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The Scholemaster by Roger Ascham

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I had experience of two Ambassadors in one place, the one of
a hote head to inuent, and of a hastie hand to write, the other,
colde and stayd in both: but what difference of their doinges
was made by wise men, is not vnknowne to some persons. The
Bishop of Winchester Steph: Gardiner had a quicke head, and
a readie tong, and yet was not the best writer in England.
Cicero in Brutus doth wiselie note the same in Serg: Galbo, and
Q. Hortentius, who were both, hote, lustie, and plaine speakers,
but colde, lowse, and rough writers: And Tullie telleth the
cause why, saying, whan they spake, their tong was naturally
caried with full tyde & wynde of their witte: whan they wrote
their head was solitarie, dull, and caulme, and so their style was
blonte, and their writing colde: Quod vitium, sayth Cicero,
peringeniosis hominibus neque satis doctis plerumque accidit.
And therfore all quick inuentors, & readie faire speakers,
must be carefull, that, to their goodnes of nature, they adde
also in any wise, studie, labor, leasure, learning, and iudgement,
and than they shall in deede, passe all other, as I know some do,
in whome all those qualities are fullie planted, or else if they
giue ouer moch to their witte, and ouer litle to their labor and
learning, they will sonest ouer reach in taulke, and fardest cum
behinde in writing whatsoeuer they take in hand. The methode
of Epitome is most necessarie for soch kinde of men. And thus
much concerning the vse or misuse of all kinde of Epitomes in
matters of learning.


[dingbat omitted] Imitatio.

Imitation, is a facultie to expresse liuelie and perfitelie that
example: which ye go about to folow. And of it selfe, it is
large and wide: for all the workes of nature, in a maner be
examples for arte to folow.
But to our purpose, all languages, both learned and mother
tonges, be gotten, and gotten onelie by Imitation. For as ye
vse to heare, so ye learne to speake: if ye heare no other, ye
speake not your selfe: and whome ye onelie heare, of them ye
onelie learne.
And therefore, if ye would speake as the best and wisest do,


the ready way to the Latin tong. 265

ye must be conuersant, where the best and wisest are: but if
yow be borne or brought vp in a rude contrie, ye shall not chose
but speake rudelie: the rudest man of all knoweth this to be
trewe.
Yet neuerthelesse, the rudenes of common and mother
tonges, is no bar for wise speaking. For in the rudest contrie,
and most barbarous mother language, many be found can speake
verie wiselie: but in the Greeke and latin tong, the two onelie
learned tonges, which be kept, not in common taulke, but in
priuate bookes, we finde alwayes, wisdome and eloquence, good
matter and good vtterance, neuer or seldom a sonder. For all
soch Authors, as be fullest of good matter and right iudgement
in doctrine, be likewise alwayes, most proper in wordes, most
apte in sentence, most plaine and pure in vttering the same.
And contrariwise, in those two tonges, all writers, either in
Religion, or any sect of Philosophie, who so euer be founde
fonde in iudgement of matter, be commonlie found as rude in
vttering their mynde. For Stoickes, Anabaptistes, and Friers:
with Epicures, Libertines and Monkes, being most like in
learning and life, are no fonder and pernicious in their opinions,
than they be rude and barbarous in their writinges. They be
not wise, therefore that say, what care I for a mans wordes and
vtterance, if his matter and reasons be good. Soch men, say
so, not so moch of ignorance, as eyther of some singular pride
in themselues, or some speciall malice or other, or for some
priuate & perciall matter, either in Religion or other kinde of
learning. For good and choice meates, be no more requisite
for helthie bodies, than proper and apte wordes be for good
matters, and also plaine and sensible vtterance for the best and
depest reasons: in which two pointes standeth perfite eloquence,
one of the fairest and rarest giftes that God doth geue to man.
Ye know not, what hurt ye do to learning, that care not
for wordes, but for matter, and so make a deuorse betwixt the
tong and the hart. For marke all aiges: looke vpon the whole
course of both the Greeke and Latin tonge, and ye shall surelie
finde, that, whan apte and good wordes began to be neglected,
and properties of those two tonges to be confounded, than also
began, ill deedes to spring: strange maners to oppresse good
orders, newe and fond opinions to striue with olde and trewe
doctrine, first in Philosophie: and after in Religion: right


266 The second booke teachyng

iudgement of all thinges to be peruerted, and so vertue with
learning is contemned, and studie left of: of ill thoughtes
cummeth peruerse iudgement: of ill deedes springeth lewde
taulke. Which fower misorders, as they mar mans life, so
destroy they good learning withall.
But behold the goodnesse of Gods prouidence for learning:
all olde authors and sectes of Philosophy, which were fondest in
opinion, and rudest in vtterance, as Stoickes and Epicures, first
contemned of wise men, and after forgotten of all men, be so
consumed by tymes, as they be now, not onelie out of vse, but
also out of memorie of man: which thing, I surelie thinke,
will shortlie chance, to the whole doctrine and all the bookes of
phantasticall Anabaptistes and Friers, and of the beastlie
Libertines and Monkes.
Againe behold on the other side, how Gods wisdome hath
wrought, that of Academici and Peripatetici, those that were
wisest in iudgement of matters, and purest in vttering their
myndes, the first and chiefest, that wrote most and best, in
either tong, as Plato and Aristotle in Greeke, Tullie in Latin, be
so either wholie, or sufficiently left vnto vs, as I neuer knew
yet scholer, that gaue himselfe to like, and loue, and folow
chieflie those three Authors but he proued, both learned, wise,
and also an honest man, if he ioyned with all the trewe doctrine
of Gods holie Bible, without the which, the other three, be but
fine edge tooles in a fole or mad mans hand.
But to returne to Imitation agayne: There be three kindes
of it in matters of learning.
The whole doctrine of Comedies and Tragedies, is a
perfite imitation, or faire liuelie painted picture of the life of
euerie degree of man. Of this Imitation writeth Plato at
large in 3. de Rep. but it doth not moch belong at this time to
our purpose.
The second kind of Imitation, is to folow for learning of
tonges and sciences, the best authors. Here riseth, emonges
proude and enuious wittes, a great controuersie, whether, one
or many are to be folowed: and if one, who is that one: Seneca,
or Cicero: Salust or Cæsar, and so forth in Greeke and Latin.
The third kinde of Imitation, belongeth to the second: as
when you be determined, whether ye will folow one or mo, to
know perfitlie, and which way to folow that one: in what


the ready way to the Latin tong. 267

place: by what meane and order: by what tooles and instru-
mentes ye shall do it, by what skill and iudgement, ye shall
trewelie discerne, whether ye folow rightlie or no.
This Imitatio, is dissimilis materiei similis tractatio: and also,
similis materiei dissimilis tractatio, as Virgill folowed Homer: but
the Argument to the one was Vlysses, to the other Æneas.
Tullie persecuted Antonie with the same wepons of eloquence,
that Demosthenes vsed before against Philippe.
Horace foloweth Pindar, but either of them his owne
Argument and Person: as the one, Hiero king of Sicilie, the
other Augustus the Emperor: and yet both for like respectes,
that is, for their coragious stoutnes in warre, and iust gouern-
ment in peace.
One of the best examples, for right Imitation we lacke, and
that is Menander, whom our Terence, (as the matter required) in
like argument, in the same Persons, with equall eloquence, foote
by foote did folow.
Som peeces remaine, like broken Iewelles, whereby men
may rightlie esteme, and iustlie lament, the losse of the
whole.
Erasmus, the ornament of learning, in our tyme, doth wish
that som man of learning and diligence, would take the like
paines in Demosthenes and Tullie, that Macrobius hath done in
Homer and Virgill, that is, to write out and ioyne together,
where the one doth imitate the other. Erasmus wishe is good,
but surelie, it is not good enough: for Macrobius gatherings for
the Æneidos out of Homer, and Eobanus Hessus more diligent
gatherings for the Bucolikes out of Theocritus, as they be not
fullie taken out of the whole heape, as they should be, but euen
as though they had not sought for them of purpose, but fownd
them scatered here and there by chance in their way, euen so,
onelie to point out, and nakedlie to ioyne togither their
sentences, with no farder declaring the maner and way, how
the one doth folow the other, were but a colde helpe, to the
encrease of learning.
But if a man would take this paine also, whan he hath layd
two places, of Homer and Virgill, or of Demosthenes and
Tullie
togither, to teach plainlie withall, after this sort.
1. Tullie reteyneth thus moch of the matter, thies
sentences, thies wordes:


268 The second booke teachyng

2. This and that he leaueth out, which he doth wittelie to
this end and purpose.
3. This he addeth here.
4. This he diminisheth there.
5. This he ordereth thus, with placing that here, not
there.
6. This he altereth and changeth, either, in propertie of
wordes, in forme of sentence, in substance of the matter, or in
one, or other conuenient circumstance of the authors present
purpose. In thies fewe rude English wordes, are wrapt vp all
the necessarie tooles and instrumentes, wherewith trewe Imita-
tion
is rightlie wrought withall in any tonge. Which tooles,
I openlie confesse, be not of myne owne forging, but partlie left
vnto me by the cunningest Master, and one of the worthiest
Ientlemen that euer England bred, Syr Iohn Cheke: partelie
borowed by me out of the shoppe of the dearest frende I haue
out of England, Io. St. And therefore I am the bolder to
borow of him, and here to leaue them to other, and namelie to
my Children: which tooles, if it please God, that an other day,
they may be able to vse rightlie, as I do wish and daylie pray,
they may do, I shal be more glad, than if I were able to leaue
them a great quantitie of land.
This foresaide order and doctrine of Imitation, would bring
forth more learning, and breed vp trewer iudgement, than any
other exercise that can be vsed, but not for yong beginners,
bicause they shall not be able to consider dulie therof. And
trewelie, it may be a shame to good studentes who hauing so
faire examples to follow, as Plato and Tullie, do not vse so wise
wayes in folowing them for the obteyning of wisdome and
learning, as rude ignorant Artificers do, for gayning a small
commoditie. For surelie the meanest painter vseth more witte,
better arte, greater diligence, in hys shoppe, in folowing the
Picture of any meane mans face, than commonlie the best
studentes do, euen in the vniuersitie, for the atteining of
learning it selfe.
Some ignorant, vnlearned, and idle student: or some busie
looker vpon this litle poore booke, that hath neither will to do
good him selfe, nor skill to iudge right of others, but can lustelie
contemne, by pride and ignorance, all painfull diligence and
right order in study, will perchance say, that I am to precise, to


