Schools, School-Books and Schoolmasters A Contribution to the History of Educational Development in Great Britain by Hazlitt, William Carew

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1. History of the Venetian Republic; Its Rise, its Greatness, and its Civilisation. With Maps and Illustrations. 4 vols. 8vo. _Smith, Elder & Co._ 1860.

A new edition, entirely recast, with important additions, in 3 vols. crown 8vo, is in readiness for the press.

2. Old English Jest-Books, 1525-1639. Edited with Introductions and Notes. _Facsimiles._ 3 vols. 12mo. 1864.

3. Remains of the Early Popular Poetry of England. With Introductions and Notes. 4 vols. 12mo. _Woodcuts._ 1864-66.

4. Handbook to the Early Popular, Poetical, and Dramatic Literature of Great Britain. Demy 8vo. 1867. Pp. 714, in two columns.

5. Bibliographical Collections and Notes. 1867-76. Medium 8vo. 1876.

This volume comprises a full description of about 6000 Early English books from the books themselves. It is a sequel and companion to No. 4. See also No. 6 _infrâ_.

6. Bibliographical Collections and Notes. SECOND SERIES. 1876-82. Medium 8vo. 1882.

Uniform with First Series. About 10,000 titles on the same principle as before.

"Mr. W. C. Hazlitt's second series of _Bibliographical Collections and Notes_ (Quaritch) is the result of many years' searches among rare books, tracts, ballads, and broadsides by a man whose specialty is bibliography, and who has thus produced a volume of high value. If any one will read through the fifty-four closely printed columns relating to Charles I., or the ten and a half columns given to 'London' from 1541 to 1794, and recollect that these are only a supplement to twelve columns in Hazlitt's _Handbook_ and five and a half in his first _Collections_, he will get an idea of the work involved in this book. Other like entries are 'James I.,' 'Ireland,' 'France,' 'England,' 'Elizabeth,' 'Scotland' (which has twenty-one and a half columns), and so on. As to the curiosity and rarity of the works that Mr. Hazlitt has catalogued, any one who has been for even twenty or thirty years among old books will acknowledge that the strangers to him are far more numerous than the acquaintances and friends. This second series of _Collections_ will add to Mr. Hazlitt's well-earned reputation as a bibliographer, and should be in every real library through the English-speaking world. The only thing we desiderate in it is more of his welcome marks and names, B. M., Britwell, Lambeth, &c., to show where all the books approaching rarity are. The service that these have done in Mr. Hazlitt's former books to editors for the Early-English Text, New Shakspere, Spenser, Hunterian, and other societies, has been so great that we hope he will always say where he has seen the rare books that he makes entries of."--_Academy_, August 26, 1882.

7. Bibliographical Collections and Notes. A THIRD AND FINAL SERIES. 1886. 8vo.

Uniform with the First and Second Series. This volume contains upwards of 3000 articles. All three are now on sale by Mr. Quaritch.

8. Memoirs of William Hazlitt. With Portions of his Correspondence. _Portraits after miniatures by John Hazlitt._ 2 vols. 8vo. 1867.

During the last twenty years the Author has been indefatigable in collecting additional information for the _Life of Hazlitt_, 1867, in correcting errors, and in securing all the unpublished letters which have come into the market, some of great interest, with a view to a new and improved edition.

9. Inedited Tracts. Illustrating the Manners, Opinions, and Occupations of Englishmen during the 16th and 17th Centuries. 1586-1618. With an Introduction and Notes. _Facsimiles._ 4to. 1868.

10. The Works of Charles Lamb. Now first collected, and entirely rearranged. With Notes. 4 vols. 8vo. _E. Moxon & Co._ 1868-69.

11. Letters of Charles Lamb. With some Account of the Writer, his Friends and Correspondents, and Explanatory Notes. By the late Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, D.C.L., one of his Executors. An entirely new edition, carefully revised and greatly enlarged by W. Carew Hazlitt. 2 vols. 1886. Post 8vo.

11a. Mary and Charles Lamb. New Facts and Inedited Remains. 8vo. _Woodcuts and Facsimiles._ 1874.

The groundwork of this volume was an Essay by the writer in _Macmillan's Magazine_.

12. English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases. Arranged alphabetically and annotated. Medium 8vo. 1869. Second Edition, corrected and greatly enlarged, crown 8vo. 1882.

13. Narrative of the Journey of an Irish Gentleman through England in 1751. From a MS. With Notes. 8vo. 1869.

14. The English Drama and Stage, under the Tudor and Stuart Princes. 1547-1664. With an Introduction and Notes. 8vo. 1869.

A series of reprinted Documents and Treatises.

15. Popular Antiquities of Great Britain. I. The Calendar. II. Customs and Ceremonies. III. Superstitions. 3 vols. Medium 8vo. 1870.

Brand's _Popular Antiquities_, by Ellis, 1813, taken to pieces, recast, and enormously augmented.

16. Inedited Poetical Miscellanies. 1584-1700. Thick 8vo. With Notes and Facsimiles. 50 copies privately printed. 1870.

17. Warton's History of English Poetry. An entirely new edition, with Notes by Sir F. Madden, T. Wright, F. J. Furnivall, R. Morris, and others, and by the Editor. 4 vols. Medium 8vo. 1871.

18. The Feudal Period. Illustrated by a Series of Tales (from Le Grand). 12mo. 1874.

19. Prefaces, Dedications, and Epistles. Prefixed to Early English Books. 1540-1701. 8vo. 1874.

50 copies privately printed.

20. Blount's Jocular Tenures. Tenures of Land and Customs of Manors. Originally published by Thomas Blount of the Inner Temple in 1679. An entirely new and greatly enlarged edition by W. Carew Hazlitt, of that Ilk. Medium 8vo. 1874.

21. Dodsley's Select Collection of Old Plays. A new edition, greatly enlarged, corrected throughout, and entirely rearranged. With a Glossary by Dr. Richard Morris. 15 vols. 8vo. 1874-76.

22. Fairy Tales, Legends, and Romances. Illustrating Shakespear and other Early English Writers. 12mo. 1875.

23. Shakespear's Library: A Collection of the Novels, Plays, and other Material supposed to have been used by Shakespear. An entirely new edition. 6 vols. 12mo. 1875.

24. Fugitive Tracts (written in verse) which illustrate the Condition of Religious and Political Feeling in England, and the State of Society there, during two centuries. 1493-1700. 2 vols. 4to. 50 copies privately printed. 1875.

25. Poetical Recreations. By W. C. Hazlitt. 50 copies printed. 12mo. 1877.

A new edition, revised and very greatly enlarged, is in preparation.

26. The Baron's Daughter. A Ballad. 75 copies printed. 4to. 1877.

27. The Essays Of Montaigne. Translated by C. Cotton. An entirely new edition, collated with the best French text. With a Memoir, and all the extant Letters. _Portrait and Illustrations._ 3 vols. 8vo. 1877.

The only library edition.

28. Catalogue of the Huth Library. [English portion.] 5 vols. Large 8vo. 1880. 200 copies printed.

29. Offspring of Thought in Solitude. Modern Essays. 1884. 8vo, pp. 384.

Some of these Papers were originally contributed to _All the Year Round_, &c.

30. Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine. 12mo. 1886.

31. An Address to the Electors of Mid-Surrey, among whom I Live. In Rejoinder to Mr. Gladstone's Manifesto. 1886. 8vo, pp. 32.

"Who would not grieve, if such a man there be? Who would not weep, if Atticus were he?"--POPE.

32. Gleanings in Old Garden Literature. 12mo. 1887.

33. Schools, School-books, and Schoolmasters. A Contribution to the History of Educational Development. 12mo. 1888.

34. Studies in Jocular and Anecdotal Literature. 12mo. _In January next._



A Contribution to the history of Educational Development in Great Britain




Although the commencing section has been thrown into the introductory form, it has seemed to me necessary to annex a few lines by way of preface, in order to explain that the following pages do not pretend to deal exhaustively with the subject of which they treat, but offer to public consideration a series of representative types and selected specimens. To have barely enumerated all the authors and works on British education would fill a volume much larger than that in the hands of the reader.

My main object has been to trace the sources and rise of our educational system, and to present a general view of the principles on which the groundwork of this system was laid. So far as I am capable of judging, the narrative will be found to embody a good deal that is new and a good deal that ought to be interesting.

The bias of the volume is literary, not bibliographical; but its production has involved a very considerable amount of research, not only among books which proved serviceable, but among those which yielded me no contribution to my object.

W. C. H.

BARNES COMMON, SURREY, _November 1887_.



Introductory survey of the old system of teaching--Salutary influence of the Church--Education of Englishmen in their own homes and on the Continent--Severity of early discipline--Dr. Busby.

I. A fair body of authentic evidence has been collected, and is here before us, exhibiting and illustrating the origin and progress of the educational movement, and the opportunities which our ancestors acquired and improved for mental cultivation and literary development.

An attentive consideration of the ensuing pages may bring us to the conclusion that the English and Scots, at all events, of former days were not ill provided with facilities for mastering the rudiments of learning, and that the qualifications necessary and sufficient for ordinary persons and careers were within the reach of all men, and, as time went on, women, of moderate intelligence and resources.

Moreover, when the taste for a more elaborate and extended system of training, and for a circle of accomplishments, set in with the Stuarts, the appliances of every kind for gratifying and promoting it were superabundant; and London and other cities swarmed with experts, who either attached themselves to academies or worked on their own account, waiting on their clients or receiving them at their own places of business. The youth of family who had passed from the grammar-school or the tutor to the University, enjoyed, from the moment when professors began to flock hither from France, Italy, and Germany as to the best market, greatly increased facilities for completing themselves in special departments of science, as well as in such exercises as were thought to belong to gentlemen. As our intercourse with the Continent became more regular and general, its fashions and sentiments were gradually communicated to us, and we began to overcome our old insular prejudices. A familiarity with other languages and literatures than our own, and with the pursuits and amusements of countries which a narrow strip of sea separated, was the beneficial consequence of the French and Italian sympathies which the union of the crowns, after the death of the last of the Tudors, introduced into England.

We are scarcely entitled to plume ourselves on the elevation from which it is our privilege to look back on obsolete educational theories and principles. The change which we witness is of recent date and of political origin. It is within an easily measurable number of years that the democratic wave has loosened and shaken the direct clerical jurisdiction over our schools and our studies. What more significant fact can there be, in proof of the conservative bigotry of those who so long exercised control in schoolroom and college, that a primer compiled in the first quarter of the sixteenth century was still substantially the standard authority less than a hundred years since?

When we regard a History of English Literature, and the works which either constitute its principal strength and glory, or even such as, rather from the circumstances connected with them than their own intrinsic importance, lend to it a certain incidental or special value, it becomes natural to inquire by what process or course of training the men and women whose names compose the roll of fame became, or were aided at least in becoming, what they were and remain?

As for the women, they followed their studies at home under governesses and professors; and Ballard's volume on Learned Ladies will shew what was capable of accomplishment in a few isolated and conspicuous cases, before any scheme for the higher education of the sex had been broached. But it is with the men that I have more particularly to deal.

Every eminent Englishman who has done more or less to augment and enrich our literary stores, and an infinitely greater number who have adopted other vocations, passed of course through the scholastic ordeal. They were sent to school, and perhaps to college; and they had books put into their hands, as our boys have books put into theirs--books written by the scholars of the time up to the knowledge and opinion of the time.

With the fewest exceptions, the boy was the father of the man, and what he had himself acquired he was content to see his children acquire. There were centuries during which the lines of instruction and the scope of culture varied little.

The greater part of our early English teachers came across the sea, or had been educated there; our best books were modelled on those of French or Roman grammarians, and the improvement in our system was due, when it came, to the _gymnasia_ and academies of the Continent.

II. We all know that the Church in early times, before it became a conflicting and mischievous influence, did much valuable work toward the development and progress of literature and art, and was instrumental in preserving many monuments of ancient learning and genius, which might otherwise have perished. But the strong clerical element in the old social system operated beneficially on our English civilisation in another equally important way.

For a vast length of time the schools attached to the monasteries were not only the best, but almost the sole seminaries where an education of the higher class could be obtained. They were, in point of fact, the precursors of the similar establishments subsequently attached to some of the colleges; and it is further to be remarked, that, besides the ordinary features of a mediæval scholastic _curriculum_, they taught music for the sake of keeping a constant succession of candidates for the choir of the chapel. It was through the monks and through an ecclesiastical channel that we derived both our most ancient schools of music and our primitive educational machinery, the two alike destined to become sensible, in course of time, of a potent secular influence, scarcely imaginable by their monastic institutors.

Bishop Percy says that the system of instruction appears to have consisted of learning the Psalms, probably by heart, and acquiring the principles of music, singing, arithmetic, and grammar. Some of the boys, he adds, who had made the art of music their profession, assisted in later life at the religious services on special occasions, while others relinquished their original callings, and sought their fortune as minstrels and instrumental players.

Altogether, it is evident that music and other branches of a liberal training were primarily indebted at the outset, and long subsequently, for their encouragement and diffusion to the only class which was at the period capable of undertaking tuition. We have to seek in the Church of the Middle Ages the source of all our scholastic erudition and refinement, and of all the humanising influence which music, in all its forms, has exerted over society.

III. Carlisle, in his well-known work on the Endowed Schools, supplies us with some very desirable facts touching the cathedral institutions which preceded the lay seminaries, and over which the bishop of the diocese presided _ex officio_. The pupils in these institutions were termed the scholastics of the diocese; and one of the latest survivals of the system was, perhaps, the old St. Paul's, which Colet's endowment eventually superseded. The preponderant element here was, of course, clerical; the boys were, as a rule, educated with a view to ecclesiastical preferment; and those studies which lay outside the requirements of the early Church were naturally omitted. It was a narrow and warping course of discipline, which lasted, nevertheless, from the days of Alfred to the age of the Tudors.

But these cathedral schools themselves had grown out of the antecedent conventual establishments, of which hundreds must have at one time existed among us, and consequently the former represented a forward movement and a certain disposition to relax the severity and exclusiveness of purely religious education. As we see that subsequently it was the practice to attach to a college a preparatory school, as at Magdalen, Oxford, so in the mediæval time almost every monastic house had its special educational machinery for training aspirants to the various orders. This point does not really come within my immediate scope; but I thought it well to shew briefly how, as the lay schools evolved from the cathedral schools, so the latter were an outcome from the conventual. There seems, however, to have been one marked difference between the monastic or conventual and the cathedral programmes, that in the latter the sciences of law and medicine, having become independent professions, were abandoned in favour of the academies, where youths on quitting school were specially inducted into a knowledge of those Faculties.

Prior to the institution of colleges and schools of a better class, the nobility and gentry often sent their children to the monasteries and convents to be initiated in the elements or first principles of learning. The sort of education obtained here must have been of the most meagre character; the course was restricted to grammar, philosophy of the cast then in vogue, and divinity; the classics were treated with comparative neglect, and a study of the living languages was still more remote from their design.

Even so late as the Tudor time, those who could afford to send their children abroad found the education better, and probably cheaper; some distinguished Englishmen, driven from their country by political or religious differences, brought up their families whitherever they fled as a matter of necessity.

Sir Thomas Bodley, in the account of his life written by himself in 1609, acquaints us with the fact that when his father was living at Geneva, the great centre of the Protestant refugees, and he was a boy of twelve, he was sufficiently advanced in learning, through his father's care, to attend the lectures delivered at that University in Hebrew, Greek, and divinity, in which last his teachers were Calvin and Beza; and besides these studies he had private tutors in the house of the gentleman with whom he boarded, including Robertus Constantinus, the lexicographer, who read Homer to him. On the return of the Bodleys to England upon the accession of Elizabeth, the member of the family who was destined to immortalise their name was sent to Oxford.

Bishop Waynflete appears to have been among the earliest men who perceived the necessity, at all events, of grounding boys more thoroughly in grammar, and he was the prime mover in the establishment of schools at Waynflete, Brackley, and Oxford, where the Accidence and Syntax were taught on an improved plan. The last-named seminary was within the precincts of Magdalen College, and became by far the most important and most famous of the three, in consequence of its good fortune in having among its masters men like Anniquil and Stanbridge, who took a real interest in their profession, and bred scholars capable of diffusing and developing the love of acquiring knowledge and the art of communicating it.

As Knight observes, grammar was the main object; but then the method was a great advance on the old monastic plan. Even Jesus College, Cambridge, was merely erected and endowed for a master and six fellows, and a certain number of scholars to be instructed in grammar.

At the time of the Civil War, John Allibone, a Buckinghamshire man, and author of that rather well-known Latin description of the University as reformed by the Republicans in 1648, was head-master of Magdalen School.

In the English _Ship of Fools_, 1509, which is a good deal more than a translation, Barclay ridicules the archaic system of teaching, and Skelton does the same in his poetical satires. It was by the indefatigable exposure of the inefficiency and unsoundness of the prevailing modes of instruction that reforms were gradually conceded and accomplished. In all political and social movements the caricaturist plays his part.

It is not surprising to find Ascham in his turn, fifty years later on, taking exception to the school-teaching and teachers which had educated, and more or less satisfied, so many anterior generations.

We naturally encounter in much of the literary work of the seventeenth century advice and information in matters relating to scholastic and academical culture wholly unhelpful to an inquiry into the training of the middle class. In the section of a well-known book, entitled _The Gentleman's Calling_, 8vo, 1660, dedicated to our immediate subject, the anonymous author observes: "Scarce any that owns the name of a _Gentleman_, but will commit his Son to the care of some Tutor, either at home or abroad, who at first instils those Rudiments, proper to their tenderer years, and as Age matures their parts, so advances his Lectures, till he have led them into those spacious fields of learning, which will afford them both Exercise and Delight. This is that _Tree of Knowledge_ upon which there is no interdict...."

The preceding extract points to a sphere of life which was wont to conclude its preparatory stage with the Grand Tour and an initiation into the profligacy of all the capitals of Europe; but we see that it deals with a case in which a tutor took a youth almost, as it were, from his nurse's apron-strings, and does not merely indicate a finishing course. The volume from which the passage comes has a promising title, and might have been intensely interesting and truly important; but it was written by some dry and pedantic scribbler, and, like Osborne's _Advice to a Son_, 1656, and many other treatises of a cognate character, is a tissue of dulness and inanity. It is characteristic of the whole that portraits of Jeremiah and Zedekiah are selected as appropriate graphic embellishments.

From a woodcut on the back of the title-page of a _Grammatica Initialis_, or Elementary Grammar, 1509, we form a conclusion as to the ancient Continental method of instruction. This engraving portrays the interior of a school, apparently situated in a crypt; the master is seated at his desk with a book open before him, and above it a double inkstand and a pen, both of primitive fabric. The teacher is evidently reading aloud to his four scholars, who sit in front of him, a passage from the volume, and they repeat after him, parson-and-clerk-wise. They learn by rote. They have no books before them. They represent a stage in the teaching process before the science of reading from print or MS. had been acquired by the scholar, and copies of school-books were multiplied by the press. There was no preparation of work. The quarter wage included no charge for books supplied. The teaching was purely oral. So it was probably throughout. It was thus that Stanbridge, Whittinton, Lily, and their followers conducted their schools, long after the cradle at Magdalen had been reinforced by other seminaries all over the country.

There is no written record of this fashion of communicating information from the master to the pupil, so diametrically opposed to modern ideas, but conformable to an era of general illiteracy; it is a sister-art, which lends us a helping hand in this case by admitting us to what may be viewed as an interior coeval with Erasmus and More.

The modern school-holidays appear to have been formerly unknown. In the rules for the management of St. Paul's and Merchant Taylors', for instance, where a vacation is called a _remedy_, no such indulgence was permitted save in cases of illness; and it is curious that in the account which Fitzstephen gives of the three seminaries already established in London in the reign of Henry II. the boys are represented as spending the holy days (rather than holidays) in logical or rhetorical exercises and disputations.

In all the public schools, indeed, holidays were at first intimately associated with the recurrence of saints' anniversaries and with festivals of the Church, and were restricted to them. The modern vacation was not understood; and the first step toward it, and the earliest symptom of a revolt against the absence of any such intervals for diversion from studies and attendance at special services, was an appeal made in 1644 to the Court of the Company by the scholars of Merchant Taylors "for play-days instead of holy-days."

The object of this petition was to procure a truce with work and an opportunity for exercise and sport, in lieu of a system under which the boys, from their point of view, merely substituted one kind of task for another; but the time had not yet arrived for reform in this matter; our elders clang tenaciously to the stern and monotonous routine which they found established, and in which they had been bred; and the feeling in favour of relaxing the tension by regular intervals of complete repose is an incidence of modern thought, which betrays a tendency at the present moment to gravitate too far to the opposite extreme.

A quite recent report of one of the great schools in the United States--the West Point School--manifests a survival of the old-fashioned ideas upon this subject, carried out by the Pilgrim Fathers to the American Plantations; and whereas in the mother country the original release from work in order to attend religious services has resolved itself into the latter-day vacation or holiday, the modern educational system beyond the Atlantic seems to withdraw the boys from the church, not in favour of the playground or the country, but as a means of lengthening the hours of study.

IV. Ingulphus, who lived in the reign of Edward the Confessor (A.D. 1041-66), furnishes us with the earliest actual testimony of a schoolboy's experiences. "I was born," he tells us, "in the beautiful city of London; educated in my tender years at Westminster: from whence I was afterwards sent to the _Study of Oxford_, where I made greater progress in the Aristotelian philosophy than many of my contemporaries, and became very well acquainted with the Rhetoric of Cicero." It is very interesting to learn further that, when he was at school at Westminster, and used to visit his father at the Court of Edward, he was often examined, both on the Latin language and on logic, by the Queen herself.

Insights of this kind at so early a period are naturally rare, and indeed we have to cross over to the Tudor time and the infancy of Eton before we meet with another such personal trait on English ground.

Thomas Tusser, author of the _Points of Good Husbandry_, admits us in his metrical autobiography to an acquaintance with the severity of treatment which awaited pupils in his time at public schools, and which, in fact, lingered, as part of the gross and ignorant system, down to within the last generation. We have all heard of the renowned Dr. Busby; but that celebrated character was merely a type which has happened from special circumstances to be selected for commemoration. Tusser, describing his course of training, says:--

"From Paul's I went, to Eton sent, To learn straightways the Latin phrase; Where fifty-three stripes given to me At once I had. For fault but small, or none at all, It came to pass that beat I was: See, Udall, see the mercy of thee To me, poor lad!"

But this kind of experience was too common; and it had its advocates even outside the professional pale: for Lord Burleigh, as we learn from Ascham, was on the side of the disciplinarians.

Sir Richard Sackville, Ascham's particular friend, on the contrary, bitterly deplored the hindrance and injury which he had suffered as a boy from the harshness of his teacher; and Udall himself carried his oppression so far as to offend his employers and procure his dismissal.

Nash, in _Summer's Last Will and Testament_, 1600, makes Summer say:--"Here, before all this company, I profess myself an open enemy to ink and paper. I'll make it good upon the accidence, body of me! that in speech is the devil's paternoster. Nouns and pronouns, I pronounce you as traitors to boys' buttocks; syntaxis and prosodia, you are tormentors of wit, and good for nothing, but to get a schoolmaster twopence a week!"

In a French sculpture of the end of the fourteenth century we have probably as early a glimpse as we are likely to get anywhere graphically of a scene in a school, where a mistress is administering castigation to one of her pupils laid across her knees, the others looking on. But it soon became a favourite subject for the illustrator and caricaturist.

The strictness of scholastic discipline existed in an aggravated form, no doubt, in early days, and formed part of a more barbarous system of retribution for wrong done or suffered. The principle of wholesale and indiscriminate flagellation for offences against the laws of the school or for neglect of studies marched hand in hand with the vindictive legislation of bygone days; and doubtless, from the first, the rod often supplied a vent for the temper or caprice of the pedagogue.

At Merchant Taylors' in my time the cane was freely used, and the forms of chastisement were the _cut on the hand_ and _the bender_, for which the culprit had to stoop.

The _régime_ of the once redoubtable Dr. Busby at Westminster was a kind of survival of the Draconic rule of Udall at Eton when poor Tusser was there; and it is exceedingly probable that in the time of Charles II. notions of what was salutary for youth in the shape of _unguentum baculinum_, or stick-ointment, had undergone very slight alteration since the previous century. Busby, of whom there is a strange-looking portrait in Nichols' _Anecdotes_, was the most sublime of coxcombical Dons, and within his own pale an autocrat second to none of the Cæsars. Smaller luminaries in the same sphere paid him homage in dedicatory epistles.

Everybody must remember the traditional anecdote of the visit of Charles II. to Westminster, and of the King, with his hat under his arm, walking complacently behind Busby through the school, the latter covered; and of the head-master, when his Majesty and himself (_Ego et rex meus_ over again) were beyond observation, bowing respectfully to Charles, trencher-cap in hand, and explaining that if the boys had any idea that there was a greater man in England than him, his authority would be at an end.

But there is a second story of Busby and a luckless Frenchman who threw a stone by accident through one of the windows while the lessons were in progress and the principal was hearing a class. Busby sent for the offender, thinking it was one of the boys in the playground; but when the stranger was introduced, it was "Take him up," and a flogging was inflicted before the whole assembly. The Frenchman went away in a fury, and at once sent a challenge to Busby by a messenger. The Doctor reads the cartel, and cries, "Take him up," and the envoy shares the fate of his employer. He, too, enraged at the treatment, returns, and demands compensation from Monsieur; but the latter shrugs his shoulders, and can only say, "Ah, me! he be the vipping man; he vip me, he vip you, he vip all the world."

It was of Busby that some one said how fortunate it was for the Seraphim and Cherubim that they had no nether extremities, or when he joined them, he would have "taken them up," as the Red Indian in his happy hunting-grounds still pursues his favourite occupation on earth.

Charles Burney, one of a famous and accomplished family, kept school at one time at Greenwich. He subsequently removed to Chiswick. There are still persons living who recollect him and his oddities. He was a great martinet--a miniature Busby; but a singular point about him was his habit of inserting in the quarterly accounts sent to the parents a charge for the birch-rods bought in the course of the term, and applied for the benefit of his pupils. This was a novel and ingenious method, a treatment of the question from a financier's point of view; and if black draughts and blue pills were recognised as legitimate items in the school-bill, why not the materials for external application?

The condition of the schoolmaster himself, on the other hand, and of his allies, the tutor and the usher, was as far removed from our present ideas as the code which he enforced and the books which he expounded. The freer diffusion of knowledge and an advanced civilisation have tended to liberate the schoolboy from the barbarous despotism of his teachers, the majority of whom were latter-day survivals of a decadent type, and to raise the latter in the social scale. The rod is broken, and Busbyism is extinct. But the successors of that renowned personage enjoy a higher rank and enlarged opportunities, and may maintain both if they keep pace with the progress of thought and opinion.

The schoolmaster has set his house in order at the eleventh hour, in obedience to external pressure, coming from men who have revolted against the associations and prejudices of early days, and inaugurated a new educational Hegira; and the evolutions of this modern platform are by no means fully manifest.

The propensity of the class to adhere to ancient traditions in regard to the application of corporal punishment was, of course, to be checked only by the force of public opinion. Had it not been that the latter was gradually directed against the evil, the probability is that this would have ranked among those popular antiquities which time has not seriously or generally touched. But so early as 1669 a representation on the subject was actually laid before Parliament in a document called "The Children's Petition: Or, A modest remonstrance of that intolerable grievance our youth lie under in the accustomed severities of the school-discipline of this nation." This protest was printed, and facing the title-page there meets the eye a notice to this effect: "It is humbly desired this book may be delivered from one hand to another, and that gentleman who shall first propose the motion to the House, the book is his, together with the prayers of posterity,"--in which last phrase a double sense may or may not lurk.

It required many attacks on such a stronghold as the united influence and prejudice of the teaching profession to produce an effect, and probably no effect was produced at first; for in 1698 another endeavour was made to obtain parliamentary relief, and in this instance the address humbly sought "an Act to remedy the foul abuse of children at schools, especially in the great schools of this nation."

These preparatory movements indicated the direction in which sentiment and taste were beginning to stir, not so much at the outset, perhaps, from any persuasion that greater clemency was conducive to progress, but from a natural disposition on the part of parents to revolt against the senseless ill-usage of their boys by capricious martinets.


The Foundations--Vocabularies, Glossaries, and _Nominalia_--Their manifold utility--Colloquy of Archbishop Alfric (tenth century)--Anglo-Gallic treatise of Alexander Neckam on utensils (twelfth century)--Works of Johannes de Garlandia--His Dictionary (thirteenth century) and its pleasant treatment--The Pictorial Vocabulary--Anglo-Gallic Dictionary of Walter de Biblesworth (late thirteenth century).

I. The origin and history of a class of documents which may be viewed as the basis and starting-point of our educational literature have first to be considered. I refer to the vocabularies, glossaries, and _nominalia_, which afford examples of the method of instruction pursued in this country from the Middle Ages to the invention of printing.

Such of these manuals as we fortunately still possess represent the surviving residue of a much larger number; and from the perishable material on which they were written and their constant employment in tuition, it becomes a source of agreeable surprise that so many specimens remain to throw light on the mode in which elementary learning was acquired in England in the infancy of a taste for letters and knowledge.

In the small volumes on _Cookery and Gardening_ by the present writer, he has, as a matter of course, called into requisition these early philological relics to illustrate both those subjects; and this fact testifies to the multiplicity of purposes for which such relics can be rendered serviceable. There is hardly, indeed, any aspect or line of mediæval life which these productions do not assist very powerfully in making more luminous and familiar. But their original design and destination were obviously educational. They were rude and imperfect vehicles, contrived by men of narrow culture and limited experience for the instruction of the young; and they were advisedly thrown, as far as possible, into an interlocutory form--the form most apt to impress circumstances and names on the memories of pupils. Some of these, which I shall presently describe a little more at large, were constructed on the interlinear principle, not, as among ourselves, for the edification of the learner, but, as Mr. Wright points out, for the preceptor's guidance in days when the latter was often a person of very mediocre attainments, and was incapable of dispensing with occasional assistance to his recollection. In other words, the majority of schoolmasters and ushers were merely the mechanical medium for conveying to the boys the lessons which they found set down in treatises prepared by persons of superior skill and erudition.

These primitive schoolbooks are, as a rule, easily susceptible of classification under the heads of Vocabularies, Dictionaries, Colloquies, and Narrative or descriptive texts, of which the two latter divisions are usually interlinear, either in part or throughout. Some of these terms, again, were formerly understood in acceptations different from our own; for a Vocabulary was what we should rather call a Dictionary, and a Dictionary was what we should rather call a Phrase-Book.

II. The most ancient item in the collection before me belongs to that century of which King Alfred just lived to witness the opening, the Colloquy of Archbishop Alfric, in Anglo-Saxon and Latin, and known only from an enlarged copy or transcript made by the writer's disciple and namesake. The original is supposed to have been compiled while Alfric was a monk at Winchester. He succeeded to the archbishopric in 995, and his pupil and editor died about the middle of the following century. The professed object of the undertaking was the acquisition of the Latin language by the Anglo-Saxon youth in the intervals of leisure from other pursuits or duties; and the process of instruction is conducted on the plan of a dialogue in Latin between a master and boys, with an interlinear Saxon gloss. It is significant of the harsh discipline which prevailed in those days that one of the foremost points of inquiry is in relation to flogging. The teacher asks if the boys choose to be flogged at their lessons, and the answer is that they would rather be flogged and taught than be ignorant, but that they rely on his clemency and unwillingness to punish them, unless he is obliged. The entire work deals with the matters which were most familiar to the student and came nearest home to their everyday life and sympathies; and this feature constitutes for us its special value and beauty. The Latin itself is indifferent enough, and bespeaks the acquisition of the tongue by Alfric and his follower from the earlier monkish authors, rather than from classical models. Many curious points might be elicited from the present composition and others of an allied character printed with it,--I mean such passages as those where the shepherd speaks of the danger from wolves, and the herdsman of the depredations of cattle-lifters. There was probably no occupation of the period which is not brought before us, and its particular specialities bilingually set out.

The VOCABULARY, of approximately the same date, is in reality a Latin and Anglo-Saxon word-book. Like the _Colloquy_, it received subsequent additions--perhaps by the same hand; but they are in the form of a separate Appendix. Each section has its independent alphabet, and the articles which fall under it do not observe any apparent order. The same is to be said of all the works of this class belonging to the mediæval era.

The Anglo-Gallic treatise of Alexander Neckam _De Utensilibus_ (twelfth century) is differently constructed from the Alfric Vocabulary, not as regards the text itself, which is also in Latin, but in having an interlinear gloss in Old French, and in following a descriptive form. It takes the various parts of a dwelling _seriatim_, the several occupations and callings of men, the mode of laying out a garden, and of building a castle.

Perhaps the book by Neckam and the Dictionary of Johannes de Garlandia constitute together the most comprehensive and remarkable body of information in our literature respecting the life and habits of the Anglo-Saxons and Anglo-Normans.

Johannes de Garlandia, whose work is common in MS. and who is also known as the author of other productions of a philological cast, commences his Dictionary by defining what a dictionary is. "Dictionarius," says he, "dicitur libellus iste a dictionibus magis necessariis, quas tenetur quilibet scolaris, non tantum in scrinio de linguis facto, sed in cordis armariolo firmiter retinere, ut ad faciliorem oracionis constructionem perveniat. Primo igitur sciat vulgaria nominare. Placet igitur a membris humani corporis incoare...."

This phrase or word book, which was probably composed about 1220, enters into the most minute particulars under all the heads which it comprises, and is unquestionably of the highest value and interest as taking us back so far into the life of the past, and making us in a manner the contemporary of an Englishman who flourished six or seven centuries ago, and domiciled himself in France, chiefly at Paris, where he gives us an account of his house and garden, with all their appointments and incidence.

There is a very curious passage in one of the glosses, where Johannes explains the derivation of _Pes_, which he traces from the Greek _pos_ [_sic_], adding that thence the dwellers of the other world or hemisphere, _if it be true that there are any_, are termed Antipodes. As this was written nearly 300 years before Columbus, it might have supplied a note and a point to Mr. Beamish in his volume on the _Discovery of America by the Northmen in the Tenth Century_, 1841.

The old dictionary-maker brings us so near to him by his pleasant colloquial method and familiar way of putting everything, and expects us to become acquainted into the bargain with his friends and neighbours, who resided at Paris under Philip Augustus, as if one might go there and find some of them still living. In other words, there was belonging to this man a natural simplicity of style and a communicativeness which together have rendered his treatise a work of art and a cyclopædia of information. He even leaves his house to go into the market with you and shew what his neighbour William has on sale there! How unspeakably more luminous and understandable the gone ages might have been if we had had more such!

