History of England, Part II From the Accession of Henry VIII to the Revolution of 1689

Tout, T. F. --Powell, F. York

1898

CHAPTER IX. England under the Tudors.

 

1. Despite the practical despotism of the Tudor kings, the framework of the medieval constitution continued

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unchanged, and . and 's policy of ruling through the House of Commons even increased the dignity of Parliament. An Elizabethan writer [1]  wrote thus of the High Court of Parliament : "This house hath the most high and absolute . power of the realm, for thereby mighty princes have been deposed, laws enacted and abrogated, offenders of all sorts punished, and corrupted religion disannulled or reformed. What the people of Rome did in their Comitia the same may be done by the authority of the Parliament house, wherein every particular person is intended to be present, if not by himself, by attorney."

The constitution of both Houses of Parliament underwent important changes during the century. The whole character of the House of Lords was altered. [2]  The removal of the mitred abbots gave the lay peers a majority for the first time. The change in the character of the episcopate made the successors of the prelates, who had led the opposition in mediaeval Parliaments, the obedient and submissive creatures of the Crown. The secular nobles remained so small a body that the episcopal vote was still important. The largest number of lay peers that sat in any of .'s parliaments was fifty-one. Very few of the mediaeval families still remained. Houses like those of Stafford and Howard, which, under ., were looked upon as typical representatives of the ancient aristocracy, won their importance only at the very end of the Middle Ages. They were soon outnumbered by the new peerage, which sprang up in the service of ., and was endowed with the spoils of the monasteries. The new nobles, such as the Russells, Earls of Bedford after i5 5o,and the Cavendishes, Earls of Devonshire after , were an official nobility dependent on the Crown and supporting the Crown, both from loyalty and policy. Bit by bit the remaining ancient houses were forced to accept the same position or were destroyed. After the great house of Stafford had been broken by Wolsey's triumph over Buckingham, the Howards gave up the struggle and won a new importance in the service of the Crown. Two Dukes of Norfolk were Treasurers all through the reign of Henry VIII., and the speedy catastrophe which overwhelmed the poet Earl of Surrey, and his son, 's Duke of Norfolk, showed them how hopeless it was to aspire to the independent attitude of a mediaval baron. The old tradition died hardest in the north, but the proscriptions

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which followed the Pilgrimage of Grace and the Revolt of the Northern Earls in destroyed the last remnants of the power of that historical nobility beyond the Humber, which from the days of Magna Carta to the Wars of the Roses, had been so tenacious of its local position and so inveterate in its opposition to the Crown. created peers so sparingly that the numbers of the House of Lords slightly declined during her reign. Before her death, the stronger houses of the new creation were beginning to take up a more independent position. The smallness of the numbers of the peers did something to augment their individual dignity and importance.

The House of Commons largely increased in numbers. Under ., members came for the first time from , Cheshire, Berwick, and Calais. New [3]  boroughs were freely created all through the century, adding some sixty new members from this source. We have already seen how, despite these additions, and despite increased skill in the art of managing Parliaments and elections, the House of Commons took up an increasingly independent tone. Nevertheless, there were as yet few occasions of conflict between Crown and Parliament. It was universally agreed that the provinces of the two were different. Neither nor Henry wished to prevent Parliament having its due share in legislation and taxation, nor did either monarch seriously attempt to interfere with its right of criticism and remonstrance. The Tudor Parliaments never aspired to control the executive. The ordinary government of the country they left entirely in the hands of the Crown.

2. The strengthening of the executive power is a marked feature of Tudor times. The chief mission of the Crown [4]  was to secure peace and order, and to put down the overpowerful subjects who in the days of York and had done only what was right in their own eyes. Before the end of the century, turbulent The central and lawless England had become peaceful Government. and law-abiding. Even in the remotest parts of the country the authority of the Crown was now universally respected.

As the work of government became more elaborate, even princes like Henry and were forced to entrust to [5]  others a large part of their power. The Tudor ministers were in all cases chosen freely by the Crown, and ruthlessly removed if they ceased to carry

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out the royal policy. Many of the more dignified of the ancient offices of state, such as the positions of Treasurer, or Chancellor, or Admiral, went by prescriptive right to great noblemen, who could not devote all their energy to the king's service, and who were not always clever enough to wield any wide influence. The tendency now was for these high officials to limit themselves closely to their own departments, leaving the general superintendence of the whole executive government, and the large discretionary powers which this involved to fall more and more into the hands of the two principal secretaries, first called during 's time Secretaries of State, whose political importance dates from the Tudor period. The haphazard and spasmodic control of medieval times became inadequate. The Crown now aspired to regulate all the ordinary affairs of life. A permanent foreign policy had to be kept up. Constant watchfulness was necessary to enforce the laws, and the volume of legislation was enormously increased. The Secretary, as a rule a man of humbler social rank than the great officers, but of stronger ability and of more complete devotion to his political work, became the assistant, the eye and hand, of the king his master. Nothing was too great and nothing was too small to escape his notice. From the activity of the Tudor Secretaries grew up all the elaborate departments of state of later times.

The wide Concilium Ordinarium of earlier times was now practically extinct, and the smaller and more confidential Council, often now called the Privy Council, was the chief consultative body and mouthpiece of the executive power. So strong was its influence that the [6]  Tudor period has not been inaptly described as the period of government by Council. The number of councillors was small, including as a rule about seventeen or eighteen persons, who took a special oath, and who in most cases held official positions under the crown. It was characteristic of Tudor policy that this body included as a rule statesmen of very different ways of thinking, as for example the men of the old and the new learning during the reign of .; and the tendency of the sovereign to listen sometimes to one party and sometimes to another produced fluctuations of policy which suggest a sort of rudimentary form of party government. It is, however, a mistake to exaggerate the amount of influence of the Council on the Crown. The Council was always the king's

