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vorite pursuits, convey a very flattering impression of his diligence, and of the value of his labors; but they present little attraction except to readers of a peculiar taste. Some of his writings are in Latin; but the Itinerary—an account of his travels, and of the ancient remains which he visited, together with a catalogue of English writers-is in English. Leland was, for the last two years of his life, insane-a disease superinduced, in all probability, by too severe study. He died in London, in 1552.

GEORGE CAVENDISH, gentleman, usher to cardinal Wolsey, and afterwards to Henry the Eighth, belongs to the writers of this period, but the time of his birth has not been preserved. To Wolsey he was strongly attached, and after that prelate's fall, he continued to serve him faithfully until his death.

Cavendish himself died in 1557, leaving in manuscript the Life of Cardinal Wolsey, in which, while he admits the arrogant disposition of the cardinal, he highly extols his general character. The Metrical Visions of Cavendish treat of the fortunes and fall of some of the most eminent persons of his time. Respecting the life of Wolsey a recent editor observes :-'There is a sincere and impartial adherence to truth, a reality, in Cavendish's narrative, which bespeaks the confidence of his reader, and very much increases his pleasure. It is a work without pretensions, but full of natural eloquence, devoid of the formality of a set rhetorical composition, unspoiled by the affectation of that classical manner in which all biography and history of old time was prescribed to be written, and which often divests such records of the attraction to be found in the conversational style of Cavendish. Shakspeare has literally followed him in several passages of his king Henry VIII., merely putting his language into verse. Add to this the historical importance of the work, as the only sure and authentic source of information upon many of the most interesting events of that reign; and from which all historians have largely drawn, (through the secondary medium of Holinshed and Stow, who adopted Cavendish's narrative,) and its intrinsic value need not be more fully expressed.'

From this work we extract the following curious account of the familiar visits of Henry the Eighth to the house of cardinal Wolsey :

And when it pleased the king's majesty, for his recreation, to repair unto the Cardinal's house, as he did divers times in the year, at which time there wanted no preparations, or goodly furniture, with viands of the finest sort that might be provided for money or friendship; such pleasures were then devised for the king's comfort and consolation, as might be invented, or by man's wit imagined. The banquets were set forth with masks and mummeries, in so gorgeous a sort and costly manner, that it was a heaven to behold There wanted no dames or damsels, meet or apt to dance with the maskers, or to garnish the place for the time with other goodly disports. Then was there all kinds of music and harmony set forth, with excellent voices both of men and children. I have seen the king come suddenly in thither in a mask, with a dozen of other maskers, all in garments like shepherds, made of fine cloth of gold, and fine crimson satin paned, and caps of the same, with visors of good proportion of visnomy; their hairs, and beards, either of fine gold wire, or else of silver, and some being of black silk; having sixteen torch bearers, besides their

drums, and other persons attending upon them, with visors, and clothed all in satin, of the same colours. And at his coming, and before he came into the hall, ye shall understand that he came by water to the watergate, without any noise, where, against his coming, were laid charged many chambers, and at his landing they were all shot off, which made such a rumble in the air, that it was like thunder. It made all the noblemen, ladies, and gentlewomen, to muse what it should mean coming so suddenly, they sitting quietly at a solemn banquet. * * Then, immediately after


this great shot of guns, the cardinal desired the lord chamberlain and comptroller to look what this sudden shot should mean, as though he knew nothing of the matter. They thereupon, looking out of the windows into Thames, returned again and showed him, that it seemed to them there should be some noblemen and strangers arrived at his bridge, as ambassadors from some foreign prince. * * * * Then quoth the cardinal to my lord chamberlain, ‘I pray you,' quoth he, 'show them that it seemeth me that there should be among them some noblemen, whom I suppose to be much more worthy of honour to sit and occupy this room and place than I; to whom I would most gladly, if I knew him, surrender my place according to my duty.' Then spake my lord chamberlain unto them in French, declaring my lord cardinal's mind; and they rounding2 him again in the ear, my lord chamberlain said to my lord cardinal, Sir, they confess,' quoth he, 'that among them is such a noble personage, whom, if your Grace can appoint him from the other, he is contented to disclose himself, and to accept your place most worthily.' With that the cardinal, taking a good advisement among them, at the last, quoth he, 'Me seemeth the gentleman with the black beard should be even he.' And with that he arose out of his chair, and offered the same to the gentleman in the black beard, with his cap in his hand. The person to whom he offered then his chair, was Sir Edward Neville, a comely knight of a goodly personage, that much more resembled the king's person in that mask than any other. The king, hearing and perceiving the cardinal so deceived in his estimation and choice, could not forbear laughing; but plucked down his visor, and Master Neville's also, and dashed out with such a pleasant countenance and cheer, that all noble estates3 there assembled, seeing the king to be there amongst them, rejoiced very much. The cardinal eftsoons1 desired his highness to take the place of estate, to whom the king answered, that he would go first and shift his apparel; and so departed and went straight into my lord's bedchamber, where there was a great fire made and prepared for him, and there new apparelled him with rich and princely garments. And in the time of the king's absence, the dishes of the banquet were clean taken up, and the table spread again with new and sweet perfumed cloths; every man sitting still until the king and his maskers came in among them again, every man being newly apparelled. Then the king took his seat under the cloth of estate, commanding no man to remove, but sit still, as they did before. Then in came a new banquet before the king's majesty, and to all the rest through the tables, wherein, I suppose, were served two hundred dishes, or above, of wondrous costly meats and devices, subtilly devised. Thus passed they forth the whole night with banquetting, dancing, and other triumphant devices, to the great comfort of the king, and pleasant regard of the nobility there assembled.

