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the eldest of whom obtained a scholarship at St. John's through the interest of Lord Burleigh, and was afterwards appointed to a fellowship of Trinity College by Queen Elizabeth's mandate. He became distinguished for the elegance of his Latin epistolary style.
The only other productions of Aseham that have been printed, besides those already mentioned, are a collection of his Latin letters and poems, made by Mr. Grant, master of Westminster School, the first edition of which appeared in 1576, and a Latin tract against the Romish mass, entitled “ Apologia pro Cæna Dominica contra Missam et ejus præstigias,” said by Anthony Wood to have been published at London in 1577.
His "Schoolmaster" was first published in 4to, at London, in 1571, according to the title-page, but in 1573 according to the colophon, and again, in the same form, in 1589. An edition of the work, in Svo, with notes by Mr. Upton, appeared in 1711, and a second, much improved, in 1743. It was also printed, along with all Ascham's English works, including some of his letters, till then unpublished, in 4to, in 1767, under the care of the Rev. James Bennet. To this edition, which was reprinted in Svo, in 1815, with the addition of five letters in English addressed to Sir William Cecil, there is prefixed a life of the author by Dr. Johnson.
The facts contained in the above sketch have been principally taken from the Life of Ascham in the Bio. graphia Britannica, which, again, has been for the most part compiled from a Latin oration by Mr. Grant, prefixed to the Letters and Poems.]
tion to yourselves; but you will absolutely make us survive on happy terms with all posterity. Farewell.
“From our own palace, Sept. 1, A.D. 1528. “ In what order boys, admitted into our Academy,
should be taught, and what authors should be lessoned to them.
METHOD FOR THE FIRST CLASS.
“ In the first place, it has been not improperly resolved that our school be divided into eight Classes. The first of these is to contain the less forward boys ; who should be diligently exercised in the eight parts of speech ; and whose now flexible accent it should be your chief concern to form; making them repeat the elements assigned them, with the most distinct and delicate pronunciation ; since raw material may be wrought to any shape whatever ; and according to the hint of Horace,
The odours of the wine that first shall stain
The virgin vessel, it will long retain ;' on which account it were least proper to deprive this time of life of
FOR THE SECOND CLASS.
“Next in order, after pupils of this age have made satisfactory progress in the first rudiments, we would wish them to be called into the second form, to practise speaking Latin, and to render into Latin some English proposition; which should not be without point or pertinence; but should contain some piquant or beautiful
sentiment, sufficiently suitable to the capacity of boys. As soon as this is rendered, it should be set down in Roman characters; and you will daily pay attention that each of the whole party have this note-book perfectly correct, and written as fairly as possible with his own hand.
Should you think proper that, besides the rudiments, some author should be given at this tender age, it may be either Lily's Carmen Monitorium, or Cato's Precepts; of course with a view of forming the accent.
FOR THE THIRD CLASS.
" Of authors, who mainly conduce to form a familiar style, pure, terse, and polished, who is more humorous than Æsop? Who more useful than Terence ? Both of whom, from the very nature of their subjects, are not without attraction to the age of youth.
“Furthermore, we should not disapprove of your subjoining, for this form, the little book composed by Lily on the genders of nouns.
“ FOR THE FOURTH CLASS.
“Again ; when you exercise the soldiership of the fourth class, what general would you rather have than Virgil himself, the prince of all poets? Whose majesty of verse it were worth while should be pronounced with due intonation of voice.
“ As well adapted to this form, Lily will furnish the past tenses and supines of verbs. But although I confess such things are necessary, yet, as far as possible, we could wish them so appointed as not to occupy the more valuable part of the day.
“ FOR THE FIFTH CLASS.
" And now at length you wish to know what plan of teaching we should here prescribe. Your wish shall be indulged. One point that we think proper to be noticed, as of first importance, is, that the tender age of youth be never urged with severe blows, or harsh threats, or indeed with any sort of tyranny. For by this injurious treatment all sprightliness of genius either is destroyed, or is at any rate considerably damped.
“With regard to what this form should be taught, your principal concern will be to lesson them in some select epistles of Cicero ; as none other seem to us more easy in their style, or more productive of rich copiousness of language.
FOR THE SIXTH CLASS.
Moreover, the sixth form seems to require some history, either that of Sallust, or Cæsar's Commentaries. To these might not improperly be added Lily's Syntax; verbs defective and irregular, in short any you may notice, in the course of reading, as departing from the usual form of declination.
FOR THE SEVENTH CLASS.
“ The party in the seventh form should regularly have in hand either Horace's Epistles, or Ovid's Metamorphoses or Fasti: occasionally composing verse or an epistle of their own. It will also be of very great importance that they sometimes turn verse into prose, or reduce prose into metre. In order that what is learnt by hearing may not be forgotten, the boy should reperuse it with you, or with others. Just before retiring to rest he should study something choice, or worthy of remembrance, to repeat to the master the next morning.
At intervals, attention should be relaxed, and recreation introduced: but recreation of an elegant nature, worthy of polite literature. Indeed, even with his studies pleasure should be so intimately blended, that a boy may think it rather a game at learning, than a task. And caution must be used, lest by immoderate exertion the faculties of learners be overwhelmed, or be fatigued by reading very far prolonged: for either way alike there is a fault.
FOR THE EIGHTH CLASS.
“ Lastly, when by exercise of this kind the party has attained to some proficiency in conversation-style, they should be recalled to the higher precepts of grammar ; as, for instance, to the figures prescribed by Donatus, to the elegance of Valla, and to any ancient authors whatever in the Latin tongue. In lessoning from these, we would remind you to endeavour to inform yourselves at least on the points it may be proper should be illustrated on each present occasion. For example, when intending to expound at length a comedy of Terence, you may first discuss in few words the Author's rank in life, his peculiar talent, and elegance of style. You may then remark how great the pleasure and utility in