Ruth Kelso' s Doctrine of the English Gentleman in the 16th Century


Source: Ruth Kelso.  The Doctrine of the English Gentleman in the 16th Century with a Bibliographical List of Treatises on the Gentleman and Related Subjects Published in Europe to 1625. Gloucester, Mass: Peter Smith, 1964. Copyright, 1929 by University of Illinois Press. Reprinted, 1964 by Permission of University of Illinois Press.

Transcription conventions: to the edition cited as the source. Words or phrases singled out for indexing are marked by plus signs. In the index, numbers in parentheses indicate how many times the item appears. A slash followed by a number indicates a note at the end of the page.















| Acteon+(1)| action+(7)| active_life+(1)| adaptibility+(1)| Aesop+(1)| affability+(1)| affaires+(1)| affectation+(1)| Affectation+(1)| affected+(1)| Agricola+(1)| Agrippa+(2)| Alexander+(1)| Allen+(1)| ancients+(4)| ancient_learning+|angels+(1)| anger+(1)| appetite+(1)| apprenticeshi+(1)| Aquinas+(3)| aristocracy+(2)| Aristophanes+(1)| Aristotelian+(5)| Aristotle+(15)|Aristotle's Ethics(1)| Aristotles_Morall_vertues+(1)| arquebus+(1)| art+(1)| art_of_loving+(1)|| Art+(1)| arts_liberal+(1)| Ascham+(13)| Astronomie+(1)| astronomy+(1)| Astronomy+(1)| Augustine+(2)| avarice+(2)| Bacon+(9)| Baldwin+(1)| Ball+(2)| Bellay+(1)| Bembo+(3)| beneficence+(1)| benevolence+(1)| bestow+(1)| bestowing+(1)| Bible+(2)| binding+(1)| Blundeville+(1)| boasted+(1)| Boccaccio+(1)| Bodin+(1)| bondes+(1)| Bossewell+(1)| Botero+(1)| Brantome+(1)| Bryskett+(1)| Burckhardt+(1)| burden+(2)| Burghley+(4)| Burke+(1)| burthen+(1)| Caesar+(2)| Cain+(1)| Calthorpe+(1)| Camden+(1)| Card-playing+(1)| carelessness+(2)| Carlyle+(1)| Castiglione+(19)| Caxton+(1)| charity+(1)| Charles_VIII+(1)| Chastalio+(1)| Chaucer+(1)| Cheke+(2)| Cherbury+(3)| chess+(1)| Christ+(3)| Christian_ethics+(1)| Churchyard+(1)| Cicero+(14)| Ciceronian+(2)| citizens+(1)| Civil_law+(1)| civilians+(1)| classical+(2)| classical_tradition+(1)| Cleland+(10)| Cockaine+(1)| code_of_honor+(1)| Coke+(1)| Colet+(2)| College_of_Arms+(1)| Columbus+(2)| comelynesse+(1)| commerce+(1)| Commines+(1)| common_lawes+(1)| commonal_tie+(1)| comparing+(1)| condescension+(1)| conscience+(1)| Constable+(1)| contemplative+(1)| Copernicus+(1)| Corderius+(1)| cosmography+(1)| counsel+(1)| counsellor+(1)| courage+(3)| courtier+(3)| curiosity+(1)| Curtius+(1)| dancing+(1)| Daniel+(2)| Dante+(1)| Davidson+(1)| de+(1)| de_Officiis+(2)| dedes+(1)| Dee+(1)| deeds+(1)| Della_Casa+(2)| democratic+(1)| Demosthenes+(1)| dice+(1)| Digges+(1)| Divinitie+(1)| Donne+(1)| Drake+(2)| drawing+(1)| due+(2)| dueling+(1)| dueling_code+(1)| Duells+(1)| duetifull+(1)| duty+(3)| Dyer+(1)| education+(3)| Edward_IV+(1)| Edward_VI+(1)| Elizabeth+(4)| Elyot+(25)| endurance+(1)| Equity+(1)| Erasmus+(12)| Essex+(2)| Euphues+(2)| Euripides+(1)| Eutopians+(1)| examples+(1)| Faerie_Queene+(1)| favors+(1)| fence+(1)| Fern+(1)| Ferne+(1)| fidelit+(1)| figures+(2)| flatterer+(1)| Florio+(2)| Football+(1)| foreign_languages+(1)| foresight+(1)| fortitude+(4)| Fortitude+(1)| Fortune+(1)| Francis_I+(1)| French+(1)| friends+(1)| friendship+(1)| Frisius+(1)| Frobisher+(1)| Frobusher+(1)| Fyguratyve+(1)| Gascoigne+(2)| Gauricus+(1)| generosity+(2)| Genoese+(1)| Germane+(1)| Gibbon+(1)| Gilbert+(2)| giving+(1)| glories+(1)| glory+(2)| Glover+(1)| God's_viceroy+(1)| golden_rul+(1)| Goldin+(1)| Gosson+(1)| govern_himself+(1)| grac+(1)| grace+(1)| graciousness+(2)| grammar+(1)| grammar_schools+(2)| Grammer+(1)| gratitude+(3)| grave+(1)| Gravyty+(1)| Greece+(1)| Greek+(2)| Greville+(2)| Grocyn+(1)| Guazzo+(3)| Guevara+(1)| Guicciardini+(1)| Gulliver+(1)| Halicarnassus+(1)| Harvard+(1)| Harvey+(1)| Hatton+(1)| Hayward+(1)| hazardes+(1)| Hebrew+(2)| Henry_II+(1)| Henry_VII+(2)| Henry_VIII+(2)| heraldry+(1)| heralds+(1)| Hermogenes+(1)| Herodotus+(1)| Heroical_Poesie+(1)| Hesiod+(1)| Hippocrates+(1)| historian+(1)| histories+(1)| history+(2)| History+(1)| Hoby+(4)| Holland+(1)| Hollybande+(1)| Homer+(1)| Homere+(1)| honestie+(2)| Hooker+(1)| Horace+(2)| horsemanship+(1)| hospitality+(1)| humanis+(1)| humanistic+(1)| humanists+(1)| humanities+(1)| humanity+(1)| humility+(1)| Humphrey+(4)| hunting_and_hawking+(1)| imitation+(1)| individualism+(1)| individualistic+(1)| injury+(2)| inkhorn+(1)| Inns_of_Court+(3)| institution+(1)| Institutions+(1)| integrity+(1)| Integrity+(1)| Isocrates+(2)| Italian+(1)| James_I+(2)| Jerome+(1)| John_Silver+(1)| Jonson+(1)| Jovius+(1)| justice+(8)| Justice+(3)| Justice_of_Peace+(1)| justice_of_the_peace+(2)| Justinian+(2)|Juvenal(1)| Languet+(1)| Latimer+(2)| Latinity+(1)| Law+(1)| lawes+(1)| lawyer+(1)| learning+(1)|| Legh+(1)| Leicester+(2)| liberal_arts+(3)| Liberal_studie+(1)| liberal_studies+(1)| liberality+(1)| liberall_sciences+(1)| Licurgus+(1)| lie+(2)| Linacre+(2)| Lipsius+(3)| logic+(2)| Logic+(1)| Logicke+(1)| long_bow+(2)| Lord_Mayor+(1)| Lucian+(1)| luxuriously+(1)| luxury+(1)| Lycaon+(1)| Lyly+(6)| Machiavelli+(1)| Machiavellian+(1)| Magelanns+(1)| Magellan+(1)| magnanimity+(1)| Majestie+(1)| majesty+(1)| Markham+(1)| mastery_of_himself+(1)| mathematics+(2)| mechanicall+(1)| Mercator+(1)| merchant+(1)| merit+(2)| Milles+(1)| modesty+(2)| monarchy+(1)| moral_code+(1)| More+(4)| Morgan+(1)| Mulcaster+(9)| music+(1)| Music+(2)| Muzio+(2)| nature+(1)| neighbors+(1)| Newman+(1)| nil_admirari+(1)| Noah+(1)| noblesse_oblige+(1)| Noue+(1)| obligations+(1)| orator+(2)| orator_citizens+(1)| organic_theory+(1)| Ortelius+(2)| Osorius+(5)| Ovid+(1)| Papistry+(1)| papists+(1)| parents+(1)| Parsons+(1)| patience+(2)| Patrizi+(3)| Peacham+(9)| Peacham_the_elder+(1)| Penshurst+(1)| Persius+(1)| philosopher+(3)| philosopher-kings+(1)| philosophy+(3)| Philosophy+(3)| Phisicke+(1)| Piccolomini+(3)| piety+(2)| Pindar+(1)| Plato+(10)| Plautus+(1)| Plutarch+(3)| poetry+(1)| Poetry+(1)| Polonius+(1)| Pontano+(2)| Pope+(1)| Pope_Leo_X+(1)| Portia+(1)| preciosity+(1)| prentice+(1)| Primaudaye+(1)| primogeniture+(1)| Princess_Mary+(1)| printed_books+(1)| Protestant+(1)| Protestantism+(1)| prudence+(2)| Ptolomy+(1)| puritanic+(2)| puritans+(1)| purity+(1)| quality+(1)| Queen_Anne+(1)| Quintilian+(2)| Rabelais+(1)| Raleigh+(4)| Ralph_Broke+(1)| Ratcliff+(1)| reason+(8)| reciproke+(1)| Reformation+(1)| reputation+(5)| responsibilities+(1)| responsibility+(2)| self-restraint+(1)| retail+(1)| revengment+(1)| rhetoric+(5)| Rhetorick+(1)| Rhetoricke+(1)| Rich+(1)| rich_traders+(1)| righteousness+(1)| Rome+(1)| Romei+(1)| Rowbothum+(1)| Russian+(1)| Sackville+(1)| Sallust+(1)| sapience+(1)| Saviolo+(3)| scholarship+(1)|science(1)| Scipio+(1)| Seneca+(2)| sentences+(1)| Sertorius+(1)| seven_deadly_sins+(1)| Shakespeare+(4)| Sheffield+(1)| Shrewsbury+(1)| Sidney+(10)| Sidney's_Arcadia+(1)| Silius+(1)| Sleidanus+(1)| sloath+(1)| Smith+(2)| social+(1)| social_instinct+(1)| society+(1)| Socrates+(1)| sophistry+(1)| soul+(1)| Southwell+(1)| Spenser+(9)| sprezzatura+(1)| stoic+(1)| Stoics+(2)| Stoiks+(1)| strangers+(1)| Sturm+(3)| superstition+(1)| Surrey+(1)| Swimming+(1)| Tacitus+(2)| Tasso+(1)| temperance+(5)| Temperance+(2)| Tennis+(1)| Terence+(1)| Teutonic+(1)| Theology+(1)| theoretical+(1)| Thucydides+(1)| Tiraquellus+(1)| Touchstone+(1)| translators+(1)| treatmen+(1)| triumphant_force+(1)| Tullie+(1)| Tully+(1)| tutors+(1)| United_States+(1)| universal+(2)| usefulness+(1)| usurer+(1)| Valerius+(1)| valor+(1)| Venetians+(1)| Venice+(1)| Vesputius+(1)| Victoria+(1)| Virgil+(1)| triumphant-virtue+(1)| Virtues_List+(2)| Vives+(3)| walking+(1)| Walsingham+(1)| Walton+(1)| Walworth+(1)| Wars_of_the_Rose+(1)| wealth+(1)| wisdom+(1)| Wolsey+(1)| word+(1)| wordes+(1)| words+(1)| Wrestling+(1)| Wyat+(1)| Xenophon+(1)| yeoman+(1)| xzeal+(1)`



[frontispiece elyot.tif] SIR THOMAS ELYOT From Bartolozzi's engaving of Holbein's drawing.




H. S. V. J.






A treatise upon treatises of the sixteenth century--that age of letters dedicatory and prefaces explanatory--would surely go ill-furnished into the world without some foreword, to disarm new critics, perhaps, and to thank old.
    This survey of renaissance ideals has taken into account, as the title indicates, only the theoretical+ discussions. The mass of material is so great, when continental as well as English output is considered, that it seemed worth while to set these limits, and leave for other studies the fields of history and fiction. Continental works were of course necessarily taken into account if only because so many of them were known in England either in the original, or in translation, and because on many aspects of the subject the English wete willing to let Italians or Frenchmen speak for them.
    Such explorations as this of the social+ background of literature are of interest for the subject itself, but have also more value than we have been wont to think for the light that they throw on literary problems. It seems safe to assume for example that after a study of these documents no one would consider it worth while to argue whether Shakespeare+ showed any democratic+ leanings in his treatment of his mobs. This treatise is only a very modest excursion, but suggestive at least, I hope, of the further richer results awaiting more judicious adventurers.
    Like all students I bear the pleasant burden+ of gratitude+ to others for their assistance: first and chiefly to Dr. H. S. V. Jones, my colleague and friend, under whom the study was first undertaken in course for the doctor's degree, for the suggestion of the subject and for his unfailing encouragement and able criticism; to Dr. W. L. Bullock, who has given most generously of his time and library to the making of the Italian section of the bibliographical list; to Dr. Hardin Craig for helpful suggestions and encouragement; and to others too numerous to mention. I want to take this opportunity likewise to acknowledge my heavy debt to the Library of the Britsh Museum and its officials, for the materials so generously made available to wandering scholars, and for the uniform courtesy and patience shown in bringing out the seemingly endless stream of books examined. My thanks are due also to the University of Illinois for enabling me to publish my results. Urbana, Illinois, March 30, 1929      RUTH KELSO



Of all the researches magnificent that have engaged the human spirit the most honorable and the most ancient has been the quest for the perfect man. Poets and philosophers have gone on pilgrimage; and Diogenes with his antern is not an eccentric, but a type and a symbol. Though the image has varied with time and place, like the ancestral portraits of an ancient house a family resemblance shows in Greek and Roman, medieval and renaissance ideals despite disguising robe, ruff, or coat of mail. The roots of every age lie buried deep in the past, and most of what seems new in one age is only the re-flowering of old things that have lain dormant or unnoticed. Yet any attempt to set forth the ideal of human, personal perfection which an age sought for itself presents peculiar difficulties because of the protean character of ideals-they will scarcely bear seizing; and in the English renaissance, with its sharp contrasts and contradictions-its intellectualism and its bestiality,its reverence for authority in the ancients and its originality-the/1 difficulties are multiplied. For us today such a study, however, is of particular interest because the perfect man of the renaissance bears a modern look and we have not yet found a better name express our ideal than that of gentleman, which the sixteenth century first made current. The adoption of the name is in itself significant of the setting-in of the new current which marks the modern period. It indicates the broadened base of the ideal and its greater attainableness. The perfect man of the Greeks was the philosopher+, admittedly realizable by only a few individuals in the state. The loftiest conception of the Romans was the orator+, obviously also of extremely limited distribution. The ideal of chivalry belonged only to the warrior class of the middle ages, and the courtier+ of the Italian renaissance could live only in the palaces of princes. But the gentleman of England was a pattern men might take to themselves not merely at the court and on the battlefield, but in the universities, in


the halls of justice, and even the countinghouse. It may be doing, however, a sort of violence to the facts to talk of the English ideal, since strictly speaking, in England there was not one but many,the courtier's, the scholar's, the lawyer's, the soldier's, the statesman's, the merchant'sbut all proudly claimed the name of gentleman, and today no origin is so mean, no calling so mechanical as to shut out a man from striving to become a gentleman. Thus have class prerogative and exterior marking fallen away from the ideal, and inner qualities of mind and character received increasing emphasis. So far has the process gone, indeed, that men wish to lay hold of the title through sheer possession of a common humanity, as if to say, "I am a man and therefore a gentleman," and thus are emptying the term of meaning; but in its most indiscriminate use it still bears witness to the impulse of man to walk erect, and even yet covers more amply than any other one word all that we prize in man.
    What was this ideal of Elizabethan England? Whence came it, and how did it differ from its forerunners? In answering, one is reminded of Portia+'s flippant words: "How oddly he is suited! I think he bought his doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany and his behaviour everywhere." Whether the English gentleman was an eclectic in his choice of fashions and manners, or merely indiscriminately hospitable may be a fair question, but it is true that he fashioned himself as well as his clothes on a pattern more noteworthy for its motley effect than for its harmony. To speak broadly, his virtues, his statecraft and his pedagogy he took from the Greeks and Romans, his manners in peace and his conduct in war from chivalry, his fundamental notion of his favored position in the state from medieval politicians, and on top of all he claimed to be a Christian. He was therefore both the latest fashion in perfection of a long series, and also a composite of all the ideals which the history of western Europe has recorded. Could the philosopher, the orator, the knight, the courtier, and the gentleman have met together, they would have found that beneath the surface they had much in common. Aristotle+, they would have agreed, had set forth adequately the private virtues, without which no man may lift his head above his fellows. The ostentatious rich man, the arrogant fool, the profligate, and the corrupt in high places, they would all have condemned with equal scorn, and praised with equal zeal+ modesty+ and graciousness+, self-restraint+ and generosity+,


courage+ and justice+. The public duty of unselfish devotion to the best interests of the state would have had as eager support from the knight as from the philosopher. The differences which appear lie in the type of public service demanded, and consequently in the equipment required for the performance of duties, in the social qualities desired, and in the countless details of manners, dress, forms of recreation, besides the subtle shadings that morals themselves take on with the change of times.
    The difficulty of arriving at a fair representation of the Elizabethan ideal of the gentleman is indicated by this variety of its sources, which often present incompatible if not warring elements. The renaissance claimed that it drew its morality from Christianity, that is from the church fathers, and made use of pagan philosophers only in so far as they were compatible with Christianity and reinforced it. The two systems of morality, however, are fundamentally irreconcilable, one a system of renunciation, of abasement of the individual; the other a system of expansion, of perfection of the individual. It is easy to guess which formed the real basis of renaissance ethics. And yet Christian_ethics+cannot be left out of the account. Likewise what may be called national and foreign elements entered into conflict. So potent was the influence of contemporary Italian and French thought that through translations and adaptations the expression of the English ideal took on a character opposed in many respects to actual English conditions and ideas, and it is hard to say how much of the borrowed matter is to be considered a corporate part of the English ideal. Thus Castiglione+'s Courtier presented in Hoby+'s English dress becomes to all appearance and intention an English book, and the recommended bible of the gentleman; and yet in many respects the ideal of the Italian courtier seems never to have become the ideal of the English gentleman. The ingredients, as may be seen, are greatly mixed.
    The scope of the subject, moreover, is not apparent at first glance, for its ramifications are many and often unexpected. Every office and aspect of life was ordered for the gentleman by the fundamental assumption that he was the example, the leader, the governor of the common people, and must therefore be distinguished from them. To fill his place in the hierarchy of this world, he must be better born and better educated, have better manners, wear better clothes, and wear them more gracefully, live in a larger and more beautiful house, find recreation in more refined and more taxing


amusements, look to his morals more closely, cherishing above all things a fine sense of honor,in short, never forget his essential superiority to the rabble. Consequently those concerned to foster and improve the qualities needed for a governing class, according to their own interest and their degree, poured forth "Institutions+," "Moral_Methods+," "Courtiers," "Governors," "Complete Gentlemen," "Schoolmasters," "Quintessences of Wit," "Blazons of Gentry," "Books of Honor and Arms," of "Horsemanship," of "Hunting and Hawking." If England lacked any store of perfect gentlemen in Elizabeth's days, it was not for lack of good advice and rules, administered in straight, unsugared style, or sweetly coated in a Euphues+ or Faerie_Queene+, in case, as Spenser+ said, men preferred to read for amusement rather than profit. Academic as much of this discussion seems today, outgrown and discarded, in the sixteenth century it still had vital import. For though the century saw the ending of the nobility as a real class through the loss of a business peculiar to it, military service, and through the shift of emphasis to civil service, the form still remained and with it the power. In affairs of state the gentleman still bore the responsibility for all the good and all the evil of the day. So Lawrence Humphrey wrote of his book, "I attempted to describe the ryghte pathe to Nobilitye, Syth of it, whatsoever eyther felicitye or calamitye, is in our present state, seemeth to issue."./1 The conditions which brought about the change from the knight to the gentleman are complex, and cannot be analyzed here in detail, but the main facts are generally known, and a brief outline will be sufficient to suggest the source of the ideal and the background against which it is to be projected.
    Tudor policy resulted in concentrating political power in the sovereign and making the court the real center of the country. The Wars_of_the_Rose+ had destroyed the last of the great self-sustaining establishments of the nobles, and the Tudors took care to reduce the power of the old nobility still further, partly by repressive laws regarding the size of their households, keeping of retainers, and so forth, and even by execution when desirable; and partly by encouraging the rise of a new nobility, often from the plebeian class, through judiciously distributed offices and the confiscated lands and titles of the old nobility. By Elizabeth's time the court was looked upon as the chief means of rising, and the crown as the chief dispenser of ------
1 The Nobles, aVIb.


rewards. Moreover peace abroad and a greater degree of security at home contributed toward the identification of English interests with the sovereign, and a growing enthusiasm for him as English prestige increased abroad. "It is no small comforte unto an English Gentleman," writes an apologist for monarchy+, "finding himselfe in a farre countrey, when he may boldly shew his face and his forehead unto any forren Nation; sit side by side with the proudest Spaniard; cheek by cheeke with the stoutest German; set foote to foote with the forewardest Frenchman, knowing that his most Royal Prince (her Majesties highness) is no whitte subjecte, nor inferiour unto any of theirs."/2 The increasing intricacy of foreign affairs furnished more opportunities for distinguished careers abroad, the door to which could be opened only by the sovereign's hand.
    Thus political conditions conspired with the unwarlike character of all the Tudors to shift the emphasis from military to civil service, and the knight became the gentleman, a man dedicated essentially to the pursuits of peace.
    A still more fundamental element in the change was the spread of education+ among both the lower classes and the upper. Here the revival of ancient_learning+ under Italian influence did some of its most far-reaching work in setting new ideals of education, giving it a new spirit and a new content, and in secularizing it. Education in England had been under the domination of the churchno one else had been interested in dominating itand was therefore primarily directed to the training of churchmen, who then, after becoming churchmen, might devote their talents to serving political as well as ecclesiastical lords. As long as opportunities for education were furnished largely by church schools preferment to office lay also through the church, and the result was to limit the number of educated men, and particularly of men trained in law, oratory, history, languages,the equipment of the statesman and the politician. Secularization of education, therefore, was necessary to the building up of a new group of men, laymen who, under old titles, became more and more identified with the permanent business of government. The closing of the monastery schools in 1535 gave added impetus to the development of secular schools, turning men as a result away from the church as a vocation. When education, the key to office, could be had beyond the shadow of church doors, especially when the head of the church was no longer a pope but a
2 Merbury, A Briefe Discourse of Royall Monarchie, p. 4.


prince of the royal house, men no longer troubled to take spiritual orders for secular affairs. But the work of Colet+, Linacre+, Grocyn+, More+, Elyot+ had already before the destruction of the monasteries set English education into new channels, and grammar_schools+ for poor boys were springing up everywhere at the same time that at court and in the houses of the great nobles the new learning was being taught by tutors+ like Sir John Cheke+ and Roger Ascham+ to the sons of gentlemen.
    The contribution of the printer to the spread of education must also be taken into account. It is significant that the same century that witnessed the increase in schools and the inauguration of a new movement in education witnessed also the beginning of the age of printed_books+, and therefore of cheap and accessible books. No small credit should also go to the tribe of translators+ who arose for their zeal in opening up the treasures of the ancients+ and the stimulating thought of renaissance Italy and France to the plain man whose Latinity+ was far to seek.
    Another powerful factor in the enlargement of the gentle class, was the increase in wealth+. The steady Tudor policy of encouraging commerce resulted in the rise of a large, wealthy merchant class, which not only held considerable power in its own hands through possessing the purse-strings, but furnished recruits for the ranks of nobles and, what was more important economically, opened up new occupations for the younger sons of nobles. Not only the merchant+ but all classes, artisan and yeoman+ as well, prospered, and evidence is abundant that the lines which separated gentleman from plebeian were scarcely discernible so far as habits of living were concerned. Such blurring of class lines exerted a definite influence on the conception of what the character and office of a gentleman should be by increasing the pressure from below and consequently by enlarging the class itself.
    No better summing up of the period can be found perhaps than that of Samuel Daniel+ in his history of England: "A time not of that viriliti as the former, but more subtile, and let out into wider notions, and bolder discoveries of what lay hidden before. A time wherein began a greater improvement of the Soveraigntie, and more came to be effected by wit then the sword: Equal and just incounters, of State and State in forces, and of Prince, and Prince in sufficiencie. The opening of a new world, which strangely altered the manner of this, inhancing both the rate of all things, by the induction of infinite Treasure, & opened


a wider way to corruption, whereby Princes got much without their swords: Protections, & Confederations to counterpoyse, & prevent over, growing powers, came to bee maintained with larger pensions. Leidger Ambassadors first imployed abroad for intelligences. Common Banks erected, to returne and furnish moneys for these businesses. Besides strange alterations in the State Ecclesiasticall: religion brought forth to bee an Actor in the greatest Designs of Ambition and Faction."/3 Out of all these things and by them is produced the gentleman of the last quarter of the sixteenth century. Three significant developments are to be noted: the shifting of emphasis to civil employments; the addition of learning as necessary equipment; and the beginning of the democratization of the gentleman.
    The purpose of this study, therefore, is to set forth what the sixteenth century called the institution+ of the gentleman, meaning thereby, as Mulcaster explains, the entering of "the young and untravelled student into that profession whereunto thei belong."/4 More than that, it is for us today the entering into the ideal which men still aim at in their search for personal perfection, and in their acknowledgment of a new noblesse_oblige+, public service whether in a public or private capacity. Such a survey will include consideration of the place the gentleman was accorded in the general scheme of things, the particular offices he might most fittingly perform, his special moral_code+ which involved the so-called code of honor and its accompaniment of dueling, the education necessary to fit him for those offices both in mind and body, his manners, his dress and equipage, his pastimeseverything which may become a man. This study of the personal ideals of the age will, it is hoped, contribute something to the history of social ideals, and illuminate if only by a flash here and there certain aspects of the great literature of the Elizabethan period. For the image which arises Out of the confusion of ideas, elusive yet alluring, graces in corporeal form the court of Elizabeth, and lives for us no less actually in the pages of Shakespeare+.
3Daniel, The Collection of the History of England, "Epistle Dedicatory," London, 1626, Grosart ed., vol. IV, p. 77.
4 Elementarie, cap. XXVII, p. 227.


Before proceeding to the business in hand it would be well doubtless to begin in the time-honored way with a definition, supposing, as the sixteenth century firmly believed, "that from good definition the solution of all doubts which occur in science springeth,"/4 although the results in this case, it must be admitted, tend rather to confuse than to clear the mind. Like every other term which covers an accumulated array of abstractions, gentleman has teased men to attempt definition and at the same time has eluded them; far easier is it to recognize a gentleman than to say what makes one. Sixteenth century England was particularly interested in the problem, since those who lacked the title were busy trying to acquire it, and those who had it were anxious to resist encroachment, but the sixteenth century was no more successful than its predecessors in arriving at a complete, unambiguous, and generally acceptable definition. The methods of the renaissance scholars, to begin with, doomed their efforts to failure, for they made little attempt to approach the subject from a fresh point of view, but accepted the accumulations of the past, drawing indiscriminately from the laws, the ancients, the church fathers, and the poets, and likewise from the prolific treatises of contemporary Italy and France. If what Plato+, Cicero+, Justinian+, Thomas Aquinas+, Dante+, and every commentator and interpreter of renaissance Italy and France have to say on nobility must be worked somehow into the definition of the true gentleman, no reasonable, consistent, clear result is possible. The vocabulary which they had to employ was time-worn also and contributed to the confusion. Nobility, gentility, and generosity were used in two senses, in the general sense common today to mean excellence of kind, and applicable to inanimate as well as to animate objects, to animals as well as to men; and in a special sense, almost if not quite lost today, to indicate position in society./2 The arguments over the proper signification of these words arose
1 Romei, The Courtiers Academie, p. 191.
2 Tiraquellus, De Nobilitate, cap. 2, pp. 1-24. 18


largely through the inevitable attempt of moralists to include the first meaning in the second. In this special sense of social prominence the three terms, which passed currently for synonyms, were felt to mean different things, but there was no agreement upon the differences./3 Up to the middle of the century nobility was the general word employed to signify the status of a man who stood above the common crowd through the possession of special rights, privileges, and powers, conferred either by the king or by noble descent. All who ranked above plebeians therefore were called noble. By the end of the century however, common usage restricted noble to the upper ranks, that is, of baron and above, and thus associated it with titles rather than with qualities either of birth or person./4 Gentility, or gentry, by this time had taken the place of nobility as the general term to mark the distinction between high and low, as this passage from Segar illustrates: "We in England doe divide our men into five sorts: Gentlemen, Citizens, Yeomen, Artificers, and Labourers. Of Gentlemen, the first and principal is the King, Prince, Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Vicounts, and Barons. These are the Nobilitie, and be called Lords, or Noblemen. Next to these be Knights, Esquiers, and simple Gentlemen, which last number may be called Nobilitas minor."/5 But gentility was also used for the lowest order above the plebeian, the foundation upon which all the other orders should be built, and was therefore differentiated from nobility as an inner and inherited quality which distinguished all who had it from plebeians, and of which nobility with its titles was the outward sign./6 The simple gentleman, the lord, and the prince all prided themselves first of all on being gentlemen; as Mulcaster+ put it, "Truth being the private protest of a gentleman, honour of a noble man, fayth of a Prince, yet generally they do all joine in this. As they be true, gentlemen."/7 Glover+, indeed, expressly said that nobility and gentility were not one and the same thing, because gentility was natural, belonging to a certain good family or stock. Nobility was
3 Glover, Catalogue of Honour, trans. Mines, p. 9.
4 Op. cit., "Parergon," Milles' comment on Glover, p. 24.
5 Segar, Honor Military, and Civill, London, 1602, lib. 2, cap. 1, p. 51. See also Selden, Titles of Honor, London, 1631, pt. II, chap. VIII, p. 866 where Selden translates nobilitas gentry, and nobilis gentleman, and Ferne, The Blazon of Gentrie, P. 85.
6 See Romei, op. cit., p. 225.
7 Positions, rep. London, 1888, p. 198.


civil or political, involving particular privileges, and it might belong to the son and not to the father, and might be lost either voluntarily or through crime. A bill of attainder, for example, could deprive a nobleman of an ancient house and his heirs of titles and lands, and another bill restore them again; but no bill could change the blood that flowed in their veins into something low and plebeian. The privileges of rank, indeed, could not be dependent on birth, because otherwise a new prince would be lower than a mere gentleman of ancient family./8 Nobility and gentility in reality often did not mean the same thing, since kings in their wisdom sometimes saw fit to confer high rank not only on the base-born but on wicked and worthless men, and hence arose the often repeated boast, "The king cannot make a gentleman." Blurred as class lines became during the sixteenth century, and new as many of England's prominent families were, the idea that gentility meant fundamentally gentle birth was never lost. Sir Thomas Smith might admit gentlemen made "good cheape" to the name, but he defined gentlemen as those whom their blood and race "cloth make noble and known."/9 The other term generosity, when differentiated from nobility, had reference like gentility to personal qualities rather than dignities and honors, and when differentiated from gentility, to merit rather than birth./10 But even in the midst of definitions writers "wittingly confound" the three terms, and leave them with little more value than synonyms,/11 and it is as synonyms that they will be employed in the following pages.
    Such were the difficulties imposed on sixteenth century definers of nobility by the dead weight of authority and the confusion of terms, and out of them arise the difficulties of the student of today who would learn what the much bandied word gentleman meant to the educated Englishman of the renaissance. So much that was quoted was quoted perfunctorily, so much that was said was said ambiguously, that what follows must be taken purely tentatively. On no other subject is it less safe to be dogmatic.
    Out of the double meanings that nobility with its synonyms -----
8 Op. cit., pp. 12, 13.
9 De Republica Anglorum, lib. I, ch. 20, rep. 1906, p. 38.
10 Selden, op. cit., p. 857; Tiraquellus, op. cit., cap. 2, p. 19, 147. "Nobile enim id esse, quod ex bono produit genere, generosum quod non a sua natura degenerat."
11 For example, Ferne, op. cit., p. 5; Mulcaster, op. cit., p. 198; Humphrey, who urges the new nobles to study their book in order "to join and purchase ancient noblesse to this their new gentry," The Nobles, fo. A6b; Selden, op. cit., p. 858.


21]       DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN       21 was made to bear arose its classification by the medievalists into three kinds: Christian or theological, natural or philosophical, and scivil or political. The first, Christian nobility, is founded on religion; given by God to the elect, it is the highest kind and most to be desired; but since it falls inscrutably upon some whom the world dishonors, slaves for instance, and not upon all whom it honors, it must be left to God and the theologians. Thus a ready answer was found for those who tried to use this kind of nobility as an argument against the recognition of ranks in Society. The second, natural nobility, comes through perfection of nature, and belongs to all things animate and inanimate, according as they perform their functions properly. The peculiar function of man is to live according to reason+, that is to be virtuous; but so difficult is this of achievement that this kind of nobility belongs only to philosophers to understand. Thus were answered those who would deny nobility and therefore obedience to wicked men, tyrants. The third, civil nobility, is founded on custom, and comes from honors bestowed by princes; it can therefore be discussed by everybody, learned and unlearned./12 Renaissance writers often began with this classification and sometimes attempted to use it as the basis of their discussion, but usually they abandoned it without ceremony, after paying their respects to it, or like Muzio+ finally gave up in despair and left the task to their readers. "Fit what I say in my confused discourse," said Muzio, "to whichever sort it belongs."/13 For practical purposes, however, these three kinds of nobility, as Milles+ said; are not "so at odds within themselves that their natures and their essences admit no reconciliation or may not be united in one person all together."/14 The third, as a matter of fact, is all that we need to concern ourselves with here, since by the generally accepted definition it included all the variants of human nobility, whether it arose from birth, virtue, learning, office, or honors bestowed by the king. So Milles, aiming to "redeeme so faire a Subject . . . . from the wandering Ideas of discoursing Phylosophers, and contemplative Divines," defined civil nobility as "a dignity bestowed by Sovereigne Grace upon Persons of Vertue or hability, for life, or forever, wherby a Man exempted and raised -----
12 Upton, De Studio Militari, lib. I, cap. XIX, pp. 64-67; Selden, op. cit., Preface,
13 Gentilhuomo, 1571, lib. II, p. I14.
14 Op. cit., "Peroration," fo. K4b. 22      DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN       [22 by Degrees, becomes lawfully preferred above the vulgar People, the better to do service, to the King and Common-wealth./15 This civil nobility was usually considered to be of two sorts, derived either by direct acquisition from the prince, and then called nobility dative, or by descent from noble ancestors and then called nobility native./16 It will help to keep the distinction.
    Nobility native was the most obvious and most desirable kind of nobility. Among the common people the name of an old house coupled with a lordly air and a velvet cloak constituted the chief claim to the title of gentleman; and though, as Bodin+ remarked, "It is one thing to reason of degrees in the assembly of wise men and another thing to do it in the presence of the vulgar sort and scum of people,"/17 even in the assembly of wise men of the sixteenth century descent from an ancient and noble house was to be accounted "a blessing to thank God for."/18 The presumption at least was always in favor of the gentleman-born; he achieved in a moment what the base-born must labor years to attain, for he had opportunity, expectation of success, and all the assistance that his position, connections with the powerful, and reverence from his inferiors could give." The truly noble of course followed in the footsteps of their illustrious ancestors, but as Sir Thomas Smith said, "If they doe not, yet the fame and wealth of their auncestors serve to cover them so long as it can, as a thing once gifted though it be copper within, till the gilt be worne away."/19 Other reasons for valuing gentle birth, however, bore great weight with the true gentleman. Aristotle+ taught that those sprung of better stock are likely to be better men, inheriting an inclination to do well and to shun evi1./20 Experience shows that men, like animals, birds, and trees, produce their kind; from one house proceed virtuous, brave, wise men, from another the opposite. Bad education, it was admitted, and free will to choose between virtue and vice may give a worthless son to an excellent father, but to begin -----
15 Op. cit., Peroration, fo. K6a. See also Meriton, A Sermon of Nobility, fo. C4a.
16 Glover, op. cit., pp. 9-18.
17 The Six Bookes of a Commonweale, trans. Rich. Knolles, London, 1606, bk. III, cap. 8, p. 396.
18 Castiglione, The Courtier, Tudor trans., p. 47; Romei, op. cit., p. 224.
19 Op. cit., p. 38.
20 Politics, Jowett's trans., 1920, III, 13,3, p. 127.


with, such a son inherits an inclination to virtue, the manners and high spirit of his ancestors, and their ability for the tasks that fall to gentlemen, government and ladership in war. The son of the 1ignoble man, on the other hand, inherits a disposition to vice, skill in low and mechanic arts; and a servile and mercenary spirit, and ris even if he turns to virtuous ways and performs worthy deeds, he is not actuated by the disinterested love of virtue which inspires the gentleman, but by desire for gain, perhaps even by fear./21 The more ancient nobility was therefore, the purer it was, as having bred into a man all the accumulated impulse toward virtue of a long line of illustrious ancestors, and bred out of him every lingering inclination toward the baseness of obscure progenitors. But it was only inclination to virtue, not virtue itself, that was inherited. Therefore if a man had only the good name of his ancestors to boast of, he had nothing that was really his. Besides the advantage of inheritance, the nobly-born had a better education, from his cradle up surrounded by gentle influences and honorable men, so that there was produced a harmony between birth and virtue.  Greater than either of these advantages was the spur to noble actions which came from a long line of ancestors whose valorous deeds and wisdom in high counsels had filled the pages of history. Example was more powerful than blood, than education, and desire to prove worthy of the past pricked the noble spirit on to emulation. Such a spur the base-born lacked, nor could their virtuous deeds shine so graciously against their dark and obscure background. A diamond in a splendid setting shines so much the more fair.

For certes, the landes, renowme and worthy fame, And noble enterprises of your olde progenitours, Are left as bright sparkles yong mindes to inflame, And as sede provoking their minds to honours, Not by ambition nor by heaping of treasures, Nor rentes augmented without lawe or measure, But by godly vertue and maners cleare and pure.

Such nobility was to be valued by men, because they thus showed
21 Mulcaster, op. cit., p. 200; Paris de Puteo, Duello, 1558, bk. VII, cap. I; De Origine Nobilitatis, 5475 (?), "De nobilitate fidelium honoranda"; Bonus de Curtili, Tractatus Nobilitatis, pt. 2, sec. 12, p. 3; Romei, op. cit., pp. I8g-7.
22 Alexander Barclay, The Mirrour of Good Manners, rep. Spenser Society, vol. 38, p. 5; Romei, op. cit., p. 235 (Gg4a).


gratitude for the noble deeds of the past and gave a spur to their continuance, and because such nobility was the main pillar of every well established community./28 This was the generally accepted view in the sixteenth century, based on the assumption that nobility in the first place had been conferred on remote ancestors for their good qualities, and that the descendants of such illustrious men continued to exhibit the qualities which had made their ancestors famous. The greatness of the past was the spur applied by those who saw in the aristocracy the only hope for a well governed country, and who feared its destruction through what they called its degeneration. Philosophers, historians, and reformers all joined in creating a splendid dream of a time in the past when all gentlemen devoted themselves to service of country, eager for high deeds, choosing by instinct and habit to follow the worthy, and shun the unworthy. Whatever basis of truth underlay this fiction of ancient honor and glory and inherited qualities, there were not wanting those whose study of less biased historians, or whose clearer-eyed observation of existing conditions led them to find no essential difference in the substance of the body of the noble from that of the ignoble but rather in the bringing up. The seeds of virtue, they said, are sown in all by the goodness of God, and prove fruitful according to their cultivation. A man well brought up though of humble origin may more easily attain to the nobility of personal excellence than can a man merely well-born, as experience amply proved. As one writer put it, "The stocke and linage maketh not a man noble or ignoble, but use, education, instruction, and bringing up maketh him so: for when a man from infancy is instructed in good manners, all the rest of his life he shall be inclined into acts of nobility and vertue. And on the contrary, if he be evilly instructed in his young years, he will have as long as he liveth such manners as are barbarous, strange, and full of all villeiny."/23 There was an obvious difficulty, however, in insisting upon ancient lineage as a prerequisite for nobility. Ancient lineage would make every one noble, if pushed back to Adam, an absurdity, orelse it must ignore a beginning./25 Nobility therefore could not rest
23 Ascham, The Scholemaster, ed. by Mayor, p. 40.
24 La Perriere, The Mirrour of Policie, trans. London, 1598, fo. HhIIIa; see also Glover, op. cit., p. 12. For a statement of theopposite side see Osorius, Discourse of Civill and Christian Nobilitie, trans. London, 1576, bk. I, fo. 3a-5a.
25 upton, op. cit., lib. I, cap. XIX, p. 63


on noble birth for its beginning. Granted that perfect nobility rested on the good deeds of ancestors joined to the good deeds of descendants, there must be some efficient cause, as the philosophers say, for the beginning and the renewing of nobility, since time changes all things and old families die out or are lost from the rolls of honor./26 We are brought thus to the other sort of nobility, nobility dative.
    Whatever a common man's claim to reward for excellence in himself and for service to the state, it was presumption and disobedience to the law, subversive of the established order of things, for him to assume nobility on his own authority. The king must judge of his worthiness and by the conferring of dignity raise him above the state of the multitude. Nobility dative, therefore, involved ideally two prerequisites, the existence of some merit+ which deserved reward, and the conferring of reward by royal action. The absence of one or the other derogated from the individual's claims to gentility.
    Royal action was at least theoretically involved even in the assuming of the gentleman's status, for though the College_of_Arms+ issued the coats of arms which established the unquestioned right of a man to the description gentleman, the heralds bore their license by grant of the king and acted in his name; such at least was the theory. The higher ranks, which were conferred directly by the king, presented an increase only in honor and dignity, not in quality. The coat of arms indeed became so closely associated with the idea of gentility that a current definition of gentleman was one who bears arms./27 But it must be said that the heralds themselves were chiefly responsible for both the definition and the currency. Once important as a distinguishing mark in military operations, and assumed voluntarily by those who needed it, the heraldic device had first become hereditary (in the reign of Henry III) and then been reduced to system and emptied of meaning by the formation of the College of Arms (under Richard III), which assumed that no one was a gentleman unless he were registered there./28 As a matter of fact heraldry was a part of the feudal system and passed with it so far as any vital meaning was concerned./29
26 Sir Thomas Smith, op. cit., lib. i, ch. 20, p. 39-
27 Ferne, op. cit., p. 91.
28 James Dallaway, Inquiries into the Origin and Progress of the Science of Heraldry, 1793, sec. II, pp. 46-7, III, pp. 733-5.
29 Shakespeare's England, Oxford, 1916, vol. II, pp. 74-84.


