Declaratio de pueris statim ac liberaliter instituendis. English — That chyldren oughte to be taught and brought up gently in vertue and learnynge, and that euen forthwyth from theyr natiuitie: a declamacion of a briefe theme

That chyldren oughte to be taught and brought up gently in vertue and learnynge, and that euen forthwyth from theyr natiuitie: A declamacion of a briefe theme, by Erasmus of Roterodame.

1. [A treatise of schemes and tropes]

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If thou wilt harken unto me, or rather to Chrisippus, the sharpeste witted of Philosophers, that shalte prouide that thyne infante and yonge babe be forthe-wythe instructed in good learnyng, whylest hys wyt is yet voyde from cares and vices, whilest his age is tender and tractable, and his mind flexible and ready to folowe euery thyng, and also wyl kepe fast good lessons and preceptes. For we remember nothynge so well when we be olde, as those thynges that we learne in yonge yeres. Care not thou for those fooles wordes which chatter that thys age, partly is not hable inough to receiue discipline, & partlye unmete to abyde the labours of [Page G1v] studies. For fyrst, the beginninges of learning, stand specially by memorie, which as I sayd, in yong ones is very holdfast. Secondly because nature hath made us to knowledge the study of the thynge can not be to hasty, wherof the author of al thyng her self hath graffed in us the seedes. Beside this some things be necessary to be knowen when we be sumwhat elder, which by a certen peculier readines of nature, the tender age perceiveth both much more quickly & also more esily then doth the elder, as the first beginnings of letters, the knowledge of tonges, tales & fables of poetes. Finallye, why shulde the age be thought unmete to lerning, which is apt to lerne maners? Or what other thinge shuld chyldren do rather when they be more able to speake, seyng nedes thei muste do sumwhat? How much more profite is it the age to sporte in letters, then in trifles? Thou wilt say that it is but of litle value that is done in those fyrste yeres. Why is it disprised as a smal thing, which is necessary to a very greate matter? And why is the lucre, be it never [Page G2r] so litle, yet a lucre, dispised of purpose? Now if you often put a lytle to a litle, there riseth a greate heape. Herewith consider this also, if beyng an infant he lerne smaller thinges, he shal lerne greter, growynge upwardes in those yeres, in which those smaller shuld haue ben lerned. Finally while he doth these things, at the least he shal be kept from those fautes, wherwith we se comenly the age to be infected. For nothynge doth better occupy the whole mynd of man, then studies. Verely this lucre ought not to be set light bi. But if we shuld graunte that by these labours the strength of the body is sumwhat diminished, yet thinke I this losse well recompensed by winnynge of wyt. For the minde by moderate labours is made more quycke & lustye. And if ther be any ieopardy in this pointe, it may be auoyded by our diligence. You must haue for this tender age a teacher to enter it by fayre meanes, & not discorage it by foule. And there be also some things both pleasaunt to be knowen, & as it wer sibbe to children's wittes, whiche to lerne is rather a play then a labour. Howbeit childehod is not so [Page G2v] weake which euen for thys is the more mete to take paynes & labour, because they seie not what labour is. Therfore if thou wylte remember how far unworthy he is to be counted a man which is void of lerning, and how flitting the life of man is, how slypper youth is to myschiefe, and mans age howe it desyreth to be occupied, how baren olde age is, and further how few come unto it, thou wylt not suffer thy yong babe in the whych thou shalte lyue styll as it were borne agayne, to let go any parte of hys tyme unoccupied, in the whych any thynge maye be gotten that eyther maye do muche good to all the whole lyfe afterwardes, or kepe it awaye from hurtes, and mischiefes.

The selfe same matter enlarged by copye.

After the longe despayred fruitfulnes of thy wyfe, I hearsay thou art made a father, and that wyth a man chylde, whyche sheweth in it selfe a meruelous towardnes, and euen to be lyke the parentes: and that if so be we maye by such markes [Page G3r] and tokens pronosticate anye thyng, maye seeme to promise perfite vertue. And that therfore thou doest entend, to se thys chylde of so grete hope, as sone as he shalbe some what of age to be begonne in good letters, and to be taught in very honest learnynge, to be instructed and fashioned with the very wholsome preceptes of philosophy. In deede you wyll be the whole father, and you wyll haue hym your very son, and to loke lyke you, not only in the fashion of hys face, and liniamentes of hys bodye, but also in the giftes of hys wytte. Verely as I am hertelye glad for the good fortune of myne especiall friende, so I greatlye alowe your wyse entente. This one thynge I wolde warne you of boldlye in deede, but louinglye, not to suffer after the iudgemente and example of the common people, that the fyrst age of your infante shulde flytte awaye wythout all fruite of good instruccion, and then at the last to set hym to learne hys fyrste letter, when bothe hys age wyll not so well be handled, and hys wytte [Page G3v] shall be more readye to euyll, and peraduenture possessed alreadye with the fast holdyng bryers of vices. Yea rather euen now loke about for some man, as of maners pure & uncorrupt, so also wel learned: & into his lap deliuer your litle chyld, as it wer to a nurse of his tender mind, that euen with his milke he may suck in swete lerning: & deuide the care of thy litle sonne to his nurses & teacher that thei shuld suckun the litle body with very good iuyce, & so indue hys mynd with very wholsom opinions, & very honest lernynge. For I thinke it not conuenient that the one of al the best learned, & also wysest shuldest geue eare to those piuyshe women, or unto men very lyke to them the beard excepted, whych by a cruell pytie, & hateful loue, iudge that the chyldren euen untyl they ware springoldes, shuld be kept at home kyssing theyr mothers, and among the sweete wordes of theyr nurses pastymes, and unchaste tryflynges of seruauntes and maydens. And thynke that they ought bitterlye to be kepte awaye from learnyng as [Page G4r] from venome, saying that the fyrst age is so rude that it can receiue no discipline, and so tender that it is not mete for the labours of studies: and finally that the profite of that age is so lytle worth, that neyther anye coste shulde be made upon it, neyther that the weakenes of the chyldren shuld be rered. Whyle I proue euery of these thynges false, I pray you a lytle whyle take hede, countyng as the truth is, fyrst that these thynges be written of him which loueth you as wel as any man doth, & inespecially of the thing which so perteineth to you, that none can do more. For what is more derer to you then your son, inespecial hauing but him alone, upon whom we wold be glad if we might bestowe yea our life, not only our substaunce. Wherfore who mai not se that thei do leudly, & also untowardli which in tilling their sand building their houses, keping their horse, use the gretest diligence thei can, & take to counsell men that be wyse, & of great experience: in bringing up and teachynge theyr chyldren, for whose sakes al other things ar gotten, take so litle regard that nether [Page G4v] they once councel with theyr owne mynd, not seke for the iudgements of wyse men, but as though there were a trifle in hande, geue care to folyshe women, and to euery rascal wretche, whych is no lesse shame to hear, then if a man takyng thought for the shooe, wolde set naughte by the foote, or wyth great study wold prouide that there shuld be no faut in the garmente, naught reckynge for the healthe of the bodye. Good syr, I wyl not here cause you to tarye wyth common places, howe muche the strength of nature, how much fatherly loue, the law of god, mens constitucions require the patentes to owe unto the children, thorowe whom asmuche as we maye wee escape to dye, and be made to lyue euer. But some thynke they haue gaylye done the office of a father, when they haue only begotten chyldren, where as thys is the least porcion of loue that the name of a father requyreth. What greate thought take the mothers comenlye leste the infant shulde loke a gogle or a squint, lest he shuld be puffe [Page G5r] cheked, wrie necked, croke shuldred, croke legged, splaye footed, and left that the proporcion of his bodye shuld not be trimme in euery point: whereunto besyde other thynges, they be wont to use swadel bondes, and keepe in their chekes wyth lytle miters. They haue regard also to theyr mylke, their meate, theyr bathes, & their mouinges, by whyche thynges the phisicions in many bookes, and inespecially Galene hath taught that the chyldren get good healthe of theyr bodye: neyther do they differ thys diligence unto the seuenth or tenth yere, but euen assone as the chylde commeth oute of the mothers wombe, they take great charge of thys. And they do well, for the infancie not regarded, oftentymes causeth men to haue a syckely and sore disseased olde age, if they happen to come to it. Yea moreouer or euer the chyld be born, yet dothe the mother take greate heede: Thei eate not of euery meat when they be greate wyth chylde, they take heede that they moue not theyr bodie to hurte them: and if [Page G5v] there happen any thyng to fall upon their face, by and by they take it away wyth theyr hand, and laye it upon the priuie part of theyr body. It hath ben proued by many experimentes, that by this remedie the deformitie whych wold haue bene on that part of the body that is sene, hathe lyen hyd in the secrete place. No man calleth this to hasty a care whych is used for the worse parte of man. Why then is that parte of man, wherby we be properly called menne, neglected so many yeres? Shuld he not do all agaynste gods forbod which wold trim his cap, lettyng his head be unkempt, and all scabbed? Yet much more unreasonable is it that we shuld bestow iuste labours upon the mortall bodye, and to haue no regarde of the immortal soule. Further, if a man haue at home an horse colte, or a whelpe of a good kynd, wyl he not straight waye begynne to fashion hym to do sumwhat, and wyll do that so muche the more gladlye, the readyer the yonge age is to folow the teachers mynde? Wee wyl teache [Page G6r] a popiniaye while time is, to speke as a manne dothe, knowynge well that the elder he waxeth, the lesse apte he wyll be to be taughte, yea the common prouerbe geuyng warnynge of thys thynge: That an old popiniaye careth not for the rod. And what a thynge is it to be diligente in a byrde, and slowe in teachynge thy sonne? What do the wytty husbandmen? Do they not teach euen straight way the plantes whyle they be yet tender, to put awaye theyr wylde nature by graftynge, and wyll net tarye tyll they be waxen bygge and myghtye? And they do not onlye take heede that the litle tree grow not croked or haue any other faute, but if ther be anye, they make haste to amend it, whyle it wyll yet bowe, and folowe the hande of the fashioner. And what liuyng thynge, or what plante wyll bee as the owener or housebande manne wolde haue it to serue for, excepte oure dylygence helpe nature? The sooner it is donne, the better wyll it come to passe.

[Page G6v] Indede to many dumme beastes, nature the mother of all thynges, hath geuen more helpe to do theyr natural offices, but because the prouidence of God hath of al creatures unto men onlye geuen the strength of reason, she hath left the greatest parte to educacion, in so much that one hath written very wel the first poynte, the middle, and the thirde, that is the chyefe of all mans felicitye, to be good instruccion, & ryght bryngynge up. Whych prayse Demosthenes gaue to ryght pronunciacion, and that in deede not falsely, but ryght bryngynge up helpeth muche more to wysedome, then pronunciacion to eloquence. For diligente and holy bringing up, is the founteyne of al vertue: As to folye and myschief, the fyrst, seconde, and thyrde poynte is undiligente and corrupte educacion. Thys is the thynge that is chiefelye left unto us. That is the cause why unto other beastes nature hathe geuen swyftnes, flyght, sharpnes of sight, greatnes, and strengthe of bodye, scales, flyshes, heares, hornes, nayles, [Page G7r] venome, wherby they may both defende their healthe, and prouide for theyr liuynge, and brynge up their yonge: and bryngeth forthe man onlye softe, naked, and unfensed: but in stede of all thys, hath geuen hym a mynde hable to receiue all discipline, because in this onlye are all thynges, if a man wyll exercise it. And euerye liuynge thynge, the lesse mete it is to learnynge, so muche the more it hathe of natiue prudence. Bees learne not to make their celles, to gather iuce, and to make honye. The Emets are not taughte to gather into their holes in somer, wherby they shulde lyue in wynter, but all these thynges be done by instruccion of nature. But man neyther can eate, nor go, nor speake, except he be taught. Then if the tree brynge forthe eyther no fruite or unsauerye, wythout the diligence of graffing, if the dogge be unmete to hunte, the horse unapte to iuste, the oxe to the plowe, except oure diligence bee putte to, howe wylde and unprofitable a creature wolde man become, except diligentlye, [Page G7v] and in dew tyme he shulde be fashioned by good bryngynge up. I wyll not here rehearse unto you the example of Lycurgus knowen of euerye man, whyche bryngynge oute two whelpes, one of a gentle kynde, but euyll taughte, that ran to the meate, that other of sluggyshe syres, but diligently brought up, that leafte the meate and leapt upon the beast. Nature is an effectuall thynge, but educacion more effectuall, ouercommeth it. Menne take heede that they maye haue a good dog to hunte, to haue a good horse to iournei with, and here thei thynke no diligence to be to hastie, but to haue a sonne that shulde be both worship and profite to the parentes, upon whome they myghte laye a good part of the charges of their houshold, whose loue mighte noryshe and beate up their unweldy age, and that shuld shew hym self a trustye and healpynge sonne in a lawe, a good husbande to his wife, a valiaunte and profitable citizen to the common wealthe, I saye to haue suche ene, eyther they take no [Page G8r] care, or else they care to late. For whom do they plant? for whom do they plowe? for whom do they buylde? for whom do thei hunt for riches both by land & by sea? not for theyr chyldren? But what profite or worshyp is in these thinges, if he that shal be heire of them can not use them? With unmesurable studye be possessions gotten, but of the possessor we take no kepe. Who prepareth an harpe for the unskylfull of musycke? Who garnysheth a librarie for hym that can skyl of no bookes? And are so great ryches gotten for hym whyche can not tell howe to use them? If thou gettest these thynges to hym that is well broughte up, thou geueste hym instrumentes of vertue: but if thou get them for a rude and rusticall wytte, what other thynge doest thou then minister a matter of wantonnesse and mischiefe? What canne bee thoughte more folyshe then thys kynde of fathers? They prouide that the bodie of the sonne maye be wythout faute, and shulde bee made apte to do all manner thynges comelye, but the mynde, [Page G8v] by whose moderacion all honeste wyrkes do stand, that they care not for. It nedeth me not here to rehearse that riches, dignitie, authoritie, and also healthfulnes of body, whych menne so desirouslye wyshe to theyr chyldren, nothynge doth more get them unto man, then vertue and learninge. They wyshe unto them a praye, but they wyll not geue them a nette to take it with all. That thing which is of al most excellent, thou canst not geue thy sonne, but thou mayest store hym wyth those good sciences, wherby the best thinges be gotten. Now is this a great inconuenience, but it is yet a greater, that they leaue at home their dogge wel taught, their horse well broken and taught, and theyr son enstructed wyth no learnyng. They haue land well tylled, and theyr sonne shamefull rude. They haue their house goodly trimmed, and theyr sonne voyde of all garnyshyng. Further, they whych after the peoples estimacion seme to be meruelouse wyse, do prolong the diligence to garnyshe the mind [Page H1r] eyther into an age unapte to bee taughte, or else take no care at all for it, and are meruelouse thoughtfull of externall goodes of fortune, yea or euer he be borne, whom they haue appoynted to be lorde of them all. For what se we not them to do? When their wyfe is greate wyth chylde, then call they for a searcher of natiuities, the parentes are whether it shall be a man or a woman kynde. They searche oute the destenye. If the astrologer by the byrth houre haue sayde that the chylde shulde be fortunate in warre: wee wyll, saye they, dedicate this chyld to the kinges courte. If he shal promyse ecclesiasticall dygnitie, wee wyll, saye they, hunte for hym by some meanes, a Byshoprycke, or a fatte Abbotshyp. Thys chylde wyl we make a president or a deane. Thys semeth not to them to hasty a care when they preuente euen the very byrth: and semeth it to hastye that is used in fashioning your childrens myndes? So quyclye you prouide to haue your sonne a captaine or an officer, and therewyth wylte [Page H1v] thou not prouide that he maie be a profitable captayn or officer of the common wealth? Before the tyme come you go aboute this, to haue your sonne a byshop, or an abbot, and wylt thou not fashion hym to this well, to beare the office of a byshop, or an abbot? Thou setteste hym to a chariot, and shewest hym not the manner to guyde it. Thou puttest hym to the sterne, and passest not that he shulde learne those thynges that becommeth a shypmaster to know. Finally in all thy possessions thou regardest nothing lesse then that, that is moste precious, & for whose sake al other thynges be gotten. Thi corne fieldes be goodly, thy houes be fayre, thy vessel is bright, thy garmentes, and al thy housholde stuffe, thy horses bee wel kept, thi seruauntes wel taught, only thy sonnes wyt is foule, filthy & all sluttishe. Thou hast perchaunce bought by the drumme a bond slaue, vyle, and barbarous, if he be rude and ignoraunt, that makest to what use he is good, & trimly thou bryngest hym up to some craft, either of [Page H2r] the kytchen, physicke, husbandrye, or stewardshyp: only thy sonne thou settest lyghte by, as an idle thynge. Thei wyl say: He shal haue inough to lyue on, but he shallnot haue to lyue well on. Comonly the rycher that men be, the lesse they care for the bryngyng up of their chyldren. What neede is it, say they, of anye learnyng, they shall haue inoughe? Yea the more nede haue they of the helpe of phylosophy and learnyng. The greayter the shyp is, & the more marchandyse it carieth aboute, the more neede it hathe of a connynge shyppe master. Howe greatlye do Prynces go about this, to leaue unto their sonnes as large a dominion as they can, and yet do none carelesse that they shuld be brought up in those good wayes, wythoute the whych, principalitie can not wel be ordred. How muche more dothe he geue, that geueth us to lyue well, then to lyue? Verye lytel do chyldren owe unto theyre fathers of whome they be no more but begotten, and not also broughte up to lyue verteouslye.

