The Boke named The Governour
Book I. | Book II. | Book III. | Glossary
Sir Thomas Elyot
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The Boke named The Governour
Devised by Sir Thomas Elyot, Knight
LONDON: Published by J. M. Dent & Co
And in New York by E. P. Dutton & Co
THE TABLE OF THE FIRSTE BOKE OF THE GOUERNOUR.
I. The significacion of a publike weale, and why it is called in latyne Respublica
II. That one souaraigne gouernour ought to be in a Publike weale, and what damage hath hapned by lackyng one soueraygne gouernour.
III. That in a publyke weale oughte to be inferior gouernours called magistratis
IV. The education or fourme of bryngynge up the chylde of a gentilman, which is to haue auctorite in the publike weale
V. The ordre of lernynge before the child cometh to thage of vii yeres
VI. Whan a Tutour should be Prouided, and what shall appertaine to his office
VII. In what wyse musike may be to a noble man necessary
VIII. That it is commendable in a gentilman to paynte or carue exactely, if nature do therto induce hym
IX. What exact diligence shulde be in chosinge of maisters
X. What order shulde be in lerninge and which autours shulde be first radde
XI. The mooste necessarie studies succedynge the lesson of Poetes
XII. Why gentyllmen in this present time be nat equall in doctrine to the auncient noble men
XIII. The seconde and thirde decaye of lerninge
XIV. Howe the studentes in the lawes of this realme may take excellent commoditie by the lessons of sondry doctrines
XV. The causes why in Englande be fewe perfecte schole maisters
XVI. Of sondrye fourmes of exercise necessarye for a gentilman
XVII. Exercises whereof cometh both recreation and Profite
XVIII. The auncient huntyng of Greekes Romanoe and Persianes
XIX. That all daunsinge is nat to be reproued
XX. The fyrst begynnyng of daunsyng and the olde estimation therof
XXI. Wherefore in the good ordre of daunsynge a man and a woman do daunse together
XXII. How daunsing may be an introduction into the fyrst morall vertue, called Prudence
XXIII. Of Prouidence and industrie
XXIV. Of Circumspection
XXV. Of election, experience, and modestie
XXVI. of other exercyses whiche, moderately used, be to euery astate of man expedient
XXVII. That shotyng in a longe bowe is Principall of all other exercises
The Proheme of Thomas Elyot, knyghte, unto the most noble and
victorious prince kinge Henry the eyght, kyng of Englande and Fraunce,
defender, of the true faythe, and lorde of Irelande.LATE consideringe (moste excellent prince and myne onely redoughted soueraigne lorde) my duetie that I owe to my naturall contray with my faythe also of aliegeaunce and othe, wherewith I am double bounden unto your maiestie, more ouer thaccompt that I haue to rendre for that one litle talent deliuered to me to employe (as I suppose) to the increase of vertue, I am (as god iuge me) violently stered to deuulgate or sette fourth some part of my studie, trustynge therby tacquite me of my dueties to god, your hyghnesse, and this my contray. Wherfore takinge comfort and boldenesse, partly of your graces moste beneuolent inclination towarde the uniuersall weale of your subiectes, partly inflamed with zele, I haue nowe enterprised to describe in our vulgare tunge the fourme of a iuste publike weale: whiche mater I haue gathered as well moste noble autours (grekes and latynes) as by myne owne experience, I beinge continually trayned in some dayly affaires of the publike weale of this your moste noble realme all mooste from my chyldhode. Whiche attemptate is nat of presumption to teache any persone, I my selfe hauinge moste nede of teachinge: but only to the intent that men which which wil be studious about the weale publike may fynde the thinge therto expedient compendiously writen. And for as moch as this present boke treateth of the education of them that hereafter may be demed worthy to be gouernours of the publike weale under your hyghnesse (whiche Plato affirmeth to be the firste and chiefe parte of a publyke weale; Salomon sayenge also where gouernours be nat the people shall falle in to ruyne), I therfore haue named it The Gouernour, and do nowe dedicate it unto your hyghnesse as the fyrste frutes of my studye, verely trustynge that your moste excellent wysedome wyll therein esteme my loyall harte and diligent endeuour by the example of Artaxerxes, the noble kynge of Persia, who rejected nat the pore husbondman whiche offred to hym his homely handes full of clene water, but mooste graciously receyued it with thankes, estemynge the present nat after the value but rather to the wyll of the gyuer. Semblably kynge Alexander retayned with hym the poete Cherilus honorably for writing his historie, all though that the poete was but of a small estimation. Whiche that prynce dyd not for lacke of jugement, he beynge of excellent lernynge as disciple to Aristotell, but to thentent that his liberalite emploied on Cherilus shulde animate or gyue courage to others moche better terned to contende with hym in a semblable enterpryse.
And if, moste vertuous prince, I may perceyue your hyghnes to be herewith pleased, I shall sone after (god giuing me quietenes) present your grace with the residue of my studie and labours, wherein your hyghnes shal well perceiue that I nothing esteme so moche in this worlde as youre royall astate, (my most dere soueraigne lorde), and the publike weale of my contray. Protestinge unto your excellent maiestie that where I commende herin any one vertue or dispraise any one vice I meane the generall description of thone and thother without any other particuler meanynge to the reproche of any one persone. To the whiche protestation I am nowe dryuen throughe the malignite of this present tyme all disposed to malicious detraction. Wherfore I mooste humbly beseche your hyghnes to dayne to be patrone and defendour of this little warke agayne the assaultes of maligne interpretours whiche fayle nat to rente and deface the renoume of wryters, they them selfes beinge in nothinge to the publike weale profitable. Whiche is by no man sooner perceyued than by your highnes, beinge bothe in wysedome and very nobilitie equall to the most excellent princes, whome, I beseche god, ye may surmount in longe life and perfect felicitie Amen.
THE FIRSTE BOKE
I. The significacion of a Publike Weale, and why it is called in latin Respublica.
PUBLIKE weale is in sondry wyse defined by philosophers, but knowyng by experience that the often repetition of anything of graue or sad importance wyll be tedious to the reders of this warke, who perchance for the more part haue nat ben trayned in lerning contaynynge semblable matter: I haue compiled one definition out of many, in as compendious fourme, as my poure witte can deuise: trustyng that in those fewe wordes the trewe signification of a publike weale shall euidently at) ere, to them whom reason can satisfie.
A publik weale is a body lyuyng, compacte or made of sondry astates and degrees of men, whiche is disposed by the ordre of equite and gouerned by the rule and moderation of reason. In the latin tonge it is called Respublica, of the whiche the worde Res hath diuers significations, and dothe nat only betoken that, that is called a thynge, whiche is distincte from a persone, but also signifieth astate, condition, substance, and profite. In our olde vulgare, profite is called weale. And it is called a welthy contraye wherin is all thyng that is profitable. And he is a welthy man that is riche in money and substance. Publike (as Varro saith) is diriuied of people, whiche in latin is called Populus, wherfore hit semeth that men haue ben longe abused in calling Rempublieam a commune weale. And they which do suppose it so to be called for that, that euery thinge shulde be to all men in commune without discrepance of any astate or condition, be thereto moued nore by sensualite than by any good reason or inclination to humanite. And that shall sone appere unto them that wyll be satisfied either with autorite or with naturall ordre and example. Fyrst, the propre and trewe signification of the wordes publike and commune, whiche be borowed of the latin tonge for the insufficiencie of our owne langage, shal sufficiently declare the blyndenes of them whiche haue hitherto holden and maynteyned the sayde opinions. As I haue sayde, publike toke his begynnyng of people: whiche in latin is Populus, in whiche worde is conteyned all the inhabitantes of a realme or citie, of what astate condition so euer they be.
Plebs in englisshe is called the communaltie, which signifieth only the multitude, wherin be contayned the base and vulgare inhabitantes not auanced to any honour or dignite, whiche is also used in our dayly communication - for in the citie of London and other cities they that be none aldermen or sheriffes be called communers: And in the countrey, at a cessions or other assembly, if no gentyl men be there at, the sayenge is that there was none but the communalte, whiche proueth in myn oppinion that Plebs in latin is in englisshe communaltie: and Plebeii be communers. And consequently there may appere lyke diuersitie to be in englisshe betwene a publike weale and a commune weale, as shulde be in latin betwene Res publica and Res plebeia. And after that signification, if there shuld be a commune weale, either the communers only must be welthy, and the gentil and noble men nedy and miserable, orels excluding gentilite, al men must be of one degre and sort, and a new name prouided. For as moche as Plebs in latin, and comminers in englisshe, be wordes only made for the discrepance of degrees, wherof procedeth ordre: whiche in thinges as wel naturall as supernaturall hath euer had suche a preeminence, that therby the incomprehensible maiestie of god, as it were by a bright leme of a torche or candel, is declared to the blynde inhabitantes of this worlde. More ouer take away ordre from all thynges what shulde than remayne? Certes nothynge finally, except some man wolde imagine eftsones Chaos: whiche of some is expounde a confuse mixture. Also where there is any lacke of ordre nedes must be perpetuall conflicte: and in thynges subiecte to Nature nothynge of hym selfe onely may be norisshed; but whan he hath distroyed that where with he dothe participate by the ordre of his creation, he hym selfe of necessite muste than perisshe, wherof ensuethe uniuersall dissolution.
But nowe to proue, by example of those thynges that be within the compasse of mannes knowlege, of what estimation ordre is, nat onely amonge men but also with god, all be it his wisedome, bounte, and magnificence can be with no tonge or penne sufficiently expressed. Hath nat he set degrees and astates in all his glorious warkes?
Fyrst in his heuenly ministres, whom, as the churchs affirme, he hath constituted to be in diuers degrees called hierarches.
Also Christe saithe by his euangelist that in the house of his father (which is god) be many mansions. But to treate of that whiche by naturall understandyng may be comprehended. Beholde the foure elementes wherof the body of man is compacte, howe they be set in their places called spheris, higher or lower, accordynge to the soueraintie of theyr natures, that is to saye, the fyer the most pure element, having in it nothing that is corruptible, in his place is higheste and aboue other elementes. The ayer, whiche next to the fyre is most pure in substance, is in the seconde sphere or place. The water, whiche is somewhat consolidate, and approcheth to corruption, is next unto the erthe. The erthe, whiche is of substance grosse and ponderous, is set of all elementes most lowest.
Beholde also the ordre that god hath put generally in al his creatures, begynnyng at the moste inferiour or base, and assendynge upwarde: he made not only herbes to garnisshe the erthe, but also trees of a more eminent stature than herbes, and yet in the one and the other be degrees of qualitees; some pleasant to beholde, some delicate or good in taste, other holsome and medicinable, some commodious and necessary. Semblably in byrdes, bestis and fisshes, some be good for the sustinance of man, some beare thynges profitable to sondry uses, other be apte to occupation and labour; in diuerse is strength and fiersenes only; in many is both strength and commoditie; some other serue for pleasure; none of them hath all these qualities; fewe aue the more part or many, specially beautie, strength, and profite. But where any is founde that hath many of the said propreties, he is more set by than all the other, and by that estimation the ordre of his place and degree euidentlye apperethe; so that euery kinde of trees, herbes, birdes, beastis, and fisshes, besyde theyr diuersitie of fourmes, haue (as who sayth) a peculiar disposition appropered unto them by god theyr creatour: so that in euery thyng is ordre, and without ordre may be nothing stable or permanent; and it may nat be called ordre, excepte it do contayne in it degrees, high and base, accordynge to the merite or estimation of the thyng that is ordred.
Nowe to retourne to the astate of man kynde, for whose use all the sayd creatures were ordained of god, and also excelleth them all by prerogatife of knowlege and wisedome, hit semeth that in hym shulde be no lasse prouidence of god declared than in the inferiour creatures; but rather with a more perfecte ordre and dissposition. And therfore hit appereth that god giveth nat to euery man like gyftes of grace or of nature but to some more, some lesse as it liketh his divine maiestie.
Ne they be nat in commune, (as fantasticall foles wolde haue all thyngs), nor one man hath nat al vertues and good qualities. Nat withstandyng for as moche as understandyng is the most excellent gyft that man can receiue in his creation, whereby he doth approche most nyghe unto the similitude of god; whiche understandynge is the principall parte of the soule: it is therfore congruent, and accordynge that as one excelleth an other in that influence, as therby beinge next to the similitude of his maker, so shulde the astate of his person be auanced in degree or place where understanding may profite: whiche is also distributed in to sondry uses, faculties, and offices necessary for the lyuing and gouernance of mankynde. And like as the angels whiche be most feruent in contemplation be highest exalted in glorie, (after the opinion of holy doctours), and also the fire whiche is the most pure of elementes, and also doth clarifie the other inferiour elementes, is deputed to the highest sphere or place; so in this worlde, they whiche excelle other in this influence of understandynge, and do imploye it to the detaynyng of other within the boundes of reason, and shewe them howe to prouyde for theyr necessarye lyuynge; suche oughte to be set in a more highe place than the residue where they may se and also be sene; that by the beames of theyr excellent witte, shewed throughe the glasse of auctorite, other of inferiour understandynge maybe directed to the way of vertue and commodious liuynge. And unto men of such vertue by very equitie appertaineth honour, as theyr iuste rewarde and duetie, whiche by other mennes labours must also be mainteined according to their merites. For as moche as the saide persones, excelling in knowlege wherby other be gouerned, be ministers for the only profite and commoditie of them whiche haue nat equall understandyng: where they whiche do exercise artificiall science or corporal] labour, do nat trauayle for theyr superiours onely, but also for theyr owne necessitie. So the husbande man fedethe hym selfe and the clothe maker: the clothe maker apparayleth hym selfe and the husbande they both socour other artificers: other artificers them: they and other artificers them that be gouernours. But they that be gouernours (as I before sayde) nothinge do acquire by the sayde influence of knowlege for theyr owne necessities, but do imploye all the powers of theyr wittes, and theyr diligence, to the only preseruation of other theyr inferiours: amonge whiche inferiours also behoueth to be a disposition and ordre accordynge to reason, that is to saye, that the slouthfull or idell persone do nat participate with hym that is industrious and taketh payne: whereby the frutes of his labours shulde be diminisshed: wherin shulde be none equalite, but therof shulde procede discourage, and finally disolution for lacke of prouision. Wherfore it can none other wyse stande with reason, but that the astate of the persone in preeminence of lyuynge shulde be estemed with his understandyng, labour, and policie: where unto muste be added an augmentation of honour and substaunce; whiche nat onely impressethe a reuerence, wherof procedethe a due obedience amonge subiectes, but also inflameth men naturally inclined to idelnes or sensuall appetite to coueyte lyke fortune, and for that cause to dispose them to studie or occupation. Nowe to conclude my fyrst assertion or argument, where all thynge is commune, there lacketh ordre; and where ordre lacketh, there all thynge is odiouse and uncomly. And that have we in daily experience; for the pannes and pottes garnissheth wel the ketchyn, and yet shulde they be to the chambre none ornament. Also the beddes, testars, and pillowes besemeth nat the halle, no more than the carpettes and kusshyns becometh the stable. Semblably the potter and tynker, only perfects in theyr crafte, shall littell do in the ministration of iustice. A ploughman or carter shall make but a feble answere to an ambassadour. Also a wayuer or fuller shulde be an unmete capitaine of an armie, or in any other office of a gouernour. Wherfore to conclude, it is only a publike weale, where, like as god hath disposed the saide influence of understandyng, is also appoynted degrees and places according to the excellencie therof; and therto also wold be substance conuenient and necessarye for the ornament of the same, whiche also impresseth a reuerence and due obedience to the vulgare people or communaltie; and with out that, it can be no more said that there is a publike weale, than it may be affirmed that a house, without his propre and necessarye ornamentes, is well and sufficiently furnisshed.
II. That one souraigne gouernour ought to be in a publike weale. And what damage hath happened where a multitude hath had equal authorite without any soueraygne.
LYKE as to a castell or fortresse suffisethe one owner or souerayne, and where any mo be of like power and authoritie seldome cometh the warke to perfection; or beinge all redy made, where the one diligently ouerseeth and the other neglecteth, in that contention all is subuerted and commeth to ruyne. In semblable wyse dothe a publike weale that hath mo chiefe gouernours than one. Example we may take of the grekes, amonge whom in diuers cities weare diuers fourmes of publyke weales gouerned by multitudes: wherin one was most tollerable where the gouernance and rule was alway permitted to them whiche excelled in vertue, and was in the greke tonge called aristocratia, in latin Optimorum Potentia, in englisshe the rule of men of beste disposition, which the Thebanes of longe tyme obserued.
An other publique weale was amonge the Atheniensis, where equalitie was of astate amonge the people, and only by theyr holle consent theyr citie and dominions were gouerned: whiche moughte well be called a monstre with many heedes: nor neuer it was certeyne nor stable: and often tymes they banyssed or slewe the beste citezins whiche by their vertue and wisedome had moste profited to the publike weale. This maner of gouernaunce was called in greke Democratia, in latin Popularis potentia, in englisshe the rule of the comminaltie. Of these two gouernances none of them may be sufficient. For in the fyrste, whiche consisteth of good men, vertue is nat so constant in a multitude, but that some, beinge ones in authoritie, be incensed with glorie: some with ambition: other with coueitise and desire of treasure or possessions: wherby they falle in to contention: and finallye, where any achiuethe the superioritie, the holle gouernance is reduced unto a fewe in nombre, whiche fearinge the multitude and their mutabilitie, to the intent to kepe them in drede to rebelle, ruleth by terrour and crueltie, thinking therby to kepe them selfe in suertie: nat withstanding, rancour coarcted and longe detained in a narowe roume, at the last brasteth out with intollerable violence, and bryngeth al to confusion. For the power that is practized to the hurte of many can nat continue. The populare astate, if it any thing do varie from equalitie of substance or estimation, or that the multitude of people haue ouer moche liberte, of necessite one of these inconueniences muste happen: either tiranny, where he that is to moche in fauour wolde be elevate and suffre none equalite, orels in to the rage of a communaltie, whiche of all rules is moste to be feared. For lyke as the communes, if they fele some seueritie, they do humbly serue and obaye, so where they imbracinge a licence refuse to be brydled, they flynge and plunge: and if they ones throwe downe theyr gouernour, they ordre euery thynge without iustice, only with vengeance and crueltie: and with incomparable difficultie and unneth by any wysedome be pacified and brought agayne in to ordre. Wherfore undoubtedly the best and most sure gouernaunce is by one kynge or prince, whiche ruleth onely for the weale of his people to hym subiecte: and that maner of gouernaunce is beste approued, and hath longest continued, and is moste auncient. For who can denie but that all thynge in heuen and erthe is gouerned by one god, by one perpetuall ordre, by one prouidence? One Sonne ruleth ouer the day, and one Moone ouer the nyghte; and to descende downe to the erthe, in a litell beest, whiche of all other is moste to be maruayled at, I meane the Bee, is lefte to man by nature, as it semeth, a perpetuall figure of a iuste gouernaunce or rule: who hath amonge them one princpall Bee for gouernour, who excelleth all other in greatness yet hath no pricke or sting but in hym is more knowledge than in the residue: For if the day folowyng shall be fayre and drye and that the bees may issue out of theyr stalles without peryll of rayne or vehement wynde, in the mornyng erely he calleth them, makyng a noyse as it were the sowne of a horne or a trumpet; and with that all the residue prepare them to labour, and fleeth abrode, gatheryng nothing but that shall be swete and profitable, all though they sitte often tymes on herbes and other thinges that be venomous and stynkinge.
The capitayne hym selfe laboureth nat for his sustinance, but all the other for hym; he onely seeth that if any drane or other unprofitable bee entreth in to the hyue, and consumethe the hony, gathered by other, that he be immediately expelled from that company. And when there is an other nombre of bees encreased, they semblably haue also a capitayne, whiche be nat suffered to continue with the other. Wherfore this newe company gathered in to a swarme, hauyng their capitayne amonge them, and enuironynge hym to perserue hym from harme, they issue forthe sekyng a newe habitation, whiche they fynde in some tree, except with some pleasant noyse they be alured and conuayed unto an other hyue. I suppose who seriously beholdeth this example, and hath any commendable witte, shall therof gather moche matter to the fourmynge of a publike weale. But because I may nat be longe therin, considerynge my purpose, I wolde that if the reder herof be lerned that he shulde repayre to the Georgikes of Virgile, or to Plini, or Collumella, where he shall fynde the example more ample and better declared. And if any desireth to haue the gouernance of one persone proued by histories, let hym fyrste resorte to the holy scripture: where he shall fynde that almyghty god commanded Moses only, to brynge his elected people out of captiuite, gyuynge onely to hym that authoritie, without appoyntynge to hym any other assistance of equall power or dignitie, excepte in the message to kynge Pharo, wherin Aaron, rather as a ministre than a companyon, wente with Moses. But onely Moses conducted the people through the redde see; he onely gouerned them fourtie yeres in deserte. And bicause Dathan and Abiron disdayned his rule, and coueyted to be equall with hym, the erthe. opened, and fyre issued out, and swalowed them in, with all their holle familie and confederates, to the nombre of 14,700.
And all thoughe Hietro, Moses' father in lawe, counsailed hym to departe his importable labours, in continual iugementes, unto the wise men that were in his company, he nat withstandynge styll retayned the soueraintie by goddis commandement, untyll, a litle before he dyed, he resigned it to Josue, assigned by god to be ruler after hym. Semblably after the deth of Josue, by the space Of 246 yeres, succeded, from tyme to tyme, one ruler amonge the Jewes, whiche was chosen for his excellencie in vertue and speciallye Justice, wherfore he was called the iuge, untill the Israelites desired of almightye god to let them haue a kynge as other people had: who appointed to them Saul to be their kynge who exceded all other in stature. And so successiuely one kynge gouerned all the people of Israell unto the time of Roboaz, sonne of the noble kynge Salomon, who, beinge unlike to his father in wisedome, practised tyranny amonge his people, wherfore ix partes of them which they called Tribus forsoke hym, and elected Hieroboaz, late seruant to Salomon, to be theyr kynge, onely the x parte remaynynge with Roboaz.
And so in that realme were continually two kynges, untill the kynge of Mede had depopulated the countrey, and brought the people in captiuite to the citie of Babylon; so that durynge the tyme that two kinges rayned ouer the iewes was euer continuall bataile amonge them selfes: where if one kynge had alway rayned lyke to Dauid or Solomon of lykelyhode the countrey shuld nat so sone haue ben brought in captiuite.
Also in the tyme of the Machabeis, as longe as they had but one busshop whiche was their ruler, and was in the stede of a prince at that dayes, they valiantly resisted the gentils: and as well the Romanes, then great lordes of the worlde, as Persians and diuers other realmes desired to haue with them amitie and aliaunce: and all the inhabitantes of that countrey liued in great weale and quietnes. But after that by symony and ambition there happened to be two bisshops whiche deuided their authorities, and also the Romanes had deuided the realme of Judea to foure princes called tetrarchas, and also constituted a Romane capitayne or president ouer them: among the heddes there neuer cessed to be sedition and perpetuall discorde: wherby at the last the people was distroyed, and the contray brought to desolation and horrible barrennes.
The Grekes, which were assembled to reuenge the reproche of Menelaus, that he toke of the Trojans by the rauisshing of Helene, his wyfe, dyd nat they by one assent electe Agamemnon to be their emperour or capitain: obeinge him as theyr soueraine duryng the siege of Troy?
All though that they had diuers excellent princes, nat onely equall to hym, but also excelling hym: as in prowes, Achilles, and Aiax Thelemonius: in wisedome, Nestor and Ulisses, and his oune brother Menelaus, to whom they mought haue giuen equall authoritie with Agamemnon: but those wise princes considered that, without a generall capitayne, so many persones as were there of diuers realmes gathered together, shulde be by no meanes well gouerned: wherfore Homere calleth Agamemnon the shepeherde of people. They rather were contented to be under one mannes obedience, than seuerally to use theyr authorities or to ioyne in one power and dignite; wherby at the last shuld have sounded discention amonge the people, they beinge seperately enclined towarde theyr naturall souerayne lorde, as it appered in the particuler contention that was betwene Achilles and Agamemnon for theyr concubines, where Achilles, renouncynge the obedience that he with all other princes had before promised, at the bataile fyrst enterprised agaynst the Trojans. For at that tyme no litell murmur and sedition was meued in the hoste of the grekes, whiche nat withstandyng was wonderfully pacified and the armie unscatered by the maiestie of Agamemnon, ioynynge to hym counsailours Nestor and the witty Ulisses.
But to retourne agayne. Athenes and other cities of Grece, whan they had abandoned kynges, and concluded to lyue as it were in a communaltie, whiche abusifly they called equalitie, howe longe tyme dyd any of them continue in peace? yea what vacation had they from the warres? or what noble man had they whiche auanced the honour and weale of theyr citie, whom they dyd not banisshe or slee in prison? Surely it shall appiere to them that wyll rede Plutarche, or Emilius probus, in the lyues of Milciades, Cimon, Themistocles, Aristides, and diuers other noble and valiant capitaynes which is to longe here to reherce.