III. Passing from him, his pleasant book, and its pleasant associations with cordial regret, I just notice the other and latter-day word-books, which are really, in the main, of the same type as those of which a description has gone before. One only differs markedly from the rest in possessing graphic embellishments of a rude and quaint character; among the rest the portrait of a woe-begone gallant, and by his side an arrow-pierced heart. Some of the representations are, of course, happier than others; assuredly those of animals are pre-Landseerian. They are many degrees below the stamp of such artistic essays as one finds in the books of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, _as a rule_, both in England and abroad. Criticism lays down its arms.

But I must dwell rather longer on one of the tracts in this series--the Anglo-Gallic Dictionary or _Phraseologia_ of Walter de Biblesworth. It is the most ancient monument of its particular kind of which I am aware, and is ascribed to the close of the thirteenth century, in other words, to the period embraced by the later years of the reign of Edward I. The orthography, which naturally strikes a modern French student as strange and uncouth, may be accepted as a key to the ancient pronunciation of the language, at all events in England, if not even among the French themselves; but the language, apart from the spelling, is remarkable for its plentiful use of expressions which have fallen into desuetude, and some of which, as _io_ for _je_, bespeak a Pyrenæan origin.

This production is intituled "Le treytyz ke moun sire Gauter de Bibelesworthe fist à ma dame Dyonisie de Mounchensy, pur aprise de langwage, ço est à saver, du primer temps ke homme nestra, ouweke trestut le langwage pur saver nurture en sa juvente, &c." The text is in short rhyming couplets, and takes the child from its birth through all the duties, occupations, and incidents of life. To select a passage which will give a fair idea of the whole is not altogether easy; but here is an extract which is capable of puzzling an average French scholar of our day:--

"Homme et femme unt la peel, De morte beste quyr jo apel. Le clerk soune le dreyne apel, Le prestre fat a Roume apel. Ore avet ço ke pent à cors, Dedens ausy et deors. Vestet vos dras, me chers enfauns, Chaucez vos bras, soulers, e gauns; Mettet le chaperoun, coverz le chef, Tachet vos botouns, e pus derechef De une coreye vus ceynet."

This didactic treatise is additionally interesting to the English student from its relationship, in the way of likely literary ancestry, to the subsequent compilations of a cognate sort by Lydgate and others. The diction is obscure enough, and has the air of having been the work of a man of imperfect culture, from the presence of such forms as _dreyne_ for _derreniere_ or _derniere_ and the abundance of false syntax, which ought not to have been so conspicuous, even at this remote date, in a composition professedly educational. Yet, after all deductions, the work is of singular curiosity and fascination, not only for its own sake, but as the best philological standard which we seem to have to put side by side with its successors in the same important direction.


Earliest printed works of instruction--Publications of Bishop Perottus--His _Grammatical Rules_--Johannes Sulpicius and his _Opus Grammaticum_--Some account of the book--Importance and influence of these foreign Manuals in England--The _Carmen Juvenile_ or _Stans Puer ad Mensam_--Alexander Gallus or De Villâ Dei and his _Doctrinale_--The _Doctrinale_ one of the earliest productions of the Dutch press--Ælius Donatus--His immense popularity and weight both at home and abroad--Selections or abridgments of his Grammar used in English schools.

I. The most ancient published books of instruction for Englishmen in scholastic and academical culture emanated from a foreign country and press. When the Vocabularies, Grammars, and other Manuals ceased to circulate in a manuscript form, or to be written and multiplied by teachers for the use of their own pupils, the early Parisian printers supplied the market with the works, which it had been theretofore possible to procure only to a very limited extent, in transcripts executed by the authors themselves or by professional copyists.

The educational writings of some of the men, whose influence for good in this direction had of course been greatly circumscribed by the ignorance of typography, found their way into print. But one of the foremost persons who addressed himself to the task of diffusing a knowledge of elementary learning and of teaching English by Latin was NICHOLAUS PEROTTUS, BISHOP OF SIPONTUM, whose _Grammatical Rules_ first appeared, so far as I know, in 1486.[1]

The examples of fifteenth-century English, which make in our eyes its chief value, were of course introduced as casual illustrations.

The lexicographical and grammatical works of this noted prelate undoubtedly exercised a very powerful and beneficial influence at, and long after, the period of their composition; and I am disposed to think that this was particularly the case with his _Rudimenta Grammatices_, 1476, and his _Cornucopia Linguæ Latinæ_, 1490. The former was not only imported into this country for sale, but was reprinted here in 1512, and the _Cornucopia_ forms part of the groundwork of our own _Ortus Vocabulorum_, 1500.

II. Next in succession to Bishop Perrot, whose publications, however, cannot be said to belong to the present category in more than an incidental degree, was JOHANNES SULPICIUS VERULANUS, who is perhaps to be viewed as the leader of the movement for spreading, not only in France, but in England, a fuller and more scholarly acquaintance with the laws of grammar. Nearly the first book which proceeded from the press of Richard Pynson was his _Opus Grammaticum_, 4to, 1494.

Almost every successive impression seems to differ in the contents or their distribution, owing, as I apprehend, to the circumstance that the volume was compounded of separate tracts, of which some were occasionally added or omitted at pleasure, or variously placed.

The edition of 1505 comprises the undermentioned pieces:--

Sulpitii Verulani examen de 8 partibus orationis. De declinatione nominum. De preteritis & supinis. Carmen iuuenile de moribus mensæ. Vocabulorum interpretatio. Iod. Badii Ascensii De regimine dictionum. Sulp. Verul. De regimine & constructione. De componendis ordinandisq. epistolis. De carminibus.

The title-leaf presents the woodcut, often employed by Pynson in his later performances, of a person, probably a schoolmaster, seated at a _plutus_ or reading-desk, holding a paper in one hand, and reading from a book which lies open before him.

Whatever may now be thought of them, the philological labours of Sulpicius, which were subsequently edited and glossed by Badius Ascensius, were long extremely popular and successful, and a very large number of copies must have been in English hands during the reigns of Henry the Seventh and his son. Of these, as I have said, some proceeded from the London press, while others were imported from Paris.

The _fasciculi_ in one of 1511 are as follow:--

Sulpitii Examen de octo partibus orationis. Carmen Iuuenile. De declinatione nominum orthoclitorum. ---------------------- heteroclitorum. De nominibus heteroclitis. De generibus nominum. De verbis defectiuis. De præteritis verborum. De supinis ----------. De regimine et constructione dictionum Libellus. De componendis ornandisq; epistolis. De Carminibus. De quantitate syllabarum. De A, E, &c. in primis syllabis. ---------------- mediis ----. De ultimis syllabis. De Carminibus decoro [_sic_] &c. Donati de figuris opusculum. De latinarum dictionum recta scriptura. De grecarum dictionum orthographia. De ratione dipthongangi. Ascensii de orthographia carmina. Vocabulorum interpretatio.

The _Carmen Juvenile_, inserted here and in the antecedent issues, is the poem better known as _Stans Puer ad Mensam_, and in its English dress by Lydgate. Mr. Blades tells us that the _editio princeps_ of the Latin poem appeared in 1483, and that Caxton printed Lydgate's English one at an anterior date. Lydgate, however, had been dead many years when his production saw the light in type, and as he could scarcely have translated the piece from Sulpicius, the probability seems to be that both resorted to a pre-existent original, which the Englishman rendered into his own tongue, and the foreign grammarian adopted or modernised. A comparison of the English text with that given in the work of Sulpicius shews considerable variations; the latter version is here and there more outspoken and blunt in its language than the paraphrase of the good Monk of Bury St. Edmunds. It is accompanied by a running gloss by the learned Ascensius; and although the book was ostensibly designed for the use of students, the contractions are unusually troublesome, and many of the proper names are exhibited in an orthography at any rate rather peculiar. The god whose special province was the management of the solar orb is introduced as _formosus appollo_. His substitution of _Vergilius_ as the name of the Latin poet is so far not remarkable, inasmuch as Polydore Vergil of Urbino appears always to have spelled his name so, and in the edition of Virgil by Aldus, 1501, the author is called _Vergilius_. I am afraid that if I were to furnish a specimen of the contractions, a modern typographer would be puzzled to reproduce it with the desirable exactitude.

III. When one turns over the leaves of a volume of this kind, and sees the way in which the avenue to learning and knowledge was hampered by pedantic and ignorant instructors, it seems marvellous, not that the spread of education was so slow and partial, but that so many scholars should have emerged from such a process.

A more obscure and repellent series of grammatical dissertations can hardly be imagined; yet Sulpicius holds a high rank among the promoters of modern education, as the precursor of all those, such as Robert Whittinton, John Stanbridge, and William Lily, who, after the revival of learning and the institution of the printing-press, prepared the way for improved methods and more enlightened preceptors. His followers naturally went beyond him; but Sulpicius was doubtless as much in advance of his forerunners as Richard Morris is in advance of Lindley Murray.

After the restoration of letters, Sulpicius seems to have been the pioneer in re-erecting grammar into a science, and formulating its rules and principles on a systematic basis.

In enumerating the aids to learning which the English received from the Continent, we must not overlook Alexander Gallus, or Alexander de Villâ Dei, a French Minorite and school-teacher of the thirteenth century, who reduced the system of Priscian to a new metrical plan, doubtless for the use of his own pupils, as well as his personal convenience and satisfaction.

The _Doctrinale_ of Alexander, which is in leonine verse, circulated more or less in MS. during his life, and was one of the earliest books committed to the press, as a fragment on vellum with the types of Laurence Coster of Haarlem establishes. It was repeatedly published abroad, but does not really seem to have ever gained a strong footing among ourselves, since three editions of it are all that I can trace as having come from London presses, and of these the first was in 1503. It did not, in fact, command attention till we were on the eve of a great reform in our school-books; and while in France, if not elsewhere abroad, it preserved its popularity during two or three centuries, till it was supplanted by the Grammar and Syntax of Despauterius about 1515, here in a dozen years it had run its course, and scarcely left even the marks of its influence behind.

IV. But the prototype of all the grammatical writers and teachers of early times in this as well as other countries was ÆLIUS DONATUS, a Roman professor of the fourth century, who probably acquired his experience from Priscian and the other works published under the Empire upon his favourite science, and who had the honour to number Saint Jerome among his disciples.

Donatus is the author of a System of Grammar in three parts, and of a series of Prefaces and Scholia to Terence; and his reputation became so great and was so widely diffused, that a _Donatus_ or _Donet_ was a well-understood synonym for a Primer, and John of Basing even christens his Greek Grammar, compiled about 1240, _Donatus Græcorum_. Langland, in his _Vision concerning Piers Ploughman_, written a century later, says--

"Thaune drowe I me amonges draperes my donet to lerne;"

and the _Testament of Love_ alludes to the work in similar terms. "In the statutes of Winchester College [written about 1386]," says Warton, "a grammar is called _Antiquus Donatus_, i.e. the Old Donat, or the name of a system of grammar at that time in vogue, and long before. The French have a book entitled 'Le Donnet, traitè de grammaire.... Among Rawlinson's MSS. at Oxford I have seen _Donatus opitimus noviter compilatus_, a manuscript on vellum, given to Saint Albans by John Stoke, Abbot in 1450. In the introduction, or _lytell Proheme_, to Dean Colet's _Grammatices Rudimenta_, we find mention made of 'certayne introducyons into latyn speche called Donates, &c. ... Cotgrave ... quotes an old French proverb: 'Les diables etoient encores a leur Donat'--The devils were but yet in their grammar."

In common with Æsop, the _Dialogus Creaturarum_, and other peculiarly popular works, Donatus lent his name to productions which really had no connection with his own, and we find such titles as _Donatus Moralizatus_, _Donatus Christianatus_, adopted by writers of a different class in order to attract attention and gain acceptance.

In England, however, the Works of Donatus do not appear to have obtained the same broad footing which they probably did in Italy. The modern edition by Lindemann, taken from a manuscript at Berlin, exhibits the entire system divided into three sections or books. But all that we know to have passed the press, at all events in this country, are two pieces evidently prepared for petty schools--the _Donatus Minor_ and the _Donatus pro pueris_, both published at the end of the fifteenth or beginning of the sixteenth century.

The former has on the title-page a large woodcut, representing a schoolmaster in a sort of thronal chair, with the instrument of correction in his hand, and three pupils kneeling in front of him. Both the teacher and his scholars wear the long hair of the period and plain close caps. It is curious that the pupils should not be uncovered, but the engraving could not, perhaps, be altered.

"The work begins with the title 'De Nomine.' Almost every page has a distinct running title descriptive of the subject below treated of. Herbert properly adds: 'In this book the declension of some of the pronouns is very remarkable, viz. N. Ego. G. mei vel mis. N. Tu. G. tui vel tis. N. Quis vel qui, que vel qua, Quod vel quid. Pl. D. & Ab. quis vel quibus. Also Nostras and Vestras are declined throughout without the neuter gender.'"


Rise of native teachers--Magdalen College School, Oxford--John Annaquil, its first master, and his grammatical handbooks--The _Compendium Grammatices_ with the _Vulgaria_ of Terence annexed--The _Parvulorum Institutio_--Personal allusions in the examples given--JOHN STANBRIDGE--Account of his works, with extracts of interesting passages--ROBERT WHITTINTON--His sectional series of Grammars.

I. The influence of Donatus was both widespread and of prolonged duration, and we must regard the ancient capital of the civilised world as the focus and cradle of all modern grammatical literature. Upon the great revival of culture, many Englishmen repaired to Rome to undergo a formal training for the scholastic profession under the masters who arose there, among whom were Sulpicius, author, as we have seen, of several educational tracts, which obtained considerable currency here, and Johannes Balbus, who compiled the famous _Catholicon_.

The LEXICON and DICTIONARY naturally followed the Primer; and our earliest productions of this kind were formed out of the Vocabularies composed and printed abroad--not in Italy, but in Germany, as a rule. But while in many instances we are made acquainted with the writers or editors of the smaller treatises, the names of those laborious men who undertook the compilation of the first type of glossographical Manual are scarcely known.

But the time soon arrived when a native school of tuition was formed in England, and its original seat seems to have been at the Free School immediately adjacent to Magdalen College, Oxford.

We find John Annaquil mentioned as the master of this seminary in the time of Henry the Seventh, and it is the most ancient record of it that has been apparently recovered. Annaquil, of whom our knowledge is extremely scanty, wrote, for the use more immediately of his own pupils, _Compendium Grammatices_, with an Anglo-Latin version of the _Vulgaria_ of Terence annexed. This volume was printed at Oxford by Theodore Rood about 1484; and an edition of the work entitled _Parvulorum Institutio_, ascribed to the same press, was doubtless prepared by Annaquil, or under his direction, for the benefit of his school. Such fragments as have been recovered of this book exhibit variations from the later copies, into which subsequent editors purposely introduced improvements and corrections. There are some familiar allusions here, such as, had they been more numerous, might have rendered these ancient educational tracts more attractive and precious even than they are. I mean such entries as, "I go to Oxford: _Eo Oxonium_ or _Ad Oxonium_." "I shall go to London: _Ibo Londinum_."

Knight explains these references in his Life of Dean Colet: "It may not be amiss to remark that many of the examples in the Latin Grammar pointed to the then juncture of public affairs; viz., the prosecution of Empson and Dudley in the beginning of Henry VIII.'s reign: as _Regum est tueri leges: Refert omnium animadverti in malos_. And this humour was the reason why, in the following editions of the Syntax, there were examples accommodated to the respective years of the impressions; as, _Audito regem Doroberniam proficisci_; _Imperator_ [Maximilian] _meruit sub rege_, &c. There were likewise in that edition of Erasmus several examples referring to Dean Colet, as _Vixit Romæ_, _studuit Oxonii_, _natus est Londini_, _discessit Londini_, &c."

Annaquil is supposed to have died about 1488, and was succeeded in his work by John Stanbridge, who is much better known as a grammarian than his predecessor. Stanbridge was a native of Northamptonshire, according to Wood, and received his education at Winchester. In 1481 he was admitted to New College, Oxford, after two years' probation, and remained there five years, at the end of which he was appointed first usher under Annaquil of the Free School aforesaid, and after his principal's death took his place. The exact period of his death is not determined; but he probably lived into the reign of Henry the Eighth.

II. The writings of Stanbridge are divisible into two sections--those which he published in his own lifetime, and those which appeared after his death in the form either of reimpressions or selections by his pupil Whittinton and others. The former category embraces: 1. ACCIDENCE; 2. VOCABULA; 3. VULGARIA. In the latter I include: 1. ACCIDENTIA EX STANBRIGIANA EDITIONE RECOGNITA limâ Roberti Whittintoni; 2. PARVULORUM INSTITUTIO EX STANBRIGIANA COLLECTIONE. The first of these productions, not strictly to be regarded as proceeding from the pen of Stanbridge, bears the name of Whittinton; the second I merely apprehend to have been his. But the line of distinction between the publications of Stanbridge himself and posthumous, or at any rate not personally superintended reprints, is one which ought to be drawn.

There is an edition of Stanbridge's _Accidence_, printed at the end of the sixteenth century by Caxton's successor at Westminster. The variations between it and the collections which were modelled upon it, probably by John Holt, whom I shall again mention, are thus explained and stated by the author of the _Typographical Antiquities_:--

"This treats of the eight parts of reason; but they differ in several respects as to the manner of treating of them; this treating largely of the degrees of comparison, which the other (_Accidentia ex Stanbrigiana Collectione_) does not so much as mention. That gives the moods and tenses of the 4. conjugations at large, both active and passive, whereas this gives only a few short rules to know them by. Again, this shews the concords of grammar, which the other has not."

There are at least three issues of the _Accidence_ from London presses, and a fourth in an abridged shape from an Antwerp one, presumably for the convenience of English residents in the Low Countries. The tide had by this time begun to a certain extent to flow in an opposite direction, as it were, and not only introductions to our own language were executed here and reproduced abroad, but Latin authors were beginning to find competent native interpreters, among whom John Annaquil was perhaps the foremost.

Next to the _Accidence_ of Stanbridge I shall consider briefly his _Vocabula_, which was, on the whole, the most popular of his works, and continued for the greatest length of time in vogue, as I record editions of it as late as the period of the Civil War (1647). I have not, on the other hand, met with any anterior to 1510. Annexed is a specimen:--

_De naui et eius pertinentibus._

The formost parte The hynder parte The saylewarde the bottom of the of the shyppe of the shyppe =antenna= shyppe =Prora nauis= =Puppis rostrum= =carina=

The takelynge the mast The cable an anker the stern =Armamenta= =malus= =rudens simul= =anchora= =clauus=

The hatches the pompe the water pompe the hatches =foci= =sentina cum= =nautea nausea= =transtra=

The sayle cloth idem the maste of the shyppe to sayle a shypman =carbalus= =et belum= =nauergus= =et nauigo= =nauta=

Qui nauem regit idem i. nauis =nauicularius= =et nauclerus= =nauigiumq=;

P̅tinēs ad nauē to rowe qui remigat the dockes an ore =naualis= =remigio= =remus= =naualia= =remex=

P̅tinens ad nauē qui fregit nauem the see a wawe =nauticus et= =naufragus naufragium= =ac mare= =fretū=

To carry ouer to dryue to carry ouer the toll, or the custome =Trajitio= =appello= =transporto= =portarjumq=;

A fery man a fery barge idem a cokbote a bottom =Portitor= =hyppago= =ponto= =Iynter quoq=; =cymba=

This extract is highly edifying. In the concluding line _ponto_, a ferry-barge, is the modern _punt_, and _lynter_, a cock-boat, is the early Venetian _lintra_, to which I refer in _Venice before the Stones_ as antecedent to the gondola.

III. The remaining contribution of Stanbridge to this class of literature is his _Vulgaria_, which I take to be the least known. Dibdin describes it somewhat at large, and it may be worth while to transfer a specimen hither:--

"_Sinciput, et vertex, caput, occiput, et coma, crinis._

=hoc sinciput, is=, the fore parte of the heed =hic vertex, cis=, for the crowne of the heed =hoc caput, is=, for a heed =hoc occiput, is=, the hynder parte of the heed =hec coma, e=, for a brisshe =hic crinis, nis=, for a heer

* * * * *

A garment a clothe idem apparayle =Hic indumentum= =vestis= =vestitus= =amictus= idem idem idem =Ornatus= =simul apparatus= =amiculus idem= a cappe agat: e idem =Ista caput gestat apex= =caliptra= =galerus= a cappe idem an hood idem =Biretum= =pilius= =cuculus= =capitiumq=;

* * * * *

_Vulgaria quedā cū suis vernaculis compilata iuxta consuetudinem ludi litterarij diui Pauli._

Good morowe. =Bonū tibi huius diei sit primordiū.= Good nyght. =Bona nox, tranquilla nox, optata requies, &c.=

Scolers must lyue hardly at Oxford, =Scolasticos Oxonii parce viuere oportet.=

My fader hath had a greate losse on the see. =Pater meus magnā p naufragiū iacturā habuit.=

Wysshers and wolders be small housholders. =Affectatibus diuitias modicā hospitalitatē obseruant.="

The abridgments of Stanbridge's _Accidence_ led, I presume, to the distinction of the original text as the _Long Accidence_, although I have not personally met with more than a single edition of the work under such a title. Dibdin, however, has a story that John Bagford had heard of one printed at Tavistock, for which the said John "would have stuck at no price."

The chief of these adaptations of the _Accidence_ is the _Parvulorum Institutio_, which I have described as probably emanating, in the first place, from the earliest press for the use of the earliest known school at Oxford. But it was reprinted with alterations by Stanbridge, and perhaps by John Holt. In Dibdin's account of one of these recensions he observes:--

"The work begins immediately on sign. A ij:-'What is to be done whan an englysshe is gyuen to be made in latyn? Fyrst the verbe must be loked out, and yf there be moo verbes than one in a reason, I must loke out the pryncypall verbe and aske this questyon who or what, and that word that answereth to the questyon shall be the nomynatyve case to the verbe. Except it be a verbe Impersonell the whiche wyll haue no nomynative case.'

"On the last leaf but one we have as follows:--

=Indignus dignus obscenus fedus Cice. qq hecauditu acerbus.= acerba sunt.

=Rarus iucundus absurdus turpe Terē. turpe saluber.= dictū.

=Mirandus mirus pulchrum sit Qui. multa periculosus.= dictu visuq; miranda.

=Whan there cometh a verbe after Terētius. quidnā sum es fui without a relatyve incepturus es. or a coniunccyon yf it be of the actyue sygnyfycacyon it shall be Tere. uxor tibi put in a partycyple of the fyrst ducenda est pāphyle sutertens yf he be of the passyue Te oro vt synyfacoōn he shall be put in the nuptie que fuerant partycyple of the latter sutertens, future fiant. except exulo, vapulo, veneo, fio.=

IV. Robert Whittinton, whose name is probably more familiar to the ordinary student than that of the man from whom he derived his knowledge and tastes, was a native of Warwickshire, and was born at Lichfield about 1480--perhaps a little before. He received his education, as I have stated, at the Free School at Oxford, and is supposed to have gained admission to one of the colleges; but of this there is no certainty. He subsequently acquired, however, the distinction of being decorated with the laurel wreath by the University of Oxford for his proficiency in grammar and rhetoric, with leave to read publicly any of the logical writings of Aristotle; and he assumed the title of Protovates Angliæ, and the credit of having been the first Englishman who was laureated.

It is certain that Whittinton became a teacher like his master Stanbridge, and among his scholars he counted William Lily, the eminent grammarian; but where he so established himself is not so clear, nor do we know the circumstances or date of his decease.

I am going to do my best to lay before the reader of these pages a clear bibliographical outline of Whittinton's literary performances; and it seems to amount to this, that he has left to us, apart from a few miscellaneous effusions, eleven distinct treatises on the parts of grammar, all doubtless more or less based on the researches and consonant with the doctrines of his immediate master Anniquil and the foreign professors of the same art, whose works had found their way into England, and had even, as in the case of Sulpicius and Perottus, been adopted by the English press.

I will first give the titles of the several pieces succinctly, and then proceed to furnish a slight description of each:--

1. De Nominum Generibis. 2. Declinationes Nominum. 3. De Syllabarum Quantitate, &c. 4. Verborum Præterita et Supina. 6. De Octo Partibus Orationis. 7. De Heteroclitis Nominibus. 8. De Concinnitate Grammatices et Constructione. 9. Syntaxis. [A recension of No. 8.] 10. Vulgaria. 11. Lucubrationes.

These eleven _fasciculi_ actually form altogether one system, and some of them have their order of succession in the author's arrangement indicated; as, for instance, the _Verborum Præterita et Supina_, which is called the Fifth Book of the First Part; but others are deficient in this clue, so that if one classes them, it must be in one's own way.

V. The treatise on the _Kinds of Nouns_, in one of the numerous editions of it at least, is designated _Primæ Partis Liber Primus_, which seems an inducement to yield it the foremost place in the series. But it will be presently observed that, although the collection in a complete state is susceptible of a consecutive arrangement, the pieces composing it did not, so far as we can tell, follow each other originally in strict order of time.

Of the tract on the _Declensions of Nouns_, which stands second in order, Dibdin supplies us with a specimen:--

De ntō singu- =Anchise et Ve-= =Capis filius= =Qui fingit elegan-= lari prime =neris filius,= =es, ut An-= =tia carmina, a,= declina- =as, ut Aeneas= =chises.= =ut poeta.= tionis. Rectus as, es, a; simul am dat flexio prima. =Aeneæ= =Aeneæ= =ut huius= =huic= =musæ= =musæ=

De gtō et dtō Ac dat dipthongum genitiuus sic que datiuus singularibus =hi poete= =o poete= et ntō et vetō Singularis, sic pluralis primus quoque quintus pluralibū. =familie et= =aulai pro aulae= =vt huius= =huic= =familias= =pictai pro pictæ.= Olim rectus in a, genito dedit as simul ai. =vt hic Judas, huius Jude, vel Juda= Ex Judas Juda aut Judæ dat pagina sacra =vt hic Adam. huius Adam. huic Adam, &c.= Barbara in am propria aut a recto non variantur.

We must now pass to the treatise _De Syllabarum Quantitate_, which, in a chronological respect, ranks first among Whittinton's works, as there was an edition of it as early as 1513.

This tripartite volume, 1. _On the Quantity of Syllables_; 2. _On Accent_; and 3. _On the Roman Magistrates_, is noteworthy on two accounts. The second portion embraces the earliest specimen in any English book of the poems of Horace, and the concluding section is a kind of rudimentary Lemprière. Subjoined is a sample of the lines upon accents, from Dibdin:--

"=Accentus tonus est per quē fit syllaba quevis Cognita: quādo acui debet, vel qū gravari Accentus triplex; fit acutus vel gravis, inde Est circūflexus: qui nunc fit rarus in vsu. Syllaba cum tendit sursum est accentus acutus Est gravis accentus sed syllaba pressa deorsum Fit circūflexus gravis in prima: sed in altum Attollit mediam, postrema gravis reciditque.="

This metrical exposition, which will not be mistaken for the language of Horace, is followed by a commentary in prose.

The next three divisions do not call for any particular criticism. They treat of the _Eight Parts of Speech_, the _Irregular Nouns_, and the _Laws of Grammatical Construction_, of which the last is the first cast of the _Syntax_.

There remain the _Vulgaria_ and the _Lucubrations_, which are far more important and interesting, and of which there were numerous editions. The subjoined samples will shew the principle on which the _Vulgaria_ was compiled:--

"Befe and motton is so dere, that a peny worth of meet wyll scant suffyse a boy at a meale.

"Whan I was a scholler of Oxforthe I lyued competently with vii. pens commens wekely.

"Be of good chere man for I sawe ryght nowe a rodde made of wythye for the, garnysshed with knottes, it wolde do a boy good to loke vpon it.

"A busshell of whete was holde at xii. pens.

"A gallon of swete wyne is at viii. pens in London.

"A gallon of ale is at a peny and ferdynge.

"I warne the fro hens forthe medle not with my bokes. Thou blurrest and blottest them, as thou were a bletchy sowter."

Such bits as these were decidedly worth extracting, yet Dibdin, with the very copy of the book from which they are derived before him, let them pass. In this volume Whittinton takes occasion to speak in eulogistic terms of Sir Thomas More.

Of the _Lucubrations_ the most interesting portion to an English reader will be the

"_To arraye or_ _To backbyte._ The goute. _to dyght._ Detraho Arthesis Orno Detracto Arthtica passio Vestio Obtrecto Morbus articularis Amicio Maledico Chiragra Induo Carpo Podagra Como &c. &c. &c. Colo

_An alyen or_ _To playe the_ _To be wode._ _outlandysshe._ _brothell._ Seuio Alienagena Scortari Furio Peregrinus Prostitui Insanio Aduena Fornicari Excandeseor Alienus Merere Bacchor Exterus Struprari _Wodnesse or_ Externus Adulterari _madnesse._ Barbarus Cohire Insania Extraneus Concumbere Seviciæ &c. &c. Furor."

The copious storehouse of equivalent phrases in Latin composition shews us in what wide vogue that language was in England at this period, as there is no corresponding facility offered for persons desirous of enlarging their English vocabulary. The influence of the scholars of France, Italy, Holland, and Germany long kept our vernacular in the background, and retarded the study of English by Englishmen; but the uprise of a taste for the French and Italian probably gave the first serious blow to the supremacy of the dead tongues, as they are called, and it became by degrees as fashionable for gentlemen and ladies to read and speak the languages in which Molière and Tasso wrote as the hybrid dialect in which erudite foreigners had been used to correspond and compose.

Whittinton styles himself on the title-pages of several of his pieces _laureatus_ and _protovates Angliæ_. In one place he speaks of being "primus in Angliâ lauri coronam gestans," and elsewhere he professes to be _magister grammatices_. As Warton and others have speculated a good deal on the real nature and import of the dignity which this early scholar claimed in regard to the laurel crown or wreath, it may be worth noting that Wood furnishes the annexed explanation of the point:--

"In the beginning of the year 1513, he supplicated the venerable congregation of regents under the name and title of Robert Whittington, a secular chaplain and a scholar of the art of rhetoric: that, whereas he had spent fourteen years in the study of the said art, and twelve years in the informing of boys, it might be sufficient for him that he might be laureated. This supplication being granted, he was, after he had composed an hundred verses, which were stuck up in public places, especially on the door or doors of St. Mary's Church [Oxford], very solemnly crowned, or his temples adorned with a wreath of laurel, that is, decorated in the arts of grammar and rhetoric, 4 July the same year."

The biographer of Colet is undoubtedly correct in supposing that the ancient poet-laureatship was nothing more than an academical degree, and that in this sense, and in no other, Skelton bore that designation, as well as Bernardus Andreas, who was tutor to Prince Arthur, elder brother of Henry VIII.

It also appears from the account of the decoration of Whittinton that he had commenced his qualification for a schoolmaster as far back as 1499, which is reconcilable with the date assigned to his birth (1480).


Educational tracts produced by other writers--_Parvula_--Holt's _Milk for Children_--Horman's _Vulgaria_ and its singular curiosity and value--The author's literary quarrel with Whittinton--The contemporary foreign teachers--Specimen of the Grammar of Guarini of Verona (1470)--Vestiges of the literature current at Oxford in the beginning of the sixteenth century--The printed works of Johannes de Garlandia.

I. Of independent tracts intended for the use of our early schools, there were several either anonymous or written by persons whom we do not recognise as writers of more than a single production.

In the former category is placeable the small piece published three or four times by Wynkyn de Worde about 1509, under the title of _Parvula_ or _Longe Parvula_. It is a series of rules for translation and other exercises in the form of question and answer, thus:--

"Q. What shall thou do whan thou hast an englysshe to make in latyn?

"A. I shal reherse myne englysshe ones, twyes, or thryes, and loke out my pryncypal, & aske ȳ questyon, who or what."

A second publication is the _Milk for Children_ of John Holt, of Magdalen College, Oxford, who had the honour of numbering among his pupils Sir Thomas More. One of the most interesting points about the little book to us nowadays is that it is accompanied by some Latin hexameters and pentameters and an epigram in the same language by More. The latter has the air of having been sent to Holt, and inserted by him with the heading which occurs before it, where the future Chancellor is termed "disertus adolescentulus."

A decided singularity of this volume is the quaint device of the author for impressing his precepts on those who read his pages or attended his academy by arranging the cases and declensions on woodcuts in the shape of outstretched hands.

Besides his _Milk for Children_ and the _Parvulorum Institutio_, to the latter of which I have already referred, Holt appears to me the most likely person to have compiled the tract called _Accidentia ex Stanbrigiana Collectione_, a small grammatical manual based on that of his predecessor or even colleague at Magdalen School; and this may be the work to which Knight points where he says that Holt put forth an Accidence and Grammar concurrently with his other tract, though the biographer of Dean Colet errs in placing Stanbridge after Holt in chronological sequence.

Another of the miscellaneous unofficial pieces, answering very nearly to the mediæval _Nominale_, has no other title than _Os, Facies, mentum_, and is a Latin poem descriptive of the human form, first printed in 1508, with an interlinear English gloss. It begins thus:--

a mouthe a face a chyne a toth a throot a tonge Os facies mentū dens guttur lingua a berde a browe abrye a forhede tēples a lype Barba supercilium ciliū frons tēpora labrū roffe of the mouth palatum

There is nothing, of course, on the one hand, recondite, or, on the other, very edifying in this; but it is a sample of the method pursued in these little ephemerides nearly four centuries ago.

II. The comparative study of Latin and English acquired increased prominence under the Tudors; and in addition to the regular text-books compiled by such men as Stanbridge and Whittinton, there is quite a small library of pieces designed for educational purposes, and framed on a similar model. Doubtless these were in many cases accepted in the schools on an equal footing with the productions of the masters themselves, or the latter may have had a hand, very possibly, in those which we have to treat as anonymous.

Between the commencement and middle of the sixteenth century, during the reigns of the first and second Tudors, there were several of these unclaimed and unidentified compilations, such as the _Grammatica Latino-Anglica, Tractatus de octo orationis partibus_, and _Brief Rules of the Regiment or construction of the Eight Parts of Speech, in English and Latin_, 1537.

The _Introductorium linguæ Latinæ_ by W. H. may perhaps be ascribed to William Horman, of whom we shall have more to say; and there are also in the category of works which had no particular width or duration of currency the _Gradus Comparationum_ of Johannes Bellomayus, and the _Regulæ Informationis_ of John Barchby.

