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dear friend of mine, when I came first from Cambridge to serve the Queen's Majesty, then Lady Elizabeth, lying at worthy Sir Antony Deny's in Cheston. John Whitney, a young gentleman, was my bedfellow; who, willing by good nature, and provoked by mine advice, began to learn the Latin tongue, after the order declared in this book. We began after Christmas; I read unto him Tully de Amicitia, which he did every day twice translate, out of Latin into English, and out of English into Latin again. About St. Laurence tide after, to prove how he profited, I did choose out Torquatus' talk de Amicitia, in the latter end of the first book de Finibus ; because that place was the same in matter, like in words and phrases, nigh to the form and fashion of sentences, as he had learned before in de Amicitia. I did translate it myself into plain English, and gave it him to turn into Latin; which he did so choicely, so orderly, so without any great miss in the hardest points of grammar, that some in seven year in grammar schools, yea, and some in the university too, cannot do half so well. This worthy young gentleman, to my greatest grief, to the great lamentation of that whole house, and especially to that most noble lady, now Queen Elizabeth herself, departed within few days out of this world.
And if in any cause a man may without offence of God speak somewhat ungodly, surely it was some grief unto me to see him hie so hastily to God as he did. A court full of such young gentlemen, were rather a paradise than a court upon earth. And though I had never poetical head to make any verse in any tongue, yet either love, or sorrow, or both, did wring out of me then, certain careful thoughts of my good will towards him; which, in my mourning for him, fell forth more by chance than either by skill or use, into this kind of misorderly metre:
Mine own John Whitney, now farewell,
Now death doth part us twain ;
Whom life shall join again.
Cease sorrow's seed to sow;
And hurtful care may grow.
Yet when I think upon such gifts
Of grace, as God him lent;
With joyful tears lament.
Where seed of vice is sown,
Amongst us seldom known.
With will to work the same;
And liv'd to praise his name.
So good to every wight,
Again to have in sight.
His death the greater pain :
Doth glad my heart again.
Do mingle mirth with care,
So dear a friend to spare.
Doth take, and leave us ill;
In life to tarry still.
In heaven to take his place,
We may obtain like grace.
A while thus part in twaiu;
Great joy shall join again.
In this place, or I proceed further, I will now declare by whose authority I am led, and by what reason I am moved to think, that this way of double translation out of one
tongue into another, in either only, or at least chiefly to be exercised, especially of youth, for the ready and sure obtaining of any tongue.
There be six ways appointed by the best learned men, for the learning of tongues and increase of eloquence; as,
ri. Translatio linguarum.
(6. Declamatio. All these be used and commended, but in order and for respects, as person, ability, place, and time shall require. The five last be fitter for the master than the scholar, for men than for children, for the universities rather than for grammar schools. Yet nevertheless, which is fittest in mine opinion for our school, and which is either wholly to be refused, or partly to be used for our purpose, I will by good authority, and some reason I trust, particularly of every one, and largely enough of them all, declare orderly unto you.
TRANSLATIO LINGUARUM. Translation is easy in the beginning for the scholar, and bringeth also much learning and great judgement to the master. It is most common and most commendable of all other exercises for youth: most common; for all your constructions in grammar schools be nothing else but translations; but because they be not double translations, (as I do require,) they bring forth but simple and single commodity; and because also they lack the daily use of writing, which is the only thing that breedeth deep root, both in the wit for good understanding, and in the memory for sure keeping of all that is learned: most commendable also, and that by the judgement of all authors, which entreat of these exercises. Tully in the person of L. Crassus, (whom he maketh his example of eloquence and true judgement in learning,) doth not only praise specially, and choose this way of translation for a young man, but doth also * discommend and refuse his own
* These are Crassus's reasons against this sort of exercise: “ Sed pòst animadverti, hoc esse in hoc vitii, quòd ea verba, quæ maximè
former wont in exercising Paraphrasin, et Metaphrasin. Paraphrasis is, to take some eloquent oration or some notable common place in Latin, and express it with other words : Metaphrasis is, to take some notable place out of a good poet, and turn the same sense into metre, or into other words in prose. Crassus, or rather Tully, doth mislike both these ways; because the author, either orator or poet, had chosen out before the fittest words and aptest composition for that matter; and so he, in seeking other, was driven to use the
Quintilian also preferreth translation * before all other exercises; yet, having a lust to dissent from Tully, (as he doth in very many places, if a man read his Rhetorick over advisedly; and that rather of an envious mind, than of any just cause,) doth greatly commend Paraphrasis, f crossing spitefully Tully's judgement in refusing the same: and so do Ramus and Tallæus even at this day in France too. But such singularity in dissenting from the best men's judgements, in liking only their own opinions, is much misliked of all them that join with learning, discretion and wisdom. For he that can neither like Aristotle in logick and philosophy, nor Tully in rhetorick and eloquence, will from these steps, likely enough, presume by like pride, to mount higher, to the misliking of greater matters; that is, either in religion to have a dissentious head, or in the commonwealth to have a factious heart: as I knew one, a student in Cambridge, who
cujusque rei propria, quæque essent ornatissima atque optima, occupasset aut Ennius, si ad ejus versus me exercerem, aut Gracchus, si ejus orationem mihi fortè proposuissem : ita, si iisdem verbis uterer, nihil prodesse; si aliis, etiam obesse, cùm minus idoneis uti consuescerem.” De Orat. lib. 1. p. 92.