In lyke wyse the Romanes, durynge the tyme that they were under kynges, which was by the space of 144 yeres, were well gouerned, nor neuer was amonge them discorde or sedition. But after that by the persuation of Brutus and Colatinus, whose wyfe (Lucretia) was rauysshed by Aruncius, sonne of Tarquine, kynge of Romanes, nat only the saide Tarquine and al his posterite were exiled out of Rome for euer, but also it was finally determined amonge the people, that neuer after they wolde haue a kinge reigne ouer them.
Consequently the communaltie more and more encroched a licence, and at the last compelled the Senate to suffre them to chose yerely amonge them gouernours of theyr owne astate and condition, whom they called Tribunes: under whom they resceyued suche audacitie and power that they finally optained the higheste authoritie in the publike weale, in so moche that often tymes they dyd repele the actes of the Senate, and to those Tribunes mought a man appele from the Senate or any other office or dignite.
But what came therof in conclusion? Surely whan there was any difficulte warre immynent, than were they constrained to electe one soueraine and chiefe of all other, whom they named Dictator, as it were commander, from whom it was not laufull for any man to appele. But bicause there appered to be in hym the pristinate authorite and maiestie of a kyng, they wolde no longer suffre hym to continue in that dignite than by the space of vi. monothes, excepte he then resigned it, and by the consente of the people eftsones dyd resume it. Finally, untill Octauius Augustus had distroyed Anthony, and also Brutus, and finisshed all the Ciuile Warres, (that were so called by cause they were betwene the same selfe Romane citezins) the cite of Rome was neuer longe quiete from factions or seditions amonge the people. And if the nobles of Rome had nat ben men of excellent lernynge, wisedome, and prowesse, and that the Senate, the moste noble counsaile in all the worlde, whiche was fyrste ordayned by Romulus, and encreased by Tullus hostilius, the thyrde kynge of Romanes, had nat continued and with great difficultie retayned theyr authorite, I suppose verily that the citie of Rome had ben utterly desolate sone after the expellyng of Tarquine: and if it had bene eftsones renewed it shulde haue bene twentye tymes distroyed before the tyme that Augustus raigned: so moche discorde was euer in the citie for lacke of one gouernour.
But what nede we to serch e so ferre from us, sens we haue sufficient examples nere unto us? Beholde the astate of Florence and Gene, noble cites of Italy, what calamite haue they both sustained by their owne factions, for lacke of a continuall gouernour. Ferrare and the moste excellent citie of Venise, the one hauyng a duke, the other an erle, seldome suffreth damage excepte it happen by outwarde hostilitie. We have also an example domisticall, whiche is moste necessary to be noted. After that the Saxons by treason had expelled out of Englande the Britons, whiche were the auncient inhabitantes, this realme was deuyded in to sondry regions or kyngdomes. O what mysery was the people than in. O howe this most noble Isle of the worlde was decerpt and rent in pieces: the people pursued and hunted lyke wolfes or other beastes sauage; none industrie auayled, no strength defended, no riches profited. Who wolde than haue desired to haue ben rather a man than a dogge: whan men either with sworde or with hungre perisshed, hauynge no profit or sustinance of their owne corne or catell, whiche by mutuall warre was continually distroyed? yet the dogges, either takynge that that men coulde nat quietly come by, or fedynge on the deed bodies, whiche on euery parte laye scatered plenteously, dyd satisfie theyr hunger.
Where finde ye any good lawes that at that tyme were made and used, or any commendable monument of science or crafte in this realme occupied? suche iniquitie semeth to be than, that by the multitude of soueraigne gouernours all thinges had ben brought to confusion, if the noble kynge Edgar had nat reduced the monarch to his pristinate astate and figure: whiche brought to passe, reason was reuiued, and people came to conformitie, and the realme began to take comforte and to shewe some visage of a publike weale: and so (lauded be god) haue continued: but nat beinge alway in like astate or condition. All be it it is nat to be dispaired, but that the kynge our soueraigne lorde nowe reignyng, and this realme alway hauynge one prince like unto his highnes, equall to the auncient princis in vertue and courage, it shall be reduced (god so disposynge) unto a publike weale excellynge all other in preeminence of vertue and abundance of thynges necessary. But for as moche as I do wel perceiue that to write of the office or duetie of a soueraigne gouernour or prince, farre excedeth the compasse of my lernyng, holy scripture affirmyng that the hartes of princes be in goddes owne handes and disposition, I wyll therfore kepe my penne within the space that is discribed to me by the thre noble maisters, reason, lernynge, and experience; and by theyr enseignement or teachyng I wyll ordinately treate of the two partes of a publike weale, wherof the one shall be named Due Administration, the other Necessary Occupation, whiche shall be deuided in to two volumes. In the fyrste shall be comprehended the beste fourme of education or bringing up of noble children from their natiuitie, in suche maner as they may be founde worthy, and also able to be gouernours of a publike weale. The seconde volume, whiche, god grantyng me quietnes and libertie of mynde, I wyll shortly after sende forthe, it shall conteine all the reminant, whiche I can either by lernyng or experience fynde apt to the perfection of a iuste publike weale: in the whiche I shall so endeuour my selfe, that al men, of what astate or condition so euer they be, shall finde therin occasion to be alway vertuously occupied; and not without pleasure, if they be nat of the scholes of Aristippus or Apicius, of whom the one supposed felicite to be onely in lechery, the other in delicate fedynge and glotony: from whose sharpe talones and cruell tethe, I beseche all gentill reders, to defende these warkes, whiche for theyr commodite is onely compiled.
III. That in a publike weale ought to be inferiour gouernours called Magistrates: whiche shall be appoynted or chosen by the soueraigne gouernour.
THERE be bothe reasones and examples, undoutedly infinite, wherby may be proued, that there can be no perfect publike weale without one capital and soueraigne gouernour whiche may longe endure or continue. But sens one mortall man can nat haue knowlege of all thynges done in a realme or large dominion, and at one tyme, discusse all controuersies, refourme all transgressions, and exploite al consultations, concluded as well for outwarde as inwarde affaires: it is expedient and also nedefull that under the capitall gouernour be sondry meane authorities, as it were aydyng him in the distribution of iustice in sondry partes of a huge multitude: wherby his labours beinge leuigate and made more tollerable, he shall gouerne with the better aduise, and consequently with a more perfect gouernance. And, as Jesus Sirach sayth, The multitude of wise men is the welth of the worlde. They whiche haue suche authorities to them committed may be called inferiour gouernours, hauynge respecte to theyr office or duetie, wherin is also a representation of gouernance. All be it they be named in latine Magistratus. And herafter I intende to call them Magistratis, lackynge a more conuenient worde in englisshe; but I do in the seconde parte of this warke, where I propose to write of theyr sondry offices or ffectes authoritie. But for as moche as in this parte e to write of theyr education and vertue in whiche they haue in commune with princes, in as moche as therby they shall, as well by example as by authoritie, ordre well them, whiche by theyr capitall gouernour shall be to theyr rule committed, I may, without anoyance of any man, name them gouernours at this tyme, apropriatynge, to the soueraignes, names of kynges and princes, sens of a longe custome these names in commune fourme of speakyng be in a higher preeminence and estimation than gouernours. That in euery commune weale ought to be a great nombre of suche maner of persons it is partly proued in the chaptre nexte before writen, where I haue spoken of the commodite of ordre. Also reason and commune experience playnly declareth, that, where the dominion is large and populouse, there is hit convenient that a prince haue many inferiour gouernours, whiche be named of Aristotel his eien, eares, handes, and legges, whiche, if they be of the beste sorte, (as he further more saythe), it semeth impossible a countrey nat to be well gouerned by good lawes. And evcepte [sic] excellent vertue and lernynge do inhabite a man of the base astate of the communaltie, to be thought of all men worthy to be so moche auaunced: els suche gouernours wolde be chosen out of that astate of men whiche be called worshipfull, if amonge them may be founden a sufficient nombre, ornate with vertue and wisedome, mete for suche purpose, and that for sondry causes.
Fyrste it is of good congruence that they, whiche be superiour in condition or hauiour, shulde haue also preeminence in administration, if they be nat inferiour to other in vertue. Also they hauinge of their owne reuenues certeine wherby they haue competent substance to lyue without takyng rewardes: it is lykely that they wyll nat be so desirous of Iucre, (wherof may be engendred corruption), as they whiche haue very litle or nothynge so certeyne.
More ouer where vertue is in a gentyll man, it is commonly mixte with more sufferance, more affabilitie, and myldenes, than for the more parte it is in a persone rural, or of a very base linage; and whan it hapneth other wise, it is to be accompted lothesome and monstruous. Furthermore, where the persone is worshypfull, his gouernaunce, though it be sharpe, is to the people more tollerable, and they therwith the lasse grutch, or be dissobedient. Also suche men, hauyng substance in goodes by certeyne and stable possessions, whiche they may aporcionate to their owne liuynge, and bryngynge up of theyr children in lernyng and vertues, may, (if nature repugne nat), cause them to be so instructed and furnisshed towarde the administration of a publike weale, that a poure mannes sonne, onely by his naturall witte, without other adminiculation or aide, neuer or sledome may atteyne to the semblable. Towarde the whiche instruction I haue, with no litle study and labours, prepared this warke, as almighty god be my iuge, without arrogance or any sparke of vayne glorie: but only to declare the feruent zele that I haue to my countrey, and that I desyre only to employ that poure lerning, that I haue gotten, to the benefite thereof, and to the recreation of all the reders that be of any noble or gentill courage, gyuynge them occasion to eschewe idelnes, beynge occupied in redynge this warke, infarced througly with suche histories and sentences wherby they shal take, they them selfes confessing, no lytell commodite if they will more than ones or twyse rede it. The first reding being to them newe, the seconde delicious, and, euery tyme after, more and more frutefull and excellent profitable.
IV. The education or fourme of bringing up of the childe of a gentilman, which is to haue authoritie in a publike weale.
FOR as moche as all noble authors do conclude, and also commune experience proueth, that where the gouernours of realmes and cities be founden adourned with vertues, and do employ theyr study and mynde to the publike weale, as well to the augmentation therof as to the establysshynge and longe continuaunce of the same: there a publike weale must nedes be both honorable and welthy. To the entent that I wyll declare howe suche personages may be prepared, I will use the policie of a wyse and counnynge gardener: who purposynge to haue in his gardeine a fyne and preciouse herbe, that shulde be to hym and all other repairynge therto, excellently comodiouse or pleasant, he will first serche throughout his gardeyne where he can finde the most melowe and fertile erth: and therin wil he put the sede of the herbe to growe and be norisshed: and in most diligent wise attende that no weede be suffred to growe or aproche nyghe unto it: and to the entent it may thrive the faster, as soone as the fourme of an herbe ones appereth, he will set a vessell of water by hit, in suche wyse that it may continually distille on the rote swete droppes; and as it spryngeth in stalke, under sette it with some thyng that it breake nat, and alway kepe it cleane from weedes. Semblable ordre will I ensue in the fourmynge the gentill wittes of noble mennes children, who, from the wombes of their mother, shal be made propise or apte to the gouernaunce of a publike weale.
Fyrste, they, unto whom the bringing up of suche children apperteineth, oughte, againe the time that their mother shall be of them deliuered, to be sure of a nourise whiche shulde be of no seruile condition or vice notable. For, as some auncient writers do suppose, often times the childe soukethe the vice of his nouryse with the milke of her pappe. And also obserue that she be of mature or ripe age, nat under xx yeres, or aboue xxx, her body also beinge clene from all sikenes or deformite, and hauing her complection most of the right and pure sanguine. For as moche as the milke therof comminge excelleth all other bothe in swetenes and substance. More ouer to the nourise shulde be appointed an other woman of approued vertue, discretion, and grauitie, who shall nat suffre, in the childes presence, to be shewed any acte or tache dishonest, or any wanton or unclene worde to be spoken: and for that cause al men, except physitions only, shulde be excluded and kepte out of the norisery. Perchance some wyll scorne me for that I am so serious, sainge that ther is no suche damage to be fered in an infant, who for tendernes of yeres hath nat the understanding to decerne good from iuell. And yet no man wyll denie, but in that innocency he wyll decerne milke from butter, and breadde from pappe, and er he can speake he wyll with his hande or countenaunce signifie whiche he. desireth. And I verily do suppose that in the braynes and hertes of children, whiche be membres spirituall, whiles they be tender, and the litle slippes of reason begynne in them to burgine, ther may happe by iuel custome some pestiferous dewe of vice to perse the sayde membres, and infecte and corrupt the softe and tender buddes, wherby the frute may growe wylde, and some tyme conteine in it feruent and mortal poyson, the utter destruction of a realme.
And we haue in daily experience that litle infantes assayeth to folowe, nat onely the wordes, but also the faictes and gesture, of them that be prouecte in yeres. For we daylye here, to our great heuines, children swere great othes and speake lasciuious and unclene wordes, by the example of other whom they heare, wherat the leude parentes do reioyce, sone after, or in this worlde, or els where, to theyr great payne and tourment. Contrary wise we beholde some chyldren, knelynge in theyr game before images, and holdyng up theyr lytell whyte handes, do moue theyr praty mouthes, as they were prayeng: other goynge and syngynge as hit were in procession: wherby they do expresse theyr disposition to the imitation of those thynges, be they good or iuell, whiche they usually do se or here. Wherfore nat only princis, but also all other children, from their norises pappes, are to be kepte diligently from the herynge or seynge of any vice or euyl tache. And encontinent as sone as they can speake, it behoueth, with most pleasaunt allurynges, to instill in them swete maners and vertuouse custome. Also to prouide for them suche companions and playfelowes, whiche shal nat do in his presence any reprocheable acte, or speake any uncleane worde or othe, ne to aduaunt hym with flatery, remembrynge his nobilitie, or any other like thyng wherin he mought glory: onlas it be to persuade hym to vertue, or to withdrawe him from vice, in the remembryng to hym the daunger of his euill example. For noble men more greuously offende by theyr example than by their dede. Yet often remembrance to them of their astate may happen to radycate in theyr hartes intollerable pride, the moost daungerous poyson to noblenes: wherfore there is required to be therein moche cautele and sobrenesse.
V. The ordre of lernynge that a noble man shulde be trayned in before he come to thaige of seuen yeres.
Some olde autours holde oppinion that, before the age of seuen yeres, a chylde shulde nat be instructed in letters; but those writers were either grekes or latines, amonge whom all doctrine and sciences were in their maternall tonges; by reason wherof they saued all that longe tyme whiche at this dayes is spente in understandyng perfectly the greke or latyne. Wherfore it requireth nowe a longer tyme to the understandynge of bothe. Therfore that infelicitie of our tyme and countray compelleth us to encroche some what upon the yeres of children, and specially of noble men, that they may sooner attayne to wisedome and grauitie than priuate persones, consideryng, as I haue saide, their charge and example, whiche, above all thinges, is most to be estemed. Nat withstanding, I wolde nat haue them inforced by violence to lerne, but accordynge to the counsaile of Quintilian, to be swetely allured therto with praises and suche praty gyftes as children delite in. And their fyrst letters to be paynted or lymned in a pleasaunt maner: where in children of gentyl courage haue moche delectation. And also there is no better allectyue to noble wyttes than to induce them in to a contention with their inferiour companions: they somtyme purposely suffring the more noble children to vainquysshe, and, as it were, gyuying to them place and soueraintie, thoughe in dede the inferiour chyldren haue more lernyng. But there can be nothyng more conuenient than by litle and litle to trayne and exercise hem in spekyng of latyne: infourmyng them to knowe first the names in latine of all thynges that cometh in syghte, and to name all the partes of theyr bodies: and gyuynge them some what that they couete or desyre, in most gentyl maner to teache them to aske it agayne in latine. And if by this meanes they may be induced understande and speke latine: it shall afterwards be lasse grefe to them, in a maner, to lerne any thing, where they understande the langage wherein it is writen. And, as touchynge grammere, there is at this day better introductions, and more facile, than euer before were made, concernyng as wel greke as latine, if they be wisely chosen. And hit shal be no reproche to a noble man to instruct his owne children, or at the leest wayes to examine them, by the way of daliaunce or solace, considerynge that the emperour Octauius Augustus disdayned nat to rede the warkes of Cicero and Virgile to his children and neuewes. And why shulde nat noble men rather so do, than teache their children howe at dyse and cardes, they may counnyngly lese and consume theyr owne treasure and substaunce? Moreouer teachynge representeth the auctoritie of a prince wherfore Dionyse, kynge of Sicile, whan he was for tyranny expelled by his people, he came in to Italy, and there in a commune schole taught grammer, where with, whan he was of his enemies enbraided, and called a schole maister, he answered them, that al though Sicilians had exiled hym, yet in despite of them all he reigned, notynge therby the authorite that he had ouer his scholers. Also whan hit was of hym demanded what auailed hym Plato or philosophy, wherin he had ben studious, he aunswered that they caused hym to sustaine aduersitie paciently, and made his exile to be more facile and easy: whiche courage and wisdome consydered of his people, they eftsones him unto his realme and astate roiall, where, if he had procured agayne them hostilite or warres, or had returned in to Sicile with any violence, I suppose the people wolde haue alway resysted hym, and haue kepte hym in perpetuall exile: as the romaynes dyd the proude kynge Tarquine, whose sonne rauysshed Lucrece. But to retourne to my purpose, hit shall be expedient that a noble mannes sonne, in his infancie, haue with hym continually onely suche as may accustome hym by litle and litle to speake pure and elegant latin. Semblably the nourises and other women aboute hym, if it be possible, to do the same: or, at the leste way, that they speke none englisshe but that which is cleane, polite, perfectly and articulately pronounced, omittinge no lettre or sillable, as folisshe women often times do of a wantonnesse, wherby diuers noble men and gentilmennes chyldren, (as I do at this daye knowe), haue attained corrupte and foule pronuntiation.
This industry used in fourminge litel infantes, who shalt dought, but that they, (not lackyng naturall witte) shall be apt to receyue lerninge, whan they come to mo yeres? And in this wise maye they be instructed, without any violence or inforsinge: using the more parte of the time, until they come to the age of vii yeres, in suche disportis, as do appertaine to children, wherin is no resemblance or similitude of vice.
VI. At what age a tutour shulde be prouided, and what shall appertaine to his office to do.
AFTER that a childe is come to seuen yeres of age, I holde it expedient that he be taken from the company of women: sauynge that he may haue, one yere, or two at the most, an auncient and sad matrone, attendynge on hym in his chambre, whiche shall nat haue any yonge woman in her company: for though there be no perille of offence in that tender and innocent age, yet, in some children, nature is more prone to vice than to vertue, and in the tender wittes be sparkes of voluptuositie: whiche, norished by any occasion or obiecte, encrease often tymes in to so terrible a fire, that therwith all vertue and reason is consumed. Wherfore, to eschewe that daunger, the most sure counsaile is, to withdrawe him from all company of women, and to assigne unto hym a tutor, whiche shulde be an auncient and worshipfull man, in whom is aproued to be moche gentilnes, mixte with grauitie, and, as nighe as can be, suche one as the childe by imitation folowynge may growe to be excellent. And if he be also lerned, he is the more commendable. Peleus, the father of Achilles, committed the gouernaunce of his sonne to Phenix, which was a straunger borne: who, as well in speakyng elegantly as in doinge valiauntly, was maister to Achilles (as Homere saith). Howe moche profited hit to kynge Philip, father to the great Alexander, that he was deliuered in hostage to the Thebanes? where he was kepte and brought up under the gouernance of Epaminondas, a noble and valiant capitaine: of whom he receiued suche lernynge, as well in actes martiall as in other liberal sciences, that he excelled all other kynges that were before his tyme in Grece, and finally, as well by wisedome as prowes, subdued all that countray. Semblably he ordayned for his sonne Alexander a noble tutor called Leonidas, unto whom, for his wisedome, humanitie, and lernyng, he committed the rule and preeminence ouer all the maisters and seruantes of Alexander. In whom, nat withstandyng, was suche a familier vice whiche Alexander apprehending in childhode coulde neuer abandon: some suppose it to be fury and hastines, other superfluous drinking of wine: whiche of them it were, it is a good warnyng for gentilmen to be the more serious, inserching, nat only for the vertues, but also for the vices of them, unto whose tuition and gouernance they will committe their children.
The office of a tutor is firste to knowe the nature of his pupil, that is to say, wherto he is mooste inclined or disposed, and in what thyng he setteth his most delectation or appetite. If he be of nature curtaise, piteouse, and of a free and liberall harte, it is a principall token of grace, (as hit is by all scripture determined.) Than shall a wyse tutor purposely commende those vertues, extolling also his pupill for hauyng of them; and therewith he shall declare them to be of all men mooste fortunate, whiche shall happen to haue suche a maister. And moreouer shall declare to hym what honour, what loue, what commodite shall happen to him by these vertues. And, if any haue ben of disposition contrary, than to expresse the enormities of theyr vice, with as moche detestation as may be. And if any daunger haue therby ensued, misfortune, or punisshement, to agreue it in suche wyse, with so vehement wordes, as the childe may abhorre it, and feare the semblable aduenture.
VII. In what wise musike may be to a noble man necessarie: and what modestie ought to be therin.
THE discretion of a tutor consisteth in temperance that is to saye, that he suffre nat the childe to be fatigate with continuall studie or lernyng, wherwith the delicate and tender witte may be dulled or oppressed but that there may be there with entrelased and mixte some pleasaunt lernynge and exercise, as playenge on instruments of musike, whiche moderately used and without diminution of honour, that is to say, without wanton countenance and dissolute gesture, is nat to be contemned. For the noble kynge and prophete Dauid, kyng of Israell (whom almighty god said that he had chosen as a man accordinge to his harte or desire) duringe his lyfe, delited in musike: and with the swete harmony that he made on his harpe, he constrayned the iuell spirite that vexed kynge Saul to forsake hym, continuynge the tyme that he harped.
The mooste noble and valiant princis of Grece often tymes, to recreate their spirites, and in augmenting their courage, enbraced instrumentes musicall. So dyd the valiaunt Achilles, (as Homere saith), who after the sharpe and vehement contention, betwene him and Agamemnon, for the taking away of his concubine: wherby he, being set in a fury, hadde slayne Agamemnon, emperour of the grekes armye, had nat Pallas, the goddesse, withdrawen his hande; in which rage he, all inflamed, departed with his people to his owne shippes that lay at rode, intendinge to haue retourned in to his countray; but after that he had taken to hym his harpe, (whereon he had lerned to playe of Chiron the Centaure, which also had taught hym feates of armes, with phisicke, and surgery), and playeng theron, had songen the gestes and actis martial of the auncient princis of Grece, as Hercules, Perseus, Perithous, Theseus, and his cosin Jason, and of diuers other of semblable value and prowesse, he was there with asswaged of his furie, and reduced in to his firste astate of reason: in suche wyse, that in redoubyng his rage, and that thereby shulde nat remayne to him any note of reproche, he retaynyng his fiers and stourdie countenance, so tempered hym selfe in the entertaynement and answerynge the messagers that came to him from the residue of the Grekes, that they, reputing all that his fiers demeanure to be, (as it were), a diuine maiestie, neuer embrayded hym with any inordinate wrathe or furie. And therfore the great kynge Alexander, whan he had vainquisshed Ilion, where some tyme was set the moste noble citie of Troy, beinge demaunded of one if he wold se the harpe of Paris Alexander, who rauisshed Helene, he therat gentilly smilyng, answered that it was nat the thyng that he moche desired, but that he had rather se the harpe of Achilles, wherto he sange, nat the illecebrous dilectations of Venus, but the valiaunt actes and noble affaires of excellent princis.
But in this commendation of musike I wold nat be thought to allure noble men to haue so moche delectation therin, that, in playinge and singynge only, they shulde put their holle studie and felicitie: as dyd the emperour Nero, whiche all a longe somers day wolde sit in the Theatre, (an open place where al the people of Rome behelde solemne actis and playes), and, in the presence of all the noble men and senatours, wolde playe on his harpe and synge without cessynge: And if any man, hapned, by longe sittynge, to slepe, or, by any other countenance, to shewe him selfe to be weary, he was sodaynly bobbed on the face by the seruantes of Nero, for that purpose attendyng: or if any persone were perceiued to be absent, or were sene to laughe at the folye of the emperour, he was forthe with accused, as it were, of missprision: wherby the emperour founde occasion to committe him to prison or to put hym to tortures. O what misery was it to be subiecte to suche a minstrell, in whose musike was no melodye, but anguisshe and dolour?
It were therfore better that no musike were taughte to a noble man, than, by the exacte knowlege therof, he shuld haue therin inordinate delite, and by that be illected to wantonnesse, abandonyng grauitie, and the necessary cure and office, in the publike weale, to him committed. Kynge Philip, whan he harde that his sonne Alexander dyd singe swetely and properly, he rebuked him gentilly, saynge, But, Alexander, be ye nat ashamed that ye can singe so well and connyngly? whereby he mente that the open profession of that crafte was but of a base estimation. And that it suffised a noble man, hauynge therin knowlege, either to use it secretely, for the refreshynge of his witte, whan he hath tyme of solace: orels, only hearynge the contention of noble musiciens, to gyue iugement in the excellencie of their counnynges. These be the causes where unto hauinge regarde, musike is nat onely tollerable but also commendable. For, as Aristotle saith. Musike in the olde time was nombred amonge sciences, or as moche as nature seketh nat onely howe to be in busines well occupied, but also howe in quietnes to be commendably disposed.