By the end of the sixteenth century the College of Heralds had fallen into evil repute, for the sale of coats of arms was notorious, and the devices were stolen from old families without shame or designed to suit the whims of their buyers to the utter confusion and degradation of the honorable sign language of chivalric days./30 The devices, however, were accepted as a convention, and the heralds exercised a certain dominion sanctioned by royal grants and popular acceptance, though not acknowledged by lawyers./31 New gentlemen, at any rate, hastened to seek the herald's offices in establishing a visible claim to a new status. Old families whose gentility had been assumed and acknowledged for generations might and sometimes did defy the herald's visitations and edicts, for in England, as elsewhere, gentility also grew up from the soil with generations of thrift well applied and good living, without asking by-your-leave of the king, or seeking from heralds the outward badge of gentleness./32 In practice the line separating plebeian and gentleman was a very thin and movable line. Sir Thomas Smith's often quoted passage on the point will bear quoting again: "Ordinarily the king doth only make knights and create barons or higher degrees: for as for gentlemen, they be made good cheape in England. For whosoever studieth the lawes of the realme, who studieth in the universities, who professeth liberall sciences, and to be shorte, who can live idly and without manuall labour, and will beare the port, charge and countenaunce of a gentleman, he shall be called master, for that is the title which men give to esquires and other gentlemen, and shall be taken for a gentleman."/33 He raised directly the question which was perhaps most vehemently discussed of all the points bearing on nobility, whether the manner of England in making gentlemen so easily was to be allowed. Most writers inveighed against it, lamenting the growing difficulty of distinguishing between high and low-born, the confusion of callings, the encouragement to idleness and consequent dearth of laborers and increase in crime./34 Sir Thomas, however, found nothing ob- ------
30 Smith, op. cit., p. 40.
31 F. warre Cornish, Chivalry, London, 1901, p. 174.
32 Guillim, Display of Heraldry, 1610, sec. 6, chap. 7, p. 274; Urrea, Dialogo del Vero Honore Militare, Venice, 1569, pt. II, fo. 9513.
33 Op. cit., pp. 39-40.
34 A Health to the Gentlemanly Profession of Servingmen, London, 1598, rep. Roxburghe Lib., pp. 137fE


jectionable in the system, for the king and state profited; there was no loss of revenues as in France, since the gentleman was more heavily charged than others in payments to the king; moreover the gentleman himself to make and preserve his reputation must live more magnificently than others, dress to suit his station, arm himself if he went to the wars, show higher courage, better education, more liberality, and keep about him idle servants to wait on him. No one was hurt but himself, who might be carrying a bigger sail than he could maintain. "For as touching the policie and government of the common wealth, it is not those that have to do with it, which will magnifie them selves, and goe in higher buskins than their estate will beare; but they which are to be appointed, are persons tryed and well knowen."/35 The assumption throughout, however, whether the status of gentleman was acquired by royal or private action, was that some distinction existed in the individual which raised him above his fellows. As legitimate ground for royal action in conferring nobility dative three qualifications were commonly discussed, virtue, learning, and riches. The chief claim to distinction was admitted to be virtue, that is, conspicuous personal merit+ and ability shown in actions beneficial to the state. A man might practice the private virtues all his life and still not be worthy of nobility,/36 for virtue that was private was restricted in its influence, while virtue that was suitable for ennobling was public, conferring benefits on the whole state and reaching to posterity as it raised a family to distinction and honor. Virtue then which was profitable to one's country was sufficient cause for ennoblement, in fact the only true cause and test, as "not only philosophers and divines, but poets, historiographers, and almost all lawyers agree."/37 Next to virtue learning held a favored place. Mulcaster set wisdom and valor as the chief means to advancement, and gave the honors in the order of their importance to the counsellor, the divine, the lawyer, and the physician./38 A student in the Universities or the Inns_of_Court+) by that fact assumed the standing of gentleman, and the lawyer in particular rose in esteem with his reputation for learning, the Tudors delighting to honor him with place and title.

35 Op. cit., bk. I. chap. 21.
36 Cleland, The Institution of a Young Noble Man, bk. I, Preface, pp. 5-6.
37 Bodin, op. cit., bk. III, ch. VIII, p. 394.
38 Op. cit., pp. 202-205.


Riches were undeniably regarded by the crowd as a main reason for reverencing their possessor, because certainly ancient descent in tatters dropped into the gulf of nonentity, whereas vulgarity richly clad imposed its pretensions on the undiscriminating/39 Scholars, too, recognized wealth as an essential concomitant if not foundation for nobility, for two reasons. Liberality, one of the chief distinguishing virtues of the gentleman and Christian, was not possible without wealth, and the practice of the liberal_arts+, the arts of the gentleman, must fail lacking the wherewithal for their support. Theoretically wealth should have been honestly come by, or old enough for the memory of its dishonest origin to have been lost. The Stoics+ and others who repudiated riches utterly in relation to nobility did so partly because of the evils that luxury+, introduced and partly because of the assumed wicked origin for all riches in dishonesty, robbery, murder, and all other crimes./40 English theory admitted their desirability and almost their necessity. Burghley+ in his precepts to his son says, "That gentleman that selles an Acre of Land, looseth an ounce of credite, for Gentilitie is nothing but ancient Riches: So that if the Foundation doe sinke, the Building must needes consequently fall."/41 The rapid decay and disappearance of old families because of poverty furnished adequate object lessons, no less impressive because of the correspondingly rapid rise of thrifty yeomen and merchants by the purchase of the forfeited estates. The strongest argument for the English practice of primogeniture+ was that if the family possessions were divided among all the children, none could support the chatges of maintaining high estate and the whole house must sink./42 The result of such distribution on the continent, which filled France and Spain with ragged nobles, who abated no whit of their pride but lowered the dignity of nobility, was often called in point. "Absolutegentlemen," therefore, wrote Guazzo+, are those "who to their gentrie by birth and vertue have great riches joined, which serve greatly to the maintenance of gentrie."/43
39 Cyvile and Uncyvile Life, London, 1579, rep. Roxburghe Lib., p. 44.
40 Bodin holds riches no source of true nobility and laments Aristotle+'s evil influence in having put them first. Op. cit., bk. III, chap. VIII, pp. 395-6; Tiraquellus, op. cit., cap. III.
41 Certaine Precepts, London, 1617, p. 8.
42 Health to the Gentlemanly Profession of Servingmen, pp. 208-9.
43 Civile Conversation, trans. London, 1580, bk. II, fo. 419-416.


One other cause of nobility dative should not be omitted. The old saying had it, "Arms bred nobility," and still enumerated among the causes that ennobled was service in the wars, but not without specification. Ten years of active service was usually set as necessary to assumption of gentility, and not merely as a rough soldier in the lower ranks but in some position of command. Nor might any common hireling be honored but such a man as "is given by his owne disposition to delight and folowe the Cannon wheele, whose countenaunce and chearfull face, beginnes to smile and rejoyce when the dromme soundeth, and whose harte is so high, it will not stoupe to no servile slaverie. But hath a bodie and mynde able to aunswere that is looked for, and hath often been tried and experimented in Marshall affaires; through hauntyng whereof he is become ignoraunt of drudgyng at home, and made a skilful scholler in the discipline of warre: which is not learned without some losse of blood, charges of purse and consumyng of tyme."./44 The question was often raised as to which should be preferred, the new or the old gentleman,those who through their own merit won great renown without the example of their fathers, or those who followed in the footsteps of famous ancestors./45 The balance usually weighed in favor of the old, true gentility even being denied to the founder of a house, and granted only to his grandson, whose blood might be supposed to be purged of all inclination to mechanical things. But some, admiring the successful struggle against odds held the new noble more praiseworthy than the ancient, or at least equally so./46 There seems as a matter of fact to be a tendency in the renaissance to lay more emphasis than had been laid before upon the part that personal worth plays in acquiring and maintaining nobility and less upon birth, which becomes desirable for its initial advantage rather than for its assured heritage of personal superiority. But though emphasis may have changed it would be a mistake to suppose that either in theory or practice gentle birth played a negligible part in determining a man's status. True nobility is almost always defined as that of race and virtue, and much of the insistence on virtue is intended not to comfort the lowly-born but to admonish the well-born who seem generally to have prided themselves on
44 Churchyard, A General Rehearsal of Warres, fo. mIIb-mIIIa.
45 Osorius, op. cit., 33b-35a
46 Humphrey, op. cit., bk. I, fo. e5a. The whole ground is debated in the three books of G. B. Nenna's Nennio, trans. London, 1595, a dialogue after Castiglione+.


birth to the neglect of virtue. The presumption of superiority in character and ability still lay with the man well-born, who, as Mulcaster said, when he adds desert in his own person "cloth well deserve double honour among men, as bearing the true cote of right and best nobilitie, where desert for vertue is quartered with descent in blood, seeing aunciencie of linage and derivation of nobilitie is in such credit among us and alwaye hath bene."/47
47 Op. cit., p. 199.


Man is ever a theorizing creature restlessly spinning cobweb reasons to support the facts of his existence; nor did he fail in the sixteenth century to buttress the position of the ruling class with theories long current and much worn as to the origin and necessity of such a class in the state. The fundamental assumption of the whole of gentility was the aristocratic theory that some are born to rule and some to be ruled; that inequalities must be maintained between men, sharply cleaving them apart by differences in occupation, education, dress, manners, and even morals.
    Such an assumption, to be sure, has never been without its challengers, and certainly was not without them in the sixteenth century. The familiar bit of d doggerel

When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman?

had been for centuries and was still the taunt and challenge of the common people to a system which bade them labor contentedly for their betters. John Ball+ in 1381 had voiced this protest against the injustice of inequality: "Good people, things will never go well in England, so long as goods be not kept in common, and so long as there be villeins and gentlemen. By what right are they whom men call lords greater folk than we? If all come from the same father and mother, Adam and Eve, how can they say or prove that they are better than we, if it be not that they make us gain for them by our toil what they spend in their pride. They are clothed in velvet, and are warm in their furs and ermines, while we are covered in rags. They have wine and spices and fair bread, and we oatcake and straw, and water to drink. They have leisure and fine houses; we have pain and labour, the wind and rain in the fields. And yet it is of us and of our toil that these men hold their state."/1 And sixteenth century England was rife with the same discontent, as indicated not only by uprisings similar to John Ball's, but by the innumerable complaints about the striving of
1 Joseph Clayton, The Rise of the Democracy, 1911, p. 67. 31


everyone to climb higher than he found himself, as well as by the innumerable counter-arguments to prove inequality necessary and right. No fault of the century was more often attacked than this discontent with things as they were, and the word ambition had the connotation of a vice. Ratcliffe, the translator of a French work on vocations, itself an argument against a presumptuous seeking to change one's vocation, in his dedication to Sir Francis Walsingham+ thus inveighs against the times. "For who ever saw so many discontented persons: so many yrked with their owne degrees: so fewe contented with their owne calling: and such number desirous, & greedie of change, & novelties? Who ever heard tel of so many reformers, or rather deformers of estates and Common weales; so many controllers of Princes, and their proceedinges: and so fewe imbracing obedience? whiche beginneth nowe (the more pitie) to be lagged at the carte's taile. And to be short: such straunge and souden alteration in all estates? Doth not the unlearned Layman, undertake the office of a Minister? Doth not the Minister disallowe of inferiour orders, and levell (as a man would say) with both eyes at once, (for sayling) at the Bishops myter? Is the Bishoppe, trowe ye, so exempt of self love, and desire of honour, as that he could not be contented to leave his former vocation to imbrace the supreme dignitie of Priesthood? Likewise, the Plough man, doth he not thinke the Merchant happier then himselfe? The Merchant, doth he not tickle at the title of a Gentleman? The Gentleman, doth he not shoot at the marke of Nobility? And the Noble man, hath he not his eye fixed uppon the glorie and greatnesse of a Prince? What Prince could not be contented to be Monarche of the whole world? What should I say? would not the Lawyer (think ye) agreeably accept the title of a Lord?"/2 Apologists indeed were busy answering the "English Switzers" of their own time "who were so super-paradoxical as to deny the fundamental assumption that differences must exist."/3 All the writers from Sir Thomas Elyot+ on, however assured they might be of the necessity and divine right of nobility, were making an apologia for it, conscious that power and place were slipping away from the bearing of proud old names. The nobles, stripped of military power, were threatened with loss of all distinction. The ground on which their clairrl to reverence rested needed defining, and many
2 Politique Discourses, fo. A3b. See also William Spelman, Dialogue between Two Travellers, printed Roxburghe Club, London, 1896, p. 96; A Health to Me Gentlemanly Profession of Servingmen, p. 103.
3 Meriton, 4 Sermon of Nobility, fo. 132a.


set themselves to prove the necessity of noblesthat is a favored classin a "wel orderd and Christanlike governed state."/4 Two institutions were interested in justifying the existing order, the church and the state; the church in order to justify the ways of God to men, and the state, the ways of men to men. The current theories as to the origin of a favored class and its position in the state worked equally well on both counts and furnished a more or less logical foundation for all the gentleman's pretensions to superiori ty.
    The origin of nobility was explained in various ways that suggested, if they did not prove, its inevitability. The most generally held belief was based on "Genesis." Adam, according to this explanation, must be the source of all nobility, though perhaps not noble himself, since he had no father or mother from whom to draw his nobility. Cain+ then for his ungentle behavior to his brother was the father of all ignobility. Through Seth nobility was passed on to the generations of men until the flood and then continued through Noah+, the descendant of Seth. The flood of course wiped out all distinctions, but the world was saved from noble but dull uniformity by the unfilial conduct of Ham. Noah's curse renewed the race of churls./6 The chief objection made to this theory was(, the difficulty of tracing descent back so far. The College of Heralds could perform wonders but not so great a miracle. And if the misconduct of sons be ignored and the common paternity of Adam be claimed, then all men must be noble, as John Ball+ urged, and the explanation of evident differences in men not only in possessions but in ability was still to seek.
    Other explanations for the rise of nobility were drawn from two theories of the origin of kingdoms. Both theories assumed in the beginning a community of goods and equality among people until an increase in numbers brought about a change. Then, according to one, the contract theory, the necessity for order and for someone to administer order caused people to seek out the most virtuous among them and offer him kingship over them, an idea borrowed from the ancients and the Old Testament. Then for assistance in governing, the king or the people chose other virtuous men and gave them office and power. The sons of these, being well brought up and encouraged by their fathers' advancement, walked in their
4 Humphrey, The Nobles, fo. 6 For the fullest setting forth of this belief see 5 5 5 Juliana Berners, The Book of St. Albans, "The Book of Arms," fo. aI.




footsteps and held the favor of the people; thus nobility began and became hereditary./6 This is the theory of triumphant-virtue+. Inequality begins with the consent of the people. The objection to this theory was that if nobility began as a reward of virtue voluntarily given, there was no accounting for the endless, recorded succession of rulers and powerful ones who gained their place by breaking all the laws of the decalogue. Some nobility would seem to have been the reward of vice.
    The other theory, which was more commonly held, obviated this difficulty by postulating that all nobility was founded upon violence and oppression. The increase in population that resulted after the fall (if not because of it) occasioned misunderstandings, feuds, wafts, which brought about inequalities between victors and vanquished. Men at first had no more knowledge of virtue then to rob, kill, and enslave other men, and the bolder the killer, the more worthy of honor was he thought to be. Later when men had become instructed, virtue might have been the cause of ennobling, but most houses had taken heir rise in crime, robbery, spoils, treason, flattery, adultery, lies, murder, poison./7 Therefore nobility must be a forgetting of origin. This is the theory of triumphant_force+; inequality arises from injustice. But to admit crime as the origin of nobility was scarcely to justify the demand for reverence and submission to the noble as the preserver of order, protector of the people, and representative of God upon earth.
    It is plain to be seen that speculation as to whether nobility and unequal division of the goods of life originated in Adam and his sons, or in a contract between the people and certain individuals whom they chose to honor, or in the tyranny of superior force would not go far to convince the restless, discontented, halfliberated, seditious world of the sixteenth century that the existing system was right or necessary. More substantial ground than that was needed, and it was found in the theory that order is heaven's first law. By this it was easily shown that the very existence of society with all its blessings of peace, opportunity for cultivation
6 Legh, The Accedens of Armory, 1562, fo. 22a; Sir Walter Raleigh, The History of the World, coll. ed. Oxford Press, 1829, pp. 341-2; Richard Hooker, Of the Lams of Ecclesiastical Politie, Everyman Lib., bk. I, sec. X, pp. 1901; Foxius Morzillus, De Regni Regisque Institutione, 1566, lib. I, fo. B8bC2a.
7 Bodin, The Six Bookes of a Commonweale, London, 1606, bk. I, ch. 6, p. 47, bk. III, ch. VIII, p. 389; Osorius, Civill and Christian Institutione, London, 1576, bk. II, fo. 24a and 24b.


of the virtues and the arts, necessitates such an organization, which provides for the division of labor and a supply of laborers fitted for their work.
    Drawing on a medieval conception,/8 the renaissance apologists for nobility represented the state as a hierarchy. At the top was the ruler, deriving his power directly from God, acting as God's_viceroy+ upon earth. Under him, since it was impossible, as Elyot+ said, for one mortal man to know everything that went on in his realm and settle all controversies, must be a body of lesser authorities to assist him in the administration of justice. This body included dependent princes, magistrates, officials of all sorts, and the,whole body of the nobility, in whom was vested something of the divine authority of the king. At the bottom, furnishing support for the pyramid and the admitted reason for its existence, were the common people. The hierarchies of heaven where the angels+ differ in degree and all make obeisance to God; and of the sky where the stars vary in magnitude and the sun is overlord of all; and of nature where beasts, birds, and plants acknowledge degrees and one more excellent than all the rest; and even of the body of man where each member has its appointed task and the head rules allall these were proof that God intended man to exhibit like order as well as to seek peace and unity in a single head. A ruling class was thus established upon as firm a basis as the king, even, one may add, as God himself, for in this organic_theory+ of the state the lower part was no less important than the higher for the proper functioning of the state./9 Refusal to recognize the necessity of this ruling class, or attempts to push one's way up from the bottom into it, was obviously subversive of the state, and more than that, a flying in the face of God's decree. For it was evident that God intended such a division of men since he had created men unequal at birth in character and abilities. Men are equal in Christ, it was admitted, and in the facts of birth and death, but by nature they differ in all other ways. Some are strong and beautiful, some weak and ugly; some incline to
8 Thomas Aquinas, De Regimine Principum, Paris, 1509, lib. I, cap. 2.
9 Elyot, The Governour, 1531, bk. I, ch. I; Gosson, The Schoole of Abuse, Arber Rep., 1869, p. 51; La Primaudaye, The French Academie, 1586, bk. I, ch. 56, pp. 609-10; Ratcliffe, op. cit., bk. II, ch. VI, fo. 48"-49b; Otto Gierke, Political Theories of the Middle Age, trans. Maitland, ch. V; W. A. Dunning, A History of Political Theories, from Luther to Montesquieu, p. 3


virtue, some to vice; some are apt for one thing, some for another. Such differences could have been ordained by God to no other purpose than that order might be preserved."/10 To maintain life food, clothing, and shelter must be had, and men must produce them. Inferior talents of hand and brain are sufficient to provide all these fundamental needs, and these inferior talents the mass of the people possess, these and no more. They are therefore incapable of ruling themselves, having neither the inherited qualities necessary, nor the training, nor the leisure. "The popular sort," said one writer, the echo of many such detractors, "are commonly evil conditioned, variable, inconstant, suspicious, hard to be ruled, and as Virgil saith, always divided into factions, and to conclude, their imperfections, excluded from all good discretion and ners."/l1 The nobles, on the other hand are commonly "of greater abilitie, of better behaviour and more civill than the common people, than artificers, and men of base estate, bicause they have beene brought up from their infancie in all civilitie and amongst men of honor. Moreover to have a noble hart and invincible to resist the enimie, great to exercise liberalitie, curteous and honest in talke, bold to execute, gentle to forgive, are graces and virtues proceeding from honestie+, which are not so commonly found among men of base condition, as among those that come of good and ancient stocks?"/12 To sum up, "As there must be some men of polycie and prudence, to discerne what is metest to be done in the government of states, even so there must be other of strength and redines to do that the wyser shall thinke expedient, bothe for the mayntenence of them that governe, and for theschyng of the infinite jeoperdies, that a multitude not governid fallith into: These must not go, arme in arme, but the one before, the other behynde, wyt and prudence muste be as maysters of a worke, and appoynte strength and redynesse their taske."/13 The laws of inheritance thus fastened upon men this division into classes, and the stability of society depended upon maintaining such a division. to

10 Osorius, op. cit., bk. I, fo. 8a-9a.
11 La Perriare, The Mirrour of Policie, fo. F41'.
12 La Primaudaye, ; op. cit., bk. I, ch. 65, p. 740.,
13 Remedy for Sedition, fo. A2b. See also Rich, Faultes Faults, and Nothing Else but Faultes, fo. 43a; Patrizi, t4 Moral Methode of Civile Policie, 1576, bk. I, fo. 5a; Mulcaster, Positions, ch. 39; Fitzherbert, The Boke of Husbandy, "The Author's Prologue"; Spenser, Fairie Queene, V, II, XXXLIV.


The gentlemanto use the term applied to all above the common people irrespective of rankthus held a fixed and essential place in this earthly hierarchy, as the intermediary between the king and the mass of his people. From his position as supporter of the arms of the king, protector of the people in war, and administrator of justice+ in peace was argued his title to all the privileges and exemptions that were his. All the splendid trappings of dress, furniture, and retinue that his wealth could support, his offices, and his titles of honor were justified from the necessity to command the reverence and obedience of the ignorant masses, who bowed only to obvious superiority, and also from a regard for justice, which gives to superior excellence its due reward, the visible tokens of that excellence. Such rewards are necessary to spur the individual on to achievement for his own sake and for the sake of his posterity. Few men would make an effort to gain a great name if they thought that it died with them.
    Such in brief was the unmodified theory of the reason for the existence and for the character of the gentleman with all it implies of actual superiority to his fellows inphysical and mental qualities, partly inherited, partly developed by contact from birth with the best and by wise education. Such by implication was the justice of shutting off the great majority of men from access to similar advantages of training and opportunities for self-development. Unfortunately for the effectiveness of this extreme theory there was a great discrepancy between its fundamental assumption and the facts. Each century out of its confusion and dissatisfaction pictured the preceding age as happy in well defined classes that performed their allotted tasks, never seeking to climb above themselves, or to shirk their duty to rule or be ruled. But search backward reveals no such happy period. The churl was aways to be found pushing his way among his betters, and the gentleman degenerating and sinking into the state of the churl. The impression that one gets of an acceleration in the renaissance of this rising and falling may be due rather to the greater articulateness of the period through its printed record, but the notorious discontent of all classes in the renaissance represents at most an acceleration and not a new condition. Classes were not sharply distinguished; that is, the line between the gentle and the ungentle was vague. There was a group certainly that bore the name of gentlemen by unmistakable right; there was another group that just as unmistakably


had no right to the title and never claimed it; but there was a large intermediate group that deservedly or undeservedly appropriated the title and few were bold enough to deny all the members of this group the right to wear it. Sir Thomas Smith, as we have seen, even found the English facility for making gentlemen an advantage since it put men on their mettle to emulate the virtues and manners of the real gentleman./14 The fact, however, that new men were constantly rising from the lower classes, often through particular merits of their own, had an effect on the theory of gentility, helping to throw the emphasis from birth as an essential to quality+, and thereby making provision in theory for strengthening the governing class with new blood. For the troublesome fact was patent to all, that individuals born into the upper class were continually falling away from it through poverty, or disaster, or physical and moral degeneracy.
    The theory of the favored class, therefore, has only been half stated in the claim to its necessity in an ordered scheme of things, for if it gave a high place to the gentleman it also laid upon him heavy obligations+ both in his private and public character. And even stronger than the desire to justify nobility, the desire to make nobility worthy of its high place actuated the apologists for the gentleman, who bent their main efforts toward defining the obligation and preparing and persuading the gentleman to meet it. "Nobilitye is farre greater than manye conceyve of it," said Lawrence Humphrey+, "And the callyng heavenly but hard. The honour lightsome, but the burthen+ heavye. And to vaunt and professe him self others superiour and better; of all others the moste massye charge."/14 The gentleman was likely in practice to regard superiority as resting in externals, brave dress, arrogant manners, even in conspicuous indulgence in fashionable follies and vices. Many are the biting descriptions of these "carpet knights." "But touching the true difference, and as they oughte to differ:" said one writer most tender of the good name of the gentleman, "lyke as the rose in beauty passeth al other flowers and is an ornament and settyng forth of the place wher it groweth and so by the excellencye that nature hath geven, it leadeth a mans eye soner to the aspecte and beholdyng of it then of other flowers, so ought a gentleman by hys conditions, qualities, and good behaviour to excell all other sortes of men, and by that his book e of Hunan,
14 Op. cit., "Dedication," fo. aIVb.


excellencye to set forth and adorne the whole company emong whom he shall happen for to be; and therby to leade the eye of mans affecion to love him before others for hys vertues sake."/15 But the heaviest responsibility+ of the English gentleman lay not in the attainment of personal perfection (and therein he differed from the Italian courtier), but in the performance of public service. The Englishman of the sixteenth century was not much interested in political theory, speculation as to the nature of the state; he took his theory chiefly from continental writers; but in practical politics he was deeply interested, and set duty+ to the state as the prime consideration of the gentleman. It was not a new idea. The medieval theory of monarchy stressed the obligation that rested on the king to govern well, because the office existed not for its own sake but for the people's; and to the nobility also was applied the admonition, "Whoever has the dignity has the burden+ attached."/16 Caxton+'s Book of Chivalry, assigned to the fourteenth century, admonished knights that they should be lovers of the common good because the welfare of all is more important than the welfare of the individual. Their office was to maintain justice+ by protecting the people and the judges from violence, and if they might become learned none should be so fitted to be the judges as they themselves./17 The education of the knight, which fitted him only to fight and serve in his lord's hall, alone prevented him from administering the laws. The sixteenth century saw this disability removed with the spread of learning among all classes. Service of country became, then, not only leadership in war, but more important than that counsel in peace and dispensing of justice=. "A right gentleman oughte to be a man fyt for the warres, and fytte for the peace, mete for the courte and meete for the countrey."/18 The gentleman then should live not for himself, but for others; to the neglect even of his own interest and of his own inclinations, mindful that from him must come all the felicity or the calamity that befalls his country.
    The growth of this broad and stern idea of public duty+ must be traced not only to the assertion of medieval doctrines regarding
15 The Institution of a Gentleman, London, 1555, fo. 8b
16 Thomas Aquinas, op. cit., lib. I, caps. XXV. Egidio Colonna, De Regimine Pineipum, Augsberg, 1473, bk. III, pt. II, ch. VIII, IX.
17 Fo. b5bb6b, f6a. 18Institucion of a Gentleman, fo. c5a; Humphrey, op. cit., bk. II, fo. nIIb ff.


the divine sanction of rulers and magistrates and people in authority, but also to the classical ideal of citizenship which the revival of learning had again made familiar, and perhaps in some measure to the outburst of patriotism which, centered about royalty. Plato+ and Aristotle+ and the glamor of Elizabeth and her court help to buttress this corollary to the doctrine of the political necessity of inequalitythat with power and privilege went heavy responsibility.
    This then at the end of the sixteenth century is where the nobility of England placed themselves in the general scheme of things. The theory of their group-importance and function in the state to all appearances had been maintained intact. In practice also Elizabeth+, though she took care to clip the wings of her most powerful nobles, took care likewise to foster the whole group "as brave half paces between a throne and a people."/19 Such matters as descent and origin of title aside, the assumption that the nobility were the natural governors of the state was sound for the sixteenth century. Devotion to public affairs demanded the conditions of life which gentility, long held or newly had, presupposed,to use Mulcaster's summing up"great abilitie to go thorough withall, where the poorer must give over, eare he come to the ende: great Leasure to use libertie, where the meaner must labor: all opportunities at will: where the common is restrained."/20 These conditions were as true for Sir Thomas Gresham-, born to a trade, as for Sir Philip Sidney born to a courtier's life. That both should be called gentlemen and knighted is typical of the times and significant of the passing of the old order.
    For the justification and therefore the existence of any privileged class rests ultimately upon its serviceableness to the community. When the core is gone, though the shell may for long exist intact, the whole body is doomed sooner or later to decay. The core of European nobility as a classthat is as a group possessing from generation to generation certain definite privilegeswent with the passing of the feudal system and the development of strong, central authorities, and national as distinguished from baronial warfare.
19 Fulke-Greville, Lord Brooke, Life of Sir Philip Sidney, Tudor and Stuart Library, p. 189. For advice on the subject see his A Treatise on Monarchy, VIII, "Of Nobility," Grosart ed., 1870, vol. I, pp. 127-30; Raleigh, Maxims of State, 1829, vol. VIII, p. 8; Bacon, Essays, XIX, "Of Empire," XIV, "Of Nobility."
20 Op. cit., p. 193.


The shell, however, was preserved, and the lack of the core concealed through the sixteenth century partly by an adaptation of the old system to new conditions, and partly by the application of old names to new things. The old monopoly of the gentleman, war, was gone; he found new occupations for himself and coveered them with the old cloak. Only in our own day have we seen that cloak worn so thin and full of rents that it can no longer conceal the transformation that beneath the surface has been going on since the sixteenth century.



The suitability of any occupation for a gentleman rested first of all, as the preceding chapter shows, upon its serviceableness to the state; next upon its disinterestedness, lack of material gain to the gentleman; and last upon its liberal, not servile, character, that is, upon its demand for mental rather than manual ability and dexterity. Obviously the pursuits above reproach would be few, and quite as obviously some latitude in choice would be necessarily conceded. Such pursuits fell into two divisions that were not mutually exclusive, or equally important, military and civil. Arms and learning were the gentleman's business, arms in time of war, learning in time of peace. Among civil pursuits service at court and the law were commendable, medicine and divinity were allowed, and agriculture and trade with certain restrictions were winked at.
    The renaissance was still interested in the old question whether arms or letters were to be preferred, but with a difference. Medieval poets had debated whether the knight or the scholar made the better lover;/1 and medieval lawyers whether precedence in rank should be given to one or the other./2 The renaissance asked which was more useful to the state, the soldier or the scholarthat is, the lawyer. The answer depended upon the profession of the disputant,/3 and obviously wielders of the pen possessed an advantage over wielders of the sword. The decision was usually made in favor of the lawyer as the administrator of justice and maintainer of social unity. As peace is preferable to war and necessaryas war is notto the improvement of men's conditions, so the pursuits of peace are preferable to the pursuits of war./4 The soldier, on the other
1 Poems of Walter Mapes, "De Phillide et Flora," ed. Thomas Wright, Camden Society, London, 1841, pp. 258,363-4.
2 Signorelus de Homodeis, De Precedentia Doctoris vel Militis, 1489; Christophorus Lanfranchinus, Tractatulus seu Quesstio utrum Preferendus sit Doctor an Miles, 1549; Bonus de Curtili, Tractatus Nobilitatis, 1549, pt. III, sec. 29, 30, 55, 76, 148.
3 For good examples see Muzio, Il Gentilhuomo 1571, pp. 199 ff., and Mora, II Cavaliere, 1589, a defence of the soldier against Muzio's charges.
4 The Institution of a Gentleman, 1555, fo. e7a; Blandy, The Castle, fo. 16a; Gascoigne, The Fruites of Warre, Works, 1904, stanzas 55-58. 42


hand, argued that the sense of security given to the Englishman by his island position had led him to undervalue the soldier as the real maintainer of justice, for without the strong arm of force the decrees of the lawyers would be only so many pieces of paper. War is God's minister of justice; law is a human expedient arising out of the wickedness and transgressions of men. The glory and the very existence of states rests upon their military protectors. The soldier is more necessary than the lawyer and his profession therefore more honorable./5 Arms and the gentleman during the middle ages are indeed inseparable. The ideal of chivalry was a military ideal, the word itself until long after the sixteenth century meaning only military discipline and practice./6 Those who still urged it in the renaissance as the most fitting occupation for the gentleman found in it the widest field for the exercise of every sort of excellence that man may lay claim to; all the moral virtues, particularly courage and liberality; prudence, that is, wisdom proceeding from a study of the liberal scienceshistory, geography,mathematics, astronomy; physical strength and agility. No other than a gentleman so fit for such a high calling; no other calling so fit for a gentleman. Dudley Digges+, after fifteen years' meditation on the question how shall the gentleman be "fitliest busied," surveyed all professions and came to this conclusion: "To play the Merchants was only for Gentlemen of Florence, Venice, or the like that are indeede but the better sort of citizens+; ploughing and grazing I esteemed worse than mechanicall+ occupations: the Court was but for fewe, and most of them lived too luxuriously+; to study or travel was good, but directed to this ende, that they might be fit for some profession the
5 Gates, The Defence of Military Profession, London, 1579, pp. 10-12; Rich, Roome for a Gentleman, fo. 164-264; Ferne, Blazon of Gentrie, pp. 34-8.
6 Richard Robinson, The ancient order . . . . of Prince Arthure, 1583, "The Epistle Dedicatories," fo. A4bin praise of Henry VIII's care for archery, "So much in his noble mind prevailed all provident care of princely prowess, valiancy, chivalry, and activity." The Mirror of Princely Deeds and Knighthood, London, 1599, vol. 2, "To the Reader," "Our author shadoweth the form that should be in all nobility, to wit, chivalry and courtesy." John Bullokar, An English Expositor, London, 1616 (compiled in his youth), "Chivalryknighthood: the knowledge of a knight or nobleman in feats of arms." William Gouge, The Dignity of Chivalry, London, 1626, a sermon preached before the Artillery Company of London in praise of the military profession. The earliest use given by The New English DIctsonary to mean "the brave, honourable, and courteous character attributed to e ideal knight; disinterested bravery, honour, and courtesy," is from Burke, 1790.


thing in question; for Divinity they many times thought themselves too good, and I was sure they were most times unfit; Lawe was but a money getting trade, and Physicke a dangerous tickle Art, at last I thought on the warres, where the learned might perfect their contemplation by practise and the unlearned helpe that defect by well gotten experience."/7 But such an exaltation of the soldier's calling, as the sole and fit business of the gentleman, is to be found during this century chiefly in the mouths of soldiers themselves and of heralds, the first because their profession was declining in repute and needed bolstering by argument, the second because the use and meaning of heraldic arms rested on military practice. For the profession of the soldier can be exercised only in time of war. As an ideal it belongs to a turbulent period of foreign wars or of warring factions and weak central power. Such a period England had not seen since the Tudors ascended the throne, and the long peace of Elizabeth's reign particularly turned men's minds away from military to civil matters.
    There is abundant evidence of a declining interest in the military art among the English in general and among the upper classes in particular. The decline had its beginning before the sixteenth century. In The Boke of Noblesse, published in 1475, an appeal addressed to Edward IV to regain with arms his lost French territory, complaint was made that though in old times the sons of princes, lords, knights, and other ancient gentlemen were trained to war, now many of them set themselves to learn law and delighted to waste their time holding court and ruling "among youre poore and simple comyns of bestialle contenaunce that lust to lyve in rest," and worst of all, were held by all classes in higher honor than the soldier who had spent thirty or forty years of his life in great jeopardy./8 In the last quarter of the sixteenth century the neglect of arms for law is frequently bewailed by the "martialists," who saw the country in danger of falling before unresisted invasions of the Spaniards. The most vigorous and insistent protest came from Barnaby Rich+, who from 1574 to 1609 busied himself in intervals between service in the foreign wars with setting forth the faults of gentlemen that preferred to be courtiers, lawyers, and lovers rather than soldiers. Thomas Churchyard+ after a long life of mil-
7 Foure Paradoxes, "The Third Paradox," p. 77. See also Churchyard, A General Rehearsall of Warres, fo. mx ff.; Rich, A Pathway to Military Practise.
8 Printed for Roxburghe Club, p. 77.


tary service laid down his sword and turned to the pen for defence of his beloved profession, denying that there was any real enmity between soldier and civilian, though some charged the disrepute of arms to deadly dissension between them, the pen "ever givyng a dashe out of order, against the commendation of the sword, and the Sworde disgraced, by a balde blotte of a scurvie Goose quill, lyes in a broken rustie scabberd, and so takes a Canker whiche eates awaie the edge."/9 As a matter of fact few found a good word to say for soldiers except these apologists, and they, having to admit the vices that in general characterized the armies of that timeif not of every timefrom the general to the lowest soldier, could only argue that such vices were not inherent in the profession, but that more than in any other profession the cardinal virtues and piety were essential.
    The Spanish peril also brought out other witnesses to the indifference to military affairs in the numerous books that came from the printers dedicated to the removal of the woeful ignorance in such matters: translations of Greek, Latin, French, and Italian treatises on the benefits of war and its justification, the ordering of armies in camp, strategy in the field; and English revampings of them, with the English bent showing in moral and religious handbooks for the soldier. A by no means exhaustive search reveals twenty-nine such books published between 1570 and 1601. The reasons assigned by these would-be reformers for the neglect of these matters were the long peace which had bred a false sense of security, and the disorders introduced into military discipline by the civil wars in France, in which all order and right use of armshad, been lost by the passions and shifts of irregular warfare, tothe total discrediting of the whole profession.
    Deeper causes, however, were at work than the accident of peace, and the supposed demoralization of armies. The industrial changes which had poured wealth into the pockets of merchants, artisans, and yeomen1/10 had given them the means to assume the state of gentlemen without, of course, binding upon them the old feudal ideal of military service as the obligation of gentle conditions since the old nobility themselves for lack of opportunity to display military prowess no longer fostered the art. Besides, as
9 Op_ cit., fo. mIIIb.
10 William Harrison, Description of England, London, 1577, rep. New Shakespeare Society, Ser. VI, no. i, bk. II, ch. V, pp. 131-3, 148.


has been pointed out, the spread of education, the secularization of the government, the increasing complexity of foreign relations and domestic conditions opened up so many new opportunities for men of brains and energy that affairs of peace rather than of war engaged men's attention. A less obvious but perhaps quite as fundamental cause for the change may be seen in the changing methods of fighting. In the fourteenth century the yeoman with his long_bow+ had superseded the knight as the main strength of armies, but the knight on horseback still played a part, though not so important a part in England as in France./11 The introduction of firearms, the arquebus, caliver, and musket, rapidly put the long bow out of business as an effective weapon and reduced the effectiveness of cavalry, thus leaving gentlemen as a class still less important in warfare except as officers./12 Curiously, enough the long bow which had risen to fame in the hands of yeomen during the thirteenth century would have become preeminently the gentleman's weapon in the sixteenth century, if such men as Elyot+, Ascham+, Lyl, Mulcaster+, Cleland+, Peacham+, and Lord Herbert of Cherbury+ had had their way. Stern facts made all their efforts fruitless, and at the same time the unwieldiness and ungracefulness of the new weapons, which moreover belonged to footmen and not to horsemen, made them admittedly unfit for gentlemen./13 Even the applause which had of old attended the knight who to prove his valor sought the wars of foreign princes, if his own prince was at peace, now stood upon the occasion. Hubert Languet+ wrote reprovingly to the eighteen-year-old Sidney for having attempted to join the Belgians in their struggle against Spain. "Now although the Belgians have just cause to defend their liberty by arms against the tyranny of the Spaniards, this is nothing to you. If indeed your Queen had been bound by her treaty to send them troops and had commanded you to go with these troops, then the obligation to obey her who is your ruler would have made those your enemies who are attacking the Belgian states. But you, out of mere love of fame and honour and to have an opportunity of displaying your courage, determined to regard as your enemies

11 Sir Thomas Smith noted that English kings fought with their infantry, and French kings with their cavalry, De Republica Anglorum, rep. Cambridge, 1906, ch. 23, pp. 44-5.
12 F. Warren Cornish, Chivalry, pp. 79-80.
13 Humfrey Barwick, A Briefe Discourse, fo. 2b.


those who appeared to be doing the wrong in this war. It is not your business, nor any private person's, to pass a judgement on a question of this kind; it belongs to the magistrate. I mean by magistrate the prince, who, whenever a question of the sort is to be determined, calls to his council those whom he believes to be just men and wise. You and your fellows, I mean men of noble birth, consider that nothing brings you more honour than wholesale slaughter; and you are generally guilty of the greatest injustice, for if you kill a man against whom you have no lawful cause of war, you are killing an innocent person."/14 And when this same Sir Philip Sidney fourteen years later took his last journey through the streets of London to St. Paul's, of all the rich and powerful civil companies, only the Grocers' followed in his funeral train to do honor to the soldier killed in his prince's war./15 Now Hubert Languet was only a scholar, and the members of the London Companies only merchants, tradesmen, and apprentices; but the voices of both were having a weight in the affairs and ideas of England that they had never had before. The voice of the scholar (hear the great Erasmus+ himself) was lifted in behalf of a peace in which the liberal_arts+ might flourish, and the voice of the merchant in behalf of a peace in which the coffers of trade might be filled. And even Sir Philip Sidney himself, England's mirror of perfection, perhaps the nearest approach to Castiglione+'s ideal that the English renaissance produced, was more of a statesman than a soldier. His chief interest, as Fulke Greville+'s life of him shows, was the policy of governments, and his fame in Europe was made when, as a mere youth, he traveled to see the courts of princes, or was sent on relatively unimportant embassies, and astonished all with his wisdom. Ludovic Bryskett+, Sidney's companion in Germany and Italy, bears this witness to his friend, "who being but seventeene yeeres of age when he began to travell, and coming to Paris, where he was ere long sworne Gentleman of the chamber to the French King, was so admired among the graver sort of Courtiers, that when they could at any time have him in their companie and coversation, they would be very joyfull, and no lesse delighted with his ready and witty answers, then astonished to hear him speake the French language so wel and aptly, having bin so short a while in the country. So was he likewise esteemed in all places else where he came in his travell as well in
14 The Correspondence of Philip Sidney and Hubert Languet, ed. W. A. Bradley, Boston, 1912, Letter LXI, Oct. 22, 1578, p. 172.
15 Hubert Hall, Society in the Elizabethan Age, London, 1886, pp. 45-6.


