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Title: The Age of the Reformation
Author: Smith, Preserved, 1880-1941
Language: English
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New York
Henry Holt and Company

American Historical Series
General Editor
Charles H. Haskins
Professor of History in Harvard University

Copyright, 1920
Henry Holt and Company



The excuse for writing another history of the Reformation is the need
for putting that movement in its proper relations to the economic and
intellectual revolutions of the sixteenth century.  The labor of love
necessary for the accomplishment of this task has employed most of my
leisure for the last six years and has been my companion through
vicissitudes of sorrow and of joy.  A large part of the pleasure
derived from the task has come from association with friends who have
generously put their time and thought at my disposal.  First of all,
Professor Charles H. Haskins, of Harvard, having read the whole in
manuscript and in proof with care, has thus given me the unstinted
benefit of his deep learning, and of his ripe and sane judgment.  Next
to him the book owes most to my kind friend, the Rev. Professor William
Walker Rockwell, of Union Seminary, who has added to the many other
favors he has done me a careful revision of Chapters I to VIII, Chapter
XIV, and a part of Chapter IX.  Though unknown to me personally, the
Rev. Dr. Peter Guilday, of the Catholic University of Washington,
consented, with gracious, characteristic urbanity, to read Chapters VI
and VIII and a part of Chapter I.  I am grateful to Professor N. S. B.
Gras, of the University of Minnesota, for reading that part of the book
directly concerned with economics (Chapter XI and a part of Chapter X);
and to Professor Frederick A. Saunders, of Harvard, for a like service
in technical revision of the section on science in Chapter XII.  While
acknowledging with hearty thanks the priceless services of these
eminent scholars, it is only fair to relieve them of all responsibility
for any rash statements that may have escaped their scrutiny, as well
as for any conclusions from which they might dissent.

For information about manuscripts and rare books in Europe my thanks
are due to my kind friends: Mr. P. S. Allen, Librarian of Merton
College, Oxford, the so successful editor of Erasmus's Epistles; and
Professor Carrington Lancaster, of Johns Hopkins University.  To
several libraries I owe much for the use of books.  My friend,
Professor Robert S. Fletcher, Librarian of Amherst College, has often
sent me volumes from that excellent store of books.  My sister,
Professor Winifred Smith, of Vassar College, has added to many loving
services, this: that during my four years at Poughkeepsie, I was
enabled to use the Vassar library.  For her good offices, as well as
for the kindness of the librarian, Miss Amy Reed, my thanks.  My
father, the Rev. Dr. Henry Preserved Smith, professor and librarian at
Union Theological Seminary, has often sent me rare books from that
library; nor can I mention this, the least of his favors, without
adding that I owe to him much both of the inspiration to follow and of
the means to pursue a scholar's career.  My thanks are also due to the
libraries of Columbia and Cornell for the use of books.  But the work
could not easily have been done at all without the facilities offered
by the Harvard Library.  When I came to Cambridge to enjoy the riches
of this storehouse, I found the great university not less hospitable to
the stranger within her gates than she is prolific in great sons.
After I was already deep in debt to the librarian, Mr. W. C. Lane, and
to many of the professors, a short period in the service of Harvard, as
lecturer in history, has made me feel that I am no longer a stranger,
but that I can count myself, in some sort, one of her citizens and
foster sons, at least a dimidiatus alumnus.

This book owes more to my wife than even she perhaps quite realizes.
Not only has it been her study, since our marriage, to give me freedom
for my work, but her literary advice, founded on her own experience as
writer and critic, has been of the highest value, and she has carefully
read the proofs.


    May 16, 1920.



CHAPTER I.  THE OLD AND THE NEW  . . . . . . . . . . . . .     3

1. The World.  Economic changes in the later Middle Ages.  Rise of the
bourgeoisie.  Nationalism.  Individualism.  Inventions.  Printing.
Exploration.  Universities.

2. The Church.  The papacy.  The Councils of Constance and Basle.

3. Causes of the Reformation.  Corruption of the church not a main
cause.  Condition of the church.  Indulgences.  Growth of a new type of
lay piety.  Clash of the new spirit with old ideals.

4. The Mystics.  _The German Theology_.  Tauler.  _The Imitation of

5. The Pre-reformers.  Waldenses.  Occam.  Wyclif.  Huss.

6. Nationalizing the churches.  The Ecclesia Anglicana.  The Gallican
Church.  German church.  The Gravamina.

7. The Humanists.  Valla.  Pico della Mirandola.  Lefèvre d'Étaples.
Colet.  Reuchlin.  _Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum_.  Hutten.  Erasmus.

CHAPTER II.  GERMANY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    62

1. The Leader.  Luther's early life.  Justification by faith only.
_The Ninety-five Theses_.  The Leipzig Debate.  Revolutionary Pamphlets
of 1520.

2. The Revolution.  Condition of Germany.  Maximilian I.  Charles V.
The bull _Exsurge Domine_ burned by Luther.  Luther at Worms and in the
Wartburg.  Turmoil of the radicals.  The Revolt of the Knights.
Efforts at Reform at the Diets of Nuremberg 1522-4.  The Peasants'
Revolt: economic causes, propaganda, course of the war, suppression.

3. Formation of the Protestant Party.  Defection of the radicals: the
Anabaptists.  Defection of the intellectuals: Erasmus.  The
Sacramentarian Schism: Zwingli.  Growth of the Lutheran party among the
upper and middle classes.  Luther's ecclesiastical polity.  Accession
of many Free Cities, of Ernestine Saxony, Hesse, Prussia.  Balance of
Power.  The Recess of Spires 1529; the Protest.

4. Growth of Protestantism until the death of Luther.  Diet of Augsburg
1530: the Confession.  Accessions to the Protestant cause.  Religious
negotiations.  Luther's last years, death and character.

5. Religious War and Religious Peace.  The Schmalkaldic War.  The
Interim.  The Peace of Augsburg 1555.  Catholic reaction and Protestant

6. Note on Scandinavia, Poland and Hungary.

CHAPTER III.  SWITZERLAND  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    146

1. Zwingli.  The Swiss Confederacy.  Preparation for the Reformation.
Zwingli's early life.  Reformation at Zurich.  Defeat of Cappel.

2. Calvin.  Farel.  Calvin's early life.  _The Institutes of the
Christian Religion_.  Reformation at Geneva.  Theocracy.  The
Libertines.  Servetus.  Character and influence of Calvin.

CHAPTER IV.  FRANCE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   182

1. Renaissance and Reformation.  Condition of France.  Francis I.  War
with Charles.  The Christian Renaissance.  Lutheranism.  Defection of
the humanists.

2. The Calvinist Party.  Henry II.  Expansion of France.  Growth and
persecution of Calvinism.

3. The Wars of Religion.  Catharine de' Médicis.  Massacre of Vassy.
The Huguenot rebellion.  Massacre of St. Bartholomew.  The League.
Henry IV.  Edict of Nantes.  Failure of Protestantism to conquer France.

CHAPTER V.  THE NETHERLANDS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    234

1. The Lutheran Reform.  The Burgundian State.  Origins of the
Reformation.  Persecution.  The Anabaptists.

2. The Calvinist Revolt.  National feeling against Spain.  Financial
difficulties of Philip II.  Egmont and William of Orange.  The new
bishoprics.  The Compromise.  The "Beggars."  Alva's reign of terror.
Requesens.  Siege of Leyden.  The Revolt of the North.  Division of the
Netherlands.  Farnese.  The Dutch Republic.

CHAPTER VI.  ENGLAND   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   277

1. Henry VIII and the National Church.  Character of Henry VIII.
Foreign  policy.  Wolsey.  Early  Lutheranism.  Tyndale's New
Testament.  Tracts.  Anticlerical feeling.  Divorce of Catharine of
Aragon.  The Submission of the Clergy.  The Reformation Parliament
1520-30.  Act in Restraint of Appeals.  Act of Succession.  Act of
Supremacy.  Cranmer.  Execution of More.  Thomas Cromwell.  Dissolution
of the monasteries.  Union of England and Wales.  Alliance with the
Schmalkaldic League.  Articles of Faith.  The Pilgrimage of Grace.
Catholic reaction.  War.  Bankruptcy.

2. The Reformation under Edward VI.  Somerset Regent.  Repeal of the
treason and heresy laws.  Rapid growth of Protestant opinion.  The Book
of Common Prayer.  Social disorders.  Conspiracy of Northumberland and

3. The Catholic reaction under Mary.  Proclamation of Queen Jane.
Accession and policy of Mary.  Repeal of Reforming Acts.  Revival of
Treason Laws.  The Protestant Martyrs.

4. The Elizabethan Settlement 1558-88.  Policy of Elizabeth.
Respective numbers of Catholics and Protestants.  Conversion of the
masses.  _The Thirty-nine Articles_.  The Church of England.  Underhand
war with Spain.  Rebellion of the Northern Earls.  Execution of Mary
Stuart.  The Armada.  The Puritans.

5. Ireland.

CHAPTER VII.  SCOTLAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   350

Backward condition of Scotland.  Relations with England.  Cardinal
Beaton.  John Knox.  Battle of Pinkie.  Knox in Scotland.  The Common
Band.  Iconoclasm.  Treaty of Edinburgh.  The Religious Revolution.
Confession of Faith.  Queen Mary's crimes and deposition.  Results of
the Reformation.

CHAPTER VIII.  THE COUNTER-REFORMATION . . . . . . . . . .   371

1. Italy.  The pagan Renaissance; the Christian Renaissance.  Sporadic

2. The Papacy 1521-90.  The Sack of Rome.  Reforms.

3. The Council of Trent.  First Period (1545-7).  Second Period
(1551-2).  Third Period (1562-3).  Results.

4. The Company of Jesus.  New monastic orders.  Loyola.  _The Spiritual
Exercises_.  Rapid growth and successes of the Jesuits.  Their final

5. The Inquisition and the Index.  The medieval Inquisition.  The
Spanish Inquisition.  The Roman Inquisition.  Censorship of the press.
_The Index of Prohibited Books_.

             OF EUROPE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   425

1. Spain.  Unification of Spain under Ferdinand and Isabella.  Charles
V.  Revolts of the Communes and of the Hermandad.  Constitution of
Spain.  The Spanish empire.  Philip II.  The war with the Moriscos.
The Armada.

2. Exploration.  Columbus.  Conquest of Mexico and of Peru.
Circumnavigation of the globe.  Portuguese exploration to the East.
Brazil.  Decadence of Portugal.  Russia.  The Turks.

CHAPTER X.  SOCIAL CONDITIONS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   451

1. Population.

2. Wealth and Prices.  Increase of wealth in modern times.  Prices and
wages in the Sixteenth Century.  Value of money.  Trend of prices.

3. Social Institutions.  The monarchy, the Council of state, the
Parliament.  Public finance.  Maintenance of Order.  Sumptuary laws and
"blue laws."  The army.  The navy.

4. Private life and manners.  The nobility; the professions; the
clergy.  The city, the house, dress, food, drink.  Sports.  Manners.
Morals.  Position of Women.  Health.


1. The Rise of the Power of Money.  Rise of capitalism.  Banking.
Mining.  Commerce.  Manufacture.  Agriculture.

2. The Rise of the Money Power.  Ascendancy of the bourgeoisie over the
nobility, clergy, and proletariat.  Class wars.  Regulation of Labor.

CHAPTER XII.  MAIN CURRENTS OF THOUGHT . . . . . . . . .    563

1. Biblical and classical scholarship.  Greek and Hebrew Bibles.
Translations.  The classics.  The vernaculars.

2. History.  Humanistic history and church history.

3. Political theory.  The state as power: Machiavelli.  Constitutional
liberty: Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Hotman, Mornay, Bodin, Buchanan.
Radicals: the _Utopia_.

4. Science.  Inductive method.  Mathematics.  Zoölogy.  Anatomy.
Physics.  Geography.  Astronomy; Copernicus.  Reform of the calendar.

5. Philosophy.  The Catholic and Protestant thinkers.  Skeptics.
Effect of the Copernican theory: Bruno.

CHAPTER XIII.  THE TEMPER OF THE TIMES . . . . . . . . .    641

1. Tolerance and Intolerance.  Effect of the Renaissance and

2. Witchcraft.  Causes of the mania.  Protests against it.

3. Education.  Schools.  Effect of the Reformation.  Universities.

4. Art.  The ideals expressed.  Painting.  Architecture.  Music.
Effect of the Reformation and Counter-reformation.

5. Reading.  Number of books.  Typical themes.  Greatness of the
Sixteenth Century.


1. The Religious and Political Interpretations.  Burnet, Bossuet,
Sleidan, Sarpi.

2. The Rationalist Critique.  Montesquieu, Voltaire, Robertson, Hume,
Gibbon, Goethe, Lessing.

3. The Liberal-Romantic Appreciation.  Heine, Michelet, Froude, Hegel,
Ranke, Buckle.

4. The Economic and Evolutionary Interpretations.  Marx, Lamprecht,
Berger, Weber, Nietzsche, Troeltsch, Santayana, Harnack, Beard,
Janssen, Pastor, Acton.

5. Concluding Estimate.

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    751

INDEX  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    819






Though in some sense every age is one of transition and every
generation sees the world remodelled, there sometimes comes a change so
startling and profound that it seems like the beginning of a new season
in the world's great year.  The snows of winter melt for weeks, the
cold winds blow and the cool rains fall, and we see no change until,
almost within a few days, the leaves and blossoms put forth their
verdure, and the spring has come.

Such a change in man's environment and habits as the world has rarely
seen, took place in the generation that reached early manhood in the
year 1500.  [Sidenote: 1483-1546]  In the span of a single life--for
convenience let us take that of Luther for our measure--men discovered,
not in metaphor but in sober fact, a new heaven and a new earth.  In
those days masses of men began to read many books, multiplied by the
new art of printing.  In those days immortal artists shot the world
through with a matchless radiance of color and of meaning.  In those
days Vasco da Gama and Columbus and Magellan opened the watery ways to
new lands beyond the seven seas.  In those days Copernicus established
the momentous truth that the earth was but a tiny planet spinning
around a vastly greater sun.  In those days was in large part
accomplished the economic shift from medieval gild to modern production
by capital and wages.  In those days wealth was piled up in the coffers
of the merchants, and a new power was {4} given to the life of the
individual, of the nation, and of the third estate.  In those days the
monarchy of the Roman church was broken, and large portions of her
dominions seceded to form new organizations, governed by other powers
and animated by a different spirit.

[Sidenote: Antecedents of the Reformation]

Other generations have seen one revolution take place at a time, the
sixteenth century saw three, the Rise of Capitalism, the end of the
Renaissance, and the beginning of the Reformation.  All three,
interacting, modifying each other, conflicting as they sometimes did,
were equally the consequences, in different fields, of antecedent
changes in man's circumstances.  All life is an adaptation to
environment; and thus from every alteration in the conditions in which
man lives, usually made by his discovery of new resources or of
hitherto unknown natural laws, a change in his habits of life must
flow.  Every revolution is but an adjustment to a fresh situation,
intellectual or material, or both.

[Sidenote: Economic]

Certainly, economic and psychological factors were alike operative in
producing the three revolutions.  The most general economic force was
the change from "natural economy" to "money economy," _i.e._ from a
society in which payments were made chiefly by exchange of goods, and
by services, to one in which money was both the agent of exchange and
standard of value.  In the Middle Ages production had been largely
co-operative; the land belonged to the village and was apportioned out
to each husbandman to till, or to all in common for pasture.
Manufacture and commerce were organized by the gild--a society of
equals, with the same course of labor and the same reward for each, and
with no distinction save that founded on seniority--apprentice,
workman, master-workman.  But {5} in the later Middle Ages, and more
rapidly at their close, this system broke down under the necessity for
larger capital in production and the possibility of supplying it by the
increase of wealth and of banking technique that made possible
investment, rapid turn-over of capital, and corporate partnership.  The
increase of wealth and the changed mode of its production has been in
large part the cause of three developments which in their turn became
causes of revolution: the rise of the bourgeoisie, of nationalism, and
of individualism.

[Sidenote: The bourgeoisie]

Just as the nobles were wearing away in civil strife and were seeing
their castles shot to pieces by cannon, just as the clergy were wasting
in supine indolence and were riddled by the mockery of humanists, there
arose a new class, eager and able to take the helm of civilization, the
moneyed men of city and of trade.  _Nouveaux riches_ as they were, they
had an appetite for pleasure and for ostentation unsurpassed by any, a
love for the world and an impatience of the meek and lowly church, with
her ideal of poverty and of chastity.  In their luxurious and leisured
homes they sheltered the arts that made life richer and the philosophy,
or religion, that gave them a good conscience in the work they loved.
Both Renaissance and Reformation were dwellers in the cities and in the
marts of commerce.

[Sidenote: National states]

It was partly the rise of the third estate, but partly also cultural
factors, such as the perfecting of the modern tongues, that made the
national state one of the characteristic products of modern times.
Commerce needs order and strong government; the men who paid the piper
called the tune; police and professional soldiery made the state, once
so racked by feudal wars, peaceful at home and dreaded abroad.  If the
consequence of this was an increase in royal power, the kings were
among those who had greatness thrust upon them, rather than achieving
it for themselves.  {6} They were but the symbols of the new, proudly
conscious nation, and the police commissioners of the large bankers and

[Sidenote: Individualism]

The reaction of nascent capitalism on the individual was no less marked
than on state and society, though it was not the only cause of the new
sense of personal worth.  Just as the problems of science and of art
became most alluring, the man with sufficient leisure and resource to
solve them was developed by economic forces.  In the Middle Ages men
had been less enterprising and less self-conscious.  Their thought was
not of themselves as individuals so much as of their membership in
groups.  The peoples were divided into well-marked estates, or classes;
industry was co-operative; even the great art of the cathedrals was
rather gild-craft than the expression of a single genius; even learning
was the joint property of universities, not the private accumulation of
the lone scholar.  But with every expansion of the ego either through
the acquisition of wealth or of learning or of pride in great exploits,
came a rising self-consciousness and self-confidence, and this was the
essence of the individualism so often noted as one of the contrasts
between modern and medieval times.  The child, the savage, and to a
large extent the undisciplined mind in all periods of life and of
history, is conscious only of object; the trained and leisured
intellect discovers, literally by "reflection," the subjective.  He is
then no longer content to be anything less than himself, or to be lost
in anything greater.

Just as men were beginning again to glory in their own powers came a
series of discoveries that totally transformed the world they lived in.
So vast a change is made in human thought and habit by some apparently
trivial technical inventions that it sometimes {7} seems as if the race
were like a child that had boarded a locomotive and half accidentally
started it, but could neither guide nor stop it.  Civilization was born
with the great inventions of fire, tools, the domestication of
[Sidenote: Inventions] animals, writing, and navigation, all of them,
together with important astronomical discoveries, made prior to the
beginnings of recorded history.  On this capital mankind traded for
some millenniums, for neither classic times nor the Dark Ages added
much to the practical sciences.  But, beginning with the thirteenth
century, discovery followed discovery, each more important in its
consequences than its last.  One of the first steps was perhaps the
recovery of lost ground by the restoration of the classics.  Gothic art
and the vernacular literatures testify to the intellectual activity of
the time, but they did not create the new elements of life that were
brought into being by the inventors.

What a difference in private life was made by the introduction of
chimneys and glass windows, for glass, though known to antiquity, was
not commonly applied to the openings that, as the etymology of the
English word implies, let in the wind!  By the fifteenth century the
power of lenses to magnify and refract had been utilized, as mirrors,
then as spectacles, to be followed two centuries later by telescopes
and microscopes.  Useful chemicals were now first applied to various
manufacturing processes, such as the tinning of iron.  The compass,
with its weird power of pointing north, guided the mariner on uncharted
seas.  The obscure inventor of gunpowder revolutionized the art of war
more than all the famous conquerors had done, and the polity of states
more than any of the renowned legislators of antiquity.  The equally
obscure inventor of mechanical clocks--a great improvement on the {8}
older sand-glasses, water-glasses, and candles--made possible a new
precision and regularity of daily life, an untold economy of time and

[Sidenote: Printing]

But all other inventions yield to that of printing, the glory of John
Gutenberg of Mayence, one of those poor and in their own times obscure
geniuses who carry out to fulfilment a great idea at much sacrifice to
themselves.  The demand for books had been on the increase for a long
time, and every effort was made to reproduce them as rapidly and
cheaply as possible by the hand of expert copyists, but the
applications of this method produced slight result.  The introduction
of paper, in place of the older vellum or parchment, furnished one of
the indispensable pre-requisites to the multiplication of cheap
volumes.  In the early fifteenth century, the art of the wood-cutter
and engraver had advanced sufficiently to allow some books to be
printed in this manner, _i.e._ from carved blocks.  This was usually,
or at first, done only with books in which a small amount of text went
with a large amount of illustration.  There are extant, for example,
six editions of the _Biblia Pauperum_, stamped by this method.  It was
afterwards applied, chiefly in Holland, to a few other books for which
there was a large demand, the Latin grammar of Donatus, for example,
and a guide-book to Rome known as the _Mirabilia Urbis Romae_.  But at
best this method was extremely unsatisfactory; the blocks soon wore
out, the text was blurred and difficult to read, the initial expense
was large.

The essential feature of Gutenberg's invention was therefore not, as
the name implies, printing, or impression, but typography, or the use
of type.  The printer first had a letter cut in hard metal, this was
called the punch; with it he stamped a mould known as the {9} matrix in
which he was able to found a large number of exactly identical types of
metal, usually of lead.

These, set side by side in a case, for the first time made it possible
satisfactorily to print at reasonable cost a large number of copies of
the same text, and, when that was done, the types could be taken apart
and used for another work.

The earliest surviving specimen of printing--not counting a few undated
letters of indulgence--is a fragment on the last judgment completed at
Mayence before 1447.  In 1450 Gutenberg made a partnership with the
rich goldsmith John Fust, and from their press issued, within the next
five years, the famous Bible with 42 lines to a page, and a Donatus
(Latin grammar) of 32 lines.  The printer of the Bible with 36 lines to
a page, that is the next oldest surviving monument, was apparently a
helper of Gutenberg, who set up an independent press in 1454.  Legible,
clean-cut, comparatively cheap, these books demonstrated once for all
the success of the new art, even though, for illuminated initials, they
were still dependent on the hand of the scribe.

[Sidenote: Books and Reading]

In those days before patents the new invention spread with wonderful
rapidity, reaching Italy in 1465, Paris in 1470, London in 1480,
Stockholm in 1482, Constantinople in 1487, Lisbon in 1490, and Madrid
in 1499.  Only a few backward countries of Europe remained without a
press.  By the year 1500 the names of more than one thousand printers
are known, and the titles of about 30,000 printed works.  Assuming that
the editions were small, averaging 300 copies, there would have been in
Europe by 1500 about 9,000,000 books, as against the few score thousand
manuscripts that lately had held all the precious lore of time.  In a
few years the price of books sank to one-eighth of what it had been
before.  "The gentle reader" had started on his career.

{10} The importance of printing cannot be over-estimated.  There are
few events like it in the history of the world.  The whole gigantic
swing of modern democracy and of the scientific spirit was released by
it.  The veil of the temple of religion and of knowledge was rent in
twain, and the arcana of the priest and clerk exposed to the gaze of
the people.  The reading public became the supreme court before whom,
from this time, all cases must be argued.  The conflict of opinions and
parties, of privilege and freedom, of science and obscurantism, was
transferred from the secret chamber of a small, privileged,
professional, and sacerdotal coterie to the arena of the reading public.

[Sidenote: Exploration]

It is amazing, but true, that within fifty years after this exploit,
mankind should have achieved another like unto it in a widely different
sphere.  The horror of the sea was on the ancient world; a heart of oak
and triple bronze was needed to venture on the ocean, and its
annihilation was one of the blessings of the new earth promised by the
Apocalypse.  All through the centuries Europe remained sea-locked,
until the bold Portuguese mariners venturing ever further and further
south along the coast of Africa, finally doubled the Cape of Good
Hope--a feat first performed by Bartholomew Diaz in 1486, though it was
not until 1498 that Vasco da Gama reached India by this method.

Still unconquered lay the stormy and terrible Atlantic,

  "Where, beyond the extreme sea-wall,
      and between the remote sea-gates,
  Waste water washes, and tall ships founder,
      and deep death waits."

But the ark of Europe found her dove--as the name Columbus
signifies--to fly over the wild, western {11} waves, and bring her news
of strange countries.  The effect of these discoveries, enormously and
increasingly important from the material standpoint, was first felt in
the widening of the imagination.  Camoens wrote the epic of Da Gama,
More placed his Utopia in America, and Montaigne speculated on the
curious customs of the redskins.  Ariosto wrote of the wonders of the
new world in his poem, and Luther occasionally alluded to them in his

[Sidenote: Universities]

If printing opened the broad road to popular education, other and more
formal means to the same end were not neglected.  One of the great
innovations of the Middle Ages was the university.  These permanent
corporations, dedicated to the advancement of learning and the
instruction of youth, first arose, early in the twelfth century, at
Salerno, at Bologna and at Paris.  As off-shoots of these, or in
imitation of them, many similar institutions sprang up in every land of
western Europe.  The last half of the fifteenth century was especially
rich in such foundations.  In Germany, from 1450 to 1517, no less than
nine new academies were started: Greifswald 1456, Freiburg in the
Breisgau 1460, Basle 1460, Ingolstadt 1472, Trèves 1473, Mayence 1477,
Tübingen 1477, Wittenberg 1502, and Frankfort on the Oder 1506.  Though
generally founded by papal charter, and maintaining a strong
ecclesiastical flavor, these institutions were under the direction of
the civil government.

In France three new universities opened their doors during the same
period: Valence 1459, Nantes 1460, Bourges 1464.  These were all placed
under the general supervision of the local bishops.  The great
university of Paris was gradually changing its character.  From the
most cosmopolitan and international of bodies it was fast becoming
strongly nationalist, and was the chief center of an Erastian
Gallicanism.  Its {12} tremendous weight cast against the Reformation
was doubtless a chief reason for the failure of that movement in France.

Spain instituted seven new universities at this time: Barcelona 1450,
Saragossa 1474, Palma 1483, Sigüenza 1489, Alcalá 1499, Valencia 1500,
and Seville 1504.  Italy and England remained content with the
academies they already had, but many of the smaller countries now
started native universities.  Thus Pressburg was founded in Hungary in
1465, Upsala in Sweden in 1477, Copenhagen in 1478, Glasgow in 1450,
and Aberdeen in 1494.  The number of students in each foundation
fluctuated, but the total was steadily on the increase.

Naturally, the expansion of the higher education brought with it an
increase in the number and excellence of the schools.  Particularly
notable is the work of the Brethren of the Common Life, who devoted
themselves almost exclusively to teaching boys.  Some of their schools,
as Deventer, attained a reputation like that of Eton or Rugby today.

The spread of education was not only notable in itself, but had a more
direct result in furnishing a shelter to new movements until they were
strong enough to do without such support.  It is significant that the
Reformations of Wyclif, Huss, and Luther, all started in universities.

[Sidenote: Growth of intelligence]

As the tide rolls in, the waves impress one more than the flood beneath
them.  Behind, and far transcending, the particular causes of this and
that development lies the operation of great biological laws, selecting
a type for survival, transforming the mind and body of men slowly but
surely.  Whether due to the natural selection of circumstance, or to
the inward urge of vital force, there seems to be no doubt that the
average intellect, not of leading thinkers or of select groups, {13}
but of the European races as a whole, has been steadily growing greater
at every period during which it can be measured.  Moreover, the
monastic vow of chastity tended to sterilize and thus to eliminate the
religiously-minded sort.  Operating over a long period, and on both
sexes, this cause of the growing secularization of the world, though it
must not be exaggerated, cannot be overlooked.


Over against "the world," "the church." . . .  As the Reformation was
primarily a religious movement, some account of the church in the later
Middle Ages must be given.  How Christianity was immaculately conceived
in the heart of the Galilean carpenter and born with words of beauty
and power such as no other man ever spoke; how it inherited from him
its background of Jewish monotheism and Hebrew Scripture; how it was
enriched, or sophisticated, by Paul, who assimilated it to the current
mysteries with their myth of a dying and rising god and of salvation by
sacramental rite; how it decked itself in the white robes of Greek
philosophy and with many a gewgaw of ceremony and custom snatched from
the flamen's vestry; how it created a pantheon of saints to take the
place of the old polytheism; how it became first the chaplain and then
the heir of the Roman Empire, building its church on the immovable rock
of the Eternal City, asserting like her a dominion without bounds of
space or time; how it conquered and tamed the barbarians;--all this
lies outside the scope of the present work to describe.  But of its
later fortunes some brief account must be given.

[Sidenote: Innocent III 1198-1216]

By the year 1200 the popes, having emerged triumphant from their long
strife with the German emperors, successfully asserted their claim to
the {14} suzerainty of all Western Europe.  Innocent III took realms in
fief and dictated to kings.  The pope, asserting that the spiritual
power was as much superior to the civil as the sun was brighter than
the moon, acted as the vicegerent of God on earth.  But this supremacy
did not last long unquestioned.  Just a century after Innocent III,
Boniface VIII [Sidenote: Boniface VIII 1294-1303] was worsted in a
quarrel with Philip IV of France, and his successor, Clement V, a
Frenchman, by transferring the papal capital to Avignon, virtually made
the supreme pontiffs subordinate to the French government and thus
weakened their influence in the rest of Europe.  This "Babylonian
Captivity" [Sidenote: The Babylonian Captivity 1309-76] was followed by
a greater misfortune to the pontificate, the Great Schism, [Sidenote:
The Great Schism 1378-1417] for the effort to transfer the papacy back
to Rome led to the election of two popes, who, with their successors,
respectively ruled and mutually anathematized each other from the two
rival cities.  The difficulty of deciding which was the true successor
of Peter was so great that not only were the kingdoms of Europe divided
in their allegiance, but doctors of the church and canonized saints
could be found among the supporters of either line.  There can be no
doubt that respect for the pontificate greatly suffered by the schism,
which was in some respects a direct preparation for the greater
division brought about by the Protestant secession.

[Sidenote: Councils--Pisa, 1409, Constance, 1414-18]

The attempt to end the schism at the Council of Pisa resulted only in
the election of a third pope.  The situation was finally dealt with by
the Council of Constance which deposed two of the popes and secured the
voluntary abdication of the third.  The synod further strengthened the
church by executing the heretics Huss and Jerome of Prague, and by
passing decrees intended to put the government of the church in the
hands of representative assemblies.  It asserted that it {15} had power
directly from Christ, that it was supreme in matters of faith, and in
matters of discipline so far as they affected the schism, and that the
pope could not dissolve it without its own consent.  By the decree
_Frequens_ it provided for the regular summoning of councils at short
intervals.  Beyond this, other efforts to reform the morals of the
clergy proved abortive, for after long discussion nothing of importance
was done.

For the next century the policy of the popes was determined by the wish
to assert their superiority over the councils.  The Synod of Basle
[Sidenote: Basle 1431-43] reiterated all the claims of Constance, and
passed a number of laws intended to diminish the papal authority and to
deprive the pontiff of much of his ill-gotten revenues--annates, fees
for investiture, and some other taxes.  It was successful for a time
because protected by the governments of France and Germany, for, though
dissolved by Pope Eugene IV in 1433, it refused to listen to his
command and finally extorted from him a bull ratifying the conciliar
claims to supremacy.

In the end, however, the popes triumphed.  The bull _Execrabilis_
[Sidenote: 1458] denounced as a damnable abuse the appeal to a future
council, and the _Pastor Aeternus_ [Sidenote: 1516] reasserted in
sweeping terms the supremacy of the pope, repealing all decrees of
Constance and Basle to the contrary, as well as other papal bulls.

[Sidenote: The secularization of the papacy]

At Rome the popes came to occupy the position of princes of one of the
Italian states, and were elected, like the doges of Venice, by a small
oligarchy.  Within seventy years the families of Borgia, Piccolomini,
Rovere, and Medici were each represented by more than one pontiff, and
a majority of the others were nearly related by blood or marriage to
one of these great stocks.  The cardinals were appointed from the
pontiff's sons or nephews, and the numerous other {16} offices in their
patronage, save as they were sold, were distributed to personal or
political friends.

Like other Italian princes the popes became, in the fifteenth century,
distinguished patrons of arts and letters.  The golden age of the
humanists at Rome began under Nicholas V [Sidenote: Nicholas V 1447-55]
who employed a number of them to make translations from Greek.  It is
characteristic of the complete secularization of the States of the
Church that a number of the literati pensioned by him were skeptics and
scoffers.  Valla, who mocked the papacy, ridiculed the monastic orders,
and attacked the Bible and Christian ethics, was given a prebend;
Savonarola, the most earnest Christian of his age, was put to death.

[Sidenote: 1453]

The fall of Constantinople gave a certain European character to the
policy of the pontiffs after that date, for the menace of the Turk
seemed so imminent that the heads of Christendom did all that was
possible to unite the nations in a crusade.  This was the keynote of
the statesmanship of Calixtus III [Sidenote: Calixtus III 1455-8] and
of his successor, Pius II.  [Sidenote: Pius II 1458-64]  Before his
elevation to the see of Peter this talented writer, known to literature
as Aeneas Sylvius, had, at the Council of Basle, published a strong
argument against the extreme papal claims, which he afterwards, as
pope, retracted.  His zeal against the Turk and against his old friends
the humanists lent a moral tone to his pontificate, but his feeble
attempts to reform abuses were futile.

[Sidenote: Paul II 1464-71]

The colorless reign of Paul II was followed by that of Sixtus IV,
[Sidenote: Sixtus IV 1471-84] a man whose chief passion was the
aggrandizement of his family.  He carried nepotism to an extreme and by
a policy of judicial murder very nearly exterminated his rivals, the

[Sidenote: Innocent VIII 1484-92]

The enormous bribes paid by Innocent VIII for his election were
recouped by his sale of offices and spiritual graces, and by taking a
tribute from the Sultan, {17} in return for which he refused to
proclaim a crusade.  The most important act of his pontificate was the
publication of the bull against witchcraft.

[Sidenote: Alexander VI 1492-1503]

The name of Alexander VI has attained an evil eminence of infamy on
account of his own crimes and vices and those of his children, Caesar
Borgia and Lucretia.  One proof that the public conscience of Italy,
instead of being stupified by the orgy of wickedness at Rome was rather
becoming aroused by it, is found in the appearance, just at this time,
of a number of preachers of repentance.  These men, usually friars,
started "revivals" marked by the customary phenomena of sudden
conversion, hysteria, and extreme austerity.  The greatest of them all
was the Dominican Jerome Savonarola [Sidenote: Savonarola] who, though
of mediocre intellectual gifts, by the passionate fervor of his
convictions, attained the position of a prophet at Florence.  He began
preaching here in 1482, and so stirred his audiences that many wept and
some were petrified with horror.  His credit was greatly raised by his
prediction of the invasion of Charles VIII of France in 1494.  He
succeeded in driving out the Medici and in introducing a new
constitution of a democratic nature, which he believed was directly
sanctioned by God.  He attacked the morals of the clergy and of the
people and, besides renovating his own order, suppressed not only
public immorality but all forms of frivolity.  The people burned their
cards, false hair, indecent pictures, and the like; many women left
their husbands and entered the cloister; gamblers were tortured and
blasphemers had their tongues pierced.  A police was instituted with
power of searching houses.

It was only the pope's fear of Charles VIII that prevented his dealing
with this dangerous reformer, who now began to attack the vices of the
curia.  In 1495, however, the friar was summoned to Rome, and {18}
refused to go; he was then forbidden to preach, and disobeyed.  In Lent
1496 he proclaimed the duty of resisting the pope when in error.  In
November a new brief proposed changes in the constitution of his order
which would bring him more directly under the power of Rome.
Savonarola replied that he did not fear the excommunication of the
sinful church, which, when launched against him May 12, 1497, only made
him more defiant.  Claiming to be commissioned directly from God, he
appealed to the powers to summon a general council against the pope.

At this juncture one of his opponents, a Franciscan, Francis da Puglia,
proposed to him the ordeal by fire, stating that though he expected to
be burnt he was willing to take the risk for the sake of the faith.
The challenge refused by Savonarola was taken up by his friend Fra
Domenico da Peseta, and although forbidden by Alexander, the ordeal was
sanctioned by the Signory and a day set.  A dispute as to whether
Domenico should be allowed to take the host or the crucifix into the
flames prevented the experiment from taking place, and the mob, furious
at the loss of its promised spectacle, refused further support to the
discredited leader.  For some years, members of his own order, who
resented the severity of his reform, had cherished a grievance against
him, and now they had their chance.  Seized by the Signory, he was
tortured and forced to confess that he was not a prophet, and on May
22, 1498, was condemned, with two companions, to be hung.  After the
speedy execution of the sentence, which the sufferers met calmly, their
bodies were burnt.  All effects of Savonarola's career, political,
moral, and religious, shortly disappeared.

Alexander was followed by a Rovere who took the name of Julius II.
[Sidenote: Julius II 1503-13]  Notwithstanding his advanced age this
pontiff proved one of the most vigorous and able {19} statesman of the
time and devoted himself to the aggrandizement, by war and diplomacy,
of the Papal States.  He did not scruple to use his spiritual thunders
against his political enemies, as when he excommunicated the Venetians.
[Sidenote: 1509]  He found himself at odds with both the Emperor
Maximilian and Louis XII of France, who summoned a schismatic council
at Pisa.  [Sidenote: 1511]  Supported by some of the cardinals this
body revived the legislation of Constance and Basle, but fell into
disrepute when, by a master stroke of policy, Julius convoked a council
at Rome.  [Sidenote: 1512-16]  This synod, the Fifth Lateran, lasted
for four years, and endeavored to deal with a crusade and with reform.
All its efforts at reform proved abortive because they were either
choked, while in course of discussion, by the Curia, or, when passed,
were rendered ineffective by the dispensing power.

[Sidenote: Leo X 1513-21]

While the synod was still sitting Julius died and a new pope was
chosen.  This was the son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, the Medici Leo X.
Having taken the tonsure at the age of seven, and received the red hat
six years later, he donned the tiara at the early age of thirty-eight.
His words, as reported by the Venetian ambassador at Rome, "Let us
enjoy the papacy, since God has given it to us," exactly express his
program.  To make life one long carnival, to hunt game and to witness
comedies and the antics of buffoons, to hear marvellous tales of the
new world and voluptuous verses of the humanists and of the great
Ariosto, to enjoy music and to consume the most delicate viands and the
most delicious wines--this was what he lived for.  Free and generous
with money, he prodigally wasted the revenues of three pontificates.
Spending no less than 6000 ducats a month on cards and gratuities, he
was soon forced to borrow to the limit of his credit.  Little recked he
that Germany was being {20} reft from the church by a poor friar.  His
irresolute policy was incapable of pursuing any public end
consistently, save that he employed the best Latinists of the time to
give elegance to his state papers.  His method of governing was the
purely personal one, to pay his friends and flatterers at the expense
of the common good.  One of his most characteristic letters expresses
his intention of rewarding with high office a certain gentleman who had
given him a dinner of lampreys.


[Sidenote: Corruption of the church not a main cause of the Reformation]

In the eyes of the early Protestants the Reformation was a return to
primitive Christianity and its principal cause was the corruption of the
church.  That there was great depravity in the church as elsewhere cannot
be doubted, but there are several reasons for thinking that it could not
have been an important cause for the loss of so many of her sons.  In the
first place there is no good ground for believing that the moral
condition of the priesthood was worse in 1500 than it had been for a long
time; indeed, there is good evidence to the contrary, that things were
tending to improve, if not at Rome yet in many parts of Christendom.  If
objectionable practices of the priests had been a sufficient cause for
the secession of whole nations, the Reformation would have come long
before it actually did.  Again, there is good reason to doubt that the
mere abuse of an institution has ever led to its complete overthrow; as
long as the institution is regarded as necessary, it is rather mended
than ended.  Thirdly, many of the acts that seem corrupt to us, gave
little offence to contemporaries, for they were universal.  If the church
sold offices and justice, so did the civil governments.  If the clergy
lived impure lives, so did the laity.  Probably the standard of the {21}
church (save in special circumstances) was no worse than that of civil
life, and in some respects it was rather more decent.  Finally, there is
some reason to suspect of exaggeration the charges preferred by the
innovators.  Like all reformers they made the most of their enemy's
faults.  Invective like theirs is common to every generation and to all
spheres of life.  It is true that the denunciation of the priesthood
comes not only from Protestants and satirists, but from popes and
councils and canonized saints, and that it bulks large in medieval
literature.  Nevertheless, it is both _a priori_ probable and to some
extent historically verifiable that the evil was more noisy, not more
potent, than the good.  But though the corruptions of the church were not
a main cause of the Protestant secession, they furnished good excuses for
attack; the Reformers were scandalized by the divergence of the practice
and the pretensions of the official representatives of Christianity, and
their attack was envenomed and the break made easier thereby.  It is
therefore necessary to say a few words about those abuses at which public
opinion then took most offence.

[Sidenote: Abuses: Financial]

Many of these were connected with money.  The common man's conscience was
wounded by the smart in his purse.  The wealth of the church was
enormous, though exaggerated by those contemporaries who estimated it at
one-third of the total real estate of Western Europe.  In addition to
revenues from her own land the church collected tithes and taxes,
including "Peter's pence" in England, Scandinavia and Poland.  The clergy
paid dues to the curia, among them the _servitia_ charged on the bishops
and the annates levied on the income of the first year for each appointee
to high ecclesiastical office, and the price for the archbishop's pall.
The priests recouped themselves by charging high fees for their
ministrations.  At a time {22} when the Christian ideal was one of
"apostolic poverty" the riches of the clergy were often felt as a scandal
to the pious.

[Sidenote: Simony]

Though the normal method of appointment to civil office was sale, it was
felt as a special abuse in the church and was branded by the name of
simony.  Leo X made no less than 500,000 ducats[1] annually from the sale
of more than 2000 offices, most of which, being sinecures, eventually
came to be regarded as annuities, with a salary amounting to about 10 per
cent. of the purchase price.

Justice was also venal, in the church no less than in the state.  Pardon
was obtainable for all crimes for, as a papal vice-chamberlain phrased
it, "The Lord wishes not the death of a sinner but that he should pay and
live."  Dispensations from the laws against marriage within the
prohibited degrees were sold.  Thus an ordinary man had to pay 16
grossi[2] for dispensation to marry a woman who stood in "spiritual
relationship" [3] to him; a noble had to pay 20 grossi for the same
privilege, and a prince or duke 30 grossi.  First cousins might marry for
the payment of 27 grossi; an uncle and niece for from three to four
ducats, though this was later raised to as much as sixty ducats, at least
for nobles.  Marriage within the first degree of affinity (a deceased
wife's mother or daughter by another husband) was at one time sold for
about ten ducats; marriage within the second degree[4] was {23} permitted
for from 300 to 600 grossi.  Hardly necessary to add, as was done: "Note
well, that dispensations or graces of this sort are not given to poor
people." [5]  Dispensations from vows and from the requirements of
ecclesiastical law, as for example those relating to fasting, were also
to be obtained at a price.

[Sidenote: Indulgences]

One of the richest sources of ecclesiastical revenue was the sale of
indulgences, or the remission by the pope of the temporal penalties of
sin, both penance in this life and the pains of purgatory.  The practice
of giving these pardons first arose as a means of assuring heaven to
those warriors who fell fighting the infidel.  In 1300 Boniface VIII
granted a plenary indulgence to all who made the pilgrimage to the
jubilee at Rome, and the golden harvest reaped on this occasion induced
his successors to take the same means of imparting spiritual graces to
the faithful at frequent intervals.  In the fourteenth century the
pardons were extended to all who contributed a sum of money to a pious
purpose, whether they came to Rome or not, and, as the agents who were
sent out to distribute these pardons were also given power to confess and
absolve, the papal letters were naturally regarded as no less than
tickets of admission to heaven.  In the thirteenth century the
theologians had discovered that there was at the disposal of the church
and her head an abundant "treasury of the merits of Christ and the
saints," which might be applied vicariously to anyone by the pope.  In
the fifteenth century the claimed power to free living men from purgatory
was extended to the {24} dead, and this soon became one of the most
profitable branches of the "holy trade."

The means of obtaining indulgences varied.  Sometimes they were granted
to those who made a pilgrimage or who would read a pious book.  Sometimes
they were used to raise money for some public work, a hospital or a
bridge.  But more and more they became an ordinary means for raising
revenue for the curia.  How thoroughly commercialized the business of
selling grace and remission of the penalties of sin had become is shown
by the fact that the agents of the pope were often bankers who organized
the sales on purely business lines in return for a percentage of the net
receipts plus the indirect profits accruing to those who handle large
sums.  Of the net receipts the financiers usually got about ten per
cent.; an equal amount was given to the emperor or other civil ruler for
permitting the pardoners to enter his territory, commissions were also
paid to the local bishop and clergy, and of course the pedlars of the
pardons received a proportion of the profits in order to stimulate their
zeal.  On the average from thirty to forty-five per cent. of the gross
receipts were turned into the Roman treasury.

It is natural that public opinion should have come to regard indulgences
with aversion.  Their bad moral effect was too obvious to be disregarded,
the compounding with sin for a payment destined to satisfy the greed of
unscrupulous prelates.  Their economic effects were also noticed, the
draining of the country of money with which further to enrich a corrupt
Italian city.  Many rulers forbade their sale in their territories,
because, as Duke George of Saxony, a good Catholic, expressed it, before
Luther was heard of, "they cheated the simple layman of his soul."
Hutten mocked at Pope Julius II for selling to others the heaven he could
not win himself.  Pius II [Sidenote 1458-64] was obliged {25} to confess:
"If we send ambassadors to ask aid of the princes, they are mocked; if we
impose a tithe on the clergy, appeal is made to a future council; if we
publish an indulgence and invite contributions in return for spiritual
favors, we are charged with greed.  People think all is done merely for
the sake of extorting money.  No one trusts us.  We have no more credit
than a bankrupt merchant."

[Sidenote: Immorality of clergy]

Much is said in the literature of the latter Middle Ages about the
immorality of the clergy.  This class has always been severely judged
because of its high pretensions.  Moreover the vow of celibacy was too
hard to keep for most men and for some women; that many priests, monks
and nuns broke it cannot be doubted.  And yet there was a sprinkling of
saintly parsons like him of whom Chancer [Transcriber's note: Chaucer?]

  "Who Christes lore and his apostles twelve
  He taught, but first he folwed it himselve,"

and there were many others who kept up at least the appearance of
decency.  But here, as always, the bad attracted more attention than the

The most reliable data on the subject are found in the records of church
visitations, both those undertaken by the Reformers and those
occasionally attempted by the Catholic prelates of the earlier period.
Everywhere it was proved that a large proportion of the clergy were both
wofully ignorant and morally unworthy.  Besides the priests who had
concubines, there were many given to drink and some who kept taverns,
gaming rooms and worse places.  Plunged in gross ignorance and
superstition, those blind leaders of the blind, who won great reputations
as exorcists or as wizards, were unable to understand the Latin service,
and sometimes to repeat even the Lord's prayer or creed in any language.


[Sidenote: Piety]

The Reformation, like most other revolutions, came not at the lowest ebb
of abuse, but at a time when the tide had already begun to run, and to
run strongly, in the direction of improvement.  One can hardly find a
sweeter, more spiritual religion anywhere than that set forth in
Erasmus's _Enchiridion_, or in More's _Utopia_, or than that lived by
Vitrier and Colet.  Many men, who had not attained to this conception of
the true beauty of the gospel, were yet thoroughly disgusted with things
as they were and quite ready to substitute a new and purer conception and
practice for the old, mechanical one.

Evidence for this is the popularity of the Bible and other devotional
books.  Before 1500 there were nearly a hundred editions of the Latin
Vulgate, and a number of translations into German and French.  There were
also nearly a hundred editions, in Latin and various vernaculars, of _The
Imitation of Christ_.  There was so flourishing a crop of devotional
handbooks that no others could compete with them in popularity.  For
those who could not read there were the _Biblia Pauperum_, picture-books
with a minimum of text, and there were sermons by popular preachers.  If
some of these tracts and homilies were crude and superstitious, others
were filled with a spirit of love and honesty.  Whereas the passion for
pilgrimages and relics seemed to increase, there were men of clear vision
to denounce the attendant evils.  A new feature was the foundation of lay
brotherhoods, like that of the Common Life, with the purpose of
cultivating a good character in the world, and of rendering social
service.  The number of these brotherhoods was great and their popularity

[Sidenote: Clash of new spirit with old institutions]

Had the forces already at work within the church been allowed to operate,
probably much of the moral reform desired by the best Catholics would
have been {27} accomplished quietly without the violent rending of
Christian unity that actually took place.  But the fact is, that such
reforms never would or could have satisfied the spirit of the age.  Men
were not only shocked by the abuses in the church, but they had outgrown
some of her ideals.  Not all of her teaching, nor most of it, had become
repugnant to them, for it has often been pointed out that the Reformers
kept more of the doctrines of Catholicism than they threw away, but in
certain respects they repudiated, not the abuse but the very principle on
which the church acted.  In four respects, particularly the ideals of the
new age were incompatible with those of the Roman communion.

[Sidenote: Sacramental theory of the church]

The first of these was the sacramental theory of salvation and its
corollary, the sacerdotal power.  According to Catholic doctrine grace is
imparted to the believer by means of certain rites: baptism,
confirmation, the eucharist, penance, extreme unction, holy orders, and
matrimony.  Baptism is the necessary prerequisite to the enjoyment of the
others, for without it the unwashed soul, whether heathen or child of
Christian parents, would go to eternal fire; but the "most excellent of
the sacraments" is the eucharist, in which Christ is mysteriously
sacrificed by the priest to the Father and his body and blood eaten and
drunk by the worshippers.  Without these rites there was no salvation,
and they acted automatically (_ex opere operato_) on the soul of the
faithful who put no active hindrance in their way.  Save baptism, they
could be administered only by priests, a special caste with "an indelible
character" marking them off from the laity.  Needless to remark the
immense power that this doctrine gave the clergy in a believing age.
They were made the arbiters of each man's eternal destiny, and their
moral character had no more to do with their binding and loosing sentence
than does the moral {28} character of a secular officer affect his
official acts.  Add to this that the priests were unbound by ties of
family, that by confession they entered into everyone's private life,
that they were not amenable to civil justice--and their position as a
privileged order was secure.  The growing self-assurance and
enlightenment of a nascent individualism found this distinction

[Sidenote: Other-worldliness]

Another element of medieval Catholicism to clash with the developing
powers of the new age was its pessimistic and ascetic other-worldliness.
The ideal of the church was monastic; all the pleasures of this world,
all its pomps and learning and art were but snares to seduce men from
salvation.  Reason was called a barren tree but faith was held to blossom
like the rose.  Wealth was shunned as dangerous, marriage deprecated as a
necessary evil.  Fasting, scourging, celibacy, solitude, were cultivated
as the surest roads to heaven.  If a good layman might barely shoulder
his way through the strait and narrow gate, the highest graces and
heavenly rewards were vouchsafed to the faithful monk.  All this grated
harshly on the minds of the generations that began to find life glorious
and happy, not evil but good.