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council: the Crown acted and the councillors only advised, and very often the Crown refused to follow their lead. Yet as the councillors had to carry out the royal will, their influence in fashioning details must have been considerable, and neither Henry nor was disposed to limit their independence so long as they knewtheir place. Besides its administrative work, the Council issued ordinances or proclamations, which tended more and more to usurp the place of Acts of Parliament, so as to encroach upon the legislative power. It also exercised very important judicial functions, being in this respect the chief instrument by which the authority of the Crown was maintained and the reign of law upheld. Its jurisdiction was partly appellate and partly original. The latter is of the greatest importance, and especially its criminal jurisdiction, which, gradually growing up during the fifteenth century, assumed a new importance under the Tudors. In a special Act of Parliament had set up a new court called the Star Chamber [see part i, pages 359-360], most of whose members were privy councillors, to deal with great offenders. By the [7]  accession of the constitution and powers of the Star Chamber had considerably changed. It now consisted of all the privy councillors and the chief justices as well. To it was gradually transferred all the criminal business that had occupied the Council in earlier times, as well as the special jurisdiction over great offenders given to it by the Act of . Henceforth the Star Chamber is little more than the Council sitting in its judicial capacity. As long as lived it was not unpopular, though its legal basis was questionable. It was looked on as the protector of order, as well as giving individuals redress of their grievances in more equitable and quick ways than the hide-bound traditions of the common law allowed. The Star Chamber did for the whole nation what the Council of the North [see page 40], or the Council of [see page 134], did for particular parts of it. It was not until Whitgift first used the court to suppress religious opposition that it began to be criticised. It was not until the Stewart period that the court called into existence to put down baronial anarchy was hated as being mainly directed towards depriving Englishmen of their civil and religious liberties. Even before that time the Court of High Commission [see page 78] had made itself odious by its inquisitorial methods and harshness in dealing with Puritans, though even that body did good

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work in reducing the abuses from which the Elizabethan Church suffered so much.

3. What the Council and the Star Chamber did for the central administration, the Justices of the Peace did for the local government. It is a striking proof of [8]  the popular character of the Tudor sovereignty that its local agents were not paid state officials, but the gentry of the shires and the merchants and [9]  tradesmen of the towns, discharging voluntarily and gratuitously the ever-increasing functions entrusted to them by the Crown. The Justices of the Peace not only exercised judicial functions over petty offenders, but in their Quarter Sessions carried out the whole of the administration of the shire, whose ancient court, the shiremoot, was now practically obsolete, save when it met for the purpose of returning knights of the shire to Parliament. Besides their original function of suppressing riot and disorder, the justices in Tudor times were entrusted with the carrying out of regulations affecting industry and trade, and especially the Statute of Apprentices of , which empowered them to fix the rate of wages and settle disputes between employers and their workmen. They were also administrators of the Elizabethan Poor Law; they hunted out vagrants, Popish Recusants, and Non-conformists ; they administered the oath of allegiance, and prohibited the country clergy from marrying without the advice and approval of two justices of the peace. The constant schooling in every branch of administration which the work of a justice involved gave the gentry an excellent political and judicial training which prepared them for their work in Parliament. If the first result was to send them to Parliament with the habits of an official, naturally prone to uphold the Crown, the habit of obedience gradually passed away, while the training in affairs and the cautious and balanced judgment still remained. It is because the Tudors ruled through the country gentry, that the sons and grandsons of the agents of the royal autocracy were able to control and defeat the government of the Stewarts.

4. Another Tudor institution was that of the Lords Lieutenant. By acts of . and Mary [10]  a Lord Lieutenant was appointed by the Crown in every county to act as commander of the local Militia, the only organised armed force that Tudor England possessed. Deputy Lieutenants were appointed to assist

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him. Everybody was still compelled to serve in the militia or to provide a substitute, and a law of Mary, embodying the [11]  principle of the ancient Assize of Arms, fixed the amount ofarms, armour, horses, and equipment to be provided by all property holders for the use of the national force, even the clergy being compelled to contribute their share. The little body called the Yeomen of the Guard, to defend the royal person, a few companies of paid soldiers to defend Calais and Berwick, and a small but well-armed and highly paid force of Spanish and Italian mercenaries that . had established, were the only approaches to a standing army in Tudor times. Most despots have ruled ultimately by armed force. It was the special glory of the Tudors that their only way of suppressing popular revolt on a large scale was through the popular militia. It was considered a great innovation when the rebellion of was suppressed by .'s foreign mercenaries, and no subsequent ruler ventured to repeat the ill-fated experiment of the Council of .

5. Even the navy was levied and equipped on popular principles. The subject was bound to defend the realm by [12]  sea as well as by land, but while every ablebodied man was thought fit without further preparation to fight on land, the special training and experience required for naval warfare limited the obligation to serve at sea to the coast districts and the seaports; and especially to the Cinque Ports and their Lord Warden. Moreover, there was a permanent royal navy, built and fitted out by the king out of his general revenue, and manned, when necessary, by pressed men. The king's ships set the example of improvements in naval architecture. . did a great work in setting up and equipping the royal navy on modern methods. He brought many fine ships from abroad and had others constructed at home. The Great Harry, built by him in , marks an epoch in the development of our maritime power, and he also established the Navy Office and set apart certain officers to manage the civil branches of the navy under the Lord High Admiral. We have already seen how the retired corsair and smuggler, Sir John Hawkins, built a new English navy that was easily able to outmanceuvre and outsail the boasted galleons of , after that the poverty of the Crown under Mary and Edward had reduced the royal navy so that it was not strong enough to clear the Narrow Seas of pirates. Even

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under , on great occasions, like the resistance to the Armada, armed merchant ships supplemented the royal fleet. In those days of lawlessness at sea, every trader was armed and used to fighting, and the line between merchant and pirate was by no means closely drawn. The increase of our merchant navy had much more to do with the growth of our maritime greatness than that of the royal navy.

6. With the growth of trade, merchants greatly flourished. How important the trader had now become is shown in the whole career of Sir Thomas Gresham [13] . (d. ), the princely merchant who acted as financial agent for .'s three children, and who was famous as the founder of the Royal Exchange at London, and for setting aside a large portion of his vast fortune to found in Gresham College a popular teaching university in London, though the scheme carried out fell far short of this. Yet lovers of old ways complained that merchants had become a "clog to the Commonwealth," keeping up prices with their monopolies and combinations, and recking of little but their private gain. There was a class of "bodgers," who bought up corn, and exported it even in times of scarcity, and thus artificially raised prices in England, or sold it to the poor after it had become rotten and unwholesome. But the commercial spirit had now affected all classes. The most heroic of the Elizabethan adventurers had as keen an eye to the main chance as the modern speculator or stock-jobber. The highest families in the land were infected with this spirit. The queen herself had shares in desperate piratical adventures against . Nobles became graziers and farmers, and sold their game and venison. One noble lady did not scruple to ride herself to market to see that her butter was well sold. The farmers were not content with what they could get at the nearest market town, but would send their corn twenty miles to market in the hope of getting a better price. But this increased bustle and activity did good as well as harm. Men found that they could only live by striking out new lines for themselves.

