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hundred sheep, and my mother milked 30 kine. He was able, and did find the king a harness, with himself and his horse, while he came to the place that he should receive the king's wages. i can remember that I buckled his harness when he went to Blackheath field. He kept me to school, or else I had not been able to have preached before the king's majesty now. He married my sisters with 51. or 20 nobles apiece, so that he brought them up in godliness and fear of God. He kept hospitality for his poor neighbours. And some alms he gave to the poor, and all this did he of the said farm. Where he that now hath it, payeth 161. by the year, or more, and is not able to do any thing for his prince, for himself, nor for his children, or give a cup of drink to the poor.
In my time my poor father was as diligent to teach me to shoot, as to learn me any other thing, and so I think other men did their children: he taught me how to draw, how to lay my body in my bow, and not to draw with strength of arms as divers other nations do, but with strength of the body. I had my bows bought me according to my age and strength; as I increased in them, so my bows were made bigger and bigger, for men shall never shoot well, except they be brought up in it: it is a worthy game, a wholesome kind of exercise, and much commended in physic.
HIS EXAMINATION BEFORE THE BISHOPS. I was once in examination before five or six bishops, where I had much turmoiling; every week thrice I came to examination, and many snares and traps were laid to get something. Now God knoweth, I was ignorant of the law, but that God gave me answer and wisdom what I should speak. It was God indeed, for else I had never escaped them. At the last I was brought forth to be examined, into a chamber hanged with arras, where I was wont to be examined, but now at this time the chamber was somewhat altered. For whereas before there was wont ever to be a fire in the chimney, now the fire was taken away, and an arras hanging hanged over the chimney, and the table stood near the chimney's end : so that I stood between the table and the chimney's end. There was among these bishops that examined me, one with whom I have been very familiar, and took him for my great friend, an aged man, and he sate next the table's end.
Then among all other questions he put forth one, a very subtle and crafty one, and such a one indeed as I could not think so great danger in. And I should make answer: I pray you, master Latimer, saith he, speak out: I am very thick of hearing, and here be many that sit far off. I marvelled at this, that I was bid. den speak out, and began to misdeem, and gave an ear to the chimney. And, sir, there I heard a pen walking in the chimney
behind the cloth. They had appointed one there to write all my answers, for they made sure work that I should not start from them : there was no starting from them.
God was my good Lord, and gave me answer; I could never else have escaped it. The question was this : Master Latimer, do you not think on your conscience, that you have been suspected of heresy? A subtle question, a very subtle question. There was no holding of peace would serve. To hold my peace had been to grant myself faulty. To answer it was every way full of danger. But God, which alway had given me answer, helped me, or else I could never have escaped it, and delivered me from their hands.
CAUSE AND EFFECT. Here is now an argument to prove the matter against the preachers. Here was preaching against covetousness all the last year, and the next summer followed rebellion : Ergo, preaching against covetousness was the cause of the rebellion-a goodly argument. Here now I remember an argument of master More's which he bringeth in a book that he made against Bilney; and here by the way I will tell you a merry toy. Master More was once sent in commission into Kent, to help to try out (if it might be) what was the cause of Goodwin Sands, and the shelf that stopped up Sandwich haven. Thither cometh master More, and calleth the country afore him, such as were thought to be men of experience, and men that could of likelihood best certify him of that matter concerning the stopping of Sandwich haven. Among others came in before him an old man, with a white head, and one that was thought to be little less than a hundred years old. When master More saw this aged man, he thought it expedient to hear him say his mind in this matter, (for being so old a man, it was likely that he knew most of any man in that presence and company.) So master More called this old aged man unto him, and said : Father, (said he,) tell me, if you can, what is the cause of this great arising of the sands and shelves here about this haven, the which stop it up, that no ships can arrive here? Ye are the eldest man I can espy in all this company, so that if any man can tell any cause of it, ye of likelihood can say most to it, or at leastwise, more than any man here assembled. Yea forsooth, good master, (quoth this old man,) for I am well nigh a hundred years old, and no man here in this company any thing near unto mine age. Well then, (quoth master More,) how say you in this mat ter? What think you to be the cause of these shelves and flats that stop up Sandwich haven? Forsooth sir, (quoth he,) I am an old man; I think that Tenterton-steeple is the cause of Good
win Sands. For I am an old man, sir, (quoth he,) and I may remember the building of Tenterton-steeple, and I may remember when there was no steeple at all there. And before that Tenterton-steeple was in building, there was no manner of speaking of any flats or sands that stopped the haven; and therefore I think that Tenterton-steeple is the cause of the destroying and decay of Sandwich haven. And so to my purpose, is preaching of God's word the cause of rebellion, as Tenterton-steeple was cause that Sandwich haven was decayed.