These, and others, again, of which all trace has at present disappeared, were employed in common with the regular series, constantly kept in print, of Whittinton and Stanbridge, prior to the rise of the great public seminaries, many of which, as it will be my business to shew, took into use certain compilations supposed to be specially adapted to their requirements.

William Horman, who is presumed to have been the author of the _Introductorium_ above mentioned, was schoolmaster and Fellow of Eton College; in 1477 he became a perpetual Fellow of New College, Oxford, and he was eventually chosen Vice-Provost of Eton. He survived till 1535. From an epigram appended to the volume it is to be gleaned that Horman was a pupil of Dr. Caius, poet-laureate to Edward the Fourth.

Of the _Gradus Comparationum_ the subjoined may be received as a specimen:--

"What nownes make comparyson? All adiectyues welnere ȳ betoken a thynge that maye be made more or lesse: as fayre: fayrer: fayrest: black, blacker, blackest. How many degrees of comparacyon ben there? iij. the positiue ȳ comparatiue & the superlatyue. How knowe ye the posityue gēdre? For he is the groūde and the begynner of all other degrees of cōparyson. How knowe ye the comparatyue degre? for he passeth his posityue with this englysshe more, or his englysshe endeth in r, as more wyse or wyser. How knowe ye the superlatyue degre? for he passeth his posityue with engysshe moost: or his englisshe endeth in est: as moost fayre or fayrest, moost whyte or whytest."

III. The _Vulgaria_ of William Horman, 1519, is perhaps one of the most intrinsically curious and valuable publications in the entire range of our early philological literature. It would be easy to fill such a slender volume as that in the hands of the reader with samples of the contents without exhausting the store, but I must content myself with such extracts as seem most entertaining and instructive:--

"Physicians, that be all sette to wynne money, bye and sylle our lyues: and so oftē tymes we bye deth with a great and a sore pryce. _Animas nostras æruscatores medici negociantur, &c._

"Papyre fyrste was made of a certeyne stuffe like the pythe of a bulrushe in Ægypt: and syth it is made of lynnen clothe soked in water, stāpte or grūde pressed and smothed. _Chartæ seu papyri, &c._

"The greattest and hyest of pryce: is papyre imperyall. _Augustissimum papyrum, &c._

"The prynters haue founde a crafte to make bokis by brasen letters sette in ordre by a frame. _Calcographi artē, &c._

"Pryntynge hathe almooste vndone scryueners crafte. _Chalcographia librariorū q̄stū pene exhavsit._

"Yf the prynters take more hede to the hastynge: than to the true settynge of theyr moldis: the warke is vtterly marred. _Si qui libros, &c._"

The rest are given without the Latin equivalents, which have no particular interest.

"Scryueners write with blacke, redde, purple, gren, blewe, or byce: and suche other.

Parchement leues be wonte to be ruled: that there may be a comly margēt: also streyte lynes of equal distaunce be drawe withyn: that the wryttyng may shewe fayre.

Olde or doting chourles can not suffre yōge children to be mery.

I haue lefte my boke in the tennys playe.

This ynke is no better than blatche.

Frobeynes prynt is called better than Aldus: but yet Aldus is neuer the lesse thanke worthy: for he began the fynest waye: and left saūple by the whiche other were lyghtly provoked and taughte to deuyse better.

There is come a scoolle of fysshe.

The tems is frosne ouer with yse.

The trompettours blowe a fytte or a motte.

Vitelars thryue: by getherynge of good felowes that haue swete mouthes.

The mōkis of charter-house: neuer ete fleshe mete.

We shall drynke methe or metheglen.

We shall haue a iuncket after dyner.

Serue me with pochyd eggis.

He kepeth rere suppers tyll mydnyght.

Se that I lacke nat by my beddes syde a chayer of easement: with a vessel vnder: and an vrinall bye.

Women couette to sytte on lowe or pote stolys: men upon twyse so hye.

It is cōuenyent that a man haue one seueral place in his house to hymselfe fro cōbrance of womē.

Women muste haue one place to themselfe to tyffil themselfe and kepe theyr apparell.

They whyte theyr face, necke and pappis with cerusse: and theyr lyppis and ruddis with purpurisse.

Tumblers, houndes, that can goo on huntynge by them selfe: brynge home theyr praye.

Lytel popies, that serueth for ladies, were sūtyme bellis: sūtyme colers ful of prickkis for theyr defēce.

I haue layde many gynnys, pottis, and other: for to take fisshe.

Some fisshe scatre at the nette.

Poules steple is a mighty great thyng / and so hye that vneth a man may discerne the wether cocke.

It is an olde duty / and an auncyent custume / that the Mayre of London with his bretherne shall offer at Poules certayne dayes in the yere.

In London be. lij. parysshe chyrches.

Two or. iij. neses be holsome: one is a shrowed tokē."

These selected extracts will convey some notion of the unusual curiosity of the _Vulgaria_ of Horman, of which a second edition came out in 1530; it is so far rather surprising that it did not prove more popular. But it had to enter into competition with books of a similar title and cast by Stanbridge and Whittinton, who had their established connection to assist the sale of their publications.

The concluding item in this list of educational performances is also a curious philological relic, and a factor in the illustration of the imperfect mastery of English by foreigners of all periods and almost all countries. I allude to an edition of the _Declensions_ of the learned Parisian printer Ascensius with an English gloss. The tract was evidently printed abroad; and I am tempted to transcribe the paragraph on Punctuation, as it may afford an idea of the nature of the publication and of the English of that day as written by a foreigner. It will be observed that the author seems to confound the comma and the colon:--

"_Of the craft of poynting._

"Therbe fiue maner poyntys / and diuisiōs most vside with cunnyng men: the whiche if they be wel vsid: make the sentens very light / and esy to vnderstōd both to the reder & the herer. & they be these: virgil / come / parēthesis / playne poynt / and interrogatif. A virgil is a sclēder stryke: lenynge forwarde thiswyse / be tokynynge a lytyl / short rest without any perfetnes yet of sentens: as betwene the fiue poyntis a fore rehersid. A come is with tway titils thiswyse: betokynyng a lenger rest: and the sētens yet ether is vnperfet: or els if it be perfet: ther cūmith more after / lōgyng to it: the which more comynly can not be perfect by itself without at the lest sūmat of it: that gothe a fore. A parenthesis is with tway crokyd virgils: as an olde mone / & a neu bely to bely: the whiche be set theron afore the begynyng / and thetother after the latyr ende of a clause: comyng within an other clause: that may be perfet: thof the clause / so cōmyng betwene: wer awey and therfore it is sowndyde comynly a note lower: than the vtter clause. yf the sētens cannot be perfet without the ynner clause: then stede of the first crokyde virgil a streght virgil wol do very wel: and stede of the latyr must nedis be a come. A playne point is with won tittil thiswyse. & it cūmith after the ende of al the whole sētens betokinyng a lōge rest. An īterrogatif is with tway titils: the vppir rysyng this wyse? & it cūmith after the ende of a whole reason: wheryn ther is sum question axside. the whiche ende of the reson / tariyng as it were for an answare: risyth vpwarde. we haue made these rulis in englisshe: by cause they be as profitable / and necessary to be kepte in euery moder tuge / as ī latin. ¶ Sethyn we (as we wolde to god: euery precher [? techer] wolde do) haue kepte owre rulis bothe in owre englisshe / and latyn: what nede we / sethyn owre own be sufficient ynogh: to put any other exemplis."

VI. It is perhaps fruitless to offer any vague conjecture as to the authorship of the _Ascensian Declensions_. Many Englishmen resident in Paris, Antwerp, and Germany might have edited such a book. The orthography and punctuation are alike peculiar, and suspiciously redolent, it may be considered, of a foreign parentage; but one of our countrymen who had long resided abroad, or who had even been educated out of England, might very well have been guilty of such slips as we find here. A Thomas Robertson of York, of whom I shall have more presently to say, was a few years later in communication with the printers and publishers of Switzerland, and became the editor of a text of Lily the grammarian. Robertson, as a Northern man, was apt, in writing English, to introduce certain provincialisms; and I put it, though merely as a guess, that he might have executed this commission, as he did the other, for Bebelius of Basle.

Two years subsequently to the appearance of his _Vulgaria_, Horman involved himself in a literary controversy with Whittinton in consequence of an attack which he had made on the laureate's grammatical productions in a printed Epistle to Lily; it was the beginning of a movement for reforming or remodelling the current educational literature, and Horman himself was a man of superior character and literary training, as we are able to judge from the way in which he acquitted himself of his own contribution to this class of work.

A curious and very interesting account of the dispute between Lily and Horman, in which Robert Whittinton and a fourth grammarian named Aldrich became involved, is given by Maitland in his Notices of the Lambeth Palace Library. I elsewhere refer to the warm altercation between Sir John Cheke and Bishop Gardiner on the pronunciation of Greek. Both these matters have to be added to a new edition of Disraeli's _Quarrels of Authors_.

The Salernitan gentleman (Andrea Guarna) who set the Noun and the Verb together by the ears in his _Grammar War_, acted, no doubt, more discreetly, since he reserved to himself the power to terminate the fray which he had commenced.

VII. Generally speaking, it is the case that the men who compiled the curious and highly valuable Manuals of Instruction during the Middle Ages were superseded and effaced by others following in their track and profiting by their experience. The bulk of these more ancient treatises, such as I have described, still remained in MS. till of recent years, like the college text-books, which are yet sometimes left unprinted from choice; and after the introduction of typography the teaching and learning public accorded a preference to those scholars who constructed their system on more modern lines, and whose method was at once more intelligible and more efficient.

Of all the names with which we have become familiar, the only one which seems to have survived is Johannes de Garlandia; and it is remarkable, again, that the two works from his pen which passed the London press, the _Verborum Explicatio_ and the _Synonyma_, are by no means comparable in merit or in interest to the Dictionary already noticed. Subsequently to the rise of the English Grammatical School the reputation and popularity of Garlandia evidently suffered a permanent decline, and we hear _and feel_ no more of him.

A new generation, trained in foreign schools or under foreign tutors, set themselves the task of forming educational centres, and of introducing the people of England to a conversance with the foundations of learning and culture by more expeditious and effectual methods; and as from Scrooby in Lincolnshire a small knot of resolute men went forth in the _May Flower_ to lay the first stone of that immense constitutional edifice, the United States of America, so from an humble school at Oxford sprang the pioneers of all English grammatical lore--Anniquil; his usher, Stanbridge; Stanbridge's pupil, Whittinton; and Whittinton's pupil, Lily.

It is not too much to say that during three hundred years all our great men, all our nobility, all our princes, owed to this hereditary dynasty, as it were, the elementary portion of their scholastic and academical breeding, and that no section of our literature can boast of so long a celebrity and utility as the Grammatical Summary which is best known as Lily's _Short Introduction_, and which in most of its essentials corresponds with the system employed by those who preceded him and those who followed him almost within the recollection of our grandfathers. It was reserved for scholars of a very different temper and type to overthrow his ancient empire, and establish one of their own; and this is a revolution which dates from yesterday.

At the period when the school at Magdalen was established by Bishop Waynflete, the teachers in our own country and on the Continent were working on nearly parallel lines, just as the religious service-books printed at Paris and Rouen were made, by a few subsidiary alterations, to answer the English use; and indeed in the case of the grammatical system of Sulpicius an impression was executed at Paris in 1511 for Wynkyn de Worde, and imported hither for sale, without any differences or variations from the text employed in the Parisian gymnasium and elsewhere through the French dominions. It was not till the English element in these books gained the ascendancy, having been introduced by furtive degrees and by way of occasional or incidental illustration, that a marked native character was stamped on our school-books. Ultimately, as we know, the Latin proportion sensibly diminished, and even a preponderant share of space was accorded to the vernacular.

I have spoken of Ælius Donatus as an author whose Grammar enjoyed a long celebrity and an enormously wide acceptance, down from his own age to the date of the revival of learning. It was used throughout the Continent, in England, and in Scotland.

But prior to our earliest race of native grammarians and philologists, there were several labourers in this great and fruitful field, who began, towards the latter end of the fifteenth century, to cast off the trammels of the Roman professor, and to set up little systems of their own, of course more or less built upon Donatus.

Such an one was Guarini of Verona, whose _Regulæ Grammaticales_ were originally published at Venice in 1470, and are regarded as one of the earliest specimens of her prolific press. These rules were frequently reissued, and I have before me an edition of 1494.

The book, which consists only of twenty-two leaves or forty-four pages, begins with describing the parts of speech, then takes the various sorts of verbs, and follows with the adverbs, participles, and so forth. There is a set of verses on the irregular nouns, and a second headed _Versus differentiales_ or synonyms; and some of the illustrations are given in Italian. The section on diphthongs forms an Appendix.

I merely adduce a cursory notice of Guarini to keep the student in mind of the collateral progress of this class of learning abroad, while our own men were developing it among us with the occasional assistance of foreigners. Perhaps I may just copy out the following small specimen, where the glosses are in the writer's vernacular:--

"Largior ris per donare e p̱ essere donato Experior ris per p̱uare e per essere p̱uato Ueneror ris per honorare e p̱ essere honorato Moror ris per aspectare e p̱ eēre aspectato Osculor ris per basare e p̱ essere basiato."

In connection with Magdalen School, we see in the account-book of John Dorne, Oxford bookseller, for 1520, the class and range of literature which a dealer in those days found saleable. Among the strictly grammatical books occur the _A. B. C._ and the _Boys' Primer_; the productions, with which we are already familiar, of Whittinton, Stanbridge, Erasmus, Cicero, Terence, and Lucian, interspersed with some of the Fathers, service-books of the Church, classical authors of a less popular type, such as Lucan, Cornelius Nepos, and Pomponius Mela; and more or less abstruse treatises on logic, rhetoric, and theology. On the other hand, we have prognostications in English, almanacs, _Robin Hood_, the _Nutbrown Maid_, the _Squire of Low Degree_, _Sir Isumbras_, _Robert the Devil_, and ballads. There are, besides, the _Sermon of the Boy-Bishop_, the _Book of Cookery_, the _Book of Carving_, and an Anglo-French vocabulary.

But I do not enter into these details. It was merely my intention to peep in at the shop, and see what a bookseller at one of the Universities nearly four centuries ago had in the way of school-literature. Perhaps next to the _A. B. C._ and the primers, the educational works of Erasmus were in greatest demand.

This old ledger has a sort of living value, inasmuch as it carries us back with it to the very Oxford of the first race of teachers and grammarians, about whom I write. All of them, except perchance Anniquil, must have known Dorne and had transactions with him; and here is his ledger, upon which the eyes of some of them may have rested, still preserved, with its record of stock in hand--new copies damp from the printer, or remainders of former purchases, now scarcely extant, or, if so, shorn of their coeval glory by the schoolboy's thumb or the binder's knife.


Auxiliary books--_Vulgaria_ of Terence--His Comedies printed in 1497--Some of them popular in schools--HORACE--CICERO--His _Offices_ and _Old Age_ translated by Whittinton--VIRGIL--OVID--Specimens of Whittinton's Cicero--The school Cato--Notices of other works designed or employed for educational purposes.

I. There is a class of books which, while they were not strictly intended for use in the preparation of the ordinary course of lessons, were most undoubtedly brought into constant requisition, at least by the higher forms or divisions, as aids to a familiarity with the dead languages, and eventually those of the Continent.

The earliest and one of the most influential of these was the _Vulgaria_ of Terence. As far back as the reign of Edward IV., I find it annexed to the _Compendium Grammaticæ_ of Johannes Anniquil, printed at Oxford about 1483; and at least three other editions of it exist. It is on the interlinear plan, as the following extract will serve to indicate:--

"Here must I abyde allone this ij dayes =Biduus hic manendū; est mihi soli.=

Though I may not touch it yet I may see =Si non tangendi copia ē videndi tā; erit.=

The dede selfe scheweth or telleth =Res ipsa indicat.=

If I had tarayed a lytill while I hadd not found hym at home =Paululū si cessassē eū domi nō offendissē.="

No one will be astonished or displeased to hear that Terence soon acquired great popularity among school-boys and a permanent rank as a text-book. In 1497 Pynson printed all the Comedies, and a few years later selections were given with marginal glosses. In 1533 the celebrated Nicholas Udall, many years before he gave to the world the admirable comedy of _Ralph Roister Doister_, edited portions of the Latin poet with an English translation, doubtless for the benefit of the scholars at Eton; it was a volume which long continued a favourite, and passed through several impressions, both during the author's life and after his death.

In 1598, a century subsequent to the appearance of the first, came a second complete version of the Comedies, from the pen of Richard Bernard of Axholme in Lincolnshire, and being more contemporary in its language and treatment, drove out of fashion the old Pynson. Bernard's remained in demand till the middle of the next century, and concurrently with it renderings of separate plays occasionally presented themselves.

In 1588 the _Andria_ was brought out by Maurice Kyffin with marginal notes, his professed object being twofold, namely, to further the attainment of Latin by novices and the recovery of it by such as had forgotten the language. In 1627, Thomas Newman, apparently one of the masters of St. Paul's, prepared for the special behoof of students generally the _Eunuch_ and the _Andria_, dedicating his performance to the scholars of Paul's, to whom he wished increase in grace and learning. The treatment of these two favourite dramas was influenced, as we are expressly informed, by the idea and ambition of adapting them for theatrical exhibition at a school.

But they were, at the same time, considered by our forefathers particularly well suited as vehicles for instruction, as well perhaps as for amusement. In the early days of Charles I., Dr. Webbe brought out an edition of them, both on a novel, principle of his own, which he had taken the precaution to patent. The safeguard proved superfluous, however, for the book never went into a second edition.

* * * * *

For the sake of grouping conveniently together the entire Anglo-Terentian literature, I shall conclude with a mention of the version, executed in 1667 by Charles Hoole of six of the plays. It is in English and Latin, "for the use of young scholars," and was most probably done with a special view to Hoole's own school, which at this time was "near Lothbury Garden, London." He kept for a long series of years one of the leading proprietary establishments in the metropolis; but he was originally the principal of one at Rotherham in Yorkshire. We last hear of him as carrying on the same business in Goldsmith's Alley. This was in 1675. His career as a teacher must have extended over some thirty years.

II. Leaving Terence, we may pass to Virgil, whose _Bucolics_ were published in 1512 with a dull Latin commentary, illustrating the construction of the verse and other critical points.

No ancient English edition of Horace exists, either in the original language or a translation. But Whittinton admitted selections from him into his _Syntax_. In 1534 he translated Cicero's _Offices_ for the use of schools, printing the Latin and English face to face; and the treatise of _Old Age_ closely followed.

In these attempts to draw the classics into use for educational purposes, the fine musical numbers of the ancient poet and the noble composition of the writer in prose offer a powerful contrast to the barbarous jargon and dissonant pedantry of the scholiast and editor, whose Latin exposition certainly tended in no way to assist the learner, either from the point of view of an interpreter or a model. For it must have been, in the absence of some one to expound the exposition, fully as puzzling to pupils as the most difficult passages of the Roman poets, while it was eminently mischievous in its influence on the formation of a Latin style.

The teacher in all ages has been a prosaic and unimaginative being; and if the one who directed the studies of Virgil himself had glossed the works of those authors who lived before the Augustan era, he would have probably transmitted to us a labour as dry and unfruitful as those which make part of the reference library of English boys in the olden time.

Except in a prose translation, which bears no mark of having been intended for boys, the _Æneid_ was not introduced among us for a very long period subsequently to the revival of learning, nor were the _Georgics_. A selection from Ovid's _Art of Love_ appeared in 1513; perhaps the whole was deemed too fescennine for the juvenile peruser.

I shall add Cæsar, whose _Commentaries_ were printed in 1530, not because this invaluable book was intended as a medium for instruction in the seminaries and colleges, but just by the way, as the only other classic rendered into our tongue so early, on account of its probable interest in relation to France and to military science, and, once more, on account of the person who translated it, John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, an accomplished nobleman, who filled at one time a professorial chair in the University of Padua.

The Cæsar, in fact, occupies an analogous position to the English editions of Cicero and the prose paraphrase of the _Æneid_ published by Caxton, and was intended for the use of those few cultivated minds which had imbibed in Italy and France a taste for elegant and refined studies.

III. I have before me a copy of Whittinton's versions of the _Offices_ and _Old Age_ of Cicero, and I may take the opportunity to present to the reader a specimen of his performance. It is taken from the first book of the _Offices_:--

De Officiis Servandis in eos qui Of offyces to be obserued agayne intulerunt nobis iniuriam. suche as haue done vs wronge

Svnt autem quædam officia There be also certayne offyces etiam aduersus eos seruāda à to be kepte agayne suche / of quibus iniuriam acceperis. Est whom a mā hath taken wrong. enim ulciscendi & puniendi For there is a maner of reuengynge modus. Atq; haud scio an satis and punysshyng, and I can not sit eum, qui lacessierit, iniuriæ tell whether it be suffycient suæ pœnitere, ut & ipse ne quid for hym that hath done tale posthac committat, & cæteri wronge to be sory of his wronge / sint ad iniuriam tardiores. and that he offende no more so after that. Also other shall be the more lothe to do wronge.

There are few English renderings of ancient literature which it is possible to regard as completely satisfactory; and it must be recollected, on the behalf of Whittinton, that he was among the pioneers in this laborious field. Let me conclude with a sample of his essay on the _De Senectute_--a _chef d'œuvre_, which it is a sin to read in any idiom but its own.

Sequitur tertia vituperatio The thyrde accusacion of olde senectutis, quod eam carere dicunt age foloweth. By cause it must voluptatibus. O præclarum munus forgo pleasures. O that excellent ætatis, siquidem id aufert benefyte of olde age: yf it nobis, quod est in adolescentia take away from vs that thynge / vitiosissimum. Accipite suim whiche in youth is moost vicious. optimi adolescentes, ueterem Therfore ye gentyll yonge men orationem Archytæ Tarentini, heare the olde sentence of Archytas magni in primis, et præclari viri, a Tarentyne / a great and quæ mihi tradita est cum essem a famous man amonges all other adolescens Tarenti cum Q. Maximo. / which was taught vnto me whan Nullā capitaliorē pestē I was a yonge man in the citye quam corporis uoluptatē hominibus of Tarentū with Quintus Maximus. dicebat à natura datā.... He sayd that there was not a more deedly poyson gyuen to man by nature / than sensuall pleasure of body....

These two passages afford a fair idea of the capability of Whittinton for his task, and of the means which the English student of those days enjoyed for profiting by the lessons of antiquity and holding intercourse with the greatest minds of former ages, at the same time that it led the way to the purification of the current Latinity from mediæval barbarism and the heresies of the Dutch school.

To be hypercritical in the judgment of these experimental, and of course imperfect, attempts to impart to the educational system in this island a better tone and to place it on an improved footing, would be ungracious and improper. The introduction of the Roman writers in prose and verse into our schools and universities was an important step in the right direction, and tended to counteract the monastic temper and element in our method of training.

V. Outside the pale of the schoolroom, but still clearly designed for learners, one finds such literary fossils as the _Book of Cato_, the _Cato for Boys_, the _Eclogues_ of Mantuan, of which Bale speaks as popular in his day, and which Holofernes mentions in _Love's Labour's Lost_; various abridgments of the _Colloquia_ of Erasmus and his _Little Book of Good Manners for Children_ (another monument of the industry and scholarship of Whittinton); and, lastly, such elementary guides to mythology and history as Lydgate's _Interpretation of the Natures of Gods and Goddesses_, and the _Chronicle of all the Kings' Names that have reigned in England_, 1530. With these I should perhaps couple the Latin _Æsop_ of 1502, with a commentary in the same language, and the later edition of which, in 1535, includes the _Fables_ of Poggius.

Considering the state of our population and the restrictions on learning, it cannot be said that the market for works of reference and instruction was poorly supplied, and the remains which have descended to us of books published in England, many wholly or partly in that language, for the use of the young, certainly bespeak and establish an eager and wide demand on the part of our public and private seminaries in the fifteenth and following centuries.

I take occasion to shew the beneficial share which Erasmus had in the promotion of culture in England in various ways, and the interest which he evinced in the establishment and success of St. Paul's School. Not only were his own works translated into English, and received with favour among the book-lovers of that age, but he ventured so far as to turn several of the _Dialogues_ of Lucian into Latin, encouraged by the proficiency which he had acquired during his first visit to England, in the original language, added perhaps to the satisfactory result of his later experiments as a teacher of Greek at Cambridge.


Influence of Erasmus and Sir Thomas More--Visits of the former to this country--His friendship with Dean Colet--Establishment of various schools in England--Foundation of St. Paul's by Colet--Statutes--Books used in the school--Narrow lines--Notice of the old Cathedral School.

I. We must not attempt, in fact, to consider the educational question in early England without studying very sedulously the Lives of Erasmus and Colet by Samuel Knight. The influence of Erasmus on our scholastic literature I believe to have been very great indeed. He came over to this country, it appears, in 1497, and spent a good deal of time at Oxford, where he acquired a knowledge of Greek. "While Erasmus remained at Oxford," says his biographer, "he became very intimate with all those who were of any Note for Learning; accounting them always his best friends, by whom he was most profited in his studies. And as he owns M. Colet did first engage him in the Study of Theology, so it is also well known that he embraced the favourable Opportunity he now had of learning the Greek Tongue, under the most Skilful Masters (viz.) William Grocyn, Thomas Linacre, and William Latimer. Grocyn is said by one who lived about this Time to have been the first Professor, or Publick Teacher of Greek in Oxford to a full Assembly of Young Students."

Knight affords an interesting and tolerably copious account of Linacre, as well as of Grocyn; and in connection with the former he relates an anecdote, on the authority of Erasmus, about Bernard Andreas, tutor to Prince Arthur, son of Henry VII. But I shall not enter into these matters, as Linacre, though a great promoter of Greek authors, scarcely comes within my plan. Yet I may mention that among the friends whom the learned Hollander made here was Cuthbert Tunstall, afterwards Bishop of Durham, and author of the first book on arithmetic published in this country, and Richard Pace, who succeeded Colet in the Deanery of St. Paul's.

There is, however, a passage which I may be suffered to transcribe, where, speaking of the time when Erasmus was contemplating a departure homeward, Knight observes:--

"Before Erasmus left England, he laid the plan of his useful Tract _de conscribendis epistolis_, for the Service, and at the Suggestion of his noble Pupil the Lord William Montjoy, who had complained that there were no good Rules, or Examples of that kind, to which he could conform himself. Erasmus took the hint very kindly, and making his just Reflections, upon the emptiness of Franciscus Niger, and Marius Phalelfus,[2] whose Books upon that Argument were read in the common Schools, he seems resolv'd at his first leisure, to give a New Essay of that kind; and accordingly upon his first return to Paris he fell upon it, and finished it within twenty Days."

So we see that, prior to the visit of Erasmus to us at the end of the fifteenth century, there were already polite letter-writers current, and current, too, as school-books. Erasmus came to the conclusion that he had done his own work too hastily, and the appearance of an edition of it in England about thirty years later, and likewise of a counterfeit, induced him to revise the undertaking, which was finally published at Basle in 1545 in a volume with other analogous tracts by various writers.

A story which Knight relates about his author's literary enterprise in the epistolary line is too amusing to be overlooked:--

"In that Essay of the way of writing Epistles, Erasmus had put in two sorts of Declamations, one in the praise, the other in dispraise, of Matrimony, and asking his young Pupil L{d.} Montjoy how he lik'd that of the first sort. 'Oh sir,' says he, 'I like it so well, that you have made me resolve to marry quickly.' 'Ay!' but says Erasmus, 'you have read only one side, stay and read the other.' 'No,' replies L{d.} Montjoy, 'that side pleases me; take you the other!'" The subject is an obvious one for humorous controversy; but there is a similar idea in Rabelais, who makes his two chief characters debate the advantages and drawbacks of wedlock.

Altogether, Erasmus must have done very much toward the advancement of a taste for Hellenic culture in our country, and his biographer apprises us that he exhorted the physicians of his time to study that language as more necessary to their profession than to any other. Yet the knowledge of the tongue was very sparingly diffused in England at and long after that time; and Turner, in the dedication of his Herbal to Queen Elizabeth in 1568, complains of the ignorance of the apothecaries of his day even of the Latin names of the herbs which they employed in their pharmacopœia. The illustrious and erudite Dutchman did, doubtless, what he could, and made several of the classics more familiar and intelligible by new editions, with some of which he connected the names of English scholars and prelates; but the time had not arrived for any general movement.

II. Knight, in his Life of Dean Colet, enumerates several of the schools which were founded shortly before the Reformation. "This noble impulse of Christian charity," says he, "in the founding of grammar schools, was one of the providential ways and means for bringing about the blessed reformation; and it is therefore observable, that, within thirty years before it, there were more grammar schools erected and endowed in England than had been in three hundred years preceding: one at Chichester by Dr. Edward Scory, bishop of that see, who left a farther benefaction to it by his last will, dated 8th December, 1502: another at Manchester by Hugh Oldham, Bishop of Exeter, who died 1519: another at Binton in Somersetshire, by Dr. Fitzjames, Bishop of London, and his brother, Sir John Fitzjames, lord chief justice of England: a fourth at Cirencester in Gloucestershire, by Thomas Ruthall, Bishop of Durham: a fifth at Roulston in Staffordshire, by Dr. Robert Sherborne, bishop of St. David's, predecessor to Dr. Colet in the deanery of St. Paul's: a sixth at Kingston-upon-Hull, by John Alcock, Bishop of Ely: a seventh at Sutton Colfield in Warwickshire, by Dr. Simon Harman (_alias_ Veysey), bishop of Exeter: an eighth at Farnworth in Lancashire, by Dr. William Smith, Bishop of Lincoln, born there: a ninth at Appleby in Westmoreland, by Stephen Langton, bishop of Winchester: a tenth at Ipswich in Suffolk by cardinal Wolsey: another at Wymbourn in Dorsetshire, by Margaret, countess of Richmond: another at Wolverhampton in Staffordshire, by Sir Stephen Jennings, mayor of London: another at Macclesfield, by Sir John Percival, mayor of London: as also another by the lady Thomasine his wife at St. Mary Wike in Devonshire, where she was born: and another at Walthamstow in Essex by George Monnox, mayor of London, 1515: besides several other schools in other parts of the kingdom."

Knight concludes by saying that "the piety and charity of Protestants ran so fast in this channel, that in the next age there wanted rather a regulation of grammar schools than an increase of them."

George Lily, son of the grammarian and schoolmaster, and canon of St. Paul's, refers doubtless to these benefactions when, in his _Chronicle_, he speaks of the encouragement of learning by the princes and nobility of England, and goes on to say that their good example was followed by Dr. John Colet, ... "who about this time (1510) erected a public school in London of an elegant structure, and endowed it with a large estate, for teaching gratis the sons of his fellow-citizens for ever."

The foundation was for one hundred and seventy-three scholars--a number selected in remembrance of the miracle of the fishes.

III. Colet drew up, or had drawn up, for the regulation of his new school the subjoined Rules and Orders, to be read to the parents before their children were admitted, and to be accepted by them:--

"If youre chylde can rede and wryte Latyn and Englyshe suffycyently, so that he be able to rede and wryte his own lessons, then he shal be admitted into the schole for a scholar.

"If youre chylde, after reasonable reason proved, be founde here unapte and unable to lernynge, than ye warned therof shal take hym awaye, that he occupye not oure rowme in vayne.

"If he be apt to lerne, ye shal be contente that he continue here tyl he have competent literature.

"If he absente vi dayes, and in that mean seeson ye shew not cause reasonable, (resonable cause is only sekenes) than his rowme to be voyde, without he be admitted agayne, and pay iiijd.

"Also after cause shewed, if he contenewe to absente tyl the weke of admyssion in the next quarter, and then ye shew not the contenuance of the sekenes, then his rowme to be voyde, and he none of the schole tyl he be admytted agayne, and paye iiijd. for wryting his name.

"Also if he fall thryse into absence, he shal be admytted no more.

"Your chylde shal, on Chyldermas daye, wayte vpon the boy byshop at Powles, and offer there.

"Also ye shal fynde him waxe in winter.

"Also ye shal fynde him convenyent bokes to his lernynge.

"If the offerer be content with these articles, than let his childe be admytted."

The founder of St. Paul's, in his statutes, 1518, prescribed what Latin authors he would have read in the school. He recites, in the first place, the Latin version by Erasmus of his _Precepts_ and the _Copia Verborum_ of the same Dutch scholar. He then proceeds to enumerate some of the early Christian writers, whose piety was superior to their Latinity, Lactantius, Prudentius, and others. But while he does not say that Virgil, Cicero, Sallust, and Terence are to be used, he utterly eschews and forbids such classics as Juvenal and Persius, whom he evidently indicates when he speaks of "Laten adulterate which ignorant, blinde foles brought into this worlde, and with the same hath dystained and poysonyd the olde Laten speche and the veray Romayne tongue which in the tyme of Tully and Salust, and Virgill, and Terence, was usid,"--which is so far reasonable from his standard; but he adds incongruously enough: "whiche also sainte Jerome, and sainte Ambrose, and saint Austen, and many holy doctors lernid in theyre tymes." Whereby we are left at liberty to infer that these holy doctors were on a par with Virgil and Sallust, Cicero and Terence.

What sort of Latin would be current now if all the great writers had perished, and we had had only the works of the Fathers as text-books? We all have pretty similar beginnings, as the _prima stamina_ of a man and any other vertebrate are said to be undistinguishable to a certain point; and as St. Jerome learned his accidence of Donatus, so Virgil got his rudiments. But much as we owe to St. Jerome, it was a mischievous error to adopt him or such authors as Lactantius in a public school, where the real object was to instil a knowledge of the Latin language in its integrity and purity. It was a mischievous error, and it was, at the same time, a perfectly natural one. We are not to blame Colet and his coadjutors for having been so narrow and so biassed; but it must always be a matter of regret and surprise that St. Paul's, and all our other training institutions, public and proprietary, should, down to the present era, have been under the sway and management of men whose intellectual vision was as contracted and oblique as that of Colet, without the excuse which it is so easy to find for him.

The rules for St. Paul's, which are set out at large by Knight, were unquestionably of a very austere character, though in harmony with the feeling of the time; and Knight, in his Life of the founder, ascribes the apparent harshness of the discipline enforced under his direction to the laudable motive of preparing boys for the troubles of the world, and inuring them to hardship. But Erasmus was not on the side of the martinets. For he explicitly condemns an undeserving strictness of discipline, which made no allowance for the difference in the tempers of boys; and another point with which he quarrelled was the horse-in-a-mill system and the way of learning by rote, which had begun to find favour both in his own country and with us.