Competition, and the fierce struggle for existence which it involved, was no longer lamented as an unmixed evil, but accepted as a stern necessity. If the weakest inevitably went to the wall, the stronger and fiercer could make better conditions, and the state did something to

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mitigate the wretchedness of those who are least able to fend for themselves. The result was that the economic [14]  miseries that in the beginning of the century had attended the break-up of the social system, found partly, at least, their gradual remedy. It is instructive to compare the sad picture of the condition of England drawn in More's Utopia in the early part of .'s reign with the more elaborate Description of England, which a Puritan parson, William Harrison, compiled in the middle of the reign of . We see from the latter how material wealth and prosperity were enormously increased. The enclosure of commons, and the turning of arable land into pasture, ceased when the demand for English wool fell off, partly because with an increased output the quality deteriorated, and partly because the manufacturing cities of the Netherlands, the prey of war and persecution, no longer enjoyed their former prosperity. Agriculture again flourished. "The soil," wrote Harrison, "had grown to be more fruitful, and the countrymen more peaceful, more careful, and more skilful for recompense of gain." More attention was devoted to manuring the crops, and manuals of agricultural practice both in prose and verse, were widely circulated. Corngrowing again became profitable, and the cultivation of hops, newly brought in from the Netherlands, took so firm a root that many Kentish orchards were destroyed to make way for the new crop. A greater variety of fruits, vegetables, and salads were cultivated in gardens. Before the end of 's reign, the American root, the potato, began to be grown, though little used for a long time. The decay of towns ceased with the new growth of trade and the increase of manufactures, so that men, who under . or . had no alternative but to become sturdy beggars, were able to find employment at home, or to take to the sea, or serve in the constant wars abroad, or emigrate to distant parts of the earth. Even gentlemen did not scruple to take to piracy. Harrison lamented the absence of plantations, yet the failure of the Plantation of Munster showed that there was no longer a great unemployed class, eager to take up new occupations. Yet till the end of 's reign there were still plenty of beggars and thieves, despite sharp laws sharply executed.

With the increase of wealth and prosperity, all classes of the community profited. The yeoman class revived.

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" These were they," says Harrison, " who in times past made all afraid." " They now," he adds, " commonly live wealthily, keep good houses, and travail to get riches." "Many by their labour and industry have got so much wealth that they have bought up the lands of the unthrifty gentry." The artificer and the husbandman were no less prosperous, and Harrison cannot praise these classes too highly: "so merry without malice, and plain without inward craft, that it would do a man good to be in company among them." With the hope of keeping up the supply of skilled workmen, which the decayed guild system of the Middle Ages had provided for, the famous Act of Apprentices was passed in , enacting that no one should be allowed to exercise a trade until he had served a seven years' apprenticeship at it: but the law raised as many problems as it solved. The unskilled labourer profited but slightly from the general improvement, since wages rose little, and prices grew rapidly.

7. The stern statesmen of early Tudor times refused to contemplate a class of men who were willing to work but could get no employment, though the history of the period shows clearly that such a class of [15]  did exist. They attempted to stamp out by harsh laws the swarm of sturdy beggars who preferred a lawless, vagabond life to honest labour, while they allowed the sick and impotent to solicit public charity. Henry VIII.'s law gave the deserving poor licences to beg, and ordered the church-wardens of every parish to collect alms in church, which they were to devote to the maintenance of the poor. The able-bodied beggar was to be "tied to the end of a cart, naked, and be beaten with whips till his body be bloody by reason of such whipping." Barbarous as this law was, the Act of . repealed it, because of " the foolish pity and mercy" shown by those who should have carried it out, and sought as we saw [see page 57] to put down vagabondage by branding, slavery, and a felon's death. This brutal law was repealed within two years, and .'s Act revived, with more careful provision for the collection of alms by the appointment of collectors who were to request all householders to give a weekly sum, and had power to report to the bishop all those who refused to set apart some proportion of their means for the relief of the poor. Under a systematic Poor-Law gradually grew up. In 's First Poor-Law made compulsory the contributions to be collected

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for poor relief. In 's Second Poor-Law further systematised the whole plan. It was no longer left for each individual to assess himself, and the collectors of the rate were "to build habitations for the impotent and aged, and send strangers back to their own homes." Side by side with this were new laws against vagabonds, who were to be "grievously whipped." At last, in and , two more statutes, the Third and Fourth Poor-Laws of , set up our poor-law system as it remained until the new Poor-Law passed in . By these laws justices were ordered to nominate overseers in each parish, who had power to raise the sums necessary for the relief of the poor of that parish by taxing every inhabitant. The law of was looked upon as so satisfactory, that Robert Cecil boasted, " Our ordinary begging-poor are now provided for." The poorest now had a legal right to live.

8. The standard of comfort for all classes was greatly raised in the course of the century. Under . a [16]  small class of the community had rioted in somewhat barbaric profusion, but the mass of the commons had no other idea of luxury than a gross abundance of victuals and drink. Even the houses of the gentry were uncleanly; and fastidious foreigners, like Erasmus, complained that it was the common practice to conceal the filth of the floors by a covering of rushes, which were renewed but once or twice a year. The constant epidemics bore witness to the want of sanitation, and the poorer people lived in wretched houses built of mud. Queen Mary's Spaniards had noted how "the English have their houses built of sticks and dirt, though they fare like kings." Under everything changed. Instead of a "good round log under his head," the meanest man had his bolster or pillow. Despite a great rise in prices, people now found money for more luxuries. Stoves, chimneys, glazed windows, glass drinking-vessels, rich hangings and carpets, solid oak furniture artistically carved, sound and clean bedding, and pewter platters instead of wooden ones, became common even among farmers and townsmen. Even at an earlier date an Italian observer had noted that "there is no small innkeeper who does not serve his table with silver dishes and drinking-cups, and no one, who has not in his house silver plate to the value of one hundred pounds,is considered by the English to be a person of any consequence." At last

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Englishmen began to aim, not only at show, but at comfort. The conveniences of modern civilised life were now first freely available even to the rich. A good idea of the luxury that prevailed is given in a song which describes the preparations at a great house for a royal visit:-

"Set me fine Spanish tables in the hall, See they be fitted all ; Let there be room to eat And order taken that there want no meat. See every sconce and candlestick made bright That without tapers they may give a light. Look to the presence; are the carpets spread The dais o'er the head, The cushions in the chairs, And all the candles lighted on the stairs? Perfume the chambers, and in every case, Let each man have attendance in his place."