LORD BERNERS, another popular writer of the age of Henry the Eighth, and a very great favorite of that monarch, being first made by him chancellor of the Exchequer, and afterward governor of Calais, is known chiefly as the author of a translation of the French chronicles of Froissart. His versions of that fascinating narrative of cotemporary events in England, France,

1 Short guns, or cannon, without carriages, chiefly used for festive occasions. 2 Whispering. 3 Persons of rank. 4 Immediately.

Flanders, Scotland, and other countries, was executed by the king's command, and was published in 1523. Froissart, the original author, resided in England as secretary to the queen of Edward the Third, from 1361, till 1366, and again visited that country in 1395. The translation is an excellent sample of the English language of that period, being remarkable for the purity and nervousness of its style. Besides the translation from Froissart, Lord Berners wrote The History of the Most Noble and Valiant Knight, Arthur of Little Britain, and The Duties of the Inhabitants of Calais. From his translation of Froissart, we extract the following passage:—


When the French king saw the Englishmen, his blood changed, and (he) said to his marshalls, 'Make the Genoese go on before, and begin the battle in the name of God and St. Denis.' There were of the Genoese cross-bows about a fifteen thousand, but they were so weary of going a-foot that day, a six leagues, armed with their cross-bows, that they said to their constables, 'We be not well ordered to fight this day, for we be not in the case to do any great deed of arms; we have more need of rest.' These words came to the Earl of Alençon, who said, 'A man is well at ease to be charged with such a sort of rascals, to be faint and fail now at most need.' Also, the same season, there fell a great rain and an eclipse, with a terrible thunder; and before the rain, there came flying over the battles a great number of crows for fear of the tempest coming. Then anon the air began to wax clear, and the sun to shine fair and bright, the which was right in the Frenchmen's eyen, and on the Englishmen's back. When the Genoese were assembled together, and began to approach, they made a great leap and cry, to abash the Englishmen; but they stood still, and stirred not for all that. Then the Genoese again the second time made another leap and a fell cry, and stepped forward a little; and the Englishmen removed not one foot. Thirdly again, they leaped and cried, and went forth till they came within shot; then they shot fiercely with their cross-bows. Then the English archers stepped forth one pace, and let fly their arrows so wholly and thick that it seemed snow. When the Genoese felt the arrows piercing through heads and arms and breasts, many of them cast down their cross-bows, and did cut their strings, and returned discomfited. When the French king saw them flee away, he said, 'Slay these rascals, for they shall let and trouble us without reason.' Then ye should have seen the men-at-arms dash in among them, and killed a great number of them, and ever still the Englishmen shot whereas they saw the thickest press; the sharp arrows ran into the men-at-arms and into their horses; and many fell horse and men among the Genoese; and when they were down, they could not relieve again; the press was so thick that one overthrew another. And also, among the Englishmen, there were certain rascals that went on foot with great knives, and they went in among the menat-arms, and murdered many as they lay on the ground, both earls, barons, knights, and squires, whereof the King of England was after displeased, for he had rather they had been taken prisoners.

Contemporary with Lord Berners was JOHN BELLENDEN, archdeacon of Moray, a favorite of James the Fifth of Scotland, and one of the lords of session in the reign of queen Mary. Besides writing a topography of Scotland, epistles to James the Fifth, and some poems, Bellenden translated, by order of the king, Hector Boece's History of Scotland, and also the first five books of Livy. The translation of Boece was published in 1536, and con stitutes the earliest existing specimen of Scottish literary prose. It is, how

ever, rather a free translation, and additions to the original are sometimes made by the translator. Another translation of Boece's History was published some years after in England by Holinshed, an English chronicler in the reign of Elizabeth, and was the source whence Shakspeare derived the historical materials of his tragedy of Macbeth. As the language of Bellenden's translation is now nearly obsolete, and as Holinshed's is easily accessible, we do not consider it necessary to introduce any extract from the former work.