It is vain, however, to expect that there should have been many converts to such a man's opinions on educational questions at that period. Even in the small circle of his English friends and correspondents there was a wide diversity of sentiment. Sir Thomas More might agree with him mainly; but, on the other hand, Colet was clerical in his leaning and Spartan in his notions of scholastic life; and he deemed it good, as I have above said, to work on the tenderness of youth before it acquired corruption or prejudice, that "the new wine of Christ might be put into new bottles."

IV. There can be no desire to deprive Colet of any portion of the honour which we owe to him for promoting the cause of education in London; but it would at the same time be an error to conclude that the good Dean was the first who established a school in the metropolis. The foundation which he established about 1510 consolidated and centralised the system, which down to that time had been weakly and loosely organised. Hear what Knight says:--

"The state of schools in London before Dean Colet's foundation was to this effect: the Chancellor of Paul's (as in all the ancient cathedral churches) was master of the schools (_magister scholarum_), having the direction and government of literature, not only within the church, but within the whole city, so that all the masters and teachers of grammar depended on him, and were subject to him; particularly he was to find a fit master for the school of St. Paul, and present him to the Dean and Chapter, and then to give him possession, and at his own cost and charges to repair the houses and buildings belonging to the school. This master of the grammar school was to be a sober, honest man, of good and laudable learning.... He was in all intents the true vice-chancellor of the church, and was sometimes so called; and this was the original meaning of chancellors and vice-chancellors in the two universities or great schools of the kingdom."

The same writer traces back St. Paul's school to Henry the First's reign, when the Bishop of London granted the schoolmaster for the time being a residence in the bell-tower, and bestowed on him the custody of the library of the church. A successor of this person had the monopoly of teaching school in London conferred on him by the Bishop of Winchester, saving the rights only of the schoolmasters of St. Mary-le-Bow and St. Martin-le-Grand.

The old cathedral school, which that of Colet doubtless gradually extinguished, lay to the south of his, and appears curiously enough not to have occupied the basement, but to have been, as we should say, on the first floor, four shops being beneath it. It was close to Watling Street. A passage in the _Monumenta Franciscana_ shews that the site of Colet's original school, which perished in the Great Fire, had been in the possession of bookbinders, and in the immediate neighbourhood was the sign of the Black Eagle, which, as we learn from documentary testimony, was still there in 1550.

At the epoch to which I am referring, the vocation of a bookbinder was, I think, invariably joined with that of a printer, and I apprehend that these shops formed part of a printing establishment.

The _Black Eagle_ was an emporium for the sale of books, and it is to be recollected that in early days, where the typographical part was done in some more or less unfrequented quarter of the city, it was a common practice to have the volume on sale in a more public thoroughfare.

St. Paul's Churchyard, in the days of Colet and in the infancy of his valuable endowment, was beyond question not only a place of great resort, but a favourite seat of the booksellers. For in the imprint to an edition of the _Hours of the Virgin_, printed at Paris, the copies are said to be on sale at London "apud bibliopolas in cimiterio sancti Pauli 1514;" and of this fact I could readily bring forward numerous other evidences.

Besides the vendors of literature, however, the site soon became one of the places of settlement of the teachers of languages, to whom the immediate proximity of St. Paul's served as an useful introduction and advertisement; and in the time of Elizabeth a French school was established here, for the benefit of the general public, of course, but more especially, doubtless, with a view to such Paulines as might desire an extension of their studies.


Thomas Linacre prepares his Rudiments of Latin Grammar for the use of the Princess Mary (1522)--Probably the earliest digest of the kind--Cardinal Wolsey's edition of Lily's Grammar for the use of Ipswich School (1529)--Inquiry into the priority of the Ipswich and St. Paul's Grammars--First National Primer (1540)--Lily's _Short Introduction of Grammar_ (1548)--Its re-issue by Queen Elizabeth (1566-7)--Some account of its contents--Its failure.

I. Thomas Linacre, physician to four successive sovereigns and tutor to the Princess Mary, is understood to have prepared for the service of his august pupil certain Rudiments of Grammar, doubtless in Latin, at the same time that Giles Du Wes or Dewes wrote for her his _Introductory_ to the French language. The biographer of Dean Colet informs his readers that the production of Linacre was translated into Latin by George Buchanan for Gilbert, Earl of Cassilis, whose studies he directed; but the book as printed is in that language, and bears no indication of a second hand in it. The undertaking, however, was deemed by Queen Catherine too obscure, and Ludovicus Vives was accordingly engaged to draw up something more simple and intelligible, which was the origin of his little book _De ratione studii puerilis_, where, from delicacy, he made a point of commending the labours of Linacre and the abridgment of the _Rudiments_ by Erasmus.

The volume, edited by Linacre about 1522, appears, anyhow, to be entitled to rank as the earliest effort in the way of a grammatical digest; and, apart from its special destination, it was calculated to supply a want, and to find patrons beyond the range of the court.

Except its utilisation by Buchanan for Lord Cassilis, we hear little or nothing of it, nevertheless, after its original publication by the royal printer. Perhaps it did not compete successfully with the editions of Lily, as they received from time to time improvements at the hands of professional experts, and united within certain limits the advantages of consolidation and completeness. The prestige of Lily had grown considerable, and in the case of a technical book it has always been difficult or impossible for an amateur to hold his ground against a specialist.

II. Allowing for the possibility of editions of which we have no present knowledge having formerly existed, if they do not yet do so, it may be that Dean Colet caused some text-book to be prepared for the use of the scholars at St. Paul's; and I shall by and by adduce some evidence in favour of such an hypothesis. But, at any rate, in 1529 Cardinal Wolsey gave his sanction, and wrote a preface, to an impression of Lily's _Rudiments_ with certain alterations, more especially for the use of his school at Ipswich, but also, as the terms of the title state, for the benefit of all other similar institutions in the country.

The Cardinal's preface is dated August 1, 1528. It is followed by the _Docendi Methodus_, the _Rules_, the _Articles of Faith_, _Precepts of Living_, _Apostles' Creed_, _Decalogue_, &c.; and the rest of the book is occupied by the _Introduction of the Eight Parts of Speech_ and the _Rudiments of Grammar_.

Of this collection there was no exact reprint, but portions of the contents appear in the Antwerp impressions of 1535 and 1536, designed for the English learners in Flanders; and Lily's _Rudiments_, with and without the other accessories, were periodically republished even later than the so-called Oxford Grammar of 1709.

Now, as St. Paul's was the more ancient foundation, it is allowable, at all events, to suspect that the book issued nominally for the Ipswich school was borrowed by the Cardinal or the person employed by him from one drawn up by Lily in his lifetime for Colet. St. Paul's had been established in 1510; the Dean survived till 1519; and surely so many years would hardly have elapsed without witnessing the preparation of some Pauline text-book on lines parallel to those of the Ipswich one of 1529, more particularly when we see that in the Preface to his 1534 _Rudiments_ he speaks of the "new school of Paul's," and that in 1518 Erasmus had executed a Latin metrical version of the _Lord's Prayer_ and _Precepts of Good Living_ for the school under the title of _Christiani hominis Institutum_.

The short paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer in English by Colet, which I have found at present only in an edition of the Salisbury Primer, 1532, was made for his own scholars, and had, of course, been in existence prior to 1519; so that we find ourselves groping in the dark a little in the inquiry which deals with such a fugitive and perishable description of literature, and have to do the best that we can with the fragmentary relics which survive or have been so far recovered.

The _Coleti æditio_, &c., of 1534 had much in common with Wolsey's book; but the Dean of St. Paul's claims the honour of having adapted some portions of the Delectus to what he considered to be the special requirements of his own institution. For he says in the Proem:--

"Al be it many have wryten, and have made certayne introducyons into Latyn speche, called _Donates_ and _Accidens_, in Latyn tongue and in Englysshe, in suche plenty that it shoulde seme to suffyse; yet never the lesse, for the love and zele that I have to the newe schole of Powles, and to the children of the same, somwhat have I also compyled of the mater; and of the viii. partes of grammer have made this lytell boke; ... in whiche lytell warke if any new thynges be of me, it is alonely that I have put these partes in a more clere ordre, and have made them a lytell more easy to yonge wyttes, than (me thynketh) they were before."

The passage here quoted may be taken to supply a sort of testimony to the original publication of the Dean's alleged recension of the accepted text of Lily's _Introduction_ (including the _Rudiments_) not very long, if at all, posterior to 1510, as in 1534 St. Paul's had been founded a quarter of a century. The modification of the Grammar for Pauline use was almost unquestionably due to Lily, and merely the Proem the Dean's own.

III. The St. Paul's book has, on the whole, a strong claim to precedence over that of 1529. But under any circumstances, in or before the last-named date, we possessed an uniform Grammar in lieu of the archaic sectional series of Stanbridge and Whittinton.

But even that of Wolsey went no farther than to recommend itself to general acceptance. It had no official character. Nor was it till late in the protracted reign of Henry VIII. that a general Primer for the whole country was prepared and published. In 1540 a volume in two parts appeared under the royal authority, without any clue to the editor, reducing the text to a more convenient method and compass. This book is anonymous; but Thomas Hayne says in 1640 that it was done by sundry learned men, among whom he had heard that one was Dr. Leonard Cox, tutor to Prince Edward. Another probable coadjutor was John Palsgrave, author of the _Eclaircissement_.

The Address to the Reader before the first part proceeded, no doubt, from the compiler's pen, and contains an energetic eulogy of Prince Edward, to whom "the tender babes of England" are exhorted to look up as a model and example. This portion includes the _Parts of Speech_ and other rudiments in English, while the second part contains a digested recension of the Latin series under the title of _A Compendious Institution of the whole Grammar_.

This bipartite manual formed, of course, an improvement on the system formerly in vogue, which must have been very puzzling to boys. But it seems very doubtful indeed if this Primer of 1540 was practically recognised, or whether the Government took any measures to enforce what purported to have been done under its immediate sanction.

Whoever they were who arranged for publication the Primer had probably a hand in the _Alphabetum Latino-Anglicum_ of 1543, which is here incidentally noticed, and which is more than it professes to be. For it comprises, in addition to a series of alphabets, the Lord's Prayer, the Salutation of the Virgin, the Commandments, the Apostles' Creed, and a few prayers, in Latin and English. It was, in fact, a supplement to the Primer itself.

IV. In January 1547, Henry was succeeded by his son, and the change is marked by the substitution of _A Short Introduction of Grammar generally to be used_, in two parts, the English followed by the Latin, for the original Primer of 1540. A complaint appears to have arisen at the same time that the large book was inconvenient for beginners; and we are told that Fox the martyrologist was commissioned to prepare _Tables of Grammar_ for the use, probably, of the lower forms in schools. But we know nothing farther of them; and the _Introduction_, to which they were designed as a companion, was not reprinted more than once in Edward's life. Nor is there any vestige of it till we arrive quite at the close of the rule of Mary, when the Paris press produced an edition under some circumstances not at present explainable, yet, of course, with the peculiarity of being entirely unofficial. So that when we sum up, it amounts to this, that the first and second types of the so-named universal Grammar, as settled in 1540 and 1548 respectively, reached four impressions in seventeen years, not including that of 1557, which lies outside the series.

Making due allowance for the far scantier population and the momentous difference of social conditions, this remains a strange phenomenon, if we reflect that, in addition to the public and private schools previously in existence, the Government of Edward had planted throughout the country the endowments of which Christ's Hospital is the most familiar type.

But even when there was a change in the Administration in 1558, and the authority of Elizabeth was established in Church and State, the interest in educational development led to no revival of the _Introduction_, and, unless all intervening copies have perished, there was a clear lapse of ten years before the new Protestant _regime_ took steps to re-issue the book.

This was in 1567. In the Preface very just stress is laid on the mischief proceeding from what is termed "a diversity of Grammars," and from different schoolmasters adopting different methods and books. The proclamation attached expresses at large the objects and advantages of the publication, while it certainly seems to claim for the Queen's father more credit than, looking at the circumstances, he deserved. For the Primer of 1540 had been preceded by those of Linacre and Wolsey, just as the _Short Introduction_ of 1548 and 1567 was, in the main, a reproduction of Henry's book. But the same unqualified encomium is pronounced on Henry by John Palsgrave, the celebrated lexicographer and teacher of languages, in the prolix and fulsome dedication to his English _Acolastus_, 1540, which must have been written and in type when the copies of the Primer had scarcely left the binder's hands. Palsgrave does not intimate here any personal concern in the undertaking.

The Preface of 1567 is followed by the Latin letters, the vowels and consonants, and the Greek letters; after which comes a prayer, "O Almighty God and merciful Father," which is still retained at some of our public schools. The _Introduction of the Eight Parts of Speech_ constitutes the body and remainder of the English part.

There are six forms of grace before meat, and six others of grace after meat.

The Latin section opens with the Greek alphabet, and proceeds to the parts of grammar, concluding with Erasmus's _De Ratione_. But, as I have stated more than once, this later text-book does not substantially vary from that of 1548. The royal proclamation granted the monopoly of printing to Reginald Wolfe, and forbad the employment of any other Grammar throughout her Highness's dominions. The document declares that Henry VIII., in the midst of weighty affairs belonging to his office, had not forgotten nor neglected the tender youth of his realm, but had, from a fervent zeal for the godly bringing up of the said youth, and a special desire that they might learn the Latin tongue more easily, instituted a new uniform Grammar; which was so far really the case, inasmuch as the 1540 volume was the first official one, and also at the date of its promulgation the most complete and satisfactory.

V. But in examining this general Grammar for all England and the dominions annexed, one at once misses the graphic and amusing illustrations which present themselves in many of the earlier books which we have been studying. The examples, instead of being drawn from the occupations and various phases of everyday life, are almost without exception purely technical and commonplace. There is no allusion which one would welcome as casting an incidental light on contemporary history or manners. It is mostly a dead level. The learned men have done this! It makes us cheerful, amid the habitual dearth of something to leaven the text, to stumble upon a few of the little touches in the older books retained as an exception, such as: "Vivo in Anglia. Veni per Galliam in Italiam," or "Vixit Londini: Studuit Oxoniæ."

How differently Horman in his _Vulgaria_, 1519, handled his subject, and his pages were intended for schoolboys and students too!

The frequency with which the Primer was henceforth reprinted, contrasted with the very limited call for copies from 1540 to 1566, seems to furnish an indication that the book and the system were at last gaining ground, and beginning to meet with more general acceptance.

But the irreconcilable diversity of opinions, which has always prevailed, respecting etymology, syntax, pronunciation, and other cardinal points, militated against the success on any very grand scale of an official Primer; and the Tudors, arbitrary and absolute as they were in all questions of political significance, were not prompted by the feeling of the time to resort in such a case as this to penal and peremptory legislation. The eighteenth century saw Lily's Grammar still more or less in vogue under the name of the original author, not to speak of the obligations of its successors to it; but the Tudor book, constructed in some measure out of it, and ushered into existence under the most auspicious and powerful patronage, sank after a not very robust or influential life of six decades (1540-1600) into complete oblivion.

Our great Elizabeth has been dead near three hundred years, and no genuine popular demand for mental improvement has yet come from the people. In the sixteenth century--in the Queen's time and in her father's--the spirit which promoted education was based either on political or commercial motives.

The universities and schools reared a succession of preceptors who deserted the monastic traditions, and to whom learning was a mere vocation. One large class of the English community sought to acquire the accomplishments which might be serviceable in the Government and at court; another limited its ambition to those which would enable them to prosper in trade or in the wars.

V. A class of school-book destined for special use, besides those enumerated in another place, presents itself in the shape of grammatical works dedicated by their authors, not to particular institutions, but to particular localities or parts of the Empire. Edward Buries, who kept school at East Acton in Cromwell's day, accommodated his plan to the requirements of adults, but at the same time announces that it is printed for the advantage of the schools in the counties of Middlesex and Hertford, which strikes us as at once a curious limitation and a sanguine proposal, unless Buries was a Hertfordshire man. This was in 1652.

A later writer was more catholic and ambitious in his flight; for in 1712 John Brightland projected a Grammar of the English tongue "for the use of the schools of Great Britain _and Ireland_,"--a fact more particularly noticeable, because it is the first hint of any scheme comprehending the Emerald Isle. I allude elsewhere to the early Accidence drawn up for Scotland by Alexander Hume; and in 1647 the interests of the rising generation in Wales were specially considered by the unnamed introducer of a simplified Latin Primer _in usum juventutis Cambro-Britannicæ_, which aimed at a monopoly of the Principality without prejudice to persons beyond the border.

Besides the Grammar itself, certain Manuals purported to be, not for general educational purposes, but for a given school, and even for a specified class in it. Such was the _English Introduction to the Latin Tongue_ for the use of the lower forms in Westminster School; and at Magdalen School, Oxford, they had, at least as far back as 1623, a small text-book on the declensions and conjugations. I take another opportunity to speak of a Latin phrase-book designed for Manchester in 1660, and of the printed examination papers, exhibiting the lines laid down at Merchant Taylors' about the same time. In a few cases a more elaborate compilation was framed, at all events originally, with the same restricted scope, like the _Roman Antiquities_ of Prideaux, in 1614, for Abingdon.

Perhaps, however, the most conspicuous example of this localisation was the _Outlines of Rhetoric_ for St. Paul's, of which we meet with a third edition in 1659; and which must have been in connection with some new and temporary effort to enlarge the range of studies during the Protectorate, partly under the stimulus of the promoters of the famous _Musæum Minervæ_ and the commencing taste for a more complex platform. For such subjects do not seem to have made part of the ordinary course of training anywhere since the mediæval period, when the Aristotelian system was paramount at our Universities; although, at the same time, among more advanced students philosophical treatises never ceased to possess interest and attract perusers. But the relevance of the handbook for St Paul's lies in its professed destination for the young.

It is questionable whether, outside the Universities and the establishments affiliated upon them, the sciences were acquirable as part of the normal routine. At Oxford, in the reign of Henry VIII., they taught what was then termed Judicial Astronomy, which was a mere burlesque on the true study of the planetary bodies; and Logic was on the list of accomplishments within the reach of boys, who were sent up either to college or to school; for in _A Hundred Merry Tales_, 1526, the son of the rich franklin comes back home for the holidays, and declares, as the fruit of the time and money expended on his education at Oxford school, whither his indulgent father had sent him for two or three years, his conversance with subtleties and ability to prove the two chickens on the supper-table to be sophistically three.


Merchant Taylors' School founded in 1561--Its limited scope and stationary condition during two centuries and a half--The writer's recollections of it from 1842 to 1850--William Dugard and his troubles.

I. I cannot enter very well, in a general view of the subject, into the history of all the civic foundations which rose up one by one subsequently to St. Paul's, such as the City of London School, the Mercers' and the Skinners', beyond the incidental notices which I have taken occasion to introduce of such institutions, as well as of the system of public grammar schools endowed by Edward VI. But I may be allowed to speak of one with which I enjoyed personal associations between the years 1842 and 1850, and to mention that in the third chapter of his _Autobiography_ Leigh Hunt sheds some interesting light on the condition of Christ's Hospital when Lamb, Coleridge, and himself were there in the last years of the last century.

Christ's Hospital has produced some very eminent men, but whether by virtue of its system or in spite of it, I hardly venture to say. The biographer of the author of _Elia_ tells us what books his distinguished friend read at school; how little he learned, Lamb himself seems to suggest in that paper on "The Old and the New Schoolmaster."

The origin of Merchant Taylors' School is thus described by Wilson:--

"Towards the close of the year 1560, or early in the following spring, the Merchant Taylors' Company conceived the laudable design of founding a grammar school; and part of the manor of the Rose, in the parish of St. Lawrence-Pountney (a mansion which had successively belonged to the Duke of Buckingham, the Marquis of Exeter, and the Earls of Sussex), seeming eligible for the purpose, Mr. Richard Hills, a leading member of the court, generously contributed the sum of five hundred pounds towards the purchase of it; but the institution was not thoroughly organised till the 24th September 1561, on which day the statutes were framed and a schoolmaster chosen."

With the statutes I have no farther concern than with the clause which directs that the two hundred and fifty scholars, to which the school was limited, were "to be taught in manner & forme as is afore devised & appointed. But first see that they can the catechisme in English or Latyn, & that every of the said two hundred & fifty schollers can read perfectly & write competently, or els lett them not be admitted in no wise."

It is rather curious that the hours of attendance were originally from seven till eleven A.M. and from one till five P.M., and that in winter the boys were to bring no candles of tallow, but candles of wax. This was following the statutes of Dean Colet. Thrice in the day there were prayers; but instead of one of the sixth form saying them for the rest, as was subsequently customary, each boy seems at first to have prayed for himself.

The printed form usually employed was brief enough, and not, like the Manual prepared by Bishop Ken for Winchester, adapted for the use of "all other devout Christians."

The staff consisted at the outset of a head-master and three ushers, whose united emoluments were forty pounds a year, and the first chief teacher of the school was Richard Mulcaster. It appears that the earliest Probation-Day, as it was termed, was in November 1564, when Dean Nowell and others examined the ushers and the boys with a very gratifying result. These appositions were renewed in 1565, and probably still continue from year to year. They commenced in 1564 at eight o'clock in the morning, and so they did in my time. The practice of visitation by the Court on this day seems to have ceased in 1606.

Alderman Sir Thomas White, some time subsequently to the foundation of the school by the Company, augmented the endowment, so as to enable the institution to develop itself, and enlarge its sphere of utility in connection with Oxford University and in other ways. White was a member of the Court when the scheme was adopted, but he was not, strictly speaking, as he has been usually termed and considered, the founder of Merchant Taylors'.

We do not arrive, meanwhile, at any clear or complete notion of the books which were used at the school, but it is to be inferred that Lily's Grammar was the Latin text-book. In the rules made for Probation-Day in 1606-7, I find Æsop's _Fables_ in Greek, Tully's _Epistles_, and the _Dialogues_ of Corderius named as works in which the boys were to be tested. The subjects taken on this day were Greek, Latin, and dictation, writing being necessarily included. Neither Hebrew, nor arithmetic, nor the mathematics are enumerated; there are the six forms, but no monitors or prompters.

The _School's Probation_ presents itself for the first time as a printed production, or at least as something compiled in book form, under the date of 1608. It is printed entire by Wilson; but he does not state, nor do I know, what original, whether printed or not, he employed.

II. Probation-Day still continued in my time to be an important event--a sort of red-letter day in our calendar. The hour for assembling was eight o'clock, instead of nine; it had been half-past six while the school was exclusively composed of residents within a limited radius; but the enlarged time was a sore trial in the winter where one had to travel from a suburb, as I did from Old Brompton. They supplied breakfast at the place, not gratuitously, but at a fixed tariff. It would not have been much for a wealthy Company to provide an entertainment once or twice a year for two or three hundred lads at a shilling or so a head; but the Merchant Taylors, I think, have always been notorious for parsimony. Very little was accomplished before the meal, and after its completion we had to set to work, the old room upstairs being as ill-adapted for the purpose of an examination as can well be imagined, the boys having to use the forms as desks and to kneel in front of them. We were a very short distance from the Middle Ages. Matters were not much changed since the time of the original establishment of the charity. Indeed, it appears from Dugard's _School's Probation_, 1652, that in the seventeenth century the Company paid for some kind of collation:--

"There shall be paid unto the Master of the School, for beer, ale, and new manchet-bread, with a dish of sweet butter, which hee shall have ready in the morning, with two fine glasses set upon the Table, and covered with two fair napkins, and two fine trenchers, with a knife laid upon each trencher, to the end that such as please may take part, to staie their stomachs until the end of the examination ... ijs."

The number of boys was in 1652 comparatively limited; but of course without a revival of the ancient miracle two shillings' worth of victuals would not have gone far in allaying the hunger of a far smaller gathering, and this allowance must have simply been for such as had missed their meal at home, or desired additional refreshment.

The old examination itself presents numerous points of curiosity, as we look at it through the present medium. Considerable stress seems to have been laid on dictation. The master opened, on the sudden, Cicero, the Greek Testament, Æsop's _Fables_ in Greek, and read a passage, which the boys of a particular form had to take down, and then turn into some other language, or into verse, or make verses upon it--a pretty piece of trifling, much like the nonsense-verses which we used to have to compose in my day, and as profitable.

Some of the English sentences to be turned into Latin are odd enough: "Bacchus and Apollo send for Homer;" "I went to Colchester to eat oysters;" "My Uncle went to Oxford to buie gloves;" "The Atheist went to Amsterdam to chuse his religion." Others might have been autobiographical: "Marie was my sister, she dwelt at London;" "Elisabeth was my Aunt, she dwelt at York;" "Anna was my Grandmother, she dwelt at Worcester."

In another place, under _Sententiæ Varietas_, there are five-and-twenty ways of describing in a sentence the great qualities of Cicero.

Greek was certainly studied with a good deal of attention here in the early time, judging from the space which is devoted to it in the scheme of Dugard, in whose small volume the questions and theses in that language occupy twenty pages. Erasmus had, doubtless, had a large share in popularising among us the cultivation of Hellenic grammar and letters.

Even when the present writer was at the school, Hebrew was by no means assiduously or scientifically followed, nor do I believe that on the staff of masters there was any one who properly understood the language. But it was part of the programme, and the late Sir Moses Montefiore, who usually attended on Speech and Prize Day, was the annual donor of a Hebrew medal.

Speech-Day at Merchant Taylors' was the sole occasion on which the large schoolroom in Suffolk Lane was ever honoured by the presence of the fair sex. The lower end of the room was converted into an extempore stage, and the monitors and prompters took part in some recitation, or select scene from the Latin or Greek dramatists. At a later period French themes were introduced.

As far back as the reign of Charles I., the large contribution which the ladies and other friends of the scholars made to the audience, and their imperfect acquaintance with the dead languages, rendered it a subject of regret and complaint that the entertainment was not given in the vernacular, and the writer of a small volume called _Ludus Ludi Litterarii_, 1672, purporting to report a series of speeches delivered at various breakings-up, states that the majority of them were in English on this very account. As early as the time of Henry VIII., the practice of exhibiting some dramatic performance at the close of the term, and usually at Christmas, was in vogue; but these spectacles were, it is to be suspected, almost uniformly in the original language of the classic author, or in the scholastic Latin of the period.

A feeling in favour of a reform in these arrangements had, as has been mentioned, arisen when Hawkins wrote for the free school at Hadleigh in Suffolk his play entitled _Apollo Shroving_, 1627, where one of the characters desires the Prologue to speak what he has to say in honest English, for all their sakes, and describes the predilection for employing Latin as more appropriate to the University.

Occasionally, instead of plays, there were musical entertainments; and the custom of signalising the termination of the school-work seems to have been followed by the private academies.

But the antipathy to change and the temptation to a display of erudition have always proved too strong an obstacle to improvement; and when the writer was last present at this anniversary, the ancient precedent was still in force, and the Court of the Merchant Taylors and general company listened in respectful silence to interlocutions or monologues as mysterious to them as the Writing on the Wall.

III. William Dugard, head-master from 1646 to 1660, so far as his light and information were capable of carrying him, did, no doubt, good service to the Company and institution with which he was during so many years associated. But, on the ground of misconduct and negligence, his employers thought proper, on the 27th December 1660, to discharge him from the place of chief schoolmaster, giving him, however, till the following Midsummer to find another appointment.

Dugard states in _An humble Remonstrance Presented to the Right Worshipfull Company of Merchant-Tailors, Maii 15, 1661_, that the Company assigned no cause for their proceeding; but he says at the same time: "It is alleged in your Order, _That many Complaints have been frequently from time to time made to the Master and Wardens of the Company, and to the Court, by the parents and friends of the young Scholars, of the neglect of the chief-Master's dutie in that School, and of the breach of the Companie's Orders and Ordinances thereof_."

To this Dugard replies that he had never heard of any complaints in all the seventeen years he had filled the post, and he declared his readiness to submit in silence if any parent could prove aught against him. He had been in the profession, he said, thirty-three years, and "in all places wherever I came, I have had ample testimonials of my faithfulness and diligence, and my scholars' proficiency."

The writer attributes his fall to the presence among the members of the Court of persons unjustly hostile to him, who had represented that the school was suffering from his administration, and would go down unless some timely remedy was adopted.

But Dugard averred that the decline of the school and the shrinkage of its numbers were due to the Company's order of March 16, 1659, which forbad him to admit any scholar who had not a warrant from the Master and Wardens, and the consequence was that parents, not caring to go to the Court, took their sons elsewhere. As many as sixty boys had been lost in this way within a twelvemonth, he maintains. "True it is," he pleads, "that an hundred years ago, when it was an hard matter to get a Scholar to read Greek, there was such an Order made, that no Scholar should be taught in the School, unless first admitted by the Company. But afterward there was found a necessity to dispense with that Order, and so it was with my Predecessors; which I can prove for above threescore years bygone. They (and my self too from them, untill the last year) had such an indulgence that did not limit or restrain them to admit quarterly-Scholars, who did not immediately depend on the Charity of the Company: and the Motto engraven on the School speaks as much; _Nulli præcludor, Tibi pateo_."

The _Remonstrance_ did not please the Merchant Taylors, and in a second document, dated June 12, 1661, Dugard tried to soften what he had said; for his language, it must be allowed, was rather energetic, considering that he was in the hands of those who had the power to act as they judged fit.

Whatever the precise result was, there are two or three curious points brought out in the course of the head-master's vindication, and one can hardly avoid a conclusion that the main cause of the discontent of the Court was not even so much the application of a portion of his time to literary pursuits, as the abuse of the permission to set up a printing-press by employing the machinery, intended only for the production of school text-books, for political publications of a republican stamp. This fact does not transpire in the tract itself, but is ascertained from the imprints to books; and moreover, in 1650, at the end of a periodical publication, he had announced himself as _Printer to the Council of State_; so that altogether the Merchant Taylors might be naturally afraid of incurring the displeasure of the new masters of England by retaining the holder of opinions hostile to the Stuarts.

He had sold the press at the desire of the Company for £300 less than the cost; and this was by no means the full extent of his sacrifices and misfortunes. For he gives his principals to understand that he had grown lean by the observance of fast-days in accordance with their recent order; and, moreover, that during his nineteen years' term of office he had lost £800 by unpaid quarter wages, thus making it seem probable that he was directly responsible for the fees.

Altogether, nothing worse than indiscretion, perhaps, was chargeable to Dugard. "I bless God for it," he expressly says, "I know the Divel himself cannot justly accuse me of any notorious or scandalous Crime."

Probably not; but there are seasons when indiscretion is criminal, and besides his proclamation of his appointment at the time to the Commonwealth as their official printer, in 1657 there came from his press the reply of Milton to Salmasius, an anti-royalist manifesto not calculated to be palatable to the restored dynasty or to the civic feeling, and certainly, so far as one can form a judgment, an encroachment on the special objects and _raison d'être_ of Dugard's collateral occupation.


Successors of Lily--Thomas Robertson of York--Cultivation of the living languages--Numerous works published in England upon them--Their various uses--The Vocabularies for travellers and merchants--Rival authors of Grammars--Different text-books employed at schools--Milton's _Accidence_ (1669)--Old mode of advertising private establishments.

I. After the death of Lily his work was carried on and developed by other men, who gradually achieved the task of consolidating, or reducing into a more compact form, the rather perplexing series of elementary treatises edited by Whittinton. Among these followers of the Master of St. Paul's was a schoolmaster at Oxford, the Thomas Robertson of York whom I had lately occasion to name in connection with Ascensius, and who at all events produced in 1532 at Basle an edition of Lily's Grammar with a Preface and Notes.

Robertson applauds, in his dedication to Dr. Longlond, Bishop of Lincoln, himself a man of letters, the system of Lily, and testifies to the excellent way in which the boys at Oxford prospered under his educational _regimen_. But, nevertheless, he does not conceal his notion and expectation of improving on his master; and indeed there is no doubt that we have here the earliest clear approach to our modern grammar-book, although the whole is in Latin, except certain quotations and names in Greek, as he compares the practice of the Greek poets with that of the Romans, much as Robert Etienne a little later pointed out the conformity of the French with the Greek. Philological parallels had become fashionable.

In his section on _Derivatives_ Robertson has some matter, as to which the modern etymologist may form his own conclusions. This is a specimen:--

"Vox uocis, à voco. Iucundus à iuuo. Lex legis, à lego. Iunior à iuuenis. Rex regis, à rego. Mobilis à moueo. Sedes à sedeo. Humanus ab homo. Iumentum à iuuo. Vomer à uomo. Fomes à foueo. Pedor à pede."

Of the miscellaneous labourers in this field Robertson was one of the most conspicuous; nor did his name and work die with him, for his tables of _Irregular Verbs and Nouns_ were printed with Lily's _Rules_ at least as late as the reign of James I.

It is out of my power to cross the boundary-line of conjecture when I offer the opinion that the Oxford employment of Robertson was on the old Magdalen staff.

II. But there was no lack of instruments for carrying out the scheme of education in England, whatever the imperfections of it might be. There were, besides the ordinary pedagogue, whose accomplishments did not, perhaps, extend beyond the language of his own country, writing, and arithmetic, professors for French, Italian, and Dutch, and men whose training at college qualified them more or less to give instruction in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. The German, Spanish, and Portuguese do not seem to have been much cultivated down to a comparatively recent date, which is the more extraordinary since our intercourse with all those countries was constant from the earliest period.

There were certainly English versions of the Spanish grammars of Anthonio de Corro and Cesare Oudin made in the times of Elizabeth and her successor, as well as the original production by Lewis Owen, entitled, _The Key into the Spanish Tongue_. But these were assuredly never used as ordinary school-books, and were rather designed as manuals for travellers and literary students; and the same is predicable, I apprehend, of the anonymous Portuguese Dictionary and Grammar of 1701, which is framed on a scale hardly adapted for the requirements of the young.

Yet at the same time these, and many more like the _Dutch Tutor_, the _Nether-Dutch Academy_, and so forth, were of eminent service in private tuition and select classes, where a pupil was placed with a coach for some special object, or to complete the studies which were not included in the school programmes.

Moreover, it is not to be overlooked that in the polyglot vocabulary and phrase-book the student, either with or without the aid of a tutor, possessed in former times a very valuable machinery for gaining a knowledge of languages for conversational and commercial purposes; and these works sometimes comprised the German, as well as the more usual tongues employed in correspondence and intercourse. The title-page of one of them, published at Antwerp in 1576, expressly intimates its utility to all merchants; and a second of rather earlier date (1548) is specified as a book highly necessary to everybody desirous of learning the languages embraced in it, which are English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Flemish, German, and Latin--a remarkable complement, as very few are more than hexaglot.

