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"there was a far greater company than was usually at Lenten "sermons, and when we had staid there an hour and that the yard "was full, there being a number of torches, the Queen came out in "great state. Then we cried "God save your Majesty! God save "your Majesty!" Then the Queen turned to us and said "God "bless you all, my good people!" then we cried again; "God bless "your Majesty; God bless your Majesty;" Then the Queen said "again to us "You may well have a greater prince, but you shall "never have a more loving prince." And so looking one upon "another a while the Queen departed. This wrought such an "impression upon us, for shows and pageantry are ever best seen "by torchlight, that all the way long we did nothing but talk what "an admirable Queen she was, and how we would adventure our "lives to do her service."

Shakespeare himself was one apostle of this new national gospel, glorifying the great deeds of English history in a series of noble plays; and an ardent patriotic crowd flocked to the theatre to see the Pageant of the English Kings, worthily represented by the Master's genius.

The Reformation of the Church was again the work of the spirit of liberty in the sphere of religion, and resulted in a revolt of half Christendom against the authority of the Pope and the Church of Rome. It was a protest against dognatism, tradition and superstition, and founded the Protestant church. The movement triumphed in England in a curious manner. There it was not so much a religious protest as a revolt against the political power of Rome. England owes her religious liberty partly to a strange and unworthy circumstance. King Henry VIII had been one of the most ardent supporters of Rome and had written a Defense of the Catholic Faith. Even to-day, by a strange irony, the Kings of England, sworn by oath to abhor Romish heresy, bear on their coins the title then given by the Pope, Fidei Defensor, Defender of the Faith. Now Henry, the most lustful of the headlong Tudors;

The Reformation

Literary inlfuence of the Bible

saw very few pretty maids whom he did not desire ("paucas vidit pulchriores quas non concupierit" says the chronicler) Being married to Catherine of Aragon, he saw "a pretty maid," Anne Boleyn, and found himself obliged (Anne being an ambitious and prudent girl) to marry her and divorce Catherine. The consent of the Church was necessary, but the Pope was steadfast in refusing. Therefore Henry determined to do without it. He consecrated by his royal authority the long-brewing Protestant revolt in England, broke away from Rome, created the English Church and declared himself its head. Then he gave himself permission to divorce Catherine and married the beautiful Anne. Thus Henry VIII, to divorce his earthly wife, was forced to deny his spiritual bride, and England was freed of Rome. There was an end of authority and tradition in religion, for, being denied to the Apostolic Church of Rome, such power could hardly be claimed by the new English Church. Numerous sects arose and religion became a matter for the judgement of each man. Liberty of thought became often free-thought, atheism.

To the Reformation we owe one of the greatest monuments of English literature, the Bible, which, forbilden by the Roman Church in the vulgar tongue, was now put into English. The Jewish Old Testament in Hebrew and the Christian New Testament and Gospels in Greek were translated and published in 1535 by Miles Coverdale. The wonderful Bishops' Bible followed in 1568, a model of inspired zeal aud reverence. The Bible has had upon English literary style a strong and abiding influence. It is full of poetry, a veritable revelation of Oriental in agination. There is the sacred poetry of the Jewish prophets Isaiah and Ezechiel, full of dignified eloquence and of gorgeous imagery; the wondrous Song of Solomon, inspired with sensuous beauty, a pure masterpiece of the poetry of love; there is the Book of Revelations, an unequalled flight of apocalyptic imagination; there are the historical Books, which revealed the romance of ancient history, the loves, the sorrows and the struggles of men and women long

dead, the battles of the great nations of old, Egyptians and Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians; and the very world itself dawns afresh in the pages of the Pentateuch.

The poetry of the East and the romance of the East, thus revealed, took hold on English literature firmly, giving it new power. By no European nation has it been so well understood, so thoroughly absorbed as by the English, and there seems to be indeed a certain kinship between the imagination of the AngloSaxon and the imagination of the Oriental.

The Reformation brought then to England religious freedom and an immense poetic influence, inspiring the Elizabethans in new spheres of thought and imagination.

