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The Lord by his prophet Ezekiel sayeth in this wise playnlye,
From this interlude we learn, that the young men, which was natural, were eager to embrace the new religion, and that the old were unwilling to give up those doćtrines and modes of worship, to which they had been habitually attached, and had paid the most implicit and reverential obedience, from their childhood. To this circumstance the devil, who is made to represent the Scripture as a novelty, attributes the destruction of his spiritual kingdom.
The old people would beleve stil in my lawes,
It was among the reproaches of protestantism, that the inexperienced and the unlearned thought themselves at liberty to explain the Scriptures, and to debate the most abstruse and metaphysical topics of theological speculation. The two songs in the charaćter of YouTH, at the opening and close of this interlude, are flowery and not inelegant *.
The protestants continued their plays in Mary's reign: for Strype has exhibited a remonstrance from the Privy-council to the lord President of the North, representing, that “ certain “ lewd [ignorant] persons, to the number of fix or seven in a “ company, naming themselves to be servants of fir Frauncis “ Lake, and wearing his livery or badge on their sleeves, have “ wandred about those north parts, and representing certain “ Plays and Enterludes,” reflecting on her majesty and king Philip, and the formalities of the mass". These were familyminstrels or players, who were constantly distinguished by their master's livery or badge.
When the English liturgy was restored at the accession of Elisabeth, after its suppression under Mary, the papists renewed their hostilities from the stage; and again tried the intelligible mode of attack by ballads, farces, and interludes. A new injunétion was then necessary, and it was again enaëted in 1559, that no person, but under heavy forfeitures, should abuse the Common Prayer in “any Enterludes, Plays, songs or rimes".” But under Henry the eighth, so early as the year 1542, before the reformation was fixed or even intended on its present liberal establishment, yet when men had begun to discern and to reprobate many of the impostures of popery, it became an obječt of the legislature to curb the bold and seditious spirit of popular poetry. No sooner were the Scriptures translated and permitted in English, than they were brought upon the stage: they were not only misinterpreted and misunderstood by the multitude, but profaned or burlesqued in comedies and mummeries. Effeótually to restrain these abuses, Henry, who loved to create a subjećt for persecution, who commonly proceeded to disannul what he had just confirmed, and who found that a freedom of enquiry tended to shake his ecclesiastical supremacy, framed a law, that not only Tyndale's English Bible, and all the printed English commentaries, expositions, annotations, defences, replies, and sermons, whether orthodox or heretical, which it had occafioned, should be utterly abolished; but that the kingdom should also be purged and cleansed of all religious plays, interludes, rhymes, ballads, and songs, which are equally pestiferous and nosome to the peace of the church ‘. Henry appears to have been piqued as an author and a theologist in adding the clause concerning his own INSTITUTIon of A CHR Is TIAN MAN, which had been treated with the same sort of ridicule. Yet under the general injunction of suppresfing all English books on religious subjećts, he formally excepts, among others, some not properly belonging to that class, such as the CAN TERBURY TALEs, the works of Chaucer and Gower, CRoN1cles, and ST or IEs of MEN's Lives *. There is also an exception added about plays, and those only are allowed which were called MoR ALITIEs, or perhaps interludes of real charaćter and ačtion, “for the rebuking and reproaching of “ vices and the setting forth of virtue.” Myste R1Es are totally rejećted". The reservations which follow, concerning the use of a correóted English Bible, which was permitted, are curious for their quaint partiality, and they shew the embarrassment of administration, in the difficult business of confining that benefit to a few, from which all might reap advantage, but which threatened to become a general evil, without some degrees of restrićtion. It is absolutely forbidden to be read or expounded in the church. The lord chancellor, the speaker of the house of commons, captaines of the wars, justices of the peace, and recorders of cities, may quote passages to enforce their public harangues, as has been accustomed. A nobleman or gentleman may read it, in his house, orchards, or garden, yet quietly, and without disturbance “ of good order.” A merchant also may read it to himself privately. But the common people, who had already abused this liberty to the purpose of division and diffensions, and under the denomination of women, artificers, apprentices, journeymen, and servingmen, are to be punished with one month's imprisonment, as often as they are detected in reading the Bible either privately or openly. It should be observed, that few of these had now learned to read. But such was the privilege of peerage, that ladies of quality might read “to themselves and alone, and not to others,” any chapter either in the Old or New Testament'. This has the air of a sumptuary law, which indulges the nobility with many superb articles of finery, that are interdićted to those of inferior degree". Undoubtedly the duchesses and countesses of this age, if not from principles of piety, at least from motives of curiosity, became eager to read a book which was made inaccessible to three parts of the nation. But the partial distribution of a treasure to which all had a right could not long remain. This was a MANNA to be gathered by every man. The claim of the people was too powerful to be overruled by the bigottry, the prejudice, or the caprice of Henry. I must add here, in reference to my general subjećt, that the translation of the Bible, which in the reign of Edward the sixth was admitted into the churches, is supposed to have fixed our language. It certainly has transmitted and perpetuated many antient words which would otherwise have been obsolete or unintelligible. I have never seen it remarked, that at the same time this translation contributed to enrich our native English at an early period, by importing and familiarising many Latin words". These were suggested by the Latin vulgate, which was used as a medium by the translators. Some of these, however, now interwoven into our common speech, could not have been understood by many readers even above the rank of the vulgar, when the Bible first appeared in English. Bishop Gardiner had therefore much less reason than we now imagine, for complaining of the too great clearness of the translation, when with an infidious view of keeping the people in their antient ignorance, he proposed, that instead of always using English phrases, many Latin words should still be preserved, because they contained an inherent significance and a genuine dignity, to which the common tongue afforded no correspondent expressions of sufficient energy'. To the reign of Edward the fixth belongs Arthur Kelton, a native of Shropshire or Wales. He wrote the CRoN1cle of
* Ibid. p. 121. 153.
* Eccl. Mem. iii. Appen D. lii. p. 185. . Dat. 1556. Sir Francis Lake is ordered to correct his servants so offending.
One Henry Nicholas a native of Amsterdam, who imported his own translations of many enthusiastic German books into England, about the year 155o, translated and published, “Como Epia, a worke “in rhyme, conteyning an interlude of
“Myndes witnessing man’s fall from God
bate * Stat. Ann. 34, 35. Henr. viii. Cap. * Ibid. Artic. vii. i. Tyndale's Bible was printed at Paris * Ibid. Artic. ix. 536. of * Ibid. Artic. x. seq. proportions. A canon residentiary is to
# And of an old Diet AR 1 E for The CLER GY, I think by archbishop Cranmer, in which an archbishop is allowed to have two swans or two capons in a dish, a bishop two. An archbishop six blackbirds at once, a bishop five, a dean four, an archdeacon two. If a dean has four dishes in his first course, he is not afterwards to have custards or fritters. An archbishop may have six snipes, an archdeacon only two. Rabbits, larks, pheafants, and partridges, are allowed in these
have a swan only on a Sunday. A rector