And if the childe be of a perfecte inclination and towardnes to vertue, and very aptly disposed to this science, and ripely dothe understande the reason and concordance of tunes, the tutor's office shall be to persuade hym to haue principally in remembrance his astate, whiche maketh hym exempt from the libertie of usinge this science in euery tyme and place: that is to say, that it onely serueth for recreation after tedious or laborious affaires, and to shewe him that a gentilman, plainge or singing in a commune audience, appaireth his estimation: the people forgettinge reuerence, when they beholde him in the similitude of a common seruant or minstrell. Yet, natwithstanding, he shall commende the perfecte understandinge of musike, declaringe howe necessary it is for the better attaynynge the knowlege of a publike weale: whiche, as I before haue saide, is made of an ordre of astates and degrees, and, by reason therof, conteineth in it a perfect harmony: whiche he shall afterwarde more perfectly onderstande, whan he shall happen to rede the bokes of Plato, and Aristotle, of publike weales: wherin be written diuers examples of musike and geometrye. In this fourme may a wise and circumspecte tutor adapte the pleasant science of musike to a necessary and laudable purpose.
VIII. That it is commendable in a gentilman to paintt and kerue exactly, if nature therto doth induce hym.
IF the childe be of nature inclined, (as many haue ben), to paint with a penne, or to fourme images in stone or tree: he shulde nat be therfrom withdrawen, or nature be rebuked, whiche is to hym beniuolent: but puttyng one to him, whiche is in that crafte, wherin he deliteth, moste excellent, in vacant tymes from other more serious lernynge, he shulde be, in the moste pure wise, enstructed in painting or keruinge.
And nowe, perchance, some enuious reder wyll hereof apprehende occasion to scorne me, sayenge that I haue well hyed me, to make of a noble man a mason or peynter. And yet, if either ambition or voluptuouse idelnes wolde haue suffered that reder to haue sene histories, he shuld haue founden excellent princis, as well impayntyng as in keruynge, equall to noble artificers: suche were Claudius, Titus, the sonne of Vaspasian, Hadriane, both Antonines, and diuers other emperours and noble princes: whose warkes of longe tyme remayned in Rome and other cities, in suche places where all men mought beholde them: as monuments of their excellent wittes and vertuous occupation in eschewynge of idelnes. And nat without a necessary cause princis were in their childhode so instructed: for it serued them afterwarde for deuysynge of engynes for the warre: or for making them better that be all redy deuysed. For, as Vitruuius (which writeth of buyldynge to the emperour Augustus) sayth, All turmentes of warre, whiche we cal ordinance, were first inuented by kinges or gouernours of hostes, or if they were deuised by other, they were by them made moche better. Also, by the feate of portraiture or payntyng, a capitaine may discriue the countray of his aduersary, wherby he shall eschue the daungerous passages with his hoste or nauie: also perceyue the placis of aduauntage, the forme of embataylynge of his ennemies: the situation of his campe, for his moste suertie: the strength or weakenes of the towne or fortresse whiche he intendeth to assaulte. And that whiche is moost specially to be considered, in visiting his owne dominions, he shal sette them out in figure, in suche wise that at his eie shal appere to hym where he shall employ his study and treasure, as well for the saulfgarde of his countray, as for the commodite and honour therof, hauyng at al tymes in his sight the suertie and feblenes, aduauncement and hyndrance, of the same. And what pleasure and also utilite is it to a man whiche intendeth to edifie, hymselfe to expresse the figure of the warke that he purposeth, accordyng as he hath conceyued it in his owne fantasie? wherin, by often amendyng and correctyng, he finally shall so perfecte the warke unto his purpose, that there shall neither ensue any repentance, nor in the employment of his money he shall be by other deceiued. More ouer the feate of portraiture shall be an allectiue to euery other studie or exercise. For the witte therto disposed shall alway couaite congruent mater, wherin it may be occupied. And whan he happeneth to rede or here any fable or historie, forthwith he apprehendeth it more desirously, and retaineth it better, than any other that lacketh the sayd feate: by reason that he hath founde mater apte to his fantasie. Finally, euery thinge that portraiture may comprehende will be to him delectable to rede or here. And where the liuely spirite, and that whiche is called the grace of the thyng, is perfectly expressed, that thinge more persuadeth and stereth the beholder, and soner istructeth hym, than the declaration in writynge or speakynge doth the reder or hearer. Experience we haue therof in lernynge of geometry, astronomie, and cosmogrophie, called in englisshe the discription of the worlde. In which studies I dare affirme a man shal more profite, in one wike, by figures and chartis, well and perfectly made, than he shall by the only reding or heryng the rules of that science by the space of halfe a yere at the lest, wherfore the late writers deserue no small commendation whiche added to the autors of those sciences apt and propre figures.
And he that is perfectly instructed in portrayture, and hapneth to rede any noble and excellent historie, wherby his courage is inflamed to the imitation of vertue, he forth with taketh his penne or pensill, and with a graue and substanciall studie, gatherynge to him all the partes of imagination, endeuoureth him selfe to expresse liuely, and (as I mought say) actually, in portrayture, nat only the faict or affaire, but also the sondry affections of euery personage in the historie recited, whiche, mought in any wise appiere or be perceiued in their visage, countenance or gesture: with like diligence as Lysippus made in metall kynge Alexander, fightynge and struggling with a terrible lyon of incomparable magnitude and fiersenesse, whom, after longe and difficulte bataile, with wonderfull strength and clene might, at the last he ouerthrewe and vainquisshed; wherin he so expressed the similitude of Alexander and of his lordes standyng about him that they all semed to lyue. Amonge whom the prowes of Alexander appiered, excelling all other; the residue of his lordes after the value and estimation of their courage, euery man set out in suche forwardnes, as they than semed more prompt to the helpyng of their maister, that is to say, one lasse a ferde than an other. Phidias the Atheniense, whom all writers do commende, made of yuory the simulachre or image of Jupiter, honoured by the gentiles on the high hille of Olympus: whiche was done so excellently that Pandenus, a counnyng painter, therat admaruailinge, required the craftis man to shewe him where he had the example or paterne of so noble a warke. Then Phidias answered that he had taken it out of thre verses of Homere the poet: the sentence wherof ensueth, as well as my poure witte can expresse it in englisshe
Than Jupiter the father of them allwhere it is to be noted, that immediately before Thetis the mother of Achilles desired Jupiter importunately to inclyne his fauour to the parte of the Troyanes.
Therto assented with his browes blake,
Shaking his here, and therwith did let fall
A countenance that made al heuen to quake,
Nowe (as I haue before sayde) I intende nat, by these examples, to make of a prince or noble mannes sonne a commune painter or keruer, whiche shall present him selfe openly stained or embrued with sondry colours, or poudered with the duste of stones that he cutteth, or perfumed with tedious sauours of the metalies by him yoten.
But verily myne intente and meaninge is only, that a noble childe, by his own naturall disposition, and nat by coertion, may be induced to receiue perfect instruction in these sciences. But all though, for purposesis before expressed, they shall be necessary, yet shall they nat be by him exercised, but as a secret pastime, or recreation of the wittes, late occupied in serious studies, lyk as dyd the noble princis before named. Al though they, ones beinge attayned be neuer moche exercised, after that the tyme cometh concerning businesse of greatter importaunce. Ne the lesse the exquisite knowlege and understanding that he hath in these sciences, hath impressed in his eares and eies an exacte and perfecte iugement, as well in desernyng the excellencie of them, whiche either in musike, or in statuary, or paynters crafte, professeth any counnynge, as also adaptinge their saide knowlege to the adminiculation of other serious studies and businesse, as I haue before rehersed: whiche, I doubt nat, shall be well approued by them that either haue redde and understande olde autors, or aduisedly wyll examine my considerations.
The swete writer, Lactantius, saythe in his first booke to the emperour Constantine agayne the gentiles: 'Of conninge commeth vertue, and of vertue perfect felicite is onely ingendred.'
And for that cause the gentiles supposed those princis, whiche in vertue and honour surmounted other men, to be goddes. And the Romanes in lyke wise dyd consecrate their emperours, which excelled in vertuous example, in preseruyng, or augmentinge the publike weale, and ampliatinge of the empire, calling them Diui, whiche worde representeth a signification of diuinitie, they thinkynge that it was excedynge mannes nature to be bothe in fortune and goodnes of suche perfection.
IX. What exacte diligence shulde be in chosinge maisters.
AFTER that the childe hathe ben pleasantly trained, and induced to knowe the partes of speche, and can separate one of them from an other, in his owne langage, it shall than be time that his tutor or gouernour do make diligent serche for suche a maister as is exellently lerned both in greke and latine, and therwithall is of sobre and vertuous disposition, specially chast of liuyng, and of moche affabilite and patience: leste by any uncleane example the tender mynde of the childe may be infected, harde afterwarde to be recouered. For the natures of children be nat so moche or sone aduaunced by thinges well done or spoken, as they be hindred and corrupted by that whiche in actis or wordes is wantonly expressed. Also by a cruell and irous maister, the wittes of children be dulled; and that thinge for the whiche children be often tymes beaten is to them euer after fastidious: wherof we nede no better autor for witnes than daily experience. Wherfore the moste necessary thinges to be obserued by a master in his disciples or scholers (as Licon the noble grammarien saide) is shamfastnes and praise. By shamfastnes, as it were with a bridell, they rule as well theyr dedes as their appetites. And desire of prayse addeth to a sharpe spurre to their disposition towarde lernyng and vertue. Accordyng there unto Quintilian, instructyng an oratour, desireth suche a childe to be giuen unto hym, whom commendation feruently stereth, glorie prouoketh, and beinge vainquisshed wepeth. That childe (saithe he) is to be fedde with ambition, hym a litle chiding sore biteth, in hym no parte of slouthe is to be feared. And if nature disposeth nat the childes witte to receiue lernynge, but rather other wise, it is to be applied with more diligence, and also policie, as chesing some boke, wherof the argument or matter approcheth moste nighe to the childes inclination or fantasie, so that it be nat extremely vicious, and therwith by litle and litle, as it were with a pleasant sauce, prouoke him to haue good appetite to studie. And surely that childe, what so euer he be, is well blessed and fortunate, that findeth a good instructour or maister: whiche was considered by noble kynge Philip, father to the great king Alexander, who immediately after that his sonne was borne wrote a letter to Aristotle, the prince of philosophers, the tenour herof ensueth.
Aristotle, we grete you well. Lettinge you weete that we haue a sonne borne, for the whiche we gyue due thankes unto god, nat for that he is borne onely, but so for as moche as it happeneth hym to be borne, you yuinge. Trusting that it shall hapen that he, by you taught and instructed, shall be herafter worthye to be named our sonne, and to enioy the honour and substance that we nowe haue prouided. Thus fare ye well.
The same Alexander was wont to say openly, that he ought to gyue as great thankes to Aristotle his mayster as to kynge Philip his father, for of hym he toke the occasion to lyue, of the other he receiued the reason and waye to lyue well. And what maner a prince Alexander was made by the doctrine of Aristotle, hit shall appere in diuers places of this boke: where his example to princes shall be declared. The incomparable benefite of maisters haue ben well remembred of dyuers princes. In so moche as Marcus Antoninus, whiche amonge the emperours was commended for his vertue and sapience, hadde his mayster Proculus (who taught hym grammer) so moche in fauour, that he aduanced hym to be proconsul: whiche was one of the highest dignites amonge the Romanes.
Alexander the emperour caused his maister Julius Fronto to be consul: whiche was the highest office, and in astate nexte the emperour: and also optayned of the senate that the statue or image of Fronto was sette up amonge the noble princes.
What caused Traiane to be so good a prince, in so moche that of late dayes whan an emperour receyued his crowne at Rome, the people with a commune crye desired of god that he mought be as good as was Traiane, but that he hapned to haue Plutarche, the noble philosopher, to be his instructour? I agre me that some be good of natural inclination to goodnes: but where good instruction and example is there to added, the naturall goodnes must there with nedes be amended and be more excellent.
X. What ordre shulde be in lernynge and whiche autours shulde be fyrst redde.
Nowe lette us retourne to, the ordre of lernyng apt for a gentyll man. Wherein I am of the opinion of Quintilian that I wolde haue hym lerne greke and latine autors<35> both at one time: orels to begyn with greke, for as moche as that it is hardest to come by: by reason of the diuersite of tonges, which be fyue in nombre: and all must be knowen, or elles uneth any poet can be well understande. And if a childe do begyn therin at seuen yeres of age, he may continually lerne greke autours; thre yeres, and in the meane tyme use the latin tonge as a familiar langage: whiche in a noble mannes sonne may well come to passe, hauynge none other persons to serue him or kepyng hym company, but suche as can speake latine elegantly. And what doubt is there but so may he as sone speake good latin, as he maye do pure frenche, whiche nowe is broughte in to as many rules and figures, and as longe a grammar as is latine or greke. I wyll nat contende who, amonge them that do write grammers of greke, (whiche nowe all most be innumerable) is the beste: but that I referre to the discretion of a wyse mayster. Alway I wolde aduyse hym nat to detayne the childe to longe in that tedious laboure, eyther in the greke or latyne grammer. For a gentyll wytte is there with sone fatigate.
Grammer beinge but an introduction to the understanding of autors, if it be made to longe or exquisite to the lerner, hit in a maner mortifieth his corage: And by that time he cometh to the most swete and pleasant redinge of olde autours, the sparkes of feruent desire of lernynge is extincte with the burdone of grammer, lyke as a lyttel fyre is sone quenched with a great heape of small stickes: so that it can neuer come to the principall logges where it shuld longe bourne in a great pleasaunt fire.
Nowe to folowe my purpose: after a fewe and quicke rules of grammer, immediately, or interlasynge hit therwith, wolde be redde to the childe Esopes_fables in greke: in whiche argument children moche do delite. And surely it is a moche pleasant lesson and also profitable, as well for that it is elegant and brefe, (and nat withstanding it hath moche varietie in wordes, and therwith moche helpeth to the understandinge of greke) as also in those fables is included moche morall and politike wisedome. Wherfore, in the teachinge of them, the maister diligently must gader to gyther those fables, whiche may be most accommodate to the aduauncement of some vertue, wherto he perceiueth the childe inclined or to the rebuke of some vice, wherto he findeth his nature disposed. And therin the master ought to exercise his witte, as wel to make the childe plainly to understande the fable, as also declarynge the signification therof compendiously and to the purpose, fore sene alwaye, that, as well this lesson, as all other autours whiche the childe shall lerne, either greke or latine, verse or prose, be perfectly had without the boke: wherby he shall nat only attaine plentie of the tonges called Copie, but also encrease and nourisshe remembrance wonderfully.
The nexte lesson wolde be some quicke and mery dialoges, elect out of Luciane, whiche be without ribawdry, or to moche skorning, for either of them is exactly to be eschewed, specially for a noble man, the one anoyeng the soule, the other his estimation concerning his grauitie. The comedies of Aristophanes may be in the place of Luciane, and by reason that they be in metre they be the sooner lerned by harte. I dare make none other comparison betwene them for offendinge the frendes of them both: but thus moche dare I say, that it were better that a childe shuld neuer rede any parte of Luciane than all Luciane.
I coulde reherce diuers other poetis whiche for matter and eloquence be very necessary, but I feare me to be to longe from noble Homere: from whom as from a fountaine proceded all eloquence and lernyng. For in his bokes be contained, and moste perfectly expressed, nat only the documentes marciall and discipline of armes, but also incomparable wisedomes, and instructions for politike gouernaunce of people: with the worthy commendation and laude of noble princis: where with the reders shall be so all inflamed, that they most feruently shall desire and coueite, by the imitation of their vertues, to acquire semblable glorie. For the whiche occasion, Aristotel, moost sharpest witted and excellent lerned Philosopher, as sone as he had receiued Alexander from kynge Philip his father, he before any other thynge taught hym the moost noble warkes of Homere: wherin Alexander founde suche swetenes and frute, that euer after he had Homere nat onely with hym in all his iournayes, but also laide hym under his pillowe whan he went to reste: and often tymes wolde purposely wake some houres of the nyght, to take as it were his passe tyme with that mooste noble poete.
For by the redinge of his warke called Iliados, where the assembly of the most noble grekes agayne Troy is recited with theyr affaires, he gathered courage and strength agayne his ennemies, wysdome, and eloquence, for consultations, and persuations to his people and army. And by the other warke called Odissea, whiche recounteth the sondry aduentures of the wise Ulisses, he, by the example of Ulisses, apprehended many noble vertues, and also lerned to eskape the fraude and deceitfull imaginations of sondry and subtile crafty wittes. Also there shall he lerne to enserche and perceiue the maners and conditions of them that be his familiars, siftinge out (as I mought say) the best from the warst, wherby he may surely committe his affaires, and truste to euery persone after his vertues. Therfore I nowe conclude that there is no lesson for a yonge gentil man to be compared with Homere, if he be playnly and substancially expouned and declared by the mayster.
Nat withstandynge, for as moche as the saide warkes be very longe, and do require therfore a great time to be all lerned and kanned, some latine autour wolde be therwith myxte, and specially Virgile; whiche, in his warke called Eneidos, is most lyke to Homere, and all moste the same Homere in latine. Also, by the ioynynge to gether of those autours, the one shall be the better understande by the other. And verily (as I before saide) none one autour serueth to so diuers witts as doth Virgile. For there is nat that affect or desire, wherto any childes fantasie is disposed, but in some of Virgils warkes may be founden matter therto apte and propise.
For what thinge can be more familiar than his bucolikes? nor no warke so nighe approcheth to the commune daliaunce and maners of children, and the praty controuersies of the simple shepeherdes, therin contained, wonderfully reioyceth the childe that hereth hit well declared, as I knowe by myne owne experience. In his Georgikes lorde what pleasaunt varietie there is: the diuers, graynes, herbes, and flowres that be there described, that, reding therin, hit semeth to a man to be in a delectable gardeine or paradise. What ploughe man knoweth so moche of husbandry as there is expressed? who, delitynge in good horsis, shall nat be therto more enflamed, reding there of the bredyng, chesinge, and kepyng, of them? In the declaration whereof Virgile leaueth farre behynde hym all breders, hakneymen, and skosers.
Is there any astronomer that more exactly setteth out the ordre and course of the celestiall bodies: or that more truely dothe deuine in his pronostications of the tymes of the yere, in their qualities, with the future astate of all thinges prouided by husbandry, than Virgile doth recite in that warke?
If the childe haue a delite in huntyng, what pleasure. shall he take of the fable of Aristeus: semblably in the huntynge of Dido and Eneas, whiche is discriued moste elegantly in his boke of Eneidos. If he haue pleasure in wrastling, rennyng, or other lyke exercise, where shall he se any more plesant esbatementes, than that whiche was done by Eurealus and other troyans, whiche accompanyed Eneas? If he take solace in hearynge minstrelles, what minstrell may be compared to Jopas, whiche sange before Dido and Eneas? or to blinde Demodocus, that played and sange moste swetely at the dyner, that the kynge Alcinous made to Ulisses: whose dities and melodie excelled as farre the songes of our minstrelles, as Homere and Virgile excelle all other poetes.
If he be more desirous, (as the most parte of children be,) to here thinges marueilous and exquisite, whiche, hath in it a visage of some thinges incredible, wherat shall he more wonder, than whan he shall beholde Eneas folowe Sibille in to helle? What shal he more drede, than the terrible visages of Cerberous, Gorgon, Megera, and other furies and monsters? Howe shall he abhorre tyranny, fraude, and auarice, whan he doth se the paynes of duke Theseus, Prometheus, Sisiphus, and suche other tourmented for their dissolute and vicious lyuyng? Howe glad soone after shall he be, whan he shall beholde, in the pleasant feldes of Elisius, the soules of noble princes and capitaines which, for their vertue, and labours in aduancing the publike weales of their countrayes, do lyue eternally in pleasure inexplicable. And in the laste bokes of Eneidos shall he finde matter to ministre to hym audacite, valiaunt courage, and policie, to take and susteyne noble enterprises, if any shall be nedefull for the assailynge of his enemies.
Finally (as I haue saide) this noble Virgile, like to a good norise, giueth to a childe, if he wyll take it, euery thinge apte for his witte and capacitie: wherfore he is in the ordre of lernyng to be preferred before any other autor latine. I wolde set nexte unto hym two bokes of Ouid, the one called Metamorphosios, whiche is as moche to saye as, chaungynge of men in to other figure or fourme: the other is intitled De fastis where the ceremonies of the gentiles, and specially the Romanes, be expressed! bothe right necessary for the understandynge of other poetes. But by cause there is litell other lernyng in them, concernyng either vertuous maners or policie, I suppose it were better that as fables and ceremonies happen to come in a lesson, it were declared abundantly by the maister than that in the saide two bokes, a longe tyme shulde be spente and almost lost: which mought be better employed on suche autors that do minister both eloquence, ciuile policie, and exhortation to vertue. Wherfore in his place let us bringe in Horace, in whom is contayned moche varietie of lernynge and quickenesse of sentence.
This poet may be enterlaced with the lesson of Odissea of Homere, wherin is declared the wonderfull prudence and fortitude of Ulisses in his passage from Troy. And if the childe were induced to make versis by the imitation of Virgile and Homere, it shulde ministre to hym moche dilectation and courage to studie: ne the making of versis is nat discommended in a noble man: sens the noble Augustus and almost all the olde emperours made bokes in versis.
The two noble poetis Silius, and Lucane, be very expedient to be lerned: for the one setteth out the emulation in qualities and prowesse of two noble and valiant capitaynes, one, enemy to the other, that is to say, Silius writeth of Scipio the Romane, and Haniball duke of Cartaginensis: Lucane declareth a semblable mater, but moche more lamentable: for as moche as the warres were ciuile, and, as it were, in the bowelles of the Romanes, that is to say, under the standerdes of Julius Cesar and Pompei.
Hesiodus, in greke, is more briefe than Virgile, where he writeth of husbandry, and doth nat rise so high in philosophie . But is fuller of fables : and therfor is more illecebrous.
And here I conclude to speke any more of poetis, necessary for the childehode of a gentill man: for as moche as these, I doubt nat, will suffice untill he passe the age of xiii yeres. In which time childhode declineth, and reason waxeth rype, and deprehendeth thinges with a more constant iugement. Here I wolde shulde be remembred, that I require nat that all these warkes shud be throughly radde of a childe in this tyme, whiche were almost impossible. But I only desire that they haue, in euery of the saide bokes, so moche instruction that they may take therby some profite.
Than the childes courage, inflamed by the frequent redynge of noble poetes, dayly more and more desireth to haue experience in those thinges, that they so vehemently do commende in them, that they write of Leonidas, the noble kynge of Spartanes, beinge ones demaunded, of what estimation in poetry Tirtaeus, (as he supposed) was, it is writen that he answeryng saide, that, for sterynge the myndes of yonge men he was excellent, for as moche as they, being meued with his versis, do renne in to the bataile, regardyng no perile, as men all inflamed in martiall courage.
And whan a man is comen to mature yeres, and that reason in him is confirmed with serious lerning and longe experience, than shall he, in redyng tragoedies, execrate and abhorre the intollerable life of tyrantes: and shall contemne the foly and dotage expressed by poetes lasciuious.
Here wyll I leaue to speake of the fyrste parte of a noble mannes studie: and nowe wyll I write of the seconde parte, which is more serious, and containeth in it sondry maners of lernynge.
XI. The moste commodious and necessary studies succedyng ordinally the lesson of poetes.AFTER that xiv. yeres be passed of a childes age, his maister if he can, or some other, studiouslye exercised in the arte of an oratour, shall firste rede to hym some what of that parte of logike that is called Topica, eyther of Cicero, or els of that noble clerke of Almaine, which late floured, called Agricola whose warke prepareth inuention, tellynge the places from whens an argument for the profe of any mater may be taken with litle studie: and that lesson, with moche and diligent lernyng, hauyng mixte there with none other exercise, will in the space of halfe a yere be perfectly kanned. Immediately after that, the arte of Rhetorike wolde be semblably taught, either in greke, out of Hermogines, or of Quintilian in latine, begynnyng at the thirde boke, and instructyng diligently: the childe in that parte of rhethorike, principally, whiche concerneth persuation for as moche as it is moste apte for consultations. There can be no shorter instruction of Rhetorike than the treatise that Tulli wrate unto his sonne, which boke is named the partition of rhetorike. And in good faythe, to speake boldly that I thinke: for him that nedeth nat, or doth nat desire, to be an exquisite oratour, the litle boke made by the famous Erasmus, (whom all gentill wittis are bounden to thanke and supporte), whiche he calleth Copiam Verborum et Rerum, that is to say, plentie of wordes and maters, shall be sufficient.
Isocrates, concerning the lesson of oratours, is euery where wonderfull profitable, hauynge almost as many wyse sentences as he hath wordes: and with that is so swete and delectable to rede, that, after him, almost all other seme unsauery and tedious: and in persuadynge, as well a prince, as a priuate persone, to vertue, in two very litle and compendious warkes, wherof he made the one to kynge Nicocles, the other to his frende Demonicus wolde be perfectly kanned, and had in continual memorie.
