winerock.com

 About Me

 
Publications

 
Writings & Research

 
Teaching & Performing

 
Early Dance Texts

 
Shakespearean Dance
 Resource Guide

 Renaissance Dance Links

 Bernard the Bear
Home > Early Dance Texts > The Training Up Of Children

Search winerock.com

Loading

The Training Up Of Children

-- My transcription of dance-relevant passages from the NYPL Mid-Manhattan Research Library's copy of Richard Mulcaster's The Training Up Of Children. Facsimilie reprint. (Amsterdam, New York: De Capo Press, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Ltd., 1971) STC: 18253.

-- As concessions to Dreamweaver and web compatibility, double spaces between sentences have been reduced to single spaces, certain irregularities of spacing and punctuation for margin justification have been regularised, and the ∫/s is modernised except in titles. The ' ------ ' denotes page breaks. --E. F. Winerock

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

POSITIONS
WHERIN THOSE PRI-

MITIVE CIRCVMSTANCES
BE EXAMINED, WHICH ARE NE-
CESSARIE FOR THE TRAINING
up of children, either for skill in their
booke, or health in their bodie.

WRITTEN by RICHARD MVLCASTER, master
of the schoole erected in London anno. 1561. in the pa-
rish of Sainct Laurence Powntneie, by the worshipfull
companie of the merchaunt tailers of the said citie.


Imprinted at London by Thomas Vautrollier
for Thomas Chare.
1581

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 40> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Chapter 6.
Of exercises and training the body. How necessarie a thing exer|cise is. What health is, and how it is maintained: what sick|nesse is, how it commeth, and how it is preuented. What a parte exercise playeth in the maintenaunce of health. Of the student and his health. That all exercises though they stirre some one parte most, yet helpe the whole bodie.

THe soule and bodie being coparteners in good and ill, in sweete and sowre, in mirth and mourning, & hauing gene|rally a common sympathie, & a mutuall feeling in all passions: how can they be, or rather why should they be seuered in traine? the one made stronge, and well qualified, the other left feeble, and a praye to infirmitie? will ye haue the minde to ob|taine those thinges, which be most proper vnto her, and most profitable vnto you, when they be obtained? Then must ye

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 41> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

also haue a speciall care, that the bodie be well appointed, for feare it shrink, while ye be either in course to get them, or in case to vse them.

...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 49> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

...

Now againe for exercises. Who hearing that moderate [ 1.] running doth warme the whole body, strengthneth the naturall motions, prouoketh appetite, helpeth against distilling of humours and catarres, and driueth them some other waie:

Or that daunsing beside the warmth, driueth awaye num|nesse, [ 2.] & certaine palsies, comforteth the stomacke, being cumbred with weaknes of digestio~, & confluence of raw humours, strengtheneth weake hippes, fainting legges, freatishing feete:

Or that ryding also is healthfull for the hippes and stomacke: [ 3.] that it cleareth the instrumentes of all the senses, that it thickneth thinne shankes: that it slayeth loose bellies:

Or that loud speaking streatcheth the bulke exerciseth the [ 4.] vocalle instrumentes, practiseth the lungues, openeth the bodie, and all the passages therof:

Or that loud reading scoureth all the veines, stirreth the [ 5.] spirites thorought out all the entraulles, encreaseth heat, suttileth the blood, openeth the arteries, suffereth not superfluous humours to grow grosse and thicke: who, say I, hearing but of these alone in taste for all, or of all together by these alone, doth not both see the partes, which are preserued, the exercise which preserueth, and the matter wherin?

Wherfore seing exercise is such a thing, that so much en|ableth the bodie, whom the soule hath for companion in all exploites, a comfort being lightsome, a care being lothesom, a courage being healthy, a clog being heauie, I will, bycause I must, if I meane to do well, plat forth the whole place of exercising the bodie, at ones for all ages.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 54> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Chapter 9.
Of the particular exercises, why I do appoint so manie, and how to iudge of them, or to deuise the like.