Lovers of old ways regretted the march of luxury. " When our houses were builded of willow," said Harrison, " then had we oaken men; but now our houses are come to be made of oak, our men are not only become willow, but many, through Persian delicacy crept in among us, altogether of straw. Now have we many chimneys, and yet our tenderlings complain of rheums and catarrhs."

9. Diet became more varied and wholesome. The introduction of hops improved the quality and keeping-powers of beer, but wine was still largely consumed. After the Reformation had made many forget the ancient ecclesiastical fast-days, attempts were made to prohibit the use of flesh meat on Fridays and other fasts, lest the fisheries should be discouraged and the sea-faring class decline in prosperity. The rise in the prices [17]  of wheat and rye, the popular bread-stuffs, forced many poor men to eat bread made of "horse-corn," such as beans, peas, oats, and lentils; but as a rule there was plenty of meat and beer for all ranks. While the nobles, "whose cooks are for the most part musical-headed Frenchmen and strangers," exceeded in the number and changes of meat, the merchants were as lavish at their feasts as their social superiors. Most men ate only two meals a day, dinner at eleven, or twelve, and supper at five or six.

10. Dress was varied a good deal during the century. Early in the century, men wore more gorgeous and extravagant clothes than women. . was dressed, when he met Francis at the Field [18]  of the Cloth of Gold, in "a garment of cloth of silver, of

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damask, ribbed with cloth of gold, so thick as might be; the garment was large and pleated very thick." On ordinary occasions men wore a short coat, cut low in the neck, with a loose gown with long sleeves by way of over garment, long hose and broad-toed shoes, and handsome hats made of velvet or cloth. The ladies wore close-fitting dresses, with long tight sleeves, and an ugly close-fitting headgear that concealed the hair, which was dragged back, and stowed away in a round cap at the back of the head. As the century went on, women's dress became richer and more costly, but less graceful and dignified. herself set a very bad example by her barbarous extravagances. Puritan satirists had an easy mark in the new fashion of dressing hair, " frizzled and crisped, laid out on wreaths and borders, propped with forks and wire, and surmounted by gold wreaths, bugles and gewgaws." A characteristic feature was the ruff, in its origin a loose collar, brought in by the Spaniards, but before long so ridiculously exaggerated, that a great fan-like structure of lace or lawn was upheld by wires, till it overtopped the fantastically dressed hair, and starch, " the devil's liquor," as Puritans called it, was invented to stiffen the fabric. Women wore long-peaked "stomachers," to make them long-waisted like the queen, and ate gravel and tallow, to get 's fair complexion; while they dyed their hair red to suit the queen's colour. Equally ridiculous was the hoop or farthingale, also a Spanish invention, which grew to an enormous size. Men's dress followed suit, though with less extravagance. They now wore trunk-hose, stuffed so tightly that they were hard to get into, and beneath them curiously wrought stockings. Boots were so elaborate that no gentleman could walk even for a small distance, and many of both sexes kept themselves out of the mud by the Venetian high-heeled shoe, called a "chopine." Hats were exceedingly elaborate; and fashion changed from year to year. " Except it were a dog in a doublet," exclaimed Harrison, "you shall not see any so disguised as are my countrymen of England."

11. Class distinctions were still strong, though it became easier for men to rise from one class to another. The gentry [19]  stood as a rank apart, though the wealthy merchant, or the successful professional man, found that it was by no means impossible for him to join their numbers. The professions grew in importance, though the one great profession of the Middle Ages, that of

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the clergy, was in a depressed condition. The Reformation had left the clergy a poor and despised class, unpopular with the laity, and of mean social estimation. [20]  There were few livings now that would support a scholar, and by the middle of the century, the universities, which earlier in the century had shown increasing affection to the new learning, became desolate, and there was imminent danger of their colleges following the fate of the monasteries, though under a revival took place. Harrison complains that careless patrons sold their livings, or presented their servants and dependents to them. The owners of the monastery lands would not give enough to pay competent vicars to serve the churches whose tithes had gone to them on the fall of the religious houses. The married clergy were hardly pinched, even where the celibate priest might have lived in comfort. robbed and bullied her bishops, and the local magnates followed her example by ill-treating the parish clergy. ' The Church," says Harrison, " is now the ass for every man to ride on."

Other professions grew up at the expense of the clerical class. The lawyers throve and multiplied. "All the wealth of our land," says Harrison, "doth now flow [21]  unto our common lawyers. The time hath been when our lawyers sat in Paul's upon stools, against the pillars, to get clients, but now some of them will not come from their chambers to the Courts for under ten pound." The Inns of Court now became great law-schools, giving much prestige to the barrister, so that many country gentlemen and men of family went up to London for a few terms to study law in them. The medical profession saw its status improved under Henry VIII., who established regius professorships of physic at Oxford and Cambridge, and in gave a charter to Linacre, and other leading practitioners, incorporating them as the College of Physicians. Henry also gave a charter to the College of Barber-Surgeons, and an Act of Parliament of his time separated these two classes that had hitherto been confused, by ordering that no barber should practice surgery, and no surgeon should shave people or dress their hair. Physicians and surgeons demanded such high fees, that Latimer complained that " physic is a remedy prepared only for rich folks, for the poor is not able to wage the physician." It was long before the new spirit began seriously to affect medical practice,

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but the age of the Renascence saw the casting off of the ancient authorities, that had prevented the progress of knowledge, and with the revived study of anatomy, medicine became more scientific, and more efficacious.

