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The Education of Children
by Desiderius Erasmus
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[Transcriber's Note:

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The text is based on scans of two different physical copies. In a few cases, the two versions have different spelling, or one has an error where the other does not. These are noted at the end of the file along with the general list of errors and an explanation of paragraph breaks.

Superscripts are shown with carets: w^t, y^e. All pilcrows in the body text were added by the transcriber (see endnotes).

The book was originally (1550) printed together with Richard Sherry's A Treatise of Schemes and Tropes. Since the two texts have no connection except that Sherry is assumed to be the translator, they have been made into separate e-texts.]



A treatise of Schemes & Tropes very profytable for the better vnderstanding of good authors, gathered out of the best Grammarians & Oratours by Rychard Sherry Lon doner.

Whervnto is added a declamacion, That chyldren euen strayt fr their infancie should be well and gent- ly broughte vp in learnynge. Written fyrst in Latin by the most excel- lent and famous Clearke, Erasmus of Rotero- dame.



That chyldren oughte to be taught and brought vp g[en]tly in vertue and learnynge, and that euen forthwyth from theyr na tiuitie: A declamacion of a briefe theme, by E- rasmus of Rote- rodame.

If thou wilt harken vnto me, or rather to Chrisippus, the sharpeste witted of Philosophers, y^u shalte prouide y^t thyne infante and yonge babe be forthewyth instructed in good learnyng, whylest hys wyt is yet voyde from tares 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 rem[em]ber nothynge so well when we be olde, as those thynges y^t we learne in yonge yeres. [Sidenote: Diuision of y^t confutaci] Care not thou for those fooles wordes which chatter that thys age, partly is not hable inough to receiue discipline, & partlye vnmete to abyde the labours of studies. For fyrst, the beginninges of learning, std specially by memorie, which as I sayd, in yg ones is very holdfast. Secondly because nature hath made vs to knowledge the study of y^t thynge can not be to hasty, wherof y^e author of al thyng her self hath graffed in vs y^e seedes. Beside this some thinges be necessary to be know[en] wh[en] we be s[um]what elder, which by a cert[en] peculier readines of nature, y^e tender age perceiueth both much more quickly, & also more esily th[en] doth y^e elder, as y^e first beginnings of letters, y^e knowledge of tges, tales & fabels of poetes. Finallye, why shulde y^t age be thought vnmete to lerning, which is apt to lerne maners? Or what other thinge shuld chyldr[en] do rather wh[en] they be more able to speake, seyng nedes thei muste do sumwhat? How much more profite is it y^t age to sporte in letters, then in trifles? Thou wilt say y^t it is but of litle value y^t is done in those fyrste yeres. Why is it dispised as a smal thing, which is necessary to a very greate matter? And why is y^t lucre, be it neuer so litle, yet a lucre, dispised of purpose? Now if you oft[en] put a lytle to a litle, there riseth a greate heape. Herewith csider this also, if beyng an infant he lerne smaller thinges, he shalt lerne greter, growynge vpwardes in those yeres, in which those smaller shuld haue ben lerned. Finally whyle he doth these thinges, at y^e least he shal be kept fr those fautes, wherw^t we se com[en]ly y^t age to be infected. For nothynge doth better occupy y^e whole mynd of man, th[en] studies. Verely this lucre ought not to be set light bi. But if we shuld gra[un]te that by these labours y^e strength of y^e body is sumwhat diminished; yet thinke I this losse well recpensed by winnynge of wyt. For the minde by moderate labours is made more quicke, & lustye. And if ther be any ieopardy in this pointe, it may be auoyded by our dilig[en]ce. You must haue for this tender age a teacher to enter it by fayre meanes, & not discorage it by foule. And ther be also some things both plesa[un]t to be knowen, & as it wer sibbe to childr[en]s wittes, whiche to lerne is rather a play th[en] a labour. Howbeit childehod is not so weake which eu[en] for thys is y^e more mete to take paynes & labour, because they fele not what labour is. Therfore if thou wylte remember how far vnworthy he is to be counted a m which is void of learning, and how stirring 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 vnto 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 vnoccupied, in the whych any thynge maye be gotten that eyther maye do muche good to all y^e 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, Ihearsay 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 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, assone as he shalbe somewhat 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 liniam[en]tes 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 cmon people, that the fyrst age of your infante shulde flytte awaye without all fruite of good instrucci, and then at the last to set hym to learne hys fyrste letters, when bothe hys age wyll not so well be handled, and hys wytte shall be more readye to euyll, and peraduenture possessed alreadye w^t the fast holdyng bryers of vices. Yea rather eu[en] now loke about for some man, as of maners pure & vncorrupt, so also wel learned: & into his lap deliuer your litle chyld, as it wer to a nurse of hys t[en]der mind, that eu[en] w^t his milke he may sucke in swete lerning: & deuide the care of thy litle sne to his nurses & teacher that they shuld suckun the litle body w^t very good iuyce, & so indue hys mynd w^t very wholsom opinions, & very honest lernynge. For I thinke it not conuenient that y^u one of al the best learned, & also wysest shuldest geue care to those piuyshe women, or vnto m[en] very lyke to th[em] the beard excepted, whych by a cruell pytie, & hateful loue, iudge that the chyldren euen vntyl they waxe springoldes, shuld be kept at home kyssyng theyr mothers, and among the sweete wordes of theyr nurses pastymes, and vnchaste trystynges of seruauntes and maydens. And thynke that they ought vtterlye to be kepte awaye from learnyng as 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 vpon it, neyther y^t the weakenes of the chyldr[en] shuld be vexed. Whyle I proue euery of these thynges false, Ipray you a lytle whyle take hede, countyng as the truth is, fyrst that these thynges be writt[en] of him which loueth you as wel as any m doth, & inespecially of y^t thing which so perteineth to you, y^t none can do more. For what is more derer to you th[en] your son, inespecial hauing but him alone, vpon wh we wold be glad if we might bestowe yea our life, not only our substa[un]ce. Wherfore who mai not se y^t thei do leudly & also vntowardli which in tilling their ld building their houses, keping their horse, vse y^e gretest dilig[en]ce thei c, & take to counsell men y^t be wyse, & of great experience: in bringing vp and teachynge theyr chyldren, for whose sakes al other thinges ar gotten, take so litle regard that nether they once councel with theyr owne mynd, not seke for the iudgements of wyse men, but as thoughe 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 taking thought for the shooe, wolde set naught 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, Iwyl 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 parentes to owe vnto the childr[en], 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 begott[en] 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 cheked, wrie necked, croke shuldred, croke legged, splaye footed, and lest that the proporcion of his bodye shuld not be trimme in euery point: whereunto besyde other thynges, they be wont to vse swadelbondes, 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 inespeciall Galene hath taught that the chyldren get good healthe of theyr bodye: neyther do they differ thys dilig[en]ce vnto the seuenth or tenth yere, but eu[en] assone as the chylde commeth oute of the mothers wombe, they take greate 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 great heede: Thei eate not of euery meat when they be greate with chylde, they take heede that they moue not theyr bodie to hurte them: and if there happen any thyng to fall vpon their face, by and by they take it away wyth theyr hand, and laye it vpon 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 y^e body that is sene, hathe lyen hyd in the secrete place. No m calleth this to hasty a care whych is vsed for the worser 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 vnkempt, and all scabbed? Yet much more vnreasonable is it that we shuld bestow iuste labours vpon the mortall bodye, and to haue no regarde of the immortal soule. Further, if a m 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 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 pltes whyle they be yet tender, to put awaye theyr wylde nature by graffynge, and wyll not 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 will it come to passe.