the ready way to the Latin tong. 269

curious, in marking and piteling thus about the imitation of
others: and that the olde worthie Authors did neuer busie their
heades and wittes, in folowyng so preciselie, either the matter
what other men wrote, or els the maner how other men wrote.
They will say, it were a plaine slauerie, & inurie to, to shakkle
and tye a good witte, and hinder the course of a mans good
nature with such bondes of seruitude, in folowyng other.
Except soch men thinke them selues wiser then Cicero for
teaching of eloquence, they must be content to turne a new
leafe.
The best booke that euer Tullie wrote, by all mens iudge-
ment, and by his owne testimonie to, in writyng wherof, he
employed most care, studie, learnyng and iudgement, is his
book de Orat. ad Q. F. Now let vs see, what he did for the
matter, and also for the maner of writing therof. For the
whole booke consisteth in these two pointes onelie: In good
matter, and good handling of the matter. And first, for the
matter, it is whole Aristotles, what so euer Antonie in the
second, and Crassus in the third doth teach. Trust not me,
but beleue Tullie him selfe, who writeth so, first, in that goodlie
long Epistle ad P. Lentulum, and after in diuerse places ad
Atticum
. And in the verie booke it selfe, Tullie will not haue
it hidden, but both Catulus and Crassus do oft and pleasantly lay
that stelth to Antonius charge. Now, for the handling of the
matter, was Tullie so precise and curious rather to follow an
other mans Paterne, than to inuent some newe shape him selfe,
namelie in that booke, wherin he purposed, to leaue to
posteritie, the glorie of his witte? yea forsoth, that he did.
And this is not my gessing and gathering, nor onelie performed
by Tullie in verie deed, but vttered also by Tullie in plaine
wordes: to teach other men thereby, what they should do, in
taking like matter in hand.
And that which is specially to be marked, Tullie doth vtter
plainlie his conceit and purpose therein, by the mouth of
the wisest man in all that companie: for sayth Scæuola him
selfe, Cur non imitamur, Crasse, Socratem illum, qui est in Phædro
Platonis &c.

And furder to vnderstand, that Tullie did not obiter and
bichance, but purposelie and mindfullie bend him selfe to
a precise and curious Imitation of Plato, concernyng the shape


270 The second booke teachyng

and forme of those bookes, marke I pray you, how curious
Tullie is to vtter his purpose and doyng therein, writing thus to
Atticus.
Quod in his Oratorijs libris, quos tantopere laudas, personam
desideras Scæuolæ, non eam temerè dimoui: Sed feci idem, quod in
politeia Deus ille noster Plato, cum in Piræeum Socrates venisset ad
Cephalum locupletem & festiuum Senem, quoad primus ille sermo
haberetur, adest in disputando senex: Deinde, cum ipse quoque
commodissimè locutus esset, ad rem diuinam dicit se velle discedere,
neque postea reuertitur. Credo Platonem vix putasse satis consonum
fore, si hominem id ætatis in tam longo sermone diutius retinuisset:
Multo ego satius hoc mihi cauendum putaui in Scæuola, qui & ætate
et valetudine erat ea qua meministi, & his honoribus, vt vix satis
decorum videretur eum plures dies esse in Crassi Tusculano. Et erat
primi libri sermo non alienus à Scæuolæ studijs: reliqui libri
technologian habent, vt scis. Huic ioculatoriæ disputationi senem
illum vt noras, interesse sanè nolui.

If Cicero had not opened him selfe, and declared hys owne
thought and doynges herein, men that be idle, and ignorant, and
enuious of other mens diligence and well doinges, would haue
sworne that Tullie had neuer mynded any soch thing, but that
of a precise curiositie, we fayne and forge and father soch
thinges of Tullie, as he neuer ment in deed. I write this, not
for nought: for I haue heard some both well learned, and
otherwayes verie wise, that by their lustie misliking of soch
diligence, haue drawen back the forwardnes of verie good wittes.
But euen as such men them selues, do sometymes stumble vpon
doyng well by chance and benefite of good witte, so would
I haue our scholer alwayes able to do well by order of learnyng
and right skill of iudgement.
Concernyng Imitation, many learned men haue written,
with moch diuersitie for the matter, and therfore with great
contrarietie and some stomacke amongest them selues. I
haue read as many as I could get diligentlie, and what I
thinke of euerie one of them, I will freelie say my mynde.
With which freedome I trust good men will beare, bicause
it shall tend to neither spitefull nor harmefull controuersie.
In Tullie, it is well touched, shortlie taught, not fullie
Cicero. // declared by Ant. in 2. de Orat: and afterward
in Orat. ad Brutum, for the liking and misliking


the ready way to the Latin tong. 271

of Isocrates: and the contrarie iudgement of Tullie against
Caluus, Brutus, and Calidius, de genere dicendi Attico & Asiatico.
Dionis. Halic. peri mimeseos. I feare is lost: which
Author, next Aristotle, Plato, and Tullie, of all // Dio. Hali-
other, that write of eloquence, by the iudgement // car.
of them that be best learned, deserueth the next
prayse and place.
Quintilian writeth of it, shortly and coldlie for the matter,
yet hotelie and spitefullie enough, agaynst the // Quintil.
Imitation of Tullie.
Erasmus, beyng more occupied in spying other mens faultes,
than declaryng his own aduise, is mistaken of // Erasmus.
many, to the great hurt of studie, for his authoritie
sake. For he writeth rightlie, rightlie vnderstanded: he and
Longolius onelie differing in this, that the one seemeth to giue
ouermoch, the other ouer litle, to him, whom they both, best
loued, and chiefly allowed of all other.
Budæus in his Commentaries roughlie and obscurelie,
after his kinde of writyng: and for the matter, // Budæus.
caryed somwhat out of the way in ouermuch
misliking the Imitation of Tullie. // Ph. Me-
Phil. Melancthon, learnedlie and trewlie. // lanch.
Camerarius largely with a learned iudgement, // Ioa. Cam-
but somewhat confusedly, and with ouer rough // mer.
a stile.
Sambucus, largely, with a right iudgement but somewhat
a crooked stile. // Sambucus.
Other haue written also, as Cortesius to // Cortesius.
Politian, and that verie well: Bembus ad Picum // P. Bembus.
a great deale better, but Ioan. Sturmius de // Ioan. Stur-
Nobilitate literata, & de Amissa dicendi ratione, // mius.
farre best of all, in myne opinion, that euer tooke
this matter in hand. For all the rest, declare chiefly this point,
whether one, or many, or all, are to be followed: but Sturmius
onelie hath most learnedlie declared, who is to be followed, what
is to be followed, and the best point of all, by what way & order,
trew Imitation is rightlie to be exercised. And although Sturmius
herein doth farre passe all other, yet hath he not so fullie and
perfitelie done it, as I do wishe he had, and as I know he could.
For though he hath done it perfitelie for precept, yet hath he


272 The second booke teachyng

not done it perfitelie enough for example: which he did, neither
for lacke of skill, nor by negligence, but of purpose, contented
with one or two examples bicause he was mynded in those two
bookes, to write of it both shortlie, and also had to touch other
matters.
Barthol. Riccius Ferrariensis also hath written learnedlie,
diligentlie and verie largelie of this matter euen as hee did before
verie well de Apparatu linguæ Lat. He writeth the better in
myne opinion, bicause his whole doctrine, iudgement, and
order, semeth to be borowed out of Io. Stur. bookes. He
addeth also examples, the best kinde of teaching: wherein he
doth well, but not well enough: in deede, he committeth no
faulte, but yet, deserueth small praise. He is content with the
meane, and followeth not the best: as a man, that would feede
vpon Acornes, whan he may eate, as good cheape, the finest
wheat bread. He teacheth for example, where and how, two
or three late Italian Poetes do follow Virgil: and how Virgil
him selfe in the storie of Dido, doth wholie Imitate Catullus in
the like matter of Ariadna: Wherein I like better his diligence
and order of teaching, than his iudgement in choice of examples
for Imitation. But, if he had done thus: if he had declared
where and how, how oft and how many wayes Virgil doth folow
Homer, as for example the comming of Vlysses to Alcynous and
Calypso, with the comming of Æneas to Cartage and
Dido: Like-
wise the games running, wrestling, and shoting, that Achilles
maketh in Homer, with the selfe same games, that Æneas
maketh in Virgil: The harnesse of Achilles, with the harnesse
of Æneas, and the maner of making of them both by Vulcane:
The notable combate betwixt Achilles and Hector, with as
notable a combate betwixt Æneas and Turnus. The going
downe to hell of Vlysses in Homer, with the going downe to hell
of &AEneas in Virgil: and other places infinite mo, as similitudes,
narrations, messages, discriptions of persones, places, battels,
tempestes, shipwrackes, and common places for diuerse purposes,
which be as precisely taken out of Homer, as euer did Painter in
London follow the picture of any faire personage. And when
thies places had bene gathered together by this way of diligence
than to haue conferred them together by this order of teaching
as, diligently to marke what is kept and vsed in either author,
in wordes, in sentences, in matter: what is added: what is left


the ready way to the Latin tong. 273

out: what ordered otherwise, either præponendo, interponendo, or
postponendo: And what is altered for any respect, in word,
phrase, sentence, figure, reason, argument, or by any way of
circumstance: If Riccius had done this, he had not onely bene
well liked, for his diligence in teaching, but also iustlie com-
mended for his right iudgement in right choice of examples for
the best Imitation.
Riccius also for Imitation of prose declareth where and how
Longolius doth folow Tullie, but as for Longolius, I would not
haue him the patern of our Imitation. In deede: in Longolius
shoppe, be proper and faire shewing colers, but as for shape,
figure, and naturall cumlines, by the iudgement of best iudging
artificers, he is rather allowed as one to be borne withall, than
especially commended, as one chieflie to be folowed.
If Riccius had taken for his examples, where Tullie him selfe
foloweth either Plato or Demosthenes, he had shot than at the
right marke. But to excuse Riccius, somwhat, though I can
not fullie defend him, it may be sayd, his purpose was, to teach
onelie the Latin tong, when thys way that I do wish, to ioyne
Virgil with Homer, to read Tullie with Demosthenes and
Plato,
requireth a cunning and perfite Master in both the tonges. It
is my wish in deede, and that by good reason: For who so euer
will write well of any matter, must labor to expresse that, that
is perfite, and not to stay and content himselfe with the meane:
yea, I say farder, though it be not vnposible, yet it is verie rare,
and meruelous hard, to proue excellent in the Latin tong, for
him that is not also well seene in the Greeke tong. Tullie him
selfe, most excellent of nature, most diligent in labor, brought
vp from his cradle, in that place, and in that tyme, where and
whan the Latin tong most florished naturallie in euery mans
mouth, yet was not his owne tong able it selfe to make him so
cunning in his owne tong, as he was in deede: but the
knowledge and Imitation of the Greeke tong withall.
This he confesseth himselfe: this he vttereth in many places,
as those can tell best, that vse to read him most.
Therefore thou, that shotest at perfection in the Latin tong,
thinke not thy selfe wiser than Tullie was, in choice of the way,
that leadeth rightlie to the same: thinke not thy witte better
than Tullies was, as though that may serue thee that was not
sufficient for him. For euen as a hauke flieth not hie with one


