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served in several educational and ecclesiastical commissions; promoted the appointment of good men to office; became involved in the civil and theological troubles of his times; and died in 1557, at an age when his country had most to expect from his learning and experience. He was a great promoter of the study of Greek, and its correct pronunciation, and labored with his friend, Sir Thomas Smith to give prominence to the Saxon element in the English language, and to rid its orthography of many of its anomalies. For this purpose he made a new translation of the Gospel of St. Matthew, in which he strove to use only English Saxon words. See Strype's Life of Sir J. Cheke.
(15.) JOHN STURM, or STURMIUS, was born at Schleiden, near Cologne, was educated at Liege, Louvain and Paris, and for forty-five years was rector of the gymnasium and college at Strasburg, which he established and made the best classical school in Europe. He was much consulted in the drafting of school-codes, and in the organization of gymnasia, and his "Plan for organizing institutions of learning," his "Classic Letters," addressed to the teachers of his own school, and his editions of classic authors, entitle him to a prominent place in the history of “Pedagogics." Raumer, in his "History of the Science and Art of Teaching," devotes a chapter to Sturm's system of education.
(16.) THEAGES is not considered by many scholars worthy of Plato, and its authorship is attributed to Antipater, the teacher of Panatius, and the disciple of Diogenes of Babylon.
Theages desired "to become a wise man," to the great trouble of his father, Demodocus, who resorts to Socrates for counsel. Socrates replies in the language of the proverb, applied to those who came to counsel the oracles 'Counsel, Demodocus, is said to be a sacred thing;" and then adds, "If then any other consultation is sacred, this is so, about which you are now considering. For there is not a thing, about which a person may consult, more divine than about the instruction of himself and of those related to him." After probing the young man by questions, Socrates concludes to receive him into his companionship.
(17.) Plato in the Dialogues on the Republic, exhibits the misery of man let loose from law, and a general plan for making him subject to law, as the sure way of perfecting his nature. In the seventh dialogue, from which Ascham quotes, Plato unfolds the province of a good early education, in turning the eyes of the mind from the darkness and uncertainty of popular opinion, to the clear light of truth, and points out some of the uses of mathematics and gymnastics, in quickening and enlarging the apprehension, and inuring to intense application. In this connection he asserts:
"Every thing then relating to arithmetic and geometry, and all the previous instruction which they should receive before they learn dialectics, ought to be set before them while they are children, and on such a plan of teaching, that they may learn without compulsion. Why so? Because, said I, a free man ought to acquire no training under slavery; for the labors of the body when endured through compulsion do not at all deteriorate the body; but for the soul, it can endure no compulsory discipline. True, said he. Do not then, said I, my best of friends, force boys to their learning; but train them up by amusement, that you may be better able to discern the character of each one's genius."
This, too, was the doctrine of Quintilian, in Inst. Lib. 1. c. 1, 20:-Nam id in primis cavere oportebit, ne studia, qui amare nondum potest, oderit et amaritudinem semel perceptam etiam ultra rudes annos reformidet.
[Abstract of the First Book of Ascham's Schoolmaster.]
BOOK I. THE BRINGING UP OF YOUTH.
THE title of the first book of the Schoolmaster describes it as "Teaching the Bringing up of Youth;" and it may be said to treat of the general principles according to which the education of children at school ought to be conducted. Much of it has, however, a particular reference to what was then, as it is still, in England, the usual commencement of a liberal education, the study of the Latin tongue,—a subject which is exhaustively treated in the second book and will be omitted in this abstract of the first.
The author then proceeds to the proper subject of this portion of his work, the general manner and temper in which the instruction of youth ought to be conducted ;
"If your scholar do miss sometimes, in marking rightly these foresaid six things, chide not hastily; for that shall both dull his wit, and discourage his diligence; but monish him gently, which shall make him both willing to amend and glad to go forward in love, and hope of learning.
I have now wished twice or thrice this gentle nature to be in a schoolmaster. And that I have done so, neither by chance nor without some reason, I will now declare at large why in mine opinion love is fitter than fear, gentleness better than beating, to bring up a child rightly in learning.
With the common use of teaching, and beating in common schools of England, I will not greatly contend; which if I did, it were but a small grammatical controversy, neither belonging to heresy nor treason, nor greatly touching God nor the prince, although in very deed, in the end, the good or ill bringing up of children, doth as much serve to the good or ill service of God, our Prince, and our whole country, as any one thing doth beside.