In dede to manye dumme beastes, nature the mother of all thynges, hath geuen more helpe to do theyr natural offices, but because the prouid[en]ce of God hath of al creatures vnto 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 vp. Whych prayse Demosthenes gaue to ryght pronunciacion, and that in deede not falsely, but ryghte bryngynge vp helpeth muche more to wysedome, then pronunciation to eloquence. For diligente and holy bringing vp, is the founteyne of al vertue. As to folye and myschief, the fyrst, seconde, and thyrde poynte, is vndiligente and corrupte educacion. Thys is the thynge that is chiefelye lefte vnto vs. That is the cause why vnto other beastes nature hathe geuen swyftnes, flyght, sharpnes of sight, greatnes, and strengthe of bodye, scales, flyshes, heares, hornes, nayles, venome, wherby they may both defende their healthe, and prouide for theyr liuynge, and brynge vp their yonge: and bryngeth forthe man onlye softe, naked, and vnfensed: 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 teachynge, 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 vnsauerye, without the diligence of graffing, if the dogge be vnmete to hunte, the horse vnapte to iuste, the oxe to the plowe, except oure diligence bee putte to, howe wylde and vnprofitable a creature wolde man become, except dilig[en]tlye, and in dewe tyme he shulde be fashioned by good bryngynge vp. Iwyll not here rehearse vnto 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 vp, that leafte the meate and leapt vpon 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, vpon whome they myghte laye a good part of the charges of their houshold, whose loue mighte noryshe and beare vp their vnweldy age, and y^t shuld shew hym self a trustye and healpynge sonne in a lawe, agood husbande to his wife, avaliaunte and profitable citizen to the common wealthe, Isaye to haue suche one, eyther they take no care, or else they care to late. For wh do they plant? for wh do they plowe? for wh do they buylde? for wh do they hunt for riches both by land & by sea? not for theyr chyldr[en]? But what profite or worshyp is in these thinges, if he y^t shal be heire of th[em] can not vse th[em]? With vnmesurable studye be possessions gotten, but of the possessor we take no kepe Who prepareth an harpe for the vnskylfull 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 vse them? If thou gettest these thynges to hym that is well broughte vp, 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, 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 vnto man, th[en] vertue and learninge. They wyshe vnto them a praye, but they wyll not geue th[em] 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 thynges 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 eyther in to an age vnapte 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 th[em] all. For what se we not them to do? When their wyfe is greate with chylde, then call they for a searcher of natiuities, the parentes axe 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 kynges courte. If he shal promyse ecclesiasticall dygnitie, wee wyll, saye they, hunte for hym by some meanes, aByshoprycke, 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 wery byrth: and semeth it to hastye that is vsed in fashioning your childrens myndes? So quyclye you prouide to haue your sonne a capteine or an officer, and therewyth wylte 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 houses be fayre, thy vessel is bright, thy garmentes, and al thy housholde stuffe, thy horses bee wel kept, thi serua[un]tes wel taught, only thy sonnes wyt is foule, filthy & all sluttishe. Thou hast percha[un]ce bought by the dr[um]me a bond slaue, vyle, and barbarous, if he be rude and ignoraunt, y^u markest to what vse he is good, & trimly thou bryngest hym vp to some craft, either of the kytchen, physicke, husbandrye, or stewardshyp: only thy sne thou settest lyght by, as an idle thynge. Thei wyl say: He shal haue inough to lyue on, but he shall not haue to lyue well on. Comonly the rycher that men be, the lesse they care for the bryngyng vp 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 greater 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 vnto their sonnes as large a dominion as they c, and yet do none care lesse that they shuld be brought vp in those good wayes, wythoute the whych, principalitie can not wel be ordred. How muche more dothe he geue, that geueth vs to lyue well, then to lyue? Verye lytel do chyldren owe vnto theyre fathers of whome they be no more but begotten, and not also broughte vp to lyue verteouslye.

