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from his court in the month of May. manner, on the same veilum. The Love and moralities,* that is, abstrac- only point which rises above the tions and affectation, were the taste of average, at least in the first poem, is the time ; and so, in the time of Le- the idea of Fortune,* and the vioient brur., of Esménard, at the close of vicissitudes of human lifc. If there contemporaneous French literature, was a philosophy at this time, this was they produced collections of didactic it. They willingly narrated horrible poems, and odes to Chloris. As for and tragic histories; gather them the monk Lydgate, he had some talent, from antiquity down to their own day Bonie imagination, especially in high- they were far from the trusting and toned descriptions : it was the last passionate piety which felt the hand Rickey of a dying literature; gold re- of God in the government of the world ; ceived a golden coating, precious stones they saw that the world went blunder were placed upon diamonds, ornaments ing here and there like a drunken man mult.plied ard made fantastic; as in A sad and gloomy world, amused by their dress and buildings, so in their eternal pleasures, oppressed with a style. I Look at the costumes of dull misery, which suffered and feared Henry IV. and Henry V., monstrous without consolation or hope, isolated heart-shaped or horn-shaped head between the ancient spirit in which it dresses, long sleeves covered with ridic. had no living hope, and the modern ulous designs, the plumes, and again the spirit whose active science it ignored. oratories, armorial tombs, little gaudy Fortune, like a black smoke, hovers chapels, like conspicuous flowers under over all, and shuts out the sight of the naves of the Gothic perpendicular. heaven. They picture it as follows:When we can no more speak to the soul, we try to speak to the eyes. This is what
“ Her face semyng cruel and terrible
And by disdayne menacing of loke, . Lydgate does, nothing more. Pageants An hundred handes she had, of eche part or shows are required of him, dis- Some of her handès lyft up men alofte, guisings” for the Company of gold
To hye estate of worldlye dignité ; smiths; a mask before the king, a
Another handè griped ful unsofte,
Which cast another in grete adversite." + May-entertainment for the sheriffs of London, a drama of the creation for They look upon the great unhappy the festival of Corpus Christi, a mas- ones, a captive king, a dethroned querade, a Christmas show; he gives queen, assassinated princes, noble citthe plan and furnishes the verses. In ies destroyed, lamentable spectacles this matter he never runs dry; two as exhibited in Germany and France, hundred and fifty-one poems are attri- and of which there will be plenty in buted to him. Poetry thus conceived England; and they can only regard becomes a manufacture; it is composed them with a harsh resignation. Lydby the yard. Such was the judgment gate ends by reciting a commonplace of the Abbot of St. Albans, who, having of mechanical piety, by way of consogot him to translate a legend in verse, lation. The reader makes the sign of pays a hundred shillings for the whole, the cross, yawns, and goes away. In verse, writing, and illuminations, plac- fact, poetry and religion are no longer ing the three works on a level. In capable of suggestir.g a genuinc senti fact, no more thought was required for ment. Authors copy, and copy again, the one than for the others. His three Hawes & copies the House of Fame of geat works, The Fall of Princes, The Chaucer, and a sort of allegorical amor. Destruction of Troy, and The Siege of ous poem, after the Roman de la Rose. Thebes, are only translations or para Barclay II translates the Mirror of Good phrases, verbcse, erudite, descriptive, a kind of chivalrous processions, color
* See the Vision of Fortune, a gigantic fig. ed for the twentieth time, in the same
ure. In this painting he shows both feeling and This is the title Froissart (1397) gave to † Lydgate, Fall of Princes. Warton, ii. 280. his collection when presenting it to Richard II. The War of the Hussites, The Hundred + Lebrun, 1729-1897 ; Esménard, 1770-1812. Years' War, and The War of the Roses.
Lydgate, The Destruction of Troy-de- & About 1506. The Temple of Glass. I'orro scription of Hector's chapel. Especially read tyme of Pleasure. the Pageants or Solemn Entries.
| About 1500.
Manners and the Ship of Fools. Contin- | lish, Latin phrases, with slang, and ually we meet with dull abstractions, fashionable words, invented words, in used up and barren; it is the scholastic termingled with short rhymes, fabrı phase of poetry. If anywhere there is cates a sort of literary mud, with whicr an accent of greater originality, it is he bespatters Wolsey and the bishops. in this Ship of Fools, and in Lydgate's Style, metre, rhyme, language, art of Dance of Death, bitter buffooneries, every kind, is at an end; beneath the sad gayeties, which, in the hands of vain parade of official style there is artists and poets, were having their run only a heap of rubbish. Yet, as he throughout Europe. They mock at says, each other, grotesquely and gloomily;
“ Though my rhyme be ragged, poor, dull, and vulgar figures, shut up
Tattered and gagged, in a ship, or made to dance on their
Rudely rain-beaten, tomb to the sound of a fiddle, played
Rusty, moth-eaten, by a gripning skeleton. At the end
Yf ye take welle therewithe,
It hath in it some pithe." of all this mouldy talk, and amid the disgust which they have conceived for It is full of political animus, sensua each other, a clown, a tavern Tribou- liveliness, English and popular inlet,* composer of little jeering and mac- stincts; it lives. It is a coarse wife, aronic verses, Skelton,t makes his still elementary, swarming with ignoappearance, a virulent pamphleteer, ble vermin, like that which appears in who, jumbling together French, Eng. a great decomposing body. It is life,
• The court fool in Victor Hugo's drama of nevertheless, with its two great features Le Roi s'amuse.-TR.
which it is destined to display: the † Died 1529; Poet-Laureate 1489. His hatred of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, Beuge of Court, his Crown of Laurel, his which is the Reformation ; the return Elegy on the Death of the Earl of Northum berland are well written, and belong to od to the senses and to natural life, which sal portry.
is the Renaissance.
