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for searching only. CHAPTER XXII
THE KING'S FREE GRAMMAR SCHOOL
WE HAVE SEEN in a general way what was the grammar school curriculum in the sixteenth century and beyond, its objectives, and modes of instruction. Our problem now is to find where the grammar school at Stratford would fit into this scheme of things, so that we may form some opinion as to how far William Shakspere had been subjected to the regular system, and with what effects.
While there is no direct record surviving of Shakspere's having attended any grammar school, yet the familiarity with school texts and especially with school ways displayed in his undoubted works furnishes unimpeachable evidence that he had done so. As Baynes says of Love's Labor's Lost,
One main object of the comedy being to satirise pedantry, to expose the tasteless display of learning, the mere parade of scholastic technicalities, the writer must obviously have had some personal knowledge of the thing paraded in order that the satire may be relevant and effective. So far the evidence here is more vital and direct than that afforded by incidental allusions to the mythology and legendary history of Greece and Rome.'
It might be added that this expos& passed muster before a courtly audience at least twice; it must be a competent one. Shakspere's personal knowledge of such school ways is an evident commonplace, but will incidentally be in part further demonstrated and illustrated in our discussions,
Nor need we pause to argue the question of what grammar school Shakspere attended. There is no evidence whatever and hardly a possibility that it was any other than that at Stratford, though for our present purpose it would make little difference what school he at-tended.
The charter of June 28, 1553, shows what type of school "the Kynges Newe Scole of Stratford vpon Avon" was intended to be. The authorities intended to found a "Liberam Scolam Grammaticalem . . . de vno Magistro siue Pedagogo."2 It was to be a free gram-mar school with one teacher, who should receive £2o a year' and a home. On the face of the document, it was thus intended to provide
Baynes, Shakespeare Studies, p. 149.
2 Savage, R. and Fripp, E. I., Minutes and Accounts of the Corporation of Stratford-Upon-Avon and Other Records, 1,553-1620, VOL I, p. 19. $ Ibid., pp. ao, 19-2o.