Germanic as in Italie. And the judgement of her Majestie employing him, when he was not yet full 22 years old, in embassage to congratulate with the Emperor that now is his comming to the Empire, may serve for a sufficient proofe, what excellencie of understanding, and what stayednesse was in him at those yeeres.'/16 An able commander when fighting was made his business, he yet had his mind in his maturer years set on vaster schemes of statesmanship to secure the peace of Europe and defend the Protestant faith. Now all of these considerations do not prove that young blades did not go jauntily off to war in search of honor, and did not find plenty of it when they returned flushed with pride, or, like Sidney, deaf to all plaudits. Languet's letter would prove that they did, and valued themselves highly for doing so; and Elizabeth had great ado to keep her favorites safe at home, resorting even to severe measures of punishment when they eluded her vigilance and joined the armies abroad without her permission, since she had no mind unnecessarily to lose their pleasant company to a small scrap of iron./17 But conditions and current complaints point to at least a diminution of emphasis on arms as the fittest profession for the gentleman so far as practice was concerned./18 Certain things make it seem clear that theory followed practice. Outside of the soldiers who are writing for a practical purpose with a definite fear, little is said about arms even in the books which set forth the complete ideal of the gentleman. The difference in this respect between the English "complete gentleman" and the Italian "courtier" is striking. From Elyot+ to Peacham+ one may look in vain for such a sketch of military pride and prowess as Castiglione presents. And in the more intimate guides to perfection left by sundry fathers to their sons there is the same neglect of arms, or even warning against too much reliance on them. Lord Burghley+ in his precepts to his son advises him not to bring up his children
16 A Discourse of Civill Life, London, 1606, pp. 160-1.
17 Sir Robert Naunton, Fragmenta Regalia, London, 1641, Arber Rep. 1870, PP. 32.-3.
18 The process thus begun Egerton Castle notes as complete after the Restoration. By that time the sword had become chiefly an article of dress for the gentleman only, and swordsmanship an accomplishment like dancing. A gentleman was then no longer of necessity a soldier, and from this period dates the absolute distinction between the court and military sword. Schools and Masters of Fence, 1891, Introduction, pp. 26-7.


to the wars as a profession, because a soldier can hardly be an honest man or a good Christian, every war in itself being unjust though the good cause may make it lawful, and because he is in request only so long as needed. As a person of quality once noted, concludes Burghley,

Friends, Souldiers, Women in theyr prime, Are like to Dogges in Hunting time: Occasion, Warres, and Beautie gone, Friends, Souldyers, Women heere are none./19

But if arms were not the profession of the gentleman as they had been of the knight, they were still considered a necessary part of his accomplishments. In time of need he must be ready to defend his country against foreign invasion or internal uprising. Shooting with the long bow, hunting, fencing, swimming, and riding the great horse, though urged primarily as becoming and healthful exercises for gentlemen, were urged also as necessary or helpful training for war. No gentleman could serve his country fully who was not ready, when called upon, to take up arms in her defence.
    Neither could a gentleman serve his country fully who was merely a soldier. He must be fit for both war and peace, and particularly for peace, and to make him fit for the offices of peace special training was as clearly necessary as for the offices of war. The addition of learning, education in the liberal_arts+, to the requirements of a gentleman was the most conspicuous contribution of the renaissance to the development of the modern ideal. So complete was the acceptance, by the end of the century, of learning as one of the marks of gentility that soldiers to prove the fitness of military practice for the gentleman were at great pains to show not only that military science itself was learning but that the liberal sciences were necessary and appropriate to him as the preserver of all learning and the foundation of all nobility. This combination of warrior and scholar was first presented in the ideal of the courtier+ which arose in the Italian city-states during the renaissance. It was a fusion of the Christian knight and the pagan orator+ in a time when Italian nobles alternated periods of devotion to the clash and science of arms with periods of devotion to the study and imitation of Ciceronian+ dialogues. Castiglione+, who gave the most perfect expression to the ideal for Italy, where his book was in the hands
19 Precept 2, p. 10.


even of the common people,/20 was little known in England until Hoby+'s translation appeared in 156i; but the combination of orator and knight had been set forth thirty years before by Sir Thomas Elyot+ in The Governour (itself of course a product of both Italian and classical+ influence), with the bent it was to continue to have in England throughout the century.
    The title is significant: the governor, by which Elyot meant particularly the lawyer+ in office, and not the courtier. Such a lawyer he had in mind, he said, as should compare with Cicero+'s orator, "in whome shulde than be founden the sharpe wittes of logitians, the grave sentences of philosophers, the elegancie of poetes, the memorie of civilians, the voice and gesture of them that can pronounce commedies."/21 He would therefore have the young gentleman put to the study of the laws after he has gone through the course of liberal_studies+ outlined. So the orator reappeared among the ideals of men in the English governor, as well as in the Italian courtier, but with a difference. Whereas in Castiglione+ the graces were emphasized to the neglect of the virtues, in The Governour the emphasis on moral qualities to the exclusion of the graces and the moral earnestness with which Elyot set about his self-appointed task of spreading the light of learning among the gentlemen of England are marks of the English temper which gave English representations of the ideal their practical character, in notable contrast to the philosophical bent of continental treatsies.
    How practical was the purpose Elyot had in mind, and how consciously he was attempting to graft learning upon the old warrior ideal is clearly shown in the following passage. "A knyght hath received that honour not onely to defende with the swerde Christis faithe and his propre countrey, agaynst them which impugneth the one or invadeth the other, but also, and that most chiefly by the meane of his dignitie (if that be imploied where it shuld be, and estemed as it ought to be), be shuld more effectually with his learnyng and witte assayle vice and errour, most pernicious ennemies to christen men, having therunto for his sworde and speare his tunge and his penne./22 It is evident how much of military significance the term knight had lost since Elyot has in mind himself, knighted not for service in the field but in the courts. Thus was achieved that union of knightly ------
20 Nifo, II Cortegiano, 1560, the dedication, fo. 400 Iiib.
21 Everyman's Library, bk. I, ch. XIV, p. 66.
22 A Preservative agaynste Deth, preface, fo. AIIbAIIIb.


strength and virtue and of clerklike knowledge which the upholder of chivalry had somewhat wistfully ventured to suggest would be a more perfect arrangement than to give over the office of judging to lawyers, and to knights the office of restraining the judges from doing violence in their office, "yf it myght be that Chyvalry and Clergy assembled them togyder in such maner that Knyghtes shold be lerned so that by scyence they were suffysaunt to be juges."/23 Of all professions, then, the fittest for gentlemen and those aspiring to become gentlemen was the law./24 Even those who urged the military profession upon the gentleman acknowledged however reluctantly that law also was especially suitable for him, "for as the lawe it selfe is most honourable amongst men: so those that should bee practisers, professours, and ministers of the lawes ought likewise to be of credite and estimation./25 Moreover it was felt that lawyers of gentle birth were better lawyers than the sons of shoemakers, tailors, innkeepers, and farmers that crowded the Inns of Courtmore careful in their clients' cause, more desirous of being peacemakers than of stirring up litigation to their own profit, more reasonable in fees, more courageous in the exercise of their office, more ashamed to engage in a bad cause, in general more liberal and more honorable./26 The gentleman, indeed, was something of a lawyer even when he stayed at home in the country, as the manager of large estates, and as unofficial keeper of the peace among his people and neighbors, or often as justice_of_the_peace+, an office devolving upon the nobility and gentry./27 And at court it was as a lawyer that he found readiest access to the high offices of state./28 The court as an occupation is thus differently conceived in the English ideal and in the Italian. The Italian courtier at his best, as Castiglione+ conceived him, was a man fitted to conquer in war, to adorn a court, and to give wise counsel+ to his prince, but he was chiefly interested in the court as a place where he might achieve personal perfection and make his perfection known. At the hands
23 Caxton, The Book of Chivalry, chap. II, fo. b5b-b6a.
24 Sir John Fortescue, De Laudibus Legum Angliae, London, 1616, fo. 1244-5a.
25 Rich, Allarme to England, pt. 3, fo. GIIb.
26 Fern; op. cit., pp. 38-43, 93.
27 Institution of a Gentleman, fo. d7b, f3b; Sir Thomas Smith, op. cit., lib. 2, ch. 19.
28 Cleland, The Institution of a Young Noble Man, bk. II, ch. 12, p. 96.


52 DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN [52 of other writers, however, he did not escape the character of a flatterer+, a trifler, whose only business was to entertain the prince during his hours of ease in order to relieve the strain of serious business. Most Italian writers, indeed, are careful to distinguish between the courtier, whose business whether serious or frivolous is personal attendance on the prince, and the other men at court who serve the prince in his official, political capacity, as counsellors, secretaries, ambassadors, magistrates, etc./29 In England, on the other hand, these very offices were considered the happiest business of the courtier. Even those who allowed the young man to play at court, with weapons on horseback and afoot, in games, in honest service on the ladies, with an hour a day given to the reading of history or serious discourse, would employ the courtier after thirty-five only at serious affairs.") No one in enumerating the suitable occupations for a gentleman included mere attendance at court. The author of Cyvile and Uncyvile Life, a lively dialogue between a courtier and a country gentleman, came the nearest to sending the gentleman to court, but was interested chiefly in proving that a city house, city food, city amusements were the true civility, and only sketched briefly the life at court, recommending Hoby's Courtier, for details. Barnaby Rich, though arguing with another axe to grind, pretty well summed up what seemed to be the prevailing attitude toward the court as a suitable occupation for the gentleman : "The Court, I confesse, is a place requisite for Gentlemen to know, so their myndes might not bee seduced with the vanities thereof, whereby they should be enticed, not to followe other exercises, tending more to their honour and estimation: and forsake those places, where greater glorie is to bee gained then any doth ordinarily atteine unto, that consumes their dayes wholy in the Court; for he that fully frames him selfe to become a courtier, must likewyse fraught his head so full of courting toyes, that there will be no room left, to consider of matters apperteining more to his credit./3i There was none to speak for a perfect courtier except Castiglione in his English dress, and even a Sidney with Castiglione in his pocket fretted for activity elsewhere to the point of running away./32
29 Nifo, op. cit., lib. I, caps. V, XII; Giraldi, Giovane Nobile, 1569, fo. 28"; Ducci, Ars Aulica, 1607, ch. II, pp. 10I4.
30 Cyvile and Uncyvile Life, rep. Roxburghe Lib., pp. 74-5.
31 Op. cit., fo. GIIa


53] DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN 53 The ambassador, the counsellor, the secretary, the provincial governor, the magistrate were the courtiers of England.
    There was not, however, the theoretical interest even in these offices that there was in France, Spain, and particularly Italy, where almost every scholar of note seems to have tried his hand at composing a guide for the ambassador, counsellor, or secretary, as well as for the courtier. Elyot's Governour is the only native English treatise on any of these offices, and there is not much difference between his book and the later treatises like The Institution of a Gentleman and Humphrey's The Nobles; the aim in all is to fit the gentleman for the responsibility+ that was his without much reference to the particular form that that responsibility might take. Works in foreign tongues and a few translations seemed to supply all the demand for special information. Outside of Hoby+'s Courtier the translations were conspicuously concerned with the office of the counsellor+. Certain stock questions were considered: what qualities should the counsellor possessage, physique, experience, learning, moral virtues; what matters should concern the counsellorrevenues, peace, war, etc.; what means can be taken to persuade the prince to accept wise counsel; how far may the counsellor wisely go in opposing a prince's unwise or evil designs, and how far may he yield to such designs without reproach to his own integrity+./33 Similar treatises on the ambassador contained much the same substance with the additional consideration of how closely is an ambassador bound by his instructions in the face of unforeseen circumstances, and how may he be faithful both to his own prince, and to the prince in whose court he serves./34 An air of impracticality marks even these treatises, the translated and the untranslated, because they rarely even suggest the particular circumstances to which they must be appliedform of government, character of nation and prince, and political situation. Frenchman, Italian, Spaniard, all write alike, handing down a well worn, traditional method of treatment and substance in these treatises. And when the Englishmen translated, he as rarely selected or adapted to fit English conditions, although he usually offered his work as a
32 Fulke Greville, Life of Sir Philip Sidney, ch. VII.
33 Blundeville, A Very Briefe and Profitable Treatise; Thorius, The Counsellor; The Counsellor, translated from the Latin of Goslicius, a Pole.
34 For a summary of these treatises and extended bibliography see J. J. Jusserand, The Ambassador, London, 1924.


practical guide to Englishmen./35 The practical purpose disappeared from sight with the protest in the preface that unlike Tully+'s orator, or Plato+'s philosopher, or Castiglione+'s courtier, this portrait of an ambassador, or counsellor, was taken from the life and might therefore hope to be copied.
    Thus law was a profession of particular value to the gentleman, since it might serve him either directly in the offices of law, or indirectly in the offices of state. But it is to be noted that, when law was recommended to the gentleman as a proper pursuit, law only in its more dignified and important aspects was intended. In its lower reaches it was still too dishonest and mechanical a trade for the gentleman to practice without derogation./36 The other learned professions, of the physician, divine, and scholar were recognized as fit employments for gentlemen, but without enthusiasm. Medicine was frankly considered not so honorable as law since it took its sanction from men concerned only with the bodies of men and was often loathesome in practice. The surgeon's skill was held chiefly of the manual order; the physician was freer from that taint but smelled too much of the apothecary shop, a low business, and of the jordan./37 Yet medicine was climbing slowly after law in repute; as evidence, Tiraquellus+ spent one hundred and eighty-six folio pages proving that medicine is a noble art, a subject which he said had not been handled before, and did a thorough job in his way, enlisting in behalf of medicine a long line of illustrious practitionerssaints, angels, kings, emperors, popes, philosophers, the Christ himself./38 Divinity, though sometimes piously mentioned as a calling for gentlemen,/39 drew forth even less enthusiasm than medicine. The medievalists had discussed whether the nobleman lost his nobility by taking orders, some believing that he did, since in the spiritual office worldly distinctions can, or ought, to play no part./40 Humphrey flatly said that a man might not enter the church and retain nobility./41 The inconveniences are well illustrated in a story repeated
35 The only translator that seems to have done so was George North in The Philosopher of the Court, London, 1575, from Philibert de Vienne.
36 Tiraquellus, De Nobilitate, caps. XXVIIIXXX.
37 Ferne, op. cit., pp. 44-5; Tiraquellus, op. cit., cap. XXXI, p. 309,411
38 Op. cit., cap. XXXI, pp. 168-354.
39 Mulcaster,Positions, rep. x888, ch. 39, pp. 202-3; Meriton, Sermon of Nobility, fo. E2a.
40 Tiraquellus, op. cit., cap. XXVI.
41 The Nobles, bk. I, fo. fllafVb.


by Rich. A country fellow meeting the Bishop of Cologne sumptuously furnished and attended remarked that God, or his own wit, had furnished him better than Peter and Paul. The Bishop replied that he was not only a Bishop but a Prince Elector, and his state might be too much for a Bishop but was too little for a Prince. "You have answered well (said the other) but my good Lord, but one question more, if this Prince Elector you speak of do happen to go to the devil for his pride, what will become of my Lord Bishop of Cologne ?"/42 That such a consideration acted on the gentleman as a deterrent from entering the church is indicated by Lyly+'s rebuke to gentlemen, "which thinke it a blemmish to their auncestours, and blot to their owne gentrie, to read or practize Divinitie."/43 The chief reason however for this neglect of the church, was probably economic; Harrison said that the best wits of the period took up law or medicine, fearing that they could not make a living at divinity."/44 Political power certainly lay outside the church, and political nobility. Even the divine contented himself with humble comparisons. "I wot well [said Meriton] that this sort of people [priests] for the space of many years have had little honour by Parliament given unto them: except standing by a rogue whilst he is whipt, and keeping a beggar's register may be called honour. Yet to be a Mayor of a Towne or Citty, or a Justice_of_Peace+ in the Countrey (I might goe higher) cannot sort so well with noble estate, as Priesthood may. Herein may nobles live and devote themselves unto Gods service without disparagement."/45 Pursuit of scholarship+, like divinity, was admitted among liberal professions, though perfunctorily. Liberal_studie+, such as rhetoric+|, mathematics+, astronomy+, music+, poetry+, history+, grammar+, were eminently fitting for gentlemen, a university degree as well as attendance at the Inns_of_Court+ even carrying with it the status of gentleman; and the younger sons of impoverished gentility might well find honorable support in the pursuit and spread of learning./46 But in general it was felt that studies should be in esteem rather for use and ornament in other professions than for themselves, since learning as it led to action+ in the state was commendable, but pursued closetwise became a blemish to a gentleman. Stephen
42 Roome for a Gentleman, fo. I5aI5b.
43 Euphues, Arber Rep., 1868, p. 155.
44 Op. cit., bk. II, ch. I, pp. 22, 37.
45 Op. cit., fo. E2a.
46 Ferri; op. cit., pp. 45-58.


Gosson+ roundly rated those who shut themselves up in the universities, deaf to public demands, benefiting only themselves./47 The active_life+, "which is about civil function and administration of the commonweal," and not the contemplative+, "which is continual meditation and study," was held the only truly honorable life for gentlemen, upon whom the welfare of the state depended. The man of the renaissance sometimes felt a difficulty, to be sure, in repudiating the life of contemplation, bound up as it was with medieval religious sanction. Ratcliff+'s unknown author did some rare straddling to recommend the active life and at the same time admit the superiority of the contemplative as it deals with divine matters.{Aquinas+} "And because that sapience, [he said,] is, of all other, the chiefe vertue, as that which resteth in the knowledge of divine thinges, so much also is this contemplative vocation, (which consisteth in this vertue,) more excellent than the active, which resteth onely in prudence, and other inferiour and baser vertues. . . . . Whereof insueth that the active vocation, is as much different from the vocation contemplative, as there is difference betweene the understanding, and the bodie, between heaven and earth, betweene the superiour who commaundeth, and the inferiour who serveth & obeyeth, and betweene that, whiche is immortall, and that whiche is mortall, and perishable. And there is nothing so seemely and worthie of man, as the contemplation and trying out of the trueth, guide & light of mans life, which otherwise should be but a confusion, and darknesse, yea, an eternal death. Howbeit, comming now to the active vocation, if we doe well, diligently and throughly consider that whiche is to be considered of, that is: what is moste decent, naturall, and meete for the weale, profite, and continuance of humane societie, we shall not finde anything so convenient as the active life: all actions being reported to the benefite of the commonal_tie+ of men, neither more or lesse than the actions of every member of mans body be referred to the conservation and entertainment of the same. And as it is said that the principal praise and excellencie of all vertue lieth in the action+, so the principal bliss, profite, and commoditie of this human life lieth in this vocation. Certainly, even as there is nothing so great to nature (as we have said) as this common, and reciproke+ exteriour action of everie one, redounding to the maintenance of a bonde+, and universall conjunction of all men: so is there nothing so monstruous, and against nature, as the abandoning of this commonaltie by neglecting the action: I meane the apparant action (as I have said) knowing right well, that in the contemplative vocation, there is also an action but interiour (whereof I have
47 The Schoole of Abuse , Arber Reprint, 1869, pp. 51-53.


57]       DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN       57 spoken) which is not communicated to another bodie and there is nothing more lame, nor imperfect, then contemplation above and sequestred from the same."/48 {de_Officiis+} he sixteenth century in general decided in favor of the active as against the contemplative life, on the ground that the common good, not private good, was man's chief consideration. Bacon, interestingly enough when we consider the ascetic ideal of the medieval church, found in Christianity the main support for this belief. "Never in any age has there been any philosophy, sect, religion, law, or other discipline, which did so highly exalt the good which is communicative, and depress the good which is private and particular, as the Holy Christian Faith." So, he continued, the case is decided against Aristotle, "for all the reasons which he brings for the contemplative respect private good, and the pleasure or dignity of a man's self."49 Contemplation, study, however, was felt to have a place, and Lyly may be taken as well summing up the conclusion of the whole matter for renaissance England: "If this active life be without philosophie, it is an idle life, or at the least a life evill employed which is worse: if the contemplative lyfe be seperated from the Active, it is most unprofitable. I woulde therefore have my youth, so to bestowe his studie, as he may be both exercised in the common weale to common profite, and well employed privately for his owne perfection, so as by his studie the rule he shal beare may be directed, and by his government his studie may be increased."/50 Hence may be seen the reason why the life of the scholar, whether as teacher or student merely, did not appeal to the Elizabethan as a life eminently suitable for the gentleman, neither teaching nor research having yet met its apotheosis as one of the pillars of the state. But as a liberal life, free from taint of manual toil, it was allowable to the gentleman in lieu of something better.
    So much for the military and the learned professions which in theory were accepted as the most honorable callings for the gentleman, conferring, though in varying degrees, the most signal benefits upon the state, and the highest honors upon individuals. But the tale is not complete, though we must desert theory for the moment, and consider practice.
48 Politique Discourses, bk. I, ch. XVII, fo. 31b, Bk. II, ch. IX, fo. 52a-52b.
49 De Augmentis, trans. Spedding, London, 1858, vol. 5, bk. VII, ch. I, pp. 7-8.
50 Op. cit., p. 142.


It is strange enough that, in general, English theory should have rejected agriculture, when in practice the cultivation of his estates was indeed one of the most common occupations of the gentleman./51 The great classical_tradition+ was here ignored, for Cicero+ had put agriculture among the most delightful and becoming professions for a well-bred man./52 One Englishman alone echoed him, allowing husbandry to be honorable according to ancient tradition, but rather perhaps because he hated idleness in gentlemen than because he respected agriculture./53 English theory was here representing Italian ideas and customs rather than English. For the Italian, the gentleman was essentially a product of the court or the city, but the foundation of English gentry was, as in France, landed estates, and the one sure claim to recognition among the gentry was ownership and long continued cultivation of an estate, with of course accompanying refinement of manners and living conditions./54 The Italians themselves bear witness to this difference. Poggio Bracciolini, a Florentine, utterly rejected from true nobility the French and English nobility of the fields and woods and the German nobility of the mountains, for wisdom, he said, comes not from dwelling among wild beasts and from intercourse with rustics, but in the cities and haunts of men. He explained his rejection further by the fact that among the English the sons of merchants and artisans who had acquired wealth left the city and their seminoble status there, and by buying estates in the country were able to leave nobility to their children./55 If this was true in 1489, it was even more true in 1589. Nor was there difficulty in finding estates to purchase, for the ignorance of the ordinary country gentleman concerning his affairs, and the fashion of going up to town with all his revenues on his back was bearing fruit in impoverishment and forced selling of ancestral acres. On the other evils of going to court Gascoigne+ has much to say.

The stately lord, which woonted was to kepe A court at home is now come up to courte,

51 Cyvile and Uncyvile Life, p. 10.
52 de_Officiis+, lib. I, cap. XLII, Loeb Classics, p. 155.
53 Humphrey, op. cit., fo. iVVIIIa.
54 Cyvile and Uncyvile Life raises the question "whether it were better for the gentlemen of England to make most abode in their country houses (as our English custom is) or else ordinarily to inhabit the cities and chief towns, as in some foreign nations is the custom." "Argument and Occasion of this Dialogue," fo. B4b.
55 De Nobilitate, 1489, fo. aaIIIIb.



And leaves the country for a common prey To pilling, polling, bribing, and deceit; (Al which his presence might have pacified, Or else have made offenders smel the smoke.) And now the youth which might have served him In comely wise with countrey clothes yclad, And yet therby bin able to preferre Unto the prince and there to seke advance: Is fain to sell, his lands for courtly cloutes, Or else sits still, and liveth like a loute, (Yet of these two the last fault is the lesse:) And so those imps which might in time have sprong Aloft (good Lord) and servde to shielde the state Are either nipt with such untimely frosts, Or else growe crookt bycause they are not proynd./56

Two counter currents had set in, therefore: one that took the old gentry away from the country to the city as a center of civility and fashion, a trend partially to be accounted for perhaps by the vogue of all things Italian; another that took the new gentry out from the city to the country to set the seal of old English custom upon their gentility. For though a man might consider himself more of a gentleman in his town house, his roots were in his country estate, and cut off from estate and revenues he was the less a gentleman, or more likely none at all.
    Necessarily in practice the cultivation of an estate remained a gentleman's occupation, and as the books on husbandry/57 as well as the complaints indicate, he could be as good a farmer as any yeoman, too good indeed to suit with his dignity and duty to the state. Harrison, for instance, complains that the lords have taken all the gain from their farmers by themselves becoming grasiers, butchers, tanners, and what not, to bring all the wealth into their own hands, thereby "leaving the commonaltie weake, or as an idoll with broken or feeble armes, which may in a time of peace have a plausible shew, but when necessitie shall inforce, have an heavie and bitter sequele."/58 That is, such usurping of the offices of others and neglect of their own could only result in upsetting the
56 The Steele Glas, Cambridge, 1910, p. 154-5.
57 Fitzherbert, Booke of Husbandrie, London, 1523, frequently reprinted until 1598; Tusser, Hundreth good Pointes of Husbandrie, London, 1557, trans. by Googe, and often reprinted with additions.
58 Op. cit., bk. II, ch. XII, p. 243.


60     DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN       [60 existing order. The master of an estate should know enough about the running of it so as not to be at the mercy of his servants {Oswald+}but not so much as to turn himself into a practicer of base callings./59 Agriculture as an occupation for the gentleman, then, was allowed by English theory if it was carried on on a large scale, in a liberal fashion, that is under the general direction of the gentleman but without his meddling in the execution of the work. The gentleman at home after all was important not so much as a model farmer, but as a preserver of the peace, civilizer of manners, and patron of young men. Thus could he find a place in the general scheme of things, and in the name of God and the king help maintain peace and the established order.
    If agriculture may with difficulty lay claim to a place among gentlemanly professions where will commerce+ find itself? Like agriculture commerce was a point of dispute with the ancients. To go no farther back than Cicero+he said that all who retail merchants' goods for prompt sale are to be despised because they must lie abominably, but if the merchandizing is on a large scale, bringing commodities from all parts of the world, and giving bread to large numbers without fraud, it is not so despicable; and if such a merchant, having piled up wealth, becomes satisfied with his profits and leaves the open sea to settle on an estate, he justly deserves praise./60 Through the middle ages a similar distinction was drawn in Italy between the retail+ merchant, who over his own counter doled out mean measures to mean people, often soiling his hands, and the great merchant who owned his fleets and brought from far off lands strange and beautiful things, or who, if dealing in the necessities of life, dealt largely and supplied whole peoples./61 Tiraquellus, however, in his compendium of nobility set merchandize down as a derogation to nobility even when carried on through an agent, because it was incompatible with Christian principles, though even he felt constrained to except Genoa and Venice+, where custom sanctioned the practice./62 Bodin said that trade was not a derogation to nobility in Italy, England, and Portugal, the great sea-going races, but was in France and Germany.??/63
59 The Institution of a Gentleman, fo. f5bf6a.
60 ibid.
61 Cepolla, De Imperatore Militum Deligendo, 1549, pt. 4, sect. 13-14; Tiraquellus,op. cit., cap. XXXIII, p. 10.
62 Op. cit., cap. XXXIII, sec. 20-21.
63 The Six Bookes of a Commonweale, bk. III, chap. VIII, p. 400.


In English practice certainly trade was often the cause of ennobling, and younger sons of gentlemen were commonly bound prentice+ to the great merchants of London./64 Not only that but the nobles themselves, like the Earls of Leicester+ and Shrewsbury+, were traders on a grand scale./65 Theory had as little to say about trade as about agriculture. Sir Thomas Smith+ and Sir John Ferne+ struck at the roots by dubbing apprenticeshi+ servitude, but neither discussed the subject nor named trade as unfit for gentlemen. Sir Thomas placed merchants, that is retailers that have no free land, in the fourth class of men, those that do not rule except in towns and cities in default of yeomen. He had nothing to say about the other kind of merchants, but one may justifiably conclude that he had them in mind when he allowed the practice of calling all those gentlemen "who can live idly and without manual labor, and will bear the port, charge, and countenance of a gentleman."/66 Ferne lists trade among the seven mechanical arts, noting that the Venetians+ and Genoese+ esteemed it fitting for gentlemen. But he had no prejudice against a merchant as the founder of a noble line. In his classification of gentlemen according to the source of their arms he called "gentlemen of purchase" the merchants, artificers, etc. who bought from the king lands which for want of heirs had fallen into his hands. To the question how it came "that so many craftes men, so many Mercers, and shopkeepers, retaylors, Cooks, victaylours, and Taverne-holders, Millioners, and sucheTyke, shoulde bee suffered to cloath them selves, with the coates of Gentleness which I see often done in this Citye of midle Saxons, and other places," he answered that not by their arts but by some special merit or aid to the country these men obtained arms./67 Thomas Churchyard frankly put the merchant fourth among his four sorts of true nobility, that is the merchant "that sailes forrain countreys, and brynges home commodities; and after greate hazardes+ abroad, doe utter their ware with regard of conscience and profite to the publike estate."/68 And that one may decide was at least a tacit agreement among the English in the sixteenth century.
64 Foster Watson, The Beginnings of the Teaching of Modern Subjects in England, London, 1909, pp. XXXVIXXXVII.
65 J. W. Burgon, Life and Times of Sir Thomas Gresham, London, 1839, vol. I,P. 47.
66 Op. cit., lib. I, ch. 24; ch. 20, p. 40.
67 Op. cit., pp. 68-70.
68 Op. cit., fo. MIVb.


So little, indeed, was this question discussed by the earlier theorists that a book published anonymously in 1629, but written ten or twelve years earlier, furnishes more evidence on this point than any other source. The merchant seems by this time to have been put more on the defensive, probably by the sharper drawing of class lines as society settled into something like order after the revolutionary changes of the sixteenth century, and to have become therefore more articulate. The author of this book, Edmund Bolton,/69 states the case in the title, "The Cities Advocate in this case or question of Honor and Armes: whether Apprenticeship extinguisheth Gentry? Containing a cleare Refutation of the pernicious common errour affirming it, swallowed by Erasmus+ of Rotterdam, Sir Thomas Smith+ in his Common-weale, Sir John Fern+ in his Blazon, Ralph_Broke+ Yorke Herald, and others. With the Copies or Transcripts of three Letters which gave occasion of this worke." The point of attack was the preparatory training,which every wouldbe merchant and artisan had to submit to, which necessarily involved many actions of a menial character, and complete submission to the will of another. It was an important question, Bolton said "being now not so much a paradox, as growne in secret to be of late a common opinion," involving not only the lesser nobility but royalty itself, since Queen Elizabeth acknowledged Sir Martin Calthorpe+, the Lord Mayor of London, as her kinsman, and Sir Godfrey Bullen, also once Lord_Mayor+ in Henry_VII+'s time, was a lineal ancestor of Queen_Anne+. Both of these gentlemen had risen to this "greatest annual honor of this kingdom" from apprenticeship. Such a charge was serious also because it darkened honor, bred bad feeling, and cast disdain upon being city born or bred./70 One of the letters mentioned shows so clearly the feeling of this later time and the conditions of the sixteenth century that it is worth quoting at length.

The first letter from the Citizen in the behalfe and cause of his eldest sonne to a speciall friend, of whose love, and learning he rested confident.

69 See Bolton's letter, March 26, 1631, Ashmolean MS. 837, fo. 228-9, printed Gentleman's Magazine, Jan.June, 1832, pp. 499-501.



Right worthy Sir, If having beene at no small charge, and some care, to breed my sonne up in Gentleman like qualities, with purpose the rather to enable him for the service of God, his Prince, and Countrey, I am very curious to remove from him as a Father, all occasions, which might either make him lesse esteemed of others, or abate the least part of his edge: I say, not towards the honesty of life onely, but towards the splendor thereof, and worship also, my hope is that, I shall not in your worthy judgement seem either insolent, or vaine glorious. "Truth and Justice are the onely motives of my stirring at this present. For, as I mortally hate that my Son should beare himselfe, above himself so should I disclaime my part in him, if being unjustly sought to be embased he sillily lost any inch of his due. He hath been disgraced as no Gentleman borne, when yet not hee but I his Father was the Apprentise, thankes be to God for it. They cannot object to him want of fashion, they cannot object to him the common vices, badges rather of reprobates then of Gentlemen: they cannot object to him cowardise, for it is well knowne that he dares defend himselfe: nor any thing else unworthy of his name, which is neither new, nor ignoble: But mee his poor father they object unto him, because I was once an Apprentise. "Wise Sir_Thomas_Moore+ teacheth us, under the names, and persons of his Eutopians+, that victories, and atchievements of wit are applauded, farre above those of forces: and seeing reverence to God, & to our Prince, commandeth us, (as his Majesties booke of Duells+ doth affirme) not to take the office of justice from Magistrates by private rash revenges, I have compelled my sonne, upon Gods blessing, and mine, to forbeare the sword till by my care he may be found not to be in the wrong. For if it be true, that by Apprentiship we forfeit our titles to native Gentrie; God forbid that my sonne should usurpe it. And, if it be not true, then shall he have a just ground to defend himselfe, and his adversaries shall stand convicted of ignorance, if not of envy also. "These are therefore very earnestly to pray you, to cleare this question. For, in the City of London there are at this present many hundreds of Gentlemens children Apprentises, infinite others have beene, and infinite will be; and all the parts of England are full of families, either originally raised to the dignity of Gentlemen out of this one most famous place: or so restored, and enriched as may well seeme to amount to an original raising. And albeit I am very confident, that by having once beene an Apprentise in London, I have not lost to be a Gentleman of birth, nor my sonne, yet shall I ever wish, and pray rather to resemble an heroicke Walworth+, a noble Philpot an happie Capel, that learned Sheriffe of London Mr. Fabian, or any other famous Worthies of this royall City, out of any


whatsoever obscurest parentage, then that being descended of great nobles, to fall by vice farre beneath the rancke of poorest Prentises. "In requitall of your care in this point, you shall shortly receive (if I can obtain my desire) out of the records & monuments of London, a Roll of the names, and Arms of such principall friends as have been advanced to Honor, and Worship, throughout the Realme of England, from the degree of Citizens. A warrantable designe, by the example of the Lord Chiefe Justice Cooke, who hath bestowed upon the world (in some one or other of his bookes of reports) a short Catalogue of such as have beene eminently beholding to the Common Lawes. And if I should faile in that, yet doe I promise you a list or Alphabet of Apprentises names, who by their enrollments will appeare upon good Record, to have been sonnes of Gentlemen from all the parts of England "If this my sute and request, cary the lesse regard, because it comes but from a private Citizen, be pleased I pray to understand, that in me, though being but one man, multitudes speake, and that out of a private pen, a publike cause propounds it selfe.

The Stoics+ of course had said that nobility rested not in the world's opinion but in personal qualities which opinion could not touch. Why make such a fuss about such a taunt? Bolton answered for himself and for most gentlemen: "Sound opinion (meaning doctrine) is the anchor of the world, and opinion (meaning a worthy conceit of this or that person) is the principall ingredient which makes words, or actions relish well, and all the Graces are, without it, little worth. To take fame from any man that he is a Gentleman borne is a kind of disenablement and prejudice, at leastwise among the weake (who consider no further than seemings) that is to say amongst almost all."/71 Bolton's defence of apprenticeship lay in distinguishing it from true servitude in the lawyer's sense, which involved ownership of the body of the slave and no reciprocal responsibilities on the part of the owner. Apprenticeship on the other hand was a contract freely entered into, which bound the apprentice to do his master's bidding for a certain length of time, and the master to furnish certain instruction and support in return, the sort of civil contract no bondman was capable of making. Nor was apprenticeship true bondage while it lasted, for the London apprentice was no worse off than the young soldier, or scholar, or novice, all of whom must do mean things, considered in themselves, without regard to the -----
71 P. 8.


end in view./72 Nothing in the derivation of the word itself justified a servile interpretation; Erasmus+'s derivation from pares emptities, because apprentices could be bought for money, was as sensible in Bolton's estimation as saying that Erasmus is errans mus in Obscurorum Virorum Epistolis; the word comes from the French apprenti, meaning a raw soldier or young learner; or from the French verb apprendre, which is the derivation Sir Thomas Smith accepted./73 Such a derogation of apprenticeship, Bolton pointed out, was clearly not justified either by the policy of the country, which had instituted the system of chartering corporations and adorning companies with banners of arms and particular men with nobility; or by the actions of their sovereigns, who had not disdained incorporating themselves, Henry_VII+ into the Merchant Tailors, Elizabeth+ into the Mercers, and James_I+ into the Cloth-workers; or by any opinion expressed by wise men such as Sir Thomas Elyot+ in his Governour, or Sir Thomas Chaloner in his De Republica tinglorum Instauranda./74 Apprenticeship was a degree on the way to citizenship, leading to membership and governorship in companies, offices in the city including the mayorship, and finally counsellor- ship in the state. Bolton was careful to disclaim any intention to confound degrees in the commonwealth; citizens as citizens were not gentlemen, but some might be citizens and yet true gentlemen./75 To the soundness of his position William Segar, Garter King of Arms, bore witness: "I have viewed this booke, and perused the same, and finde nothing therein dissonant to reason, or contrary to the Law of Heaven or Armes./76 At the end of the next century the historian Gibbon+ testified that he did not blush to descend from the younger branch of a Kentish family which went up to the city. He added, "Our most respectable families have not disdained the counting-house, or even the shop; their names are enrolled in the Livery and Companies of London; and in England, as well in the Italian commonwealths, heralds have been compelled to declare that gentility is not degraded by the exercise of trade."/77
73 See J. S. Ballin, on "Apprenticeship," Ency. Brit.; in the middle ages. Apprentice was applied indifferently to such as were being taught a trade or a learned profession, and even to undergraduates or scholars who were qualifying themselves for the degree of doctor or master in the liberal arts."
74 Pp. 8-15.
75 Pp. 18, 53.
76 pp. 45-6.
77 p. 6i.


