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WHAT SHAKESPEARE LEARNT AT SCHOOL.

II.

AVING now gained a general idea of Shakespeare's course of

supply any evidence of his having passed through such a course. With regard to its first or elementary stage, even Farmer admits that Shakespeare must have been well drilled in the accidence, and that he recollected it vividly enough to use his knowledge with dramatic propriety and effect. Sir Hugh Evans's examination of Mrs. Page's boy in the Merry Wives of Windsor' accurately represents, indeed, the kind of cumbrous catechetical exercise in the accidence which prevailed at the time in all the grammar schools. Sir Hugh's explanation of the holiday that “Master Slender is let the boys leave to play, and Mrs. Page's complaint, Sir Hugh, my husband says my son profits nothing in the world at his book. I pray you, ask him some questions in the accidence,' are vivid touches illustrating the relation between masters, pupils, and parents common enough in Shakespeare's day, and pathetically lamented both by Brinsley and Hoole, but as true probably now as then. Shakespeare's familiarity with Lilly's grammar is shown in many ways; amongst others by his quotation of some of its more striking examples, such as Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur.'

The next stage to the accidence and grammar is that of vocabularies, phrase-books, and familiar dialogues, and this stage is amply illustrated in the scenes between Sir Nathaniel and Holofernes in Love's Labour's Lost.' The schoolmaster's display of Latin words and phrases in the following dialogue are fragments from the school vocabularies and phrase-books with which his ventricle of memory is stuffed :

Hd. The deer was, as you know, in sanguis,-blood; ripe as a pomeFater, who now hangeth like a jewel in the ear of coelum, the sky, the welkin, the heaven; and anon falleth like a crab on the face of terra, the soil, the land, the earth.

Vath. Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least : but, sir, I assure ye, it was a buck of the first head.

Hol. Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
Dull. 'Twas not a haud credo; 'twas a pricket.

Hd. Most barbarous intimation ! yet a kind of insinuation, as it were, in via, in way, of explication ; facere, as it were, replication, or, rather, Ostentare, to show, as it were, his inclination,-after his undressed, unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or, rather, unlettered, or, ratherest, unconfirmed fashion, to insert again my haud credo for a deer.

Dull. I said the deer was not a hard credo; 'twas a pricket.

Hol. Twice-sod simplicity, bis coctus !
O thou monster Ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!

In the synonyms for cælum and terra the pedantic master literally parades the school method by which boys were required to note down Latin words and phrases and give as many English equivalents for them as possible. The next scene between the curate and the pedant recalls and exemplifies the familiar Latin dialogues which, as we have seen, formed at this stage an important part of the regular school work. It will be remembered that these learned men were walking in the park after having dined with the father of one of the school pupils, where it had been previously arranged that, if the curate would gratify the table with a grace, the pedant would undertake to prove that Biron's love verses, which they had read together, were very unlearned, neither savouring of poetry, wit, nor invention.'

Hol. Satis quod sufficit.

Nath. I praise God for you, sir: your reasons at dinner have been sharp and sententious; pleasant without scurrility, witty without affection, audacious without impudency, learned without opinion, and strange without heresy. I did converse this quondam day with a companion of the king's who is intituled, nominated or called, Don Adriano de Armado.

Hol. Novi hominem tanquam te : bis humour is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general behaviour vain, ridiculous and thrasonical. He is too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it were, too peregrinate, as I may call it.

Nath. A most singular and choice epithet. [Takes out his table-book.

Hol. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such fanatical phantasms, such insociable and point-devise companions; such rackers of orthography, as to speak 'dout, fine, when he should say 'doubt'; 'det,' when he should pronounce . debt,' -d, e, b, t, not d, e, t; he clepeth a calf,' cauf'; 'half,'hauf'; 'neighbour' vocatur 'nebour'; ' neigh' abbreviated 'ne.' This is abhominable,which he would call abominable; it insinuateth one of insanire; ne intelligis, domine? to wax frantic, lunatic.

Nath. Laus Deo, bone intelligo.
Hol. Bone !-bone for bene : Priscian a little scratched ; 'twill serve.
Nath. Videsne quis venit ?
Hol. Video, et gaudeo.