I do gladly agree with all good schoolmasters in these points; to have children brought to good perfectness in learning, to all honesty in manners; to have all faults rightly amended; to have every vice severely corrected. But for the order and way that leadeth rightly to these points, we somewhat differ; for commonly many schoolmasters, some as I have seen, more as I have heard tell, be of so crooked a nature, as when they meet with a hard-witted scholar, they rather break him than bow him, rather mar him than mend him. For when the schoolmaster is angry with some other matter, then will he soonest fall to beat his scholar; and though he himself should be punished for his folly, yet must he beat some scholar for his pleasure, though there be no cause for him to do so, nor yet fault in the scholar to deserve so.
These, ye will say, be fond schoolmasters, and few they be, that be found to be such. They be fond, indeed, but surely over many such be found every where. But this will I say, that even the wisest of your great beaters do as
oft punish nature, as they do correct faults. Yea, many times the better nature is sorer punished. For, if one by quickness of wit take his lesson readily, another by hardness of wit taketh it not so speedily; the first is always commended; the other is commonly punished: when a wise schoolmaster should rather discreetly consider the right disposition of both their natures, and not so much weigh what either of them is able to do now, as what either of them is likely to do hereafter. For this I know, not only by reading of books in my study, but also by experience of life abroad in the world, that those which be commonly the wisest, the best learned, and best men also, when they be old, were never commonly the quickest of wit when they were young. The causes why, amongst other, which be many, that move me thus to think, be these few which I will reckon.
Quick wits commonly be apt to take, unapt to keep; soon hot, and desirous of this and that; as soon cold, and weary of the same again; more quick to enter speedily, than able to pierce far; even like our sharp tools, whose edges be very soon turned. Such wits delight themselves in easy and pleasant studies, and never pass far forward in high and hard sciences. And therefore the quickest wits commonly may prove the best poets, but not the wisest orators: ready of tongue to speak boldy, not deep of judgment, either for good counsel, or wise writing. Also for manners and life, quick wits commonly be, in desire, new-fangled; in purpose, unconstant, light to promise anything, ready to forget everything, both benefit and injury; and thereby neither fast to friend, nor fearful to foe; inquisitive of every trifle, not secret in the greatest affairs; bold with any person; busy in every matter; soothing such as be present, nipping any that is absent; of nature also always flattering their betters, envying their equals, despising their inferiors; and by quickness of wit, very quick and ready to like none so well as themselves.
Moreover, commonly, men very quick of wit be also very light of conditions; and thereby very ready of disposition to be carried over quickly by any light company to any riot and unthriftiness when they be young; and therefore seldom either honest of life, or rich in living when they be old. For quick in wit, and light in manners, be either seldom troubled, or very soon weary in carrying a very heavy purse. Quick wits also be in most part of all their doings over quick, hasty, rash, heady, and brainsick. These two last words, heady and brainsick, be fit and proper words, rising naturally of the matter, and termed aptly by the condition of over-much quickness of wit. In youth also they be ready scoffers, privy mockers, and ever over light and merry; in age, soon testy, very waspish, and always over miserable. And yet few of them come to any great age, by reason of their misordered life when they were young; but a great deal fewer of them come to show any great countenance, or bear any great authority abroad in the world; but either live obscurely, men know not how, or die obscurely, men mark not when.
They be like trees, that show forth fair blossom and broad leaves in springs time, but bring out small and not long-lasting fruit in harvest time; and that only such as fall and rot before they be ripe, and so never or seldom come to any good at all. For this you shall find most true by experience, that amongst a number of quick wits in youth, few be found in the end either very fortunate for themselves, or very profitable to serve the commonwealth, but decay and vanish, men know not which way; except a very few, to whom peradventure blood and happy parentage may perchance purchase a long standing upon the
stage. The which felicity, because it cometh by others' procuring, not by their own deserving, and stands by other men's feet, and not by their own, what outward brag soever is borne by them, is indeed of itself, and in wise men's eyes, of no great estimation."
The author here gives it as his opinion, that there are certain sciences by the over-much study and use of which "some wits, moderate enough by nature, be many times marred." The sciences against which he thus warns moderate wits are music (in which he is said to have been himself a proficient,) arithmetic, and geometry." "These sciences," he says, “as they sharpen men's wits overmuch, so they change men's manners over sore, if they be not moderately mingled, and wisely applied to some good use of life. Mark all mathematical heads, which be only and wholly bent to those sciences, how solitary they be themselves, how unfit to live with others, and how unapt to serve in the world." In support of this notion he quotes Galen, Plato, and Cicero, as all condemning much music, on the ground that it "marreth men's manners;" and he refers to what he had himself written more at large on the matter, twenty years ago, in his BOOK OF SHOOTING. The passage in the Toxophilus is curious as giving the grounds on which Ascham appears to have taken up these opinions. He there observes that "lutes, harps, barbitons, sambukes, with other instruments, every one which standeth by fine and quick fingering, be condemned of Aristotle, as not to be brought in and used among them which study for learning and virtue." Music, he thinks, doth to a man's mind, "as honey doth to a man's stomach, which at first receiveth it well, but afterward it maketh it unfit to abide any strong nourishing meat, or else any wholesome, sharp, and quick drink. And even so in a manner these instruments make a man's wit so soft and smooth, so tender and quaisy, that they be less able to brook strong and tough study. Wits be not sharpened, but rather dulled, and made blunt with such sweet softness, even as good edges be blunted, which men whet upon soft chalk stones."