Demosthenes and Tulli, by the consent of all lerned men, haue preeminence and soueraintie ouer all oratours: the one reignyng in wonderfull eloquence in the publike weale of the Romanes, who had the empire and dominion of all the worlde: the other, of no lasse estimation, in the citie of Athenes, whiche of longe tyme was accounted the mother of Sapience, and the palaice of musis and all liberall sciences. Of whiche two oratours may be attayned, nat onely eloquence, excellent and perfecte, but also preceptes of wisdome, and gentyll maners: with most commodious examples of all noble vertues and pollicie. Wherfore the maister, in redynge them, muste well obserue and expresse the partis and colours of rhetorike in them contayned, accordynge to the proceptes of that arte before lerned.
The utilitie that a noble man shall haue by redung these oratours, is, that, whan he shall happe to reason in counsaile, or shall speke in a great audience, or to strange ambassadours of great princes, he shall nat be constrayned to speake wordes sodayne and disordred, but shal bestowe them aptly and in their places. Wherfore the moste noble emperour Octauius is highly commended, for that he neuer spake in the Senate, or to the people of Rome, but in an oration prepared and purposely made.
Also to prepare the childe to understandynge of histories, whiche, beinge replenished with the names of countrayes and townes unknowen to the reder, do make the historie tedious or els the lasse pleasant, so if they be in any wyse knowen, it encreaseth an inexplicable delectation. It shall be therfore, and also for refreshing the witte, a conuenient lesson to beholde the olde tables of Ptholomee, where in all the worlde is paynted, hauynge firste some introduction in to the sphere, wherof nowe of late be made very good treatises, and more playne and easie to lerne than was wonte to be.
All be it there is none so good lernynge as the demonstration of cosmographie by materiall figures and instrumentes, hauynge a good instructour. And surely this lesson is bothe pleasant and necessary. For what pleasure is it, in one houre, to beholde those realmes, cities, sees, ryuers, and mountaynes, that uneth an olde mannes life can nat be iournaide and pursued: what incredible delite is taken in beholding the diuersitiee of people, beastis, foules, fisshes, trees, frutes, and herbes: to knowe the sondry maners and conditions of people; and the varietie of their natures, and that in a warme studie or perler, without perill of the see, or daunger of longe and paynfull iournayes: I can nat tell what more pleasure shulde happen to a gentil witte, than to beholde in his owne house euery thynge that with in all the worlde is contained. The commoditie therof knewe the great kynge Alexander, as some writars do remembre. For he caused the countrayes wherunto he purposed any enterprise, diligently and counningly to be discribed and paynted, that, beholdynge the picture, he mought perceyue whiche places were most daungerous: and where he and his host mought haue most easy and couenable passage. Semblably dyd the Romanes in the rebellion of France, and the insurrection of theyr confederates, settynge up a table openly, wherin Italy was painted, to the intent that the people lokying in it, shuld reason and consulte in whiche places hit were best to resiste or inuade their ennemies.
I omitte, for length of the matter, to write of Cirus, the great kinge of Perse, Crassus the Romane, and dyuers other valiant and experte capitaines: whiche haue lost them selfes and all their army by ignorance of this doctryne.
Wherfore it maye nat be of any wyse man denied, but that Cosmographie is to all noble men, nat only pleasant, but profltable also, and wonderfull necessary.
In the parte of cosmographie wherwith historie is mingled Strabo reigneth: whiche toke his argument of the diuine poete Homere. Also Strabo hym selfe, (as he saithe) laboured a great part of Africa and Egypte, where undoubtedly be many thinges to be maruailed at. Solinus writeth almost in like forme, and is more brefe, and hath moche more varietie of thinges and maters,and is therfore maruailous delectable: yet Mela is moche shorter, and his stile, (by reason that it is of a more antiquitie) is also more clene and facile. Wherfore he, or Dionisius, shall be sufficient.
Cosmographie beinge substancially perceiued, it is than tyme to induce a childe to the redinge of histories but fyrst to set hym in a feruent courage, the mayster in the mooste pleasant and elegant wise expressinge what incomparable delectation, utilitie, and commodite, shal happen to emperours, kinges, princis, and all other gentil men by reding of histories: shewinge to hym that Demetrius Phalareus, a man of excellent wisdome and lerninge, and whiche in Athenes had ben longe exercised in the publick weale, exhorted Ptholomee, kyng of Egipt, chiefly aboue all other studyes, to haunte and embrace histories, and suche other bokes, wherin were contayned preceptes made to kynges and princes: sayng that in them he shulde rede those thinges whiche no man durst reporte unto his persone. Also Cicero, father of the latin eloquence, calleth an historie the witnesse of tymes, maistres of life, the lyfe of remembrance, of trouthe the lyght, and messager of antiquite.
Moreouer, the swete Isocrates exhorteth the kynge Nicocles, whom he instructeth, to leaue behynde him statues and images, that shall represent rather the figure and similitude of his mynde, than the features of his body, signifienge therbye the remembraunce of his actes writen in histories.
By semblable aduertisementes shall a noble harte be trayned to delite in histories. And than, accordynge to the counsayle of Quintilian, it is best that he begynne with Titus Liuius, nat onely for his elegancie of writinge, whiche floweth in him like a fountaine of swete milke: but also for as moche as by redynge that autor he maye knowe howe the mooste noble citie of Rome, of a small and poure begynnynge, by prowes and vertue, litell and litell came to the empire and dominion of all the worlde.
Also in that citye he maye beholde the fourme of a publike weale: whiche, if the insolencie and pryde of Tarquine had nat excluded kynges out of the citie, it had ben the most noble and perfect of all other.
Xenophon, beynge bothe a philosopher and an excellent capitayne, so inuented and ordred his warke named Paedia Cyri, whiche may be interpreted the Childehode or discipline of Cyrus, that he leaueth to the reders therof an incomparable swetenes and example of lyuynge, specially for the conductynge and well ordring of hostes or armyes. And therfore the noble Scipio, who was called Affricanus, as well in peace as in warre was neuer seene without this boke of Xenophon.
With hym maye be ioyned Quintus Curtius, who writeth the life of kyng Alexander elegantly and swetely. In whom may be founden the figure of an excellent prince, as he that incomparably excelled al other kinges and empereurs in wysedome, hardynes, strength, policie, agilite, valiaunt courage, nobilitie, liberalitie and curtaisie: where in he was a spectakle or marke for all princes to loke on. Contrarye wise whan he was ones vainquisshed with voluptie and pride his tiranny and beastly crueltie abhorreth all reders. The comparison of the vertues of these two noble princes, equally described by two excellent writars, well expressed, shall prouoke a gentil courage to contende to folowe their vertues.
Julius Cesar and Salust for their compendious writynge to the unerstandynge wherof is required an exact and perfect iugement, and also for the exquisite ordre of bataile and continuinge of the historie without any varietie, wherby the payne of studie shulde be alleuiate, they two wolde be reserued untyll he that shall rede them shall se some experience in semblable matters. And than shal he finde in them suche pleasure and commodite as therwith a noble and gentyl harte ought to be satisfied. For in them both it shall seme to a man that he is present and hereth the counsayles and exhortations of capitaines, whiche be called Conciones, and that he seeth the ordre of hostes whan they be embatayled, the fiers assaultes and encountringes of bothe armies, the furiouse rage of that monstre called warre. And he shall wene that he hereth the terrible dintes of sondry weapons and ordinaunce of bataile, the conducte and policies of wise and expert capitaines, specially in the commentaries of Julius Cesar, whiche he made of his exploiture in Fraunce and Brytayne, and other countraies nowe rekned amonge the prouinces of Germany: whiche boke is studiously to be radde of the princes of this realme of Englande and their counsailors; considering that therof maye be taken necessary instructions concernyhge the warres agayne Irisshe men or Scottes, who be of the same rudenes and wilde disposition that the Suises and Britons were in the time of Cesar. Semblable utilitie shal be founden in the historie of Titus Liuius, in his thirde Decades, where he writeth of the batayles that the Romanes had with Annibal and the Charthaginensis.
Also there be dyuers orations, as well in all the bokes of the saide autors as in the historie of Cornelius Tacitus, whiche be very delectable, and for counsayles very expedient to be had in memorie. And in good faythe I haue often thought that the consultations and orations wryten by Tacitus do importe a maiestie with a compendious eloquence therin contained. In the lerning of these autors a yonge gentilman shal be taught to note and marke, nat only the order and elegancie in declaration of the historie, but also the occasion of the warres, the counsailes and preparations on either part, the estimation of the capitaines, the maner and fourme of theyr gouernance, the continuance of the bataile, the fortune and successe of the holle affaires. Semblably out of the warres in other dayly affaires, the astate of the publike weale, if hit be prosperous or in decaye, what is the very occasyon of the one or of the other, the forme and maner of the gouernance therof, the good and euyll qualities of them that be rulers, the commodites and good sequele of vertue, the discommodies and euyll conclusion of vicious licence.
Surely if a noble man do thus seriously and diligently rede histories, I dare affirme there is no studie or science for him of equal commoditie and pleasure, hauynge regarde to euery tyme and age. By the time that the childe do com to xvii yeres of age, to the intent his courage be bridled with reason, hit were nedefull to rede unto hym some warkes of philosophie; specially that parte that may enforme him unto vertuous maners, whiche parte of philosophie is called morall. Wherfore there wolde be radde to hym, for an introduction, two the fyrste bokes of the warke of Aristotell called Ethicae, wherin is contained the definitions and propre significations of euery vertue; and that to be lerned in greke; for the translations that we yet haue be but a rude and grosse shadowe of the eloquence and wisedome of Aristotell. Forthe with wolde folowe the warke of Cicero, called in Latin De officiis, wherunto yet is no propre englisshe worde to be gyuen; but to prouide for it some maner of exposition, it may be sayde in this fourme: 'Of the dueties and maners appertaynynge to men.' But aboue all other, the warkes of Plato wolde be most studiously radde whan the iugement of a man is come to perfection, and by the other studies is instructed in the fourme of speakynge that philosophers used. Lorde god, what incomparable swetnesse of wordes and mater shall he finde in the saide warkes of Plato and Cicero; wherin is ioyned grauitie with dilectation, excellent wysedome with diuine eloquence, absolute vertue with pleasure incredible, and euery place is so infarced with profitable counsaile, ioyned with honestie, that those thre bokes be almoste sufficient to make a perfecte and excellent gouernour. The prouerbes of Salomon with the bokes of Ecclesiastes and Ecclesiasticus be very good lessons. All the historiall partes of the bible be righte necessarye for to be radde of a noble man, after that he is mature in yeres. And the residue (with the newe testament) is to be reuerently touched, as a celestiall Jewell or relike, hauynge the chiefe interpretour of those bokes trewe and constant faithe, and dredefully to sette handes theron, remembrynge that Oza, for puttyng his hande to the holy shryne that was called Archa federis, whan it was broughte by kyng Dauid from the citie of Gaba, though it were wauerynge and in daunger to fall, yet was he stryken of god, and fell deed immediately. It wolde nat be forgoten that, the lytell boke of the most excellent doctour Erasmus Roterodamus, (whiche he wrate to Charles, nowe beynge emperour and than prince of Castile) whiche booke is intituled the institucion of a christen prince, wolde be as familyare alwaye with gentilmen, at all tymes, and in euery age, as was Homere withe great king Alexander, or Xenophon with Scipio; for as all men may iuge that haue radde that warke of Erasmus, that there was neuer boke written in latine that, in so lytle a portion, contayned of sentence, eloquence, and vertuous exhortation, a more compendious abundaunce. And here I make an ende of the lernynge and studie wherby noble men may attayne to be worthy to haue autorite in a puplike weale. Alway I shall exhorte tutours and gouernours of noble chyldren, that they suffre them nat to use ingourgitations of meate or drinke, ne to slepe moche, that is to saye, aboue viii houres at the moste. For undoubtedly bothe repletion and superfluous slepe be capitall enemies to studie, as they be semblably to helth of body and soule. Aulus Gellius sayth that children, if they use of meate and slepe ouer moche, be made therwith dull to lerne, and we se that therof slownesse is taken, and the children's personages do waxe uncomely, and lasse growe in stature. Galen wyll nat permitte that pure wyne, without alay of water, shulde in any wyse be gyuen to children, for as moche as it humecteth the body, or maketh it moyster and hotter than is conuenient, also it fylleth the heed with fume, in them specially, whiche be lyke as children of hote and moiste temperature. These be well nighe the wordes of the noble Galen.
XII. Why gentilmen in this present tyme be nat equall in doctryne to the auncient noble men.NOWE wyll I somwhat declare of the chiefe causes why, in our tyme, noble men be nat as excellent in lernying as they were in olde tyme amonge the Romanes and grekes. Surely, as I haue diligently marked in dayly experience, the principall causes be these. The pride, avarice, and negligence of parentes, and the lacke or fewenesse of suffycient maysters or teachers.
As I sayd, pride is the first cause of this inconuenience. For of those persons be some, which, without shame, dare affirme, that to a great gentilman it is a notable reproche to be well lerned and to be called a great clerke: whiche name they accounte to be of so base estymation, that they neuer haue it in their mouthes but whan they speke any thynge in derision, whiche perchaunce they wolde nat do if they had ones layser to rede our owne cronicle of Englande, where they shall fynde that kynge Henry the first, sonne of willyam conquerour, and one of the moste noble princes that ever reigned in this realme, was openly called Henry beau clerke, whiche is in englysshe, fayre clerke, and is yet at this day so named. And wheder that name be to his honour or to his reproche, let them iuge that do rede and compare his lyfe with his two bretherne, william called Rouse and Robert le courtoise, they both nat hauyng semblable lernyng with the sayd Henry, the one for his dissolute lyuyng and tyranny beynge hated of all his nobles and people, finally was sodaynely slayne by the shotte of an arowe, as he was huntynge in a forest, whiche to make larger and to gyue his deere more lybertie, he dyd cause the houses of hi parisshes, to be pulled downe, the people to be expelled, and all beyng desolate to be tourned in to desert, and made onely pasture for beestes sauage; whiche he wolde neuer haue done if he had as moche delyted in good lerning as dyd his brother.
The other brother, Robert le Courtoise, beyng duke of Normandie, and the eldest sonne of wylliam Conquerour, all be it that he was a man of moche prowesse, and right expert in martial affayres, wherfore he was electe before Godfray of Boloigne to haue ben kyng of Hierusalem; yet natwithstandynge whan he inuaded this realme with sondrie puissaunt armies, also dyuers. noble men aydinge hym, yet his noble brother Henry, beau clerke, more by wysdome than power, also by lernynge, addyng polycie to vertue and courage, often tymes vaynquisshed hym, and dyd put him to flyght. And after sondry victories finally toke him and kepte hym in prison, hauyng none other meanes to kepe his realme in tranquillitie.
It was for no rebuke, but for an excellent honour, that the emperour Antonine was surnamed philosopher, for by his moste noble example of lyuing, and industrie incomparable, he during all the tyme of his reigne kept the publike weale of the Romanes in suche a perfecte astate, that by his actes be confirmed the sayeng of Plato, That blessed is that publike weale wherin either philosophers do reigne, or els kinges be in philosophie studiouse.
These persones that so moche contemne lernyng, that they wolde that gentilmen's children shulde haue no parte or very litle therof, but rather shulde spende their youth alway (I saye not onely in huntynge and haukyng, whiche moderately used, as solaces ought to be, I intende nat to disprayse) but in those ydle pastymes, whiche, for the vice that is therin, the commaundement of the prince, and the uniuersall consent of the people, expressed in statutes and lawes, do prohibite, I meane, playeng at dyce and other games named unlefull. These persones, I say, I wolde shulde remembre, or elles nowe lerne, if they neuer els herde it, that the noble Philip kyng of Macedonia, who subdued al Greece, aboue all the good fortunes that euer he hadde, most reioysed that his sonne Alexander was borne in the tyme that Aristotle the philosopher flourisshed, by whose instruction he mought attaine to most excellent lernynge.
Also the same Alexander often tymes sayd that he was equally as moche bounden to Aristotle as to his father kyng Philip, for of his father he receyued lyfe, but of Aristotle he receyued the waye to lyue nobly.
Who dispraysed Epaminondas, the moost valiant capitayne of Thebanes, for that he was excellently lerned and a great philosopher? Who euer discommended Julius Cesar for that he was a noble oratour, and, nexte to Tulli, in the eloquence of the latin tonge excelled al other? Who euer reproued the emperour Hadriane for that he was so exquisitely lerned, nat onely in greke and latine, but also in all sciences liberall, that openly at Athenes, in the uniuersall assembly of the greatteste clerkes of the worlde, he by a longe tyme disputed with philosophers and Rhetoriciens, whiche were estemed mooste excellent, and by the iugement of them that were present had the palme or rewarde of victorie? And yet, by the gouernance of that noble emperour, nat only the publik weale florisshed but also diuers rebellions were suppressed, and the majesty of the empire hugely increased. Was it any reproche to the noble Germanicus (who by the assignement of Augustus shulde haue succeeded Tiberius in the empire, if traitorous enuy had nat in his flourysshynge youth bireft hym his lyfe) that he was equall to the moost noble poetes of his time, and, to the increase of his honour and moost worthy commendation, his image was set up at Rome, in the habite that poetes at those dayes used? Fynally howe moche excellent lernynge commendeth, and nat dispraiseth, nobilitie, it shal playnly appere unto them that do rede the lyfes of Alexander called Seuerus, Tacitus, Probus Aurelius, Constantine, Theodosius, and Charles the gret, surnamed Charlemaine, all being emperours, and do compare them with other, whiche lacked or had that so moche of doctrine. Verily they be ferre from good raison, in myne opinion, whiche couaite to haue their children goodly in stature, stronge, deliuer, well synging, wherin trees, beastes, fysshes, and byrdes, be nat only with them equall, but also ferre do excede them. And connynge, wherby onely man excelleth all other creatures in erthe, they reiecte, and accounte unworthy to be in their children. What unkinde appetite were it to desyre to be father rather of a pece of flesshe, that can onely meue and feele, than of a childe that shulde have the perfecte fourme of a man? What so perfectly expresseth a man as doctrine? Diogines the philosopher seing one without lernynge syt on a stone, sayde to them that were with him, beholde where one stone sytteth on an other; whiche wordes, well considered and tried, shall appere to contayne in it wonderfull matter for the approbation of doctrine, wherof a wyse man maye accumulate ineuitable argumentes, whiche I of necessite, to auoide tediousnes, must nedes passe ouer at this tyme.
XIII. The seconde and thirde decay of lerning amonge gentilmen.
THE seconde occasion wherfore gentylmens children seldome haue sufficient lernynge is auarice. For where theyr parentes wyll nat aduenture to sende them farre out of theyr propre countrayes, partely for feare of dethe, whiche perchance dare nat approche them at home with theyr father; partely for expence of money, whiche they suppose wolde be lesse in theyr owne houses or in a village, with some of theyr tenantes or frendes; hauyng seldome any regarde to the teacher, whether he be well lerned or ignorant. For if they hiare a schole maister to teche in theyr houses they chiefely enquire with howe small a salary he will be contented, and neuer inserche howe moche good lernynge he hath and howe amonge well lerned men he is therin esteemed, using therin lasse diligence than in takynge seruantes, whose seruice is of moche lasse importance and to a good schole maister is nat in profite to be compared. A gentil man, er he take a cooke in to his seruice, he wyll firste diligently examine hym, howe many sortes of meates, potages, and sauces, he can perfectly make, and howe well he can season them, that they may be bothe pleasant and nourishynge; yea and if it be but a fauconer, he wyll scrupulously enquire what skyll he hath in feedyng, called diete, and kepyng of his hauke from all sickenes, also how he can reclaime her and prepare her to flyght. And to suche a cooke or fauconer, whom he findeth expert, he spareth nat to gyue moche wages with other bounteous rewardes. But of a schole maister, to whom he will committe his childe, to be fedde with lernynge and instructed in vertue, whose lyfe shall be the principall monument of his name and honour, he neuer maketh forther enquirie but where he may haue a schole maister; and with howe litel charge; and if one be perchance founden, well lerned, but he will nat take paynes to teache without he may haue a great salary, he than speketh. nothing more, or els saith, What shall so moche wages be gyuen to a schole maister whiche wolde kepe me two seruantes? to whom maye be saide these wordes, that by his sonne being wel lerned he shall receiue more commoditie and also worship than by the seruice of a hundred cokes and fauconers.
The thirde cause of this hyndrance is negligence of parentes whiche I do specially note in this poynt; there haue bene diuers, as well gentill men as of the nobilitie, that deliting to haue their sonnes excellent in lernynge haue prouided for them connynge maysters, who substancially haue taught them gramer, and very wel instructed them to speake latine elegantly, wherof the parentes haue taken moche delectation; but whan they haue had of grammer sufficient and be comen to the age of xiiii yeres, and do approche or drawe towarde the astate of man, whiche age is called mature or ripe, (wherin nat onely the saide lernyng continued by moche experience shal be perfectly digested, and confirmed in perpetuall remembrance, but also more seriouse lernyng contayned in other lyberall sciences, and also philosophy, wolde than be lerned) the parentes, that thinge nothinge regarding, but being suffised that their children can onely speke latine proprely, or make verses with out mater or sentence, they from thens forth do suffre them to liue in idelnes, or els, putting them to seruice, do, as it were, banisshe them from all vertuous study or exercise of that whiche they before lerned; so that we may beholde diuers yonge gentill men, who in their infancie and childehode were wondred at for their aptness to lerning and prompt speakinge of elegant latine, whiche nowe, beinge men, nat onely haue forgotten their congruite, (as in the commune worde), and unneth can speake one hole sentence in true latine, but, that wars is, hath all lernynge in derision, and in skorne therof wyll, of wantonnesse, speake the moste barberously that they can imagine.
Nowe some man will require me to shewe myne opinion if it be necessary that gentilmen shulde after the age of xiiii yeres continue in studie. And to be playne and trewe therein, I dare affirme that, if the elegant speking of latin be nat added to other doctrine, litle frute may come of the tonge; sens latine is but a naturall speche, and the frute of speche is wyse sentence, whiche is gathered and made of sondry lernynges. And who that hath nothinge but langage only may be no more praised than a popiniay, a pye, or a stare, whan they speke featly. There be many nowe a dayes in famouse scholes and uniuersities whiche be so moche gyuen to the studie of tonges onely, that whan, they write epistles, they seme to the reder that, like to a trumpet, they make a soune without any purpose, where unto men do herken more for the noyse than for any delectation that therby is meued. Wherefore they be moche abused that suppose eloquence to be only in wordes or coulours of Rhetorike, for, as Tulli saith, what is so furiouse or mad a thinge as a vaine soune of wordes of the best sort and most ornate, contayning neither connynge nor sentence?
Undoubtedly very eloquence is in euery tonge where any mater or acte done or to be done is expressed in wordes clene, propise, ornate, and comely: whereof sentences be so aptly compact that they by a vertue inexplicable do drawe unto them the mindes and consent of the herers, they beinge therwith either perswaded, meued, or to delectation induced. Also euery man is nat an oratour that can write an epistle or a flatering station in latin: where of the laste, (as god helpe me) is to moche used.
For a right oratour may nat be without a moche better furniture, Tulli saienge that to him belongeth the explicating or unfoldinge of sentence, with a great estimation in gyuing counsaile concerninge maters of great importaunce, also to him appertaineth the steringe and quickning of people languisshinge or dispeiringe, and to moderate them that be rasshe and unbridled. Wherfore noble autours do affirme that, in the firste infancie of the worlde, men, wandring like beastes in woddes and on mountaines, regardinge neither the religion due unto god, nor the office pertaining unto man, ordred all thing by bodily strength: untill Mercurius (as Plato supposeth) or some other man holpen by sapience and eloquence, by some apt or propre oration, assembled them to geder and perswaded to them what commodite was in mutual conuersation and honest maners. But yet Cornelius Tacitus describeth an oratour to be of more excellent qualities, saynge that, an oratour is he that can or may speke or raison in euery question sufficiently elegantly: and to persuade proprely, accordyng to the dignitie of the thyng that is spoken of, the oportunitie of time, and pleasure of them that be herers. Tulli, before him, affirmed that, a man may nat be an oratour heaped with praise, but if he haue gotten the knowlege of all thynges and artes of greattest importaunce. And howe shall an oratour speake of that thynge that he hath nat lerned? And bicause there may be nothynge but it may happen to come in praise or dispraise, in consultation or iugement, in accusation or defence: therfore an oratour, by others instruction perfectly furnisshed, may, in euery mater and lernynge, commende or dispraise, exhorte or dissuade, accuse or defende eloquently, as occasion hapneth. Wherfore in as moche as in an oratour is required to be a heape of all maner of lernyng: whiche of some is called the worlde of science, of other the circle of doctrine, whiche is in one worde of greke Encyclopedia: therfore at this day may be founden but a very few oratours. For they that come in message from princes be, for honour, named nowe oratours, if they be in any degre of worshyp: onely poore men hauyng equall or more of lernyng beyng called messagers. Also they whiche do onely teache rhetorike, whiche is the science wherby is taught an artifyciall fourme of speykng, wherin is the power to persuade, moue, and delyte, or by that science onely do speke or write, without any adminiculation of other sciences, ought to be named rhetoriciens, declamatours, artificiall spekers, (named in Greeke Logodedali), or any other name than oratours. Semblably they that make verses, expressynge therby none other lernynge but the craft of versifyeng, be nat of auncient writers named poetes, but onely called versifyers. For the name of a poete, wherat nowe, (specially in this realme) men haue suche indignation, that they use onely poetes and poetry in the contempte of eloquence, was in auncient tyme in hygh estimation: in so moche that all wysdome was supposed to be therin included, and poetry was the first philosophy that euer was knowen: wherby men from their childhode were brought to the raison howe to lyue well, lernynge therby nat onely maners and naturall affections, but also the wonderfull warkes of nature, mixting serious mater with thynges that were pleasaunt: as it shall be manifest to them that shall be so fortunate to rede the noble warkes of Plato and Aristotle, wherin he shall fynde the autoritie of poetes frequently alleged: ye and that more is, in poetes was supposed to be science misticall and inspired, and therfore in latine they were called Vates which worde signifyeth as moche as prophetes. And therfore Tulli in his Tusculane questyons supposeth that a poete can nat abundantly expresse verses sufficient and complete, or that his eloquence may flowe without labour wordes wel sounyng and plentuouse, without celestiall instinction, whiche is also by Plato ratified.
