« EdellinenJatka »
government between man and man. So they shall have justice in their own hands, law executed fully and finally in their own counties and precincts—long wished and spoken of, but never yet obtained. They shall have none then to blame but themselves if it be not well administered, and fewer laws to expect from the supreme authority; or to those that shall be made, of any great concernment to public liberty, they may without much trouble—in these commonalties, or in more general assemblies, called to their cities from the whole territory on such occasion— declare and publish their assent or dissent by deputies, within a time limited, sent to the grand council; yet so as this their judgement declared shall submit to the greater number of other counties or commonalties, and not avail them to any exemption of themselves, or refusal of agreement with the rest, as it may in any of the United Provinces, being sovereign within itself, to the great disadvantage of that Union.
Controversies between men of different counties might be decided at the capital city, or any more commodious place, by indifferent judges.
In these cities they should also have “schools and academies at their own choice, wherein their children may be bred up in their own sight to all learning and noble education—not in grammar only, but in all liberal acts and exercises.” But this, he says,
Monarchs never will permit; whose aim is to make the people wealthy indeed perhaps and well-fleeced, for their own shearing and the supply of regal prodigality; but otherwise softest, basest, viciousest, servilest, easiest to be kept under; and, not only in fleece, but in mind also, sheepishest. And will have all the benches of judicature annexed to the throne as a gift of royal grace, that we have justice done us; whereas nothing can be more essential to the freedom of a people than to have the administration of justice, and all public ornaments, in their own election, and within their own bounds, without long travelling or depending upon remote places to obtain their right or any civil accomplishment, so it be not supreme, but subordinate to the general power and union of the whole republic.
Such were the views of Milton as to the best form of government for England, formed in total ignorance of the character of the English people, the most attached to ancient usages and precedents, and the least inclined to depart from them, of any people in Europe. We need hardly say, then, that his plan was impracticable under any circumstances.
IN his celebrated treatise addressed to his friend Hartlib, Milton gives his ideas on the best mode of education for the “noble and gentle youth” of England, between the ages of twelve and twenty-one years. He proposes that a house and grounds should be selected capable of lodging commodiously a hundred and fifty persons; to be both school and university. Of these about twenty should be attendants, the remainder teachers and students; the whole to be under the direction of one “of desert sufficient and ability either to do all, or wisely to direct and oversee it done.” With respect to their studies, they should first be taught the chief and necessary rules of the Latin grammar, which language they should be made to pronounce as near the Italian manner as possible, especially in the vowels; “for we Englishmen,” he says, “being far northerly, do not open our mouths in the cold air wide enough to grace a southern tongue, but are observed by all other nations to speak exceeding close and inward; so that to smatter Latin with an English mouth is as ill a hearing as law French.” He would then have read to them some “easy and delightful book of education;” but though there is plenty of such in Greek, he can point out nothing of the kind in Latin, except the first books of Quintilian.
But here the main skill and groundwork will be, to temper them such lectures and explanations upon every opportunity as may lead and draw them in willing obedience, inflamed with the study of learning and the admiration of virtue, stirred up with high hopes of living to be brave men and worthy patriots, dear to God, and famous to all ages; that they may despise and scorn all their childish and ill-taught qualities, to delight in manly and liberal exercises, which he who hath the art and proper eloquence to catch" them with—what with mild and effectual persuasions, and what with the intimation of some fear, if need be, but chiefly by his own example—might, in a short space, gain them to an incredible diligence and courage, infusing into their young breasts such an ingenuous and noble ardour as would not fail to make many of them renowned and matchless men.
During this period they might be taught arithmetic and the elements of geometry, “even playing.” Between supper and bed-time they might be instructed in the easy grounds of religion and the Scripture history.
They are then to be put to read the agricultural writers, Cato, Varro, Columella; for cven if the language be difficult, it is not a difficulty above their years. Hence, he infers, they will learn how to cultivate and improve the soil of their country. Before they are half through these authors, he thinks they must be masters of any ordinary Latin prose. They may now also learn the use of the globes in some modern author, and all the maps, “first with the old names and then with the new ;” or they might be able to read some compendious method of natural philosophy. They might at this time also commence Greek, in the same manner as the Latin, first reading the historical physiology of Aristotle and Theophrastus. To these they can add Vitruvius, Seneca's Natural Questions, Mela, Celsus, Pliny, or Solinus, and then “they may descend in mathematics to the instrumental science of trigonometry, and from thence to fortification, architecture, enginery, or navigation; and in natural philosophy, they may proceed leisurely from the history of meteors, minerals, plants, and living creatures, as far as anatomy.” Then also might be read to them, “out of some not tedious writer,” the institutions of physic; as this may be of use to a man's self and to his friends, and even enable him, at times, to save an army from wasting away by disease. In these various studies, they may obtain,_ some for pay, some for favour, the aid and instruction of hunters, shepherds, gardeners, architects, mariners, anatomists, etc. “Then also those poets which are now counted most hard will be both facile and pleasant, Orpheus, Hesiod, Theocritus, Aratus, Nicander, Oppian, Dionysius; and in Latin, Lucretius, Manilius, and the rural parts of Virgil.” They may now commence the study of cthics, reading for that purpose the moral works of Plato, Xenophon, Cicero, Plutarch, Laertius, etc.; but always closing the day's work “under the determinate sentence of David or Solomon, or the Evangelists and Apostolic Scriptures.” At odd hours, during this or the preceding period, they
* I. e. Imbue, affect, or infect. We still use it, but in rather a passive
sense, as when we say, “he had caught a fever.” Catch is, we think, a corruption of latch, from A. S. gelæccan, perf gelæhte, whence caught, while if it came from capio, it would be catched. In Macbeth (iv. 3) we meet with latch in the sense of catch, and we have the latch of a door, the latchet of a shoe. We would therefore read latched for lapsed, in
“For which if I be lapsed in this place.”—Twelfth Night, iii. 3; and in—
“But hast thou yet latched the Athenian's eyes
With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?”
We would understand latch as catch in this place of Milton. We may observe that take is used in a somewhat similar manner. “No fairy takes "“a fruit that with the frost is taken.”—Surrey.