Practice evidently had forced recognition of the pretensions to gentility of large numbers engaged in gainful occupations not far if at all removed from illiberal manual labor. Theory, however, insisted on covering even trade with the tattered insignia of a liberal profession by postulating that the merchant was a gentleman only when he conferred benefits upon the state in a large way, conducted his business with more reference to honesty than to personal gain, and did not himself stand behind the counter.
    This whole matter of gentility and trade raised a point that had to be given consideration in the theory of the ideal even though it bent aside to take account of facts. It was all very well to urge the gentleman's duty of disinterested and therefore unpaid service to the state, so long as he possessed the estates that could support the charges of office. The oldest son, who by English law fell heir to the family possessions, might thus maintain himself, but the younger sons could seldom be sufficiently provided for and had to find other means of support. The evils that arose because of their failure to do so were vividly described by more than one writer who lamented the overcrowding of the Inns_of_Court+ with the sons of shoemakers tailors, and innkeepers to the exclusion of these poor younger sons who had no other way to make a living. Ferne remarked, "Of old times, colleges were built and livinges given, for the maintenance of poore mens children (and that also was a worke charitable & prayse worthy). But now, I would wish some to build colleges, for the maintenance of poore younger brethren gentlemen, destitute of succour and support."/78 How may a man without land gain his living in a gentlemanlike fashion was not an easy question to answer in face of the still existing prejudice against a gentleman's receiving pay for his services. Gifts were accepted freely both by lawyers and doctors, in place of set fees, a custom more or less responsible for the plight in which Bacon+ eventually found himself; but a gift rested in the power and good will of the person benefited, whereas a stipulated fee betokened mercenary motives on the benefactor's part and destroyed his reputation for disinterestedness and generosity. No one, however, still urged as in medieval times/79 that the lawyer and doctor lost
77 Autobiography, World's Classics, Oxford University Press, p. 6. See also Thomas Fuller, The Holy State, Cambridge, 1642, bk. I, ch. 15, pp. 48-9.
78 Op. cit., PP. 93-5.
79 Tiraquellus, op. cit., cap. XXIX, pp. 160-6.


gentility by charging for their services; for honest work pay might be taken by needy gentlemen./80 But the learned arts could not furnish employment for all the sons of gentlemen, even though they were fitted by nature to pursue them, and could obtain the requisite education. Part of Bolton's anxiety to establish the credit of commerce arose out of the obvious need of other recognized occupations. "I am the more fervent in this case, [he said,] because this one false conceit (at all times hurtful, but chiefly in these latter times, in which the meanes of easy maintenance are infinitely straitned) that for a Gentleman borne, or one that would aspire to be a Gentleman, for him to be an Apprentise to a Citizen or Burgensis, is a thing unbeseeming him, hath fill'd our England with more vices, and sacrificed more serviceable bodies to odious ends, and more soules to sinfull life, then perhaps any one other uncivill opinion whatsoever. For they who hold it better to rob by land, or sea, then to beg, or labour doe daily see, and feele, that out of Apprentises rise such, as sit upon them, standing out for their lives as malefactors, when they (a shame, and sorrow to their kinred) undergoe a fortune too unworthy, even of the basest, of honest bondmen."/81 Trade, or industry, to use a broader modern term, was only at the beginning of the struggle to remove prejudice against it as incompatible with the higher virtues of man, a struggle which is not yet ended even in the United_States+, for though Colleges of Commerce and Business Administration have raised their heads, capped by the graduate school of Harvard+ University, to indicate how far progress has been made, the liberal character of the education offered in these colleges is still suspect, and the mere business man does not by that fact assume even in the most democratic of communities the assured position of the doctor or lawyer. In England the business man who has achieved his mark is conspicuously fond of disguising his identity under a new name attached to a title.
    We have come to the end of the occupations, that is, recognized professions open to gentlemen. There were, however, two additional, honorable ways of support open to the gentleman who lacked independent means: service in a nobleman's family, and what was called industry. By industry was meant personal initiative and achievement in some original way, and particularly adventure on the high seas, such achievements as those of Columbus+, Magellan+,
80 The Institution of a Gentleman, fo. d7ad7b.
81 p. 15.


and Frobisher+. "I will resite the names of some few, whose industry hath not only gained themselves glory, but also their Countrey infinite good," said the author of Cyvile and Uncyvile Life. "How say you to Columbus+ and Vesputius+, whose industry discovered the west part of the world: from whence the King of Spaine fetcheth yearely great Treasure? Also what do you thinke of Magelanns+, that sayled about the world, yea to come nearer to your own knowledge, do you not thinke that Maister Frobusher+, by his industry, and late travaile, shall profit his Country, and honour him self? Yes surely, and a number of others, who though they have not performed so notable matters, yet have they wonne them selves reputation, and meane to live, some more, and some lesse, according to their vertue and fortune."/82 Sir Walter Raleigh+, Sir Francis Drake+, Sir Humfrey Gilbert+, gentlemen explorers and freebooters, had captured public imagination and were the heroes of the hour. This was a way for the able and ambitious man, but a limited way, for either royal or noble patronage was necessary to foot the bills. Service in a nobleman's house was a more hopeful avenue, though circumstances were conspiring to lessen the chances there. As Gascoigne complained, the fashion of going up to the city deprived country-bred youth of support and training in the country, and the curtailment of trains which the expense of city life necessitated lessened the number on whom the doubtful benefit of accompanying a lord to court might be conferred. There were also other causes working to shut this door to preferment for gentlemen's sons if the evidence of a quaint tract, A Health to the Gentlemanly Profession of Servingmen, may be believed. The writer complained that the sons of yeomen were turning out the sons of gentlemen, partly because the yeoman was overcareful of his son and, wishing to save him from the wars, bought him service with a gentleman by offering to clothe him, or was overambitious for his son and pushed him in where he had no talent to act; or partly because the gentleman's son, unwilling to work with such fellows, had grown disdainful of service. He was willing, however, to grant that a yeoman's son may make himself fit to be a gentlemanly servingman through training from childhood, and thereby become the founder of a gentle house./83 There were, therefore, certain occupations, such as agriculture, trade, and even medicine, which, calling forth no enthusiasm on the
82 P. 24.
83 Rep. Rosburghe Lib., p. 136.


part of idealists, but rather apology and restriction, were accepted as honorable for the gentleman to pursue. They were admitted into the theory of the ideal under the stern pressure of facts, the facts that men must find a means of sustenance, that there are not enough soft-handed jobs to go round, that a gentleman is not always gifted with the ability needed for a learned pursuit, that improvement in the technique and moral code of a profession, or art, or industry necessarily raises its status, perhaps its importance, and as a result admits it into the jealous circle of honorable employmentswitness the rise in our day of engineering into the learned professions, and the progress that way of commerce and journalism. But after all was said that could be said for such occupations, the fact remains that for the sixteenth century the ideal service for the gentleman was public office, through which without wages he might directly work for the preservation of the state, and the welfare of the people. Governing was the passion of the Englishman, as shown in the works of English idealists from Sir Thomas Elyot+, who called his perfect Englishman a governor, to James Cleland+, who said that a young nobleman, even though his natural bent was for some mechanic art, must be brought up to rule./84
84 Op. cit., bk. II, chap. 1, p. 51.



"Only good men by their government and example make happy times in every degree and state." Thus Ascham summed up the driving force behind the whole effort of sixteenth century Englishmen to frame a gentleman. The essence of the gentleman was goodness; without goodness he could not perform his office in the state, which was first of all to govern well, and secondly by his example of personal perfection to make all men good. "By example of governours," said Elyot+, "men do rise or falle in virtue or vice;" and he devoted two-thirds of his Governour to the virtues that became a gentleman who had authority in the commonwealth. Spenser+ planned an epic to portray a gentleman only by his moral qualities. Few Indeed touched the subject of the gentleman that did not show him the way to virtue, until James_I found it "so troden a path" that he refrained from traversing the same ground./1 The absorbing passion of the English was then, and is now, a passion for goodness, and of their rulers the first and almost the last demand that is made is that they shall exhibit the homely virtues. "I will be good," said the little Victoria+ when she learned that she might one day be ruler of the British Empire, and thereby enlisted under the great tradition. The question was not raised in England, as in Italy, whether to be a good ruler was the same thing as to be a good man, and whatever ground the reformers may have had for their wail that Machiavellian+ beliefs had corrupted the court and nation, theory had no room for morals that were morals in private and not in public. There is difficulty, however, as has been said, in arriving at a clear, consistent conception of the moral code of the sixteenth century. The elements are too various, and too mixed to be completely reconciled, and attempts to present a coherent account leave one with a feeling of unrest and distrust of the results. But we can attempt at least a description of these elements.
    The pattern for the code of conduct of the renaissance gentleman was the knightly ideal of the middle ages; but since the knightly
1 Basilikon Doron, reprint The Political Works of James I, Cambridge, U. S. A., 1918, p. 37. 70


ideal was essentially religious and military, and the renaissance ideal philosophical and civil, they differ in certain fundamental respects. Elaborate and confused lists of the virtues of the knight are to be found in Juliana Berners' Book of St. Albans./2 These cover the knight's duty to Godreverence, faithfulness and gratitude+; his duty to his sovereignobedience and dread to offend; his duty as a warriorreadiness to fight but only in a just quarrel, wisdom+ in battle, courage+ not to flee, courteous_ treatmen+ of his prisoner; his duty in a civil capacitypity to the poor, protection of the rights of maidens and widows, justice+ in his commands, hospitality+; personal qualitiescleanliness, temperance+ in living, modesty+ with regard to his prowess, courtesy, gentleness and purity in his speech, fidelit+ in promise to both friend and foe. These lists were being copied with a few minor modifications a century later by those curious antiquarians the heralds+, who least of all men that wrote for the reform of nobility recognized the mutability of fashion in manners both moral and social, and that the morality of renaissance gentility was couched in another language with another intent./3 Knighthood meant essentially devotion, courage, charity, and courtesy. The spring of action was religious, desire to defend the faith against all enemies, both heretics and infidels, and to carry out God's justice on earth. But the spring of action was no longer religious but political, and the devotion of the gentleman had become attached to an idea rather than to a deity, and to a class rather than to a person. Hence, though the elements in the gentleman's code will be found to have been the same as in the knight's, the emphasis will have changed and the medieval knight would have appeared very old-fashioned indeed among Elizabethan courtiers, or even country gentlemen.
    The virtues urged upon the gentleman were chiefly Aristotelian+. How much these were a legacy from the middle ages, descending through Augustine+ and Thomas Aquinas+ to Melancthon+ and Spenser+, and how much they were the result of the renewal of direct contact with the ancients, it would be difficult to say, and is a task that cannot be attempted here. Certainly the line from Aquinas to Spenser was unbroken, and among the virtues demanded of the knight may be found at least the equivalents of the Aristotelian
2 "Book of Arms."
3 Bossewell, Workes of Armorie, 1572, fo. 8b-9b; Ferne, Blazon of Gentrie, London, 1586, pp. 96-7.


72      DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN       [72 virtues, however differently named and associated, and even the inevitable four, justice+, prudence+, fortitude+, and temperance+ in familiar array./4 But just as certainly Plato+, Aristotle+, and Cicero+ were known directly to the renaissance, and except for poetic survivals the medieval interpretation was gone: fortitude+ was not arrayed against the seven_deadly_sins+, or temperance primarily against unchastity, and the end of it all was more often good than God./5 The Christian virtues of faith, hope, charity, and humility were more or less perfunctorily added to the pagan virtues, but with small effort to reconcile inconsistencies, and indeed often with no apparent consciousness that such inconsistencies existed. Protest was not wanting, to be sure, against the lack of discrimination and the over-emphasis on pagan virtues to the neglect of Christian. Erasmus+ set down as the necessary virtues of the Christian, innocence,that is, to keep pure from vice, charityto do good as near as we can to all men, and patienceto endure evil done to us and overcome evil with good; and held that Aristotle+ and Christ+ could not be reconciled./6 Cornelius Agrippa+, the iconoclast, specifically pointed out the incompatibilities: "Ye have harde how some Philosophers have placed felicitie or blessednesse in pleasure, but Christe in hunger and thirste, some in honour, fame, and greatnesse of name, but Christe in sclaunder, and hatred of men, some in the Primigenii, in health, in joye, in lacke of paine: but Christ in weepinge, and wailing, some in wisdome, in knowledge, and morall vertues, but Christe in innocencie, simplicitie, and cleannesse of hart, some in fortune, but Christ in mercie, some in glorie of warre and subduinge of countries, but Christe in peace: some in honour and pompe, but Christe in humilitie, calling the meke blessed, some in power and victorie, but Christe in persecution: some in ritches, but Christe in povertie. Christe teacheth that perfect vertue is not gotten but by grace geven from above, the Philosophers saie, that it is goten by our owne strength and exercise: Christ teacheth that concupiscence is sinne, the Philosophers contrarywise recken it emonge the common thinges which be thought neither vertues, nor vices, and that he doth goo forewarde in vertues whiche hath them reasonably well. Christe teacheth that wee should doo well to all men, and also to love our enemies
4 See Caxton's Book of Chivalry, ch. VII, and The Royal Book, ch. 90.
5 For a typical medieval handling see Caxton's The Royal Book, and for renaissance handling Jacques Hurault, Politicke, Moral, and Martial Discourses, London, 1595, trans. by Arthur Goldin+, bk. II.
6 Bellum, London, 1533, trans. into English, fo. 24a[26]a; CVIIaDIIa; 38a-EVIID.


to lende freely, and without rewarde, not to take revengment+ of any, that we ought to geve to every one that asketh: contrarywise the Philosophers saie, that we should geve to none but them onely, which doo requite benefite for benefite, moreover it is lawfull to be angrie, to hate, to fighte, to make warre, and to practice usurie." "Then sithe the vertues bee emonge themselves unlike, and after a sorte contrarye, liberalitie, and sparinge, Magnanimitie, and humilitie, mercye and justice, contemplation, and carefull laboure in continuall worke, and many other suche lyke, excepte they all agree in one, they cannot be nomore called vertues but vices."/7 John Stockwood in a sermon on The Duty of Fathers and Schoolmasters to Teach Religion, challenged the efficacy of Cicero+'s, Aristotle+'s, or Plato+'s precepts to make of one person "one godly and virtuous man" without the aid of religion./8 Some attention was paid to these protests in the explanations, apologies, and disclaimers that prefaced a few of the redactions of the philosophers. Citing the practice of Augustine+ and Jerome+, some writers defended philosophy as at least an aid to divinity in teaching how to lead an upright life. "If it be objected," said Bacon+, "that the cure of men's minds belongs to sacred divinity, it is most true; but yet moral philosophy may be admitted into the train of theology, as a wise servant and faithful handmaid to be ready at her beck to minister to her service and requirements."/9 Baldwin arrayed the sayings of the philosophers themselves to prove that in their beliefs about God, man's nature and destiny, and the soul they came not far off from the true religion, and in the purity of their lives put Christians to shame./10 Hurault tried to effect a reconciliation by interpreting justice as righteousness+, and liberality as charity+. It was freely admitted that anything incompatible with religion must be rejected, but the reader was generally left to judge for himself what was compatible, and at the best he was presented with a code of ethics that was pagan in the ground and frame, and in large measure in the spirit also./11 ------
7 Of the Vanitie and Uncertaintie of Artes and Sciences, Englished by james Sandford, 1569, cap. 54, fo. 75a75b; 74a-75b. See also Coignet, Politique Discourse upon Trueth and Lying, 1586, trans. by Sir Edward Hoby+, ch. XIX.
8 P. 91.
9 De Augmentis, Sped. trans., vol. 5, p. 20, bk. VII, chap. III.
10 A Treatise of Moral Phylosophye11, 1564, bk. III, "Of Theologie Philosophicall."
11 Hurault, ibid.; Baldwin, op. cit. bk. I, "The Prologue to the Reader," by Baldwin, bk. II, "Prologue by Paulfreyman; Piccolomini, Della Institution i Morale, bk. V, ch. I; Cleland, Institution of a Young Nobleman, bk. V, ch. 12-17, 26.


But in the main moral philosophy was accepted unquestioned by sixteenth century writers of manuals for the gentleman, as furnishing reliable guidance for conduct. The reason is not far to seek, probably felt by all though seldom put into words: a belief in separate aims for moral philosophy and the gospel, the one teaching the way to live in this world, the other the way to salvation in the next. The old division of virtues into theological or spiritual, and civil or moral was still occasionally repeatedfaith, hope, charity for the sake of salvation; prudence+, justice+, fortitude+, temperance+ for the sake of living well in this life./12 More explicitly writes Cornelius Valerius+ the Spaniard, as translated by John Charlton, "There be some who deeme that the best proportion of living ought rather to be gathered out of sacred Scriptures, than out of prophane Philosophie; which wee like wise would suppose to be more sure and certaine, if those things were comprehended in those celestiall learninges uttered by the mouth of the Omnipotent, which are descrived of Ethnical writers touching the Civill association of men among them selves, & the maintening of the weal publike, without whiche, they who obey the percepts of God, and the holy men are not of powere to lead a peasiable life."/13 Religion was therefore then as now admittedly not a practical guide to living in this world, with the difference that men then professed to need it as a guide to the next. Nor could the Christian code be a practical guide for an aristocratic ideal. The Christian ideal is built upon humility, abasement before God and before men, denial of self for the sake of others; the aristocratic ideal assumes inherent inequalities between men and works for the perfection of a few at the expense of the many. For such an ideal the Aristotelian+ code is an admirable guide, exalting as it does the individual, expanding his powers, and developing a proud_consciousness_of_superiority. And so long as religion and life are divorced, special precepts held suitable for Sunday, and other precepts suitable for the other six days of the week, man finds hospitality easy for contradictory beliefs. The practical result, however, of such a divorce was only too evident in the scourge of dueling which decimated the ranks of the French nobility, and though less of a menace in England, engaged the best legal minds, Coke+ and Bacon+, in consideration of repressive measures. For out of the keen sense of his own worth and
12 Jean Cartigny, The Voyage of the Wandering Knight, pt. 3, ch. 3-7.
13 The Casket of Jewels, ch. 1, fo. B2aB2b.


dignity which was the root of the gentlemanly ideal arose the code of honor, which partly as supplementing and partly as interpreting the Aristotelian+ code we shall have to take into account before we have done with the gentleman's code of conduct. Moral philosophy, then, was the generally accepted guide of the gentleman in the formation of those virtues that seemed most requisite and most ornamental to his station. An attempt was sometimes made to divide these virtues into two groups, private and public. Humphrey+ listed as public virtues liberality, justice, and courtesy {Virtues_List+} which were necessary to perform one's duty to others, and as private virtues temperance and prudence, which were necessary for ruling oneself, and also necessary for the attaining of public virtues./14 Spenser+ undertook to fashion his gentleman in the twelve private moral virtues, and promised if he were encouraged to add later the twelve politic virtues."/15 Such a classification, however, was of practically no value in English theory because those who used it adopted no clear, differentiating principle. Machiavelli+ had found one by making a distinction between the good man and the good ruler. To the good man belonged such private virtues as liberality, mercy, truthfulness, affability, purity, guilelessness, good nature. {Virtues_List+} For the good ruler the only consideration was how to preserve the state; nothing was a vice which brought success, nothing a virtue which invited failure./16 English theorists never made this obviously dangerous distinction; their public virtues upon inspection prove to be not something different from their private virtues but rather an intensification or enlargement of them, virtues applied to public rather than private uses; so Mulcaster+, evidently having in mind the gentleman's function, named as his peculiar virtues, "great wisedom in affaires, great valiancy in great attemptes, great justice in great executions; for the common man he reserved "the same virtues but in a meaner degree."/17      Indeed Imdded, one of the chief objections raised to accepting virtue as the distinguishing mark of nobility was that it was as much the possession of ignobility, and therefore no distinction. The common cardinal virtues, then, magnified
14 The Nobles, bk. II, fo. kIVb ff.; bk. III, fo. rIIb ff. See also Foxius Morzillus, De Honore, Basle, 1560(?), lib. I, cap. 2.
15 The Fairie, cha tteene, Letter to Raleigh, Complete Poetical Works, Cambridge Ed., p. 136.
16 The Prince, ch. 15-19; Villari, The Life and Times of Niccolo Machiavelli, trans. L. Villari, London, 1892, vol. 2, 13. 106.
17 Positions, rep. 1888, ch. 391, p. 198.


by circumstance and worn with a better grace than those of the poor man were the virtues of the gentleman. Whether viewed as necessary accompaniments or as causes of nobility, they must assume something of heroic proportions and reach out beyond the circle of a man's hearth to embrace public good and public renown./18 Some even went so far as to say that hidden virtue was not true virtue, because virtue must be turned to some external action+ and pertain to many, or else it could have no honor, and herefore no end./19 By far the most detailed and original discussion of the virtues of the gentleman was Sir Thomas Elyot+'s, who gave two-thirds of his Governour to showing what virtues the gentleman needed to govern perfectly. He accomplished order of a sort by grouping: justice+, included fidelity and loyalty; fortitude+ takng pains, patience, and magnanimity; temperance+ abstinence, continence, constancy, moderation and sobriety in diet; sapience+ prudence. To the four he added two others: majesty+, that is, the bearing and manners appropriate to a man having high authority and calculated to inspire reverence; and what he called humanity+, under. which he included benevolence+, beneficence+, liberality+, and friendship+. He gathered them all up out of Aristotle+, Plato+"which approached next unto the catholic writers," Cicero+, Erasmus+, and the Italians, Patrizi+ and Pontano+, to name the chief sources./20 But he has fitted them to his purpose, suffusing them with more religious spirit than others did and illustrating them out of his own experience. The catalogues of his successors are less elaborate, and vary in their grouping of points, but in general they cover the same ground./21 The virtues that were by common consent considered the most important for the gentleman were justice, prudence, courtesy, liberality, temperance, and fortitude.{virtues_list} The rest may be treated as branches of these, or ignored as merely variations.
    Of these six virtues justice+ was held chief, so excellent and necessary for the governor of a commonwealth, Elyot said, "that without it none other vertue may be commendable, ne witte, or any
18 Osorius, Civill and Christian Nobilitie, "Civill Nobilitie," bk. II, fo. 23b.
18 Foxius ilorzillus, op. cit., lib. I, cap. 2, p. 16.
20 On Elyot's sources see the footnotes to the reprint of The Governour, by H. H. Croft, London, 1883.
21 In addition to those already cited, Justus Lipsius+, Sixe Bookes of Politickes, bk. II, ch. XXVII, bk. III, bk. IV; Ludovic Bryskett, Discourse of Civil Life, pp. 214-256.


maner of doctrine profitable."/22 Forty years later John Bossewell+ found his gentleman wanting by the same standard. "I heard of late," he said, "as I travelled by the waye, a gentleman pray[s]ed, for sundry vertues which were in hym, as that he was gentle and meke, pleasaunt and faire in wordes, wise, wel learned, modeste, and sobre; but I harde no remembrance made of hys Justice+. For immediately one present in the company reported hym to be an usurer+, a person deceiptfull, covetous, an oppressor of the poore, and no keper of hospitalyte, yet having Power or five fermes in hys handes and more, that he was a decayer of houses of husbanderie, a rerer of rentes, & a cruel taker of fynes. These vices did deface all hys other vertues."/23 From this description it may be seen that justice was conceived to be primarily the guide of men in their relations to each other, giving+ to each man his right, and thus binding+ men together in society+. So the civilians defined it. To the same purpose but more warmly the old poet said,

Justice is a certayne decree or ordinaunce, Righteous and holy, belonging to nature, Commaunding men to love, to profit, or advaunce, To helpe and eche humayne creature: This justice conjoineth bondes+ of love so sure Betwene all men mortall that it onely certayne Doth preserve in order or kepe linage humayne./24

Elyot, attempting to draw together philosophy and Christianity, based justice upon Christ's two commandments, and the philosopher's "Know thyself." In the knowing of himself, he explained, a gentleman knows all other men, for "in semblable astate is his body, and of no better claye (as I mought frankely saye) is a gentilman made than a carter, and of libertie of will as muche is gyven of God to the poore herdeman as to the great and mighty emperour."25 Justice was required of the gentleman particularly as he was the upholder and administrator of the law, and in that capacity equity was recommended to him also, the softer spirit of the law, which weighs the circumstances and fits the judgment to the case with an eye rather to the end of all law, that is the welfare of
22 Op. cit., Everyman's Library, bk. III, ch. I., p. 195.
23 Op. cit., bk. I, fo. 5b-6a.
24 Barclay, The Mirrour of Good Manners, rep. Spenser Society, vol. 38, p. 27.
25 Op. cit., p. 202. 78      DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN       [78
society, than to the majesty of law, which may by unbending application give support to wrong instead of right./26 A part of justice, according to Elyot, was fidelity, which meant loyalty to the sovereign and trustworthiness in dealings with all men, two of the prime virtues of the knight./27 Among the old privileges of the man of gentle birth, as recorded by the civilians+, had been his right to have his bare word accepted in court without bond and without witnesses./28 The word+ of a gentleman was still said to be as good as his bond, and "the faith of a gentleman" was still something to swear by; evidence of the regard for truthfulness in the ideal, but still more of the haughty temper of the noble who could bear no restraint, not even that of corroboration, much less of guarantee. Out of this ideal grew the fiction that a gentleman could not lie+, and the mortal offence of even insinuating that he could, which were the basis of the dueling_code+. Elyot paused at this, as he did so often, to lament the great gulf between the ideal and the real; fidelity "is so neglected throughout christendome that neither regarde of religion, or honour, solemne othes, or terrible cursis can cause hit to be observed." "What mervayle is it," he exclaimed, "though there be in all places contentions infinite, and that good lawes be tourned into Sophemes and insolubles, sens every where fidelitie is constrayned to come in triall, and credence (as I mought saye) is becomen a vagabunde."29 A comparison of the professed ideals of a period with the actual conditions tempts us to conclude that, given one, we may infer the other to be the opposite. At any rate it is not safe to assume, as we usually do, that the virtues an age admired were the virtues which that age possessed. Perhaps much of our illusion as to the desirable character of past ages in comparison with our own arises out of our natural tendency to transfer ideals to practice.
    Prudence, the second virtue requisite for a gentleman, was sometimes reckoned an intellectual virtue and therefore excluded from a discussion of the moral virtues,/30 but it was usually considered among the moral virtues because essential to all of them and par-
26 Samuel Daniel, Certain Epistles, "To Sir Thomas Egerton," Grosart ed., vol. I, pp. 191-8, II. 125 ff.
27 Op. cit., bk. III, ch. VI, VII.
28 Bonus de Curtili, Tractatus Nobilitatis, 1549, Pt. 5.
29 Op. Cit., p. 212.
30 Piccolomini, op. cit., bk. V, ch. III, p. 187.


ticularly to justice. It was defined as knowledge applicable to affairs, by which a man might know what to seek and what to avoid./31 A quality of the mind and temper was also implied, a habit of control, a restraint from rashness as well as application of wisdom, the habit of bringing the powers of the mind to bear upon a problem before proceeding to action. Without knowledge and without the habit of action in the light of that knowledge any virtue which men strove for might well become a vice through excess or misdirection. Prudence had many branches, according to Elyot+ acumen, foresight, resourcefulness, circumspection, diligence in execution, discretion, all necessary to right thinking and right acting./32 For prudence, the application of knowledge to conduct, involved three steps deliberation, decision, and action. To contemplate without arriving at a conclusion, and to arrive at a conclusion without proceeding to action+ was not prudence. The proof of superior character was held to be deeds+, and so jealous were some of the gentleman's repute for being preeminently a man of deeds and not of words+ that they were almost willing to deny him book learning lest he grow too fond of contemplation and forget to bestir himself. But the renaissance believed in the schools of both experience and books for the proper training of the gentleman in the virtue of prudence, and we shall later have to consider at some length the liberal sciences which were prescribed for him.
    Two other virtues, courtesy and liberality, were considered adjuncts to justice and prudence in the gentleman's business of governing, as means to win the favor of men and the reverence needed to inspire obendience. Courtesy, as usually conceived, consisted of two parts, knowledge of what behavior was fitting to each man including oneself, and graciousness+ in bestowing+ upon each his due+. So Spenser wrote:

What vertue is so fitting for a knight, Or for a ladie whom a knight should love, As curtesie, to beare themselves aright To all of each degree as doth behove? For whether they be placed high above, Or low beneath, yet ought they well to know Their good, that none them rightly may reprove Of rudenesse, for not yeilding what they owe: Great skill it is such duties timely to bestow+.

31 La Perriere, The Mirrour of Policie, fo. HIIIa.
32 Op. cit., bk. I, ch. XXIIXXV.



Thereto great helpe Dame Nature selfe doth lend: For some so goodly gratious are by kind, That every action doth them much commend, And in the eyes of men great liking find; Which others, that have greater skill in mind, Though they enforce themselves, cannot attaine. For everie thing, to which one is inclin'd, Doth best become, and greatest grace doth gaine: Yet praise likewise deserve good thewes, enforst with paine./33

Gentle blood could be expected to tell here, as Spenser believed, revealing itself in that nameless grace of the gentleman which was denied to the man of low origin.
    This courtesy which belonged especially to the governor Elyot called majesty, and defined as follows: "In a governour or man havinge in the publyke weale some greatte authoritie, the fountaine of all excellent maners is Majestie+; which is the holle proporcion and figure of noble astate, and is proprelie a beautie or comelynesse+ in his countenance, langage and gesture apt to his dignitie, and accommodate to time, place, and company; {de_Officiis+} whiche, like as the sunne doth his beames, so doth 'it caste on the beholders and herers a pleasaunt and terrible reverence. In so muche as the wordes or countenances of a noble man shulde be in the stede of a firme and stable lawe to his inferiours. Yet is nat Majestie alwaye in haulte or fierce countenaunce, nor in speche outragious or arrogant, but in honourable and sobre demeanure, deliberate and grave+ pronunciation, wordes clene and facile, voide of rudenesse and dishonestie, without vayne or inordinate janglinge, with suche an excellent temperance+, that he, amonge an infinite numbre of other persones, by his majestie may be espied for a governour." This gentle side of majesty Elyot called elsewhere affability+, and most vividly did he describe the contrary effects of arrogance and affability. "Howe often have I herde people say, whan men in great autoritie have passed by without makyng gentill countenance to those whiche have done to them reverence: This man weneth with a looke to subdue all the worlde; nay, nay, mennes hartes be free, and wyll love whom they lyste. And therto all the other do consente in a murmure, as it were bees. [But] when a noble man passeth by, shewing to men a gentil and familiare visage, it is a world to beholde howe people take the comforte, how the blode in their visage quickeneth, howe their flesshe stireth, and harts lepeth for gladnesse.
33 The Fairie Queene, VI. II, I and II


Than they all speke as it were in an harmonie, the one saithe, Who beholding this mans moste gentill countenaunce wyll nat with his harte love hym? Another saith, He is no man, but an aungell; se howe he rejoiseth all men that beholde him. Finallye, all do graunt that he is worthye all honour that may be given or wisshed him."/34 Curiously little, however, was said about courtesy by English idealists, perhaps because the Italians had said so much and said it so wellsome indeed touch the subject merely and refer the reader to Castiglione+ for full treatment;/35 perhaps because after all the matter carried little importance in the eyes of serious minded Englishmen; or perhaps because it presumably could be left pretty much to take care of itself. Lyly+, a right courtier, had simply this to say, "Ther belongeth more to a courtier then bravery, which the wise laugh at, or personage, which the chast mark not, or wit, which the most part see not. It is sober and discret behaviour, civil and gentle demeanor, that in court winneth both credit and commoditie."/36 Bacon+ said the subject, which he called wisdom of behavior, had been "elegantly handled," referring doubtless to the Italians. As a consequence probably, his own review was brief, pointing out its commoditiesthe honor it brought in itself, and its influence in business and government; and at greater length its incommodities if too much regarded, as leading to affectation+, consumption of time to the neglect of more important matters, such self-satisfaction that higher virtues are unsought, and even hindrance of action through too much regard for time and season./36, Complaints indeed of these bad effects are common, and read as if English courtiers tried to act in reversion of all their Italian Bibles tried to teach. Barnabe Rich waxes eloquent on the subject as on other English faults: "For the most in number of our young courtly Gentlemen thinke that the greatest grace of courting consisteth in proude and hautie countenances to suche as knowe them not, to be verie faire spoken, bountifull, and liberall in wordes to all men, to be curious in cavilling, propounding captious questions, thereby to shewe a singularitie of' their wisedomes: for the helping whereof, they diligently studie bookes for that purpose, as Cornelius Agrippa+, de vanitate scientiarum, and other like; to seeme to talke of farre and straunge countries, of the maners of the people, of the fertilitie
34 Op. cit., bk. II, ch. II, pp. 121-2; ch. V, pp. 130-2.
35 Cyvile and Uncyvile Life, rep. Roxburghe Lib., p. 68.
36 Euphues and his England, Arber Rep. 1868, p. 269.
37 Op. cit., bk. VIII, ch. I, pp. 32-4


of soyles, and by the way of communication, able to dispute of all things, but in deede to know nothing, to apply their pleasant wittes to scoffing, quipping, gybing, & taunting, whereby they may be accompted merrie conceipted gentlemen, & withal, they must learne to play the parasites, or els, I can tel them they wil never learne to thrive. And in their apparell they must bee very nice & neat, with their ruffles finely set, a great bundle of feathers thrust into a cappe, which must likewise be of such a bignesse, that it shall be able to holde more witte then three of them have in their heades."/38 To the same effect is the conclusion of a foreigner, a Dutchman resident in England during the whole of Elizabeth's reign: "They are full of courtly and affected+ manners and words, which they take for gentility, civility, and wisdom."/39 Butto return to Bacon+and the idealBacon's conclusion to his brief treatment is significant: "This behavior is as the garment of the mind, and ought to have the conditions of a garment. For first, it ought to be made in fashion; secondly, it should not be too curious or costly; thirdly, it ought to be so framed as to best set forth any virtue of the mind, and supply and hide any deformity; and lastly and above all, it ought not to be too strait so as to confine the mind and interfere with its freedom in business and action." This is significant because it shows that something of the Italian philosophy of manners had crept into English thought, the idea that manners are not something merely laid on, but proceed from within outward and are an expression of the man himself. Guazzo+ had put it in terms somewhat similar to Bacon's, "It is the part of a Gentleman to behave hemselfe so gently and curteously in all his dooinges, that out of his eyes, tongue, and maners, his gentlemanly minde may shew foorth."/40 For a further analysis of courtesy we shall have to go to the Italians, and particularly to Castiglione+. For like so many other beautiful things the ideal of beauty in the outward man, not of person but of ways, grew first on Italian soi1,/41 and it had found its most perfect expression for all Europe as for Italy in Castiglione's Courtier. Other Italians, notably Della_Casa+ and Guazzo were only
38 "Marine to England, pt. 3, fo.
39 Emanuel Van Meteren, History of the Netherlands, rep. by B. W. Rye, England as Seen by Foreigners, London, 1865, p. 70.
40 The Civile Conversation, fo. 453.
41 Burckhardt, The Renaissance in Italy, London, 1914, p. 376.


less popular in England as guides to behavior, and all of them helped to furnish a philosophy of manners, a ground-plan for courtesy, which, as has been indicated, had its influence on English thought and ideals, though no other Englishman went even so far as Elyot+ in redefining and adapting it anew.
    The distinguishing quality of gentlemanly behavior was grac+; as Della_Casa+ put it, "It is not enough for a man, to doe things that be good: but hee must also have a care, he doe them with a good grace."/42 Castiglione+ attempted to define this grace. It arose, he thought, out of the air of carelessness+ or nonchalance with which an accomplished gentleman performs all his actions however difficult in reality. This happy effect some achieve wholly by a gift of nature, which enables them to do easily and well whatever they attempt, but most men, more niggardly endowed, must spend infinite pains to perfect themselves in their exercises and then as much pains again to seem to do easily what they do with difficulty. Art+, to be real art, must appear effortless, the result of nature, not of study, in order that wonder and praise may be aroused in the beholders. For what is done with difficulty or obvious pains arouses disesteem of the result, no matter how greatwe still have the contemptuous phrase "smells of the midnight oil." The gentleman who strives for perfection ought therefore, in Castiglione's words, "to eschew as much as a man may, and as a sharp and daungerous rock, Affectation+ or curiosity+ and (to speak a new word) to use in every thing a certain Reckelesness, to cover art withall, and seeme whatsoever he doth and sayeth to do it wythout pain, and (as it were) not myndyng it."/43 {sprezzatura+} It is affectation for instance to show off newly acquired learning by dragging it in out of season, or to advertise one's travels by dropping into foreign speech, now one, now another. On the other hand, too great carelessness reveals the same vice of affectation, too great care about the effect one is making. The golden mean between too much precision on the one hand, and too much carelessness on the other, must be the aim of the gentleman. A further advantage than grace arises out of this happy freedom, for often by doing even a slight thing so well without apparent effort, the gentleman creates the impression that he knows more than he really does, and that with study he might do even much better. Galateo, rep. Humanists' Library, p. 102.
43 Hoby's translation, The Tudor Translations, p. 59.


We are prone to judge by small things that greater lie behind./44 It follows, then, that in action the gentleman must avoid the stigma that attaches to the too perfect performance, else he turns himself into the fencing master.
    For the rest, the gentleman should govern his saying and doing by consideration of what his speech and action are, the persons involved, the place, the occasion, the purpose, his own age and profession; in other words he should fit both to the circumstances. In the main business of life, in pastimes, in conversation, in gesture, walk, carriage, laugh even, he will so behave as to win for himself the approbation due him for his excellent qualities, and to give others pleasure. And he will not win the one unless he perform in the company and presence of those able to estimate his worth justly, or give the other unless to his good qualities he add "a gentle and loving behavior." Grace has then two aspects: as it is manifested in the perfection of form which marks every action of the courtier it is what we call, somewhat inadequately, gracefulness; as it means the spirit governing behavior to others, it is graciousness, or, to use a term somewhat overworked to-day, tact, pleasantness in social converse. To use Castiglione's summing up "Therefore it behoveth oure Courtyer in all his doinges to be charie and heedfull, and what so he saith, or doeth to accompany it with wisedome, and not onely to set his delite to have in himself partes and excellent qualities, but also to order the tenour of his life after suche a trade, that the whole may be answerable unto these partes, and see the selfe same to bee alwayes and in every thing suche, that it disagree not from itselfe, but make one body of all these good qualities, so that everye deede of his may be compact and framed of al the vertues as the Stoiks+ say the dutye of a wiseman is."/45 Herein lies the main difference between the English and the Italians. The ideal of personal perfection far more than the idea of civil usefulness dominated the Italians. The perfect courtier is at the best an adviser only to his prince, not himself an administrator of affairs. Though Castiglione+ would have him more than ordinarily acquainted with the humanities+, Latin+, Greek+, the poets, orators, historians, he is to avoid in all things the appearance of taking pains, of being expert. The Italian love of proportion, balance is shown in this. The courtier is all of a piece, no part too
45 Op. cit., p. 62.
46 Op. cit., p. III.


small to be carefully polished and fitted into place, no part so important as to be allowed to monopolize or distort the whole. The graces and not the business of life are insisted upon. In England, on the other hand, it is the business of life that absorbs attention, and moral rather than aesthetic considerations set the standard. The most striking evidence that there is a difference in point of view is found, perhaps, in the treatment of love. Love, for the Italian, was an essential part of the courtier's life. It might serve only as the way to marriage; it might, though honest, contemplate only the pleasure of serving a mistress; or it might as with Castiglione+ furnish the courtier with a religion, a worship of perfection outside of himself. As Sir Walter Raleigh+ says, the courtier ran the risk of growing too preoccupied with his own improvement ever to accomplish anything. He needed something to take himself out of himself, and could find it in such a conception of love as Bembo+ presented. But no one in Engand who sets forth the complete gentleman includes the art_of_loving+among his accomplishments. There is plenty of railing against the foibles of lovers, by those who make it their business to search out the faults of gentleman. Barnaby Rich in his Allarme to England is one of the most amusing of these; finding lovers ridiculous rather than sinful. "He that should take the viewe of their countenances, gestes, maners, furies, and all their frantike toyes, might confesse that he never sawe a more strange Metamorphosis, or a spectacle more ridiculous to laugh at. If at any time they have receyved a merie countenance of their beloved, good God, how gay shall you see them in apparell, how cheerefull in their countenance, how pleasant in their conceiptes, how merie in their moodes: then they bathe in brookes of blisse, they swimme in seas of Joy, they flow in floudes of felicitie, they hover all in happinesse, they flie in sweete delightes, they banishe all anoye. "Contrarily, if they receive a lowring looke, then you shall see them drowned in dumpes, they plead with piteous plaints, they crie with continuall clamours, they forge, they fayne, they flatter, lie, they forsweare, otherwhiles falling into desperate moodes, that they spare not to blaspheme the gods, to curse the heavens, to blame the planetes, to raile on the destinies, to crie out upon the furies, to forge hell, to counterfeite Sisiphus, to playe Tantalus, to faine Titeus, to grone with Prometheus, to burne the winter, to freeze the summer, to lothe the night, to hate the day, with a thousand other such superstitious follies, to long for me to rehearse. "Nowe, if he be learned, and that he be able to write a verse, then his penne must plie to paint his mistresse prayse, she must then be a Pallas for


her witte, a Diana for her chastitie, a Venus for her face, then shee shall be praysed by proportion: first her Haires are wires of golde, her Cheekes are made of Lilies and red Roses, her Browes be arches, her eyes Saphires, her lookes lightenings, her mouth Corall, her teeth Pearles, her pappes alabaster balles, her bodye streight, her belly softe, from thence downwarde to her knees, I thinke, is made of Sugar Candie, her armes her handes, her fingers, her legges, her feete, and all the rest of her bodie shall be so perfect, and so pure, that of my conscience, the worste parte they will leave in her, shalbe her soule."/45 Others are more severe, including Lyly+, who has nothing good to say of either love or lovers. The Italian seeks in behalf of his ideal proportion and completeness. The Englishman frames his to fill a certain purpose, careless of omissions that do not touch his aim. One must go to the English poets to find such praise of love as Italian scholars, courtiers and churchmen were delighted to give. Spenser+ doubtless had in mind these same grave gentlemen whom we have been consulting when he wrote:

"The rugged forhead, that with grave foresight Welds kingdomes causes and affaires of state, My looser rimes (I wote) doth sharply wite For praising love as I have done of late, And magnifying lovers deare debate; By which fraile youth is oft to follie led, Through false allurement Of that pleasing baite. That better were in vertues discipled, Then with vaine poemes weeds to have their fancies fed.

