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as if nothing else were required to set up this profession but only a rod and a ferula. Secondly, others who are able, use it only as a passage to better preserment, to patch the rents in their present fortune, till they can provide a new one, and betake themselves to some more gainful calling. Thirdly, they are disheartened from doing their best with the miserable reward which in some places they receive, being masters to their children and slaves to their parents. Fourthly, being grown rich they grow negligent, and scorn to touch the school but by the proxy of the usher. But see how well our schoolmaster behaves himself.
His genius inclines him with delight to his profession. Some men had as well be schoolboy as schoolmasters, to be tied to the school, as Cooper's Dictionary and Scapula's Lexicon are chained to the desk therein; and though great scholars, and skilful in other arts, are bunglers in this. But God, of his goodness, hath fitted several men for several callings, that the necessity of church and state, in all conditions, may be provided for. So that he who beholds the fabric thereof, may say, God hewed out the stone, and appointed it to lie in this very place, for it would fit none other so well, and here it doth most excellent. And thus God mouldeth some for a schoolmaster's life, undertaking it with desire and delight, and discharging it with dexterity and happy success.
He studieth his scholars' natures as carefully as they their books ; and ranks their dispositions into several forms. And though it may seem difficult for him in a great school to descend to all particulars, yet experienced schoolmasters may quickly make a grammar
of boys' natures, and reduce them all (saving some few exceptions) to these general rules :
1. Those that are ingenious and industrious. The conjunction of two such planets in a youth presage much good unto him. To such a lad a frown may be a whipping, and a whipping a death; yea, where their master whips them once, shame whips them all the week after. Such natures he useth with all gentleness.
2. Those that are ingenious and idle. These think with the hare in the fable, that running with snails (so they count the rest of their schoolfellows), they shall come soon enough to the post, though sleeping a good while before their starting. Oh, a good rod would finely take them napping.
3. Those that are dull and diligent. Wines, the stronger they be, the more lees they have when they are new. Many boys are muddy-headed till they be clarified with age, and such afterwards prove the best. Bristol diamonds are both bright, and squared, and pointed by nature, and yet are soft and worthless ; whereas orient ones in India are rough and rugged naturally. Hard, rugged, and dull natures of youth, acquit themselves afterwards the jewels of the country, and therefore their dulness at first is to be borne with, if they be diligent. That schoolmaster deserves to be beaten himself, who beats nature in a boy for a fault. And I question whether all the whipping in the world can make their parts which are naturally sluggish, rise one minute before the hour nature hath appointed.
4. Those that are invincibly dull, and negligent also. Correction may reform the latter, not amend the former. All the whetting in the world can never set a razor's edge on that which hath no steel in it. Such boys he consigneth over to other professions. Shipwrights and boat-makers will choose those crooked pieces of timber which other carpenters refuse. Those may make excellent merchants and mechanics which will not serve for scholars.
He is able, diligent, and methodical in his teaching ; not leading them rather in a circle than forwards. He minces his precepts for children to swallow, hanging clogs on the nimbleness of his own soul, that his scholars may go along with him.
He is and will be known to be an absolute monarch in his school. If cockering mothers proffer him money to purchase their sons' exemption from his rod (to live, as it were, in a peculiar, out of their master's jurisdiction), with disdain he refuseth it, and scorns the late custom in some places of commuting whipping into money, and ransoming boys from the rod at a set price. If he hath a stubborn youth, correction-proof, he debaseth not his authority by contesting with him, but fairly, if he can, puts him away before his obstinacy hath infected others.
He is moderate in inflicting deserved correction. Many a schoolmaster better answereth the name boxing-master than pedagogue, rather tearing his scholar's flesh with whipping than giving them good education. No wonder if his scholars hate the muses, being presented unto them in the shapes of fiends and furies.
Such an Orbilius mars more scholars than he makes. Their tyranny hath caused many tongues to stammer which spake plain by nature, and whose stuttering at first was nothing else but fears quavering on their
speech at their master's presence. And whose mauling them about their heads hath dulled those who in quickness exceeded their master.
He makes his school free to him who sues to him as a poor person. And surely learning is the greatest alms that can be given. But he is a beast, who, because the poor scholar cannot pay him his wages, pays the scholar in his whipping; rather are diligent lads to be encouraged with all excitements to learning. He spoils not a good school to make thereof a bad college, therein to teach his scholars logic. For, besides that logic may have an action of trespass against grammar for encroaching on her liberties, syllogisms are solecisms taught in the school, and oftentimes they are forced afterwards in the university, to unlearn the fumbling skill they had before.
Out of his school he is no way pedantical in carriage or discourse ; contenting himself to be rich in Latin, though he doth not gingle with it in every company wherein he comes.
SIR ROGER L'ESTRANGE.
(Sir ROGER L'ESTRANGE enjoyed, in the reigns of Charles II. and James VII., great notoriety as an occasional political writer. He is known also as a translator, having produced versions of
sop's Fables, Seneca's Morals, Cicero's Oifices, Erasmus's Colloquies, Quevedo's Visions, and the works of Josephus. What immediately follows is a chapter of his life of Æsop, prefixed to the translation of the Fables. The other extract is from bis translation of Seneca's Morals.]
Æsop's Invention to bring his Mistress back again to her
Husband after she had left him.
The wife of Xanthus was well born and wealthy, but so proud and domineering withal, as if her fortune and her extraction had entitled her to the breeches.She was horribly bold, meddling and expensive (as that sort of women commonly are), easily put off the hooks, and monstrous hard to be pleased again ; perpetually chattering at her husband, and upon all occasions of controversy threatening him to be gone.
It came to this at last, that Xanthus's stock of patience being quite spent, he took up a resolution of going another way to work with her, and of trying a course of severity, since there was nothing to be done with her by kindness. But this experiment, instead of mending the matter, made it worse ; for upon harder usage, the woman grew desperate, and went away from him in earnest. She was bad 't is true, as bad