longer remembered than all of his own writings.
(6.) WALTER MILDMAY was educated at Christ College, Cambridge, of which he afteward became a benefactor. He was knighted by Edward VI., and made chancellor of the exchequer in 1556 by Elizabeth. He was a man of learning, and an encourager of learning. He founded Emanuel College, Cambridge, where many of the early Puritan divines of New England, Hooker, Stone, Davenport and others, were educated. Of his benefactions to this college, he said to Queen Elizabeth, who was suspicious of the puritan tendencies of some of the professors, "I have set an acorn, which, when it becomes an oak, God only knows what will be the fruit thereof."
The fruit borne by this college was far from being acceptable to the church party in King James' reign. In the song of the "Mad Puritan," written by the witty Bishop Corbet the hero sings:
"In the house of pure Emanuel
I had my Education,
Where some surmise, I dazzled my eyes
With the light of revelation.
Bravely I preach
Hate cross, hate surplice,
Mitres, copes and rochets.
Come, hear me pray
Nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets."
(7.) WALTER HADDEN, who became Master of Requests under Queen Elizabeth, Judge of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, and Commissioner at the royal visitation of the University of Cambridge, was born in Buckinghamshire, in 1516, was educated at Eton, and King's College, Cambridge, where he was
professor of rhetoric and oratory, and, at one time, master of Trinity College. He stood amongst the foremost as a Latin scholar, and Queen Elizabeth, when asked which she preferred, Hadden or Buchanan, replied "Buchananum omnibus antepono; Haddonum, nemini postpono." He was the principal compiler of the "Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum." He died in 1572.
(8.) MR. JOHN ASTELY, or ASTERLY, Master of the Jewel House, was the author of a treatise on Riding, entitled-" The Art of Riding, set forth in a Briefe, with a due Interpretation of certain places, alledged out of Zenophon and Gryson, very expert and excellent Horsemen: wherein also the true use of the Hand by the said Gryson's Rules and Precepts is shown." 1584.
(9.) Mr. Bernard Hampton was educated at Cambridge, and clerk of the Privy Council.
(10.) M. NICASIUS was a Greek of Constantinople, who visited England in the time of Queen Elizabeth, partly to promote a union between the Greek Church and the Church of England, and partly to collect what charity he could for the distressed Christians of his own country.
(11.) ROGER ASCHAM, in respect to scholarship, knowledge of the world, and conversational talent, was second to no one in the goodly company of eminent and learned men assembled that day in the chambers of Sir William Cecil.
(12.) BEATING was early recognized as an essential part of an English institution of learning, and neither prince or pew was spared the salutary infliction of the rod. Archbishop Anselm protested against its use in 1070, as calculated to "convert men into brutes," and, in the "Paston Letters," Mrs. Agnes Paston instructs Mr. Greenfield, tutor of her son, "to truly belash him until he will amend." In the same curious collection will be found the articles by which the Earl of Warwick, when he took charge of Henry VI., binds the Earl of Gloucester and the Council to stand by him "in chastising him, (the young king,) in his defaults," although he should "in conceit of his high and royal authority" "loathe the chastening." We shall have more to say on this topic hereafter.
(13.) SIR THOMAS SMITH, for a time Provost of Eton College, and university orator at Cambridge, was born in 1514, and educated at Queen's College, and coöperated with Sir John Cheke in introducing the pronunciation of Greek, as advocated by Erasmus. He was author of a treatise on a reformation of the spelling of the English languge, entitled "De recta et emendata lingua Anglica Scripturæ." In 1548 he was advanced to the office of secretary of state, and knighted. In 1578 he was the author of an act of Parliament, by which the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and the two colleges of Eton and Winchester, were authorized to require in their leases that a third part of the old rent should be paid in kind; a quarter of wheat for each 6s. 8d, or quarter of malt for every 5s; or that the lessee should pay for the same according to the price that wheat and malt should be sold for, in the market next adjoining to the respective colleges, on the market day before the rent comes due.
(14.) SIR JOHN CHEKE, whom Ascham characterizes as "one of the best scholars" and "the conningest masters of his time," was born in Cambridge in 1514, was educated at St. John's College, which he afterward, as professor, assisted to build up to be the chief seat of learning, especially in Greek, and where he trained such scholars as Cecil, Ascham, Hadden, Bill, &c.; was entrusted with the education of Prince Edward, by whom, when he became King, he was knighted. made Privy Councilor, and one of his Secretaries of State;