SIR JOHN CHEKE. 1514—1557.
In the year 1540, Henry VIII. founded a Greek professorship at Cambridge, of which Cheke was elected the first professor, when only twenty-six years of age; so early was he distinguished for his classical attainments. In 1544 he was appointed tutor to Prince Edward, who, on his accession to the throne, rewarded him with a pension of a hundred marks and a grant of several lands and manors; and in 1551 conferred on him the honor of knighthood. Sir John was a zealous protestant; in consequence of which he was severely persecuted by the bigoted Mary, twice imprisoned in the Tower, stript of his whole substance, and ultimately reduced to that dilemma which tried the stoutest hearts—« Either turn or burn." His religious zeal was not proof against this fiery ordeal, and he recanted. His property was now restored; but his recantation was followed by such bitterness of remorse, that he survived it but a short time, dying in 1557, at the early age of forty-three.
The period in which Cheke flourished is highly interesting to letters. His influence was very great in promoting a taste for classical and philological learning. He introduced a new method of pronouncing Greek, which, not withstanding the violent fulminations of the papal clergy, ultimately prevailed and still prevails. We are also very much indebted to him for the improvement of our own language. He recommended and practised a more minute attention to the meaning of words and phrases, and adopted a more skilful arrangement of them in composition. Before him, the sentences were long, and often involved. He used short sentences, and wrote with greater precision, perspicuity, and force of style than his predecessors.
His works were numerous, but they chiefly consisted of Latin translations from the Greek. Almost his only English work extant is his tract, entitled 6 The Hurt of Sedition.” In the summer of 1549 a formidable rebellion broke out in many of the counties in England. The rebels in the western part favored the papal religion, which they were desirous to restore. These Sir John addresses thus :
* To this Müton alludes in one of his sonnets :
“Thy age like ours, O soul of Sir John Cheke,
Hated not learning worse than toad or asp,
THE NEW AND THE OLD RELIGION CONTRASTED. Ye rise for religion. What religion taught you that? If ye were offered persecution for religion, ye ought to flee. So Christ teacheth you, and yet you intend to fight. If ye would stand in the truth, ye ought to suffer like martyrs; and ye would slay like tyrants. Thus for religion, ye keep no religion, and neither will follow the counsel of Christ nor the constancy of martyrs. Why rise ye for religion ? Have ye any thing contrary to God's book? Yea, have ye not all things agreeable to God's word ? But the new [religion] is different from the old ; and therefore ye will have the old. If ye measure the old by truth, ye have the oldest. If ye measure the old by fancy, then it is hard, because men's fancies change, to give that is old. Ye will have the old stile. Will ye have any older than that as Christ left, and his apostles taught, and the first church did use ? Ye will have that the canons do establish. Why that is a great deal younger than that ye have of later time, and newlier invented; yet that is it that ye desire. And do ye prefer the bishops of Rome afore Christ? Men's inventions afore God's law? The newer sort of worship before the older ? Ye seek no religion; ye be deceived; ye seek traditions. They that teach you, blind you ; that so instruct you, deceive you. If ye seek what the old doctors say, yet look what Christ, the oldest of all, saith. For he saith, “ before Abraham was made, I am.” If ye seek the truest way, he is the very truth. If ye seek the readiest way, he is the very way. If ye seek everlasting life, he is the very life. What religion would ye have other how than his religion? You would have the Bibles in again. It is no mervail ; your blind guides should lead you blind still. * * * * * * *
But why should ye not like that religion] which God's word establisheth, the primitive church hath authorized, the greatest learned men of this realm bave drawn the whole consent of, the parliament hath confirmed, the king's majesty hath set forth? Is it not truly set out? Can ye devise any truer than Christ's apostles used ? Ye think it is not learnedly done. Dare ye, commons, take upon you more learning than the chosen bishops and clerks of this realm have ? * *
Learn, learn to know this one point of religion, that God will be worshipped as he hath prescribed, and not as we have devised. And that his will is wholly in the Scriptures, which be full of God's spirit, and profitable to teach the truth.