    Such ones ill judge of love that cannot love, Ne in their frosen hearts feele kindly flame: Forthy they ought not thing unknowne reprove, Ne naturall affection faultlesse blame For fault of few that have abusd the same; For it of honor and all vertue is The roote, and brings forth glorious flowres of fame, That crowne true lovers with immortall bfis, The meed of them that love, and do not live amisse."/45b

After thus setting forth the beautiful side of renaissance courtesy it is ungracious perhaps to call attention to the other side, less
45a Allarme to England, pt. III, end. 45b Fairie Queene, IV, preface, I, II.


beautiful, even ugly to modern minds. Courtesy, it was said in the beginning of this discussion, consisted in part of knowing what is due+ each man, and at bottom that is what it was for the sixteenth century, and for both Elyot+ and Castiglione+, though both lead one to forget the stark fact by emphasis upon the manner of meting out that due. It is only, however, in such a discussion as Castiglione's, where questions of wide difference in class do not enter in, that courtesy puts on the smiling face and easy, gracious bearing that we customarily associate with renaissance manners. In Guazzo+ the baldness shows through when he urges the gentleman to seek occasionally the company of the yeoman and the artisanbut only the better sort of these classesfor relaxation from the restraints which the society of his equals puts upon him, for the gentleman, "conversing with other Gentlemen, is faine to frame himselfe oftimes to their fancie; knowing that every one will looke for as much prehemminence every way as himselfe, but in consorting with his inferiours he shalbe the chief man amongst them & rule the companie as he liste, neither shal be forced to favor or do anything contrary to his minde: which libertie is seldome allowed him, being amongst his equals."/46 Another Italian book on courtesy translated into English under the title The Court of Civill Courtesie, even more franklyshould one say crudelyshows that courtesy is not the same thing for all men, but one thing for superiors, another for equals, and yet another for inferiors. The advice is specific: in the case of inferiors, for instance, if they are to be esteemed for their wisdom, the young gentleman shoud give place to them, courteously but obviously in honor of their virtue and not of their person. In an inferior's house, if he is assigned a seat below one superior only in wealth, he should show his displeasure by taking a seat two or three places lower still, and refusing to move even if his host on discovering the mistake begs him to do so. If his host is troubled about the matter he will pass if off with a pleasant word, but if the host is oblivious, then he should make it clear to those that sit by him that he has chosen the place in scorn by some such girding speeches or pleasant scoffs as, "Beware, friends; pride will have a fall," or "Speake not so loud, your betters be in place." If the same slight happens in a nobleman's or knight's house, he must put up with it for the time,
46 Op. cit., bk. II, fo. 44b.


but on the next occasion may take as good a place as he can get "with modesty," "for as no man is disgraced by giving (of his courtesie) place to whom he list, so to have it taken from him by others, being his right, is an abasement not to be suffered, if a man can take it either by sleight or courage." In the case of equals the gentleman should use some expressions of esteem in his speech, but with a certain familiarity to indicate that he speaks out of courtesy rather than from any difference he thinks to be between them, "specially if they be such, as he is not like any way, either to be in daunger of their hurt or in need of their help." Before superiors the case is very different; however familiar his superior is, he should maintain a certain respect especially before others; if not called upon to speak, he should listen attentively; and if admitted into conversation, he must not weary his betters. The same distinctions are to be observed in all circumstances./47 The guide assigned here for the gentleman's behavior is expediency,getting all that is his due from equals and inferiors and giving no more than is their due, unless by way of showing condescension+, and giving to superiors what is their due with an eye on the main chance. Courtesy thus becomes a purely external matter, of mercenary aspect, not the find outward expression of a fine inward feeling.
    To sum up, courtesy as a gentlemanly virtue was fundamentally a preserver of society, helping to keep the lines between classes that the aristocratic ideal created by prescribing the kind of treatment due to each, and helping also to maintain obedience by gaining the good will of the lower classes to the upper; it was also a beautifier of society adding grace to the actions of men; and last of all even according to Elyot it adorned the individual, allowing his real worth and accomplishments to shine forth and draw the eyes of all men to him. Such courtesy, it is plain to be seen, was not the courtesy of Newman+'s gentleman, who may be said to act rather with the aim of effacing himself to the comfort of his companions, than with the aim of enhancing himself even at the expense of his companions. The renaissance gentleman had his eye chiefly upon himself.
    Liberality like courtesy, was deemed a virtue particularly becoming and necessary to the character and estate of a gentleman. "Neyther truly is there any vertue," said Osorius+, "which doth more become a noble minde, or setteth forthe more a worthy
47 S. Robson, translator, ch. T.


wight, either that winneth more praise & commendation, and getteth more goodwill, love, and reverence; without whiche no man may mayntayn his owne estate, or attayne to live in any worshipful callinge."/48 Liberality was the guiding principle for the gentleman's expenditure, both upon others and upon himself, his mode of living. It meant primarily of course the first, and took the form of bestowing favors+ and rewards in money or its equivalent upon individuals, or the community, according to one's means. It was not, however, almsgiving, indiscriminate doles to poor people as needy again tomorrow as today, with only their poverty for recommendation. Almsgiving was the Christian idea of charity as interpreted by the church, and was enjoined upon knight and monk alike. Liberality was a pagan virtue, a mixture of the Teutonic+ ideal of generosity on the part of a leader toward his companions in arms, which was a part of the knightly ideal, and of the Aristotelian+ open-handedness which dwelt halfway between avarice+ and extravagance. The gentleman, therefore, took pains to dispense his rewards where they would do most good, that is, among worthy and able persons whose serviceableness would thereby be increased; he stood circumspectly upon the manner of his giving, considering not only to whom he should give, but when, and how, and how much. Promiscuous giving was no part of true liberality; for two reasons: such giving might do harm to the recipient and no good to the giver; and it was incompatible with the virtue of prudence which the gentleman was preeminently expected to show. Rewards judiciously bestowed would act as spurs to further effort on the part of the recipient and also others who would be led to hope for similar reward. The donor would thus be forwarding not only the welfare of the individual but that of the whole commonwealth, and at the same time would be creating in men's hearts love and reverence for himself, the true foundation of obedience. In his capacity as governor liberality was thus a virtue peculiarly fitting for the gentleman to practice./49 But the gentleman should show his liberality not only in his bounty towards others, but in his expenditure upon himself, for if he were observed to keep himself meanly, how should others look to find him generous to them, and how should they show him rever-
48 Civile Nobilitie, bk. II, fo. 27a.
49 Elyot, op. cit., bk. II, ch. X.


ence if he passed unknown through the crowd, unattended, undistinguished by his dress? Moreover niggardliness toward himself must argue a small, low spirit, and thus obscure the brightness of his example in other matters. He should therefore be known by the estate he kept, dress, attendants, household appointments, all so many witnesses of his station. Of dress Elyot+ said, "So is there apparaile comely to every astate and degree, and that whiche excedeth or lackethe procureth reproche, in a noble man specially. For apparaile simple or scant; reprovethe hym of avarice+. If it be alway excelling precious, and often tymes chaunged, as well in to charge as straunge and newe facions, it causeth him to be noted dissolute of maners."/50 Likewise ought he to adorn his house with tapestries, paintings and engraved plate. When he walked out, he should go "worthely attended, garded gallantly with a sort of seemely Servantes, alwayes well appoynted, as well to shew his power, as to grace his person."51 Liberality, of course, did not presuppose anyfixed expenditure, but was to be proportioned to income. Spending in excess, like its opposite, was a vice, violating the law of the mean, and threatening impoverishment and even ultimate loss of gentility. Between the danger of spending too much and that of spending too little, however, the gentleman should lean rather toward the first. So that he did not destroy himself, it was more important, obviously, for him to spend than to save. The great lord therefore must spend upon a grand scale and his liberality became the virtue of magnificence, differing from liberality only in amount. Liberality concerned the small affairs of life, the everyday dispensing of wealth. Magnificence concerned only matters of great importance, particularly public affairs, investitures into high office, gifts to great lords, embassies, building of churches, theaters, public entertainments, but sometimes private affairs alsoweddings, banquets, entertainment of important foreigners, dwellings in the city and country, ornaments of the house. Even magnificence was of course a relative matter; what would be magnificent for a private gentleman would not be for a prince, and what would be magnificent on a private occasion, would not be on a public. The manner of spending must be worthy of the spender, of those he is honoring, and of the oc_
50 Op. cit., bk. II, ch. III, p. 125. See also The Institucion of a Gentlemanfo.h1ah3a.
51 A Health to the Gentlemanly Profession of Servingmen, rep., pp. 123, 126.


casion, and, it was added, difficult to imitate, if the glory was not to be dimmed shortly by a competitor./52 Fundamentally, then, liberality was another distinction of class but based upon wealthI , rather than character. Presumably the gentleman possessed means, since lack of means necessitated a way of living incompatible with the practice of liberal arts and virtues. Avarice for example was almost a necessity for a poor man, liberality an impossibility. Liberality distinguished the gentleman from the boor, as evidence of his freedom from degrading concern over expenses. The moot question of whether riches were to be considered a good or evil thing was thus answered. Without riches the gentleman could not possess the virtue of liberality; without liberality he was no true gentleman.
    Temperance+ was the moderator among the virtues, requiring, as Humphrey said, that "a Noble man thinke modestlye of him selfe, live temperatlye, and continentlye, behave hym selfe moderately, and soberly in all things."/53 The temperate man would not show excess of joy at victory, or of sorrow at defeat, or of anger against enemies, or of desire for vengeance, or of greed for wealth or power; nor would he spend extravagantly upon his clothes and furniture, or overindulge any appetite+, even the appetite for food and drink./54 Of all the virtues temperance was the least attractive to the Elizabethan, as one might expect of a generation that set a premium upon action+, dangerous exploit, imagination-feeding enterprise. Elyot prefaced his chapter "Of Sobriety in Diet" with an admission of the unpopularity he was incurring in advocating what was so entirely contrary to custom, and long had been, that the very terms sobriety and frugality were unknown except to those well instructed in Latin+. Humphrey himself called temperance the least excellent of the virtues, as having negative rather than positive character, though, he said, it was not on that account to be the less cultivated. Too much of the medieval ideal of complete suppression and denial of the passions clung around it, of the medieval tendency to identify it with chastity merely, to make it entirely compatible with the new ideal of self-expansion. Castiglione+, however, took some pains to make it clear that temperance was to be used not to root out the passions but merely to bridle them, since controlled
52 Piccolomini, op. cit., bk. VI, ch. VIII, pp. 262-4.
53 Op. cit., bk. III, fo. rIIIa
54 Elyot, op. cit., bk. III, ch. XX, XXI, XXII.


92      DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN       [92 passions were an aid to virtue, and reason+ without them would be very weak./55 To the same effect wrote an Englishman: "For by nature we waxe hoate, angry, and cholericke, naturally we love, naturally we lothe, we pitty, we despise, we feare, we frown, we desire, we disdayne, we are marvailously by kinde stirred up with joy and pleasure. Which affections before they become actions, least they should exceede theyr just due and proportion, and turne thereby to our annoy, are to be tempered and moderated by reason+'s rule and discipline. This man therefore that can thus governe, and moderate the motions of the minde, hath wonne the love of Temperaunce, and shall be honored of all men as one indued with a rare, and singular vertue. The affections therefore of the minde, as ire, love, pleasure, and the solace itself of lyfe, with many other are not (as ignoraunt men suppose) to be raced out, but rather with the light and flame of reason+ in the best and highest mindes enkindled. Lyke as in the sea, such quiet & calme weather is not to be desired, wherewith the floud may not be with the least puffe of winde troubled, but rather such open aire wherby the shipp at the stearne may sulck the Seas with a merry gale and prosperous winde: even so there is to be desired in the minde a puffe, & as it were, a blowing billow to hoyse upp the sayles of the minde, whereby the course thereof may be made more swift & certayne. And even as a skilfull & couragious horseman doth not alway delight in a soft and gentle pace, but sometymes geveth his horse the spurre, to the end his stede should move more lively: So by reason, sometymes the affections of the minde are styrred, and prycked forward, that we might more cherefully dispatch our business."/56 {Pope+} Temperance thus interpreted became more than a negation, and was not incompatible with the robuster virtues more favored by the renaissance. Such a conception of temperance Spenser+ illustrated in the adventures of Sir Guyon, where the first lesson of chivalry was self-mastery. Sir Guyon thus comforts another knight whom he had defeated:

Losse is no shame, not to bee lesse then foe, But to bee lesser, then himselfe, doth marre Both loosers lott, and victours prayse alsoe: Vaine others overthrowes who selfe doth over throw./57


Temperance was essentially self-control, and looked within.  The other virtues looked without.
55 Op. cit., bk. IV, p. 309.
56 Blandy, The Castle, fo. 13.
57 The Fairie Queene, II, V, XV.


Courage, the last of the gentlemanly virtues we set out to examine, was conspicuously an outward looking virtue, as the renaissance valued it. It looked both ways, to be sure; on the one hand steeling a man to patient endurance of misfortune, to equanimity before success, on the other spurring him to great enterprises./58 But it was chiefly praised as a spur to action+; not so often called fortitude, which smelled too much of Christian forbearance and stoic+ passivity, but courage, or even preferably valor. This was the virtue particularly needed by the gentleman in his capacity of defender of his country and the right. Osorius thus defined it, connecting it immediately and solely with military exploits: "A valiaunte courage, which consisteth in daungerous attempts, is lifted up righte worthely to the highest steppe of honour and dignity. For it is a matter of no small importaunce so little to esteeme of life as to bestowe it willingely and cherefully for the safegarde and preservation of all men, and to refuse or feare for the wealth of our country no daunger or terrour of the enemy. Wherefore almoste every man which is inflamed with the love of glory+, and desireth greately renomne, doth employ his labour moste arnestly to the study of chivalry and martian affaires."/59 This was of course par excellence the virtue of the knight, but there was this difference between the courage of the knight and the courage of the gentleman: the knight, as any tale in Malory shows, ran eagerly into danger and rejoiced to show his bravery in the enduring of suffering and loss, or gladly met death, finding in death a reward, as it were, for his valor./60 The gentleman, though no less ready to prove his mettle in great and dangerous undertakings, saw no virtue in meeting danger for its own sake. As Saviolo+ expressed it, "The dutie of everye Gentleman, is to temper his courage with wisedome, that it may be kriowne, that neither he setteth so highlye by his life that for safegarde of it, he will commit any vile act, nor yet that he so slightlye regardeth it, as that without just cause he will deprive himself thereof."/61 {Plutarch+} And for the Elizabethan, courage found its most praiseworthy outlet, not in warlike exploit so much as in daring on the sea.  Sidney+ was ready to take extreme measures to join Sir Francis Drake+ in a great expedition for exploration and
58 Hurault, op. cit., pt. II, ch. VII.
59 Op. cit., bk. II, fo. 25. See also Blandy, op. cit., fo. 10b.
60 Caxton, Book of Chivalry, ch. III, fo. b8a.
61 His Practise, bk. II, fo. Bb2a.


conquest, and chose to go to war in the Netherlands only after the Queen had taken as extreme measures to restrain him from so venturing himself./62 More praiseworthy than mere courage was magnanimity+, highmindedness, a sort of sublimation of courage, which belonged peculiarly to the gentleman, directing all his actions, and giving to all his virtues a grace and splendor wanting for the common man. Magnanimity sent a man into high enterprises which taxed to the utmost the powers of mind and body, and before which lesser men would quail; it also enabled a man to throw over his actions that fine air of carelessness+, apparent disdain for his performance, which Castiglione+ made the essence of good manners for the courtier, by preserving him from the attention to detail which bred preciosity+ and denoted littleness of spirit. Piccolomini+, following Aristotle+, called it the chief ornament of the virtues, and the most difficult of all as presupposing the others and aspiring to great things most concerned with honor, the reward of virtue./63 The distinction between courage and magnanimity appeared in Hurault's definition: "Magnanimitie is a certaine excellencie of courage, which aiming at honour, directeth all his doings thereunto, and specially unto vertue, as the thing that is esteemed the efficient cause of honour; in respect wherof, it doth all things that are vertuous and honourable with a brave and excellent courage, and differeth from valiantnesse or prowess, in that prowesse respecteth chiefly the perils of warre, and magnanimitie respecteth honour. Insomuch that magnanimitie is an ornament unto all vertues, because the deeds of vertue be worthy of honour, the which are put in execution by magnanimitie."/64 It is magnanimity then that gives the gentleman his highest personal worth, and makes him also of greatest value to the state, for it is the mean between two extremes, either one of which would cause loss to the state, meanmindedness, selfdepreciation on the one hand, and on the other vanity or ambition, that is, inordinate pride in himself and inordinate lust for power or wealth. It he underrated himself, he would fail to make the mark he ought, to engage in the high enterprises profitable to the state; if he overrated himself, he would cut a ridiculous figure, and in his unchecked exercise of power overthrow justice completely, taxing
62 Fulke-Greville, Life of Sidney, Tudor and Stuart Library, ch. 7.
63 Op. cit., lib. 6, cap. 9, fo. 267.
64 Op. cit., bk. II, ch. VIII, p. 287.


and robbing in order to maintain his ill got position../65 As Bacon+ summed it up"Magnanimity no doubt consisteth in contempt of peril, in contempt of profit, and in meriting of the times wherein one liveth."/66 The magnanimous man must be therefore the good man par excellence. Aristotle is explicit and emphatic. But the pagan character of the morality of gentility was nowhere more clearly shown than in this point. Magnanimity as the virtue belonging to the gentleman and only to him was the virtue of self-expansion, selfassertion. The conduct of the highminded man was to be governed at all points by an unshakable sense of his own undeniable worth, in comparison with which nothing else had value. He engaged in great enterprises, therefore, because he could not stoop to lesser ones. He sought great honor as his reward, knowing that the greatest rewards men could bestow were inadequate, so high a price has virtue. He conferred benefits liberally because by so doing he maintained his superior position; only under necessity would he accept a favor, and that he would return twice over so as to resume his superiority. He would for this reason remember the benefits he had conferred and forget those he had received, for superiority lay in giving, inferiority in receiving. He preserved equanimity in the face of good fortune or bad; he ignored the wrongs done to him by others, knowing that nothing external really touched him. He wondered at nothing. {nil_admirari+} He never boasted+ of his accomplishments, even seemed to minimize them by his air of disdain for them. Such was Aristotle+'s description of the effect of magnamimity, and Piccolomini+ closely followed Aristotle. The gulf between this conception of the good man's springs of action and Christ+'s conception is evident. There is no love of his fellows and no humility before either God or man in the magnanimous man[??] ??. Piccolomini, unlike his master, could not escape drawing comparisons, and was conscious of an incompatibility. He tried to show that it was only apparent by claiming that the magnanimous man does not absolutely despise others, but judging them by their virtue, he will not esteem those who lack it, not because he despises them, but because in this life he values only virtue. It is stupidity and pusillanimity, on the other
65 Elyot, op. cit., bk. III, ch. XV, XVI.
66 Bacon, "Discourse in Praise of the Queen," Letters and Life of Francis Bacon, Spedding, 1858, vol. I, p. 326.


hand, for the humble man who knows he is virtuous to depreciate his own worth and esteem others that are not virtuous more than he does himself./67 But humility is something more than lack of contempt for others.
    These then were the virtues thought necessary for the gentleman as he was both governor and example, through which he might rule justly, inspire obedience, and inculcate right ways of living among the people. But when this has been said of the moral code of the gentleman, not all has been said. Moralists like Elyot+ and Humphrey+ were interested in making the gentleman good that he might bear worthily the responsibilities of his position, and they managed to throw something of the glamor, the distinction of the position over what were after all the virtues within the practice of all, both high and low. Just so far, however, as theory claimed a peculiar character or value for the virtues of the gentleman it provided for undue emphasis upon certain qualities to the neglect of others, and gave room for the rise of a more special code, or perhaps more exactly a special interpretation of the code, which had for its fundamental assumption an essential difference in standards between the man of gentle birth and the plebeian. And this was exactly what happened; there developed in England, as on the continent, an idea that furnished the gentleman with a more special criterion for conduct than that of duty to the state, the idea of honor as it was related to courage. The key to the moral code as it was indeed the special possession of the gentleman lies here. For honor took on a new meaning or significance in the renaissance which bent the whole code of Aristotelian+ morals to its own uses, and gave to the gentleman his peculiar standard of conduct, the law or code_of_honor+, which lasted well into the nineteenth century, and which though no longer involved with dueling in England still actuates the conduct of, shall we call them, old-fashioned gentlemen. Its only real counterpart in modern life, is the professional code of the lawyer, the doctor, and others who have acquired a group consciousness and pride, and feel the necessity of preserving the group through emphasis on likenesses between members of the group, and differences between the group and all outside of it. It may well be that the phenomenal development in the sixteenth century of the
67 Aristotle, Ethics, Welldon's trans., bk. IV, ch. VIIX; Pccolomini, op. cit., lib. VIII, cap. IX.


gentlman's code of honor, involving chiefly the theory and practice of dueling, is to be accounted for by the need of some new distinguishing mark for the class. All else was failing it, as has been pointed out, distinctions of dress, ways of living, armorial bearings, even occupation. The gentleman was driven finally back within himself to find the difference between himself and other men, and what he found there he chose to call his sense of honor.
    Just what honor meant to the sixteenth century is difficult to analyze. Something seems to have entered into it that had not been there before, but the definitions volunteered are obviously inadequate, though there seems to have been a curious failure to appreciate their inadequacy. Up to the sixteenth century it appeared to have only the meaning Aristotle gave it, who called it the highest of external goods, the only proper reward for virtue./68 It was synonymous with reverence, glory+, fame, and in the plural with the special marks of fame, dignities, offices, titles, etc. Even the knight who talked much about his honor meant something external. Malory used honor and worship interchangeably and together, and worship somewhat more frequently than honor in phrases where the sixteenth century regularly used honor. "I may not with my worship save thy life." "Upon my worship trust to my promise."/69 So sixteenth century writers also from Elyot to Segar called honor the reward of virtue, that is evidence of esteem which can be given only by, exterior signs. Cleland said of honor, it "is not in his hand who is honored, but in the hearts and opinions of other men, who either have seene his merits, or heard of his renowne, and good reputation+"./70 Translations from Italian and French writers add little more. "Honour in his true definition is a certaine reverence, which one man yeeldeth to another extraordinarily, for his vertuous merit, and worthy desert, so that it should nct be wealth, but vertue, which should make an honourable man," was the definition in the Rich Cabinet, published in 1616. The good man only was to be honored.
    In another sentence the exterior quality of honor was even more
68 Op. cit., bk. IV, ch. 7, pp. 113-4.
69 Morte d' Arthur, Camelot Series, "Sir Gareth," pp. 179, 185. See also "Merlin," p. 33; "Sir Balin Le Savage," pp. 40, 42, 46; "The Round Table," pp. 63, 65, 66; "Marvellous Adventures," pp. II, 16, 99, 111, 112.
70 Op. cit., bk. V, ch. 6; Elyot, op. cit., bk. III, ch. II, p.200; Segar, Honor Military and Civill, bk. I, ch. I, T. B.'s "Preface to the Reader." See also La Noue, The Politicke and Militarie Discourses, 12th Discourse, p. 164.


explicitly set forth: "Honour is most famous, when men are borne of gentle parents; rise to live in great dignitie; die in glorious libertie; are buried with ensignes of valor; and leave a memorie of their fames and glories+ to posterity./72 Du Refuges defined the means of showing honor: "Honour consists either in the opinions we conceive of a mans perfections & merits, or in the ceremonies of respect and reverence, wherwith we honour him who is our superiour in power, authority, reputation+, wealth, or in some other remarkable advantage./73 An Italian, Romei+, threw a little more light on honor as it involved dueling. There are two kinds of honor, he said, the natural, which is imperfect, and the acquired, which is perfect. Natural honor is a common opinion that a man has never failed in justice or valor, that he is good if he does not appear to the contrary. This is born in one, and is lost only by an infamous act; but it is imperfect because negative. A man is thereby honorable only because he has done nothing wrong. Acquired honor is a reward for well doing, and is perfect because it is positive and requires action. The duel is grounded upon the first sort./74 A man of ordinary feeling who fought to preserve his honor, which all who upheld the practice of dueling asserted to be the aim of the duel, would doubtless primarily, often solely, have in mind his public reputation+. But it is clear that something more was involved in honor as the finer spirits of the time conceived it, something nearer and more precious to them. Certainly Gervase Markham meant more than reputation when he said, "Honour is the food of every great spirit, and the very god which creates in high minds heroicall actions; it is so dilicate and puer that any excesse doth staine it, any unjust action dishonours it, any motion that smels either of folly, of sloath+, or of rashnesse puts it out of countenance, but an ignoble deed that utterly mines it." Praise, he also said, comes from another; honor is of itself and in itself. But after that, he made honor, that is exterior signs, a necessary thing, "for take away honour, where is our Reverence? take away reverence? what are our lawes? And take away Law, and man is nothing but a grosse masse of all impietie."/75 Ximenez the
72 Fo. 63a; 64b.
73 Treatise of the Court, ch. 30, p. 145.
74 The Courtiers Academie, London, 1597, "Of Honour," p. 79; "Of Combat," p. 131.


75 Honour in his Perfection, P. 4.


99]     DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN       99 Spaniard as an argument against the duel said that honor dwells with virtue and no one can take away honor unless he takes away virtue. Therefore a man can lose his honor only through vice./76 Fausto de Longiano also said that honor cannot be lost except through one's own fault, and that fault may be a secret one of thought./77 Something more intimate than reputation+ was meant.
    There is a passage in Rabelais+ which, as Burckhardt+ points out, distinguishes more clearly than any Italian, or Englishman either, this inner sense of honor from the outer passion for fame./78 Rabelais says of his gentlemen and ladies of the Order of Free Will, "In their rule is only this clause: Do as you wish. For free men, well born, well brought up, moving in polite circles, have by nature an instinct and spur which at all times impels them toward virtuous deeds, and draws them away from vice. This they call honor."/79 Some such assumption must lie back of Romei's conception of imperfect honor. Honor seems to have been, therefore, a sort of conscience+ directing the man of honor in his actions, not alone by desire of fame or fear of damaged reputation, but by an inward impulse toward virtue and away from vice; an "enigmatic mixture of conscience and egoism" Burckhardt calls it, and comes as near perhaps as one can to comprehending in a phrase the two aspects of this strange sense that, it need hardly be insisted, was taken to be the possession of the gentleman alone.
    This conception of honor, an individual standard, as a guide to conduct arose in connection with the practice of dueling+, doubtless as a rationalization of that lawless fashion, and the defenders of dueling claimed that honor had its own laws which might go contrary to the laws of both God and man. Divine law had God for io end; civil law the maintenance of justice among ordinary people who were too ignorant and too debased to guide themselves in virtuous ways of living. Civil law, moreover, was felt to be a debased kind of law because, though drawn from the same sources as the law of honor, that is from the moral law, it had been changed and ihterpreted by the jurisconsults and squabbled over by lawyers until it was full of injustices and contradictions. The law of honor,
76 Dialogo del Vero Honore Militari, Venice, 1569, trans. from the Spanish pt. I. fo. 8a-8b.
77 Duello, Venice, 1560, bk. I, ch. VII.
78 Op. cit. p. 434.
79 Gargantua lib. -. cap. 57.


on the other hand, "is founded on the most solid foundation, which is reason+ and which cannot be destroyed. It is immutable and external, not subject to the changes of time, and therefore it cannot receive diverse interpretations. It has been approved by the universal+ consent of all men, and of all ages. It began with the beginning of the world, and will endure while the world endures. Everyone is held to the observance of this law, but the civil law is not observed except in the most limited part of the inhabited earth."/80 The law of honor was thus practically identified with the law of nature+, about which one still heard a deal in the sixteenth century, which, as it was usually defined, was the moral law, made known by reason+, inviting man to do good through certain practical principles implanted in all men, such as to reverence God, follow the golden_rul+, honor father and mother, help the unfortunate, etc./81 The law of nature was in other words the absolute standard of goodness. Honor then as a law unto itself became the justification for the duel of honor, which during the sixteenth century took the place of the judicial combat.
    The origin of this particular form of combat is obscure even today./82 Renaissance writers were disposed to trace it back either to the Lombards, or even to antiquity,/83 but there were some with a more scholarly, critical sense to show the fundamental difference between the duel of honor and the single combats of the Greeks and Romans, waged to end wars, or as a part of funeral obsequies, or in the arena by gladiators, and between the duel of honor and the single combats of the Lombards waged to decide certain judicial cases./84 The judicial combat even of the fifteenth century was a very different sort of thing, fought according to rule, in a specified place, and before regularly constituted judges, to establish justice in doubtful cases. The duel of honor, on the contrary, was fought in private, often without witnesses, not to decide the justice of a case, for the offence was usually open, but to preserve honor from injury+.
80 Fausto de Longiano, Diffesa. . . . contra parte d'un consiglio de l'Alciato govane per il S. Don Roderigo di Benavides, Venice, 1559, p. 42. See also Mora, II Cavaliere, 1589, bk. I, 44-5
81 Piccolomini, op. cit., bk. VI, ch. V, p. 251; Wilson, The Art of Rhetorique, London, 1560, Tudor and Stuart Library, p. 32.
82 Ency, Brit., eleventh edition, Duel.
83 Andrea Alciato, De Singulari Certamine, 1544, cap. II; Segar, op. cit., lib. III, ch. 1-3.
84 Muzio, Il Duello,1558, bk. I, ch. I.


Probably Massa's conclusion is the most profitable, that like every custom its origin is obscure; it grew upon society unawares, gaining consent first obscurely and then openly, at last ruling as a law and even more strongly than law./85 According to the testimony of La Noue in 1587 the fashion of private fights was new, quarrels having been rare among gentlemen not forty years before./86 Francis I was credited with having started the fashion of considering the lie+ injurious, out of which the mania grew./87 But if the origin was uncertain, the underlying motives were clear. The better sort fought from the desire for honor, and the fear of dishonor, motives which, as Muzio said, rule human life, and animals as well as men, with an increasing force as each is of a more refined spirit./88 The worst sort fought from contempt of others and desire not to have a superior in anything, as Piccolomini analyzed it, which is after all only a perverted notion of what honor consists in./89 No account of the gentleman's code of morals can ignore the relation between morals, particularly the virtue of magnanimity, or valor as it became more familiarly called, honor the spur and the result of valor, and the duel, the chief means in popular opinion of preserving honor. The defenders of the duel not only exalted valor+, valor as exhibited in the single combat not as exhibited against enemies in battle, but joined the whole cause of justice to it, by placing the law of honor, as it applied to the punishment of private wrong, above all other law so far as the gentleman was concerned. Popular opinion backed dueling to avenge private wrong, but it is not the ill-considered and rash opinion of ignorant and often upstart gentlemen that is to be taken account of here. If that were all, the matter would scarcely belong in a discussion of ideals. There were not wanting highminded men who either saw in the duel under certain circumstances the gentleman's one suitable way of maintaining his dignity and individuality (and the duel of honor arose in Italy where individualism+ first developed),/90 and of winning repute as a man of courage and honor, or who, because the world was so strongly minded that way, acquiesced and strove to limit
85 Contra Usum Duelli, 1554,13-24.
86 Op. cit., 12th discourse, p. 159.
87 Bodin, The Six Bookes of a Commonweale, 1606, bk. IV, ch. 7, p. 528.
88 Op. cit. Dedication, fo. *IIb*IIIa.
89 Op. cit., bk. VII, ch. 2, p. 291.
90 See Burchhardt's chapter on "Morality," op. cit., pt. VI, ch. I.


the excesses into which the practice quickly fell./91 Muzio admitted that he was writing not philosophically or Christianly, but cavalierly and humanly./92 The printer Richard Jones with a little more assurance in the dedication to Honor and Arms thus recommended the book, "This booke Both not incite men to unadvised fight, or needles revenge (as some simple wit may surmize) but enformeth the true meanes how to shunne all offences; or being offended, sheweth the order of revenge and repulse, according unto Christian knowledge and due respect of honor." Bacon himself who made no compromises but labeled the whole business "a kind of satanical) illusion and apparition of honour; against religion, against lawe, against morall vertue, and against the presidents and examples of the best times and valiantest Nations," was forced to admit that so strong was the stream of popular opinion that even staid and sober-minded men who saw rightly the vanity of dueling must conform "or else there is no living or looking upon mens faces."/93 Among such staid and sober-minded men was Sir Philip Sidney+, who could scarcely be restrained even by his queen from wiping out with his sword the insults inflicted on the tennis court by the Earl of Oxford./94 The opponents of the duel, and there were many who opposed it uncompromisingly,/95 fought it, as Bacon did, partly as grounded on a false notion of honor and virtue, for, they said, honor rests not in opinion but in virtue which cannot be hurt except by the action of the individual himself, and not in one virtue alone but in all the virtues and in piety+, truth, temperance and justice before valor;/96 partly as constituting a subversion of justice and an affront to the law, "as if there were two laws, one a kind of gowne-law, and the other a law of reputation" in which "the year books and statute books must give place to some French and Italian pamphlets, which handle the doctrine of duells;"/97 and partly as being an ineffective means of settling disputes. As Massa pointed out, the con-
91 Of the former: Longiano, Duello; of the latter: Diego del Castillo, De Duello, Taurini, 1525; Muzio, Il Duello, Le Risposte Cavallerische, Vinegia, 1559.
92 Le Risposto Cavallerische, bk. I, "Riposta Prima," fo. 107b.
93 The Charge of Sir Francis Bacon Knight, His Majesty's Attorney-General, Touching Duels, 1614, pp. 12-13.
94 Fulke Greville, op. cit., ch. VI, pp. 63-9.
95 B. de Logue, Discourses of Warre and Single Combat, London 1591, pp. 45-68; G. Joly, Aanti-Duel, Paris, 1622, besid Ximenez di Urrea, and La Noue, 12th discourse, already cited.
96 See La Noue, op. cit., l0th discourse, pp. 128-133
97 Bacon, op. cit., p. 10.


troversy was not over the existence of injury+a man may indeed lose esteem by being slandered, but over the method by which the injured should take care of his honor./98 The duel settled nothing, leaving the spectators' opinion of the right of a case where it was before.
    But such arguments were of small avail even with the high-minded so long as men believed in a law of honor above all lawdivine, natural, and civilthat is to say above all human interpretations of law, and in the duel as an instrument to punish vice and exalt virtue. The current arguments for the duel explain the hold it had upon the imaginations of men: Honor is to be preferred above life, laws, country, and everything else, and endurance of injuries and contempt signifies a man unworthy of honor. The laws take care of public injuries but not of private; knightly dignity will not allow carrying a quarrel to the magistrate and asking for vindication. Lost honor cannot be regained by the law, or by the force and valor of another, but by a man's own valor and virtue. It is less evil for two men to risk their lives than for the whole state to be in peril. Without the duel the friends, relatives, and clients of one who receives injury fly to arms and civil war results. So the duel preserves the commonwealth. It also helps to make men virtuous; through fear of a challenge they will keep faith, and refrain from inflicting injuries, since even the boldest become timid if they know they fight against the truth, so great is the force of virtue. War, the universal, is just; therefore the duel, the particular, is just./99 The argument that the duel is necessary to prevent civil war was gravely presented by Bodin./100 La Noue countered it by pointing out that the Italians had failed to keep vice within limits by allowing common courtesans in every town, and it was more likely that the civil wars arose out of such disorders, than that worse things had been averted by them. "Such vices," he concluded, "as in the sight of God are abominable, as whooredome & murther, ought never under colour of eschuing greater inconveniences, to be permitted."/101 A conclusion that modern times are just coming to. Of all these arguments in favor of the duel, there is just one that really had validity: the duel did supply a lack in the laws of the
99 Op. cit., p. 34.
99 Summed up by Massa, op. cit., pp. 39-41.
100 Op. cit., bk. IV, ch. VII.
101 Op. cit., 12th discourse, p. 158.


104      DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN      104] day which took no care of injuries to reputation+ and feeling, but only to those to the body./102 The whole theory of the law of honor and the duel is a part of the individualistic+ tendencies of the renaissance. It reached its highest development in Italy where it amounted to a religion, but its effect was seen in practice in England. Men regarded their serving honor as their most precious possession; it was the best part of them, almost the whole. Integrity+ comes the nearest perhaps to as a synonym. Those who viewed it chiefly from the external point of view, as susceptible to injury from without because it might so be lost in the opinion of men, believed in the duel as a means of preservation; man gained dignity by holding within his own hand the means of maintaining himself against all the world. Not a little of medieval contempt for the law and lawyers/103 echoes in the disdain often expressed in the renaissance for those who sought redress in the courts, and something of the haughty independence of medieval barons whose superiority, if not to the law itself at least to the mass of the people in the eyes of the law, was recognized in the laws themselves./104 But the haughtiness of the baron rested rather on the military strength of his castle and men-at-arms, and the contempt for law rather on its partiality and the meanness of its practicers, than on a sense of personal dignity, which is the contribution of the renaissance to the development of man. The gentleman of the renaissance believed that he followed a higher law than that of the courts, and achieved, with the help of God, a stricter justice.
    In the complete moral ideal of the gentleman, then, the code of honor played in England as on the continent an important part. As an active ideal it tended always to usurp the whole field. By its narrow application to certain exterior aspects of social intercourse between members of the upper classes, it set up a standard
102 Ency. Brit., Duel. For Proposals to remedy such lack see if Publication of His Majesties Edict, and severe Censure against Private Combats, and Combatants, London, 1613. 103      D. Chadwick, Social Life in the Days of Piers Plowman, cambridge, 1922, pp. 43-9.
104 See the lists of privileges drawn up by the Italian and French lawyers: Bonus de Curtili, Tractatus Nobilitatis, pt. V; Jean Renaud, Paris, 1475, Tractatus Nobilitatis, "Septima questio principalis"; Cepolla, De Imperatore Militum Deligendo, sec. 4, P26-43; Chassaneux, Catalogus Gloriae Mundi, Lyons, 5546, pt. VIII, fo. 168a170a; Tiraquellus, De Nobilitate, cap. 20.