[Sidenote: Worship of saints]

Third, the worship of the saints, which had once been a stepping-stone to
higher things, was now widely regarded as a stumbling-block.  Though far
from a scientific conception of natural law, many men had become
sufficiently monistic in their philosophy to see in the current
hagiolatry a sort of polytheism.  Erasmus freely drew the parallel
between the saints and the heathen deities, and he and others scourged
the grossly materialistic form which this worship often took.  If we may
believe him, fugitive nuns prayed for help in hiding their sin; merchants
for a rich haul; gamblers for luck; and prostitutes for generous {29}
patrons.  Margaret of Navarre tells as an actual fact of a man who prayed
for help in seducing his neighbor's wife, and similar instances of
perverted piety are not wanting.  The passion for the relics of the
saints led to an enormous traffic in spurious articles.  There appeared
to be enough of the wood of the true cross, said Erasmus, to make a ship;
there were exhibited five shin-bones of the ass on which Christ rode,
whole bottles of the Virgin's milk, and several complete bits of skin
saved from the circumcision of Jesus.

[Sidenote: Temporal power of the church]

Finally, patriots were no longer inclined to tolerate the claims of the
popes to temporal power.  The church had become, in fact, an
international state, with its monarch, its representative legislative
assemblies, its laws and its code.  It was not a voluntary society, for
if citizens were not born into it they were baptized into it before they
could exercise any choice.  It kept prisons and passed sentence
(virtually if not nominally) of death; it treated with other governments
as one power with another; it took principalities and kingdoms in fief.
It was supported by involuntary contributions.[6]

The expanding world had burst the bands of the old church.  It needed a
new spiritual frame, and this frame was largely supplied by the
Reformation.  Prior to that revolution there had been several distinct
efforts to transcend or to revolt from the limitations imposed by the
Catholic faith; this was done by the mystics, by the pre-reformers, by
the patriots and by the humanists.

[1] A ducat was worth intrinsically $2.25, or nine shillings, at a time
when money had a much greater purchasing power than it now has.

[2] The grossus, English groat, German Groschen, was a coin which varied
considerably in value.  It may here be taken as intrinsically worth about
8 cents or four pence, at a time when money had many times the purchasing
power that it now has.

[3] A spiritual relationship was established if a man and woman were
sponsors to the same child at baptism.

[4] Presumably of affinity, i.e., a wife's sister, but there is nothing
to show that this law did not also apply to consanguinity, and at one
time the pope proposed that the natural son of Henry VIII, the Duke of
Richmond, should marry his half sister, Mary.

[5] "Nota diligenter, quod huiusmodi gratiae et dispensationes non
conceduntur pauperibus."  _Taxa cancellariae apostolicae_, in E.
Friedberg: _Lerbuch des katholischen und evangelischen Kirchenrechts_,
1903, pp. 389 ff.

[6] Maitland: _Canon Law in the Church of England_, p. 100.


One of the earliest efforts to transcend the economy of salvation
offered by the church was made by a school of mystics in the fourteenth
and fifteenth {30} century.  In this, however, there was protest
neither against dogma nor against the ideal of other-worldliness, for
in these respects the mystics were extreme conservatives, more
religious than the church herself.  They were like soldiers who
disregarded the orders of their superiors because they thought these
orders interfered with their supreme duty of harassing the enemy.  With
the humanists and other deserters they had no part nor lot; they sought
to make the church more spiritual, not more reasonable.  They bowed to
her plan for winning heaven at the expense of earthly joy and glory;
they accepted her guidance without question; they rejoiced in her
sacraments as aids to the life of holiness.  But they sorrowed to see
what they considered merely the means of grace substituted for the end
sought; they were insensibly repelled by finding a mechanical instead
of a personal scheme of salvation, an almost commercial debit and
credit of good works instead of a life of spontaneous and devoted
service.  Feeling as few men have ever felt that the purpose and heart
of religion is a union of the soul with God, they were shocked to see
the interposition of mediators between him and his creature, to find
that instead of hungering for him men were trying to make the best
bargain they could for their own eternal happiness.  While rejecting
nothing in the church they tried to transfigure everything.  Accepting
priest and sacrament as aids to the divine life they declined to regard
them as necessary intermediaries.

[Sidenote: Eckhart, 1260-1327]

The first of the great German mystics was Master Eckhart, a Dominican
who lived at Erfurt, in Bohemia, at Paris, and at Cologne.  The
inquisitors of this last place summoned him before their court on the
charge of heresy, but while his trial was pending he died.  He was a
Christian pantheist, teaching that God was the only true being, and
that man was capable of reaching {31} the absolute.  Of all the mystics
he was the most speculative and philosophical.  Both Henry Suso and
John Tauler were his disciples.  [Sidenote: Suso, 1300-66]  Suso's
ecstatic piety was of the ultra-medieval type, romantic, poetic, and
bent on winning personal salvation by the old means of severe
self-torture and the constant practice of good works.  Tauler, a
Dominican of Strassburg, belonged to a society known as The Friends of
God.  [Sidenote: Tauler c. 1300-61]  Of all his contemporaries he in
religion was the most social and practical.  His life was that of an
evangelist, preaching to laymen in their own vernacular the gospel of a
pure life and direct communion with God through the Bible and prayer.
Like many other popular preachers he placed great emphasis on
conversion, the turning (_Kehr_) from a bad to a good life.  Simple
faith is held to be better than knowledge or than the usual works of
ecclesiastical piety.  Tauler esteemed the holiest man he had ever seen
one who had never heard five sermons in his life.  All honest labor is
called God's service, spinning and shoe-making the gifts of the Holy
Spirit.  Pure religion is to be "drowned in God," "intoxicated with
God," "melted in the fire of his love."  Transcending the common view
of the average Christian that religion's one end was his own salvation,
Tauler taught him that the love of God was greater than this.  He tells
of a woman ready to be damned for the glory of God--"and if such a
person were dragged into the bottom of hell, there would be the kingdom
of God and eternal bliss in hell."

One of the fine flowers of German mysticism is a book written
anonymously--"spoken by the Almighty, Eternal God, through a wise,
understanding, truly just man, his Friend, a priest of the Teutonic
Order at Frankfort."  _The German Theology_, [Sidenote: _The German
Theology_] as it was named by Luther, teaches in its purest form entire
abandonment to God, simple passivity in his hands, utter {32}
self-denial and self-surrender, until, without the interposition of any
external power, and equally without effort of her own, the soul shall
find herself at one with the bridegroom.  The immanence of God is
taught; man's helpless and sinful condition is emphasized; and the
reconciliation of the two is found only in the unconditional surrender
of man's will to God.  "Put off thine own will and there will be no

Tauler's sermons, first published 1498, had an immense influence on
Luther.  They were later taken up by the Jesuit Canisius who sought by
them to purify his church.  [Sidenote: 1543]  _The German Theology_ was
first published by Luther in 1516, with the statement that save the
Bible and St. Augustine's works, he had never met with a book from
which he had learned so much of the nature of "God, Christ, man, and
all things."  But other theologians, both Protestant and Catholic, did
not agree with him.  Calvin detected secret and deadly poison in the
author's pantheism, and in 1621 the Catholic Church placed his work on
the Index.

The Netherlands also produced a school of mystics, later in blooming
than that of the Germans and greater in its direct influence.  The
earliest of them was John of Ruysbroeck, a man of visions and
ecstasies.  [Sidenote: Ruysbroeck, 1293-1381]  He strove to make his
life one long contemplation of the light and love of God.  Two younger
men, Gerard Groote and Florence Radewyn, socialized his gospel by
founding the fellowship of the Brethren of the Common Life.  [Sidenote:
Groote, 1340-84]  [Sidenote: Radewyn, 1350-1400]  Though never an order
sanctioned by the church, they taught celibacy and poverty, and devoted
themselves to service of their fellows, chiefly in the capacity of
teachers of boys.

The fifteenth century's rising tide of devotion brought forth the most
influential of the products of all the mystics, the _Imitation of
Christ_ by Thomas à Kempis.  [Sidenote: Thomas à Kempis, c. 1380-1471]
Written in a plaintive minor key of {33} resignation and pessimism, it
sets forth with much artless eloquence the ideal of making one's
personal life approach that of Christ.  Humility, self-restraint,
asceticism, patience, solitude, love of Jesus, prayer, and a diligent
use of the sacramental grace of the eucharist are the means recommended
to form the character of the perfect Christian.  It was doubtless
because all this was so perfect an expression of the medieval ideal
that it found such wide and instant favor.  There is no questioning of
dogma, nor any speculation on the positions of the church; all this is
postulated with child-like simplicity.  Moreover, the ideal of the
church for the salvation of the individual, and the means supposed to
secure that end, are adopted by à Kempis.  He tacitly assumes that the
imitator of Christ will be a monk, poor and celibate.  His whole
endeavor was to stimulate an enthusiasm for privation and a taste for
things spiritual, and it was because in his earnestness and
single-mindedness he so largely succeeded that his book was eagerly
seized by the hands of thousands who desired and needed such
stimulation and help.  The Dutch canon was not capable of rising to the
heights of Tauler and the Frankfort priest, who saw in the love of God
a good in itself transcending the happiness of one's own soul.  He just
wanted to be saved and tried to love God for that purpose with all his
might.  But this careful self-cultivation made his religion
self-centered; it was, compared even with the professions of the
Protestants and of the Jesuits, personal and unsocial.

Notwithstanding the profound differences between the Mystics and the
Reformers, it is possible to see that at least in one respect the two
movements were similar.  It was exactly the same desire to get away
from the mechanical and formal in the church's scheme of salvation,
that animated both.  Tauler and Luther {34} both deprecated good works
and sought justification in faith only.  Important as this is, it is
possible to see why the mystics failed to produce a real revolt from
the church, and it is certain that they were far more than the
Reformers fundamentally, even typically Catholic.  [Sidenote:
Mysticism]  It is true that mysticism is at heart always one, neither
national nor confessional.  But Catholicism offered so favorable a
field for this development that mysticism may be considered as the
efflorescence of Catholic piety _par excellence_.  Hardly any other
expression of godliness as an individual, vital thing, was possible in
medieval Christendom.  There is not a single idea in the fourteenth and
fifteenth century mysticism which cannot be read far earlier in
Augustine and Bernard, even in Aquinas and Scotus.  It could never be
anything but a sporadic phenomenon because it was so intensely
individual.  While it satisfied the spiritual needs of many, it could
never amalgamate with other forces of the time, either social or
intellectual.  As a philosophy or a creed it led not so much to
solipsism as to a complete abnegation of the reason.  Moreover it was
slightly morbid, liable to mistake giddiness of starved nerve and
emotion for a moment of vision and of union with God.  How much more
truly than he knew did Ruysbroeck speak when he said that the soul,
turned inward, could see the divine light, just as the eyeball,
sufficiently pressed, could see the flashes of fire in the mind!


The men who, in later ages, claimed for their ancestors a Protestantism
older than the Augsburg Confession, referred its origins not to the
mystics nor to the humanists, but to bold leaders branded by the church
as heretics.  Though from the earliest age Christendom never lacked
minds independent enough {35} to differ from authority and characters
strong enough to attempt to cut away what they considered rotten in
ecclesiastical doctrine and practice, the first heretics that can
really be considered as harbingers of the Reformation were two sects
dwelling in Southern France, the Albigenses and the Waldenses.
[Sidenote: Albigenses]  The former, first met with in the eleventh
century, derived part of their doctrines from oriental Manichaeism,
part from primitive gnosticism.  The latter were the followers of Peter
Waldo, a rich merchant of Lyons who, about 1170, sold his goods and
went among the poor preaching the gospel.  [Sidenote: Waldenses]
Though quite distinct in origin both sects owed their success with the
people to their attacks on the corrupt lives of the clergy, to their
use of the vernacular New Testament, to their repudiation of part of
the sacramental system, and to their own earnest and ascetic morality.
The story of their savage suppression, at the instigation of Pope
Innocent III, [Sidenote: 1209-29] in the Albigensian crusade, is one of
the darkest blots on the pages of history.  A few remnants of them
survived in the mountains of Savoy and Piedmont, harried from time to
time by blood-thirsty pontiffs.  In obedience to a summons of Innocent
VIII King Charles VIII of France massacred many of them.  [Sidenote:

The spiritual ancestors of Luther, however, were not so much the French
heretics as two Englishmen, Occam and Wyclif.  [Sidenote: Occam, d. c.
1349]  William of Occam, a Franciscan who taught at Oxford, was the
most powerful scholastic critic of the existing church.  Untouched by
the classic air breathed by the humanists, he said all that could be
said against the church from her own medieval standpoint.  He taught
determinism; he maintained that the final seat of authority was the
Scripture; he showed that such fundamental dogmas as the existence of
God, the Trinity, and the Incarnation, cannot be deduced by logic from
the given premises; he {36} proposed a modification of the doctrine of
transubstantiation in the interests of reason, approaching closely in
his ideas to the "consubstantiation" of Luther.  Defining the church as
the congregation of the faithful, he undermined her governmental
powers.  This, in fact, is just what he wished to do, for he went ahead
of almost all his contemporaries in proposing that the judicial powers
of the clergy be transferred to the civil government.  Not only, in his
opinion, should the civil ruler be totally independent of the pope, but
even such matters as the regulation of marriage should be left to the
common law.

[Sidenote: Wyclif, 1324-84]

A far stronger impression on his age was made by John Wyclif, the most
significant of the Reformers before Luther.  He, too, was an Oxford
professor, a schoolman, and a patriot, but he was animated by a deeper
religious feeling than was Occam.  In 1361 he was master of Balliol
College, where he lectured for many years on divinity.  At the same
time he held various benefices in turn, the last, the pastorate of
Lutterworth in Leicestershire, from 1374 till his death.  He became a
reformer somewhat late in life owing to study of the Bible and of the
bad condition of the English church.  [Sidenote: 1374]  At the peace
congress at Bruges as a commissioner to negotiate with papal
ambassadors for the relief of crying abuses, he became disillusioned in
his hope for help from that quarter.  He then turned to the civil
government, urging it to regain the usurped authority of the church.
This plan, set forth in voluminous writings, in lectures at Oxford and
in popular sermons in London, soon brought him before the tribunal
[Sidenote: 1377] of William Courtenay, Bishop of London, and, had he
not been protected by the powerful prince, John of Lancaster, it might
have gone hard with him.  Five bulls launched against him by Gregory XI
from Rome only confirmed him in his course, for he {37} appealed from
them to Parliament.  Tried at Lambeth he was forbidden to preach or
teach, and he therefore retired for the rest of his life to
Lutterworth.  [Sidenote: 1378]  He continued his literary labors,
resulting in a vast host of pamphlets.

Examining his writings we are struck by the fact that his program was
far more religious and practical than rational and speculative.  Save
transubstantiation, he scrupled at none of the mysteries of
Catholicism.  It is also noticeable that social reform left him cold.
When the laborers rose under Wat Tyler, [Sidenote: 1381] Wyclif sided
against them, as he also proposed that confiscated church property be
given rather to the upper classes than to the poor.  The real
principles of Wyclif's reforms were but two: to abolish the temporal
power of the church, and to purge her of immoral ministers.  It was for
this reason that he set up the authority of Scripture against that of
tradition; it was for this that he doubted the efficacy of sacraments
administered by priests living in mortal sin; it was for this that he
denied the necessity of auricular confession; it was for this that he
would have placed the temporal power over the spiritual.  The bulk of
his writings, in both Latin and English, is fierce, measureless abuse
of the clergy, particularly of prelates and of the pope.  The head of
Christendom is called Antichrist over and over again; the bishops,
priests and friars are said to have their lips full of lies and their
hands of blood; to lead women astray; to live in idleness, luxury,
simony and deceit; and to devour the English church.  Marriage of the
clergy is recommended.  Indulgences are called a cursed robbery.

To combat the enemies of true piety Wyclif relied on two agencies.  The
first was the Bible, which, with the assistance of friends, he
Englished from the {38} Vulgate.  None of the later Reformers was more
bent upon giving the Scriptures to the laity, and none attributed to it
a higher degree of inspiration.  As a second measure Wyclif trained
"poor priests" to be wandering evangelists spreading abroad the message
of salvation among the populace.  For a time they attained considerable
success, notwithstanding the fact that the severe persecution to which
they were subjected caused all of Wyclif's personal followers to
recant.  [Sidenote: 1401]  The passage of the act _De Haeretico
Comburendo_ was not, however, in vain, for in the fifteenth century a
number of common men were found with sufficient resolution to die for
their faith.  It is probable that, as Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of
London wrote in 1523, the Lollards, as they were called, were the first
to welcome Lutheranism into Britain.

But if the seed produced but a moderate harvest in England it brought
forth a hundred-fold in Bohemia.  Wyclif's writings, carried by Czech
students from Oxford to Prague, were eagerly studied by some of the
attendants at that university, the greatest of whom was John Huss.
[Sidenote: Huss, 1369-1415]  Having taken his bachelor's degree there
in 1393, he had given instruction since 1398 and became the head of the
university (Rector) for the year 1402.  Almost the whole content of his
lectures, as of his writings, was borrowed from Wyclif, from whom he
copied not only his main ideas but long passages verbatim and without
specific acknowledgment.  Professors and students of his own race
supported him, but the Germans at the university took offence and a
long struggle ensued, culminating in the secession of the Germans in a
body in 1409 to found a new university at Leipsic.  The quarrel, having
started over a philosophic question,--Wyclif and Huss being realists
and the Germans nominalists,--took a more serious turn when it came to
a definition of the church {39} and of the respective spheres of the
civil and ecclesiastical authorities.  Defining the church as the body
of the predestinate, and starting a campaign against indulgences, Huss
soon fell under the ban of his superiors.  After burning the bulls of
John XXIII Huss withdrew from Prague.  Summoned to the Council of
Constance, he went thither, under safe-conduct from the Emperor
Sigismund, and was immediately cast into a noisome dungeon.  [Sidenote:
1411, 1412]

[Sidenote: 1414]

The council proceeded to consider the opinions of Wyclif, condemning
260 of his errors and ordering his bones to be dug up and burnt, as was
done twelve years later.  Every effort was then made to get Huss to
recant a list of propositions drawn up by the council and attributed to
him.  Some of these charges were absurd, as that he was accused of
calling himself the fourth person of the Trinity.  Other opinions, like
the denial of transubstantiation, he declared, and doubtless with
truth, that he had never held.  Much was made of his saying that he
hoped his soul would be with the soul of Wyclif after death, and the
emperor was alarmed by his argument that neither priest nor king living
in mortal sin had a right to exercise his office.  He was therefore
condemned to the stake.

His death was perfect.  His last letters are full of calm resolution,
love to his friends, and forgiveness to his enemies.  Haled to the
cathedral where the council sat on July 6, 1415, he was given one last
chance to recant and save his life.  Refusing, he was stripped of his
vestments, and a paper crown with three demons painted on it put on his
head with the words, "We commit thy soul to the devil"; he was then led
to the public square and burnt alive.  Sigismund, threatened by the
council, made no effort to redeem his safe-conduct, and in September
the reverend fathers passed a decree that no safe-conduct to a heretic,
and {40} no pledge prejudicial to the Catholic faith, could be
considered binding.  Among the large concourse of divines not one voice
was raised against this treacherous murder.

Huss's most prominent follower, Jerome of Prague, after recantation,
returned to his former position and was burnt at Constance on May 30,
1416.  A bull of 1418 ordered the similar punishment of all heretics
who maintained the positions of Wyclif, Huss, or Jerome of Prague.

As early as September a loud remonstrance against the treatment of
their master was voiced by the Bohemian Diet.  The more radical party,
known as Taborites, rejected transubstantiation, worship of the saints,
prayers for the dead, indulgences, auricular confession, and oaths.
They allowed women to preach, demanded the use of the vernacular in
divine service and the giving of the cup to the laity.  A crusade was
started against them, but they knew how to defend themselves.  The
Council of Basle [Sidenote: 1431-6] was driven to negotiate with them
and ended by a compromise allowing the cup to the laity and some other
reforms.  Subsequent efforts to reduce them proved futile.  Under King
Podiebrad the Ultraquists maintained their rights.

Some Hussites, however, continued as a separate body, calling
themselves Bohemian Brethren.  First met with in 1457 they continue to
the present day as Moravians.  They were subject to constant
persecution.  In 1505 the Catholic official James Lilienstayn drew up
an interesting list of their errors.  It seems that their cardinal
tenet was the supremacy of Scripture, without gloss, tradition, or
interpretation by the Fathers of the church.  They rejected the primacy
of the pope, and all ceremonies for which authority could not be found
in the Bible, and they denied the efficacy of masses for the dead and
the validity of indulgences.

{41} With much reason Wyclif and Huss have been called "Reformers
before the Reformation."  Luther himself, not knowing the Englishman,
recognized his deep indebtedness to the Bohemian.  All of their
program, and more, he carried through.  His doctrine of justification
by faith only, with its radical transformation of the sacramental
system, cannot be found in these his predecessors, and this was a
difference of vast importance.


Inevitably, the growth of national sentiment spoken of above reacted on
the religious institutions of Europe.  Indeed, it was here that the
conflict of the international, ecclesiastical state, and of the secular
governments became keenest.  Both kings and people wished to control
their own spiritual affairs as well as their temporalities.

[Sidenote: The ecclesia Anglicana]

England traveled farthest on the road towards a national church.  For
three centuries she had been asserting the rights of her government to
direct spiritual as well as temporal matters.  The Statute of Mortmain
[Sidenote: 1279] forbade the alienation of land from the jurisdiction
of the civil power by appropriating it to religious persons.  The
withdrawing of land from the obligation to pay taxes and feudal dues
was thus checked.  The encroachment of the civil power, both in England
and France, was bitterly felt by the popes.  Boniface VIII endeavored
to stem the flood by the bull _Clericis laicos_ [Sidenote: 1296]
forbidding the taxation of clergy by any secular government, and the
bull _Unam Sanctam_ [Sidenote: 1302] asserting the universal monarchy
of the Roman pontiff in the strongest possible terms.  But these
exorbitant claims were without effect.  The Statute of Provisors
[Sidenote: 1351 and 1390] forbade the appointment to English benefices
by the pope, and the Statute of Praemunire [Sidenote: 1353 and 1393]
took away the right of {42} English subjects to appeal from the courts
of their own country to Rome.  The success of Wyclif's movement was
largely due to his patriotism.  Though the signs of strife with the
pope were fewer in the fifteenth century, there is no doubt that the
national feeling persisted.

[Sidenote: The Gallican Church]

France manifested a spirit of liberty hardly less fierce than that of
England.  It was the French King Philip the Fair who humiliated
Boniface VIII so severely that he died of chagrin.  During almost the
whole of the fourteenth century the residence of a pope subservient to
France at Avignon prevented any difficulties, but no sooner had the
Council of Constance restored the head of the unified church to Rome
than the old conflict again burst forth.  [Sidenote: 1438]  The extreme
claims of the Gallican church were asserted in the law known as the
Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, by which the pope was left hardly any
right of appointment, of jurisdiction, or of raising revenue in France.
The supremacy of a council over the pope was explicitly asserted, as
was the right of the civil magistrate to order ecclesiastical affairs
in his dominions.  When the pontiffs refused to recognize this almost
schismatical position taken by France, the Pragmatic Sanction was
further fortified by a law sentencing to death any person who should
bring into the country a bull repugnant to it.  Strenuous efforts of
the papacy were directed to secure the repeal of this document, and in
1461 Pius II induced Louis XI to revoke it in return for political
concessions in Naples.  This action, opposed by the University and
Parlement of Paris, proved so unpopular that two years later the
Gallican liberties were reasserted in their full extent.

Harmony was established between the interests of the curia and of the
French government by the compromise known as the Concordat of Bologna.
[Sidenote: 1516]  The {43} concessions to the king were so heavy that
it was difficult for Leo X to get his cardinals to consent to them.
Almost the whole power of appointment, of jurisdiction, and of taxation
was put into the royal hands, some stipulations being made against the
conferring of benefices on immoral priests and against the frivolous
imposition of ecclesiastical punishments.  What the pope gained was the
abandonment of the assertion made at Bourges of the supremacy of a
general council.  The Concordat was greeted by a storm of protest in
France.  The Sorbonne refused to recognize it and appealed at once to a
general council.  The king, however, had the refractory members
arrested and decreed the repeal of the Pragmatic Sanction in 1518.

In Italy and Germany the growth of a national state [Sidenote: Italy]
was retarded by the fact that one was the seat of the pope, the other
of the emperor, each of them claiming a universal authority.  Moreover,
these two powers were continually at odds.  The long investiture
strife, culminating in the triumph of Gregory VII at Canossa [Sidenote:
1077] and ending in the Concordat of Worms, [Sidenote: 1122] could not
permanently settle the relations of the two.  Whereas Aquinas and the
Canon Law maintained the superiority of the pope, there were not
lacking asserters of the imperial preëminence.  William of Occam's
argument to prove that the emperor might depose an heretical pope was
taken up by Marsiglio of Padua, whose _Defender of the Peace_
[Sidenote: c. 1324] ranks among the ablest of political pamphlets.  In
order to reduce the power of the pope, whom he called "the great dragon
and old serpent," he advanced the civil government to a complete
supremacy in ecclesiastical affairs.  He stated that the only authority
in matters of faith was the Bible, with the necessary interpretation
given it by a general council composed of both clergy and laymen; that
the emperor had the right to convoke and {44} direct this council and
to punish all priests, prelates and the supreme pontiff; that the Canon
Law had no validity; that no temporal punishment should be visited on
heresy save by the state, and no spiritual punishment be valid without
the consent of the state.

[Sidenote: Germany]

With such a weapon in their hands the emperors might have taken an even
stronger stand than did the kings of England and France but for the
lack of unity in their dominions.  Germany was divided into a large
number of practically independent states.  It was in these and not in
the empire as a whole that an approach was made to a form of national
church, such as was realized after Luther had broken the bondage of
Rome.  When Duke Rudolph IV of Austria in the fourteenth century stated
that he intended to be pope, archbishop, archdeacon and dean in his own
land, when the dukes of Bavaria, Saxony and Cleves made similar boasts,
they but put in a strong form the program that they in part realized.
The princes gradually acquired the right of patronage to church
benefices, and they permitted no bulls to be published, no indulgences
sold, without their permission.  The Free Cities acted in much the same
way.  The authority of the German states over their own spiritualities
was no innovation of the heresy of Wittenberg.

For all Germany's internal division there was a certain national
consciousness, due to the common language.  In no point were the people
more agreed than in their opposition to the rule of the Italian Curia.
[Sidenote: 1382]  At one time the monasteries of Cologne signed a
compact to resist Gregory XI in a proposed levy of tithes, stating
that, "in consequence of the exactions by which the Papal Court burdens
the clergy the Apostolic See has fallen into contempt and the Catholic
faith in these parts seems to be seriously imperiled."  Again, {45} a
Knight of the Teutonic Order in Prussia [Sidenote: 1430] wrote: "Greed
reigns supreme in the Roman Court, and day by day finds new devices and
artifices for extorting money from Germany under pretext of
ecclesiastical fees.  Hence arise much outcry, complaint and
heart-burning. . . .  Many questions about the papacy will be answered,
or else obedience will ultimately be entirely renounced to escape from
these outrageous exactions of the Italians."

The relief expected from the Council of Basle failed, and abuses were
only made worse by a compact between Frederick III and Nicholas V,
known as the Concordat of Vienna.  [Sidenote: 1448]  This treaty was by
no means comparable with the English and French legislation, but was
merely a division of the spoils between the two supreme rulers at the
expense of the people.  The power of appointment to high ecclesiastical
positions was divided, annates were confirmed, and in general a
considerable increase of the authority of the Curia was established.

Protests began at once in the form of "Gravamina" or lists of
grievances drawn up at each Diet as a petition, and in part enacted
into laws.  In 1452 the Spiritual Electors demanded that the emperor
proceed with reform on the basis of the decrees of Constance.  In 1457
the clergy refused to be taxed for a crusade.  In 1461 the princes
appealed against the sale of indulgences.  The Gravamina of this year
were very bitter, complaining of the practice of usury by priests, of
the pomp of the cardinals and of the pope's habit of giving promises of
preferment to certain sees and then declaring the places vacant on the
plea of having made a "mental reservation" in favor of some one else.
The Roman clergy were called in this bill of grievances "public
fornicators, keepers of concubines, ruffians, pimps and sinners in
various other {46} respects."  Drastic proposals of reform were
defeated by the pope.

[Sidenote: Gravamina]

The Gravamina continued.  Those of 1479 appealed against the Mendicant
Orders and against the appointment of foreigners.  They clamored for a
new council and for reform on the basis of the decrees of Basle; they
protested against judicial appeals to Rome, against the annates and
against the crusade tax.  It was stated that the papal appointees were
rather fitted to be drivers of mules than pastors of souls.  Such words
found a reverberating echo among the people.  The powerful pen of
Gregory of Heimburg, sometimes called "the lay Luther," roused his
countrymen to a patriotic stand against the Italian usurpation.

The Diet of 1502 resolved not to let money raised by indulgences leave
Germany, but to use it against the Turks.  Another long list of
grievances relating to the tyranny and extortion of Rome was presented
in 1510.  The acts of the Diet of Augsburg in the summer of 1518 are
eloquent testimony to the state of popular feeling when Luther had just
begun his career.  To this Diet Leo X sent as special legate Cardinal
Cajetan, requesting a subsidy for a crusade against the Turk.  It was
proposed that an impost of ten per cent. be laid on the incomes of the
clergy and one of five per cent. on the rich laity.  This was refused
on account of the grievances of the nation against the Curia, and
refused in language of the utmost violence.  It was stated that the
real enemy of Christianity was not the Turk but "the hound of hell" in
Rome.  Indulgences were branded as blood-letting.

When such was the public opinion it is clear that Luther only touched a
match to a heap of inflammable material.  The whole nationalist
movement redounded to the benefit of Protestantism.  The state-churches
of {47} northern Europe are but the logical development of previous
separatist tendencies.


But the preparation for the great revolt was no less thorough on the
intellectual than it was on the religious and political sides.  The
revival of interest in classical antiquity, aptly known as the
Renaissance, brought with it a searching criticism of all medieval
standards and, most of all, of medieval religion.  The Renaissance
stands in the same relationship to the Reformation that the so-called
"Enlightenment" stands to the French Revolution.  The humanists of the
fifteenth century were the "philosophers" of the eighteenth.

The new spirit was born in Italy.  If we go back as far as Dante
[Sidenote: Dante, 1265-1321] we find, along with many modern elements,
such as the use of the vernacular, a completely medieval conception of
the universe.  His immortal poem is in one respect but a commentary on
the _Summa theologiae_ of Aquinas; it is all about the other world.
The younger contemporaries of the great Florentine [Sidenote: Petrarch,
1304-1374] began to be restless as the implications of the new spirit
dawned on them.  Petrarch lamented that literary culture was deemed
incompatible with faith.  Boccaccio was as much a child of this world
as Dante was a prophet of the next.  [Sidenote: Boccaccio, 1313-1375]
Too simple-minded deliberately to criticize doctrine, he was
instinctively opposed to ecclesiastical professions.  Devoting himself
to celebrating the pleasures and the pomp of life, he took especial
delight in heaping ridicule on ecclesiastics, representing them as the
quintessence of all impurity and hypocrisy.  The first story in his
famous Decameron is of a scoundrel who comes to be reputed as a saint,
invoked as such and performing miracles {48} after death.  The second
story is of a Jew who was converted to Christianity by the wickedness
of Rome, for he reasoned that no cult, not divinely supported, could
survive such desperate depravity as he saw there.  The third tale, of
the three rings, points the moral that no one can be certain what
religion is the true one.  The fourth narrative, like many others,
turns upon the sensuality of the monks.  Elsewhere the author describes
the most absurd relics, and tells how a priest deceived a woman by
pretending that he was the angel Gabriel.  The trend of such a work was
naturally the reverse of edifying.  The irreligion is too spontaneous
to be called philosophic doubt; it is merely impiety.

[Sidenote: Valla, 1406-56]

But such a sentiment could not long remain content with scoffing.  The
banner of pure rationalism, or rather of conscious classical
skepticism, was raised by a circle of enthusiasts.  The most brilliant
of them, and one of the keenest critics that Europe has ever produced,
was Lorenzo Valla, a native of Naples, and for some years holder of a
benefice at Rome.  Such was the trenchancy and temper of his weapons
that much of what he advanced has stood the test of time.

[Sidenote: The Donation of Constantine]

The papal claim to temporal supremacy in the Western world rested
largely on a spurious document known as the Donation of Constantine.
In this the emperor is represented as withdrawing from Rome in order to
leave it to the pope, to whom, in return for being cured of leprosy, he
gives the whole Occident.  An uncritical age had received this forgery
for five or six centuries without question.  Doubt had been cast on it
by Nicholas of Cusa and Reginald Peacock, but Valla demolished it.  He
showed that no historian had spoken of it; that there was no time at
which it could have occurred; that it is contradicted by other
contemporary acts; that the barbarous style contains {49} expressions
of Greek, Hebrew, and German origin; that the testimony of numismatics
is against it; and that the author knew nothing of the antiquities of
Rome, into whose council he introduced satraps.  Valla's work was so
thoroughly done that the document, embodied as were its conclusions in
the Canon Law, has never found a reputable defender since.  In time the
critique had an immense effect.  Ulrich von Hutten published it in
1517, and in the same year an English translation was made.  In 1537
Luther turned it into German.

[Sidenote: Valla attacks the Pope]

And if the legality of the pope's rule was so slight, what was its
practical effect?  According to Valla, it was a "barbarous,
overbearing, tyrannical, priestly domination."  "What is it to you," he
apostrophizes the pontiff, "if our republic is crushed?  You have
crushed it.  If our temples have been pillaged?  You have pillaged
them.  If our virgins and matrons have been violated?  You have done
it.  If the city is innundated with the blood of citizens?  You are
guilty of it all."

[Sidenote: Annotations on the New Testament]

Valla's critical genius next attacked the schoolman's idol Aristotle
and the humanist's demigod Cicero.  More important were his
_Annotations on the New Testament_, first published by Erasmus in 1505.
The Vulgate was at that time regarded, as it was at Trent defined to
be, the authentic or official form of the Scriptures.  Taking in hand
three Latin and three Greek manuscripts, Valla had no difficulty in
showing that they differed from one another and that in some cases the
Latin had no authority whatever in the Greek.  He pointed out a number
of mistranslations, some of them in passages vitally affecting the
faith.  In short he left no support standing for any theory of verbal
inspiration.  He further questioned, and successfully, the authorship
of the Creed attributed {50} to the Apostles, the authenticity of the
writings of Dionysius the Areopagite and of the letter of Christ to
King Abgarus, preserved and credited by Eusebius.

[Sidenote: Attack on Christian ethics]

His attack on Christian ethics was still more fundamental.  In his
_Dialogue on Free Will_ he tried with ingenuity to reconcile the
freedom of the will, denied by Augustine, with the foreknowledge of
God, which he did not feel strong enough to dispute.  In his work on
_The Monastic Life_ he denied all value to asceticism.  Others had
mocked the monks for not living up to their professions; he asserted
that the ideal itself was mistaken.  But it is the treatise _On
Pleasure_ that goes the farthest.  In form it is a dialogue on ethics;
one interlocutor maintaining the Epicurean, the second the Stoical, and
the third the Christian standard.  The sympathies of the author are
plainly with the champion of hedonism, who maintains that pleasure is
the supreme good in life, or rather the only good, that the prostitute
is better than the nun, for the one makes men happy, the other is
dedicated to a painful and shameful celibacy; that the law against
adultery is a sort of sacrilege; that women should be common and should
go naked; and that it is irrational to die for one's country or for any
other ideal. . . .  It is noteworthy that the representative of the
Christian standpoint accepts tacitly the assumption that happiness is
the supreme good, only he places that happiness in the next life.

Valla's ideas obtained throughout a large circle in the half-century
following his death.  Masuccio indulged in the most obscene mockery of
Catholic rites.  Poggio wrote a book against hypocrites, attacking the
monks, and a joke-book largely at the expense of the faithful.
Machiavelli assailed the papacy with great ferocity, attributing to it
the corruption of Italian morals and the political disunion and
weakness of {51} Italy, and advocating its annihilation.  [Sidenote:
Machiavelli, 1469-1530]  In place of Christianity, habitually spoken of
as an exploded superstition, dangerous to the state, he would put the
patriotic cults of antiquity.

It is not strange, knowing the character of the popes, that pagan
expressions should color the writings of their courtiers.  Poggio was a
papal secretary, and so was Bembo, a cardinal who refused to read
Paul's epistles for fear of corrupting his Latinity.  In his exquisite
search for classical equivalents for the rude phrases of the gospel, he
referred, in a papal breve, to Christ as "Minerva sprung from the head
of Jove," and to the Holy Ghost as "the breath of the celestial
Zephyr."  Conceived in the same spirit was a sermon of Inghirami heard
by Erasmus at Rome on Good Friday 1509.  Couched in the purest
Ciceronian terms, while comparing the Saviour to Gurtius, Cecrops,
Aristides, Epaminondas and Iphigenia, it was mainly devoted to an
extravagant eulogy of the reigning pontiff, Julius II.

But all the Italian humanists were not pagans.  There arose at
Florence, partly under the influence of the revival of Greek, partly
under that of Savonarola, a group of earnest young men who sought to
invigorate Christianity by infusing into it the doctrines of Plato.
The leaders of this Neo-Platonic Academy, Pico della Mirandola
[Sidenote: Pico della Mirandola, 1462-94] and Marsiglio Ficino, sought
to show that the teachings of the Athenian and of the Galilean were the
same.  Approaching the Bible in the simple literary way indicated by
classical study, Pico really rediscovered some of the teachings of the
New Testament, while in dealing with the Old he was forced to adopt an
ingenious but unsound allegorical interpretation.  "Philosophy seeks
the truth," he wrote, "theology finds it, religion possesses it."  His
extraordinary personal influence extended through {52} lands beyond the
Alps, even though it failed in accomplishing the rehabilitation of
Italian faith.

[Sidenote: Faber Stapulensis, c. 1455-1536]

The leader of the French Christian Renaissance, James Lefèvre
d'Étaples, was one of his disciples.  Traveling in Italy in 1492, after
visiting Padua, Venice and Rome, he came to Florence, learned to know
Pico, and received from him a translation of Aristotle's Metaphysics
made by Cardinal Bessarion.  Returning to Paris he taught, at the
College of Cardinal Lemoine, mathematics, music and philosophy.  He did
not share the dislike of Aristotle manifested by most of the humanists,
for he shrewdly suspected that what was offensive in the Stagyrite was
due more to his scholastic translators and commentators than to
himself.  He therefore labored to restore the true text, on which he
wrote a number of treatises.  It was with the same purpose that he
turned next to the early Fathers and to the writer called Dionysius the
Areopagite.  But he did not find himself until he found the Bible.  In
1509 he published the _Quintuplex Psalterium_, the first treatise on
the Psalms in which the philological and personal interest was
uppermost.  Hitherto it had not been the Bible that had been studied so
much as the commentaries on it, a dry wilderness of arid and futile
subtlety.  Lefèvre tried to see simply what the text said, and as it
became more human it became, for him, more divine.  His preface is a
real cry of joy at his great discovery.  He did, indeed, interpret
everything in a double sense, literal and spiritual, and placed the
emphasis rather on the latter, but this did not prevent a genuine
effort to read the words as they were written.  Three years later he
published in like manner the Epistles of St. Paul, with commentary.
Though he spoke of the apostle as a simple instrument of God, he yet
did more to uncover his personality than any of the previous {53}
commentators.  Half mystic as he was, Lefèvre discovered in Paul the
doctrine of justification by faith only.  To I Corinthians viii, he
wrote: "It is almost profane to speak of the merit of works, especially
towards God. . . .  The opinion that we can be justified by works is an
error for which the Jews are especially condemned. . . .  Our only hope
is in God's grace."  Lefèvre's works opened up a new world to the
theologians of the time.  Erasmus's friend Beatus Rhenanus wrote that
the richness of the _Quintuplex Psalter_ made him poor.  Thomas More
said that English students owed him much.  Luther used the two works of
the Frenchman as the texts for his early lectures.  From them he drew
very heavily; indeed it was doubtless Lefèvre who first suggested to
him the formula of his famous "sola fide."

The religious renaissance in England was led by a disciple of Pico
della Mirandola, John Colet, [Sidenote: Colet, d. 1519] a man of
remarkably pure life, and Dean of St. Paul's.  He wrote, though he did
not publish, some commentaries on the Pauline epistles and on the
Mosaic account of creation.  Though he knew no Greek, and was not an
easy or elegant writer of Latin, he was allied to the humanists by his
desire to return to the real sources of Christianity, and by his search
for the historical sense of his texts.  Though in some respects he was
under the fantastic notions of the Areopagite, in others his
interpretation was rational, free and undogmatic.  He exercised a
considerable influence on Erasmus and on a few choice spirits of the

The humanism of Germany centered in the universities.  At the close of
the fifteenth century new courses in the Latin classics, in Greek and
in Hebrew, began to supplement the medieval curriculum of logic and
philosophy.  At every academy there sprang up a circle of "poets," as
they called themselves, often of {54} lax morals and indifferent to
religion, but earnest in their championship of culture.  Nor were these
circles confined entirely to the seats of learning.  Many a city had
its own literary society, one of the most famous being that of
Nuremberg.  Conrad Mutianus Rufus drew to Gotha, [Sidenote: Mutian,
1471-1526] where he held a canonry, a group of disciples, to whom he
imparted the Neo-Platonism he had imbibed in Italy.  Disregarding
revelation, he taught that all religions were essentially the same.  "I
esteem the decrees of philosophers more than those of priests," he

[Sidenote: Reuchlin, 1455-1522]

What Lefèvre and Colet had done for the New Testament, John Reuchlin
did for the Old.  After studying in France and Italy, where he learned
to know Pico della Mirandola, he settled at Stuttgart and devoted his
life to the study of Hebrew.  His _De Rudimentis Hebraicis_, [Sidenote:
1506] a grammar and dictionary of this language, performed a great
service for scholarship.  In the late Jewish work, the _Cabbala_, he
believed he had discovered a source of mystic wisdom.  The extravagance
of his interpretations of Scriptual passages, based on this, not only
rendered much of his work nugatory, but got him into a great deal of
trouble.  The converted Jew, John Pfefferkorn, proposed, in a series of
pamphlets, that Jews should be forbidden to practise usury, should be
compelled to hear sermons and to deliver up all their Hebrew books to
be burnt, except the Old Testament.  When Reuchlin's aid in this pious
project was requested it was refused in a memorial dated October 6,
1510, pointing out the great value of much Hebrew literature.  The
Dominicans of Cologne, headed by their inquisitor, James Hochstraten,
made this the ground for a charge of heresy.  The case was appealed to
Rome, and the trial, lasting six years, excited the interest of all
Europe.  In Germany it was argued with much heat in a host of {55}
pamphlets, all the monks and obscurantists taking the side of the
inquisitors and all the humanists, save one, Ortuin Gratius of Cologne,
taking the part of the scholar.  The latter received many warm
expressions of admiration and support from the leading writers of the
time, and published them in two volumes, the first in 1514, under the
title _Letters of Eminent Men_.  It was this that suggested to the
humanist, Crotus Bubeanus, the title of his satire published
anonymously, _The Letters of Obscure Men_.  In form it is a series of
epistles from monks and hedge-priests to Ortuin Gratius.  [Sidenote:
_Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum_]

Writing in the most barbarous Latin, they express their admiration for
his attack on Reuchlin and the cause of learning, gossip about their
drinking-bouts and pot-house amours, expose their ignorance and
gullibility, and ask absurd questions, as, whether it is a mortal sin
to salute a Jew, and whether the worms eaten with beans and cheese
should be considered meat or fish, lawful or not in Lent, and at what
stage of development a chick in the egg becomes meat and therefore
prohibited on Fridays.  The satire, coarse as it was biting, failed to
win the applause of the finer spirits, but raised a shout of laughter
from the students, and was no insignificant factor in adding to
contempt for the church.  The first book of these _Letters_, published
in 1515, was followed two years later by a second, even more caustic
than the first.  This supplement, also published without the writer's
name, was from the pen of Ulrich von Hutten.

[Sidenote: Hutten, 1488-1523]

This brilliant and passionate writer devoted the greater part of his
life to war with Rome.  His motive was not religious, but patriotic.
He longed to see his country strong and united, and free from the
galling oppression of the ultramontane yoke.  He published Valla's
_Donation of Constantine_, and wrote epigrams on the popes.  His
dialogue _Fever the First_ is a {56} vitriolic attack on the priests.
His _Vadiscus or the Roman Trinity_ [Sidenote: 1520] scourges the vices
of the curia where three things are sold: Christ, places and women.
When he first heard of Luther's cause he called it a quarrel of monks,
and only hoped they would all destroy one another.  But by 1519 he saw
in the Reformer the most powerful of allies against the common foe, and
he accordingly embraced his cause with habitual zeal.  His letters at
this time breathe out fire and slaughter against the Romanists if
anything should happen to Luther.  In 1523, he supported his friend
Francis von Sickingen, in the attempt to assert by force of arms the
rights of the patriotic and evangelic order of knights.  When this was
defeated, Hutten, suffering from a terrible disease, wandered to
Switzerland, where he died, a lonely and broken exile.  His epitaph
shall be his own lofty poem:

  I have fought my fight with courage,
  Nor have I aught to rue,
  For, though I lost the battle,
  The world knows, I was true!

[Sidenote: Erasmus, 1466-1536]

The most cosmopolitan, as well as the greatest, of all the Christian
humanists, was Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam.  Though an illegitimate
child, he was well educated and thoroughly grounded in the classics at
the famous school of Deventer.  At the age of twenty he was persuaded,
somewhat against his will, to enter the order of Augustinian Canons at
Steyn.  Under the patronage of the Bishop of Cambrai he was enabled to
continue his studies at Paris.  [Sidenote: 1499-1509]  For the next ten
years he wandered to England, to various places in Northern France and
Flanders, and Italy, learning to know many of the intellectual leaders
of the time.  From 1509-14 he was in England, part of the time
lecturing at Cambridge.  He then spent some {57} years at Louvain,
seven years at Basle and six years at Freiburg in the Breisgau,
returning to Basle for the last year of his life.

Until he was over thirty Erasmus's dominant interest was classical
literature.  Under the influence of Colet and of a French Franciscan,
John Vitrier, he turned his attention to liberalizing religion.  His
first devotional work, _The Handbook of the Christian Knight_,
perfectly sets forth his program of spiritual, as opposed to formal,
Christianity.  [Sidenote: _Enchiridion Militis Christiani_, 1503]  It
all turns upon the distinction between the inner and the outer man, the
moral and the sensual.  True service of Christ is purity of heart and
love, not the invocation of saints, fasting and indulgences.

In _The Praise of Folly_ Erasmus mildly rebukes the foibles of men.
[Sidenote: 1511]  There never was kindlier satire, free from the savage
scorn of Crotus and Hutten, and from the didactic scolding of Sebastian
Brant, whose _Ship of Fools_ [Sidenote: 1494] was one of the author's
models.  Folly is made quite amiable, the source not only of some
things that are amiss but also of much harmless enjoyment.  The
besetting silliness of every class is exposed: of the man of pleasure,
of the man of business, of women and of husbands, of the writer and of
the pedant.  Though not unduly emphasized, the folly of current
superstitions is held up to ridicule.  Some there are who have turned
the saints into pagan gods; some who have measured purgatory into years
and days and cheat themselves with indulgences against it; some
theologians who spend all their time discussing such absurdities as
whether God could have redeemed men in the form of a woman, a devil, an
ass, a squash or a stone, others who explain the mystery of the Trinity.

In following up his plan for the restoration of a simpler Christianity,
Erasmus rightly thought that a return from the barren subtleties of the
schoolmen to {58} the primitive sources was essential.  He wished to
reduce Christianity to a moral, humanitarian, undogmatic philosophy of
life.  His attitude towards dogma was to admit it and to ignore it.
Scientific enlightenment he welcomed more than did either the Catholics
or the Reformers, sure that if the Sermon on the Mount survived,
Christianity had nothing to fear.  In like manner, while he did not
attack the cult and ritual of the church, he never laid any stress on
it.  "If some dogmas are incomprehensible and some rites
superstitious," he seemed to say, "what does it matter?  Let us
emphasize the ethical and spiritual content of Christ's message, for if
we seek his kingdom, all else needful shall be added unto us."  His
favorite name for his religion was the "philosophy of Christ,"
[Sidenote: Philosophy of Christ] and it is thus that he persuasively
expounds it in a note, in his Greek Testament, to Matthew xi, 30:

  Truly the yoke of Christ would be sweet and his burden
  light, if petty human institutions added nothing to what
  he himself imposed.  He commanded us nothing save
  love one for another, and there is nothing so bitter that
  charity does not soften and sweeten it.  Everything
  according to nature is easily borne, and nothing accords
  better with the nature of man than the philosophy of
  Christ, of which almost the sole end is to give back to
  fallen nature its innocence and integrity. . . .  How pure,
  how simple is the faith that Christ delivered to us!  How
  close to it is the creed transmitted to us by the apostles,
  or apostolic men.  The church, divided and tormented by
  discussions and by heresy, added to it many things, of
  which some can be omitted without prejudice to the
  faith. . . .  There are many opinions from which impiety
  may be begotten, as for example, all those philosophic
  doctrines on the reason of the nature and the distinction
  of the persons of the Godhead. . . .  The sacraments
  themselves were instituted for the salvation of men, but
  we abuse them for lucre, for vain glory or for the oppression
  of the humble. . . .  What rules, what superstitions
  we have about vestments!  How many are judged as to
  their Christianity by such trifles, which are indifferent
  in themselves, which change with the fashion and of which
  Christ never spoke! . . .  How many fasts are instituted!
  And we are not merely invited to fast, but obliged to, on
  pain of damnation. . . .  What shall we say about
  vows . . . about the authority of the pope, the abuse of
  absolutions, dispensations, remissions of penalty, law-suits,
  in which there is much that a truly good man cannot see
  without a groan?  The priests themselves prefer to
  study Aristotle than to ply their ministry.  The gospel
  is hardly mentioned from the pulpit.  Sermons are
  monopolized by the commissioners of indulgences; often
  the doctrine of Christ is put aside and suppressed for
  their profit. . . .  Would that men were content to let
  Christ rule by the laws of the gospel and that they
  would no longer seek to strengthen their obscurant
  tyranny by human decrees!