[Page H2v] The saying of Alexander is muche spoken of: excepte I were Alexander, I wuld wishe to be Diogenes. But very worthely doth Plutarch rebuke it, because that so much the more he shuld haue wyshed to haue had Diogenes philosophye, howe muche the greater hys dominion was. But muche more shameful is theyr sluggardy, whyche not onely bryng not up their chyldren aright, but also corrupte them to wyckednesse. When Crates the Thebane dyd perceiue thys abhominacion, not without a cause he wolde go in to the hyest place of the citye, & there crie out as loud as he could, & caste them in the teeth wyth theyr madnesse in this wyse. You wretches what madnesse driueth you? Take you suche thought to gette money and possessions, & take you no care for your children for whom you get these thynges? As they be scante halfe mothers whych onlye bringe forth, and not up their chyldren, so be they scante halfe fathers, which when they prouide necessaries for theyr chyldrens bodies, euen so much [Page H3r] that they maye ryot wythall, prouide not that their myndes maye be garnyshed wyth honest disciplines. Trees peraduenture wyl grow though eyther baren, or wyth wild fruite: horses are soled, though perchaunce they be good for nothyng: but menne (truste me) be not borne, but fashioned. Menne in olde tyme which by no lawes, nor good order ledde theyr lyues in woodes, in wanderynge lustes of bodye, were rather wylde beastes then men. Reason maketh a man: that hathe no place where all thynges are gouerned after affeccion. If shape and fashion shulde make a man, Images also shulde be counted among men. Elegantly sayde Aristippus when a certen ryche man axed him what profite learnyng shuld brynge to a yong man: & it be no more but this quod he, that in the playing place one stone sytte not upon an other. Very properly another Philosopher Diogenes I trowe, bearynge in the mydday a candle in his hand, walked aboute the market place that was full of men: beinge axed what [Page H3v] thynge he sought: I seeke quode he, a man. He knewe that there was a greate company, but of beastes, and not men. The same man on a daye, when standing on an hye place he had called a great fort together, and sayde nothing else but come hither men, come hyther men. Some halfe angrye cryed agayne: we are here men, say what thou hast. Then quod he: I wold haue men come hyther & not you whych are nothyng lesse then men, and therwyth draue them away wyth his staffe. Surely it is very trewe, that a man not instructed wyth Phylosophye nor other good sciences, is a creature somewhat worse then brute beastes. For beastes folowe onely the affectes of nature, a manne except he be fashioned wyth learning, and preceptes of philosophy, is taught into affeccions more then beastlike. For there is no beast more wylde, or more hurtefull then a manne, whom ambicion dryuethe, desyre, anger, enuye, ryot, and luste. Therfore he that prouideth not that his sonne may by and by be instructed [Page H4r] in the beste learnyng, neyther is he a manne, nor the sonne of a man. Were it not an abhominable fight that the mynde of a man shulde be in a beastes body? As we haue read that Circes when she had enchaunted men wyth her wytchcraft, dyd turne them into Lions, beares, and swyne, so that yet ther shuld be stil in them the mynde of a man, which thyng Apuleus wrote to haue happened to hym selfe, and Austin also hathe beleued that men haue bene turned into wolues. Who could abyde to be called the father of such a monster. But it is a more merueylous monster that a beastes mynde shulde be in a mans bodye, and yet do very many please themselues in suche chyldren, and bothe the fathers seme, and the common people thynke such to be verye wise.

It is sayde that beares caste oute a lumpe of fleshe wythout anye fashion, whych wyth longe lyckyng, they forme and brynge into a fashyon, but there is not beares yonge one so euyll fauored as a manne is, borne of a rude mynde.

[Page H4v] Except wyth much studye the forme and fashion this, thou shalt be a father of a monster and not of a man. If thy sonne be borne wyth a copped head or crocked shuldred, or splay footed, or wyth syxe fingers in one hande, howe lothe woldest thou be for it, how arte thou ashamed to be called the father not of a man, but of a monster: and art thou not ashamed of so monstruous a mynde? Howe discoraged be the fathers in theyr hertes if their wyfe brynge forthe a naturall, & an infante of a brute mynde? For they thynke they haue begotten not a man, but a monster, and excepte state of the lawe dyd let them, they wolde kyll that that is borne. Thou blameste nature whych hath denied the minde of a man to thy chylde, & thou causest by thyne own negligence, that thy sonne shulde be wythoute the mynde of a man. But thou wylte saye: Better it is to be of a brutishe rather then of an ungracious mind. Naye better it is to be a swyne, then an unlearned and euyll man. Nature, when she geueth the a sonne, [Page H5r] she geueth nothyng else, then a rude lumpe of fleshe. It is thy parte to fashion after the best maner, that matter that will obey & folow in euery poynt. If thou wylt slacke to do it, thou hast a beaste: if thou take hede thou hast, as I myght saye, a God. Stayght waye assone as thy infante is borne, it is apte to be taughte those thynges whych properlie belonge to a man. Therfore after the sayinge of Vyrgyll, bestowe diligente labour upon hym, euen from hys tender age. Handle the waxe strayght way whyle it is very soft, fashion thys claie while it is moist, season thys earthen vessel wyth verye good liquour, while it is newe, dye your wolle whyle it commeth whyte frome the fuller, and is not defiled wyth any spottes. Antisthenes dyd verye merilye shewe the same, whyche when he had taken a certen mans sonne to be taught, and was axed of hys father what thinges he had neede of: a newe booke quod he, a newe pensyle, and a new table. Verelye the philosopher requyred a rude and emptye mynde.

H5v Thou canst not haue a rude lumpe, but and if thou fashyon it not lyke a manne, of it selfe it wyll waxe naught, into monstruous formes of wylde beastes. Seynge thou doest owe this seruyce to God & nature, although there were no hope that thou shuldest haue any profite therby, count in thy mynd, how greate comforte, how greate profite, howe much worshyp the children that be well brought up brynge to theyr fathers. Agayne into what shames and greate sorowes they cast their parentes that bee euyll broughte up. There is no nede to bryng there unto the examples out of olde chronicles: do no more but remember in thy mind the housholdes of thine owne citye, howe many examples shalt that haue in eueri place? I know thou doest often hear such wordes. O happye man that I were, if my chyldren were buryed. O fortunate mother, if I hadde neuer broughte forth chylde. It is a wayghty matter to brynge up chyldren well, I graunt: but no man is borne to him selfe, no man borne to be idle. Thou woldest nedes be a father, that muste [Page H6r] be a good father, that haste gotten them to the common wealth, not to thy self only, or to speake more lyke a christen man, that hast begotten them to god, not to thy selfe. Paul wryteth that so in dede women be saued, if they bryng forth children, & so brynge them up that they continue in the study of vertue. God wil straitly charge the parents with the childrens fautes. Therfore excepte that euen forthwith thou bryng up honestly that, that is borne, fyrst that dost thy selfe wronge, which thorow thy negligence, gettest that to thy selfe, then the which no enemye could wyshe to an other, either more greuous or paynful. Dionisius did effeminat with delyghtes of the court Dions yong son that was run awaye from him: he knew that this shuld be more carefull to the father, then if he had kylled hym with a swerde. A litel whyle after when the yong manne was forced of his father that was come to him, to returne agayne to his old vertue, he brake his necke out of a garter. In dede a certeyne wise hebricion wrot very wisely. A wise child maketh the father glad, & a folish son is sorow to the mother. [Page H6v] But a wyse chyld not only is pleasure to hys father, but also worship and succoure, and finallye hys fathers lyfe. Contrarye a folyshe and leude chylde, not only bringeth heauynesse to hys parentes, but also shame and pouertye, and olde before the tyme: and at laste causeth death to them, of whom he had the begynnyng of lyfe. What nede me to rehearse up? Daily are in our eies the examples of citizens, whome the euyll maners of theyr chyldren haue brought to beggarye, whome eyther the sonne beyng hanged, or theyr daughter an whoore of the stewes, haue tormented wyth intollerable shame and vylany. I know greate men, whych of manye chyldren haue scante one left alyue. One consumed wyth the abhominable leprie, called by diminucion the french pockes, heareth his death aboute wyth hym: Another hathe burste by drynkynge for the beste game, an other goyng a whorehuntynge in the nyghte with a visar, was pittifullye kylled. What was the cause? Bycause theyr parentes [Page H7r] thynkynge it inough to haue begotten them, and enryches them, toke no heede of theire bryngynge up. They shall dye by the lawe, whych laye awaye theyr children, and cast them into some wood to be deuouted of wylde beastes. But there is no kynde of puttynge them awaye more cruell, then to geue up that to beastlye affeccions, whych nature hath geuen to be fashioned by very good waies. If ther wer ani witch could wyth euyl craftes, and wold go about to turne thy sonne into a swyne or a wolfe, woldest thou not thynke that ther were not punyshyement to sore for her myscheuouse deede? But that whych thou abhorrest in her, thou of purpose doest it thy selfe. How huge a beaste is lechery? how rauenous and insaciable is ryot? howe wylde a beast is dronkenshyp? how hurtfull a thing is anger? how horrible is ambicion? To these beastes dothe he set ouer hys sonne, who soeuer from his tender youthe doth not accustume hym to loue that, that is honeste: to abhorre synne: yea rather not onlye [Page H7v] he casteth hym to wyld beastes, whych the most cruel casters away are wonte to do, but also whych is more greuouse, he norisheth this greate and perilous beaste, euen to hys owne destruccion. It is a kind of men most to be abhorred, which hurteth the body of infantes wyth bewitchyng: and what shal we say of those parentes whiche thorowe their negligence and euyll educacion bewitch the mynd? They are called murtherers that kyll their children beynge newe borne, and yet kyll but the body: howe great wyckednes is it to kyll the mynde? For what other thynge is the deathe of the soule, then foly and wickednes. And he doth also no lesse wrong to his contrey, to whom asmuch as lyeth in hym, he geueth a pestilente citizen. He is naught to godwards, of whom he hath receyued a chylde for thys purpose, to brynge hym up to vertue. Hereby you may se, how greate and manifolde mischiefes they committe whych regarde not the bryngynge up of tender age. But as I touched a lytle before, [Page H8r] they synne more greuouslie then do these, whych not onely do not fashion them to honestye, but also season the tender andsoft vessel of the infante to myschiefe and wyckednesse, and teacheth hym vyce before he knowe what vice is. How shuld he be a modeste man and dyspyser of pride, that creepeth in purple? He can not yet sound his fyrste letters, and yet he nowe knoweth what crimosine and purple sylke meaneto, he knoweth what a mullet is, and other dayntie fyshes, and disdainfullye wyth a proude looke casteth away common dyshes. How can he be shamefast when he is growen up, which being a litel infant was begon to be fashioned to lecherye? How shall he waxe liberal when he is old, which being so litel hath lerned to meruell at money & gold? If ther be ani kynd of garment lately found out, as daili the tatlers craft, as in time paste dyd Africa, bringeth forth some new monster, that we put up on our instant. He is taught to stand in his own conceite: & if it be taken away, he angerly axeth for it again. [Page H8v] Howe shal he beyng olde hate drunkennes, whych when he is an infant is taught to loue wine? They teach them by lytle and lytle suche filthy wordes whych are scant to be suffered, as sayth Quintilian, of the delicious Alexandrians. And if the child speake any suche after them, they kysse hym for hys laboure. I warant you they know their yong, growynge nothynge out of kynde, when theyr owne lyfe is nothynge else then an example of naughtynes. Beynge an infant, he learneth the unchaste flatterynge wordes of nurses, and as we saye, he is fashioned wyth the hand to wanton touchynge. He seeth hys father well whetteled wyth drynke, and heareth hym bablynge oute that, that shulde be kepte in. He sytteth at greate, and not very honest feastes, he heareth the house ful of iesters, harpes, mynstrels and daunsers. To these maners the chyld is so accustumed, that custume goeth into nature. Ther be nacions that fashion their chyldren to fiersenesse of warre whyle they be yet redde from [Page J1r] the mother. They lerne to loke fierslie, the learne to loue the swearde, and to geue a strype. From such beginninges thei are deliuered to the master: and do we merueyle if wee fynde them unapte to lerne vertue, whych haue dronke in vyces, euen wyth the mylke? But I hear some men defendynge theyr folye thus, and and saie that by thys pleasure whiche is taken of the wantonnes of infantes, the tediousnes of noursyng is recompensed. What is this? Shuld it be to the verye father more pleasaunt if the chylde folowe an euyll deede, or expresse a leude worde, then if wyth his lytle struttyng tonge, he spake a good sentence, or folowe any deede that is wel done? Nature specially hathe geuen to the fyrste age an easines to folowe and do after, but yet thys folowyng is some what more prone to naughtynesse then to goodnes. Is vyce more plesaunte to a good man then vertue, specially in hys chyldren? If anye fylthe fall upon the yonge chyldes skyn, thou puttest it away, and dost thou infect the mynd wyth so foule [Page J1v] spottes? Nothynge stycketh faster then that that is learned in yonge myndes. I pray you what motherlye hertes haue those women, whiche dandle in their lap their chyldren tyl they be almost seuen yeres old, and in maner make them fooles? If they be so much disposed to play why do they not rather get apes, and litle puppets to play wythall? O saye they: they be but chyldren. They be in deede: but it can scant be told how muche those fyrste beginninges of our yong age do helpe us to guide all our lyfe after, & howe hard & untractable a wanton and dissolute bryngyng up, maketh the chylde to the teacher, callynge the same gentlenes, when in deede it is a marring. Might not an accion of euyl handlyng children meruelous iustli be laid against such mothers? for it is plainely a kynde of witchcraft & of murther. They be punyshed by the lawe, that bewitche their children, or hurt their weake bodies with poisons: what do thei deserue which corrupt that chiefe parte of the instant with most ungracious venome? It is a lighter matter to kyl the body [Page J2r] then the mind? If a child shulde be brought up among the gogle eied stutters, or haltyng, the body woldbe hurt with infeccion: but in dede fautes of the mind crepe upon us more priuely, & also more quickely, & settel deper. The apostle Paul worthely gaue this honor unto the verse of Menander, that he wold recite it in his epistels: Euyl communicacion, corrupteth good maners: but this is neuer truer then in infantes. Aristotle when he was axed of a certen man by what meanes he myghte bringe to pas, to haue a goodly horse: If he be brought up quod he among horses of good kynde. And that if neyther loue nor treason can teach us howe greate care we ought to take for the first yeres of our children, at the least waies let us take example of brute beastes. For it oughte not to greue us to learne of them a thynge that shall be so profitable, of whome mankinde now long ago hath lerned so many fruitful things: sence a beast called Hippopotamus hath shewed the cutting of veines, & a bird of egipt called Ibis hath shewed the use of a clister, which the phisicions gretly alow. [Page J2v] The hearbe called dictamum whiche is good to drawe out arrowes, we haue knowne it bi hartes. Thei also haue taughte us that the eatinge of crabs is a remedy against the poyson of spyders. And also we haue learned by the teachyng of lysardes, that dictamum doth confort us agaynst the byting of serpentes. For thys kynde of beastes fyghte naturally agaynste serpentes, of whom when they be hurt, they haue ben espyed to fetche theyr remedye of that herbe. Swallowes haue shewed us salaudine, and haue geuen the name unto the hearbe. The wesyll hathe shewed us that rewe is good in medicines. The Storke hathe shewed us the herbe organye: and the wylde bores haue declared the Iuy helpeth sickenesses. Serpentes haue shewed that fenel is good for the eye syght. That vomite of the stomacke is stopped by lettise, the Dragon monysheth us. And that mans donge helpeth agaynst poyson, the Panthers haue taught us, and many mo remedies we haue learned of Brute beastes: [Page J3r] yea and craftes also that be verye profitable for mannes lyfe. Swine haue shewed us the maner to plow the lande, and the Swalowe to temper mud walles. To be short, there is in maner nothyng profitable for the lyfe of man, but that nature hathe shewed us an example in brute beastes, that they that haue not learned philosophy and other sciences, maye be warned at the least waye by them what they shulde do. Do we not se howe that euery beaste, not only doth beget yonge, but also fashion them to do their natural office? The byrde is borne to flye. Doest thou not se how he is taught therunto & fashioned by his damme? We see at home how the cattes go before their kytlynges, and exercyse them to catche myse & byrdes, because they muste lyue by them. They shewe them the praye whyle it is yet alyue, and teache them to catche it by leapyng, and at last to eate them. What do hartes? do they not forth wyth exercise their fawnes to swyftnes, and teach them howe to runne? they brynge them [Page J3v] to hye stiepe doune places, & shewe them how to leap, because by these meanes they be sure agaynste the traines of the hunters. Ther is put in writing as it were a certen rule of techyng elephantes and dolphins in brynginge up their yonge. In Nyghtingales, we perceiue the offices of the techer and learner, how the elder goth before, calleth backe, and correcteth, and howe the yonger foloweth and obeyeth. And as the dogge is borne to huntyng, the byrde to flyinge, the horse to runnyng, the oxe to plowynge, so man is borne to philosophy and honeste doinges: and as euery liuing thing lerneth very easly that, to the which he is borne, so man wyth verye lytle payne perceiueth the lernyng of vertue and honestye, to the whiche nature hath graffed certen vehemente seedes and principles: so that to the readinesse of nature, is ioyned the diligence of the teacher. What is a greater inconuenience then beastes that be wythout reason to knowe and remember theyr duetye towarde theyr yong: Man [Page J4r] whych is deuided from brute beastes by prerogatiue of reason, not to know what he oweth to nature, what to vertue, and what to God? And yet no kynde of brute beastes looketh for anye rewarde of theyre yong for their noursynge and teachynge, excepte we luste to beleue that the Storkes noryshe agayne theyr dammes forworne wyth age, and bear them upon their backes. But among men, because no continuaunce of time taketh awaye the thanke of naturall loue: what comfort, what worshyp, what succoure doth he prepare for hymselfe, that seeth hys childe to be well brought up? Nature hathe geuen into thy handes a newe falowed fielde, nothynge in it in deede, but of a fruitfull grounde: and thou thorow negligence sufferest it to be ouergrowen wyth bryers and thornes, whyche afterwardes can not be pulled up wyth any diligence. In a lytell grayue, howe greate a tree is hyd, what fruite will it geue if it spring oute.