12. Education became more comprehensive. Though the Elizabethans were careless of tradition, and proud of [22]  their superiority over their forefathers, there was no previous time in which general culture was so much sought after as part of the equipment of a gentleman. In the Middle Ages, study was confined to a professional class of scholars. That class was still in existence, and held in high honour, but the rude unlettered noble of the Middle Ages was replaced by the cultivated, intelligent, scholarly gentleman of the Elizabethan age. Well-read and learned women were not rare, and the ladies at 's court commonly spoke several languages with fluency. But the Renascence idea of education went further than this. A gentleman was not only to be cultivated, but an expert in fencing and all manly exercises, polished in manner, and careful and elegant in his garb. It was a result of this wider view of education that travel became more common. It was now a part of every gentleman's, as well as of every scholar's education, to visit [23]  Italy, whence they brought back, along with greater refinement and keener intellectual and artistic tastes, a recklessness in morals, and a contempt for religion that too often made the "Italianate Englishman a devil incarnate." Italian influence was strong in every department of Elizabethan life; and, when Italy itself had outlived its best days, some touches of its former fine spirit extended itself to England. Within England communication became easier, and, though most men and women still travelled from place to place on horseback, coaches were introduced, which, though cumbrous, heavy and springless, were looked upon as dangerous luxuries, which only the effeminate would presume to use. All travellers went armed, even the clergy generally had a hanger or a dagger, and the lay traveller seldom went abroad without pistols. Gentlemen always wore rapiers, and most men carried daggers. The roads were still infested with robbers.

13. The changes in architecture marked the completely altered temper of the times. Under ., large and [24]  stately Gothic buildings were still constructed, as, for example, Bath Abbey or .'s Chapel at , though there is little of the best

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Gothic spirit in them. Even after the Reformation the Gothic fashion lingered on, and since, instead of building new churches, men were mostly engaged in pulling down old ones, it is rather in manor houses, castles, and halls, than in ecclesiastical structures, that the old spirit continued. Gradually the taste for classical or Renascence architecture was brought over from and Italy, though even then builders continued to build on Gothic lines, while enriching their structures with classical ornaments and details. The ultimate result of this process was the effective, though composite style, which we often call Elizabethan. The best examples of this are to be seen in the sumptuous and luxurious country houses, which the nobles of the time reared for themselves. Pure Gothic for this purpose went out with Wolsey's beautiful palace at Hampton Court, though it long lingered on in the numerous colleges built or rebuilt at Cambridge and Oxford up to the middle of the next century. Good examples of the newer style can be seen in Knole and Penshurst (the home of the Sidneys) in Kent. The Protector Somerset brought into England an Italian architect, John of Padua, to build his great palace in the Strand; and a stronger Italian influence is seen in houses like Longleat and Hardwick, in the ruins of Leicester's palace at Kenilworth, and to a less extent in Wollaton, near Nottingham. The conservative Harrison, while rejoicing in the "many goodly houses erected in this island," preferred the simpler and solider style of .'s time, and speaks contemptuously of the newer sort, as "rather curious to the eye, like paper-work, than substantial for continuance," though experience has now proved that the fantastic over-ornamentation of the Elizabethan mansion has not prevented it standing the wear and tear of time. The houses of the newer fashion were marked by spacious galleries, great windows filled with glass, chimneys to carry off the smoke, while within them were elaborate furniture and fittings, that made life much more luxurious than in the cramped castles of the Middle Ages. There was no longer any need to fortify private houses, since life and property were now fairly secure. Gentlemen could now surround their homes with fair gardens, and pleasant parks, wherein they took great delight.

The other arts were less flourishing than architecture, and the best that was done in them was mainly produced by foreigners. There was indeed an English school of musicians, including a great band of madrigal writers, and

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church-composers, like Merbecke and Tallis, who enriched the Protestant service books with dignified and appropriate [25]  music. In 's reign, songwriters, like Byrd and Dowland, gained a deserved reputation for sweetness and strength; and Dr. Thomas Campion was-not only a famous composer of music, but wrote words to his songs, that show him to have been a graceful and eloquent lyric poet. The English painters and sculptors were, however, of little merit. Foreigners such as John of Mabuse had been employed by English patrons, but in the early part of the period, England could produce no better painter than John Crust, who recorded the splendours of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, with wooden fidelity to appearances. ., who royally loved art, gave pensions to various foreigners, mostly Flemings, but including some Italians, through whose work we possess representations [26]  of at least the outward appearance of the nobles and courtiers of his time. A very marked the appearance of the famous German, Hans Holbein, first of Augsburg and then of Basel, who came to England in , with letters of introduction from Erasmus to More, and who soon enjoyed such constant patronage, that, save for a few holiday visits to Basel, he remained in England till his death of the plague in . His uncompromising truthfulness and great technical skill enabled him to paint Henry and his age as they really were. And even more important to us than his paintings is his collection of drawings, preserved at Windsor, which sets forth with rare ability the character and fashions of the time. Holbein left no school here, and, after his death, portraiture fell to meaner hands, such as the weak Gwillim Stretes, who painted the notabilities of .'s. time; the more vigorous Sir Antonio More, a Fleming trained in the Italian school, who was paid high prices for his sombre and dignified representations of Mary and her court; the Italian Federigo Zucchero, the best of the painters of the vain but thrifty ; and the whole crowd of refugees from the Low Countries, like Mark Gheeraerdts of Bruges, who were also fashionable in their day. Better art was shown by the rising school of miniaturists, led by Nicholas Hilliard, a Devonshire goldsmith, and the Frenchman Isaac Oliver, and his son Peter, whose works make the first faint step towards an English school of painting. Sculpture was at an even lower ebb, as

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most Elizabethan tombs show, with all their picturesque quaintness. The most notable examples of that art were the effigies of . and his mother, the Lady Margaret, made for Abbey by Torrigiano, the most eminent of the Italian artists that . succeeded in enlisting for a time in his service. While her father welcomed great artists to his court, had neither the wish nor the money largely to employ them. But the higher standard of artistic sensibility that had now grown up is seen in the greater merit as works of art of her coins, which, moreover, by reason of their containing good weight of honest gold and silver, did much to revive English trade, distracted by . and his first successors' debasements of the currency.