But these helps were of course outside the schoolroom, and were called into requisition chiefly by individuals whose vocations took them abroad, or rendered an acquaintance with foreign terms more or less imperative; and undoubtedly our extensive mercantile and diplomatic relations with all parts of the world made this class of supplementary instruction a livelihood for a very numerous body of teachers.

Perhaps of all the philological undertakings of the kind, the most singular was that of Augustine Spalding, a merchant of London, who in 1614 published a translation of some dialogues in the Malay dialect, from a book compiled by Arthusius of Dantzic in Latin, Malayan, and Malagassy; and he informs us that his object was to serve those who might have occasion to travel to the East Indies.

II. Shakespear, in his conception of HOLOFERNES in "Love's Labour's Lost," is supposed to have taken hints from one of the foreigners who settled in London in his time as teachers of languages, the celebrated JOHN FLORIO, who is best known as the first English translator of Montaigne, but who produced a good deal of useful professional work, and became intimate with many of the literary men of his day. We cannot be absolutely sure that Florio sat for Holofernes; but at any rate the dramatist has depicted in that character in a most inimitable style the priggish mannerist, as he knew and saw him.

The City of London itself, with all its great industrial benefactions, abounded with private schools and with tutors for special objects. Some of them were authors, not only of school-books for the use of their own pupils, but of translations from the classics and from foreign writers; and they had their quarters in localities long since abandoned to other occupations, such as Bow Lane, Mugwell or Monkwell Street, Lothbury Garden, and St. Paul's Churchyard, where accommodation was once readily procurable at rents commensurate with their resources. Some of these men had originally presided over similar establishments in the provinces, and had come up to town, no doubt, from ambitious motives.

Two of them, in Primers which they published in 1682 and 1688, when such distinctions were important, call their volumes the _Protestant School_ and the _Protestant Schoolmaster_, in order to reassure parents, who distrusted Papists and Jacobites. A few years before, Nathaniel Strong, dating from the Hand and Pen, in Red-Cross Alley, on Great Tower Hill, launched what he somewhat unguardedly christened _The Perfect Schoolmaster_. This part of the metropolis was at that time rather thickly sown with teachers of all kinds; as you drew nearer to Wapping, the schools of geography and navigation became more conspicuous. It was about the period when Mr. Secretary Pepys was residing in Hart Street.

In connection with these private schools on the east side of London, for the special advantage of those who desired to embark on a sea-faring, naval, military, or other technical career, there is a very characteristic and suggestive advertisement by one John Holwell at the end of an astrological tract published by him in 1683, where he states that he professes and teaches at his house on the east side of Spitalfields, opposite Dorset Street, next door to a glazier's, not merely such matters as arithmetic, geography, trigonometry, navigation, astronomy, dialling, gauging, surveying, fortification, and gunnery, but ASTROLOGY _in all its parts_; which appears to be an uncustomary combination, and to bespeak a separate class or department.

Astrology, which was a sort of outgrowth and development from the judicial astronomy of the early Oxford schoolmen, had been a source of controversy since the time of Elizabeth, but had gained a footing in the following century through the exertions of several indefatigable advocates and writers, of whom William Lilly, John Partridge, and John Gadbury were the most eminent and influential. Lilly, during the Civil War, is said to have been consulted by both political parties; and he published a small library of pamphlets professing to see into futurity.

III. There was a host of rival authors, some bringing general treatises in their hand, others special branches of the subject handled in a new fashion, from all parts of the kingdom to the London publishing firms. Dr. Walker, head-master of King Edward the Sixth's Grammar School at Louth in Lincolnshire, completed his monograph on Particles in 1655; it is the only work by which he is at present remembered; and it occasioned the joke that his epitaph should be: _Here lie Walker's Particles_.

But even MILTON could not desist from entering into the competition, and, two years after the appearance of _Paradise Lost_, when the writer was, of course, sufficiently well known both as a political controversialist and a poet, yet scarcely so famous as he became and remains, came out a little volume called _Accidence Commenc'd Grammar_, of which the main object was to reduce into an English digest the Latin _Accidence and Grammar_, by which the illustrious writer declared and complained that ten years of an ordinary life were consumed.

But advocates of particular theories had a very slender chance of success, even where their promoters were persons so distinguished as Ben Jonson and Milton, unless they possessed some adventitious interest or appealed to popular sentiment.

_A Little Book for Little Children_, by Thomas White, minister of the Gospel, had an astonishing run, for instance; there were at least a dozen editions; but it was embellished with choice woodcuts of the Catnach school, and enlivened by a string of stories which, if they are not vapid and silly, are simply outrageous and revolting. The sole redeeming feature is, that among the alphabets occurs what is sometimes called "Tom Thumb's Alphabet,"--"A was an Archer, and shot at a Frog,"--which is not found in the earlier primers, so far as I know, and may have been specially written by White or for him.

But the numerous experimental essays of ambitious schoolmasters and other friends to the cause of learning which found their way into type at various times, were, as a rule, speedily consigned to oblivion; the production of a successful school-book was a task demanding a rare union of tact in structure with influence in initiative quarters; and Lily's Primer, itself based on the labours of his predecessors, was generally adopted by the endowed schools throughout England, Wales and Scotland at first, and indeed till somewhere in the early years of the eighteenth century, with some modifications of detail and spelling, but at last in the form of the Eton or the Westminster Grammar, which Carlisle reports in 1818 as in almost universal use in this country. The exceptions which he names were then very few, and we see that they were nearly always in favour of some text-book introduced by local agency.

This was the case at Reading, where it appears that the system of teaching was founded on those of Westminster, Eton, and Winchester. At Aylesbury, Owen's _Latin Grammar_ and the Eton Greek Grammar used to be employed. At Bodmin, Valpy's _Greek Grammar_, and at Faversham, Lily's _Latin Primer_, edited by Ward, were preferred. At some minor schools, where a boy was intended for any of the great foundations, special books were placed in his hands to facilitate preparation.

But the course of instruction at some of these institutions, outside the elementary stage, was remarkably liberal and extensive, and enabled a boy of ability to ground himself, at all events, very fairly in the Greek and Roman classics. This was, it must be borne in mind, however, the dawn of a new era--the first quarter of the nineteenth century.

A class of men who influentially helped to carry on the succession of school-books and the slower process of amendment were the private tutors in noble or distinguished families, who, when their services were no longer required, if they did not obtain immediate preferment, received pupils or opened proprietary establishments. They were, for the most part, university graduates and persons of fair attainments, who were glad enough to introduce into print, with a double eye to their own scholars and the public, the system or theory with which they had started, and which in their hands underwent, perhaps, certain modifications.

Matthias Prideaux, of Exeter College, Oxford, and A. Lane, M.A., were at the outset of their careers retainers of this kind in the great Devonshire family of Reynell. The former signalised himself by the _Introduction to History_, which, whatever our verdict upon it may be, was a highly successful venture, and, after serving its original purpose as a class-book for his private pupils, the sons of Sir Thomas Reynell, was printed and held the market for many years. Lane, who was a man of ability and intelligence, makes his patron, Sir Richard Reynell, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, share with him the credit of his _Rational and Speedy Method of attaining to the Latin Tongue_, 1695, which he had been encouraged by Sir Richard to pursue with young Reynell, a boy of eight, and which formed, no doubt, the basis of his system when he embarked on tuition as a career. He presided at first over the free school at Leominster, but subsequently set up for himself at Mile End Green, where he would be at fuller liberty to follow his own bent.

Lane desires us to believe that the progress made by his young pupil, while he was under his charge, was little less than miraculous; but an earlier writer, Christopher Syms, in his _Introduction to the Art of Teaching the Latin Speech_, 1634, gives hope to the dullest boy that, by the use of his method, he may acquire it in four years.

From the sixteenth century downward, there seems to have been a succession of competitors to public favour and support in this, as in every other, department of activity; and among the whole crowd of aspirants there was not one who succeeded in discovering the true principles of the art till our own time.

IV. The absence of newspapers or other ready means of communication necessitated a resort to a system of advertising educational establishments through the medium of broadsides, in which were set forth the advantages of particular institutions and the branches of knowledge in which instruction was to be had there. As early as 1562, Humphrey Baker, of London, published an arithmetical work entitled _The Wellspring of Sciences_, which was frequently reprinted both in his lifetime and after his decease; but he was a teacher of the art, as well as a writer upon it, and there is a printed sheet announcing his arrangements for receiving pupils, and giving lessons in that and various other subjects. For, as the terms of the document, herewith annexed, shew, Baker had in his employment other gentlemen, who assisted him in his scholastic labours:--

"Such as are desirous, eyther themselves to learne, or to have theyr children or servants instructed in any of these Arts and Faculties heere under named: It may please them to repayre unto the house of _Humfry Baker_, dwelling on the North side of the Royall Exchange, next adjoyning to the signe of the shippe. Where they shall fynde the Professors of the said Artes, &c. Readie to doe their diligent endevours for a reasonable consideration. Also if any be minded to have their children boorded at the said house, for the speedier expedition of their learning, they shall be well and reasonably used, to theyr contentation.... The Arts and Faculties to be taught are these, ... God save the Queene."

The case of Baker merely stands alone because we do not happen to be in possession of any similar contemporary testimony. But schoolmasters who resided at their own private houses found it, of course, indispensable to adopt some method or other of making their professional whereabouts known, as we find Peter Bales, the Elizabethan calligraphist, and author of the _Writing School-master_, 1590, notifying, at the foot of the title to his book, that it was to be sold at his house in the upper end of the Old Bailey, "where he teacheth the said Arts." Bales probably rented the house, and underlet such portions as he did not require; for at the end of Ripley's _Compound of Alchemy_, 1591, Rabbards, the translator, asks those who had any corrections to suggest in the text to send them to him at the house of Peter Bales.

Preceptors naturally congregated near the centre of mercantile life.


Proposed University of London in 1647--The _Museum Minervæ_ at Bethnal Green--Its catholic character and liberal programme--Calligraphy--Shorthand--Bright's system patented in 1588--Education in the provinces--The old school at Manchester--Shakespear's _Sir Hugh Evans_ and _Holofernes_--William Hazlitt's account of his Shropshire school in 1788.

I. It is a fact, probably within the knowledge of very few, that two hundred years and more before the actual establishment of the University of London, a project for such an institution was mooted by an anonymous pamphleteer, who may be considered as a kind of pioneer, preceding the Benthams and Broughams.

I hold in my hand _Motives Grounded upon the Word of God, and upon Honour, Profit, and Pleasure for the present Founding an University in the Metropolis, London_, 1647. It purports to be the work of "a true Lover of his Nation, and especially of the said City."

The lines and object in this piece are purely clerical. The author maintains the insufficiency of the two existing Universities and the College in Ireland to rear as many "sons of the Prophets"--an euphemism for parsons--to attend upon the spiritual needs of the English and the Londoners.

He puts down on paper statistics of the number of scholars at Oxford and Cambridge, and he argues that if the total were much larger--10,000 instead of 5900--there would be no means of raising the 20,000 preachers necessary in his view to carry on the business of religion. He pleads the fall of Episcopacy in support of his scheme, as "we cannot hope," he says, "that so many will apply their studies to Divinity, and therefore have the greater need to maintain the more poor scholars at our Universities," or, in other words, the absence of the prizes in the lottery had taken the best men out of the market. In fact, the writer himself does not shrink altogether from presenting the commercial side of the question, for he observes:--"Without injury unto any, an University in London would increase London's Trading, and inrich London, as the Scholars do Cambridge and Oxford, where how many poor people also are benefited by the Colleges, yea, the countries round about them."

So far, so good; but he, in the very next paragraph, strikes a chord which jars upon the ear. We see that he is a partisan of that theory which flourished here down to our own day, and which contributed so powerfully to retard and cripple our scholastic and academical studies. Hear what he says: "If here in London there be a College, in which _nothing but Latin_ shall be spoken, and your children put into it, and from ten years old to twelve hear no other Language, in those two years they will be able to speak as good Latin as they do English, and as readily. The Roman children learned Latin as ours do English...;" and so he goes on as to Greek, Hebrew, Italian, French, and Spanish.

The sole point here, in our modern estimation, is the admission of the three living languages into the curriculum, in order to qualify the students in later life to make themselves understood abroad either as merchants or as diplomatists. But here he was before his time. Nothing of the kind was to be attempted in England for generations. For generations Englishmen were to be instructed only in the dead tongues, and were to have not an English, but a Latin Grammar put into their hands age after age.

He talks about the Roman youth learning Latin as we do English; but he failed, perhaps, to perceive that they did not learn British or Gaulish as we do Latin. His text is wealthy in Scriptural quotations and parallels; but whatever one may think of his notions regarding the details and advantages of such a plan, this unnamed "true Lover of his Nation" is entitled, at any rate, to the credit and distinction of having been apparently the first to suggest what we have now before us in the shape of an accomplished fact.

It is not too much to assert, probably, that if the appearance of this tract had been followed by the execution of the ideas enunciated in it, the force of opinion would by this time have spared very little of the work of the original promoters.

II. The _Musæum Minervæ_, instituted by Sir Balthazar Gerbier d'Ouvilly at Bethnal Green in 1635, presents a thorough contrast to those philanthropic or eleemosynary institutions of which I have lately spoken, inasmuch as it was a novel and costly apparatus of Continental origin, calculated only for the children of rich persons and for those who desired to complete themselves in various accomplishments. Lectures were delivered on several subjects, and printed afterwards for circulation; but the enterprise did not succeed, and the outbreak of the Civil War probably sealed its doom. Yet as late as 1649 the management, or the founder himself, issued a prospectus of the different branches of learning and culture which were taught at this establishment. The language of this document, which is curious enough to append entire, portends the approaching collapse, and reads like a final appeal to public spirit and patronage:--

"To all Fathers of NOBLE FAMILIES and Lovers of VERTUE: Sir Balthazar Gerbier desires once more that the Publique may be pleased to take notice of his great labours and indeavours by the Erection of an Academy on Bednall Green without Aldgate. To teach _Hebrew_, _Greek_, _Latine_, _French_, _Italian_, _Spanish_, _High Dutch_, and _Low Dutch_, both Ancient and Modern _Histories_, joyntly with the Constitutions and Governments of the most famous _Empires_ and _Dominions_ in the World, the true Naturall and Experimentall _Philosophy_, the _Mathematicks_, _Arithmetick_, and the keeping _Bookes of Accounts_ by _Creditor_ and _Debitor_. All excellent _Handwriting, Geometrie, Cosmography, Geography, Perspective, Architecture, Secret Motions of Scenes, Fortifications, the besieging & Defending of Places, Fire-Works, Marches of Armies, Ordering of Battailes, Fencing, Vaulting, Riding the Great Horse, Musick, Playing on all sorts of Instruments, Dancing, Drawing, Painting, Limning, and Carving, &c._"

It is at once apparent that the programme of the Bethnal Green Academy was too ambitious and expensive to suit moderate careers and limited resources. Perhaps if it had been so fortunate as to outlive the Restoration it might have proved a success, as the range was sufficiently capacious to accommodate those who contented themselves with ordinary school or college routine; those who preferred a study of the sciences and arts; and, again, such as desired a special professional training.

The establishment of the _Musæum_ in 1635 had been inaugurated by a dramatic performance, which the Court honoured with its presence; and in the following year the _Constitutions_, as they are called, were printed.

These give, but of course with more detail, the particulars which present themselves in the advertisement just noticed; and they also shew that there was a preparatory school attached to the _Musæum_, from which the pupils might be drafted into the higher one.

The subjects taught exhibit a diversity of character and a width of sympathy which are powerfully at variance with the meagre programmes of the old-fashioned public foundations. They comprised Heraldry, Conveyancing, Common Law, Antiquities (including Numismatics), Agriculture, Arithmetic, Architecture, Fortification, Geography, Languages, and Elocution, with many more matters.

It is worth remarking that now for the first time the German tongue was included in the list of those which were recommended and set down for study, while the Dutch also occurs in the list. Elocution or "the art of well-speaking," as it is termed, was also a novel feature; and, in point of fact, Gerbier, who had travelled much abroad and observed the superior educational systems of foreign countries, sought to introduce here the same catholic and liberal spirit, instead of the imperfect and cramped course of studies with which Englishmen were forced to be contented, and which had scarcely emerged from mediæval simplicity and crudity.

The _Musæum Minervæ_, of which a Shropshire gentleman, Sir Francis Kinaston, of Oteley, was the first Regent, collapsed about 1650; but its example and influence survived, and it was the forerunner of a broader and more enlightened educational policy and of the modern type of training colleges, into which even those ancient endowed schools which remain have been compelled by the force of public opinion, one by one, to resolve themselves.

These Academies present a very powerful contrast to the archaic school in the multiplicity of acquirements, and in the breadth or variety of culture which they afforded and encouraged. They betoken a development of social wants and refinements, and the force of influences received from surrounding countries. It was a supply which responded to a demand; and it helped to create or extend a field of literary industry in the form of technical publications dealing with the principal subjects, which the _Musæum Minervæ_ and other analogous institutions included in their scheme. To the treatises on Riding, Swimming, Drawing, Writing, and a few other arts were added Manuals for the use of those who studied, at the College or under private instructors, the sciences of Fencing, Vaulting, Small Sword Exercise, Fortification, and the accomplishments specified in the programme of the Minerva Museum. A constant succession of text-books for pupils in nearly all these branches of a polite education kept the makers and the vendors of them busy from the age of Elizabeth downward; and long lists might be furnished of contributions to every department, both by professional experts and by amateurs of practical experience.

Ladies, who desired to learn anything special in excess of the narrow educational routine then deemed sufficient for the call of their sex, depended on private tutors, who usually waited upon them at their own homes. Thomas Greeting taught Mrs. Pepys the flageolet, for example, and the same lady had lessons in drawing from Alexander Browne, who made the diarist angry at first, because he was asked by Mrs. Pepys to stay dinner sometimes, and to sit at table with her husband.

The importance of calligraphy was recognised long before the date of any literary monuments of its development. The earliest professor of the art who appeared in print among us was a Frenchman, Jean de Beauchesne, who resided in Blackfriars, and published in 1570 his writing-book, in which he affords specimens of all the usual hands, English and French secretary, Italian, Chancery, and Court. Even the extant productions of this class, including those of the immortal Cocker, would fill a considerable space in a bookcase; and many belonged to the calling without the parade of authorship, while of such fugitive performances the remains are apt to be incomplete, and to present us with a list of names far from exhaustive.

In his "Pen's Triumph," 1660, Cocker, who is better remembered as an author on arithmetic, perhaps for no farther reason than the force of the adage, but who was also a lexicographer and a voluminous producer of writing-books, instructs his pupils and the public not merely in all the hands at that time employed for various objects, but how "to write with gold," which was, of course, no novelty, but had been more in vogue on the Continent than here.

Entire works were executed in autograph MS. by experts, both in England and abroad, for the purpose of presentation to noble or royal personages; and Ballard gives a copious account of a lady, named Esther Inglis, who, in the early portion of the seventeenth century, signalised her talent and ingenuity in this way. Her work was remarkable for the minuteness and exquisite delicacy of its characters; but nearly all the professional writing-masters introduced into their copybooks bold and intricate designs, and figures of animals, for the sake of rendering the volumes more attractive, and illustrating the capabilities of the goose-quill.

Among our foremost literary celebrities, Shakespear wrote the Court hand, judging from his signature, and Bacon and Ben Jonson the Italian.

Charactery, or the art of shorthand, was introduced into the Nonconformist schools as a taught subject for the sake of enabling youths or others to take notes of sermons and lectures; and some of the discourses from the pulpit in the time of Elizabeth purport to have been printed from shorthand notes. Dr. Bright, who was the writer of a work on Melancholy long antecedent to Burton's, procured an exclusive right in 1588 to publish a system which he had invented for this purpose, and which we find described by him as "an art of short, swift, and secret writing." He set in motion an idea which met with such numerous imitators and improvers, that a catalogue of the publications on Tachygraphy down to the present date forms a volume of respectable dimensions. Bright was nearly a century before the more celebrated Rich, who flourished about the Restoration of the Stuarts, and whose cypher was adopted by Pepys in the composition of his diary.

III. The public schools were not the first in emulating and continuing the policy which Gerbier had laboured so hard and so long to establish. On a less expensive and ostentatious scale certain private academies adopted the idea of supplementing the subjects taught in the great foundations by some, at least, of the manly or elegant arts which had figured in the old Bethnal Green prospectus.

At the end of a Musical Entertainment, prepared in 1676 for recitation by some school-boys in the presence of certain persons of quality, the master favours us with some particulars of the subjects which pupils might take up in his establishment, and it is also inferable that the hours of study extended to at least five o'clock in the evening. He says in a kind of postscript to the printed tract:--

"The Arts and Sciences taught and practis'd in the Academy are these.

_All sorts of Instruments, Singing and Dancing. French and Italian. The Mathematicks. Grammar, Writing and Arithmetick. Painting and Drawing. Fencing, Vaulting and Wrastling._"

This was an unusually liberal choice, and the Academy was evidently one designed more particularly for the children of noble or wealthy people. He adds:--

"Or any young Gentleman design'd for Travel, there are persons of several Nations fit to instruct him in any Language.

"Likewise any one that hath a desire to have any New Songs or Tunes, may be furnish'd by the same Person that serves his Majesty in the same Imployment."

This is altogether worth attention. It is a pity that we cannot arrive at the name or locality of the college where all these advantages and temptations (in the way of buying your Songs of the King's own purveyor) were held out to the aspiring gentry of two centuries ago.

IV. In all the great provincial centres there were, of course, educational institutes supported by local or royal endowment; and in all these the method of teaching and general policy followed that pursued in the metropolis, except that, as we shall presently see, some of the establishments in the country trod in the footsteps of the Academy just described more promptly and more cordially than St. Paul's or Merchant Taylors', which modified their constitutions only to save themselves from ruin.

Of the seventeenth-century school at Manchester we gain an accidental glimpse and notion from the _Delectus of Latin Phrases_ which was prepared for use there by a former scholar, Thomas Bracebridge. It is a MS. volume of no interest or moment, unless it is locally and personally regarded; but one is apt to cherish every added fraction of light as to the state of education in the Midlands in former days; and this _Delectus_ carries us back precisely to the Restoration, so far as its mere date is concerned, but furnishes a fair idea of the sort of phrase-book which a Manchester teacher of 1660 thought suitable for the boys of his old school.

In Sir Hugh Evans, the Welsh parson and schoolmaster, Shakespear has not improbably preserved to us some fragmentary reminiscences of his own school-days at Stratford. The probation through which William Page is put by Sir Hugh at his mother's instance might very well be a literal or close transcript from actual experience. With what mingled feelings the poet must have contemplated a class of men to whom such minds as his have ever owed so little!

Both Sir Hugh and the Reverend Doctor Primrose may be accepted as provincial types of the clerical preceptor, as they seemed to two excellent observers in their respective centuries. We easily remark the difference between them and such a creation as Holofernes.

The course of studies followed in the rural districts of England at a later period is illustrated by a letter from Hazlitt, the essayist, to his elder brother, the miniature-painter, when the former was attending a school at Wem in Shropshire in 1788. He was at that time ten years old. After stating that he had been learning to draw, he proceeds:--"Next Monday I shall begin to read Ovid's _Metamorphoses_ and Eutropius.... I began to cypher a fortnight after Christmas, and shall go into the rule of three next week.... I shall go through the whole cyphering book this summer, and then I am to learn Euclid. We go to school at nine every morning. Three boys begin by reading the Bible. Then I and two others show our exercises. We then read the Speaker [by Enfield]. Then we all set about our lessons.... At eleven we write and cypher. In the afternoon we stand for places at spelling, and I am almost always first.... I shall go to dancing this month."

The glimpse which we here obtain of a small private seminary in a Shropshire village a hundred years ago affords a not unfavourable notion of the standard of provincial education. From another letter of Hazlitt a little later on (1790) it appears that the celebrated Dr. Lempriére, whose name the lad transformed into Dolounghpryée, was a visitor at the school; but he had not yet produced his Dictionary, of which the first edition was in 1792. It was still in use at Merchant Taylors' in 1850.

The proprietary establishments for boys, which spread themselves by degrees over the land, formed a valuable succedaneum to the Edward and other endowed schools, and useful nurseries for pupils who aimed at more than elementary learning. But they at the same time proved a source of emulation and material improvement; and during the last fifty years the distance between the two systems has sensibly decreased.

The great charities and other ancient foundations like St. Paul's, Merchant Taylors', Eton, Harrow, have only maintained their relative superiority by reforming and extending their prospectus; and there is scarcely a country town at the present moment without one or more private seminaries, where a better education is given than was within the reach of our grandfathers at any of the large public schools of the metropolis.

Even in the time of Carlisle, who wrote in 1818, some of the principal institutions in the provinces were treading closely on the heels of Christ's Hospital and other endowments, and one or two, as at Dorchester, at Abingdon, and at Witton near Chester, seem to have been on a more liberal and enlightened footing.


Educational condition of SCOTLAND--Beneficial influence of Knox and his supporters--Buchanan and other early writers on grammar--Thomas Ruddiman and his important contribution to the spread of elementary teaching--Decline of culture during the Civil War.

I. When we turn to Scotland, we find the compendium of the Grammar of Ælius Donatus, of which I have already furnished some account, in use there from time almost immemorial. It appears that the Scotish seminaries adopted this favourite class-book in common with those of England at least as far back as the time of Andrew of Wyntown, who was nearly contemporary with Langland and Chaucer. In his _Original Chronicle of Scotland_ he speaks of the Barnys (bairns) lering Donate at their beginning of Grammar; which is a very interesting and important piece of testimony in its way, since there is so little to enable us to form an opinion of the rise and growth of elementary learning in North Britain, although there may be just sufficient light cast incidentally or indirectly on the subject to lead us to judge that Scotland, if not indeed the North generally, was in this respect, as in others, far behind the Southern English.

In Scotland, the influence of Knox and his supporters favoured the early institution of parochial schools throughout the country, where a class and range of instruction prevailed which, combined with native religious tendencies, had the effect of increasing, in comparison with England, the average of educated intelligence without developing much breadth of thought or much intellectual refinement.

The aims of the parish schools are humble, and beyond its limited possibilities there are its impediments and its snares. In addition to schools, the friends of education in the North, as early as the reign of William III., commenced an agitation for the establishment of parochial libraries even in the Highlands. The movement was set on foot by certain ministers of the Presbyterian Church, and its basis and scope would have been narrow enough if the idea had been realised. But nothing beyond a discussion and some correspondence seems to have resulted at the moment.

Nor do we, even as time goes on, find much information obtainable on this part of the subject. But both the systems and the books employed were for some centuries of foreign origin; and the grammatical publications of an Aberdeen man, John Vaus, whose name seems to be the earliest on the roll of native authors, were, so far as we at present know, without exception published, as well as written, in France, to which Scotland perhaps owed, among other matters, her adoption of the Continental law of Latin pronunciation.

Vaus grounded his _Rudiments_, printed at Paris repeatedly about 1520, on the old _Doctrinale_ of Alexander Gallus, which bespeaks a backwardness of information, since at this date Lily's Grammar was already in use in the South, and even the systems of Whittinton and the other disciples of the Magdalen School method had been almost completely discarded there, except, perhaps, as occasional auxiliaries.

At a later period, the eminent Scotsman Buchanan wrote his little work on Prosody, and two others of his countrymen, Andrew Symson and James Carmichael, reduced to a simpler plan the principles of elementary learning and the outlines of etymology.

The first explicit attempt to produce a grammar in Scotland for the special use of that country is due, however, to Alexander Hume, who is known to us not only as an educational reformer, but as a philological student. His _New Grammar for the Use of the Scotish Youth_, 1612, was a popular compendium founded on Lily; it seems to have met with limited and brief acceptance, and his tract on the _Orthography and Congruity of the British Tongue_, which was a literary essay intended rather for the closet (to use the old-fashioned parlance), remained till lately in MS.

II. But books of instruction and for employment in schools continued, down to the days of THOMAS RUDDIMAN, to be at once scarce and unsatisfactory, insomuch that, side by side with these and other unrecovered productions, it was found possible and convenient to keep in print the old text-books of Stanbridge, of which editions continued to be issued at intervals both here and in England down to the middle of the seventeenth century.

Ruddiman may be considered as the apostle of scholastic education and literature in Scotland; and as he was not born till 1674, this amounts to a proposition that his country was at least two centuries behind England in knowledge and culture. Even Ruddiman was brought up at the parish school, and was, moreover, for some time a parochial teacher. But, partly by force of character and partly by good fortune, he extricated himself from his early associations, and became the Lily of the North. His _Rudiments of Grammar_ were published in 1714, when he was already in middle life; they were little more than the St. Paul's Primer calculated for the meridian of Edinburgh; but they proved eminently successful, and encouraged him to proceed with that more important philological enterprise the _Institutions of Latin Grammar_, which, like the disquisition of Alexander Hume recently mentioned, was an ordinary unprofessional piece of authorship.

But, notwithstanding the useful labours of Ruddiman, his country, from political and other agencies, remained yet for a considerable length of time in a very stagnant condition, nor had any sensible improvement been achieved in the educational machinery of that portion of the empire within the recollection of those still living. Mental training and culture, as they are now understood, are the growth of the last half century. But the cost of such accomplishments as were taught at Glasgow, Aberdeen, and St. Andrews was lower than in England, and the standard higher than in Ireland; and from both countries pupils were often sent in former days to complete their education, where their parents could not have afforded the means to maintain them at Oxford or Cambridge. From a hundred to a hundred and thirty years since, the fees at Glasgow University did not exceed £20 a year, and a frugal lad found seven or eight shillings a week sufficient for his board and lodging.

III. Many causes contributed, toward the middle of the seventeenth century, to favour the disorganisation and decay of scholastic learning; but, above all, the outbreak of the Civil War, and the consequent disorder, depression, and inquietude, seem to have reduced the educational standard, and to have thrown the task of instruction, in a great number of cases, into the hands of the clergy, from the want of funds or the lack of inclination to support the former lay-teachers. The acute political crisis, which lasted without interruption from 1640 to the commencement of the Protectorate in 1653, affected even the ancient academical and civic endowments; and the two Universities, the noble foundations of Edward VI., and the public seminaries instituted in London and other great centres by private munificence, suffered a common paralysis.

The alliance between the Church and the schools was one formed or developed at a period of exceptional difficulty and pressure; but even when the immediate necessity for such a bond existed no longer, and affairs in England had returned to their normal state, the clergy saw too clearly the importance of the hold which they had gained on the national training and thought to allow education to pass back, farther than was avoidable, under lay control.

In the time of the Commonwealth, and when Cromwell assumed the supreme authority, there were all over the country, throughout England and Wales, men in holy orders and in the enjoyment of benefices who combined with their sacerdotal functions, as many do still, the duties of schoolmasters and lecturers. Doubtless, among them there were some fairly qualified for the trust which they received and undertook; but the majority is alleged, in an authentic official document before me of 1654, to have been far otherwise. This State-paper is called "An Ordinance for the Ejection of Scandalous, Ignorant, and Insufficient Ministers and Schoolmasters," and was published in the autumn of the year above named.

Two singular features it unquestionably possesses: the intimate association between the parson and the pedagogue, and the striking picture which it presents to our view of the lax and profligate condition of the class which Cromwell and his advisers saw thus clothed with the twofold responsibility of mental and spiritual tuition.

The points on which the Commissioners of the Protectoral Government were authorised to inform themselves, and to exercise the discretion vested in them by the ordinance, reveal a very unsatisfactory and corrupt state of things, and the existence of abuses for which neither the Civil War nor the Republican administration can be thought to have been answerable. There is scarcely a vice or irregularity which is not named or implied in the instructions delivered to the Commission; and the encouragement of "Whitson-ales, Wakes, Morris-Dances, Maypoles, Stage-plays, or such like licentious practices," strikes one as relatively a very venial offence against good morals and professional decorum. But the antipathy to sports and dramatic exhibitions was an inheritance from the more rigid Puritans, and the Articles of Inquiry in the archidiaconal visitations of this period never forgot such profane infringements of clerical morality.

The persons who were selected to sit on these committees for the several urban and provincial districts included many God-fearers of the prevailing type; but at the same time the choice was evidently made with some judgment and impartiality, and the printed lists exhibit a notable proportion of divines and others not likely to sanction or recommend too violent a course.

In fact, so considerate was the temper of the Administration itself, that an express proviso was inserted in the ejecting ordinance, by which some of the stipend of the cure was to be set apart, where the minister and schoolmaster was judged incompetent, for the support of his family.

Samuel Harmar, in his _Vox Populi, or Gloucestershire's Desire_, 1642, represents the want of proper maintenance for teachers, although many persons of moderate resources were willing to contribute liberally to the object; to the burden on families by reason of the gratuitous instruction of children, who, if they were but in the way of earning even twopence a day, might help themselves and their parents, whereas they wasted their time in playing about the streets, and acquired the habit of swearing and other immoral practices. The restriction of educational management, for the most part, to the clergy accounts for the dearth of literature shedding real and valuable light on the condition of the young and the state of schools in very early days; and Harmar's pamphlet is principally occupied with vapid theological ineptitudes. His main proposal was excellent; it declared for the establishment of schoolmasters in every parish throughout the country; but even this was merely what Knox and his supporters had long before advocated, and partly accomplished, in Scotland.

There is a little volume by Richard Croft, Vicar of Stratford-on-Avon, being a sermon preached by him at the opening of the Free School of Feckenham in 1696, throughout the sixty-eight pages of which there is not an iota worthy of citation, nor a hint serviceable to my inquiry. How different it might have been, had a layman been the writer!


Female education--Women of quality taught at home--General illiteracy of the sex--Strong clerical control--Ignorance of the rudiments of knowledge among girls--Shakespear's daughters--Goldsmith's _Poems for Young Ladies_--Rise of the Ladies' School--Political importance of the training of women.

I. The neglect of female education in the United Kingdom down to a recent date proceeded from an absence of any adequate or organisable machinery for the purpose, and from the complete monopoly of learning by men in early times. In Scotland this mischief was remedied to a certain extent much sooner than in England, owing to the institution of Academies, where both sexes received instruction under one roof from the same masters; and this circumstance may help to explain the general superiority of the Scots, within certain limits, to the Southern Britons in this respect, the better upbringing of the mother communicating itself to her children.

Common academies for boys and girls were not wholly unknown in England, however, but they were of very rare occurrence, and have now become still rarer, as they barely exist at all except as dame-schools.

