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SPECIMEN OF ASCHAM'S STYLE.

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teaching Latin, without putting the pupils through the preparatory drudgery of mastering the details of the grammar.

Ascham's work on Germany gives, besides much political information, some curious pictures of the Emperor and his court, which are valuable as being sketched by an eye-witness.

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EXTRACT FROM "THE SCHOOLMASTER" OF ASCHAM. Before I went into Germany, I came to Broadgate in Leicestershire, to take my leave of that noblo Lady Jane Grey, to whom I was exceeding much beholden. Her parents, the duke and duchess, with all the household, gentlemen and gentlewomen, were hunting in the park. I found her in her chamber reading Phedon Platonis in Greek, and that with as much delight as some gentlemen would read a merry tale in Bocace. After salutation and duty done, with some other talk, I asked her why she would lose such pastime in the park ?. Smiling, she answered me: “I wiss, all their sport in the park is but a shadow to that pleasure that I find in Plato. Alas! good folk, they never felt wbat true pleasure meant.” “And how came you, madam," quoth I, "to this deep knowledge of pleasure? And wbat did chiefly allure you unto it, seeing not many women, but very few men, have attained thereunto ?" "I will tell you,” quoth she, "and tell you a truth which, perchance, ye will marvel at. One of the greatest benefits that ever God gave me, is, that he sent me so sharp and severe parents, and so gentle a schoolmaster. For when I am in presence either of father or mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go, eat, drink, be merry or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing anything else, I must do it, as it were in such weight, measure, and number, even so perfectly as God made the world, or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yea, presently, sometimes with pinches, nips, and bobs, and other ways which I will not name for the honour I bear them, so without measure misordered, that I think myself in hell, till time come that I must go to Mr. Elmer; who teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly, with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all the time nothing, whiles I am with him."

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GEORGE BUCHANAN has been styled the Scottish Virgil from the elegance of his Latin verse, in which among moderns he stands unrivalled, at least by any writer of British birth. Nor is his Latin prose much inferior in vigour and in flow. Born in Dumbartonshire in 1506, he passed, after a poor

and struggling boyhood, to the University of Paris, where he was supported by the kindness of his uncle, James Heriot. But in less than two years the death of this good friend flung him upon the world, sick and poor. Returning to Scotland, he joined a Scottish army that was marching into England; but the hardships of a soldier's life once more laid him on a sick-bed. When restored to health, he went to college at St. Andrews, graduated there, and went again to France, where he completed his academic course at Paris. About the age of twenty-three he was chosen professor in the College of St. Barbe, and then began his teaching life.

Having acted for five years as tutor to the young Earl of Cassilis, who lodged near St. Barbe, Buchanan returned with his pupil to his native land. His growing reputation as a teacher won for him the notice of James V. who intrusted one of his own natural sons to his care. This office he continued to fill until his poetic satires upon the vices of the friars, especially the poem called Franciscanus, drew upon him the fiery wrath of the clergy. Charged with holding the Lutheran heresy-he really had caught the flame in Paris—he was arrested; and but for

TRANSLATING THE PSALMS INTO LATIN.

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his lucky escape through a window, while his keepers were asleep, the name of Buchanan might now be read 1539 with those of Hamilton and Wishart upon the sandstone obelisk at St. Andrews.

