Imatges de pàgina

may appear that the child doubteth in nothing that his master taught him before. After this, the child must take a paper book, and sitting in some place where' no man shall prompt him, by himself, let him translate into English his former lesson. Then, showing it to his master, let the master take from him his Latin book, and pausing an hour at least, then let the child translate his own English into Latin again in another paper book. When the child bringeth it turned into Latin, the master must compare it with Tully's book, and lay them both together; and where the child doth well, either in choosing or true, placing Tully's words, let the master praise him, and say, 'Here you do well;' for I assure you there is no such whetstone to sharpen a good wit, and encourage a will to learning, as is praise.

But if the child miss, either in forgetting a word, or in changing a good with a worse, or misordering the sentence, I would not liave the master either frown, or chide with him, if the child hath done his diligence and used no truantship therein; for I know by good experience, that a child shall take more profit of two faults gently warned of, than of four things rightly hit; for then the master shall have good occasion to say unto him, “Tully would have used such a word, not this; Tully would have placed this word here, not there: would have used this case, this number, this person, this degree, this gender; he would have used this mood, this tense, this simple rather than this compound; this adverb here, not there; he would have ended the sentence with this verb, not with that noun or participle,' &c.

In these few lines I have wrapped up the most tedious part of grammar, and also the ground of almost all the rules that are so busily taught by the master, and so hardly learned by the scholar in all common schools, which after this sort the master shall teach without all error, and the scholar shall learn without great pain; the master being led by so sure a guide, and the scholar being brought into so plain and easy a way. And therefore we do not contemn rules, but we gladly teach rules, and teach them more plainly, sensibly, and orderly than they be commonly taught in common schools. For when the master shall compare Tully's book with the scholar's translation, let the master at the first lead and teach his scholar to join the rules of his grammar book with the ex. amples of his present lesson, until the scholar by himself be able to fetch out of his grammar every rule for every example, so as the grammar book be ever in the scholar's hand, and also used of him as a dictionary for every present use. This is a lively and perfect way of teaching of rules; where the common way used in common schools, to read the grammar alone by itself, is tedious for the master, hard for the scholar, cold and uncomfortable for them both.

Let your scholar be never afraid to ask you any doubt, but use discreetly the best allurements you can to encourage him to the same, lest his overmuch fearing of you drive him to seek some misorderly shift, as to seek to be helped by some other book, or to be prompted by some other scholar, and so go about to beguile you much, and himself more.

With this way of good understanding the matter, plain construing, diligent parsing, daily translating, cheerful admonishing, and heedful amending of faults, never leaving behind just praise for well doing, I would have the scholar brought up withal, till he had read and translated over the first book of Epistles chosen out by Sturmius, with a good piece of a comedy of Terence also.

All this while, by mine advice, the child shall use to speak no Latin; for, as Cicero saith in like matter, with like words, Loquendo, malè loqui discunt; and that excellent learned man G. Budæus, in his Greek commentaries, sore com. plaineth, that when he began to learn the Latin tongue, use of speaking Latin at the table and elsewhere unadvisedly did bring him to such an evil choice of words, to such a crooked framing of sentences, that no one thing did hurt or hinder him more all the days of his life afterwards, both for readiness in speaking, and also good judgment in writing."

Upon the subject of speaking Latin, the author admits that if children could be brought up in a house or a school in which the Latin tongue was properly and perfectly spoken, then the daily use of speaking would be the best and readiest way to learn the language. But in the best schools in England he contends that no such constant propriety of expression was to be heard. If the object therefore be that the scholar shall learn not only to speak Latin, but to speak it well, our author's opinion is that he will best acquire this faculty by use of writing.

After some time when the scholar is found to perform this first kind of exercise with increasing ease and correctness, he must have longer lessons to translate, and must also be introduced to the second stage in the order of teaching; that is to say, he is to be taught to know and distinguish, both in nouns and verbs, what is proprium (literal,) and what is translatum (metaphorical;) what synonymum (synonymous,) what diversum (differing in signification in certain respects;) which words are contraria (opposite in signification to each other,) and which are the most remarkable phrases or idiomatic expressions, throughout the whole passage which forms his lesson. For this purpose he must have a third paper book; in which after he has done his double translation he must write out and arrange what is to be found in the lesson under each of these heads. Should the passage contain nothing certain of them, he ought still to enter the head or title: thus, diversa nulla (no words differing in signification;) contraria nulla (no words of opposite signification,) &c.

“This diligent translating," says the author, "joined with this heedful marking in the foresaid Epistles, and afterward in some plain Oration of Tully, as Pro Lege Manilia, Pro Archia Poëta, or in those three Ad C. Cæsarem (he means those three ammonly entitled Pro Q. Ligario, Pro Rege Dejotaro, and Pro M. Marcello,) shall work such a right choice of words, so strait a framing of sentences, such a true judgment, both to write skillfully and speak wittily, as wise men shall both praise and marvel at."