Now-a-days, of course, the most elaborate and costly apparatus is provided for the mental cultivation and training of girls of all ranks; and the daughter of a citizen may acquire accomplishments which were long beyond the reach of daughters of kings. Formerly the lower classes of females remained as illiterate as the corresponding rank of men, and the studies of the gentlewoman were superintended by her parents and her tutor or her governess. But in the Middle Ages, and long after the revival of learning, the only persons capable of conducting the education of a lady who had emerged from the nursery and passed the rudimentary stage were ecclesiastics; and the laymen who gradually qualified themselves for the task, such as Ascham and Buchanan, were scholars of a scarce type, who had gained their proficiency in the gymnasia and universities of Italy, Germany, or France. The Italian influence was doubtless the earliest, but the German was the most powerful, and has proved the most lasting.

In France from a very remote period the dame-school appears to have existed in some measure and form, for a fourteenth-century sculpture, already mentioned in the remarks on scholastic discipline, depicts an establishment of this kind--a petty school for boys kept by a woman. If there was any such thing among us, I have met with no record of it; but the practice, from the early intimacy between those countries, would be more apt to find its way first of all from the French into Scotland.

To such as have had under their eyes the letters and other literary monuments which reveal to us the condition of the more cultivated section of the English female community in the old days, it seems superfluous to insist on the strange ignorance of the _principia_ of knowledge, and on the fallow state of the intellectual faculties which these evidences establish. The Paston and Plumpton Correspondence, Mrs. Green's _Letters of Illustrious Ladies_, and Sir Henry Ellis's three Series of Original Letters, may perhaps be quoted as affording an insight into the present aspect of the question before us; and I think that the most striking proofs of the inattention to female culture in this country are to be found in documents previous to the Reformation, when the influence brought to bear on the sex was almost exclusively monastic or clerical.

The great political and religious movement which Henry VIII. was enabled by circumstances to carry through undoubtedly imparted a large share of lay feeling and prejudice to the educational system; and this tendency was promoted and strengthened during the short reign of Edward VI. by the foundation of chartered schools throughout the kingdom for the instruction of youth in grammar and other primordial matters.

II. But the progress thus made did not sensibly affect the other sex. Girls still depended, as a rule, on the old methods and channels of learning; the arts of reading, writing, and arithmetic formed the ordinary routine and limit, unless an acquaintance with French, or even with Italian, happened to be added as a special accomplishment. Very occasionally a maiden of studious character was permitted to avail herself of the tutor maintained at home for her brothers, as was the case of the Honourable Mrs. North, a younger daughter of Lord North of Kirtling, who learned Latin and Greek in this manner; and from Margaret Roper to Mrs. Somerville, or indeed in the cases adduced by Ballard in his _Memoirs of Learned Ladies_, there were from time to time even in the old days splendid exceptions to the prevailing low level of female culture. But under any circumstances, until the period arrived when ladies were competent to undertake the tuition of ladies, all these matters necessarily devolved, in the first place, on the mother, and finally on a preceptor, who was necessarily a man, and most probably in holy orders. His contribution to the development of character was exceedingly preponderant, and was beyond doubt a most important factor in maintaining and extending the power of the Church, and indemnifying the clergy for the direct political influence of which the Reformation dispossessed them.

The Ladies' School or College may be considered a product of the acute political distempers which accompanied the Civil War. Mistress Bathsua Makins, who had been governess to one of the daughters of Charles I.--the Princess Elizabeth--set up, after the fall of the King, an establishment at Putney, to which Evelyn mentions that he paid a visit in company with some ladies on the 17th May 1649; but I find no reference to this institution in Lysons. A similar case existed somewhat later at Highgate; and the admirers of Charles and Mary Lamb, at least, do not require to be told that in the little volume called "Mrs. Leicester's School," 1809, there are some interesting hints, both historical and autobiographical, in relation to the old-fashioned seminary at Amwell. But, as a rule, these agents in our later civilisation and social refinement, important as they were, have left behind them few, if any, traces of their existence and management. They bred those who were content to become, in course of time, the wives and mothers of England, and to study the arts of domestic life. In such are centred the strength and glory of the country; but their careers, like "the short and simple annals of the poor," have escaped literary commemoration.

"A Gentleman of Cambridge," as he styles himself on the title of an English adaptation of the Abbé d'Ancourt's _Lady's Preceptor_, 1743, defines the qualifications then thought necessary and adequate for a young gentlewoman. He does not go beyond a thorough knowledge of English, an acquaintance with French and Italian, a familiarity with arithmetic and accounts, and the mastery of a good handwriting; and yet how few probably reached this moderate standard a century and a half ago--nay, how few reach it now!

In the time of the early Stuarts, the training of girls in English country towns, if it is to be augured from that of the Shakespears at Stratford, even where the parents were in good circumstances and the father a man of literary tastes and occupations, was still extremely primitive and scanty. The poet's elder daughter, Susanna, seems to have just contrived to write, or rather print, her name; but Judith used a mark, and Mrs. Quiney, whose son became Judith's husband, did the same.

Both the Quineys and the Shakespears were persons of substance and of local consideration; and in this case, at any rate, the explanation seems to be that such ignorance was usual, and did not prejudicially affect the position and prospects of a gentlewoman.

The institution in England of elementary schools for girls only dates back to the neighbourhood of the Restoration; but the number of establishments long remained, doubtless, very limited, and the scheme of instruction equally narrow. The frontispiece to Anthony Huish's _Key to the Grammar School_, 1670, presents us with an interesting interior in the shape of a girls' school, where the mistress is seated at a desk surrounded by female pupils.

Goldsmith's _Poems for Young Ladies_, "Devotional, Moral, and Entertaining," 1767, partly arose out of Dr. Fordyce's _Sermons for Young Women_. The editor assures his fair readers that the Muse in this case is not a syren, but a friend; and there is plenty of the religious element in the volume. But there are, on the other hand, extracts from Pope's _Homer_, stories from Ovid and Virgil, Addison's _Letter from Italy_, and a selection from Collins's _Oriental Eclogues_. The source from which it came was a guarantee that its pages would be agreeably and sensibly leavened with matters not divine; it surpasses the average intellectual nutriment provided for women a century ago. Dr. Goldsmith was a decided improvement on Dr. Watts, and he could scarcely escape from being so, whether he offered them his own poetical compositions, or, as in the present case, merely exercised his judgment in selecting from the works of others. No one can object to Pope's _Messiah_ or his _Universal Prayer_, which constitute the prominent features in the devotional section, when they are in such excellent company as Gay, Swift, and Thomson. But there is nothing in this volume to have prevented the editor offering a copy to either of the vicar's daughters.

The universal and unchanging aim of the ecclesiastical authority is manifestly temporal, and Henry VIII. and his coadjutors, and their immediate successors in the foundation of Protestantism, acted wisely in making it part of their scheme to furnish the realm with public seminaries based on an improved footing in the earliest endowed grammar schools, which set the example to private individuals and corporate bodies.

These schools, which, as we know, had been preceded--and doubtless suggested too--by that at Magdalen College, Oxford, and others framed on a humbler scale or (like the City of London and St. Paul's) under different auspices, opened the way to a partial secularisation of teaching throughout England. The preceptors employed were more often than not academical, unbeneficed graduates with a certain clerical bent; but the Statutes laid down rules for the management of the Charity and for the limitation of the subjects to be taught; and the scheme was assuredly at the outset, and continued down to the last thirty or forty years--in fact, within the recollection of the present writer--so narrow and imperfect, that it supplied what would now be regarded as the mere groundwork of a genteel education.

III. But a farther and still more important step toward the emancipation of scholastic economy and discipline from Church control was taken when, first in Scotland, and subsequently, and also in a more limited degree, in England, after the union of the kingdoms, proprietary establishments were opened for boys or girls only, or for boys and girls, where the religious instruction, instead of being, as under the archaic conventual and Romish system, the primary feature, became a mere item on the prospectus, like Geography or History. This was the commencement of an entrance upon modern lines, and struck a fatal blow at the monastic and academical ideas of instruction, by widening the bias and range of studies, and liberating the intellect from religious trammels.

The success and multiplication of these new institutions obliged the old endowments to reform themselves, and to meet the demands of the age; and the pressure was augmented, of course, by the concurrent rise of large public gymnasia of a novel stamp, as well as by the development of some of the already existing institutions conformably to the great changes in political and social life.

The proprietary system, which had started by adopting, as a rule, the mixed method, or rather by the reception of pupils of both sexes under the same roof, was eventually, and, except so far as dame-schools were concerned, finally modified in favour of the dual plan, and independent colleges for young gentlemen and for young ladies were the result.

In these latter the drift is certainly more and more lay; and as knowledge and culture spread, and the influence and fruits of masculine thought make themselves more and more appreciable, the Church in England will gradually loosen its grasp of the national intellect, and will probably owe to the higher education of women its collapse and downfall.

The ladies of England have propped up the tottering edifice long enough, and no one whose opinion is worth entertaining will lament the inevitable issue. But whether the consequences of this vital movement will be otherwise beneficial, it has scarcely yet, perhaps, been in active operation a sufficient time to enable us to judge. If it involves the sacrifice in any important measure of feminine refinement and dependence, we shall be forced to confess that the help to be rendered by our daughters and grand-daughters to the cause of intellectual enfranchisement and victory will have been bought at a cruel price.

As the old foundations discovered it to be imperative to comply with the growing philosophical temper in order to enable them to exist side by side with the improved types of school and teacher, so the successful conduct of ladies' colleges will become impossible in the future unless that liberality of doctrine and sentiment in all matters connected with theology which breathes around them and us is cordially recognised.

A spirit of disaffection to clerical guidance and clerical imposts has for some time shown itself in Great Britain among those who are becoming, in the natural course of events, husbands, fathers, and ratepayers; the revolt of the other sex has also commenced; and the wise initiative of the Board School in excluding the Bible and Catechism from their programme must be ultimately obeyed by every school in the three kingdoms.

The Bible is for scholars, not for school-folk; and, as Jeremy Bentham demonstrated nearly a century ago, the Catechism is trash.


The Abacus or A. B. C.--Its construction and use--The printed A. B. C.--The first Protestant one (1553)--Spelling-books--Anecdotes of the A. B. C.--_Propria quæ Maribus_ and _Johnny quæ Genus_--The Catechism and Primer.

I. The manner in which the earliest _Abaci_ were constructed and applied is precisely one of those points which, in the absence of specimens of remote date and documentary information as to their form and use, we have to elucidate, as far as possible, from casual allusions or internal testimony. The most ancient woodcuts representing a school interior display the method in which the master and pupils worked together; but here the latter appear, as I have stated elsewhere, to reiterate what their teacher reads from a book, or, in other words, the scene depicts a later stage in the educational course.

In the _Jests of Scogin_, a popular work of the time of Henry VIII., and probably reliable as a faithful portraiture of the habits and notions of the latter half of the fifteenth and opening decades of the following century, one of the sections relates "How a Husbandman put his son to school with Scogin." From the text it is plain that the lad was very backward in his studies, or had commenced them unusually late, considering that it was the farmer's ambition to procure his admission into holy orders. "The slovenly boy," we are told, "would begin to learn his A. B. C. Scogin did give him a lesson of nine of the first letters of A. B. C., and he was nine days in learning of them; and when he had learned the nine Christ-cross-row letters, the good scholar said, 'am ich past the worst now?'"

The important feature in this passage is the reference to the Christ-cross-row, which contained the nine letters of the alphabet from A to I in the form of the Cross. The time consumed in this particular instance in the acquisition of a portion of the rudiments is, of course, ascribable to a pleasant hyperbole, or to the scholar's phenomenal density; but the _Abacus_ or Christ-cross-row was, no doubt, the first step in the ladder, and although it was superseded by the Horn-book and the Primer, it did not substantially disappear from use in petty schools till the present century. Its shape and functions, however, underwent a material change, and instead of being employed as a medium for grounding children in the Accidence, it became a vehicle for arithmetical purposes, and resembled a slate in form and dimensions, consisting of a small oblong wooden frame fitted with rows of balls of wood or bone strung on transverse wires. To those who, like the present writer, saw this apparatus in common use to induct the young into the art of counting, its pedigree was naturally unknown. It was an evolution from the contrivance which Scogin put into the hands of the country bumpkin whom he was engaged to prepare for the priesthood, and who, as we learn from subsequent passages in these Anecdotes, was actually ordained a deacon within a limited period.

II. To the Abacus, prior to the Reformation, was added the printed A. B. C. accompanied by prayers and a metrical version of the Decalogue, and in 1553 appeared the first Protestant A. B. C. and Catechism for the use of schools and the young. It is after this date and the accession of Elizabeth that we find a marked and permanent stimulus given to elementary literature; and the press from 1553 onward teemed with A. B. C.'s of all sorts; as, for instance, "an a. b. c. for children, with syllables, 1558;" "an a. b. c. in Latin," 1559; "the battle of A. B. C.," 1586; "the horn a. b. c., 1587;" and even the title itself grew popular, not only for manuals of other kinds, but for publishers' signs and ballads. There was "the aged man's A. B. C," the "Virgin's A. B. C.," and "the young man's A. B. C."

Subsequently to the A. B. C. of 1553, there seems to be nothing actually extant of this nature till we come to _The Pathway to Reading, or the newest spelling A. B. C._ of Thomas Johnson, 1590, which I have not been able to inspect, but as to which there was a litigation between two publishers in the following year, seeming to shew its popularity and a brisk demand for copies.

A few years later (1610) there is _A New Book of Spelling, with Syllables_, a series of alphabets, followed by the vowels, alphabetical arrangements of syllables, and remarks on vowels, in the course of which the writer furnishes us with an explanation of the virtue and force of the final _e_ in such monosyllables as _Babe_.

From vowels he proceeds to the diphthong, where he animadverts on the abuse of the _w_ for the _u_. He then presents us with the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, the Decalogue, &c., as orthographical theses.

At the end of the Scriptural selections we arrive at this curious heading: "Certain words devised alphabetically without sense, which whosoever will take the pains to learn, he may read at the first sight any English book that is laid before him." These words are divided into two classes, dissyllables and words of three and four syllables, and introduced by a few lines of introduction, in which the words are divided by way of guidance.

The spelling-book of 1610 was printed for the Stationers' Company, by which it had been perhaps taken over; and as the Company did not usually have assigned to it any stock except old copyrights, there is little doubt that there were earlier impressions. At any rate, it is a Shakespearian volume, and, as the only manual for children or illiterate adults except the Protestant A. B. C. of 1553, it becomes interesting to consider that the great poet himself may have had a copy in his hands of some edition, if at least his scholastic researches ever went beyond the Horn-book and the Abacus.

The volume may be regarded as a pioneer in the direction of English orthography and pronunciation; and when the author propounds that you might proceed from his pages to the Latin tongue, he does nothing more than follow in the steps of all teachers of that time, as well as of every other age and country down to almost yesterday.

While I have the book before me, it may be worth while to transfer to these pages a specimen of it:--

kach, kech, kich, koch, kuch, kash, kesh, kish, kosh, kush, kath, keth, kith, koth, kuth.

And so it runs through the alphabet. In the Lord's Prayer and other selections the syllables are also divided for the convenience and ease of the learner.

The biographer of Dean Colet mentions that Mr. Stephen Penton, Principal of St. Edmund's Hall, Oxford, in the days of Charles II., published a Horn-book or A. B. C. for children. This, which Knight oddly characterises as a piece of humble condescension on the part of so worthy and noted a man, I have not yet seen.

In Russia they have, or had very lately, the _stchoti_, a kind of Abacus, a small wooden frame strung with horizontal wires, on which slide a series of ivory balls, each wire representing a certain value from the kopeck upwards. This piece of machinery is used in all commercial transactions, whether they take place in shop, market, counting-house, or bank; and familiarity and practice enable the parties concerned to calculate the amount payable or receivable with equal ease and rapidity.

There is a similar machine in use among the natives of British India, and also for mercantile purposes, not as a vehicle for acquiring the science of numbers in the schools.

III. It is said to have been John Rightwise, second head-master of St. Paul's, and son-in-law of Lily, who introduced into his predecessor's book the _Propria quæ Maribus_ and _As in Præsenti_, to which were subsequently joined the Rules of Heteroclites or Irregular Nouns, probably digested from Whittinton by Robertson of York. This last section, from the commencing words, combined perhaps with the Christian name of Rightwise, was the origin of _Johnny quæ Genus_.

But an early authority[3] claims for Lily himself the honour of having written the _Propria quæ Maribus_ and _As in Præsenti_, and informs us that Rightwise merely published them with a glossary.

In some of the schools the course seems to have been to commence with the A. B. C. and Catechism, and then proceed to the Primer. At the end of the A. B. C. of 1757 are these lines:--

"This little Catechism learned by heart (for so it ought), The PRIMER next commanded is for children to be taught."

When I speak here of the _Primer_, I must take care to distinguish between the Service-book so styled and the Manual for the young. It is singular enough that the most ancient which has come under my eyes is of the age of Elizabeth, and includes not only the Catechism, but "the notable fairs in the Calendar," as matters "to be taught unto children."

This type of Primer is very rare till we arrive at comparatively modern days. The mission which it was designed to fulfil was one precisely calculated to hinder its transmission to us.

The practice of printing children's books on some more than usually substantial material is not so modern as may be supposed; for there is an A. B. C. published at Riga for the use of the German pupils, the German population preponderating there over the Russian or Polish, on paper closely resembling linen, and of a singularly durable texture; and this little volume belongs to the commencement of the last century, several generations before such a system was adopted in England.

In the Preface to his _New English Grammar_, 1810, Hazlitt complains of the want of any undertaking of the kind, and it has not been really supplied till our own day, when the labours of the Philological and English Text Societies and the payment of increased attention to Early English Literature prepared the way to reform in a quarter where reform was so sadly needed.

The same writer, while edition upon edition of the famous Grammar of Lindley Murray was pouring from the press, like Hayley's _Triumphs of Temper_ and Moore's _Loves of the Angels_, exposed the fallacies of the system, and lamented the mischief done by such erroneous doctrines. Murray, of whose lucubrations, now obsolete to petrifaction, sixty issues were exhausted between 1795 and 1859, aimed not only at popular instruction, but at literary dignity and scientific eminence; for during a portion of the time while his star was in the ascendant two parallel texts, a literary and an elementary one, were kept in print. Looking back from the vantage-ground which it is our privilege to occupy upon this phenomenon, we contemplate it not with the awe inspired by a mighty ruin, of which the remaining fragments are a gladdening and proud survival, but with a feeling of amazement that such a heresy in opinion and taste should have lived so long, and have been so lately dissipated.

The hazy ideas of the old-fashioned schoolmaster on this particular part of his business are brought out in tolerably prominent relief in the reply to a gentleman who had expressed to Dr. Duncan of the Ciceronian Academy at Pimlico his wish that his son might learn English in lieu of Latin Grammar. "Sir," said the Doctor, "Grammar is Grammar all the world over."


Ascham's _Schoolmaster_--Richard Mulcaster--The earliest Anglo-Latin Dictionary--Ocland's _Anglorum Prælia_.

I. The _Schoolmaster_, by Roger Ascham, is a work so celebrated and so classical, and has been so often reprinted, that it seems almost supererogatory to pass any remark upon its character and merits. It arose, as we all know, out of a conversation at Windsor in 1563 between Sir Richard Sackville, Treasurer of the Exchequer, and the author, and it is a literary treatise rather than a technical one. Ascham did not live to see it in type, nor was his patron spared to witness its completion in MS.; it was published in 1570 by the author's widow, and dedicated to Sir William Cecil, who was one of the party at Windsor when the idea was first ventilated. The opening paragraphs of the Preface, where Ascham describes the company at dinner, and Sackvile afterwards drawing him aside, and leading him to turn his thoughts to the production of such a book, are as famous and unforgettable as Latimer's noble and touching narrative to us, in one of his sermons before the King, of his boyhood and the obligations under which he lay to his father for sending him to a good school.

Ascham's _Schoolmaster_, 1570, is a volume, as its title perhaps may import, for the teacher indeed rather than for the learner. It is a manual of valuable suggestions and counsels for the guidance and use of those under whose direction the course of school-work was carried out, although immediately it was designed for the benefit of Mr. Robert Sackville, the deceased Treasurer's grandson. The writer confesses his indebtedness to Sir John Cheke and to Sturmius, among the moderns, and to his old masters, as he calls them, Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero.

Sir Richard Sackville, who was happily instrumental in persuading Ascham to undertake the task, told him that he had found the disadvantage in his own case of an imperfect education; "for a fond scholemaster," quoth he, "before I was fullie fourtene yeare olde, draue me so, with feare of beating, from all loue of learninge, as nowe, when I know what difference it is to haue learninge, and to haue little or none at all, I feele it my greatest greife, and finde it my greatest hurte, that euer came to me; that it was my so ill chance to light vpon so lewde a schoolmaster."

Ascham was of his friend's opinion in regard to greater clemency and patience on the part of teachers, and he also preferred such text-books as _Cicero de Officiis_ to the Manuals compiled by Horman, Whittinton, and the rest of the old school of English grammarians. The passage in the _Schoolmaster_ where the author narrates his interview, before he went on his travels into Germany, with Lady Jane Grey at her father's house in Leicestershire, is familiar enough; it exhibits a converse case, so far as the severities of school-teachers are concerned; for that amiable and unfortunate woman found her only compensation for the harshness and rigour of her parents in a gentle and beloved tutor, "who," she told Ascham, "teacheth me so ientlie, so pleasantlie, with such faire allurements to learning, that I thinke all the tyme nothing whiles I am with him."

One sees that Ascham, while loth to say too much on such a topic, did not cordially relish the old translations into English verse of some of the classics, even when the translator was such a man as Surrey or Chaucer; and there I agree with him, and indeed I think that many more are inclined so to do.

Richard Mulcaster, first head-master of Merchant Taylors' School, and for several years after his retirement from that position principal of St. Paul's, was the author of two works of comparatively slight interest and importance at the present day, whatever estimate may have been formed of them by some of his learned contemporaries. Of the two "fruits of his writing," as he terms them, he dedicated the earlier, "Positions," 1581, a kind of introduction to the matter, to Queen Elizabeth, and the other, "The First Part of the Elementary," 1582, to Lord Leicester, in two rather turgid and verbose epistles. But it is a question whether either production met with much applause on its appearance, though ushered into notice under such influential auspices; certainly they never grew popular or reached a second impression. They were both calculated for the guidance of teachers, like Ascham's _Schoolmaster_; but they present a stiff and didactic frigidity, which is absent in the famous and favourite manual of his predecessor, who knew how to make us the partakers of his own learning in a more agreeable manner than the professional pedagogue. I think it very possible that the very few readers which the publications of Mulcaster have found have arrived at the conclusion of their labour without being much wiser than when they embarked in it. But, of the two, I prefer very decidedly the _Positions_, which are written in a more natural style, and contain occasional passages of interest. This gentleman lived to see the close of the long reign of which he had witnessed the opening, and to write some dull verses upon the death of the Queen.

II. The early teacher and his pupils enjoyed, when the typographical art had been applied to the production of educational works previously accessible in a limited number of MSS., the considerable advantage of books of reference for Latin, Greek, French, and eventually Italian and other tongues. Within a year of each other (1499-1500), the _Ortus Vocabulorum_ and the _Promptorius Parvulorum_ furnished our schools, so far as Latin was concerned, with two excellent lexicons, both formed out of the best compilations of the kind current abroad. These were the Ainsworth and Riddle of our ancestors, who resorted to them where the required information was not forthcoming in the Primer or the Delectus.

Both these phrase-books passed through a series of reprints between the commencement and middle of the sixteenth century. The former purports to have been grounded on the _Catholicon_ of Balbus, 1460, the _Cornucopia_ of Perottus, the _Gemma Vocabulorum_, and the _Medulla Grammatices_, with additions by Ascensius. The _Promptorius_, or, as it is also called in some of the issues, _Promptuarium_, appears to be substantially identical with the _Medulla_.

But the earliest regular Anglo-Latin Dictionary in our literature is that of Sir Thomas Elyot, first published in 1538, and frequently reprinted with additions by others from a variety of English and foreign sources, until it became the bulky folio known as COOPER'S THESAURUS. Elyot, the first compiler, tells us, in the dedication to Henry VIII. prefixed to the _editio princeps_, that he had accomplished about half his labour when it reached the royal ear through Master (subsequently Sir) Anthony Denny that he had such a project in hand; whereupon the King caused all possible facilities to be afforded him, and the books in the royal library to be open to his inspection. It is hard to say how far Elyot flatters his sovereign when he assures him that, after it was all done, he was so afraid of his Lexicon being faulty and imperfect, that he felt as if he could have torn the MS. to pieces, "had not the beames of your royal maiestie entred into my harte, by remembraunce of the comforte whiche I of your grace had lately receyued."

In the epistle to Henry just referred to, the author pays a tribute to the encouragement which he had experienced from Lord Cromwell; and in the British Museum is the copy presented to the Lord Privy Seal, with a holograph Latin letter prefixed, in which hardly any form of adulation is spared, so far as Cromwell's virtues, magnanimity, culture, and other cognate qualities are concerned, and nothing is said about him being secondary to royalty in these matters, as in the printed inscription is expressed. But much, after all, is to be forgiven to a man of rank who in those days chose to consume his time, as Elyot did, in the pursuit of letters.

The plan of the work is familiar enough, first, through the later impressions, which are among the commonest volumes in Early English literature; and, secondly, from the fact that the principle on which it is constructed is similar to that of Ainsworth and others. The main difference seems to be where certain Latin words, by an intelligible survival, continued in Elyot's day to bear a meaning which subsequently grew obsolete; as, for instance, in the case of _Aviarium_, "a thycke wodde without waye," although he at the same time adds the ordinary acceptation.

Still the credit remains with Elyot, of course, of having supplied a model for many succeeding lexicographers and phraseologists; and if we turn, for example, to the _Dictionary for Children_, by John Withals, 1553, or the _Manipulus Vocabulorum_ of Levins, 1571, we see that the general plan is similar. Elyot, in fact, got rid of the tiresome and perplexing arrangement which renders the books of reference and instruction prior to his day, like the _Promptorius_ and the _Eclaircissement de la langue Françoise_, so uninviting to consult.

Save in respect to development and extension, there is no substantial difference, in fact, between the dictionaries of Elyot and Littleton or of Littleton and Ainsworth. The general plan is the same, whereas in some of the early lexicons the arrangement is so obscure and defective as to render them comparatively useless for practical purposes. The old _Ortus Vocabulorum_, one of these archaic works of reference, had been largely formed out of the _Cornucopia_ of Perottus, and Cooper owed very considerable obligations to the Lexicon of Stephanus, which he was censured by a critic of his day for not properly acknowledging.

The _Short Dictionary for Children_ by Withals, already specified, supplied the obvious need for a more portable work than either Elyot or Cooper. It met with a cordial response from the constituency to which it appealed, and was reprinted, with large additions and improvements, by successive editors down to the time of Charles I.

Littleton, who brought out his Dictionary in 1678, was Rector of Chelsea. He includes the barbarous Latin for the first time.

Robert Ainsworth, whose famous Latin Dictionary belongs to the reign of George II., having been first printed in 1736, planned his enterprise on a sensible and enduring basis, and earned for himself the reputation of a classic and a type. He had of course the advantage of all the improvements of Elyot, Cooper, and Littleton, besides the numerous other minor lexicographers, of whom he supplies an interesting chronological account in his preface; but his substantial quarto volume, "designed for the use of the British _Nations_," was a clear advance on its precursors. He gives not only the Latin-English and English-Latin appellatives, the Christian names of men and women, the proper names of places, the ancient Latin names of places, and the more modern names, but the Roman calendar, the Roman coins, weights and measures, and ancient law-terms. Of the preceding workers in the same field, whom he commemorates, he may very well have known some personally. The catalogue, enriched with biographical particulars, begins with the _Promptuarium Parvulorum_, and closes with Elisha Coles, embracing a period of nearly two centuries.

III. The Latin Lexicon was an indispensable _vade-mecum_ where boys had to translate the classics of that language into English; and the taste for some of the Roman writers, including Ovid, so far from declining, appears in the time of Elizabeth to have spread in schools. The authors at whom the criticism is more particularly aimed may be guessed in the absence of the names; but the clerical party about 1580, being of opinion that these ancient productions were injurious to morality, availed themselves of a most singularly fortunate opportunity for substituting a work which should be to Latin versification what Lily's Grammar was to English accidence--a standard and a model.

A year or two prior to the discovery of this pernicious influence, Christopher Ocland had printed a metrical narrative in doggerel metre of the martial achievements of the English people from the time of the Plantagenets down to that of Elizabeth, whom he places before Zenobia; and this gentleman or his friends had sufficient influence to procure, through the Lords Commissioners in Causes Ecclesiastical, letters-patent prescribing the use of his _Anglorum Prælia_ in all grammar-schools in England and Wales in lieu of the books of less moral authors. The privilege, dated May 7, 1582, was accorded in consideration not only of the freedom of Ocland's volume from profligacy, but of "the quality of the verse,"--an encomium quite seriously intended, in whatever degree it may strike us as ironical.

This literary gem, which was to supersede Virgil, Ovid, Homer, and the rest of the heathens, was dedicated to Zenobia by the worthy writer in some lines which are a fair sample of the "quality of the verse." They begin:--

"Regia Nympha, soli [_sic_] moderatrix alma Britanni, Quæ pace et vera religione nites, Quæ vitæ meritis, morum & candore coruscans, Zenobiam vincis, siqua vel ante fuit."

Such was the Oclandian Muse which the Lords Commissioners in Causes Ecclesiastical accounted preferable to the compositions which were the glory of their own and the delight of every succeeding age!

Despite the lofty patronage and auspicious circumstances under which the _Anglorum Prælia_ was launched on its proud career, the imbecility of the whole idea appears to have been promptly appreciated; and the "lascivious poets," whom it was to have effaced, continued, and to this day continue, "to corrupt the youth."


Ben Jonson and Shirley writers of Grammars--Some account of the former--Thomas Hayne's Latin Grammar--A curious anecdote about it.

I. The _English Grammar_ inserted among Ben Jonson's works in 1640, and also to be found in the modern editions, is not the production originally compiled by that eminent writer, but a series of notes and rough material collected perhaps for a new undertaking after the destruction of Jonson's books and MSS. by an accidental fire. It appears that the author had taken considerable trouble to collect together the literature of this class already existing in our own and other languages, with a view to comparison and improvement, and he was probably assisted by friends, as Howell speaks so early as 1620 of having borrowed for him Davis's Welsh Grammar, "to add to those many which he already had." Sir Francis Kinaston cites "his most learned and celebrated friend, Master Ben Jonson," as the possessor of a very ancient grammar written in the Saxon tongue and character, by way of illustrating what it could scarcely illustrate--the state of our language in the time of Chaucer. This book doubtless perished with the rest.

The work in its present state is divided into chapters: _Of Grammar and the Parts_; _Of Letters and their Powers_; _Of the Vowels_; _Of the Consonants_, and so forth. In the third chapter, under Y, the writer remarks:--"Y is mere vowelish in our tongue, and hath only the power of an _i_, even where it obtains the seat of a consonant, as in _young_, _younker_, which the Dutch, whose primitive it is, write _junk_, _junker_. And so might we write _iouth_, _ies_, _ioke_...."

"C is a letter," he says, "which our forefathers might very well have spared in our tongue; but since it hath obtained place both in our writing and language, we are not now to quarrel with _orthography_ or _custom_." Nor is _c_ the only member of the alphabet with which Jonson considers that we might have advantageously dispensed; for in a subsequent page he declares that "_q_ is a letter we might very well have spared in our _alphabet_, if we would but use the serviceable _k_ as he should be, and restore him to the right of reputation he had with our forefathers. For the English Saxon knew not this halting _q_, with her waiting woman _u_ after her, but exprest

_quail_,} {_kuail_, _quest_,} by {_kuest_, _quick_,} {_kuick_, _quill_,} {_kuill_."

In other words, Jonson, discarding _c_ and _q_, was with those who nowadays ask us to say _Kikero_, _Kelt_, _Kæsar_; and he seems also to be an advocate for such terminations as _st_ or _pt_ for _ed_ in _exprest_, _confest_, _profest_, _stopt_, _dropt_, _cropt_, wherein he has a follower in Mr. Furnivall.

His demonstration of the manner in which the several letters ought to be sounded as pronounced is occasionally very amusing. "T," he informs the reader, "is sounded with the tongue striking the upper teeth." "P breaketh softly through the lips." "N ringeth somewhat more in the lips and nose." But of H he remarks: "Whether it be a letter or no, hath been much examined by the ancients, and by some of the Greek party too much condemned, and thrown out of the alphabet."

This last piece of criticism should have its consoling effect on those among the moderns who also repudiate it, and may not be aware that they have the Greek party in Jonson's day on their side, only that the Greek party did not offer the deposed letter any substituted position.

Jonson's _Grammar_, as we have it, is a book for scholars and philologists, however, rather than for the elementary stage of education. The method is discursive and the style obscure; and it is chiefly prizable as an evidence of the versatility, the extensive reading, and the perseverance of the author. He quotes among his examples Sir Thomas More, Gower, Lidgate, Fox's _Martyrs_, Harding's _Chronicle_, Chaucer, and Sir John Cheke.

It is curious enough that Jonson's notion as to the superfluities of our alphabet is supported to some extent by the orthography sanctioned by M. Vimont in his _Relation de la Nouvelle France_, 1641, where he puts _Kebeck_ for _Quebec_; but the change must necessarily influence the pronunciation.

Neither of these writers was avowedly an advocate of Phonography; but the adoption of that principle of spelling would necessarily involve the dispensation with certain letters which at present form part of the English A. B. C.

In the dedication to Lord Herbert of his little book, JAMES SHIRLEY refers to the abundance of such treatises at that time before the public, "by which some," he says, "would prophetically imply the decay of learning, as if the root and foundation of art stood in need of warmth and reparation." But he furnishes no information respecting himself or the motives which led him to write the volume, although it is readily inferable that he did so to augment the slender income which he derived, after the closing of the theatres, from school-work in Whitefriars. Some of the illustrations are in such couplets as the subjoined:--

"In _di_, _do_, _dum_, the Gerunds chime and close, _Um_, the first Supine, _u_ the latter shews."

As late as 1726, Jenkin Thomas Phillipps reprinted Shirley's Grammar with additions. On the title-page of this edition it is said to be "for the use of Prince William."

In 1640 Thomas Hayne published his _Grammatices Latinæ Compendium_. A copy before me was presented by the author to Charles II. when a boy, and has an autograph inscription on the blank page before the title to the young Prince. It also passed through the hands of his brother, James Duke of York, who has written _James Duke of Yorke_ in a childish hand on the fly-leaf. During the troubles it seems to have passed out of their hands, and was bought at Oxford on the 4th October 1647 by a later owner, who records the fact at the top of another page. It was subsequently at Stowe, and the fine old blue morocco binding betrays no sign of a schoolboy's thumbs.