I will not here runne thorough all the kindes of exercises that be named either by Galene or any other writer, wherof many be discontinued, many be yet in vse, but out of the whole heape I haue pickt out these for within dores, lowd speaking, singing, lowd reading, talking, laughing, weaping, holding the breath, daunsing, wrastling, fensing, and scourging the Top. And these for without dores, walking, running, leaping, swimming, riding, hunting, shooting, and playing at the ball. Wherof though the very most be vsed oftimes, not in nature of exercises, but either of pleasure, or necessitie, yet they be all such, as will serue well that waie, and be so made account of among the best writers, that deale in this kinde: and for that some of them maye be said to be most proper to men, and farre aboue boyes plaie: you must remember, that I deale for all studentes, and not for children alone, to whom it is in choice, besides all these to deuise other for their good, as circunstance shal lead them. There may also be reasons, to perswade some men to mislike of, I do not thinke all, but I suppose some, of these thinges, which I do appoint, as both commendable and profitable exercises, with whom I will not here striue, but desire them to iudge of me, without preiudice, and to stay their sentence, vntill they see in what sorte I allow them. For knowing the cause of offence, I might seeme very simple, if I should simply allow that, which is disallowed vpon reason, and not misliked without manifest shew of probable cause: and so to reserue the thing, as I did not remoue the blame. They must also thinke that nothing is· abused, but that both may and ought to be well vsed, which well, they must vse, and refuse the ill: seing where misuse draweth blame, there right vse deserueth praise.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 71> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Chapter 16.
Of daunsing, why it is blamed, and how deliuered from blame.

DAunsing of it selfe declareth mine allowance, in that I name it among the good and healthfull exercises : which I must needes cleare from some offensiue notes, wherwith it is charged by some sterne people: least if I do not so, it both continue it selfe in blame still, and draw me thither also with it, for allowing of a thing, that is disliked, and by me not deliuered from iust cause of misliking, which by my choice do seeme to defend it. And yet I meane not here to rippe vp, what reading hath taught me of it, though it seeme to haue serued for great vses in olde time, both athleticall for spectacle and shew: militare for armour and enemie : and Physicall for health and welfare : so many and so notable writers, make so much and so oftimes mention therof in all these three kindes. Some dedicate whole volumes to this argument onely, some enterlace their brauest discourses with the particularities therof, & those no meane ones. And in deede a man, that neuer red much, and doth but marke the thing cursorily, would scant beleue, that it were either of such antiquitie, or such account, or so generally entreated of by learned men, all those their writinges stil sounding to the praise and aduancement therof : howsoeuer in our dayes either we embase it in opinion : or it selfe hath giuen cause of iust embasement, by some peoples misvse. Many

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 72> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

sortes of it I do reade of, but most discontinued, or rather quite decayed, that onely is reserued, which beareth oftimes blame, machance being corrupted by the kinde of Musick, as the olde complaint was : machance bycause it is vsed but for pleasure and delite onely, and beareth no pretense or stile of exercise, directly tending to health, which is our peoples moane
now in our dayes. For where honest and profitable reasons be not in the first front, to commend a thing, but onely pleasaunt and deliteful causes, which content not precise surueiours, there groweth misliking, the partie that exerciseth, not pretending the best, which is in the thing, and the partie that accuseth, marking nothing else but that, which maye moue offence.

The sad and sober commodities, which be reaped by daunsing in respect of the motion applyed to health be these, by heating and warming, it driueth awaie stifnes from the ioyntes, and some palsilike trembling from the legges and thighes, whom it stirreth most, it is a present remedie to succour the stomacke against weaknesse of digestion, and rawnesse of humours : it so strengtheneth and co[n]firmeth aching hippes thinne shankes, feeble feete, as nothing more : in deliuering the kidneys or bladder from the stone, it is beyond comparison good : but now such as haue weake braines, swimming heades, weeping eyes, simple and sory sight, must take heede of it, and haue an eye to their health, for feare they be disie when they daunce, and trip in their turning, or rather shrinke downe right when they should cinquopasse. Such as haue weake kidneys and ouerheated, may displease them selues, if it please then to daunce, and encrease their diseases, by encreasing heir heat.

