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liable to censure, and that the loss of his pen could not have been easily supplied. But the truth is, that morality was never fuiïered in the days of persecution to protect heresy; nor are we sure that Ascham was more clear from cominon failings, than those who suffered more; and whatever might be his abilities, they were not so necessary, but Gardiner could have easily filled his place with another secretary. Nothing is more vain, than at a distant time to examine the motives of discrimination and partiality; for the inquirer, having considered interest and policy, is obliged at last to omit more frequent and more active motives of human conduct, caprice, accident, and private affections.
At that time, some were punished, many were forborn; and of many why should not Ascham happen to be one? He seems to have been calm and prudent, and content with that peace which he was suffered to enjoy; a mode of behaviour that seldom fails to produce security. He had been abroad in the last years of king Edward, and had at least given no recent offence. He was certainly, according to his own opinion, not much in danger; for in the next year he resigned his fellowLhip, which by Gardiner's favour he had continued to hold, though not resident; and married Margaret Howe, a young gentlewoman of a good family.
He was distinguished in this reign by the notice of cardinal Pole, a man of great candour, learning, and gentleness of manners, and particularly eminent for his skill in Latin, who thought highly of Ascham's style ; of which it is no inconsiderable proof, that when Pole was desirous of communicating a speech made by himself as legate, in parliament, to the pope, he employed Archam to translate it,
He is said to have been not only protected by the officers of state, but favoured and countenanced by the queen herself; so that he had no reason of complaint in that reign of turbulence and persecution: nor was his fortune much mended, when in 1558 his pupil Elizabeth mounted the throne. He was continued in his former employment, with the same stipend: but though he was daily admitted to the presence of the queen, aslisted her private studies, and partook of her diversions; sometimes read to her in the learned languages, and sometimes played with her at draughts and chess; he added nothing to his twenty pounds a year but the prebend of Westwang in the church of York, which was given him the year following. His fortune was therefore not proportionate to the rank which his offices and reputation gave him, or to the favour in which he seemed to stand with his mistress. Of this parsimonious allotment it is again a hopeless search to inquire the reason. The queen was not naturally bountiful, and perhaps did not think it necefsary to distinguish by any prodigality of kindness a man who had formerly deserted her, and whom the might still suspect of serving rather for interest than affection. Graunt exerts his rhetorical powers in praise. of Ascham's disinterestedness and contempt of money; and declares, that though he was often reproached by his friends with neglect of his own interest, he never would ask any thing, and inflexibly refused all presents which his office or imagined interest induced any to offer him. Cainden, however, imputes the narrowness of his condition to his love of dice and cock-fights: and Graunt, forgetting himsef, allows that Ascham was sometimes thrown inte agonies by disappointed expec
tations. It may be easily discovered from his Schoolmaster, that he felt his wants, though he might neglect to supply them; and we are left to suspect that he Thewed his contempt of money only by losing at play. If this was his practice, we may excuse Elizabeth, who knew the domestick character of her servants, if the did not give much to him who was lavish of a little.
However he might fail in his oeconomy, it were indecent to treat with wanton levity the memory of a man who shared his frailties with all, but whose learning or virtues few can attain, and by whose excellencies many may be improved, while himself only fuffered by his faults.
In the reign of Elizabeth nothing remarkable is known to have befallen him, except that, in 1563, he was invited by Sir Edward Sackville to write the Schoolmaster, a treatise on education, upon an occasion which he relates in the beginning of the book. This work, though begun with alacrity in hopes of a considerable reward, was interrupted by the death of the patron, and afterwards sorrowfully and flowly finished, in the gloom of disappointment, under the pressure of diftress. But of the author's disinclination or dejection there can be found no tokens in the work, which is conceived with great vigour, and finished with
great accuracy; and perhaps contains the best advice that was ever given for the study of languages.
This treatise he completed, but did not publish; for that
poverty which in our days drives authors so hastily in such numbers to the press, in the time of Alcham, I believe, debarrel riem from it. The printers gave little for a copy, and, if we may believe the tale
of Ralegh's history, were not forward to print what
Ascham never had a robust or vigorous body, and
Roger Ascham died in the fifty-third year of his age, at a time when, according to the general course of life,
much might yet have been expected from him, and when he might have hoped for much froin others: but his abilities and his wants were at an end together; and who can determine, whether he was cut off froin advantages, or rescued from calamities? He appears to have been not much qualified for the improvement of his fortune. His dispolition was kind and social; he delighted in the pleasures of conversation, and was probably not much inclined to business. This may bę suspected from the paucity of his writings. He has left little behind him; and of that little nothing was published by himself but the Toxophilus, and the account of Germany. The Schoolmaster was printed by his widow; and the epistles were collected by Graunt, who dedicated them tu queen Elizabeth, that he might have an opportunity of recommending his son Giles Ascham to her patronage. The dedication was not lost: the young man was made, by the queen's mandate, fellow of a college in Cambridge, where he obtained considerable reputation. Whạt was the effect of his widow's dedication to Cecil, is not known: it may be hoped that Ascham's works obrained for his family, after his decease, that support which he did not in his life very plenteously procure them.
Whether he was poor by his own fault, or the fault of others, cannot now be decided; but it is certain that many have been rich with less merit. His philological learning would have gained him honour in any country; and among us it may justly call for that reverence which all nations owe to those who first rouse them from ignorance, and kindle among them the light of literature. Of his manners nothing can be said but from his own testimony, and that of his con