Hayne supplies a highly interesting survey of the progress and development of this branch of literature and learning in former days, and some of the later attempts made with a view to improve the method, and explains his own plan, which introduces the English and Latin in parallel columns, and systematises and tabulates the cases and declensions in a more lucid manner than the prior experiments. If we set it side by side with Whittinton's eleven divisions, we see that it is a great advance.

From the commencement of the seventeenth century an increasing volume of literature calculated to assist the diffusion of useful and improving knowledge supplemented the books expressly designed for schools. These publications, belonging to nearly every department of science and inquiry, were often reproduced with the same steady regularity as the educational works themselves; and nothing more triumphantly establishes the unceasing progress of discovery and reform than the fact that the standard manuals of one century become the waste paper of the next.

As one arrests a stray copy of Heylin's _Cosmography_, Godwin's _Roman Antiquities_, edited for the use of Abingdon School, Provost Rous's _Attic Archæology_, Prideaux's _Introduction to the Reading of Histories_, or any other book of the same stamp, on its passage from an old collection to the mill, a not unlikely reflection to arise is that, considering their straitened opportunities and the force of clerical influence, the culture and light of our ancestors were in fair relative proportion to our own.

The literary thought and bias of the age were naturally affected by these shallow and meagre repertories of information, which were as far removed in scholarship from the _Roman Antiquities_ of Adams and the _Dictionary_ of Lemprière as Adams and Lemprière are removed from Dr. Smith's series.


Limited acquaintance with the Greek language in England--Erasmus first learns, and then teaches, Greek at Cambridge--Notices of a few Philhellenists--Study of the language at Rhodes by Lily--Languid interest in it among us--Disputes at Cambridge as to the pronunciation--Remarks on this subject--The tract by John Kay--Few books in the Greek character printed in England.

I. The few scattered notices, which offer themselves in Warton and other authorities, of Englishmen of very remote days who entered on the study of the Greek tongue, tend mainly to illustrate the fact, how sparingly and imperfectly that noble and precious language was cultivated down to the age of Elizabeth; and of course this circumstance involves the almost complete neglect of it in our universities and academies. Warton himself cites a case in which a scholar travelled from Malmesbury to Canterbury in order to improve a rudimentary acquaintance with Greek which he had gained through a local monastic seminary.

The first man who helped at all largely and sensibly to render Greek a part of the educational system was Lily the grammarian, who spent some years of his life at Rhodes, and introduced a study of the language into the routine of St. Paul's, whence it found its way by degrees to the other great foundations in London and in the provinces.

The biographer of Colet has something to say on this subject:--

"Such was the infelicity of those times, that the Greek tongue was not taught in any of our grammar-schools; nor was there thought to be any great need of it in the two Universities by the generality of scholars. It is worth notice that [John] Standish, who was a bitter enemy to Erasmus, in his declamation against him styles him _Græculus iste_; which was a long time after the phrase for an heretic."

"But," he adds, "Dr. John Fisher ... was of another mind, and very sensible of this imperfection, which made him desirous to learn Greek in his declining years."

The Bishop, however, who through Erasmus was recommended to William Latymer, one of the foremost Philhellenists of the day, could not persuade that scholar to enter on the task, as he considered the prelate too old to acquire the language; and Knight tells us that, in order to escape from the application, he advised Fisher to send for a professor out of Italy.

Englishmen, even at a later period than this, occasionally went to Florence or elsewhere to learn Greek; but Erasmus made himself, with the assistance of Linacre, tolerably proficient in it, on the contrary, during his first visit to England in the time of Henry the Seventh (1497-8), and was sufficiently versed, at all events in the rudiments, to give lessons to others while he remained at Cambridge. Doubtless he did so in aid of his expenses.

"In Cambridge," observes Knight, "Erasmus was the first who taught the Greek grammar. And so very low was the state of learning in that University, that (as he tells a friend) about the year 1485, the beginning of Henry the Seventh's reign, there was nothing taught in that public seminary besides Alexander's _Parva Logicalia_ (as they called them), the old axioms of Aristotle, and the questions of John Scotus."

Erasmus himself was for some time Greek Reader at Cambridge, and was contemporary there with Richard Croke, of King's College, who did valuable service in promoting the cause of classical learning at that University, and published several tracts relating to the Greek literature and tongue, including _Introductiones ad Linguam Græcam_ and _Elementa Grammaticæ Græcæ_--the earliest attempts to place before students in a handy form the alphabet of the subject.

At Oxford it was an Italian, Cornelius Vitellius, who became the first Greek professor, and William Grocyne, who with Latymer and Linacre was the earliest Greek scholar in England, was among his pupils.

It is to be suspected that, while a man of genius like Erasmus could scarcely have failed to make something of whatever he seriously undertook, his conversance with Greek was always comparatively superficial, and it is merely an additional piece of evidence how little the language was cultivated at Cambridge at that epoch, that he was enabled to earn money as a teacher of it.

It was not apparently till 1524 that Greek type was introduced into our printing-offices. Linacre's book _De Emendata Structura Latini Sermonis_, published in that year, is generally received as containing the first specimen found in any production of the English press. The Greek alphabet occurs in the Primer of 1548.

II. Florence, Rome, Padua, and Rhodes were four great centres whither foreigners were then accustomed to resort for the study and mastery of Greek. In the _Life of Dean Colet_ it is shown how he travelled in Italy, and met with two of his countrymen at Florence, Grocyn and Linacre, and with a third at Rome, Lily, afterwards the famous grammarian, who, after learning Greek at Rhodes, had proceeded to Rome to render himself equally adept in Latin, so that, when he finally settled in London, he had served a laborious apprenticeship and taken unusual pains to become an instructor of others.

Colet himself, it is to be noted, displayed in earlier life a bent towards theology and the Fathers, though he had scanty sympathy with the survivals whom he found around him, both at home and abroad, of the monastic schoolmen and expounders of the old divinity.

"He had observed these schoolmen," says his biographer indeed, "to be a heavy set of formal fellows, that might pretend to anything rather than to wit and sense, for to argue so elaborately about the opinions and the very words of other men: to snarl in perpetual objections, and to distinguish and divide into a thousand niceties: this was rather the work of a poor and barren invention than anything else."

Knight preserves a rather diverting anecdote of a preacher who spoke in his sermon before Henry VIII. against the Greek tongue, and of a conference which Henry caused to be arranged after the discourse, at which in his presence the divine and More should take opposite sides, the former attacking, and the latter vindicating, the language. More did his part, but the other fell down on his knees and begged the King's pardon, alleging that what he did was by the impulse of the Spirit. "Not the spirit of Christ," says the King to him, "but the spirit of infatuation." His majesty then asked him whether he had read anything of Erasmus, whom he assailed from the pulpit. He said "No." "Why then," says the King, "you are a very foolish fellow to censure what you never read." "I have read," says he, "something they call _Moria_." "Yes," says Richard Pace, "may it please your highness, such a subject is fit for such a reader."

The end of it was that the preacher declared himself on reflection more reconciled to the Greek, because it was derived from the Hebrew, and that Henry dispensed with his further attendance upon the Court.

The feeling and taste for Greek culture which Lily, Erasmus, and others had introduced and encouraged, were promoted by the exertions of Sir John Cheke and Sir Thomas Smith at Cambridge, and by Dr. Kay or Caius; and a controversy, almost amounting to a quarrel, which Cheke had with Bishop Gardiner on Greek pronunciation, stimulated the movement by attracting public attention to the matter, and bringing into notice many Greek authors whose works had not hitherto been read.

The literary contest between Cheke and Gardiner was printed abroad in 1555, and only eleven years later a paraphrase of the _Phœnissæ_ of Euripides by George Gascoigne and Francis Kinwelmersh was performed at Gray's Inn.

III. The tract published by the learned John Kay in 1574 on the pronunciation of Greek and Latin is rather pertinent to the present movement for varying the old fashion in this respect. Kay instances the cases of substituting _olli_ for _illi_, _queis_ for _quibus_, _mareito_ for _marito_, _maxumè_ for _maximè_; and in Greek words, the ancients, says he, certainly said _Achilles_, _Tydes_, _Theses_, and _Ulisses_, not, as people sometimes now do, _Achillews_, _Tudews_, _Thesews_, and _Ulussews_. The author likewise refers to the employment of the aspirate in orthography, as in _hydropisis_, _thermæ_, _Bathonia_, and _Hybernia_, which used to be read _ydropisis_, _termæ_, _Batonia_, and _Ivernia_. He was clearly no advocate for the latter-day mode in England of hardening the _g_ and the _c_ as in _Regina_ and _Cicero_.

But the fact is that, where there are no positive _data_ for fixing the standard or laying down any general principle, there can never be an end of the conflicting views and theories on this subject, and the best of them amount to little more than guess-work.

The modes of pronouncing both the Greek and Latin languages have always probably varied, as they do yet, in different countries; and the Scots adhere to the Continental fashion as regards, at all events, the latter.

Experience and practical observation seem to shew that every locality has a tendency to adapt its rules for sounding the dead tongues to those in force for sounding its current vocabulary; as a Roumanian lad, for instance, in learning Latin, will instinctively follow his native associations in giving utterance to diphthongs, vowels, and compound words. The Greek language, in respect to this point of view, occupies an anomalous position, because it enjoys a partial survivorship in the Neo-Hellenic dialect; and it has been natural to seek in the method employed by their modern representatives and descendants a key to that employed by the inhabitants of ancient Hellas in pronouncing words and particles, and, in short, to the grammatical laws by which their speech was regulated.

It appears, however, that philologists have been disappointed in the results of this test, as the differences between the two idioms are often so wide and material. Yet, nevertheless, a Greek of the nineteenth century must be allowed to be a rather important witness in taking evidence on such a question, as the whole strength of received tradition and a _primâ facie_ argument are on his side; and when we find that he gives to the long E or ητα the force of A, and to the diphthong οι that of E, we grow somewhat sceptical as to our right to impose on those particles a different function, especially seeing that the Ionic dialect and the metrical arrangement of the _Iliad_ ostensibly support this interchange of phonetic values. I need scarcely advert to the favourite theory that, so far as the Greek long E is concerned, it had its source in the vocal intonation of the sheep, which is, after all, far from an invariable standard.

The Englishman, in dealing with such themes as foreign spelling and pronunciation, treads upon eggs, so to speak, as he lives within the knowledge of the whole world in a glass house of his own.

IV. But scarcely any books in the Greek character were printed in England until Edward Grant, head-master of Westminster School, brought out his _Græcæ Linguæ Spicilegium_, or Greek Delectus, in 1575. It saw only a single edition, and is still a common book, not having been apparently successful; and the next attempt of the kind did not even appeal to the English student, though the work of a native of North Britain; for Alexander Scot published his _Universa Grammatica Græca_ at Lyons in a shape calculated to invite a yet more limited circulation than the essay of Grant.

Perhaps one of the earliest English publications relative to the study of Greek poetry was the _Progymnasma Scholasticum_ of John Stockwood, published in 1596. Stockwood had been master of Tonbridge School, a foundation established by the Skinners' Company, and while he was there brought out one or two professional works. This was avowedly taken from the _Anthology_ of Stephanus, and presents a Greek-Latin interlinear text.

Again, in 1631, William Burton, the Leicestershire historian, and a schoolmaster by profession, delivered at Gloucester Hall, Oxford, an oration on the origin and progress of Greek, which many years later, when he had charge of the school at Kingston-on-Thames, was edited by Gerard Langbaine. It was a scholarly thesis, and of no educational significance, except that it exhibited the survival of some languid interest in the topic at the University.

Very few Greek authors found early translators here beyond the selections prepared for schools; but it is remarkable that the example in this way was set by a citizen of London, and a member of the Goldsmiths' Company, Thomas Niccols, who in 1550, at the instance of Sir John Cheke, undertook to put into English the History of Thucydides. This was almost a century before the version by Hobbes of Malmesbury.

The partial translation of the _Iliad_ by Arthur Hall of Grantham, 1581, was taken from the French. But Chapman accomplished the feat of rendering the whole of Homer, as well as the _Georgics_ of Hesiod and the Neo-Greek _Hero and Leander_. At a later date, Thomas Grantham, a schoolmaster in Lothbury, who seems to have been in a state of perpetual warfare with his critics as to the merits of his fashion of teaching, brought out at his own expense, and possibly for the use of his own pupils, the first, second, and third books of the _Iliad_.

The grand work of Herodotus was approached in 1584 by an anonymous writer, who completed only _Clio_ and _Euterpe_.

But these intermittent and isolated cases shew how languid the feeling for Hellenic literature and history long remained in England; nor, when we regard the unsatisfactory character of the translations from the Greek, with rare exceptions, down to the present day, is it hard to see that the want was at least as largely due to incapacity on the part of scholars as to indifference on that of the public.

Many of the schools employed a small elementary selection from the Greek writers, of which a fifth edition was printed in 1771.

When Charles Lamb was at the Blue Coat School (1782-9), the Greek authors read there appear to have been Lucian and Xenophon, the former in a Selection from the _Dialogues_. The present writer, who was at Merchant Taylors' School from 1842 to 1850, used Xenophon, Homer, Euripides, Sophocles, and some volume of _Analecta_. When the school was founded in 1561, it was difficult to find a boy to read Greek; but in the following century it enters rather prominently into the prospectus on Examination-day.

All the great seminaries differ in their lists; the choice depends on the personal taste of the masters from time to time; and there is a certain virtue in traditional names.

But the truth is that in England, after all, although this language has continued to be taught in all schools of any standing or pretension, the critical study and genuine appreciation of it have always been confined to a narrow circle of scholars; and nowadays there is a growing tendency to prefer the living languages, as they are called, to the dead.


Ancient French school-books for English learners--Their historical and philological interest--Succession of writers and teachers--Hollyband, Florio, Delamothe, and others--Sketches of their work--Their imperfect acquaintance with our language--Other publications of an educational cast.

I. Turning to the French language, there is a very singular relic of early times in the shape of an Anglo-Gallic Vocabulary of the end of the fifteenth century, in which the spelling of both languages is strikingly archaic:--

"Here is a good boke to lerne to speke french. Vecy ung bon lievre a apprendre parler fraunchoys. In the name of the fader of the sonne. En nom du pere et du fils. And of the holy goost I will begynne. Et du saint esprit ie veuel cōmenchier. To lerne to speke frenche. A apprendre a parler franchoys."

After this exordium follow the numbers, the names of precious stones, articles of merchandise, fruits, wines, &c. _Wine of rochell_ is rendered _vin de rosele_. What we know as _Beaune_ is called _byane_ in French and _beaune_ in English. On the fourth page, among "Other maner of speche in frenche," occur:--

"Sir god giue you good day. Sire dieu vous doint bon iour. Sir god giue you good euyn. Sire dieu vous doint bon vespere. Holde sir here it is. Tenez sire le veez ey."

The _z_ in _tenez_ seems to have been specially cut, for it is of a different font or case, and, curiously enough, in the next sentence it is wrongly inserted in _ditez_ (for _dites_). The question is asked how much one man owes another, and the reply is _ten shillings_, for which the French equivalent is taken to be _dix soulz_. But there were no shillings in England at that time; perhaps the writer was thinking of the skilling, with which our coin has no more than a nominal affinity.

The _Eclaircissement de la langue Françoise_, by John Palsgrave, 1530, and the _Introductory to learn, pronounce, and speak the French tongue_, by Giles Du Wes or Dewes, written some years later for the use of the Princess Mary in the same way as Linacre's _Latin Grammar_ had been, are sufficiently familiar from their reproduction in modern times under the auspices of the French Government. Dewes was not improbably related to a person of the same name who acted as preceptor to the son of Cromwell, Earl of Essex. Both he and Palsgrave were professional teachers; but Palsgrave was a Londoner, who had completed his studies in the Parisian Gymnasium; and he at all events was a Latin, no less than a French scholar. In the dedication of his English version of the _Comedy of Acolastus_ to Henry VIII. in 1540, he speaks at some length, and in laudatory terms, of the official Primer issued in that year, and he also conveys to us the notion of being then advanced in life.

Nearly, if not quite, contemporary with him and Dewes was Pierre du Ploiche, who in the time of Henry published a very curious little volume of more general scope, called _A Treatise in English and French right necessary and profitable for all young children_. Du Ploiche, when this work appeared, was residing in Trinity Lane, at the sign of the Rose. He gives us in parallel columns, the English on the left hand, and the French equivalent on the right, the _Catechism_, the _Litany and Suffrages_, and a series of _Prayers_. These occupy three sections; the fourth, fifth, and sixth sections are devoted to secular and familiar topics: _For to speake at the table_, _for to aske the way_, and _for to bie and sell_; and the concluding portion embraces the A. B. C. and Grammar.

The English is pretty much on a par with that found in educational treatises produced by foreigners, and the French itself is decidedly of an archaic cast, though, doubtless, such as was generally recognised and understood in the sixteenth century. I shall pass over the religious divisions, and transcribe a few specimens from the three groups of dialogue on social or personal subjects.

The third chapter, where the scene at a meal is depicted, affords, of course, some interesting suggestions and illustrations, yet little that is very new, except that we seem to get a glimpse of the practice, borrowed from monastic life, of some one reading aloud while the rest were at their repast. For one says: "Reade Maynerd, _Lisez Maynart_," to which the other rejoins: "Where shall I reade?" and the first answers: "There where your fellow lefte yesterday," so that it was apparently the custom to take turns. We perceive, too, that the dinner was both ushered in and wound up with very elaborate graces. In this dialogue, as well as in the next about asking the way, there is mention of almost every description of utensil, but no reference to the fork, which was not yet in general use.

There is a delicate refinement of phraseology here and there, as where "You ly" is rendered "Vous espargnez la verité;" and Du Ploiche does not fail to advertise himself and his address, for when one of the interlocutors demands: "Where go you to schole?" the other is made to reply: "In trinytie lane at the signe of the Rose."

The annexed extract from the same chapter may assist in fixing the date of the publication to 1544:--

"And you sir, from whence "_Et vous seigneur, d'ou venez com you? vous?_

I come from Bulloigne. _Ie viens de Boulongne._

From Englande, from Germany. _D'Engleterre, d'Allemaigne._

What newes? _Quelle nouuelles?_

I know none but good. _Ie ne sçay rien que bien._

I harde say _i'ay ouy dire_

That the Englishe men _que les anglois_

haue kylled many frenche men. _ont occis beaucoup de François._

And where? _Et ou?_

Before Bulloigne. _Deuant Boulongne._

When came the newes? _Quant vinrent tez nouuelle?_

This morninge by a post." _A ce matin par vng poste._"

The portion which yields this matter comprises all the incidents of a long journey, the arrival at the inn, the call for refreshment, the baiting and putting up of the horse, the retirement to rest, and the breakfast before departure in the morning.

The sixth section, on buying and selling, exhibits no remarkable examples, or rather nothing that I can, with so large a choice, afford to cite, and the grammatical part follows the usual lines. The present treatise came to a new edition in 1578, but it does not seem to have been very successful.

In point of fact, the taste and demand for such a class of hand-books or primers had not fully set in. With the reign of Elizabeth the habit of foreign travel and the consequent value of a conversance with languages, especially French and Italian, imparted the first marked stimulus and development to this class of literary enterprise.

II. Claude Desainliens, who transformed himself into _Claudius Holy-Band_ or _Hollyband_, and who seems in his earlier days to have had quarters over or adjoining the sign of the Lucrece in St. Paul's Churchyard, became a voluminous producer of the dictionaries, grammars, and phrase-books so popular in early times, and included in his range the Italian as well as the French series. Long after his death his works continued to be in demand, and were edited with improvements by others. Desainliens began, so far as I know, with his _French Littleton_ in 1566, and his French Dictionary was not printed till 1593. In 1581 he had moved from the Lucrece to the Golden Ball, just by.

Perhaps of all his multifarious performances his _French_ and _Italian Schoolmasters_ were the two which met with the greatest favour; and the longer career of the former may perhaps be ascribed to the more general cultivation of the French language in England. The _Italian Schoolmaster_ originally appeared in 1575 as an annex to a version of the story of _Arnalte and Lucenda_; but in the subsequent impressions of 1597 and 1608 the philological portion occupies the place of honour, and the story is made to follow. In the former the rules for pronunciation and such matter as fell within his knowledge as an Italian may be passed as representing what was the correct practice and view at the period; it is with the English illustrations and equivalents that one is apt to be surprised and amused; and one, moreover, figures the occasional bewilderment even of an English pupil at the strange unidiomatic forms which Desainliens has adopted. In other words, instead of translating English into Italian, he has translated Italian into broken English; as, for instance, where in a dialogue a man is inquiring the way to London, we find at the conclusion such pure _Italicisms_ as _Have me recommended_: _I am yours_: _Remaine with God_. Then, again, terms are misapplied, of course, as thus: "Tell me deere fellowe, is it yet farre to the citie?" And when he has entered his inn, he calls to the host: "Bring me for to wash my hands and face." At the same time the pages of this and similar volumes abound with fruitful illustrations of all kinds, which we should have been very sorry indeed to lose; and it is to be recollected that the English gloss was secondary, and that the bizarre style and texture of this class of book arose from the aim at enabling the learner to be prepared for all sorts of occasions and every variety of conversational topic. The author consequently leads him through the different occupations and incidents of life, and imagines successive interviews and dialogues with such persons as he would be likely to encounter. In the parley with a farrier, it comes out that the charge for shoeing a horse was fivepence a foot; and in the section _Per maritarsi = To be married_, Hollyband starts by rendering _O bella giovane_ "Ho fair maiden." He urges her to be prompt in her decision by citing the proverb, "Ladie, whilest the iron is hote, it must be wrought."

Much of the matter introduced by Desainliens is highly curious and even important. I shall transcribe a section or two, as they are brief, for the sake of the English suggestions:--

"_To sing and daunce._

"O fellowes, I wish that wee shoulde sing a song, and I will take the lute. Let vs sing and daunce, when you will. Mystres, will it please you to daunce a galliard with me? pray you therefore. I cannot daunce after the Italian fashion. We shall daunce after the high Dutch. Go to, play a galliard vpon the violl. I would rather vpon the virginals....

_Of the Booke binder._

Shew me an Italian, and English bookes and of the best print. I have none bound at this present. Bind me this with silke and claspes.... Reach me royall paper to write. Neede you any ynke and bombash? No, but wast paper, & of that which wee call drinking paper....

_Of the Shoemaker._

I would you shoulde make mee a paire of bootes, a ierkin, and a paire of shoes, pantofles, mules, and buskins. We will make thē sir, & of good leather. See this faire shooing. Put on those pompes...."

After all, possibly, such publications as that before me are chiefly valuable for a purpose for which they were not designed--for the bounteous light which they shed on our old English customs and notions; and I do not think that they have been hitherto fully brought into employment. It is obviously impossible for me, however, in the present case to remedy this shortcoming, more particularly as the quotations suffer by curtailment or paraphrase.

The _Arnalte and Lucenda_ takes up the major part of the volume, and must be said to be freer from grammatical inaccuracies than that division of the book devoted to grammar. Nor could a man live in London without catching some of the colloquialisms current among its residents. In his _Italian Phrases_ we meet on the English side of the page with: "Hee looketh rather like a cutter or fencer then," and "He goeth accompanied with Roisters and cutters."

The French Dictionary of Desainliens was entirely superseded by that of Randle Cotgrave in 1611. The latter spared no pains to make his book a really valuable performance; he invited help from others, and modelled his labours on a fairly intelligible plan, and it remains to this day in the enlarged edition by Howell a standard and indispensable work of reference. It was the only one available for the school-boy and student for a considerable length of time.

III. Delamothe and Erondelle were contemporary with Desainliens, and may have been equally eminent and successful as teachers; but they did not display the same degree of literary activity. The former indeed produced nothing but a _French Alphabet_ (1595). Pierre Erondelle was a native of Normandy; and besides new and improved editions of his predecessor Desainliens, he brought out in 1605 a quaint book of lessons for the acquisition of French, which he called _The French Garden for English Ladies and Gentlemen to walk in; Or A Summer day's Labour_. The volume mainly consists of thirteen dialogues in French and English, embracing the various occupations of the day, from the first rising in the morning till bedtime. Some of the conversations are remarkable for their archaic _naiveté_ so far as English ideas of decorum in speech are concerned; but they are nothing more than the plainness of phrase which was once recognised both here and on the Continent, and the banishment of which has, at all events, not of itself added to our morality. Sterne, in his _Sentimental Journey_, signalises as a French trait the incident of the lady of quality with whom he drove in her carriage; but he must have been aware that the tone in the same circles at home was equally pronounced; and editors of the earlier Georgian literature have to exercise a pruning hand in dealing with MSS. to be presented now-a-days to public view.

Another of these foreign professors was Jacques Bellot, who published several educational works for the instruction of the English in the French grammar and language. Among these _Le Jardin de Vertu et Bonnes Moeurs_, 1581, where the English and French are given, as usual, in parallel columns, is the most remarkable. There is a Table of _Errata_ for both languages; but that for the English might, from a native point of view, be indefinitely extended, as Bellot proves himself as incapable of comprehending our idiom as the rest of his countrymen. He renders "La memoire du prodigue est nulle" by "Of the prodigall ther is no memory," and "La seulle vertu est la vraye noblesse" by "The only vertue, is the true nobilitie."

The writer trips, as may be conjectured, just in those nice points in which even an Englishman is not always at home.

New and improved systems were continually submitted to the public, or rather, in the language of those days, to the Nobility and Gentry. In 1634, the Grammar of Charles Maupas of Blois, an esteemed and experienced teacher, who during a career of thirty years numbered among his pupils many of the young men of family in Holland as well as in England, was adapted by William Aufield for the use of his countrymen. The original is still regarded as a standard work, though discarded by the schools. Both the French and English are of the antique cast, of course, and many of the examples and much of the phraseology are obsolete; but the book was written for Frenchmen and translated for Englishmen, to both of whom the speech of these days would have seemed at least equally strange, and proved not less embarrassing.

The pages of Maupas, as he is presented to us in his English dress, acquire an oddity and an almost humorous side, which are absent from the French text itself; as, for instance:--

"Of making Stop.

"Holà, ho there, prou well, well, so so; assez enough, enough; demeure, arreste, stay, stay, budge not."

"Of feeling Pain.

"Aou, haou, aouf, ah, of, alas. The same words will serve in English."

"Of Joy.

"Gay, deliait, alaigrement, heighday, as a man woud wish, merrily then."

Claudius Mauger and Paul Festeau were two other professors at a somewhat later date, who endeavoured to secure patronage for their methods and books by throwing special temptations in the way of customers. The former, who seems to have been resident in London, introduced into his pages as an attractive novelty a series of Dialogues illustrative of English exploits by land and sea, as well as of contemporary French history, while Festeau baited his hook with the two scarcely reconcilable assurances that his plan was the exactest possible for attaining the purity and eloquence of the French tongue, as it was spoken about 1660 in the Court of France, and that Blois, his native place, was the city "where the true tone of the French tongue was found by the unanimous consent of all Frenchmen."


Foreigners' English.

I. A good deal has been incidentally heard of the habitual infelicity of the natives of other European countries where it has been a question of the treatment of our language either colloquially or with a literary object. This was a source of difficulty which must have been generally appreciated; but no one appears to have essayed to come to the succour of the distressed, till in 1578 Jacques Bellot, already mentioned, and the author of a French Grammar printed in 1578, announced in 1580 _The English Schoolmaster, for teaching strangers to pronounce English_. That such a book was published is probable enough, but it is not at present known; and we have meanwhile to content ourselves with speculating what kind of affair such an undertaking could have been, where the writer was a foreign teacher so ignorant of our language! But it was not amiss for Bellot to try his hand in the absence of any other adventurer; nor was it till after the Restoration that a second experiment was made in the same direction by James Howell, the tolerably celebrated author of the _Familiar Letters_, who brought out in 1662 _A New English Grammar, prescribing as certain rules as the language will bear, for foreigners to learn English_. This was nearly a century after Bellot; and Howell was both a linguist and a scholar.

Like many other laudable endeavours, however, the proffered help was not much appreciated; and although the Germans, Dutch, and Russians have within the last quarter of a century made remarkable progress in the study of English, the French and other Continental nations remain unable or indisposed to conquer their ancient prejudices. Doubtless, the closer affinity between the languages of Germany and the Low Countries and our own considerably facilitated the mastery of English by the Teutonic community; and it was principally in Flanders that the earliest attention was paid to those highly valuable polyglot hand-books for travellers and students, into which the English, as a rule, was admitted more on account, probably, of its service to the foreign visitor in England than for the sake of the Englishman abroad, as had been the case with certain early vocabularies and primers elsewhere noticed.

In the old plays the foreigner is invariably introduced making, consciously or otherwise, the most alarming havoc in our vocabulary and grammar; but the dramatist seems, as a rule, to have drawn a good deal on his own fancy instead of borrowing from life; and such is the case, it must be said, even with Shakespear's _Dr. Caius_, who speaks broken English, but hardly a Frenchman's broken English. The _Duke de Jarmany_ of the same writer would probably have had the same nondescript gibberish put into his mouth had he been brought on the stage; this sort of _dramatis persona_ was among the comic effects.

The Mrs. Plawnish of a modern novelist thought that bad English might be good French; but the jargon of Caius is _sui generis_; he "hacks our English." as mine host puts it, but not naturally, although Shakespear must have had the opportunity of studying such a character from the original. But he even confers on the French doctor in the _Merry Wives_ the very name of an actual English one, who was living in his boyhood, and who was not merely a contributor to literature, but a writer on philological subjects; so that those who had been acquainted with the real Caius were apt to feel some mystification at his dramatic presentment, claiming a nationality which did not belong to him, and murdering a language which was his own.

As regards the familiarity of the French and Germans with our idiom, the position is changed; for while that of the former remains nearly stationary, that of Germany has grown more accurate and more general.

II. But the conversance with our language in former times, even among those who devoted their attention to philology and instruction, was excessively scanty and inexact. If no more than a bare quotation, example, or equivalent in English is given, the solecisms are sometimes ludicrous in the extreme; and this branch of the subject is sufficiently interesting and novel to induce me, before I conclude my inquiry, to shew somewhat farther than I have done in the account of the foreign professors of languages settled in London during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the ignorance of English exhibited by two distinct classes of writers, namely, by foreigners occupying among us of old the position of tutors or teachers, and by the authors of publications designed for employment by ourselves visiting the Continent, or by our neighbours coming hither.

The notions entertained by educated professional Frenchmen, and even by Hollanders and Germans, about our grammar and idiom were from the outset down nearly to the present century of the vaguest and most puerile character. Perhaps one of the most edifying monuments of this inveterate repugnance to the acquisition of so much as the alphabet of our poor tongue is to be found in a volume printed at Nürnberg so late as 1744 under the title _Representation of the High-landers who arrived at the Camp of the Confederated Army_, 1743, where beneath the first of a series of plates occurs this elucidation: "The Highlanders in their accostumes clothes and downwards hanging cloak." The explanatory description of the next engraving is "A High-lander who puts on his cloak about his schoulders, when weather is sed to rain." These solecisms of course arose from the incompetence of the foreign artist or publisher, or both; but even where an ignorant typographer in a Continental town was employed to set up an English book by the author himself, the liability to blunders was very great, and we are not to be surprised at slips of the press in such a work as Bishop Hooper's _Declaration of the Commandments_, printed at Zurich in 1549, when at the end the writer apprises us that "the setters of the print understand not one word of our speech!"

The most diverting illustrations of the jargon which was intended to pass for good conversational English abound in the pocket-guides and dictionaries, of which some went through several editions, and were evidently in great request by the sections of society to which they appealed. One of them is an octoglot vocabulary, 1548, and a second a series of Colloquies in six languages, accompanied by a dictionary, 1576. The English examples in the latter are highly curious, as affording an insight into our language as it was spoken at that date by foreign students and visitors; and, in point of fact, it is hard to choose between the two, which is the more remarkable. Let us take the Preface to the earlier publication from an impression of 1631 before me:--


"Beloved Reader this boocke is so need full and profitable / and the vsance of the same so necessarie / that his goodnes euen of learned men / is not fullie to be praised for ther is noman in France / nor in thes Nederland / nor in Spayne / or in Italie handling in these Netherlandes which hat not neede of the eight speaches that here in are writen and declared: Fer whether thad any man doo marchandise / or that hee do handle in the Court / or that hee fo lowe the warres or that hee be a trauailling man / hy should neede to haue an interpretour / for som of theese eight speaches. The which wee considering have at our great cost and to your great profite / brought the same speaches here in suchwise to gether / and set them in order / so that you fromyence fouath shall not neede eny interpretour / but shalbe able to speake them your self / ...."

An extract from one of the interlocutions must suffice:--

"_D._ Peeter / is that your sone?

_P._ Yea it is my sonne.

_D._ it is a goodlie childe. God let hun al wayes prosper in virtue.

_P._ I thancke you coosen.

_D._ Doth he not go to the scole?

_P._ Yes / hee learneth to speake French.

_D._ Doth hee? it is very well done. John / can you well speake French?

_J._ Not very well coosen, but I learne.

_D._ Wher go you too schoole?

_J._ In the Lumbeardes streat.

_D._ Have you gon long too schoole?

_J._ About half a yeare."

So the dialogue goes on, and there is a series of them.

III. A second exemplification of the superlative obstacles which persons born out of England have at all periods encountered in the endeavour to comprehend on their own part, and render intelligible to others, our insular speech, is taken from the Italian Grammar of Henry Pleunus, printed at Leghorn at the end of the seventeenth century.

Now, here, in lieu of the alleged width of acceptability, which meets the eye in the traveller's pocket-dictionary just described, we get a positive assurance that the author was a master of the English tongue; and it may be predicated of him that, compared with the majority of foreigners, he exhibits a proficiency very considerably above the average, though we honestly believe it to be grossly improbable that "every one speaks English at Legorne," as he says in one of the Anglo-Italian dialogues. There can be no desire to be hypercritical in judging such a production, or to lay stress on occasional slips of spelling and prosody; but the English of Pleunus very often strikes one--nor is it surprising that it should be so--as Italian literally rendered. He probably never attained an idiomatic phraseology; and one would have said less about it, had it not been for that sort of professorial assumption on the title-page.