The daunsing in armour, called by the Greekes πνρριχη, as it is of more motion in exercise, so it worketh more nimblenesse in executing, when ye deale in the field with your enemies. These be the frutes which are reaped by daunsing well and orderly vsed, for the benefit of health, and the contrary displeasures, which are caught by it, thorough inconsiderate applying of it, by the partie which is not made for it. The blames which 1. it beareth be these. That it reuelleth out of time, wherewith 2. Plysick is offended : That if serueth delite to much, whereat

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 73> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

good manners repine. For these two faultes there is but one generall aunswere : that daunsing is healthfull, though the daunsers vse it not healthfully, as other things of greater countenaunce be verie good, though the professours do not so, as their professions do enioine them. For the first in particular, the rule of health condemnes not daunsing, but the mistyming
of it : that it is vsed after meat, when rest is most wholesome : with full stomacke, when digestion should haue all the helpe of naturall heat : that to please the beholders, such as vse daunsing do displease them selues. And sure if daunsing be an exercise, as both all antiquitie doth commend it for, and I my selfe do allow of it by that name : it would by rule of Physick go before meat, and not be vsed but long after, as a preparatiue against a new meale : and a disburdener of superfluities, against a surcharge of new diet : Howbeit there be in it some more violent measures then some : and in beginning with the most staydest and most almanlike, and so marching on, till the springing galliard and quicker measures take place, choice in euerie one, vpon knowledge of his owne bodie, and his emptinesse or saturitie maye helpe health, though the custome of eche countrey commaunde not onely health, though to her harme, but euen the verie science which professeth the preferuation of health, if desire egge delite, to shew it selfe in place. Wherevpon the second blame of daunsing, doth especially builde, and take her hold.

To keepe thinges in order, there is in the soule of man but one, though a verie honorable meane, which is the direction of reason : to bring things out of order there be two, the one stro[n]gheaded, which is the commaundement of courage, the other many headed, which is the enticement of desires. Now daunsing hath properties to serue eche of these, exercise for health, which reason ratifieth, armour for agilitie, which courage commendeth, liking for allowance, which desire doth delite in. But bycause it yeildeth most to delite, and in most varietie of pleasures, desire ministreth most matter to blame, daunsing by pleasing desire to much, hath pleased reason to litle, and when reason obiecteth inconueniences, it turneth the deafe side, and followeth her owne swinge. For when the tailour hath braued,

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 74> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

where nature hath beawtified : when amiablenesse of person hath procured agilitie by cunning, what gallant youthes in whom there is any courage, can abide not to come to shew, hauing such qualities so wor[t]hy the beholding? here will courage shew her selfe, though repentance be her port, here will desire throng in prease, though it praise not in parting. All this doth confesse that daunsing is become seruant to desire, though not daunsing alone : and yet companions in blame be no dischargers of fault. What then? for the generall, seing thinges which man vseth, cannot be quite free from misuse, it is halfe a vertue to winne so much, as there be as litle misuse, as may be : and to charge the partie that deserues blame, with hinderance of health, with corruption of manners, with ill losse of good time : which if he care not for, the precept may passe, though he passe not for it. But howsoeuer daunsing be or be thought to be, seing it is held for an exercise, we must thinke ther is sone great good in it, though we protecte not the ill, if any come by it. Which good we must seeke to get, and praie those maisters, which fashion it with order in time, with reason in gesture, with proportion in number, with harmonie in Musick, to appoint it so, as it may be thought both seemely and sober, and so best beseeme such persons, as professe sobrietie : and that with all, it may be so full of nimblenesse and actiuitie, as it may proue an exercise of health, being vsed in wholesome times, and not seeking to supplant rest, as the rule of health at this daie complaineth. And generally of all ages, me thinke it beseemeth children best, to enable, and nimble their iointes therby, & to stay their ouermuch deliting therin in further yeares. The very definition of it declareth, what it was then, when it was right, and what it is now, when it seemes to be wronge, if right in such thinges be not creature to vse, and maye change with time, without challenge for the change. They define daunsing to be a certaine cunning to resemble the manners, affections, and doinges of men and women, by motions and estures of the bodie, artificially deuised in number and proportion. This was to them a kinde of deliuerie, to vttere their mindes, by signes & resemblances, of that which came nearest to the thing, and was most intelligible to the lookers on. But

