By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Schools, School-Books and Schoolmasters
Author: Hazlitt, W. Carew
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Schools, School-Books and Schoolmasters" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

  Works or Editions

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.

    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

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.

  _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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  "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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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

  "_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

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

"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

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

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

"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.

   _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

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

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

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

"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

"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

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

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

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

"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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  "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

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

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

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

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

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

    "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

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
  Let vs sing and daunce, when you will.
  Mystres, will it please you to daunce a galliard with me? pray you
  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

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

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

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

     _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

  "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

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

  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}.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Schools, School-Books and Schoolmasters" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.