The author in the Second Book proceeds with the subject as follows:

" After that your scholar, as I said before, shall come in deed, first to a ready perfectness in translating, then to a ripe and skillful choice in marking out his six points; as-1. Proprium; 2. Translatum; 3. Synonymum; 4. Contrarium; 5. Diversum; 6. Phrases; then take this order with him: read daily unto him some book of Tully; as the Third Book of Epistles, chosen out by Sturmius; de Amicitiâ de Senectute, or that excellent Epistle, containing almost the whole First Book, ad Q. Fratrem; some comedy of Terence, or Plautus. But in Plautus, skillful choice must be used by the master, to train his scholar to a judgment in cutting out perfectly over old and improper words. Cæsar's Commentaries are to be read with all curiosity, wherein especially (without all ex. ception to be made either by friend or foe) is seen the unspotted propriety of the Latin tongue, even when it was, as the Grecians say, in dxueñ, that is, at the tighest pitch of all perfectness; or some orations of T. Livius, such as be both longest and plainest.


These books I would have him read now a good deal at every lecture; for he shall not now use daily translation, but only construe again, and parse, where ye suspect is any need: yet let him not omit in these books his former exercise, in marking diligently, and writing orderly out his six points; and for translating, use you yourself every second or third day, to choose out some Epistle ad Atticum, some notable common-place out of his Orations, or some other part of Tully, by your discretion, which your scholar may not know where to find; and translate it you yourself into plain natural English, and then give it him to translate into Latin again, allowing him good space and time to do it both with diligent heed and good advisement.

Here his wit shall be new set on work; his judgment for right choice truly tried; his memory for sure retaining better exercised, than by learning anything without the book; and here, how much he hath profited shall plainly appear. When he bringeth it translated unto you, bring you forth the place of Tully; lay them together, compare the one with the other; commend his good choice, and right placing of words; show his faults gently, but blame them not oversharply; for of such missings, gently admonished of, proceedeth glad and good heed-taking; of good heed-taking, springeth chiefly knowledge, which after groweth to perfectness, if this order be diligently used by the scholar, and gently handled by the master. For here shall all the hard points of grammar both easily and surely be learned up, which scholars in common schools, by making of Latins, be groping at with care and fear, and yet in many years they scarce can reach unto them. *

When by this diligent and speedy reading over those forenamed good books of Tully, Terence, Cæsar, and Livy, and by this second kind of translating out of your English, time shall breed skill, and use shall bring perfection: then ye may try, if ye will, your scholar with the third kind of translation, although the two first ways, by mine opinion, be not only sufficient of themselves, but also surer, both for the master's teaching and scholar's learning, than this third way is, which is thus:

Write you in English some letter, as it were from him to his father, or to some other friend, naturally, according to the disposition of the child; or some tale, or fable, or plain narration, according as Aphthonius* beginneth bis exercises of learning: and let him translate into Latin again, abiding in such place where no other scholar may prompt him. But yet, use you yourself such discretion for choice therein, as the matter may be within the compass, both for words and sentences, of his former learning and reading. And now take heed, lest your scholar do not better in some point than you yourself, except ye have been diligently exercised in these kinds of translating before.

I had once a proof hereof, tried by good experience, by a dear friend of mine, when I came first from Cambridge to serve the Queen's Majesty, then Lady Elizabeth, lying at worthy Sir Antony Denny's, in Cheston. John Whitney, a young gentleman, was my bed-fellow, who willing by good nature, and provoked by mine advice, began to learn the Latin tongue, after the order declared in this book. We began after Christmas; I read unto him Tully de Amicitià, which he did every day twice translate out of Latin into English, and out of English into

* This book of Aphthonius, now forgotten, was once in great vogue in our schools and on the continent. Among the list of books in Sandwich School hox or library (Temp. Eliz. Reg.! was a copy of Aphthonius. There is a short notice of Aphthonius in the Penny Cyclopædia.

Latin again. About St. Lawrence tide, after, to prove how he profited, I did choose out Torquatus' talk de Amicitiâ, in the latter end of the first book de Finibus, because that place was the same in the matter, like in words and

rases, nigh to the form and fashion of sentences, as he had learned before in de Amicitiâ. I did translate it myself into plain English, and gave it him to turn into Latin, which he did so choicely, so orderly, so without any great miss in the hardest points of grammar, that some in seven year in grammar schools, yea, and some in the University too, can not do half so well.”

The author next discusses " the six ways appointed by the best learned men for the learning of tongues and increase of eloquence, as 1. Translation; 2. Paraphrase; 3. Metaphrasis ; 4. Epitome; 5. Imitation.