274 The second booke teachyng

wing: euen so a man reacheth not to excellency with one
tong.
I haue bene a looker on in the Cokpit of learning thies
many yeares: And one Cock onelie haue I knowne, which
with one wing, euen at this day, doth passe all other, in myne
opinion, that euer I saw in any pitte in England, though they
had two winges. Yet neuerthelesse, to flie well with one
wing, to runne fast with one leg, be rather, rare Maistreis
moch to be merueled at, than sure examples safelie to be
folowed. A Bushop that now liueth, a good man, whose
iudgement in Religion I better like, than his opinion in per-
fitnes in other learning, said once vnto me: we haue no nede
now of the Greeke tong, when all thinges be translated into
Latin. But the good man vnderstood not, that euen the best
translation, is, for mere necessitie, but an euill imped wing to
flie withall, or a heuie stompe leg of wood to go withall: soch,
the hier they flie, the sooner they falter and faill: the faster
they runne, the ofter they stumble, and sorer they fall. Soch
as will nedes so flie, may flie at a Pye, and catch a Dawe: And
soch runners, as commonlie, they shoue and sholder to stand
formost, yet in the end they cum behind others & deserue
but the hopshakles, if the Masters of the game be right iudgers.
Therefore in perusing thus, so many diuerse bookes for
Optima // Imitation, it came into my head that a verie pro-
ratio Imi- // fitable booke might be made de Imitatione, after
tationis. // an other sort, than euer yet was attempted of that
matter, conteyning a certaine fewe fitte preceptes,
vnto the which should be gathered and applied plentie of
examples, out of the choisest authors of both the tonges.
This worke would stand, rather in good diligence, for the
gathering, and right iudgement for the apte applying of those
examples: than any great learning or vtterance at all.
The doing thereof, would be more pleasant, than painfull,
& would bring also moch proffet to all that should read it, and
great praise to him would take it in hand, with iust desert of
thankes.
Erasmus, giuyng him selfe to read ouer all Authors Greke
Erasmus // and Latin, seemeth to haue prescribed to him
order in his // selfe this order of readyng: that is, to note out
studie. // by the way, three speciall pointes: All Adagies,


the ready way to the Latin tong. 275

all similitudes, and all wittie sayinges of most notable person-
ages: And so, by one labour, he left to posteritie, three notable
bookes, & namelie two his Chiliades, Apophthegmata and Similia.
Likewise, if a good student would bend him selfe to read
diligently ouer Tullie, and with him also at // {Plato.
the same tyme, as diligently Plato, & Xenophon, // {Xenophon.
with his bookes of Philosophie, Isocrates, & // Cicero. {Isocrates.
Demosthenes with his orations, & Aristotle with // {Demosth.
his Rhetorickes: which fiue of all other, be // {Aristotles.
those, whom Tullie best loued, & specially followed: & would
marke diligently in Tullie where he doth exprimere or effingere
(which be the verie propre wordes of Imitation) either, Copiam
Platonis
or venustatem Xenophontis, suauitatem Isocratis, or vim
Demosthenis, propriam & puram subtilitatem Aristotelis
, and not
onelie write out the places diligentlie, and lay them together
orderlie, but also to conferre them with skilfull iudgement by
those few rules, which I haue expressed now twise before: if
that diligence were taken, if that order were vsed, what perfite
knowledge of both the tonges, what readie and pithie vtterance
in all matters, what right and deepe iudgement in all kinde of
learnyng would follow, is scarse credible to be beleued.
These bookes, be not many, nor long, nor rude in speach,
nor meane in matter, but next the Maiestie of Gods holie word,
most worthie for a man, the louer of learning and honestie, to
spend his life in. Yea, I haue heard worthie M. Cheke many
tymes say: I would haue a good student passe and iorney
through all Authors both Greke and Latin: but he that will
dwell in these few bookes onelie: first, in Gods holie Bible, and
than ioyne with it, Tullie in Latin, Plato, Aristotle: Xenophon:
Isocrates
: and Demosthenes in Greke: must nedes proue an excel-
lent man.
Some men alreadie in our dayes, haue put to their helping
handes, to this worke of Imitation. As Peri- // Perionius.
onius, Henr. Stephanus in dictionario Ciceroniano, // H. Steph.
and P. Victorius most praiseworthelie of all, in // P. Victor-
that his learned worke conteyning xxv. bookes de // ius.
varia lectione: in which bookes be ioyned diligentlie together the
best Authors of both the tonges where one doth seeme to
imitate an other.
But all these, with Macrobius, Hessus, and other, be no


276 The second booke teachyng

more but common porters, caryers, and bringers of matter and
stuffe togither. They order nothing: They lay before you,
what is done: they do not teach you, how it is done: They
busie not them selues with forme of buildyng: They do not
declare, this stuffe is thus framed by Demosthenes, and thus and
thus by Tullie, and so likewise in Xenophon, Plato and Isocrates
and Aristotle. For ioyning Virgil with Homer I haue suf-
ficientlie declared before.
The like diligence I would wish to be taken in Pindar and
Pindarus. // Horace an equall match for all respectes.
Horatius. // In Tragedies, (the goodliest Argument of all,
and for the vse, either of a learned preacher, or a
Ciuill Ientleman, more profitable than Homer, Pindar, Virgill,
and Horace: yea comparable in myne opinion, with the doctrine
Sophocles. // of Aristotle, Plato, and Xenophon,) the
Grecians,
Euripides. // Sophocles and Euripides far ouer match our
Seneca,
Seneca. // in Latin, namely in oikonomia et Decoro, although
Senacaes elocution and verse be verie commendable for his tyme.
And for the matters of Hercules, Thebes, Hippolytus, and Troie,
his Imitation is to be gathered into the same booke, and to be
tryed by the same touchstone, as is spoken before.
In histories, and namelie in Liuie, the like diligence of
Imitation, could bring excellent learning, and breede stayde
iudgement, in taking any like matter in hand.
Onely Liuie were a sufficient taske for one mans studie,
Tit. Liuius. // to compare him, first with his fellow for all re-
Dion. Hali- // spectes, Dion. Halicarnassæus: who both, liued in
carn. // one tyme: tooke both one historie in hande to
write: deserued both like prayse of learnyng and eloquence.
Polibius. // Than with Polybius that wise writer, whom Liuie
professeth to follow: & if he would denie it, yet
it is plaine, that the best part of the thyrd Decade in Liuie, is in
Thucidides. // a maner translated out of the thyrd and rest of
Polibius: Lastlie with Thucydides, to whose Imita-
tion Liuie is curiouslie bent, as may well appeare by that one
1 Decad. // Oration of those of Campania, asking aide of the
Lib. 7. // Romanes agaynst the Samnites, which is wholie
taken, Sentence, Reason, Argument, and order,
Thucid. 1. // out of the Oration of Corcyra, asking like aide of
the Athenienses against them of Corinth. If some


the ready way to the Latin tong. 277

diligent student would take paynes to compare them togither, he
should easelie perceiue, that I do say trew. A booke, thus
wholie filled with examples of Imitation, first out of Tullie,
compared with Plato, Xenophon, Isocrates, Demosthenes and
Aristotle: than out of Virgil and Horace, with Homer and
Pindar: next out of Seneca with Sophocles and Euripides:
Lastlie
out of Liuie, with Thucydides, Polibius and Halicarnassæus,
gathered with good diligence, and compared with right order,
as I haue expressed before, were an other maner of worke for
all kinde of learning, & namely for eloquence, than be those
cold gatheringes of Macrobius, Hessus, Perionius, Stephanus, and
Victorius, which may be vsed, as I sayd before, in this case, as
porters and caryers, deseruing like prayse, as soch men do
wages; but onely Sturmius is he, out of whom, the trew suruey
and whole workemanship is speciallie to be learned.
I trust, this my writyng shall giue some good student
occasion, to take some peece in hand of this worke of Imitation.
And as I had rather haue any do it, than my // Opus de
selfe, yet surelie my selfe rather than none at all. // recta imi-
And by Gods grace, if God do lend me life, with // tandi ratione.
health, free laysure and libertie, with good likyng
and a merie heart, I will turne the best part of my studie and
tyme, to toyle in one or other peece of this worke of Imitation.
This diligence to gather examples, to giue light and vnder-
standyng to good preceptes, is no new inuention, but speciallie vsed
of the best Authors and oldest writers. For Aristotle // Aristoteles.
him selfe, (as Diog. Laertius declareth) when he
had written that goodlie booke of the Topickes, did gather out
of stories and Orators, so many examples as filled xv. bookes,
onelie to expresse the rules of his Topickes. These were the
Commentaries, that Aristotle thought fit for hys // Commen-
Topickes: And therfore to speake as I thinke, I // tarij Græ-
neuer saw yet any Commentarie vpon Aristotles // ci et Lati-
Logicke, either in Greke or Latin, that euer I // ni in Dia-
lyked, bicause they be rather spent in declaryng // lect. Ari-
scholepoynt rules, than in gathering fit examples // stotelis.
for vse and vtterance, either by pen or talke. For preceptes in
all Authors, and namelie in Aristotle, without applying vnto
them, the Imitation of examples, be hard, drie, and cold, and
therfore barrayn, vnfruitfull and vnpleasant. But Aristotle,