The saying of Alexander is muche spoken of: excepte I were Alexander, Iwold 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 vp their chyldr[en] aright, but also corrupte them to wyckednesse. When Crates the Thebane dyd perceiue thys abhominacion, not without a cause he wolde go in to y^e 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 vp their chyldren, so be they scante halfe fathers, which when they prouide necessaries for theyr chyldrens bodies, eu[en] somuch that they maye ryot wythall, prouide not that their myndes maye be garnyshed wyth honest disciplines. Trees paradu[en]ture wyl grow though eyther baren, or wyth wild fruite: horses are foled, 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 wderynge lustes of bodye, were rather wylde beastes then men. Reason maketh a man: that hathe no place where all thynges are gouerned after affection. 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, y^t in the playing place one stone sytte not vpon 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 thynge he sought: Iseeke quod he, aman. He knewe that there was a greate company, but of beastes, and not men. The same man on a daye, when stding on an hye place he had called a great sort 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. Th[en] quod he: Iwold 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, amanne except he be fashioned wyth learning, and preceptes of philosophy, is rawght into affeccions more th[en] 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 in the beste learnyng; neyther is he a manne, nor the sonne of a man. Were it not an abhominable sight that the mynde of a man shulde be in a beastes body? As we haue read that Circes when she had encha[un]ted 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 them selues in suche chyldren, and bothe the fathers seme, and the common people thynke suche 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 no beares yonge one so euyll fauored as a manne is, borne of a rude mynde.