[Page J4v] All thys profite is lost except thou caste feede into the sorowe, excepte thou noryshe wyth thy labour this tender plant as it groweth, and as it were make it tame by graffyng. Thou awakest in tamyng thy plant, and slepeste thou in thy sonne? All the state of mans felicitie standeth specially in thre poyntes: nature, good orderyng, and exercyse. I cal nature an aptnes to be taught, and a readines that is graffed within us to honestye. Good orderynge or teachyng, I call doctryne, whiche stondeth in monicions and preceptes. I call exercyse the use of that perfitenes which nature hath graffed in us, and that reason hath furthered. Nature requyreth good order and fashionynge: exercyse, except it be gouerned by reason, is in daunger to manye perylles and erroures. They be greatly therefore deceiued, whych thynke it sufficient to be borne, & no lesse do they erre whyche beleue that wysedome is got by handelynge matters and greate affayres wythoute the preceptes of philosophye. Tel me I [Page J5r] praye you, when shall he be a good runner whych runneth lustelye in deede, but eyther runneth in the darke, or knoweth not the waye? When shall he bee a good sworde player, whych shaketh hys sworde up and downe wynkyng? Preceptes of philosophye be as it were the eyes of the mynde, and in manner geue lyght before us that you may see what is nedefull to be done and what not. Longe experience of diuerse thinges profite much in dede, I confesse, but to a wyse man that is diligently instructed in preceptes of well doynge. Counte what thei haue done, and what thei haue suffered all theyr lyfe, whych haue gotten them by experience of thinges a sely small prudence & thinke whether thou woldest wyshe so greate myschiues to thy sonne. Moreouer philosophye teacheth more in one yere, then dothe anye experience in thyrty, and it teacheth safely, when by experience mo men waxe miserable then prudent, in so much that the old fathers not without a cause sayde: a man to make a perill or be [Page J5v] in ieopardy, whych assayed a thing by experience. Go to, if a man wold haue hys sonne well seene in physycke, whether wolde he rather he shulde reade the bookes of phisicions or learne by experience what thynge wolde hurt by poysonyng, or helpe by a remedy. Howe unhappye prudence is it, when the shypman hathe learned the arte of saylynge by often shypwrackes, when the prince by continuall batayles and tumultes, and by common myschieues hath learned to heare hys office? Thys is the prudence of fooles, and that is bought to dearlye, that men shulde be wyse after they be strycken wyth myschief. He learneth very costely, whych by wanderyng lerneth not to wander. Philippus wyselye learned hys sonne Alexander to shewe hym selfe glad to lerne of Aristotle: and to learne philosophy perfectlye of him to the entent he shuld not do that he shuld repent hym of. And yet was Phylyp commended for hys singuler towardnes of wytte. What thynke ye then is to be looked for of the common [Page J6r] sorte. But the manner of teachinge doth briefly shewe what we shulde folowe, what wee shulde auoyde: neyther dothe it after wee haue taken hurte monyshe us, thys came euyll to passe, hereafter take heede: but or euer ye take the matter in hande, it cryeth: If thou do thys, thou shalt get unto the euyll name and myschiefe. Let us knytte therfore this threfolde corde, that both good teachyng leade nature, and exercise make perfite good teachyng. Moreouer in other beastes we do perceiue that euery one doth sonest learne that that is most properly belonging to hys nature, and whych is fyrste to the saue garde of hys healthe: that standeth in those thynges which brynge either payne or destruccion. Not onlye liuing thyngs but plantes also haue this sence. For we se that trees also in that parte where the sea doth sauour, or the northen winde blow, to shrynke in their braunches and boughes: and where the wether is more gentle, there to spreade them farther oute.