278 The second booke teachyng

namelie in his Topicks and Elenches, should be, not onelie
fruitfull, but also pleasant to, if examples out of Plato, and
other good Authors, were diligentlie gathered, and aptlie
Precepta // applied vnto his most perfit preceptes there.
in Aristot. // And it is notable, that my frende Sturmius writeth
Exempla // herein, that there is no precept in Aristotles
in Platone. // Topickes wherof plentie of examples be not
manifest in Platos workes. And I heare say, that an excellent
learned man, Tomitanus in Italie, hath expressed euerie fallacion
in Aristotle, with diuerse examples out of Plato. Would to
God, I might once see, some worthie student of Aristotle and
Plato in Cambrige, that would ioyne in one booke the preceptes
of the one, with the examples of the other. For such a labor,
were one speciall peece of that worke of Imitation, which I do
wishe were gathered together in one Volume.
Cambrige, at my first comming thither, but not at my
going away, committed this fault in reading the preceptes of
Aristotle without the examples of other Authors: But herein,
in my time thies men of worthie memorie, M. Redman,
M. Cheke, M. Smith, M. Haddon, M. Watson, put so to
their helping handes, as that vniuersitie, and all studentes there,
as long as learning shall last, shall be bounde vnto them, if that
trade in studie be trewlie folowed, which those men left behinde
them there.
By this small mention of Cambridge, I am caryed into three
imaginations: first, into a sweete remembrance of my tyme
spent there: than, into som carefull thoughts, for the greuous
alteration that folowed sone after: lastlie, into much ioy to
heare tell, of the good recouerie and earnest forwardnes in all
good learning there agayne.
To vtter theis my thoughts somwhat more largelie, were
somwhat beside my matter, yet not very farre out of the way,
bycause it shall wholy tend to the good encoragement and right
consideration of learning, which is my full purpose in writing
this litle booke: whereby also shall well appeare this sentence
to be most trewe, that onely good men, by their gouernment
& example, make happie times, in euery degree and state.
Doctor Nico. Medcalfe, that honorable father, was Master
D. Nic. // of S. Iohnes Colledge, when I came thether: A
Medcalf. // man meanelie learned himselfe, but not meanely


the ready way to the Latin tong. 279

affectioned to set forward learning in others. He found
that Colledge spending scarse two hundred markes by yeare:
he left it spending a thousand markes and more. Which
he procured, not with his mony, but by his wisdome; not
chargeablie bought by him, but liberallie geuen by others by his
meane, for the zeale & honor they bare to learning. And that
which is worthy of memorie, all thies giuers were almost
Northenmen: who being liberallie rewarded in the seruice of
their Prince, bestowed it as liberallie for the good of their
Contrie. Som men thought therefore, that D. Medcalfe was
parciall to Northrenmen, but sure I am of this, that North-
renmen were parciall, in doing more good, and geuing more
landes to ye forderance of learning, than any other // The parci-
contrie men, in those dayes, did: which deede // alitie of
should haue bene, rather an example of goodnes, // Northren
for other to folowe, than matter of malice, for any // men in
to enuie, as some there were that did. Trewly, // S. Iohnes
D. Medcalfe was parciall to none: but indifferent // College.
to all: a master for the whole, a father to euery one, in that
Colledge. There was none so poore, if he had, either wil to
goodnes, or wit to learning, that could lacke being there, or
should depart from thence for any need. I am witnes my selfe,
that mony many times was brought into yong mens studies by
strangers whom they knew not. In which doing, this worthy
Nicolaus folowed the steppes of good olde S. Nicolaus, that
learned Bishop. He was a Papist in deede, but would to God,
amonges all vs Protestants I might once see but one, that would
winne like praise, in doing like good, for the aduauncement of
learning and vertue. And yet, though he were a Papist, if any
yong man, geuen to new learning (as they termed it) went
beyond his fellowes, in witte, labor, and towardnes, euen the
same, neyther lacked, open praise to encorage him, nor priuate
exhibition to mainteyne hym, as worthy Syr I. Cheke, if he
were aliue would beare good witnes and so can many mo.
I my selfe one of the meanest of a great number, in that
Colledge, because there appeared in me som small shew of
towardnes and diligence, lacked not his fauor to forder me in
learning.
And being a boy, new Bacheler of arte, I chanced amonges
my companions to speake against the Pope: which matter was


280 The second booke teachyng

than in euery mans mouth, bycause D. Haines and D. Skippe
were cum from the Court, to debate the same matter, by
preaching and disputation in the vniuersitie. This hapned the
same tyme, when I stoode to be felow there: my taulke came
to D. Medcalfes eare: I was called before him and the Seniores:
and after greuous rebuke, and some punishment, open warning
was geuen to all the felowes, none to be so hardie to geue me
his voice at that election. And yet for all those open threates,
the good father himselfe priuilie procured, that I should euen
than be chosen felow. But, the election being done, he made
countinance of great discontentation thereat. This good mans
goodnes, and fatherlie discretion, vsed towardes me that one
day, shall neuer out of my remembrance all the dayes of my
life. And for the same cause, haue I put it here, in this small
record of learning. For next Gods prouidence, surely that day,
was by that good fathers meanes, Dies natalis, to me, for the
whole foundation of the poore learning I haue, and of all the
furderance, that hetherto else where I haue obteyned.
This his goodnes stood not still in one or two, but flowed
aboundantlie ouer all that Colledge, and brake out also to
norishe good wittes in euery part of that vniuersitie: whereby,
at this departing thence, he left soch a companie of fellowes and
scholers in S. Iohnes Colledge, as can scarse be found now in
some whole vniuersitie: which, either for diuinitie, on the one
side or other, or for Ciuill seruice to their Prince and contrie,
haue bene, and are yet to this day, notable ornaments to this
whole Realme: Yea S. Iohnes did then so florish, as Trinitie
college, that Princely house now, at the first erection, was but
Colonia deducta out of S. Iohnes, not onelie for their Master,
fellowes, and scholers, but also, which is more, for their whole,
both order of learning, and discipline of maners: & yet to this
day, it neuer tooke Master but such as was bred vp before in
S. Iohnes: doing the dewtie of a good Colonia to her Metropolis,
as the auncient Cities in Greice and some yet in Italie, at this
day, are accustomed to do.
S. Iohnes stoode in this state, vntill those heuie tymes, and
that greuous change that chanced. An. 1553. whan mo perfite
scholers were dispersed from thence in one moneth, than many
Psal. 80. // yeares can reare vp againe. For, whan Aper de
Sylua
had passed the seas, and fastned his foote


the ready way to the Latin tong. 281

againe in England, not onely the two faire groues of learning
in England were eyther cut vp, by the roote, or troden downe
to the ground and wholie went to wracke, but the yong spring
there, and euerie where else, was pitifullie nipt and ouertroden
by very beastes, and also the fairest standers of all, were rooted
vp, and cast into the fire, to the great weakning euen at this
day of Christes Chirch in England, both for Religion and
learning.
And what good could chance than to the vniuersities, whan
som of the greatest, though not of the wisest nor best learned,
nor best men neither of that side, did labor to perswade, that
ignorance was better than knowledge, which they ment, not for
the laitie onelie, but also for the greatest rable of their spiritu-
altie, what other pretense openlie so euer they made: and
therefore did som of them at Cambrige (whom I will not name
openlie,) cause hedge priestes fette oute of the contrie, to be
made fellowes in the vniuersitie: saying, in their talke priuilie,
and declaring by their deedes openlie, that he was, felow good
enough for their tyme, if he could were a gowne and a tipet
cumlie, and haue hys crowne shorne faire and roundlie, and
could turne his Portesse and pie readilie: whiche I speake not
to reproue any order either of apparell, or other dewtie, that
may be well and indifferentlie vsed, but to note the miserie of
that time, whan the benefites prouided for learning were so
fowlie misused. And what was the frute of this seade?
Verely, iudgement in doctrine was wholy altered: order in
discipline very sore changed: the loue of good learning, began
sodenly to wax cold: the knowledge of the tonges (in spite of
some that therein had florished) was manifestly contemned:
and so, ye way of right studie purposely peruerted: the choice
of good authors of mallice confownded. Olde sophistrie (I say
not well) not olde, but that new rotten sophistrie began to
beard and sholder logicke in her owne tong: yea, I know, that
heades were cast together, and counsell deuised, that Duns, with
all the rable of barbarous questionistes, should haue dispossessed
of their place and rowmes, Aristotle, Plato, Tullie, // Aristoteles.
and Demosthenes, when good M. Redman, and // Plato.
those two worthy starres of that vniuersitie, // Cicero.
M. Cheke, and M. Smith, with their scholers, had // Demost.
brought to florishe as notable in Cambrige, as


282 The second booke teachyng

euer they did in Grece and in Italie: and for the doctrine of
those fowre, the fowre pillers of learning, Cambrige than geuing
place to no vniuersitie, neither in France, Spaine, Germanie,
nor Italie. Also in outward behauiour, than began simplicitie
in apparell, to be layd aside: Courtlie galantnes to be taken vp:
frugalitie in diet was priuately misliked: Towne going to good
Shoting. // cheare openly vsed: honest pastimes, ioyned with
labor, left of in the fieldes: vnthrifty and idle
games, haunted corners, and occupied the nightes: contention
in youth, no where for learning: factions in the elders euery
where for trifles. All which miseries at length, by Gods
prouidence, had their end 16. Nouemb. 1558. Since which
tyme, the yong spring hath shot vp so faire, as now there be in
Cambrige againe, many goodly plantes (as did well appeare at
the Queenes Maiesties late being there) which are like to grow
to mightie great timber, to the honor of learning, and great good
of their contrie, if they may stand their tyme, as the best
plantes there were wont to do: and if som old dotterell trees,
with standing ouer nie them, and dropping vpon them, do not
either hinder, or crooke their growing, wherein my feare is ye
lesse, seing so worthie a Iustice of an Oyre hath the present
ouersight of that whole chace, who was himselfe somtym, in
the fairest spring that euer was there of learning, one of the
forwardest yong plantes, in all that worthy College of S. Iohnes:
who now by grace is growne to soch greatnesse, as, in the
temperate and quiet shade of his wisdome, next the prouidence
of God, and goodnes of one, in theis our daies, Religio for
sinceritie, literæ for order and aduauncement, Respub. for happie
and quiet gouernment, haue to great rejoysing of all good men,
speciallie reposed them selues.
Now to returne to that Question, whether one, a few, many
or all, are to be folowed, my aunswere shalbe short: All, for
him that is desirous to know all: yea, the worst of all, as
Questionistes, and all the barbarous nation of scholemen, helpe
for one or other consideration: But in euerie separate kinde of
learning and studie, by it selfe, ye must follow, choiselie a few,
and chieflie some one, and that namelie in our schole of
eloquence, either for penne or talke. And as in portraicture
and paintyng wise men chose not that workman, that can onelie
make a faire hand, or a well facioned legge but soch one, as can


the ready way to the Latin tong. 283

furnish vp fullie, all the fetures of the whole body, of a man,
woman and child: and with all is able to, by good skill, to giue
to euerie one of these three, in their proper kinde, the right
forme, the trew figure, the naturall color, that is fit and dew,
to the dignitie of a man, to the bewtie of a woman, to the
sweetnes of a yong babe: euen likewise, do we seeke soch one
in our schole to folow, who is able alwayes, in all matters, to
teach plainlie, to delite pleasantlie, and to cary away by force of
wise talke, all that shall heare or read him: and is so excellent
in deed, as witte is able, or wishe can hope, to attaine vnto:
And this not onelie to serue in the Latin or Greke tong, but
also in our own English language. But yet, bicause the prouid-
ence of God hath left vnto vs in no other tong, saue onelie in
the Greke and Latin tong, the trew preceptes, and perfite
examples of eloquence, therefore must we seeke in the Authors
onelie of those two tonges, the trewe Paterne of Eloquence, if
in any other mother tongue we looke to attaine, either to perfit
vtterance of it our selues, or skilfull iudgement of it in others.
And now to know, what Author doth medle onelie with
some one peece and member of eloquence, and who doth
perfitelie make vp the whole bodie, I will declare, as I can call
to remembrance the goodlie talke, that I haue had oftentymes,
of the trew difference of Authors, with that Ientleman of
worthie memorie, my dearest frend, and teacher of all the litle
poore learning I haue, Syr Iohn Cheke.
The trew difference of Authors is best knowne, per diuersa
genera dicendi
, that euerie one vsed. And therfore here I will
deuide genus dicendi, not into these three, Tenuè, mediocrè, &
grande
, but as the matter of euerie Author requireth, as

{Poeticum.
{Historicum.
in Genus{Philosophicum.
{Oratorium.