Except wyth much studye y^u 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 crockeshuldred, 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 monstrous 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 begott[en] not a man, but a monster, and excepte feare 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 th[en] of an vngracious mind. Naye better it is to be a swyne, th[en] an vnlearned and euyll man. Nature, when she geueth the a sonne, she geueth nothyng else, th[en] a rude lumpe of fleshe. It is thy parte to fashi after y^e 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, aGod. Srayght waye assone as thy infte 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 vpon hym, euen from hys tender age. Handle the waxe strayght way whyle it is very soft, fashion thys claie whle it is moist, season thys earthen vessel wyth verye good liquour, while it is newe, bye 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 sne to be taught, and was axed of hys father what thinges he had neede of: anewe booke quod he, anewe pensyle, and a new table. Verelye the philosopher requyred a rude and emptye mynde. Thou canst not haue a rude lumpe; but and if thou fashyonst not lyke a manne, of it selfe it wylt 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 vp brynge to theyr fathers. [Sidenote: Chyldren euyl broughte vp, brynge shame to their par[en]tes] Agayne into what shames and greate sorowes they cast their parentes that bee euyll broughte vp. There is no nede to bryng here vnto the examples out of olde chronicles: do no more but remember in thy mind the housholdes of thine owne citye, howe many examples shalt y^u haue in eueri place? Iknow thou doest often hear such wordes. Ohappye man that I were, if my chyldren were buryed. Ofortunate mother, if I hadde neuer broughte forth chylde. It is a wayghty matter to brynge vp chyldren well, Igraunt: but no man is borne to him selfe, no man borne to be idle. Thou woldest nedes be a father, y^u muste be a good father; y^u haste gotten th[em] to the cmon wealth, not to thy self only; or to speake more lyke a christen man, y^u hast begott[en] th[em] to god, not to thy selfe. Paul wryteth that so in dede women be saued, if they bryng forth childr[en], & so brynge th[em] vp that they continue in y^e study of vertue. God wil straitly charge the par[en]ts w^t the childr[en]s fautes. Therfore excepte y^t euen forthwith thou bryng vp honestly y^t, that is borne, fyrst y^u dost thy self wronge, which thorow thy negligence, gettest y^t to thy selfe, then the which no enemye could wyshe to an other, ether more greuous or paynful. Dionisius did effeminat w^t delyghtes of the court Dions yong son y^t was run awaye from him: he knew y^t this shuld be more carefull to y^e father, then if he had kylled hym w^t a swerde. Alitel 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 garret. In dede a certeyne wise hebrici wrot very wisely. Awise child maketh the father glad, & a folish son is sorow to y^e mother. 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 vp? daily are in our eies the examples of citizens, whome the euyll maners of theyr chyldr[en] 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. Iknow greate men, whych of manye chyldren haue scante one lefte alyue. One consumed wyth the abhominable leprie, called by diminucion y^e french pockes, beareth 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 pitifullye kylled. What was the cause? Bycause theyr parentes thynkynge it enough to haue begotten them, and enryched them, toke no heede of theire bryngynge vp. They shall dye by the lawe, whych laye awaye theyr children, and cast them into some wood to be deuoured of wylde beastes. But there is no kynde of puttynge them awaye more cruell, then to geue vp 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 no punyshemente 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, whosoeuer from his tender youthe doth not accustume hym to loue that, that is honeste: to abhorre synne: yea rather not onlye he casteth hym to wyld beastes, whych the most cruel casters away are wonte to do, but also whych is more greuouese, 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 citiz[en]. He is naught to godwards, of whom he hath receyued a chylde for thys purpose, to brynge hym vp to vertue. Hereby you may se, how greate and manifolde mischiefes they committe whych regarde not the bryngynge vp of tender age. But as I touched a lytle before, they synne more greuouslie then do these, whych not onely do not fashion them to honestye, but also season the tender and soft 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 meaneth, he knoweth what a mullet is, and other dayntie fyshes, and disdainfullye wyth a proude looke casteth away cmon dyshes. How can he be shamefast wh[en] he is growen vp, which being a litel inft was begon to be fashioned to lecherye? How shall he waxe liberal wh[en] he is old, which being so litel hath lerned to meruell at money & gold? If ther be ani kynd of garment lately fo[un]d out, as daili y^e tailers craft, as in time paste dyd Africa, bringeth forth some new mster, y^t we put vpon our inft. He is taught to stand in his own cceite: & if it be tak[en] away, he angerly axeth for it again. Howe shall he beyng old hate dr[un]kennes, whych when he is an inft 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. Iwarant 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 vnchaste 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 heareath 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. There be nacions that fashion their chyldren to fiercenesse of warre whyle they be yet redde fr 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 vnapte to lerne vertue, whych haue dronke in vyces, euen wyth the mylke? But I hear some men defendynge theyr folye thus, and saie that by thys pleasure whiche is taken of the wantnes of infantes, the tediousnes of noursyng is recp[en]sed. What is this? Shuld it be to the verye father more pleasaunt if the chylde folowe an euyll deede, or expresse a leude worde, th[en] if wyth his lytle stuttyng 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 somewhat more prone to naughtynesse then to goodnes. Is vyce more plesaunte to a good man then vertue, specially in hys chrldren? If anye fylthe fall vpon the yonge chyldes skyn, thou puttest it away, and dost thou infect the mynd wyth so foule spottes? Nothynge stycketh faster then that that is learned in yonge myndes. Ipray 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 th[em] fooles? If they be so much disposed to play why do they not rather get apes, and litle puppets to play wythall? Osaye they: they be but chyldren. They be in deede: but it c scant be told how muche those fyrste beginninges of our yong age do helpe vs to guide all our lyfe after, & howe hard & vntractable a wanton and dissolute bryngyng vp, 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, y^t bewitche their childr[en], or hurt their weake bodies with poisons: what do thei deserue which corrupt y^e chiefe parte of the inft w^t most vngracious venome? It is a lighter matter to kyl the body then the mind? If a child shulde be brought vp amg the gogle eied stutters, or haltyng, the body wold be hurt w^t infecci: but in dede fautes of the mind crepe vpon vs more priuely, & also more quickely, & settel deper. The apostle Paul worthily gaue this honor vnto the verse of Mender, y^t he wold recite it in his epistels: Euyl comunicaci, corrupteth good maners: but this is neuer truer th[en] in infantes. Aristotle wh[en] he was axed of a certen m by what meanes he myghte bringe to pas, to haue a goodly horse: If he be brought vp quod he, among horses of good kynde. And y^t if neyther loue nor reason can teach vs howe greate care we ought to take for y^e first yeres of our children, at y^e least waies let vs take example of brute beastes. For it oughte not to greue vs to learne of th[em] a thynge y^t shall be so profitable, of whome mkinde now long ago hath lerned so many fruitful things: sence a beast called Hippopotamus hath shewed y^e cutting of veines, & a bird of egipt called Ibis hath shewed y^e vse of a clister, which y^e phisicis gretly alow. The hearbe called dictamum whiche is good to drawe out arrowes, we haue knowne it bi hartes. Thei also haue taughte vs 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 vs agaynst the byting of serpentes. For thys kynde of beastes fyghte naturally agaynste serpentes, of whom wh[en] they be hurt, they haue ben espyed to fetche theyr remedye of that herbe. Swallowes haue shewed vs salandine, and haue geuen the name vnto the hearbe. The wesyll hathe shewed vs that rewe is good in medicines. The Storke hathe shewed vs the herbe organye: and the wylde bores haue declared y^t 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 vs. And that mans donge helpeth agaynst poyson, the Panthers haue taught vs, and many mo remedies we haue learned of Brute beastes: yea and craftes also that be verye profitable for mannes lyfe. Swine haue shewed vs the maner to plow the land, and the Swalowe to t[em]per mud walles. To be short, there is in maner nothyng profitable for the lyfe of man, but y^t nature hathe shewed vs 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 dme? We see at home how the cattes go before their kytlynges, and exercyse them to catch myse and 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 th[em] howe to runne? they brynge them 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 elephtes and dolphins in brynginge vp 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 whiche 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 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 they dmes forworne wyth age, and bear them vpon their backes. But among men, because no continuance of time taketh awaye the thanke of naturall loue: what comfort, what worshyp, what succoure doth he prepare for hym selfe, that seeth hys childe to be well brought vp? 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 vp wyth any diligence. In a lytell grayne, howe greate a tree is hyd, what fruite will it geue if it spring oute.

All thys profite is lost except thou caste seede into the forowe, 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 plt, and slepeste thou in thy sonne? All the state of mans felicitie standeth specially in thre poyntes: nature, good orderyng, and exercyse. Ical nature an aptnes to be taught, and a readines that is graffed within vs to honestye. Good orderynge or teachyng, Icall doctryne, which stondeth in monicions and preceptes. Icall exercyse the vse of that perfitenes which nature hath graffed in vs, 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 suffici[en]t 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 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 vp and downe wynkyng? Preceptes of philosophye be as it were the eyes of the mynde, and in manner geue lyght before vs that you may see what is nedefull to be done and what not. Longe experience of diuerse thinges profite much in dede, Iconfesse, 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 y^u 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, wh[en] by experience mo men waxe miserable then prudent, in so much that the old fathers not without a cause sayde: aman to make a perill or be in ieopardy, whych assayed a thyng 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 physicions or learne by experience what thynge wolde hurt by poysonyng, or helpe by a remedy. Howe vnhappye 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 cmon myschieues hath learned to beare 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 ent[en]t he shuld not do that he shuld repent hym of. And yet was Phylyp cmended for hys singuler towardnes of wytte. What thynke ye then is to be looked for of the cmon sorte. But the manner of teachynge doth briefly shewe what we shulde folowe, what wee shulde auoyde: neyther dothe it after wee haue taken hurte monyshe vs, 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 vnto the euyll name and myschiefe. Let vs knytte therfore this threfolde corde, that both good teachyng leade nature, and exercise make perfite good teachynge. 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 sauegarde of hys healthe: and that standeth in those thynges which brynge either payne or destrucci. Not onlye liuing thyngs but plantes also haue thys 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.