Among the distinguished men of this age SIR JOHN CHEKE holds a very conspicuous place. He was descended from an ancient family in the Isle of Wight, and was born at Cambridge on the sixteenth of June 1514. At the age of seventeen he entered St. John's College, Cambridge, and such was his proficiency in the Greek language and literature that immediately after he had taken his degrees he was chosen Greek lecturer of the university. In 1540, when Henry the Eighth founded the Greek professorship at Cambridge, Cheke was chosen the first professor, and at the same time made university orator. In 1544, he was appointed tutor to prince Edward, and upon the accession of that prince to the crown, he obtained an annuity of one hundred marks, and by virtue of the king's mandamus, was elevated provost of King's College. In 1550, he was raised to the position of chief gentleman of the king's privy chamber, and in the following year his majesty conferred upon him the honor of knighthood. With a celerity almost unparalleled he passed from gentleman of the king's privy chamber, to the office of chancellor of the exchequer, and thence to the clerkship of the council, immediately after which he became one of the secretaries of state, and privy-counsellor.

At the period of King Edward's death, Sir John Cheke's cup of prosperity was full, but having acted as secretary to Lady Jane Grey, and her council, he was, on the accession of Mary, committed to the Tower. In 1554, however, he obtained his liberty, and soon after left England for the continent. He travelled through France and Italy, but on his arrival at Strasburgh, in Germany, he was reduced to the necessity of teaching Greek for a subsistence. In 1556, he was insidiously drawn to Brussels, and by order of King Philip, Mary's consort, apprehended, sent to England, and again committed to the Tower. The dreadful alternative was now presented to him by Cardinal Pole, ' either to comply or burn;' and in a moment of weakness he renounced Protestantism, and was received into the bosom of the Romish church. The grief, remorse, and shame, however, which immediately followed, hastened his end, and he, accordingly, died soon after, on the thirteenth of September, 1557, in his forty-fourth year.

Sir John Cheke was chiefly distinguished for the exertions he made to introduce the study of the Greek language and literature into England. Having dictated to his pupils an improved method for pronouncing Greek words, he was violently assailed by Bishop Gardiner, then Chancellor of

Cambridge university; but notwithstanding the fulminations of that severe prelate, the system of Cheke prevailed, and prevails even to the present day. At his death he left several works in manuscript, among which was a Translation of the Gospel by St. Matthew, the design of which was to exemplify a plan that he had conceived of reforming the English language by eradicating all words except those derived from Saxon roots.

Cheke's only original work in English is a pamphlet under the title of The Hurt of Sedition, how grievous it is to a Commonwealth, the design of the writer being to admonish the people who had risen under Ket the tanner. From this pamphlet we select the following specimen :


Ye pretend to a commonwealth. How amend ye it by killing of gentlemen, by spoiling of gentlemen, by imprisoning of gentlemen? A marvellous tanned 1 commonwealth. Why should ye hate them for their riches, or for their rule? Rule, they never took so much in hand as ye do now. They never resisted the king, never withstood his council, be faithful at this day, when ye be faithless, not only to the king, whose subjects ye be, but also to your lords, whose tenants ye be. Is this your true duty-in some of homage, in most of fealty, in all of allegiance-to leave your duties, go back from your promises, fall from your faith, and contrary to law and truth, to make unlawful assemblies, ungodly companies, wicked and detestable camps, to disobey your betters, and to obey your tanners, to change your obedience from a king to a Ket, to submit yourselves to traitors, and break your faith to your true king and lords?




If riches offend you, because ye would have the like, then think that to be no commonwealth, but envy to the commonwealth. Envy it is to appair2 another man's estate, without the amendment of your own; and to have no gentlemen, because ye be none yourselves, is to bring down an estate, and to mend none. Would ye have all alike rich? That is the overthrow of all labour, and utter decay of work in this realm. For, who will labour more, if, when he hath gotten more the idle shall by lust, without right, take what him list from him, under pretence of equality with him? This is the bringing in of idleness, which destroyeth the commonwealth, and not the amendment of labour, which maintaineth the commonwealth. If there should be such equality, then ye take all hope away from yours, to come to any better estate than you now leave them. And as many mean men's children come honestly up, and are great succour to all their stock, so should none be hereafter holpen by you. But because you seek equality, whereby all cannot be rich, ye would that be like, whereby every man should be poor. And think, beside, that riches and inheritance be God's providence, and given to whom of his wisdom he thinketh good.

Of the period at present under consideration, we have still to notice Thomas Wilson and Roger Ascham.

Of the time of WILSON's birth, of his birth-place, of his family, and of his early education, we are entirely ignorant. That his scholarship must have been respectable is evident; for he not only became a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, but soon after rose to the Deanery of Durham, and to various state employments under Elizabeth. He died in 1581, well advanced in years.

1 Alluding to the profession of the ringleader,

2 Impair.

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