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Tyndale (1481?-1536), printed, in 1525,* partly at Cologne and partly at Worms, for which he ultimately paid the penalty of his life, being strangled and afterwards burnt at Vilvorde, near Brussels, by imperial decree. It was re-issued in 1534; and has been described by Mr. Marsh, as' the most important philological monument . . of the whole period between Chaucer and Shakespeare . . having more than anything else contributed to shape and fix the sacred dialect, and establish the form which the Bible must permanently assume in an English dress.' f la 1530, Tyndale printed a translation of the Pentateuch. While abroad, he is said to have been assisted in his labours for a short time, in 1532, by Miles Coverdale (1487-1568), later Bishop of Exeter, who afterwards published, in 1535, a translation of the Old and Hew Testament ' out of the Doutche and Latyn,' memorable as the first English Bible allowed by royal authority. By royal proclamation copies were ordered to be placed in the quires of parish churches for common use. The Bibles of Tyndale and Coverdale were followed, in 1537 and 1540, by the translations known respectively as Matthew's and Cranmer's Bibles.^

27. Berners, More.—It is as contemporaries only that it is convenient to link these names, for, in respect of literary excellence, they cannot be compared. John Bourchler, lord Berners (1474-1532), Governor of Calais, was, however, a translator of the highest rank; and he has given us an admirably faithful and characteristic rendering of the picturesque pages of Sib John Fboissart (1337-1410), the 'Livy of France,' who, as resident in England from 1361 to 1366, and writing inter alia of English History, might almost be claimed as a national author. His Chronicle, embracing the affairs of England, Scotland, France, and the Low Countries, extends over the reigns of Edward III. and Richard II. (13271400); the translation of it by Lord Berners, published in 1523-5, was undertaken at the request of Henry VIII. Sir Thomas More (1480-1535), a zealous Roman Catholic, and Lord Chancellor in 1529, was beheaded for denying the legality of Henry VIII.'s marriage with Anne Boleyn. His two principal works are the Life and Reign of Edward V., printed in 1557, and his Happy Republic, or Utopia (oh, no, Towos, place; in Latin, Kusquama). The latter, first published at Louvain, in Latin, in 1516, and not translated into

* v. Arber's Facsimile (1871) of the unique fragment of Tyndale's Testament in the Grenville Collection, *-v t Lectures on the English Language, 1863, v. p. 113. See Appendix A, Extract lrVHI.

English by Ralph Robinson until 1551, or some years after the author's death, purports to be an account of a 'newe yle' as taken from the verbal narrative of one Raphael Hythlodaye, described as a sea-faring man ' well stricken in age, with a blacke sonne-burned face.' It is, in reality, ' a philosophic exposition of More'sown views respecting the constitution and economy of a state, and of his opinions on education, marriage, the military system, and the like.* The idea was, perhaps, suggested by the Republic of Plato, whose influence, or that of More, may be traced in many subsequent works of a somewhat similar character, e.g. Barclay's Argenis, 1621 ; Bacon's New Atlantis, 1635 ; Godwin (of Llandaff s) Man in the Moon, 1638; Hall's Mundus Alter et Idem, about 1640; and Harrington's Oceana, 1656. It should be noted that More's title has given rise to the adjective 'Utopian,' now commonly used to qualify any fanciful or chimerical project, f

28. Elyot, Xiatimer, Cheke.—The first of these, Sir Thomas Elyot (1495-1546), was a physician, and the friend of More. He wrote several works, of which The Governor, 1531, and a professional Castle of Health, 1534, are the best remembered. The former, a treatise on education, is said to have been a favourite book with Henry VIII. Hugh Xiatimer (1491-1555), the martyr-Bishop of Worcester, and the fervent advocate of the Reformation doctrines, has left a number of sermons, mostly preached before Edward VI., which, for their popular style, homely wit, and courageous utterances, are models, in their way, of a certain school of pulpit eloquence. They are 'still read for their honest zeal and lively delineation of manners.' Latimer's Sermon on the Plovghers and Sermons before Edward VI, 1549, and the Governor of Elyot, are both included in Mr. Arbor's series of English Reprints.% Sir John Cheke (15141557), Memorable in Milton's verse as the advanced scholar who 'taught Cambridge and King Edward Greek,' survives in English by the Hurt of Sedition, 1549, on the subject of the rising in Norfolk in that year.

29. Wyatt, Surrey.—These 'first reformers of our English meetre and stile,' as they have been called by Puttenham,§ stand upon the threshold of the school of Sidney and Spenser. Both had formed themselves upon 'the sweete and stately measure of the Italians,' and both 'as nouices newly crept out of the schooles of Dante, Arioste and Petrarch,' considerably advanced the poetic art in

* Masson, British Novelist! and their Styles, 1859, p. 59.

t See Appendix A, Extract XIX.

j See Appendix A, Extract XX.

{ Arte of English Poesie, 1589, p. 74 (Arber's Reprint, 1869).