But sens we be nowe occupied in the defence of Poetes, it shall nat be incongruent to our mater to shewe. what profite may be taken by the diligent reding of auncient poetes, contrary to the false opinion, that nowe rayneth, of them that suppose that in the warkes of poetes is contayixed nothynge but baudry, (suche is their foule worde of reproche) and unprofitable leasinges.
But first I wyll interprete some verses of Horace, wherin he expresseth the office of poetes, and after wyll I resorte to a more playne demonstration of some wisdomes and counsayles contayned in some verses of poetes. Horace, in his seconde booke of epistles, sayth in this wyse or moche lyke
The poete facyoneth by some plesant meneThinges wel done he can by example commende:
The speche of children tendre and unsure:
Pullying their eares from wordes unclene,
Gyuingn to them preceptes that are pure:
Rebukyng enuy and wrathe if it dure:
The nedy and sicke he doth also his cureBut they whiche be ignoraunt in poetes wyll perchaunce obiecte, as is their maner, agayne these verses, sayeng that in Therence and other that were writers of comedies, also Ouide, Catullus, Martialis, and all that route of lasciuious poetes that wrate epistles and ditties of loue, some called in latine Elegiae and some Epigrammata, is nothyng contayned but incitation to lechery.
To recomfort, if aught can amende.
First, comedies, whiche they suppose to be a doctrinall of rybaudrie, they be undoutedly a picture or as it were a mirrour of man's life, wherin iuell is nat taught but discouered; to the intent that men beholdynge the promptnes of youth unto vice, the snares of harlotts ,and baudes laide for yonge myndes, the disceipte of seruantes, the chaunces of fortune contrary to mennes expectation, they beinge therof warned may prepare them selfe to resist or preuente occasion. Semblably remembring the wisedomes, aduertisements, counsailes, dissuasion from vice, and other profitable sentences, most eloquently and familiarely shewed in those comedies, undoubtedly there shall be no litle frute out of them gathered. And if the vices in them expressed shulde be cause that myndes of the reders shulde be corrupted: than by the same argumente nat onely entreludes in englisshe, but also sermones, wherin some vice is declared, shulde be to the beholders and herers like occasion to encreace sinners.
And that by comedies good counsaile is ministred: it appiereth by the sentence of Parmeno, in the seconde comedie of Therence:
In this thinge I triumpbe in myne owne conceipte,There be many mo words spoken whiche I purposely omitte to translate, nat withstandynge the substance of the hole sentence is herin comprised. But nowe to come to other poetes, what may be better saide than is written by Plautus in his firste comedie?
That I have founden for all yonge men the way
Howe they of harlottes shall knowe the deceipte,
Their wittes, their maners, that therby they may
Them perpetually hate; for so moche as they
Out of theyr owne houses be fresshe and delicate,
Fedynge curiousely; at home all the daye
Lyuinge beggarly in moste wretched astate.
Verily Vertue dothe all thinges excelle.Also Ouidius, that semeth to be moste of all poetes lasciuious, in his mooste wanton bokes hath righte commendable and noble sentences; as for proufe therof I will recite some that I haue taken at aduenture.
For if libertie, helthe, lyvyng and substance,
Our countray, our parentes and children do well
It hapneth by vertue ; she doth all aduance.
Vertue bath all thinge under gouernaunce,
And in whom of vertue is founden great plentie,
Any thinge that is good may neuer be deintie.
Time is in medicine if it shall profite;Martialis, whiche, for his dissolute wrytynge, is mooste seldome radde of men of moche grauitie, hath nat withstandynge many commendable sentences and right wise counsailes, as amonge diuers I will reherce one whiche is first come to my remembrance.
Wyne gyuen out of tyme may be anoyaunce.
A man shall irritate vice if he prohibite
Whan tyme is nat mete unto his utterance
. Therfore, if thou yet by counsaile arte recuperable,
Flee thou from idlenesse and alway be stable.
If thou wylte eshewe bytter aduenture,I coulde recite a great nombre of semblable good sentences out of these and other wanton poets, who in the latine do expresse them incomparably with more grace and delectation to the reder than our englisshe tonge may yet comprehende.
And auoide the gnawynge of a pensifull harte,
Sette in no one persone all holy thy pleasure,
The lasse ioy shalte thou haue but the lasse shalt thou smarte
Wherfore sens good and wise mater may be picked out of these poetes, it were no reason, for some lite mater that is in their verses, to abandone therefore al their warkes, no more than it were to forbears or prohibite a man to come into a faire gardein, leste the redolent sauours of swete herbes and floures shall meue him to wanton courage, or leste in gadringe good and holsome herbes he may happen to be stunge with a nettile. No wyse man entreth in to a gardein but he sone espiethe good herbes from nettiles, and treadeth the nettiles under his feete whiles he gadreth good herbes. Wherby he taketh no damage, or if he be stungen he maketh lite of it and shortly forgetteth it. Semblablye if he do rede wanton mater mixte with wisedome, he putteth the warst under foote and sorteth out the beste, or, if his courage be stered or prouoked, he remembreth the litel pleasure and gret detriment that shulde ensue of it, and withdrawynge his minde to some other studie or exercise shortly forgetteth it.
And therfore amonge the iewes, though it were prohibited to children untill they came to rype yeres to reade the bokes of Genesis, of the iuges, Cantica Canticorum, and some parte of the boke of Ezechiel the prophete, for that in them was contayned some matter whiche moughte happen to incense the yonge mynde. Wherin were sparkes of carnall concupiscence, yet after certayne yeres of mennes ages it was leful for euery man to rede and diligently studie those Warkes. So all thoughe I do nat approue the lesson of wanton poetes to be taughte unto all children, yet thynke I conuenient and necessary that, whan the mynde is become constante and courage is asswaged, or that children of their naturall disposition be shamfaste and continent, none auncient poete wolde be excluded from the leesson of suche one as desireth to come to the perfection of wysedome.
But in defendynge of oratours and poetes I had all moste forgoten where I was. Verily there may no man be an excellent poet nor oratour unlasse he haue parte of all other doctine, specially of noble philosophie. And to say the trouth, no man can apprehende the very delectation that is in the leesson of noble poetes unlasse he have radde very moche and indiuers autours of diuers lernynges. Wherfore, as I late said, to the augmentation of understandyng, called in latine Tntellectus et mens, is required to be moche redyng and vigilaunt studie in euery science, specially of that parte of philosophie named morall, whiche instructeth men in vertue and politike gouernaunce. Also no noble autour, specially of them that wrate in greke or latine before xii. C. yeres passed, is nat for any cause to be omitted. For therin I am of Quintilianes opinion, that there is fewe or none auncient warke that yeldethe nat some frute or commoditie to the diligent reders. And it is a very grosse or obstinate witte that by readyng moche is nat some what amended.
Concernynge the election of other autours to be radde I haue (as I truste) declared sufficiently my conceipt and opinionn the x and xi chapiters of this litle treatise.
Finally, like as a delicate tree that cometh of a kernell, whiche as ne as it burgeneth out leues, if it be plucked uppe or it be sufficiently rooted, and layde in a corner, it become th drye or rotten and no frute cometh of it, if it be remoued and sette in an other ayre or erthe, which is of contrary qualities where it was before, it either semblably diethe or beareth no frute, or els the frute that cometh of it leseth his verdure and taste, and finally his estimation. So the pure and excellent lerning wherof I haue spoken, thoughe it be sowen in a childe neuer so tymely, and springeth and burgeneth neuer so pleasauntly, if, byfore it take a depe rote in the mynde of the childe, it be layde a syde, either by to moche solace or continuall attendaunce in seruice, or els is translated to an other studie whiche is of a more grose or unpleasaunt qualitie before it be confirmed or stablisshed by often reding or diligent exercise, in conclusion it vanissheth and cometh to no thing.
Wherfore lete men replie as they list, but, in myne opinion, men be wonderfully disceyued nowe a dayes, (I dare nat saye with the persuasion of auarice) that do put their children at the age of xiiii or xv yeres to the studie of the lawes of the realme of Englande. I will shewe to them reasonable causes why, if they wyll paciently here me, infourmed partely by myne owne experience.
XIV. Howe the studentes in the lawes of this realme maye take excellent commoditie by the lessons of sondrie doctrines.
IT may nat be denyed but that al lawes be founded on the depest parte of raison, and, as I suppose, no one lawe so moche as our owne; and the deper men do inuestigate raison the more difficile or harde muste nedes be the studie. Also that reuerende studie is inuolued in so barbarouse a langage, that it is nat onely voyde of all eloquence, but also beynge seperate from the exercise of our lawe onely, it serueth to no commoditie or necessary purpose, no man understandyng it but they whiche haue studyed the lawes.
Than children at xiiii or xv yeres olde, in whiche tyme springeth courage, set all in pleasure, and pleasure is in nothyng that is nat facile or elegaunt, beyng brought to the moste difficulte and graue lernyng whiche hath no thynge illecebrouse or delicate to tickyll their tender wyttes and alure them to studie, (onles it be lucre, whiche a gentyll witte lytle estemeth) the more parte, vainquisshed with tediousenesse, either do abandone the lawes and unwares to their frendes do gyue them to gamyng and other (as I mought saye) idle busynesse nowe called pastymes; or els if they be in any wyse therto constrayned, they apprehendyng a piece therof, as if they beyng longe in a derke dungeon onely dyd se by the light of a candell, than if after xx or xxx yeres studie they happen to come amonge wyse men, hering maters commened of concerning a publike weale or outwards affaires betwene princes, they no lasse be astonied, than of commyng out of a darke house at noone dayes they were sodaynly striken in the eyen with a bright sonne beame. But I speke nat this in reproche of lawyers, for I knowe dyuers of them whiche in consultation wyll make a right vehement raison, and so do some other whiche hath neither lawe nor other lernyng, yet the one and the other, if they were fournisshed with excellent doctrine, their raison shulde be the more substanciall and certayne.
There be some also whiche by their frendes be coarted to aplye the studie of the lawe onely, and for lacke of plentuouse exhibition be let of their lybertie, wherfore they can nat resorte unto passetyme; these of all other be moste caste awaye, for nature repugnyng, they unneth taste any thing that may be profytable, and also their courage is so mortifyed (whiche yet by solace perchaunce mought be made quicke or apte to some other studie or laudable exercise) that they lyue euer after out of all estimation.
Wherfore Tulli sayeth we shulde so indeuour our selfes that we striue nat with the uniuersall nature of man, but that beynge conserued, lette us folowe our owne propre natures, that thoughe there be studies more graue and of more importaunce, yet ought we to regarde the studies wherto we be by our owne nature inclined. And that this sentence is true we haue dayly experience in this realme specially. For how many men be there that hauyng their sonnes in childhode aptly disposed by nature to paynte, to kerue, or graue, to embrawder, or do other lyke thynges, wherin is any arte commendable, concernynge inuention, but that, as sone as they espie it, they be therwith displeased, and forthwith byndeth them apprentises to taylours, to wayuers, to towkers, and somtyme to coblers, whiche haue ben the inestimable losse of many good wittes, and haue caused that in the said artes englisshmen be inferiors to all other people, and be constrayned, if we wyll haue any thinge well paynted, kerued, or embrawdred, to abandone our owne countraymen and resorte unto straungers, but more of this shall I speke in the nexte volume. But to resorte unto lawyars. I thinke verily if children were broughte uppe as I haue written, and continually were retayned in the right studie of very philosophy untyll they passed the age of xxi yeres, and than set to the lawes of this realme (being ones brought to a more certayne and compendiouse studie, and either in englisshe, latine, or good french, written in a more clene and elegant stile) undoughtedly they shuld become men of so excellent wisedome that throughout all the worlde shulde be founden in no commune weale more noble counsaylours, our lawes nat onely comprehendyng most excellent raisons, but also beyng gadred and compacte (as I mought saye) of the pure mele or floure syfted out of the best lawes of all other countrayes, as somwhat I do intende to proue euidently in the nexte volume, wherin I wyll rendre myne offyce or duetie to that honorable studie wherby my father was aduaunced to a iuge, and also I my selfe haue attayned no lytle commoditie.
I suppose dyuers men ther be that will say, that the swetnesse that is contayned in eloquence and the multitude of doctrines, shulde utterly withdrawe the myndes of yonge men from the more necessary studie of the lawes of this realme. To them wyll I make a briefe answere, but true it shalbe, and I trust sufficient to wise men. In the gret multitude of yonge men, whiche alway will repayre, and the lawe beinge ones brought in to a more certayne and perfect langage, will also increase in the reuerent studie of the lawe, undoughtedly there shall neuer lacke but some by nature inclyned, dyuers by desyre of sondrie doctrines, many for hope of lucre or some other aduancement, will effectually studie the lawes, ne will be therfrom withdrawen by any other lesson whiche is more eloquent. Example we haue at this present tyme of diuers excellent lerned men, bothe in the lawes ciuile as also in phisike, whiche being exactly studyed in all partes of eloquence, bothe in the Greeke tonge and latine, haue nat witstanding radde and perused the great fardelles and trusses of the most barbarouse autours, stuffed with innumerable gloses, wherby the moste necessary doctrines of lawe and phisike be mynced in to fragmentes, and in all wise mens opinions, do perceyue no lasse in the said lernynges than they whiche neuer knewe eloquence, or neuer tasted other but the fecis or dragges of the sayd noble doctrines. And as for the multitude of sciences can nat indamage any student, but if he be meued to studie the lawe by any of the sayd motions by me before touched, he shal rather increase therin than be hyndred, and that shall apere manifestly to theym that either will gyue credence to my reporte, or els will rede the warkes that I wyll alledge; whiche if they understande nat, to desyre some lerned man by interpretinge to cause them perceyue it. And first I wil begyn at oratours, who beare the principall tytle of eloquence.
It is to be remembred that in the lernyng of the lawes of this realme, there is at this daye an exercise, wherin is a maner, a shadowe, or figure of the auncient rhetorike. I meane the pleadynge used in courte and Chauncery called motes; where fyrst a case is appoynted to be moted by certayne yonge men, contaynyng some doubtefull controuersie, which is in stede of the heed of a declamation called thema. The case beinge knowen, they whiche be appoynted to mote, do examine the case, and inuestigate what they therin can espie, whiche may make a contention, wherof may ryse a question to be argued, and that of Tulli is called constitutio and of Quintilian status causi.
Also they consider what plees on euery parte ought to be made, and howe the case maye be reasoned, whiche is the fyrste parte of Rhetorike, named Inuention; than appoynte they howe many plees maye be made for euery parte, and in what formalitie they shulde be sette, whiche is the seconde parte of Rhetorike, called disposition, wherin they do moche approche unto Rhetorike: than gather they all in to perfecte remembrance, in suche ordre as it ought to be pleaded, whiche is the parte of Rhetorike named memorie. But for as moche as the tonge wherin it is spoken, is barberouse, and the sterynge of affections of the mynde in this realme was neuer used, therfore there lacketh Eloquution and Pronunciation, two the principall partes of rhetorike. Nat withstanding some lawyars, if they be well retayned, wyll in a meane cause pronounce right vehemently. Moreouer there semeth to be in the sayd pledinges certayne partes of an oration, that is to say for Narrations, Partitions, Confirmations and Confutations, named of some Reprehensions, they haue Declarations, Barres, Replications and Reioyndres, onely they lacke pleasaunt fourme of begynnyng, called in latine Exordium, nor it maketh therof no great mater they that haue studied rhetorike shal perceyue what I meane. Also in arguynge their cases, in myn opinion, they very litle do lacke of the hole arte; for therin they do diligently obserue the rules of Confirmation and Confutation, wherin resteth proufe and disproufe, hauyng almoste all the places wherof they shall fetche their raisons, called of Oratours loci communes, which I omitte to name, fearinge to be to longe in this mater. And verily I suppose, if there mought ones happen some man, hauying an excellent wytte, to be brought up in suche fourme as I haue hytherto written, and maye also be exactly or depely lerned in the arte of an Oratour, and also in the lawes of this realme, the prince so willyng and therto assistinge, undoughtedly it shulde nat be impossible for hym to bring the pleadyng and reasonyng of the lawe, to the auncient fourme of noble oratours; and the lawes and exercise therof beyng in pure latine or doulce frenche, fewe men in consultations shulde (in myne opinion) compare with our lawyars, by this meanes beinge brought to be perfect orators, as in whome shulde than be founden the sharpe wittes of logitians, the graue sentences of philosophers, the elegancie of poetes, the memorie of ciuilians, the voice and gesture of them that can pronounce commedies, which is all that Tulli, in the person of the most eloquent man Marcus Antonius, coulde require to be in an oratour.
But nowe to conclude myne assertion, what let was eloquence to the studie of the lawe in Quintus Sceuola, whiche being an excellent autour in the lawes ciuile, was called of al lawiars moste eloquent?
Or howe moche was eloquence minisshed by knowlege of the lawes in Crassus, whiche was called of all eloquent men the beste lawiar? Also Seruus Sulpitius, in his tyme one of the moste noble oratours next unto Tulli, was nat so let by eloquence but that on the ciuile lawes he made notable commentes, and many noble warkes by all lawyars approued. Who redeth the text of Ciuile, called the Pandectes or Digestes, and hath any commendable iugement in the latine tonge, but he wyll affirme that Ulpianus, Sceuola, Claudius, and all the other there named, of whose sayenges all the saide textis be assembled, were nat only studious of eloquence, but also wonderfull exercised: for as moche as theyr stile dothe approche nerer to the antique and pure eloquence, than any other kinde of writars that wrate aboute that tyme?
Semblably Tulli, in whom it semeth that Eloquence hath sette her glorious Throne, most richely and preciousely adourned for all men to wonder at, but no man to approche it, was nat let from beinge an incomparable oratour, ne was nat by the exacte knowlege of other sciences withdrawen from pleadyng infinite causes before the Senate and iuges, and they beinge of moste waightye importance. In so moche as Cornelius Tacitus, an excellent oratour, historien, and lawiar, saithe, Surely in the bokes of Tulli, men may deprehende, that in hym lacked nat the knowlege of geometrye, ne musike, ne grammer, finally of no maner of art that was honest: he of logike perceiued the subtiltie, of that parte that was morall all the commodite, and of all thinges the chiefe motions and causis.
And yet for all this abundance, and as it were a garnerde heaped with all maner sciences, there failed nat in him substanciall lernying in the lawes Ciuile, as it may appiere as wel, in the bokes, whiche he him selfe made of lawes, as also and most specially, in many of his most eloquent orations; whiche if one well lerned in the lawes of this realme dyd rede and wel understande, he shulde finde, specially in his orations called Actiones agayne Verres, many places where he shulde espie, by likelihode, the fountaynes, from whense proceded diuers groundes of our commune lawes. But I wyll nowe leue to speake any more therof at this tyme.
All that I haue writen well considered, it shall seme to wise men, that neither eloquence, nor knowlege of sondry doctrines, shall utterly withdrawe all men from studie of the lawes. But all though many were allected unto those doctrines by naturall disposition, yet the same nature, whiche wyll nat (as I mought saye) be circumscribed within the boundes of a certayne of studies, may as well dispose some man, as well to desire the knowlege of the lawes of this realme, as she dyd incline the Romanes, excellently lerned in all sciences, to apprehende the lawes ciuile; sens the lawes of this realme, beinge well gathered and brought in good latine, shal be worthy to haue like praise as Tulli gaue to the lawes comprehended in the xii tables, from whens all ciuile lawe flowed, whiche praise was in this wise. Al though men will abraide at it, I wyll say as I thinke, the one litle boke of the xii tables semeth to me to surmounte the libraries of all the philosophers in waighty autoritie, and abundance of profite, beholde who so wyll the fountaines and heedes of the lawes.
More ouer, whan yonge men haue radde lawes, expouned in the orations of Tulli, and also in histories of the begynnynge of lawes, and in the warkes of Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotell, of the diuersities of lawes and publike weales, if nature (as I late saide) wyll dispose them to that maner studie, they shall be therto the more incensed, and come unto it the better prepared and furnisshed. And they whom nature therto meueth, haue nat only saued all that time, which many now a dayes do consume in idlenesse, but also haue wonne suche a treasure, wher by they shall alway be able to serue honourably theyr prince, and the publike weale of theyr countray, principally if they conferre al their doctrines to the moste noble studie of morall philosophie, whiche teacheth both vertues, maners, and ciuile policie: wherby at the laste we shulde haue in this realme sufficiencie of worshypfull lawyars, and also a publike weale equiualent to the grekes or Romanes.
XV. For what cause at this day there be in this realme fewe Perfects schole maisters.
LORDE god, howe many good and clene wittes of children be nowe a dayes perisshed by ignorant schole maisters. Howe litle substancial doctrine is apprehended by the fewenesse of good gramariens? Not withstanding I knowe that there be some well lerned, whiche haue taught, and also do teache, but god knoweth a fewe, and they with small effecte, hauing therto no comforte, theyr aptist and moste propre scholers, after they be well instructed in speakyng latine, and understanding some poetes, being taken from theyr schole by their parentes, and either be brought to the courte, and made lakayes or pages, or els are bounden prentises; wherby the worshyp that the maister, aboue any reward, couaiteih to haue by the praise of his scholer, is utterly drowned; wherof I haue herde schole maisters, very well lerned, of goode righte complayne. But yet (as I sayd) the fewenesse of good gramariens is a great impediment of doctrine. (And here I wolde the reders shulde marke that I note to be fewe good gramar iens, and not none) I call nat them gramariens, whiche onely can teach or make rules, wherby a childe shall onely lerne to speake congrue latine, or to make sixe versis standyng in one fete, wherin perchance shal be neither sentence nor eloquence. But I name hym a gramarien, by the autoritie of Quintilian, that speakyng latine elegantly, can expounde good autours, expressynge the inuention and disposition of the mater, their stile or fourme of eloquence, explicating the figures as well of sentences as wordes, leuyng nothyng, persone, or place named by the autour, undeclared or hidde from his scholers. Wherfore Quintilian saith, it is nat inough for hym to haue rad poetes, but all kyndes of writyng must also be sought for; nat for the histories only, but also for the propretie of wordes, whiche communely do receiue theyr autoritie of noble autours. More ouer without musike gramer may nat be perfecte; for as moche as therin muste be spoken of metres and harmonies, called rythmi in greke. Neither if he haue nat the knowlege of sterres, he may understande poetes, whiche in description of times (I omitte other things) they traicte of the risinge and goinge downe of planettes. Also he may nat be ignorant in philosophie, for many places that be almooste in euerye poete fetched out of the most subtile parte of naturall questions. These be well nighe the wordes of Quintilian.
Than beholde howe fewe gramariens after this description be in this realme.
Undoubtedly ther be in this realme many well lerned, whiche if the name of a schole maister were nat so moche had in contempte, and also if theyr labours with abundant salaries mought be requited, were righte sufficient and able to induce their herers to excellent lernynge, so they be nat plucked away grene, and er they be in doctrine sufficiently rooted. But nowe a dayes, if to a bachelar or maister of arte studie of philosophie waxeth tediouse, if he haue a spone full of latine, he wyll shewe forth a hoggesheed without any lernynge, and offre to teache grammer and expoune noble writers, and to be in the roome of a maister: he wyll, for a small salarie, sette a false colour of lernyng on propre wittes, whiche wyll be wasshed away with one shoure of raine. For if the children be absent from schole by the space of one moneth, the best lerned of them will uneth tell wheder Fato, wherby Eneas was brought in to Itali, were other a man, a horse, a shyppe, or a wylde goose. Al thoughe their maister wyll perchance auaunte hym selfe to be a good philosopher.
