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PREFACE TO VOL. III.
Of the first work contained in this volume, "A Report and Discourse of the Affairs and State of Germany, &c.” I have seen but one separate edition ; a fac-simile of its title is prefixed to our reprint of the work. It is in small quarto, and has no date; but it is known to have been printed in 1552, and again in 1570.
The copy which I have seen, is in the British Museum, and has furnished, besides many smaller corrections, more than one whole sentence that had been omitted in the last edition of the English Works, 8vo, 1815.
2. The School-master also is here printed from the English Works of Roger Ascham,” collated throughout with the earlier editions, which have furnished several important corrections of the text.
This work was first published by Mrs Ascham, small Svo, 1570, after her husband's death: a fac-simile of
the title to that edition is prefixed to the work in the present reprint.
The School-master was again printed in 1571, 1573, 1579, 1583, 1589,--these editions vary very little the one from the other.
It was again published, with notes by the Rev. James Upton, London, 8vo, 1711, and reprinted 1743.
The work is also found in the English Works of Roger Ascham, and has lastly been carefully edited “by John E. B. Mayor, M.A., Fellow of Saint John's College, Cambridge; London, Bell and Daldy, 186 Fleet Street, 1863, fcap 8vo.”—The notes in this edition are most elaborate, and must cause every reader to regret that the able and learned editor did not extend his plan by giving us a complete edition of his favourite Ascham's works.
The notes found in the last London edition of the works have been all retained, with some few corrections and additional references.
3. The Poemata, which first appeared in one of the early editions of the Epistolæ, edited by Grant, were afterwards omitted by Elstob and others, but are here restored. They add nothing to Ascham's classical reputation—nor, on the other hand, do they detract from it; for, notwithstanding the great stir made in those times about classical learning, there had been a great falling off, owing to the revival of the native English tongue under the Lancastrian and Tudor kings. Those poems might be retained, if only to show that poetical licences, if not false quantities, formed a great part of the stock-in-trade of those who then cultivated the Latin muse. But there may be another reason, still more sad, for their preservation ; for, whilst the names of Ravaillac, Fenton, and other murderers, have been immortalized by the fame, not of themselves but of their victims, it is also clear that the making of these unlucky hexameters caused the untimely death of Roger Ascham.
4. The Oration on the life and death of Ascham, is as perfect a specimen of the bombastic style used in such compositions as we can easily meet with. It is, however, a great guide to the facts and dates of Ascham's life, and though lengthy and repulsive in its Latinity, could not with propriety be left out. It was first published by Grant as an introduction to his first edition of the Letters.
5. Seven Letters by Giles Ascham, son of the Royal Tutor, are now first published from the Lansdowne Collection in the British Museum.
They are written in the same querulous style which the father always used, when soliciting money from the Queen and others who were his patrons.