These differre one from an other, in choice of wordes, in
framyng of Sentences, in handling of Argumentes, and vse of
right forme, figure, and number, proper and fitte for euerie
matter, and euerie one of these is diuerse also in it selfe, as the
first.


284 The second booke teachyng

{Comicum.
{Tragicum.
Poeticum, in {Epicum.
{Melicum.

And here, who soeuer hath bene diligent to read aduisedlie
ouer, Terence, Seneca, Virgil, Horace, or els Aristophanes, Sophocles,
Homer
, and Pindar, and shall diligently marke the difference
they vse, in proprietie of wordes, in forme of sentence, in
handlyng of their matter, he shall easelie perceiue, what is fitte
and decorum in euerie one, to the trew vse of perfite Imitation.
Whan M. Watson in S. Iohns College at Cambrige wrote his
excellent Tragedie of Absalon, M. Cheke, he and I, for that part
of trew Imitation, had many pleasant talkes togither, in com-
paring the preceptes of Aristotle and Horace de Arte Poetica,
with the examples of Euripides, Sophocles, and Seneca. Few
men, in writyng of Tragedies in our dayes, haue shot at this
marke. Some in England, moe in France, Germanie, and Italie,
also haue written Tragedies in our tyme: of the which, not
one I am sure is able to abyde the trew touch of Aristotles
preceptes, and Euripides examples, saue only two, that euer I
saw, M. Watsons Absalon, and Georgius Buckananus Iephthe.
One man in Cambrige, well liked of many, but best liked of
him selfe, was many tymes bold and busie, to bryng matters
vpon stages, which he called Tragedies. In one, wherby he
looked to wynne his spurres, and whereat many ignorant felowes
fast clapped their handes, he began the Protasis with Trochæijs
Octonarijs
: which kinde of verse, as it is but seldome and rare
in Tragedies, so is it neuer vsed, saue onelie in Epitasi: whan
the Tragedie is hiest and hotest, and full of greatest troubles.
I remember ful well what M. Watson merelie sayd vnto me of
his blindnesse and boldnes in that behalfe although otherwise,
there passed much frendship betwene them. M. Watson had an
other maner care of perfection, with a feare and reuerence of
the iudgement of the best learned: Who to this day would
neuer suffer, yet his Absalon to go abroad, and that onelie,
bicause, in locis paribus, Anapestus is twise or thrise vsed in stede
of Iambus. A smal faulte, and such one, as perchance would
neuer be marked, no neither in Italie nor France. This I write,
not so much, to note the first, or praise the last, as to leaue in


the ready way to the Latin tong. 285

memorie of writing, for good example to posteritie, what
perfection, in any tyme, was, most diligentlie sought for in like
maner, in all kinde of learnyng, in that most worthie College
of S. Iohns in Cambrige.

{Diaria.
{Annales.
Historicum in {Commentarios.
{Iustam Historiam.

For what proprietie in wordes, simplicitie in sentences,
plainnesse and light, is cumelie for these kindes, Cæsar and
Liuie, for the two last, are perfite examples of Imitation: And
for the two first, the old paternes be lost, and as for some that
be present and of late tyme, they be fitter to be read once for
some pleasure, than oft to be perused, for any good Imitation of
them.

Philosophicum in {Sermonem, as officia Cic. et Eth. Arist.
{Contentionem.

As, the Dialoges of Plato, Xenophon, and Cicero: of which
kinde of learnyng, and right Imitation therof, Carolus Sigonius
hath written of late, both learnedlie and eloquentlie: but best
of all my frende Ioan. Sturmius in hys Commentaries vpon
Gorgias Platonis, which booke I haue in writyng, and is not yet
set out in Print.

{Humile.
Oratorium in {Mediocre.
{Sublime.

Examples of these three, in the Greke tong, be plentifull &
perfite, as Lycias, Isocrates, and Demosthenes: and // Lisias.
all three, in onelie Demosthenes, in diuerse orations // Isocrates.
as contra Olimpiodorum, in leptinem, & pro Ctesi- // Demost.
phonte. And trew it is, that Hermogines writeth
of Demosthenes, that all formes of Eloquence be perfite in him.
In Ciceroes Orations, Medium & sublime be most // Cicero.
excellentlie handled, but Humile in his Orations,
is seldome sene: yet neuerthelesse in other bookes, as in some
part of his offices, & specially in Partitionibus, he is comparable
in hoc humili & disciplinabili genere, euen with the best that euer


286 The second booke teachyng

wrote in Greke. But of Cicero more fullie in fitter place. And
thus, the trew difference of stiles, in euerie Author, and euerie
kinde of learnyng may easelie be knowne by this diuision.

{Poeticum.
{Historicum.
in Genus {Philosophicum.
{Oratorium.

Which I thought in this place to touch onelie, not to
prosecute at large, bicause, God willyng, in the Latin tong,
I will fullie handle it, in my booke de Imitatione.
Now, to touch more particularlie, which of those Authors,
that be now most commonlie in mens handes, will sone affourd
you some peece of Eloquence, and what maner a peece of
eloquence, and what is to be liked and folowed, and what to
be misliked and eschewed in them: and how some agayne will
furnish you fully withall, rightly, and wisely considered, som-
what I will write as I haue heard Syr Ihon Cheke many tymes
say.
The Latin tong, concerning any part of purenesse of it,
from the spring, to the decay of the same, did not endure moch
longer, than is the life of a well aged man, scarse one hundred
yeares from the tyme of the last Scipio Africanus and Lælius, to
the Empire of Augustus. And it is notable, that Velleius Pater-
culus
writeth of Tullie, how that the perfection of eloquence did
so remayne onelie in him and in his time, as before him, were
few, which might moch delight a man, or after him any, worthy
admiration, but soch as Tullie might haue seene, and such as
might haue seene Tullie. And good cause why: for no perfec-
tion is durable. Encrease hath a time, & decay likewise, but
all perfit ripenesse remaineth but a moment: as is plainly seen
in fruits, plummes and cherries: but more sensibly in flowers,
as Roses & such like, and yet as trewlie in all greater matters.
For what naturallie, can go no hier, must naturallie yeld &
stoup againe.
Of this short tyme of any purenesse of the Latin tong, for
the first fortie yeare of it, and all the tyme before, we haue no
peece of learning left, saue Plautus and Terence, with a litle
rude vnperfit pamflet of the elder Cato. And as for Plautus,
except the scholemaster be able to make wise and ware choice,


the ready way to the Latin tong. 287

first in proprietie of wordes, than in framing of Phrases and
sentences, and chieflie in choice of honestie of matter, your
scholer were better to play, then learne all that is in him. But
surelie, if iudgement for the tong, and direction for the maners,
be wisely ioyned with the diligent reading of Plautus, than
trewlie Plautus, for that purenesse of the Latin tong in Rome,
whan Rome did most florish in wel doing, and so thereby, in
well speaking also, is soch a plentifull storehouse, for common
eloquence, in meane matters, and all priuate mens affaires, as
the Latin tong, for that respect, hath not the like agayne.
Whan I remember the worthy tyme of Rome, wherein Plautus
did liue, I must nedes honor the talke of that tyme, which we
see Plautus doth vse.
Terence is also a storehouse of the same tong, for an other
tyme, following soone after, & although he be not so full &
plentiful as Plautus is, for multitude of matters, & diuersitie of
wordes, yet his wordes, be chosen so purelie, placed so orderly,
and all his stuffe so neetlie packed vp, and wittely compassed in
euerie place, as, by all wise mens iudgement, he is counted the
cunninger workeman, and to haue his shop, for the rowme that
is in it, more finely appointed, and trimlier ordered, than
Plautus is.
Three thinges chiefly, both in Plautus and Terence, are to
be specially considered. The matter, the vtterance, the words,
the meter. The matter in both, is altogether within the
compasse of the meanest mens maners, and doth not stretch
to any thing of any great weight at all, but standeth chiefly in
vtteryng the thoughtes and conditions of hard fathers, foolish
mothers, vnthrifty yong men, craftie seruantes, sotle bawdes,
and wilie harlots, and so, is moch spent, in finding out fine
fetches, and packing vp pelting matters, soch as in London
commonlie cum to the hearing of the Masters of Bridewell.
Here is base stuffe for that scholer, that should becum hereafter,
either a good minister in Religion, or a Ciuill Ientleman in
seruice of his Prince and contrie: except the preacher do know
soch matters to confute them, whan ignorance surelie in all soch
thinges were better for a Ciuill Ientleman, than knowledge.
And thus, for matter, both Plautus and Terence, be like meane
painters, that worke by halfes, and be cunning onelie, in making
the worst part of the picture, as if one were skilfull in painting