14. For nearly three-quarters of the sixteenth century, the amount of good literature produced in England was not large. In the early part of the period, the [27]  printing-press made what was best in the old literature more easily accessible, and the love of reading spread more widely. The taste for Chaucer's style still lived on, and the poets of the time still modelled their verse upon his. Conspicuous among them [28]  was Stephen Hawes, a follower of Lydgate's, who died about . The ancient tradition still remained stronger and more fruitful in , where William Dunbar and Gawin Douglas worthily upheld the school of . and Henryson, which later put forth its last utterances in Sir David Lindsay (d. ), a herald and a courtier of James V., who attacked the abuses of Church and State, in strong biting satires that did much to prepare the way for the Reformation. Another old-fashioned poet was John Skelton, whose short doggerel rimes, denouncing his archenemy, Wolsey, have some freshness and vigour, and whose pretty lyrics show the last declining rays of Chaucerian influence. The real literary importance of the early part of .'s reign rests rather with the bringing in of the Renascence impulse by a band of young scholars than in the amount of actual literary production. The one notable English-born book of the time was More's Utopia, which was written in Latin, but [29]  which, though addressed to the cosmopolitan world of scholars, of whom Erasmus was the chief, had a very definitely English bearing, if not in the remedies that it suggested, at least in the evils which it unveiled [see chap. i. pp. 21-22]. By the influence of

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More and his friends, England was brought into close touch with the deepest movements of the great European world, just at the moment when the Reformation was to break up for ever the cosmopolitan world of scholars, who used Latin as their familiar idiom, and, like Erasmus, had friends in all countries, though belonging to none themselves, What was actually written in prose in English was of a more commonplace sort; though the great output of dull ordinary books, more valuable for their matter than for their manner, should not be forgotten. The patriotic impulse made history a favourite study. Lord Berners (d. ), beguiled the leisure of his Calais command by his idiomatic and racy translation of Froissart, which delighted the revived chivalry that followed . to the field against Francis of. A whole school of chroniclers, such as Fabyan, Grafton and Hall, the London alderman, told in abundant detail, and with some rude skill, the recent annals of England; and More himself wrote a History of Richard III., which expanded the orthodox Lancastrian theory of the usurper's character ; [30]  while antiquarian and topographical research was represented by the patient and unwearied Leland, and Latimer's shrewd, homely, forcible Sermons have real literary value. Sir Thomas Elyot described in his book on The Governour () the ideal of the education of a gentleman; and, at a rather later date, that robust scholar, Roger Ascham (), set forth in straightforward English, such as the people themselves spoke, the praises of archery and old-fashioned ways in his Toxophilus, and in his Schoolmaster strove to make it easier for children to learn the Latin tongue. Ascham was in some ways the most characteristic English writer of his time. A convinced but prudent reformer, he won over Henry VIII. by his love of English sports, and survived to uphold ancient ways during the reign of his pupil . Though changes were more slowly wrought in prose than in verse, it is hardly too much to say that Ascham stands to prose almost as Wyatt and Surrey stand to English verse.

15. The Italian impulse which Ascham so profoundly hated first made its mark on English poetry through its [31]  influence on Sir Thomas Wyatt, a courtier and diplomatist of . (d. ), and on Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (d. ), the last victim of Henry's jealous wrath ; who, though he never visited Italy, followed and bettered Wyatt,

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in reading and imitating her poets. "Wyatt and Surrey," wrote an Elizabethan critic, "were novices newly crept out of the schools of Dante, Ariosto, and Petrarch, and greatly polished our rude and homely manner of vulgar poesy." They both employed Italian metres, such as the sonnet and the ottava rima, and Surrey (though Wyatt failed to acclimatise the terza rima) was able to bring in the " strange metre" of blank verse, also suggested by the Italians, which was to prove so potent a weapon in the hands of our dramatists for two generations. Both poets were extensively read in manuscript, and became popular and widely imitated. When the verses of Wyatt and Surrey and their followers were first printed in Tottel's Miscellany, (), so called from the bookseller Tottel who published it, the new impulse had been given from which Elizabethan poetry was to spring.

The progress of the new spirit in poetry was extremely slow. For the first twenty years of 's reign a swarm of minor poets exercised themselves [32]  in the metres of Wyatt and Surrey, but very few of them produced work of permanent or original merit. His own time praised George Gascoyne (d. ) as "a witty gentleman, and the very chief of our late rimers"; but his fame soon passed away. In and were published the two volumes of an historical poem called, A Mirrorfor Magistrates, written by various hands, in which, amidst much inferior verse, the grave and stately Induction by Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, reaches the highest level of imagination that was attained by the early Elizabethan poets. More verse was written than was printed, as gentleman preferred to circulate their rimes in manuscript a mong their friends, and there was hardly as yet a professional literary class. It was an Italian fashion to publish miscellaneous volumes of verse; and the Paradise of Dainty Devices, issued in , contains a typical collection of the poetic work of the period. An increasing output of stirring ballads represented the more popular side of poetry. Good dictionaries (such as Florio's), and grammars, and a whole literature of translations in verse and prose enabled those who were not professed scholars to study and appreciate the masterpieces of classic and Italian literature. The romantic fiction of Italy and was thus made extremely popular, and gave our authors subjects and models for the creation of similar literature in English. Books on arts, crafts, and accomplishments,

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began to be written in England. FitzHerbert's Husbandry and Surveying, Tusser's Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry (in verse), and George Silver's Paradoxes of Defence, a treatise on sword-play, are excellent examples. The fashionable Platonic mysticism even penetrated to England, and its greatest professor, Giordano Bruno, stayed in England, was a friend of Philip Sidney and his set, and not without influence on himself. The fierce theological controversies of the time produced a copious stream of pamphlets and polemical works, conspicuous among which was Bishop Jewel's Latin Apology for the Church of England, and John Foxe's Acts and Monuments, better known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, which described with simple vigour, though with little care for truth, the pathetic history of the Protestants who died for their faith, and belaboured the friends of the old Church with coarse violence. The Scottish prose classic of the period is without doubt John Knox's History of the Reformation.

16. The critical years in the political history of 's reign were those in which true Elizabethan literature [33]  bursts forth with strange suddenness and glory. Between and , Drake came home from his voyage round the world; the Jesuits and the seminary priests set forth on their mission to win back England to the old faith; Philip sent Spanish troops, and the Pope a legate, to stir up ; Esme Stewart plotted a Counter-Reformation in ; openly helped the revolted Netherlanders; and Gilbert and Raleigh first indulged in their dreams of English colonies in the New World. With the publication of Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar (), begins the flowering-time of Elizabethan poetry. The prose romances date from the printing of Lyly's Euphues in , and the composition of Philip Sidney's Arcadia in . Sidney's Apology for Poetry, written about the same time, worthily begins our later critical literature. In , Watson's Hecatompathia began the great outburst of sonneteering. A few months before Drake started for his voyage round the world, Burbage opened the first English theatre in Shoreditch, and ten years later, in , the date of the execution of Mary Stewart, Marlowe produced, in his play of Tamburlaine, the first masterpiece of the Elizabethan drama. From these memorable years onwards, there is no cessation to the flow of great works. The most creative and original period of English literature

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gilded the old age of the Island Queen with undying glory; and the chief masters continued their work well into the next century, for much of what is almost distinctively Eliza bethan was written under .

