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pastime; I mean nothing less. For it is well known that I both like and love, and have always, and do yet still use all exercises and pastimes that be fit for my nature and ability : and beside natural disposition, in judgement also I was never either stoic in doctrine or anabaptist in religion, to mislike a merry, pleasant, and playful nature, if no outrage be committed against law, measure, and good order.
Therefore I would wish, that beside some good time fitly appointed, and constantly kept, to increase by reading the knowledge of the tongues and learning; young gentlemen should use, and delight in all courtly exercises, and gentlemanlike pastimes. And good cause why: for the self same noble city of Athens, justly commended of me before, did wisely, and upon great consideration, appoint the Muses, Apollo, and Pallas, to be patrons of learning to their youth. For the Muses, besides learning, were also ladies of dancing, mirth, and minstrelsy: Apollo was god of shooting, and author of cunning playing upon instruments ; . Pallas also was lady mistress in wars. Whereby was nothing else meant, but that learning should be always mingled with honest mirth and comely exercises ; and that war also should be governed by learning and moderated by wisdom; as did well appear in those captains of Athens named by me before, and also in Scipio and Cæsar, the two diamonds of Rome. And Pallas was no more feared in wearing ægida, than she was praised for choosing olivam; whereby shineth the glory of learning, which thus was governor and mistress in the noble city of Athens, both of war and peace.
Therefore to ride comely, to run fair at the tilt or ring; to play at all weapons, to shoot fair in bow, or surely in gun; to vault lustily, to run, to leap, to wrestle, to swim; to dance comely, to sing, and play on instruments cunningly; to hawk, to hunt; to play at tennis, and all pastimes generally, which be joined with labour, used in open place, and on the day-light, containing either some fit exercise for war, or some pleasant pastime for peace, be not only comely and decent, but also very necessary for a courtly gentleman to use.
But of all kind of pastimes fit for a gentleman, I will, God willing, in fitter place more at large declare fully, in my book of the Cockpit; which I do write to satisfy some, trust with some reason, that be more curious in marking other men's doings, than careful in mending their own faults. And some also will needs busy themselves in marvelling, and adding thereunto unfriendly talk, why I, a man of good years, and of no ill place, I 'thank God and my prince, do make choice to spend such time in writing of trifles, as the School of Shooting, the Cockpit, and this book of the First Principles of Grammar, rather than to take some weighty matter in hand, either of religion or civil discipline.
Wise men, I know, will well allow of my choice herein ; and as for such who have not wit of themselves, but must learn of others to judge right of men's doings, let them read that wise poet Horace in his Arte Poetica, who willeth men to beware of high and lofty titles. For great ships require costly tackling, and also afterward dangerous government: small boats be neither very chargeable in making, 'nor very oft in great jeopardy; and yet they carry many times as good and costly ware as greater vessels do. A mean argument may easily bear the light burthen of a small fault, and have always at hand a ready excuse for ill handling; and some praise it is, if it so chance, to be better in deed than a man dare venture to seem. A high title doth charge a man with the heavy burthen of too great a promise; and therefore saith Horace, very wittily, that that poet was a very fool, that began his book with a goodly verse indeed, but over proud a promise :
“ Fortunam Priami cantabo, et nobile bellum :" And after as wisely:
“ Quanto rectius hic, qui nil molitur inepte ?” &c. meaning Homer; who, within the compass of a small argument of one harlot and of one good wife, did-utter so much learning in all kind of sciences, as, by the judgement of Quintilian, “ he deserveth so high a praise, that no man yet deserved to sit in the second degree beneath him.". And thus much out of my way, concerning my purpose in spending pen and
paper and time upon trifles; and namely to answer some that have neither wit nor learning to do thing themselves, neither will nor honesty to say well of others.
To join learning with comely exercises, Conto Baldesar Castiglione in his book Cortegiane doth trimly teach ; which
book advisedly read and diligently followed but one year at home in England, would do a young gentleman more good, I wiss, than three years travel abroad spent in Italy. And I marvel this book is no more read in the court than it is, seeing it is so well translated into English by a worthy gentleman, Sir Thomas Hobby, who was many ways well furnished with learning, and very expert in knowledge of divers tongues.
And beside good precepts in books, in all kind of tongues, this court also never lacked many fair examples for young gentlemen to follow : and surely one example is more valu. able, both to good and ill, than twenty precepts written in books; and so Plato, not in one or two, but divers places, doth plainly teach.
If King Edward had lived little longer, his only example had bred such a race of worthy learned gentlemen, as this realm never get did afford.