288 The second booke teachyng

the bodie of a naked person, from the nauell downward, but
nothing else.
For word and speach, Plautus is more plentifull, and Terence
more pure and proper: And for one respect, Terence is to be
embraced aboue all that euer wrote in hys kinde of argument:
Bicause it is well known, by good recorde of learning, and that
by Ciceroes owne witnes that some Comedies bearyng Terence
name, were written by worthy Scipio, and wise Lælius, and
namely Heauton: and Adelphi. And therefore as oft as I reade
those Comedies, so oft doth sound in myne eare, the pure fine
talke of Rome, which was vsed by the floure of the worthiest
nobilitie that euer Rome bred. Let the wisest man, and best
learned that liueth, read aduisedlie ouer, the first scene of
Heauton, and the first scene of Adelphi, and let him consideratlie
iudge, whether it is the talke of a seruile stranger borne, or
rather euen that milde eloquent wise speach, which Cicero in
Brutus doth so liuely expresse in Lælius. And yet neuerthelesse,
in all this good proprietie of wordes, and purenesse of phrases
which be in Terence, ye must not follow him alwayes in placing
of them, bicause for the meter sake, some wordes in him,
somtyme, be driuen awrie, which require a straighter placing in
plaine prose, if ye will forme, as I would ye should do, your
speach and writing, to that excellent perfitnesse, which was
onely in Tullie, or onelie in Tullies tyme.
The meter and verse of Plautus and Terence be verie meane,
Meter in // and not to be followed: which is not their reproch,
Plautus & // but the fault of the tyme, wherein they wrote, whan
Terence. // no kinde of Poetrie, in the Latin tong, was brought
to perfection, as doth well appeare in the fragmentes
of Ennius, Cæcilius, and others, and euidentlie in Plautus &
Terence, if thies in Latin be compared with right skil, with Homer,
Euripides, Aristophanes, and other in Greeke of like sort. Cicero
him selfe doth complaine of this vnperfitnes, but more plainly
Quintilian, saying, in Comœdia maximè claudicamus, et vix leuem
consequimur vmbram
: and most earnestly of all Horace in Arte
Poetica
, which he doth namely propter carmen Iambicum, and
referreth all good studentes herein to the Imitation of the Greeke
tong, saying.
Exemplaria Græca
nocturna versate manu, versate diurna.



the ready way to the Latin tong. 289

This matter maketh me gladly remember, my sweete tyme
spent at Cambrige, and the pleasant talke which I had oft with
M. Cheke, and M. Watson, of this fault, not onely in the olde
Latin Poets, but also in our new English Rymers at this day.
They wished as Virgil and Horace were not wedded to follow
the faultes of former fathers (a shrewd mariage in greater
matters) but by right Imitation of the perfit Grecians, had
brought Poetrie to perfitnesse also in the Latin tong, that we
Englishmen likewise would acknowledge and vnderstand right-
fully our rude beggerly ryming, brought first into Italie by
Gothes and Hunnes, whan all good verses and all good learning
to, were destroyd by them: and after caryed into France and
Germanie: and at last, receyued into England by men of
excellent wit in deede, but of small learning, and lesse iudge-
ment in that behalfe.
But now, when men know the difference, and haue the
examples, both of the best, and of the worst, surelie, to follow
rather the Gothes in Ryming, than the Greekes in trew versifiyng,
were euen to eate ackornes with swyne, when we may freely
eate wheate bread emonges men. In deede, Chauser, Th.
Norton
, of Bristow, my L. of Surrey, M. Wiat, Th. Phaer,
and other Ientlemen, in translating Ouide, Palingenius, and
Seneca, haue gonne as farre to their great praise, as the copie
they followed could cary them, but, if soch good wittes, and
forward diligence, had bene directed to follow the best examples,
and not haue bene caryed by tyme and custome, to content
themselues with that barbarous and rude Ryming, emonges
their other worthy praises, which they haue iustly deserued,
this had not bene the least, to be counted emonges men of
learning and skill, more like vnto the Grecians, than vnto the
Gothians, in handling of their verse.
In deed, our English tong, hauing in vse chiefly, wordes of
one syllable which commonly be long, doth not well receiue the
nature of Carmen Heroicum, bicause dactylus, the aptest foote
for that verse, conteining one long & two short, is seldom there-
fore found in English: and doth also rather stumble than stand
vpon Monosyllabis. Quintilian in hys learned Chapiter // hand.gif
de Compositione, geueth this lesson de Monosyllabis,
before me: and in the same place doth iustlie inuey against all
Ryming, that if there be any, who be angrie with me, for


290 The second booke teachyng

misliking of Ryming, may be angry for company to, with
Quintilian also, for the same thing: And yet Quintilian had
not so iust cause to mislike of it than, as men haue at this day.
And although Carmen Exametrum doth rather trotte and
hoble, than runne smothly in our English tong, yet I am sure,
our English tong will receiue carmen Iambicum as naturallie, as
either Greke or Latin. But for ignorance, men can not like, &
for idlenes, men will not labor, to cum to any perfitenes at all.
For, as the worthie Poetes in Athens and Rome, were more
carefull to satisfie the iudgement of one learned, than rashe in
pleasing the humor of a rude multitude, euen so if men in
England now, had the like reuerend regard to learning skill and
iudgement, and durst not presume to write, except they came
with the like learnyng, and also did vse like diligence, in
searchyng out, not onelie iust measure in euerie meter, as euerie
ignorant person may easely do, but also trew quantitie in euery
foote and sillable, as onelie the learned shalbe able to do, and as
the Grekes and Romanes were wont to do, surelie than rash
ignorant heads, which now can easely recken vp fourten sillables,
and easelie stumble on euery Ryme, either durst not, for lacke
of such learnyng: or els would not, in auoyding such labor, be
hand.gif // so busie, as euerie where they be: and shoppes in
London should not be so full of lewd and rude
rymes, as commonlie they are. But now, the ripest of tong,
be readiest to write: And many dayly in setting out bookes and
balettes make great shew of blossomes and buddes, in whom is
neither, roote of learning, nor frute of wisedome at all. Some that
make Chaucer in English and Petrarch in Italian, their Gods in
verses, and yet be not able to make trew difference, what is
a fault, and what is a iust prayse, in those two worthie wittes,
will moch mislike this my writyng. But such men be euen
like followers of Chaucer and Petrarke, as one here in England
did folow Syr Tho. More: who, being most vnlike vnto him, in
wit and learnyng, neuertheles in wearing his gowne awrye vpon
the one shoulder, as Syr Tho. More was wont to do, would
nedes be counted lyke vnto him.
This mislikyng of Ryming, beginneth not now of any
newfangle singularitie, but hath bene long misliked of many,
and that of men, of greatest learnyng, and deepest iudgement.
And soch, that defend it, do so, either for lacke of knowledge


the ready way to the Latin tong. 291

what is best, or els of verie enuie, that any should performe that
in learnyng, whereunto they, as I sayd before, either for
ignorance, can not, or for idlenes will not, labor to attaine vnto.
And you that prayse this Ryming, bicause ye neither haue
reason, why to like it, nor can shew learning to defend it, yet I
will helpe you, with the authoritie of the oldest and learnedst
tyme. In Grece, whan Poetrie was euen at the hiest pitch of per-
fitnes, one Simmias Rhodius of a certaine singularitie wrote a
booke in ryming Greke verses, naming it oon, conteyning the
fable, how Iupiter in likenes of a swan, gat that egge vpon Leda,
whereof came Castor, Pollux and faire Elena. This booke was
so liked, that it had few to read it, but none to folow it:
But was presentlie contemned: and sone after, both Author and
booke, so forgotten by men, and consumed by tyme, as scarse
the name of either is kept in memorie of learnyng: And the like
folie was neuer folowed of any, many hondred yeares after
vntill ye Hunnes and Gothians, and other barbarous nations, of
ignorance and rude singularitie, did reuiue the same folie agayne.
The noble Lord Th. Earle of Surrey, first of all English
men, in translating the fourth booke of Virgill: // The Earle of
and Gonsaluo Periz that excellent learned man, // Surrey.
and Secretarie to kyng Philip of Spaine, in // Gonsaluo
translating the Vlisses of Homer out of Greke into // Periz.
Spanish, haue both, by good iudgement, auoyded the fault of
Ryming, yet neither of them hath fullie hite perfite and trew
versifiyng. In deede, they obserue iust number, and euen feete:
but here is the fault, that their feete: be feete without ioyntes,
that is to say, not distinct by trew quantitie of sillables: And so,
soch feete, be but numme feete: and be, euen as vnfitte for
a verse to turne and runne roundly withall, as feete of brasse or
wood be vnweeldie to go well withall. And as a foote of wood,
is a plaine shew of a manifest maime, euen so feete, in our
English versifiing, without quantitie and ioyntes, be sure signes,
that the verse is either, borne deformed, vnnaturall and lame,
and so verie vnseemlie to looke vpon, except to men that be
gogle eyed them selues.
The spying of this fault now is not the curiositie of English
eyes, but euen the good iudgement also of the best // Senese
that write in these dayes in Italie: and namelie of // Felice
that worthie Senese Felice Figliucci, who, writyng // Figliucci.


292 The second booke teachyng

vpon Aristotles Ethickes so excellentlie in Italian, as neuer did yet
any one in myne opinion either in Greke or Latin, amongest
other thynges doth most earnestlie inuey agaynst the rude
ryming of verses in that tong: And whan soeuer he expresseth
Aristotles preceptes, with any example, out of Homer or
Euripides, he translateth them, not after the Rymes of Petrarke,
but into soch kinde of perfite verse, with like feete and quantitie
of sillables, as he found them before in the Greke tonge: ex-
hortyng earnestlie all the Italian nation, to leaue of their rude
barbariousnesse in ryming, and folow diligently the excellent
Greke and Latin examples, in trew versifiyng.
And you, that be able to vnderstand no more, then ye finde
in the Italian tong: and neuer went farder than the schole of
Petrarke and Ariostus abroad, or els of Chaucer at home though
you haue pleasure to wander blindlie still in your foule wrong
way, enuie not others, that seeke, as wise men haue done before
them, the fairest and rightest way: or els, beside the iust
reproch of malice, wisemen shall trewlie iudge, that you do so,
as I haue sayd and say yet agayne vnto you, bicause, either, for
idlenes ye will not, or for ignorance ye can not, cum by no
better your selfe.
And therfore euen as Virgill and Horace deserue most
worthie prayse, that they spying the vnperfitnes in Ennius and
Plautus, by trew Imitation of Homer and Euripides, brought
Poetrie to the same perfitnes in Latin, as it was in Greke, euen
so those, that by the same way would benefite their tong
and contrey, deserue rather thankes than disprayse in that
behalfe.
And I rejoyce, that euen poore England preuented Italie,
first in spying out, than in seekyng to amend this fault in
learnyng.
And here, for my pleasure I purpose a litle, by the way, to
play and sporte with my Master Tully: from whom commonlie
I am neuer wont to dissent. He him selfe, for this point of
learnyng, in his verses doth halt a litle by his leaue. He could
not denie it, if he were aliue, nor those defend hym now that
Tullies // loue him best. This fault I lay to his charge:
saying a- // bicause once it pleased him, though somwhat
gainst Eng- // merelie, yet oueruncurteslie, to rayle vpon poore
land. // England, obiecting both, extreme beggerie, and


