« PreviousContinue »
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 eat at noon should be allowed them for exercise, and due rest afterwards; 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 cowardice 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, to grapple, and to close. And this perhaps will be enough, wherein to prove and heat their single strength.
The interim of unsweating themselves regularly, and convenient rest before meat, may, both with profit and delight, be taken up in recreating and composing their travailed spirits
See Plato, De Legibus, 1. i. Opera, t. vii. p. 181. sqq. edit. Bekk. Aristotle notices the same defect in the Spartan government; and adds that, though military superiority was the object aimed at by Lycurgus, they had been excelled by their neighbours (the Athenians ?) no less in the virtues of war than in the arts of peace.-Politics, 1. ii, and 1. v. c. 4. Müller, in his "Hist. and Antiq. of the Doric Race," endeavours to exalt the political institutions of the Spartans above the popular governments of the Ionians.Vol. ii. pp. 1-269.-ED.
† Aristotle's remarks on the employment of exercise in education are full of good sense. He allows, as might have been expected, that the culture of the body should precede that of the mind; but is far from inculcating, with many writers, the necessity of acquiring athletic habits of body, which have, on the growth and shape, effects no less injurious than on the intellect. At Sparta, where gymnastic exercises were not pursued as a profession, excessive labour produced no less dangerous results-unfeeling and ferocious habits. During the years preceding puberty all violent exercises and forced regimens are pernicious; which is clear from the fact that, of those who won the prize in boyhood in the Olympic contests, not above two or three had again proved victors in manhood.-Politics, 1. v. c. 4; see also 1. ii. c. 3. Plato, in his Republic, observes that too continuous an application to gymnastics, to the neglect of music, engenders ferocity.-Opera, t. vi. 152.- ED.
with the solemn and divine harmonies of music,* heard or learned; either whilst the skilful organist plies his grave and fancied descant in lofty fuges, or the whole symphony with artful and unimaginable touches adorn and grace the wellstudied chords of some choice composer; sometimes the lute or soft organ-stop waiting on elegant voices, either to religious, martial, or civil ditties; which, if wise men and prophets be not extremely out, have a great power over dispositions and manners, to smooth and make them gentle from rustic harshness and distempered passions. The like also would not be inexpedient after meat, to assist and cherish nature in her first concoction, and send their minds back to study in good tune and satisfaction. Where having followed it close under vigilant eyes, till about two hours before supper, they are, by a sudden alarum or watchword, to be called out to their military motions, under sky or covert, according to the
* In his L'Allegro he thus describes the delights of music :
Such as the meeting soul my pierce
The hidden soul of harmony."-ED.
In music, a flight is when the different parts of a composition follow ach other, each repeating what the first had performed -Barcl.-ED.
He here undoubtedly alludes to Plato, who, in various parts of his works, speaks enthusiastically of the pleasures to be derived from music, which he regarded as a powerful instrument of education. Nowhere, however, has he perhaps expressed himself more beautifully than in the third book of his Republic, (t. vi. p. 153, edit. Bekk.) where Socrates explains to Glaucus in what manner the citizens of a free state should be nurtured: "Whoever is captivated by music, and, yielding himself up to its soothing influence, suffers it to pour in upon his soul through the ears, as through a funnel, those ravishing, sweet, plaintive harmonies we have enumerated, and passes all his days in the alternate joy and sadness produced by the powers of melody, must inevitably be softened, like steel in the fire, and lose whatever was harsh or rude in his nature. Indulged in to excess, however, music emasculates instead of invigorating the mi causing a relaxation of the intellectual faculties, and debasing the warrior into an effeminate slave, destitute of all nerve and energy of soul." From the history of modern Italy numerous facts in support of this theory might be collected. The Latin translation of the above passage, by Marsilius Ficinus, without being a strictly literal rendering of the original, is remarkable for great beauty and elevation of language.--ED.
season, as was the Roman wont;* first on foot, then, as their age permits, on horseback, to all the art of cavalry; that having in sport, but with much exactness and daily muster, served out the rudiments of their soldiership, in all the skill of embattling, marching, encamping, fortifying, besieging, and battering, with all the helps of ancient and modern stratagems, tactics, and warlike maxims, they may as it were out of a long war come forth renowned and perfect commanders in the service of their country. They would not then, if they were trusted with fair and hopeful armies, suffer them, for want of just and wise discipline, to shed away from about them like sick feathers, though they be never so oft supplied; they would not suffer their empty and unrecruitable colonels of twenty men in a company, to quaff out or convey into secret hoards, the wages of a delusive list, and a miserable remnant; † yet in the meanwhile to be overmastered with a score or two of drunkards, the only soldiery left about them, or else to comply with all rapines and violences. No, certainly, if they knew aught of that knowledge that belongs to good men or good governors, they would not suffer these things.