17. With the publication of The Shepherds Calendar Edmund Spenser became the first great poet of the new era. His fame was still new when he settled down, [34]  as we have seen, in , whence he was driven, after nearly twenty years of prosperity, by the last Desmond rising, to die next year in London, poor and disappointed, though never neglected. His unfinished epic the Faerie Queen, written in , and published in and , enshrined in the richest and most musical of verse all that was best in the spirit of the English Renascence, love of fancy and chivalry, enthusiasm for culture, delight in allegory, in mystic Platonism, in quaint adventure and in old-fashioned fairy tales, burning patriotic enthusiasm for England and her queen, earnestness of moral purpose and complete sensuous enjoyment of beauty, and fierce hatred of the Pope and the Spaniard, who seemed embodiments of all that was unlovely and evil.

Spenser is one of the foremost of English poets, but the fine imagination and art that appear so prominently in his work were reflected in the verses of a crowd of lesser singers, who caught some sparks of his poetic spirit. His famous master Ariosto was made to live in the English tongue by Sir John Harington's flowing translation of the Orlando Furioso, while Edward Fairfax's refined and poetic rendering of Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered did the same service for another of his Italian models. George Chapman's translation of Homer told the tales of Achilles and Ulysses in a way that went straight home to the Englishman of the Elizabethan age. Spenser's Amoretti or lovesonnets ushered in the great circle of sonneteers, though themselves strongly influenced by the Sonnets in which his friend and patron, Philip Sidney, immortalised an unhappy love for Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich, the "Stella" of his poems. The sonnets and love poetry of the time continued to be issued in miscellanies, such as England's Helicon and Davison's Poetical Rhapsody. They reach their supreme height in's Sonnets. But nothing shows so powerfully how the pure spirit of poetry was in the air than the exquisite grace and spontaneity of many a nameless and forgotten lyric to be found lurking in the song-books

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of the time, or flashing like jewels amid the mass of Elizabethan dramatic literature.

Many other types of poetry flourished. From the impulse given by the Mirror for Magistrates sprang the patriotic poetry which culminated in the History of the Civil Wars of the "well-languaged" Samuel Daniel, and in England's Heroical Epistles, and the other lengthy historical poems of Michael Drayton, who in his Polyolbion sought to glorify in sonorous verse all the wonders of Britain. Both Daniel and Drayton were also conspicuous among the sonnet writers, though neither of them kept up long to their highest level, either in lyric or narrative verse. A deeper note is struck in the philosophical Platonic poems of Sir John Davies, and in the melancholy force and gravity of Fulke Greville, Lord Brook, while William Drummond of Hawthornden's graceful love sonnets and solemn religious poems, and the Earl of Selkirk's fine plays, showed that some touch of the Elizabethan spirit had crossed the Scottish border.

18. Faithfully as Elizabethan poetry mirrors back the spirit of the great age, its fullest and largest life is best [35]  represented by the wonderful outburst of dramatic literature, which is its unique glory. The old mysteries and moralities [see part i. p. 274], which had been acted for many generations, were now on the decline, though they still kept up a popular taste for dramatic performances of a rude sort, while since .'s time comic Interludes, such as John Heywood wrote for the bluff king's court, gradually added a more human interest to the drama than could be got from the allegories, in which the morality writers set forth abstract representation of Virtues and Vices. The scholars of the Universities and Inns of Court, inspired by the spirit of the Renascence, read and acted Latin plays, such as those of Seneca and his Italian imitators, and gradually began to copy them in English. Before long they wrote dramas that seemed more adapted to English taste, and thus bit by bit a rude dramatic literature grew up by the middle of the sixteenth century. Bishop Bale's King John, though still mixed up with the machinery of the morality, prepared the way for the dramatic presentations of English history, which stirred up the patriotism of the age of the Armada. The disreputable Eton schoolmaster, Nicholas Udal, gave a boisterous picture of London life in Ralph Roister Doister, our first comedy; and Lord Buckhurst

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finished before the dull and formal Gorboduc, the first regular tragedy. During the next twenty years playwriting became common, and, though most of these plays had not much literary merit, or sustained interest, the representation of them became a widespread popular amusement.

19. At first plays were acted in the halls of gentlemen's houses, in the courtyards of inns or in any other possible spot. A new departure was made in ,when [36]  a company of players that were patronised by Leicester, at the head of which was James Burbage built The Theatre at Shoreditch, the first building set apart for dramatic performances in the country. After this theatres soon multiplied. As the Puritan magistrates of London showed great hostility to the players, partly because of their free living and partly because they acted plays on Sundays, Burbage and his fellows found it prudent to build their theatres in the suburbs. The Curtain soon arose hard by The Theatre in Shoreditch, and in Burbage's son built the famous Globe Theatre at Bankside on the Surrey side of the Thames hard by the Paris Garden, whither the citizens flocked on Sunday and holidays to enjoy the brutal but favourite sport of bull and bear-baiting. The Globe was a summer theatre, and the same actors played in wintertime at the Blackfriars Theatre, within the City, erected by the elder Burbage in . These were the chief Elizabethan playhouses. Though there was little profit to be made as yet by the penning of plays, the drama became so fashionable an amusement that large sums could be made by the proprietors of the playhouses, and a thrifty actor and playwright, who invested his savings in shares in the theatres, was able, like, to retire in middle life on a comfortable fortune, or, like his friend Alleyn, become the lord of a suburban manor and grantor of considerable estate to such a pious and charitable foundation as Dulwich College. The best of the Elizabethan theatres were but rude structures, a circular or hexagonal building, built of wood and partly covered with thatch, and largely open to the weather, except on the side of the capacious stage, which ran forward into the middle of the area, and was big enough, not only to give ample room for the actors, but to allow notable patrons to sit on stools at the back of it to witness the performance, while the common people, the " groundlings," stood closely packed in the pit. The few ladies who attended hid themselves away masked in the

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boxes, which were ranged in several tiers round the sides of the house and protected those of the better quality from the weather. Performances were always in the afternoon, beginning between one and three o'clock. There was no scenery, and the properties were poor, though the dresses were often costly. Boys acted the women's parts, and there was a constant variety in the performances.

