masters, very well learned, of good right complain. But yet (as I said) the fewness of good grammarians is a great impediment of doctrine. (And here I would the readers should mark that I note to be few good grammarians, and not none.) I call not them grammarians, which only can teach or make rules, whereby a child shall only learn to speak congruous Latin, or to make six verses standing in one foot, wherein perchance shall be neither sentence nor eloquence. But I name him a grammarian, by the authority of Quintilian, that speaking Latin elegantly, can expound good authors, expressing the invention and disposition of the matter, their style or form of eloquence, explicating the figures as well of sentences as words, leaving no thing, person, or place, named by the author, undeclared or hidden from his scholars. Wherefore Quintilian saith, it is not enough for him to have read poets, but all kinds of writing must also be sought for ; not for the histories only, but also for the propriety of words, which commonly do receive their authority of noble authors. Moreover without music grammar may not be perfect; for as much as therein must be spoken of metres and harmonies, called rythmi in Greek. Neither if he have not the knowledge of stars, he may

understand poets, which in description of times (I omit other things) they treat of the rising and going down of planets. Also he may not be ignorant in philosophy, for many places that be almost in every poet fetched out of the most subtle part of natural questions. These be well nigh the words of Quintilian.

“Then behold how few grammarians after this description be in this realm.”

His remarks on the method of teaching literature are beyond all question the best ever written in so far as my knowledge extends.

Elyot then goes on to advocate games, such as tennis, dumb-bells, wrestling, running, swimming, fencing, riding and dancing; above all archery.


Painting and carving should be taught to boys wherс there is any natural talent in that way.

Music also is to be taught but not indulged in to excess.

As regards discipline Elyot was much in advance of his time.

Hallam (Literature of Europe, chap. VII. § 2, 32) says : "Elyot deprecates (as we have seen 'cruel and irous schoolmasters, by whom the wits of children be dulled, whereof we need no better author to witness than daily experience. All testimonies concur to this savage ill-treatment of boys in the schools of this period. The fierceness of the Tudor government, the religious intolerance, the polemical brutality, the rigorous justice, when justice it was, of our laws, seem to have engendered a harshness of character, which displayed itself in severity of discipline, when it did not even reach the point of arbitrary or malignant cruelty. Everyone knows the behaviour of Lady Jane Grey's parents' towards their accomplished and admirable child; the slave of their temper in her brief life, the victim of their ambition in death. The story told by Erasmus of Colet is also a little too trite for repetition. The general fact is indubitable, and I think we may ascribe much of the hypocrisy and disingenuousness which became almost national characteristics in this and the first part of the next century to the rigid scheme of domestic discipline so frequently adopted: though I will not say but that we owe some part of the firmness and power of self-command, which were equally manifest in the English character, to the same cause."

Taking Elyot as a whole we find him to be a genuine believer in the power of education and an admirable representative in England of the fine Humanism of Da Feltre, and one of the most charming writers on education that ever wrote. CHAPTER VI.

* Alluded to by Ascham in his Scholemaster,


MEUDON. 1483 (?)-1553.

[Note on Erasmus (page 55).] A CONTEMPORARY of Elyot, but a man of a very different type, was Rabelais. In his great satire and burlesque, the Life of the Great Gargantua, we have some remarks on the education of the hero and, afterwards, advice addressed by Gargantua to his son Pantagruel, giving his own views of the education which he wished him to receive from his tutors. Rabelais satirizes word-teaching—the grammar and logic instruction of his time-pointing out, by producing a cultured youth of the name of Eudemon (an extravagant illustration, of course, like everything in Rabelais), how the ends of education might be attained without the absorption of all the lumber of the Schools. He gives prominence to Latin and Greek, as was inevitable, because these languages contained (for the Western European, at least) all learning both of the past and cotemporary world: but he would direct the attention of the pupils to the real instruction which these languages gave as opposed to the technicalities and formalities of Logic, Rhetoric, and Grammar—the trivium of the Middle Ages.

1 Book 1. caps. 14, 15, 21, 22, 24 ; Book II. caps. 5, 6, 18.

In these few words I believe I have summed


the chief lessons which Rabelais teaches. His aim, in brief, is the expansion and enrichment of the human mind as opposed to the overloading of it with the subtleties and superfluous details of a formal grammar, and a still more formal scholasticism. This appears from the account he gives of Gargantua's own education, conducted in the age of pedantry.

[blocks in formation]

“Presently they appointed him a great sophister-doctor, called Master Tubal Holofernes, who taught him his A B C so well that he could say it by heart backwards; and about this he was five years and three months. Then read he to him, Donat (the popular Latin Grammar for the Middle Ages), Le Facet, Theodolet, and Alanus in Parabolis'. About this he was thirteen years six months and two weeks. But you must remark, that in the meantime he did learn to write in Gothic characters, and that he wrote all his books; for the art of printing was not then in use.

“And did ordinarily carry a huge writing-case, weighing about seven thousand quintals, the pen-case whereof was as big and as heavy as the pillar of Enay; and the horn was hanged to it in great iron-chains, it being of the wideness to hold a ton of merchandise.

“After that was read to him, the Book de Modis Significandi, with the Commentaries of Hurtbise, of Fasquin, of Tropditeux, of Gaulhault, of John Calf (Jehan le veau), of Billonio, of Brelinguandus, and a rabble of others; and herein he spent more than eighteen years and eleven months, and was so well versed therein, that to try masteries in school disputes with

* Notes explanatory of the books used by Gargantua will be found in François Rabelais. Gedanken über Erziehung und Unterricht, by Dr Arnstadt, Leipzig. (n. d.)


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

his own co-disciples he would recite it by heart backwards; and did sometimes prove on his finger-ends to his mother ‘Quod de Modis Significandi non erat Scientia.' Then was read to him the Compost [for knowing the age of the moon, etc.] on which he spent sixteen years and two months. And at that very time, which was in the year 1420, his said Preceptor died.

“ Afterwards he got an old coughing fellow to teach him, named Master Jobelin Bridé, who read unto him Hugutio, Hebrard's 'Graecism,' the 'Doctrinale' [a metrical Latin grammar], the ‘Partes,' the 'Quid est,' the ‘Supplementum, Marmotretus, De Moribus in Mensa Servandis,' Seneca de quatuor Virtutibus Cardinalibus,' 'Passavantus cum Commento'; and 'Dormi Securè,' for the holidays, and other such like stuff; by reading of which he became as wise as any we have since baked in an oven.”

But what was the result of all this? “ That he did profit nothing; but, which is worse, grew thereby a fool, a sot, a dolt, and a blockhead.” Being introduced to a youth of excellent accomplishments, called Eudemon, who had followed a more inodern style of education-intelligence instead of mere technical memory having been cultivated-Grandgousier thereupon resolves to send his son to Paris, placing him under Ponocrates, the tutor of the charming Eudemon. We have an account of his life there, which was devoted to hard work, bodily and mental. In the midst of much absurdity and grotesque exaggeration we see that athletics, mathematics, medicine, music, and the reading of classic authors, constituted his chief studies. Rabelais points to the importance of method when he represents Ponocrates, the tutor of Eudemon, as studying the character and natural bent of his pupil Gargantua. He also points to the value of manual work; for Gargantua and his companions “did recreate themselves with bottling hay, cleaving and sawing wood, and threshing sheaves of corn in the barn. They also studied the art of painting and carving.”

« ForrigeFortsett »