[Page J6v] And what is that that properly belongeth unto man? Verelye to lyue according to reason, and for that is called a reasonable creature, and diuided from those that can not speake. And what is most destruccion to man? Folyshenes. He wyll therfore be taught nothyng soner then vertue, and abhorre from nothynge sooner then folyshnesse, if so be the diligence of the parentes wyll incontinent set aworke the nature whyle it is emty. But we here meruelous complantes of the common people, howe readye the nature of chyldren is to fal to vyce, & how hard it is to drawe them to the loue of honesty. They accuse nature wrongfullye. The greatest parte of thys euyll is thorowe oure owne faute, whyche mar the wittes with vyces, before we teache them vertues. And it is no maruell if we haue them not verye apte to learne honestye, seyng they are nowe already taughte to myschiefe. And who is ignoraunt, that the labour to unteache, is both harder, and also goth before teachyng. Also the common sorte of men to do amysse [Page J7r] in thys pointe thre maner of wayes: eyther because they utterlye neglecte the bryngynge up of children, or because they begynne to fashion their myndes to knoweledge to late, or because they putte them to those men of whome they maye learne that that muste be unlerned agayne. Wee haue shewed those fyrst maner of men unworthi to be called fathers, and that they very litle differ from suche as sette theyr infantes out abrode to be destroyed, and that they oughte worthely to be punyshed by the lawe, which doth prescribe this also diligentlye by what meanes chyldren shuld be brought up, & afterwards youth. The second sorte be very manye, wyth whom nowe I specially entend to striue. The thyrd doth amysse two wayes, partly thorowe ignoraunce, partly thorowe retchlesnes. And syth it is a rare thynge and a shame to be ignoraunte to whome thou shuldest put oute thy horse, or thy grounde to be kepte, howe muche more shamefull is it not to knowe whom thou shuldeste [Page J7v] put thy chylde in truste wythal, beynge the dearest part of thy possessions? Ther thou beginnest to lerne that, that thou canst not skyll well of thy selfe, thou axest counsell of the beste seene: here thou thynkeste it maketh no matter to whom thou committest thy conne. Thou assignest to thy seruantes, eueri man his office that is metest for hym. Thou tryest whom thou mayest make ouersear of thy husbandrie, whome to appoint to the kitchen, and who shulde ouersee thy housholde. And if there be any good for nothynge, a slug, a dulhead, a foole, a waster, to hym we commit oure childe to be taught: and that thynge whych requireth the cunningest man of all, is put to the worst of our seruauntes. What is untoward, if here menne haue not an untoward mind? Ther be some whych for theyr couetous mynd be afeard to hyre a good master, and geue more to an horskeper then a teacher of the chyld. And yet for al that they spare no costly feastes, nyght & day thei playe at dice, and bestowe moch upon houndes & [Page J8r] fooles. In thys thynge onely they be sparers and nigardes, for whose cause springe in other thynges myght be excused. I wold ther wer fewer whych bestowe more upon a rotten whore, then upon bringyng up of their chylde. Nothyng sayth the Satir writer standeth the father in lesse cost then the sonne. Peraduenture it wyll not be much amisse here to speake of the day dyet, which longe ago was muche spoken of in the name of Crates. Alow to thy coke x. pound, to thy phisicion a grote, to thy flatterer .v. talents, to thy counseller smoke, to thy harlot a talent, to thy philosopher .iii. halfpens. What lacketh to this preposterous count, but to put to it that the teacher haue iii. farthings: Howbeit I thinke that the master is meant under the name of philosopher. When one that was riche in money, but nedy of wit axed Aristippus what wage she wold axe for teching his son, & he answered .v. L. grotes. You axe quod he to great a summe: for with this much money a man maye bye a seruaunte. [Page J8v] Then the philosopher very properly againe: but now, quod he, for one thou shalt haue two: a sonne mete to do the seruice, and a philosopher to teache thy sonne. Further if a man shulde bee axed, whether he wold haue hys onlye sonne dead to wynne an hundred horses, if he had any crumine of wysedome, he wold answer ( I thinke:) in no wise. Whi geuest thou then more for thi horse? why is he more diligently taken hede to then thy sonne? why geuest thou more for a fole, then for the bringyng up of thy chylde? Be frugall and sparynge in other thynges, in thys poynt to be thryfty, is no sparynge but a madnes. There be other agayn that take good heede in chosyng a master, but that is at the desyre of their friendes. They lette passe a meete and cunninge man to teache chyldren, and take one that can no skyll, for none other cause, but that he is set forwardes at the desyres of their friendes. Thou mad man, what meanest thou? In saylynge thou regardest not the affeccion of them that speake good wordes [Page K1r] for a man, but thou setteste hym to the helme, whych can beste skyll to gouerne the shyp: in the sonne, when not only he hymself is in ieopardy, but the father and mother and all the housholde, yea and the common wealth it selfe, wylte thou not use like iudgement? Thy horse is sicke, whether wilt thou sende for a leche at the good worde of thy friend, or for his cunnyng in lechcraft. What? Is thy sonne of lesse price unto the then thi horse? Yea settest thou lesse by thy selfe then by thy horse? This beyng a foule thynge: in meane citizens, how much more shamefull is it in great menne? At one supper a dashynge agaynst the mischeuous rocke of dice, and so hauynge shyp-wracke, thei lose two hundred pound, and yet they saye they be at coste, if upon theyr son they bestowe aboue xx. pounde. No man can geue nature, eyther to himselfe, or to other: howbeit in this poynte also the diligence of the parentes helpeth much. The fyrst poynt is, that a man chose to hym selfe a wyfe that is good, come of a good kynred, and well [Page K1v] broughte up, also of an healthfull bodie. For seyng the kynred of the body and mynde is very strayelye knytte, it can not be but that the one thynge eyther muste be holpen or hurte of the other. The nexte is, that when the husbande dothe hys duetye to get chyldren, he do it neither beyng moued wyth anger, nor yet drunken, for these affeccions go into the chylde by a secrete infeccion. A certen philosopher seemed to haue marked that thyng properly, whych seynge a yonge man behauinge hym selfe not verye soberlie, it is meruell quod he, but if thy father begat the when he was dronke. Verily I thinke this also maketh greatli to the matter, if the mother at all times, but specially at the time of concepcion and byrthe, haue her mynde free from all crimes, and be of a good conscience. For ther can be nothyng eyther more quiet or more merye then such a mynd. The thyrd point is that the mother noryshe with her own brestes her infant, or if ther hap any necessitie that it maye not so be, let be chosen a nurse of a wholsome [Page K2r] body, of pure mylke, good condicions, nether drunke, nor brauler, nor lecherous. For the vices that be taken euen in the very beginninges of lyfe, both of the bodye and of the mynd, abyde fast untyl we be olde. Some men also write that it skilleth muche who be his play felowes. Fourthlye that in due season he be set to a chosen scholemaster alowed by all mens witnes, and many waies tryed. You must be diligent in chosyng, and after go thorowe with it. Homer disaloweth wher many beate rule: and after the olde prouerbe of the grekes. The multitude of captaines dyd lose Caria. And the often chaunginge of phisicions hath destroyed manye. There is nothynge more unprofitable, then often to chaunge the master. For by that meanes the web of Penelopes is wouen & unwouen. But I haue knowen children, whych before they wer .xii. yere old, had more then .xii. masters, and that thorowe the rechelesnesse of their parentes. And yet after this is done must the parentes be diligent. [Page K2v] They shall take heede bothe to the master & to the sonne, neither shall they so caste away al care from them as they are wonte to laye all the charge of the doughter upon the spouse, but the father shall oftentyme looke upon them, and marke whether he profite, remembrynge those thynges whych the olde men spake both sagely and wittely, that the forehead is set before the hynder part of the head: and that nothyng sooner fatteth the horse then the masters eye, nor that no dunge maketh the ground more fruitfull then the masters footyng. I speake of yonge ons. For as for the elders it is meete sometyme that they be sente far out of oure syght, whiche thing as it were a graffing, is inespecially wont to tame yongemens wyttes. Emonge the excellent vertues of Paulus Emilius, this also is praised, that as often as he might for his busines in the common welth he wolde be at the exercises of hys sonnes. And Plinie the nepheu was contente nowe and then to go into the schole for his friendes sonnes [Page K3r] sake, whom he had taken upon him to brynge up in good learnynge. Furthermore, that that wee haue spoken of nature is not to be understand one wayes. For there is a nature of a common kynde, as the nature of a man is to use reason. But ther is a nature peculier, eyther to hym or him, that properly belongeth either to thys man or that, as if a man wolde saye some menne to be borne to disciplines mathematical some to diuinitie, some to rethorike some to poetrie, and some to war. So myghtely disposed they be and pulled to these studies, that by no meanes they canne be discoraged from them, or so greatly they abhor them, that they wyl sooner go into the fyre, then apply their mynde to a science that they hate. I knewe one familierlye whych was verye well seene both in greke and latin, and well learned in all liberall sciences, when an archbishop by whom he was found, had sende hither by hys letters, that he shulde begynne to heare the teachers of the lawe agaynst hys nature. After he had complayned [Page K3v] of this to me (for we laye both together) I exhorted hym to be ruled by his patron, saying that it wold wexe more easy, that at the beginning was harde, and that at the least waye he shulde geue some part of hys tume to that study. After he had brought oute certen places wonderfull folyshe, which yet those professours halfe goddes dyd teache their hearers wyth greate authoritie, I aunswered, he shuld set light by them, & take out that whiche they taught well: and after I had preased upon hym wyth many argumentes, I am quod he so minded, that as often as I turne my selfe to these studies, me thinketh a swerde runneth thorowe my hert. Wenne that bee thus naturallye borne, I thynke they be not to bee compelled against their nature, lest after the common saying we shuld leade an Oxe to wreastlynge, or an Asse to the harpe. Peraduenture of this inclinacion you may perceiue certen markes in lytle ons. There be that can pronosticate such thygnes by the houre of hys birthe, to [Page K4r] whose iudgemente howe muche ought to be geuen. I leaue it to euerye mans estimacion. It wolde yet muche profite to haue espyed the same as soone as can be, because we learne those thynges most easelie, to the which nature hath made us. I thinke it not a very vayne thing to coniecture by the figure of the face and the behaueour of the rest of the bodie, what disposicion a man is of. Certes Aristotle so greate a philosopher vouchsaued to put oute a booke of phisiognomye verye cunnynge and well laboured. As saylyng is more pleasaunt when wee haue bothe the wynd and the tyde, so be we soner taught those things to the whych we be inclined by redines of wyt. Virgyll hath shewed markes wherby a man may know an oxe good for the plough, or a cowe meete for generacion & encrease of cattell. Beste is the oxe that looketh grimly. He recheth by what tokens you may espie a yong colte mete for iusting. Staight waye the colt of a lusty courage trampleth gaylie in the fieldes, &c. for you know the verses. [Page K4v] They are deceyued whyche beleue that nature hathe geuen unto man no markes, whereby hys disposicion many bee gathered, and they do amisse, that do not marke them that be geuen. Albeit in my iudgemente there is scante anye discipline, but that the wyt of man is apt to lerne it, if we continue in preceptes and exercise. For what may not a man learne, when an Eliphant maye be taught to walke upon a corde, a bear to daunse, and an asse to playe the foole. As nature therefore is in no mannes owne hande, so wee haue taught wherin by some meanes we maye helpe nature. But good orderynge and exercise is altogether of our own witte and diligence. How much the waye to teach doth helpe, thys specially declareth, that we se daylye, burdens to be lyft up by engins and arte, whiche otherwyse coulde bee moued by no strength. And how greatly exercise auaileth that notable saying of the old wise man, inespeciallye proueth, that he ascribeth all thynges to diligence and study. But labour, say they, is [Page K5r] not meete for a tender age, & what readines to lerne can be in children whych yet scarse knowe that they are men: I wyll answere to bothe these thinges in few wordes. How agreeth it that that age shulde bee counted unmeete for learnynge, whych is nowe apte to learne good maners? But as there be rudimentes of vertue, so be there also of sciences. Philosophy hath his infancie, hys youthe, and rype age. An horsecolt, which forthwyth sheweth his gentle kynd, is not straight way forced wyth the bytte to cary on hys backe an armed manne, but wyth easy exercises he learneth the fashion of warre. The calfe that is appoynted to the plowghe, is not strayght wayes laden wyth werye yockes, nor prycked wyth sharpe godes, but as Virgyl hath elegantlye taught: First they knyt aboute his necke circles made of tender twygges, and after when his free necke hathe bene accustumed to do seruice, they make rounde hoopes mete, & when they be wrythen, ioyne a payre of meete ons together, and [Page K5v] so cause the yonge heyfers to gooe forwardes, and often tymes they make them to draw an empty cart, and sleightly go awaye, but afterwards they set on a great heauy axeltree of beeche, and make them to draw a great plough beame of yron. Plowmen can skyll howe to handell oxen in youthe, and attemper their exercises after their strength muche more diligently ought this to be done in bringing up our children. Furthermore the prouidence of nature hath geuen unto litle ons a certen mete habilitie. An infant is not yet meete to whome thou shuldest reade the offices of Cicero, or the Ethickes of Aristotle, or the moral bokes of Seneca or Plutarche, or the epistels of Paule, I confesse, but yet if he do any thyng uncomly at the table, he is monyshed, and when he is monyshed, he fashioneth hym selfe to do as he is taught. He is brought into the temple, he lerneth to bowe his kne, to holde hys handes manerly, to put of hys cap, and to fashion all the behaueour of hys bodie to worshyp God, he is commaunded [Page K6r] to holde hys peace when misteries be in doyng, and to turne hys eyes to the alter. These rudimentes of modestye and vertue the childe lerneth before he can speake, which because they sticke fast until he be elder, they profit somwhat to true religion. Ther is no difference to a chyld when he is first borne, betwene his parentes & straungers. Anon after he learneth to knowe his mother, & after his father. He learneth by litle & litle to reuerence them, he learneth to obey them, & to loue them. He unlerneth to be angrye, to be auenged, & when he is bidden kysse them that he is angry withal, he doth it, & unlerneth to bable out of measure. He lerneth to rise up, & geue reuerence to an old man, & to put of his cap at the image of the crucifix. Thei that thinke that these lytle rudimentes help nothing to vertue, in my mind be greatly deceiued. A certen yonge man when he was rebuked of Plato because he had plaied at dice complained that he was so bitterly chidden for so litle harme. Then quod Plato, although it be but smal hurt to play at dice, yet is it great hurt to use it. [Page K6v] As it is therefore a greate euyll to accustume thyselfe to euyl, so to use thy selfe to small good thynges is a greate good. And that tender age is so muche the more apte to learne these thyngs, because of it selfe it is plyaunt unto all fashions, because it is not yet occupyed wyth vyce, and is glad to folowe, if you shewe it to do any thinge. And as commonlye it accustumeth it selfe to vyce, or euer it understand what vyce is, so wyth lyke easynes maye it be accustumed to vertue.. And it is beste to use best thinges euen at the fyrst. That fashion wyll endure longe, to the which you make the empty and tender mynde. Horace wrote that if you thruste oute nature wyth a forke, yet wyll it styll come againe. He wrot it and that very truly, but he wrote it of an olde tre. Therfore the wise husband man wil straight waye fashion the plante after that maner whyche he wyll haue tarye for euer when it is a tree. It wyll soone turne in to nature, that you powre in fyrste of all. Claye if it be to moyste wyl not kepe the fashion [Page K7r] that is prynted in it: the waxe may be so softe that nothynge can bee made of it. But scarse is there any age so tender that is not able to receyue learnyng. No age sayth Seneca, is to late to learne: whether that be true or no I wot not, surely elderly age is very harde to learne some thyngs. This is doutles, that no age is so yonge but it is apte to be taught, inespecially those thynges unto the whych nature hathe made us, for as I sayd: for thys purpose she hath geuen a certen peculier desyre of folowyng, that what so euer they haue herde or seene, they desyre to do the lyke, and reioyse when they thynke they can do any thyng: a man wolde saye they wer apes. And of thys ryseth the fyrste coniecture of their wyt and aptnes to be taughte. Therefore assone as the man chyld is borne, anone he is apte to lerne maners. After when he hath begon to speake, he is mete to be taught letters. Of what thynge regarde is fyrste to be had, a readines by & by is geuen to lerne it. For learnyng although it haue in infinite [Page K7v] commodities, yet excepte it wayte upon vertue, it bryngeth more harme then good. Worthilye was refused of wyse menne theire sentence, which thought that children under seuen yere olde shulde not be set to lernyng: and of thys sayinge manye beleued Hesiodus to be the author, albeit Aristophanes to gramarian sayd, that those morall preceptes in the whych worke it was written, were not made by Hesiodus. Yet nedes must he be some excellent wryter, which put forth such a booke that euen learned menne thought it to be of Hesiodus doing. But in case it were Hesiodus, with out doute yet no mans authoritie oughte to be of suche force unto us, that we shulde not folowe the better if it bee shewed us. Howebeit who so euer wer of thys mynd, they meant not thys, that all thys time untyll seuen yeres shulde bee quite voyde of teachyng, but that before that tyme chyldren shulde not bee troubled wyth the laboure of studies, in the whych certeine tediousnes muste bee deuoured, as of cannyng [Page K8r] without booke, sayinge the lesson agayn, and wyth wrytinge it, for scant maye a man fynde anye that hathe so apte a wytte to bee taught, so tractable and that so wil folowe, whyche wyll accustume it selfe to these thynges wythout prickyng forward. Chrisippus apoynted thre yeres to the nourses, not that in the meane space there shuld be no teachynge of manners, and speach, but that the infante shulde be prepared by fayr meanes to lern vertue and letters, ether of the nurses, or of the parentes, whose maners wythout peraduenture do help very much to the good fashionynge of chyldren. And becaue the fyrste teachyng of chyldren is, to speake playnly and wythout faute, in this afore tyme the nourses and the parentes helpe not a lytle. Thys begynnyng, not only very muche profiteth to eloquence, but also to iudgement, and to the knowledge of all disciplines: for the ignoraunce of tonges, eyther hath marred all the sciences, or greatly hurt them, euen diuinitie it selfe also, phisicke & law. [Page K8v] The eloquence of the Gracchians was muche merueyled at in tyme paste, but for the most they myghte thanke theyr mother Cornelia for it, as Tullie iudgeth. It apeareth sayth he, that the chyldren wer not so much brought up in the mothers lappe, as in the mothers communicacion. So theyr fyrste scholyng was to them the mothers lap. Lelia also expressed in her goodly talke the eloquence of her father Caius. And what marueile. While she was yet yonge she was dyed wyth her fathers communicacion, euen when she was borne in his armes. The same happened to the two sisters, Mucia and Licinia, neeces unto Caius. Specially is praysed the elegance of Licinia in speakyng, whiche was the daughter of Lucius Crassus, one Scipios wyfe as I weene. What nedes many words? All the house and all the kynred euen to the nepheus, and their cosyns dyd often expresse elegance of their fore fathers in artificiall and cunnyng speakyng. The daughter of Quintus Hortencius so expressed [Page L1r] her fathers eloquence, that ther was longe ago an oracion of hers to se, that she made before the officers called Triumuiri, not only (as Fabius sayth) to the prayse of womankynd. To speake without faut no litle helpe brynge also the nourses, tutors, and playe felowes. For as touching the tonges, so great is the readines of that age to learne them, that within a few monethes a chylde of Germany maye learne Frenche, and that whyle he dothe other thinges also: neyther dothe that thynge come euer better to passe then in rude and verye yonge yeres. And if this come to passe in a barbarous and unruled tonge, whych wryteth other wyse then it speaketh, and the whych hathe hys schriches and wordes scarse of a man, howe muche more easely wyl it be done in the Greeke or Latine tonge? Kyng Mithridates is read to haue perfitly knowen, .xxii. tonges, so that he could plead the lawe to euery nacion in their owne tonges wythoute anye interpreter. Themistocles within a yeres space [Page L1v] lerned perfitly the Persians tong because he wolde the better commen wyth the kyng. If sumwhat old age can do that, what is to be hoped for of a chylde? And all this businesse standeth specially in two thynges, memorye, and imitacion. We haue shewed before alredy that there is a certein naturall greate desyre in chyldren to folowe other, and very wyse men wryte that memorie in chyldren is verye sure in holdinge faste: and if we distrust their authoritie, experience it selfe wyll proue it unto us. Those thynges that we haue seene beyng chyldren, they so abide in our mindes, as though we had sene them yesterdaie. Thinges that we read to day when we be old, wythin two daies after if we read them agayn they seme newe unto us. Furthermore howe fewe haue we seene whych haue had good successe in lernynge the tonges when they were olde? And if some haue wel spedde them in knoweledge, yet the right sound and pronunciacion hath chaunsed either to none, or to very few. For rare examples be no [Page L2r] common rules. Neyther for thys muste we call chyldren to lerne the tonges after sixtene yere olde, because that the elder Cato lerned latine, and Greeke, when he was thre score and ten yeres olde. But Cato of Utica muche better lerned then the other and more eloquent, when he was a chylde was continuallye wyth hys master Sarpedo. And here we ought so much the more to take heede, because that yonge age led rather by sense then iudgement, wyll assone or peraduenture soner lerne leudnes & things that be naught. Yea we forget soner good thinges then naught. Gentile philosophers espyed that, & merueyled at it, and could not search out the cause, whiche the christen philosophers haue shewed unto us: which telleth that this redines to mischiefe is setteled in us of Adam the first father of mankind. Thys thynge as it can not be false, so is it very true, that the greateste parte of this euyll commeth of leude and naughty bryngyng up, inespeciallye of tender youthe, whyche is plyeable to euerye thynge.