I. “Translation, is easy in the beginning for the scholar, and bringeth also much learning and great judgment to the master. It is most common and most commendable of all other exercises for youth: most common; for all your constructions in grammar schools be nothing else but translations. But because they be not double translations, as I do require, they bring forth but simple and single commodity; and because also they lack the daily use of writing wbich is the only thing that breedeth deep root, both in the wit for good understanding, and in the memory for sure keeping of all that is learned.”

Ascham justifies his views on the subject by citing the opinions Cicero, Quintilian, and Pliny, and thus concludes:

“And by these authorities and reasons am I moved to think this way of double translating, either only, or chiefly, to be fittest for the speedy and perfect attaining of any tongue. And for speedy attaining, I durst venture a good wager, if a scholar in whom is aptness, love, diligence, and constancy, would but translate after this sort one little book in Tully (as de Senectute, with two Epistles, the first ad Q. Fratrem, the other ad Lentulum the last save one in the First Book,) that scholar, I say, should come to a better knowledge in the Latin tongue than the most part do that spend four or five years in tossing all the rules of grammar in common schools. Indeed, this one Book with these two Epistles, is not sufficient to afford all Latin words (which is not necessary for a young scholar to know,) but it is able to furnish him fully, for all points of grammar, with the right placing, ordering, and use of words, in all kind of matter. And why not? For it is read, that Dion Prusæus,* that wise philosopher and excellent orator of all his time, did come to the great learning and utterance that was in him, by reading and following only two books, Phædon Platonis, and Demosthenes' most notable Oration slepi lapampeoßcias.

And a better and nearer example herein may be our most noble Queen Elizabeth, who never took yet Greek nor Latin grammar in her hand, after the first declining of a noun and a verb; but only by this double translating of Demosthenes and Isocrates daily, without missing, every forenoon, and likewise some part of Tully every afternoon, for the space of a year or two, hath attained to such a perfect understanding in both the tongues, and to such a ready utterance of the Latin, and that with a judgment, as they be few in number in both the Universities, or elsewhere in England, that be in both tongues comparable with her Majesty."

II. Paraphrasis is defined as being "not only to express at large with more words, but to shine and contend to translate the best Latin authors into other

* That is, Chrysostom, whose name was Dion, and who was a native of Prusa in Bithynia.

Latin words, as many, or thereabout.” This method Ascham decidedly condemns as a school exercise, on the same grounds on which it is disapproved of by Cicero and the younger Pliny, the latter of whom in one his Epistles calls it audax contentio, an audacious contention. “It is a bold comparison, indeed," says our author, " to think to say better than that is best. Such turning of the best into worse, is much like the turning of good wine, out of a fair sweet flagon of silver, into a foul musty bottle of leather; or to turn pure gold and silver into foul brass and copper.

Paraphrasis, therefore, by mine opinion, is not meet for grammar schools, nor yet very fit for young men in the University, until study and time have bred in them perfect learning and steadfast judgment.”

III. Metaphrasis. “This kind of exercise," says Ascham, “is all one with paraphrasis, save it is out of verse either into prose, or into some other kind of meter; or else out of prose into verse, which was Socrates's exercise and pastime, as Plato reporteth, when he was in prison, to translate Æsop's fables into verse. Quintilian doth greatly praise also this exercise; but because Tully doth disallow it in young men, by mine opinion it were not well to use it in grammar schools, even for the self-same causes that he recited against paraphrasis.”

IV. “Epitome is good privately for himself that doth work it, but ill commonly for all others that use other men's labor therein. A silly poor kind of study, not unlike to the doing of those poor folk which neither till, nor sow, nor reap themselves, but glean by stealth upon other men's ground. Such have empty barns for dear years."

“I do wish," he afterwards remarks, in reference to the common books of exercises used at schools, " that all rules for young scholars were shorter than they be. For without doubt, Grammatica itself is sooner and surer learned by examples of good authors than by the naked rules of grammarians. Epitome hurteth more in the universities and study of philosophy, but most of all in divinity itself.”

He acknowledges, however, that "books of common places be very necessary to induce a man into an orderly general knowledge, how to refer orderly all that he readeth ad certa rerum capita (to certain heads,) and not wander in study."

“Epitome is most necessary of all in a man's own writing, as we learn of that noble poet Virgil, who, if Donatus say true, in writing that perfect work of the Georgics, used daily, when he had written forty or fifty verses, not to cease cutting, paring, and polishing of them, till he had brought them to the number of ten or twelve.

And this exercise is not more needfully done in a great work than wisely done in our common daily writing, either of letter or other thing else; that is to say, to peruse diligently, and see and spy wisely, what is always more than needeth. For twenty to one offend more in writing too much than too little; even as twenty to one fall into sickness rather by over much fullness than by any lack or emptiness. *

And of all other men, even those that have the inventivest heads for all purposes, and roundest tongues in all matters and places (except they learn and use this good lesson of epitome,) commit commonly greater faults than dull, staying, sileut men do. For quick inventors, and fair ready speakers, being boldened


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