England. The priority, in point of culture, belongs perhaps to the Earl of Surrey (1516?—47), 'an English Petrarch ' M. Taine calls him, who is regarded as the introducer of blank verse, in which measure he produced a translation of the second and fourth books of tho Mmid. The numbers of Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42), usually called the Elder, to distinguish him from the unfortunate noble who raised an insurrection in Mary's reign, are not so correct as those of Surrey, but the sentiment of his poetry is sometimes deeper. The verses of both, consisting chiefly of sonnets and amorous poems, were first published in 1557, together with those of Nicholas Grimald (1519-62), Thomas lord Vaux (1520-62), and some other minor poets, in TotteVs Miscellany, now easily accessible to all as one of Mr. Arber's excellent English Reprints (1870). From this collection we transcribe one of Surrey's sonnets as an example of the sonnet-form at this period. The lady celebrated is Surrey's 'Laura'—' fair Geraldine':—

'From Tuskane came my Ladies worthy race:

Faire Florence was sometyme her atmcient seate:
The Western yle, whose pleasaunt shore dothe face

Wilde Cambers clif s, did geue her liuely heate:
Fostered she wag with milke of Irishe brest:

Her sire, an Erie: her dame, of princes blood.
From tender yeres, in Britain she doth rest,

With kinges childe, where she tasteth costly food.
Honsdon did first present her to mine yien:

Bright is her hewe, and Geraldine she hight.
Hampton me taught to wishe her first for mine:

And Windsor, alas, dothe chase me from her sight.
Her beauty of kind [,] her vertues from aboue.
Happy is he, that can obtaine her loue.'

30. Early Dramatic Writers.—As the drama attained its most splendid development under Elizabeth and James, its earlier history may fitly be relegated to the succeeding chapter (see p. 57, s. 37, et seq.). It is proper, however, to note that the two first dramatic writers belong to the period of which the present chapter treats. One is Wlcholas TTdall, M.A. (1504-56), sometimes styled 'the father of English Comedy,' and Master in succession of Eton and Westminster Schools, who wrote not later than 1553, and probably to be acted by the Eton boys, a bond fide five-act comedy of London manners, under the title of Roister Doister. The other, John eywood (d. 1565), Court Jester to Henry VIII. and Mary, and hor of a dreary allegory entitled The Spider and the Flie (Promt and Catholic), produced, previous to 1534, six dramatic -positions or Interludes,—of no great literary value. Of these, the best known, which may serve as a sample of the somewhat gross satirical humour of the rest, turns upon a dispute between the Four Ps of its title,—a Palmer, a Pardoner, a 'Poticary, and a Pedlar—as to who can tell the greatest falsehood. The Palmer, following in his turn, and commenting upon some previous statement unfavourable to women, asserts, as if accidentally, that

'Nat one good cytye, towne nor borough
In cristendom, but I have ben thorough.
And this I wolde ye shulde understande,
I have seen women v hundred thousande:
And oft with them have longe tyme taried,
Yet in all places where I have ben,
Of all the women that I have pene,
I never sawe nor knewe in my conscyens
Any one woman out of paciens.'

It is needless to add that the speaker is at once held to have attained the maximum of mendacity.

31. Ballad Poetry.—In his description of the 'Seven Deadly Sins,' the author of Purs the Plowman makes the priest, Sloth, confess his ignorance of his paternoster, 'as the prest it syngeth,' but acknowledge his familiarity with 'rymes of Robyn hood and Randolf orle of Chestre.' * Numbers of such 'rymes' or ballads, chanted or recited from house to house by minstrels of the humbler order, were current during this period, though the majority of them are lost to us. But, even now, those collected by Bitson with reference to the Sherwood outlaw (so popular even in Bishop Latimer's day as to make the good prelate complain bitterly that his sermons were neglected for the ' traytoure' Robyn Hood f), make a book by themselves. For Chevy Chace, Sir Patrick Sjience, The Gaberlumie Man, The Not-Browne Mayde, and the remainder of those which Time has spared, the student is referred to the Reliques of Bishop Percy, the Border Minstrelsy of Scott, the Ballad Book of William Allingham, and the collections of Motherwell, Jamieson, Bell, Aytoun, and others.

* Piers the Plowman, Edited by Skeat, 1869: B-text, Pastui v. See the entire passage in Appendix A, Extract XI.

t Sixth Sermon before Edward VI., 1549,173-4 (Arber's reprint, 1869). See also Appendix A, Extract XX.

CHAPTER IV

THZ1 AGE OF SPENSER, SHAKESPEARE, AITS BACON.

1550-1625.

32. SUMMARY OP THE PERIOD.—33. THE POETS: GASCOIGNE, SACKVTLLE.— 34. SIDNEY. — 35. SPENSER.—36. THE MINOR POETS.—37. THE GROWTH OF THE ENGLISH DRAMA.—38. EARLY ENGLISH PLAYS.—39. THE PRECURSORS OF SHAKESPEARE: MARLOWE, ETC. — 40. SHAKESPEARE. — 41. THE,CONTEMPORARIES OF SHAKESPEARE: JONSON, WEBSTER, BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER, MASSINGER, ETC.—42. THE PROSE WRITERS: ASCHAM.— 43. LYLY. — 44. HOOKER, RALEIGH. — 45. BACON.—46. BURTON, SELDEN, LORD HERBERT.—47. THE MINOR PROSE WRITERS.—48. THE AUTHORISED VERSION OF THE BIBLE.

32. Summary of the Period.—According to the classification we have hitherto adopted, the stage of 'Middle English,' or English ' in revival' or ' supremacy,' came to an end with the first half of the sixteenth century (see p. 8, s. 3). With 1550 begins the period of ' Modern English,' or English in' sole dominion.' This continues to the present day; for, generally speaking, the English of the Victorians does not essentially differ from that of the Elizabethans. The more material alterations in the grammar and vocabulary of the language had been effected when the two great revolutions had done their work. It must, however, be once more repeated that the dates here given for the commencement and termination of these successive stages of transition are at the best approximate. During the second revolution, that breaking-up of the grammar which is the main characteristic of the first, would still proceed, though less appreciably; and, if it be asserted that no so-called linguistic revolution has taken place since 1550, it does not by any means follow that our language has undergone no changes in structure or substance during the period that intervenes. The dates used simply denote or limit the epochs during which the two great movements were in most noticeable activity. Time, says one of the great writers of this era (Lord Bacon), 'Innovateth greatly, but quietly, and by degrees,

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