And what is that that properly belongeth vnto man? Verelye to lyue according to reason, and for that is called a reasonable creature, and diuided fr those that c not speake And what is most destrucci to m? Folyshenes. He wyll therfore be taught nothyng soner then vertue, and abhorre from nothynge sooner then folyshenesse, 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 chyldr[en] 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 w^t 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 taught to myschiefe. And who is ignoraunt, that the labour to vnteache, is both harder, and also goth before teachyng. Also the common sorte of men do amysse in thys pointe thre maner of wayes: eyther because they vtterlye neglecte the bryngynge vp of chyldren, 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 vnlerned agayne. Wee haue shewed those fyrst maner of men vnworthi 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 vp, & 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 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 sonne. 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 it there be any good for nothynge, aslug, adulhead, afoole, awaster, to hym we cmit oure childe to be taught: and that thynge whych requireth the cunningest man of all, is put to y^e worst of our seruauntes. What is vntoward, if here menne haue not an vntoward 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 vpon houndes & fooles. In thys thynge onely they be sparers and nigardes, for whose cause sparinge in other thynges myght be excused. Iwold ther wer fewer whych bestowe more vpon a rotten whore, then vpon bringyng vp of their chylde. Nothyng sayth the Satir writer stdeth the father in lesse cost then the sonne. Peraduenture it wyll not be much amisse here to speake of y^e day dyet, which longe ago was muche spok[en] of in y^e name of Crates. They report it after thys fashion. Alow to thy coke .x. po[un]d, to thy physicion a grote, to thy flatterer .v. tal[en]ts, to thy co[un]seller smoke, to thy harlot a talent, to thy philosospher .iii. halfp[en]s. What lacketh to this preposterous count, but to put to it y^t the teacher haue .iii. farthings: Howbeit I thinke y^t the master is meant vnder y^e name of philosopher. Wh[en] one that was riche in money, but nedy of wit axed Aristippus what wages he wold axe for teching his son, & he answered .v.C. grotes. You axe quod he to great a s[um]me: for w^t this much money a man maye bye a seruaunte. Then the philosopher very properly againe: but now, quod he, for one thou shalt haue two: asonne 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 crumme of wysedome, he wold answer (Ithinke:) in no wyse. Whi geuest thou then more for thi horse? why is he more dilig[en]tly tak[en] hede to then thy sonne? why geuest thou more for a fole, then for the bringyng vp 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 th[em] y^t speake good wordes for a man, but thou setteste hym to the helme, whych can beste skyll to gouerne the shyp: in the sonne, wh[en] 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 vse like iudgement? Thy horse is sicke, whether wilt thou sende for a leche at the good word of thy friend, or for his c[un]ning in lechcraft. What? Is thy sonne of lesse price vnto 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 shypwrake, thei lose two hundred po[un]d, and yet they saye they be at coste, if vpon theyr son they bestowe aboue .xx. pounde. No man can geue nature, eyther to himselfe, or to other: howbeit in this poynte also the dilig[en]ce of the par[en]tes helpeth much. The fyrst poynt is, that a m chose to hym selfe a wyfe that is good, come of a good kynred, and well broughte vp, also of an healthfull bodie. For seyng the kynred of the body and mynde is very straytlye 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. Acerten philosopher seemed to haue marked that thyng properly, whyche seynge a yonge man behauinge hym selfe not verye soberlie, it is meruell quod he, but if thy father begat the wh[en] he was dronke. Verily I thynke this also maketh greatli to the matter, if the mother at all times, but specially at y^e time of concepcion and byrthe, haue her mynde free from all crimes, and be of a good cscience. For ther can be nothyng eyther more quiet or more merye then such a mynd. The thyrd point is y^t the mother noryshe with her own brestes her inft, or if ther hap any necessitie that it maye not so be, let be chos[en] a nurse, of a wholsome body, of pure mylke, good condicions, nether drunk[en], not brauler, nor lecherous. For the vices that be tak[en] euen in y^e very beginninges of lyfe, both of the bodye and of the mynd, abyde fast vntyl we be olde. Some men also write y^t it skilleth muche who be his sucking felowes & who be his playfelowes. Fourthlye that in due season he be set to a chosen scholemaster alowed by all mens witnes, and many waies tryed. You must be dilig[en]t in chosyng, and after go thorowe with it. Homer disaloweth wher many beare rule: and after the olde prouerbe of the grekes. The multitude of captaines dyd lose Caria. And the oft[en] chaunginge of physicions hath destroyed manye. There is nothynge more vnprofitable, then often to chaunge y^e master. For by that meanes the web of Penelopes is wou[en] and vnwouen. But I haue knowen childr[en], whych before they wer .xii. yere old, had more th[en] .xii. masters, and that thorowe the rechelesnesse of their par[en]tes. And yet after this is done must the par[en]tes be dilig[en]t. They shall take heede bothe to the master & to the sonne, neither shall they so caste away al care from th[em] as they are wonte to laye all the charge of the doughter vpon the spouse, but the father shall oftentyme looke vpon 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. Ispeake 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 yonge mens wyttes. Emonge the excellent vertues of Paulus Emilius, this also is praised, that as oft[en] as he might for his busines in the cmon welth he wolde be at the exercises of hys snes. And Plinie the nepheu was contente nowe and then to go into the schole for his friendes sonnes sake, whom he had taken vpon him to brynge vp in good learnynge. Furthermore, that that wee haue spoken of nature is not to be vnderstand one wayes. For there is a nature of a common kinde, as the nature of a man in to vse reason. But ther is a nature peculier, eyther to hym or him, that properly belgeth 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. Iknewe one familierlye whych was verye well seene both in greke and latin, and well learned in all liberall sciences, when an archbyshop by wh he was found, had sende hither by hys letters, that he shulde begynne to heare the readers of the lawe agaynst hys nature. After he had cplayned of this to me (for we laye both together) Iexhorted hym to be ruled by his patron, saying that it wold wexe more easily, that at the beginning was harde, and that at the least waye he shulde geue some part of hys tyme 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, Ianswered, he shuld set light by them, & take out that whyche they taught well: and after I had preased vpon hym wyth many argumentes, Iam quod he so minded, that as often as I turne my selfe to these studies, me thinketh a swerde runneth thorowe my hert. Menne that bee thus naturallye borne, Ithynke 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 thynges by the houre of hys birthe, to whose iudgemente howe muche ought to be geuen, Ileaue it to euerye mans estimacion. It wolde yet muche profite to haue espyed the same assoone as can be, because we learne those thynges most easelie, to the which nature hath made vs. Ithinke it not a very vayne thing to coniecture by y^e 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 phisiognonomye verye cunnynge and well laboured. As saylyng is more pleasaunt when wee haue borne 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 y^e plough, or a cowe meete for generacion & encrease of cattell. Beste is y^t oxe that looketh grimly. He techeth by what tok[en]s you may espie a yong colt mete for iusting. Straight waye the colt of a lusty courage trpleth garlic in the fieldes .