[Sidenote: Colloquies]

In the _Familiar Colloquies_, first published in 1518 and often
enlarged in subsequent editions, Erasmus brought out his religious
ideas most sharply.  Enormous as were the sales and influence of his
other chief writings, they were probably less than those of this work,
intended primarily as a text-book of Latin style.  The first
conversations are, indeed, nothing more than school-boy exercises, but
the later ones are short stories penned with consummate art.  Erasmus
is almost the only man who, since the fall of Rome, has succeeded in
writing a really exquisite Latin.  But his supreme gift was his dry
wit, the subtle faculty of exposing an object, apparently by a simple
matter-of-fact narrative, to the keenest ridicule.  Thus, in the
_Colloquies_, he describes his pilgrimage to St. Thomas's shrine at
Canterbury, the bloody bones and the handkerchief covered with the
saint's rheum offered to be kissed--all without a disapproving word and
yet in such a way that when the reader has finished it he wonders how
anything so silly could ever have existed.  Thus again he strips the
worship of Mary, and all the {60} stupid and wrong projects she is
asked to abet.  In the conversation called _The Shipwreck_, the people
pray to the Star of the Sea exactly as they did in pagan times, only it
is Mary, not Venus that is meant.  They offer mountains of wax candles
to the saints to preserve them, although one man confides to his
neighbor in a whisper that if he ever gets to land he will not pay one
penny taper on his vow.  Again, in the _Colloquy on the New Testament_,
a young man is asked what he has done for Christ.  He replies:

  A certain Franciscan keeps reviling the New Testament
  of Erasmus in his sermons.  Well, one day I called
  on him in private, seized him by the hair with my left
  hand and punished him with my right.  I gave him so
  sound a drubbing that I reduced his whole face to a
  mere jelly.  What do you say to that?  Isn't that
  maintaining the gospel?  And then, by way of absolution for
  his sins I took this book [Erasmus's New Testament, a
  folio bound with brass] and gave him three resounding
  whacks on the head in the name of the Father and of the
  Son and of the Holy Ghost.

"That," replies his friend, "was truly evangelic; defending the gospel
by the gospel.  But really it is time you were turning from a brute
beast into a man."

So it was that the man who was at once the gentlest Christian, the
leading scholar, and the keenest wit of his age insinuated his opinions
without seeming to attack anything.  Where Luther battered down, he
undermined.  [Sidenote: Methods of argument]  Even when he argued
against an opinion he called his polemic a "Conversation"--for that is
the true meaning of the word Diatribe.  With choice of soft vocabulary,
of attenuated forms, of double negatives, he tempered exquisitely his
Latin.  Did he doubt anything?  Hardly, "he had a shade of doubt"
(_subdubito_).  Did he think he wrote well?  Not at all, but he
confessed that he produced "something more like Latin than the average"
(_paulo latinius_).  Did he {61} like anything?  If so, he only
admitted--except when he was addressing his patrons--"that he was not
altogether averse to it."  But all at once from these feather-light
touches, like those of a Henry James, comes the sudden thrust that made
his stylus a dagger.  Some of his epigrams on the Reformation have been
quoted in practically every history of the subject since, and will be
quoted as often again.

[Sidenote: His wit]

But it was not a few perfect phrases that made him the power that he
was, but an habitual wit that never failed to strip any situation of
its vulgar pretense.  When a canon of Strassburg Cathedral was showing
him over the chapter house and was boasting of the rule that no one
should be admitted to a prebend who had not sixteen quarterings on his
coat of arms, the humanist dropped his eyes and remarked demurely, with
but the flicker of a smile, that he was indeed honored to be in a
religious company so noble that even Jesus could not have come up to
its requirements.  The man was dumfounded, he almost suspected
something personal; but he never forgot the salutary lesson so
delicately conveyed.

Erasmus was a man of peace; he feared "the tumult" which, if we trust a
letter dated September 9, 1517--though he sometimes retouched his
letters on publishing them--he foresaw.  "In this part of the world,"
he wrote, "I am afraid that a great revolution is impending."  It was
already knocking at the door!





It is superfluous in these days to point out that no great historical
movement is caused by the personality, however potent, of a single
individual.  The men who take the helm at crises are those who but
express in themselves what the masses of their followers feel.  The
need of leadership is so urgent that if there is no really great man at
hand, the people will invent one, endowing the best of the small men
with the prestige of power, and embodying in his person the cause for
which they strive.  But a really strong personality to some extent
guides the course of events by which he is carried along.  Such a man
was Luther.  [Sidenote: Luther, 1483-1546]  Few have ever alike
represented and dominated an age as did he.  His heart was the most
passionately earnest, his will the strongest, his brain one of the most
capacious of his time; above all he had the gift of popular speech to
stamp his ideas into the fibre of his countrymen.  If we may borrow a
figure from chemistry, he found public opinion a solution
supersaturated with revolt; all that was needed to precipitate it was a
pebble thrown in, but instead of a pebble he added the most powerful
reagent possible.

On that October day when Columbus discovered the new world, Martin, a
boy of very nearly nine, was sitting at his desk in the school at
Mansfeld.  Though both diligent and quick, he found the crabbed Latin
primer, itself written in abstract Latin, very difficult, and was
flogged fourteen times in one morning by {63} brutal masters for
faltering in a declension.  When he returned home he found his mother
bending under a load of wood she had gathered in the forest.  Both she
and his father were severe with the children, whipping them for slight
faults until the blood came.  Nevertheless, as the son himself
recognized, they meant heartily well by it.  But for the self-sacrifice
and determination shown by the father, a worker in the newly opened
mines, who by his own industry rose to modest comfort, the career of
the son would have been impossible.

Fully as much as by bodily hardship the boy's life was rendered unhappy
by spiritual terrors.  Demons lurked in the storms, and witches plagued
his good mother and threatened to make her children cry themselves to
death.  God and Christ were conceived as stern and angry judges ready
to thrust sinners into hell.  "They painted Christ," says Luther--and
such pictures can still be seen in old churches--"sitting on a rainbow
with his Mother and John the Baptist on either side as intercessors
against his frightful wrath."

At thirteen he was sent away to Magdeburg to a charitable school, and
the next year to Eisenach, where he spent three years in study.  He
contributed to his support by the then recognized means of begging, and
was sheltered by the pious matron Ursula Cotta.  In 1501 he
matriculated at the old and famous university of Erfurt.  [Sidenote:
Erfurt]  The curriculum here consisted of logic, dialectic, grammar,
and rhetoric, followed by arithmetic, ethics, and metaphysics.  There
was some natural science, studied not by the experimental method, but
wholly from the books of Aristotle and his medieval commentators, and
there were also a few courses in literature, both in the Latin classics
and in their later imitators.  Ranking among the better {64} scholars
Luther took the degrees of bachelor in 1502 and of master of arts in
1505, and immediately began the study of jurisprudence.  While his
diligence and good conduct won golden words from his preceptors he
mingled with his comrades as a man with men.  He was generous, even
prodigal, a musician and a "philosopher"; in disputations he was made
"an honorary umpire" by his fellows and teachers.  "Fair fortune and
good health are mine," he wrote a friend on September 5, 1501, "I am
settled at college as pleasantly as possible."

For the sudden change that came over his life at the age of twenty-one
no adequate explanation has been offered.  Pious and serious as he was,
his thoughts do not seem to have turned towards the monastic life as a
boy, nor are the old legends of the sudden death of a friend well
substantiated.  As he was returning to Erfurt from a visit home, he was
overtaken by a terrific thunderstorm, in which his excited imagination
saw a devine warning to forsake the "world."  In a fright he vowed to
St. Ann to become a monk and, though he at once regretted the rash
promise, on July 17, 1505, he discharged it by entering the Augustinian
friary at Erfurt.  After a year's novitiate he took the irrevocable
vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  In 1507 he was ordained
priest.  In the winter of 1510-1 he was sent to Rome on business of the
order, and there saw much of the splendor and also of the corruption of
the capital of Christendom.  Having started, in 1508, to teach
Aristotle at the recently founded University of Wittenberg, a year
later he returned to Erfurt, but was again called to Wittenberg to
lecture on the Bible, a position he held all his life.  [Sidenote: 1511]

During his first ten years in the cloister he underwent a profound
experience.  He started with the horrible and torturing idea that he
was doomed to hell.  {65} "What can I do," he kept asking, "to win a
gracious God?"  The answer given him by his teachers was that a man
must work out his own salvation, not entirely, but largely, by his own
efforts.  The sacraments of the church dispensed grace and life to the
recipient, and beyond this he could merit forgiveness by the asceticism
and privation of the monastic life.  Luther took this all in and strove
frantically by fasting, prayer, and scourging to fit himself for
redemption.  But though he won the reputation of a saint, he could not
free himself from the desires of the flesh.  He was helpless; he could
do nothing.  Then he read in Augustine that virtue without grace is but
a specious vice; that God damns and saves utterly without regard to
man's work.  He read in Tauler and the other mystics that the only true
salvation is union with God, and that if a man were willing to be
damned for God's glory he would find heaven even in hell.  He read in
Lefèvre d'Étaples that a man is not saved by doing good, but by faith,
like the thief on the cross.

In May, 1515, he began to lecture on Paul's Epistles to the Romans, and
pondered the verse (i, 17) "The just shall live by his faith."
[Sidenote: Justification by faith only]  All at once, so forcibly that
he believed it a revelation of the Holy Ghost, the thought dawned upon
him that whereas man was impotent to do or be good, God was able freely
to make him so.  Pure passivity in God's hands, simple abandonment to
his will was the only way of salvation; not by works but by faith in
the Redeemer was man sanctified.  The thought, though by no means new
in Christianity, was, in the application he gave it, the germ of the
religious revolution.  In it was contained the total repudiation of the
medieval ecclesiastical system of salvation by sacrament and by the
good works of the cloister.  To us nowadays the thought seems remote;
the question which called it forth outworn.  But to the {66} sixteenth
century it was as intensely practical as social reform is now; the
church was everywhere with her claim to rule over men's daily lives and
over their souls.  All progress was conditioned on breaking her claims,
and probably nothing could have done it so thoroughly as this idea of
justification by faith only.

The thought made Luther a reformer at once.  He started to purge his
order of Pharisaism, and the university of the dross of Aristotle.
Soon he was called upon to protest against one of the most obtrusive of
the "good works" recommended by the church, the purchase of
indulgences.  Albert of Hohenzollern was elected, through political
influence and at an early age, to the archiepiscopal sees of Magdeburg
and Mayence, this last carrying with it an electorate and the primacy
of Germany.  For confirmation from the pope in the uncanonical
occupation of these offices, Albert paid a huge sum, the equivalent of
several hundred thousand dollars today.  Mayence was already in debt
and the young archbishop knew not where to turn for money.  To help
him, and to raise money for Rome, Leo X declared an indulgence.  In
order to get a large a profit as possible Albert employed as his chief
agent an unscrupulous Dominican named John Tetzel.  [Sidenote: Tetzel]
This man went around the country proclaiming that as soon as the money
clinked in the chest the soul of some dead relative flew from
purgatory, and that by buying a papal pardon the purchaser secured
plenary remission of sins and the grace of God.

The indulgence-sellers were forbidden to enter Saxony, but they came
very near it, and many of the people of Wittenberg went out to buy
heaven at a bargain.  Luther was sickened by seeing what he believed to
be the deception of the poor people in being taught to rely on these
wretched papers instead of on real, lively faith.  He accordingly
called their value in question, {67} in Ninety-five Theses, or heads
for a scholastic debate, which he nailed to the door of the Castle
Church on October 31, 1517.  [Sidenote: The Ninety-five Theses, 1517]
He pointed out that the doctrine of the church was very uncertain,
especially in regard to the freeing of souls from purgatory; that
contrition was the only gate to God's pardon; that works of charity
were better than buying of indulgences, and that the practices of the
indulgence-sellers were extremely scandalous and likely to foment
heresy among the simple.  In all this he did not directly deny the
whole value of indulgences, but he pared it down to a minimum.

The Theses were printed by Luther and sent around to friends in other
cities.  They were at once put into German, and applauded to the echo
by the whole nation.  Everybody had been resentful of the extortion of
greedy ecclesiastics and disgusted with their hypocrisy.  All welcomed
the attack on the "holy trade," as its supporters called it.  Tetzel
was mobbed and had to withdraw in haste.  The pardons no longer had any
sale.  The authorities took alarm at once.  Leo X directed the general
of the Augustinians to make his presumptuous brother recant.
[Sidenote: February 3, 1518]  The matter was accordingly brought up at
the general chapter of the Order held at Heidelberg in May.  Luther was
present, was asked to retract, and refused.  On the contrary he
published a Sermon on Indulgence and Grace and a defence of the theses
stating his points more strongly than before.

The whole of Germany was now in commotion.  The Diet which met at
Augsburg in the summer of 1518 was extremely hostile to the pope and to
his legate, Cardinal Cajetan.  At the instance of this theologian, who
had written a reply to the Theses, and of the Dominicans, wounded in
the person of Tetzel, Luther was summoned to Rome to be tried.  On
August 5 the {68} Emperor Maximilian promised his aid to the pope, and
in order to expedite matters, the latter changed the summons to Rome to
a citation before Cajetan at Augsburg, at the same time instructing the
legate to seize the heretic if he did not recant.  At this juncture
Luther was not left in the lurch by his own sovereign, Frederic the
Wise, Elector of Saxony, through whom an imperial safe-conduct was
procured.  Armed with this, the Wittenberg professor appeared before
Cajetan at Augsburg, was asked to recant two of his statements on
indulgences, and refused.  [Sidenote: October 12-14, 1518]  A few days
later Luther drew up an appeal "from the pope badly informed to the
pope to be better informed," and in the following month appealed again
from the pope to a future oecumenical council.  In the meantime Leo X,
in the bull _Cum postquam_, authoritatively defined the doctrine of
indulgences in a sense contrary to the position of Luther.

The next move of the Vicar of Christ was to send to Germany a special
agent, the Saxon Charles von Miltitz, with instructions either to
cajole the heretic into retraction or the Elector into surrendering
him.  In neither of these attempts was he successful.  [Sidenote:
January 1519]  At an interview with Luther the utmost he could do was
to secure a general statement that the accused man would abide by the
decision of the Holy See, and a promise to keep quiet as long as his
opponents did the same.

Such a compromise was sure to be fruitless, for the champions of the
church could not let the heretic rest for a moment.  The whole affair
was given a wider publicity than it had hitherto attained, and at the
same time Luther was pushed to a more advanced position than he had yet
reached, by the attack of a theologian of Ingolstadt, John Eck.  When
he assailed the Theses on the ground that they seriously impaired the
authority of the Roman see, Luther retorted:

  {69} The assertion that the Roman Church is superior to all
  other churches is proved only by weak and vain papal
  decrees of the last four hundred years, and is repugnant to
  the accredited history of the previous eleven hundred
  years, to the Bible, and to the decree of the holiest of all
  councils, the Nicene.

[Sidenote: The Leipzig Debate, 1519]

A debate on this and other propositions between Eck on the one side and
Luther and his colleague Carlstadt on the other took place at Leipzig
in the days from June 27 to July 16, 1519.  The climax of the argument
on the power of popes and councils came when Eck, skilfully manoeuvring
to show that Luther's opinions were identical with those of Huss,
forced from his opponent the bold declaration that "among the opinions
of John Huss and the Bohemians many are certainly most Christian and
evangelic, and cannot be condemned by the universal church."  The words
sent a thrill through the audience and throughout Christendom.  Eck
could only reply: "If you believe that a general council, legitimately
convoked, can err, you are to me a heathen and a publican."
Reconciliation was indeed no longer possible.  When Luther had
protested against the abuse of indulgences he did so as a loyal son of
the church.  Now at last he was forced to raise the standard of revolt,
at least against Rome, the recognized head of the church.  He had begun
by appealing from indulgence-seller to pope, then from the pope to a
universal council; now he declared that a great council had erred, and
that he would not abide by its decision.  The issue was a clear one,
though hardly recognized as such by himself, between the religion of
authority and the right of private judgment.

His opposition to the papacy developed with extraordinary rapidity.
His study of the Canon Law made him, as early as March, 1519, brand the
pope as either Antichrist or Antichrist's apostle.  He {70} applauded
Melancthon, a brilliant young man called to teach at Wittenberg in
1518, for denying transubstantiation.  He declared that the cup should
never have been withheld from the laity, and that the mass considered
as a good work and a sacrifice was an abomination.  His eyes were
opened to the iniquities of Rome by Valla's exposure of the Donation of
Constantine, published by Ulrich von Hutten in 1519.  After reading it
he wrote:

  Good heavens! what darkness and wickedness is at
  Rome!  You wonder at the judgment of God that such
  unauthentic, crass, impudent lies not only lived but
  prevailed for many centuries, that they were incorporated
  into the Canon Law, and (that no degree of horror might
  be wanting) that they became as articles of faith.

Like German troops Luther was best in taking the offensive.  These
early years when he was standing almost alone and attacking one abuse
after another, were the finest of his whole career.  Later, when he
came to reconstruct a church, he modified or withdrew much of what he
had at first put forward, and re-introduced a large portion of the
medieval religiosity which he had once so successfully and fiercely
attacked.  The year 1520 saw him at the most advanced point he ever
attained.  It was then that he produced, with marvellous fecundity, a
series of pamphlets unequalled by him and unexcelled anywhere, both in
the incisive power of their attack on existing institutions and in the
popular force of their language.

[Sidenote: _To the Christian Nobility_, 1520]

His greatest appeal to his countrymen was made in his _Address to the
Christian Nobility of the German Nation on the Improvement of the
Christian Estate_.  In this he asserts the right of the civil power to
reform the spiritual, and urges the government to exercise this right.
The priests, says he, defend themselves against all outside
interference by three "walls," of {71} which the first is the claim
that the church is superior to the state, in case the civil authority
presses them; the second, the assertion, if one would correct them by
the Bible, that no one can interpret it but the pope; the third, if
they are threatened with a general council, the contention that no one
can convoke such a council save the pope.  Luther demolishes these
walls with words of vast import.  First, he denies any distinction
between the spiritual and temporal estates.  Every baptized Christian,
he asserts, is a priest, and in this saying he struck a mortal blow at
the great hierarchy of privilege and theocratic tyranny built up by the
Middle Ages.  The second wall is still frailer than the first, says the
writer, for anyone can see that in spite of the priests' claims to be
masters of the Bible they never learn one word of it their whole life
long.  The third wall falls of itself, for the Bible plainly commands
everyone to punish and correct any wrong-doer, no matter what his

[Sidenote: Reform measures]

After this introduction Luther proposes measures of reform equally
drastic and comprehensive.  The first twelve articles are devoted to
the pope, the annates, the appointment of foreigners to German
benefices, the appeal of cases to Rome, the asserted authority of the
papacy over bishops, the emperor, and other rulers.  All these abuses,
as well as jubilees and pilgrimages to Rome should be simply forbidden
by the civil government.  The next three articles deal with sacerdotal
celibacy, recommending that priests be allowed to marry, and calling
for the suppression of many of the cloisters.  It is further urged that
foundations for masses and for the support of idle priests be
abolished, that various vexatious provisions of the Canon Law be
repealed, and that begging on any pretext be prohibited.  The
twenty-fourth article deals with the Bohemian schism, saying that Huss
was wrongly {72} burned, and calling for union with the Hussites who
deny transubstantiation and demand the cup for the laity.  Next, the
writer takes up the reform of education in the interests of a more
biblical religion.  Finally, he urges that sumptuary laws be passed,
that a bridle be put in the mouth of the great monopolists and usurers,
and that brothels be no longer tolerated.

Of all the writer's works this probably had the greatest and most
immediate influence.  Some, indeed, were offended by the violence of
the language, defended by Luther from the example of the Bible and by
the necessity of rousing people to the enormities he attacked.  But
most hailed it as a "trumpet-blast" calling the nation to arms.  Four
thousand copies were sold in a few days, and a second edition was
called for within a month.  Voicing ideas that had been long, though
vaguely, current, it convinced almost all of the need of a reformation.
According to their sympathies men declared that the devil or the Holy
Ghost spoke through Luther.

[Sidenote: The Babylonian Captivity, 1520]

Though less popular both in form and subject, _The Babylonian Captivity
of the Church_ was not less important than the _Address to the German
Nobility_.  It was a mortal blow at the sacramental system of the
church.  In judging it we must again summon the aid of our historical
imagination.  In the sixteenth century dogmas not only seemed but were
matters of supreme importance.  It was just by her sacramental system,
by her claim to give the believer eternal life and salvation through
her rites, that the church had imposed her yoke on men.  As long as
that belief remained intact progress in thought, in freedom of
conscience, in reform, remained difficult.  And here, as is frequently
the case, the most effective arguments were not those which seem to us
logically the strongest.  Luther made no appeal to reason as such.  He
{73} appealed to the Bible, recognized by all Christians as an
authority, and showed how far the practice of the church had
degenerated from her standard.  [Sidenote: Sacraments]  In the first
place he reduced the number of sacraments, denying that name to
matrimony, orders, extreme unction and confirmation.  In attacking
orders he demolished the priestly ideal and authority.  In reducing
marriage to a civil contract he took a long step towards the
secularization of life.  Penance he considered a sacrament in a certain
sense, though not in the strict one, and he showed that it had been
turned by the church from its original significance of "repentance" [1]
to that of sacramental penance, in which no faith was required but
merely an automatic act.  Baptism and the eucharist he considered the
only true sacraments, and he seriously criticized the prevalent
doctrine of the latter.  He denied that the mass is a sacrifice or a
"good work" pleasing to God and therefore beneficial to the soul either
of living or of dead.  He denied that the bread and wine are
transubstantiated into the body and blood of Jesus, though he held that
the body and blood are really present with the elements.  He demanded
that the cup be given to the laity.

The whole trend of Luther's thought at this time was to oppose the
Catholic theory of a mechanical distribution of grace and salvation
(the so-called _opus operatum_) by means of the sacraments, and to
substitute for it an individual conception of religion in which faith
only should be necessary.  How far he carried this idea may be seen in
his _Sermon on the New Testament, that is on the Holy Mass_,[2]
published in the same year as the pamphlets just analysed.  In it he
makes the essence of the sacrament forgiveness, and the vehicle of this
forgiveness the word of God apprehended by {74} faith, _not_ the actual
participation in the sacred bread and wine.  Had he always been true to
this conception he would have left no place for sacrament or priest at
all.  But in later years he grew more conservative, until, under
slightly different names, almost the old medieval ideas of church and
religion were again established, and, as Milton later expressed it,
"New presbyter was but old priest writ large."

[1] In Latin _penitentia_ means both penance and repentance.

[2] _Cf_. Matthew, xxvi, 28.


[Sidenote: Germany]

Although the Germans had arrived, by the end of the fifteenth century,
at a high degree of national self-consciousness, they had not, like the
French and English, succeeded in forming a corresponding political
unity.  The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, though continuing
to assert the vast claims of the Roman world-state, was in fact but a
loose confederacy of many and very diverse territories.  On a map drawn
to the scale 1:6,000,000 nearly a hundred separate political entities
can be counted within the limits of the Empire and there were many
others too small to appear.  The rulers of seven of these territories
elected the emperor; they were the three spiritual princes, the
Archbishops of Mayence, Trèves and Cologne, the three German temporal
princes, the Electors of the Rhenish Palatinate, Saxony, and
Brandenburg, and in addition the King of Bohemia, who, save for
purposes of the imperial choice, did not count as a member of the
Germanic body.  Besides these there were some powerful dukedoms, like
Austria and Bavaria, and numerous smaller bishoprics and counties.
There were also many free cities, like Augsburg and Nuremberg, small
aristocratic republics.  Finally there was a large body of "free
knights" or barons, whose tiny fiefs amounted often to no more than a
castle and a few acres, but who owned no feudal superior save {75} the
emperor.  The unity of the Empire was expressed not only in the person
of the emperor, but in the Diet which met at different places at
frequent intervals.  Its authority, though on the whole increasing, was

With no imperial system of taxation, no professional army and no
centralized administration, the real power of the emperor dwindled.
Such as it was he derived it from the fact that he was always elected
from one of the great houses.  Since 1438 the Hapsburgs, Archdukes of
Austria, had held the imperial office.  Since 1495 there was also an
imperial supreme court of arbitration.  [Sidenote: 1495]  The first
imperial tax was levied in 1422 to equip a force against the Hussites.
In the fifteenth century also the rudiments of a central administration
were laid in the division of the realm into ten "circles," and the levy
of a small number of soldiers.  And yet, at the time of the
Reformation, the Empire was little better than a state in dissolution
through the centrifugal forces of feudalism.

So little was the Empire an individual unit that the policy of her
rulers themselves was not imperial.  The statesmanship of Maximilian
was something smaller than national; it was that of his Archduchy of
Austria.  The policy of his successor, on the other hand, was
determined by something larger than Germany, the consideration of the
Spanish and Burgundian states that he also ruled.  Maximilian tried in
every way to aggrandize his personal power, not that of the German
Nation.  [Sidenote: Maximilian I, 1493-1519]  The Diet of Worms of 1495
tried to remodel the constitution.  It proclaimed a perpetual public
peace, provided that those who broke it should be outlawed, and placed
the duty of executing the ban upon all territories within ninety miles
of the offender.  It also passed a bill for taxation, called the
"common penny," which combined features of a poll tax, an {76} income
tax and a property tax.  The difficulty of collecting it was great;
Maximilian himself as a territorial prince tried to evade it instead of
setting his subjects the good example of paying it.  He probably
derived no more than the trifling sum of 50,000-100,000 gulden from it
annually.  The Diet also revived the Supreme Court and gave it a
permanent home at Frankfort-on-the-Main.  Feeble efforts to follow up
this beginning of reform were made in subsequent Diets, but they failed
owing to the insuperable jealousies of the princes and because the
party of national unity lost the sympathy of the common people, to whom
alone they could look for support.

Maximilian's external policy, though adventurous and unstable, was
somewhat more successful.  His only principle was to grasp whatever
opportunity seemed to offer.  Thus at one time he seriously proposed to
have himself elected pope.  His marriage with Mary, the daughter of
Charles the Bold, added to the estates of his house Burgundy--the land
comprising what is now Belgium, Luxemburg, most of Holland and large
portions of north-eastern France.  On the death of Mary, in 1482,
Maximilian had much trouble in getting himself acknowledged as regent
of her lands for their son Philip the Handsome.  A part of the domain
he also lost in a war with France.  This was more than made up,
however, by the brilliant match he made for Philip in securing for him
the hand of Mad Joanna, the daughter and heiress of Ferdinand and
Isabella of Spain.  This marriage produced two sons, Charles and
Ferdinand.  The deaths of Isabella (1504), of Philip (1506) and of
Ferdinand of Aragon (1516) left Charles at the age of sixteen the ruler
of Burgundy and of Spain with its immense dependencies in Italy and in
America.  [Sidenote: Charles V, 1500-1558]  From this time forth the
policy of Maximilian concentrated in the effort to {77} secure the
succession of his eldest grandson to the imperial throne.

When Maximilian died on January 12, 1519, there were several candidates
for election.  So little was the office considered national that the
kings of France and England entered the lists, and the former, Francis
I, actually at one time secured the promise of votes from the majority
of electors.  Pope Leo made explicit engagements to both Charles and
Francis to support their claims, and at the same time instructed his
legate to labor for the choice of a German prince, either Frederic of
Saxony, if he would in return give up Luther, or else Joachim of
Brandenburg.  But at no time was the election seriously in doubt.  The
electors followed the only possible course in choosing Charles on June
28.  They profited, however, by the rivalry of the rich king of France
to extort enormous bribes and concessions from Charles.  The banking
house of Fugger supplied the necessary funds, and in addition the
agents of the emperor-elect were obliged to sign a "capitulation"
making all sorts of concessions to the princes.  One of these, exacted
by Frederic of Saxony in the interest of Luther, was that no subject
should be outlawed without being heard.

The settlement of the imperial election enabled the pope once more to
turn his attention to the suppression of the rapidly growing heresy.
After the Leipzig debate the universities of Cologne and Louvain had
condemned Luther's positions.  Eck went to Rome in March, 1520, and
impressed the curia, which was already planning a bull condemning the
heretic, with the danger of delay.  After long discussions the bull
_Exsurge Domine_ was ratified by the College of Cardinals and
promulgated by Leo on June 15.  [Sidenote: Bull against Luther, 1520]
In this, forty-one of Luther's sayings, relating to the sacraments of
penance and the eucharist, to indulgences and {78} the power of the
pope, to free will and purgatory, and to a few other matters, were
anathematized as heretical or scandalous or false or offensive to pious
ears.  His books were condemned and ordered to be burnt, and unless he
should recant within sixty days of the posting of the bull in Germany
he was to be considered a heretic and dealt with accordingly.  Eck was
entrusted with the duty of publishing this fulmination in Germany, and
performed the task in the last days of September.

The time given Luther in which to recant therefore expired two months
later.  Instead of doing so he published several answers to "the
execrable bull of Anti-christ," and on December 10 publicly and
solemnly burnt it, together with the whole Canon Law.  This he had come
to detest, partly as containing the "forged decretals," partly as the
sanction for a vast mechanism of ecclesiastical use and abuse,
repugnant to his more personal theology.  The dramatic act, which sent
a thrill throughout Europe, symbolized the passing of some medieval
accretions on primitive Christianity.  There was nothing left for the
pope but to excommunicate the heretic, as was done in the bull _Decet
Pontificem Romanum_ drawn up at Rome in January, [Sidenote: 1521] and
published at Worms on May 6.

In the meantime Charles had come to Germany.  For more than a year
after his election he remained in Spain, where his position was very
insecure on account of the revolt against his Burgundian officers.
Arriving in the Netherlands in the summer of 1520 Charles was met by
the special nuncios of the pope, Caracciolo and Aleander.  After he was
crowned emperor at Aix-la-Chapelle, he opened his first Diet, at Worms.
[Sidenote: October 23, 1520 January 27, 1521 The Diet of Worms]

Before this august assembly came three questions of highest import.
The first related to the dynastic {79} policy of the Hapsburgs.  For
the chronic war with France an army of 24,000 men and a tax of 128,000
gulden was voted.  The disposition of Württemberg caused some trouble.
Duke Ulrich had been deposed for rebellion in 1518, and his land taken
from him by the Swabian League and sold to the emperor in 1520.
Together with the Austrian lands, which Charles secretly handed over to
his young brother Ferdinand, this territory made the nucleus of
Hapsburg power in Germany.

The Diet then took up the question of constitutional reform.  In order
to have a permanent administrative body, necessary during the long
absences of the emperor, an Imperial Council of Regency was established
and given a seat at Nuremberg.  [Sidenote: Council of Regency]  The
emperor nominated the president and four of the twenty-two other
members; each of the six German electors nominated one member; six were
chosen by the circles into which the Empire was divided and six were
elected by the other estates.  The powers of the council were limited
to the times when the emperor was away.

The third question treated by the Diet was the religious one.  As
usual, they drew up a long list of grievances against the pope, to
which many good Catholics in the assembly subscribed.  Next they
considered what to do with Luther.  Charles himself, who could speak no
language but French, and had no sympathy whatever with a rebel from any
authority spiritual or temporal, would much have preferred to outlaw
the Wittenberg professor at once, but he was bound by his promise to
Frederic of Saxony.  Of the six electors, who sat apart from the other
estates, Frederic was strongly for Luther, the Elector Palatine was
favorably inclined towards him, and the Archbishop of Mayence
represented a mediating policy.  The other three electors were opposed.
Among the {80} lesser princes a considerable minority was for Luther,
whereas among the representatives of the free cities and of the
knights, probably a majority were his followers.  The common people,
though unrepresented, applauded Luther, and their clamors could not
pass unheeded even by the aristocratic members of the Diet.  [Sidenote:
February 13]  The debate was opened by Aleander in a speech dwelling on
the sacramental errors of the heretic and the similarity of his
movement to that of the detested Bohemians.  After a stormy session the
estates decided to summon the bold Saxon before them and accordingly a
citation, together with a safe-conduct, was sent him.

Though there was some danger in obeying the summons, Luther's journey
to Worms, was a triumphal progress.  Brought before the Diet in the
late afternoon of April 17, he was asked if a certain number of books,
the titles of which were read, were his and if he would recant the
heresy contained in them.  The form of the questions took him by
surprise, for he had expected to be confronted with definite charges
and to be allowed to defend his positions.  He accordingly asked for
time, and was granted one more day.  [Sidenote: April 18, 1521]  On his
second appearance he made a great oration admitting that the books were
his and closing with the words:

  Unless I am convicted by Scripture or by right reason
  (for I trust neither popes nor councils since they have
  often erred and contradicted themselves) . . .  I neither
  can nor will recant anything since it is neither safe nor
  right to act against conscience.  God help me.  Amen.

There he stood, braving the world, for he could do no other. . . .  He
left the hall the hero of his nation.

Hoping still to convince him of error, Catholic theologians held
protracted but fruitless conferences with him before his departure from
Worms on the 26th of {81} April.  The sympathy of the people with him
was shown by the posting at Worms of placards threatening his enemies.
Charles was sincerely shocked and immediately drew up a statement that
he would hazard life and lands on the maintenance of the Catholic faith
of his fathers.  An edict was drafted by Aleander on the model of one
promulgated in September in the Netherlands.  [Sidenote: Luther banned]
The Edict of Worms put Luther under the ban of the Empire, commanded
his surrender to the government at the expiration of his safe-conduct,
and forbade all to shelter him or to read his writings.  Though dated
on May 8, to make it synchronize with a treaty between Charles and Leo,
the Edict was not passed by the Diet until May 26.  At this time many
of the members had gone home, and the law was forced on the remaining
ones, contrary to the wishes of the majority, by intrigue and imperial

After leaving Worms Luther was taken by his prince, Frederic the Wise,
and placed for safe-keeping in the Wartburg, a fine old castle near
Eisenach.  [Sidenote: The Wartburg]  Here he remained in hiding for
nearly a year, while doing some of his most important work.  Here he
wrote his treatise _On Monastic Vows_, declaring that they are wrong
and invalid and urging all priests, nuns and monks to leave the
cloister and to marry.  In thus freeing thousands of men and women from
a life often unproductive and sterile Luther achieved one of the
greatest of his practical reforms.  At the Wartburg also Luther began
his translation of the Bible.  The New Testament appeared in September
1522, and the Old Testament followed in four parts, the last published
in 1532.

[Sidenote: The radicals]

While Luther was in retirement at the Wartburg, his colleagues
Carlstadt and Melanchthon, and the Augustinian friar Gabriel Zwilling,
took up the movement at Wittenberg and carried out reforms more radical
{82} than those of their leader.  The endowments of masses were
confiscated and applied to the relief of the poor on new and better
principles.  Prostitution was suppressed.  A new order of divine
service was introduced, in which the words purporting that the mass was
a sacrifice were omitted, and communion was given to the laity in both
kinds.  Priests were urged to marry, and monks were almost forced to
leave the cloister.  An element of mob violence early manifested itself
both at Wittenberg and elsewhere.  An outbreak at Erfurt against the
clergy occurred in June, 1521, and by the end of the year riots took
place at Wittenberg.

Even now, at the dawn of the revolution, appeared the beginnings of
those sects, more radical than the Lutheran, commonly known as
Anabaptist.  The small industrial town of Zwickau had long been a
hotbed of Waldensian heresy.  Under the guidance of Thomas Münzer the
clothweavers of this place formed a religious society animated by the
desire to renovate both church and state by the readiest and roughest
means.  Suppression of the movement at Zwickau by the government
resulted only in the banishment, or escape, of some of the leaders.
[Sidenote: December 27, 1521]  Three of them found their way to
Wittenberg, where they proclaimed themselves prophets divinely
inspired, and conducted a revival marked with considerable, though
harmless, extravagance.

[Sidenote: January 20, 1522]

As the radicals at Wittenberg made the whole of Northern Germany
uneasy, the Imperial Council of Regency issued a mandate forbidding all
the innovations and commanding the Elector of Saxony to stop them.  It
is remarkable that Luther in this felt exactly as did the Catholics.
Early in March he returned to Wittenberg with the express purpose of
checking the reforms which had already gone too far {83} for him.  His
personal ascendency was so great that he found no trouble in doing so.
Not only the Zwickau prophets, but Carlstadt and Zwilling were
discredited.  Almost all their measures were repealed, including those
on divine service which was again restored almost to the Catholic form.
Not until 1525 were a simple communion service and the use of German
again introduced.

[Sidenote: Rebellion of the knights, 1522-3]

It soon became apparent that all orders and all parts of Germany were
in a state of ferment.  The next manifestation of the revolutionary
spirit was the rebellion of the knights.  This class, now in a state of
moral and economic decay, had long survived any usefulness it had ever
had.  The rise of the cities, the aggrandizement of the princes, and
the change to a commercial from a feudal society all worked to the
disadvantage of the smaller nobility and gentry.  About the only means
of livelihood left them was freebooting, and that was adopted without
scruple and without shame.  Envious of the wealthy cities, jealous of
the greater princes and proud of their tenure immediately from the
emperor, the knights longed for a new Germany, more centralized, more
national, and, of course, under their special direction.  In the
Lutheran movement they thought they saw their opportunity; in Ulrich
von Hutten they found their trumpet, in Francis von Sickingen their
sword.  A knight himself, but with possessions equal to those of many
princes, a born warrior, but one who knew how to use the new weapons,
gold and cannon, Sickingen had for years before he heard of Luther kept
aggrandizing his power by predatory feuds.  So little honor had he,
that though appointed to high military command in the campaign against
France, he tried to win personal advantage by treason, playing off the
emperor against King Francis, with whom, for a long time, he almost
{84} openly sided.  In 1520 he fell under the influence of Hutten, who
urged him to espouse the cause of the "gospel" as that of German
liberty.  By August 1522 he became convinced that the time was ripe for
action, and issued a manifesto proclaiming that the feudal dues had
become unbearable, and giving the impression that he was acting as an
ally of Luther, although the latter knew nothing of his intentions and
would have heartily disapproved of his methods.

Sickingen's first march was against Trèves.  The archbishop's
"unchristian cannon" forced him to retire from this city.  On October
10 the Council of Regency declared him an outlaw.  A league formed by
Trèves, the Palatinate and Hesse, defeated him and captured his castle
at Landstuhl in May, 1523.  Mortally wounded he died on May 7.

Alike unhurt and unhelped by such incidents as the revolt of the
knights, the main current of religious revolution swept onwards.  Leo X
died on December 1, 1521, and in his place was elected Adrian of
Utrecht, a man of very different character.  [Sidenote: Adrian VI,
1522-33]  Though he had already taken a strong stand against Luther, he
was deeply resolved to reform the corruption of the church.  To the
Diet called at Nuremberg [Sidenote: Diet of Nuremberg, 1522] in the
latter part of 1522 he sent as legate Chieregato with a brief demanding
the suppression of the schism.  It was monstrous, said he, that one
little brother should seduce a whole nation from the path trodden by so
many martyrs and learned doctors.  Do you suppose, he asked, that the
people will longer respect civil government if they are taught to
despise the canons and decrees of the spiritual power?  At the same
time Adrian wrote to Chieregato:

  Say that we frankly confess that God permits this
  persecution of his church on account of the sins of men,
  especially those of the priests and prelates. . . .  We
  know that in this Holy See now for some years there have
  been many abominations, abuses in spiritual things,
  excesses in things commanded, in short, that all has become
  perverted. . . .  We have all turned aside in our ways,
  nor was there, for a long time, any who did right,--no,
  not one.

This confession rather strengthened the reform party, than otherwise,
making its demands seem justified; and all that the Diet did towards
the settlement of the religious question was to demand that a council,
with representation of the laity, should be called in a German city.  A
long list of grievances against the church was again drawn up and laid
before the emperor.

The same Diet took up other matters.  The need for reform and the
impotence of the Council of Regency had both been demonstrated by the
Sickingen affair.  A law against monopolies was passed, limiting the
capital of any single company to fifty thousand gulden.  In order to
provide money for the central government a customs duty of 4 per cent.
ad valorem was ordered.  Both these measures weighed on the cities,
which accordingly sent an embassy to Charles.  They succeeded in
inducing him to disallow both laws.

[Sidenote: Diet of Nuremberg, 1524]

The next Diet, which assembled at Nuremberg early in 1524, naturally
refrained from passing more futile laws for the emperor to veto, but on
the other hand it took a stronger stand than ever on the religious
question.  The Edict of Worms was still nominally in force and was
still to all intents and purposes flouted.  Luther was at large and his
followers were gaining.  In reply to a demand from the government that
the Edict should be strictly carried out, the Diet passed a resolution
that it should be observed by each state as far as its prince deemed it
possible.  Despairing of an oecumenical council the estates demanded
that a {86} German national synod be called at Spires before the close
of the year with power to decide on what was to be done for the time

There is no doubt that by this time the public opinion of North
Germany, at least, was thoroughly Lutheran.  Ferdinand hardly
exaggerated when he wrote his brother that throughout the Empire there
was scarce one person in a thousand not infected with the new
doctrines.  [Sidenote: 1523]  The place now occupied by newspapers and
weekly reviews was taken by a vast swarm of pamphlets, most of which
have survived.  [Sidenote: Popular pamphlets]  Those of the years
immediately following the Diet of Worms reveal the first enthusiasm of
the people for the "gospel."  The greater part of the broadsides
produced are concerned with the leader and his doctrines.  The
comparison of him to Huss was a favorite one.  One pamphleteer, at
least, drew the parallel between his trial at Worms and that of Christ
before Pilate.  The whole bent of men's minds was theological.
Doctrines which now seem a little quaint and trite were argued with new
fervor by each writer.  The destruction of images, the question of the
real presence in the sacrament, justification by faith, and free will
were disputed.  Above all the Bible was lauded in the new translation,
and the priests continued, as before, to be the favorite butt of

Among the very many writers of these tracts the playwright of
Nuremberg, Hans Sachs, took a prominent place.  In 1523 he published
his poem on "the Nightingale of Wittenberg, whose voice sounds in the
glorious dawn over hill and dale."  This bird is, of course, Luther,
and the fierce lion who has sought his life is Leo.  [Sidenote: Hans
Sachs]  The next year Hans Sachs published no less than three pamphlets
favoring the reform.  They were: 1. A Disputation between a Canon and a
Shoemaker, defending the Word of God and the Christian {87} Estate.  2.
Conversation on the Hypocritical Works of the Clergy and their Vows, by
which they hope to be saved to the disparagement of Christ's Blood.  3.
A Dialogue against the Roman Avarice.  Multiply these pamphlets, the
contents of which is indicated by their titles, by one hundred, and we
arrive at some conception of the pabulum on which the people grew to
Protestantism.  Of course there were many pamphlets on the other side,
but here, as in a thousand other cases, the important thing proved to
be to have the cause ventilated.  So long as discussion was forced in
the channels selected by the reformers, even the interest excited by
their adversaries redounded ultimately to their advantage.

[Sidenote: The Peasants' War, 1524-5]

The denunciation of authority, together with the message of the
excellence of the humblest Christian and the brotherhood of man,
powerfully contributed to the great rising of the lower classes, known
as the Peasants' War, in 1524-5.  It was not, as the name implied,
confined to the rustics, for probably as large a proportion of the
populace of cities as of the tillers of the soil joined it.  Nor was
there in it anything entirely new.  The cry for justice was of long
standing, and every single element of the revolt, including the hatred
of the clergy and demand for ecclesiastical reform, is to be found also
in previous risings.  Thus, the rebellion of peasants under Hans Böhm,
commonly called the Piper of Niklashausen, in 1476, was brought about
by a religious appeal.  The leader asserted that he had special
revelations from the Virgin Mary that serfdom was to be abolished, and
the kingdom of God to be introduced by the levelling of all social
ranks; and he produced miracles to certify his divine calling.  There
had also been two risings, closely connected, the first, in 1513,
deriving its name of "Bundschuh" from the peasant's tied shoe, a class
emblem, and the {88} second, in 1514, called "Poor Conrad" after the
peasant's nickname.  If the memory of the suppression of all these
revolts might dampen the hopes of the poor, on the other hand the
successful rise of the Swiss democracy was a perpetual example and
encouragement to them.

[Sidenote: Causes]

The most fundamental cause of all these risings alike was, of course,
the cry of the oppressed for justice.  This is eternal, as is also one
of the main alignments into which society usually divides itself, the
opposition of the poor and the rich.  It is therefore not very
important to inquire whether the lot of the third estate was getting
better or worse during the first quarter of the sixteenth century.  In
either case there was a great load of wrong and tyranny to be thrown
off.  But the question is not uninteresting in itself.  As there are
diametrically opposite answers to it, both in the testimony of
contemporaries and in the opinion of modern scholars, it is perhaps
incapable of being answered.  In some districts, and in some respects,
the lot of the poor was becoming a little easier; in other lands and in
different ways it was becoming harder.  The time was one of general
prosperity, in which the peasant often shared.  The newer methods of
agriculture, manufacture and commerce benefited him who knew how to
take advantage of them.  That some did so may be inferred from the
statement of Sebastian Brant that the rustics dress like nobles, in
satin and gold chains.  On the other hand the rising prices would bear
hard on those laborers dependent on fixed wages, though relieving the
burden of fixed rents.  The whole people, except the merchants,
disliked the increasing cost of living and legislated against it to the
best of their ability.  Complaints against monopoly were common, and
the Diets sometimes enacted laws against them.  Foreign trade was
looked on with {89} suspicion as draining the country of silver and
gold.  Again, although the peasants benefited by the growing stability
of government, they felt as a grievance the introduction of the new
Roman law with its emphasis upon the rights of property and of the
state.  Burdens directly imposed by the territorial governments were
probably increasing.  If the exactions from the landlords were not
becoming greater, it was simply because they were always at a maximum.
At no time was the rich gentleman at a loss to find law and precedent
for wringing from his serfs and tenants all that they could possibly
pay.  [Sidenote: Peasant classes]  The peasants were of three classes:
the serfs, the tenants who paid a quit-rent, and hired laborers.  The
former, more than the others, perhaps, had now arrived at the
determination to assert their rights.  For them the Peasants' War was
the inevitable break with a long economic past, now intolerable and
hopeless.  There is some evidence to show that the number of serfs was
increasing.  This process, by menacing the freedom of the others,
united all in the resolve to stop the gradual enslavement of their
class, to reckon with those who benefited by it.

How little now there was in the ideals of the last and most terrible of
the peasant risings may be seen by a study of the programs of reform
put forward from time to time during the preceding century.  There is
nothing in the manifestos of 1525 that may not be found in the
pamphlets of the fifteenth century.  The grievances are the same, and
the hope of a completely renovated and communized society is the same.
One of the most influential of these socialistic pamphlets was the
so-called _Reformation of the Emperor Sigismund_, written by an
Augsburg clergyman about 1438, first printed in 1476, and reprinted a
number of times before the end of the century.  Its title bears witness
to the Messianic belief of the people that one of their {90} great, old
emperors should sometime return and restore the world to a condition of
justice and happiness.  The present tract preached that "obedience was
dead and justice sick"; it attacked serfdom as wicked, denounced the
ecclesiastical law and demanded the freedom given by Christ.

The same doctrine, adapted to the needs of the time, is preached in the
_Reformation of the Emperor Frederic III_, published anonymously in
1523.  Though more radical than Luther it reflects some of his ideas.
Still more, however, does it embody the reforms proposed at Nuremberg
in 1523.  It may probably have been written by George Rüxner, called
Jerusalem, an Imperial Herald prominent in these circles.  It advocated
the abolition of all taxes and tithes, the repeal of all imperial civil
laws, the reform of the clergy, the confiscation of ecclesiastical
property, and the limitation of the amount of capital allowed any one
merchant to 10,000 gulden.

Though there was nothing new in either the manner of oppression or in
the demands of the third estate during the last decade preceding the
great rebellion, there does seem to be a new atmosphere, or tone, in
the literature addressed to the lower classes.  While on the one hand
the poor were still mocked and insulted as they always had been by
foolish and heartless possessors of inherited wealth and position, from
other quarters they now began to be also flattered and courted.  The
peasant became in the large pamphlet literature of the time an ideal
figure, the type of the plain, honest, God-fearing man.  [Sidenote: The
peasant idealized]  Nobles like Duke Ulrich of Württemberg affected to
be called by popular nicknames.  Carlstadt and other learned men
proclaimed that the peasant knew better the Word of God and the way of
salvation than did the learned.  Many radical preachers, especially the
Anabaptist {91} Münzer, carried the message of human brotherhood to the
point of communism.  There were a number of lay preachers, the most
celebrated being the physician Hans Maurer, who took the sobriquet
"Karsthans."  This name, "the man with the hoe," soon became one of the
catch-words of the time, and made its way into popular speech as a
synonym for the simple and pious laborer.  Hutten took it up and urged
the people to seize flails and pitchforks and smite the clergy and the
pope as they would the devil.  [Sidenote: 1521]  Others preached hatred
of the Jews, of the rich, of lawyers.  Above all they appealed to the
Bible as the devine law, and demanded a religious reform as a condition
and preliminary to a thorough renovation of society.  Although Luther
himself from the first opposed all forms  of  violence, his clarion
voice rang out in protest against the injustice of the nobles.  "The
people neither can nor will endure your tyranny any longer," he said to
them in 1523, "God will not endure it; the world is not what it once
was when you drove and hunted men like wild beasts."

The rising began at Stühlingen, not far from the Swiss frontier, in
June 1524, and spread with considerable rapidity northward, until the
greater part of Germany was in the throes of revolution.  The rebels
were able to make headway because most of the regular troops had been
withdrawn to the Turkish front or to Italy to fight the emperor's
battle against France.  In South Germany, during the first six months,
the gatherings of peasants and townsmen were eminently peaceable.  They
wished only to negotiate with their masters and to secure some
practical reforms.  But when the revolt spread to Franconia and Saxony,
a much more radically socialistic program was developed and the rebels
showed themselves readier to enforce their demands by arms.  For the
year 1524 there {92} was no general manifesto put forward, but there
were negotiations between the insurgents and their quondam masters.  In
this district or in that, lists of very specific grievances were
presented and redress demanded.  In some cases merely to gain time, in
others sincerely, the lords consented to reply to these petitions.
They denied this or that charge, and they promised to end this or that
form of oppression.  Neither side was prepared for civil war.  In all
it was more like a modern strike than anything else.

