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He designed not only to teach the art of shooting , but to give an example of
diction more natural and more truly English than was used by the common writers
of that age , whom he censures for mingling exotic terms with their native
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
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
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 ,
For though he hath done it perfectly for precept , yet he hath not done it perfectly
enough for example . Which he did , neither for lack of skill , nor by negligence ,
but of purpose , contented with one or two examples ; because he was minded in
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essential reading, from an observer in 'flat English' language at a time when world affairs centered in and around Vienna and were essentially continental.
Quoted as first liner in a fascinating book on Anglo-French Entente under le Grand Toy, Louis XIV and the Merry Monarch, Charles II.
Full of candor, at a time when the political discourse was still amenable to compromise and chivalry, gallantry, so Ascham's remarks letters oin the Habsburg Empire, hence to Metternich and his pickup by Henry Kissinger - show the long ptrocxessof diplomacy that is not necessarily mad policy.
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The English Works of Roger Ascham: Preceptor to Queen Elizabeth
No preview available - 2020