the ready way to the Latin tong. 293

mere barbariousnes vnto it, writyng thus vnto his frend Atticus:
There is not one scruple of siluer in that whole // Ad Att.
Isle, or any one that knoweth either learnyng or // Lib. iv. Ep.
letter. // 16.
But now master Cicero, blessed be God, and his sonne Iesu
Christ, whom you neuer knew, except it were as it pleased him
to lighten you by some shadow, as couertlie in one place ye
confesse saying: Veritatis tantum vmbram consectamur, // Offic.
as your Master Plato did before you: blessed be
God, I say, that sixten hundred yeare after you were dead and
gone, it may trewly be sayd, that for siluer, there is more
cumlie plate, in one Citie of England, than is in foure of the
proudest Cities in all Italie, and take Rome for one of them.
And for learnyng, beside the knowledge of all learned tongs and
liberall sciences, euen your owne bookes Cicero, be as well read,
and your excellent eloquence is as well liked and loued, and as
trewlie folowed in England at this day, as it is now, or euer
was, sence your owne tyme, in any place of Italie, either at
Arpinum, where ye were borne, or els at Rome where ye were
brought vp. And a litle to brag with you Cicero, where you
your selfe, by your leaue, halted in some point of learnyng in
your owne tong, many in England at this day go streight vp,
both in trewe skill, and right doing therein.
This I write, not to reprehend Tullie, whom, aboue all
other, I like and loue best, but to excuse Terence, because in his
tyme, and a good while after, Poetrie was neuer perfited in
Latin vntill by trew Imitation of the Grecians, it was at length
brought to perfection: And also thereby to exhorte the goodlie
wittes of England, which apte by nature, & willing by desire,
geue them selues to Poetrie, that they, rightly vnderstanding the
barbarous bringing in of Rymes, would labor, as Virgil and
Horace did in Latin, to make perfit also this point of learning,
in our English tong.
And thus much for Plautus and Terence, for matter, tong, and
meter, what is to be followed, and what to be exchewed in them.
After Plautus and Terence, no writing remayneth vntill
Tullies tyme, except a fewe short fragmentes of L. Crassus
excellent wit, here and there recited of Cicero for example sake,
whereby the louers of learnyng may the more lament the losse
of soch a worthie witte.


294 The second booke teachyng

And although the Latin tong did faire blome and blossome
in L. Crassus, and M. Antonius, yet in Tullies tyme onely, and
in Tullie himselfe chieflie, was the Latin tong fullie ripe, and
growne to the hiest pitch of all perfection.
And yet in the same tyme, it began to fade and stoupe, as
Tullie him selfe, in Brutus de Claris Oratoribus, with weeping
wordes doth witnesse.
And bicause, emongs them of that tyme, there was some
difference, good reason is, that of them of that tyme, should be
made right choice also. And yet let the best Ciceronian in
Italie read Tullies familiar epistles aduisedly ouer, and I beleue
he shall finde small difference, for the Latin tong, either in
propriety of wordes or framing of the stile, betwixt Tullie, and
those that write vnto him. As ser. Sulpitius, A. Cecinna,
M. Cælius, M. et D. Bruti, A. Pollio, L. Plancus
, and diuerse
Epi. Planci // other: read the epistles of L. Plancus in x. Lib.
x. lib. Epist. // and for an assay, that Epistle namely to the Coss.
8. // and whole Senate, the eight Epistle in number,
and what could be, eyther more eloquentlie, or more wiselie
written, yea by Tullie himselfe, a man may iustly doubt. Thies
men and Tullie, liued all in one tyme, were like in authoritie,
not vnlike in learning and studie, which might be iust causes of
this their equalitie in writing: And yet surely, they neyther
were in deed, nor yet were counted in mens opinions, equall
with Tullie in that facultie. And how is the difference hid in
his Epistles? verelie, as the cunning of an expert Sea man, in
a faire calme fresh Ryuer, doth litle differ from the doing of
a meaner workman therein, euen so, in the short cut of a
priuate letter, where, matter is common, wordes easie, and
order not moch diuerse, small shew of difference can appeare.
But where Tullie doth set vp his saile of eloquence, in some
broad deep Argument, caried with full tyde and winde, of his
witte and learnyng, all other may rather stand and looke after
him, than hope to ouertake him, what course so euer he hold,
either in faire or foule. Foure men onely whan the Latin tong
was full ripe, be left vnto vs, who in that tyme did florish, and
did leaue to posteritie, the fruite of their witte and learning:
Varro, Salust, Cæsar, and Cicero. Whan I say, these foure
onely, I am not ignorant, that euen in the same tyme, most
excellent Poetes, deseruing well of the Latin tong, as Lucretius,


the ready way to the Latin tong. 295

Cattullus, Virgill and Horace, did write: But, bicause, in this
litle booke, I purpose to teach a yong scholer, to go, not to
daunce: to speake, not to sing, whan Poetes in deed, namelie
Epici and Lyrici, as these be, are fine dauncers, and trime
singers, but Oratores and Historici be those cumlie goers, and
faire and wise speakers, of whom I wishe my scholer to wayte
vpon first, and after in good order, & dew tyme, to be brought
forth, to the singing and dauncing schole: And for this consi-
deration, do I name these foure, to be the onelie writers of that
tyme.


Varro.

Varro, in his bookes de lingua Latina, et Analogia as these be
left mangled and patched vnto vs, doth not enter // Varro.
there in to any great depth of eloquence, but as
one caried in a small low vessell him selfe verie nie the common
shore, not much vnlike the fisher men of Rye, and Hering men
of Yarmouth. Who deserue by common mens opinion, small
commendacion, for any cunning saling at all, yet neuertheles
in those bookes of Varro good and necessarie stuffe, for that
meane kinde of Argument, be verie well and learnedlie gathered
togither.
His bookes of Husbandrie, are moch to be regarded, and
diligentlie to be read, not onelie for the proprietie, // De Rep.
but also for the plentie of good wordes, in all // Rustica.
contrey and husbandmens affaires: which can not
be had, by so good authoritie, out of any other Author, either
of so good a tyme, or of so great learnyng, as out of Varro.
And yet bicause, he was fourescore yeare old, whan he wrote
those bookes, the forme of his style there compared with Tullies
writyng, is but euen the talke of a spent old man: whose
wordes commonlie fall out of his mouth, though verie wiselie,
yet hardly and coldie, and more heauelie also, than some eares
can well beare, except onelie for age, and authorities sake. And
perchance, in a rude contrey argument, of purpose and iudge-
ment, he rather vsed, the speach of the contrey, than talke of
the Citie.
And so, for matter sake, his wordes sometyme, be somewhat
rude: and by the imitation of the elder Cato, old and out of vse:


296 The second booke teachyng

And beyng depe stept in age, by negligence some wordes do so
scape & fall from him in those bookes, as be not worth the
Lib. 3. // taking vp, by him, that is carefull to speake or
Cap. 1. // write trew Latin, as that sentence in him, Romani,
in pace à rusticis alebantur, et in bello ab his tuebantur
.
A good student must be therfore carefull and diligent, to read
with iudgement ouer euen those Authors, which did write in the
most perfite tyme: and let him not be affrayd to trie them,
both in proprietie of wordes, and forme of style, by the touch
stone of Cæsar and Cicero, whose puritie was neuer soiled, no
not by the sentence of those, that loued them worst.
All louers of learnyng may sore lament the losse of those
The loue // bookes of Varro, which he wrote in his yong and
of Var- // lustie yeares, with good leysure, and great learnyng
roes // of all partes of Philosophie: of the goodliest argu-
bookes. // mentes, perteyning both to the common wealth,
and priuate life of man, as, de Ratione studij, et educandis liberis,
which booke, is oft recited, and moch praysed, in the fragmentes
of Nonius, euen for authoritie sake. He wrote most diligentlie
and largelie, also the whole historie of the state of Rome: the
mysteries of their whole Religion: their lawes, customes, and
gouernement in peace: their maners, and whole discipline in
warre: And this is not my gessing, as one in deed that neuer
saw those bookes, but euen, the verie iudgement, & playne
testimonie of Tullie him selfe, who knew & read those bookes,
in these wordes: Tu ætatem Patriæ: Tu descriptiones temporum:
In Acad. // Tu sacrorum, tu sacerdotum Iura: Tu domesticam,
Quest. // tu bellicam disciplinam: Tu sedem Regionum, locorum,
tu omnium diuinarum humanarumque rerum nomina,
genera, officia, causas aperuisti. &c.

But this great losse of Varro, is a litle recompensed by the
happy comming of Dionysius Halicarnassæus to Rome in
Augustus dayes: who getting the possession of Varros librarie,
out of that treasure house of learning, did leaue vnto vs some
frute of Varros witte and diligence, I meane, his goodlie bookes
de Antiquitatibus Romanorum. Varro was so estemed for his
excellent learnyng, as Tullie him selfe had a reuerence to his
Cic. ad // iudgement in all doutes of learnyng. And
Att. // Antonius Triumuir, his enemie, and of a contrarie
faction, who had power to kill and bannish whom


the ready way to the Latin tong. 297

he listed, whan Varros name amongest others was brought in a
schedule vnto him, to be noted to death, he tooke his penne and
wrote his warrant of sauegard with these most goodlie wordes,
Viuat Varro vir doctissimus. In later tyme, no man knew better,
nor liked and loued more Varros learnyng, than did S. Augustine,
as they do well vnderstand, that haue diligentlie read ouer his
learned bookes de Ciuitate Dei: Where he hath this most
notable sentence: Whan I see, how much Varro wrote, I
meruell much, that euer he had any leasure to read: and whan
I perceiue how many thinges he read, I meruell more, that euer
he had any leasure to write. &c.
And surelie, if Varros bookes had remained to posteritie, as
by Gods prouidence, the most part of Tullies did, than trewlie
the Latin tong might haue made good comparison with the
Greke.


Saluste.