Some men perauenture do thinke that, at the begynning of lernynge, it forceth nat, all thoughe the maisters haue nat so exacte doctrine as I haue reherced; but let them take good hede what Quintilian saith, that it is so moche the better to be instructed by them that are beste lerned, for as moche as it is difficulte to put out of the mynde that whiche is ones settilled, the double bourden beinge painfull to the maisters that shal succede, and verily moche more to unteache than to teache. Wherfore it is writen that Timothe, the noble musitian, demaunded alway a gretter rewarde of them whom other had taught, than of them that neuer any thinge lerned. These be the wordes of Quintilian or like.
Also commune experience teacheth that no man will put his sonne to a botcher to lerne, or he bynde hym prentise to a taylour: or if he wyll haue hym a connyng goldsmith, wyll byn de hym firste prentise to a tynkar: in these thynges poure men be circumspect, and the nobles and gentilmen, who wolde haue their sonnes by excellent lerning come unto honour, for sparynge of cost or for lacke of diligent serche for a good schole maister wilfully distroy their children, causinge them to be taught that lerninge, whiche wolde require sixe or seuen yeres to be forgoten: by whiche tyme the more parte of that age is spente, wherin is the chiefe sharpnesse of witte called in latine acumen, and also than approcheth the stubborne age, where the childe broughte up in pleasure disdayneth correction.
Nowe haue I all declared (as I do suppose) the chiefe impechementes of excellent lernynge: of the reformation I nede nat to speake, sens it is apparant, that by the contraries, men pursuinge it ernestly with discrete iugement and liberalitie, it wolde sone be amended.
XVI. Of sondry fourmes of exercise necessary for euery gentilman.
ALL thoughe I haue hitherto aduaunced the commendation of lernyng, specially in gentil men, yet it is to be considered that continuall studie without some maner of exercise, shortly exhausteth the spirites vitall, and hyndereth naturall decoction and digestion, wherby mannes body is the soner corrupted and brought in to diuers sickenessis, and finallye the life is therby made shorter: where contrayrye wise by exercise, whiche is a vehement motion (as Galene prince of phisitions defineth) the helthe of man is preserued, and his strength increased: for as moche the membres by meuyng and mutuall touching, do waxe more harde, and naturall heate in all the body is therby augmented. More ouer it maketh the spirites of a man more stronge and valiant, so that, by the hardnesse of the membres, all labours be more tollerable; by naturall hete the appetite is the more quicke; the chaunge of the substance receiued is the more redy; the nourisshinge of all partes of the body is the more sufficient and sure . By valiaunt motion of the spirites all thinges superfluous be expelled, and the condutis of the body clensed. Wherfore this parte of phisike is nat to be contemned or neglected in the education of children, and specially from the age of xiiii yeres upwarde, in whiche tyme strength with courage increaseth. More ouer there be diuers maners of exercises wherof some onely prepareth and helpeth digestion; some augmenteth also strength and hardnesse of body; other serueth for agilitie and nymblenesse; some for celeritie or spedinesse. There be also whiche ought to be used for necessitie only. All these ought he that is a tutor to a noble man to haue in remembrance, and, as opportunitie serueth, to put them in experience. And specially them whiche with helth do ioyne commoditie (and as I moughte say) necessitie: consideryng that be he neuer so noble or valiant, some tyme he is subiecte to or (to speake it more pleasauntly) seruant to fortune. Touching suche exercises, as many be used within the house, or in the shadowe, (as is the olde maner of speking), as deambulations, laborynge with poyses made of leadde or other metall, called in latine Alteres, liftynge and throwyng the heuy stone or barre, playing at tenyse, and diuers semblable exercises, I will for this tyme passe ouer; exhortyng them which do understande latine, and do desire to knowe the commodities of sondrye exercises, to resorte to the boke of Galene, of the gouernance of helth, called in latine De Sanitate tuenda, where they shal be in that mater abundantly satisfied, and finde in the readynge moche delectation; whiche boke is translated in to latine, wonderfull eloquently by doctor Linacre, late mooste worthy phisition to our mooste noble soueraigne lorde kynge Henry the VIII.
And I wyll nowe only speake of those exercises, apt to the furniture of a gentilmannes personage, adapting his body to hardnesse, strength, and agilitie, and to helpe therwith hym selfe in perile, whiche may happen in warres or other necessitie.
XVII. Exercises wherby shulde growe both recreation and profite.
WRASTLYNGE, is a very good exercise in the begynnynge of youthe, so that it be with one that is equall in strengthe, or some what under, and that the place be softe, that in fallinge theyr bodies be nat brused.
There be diuers maners of wrastlinges, but the beste, as well for helthe of body as for exercise of strengthe, is whan layeng mutually their handes one ouer a nothers necke, with the other hande they holde faste eche other by the arme, and claspyng theyr legges to gether, they inforce them selfes with strengthe and agilitie to throwe downe eche. other, whiche is also praysed by Galene. And undoubtedly it shall be founde profitable in warres, in case that a capitayne shall be constrayned to cope with his aduersary hande to hande, hauyng his weapon broken or loste. Also it hath ben sene that the waiker persone, by the sleight of wrastlyng, hath ouerthrowen the strenger, almost or he coulde fasten on the other any violent stroke.
Also rennyng is bothe a good exercise and a laudable solace. It is written of Epaminondas the valiant capitayne of Thebanes, who as well in vertue and prowesse as in lerninge surmounted all noble men of his tyme, that daily he exercised him selfe in the mornyng with rennyng and leaping, in the euening in wrastling, to the intent that likewise in armure he mought the more strongly, embracinge his aduersary, put him in daunger. And also that in the chase, rennyng and leaping, he mought either ouertake his enemye, or beyng pursued, if extreme nede required, escape him. Semblably before him dyd the worthy Achilles, for whiles his shippes laye at rode, he suffred nat his people to slomber in ydlenesse, but daily exercised them and himselfe in rennyng, wherin he was most excellent and passed all other, and therfore Homere, throughout all his warke, calleth hym swifte foote Achilles.
The great Alexander beyng a childe, excelled all his companions in rennyng; wherfore on a tyine one demaunded of hym if he wolde renne at the great game of Olympus, wherto, out of all partes of Grece, came the moste actife and valiant persons to assay maistries; wherunto Alexander answered in this fourme, I wold very gladly renne ther, if I were sure to renne with kinges, for if I shulde contende with a priuate person, hauing respect to our bothe astates, our victories shulde nat be equall. Nedes muste rennynge be taken for a laudable exercise, sens one of the mooste noble capitaynes of all the Romanes toke his name of rennyng, and was called Papirius Cursor, which is in englisshe, Papirius the Renner. And also the valiant Marius the Romane, whan he had bene seuen tymes Consul, and was of the age of foure score yeres, exercised him selfe dayly amonge the yonge men of Rome, in suche wyse that there resorted people out of ferre partes to beholde the strength and agilitie of that olde Consul, wherin he compared with the yonge and lusty soudiours.
There is an exercise whiche is right profitable in exstreme daunger of warres, but by cause there semeth to be some perile in the lernynge therof, and also it hath nat bene of longe tyme moche used, specially amonge noble men, perchance some reders wyll litle esteme it, I meane swymmynge. But nat withstandyng, if they reuolue the imbecilitie of our nature, the hasardes and daungers of batayle, with the examples which shall herafter be showed, they wyll, (I doubt nat) thinke it as necessary to a capitayne or man of armes, as any that I haue yet rehersed. The Romanes, who aboue all thinges had moste in estimation martiall prowesse, they had a large and spaciouse felde without the citie of Rome, whiche was called Marces felde, in latine Campus Martiu, wherin the youth of the citie was exercised. This felde adioyned to the ryuer of Tyber, to the intent that as well men as children shulde wasshe and refresshe them in the water after their labours, as also lerne to swymme. And nat men and children only, but also the horses, that by suche usaige they shulde more aptely and boldly passe ouer great riuers, and be more able to resist or cutte the waues, and nat be aferde of pirries or great stormes. For it hath ben often tymes sene that, by the good swimminge of horses, many men haue ben saued, and contrary wise, by a timorouse royle where the water hath uneth come to his bely, his legges hath foltred, wherby many a good and propre man hath perisshed. What benefite receiued the hole citie of Rome by the swymmynge of Oratius Cocles, whiche is a noble historie and worthy to be remembred. After the Romanes had expelled Tarquine their kynge, as I haue before remembred, he desired ayde of Porsena, kynge of Thuscanes, a noble and valiant prince, to recouer eftsones his realme and dignitie; who with a great and puissant hoste besieged the citie of Rome, and so sodaynely and sharpely assaulted it, that it lacked but litle that he ne had entred into the citie with his host ouer the bridge called Sublicius; where encountred with hym this Oratius with a fewe Romanes. And whiles this noble capitayne, beinge alone, with an incredible strengthe resisted all the hoste of Porcena that were on the bridge, he commaunded the bridge to be broken behynde hym, where with all the Thuscanes theron standyng fell in to the great riuer of Tiber, but Oratius all armed lepte in to the water and swamme to his company, al be it that he was striken with many arowes and dartes, and also greuouslye wounded. Nat withstandynge by his noble courage and feate of swymmyng he saued the citie of Rome from perpetuall seruitude, whiche was likely to haue ensued by the returne of the proude Tarquine.
Howe moche profited the feate in swymmynge to the valiant Julius Cesar, who at the bataile of Alexandri, on a bridge beinge abandoned of his people for the multitude of his enemyes, whiche oppressed them, whan he moughte no lenger sustaine the shotte of dartes and arowes, he boldly lepte in to the see, and, diuynge under the water, escaped the shotte and swamme the space of CC pasis to one of his shyppes, drawynge his cote armure with his teethe after hym, that his enemies shulde nat attayne it. And also that it moughte some what defende hym from theyr arowes. And that more maruaile was, holdynge in his hande aboue the water certayne lettres, whiche a litle before he had receyued from the Senate.
Before hym Sertorius, who of the spanyardes was named the second Anniball for his prowesse, in the bataile that Scipio faughte agayne the Cimbres, whiche inuaded Fraunce. Sertorius, when, by negligence of his people, his enemyes preuailed and put his hoste to the warse, he beinge sore wounded, and his horse beinge lost, armed as he was in a gesseron, holdyng in his handes a tergate, and his sworde, he lepte in to the ryuer of Rone, whiche is wonderfull swyfte, and, swymmyng agayne the streme, came to his company, nat without greatte wondryng of all his enemies, whiche stode and behelde hym.
The great kynge Alexander lamented that he had nat lerned to swimme. For in Inde whan he wente agayne the puissaunt kynge Porus, he was constrayned, in folowynge his entreprise, to conuay his hoste ouer a ryuer of wonderfull greatnesse; than caused he his horse men to gage the water, whereby he firste perceiued that it came to the brestis of the horsis, and, in the muddle of the streme, the horsis wente in water to the necke, wherwith the fotemen beinge aferde, none of them durst auenture to passe ouer the ryuer. That perceiuynge Alexander with a dolorouse maner in this wyse lanented. O howe moste unhappy am I of all other that haue nat or this tyme lerned to swymme? And therwith he pulled a tergate from one of his souldiours, and castynge it in to the water, standynge on it, with his spere conuaied hym selfe with the streme, and gouernyng the tergate wysely, broughte hym selfe unto the other side of the water; wherof his people beinge abasshed, some assayed to swymme, holdyng faste by the horses, other by speares and other lyke weapons, many upon fardels and trusses, gate ouer the ryuer; in so moche as nothinge was perisshed sauue a litle bagage, and of that no great quantitie lost.
What utilitie was shewed to be in swymmynge at the firste warres whiche the Remanes had agayne the Carthaginensis? It happened a bataile to be on the see betwene them, where they of Carthage beinge vainquisshed, wolde haue sette up their sailes to haue fledde, but that perceiuynge diuers yonge Romanes, they threwe them selfes in to the see, and swymmynge unto the shippes, they enforced theyr ennemies to stryke on lande, and there assaulted them so asprely, that the capitaine of the omanes, called Luctatius, mought easily take them.
Nowe beholde what excellent commoditie is in the feate of swymmyng; sens no kyng, be he neuer so puissaunt or perfecte in the experience of warres, may assure hym selfe from the necessities whiche fortune sowethe amonge men that be mortall. And sells on the helth and saulfe garde of a noble capitayne, often tymes dependeth the weale of a realme, nothing shulde be kepte from his knowlege, wherby his persone may be in euery ieoperdie preserued.
Amonge these exercises it shall be conuenient to lerne to handle sondrye waipons, specially the sworde and the batayle axe, whiche be for a noble man moste conuenient. But the most honorable exercise, in myne opinion, and that besemeth the astate of euery noble persone, is to ryde suerly and clene on a great horse and a roughe, whiche undoubtedly nat onely importeth a maiestie and drede to inferiour persones, beholding him aboue the common course of other men, dauntyng a fierce and cruell beaste, but also is no litle socour, as well in pursuete of enemies and confoundyng them, as in escapyng imminent daunger, whan wisdome therto exhorteth. Also a stronge and hardy horse dothe some tyme more domage under his maister than he with al his waipon: and also settethe forwarde the stroke, and causethe it to lighte with more violence.
Bucephal, the horse of great kynge Alexander, who suffred none on his backe saulfe onely his maister, at the bataile of Thebes beinge sore wounded, wolde nat suffre the kinge to departe from hym to another horse, but persistyng in his furiouse courage, wonderfully continued out the bataile, with his fete and tethe betyng downe and destroyenge many enemies. And many semblable maruailes of his strength he shewed. Wherfore Alexander, after the horse was slayne, made in remembrance of hym a citie in the countray of India and called it Bucephal, in perpetual memorie of so worthy a horse, whiche in his lyfe had so well serued hym.
What wonderfull enterprises dyd Julius Cesar achieue by the helpe of his horse? Whiche nat onely dyd excell all other horsis in fiercenesse and swyfte rennynge, but also was in some parte discrepant in figure from other horsis, hauing his fore hoeues like to the feete of a man. And in that figure Plinius writeth that he sawe hym kerued before the temple of Venus.
Other remembrance there is of diuers horsis by whose monstruous power men dyd exploite incredible affaires: but by cause the reporte of them contayneth thinges impossible, and is nat writen by any approued autour: I will nat in this place reherce them: sauyng that it is yet supposed that the castell of Arundell in Sussex was made by one Beauuize, erle of South hamton, for a monument of his horse called Arundell, whiche in ferre countrayes had saued his maister from many periles. Nowe considerynge the utilitie in rydynge greatte horses, hit shall be necessary (as I haue sayd), that a gentilman do lerne to ride a great and fierce horse whiles he is tender and the brawnes and sinewes of his thighes nat fully consolidate. There is also a ryght good exercise which is also expedient to lerne, whiche is named the vauntynge of a horse: that is to lepe on him at euery side without stiroppe or other helpe, specially whiles the horse is goynge. And beinge therin experte, than armed at all poyntes to assay the same; the commoditie wherof is so manifest that I nede no further to declare it.
XVIII. The auncient huntyng of Greekes and romanes.
BUT nowe wyll I procede to write of exercises whiche be nat utterly reproued of noble auctours, if they be used with oportunitie and in measure, I meane huntyng, hauking, and daunsyng. In huntynge may be an imitacion of batayle, if it be suche as was used amonge them of Persia, wherof Xenophon, the noble and moste eloquent philosopher, maketh a directable mention in his booke called the doctrine of Cirus: and also maketh another speciall boke, contayning the hole discipline of the auncient huntynge of the Grekes: and in that fourme beyng used, it is a laudable exercise, of the whiche I wyll nowe somwhat write.
Cirus and other auncient kynges of Persia (as Xenophon writeth) used this maner in all their huntyng. First, where as it semeth, there was in the realme of Persia but one citie, whiche as I suppose, was called Persepolis, there were the children of the Persians, from their infancie unto the age of seuentene yeres, brought up in the lernyng of iustice and temperance, and also to obserue continence in meate and drinke: in so moche that, whyder so euer they went, they toke with them for their sustenaunce but onely breed and herbes, called Kersis, in latine Nasturtium, and for their drinke, a disshe to take water out of the ryuers as they passed. Also they lerned to shote and to caste the darte or iauelyn. Whan they came to the age of xvii yeres, they were lodged in the palaises that were there ordayned for the kynge and his nobles, whiche was as well for the sauegarde of the citie, as for the example of temperance that they dayly had at their eyes gyuen to them by the nobles, whiche also mought be called Peeres, by the signification of the greeke worde, wherin they were called, Omotimi. More ouer they were accustomed to ryse alway in the first spring of the day, and paciently to sustayne alwaye bothe colde and heate. And the kyng dyd se them exercised in goynge and also in rennyng. And whan he intended in his owne persone to hunte, whiche he dyd comenly euery monethe, he toke with him the one halfe of the company of yonge men, that were in the palaises. Than toke euery man with him his bowe and queuer with arowes, his sworde or hache of steele, a lytell tergate, and two dartes. The bowe and arowes serued to pursue beestes that were swyfte, and the dartes to assayle them and all other beestes. And whan their courage was chaufed, or that by fiersenesse of the beest they were in daunger, than force constrayned them to stryke with the sworde, or hache, and to haue good eye at the violent assaulte of the beest, and to defende them if nede were with their tergates, wherin they accounted to be the truest and moste certayne meditation of warres. And to this huntyng the kyng dyd conducte them, and he him selfe first hunted suche beestes as he hapned to encounter. And whan he had taken his pleasure, he than with moste diligence dyd sette other forwarde, beholdynge who hunted valiauntly, and refourmynge them whom he sawe negligent or slouthfull. But er they went forthe to this huntyng, they dyned competently, and duryng their huntyng they dyned no more: for if, for any occasion, their huntyng continued aboue one daye, they toke the sayd dyner for their souper, and the next daye, if they kylled no game, they hunted untyll souper tyme, accountyng those two dayes but for one. And if they toke any thyng, they ete it at their souper with ioye and pleasure. If nothynge were killed, they ete onely breed and Kersis, as I byfore rehersed, and dranke therto water. And if any man wil disprayse this diete, lette him thinke what pleasure there is in breed, to him that is hungry, and what dilectation is in drinkynge water, to him that is thursty. Surely this maner of huntyng maye be called a necessary solace and pastyme, for therin is the very imitation of batayle, for nat onely it dothe shewe the courage and strength as well of the horse as of him that rydeth, trauersynge ouer mountaynes and valeys, encountring and ouerthrowyng great and mighty beestes, but also it increaseth in them bothe agilitie and quicknesse, also sleight and policie to fynde suche passages and straytes, where they may preuent or intrappe their enemies. Also by continuance therin they shall easily sustayne trauaile in warres, hunger and thurst, cold and heate. Hytherto be the wordes of Xenophon, althoughe I haue nat set them in lyke order as he wrate them.
The chiefe hunting of the valiaunt Grekes was at the lyon, the lybarde, the tigre, the wild swyne, and the beare, and somtyme the wolfe and the harte. Theseus, whiche was companyon to Hercules, attayned the greatest parte of his renome for fightynge with the great bore, whiche the Grekes called Phera, that wasted and consumed the feldes of a great countray.
Meleager likewise for sleyng of the great bore in Calidonia, whiche in greatnesse and fiercenesse excede d all other bores, and had slayne many noble and valiaunt, persones.
The great Alexander, in tymes vacaunt from bataile, delyted in that maner huntynge. On a tyme he faughte alone with a lyon wonderfull greatte and fierce, beinge present amonge other straungers, the ambassadour of Lacedemonia, and, after longe trauaile, with incredible might he ouerthrewe the lyon, and slewe him; wherat the said ambassadour wondring meruaylously sayde to the king, I wolde to god (noble prince) ye shulde fight with a ]yon for some great empire. By whiche wordes it semed that he nothing approued the valiauntnesse of a prince by fighting with a wylde beest, wherin mochp more was aduentured than mought be by the victorie goten.
Al be it Pompei, Sertorius, and diuers other noble Romanes, whan they were in Numidia, Libia, and suche other countrayes, which nowe be called Barbary and Morisco, in the vacation season from warres, they hunted lions, liberdes, and suche other bestis, fierce and sauage, to then tent therby to exercise them selfes and their souldiours. But all myghty god be thanked, in this realme be no suche cruel bestie to be pursued. Not withstandyng in the huntyng of redde dere and falowe, mought be a great parte of semblable exercise used by noble men, specially in forestis which be spaciouse, if they wold use but a fewe nombre of houndes, onely to harborowe, or rouse, the game, and by their yorning to gyue knowlege whiche way it fleeth; the remenant of the disporte to be in pursuyng with iauelyns and other waipons, in maner of warre. And to them whiche, in this hunting, do shewe moste prowesse and actyuytie, a garlande or some other lyke token to be gyuen, in signe of victorie, and with a ioyfull maner to be broughte in the presence of him that is chiefe in the company; there to receiue condigne, prayse for their good endeuour. I dispraise nat the huntynge of the foxe with rennynge houndes, but it is nat to be compared to the other hunting in commoditie of exercise. Therfore it wolde be used in the deepe wynter, whan the other game is unseasonable.
Huntyng of the hare with grehoundes is a righte good solace for men that be studiouse, of them to whom nature hath nat gyuen personage or courage apte for the warres. And also for gentilwomen, whiche fere neither sonne nor wynde for appairing their beautie. And perauenture they shall be there at lasse idell, than they shulde be at home in their chambres.
Kylling of dere with bowes or grehundes serueth well for the potte, (as is the commune sayng) and therfore it muste of necessite be some time used. But it contayneth therin no commendable solace or exercise, in comparison to the other fourme of hunting, if it be diligently perceiued.
As for haukyng, I can finde no notable remembrance that it was used of auncient tyme amonge noble princes. I call auncient tyme before a thousande yeres passed, sens whiche tyme vertue and noblenesse hath rather decayed than increased. Nor I coulde neuer knowe who founde firste that disporte.
Plinius makethe mention, in his viii boke of the historie of nature, that in the partes of grece, called Thracia, men and haukes, as it were by a confederacie, toke byrdes to gether in this wyse. The men sprange the birdes out of the busshes, and the haukes, sorynge ouer them, bete them downe, so that the men mought easily take them. And than dyd the men departe equally the praye with the faukons, whiche be inge well serued, eftsones, and of a custome, repayred to suche places, where, beinge a lofte, they perceued men to that purpose assembled. By which rehersall of Plinius we may coniecte, that from Thracia came this disporte of hauking. And I doubt nat but many other, as wel as I, haue sene a semblable experience of wilde hobies, whiche, in some countrayes that be champaine, wyll sore and lie a lofte, houeringe ouer larkes and quailes, and kepe them downe on the grounde, whiles they whiche awayte on the praye do take them. But in what wise, or where so euer, the beginninge of hauking was, suerly it is a right delectable solace, thoughe therof commeth nat so moche utilitie, (concerning exercise) as there dothe of huntinge. But I wolde our faukons mought be satisfied with the diuision of their pray, as the faukons of Thracia were; that they neded nat to deuour and consume the hennes of this realme in suche nombre, that unneth it be shortly considred, and that faukons be brought to a more homely diete, it is right likely that, within a shorte space of yeres, our familiar pultrie shall be as scarce, as be nowe partriche and fesaunt. I speake nat this in dispraise of the faukons, but of them whiche kepeth them like coknayes. The meane gentilmen and honest housholders, whiche care for the gentill entertainement of their frendes, do finde in their disshe that I saye trouthe, and noble men shall right shortly espie it, whan they come sodainly to their frendes house, unpuruaied for lacke of longe warning.
But nowe to retourne to my purpose: undoubtedly haukyng, measurably used, and for a passetyme, gyueth to a man good appetite to his souper. And at the leest waye withdraweth hym from other daliance, or disportis dishonest, and to body and soule perchance pernicious.
Nowe I purpose to declare somthyng concerning daunsing, wherin is merite of prayse and dispraise, as I shall expresse it in suche forme, as I trust the reder shal finde therin a rare and singuler pleasure, with also good lerning in thinges nat yet communely knowen in our vulgare. Which if it be radde of hym that hath good opportunitie and quiete silence. I doubt nat, but he shall take therby suche commoditie, as he loked nat to haue founden in that exercise, whiche of the more parte of sadde men is so litle estimed.