&c. for you know the verses. They are deceyued whyche beleue that nature hathe geuen vnto man no markes, whereby hys disposici maye bee gathered, and they do amisse, that do not marke them thar 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 vp a corde, abear 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 vp 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 not meete for a tender age, & what readines to lerne can be in children whych yet scarse knowe that they are men: Iwyll answere to bothe these thinges in few wordes. How agreeth it that that age shulde bee counted vnmeete for learnynge, whych is nowe apte to learne good maners? But as there be rudimentes of verture, 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 his 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: Fyrst 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 wryth[en], ioyne a payre of meete ons together, and 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 yr. 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 vp our children. Furthermore the prouid[en]ce of nature hath geuen vnto litle ons a certen mete habilitte. An infant is not yet meete to whome thou shuldest reade y^e offices of Cicero, or the Ethickes of Aristotle, or the moral bokes of Seneca or Plutarche, or the epistles of Paule, Iconfesse, but yet if he do any thyng vncomly 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 cmaunded 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 vntil he be elder, they profit somwhat to true religi. There is no differ[en]ce to a chyld when he is first borne, betwene his par[en]ntes & straungers. Anon after he learneth to knowe his mother, & after his father. He learneth by litle & litle to reuer[en]ce th[em], he learneth to obey them, & to loue th[em]. He vnlerneth to be angrye, to be au[en]ged, & when he is bidd[en] kysse th[em] that he is gry withal, he doth it, & vnlerneth to bable out of measure. He lerneth to rise vp, & geue reuerence to an old m, & to put of his cap at y^e image of the crucifix. Thei that thinke y^t these lytle rudim[en]tes help nothing to vertue, in my mind be greatly deceiued, Acert[en] yonge man wh[en] he was rebuked of Plato because he had plaied at dice cplained y^t he was so bitterly chidd[en], for so litle harme. Th[en] quod Plato, although it be but smal hurt to play at dice, yet is it great hurt to vse it. As it is therefore a greate euyll to accustume thy selfe to euyl, so to vse 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 vnto 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 cmonlye it accustumeth it selfe to vyce, or euer it vnderstand what vyce is, so wyth lyke easynes maye it be accustumed to vertue. And it is beste to vse 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. Therefore 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 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 vnto the whych nature hathe made vs, 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: aman 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 wh[en] he hath begon to speake, he is mete to be taught letters. Of what thynge regarde is fyrste to be had, areadines by & by is geuen to lerne it. For learnyng although it haue infinite commodities, yet excepte it wayte vpon vertue, it bryngeth more harme then good. Worthilye was refused of wyse menne theire sentence, which thought that children vnder seuen yere olde shulde not be set to lernyng: and of thys sayinge many beleued Hesiodus to be the author, albeit Aristophanes the gramarian sayd, that those morall preceptes in the whych worke it was written, were not made by Hesiodus. Yet nedes must be some excell[en]t wryter, which put forth such a booke that euen learned menne thought it to be of Hesiodus doing. But in case it were Hesiodus, without doute yet no mans authoritie oughte to be of suche force vnto vs, that we shulde not folowe the better if it be shewed vs. Howebeit who soeuer wer of thys mynd, they meant not thys, that all thys time vntyll 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 wythout 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 peradu[en]ture do help very much to the good fashionynge of chyldren. And because 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 eloqu[en]ce, 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 th[em], eu[en] diuinitie it selfe also, phisicke & law. 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 vp in the mothers lappe, as in the mothers cmunicacion. 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 vnto Caius. Specially is praysed the elegaunce 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 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 playefelowes. 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 vnruled 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 lerned perfitely the Persians tong because he wolde the better cmen wyth the kyng. If s[um]what 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 there authoritie, experience it selfe wyll proue it vnto vs. Those thynges that we haue seene beying chyldren, they so abide in our mindes, as thou we had sene them yesterdaie. Thinges that we read today wh[en] we be old, wythin two daies after if we read th[em] agayn they seme newe vnto vs. 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 knowledge, yet the right sound and pronunciacion hath chaunsed either to none, or to very few. For rare examples be no 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 Vtica muche better lerned then the other and more eloquent, when he was a chylde was continuallye wyth hys master Sarpedo. And h[en]ce we ought so much the more to take heede, because that yonge age led rather by sense then iudgem[en]t, wyll assone or peraduenture soner lerne leudnes & things y^t be naught. Yea we forget soner good thinges th[en] naught. Gentile philosophers espyed that, & merueyled at it, and could not search out the cause, whiche christ[en] philosophers haue shewed vnto vs: which telleth y^t this redines to mischiefe is setteled in vs of Adam the first father of mkind. Thys thynge as it can not be false, so is it very true, that the greateste parte of this euyll cmeth of leude and naughty bryngyng vp, inespeciallye of tender youthe, whyche is plyeable to euerye thynge.