And in the second degree, two noble primroses of nobi. lity, the young Duke of Suffolk, and Lord Henry Matrevers, were two such examples to the court for learning, as our time may
rather wish than look for again. At Cambridge also, in St. John's college, in my time, I do know, that not so much the good statutes, as two gentlemen of worthy memory, Sir John Cheke and Dr. Redman, by their only example of excellency in learning, of godliness in living, of diligence in studying, of counsel in exhorting, by good order in all things, did breed up so many learned nien in that one college of St. John's at one time, as I believe the whole University of Louvain in many years was never able to afford.
Present examples of this present time I list not to touch ; yet there is one example for all the gentlemen of this court to follow, that may well satisfy them, or nothing will serve them, nor no example move them to goodness and learning.
It is your shame (I speak to you all, you young gentlemen of England) that one maid should go beyond you all in excellency of learning and knowledge of divers tongues.
* This book was soon after (and perhaps the sooner for this great character here given it) translated into excellent Latin by Mr. Clerke, fellow of King's College in Cambridge, with this title, Balthasaris Castilionis Comitis de Curiali, sive Aulico, Libri quatuor, ex Italico Sermone in Latinum conversi.
Point forth six of the best given gentlemen of this court, and all they together show not so much good will, spend not so much time, bestow not so many hours daily, orderly, and constantly, for the increase of learning and knowledge, as doth the Queen's Majesty herself. Yea I believe, that beside her perfect readiness in Latin, Italian, French, and Spanish, * she readeth here now at Windsor more Greek every day, than some prebendary of this church doth read Latin in a whole week. And that which is most praiseworthy of all, within the walls of her privy chamber, she hath obtained that excellency of learning to understand, speak, and write both wittily with head, and fair with hand, as scarce one or two rare wits in both the Universities have in many years reached unto. Amongst all the benefits that God hath blessed me withal, next the knowledge of Christ's true religion, I count this the greatest, that it pleased God to call me to be one poor minister in setting forward these excellent gifts of learning in this most excellent prince; whose only example, if the rest of our nobility would follow, then might England be for learning and wisdom in nobility, a spectacle to all the world beside. But see the mishap of men; the best examples have never such force to move to any goodness, as the bad, vain, light, and fond have to all illness.
And one example, though out of the compass of learning, yet not out of the order of good manners, was notable in this court not fully twenty-four years ago ; when all the acts of parliament, many good proclamations, divers strait commandments, sore punishments openly, special regard privately, could not do so much to take away one misorder, as
Mr. Ascham, in his Discourse of the Affairs of Germany, speaking of John Frederick Duke of Saxony, Luther's great friend and defender, hath this passage, not unlike what he here relates of his royal mistress :
It is marvellous that my friend Joannes Sturmius doth report by writing, what he heard Philip Melancthon at a time say of this noble Duke, that he thought the Duke did privately read and write more every day, than did both he and Dr. Aurifaber; which two were counted in all men's judgements to be the greatest readers and writers in all the University of Wittemberg."
This I the rather add, because I have heard this place censured; as if Mr. Ascham had failed in point of civility and good manners, and intended a reflection by the comparison.
the example of one big one of this court did, still to keep up the same: the memory whereof doth yet remain in a common proverb of Birching-lane.
Take heed therefore, ye great ones in the court, yea though ye be the greatest of all, take heed' what ye do; take heed how ye live; for as ye great ones use to do, so all mean men love to do. Ye be indeed makers or marrers of all men's manners within the realm. For though God hath placed you to be chief in making of laws, to bear greatest authority, to command all others yet God doth order, that all your laws, all your authority, all your commandments, do not half so much with mean men, as doth your example and manner of living. And for example, even in the greatest matter, if you yourselves do serve God gladly and orderly for conscience sake, not coldly, and sometime for manner sake, you carry all the court with you, and the whole realm beside, earnestly and orderly to do the same. If you do otherwise, you be the only authors of all misorders in religion, not only to the court, but unto all England beside. Infinite shall be made cold in religion by your example, that never were hurt by reading of books.
And in meaner matters, if three or four great ones in court will needs outrage in apparel, in huge hose, in monstrous hats, in garish colours; let the prince proclaim, make laws, order, punish, command every gate in London daily to be watched ; let all good men beside do every where what they can ; surely the misorder of apparel in mean men abroad shall never be amended, except the greatest in court will order and mend themselves first. I know some great and good ones in court were authors, that honest citizens of London should watch at every gate to take misordered persons in apparel: I know that honest Londoners did so; and I saw (which I saw then, and report now with some grief) that some courtly men were offended with these good men of London: and (that which grieved me most of all) I saw the very same time, for all these good orders commanded from the court and executed in London; I saw, I say, come out of London even unto the presence of the prince, a great rabble of mean and light persons in apparel, for matter against law, for making against order, for fashion, namely hose, so without all order, as he thought himself most brave, that durst do most in breaking order, and was most monstrous in misorder. And for all the great command