The influence of the sacred literature of the Bible was parallel to that of other literatures with which the English people had now come into close contact. The Revival of Learning indicates a new and powerful movement towards increased culture, towards education in general and, in particular, towards the study of the classical literatures of Greece and Rome. For a century already this movement had been in rapid progress. Shakespeare was born in 1564, and the great impetus was given almost exactly one hundred years before; when the Turks besieged and sacked Constantinople. Constantinople was, from the time of the Eastern Byzantine Empire (already in the 5th century Rome had been sacked by the Goths) the great treasure-house of classical literature. Much study of the classics had been carried on there by learned men, but iu the rest of Europe they were almost completely unknown. This band of scholars, cloistered in Constantinople, was forced to take to flight before the Turkish invasion, carried with them their libraries and migrated, across the Mediterranean, mainly to Italy. There Italian and Greek scholars worked together on the old manuscripts; copying, translating, lecturing, publishing. The old tedious process of copying by hand was just being superseded by the new process of printing, lately. invented by Gutenberg. Pooks could now be produced by the

The Revival of Learning

Classic lite


and mythology

Discovery of the New World

hundred, literature became the property not of the few, but of all, and the Latin and Greek classics were spread broadcast from the printing presses of men like Aldus in Italy, of Caxton in England. Beginning in Italy and spreading to France, Germany and England, an immense wave of enthusiasm for these ancient literatures, and for literature in general, broke over all Europe. French, English and Italian scholars rivalled in an admiration without limit for the elegance of Cicero, the philosophic grace of Plato, the dignity of Seneca, the beauty of Virgil and the grandeur of Homer. Such literary masterpieces as they had never known were now fully revealed to them, the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, the Aeneid of Vergil, the Metamorphoses of Ovid, the Histories of Tacitus, the Lives of Plutarch, and a hundred more. Two great civilizations were laid open, the Latin, stern, martial and philosophic; the Hellenic, graceful, artistic and poetical. Two great literatures were studied with zeal. New models of literary style, new models of civic virtue, new conceptions of life, new aesthetic ideals, combined to inspire Europe waking from sleep. The History of Greece and Rome was full of the romance of the great struggles of Athens and Sparta against the power of Persia and of the conquering march of the Roman eagle. Their mythology brought the gods back to earth, set all nature strangely living, sent Phoebus daily on his fiery way, while nightly chaste Diana rode triumphant in the sky; peopled the woods with Fauns and Dryads, and the ocean with the sea-maidens with Neptune and his trident, and made the constellated heavens a field of storied vision.

The imagination of the men of the Renaissance, aflame already with these strong wines, was completely intoxicated by a final revelation, the discovery of the New World.

Just as the intellectual world of our ancestors had been doubled by the discovery and study of classic literatures and civilisation, so their knowledge of the physical world was immeasurably increased by the discovery of whole new continents. The New World of America was gradually revealed to Europe.

Navigators had set forth to seek for an island, Atlantis, and turned back, fearing they had missed it! Others, more daring, sailed on, and found an immense Continent. While Columbus, Cabot and Amerigo Vespucci explored the West, other men sailed south and east, finding South Africa and the Indian Ocean. Pizarro and his Spanish troops in Panama looked out from a peak of Darien over a vast new ocean. Cortes reached the wonderful capital of the Incas of Mexico in 1519, and a year later a European vessel, the first, sailed westwards to the East over the unknown seas of the Pacific. Every day in the Thames, at Bristol, at Plymouth there arrived, in Shakespeare's day, ships sorely battered from their long voyages to Iceland, Greenland, America, the Indies, from East and West, from North and South. Old sea-dogs, stout mariners like Drake, Frobisher and Hawkins were the heroes of the popular imagination. Thrice Frobisher went forth in search of the famous NorthWest passage to China, visiting Greenland, and bringing back with him a load of gold and minerals, bringing a living Esquin aux with his canoe. Drake sailed round the world in three years (1577-1580) and returned full of strange stories and laden with great riches, telling of America, the Treasure House of the world, of the huge mountains, the snow-elad Andes, of wonderful islands in the wide South Seas, of fairy lands and enchanted gardens.

This knowledge and these wonderful stories were quickly spread, in the taverns of Bristol and London, and in travel-books hastily printed, full of new matter and devoured by eager readers. An immense curiosity was awakened, imagination and conjecture ran riot, and men thirsted for more knowledge. What knowledge they had shook them out of their old ways of thought. New questions arose. They had been content to think of their own religion, their own civilisation as being complete and perfect. Now they came in face of new civilisations, new religions, new social orders, new moral systems. They were led to compare, to doubt the excellence of their own ways. Montaigne roundly affirms that the Indian has a superior civilisation to the European. Barton,

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