Enter ARMADO.
Arm. Chirrah ! [To Moth.
Hol. Quare 'chirrah,' not sirrah.'

These scraps of Latin dialogue exemplify the technical Latin intercourse between master and pupils in the school work, as well as the formal colloquies the latter were required to prepare as exercises in the second stage of their course. In one of the manuals of the latter, entitled · Familiares Colloquendi Formulæ in Usum Scholarum Concinnatæ,' I find under the first section, headed Scholasticæ Belonging to the School,' the following: Who comes to meet us? Quis obviam venit? He speaks improperly, Hic incongruè loquitur;

Latin, Olet barbariem. In the scene just quoted from it will be remembered, Holofernes, in reply to Costard's ' Ad dunghill at the fingers' ends, as they say,' says, 0 I smell false Latin, “dunghill" for unguen.'

In relation to the next stage, that of Cato's Maxims and Æsop's Fables, the proofs of Shakespeare's familiarity with these schoolbooks, if somewhat scattered and allusive, are nevertheless various and abundant. But it is the less necessary to go minutely into the evidence on this head as Mr. Henry Green, in his work on “Shakespeare and the Emblem Writers,' has detailed the illustrations with almost exhaustive minuteness. In the wider meaning and more general application of the term almost all the school books used at this stage may be summed up under the head of emblems. An emblem is not unfrequently at once an illustrated maxim and a condensed fable. The same epigrammatic or proverbial truth is often found expressed in the three forms of maxim, emblem, and fable. Cato's Maxims and Æsop's Fables' were accordingly often published as school-books with illustrated cuts, engravings, or emblems. The fly-leaf of the school colloquies just referred to contains an advertisement of “ Æsop's Fables with their morals in prose and verse, illustrated with a great number of pictures and emblems. There is a passage in Hoole also which suggests that Shakespeare in reading Æsop may have acquired some knowledge of the "Gesta Romanorum during his school days. Speaking of the third form he says :

Their forenoone lessons may be in Æsop's Fables, which is indeed a book of great antiquity and of more solid learning then most men think. For in it many good lectures in morality which would not (perhaps) have been listened to, if they had been delivered in a plain and naked manner, being handsomely made up and vented in an Apologue, do insinuate themselves into every mans minde. And for this reason perhaps it is that I finde it, and Gesta Romanorum (which is so generally pleasing to our Countrey people) to have been printed and bound up together in Latine, even when the Latine was yet in its drosse.

Alciat's was the most popular of the emblem books so common in the sixteenth century, and Mr. Green has shown how familiar Shakespeare was with his work. Now Hoole enumerates Alciat's emblems in his list of subsidiary books, and refers to it more than once as a manual used in the schools. Thus, in dealing with the work of the fourth form, he says :

After they have become acquainted with a variety of metre you may cause them to turn a fable of Æsop into what kind of verse you please to appoint them, and sometimes you may let them translate some select Epigrams out of those collected by Mr. Farnaby, or some emblems out of Alciat or the like flourishes of wit which you think will more delight them and help their fancies. Elsewhere he recommends that, as a help to making themes and

Hol. Twice-sod simplicity, bis coctus !
O thou monster Ignorance, how deformed dost thou look !

In the synonyms for coelum and terra the pedantic master literally parades the school method by which boys were required to note down Latin words and phrases and give as many English equivalents for them as possible. The next scene between the curate and the pedant recalls and exemplifies the familiar Latin dialogues which, as we have seen, formed at this stage an important part of the regular school work. It will be remembered that these learned men were walking in the park after having dined with the father of one of the school pupils, where it had been previously arranged that, if the curate would gratify the table with a grace, the pedant would undertake to prove that Biron's love verses, which they had read together, were • very unlearned, neither savouring of poetry, wit, nor invention.'

Hol. Satis quod sufficit.

Nath. I praise God for you, sir : your reasons at dinner have been sharp and sententious; pleasant without scurrility, witty without affection, audacious without impudency, learned without opinion, and strange without heresy. I did converse this quondam day with a companion of the king's who is intituled, nominated or called, Don Adriano de Armado.