[Page L2v] We fynd in writyng that great Alexander lerned certeine fautes of hys master Leonides, whyche he could not leaue when he was well growen up, and a great Emperour. Therefore as long as amonge the latines floryshed that olde vertuousnes of good maners, chyldren were not committed to an hyrelynge to be taught, but were taughte of the parentes themselues & their kinsfolke, as of their uncles both by father and mother, of the graundfathers, as Plutarch sayth: For they thought it especially perteyned to the honour of their kynred, if they had very manye excellentlye well seene in liberall knowledge, where as now adayes all nobilitie almost standeth in painted & grauen armes, dauncing, huntynge, and dicynge. Spurius Carbilius of a bond man made free, whose patrone Carbilius brought in the fyrste example of diuorce, is reported to be the fyrste that taught an open grammer schole. Before thys tyme it was counted a verye vertuous office if euery man taught hys kynsefolke in vertue [Page L3r] and lernyng. Nowe is thys theyr onlye care, to seeke for their chyld a wyfe wyth a good dowrye. That done, they thynke they haue done all that belongeth to a father. But as the world is alwayes redy to be worse and worse, dayntines hathe perswaded us to commit this office to a tuter that is one of our householde, and a gentleman is put to be taught of a seruaunte. In whyche thynge in deede, if we wolde take heede whom we chose, the ieopardy were so muche the lesse, because the teacher liued not only in the fathers syght, but also wer under hys power if he dyd amysse. They that wer very wyse, either bought lerned seruauntes, or prouided they myghte be lerned, that they myghte be teachers to their children. But howe muche wyser were it, if the parents wolde get lernyng for thys entent, that they them selues myght teach theyr owne chyldren. Verelye by thys meanes the profite wolde be double, as the commoditie is double if the Byshoppe shewe hym selfe a good man, to the entente he maye [Page L3v] encourage very many to the loue of vertue. Thou wylt saye: euerye man hath not leasure, and they be lothe to take so greate payne. But go to good syr, Lette us caste wyth oure selfe howe muche tyme wee lose at dice, bankettynge, and beholdynge gaye syghtes, and playinge wyth fooles, and I weene wee shall bee ashamed to saye wee lacke leasure to that thynge whych oughte to be done, all other set asyde. We haue tyme sufficiente to do all we shulde do, if we bestowe it so thriftelye as we shulde do. But the daye is short to us, when we lose the greater part thereof. Consider thys also, howe greate a porcion of tyme is geuen now and then to the foelyshe busines of our friendes. If we can not do as they all wolde haue us, verelye wee oughte chiefely to regarde our chyldren. What payne refuse we to leaue unto oure chyldren a ryche patrimonye and well stablished: and to get that for them whiche is better then all this, shulde it yrke us to take laboure? namelye [Page L4r] when naturall loue and the profite of them whyche be mooste neareste unto us, maketh sweete al the grief and payne. If that were not, when wolde the mothers beare so longe tediousenes of chyldbyrth and nursyng. He loueth his sonne lyghtlye whych is greued to teache hym. But the manner to entruste them was the more easy to them in olde tyme, because the learned and unlearned people spake all one tong, saue that the learned spake more truelye, more elegantly, more wiselye, and more copiousely. I confesse that, and it were a very shorte way to learnynge, if it were so nowe a dayes. And there haue bene some that haue gone aboute to renewe and brynge again those olde examples, and to doo as those olde fathers haue done afore tyme, as in Phrisia, Canterians, in Spayne Queene Elisabeth the wyfe of Fardinandus, oute of whose familye there haue come forthe very manye womenne bothe merueylouselye well learned and verteouse. [Page L4v] Emong the englishe men, it greued not the ryght worshypful Thomas More, although beyng much occupyed in the kynges matters, to be a teacher to hys wyfe, daughters, and sonne, fyrste in vertue, and after to knowledge of Greke and Latine. Verely this ought to be done in those that we haue apoynted to learnynge. Neyther is there anye ieopardie that they shulde be ignoraunt in the peoples tonge, for thei shall learne that whether they wyl or not by companye of men. And if there be none in oure house that is lerned, anon we shulde prouide for some cunnyng man, but tryed both in maners and lernyng. It is a folyshe thyng to make a profe in thy sonne, as in a slaue of litle value, whether hys teacher be learned or not, and whether he bee a good man that thou haste gotten hym or not. In other thinges pardon may be geuen to negligence, but here thou muste haue as manye eyes as Argus had, and muste be as vigilant as is possible. They say: a man maye not twyse do a faute in war: [Page L5r] here it is not laweful to do once amisse. Moreouer the soner the child shall be set to a master, so much shal hys brynginge up come the better to passe. I knowe some men fynde thys excuse, that it is ieopardy left the labour of studies make that good health of the tender bodye weaker. Here I myght ensure, that althoughe the strength of the bodye wer sumwhat taken awaye, that thys incommoditie is well recompensed by so goodly gyftes of the mynd. For we fashion not a wrestler, but a philosopher, a gouernour of the common wealth, to whom it is sufficient to be healthful, although he haue not the strengthe of Milo: yet do I confesse that somewhat we must tender the age, that it maye waxe the more lustye. But there be manye that foolyshely do feare leste their chyldren shulde catche harme by learnynge, whych yet feare not the much greater peryll that cometh of to muche meate, whereby the wyttes of the litle ons no lesse be hurted then bee theyr bodyes by kyndes of meates and drynkes that be not meete for [Page L5v] that age. They brynge theyr lytle children to great and longe feastes, yea feastyng sometyme untyl farre forth nyghtes, they fyl them wyth salt and hoat meates, somtyme euen tyl thei vomite. They bynde in and loade the tender bodies wyth unhandsome garmentes to set them out, as some trym apes, in mans apparel, and otherwayes they weaken their children, and they neuer more tenderlye be afrayed of their health, then when communicacion is begon to be had of lernynge, that is of that thynge whych of al other is moste wholesom and necessarye. That whych we haue spoken touchyng health, that same perteineth to the care of hys bewety, whyche as I confesse is not to be lyght set bye, so to carefully to be regarded, is not very meete for a man. Neyther do we more weywardlye fear any other thyng then the hurt of it to come by studie, where it is hurt a greate deale more by surfet, dronkennes, untymelye watchynge, by fyghtyng and woundes, finally by ungracious pockes, which scarse anie [Page L6r] man escapeth that liueth intemperatly. From these thyngs rather let them see they keepe their children then from lernyng, whych so carefully take thought for the health and dewtie. Howbeit thys also may be prouided for by our care & diligence that ther shuld be very litle labour and therfore litle losse. This shal be if neyther many thyngs, neither euery lyght thynge be taught them when they be yong, but the best only & that be mete for there age, whiche is delighted rather in pleasaunt thynges then in subtile. Secondly, a fayre manoure of teachynge shall cause that it may seme rather a playe then a labour, for here the age must be beguiled with sweete flattering wordes, which yet can not tell what fruit, what honour, what pleasure lernyng shall brynge unto them in tyme to come. And this partly shal be done by the teachers gentlenes, & curteous behaueour, & partlye by his wit & subtile practise, wherbi he shal deuise diuerse prety meanes to make lerning pleasaunt to the chyld, & pul hym away from feling of labour. [Page L6v] For there is nothynge worse then when the waywardnes of the master causeth the children to hate lernyng before they knowe wherefore it shulde be loued. The fyrst degree of lerning, is the loue of the master. In processe of tyme it shall come to passe that the chyld whych fyrst began to loue lernyng for the masters sake, afterwards shall loue the master because of lernyng. For as many giftes are very dere unto us euen for thys cause, that they come from them whome wee loue hertelye: so lernyng, to whom it can not yet be pleasaunt thorowe discrescion, yet to them it is acceptable for the loue they beare to the teacher. It was very well spoken of Isocrates that he lerneth very much, whych is desirous of lernyng. And we gladlye lerne of them whome we loue. But some be of so unpleasaunt maners that they can not bee loued, no not of their wyues, theyr countenaunce lowryng, their companye currishe, they seme angrye euen when they be beste pleased, they can not speke fayre, scarse can they laughe when [Page L7r] men laugh upon them, a man wold saye they were borne in an angrye hour. These men I iudge scant worthye to whome we shulde put oure wylde horses to be broke, muche lesse wuld I thynke that thys tender and almost suckynge age shuld be committed to them. Yet be ther some that thynke that these kynde of men, euen inespecyally worthye to be set to teache yonge chyldren, whylest they thynke their sturdynes in lookynge is holynes. But it is not good trustyng the lookes, under that frownynge face lurke often tymes most unchaste and wanton maners, neyther is to be spoken amonge honeste men, to what shamefulnes these bouchers abuse chyldren by fearyng them. No nor the parentes themselues can well bring up theyr chyldren, if they be no more but feared. The fyrste care is to be beloued, by lytle and lytle foloweth after, not feare, but a certen liberall and gentle reuerence which is more of value then feare. Howe properly then I praye you be those chyldren prouided for, which being [Page L7v] yet scante foure yere olde are sente to schole, where sytteth an unknowen scholemaster, rude of manners, not verye sober, and sometyme not well in hys wytte, often lunatike, or hauynge the fallyng sycknes, or frenche pockes? For there is none so vyle, so naughte, so wretched, whome the common people thynketh not sufficiente ynoughe to teache a grammer schole. And thei thynkyng they haue gotten a kingdome, it is marueyle to see howe they set up the brystels because thei haue rule, not upon beastes, as sayeth Terence, but upon that age whiche ought to be cheryshed wyth all gentlenes. You wolde saye it were not a schole, but a tormentynge place: nothynge is hearde there beside the flappynge upon the hande, beside yorkynge of toddes, besyde howlynge and sobbinge and cruell threatnynges. What other thynge maye chyldren learne hereof, then to hate lernyng? When this hatered hath once setteled in the tender myndes, yea when they be old they abhorre studye. It is also muche [Page L8r] more foolyshe, that some men sende their lytle chyldren to a pyuyshe dronken woman to learne to reade and wryte. It is agaynste nature that women shulde haue rule upon menne: besyde that, nothynge is more cruell then that kynde, if they bee moued with anger, as it wyll soone be, and wyll not cease tyll it be full reuenged. Monasteries also, and colleges of brethern, for so they cal them selues, seeke for their liuynge hereof, and in theyr darke corners teache the ignoraunt chyldren commenlye by menne that be but a lytle learned, or rather leudlye learned, althoughe we graunte they bee bothe wyse and honeste. Thys kynde of teachynge howe so euer other menne alowe it, by my counsell no manne shall use it, who soeuer entendeth to haue hys child well brought up. It behoueth that eyther there were no schoole, or else to haue it openlye abrode. It is a shorte waye in dede that commonlye is used: for manye be compelled of one more easelye by feare, that one broughte up of one liberallye.

[Page L8v] But it is no great thynge to beare rule upon Asses or Swyne, but to brynge up chyldren liberallye as it is veri hard, so is it a goodly thing. It is tiranny to oppresse citizens by feare, to keepe them in good order, by loue, moderacion and prudence, it is princely. Diogenes beynge taken of the Agenites, and brought oute to be solde, the cryer axed hym by what title he wolde be set out to the byer. Axe quod he if any wyl bye a man that can rule chyldren. At this straunge prayse manye laughed. One that hadde chyldren at home communed wyth the philosopher, whether he could do in deede that he professed. He sayde he coulde. By shorte communicacion he perceyued he was not of the common sorte, but under a pore cloke, ther was hydden great wisedome: he bought hym, and brought hym home, & put his chyldren to him to be taught. As the Scots say, ther be no greater bearers then frenche scholemasters. When they be tolde thereof, they be wonte to answere, that that nacion euen lyke the Phrigians [Page M1r] is not amended but bi stripes. Whether this be true let other men iudge. Yet I graunt that there is some difference in the nacion, but much more in the propertie of euerye seueral wyt. Some you shal soner kyl, then amende wyth stripes: but the same bi loue and gentle monicions you may leade whither ye wyll. Truth it is that of thys disposicion I my selfe was when I was a childe, and when my master whych loued me aboue all other, because he sayd he conceiued a certen great hope of me, toke more heede, watched me well, and at laste to proue howe I could abyde the rod, and laying a faute unto my charge which I neuer thought of, did beat me, that thinge so put awaye from me all the loue of studie, and so discouraged my chyldyshe mynd, that for sorowe I hadde almost consumed awaye, and in deede folowed therof a quartaine ague. When at laste he had perceiued hys faute, among his friendes he bewailed it. This wyt (quod he) I had almoste destroyed before I knewe it. For he [Page M1v] was a man both wyttye and well learned, and as I thynke, a good man. He repented him, but to late for my parte. Here nowe (good syr) coniecture me howe many frowarde wyttes these unlerned greate hearers do destroye, yet proud in their owne conceite of learnyng, wayeward, dronken, cruel, and that wyl beate for their pleasure: themselues of such a cruell nature, that they take plesure of other mens tormentes. These kynde of men shuld haue ben bouchers or hangmen, not teachers of youth. Neyther do any torment chyldren more cruelly, then they that canne not teache them. What shulde thei do in scholes but passe the daye in chydyng and beatynge? I knewe a diuine and that familierly, a man of greate name, whych was neuer satisfied wyth crudelity against his scholers, when he him selfe had masters that were very great beaters. He thought that dyd much helpe to caste downe the fiersnes of their wittes, & tame the wantonnes of their youth. He neuer feasted amonge hys stocke, but as [Page M2r] Comedies be wont to haue a mery endyng, so contrary when they had eaten theyr meat, one or other was haled oute to be beaten wyth toddes: and sometime he raged against them that had deserued nothynge, euen because they shuld be accustumed to stripes. I my selfe on a time stode nexte hym, when after diner he called out a boie as he was wont to do, as I trow ten yere olde. And he was but newe come frome hys mother into that compani. He told us before that the chyld had a very good woman to hys mother, and was earnestly committed of her unto hym: anon to haue an occacion to beate hym, he beganne to laye to hys charge I wotte not what wantonnesse: When the chylden shewed hym selfe to haue nothyng lesse, and beckened to hym to whome he committed the chyefe rule of hys colledge, surnamed of the thynge, a tormentoure, to beate, hym ne by and by caste doune the chylde, and beate hym as thoughe he had done sacrilege. The diuine sayde once or twyse, it is inoughe, it is inoughe. [Page M2v] But that tormentour deaffe with feruentnes, made no ende of his bochery, tyl the chylde was almost in a sounde: Anon the diuine turninge to us, he hathe deserued nothynge quod he, but that he muste be made lowe. Who euer after that maner hath taught hys slaue, or hys Asse? A gentle horse is better tamed with puping of the mouth or softe handlyng, then wyth whyp or spurres. And if you handle hym hard, he wil whynche, he wyll kycke, he wyll byte, and go bacwardes. An oxe if you pricke hym to harde wyth godes, wyl caste of his yocke, and run upon hym that pricked hym. So muste a gentle nature be handled as is the whelpe of a Lion. Onlye arte tameth elephantes, not violence, neyther is there any beaste to wylde, but that it wyl be tamed by gentlenes, neyther any so tame, but immoderate cruelnes wil anger it. It is a seruyle thynge to be chastened by feare, and common custume calleth chyldren free men, because liberall and gentle bringyng up he commeth them, much unlike to seruile. [Page M3r] Yet they that be wyse do thys rather, that seruauntes by gentelnes and benefites leaue of their slauyshe condicions: remembryng that they also be men, and not beastes. There be rehearsed meruelous examples of seruaunts toward their masters, whome verely they shulde not haue founde such if they hadde kept them under only by strypes. A seruaunt if he be corrigible is better amended by monicions, by honestie, & good turnes, then by stripes: if he be paste amendemente, he is hardened to extreme mischief and eyther wyll runne awaye and rob hys master, or by some craft go aboute his masters deathe. Sometime he is reuenged on his masters crueltie, thoughe it coste hym his lyfe. And there is no creature more fereful then man, whom cruell iniurie hathe taught to dispyse his owne lyfe. Therfore the common prouerb that sayth a man hath as manye enemies as he hath seruauntes, If it be true, I thynke it may be chiefly imputed to the unreasonablenes of the master: for it is a poynte of [Page M3v] arte, and not of chaunce to rule wel seruauntes. And if the wyser masters go about thys thynge, so to use their seruauntes, that thei shuld serue them well and gently, and in stede of seruauntes had rather haue them fre men, how shameful is it bi bryngyng up, to make seruantes of those that be gentle and free by nature? Not wythout cause dothe the olde manne in the comedie thynke that there is greate difference betwixte a master and a father. The master only compelleth, the father by honestie and gentelnes accustumeth hys sonne, to do well of hys owne mynde, rather then by scare of an other: and that he shulde bee all one in hys presence and behind hys backe. He that can not do this sayth he, lette hym confesse that he can not rule chyldren. But there oughte to be a litle more difference betwyxte a father and the master, then betwixt a kinge and a tirant. Wee putte awaye a tiraunte from the common wealthe, and we chose tirauntes, yea for oure sonnes, eyther we oure selfes exercyse tirannye [Page M4r] upon them. Howebeit thys vyle name of seruitude oughte utterlye to bee taken awaye oute of the lyfe of chrysten menne. Sainte Paule desyreth Philo to bee good to Onesimus, not nowe as a seruaunte, but as a deere brother in steede of a seruaunte. And wrytyng to the Ephesians, he monysheth the masters to remitte theyr bytternesse agaynst theyr seruauntes, and their threatnynges, remembrynge that they are rather felow seruauntes then masters, because they both haue a common master in heauen, whyche as well wyll punyshe the masters if they do amysse, as the seruauntes. The Apostle wolde not haue the masters ful of threatning, muche lesse full of beatynge: for he saythe not, pardonynge your strypes, but pardonynge your threatenynges, and yet wee woulde haue oure chyldren: nothynge but beaten, whyche scarse the Galeye masters or Sea robbers do agaynste theyr slaues and rowers. But of chyldren, what do the same Apostle commaunde us?