105      DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMANl05] for conduct which ignored other aspects and other relationships. The gentleman thereby was free to pass as an honorable man and at the same time be guilty of certain personal vices and social injustices, which were condemned by the broader code of morals borrowed from the ancients+./105 It was never, however, set forth by English writers as the whole ideal, for outside the consideration of the gentleman's maintenance of his place aiming his equals, there remained the consideration of his responsbility toward the common people whose natural governor and protector he was taken to be, and always in the English ideal this responsibility was a determining and directing force. To turn for evidence from theory to practice, Sir John Cheke+ in his reproaches to the northern rebels for their killing of Lord Sheffield+, eulogized his public virtues: "a noble Gentileman and of good service, both fitte for counsel in peace and for condit in war. Considered ye either the gravitye of hys wysdom, or the authoritie of his personne, or hys service to the commune wealth, or the hope that all men had in hym, or the neede that Englande had of suche, or -----
105 William Paley thus describes the law of honor as it appeared to him in 5799. "The Law of Honour is a system of rules constructed by people of fashion, and calculated to facilitate their intercourse with one another; and for no other purpose. "Consequently, nothing is adverted to by the Law of Honour, but what tends to incommode this intercourse. "Hence this law only prescribes and regulates the duties betwixt equals; omitting such as relate to the Supreme Being, as well as those which we owe to our inferiors. "For which reason, profaneness, neglect of public worship or private devotion, cruelty to servants, rigorous treatment of tenants or other dependants, want of charity to the poor, injuries done to tradesmen by insolvency or delay of payment, with numberless examples of the same kind, are accounted no breaches of honour; because a man is not a less agreeable companion for these vices, nor the worse to deal with, in those concerns which are usually transacted between one gentleman and another. "Again, the Law of Honour being constituted by men occupied in the pursuit of pleasure, and for the mutual conveniency of such men, will be found, as might be expected from the character and design of the lawmakers, to be, in most instances, favourable to the licentious indulgence of the natural passions. "Thus it allows of fornication, adultery, drunkenness, prodigality, dueling, and of revenge in the extreme; and lays no stress upon the virtues opposite to these." The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, vol. II, bk. I, ch. II. The flaws that showed so glaringly after two hundred years of use were present from the beginning.


among many notablie good, hys singuler excellencie, or the favour of al men toward him beyng loved to everey man, and hated of no man?"./106 This survey of renaissance standards of conduct is incomplete without a consideration of the Christian element, which, while it tended rather to run parallel with the general code of morals than to be an integral part of it, was held essential to the ideal. The Christian virtues of humility+, patience+, and purity+ might be ignored, but piety+, however little talked about, was assumed to be the foundation for the gentleman's rule of life. Humphrey, the only writer to go into the subject of the gentleman's religious duty in detailappropriately enough since he was a clergymanexplained the relation between nobility and Christianity. The head and center of nobility is Christ+, to whom God has made subject all dominions and powers. Christ is therefore the pattern of nobility. A noble is Christianly and truly good who believes rightly and lives rightly. He believes rightly when he fears God and embraces the true faith, for which he should search the Scriptures himself. {Reformation+. He lives rightly if he loves God and his neighbors+. But believing belongs to all, even to the lowest of men; to the nobles belongs especially the support and defence of religion, not in the knight's way by crusades to the Holy Land, but in another fashion which Humphrey explained: "This is peculyer to Noble men, to relieve the cause of the gospell faintinge and fallynge, to strengthen with theyr ayde empoveryshed religyon, to shield it forsaken with theyr patronage. For as it is incydente to all wretched, pore and beggerly to suffer: so to succour the afflicted, belongth not but to them, who excell in aucthoryty, whose power and lieuetenant labour, god useth in redeemynge and defendynge relygion. Theyr parte hit is, to fight for theyr homes and Churches. They be in maner the pastours of the people, & gardeins of orphane piety. For great, yea greatest weight, hathe a noble mans judgemente on either parte. Wherby, both the Tyranny of Princes is brideled, and the rage of the commen people repressed, and the pryde of Prelates tamed So oughte they race out all the rootes and sutes of superstition+: and suffer no delusion of Idolatry creepe into the Churche."/107 Sir Henry Sidney's first daily precept to little Philip was, "Let your first action be the lifting up of your hands and mind to Al-
106 The Hurt of Sedition, fo. c5b.
107 Op. cit., bk. H, fo. kVIa, kVIIIa, m6b


mighty God by hearty prayer, and feelingly digest the words you speak in prayer with continual meditation and thinking of him to whom you pray."/109 Lord Burghley assumed for his son knowledge of the bond between him and his creator, "in mentioning whereof, I meane not onely a bare and Hystoricall knowledge, but with a reall and practical use adjoined, without which, though with a seemely assumption, you could expresse to the Worlde in a former habite and living portrayture all Aristotles_Morall_vertues+, and walke that whole booke in Life and action; yet are you but a vaine and wretched creature, the fayrest outside of the miserablest inside, that ever was concealed by Toombe, or shadowing."/110 Piety therefore was recommended, even assumed, though not stressed by those who wrote on the gentlemanly ideal. During the seventeenth century the balance was completely shifted; a distinctly religious point of view colored the handbook for the gentleman, and finally usurped the whole field, turning the complete gentleman into a Christian gentleman, and hardly a gentleman at all from the point of view of the sixteenth century./109 The triumph of the puritanic+ view of man and life is clear in these treatises, and serves to throw into relief the main lines of the renaissance ideal, which are drawn against a pagan background; but one may doubt whether at his best the puritan gentleman of the seventeenth century was any more truly, though more ostentatiously, religious than the Elizabethan gentleman at his best. Certainly no puritan gentleman could have lived and died more edifyingly than Sir Philip Sidney+ according to the account of his friend George Gifford, an eminent divine, who was with him during the last two weeks of his life. "Although he had professed the Gospel, loved and favoured those that did embrace it, entered deeply into the concerns of the Church, taken good order and very good care for his family and soldiers to be instructed and to be brought to live accordingly," said Gifford, "yet entering into deep examination of his life now, in the time of his affliction, he felt those inward motions and workings of a spirit
108 Letter to Philip, Oct. 17, 1564, Arber reprints, 1877, vol. 1, p. 41.
109 Certain Precepts, "Introduction," p. 2.
110 Braithwaite, The English Gentleman, London, 1630; Clement Ellis, The Gentile Sinner, or England's Brave Gentleman, Oxford, 1661, 2nd ed.; Edward Waterhouse, The Gentleman's Monitor, London, 1665; the epitome of piety is reached in the nineteenth century in Sir Kenelm Digby's The Broad Stone of Honour, London, 1822.


exciting him to a deep sorrow for his former conduct." At the end, as he lay with closed eyes, Gifford said to him: "Sir, if you hear what I say, let us by some means know it; and if you have still your inward joy and consolation in God, hold up your hand." Sidney put both hands together on his breast in the attitude of prayer, and so died./111      There was never in England such a widespread break between the spirit and form of religion, or such a loss of spirit even with outward acceptance of form as took place in Italy.112 The practical question remains of how these virtues, so necessary to the gentleman for distinction and for his proper functioning, are to be inculcated in him. In no respect did classical+ influence on the European ideal of the perfect man show itself more clearly than in transferring the emphasis from a belief in the virtues as innate and therefore more the possession of the well-born than the baseborn.113 to a belief in the necessity of education for the development of the virtues, a change due to the fuller recognition of the possible attainments of the individual through education regardless of ancestry. The renaissance admitted that nature as the force which produces and preserves all things had planted in man as in all other animals an instinct toward the perfection peculiar to him, which was virtue; that as a further aid to the acquiring of virtue nature had also planted reason+ in man to serve in place of the instinct which guides the lower animals; that she in addition had given him a social_instinct+ which made him unite with his kind for mutual support and comfort, virtues being impossible without society. But the renaissance refused credit to nature for doing more; the virtues themselves were not in man by nature, though not against nature, and were therefore to a certain extent within the power of every man to acquire. As La Primaudaye+ said, men incline to virtue by nature but they also incline by nature to pleasure, and therefore nature must be corrected by study. "Although a man be well borne, yet if he have not his judgement fined, and the discoursing part of his minde purged with the reasons of philosophie, it will fall often into grosse faults, and such as beseeme not a prudent man. For in those men that are not indued with vertue ruled by certaine knowl-
111 H. R. Fox-Bourne, Sir Philip Sidney, 1893, pp. 345-50.
112 Burckhardt, op. cit., pt. VI, ch. 3.
113 Paris de Puteo, Duello, Naples, 1518, bk. VII, ch. I, fo. Nia.


edge, nature bringeth foorth such fruits as naturally come from the ground without the manuring and helping hand of man."/114 More specifically the matter was analyzed by the Earl of Essex, who knew his philosophy+ well even if he did not know well how to govern himself by it: "Behaviour and good forme may be gotten by education; and health, and even temper of the minde by good observation; but if there bee not in nature some partner in this active strength, it can never be attained by any industry; for the vertues that are proper unto it, are Liberality, Magnanimity, Fortitude & Magnificence: and some are by nature so covetous, toand cowardly, as it is as much in vaine to inflame or inlarge their minds as to goe about to plough the Rockes. But when these active vertues are but budding, they must be repaired by ripenesse of judgement, and custome of wel-doing. Clearnesse of judgement makes men liberall, for it teacheth them to esteeme of the goods of Fortune+ not for themselves (for so they are but Jaylors to them) but for their use, for so they are Lords over them. And it maketh us know, that it is Beatius dare, quam accipere; the one being a badge of Soveraignty, the other of subjection. Also it leadeth us to Fortitude; for it teacheth, that wee should not too much prize life, which we cannot keepe, nor feare death, which wee cannot shunne."/115 An inheritable inclination to virtue, a disposition toward good, was claimed as more likely to exist in the man of gentle birth, but inclination alone without the aid of instruction and practice was admittedly unable to bear fruit and produce a virtuous man. The bearing of this whole matter upon the gentleman's relation to the state is well summed up in one of the prefaces to William Baldwin+'s treatise on moral philosophy+, which is recommended as "very expedient to al estates, but most necessarye (as Aristotle+ sayeth in his Ethickes) to those that by vertue of knowledge shall have the governaunce of a common welth; which ought not only to have good willes to doe well: but also exactly to know, and searche out with diligence, some ready war & meane, whereby they may at all times (as with a dearely beloved familiar) either in hert or in hand receive suche advertisementes
114 La Primaudaye, The French Academie, 1586, ch. 16, pp. 170-6; Hurault, op. cit., pt. I, ch. IX, pp. 57-60; Piccolomini, op. cit., bk. V, ch. II, p. 184, ch. V; Palmer, An Essay of the Meanes how to make our Travailes into forraine Countries the more Profitable and Honourable, 1606, pt. II, p. 61.
115 Profitable Instructions, London, 1633, Letter of the Earl of Essex to the Duke of Rutland, fo. D4bD6b.


[110      DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN       110 and godlye counsailes as shall never seme to swarve from such intencions, as be happely grounded in an honest & godly will; that thereby not onely the true order & high estate of princes, of nobilitie and honor, of justice and such other like virtues, may effectually be knowne, but also of suche to be rightly understanded, put in use and practised, by their due & peculiar offices, to the common coumfort and commoditie of their countrey."/116 And so we come to the most fruitful and far-reaching contribution of the renaissance to the theory of the gentleman, or more broadly speaking to the theory of human perfection, the demand for education+, without which a man may not hope to be truly just, liberal, brave, wise, temperate, that is to play properly his paft in the world.
116 Thomas Paulfreyman's preface to bk. II, fo. 54a.


To estimate justly the achievement of the renaissance in combining the ideals of scholar and knight, it is necessary to review briefly the popular opinions upon education+ in England at the beginning of the sixteenth century. During the middle ages two types of education had been recognized, that of the knight, and that of the clerk, or scholar, whether lawyer or ecclesiastic/1, and the respective merits and importance of the products, as has been seen, had been sharply debated by continental writers, and were still being debated past the middle of the sixteenth century, with echoes of the controversy in England. An essential antagonism had thus been fostered between the knight and the scholar. The knight was the man of action, the scholar the thinker, withdrawn from mundane affairs and given to the consideration of things of the mind, if not of the soul. The contempt of the knight, the practical man of affairs, and of all practical men, for the other found expression in the common saying that learned clerks are not the wisest of men. Such a cleavage still existed at the beginning of the sixteenth centuryeven Castiglione raised the question of whether book-learning is suitable for the soldier/2 --and the old arguments against book learning were still current.
    First of all, learning was useless; metaphiics, astronomy, and geography, for example, did not help a man to live well or to die well. {de_Officiis+} This belief was precisely the conclusion of the whole subject of prudence in Barclay's Mirrour of Good Manners:

"Wherfore with good reason and according to right The Philosopher olde loude in the schole crying, Was under this maner reproved of the knight: Sayde he, worthy master assure me of this thing, What meaneth this clamour, what meaneth this brauling, What meane all these wordes+, all this discorde and strife, As betwene an husbande and a fell frowarde wife?

1 W. H. Woodward, Studies in Education during the Age of the Renaissance, p. 244; Caxton, Book of Chivalry, ch. III.
2 The Courtier, Hoby's translation, The Tudor Translations, p. 87.



Ye braule and ye bable from morning unto night, Discording, one affirmeth, another doth deny. The sage Philosopher then answeres to the knight;

0 sonne we indever and dayly us apply, In seking of vertue and trueth thus busely, No man hath bene able in times without minde Inough these to search, nor parfitely to finde.

    The knight in scorne smiled and to the sage thus saide. Nowe art thou gray hered and tourning to the grounde, And ready for to dye, and as a man dismayde, Haste thou nbt yet vertue with all thy study founde? What time shalt thou use it to live as thou art bounde? What time shalt thy studie thee with the same indue, Sith nowe in latter age thou sekest for vertue? What thing is thy purpose, what thinkest in thy mind, In another worlde this vertue for to use? A strawe for thy study, thy reason is but blinde, To waste time in wordes, and on no dede to muse.

    But agayne to purpose! Therfore reader refuse Superfluous study and care superfluous, And tourne thy chiefe study to dedes+ vertuous.

    Sith doing is the fruite and learning but the sede, And many joy the fruite which have no sede at all, And also sith the ende of learning is the dede Then seek to do wisely most chief and principal, Rather than the science of arts_liberal+ Better an idiot untaught and well living, Than a vicious doctor ill mannered and cunning./3


Not only was learning useless, but it was harmful; it reduced the valor of a man, making him effeminate and fearful, more fond of the ease of the study than the hardships of camp. As late as 1618 a French writer on nobility thought it necessary to defend learning from this charge against Justus Lipsius+, who argued that Francis_I+ and Pope_Leo_X+ degenerated through their learning into a certain delicate effeminacy, and against Botero+ who claimed that the French in the time of Charles_VIII+ had found it easy to subdue the Italians because their princes knew better how to write books
3 Reprint Spenser Soc., vol. 38, p. 17.


than to handle sword or lance, and indeed that the ancient nations which had flourished in the sciences had been dominated by those that had no learning./4 Furthermore, much learning made a man unfit for the administration of great affairs, because he was likely to stand musing on questions of ideal conduct when he needed to bestir himself to wind himselfe out of the briers and to get out of some shrewd pinch./5 Bacon+ also was at some pains to answer all these charges in his Advancement of Learning./6 The evidence for the general scorn and lack of learning not only at the beginning but also at the end of the century is plentiful in the complaints. Sir Thomas Elyot+ labored against those who held "that pestiferous opinion that gret lerned men be unapt to the ministration of thinges of waighty importaunce, and who would have gentlemen's children spend their time hunting, and hawking, and playing at dice./7 Pace told an oft repeated story of a noble who one day protested vehemently at table that he would rather see his son hanged than learned, the knowledge of how to blow a horn, hunt, and rear hawks belonging to the sons of nobles, the knowledge of books to the sons of rustics./8 At the end of the century the same opinion apparently prevailed, for Cleland said, "False and fantastical opinion prevaileth so against reason now a daies that ignorance is thought an essential marke of a noble man by many. If a young childe loveth not an hawke and a Dogge while he sitteth upon his nurses lap, it is a token, saie they, he degenerates."/9 Henry_VIII+ complained that for want of education among the nobles the high offices of the realm had to be given to men of low origin." Latimer+ burst out indignantly, "Is there never a noble man to be a Lorde president, but it muste be a prelate? Is there never a wyse man in the realme to be a comptrolle of the mynte? I speake it to youre shame, I speake it to youre shame. Yf there be never a wyse man, make a water bearer, a tinker, a cobler, a slave, a page, comptroller of the mynte. Make a meane gentylman, a Groome, a yeoman,
4 L'Institution de la Noblesse, livre III, p. 273 ff.
5 Hurault, Politicke, Moral, and Martial Discourses, pt. I, ch. XI, p. 76.
6 Spedding ed., 1858, vol. III, p. 264 ff.
7 The Governour, bk. I, ch. XII; The Image of Governance, Preface, fo. aIVa-bIa.
8 De Fructu qui ex Doctrina Percipitur, Basle, 1517, prefatory letter to Colet, P. 15.
9 Institution of a Young Noble Man, bk. IV, ch. 3, p. 134.
10 Einstein, The Italian Renaissance in England, p. 214.


make a pore begger Lorde president: Thus I speake not that I would have it so, but to your shame. If there be never a gentleman mete nor able to be Lorde presidente. For whye are not the noble men and yon gentlemen of England so brought up in knoweledge of God and learnynge that they maye be able to execute offices in the commun weal./11 Ascham echoed his words a few years later, "The fault is in your selves, ye noble mens sonnes, and therfore ye deserve the greater blame, that commonlie the meaner mens children cum to be the wisest councellours, and greatest doers, in the weightie affaires of this Realme,"/12 and the first parliament of Edward_VI+ passed an act extending benefit of clergy for a first offence to peers who could not read./13 Nor could those who scorned learning and with it the arts for themselves be expected to foster it in others. The scholar, said Gabriel Harvey+, must use his ingenuity to find some sort of labor that would keep body and soul together,/14 and the muses of Spenser+ dropped many a tear over the neglect of learning and the arts by those who should foster them./14 This scorn for learning itself which meant ignorance toward the end of the century diminished into the scorn which merely made pretence of ignorance. George Pettie protested earnestly against the misconception of some who thought that a gentleman should conceal his skill and seem to do everything by mother wit, and who therefore denied they were scholars even though they spent all their time in study. "Why, Gentlemen is it a shame to shewe to be that, which it is a shame not to be? In divers thynges nothyng so good as learning, you are desirous to seeme to be that, which you are not, and in Learning, the best thyng of all others, are you afearde to shewe to be that, which you are? Alas, you wyll be but ungentle Gentlemen, yf you be no Schollers: you wyll doe your Prince but simple service, you wyll stande your Country but in slender steade, you wyll bryng your selves but to small perferment, yf you be no Schollers. Can you counsayle your Prince wysely; foresee daungers providently, governe matters of state discreetely, without Learning? no, experience
11 Sermon of the Plough, preached at St. Paul's, Jan. 18, 1548, Everyman Library, pp. 62-3.
12 The Scholemaster, Mayor ed., p. 40.
13 Trail, Social England, 1909, vol. III, p. 246.
14 Marginalia, ed. G. C. Moore Smith, Shakespeare Head Press, 1913, p. 151.
15 The Tears of the Muses, 11. 79-90.


DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN must then be your guide, which wyll be but a blynde one: it must be your Scholmaister, but you shall finde it a dangerous one. To come lower, can you discourse with Strangers, inquire the state of forraine Countries, give entertainment to Ambassadours, being no Schollers? no surely, unless it be with dum shewes and signes, Tyke as of late a pleasaunt Gentleman (who could have spoken sufficiently, yf he had been put to it) being amongst others commaunded to ryde to meete an Ambassadour that was comming to the Court, at his returne a Noble man asked hym merily what he sayd to the Ambassadoure when he met hym. nothing (sayd he) but kist my Horses mayne, and came my way. To come lowest of all, Can you so much as tell your Mistresse a fine tale, or delight her with pleasant device, beyng unlearned? no, it must needes eyther be altogether unsaverie, or els seasoned with the salte of others; and whether thynke you it more shame that you should skew to have of your owne, or that she should knowe you filche from others? Therefore (Gentlemen) never deny your selves to be Schollers, never be ashamed to shewe your learnyng, confesse it, professe it, imbrace it, honor it: for it is it which honoureth you, it is only it which maketh you men, it is onely it whiche maketh you Gentlemen./16


The influence of Castiglione may doubtless be seen through this admonition, who, though he made his courtier a scholar, insisted that he must remove all smell of the lamp and display his accomplishments as natural and not acquired. The gentleman must be to all appearance a lily of the field, though within he might be as wise as Solomon.
    And yet, as Pettie urged, the scholar's equipment was needed by the gentleman. Times had changed. In earlier days to be sure when a gentleman's main business was fighting in time of war and attendance at court or on great nobles in time of peace, an education which taught thSe exercises of the soldier and included enough instruction in manners, music, and the intricacies of carving/17 to make the young man persona grata to his lord met all practical tests. Chaucer+'s squire felt no more need of Latin and philosophy as he faced the world than his father had before him.

wel coude he sitte on hors, and faire ryde, He coude songes make and wel endyte, Juste and eek daunce, and wel purtreye and wryte. So hote he lovede, that by nightertale He sleep namore than Booth a nightingale.

16 Guazzo, The Civile Conversation, trans. by Pettie, 1581, Preface, fo.
17 Furnivall, The Babees Book, "Forewords," E E. T. S., 32, pp. IVV.



Curteys he was, lowly, and servisable, And carf biforn his fader at the table.

The education of the young pages in Edward_IV+'s court was of the same sort, as shown in the duties assigned to the Master of the Henchmen./18 But when war ceased to be the gentleman's chief profession, and he was challenged to help solve the complicated problems of an increasingly complicated world, something more was needed, and thoughtful men were not slow to point the need, and to warn of the results of the current scorn for learning among - the nobility. Higher public affairs would suffer, or their management would pass out of the hands of the old nobility into the hands of men of low origin. The pressure of events forced the knight to compound with the scholar for enough of his learning at least to compete in the open lists for civil honors, which the world was coming to prize more than military.
    That Italian humanis+ts had evolved an ideal and framed a system of education ready to their hand was the good fortune of the English reformers. Somewhat different influences to be sure had been at work in Italy to bring about the combination of knight and scholar. More directly was felt the influence of classic types, the philosopher-statesman, and the orator, which represented personal rather than class ideals, and which, grafted onto the soldier ideal, united inward quantities, moral and intellectual, to outward, manifested in physical perfection, bravery of action+, grace of manner.
    In the intervals between their wars, the lords of the small city states of Italy relieved the tedium of inactivity by cultivating for themselves and encouraging in their courtiers the new learning which the new race of scholars and schoolmasters was eager to spread Poggio, Guarino, Vittorino, Bembo. Nowhere in Europe has the scholar and literary man ever assumed such authority in the counsels of princes, or so autocratically ruled in matters of style and taste./19 The revival of a great past, which for Italians was their own direct heritage, furnished all classes with an enthusiasm for learning that was never felt by the northern nations. When the first English humanists, then, fired by contact with Italy, sought to introduce the new culture into England, and the new ideal of man, who should be fit for counsel as well as for war, and adorned with
18 Furnivall, op. cit., p.11.
19 J. A. Symonds, The Revival of Learning, London, 1897, ch. V, VII.


[11     DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN 117 graces of the mind as well as of the body, their appeal was based on the narower and more practical ground of class interest.
    The first man in England to formulate the new humanistic+ ideal was not, however, an Englishman. Vives+, the Spanish scholar, lecturer at Oxford, and tutor to the Princess_Mary+ published in 1523 and 1524 two works, e Ratione Studii Puerilis and ntroductio ad Sapientiam, hich gave the foundations of the educational theories later elaborated in his De Tradendis Disciplinis, published in 1531 after his banishment from England./20 As a member of the Oxford group he may be taken for their mouthpiece, expressing the ideals of Erasmus+, Sir Thomas More+, Linacre+, Colet+, which had already been put into way of realization by Colet in his school.
    But more important for the forming of the gentleman, was the first English treatise, The Governour, because Elyot+, a member of the same band of humanists, wrote especially for the gentleman, where Vives, Erasmus, and Colet worked more generally for the cause of education, minding rather to turn out scholars than gentlemen. Of all the long line of men who sought to meet the need of the ne age already upon them none so urbanely, even lovingly, strove to make studies attractive to the gentleman as Elyot in the numerous works which, though a busy lawyer, he produced for the benefit of the gentleman and the profit of his country. Knowing by experience, he said, how tedious repetitions of serious matter would be to readers who for the most part had not been inured by training to endure them, he condensed the long definitions of scholars and sprinkled his exposition with pleasant tales as breathing space for himself and recreation for his readers./21 His own catalogue of his works is interesting enough to quote as showing the spirit of the man, and the variety of his interests. "All thoughe I do neither dyspute nor expounde holy scripture, yet in suche workes as I have and intende to sette forth my pore talent shall be, God willing, in suche wyse bestowed, that no mannes conscience shalbe therwith offended. My boke called the Governour, instructing men in suche vertues as shalbe expedient for them, which shal have authority in a weale publike. The Doctrinal of princes, whiche are but the counsayles of wyse Isocrates+, inducing into noble mens wittes honest opinions. The Education of chyldren, whiche also I translated out of the wise Plutarch+, making men
20 J. M. Berdan, Early Tudor Poetry, pp. 302-4.
21 Op. cit., bk. II, ch. XII, Everyman Lib., p. 166.


and women, which will folowe those rules, to be wel worthy to be fathers and mothers. The little Pasquill, although he be mery and playne, teching as well servantes how to be faythfull unto their masters, as also masters how to be circumspect in espying of flaterars. Semblably the office of a good councellour with magnanimity or good courage in time of adversity, may be apparantly founden in my boke called, Of the knowlege belonging to a wise man. In reding the sermon of saynt Cyprian by me translated, the devout reder shal find no little comfort in plages or calamities. The banket of Sapience is not fastidiouse, and in litle rome sheweth out of holy scripture many wise sentences. The castle of health being truly red shall long preserve men (being some phisicions never so angry) from perillous syknes. My litle boke callid the defence of good women, not only confoundeth villainous report, but also teacheth good wyves to know well theyr dueties. My dictionary declarynge latyne by englishe, by that tyme that I have performed it, shall not only serve for chyldren, as men have excepted it, but also shall be commodiouse for them whiche perchaunce be well lerned. And this present boke, whiche I have named the Image of Governaunce, shall, be to all them whiche well rede it sincerely, a very true paterne, wherby they may shape all theyr procedynges."/22 Here may be found a sort of prospectus of the subjects that interested the sixteenth century when it was minded to be serious. Many were the new editions of Elyot's works called for throughout the century, particularly of The Governour, which went through eight editions in the next fifty years, and even later was quoted as an authority. A man worthy to be the friend of Sir Thomas More+, he rivaled him in popularity, and labored more effectively to bring philosophy out of the closet to dwell familiarly among men. Most timely and far-reaching in their effects were Elyot's ideas on education which if not directly borrowed by his successors, represented the prevailing theory of the century and were repeatedly set forth, by such men as Ascham+, Mulcaster+, Cleland+, Peacham+, and Lyly+, in a less professional way. Elyot, like the well read scholar that he was, drew widely on the ancients+ for his authorities, gratefully acknowledging his debt especially to Plato+, Aristotle+, Cicero+, Seneca+, Quintilian+, Plutarch+. That he knew the Italians, particularly Patrizi+ and Pontano+, is clear,/23 and his verferation for Erasmus+, whom he must have known in the flesh, is shown in his recommendation of The Institution of a Christian Prince, which
22 "The Preface," fo. aIIIa-aIVb.
23 See H. H. S. Croft, The Governour, London, 1883, Introduction, notes and appendices.


"wolde be as familyare alwaye with gentilmen, at all tymes, and in every age, as was Homere+ with the great king Alexander+, or Xenophon+ with Scipio+; for as all men may juge that have radde that warke of Erasmus+, that there was never boke written in Latine that, in so Lytle a portion, contayned of sentence, eloquence, and vertuous exhortation, a more compendious abundaunce."/24 These same author's continued to influence educational theory throughout the century, with the additions of later men, Vives+, Lipsius+, Melancthon+, Osorius+, Bembo+, and particularly Sturm+.
    I The ancients were quoted by these men quite as a matter of course without regard for changes in circumstances. Mulcaster to be sure deprecated the fashion and gave to his own books a more modern, ractical character by his attempt to adapt old ideas to new conditions./25 Castiglione+ has so far perhaps been conspicuous for his absence, but a special place should be reserved for him, though his influence can hardly be cstlled pedagogical in its usual professional sense. For it is probable that his Courtier did more than any other one book to persuade the Elizabethan gentleman to unite learning to courtly graces, "which booke," Ascham said, "advisedlie read, and diligentlie followed, but one yeare at home in England, would do a Yong Jentleman more good, I wisse, then three yeares travell abrode spent in Italie."/26 At least in its presentation of the new ideal of a complete personality, and its emphasis on the elements of beauty rather than of solidity in that ideal it served as a balance and corrective to the somewhat pedantic and over-moralized presentations of English imitators and adaptors.
    English renaissance theory concerning the proper education for the gentleman was drawn chiefly, then, from the ancients+, whose ideals of philosopher-kings+ and orator_citizens+ looked primarily to the wider relationships of life, and from the scholars of northern Europe who took a tremendously serious view of life and man's responsibilities+; and it was saved from the narrowness and incompleteness of the later puritanic+ ideal by the sweet reasonableness and completeness of classical ideals, and the light grace of the Italian.
    Since the English governor was felt to need first of all the virtues, the chief ground for advocating education was the relation which
24 The Governour, bk. I, ch. XI, p. 48.
25 Positions, rep. 1888, ch. 3, 4.
26 Op. cit., p. 61.


the humanists+ believed to exist between knowledge and virtue. English humanists seldom went so far as to believe with Socrates+ that to know good was to do goodthey were too good Christiansbut they did believe with the ancients, as has been said, that knowledge was an aid to virtue in that it at least taught what was good and what was evil, and thus allowed intelligent choice. Elyot said, "Seneca+ sayeth we instructe our children in liberall_sciences+, nat because those sciences may gyve any vertue, but bicause they prepare the mynde and make it apte to receive vertue. Whiche beinge considered, no man will denye but that they may be necessary to every man that coveteth very nobilitie; whiche as I have often tymes said is in the havynge and use of vertue. And verely in whome doctrine hath ben so founden joyned with vertue, there vertue hath sewed excellent and as I mought saye triumphant?"/27 This knowledge which the study of books supplied was a part of prudence, and held essential to all the other virtues, since without it a man even when he tries to practice the virtues may fall into the vices, mistaking prodigality for liberality, severity for justice, superstition for piety./28 Other values then the moral were also recognized in the liberal sciences. The content of some was to be sought to perform certain practical tasksarithemetic for keeping the accounts of a large estate; geometry for surveying and conducting war; foreign languages for state business; law for settling tenants' disputes. Nor was the pleasurable and ornamental side ignoredhow could it be by a good Ciceronian+. Elyot waxed enthusiastic over the delights of cosmography, the survey of the world from an arm chair: "For what pleasure is it, in one houre, to beholde those realmes, cities, sees, ryvers, and mountaynes, that uneth in an olde mannes life can nat be journaiyed and pursued: what incredible delite is taken in beholding the diversities of people, beastis, foules, fisshes, trees, frutes, and herbes: to knowe the sondry maners and conditions of people, and the varietie of their natures, and that in a warme studie or perler without perill of the see, or daunger of longe and paynfull journayes. I can nat tell what more pleasure shulde happen to a gentil witte, than to beholde in his owe house every thynge that with in all the worlde is contained."/29
27 Op. cit., bk. III, ch. XXIV, p. 27
28 La Primaudaye, The French Academie, 1586, ch. 10, p. 207; ch. 11, p. 117.
29 0p. cit., bk. I, ch. XI, p. 43.


The more disinterested purpose of enlargement of horizons, that he might possess the world and not be possessed by it, was thus not altogether neglected. Make the young gentleman universal, said Cleland, "that all the world may be his book. The finest and most noble spirits are universal+ and most free; by this manner the imagination having before contemplated al things admireth no thinge, which is the highest point of wisdome."/30 If the renaissance ideal of education did nothing else, it opened new vistas and assisted in the liberation of the spirit of man.
    But the controlling aim of education in England, as has been said, was practiceal, its chief concern the production of men who were guided in ation by moral standards. Such was the end to which Elyot+, Ascham+, Mulcaster+ turned the new learning. As Mr. Woodward puts it, "It was not from a passion for learning for its own sake, not from a wish to dignify outward life and leisure; not from a national instinct for a great past; not from a desire to reform doctrine or ceremony in religion; but first and foremost to meet a demand for better governance, to call into play, from new sources as well as old, forces better equipped for the more complex tasks of the modern State; it was for such an end, practical, and, in a certain sense, limited, that the Englishmen first grasped the weapons which the Renaissance held out to them from Italy."/31 But where was the gentleman to find the education he needed to meet the demands upon him? The natural place to turn to was the universities, and that gentlemen did so in increasing numbers is indicated by the complaints that the colleges were filled with gentlemen's and rich men's sons to the exclusion of poor men's sons, for whom the foundations had originally been made and fellowships granted./32 But the university system left much to be desired as a preparation for active service in the state. Old ecclesiastical traditions still survived too completely to suit the spirit of thisworldiness which more than any other one thing marked the difference between the middle ages and the renaissance./33 Though the curriculum was broadened during the century to admit most of
38 Op. cit., bk. II, ch. III, p. 59.
33 Op. cit., p. 302.
32 Latimer, Fifth Sermon before Edward VI, April 5, 1549, Everyman Lib., p. 155; Harrison, Description of England, rep. New Shake. Soc., Ser. VI, no. I, bk. II, ch. III, p. 77.
33 A. F. Leach, The Schools of Medieval England, London, [1915], p. 324.


the subjects and authors recommended by the humanists,rhetoric, arithemtic, geography, philosophy, Aristotle in the original, and the other Greeks,"/32 there were important omissions, the modern languages conspicuously, and all the physical exercises which were thought necessary for accomplishments if not for the maintenance of health./33 As Bacon pointed out, the colleges were dedicated to the professions; in none of them were men free to devote themselves to history, modern languges, political and social sciences in order to fit themselves for affairs of state./34 The only alternative was private education under tutors at home or more often in some nobleman's house with other gentlemen's sons, a custom in vogue from at least the time of Henry_II+. The greater part probably of gentlemen's sons were thus educated. The advantages of such private education were obvious: subjects could be chosen to fit the gentleman's needs; attendance on the lord and his household gave opportunities to improve precept with practice and avoided the gaucherie of the mere scholar. The disadvantages were also obvious, as illustrated in a letter from the tutor of the Duke of Richmond to Wolsey+, complaining of the interuption to studies and interference with hours and methods of instruction by officious persons with more authority than interest in intellectual progress./37 The relative value of public and private education was discussed by the schoolmasters, Mulcaster arguing in behalf of public as less partial, of better quality, less subject to parents' and teachers' whims, and not so likely to encourage conceit because of the salutary testing and leveling of competition, which also acted as a spur to greater achievement./38 One solution suggested to the problem of educating gentlemen's sons was the foundation of a national academy. There is extant a complete scheme, down to the salaries for teachers, drawn up by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, which reached at least Lord Burghley's hands, if not the Queen's./39 His was not a new idea. Latimer called
34 Mullinger, The University of Cambridge, . . . . to 1535, Cambridge, 1873, p. 630.
35 Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Queen Elizabeth's Academy, E. E. T. S., Ext Ser. no. VIII, p. 17.
36 Op. cit., pp. 323-4.
37 Ellis, Original Letters, third series, Letter CXIX, vol. 1 and 2, p. 333.
38 Op. cit., pp. 184-190.
39 Furnivall, "Forewards," E. E. T. S., Extra Series VIII, p. II, note. Text, pp. 1-12.


attention to the need for a school for wards in his Sermon of the Plough. A scheme similar to Gilbert's had been proposed in 1561 by Sir Nicholas Bacon./40 The idea of a national academy for the education of the gentry recurs throughout the seventeenth century./41 The purpose of Gilbert's Academy was to provide education both for the royal wards, the orphans of the nobility who, farmed out as was the custom among the nobles, often suffered from the cupidity or indifference of their guardians, and also for the children of the gentry in general. The advantages of such an academy Gilbert set forth in a passage so full of interest that it seems worth while to quote it in full despite its length.

"The Comodities which will ensue by erecting this Achademy.

"At this present the estate of gentlemen cannot well traine up their childeren within this Realme but eyther in Oxford or Cambridge, whereof this ensueth: "ffirst, being theare, they utterly lose their tymes yf they doe not follow learning onely. ffor there is no other gentlemanlike qualitie to be attained. "Also, by the evill example of suche, those which aply their studies are drawen to licentiousnes and Idlenes; and, therefore, yt were every way better that they were in any other place than theare. "And weareas in the universities men study onely schole learninges, in this Achademy they shall study matters of accion meet for present practize, both of peace and warre. And yf they will not dispose themselves to letters, yet they may learne languages, or martiall activities for the service of their cowntrey. Yf neyther the one nor the other,Then may they exercize themselves in qualities meet for a gentleman. And also the other universities shall then better suffize to releive poore scholers, where now the youth of nobility and gentlemen, taking up their schollarshippes and fellowshippes, do disapoinct the poore of their livinges and avauncementes.       "Also all those gentlemen of the Inns of cowrte which shall not apply them selves to the study of the lawes, may then exercize them selves in this Achademy in other qualities meet for a gentleman. The Cowrtiers and other gentlemen abowt London, having good oportunity, may likewise do the same. All which do now for the moste parte loose their times. "ffurther, wheareas by wardeship the moste parte of noble men and gentlemen within this Realme have bene brought up ignorantly and voide of good educac[i]ons, your Majesty may by order apoinct them to be ------
40 J. P. Collier, Archaeologia, vol. 36, pp. 343-4.
41 Monroe, Cyclopedia of Education, "Courtly Academies."


brought up during their minorities in this Achademy, from XII to his full age, if he [be] a gentleman by the father of five dissentes and to have the prynses allowanse towardes the same, whosoever have the wardshipppe of his bodye, yf yt shallbe fownde by office that he may yearely dispend 13/ 6/ 8d. Both Plato+ and Licurgus+ withe other greate Philosophers, having bene of opinion that the educacion of childeren should not altogeder be under the poissaunce of their fathers, but under the publique power and aucthority, becawse the publique have therein more Intereste then their parentes. Wherby the best sorte are most like to excel in vertue, which in tymes paste knew nothing but to hallou a hownd or lure a hawke, which thing will much asswage the present grief that good and godly parentes endure by that tenure of wardship. ffor (as yt is) yt not onely hurteth the body, but also (as yt were) killeth the sowle and darkeneth the eyes of reason+ with Ignorawnce. And when the best shall ordinarely be men of such rare vertue, Then the prince and Realme shall not so much from tyme to tyme be Charged, as they have bene, in rewarding the well deservers. ffor honour is a sufficient paymente for him that hath inoughe. Wheareas in tymes paste the poorest sorte were best able to deserve at the princes handes, which, without great Charges to the prince, could not be maintained. So that when theis thinges shalbe performed, ordinarie virtue can beare no price. And then younger brothers may eate grasse, yf they cannot atchieve to excell, which will bring a blessed emulation to England. It being also no smalle Commoditie that the nobility of England shalbe therby in their youthes brought up in amity and acquintaunce. And above all other, this chiefly is to be accompted of, that, by these meanes all the best sorte shalbe trained up in the knowledge of gods word (which is the onely fownda[c[ion of true obedience to the prince), who otherwise, thorough evill teachers, might be corrupted with papistrie. "0 noble prince, that god shall blesse so farre as to be the only meane of bringing this seely, frosen Island into such everlasting honour that all the nations of the World shall knowe and say, when the face of an English gentleman appeareth, that he is eyther a sowldiour, a philosopher, or a gallant Cowrtier "To conclude, by erecting this Achademie, there shalbe heareafter, in effect, no gentleman within this Realme but good for some what, Wheareas now the most parte of them are good for nothinge. And yet therby the Cowrte shall not only be greatly encreased with gallant gentlemen, but also with men of vertue, wherby your Majesties and Successors cowrtes shalbe for ever, in steade of a Nurserie of Idlenes, become a most noble Achademy of chivalric pollicy, and philosaphie to your greate fame" Some such adaptation as Gilbert's of the new ideal of education was assumed to be necessary, for though scholars were gentlemen,


speaking from the herald's point of view, gentlemen were not intended to be scholars in the strict sense, even in the humanist's scheme of things. That the pursuit of studies was limited for the gentleman by practical considerations was not only implicit in the assumption that he was a man of affairs, but was explicitly stated, as we have seen, more than once. Osorius+ speaks at greatest length on the subject, and may fairly be allowed to represent the general opinion of the age. "Gentility is a most glorious, and lively image of auncient progenie, most commonlye garnished wyth excellente vertues, and for asmuch as everye one which excelleth in all vertue and honestye, cannot attayne the title of honoure and Nobilitye, this large definition is to bee restrayned by limitation, for neyther may they, which the rather to attayn knowledge and wysedom have abandoned all company and live in continuall studye be thought most worthye & honourable, although they be fornished wyth rare and singular vertues, and for profound knowledge in deepeste matters be had in admiration, for that they do not earnestly employ the benefit of their artes and sciences to the availe and commoditye of the common wealth. Neither yet any Noble family hath been able at any tyme to winne unto itself the tytle of honour & soveragnty, for that many of that Noble line excellinge in qualities of witte, to avoide a Courtiers life, have addicted them selves to the dimensions of Geometry, or the rules of Phisicke, or the recordes and sweet Harmony of Musicke. If this be true, what kinde of vertue is that through the cleare shininge whereof the Noblenes of any Kindred, the Dignity and Honour of any family may be knowen ? Forsoth even that kinde of vertue which extendeth it selfe to the common profit of al men, which a voydinge idlenes is altogether occupied about the maintenaunce, and preservation of a Commonwealth; as for example puissance, and valiantnes in warlike affaires, in time of peace the execution of Justice+ and Equity+, and to these' the study of Oratorie|, the knowledge of the Civil lawes+, and whatsoever is of force, & apperteineth to the government of a Commonwealth."/42 Or to put it succinctly as Elyot does in recommending Marcus Aurelius, the governor should be "neyther by study withdrawen from affaires+ of the publike weale, nor by any busynes utterly pluckyd frome PhilosopHy+ and other noble doctrynes."/43 Some distinction should be drawn here, perhaps, between the gentleman par excellence, that is the noble whose position by in-
42 Civile Nobilitie, bk. I, fo. 5b-6a.
43 Op. cit., p. 279. See also Hurault, op. cit., pt. 2, ch. II.


heritance of great estates and titles entailed upon him, whether he would or no, the task of governing others, and the ordinary gentleman, especially he who raised himself to prominence by the practice of a learned profession. Such a one as the latter Ascham+ seemed particularly to have in mind: "As I began plainlie and simplie with my yong Scholer, so will I not leave him, God willing, untill I have brought him a perfit Scholer out of the Schole, and placed him in the Universitie, to becum a fitte student for Logicke+ and Rhetoricke+; and so after to Phisicke+, Law+, or Divinitie+, as aptnes of nature, advise of frends, and Gods disposition shall lead him."/44 Some such distinction seems to have been in the mind of the Earl of Essex when he wrote to Lord Burghley concerning his son's education, "I have wished his Education to be in your Household, though the same had not bene allotted to your Lordship as Master of the Wardes; and that the whole Tyme which he shold spend in England in his Minority, might be devided in Attendance upon my Lord Chamberlayne and you, to the End, that as he might frame himself to the Example of my Lord of Sussex in all the Actions of his Life, tending either to the Warres or the Institution of a Nobleman, so that he might also reverence your Lordship for your Wisdome and Gravyty+, and lay up your Counsells and Advises in the Treasory of his Hart."/45 The thoroughness with which a man studied physic, divinity, and law, or any other of the great branches of learning in preparation for his future would depend upon the particular calling he had in mind, but the gentleman, whether of higher or lower rank, must wear his learning with a difference, valuing it only as a part of his wisdom, the other and more important part to be gained from experience and not from books. There was general agreement with Guevara+'s advice, extended to other matters than arms. "When amongst Knights or Gentlemen talk is of armes, a Gentleman ought to have great shame to say, that he read it, but rather that he saw it. For it is very convenient for the philosopher+ to recount what hee hath read, but the Knight or Gentleman it becommes to speake of things that hee hath done."/46
44 Op. cit., p. 91.
45 Letter of Essex to Burghley, 1576, quoted by Furnivall, The Babees Book, "Forewords," p. XV.
46 Familiar Epistles, p. 69.