We fynd in writyng that great Alexander lerned certeine fautes of hys master Leonides, whyche he could not leaue when he was well grow[en] vp, and a great Emperour. Therfore as long as amonge the latines floryshed that old vertuousnes of good maners, chyldren were not committed to an hyrelynge to be taught, but were taughte of the parentes them selues & their kinsfolke, as of their vncles 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 stdeth in painted & grauen armes, dauncing, huntynge and dicynge. Spurius Carbilius of a bond man made free, whose patron Carbilius brought in the fyrste example of diuorce, is reported to be the fyrste that taught an op[en] grmer schole. Before thys tyme it was counted a verye vertuous office if euery m taughte hys kynsefolke in vertue 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 vs to comune 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 y^e fathers syght, but also wer vnder 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 cmoditie is double if the Byshoppe shewe hym selfe a good man, to the entente he maye encourage very many to the loue of vertue. Thou wyle saye; euerye m hath not leasure, and they be lothe to take so greate payne. But go to good syr, Lette vs 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 shoulde do, if we bestowe it so thriftelye as we shulde do. But the daye is short to vs, wh[en] 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 vs, verelye wee oughte chiefely to regarde our chyldren. What payne refuse we to leaue vnto oure chyldren a ryche patrimonye and well stablished: and to get that for them whiche is better then all this, shulde it yrke vs to take laboure? namelye when naturall loue and the profite of them whyche be mooste deareste vnto vs, 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 enstructe them was the more easy to them in olde tyme, because the learned and vnlearned people spake all one tong, saue that the learned spake more truelye, more elegantly, more wiselye, and more copiouselye. Iconfesse 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, out of whose familye there haue come forthe verye manye womenne bothe merueylouselye well learned and verteouse. 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 sone, 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: aman maye not twyse do a faute in war: 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 vp come the better to passe. Iknowe some men fynde thys excuse, that it is ieopardy lest the labour of studies make y^e good health of the tender bodye weaker. Here I myght ensure, y^t althoughe the strength of the bodye wer sumwhat taken awaye, that thys incmoditie is well recompensed by so goodly gyftes of the mynd. For we fashion not a wrestler, but a philosopher, agouernour of the common wealth, to wh it is sufficient to be healthful, although he haue not the strengthe of Milo: yet do I cfesse 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 that age. They brynge theyr lytle children to great and longe feastes, yea feastyng sometyme vntyl farre forth nyghtes, they fyl them wyth salt and hoat meates, somtyme eu[en] tyl thei vomite. They bynde in and loade the tender bodies wyth vnhandsome 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 cmunication 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. [Sidenote: Awayward feare for hurting childr[en]s bewtye.] 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, vntymelye watchynge, by fyghtyng and woundes, finally by vngracious pockes, which scarse anie man escapeth that liueth intemperatly. From these thyngs rather let th[em] see they keepe their children then fr lernyng, whych so carefully take thought for the health and bewtie. [Sidenote: Prouisi for easinge chyldrens labour] Howbeit thys also may be prouided for by our care & dilig[en]ce 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 their age, whiche is delighted rather in pleasa[un]t thynges then in subtile. Secondly, afayre manoure of teachynge shall cause y^t it may seme rather a playe then a labour, for here the age must be beguiled with sweete flattering wordes, which yet c not tell what fruit, what honour, what pleasure lernyng shall brynge vnto them in tyme to come. And this partly shal be done by the teachers g[en]tlenes & curteous behaueour, & partlye by his wit & subtile practise, wherbi he shal deuise diuerse prety meanes to make lerning plesa[un]t to y^e chylde, & pul hym away fr feling of labour. 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 vnto vs eu[en] 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 vnpleasaunt maners that they can not bee loued, no not of their wyues, theyr countena[un]ce lowryng, their companye currishe, they seme angrye euen when they be beste pleased, they can not speke fayre, scarse can they laughe when men laugh vpon them, aman 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 broken, 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, vnder that frownynge face lurke oft[en] tymes most vnchaste and wanton maners, neyther is to be spoken amonge honeste men, to what shamefulnes these bouchers abuse chyldren by fearyng them. No nor the parents th[em] selues can well bring vp theyr chyldr[en], 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 yet scante foure yere olde are sente to schole, where sytteth an vnknowen 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 vp the brystels because thei haue rule, not vpon beastes, as sayeth Terence, but vp 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 vpon the hande, beside yorkynge of roddes, besyde howlynge and sobbinge and cruell threatnynges. What other thynge maye chyldren learne hereof, then to hate learnyng? When this hatered hath once setteled in the tender myndes, yea when they be old they abhorre studye. It is also muche 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 vpon 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 vse it, who soeuer entendeth to haue hys child well brought vp. It behoueth that eyther there were no schole, or else to haue it openlye abrode. It is a shorte waye in dede that cmonlye is vsed: for manye be compelled of one more easelye by feare, that one brought vp of one liberallye. But it is no great thynge to beare rule vpon Asses or Swyne, but to brynge vp 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 out 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 cmon sorte, but vnder a pore cloke, ther was hydden great wisedome: he bought hym, and brought hym home, & put his chyldr[en] to him to be taught. As y^e Scots say, ther be no greater beaters then frenche scholemasters. When they be tolde thereof, they be wonte to answere, that that naci euen lyke the Phrigians is not am[en]ded but bi stripes. Whether this be true let other m[en] 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 vnto 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) Ihad almoste destroyed before I knewe it. For he was a man both wyttye and well learned, and as I thynke, agood m. He rep[en]ted him, but to late for my parte. Here nowe (good syr) ciecture me howe many frowarde wyttes these vnlerned greate beaters do destroye, yet proud in their owne conceite of learnyng, wayeward, dronken, cruel, and that wyl beate for their pleasure: them selues of suche a cruell nature, that they take plesure of other mens tormentes. These kynde of men shuld haue ben bouchers or hangm[en], not teachers of youth. Neyther do any torment chyldren more cruelly, th[en] they that canne not teache them. What shulde thei do in scholes but passe the daye in chydyng and beatynge? Iknewe a diuine and that familierly, aman of greate name, whych was neuer satisfied wyth crudelity against his scholers, wh[en] he him selfe had masters that were very great beaters. He thought y^t dyd much helpe to caste downe the fiersnes of their wittes, & tame the wtonnes of their youth. He neuer feasted amonge hys flocke, but as 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 roddes: and sometime he raged against them that had deserued nothynge, euen because they shuld be accustumed to stripes. Imy selfe on a time stode nerre hym, when after diner he called out a boie as he was wt to do, as I trow ten yere olde. And he was but newe come frome hys mother into that compani. He told vs before that the chyld had a very good woman to hys mother, and was earnestly committed of her vnto hym: anon to haue an occacion to beate hym, he beganne to laye to hys charge I wotte not what wtonnesse: When the chylde 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, atormentoure, 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. 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 vs, 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? Ag[en]tle 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 backwardes. An oxe if you pricke hym to harde wyth godes, wyl caste of his yocke, and run vpon 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 so 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 vp becommeth them, much vnlike to seruile. Yet they that be wyse do thys rather, that seruantes by gentelnes and benefites leaue of their slauyshe condicions: rem[em]bryng that they also be men, and not beastes. There be rehearsed meruelous examples of seruauntes toward their masters, whome verely they shulde not haue founde such if they hadde kept them vnder only by strypes. Aseruaunt if he be corrigible is better amended by monicions, by honestie, & good turnes, then by stripes: if he be paste amendmente, 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 th[en] man, wh cruell iniurie hathe taught to dispyse his owne lyfe. Therfore the comm prouerb that sayth a man hath as manye enemies as he hath seruauntes, If it be true, Ithynke it may be chiefly imputed to the vnreasonablenes of the master: for it is a poynte of arte, and not of chaunce to rule wel seruauntes. And if the wyser masters go aboute thys thynge, so to vse their seruauntes, that thei shuld serue them well and gently, and in stede of seruantes had rather haue them fre men, how shameful is it bi bryngyng vp, to make seruantes of those that be gentle and free by nature? Nor 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 feare 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 vpon them. Howebeit thys vyle name of seruitude oughte vtterlye to be 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 dothe the same Apostle commaunde vs?