[Page M4v] In somuch he wyll not haue them beaten slauyshely, he commaundeth all crueltye and bytternes to be awaye from our monicions and chydyng. You fathers saythe he, prouoke not your chyldren to anger, but bring them up in discipline and chastisyng of the Lorde. And what the discipline of the lorde is, he shal soone se that wyll consider, wyth what gentlenes, what meekenes, what charitie the Lord Jesus hathe taught, suffered, and noryshed and brought up by litle and lytel his disciples. The lawes of man do temper the fathers power: the same also permit unto the seruauntes an accion of euyll handlyng, and from whence then commeth thys crueltye amonge christen men? In time paste one Auxon a knight of Rome, whylest he wente about to amende hys sonne by beatynge hym unmesurably, he kylled him. That crueltye so moued the people, that the fathers and chyldren haled hym in to the market place, & al to be pricked hym, thrust him in wyth theyr wrytyng pinnes, nothynge regarding [Page M5r] the dignitie of his knighthod, and Octauuos Augustus had much a do to saue hym. But now a daies howe many Auxons do we see whiche the thorowe cruell beatynge, burie the chyldrens healthe, make them one eyed, weaken them, and sometyme kyll them. Roddes serue not to some mens crueltie, they turne them and beate them wyth the greate ende, they geue them buffettes, and stryke the yonge ons wyth their firstes, or whatsoeuer is next at hand they snatche it, and dashe it upon them. It is told in the lawe, that a certen sowter, when he layd one of his sowters upon the hynder parte of the heade wyth a laste, he stroke oute one of hys eyes, and that for that deede he was punyshed by the lawe. What shall we saye of them whyche beside their beatinges, do them shamefull despite also? I wolde neuer haue beleued it, excepte both I had knowen the chylde, and the doer of this crueltie perfitelye. A chylde yet scante .xii. yere olde, whose honeste parentes had done good to his master, they handled so [Page M5v] cruellye, that scarse anye suche tiraunt as was Mezencius or Phalaris coulde do more cruelly. They caste so much mans dunge in to the childes mouth that scarsely he coulde spit, but was compelled to swallowe doune a great parte of it. What tiraunt dyd euer suche kynde of despyght? After suche daynties, they exercysed suche lordelynes. The chylde naked was hanged up wyth cordes by the armeholes, as though he hadde bene a stronge thyefe, and there is amonge the Germanes no kynde of punishement more abhorred then thys. Anone as he honge, they all to beat hym wyth roddes, almoste euen tyll deathe. For the more the chylde denyed the thynge that he dyd not, so muche the more dyd they beate hym. Put also to thys, the tormentour hym selfe almoste more to be feared then the verie punyshemente, hys eres lyke a servente, hys narowe and wrythen mouth, hys sharpe voyce lyke a spirite, hys face wanne and pale, hys head roulyng about, threatninges and rebukes suche as they lusted in [Page M6r] theyr anger: a manne wolde haue thought it a furie out of hel. What folowen? anone after this punishement the chyld fel sicke with great ieopardye both of mynde and lyfe. Then this tormentour began fyrst to complayne, he wrote to hys father to take awaye hys sonne as sone as could be, and that he had bestowed as much phisicke upon him as he coulde, but in vayne upon the chylde that was paste remedye. When the sickens of the body was somewhat put away by medicines, yet was the minde so astonied, that we feared leste he wold neuer come agayne to the olde strength of hys mynd. Neither was thys the cruelty of one daye, as longe as the childe dwelte wyth hym there passed no daye but he was cruely beaten once or twise. I knowe thou suspectest o reader, that it was an haynouse faute, wherunto so cruell remedie was used. I wyl shew you in few words. Ther was found both of hys that was beaten and of two others, theire bookes blotted wyth ynke, their garmentes cutten, and their hose arayed wyth mannes donge.

[Page M6v] He that played thys playe was a chylde borne to all myschiefe, whiche by other ungracious deedes afterwardes, made men beleue the other to be true that were done before. And he was nephewe by the systers syde to this mad docter: euen then playing a part before to these thyngs whych souldiers are wont to do in bataile or robbynge. At an hostes house of his, he pulled oute the faucet, and let the wyne runne upon the ground, and as one to shew a pleasure, he sayde that he felt the fauour of the wyne: wyth an other of hys felowes he daylye played at the sworde, not on sporte, but in earnest, that euen then you myght wel perceyue he wolde be a thyefe or a murtherer, or whych is very lyke to them, that he wolde be an hyred souldier. Although the teacher fauored hym, yet fearynge leste they shulde one kyll an other, he sente awaye his cofen. For he had for that other a good rewarde: and he was of this sorte of gospellers, to whom nothing is more swete then monei. His godfather was made surely to [Page M7r] beleue that the child was with a good and diligent master, when in deede he dwelte wyth a boucher, & was continually in company, and made drudge with a man that was halfe mad, and continually sicke. Thus fauoringe more his kynseman then hym by whom he had so much profite, the suspicion was layde upon the harmeles, to whom they ascribed so muche malice that he wolde teare and defile his owne garmentes to auoide suspicion if any suche thyng had bene done. But the child commyng both of good father and mother, dyd neuer shewe any token of such a naughtie disposicion: and at thys daye there is nothyng farther from all malice then are hys maners, whyche nowe free frome all feare telleth all the matter in order as it was donne.

To suche tutors do honeste citizens committe their chyldren whome they moste loue, and suche do complayne that they be not wel rewarded for their paynes. And this tormentour wolde not once knoweledge he had done amisse, but had [Page M7v] rather playe the starke mad man, then confesse his faute: and yet agaynst such is not taken an accion of euyll handlyng, neither hath the rigoure of the lawe anye power agaynste suche huge crueltie. There is no anger worse to be pleased then theirs that be lyke to haue the fallynge sycknes. Howe many things be crepte in, into the lyfe of christen men, not meete neither for the Phrigians nor the Scithians, of the which I wyl shew one much like this matter. The yong gentleman is send in to the uniuersitie to lerne the liberall sciences. But with how ungentle despightes is he begun in them? Fyrst they rub his chyn, as though they wolde shaue his bearde: hereunto thei use pisse, or if ther be any fouler thyng. This liquour is dashed into his mouth, & he may not spit it out. Wyth paynfull bobbes they make as though thei drewe hornes from him: somtime he is compelled to drinke a great deale of vinegre or salte, or whatsoeuer it listeth the wyld company of yong men to geue him: for when they begin the play, thei make him swere that he shal obey al that they commaund [Page M8r] him. At last they hoyse him up, & dashe his backe against a post as often as they list. After these so rustical despightes sumtime foloweth an ague or a paine of the backe that neuer can be remedied. Certes this foolishe play endeth in a dronken banket: with such beginninges enter they into the studies of liberal sciences. But it were mete that after this sorte thei shuld begin a boucher, a tormentour a baud or a bonde slaue or a boteman, not a chidl appointed to the holy studies of lerning. It is a meruel that yong men geuen to liberal studies be mad after this fashion, but it is more meruel that these things be alowed of suche is haue the role of youth. To so foule & cruel solyshenes is pretensed the name of custume, as though the custume of an euil thing wer any thing else then an old errour, whiche ought so much the more diligently to be pulled up bicause it is crept among many. So continueth among the diuines that maner of a vesper, for they note an euyl thynge with a like name, more mere for scoffers then diuines. But thei that professe liberal sciences, shuld haue also liberal sports. [Page M8v] But I come againe to chyldren, to whome nothyng is more unprofitable, then to be used to stripes, whiche enormitie causeth that the gentle nature is intractable, and the viler driuen to desperacion: and continuaunce of them maketh that both the bodye is hardened to stripes, & the mynd to wordes. Nay we may not oftentymes chyde them to sharplye. A medicine naughtelye used, maketh the sickenes worse, helpeth it not, and if it be layde to continuallye, by litle and litle, it ceaseth to be a medicine, and dothe nothinge else then dothe stinkynge and unwholesome meate. But here some man wyll laye unto us the godlye sayinges of the Hebrues. He that spareth the rod hateth hys chylde and he that loueth hys sonne, beateth hym muche. Agayne: Bowe downe the necke of thy chylde in youth, and beate hys sydes whyle he is an infante very yonge. Suche chastisemente peraduenture was meete in tyme paste for the Iewes. Nowe must the sayinge be expounded more ciuilely. And if a man wil [Page N1r] be hard to us wyth letters and sillables, what is more cruell then to bend the necke of a chyld, & to beat the sides of an infant? woldest thou not beleue that a bull were taught to the plowgh, or an asse to bear paniars, and not a man to vertue? And what rewarde doth he promise us? That he grope not after other mennes dores. He is afeard left his son shulde be poore, as the greateste of all mischiefe. What is more coldly spoken then thys sentence? Let gentle admonision be oure rodde, and sometyme chydyng also, but sauced wyth mekenes, not bitternes. Let us use thys whyp continuallye in our chyldren, that beyng wel brought up, they maye haue at home a meanes to lyue well, and not be compelled to begge counsell at their neighbours how to do their busines. Licon the philosopher hath shewed .ii sharpte spurres to quicken up chyldrens wyttes, shame, and prayse: shame is the feare of a iust reproch, prayse is the norysher of all verteous actes: wyth these prickes lette us quicken our chyldrens wyttes. [Page N1v] Also if you wyl, I wyl shewe you a club to beate their sides wythall. Continuall labour vanquysheth all thynges sayth the best of al poetes. Let us wake, let us prycke them forwardes, & styl call upon them, by requitinge, repetynge, and often teachyng: Wyth this club let us beate the sydes of our infantes. Fyrst let them lerne to loue, and maruell at vertue and lernyng, to abhor sinne and ignorance. Let them heare some praysed for theyr well doinges, and some rebuked for their euyl. Let examples be brought in of those men to whom lernyng hath gotten hygh glorye, ryches, dignitie, and authoritie. And againe of them to whom their euyll condicions & wyt wythout all lernyng hath brought infamie, contempt, pouertye and myschiefe. These verely be the clubbes meete for christians, that make disciples of Jesu. And if we can not profite by monicions, nor prayers, neyther by emulacion, nor shame, nor prayse, nor by other meanes, euen the chastenyng with the rod, if it so require, ought to be gentle & honeste. [Page N2r] For euen thys that the bodies of gentle children shulde be made bare, is a kind of despite. Howbeit Fabius utterly condemneth al the custume to beate gentle chyldren. Some man wil saye, what shall be done to them if they can not be driuen to study out by stripes? I answer roundly, what wold ye do to asses or to oxen if thei went to schole? Woldest thou not driue them in to the contrey, & put the one to the backhouse, the other to the plowe. For there be men as well borne to the plowe and to the backehouse, as oxen and asses be. But they wyll saye: then decreseth my flocke. What then? Yea and myne aduauntage to. Thys is an harde matter: thys maketh them to weepe. They fet more by money then by the profite of the chyldren. But suche are all the common sorte of folyshe teachers. I graunte. As the philosophers describe a wyse man, the rethoricians an oratour, such one as scarse maye be found in anye place: So muche more easye it is to prescribe what manner of man a scholmaster shuld be, then to find many that wil be as you wold haue them. [Page N2v] But thys oughte to be a publyque care and charge, and belongeth to the ciuyle officer, and chyef prelats of the church: that as ther be men appointed to serue in war, to singe in churches, so muche more there shulde be ordeined that shuld teach citizens chyldren well and gently. Vespasianus oute of hys owne coffers gaue yerely sixe hundred pounde to Latine and Greke rethoricians. Plinie the nephew of his owne liberalitie bestowed a great summe of money to the same purpose. And if the comenty in thys poynt be slacke, certenly euerye man ought to take hede at home for his owne house. Thou wylt saye: what shall poore men do which can scarse fynd their chyldren, muche lesse hyre a master to teache them? Here I haue nothynge to saye, but thys oute of the comedie: We muste do as we maye do, when we can not as we wolde. We do shewe the beste waye of teachynge, we be not able to geue fortune: Saue that here also the liberalitie of ryche men ought to helpe good wyttes, whych can not shewe [Page N3r] forthe the strength of naturall inclinacion because of pouertye. I wyll that the gentlenes of the master shulde be so tempered, that familiaritie, the companion of contempte, put not away honeste reuerence, suche one as men say Sarpedo was, tutour to Cato of Utica, which thorowe hys gentle maners gat greate loue, and by hys vertue as lyke authoritie, causynge the chylde to haue a greate reuerence, and to set much by him wythout anye feare of toddes. But these that can do nothynge elles but beate, what wolde they do if they had taken up on them to teache Emperoures or kynges chyldren, whome it were not lefull to beate? They wyll saye that greate mens sonnes muste be excepted from thys fashion. What is that? Be not the chyldren of citizens, men as well as kynges chyldren be? Shulde not euerye manne as wel loue hys chylde as if he wer a kynges sonne? If his estate be sumwhat base, so muche the more neede hath he to be taught, and holpen by lernynge, that he maye come up, [Page N3v] from hys pore case. But he be of hye degre, philosophy & lernyng is necessarye to gouerne hys matters well. Further not a fewe be called frome lowe degre to hye estate, yea sometyme to be great byshops. All men come not to thys, yet oughte al men to be brought up to come to it. I wil braule no more with these greate beaters, after I haue tolde you this one thing: Now that those lawes & officers be condemned of wyse men, whych can no more but feare men wyth punyshement, & do not also entyse men by rewardes: and the whych punyshe fautes, and prouide not also that nothyng be done worthy punishment. The same must be thought of the common sort of teachers, whych only beate for fautes, and do not also teache that mynd that it do not amysse. They straitlie require their lesson of them: if the chylde fayle, he is beaten: and when this is done daily because the child shuld be more accustumed to it, thei thinke they haue plaied the part of a gaye scholemaster. But the chyld shulde fyrste haue ben encoraged to [Page N4r] loue lernyng, and to be afearde to displease hys teacher. But of these thynges peraduenture some man wyl thynke I haue spoken to much & so myght I worthely be thought, except that almoste all men dyd in this poynte so greatly offende, that hereof a man can neuer speke inough. Furthermore it wyll helpe verye muche, if he that hathe taken upon hym to teache a chylde, so sette hys mynd upon hym, that he hear a fatherlye loue unto hym. By thys it shall come to passe, that both the child wil lerne more gladly, & he shal fele lesse tediousnes of his laboure. For in euery busines loue taketh away the greatest part of hardnes. And because after the olde prouerbe: Lyke reioyseth in lyke, the master muste in maner play the childe againe, that he may be loued of the chylde. Yet this lyketh me not, that men set theyr children to be taught their fyrst beginnings of letters unto those that be of extreme and dotyng olde age, for they be chyldren in verye deede, they fayne not, they counterfait not, stutringe, but stutte in deede.