XIX. That all daunsinge is nat to be reproued.
I Am nat of that opinion that all daunsinge generallye is repugnant unto vertue: al though some persones excellently lerned, specially diuines, so do affirme it, whiche alwaye haue in theyr mouthes (whan they come in to the pulpet) the sayeng of the noble doctor saincte Augustine, That better it were to delue or to go to ploughe on the sonday than to daunse: whiche moughte be spoken of that kynde of daunsinge whiche was used in the tyme of saincte Augustine, whan euery thing with the empire of Rome declined from their perfection, and the olde maner of daunsinge was forgoten, and none remayned but that whiche was lasciuiouse, and corrupted the myndes of them that daunsed, and prouoked sinne, as semblably some do at this day. Also at that tyme Idolatry was nat clerely extincte, but diuers fragmentes therof remained in euery region. And perchance solempne daunsis, whiche were celebrate unto the paynyms false goddes, were yet continued; for as moche as the pure religion of Christe was nat in all places consolidate, and the pastors and curates dyd wynke at suche recreations, fearyng that if they shulde hastily haue remeued it, and induced sodaynely the seueritie of goddis lawes, they shulde stere the people therby to a generall sedition; to the imminent daunger and subuertion of Christis hole religion, late sowen amonge them, and nat yet sufficiently rooted. But the wyse and discrete doctor saincte Augustine, usinge the arte of an oratour, wherin he was right excellent, omitting all rigorous menace or terrour, dissuaded them by the moste easis te way from that maner ceremony belonging to idolatrie; preferring before it bodily occupation; therby aggrauatyng the offence to god that was in that ceremonie, sens occupation, which is necessary for mannes sustinance, and in due tymes vertuous, is nat withstanding prohibited to be used on the sondayes. And yet in these wordes of this noble doctor is nat so generall dispraise to all daunsinge as some men do suppose. And that for two causis. Firste in his comparison he preferreth nat before daunsing or ioyneth therto any viciouse exercise, but annecteth it with tillynge and diggynge of the erthe, whiche be labours incident to mannes lyuynge, and in them is contained nothynge that is vicious. Wherfore the preeminence therof aboue daunsing qualifieng the offence, they beinge done out of due tyme, that is to say, in an holy day, concludeth nat daunsinge to be at all tymes and in euery maner unlaufull or vicious, considerynge that in certaine casis of exstreme necessitie menne mought bothe ploughe and delue without doinge to gode any offence. Also it shall seme to them that seriousely do examine the said wordes that therin saincte Augustine doth nat prohibite daunsinge so generally as it is taken, but onely suche daunsis whiche (as I late saide) were superstitious and contained in them a spice of idolatrie, or els dyd with unclene motions of countinances irritate the myndes of the dauncers to venereall iustes, wherby fornication and auoutrie were daily increased. Also in those daunces were enterlased dities of wanton loue or ribaudry, with frequent remembrance of the moste vile idolis Venus and Bacchus, as it were that the daunce were to their honour and memorie, whiche most of all abhorred from Christes religion, sauerynge the auncient errour of paganysme. I wolde to god those names were nat at this day used in balades and ditties in the courtes of princes and noble men, where many good, wittes be corrupted with semblable fantasies, which e in better wise employed mought haue bene more necessarye to the publike weale and their princes honour. But nowe wyll I leue this seriouse mater to diuines to persuade or dissuade herein accordinge to their offices. And sens in myn opinion saincte Augustine that blessed clerke reproueth nat so generally all daunsinge, but that I may laufully reherce some kynde therof whiche may be necessary and also commendable, takyng it for an exercise, I shall nowe procede to speake of the firste begynnynge therof, and in howe great estimation it was had in diuers regions.
XX. Of the firsts begynnyng of daunsing and the old estimation therof.THERE be sondry opinions of the originall begynnyng of daunsing. The poetes do faine that whan Saturne, whiche deuoured diuers his children, and semblably wolde haue done with Jupiter, Rhea the mother of Jupiter deuised that Curetes (whiche were men of armes in that countray) shuld daunse in armour, plainge with their swordes and sheldes, in suche fourme as by that newe and pleasant deuise they shulde assuage the melancoly of Saturne, and in the meane tyme Jupiter was conuaied in to Phrigia, where Saturne also pursuyng hym, Rhea semblably taught the people there called Coribantes, to daunse in a nother fourme, wherwith Saturne was eftsones demulced and appaysed, whiche fable hath a resemblaunce to the historie of the bible in the first boke of kyngs, where it is remembred that Saule (whom god chase from a keper of asses to be kynge of iewes, who in stature excelled and was aboue all other men by the heed), declining from the lawes and preceptes of god, was possessed of an iuell spirite whiche often tymes turmented and vexed him, and other remedie founde he none but that Dauid, whiche after hym was kynge, beinge at that tyme a propre childe and playinge swetelye on a harpe, with his pleasant and perfect harmonie reduced his minde in to his pristinate estate, and durynge the tyme that he played the spirite cessed to vexe him, which I suppose hapned nat only of the efficacie of musike (all be it therin is moche power, as well in repressing as exciting naturall affectes), but also of the vertue ingenerate in the childe Dauid that played, whom god also had predestinate to be a great kyng, and a great prophete. And for the soueraigne gyftes of grace and of nature, that he was endowed with, All mightye god sayde of him that he had founde a man after his harte and pleasure. But nowe to retourne to speake of daunsinge.
Some interpretours of poets do imagine that Proteus, who is supposed to haue turned him selfe in to sondry figures, as some tyme to shewe him selfe like a serpent, some tyme like a lyon, other whiles like water, a nother time like the flame of fire, signifieth to be none other, but a deliuer and crafty daunser, which in his daunse coulde imagine the inflexions of the serpents, the softe and delectable flowynge of the water, the swiftnes and mounting of the fire, the fierce rage of the lyon, the violence and furie of the libarde; which exposition is nat to be dispraised, sens it discordeth nat from reason. But one opinion there is whiche I wyll reherce, more for the mery fantasie that therin is contained, than for any faithe or credite that is to be giuen therto.
Ouer Syracusis (a great and auncient citie in Sicile) there raigned a cruel tirant called Hiero, whiche by horrible tyrannies and oppressions brought him selfe in to the indignation and hatered of all his people, whiche he perceiuing, lest by mutuall communication they shulde conspire agayne hym any rebellion, he prohibited all men under terrible menacis, that no man or woman shulde speke unto a nother, but in stede of wordes, they shulde use in their necessarye affaires, countenances, tokens, and mouinges with their feete. handes, and eien, whiche for necessite firste used, at the laste grewe to a perfecte and delectable daunsinge. And Hiero, nat withstanding his folisshe curiositie, at the laste was slayne of his people moste miserably. But all though this historie were true, yet was nat daunsing at this time first begon, for Orpheus and Museus, the most auncient of poetes, and also Homere, whiche were longe afore Hiero, do make mention of daunsinge. And in Delus, whiche was the moste auncient temple of Apollo, no solemnitie was done without daunsinge.
Also in Inde, where the people honoureth the sonne, they assemble to gether, and whan the sonne first appereth, ioyned all in a daunse they salute him, supposinge that for as moche as he moueth without sensible noyse, it pleseth him best to be like wise saluted, that is to say with a pleasant motion and silence. The interpretours of Plato do thinks that the wonderfull and incomprehensible ordre of the celestial bodies, I meane sterres and planettes, and their motions harmonicall, gaue to them that intentity, and by the deepe serche of raison beholde their coursis, in the sondrye diuersities of nombre and tyme, a fourme of imitation of a semblable motion, whiche they called daunsinge or saltation; wherfore the more nere they approched to that temperance and subtile modulation of the saide superiour bodies, the more perfecte and commendable is their daunsinge, whiche is moste like to the trouthe of any opinion that I haue hitherto founden.
Other fables there be whiche I omitte for this present time. And nowe I will expresse in what estimation daunsing was had in the auncient time. And also sondry fourmes of daunsinge, nat all, but suche as had in them a semblance of vertue or kunnyng.
Whan the arke of god (wherin was put the tables of the commaundementes, the yerde wherwith Moisis deuided the redde see, and dyd the miracles in the presence of Pharao, kynge of Egypte, also a parte of manna, wherwith the children of Israel were fedde fourtie yeres in deserte), was recouered of the Philisties, and broughts unto the citie of Gaba, the holy kynge Dauid, wearing on him a linen surplesse, daunsed before the saide arke, folowing him a great nombre of instrumentes of musike. Wherat his wife Micol, the daughter of kyng Saule, disdained and scorned him, wherwith (as holy scripture saith) all mighty god was moche displeased. And Dauid, not cessinge, daunsed ioyousely through the citie, in that maner honouringe that solemne feaste, whiche amonge the iewes was one af the chiefe and principall, wherwith god was more pleased than with all the other obseruances that than were done unto hym at that tyme.
I wyll nat trouble the reders with the innumerable ceremonies of the gentiles, whiche were comprehended in daunsinges, sens they ought to be noumbred amonge superstitions. But I wyll declare howe wise men and valiant capitaines imbraced daunsinge for a soueraigne and profitable exercise.
Licurgus, that gaue first lawes to the Lacedemones (a people in Grece), ordayned that the children there shulde be taught as diligently to daunse in armure, as to fight. And that in time of warres, they shulde meue them in bataile againe their enemies in fourme and maner of daunsinge.
Semblably the olde inhabitantes of Ethiopia, at the ioyninge of their batailes, and whan the trumpettes;and other instrumentes soune, they daunse; and in stede of a queuer, they haue their dartes set about their heddes, like to rayes or bemes of the sonne, wherwith they beleue that they put their enemies in feare. Also it was nat lefull for any of them to cast any darte at his enemie but daunsing. And nat only this rude people estemed so moche daunsing, but also the moste noble of the grekes, whiche for their excellencie in prowesse and wisedome were called halfe goddes. As Achilles, and his sonne Pirrhus, and diuers other. Wherfore Homere, amonge the highe benefites that god gyueth to man, he reciteth daunsinge. For he saithe in the firste boke of Iliados:
'God graunteth to some man prowesse martiall,Suppose ye that the Romanes, whiche in grauitie of maners passed the Grekes, had nat great pleasure in daunsinge? Did nat Romulus, the firste kinge of Romanes, and builder of the citie of Rome, ordaine certaine prestes and ministers to the god Mars (whome he aduaunted to be his father)? Which prests, for as moche as certaine times they daunsed about the citie with tergates, that they imagined to falle from heuen, were called in latine Salii, which in to englisshe may be translated daunsers, who continued so longe time in reuerence amonge the Romanes, that unto the tyme that they were christned, the noble men and princes children there, usinge moche diligence and sute, couayted to be of the college of the saide daunsers.
To a nother daunsinge, with songe armonicall.'
More suer the emperours that were moste, noble, delited in daunsyng, perceyuing therin to be a perfecte measure, whiche maye be called modulation, wherin some daunsers of olde tyme so wonderfully excelled, that they wolde plainly expresse in daunsynge, without any wordes or dittie, histories, uith the hole circumstaunce of affaires in them contayned, wherof I shall reherce two maruailouse experiences. At Rome, in the tyme of Nero, there was a philosopher called Demetrius, whiche was of that secte, that for as moche as they abandoned all shamfistnes in their wordes and actes, they were called Cinici, in englisshe doggishe. This Demetrius, often reprouing daunsing, wolde saye that there was nothing therin of any importaunce, and that it was none other but a counterfayting with the feete and handes of the armonie that was shewed before in the rebecke, shalme, or other instrument, and that the motiones were but vaine and seperate from all understanding, and of no purpose or efficacie. Wherof herynge a famouse daunser, and one, as it semed, that was nat without good lernyng, and had in remembraunce many histories, he came to Demetrius and saide unto him, Sire, I humbly desire you refuse nat to do me that honestie with your presence, in beholding me daunce, whiche ye shall se me do without soune of any instrument. And than if it shall seme to you worthy, dispraise, utterly banisshe and confounde my science. Wherunto Demetrius graunted. The yonge man daunsed the aduoutry of Mars and Venus, and therin expressed howe Vulcane, husbonde of Venus, therof beyng aduertised by the sonne, layde snares for his wife and Mars; also howe they were wounden and tyed in Vulcanes nette; more ouer howe all the goddes came to the spectacle; finally howe Venus, all ashamed and blusshing, ferefully desired her louer Mars to delyuer her from that perill, and the residue contayned in the fable; whiche he dyd with so subtile and crafty gesture. with such perspicuitie and declaration of euery acte in the mater (whiche of all thing is moste difficile) with suche a grace and beautie, also with a witte so wonderfull and pleasaunt, that Demetrius, as it semed, therat reioysing and deliting, cried with a loude voice, O man, I do nat only se, but also here, what thou doest, and it semeth also to me that with thy handes thou spekest. Whiche sayinge was confirmed by all them that were at that tyme present.
The same yonge man songe and daunsed on a time before the emperour Nero, whan there was also present a straunge kynge, whiche understode none other langage but of his owne countray: yet nat with standing the man daunsed so aptely and playnely, as his custome was, that the straunge kynge, all thoughe he perceiued nat what he said, yet he understode euery dele of the mater. And whan he had taken his leue of the emperour to departe, the emperour offered to gyue to hym any thynge that he thoughte mought be to his commoditie. Ye may (sayd the kynge) bounteousely rewarde me, if ye lende me the yonge man that daunsed before your maiestie. Nero wondring and requiring of him why he so importunately desired the daunser, or what commodite the daunser mought be unto him, Sir, said the king, I haue diuers confins and neighbours that be of sondry languages and maners, wherfore I haue often tymes nede of many interpretours. Wherfore if I had this man with me, and shulde haue anything to do with my neighbours, he wolde so with his facion and gesture expresse euery thinge to me, and teche them to do the same, that from hensforth I shulde nat haue nede of any interpretour, Also the auncient philosophers commended daunsing; in so moche as Socrates, the wysest of all the grekes in his time, and from whom all the sectes of philosophers, as from a fountaine, were deriuied, was nat ashamed to account daunsinge amonge the seriouse disciplines, for the commendable beautie, for the apte and proportionate meuinge, and for the craftie disposition and facionyng of the body. It is to be considered that in the saide auncient tyme there were diuers maners of daunsing, whiche varied in the names, lyke wyse as they dyd in tunes of the instrument, as semblably we haue at this daye. But those names, some were generall, some were speciall; the generall names were gyuen of the uniuersall fourme of daunsinge, wherby was represented the qualities or conditions of sondry astates; as the maiestie of princes was shewed in that daunse whiche was named Eumelia, and belonged to tragedies; dissolute motions and wanton countenaunces in that whiche was called Cordax, and pertained to comedies, wherin men of base hauiour only daunsed. Also the fourme of bataile and fightyng in armure was expressed in those daunsis which were called Enopliae. Also there was a kynde of daunsinge called Hormus, of all the other moste lyke to that whiche is at this time used; wherin daunsed yonge men and maidens, the man expressinge in his motion and countenance fortitude and magnanimitie apt for the warres, the maiden moderation and shamefastnes, which represented a pleasant connexion of fortitude and temperance. In stede of these we haue nowe base daunsis, bargenettes, pauions, turgions, and roundes. And as for the speciall names, they were taken as they be nowe, either of the names of the firste inuentors, or of the measure and nombre that they do containe, or of the firste wordes of the dittie, whiche the songe comprehendeth wherof the daunse was made. In euery of the said daunsis, there was a concinnitie of meuing the foote and body, expressing some pleasaunt or profitable affectes or motions of the mynde. Here a man may beholde what artifice and crafte there was in thauncient tyme in daunsinge, whiche at this day no man can imagine or coniecte. But if men wolde nowe applie the firste parte of their youthe, that is to say from seuen yeres to twentie, effectuelly in the sciences liberall, and knowlege of histories, they shulde reuiue the auncient fourme as well of daunsing, as of other exercises, wherof they mought take nat only pleasure, but also profite and commoditie.
IT is diligently to be noted that the associatinge of man and woman in daunsing, they bothe obseruinge one nombre and tyme in their meuynges, was nat begonne without a speciall consideration, as well for the necessarye conjunction of those two persones, as for the intimation of sondry vertues, whiche be by them represented. And for as moche as by the association of a man and a woman in daunsinge may be signified matrimonie, I coulde in declarynge the dignitie and commoditie of that sacrament make intiere volumes, if it were nat so communely knowen to all men, that almoste euery frere lymitour carieth it writen in his bosome. Wherfore, lest in repetyng a thinge so frequent and commune my boke shulde be as fastidious or fulsome to the reders as suche marchaunt preachours be nowe to their custumers, I wyll reuerently take my leue of diuines. And for my parte I wyll endeuour my selfe to assemble, out of the bokes of auncient poets and philosophers, mater as well apte to my purpose as also newe or at the lest waies infrequent, or seldome herde of them that haue nat radde very many autours in greke and latine.
But nowe to my purpose. In euery daunse, of a moste auncient custome, there daunseth to gether a man and a woman, holding eche other, by the hande or the arme, whiche betokeneth concorde. Nowe it behouethe the daunsers and also the beholders of them to knowe all qualities incident to a man, and also, all qualities to a woman lyke wyse appertaynynge.
A man in his naturall perfection is fiers, hardy, stronge in opinion, couaitous of glorie, desirous of knowlege, appetiting by generation to brynge forthe his semblable. The good nature of a woman is to be milde, timerouse, tractable, benigne, of sure remembrance, and shamfast. Diuers other qualities of eche of them mought be founde, out, but these be moste apparaunt, and for this time sufficient.
Wherfore, whan we beholde a man and a woman daunsinge to gether, let us suppose there to be a concorde of all the saide dualities, beinge ioyned to gether, as I haue set them in ordre. And the meuing of the man wolde be more vehement, of the woman more delicate, and with lasse aduauncing of the body, signifienge the courage and strenthe that oughte to be in a man, and the pleasant sobrenesse that shulde be in a woman. And in this wise fiersenesse ioyned with mildenesse maketh Seueritie; audacitie with timerositie maketh Magnanimitie; wilfull opinion and tractabilitie (which is to be shortly persuaded and meued) makethe Constance a vertue; Couaitise of Glorie adourned with benignititie causeth honour; desire of knowlege with sure remembrance procureth Sapienee; Shamfastnes ioyned to appetite of generation maketh Continence, whiche is a meane betwene Chastilie and inordinate luste. These qualities, in this wise beinge knitte to gether, and signified in the personages of man and woman daunsinge, do expresse or sette out the figure of very nobilitie; whiche in the higher astate it is contained, the more. excellent is the vertue in estimation.
XXII. Howe daunsing may be an introduction unto the firste morall vertue, called prudence.
As I haue all redye affirmed, the principall cause of this my litle enterprise is to declare an induction or meane, howe children of gentill nature or disposition may be trayned in to the way of vertue with a pleasant facilitie. And for as moche as it is very expedient that there be mixte with studie some honest and moderate disporte, or at the lest way recreation, to recomforte and quicken the vitall spirites, leste they longe trauailyng, or beinge moche occupied in contemplation or remembrance of thinges graue and seriouse, moughte happen to be fatigate, or perchance oppressed. And therfore Tulli, who uneth founde euer any tyme vacaunt from studie, permitteth in his firste boke of offices that men maye use play and disporte, yet nat withstandinge in suche wyse as they do use slepe and other maner of quiete, whan they haue sufficiently disposed ernest maters and of waighty importaunce.
Nowe by cause there is no passe tyme to be compared to that, wherin may be founden both recreation and meditation of vertue, I haue amonge all honest passe times, wherin is exercise of the body, noted daunsinge to be of an excellent utilitie, comprehendinge in it wonderfull figures, or, as the grekes do calle them, Ideae, of vertues and noble qualities, and specially of the commodiouse vertue called prudence, whom Tulli defineth to be the knowlege of thinges whiche oughte to be desired and folowed, and also of them whiche ought to be fledde from or exchewed. And it is named of Aristotel the mother of vertues; of other philosophers it is called the capitayne or maistres of vertues; of some the house wyfe, for as moche as by her diligence she doth inuestigate and prepare places apt and conuenient, where other vertues shall execute their powers or offices. Wherfore, as Salomon saithe, like as in water be shewed the visages of them that beholde it, so unto men that be prudent the secretes of mennes hartes be openly discouered. This vertue beinge so commodiouse to man, and, as it were, the porche of the noble palaice of mannes reason, wherby all other vertues shall entre, it semeth to me right expedient, that as sone as oportunitie may be founden, a childe or yonge man be therto induced. And by cause that the studie of vertue is tediouse for the more parte to them that do florisshe in yonge yeres, I haue deuised howe in the fourme of daunsinge, nowe late used in this realme amonge gentilmen, the hole description of this vertue prudence maybe founden out and well perceyued, as well by the daunsers as by them whiche standinge by, wyll be diligent beholders and markers, hauyng first myne instruction suerly grauen in the table of their remembrance. Wherfore all they that haue their courage stered towarde very honour or perfecte nobilitie, let them approche to this passe tyme, and either them selfes prepare them to daunse, or els at the leste way beholde with watching eien other that can daunce truely, kepynge iuste measure and tyme. But to the understanding of this instruction, they must marke well the sondry motions and measures, which in true fourme of daunsing is to be specially obserued.
The first meuing in euery daunse is called honour, whiche is a reuerent inclination or curtaisie, with a longe deliberation or pause, and is but one motion, comprehendinge the tyme of thre other motions, or settyng forth of the foote. By that may be signified that at the begynning of all our actes, we shulde do due honour to god, whiche is the roote of prudence; whiche honour is compacte of these thre thinges, feare, loue, and reuerence. And that in the begynnynge of al thinges we shulde aduysedly, with some tracte of tyme, beholde and foresee the successe of our entrepryse.
By the seconde motion, whiche is two in nombre, may be signified celeritie and slownesse: whiche two, all be it they seme to discorde in their effectes and naturall propreties: and therfore they may be well resembled to the braule in daunsynge (for in our englyshe tonge we say men do braule, whan betwene them is altercation in wordis), yet of them two springeth an excellent vertue where unto we lacke a name in englyshe.
Wherfore I am constrained to usurpe a latine worde, callyng it Maturitie: whiche worde, though it be strange and darke, yet by declaring the vertue in a few mo wordes, the name ones brought in custome, shall be facile to understande as other wordes late commen out of Italy and Fraunce, and made denyzens amonge us.
Maturitie is a mean betwene two extremities, wherin nothynge lacketh or excedeth, and is in such astate that it may neyther encrease nor minysshe without losinge the denomination of Maturitie. The grekes in a prouerbe do expresse it proprely in two wordes, whiche I can none other wyse interprete in englysh, but spede the slowly.
Also of this worde Maturitie, sprange a noble and preciouse sentence, recyted by Salust in the battayle agayn Cataline, whiche is in this maner or lyke, Consulte before thou enterprise any thinge, and after thou hast taken counsayle, it is expedient to do it maturely.
Maturum in latyn maye be enterpretid ripe or redy, as fruite whan it is ripe, it is at the very poynte to be gathered and eaten. And euery other thynge, whan it is redye, it is at the instante after to be occupied. Therfore that worde maturitie, is translated to the actis of man, that whan they be done with suche moderation, that nothing in the doinge may be sene superfluous or indigent, we may saye, that they be maturely doone: reseruyng the wordes rype and redy to frute and other thinges seperate from affaires, as we haue nowe in usage. And this do I nowe remembre for the necessary .augmentation of our langage.
In the excellent and most noble emperour Octauias Augustus, in whom reygned all nobilitie, nothinge is more commended than that he had frequently in his mouthe this worde Matura, do maturerly. As he shulde haue saide, do neyther to moche ne to litle, to soone ne to late, to swyftely nor slowely, but in due tyme and measure.
Nowe I trust I haue sufficiently expounde the vertue called Maturitie, whiche is the meane or mediocritie betwene slouthe and celeritie, communely called spedinesse; and so haue I declared what utilitie may be taken of a braule in daunsinge.
XXIII. The thyrde and fourth braunches of Prudence.
THE thyrde motion, called singles is of two unities seperate in pasinge forwarde; by whom may be signified prouidence and industry; whiche after euerye thynge maturely achieued, as is before writen, maketh the firste pase forwarde in daunsynge. But it shall be expedient to expounde what is the thing called Prouydence, for as moche as it is nat knowen to euery man.
Prouidence is, wherby a man nat onely foreseeth commoditie and incommoditye, prosperitie and aduersitie, but also consulteth, and therewith endeuoureth as well to repell anoyaunce, as to attaine and gette profite and aduauntage. And the difference betwene it and consideration is that consideration only consisteth in pondering and examinyng thynges conceiued in the mynde, Prouidence in helpynge them with counsayle and acte. Wherfore to consyderation pertayneth excogitation and auysement, to prouydence prouisyon and execution. For lyke as the good husbande, whan he hath sowen his grounde, setteth up cloughtes or thredes, whiche some call shailes, some blenchars, or other like shewes, to feare away byrdem, whiche he foreseeth redye to deuoure and hurte his corne. Also perceyuynge the improfytable weedes apperyng, whiche wyll anoy his corne or her bes, forth with he wedeth them clene out of his grounde, and wyll nat suffre them to growe or encrease. Semblably it is the parte of a wyse man to forsee and prouide, that either in suche thinges as he hath acquired by his studie or diligence, or in suche affaires as he hath in hande, he be nat indomaged or empeched by his aduersaries.
In lyke maner a gouernour of a publike weale ought to prouide as well by menaces, as by sharpe and terrible punisshementes, that persones iuell and improfitable do nat corrupte and deuoure his good subiectes. Finally there is in prouidence suche an admiration and maiestie, that nat onely it is attributed to kinges and rulers, but also to god, creatour of the worlde.
Industrie hath nat ben so longe tyme used in the englisshe tonge as Prouidence; wherfore it is the more straunge, and requireth the more plaine exposition. It is a qualitie procedyng of witte and experience, by the whiche a man perccyueth quickly, inuenteth fresshly, and counsayleth spedily. Wherfore they that be called Industrious, do moste craftily and depely understande in all affaires what is expedient, and by what meanes and wayes they maye sonest exploite them. And those thinges in whome other men trauayle, a person industrious lightly and with facilitie spedeth, and fyndeth newe wayes and meanes to bring to effecte that he desireth. Amonge diuers other remembred in histories, such one amonge the grekes was Alcibiades, who being in childehode moste amiable of all other, and of moste subtile witte, was instructed by Socrates. The saide Alcibiades, by the sharpnesse of his witte, the doctrine of Socrates, and by his owne experience in sondrie affaires in the commune weale of the Athenienses, became so industrious, that were it good or iuell that he enterprised, no thinge almoste eskaped that he acheued nat, were the thing neuer so difficile (or as who saythe) impenitrable, and that many sondrie thinges, as well for his countray, as also agayne it, after that he, for his inordinate pride and lechery, was out of Athenes exiled.