Salust, is a wise and worthy writer: but he requireth
a learned Reader, and a right considerer of him. // Salust.
My dearest frend, and best master that euer I had // Syr Iohn
or heard in learning, Syr I. Cheke, soch a man, as // Chekes
if I should liue to see England breed the like // iudgement
againe, I feare, I should liue ouer long, did once // and coun-
giue me a lesson for Salust, which, as I shall neuer // sell for rea-
forget my selfe, so is it worthy to be remembred // dyng of
of all those, that would cum to perfite iudgement // Saluste.
of the Latin tong. He said, that Salust was not verie fitte for
yong men, to learne out of him, the puritie of the Latin tong:
because, he was not the purest in proprietie of wordes, nor
choisest in aptnes of phrases, nor the best in framing of
sentences: and therefore is his writing, sayd he neyther plaine
for the matter, nor sensible for mens vnderstanding. And what
is the cause thereof, Syr, quoth I. Verilie said he, bicause in
Salust writing, is more Arte than nature, and more labor than
Arte: and in his labor also, to moch toyle, as it were, with an
vncontented care to write better than he could, a fault common
to very many men. And therefore he doth not expresse the
matter liuely and naturally with common speach as ye see
Xenophon doth in Greeke, but it is caried and driuen forth


298 The second booke teachyng

artificiallie, after to learned a sorte, as Thucydides doth in his
orations. And how cummeth it to passe, sayd I, that Cæsar
and Ciceroes talke, is so naturall & plaine, and Salust writing so
artificiall and darke, whan all they three liued in one tyme?
I will freelie tell you my fansie herein, said he: surely, Cæsar
and Cicero, beside a singular prerogatiue of naturall eloquence
geuen vnto them by God, both two, by vse of life, were daylie
orators emonges the common people, and greatest councellers in
the Senate house: and therefore gaue themselues to vse soch
speach as the meanest should well vnderstand, and the wisest
best allow: folowing carefullie that good councell of Aristotle,
loquendum vt multi, sapiendum vt pauci. Salust was no soch man,
neyther for will to goodnes, nor skill by learning: but ill geuen
by nature, and made worse by bringing vp, spent the most part
of his yougth very misorderly in ryot and lechery. In the
company of soch, who, neuer geuing theyr mynde to honest
doyng, could neuer inure their tong to wise speaking. But at
last cummyng to better yeares, and bying witte at the dearest
hand, that is, by long experience of the hurt and shame that
commeth of mischeif, moued, by the councell of them that
were wise, and caried by the example of soch as were good,
first fell to honestie of life, and after to the loue of studie and
learning: and so became so new a man, that Cæsar being
dictator, made him Pretor in Numidia where he absent from his
contrie, and not inured with the common talke of Rome, but
shut vp in his studie, and bent wholy to reading, did write the
storie of the Romanes. And for the better accomplishing of
the same, he red Cato and Piso in Latin for gathering of matter
and troth: and Thucydides in Greeke for the order of his storie,
and furnishing of his style. Cato (as his tyme required) had
more troth for the matter, than eloquence for the style. And
so Salust, by gathering troth out of Cato, smelleth moch of the
roughnes of his style: euen as a man that eateth garlike for
helth, shall cary away with him the sauor of it also, whether he
will or not. And yet the vse of old wordes is not the greatest
cause of Salustes roughnes and darknesse: There be in Salust
Lib. 8. // some old wordes in deed as patrare bellum, ductare
Cap. 3. // exercitum, well noted by Quintilian, and verie
De Orna- // much misliked of him: and supplicium for suppli-
tu. // catio, a word smellyng of an older store than the


the ready way to the Latin tong. 299

other two so misliked by Quint: And yet is that word also in
Varro, speaking of Oxen thus, boues ad victimas faciunt, atque ad
Deorum supplicia
: and a few old wordes mo. Read Saluste and
Tullie aduisedly together: and in wordes ye shall finde small
difference: yea Salust is more geuen to new wordes, than to
olde, though som olde writers say the contrarie: as Claritudo
for Gloria: exactè for perfectè: Facundia for
eloquentia. Thies
two last wordes exactè and facundia now in euery mans mouth,
be neuer (as I do remember) vsed of Tullie, and therefore
I thinke they be not good: For surely Tullie speaking euery
where so moch of the matter of eloquence, would not so
precisely haue absteyned from the word Facundia, if it had
bene good: that is proper for the tong, & common for mens
vse. I could be long, in reciting many soch like, both olde &
new wordes in Salust: but in very dede neyther oldnes nor
newnesse of wordes maketh the greatest difference // The cause why
betwixt Salust and Tullie, but first strange phrases // Salust is not
made of good Latin wordes, but framed after the // like Tully.
Greeke tonge, which be neyther choisly borowed of them, nor
properly vsed by him: than, a hard composition and crooked
framing of his wordes and sentences, as a man would say,
English talke placed and framed outlandish like. As for
example first in phrases, nimius et animus be two vsed wordes,
yet homo nimius animi, is an vnused phrase. Vulgus, et amat, et
fieri
, be as common and well known wordes, as may be in the
Latin tong, yet id quod vulgò amat fieri, for solet fieri, is but
a strange and grekish kind of writing. Ingens et vires be
proper wordes, yet vir ingens virium is an vnproper kinde of
speaking and so be likewise,

{æger consilij.
{promptissimus belli.
{territus animi.

and many soch like phrases in Salust, borowed as I sayd not
choisly out of Greeke, and vsed therefore vnproperlie in Latin.
Againe, in whole sentences, where the matter is good, the
wordes proper and plaine, yet the sense is hard and darke, and
namely in his prefaces and orations, wherein he vsed most
labor, which fault is likewise in Thucydides in Greeke, of whom
Salust hath taken the greatest part of his darkenesse. For


300 The second booke teachyng

Thucydides likewise wrote his storie, not at home in Grece, but
abrode in Italie, and therefore smelleth of a certaine outlandish
kinde of talke, strange to them of Athens, and diuerse from their
writing, that liued in Athens and Grece, and wrote the same
tyme that Thucydides did, as Lysias, Xenophon, Plato, and
Isocrates, the purest and playnest writers, that euer wrote in any
tong, and best examples for any man to follow whether he
write, Latin, Italian, French, or English. Thucydides also
semeth in his writing, not so much benefited by nature, as
holpen by Arte, and caried forth by desire, studie, labor, toyle,
and ouer great curiositie: who spent xxvii. yeares in writing his
eight bookes of his history. Salust likewise wrote out of his
Dionys. // contrie, and followed the faultes of Thuc. to
Halycar. // moch: and boroweth of him som kinde of writing,
ad Q. / which the Latin tong can not well beare, as Casus
Tub. de // nominatiuus in diuerse places absolutè positus, as in
Hist. Thuc. // that place of Iugurth, speaking de leptitanis, itaque ab
imperatore facilè quæ petebant adepti, missæ sunt eò cohortes
ligurum
quatuor
. This thing in participles, vsed so oft in Thucyd. and other
Greeke authors to, may better be borne with all, but Salust vseth
the same more strangelie and boldlie, as in thies wordes, Multis
sibi quisque imperium petentibus
. I beleue, the best Grammarien in
England can scarse giue a good reule, why quisque the nominatiue
case, without any verbe, is so thrust vp amongest so many
oblique cases. Some man perchance will smile, and laugh to
scorne this my writyng, and call it idle curiositie, thus to busie
my selfe in pickling about these small pointes of Grammer, not
fitte for my age, place and calling, to trifle in: I trust that man,
be he neuer so great in authoritie, neuer so wise and learned,
either, by other mens iudgement, or his owne opinion, will yet
thinke, that he is not greater in England, than Tullie was at
Rome, not yet wiser, nor better learned than Tullie was him
selfe, who, at the pitch of three score yeares, in the middes of
the broyle betwixt Cæsar and Pompeie, whan he knew not,
whether to send wife & children, which way to go, where to
hide him selfe, yet, in an earnest letter, amongest his earnest
Ad Att. // councelles for those heuie tymes concerning both
Lib. 7. Epi- // the common state of his contrey, and his owne
stola. 3. // priuate great affaires he was neither vnmyndfull
nor ashamed to reason at large, and learne gladlie of Atticus,


the ready way to the Latin tong. 301

a lesse point of Grammer than these be, noted of me in Salust,
as, whether he should write, ad Piræea, in Piræea, or in
Piræeum
, or Piræeum sine præpositione: And in those heuie
tymes, he was so carefull to know this small point of Grammer,
that he addeth these wordes Si hoc mihi zetema persolueris,
magna me molestia liberaris
. If Tullie, at that age, in that
authoritie, in that care for his contrey, in that ieoperdie for him
selfe, and extreme necessitie of hys dearest frendes, beyng also
the Prince of Eloquence hym selfe, was not ashamed to descend
to these low pointes of Grammer, in his owne naturall tong,
what should scholers do, yea what should any man do, if he do
thinke well doyng, better than ill doyng: And had rather be,
perfite than meane, sure than doutefull, to be what he should
be, in deed, not seeme what he is not, in opinion. He that
maketh perfitnes in the Latin tong his marke, must cume to it
by choice & certaine knowledge, not stumble vpon it by chance
and doubtfull ignorance: And the right steppes to reach vnto it,
be these, linked thus orderlie together, aptnes of nature, loue of
learnyng, diligence in right order, constancie with pleasant
moderation, and alwayes to learne of them that be best, and so
shall you iudge as they that be wisest. And these be those
reules, which worthie Master Cheke dyd impart vnto me con-
cernyng Salust, and the right iudgement of the Latin tong.


Cæsar.

Cæsar for that litle of him, that is left vnto vs, is like the
halfe face of a Venus, the other part of the head beyng hidden,
the bodie and the rest of the members vnbegon, yet so
excellentlie done by Apelles, as all men may stand still to mase
and muse vpon it, and no man step forth with any hope to
performe the like.
His seuen bookes de bello Gallico, and three de bello Ciuili, be
written, so wiselie for the matter, so eloquentlie for the tong,
that neither his greatest enemies could euer finde the least note
of parcialitie in him (a meruelous wisdome of a man, namely
writyng of his owne doynges) nor yet the best iudegers of the
Latin tong, nor the most enuious lookers vpon other mens
writynges, can say any other, but all things be most perfitelie
done by him.


302 The ready way to the Latin tong.

Brutus, Caluus, and Calidius, who found fault with Tullies
fulnes in woordes and matter, and that rightlie, for Tullie did
both, confesse it, and mend it, yet in Cæsar, they neither did,
nor could finde the like, or any other fault.
And therfore thus iustlie I may conclude of Cæsar, that
where, in all other, the best that euer wrote, in any tyme, or in
any tong, in Greke or Latin, I except neither Plato, Demosthenes,
nor Tullie, some fault is iustlie noted, in Cæsar onelie, could
neuer yet fault be found.
Yet neuertheles, for all this perfite excellencie in
him, yet it is but in one member of eloquence, and
that but of one side neither, whan we must
looke for that example to folow, which hath
a perfite head, a whole bodie, forward
and backward, armes and
legges and all.

FINIS.

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