Hol. Novi hominem tanquam te : his humour is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general behaviour vain, ridiculous and thrasonical. He is too picked, tuo spruce, too affected, too odd, as it were, too peregrinate, as I may call it.

Nath. A most singular and choice epithet. [Takes out his table-book.

Hol. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such fanatical phantasms, such insociable and point-devise companions; such rackers of orthography, as to speak dout,

' fine, when he should say 'doubt'; 'det,' when he should pronounce "debt,' -d, e, b, t, not d, e, t; he clepeth a calf,' cauf'; 'half," hauf'; neighbour' vocatur ' nebour'; ' neigh' abbreviated “ne. This is abhominable,which he would call abominable; it insinuateth one of insanire; ne intelligis, domine? to wax frantic, lunatic.

Nath. Laus Deo, bone intelligo.
Hol. Bone !-bone for bene : Priscian a little scratched; 'twill serve.
Nath. Videsne quis venit ?
Hol. Video, et gaudeo.

Enter ARMADO.
Arm. Chirrah ! [To Moth.
Hol. Quare 'chirrah,' not 'sirrah.'

These scraps of Latin dialogue exemplify the technical Latin intercourse between master and pupils in the school work, as well as the formal colloquies the latter were required to prepare as exercises in the second stage of their course. In one of the manuals of the latter, entitled · Familiares Colloquendi Formulæ in Usum Scholarum Concinnatæ,' I find under the first section, headed Scholasticæ Belonging to the School,' the following: "Who comes to meet us ? Quis obviam venit? He speaks improperly, Hic incongruè loquitur;

Latin, Olet herbariem. In the scene just quoted from it will be remera nered, Holofernes, in reply to Costard's - Ad dunghill at the fingers'ends, as they say,' says, - 0 I smell false Latin, “ dunghill” for unguem.

In relation to the next stage, that of Cato's Maxims and Asop's Fables, the proofs of Shakespeare's familiarity with these schoolbooks, if somewhat scattered and allusive, are nevertheless various and abundant. But it is the less necessary to go minutely into the evidence on this head as Mr. Henry Green, in his work on Shakespeare and the Emblem Writers,' has detailed the illustrations with almost exhaustive minuteness. In the wider meaning and more general application of the term almost all the school books used at this stage may be summed up under the head of emblems. An emblem is not unfrequently at once an illustrated maxim and a condensed fable. The same epigrammatic or proverbial truth is often found expressed in the three forms of maxim, emblem, and fable. Cato's Maxims and Æsop's ‘Fables' were accordingly often published as school-books with illustrated cuts, engravings, or emblems. The Ar-leaf of the school colloquies just referred to contains an advertisement of 6 Æsop's Fables with their morals in prose and verse, illustrated with a great number of pictures and emblems. There is a passage in Hoole also which suggests that Shakespeare in reading Esop may have acquired some knowledge of the “Gesta Romanorum” during his school days. Speaking of the third form he says :

Their forenoone lessons may be in Æsop's Fables, which is indeed a book of great antiquity and of more solid learning then most men think. For in it many good lectures in morality which would not (perhaps) have been listened to, if they had been delivered in a plain and naked manner, being hand-omely made up and vented in an Apologue, do insinuate themselves into every mans minde. And for this reason perhaps it is that I finde it, and Gesia Romanorum (which is so generally pleasing to our Countrey people) to have been printed and bound up together in Latine, even when the Latine was yet in its drosse.

Alciat's was the most popular of the emblem books so common in the sixteenth century, and Mr. Green has shown how familiar Shakespeare was with his work. Now Hoole enumerates Alciat's emblems in his list of subsidiary books, and refers to it more than once as a manual used in the schools. Thus, in dealing with the work of the fourth form, he says:

After they have become acquainted with a variety of metre you may cause them to turn a fable of Æsop into what kind of verse you please to appoint them, and sometimes you may let them translate some select Epigrams out of those collected by Mr. Farnaby, or some emblems out of Alciat or the like flourishes of wit which you think will more delight them and help their fancies. Elsewhere he recommends that, as a help to making themes and

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