But to return to our own institute: besides these constant exercises at home, there is another opportunity of gaining experience to be won from pleasure itself abroad; in those vernal seasons of the year when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against nature, not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth. I should not therefore be a persuader to them of studying much then, after two or three years that they have well laid their grounds, but to ride out in companies, with prudent and staid guides, to all the quarters of the land: learning and observing all places of strength, all commodities of building and of soil, for towns and tillage, harbours and ports
* On the military exercises of the Romans, see Gibbon, History, &c. vol. i. pp. 17-27, and Lipsius de Militiâ Romanâ, 1. v. Oper, t. iii. p. 317–340. In the latter work the subject is rendered more intelligible by engravings, rude, but useful.-ED.
†Tavernier gives a curious account of this mode of plundering the public, in the armies of modern Persia; and the practice is not unknown nearer home.-ED.
Everywhere in Milton's works we discover traces of his admiration of external nature. Who does not remember that exquisite passage in the Paradise Lost ?—
"Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet
With song of earliest birds, pleasant the sun." &c.—En
for trade. Sometimes taking sea as far as to our navy, to learn there also what they can in the practical knowledge o sailing and of sea-fight.
These ways would try all their peculiar gifts of nature; and if there were any secret excellence among them would fetch it out, and give it fair opportunities to advance itself by, which could not but mightily redound to the good of this nation, and bring into fashion again those old admired virtues and excellencies, with far more advantage now in this purity of Christian knowledge. Nor shall we then need the monsieurs of Paris to take our hopeful youth into their slight and prodigal custodies, and send them over, back again, transformed into mimics, apes, and kickshaws. But if they desire to see other countries at three or four and twenty years of age, not to learn principles, but to enlarge experience, and make wise observation, they will by that time be such as shall deserve the regard and honour of all men where they pass, and the society and friendship of those in all places who are best and most eminent. And, perhaps, then other nations will be glad to visit us for their breeding, or else to imitate us in their own country.
Now, lastly, for their diet there cannot be much to say, save only that it would be best in the same house; for much time else would be lost abroad, and many ill habits got; and that it should be plain, healthful, and moderate, I suppose is out of controversy. Thus, Mr. Hartlib, you have a genera. view in writing, as your desire was, of that which at several times I had discoursed with you concerning the best and noblest way of education; not beginning, as some have done, from the cradle, which yet might be worth many considerations, if brevity had not been my scope; many other circumstances also I could have mentioned, but this, to such as have the worth in them to make trial, for light and direction may be enough. Only I believe that this is not a bow for every man to shoot in, that counts himself a teacher; but will require sinews almost equal to those which Homer gave Ulysses; yet I am withal persuaded that it may prove much more easy in the assay, than it now seems at distance, and much more illustrious; howbeit, not more difficult than I imagine, and that imagination presents me with nothing but very happy, and very possible according to best wishes; if God have so decreed, and this age have spirit and capacity enough to apprehend.
FOR THE ELECTION OF THIS PRESENT KING OF POLAND
JOHN THE THIRD,
ELECTED ON THE 22ND OF MAY LAST PAST, A.D. 1674.
CONTAINING THE REASONS OF THIS ELECTION, THE GREAT VIRTUES AND MERITS OF
NOW FAITHFULLY TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN COPY.
In the name of the Most Holy and Individual Trinity, the
WE, Andrew Trezebicki, bishop of Cracovia, duke of Severia, John Gembicki of Uladislau and Pomerania, &c. bishops to the number of ten.
Stanislaus Warszycki, Castellan of Cracovia; Alexander Michael Lubomirski of Cracovia, &c.; palatines to the number of twenty-three.
Christopherus Grzymaltouski of Posnania, Alexander Gratus de Tarnow of Sandimer; castellans to the number, of twenty-four.
Hiraleus Polubinski, high marshal of the great dukedom of Lithuania, Christopherus Pac, high chancellor of the great dukedom of Lithuania, senators and great officers, to the number of seventy-five.
WE declare by these our present letters unto all and single persons whom it may concern: our commonwealth. being again left widowed by the unseasonable death of that famous Michael, late king of Poland, who, having scarce reigned full five years, on the tenth day of November, of the year last past, at Leopolis, changed his fading crown for one immortal; in the sense of so mournful a funeral and fresh calamity, yet with undaunted courage, mindful of herself in the midst of dangers, forbore not to seek remedies. that the world may understand she grows in the midst of her losses; it pleased her to begin her counsels