Going back in order of time, I shall furnish some specimens of the tetraglot _History of Aurelio and of Isabel Daughter to the King of Scotland_, translated from the Spanish, and printed in 1556 at Antwerp. I propose to quote a passage where two knights in love with Isabel propose to cast lots for her:--"I fynde none occasion that is so iuste, that by the same lof you, or you of me maye complayne vs: inasmuch that euery one of vs by him selfe is ynoughe more bounde vnto the loue, that he beareth to Isabell, then vnto any other bounde of frendshippe. And therfore I see not, that I for respecte of you, nor you also for mine to be ought to withdrawe from the high enterprise alreadie by vs begonne. Nor in likewise might be called a vertuouse worke, that we both together in one place sould displane the louingly sailes [_voilles amoureuses_ in the French column], for that shoulde be to defile, that so great betwene vs and more, then of brother conioyned frendship."

Here it is not so conspicuously the orthography that is at fault, as the composition and syntax. But up and down this little book, too, there are some drolleries of spelling. The translator from the Spanish of Juan de Flores, whoever he was (a Frenchman probably), understood French and Italian; but surely his conversance with the remaining tongue was on a par with that of the majority of his Continental fellow-dwellers then, before, and since; and doubtless his printer has not failed to contribute to the barbarous unintelligibility of the English text. This is the book to which Collins the poet mistakenly informed Warton that Shakespear had resorted for the story of the _Tempest_.

But a far stranger monument of orthographical and grammatical heresies exists in _The historijke Pvrtreatvres of the woll[4] Bible_, printed at Lyons in 1553. It is a series of woodcuts, with a quatrain in English beneath each picture descriptive of its meaning, and is introduced by an elaborate epistle by Peter Derendel and an Address from the printer to the reader. Both, however, probably proceeded from the pen of Derendel, who was doubtless connected with Pierre Erondelle, a well-known preceptor in London at a somewhat later date.

The verses which occur throughout the volume are literal translations, presumably by Erondelle, from the French, and are singular enough, and might have tempted quotation; but, eccentric as they are, they are completely thrown into the background by the _prolegomena_, and more especially by the preface purporting to come from the printer of the work, which is the common set of blocks relating to Biblical subjects, made in the present case to accompany an English letterpress.

I will transcribe only the commencement of the preface, whoseever it may be:--"The affection mine all waies towarde the hartlie ernest, louing reader, being cōtinuallie commaunded of the dutie of mi profession, mai not but dailie go about to satisfie the in this, withe thow desirest and lookest for in mi vacation, the withe, to mai please the, I wolde it were to mi minde so free and licentiouse streched at large, as it is be the mishappe of the time restrained."

The discovery of Moses by Pharaoh's daughter is thus poetically set forth:--

"The kinges daughter fonde him in great pitie The russhes amonge, withe to him fauourable, As god did please, him to saue thought worthie, His owne mother giuing him for noorce able."

Once more, the fall of Abimelech in _Judges_ ix. is portrayed after the ensuing fashion:--

"Hauing killed his bretherne on a stone, Abimelech was forced ielde the ghoast: For besieging with for warre Thebes, anon A strocke he had, of a woman with lost."

The spelling and the syntax in these examples are equally outrageous; yet they are possibly not more so than might be expected from persons unversed in the intricacies and anomalies of our language. But the point is, that the undertaking was executed for the special behoof, not alone of English residents abroad, but also of English students of sacred history at home; for there was nothing of the class at that time in our literature or our art. It is almost incomprehensible on what ground English was selected, as French would have been as serviceable to the educated reader here, while the Anglo-Gallic _patois_ must have proved a puzzle to all alike.

The early English educational books produced by foreign printers were not quite invariably so wide of the mark in an idiomatic respect. Some of them were doubtless read in proof by the English author or editor; and such may have been the case with a version of the _Short Catechisme_ of Cardinal Bellarmine published in 1614 at Augsburgh, where the slips do not exceed an ordinary Table of Errata.

Now and then, too, the writer himself was alone responsible for the eccentricities which presented themselves in his book, as where Stanyhurst, in his version of the _Æneid_, published at Leyden in 1582, renders the opening lines of Book the Second thus:--

"With tentive list'ning each wight was setled in harckning; Then father Æneas chronicled from loftie bed hautie. You me bid, O Princesse, too scarrifie a festered old soare, How that the Troians wear prest by Grecian armie."

Here it was the idiosyncrasy of the Briton which reduced a translation to a burlesque, and disregarded the canons of his own language, as well as taste and propriety in diction. For the entire work is cast in a similar mould, and is heterodox in almost every particular; some passages are too grossly absurd even for an Irishman who had spent most of his life in Belgium or Holland.


Origin and spirit of Phonography--William Bullokar the earliest regular advocate of it--Charles Butler--Dr. Jones and his theory examined.

I. The phonetic system of orthography, which may be regarded as empirical and fallacious, only forms part of such an inquiry as the present by reason of the presence in our earlier literature of a few books which were apparently designed, more or less, for educational purposes.

The fundamental theory of the promoters of this principle, both in former times and in our own, seems to have been that the sound should govern the written character, and that all laws of philology and grammar should defer to popular pronunciation. It is, of course, begging the question, in the first place; and one of the warmest enthusiasts on the subject admits that the very pronunciation, which is the product of sound, and on which he relies, differs in different localities.

The writers on behalf of phonetics possessed, no doubt, their own honest convictions; but they have at no period succeeded in carrying with them any appreciable number of disciples. Between 1580 and 1634, William Bullokar and Charles Butler endeavoured at various dates to establish their peculiar creed; but it never gained footing or currency, and its influence has left no trace on our language, except in the literary or calligraphic essays of persons unable to read and write, or in one or two isolated cases where the new heresy for the moment infected a man like Churchyard, the old soldier-poet, for on no other hypothesis can we explain the uncouth spelling of his little poem on the Irish Rebellion of 1598, which is an orthographical abortion, out of harmony with the usual style of the author, and surpassing in foolishness the wildest suggestions of the professed adherents and supporters of the doctrine.

Bullokar published his large Grammar in 1580, and his Brief one in 1586; and he also put forth in 1585 a version of Æsop's Fables, the title of which is a curiosity:--"Æsopz Fablz in Tru Ortography with Grammar-Notz. Her-vntoo ar also iooined the Short Sentencz of the Wyz Cato: both of which Autorz are translated out-of Latin intoo English by William Bullokar.

Gev' God the praiz That teacheth all waiz. When Truth trieth, Erroor flieth."

Butler became a convert in later life to the views previously entertained and promulgated by Bullokar, bringing out a third edition of his _History of Bees_ in 1634, adapted to the new standard; and in his _English Grammar_, published a twelvemonth before, he enunciated the same orthographical dogmas. He was of Magdalen College, Oxford, and prepared, as early as 1600, a Latin text-book on Rhetoric for the use of his College. This was more popular and successful than his phonetic excursus, and is quoted even still now and again, because it contains a slight allusion to Shakespear.

But perhaps the most strenuous and elaborate attempt to reform us in this particular direction was made by Dr. Jones, who drew up a _Practical Phonography_, "Or the New Art of Rightly Spelling and Writing Words by the Sound thereof," for the use of the Duke of Gloucester, son of Queen Anne, somewhere before 1701, in which year he communicated the fruit of his researches to the public. His description of the art as a new one must be interpreted by his ignorance of the previous labours of Bullokar and Butler, and as a proof that the proposal had met with no response; and the fact that the Doctor's own volume is almost unknown may be capable of a similar explanation.

I have no means of judging what kind of reception was accorded to Dr. Jones at the time; but the tone of that gentleman's Preface was certainly not propitiatory or diffident; for he freely speaks of the miserable ignorance of the world and of his own condescension to the undertaking, in order to remove or enlighten it; and yet, from another point of view, he addressed himself to the task of instituting a grammatical code based on that very ignorance of which he complains. For you have not to travel beyond the introductory remarks to stumble on the following directions for the pronunciation and _ergo_ the spelling of half-a-dozen familiar words and proper names:--_Aron_, _baut_ (bought), _Mair_, _Dixnary_, _pais_ (pays), and _Wooster_; and at the same time on the very threshold of his text he allows "that English Speech is the Art of signifying the Mind by human Voice, as it is commonly used in England, (particularly in London, the Universities, or at Court)."

Dr. Jones was a learned and well read medical man, and the monument of his erudition and scholarship lies before me in the shape of this portentous volume of 144 pages, which, if the young Duke had not died from another cause, might have proved fatal to him and to his royal mother's hopes of a successor in the Stuart line.

That our national pronunciation is slovenly and against philological laws, nobody will probably deny; but it would not be an improvement or a gain to corrupt our written language by levelling it down to our spoken one.


Abacus, 209-15.

A. B. C., 88, 209-15, 234-7.

Abingdon School, 132, 183.

Absence from school severely treated, 108-9.

Academies, private, 143-4, 170-4, 178-83.

Accomplishments taught at the _Musæum Minervæ_, 170-4.

---- at a private academy in 1676, 178-9.

_Acolastus_, 127, 257.

Addison's _Letter from Italy_, 203.

Æsop, 48, 99, 139, 141, 287.

Ainsworth, Robert, 229-30.

Aldus, 76.

Ale, 140.

Alexander de Villâ Dei, 45-6, 243-4.

Alfric, Archbishop, his _Colloquy_, 30.

Allibone, John, 12.

Alphabet, Jonson's remarks on our, 234-6.

_Alphabetum Latino-Anglicum_, 1543, 124.

America, 33-4.

American Plantations, 17, 84.

Amwell, 51-3, 200.

Andreas, Bernardus, 68, 102.

Andrew of Wyntown, 184.

Anglo-Gallic dictionary, 35.

---- _vocabulary_, 255.

Anglo-Latin literature, 72.

Anniquil, John, schoolmaster and grammarian, 11, 51-3, 91.

_Apollo Shroving_, 1627, 144.

Apothecaries, early, ignorance of, 105.

Appleby, 107.

Appositions, 138.

Aristotle, 244.

Arithmetic, 163-4.

Arthur, Prince, son of Henry VII., 68, 102.

Arthusius, Gotardus, 155.

Ascensius, Jod. Badius, 78-80.

Ascham, Roger, 12, 19, 196, 220-3.

_As in præsenti_, 216.

Astrology, 157-8.

Astronomy, judicial, 133, 157.

Aufield, W., 268-9.

_Aurelio and Isabel, History of_, 1556, 279-81.

_Aviarium_, 227-8.

Aylesbury, 160.

Bacon, Francis, 177.

Baker, Humphrey, 163-4.

Bailey, Old, 165.

Balbus, Johannes, 50, 225.

Bale, Bishop, 98.

Bales, Peter, 165.

Barchby, John, 73.

Barclay, Alexander, 12.

Beaune, 256.

Bebelius of Basle, 81.

Beer, 140.

Bellarmine's (Cardinal) _Catechism_, 284.

Bellomayus, Johannes, 73.

Bellot, Jacques, 267-8, 271-2.

_Bellum Grammaticale_, 82.

Berkshire, 160.

Bethnal Green, 133, 170-1.

Bible, the, in schools, 205-8.

_Black Eagle_ in St. Paul's Churchyard, 115.

Blue Coat School, 253.

Board Schools, wise policy of the, 207.

Bodley, Sir Thomas, 10-11.

Bodmin, 161.

Bookbinders, 114-15, 264.

Borde, Andrew, 210-11.

Boulogne, 260.

Bow Lane, 156.

Boy-bishop at St. Paul's, 109.

Bracebridge, Thomas, 180.

Brackley, Waynflete's school at, 11.

Bread, manchet, 140.

Bright, Timothy, 177.

Brightland, John, 131.

Browne, Alexander, 175.

Buchanan, George, 117, 196.

Buckinghamshire, 160.

Bullokar, William, 286-7.

Burles, Edward, 131.

Burney, Charles, 23.

Busby, Dr., 18, 21-3.

Buskins, 265.

Butler, Charles, 286-7.

Butter, sweet, in 1652, 140.

Caius, or Kay, John, 247-8, 273-4.

Calligraphy, 165, 175-6.

Cambridge, 243-4.

Canterbury, 241.

Carmichael, James, 187.

Carving, 171.

Cassilis, Gilbert, Earl of, 117-18.

Catechism, the, 207-8, 216.

Cathedral schools, 7-9, 113.

Catherine of Aragon, 118.

Cato, Dionysius, 98, 287.

Caxton, W., his prose _Æneid_, 95-6.

Cecil, W., Lord Burleigh, 19, 220.

Chancellor of St. Paul's, 113.

Chapman, George, 252.

Charactery, 177.

Charles II. and Dr. Busby, 21.

Charterhouse, 76.

Chaucer, 223.

Cheke, Sir John, 82, 221, 247-8.

Chichester, 106.

Childermass, 109.

Christ's Hospital, 126, 135-6, 253-4.

Christ-cross-row, 210-11.

Church, salutary influence of the early, 5 _et seq._

Churchyard, Thomas, 286.

Cicero, 18, 94, 96 _et seq._, 110, 139, 141-2.

Ciceronian Academy, 219.

Cirencester, 108.

City of London School, 135, 204.

Civil War in Great Britain, influence of the, 190, 200.

Classic authors read in England in 1520, 88.

---- in 1563, 221.

---- used at St. Paul's, 110.

---- at Merchant Taylors', &c., 251, 253-4.

---- at a provincial school in 1788, 181.

---- by ladies, 199, 203.

---- attempt to supersede, in 1582, 231-2.

Clerical control over education, 3, 5-7, 190-2, 195-208.

Cocker, Edward, 175-6.

Coleridge, S. T., 136.

Colet, Dean, 8, 103, 108-14, 120-2.

Collation at Merchant Taylors' on Probation Day, 140.

College education in Scotland, former cost of, 189.

Collins, W., 281.

Collins's _Oriental Eclogues_, 203.

Columbus, C., 33.

Comparative study of Latin and English, 72.

Conventual schools, 6-7.

Cooper's _Thesaurus_, 226, 228-9.

Corderius, M., 139.

Cornwall, 161.

Corporal punishment in schools, 18-26, 30.

---- petitions to Parliament against it, 25.

Coster, Laurence, 54.

Cox, Leonard, 123.

Croft, Richard, 194.

Croke, Richard, 244.

Cromwell, Oliver, 191-2.

---- Thomas, Earl of Essex, 227, 257.

Dame-schools, 196-7, 202, 206.

Dancing, 171, 178.

Davies's Welsh Grammar, 233.

Decalogue, 120-1.

_De Conscribendis Epistolis_, by Erasmus, 103-4.

---- an anecdote about the book, 104.

De Corro, Anthonio, 153.

De Flores, Juan, 279-81.

Delamothe, G., 266.

Denny, Sir Anthony, 226.

Derendel, Peter, 281.

Desainliens, Claude, 261-6.

Despauterius, 46.

Dialogues of Lucian translated into Latin by Erasmus, 100.

---- in English and French, 258-9.

---- in English and Italian, 263-5, 279.

Dickens's _Mrs. Plawnish_, 273.

Dictionaries, early, 27 _et seq._, 225-30.

Dictionary, definition of a, 32.

---- of Johannes de Garlandia, 32-4.

Discipline, severity of early, 17-26, 108-12.

_Doctrinale_ of Alexander de Villâ Dei, 45-6, 186.

Donatus, Ælius, 46-9, 50, 86, 121, 184.

Dorchester, 183.

Dorne, John, 39, 87-9.

Dorset Street, Spitalfields, 157.

D'Ouvilly, Sir Balthazar Gerbier, 170-4.

Drawing, 171, 175.

Dugard, William, 140, 145-9.

Duncan, Dr., 219.

Du Ploiche, Pierre, 258-61.

Dutch language, 153, 171, 173.

Du Wes or Dewes, Giles, 117, 257.

Dyonisie de Mountchensy, 36.

East Indies, 155.

Edward the Confessor, 17.

---- I. 35.

---- VI., 123-6, 135.

Elizabeth, Queen, 126, 130, 230-2, 241.

Elyot, Sir Thomas, 226-9.

Endowed grammar schools of Edward VI., 126.

English school-books printed abroad, 85, 273.

Erasmus, Desiderius, 99, 103, 118, 120, 127, 244-5, 247.

Erondelle, Pierre, 266-7, 281-2.

Eton, 18-19, 21.

---- Grammar, 160.

Etymology, 151.

Euripides, 248, 254.

Evans, Sir Hugh, 180-1.

Exchange, Royal, 164.

Farriery, 263.

Faversham, 161.

Feckenham, 194.

Female influence, 206-8.

Festeau, Paul, 269-70.

Fish, 76-7.

Fisher, Bishop, 242-3.

Fitzjames, Bishop, 106.

---- Lord Chief Justice, 106.

Fitzstephen, W., 15.

Flageolet, 175.

Flanders, 273.

Florence, 245.

Florio, John, 155.

Foreign influence, 3, 38 _et seq._, 66, 170-4.

---- ignorance of English, 273-84.

Founders of schools at the Reformation, 106.

Fox, John, 125.

Free school at Oxford, 60.

Free school at Feckenham, 194.

French dame-schools, 197.

---- influence, 3, 257-62, 266-70.

---- _Introductory_, by G. Du Wes, 117.

---- knowledge of English, 274, 280 _et seq._

---- language, 153, 254 _et seq._, 270.

---- orthography, 35-6.

---- school in St. Paul's Churchyard, 116.

Frobenius, 76.

Frorne = frozen, 76.

Gadbury, John, 158.

Gardiner, Bishop, 82, 247-8.

Gascoigne, George, 248.

_Gemma Vocabulorum_, 225.

Geneva, English residents at, 10.

_Gentleman's Calling, The_, 13.

German influence, 197.

---- language, 152, 171, 173.

---- population of Riga, 217.

Germany, 222, 274.

_Gloucestershire's Desire_, 1642, 193.

Gold, writing with, 176.

Golden Ball in St. Paul's Churchyard, 262.

Goldsmith's Alley, 94.

Goldsmith's _Poems for Young Ladies_, 202-3.

_Gradus comparationum_, 73.

Grammar schools, endowed, 126.

_Grammatica Initialis_, 1509, 14.

Grant, Edward, 251.

Grantham, Lincolnshire, 252.

Grantham, Thomas, 253.

Gray's Inn, 248.

Greek language, 241-54.

----, study of the, at Oxford, 101-5, 244.

---- taught at Cambridge by Erasmus, 100, 243-5.

---- taught at public schools, 141-2, 161, 251, 253-4.

---- taught by private tutors, 153.

Greeting, Thomas, 175.

Grey, Lady Jane, 222.

Grocyn, W., 102, 244-5.

Guarini of Verona, 86-7.

Guarna, Andrea, 82.

Hadleigh, Suffolk, 144.

Hall, Arthur, of Grantham, 252.

Harmar, Samuel, 193-4.

Hart Street, 157.

Hawkins, William, 144.

Hayne, Thomas, 216, 238-9.

Hazlitt, William, 181-2.

---- Mr. Registrar, 281, note.

Hebrew, 142, 153, 168.

Henry VII., 68, 245.

---- VIII., 68, 123-4 126, 128, 133, 143, 198, 205, 226-7, 246-7, 257-8.

Hereditary succession of teachers, 84.

Herefordshire, 162.

_Hero and Leander_ of Musæus, 253.

Herodotus, 253.

Hertfordshire, 131.

Highgate, 200.

Highlanders, 276.

Hills, Richard, 136.

Holidays, ancient school, 15-17.

Holofernes, Shakespear's, 99, 155.

Holt, John, 70-1.

Holwell, John, 157.

Homer, 250, 252-4.

Hoole, Charles, 93-4.

Hooper, Bishop, 276.

Horace, 64, 94.

Horman, William, 73-8, 129, 222.

---- his literary quarrel with Lily and others, 81-2.

---- extracts from his _Vulgaria_, 74-8.

Horn-book, 211, 212.

_Hours of the Virgin_, 1514, 115.

Howell, James, 233.

Hume, Alexander, 131, 187.

_Hundred Merry Tales_, 133-4.

Hunt, Leigh, 135.

Illustrated children's books, 159.

Indian abacus, 215.

Inglis, Esther, 176.

Ingulphus, 17-18.

Ink, 76.

Instruction, mediæval method of, 14, 30.

Ipswich, Wolsey's school at, 107, 119-20.

Ireland, 131, 189, 284, 286.

Italian influence, 3, 86-7, 197, 242-3, 245, 261-6, 278-9.

---- language, 152 _et seq._, 261-6.

---- hand, 177.

Jerome, St., 46, 110-11.

Jesus College, Cambridge, 11-12.

_Johnny Quæ Genus_, 216.

Johannes de Garlandia, 32-4, 83.

Johnson, Thomas, 212.

Jones, Dr., 287-9.

Jonson, Benjamin, 177, 233-6.

Julius Cæsar, 95-6.

Ken, Bishop, 137.

Kent, 161.

Kinaston, Sir Francis, 173, 233.

Kingston-upon-Hull, 106.

---- Thames, 252.

Kinwelmersh, Francis, 248.

Knox, John, 185, 194.

Kyffin, Maurice, 92.

Ladies, 175.

---- colleges for, 200 _et seq._

Ladies' lapdogs, 77.

Lamb, Charles, 136, 200, 253-4.

---- Mary, 200.

Lancashire, 106.

Lane, A., 162-3.

Languages, living, taught in England, 152 _et seq._, 168, 171, 173.

Latimer, Bishop, 221.

---- W., 102.

Latin language, 72, 152, 155, 162-3, 229-30.

---- authors used at St. Paul's, 109-10.

---- barbarous or low, 228.

Laureateship, ancient, 67.

Lawrence Pountney, St., 136.

Leghorn, English at, 278-9.

Lemprière, Dr., 182.

Leominster, 162.

Letter-writing, 103.

Levins, Peter, 228.

Lexicons, 225-30.

Libraries, parochial, proposed in Scotland, 185-6.

Lichfield, 60.

Life, mediæval, illustrated by ancient school-books, 31-2, 75-8.

---- English, of the 16th and 17th centuries illustrated, 259 _et seq._

Lilly, William, the astrologer, 158.

Lily, George, 107.

---- William, 44, 60, 81, 84-5, 118-22, 124, 139, 150-2, 161, 186, 216, 242, 245, 247.

Linacre, Thomas, 102, 117-18, 244-5, 257.

Lincolnshire, 158.

Littleton, Adam, 229.

Logic, 133-4.

Lombard Street, 278.

London, localities of, 76, 77-8, 93-4, 113-16, 156, 162, 164-5, 258-9, 261-2, 278.

---- proposed University of, in 1647-8, 166-9.

Longlond, Dr., Bishop of Lincoln, 151.

Lord's Prayer, 120-1.

Lothbury Garden, 93, 156.

Louth, Lincolnshire, 158.

Lucian, 101, 254.

_Ludus Ludi Litterarii_, 1672, 144.

Lydgate, John, 37, 42-3, 99.

Magdalen College School, Oxford, 11-12, 51, 70, 84-5, 132, 152, 204.

Makins, Bathsua, 200.

Malagasy language, 155.

Malayan language, 155.

Malmesbury, 241.

Manchester, 106, 132, 180.

Manchet bread, 140.

Mantuan, Eclogues of, 98.

Mary, Princess, afterwards Queen, 117, 125, 257.

Mauger, Claudius, 269-70.

Maupas, Charles, 268-9.

_May-Flower_, the, 84.

Maypoles, 192.

Mayor of London, 77.

Meals, graces at, 259.

---- reading at, 259.

_Medulla Grammatices_, 225.

Mercers' School, 135.

Merchant Taylors' School, 16, 21, 132, 136-42, 144-9, 223-4.

Middlesex, 131.

Mile-End Green, 162.

Military science, 171.

_Milk for Children_, 70.

Milton, John, 158-9.

Miracle of the fishes, 108.

Monastic or conventual schools, 6-7.

Montefiore, Sir Moses, 143.

_Monumenta Franciscana_ quoted, 114.

More, Sir Thomas, 65, 70, 112, 246.

Morris dances, 192.

Morris, Richard, 45.

Motto of Merchant Taylors' School, 147.

Mountjoy, Lord William, 103.

Mrs. Leicester's school, 200.

Mugwell or Monkwell Street, 156.

Mulcaster, Richard, 138, 223-4.

Mules, 265.

Murray, Lindley, 45, 218-19.

_Musæum Minervæ_ at Bethnal Green, 133, 170-4.

Musæus, 253.

Music taught in the conventual schools, 7.

---- to ladies by private masters, 175.

Nash, Thomas, quoted, 19-20.

Neckam, Alexander, 32.

Neo-Hellenic, 249, 253.

Netherlands, 273, 279.

Newman, Thomas, 92.

Niger, Franciscus, 103.

_Nominale_, the, 27 _et seq._

Nonsense-verses, 141.

Norths of Kirtling, the, 199.

Nowell, Alexander, Dean of St. Paul's, 138.

Ocland, Christopher, 230-2.

Old Brompton, 140.

Oral instruction, 14.

_Ortus Vocabulorum_, 225, 228.

Oudin, Cesare, 153.

Ovid, 95.

Owen, Lewis, 153.

Oxford, Waynflete's school at, 11, 12, 51, 60, 68.

---- ancient educational machinery at, 17, 133-4, 151.

---- Grammar of, 1709, 120.

Pace, Richard, 102, 247.

Padua, 245.

Painting, 171.

Palsgrave, John, 123, 127, 228.

Pantofles, 265.

Paper, manufacture of, 75.

---- different sizes of, 75.

---- royal, 264.

---- blotting, 264.

Paris under Philip Augustus, 33-4.

Parish churches in London, 78.

---- schools in England, 194.

---- ---- in Scotland, 185.

---- libraries proposed in Scotland, 185.

Partridge, John, 158.

_Parvula_, 69-70.

_Parvulorum Institutio_, 52.

Penton, Stephen, 215.

Pepys, S., 157, 175.

---- Mrs., 175.

Percy, Bishop, 7.

Perottus, Nicolaus, 39-40, 225.

Pes (foot) derived from the Greek, 33.

_Phænissæ_ of Euripides, 248.

Philelphus, Franciscus, 103.

Phonography, 237, 285-9.

Pictorial vocabulary, 35.

Play-days _v._ holy-days, 16.

Pleunus, Henry, 278-9.

Poggius (Poggio Bracciolini), 99.

Polyglot vocabularies, 153-4, 276-80.

Pope, Alexander, 205.

Popular literature of 1520, 88.

_Portraitures of the Bible_, 1553, 281-3.

Portuguese language, 153.

Prayers at public schools, 137.

Prices of provisions, 65.

Prideaux, M., 132, 162, 239.

Primer, National, of 1540, 123 _et seq._

---- Salisbury, 121.

---- for children, 211, 214.

Primrose, Dr., Goldsmith's, 81, 205.

Printing, notices relative to, 75.

Printing-press, private, attached to Merchant Taylors' School, 148-9.

Probation-Day, 139-42.

Professors of foreign languages, 153.

_Promptorius Parvulorum_, 225.

Pronunciation of Greek and Latin, 248-51.

_Propria quæ maribus_, 276.

Proprietary schools, 162, 195-6, 202, 206.

Protestant refugees at Geneva, 10.

---- A. B. C., first, 1553, 212.

Provincial schools, 132, 160, 179-183.

---- culture, 201-2.

Pumps, 265.

Punctuation, early, 79-80.

Putney, 200.

Quarter-wages, 148-9.

Quiney, Mrs., 202.

Rabbards, R., 165.

Rabelais, 104.

Reading, 160.

Reference, early books of, 239-40.

Religious character of early teaching, 6-8.

Remedies or holy-days, 15-17.

Reynell, Sir Richard, 162.

---- Sir Thomas, 162.

Rhetoric, 132.

Rhodes, 242, 245.

Richmond and Derby, Margaret, Countess of, 217.

Riding the Great Horse, 171.

Riga, 107.

Rightwise, John, 216.

Ripley's _Compound of Alchemy_, 165.

Robertson, Thomas, of York, 81, 150-2.

Rochelle, 256.

_Roman Antiquities_ of Prideaux, 132.

---- of Adams, 240.

---- coins, weights, and measures, 230.

Rome, 245.

Rood, Theodore, 51.

Roper, Margaret, 199.

Rose, Manor of the, 136.

---- sign of the, 258-9.

Roulston, Staffordshire, 106.

Ruddiman, Thomas, 187-9.

Russian abacus, 215.

Sackville, Sir Richard, 19, 220-2.

---- Mr. Robert, 221.

Salaries of schoolmasters in 1561, 138.

School children (parish) in 1642, 194.

School of fish, 76.

Schools, monastic or conventual, 6-7.

----, cathedral, 7-9, 113.

---- established in England, 1502-15, 105-8, 210.

---- ---- by Edward VI., 126.

Schoolmaster, the old and new, 23-6.

---- of Old St. Paul's, 113-14.

Schoolmasters under the Commonwealth, 191-2.

Scogin, Jests of, 210-11.

Scot, Alexander, 251.

Scotland, 131, 184-9, 195, 197, 205, 279.

Scotus, Joh., 244.

Scrooby, Lincolnshire, 84.

Secularisation of teaching, 204-8.

Shakespear, W., 99, 155, 177, 180-1, 201-2, 281.

---- his _Dr. Caius_ and _Duke de Jarmany_, 273-4.

_Ship of Fools_, 12.

Shirley, James, 237-8.

Shoemaker, dialogue with a, in 1597, 265.

_Short Introduction of Grammar_, by Lily, 84.

Shropshire, 173, 181-2.

Shropshire school in 1788, 181-2.

Skinners' school at Tonbridge, 135, 251.

Smith, Sir Thomas, 247.

Smith's series of dictionaries, &c., 240.

Sneezing, folklore of, 78.

Somersetshire, 106.

Somerville, Mrs., 199.

Spalding, Augustine, 155.

Spanish language, 153.

Speech-Day at Merchant Taylors', 143.

Speeches at breaking-up, 143-5.

_Spelling A. B. C._, 1590, 212.

Spitalfields, 157.

Staffordshire, 106-7.

Stage-plays in 1654, 192.

Stanbridge, John, 11, 39, 44, 53-9, 71, 122.

Standish, John, 242.

_Stans puer ad mensam_, 42-3.

Stanyhurst's Virgil, 284.

Sterne's _Sentimental Journey_, 267.

St. Martin's-le-Grand, 114.

St. Mary-le-Bow, 114.

St. Mary Wike, Devonshire, 107.

St. Paul's Church, 77.

---- Churchyard, 115-16, 156, 261-2.

---- School (old), 8, 113.

---- ---- (Colet's), 100 _et seq._, 120-2, 132-3, 204, 216, 223, 242.

Stockwood, John, 251.

Stratford-on-Avon, 181, 194.

Strong, Nathaniel, 156.

Studies at the _Musæum Minervæ_, 171-2.

Sturmius, Johannes, 221.

Subjects taught in mediæval schools, 9-10.

---- at St. Paul's and Merchant Taylors', 109-10, 137, 139, 141-2.

---- at provincial schools, 181-2.

Sulpicius, Johannes, 40-4, 50.

Surrey, 200.

---- Lord, 223.

Survival of early English system of holidays in the United States, 17.

Sutton Colfield, 106.

Syms, Christopher, 163.

_Tables of Grammar_, by John Fox, 125.

Teachers, foreign, 5, 66.

Terence, 46, 51, 90-4.

Testament, Greek, 141.

Theology in schools, 205-8.

Thucydides, 252.

Tiptoft, John, Earl of Worcester, 96.

Tom Thumb's Alphabet, 159.

Tonbridge, Skinners' School at, 135, 251.

Tree of Knowledge, the, 13.

Trinity Lane, 258-9.

Tumbler, a dog, 77.

Tunstall, Bishop, 102.

Turner, Dr., 105.

Tusser, Thomas, 18-19.

Tutors, 161-3.

Udall, Nicolas, 19, 21.

Union, educational results of the, 3.

United States, system of holidays in the, 17.

University of London, proposed, in 1647-8, 166-9.

Vacation, modern, not formerly understood, 16.

Valpy's Greek Grammar, 161.

Vaus, John, 186.

Vergil, Polydore, 44.

Vimont, M., 236.

Virgil, 43-4, 94-5, 110-11, 284.

Vitellius, Cornelius, 244.

Vives, Ludovicus, 118.

Vocabularies, 27 _et seq._

---- polyglot, 153-4.

Wakes, 192.

Wales, 131, 233.

Walker, William, 158.

Walter de Biblesworth, 35.

Wapping, 156.

Warwickshire, 60, 194.

Watling Street, 114.

Wax candles taken by boys to school, 109, 137.

Waynflete, early school at, 11.

---- Bishop, 11, 85.

Welsh Grammar, 233

Wem, Salop, 181.

Westbury, Lord Chancellor, 281, note.

Westminster, 17.

---- School, 21, 132.

---- Grammar, 160.

West Point School, U.S., 17.

White, Thomas, 159.

---- Sir Thomas, 138.

Whitsun-ales, 192.

Whittinton, Robert, 39, 44, 60-8, 81-2, 94, 96-9, 122, 186, 222.

---- his series of grammatical treatises described, 60-6.

Winchester School, 137.

Wines, 256.

Withals, John, 228-9.

Witton School, near Chester, 183.

Wolfe, Reginald, 127.

Wolsey, Cardinal, 107, 119-20.

Wolverhampton, 107.

Women, education of, 4, 195-208.

---- notices of, 77.

Word-books, 27 _et seq._

Writing, 175-7.

---- books, abundance of, 175.

Xenophon, 254.

Zenobia, Queen Elizabeth preferred to, 231.



[1] There is some sort of evidence that the Grammar of Perottus was in demand here in England as a work of reference and instruction; for I find it in the interesting account-book of John Dorne of Oxford for 1520. It is bracketed with the _Vulgaria_ of Whittinton and the _Vocabula_ and _Accidence_ of Stanbridge as having fetched, the four together, 3s. It is described as being in leather binding, in quarto.

[2] Knight refers to the _Epistolæ_ of Franciscus Philelphus, printed at Milan in 1471.

[3] Introduction to Hayne's _Latin Grammar_, 1640.

[4] It may be worth while to note that the use of _woll_ for _whole_ was not an unusual type of orthography and pronunciation in early English. Thus, in the _Interlude of the Four Elements_ (1519), we have:--

"For, as I said, they have none iron, Whereby they should in the earth mine, To search for any _wore_."

And in the _Image of Hypocrisy_, part 3, Robin Hood is called _Robyn Whode_. Lord Chancellor Westbury used to pronounce _whole_ in the same way, and he would also say _whot_ for _hot_. When Mr. Registrar Hazlitt was engaged with him on the Bankruptcy Bill, he remarked more than once: "I am sick, Hazlitt, of the _woll_ business."

Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

Passages in Gothic font are indicated by =font=.

Superscripted characters are indicated by {superscript}.