* Quintilian does not seem heartily to recommend this way of translatîng out of Greek into Latin; but rather gives us the opinion and judgement of the old orators about it, adding, that it was much practised by Crassus, Cicero, and Messala.
6 Vertere Græca in Latinum veteres nostri oratores optimum judicabant." † “ Sed et illa ex Latinis conversio, multùm et ipsa contulerit.
Ideoque ab illis dissentio, qui vertere orationes Latinas vetant, quia optimis occupatis, quicquid aliter dixerimus, necesse sit esse deterius. Nam neque semper est desperandum, aliquid illis, quæ dicta sunt, melius posse reperiri; neque adeò jejunam ac pauperem natura eloquentiam fecit, ut una de re benè dici, nisi semel non possit.” De Institut, Orat, lib. 10.
for a singularity began first to dissent in the schools from Aristotle, and soon after became a perverse Arian against Christ and all true religion ; and studied diligently. Origen, Basilius, and St. Hierom, only to glean out of their works the pernicious heresies of Celsus, Eunomius, and Helvidius, whereby the church of Christ was so poisoned withal.
But to leave these high points of divinity: Surely in this quiet and harmless controversy, for the liking or misliking of Paraphrasis for a young scholar; even as far as Tully goeth beyond Quintilian, Ramus, and Tallæus, in perfect eloquence, even so much, by mine opinion, come they behind Tully for true judgement in teaching the same.
Plinius Secundus, a wise senator of great experience, excellently learned himself, a liberal patron of learned men, and the purest writer, in mine opinion, of all his age,
(I except not Suetonius, his two schoolmasters Quintilian and Tacitus, nor yet his most excellent learned uncle, the elder Pliny,) doth express in an epistle to his friend Fuscus, many good ways for order in study; but he beginneth with translation, and preferreth it before all the rest. And because * his words be notable I will recite them.
“ Utile in primis, ut multi præcipiunt, ex Græco in Latinum, et ex Latino vertere in Græcum : quo genere exerci
* There is so great a difference in this citation out of Pliny from the printed copies, that I am satisfied Mr. Ascham (as I have observed before) trusted to his memory only, without ever looking into his author. This will appear plain enough to any one that shall compare this passage, as it stands here, with Pliny's text, which I shall give the reader out of Boxhornius's edition, printed by Elzevir.
“ Utile imprimis, et multi præcipiunt, vel ex Græco in Latinum, vel ex Latino vertere in Græcum : quo genere exercitationis proprietas splendorque verborum, copia figurarum, vis explicandi, præterea imitatione optimorum similia inveniendi facultas paratur: simul quæ legentem fefellissent, transferentem fugere non possunt. Intelligentia ex hoc et judicium acquiritur.”
Now lest any should wonder at this strange inaccuracy (for so it seems to be) in a person of Mr. Ascham's learning and judgement; I shall transcribe what Casaubon, in his notes on Theocritus, has remarked on the like occasion.
“ Veterum grammaticorum mos est in proferendis auctorum locis, id unicum, cujus gratia eos laudant, spectare, neglecta interim sententia. Ex eo est, quod multa sæpè apud eos aliter scripta inveniuntur, quàm in ipsis auctoribus habentur."