In the early months of 1525 several programs were drawn up of a more
general nature than those previously composed, and yet by no means
radical.  The most famous of these was called _The Twelve Articles_,
printed and widely circulated in February.  [Sidenote: _The Twelve
Articles_]  The exact place at which they originated is unknown.  The
authorship has been much disputed, and necessarily so, for they were
the work of no one brain, but were as composite a production as is the
Constitution of the United States.  The material in them is drawn from
the mouths of a whole people.  Far more than in other popular writings
one feels that they are the genuine expression of the public opinion of
a great class.  Probably their draftsman was Sebastian Lotzer, the
tanner who for years past had preached apostolic communism.  It is not
impossible that the Anabaptist Balthasar Hübmaier had a hand in them.
Their demands are moderate and would be considered matters of
self-evident justice to-day.  The first article is for the right of
each community to choose its own pastor.  The second protests against
the minor tithes on vegetables paid to the clergy, though expressly
admitting the legality of the tithes on grain.  The third article
demands freedom for the serfs, the fourth and fifth, ask for the right
to hunt and to cut wood in the forests.  The sixth, seventh and eighth
articles {93} protest against excessive forced labor, illegal payments
and exorbitant rents.  The ninth article denounces the new (Roman) law,
and requests the reëstablishment of the old (German) law.  The tenth
article voices the indignation of the poor at the enclosure by the rich
of commons and other free land.  The eleventh demands the abolition of
the heriot, or inheritance-tax, by which the widow of a rustic was
obliged to yield to her lord the best head of cattle or other valuable
possession.  The final article expresses the willingness of the
insurgents to have all their demands submitted to the Word of God.
Both here and in the preamble the entire assimilation of divine and
human law is postulated, and the charge that the Lutheran Gospel caused
sedition, is met.

[Sidenote: Other manifestos]

Though the _Twelve Articles_ were adopted by more of the bands of
peasants than was any other program, yet there were several other
manifestos drawn up about the same time.  Thus, in the _Fifty-nine
Articles_ of the Stühlingen peasants the same demands are put forth
with much more detail.  The legal right to trial by due process of law
is asserted, and vexatious payments due to a lord when his peasant
marries a woman from another estate, are denounced.  But here, too, and
elsewhere, the fundamental demands were the same: freedom from serfdom,
from oppressive taxation and forced labor, and for unrestricted rights
of hunting and woodcutting in the forests.  Everywhere there is the
same claim that the rights of the people are sanctioned by the law of
God, and generally the peasants assume that they are acting in
accordance with the new "gospel" of Luther.  The Swabians expressly
submitted their demands to the arbitration of a commission of four to
consist of a representative of the emperor, Frederic of Saxony, Luther
and either Melanchthon or Bugenhagen.

{94} When the revolt reached the central part of Germany it became at
once more socialistic and more bloody.  [Sidenote: Münzer]  The baleful
eloquence of Thomas Münzer was exerted at Mühlhausen to nerve the
people to strike down the godless with pitiless sword.  Already in
September 1524 he preached: "On! on! on!  This is the time when the
wicked are as fearful as hounds. . . .  Regard not the cries of the
godless. . . .  On, while the fire is hot.  Let not your swords be cold
from blood.  Smite bang, bang on the anvil of Nimrod; cast his tower to
the ground!"  Other leaders took up the message and called for the
extirpation of the tyrants, including both the clergy and the lords.
Communism was demanded as in the apostolic age; property was denounced
as wrong.  Regulation of prices was one measure put forward, and the
committing of the government of the country to a university another.

The propaganda of deeds followed close upon the propaganda of words.
During the spring of 1525 in central Germany forty-six cloisters and
castles were burned to the ground, while violence and rapine reigned
supreme with all the ferocity characteristic of class warfare.  On
Easter Sunday, April 16, one of the best-armed bands of peasants, under
one of the most brutal leaders, Jäcklein Rohrbach, attacked Weinsberg.
The count and his small garrison of eighteen knights surrendered and
were massacred by the insurgents, who visited mockery and insult upon
the countess and her daughters.  Many of the cities joined the
peasants, and for a short time it seemed as if the rebellion might be

[Sidenote: Suppression of the rising]

But in fact the insurgents were poorly equipped, untrained, without
coöperation or leadership.  As soon as the troops which won the battle
of Pavia in Italy were sent back to Germany the whole movement
collapsed.  [Sidenote: February 24, 1525]  The Swabian League inflicted
decisive {95} defeats upon the rebels at Leipheim on April 4, and at
Wurzach ten days later.  Other blows followed in May.  In the center of
Germany the Saxon Electorate lay supine.  Frederic the Wise died in the
midst of the tumult [Sidenote: May 5, 1525] after expressing his
opinion that it was God's will that the common man should rule, and
that it would be wrong to resist the divine decree.  His young
neighbor, Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, acted vigorously.  After coming
to terms with his own subjects by negotiations, he raised troops and
met a band of insurgents at Frankenhausen.  He wished to treat with
them also, but Münzer's fanaticism, promising the deluded men
supernatural aid, nerved them to reject all terms.  In the very ancient
German style they built a barricade of wagons, and calmly awaited the
attack of the soldiers.  [Sidenote: May 15]  Undisciplined and poorly
armed, almost at the first shot they broke and fled in panic, more than
half of them perishing on the field.  Münzer was captured, and, after
having been forced by torture to sign a confession of his misdeeds, was
executed.  After this there was no strength left in the peasant cause.
The lords, having gained the upper hand, put down the rising with great
cruelty.  The estimates of the numbers of peasants slain vary so widely
as to make certainty impossible.  Perhaps a hundred thousand in all
perished.  The soldiers far outdid the rebels in savage reprisals.  The
laborers sank back into a more wretched state than before; oppression
stalked with less rebuke than ever through the land.


[Sidenote: Defections from Luther]

In the sixteenth century politics were theological.  The groups into
which men divided had religious slogans and were called churches, but
they were also political parties.  The years following the Diet of {96}
Worms saw the crystallization of a new group, which was at first
liberal and reforming and later, as it grew in stability, conservative.
At Worms almost all the liberal forces in Germany had been behind
Luther, the intellectuals, the common people with their wish for social
amelioration, and those to whom the religious issue primarily appealed.
But this support offered by public opinion was vague; in the next years
it became, both more definite and more limited.  At the same time that
city after city and state after state was openly revolting from the
pope, until the Reformers had won a large constituency in the Imperial
Diets and a place of constitutional recognition, there was going on
another process by which one after another certain elements at first
inclined to support Luther fell away from him.  During these years he
violently dissociated himself from the extreme radicals and thus lost
the support of the proletariat.  In the second place the growing
definiteness and narrowness of his dogmatism and his failure to show
hospitality to science and philosophy alienated a number of
intellectuals.  Third, a great schism weakened the Protestant church.
But these losses were counterbalanced by two gains.  The first was the
increasing discipline and coherence of the new churches; the second was
their gradual but rapid attainment of the support of the middle and
governing classes in many German states.

[Sidenote: The Radicals]

Luther's struggle with radicalism had begun within a year after his
stand at Worms.  He had always been consistently opposed to mob
violence, even when he might have profited by it.  At Worms he
disapproved Hutten's plans for drawing the sword against the Romanists.
When, from his "watchtower," he first spied the disorders at
Wittenberg, he wrote that notwithstanding the great provocation given
to the common man by the clergy, yet tumult was the work of {97} the
devil.  When he returned home he preached that the only weapon the
Christian ought to use was the Word.  "Had I wished it," said he then,
"I might have brought Germany to civil war.  Yes, at Worms I might have
started a game that would not have been safe for the emperor, but it
would have been a fool's game.  So I did nothing, but only let the Word
act."  Driven from Wittenberg, the Zwickau prophets, assisted by Thomas
Münzer, continued their agitation elsewhere.  As long as their
propaganda was peaceful Luther was inclined to tolerate it.  "Let them
teach what they like," said he, "be it gospel or lies."  But when they
began to preach a campaign of fire and sword, Luther wrote, in July
1524, to his elector begging him "to act vigorously against their
storming and ranting, in order that God's kingdom may be advanced by
word only, as becomes Christians, and that all cause of sedition may be
taken from the multitude [Herr Omnes, literally Mr. Everybody], more
than enough inclined to it already."

When the revolt at last broke out Luther was looked up to and appealed
to by the people as their champion.  In April 1525 he composed an
_Exhortation to Peace on the Twelve Articles of the Swabian Peasants_,
[Sidenote: Exhortation to Peace] in which he distributed the blame for
the present conditions liberally, but impartially, on both sides,
aristocrats and peasants.  To the former he said that their tyranny,
together with that of the clergy had brought this punishment on
themselves, and that God intended to smite them.  To the peasants he
said that no tyranny was excuse for rebellion.  Of their articles he
approved of two only, that demanding the right to choose their pastors
and that denouncing the heriot or death-duty.  Their second demand, for
repeal of some of the tithes, he characterized as robbery, and the
third, for freedom of the serf, as unjustified because it made
Christian {98} liberty a merely external thing, and because Paul had
said that the bondman should not seek to be free (I Cor. vii, 20 f).
The other articles were referred to legal experts.

Hardly had this pamphlet come from the press before Luther heard of the
deeds of violence of Rohrbach and his fellows.  Fearing that complete
anarchy would result from the triumph of the insurgents, against whom
no effective blow had yet been struck, he wrote a tract _Against the
Thievish, Murderous Hordes of Peasants_.  [Sidenote: The peasants
denounced]  In this he denounced them with the utmost violence of
language, and urged the government to smite them without pity.
Everyone should avoid a peasant as he would the devil, and should join
the forces to slay them like mad dogs.  "If you die in battle against
them," said he to the soldiers, "you could never have a more blessed
end, for you die obedient to God's Word in Romans 13, and in the
service of love to free your neighbor from the bands of hell and the
devil."  A little later he wrote: "It is better that all the peasants
be killed than that the princes and magistrates perish, because the
rustics took the sword without divine authority.  The only possible
consequence of their Satanic wickedness would be the diabolic
devastation of the kingdom of God."  And again: "One cannot argue
reasonably with a rebel, but one must answer him with the fist so that
blood flows from his nose."  Melanchthon entirely agreed with his
friend.  "It is fairly written in Ecclesiasticus xxxiii," said he,
"that as the ass must have fodder, load, and whip, so must the servant
have bread, work, and punishment.  These outward, bodily servitudes are
needful, but this institution [serfdom] is certainly pleasing to God."

Inevitably such an attitude alienated the lower classes.  From this
time, many of them looked not to {99} the Lutheran but to the more
radical sects, called Anabaptists, for help.  The condition of the
Empire at this time was very similar to that of many countries today,
where we find two large upper and middle-class parties, the
conservative (Catholic) and liberal (Protestant) over against the
radical or socialistic (Anabaptist).

[Sidenote: The Anabaptists]

The most important thing about the extremists was not their habit of
denying the validity of infant baptism and of rebaptizing their
converts, from which they derived their name.  What really determined
their view-point and program was that they represented the poor,
uneducated, disinherited classes.  The party of extreme measures is
always chiefly constituted from the proletariat because it is the very
poor who most pressingly feel the need for change and because they have
not usually the education to judge the feasibility of the plans, many
of them quack nostrums, presented as panaceas for all their woes.  A
complete break with the past and with the existing order has no terrors
for them, but only promise.

A radical party almost always includes men of a wide variety of
opinions.  So the sixteenth century classed together as Anabaptists men
with not only divergent but with diametrically opposite views on the
most vital questions.  Their only common bond was that they all alike
rejected the authoritative, traditional and aristocratic organization
of both of the larger churches and the pretensions of civil society.
It is easy to see that they had no historical perspective, and that
they tried to realize the ideals of primitive Christianity, as they
understood it, without reckoning the vast changes in culture and other
conditions, and yet it is impossible not to have a deep sympathy with
the men most of whose demands were just and who sealed their faith with
perpetual martyrdom.  {100} [Sidenote: Spread of radicalism]
Notwithstanding the heavy blow to reform given in the crushing of the
peasants' rising, radical doctrines continued to spread among the
people.  As the poor found their spiritual needs best supplied in the
conventicle of dissent, official Lutheranism became an established
church, predominantly an aristocratic and middle-class party of vested
interest and privilege.

It is sometimes said that the origin and growth of the Anabaptists was
due to the German translation of the Bible.  This is not true and yet
there is little doubt that the publication of the German version in
1522 and the years immediately following, stimulated the growth of many
sects.  The Bible is such a big book, and capable of so many different
interpretations, that it is not strange that a hundred different
schemes of salvation should have been deduced from it by those who came
to it with different prepossessions.  While many of the Anabaptists
were perfect quietists, preaching the duty of non-resistance and the
wickedness of bearing arms, even in self-defence, others found sanction
for quite opposite views in the Scripture, and proclaimed that the
godless should be exterminated as the Canaanites had been.  In ethical
matters some sects practised the severest code of morals, while others
were distinguished by laxity.  By some marriage was forbidden; others
wanted all the marriage they could get and advocated polygamy.  The
religious meetings were similar to "revivals," frequently of the most
hysterical sort.  Claiming that they were mystically united to God, or
had direct revelations from him, they rejected the ceremonies and
sacraments of historic Christianity, and sometimes substituted for them
practices of the most absurd, or most doubtful, character.  When
Melchior Rink preached, his followers howled like dogs, bellowed like
cattle, neighed like horses, and brayed like asses--some of them very
{101} naturally, no doubt.  In certain extreme cases the meetings ended
in debauchery, while we know of men who committed murder in the belief
that they were directed so to do by special revelation of God.  Thus at
St. Gall one brother cut another's throat, while one of the saints
trampled his wife to death under the influence of the spirit.  But it
is unfair to judge the whole movement by these excesses.

The new sectaries, of course, ran the gauntlet of persecution.  In 1529
the emperor and Diet at Spires passed a mandate against them to this
effect: "By the plenitude of our imperial power and wisdom we ordain,
decree, oblige, declare, and will that all Anabaptists, men and women
who have come to the age of understanding, shall be executed and
deprived of their natural life by fire, sword, and the like, according
to opportunity and without previous inquisition of the spiritual
judges."  Lutherans united with Catholics in passing this edict, and
showed no less alacrity in executing it.  As early as 1525 the
Anabaptists were persecuted at Zurich, where one of their earliest
communities sprouted.  Some of the leaders were drowned, others were
banished and so spread their tenets elsewhere.  Catholic princes
exterminated them by fire and sword.  In Lutheran Saxony no less than
thirteen of the poor non-conformists were executed, and many more
imprisoned for long terms, or banished.

And yet the radical sects continued to grow.  The dauntless zeal of
Melchior Hofmann braved all for the propagation of their ideas.  For a
while he found a refuge at Strassburg, but this city soon became too
orthodox to hold him.  He then turned to Holland, where the seed sowed
fell into fertile ground.  Two Dutchmen, the baker John Matthys of
Haarlem and the tailor John Beuckelssen of Leyden went to the episcopal
city of Münster in Westphalia [Sidenote: Münster] near the Dutch {102}
border, and rapidly converted the mass of the people to their own
belief in the advent of the kingdom of God on earth.  An insurrection
expelled the bishop's government and installed a democracy in February,
1534.  After the death of Matthys on April 5, a rising of the people
against the dictatorial power of Beucklessen was suppressed by this
fanatic who thereupon crowned himself king under the title of John of
Leyden.  Communism of goods was introduced and also polygamy.  The city
was now besieged by its suzerain, the Bishop of Münster, and after
horrible sufferings had been inflicted on the population, taken by
storm on June 25, 1535.  The surviving leaders were put to death by

The defeat itself was not so disastrous to the Anabaptist cause as were
the acts of the leaders when in power.  As the Reformer Bullinger put
it: "God opened the eyes of the governments by the revolt at Münster,
and thereafter no one would trust even those Anabaptists who claimed to
be innocent."  Their lack of unity and organization told against them.
Nevertheless the sect smouldered on in the lower classes, constantly
subject to the fires of martyrdom, until, toward the close of the
century, it attained some cohesion and respectability.  The later
Baptists, Independents, and Quakers all inherited some portion of its
spiritual legacies.  To the secular historian its chief interest is in
the social teachings, which consistently advocated tolerance, and
frequently various forms of anarchy and socialism.

[Sidenote: Defection of the humanists]

Next to the defection of the laboring masses, the severest loss to the
Evangelical party in these years was that of a large number of
intellectuals, who, having hailed Luther as a deliverer from
ecclesiastical bondage, came to see in him another pope, not less {103}
tyrannous than he of Rome.  Reuchlin the Hebrew scholar and Mutian the
philosopher had little sympathy with any dogmatic subtlety.  Zasius the
jurist was repelled by the haste and rashness of Luther.  The so-called
"godless painters" of Nuremberg, George Penz and the brothers Hans and
Bartholomew Beham, having rejected in large part Christian doctrine,
were naturally not inclined to join a new church, even when they
deserted the old.

But a considerable number of humanists, and those the greatest, after
having welcomed the Reformation in its first, most liberal and hopeful
youth, deliberately turned their backs on it and cast in their lot with
the Roman communion.  The reason was that, whereas the old faith
mothered many of the abuses, superstitions, and dogmatisms abominated
by the humanists, it had also, at this early stage in the schism,
within its close a large body of ripe, cultivated, fairly tolerant
opinion.  The struggling innovators, on the other hand, though they
purged away much obsolete and offensive matter, were forced, partly by
their position, partly by the temper of their leaders, to a raw
self-assertiveness, a bald concentration on the points at issue,
incompatible with winsome wisdom, or with judicial fairness.  How the
humanists would have chosen had they seen the Index and Loyola, is
problematical; but while there was still hope of reshaping Rome to
their liking they had little use for Wittenberg.

  I admit that for some years I was very favorably
  inclined to Luther's enterprise [wrote Crotus Rubeanus in
  1531] [Sidenote: Rubeanus], but when I saw that nothing
  was left untorn and undefiled . . . I thought the devil
  might bring in great evil in the guise of something good,
  using Scripture as his shield.  So I decided to remain
  in the church in which I was baptized, reared and taught.
  Even if some fault might be found in it, yet in time it
  might have been proved, sooner, at any rate, than in the
  new church which in a few years has been torn by so many sects.

Wilibald Pirckheimer, the Greek scholar and historian of Nuremberg,
hailed Luther so warmly at first that he was put under the ban of the
bull _Exsurge Domine_.  By 1529, however, he had come to believe him
insolent, impudent, either insane or possessed by a devil.

  I do not deny [he wrote] that at the beginning all
  Luther's acts did not seem to be vain, since no good man
  could be pleased with all those errors and impostures that
  had accumulated gradually in Christianity.  So, with
  others, I hoped that some remedy might be applied to
  such great evils, but I was cruelly deceived.  For, before
  the former errors had been extirpated, far more intolerable
  ones crept in, compared to which the others seemed
  child's play.

[Sidenote: Appeal to Erasmus]

To Erasmus, the wise, the just, all men turned as to an arbiter of
opinion.  From the first, Luther counted on his support, and not
without reason, for the humanist spoke well of the Theses and
commentaries of the Wittenberger.  On March 28, 1519, Luther addressed
a letter to him, as "our glory and hope," acknowledging his
indebtedness and begging for support.  Erasmus answered in a friendly
way, at the same time sending a message encouraging the Elector
Frederic to defend his innocent subject.

Dreading nothing so much as a violent catastrophe, the humanist labored
for the next two years to find a peaceful solution for the threatening
problem.  Seeing that Luther's two chief errors were that he "had
attacked the crown of the pope and the bellies of the monks," Erasmus
pressed upon men in power the plan of allowing the points in dispute to
be settled by an impartial tribunal, and of imposing silence on both
parties.  At the same time he begged Luther to do nothing {105} violent
and urged that his enemies be not allowed to take extreme measures
against him.  But after the publication of the pamphlets of 1520 and of
the bull condemning the heretic, this position became untenable.
Erasmus had so far compromised himself in the eyes of the inquisitors
that he fled from Louvain in the autumn of 1521, and settled in Basle.
He was strongly urged by both parties to come out on one side or the
other, and he was openly taunted by Ulrich von Hutten, a hot Lutheran,
for cowardice in not doing so.  Alienated by this and by the dogmatism
and intolerance of Luther's writings, Erasmus finally defined his
position in a _Diatribe on Free Will_.  [Sidenote: 1524]  As Luther's
theory of the bondage of the will was but the other side of his
doctrine of justification by faith only--for where God's grace does all
there is nothing left for human effort--Erasmus attacked the very
center of the Evangelical dogmatic system.  The question, a deep
psychological and metaphysical one, was much in the air, Valla having
written on it a work published in 1518, and Pomponazzi having also
composed a work on it in 1520, which was, however, not published until
much later.  It is noticeable that Erasmus selected this point rather
than one of the practical reforms advocated at Wittenberg, with which
he was much in sympathy.  Luther replied in a volume on _The Bondage of
the Will_ reasserting his position more strongly than ever.  [Sidenote:
1525]  How theological, rather than philosophical, his opinion was may
be seen from the fact that while he admitted that a man was free to
choose which of two indifferent alternatives he should take, he denied
that any of these choices could work salvation or real righteousness in
God's eyes.  He did not hesitate to say that God saved and damned souls
irrespective of merit.  Erasmus answered again in a large work, the
_Hyperaspistes_ (_Heavy-Armed Soldier_), which came {106} out in two
parts.  [Sidenote: 1526-7]  In this he offers a general critique of the
Lutheran movement.  Its leader, he says, is a dogmatist, who never
recoils from extremes logically demanded by his premises, no matter how
repugnant they may be to the heart of man.  But for himself he is a
humanist, finding truth in the reason as well as in the Bible, and
abhorring paradoxes.

The controversy was not allowed to drop at this point.  Many a barbed
shaft of wit-winged sarcasm was shot by the light-armed scholar against
the ranks of the Reformers.  "Where Lutheranism reigns," he wrote
Pirckheimer, "sound learning perishes."  "With disgust," he confessed
to Ber, "I see the cause of Christianity approaching a condition that I
should be very unwilling to have it reach . . .  While we are
quarreling over the booty the victory will slip through our fingers.
It is the old story of private interests destroying the commonwealth."
Erasmus first expressed the opinion, often maintained since, that
Europe was experiencing a gradual revival both of Christian piety and
of sound learning, when Luther's boisterous attack plunged the world
into a tumult in which both were lost sight of.  On March 30, 1527, he
wrote to Maldonato:

  I brought it about that sound learning, which among
  the Italians and especially among the Romans savored of
  nothing but pure paganism, began nobly to celebrate
  Christ, in whom we ought to boast as the sole author of
  both wisdom and happiness if we are true Christians. . . .
  I always avoided the character of a dogmatist, except
  in certain _obiter dicta_ which seemed to me conducive
  to correct studies and against the preposterous judgments
  of men.

In the same letter he tells how hard he had fought the obscurantists,
and adds: "While we were waging a fairly equal battle against these
monsters, behold {107} Luther suddenly arose and threw the apple of
Discord into the world."

In short, Erasmus left the Reformers not because they were too liberal,
but because they were too conservative, and because he disapproved of
violent methods.  His gentle temperament, not without a touch of
timidity, made him abhor the tumult and trust to the voice of
persuasion.  In failing to secure the support of the humanists
Protestantism lost heavily, and especially abandoned its chance to
become the party of progress.  Luther himself was not only disappointed
in the disaffection of Erasmus, but was sincerely rebelled by his
rationalism.  A man who could have the least doubt about a doctrine was
to him "an Arian, an atheist, and a skeptic."  He went so far as to say
that the great Dutch scholar's primary object in publishing the Greek
New Testament was to make readers doubtful about the text, and that the
chief end of his _Colloquies_ was to mock all piety.  Erasmus, whose
services to letters were the most distinguished and whose ideal of
Christianity was the loveliest, has suffered far too much in being
judged by his relation to the Reformation.  By a great Catholic[1] he
has been called "the glory of the priesthood and the shame," by an
eminent Protestant scholar[2] "a John the Baptist and Judas in one."

[Sidenote: Sacramentarian schism]

The battle with the humanists was synchronous with the beginnings of a
fierce internecine strife that tore the young evangelical church into
two parts.  Though the controversy between Luther and his principal
rival, Ulrich Zwingli, was really caused by a wide difference of
thought on many subjects, it focused its rays, like a burning-glass,
upon one point, the doctrine of the real presence of the body and blood
of Christ in the {108} eucharist.  The explanation of this mystery
evolved in the Middle Ages and adopted by the Lateran Council of 1215,
was the theory, called "transubstantiation," that the substance of the
bread turned into the substance of the body, and the substance of the
wine into the substance of the blood, without the "accidents" of
appearance and taste being altered.  Some of the later doctors of the
church, Durand and Occam, opposed this theory, though they proposed a
nearly allied one, called "consubstantiation," that the body and blood
are present with the bread and wine.  Wyclif and others, among whom was
the Italian philosopher Pico della Mirandola, proposed the theory now
held in most Protestant churches that the bread and wine are mere
symbols of the body and blood.

At the dawn of the Reformation the matter was brought into prominence
by the Dutch theologian Hoen, from whom the symbolic interpretation
[Sidenote: Symbolism] was adopted first by Carlstadt and then by the
Swiss Reformers Zwingli and Oecolampadius.  Luther himself wavered.  He
attacked the sacrifice of the mass, in which he saw a "good work"
repugnant to faith, and a great practical abuse, as in the endowed
masses for souls, but he finally decided on the question of the real
presence that the words "this is my body" were "too strong for him" and
meant just what they said.

After a preliminary skirmish with Carlstadt, resulting in the latter's
banishment from Saxony, there was a long and bitter war of pens between
Wittenberg and the Swiss Reformers.  Once the battle was joined it was
sure to be acrimonious because of the self-consciousness of each side.
Luther always assumed that he had a monopoly of truth, and that those
who proposed different views were infringing his copyright, so to
speak.  "Zwingli, Carlstadt and Oecolampadius would never have known
Christ's gospel rightly," he {109} opined, "had not Luther written of
it first."  He soon compared them to Absalom rebelling against his
father David, and to Judas betraying his Master.  Zwingli on his side
was almost equally sure that he had discovered the truth independently
of Luther, and, while expressing approbation of his work, refused to be
called by his name.  His invective was only a shade less virulent than
was that of his opponent.

The substance of the controversy was far from being the straight
alignment between reason and tradition that it has sometimes been
represented as.  Both sides assumed the inerrancy of Scripture and
appealed primarily to the same biblical arguments.  Luther had no
difficulty in proving that the words "hoc est corpus meum" meant that
the bread was the body, and he stated that this must be so even if
contrary to our senses.  Zwingli had no difficulty in proving that the
thing itself was impossible, and therefore inferred that the biblical
words must be explained away as a figure of speech.  In a long and
learned controversy neither side convinced the other, but each became
so exasperated as to believe the other possessed of the devil.  In the
spring of 1529 Lutherans joined Catholics at the Diet of Spires in
refusing toleration to the Zwinglians.  The division of Protestants of
course weakened them.  Their leading statesman, Philip, Landgrave of
Hesse, seeing this, did his best to reconcile the leaders.  For several
years he tried to get them to hold a conference, but in vain.  Finally,
he succeeded in bringing together at his castle at Marburg on the Lahn,
Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli, Oecolampadius, and a large number of
other divines.  [Sidenote: Marburg colloquy October 1-3, 1529]  The
discussion here only served to bring out more strongly the
irreconcilability of the two "spirits."  Shortly afterwards, when the
question of a political alliance came up, the Saxon theologians drafted
a memorial stating that {110} they would rather make an agreement with
the heathen than with the "sacramentarians."  [Sidenote: 1530]  The
same attitude was preserved at the Diet of Augsburg, where the
Lutherans were careful to avoid all appearance of friendship with the
Zwinglians lest they should compromise their standing with the
Catholics.  Zwingli and his friends were hardly less intransigeant.

[Sidenote: October 11, 1531]

When Zwingli died in battle with the Catholic cantons and when
Oecolampadius succumbed to a fever a few weeks later, Luther loudly
proclaimed that was a judgment of God and a triumph for his own party.
Though there was no hope of reconciling the Swiss, the South German
Zwinglians, headed by the Strassburg Reformers Bucer and Capito,
hastened to come to an understanding with Wittenberg, without which
their position would have been extremely perilous.  Bucer claimed to
represent a middle doctrine, such as was later asserted by Calvin.  As
no middle ground is possible, the doctrine is unintelligible, being, in
fact, nothing but the statement, in strong terms, of two mutually
exclusive propositions.  After much humiliation the divines succeeded,
however, in satisfying Luther, with whom they signed the Wittenberg
Concord on May 29, 1536.  The Swiss still remained without the pale,
and Luther's hatred of them grew with the years.  Shortly before his
death he wrote that he would testify before the judgment-seat of God
his loathing for the sacramentarians.  He became more and more
conservative, bringing back to the sacrament some of the medieval
superstitions he had once expelled.  He began again to call it an
offering and a sacrifice and again had it elevated in church for the
adoration of the faithful.  He wavered on this point, because, as he
said, he doubted whether it were more his duty to "spite" the papists
or the sacramentarians.  He finally decided on the latter, "and if
necessary," {111} continued he, "I will have the host elevated three,
seven, or ten times, for I will not let the devil teach me anything in
my church."

[Sidenote: Growth of Lutheranism in middle and upper classes]

Notwithstanding the bitter controversies just related Lutheranism
flourished mightily in the body of the people who were neither peasants
nor intellectuals nor Swiss.  The appeal was to the upper and middle
classes, sufficiently educated to discard some of the medievalism of
the Roman Church and impelled also by nationalism and economic
self-interest to turn from the tyranny of the pope.  City after city
and state after state enlisted under the banner of Luther.  He
continued to appeal to them through the press.  As a popular
pamphleteer he must be reckoned among the very ablest.  His faults,
coarseness and unbridled violence of language, did not alienate most of
his contemporaries.  Even his Latin works, too harshly described by
Hallam as "bellowing in bad Latin," were well adapted to the spirit of
the age.  But nothing like his German writings had ever been seen
before.  In lucidity and copiousness of language, in directness and
vigor, in satire and argument and invective, in humor and aptness of
illustration and allusion, the numerous tracts, political and
theological, which poured from his pen, surpassed all that had hitherto
been written and went straight to the hearts of his countrymen.  And he
won his battle almost alone, for Melanchthon, though learned and
elegant, had no popular gifts, and none of his other lieutenants could
boast even second-rate ability.

[Sidenote: German Bible, 1522-32]

Among his many publications a few only can be singled out for special
mention.  The continuation of the German Bible undoubtedly helped his
cause greatly.  In many things he could appeal to it against the Roman
tradition, and the very fact that he claimed to do so while his
opponents by their attitude seemed to {112} shrink from this test,
established the Protestant claim to be evangelical, in the eyes of the
people.  Next came his hymns, many popular, some good and one really
great.  [Sidenote: Hymns, 1528]  _Ein' feste Burg_ has been well called
by Heine the Marseillaise of the Reformation.  The Longer and Shorter
Catechisms [Sidenote: Catechisms, 1529] educated the common people in
the evangelical doctrine so well that the Catholics were forced to
imitate their enemy, though tardily, by composing, for the first time,
catechisms of their own.

Having overthrown much of the doctrine and discipline of the old church
Luther addressed himself with admirable vigor and great success to the
task of building up a substitute for it.  In this the combination of
the conservative and at the same time thoroughly popular spirit of the
movement manifested itself.  In divine service the vernacular was
substituted for Latin.  New emphasis was placed upon preaching,
Bible-reading and hymn-singing.  Mass was no longer incomprehensible,
but was an act of worship in which all could intelligently participate;
bread and wine were both given to the laity, and those words of the
canon implying transubstantiation and sacrifice were omitted.  Marriage
was relegated from the rank of a sacrament to that of a civil contract.
Baptism was kept in the old form, even to the detail of exorcizing the
evil spirit.  Auricular confession was permitted but not insisted upon.

[Sidenote: Church government]

The problems of church government and organization were pressing.  Two
alternatives, were theoretically possible, Congregationalism or state
churches.  After some hesitation, Luther was convinced by the
extravagances of Münzer and his ilk that the latter was the only
practicable course.  The governments of the various German states and
cities were now given supreme power in ecclesiastical matters.  They
took over the property belonging to the old church and {113}
administered it generally for religious or educational or charitable
purposes.  A system of church-visitation was started, by which the
central authority passed upon the competence of each minister.  Powers
of appointment and removal were vested in the government.  The title
and office of bishop were changed in most cases to that of
"superintendent," though in some German sees and generally in Sweden
the name bishop was retained.

[Sidenote: Lutheran accessions]

How genuinely popular was the Lutheran movement may be seen in the fact
that the free cities, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Strassburg, Ulm, Lübeck,
Hamburg, and many others were the first to revolt from Rome.  In other
states the government led the way.  Electoral Saxony evolved slowly
into complete Protestantism.  Though the Elector Frederic sympathized
with almost everything advanced by his great subject, he was too
cautious to interfere with vested interests of ecclesiastical property
and endowments.  On his death [Sidenote: May 5, 1525] his brother John
succeeded to the title, and came out openly for all the reforms
advocated at Wittenberg.  The neighboring state of Hesse was won about
1524, [Sidenote: 1424-5] though the official ordinance promulgating the
evangelical doctrine was not issued until 1526.  A very important
acquisition was Prussia.  [Sidenote: 1525]  Hitherto it had been
governed by the Teutonic Order, a military society like the Knights
Templars.  Albert of Brandenburg became Grand Master in 1511,
[Sidenote: Albert of Brandenburg, 1490-1568] and fourteen years later
saw the opportunity of aggrandizing his personal power by renouncing
his spiritual ties.  He accordingly declared the Teutonic Order
abolished and himself temporal Duke of Prussia, shortly afterwards
marrying a daughter of the king of Denmark.  He swore allegiance to the
king of Poland.

The growth of Lutheranism unmolested by the imperial government was
made possible by the {114} absorption of the emperor's energies in his
rivalry with France and Turkey and by the decentralization of the
Empire.  [Sidenote: Leagues]  Leagues between groups of German states
had been quite common in the past, and a new stimulus to their
formation was given by the common religious interest.  The first league
of this sort was that of Ratisbon, [Sidenote: 1524] between Bavaria and
other South German principalities; its purpose was to carry out the
Edict of Worms.  This was followed by a similar league in North Germany
between Catholic states, known as the League of Dessau, [Sidenote:
1525] and a Protestant confederation known as the League of Torgau.

[Sidenote: The Diet of Spires, 1526]

The Diet held at Spires in the summer of 1526 witnessed the strength of
the new party, for in it the two sides treated on equal terms.  Many
reforms were proposed, and some carried through against the obstruction
by Ferdinand, the emperor's brother and lieutenant.  The great question
was the enforcement of the Edict of Worms, and on this the Diet passed
an act, known as a Recess, providing that each state should act in
matters of faith as it could answer to God and the emperor.  In effect
this allowed the government of every German state to choose between the
two confessions, thus anticipating the principle of the Religious Peace
of Augsburg of 1555.

The relations of the two parties were so delicate that it seemed as if
a general religious war were imminent.  In 1528, this was almost
precipitated by a certain Otto von Pack, who assured the Landgrave of
Hesse that he had found a treaty between the Catholic princes for the
extirpation of the Lutherans and for the expropriation of their
champions, the Elector of Saxony and Philip of Hesse himself.  This was
false, but the Landgrave armed and attacked the Bishops of Würzburg and
Bamberg, named by Pack as parties to the treaty, and he forced them to
pay an indemnity.


[Sidenote: Recess of Spires]

The Diet which met at Spires early in 1529 endeavored to deal as
drastically as possible with the schism.  The Recess passed by the
Catholic majority on April 7 was most unfavorable to the Reformers,
repealing the Recess of the last Diet in their favor.  Catholic states
were commanded to execute the persecuting Edict of Worms, although
Lutheran states were forbidden to abolish the office of the (Catholic)
mass, and also to allow any further innovations in their own doctrines
or practices until the calling of a general council.  The princes were
forbidden to harbor the subjects of another state.  The Evangelical
members of the Diet, much aggrieved at this blow to their faith,
published a Protest [Sidenote: Protest, April 19] taking the ground
that the Recess of 1526 had been in the nature of a treaty and could
not be abrogated without the consent of both parties to it.  As the
government of Germany was a federal one, this was a question of
"states' rights," such as came up in our own Civil War, but in the
German case it was even harder to decide because there was no written
Constitution defining the powers of the national government and the
states.  It might naturally be assumed that the Diet had the power to
repeal its own acts, but the Evangelical estates made a further point
in their appeal to the emperor, [Sidenote: April 25] by alleging that
the Recess of 1526 had been passed unanimously and could only be
repealed by a unanimous vote.  The Protest and the appeal were signed
by the Elector of Saxony, the Landgrave of Hesse, a few smaller states,
and fourteen free cities.  From the Protest they became immediately
known as "the Protesting Estates" and subsequently the name Protestant
was given to all those who left the Roman communion.

[1] Alexander Pope.

[2] Walther Köhler.



Certain states having announced that they would not be bound by the
will of the majority, the question naturally came up as to how far they
would defend this position by arms.  [Sidenote: March 6, 1530]
Luther's advice asked and given to the effect that all rebellion or
forcible resistance to the constituted authorities was wrong.  Passive
resistance, the mere refusal to obey the command to persecute or to
act, otherwise contrary to God's law, he thought was right but he
discountenanced any other measures, even those taken in self-defence.
All Germans, said he, were the emperor's subjects, and the princes
should not shield Luther from him, but leave their lands open to his
officers to do what they pleased.  This position Luther abandoned a
year later, when the jurists pointed out to him that the authority of
the emperor was not despotic but was limited by law.

The Protest and Appeal of 1529 at last aroused Charles, slow as he was,
to the great dangers to himself that lurked in the Protestant schism.
Having repulsed the Turk and having made peace with France and the pope
he was at last in a position to address himself seriously to the
religious problem.  Fully intending to settle the trouble once for all,
he came to Germany and opened a Diet at Augsburg [Sidenote: June 20,
1530] to which were invited not only the representatives of the various
states but a number of leading theologians, both Catholic and Lutheran,
all except Luther himself, an outlaw by the Edict of Worms.

The first action taken was to ask the Lutherans to state their position
and this was done in the famous Augsburg Confession, [Sidenote: June
25] read before the Diet by the Saxon Chancellor Brück.  It had been
drawn up by {117} Melanchthon in language as near as possible to that
of the old church.  Indeed it undertook to prove that there was in the
Lutheran doctrine "nothing repugnant to Scripture or to the Catholic
church or to the Roman church."  Even in the form of the Confession
published 1531 this Catholicizing tendency is marked, but in the
original, now lost, it was probably stronger.  The reason of this was
not, as generally stated, Melanchthon's "gentleness" and desire to
conciliate all parties, for he showed himself more truculent to the
Zwinglians and Anabaptists than did Luther.  It was due to the fact
that Melanchthon [Sidenote: Melanchthon] was at heart half a Catholic,
so much so, indeed, that Contarini and others thought it quite possible
that he might come over to them.  In the present instance he made his
doctrine conform to the Roman tenets to such an extent that (in the
lost original, as we may judge by the Confutation) even
transubstantiation was in a manner accepted.  The first part of the
Confession is a creed: the second part takes up certain abuses, or
reforms, namely: the demand of the cup for the laity, the marriage of
priests, the mass as an _opus operatum_ or as celebrated privately,
fasting and traditions, monastic vows and the power of the pope.

But the concessions did not satisfy the Catholics.  A Refutation was
prepared by Eck and others, and read before the Diet on August 3.
Negotiations continued and still further concessions were wrung from
Melanchthon, concessions of so dangerous a nature that his
fellow-Protestants denounced him as an enemy of the faith and appealed
to Luther against him.  Melanchthon had agreed to call the mass a
sacrifice, if the word were qualified by the term "commemorative," and
also promised that the bishops should be restored to their ancient
jurisdictions, a measure justified by him as a blow at turbulent
sectaries but one also most {118} perilous to Lutherans.  On the other
hand, Eck made some concessions, mostly verbal, about the doctrine of
justification and other points.

That with this mutually conciliatory spirit an agreement failed to
materialize only proved how irreconcilable were the aims of the two
parties.  [Sidenote: September 22]  The Diet voted that the Confession
had been refuted and that the Protestants were bound to recant.  The
emperor promised to use his influence with the pope to call a general
council to decide doubtful points, but if the Lutherans did not return
to the papal church by April 15, 1531, they were threatened with

[Sidenote: League of Schmalkalden]

To meet this perilous situation a closer alliance was formed by the
Protestant states at Schmalkalden in February 1531.  This league
constantly grew by the admission of new members, but some attempts to
unite with the Swiss proved abortive.

On January 5, 1531, Ferdinand was elected King of the Romans--the title
taken by the heir to the Empire--by six of the electors against the
vote of Saxony.  Three months later when the time granted the Lutherans
expired, the Catholics were unable to do anything, and negotiations
continued.  [Sidenote: July 23, 1532]  These resulted in the Peace of
Nuremberg, a truce until a general council should be called.  It was an
important victory for the Lutherans, who were thus given time in which
to grow.

The seething unrest which found expression in the rebellion of the
knights, of the peasants and of the Anabaptists at Münster, has been
described.  One more liberal movement, which also failed, must be
mentioned at this time.  It was as little connected with religion as
anything in that theological age could be.  [Sidenote: Lübeck, 1533-35]
The city of Lübeck, under its burgomaster George Wullenwever, tried to
free itself from the influence of Denmark and at the same time to get a
more popular {119} government.  In 1536 it was conquered by Christian
III of Denmark, and the old aristocratic constitution restored.  The
time was not ripe for the people to assert its rights in North Germany.

[Sidenote: May 1534]

The growth of Protestantism was at times assisted by force of arms.
Thus, Philip of Hesse restored the now Protestant Duke Ulrich of
Wurttemberg, who had been expelled for his tyranny by the Swabian
League fifteen years before.  This triumph was the more marked because
the expropriated ruler was Ferdinand, King of the Romans.  If in such
cases it was the government which took the lead, in others the
government undoubtedly compelled the people to continue Catholic even
when there was a strongly Protestant public opinion.  Such was the case
in Albertine Saxony,[1] whose ruler, Duke George, though an estimable
man in many ways, was regarded by Luther as the instrument of Satan
because he persecuted his Protestant subjects.  When he died, his
brother, [Sidenote: April, 1539] the Protestant Henry the Pious,
succeeded and introduced the Reform amid general acclamation.  Two
years later this duke was followed by his son, the versatile but
treacherous Maurice.  In the year 1539 a still greater acquisition came
to the Schmalkaldic League in the conversion of Brandenburg and its
Elector Joachim II.

[Sidenote: Philip of Hesse, 1504-67]

Shortly afterwards the world was scandalized by the bigamy of Philip of
Hesse.  This prince was utterly spoiled by his accession to the
governing power at the age of fifteen.  Though he lived in flagrant
immorality, his religion, which, soon after he met Luther at Worms,
became the Evangelical, was real enough to make his sins a burden to
conscience.  Much attracted {120} by the teachings of some of the
Anabaptists and Carlstadt that polygamy was lawful, and by Luther's
assertion in the _Babylonian Captivity_ that it was preferable to
divorce, [Sidenote: 1526] he begged to be allowed to take more wives,
but was at first refused.  His conscience was quickened by an attack of
the syphilis in 1539, and at that time he asked permission to take a
second wife and received it on December 10, from Luther, Melanchthon,
and Bucer.  His secret marriage to Margaret von der Saal [Sidenote:
March 4, 1540] took place in the presence of Melanchthon, Bucer, and
other divines.  Luther advised him to keep the matter secret and if
necessary even to "tell a good strong lie for the sake and good of the
Christian church."  Of course he was unable to conceal his act, and his
conduct, and that of his spiritual advisers, became a just reproach to
the cause.  As no material advantages were lost by it, Philip might
have reversed the epigram of Francis I and have said that "nothing was
lost but honor."  Neither Germany nor Hesse nor the Protestant church
suffered directly by his act.  [Sidenote: 1541]  Indeed it lead
indirectly to another territorial gain.  Philip's enemy Duke Henry of
Brunswick, though equally immoral, attacked him in a pamphlet.  Luther
answered this in a tract of the utmost violence, called _Jack Sausage_.
Henry's rejoinder was followed by war between him and the Schmalkaldic
princes, in which he was expelled from his dominions and the
Reformation introduced.

[Sidenote: 1541]

Further gains followed rapidly.  The Catholic Bishop of Naumburg was
expelled by John Frederic of Saxony, and a Lutheran bishop instituted
instead.  About the same time the great spiritual prince, Hermann von
Wied, Archbishop Elector of Cologne, became a Protestant, and invited
Melanchthon and Bucer to reform his territories.  One of the last
gains, before the Schmalkaldic war, was the Rhenish Palatinate, under
{121} its Elector Frederic III.  [Sidenote: 1545]  His troops fought
then on the Protestant side, though later he turned against that church.

The opportunity of the Lutherans was due to the engagements of the
emperor with other enemies.  In 1535 Charles undertook a successful
expedition against Tunis.  The war with France simmered on until the
Truce of Nice, intended to be for ten years, signed between the two
powers in 1538.  In 1544 war broke out again, and fortune again favored
Charles.  He invaded France almost to the gates of Paris, but did not
press his advantage and on September 18 signed the Peace of Crépy
giving up all his conquests.

Unable to turn his arms against the heretics, Charles continued to
negotiate with them.  The pressure he brought to bear upon the pope
finally resulted in the summoning by Paul III of a council to meet at
Mantua the following year.  [Sidenote: June 2, 1536]  The Protestants
were invited to send delegates to this council, and the princes of that
faith held a congress at Schmalkalden to decide on their course.
[Sidenote: February 1537]  Hitherto the Lutherans had called themselves
a part of the Roman Catholic church and had always appealed to a future
oecumenical or national synod.  They now found this position untenable,
and returned the papal citation unopened.  Instead, demands for reform,
known as the Schmalkaldic Articles, were drawn up by Luther.  The four
principal demands were (1) recognition of the doctrine of justification
by faith only, (2) abolition of the mass as a good work or _opus
operatum_, (3) alienation of the foundations for private masses, (4)
removal of the pretentions of the pope to headship of the universal
church.  As a matter of fact the council was postponed.

[Sidenote: April 19, 1539]

Failing to reach a permanent solution by this method, Charles was again
forced to negotiate.  The {122} Treaty of Frankfort agreed to a truce
varying in length from six to fifteen months according to
circumstances.  This was followed by a series of religious conferences
with the purpose of finding some means of reconciling the two
confessions.  [Sidenote: Religious Colloquies]  Among the first of
these were the meetings at Worms and Hagenau.  Campeggio and Eck were
the Catholic leaders, Melanchthon the spokesman for the Lutherans.
[Sidenote: 1540-1]  Each side had eleven members on the commission, but
their joint efforts were wrecked on the plan for limiting the papal
power and on the doctrine of original sin.  When the Diet of Ratisbon
was opened in the spring of 1541 a further conference was held at which
the two parties came closer to each other than they had done since
Augsburg.  The Book of Ratisbon was drawn up, emphasizing the points of
agreement and slurring over the differences.  Contarini made wide
concessions, later condemned by the Catholics, on the doctrine of
justification.  Discussion of the nature of the church, the power of
the pope, the invocation of saints, the mass, and sacerdotal celibacy
seemed likely to result in some _modus vivendi_.  What finally
shattered the hopes of union was the discussion of transubstantiation
and the adoration of the host.  As Contarini had found in the
statements of the Augsburg Confession no insuperable obstacle to an
understanding he was astonished at the stress laid on them by the
Protestants now.

[Sidenote: 1542]

It is not remarkable that with such results the Diet of Spires should
have avoided the religious question and have devoted itself to more
secular matters, among them the grant to the emperor of soldiers to
fight the Turk.  Of this Diet Bucer wrote "The Estates act under the
wrath of God.  Religion is relegated to an agreement between
cities. . . .  The cause of our evils is that few seek the Lord
earnestly, but {123} most fight against him, both among those who have
rejected, and of those who still bear, the papal yoke."  At the Diet of
Spires two years later the emperor promised the Protestants, in return
for help against France, recognition until a German National Council
should be called.  For this concession he was sharply rebuked by the
pope.  [Sidenote: 1545]  The Diet of Worms contented itself with
expressing its general hope for a "Christian reformation."

[Sidenote: 1545]

During his later years Luther's polemic never flagged.  His last book,
_Against the Papacy of Rome, founded by the Devil_, surpassed Cicero
and the humanists and all that had ever been known in the virulence of
its invective against "the most hellish father, St. Paul, or Paula III"
and his "hellish Roman church."  "One would like to curse them," he
wrote, "so that thunder and lightning would strike them, hell fire burn
them, the plague, syphilis, epilepsy, scurvy, leprosy, carbuncles, and
all diseases attack them"--and so on for page after page.  Of course
such lack of restraint largely defeated its own ends.  The Swiss
Reformer Bullinger called it "amazingly violent," and a book than which
he "had never read anything more savage or imprudent."  Our judgment of
it must be tempered by the consideration that Luther suffered in his
last years from a nervous malady and from other painful diseases, due
partly to overwork and lack of exercise, partly to the quantities of
alcohol he imbibed, though he never became intoxicated.

Nevertheless, the last twenty years of his life were his happiest ones.
His wife, Catherine von Bora, an ex-nun, and his children, brought him
much happiness.  Though the wedding gave his enemies plenty of openings
for reviling him as an apostate, [Sidenote: June 13, 1525] and though
it drew from Erasmus the scoffing jest that what had begun as a tragedy
ended as a comedy, it {124} crowned his career, symbolizing the return
from medieval asceticism to modern joy in living.  Dwelling in the fine
old friary, entertaining with lavish prodigality many poor relatives,
famous strangers, and students, notwithstanding unremitting toil and
not a little bodily suffering, he expanded in his whole nature,
mellowing in the warmth of a happy fireside climate.  His daily routine
is known to us intimately through the adoring assiduity of his
disciples, who noted down whole volumes of his _Table Talk_.

[Sidenote: Death and character of Luther]

On February 18, 1546, he died.  Measured by the work that he
accomplished and by the impression that his personality made both on
contemporaries and on posterity, there are few men like him in history.
Dogmatic, superstitious, intolerant, overbearing, and violent as he
was, he yet had that inscrutable prerogative of genius of transforming
what he touched into new values.  His contemporaries bore his invective
because of his earnestness; they bowed to "the almost disgraceful
servitude" which, says Melanchthon, he imposed upon his followers,
because they knew that he was leading them to victory in a great and
worthy cause.  Even so, now, many men overlook his narrowness and
bigotry because of his genius and bravery.

