« PreviousContinue »
ral knowledge, as they shall never forget, but daily augment with delight. Then also those poets which are now counted most hard, will be both facile and pleasant, Orpheus, 'Hefiod, Theocritus, Aratus, Nicander, Oppian, Dionysius; and in Latin, Lucretius, Manilius, and the rural part of Virgil.
By this time, years and good general precepts will have furnished them more distinctly with that act of reason which in Ethics is called Proairefis; that they may with some judgment contemplate upon moral good and evil. Then will be required a special reinforcement of constant and sound endoctrinating to set them right and firm, inftructing them more amply in the knowledge of virtue and the hatred of vice: while their young and pliant affections are led through a!l the moral works of Plato, Xenophon, Cicero, Plutarch, Laertius, and those Locrian remnants; but still to be reduced in their nightward studies, wherewith they close the day's work, under the determinate sentence of David or Solomon, or the evangelists and apoftolic fcriptures. Being perfect in the knowledge of personal duty, they may then begin the study of economics. And either now, or before this, they may have easily learnt at any odd hour the Italian tongue. And soon after, but with wariness and good antidote, it would be wholesome enough to let them taste some choice comedies, Greek, Latin, or Italian : those tragedies also that treat of houshold matters, as Trachiniæ, Alcestis, and the like. The next remove must be to the study of Politics; to know the beginning, end, and
reasons of political societies; that they may not, in a dangerous fit of the commonwealth, be such poor, fhaken, uncertain reeds, of such a tottering conscience, as many of our great counsellors have lately shewn themselves, but stedfast pillars of the state. After this they are to dive into the grounds of law, and legal justice; delivered first, and with best warrant, by Mofes ; and as far as human prudence can be trusted, in those extolled remains of Grecian law-givers, Lycurgus, Solon, Zaleucus, Charondas; and thence to all the Roman edicts and tables, with their Justinian; and so down to the Saxon and common laws of England, and the statutes. Surdays also, and every evening may be now understandingly spent in the highest matters of Theology, and church-history antient and modern: and ere this time the Hebrew tongue at a set hour might have been gained, that the scriptures may be now read in their own original; whereto it would be no impossibility to add the Chaldee, and the Syrian dialect. When all these employments are well conquered, then will the choice histories, heroic poems, and Attic.tragedies of stateliest and most regal argument with all the famous political orations, offer themselves; which if they were not only read, but some of them got by memory, and folemnly pronounced with right accent and grace, as might be taught, would endue them even with the spirit and vigor of Demosthenes, or Cicero, Euripides, or Sophocles. And now, lastly, will be the time to read with them those organic arts which enable men to dif
course and write perfpicuously, elegantly, and according to the fitteft ftyle of lofty, mean, or lowly. Logic therefore, so much as is useful, is to be referred to this due place, with all her well-couched heads and topics, until it be time to open her contracted palm into a graceful and ornate rhetoric, taught out of the rules of Plato, Aristotle, Phalereus, Cicero, Hermogenes, Longinus. To which Poetry would be made subsequent, or indeed rather precedent, as being less subtile and fine, but more fimple, sensuous and paffionate. I mean not here the prosody of a verse, which they could not but have hit on before among the rudiments of grammar; but that sublime art, which in Aristotle's Poetics, in Horace, and the Italian commentaries of Castlevetro, Tasso, Mazzoni, and others, teaches what the laws are of a true Epic poem, what of a Dramatic, what of a Lyric, what decorum is, which is the grand master-piece to observe. This would make them soon perceive what despicable creatures our common rhymers and play-writers be, and shew them, what religious, what glorious and magnificent use might be made of poetry both in divine and human things. From hence and not till now will be the right season of forming them to be able writers and composers in every excellent matter, when they shall be thus fraught with an universal infight into things. Or whether they be to speak in parliament or council, honour and attention would be waiting on their lips. There would then also appear in
pulpits other visages, other gestures, and stuff other, wise wrought than what we now fit under, oft-times to as great a trial of our patience as any other that they preach to us. These are the studies wherein our noble and our gentle youth ought to bestow their time in a disciplinary way from twelve to one-andtwenty; unless they rely more upon their ancestors dead, than upon themselves living. In which metho. dical course it is so fuppofed they must proceed by the steddy pace of learning onward, as at convenient times for memory's fake to retire back into the middle ward, and sometimes into the rear of what they have been taught, until they have confirmed, and solidly united the whole body of their perfected knowledge, like the latt embattelling of a Roman legion. Now will be worth the seeing what exercises and recreations may best agree, and become these ftudies.
The course of study hitherto briefly described, is, what I can guess by reading, likest to those antient and famous schools of Pythagoras, Plato, Isocrates, Ari and such others, out of which were bred up such a number of renowned philosophers, orators, historians, poets and princes all over Greece, Italy, and Asia, besides the flourishing studies of Cyene and Alexandria. But herein it shall exceed them, and fupply a defect as great as that which Plato noted in
the commonwealth of Sparta; whereas that city trained up their youth most for war, and these in their academies and Lycæum, all for the gown, this institution of breeding, which I here delineate, shall be equally good both for peace and war. Therefore about an hour and a half ere they cat at noon should be allowed them for exercise; and due reft afterward; but the time for this may be enlarged at pleasure, according as their rising in the morning shall be early. The exercise which I commend first, is the exact use of their weapon, to guard and to strike safely with edge or point; this will keep them healthy, nimble, strong, and well in breath, is also the likeliest means to make them grow large and tall, and to inspire them with a gallant and fearless courage, which being tempered with seasonable lectures and precepts to them of true fortitude and patience, will turn into a native and heroic valour, and make them hate the cowardise of doing wrong. They must be also practised in all the locks and gripes of wrestling, wherein Englishmen were wont to excel, as need may often be in fight to tug or grapple, and to close. And this perhaps will be enough, wherein to prove and heat their fingle ftrength. The interim of unsweating themselves regularly, and convenient reft before meat, may both with profit and delight be taken up in recreating and composing their travailed spirits with the solemn and divine harmonies of music heard or learnt; either while the skilful organist plies his grave and fancied