Amonge the romanes, Caius Julius Cesar, whiche firste toke upon him the perpetuall rule and gouernaunce of the empire, is a noble example of industrie, for in his incompamble warres and busynesse incredible (if the autoritie and faithe of the writers were nat of longe tyme approued) he dyd nat onely excogitate moste excellent policies and deuises to vainquisshe or subdue his enemies, but also prosecuted them with suche celeritie and effecte, that diuers and many tymes he was in the campe of his enemies, or at the gates of their townes or fortresses, whan they supposed that he and his hoste had ben two dayes iournay from thens, leauing to them no tyme or layser to consulte or prepare agayne him sufficient resistence. And ouer that, this qualitie industrie so reigned in him, that he him selfe wolde ministre to his secretaries at one tyme and instante, the contentes of thre sondrie epistles or lettres. Also it is a thing wonderfull to remembre that he, beynge a prince of the moste auncient and noble house of the romanes, and from the tyme that he came to mans astate almoste contynuelly in warres, also of glorie insatiable, of courage inuincible, coulde in affaires of suche importaunce and difficultie, or (whiche is moche more to be meruayled at nowe) wolde so exactly write the historie of his owne actes and testes, that for the natiue and inimitable eloquence in expressing the counsailes, deuises, conuentions, progressions, enterprises, exploitures, fourmes, and facions of imbatailynge, he semeth to put all other writers of like mater to silence.
Here is the perfecte paterne of Industrie, whiche I trust shal suffice to make the propre signification therof to be understande of the reders. And consequently to incende them to approche to the true practising therof.
So is the sengles declared in these two qualities, Prouidence and Industrie; which, seriousely noted and often remembred of the daunsers and beholders, shall acquire to them no litle frute and commoditie, if there be in their myndes any good and laudable mater for vertue to warke in.
XXIV. Of the fifthe branche, called circumspection, shewed in reprinse.
COMUNELY nexte after sengles in daunsing is a reprinse, whiche is one mouing only, puttynge backe the ryght fete to his felowe. And that may be well called circumspection, whiche signifieth as moche as beholdynge on euery parte, what is well and sufficient, what lackethe, howe and from whens it may be prouided. Also what hath caused profite or damage in the tyme passed, what is the astate of the tyme present, what aduauntage or perile maye succede or is imminent. And by cause in it is contained a deliberation, in hauing regarde to that that foloweth, and is also of affinitie with prouidence and industrie, I make hym in the fourme of a retrete.
In this motion a man may, as it were on a mountaine or place of espial, beholde on euery syde farre of, measuring and estemyng euery thing, and other pursue it, if it be commendable, or abandone it or escheue it, if it be noyfull. This qualite (lyke as prouidence and industrie be) is a braunche of Prudence, whiche some calle the princesse of vertues; and it is nat onely expedient, but also nedefull to euery astate and degree of men, that do contynue in the lyfe called actife.
In the Iliados of Homere, the noble duke Nestor, a man of maruaylous eloquence and longe experience, as he that lyued thre mennes lyues, as he there auaunteth in the counsayle that he gaue to Agamemnon, to reconcile to him Achilles, the moste stronge of all the grekes, he persuadyd Agamemnon specially to be circumspect; declaringe howe that the priuate contention betwene them shulde replenisshe the hooste of the grekes with moche dolour, wherat kynge Priamus and his children shulde laughe, and the resydue of the Troyanes in their myndes shulde rejoyce and take courage.
Amonge the Romanes Quintus Fabius for this qualitie is soueraignely extolled amonge historiens; and for that cause he is often tymes called of them Fabius undator, that is to saye the tariar or delayer, for in the warres bytwene the romanes and Anniball, he knowynge all costes of the countray, continuelly kept him and his hoste on mountaynes and high places, within a small distaunce of Hanniballes armie; so that neither he wolde abandon his enemies nor yet ioyne with them batayle. By whiche wonderfull policie he caused Anniball so to trauayle, that some tyme for lacke of vitayle and for werynesse, great multitudes of his hoste perisshed. Also he oftentymes awayted them in daungerous places, unredy, and than he skirmisshed with them, as longe as he was sure to haue of them aduauntage; and after he repayred to the hyghe places adioyning, usying his accustomed maner to beholde the passage of Anniball. And by this meanes this moste circumspecte capitaine Fabius wonderfully infeblyd the powar of the said Anniball: whiche is no lasse estemed in praise, than the subduing of Cartage by the valiaunt Scipio. For if Fabius had nat so fatigate Anniball and his hoste, he had shortly subuerted the cite of Rome, and than coulde nat Scipio haue ben able to attayne that entreprise.
What more clere mirrour or spectacle can we desire of circumspection, than kyng Henry the seuenth, of most noble memorie, father unto our mooste dradde soueraigne lorde, whose worthy renome, like the sonne in the middes of his sphere, shyneth and euer shall shyne in mennes remembrance? What incomparable circumspection was in hym alway founden, that nat withstandynge his longe absence out of this realme, the disturbance of the same by sondrye seditions amonge the nobilitie, Ciuile warres and batayles, wherin infinite people were slayne, besyde skirmisshis and slaughters in the priuate contentions and factions of diuers gentilmen, the lawes layde in water (as is the prouerbe), affection and auarice subduinge iustice and equitie; yet by his moste excellent witte, he in fewe yeres, nat onely broughte this realme in good ordre and under due obedience, reuiued the lawes, auaunced justice, refurnisshed his dominions, and repayred his manours; but also with suche circumspection traited with other princes and realmes, of leages, of aliaunce, and amities, that during the more parte of his reigne, he was litle or nothyng inquieted with outwarde hostilitie or martiall businesse. And yet all other princes either feared hym or had hym in a fatherly reuerence. Whiche praise, with the honour thereunto due, as inheritaunce discendeth by righte unto his most noble sonne, our moste dere soueraigne lorde that nowe presently raigneth. For, as Tulli saithe, the best inheritance that the fathers leue to their children, excellynge all other patrimonie, is the glorie or praise of vertue and noble actis. And of suche faire inheritance his highnesse may compare with any prince that euer raigned: whiche he dayly augmenteth, adding therto other sondry vertues, whiche I forbeare nowe to reherce, to the in tent I wyll exclude all suspition of flaterye, sens I myselfe in this warke do speciallye reprove it. But that whiche is presently knowen, and is in experience, nedeth no monument. And unto so excellent a prince there shall nat lacke here after condigne writers to registre his actes, with mooste eloquent stile in perpetuell remembrance.
XXV. Of the sixte, seventh, and eighte braunches of prudence.
A DOUBLE in daunsinge is compacte of the nombre of thre, wherby may be noted these thre braunches of prudence; election, experience, and modestie. By them the saide vertue of prudence is made complete, and is in her perfection. Election is of an excellent powar and autoritie, and hath suche a maiestie, that she will nat be approched unto of euery man. For some there be to whom she denieth her presence, as children, naturall fooles, men beinge frantike, or subdued with affects, also they that be subiectes to flaterers and proude men. In these persones reason lacketh libertie, whiche shuld prepare their entrie unto election. This Election, whiche is a parte, and as it were a membre, of prudence, is best described by oportunitie, whiche is the principall parte of counsaile, and is compacte of these thinges folowynge.
The importaunce of the thinge consulted. The facultie and power of hym that consulteth. The tyme whan, The fourme howe. The substance wherwith to do it. The dispositions and usages of the countrayes. For whom and agayne whom it oughte to be done. All these thinges prepensed and gathered to gether seriousely, and, after a due examination, euery of them iustely pondred in the balance of reason, immediately cometh the autoritie of Election, who taketh on her to appoynt what is to be effectuelly folowed or pursued, reiectynge the residue. And than ought experience to be at hande, to whom is committed the actual execution. For without her, Election is frustrate, and all inuention of man is but a fantasia. And therfore who aduisedly beholdeth the astate of mannes life, shall well perceiue that all that euer was spoken or writen, was to be by experience executed: and to that intent was speche specially gyuen to man, wherin he is moste discrepant from brute beastis, in declaring what is good, what viciouse, what is profitable, what improfitable, by them whiche by clerenesse of witte do excelle in knowlege, to these that be of a more inferior capacitie. And what utilitie shulde be acquired by suche declaration, if it shulde nat be experienced with diligence?
The philosopher Socrates had nat bene named of Appollo the wyseste man of all Gracia, if he had nat daylye practised the vertues, whiche he in his lessons commended. Julius Caesar, the firste emperour, all thoughe there were in hym moche hydde lernynge; in so moche as he firste founde the ordre of our kalandre, with the Cikle and bisexte, called the lepe yere; yet is he nat so moche honoured for his lernynge as he is for his diligence, wherwith he exploited or brought to conclusion those counsailes, whiche as well by his excellent lerning and wisedome, as by the aduise of other experte counsailours were before traited, and (as I mought saye) ventilate.
Who wyll nat repute it a thinge vayne and scornefull, and more lyke to a may game, than a mater seriouse or commendable, to beholde a personage, whiche in speche or writyng expresseth nothing but vertuous maners, sage and discrete counsailes, and holy aduertisementes, to be resolued in to all vices, folowyng in his actis no thinge that he hym selfe in his wordes approuethe and teacheth to other?
Who shall any thynge esteme their wysedome, whiche with great studies finde out remedies and prouisions necessary for thinges disordred or abused; and where they themselfes may execute it, they leue it untouched; wherby their deuises, with the soune that pronounced them, be vanisshed and come to nothing? Semblably it is to be thought in all other doctrine. Wherfore, as it semed, it was nat without consideration affirmed by Tulli, that the knowlege and contemplation of Natures operations were lame and in a maner imperfecte, if there followed none actuall experience. Of this shall be more spoken in the later ende of this warke.
Here with wolde be conioyned, or rather mixte with it, the vertue called Modestie, whiche by Tulli is defined to be the knowlege of oportunitie of thinges to be done or spoken, in appoyntyng and settyng them in tyme or place to them conuenient and propre. Wherfore it semeth to be moche like to that whiche men communely call discretion. Al be it discretio in latine signifieth Separation, wherin it is more like to Election; but as it is communely used, it is nat only like to Modestie, but it is the selfe Modestie. For he that forbereth to speake, all though he can do it bothe wisely and eloquently, by cause neither in the time nor in the herers he findethe oportunitie, so that no frute may succede of his speche, he therfore is vulgarely called a discrete persone. Semblably they name him discrete, that punissheth an offendour lasse than his merites do require, hauyng regarde to the waikenes of his persone, or to the aptnesse of his amendement. So do they in the vertue called Liberalitie, where in gyuynge, is had consideration as well of the condition and necessite of the persone that recciuethe, as of the benefite that comethe of the gyfte receyued. In euery of these thinges and their semblable is Modestie; whiche worde nat beinge knowen in the englisshe tonge, ne of al them which under stode latin, except they had radde good autours, they improprely named this vertue discretion. And nowe some men do as moche abuse the worde modestie, as the other dyd discretion. For if a man haue a sadde countenance at al times, and yet not beinge meued with wrathe, but pacient, and of moche gentilnesse, they whiche wold be sene to be lerned, wil say that the man is of a great modestie; where they shulde rather saye that he were of a great mansuetude; which terme, beinge semblably before this time unknowen in our tonge, may be by the sufferaunce of wise men nowe receiued by custome, wherby the terme shall be made familiare. That lyke as the Romanes translated the wisedome of Grecia in to their citie, we may, if we liste, bringe the lernynges and wisedomes of them both in to this realme of Englande, by the translation of their warkes; sens lyke entreprise hath ben taken by frenche men, Italians, and Germanes, to our no litle reproche for our negligence and slouth. And thus I conclude the last parte of daunsinge, whiche diligently beholden shall appiere to be as well a necessary studie as a noble and vertuouse pastyme, used and continued in suche forme as I hiderto haue declared.
XXVI. Of other exercises, whiche if they be moderately used, be to euery astate of man expedient.
I HAUE showed howe huntynge and daunsing may be in the nombre of commendable exercises, and passe tymes, nat repugnant to vertue. And undoubted it were moche better to be occupied in honest recreation than to do nothynge. For it is saide of a noble autour, In doinge nothinge men lerne to do iuel; and Ouidius the poete saith
If thou flee idleness Cupide bath no myghte;It is nat onely called idlenes, wherin the body or minde cesseth from labour, but specially idlenes is an omission of al honest exercise. The other may be better called a vacacion from seriouse businesse, whiche was some tyme embraced of wise men and vertuous, It is writen to the praise of Xerxes kynge of Persia, that in tyme vacaunt from the affaires of his realme, he with his owne handes hadde planted innumerable trees, whiche longe or he died brought fourth abundance of frute; and for the craftie and dilectable ordre in the settyng of them, it was to al men beholdyng the princes industrie, exceding maruailous.
His bowe lyeth broken, his fire hath no lyghte.
But who abhorreth nat the historie of Serdanapalus, kynge of the same realme? whiche hauynge in detestation all princely affaires, and leuynge all company of men, enclosed hym selfe in chambers with a great multitude of concubynes. And for that he wolde seme to be some time occupied, or els that wanton pleasures and quietnesse became to hym tediouse, he was founde by one of his lordes in a womans atyre, spinnyng in a distafe amonge persones defamed; whiche knowen abrode, was to the people so odiouse, that finally by them he was burned, with all the place wherto he fledde for his refuge. And I suppose there is nat a more playne figure of idlenesse than playinge at dise. For besides that, that therin is no maner of exercise of the body or mynde, they whiche do playe therat must seme to haue no portion of witte or kunnyng, if they will be called faire plaiars, or in some company auoide the stabbe of a dagger, if they be taken with any crafty conueiaunce. And by cause alwaye wisedome is therin suspected, there is seldome any playinge at dise, but therat is vehement chidyng and braulyng, horrible othes, cruell, and some tyme mortall, men acis. I omitte strokes, whiche nowe and than do happen often tymes betwene bretherne and most dere frendes, if fortune brynge alwaye to one man iuell chaunces, whiche maketh the playe of the other suspected. O why shulde that be called a playe, whiche is compacte of malice and robry? Undoubtedly they that write of the firste inuentions of thinges, haue good cause to suppose Lucifer, prince of deuilles, to be the first inuentour of dise playinge, and helle the place where it was founden, although s ome do write that it was first inuented by Attalus. For what better allectiue coulde Lucifer deuise to allure or bringe men pleasauntly in to damnable seruitude, than to purpose to them in fourme of a playe, his principall tresory; wherin the more parte of synne is contained, and all goodnesse and vertue confounded? The firste occasion to playe is tediousnes of vertuoue occupation. Immediately succedeth couaiting of an other mans goodes, whiche they calle playinge; therto. is annected auarice and straite kepynge, whiche they call wynnyng; sone after cometh sweryng in rentyng the membres of god, whiche they name noblenesse, (for they wyll say he that swereth depe, swereth like a lorde); than folowethe furye or rage, whiche they calle courage; amonge them cometh inordinate watche, whiche they name paynfulnesse; he bringethe in glotonie, and that is good fellowshippe; and after cometh slepe superfluous, called amonge them naturall reste; and he some tyme bringeth in lechery, whiche is nowe named daliance. The name of this Tresorie is verily idlenesse, the dore wherof is lefte wyde open to dise plaiers; but if they happe to bringe in their company, lerninge, vertuouse busines, liberalitie, pacience, charitie, temperance, good diete, or shamefastnes, they muste leue them without the gates. For Euill custome. which is the porter, will nat suffre them to entre.
Alas what pitie is it that any christen man shulde by wanton company be trayned, I will no more saye in to this Treasorie, but in to this lothesome dungeon where he shal lye fetored in giues of ignorance, and bounden with the stronge chayne of obstinacie, harde to be losed but by grace? The most noble emperour Octauius Augustus, who hath amonge writers in diuers of his actes an honorable remembraunce, only for playing at dise and that but seldome, sustaineth note of reproche. The lacedemones sent an ambassade to the citie of Corinthe, to haue with them aliaunce; but whan the ambassadours founde the princes and counsailours playeng at dyse, they departed without exploytinge their message, sayeng that they wolde nat maculate the honour of their people with suche a reproche, to be sayde that they had made aliaunce with disars.
Also to Demetrius the kynge of Parthians sent golden dise in the rebuke of his litenesse.
Euerything is to be estemed after his value. But who hering a man, whom he knoweth nat, to be called a disar, anone supposeth him nat to be of light credence, dissolute, vayne, and remisse? Who almoste trusteth his brother, whom he knoweth a dise player? Ye among themselfes they laugh, whan they perceyue or here any doctrine or vertuouse worde procede from any of their companyons, thynking that it becommeth nat his persone, moche more whan he dothe any thing with deuotion or wisedome. Howe many gentilmen, howe many marchauntes, haue in this damnable passe tyme consumed their substaunce, as well by their owne labours as by their parentes, with great studie and painfull trauaille in a longe tyme acquired, and fynisshed their lyfes in dette and penurie? Howe many goodly and bolde yemen hath it brought unto thefte, wherby they haue prescented the course of nature, and dyed by the ordre of lawes miserably? These be the frutes and reuenues of that diuilysshe marchandise, besyde, the fynall rewarde, whiche is more terrible; the reporte wherof I leaue to diuines, suche as fere nat to showe their lerninges, or fille nat their mouthes so full with swete meates, or benefices that their tonges be nat let to speake trouth; for that is their duetie and office, excepte I with many other be moche disceyued.
Playing at cardes and tables is some what more tollerable, only for is moche as therin wytte is more used, and lasse truste is in fortune, all be hit therin is neither laudable study nor exercise. But yet men delitinge in vertue mought with cardes and tables deuyse games, where in moughte be moche solace, and also study commodiouse; as deuising a bataile, or contention betwene vertue and vice, or other like pleasaunt and honest inuention.
The chesse, of all games wherin is no bodily exercise, is mooste to be commended; for therin is right subtile engine, wherby the wytte is made more sharpe and remembrance quickened. And it is the more commendable and also commodiouse if the players haue radde the moralization of the chesse, and whan they playe do thinke upon hit; whiche bokes be in englisshe. But they be very scarse, by cause fewe men do seeke in plaies for vertue or wisedome.
XXVII. That shotyng in a longe bowe is Principall of all other exercises.
TULLI saithe in his firste boke of Officis, we be nat to that intent brought uppe by Nature, that we shuld seme to be made to playe and disporte, but rather to grauitie, and studies of more estimation. Wherfore it is writen of Alexander, emperour of Rome, for his grauitie called Seuerus, that in his chyldehode, and before he was taught the letters of greke or latine, he neuer exercised any other play or game, but only one, where in was a similitude of iustice, and therfore it was called in latine, Ad Judices, whiche is in englisshe to the iuges. But the forme therof is nat expressed by the sayde autor, nor none other that I haue yet radde; wherfore I wyll repaire againe to the residue of honest exercise.
And for as moche as Galene, in his seconde boke of the preseruation of helth, declareth to be in them these qualities or diuersities, that is to say, that some be done with extendinge of myght, and as hit were violently, and that is called valiaunt exercise; some with swyfte or hasty motion, other with strength and celerite, and that maye be called vehement. The particular kyndes of euery of them he describethe, whiche were to longe here to be rehersed.
But in as moche as he also saithe, that he that is of good astate in his body, ought to knowe the power and effecte of euery exercise, but he nedethe nat to practise any other but that whiche is moderate and meane betwene euery extremite; I wil now brefely declare in what exercise nowe in custome amonge us, maye be mooste founde of that mediocritie, and maye be augmented or mynysshed at the pleasure of hym that dothe exercise, without therby appairinge any part of dilectation or commodite therof.
And in myn oppinion none may be compared with shootinge in the longe bowe, and that for so ndry utilities that come therof, wherin it incomparably excelleth all other exercise. For in drawyng of a bowe, easie and congruent to his strength, he that shoteth dothe moderately exercise his armes, and the ouer parte of his body; and if his bowe be bygger, he must adde to more strength; wherin is no lasse valiaunt exercise than in any other wherof Galene writeth.
In shootynge at buttes, or brode arowe markes, is a mediocritie of exercise of the lower partes of the body and legges, by goinge a litle distaunce a mesurable pase.
At rouers or prickes, it is at his pleasure that shoteth, howe faste or softly he listeth to go. And yet is the praise of the shooter neither more ne lasse, for as farre or nighe the marke is his arowe, whan he goethe softly, as whan he runneth. Tenese, seldome used, and for a little space, is a good exercise for yonge men, but it is more violent than shoting, by reason that two men do play. Wherfore neither of them is at his owne libertie to measure the exercise. For if the one stryke the balle harde, the other that intendeth to receyue him, is than constrained to use semblable violence, if he wyll retourne the balle from whens it came to him. If it trille fast on the grounde, and he entendeth to stoppe, or if it rebounde a great distaunce from hym, and he wolde eftesones retourne it, he can nat than kepe any measure in swiftnesse of mocion.
Some men wolde say, that in mediocritie, whiche I haue so moche praised in shootynge, why shulde nat boulynge, claisshe, pynnes, and koytyng be as moche commended? Verily as for two the laste, be to be utterly abiected of al noble men, in like wise foote balle, wherin is nothinge but beastly furie and exstreme violence; wherof procedeth hurte, and consequently rancour and malice do remaine with them that be wounded; wherfore it is to be put in perpetuall silence. In classhe is emploied to litle strength; in boulyng often times to moche; wherby the sinewes be to moche strayned, and the vaines to moche chafed. Wherof often tymes is sene to ensue ache, or the decreas of strength or agilitie in the armes: where, in shotyng, if the shooter use the strength of his bowe within his owne tiller, he shal neuer be therwith grieued or made more feble.
Also in shootyng is a double utilitie, wherin it excelleth all other exercises and games incomparably. The one is that it is, and alway hath ben, the moste excellent artillerie for warres, wherby this realme of Englande hath bene nat only best defended from outwarde hostilitie, but also in other regions a fewe englisshe archers haue ben seene to preuayle agayne. people innumerable, also wonne inpreignable cities and stronge holdes, and kepte them in the myddes of the strength of their enemies. This is the feate, wherby englisshe men haue ben moste dradde and had in estimation with outwarde princes, as well enemies as alies. And the commoditie therof hath bene approued as ferre as Hierusalem; as it shall appiere in the liues of Richarde the firste, and Edwarde the firste, kynges of englande, who made seuerall iournayes to recouer that holy citie of Hierusalem in to the possession of christen men, and achieued them honorablye, the rather by the powar of this feate of shootynge.
The premisses considered, O what cause of reproche shall the decaye of archers be to us nowe liuyng? Ye what irrecuperable damage either to us or them in whose time nede of semblable defence shall happen? Whiche decaye, though we all redy perceiue, feare, and lament, and for the restauryng therof cesse nat to make ordinances, good lawes, and statutes, yet who effectuelly puttethe his hande to continual execution of the same lawes and prouisions? or beholdyng them dayly broken, wynketh nat at the offendours? O mercifull god, howe longe shall we be mockers of our selfes? Howe longe shall we skorne at our one calamitie? whiche, bothe with the eien of our mynde, and also our bodily eien, we se dayly imminent, by neglectyng our publike weale, and contemnynge the due execution of lawes and ordinaunces. But I shall herof more speake in an other place; and retourne nowe to the seconde utilitie founde in shotyng in the longe bowe, whiche is killyng of deere, wilde foule, and other game, wherin is bothe profite and pleasure aboue any other artillery.
And verily I suppose that before crosse bowes and hand gunnes were brought into this realme, by the sleighte of our enemies, to thentent to destroye the noble defence of archery, continuell use of shotynge in the longe bowe made the feate so perfecte and exacte amonge englisshe men, that they than as surely and soone killed suche game, whiche they listed to haue, as they now can do with the crosse bowe or gunne, and more expeditely, and with lasse labour they dyd it. For beinge therin industrious, they kylled their game further from them (if they shott a great strength) than they can with a crossebowe, excepte it be of suche waighte, that the arme shall repente the bearyng therof twentie yeres after. More ouer in the longe bowe may be shotte mo arowes, and in lasse time, ne by the breakynge therof ensueth so moche harme as by the breakynge of the crossebowe. Besides that all tymes in bendynge, the crossebowe is in perile of breakyng.
But this suffiseth for the declaration of shootyng, wherby it is sufficiently proued that it incomparably excelleth all other exercise, passetyme, or solace. And hereat I conclude to write of exercise, whiche appertaineth as well to princis and noble men, as to all other by their example, whiche determine to passe furth their liues in vertue and honestie. And hereafter, with the assistance of god, unto whom I rendre this myn account (for the talent I haue of hym receiued), I purpose to write of the principall and (as I mought say) the particuler studie and affaires of him, that by the prouidence of god, is called to the mooste difficulte cure of a publike weale.
Continue to Book II.