HISTORY OF ENGLISH
misery, he discovered his thought a:
his work fettered by the crushing idea, The Pagan Renaissance. which, forbidding a life of nature and
worldly hopes, erected into ideals the $ 1 MANNERS OF THE TIME.
obedience of the monk and the dreams
of fanatics. I.
It grew ever worse and worse. Foi
the natural result of such a conception, FOR seventeer. centuries a deep and as of the miseries which engender it, Bad thought had weighed upon the and the discouragement which it gives spirit of man, first to overwhelm it, rise to, is to do away with personal then to exalt and to weaken it, never action, and to replace originality by lousing, its hold throughout this long submission. From the fourth century, space of time. It was the idea of the gradually the dead letter was substituweakness and decay of the human race. ted for the living faith. Christians Greek corruption, Roman oppression, resigned themselves into the hands of and the dissolution of the ancient the clergy, they into the hands of the world, had given rise to it; it, in its Pope. Christian opinions were subor. turn, had produced a stoical resigna- dinated to theologians, and theologians tion, an epicurean indifference, Alexan- to the Fathers. Christian faith was dirian mysticism, and the Christian hope reduced to the accomplishment of in the kingdom of God. “The world works, ar.d works to the accomplish: is evil and lost, let us escape by insen- ment of ceremonies. Religion, Auid sibility, amazement, ecstasy:” Thus during the first centuries, was now spoke the philosophers; and religion, congealed into a hard crystal, and the comig after, announced, that the end coarse contact of the barbarians hart was near: “Prepare, for the kingdom deposited upon its surface a layer of of God is at hand." For a thousand idolatry: theocracy and the Inquisi. years universal ruin incessantly drove tion, the monopoly of the clergy and still deeper into their hearts this the prohibition of the Scriptures, the gloomy thought; and when man in the worship of relics and the sale of in
endal state raised himself, by sheer dulgences began to appear. In place. force of courage and muscles, from the of Christianity, the church ; in place depths of final imber ility and general or a free creed, enforced orthodoxy is
place of moral fervor, fixed religious warmth of soul, a sa; eracundant and practices; in place of the heart and stir- splendid imagination, reveries, visions, ring thought, outward and mechanical artists, believers, founders, creators, discipline : such are the characteristics —that is what such a form of intellect of the middle ages. Under this constraint produces; for to create we must have, thinking society had ceased to think; as had Luther and Loyola, Michel philosophy was turned into a text-book, Angelo and Shakspeare, an idea, not and poetry into dotage; and mankind, abstract, partial, and dry, but well de. slothful and crouching, delivering up fined, finished, sensible,--a true creation their conscience and their conduct into which acts inwardly, and struggies to the hands of their priests, seemed but appear to the light. This was Europe's as puppets, fit only ior reciting a cat- grand age, and the most notable epoch echism and mumbling over beads. * of human growth. To this day we live
At last invention makes another from its sap, we only carry on its pres. start; and it makes it by the efforts of sure and efforts. the lay society, which rejected theocracy, kept the State free, and which
II. presently discovered, or re-discovered, one after anarhets was renewed; it is no wonder if the ideal
, the industries, sci
When human power is manifested
so clearly , and . America and the Indies were added to the map of the world ; the shape of It recurs, bringing with it the worship
and the old pagan idea reappears. the earth was ascertained, the system of beauty and vigor, first in Italy; for of the universe propounded, modern this of all other countries in Europe, philology was inaugurated, the experi; is the most pagan, and the nearest mental sciences set on foot, art and literature shot forth like a harvest, France and Spain, and Flanders,* and
to the ancient civilization; thence ir: religion was transformed: there was no province of human intelligence and land. How is it propagated? What
even in Germany; and finally in Eng. action which was not refreshed and fertilized by this universal effort. It kind at this time, everywhere under
revolution of manners reunited manwas so great, that it passed from the
a sentiment which they had forgotten innovators to the laggards, and reformed Catholicism in the face of that their condition had improved, and
for fifteen hundred years ? Merely Protestantism which it formed. It seems as though men had suddenly the actual situation, and the creatures
they felt it. The idea ever expresses opened their eyes and seen. In fact, they attain a new and superior kind tions of the mind,' only manifest the
of the imagination, like the concep of intelligence. It the proper feature of this age, that men no longer its welfare ; there is a fixed connection
the state of society and the degree of make themselves masters of objects by between what man admires and what bits, or isolated, or through scholastic or mechanical classifications, but as a
he is. While misery overwhelms him,
while the decadence is visible, and whole, in general and complete views, hope shut out, he is inclined to curse with the eager grasp of a sympathetic his life on earth, and seek consolation spirit, which being placed before a
in another sphere. As soon as his vast object, penetrates it in all its parts, sufferings are alleviated, his power made ries it in all its relations, appropriates and assimilates it, impresses upon itself manifest, his prospects brightened, he its living and potent image, so life-like begins once more to love the present and so powerful, that it is fain to trans- life, to be self-confident, to love and late it into externals through a work of praise energy, genius, all the effective
faculties which labor to procure him art or an action. An extraordinary
happiness About the twentieth year
of Elizabeth's reign, the nobles gave * See, at Bruges, the pictures of Hemling
up shield and two-handed sword for fifteenth century). No paintings enable us to understand so well the ecclesiastical piety of the * Van Orley, Michel Coxcie, Franz Floris, middle age, which was altogether like that of the de Vos', the Sadelers, Crispin de Pase, and
the artists of Nuremberg.