20. With the opening of the first public theatres, the quality of English dramatic literare underwent a [37]  marvellous change. Soon after a group of young men, who had got a taste for the drama at Oxford and Cambridge, settled down in London, where the lived roystering and reckless lives, and began to write plays for the new theatres. These pieces were often bombastic, crude and sensational, but they showed a fire, an action, and a vein of true poetry that promised better things from their writers. With the production of Tamburlaine the Great, by the most gifted of the number, Christopher Marlowe, in the great age of the drama had definitely set in. In a few years Lyly the Euphuist, Greene, Peele, Nash, Kyd, and a crowd of others began writing for the stage. After the success of Tamburlaine blank verse became the fashion, though the earlier plays were largely written prose or rime. In the intemperate, passionate, and tragic career of Marlowe the first stage of the Elizabethan drama reached its culminating point. His greatest play is Dr. Faustus (about ). He perished miserably in a tavern brawl before he was thirty (), yet in the six or seven years, over which his dramatic career extended, his fiery passion and resistless force had raised him, despite many extravagances, to an immortal seat among the great poets of the world.

About the time of the production of Tamburlaine, William (), a youth of two or three and twenty, [38]  left his home and family at Stratford-on-Avon and came to London to push his fortunes. He soon made his way as an actor and a playwright, working up old plays into a more literary and attractive shape, and, strongly under the influence of Marlowe, made his first essays in original poetry and drama. His original plays begin with Love's Labour's Lost, with its satire on Euphuism, Arcadianism and the fashionable Latinist pedantry; and with the boisterous farce of the Comedy of Errors, founded on one of Plautus' plays, already copied by Ariosto. By

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he had written his fervid youthful tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, and not long after was following hard on the steps of Marlowe's . in his Richard III. About the Merchant of Venice shows that he had attained the full height of his powers. His early poems were now published and he had reached a high reputation, competent fortune, and a distinguished social position. Before died he was a leading shareholder of the Globe, the owner of New Place, the finest house in Stratford town, and is described in legal documents as ", gentleman of Stratford." There was such a demand for his plays that. though the theatre managers seldom gave them to the world, unauthorised and piratical editions began to be issued of the more popular of them. He had written As You Like It, Julius Ccesar, and Hamlet, and was already recognised by his fellows as the greatest of their company, almost as clearly as he has been hailed in after ages as the greatest of poets of all time. His profound knowledge of the human heart in all its phases, his naturalness, his glowing fancy, his deep passion, abundant humour, unique command of the mother tongue, wisdom, self-restraint and ripeness of judgment stand by themselves in all literature. Round him clustered a great school of dramatic writers, whose work, beginning in the last years of , came to a climax under . [see book vii. chap. viii.], and then slowly decayed, until the last of the Elizabethan dramatists laid down his pen on the eve of the Great Civil War.

21. The prose literature of the later years of did not reach the same high level as poetry or the drama. There were as yet few received standards of prose composition, though force, energy, [39]  inspiration, and matter did something to supply the want of art, and the best spirit of the time is often discernible beneath the quaint conceits, the tangled convolutions and heavy sentences of the prose style of the period The habitual use of the Book of Common Prayer, and the wide circulation of the various translations of the Bible, especially of the popular Calvinistic Genevan version, did something to establish a standard of dignified simple, and self-sustained style, though none of these qualities are very evident in the extravagant controversial pamphlet-literature that was so eagerly read, until the majestic dignity of Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity raised party polemics into sound literature. This book remained

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revolution. The first half of the century had witnessed a twofold religious revival. It saw the growth of Puritanism and the growth of Arminian Anglicanism. The Anglicans made common cause with the monarchy, and were overwhelmed with it in the Puritan Revolution. But the nation lamented the fall of the Church still more than the fall of king and Parliament. The Restoration of king and Parliament involved the restoration of the old Church.

The Restoration did not undo the work of the Puritan Revolution. It put the authority of Church and king on a broad basis of popular support. The direct rule of the monarchy was nearing its end, and the nation, divided into the two great parties, that aimed respectively at order and progress, gradually assumed, through the House of Commons, the control of its own destinies. However, . and . were not loyal to the new state of things. They sought to overthrow the Constitution both in Church and State. Neither had men yet learnt tolerance. The restored Church persecuted the Puritans it no longer retained within its pale. The Revolution of was therefore necessary to complete the triumph of Parliament which the revolution of had begun, and to secure Toleration and Individual Liberty.

Besides this great struggle, half-political, half-religious, the seventeenth century witnessed many other far-reaching changes in England.

It saw a temporary eclipse of English power abroad. A nation divided against itself could not make its influence felt in the counsels of Europe. One result of this was the establishment of the overwhelming preponderance of under Louis XIV. But the glories of Cromwell's foreign policy show that this decline was due to no deep-seated causes.

The seventeenth century witnessed a great development of our wealth and prosperity, the beginnings of our trading supremacy and Colonial Empire, and the first union of the whole British islands under a single rule. It saw a new era in literature, and it beheld Englishmen for the first time leading the world of scientific discovery. It was an age of strange contrasts, but taking it as a whole it was a glorious age.

 
 
Footnotes:

[1] The Constitutionunder the Tudors

[2] The House ofLords.

[3] The House ofCommons.

[4] Growth of the executivepower.

[5] The Secretaries and the Council.

[6] The Privy Council and its offshoots.

[7] The Star Chamber.

[8] Local government.

[9] The Justices or the Peace and Quarter Session.

[10] Lords Lieutenant.

[11] The Militia and military forces of the Crown.

[12] The Navy,

[13] Growth of commerce and the commercial spirit

[14] Completion ofthe Economic and Agrarian Revolution.

[15] the Beginnings.of the poor law

[16] Increase ofluxury and comfort

[17] Food and Drink

[18] Dress

[19] Classes of Society.

[20] The Clergy.

[21] Lawyers, Physicians, and surgeons.

[22] The Education of a Gentleman.

[23] Travel.

[24] Architecture.

[25] Music.

[26] Sculpture and Painting.

[27] Early Tudor Literature,

[28] The old schoolof poets.

[29] The scholars ofthe New Learning.

[30] prose writers

[31] Wyatt and Surrey, and the new school ofpoetry

[32] Early Elizabethan poetry.

[33] The relation between Literature and Action and the transition to the Great Age.

[34] Edmund Spenser and the new poetry.

[35] The beginnings of the Elizabethan Drama.

[36] The firsttheatres.

[37] Marlowe and the first generation of the great dramatists.

[38] Shakespeare and his successors.

[39] Prose.