[Page N4v] I wolde wyshe to haue one of a lustye yonge age, whome the chylde myght delyght in, and which wold not be lothe to playe euerye parte. Thys man shulde do in fashionyng hys wytte, that parentes and nurses be wont to do in formynge the bodye. Howe do they fyrste teache the infante to speake lyke a man? They applye their wordes by lyspyng accordyng to the chyldes tatlynge. Howe do they teache them to eat? They chaw fyrst their milke soppes, and when they haue done, by lytle & litle put it in to the chyldes mouthe. Howe do they teache them to go? They bowe downe their owne bodies, and drawe in theyre owne strides after the measure of the infantes. Neyther do they fede them wyth euerye meate, nor putte more in then they bee able to take: and as they increase in age, they leade them to bigger thinges. First they seeke for noryshemente that is meete for them, not differyng much from mylke, whych yet if it be thrust into the mouthe to muche, either it choketh the chylde, or beynge caste [Page N5r] oute defileth hys garmente. When it is softelye and pretelye put in, it doth good. Whych selfe thynge we se commeth to passe in vesselles that haue narowe mouthes: if you pour in muche, it bubbleth out agayne, but if you powre in a litle, and as it were by dropes, in deede it is a whyle, and fayre and softely erste, but yet then fylled. So then as by small morsels, and geuen now and then, the lytle tender bodies are noryshed: in lyke manner chyldrens wyttes by instruccions meete for them taught easely, and as it were by playe by lytle & litle accustume them selues to greater thyngs: & the wearynesse in the meane season, is not felte, because that small encreasynges so deceyue the felynge of labour, that neuerthelesse they helpe much to great profite. As it is told of a certen wrestler, whych, accustumed to beare a calfe by certein furlonges, bare hym when he was waxen a bull, wythoute anye payne: for the encrease was not felt, whych euerye daye was put to the burden. But there be some that looke that [Page N5v] chyldren shulde strayghtwaye become olde men, hauyng no regarde of their age, but measure the tender wittes, by theyr owne strengthe. Straightway they call upon them bytterly, straightway they straightly require perfect diligence, by and by they frowne wyth the forhead if the childe do not as wel as he wold haue hym, and they bee so moued as thoughe they had to do wyth an elder body, forgettyng you maye be sure that they themselues wer once children. How much more curteouse is it that Pliny warneth a certen master that was to fore. Remember saythe he, that bothe he is a yonge man, and that thou hast ben one thi selfe. But many be so cruel against the tender chyldren, as though thei remembred not neyther them selues, neyther their scolers to be menne. Thou woldest that I shulde shewe them those thynges that be meete for the inclinacion of that age, and whiche shuld by and by be taughte the lytle yongons. Fyrst the use of tonges whych commeth to them with oute any great studye, ther as olde [Page N6r] folkes can scarse be hable to learne them wyth great labour. And here to as we sayde, moueth the chyldren a certen desyre to folowe and do as they se other doe of the which thing we see a certen lyke fashion in pies and popiniayes. What is more delectable then the fabels of poetes, which wyth their swete entisynge plesures so delight childrens eares that thei profite us very much when we be olde also, not only to the knowledge of the tong, but also to iudgement and copye of elegant speche? What wyll a chyld hear more gladlye then Esops fabels, whyche in sporte and playe teach earnest preceptes of philosophy? and the same fruite is also in the fabels of other poetes. The chylde heareth that Ulisses felowes were turned into swyne, and other fashions of beastes. The tale is laughed at, and yet for al that he lerneth that thing that is the chiefest poynte in al mortall philosophye: Those whyche be not gouerned by ryght reason, but are caried after the wyll of affeccions, not to be men, but beastes. [Page N6v] What coulde a stoycke saye more sagely? and yet dothe a merye tale teache the same. In a thynge that is manifest I wyll not make the tarye with many examples. Also what is more mery conceited then the verses called Bucolicall? what is sweter then a comedie, whych standing by morall maners, deliteth bothe the unlearned and chyldren? And heare how great a parte of philosophye is lerned by playe? Adde unto thys the names of all thynges, in the whych it is meruell to see howe now a dayes, yea euen they be blind which are taken for wel lerned men. Finally, shorte and mery conceited sentences, as commonly be prouerbes, and quicke shorte sayinges of noble men, in the whiche onlye in tyme paste philosophie was wonte to be taught to the people. Ther appeareth also in the very chyldren a certen peculier redines to some sciences, as unto musicke, arithmetique, or cosmographie. For I haue proued that they whych were very dull to lerne the preceptes of grammer and rethorique, were found verye [Page N7r] apte to lerne the subtile artes. Nature therfore must be holpen to that parte wherunto of it selfe it is inclined. And down the hyll is very litle labour, as contrary is great. Thou shalt nether do nor saye anye thynge agaynst thy naturall inclinacion. I knewe a child that could not yet speake whych had no greater pleasure, than to open a booke, and make as thoughe he read. And when he dyd that sometyme many houres, yet was he not weery. And he neuer wept so bitterli, but if you had offered hym a booke, he wolde be pleased. That thynge made hys friendes hope that in time to come he wolde be a well lerned manne. His name also brought some good lucke: for he was called Hierome. And what he is now I can not tel, for I sawe hym not beynge growen up. To the knowledge of the tonge it wyll helpe verye muche if he be broughte up amonge them that be talkatiue. Fabels and tales wyll the chylde lerne so muche the more gladly, and remember the better, if he maye see before his eyes the argumentes [Page N7v] properlye paynted, and what soeuer is tolde in the oracion be shewed him in a table. The same shall helpe as much to lerne without boke the names of trees, herbs, and beastes, and also their properties, inespecially of these whych be not common to be seene in euerye place, as is Rhinoceros, whyche is a beaste that hathe a horne in hys nose, naturall enemye to the Elephant: Tragelaphus, a goate hart, Onocrotalus, a byrd lyke to a swan, whyche puttyng hys head into the water brayeth lyke an asse, an asse of Inde and an Elephant. The table maye haue an Elephant whom a Dragon claspeth harde aboute, wrapping in his former feete with his tayle. The litel chyld laugheth at the syght of thys straunge paintynge, what shall the master do then? He shall shewe him that ther is a greate beaste called in Greeke an Elephante, and in Latine lykewyse, saue that sometyme it is declined after the latine fashion. He shall shewe, that that whyche the grekes cal proboscida, or his snout, [Page N8r] the latines call his hande, because wyth that he reacheth hys meate. He shall tell hym that that beaste doth not take breath at the mouthe as we do, but at the snoute: & that he hath teth standyng out on bothe sides, and they be iuory, which rich men set much price by, and therwith shal shew hym an iuory combe. Afterwardes he shall declare that in Inde ther be dragons as greate as they. And that dragon is bothe a greke worde and a latine also, saue that the grekes saye dracontes in the genitiue case. He shall shewe that naturallie betwyxte the dragons and the Elephantes is great syghte. And if the chylde be somewhat gredy of learnynge, he maye rehearse manye other thynges of the nature of Elephantes and dragons. Manye reioyse to see huntinges paynted. Here howe manye kyndes of trees, hearbes, byrdes, foure footed beastes maye he lerne and playe? I wyll not holde you longe wyth examples, seynge it is easye by one to coniecture all. [Page N8v] The master shall be diligent in chosynge them oute, and what he shall iudge moste pleasaunt to chyldren, most mete for them, what they loue best, and is most floryshyng, that in especially let hym set before them. The fyrste age lyke unto the spring tyme, standeth in pleasaunt sweete flowres, and goodly grene herbes, untyl the heruest time of ripe mans age fyll the barne full of corne.

Then as it were agaynst reason in ver or springe tyme to seeke for a rype grape, and a rose in autumne, so muste the master marke what is mete for euerye age. Mery and pleasaunte thynges be conueniente for chyldehod, howbeit all sourenesse and sadnes muste be cleane awaye from all studies. And I am deceyued except the olde men ment that also, whyche ascribed to the muses beynge virgins, excellent bewtye, harpe, songes, daunses, and playes in the pleasaunt fieldes, and ioyned to them as felowes the Ladies of loue: and that increase of studies dyd stande specially in mutual loue of myndes, and therefore the olde [Page O1r] men called it the lernyng that perteined to man. And ther is no cause why profite maye not folowe pleasure, and honestie ioyned to delectacion. For what letteth that they shulde not lerne eyther a proper fable, arte of poets, or a sentence, or a notable prety hystorie, or a learned tale, as well as they lerne and can wythout boke a piuyshe songe, and oftentimes a baudy one to, & folishe old wiues tatlynges, & very trifles of triflyng women? What a summe of dreames, vaine tyddels, and unprofitable trifles of spirites, hobgoblines, fayries, witches, nightmares wood men and gyauntes, how manye naughty lies, how many euyll sayinges remember wee, yea euen when we be men, whych beyng lytle chyldren we lerned of our dadies, grandmothers, nurses, & maydens whyle they were spynnynge, and heard them when they kissed & plaied wyth us? And what a profite shuld it haue bene to lernynge, if in stede of these moste vaine gattinges, not only folyshe, but also hurtfull, wee had lerned those thynges that we [Page O1v] rehearsed a litle before. Thou wylt sa ye, what lerned man wyll lowly hys wyt to these so small thynges? Yet Aristotle hym selfe beynge so greate a philosopher was not greued to take upon hym the office of a teacher, to instruct Alexander. Chiron fashioned the infancy of Achilles, and Phenix succeded hym. Hely the priest brought up the childe Samuell. And ther be now a daies whych eyther for a lytle money, or for theyr plesure take almost more payne in teachyng a pye or a popiniay. There be some that for deuocions sake take upon them iourneys that both be farre and ieoperdeous, and other laboures besyde almost intollerable. Why dothe not holynes cuase us to do thys office seynge nothyng can please god better? Howbeit in teachinge those thynges that we haue rehearsed, the master must neyther be to much callyng upon, neither to sharpe: but use a continuaunce rather then be wythout measure. Continuaunce hurteth not so it be mesurable, & spiced also wyth varietie and pleasauntnes. Finally if these thynges be so [Page O2r] taught, that imaginacion of labour be awaye, and that the chylde do thynk al thinges be done in playe. Here the course of our talkyng putteth us in remembraunce briefely to shewe by what meanes it maye be brought to passe that lernyng shuld waxe swete unto the chylde, which before we somwhat touched. To be able to speake redely, as I told you is easely gotten by use. After thys commeth the care to reade and write whych of it selfe is somwhat tedious, but the griefe is taken awaye a great parte by the cunnyng handling of the master, if it be sauced with some pleasaunt allurementes. For you shall fynde some whych tarye long and take great paine in knowyng & ioynynge their letters & in those fyrst rudimentes of grammer, when they wyl quyckely lerne greater thyngs. The yrkesomnes of these thinges must be holpen by some pretie craft, of the which the old fathers haue shewed certen fashions. Some haue made the letters in sweete crustes and cakes that chyldren loue well, that so in manner they myghte eate up their letters.

[Page O2v] When they tell the letters name, they geue the letter it selfe for a rewarde. Other haue made the fashion of iuorie, that the chylde shulde playe wyth them, or if there were any other thyng wherin that age is specially delited. The englyshe men delyte principally in shotynge, and teache it their chyldren fyrst of all: wherfore a certen father that had a good quicke wyt perceiuinge his sonne to haue a greate pleasure in shotyng, bought hym a prety bowe & very fayr arrowes, & in al partes both of hys bowe & arrowes were letters painted. Afterwards insted of markes, he set up the fashion of letters, fyrste of Greke, and after of laten: when he hyt, & tolde the name of the letter, besyde a greate reioysinge, he had for a reward a cherye, or some other thynge that chyldren delyte in. Of that playe commeth more fruite, if two or thre matches playe together. For then the hope of victorie and feare of rebuke maketh them to take more heede, and to be more chereful. By thys deuise it was broughte aboute that the [Page O3r] chylde wythin a fewe dayes playynge, had perfitely lerned to know & sound all hys letters whych the common sort of teachers be scarse able to brynge to passe in thre whole yeres wyth their beatynges threatyngs, and brawlynges. Yet do not I alowe the diligence of some to painful, whych drawe out these thyngs by playinge at chesses or dyce. For when the playes themselues passe the capacitie of chyldren, how shal they lerne the letters by them?