JOHN HEYWOOD. Died 1565.
THE DRAMA. The name of John Heywood introduces us at once to that department of Literature, in which the English have excelled all the other nations of the world--the Drama. It is impossible to fix any precise date for the origin of the English Drama. In tracing its history, however, we must make four divisions—the Miracle Plays--the Moral Plays the Interludes--and the Legitimate Drama.
THE MIRACLE PLAYS. It would appear that, at the dawn of modern civilization, most countries of Europe possessed a rude kind of theatrical entertainment, consisting of the principal supernatural events of the Old and New Testaments, and of the history of the saints; whence they were called Miracles, or Miracle Plays. Some of their subjects were The Creation–The Fall of Man—The Flood—Abraham's Sacrifice—The Birth of Christ,His Baptism, &c. These plays were acted by the clergy, and were under their immediate management, for they maintained that they were favorable to the cause of religion. On the contrary, the language and the representations of these plays were indecorous and profane in the highest degree: and what must have been the state of society, when ecclesiastics patronised such scenes of blasphemy and pollution! Let us hear no more about “the good old times,” for “times" were doubtless far worse then than now.
MORAL PLAYS. The next step in the progress of the Drama was the Moral Play. The Moral Plays were dramas of which the characters were chiefly allegorical or abstract. They were certainly a great advance upon the Miracles, as they endeavored to convey sound moral lessons, and at the same time gave occasion to some poetical and dramatic ingenuity, in imaging forth the characters, and assigning appropriate speeches to each. The only scriptural character retained in them, was the Devil. He was rendered as grotesque and hideous as possible by the mask and dress he wore. We learn that his exterior was shaggy and hairy, one of the characters mistaking him for a dancing bear. That he had a tail, if it required proof, is evident from the circumstance, that in one play, the other chief character, called Vice, asks him for a piece of it to make a fly-trap. Thus, what would otherwise have been quite a sober performance, was rendered no little entertaining,
1 We now enter upon the age of Queen Elizabeth, and I cannot but insert here the following fine remarks from the 18th vol. of the Edinburgh Review :“We cannot resist the opportunity of hert saying a word or two of a class of writers, whom we have long worshipped in secret with a sor. of idolatrous veneration, and now find once more brought forward as candidates for public applause The era to which they belong, indeed, has always appeared to us by far the brightest in the history of English literature, or indeed of human intellect and capacity. There never was, anywhere, any thing like the sixty or seventy years that elapsed from the middle of Elizabeth's reign to the period of the Restoration. In point of real force and originality of genius, neither the age of Pericles, nor the age of Augustus, nor the times of Leo X., nor of Louis XIV., can come at all into comparison; for, in that short period, we shall find the names of almost all the very great men that this nation has ever produced,--the names of Shakspeare, and Bacon, and Spenser, and Sidney, and Hooker, and Taylor, and Barrow, and Raleigh, and Napier, and Milton, and Cudworth, and Hobbes, and many others; -men, all of them, not merely of great talents and accomplishments, but of vast compass and reach of understanding, and of minds truly creative and original ;--not perfecting art by the delicacy of their taste, or digesting knowledge by the jastness of their reasonings; but making vast and substantial additions to the materials upon which taste and reason must hereafter be employed,--and enlarging, to an incredible and unparalleled extent, both the stores and the resources of the human faculties."