Page images
PDF
EPUB

Topicks, until it be Time to open her contracted Palm into a graceful and ornate Rhetorick, taught out of the Rules of Plato, Aristotle, Phalerus, Cicero, Hermogenes, Longinus. To which Poetry would be made subsequent, or indeed rather precedent, as being less fubtile and fine, but more fimple, sensuous and passionate. 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 fublime Art which in Aristotle's Poeticks, in Horace, and the Italian Commentaries of Caftlevetro, Taso, Mazzoni, and others, teaches what the Laws are of a true Epic Poem, what of a Dramatic, what of a Liric, what Decorum is, which is the grand Mafter-piece to obserye.

This would make them foon 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 Insight 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 otherwise wrought than what we now fit under, oft-times to as reat a Trial of our Patience as any other they preach to us.

These are the Studies wherein our noble and our gentle Youth ought to bestow their Time in a difciplinary Way from twelve to one and twenty ; unless they rely more upon their Ancestors dead, than upon themselves living. In which methodical Course it is fo suppos'd they must proceed by the fteddy Pace of legning onward, as at convenient Times for Memory's

Z

Sake

Sake to retire back into the middle Ward, and sometimes into the Rear of what they have been taught, until they have confirm'd, and solidly united the whole Body of their perfected knowledge, like the last embattelling of a Roman Legion.

Now will be worth the seeing what Exercises and Recreations may

best
agree,

and become thefe Studies,

[merged small][ocr errors]

THEIR

E X E R CIS E. T

HE Course of Study hitherto briefly describid, is,

whai I can guess by reading, likest to those antient and famous Schools of Pythagoras, Plato, Isocrates, Aristotle, and such others, out of which were bred up such a Number of renowned Philosophers, Orators, Hiftorians, Poets and Princes all over Greece, Italy and Asia, besides the flourishing Studies of Czene and Alexandria. But herein it shall exceed them, and supply a Defect as great as that which Plato noted in the Cominon-wealth of Sparle ; whereas that City train'd up their Youth most for War, and these in their Academies and Lyceum, all for the Gown, this Institution of breeding, which I hera delineate, shall be equally good both for Peace and War. Therefore about an Hour and a half ere they e.it at Noon should be allow'd them for Exercis?, and due Reit afterward: But the Time for this may be enlarged at Pleasure, according as their rising in the Morning mall 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, ftrong, 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 temper'a

22

with

with seaforable Lectures and Precepts to them of true Fortitude and Parience, will turn into a native and heroic Valour, and make them hate the Cowardice of doing wrong. They must be also practis'd in all the Lock and Gripes of Wrestling, wherein Englishmen were wont to excel, as Need may often be in Fig!it to tugg or grapple, and to close. And this perhaps will be enougli, wherein to prove and heat their single Strength. The Interim of unsweating themselves regularly, and convenient Reit before Meat, may both with Profit and Delight be taken up in recreating and coinposing their travail'd Spisits with the folemn and divine Harmonies of Mufick heard or learnt; either while the skilfi:l Organist plies his grave and fancied Descant, in lofty Fugues, or the whole Symphony with artful and unimaginable Toucles adorn and grace the well-studied Chords of some choice Compofer; sometimes the Lute, or soft Organ-flop waiting on elegant Voices either to religious, material, or civil Ditties; which, if wife Men and Prophets be not extremely out, have a great Power over Dispositions and Manners, to smooth and make them gentle from ruftick Harhness and distemper d Passions. The like also would not be unexpedient after Meat to aflitt and clierish Nature in her first Concoction, and send their Minds back to ftudy in good Tune and Satisfaction. Where having follow'd it close under vigilant Eyes till about two Hours before Supper, they are by a sudden Alarm or Watch-word, to be call’d out to their military Motions, under Skie or Covert, according to the Season, as was the Roman wont ; first on Foot, then as their Age permits on Horse back, to all the Art of Cavalry ; that having in Sport but with much Exactness, and daily Muster, lerved out the Rudiments of their Soldiership in all the Skill of Embattling, Marching, Encamping, Fortifying, Befieging and Battering, with all the Helps of antient and modern Stratagems, Tacticks, and warlike Maxims, they may as it were out of a long War come forth renown'd and perfe&t Com manders in the Service of their country. They would 6

not

1

not then, if they were trusted with fair and hopeful Armies, suffer them for Want of just and wife Discipline to shed away from about them like fick Feathers, tho" they be never so oft supplied: they would not saffer their empty and unrecruitable Colonels of 20 Men in a Company, to quaff out, or convey into fecret Hoards, the Wages of a delusive List and a miserable Remnant: yet in the mean While to be over-master'd 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 ought 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 conftant 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. should not therefore be a Persuader to them of studying mnch 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 an Tillage, Harbours and, Ports for Trade: Sometimes taking Sea as far as to our Navy, to learn there also what they can in the practical Knowledge of Sailing and of Sea-figlit.

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 fathion again those old admired Virtues and Excellencies, with far more advantage now in this Purity of Christian Know

" 23

le sco

« PreviousContinue »