One may expect to find, then, in the systems of education drawn up especially for the gentleman breadth but not depth, and the utilitarian test applied to every subject. Indeed it was only thus that philosophy+ could be put to use in the counsels and businesses of men, and the great professions really liberalized and lifted from the hands and ways of mean practitioners./47 What, then, should be the education of a gentleman? Euphues+ presents to his Ephorbus an epitome of his educational system which may serve very well for a sketch of the commonly accepted theory of a proper education for a gentleman: "First, that he be of honest parents, nursed of his mother, brought up in such a place as is incorrupt, both for the ayre and manners, with such a person as is undefiled, of great zeale, of profound knowledge, of absolute perfection, that be instructed in Philosophy+, whereby he may atteine learning, and have in al sciences a smacke, whereby he may readily dispute of anything. That his body be kept in his pure strength by honest exercise, his wit and memory by diligent study. That he abandon al allurements of vice, and continually encline to vertue."/48 In early training two points were stressed, the importance of choosing wise and upright men for tutors, and the necessity of leading the child gently into the way of knowledge lest his mind and body receive irreparable hurt. Dull wits may be overloaded and gross bodies cudgeled without particular harm, but the high spirit and sensitive body of a child of gentle birth must be handled with great wisdom, if all of his possibilities are to be realized./49 For studies, Elyot would begin with only a little Greek+ and Latin+ grammar, for the child is soon wearied, and then proceed to the pleasant fables of Aesop+, merry dialogues of Lucian+, great Homer+ whose heroes inflame a noble spirit to emulation of their virtues, Virgil+ of infinite variety to suit the fancy of any child, Ovid+, Horace+, Lucan, Silius+, and Hesiod+. All these, not thoroughly read but so far as is profitable, should occupy the child until he is fourteen, and then he should turn to more serious studies, logic+ from Cicero+ or Agricola+; rhetoric+, the principles from Hermogenes+, Quintilian+, or Cicero+, or Erasmus+ "for him that nedeth nat, or
47 Mulcaster, op. cit., pp. 206-7.
48 Euphues, Arber rep., p. iii.
48 Peacham, The Compleat Gentleman, London, 1634, Tudor and Stuart Library, P. 23-4.


doth nat desire, to be an exquisite oratour," the practice from Isocrates+, Demosthenes+, Cicero+; cosmography; history+, Livy+, Xenophon's Cyropaedia, Quintus Curtius+, Caesar+, Sallust+, Tacitus+. At seventeen the youth should be moral_philosophy+, the first books of Aristotle's_Ethics, in the original, "for the translations that we yet have be but rude and grosse shadow of the eloquence and wisedome of Aristotle," then Cicero's de_Officiis+, and last Plato+ "when the judgment of a man is come to perfection." The historical books of the Bible+ are necessary after a man is mature; and always should be familiar to gentlemen Erasmus+'s Institution of a Christian Prince." Such was the program which Elyot set forth in the early part of the century of studies necessary to fit a gentleman for authority in the commonwealth.
    It differed from the program recommended later in the century in several respects. In the later treatises poetry was not confined to the first years, and prose to the later, but Cicero+'s letters particularly along with the colloquies of Erasmus+, Vives+, Chastalio+, or Corderius+ were recommended for the first reading. The number of ancient Latin and Greek authors was extended to include Terence+, Plautus+, Juvenal+, Persius+, Euripides+, Aristophanes+, and Pindar+. The subjects were increased, admitting economics and politics, which had been differentiated from history; mathematics which included arithmetic, geometry, and astrology; law; physic; modern languages, especially French+ and Italian+; Hebrew+ and divinity./51 In the last two was reflected the change in religion. Elyot gingerly approached the study of the Bible+, practically restricting it to maturity and the historical books. "The residue, (with the new testament)," he explained, "is to be reverently touched, as a celestial) Jewell or relike, having the chiefe interpretour of those bokes trewe and constant faithe, and dredefully to sette handes theron, remembrying that Oza, for putting his hande to the holy shryne that was called ArchaFederis, whan it was broughte by king David from the citie of Gaba, though it were waverynge and in daunger to fall, yet was he stryken of god, and fell ded immediately."/52 Humphrey, on the other hand, put Christ among the orators and Paul1. among the economists (in Ephesians and Timothy) making the Bible
50 Op. cit., bk. I, ch. X, XI.
51 Humfrey, The Nobles, bk. III, fo. r6ay8a; Ascham, op. cit.; Cleland, The Institution of a Noble Man, bk. II, ch. 8-12.
52 Op. cit., bk. I, ch. XI, p. 48.


in general a textbook for rhetoric, economics, and history; and Cleland+ would set the child to learning Greek from the New Testament. The chief bulwark of the Protestant+ against Papistry+ was, of course, sound instruction in the "true religion," which could be found, these men felt, nowhere so well as in the Holy Writ itself. The study of Hebrew+, therefore, was advocated in order to understand the Bible better, in the same spirit as a knowledge of Greek and Latin masterpieces in the original was felt to be essential to a perfect understanding of them.
    A further difference lay in the visible gain of the moderns, though Lord Herbert of Cherbury+ might still agree with Erasmus+ "that with slight qualification the whole of attainable knowledge lies enclosed within the literary monuments of ancient Greece."/53 Besides the moderns already mentioned, Humphrey recommended Sturm+, Osorius+, Lucus Gauricus+ in politics, and Sleidanus+, Paulus Jovius+, and Bembo+ in history. Cleland in his list for private reading in modern history included Sidney's_Arcadia+, Philip de Commines+, Du Bellay+, De la Noue+, Guicciardini+, Piccolomini+, Tasso+ on nobility, Boccaccio+ (except the Decameron), and of course Castiglione+, long recommended on the side as the chief companion of the gentleman; these by the side of Thucydides+, Herodotus+, Caesar+, Tacitus+, etc, for ancient history.
    In general through the century there may be observed a progress in theory toward an educational program which was better suited to actual conditions and needs, though what it all amounted to, if certain frills are omitted, was an education chiefly in the literature of ancient Greece+ and Rome+, out of which to be sure the gentleman was firmly admonished to secure the precepts and examples necessary to guide him in the turbulent, confusing times in which he lived.
    A comprehensive list of subjects for the gentleman will, however, include everything that moralists, divines, martialists, fencing masters, and heralds, as well as pedagogues prescribed for the attainment of perfection, and such a list Gilbert drew up, with but few omissions, for his Academy. For convenience in handling, these have been divided into studies for the training of the mind, and exercises for the body, with a chapter devoted to each.
53 Autobiography, ed. Sidney Lee, 1906, p. 25; Erasmus, Ratio Studii ac Legendi Interpretandique Aucthores, Paris, 1511.



Logic+ and rhetoric+ come first in Gilbert's list, appropriately enough since they were held particularly important for the gentleman, who must often speak in Parliament, council, or embassy. They teach the art of speaking, sharpen reason, and keep fresh in memory a store of useful knowledge, "all the noble exploytes that ever were or are to be done togeather with the occasions of their victories or overthrowes." Since speaking must be chiefly in English Gilbert would have the practical part of rhetoric in English too, through orations on themes drawn from histories+, for want of which practice, he complained, men came raw from the universities. "I omit," he added, "to shew what ornament will thereby grow to our tongue, and how able it will appear for strength and plenty when by such exercises learning shall have brought unto it the choice of words, the building of sentences+, the garnishment of figures+, and other beauties of oratory." Mulcaster, a little later, even urged that English should be taught first before Latin and Greek, as a foundation for them, and wrote his Elementarie to show how to begin./1 Other Englishmen also felt keenly on the matter, pride ink country and pride in mother tongue waxing strong together./2 This growing interest is evidenced in many waysthe controversy over inkhorn+ terms stretching from Elyot's days through the century and beyond, experiments with style such as Lyly+'s, the considerable number of rhetorics published in English, and other books closely allied. Such a one was The Garden of Eloquence by Henry Peacham_the_elder+, whose dedication to this dry and astonishing array of figures+ of words, and of sentences, figures grammatical and the topical, is couched in the terms an Elizabethan lover addressed to his mistress. "When of late I had consydered the needeful assistaunce that the one of these do requyre of the other, that wisedome doe requyre the lighte of Elo-
1 Positions, rep. 1888, ch. 5, p. 30; Elementarie, Tudor and Stuart Library, ch. 13, 14.
2 John Palsgrave, trans. of Acolastus, 1540, Dedication to Henry VIII; Brinsley, Ludus Literarius, rep. Liverpool, 1917, ch. III, p. 22.


quence, and Eloquence the fertillity of Wysedome, and saw many good bookes of Philosophy+ and preceptes of wysedome, set forth in English, and very few of Eloquence: I was of a sodaine mooved to take this little garden in hande, and to set therein such Fyguratyve+ Flowers, both of Grammer+ and Rhetorick+, as doe yeelde the sweete savour of Eloquence, & present to the eyes the goodly and bewtiful coulors of Eloquution: such as shyne in our speech like the glorious stars in Firmament; such as bewtify it as flowers of sundry coullors, a gallant Garland; such as garnish it, as precious pearles, a gorgious Garment: such as delight the eares, as pleasaunt reports, repetiens, and running poyntes in Musick, whose utility is so great, that I cannot sufficiently prayse them, and the knowledge so necessary, that no man can reade profytably, or understand perfectlye, eyther Poets, Oratours, or the holy Scriptures, without them: nor any Oratoure able by the waight of his wordes to perswade his hearers, having no helpe of them. But being wel stored with such plausible furniture, how wonderfully shall his perswasions take place in the mindes of men, and his wordes pearce into their inward partes."/3 It will not then seem strange to find the son of this Henry Peacham setting forth in his Compleat Gentleman a fuller program than is to be found elsewhere for the acquiring of a good English style in a study of both ancient writers and English. The means to compass such a style were to be imitation+ of the best authors in oratory and history, original composition, and conference with those who speak well. Among the ancients he named the usual orators and historians, but especially Cicero, "whose words and stile (that you may not bee held an Heretique of all the world) you must preferre above all other, as well for the sweetnesse, gravity, richnesse, and unimitable texture thereof: as that his workes are throughout seasoned with all kind of learning, and relish of a singular and Christianlike honesty."/4 There was complete faith in the sixteenth century in the efficacy of a study of the ancients for mastery of a good English as well as Latin style, and those who neglected English works were not thereby, in intention at least, ignoring the need of an Englishman to speak English well. There was indeed much reason for Ascham+'s assumption that the method he proposed for the study of Cicero+ would "worke a true choice and placing of wordes, a right ordering of sentences, an easie understandyng of the tonge, a readines to speake, a facilitie to write, a true judgement, both of his owne, and
3 London, 1577, fo. AIIb
4 London, 1622, ch. VI.


other mens doinges, what tonge so ever he doth use."/5 But toward the end of the century with the increase in English books worthy of study for their style there was increasing recognition of the need for the direct study of English style as well as the indirect. Peacham's recommendation of models is interesting as criticism of Elizabethan literature by a contemporary: Sir Thomas More+'s Life of Richard III, Sir Philip Sidney+'s Arcadia, Bacon+'s works, Hooker+'s Politie, Sir John Hayward+'s Henry VIII, Daniel+'s first part of the English kings, Cardinal Allen+'s Apology, Robert Parsons+, the Earl of Essex+'s Apology, and Advice for Travel to Roger Earl of Rutland, Raleigh+'s Guiana and "Prefatory Epistle" to his History of the World, Queen Elizabeth+, James_I+, the speeches made in Parliament, learned sermons, and in term-time the pleadings in the courts, "whereby you shall better your speech, enrich your understanding, and get more experience in one moneth than in other foure, by keeping your Melancholly Study, and by solitary Meditation." For models among the poets he named Spenser+'s Hymns, Chapman's Iliad, Samuel Daniel, Drayton's Heroical Epistles, Queen Elizabeth+, Southwell+, Henry Constable+, Edward Dyer+, George Gascoigne+, Sackville+, Surrey+, Wyat+, Raleigh+, Donne+, Hugh Holland+, Fulke Greville+'s Mustapha, Ben Jonson+. He chose, he said, those authors whose English had most propriety and was "nearest to the phrase of the court and the speech used among the noble and among the better sort in London."/6 Was Shakespeare+ too mixed to be safe? As for logic+, it had been much discredited as leading rather to the fine art of wrangling than to clear reasoning, and was largely swallowed up by rhetoric+, with which it was usually coupled as in Gilbert+'s handling of it./7 When recommended as a distinct subject the caution was added to avoid subtleties {Polonius+}, tolerable enough in a mercenary lawyer, but not commendable in a sober and well governed gentleman. Bacon+ found this fault with the universities that they brought the student too young into the study of logic and rhetoric also, before their minds were well filled with matter, so that these "gravest of sciences" became contemptible and turned to the uses of "childish sophistry+ and ridiculous affectation."?8
5 Op. cit., p. 2.
6 Edmund Bolton gives a much extended list in Hypercritica, Oxford, 1722, written 1610-18.
7 For instance, William Kempe, The Education of Children, fo. c2bc3a.
8 Advancement of Learning, Spedding, vol. III, p. 326.


History+ stood second in Gilbert's list, or as he called it, "the politic part of moral philosophy." It would easily however stand first in a survey of genteel opinion of the day, as the most needed information for wise governing, and the most ornamental for polite conversation, for, as Elyot said, "It nat onely reporteth the gestes or actes of princes or capitaynes, their counsayles, and attemptates, entreprises, affaires, maners in lyvinge good and bad, descriptions of regions and cities, with their inhabitauntes, but also it bringeth to our knowlege the fourmes of sondry publike weales with augumentations and decayes and occasion therof; more over preceptes, exhortations, counsayles, and good persuasions, comprehended in quick sentences and eloquent orations."/9 History was valued by the sixteenth century as a great storehouse of examples+, and therefore a much better instructor for the gentleman in politics and morals than philosophy. Philosophy+ might be dangerous since its precepts ignored the modifications of circumstances and left the gentleman ignorant of the proper manner of execution. It was not enough for the gentleman to know what he should do; he must know as well how he should do it. History, on the other hand, taught everythingprecept, application, and manner, and taught it so pleasantly as not to fatigue the gentle spirit. So sixteenth century writers never have done extolling history./10 Many set forth the art of writing and reading history. From these it is clear how largely historical interest was biographical interest; history for the renaissance, as for Carlyle+, was chiefly the record of individuals. Thus one such writer, drawing chiefly on Patrizi+, enumerates in detail the things to be considered by one who would chronicle a man's life: "the name of the man, his familie, his parentes, and his Countrye, and also his destinie, fortune, and force or necessitie, (if they seeme manifestly to appertayne to the action), his nature, affections, and election, proceeding eyther of wysedome, passion, or custom, his education, exercises, deedes, and speaches, and also the age, and time, wherein every notable acte was done, and the qualities of his bodye, whether they were signes and tokens of his mynde, or else helps to the actions, And as the writer is bounde to shew the education of the person chronicled, and those exercises and studyes whereby hee hath formed hys manners, so also he is bounde to tell
9 Op. cit., bk. III, ch. XXV, p. 281.
10 Institucion of a Gentleman, fo. h5ah7b; Earl of Essex, op. cit. fo. Ebb.


every deede, worde, signe, or token, that maye signifie eyther his maners, his nature, his affections, thoughts, or any maner of motion of the mynde." He is no less explicit as to who should be thus chronicled, "all those persins whose lyves have beene such as are to be followed for their excellencie in vertue, or else to be fledde for their excellencie in vice." Princes of course should be recorded to show how they governed, but private as well as public persons may well serve for examples. Three things are then to be read forknowledge of the providence of God, wisdom in governing our actions, and inspiration to follow the good. Note-taking as a help to memory was advised of examples that would have weight in persuading others, classified under the subjects they illustrated./11 The histories recommended for the gentleman's study were almost entirely ancient, though not necessarily classical, and such writers as Osorius+ might be included for the universal history of which the world-minded Elizabethan was so fond. English educational theory paid little attention to English history, practically none at all until the very end of the century. Peacham+ was the first to consider the study of English history in detail. It was a common fault of Englishmen, remarked by foreigners, he said, to travel for information about other countries, when they could tell nothing about their own, and Lord Burghley+, when anyone came to him for a license to travel, would question him on English history, and if he found him ignorant would order him to stay at home and become acquainted with his own country first./12 To the historical works already mentioned for a study of rhetoric he added the Britannia and Annales Rerum Anglicarum Regnante Elisabetha of Camden+, "the glory of our nation," "as well for his judgment and diligence as the purity and sweet fluence of the Latin+ style," and the Fanus zinglorum, Titles of Honor, and Mare Clausum of John Selden, "the rising Starre of good letters and antiquity," rising too late of course for the Elizabethan to gaze on. Thus was the gentleman to be well furnished with sound instruction in political economy, wisdom for his own governance, and pleasant matter for witty discourse. ------
11 The True Order and Methode of Wryting and Reading Hystories, 1574, "Whose lyves ought to be chronicled"; Foxius Morzillus, De Historiae Institutione, 1557; Bodin, Methodus ad Facilem Historiarum Cognitionem, 1610; Lorenzo Ducci, Ars Historica, 1604; Richard Braithwaite, The Schollars Medley, or a Survey of History, 1614.
12 OP. cit., p. 50, marginal note.


Moral_philosophy,+which Gilbert omitted, perhaps because of the difference between the pagan philosophers and Christ, was in reality one of the most praised of subjects. "Lorde God, [broke forth Elyot,] what incomparable swetnesse of wordes and mater shall he finde in the saide works of Plato+ and Cicero+; wherin is joined gravitie with dilectation, excellent wysedome with divine eloquence, absolute vertue with pleasure incredible, and every place is so infarced with profitable counsaile, joyned with honestie+, that those thre bokes [Aristotle+ also] be almoste sufficient to make a perfecte and excellent governour."/13 It must be remembered that moral philosophy covered the whole wide range of human conduct. To use Lyly+'s summary: "By this shal we learne what is honest, what dishonest, what is right, what is wrong, and that I may in one word say what may be said, what is to be knowen, what is to be a voyded: how we ought to obey our parents+, reverence our elders, entertein strangers+, honour Magistrates, love our friends+, live with our wives, use our servaunts. Howe wee shoulde worshippe God, be duetifull+ to our Fathers, stand in awe of our superiours, obey lawes, give place to Officers, how we may choose friends, nurture our children and that which is most noble, how we should neither be too proude in prosperitie, neither pensive in adversitie, neither like beastes overcome with anger+."/14 The commodity of philosophy was not disputed except by those puritans+ who would find all wisdom in the Bible. Like Burghley, most accepted both the Bible and Aristotle+.
    Poetry+, as its numerous defenders during the century prove, was somewhat under a cloud as a fabricator of lies, debaser of morals, and corrupter of manners. Sir Thomas Elyot first came to its defence with an attempt to show how many good lessons may be obtained from the poets, even from Ovid in his most wanton books./15 Sidney+'s defence is too well known to quote; he would prove the poet a better teacher by precepts than the philosopher+, and by examples than the historian+, and something more than a teacher. Sir John Harrington admitted that all poetical and philosophical studies are in a way vain to Christians but divinity is too strict and stoical, too profound for even the highest wits without pre-
13 Op. cit., bk. I, ch. XI, p. 48.
14 Euphues, Arber rep., 1868, p. 239.
15 0p. Cit., bk. I, ch. XIII, p. 57-60; William Webbe quotes Elyot's examples to prove the same point, if Discourse of English Poetry, Arber rep. 1870, pp. 40-5.


paration. Poetry gives the needed preparation, "specially Heroical_Poesie+, that with her sweet stateliness doth erect the mind & lift it up to the consideration of the highest matters; and allureth them, that of themselves would otherwise loth them, to take and swallow & digest the holsome precepts of Philosophie, and many times even of the true divinitie."/16 Peacham+, with far more reason to be sure than his predecessors, spent a chapter on the study of poetry, running over for the benefit of his reader the chief poets, ancient and modern, Latin and English, most of whom have been named in earlier lists. On the whole, then, poetry gained a place as a sugared dose of morality, not pleasure but precept its avowed aim.
    Theology+ was provided for in Gilbert's Academy, but without comment. Humphrey said of it that as the ancients made philosophy the foundation of all arts, so he wished theology to be the beginning and goal of the gentleman's studies. Theology, or divinity as it was often called, was the knowledge of God as set forth in the Old and New Testaments, the fountain of all knowledge, without which all other learning was vain./7 The importance of such instruction was keenly felt by certain groups in Elizabethan England as one of the chief means of preserving English Protestantism+. As a practical measure for reducing the number of Papists, Burghley urged upon the' ueen a scheme for the compulsory education of the children of the powerful in approved doctrines at appointed places. "As for schoolmasters, [he argued,] they be a principal means of diminishing their number; the lamentable and pitiful abuses in this way are easy to be seen, since the greatest number of papists+ is of very young men: but your Majesty may prevent that bud, and may use, therein, not only a pious and godly means, in making the parents, in every shire, to send their children to be virtuously brought up at a certain place for this end appointed; but you shall also, if it please your Majesty, put in practice a notable strategem, used by Sertorius+ in Spain, by choosing such fit and convenient places for the same, as may surely be at your devotion; and by this means, you shall, under color of education, have them as hostages of the parents fidelities, that have any power in England, and, by this way, their number will quickly be lessened."/8
16 Apology for poetry, rep. Haslewood, Ancient Critical Essays . . . . , vol. II, P. 124.
17 Euphues, pp. 155-7; Peacham, op. cit., p. 40-2.
18 Advice to Queen Elizabeth in Matters of Religion and State, Hari. Misc., 1809, vol. II, p. 279. See also John Stockwood, The Only Duty of Fathers and Schoolmasters to Teach Religion, pp. 93-7.


The great minister was never simple in his counsel. Ascham+, Humphrey+, Mulcaster+, Cleland+, Peacham+, all were careful either to endorse their precepts as perfectly compatible with true religion, or to give a place to religion in the content of education, or among the duties of the gentleman. Hence education in England was given at least nominally a religious as well as moral foundation and aim. Something of Sturm+'s ideal of Sapiens et Eloquens Pietas might seem here to be suggested, if it were not that the emphasis among English educators falls so overwhelmingly upon Sapiens and Eloquens rather than upon Pietas.
    Civil_law+ was not much recommended in England, though it was occasionally advised as useful in the handling of foreign affairs. Common law was obviously of more use to the average gentleman, and Gilbert provided for a lawyer who should teach the grounds of common law, drawing them into maxims as in the case of civil law. He was also to teach the offices of a justice_of_the_peace+ and sheriff, which the gentleman should be able to hold. If more knowledge of law was wanted, it should be got at the Inns of Court. Cleland+ advised the study of Justinian+'s Institutes, the King's Statutes, Acts of Parliament, Canon Law, and customs of the country. The commodity of a knowledge of both kinds of law was thus set forth, "I deny not, but after our longe peace and quiet, (which God continue) the common_lawes+ of this Realme hath both advaunced and enritohed many. . . . . But touching the civill lawes, I say that is a most noble knowledge, beeinge the law almost universall to all Christendome, & therefore such as attaine to the knowledge therof, shall not onely in this lande, & many other, liable them selves to get their owne liveload, but also be men most fit to counsel Princes, and all estates of governments both in causes Civill and Martial! For by them all differentes bee dissided. The learned Civilian therfore (besides his owne perticular) is a man very fit, and imployable in all counsels of estate and Ambassages., as hee that is skilfull of the government universall."/19 Another subject generally included in gentlemanly studies, and recommended by Gilbert was mathematics+. Arithmetic and geometry Gilbert considered important only for their use in war, the strategy of troop movements, building of fortifications, laying out of encampments, and use of artillery and other instruments. Others
19 Cyvile and Uncyvile Life, rep. Roxburghe Library, pp. 70-1.


found them useful to a gentleman in the practices of peace also, geometry in surveying his lands, measuring timber, rebuilding, and so forth, and arithmetic for overseeing his accounts and even in judicial and diplomatic functions. Like every other favorite subject arithmetic and geometry could be proved absolutely essential to every business under the sun, secular and divine, and neither lacked its apotheosis. Kempe's dedication to his Arithmetic ran as follows: "Who is there of what facultie or profession soever, that can either attain to the exact knowledge of his art, or fitly and wittily exercise the same without the helpe of Arithmeticke? In divinitie, how many questions are dissolved, and places plainly interpreted, especially by the benfit of this art? In civill policie and in the seate of judgement, the golden rule of proportion is the law of equitie. In Physicke, Hippocrates+ willeth his sonne Thessalus to learne Arithmeticke, that thereby he might judge of the increasing, decreasing, continuing, and chaunging of diseases, as also compounding of medicines. In the workemanship of heaven and earth we are taught and see, that God hath made all things in number, in measure, in weight, that is to say, in a just proportion. Astronomie+ doeth not only measure the quantitie of celestiall creatures, but also numbreth their motions. What is Music+ in sownes, in harmonie, and in their spaces, , concords, and different sorts, but only Arithmeticke in hearing? Take away Arithmeticke, ye take away the merchants eye, whereby he seeth his direction in buying and selling; ye take away the goldsmith's discretion, whereby he mixeth his metalles in due quantities; ye take away the captaines dexteritie, whereby he embattaileth his armie in convenient order; finally yee take from all sortes of men, the facultie of executing their functions aright." Robert Recorde had written similarly of arithmetic earlier in the $1 century, and had sung the same tune of geometry./20 One had the comfortable assurance in those days, no matter what he studied, of finding it useful, no matter what his occupation.
    Astronomy+ and cosmography+ were thought especially fitting for gentlemen because necessary in navigation, an art recommended to them particularly, as well it might be in that time of gentlemen-adventurers who scoured the seas for the glory of their prince and themselves. Gilbert assigned one day for the study of books and
20 Kempe, Translation from Ramee; Recorde, The Ground of 4rtes, "The Commodities of Arithmetic," fo. 1-7; The Pathway to Knowledge, The Preface, declaring briefly the Commodities of Geometric, and the necessity thereof," 8 pp.


the next for practice, for which he would have the school possess fully equipped models of a ship and a galley to teach the parts and the art of the shipwright. Cosmography had still wider uses for the gentleman than to help him find his way safely from port to port. Like arithmetic and geometry it was invaluable in the conduct of an army, in the preservation of health by teaching climates, nature of waters, complexions of inhabitants, character of herbs and other ingredients of medicines, in the study of divinity to locate the Garden of Paradise and other places, and in history for descriptions of countries, and last but not least, as Elyot+ described, for pleasure at home in a warm study, where the sweet of travel without the bitter may be enjoyed./21 It will be perceived that cosmography covered a wide range of subjects: according to Peacham+, astronomy, astrology, geography, and chorography, and according to modern divisions, physiography, geology, botany, and climatology besides. Something of the thrill of the new discoveries in the heavens and the earth which sent men to their maps and books with fresh interest in an old world made new is to be felt in Peacham's recommendation of the latest maps. For authorities he named Blundeville+, Cosmography, and The Sphere, Dee+, Euclid's Elements, Cooke, Principles of Geometry, Astronomy, and Geography, Gemma Frisius+, Ortelius+, Copernicus+, Mercator+, among others, and of ancient writers, Ptolomy+ and Dionysis Halicarnassus+.
    One of the subjects which was usually included under either cosmography, or history, Gilbert differentiates under the name of naturalphilosophy+, a part really of physic. A natural philosopher and physician were to have this course in charge. The business of the physician was to teach the common ailments of man and also the medicines appropriate to their cure, with the underlying reasons. "This reader shall never alleage any medicine, be yt of simples, salves, saltes, balmes, oyles, spirites, tinctures, or otherwise, But that he shall declare the reason philosophicall of every particuler ingredience for such operation, And spew his hearers the mechanicall making and working utensiles apertaining to the same."
20 Peacham, op. cit. ch. 7, 8.
21 William Cunningham, The Cosmographical Glass, "The Preface of the Author;" Peacham, op. cit. ch. 7, 8.


And he and the natural philosopher were to keep a garden in which to grow all kinds of simples, and to experiment together to search out the secrets of nature. Their results were to be set forth in plain language and delivered yearly to the Treasurer of the Academy for the benefit of successors. Great things, if any were hidden, must thus be brought to light. The physician was also to teach surgery, which suffered through being learned only in the barber shop. Lord Herbert thought some knowledge of medicine becoming to a gentleman, for he might thereby increase his credit by effecting cures, as he himself had done, where physicians had given over./22 A case for foreign_languages+ scarcely needed to be made out in view of the custom of sending young gentlemen abroad to complete their education. Gilbert would have French, Italian, Spanish, and High Dutch taught, probably in consideration of their need in the diplomatic service. And yet though French and then Italian were taken for granted as a part of the equipment of any well educated gentleman, one of the main arguments for going abroad being the acquirement of these two languages, neither was included in the regular curriculum of any school until long after 1600,/23 nor was it recommended in any special scheme for the gentleman outside of Gilbert's. Yet textbooks for the learning of French and Italian flourished in the latter part of the century; by 1567 an Italian dictionary had gone through three editions, and four Italian grammars were published between 1550 and 1600./24 Florio+'s First Frutes appeared in 1578, Second Frutes in 1591, and New Word of Words in 1595. The French Littleton by Claudius Hollybande+ came out in 1581, drawing from Gascoigne a commendatory poem for now allowing the English to stay at home instead of risking their lives to secure the pearl of price, French.
    The next subject which Gilbert listed was drawing+ for the purpose of map and chart making. Elyot+ had been the first of English humanists to advocate the teaching of drawing not only for map making and devising of artillery, but also for the pleasure of exercising the imagination in portraying the stirring deeds of history, and for the advantage in judging accurately works of art. He
22 Autobiography, ed. by Sir Sidney Lee, 1906, pp. 28-9.
23 Foster Watson, The Beginnings of the Teaching of Modern Subjects in England, p. 395.
24 J. Ross Murray, The Influence of Italian upon English Literature during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, p. 21. Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, p. 21.


would also give instruction in sculpture, if the child's inclination turned that way./25 Castiglione+ made the same recommendation, and even went farther to urge the advantage of painting as an increase to fame. Falling short of artistic accomplishment, the gentleman still would find his appreciation of beauty increased, and consequently his delight in the world about him./26      Drawing for gentlemen did not then find any other prominent advocate except Mulcaster+, until Peacham+ treated the subject at length./27 The last subject recommended by Gilbert, heraldry+, one is not prepared to find among recognized studies. Its merits were often urged, but by the heralds themselves who might be suspected of undue bias. Gilbert, however, acknowledged their claims in part at least by including on his staff a herald to teach the blazon of arms, and the art of heraldry, and to keep a register in the Academy of the young gentleman's "pedigrees." Heraldry had already fallen into some disrepute by Elizabeth's time, particularly for the selling of newly invented arms under pretence of having found them recorded for ancestors in old registers./28 The numerous writers on the subject were interested either in arousing interest among gentlemen in a subject which they represented as comprehending the whole of gentlity, or in bettering the status of heralds themselves. Gerard Legh+, the first to write on heraldry in English (after the author of The Book of St. Allbans had this double aim, to write for gentlemen that seek to know all good things, and to raise a memorial to heralds, "that bath serched foorth the way, to make the body not much inferior to the soule" and "who have made distinction, between the gentle and the ungentle, in whom there is as much difference, as betweene vertue and vice."/29 But of those who wrote on the general education of the gentleman Gilbert and Peacham alone prescribed heraldry as a necessary subject. The whole ground which the heralds gave for considering arms (in the heraldic sense) a serious part of the gentleman's equipment cannot be better presented than in Peacham's words: "How should we give Nobility her true valiie, respect, and title, without notice of her Merit? and how may we guesse her merit, without these out-
26 Op. cit., bk. I, ch. 8; Foster Watson, op. cit., p. 136.
26 The Courtier, Tudor translations, pp. 92-6.
27 Elementarie, cap. V, p. 22; op. cit., ch. 13.
28 Sir Thomas Smith, De Republica Anglorum, rep. 1906, lib. 2, ch. 20, p. 40.
29 Accedens of Armory, "The Preface, fo. IIa-IIb.


ward ensignes and badges of Vertue, which anciently have beene accounted sacred and precious; withall, discerne and know an intruding upstart, shot up with the last nights Mushroome, from an ancient descended & deserved Gentleman, whose Grandsires have had their shares in every foughten field by the English since Edward the first? or my selfe a Gentleman know mine owne ranke; there being at this instant the world over, such a medley (I had almost said Motley) of Coates, such intrusion by adding or diminishing into ancient families and houses, that had there not beene within these few yeares a just and commendable course taken by the right Honourable the Earles Marshals for the redresse of this general and unsufferable abuse, we should I fear me within these few yeeres see yeomen as rare in England, as they are in France. "Besides, it is a contemplation full of pleasing varietie and for the most part, sympathizing with every Noble and generous disposition; in substance the most refined part of Naturall Philosophie, while it taketh the principles from Geometry, making use almost of every severall square and angle. For these and other reasons, I desire that you would bestow some houses in the study of the same: for a Gentleman Honourably descended to bee utterly ignorant herein, argueth in him either a disregard of his owne worth, a weakness of conceipt, or indisposition to Armes and Honourable Action."/30 As a record of ancestral greatness and a spur to imitation of the virtues which caused that greatness, armorial bearings played in theory a high and serious part in maintaining the character and status of nobility.
    Such, in a general way, were the studies which the best minds of the sixteenth century devised for the making of a gentleman, so far as masters in schools and university, or more often tutors at home, could fashion him. There was yet one more process necessary, however, before the young man was felt to be fully equipped mentally to take his share in serious affairs. Whatever men like Ascham+ might say about the dangers of foreign travel, the advantages in the opinion of most men justified all the risks to life, health, morals, and purse. Such men as Lord Burghley+, Sir Philip Sidney+, the Earl of Essex+, Secretary Davidson+ saw in travel and particularly in contact with the French court the best training for public service by experience, without the responsibility of office. Thus Sidney wrote to his brother, "You purpose, being a gentleman born, to furnish yourself with the knowledge of such things as may be serviceable
30 Op. cit., p. 160.


for your country and calling; which certainly stands not in the change of air, for the warmest sun makes not a wise man; no, nor in learned languages (although they be of serviceable use), for words are but words in what language soever they be; and much less in that all of us come home full of disguisements, not only of apparel but of our countenances (as though the credit of a traveler stood all upon his outside), but in the right informing your mind with those things which are most notable in those places which you come unto. For hard sure it is to know England, without you know it by comparing+ {Gulliver+} some other country; no more than a man can know the swiftness of his horse without seeing him well matched." He then went on to detail the kinds of information that were profitable to pick upthe topography of each country, revenues, defences, leagues, character of the people, that is, passions, vices, virtues, religion, laws, education of children, military discipline, etc./31 The advantage to the individual of such note-taking, the great geographer Ortelius+ set forth modestly in his Itinerarium Belgiae. "If in our peregrinations and travels, we shal observe and note in our tables, or papers those things which doo occurre and seeme worthie of regard, we shall make our journies and voyages in great measure, pleasant and delectable unto us; not thinking that our diligence can search & mark any thing in any place, which other men before us have not seene, but to discourse and recorde any thing, rather then to passe the way, and spend the time in idlenesse: and with all by this means, this commoditie is reaped, that whatsoever the eye seeth, is the easier and the better remembred, if it be once written. And when the time commeth, that we make an ende of our travels, and personall view of forren parts, it will bee a singular pleasure unto us, whensoever we are so disposed to recognize, and recount those things which we have seene, quietlie and in our chambers, without any trouble of journie, or toile of bodie."/32 Each country was felt to have something particular to contribute. Germany was to be observed with an eye toward future alliances, France and Spain for their attitude, Flanders for methods of governing merchants, Italy for her silk and wine production.
31 Profitable Instructions, 1633, fo. F7bG1b. For other lists see Jerome Turler, The Traveler, 1575, bk. I, ch. 5; Albertus Meierus Certain Briefe and Speciall Instructions, 1589; Thomas Palmer, The Travailer, ,1606, pt. II, pp. 53-326; Bacon, Essays, "Of Travel," 1625.
32 Translated and appended to Meierus, op. cit., last page.


The differences between these nations especially interested travelers from all of them as is shown by the more or less elaborate comparisons drawn by many of the writers on travel. For an amusing example part of Turler's description will serve: "The Germane+ hath the gesture of Cutter or Russian+, the gate of the cock, a fierce looke, a manly voyce, rude behaviour, variable apparell, and nothing hansome. The Frenchman hath a soft gate, a moderate pace, a milde countenaunce, a pleasaunt voyce, a redy toongue, modest demeanure, immoderate apparell. The Italian hath a slow gate, a grave gesture, an inconstance countenance, a lowe voyce, an hasty speach, magnificall behaviour, undecent and unseemlye apparell. The Spaniard a commendable gate, maners, and gesture, a proude looke, a flexible voyce, a fine speach, exquisite apparel," etc."/33 The small part that England yet played in European affairs is reflected in the fact that continental writers do not include the Englishman in these comparisons. Andrew Borde, however, an Englishman, undertook to set off his countrymen:

I am an English man, and naked I stand here, Musying in my mynde what rayment I shal were; For now I wyl were thys, and I wyl were that; Now I wyl were I cannot tel what. All new fashyons be plesaunt to me; I wyl have them, whether I thryve or thee. Now I am a frysker, all men doth on me looke; What should I do, but set cocke on the hoope? What do I care, yf all the worlde me fayle? I wyl get a garment, shal reche to my tayle; Than I am a minion, for I were the new gyse. The next yere after this I trust to be wyse, Not only in wering my gorgeous aray, For I wyl go to learnyng a hoole somers day; I wyl learne Latyne, Hebrew, Greeke and Frenche, And I wyl learne Douche, sittyng on my benche. I do feare no man; all men feryth me; I overcome my adversaries by land and by see; I had no peer, yf to my selfe I were treu; Bycause I am not so, dyvers times I do rew. Yet I lake nothyng, I have all thynge at wyl;

33 Op. cit., bk. I, ch. IV.



Yf I were wyse, and wolde holde my self styl, And medel with no matters not to me partayning, But ever to be treu to God and my kynge. But I have suche matters rolling in my pate, That I wyl speake and do, I cannot tell what; No man shall let me, but I wyl have my mynde, And to father, mother, and friend I wyl be unkynde: I wyi folow myne owne mynd and myn old trade; Who shal let me, the devyls nayles unpared? Yet above al thinges, new fashions I love well, And to were them, my thryft I wyl sell. In all this worlde, I shall have but a time; Holde the cuppe, good felow, here is thyne and myne." /34


The numerous books of advice for travelers, on how to conduCt themselves, what pitfalls to avoid, and what things to learn which appeared in the last quarter of the century further testify to the seriousness with which the tour of Europe was regarded as the final stage in the preparation of the gentleman for public service./35 The lack of authentic printed information regarding foreign countries, governments, and peoples gave firsthand observation and personal inquiry an importance and necessity that it lacks to-day. The young gentleman who was ambitious of playing a part in state affairs needed to collect such information as a sojourn in the various capitals, often with the English ambassador's train, could give, and such poise and ease of manners as home-keeping youths could not obtain. To judge by complaints, the solider advantages of travel were too often neglected, but one advantage, which still remains, facility in acquiring foreign languages, was generally appreciated and more often urged than anything else as a reason for travel. One point, however, was well agreed upon: the better informed a man was when he went on his travels, the more information he could bring home with him./36 To insure that proper use be made of his opportunities, a tutor was recommended./37 Provided with a wise tutor, plenty of funds, and introductions to prominent
34 The Introduction of Knowledge, London, 1542, rep. E. E. T. S., 1870, Extra Series no. 10, pp. 336-7.
35 For an interesting and full account of these books see Clare Howard, English Travelers of the Renaissance, London, 1914.
36 Mulcaster, Positions p. 209
37 Bartholomew Batty, The Christian Man's Closet, fo. 528; Cleland op. cit., bk. VI, ch. I, P. 252-3; Bacon, "Of Travel."


men, foreigners and Englishmen abroad, the young gentleman of serious intent and corresponding ability could expect to return to England from a two or three years' stay abroad a far wiser and better bred man than when he left.
    It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of the ideal of education which has just been sketched in its far-reaching effect both on the sixteenth century and succeeding centuries. The scheme which was first fully set forth for the gentleman's son, and which had small effect on practice in the grammar schools during the sixteenth century was adopted little by little into the schools, and is still the foundation for public education in England and in the United States. This new type of education had two opposite effects in this century, effects which it has continued to exert even until today. Its more obvious but less important effect was aristocratic in character. The difference between the type of education given in the grammar_schools+ and this given to gentlemen's sons by tutors gave the new studies the character of a class distinction; and besides, the whole system had been framed avowedly to suit a class, the governing class. Rapidly as the class broadened out and widely as the new studies tended to spread, the fundamental assumption was that whoever of the lower classes received this training rose thereby out of his class./38 Although in the last century particularly education has been spreading downward,this same education designed for the gentleman, has been democratized we think, the same tendency has continued to consider education the means of rising out of one's inherited environment into a "higher" one, and therefore to continue the formation of an educated class, marked off from lower classes by certain distinctions of dress, manners, occupation, and so forth. Only recently has protest begun to rise against this stratifying effect of education, particularly against the association of education with only certain sorts of work, as if there were something inherently incompatible between the reading of Horace+ and the digging of ditches.
    But if there was an aristocratic tendency there was also a democratic. The recognition of the need of education in preparation for thevarious tasks of governing set a premium not only on education but upon the man who possessed an education. Personal qualities thus were emphasized, which were acknowledged to be independent /38
38 Woodward, op. cit., p. 117.