His grandest quality was sincerity.  Priest and public man as he was,
there was not a line of hypocrisy or cant in his whole being.  A sham
was to him intolerable, the abomination of desolation standing where it
ought not.  Reckless of consequences, of danger, of his popularity, and
of his life, he blurted out the whole truth, as he saw it, "despite all
cardinals, popes, kings and emperors, together with all devils and
hell."  Whether his ideal is ours or not, his courage in daring and his
strength to labor for it must command our respect.

Next to his earnestness he owed his success to a {125} wonderful gift
of language that made him the tongue, as well as the spear-point, of
his people.  [Sidenote: His eloquence]  In love of nature, in wonder,
in the power to voice some secret truth in a phrase or a metaphor, he
was a poet.  He looked out on the stars and considered the "good
master-workman" that made them, on the violets "for which neither the
Grand Turk nor the emperor could pay," on the yearly growth of corn and
wine, "as great a miracle as the manna in the wilderness," on the
"pious, honorable birds" alert to escape the fowler's net, or holding a
Diet "in a hall roofed with the vault of heaven, carpeted with the
grass, and with walls as far as the ends of the earth."  Or he wrote to
his son a charming fairy-tale of a pleasant garden where good children
eat apples and pears and cherries and plums, and where they ride on
pretty ponies with golden reins and silver saddles and dance all day
and play with whistles and fifes and little cross-bows.

Luther's character combined traits not usually found in the same
nature.  He was both a dreamy mystic and a practical man of affairs; he
saw visions and he knew how to make them realities; he was a
God-intoxicated prophet and a cool calculator and hard worker for
results.  His faith was as simple and passionate as his dogmatic
distinctions were often sophistical and arid.  He could attack his foes
with berserker fury, and he could be as gentle with a child as only a
woman can.  His hymns soar to heaven and his coarse jests trail in the
mire.  He was touched with profound melancholy and yet he had a
wholesome, ready laugh.  His words are now brutal invectives and again
blossom with the most exquisite flowers of the soul--poetry, music,
idyllic humor, tenderness.  He was subtle and simple; superstitious and
wise; limited in his cultural sympathies, but very great in what he

[1] Saxony had been divided in 1485 into two parts, the Electorate,
including Wittenberg, Weimar and Eisenach, and the Duchy, including
Leipzig and Dresden.  The former was called after its first ruler
Ernestine, the latter Albertine.



[Sidenote: The Schmalkaldic War, 1546-7]

Hardly had Luther been laid to rest when the first general religious
war broke out in Germany.  There had been a few small wars of this
character before, such as those of Hesse against Bamberg and Wurzburg,
and against Württemberg, and against Brunswick.  But the conflicts had
been successfully "localized."  Now at last was to come a general
battle, as a foretaste of the Thirty Years War of the next century.

It has sometimes been doubted whether the Schmalkaldic War was a
religious conflict at all.  The emperor asserted that his sole object
was to reduce rebellious subjects to obedience.  Several Protestant
princes were his allies, and the territories he conquered were not, for
the most part, forced to give up their faith.  Nevertheless, it is
certain that the fundamental cause of the strain was the difference of
creed.  A parallel may be found in our own Civil War, in which Lincoln
truly claimed that he was fighting only to maintain the union, and yet
it is certain that slavery furnished the underlying cause of the appeal
to arms.

It has recently been shown that the emperor planned the attack on his
Protestant subjects as far back, at least, as 1541.  All the
negotiations subsequent to that time were a mere blind in disguise his
preparations.  For he labored indefatigably to bring about a condition
in which it would be safe for him to embark on the perilous enterprise.
Though he was a dull man he had the two qualities of caution and
persistence that stood him in better stead than the more showy talents
of other statesmen.  If, with his huge resources, he never did anything
brilliant, still less did he ever take a gambler's chance of failing.

{127} The opportune moment came at last in the spring of 1546.  Two
years before, he had beaten France with the help of the Protestants,
and had imposed upon her as one condition of peace that she should make
no allies within the Empire.  In November of the same year he made an
alliance with Paul III, receiving 200,000 ducats in support of his
effort to extirpate the heresy.

Other considerations impelled him to attack at once.  The secession of
Cologne and the Palatinate from the Catholic communion gave the
Protestants a majority in the Electoral College.  Still more decisive
was it that Charles was able at this time by playing upon the
jealousies and ambitions of the states, to secure important allies
within the Empire, including some of the Protestant faith.  First,
Catholic Bavaria forgot her hatred of Austria far enough to make common
cause against the heretics.  Then, two great Protestant princes,
Maurice of Albertine Saxony and John von Küstrin--a brother of Joachim
II, Elector of Brandenburg--abandoned their coreligionists and bartered
support to the emperor in return for promises of aggrandizement.

[Sidenote: January 1546]

A final religious conference held at Ratisbon demonstrated more clearly
than ever the hopelessness of conciliation.  Whereas a semi-Lutheran
doctrine of justification was adopted, the Protestants prepared two
long memoirs rejecting the authority of the council recently convened
at Trent.  And then, in the summer, war broke out.  At this moment the
forces of the Schmalkaldic League were superior to those of its
enemies.  But for poor leadership and lack of unity in command they
would probably have won.

Towards the last of August and early in September the Protestant troops
bombarded the imperial army at Ingolstadt, but failed to follow this up
by a decisive {128} attack, as was urged by General Schärtlin of
Augsburg.  Lack of equipment was partly responsible for this failure.
When the emperor advanced, the Elector of Saxony and the Landgrave of
Hesse retired each to his own land.  Another futile attempt of the
League was a raid on the Tyrol, possibly influenced by the desire to
strike at the Council of Trent, certainly by no sound military policy.
The effect of these indecisive counsels was that Charles had little
trouble in reducing the South German rebels, Augsburg, Ulm, Nuremberg,
and Württemberg.  The Elector Palatine hastened to come to terms by
temporarily abandoning his religion.  [Sidenote: February, 1547]  A
counter-reformation was also effected in Cologne.  Augsburg bought the
emperor's pardon by material concessions.

[Sidenote: October 1546]

In the meantime Duke Maurice of Albertine Saxony, having made a bargain
with the emperor, attacked his second cousin the Elector.  Though
Maurice was not obliged to abjure his faith, his act was naturally
regarded as one of signal treachery and he was henceforth known by the
nickname "Judas."  Maurice conquered most of his cousin's lands, except
the forts of Wittenberg and Gotha.  Charles's Spanish army under Alva
now turned northward, forced a passage of the Elbe and routed the
troops of John Frederic at the battle of Mülberg, near Torgau, on April
24, 1547.  John Frederic was captured wounded, and kept in durance
several years.  Wittenberg capitulated on May 19, and just a month
later Philip of Hesse surrendered at Halle.  He also was kept a
prisoner for some years.  Peace was made by the mediation of
Brandenburg.  The electoral vote of Saxony was given to Maurice, and
with it the best part of John Frederic's lands, including Wittenberg.
No change of religion was required.  The net result of the war was to
{129} increase the imperial power, but to put a very slight check upon
the expansion of Protestantism.

And yet it was for precisely this end that Charles chiefly valued his
authority.  Immediately, acting independently of the pope, he made
another effort to restore the confessional unity of Germany.  The Diet
of Augsburg [Sidenote: 1547-8] accepted under pressure from him a
decree called the Interim because it was to be valid only until the
final decisions of a general council.  Though intended to apply only to
Protestant states--the Catholics had, instead, a _formula
reformationis_--the Interim [Sidenote: The Interim, June 30, 1548],
drawn up by Romanist divines, was naturally Catholic in tenor.  The
episcopal constitution was restored, along with the canon of the mass,
the doctrine of the seven sacraments, and the worship of saints.  On
some doctrinal points vagueness was studied.  The only concessions made
to the Reformation were the _pro tempore_ recognition of the marriage
of the clergy and the giving of the cup to the laity.  Various other
details of practical reform were demanded.  The Interim was intensely
unpopular with both parties.  The pope objected to it and German
Catholics, especially in Bavaria, strongly opposed it.  The South
German Protestant states accepted it only under pressure.  Maurice of
Saxony adopted it in a modified form, known as the Leipzig Interim, in
December 1548.  The assistance rendered him by Melanchthon caused a
fierce attack on the theologian by his fellow-Lutherans.  In enforcing
the Interim Maurice found his own profit, for when Magdeburg won the
nickname of "our Lord God's pulpit" by refusing to accept it, Maurice
was entrusted with the execution of the imperial ban, and captured the
city on November 9, 1551.

Germany now fell into a confused condition, every state for itself.
The emperor found his own {130} difficulties in trying to make his son
Philip successor to his Brother Ferdinand.  His two former Protestant
allies, Maurice and John von Küstrin, made an alliance with France and
with other North German princes and forced the emperor to conclude the
Convention of Passau.  [Sidenote: 1552]  This guaranteed afresh the
religious freedom of the Lutherans until the next Diet and forced the
liberation of John Frederic and Philip of Hesse.  Charles did not
loyally accept the conditions of this agreement, but induced Albert,
Margrave of Brandenburg-Culmbach, to attack the confederate princes in
the rear.  After Albert had laid waste a portion of North Germany he
was defeated by Maurice at the battle of Sievershausen.  [Sidenote:
July 9, 1553]  Mortally wounded, the brilliant but utterly unscrupulous
victor died, at the age of thirty-two, soon after the battle.  As the
conflict had by this time resolved itself into a duel between him and
Charles, the emperor was now at last able to put through, at the Diet
of Augsburg, a settlement of the religious question.

[Sidenote: Religious Peace of Augsburg, September 25, 1555]

The principles of the Religious Peace were as follows:

(1) A truce between states recognizing the Augsburg Confession and
Catholic states until union was possible.  All other confessions were
to be barred--a provision aimed chiefly at Calvinists.

(2) The princes and governments of the Free Cities were to be allowed
to choose between the Roman and the Lutheran faith, but their subjects
must either conform to this faith--on the maxim famous as _cujus regio
ejus religio_--or emigrate.  In Imperial Free Cities, however, it was
specially provided that Catholic minorities be tolerated.

(3) The "ecclesiastical reservation," or principle that when a Catholic
spiritual prince became Protestant he should be deposed and a successor
appointed {131} so that his territory might remain under the church.
In respect to this Ferdinand privately promised to secure toleration
for Protestant subjects in the land of such a prince.  All claims of
spiritual jurisdiction by Catholic prelates in Lutheran lands were to
cease.  All estates of the church confiscated prior to 1552 were to
remain in the hands of the spoliators, all seized since that date to be

The Peace of Augsburg, like the Missouri Compromise, only postponed
civil war and the radical solution of a pressing problem.  But as we
cannot rightly censure the statesmen of 1820 for not insisting on
emancipation, for which public opinion was not yet prepared, so it
would be unhistorical and unreasonable to blame the Diet of Augsburg
for not granting the complete toleration which we now see was bound to
come and was ideally the right thing.  Mankind is educated slowly and
by many hard experiences.  Europe had lain so long under the domination
of an authoritative ecclesiastical civilization that the possibility of
complete toleration hardly occurred to any but a few eccentrics.  And
we must not minimize what the Peace of Augsburg actually accomplished.
It is true that choice of religion was legally limited to two
alternatives, but this was more than had been allowed before.
[Sidenote: Actual results]  It is true that freedom of even this choice
was complete only for the rulers of the territories or Free Cities;
private citizens might exercise the same choice only on leaving their
homes.  The hardship of this was somewhat lessened by the consideration
that in any case the nonconformist would not have to go far before
finding a German community holding the Catholic or Lutheran opinions he
preferred.  Finally, it must be remembered that, if the Peace of
Augsburg aligned the whole nation into two mutually hostile camps, it
at least kept them from war for more than {132} half a century.  Nor
was this a mere accident, for the strain was at times severe.  When the
imperial knight, Grumbach, broke the peace by sacking the city of
Würzburg, [Sidenote: 1563-7] he was put under the ban, captured and
executed.  His protector, Duke John Frederic of Saxony, was also
captured and kept in confinement in Austria until his death.

Notwithstanding such an exhibition of centralized power, it is probable
that the Peace of Augsburg increased rather than diminished the
authority of the territorial states at the expense of the imperial
government.  Charles V, worn out by his long and unsuccessful struggle
with heresy, after giving the Netherlands to his son Philip in 1555,
abdicated the crown of the Empire to his brother Ferdinand in 1556.
[Sidenote: Ferdinand, 1556-64]  He died two years later in a monastery,
a disappointed man, having expressed the wish that he had burned Luther
at Worms.  The energies of Ferdinand were largely taken up with the
Turkish war.  His son, Maximilian II, [Sidenote: Maximilian II,
1564-76] was favorably inclined to Protestantism.

[Sidenote: Catholic reaction]

Before Maximilian's death, however, a reaction in favor of Catholicism
had already set in.  The last important gains to the Lutheran cause in
Germany came in the years immediately following the Peace of Augsburg.
Nothing is more remarkable than the fact that practically all the
conquests of Protestantism in Europe were made within the first half
century of its existence.  After that for a few years it lost, and
since then has remained, geographically speaking, stationary in Europe.
It is impossible to get accurate statistics of the gains and losses of
either confession.  The estimate of the Venetian ambassador that only
one-tenth of the German empire was Catholic in 1558 is certainly wrong.
In 1570, at the height of the Protestant tide, probably 70 per cent. of
Germans--including Austrians--were Protestant.  In 1910 the Germans of
the {133} German Empire and of Austria were divided thus: Protestants
37,675,000; Catholics 29,700,000.  The Protestants were about 56 per
cent., and this proportion was probably about that of the year 1600.

[Sidenote: Lutheran schisms]

Historically, the final stemming of the Protestant flood was due to the
revival of energy in the Catholic Church and to the internal weakness
and schism of the Protestants.  Even within the Lutheran communion
fierce conflicts broke out.  Luther's lieutenants fought for his
spiritual heritage as the generals of Alexander fought for his empire.
The center of these storms was Melanchthon until death freed him from
"the rage of the theologians."  [Sidenote: April 19, 1560]  Always half
Catholic, half Erasmian at heart, by his endorsement of the Interim,
and by his severe criticisms of his former friends Luther and John
Frederic, he brought on himself the bitter enmity of those calling
themselves "Gnesio-Lutherans," or "Genuine Lutherans."  Melanchthon
abolished congregational hymn-singing, and published his true views,
hitherto dissembled, on predestination and the sacrament.  He was
attacked by Flacius the historian, and by many others.  The dispute was
taken up by still others and went to such lengths that for a minor
heresy a pastor, Funck, was executed by his fellow-Lutherans in
Prussia, in 1566.  "Philippism" as it was called, at first grew, but
finally collapsed when the Formula of Concord was drawn up in 1580 and
signed by over 8000 clergy.  This document is to the Lutheran Church
what the decrees of Trent were to the Catholics.  The "high" doctrine
of the real presence was strongly stated, and all the sophistries
advanced to support it canonized.  The sacramental bread and wine were
treated with such superstitious reverence that a Lutheran priest who
accidentally spilled the latter was punished by having his fingers cut
off.  Melanchthon was against such "remnants of {134} papistry" which
he rightly named "artolatry" or "bread-worship."

But the civil wars within the Lutheran communion were less bitter than
the hatred for the Calvinists.  By 1550 their mutual detestation had
reached such a point that Calvin called the Lutherans "ministers of
Satan" and "professed enemies of God" trying to bring in "adulterine
rites" and vitiate the pure worship.  The quarrel broke out again at
the Colloquy of Worms.  Melanchthon and others condemned Zwingli, thus,
in Calvin's opinion, "wiping off all their glory."  Nevertheless Calvin
himself had said, in 1539, that Zwingli's opinion was false and
pernicious.  So difficult is the path of orthodoxy to find!  In 1557
the Zwinglian leader M. Schenck wrote to Thomas Blaurer that the error
of the papists was rather to be borne than that of the Saxons.
Nevertheless Calvinism continued to grow in Germany at the expense of
Lutheranism.  Especially after the Formula of Concord the "Philippists"
went over in large numbers to the Calvinists.

[Sidenote: Effect on the nation]

The worst thing about these distressing controversies was that they
seemed to absorb the whole energies of the nation.  No period is less
productive in modern German history than the age immediately following
the triumph of the Reformation.  The movement, which had begun so
liberally and hopefully, became, temporarily at least, narrower and
more bigoted than Catholicism.  It seemed as if Erasmus had been quite
right when he said that where Lutheranism reigned culture perished.  Of
these men it has been said--and the epigram is not a bad one--that they
made an intellectual desert and called it religious peace.

And yet we should be cautious in history of assuming _post hoc propter
hoc_.  That there was nothing {135} necessarily blighting in
Protestantism is shown by the examples of England and Poland, where the
Reform was followed by the most brilliant literary age in the annals of
these peoples.  [Sidenote: 16th century literature]  The latter part of
the sixteenth century was also the great period of the literature of
Spain and Portugal, which remained Catholic, whereas Italy, equally
Catholic, notably declined in artistic production and somewhat also in
letters.  The causes of the alterations, in various peoples, of periods
of productivity and of comparative sterility, are in part inscrutable.
In the present case, it seems that when a relaxation of intellectual
activity is visible, it was not due to any special quality in
Protestantism, but was rather caused by the heat of controversy.


[Transcriber's note: The above section number is what appears in the
original book, but it is a case of misnumbering, and is actually the
chapter's sixth section.]

A few small countries bordering on the Empire, neither fully in the
central stream of European culture, nor wholly outside of it, may be
treated briefly.  All of them were affected by the Protestant
revolution, the Teutonic peoples permanently, the others transiently.

Scandinavia looms large in the Middle Ages as the home of the teeming
multitudes of emigrants, Goths and Vandals, who swarmed over the Roman
Empire.  Later waves from Denmark and the contiguous portion of Germany
flooded England first in the Anglo-Saxon conquest and then in the
Danish.  The Normans, too, originally hailed from Scandinavia.  But
though the sons of the North conquered and colonized so much of the
South, Scandinavia herself remained a small people, neither politically
nor intellectually of the first importance.  The three kingdoms of
Denmark, Norway, and Sweden became one in 1397; and, after Sweden's
temporary separation from the other two, were again united.  The
fifteenth century saw the {136} great aggrandizement of the power of
the prelates and of the larger nobles at the expense of the _bönder_,
who, from a class of free and noble small proprietors degenerated not
only into peasants but often into serfs.  [Sidenote: 1513]  When
Christian II succeeded to the throne, it was as the papal champion.
His attempt to consolidate his power in Sweden by massacring the
magnates under the pretext that they were hostile to the pope,
[Sidenote: November 8-11, 1520] an act called the "Stockholm bath of
blood," aroused the people against him in a war of independence.

[Sidenote: Denmark]

Christian found Denmark also insubordinate.  It is true that he made
some just laws, protecting the people and building up their prosperity,
but their support was insufficient to counterbalance the hatred of the
great lords spiritual and temporal.  He was quick to see in the
Reformation a weapon against the prelates, and appealed for help to
Wittenberg as early as 1519.  His endeavors throughout 1520 to get
Luther himself to visit Denmark failed, but early in 1521 he succeeded
in attracting Carlstadt for a short visit.  This effort, however, cost
him his throne, for he was expelled on April 13, 1523, and wandered
over Europe in exile until his death.  [Sidenote: 1559]

The Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, to whom the crown was offered, reigned
for ten years as Frederic I.  Though his coronation oath bound him to
do nothing against the church, he had only been king for three years
before he came out openly for the Reformation.  In this again we must
see primarily a policy, rather than a conviction.  He was supported,
however, by the common people, who had been disgusted by the
indulgences sold by Arcimboldi [Sidenote: 1516-19] and by the constant
corruption of the higher clergy.  The cities, as in Germany, were the
strongest centers of the movement.  The Diet of 1527 decreed that
Lutherans should be recognized on equal terms with Catholics, that
marriage of priests {137} and the regular clergy be allowed.  In 1530 a
Lutheran confession was adopted.

Christian III, who reigned until 1559, took the final step, though at
the price of a civil war.  His victory enabled him to arrest all the
bishops, August 20, 1536, and to force them to renounce their rights
and properties in favor of the crown.  Only one, Bishop Rönnow of
Roskilde, refused, and was consequently held prisoner until his death.
The Diet of 1536 abolished Catholicism, confiscated all church property
and distributed it between the king and the temporal nobles.
Bugenhagen was called from Wittenberg to organize the church on
Lutheran lines.  [Sidenote: 1537-9]  In the immediately following years
the Catholics were deprived of their civil rights.  The political
benefits of the Reformation inured primarily to the king and
secondarily to the third estate.

[Sidenote: Norway]

Norway was a vassal of Denmark from 1380 till 1814.  At no time was its
dependence more complete than in the sixteenth century.  Frederic I
introduced the Reformation by royal decree as early as 1528, and
Christian III put the northern kingdom completely under the tutelage of
Denmark, [Sidenote: 1536] in spiritual as well as in temporal matters.
The adoption of the Reformation here as in Iceland seemed to be a
matter of popular indifference.

[Sidenote: Sweden]

After Sweden had asserted her independence by the expulsion of
Christian II, Gustavus Vasa, an able ruler, ascended the throne.
[Sidenote: Gustavus Vasa, 1523-60]  He, too, saw in the Reformation
chiefly an opportunity for confiscating the goods of the church.  The
way had, indeed, been prepared by a popular reformer, Olaus Petri, but
the king made the movement an excuse to concentrate in his own hands
the spiritual power.  The Diet of Westeras [Sidenote: 1527] passed the
necessary laws, at the same time expelling the chief leader of the
Romanist party, John Brask, {138} Bishop of Linköping.  The Reformation
was entirely Lutheran and extremely conservative.  Not only the
Anabaptists, but even the Calvinists, failed to get any hold upon the
Scandinavian peoples.  In many ways the Reformation in Sweden was
parallel to that in England.  Both countries retained the episcopal
organization founded upon the "apostolical succession." Olaus Magni,
Bishop of Westeras, had been ordained at Rome in 1524, and in turn
consecrated the first Evangelical Archbishop, Lawrence Petri,
[Sidenote: Petri 1499-1573] who had studied at Wittenberg, and who
later translated the Bible into Swedish [Sidenote: 1541] and protected
his people from the inroads of Calvinism.  The king, more and more
absolutely the head of the church, as in England, did not hesitate to
punish even prominent reformers when they opposed him.  The reign of
Gustavus's successor, Eric XIV, [Sidenote: Eric XIV, 1560-8] was
characterless, save for the influx of Huguenots strengthening the
Protestants.  King John III [Sidenote: John III, 1569-92] made a final,
though futile, attempt to reunite with the Roman Church.  As Finland
was at this time a dependency of Sweden, the Reformation took
practically the same course as in Sweden itself.

[Sidenote: Poland]

A complete contrast to Sweden is furnished by Poland.  If in the former
the government counted for almost everything, in the latter it counted
for next to nothing.  The theater of Polish history is the vast plain
extending from the Carpathians to the Düna, and from the Baltic almost
to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.  This region, lacking natural
frontiers on several sides, was inhabited by a variety of races: Poles
in the west, Lithuanians in the east, Ruthenians in the south and many
Germans in the cities.  The union of the Polish and Lithuanian states
was as yet a merely personal one in the monarch.  Since the fourteenth
century the crown of Poland had been elective, but the grand-ducal
crown of Lithuania was {139} hereditary in the famous house of
Jagiello, and the advantages of union induced the Polish nobility
regularly to elect the heir to the eastern domain their king.  Though
theoretically absolute, in practice the king had been limited by the
power of the nobles and gentry, and this limitation was given a
constitutional sanction in the law _Nihil novi_, [Sidenote: 1505]
forbidding the monarch to pass laws without the consent of the deputies
of the magnates and lesser nobles.

The foreign policy of Sigismund I [Sidenote: Sigismund I, 1506-1548]
was determined by the proximity of powerful and generally hostile
neighbors.  It would not be profitable in this place to follow at
length the story of his frequent wars with Muscovy and with the Tartar
hordes of the Crimea, and of his diplomatic struggles with the Turks,
the Empire, Hungary, and Sweden.  On the whole he succeeded not only in
holding his own, but in augmenting his power.  He it was who finally
settled the vexatious question of the relationship of his crown to the
Teutonic Order, which, since 1466, had held Prussia as a fief, though a
constantly rebellious and troublesome one.  The election of Albert of
Brandenburg as Grand Master of the Order threatened more serious
trouble, [Sidenote: 1511] but a satisfactory solution of the problem
was found when Albert embraced the Lutheran faith and secularized
Prussia as an hereditary duchy, at the same time swearing allegiance to
Sigismund as his suzerain.  [Sidenote: 1525]  Many years later
Sigismund's son conquered and annexed another domain of the Teutonic
order further north, namely Livonia.  [Sidenote: 1561]  War with Sweden
resulted from this but was settled by the cession of Esthonia to the
Scandinavian power.

Internally, the vigorous Jagiello strengthened both the military and
financial resources of his people.  To meet the constant inroads of the
Tartars he established the Cossacks, a rough cavalry formed of the
hunters, {140} fishers, and graziers of the Ukraine, quite analogous to
the cowboys of the American Wild West.  From being a military body they
developed into a state and nation that occupied a special position in
Poland and then in Russia.  Sigismund's fiscal policy, by recovering
control of the mint and putting the treasury into the hands of capable
bankers, effectively provided for the economic life of the government.

[Sidenote: Reformation]

Poland has generally been as open to the inroads of foreign ideas as to
the attacks of enemies; a peculiar susceptibility to alien culture, due
partly to the linguistic attainments of many educated Poles and partly
to an independent, almost anarchical disposition, has made this nation
receive from other lands more freely than it gives.  Every wave of new
ideas innundates the low-lying plain of the Vistula.  So the
Reformation spread with amazing rapidity, first among the cities and
then among the peasants of that land.  In the fifteenth century the
influence of Huss and the humanists had in different ways formed
channels facilitating the inrush of Lutheranism.  The unpopularity of a
wealthy and indolent church predisposed the body politic to the new
infection.  Danzig, that "Venice of the North," had a Lutheran preacher
in 1518; while the Edict of Thorn, intended to suppress the heretics,
indicates that as early as 1520 they had attracted the attention of the
central government.  But this persecuting measure, followed thick and
fast by others, only proved how little the tide could be stemmed by
paper barriers.  The cities of Cracow, Posen, and Lublin, especially
susceptible on account of their German population, were thoroughly
infected before 1522.  Next, the contagion attacked the country
districts and towns of Prussia, which had been pretty thoroughly
converted prior to its secularization.

The first political effect of the Reformation was to {141} stimulate
the unrest of the lower classes.  Riots and rebellions, analogous to
those of the Peasants' War in Germany, followed hard upon the preaching
of the "gospel."  Sigismund could restore order here and there, as he
did at Danzig in 1526 by a military occupation, by fining the town and
beheading her six leading innovators, but he could not suppress the
growing movement.  For after the accession of the lower classes came
that of the nobles and gentry who bore the real sovereignty in the
state.  Seeing in the Reformation a weapon for humiliating and
plundering the church, as well as a key to a higher spiritual life,
from one motive or the other, they flocked to its standard, and, under
leadership of their greatest reformer, John Laski, organized a powerful

The reign of Sigismund II [Sidenote: Sigismund II, 1548-1572] saw the
social upheaval by which the nobility finally placed the power firmly
in their own hands, and also the height of the Reformation.  By a law
known as the "Execution" the assembly of nobles finally got control of
the executive as well as of the legislative branch of the government.
At the same time they, with the cordial assistance of the king, bound
the country together in a closer bond known as the Union of Lublin.
[Sidenote: 1569]  Though Lithuania and Prussia struggled against
incorporation with Poland, both were forced to submit to a measure that
added power to the state and opened to the Polish nobility great
opportunity for political and economic exploitation of these lands.
Not only the king, but the magnates and the cities were put under the
heel of the ruling caste.  This was an evolution opposite to that of
most European states, in which crown and bourgeoisie subdued the once
proud position of the baronage.  But even here in Poland one sees the
rising influence of commerce and the money-power, in that the Polish
nobility was largely composed of small {142} gentry eager and able to
exploit the new opportunities offered by capitalism.  In other
countries the old privilege of the sword gave way to the new privilege
of gold; in Poland the sword itself turned golden, at least in part;
the blade kept its keen, steel edge, but the hilt by which it was
wielded glittered yellow.

[Sidenote: Protestantism]

Unchecked though they were by laws, the Protestants soon developed a
weakness that finally proved fatal to their cause, lack of organization
and division into many mutually hostile sects.  [Sidenote: 1537]  The
Anabaptists of course arrived, preached, gained adherents, and were
suppressed.  [Sidenote: 1548]  Next came a large influx of Bohemian
Brethren, expelled from their own country and migrating to a land of
freedom, where they soon made common cause with the Lutherans.
[Sidenote: 1558]  Calvinists propagated the seeds of their faith with
much success.  Finally the Unitarians, led by Lelio Sozini, found a
home in Poland and made many proselytes, at last becoming so powerful
that they founded the new city of Racau, whence issued the famous
Racovian Catechism.  At one time they seemed about to obtain the
mastery of the state, but the firm union of the Trinitarian Protestants
at Sandomir [Sidenote: 1570] checked them until all of them were swept
away together by the resurging tide of Catholicism.  Several versions
of the Bible, Lutheran, Socinian, and Catholic, were issued.

So powerful were the Evangelicals that at the Diet of 1555 they held
services in the face of the Catholic king, and passed a law abolishing
the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts.  This measure, of
course, allowed freedom of all new sects, both those then in control of
the Diet and the as yet unfledged Antitrinitarians.  Nevertheless a
strong wish was expressed for a national, Protestant church, and had
Sigismund had the advantages, as he had the matrimonial difficulties,
of Henry VIII, he might have {143} established such a body.  But he
never quite dared to take the step, dreading the hostility of Catholic
neighbors.  Singularly enough the championship of the Catholic cause
was undertaken by Greek-Catholic Muscovy, [Sidenote: 1562] whose Czar,
Ivan, represented his war against Poland as a crusade against the new
iconoclasts.  Unable to act with power, Sigismund cultivated such means
of combating Protestantism as were ready to his hand.  His most
trenchant weapon was the Order of Jesuits, who were invited to come in
and establish schools.  Moreover, the excellence of their colleges in
foreign lands induced many of the nobility to send their sons to be
educated under them, and thus were prepared the seeds of the

The death of Sigismund without an heir left Poland for a time
masterless.  During the interregnum the Diet passed the Compact of
Warsaw by which absolute religious liberty was granted to all
sects--"Dissidentes de Religione"--without exception.  [Sidenote:
January 28, 1573]  But, liberal though the law was, it was vitiated in
practice by the right retained by every master of punishing his serfs
for religious as well as for secular causes.  Thus it was that the
lower classes were marched from Protestant pillar to Catholic post and
back without again daring to rebel or to express any choice in the

The election of Henry of Valois, [Sidenote: Henry, May 11, 1573] a
younger son of Catharine de' Medici, was made conditional on the
acceptance of a number of articles, including the maintenance of
religious liberty.  The prince acceded, with some reservations, and was
crowned on February 21, 1574.  Four months later he heard of the death
of his brother, Charles IX, making him king of France.  Without daring
to ask leave of absence, he absconded from Poland on June 18, thereby
abandoning a throne which was promptly declared vacant.

The new election presented great difficulties, and {144} almost led to
civil war.  While the Senate declared for the Hapsburg Maximilian II,
the Diet chose Stephen Báthory, prince of Transylvania.  [Sidenote:
Stephen Báthory, 1576-86]  Only the unexpected death of Maximilian
prevented an armed collision between the two.  Báthory, now in
possession, forced his recognition by all parties and led the land of
his adoption into a period of highly successful diplomacy and of
victorious war against Muscovy.  His religious policy was one of
pacification, conciliation, and of supporting inconspicuously the
Jesuit foundations at Wilna, Posen, Cracow, and Eiga.  But the full
fruits of their propaganda, resulting in the complete reconversion of
Poland to Catholicism were not reaped until the reign of his successor,
Sigismund III, a Vasa, of Sweden.  [Sidenote: Sigismund III, 1586-1632]

[Sidenote: Bohemia]

Bohemia, a Slav kingdom long united historically and dynastically with
the Empire, as the home of Huss, welcomed the Reformation warmly, the
Brethren turning first to Luther and then to Calvin.  After various
efforts to suppress and banish them had failed of large success, the
Compact of 1567 granted toleration to the three principal churches.  As
in Poland, the Jesuits won back the whole land in the next generation,
so that in 1910 there were in Bohemia 6,500,000 Catholics and only
175,000 Protestants.

[Sidenote: Hungary, 1526]

Hungary was so badly broken by the Turks at the battle of Mohács that
she was able to play but little part in the development of Western
civilization.  Like her more powerful rival, she was also distracted by
internal dissention.  After the death of her King Lewis at Mohács there
were two candidates for the throne, Ferdinand the Emperor's brother and
John Zapolya, [Sidenote: Zapolya, 1526-40] "woiwod" or prince of
Transylvania.  Protestantism had a considerable hold on the nobles,
who, after the shattering of the national power, divided a portion of
the goods of the church between them.  {145} The Unitarian movement was
also strong for a time, and the division this caused proved almost
fatal to the Reformation, for the greater part of the kingdom was won
back to Catholicism under the Jesuits' leadership.  [Sidenote:
1576-1612]  In 1910 there were about 8,600,000 Catholics in Hungary and
about 3,200,000 Protestants.

[Sidenote: Transylvania]

Transylvania, though a dependency of the Turks, was allowed to keep the
Christian religion.  The Saxon colonists in this state welcomed the
Reformation, formally recognizing the Augsburg Confession in a synod of
1572.  Here also the Unitarians attained their greatest strength, being
recruited partly from those expelled from Poland.  They drew their
inspiration not merely from Sozini, but from a variety of sources, for
the doctrine appeared simultaneously among certain Anabaptist and
Spiritualist sects.  Toleration was granted them on the same terms as
other Christians.  The name "Unitarian" first appears in a decree of
the Transylvania Diet of the year 1600.  An appreciable body of this
persuasion still remains in the country, together with a number of
Lutherans, Calvinists, and Romanists, but the large majority of the
people belong to two Greek Catholic churches.





[Sidenote: The Swiss Confederation]

Amid the snow-clad Alps and azure lakes of Switzerland there grew up a
race of Germans which, though still nominally a part of the Empire,
had, at the period now considered, long gone on its own distinct path
of development.  Politically, the Confederacy arose in a popular revolt
against the House of Austria.  The federal union of the three forest
cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden, first entered into in 1291 and
made permanent in 1315, was strengthened by the admission of Lucerne
(1332), Zug (1352), Glarus (1351) and of the Imperial Cities of Zurich
(1351) and Berne (1353).  By the admission of Freiburg and Solothurn
(1481), Basle (1501), Schaffhausen (1501) and Appenzell (1513) the
Confederacy reached the number of thirteen cantons at which it remained
for many years.  By this time it was recognized as a practically
independent state, courted by the great powers of Europe.  Allied to
this German Confederacy were two Romance-speaking states of a similar
nature, the Confederacies of the Valais and of the Grisons.

The Swiss were then the one free people of Europe.  Republican
government by popular magistrates prevailed in all the cantons.
Liberty was not quite democratic, for the cantons ruled several subject
provinces, and in the cities a somewhat aristocratic electorate held
power; nevertheless there was no state in Europe approaching the Swiss
in self-government.  Though they were generally accounted the best
soldiers of the {147} day, their military valor did not redound to
their own advantage, for the hardy peasantry yielded to the
solicitations of the great powers around them to enter into foreign,
mercenary service.  The influential men, especially the priests, took
pensions from the pope or from France or from other princes, in return
for their labors in recruiting.  The system was a bad one for both
sides.  Swiss politics were corrupted and the land drained of its
strongest men; whereas the princes who hired the mercenaries often
found to their cost that such soldiers were not only the most
formidable to their enemies but also the most troublesome to
themselves, always on the point of mutiny for more pay and plunder.
The Swiss were beginning to see the evils of the system, and prohibited
the taking of pensions in 1503, though this law remained largely a dead
letter.  [Sidenote: September 13-14, 1515]  The reputation of the
mountaineers suffered a blow in their defeat by the French at
Marignano, followed by a treaty with France, intended by that power to
make Switzerland a permanent dependency in return for a large annual
subsidy payable to each of the thirteen cantons and to the Grisons and
Valais as well.  The country suffered from faction.  The rural or
"Forest" cantons were jealous of the cities, and the latter, especially
Berne, the strongest, pursued selfish policies of individual
aggrandizement at the expense of their confederates.

As everywhere else, the cities were the centers of culture and of
social movements.  Basle was famous for its university and for the
great printing house of Froben.  Here Albert Dürer had stayed for a
while during his wandering years.  Here Sebastian Brant had studied and
had written his famous satire.  Here the great Erasmus had come to
publish his New Testament.

But the Reformation in Switzerland was only in [Sidenote: 1521-9] {148}
part a child of humanism.  Nationalism played its rôle in the revolt
from Rome, memories of councils lingered at Constance and Basle, and
the desire for a purer religion made itself felt among the more
earnest.  Switzerland had at least one great shrine, that of
Einsiedeln; to her Virgin many pilgrims came yearly in hopes of the
plenary indulgence, expressly promising forgiveness of both guilt and
penalty of sin.  Berne was the theater of one of the most reverberating
scandals enacted by the contemporary church.  [Sidenote: The Jetzer
scandal]  A passionately contested theological issue of the day was
whether the Virgin had been immaculately conceived.  This was denied by
the Dominicans and asserted by the Franciscans.  Some of the Dominicans
of the friary at Berne thought that the best way to settle the affair
was to have a direct revelation.  For their fraudulent purposes they
conspired with John Jetzer, a lay brother admitted in 1506, who died
after 1520.  Whether as a tool in the hands of others, or as an
imposter, Jetzer produced a series of bogus apparitions, bringing the
Virgin on the stage and making her give details of her conception
sufficiently gross to show that it took place in the ordinary, and not
in the immaculate, manner.  [Sidenote: 1509]  When the fraud was at
last discovered by the authorities, four of the Dominicans involved
were burnt at the stake.

But the vague forces of discontent might never have crystallized into a
definite movement save for the leadership of Ulrich Zwingli.
[Sidenote: Zwingli]  He was born January 1, 1484, on the Toggenburg,
amidst the lofty mountains, breathing the atmosphere of freedom and
beauty from the first.  As he wandered in the wild passes he noticed
how the marmots set a sentry to warn them of danger, and how the
squirrel crossed the stream on a chip.  When he returned to the home of
his father, a local magistrate in easy circumstances, he heard {149}
stirring tales of Swiss freedom and Swiss valor that planted in his
soul a deep love of his native land.  The religion he learned was good
Catholic; and the element of popular superstition in it was far less
weird and terrible than in Northern Germany.  He remembered one little
tale told him by his grandmother, how the Lord God and Peter slept
together in the same bed, and were wakened each morning by the
housekeeper coming in and pulling the hair of the outside man.

Education began early under the tuition of an uncle, the parish priest.
At ten Ulrich was sent to Basle to study.  Here he progressed well,
becoming the head scholar, and here he developed a love of music and
considerable skill in it.  Later he went to school at Berne, where he
attracted the attention of some friars who tried to guide him into
their cloister, an effort apparently frustrated by his father.  In the
autumn of 1498 he matriculated at Vienna.  For some unknown cause he
was suspended soon afterwards, but was readmitted in the spring of
1500.  Two years later he went to Basle, where he completed his studies
by taking the master's degree.  [Sidenote: 1506]  While here he taught
school for a while.  Theology apparently interested him little; his
passion was for the humanities, and his idol was Erasmus.  Only in 1513
did he begin to learn Greek.

If, at twenty-two, before he had reached the canonical age, Zwingli
took orders, and became parish priest at Glarus, it was less because of
any deep religious interest than because he found in the clerical
calling the best opportunity to cultivate his taste for letters.  He
was helped financially by a papal pension of fifty gulden per annum.
His first published work was a fable.  [Sidenote: 1510]  The lion, the
leopard, and the fox (the Emperor, France, and Venice) try to drive the
ox {150} (Switzerland) out of his pasture, but are frustrated by the
herdsman (the pope).  The same tendencies--papal, patriotic, and
political--are shown in his second book, [Sidenote: 1512] an account of
the relations between the Swiss and French, and in _The Labyrinth_,
[Sidenote: 1516] an allegorical poem.  The various nations appear again
as animals, but the hero, Theseus, is a patriot guided by the Ariadne
thread of reason, while he is vanquishing the monsters of sin, shame,
and vice.  Zwingli's natural interest in politics was nourished by his
experiences as field chaplain of the Swiss forces at the battles of
Novara [Sidenote: 1513] and Marignano.  [Sidenote: 1515]

Was he already a Reformer?  Not in the later sense of the word, but he
was a disciple of Erasmus.  Capito wrote to Bullinger in 1536: "While
Luther was in the hermitage and had not yet emerged into the light,
Zwingli and I took counsel how to cast down the pope.  For then our
judgment was maturing under the influence of Erasmus's society and by
reading good authors."  Though Capito over-estimated the opposition of
the young Swiss to the papacy, he was right in other respects.
Zwingli's enthusiasm for the prince of humanists, perfectly evident in
his notes on St. Paul, stimulated him to visit the older scholar at
Basle in the spring of 1516.  Their correspondence began at the same
time.  Is it not notable that in _The Labyrinth_ the thread of Ariadne
is not religion, but reason?  His religious ideal, as shown by his
notes on St. Paul, was at this time the Erasmian one of an ethical,
undogmatic faith.  He interpreted the Apostle by the Sermon on the
Mount and by Plato.  He was still a good Catholic, without a thought of
breaking away from the church.

[Sidenote: October, 1516-December, 1518]

From Glarus Zwingli was called to Einsiedeln, where he remained for two
years.  Here he saw the superstitious absurdities mocked by Erasmus.
Here, too, {151} he first came into contact with indulgences, sold
throughout Switzerland by Bernard Samson, a Milanese Franciscan.
Zwingli did not attack them with the impassioned zeal of Luther, but
ridiculed them as "a comedy."  His position did not alienate him from
the papal authorities, [Sidenote: September 1, 1516] for he applied
for, and received, the appointment of papal acolyte.  How little
serious was his life at this time may be seen from the fact that he
openly confessed that he was living in unchastity and even joked about

Notwithstanding his peccadillos, as he evidently regarded them, high
hopes were conceived of his abilities and independence of character.
When a priest was wanted at Zurich, [Sidenote: January 1, 1519] Zwingli
applied for the position and, after strenuous canvassing, succeeded in
getting it.

Soon after this came the turning-point in Zwingli's life, making of the
rather worldly young man an earnest apostle.  Two causes contributed to
this.  The first was the plague.  Zwingli was taken sick in September
and remained in a critical condition for many months.  As is so often
the case, suffering and the fear of death made the claims of the other
world so terribly real to him that, for the first time, he cried unto
God from the depths, and consecrated his life to service of his Saviour.

[Sidenote: 1519]

The second influence that decided and deepened Zwingli's life was that
of Luther.  He first mentions him in 1519, and from that time forth,
often.  All his works and all his acts thereafter show the impress of
the Wittenberg professor.  Though Zwingli himself sturdily asserted
that he preached the gospel before he heard of Luther, and that he
learned his whole doctrine direct from the Bible, he deceived himself,
as many men do, in over-estimating his own originality.  He was truly
able to say that he had formulated some {152} of his ideas, in
dependence on Erasmus, before he heard of the Saxon; and he still
retained his capacity for private judgment afterwards.  He never
followed any man slavishly, and in some respects he was more radical
than Luther; nevertheless it is true that he was deeply indebted to the
great German.

Significantly enough, the first real conflict broke out at Zurich early
in 1520.  Zwingli preached against fasting and monasticism, and put
forward the thesis that the gospel alone should be the rule of faith
and practice.  He succeeded in carrying through a practical reform of
the cathedral chapter, but was obliged to compromise on fasting.  Soon
afterwards Zurich renounced obedience to the bishop.  The Forest
Cantons, already jealous of the prosperity of the cities, endeavored to
intervene, but were warned by Zwingli not to appeal to war, as it was
an unchristian thing.  Opposition only drove his reforming zeal to
further efforts.

In the spring of 1522 Zwingli formed with Anna Reinhard Meyer a union
which he kept secret for two years, when he married her in church.  In
the marriage itself, though it was by no means unhappy, there was
something lacking of fine feeling and of perfect love.

[Sidenote: Reformation in Zurich]

As the reform progressed, the need of clarification was felt.  This was
brought about by the favorite method of that day, a disputation.  The
Catholics tried in vain to prevent it, and it was actually held in
January, 1523, on 67 theses drawn up by Zwingli.  Here, as so often, it
was found that the battle was half won when the innovators were heard.
They themselves attributed this to the excellence of their cause; but,
without disparaging that, it must be said that, as the psychology of
advertising has shown, any thesis presented with sufficient force to
catch the public ear, is {153} sure to win a certain number of
adherents.  [Sidenote: October 27, 1523]  The Town Council of Zurich
ordered the abolition of images and of the mass.  The opposition of the
cathedral chapter considerably delayed the realization of this program.
In December the Council was obliged to concede further discussion.  It
was not until Wednesday, April 12, 1525, that mass was said for the
last time in Zurich.  Its place was immediately taken, the next day,
Maundy Thursday, by a simple communion service.  At the same time the
last of the convents were suppressed, or put in a condition assuring
their eventual extinction.  Other reforms included the abolition of
processions, of confirmation and of extreme unction.  With homely
caution, a large number of simple souls had this administered to them
just before the time allotted for its last celebration.  Organs were
taken out of the churches, and regular lectures on the Bible given.

Alarmed by these innovations the five original cantons,--Unterwalden,
Uri, Schwyz, Lucerne and Zug,--formed a league in 1524 to suppress the
"Hussite, Lutheran, and Zwinglian heresies."  For a time it looked like
war.  Zwingli and his advisers drew up a remarkably thorough plan of
campaign, including a method of securing allies, many military details,
and an ample provision for prayer for victory.  War, however, was
averted by the mediation of Berne as a friend of Zurich, and the
complete religious autonomy of each canton was guaranteed.

The Swiss Reformation had to run the same course of separation from the
humanists and radicals, and of schism, as did the German movement.
Though Erasmus was a little closer to the Swiss than he had been to the
Saxon Reformers, he was alienated by the outrageous taunts of some of
them and by the equally unwarranted attempts of others to show that he
agreed {154} with them.  "They falsely call themselves evangelical," he
opined, "for they seek only two things: a salary and a wife."

Then came the break with Luther, of which the story has already been
told.  The division was caused neither by jealousy, nor by the one
doctrine--that of the real presence--on which it was nominally fought.
There was in reality a wide difference between the two types of
thought.  The Saxon was both mystic and a schoolman; to him religion
was all in all and dogma a large part of religion.  Zwingli approached
the problem of salvation from a less personal, certainly from a less
agonized, and from a more legal, liberal, empiric standpoint.  He felt
for liberty and for the value of common action in the state.  He
interpreted the Bible by reason; Luther placed his reason under the
tuition of the Bible in its apparent meaning.

[Sidenote: Anabaptists, 1522]

Next came the turn of the Anabaptists--those Bolsheviki of the
sixteenth century.  Their first leaders appeared at Zurich and were for
a while bosom friends of Zwingli.  But a parting of the ways was
inevitable, for the humanist could have little sympathy with an
uncultured and ignorant group--such they were, in spite of the fact
that a few leaders were university graduates--and the statesman could
not admit in his categories a purpose that was sectarian as against the
state church, and democratic as against the existing aristocracy.

[Sidenote: 1523]

His first work against them shows how he was torn between his desire to
make the Bible his only guide and the necessity of compromising with
the prevailing polity.  As he was unable to condemn his opponents on
any consistent grounds he was obliged to prefer against them two
charges that were false, though probably believed true by himself.  As
they were {155} ascetics in some particulars he branded them as
monastic; for their social program he called them seditious.

The suppression of the Peasants' Revolt had the effect in Switzerland,
as elsewhere, of causing the poor and oppressed to lose heart, and of
alienating them from the cause of the official Protestant churches.  A
disputation with the Anabaptist leaders was held at Zurich; [Sidenote:
November 6-8, 1525] they were declared refuted, and the council passed
an order for all unbaptized children to be christened within a week.
The leaders were arrested and tried; Zwingli bearing testimony that
they advocated communism, which he considered wrong as the Bible's
injunction not to steal implied the right of private property.  The
Anabaptists denied that they were communists, but the leaders were
bound over to keep the peace, some were fined and others banished.  As
persecuting measures almost always increase in severity, it was not
long before the death penalty was denounced against the sectaries, and
actually applied.  In a polemic against the new sect entitled _In
Catabaptistarum Strophas Elenchus_, [Sidenote: July 1527] Zwingli's
only argument is a criticism of some inconsistencies in the
Anabaptists' biblicism; his final appeal is to force.  His strife with
them was harder than his battle with Rome.  It seems that the reformer
fears no one so much as him who carries the reformer's own principles
to lengths that the originator disapproves.  Zwingli saw in the
fearless fanatics men prepared to act in political and social matters
as he had done in ecclesiastical affairs; he dreaded anarchy or, at
least, subversion of the polity he preferred, and, like all the other
men of his age, he branded heresy as rebellion and punished it as crime.

[Sidenote: Theocracy]

By this time Zurich had become a theocracy of the same tyrannical type
as that later made famous by {156} Geneva.  Zwingli took the position
of an Old Testament prophet, subordinating state to church.  At first
he had agreed with the Anabaptists in separating (theoretically) church
and state.  But he soon came to believe that, though true Christians
might need no government, it was necessary to control the wicked, and
for this purpose he favored an aristocratic polity.  All matters of
morals were strictly regulated, severe laws being passed against
taverns and gambling.  The inhabitants were forced to attend church.
After the suppression of the Catholics and the radicals, there
developed two parties just as later in Geneva, the Evangelical and the
Indifferent, the policy of the latter being one of more freedom, or
laxity, in discipline, and in general a preference of political to
religious ends.