This is not to helpe the chyldrens wyttes, but to put one labour to an other. As there be certen engins so full of worke and so curious, that they hynder the doynge of the busines. Of thys sorte commonly be all those thynges whych some haue deuised of the arte of memorye for to gette money, or for a vayne boastynge, rather then for profite: for they do rather hurte the memorye. The best crafte for memorie, is thorowlye to understande, and then to brynge into an order, last of al often to repete that thou woldest remember. And in litle ons there is a natural [Page O3v] great desyre to haue the mastry inespecially of suche as be of lustye courage, and lyuely towardnes. The teacher shall abuse these inclinacions to the profite of hys study. If he shall profite nothing by prayers, and fayre meanes, neyther by gyftes mete for chyldren, nor prayses, he shal make a contencion with hys equales. Hys felowe shall be praysed in the presence of the duller. Desyre to be as good shall quicken forwards, whom only adhortacion coulde not do. Yet it is not meete so to geue the mastrie to the victor, as thoughe he shulde haue it for euer; but somtime he shall shewe hope to hym that is ouercome, that by takyng hede he may recouer the shame: whych thynge capteynes be wonte to dooe in batayle. And sometyme we shall suffer that the chyld shuld thynke he hadde gotten the better, when he worse in deede. Finally by enterchaungyng, prayse and disprayse, he shall noryshe in them, as Hesiodus sayth, a stryfe who shall do best. Perchaunce one of a sadde wyt wyl be loth so to play the child [Page O4r] among chyldren. And yet the same is not greued, neyther yet ashamed to spende a greate parte of the day in playing wyth litle puppies and marmesettes, or to babble wyth a pie or popiniay, or to play the foole wyth a foole. By these tryfles, a verye sadde matter is broughte to passe, and it is meruell that good men haue litle pleasure herein, seeyng the natural loue of our children, and hope of great profit is wunt to make those thynges also pleasaunte, whyche of them selues be sharpe, fowre and bytter. I confesse that the preceptes of grammer be at the beginnynge somewhat fowre, and more necessary then pleasant. But the handsomnes of the teacher shal take from them also a greate parte of the payne. The beste thynge and playnest muste be taughte fyrste. But nowe wyth what compasses, and hardenesse be chyldren troubeled whyle they learne wythout the booke the names of the letters before they knowe what manner letters they bee? [Page O4v] Whyle they be compelled in the declinynge of nownes and verbes to can by roote in howe manye cases, moodes and tenses one worde is put: as muse in te genetiue and datiue singuler, the nominatiue and vocatiue plurel? Legeris of legor, and of legerim, and legero? What a beatyng is then in the schole, when chyldren be axed these thynges? Some light teachers to boast their lernynge are wonte of purpose to make these thynges somewhat harder. Whyche faute maketh the beginnynges almost of all sciences in doute, and paynfull, specially in logicke. And if you shewe them a better waye, they answere they were brought up after thys fashion, and wyll not suffer that anye chyldren shulde be in better case, then they them selues were when they were chyldren. All difficultye eyther therfore muste be auoided, whyche is not necesarye, or that is used oute of tyme. It is made softe and easy, that is done when it shuld be. But when tyme is, that of necessitie an harde doute muste be learned, [Page O5r] than a cunnynge teacher of a childe shall studye as muche as he may to folowe the good and frendlye Phisicians, whych whan they shall gyue a bytter medicyne do anoynt, as Lucrecius saith, the brimmes of their cuppes with honye, that the chylde entised by pleasure of the swetenes shuld not feare the wholesome bytternes, or else put suger into the medicine it selfe, or some other swete fauoryng thynge. Yea they wyl not be knowen that it is a medicine, for the only imaginacion sometyme maketh us quake for feare. Finally thys tediousenes is sone ouercome, if things be taught them not to much at once, but by lytle and litle, and at sundrie times. Howebeit we ought not to distrust to much chyldrens strength, if perhaps they muste take some paines. A chyld is not myghty in strength of bodye, but he is stronge to continue, and in abilitie strong inough. He is not myghty as a bull, but he is strong as an emer. In some thinges a flye passeth an elephant. Euerye thyng is mighty in that, to the [Page O5v] whyche nature hathe made hym. Do we not se tender chyldren runne merueylouse swyftlye all the daye long, and feele no werinesse. What is the cause? Because playe is sette for that age, and they imagine it a playe and no labour. And in euerye thynge the gretest part of payne is imaginacion, whych somtyme maketh us feele harme, when there is no harme at all. Therefore seynge that the prouidence of nature hath taken awaye imaginacion of laboure frome chyldren. And howe muche they lacke in strengthe, so muche they be holpen in thys part, that is, that they feele not labour. It shal be the masters parte, as we sayde before, to put away the same by as many wayes as he can, and of purpose to make a playe of it. There be also certen kindes of sportes meete for chyldren, wherwyth theyr earnest studye must somwhat be eased after they be come to that, they muste lerne those higher thynges whyche can not be perceiued wythoute diligence and laboure: as are the handling of Themes, to [Page O6r] turne latine into Greeke, or greeke into latine, or to learne cosmographie wythout booke. But moste of all shall profite, if the chylde accustume to loue and reuerence hys master, to loue and make muche of learnyng, to feare rebuke, and delyght in prayse. There remayneth one doute, wonte to be obiected by those whych saye: The profite that the chylde getteth in those thre or foure yeres to be so lytle, that it is not worthe the laboure, eyther to take so muche payne in teachynge, or bestowe so much coste. And these in dede seme unto me, not so muche to care for to profite the chyldren, as for the sparyng of theyr money, or the teachers labour. But I wyl saye he is no father, whyche when the matter is of teaching his child, taketh so greate care for expenses. Also it is a folyshe pitie, to thintent the master shuld saue his labour, to make his sonne lose certen yeres. I graunt it to be true in dede that Fabius sayth, that more good is done in .i. yere after, then in those .iii. or .iiii. why shuld we set light by this litle that is won in a thyng far more precious. O6v Let us graunt that it is but a very lytle, yet were it better the chylde to do it, then eyther nothyng at al, or lerne somewhat that after muste be unlerned. Wyth what businesse shall that age be better occupied as sone as he beginneth to speake, whiche in no wyse can be unoccupied? Also how lytle soeuer it be that the former age doth bringe, yet shal the chylde lerne greater thynges, euen in the same yeres, when smaller shuld haue ben lerned, if he had not lerned them before. Thys sayth Fabius, euery yere furthered and increased profiteth to a great summe and as muche tyme as is taken before in the infancie, is gotten to the elder age. It nedeth not to rehearse that in those first yeres certen thinges be easely lerned, which be more hard to be lerned when we be elder. For it is very easely lerned, that is lerned in time conveniente. Let us graunt that they be small and litle thynges, so we confesse them to be necessarye. Yet to me in deede it semeth not so litle a furtheraunce to lerning to haue gotten though not [Page O7r] a perfit knowledge, yet at the least waye a taste of bothe the tongues, besydes so many vocables and names of thinges, and finally to haue begun to be able to reade and write promptly. It greueth us not in thinges much more vile, to gette all the vauntage we can, be it neuer so lytle. A diligente marchaunt setteth not light bi winning of a farthing, thinkyng thus in hys mynde: it is in dede of it selfe but a litle, but it groweth to a summe, and a litle often put to a lytle, wyll quyckelye make a great heape. The Smithes ryse before daye, to wyn as it were parte of the day. Husband men upon the holy daye do some thynges at home, to make an ende of more worke the other dayes. And do we regarde as nothyng the losse of .iiii yeres in oure chyldren, when there is nothyng more costly then tyme, nor no possession better then lerning? It is neuer lerned tymely inoughe that neuer is ended. For we muste euer learne as longe as we lyue. And in other thyngs the lucre that is loste by slackenes, maye be recouered [Page O7v] by diligence. Time when it is once flowen awaye (and it flyeth awaye very quickely) may be called againe by no inchauntmentes. For the poets do trifle whyche tell of a fountayne, wherby olde men do as it were waxe yong agayne: and the phisicions deceiue you, whych promise a gay floryshyng youth to old men thorowe a certeyn folishe fytt essence I wote not what. Here therfore we ought to be verye sparyng, because the losse of tyme may by no meanes be recouered. Beside this the fyrst part of our lyfe is counted to be best, and therfore shuld be bestowed more warelye. Hesiodus aloweth not sparynge, neyther at the hyest, nor at the lowest, because when the tune is full it semeth to hasty, and to late when it is spente: and therefore byddeth us spare in the myddes. But of tyme we muste nowher cast away the sparing, and if we shuld spare when the tunne is ful for thys cause that wyne is best in the myddest, then shulde we most of all saue our yonge yeres, because it is the best parte of the life, if you [Page O8r] exercise it, but yet that goeth swyftest awaye. The husbande manne if he be anye thynge diligente, wyll not suffer anye parte of hys lande to lye vacante, and that that is not meete to brynge forthe corne, he setteth it eyther wyth yonge graffes, or leaueth it for pasture, or storeth it wyth potte hearbes. and shall we suffer the beste parte of our lyfe to passe awaye wyth oute all fruite of lerning? Newe falowed ground must be preuented wyth some fruitefull thynge, leste beynge untylled, it brynge forthe of it selfe naughty cockle. For needes muste it brynge forthe somewhat. Lykewyse the tender mynde of the infante, except it bee strayghte wayes occupyed wyth fruitefull teachynges, it wyl be ouercoued wyth vyce. An earthen potte wyll keepe longe the fauoure of the liquore that it is fyrste seasoned wyth, and it wyll be long or it go out. But as for an earthen vessel beynge newe and emptye, you maye keepe it for what liquore ye wyll. [Page O8v] The mynde eyther bryngeth forth good fruite, if you caste into it good seede, or if ye regard it not, it is fylled wyth naughtines, whych afterwardes must be pulled up. And not a litle hath he wonne whych hathe escaped the losse, neyther hathe he brought small helpe to vertue, whiche hath excluded vyce. But what nede many wordes? Wylt thou see howe muche it auayleth, whether one be brought up in learnynge or not? Beholde how excellently lerned in the olde tyme men were in their youth, and how in oure daies they that be aged be hable to do no thyng in studie? Ouide beyng a verye yonge man wrot hys verses of loue. What olde man is hable to do lyke? What maner of man Lucane was in hys youthe hys workes declare. Howe came thys? Because that beynge but .vi. moneths old he was brought to Rome, & strayght waie deliuered to be taught of two the best gramarians, Palemon, and Cornutus. Hys companions in studye were Salcius Bassus, and Aulus Persius: that one excellente in [Page P1r] historye, that other in a Satyre. Doubtles hereof came that most perfite knoweledge that he had in all the seuen sciences, & his so marueylous eloquence, that in verse he was both an excellente oratoure, & also a Poet. In thys our time ther wanteth not exemples of good bringing up (although thei be veri few) & that as wel in women as men. Politian praised the wit of the maiden Cassandra. And what is more marueylous than Ursinus a childe of .xii. yeres olde? for the remembraunce of him, he also in a very eligante epistle put in eternall memorye. Howe fewe men shal you nowe fynd, whiche at one time be able to endite two epistles to so manye notaries, that the sentence in euerye one do agree, and that there shoulde happen no inconueniente speache. That chylde did it in fyue epistles & gaue the argumentes without any study, & was not prepared afore hand to do it. Some men when they se these things, thinking that thei passe al mens strength, ascribe it to witchcraft. It is done in dede by witchcrafte, but it is an effectual [Page P1v] enchaunting, to be set in time to a learned, good, and vigilant master. It is a stronge medicine to learne the best things of learned men, and emonge the learned.

By such wytchcrafte Alexander the greate, whan he was a yonge man, besides eloquence, was perfit in al the parts of Philosophie, and except the loue of warres, & swetenes to raygne had quite caught away his inclination, he might haue bene counted the chiefe among the beste Philosophers. By the same meanes Caius Cesar beinge but a yonge man, was so eloquent & wel sene in the mathematical sciences. So well sene also were many Emperors: Marcus Tullius, also Virgil, and Horace in their lusty youth were so excellent in learninge and Eloquence, all bycause they were strayght waye in their tender age learned of their parentes & nourses the elogancy of the tonges, and of the beste maisters the liberal sciences: as Poetry, Rhetorique, Histories, the knowledge of antiquities, Arithmetique, Geographye, [Page P2r] Philosophye, moral and political. And what do we I praye you? wee kepe our children at home till they be past fourtene or fiftene yere old, and whan they be corrupted wyth idlenes, ryot, & delicatenes, with muche worke at the laste we sende them to the commen scholes. There to further the matter wel, they taste a little grammer: after, whan they can declyne words, & ioyne the adiectiue and the substantiue togither, they haue learned al the grammer, and than be set to that troubled Logike, wher they must forget againe if they haue learned to speake anie thynge well. But more unhappye was the tyme whan I was a child whiche al to vexed the youth with modes of signifiinge, and other folyshe questions, & teching nothinge els then to speake folishelye. Verely those masters bicause they wold not be thought to teach folish thinges, darckened grammer wyth difficulties of Logike and Metaphisike: euen for this verelye, that aftewardes they shold returne backwardelye to learne grammer, whan [Page P2v] they were olde, whiche we set happeneth nowe to some diuines that be wyser, that after so manye hye degrees and all their titles, wherby they maye be ignoraunte in nothing, they be faine to come againe to those bookes, whiche are wonte to be reade unto children. I blame them not, for it is better to lerne late then neuer, that thing which is necessary to be knowen.

Good Lorde what a world was that, when wyth greate boastynge John Garlandes verses wer read to yonge men, and that with longe and painefull commentaries? whan a greate parte of tyme was consumed in folyshe verses in saying them to other, repetynge them, and hearynge theim agayne? whan Florista and Florius were learned with out booke? for as for Alexander, I thynke him worthye to be receiued amonge the meaner sorte. Moreouer howe muche tyme was loste in Sophistrye, and in the superfluous mases of Logyke? And bicause I will not be to longe, howe troublesomelye were all sciences taughte? [Page P3r] howe paynefullye? whiles euerye reader to auaunce him selfe, wolde euen straighte waye in the beginninge stuffe in the hardest thynges of all, and sometyme verye folyshe thyngs to. For a thyng is not therfore goodly bycause it is harde, as to stand a far of, and to caste a mustarde seede thorowe a nedles eye & misse not, it is hard in dede, but yet it is a verye trifle: and to undo a payre of tariers, it is much worke, but yet a vayne and idle subtiltye.

Adde hereunto, that oftentymes these thynges be taught of unlearned men, and that is worse, of lewd learned men, somtyme also of sluggardes and unthriftes, which more regarde takynge of money than the profite of there scholers. Whan the commune bryngynge up is suche, yet do wee maruayle that fewe be perfitly learned before they be old. The beste parte of oure lyfe is loste wyth idlenes, with vices, wherewith whan we be infected, we giue a litle parte of our tyme to studies, and a greate parte to feastes and plaies. And to an yll matter is taken [Page P3v] as euil a craftes manne, either teachynge that is folyshe, or that whiche must be unlearned againe. And after this we make our excuse that the age is weake, the wyt not yet apte to learne, the profite to be verye small, and manye other thinges, whan in dede the fault is to be ascribed to euill brynginge up. I wil not trouble you any lenger, onelie wil I speake to your wisdome whyche is in other thynges verye sharpe and quycke of syght. Consider howe deare a possession youre sonne is, how diuerse a thynge it is and a matter of muche worke to come by learnynge, and how noble also the same is, what a redines is in all childrens wyttes to learne, what agilitie is in the mynd of man howe easily those thynges be learned whyche be beste and agreable to nature, inespeciallye if they be taught of learned and gentle maisters by the waye of playe: further how fast those thynges abide with us, wherewith we season fyrste of all the emptye and rude myndes, whiche selfe thynges an elder age perceyueth [Page P4r] doeth more hardelye, and soner forgetteth: Beside thys how dear and the losse neuer recouered, tyme is, howe much it auayleth to begin in season, and to learne euery thyng whan it shold be, how much continuaunce is able to do, & howe greately the heape that Hesiodus speaketh to, doeth increase by puttinge to little and litle, how swiftly the time flieth away, how youth wyll alwayes be occupied, & howe unapte olde age is to be taught: If thou consyder these thynges thou wilt neuer suffer that thi litle child shoulde passe away (I wil not say) seuen yere, but not so much as thre dayes, in the whiche he maye be eyther prepared or instructed to learnynge though the profit be neuer so litle.