In the present work he contends, generally, that "overmuch quickness of wit, either given by nature, or sharpened by study, doth not commonly bring forth either greatest learning, best manners, or happiest life in the end." The sense in which he makes this proposition, as well as the reasons by which he defends it, will be understood from the passage that follows:
'Contrarywise, a wit in youth that is not over dull, heavy, knotty, and lumpish; but hard, tough, and though somewhat staffish, (as Tully wisheth otium quietum non languidum, and negotium cum labore, non cum periculo,)* such a wit, I say, if it be at the first well handled by the mother, and rightly smoothed and wrought as it should, not overthwartly and against the wood by the schoolmaster, both for learning and whole course of living, proveth always the best. In wood and stone, not the softest, but hardest, be always aptest for portraiture, both fairest for pleasure, and most durable for profit. Hard wits be hard to receive, but sure to keep; painful without weariness, heedful without wavering, constant without newfangleness; bearing heavy things, though not lightly, yet willingly; entering hard things, though not easily, yet deeply; and so come to that perfectness of learning in the end, that quick wits seem in hope, but do not in deed, or else very seldom, ever attain unto.
* i. e. Leisure which is quiet, but not languid; and business attended with exertion, but not with danger.
Also for manners and life, hard wits commonly are hardly carried, either to desire every new thing, or else to marvel at every strange thing. And therefore they be careful and diligent in their own matters, not curious and busy in other men's affairs; and so they become wise themselves, and also are counted honest by others. They be grave, steadfast, silent of tongue, secret of heart; not hasty in making, but constant in keeping any promise; not rash in uttering, but wary in considering every matter; and thereby not quick in speaking, but deep of judgment, whether they write or give counsel in all weighty affairs. And these be the men that become in the end both most happy for themselves, and also always best esteemed abroad in the world.
I have been longer in describing the nature, the good or ill success of the quick and hard wits, than perchance some will think this place and matter doth require. But my purpose was hereby plainly to utter what injury is offered to all learning, and to the commonwealth also, first by the fond father in choosing, but chiefly by the lewd* schoolmaster in beating and driving away the best natures from learning. A child that is still, silent, constant, and somewhat hard of wit, is either never chosen by the father to be made a scholar, or else when he cometh to the school, he is smally regarded, little looked unto; he lacketh teaching, he lacketh encouraging, he lacketh all things; only he never lacketh beating, nor any word that may move him to hate learning, nor any deed that may drive him from learning to any other kind of living.
And when this sad-natured, and hard-witted child is beat from his book, and becometh after either student of the common law, or page in the court, or serving-man, or bound prentice to a merchant, or to some handicraft, he proveth in the end wiser, happier, and many times honester too, than many of these quick wits do by their learning.
Learning is both hindered and injured too by the ill choice of them that send young scholars to the universities, of whom must needs come all our divines, lawyers, and physicians.
These young scholars be chosen commonly, as young apples be chosen by children in a fair garden, about St. James tide. A child will choose a sweeting, because it is presently fair and pleasant, and refuse a runnet, because it is then green, hard, and sour; when the one, if it be eaten, doth breed both worms and ill humors; the other, if it stand his time, be ordered and kept as it should, is wholesome of itself, and helpeth to the good digestion of other meats. Sweetings will receive worms, rot, and die on the tree, and never or seldom come to the gathering for good and lasting store.
For very grief of heart I will not apply the similitude; but hereby is plainly seen, how learning is robbed of the best wits, first, by the great beating, and after by the ill-choosing of scholars to go to the universities: whereof cometh partly that lewd and spiteful proverb, sounding to the great hurt of learning, and shame of learned men, that 'the greatest clerks be not the wisest men.'
And though I, in all this discourse, seem plainly to prefer hard and rough wits, before quick and light wits, both for learning and manners; yet I am not ignorant that some quickness of wit is a singular gift of God, and so most rare among men: and, namely, such a wit as is quick without lightness, sharp without brittleness, desirous of good things without newfangleness, diligent in painful things without wearisomeness, and constant in good will to do all things well; as I know was
i. e. The intemperate.