Before the year closed, we find him teaching Latin in the College of Guienne at Bordeaux. While there he made the acquaintance of the Scaligers, father and son, who lived at Agen. Here, too, he wrote four tragedies. After some changes of fortune in France, Buchanan went to fill a chair in the newly established College of Coimbra in Portugal, on the invitation of his friend Govea, who had been appointed Principal. Here he was assailed, after a short interval of peace, by the revengeful monks, who had never forgiven the poems, in which he had heaped ridicule on their order. The fearful machinery of the Inquisition was now in full work, and Buchanan was in considerable danger of his life. But after the delay of a year and a half, he was sentenced to confinement in a monastery, where he was to be schooled by the monks into better behaviour and sounder views. It is said, but without a shadow of evidence, that these monks gave George, as a punishment, the task of translating the Psalms into Latin verse. He certainly began in that quiet Portuguese cloister the version of the Psalms which has made his name so great; and what more natural than that he should thus beguile the lagging hours of a captive's life? We can fancy the keen pleasure with which his eye would brighten, when the dull homilies of the monks were done for the day, and he found himself among his well-thumbed books in some sequestered nook, where, with the vine leaves tapping at the open grating, and a glimpse of the deep azure sky seen beyond their tender green, he loved to sit writing his great work. Upon his release, finding his chances of promotion in Portugal very doubtful, he sailed to England, whence after some time he passed to France. We find him soon in Italy, teaching the son of Marshal de Brissac, a great French soldier, by whom he was treated with respectful kindness. The termination of this engagement, which lasted for five years, marks the close of Buchanan's Continental life. The return of Buchanan to his native land, which was then

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WHILE Elizabeth in the first year of her glorious reign was receiving the congratulations of a rejoicing land, a boy, not yet five years old, was plucking daisies and chasing butterflies on the green

lawns of Penshurst in Kentshire. It was Philip Sidney, son of Sir Henry Sidney and Mary Dudley, who was sister to the magnificent Leicester, soon to be prime favourite of the Queen.

Philip, born in 1554, went to school at Shrewsbury, and passed thence to Oxford and Cambridge, where he won a scholar's name. Having spent three years in Continental travel, during which he saw Paris drenched in the blood of Huguenots, and himself narrowly escaped death on the fearful day of St. Bartholomew, he returned in his twenty-first year to England, a polished and accomplished man. 1 His début at court was an instant and decided success. No doubt his uncle, Leicester, then in the full blaze of royal favour, had much to do with this; but Sidney had personal qualities which won for him the smiles of all. His finely-cut Anglo-Norman face, his faint moustache, his soft blue eyes, and flowing amber hair, were enough to make him the darling of the women;

while his skill in horsemanship, fencing, and manly games, gained the respect and admiration of the men. Higher than these outward and accidental graces must we rank the intellect and scholarship which stamped him as one of England's greatest sons; and higher still, that gentle heart, whose pulses, always human, never throbbed

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more kindly than when, on the field of his death, he turned the cooling draught from his own blackened lips to slake the dying thirst of a bleeding soldier, past whom he was carried.

Yet this brilliance was not without its clouds. At tennis one day he quarrelled with the Earl of Oxford, who ordered him to leave the playing-ground. This Sidney refused to do; upon which Oxford, losing temper, called him a puppy. Voices rose high, and a duel was impending, when Elizabeth interfered and took Sidney to task for not paying due respect to his superiors. Philip's haughty spirit could not bear the rebuke, and he withdrew from court. Far from the glittering whirl, sheltered amid the oaks of Wilton, the seat of his brother-in-law, Pembroke, he wrote a romantic fiction, which he called The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia. Written merely to amuse his leisure hours, it was never finished, and was not given to the world till its gifted young writer had been four years dead. The censures, which Horace Walpole and others have passed upon this work, are quite unmerited. No book has been more knocked about by certain critics; but its popularity in the days of Shakspere and the later times of the Cavaliers, with whom it was all the fashion, affords sufficient proof that it is a work of remarkable merit. We, who read Scott and Dickens and Thackeray, cannot, certainly, relish the “Arcadia” as Elizabeth's maids of honour relished it; but all who look into its pages must be struck with its rich fancy and its glowing pictures. It is not a pastoral, as the misnomer “ Arcadia," borrowed from Sannazzaro, seems to imply. There are indeed in this book shepherds, who dance and sing occasionally; but the life of a knight and courtier-such as Sidney's own-has clearly supplied the thoughts and scenery of the work.

But the book on which Sidney's reputation as an English classic writer rests, is rather his Defense of Poesie, a short treatise, written in 1581, to combat certain opinions of the Elizabethan Puritans, who would fain, in their well-meant but mistaken zeal, have swept away the brightest blossoms of our literature, along with pictures, statues, holidays, wedding-rings, and other pleasant things.

A favourite of Elizabeth, who called him the "jewel of her

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