[Sidenote: Basle November, 1522]

The Reformation had now established itself in other cities of German
Switzerland.  Oecolampadius coming to Basle as the bearer of
Evangelical ideas, won such success that soon the bishop was deprived
of authority, [Sidenote: 1524] two disputations with the Catholics were
held, [Sidenote: 1525] and the monasteries abolished.  [Sidenote: 1527]
Oecolampadius, after taking counsel with Zwingli on the best means of
suppressing Catholic worship, branded the mass as an act worse than
theft, harlotry, adultery, treason, and murder, called a meeting of the
town council, and requested them to decree the abolition of Catholic
worship.  [Sidenote: October 27, 1527]  Though they replied that every
man should be free to exercise what religion he liked, on Good Friday,
1528, the Protestants removed the images from Oecolampadius's church,
and grumbled because their enemies were yet tolerated.  Liberty of
conscience was only assured by the fairly equal division of the
membership of the town council.  On December 23, 1528, two hundred
citizens assembled and presented a petition, drawn up by Oecolampadius,
for the suppression of {157} the mass.  On January 6, 1529, under
pressure from the ambassadors of Berne and Zurich, the town council of
Basle decreed that all pastors should preach only the Word of God, and
asked them to assemble for instruction on this point.  The compromise
suited no one and on February 8 the long prepared revolution broke out.
Under pretence that the Catholics had disobeyed the last decree, a
Protestant mob surrounded the town hall, planted cannon, and forced the
council to expel the twelve Catholic members, meanwhile destroying
church pictures and statues.  "It was indeed a spectacle so sad to the
superstitious," Oecolampadius wrote to Capito, "that they had to weep
blood. . . .  We raged against the idols, and the mass died of sorrow."

A somewhat similar development took place in Berne, St. Gall,
Schaffhausen, and Glarus.  The favorite instrument for arousing popular
interest and support was the disputation.  Such an one was held at
Baden in May and June, 1526.  Zwingli declined to take part in this and
the Catholics claimed the victory.  This, however, did them rather harm
than good, for the public felt that the cards had been stacked.  A
similar debate at Berne in 1528 turned that city completely to the
Reformation.  A synod of the Swiss Evangelical churches was formed in
1527.  This made for uniformity.  The publication of the Bible in a
translation by Leo Jud and others, with prefaces by Zwingli, proved a
help to the Evangelical cause.  [Sidenote: 1530]  This translation was
the only one to compete at all successfully with Luther's.

The growing strength of the Protestant cantons encouraged them to carry
the reform by force in all places in which a majority was in favor of
it.  Zwingli's far-reaching plans included an alliance with Hesse and
with Francis I to whom he dedicated his {158} two most important
theological works, _True and False Religion_ and _An Exposition of the
Christian Faith_.  [Sidenote: April, 1529]  The Catholic cantons
replied by making a league with Austria.  War seemed imminent and
Zwingli was so heartily in favor of it that he threatened resignation
if Zurich did not declare war.  This was accordingly done on June 8.
Thirty thousand Protestant soldiers marched against the Catholic
cantons, which, without the expected aid from Austria, were able to put
only nine thousand men into the field.  Seeing themselves hopelessly
outnumbered, the Catholics prudently negotiated a peace without risking
a battle.  [Sidenote: First Peace of Cappel]  The terms of this first
Peace of Cappel forced the Catholics to renounce the alliance with
Austria, and to allow the majority of citizens in each canton to decide
the religion they would follow.  Toleration for Protestants was
provided for in Catholic cantons, though toleration of the old religion
was denied in the Evangelical cantons.

This peace marked the height of Zwingli's power.  He continued to
negotiate on equal terms with Luther, and he sent missionaries into
Geneva to win it to his cause and to the Confederacy.  The Catholic
cantons, stung to the quick, again sought aid from Austria and raised
another and better army.  [Sidenote: Defeat of Zwingli]  Zwingli heard
of this and advocated a swift blow to prevent it--the "offensive
defence."  Berne refused to join Zurich in this aggression, but agreed
to bring pressure to bear on the Catholics [Sidenote: May 1531] by
proclaiming a blockade of their frontiers.  An army was prepared by the
Forest Cantons, but Berne, whose entirely selfish policy was more
disastrous to the Evangelical cause than was the hostility of the
league, still refused to engage in war.  Zurich was therefore obliged
to meet it alone.  An army of only two thousand Zurichers marched out,
accompanied by Zwingli as field chaplain.  Eight thousand Catholic
troops attacked, utterly defeated them, and {159} killed many on the
field of battle.  [Sidenote: October 11, 1531]  Zwingli, who, though a
non-combatant, was armed, was wounded and left on the field.  Later he
was recognized by enemies, killed, and his body burned as that of a

The defeat was a disaster to Protestant Switzerland not so much on
account of the terms of peace, which were moderate, as because of the
loss of prestige and above all of the great leader.  His spirit
however, continued to inspire his followers, and lived in the Reformed
Church.  Indeed it has been said, though with exaggeration, that Calvin
only gave his name to the church founded by Zwingli, just as Americus
gave his name to the continent discovered by Columbus.  In many
respects Zwingli was the most liberal of the Reformers.  In his last
work he expressed the belief that in heaven would be saved not only
Christians and the worthies of the Old Testament but also "Hercules,
Theseus, Socrates, Aristides, Antigonus, Numa, Camillus, the Catos and
Scipios. . . .  In a word no good man has ever existed, nor shall there
exist a holy mind, a faithful soul, from the very foundation of the
world to its consummation, whom you will not see there with God."
Nevertheless, Zwingli was a persecutor and was bound by many of the
dogmatic prepossessions of his time.  But his religion had in it less
of miracle and more of reason than that of any other founder of a
church in the sixteenth century.  He was a statesman, and more willing
to trust the people than were his contemporaries, but yet he was ready
to sacrifice his country to his creed.

For a short time after the death of so many of its leading citizens in
the battle of Cappel, Zurich was reduced to impotence and despair.  Nor
was she much comforted or assisted by her neighbors.  Oecolampadius
died but a few weeks after his friend; while {160} Luther and Erasmus
sang paeans of triumph over the prostration of their rivals.  Even
Calvin considered it a judgment of God.  Gradually by her own strength
Zurich won her way back to peace and a certain influence.  [Sidenote:
Bullinger, 1504-75]  Zwingli's follower, Henry Bullinger, the son of a
priest, was a remarkable man.  He not only built up his own city but
his active correspondence with Protestants of all countries did a great
deal to spread the cause of the Evangelical religion.  In conjunction
with Myconius, he drew up the first Swiss confession, [Sidenote: 1536]
accepted by Zurich, Berne, Basle, Schaffhausen, St. Gall, Mülhausen and
Biel; [Sidenote: 1549] and later he made the agreement with Calvin
known as the Consensus Tigurinus.  In this the Zwinglian and
Calvinistic doctrines of the eucharist were harmonized as far as
possible.  But while the former decreased the latter increased, and
Geneva took the place of Zurich as the metropolis of the Reformed faith.


On January 15, 1527, Thomas von Hofen wrote Zwingli from Geneva that he
would do all he could to exalt the gospel in that city but that he knew
it would be vain, for there were seven hundred priests working against
him.  This letter gives an insight into the methods by which new
territory was evangelized, the quarters whence came the new influences,
and the forces with which they had to contend.

Among the early missionaries of "the gospel" in French-speaking lands,
one of the most energetic was William Farel.  [Sidenote: Farel,
1489-1565]  He had studied at Paris under Lèfevre d'Étaples, and was
converted to Lutheranism as early as 1521.  He went first to Basle,
where he learned to know Erasmus.  Far from showing respect to the
older and more famous man, he scornfully told him to his face that
Froben's wife knew more theology than {161} did he.  Erasmus's
resentment showed itself in the nickname Phallicus that he fastened on
his antagonist.  From Basle Farel went to Montbéliard and Aigle,
preaching fearlessly but so fiercely that his friend Oecolampadius
warned him to remember rather to teach than to curse.  [Sidenote: 1528]
After attending the disputation at Berne he evangelized western
Switzerland.  His methods may be learned from his work at Valangin on
August 15, 1530.  He attended a mass, but in the midst of it went up to
the priest, tore the host forcibly from his hands, and said to the
people: "This is not the God whom you worship: he is above in heaven,
even in the majesty of the Father."  In 1532 he went to Geneva.
Notwithstanding the fact that here, as often elsewhere, he narrowly
escaped lynching, he made a great impression.  His red hair and hot
temper evidently had their uses.

[Sidenote: Calvin, 1509-64]

_The_ Reformer of French Switzerland was not destined to be Farel,
however, but John Calvin.  Born at Noyon, Picardy, his mother died
early and his father, who did not care for children, sent him to the
house of an aristocratic friend to be reared.  In this environment he
acquired the distinguished manners and the hauteur for which he was
noted.  When John was six years old his father, Gerard, had him
appointed to a benefice just as nowadays he might have got him a
scholarship.  At the age of twelve Gerard's influence procured for his
son another of these ecclesiastical livings and two years later this
was exchanged for a more lucrative one to enable the boy to go to
Paris.  Here for some years, at the College of Montaigu, Calvin studied
scholastic philosophy and theology under Noel Beda, a medieval
logic-chopper and schoolman by temperament.  At the university Calvin
won from his fellows the sobriquet of "the accusative case," on account
of his censorious {162} and fault-finding disposition.  At his father's
wish John changed from theology to law.  For a time he studied at the
universities of Orleans and Bourges.  At Orleans he came under the
influence of two Protestants, Olivetan and the German Melchior Volmar.
On the death of his father, in 1531, he began to devote himself to the
humanities.  His first work, a commentary on Seneca's _De Clementia_,
witnesses his wide reading, his excellent Latin style, and his ethical

It was apparently through the humanists Erasmus and Lefèvre that he was
led to the study of the Bible and of Luther's writings.  Probably in
the fall of 1533 he experienced a "conversion" such as stands at the
head of many a religious career.  A sudden beam of light, he says, came
to him at this time from God, putting him to the proof and showing him
in how deep an abyss of error and of filth he had been living.  He
thereupon abandoned his former life with tears.

In the spring of 1534 Calvin gave up the sinecure benefices he had
held, and towards the end of the year left France because of the
growing persecution, for he had already rendered himself suspect.
After various wanderings he reached Basle, where he published the first
edition of his _Institutes of the Christian Religion_.  [Sidenote:
Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1536]  It was dedicated, like two
of Zwingli's works, to Francis I, with a strong plea for the new faith.
It was, nevertheless, condemned and burnt publicly in France in 1542.
Originally written in Latin it was translated by the author into French
in 1541, and reissued from time to time in continually larger editions,
the final one, of 1559, being five times as bulky as the first
impression.  The thought, too, though not fundamentally changed, was
rearranged and developed.  Only in the redaction of 1541 was {163}
predestination made perfectly clear.  The first edition, like Luther's
catechism, took up in order the Decalogue, the Creed, the Lord's
Prayer, and the Sacraments.  To this was added a section on Christian
liberty, the power of the church, and civil government.  In the last
edition the arrangement followed entirely the order of articles in the
Apostles' Creed, all the other matter being digested in its relation to

[Sidenote: A system of theology]

In the _Institutes_ Calvin succeeded in summing up the whole of
Protestant Christian doctrine and practice.  It is a work of enormous
labor and thought.  Its rigid logic, comprehensiveness, and clarity
have secured it the same place in the Protestant Churches that the
_Summa_ of Aquinas has in the Roman theology.  It is like the _Summa_,
in other ways, primarily in that it is an attempt to derive an
absolute, unchangeable standard of dogma from premises considered
infallible.  Those who have found great freshness in Calvin, a new life
and a new realism, can do so only in comparison with the older
schoolmen.  Calvin simply went over their ground, introducing into
their philosophy all the connotations that three centuries of progress
had made necessary.  This is not denying that his work was well written
and that it filled a need urgently felt at the time.  Calvin cultivated
style, both French and Latin, with great care, for he saw its immense
utility for propaganda.  He studied especially brevity, and thought
that he carried it to an extreme, though the French edition of the
_Institutes_ fills more than eight hundred large octavo pages.
However, all things are relative, and compared to many other
theologians Calvin is really concise and readable.

There is not one original thought in any of Calvin's works.  I do not
mean "original" in any narrow sense, for to the searcher for sources it
seems that {164} there is literally nothing new under the sun.  But
there is nothing in Calvin for which ample authority cannot be found in
his predecessors.  Recognizing the Bible as his only standard, he
interpreted it according to the new Protestant doctors.  First and
foremost he was dependent on Luther, and to an extent that cannot be
exaggerated.  Especially from the _Catechisms_, _The Bondage of the
Will_, and _The Babylonian Captivity of the Church_, Calvin drew all
his principal doctrines even to details.  He also borrowed something
from Bucer, Erasmus and Schwenckfeld, as well as from three writers who
were in a certain sense his models.  Melanchthon's _Commonplaces of
Theology_, Zwingli's _True and False Religion_, and Farel's _Brief
Instruction in Christian Faith_ had all done tentatively what he now
did finally.

[Sidenote: Theocentric character]

The center of Calvin's philosophy was God as the Almighty Will.  His
will was the source of all things, of all deeds, of all standards of
right and wrong and of all happiness.  The sole purpose of the
universe, and the sole intent of its Creator, was the glorification of
the Deity.  Man's chief end was "to glorify God and enjoy him forever."
God accomplished this self-exaltation in all things, but chiefly
through men, his noblest work, and he did it in various ways, by the
salvation of some and the damnation of others.  And his act was purely
arbitrary; he foreknew and predestined the fate of every man from the
beginning; he damned and saved irrespective of foreseen merit.  "God's
eternal decree" Calvin himself called "frightful." [1]  The outward
sign of election to grace he thought was moral behavior, and in this
respect he demanded the uttermost from himself and from his followers.
The elect, he thought, were certain of salvation.  The highest virtue
was faith, a matter more {165} of the heart than of the reason.  The
divinity of Christ, he said, was apprehended by Christian experience,
not by speculation.  Reason was fallacious; left to itself the human
spirit "could do nothing but lose itself in infinite error, embroil
itself in difficulties and grope in opaque darkness."  But God has
given us his Word, infallible and inerrant, something that "has flowed
from his very mouth."  "We can only seek God in his Word," he said,
"nor think of him otherwise than according to his Word."

Inevitably, Calvin sought to use the Bible as a rigid, moral law to be
fulfilled to the letter.  His ethics were an elaborate casuistry, a
method of finding the proper rule to govern the particular act.  He
preached a new legalism; [Sidenote: Legalism] he took Scripture as the
Pharisees took the Law, and Luther's sayings as they took the Prophets,
and he turned them all into stiff, fixed laws.  Thus he crushed the
glorious autonomy of his predecessor's ethical principles.  It was
Kant, who denied all Luther's specific beliefs, but who developed his
idea of the individual conscience, that was the true heir of his
spirit, not Calvin who crushed the spirit in elaborating every jot and
tittle of the letter.  In precisely the same manner Calvin killed
Luther's doctrine of the priesthood of all believers.  To Calvin the
church was a sacramental, aristocratic organization, with an
authoritative ministry.  The German rebelled against the idea of the
church as such; the Frenchman simply asked what was the true church.
So he brought back some of the sacramental miracle of baptism and the
eucharist.  In the latter he remained as medieval as Luther, never
getting beyond the question of the mode of the presence of the body and
blood of Christ in the bread and wine.  His endeavor to rationalize the
doctrine of Augsburg, especially with reference to the Zwinglians, had
disastrous results.  Only two {166} positions were possible, that the
body and blood were present, or that they were not.  By endeavoring to
find some middle ground Calvin upheld a contradiction in terms: the
elements were signs and yet were realities; the body was really there
when the bread was eaten by a believer, but really not there when the
same bread was eaten by an infidel.  The presence was actual, and yet
participation could only occur by faith.  While rejecting some of
Luther's explanations, Calvin was undoubtedly nearer his position than
that of Zwingli, which he characterized as "profane."

As few instructed and thinking persons now accept the conclusions of
the _Institutes_, it is natural to underestimate the power that they
exercised in their own day.  This book was the most effective weapon of
Protestantism.  This was partly because of the style, but, still more
because of the faultless logic.  [Sidenote: His logic]  The success of
an argument usually depends far less on the truth of the premises than
on the validity of the reasoning.  And the premises selected by Calvin
not only seemed natural to a large body of educated European opinion of
his time, but were such that their truth or falsity was very difficult
to demonstrate convincingly.  Calvin's system has been overthrown not
by direct attack, but by the flank, in science as in war the most
effective way.  To take but one example out of many that might be
given: what has modern criticism made of Calvin's doctrine of the
inerrancy of Scripture?  But this science was as yet all but unknown:
biblical exegesis there was in plenty, but it was only to a minute
extent literary and historical; it was almost exclusively philological
and dogmatic.

Calvin's doctrine of the arbitrary dealing out of salvation and
damnation irrespective of merit has often excited a moral rather than
an intellectual revulsion.  To his true followers, indeed, like
Jonathan {167} Edwards, it seems "a delightful doctrine, exceeding
bright, pleasant and sweet."  [Sidenote: Eternal damnation]  But many
men agree with Gibbon that it makes God a cruel and capricious tyrant
and with William James that it is sovereignly irrational and mean.
Even at that time those who said that a man's will had no more to do
with his destiny than the stick in a man's hand could choose where to
strike or than a saddled beast could choose its rider, aroused an
intense opposition.  Erasmus argued that damnation given for inevitable
crimes would make God unjust, and Thomas More blamed Luther for calling
God the cause of evil and for saying "God doth damn so huge a number of
people to intolerable torments only for his own pleasure and for his
own deeds wrought in them only by himself."  An English heretic, Cole
of Faversham, said that the doctrine of predestination was meeter for
devils than for Christians.  "The God of Calvin," exclaimed Jerome
Bolsec, "is a hypocrite, a liar, perfidious, unjust, the abetter and
patron of crimes, and worse than the devil himself."

But there was another side to the doctrine of election.  There was a
certain moral grandeur in the complete abandon to God and in the
earnestness that was ready to sacrifice all to his will.  And if we
judge the tree by its fruits, at its best it brought forth a strong and
good race.  The noblest examples are not the theologians, Calvin and
Knox, not only drunk with God but drugged with him, much less
politicians like Henry of Navarre and William of Orange, but the rank
and file of the Huguenots of France, the Puritans of England, "the
choice and sifted seed wherewith God sowed the wilderness" of America.
These men bore themselves with I know not what of lofty seriousness,
and with a matchless disdain of all mortal peril and all earthly
grandeur.  Believing themselves chosen vessels and elect instruments of
grace, they could neither {168} be seduced by carnal pleasure nor awed
by human might.  Taught that they were kings by the election of God and
priests by the imposition of his hands, they despised the puny and
vicious monarchs of this earth.  They remained, in fact, what they
always felt themselves to be, an elite, "the chosen few."

Having finished his great work, Calvin set out on his wanderings again.
For a time he was at the court of the sympathetic Renée de France,
Duchess of Ferrara.  When persecution broke out here, he again fled
northward, and came, by chance, to Geneva.  [Sidenote: Geneva]  Here
Farel was waging an unequal fight with the old church.  Needing
Calvin's help he went to him and begged his assistance, calling on God
to curse him should he not stay.  "Struck with terror," as Calvin
himself confessed, he consented to do so.

Beautifully situated on the blue waters of Lake Leman in full view of
Mont Blanc, Geneva was at this time a town of 16,000 inhabitants, a
center of trade, pleasure, and piety.  The citizens had certain
liberties, but were under the rule of a bishop.  As this personage was
usually elected from the house of the Duke of Savoy, Geneva had become
little better than a dependency of that state.  The first years of the
sixteenth century had been turbulent.  The bishop, John, had at one
time been forced to abdicate his authority, but later had tried to
resume it.  The Archbishop of Vienne, Geneva's metropolitan, had then
excommunicated the city and invited Duke Charles III of Savoy to punish
it.  The citizens rose under Bonivard, renounced the authority of the
pope, expelled the bishop and broke up the religious houses.  To guard
against the vengeance of the duke, a league was made with Berne and

On October 2, 1532, William Farel arrived from Berne.  At Geneva as
elsewhere tumult followed his {169} preaching, but it met with such
success that by January, 1534, he held a disputation which decided the
city to become evangelical.  The council examined the shrines
[Sidenote: 1535] and found machinery for the production of bogus
miracles; provisionally abolished the mass; [Sidenote: May 21, 1536]
and soon after formally renounced the papal religion.

At this point Calvin arrived, and began preaching and organizing at
once.  He soon aroused opposition from the citizens, galled at his
strictness and perhaps jealous of a foreigner.  [Sidenote: Calvin
expelled, February 1538]  The elections to the council went against
him, and the opposition came to a head shortly afterwards.  The town
council decided to adopt the method of celebrating the eucharist used
at Rome.  For some petty reason Calvin and Farel refused to obey, and
when a riot broke out at the Lord's table, the council expelled them
from the city.

Calvin went to Strassburg, where he learned to know Bucer and
republished his _Institutes_.  Here he married Idelette de Bure, the
widow of an Anabaptist, [Sidenote: August, 1540] who was never in
strong health and died, probably of consumption, on March 29, 1549.
Calvin's married life lacked tenderness and joy.  The story that he
selected his wife because he thought that by reason of her want of
beauty she would not distract his thoughts from God, is not well
founded, but it does illustrate his attitude towards her.  The one or
more children born of the union died in infancy.

Calvin attended the Colloquy at Ratisbon, [Sidenote: 1541] in the
result of which he was deeply disappointed.  In the meantime he had not
lost all interest in Geneva.  When Cardinal Sadoleto wrote, in the most
polished Latin, an appeal to the city to return to the Roman communion,
Calvin answered it.  [Sidenote: September 1, 1539]  The party opposed
to him discredited itself by giving up the city's rights to Berne, and,
was therefore overthrown.  The perplexities presenting themselves to
the council were {170} beyond their powers to solve, and they felt
obliged to recall Calvin, [Sidenote: Calvin returns, 1541] who returned
to remain for the rest of his life.

[Sidenote: Theocracy]

His position was so strong that he was able to make of Geneva a city
after his own heart.  The form of government he caused to prevail was a
strict theocracy.  The clergy of the city met in a body known as the
Congregation, a "venerable company" that discussed and prepared
legislation for the consideration of the Consistory.  In this larger
body, besides the clergy, the laity were represented by twelve elders
chosen by the council, not by the people at large.  The state and
church were thus completely identified in a highly aristocratic polity.

"The office of the Consistory is to keep watch on the life of every
one."  Thus briefly was expressed the delegation of as complete powers
over the private lives of citizens as ever have been granted to a
committee.  The object of the Ecclesiastical Ordinances was to create a
society of saints.  The Bible was adopted as the norm; all its
provisions being enforced except such Jewish ceremonies as were
considered abrogated by the New Testament.  The city was divided into
quarters, and some of the elders visited every house at least once a
year and passed in review the whole life, actions, speech, and opinions
of the inmates.  The houses of the citizens were made of glass; and the
vigilant eye of the Consistory, served by a multitude of spies, was on
them all the time.  In a way this espionage but took the place of the
Catholic confessional.  A joke, a gesture was enough to bring a man
under suspicion.  The Elders sat as a regular court, hearing complaints
and examining witnesses.  It is true that they could inflict only
spiritual punishments, such as public censure, penance,
excommunication, or forcing the culprit to demand pardon in church on
his knees.  But when {171} the Consistory thought necessary, it could
invoke the aid of the civil courts and the judgment was seldom
doubtful.  Among the capital crimes were adultery, blasphemy,
witchcraft, and heresy.  Punishments for all offences were
astonishingly and increasingly heavy.  During the years 1542-6 there
were, in this little town of 16,000 people, no less than fifty-eight
executions and seventy-six banishments.

In judging the Genevan theocracy it is important to remember that
everywhere, in the sixteenth century, punishments were heavier than
they are now, and the regulation of private life minuter.[2]
Nevertheless, though parallels to almost everything done at Geneva can
be found elsewhere, it is true that Calvin intensified the medieval
spirit in this respect and pushed it to the farthest limit that human
nature would bear.

First of all, he compelled the citizens to fulfil their religious
duties.  He began the process by which later the Puritans identified
the Jewish Sabbath and the Lord's Day.  Luther had thought the
injunction to rest on the Seventh Day a bit of Jewish ceremonial
abrogated by the new dispensation and that, after attending church, the
Christian might devote the day to what work or pleasure he thought
proper.  Calvin, however, forbade all work and commanded attendance on
sermons, of which an abundance were offered to the devout.  In addition
to Sunday services there were, as in the Catholic church, morning
prayers every work day and a second service three days a week.  All
ceremonies with a vestige of popery about them were forbidden.
[Sidenote: 1555]  The keeping of Christmas was prohibited under pain of
fine and imprisonment.

"As I see that we cannot forbid men all diversions," sighed Calvin, "I
confine myself to those that are really bad."  This class was
sufficiently large.  The {172} theater was denounced from the pulpit,
especially when the new Italian habit of giving women's parts to
actresses instead of to boys was introduced.  According to Calvin's
colleague Cop, "the women who mount the platform to play comedies are
full of unbridled effrontery, without honor, having no purpose but to
expose their bodies, clothes, and ornaments to excite the impure
desires of the spectators. . . .  The whole thing," he added, "is very
contrary to the modesty of women who ought to be shamefaced and shy."
Accordingly, attendance on plays was forbidden.

[Sidenote: Supervision of conduct]

Among other prohibited amusements was dancing, especially obnoxious as
at that time dances were accompanied by kisses and embraces.  Playing
cards, cursing and swearing were also dealt with, as indeed they were
elsewhere.  Among the odd matters that came before the Consistory were:
attempted suicide, possessing the _Golden Legend_ (a collection of
saints' lives called by Beza "abominable trash"), paying for masses,
betrothing a daughter to a Catholic, fasting on Good Friday, singing
obscene songs, and drunkenness.  A woman was chastized for taking too
much wine even though it did not intoxicate.  Some husbands were mildly
reprimanded, not for beating their wives which was tolerated by
contemporary opinion, but for rubbing salt and vinegar into the wales.
Luxury in clothing was suppressed; all matters of color and quality
regulated by law, and even the way in which women did their hair.  In
1546 the inns were put under the direct control of the government and
strictly limited to the functions of entertaining--or rather of
boarding and lodging--strangers and citizens in temporary need of them.
Among the numerous rules enforced within them the following may be
selected as typical:

[Sidenote: Rules for inns]

If any one blasphemes the name of God or says, "By {173} the body,
'sblood, zounds" or anything like, or who gives himself to the devil or
uses similar execrable imprecations, he shall be punished. . . .

If any one insults any one else the host shall be obliged to deliver
him up to justice.

If there are any persons who make it their business to frequent the
said inns, and there to consume their goods and substance, the host
shall not receive them.

Item the host shall be obliged to report to the government any insolent
or dissolute acts committed by the guests.

Item the host shall not allow any person of whatever quality he be, to
drink or eat anything in his house without first having asked a
blessing and afterwards said grace.

Item the host shall be obliged to keep in a public place a French
Bible, in which any one who wishes may read, and he shall not prevent
free and honest conversation on the Word of God, to edification, but
shall favor it as much as he can.

Item the host shall not allow any dissoluteness like dancing, dice or
cards, nor shall he receive any one suspected of being a debauche or

Item he shall only allow people to play honest games without swearing
or blasphemy, and without wasting more time than that allowed for a

Item he shall not allow indecent songs or words, and if any one wishes
to sing Psalms or spiritual songs he shall make them do it in a decent
and not in a dissolute way.

Item nobody shall be allowed to sit up after nine o'clock at night
except spies.

Of course, such matters as marriage were regulated strictly.  When a
man of seventy married a girl of twenty-five Calvin said it was the
pastor's duty to reprehend them.  The Reformer often selected the women
he thought suitable for his acquaintances who wanted wives.  He also
drew up a list of baptismal names which he thought objectionable,
including the names of "idols,"--_i.e._ saints venerated near
Geneva--the names of kings and offices to whom God alone {174}
appoints, such as Angel or Baptist, names belonging to God such as
Jesus and Emanuel, silly names such as Toussaint and Noel, double names
and ill-sounding names.  Calvin also pronounced on the best sort of
stoves and got servants for his friends.  In fact, there was never such
a busy-body in a position of high authority before nor since.  No
wonder that the citizens frequently chafed under the yoke.

If we ask how much was actually accomplished by this minute regulation
accompanied by extreme severity in the enforcement of morals, various
answers are given.  When the Italian reformer Bernardino Occhino
visited Geneva in 1542, he testified that cursing and swearing,
unchastity and sacrilege were unknown; that there were neither lawsuits
nor simony nor murder nor party spirit, but that universal benevolence
prevailed.  Again in 1556 John Knox said that Geneva was "the most
perfect school of Christ that ever was on earth since the days of the
apostles.  In other places," he continued, "I confess Christ to be
truly preached, but manners and religion so sincerely reformed I have
not yet seen in any place besides."  But if we turn from these personal
impressions to an examination of the acts of the Consistory, we get a
very different impression.  [Sidenote: Morals of Geneva]  The records
of Geneva show more cases of vice after the Reformation than before.
The continually increasing severity of the penalties enacted against
vice and frivolity seem to prove that the government was helpless to
suppress them.  Among those convicted of adultery were two of Calvin's
own female relatives, his brother's wife and his step-daughter Judith.
What success there was in making Geneva a city of saints was due to the
fact that it gradually became a very select population.  The worst of
the incorrigibles were soon either executed or banished, and their
places taken by a large influx of {175} men of austere mind, drawn
thither as a refuge from persecution elsewhere, or by the desire to sit
at the feet of the great Reformer.  Between the years 1549 and 1555 no
less than 1297 strangers were admitted to citizenship.  Practically all
of these were immigrants coming to the little town for conscience's


Orthodoxy was enforced as rigidly as morality.  The ecclesiastical
constitution adopted in 1542 brought in the Puritan type of divine
service.  Preaching took the most important place in church,
supplemented by Bible reading and catechetical instruction.  Laws were
passed enforcing conformity under pain of losing goods and life.  Those
who did not expressly renounce the mass were punished.  A little girl
of thirteen was condemned to be publicly beaten with rods for saying
that she wanted to be a Catholic.  Calvin identified his own wishes and
dignity with the commands and honor of God.  One day he forbade a
citizen, Philibert Berthelier, to come to the Lord's table.  Berthelier
protested and was supported by the council.  "If God lets Satan crush
my ministry under such tyranny," shrieked Calvin, "it is all over with
me."  The slightest assertion of liberty on the part of another was
stamped out as a crime.  Sebastian Castellio, a sincere Christian and
Protestant, but more liberal than Calvin, fell under suspicion because
he called the Song of Songs obscene, and because he made a new French
version of the Bible to replace the one of Olivetan officially
approved.  He was banished in 1544.  Two years later Peter Ameaux made
some very trifling personal remarks about Calvin, for which he was
forced to fall on his knees in public and ask pardon.

But opposition only increased.  The party opposing Calvin he called the
Libertines--a word then meaning something like "free-thinker" and
gradually getting {176} the bad moral connotation it has now, just as
the word "miscreant" had formerly done.  [Sidenote: January, 1547]  One
of these men, James Cruet, posted on the pulpit of St. Peter's church
at Geneva a warning to Calvin, in no very civil terms, to leave the
city.  He was at once arrested and a house to house search made for his
accomplices.  This method failing to reveal anything except that Gruet
had written on one of Calvin's tracts the words "all rubbish," his
judges put him to the rack twice a day, morning and evening, for a
whole month.  The frightful torture failed to make Gruet incriminate
anyone else, and he was accordingly tried for heresy.  He was charged
with "disparaging authors like Moses, who by the Spirit of God wrote
the divine law, saying that Moses had no more power than any other
man. . . .  He also said that all laws, human and divine, were made at
the pleasure of man."  He was therefore sentenced to death for
blasphemy and beheaded on July 26, 1547, "calling on God as his Lord."
After his death one of his books was found and condemned.  To justify
this course Calvin alleged that Gruet said that Jesus Christ was a
good-for-nothing, a liar, and a false seducer, and that he (Gruet)
denied the existence of God and immortality.  Evangelical freedom had
now arrived at the point whore its champions first took a man's life
and then his character, merely for writing a lampoon!

Naturally such tyranny produced a reaction.  The enraged Libertines
nicknamed Calvin Cain, and saved from his hands the next personal
enemy, Ami Perrin, whom he caused to be tried for treason.  [Sidenote:
October 16, 1551]  A still more bitter dose for the theocrat was that
administered by Jerome Bolsec, who had the audacity to preach against
the doctrine of predestination.  Calvin and Farel refuted him on the
spot and had him arrested.  Berne, Basle and Zurich intervened and,
when solicited for {177} an expression on the doctrine in dispute,
spoke indecisively.  The triumph of his enemies at this rebuke was hard
for Calvin to bear and prepared for the commission of the most
regrettable act of his career.

[Sidenote: Servetus, 1531]

The Spanish physician Michael Servetus published, in Germany, a work on
the _Errors concerning the Trinity_.  His theory was not that of a
modern rationalist, but of one whose starting point was the authority
of the Bible, and his unitarianism was consequently of a decidedly
theological brand, recalling similar doctrines in the early church.
Leaving Germany he went to Vienne, [Sidenote: 1553] in France, and got
a good practice under an assumed name.  He later published a work
called, perhaps in imitation of Calvin's _Institutio, The Restitution
of Christianity_, setting forth his ideas about the Trinity, which he
compared to the three-headed monster Cerberus, but admitting the
divinity of Christ.  He also denied the doctrine of original sin and
asserted that baptism should be for adults only.  He was poorly advised
in sending this book to the Reformer, with whom he had some
correspondence.  With Calvin's knowledge and probably at his
instigation, though he later issued an equivocating denial, William
Trie, of Geneva, denounced Servetus to the Catholic inquisition at
Vienne and forwarded the material sent by the heretic to Calvin.  On
June 17, 1553, the Catholic inquisitor, expressly stating that he acted
on this material, condemned Servetus to be burnt by slow fire, but he
escaped and went to Geneva.

Here he was recognized and arrested.  Calvin at once appeared as his
prosecutor for heresy.  The charges against him were chiefly concerned
with his denial of the Trinity and of infant baptism, and with his
attack on the person and teaching of Calvin.  As an example of the
point to which Bibliolatry could suppress candor it may be mentioned
that one of the {178} charges against him was that he had asserted
Palestine to be a poor land.  This was held to contradict the
Scriptural statement that it was a land flowing with milk and honey.
The minutes of the trial are painful reading.  It was conducted on both
sides with unbecoming violence.  Among other expressions used by
Calvin, the public prosecutor, were these: that he regarded Servetus's
defence as no better than the braying of an ass, and that the prisoner
was like a villainous cur wiping his muzzle.  Servetus answered in the
same tone, his spirit unbroken by abuse and by his confinement in a
horrible dungeon, where he suffered from hunger, cold, vermin, and
disease.  He was found guilty of heresy and sentenced to be burnt with
slow fire.  Calvin said that he tried to alter the manner of execution,
but there is not a shred of evidence, in the minutes of the trial or
elsewhere, that he did so.  Possibly, if he made the request, it was
purely formal, as were similar petitions for mercy made by the Roman
inquisitors.  At any rate, while Calvin's alleged effort for mercy
proved fruitless, he visited his victim in prison to read him a
self-righteous and insulting lecture.  Farel, also, reviled him on the
way to the stake, at which he perished on October 26, 1553, [Sidenote:
Death of Servetus] crying, "God preserve my soul!  O Jesus, Son of the
eternal God, have mercy on me!"  Farel called on the bystanders to
witness that these words showed the dying man to be still in the power
of Satan.

This act of persecution, one of the most painful in the history of
Christianity, was received with an outburst of applause from almost all
quarters.  Melanchthon, who had not been on speaking terms with Calvin
for some years, was reconciled to him by what he called "a signal act
of piety."  Other leading Protestants congratulated Calvin, who
continued persecution systematically.  Another victim of his was
Matthew {179} Gribaldi, whom he delivered into the hands of the
government of Berne, with a refutation of his errors.  [Sidenote:
1564.]  Had he not died of the plague in prison he would probably have
suffered the same fate as Servetus.

[Sidenote: Complete theocracy, 1555]

Strengthened by his victory over heresy, Calvin now had the chance to
annihilate his opponents.  On May 15, 1555, he accused a number of them
of treason, and provided proof by ample use of the rack.  With the
party of Libertines completely broken, Calvin ruled from this time
forth with a rod of iron.  The new Geneva was so cowed and subservient
that the town council dared not install a new sort of heating apparatus
without asking the permission of the theocrat.  But a deep rancor
smouldered under the surface.  "Our incomparable theologian Calvin,"
wrote Ambrose Blaurer to Bullinger, "labors under such hatred of some
whom he obscures by his light that he is considered the worst of
heretics by them."  Among other things he was accused of levying
tribute from his followers by a species of blackmail, threatening
publicly to denounce them unless they gave money to the cause.

[Sidenote: International Calvinism]

At the same time his international power and reputation rose.  Geneva
became the capital of Protestantism, from which mandates issued to all
the countries of Western Europe.  Englishmen and Frenchmen, Dutchmen
and Italians, thronged to "this most perfect school of Christ since the
apostles" to learn the laws of a new type of Christianity.  For
Calvin's Reformation was more thorough and logical than was Luther's.
The German had regarded all as permitted that was not forbidden, and
allowed the old usages to stand in so far as they were not repugnant to
the ordinances of the Bible.  But Calvin believed that all was
forbidden save what was expressly allowed, and hence abolished as
superstitious accretions all the elements of the medieval cult that
could find no warrant in the {180} Bible.  Images, vestments, organs,
bells, candles, ritual, were swept away in the ungarnished
meeting-house to make way for a simple service of Bible-reading,
prayer, hymn and sermon.  The government of the church was left by
Calvin in close connection with the state, but he apparently turned
around the Lutheran conception, making the civil authority subordinate
to the spiritual and not the church to the state.

Whereas Lutheranism appealed to Germans and Scandinavians, Calvinism
became the international form of Protestantism.  Even in Germany Calvin
made conquests at the expense of Luther, but outside of Germany, in
France, in the Netherlands, in Britain, he moulded the type of reformed
thought in his own image.  It is difficult to give statistics, for it
is impossible to say how far each particular church, like the Anglican
for example, was indebted to Calvin, how far to Luther, and how far to
other leaders, and also because there was a strong reaction against
pure Calvinism even in the sixteenth century.  But it is safe to say
that the clear, cold logic of the _Institutes_, the good French and
Latin of countless other treatises and letters, and the political
thought which amalgamated easily with rising tides of democracy and
industrialism, made Calvin the leader of Protestantism outside of the
Teutonic countries of the north.  His gift for organization and the
pains he took to train ministers and apostles contributed to this

[Sidenote: Death of Calvin, May 27, 1564]

On May 27, 1564 Calvin died, worn out with labor and ill health at the
age of fifty-five.  With a cold heart and a hot temper, he had a clear
brain, an iron will, and a real moral earnestness derived from the
conviction that he was a chosen vessel of Christ.  Constantly tortured
by a variety of painful diseases, he drove himself, by the demoniac
strength of his will, to perform labor that would have taxed the
strongest.  {181} The way he ruled his poor, suffering body is symbolic
of the way he treated the sick world.  To him the maladies of his own
body, or of the body politic, were evils to be overcome, at any cost of
pain and sweat and blood, by a direct effort of the will.  As he never
yielded to fever and weakness in himself, so he dealt with the vice and
frivolity he detested, crushing it out by a ruthless application of
power, hunting it with spies, stretching it on the rack and breaking it
on the wheel.  But a gentler, more understanding method would have
accomplished more, even for his own purpose.

[Sidenote: Beza, 1519-1605]

His successor at Geneva, Theodore Beza, was a man after his own heart
but, as he was far weaker, the town council gradually freed itself from
spiritual tyranny.  Towards the end of the century the pastors had been
humbled and the questions of the day were far less the dogmatic
niceties they loved than ethical ones such as the right to take usury,
the proper penalty for adultery, the right to make war, and the best
form of government.

[1] "Decretum Dei aeternum horribile."

[2] See below.  Chapter X, section 3.





[Sidenote: France]

Though, at the opening of the sixteenth century, the French may have
attained to no greater degree of national self-consciousness than had
the Germans, they had gone much farther in the construction of a
national state.  The significance of this evolution, one of the
strongest tendencies of modern history, is that it squares the outward
political condition of the people with their inward desires.  When once
a nation has come to feel itself such, it cannot be happy until its
polity is united in a homogeneous state, though the reverse is also
true,--that national feeling is sometimes the result as well as the
cause of political union.  With the growth of a common language and of
common ideals, and with the improvement of the methods of
communication, the desire of the people for unity became stronger and
stronger, until it finally overcame the centrifugal forces of feudalism
and of particularism.  These were so strong in Germany that only a very
imperfect federation could be formed by way of national government, but
in France, though they were still far from moribund, external pressure
and the growth of the royal power had forged the various provinces into
a nation such as it exists today.  The most independent of the old
provinces, Brittany, was now united to the crown by the marriage of its
duchess Anne to Louis XII.  [Sidenote: Louis XII, 1498-1515]


  Anne       ==_Louis XII_            Charles, Count==Louise
  Duchess of | _1498-1515_            of Angoulême  |  of Savoy
  Brittany   |                                      |
             |                                      |
             |                                      |
             |                                      |
   +---------+-------------+                        |
   |2                     1|                        |
 Renée==Hercules II,   Claude==(1)_Francis I_    Margaret==(1)Charles,
        Duke of              |    _1515-47_                   Duke of
        Ferrara              | (2)==Eleanor,                  Alençon
                             |    sister of              ==(2)Henry II,
                             |    Emperor                |    King of
                             |    Charles V              |    Navarre
                             |                           |
                         _Henry II_==Catharine de'       |
                         _1547-59_ | Medici d. 1589     Joan  ==Anthony
                                   |                  d'Albret| of
                                   |                          | Bourbon
                                   |                          | Duke of
                                   |                          | Vendôme
       +--------+------+------+----+-+----------------+       |
       |        |      |      |      |                |       |
 _Francis II_,  | _Henry III_ |  Elizabeth       (1)Margaret==_Henry IV_,
  _1559-60_     |  _1574-89_  |  ==(3)Philip II  (2)Mary de'  1589-1610
 ==Mary, Queen  |             |  King of Spain      Medici
    of Scots    |             |
                |             |
           _Charles IX_   Francis, Duke
            _1560-74_     of Alençon and
                          Anjou, d. 1584

 [Transcriber's note: "d." has been used here as a substitute
  for the "dagger" symbol (Unicode U+2020) that signifies the
  person's year of death.]

Geographically, France was nearly the same four hundred years ago as it
is today, save that the eastern {184} frontier was somewhat farther
west.  The line then ran west of the three Bishoprics, Verdun, Metz and
Toul, west of Franche Comté, just east of Lyons and again west of Savoy
and Nice.

Politically, France was then one of a group of semi-popular,
semi-autocratic monarchies.  The rights of the people were asserted by
the States General which met from time to time, usually at much longer
intervals than the German Diets or the English Parliaments, and by the
Parlements of the various provinces.  These latter were rather high
courts of justice than legislative assemblies, but their right to
register new laws gave them a considerable amount of authority.  The
Parlement of Paris was the most conspicuous and perhaps the most

[Sidenote: Concordat, 1516]

The power of the monarch, resting primarily on the support of the
bourgeois class, was greatly augmented by the Concordat of 1516, which
made the monarch almost the supreme head of the Gallican church.  For
two centuries the crown had been struggling to attain this position.
It was because so large a degree of autonomy was granted to the
national church that the French felt satisfied not to go to the extreme
of secession from the Roman communion.  It was because the king had
already achieved a large control over his own clergy that he felt it
unnecessary or inadvisable to go to the lengths of the Lutheran princes
and of Henry VIII.  In that one important respect the Concordat of
Bologna took the place of the Reformation.

[Sidenote: Francis I, 1515-47]

Francis I was popular and at first not unattractive.  Robust, fond of
display, ambitious, intelligent enough to dabble in letters and art, he
piqued himself on being chivalrous and brave.  But he wasted his life
and ruined his health in the pursuit of pleasure.  His face, as it has
come down to us in contemporary paintings, is disagreeable.  He was, as
with unusual candor a {185} contemporary observer put it, a devil even
to the extent of considerably looking it.

While to art and letters Francis gave a certain amount of attention, he
usually from mere indolence allowed the affairs of state to be guided
by others.  Until the death of his mother, Louise of Savoy, [Sidenote:
1531] he was ruled by her.  Thereafter the Constable Anne de
Montmorency was his chief minister.  The policy followed was the
inherited one which was, to a certain point, necessary in the given
conditions.  In domestic affairs, the king or his advisors endeavored
to increase the power of the crown at the expense of the nobles.  The
last of the great vassals strong enough to assert a quasi-independence
of the king was Charles of Bourbon.  [Sidenote: 1523-4]  He was
arrested and tried by the Parlement of Paris, which consistently
supported the crown.  Fleeing from France he entered the service of
Charles V, [Sidenote: 1526] and his restoration was made an article of
the treaty of Madrid.  His death in the sack of Rome closed the
incident in favor of the king.  [Sidenote: May, 1527]

The foreign policy of France was a constant struggle, now by diplomacy,
now by arms, with Charles V.  The principal remaining powers of Europe,
England, Turkey and the pope, threw their weight now on one side now on
the other of the two chief antagonists.  Italy was the field of most of
the battles.  Francis began his reign by invading that country and
defeating the Swiss at Marignano, thus conquering Milan.  [Sidenote:
September 14-15, 1515]  The campaigns in Italy and Southern France
culminated in the disastrous defeat of the French at Pavia.  [Sidenote:
February 24, 1525]  Francis fought in person and was taken prisoner.
"Of all things nothing is left me but honor and life," he wrote his

Francis hoped that he would be freed on the payment of ransom according
to the best models of chivalry.  He found, however, when he was removed
to {186} Madrid in May, that his captor intended to exact the last
farthing of diplomatic concession.  Discontent in France and the ennui
and illness of the king finally forced him to sign a most
disadvantageous treaty, [Sidenote: January 14, 1526] renouncing the
lands of Burgundy, Naples and Milan, and ceding lands to Henry VIII.
The king swore to the document, pledged his knightly honor, and as
additional securities married Eleanor the sister of Charles and left
two of his sons as hostages.

Even when he signed it, however, he had no intention of executing the
provisions of the treaty which, he secretly protested, had been wrung
from him by force.  The deputies of Burgundy refused to recognize the
right of France to alienate them.  Henry VIII at once made an alliance
against the "tyranny and pride" of the emperor.  Charles was so
chagrined that he challenged Francis to a duel.  This opera bouffe
performance ended by each monarch giving the other "the lie in the

Though France succeeded in making with new allies, the pope and Venice,
the League of Cognac, [Sidenote: May, 1526] and though Germany was at
that time embarrassed by the Turkish invasion, the ensuing war turned
out favorably to the emperor.  The ascendancy of Charles was so marked
that peace again had to be made in his favor in 1529.  The treaty of
Cambrai, as it was called, was the treaty of Madrid over again except
that Burgundy was kept by France.  She gave up, however, Lille, Douai
and other territory in the north and renounced her suzerainty over
Milan and Naples.  Francis agreed to pay a ransom of two million crowns
for his sons.  Though he was put to desperate straits to raise the
money, levying a 40 per cent. income tax on the clergy and a 10 per
cent. income tax on the nobles, he finally paid the money and got back
his children in 1530.

By this time France was so exhausted, both in {187} money and men, that
a policy of peace was the only one possible for some years.
Montmorency, the principal minister of the king, continued by an active
diplomacy to stir up trouble for Charles.  While suppressing Lutherans
at home he encouraged the Schmalkaldic princes abroad, going to the
length of inviting Melanchthon to France in 1535.  With the English
minister Cromwell he came to an agreement, notwithstanding the
Protestant tendencies of his policy.  An alliance was also made with
the Sultan Suleiman, secretly in 1534, and openly proclaimed in 1536.
In order to prepare for the military strife destined to be renewed at
the earliest practical moment, an ordinance of 1534 reorganized and
strengthened the army.

Far more important for the life of France than her incessant and
inconclusive squabbling with Spain was the transformation passing over
her spirit.  It is sometimes said that if the French kings brought
nothing else back from their campaigns in Italy they brought back the
Renaissance.  [Sidenote: Reformation]  There is a modicum of truth in
this, for there are some traces of Italian influence before the reign
of Francis I.  But the French spirit hardly needed this outside
stimulus.  It was awakening of itself.  Scholars like William Budé and
the Estiennes, thinkers like Dolet and Rabelais, poets like Marot, were
the natural product of French soil.  Everywhere, north of the Alps no
less than south, there was a spontaneous efflorescence of intellectual

The Reformation is often contrasted or compared with the Renaissance.
In certain respects, where a common factor can be found, this may
profitably be done.  But it is important to note how different in kind
were the two movements.  One might as well compare Darwinism and
Socialism in our own time.  The one was a new way of looking at things,
a fresh {188} intellectual start, without definite program or
organization.  The other was primarily a thesis: a set of tenets the
object of which was concrete action.  The Reformation began in France
as a school of thought, but it soon grew to a political party and a new
church, and finally it evolved into a state within the state.

[Sidenote: Christian Renaissance]

Though it is not safe to date the French Reformation before the
influence of Luther was felt, it is possible to see an indigenous
reform that naturally prepared the way for it.  Its harbinger was
Lefèvre d'Étaples.  This "little Luther" wished to purify the church,
to set aside the "good works" thereof in favor of faith, and to make
the Bible known to the people.  He began to translate it in 1521,
publishing the Gospels in June 1523 and the Epistles and Acts and
Apocalypse in October and November.  The work was not as good as that
of Luther or Tyndale.  It was based chiefly on the Vulgate, though not
without reference to the Greek text.  Lefèvre prided himself on being
literal, remarking, with a side glance at Erasmus's _Paraphrases_, that
it was dangerous to try to be more elegant than Scripture.  He also
prided himself on writing for the simple, and was immensely pleased
with the favorable reception the people gave his work.  To reach the
hearts of the poor and humble he instituted a reform of preaching,
instructing his friends to purge their homilies of the more grossly
superstitious elements and of the scholastic theology.  Instead of this
they were to preach Christ simply with the aim of touching the heart,
not of dazzling the mind.

Like-minded men gathering around Lefèvre formed a new school of
thought.  It was a movement of revival within the church; its leaders,
wishing to keep all the old forms and beliefs, endeavored to infuse
into them a new spirit.  To some extent they were in conscious reaction
against the intellectualism of Erasmus {189} and the Renaissance.  On
the other hand they were far from wishing to follow Luther, when he
appeared, in his schism.

