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MULCASTER, Richard [1530?–1611]. English scholar, schoolmaster, author, and liberal educational theorist; the poet Spenser's headmaster at the Merchant Taylors' School in London and perhaps SHAKESPEARE's model for the pedant Holofernes in Love's Labour's Lost. Mulcaster's The First Part of the Elementarie (1582) was the period's most significant pronouncement on English. It took an innovative stand in the movement on reforming SPELLING, issued the first call for a comprehensive DICTIONARY of English, defended the right of BORROWING words from other languages, and exhibited unlimited pride in English. He said that it is the learning in a language and not any inherent virtue that makes it esteemed, and English can be as learned and expressive as any: ‘I loue Rome, but London better, I fauor Italie, but England more, I honor the Latin, but I worship the English.’ See EARLY MODERN ENGLISH.

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