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 75> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


now with vs, there is nothing left to the daunser ordinarily, but the bare motion, without that kinde of hand cunning (for so I terme their χειρονομια) bycause the skill seemed then to rest most in the vse of the vpper partes, and gesturing by the hand. The credit of our daunsing now is to represent the Musick right, and to cause the bodye in his kinde of action to resemble and counterfet that liuely, which the instrument in his kinde of composition deliuereth delicately : and with such a grace to vse the legges and feete, as the olde daunsers vsed their armes and handes. And as in the olde time both men, wymen and children did vse daunsing to helpe and preserue their health, to purchace good hauiour and bearing of their bodies : so in these our dayes, being vsed in time, by order, and with measure, it will worke the same effectes of health, hauiour and strength, and may well auide the opinion of either lewdnesse, or lightnesse. Thus much for daunsing, as the motion is for health, and the meaning for good.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 58> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Chapter 26. Of Shooting.

...

Nay by all auncient monumentes Shooting should seeme to be both the eldest, and the vsuallest defence in fighting a farre of, which though it haue now, & tofore haue had great place in the fielde for warfare: yet hath it a great deale better place in our fields for wellfare: and therefore the more, because it consisteth both of the best exercises, and the best effectes of the best exercises. For he that shooteth in the free and open fields may chuse, whether betweene his markes he will runne or walke, daunce or leape, hallow or sing or do somewhat

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 59> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

els, which belo~geth to the other, either veheme~t or ge~tle exercises. And whereas hunting on foote is so much praised, what mouing of the body hath the foote hunter in hilles & dales, which the rouing Archer hath not in varietie of growndes? Is his naturall heate more stirred then the Archers is? Is his appetite better then the Archers is though the prouerbe helpe the hungrie hunter? Nay in both these the Archer hath the vantange.

...

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 113> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Chapter 31. Of the exercising places.

THat the place, wherein any thing is done, is of great force to the well or ill performing therof, and specially in natural executions, there can be no better profe, then that we se, not onely plantes and trees, not onely brute beastes and cattell, but also euen the bodies and myndes of men to be altered and chaunged, with the varietie and alteration of the place and soyle, so that for the better exercising of the bodies to the pre|seruing or recouering of health, it is verie materiall to limit some certainety co~cerning the place. Wherin not to dwell lo~g at this time, bycause in the common place both for learning & exercising togither, I shall haue occasion to say more of this matter: these foure qualities are to be obserued in the place. First the place where ye exercise, must haue his ground flowred [ 1.] so, as it be not offensiue to the body, as in wrastling not hard to fall on, in daunsing soft, and not slipperie. How angrie would a boie be to be driuen to scourge his top in sand, grauel, or deepe rushes? and so forth in the rest: as is most fit for the body exercised, [ 2.] with lest daunger and best dispatch. The second, that the place be either free from any wind at all, or if it be not possible to auoide some, that it be not subiect to any sharpe and byting winde: which may do the body some wrong, being open, and therefore ready to receiue forreine harme by the ayer. Thirdly [ 3.] that the place be open, and not close nor couered, to haue the best and purest ayre at will, whereby the body becommeth more quicke and liuely, and after voyding noysom superfluities, may proue lightsome by the very ayer and soyle. Fourthly [ 4.] that there be no contagious nor noysome stenche neare the place of exercise, for feare of infecting that by new corruption, which was lately cleared by healthful motion. Generally if the place connot be so fit & fauourable to exercise, as wish would