Among the most famous of these mystical reformers were William
Briçonnet, Bishop of Meaux, and his disciple, Margaret d'Angoulême,
sister of Francis I.  Though a highly talented woman Margaret was weak
and suggestible.  She adored her dissolute brother and was always, on
account of her marriages, first with Charles, duke of Alençon,
[Sidenote: 1509] and then with Henry d'Albret, king of Navarre,
[Sidenote: 1527] put in the position of a suppliant for his support.
She carried on an assiduous correspondence with Briçonnet as her
spiritual director, being attracted first by him and then by Luther,
chiefly, as it seems, through the wish to sample the novelty of their
doctrines.  She wrote _The Mirror of the Sinful Soul_ in the best style
of penitent piety.  [Sidenote: 1531]  Its central idea is the love of
God and of the "debonnaire" Jesus.  She knew Latin and Italian, studied
Greek and Hebrew, and read the Bible regularly, exhorting her friends
to do the same.  She coquetted with the Lutherans, some of whom she
protected in France and with others of whom in Germany she
corresponded.  She was strongly suspected of being a Lutheran, though a
secret one.  Capito dedicated to her a commentary on Hosea; Calvin had
strong hopes of winning her to an open profession, but was
disappointed.  Her house, said he, which might have become the family
of Jesus Christ, harbored instead servants of the devil.  Throughout
life she kept the accustomed Catholic rites, and wrote with much
respect to Pope Paul III.  But fundamentally her religious idealism was
outside of any confession.

This mystically pious woman wrote, in later life, the _Heptameron_, a
book of stories published posthumously.  Modelled on the _Decameron_,
it consists {190} almost entirely of licentious stories, told without
reprobation and with gusto.  If the mouth speaketh from the fullness of
the heart she was as much a sensualist in thought as her brother was in
deed.  The apparent contradictions in her are only to be explained on
the theory that she was one of those impressionable natures that,
chameleon-like, always take on the hue of their environment.

But though the work of Lefèvre and of Briçonnet, who himself gave his
clergy an example of simple, biblical preaching, won many followers not
only in Meaux but in other cities, it would never have produced a
religious revolt like that in Germany.  The Reformation was an
importation into France; "The key of heresy," as John Bouchet said in
1531, "was made of the fine iron of Germany."  At first almost all the
intellectuals hailed Luther as an ally.  Lefèvre sent him a greeting in
1519, and in the same year Budé spoke well of him.  His books were at
this time approved even by some doctors of the Sorbonne.  But it took a
decade of confusion and negation to clarify the situation sufficiently
for the French to realize the exact import of the Lutheran movement,
which completely transformed the previously existing policy of Lefèvre.
The chief sufferer by the growth of Lutheranism was not at first the
Catholic church but the party of Catholic reform.  The schism rent the
French evangelicals before it seriously affected the church.  Some of
them followed the new light and others were forced back into a
reactionary attitude.

[Sidenote: Luther's books.]

The first emissaries of Luther in France were his books.  Froben
exported a volume containing nearly all he had published up to October,
1518, immediately and in large quantities to Paris.  In 1520 a student
there wrote that no books were more quickly bought.  At first only the
Latin ones were intelligible to the {191} French, but there is reason
to believe that very early translations into the vernacular were made,
though none of this period have survived.  It was said that the books,
which kept pouring in from Frankfort and Strassburg and Basle, excited
the populace against the theologians, for the people judged them by the
newly published French New Testament.  A bishop complained that the
common people were seduced by the vivacity of the heretic's style.
[Sidenote: 1523]

It did not take the Sorbonne long to define its position as one of
hostility.  The university, which had been lately defending the
Gallican liberties and had issued an appeal from pope to future
council, was one of the judges selected by the disputants of the
Leipzig debate.  Complete records of the speeches, taken by notaries,
were accordingly forwarded to Paris by Duke George of Saxony, with a
request for an opinion.  After brief debate the condemnation of Luther
by the university was printed.  [Sidenote: April 15, 1521]

Neither was the government long in taking a position.  That it should
be hostile was a foregone conclusion.  Francis hated Lutheranism
because he believed that it tended more to the overthrow of kingdoms
and monarchies than to the edification of souls.  He told Aleander, the
papal nuncio, that he thought Luther a rascal and his doctrine
pernicious.  [Sidenote: March, 1521]

[Sidenote: April 1523]

The king was energetically seconded by the Parlement of Paris.  A royal
edict provided that no book should be printed without the imprimatur of
the university.  The king next ordered the extirpation of the errors of
Martin Luther of Saxony, and, having begun by burning books, continued,
as Erasmus observed was usually the case, by burning people.  The first
to suffer was John Vallière.  At the same time Briçonnet was summoned
to Paris, [Sidenote: 1523] sharply reprimanded for leniency to heretics
and fined two hundred livres, in {192} consequence of which he issued
two decrees against the heresy, charging it with attempting to subvert
the hierarchy and to abolish sacerdotal celibacy.  [Sidenote: 1524]
When Lefèvre's doctrines were condemned, he submitted; those of his
disciples who failed to do so were proscribed.  But the efforts of the
government became more strenuous after 1524.  Francis was at this time
courting the assistance of the pope against the emperor, and moreover
he was horrified by the outbreak of the Peasants' War in Germany.
Convinced of the danger of allowing the new sect to propagate itself
any further he commanded the archbishops and bishops of his realm to
"proceed against those who hold, publish and follow the heresies,
errors and doctrines of Martin Luther."  [Sidenote: 1525]  Lefèvre and
some of his friends fled to Strassburg.  Arrests and executions against
those who were sometimes called "heretics of Meaux," and sometimes
Lutherans, followed.

The theologians did not leave the whole burden of the battle to the
government.  A swarm of anti-Lutheran tracts issued from the press.
Not only the heresiarch, but Erasmus and Lefèvre were attacked.  Their
translations of the Bible were condemned as blasphemies against Jerome
and against the Holy Ghost and as subverting the foundations of the
Christian religion.  Luther's sacramental dogmas and his repudiation of
monastic vows were refuted.

Nevertheless the reform movement continued.  At this stage it was
urban, the chief centers being Paris, Meaux, and Lyons.  Many merchants
and artisans were found among the adherents of the new faith.  While
none of a higher rank openly professed it, theology became, under the
lead of Margaret, a fashionable subject.  Conventicles were formed to
read the Bible in secret not only among the middle classes but also at
court.  Short tracts continued to be the best {193} methods of
propaganda, and of these many were translations.  Louis de Berquin of
Artois, [Sidenote: Berquin, 1490-1529] a layman, proved the most
formidable champion of the new opinions.  Though he did little but
translate other men's work he did that with genius.  His version of
Erasmus's _Manual of a Christian Knight_ was exquisitely done, and his
version of Luther's _Tesseradecas_ did not fall short of it.  Tried and
condemned in 1523, he was saved by the king at the behest of Margaret.
[Sidenote: 1526]  The access of rigor during the king's captivity gave
place to a momentary tolerance.  Berquin, who had been arrested, was
liberated, and Lefèvre recalled from exile.  But the respite was brief.
Two years later, Berquin was again arrested, tried, condemned, and
executed speedily to prevent reprieve on April 17, 1529.  But the
triumph of the conservatives was more apparent than real.  Lutheranism
continued to gain silently but surely.

While the Reformation was growing in strength and numbers, it was also
becoming more definite and coherent.  Prior to 1530 it was almost
impossible to tell where Lutheranism began and where it ended.  There
was a large, but vague and chaotic public opinion of protest against
the existing order.  But after 1530 it is possible to distinguish
several parties, three of which at first reckoned among the supporters
of the Reformation, now more or less definitely separated themselves
from it.  The first of these was the party of Meaux, the leaders of
which submitted to the government and went their own isolated way.
Then there was a party of Erasmian reform, mainly intellectual but
profoundly Christian.  Its leader, William Budé, felt, as did Erasmus,
that it was possible to unite the classical culture of the Renaissance
with a purified Catholicism.  Attached to the church, and equally
repelled by some of the dogmas and by the apparent {194} social effects
of the Reformation, Budé, who had spoken well of Luther in 1519,
repudiated him in 1521.

[Sidenote: Humanists]

Finally there was the party of the "Libertines" or free-thinkers, the
representatives of the Renaissance pure and simple.  Revolutionaries in
their own way, consciously rebels against the older culture of the
Middle Ages, though prepared to canvass the new religion and to toy
with it, even to use it as an ally against common enemies, the interest
of these men was fundamentally too different from that of the Reformers
to enable them to stand long on the same platform.  There was Clement
Marot, [Sidenote: Marot] a charming but rather aimless poet, a protégé
of Margaret and the ornament of a frivolous court.  Though his poetic
translation of the Psalms became a Protestant book, his poetry is often
sensual as well as sensuous.  Though for a time absenting himself from
court he re-entered it in 1536 at the same time "abjuring his errors."

[Sidenote: Rabelais]

Of the same group was Francis Rabelais, whose _Pantagruel_ appeared in
1532.  Though he wrote Erasmus saying that he owed all that he was to
him, he in fact appropriated only the irony and mocking spirit of the
humanist without his deep underlying piety.  He became a universal
skeptic, and a mocker of all things.  The "esprit gaulois," beyond all
others alive to the absurdities and inconsistency of things, found in
him its incarnation.  He ridiculed both the "pope-maniacs" and the
"pope-phobes," the indulgence-sellers and the inquisitors, the
decretals "written by an angel" and the Great Schism, priests and kings
and doubting philosophers and the Scripture.  Paul III called him "the
vagabond of the age."  Calvin at first reckoned him among those who
"had relished the gospel," but when he furiously retorted that he
considered Calvin "a demoniacal imposter," the theologian of Geneva
loosed against him a furious invective in his {195} _Treatise on
Offences_.  Rabelais was now called "a Lucian who by his diabolic
fatuity had profaned the gospel, that holy and sacred pledge of life
eternal."  William Farel had in mind Rabelais's recent acceptance from
the court of the livings of Meudon and St. Christophe de Jambet, when
he wrote Calvin on May 25, 1553: "I fear that avarice, that root of
evil, has extinguished all faith and piety in the poets of Margaret.
Judas, having sold Christ and taken the biretta, instead of Christ has
that hard master Satan." [1]

[Sidenote: Catholic reform]

The stimulus given by the various attacks on the church, both
Protestant and infidel, showed itself promptly in the abundant spirit
of reform that sprang up in the Catholic fold.  The clergy and bishop
braced themselves to meet the enemy; they tried in some instances to
suppress scandals and amend their lives; they brushed up their theology
and paid more attention to the Bible and to education.

But the "Lutheran contagion" continued to spread and grow mightily.  In
1525 it was found only at Paris, Meaux, Lyons, Grenoble, Bourges, Tours
and Alençon.  Fifteen years later, though it was still confined largely
to the cities and towns, there were centers of it in every part of
France except in Brittany.  The persecution at Paris only drove the
heretics into hiding or banished them to carry their opinions broadcast
over the land.  The movement swept from the north and east.  The
propaganda was not the work of one class but of all save that of the
great nobles.  It was not yet a social or class affair, but a purely
intellectual and religious one.  It is impossible to {196} estimate the
numbers of the new sect.  In 1534 Aleander said there were thirty
thousand Lutherans in Paris alone.  On the contrary René du Bellay said
that there were fewer in 1533 than there were ten years, previous.
[Sidenote: Protestant progress]  True it is that the Protestants were
as yet weak, and were united rather in protest against the established
order than as a definite and cohesive party.  Thus, the most popular
and successful slogans of the innovators were denunciation of the
priests as anti-Christs and apostates, and reprobation of images and of
the mass as idolatry.  Other catchwords of the reformers were, "the
Bible" and "justification by faith."  The movement was without a head
and without organization.  Until Calvin furnished these the principal
inspiration came from Luther, but Zwingli and the other German and
Swiss reformers were influential.  More and more, Lefèvre and his
school sank into the background.

For a time it seemed that the need of leadership was to be supplied by
William Farel.  His learning, his eloquence, and his zeal, together
with the perfect safety of action that he found in Switzerland, were
the necessary qualifications.  The need for a Bible was at first met by
the version of Lefèvre, printed in 1532.  But the Catholic spirit of
this work, based on the Vulgate, was distasteful to the evangelicals.
Farel asked Olivetan, an excellent philologist, to make a new version,
which was completed by February 1535.  Calvin wrote the preface for it.
It was dedicated to "the poor little church of God."  In doctrine it
was thoroughly evangelical, replacing the old "évêques" and "prêtres"
by "surveillants" and "anciens," and omitting some of the Apocrypha.

Encouraged by their own growth the Protestants became bolder in their
attacks on the Catholics.  The situation verged more and more towards
violence; {197} neither side, not even the weaker, thought of tolerance
for both.  On the night of October 17-18 some placards, written by
Anthony de Marcourt, were posted up in Paris, Orleans, Rouen, Tours and
Blois and on the doors of the king's chamber at Amboise.  They
excoriated the sacrifice of the mass as a horrible and intolerable
abuse invented by infernal theology and directly counter to the true
Supper of our Lord.  The government was alarmed and took strong steps.
Processions were instituted to appease God for the sacrilege.  Within a
month two hundred persons were arrested, twenty of whom were sent to
the scaffold and the rest banished after confiscation of their goods.

But the government could not afford to continue an uninterruptedly
rigorous policy.  The Protestants found their opportunity in the
exigencies of the foreign situation.  In 1535 Francis was forced by the
increasing menace of the Hapsburgs to make alliance not only with the
infidel but with the Schmalkaldic League.  He would have had no
scruples in supporting abroad the heresy he suppressed at home, but he
found the German princes would accept his friendship on no terms save
those of tolerance to French Protestants.  Accordingly on July 16,
1535, Francis was obliged to publish an edict ordering persecution to
cease and liberating those who were in prison for conscience's sake.

But the respite did not last long.  New rigors were undertaken in April
1538.  Marot retracted his errors, and Rabelais, while not
fundamentally changing his doctrine, greatly softened, in the second
edition of his _Pantagruel_, [Sidenote: 1542] the abusive ridicule he
had poured on the Sorbonne.  But by this time a new era was
inaugurated.  The deaths of Erasmus and Lefèvre in 1536 gave the _coup
de grace_ to the party of the Christian {198} Renaissance, and the
publication of Calvin's _Institutes_ in the same year finally gave the
French Protestants a much needed leader and standard.

[1] _Harvard Theological Review_, 1919, p. 209.  Margaret had died
several years before, but Rabelais was called her poet because he had
claimed her protection and to her wrote a poem in 1545.  _Oeuvres de
Rabelais_, ed. A. Lefranc, 1912, i, pp. xxiii, cxxxix.  _Cf_. also
Calvin's letter to the Queen of Navarre, April 28, 1545.  _Opera_, xii,
pp. 65 f.


[Sidenote: Truce of Nice, 1538]

The truce of Nice providing for a cessation of hostilities between
France and the Hapsburgs for ten years, was greeted with much joy in
France.  Bonfires celebrated it in Paris, and in every way the people
made known their longing for peace.  Little the king cared for the
wishes of his loyal subjects when his own dignity, real or imagined,
was at stake.  The war with Charles, that cursed Europe like an
intermittent fever, broke out again in 1542.  Again France was the
aggressor and again she was worsted.  The emperor invaded Champagne in
person, arriving, in 1544, at a point within fifty miles of Paris.  As
there was no army able to oppose him it looked as if he would march as
a conqueror to the capital of his enemy.  But he sacrificed the
advantage he had over France to a desire far nearer his heart, that of
crushing his rebellious Protestant subjects.  Already planning war with
the League of Schmalkalden he wished only to secure his own safety from
attack by his great rival.  [Sidenote: Treaty of Crépy, 1544]  The
treaty made at Crépy was moderate in its terms and left things largely
as they were.

[Sidenote: Henry II, 1547-59]

On March 31, 1547, Francis I died and was succeeded by his son, Henry
II, a man of large, strong frame, passionately fond of all forms of
exercise, especially of hunting and jousting.  He had neither his
father's versatility nor his fickleness nor his artistic interests.
His policy was influenced by the aim of reversing his father's wishes
and of disgracing his father's favorites.

[Sidenote: 1533]

While his elder brother was still alive, Henry had married Catharine
de' Medici, a daughter of Lorenzo {199} II de' Medici of Florence.  The
girl of fourteen in a foreign country was uncomfortable, especially as
it was felt, after her husband became Dauphin, that her rank was not
equal to his.  The failure to have any children during the first ten
years of marriage made her position not only unpleasant but precarious,
but the birth of her first son made her unassailable.  In rapid
succession she bore ten children, seven of whom survived childhood.
Though she had little influence on affairs of state during her
husband's reign, she acquired self-confidence and at last began to talk
and act as queen.

[Sidenote: Diana of Poitiers]

At the age of seventeen Henry fell in love with a woman of thirty-six,
Diana de Poitiers, to whom his devotion never wavered until his death,
when she was sixty.  Notwithstanding her absolute ascendancy over her
lover she meddled little with affairs of state.

[Sidenote: Admiral Coligny, 1519-72]

The direction of French policy at this time fell largely into the hands
of two powerful families.  The first was that of Coligny.  Of three
brothers the ablest was Gaspard, Admiral of France, a firm friend of
Henry's as well as a statesman and warrior.  Still more powerful was
the family of Guise, the children of Claude, Duke of Guise, who died in
1527.  [Sidenote: Francis of Guise]  The eldest son, Francis, Duke of
Guise, was a great soldier.  His brother, Charles, Cardinal of
Lorraine, won a high place in the councils of state, and his sister
Mary, by her marriage with James V of Scotland, brought added prestige
to the family.  The great power wielded by this house owed much to the
position of their estates, part of which were fiefs of the French king
and part subject to the Empire.  As suited their convenience they could
act either as Frenchmen or as foreign nobles.

[Sidenote: Expansion]

Under Henry France enjoyed a period of expansion such as she had not
had for many years.  The {200} perpetual failures of Francis were at
last turned into substantial successes.  This was due in large part to
the civil war in Germany and to the weakness of England's rulers,
Edward VI and Mary.  It was due in part to the irrepressible energy of
the French bourgeois and gentlemen, in part to the genius of Francis of
Guise.  The co-operation of France and Turkey, rather an identity of
interests than a formal alliance, a policy equally blamed by
contemporaries and praised by historians, continued.  But the successes
achieved were due most of all to the definite abandonment of the hope
of Italian conquests and to the turning of French arms to regions more
suitable for incorporation under her government.

War having been declared on Charles, the French seized the Three
Bishoprics, at that time imperial fiefs, Metz, Verdun, and Toul.  A
large German army under Alva besieged Metz, but failed to overcome the
brilliant defence of Francis of Guise.  Worn by the attrition of
repulsed assaults and of disease the imperial army melted away.  When
the siege was finally raised Guise distinguished himself as much by the
humanity with which he cared for wounded and sick enemies as he had by
his military prowess.

Six years later Guise added fresh laurels to his fame and new
possessions to France by the conquest of Calais and Guines, the last
English possessions in French territory.  The loss of Calais, which had
been held by England since the Hundred Years War, was an especially
bitter blow to the islanders.  These victories were partly
counterbalanced by the defeats of French armies at St. Quentin on the
Somme [Sidenote: 1557] and by Egmont at Gravelines.  [Sidenote: 1558]
When peace was signed at Cateau-Cambrésis, [Sidenote: Peace of
Cateau-Cambrésis, 1559] France renounced all her conquests in the
south, but kept the Three Bishoprics and Calais, all of which became
her permanent possessions.

[Sidenote: Calvinism]

{201} While France was thus expanding her borders, the internal
revolution matured rapidly.  The last years of Francis and the reign of
Henry II saw a prodigious growth of Protestantism.  What had begun as a
sect now became, by an evolution similar to that experienced in
Germany, a powerful political party.  It is the general fate of new
causes to meet at first with opposition due to habit and the
instinctive reaction of almost all minds against "the pain of a new
idea."  But if the cause is one suited to the spirit and needs of the
age, it gains more and more supporters, slowly if left to itself,
rapidly if given good organization and adequate means of presenting its
claims.  The thorough canvassing of an idea is absolutely essential to
win it a following.  Now, prior to 1536, the Protestants had got a
considerable amount of publicity as well through their own writings as
through the attacks of their enemies.  But not until Calvin settled at
Geneva and began to write extensively in French, was the cause
presented in a form capable of appealing to the average Frenchman.
Calvin gave not only the best apology for his cause, but also furnished
it with a definite organization, and a coherent program.  He supplied
the dogma, the liturgy, and the moral ideas of the new religion, and he
also created ecclesiastical, political, and social institutions in
harmony with it.  A born leader, he followed up his work with personal
appeals.  His vast correspondence with French Protestants shows not
only much zeal but infinite pains and considerable tact in driving home
the lessons of his printed treatises.

Though the appeal of Calvin's dogmatic system was greater to an age
interested in such things and trained to regard them as highly
important, than we are likely to suppose at present, this was not
Calvinism's only or even its main attraction to intelligent people.
Like {202} every new and genuine reform Calvinism had the advantage of
arousing the enthusiasm of a small but active band of liberals.  The
religious zeal as well as the moral earnestness of the age was
naturally drawn to the Protestant side.  As the sect was persecuted, no
one joined it save from conscientious motives.  Against the laziness or
the corruption of the prelates, too proud or too indifferent to give a
reason for their faith, the innovators opposed a tireless energy in
season and out of season; against the scandals of the court and the
immorality of the clergy they raised the banner of a new and stern
morality; to the fires of martyrdom they replied with the fires of
burning faith.

The missionaries of the Calvinists were very largely drawn from
converted members of the clergy, both secular and regular, and from
those who had made a profession of teaching.  For the purposes of
propaganda these were precisely the classes most fitted by training and
habit to arouse and instruct the people.  Tracts were multiplied, and
they enjoyed, notwithstanding the censures of the Sorbonne, a brisk
circulation.  The theater was also made a means of propaganda, and an
effective one.

Picardy continued to be the stronghold of the Protestants throughout
this period, though they were also strong at Meaux and throughout the
north-east, at Orleans, in Normandy, and in Dauphiné.  Great progress
was also made in the south, which later became the most Protestant of
all the sections of France.

[Sidenote: Catholic measures]

Catholics continued to rely on force.  There was a counter-propaganda,
emanating from the University of Paris, but it was feeble.  The
Jesuits, in the reign of Henry II, had one college at Paris and two in
Auvergne; otherwise there was hardly any intellectual effort made to
overcome the reformers.  Indeed, the Catholics hardly had the munitions
for such a combat.  {203} Apart from the great independents, holding
themselves aloof from all religious controversy, the more intelligent
and enterprising portion of the educated class had gone over to the

But the government did its best to supply the want of argument by the
exercise of authority.  New and severe edicts against "the heresies and
false doctrines of Luther and his adherents and accomplices" were
issued.  The Sorbonne prohibited the reading and sale of sixty-five
books by name, including the works of Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin,
Dolet, and Marot, and all translations of the Bible issued by the
publishing house of Estienne.

The south of France had in earlier centuries been prolific in sects
claiming a Protestantism older than that of Augsburg.  Like the
Bohemian Brethren they eagerly welcomed the Calvinists as allies and
were rapidly enrolled in the new church.  Startled by the stirring of
the spirit of reform, the Parlement of Aix, acting in imitation of
Simon de Monfort, [Sidenote: 1540] ordered two towns, Merindol and
Cabrières, destroyed for their heresy.  The sentence was too drastic
for the French government to sanction immediately; it was therefore
postponed by command of the king, but it was finally executed, at least
in part.  [Sidenote: 1545]  A ghastly massacre took place in which
eight hundred or more of the Waldenses perished.  A cry of horror was
raised in Germany, in Switzerland, and even in France, from which the
king himself recoiled in terror.

Only a few days after his accession Henry issued an edict against
blasphemy, and this was followed by a number of laws against heresy.  A
new court of justice was created to deal with heretics.  [Sidenote:
October 8, 1547]  From its habit of sending its victims to the stake it
soon became known as the Chambre Ardente.  Its powers were so extensive
that the clergy protested against them as {204} infringements of their
rights.  In its first two years it pronounced five hundred
sentences,--and what sentences!  Even in that cruel age its punishments
were frightful.  Burning alive was the commonest.  If the heretic
recanted on the scaffold he was strangled before the fire was lit; if
he refused to recant his tongue was cut out.  [Sidenote: June, 1551]
Those who were merely suspected were cast into dungeons from which many
never came out alive.  Torture was habitually used to extract
confession.  For those who recanted before sentence milder, but still
severe, punishments were meted out: imprisonment and various sorts of
penance.  By the edict of Chateaubriand a code of forty-six articles
against heresy was drawn up, and the magistrate empowered to put
suspected persons under surveillance.

In the face of this fiery persecution the conduct of the Calvinists was
wonderfully fine.  They showed great adroitness in evading the law by
all means save recantation and great astuteness in using what poor
legal means of defence were at their disposal.  On the other hand they
suffered punishment with splendid constancy and courage, very few
failing in the hour of trial, and most meeting death in a state of
exaltation.  Large numbers found refuge in other lands.  During the
reign of Henry II fourteen hundred fled to Geneva, not to mention the
many who settled in the Netherlands, England, and Germany.

[Sidenote: Protestant growth]

Far from lying passive, the Calvinists took the offensive not only by
writing and preaching but by attacking the images of the saints.  Many
of these were broken or defaced.  One student in the university of
Paris smashed the images of the Virgin and St. Sebastian and a stained
glass window representing the crucifixion, and posted up placards
attacking the cult of the saints.  For this he was pilloried three
times and then shut into a small hole walled in on all sides {205} save
for an aperture through which food was passed him until he died.

Undaunted by persecution the innovators continued to grow mightily in
numbers and strength.  The church at Paris, though necessarily meeting
in secret, was well organized.  The people of the city assembled
together in several conventicles in private houses.  By 1559 there were
forty fully organized churches (_églises dressées_) throughout France,
and no less than 2150 conventicles or mission churches (_églises
plantées_).  Estimates of numbers are precarious, but good reason has
been advanced to show that early in the reign of Henry the Protestants
amounted to one-sixth of the population.  Like all enthusiastic
minorities they wielded a power out of proportion to their numbers.
Increasing continually, as they did, it is probable, but for the
hostility of the government, they would have been a match for the
Catholics.  At any rate they were eager to try their strength.  A new
and important fact was that they no longer consisted entirely of the
middle classes.  High officers of government and great nobles began to
join their ranks.  In 1546 the Bishop of Nîmes protected them openly,
being himself suspected, probably with justice, of Calvinism.  In 1548
a lieutenant-general was among those prosecuted for heresy.  Anthony of
Bourbon, a descendant of Louis IX, a son of the famous Charles,
Constable of France, and husband of Joan d 'Albret, queen of Navarre,
who was a daughter of Margaret d'Angoulême, became a Protestant.
[Sidenote: 1555]  About the same time the great Admiral Coligny was
converted, though it was some years before he openly professed his
faith.  His brother, d'Andelot, also adhered to the Calvinists but was
later persuaded by the king and by his wife to go back to the Catholic

So strong had the Protestants become that the {206} French government
was compelled against its will to tolerate them in fact if not in
principle, and to recognize them as a party in the state with a
quasi-constitutional position.  The synod held at Paris in May, 1559,
was evidence that the first stage in the evolution of French
Protestantism was complete.  This assembly drew up a creed called the
_Confessio Gallicana_, setting forth in forty articles the purest
doctrine of Geneva.  Besides affirming belief in the common articles of
Christianity, this confession asserted the dogmas of predestination,
justification by faith only, and the distinctive Calvinistic doctrine
of the eucharist.  The worship of saints was condemned and the
necessity of a church defined.  For this church an organization and
discipline modelled on that of Geneva was provided.  The country was
divided into districts, the churches within which were to send to a
central consistory representatives both clerical and lay, the latter to
be at least equal in number to the former.  Over the church of the
whole nation there was to be a national synod or "Colloque" to which
each consistory was to send one clergyman and one or two lay elders.

Alarmed by the growth of the Protestants, Henry II was just preparing,
after the treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis, to grapple with them more
earnestly than ever, when he died of a wound accidentally received in a
tournament.  [Sidenote: July 10, 1559]  His death, hailed by Calvin as
a merciful dispensation of Providence, conveniently marks the ending of
one epoch and the beginning of another.  For the previous forty years
France had been absorbed in the struggle with the vast empire of the
Hapsburgs.  For the next forty years she was completely occupied with
the wars of religion.  Externally, she played a weak rôle because of
civil strife and of a contemptible government.  Indeed, all her
interests, both foreign and domestic, were from this {207} time
forgotten in the intensity of the passions aroused by fanaticism.  The
date of Henry's demise also marks a change in the evolution of the
French government.  Hitherto, for some centuries, the trend had been
away from feudalism to absolute monarchy.  The ideal, "une foi, une
loi, un roi" had been nearly attained.  But this was now checked in two
ways.  The great nobles found in Calvinism an opportunity to assert
their privileges against the king.  The middle classes in the cities,
especially in those regions where sectionalism was still strong, found
the same opportunity but turned it to the advantage of republicanism.
A fierce spirit of resistance not only to the prelates but to the
monarch, was born.  There was even a considerable amount of democratic
sentiment.  The poor clergy, who had become converted to Calvinism,
were especially free in denouncing the inequalities of the old régime
which made of the higher clergy great lords and left the humbler
ministers to starve.  The fact is that the message of Calvinism was
essentially democratic in that the excellence of all Christians and
their perfect equality before God was preached.  [Sidenote: Equality
preached]  Interest in religion and the ability to discuss it was not
confined to a privileged hierarchy, but was shared by the humblest.  In
a ribald play written in 1564 it is said:[1]

  If faut que Jeanne [a servant] entre les pots
  Parle de reformation;
  La nouvelle religion
  A tant fait que les chambrières,
  Les serviteurs et les tripières
  En disputent publiquement.

But while the gay courtier and worldling sneered at the religion of
market women and scullerymaids, he had little cause to scoff when he
met the Protestants {208} in debate at the town hall of his city, or on
the field of battle.

Finally, the year 1559 very well marks a stage in the development of
French Protestantism.  Until about 1536 it had been a mere unorganized
opinion, rather a philosophy than a coherent body.  From the date of
the publication of the _Institutes_ to that of the Synod of 1559 the
new church had become organized, self-conscious, and definitely
political in aims.  But after 1559 it became more than a party; it
became an _imperium in imperio_.  There was no longer one government
and one allegiance in France but two, and the two were at war.

[Sidenote: The Huguenots]

It was just at this time that the name of Huguenot applied to the
Protestants, hitherto called "Lutherans," "heretics of Meaux" and, more
rarely, "Calvinists."  The origin of the word, first used at Tours in
1560, is uncertain.  It may possibly come from "le roi Huguet" or
"Hugon," a night spectre; the allusion then would be to the ghostly
manner in which the heretics crept by night to their conventicles.
Huguenot is also found as a family name at Belfort as early as 1425.
It may possibly come from the term "Hausgenossen" as used in Alsace of
those metal-workers who were not taken into the gild but worked at
home, hence a name of contempt like the modern "scab."  It may also
come from the name of the Swiss Confederation, "Eidgenossen," and
perhaps this derivation is the most likely, though it cannot be
considered beyond doubt.  Whatever the origin of the name the picture
of the Huguenot is familiar to us.  Of all the fine types of French
manhood, that of the Huguenot is one of the finest.  Gallic gaiety is
tempered with earnestness; intrepidity is strengthened with a new moral
fibre like that of steel.  Except in the case of a few great lords, who
joined the party without serious conviction, the high standard of the
Huguenot morals was recognized even by their enemies.  In an age of
profligacy the "men of the religion," as they called themselves, walked
the paths of rectitude and sobriety.

[1] Remy Belleau: _La Reconnue_, act 4, scene 2.


                          Charles, Duke of Bourbon,
                         Constable of France, d. 1527
             |                               |                  |
        Anthony, Duke of Vendôme     Charles, Cardinal    Louis, Prince
        ==Joan d'Albret, Queen of       of Bourbon           of Condé
        |  Navarre, d. 1562
     _Henry IV_
   ==(1)Margaret of France
   ==(2)Mary de' Medici


                          Claude, Duke of Guise, d. 1527
            |                        |               |
            |                        |               |
 Francis, Duke of Guise      Charles, Cardinal      Mary==James V
       d. 1563                 of Lorraine              | of Scotland
          |                                             |
          |                                           Mary, Queen
          |                                            of Scots
    |                       |                    |
 Henry, Duke of Guise    Charles, Duke of      Louis, Cardinal of
       d. 1588              Mayenne              Guise, d. 1588

 [Transcriber's note: "d." has been used here as a substitute
  for the "dagger" symbol (Unicode U+2020) that signifies the
  person's year of death.]



[Sidenote: Francis II, 1559-60]

Henry II was followed by three of his sons in succession, each of them,
in different degrees and ways, a weakling.  The first of them was
Francis II, a delicate lad of fifteen, who suffered from adenoids.
Child as he was he had already been married for more than a year to
Mary Stuart, a daughter of James V of Scotland and a niece of Francis
of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorraine.  As she was the one passion of
the morose and feeble king, who, being legally of age was able to
choose his own ministers, the government of the realm fell into the
strong hands of "the false brood of Lorraine."  Fearing and hating
these men above all others the Huguenots turned to the Bourbons for
protection, but the king of Navarre was too weak a character to afford
them much help.  Finding in the press their best weapon the Protestants
produced a flood of pamphlets attacking the Cardinal of Lorraine as
"the tiger of France."

A more definite plan to rid the country of the hated tyranny was that
known as the Conspiracy of Amboise.  Godfrey de Barry, Sieur de la
Renaudie, pledged several hundred Protestants to go in a body to
present a petition to the king at Blois.  How much further their
intentions went is not known, and perhaps was not definitely formulated
by themselves.  The Venetian ambassador spoke in a contemporary
dispatch of a plot to kill the cardinal and also the king if he would
not assent to their counsels, and said that the conspirators relied, to
justify this course, on the {211} declaration of Calvin that it was
lawful to slay those who hindered the preaching of the gospel.  Hearing
of the conspiracy, Guise and his brother were ready.  They transferred
the court from Blois to Amboise, by which move they upset the plans of
the petitioners and also put the king into a more defensible castle.
Soldiers, assembled for the occasion, met the Huguenots as they
advanced in a body towards Amboise, [Sidenote: The tumult of Amboise,
March 1560] shot down La Renaudie and some others on the spot and
arrested the remaining twelve hundred, to be kept for subsequent trial
and execution.  The suspicion that fastened on the prince of Condé, a
brother of the king of Navarre, was given some color by his frank
avowal of sympathy with the conspirators.  Though the Guises pressed
their advantage to the utmost in forbidding all future assemblies of
heretics, the tumult of Amboise was vaguely felt, in the sultry
atmosphere of pent-up passions, to be the avant-courier of a terrific

The early death of the sickly king left the throne to his brother
Charles IX, a boy of nine.  [Sidenote: Charles IX, 1560-74]  As he was
a minor, the regency fell to his mother, Catharine de' Medici, who for
almost thirty years was the real ruler of France.  [Sidenote: Policy of
Catharine de' Medici]  Notwithstanding what Brantôme calls "ung
embonpoint très-riche," she was active of body and mind.  Her large
correspondence partly reveals the secrets of her power: much tact and
infinite pains to keep in touch with as many people and as many details
of business as possible.  Her want of beauty was supplied by gracious
manners and an elegant taste in art.  As a connoisseur and an
indefatigable collector she gratified her love of the magnificent not
only by beautiful palaces and gorgeous clothes, but in having a store
of pictures, statues, tapestries, furniture, porcelain, silver, books,
and manuscripts.

A "politique" to her fingertips, Catharine had neither sympathy nor
patience with the fanatics who {212} would put their religion above
peace and prosperity.  Surrounded by men as fierce as lions, she showed
no little of the skill and intrepidity of the tamer in keeping them,
for a time, from each others' throats.  Soon after Charles ascended the
throne, she was almost hustled into domestic and foreign war by the
offer of Philip II of Spain to help her Catholic subjects against the
Huguenots without her leave.  She knew if that were done that, as she
scrawled in her own peculiar French, "le Roy mon fils nave jeames
lantyere aubeysance," [1] and she was determined "que personne ne pent
nous brouller en lamitie en la quele je desire que set deus Royaumes
demeurent pendant mauye." [2]  Through her goggle eyes she saw clearly
where lay the path that she must follow.  "I am resolved," she wrote,
"to seek by all possible means to preserve the authority of the king my
son in all things, and at the same time to keep the people in peace,
unity and concord, without giving them occasion to stir or to change
anything."  Fundamentally, this was the same policy as that of Henry
IV.  That she failed where he succeeded is not due entirely to the
difference in ability.  In 1560 neither party was prepared to yield or
to tolerate the other without a trial of strength, whereas a generation
later many members of both parties were sick of war.

[Sidenote: December 13, 1560]

Just as Francis was dying, the States General met at Orleans.  This
body was divided into three houses, or estates, that of the clergy,
that of the nobles, and that of the commons.  The latter was so
democratically chosen that even the peasants voted.  Whether they had
voted in 1484 is not known, but it is certain that they did so in 1560,
and that it was in the interests of the crown to let them vote is shown
by the increase in {213} the number of royal officers among the
deputies of the third estate.  The peasants still regarded the king as
their natural protector against the oppression of the nobles.

The Estates were opened by Catharine's minister, Michael de L'Hôpital.
Fully sympathizing with her policy of conciliation, he addressed the
Estates as follows: [Sidenote: February 24, 1561] "Let us abandon those
diabolic words, names of parties, factions and seditions:--Lutherans,
Huguenots, Papists; let us not change the name of Christians."
Accordingly, an edict was passed granting an amnesty to the Huguenots,
nominally for the purpose of allowing them to return to the Catholic
church, but practically interpreted without reference to this proviso.

But the government found it easier to pass edicts than to restrain the
zealots of both parties.  The Protestants continued to smash images;
the Catholics to mob the Protestants.  Paris became, in the words of
Beza, "the city most bloody and murderous among all in the world."
Under the combined effects of legal toleration and mob persecution the
Huguenots grew mightily in numbers and power.  Their natural leader,
the King of Navarre, indeed failed them, for he changed his faith
several times, his real cult, as Calvin remarked, being that of Venus.
His wife, Joan d'Albret, however, became an ardent Calvinist.

At this point the government proposed a means of conciliation that had
been tried by Charles V in Germany and had there failed.  The leading
theologians of both confessions were summoned to a colloquy at Poissy.
[Sidenote: Colloquy of Poissy, August, 1561]  Most of the German
divines invited were prevented by politics from coming, but the noted
Italian Protestant Peter Martyr Vermigli and Theodore Beza of Geneva
were present.  The debate turned on the usual points at issue, and was
of course indecisive, {214} though the Huguenots did not hesitate to
proclaim their own victory.

[Sidenote: January, 1562]

A fresh edict of toleration had hardly been issued when civil war was
precipitated by a horrible crime.  Some armed retainers of the Duke of
Guise, coming upon a Huguenot congregation at Vassy in Champagne,
[Sidenote: Massacre of Vassy, March 1, 1562] attacked them and murdered
three hundred.  A wild cry of fury rose from all the Calvinists;
throughout the whole land there were riots.  At Toulouse, for example,
fighting in the streets lasted four days and four hundred persons
perished.  It was one of the worst years in the history of France.  A
veritable reign of terror prevailed everywhere, and while the crops
were destroyed famine stalked throughout the land.  Bands of robbers
and ravishers, under the names of Christian parties but savages at
heart, put the whole people to ransom and to sack.  Indeed, the Wars of
Religion were like hell; the tongue can describe them better than the
imagination can conceive them.  The whole sweet and pleasant land of
France, from the Burgundian to the Spanish frontier, was widowed and
desolated, her pride humbled by her own sons and her Golden Lilies
trampled in the bloody mire.  Foreign levy was called in to supply
strength to fratricidal arms.  The Protestants, headed by Condé and
Coligny, raised an army and started negotiations with England.  The
Catholics, however, had the best of the fighting.  They captured Rouen,
defended by English troops, and, under Guise, defeated the Huguenots
under Coligny at Dreux.  [Sidenote: December 19, 1562]

[Sidenote: February 18, 1563]

Two months later, Francis of Guise was assassinated by a Protestant
near Orleans.  Coligny was accused of inciting the crime, which he
denied, though he confessed that he was glad of it.  [Sidenote: Edict
of Amboise March 19, 1563]  The immediate beneficiary of the death of
the duke was not the Huguenot, {215} however, so much as Catharine de'
Medici.  Continuing to put into practise her policy of tolerance she
issued an edict granting liberty of conscience to all and liberty of
worship under certain restrictions.  Great nobles were allowed to hold
meetings for divine service according to the reformed manner in their
own houses, and one village in each bailiwick was allowed to have a
Protestant chapel.

How consistently secular was Catharine's policy became apparent at this
time when she refused to publish the decrees of the Council of Trent,
fearing that they might infringe on the liberties of the Gallican
church.  In this she had the full support of most French Catholics.
She continued to work for religious peace.  One of her methods was
characteristic of her and of the time.  She selected "a flying
squadron" of twenty-four beautiful maids of honor of high rank and low
principles to help her seduce the refractory nobles on both sides.  In
many cases she was successful.  Condé, in love with one--or possibly
with several--of these sirens, forgot everything else, his wife, his
party, his religion.  His death in 1569 threw the leadership of the
Huguenots into the steadier and stronger grasp of Coligny.

But such means of dealing with a profoundly dangerous crisis were of
course but the most wretched palliatives.  The Catholic bigots would
permit no dallying with the heretics.  In 1567 they were strong enough
to secure the disgrace of L'Hôpital and in the following year to extort
a royal edict unconditionally forbidding the exercise of the reformed
cult.  The Huguenots again rebelled and in 1569 suffered two severe
defeats [Sidenote: Huguenots defeated] at Jarnac and at Moncontour.
The Catholics were jubilant, fully believing, as Sully says, that at
last the Protestants would have to submit.  But nothing is more
remarkable than the apparently slight effect of military success or
failure on the {216} strength and numbers of the two faiths.  "We had
beaten our enemies over and over again," cried the Catholic soldier
Montluc in a rage, "we were winning by force of arms but they triumphed
by means of their diabolical writings."

The Huguenots, however, did not rely entirely on the pen.  Their
stronghold was no longer in the north but was now in the south and
west.  The reason for this may be partly found in the preparation of
the soil for their seed by the medieval heresies, but still more in the
strong particularistic spirit of that region.  The ancient provinces of
Poitou and Guienne, Gascony and Languedoc, were almost as conscious of
their southern and Provençal culture as they were of their French
citizenship.  The strength of the centralizing tendencies lay north of
the Loire; in the south local privileges were more esteemed and more
insisted upon.  While Protestantism was persecuted by the government at
Paris it was often protected by cities of the south.  [Sidenote: La
Rochelle]  The most noteworthy of these was La Rochelle on the Atlantic
coast near Bordeaux.  Though coming late to the support of the
Reformation, its conversion was thorough and lasting.  To protect the
new religion it successfully asserted its municipal freedom almost to
the point of independence.  Like the Dutch Beggars of the Sea its armed
privateers preyed upon the commerce of Catholic powers, a mode of
warfare from which the city derived immense booty.

The Huguenots tried but failed to get foreign allies.  Neither England
nor Germany sent them any help.  [Sidenote: Battle of Mons, July 17,
1572]  Their policy of supporting the revolt of the Low Countries
against Spain turned out disastrously for themselves when the French
under Coligny were defeated at Mons by the troops of Philip.

The Catholics now believed the time ripe for a decisive blow.  Under
the stimulus of the Jesuits they {217} had for a short time been
conducting an offensive and effective propaganda.  Leagues were formed
to combat the organizations of the Huguenots, armed "Brotherhoods of
the Holy Spirit" as they were called.  The chief obstacle in their path
seemed to be a small group of powerful nobles headed by Coligny.
Catharine and the Guises resolved to cut away this obstacle with the
assassin's knife.  Charles, who was personally on good terms with
Coligny, hesitated, but he was too weak a youth to hold out long.
There seems to be good reason to believe that all the queen dowager and
her advisers contemplated was the murder of a few leaders and that they
did not foresee one of the most extensive massacres in history.

Her first attempt to have Coligny assassinated [Sidenote: August 22,
1572] aroused the anger of the Huguenot leaders and made them more
dangerous than before.  A better laid and more comprehensive plan was
therefore carried out on the eve of St. Bartholomew's day.  [Sidenote:
Massacre of St. Bartholomew, August 24, to October 3]  Early in the
evening of August 23, Henry of Guise, a son of Duke Francis, and
Coligny's bitterest personal enemy, went with armed men to the house of
the admiral and murdered him.  From thence they proceeded to the houses
of other prominent Huguenots to slay them in the same manner.  News of
the man-hunt spread through the city with instant rapidity, the mob
rose and massacred all the Huguenots they could find as well as a
number of foreigners, principally Germans and Flemings.  De Thou says
that two thousand were slain in Paris before noon of August 24.  A
general pillage followed.

The king hesitated to assume responsibility for so serious a tumult.
His letters of August 24 to various governors of provinces and to
ambassadors spoke only of a fray between Guise and Coligny, and stated
that he wished to preserve order.  But with these very {218} letters he
sent messengers to all quarters with verbal orders to kill all the
leading Protestants.  On August 27 he again wrote of it as "a great and
lamentable sedition" originating in the desire of Guise to revenge his
father on Coligny.  The king said that the fury of the populace was
such that he was unable to bring the remedy he wished, and he again
issued directions for the preservation of order.  But at the same time
he declared that the Guises had acted at his command to punish those
who had conspired against him and against the old religion.  In fact,
he gave out a rapid series of contradictory accounts and orders, and in
the meantime, from August 25 to October 3 terrible series of massacres
took place in almost all the provinces.  [Sidenote: Other massacres]
Two hundred Huguenots perished at Meaux, from 500 to 1000 at Orleans, a
much larger number at Lyons.  It is difficult to estimate the total
number of victims.  Sully, who narrowly escaped, says that 70,000 were
slain.  Hotman, another contemporary, says 50,000.  Knowing how much
figures are apt to be exaggerated even by judicious men, we must assume
that this number is too large.  On the other hand the lowest estimate
given by modern Catholic investigators, 5000, is certainly too small.
Probably between 10,000 and 20,000 is correct.  Those who fell were the
flower of the party.

Whatever may have been the precise degree of guilt of the French
rulers, which in any case was very grave, they took no pains to conceal
their exultation over an event that had at last, as they believed,
ground their enemies to powder.  In jubilant tone Catharine wrote to
her son-in-law, Philip of Spain, that God had given her son the king of
France the means "of wiping out those of his subjects who were
rebellious to God and to himself."  Philip sent his hearty
congratulations and heard a Te Deum sung.  The pope struck a medal
{219} with a picture of an avenging angel and the legend, "Ugonotorum
strages," and ordered an annual Te Deum which was, in fact, celebrated
for a long time.  But on the other hand a cry of horror arose from
Germany and England.  Elizabeth received the French ambassador dressed
in mourning and declared to him that "the deed had been too bloody."

Though the triumph of the Catholics was loudly shouted, it was not as
complete as they hoped.  The Huguenots seemed cowed for a moment, but
nothing is more remarkable than the constancy of the people.
Recantations were extremely few.  The Reformed pastors, nourished on
the Old Testament, saw in the affliction that had befallen them nothing
but the means of proving the faithful.  Preparations for resistance
were made at once in the principal cities of the south.  [Sidenote:
Siege of La Rochelle]  La Rochelle, besieged by the royal troops,
evinced a heroism worthy of the cause.  While the men repulsed the
furious assaults of the enemy the women built up the walls that
crumbled under the powerful fire of the artillery.  A faction of
citizens who demanded surrender was sternly suppressed and the city
held out until relief came from an unhoped quarter.  The king's
brother, Henry Duke of Anjou, was elected to the throne of Poland on
condition that he would allow liberty of conscience to Polish
Protestants.  In order to appear consistent the French government
therefore stopped for the moment the persecution of the Huguenots.  The
siege of La Rochelle was abandoned and a treaty made allowing liberty
of worship in that city, in Nîmes and Montauban and in the houses of
some of the great nobles.

In less than two years after the appalling massacre the Protestants
were again strong and active.  A chant of victory sounded from their
dauntless ranks.  More than ever before they became republican in
principle.  {220} Their pamphleteers, among them Hotman, fiercely
attacked the government of Catharine, and asserted their rights.

Charles was a consumptive.  The hemorrhages characteristic of his
disease reminded him of the torrents of blood that he had caused to
flow from his country.  Broken in body and haunted by superstitious
terrors the wretched man died on May 30, 1574.  [Sidenote: Henry III,
1547-89]  He was succeeded by his brother, Henry III, recently elected
king of Poland, a man of good parts, interested in culture and in
study, a natural orator, not destitute of intelligence.  His mother's
pet and spoiled child, brought up among the girls of the "flying
squadron," he was in a continual state of nervous and sensual
titillation that made him avid of excitement and yet unable to endure
it.  A thunderstorm drove him to hide in the cellar and to tears.  He
was at times overcome by fear of death and hell, and at times had
crises of religious fervour.  But his life was a perpetual debauch,
ever seeking new forms of pleasure in strange ways.  He would walk the
streets at night accompanied by gay young rufflers in search of
adventures.  He had a passion for some handsome young men, commonly
called "the darlings," whom he kept about him dressed as women.

His reign meant a new lease of power to his mother, who worshipped him
and to whom he willingly left the arduous business of government.  By
this time she was bitterly hated by the Huguenots, who paid their
compliments to her in a pamphlet entitled _A wonderful Discourse on the
Life, Deeds and Debauchery of Catharine de' Medici_, perhaps written in
part by the scholar Henry Estienne.  She was accused not only of crimes
of which she was really guilty, like the massacre of St. Bartholomew,
but of having murdered {221} the dauphin Francis, her husband's elder
brother, and others who had died natural deaths, and of having
systematically depraved her children in order to keep the reins of
authority in her own hands.

Frightened by the odium in which his mother was held, Henry III thought
it wise to disavow all part or lot in St. Bartholomew and to concede to
the Huguenots liberty of worship everywhere save in Paris and in
whatever place the court might be for the moment.

So difficult was the position of the king that by this attempt to
conciliate his enemies he only alienated his friends.  The bigoted
Catholics, finding the crown impotent, began to take energetic measures
to help themselves.  In 1576 they formed a League to secure the benefit
of association.  [Sidenote: The League]  Henry Duke of Guise drew up
the declaration that formed the constituent act of the League.  It
proposed "to establish the law of God in its entirety, to reinstate and
maintain divine service according to the form and manner of the holy,
Catholic and apostolic church," and also "to restore to the provinces
and estates of this kingdom the rights, privileges, franchises, and
ancient liberties such as they were in the time of King Clovis, the
first Christian king."  This last clause is highly significant as
showing how the Catholics had now adopted the tactics of the Huguenots
in appealing from the central government to the provincial privileges.
It is exactly the same issue as that of Federalism versus States'
Rights in American history; the party in power emphasizes the national
authority, while the smaller divisions furnish a refuge for the

The constituency of the League rapidly became large.  The declaration
of Guise was circulated throughout the country something like a monster
petition, and those who wished bound themselves to support it.  The
{222} power of this association of Catholics among nobles and people
soon made it so formidable that Henry III reversed his former policy,
recognized the League and declared himself its head.