147]      DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN       147 of birth, possessed not only by the son of the gentleman but by the son of the laborer. Even Mulcaster, who argues at length for the restriction of education to a small group of hereditary gentle- men, did not base his argument on an inherited difference of wit but on the necessities of the government. If everyone will to school, there must be, he argued, an over-supply of educated men with corresponding overcrowdingof certain professions, and lack in the trades; and to educate a man and thereby set him in the way to mount but then to hold him back is to breed discontent and disorder. Therefore the law should restrain "this flocking multitude which will needs to school."/39 But the trend of the times was against Mulcaster and those who like him would restrict the blessing of education to those who enjoyed the other advantages of gentle birth, and with Archbishop Cranmer who would draw no such line in admitting children to the Canterbury Cathedral Grammar School. The argument as told in Strype's Memorials of Cranmer is well worth quoting since it so completely covers the debated ground. "When they should elect the children of the grammar-school, there were of the commissioners more than one or two, who would have none admitted but sons or younger brethren of gentlemen. As for other husbandmen's children, they were more meet, they said, for the plough, and to be artificers, than to occupy the place of the learned sort; so that they wished none else to be put to school, but only gentlemen's children. Whereunto the most reverend father, the Archbishop, being of a contrary mind, said, 'That he thought it not indifferent so to order the matter: for,' said he, poor men's children are many times endued with more singular gifts of nature, which are also the gifts of God, as, with eloquence, memory, apt pronunciation, sobriety, and such like; and also commonly more apt to apply their study, than is the gentleman's son delicately educated.' Hereunto it was on the other part replied, 'That it was meet for the ploughman's son to go to plough, and the artificer's son to apply the trade of his parent's vocation; and the gentleman's children are meet to have knowledge of government and rule in the commonwealth. For we have,' say they, 'as much need of ploughmen as any other state; and all sorts of men may not go to school.' 'I grant,' replied the Archbishop, 'much of your meaning herein as needful ',.r in a commonwealth; but yet utterly to exclude the ploughman's son and the poor man's son from the benefit of learning, as though they were unworthy to have the gifts of the Holy Ghost bestowed upon them as well as upon others, is as much to say, as that Almighty God should not be at liberty to -----
39 Op. cit., ch. 37.


148      DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN [148 bestow his great gifts of grace upon any person, nor nowhere else, but as we and other men shall appoint them to be employed, according to our fancy, and not according to his most goodly will and pleasure: who giveth his gifts both of learning and other perfections in all sciences, unto all kinds and states of people indifferently. Even so doth he many times withdraw from them and their posterity again those beneficial gifts, if they be not thankful. If we should shut up into a strait corner the bountiful grace of the Holy Ghost, and thereupon attempt to build our fancies, we should make as perfect a work thereof as those that took upon them to build the Tower of Babel; for God would so provide that the offspring of our best-born children should peradventure become most unapt to learn and very dolts, as I myself have seen no small number of them very dull, and without all manner of capacity. And to say the truth, I take it, that none of us all here, being gentlemen born (as I think), but had our beginning that way from a low and base parentage: and through the benefit of learning, and other civil knowledge, for the most part all gentlemen ascend to their estate.' Then it was again answered, 'That the most part of the nobility came up by feats of arms and martial acts.' 'As though said the Archbishop, 'that the noble captain was always unfurnished of good learning and knowledge to persuade and dissuade his army rhetorically: who rather that way is brought unto authority, than else his manly looks. To conclude, the poor man's son, by painstaking, will for the most part be learned, when the gentleman's son will not take the pains to get it. And we are taught by the Scriptures, thatAlmighty God raiseth up from the dunghill, and setteth him in high authority. And whensoever it pleaseth him of his divine providence, he deposeth princes unto a right humble and poor estate. Wherefore, if the gentleman's son be apt to learning, let him be admitted; if not apt, let the poor man's child that is apt enter his room.' With words to the like effect. Such a seasonable patron of poor men was the Archbishop./40
The tide was running too strong to be turned backward. Education had been made by force of circumstances the means for a layman to rise to important positions in the state. Improvement in facilities for obtaining an education was bound to follow not only for the gentleman but for all who wished to seek it.
40 Oxford, 1848, vol. I, pp. 202-4.




But if in the ideal of the gentleman intellectual culture held an important place, physical perfection was from some points of view hardly less important. The renaissance ideal of education combined training of the mind with training of the body; as it was applied to the mere scholar, therefore, it taught him to care for his body, which had been sadly neglected in medieval theory; as it was applied to the mere gentleman, it taught him to care for his mind, which also had been sadly neglected. But if the gentleman should value his health for the sake of his mind, he had still other reasons, weightier perhaps, that is military prowess and social distinction. For he was still a knight, a combination of soldier and courtier; he must be ready to fight at need, or to play his part in the ceremonies and pastimes of courts. Physical strength, skill at certain exercises, and grace were therefore counted essential in the gentlemanly ideal, as they had been in the chivalric.
    The writers on education for the gentlemanand few wrote upon him that did not try to educate himagree very well upon the exercises suitable and necessary to him. Those recommended especially for health were running, leaping, walking, wrestling, swimming, and tennis. Wrestling+, since it was a popular sport among the common sort, had a somewhat dubious status, but was felt to be beneficial if not carried on too roughly. Thus Cleland+ recommends it: "Wrestling is a good exercise, so that it be with one that is equal in strength, or somewhat weaker, and the place be soft, that in falling your bodies be not bruised. There bee divers manners of wrestling, but the best, both for the health of body, & exercise of strength is in laying your hands mutuallie one over an other's neck holding each one other fast by the arme, and clasping your legs togither, to enforce your selves with strength and agilitie to throw downe each other: undoubtedly it shalbe found profitable in warres, in case yee be constrained to cope with your adversarie hande to hand, either of you having your weapon broken, or lost; and it hath beene seene that the weaker person by slight bath overthrown the stronger, almost before he could fasten on the other anie violent stroakes."/1
1 Cleland, The Institution of a Young Noble Man, bk. V, ch. 21. p. 220. See also Peacham, The Compleat Gentleman, p. 215. 149


Tennis+ was felt to be too strenuous to be a good form of recreation for everyone, and at best to be used moderately. Football+ was forbidden as too rough and dangerous and calling forth only brute force, though Mulcaster+ put in a good word for 1t./2 Swimming+ was admittedly dangerous, but was counted worth the risk especially since it might prove convenient in time of peril./3 Mulcaster wrote in praise of walking+, and thereby proved himself a true Englishman. "Among those exercises which be used abroade, what one deserveth to be set before walking, in the order and place of traine: what one have they more neede to know, which minde, the preservation and continuaunce of health? what one is there, which is more practised of all men, and at all times, then walking is? I dare saye that there is none, whether young or olde, whether man or woman, but accounteth it not onely the most excellent exercise, but almost alone worthy to beare the name of an exercise. When the weather suffereth, how emptie are the townes and streates, how full be the fieldes and meadowes, of all kindes of folke? which by flocking so abroad protest themselves to be favourers of that they do, and delite in for their health? If ye consider but the use of our legges, how necessarie they be for the performaunce of all our doings, nature her selfe seemeth to have appointed walking, as the most naturall traine, that can be to make them discharge their duetie well. And sure if there be any exercise which generally can preserve health, which can remedie weaknesse, which can purchace good haviour, considering it is so generall, and neither excludeth person nor age, certainly that is walking"/4 More highly recommended still were the exercises which were felt to be particularly advantageous in war. Of these the most frequently mentioned from Elyot+'s day to Peacham's was the handling of the long_bow+, the science of which no less a scholar than Ascham+ thought worthy of setting forth. In the earlier part of the century there was good military ground for urging it because the bow was still an effective weapon,/5 although even Elyot lamented its decay./6 But it is curious to meet the same argument for its use even until the end of the century. For by the middle of the century Latimer+ was complaining that it had fallen into disuse for exercise,/7
2 Elyot, The Governour, Everyman Library, bk. I, ch. XXVII, p. 113.
3 Spenser, The Fairie Queene, V, II, XVI; Elyot, op. cit., bk. I, ch. XVII, pp. 75-8.
4 Positions, rep. 1888, ch. 20.
5 C. W. C. Oman, in Traill, Social England, 1909, III, p. 96.
6 Op. cit., bk. I, ch. XXVII, p. 114.
7 Sixth Sermon before Edward VI, April 12,1549, Everyman Library, pp. 170-1.


a clear indication of corresponding disuse in war, and by 1587 Barnaby Rich in enumerating the weapons effective in battle dismissed the bow as already laid aside though some might still be found to argue for it. Gilbert left it out of his scheme, and Sidney made no mention of it in his sketch for his brother's education. The argument indeed raged more hotly on paper among military folk between 1590 and 1600 than before, and rumblings still were being heard as late as 1634./8 As a matter of fact the bowmen intheir very argument admitted that the day was lost, and stroverather to bring back what was gone than maintain what was going. All had not been said, however, with the overthrow of the bowas an effective weapon in war, since it had its value as recreation.
    Men like Elyot+ and Ascham+ stressed far more the latter advantage. "Shoting is fitte for great mens children," said Ascham, "both bycause it strengthneth the body with holsome labour, and pleasethI the mynde with honest pastime and also encourageth all other youth ernestly to folowe the same."/9 And those who recommended shooting usually recommended Ascham, who, as Mulcaster said, "both for trayning the Archer to his bow, and the scholler to his booke, hath shewed himelfe a cunning Archer, and a skilfull maister."/10 Cleland, Peacham, Lord Herbert of Cherbury long after the practical use of the bow in war had ceased prescribed it among desirable exercises for the gentleman.
    Training in other weapons was also recommended. Gilbert provided for his Academy one perfectly trained soldier to teach the handling of the arquebus+, along with the various troop formations. Most especially the weapons of fence+ were necessary for the gentleman's armory, both for use in war and for private defence. Indeed if doughty John_Silver+ is to be believed fencing was valuable from every point of view, a science that "is Noble, and in mine opinion to be preferred next to Divinitie; for as Divinitie preserveth the soule from hell and the devill, so doth this noble
8 In favor of the bow: Sir John Smith, Certain Discourses, 1590, Instructions, Observations, and Orders Mylitarie 1595; Matthew Sutcliffe, The Practice, Proceedings, and Lawes of Armes, 1593, ch. XII, pt. 2, pp. 189-90; R. S., Brief Treatise, 1596, (in behalf of bowyers and fletchers); William Neade, The Double-Armed Man, 1625; Against the bow: Sir Roger Williams, A Brief Discourse of War,1590; Humfrey Barwick, A Brief Discourse, 1594 (?).
9 Toxophilus, Arber Rep., 1868, p. 36.
10 Op. cit., p. 103.


Science defend the bodie from wounds & slaughter. And, moreover, the exercising of weapons putteth away aches, griefs, and disease, it increaseth strength, and sharpneth the wits, it giveth a perfect judgement, it expelleth melancholy, cholericke and evill conceits, it keepeth a man in breath, perfect health, and long life. It is unto him that hath the perfection thereof, a most friendly and comfortable companion when he is alone, having but only his weapon about him, it putteth him out of all feare, & in the warres and places of most danger, it maketh him bold, hardie, and valiant."/11 Gilbert included among the weapons of fence the rapier and dagger, sword and buckler, battle axe and pike. His list is indicative of changing fashions. The first weapons of the English in single fight were the sword and buckler, a heavy, long sword which like the battle axe and mace was used for a blow. Italian fencing masters about 1560 brought in the fashion of the rapier and dagger and the thrust, not, one may be sure, without encountering the fierce contempt and opposition of English fencing masters. George Silver was one such, and has left a racy account of the discomfiture of the Italians before the good old English practice.

"Now, o you Italian teachers of Defence, where are your Stocatas, Imbrocatas, Madritas, Puntas ,& Puynta reversas, Stramisons, Passatas, Carricados, Amazzas, & Incartatas, & playing with your bodies, removing with your feet a litle aside, circle wise winding of your bodies, making of three times with your feet together, marking with one eye the motion of the adversary, & with the other eye the advantage of thrusting? What is become of all these jugling gambalds, Apish devises, with all the rest of your squint-eyed trickes, when as through your deepe studies, long practises, & apt bodies, both strong and agilious, you have attained to the height of all these things? What then availeth it you, when you shal come to fight for your lives with a man of skill?"/12

His testimony to be sure is to be taken with a good grain of salt. Saviolo+, at any rate, seems to have been a man of parts, handsome, extraordinarily skilful with weapons of all sorts, able to teach and moderate in his charges, and besides a good dancer. His popularity is well attested./13 And the new rapier play was an advance over the old according to modern judgment. Egerton Castle says,
11 Paradoxes of Defence, 1599, rep., 2898, fo. Bib.
12 Op. cit., p. 55, and pp. 64-72.
13 Florio+, Second Frutes, 1592, ch. 7, pp. 117, 119; Castle, Schools and Masters of Fence, 1898, ch. V, p. 314, 128.


"Rapier-play, coarse as it may seem to modern fencers, was such an improvement on the older-fashioned sword and buckler fighting, and so much better suited to the requirements of a gentleman, that the first successful teachers of the foreign art were bound to be looked upon with immense favour by the society which flourished under Elizabeth; the quaintness of the foreign terms they used, and the philosophical digressions on what had hitherto been considered as a most matter-of-fact subject, that of hard knocks, were then thought especially fascinating."/14 The Italian school had gained sufficient ground in 1570 or thereabouts to have added the new weapons to the old, but the old were not discarded, and the short sword and blow were taught by English fencing masters at least until the end of the century. Sidney+ advised his brother Robert to use the blow as well as the thrust, for "it is good in itself; and besides increaseth your breath and strength and will make you a strong man at the tourney and barriers."/15 George Silver's quarrel with the Italians was that the rapier--bird-spit he called it-and thrust were more dangerous to life in the duel and utterly useless in war where men observed no nice rules of when and where to strike, but killed as they saw a chance./16 He was perhaps right, but the sword was already going the way of the bow, put out of business by the gun with its long range.
    Whether Gilbert or any other Englishman took the Italian theory of honor and the duel as seriously as Italian practice, it is hard to say but seems doubtful. Muzio+ wrote the book which Saviolo+ translated/17 in an attempt to reduce the excesses into which dueling had fallen in Italy by distinguishing the kinds of injuries that demanded revenge from those that did not, and by clearly prescribing a certain form for the challenge and answer which should guard against trickery. So much advantage lay with the defender in choice of weapons, place, etc. that unscrupulous men endeavored, even when they had committed the wrong, to make the injured bear the burden of challenger, a trick easy to work if a man were ignorant of dueling punctilio, or unwary. As an example, Brantome+ relates how a short man insulted a tall man, and gaining for himself the position of defender and therefore the right to select weapons and armor, he invented a steel collar of sharp points sticking upward
14 Op. Cit., p. 127.
15 Letter, Oct. 18, 1580, Arber reprints, 1877, vol. I, p. 309.
16 Op. cit., pp. 9, 32-7; 51-6.
17 For evidence see Modern Language Notes, Jan. 1924, pp. 33-5.


and easily despatched his adversary who could not look down without cutting his own throat, while the short man needed only to look up./18 But the refinements on lies and the minute prescriptions for procedure seem rather to have excited ridicule among the downright English, who apparently never indulged in the outrageous tricks which won for Italian and French nobles such an evil name. Shakespeare+ finds merely a jest for Touchstone+ in Muzio's catalogue of lies.
    Of all manly arts horsemanship+ was held in highest repute, and none concerned failed to include it among the gentleman's necessary accomplishments. "Of all outward qualities," said Ascham+, "to ride faire, is most cumelie for him selfe, most necessarie for his contrey, and the greater he is in blood, the greater is his praise the more he doth excede all other therein."./19 And evidently there were not wanting the same extravagant eulogists among the practicers of this art as of all the others. Sidney+ at the beginning of his Apologie for Poesie humorously related how Pugliano, under whom he learned horsemanship while in Italy, exalted the horse and those who rode him. "Hee sayd, Souldiours were the noblest estate of mankinde, and horsemen, the noblest of Souldiours. Hee sayde, they were the Maisters of warre and ornaments of peace: speedy goers, and strong abiders, triumphers both in Camps and Courts. Nay, to so unbeleeved a poynt hee proceeded, as that no earthly thing bred such wonder to a Prince, as to be a good horseman. Skill of government, was but a Pedanteria in comparison: then would hee adde certaine prayses by telling what a peerlesse beast a horse was. The onely serviceable Courtier without flattery, the beast of most beutie, faithfulnes, courage, and such more, that if I had not beene, a peece of a Logician before I came to him, I think he would have perswaded mee to have wished my selfe a horse." The horse thus recommended was known as the great horse, in distinction to palfreys, coursers, and nags. He was of huge size in order to carry a rider clad in complete armor, and was used only in war and the tournament./20 Because of the skill required to manage so powerful and spirited an animal riding the great horse was felt to be a particularly manly exercise, and like all
18 Discours sur les Duels de Brantome, Paris, 1887, p. 57.
19 The Scholemaster, Mayor ed., p. 29.
20 Richard Berenger, History and Art of Horsemanship, 1771, I, pp. 169, 170.


properties which men wished to restrict to a specially favored class as a mark of distinction, it was held appropriate to the gentleman alone because no one could acquire perfection in it but a noble spirit. Such was the ground of Morgan+'s appeal "To the gentlemen of Great Britain:" "Shall man then (so divine a Creature) so much degenerate, to become so slymy and earthy, not to awake his thoughts from the sleepe of idlenes, to imbrace the true knowledge of nature, Art and practise of Horsemanshippe, tending so much to the honour of the King, and preservation of the whole body of the common-weal? Can any calling bee more noble then a good Horse-man? are they not tryumphers both in Camps and Courts? Doth any earthly thing breede more wonder, and hath not the same from all beginning beene hereditarie in the moste noble persons? how then, shall not that action be accompted most best and honourable, that is evermore performed by the best ?"/21 Morgan evidently belonged to the breed of Pugliano. But Spenser+ too makes such skill hereditary.

"In grave poursuitt of honorable deed, There is I know not what great difference Betweene the vulgar and the noble seed, Which unto things of valorous pretence Seemes to be borne by native influence; As feates of armes, and love to entertaine; But chiefly skill to ride seemes a science Proper to gentle blood"/22

What the exercise involved is well described by Cleland+, "Yee should learne to ride nowe while the sinewes of your thyghes are not fully consolidated: & your principal study shoulde bee, after that yee have learned a comelie carriage of your body in the saddle, to practise most these things, which are most requisit at the wars; as to runne well at the Tylte, when your bodies are able; to leape on horse-back ate everie side without styrrop or other helpe, and especiallie while he is going, and being therein expert, then armed at al points to essaie the same, the commoditie wherof needeth no declaration. Also to run at the ring with a comelie fashion is as honourable for a Noble man in al honourable companie as it is shame for him, to run his Lance against the post, turning his face awry, or not to be able to keep his horse within the rinck. Learn al the marks of a good
21 The Perfection of Horsemanship, London, 1609, ch. 5, p. 9.
22 The Fairie tueene, II, IV, I.


horse; and be able to name al sort of haires, to judge of his age, of his diseases and remedies, not onlie that yee maie discourse of al things pertinent thereunto, as becommeth an Horseman, but also that you maie see them applied for your owne privat use."/23 But even in Elizabeth's day this art seems to have fallen into decay (as what art or virtue had not in those decadent times) to judge from the complaints that gentlemen sat their horses "like wind shaken redes handling their hands & legs like weavors," or were forced to ride badly broken horses for want of better."/24 The whole century had witnessed efforts to improve the breeding and managing of horses. Henry_VIII+ had introduced two Italian masters of horse, and Sidney+ and Leicester+ brought in others. Grisone's Art of Riding was translated about 1560, and Claudio Corte's in 1584. These Italians Sidney recommended to his brother to be read along with his practice, that so he might "profit more in a month than others in a year."/25 Imitations quickly followed./26 And yet except for the young blades who tilted before Queen Elizabeth and often ruined their horses for real service with their curvetting tricks, riding the great horse remained only a part of the theory of what best becomes a gentleman. And here again gunpowder was to blame for emasculating the noble youth of England, for with its introduction heavy armor fell into disuse, and a lighter armor took its place. A lighter and more active horse then became necessary, and was accordingly used./27 So do mechanic inventions upset the best laid ideals of men.
    Next to shooting and riding, hunting_and_hawking+, sports belonging from ancient times most peculiarly to the gentleman, were recommended in the sixteenth century "as being most royall for the statelines therof, most artificial for the wisedom & cunning thereof, and most manly and warlike for the use and endurance thereof."/28 There was nothing better, on the one hand, to chase away the dumps and refresh the body than to hunt with spaniels
23 Op. cit., bk. V, ch. 21, p. n8.
24 Blundeville, "Chapter to Reader" in his translation of Grisone, The Art of Riding, London, n. d.
25 ibid.
26 John Astley, The Art of Riding, 1584; Christopher Clifford, The School of Horsemanship, 1585, dedicated to Sidney; Gervase Markham, How to Chuse, Ride, Traine, and Diet, both Hunting-horses and Running Horses, 1599.
27 Berenger, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 182-5.
28 Gervase Markham, Country Contentments, 1615, pt. 1, ch. I, p. 3.


and hawks, to train hawks, cure their diseases, fashion their trappings,/29 and on the other to keep the body, and mind too, in condition for the serious business of war, for, as Sir Thomas Cockaine+ said, "Hunters by their continual) travaile, painfull labour, often watching, and enduring of hunger, of heate, and of cold, are much enabled above others to the service of their Prince and Countrey in the warres, having their bodies for the most part by reason of their continual exercise in much better health, than other men have, and their minds also by this honest recreation the more fit and the better disposed to all other good exercises?"/30 There was an ancient lore on the craft of catching the beasts of the field and the forest, and on the training of hounds and hawks, which the renaissance busily set forth anew for the sole edification of gentlemen, and which was seriously recommended to them by their teachers. To quote Cleland+ again: "The things that you are to observe in this exercise (to my skil) are, that you know the nature of beastes which you are to hunt, their wiles, the time and season when they should be hunted, the places where they remaihe in winter, and where in sommer, the winds which they feare and flie from, to find them out, to knowe their courses, and whether they be for land or water; to flesh a dogg, uncouple houhdes, followe them, keepe standing, that ye can blow the morte, the retraite, the chase, to hollow the time, to holde in time, to let slip in time; and especially that you can hunt in time and not at all times. For if you neglect your necessarie affaires you deserve to be punished with Lycaon+ and Acteon+, who were both hunted and killed by their owne dogges. I would not have you ignorant of the proper tearmes of hunting, that you maie discourse therof, as wel as hunt, yet not so, that you can nether do, say, or think of anie thing besides hunting and dogges, but sparinglie, and at fit times."/31 He was a poor gentleman in fact who could not discourse learnedly of such matters, but as Cleland indicated the gentleman needed little urging to his horn and hounds, and only too often wanted warning against too complete absorption in them to the hindrance of more important business.
28 Op. cit., bk. V, ch. 22, p. 223.
29 George Turberville, The Booke of Faulconrie or Hawking, 1575.
30 A Short Treatise of Hunting, London, 1591, "To the Gentlemen Readers."


Angling was usually joined to these recreations in treatises on gentlemanly recreations,/32 though, so mild and solitary a sport, it would seem to have nothing in common with them except that the fish of the stream, like the fowl of the air, and the fox of the field looked particularly to the gentleman for destruction. It is not specifically mentioned in treatises on the ideal until Peacham+'s Conpleat Gentleman, where a chapter is devoted to certain practical matters well for an angler to know, with the simple introduction, "I have taken so much delight in the Art of Angling, that I may wel terme it the honest and patient mans Recreation, or a Pastime for all men to recreate themselves at vacant houres." But in 1615 Gervase Markham+, that indefatigable minister to gentlemen's profit and pleasure, published a book called The Pleasures of Princes in which appeared this eulogium. "What worke unto men can be more thankefull then the discourse of that pleasure which is most comely, most honest, and giveth the most liberty to Divine meditation, and that without all question is the Art of Angling, which having ever beene most hurtlesly necessary, hath beene the sport or recreation of Gods Saints, of most holy Fathers, and of many worthy, and reverend Divines, both dead, and at this time breathing. "For the use thereof (in its owne true, and unabused nature) carrieth in it neyther covetousnesse, deceipt, nor anger, the three maine spirits which (ever in some ill measure) ruleth in all other pastimes: neyther are they alone predominant without the attendance of their severall handmaids, as Theft, Blasphemy, or Bloodshed; for in Dice-play, Cards, Bowles, or any sport where money is the goale to which mens minds are directed, what can mans avarice there be accounted other then a familiar robbery, each seeking by deceipt to couzen, and spoyl other of that blisse of meanes which God had bestowed to support them, and their families? And as in every contention there must be a better-hood or super-excelling, so in this, when the weaker deceipt is deprived his expectation, how Doth it then fall into curses, oathes, and furies, such as would make Vertue tremble with the imagination? But in this Art of Angling there is no such evil), no such sinefull violence, for the greatest thing it coveteth is, for much labour a little Fish, hardly so much as will suffice Nature in a reasonable stomacke: for the Angler must yntice, not command his reward, and that which is worthy millions to his contentment, another may buy for a groate in the Market. His deceipt worketh not upon men but upon those Creatures whom it is lawfull to beguile for our honest recreations or needefull uses,
32 See Brydges, and Joseph Haslewood, British Bibliographer, 1811, vol. II, "A Catalogue of Books on Angling," vol. II, p. 353-370.


and for all rage, and fury it must be so great a stranger to this civill pastime, that if it come but within view or speculation thereof, it is no more to be esteemed a Pleasure, for every proper good thereof in the very instant faileth, skewing unto all men that will undergoe any delight therein that it was first invented, taught, and shall for ever be maintained by Patience only. And yet I may not say only Patience, for her other three sisters have likewise a commanding power in this exercise, for Justice+ directeth and appointeth out those places where men may with liberty use their sport, and neyther doe injury to their neighbours, nor incure the censure of incivility. Temperance+ layeth downe the measure of the action, and moderateth desire in such good proportion that no excesse is found in the overflow of their affections. Lastly, Fortitude+ inableth the minde to undergoe the travall and exchange of with a healthfull ease, and not to dispaire with a little, expense of time, but to persever with a constant imagination in the end to obtaine both pleasure, and satisfaction."/33 At any rate after Isaak Walton+ who could deny its gentility? Among indoor games chess+ was the only one generally favored. Card-playing+, more rarely dice+, was sometimes allowed if used moderately and honestly, but both were usually condemned out of hand./34 Chess, however, was found altogether praiseworthy for certain qualities which Rowbothum+ pointed out in his translation of an Italian work. "Strange (perchance) may it seeme to some (curteous Reader) that any man should employ his time, and bestow his labor in setting out such bookes, whereby men may learne to play, when indeed most men are given rather to play, than to studie and travell: which were true, if it were for the teaching of Games unlawful', as dice-play, or cogging, or falsehoode in card-play, or such like. But forasmuch as this Game, or kingly pastime, is not onely void of craft, fraud, and guile, swearing, staring, impatience, fretting and falling out, but also breedeth in the players, a certaine study, wit, pollicie, forecast and memorie, not onely in the play thereof, but also in actions of publike governement, both in peace and warre: wherein both Counsellers at home, and Captaines abroade may picke out of these wodden peeces some pretty pollicy, both how to governe their subjects in peace, and howe to leade or conduct lively men in the field in warre: for this Game hath
33 Ch. 1, pp. 1-3.
34 ForElyot, op. cit., bk. I, ch. XXVI, p.111; Cleland, op. cit., bk. V, ch. 24, 25. AgainstAscham, Toxophilus, pp. 51-57; Institucion of a Gentleman, fo. G4b-G6b; Lord Herbert of Cherbury, op. cit., p. 42.


the similitude of a ranged battel, as by placing the men, and setting them forth in the march, may very easily appeare."/35 Elyot+ likewise heartily recommended it, especially if the players have read "the moralization of chess," that is Caxton's Book of Chess which he had translated out of the French, where quaintly enough were set forth, piece by piece, all the degrees of a commonwealth and their duties from king to common people.
    For social recreation in mixed companies dancing+ and music were favorites, and were provided for in Gilbert's Academy. Dancing of course, however suspect in strait-laced circles, was necessary for a gentleman at court, Elizabeth herself being extremely fond of the art and a good vaulter as the painting at Penshurst+ proves. Sir Christopher Hatton+ was said to have won her favor by his fine dancing./36 It was approved by the schoolmasters Ascham+ and Mulcaster+ for the sake of health and pleasure without the elaborate philosophical interpretation which Elyot devised to clothe it with respectability and moral sanction./37 Cleland+'s recommendation recalls Castiglione+'s cautions: "I thinke it one of the best exercises that a Noble man can learne in his young yeares, and that fashioneth the bodie best. Alwaies I commend mediocritie in al things: for there is nothing so good, but if it be used with excesse wil become bad. Wherefore I praise not those Ordinarie Dauncers, who appeare to he druncke in their legs . . . . in shaking alwaies their feet, singing continuallie, onetwothree: foure; and five. When you go to Daunce in anie Honourable companie, take heede that your qualitie, your Raiment, and your skil go al three togither: if you faile in anie of those three, you wilbe derided. Imitate not so much the Masters Capers, as to have a good grace in the carriage of your bodie: this is the principal, and without the which al the rest is naught."/38 {sprezzaturaaa+} Lord Herbert of Cherbury+ recommended it to gentlemen in terms that suggest Chesterfield and the eighteenth century drawing-room, for grace in movement "that when he hath occasion to stir, his motions may be comely and graceful, that he may learn to know
35 Ludus Scacchiae: Chess-Play, London; 1597, "Address to the Reader." See also Elyot, ibid; Bossewell, Workes of Armorie, London, 1572, bk. II, fo. 41a, who quotes Elyot.
36 Sir Robert Naunton, Fragmenta Regalia, Arber rep., 1870, p. 44.
37 The Scholemaster, p. 59; Positions, ch. 16, p. 75; The Governour, bk. I, ch. XXI-XXV.
38 Op. cit., bk. V, ch. 23, pp. 225-6


161]       DOCTRINE OF THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN       16i how to come in and go out of a room where company is, how to make courtesies handsomely, accordingly to the several degrees of persons he shall encounter, how to put off and hold his hat," all of which was taught by the more accurate dancing masters in France."/39 Music+ had classical authority to give it a place among studies and also popular use, for it played a large part in the life of the time./40 The Queen was an able performer on the virginals, and rare must have been the young gentleman of the court or city who could not play and sing a song to his lady. It was valued chiefly for the relief it afforded from serious labor or melancholy mood. Sidney+ wrote his brother, "Take a delight to keep and increase your music; you will not believe what a want I find of it in my melancholy times."/41 Ascham+ went farther and even recommended it as indispensable for the divine and lawyer in teaching them to control their breathing and modulate their voices. "For the hearers, as Tullie+ sayeth, be muche affectioned,as he that speaketh. At his wordes be they drawen, yf he stande still in one facion, their minder stande still with hym: If he thundre, they quake; If he chyde, they fearer If he complayne, they sory with hym; and finally, where a matter is spoken, with an apte voyce, for everye affection, the hearers for the moste parte, are moved as the speaker woulde. But when a man is alwaye in one tune, lyke an Humble bee, or els nowe up in the top of the churche, nowe downe that no manne knoweth where to have hym: or piping lyke a reede, or roring lyke a bull, as some lawyers do, whiche thinke they do best, when they crye lowdest, these shall never greatly moove, as I have knowen many wel learnned, have done, bicause theyr voyce was not stayed afore, with learnyng to sung. For all voyces, great and small, base and shril, wek or softe, may be holpen and brought to a good poynt by learnyng to synge."/42 But music, like all gentlemanly accomplishments, was to be used with moderation and in private. Better no knowledge at all, said Elyot+, than such exact knowledge as to lead to inordinate delight
39 Op. Cit., p. 38.
40 Foster Watson, The English Grammar Schools to 1660, Cambridge, 1908, p. 216; Shakespeare's England, Oxford, 1916, vol. II, pp. 21-3.
41 Op. cit., p. 308.
42 Toxophilus, p. 42. See also William Byird, Medius Psalmes, Sonets, and songs, London, 1588, "Reasons Briefely set downe by th' author, to persuade every one to learne to sing."


and neglect of public business./43 And even at the end of the century gentlemen were being referred for instruction in the decent use of music to Elyot+ as well as to Aristotle+."/44 The sixteenth century, therefore, held games of recreation, as Bacon said, a part of "civil life and education."/45
43 Op. cit., bk. I, ch. VII, pp. 26-7.
44 John Case, The Praise of Music, 1586, "Preface to the Reader."
45 Advancement of Learning, Spedding, vol. III, p. 379.


What can be said for this ideal man which renaissance Englishmen fashioned to express their need, this combination of soldier, scholar, and courtier, this new citizen in whose hands was to be the management of affairs? What chiefly strikes one is his manysidedness. Fit to serve in war, he has the virtues and qualities of the soldier,courage+, endurance+, patience+, generosity+ toward friend and foe, foresight+, adaptibility+, knowledge of military science. What he lacks that the medieval knight had is joy in the fight for its own sake. He prefers peace to war. Fit also to serve in peace, he has the virtues of peace,justice, liberality, courtesy, prudence, the knowledge how to govern_himself+ and others. He is more than a soldier in that he has the ability and training to administer the laws and serve in any public capacity in which his prince may employ him; he is less than a scholar in that he values learning+ not for its own sake but for its usefulness+. As a courtier+ he covers the soldier's brute strength and roughness and the scholar's aloofness and awkwardness with a grace+ of speech and action, a mastery_of_himself+ in every situation that may arise, an interest in every aspect of life, a readiness of wit and fund of general knowledge that make of him good company. He is the ornament as well as the prop of states, and is himself the one best argument for an aristocracy+.
    This ideal, evoked in the sixteenth century from many and heterogeneous elements, continued to hold men's imagination through the next two hundred years, so nearly intact that Burke+'s description in 1791 of what he called a natural aristocracy+ may well serve as a summing up of the preceding pages. "A true natural aristocracy is not a separate interest in the state, or separable from it. It is an essential integrant part of any large body rightly constituted. It is formed out of a class of legitimate presumptions, which, taken as generalities, must be admitted for actual truths. To be bred in a place of estimation; to see nothing low and sordid from one's infancy; to be taught to respect one's self; to be habituated to the censorial inspection of the public eye; to look early to public opinion; to stand upon such elevated ground as to be enabled to take a large view of the wide-spread and infinitely 163


diversified combinations of men and affairs in a large society; to have leisure to read, to reflect, to converse; to be enabled to draw the court and attention of the wise and learned wherever they are to be found;to be habituated in armies to command and to obey; to be taught to despise danger in the pursuit of honour duty+; to be formed to the greatest degree of vigilance, foresight and circumspection, in a state of things in which no fault is committed with impunity, and the slightest mistakes draw on the most ruinous consequencesto be led to a guarded and regulated conduct, from a sense that you are considered as an instructor of your fellow-citizens in their highest concerns, and that you act as a reconciler between God and manto be employed as an administrator of law and justice, and to be thereby amongst the first benefactors to mankindto be a professor of high science+, or of liberal and ingenuous art+to be amongst rich_traders+, who from their success are presumed to have sharp and vigorous understandings, and to possess the virtues of diligence, order, constancy, and regularity, and to have cultivated an habitual regard to commutative justicethese are the circumstances of men, that form what I should call a natural aristocracy, without which there is no nation Men, qualified in the manner I have just described, form in nature, as she operates in the common modification of society, the leading, guiding, and governing part It is the soul+ to the body, without which the man does not exist. To give therefore no more importance, in the social order, to such descriptions of men, than that of so many units, is a horrible usurpation."/1 During the last hundred years the steady and ever more rapid infiltration of democratic ideas has so changed the organization of society that the renaissance gentlemanly ideal can scarcely be said now to be a class ideal even in England. But it still persists as a personal ideal, and however much it may seem to have lost of urbanity, of courtier-like grace, in all the more important relations of life it is still the guide of aspiring man,, nor for a believer in the ascending star of democracy is its beauty more than temporarily dimmed.
1 An Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs, 1791, Works and Correspondence, vol. IV, p. 486.




[942 treatuses listed, to be added to this web site subsequently]


This is a tentative list of the available material on certain aspects of the social background of the renaissance. It cannot pretend to completeness for the field is too great and boundaries are too indefinite. Many have small claim to be included, and some which I have not seen may prove to have none. I have gone on the principle that it is better here to risk irrelevancy than omission, since the list will presumably be used for far different purposes than my own. The books marked with a star are all those consulted for my treatise, some of which were helpful only in the preface, or in a few cases only in the title. All the rest have been added since the treatise was written, and of them I have seen only those marked with a dagger. They have been collected from all sorts of sources, from the obvious catalogues of the British Museum to random reading. A few special bibliographies, such as Levi and Gelli's on dueling, have been small mines of pure gold. A list of these is appended at the end of this notice. The Italian section I owe almost wholly to the generosity of Dr. Bullock, who has ,given of his time in unstinted measure, both in the making of this list, and in the careful correction of the proofs. He has also had the kindness to place at my disposal for examination the large number of these books contained in his own library.
    A word should be said about the character of the entries. To make the contents clear, I have made the titles as complete as possible from available material, omitting nothing in the case of books that I have seen except complimentary dedications, and descriptions of the author's attainments, when they seemed unilluminating. Such omissions I have indicated. Author, place, printer, and date are given with no indication of whether they were secured from the title page or elsewhere. In parentheses are dates for all the editions I have run across, except when more than one came out in the same year. Capital letters following dates indicate libraries in the United States where these editions may be 165 1 found. (See the key below.) My main object in noting other editions than the one cited by title is to indicate something of the importance of the book, at least in contemporary opinion. I must disclaim real bibliographical value for these dates, since I have not verified them, nor have I included further helps to identification of editions and impressions in place, printer, or publisher. Lack of time and technical training precluded my doing more than I have saidfurnishing such a list as I myself should have been very glad to have, when ten years ago I set out to survey the field.
    Classification of the alphabetical list proved impracticable because of overlappping, but an index by number under subject headings, subdivided into nations, will accomplish the same purpose, I trust. When a treatise gives considerable space to various topics, the number has been repeated under those headings, except in the case of most of the general treatises on the gentleman, courtier, etc., where it may be assumed one will find something of everything education, morals, sports, and so on. 166


Buisson, F. Repertoire des ouvrages pedagogiques du XVIree siecle. Paris, i886.Cockle, M. J. D. A bibliography of English military books up to 1642 and of contemporary foreign works. 1900.
    Crane, T. F. Italian social customs of the sixteenth century. New Haven, 1920.
    Gutierrez de la Vega, Jose. Del can i del caballo. Sevilla, 1889. (Not seen.) Haym, N. F. Biblioteca italiana ossia notizia de' libri rani italiani divisa in quattro parti cioe Istoria, Poesia, Prose, Arti e Scienze gia compilata da Niccola Francesco Haym. Milano, 1803.
    Jusserand, J. J. The ambassador. London, 5924. Leguina y Vidal, Enrique de. Libros de esgrima, espafioles y portugueses. Madrid, 1891.
    Levi, G. E. and Gelli, J. Saggio di una bibliografia del duello. Milano,1903.
    Magendie, M. La politesse mondaine et les theories de l'honnetate, en France, au xviie siecle, de 1600 a 1660. Paris. Bibliography IX XXXVIII.
    Moule, Thomas. Bibliotheca heraldica magnae britanniae. An analytical catalogue of books on genealogy, heraldry, nobility, knighthood, & ceremonies: with a list of provincial visitations, pedigrees, collections of arms, and other manuscripts; and a supplement, enumerating the principal foreign genealogical works. By Thomas Moule. London, 1822.
    Nuys, E. Les commencements de la diplomatie et le droit d' ambassade jusqu' a Grotius. In Revue de droit international et de legislation comparee. Bruxelles et Leipzig, 1884, vol. XVI, pp. 170-189.
    Schwerdt, C. F. G. R. Hunting, hawking, shooting, illustrated in a catalogue of books, manuscripts, prints and drawings collected by C. F. G.R. Schwerdt. Three volumes. (Privately printed for the author by Waterlow and Sons. Not seen.) Scott, M. A. Elizabethan translations from the Italian. Boston, 1916.
    Souhart, R. Bibliographie generale des ouvrages sur la chasse la venerie & la fauconnerie publie ou composes depius le XVe siecle jusqu'a ce jour en Francais, Latin, Allemand, Anglais, Espagnol, etc. Paris, 1886.
    Thimm, C. A. A complete bibliography of fencing and duelling, as practised by all European nations from the middle ages to the present day. London and New York, 1896.
    Vigeant, N. L. P. La bibliographie de 1' escrime ancienne et moderne. Paris 1882. 167