In somuch he wyll not haue them beaten slauyshely, he cmaundeth 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 vp 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 Iesus hath taught, suffered and noryshed and brought vp by litle and lytle his disciples. The lawes of man do temper the fathers power: the same also permit vnto 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 hyn vnmesurably, 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 with theyr wrytyng pinnes, nothynge regarding the dignitie of his knighthod, and Octauus Augustus had much a do to saue hym. But now a daies howe many Auxons do we see whiche thorowe cruell beatynge, hurte 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 th[em] wyth the great ende, they geue them buffettes, and stryke the yonge ons wyth their fistes, or whatsoeuer is next at hand they snatche it, and dashe it vpon them. It is told in the lawe, that a certen sowter, when he layd one of hys sowters vpon 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 th[em] shamefull despite also? Iwolde neuer haue beleued it, excepte both I had knowen the chylde, and the doer of this crueltie perfitelye.

Achylde yet scante .vii. yere olde, whose honeste parentes had done good to his master, they handled so cruellye, that scarse anye suche tiraunt as was Mezencius or Phalaris coulde do more cruelly. They caste so much mans donge into the childes mouth y^t scarsely he coulde spit, but was cpelled to swallowe doune a great parte of it. What tiraunt dyd euer suche kynde of despyght? After suche daynties, they exercysed suche lozdelynes. The chylde naked was hanged vp wyth cordes by y^e armeholes, as though he hadde bene a stronge thyefe, and there is amonge to 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 eyes lyke a serpente, hys narowe and wrythen mouth, hys sharpe voyce like a spirite, hys face wanne and pale, hys head roulyng about, threatninges and rebukes suche as they lusted in theyr anger: amanne wolde haue thought it a furie out of hel. What folowed? 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 vpon him as he coulde, but in vayne vpon the chylde that was paste remedye. When the sicknes 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 y^e cruelty of one daye, as longe as the childe dwelte wyth hym there passed no daye but he was cruelly beat[en] once or twise. Iknow y^u suspectest o reader, that it was an haynouse faute, wherunto so cruell remedie was vsed. Iwyl shew you in few words. Ther was fo[un]d both of hys y^t was beaten, and of two others, theire bookes blotted wyth ynke, their garmentes cutte, and their hose arayed wyth mannes donge.

He that played thys playe was a chylde borne to all myschiefe, whiche by other vngracious 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: eu[en] 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 vp the ground, and as one to shew a pleasure, he sayde that he felt the sauour of the wyne: wyth an other of hys felowes he daylye played at the sworde, not in 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 cosen. 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 beleue that the child was w^t 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 vpon 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 tok[en] of such a naughtie disposicion: and at thys daye there is nothing 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 honest 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

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