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 114> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

it were, yet wisedom may win thus much, that he may be as well aopointed, to preuent the ill of euery both season and circumstance, as possibility can commonly performe. When great conquests had made states almost, nay in deede to wealthie, and libertie of soyle giuen them place to chuse, they builded to this end meruelous and sumptuous monuments, which time and warres haue wasted, but we which must doe as we may, must be content with that, which our power can compasse, & if the worst fall, thinke that he which placed vs in the world, hath appointed the world for vs for an exercising place, not onely for the body against infections, but also for the mynde against affections, which being herselfe well trayned, doth make the bodie yeelde, to the bent of her choice.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 183> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Chapter 39. Of the traning vp of yong gentlemen. Of priuate and publike education, with their generall goods & illes. That there is no better way for gentlemen to be trained by in any respect then the common is being well appointed. Of richmens children which be no gentlemen. Of nobilitie in generall. Of gentlemanlie exercises. What it is to be a nobleman, or a gentleman. That infirmites in noble houses be not to be triumphed ouer. The causes and groundes of nobilitie. Why so many desire to be gentlemen. That gentlemen ought to professe learning and liberall sciences for many good & honorable effectes. Of trauelling into forraine countries: with all the braunches allowance and dissallowance thereof: and that it were to be wished, that gentlemen would professe, to make scie~ces liberall in vse, which are liberall in name. Of the trayning vp of a yong Prince.

IN the last title I did declare at large, how yong maide~s in ech degree were to be auaunced in learning, which me thought was verie incident to my purpose, bycause they be counter-braunches

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 184> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

to vs in the kinde of mortall and reasonable crea|tures, and also for that in ech degree of life, they be still our mates, and sometime our mistresses, through the benefit of law, and honorablenes of birth. Now considering they ioyne allway with vs in number and nearenes, and sometime exceede vs in dignitie and calling: as they communicate with vs in all qualities, and all honours euen vp to the scepter, so why ought they not in any wise but be made communicantes with vs in education and traine, to performe that part well, which they are to play, for either equalitie with vs, or soueraintie aboue vs? Here now ensueth another title of meruelous importaunce, for the kinde of people, whereof I am to entreat: bycause their state is still in the superlatiue, and the greatest executions be theirs by degree, though sometime they leese them by their owne default, and set them ouer to such, as nature maketh noble by ingenerate vertues. I meane the trayning vp of yong gentlemen in euery degree and to what so euer ascent, bycause euen the crowne and kingdome is their height, though it come to the female, when their side faileth. For gentlemen will commonly be exempt from the common, as in title, so also in traine, refrayning the publike, though they hold of the male, and preferring the priuate, to be liker to maidens, whose education is most priuate, bycause of their kinde, and therefore not misliked: whereas yong gentlemen should be publike, bycause of their vse. And for not being such, they beare some blame, as therein contrarying both all the best ordered common weales, and all the most excellent and the learnedest writers, which bring vp euen the best princes allway with great company.

...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 197> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

...

And as those qualities, which I haue set out for the generall traine in their perfection being best compas|sed

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <p. 198> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

by them, may verie well beseeme a gentlemanly minde: so may the exercises without all exception: either to make an healthfull bodie, seeing our mould is all one: or to prepare them for seruice, wherein their vse is more. Is it not for a gentleman to vse the chase and hunt? doth their place reproue them if they haue skill to daunce? Is the skill in sitting of an horse no honour at home, no helpe abroad? Is the vse of their weapon with choice, for their calling, any blemish vnto them? For all these and what else beside, there is furniture for them, if they do but looke backe: and the rather for them, bycause in deede those great exercises be most proper to such persons, and not for the meaner.

 

 

Top 



Home
Copyright 1999-2015 E. F. Winerock
Updated 10 March, 2015