[Sidenote: Estates General of Blois]

The elections for the States General held at Blois in 1576 proved
highly favorable to the League.  The chief reason for their
overwhelming success was the abstention of the Protestants from voting.
In continental Europe it has always been and is now common for
minorities to refuse to vote, the idea being that this refusal is in
itself a protest more effective than a definite minority vote would be.
To an American this seems strange, for it has been proved time and
again that a strong minority can do a great deal to shape legislation.
But the Huguenots reasoned differently, and so seated but one
Protestant in the whole assembly, a deputy to the second, or noble,
estate.  The privileged orders pronounced immediately for the
enforcement of religious unity, but in the Third Estate there was a
warm debate.  John Bodin, the famous publicist, though a Catholic,
pleaded hard for tolerance.  As finally passed, the law demanded a
return to the old religion, but added the proviso that the means taken
should be "gentle and pacific and without war."  So impossible was this
in practice that the government was again obliged to issue a decree
granting liberty of conscience and restricted liberty of worship.
[Sidenote: 1577]

Under the oppression of the ruinous civil wars the people began to grow
more and more restless.  The king was extremely unpopular.  Perhaps the
people might have winked even at such outrages against decency as were
perpetrated by the king had not their critical faculties been sharpened
by the growing misery of their condition.  The wars had bankrupted both
them and the government, and the desperate expedients of the latter to
raise money only increased the poverty {223} of the masses.  Every
estate, every province, was urged to contribute as much as possible,
and most of them replied, in humble and loyal tone, but firmly, begging
for relief from the ruinous exactions.  The sale of offices, of
justice, of collectorships of taxes, of the administration, of the
army, of the public domain, was only less onerous than the sale of
monopolies and inspectorships of markets and ports.  The only
prosperous class seemed to be the government agents and contractors.
In fact, for the first time in the history of France the people were
becoming thoroughly disaffected and some of them semi-republican in

[Sidenote: 1584]

The king had no sons and when his only remaining brother died a new
element of discord and perplexity was introduced in that the heir to
the throne, Henry of Navarre, was a Protestant.  Violent attacks on him
were published in the pamphlet press.  The League was revived in
stronger form than before.  Its head, Guise, selected as candidate for
the throne the uncle of Henry of Navarre, Charles, Cardinal of Bourbon,
a stupid and violent man of sixty-four.  The king hastened to make
terms with the League and commanded all Protestants to leave the
country in six months.  At this point the pope intervened to strengthen
his cause by issuing the "Bull of Deprivation" [Sidenote: 1585]
declaring Henry of Navarre incapable, as a heretic, of succeeding to
the throne.  Navarre at once denounced the bull as contrary to French
law and invalid, and he was supported both by the Parlement of Paris
and by some able pamphleteers.  Hotman published his attack on the
"vain and blind fulmination" of the pontiff.

[Sidenote: Battle of Coutras, October 20, 1587]

An appeal to arms was inevitable.  At the battle of Coutras, the
Huguenots, led by Henry of Navarre, won their first victory.  While
this increased {224} Navarre's power and his popularity with his
followers, the majority of the people rallied to the League.  In the
"war of the three Henrys" as it was called, the king had more to fear
from Henry of Guise than from the Huguenot.  Cooped up at the Tuileries
the monarch was under so irksome a restraint that he was finally
obliged to regain freedom by flight, on May 12, 1588.  The elections
for the States General gave an enormous majority to the League.  In an
evil hour for himself the king resorted again to that much used weapon,
assassination.  By his order Guise was murdered.  "Now I am king," he
wrote with a sigh of relief.  But he was mistaken.  The League, more
hostile than ever, swearing to avenge the death of its captain, was now
frankly revolutionary.

It continued to exercise its authority under the leadership of a
Committee of Sixteen.  These gentlemen purged the still royalist
Parlement of Paris.  By the hostility of the League the king was forced
to an alliance with Henry of Navarre.  This is interesting as showing
how completely the position of the two leading parties had become
reversed.  The throne, once the strongest ally of the church, was now
supported chiefly by the Huguenots who had formerly been in rebellion.
Indeed by this time "the wars of religion" had become to a very large
extent dynastic and social.

On August 1, 1589, the king was assassinated by a Dominican fanatic.
His death was preceded shortly by that of Catharine de' Medici.

[Sidenote: Henry IV, 1589-1610]

Henry IV was a man of thirty-five, of middle stature, but very hardy
and brave.  He was one of the most intelligent of the French kings,
vigorous of brain as of body.  Few could resist his delicate
compliments and the promises he knew how to lavish.  The glamour of his
personality has survived even until now.  In a song still popular he is
called "the gallant king who knew {225} how to fight, to make love and
to drink."  He is also remembered for his wish that every peasant might
have a fowl in his pot.  His supreme desire was to see France, bleeding
and impoverished by civil war, again united, strong and happy.  He
consistently subordinated religion to political ends.  To him almost
alone is due the final adoption of tolerance, not indeed as a natural
right, but as a political expedient.

The difficulties with which he had to contend were enormous.  The
Catholics, headed by the Duke of Mayenne, a brother of Guise, agreed to
recognize him for six months in order that he might have the
opportunity of becoming reconciled to the church.  But Mayenne, who
wished to be elected king by the States General, soon commenced
hostilities.  The skirmish at Arques between the forces of Henry and
Mayenne, resulting favorably to the former, was followed by the battle
of Ivry.  [Sidenote: Battle of Ivry, March 14, 1590]  Henry, with two
thousand horse and eight thousand foot, against eight thousand horse
and twelve thousand foot of the League, addressed his soldiers in a
stirring oration: "God is with us.  Behold his enemies and ours; behold
your king.  Charge!  If your standards fail you, rally to my white
plume; you will find it on the road to victory and honor."  At first
the fortune of war went against the Huguenots, but the personal courage
of the king, who, with "a terrible white plume" in his helmet led his
cavalry to the attack, wrested victory from the foe.

[Sidenote: Siege of Paris]

From Ivry Henry marched to Paris, the headquarters of the League.  With
thirteen thousand soldiers he besieged this town of 220,000
inhabitants, garrisoned by fifty thousand troops.  With their usual
self-sacrificing devotion, the people of Paris held out against the
horrors of famine.  The clergy aroused the fanaticism of the populace,
promising heaven to those who died; women protested that they would eat
{226} their children before they would surrender.  With provisions for
one month, Paris held out for four.  Dogs, cats, rats, and grass were
eaten; the bones of animals and even of dead people were ground up and
used for flour; the skins of animals were devoured.  Thirteen thousand
persons died of hunger and twenty thousand of the fever brought on by
lack of food.  But even this miracle of fanaticism could not have saved
the capital eventually, but for the timely invasion of France from the
north by the Duke of Parma, who joined Mayenne on the Marne.  Henry
raised the siege to meet the new menace, but the campaign of 1591 was
fruitless for both sides.

[Sidenote: Anarchy]

France seemed to be in a state of anarchy under the operation of many
and various forces.  Pope Gregory XIV tried to influence the Catholics
to unite against Henry, but he was met by protests from the Parlements
in the name of the Gallican Liberties.  The "Politiques" were ready to
support any strong _de facto_ government, but could not find it.  The
cities hated the nobles, and the republicans resented the "courteous
warfare" which either side was said to wage on the other, sparing each
other's nobles and slaughtering the commons.

[Sidenote: 1593]

At this point the States General were convoked at Paris by the League.
So many provinces refused to send deputies that there were only 128
members out of a normal 505.  A serial publication by several authors,
called the _Satyre Menippée_, poured ridicule on the pretentious of the
national assembly.  Various solutions of the deadlock were proposed.
Philip II of Spain offered to support Mayenne as Lieutenant General of
France if the League would make his daughter, as the heiress through
her mother, Elizabeth of Valois, queen.  This being refused, Philip
next proposed that the young Duke of Guise should marry his daughter
{227} and become king.  But this proposal also won little support.  The
enemies of Henry IV were conscious of his legitimate rights and jealous
of foreign interference; the only thing that stood in the way of their
recognizing him was his heresy.

[Sidenote: Henry's conversion]

Henry, finding that there seemed no other issue to an intolerable
situation, at last resolved, though with much reluctance, to change his
religion.  On July 25, 1593, he abjured the Protestant faith, kneeling
to the Archbishop of Bourges, and was received into the bosom of the
Roman church.  That his conversion was due entirely to the belief that
"Paris was worth a mass" is, of course, plain.  Indeed, he frankly
avowed that he still scrupled at some articles, such as purgatory, the
worship of the saints, and the power of the pope.  And it must be
remembered that his motives were not purely selfish.  The alternative
seemed to be indefinite civil war with all its horrors, and Henry
deliberately but regretfully sacrificed his confessional convictions on
the altar of his country.

The step was not immediately successful.  The Huguenots were naturally
enraged.  The Catholics doubted the king's sincerity.  At Paris the
preachers of the League ridiculed the conversion from the pulpit.  "My
dog," sneered one of them, "were you not at mass last Sunday?  Come
here and let us offer you the crown."  But the "politiques" rallied to
the throne and the League rapidly melted away.  The _Satyre Menippée_,
supporting the interests of Henry, did much to turn public opinion in
his favor.

A further impression was made by his coronation at Chartres in 1594.
When the surrender of Paris followed, the king entered his capital to
receive the homage of the Sorbonne and the Parlement of Paris.  The
superstitious were convinced of Henry's sincerity when he touched some
scrofulous persons and they {228} were said to be healed.  Curing the
"king's evil" was one of the oldest attributes of royalty, and it could
not be imagined that it would descend to an impostor.

Henry showed the wisest statesmanship in consolidating his power.  He
bought up those who still held out against him at their own price,
remarking that whatever it cost it would be cheaper than fighting them.
He showed a wise clemency in dealing with his enemies, banishing only
about 130 persons.  Next came absolution by Pope Clement VIII, who,
after driving as hard a bargain as he could, finally granted it on
September 17, 1595.

But even yet all danger was not past.  Enraged at seeing France escape
from his clutches, Philip of Spain declared war, and he could still
count on the support of Mayenne and the last remnant of the League.
The daring action of Henry at Fontaine-Française on June 5, 1595, where
with three hundred horse he routed twelve hundred Spaniards, so
discouraged his enemies that Mayenne hastened to submit, and peace was
signed with Spain in 1598.  The finances of the realm, naturally in a
chaotic state, were brought to order and solvency by a Huguenot noble,
the Duke of Sully, Henry's ablest minister.

The legal status of the Protestants was still to be settled.  It was
not changed by Henry's abjuration, and the king was determined at all
costs to avoid another civil war.  [Sidenote: Edict of Nantes, April
13, 1598]  He therefore published the Edict of Nantes, declared to be
perpetual and irrevocable.  By it liberty of conscience was granted to
all "without being questioned, vexed or molested," and without being
"forced to do anything contrary to their religion."  Liberty of worship
was conceded in all places in which it had been practised for the last
two years; _i.e._ in two places in every bailiwick except large towns,
where services were to be held outside the walls, and {229} in the
houses of the great nobles.  Protestant worship was forbidden at Paris
and for five leagues (twelve and one-half miles) outside the walls.
Protestants had all other legal rights of Catholics and were eligible
to all offices.  To secure them in these rights a separate court of
justice was instituted, a division of the Parlement of Paris to be
called the Edict Chamber and to consist of ten Catholic and six
Protestant judges.  But a still stronger guarantee was given in their
recognition as a separately organized state within the state.  The king
agreed to leave two hundred towns in their hands, some of which, like
Montpellier, Montauban, and La Rochelle, were fortresses in which they
kept garrisons and paid the governors.  As they could raise 25,000
soldiers at a time when the national army in time of peace was only
10,000, their position seemed absolutely impregnable.  So favorable was
the Edict to the Huguenots that it was bitterly opposed by the Catholic
clergy and by the Parlement of Paris.  Only the personal insistence of
the king finally carried it.

[Sidenote: Reasons for failure of French Protestantism]

Protestantism was stronger in the sixteenth century in France than it
ever was thereafter.  During the eighty-seven years while the Edict of
Nantes was in force it lost much ground, and when that Edict was
revoked by a doting king and persecution began afresh, the Huguenots
were in no condition to resist.  [Sidenote: 1685]  From a total
constituency at its maximum of perhaps a fifth or a sixth of the whole
population, the Protestants have now sunk to less than two per cent.
(650,000 out of 39,000,000).  The history of the rise and decline of
the Huguenot movement is a melancholy record of persecution and of
heroism.  How great the number of martyrs was can never be known
accurately.  Apart from St. Bartholomew there were several lesser
massacres, the wear and tear of a generation of war, and {230} the
unremitting pressure of the law that claimed hundreds of victims a year.

[Sidenote: Hostility of government]

Three principal causes can be assigned for the failure of the
Reformation to do more than fight a drawn battle in France.  The first
and least important of these was the steady hostility of the
government.  This hostility was assured by the mutually advantageous
alliance between the throne and the church sealed in the Concordat of
Bologna of 1516.  But that the opposition of the government, heavily as
it weighed, was not and could not be the decisive force in defeating
Protestantism is proved, in my judgment, by the fact that even when the
Huguenots had a king of their own persuasion they were unable to obtain
the mastery.  Had their faith won the support not only of a
considerable minority, but of the actual majority of the people, they
could surely at this time have secured the government and made France a
Protestant state.

[Sidenote: Protestantism came too late]

The second cause of the final failure of the Reformation was the
tardiness with which it came to France.  It did not begin to make its
really popular appeal until some years after 1536, when Calvin's
writings attained a gradual publicity.  This was twenty years later
than the Reformation came forcibly home to the Germans, and in those
twenty years it had made its greatest conquests north of the Rhine.  Of
causes as well as of men it is true that there is a tide in their
affairs which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune, but which, once
missed, ebbs to defeat.  Every generation has a different interest; to
every era the ideals of that immediately preceding become stale and
old-fashioned.  The writings of every age are a polemic against those
of their fathers; every dogma has its day, and after every wave of
enthusiam [Transcriber's note: enthusiasm?] a reaction sets in.  Thus
it was that the Reformation {231} missed, though it narrowly missed,
the propitious moment for conquering France.  Enough had been said of
it during the reign of Francis to make the people tired of it, but not
enough to make them embrace it.  By the time that Calvin had become
well known, the Catholics had awakened and had seized many of the
weapons of their opponents, a fresh statement of belief, a new
enthusiasm, a reformed ethical standard.  The Council of Trent, the
Jesuits, the other new orders, were only symptoms of a still more
widely prevalent Catholic revival that came, in France, just in the
nick of time to deprive the Protestants of many of their claims to
popular favor.

[Sidenote: Beaten by the Renaissance]

But probably the heaviest weight in the scale against the Reformation
was the Renaissance--far stronger in France than in Germany.  The one
marched from the north, while the other was wafted up from Italy.  They
met, not as hostile armies but rather--to use a humble, commercial
illustration--as two competing merchants.  The goods they offered were
not the same, not even similar, but the appeal of each was of such a
nature that few minds could be the whole-hearted devotees of both.  The
new learning and the beauties of Italian art and literature sapped away
the interest of just those intelligent classes whose support was needed
to make the triumph of the Reformation complete.  Terrible as were the
losses of the Huguenots by fire and sword, considerable as were the
defections from their ranks of those who found in the reformed Catholic
church a spiritual refuge, still greater was the loss of the Protestant
cause in failing to secure the adherence of such minds as Dolet and
Rabelais, Ronsard and Montaigne, and of the thousands influenced by
them.  And a study of just these men will show how the Italian
influence worked and how it grew stronger in its rivalry with the
religious interest.  {232} Whereas Marot had found something to
interest him in the new doctrines, Ronsard bitterly hated them.
Passionately devoted, as he and the rest of the Pleiade were, to the
sensuous beauties of Italian poetry, he had neither understanding of
nor patience with dogmatic subtleties.  In the Huguenots he saw nothing
but mad fanatics and dangerous fomentors of rebellion.  In his
_Discourses on the Evils of the Times_, he laid all the woes of France
at the door of the innovators.  And powerfully his greater lyrics
seduced the mind of the public from the contemplation of divinity to
the enjoyment of earthly beauty.

The same intensification of the contrast between the two spirits is
seen in comparing Montaigne with Rabelais.  It is true that Rabelais
ridiculed all positive religion, but nevertheless it fascinated him.
His theological learning is remarkable.  But Montaigne ignored religion
as far as possible.  [Sidenote: Montaigne's aloofness]  Nourished from
his earliest youth on the great classical writers, he had no interest
apart from "the kingdom of man."  He preferred to remain in the old
faith because that course caused him the least trouble.  He had no
sympathy with the Protestants, but he did not hate them, as did
Ronsard.  During the wars of religion, he maintained friendly relations
with the leaders of both parties.  And he could not believe that creed
was the real cause of the civil strife.  "Take from the Catholic army,"
said he, "all those actuated by pure zeal for the church or for the
king and country, and you will not have enough men left to form one
company."  It is strange that beneath the evil passions and
self-seeking of the champions of each party he could not see the fierce
flame of popular heroism and fanaticism; but that he, and thousands of
men like him, could not do so, and could not enter, even by
imagination, into the causes {233} which, but a half century earlier,
had set the world on fire, largely explains how the religious issue had
lost its savour and why Protestantism failed in France.

[1] "The king my son will never have entire obedience."

[2] "That no one may embroil us in the friendship in which I desire
that these two kingdoms shall remain during my lifetime."





[Sidenote: The Netherlands]

The Netherlands have always been a favorite topic for the speculation of
those philosophers who derive a large part of national character from
geographical conditions.  A land that needed reclaiming from the sea by
hard labor, a country situated at those two great outlets of European
commerce, the mouths of the Rhine and the Scheldt, a borderland between
German and Latin culture, naturally moulded a brave, stubborn, practical
and intelligent people, destined to play in history a part seemingly
beyond their scope and resources.

The people of the Netherlands became, to all intents, a state before they
became a nation.  The Burgundian dukes of the fourteenth and fifteenth
century added to their fiefs counties, dukedoms and bishoprics, around
the nucleus of their first domain, until they had forged a compact and
powerful realm.  [Sidenote: Philip the Good, 1419-67]  Philip the Good,
Duke of Burgundy and lord, under various titles, of much of the
Netherlands, deserved the title of _Conditor Belgii_ by his successful
wars on France and by his statesmanlike policy of centralization.  To
foster unity he created the States General--borrowing the name and
function thereof from France--in which all of the seventeen provinces[1]
of the Netherlands were represented on great occasions.  Continually
increasing {235} in power with reference to the various localities, it
remained subordinate to the prince, who had the sole right of initiating
legislation.  At first it met now in one city, then in another, but after
1530 always convened at Brussels, and always used the French language

[Sidenote: Charles the Bold, 1467-77]

Charles the Bold completed and yet endangered the work of Philip, for he
was worsted in mortal strife with Louis XI of France and, dying in
battle, left his dominions to his daughter, Mary.  [Sidenote: Maximilian,
1477-93]  Her husband, the Emperor Maximilian, and her son, Philip the
Handsome, [Sidenote: Philip the Handsome, 1493-1506] added to her realms
those vast dominions that made her grandson, Charles, the greatest
potentate in Europe.  Born in Ghent, reared in the Netherlands, and
speaking only the French of the Walloons, Charles was always regarded by
his subjects as one of themselves.  He almost completed the unification
of the Burgundian state by the conquest of Tournay from France (1521),
and the annexation of the independent provinces of Friesland (1523),
Overyssel and Utrecht (1528), Groningen (1536) and Guelders (1543).
Liège still remained a separate entity under its prince-bishops.  But
even under Charles, notwithstanding a general feeling of loyalty to the
house of Hapsburg, each province was more conscious of its own
individuality than were the people as a whole of common patriotism.  Some
of the provinces lay within the Empire, others were vassals of France, a
few were independent.  Dutch was regarded as a dialect of German.  The
most illustrious Netherlander of the time, Erasmus, in discussing his
race, does not even contemplate the possibility of there being a nation
composed of Dutch and Flemish men.  The only alternative that presents
itself to him is whether he is French or German and, having been born at
Rotterdam, he decides in favor of the latter.


[Sidenote: Classes]

The Burgundian princes found their chief support in the nobility, in a
numerous class of officials, and in the municipal aristocracies.  The
nobles, transformed from a feudal caste to a court clique, even though
they retained, as satellites of the monarch, much wealth and power, had
relatively lost ground to the rising pretensions of the cities and of the
commercial class.  The clergy, too, were losing their old independence in
subservience to a government which regulated their tithes and forbade
their indulgence-trade.  In 1515 Charles secured from Leo X and again in
1530 from Clement VII the right of nomination to vacant benefices.  He
was able to make of the bishops his tools and to curtail the freedom,
jurisdiction, and financial privileges of the clergy considerably because
the spiritual estate had lost favor with the people and received no
support from them.

As the two privileged classes surrendered their powers to the monarch,
the third estate was coming into its own.  Not until the war of
independence, however, was it able to withstand the combination of
bureaucracy and plutocracy that made common cause with the central
government against the local rights of the cities and the customary
privileges of the gilds.  Almost everywhere the prince was able, with the
tacit support of the wealthier burghers, to substitute for the officers
elected by the gilds his own commissioners.  [Sidenote: Revolt of Ghent]
But this usurpation, together with a variety of economic ills for which
the commoners were inclined, quite wrongly, to blame the government,
caused general discontent and in one case open rebellion.  The gilds of
Ghent, a proud and ancient city, suffering from the encroachments of
capitalism and from the decline of the Flemish cloth industry, had long
asserted among their rights that of each gild to refuse to pay one of the
taxes, any one it chose, levied by the government.  [Sidenote: 1539]  The
attempt {237} of the government to suppress this privilege caused a
rising which took the characteristically modern form of a general strike.
The regent of the Netherlands, Mary, yielded at first to the demands of
the gilds, as she had no means of coercion convenient.  Charles was in
Spain at the time, but hurried northward, being granted free passage
through France by the king who felt he had an interest in aiding his
fellow monarch to put down rebellious subjects.  Early in 1540 Charles
entered Ghent at the head of a sufficient army.  He soon meted out a
sanguinary punishment to the "brawlers" as the strikers were called,
humbled the city government, deprived it of all local privileges,
suppressed all independent corporations, asserted the royal prerogative
of nominating aldermen, and erected a fortress to overawe the burghers.
Thus the only overt attempt to resist the authority of Charles V, apart
from one or two insignificant Anabaptist riots, was crushed.

In matters of foreign policy the people of the Netherlands naturally
wished to be guided in reference to their own interests and not to the
larger interests of the emperor's other domains.  Wielding immense
wealth--during the middle decades of the sixteenth century Antwerp was
both the first port and the first money-market of Europe--and cherishing
the sentiment that Charles was a native of their land, they for some time
sweetly flattered themselves that their interests were the center around
which gravitated the desires and needs of the Empire and of Spain.
Indeed, the balance of these two great states, and the regency of
Margaret of Austria, [Sidenote: Margaret of Austria, Regent, 1522-31] a
Hapsburg determined to give the Netherlands their due, for a time allowed
them at least the semblance of getting their wishes.  But when Charles's
sister, Mary of Hungary, succeeded Margaret as regent, she was too
entirely {238} dependent on her brother, and he too determined to consult
larger than Burgundian interests, to allow the Netherlands more than the
smallest weight in larger plans.  The most that she could do was to
unify, centralize and add to the provinces, and to get what commercial
advantages treaties could secure.  Thus, she redeemed Luxemburg from the
Margrave of Baden to whom Maximilian had pawned it.  Thus, also, she
negotiated fresh commercial treaties with England and unified the
coinage.  But with all these achievements, distinctly advantageous to the
people she governed, her efforts to increase the power of the crown and
the necessity she was under of subordinating her policy to that of
Germany and Spain, made her extremely unpopular.

The relationship of the Netherlands to the Empire was a delicate and
important question.  Though the Empire was the feudal suzerain of most of
the Burgundian provinces, Charles felt far more keenly for his rights as
an hereditary, local prince than for the aggrandizement of his Empire,
and therefore tried, especially after he had left Austria to his brother
Ferdinand, [Sidenote: September 7, 1522] to loosen rather than to
strengthen the bond.  Even as early as 1512, when the Imperial Diet
demanded that the "common penny" be levied in the Netherlands, Charles's
council aided and abetted his Burgundian subjects in refusing to pay it.
In 1530 the Netherlands, in spite of urgent complaints from the Diet,
completely freed itself from imperial jurisdiction in the administration
of justice.  Matters became still more complicated when Utrecht,
Friesland, Groningen and Guelders, formerly belonging to the Westphalian
district of the Empire, were annexed by Charles as Burgundian prince.
Probably he would not have been able to vindicate these acts of power,
had not his victory at Mühlberg [Sidenote: 1547] freed him from the {239}
restraints of the imperial constitution.  A convention was made at the
next Diet of Augsburg, [Sidenote: Convention of June 26, 1548] providing
that henceforth the Netherlands should form a separate district, the
"Burgundian circle," of the Empire, and that their prince, as such,
should be represented in the Diet and in the Imperial Supreme Court.
Taxes were so apportioned that in time of peace the Netherlands should
contribute to the imperial treasury as much as did two electors, and in
time of war as much as three.  This treaty nominally added to the Empire
two new counties, Flanders and Artois, and it gave the whole Netherlands
the benefit of imperial protection.  But, though ratified by the States
General promptly, the convention remained almost a dead letter, and left
the Netherlands virtually autonomous.  As long as they were unmolested
the Netherlands forgot their union entirely, and when, under the pressure
of Spanish rule, they later remembered and tried to profit by it, they
found that the Empire had no wish to revive it.

[Sidenote: Reformation]

The general causes of the religious revolution were the same in the Low
Countries as in other lands.  The ground was prepared by the mystics of
the earlier ages, by the corruption of and hatred for the clergy, and buy
the Renaissance.  The central situation of the country made it especially
open to all currents of European thought.  Printing was early introduced
from Germany and expanded so rapidly in these years [Sidenote: 1525-55]
that no less than fifty new publishing houses were erected.  As Antwerp
was the most cosmopolitan of cities, so Erasmus was the most nearly the
citizen of the world in that era.  The great humanist, who did so much to
prepare for the Reformation, spent in his native land just those early
years of its first appearance when he most favored Luther.

{240} A group to take up with the Wittenberg professor's doctrines were
the Augustinians, many of whom had been in close relations with the Saxon
friaries.  One of them, James Probst, had been prior of Wittenberg where
he learned to know Luther well [Sidenote: 1515] and when he became prior
of the convent at Antwerp he started a rousing propaganda in favor of the
reform.  [Sidenote: 1518]  Another Augustinian, Henry of Zütphen, made
his friary at Dordrecht the center of a Lutheran movement.  Hoen at the
Hague, Hinne Rode at Utrecht, Gerard Lister at Zwolle, Melchior Miritzsch
at Ghent, were soon in correspondence with Luther and became missionaries
of his faith.  His books, which circulated among the learned in Latin,
were some of them translated into Dutch as early as 1520.

The German commercial colony at Antwerp was another channel for the
infiltration of the Lutheran gospel.  [Sidenote: 1520-1]  The many
travelers, among them Albert Dürer, brought with them tidings of the
revolt and sowed its seeds in the soil of Flanders and Holland.
Singularly enough, the colony of Portuguese Jews, the Marranos as they
were called, became, if not converts, at least active agents in the
dissemination of Lutheran works.

[Sidenote: Catholic answers]

A vigorous counter-propaganda was at once started by the partisans of the
pope.  This was directed against both Erasmus and Luther and consisted
largely, according to the reports of the former, in the most violent
invective.  Nicholas of Egmont, "a man with a white pall but a black
heart" stormed in the pulpit against the new heretics.  Another man
interspersed a sermon on charity with objurgations against those whom he
called "geese, asses, stocks, and Antichrists."  [Sidenote: 1533]  One
Dominican said he wished he could fasten his teeth in Luther's throat,
for he would not fear to go to the Lord's supper with that blood on his
{241} mouth.  It was at Antwerp, a little later, that were first coined,
or at least first printed, the so celebrated epigrams that Erasmus was
Luther's father, that Erasmus had laid the eggs and Luther had hatched
the chickens, and that Luther, Zwingli, Oecolampadius and Erasmus were
the four soldiers who had crucified Christ.

The principal literary opposition to the new doctrines came from the
University of Louvain.  Luther's works were condemned by Cologne, and
this sentence was ratified by Louvain.  [Sidenote: August 30, 1519]  A
number of the leading professors wrote against him, [Sidenote: November
7] among them the ex-professor Adrian of Utrecht, recently created Bishop
of Tortosa and cardinal, and soon to be pope.

The conservatives, however, could do little but scold until the arrival
of Charles V in June 1520, and of the papal nuncio Aleander in September.
The latter saw Charles immediately at Antwerp and found him already
determined to resist heresy.  Acting under the edict procured at that
time, though not published until the following March 22, Aleander busied
himself by going around and burning Lutheran works in various cities and
preaching against the heresy.  [Sidenote: October, 1520]  He found far
more opposition than one would think probable, and the burning of the
books, as Erasmus said, removed them from the bookstores only, not from
the hearts of the people.  The nuncio even discovered, he said, at this
early date, heretics who denied the real presence in the eucharist:
evidently independent spirits like Hoen who anticipated the doctrine
later taken up by Carlstadt and Zwingli.

The validity of the Edict of Worms was affirmed for the Burgundian
provinces.  The edict was read publicly at Antwerp [Sidenote: July 13,
1521] while four hundred of Luther's books were burnt, three hundred
confiscated from the shops and one hundred brought by the people.  {242}
Whereas spiritual officers were at first employed, civil magistrates now
began to act against the innovators.  In the beginning, attention was
paid to municipal privileges, but these soon came to be disregarded, and
resistance on any pretext was treated as rebellion and treason.  The
first persons to be arrested were the Prior of Antwerp, Probst,
[Sidenote: 1522] who recanted, but later escaped and relapsed, and two
other intimate friends of Erasmus.

[Sidenote: The Inquisition]

Charles wished to introduce the Spanish inquisition, but his councillors
were all against it.  Under a different name, however, it was exactly
imitated when Francis van der Hulst was appointed chief inquisitor by the
state, [Sidenote: April 23, 1522] and was confirmed by a bull of Adrian
VI.  [Sidenote: June 1, 1523]  The original inquisitorial powers of the
bishops remained, and a supreme tribunal of three judges was appointed in

[Sidenote: Martyrs, July 1, 1523]

The first martyrs, Henry Voes and John Esch of Brussels, said Erasmus,
made many Lutherans by their death.  Luther wrote a hymn on the subject
and published an open letter to the Christians of the Netherlands.
[Sidenote: 1524]  Censorship of the press was established in Holland in
vain, for everything goes to show that Lutheranism rapidly increased.
Popular interest in the subject seemed to be great.  Every allusion to
ecclesiastical corruption in speeches or in plays was applauded.
Thirty-eight laborers were arrested at Antwerp for assembling to read and
discuss the gospel.  [Sidenote: 1525]  Iconoclastic outbreaks occurred in
which crucifixes were desecrated.  In the same year an Italian in Antwerp
wrote that though few people were openly Lutheran many were secretly so,
and that he had been assured by leading citizens that if the revolting
peasants of Germany approached Antwerp, twenty thousand armed men would
rise in the city to assist them.  [Sidenote: July 31]  When a Lutheran
was drowned in the Scheldt, {243} the act precipitated a riot.  In 1527
the English ambassador wrote Wolsey from the Netherlands that two persons
out of three "kept Luther's opinions," and that while the English New
Testament was being printed in that city, repeated attempts on his part
to induce the magistrates to interfere came to nothing.  Protestant works
also continued to pour from the presses.  The Bible was soon translated
into Dutch, and in the course of eight years four editions of the whole
Bible and twenty-five editions of the New Testament were called for,
though the complete Scriptures had never been printed in Dutch before.

[Sidenote: October 14, 1529]

Alarmed by the spread of heresy, attributed to too great mildness, the
government now issued an edict that inaugurated a reign of terror.  Death
was decreed not only for all heretics but for all who, not being
theologians, discussed articles of faith, or who caricatured God, Mary,
or the saints, and for all who failed to denounce heretics known to them.
While the government momentarily flattered itself that heresy had been
stamped out, at most it had been driven under ground.  One of the effects
of the persecution was to isolate the Netherlands from the Empire
culturally and to some small extent commercially.

But heresy proved to be a veritable hydra.  From one head sprang many
daughters, the Anabaptists, [Sidenote: Anabaptists] harder to deal with
than their mother.  For while Lutheranism stood essentially for passive
obedience, and flourished nowhere save as a state church, Anabaptism was
frankly revolutionary and often socialistic.  Melchior Hoffmann, the most
striking of their early leaders, a fervent and uneducated fanatic, driven
from place to place, wandered from Sweden and Denmark to Italy and Spain
[Sidenote: 1530-1533] preaching chiliastic and communistic ideas.  Only
for three years was he much in the Netherlands, but it was there that he
won his greatest {244} successes.  Appealing, as the Anabaptists always
did, to the lower classes, he converted thousands and tens of thousands
of the very poor--beggars, laborers and sailors--who passionately
embraced the teaching that promised the end of kings and governments and
the advent of the "rule of the righteous."  Mary of Hungary was not far
wrong when she wrote that they planned to plunder all churches, nobles,
and wealthy merchants, in short, all who had property, and from the spoil
to distribute to every individual according to his need.  [Sidenote:
October 7, 1531]  A new and severer edict would have meant a general
massacre, had it been strictly enforced, but another element entered into
the situation.  The city bourgeoisies that had previously resisted the
government, now supported it in this one particular, persecution of the
Anabaptists.  When at Amsterdam [Sidenote: 1534] the sectaries rose and
very nearly mastered the city, death by fire was decreed for the men, by
water for the women.  From Antwerp they were banished by a general edict
especially aimed at them supplemented by massacres in the northern
provinces.  [Sidenote: June 24, 1535]  After the crisis at Münster,
though the Anabaptists continued to be a bugbear to the ruling classes,
their propaganda lost its dangerously revolutionary character.  Menno
Simons of Friesland, after his conversion in 1536, became the leader of
the movement and succeeded in gathering the smitten people into a large
and harmless body.  The Anabaptists furnished, however, more martyrs than
did any other sect.

Lutheranism also continued to spread.  The edict of 1540 confesses as
much while providing new and sterner penalties against those who even
interceded for heretics.  The fact is that the inquisition as directed
against Lutherans was thoroughly unpopular and was resisted in various
provinces on the technical ground of local privileges.  The Protestants
managed {245} to keep unnoticed amidst a general intention to connive at
them, and though they did not usually flinch from martyrdom they did not
court it.  The inquisitors were obliged to arrest their victims at the
dead of night, raiding their houses and hauling them from bed, in order
to avoid popular tumult.  [Sidenote: 1543]  When Enzinas printed his
Spanish Bible at Antwerp the printer told him that in that city the
Scriptures had been published in almost every European language,
doubtless an exaggeration but a significant one.  Arrested and imprisoned
at Brussels for this cause, Enzinas received while under duress visits
from four hundred citizens of that city who were Protestants.  To control
the book trade an oath was exacted of every bookseller [Sidenote: 1546]
not to deal in heretical works and the first "Index of prohibited books,"
drawn up by the University of Louvain, was issued.  A censorship of plays
was also attempted.  This was followed by an edict of 1550 requiring of
every person entering the Netherlands a certificate of Catholic belief.
As Brabant and Antwerp repudiated a law that would have ruined their
trade, it remained, in fact, a dead letter.

Charles's policy of repression had been on the whole a failure, due
partly to the cosmopolitan culture of the Netherlands and their
commercial position making them open to the importation of ideas as of
merchandise from all Europe.  It was due in part to the local jealousies
and privileges of the separate provinces, and in part to the strength of
certain nobles and cities.  The persecution, indeed, had a decidedly
class character, for the emperor well knew Protestant nobles whom he did
not molest, while the poor seldom failed to suffer.  And yet Charles had
accomplished something.  Even the Protestants were loyal, strange to say,
to him personally.  The number of martyrs in his reign has been estimated
at barely one thousand, {246} but it must be remembered that for every
one put to death there were a number punished in other ways.  And the
body of the people was still Catholic, even in the North.  It is
noteworthy that the most popular writer of this period, as well as the
first to use the Dutch tongue with precision and grace, was Anna Bijns, a
lay nun, violently anti-Lutheran in sentiment.  [Sidenote: Anna Bijns,

[1] Brabant, Limburg, Luxemburg, Guelders, Flanders, Artois, Hainaut,
Holland, Zeeland, Malines, Namur, Lille, Tournay, Friesland, Utrecht,
Overyssel and Groningen.


When Charles V, weary of the heaviest scepter ever wielded by any
European monarch from Charlemagne to Napoleon, sought rest for his soul
in a monk's cell, he left his great possessions divided between his
brother Ferdinand and his son Philip.  To the former went Austria and
the Empire, to the latter the Burgundian provinces and Spain with its
vast dependencies in the New World.

[Sidenote: Spain and the Netherlands]

The result of this was to make the Netherlands practically a satellite
of Spain.  Hitherto, partly because their interests had largely
coincided with those of the Empire, partly because by balancing Germany
against Spain they could manage to get their own rights, they had found
prosperity and had acquired a good deal of national power.  Indeed,
with their wealth, their central position, and growing strength as
province after province was annexed, and their consciousness that their
ruler was a native of Flanders, their pride had been rather gratified
than hurt by the knowledge that he possessed far larger dominions.
[Sidenote: Abdication of Charles]  But when Charles, weeping copiously
and demanding his subjects' pardon, descended from the throne supported
by the young Prince of Orange, [Sidenote: October 25, 1555] and when
his son Philip II had replied to his father in Spanish, even those
present had an uneasy feeling that the situation had changed for the
worse, and that the Netherlands were being handed over from a
Burgundian to a Spanish ruler.  From {247} this time forth the
interests and sentiments of the two countries became more and more
sharply divergent, and, as the smaller was sacrificed to the larger, a
conflict became inevitable.  The revolt that followed within ten years
after Philip had permanently abandoned the Netherlands to make his home
in Spain [Sidenote: 1559] was first and foremost a nationalist revolt.
Contrasted with the particularistic uprising of 1477 it evinced the
enormous growth, in the intervening century, of a national
self-consciousness in the Seventeen Provinces.

[Sidenote: Religious issue]

But though the catastrophe was apparently inevitable from political
grounds, it was greatly complicated and intensified by the religious
issue.  Philip was determined, as he himself said, either to bring the
Netherlands back to the fold of Rome or "so to waste their land that
neither the natives could live there nor should any thereafter desire
the place for habitation."  And yet the means he took were even for his
purpose the worst possible, a continual vacillation between timid
indulgence and savage cruelty.  Though he insisted that his ministers
should take no smallest step without his sanction, he could never make
up his mind what to do, waited too long to make a decision and then,
with fatal fatuity, made the wrong one.

[Sidenote: Calvinism]

At the same time the people were coming under the spell of a new and to
the government more dangerous form of Protestantism.  Whereas the
Lutherans had stood for passive obedience and the Anabaptists for
revolutionary communism, the Calvinists appealed to the independent
middle classes and gave them not only the enthusiasm to endure
martyrdom but also--what the others had lacked--the will and the power
to resist tyranny by force.  Calvin's polity, as worked out in Geneva,
was a subordination of the state to the church.  His reforms were
thorough and consciously social and political.  Calvinism in all lands
aroused {248} republican passions and excited rebellion against the
powers that be.  This feature was the more prominent in the Netherlands
[Sidenote: 1545] in that its first missionaries were French exiles who
irrigated the receptive soil of the Low Countries with doctrines
subversive of church and state alike.  The intercourse with England,
partly through the emigration from that land under Mary's reign, partly
through the coming and going of Flemings and Walloons, also opened
doors to Protestant doctrine.

At first the missionaries came secretly, preaching to a few specially
invited to some private house or inn.  People attended these meetings
disguised and after dark.  First mentioned in the edict of 1550, nine
years later the Calvinists drew up a _Confessio Belgica_, as a sign and
an aid to union.  Calvin's French writings could be read in the
southern provinces in the original.  Though as early as 1560 some
nobles had been converted, the new religion undoubtedly made its
strongest appeal, as a contemporary put it, "to those who had grown
rich by trade and were therefore ready for revolution."  It was among
the merchants of the great cities that it took strongest root and from
the middle class spread to the laborers; influenced not only by the
example of their masters, but sometimes also by the policy of
Protestant employers to give work only to co-religionists.  In a short
time it had won a very considerable success, though perhaps not the
actual majority of the population.  Many of the poor, hitherto
Anabaptists, thronged to it in hopes of social betterment.  Many
adventurers with no motive but to stir the waters in which they might
fish joined the new party.  But on the whole, as its appeal was
primarily moral and religious, its constituency was the more
substantial, progressive, and intelligent part of the community.

The greatest weakness of the Protestants was their {249} division.
Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anabaptist continued to compete for the
leadership and hated each other cordially.  The Calvinists themselves
were divided into two parties, the "Rekkelijken" or "Compromisers" and
the "Preciesen" or "Stalwarts."  Moreover there were various other
shades of opinion, not amounting quite to new churches.  The pure
Erasmians, under Cassander, advocated tolerance.  More pronounced was
the movement of Dirck Volckertszoon Coornheert [Sidenote: Coornheert,
1522-90] a merchant of Amsterdam who, in addition to advising his
followers to dissimulate their views rather than to court martyrdom,
rejected the Calvinist dogma of predestination and tried to lay the
emphasis in religion on the spirit of Jesus rather than on either dogma
or ritual.

Though the undertow was slowly but surely carrying the Low Countries
adrift from Spain, for the moment their new monarch, then at the age of
twenty-eight, seemed to have the winds and waves of politics all in his
favor.  He was at peace with France; he had nothing to fear from
Germany; his marriage with Mary of England made that country, always
the best trader with the Netherlands, an ally.  His first steps were to
relieve Mary of Hungary of her regency and to give it to Emanuel
Philibert, to issue a new edict against heresy and to give permission
to the Jesuits to enter the Low Countries.  [Sidenote: 1556]

The chief difficulties were financial.  The increase in the yield of
the taxes in the reign of Charles had been from 1,500,000 guilders[1]
to 7,000,000 guilders.  In addition to this, immense loans had
exhausted the credit of the government.  The royal domain was
mortgaged.  As the floating debt of the Provinces rose rapidly the
{250} government was in need of a grant to keep up the army.  The only
way to meet the situation was to call the States General.  [Sidenote:
March, 1556]  When they met, they complained that they were taxed more
heavily than Spain and demanded the removal of the Spanish troops, a
force already so unpopular that William of Orange refused to take
command of it.  In presenting their several grievances one province
only, Holland, mentioned the religious question to demand that the
powers of the inquisitors be curtailed.  To obtain funds Philip was
obliged to promise, against his will, to withdraw the soldiers.  This
was only done, under pressure, on January 10, 1561.

[Sidenote: 1559]

Philip had left the Netherlands professing his intention of returning,
but hoping and resolving in his heart never to do so.  His departure
made easier the unavoidable breach, but the struggle had already begun.
Wishing to leave a regent of royal blood Philip appointed Margaret of
Parma, a natural daughter of Charles V.  Born in 1522, she had been
married at the age of fourteen to Alexander de' Medici, a nephew of
Clement VII; becoming a widow in the following year she was in 1538
married to Ottavio Farnese, a nephew of Paul III, at that time only
fourteen years old.  Given as her dower the cities of Parma and
Piacenza, she had become thoroughly Italian in feeling.

[Sidenote: Anthony Perrenot Cardinal Granvelle, 1517-86]

To guide her Philip left, besides the Council of State, a special
"consulta" or "kitchen cabinet" of three members, the chief of whom was
Granvelle.  The real fatherland of this native of the Free County of
Burgundy was the court.  As a passionate servant of the crown and a
clever and knowing diplomat, he was in constant correspondence with
Philip, recommending measures over the head of Margaret.  His acts made
her intensely unpopular and her attempts to coax and cozen public
opinion only aroused suspicion.


[Sidenote: Egmont, 1522-68]

Three members in the Council of State, Granvelle and two others, were
partisans  of the crown; three other members may be said to represent
the people.  One of them was Lamoral Count of Egmont, the most
brilliant and popular of the high nobility.  Though a favorite of
Charles V on account of his proved ability as a soldier, his frankness
and generosity, he was neither a sober nor a weighty statesman.  The
popular proverb, "Egmont for action and Orange for counsel," well
characterized the difference between the two leading members of the
Council of State.  William, prince of Orange, lacking the brilliant
qualities of Egmont, far surpassed him in acumen and in strength of
character.  From his father, William Count of Nassau-Dillenburg,
[Sidenote: William the Silent, 1533-84] he inherited important estates
in Germany near the Netherlands, and by the death of a cousin he
became, at the age of eleven, Prince of Orange--a small, independent
territory in southern France--and Lord of Breda and Gertruidenberg in
Holland.  With an income of 150,000 guilders per annum he was by far
the richest man in the Netherlands, Egmont coming next with an income
of 62,000.  William was well educated.  Though he spoke seven languages
and was an eloquent orator, he was called "the Silent" because of the
rare discretion that never revealed a secret nor spoke an imprudent
word.  In religion he was indifferent, being first a Catholic, then a
Lutheran, then a Calvinist, and always a man of the world.  His broad
tolerance found its best, or only, support in the Erasmian tendencies
of Coornheert.  His second wife, Anne of Saxony, having proved
unfaithful to him, he married, while she was yet alive, Charlotte of
Bourbon.  This act, like the bigamy of Philip of Hesse, was approved by
Protestant divines.  Behind them Egmont and Orange had the hearty
support of the patriotic and well educated native nobility.  {252} The
rising generation of the aristocracy saw only the bad side of the reign
of Charles; they had not shared in his earlier victories but had
witnessed his failure to conquer either France or Protestantism.

[Sidenote: New bishoprics]

In order to deal more effectively with the religious situation
Granvelle wished to bring the ecclesiastical territorial divisions into
harmony with the political.  Hitherto the Netherlands had been partly
under the Archbishop of Cologne, partly under the Archbishop of Rheims.
But as these were both foreigners Granvelle applied for and secured a
bull creating fourteen new bishoprics and three archbishoprics,
[Sidenote: March 12, 1559] Cambrai, Utrecht, and Malines, of which the
last held the primacy.  His object was doubtless in large part to
facilitate the extirpation of heresy, but it was also significant as
one more instance of the nationalization of the church, a tendency so
strong that neither Catholic nor Protestant countries escaped from it.
In this case all the appointments were to be made by the king with
consent of the pope.  The people resented the autocratic features of a
plan they might otherwise have approved; a cry was raised throughout
the provinces that their freedom was infringed upon, and that the plan
furnished a new instrument to the hated inquisition.

[Sidenote: February, 1561]

Granvelle, more than ever detested when he received the cardinal's hat,
was dubbed "the red devil," "the archrascal," "the red dragon," "the
Spanish swine," "the pope's dung."  In July Egmont and Orange sent
their resignations from the Council of State to Philip, saying that
they could no longer share the responsibility for Granvelle's policy,
especially as everything was done behind their backs.  Philip, however,
was slow to take alarm.  For the moment his attention was taken up with
the growth of the Huguenot party in France and his efforts centered on
helping the French Catholics against them.  But the Netherlands were
{253} importunate.  In voicing the wishes of the people the province of
Brabant, with the capital, Brussels, the metropolitan see, Malines, and
the university, Louvain, took as decided a lead as the Parlement of
Paris did in France.  The estates of Brabant demanded that Orange be
made their governor.  The nobles began to remember that they were
legally a part of the Empire.  The marriage of Orange, on August 26,
1561, with the Lutheran Anne of Saxony, was but one sign of the
_rapprochment_.  Though the prince continued to profess Catholicism, he
entertained many Lutherans and emphasized as far as possible his
position as vassal of the Empire.  Philip, indeed, believed that the
whole trouble came from the wounded vanity of a few nobles.

But Granvelle saw deeper.  [Sidenote: 1561]  When the Estates of
Brabant stopped the payment of the principal tax or "Bede," [2] and
when the people of Brussels took as a party uniform a costume derived
from the carnival, a black cloak covered with red fool's heads, the
cardinal, whose red hat was caricatured thereby, stated that nothing
less than a republic was aimed at.  This was true, though in the
anticipation of the nobles, at least, the republic should have a
decidedly aristocratic character.  But Granvelle had no policy to
propose but repression.  In order to prevent condemned heretics from
preaching and singing on the scaffold a gag was put into their mouths.
How futile a measure!  The Calvinists no longer disguised, but armed--a
new and significant fact--thronged to their conventicles.  Emigration
continued on a large scale.  By 1556 it was estimated that thirty
thousand Protestants from the Low Countries were settled in or near
London.  Elizabeth encouraged them to come, assigning them {254}
Norwich as a place of refuge.  [Sidenote: 1563]  She also began to tax
imports from the Netherlands, a blow to which Philip replied by
forbidding all English imports.

[Sidenote: Revolt]

Hitherto the resistance to the government had been mostly passive and
constitutional.  But from 1565 may be dated the beginning of the revolt
that did not cease until it had freed the northern provinces forever
from Spanish tyranny.  The rise of the Dutch Republic is one of the
most inspiring pages in history.  Superficially it has many points of
resemblance with the American War of Independence.  In both there was
the absentee king, the national hero, the local jealousies of the
several provinces, the economic grievances, the rising national feeling
and even the religious issue, though this had become very small in
America.  But the difference was in the ferocity of the tyranny and the
intensity of the struggle.  The two pictures are like the same
landscape as it might be painted by Millet and by Turner: the one is
decent and familiar, the other lurid and ghastly.  With true
Anglo-Saxon moderation the American war was fought like a game or an
election, with humanity and attention to rules; but in Holland and
Belgium was enacted the most terrible frightfulness in the world; over
the whole land, mingled with the reek of candles carried in procession
and of incense burnt to celebrate a massacre, brooded the sultry miasma
of human blood and tears.  On the one side flashed the savage sword of
Alva and the pitiless flame of the inquisitor Tapper; on the other were
arrayed, behind their dykes and walls, men resolved to win that freedom
which alone can give scope and nobility to life.

[Sidenote: The Intellectuals]

And in the melée those suffered most who would fain have been
bystanders, the humanists.  Persecuted by both sides, the
intellectuals, who had once deserted the Reform now turned again to it
as the lesser of the two {255} evils.  They would have been glad to
make terms with any church that would have left them in liberty, but
they found the whips of Calvin lighter than the scorpions of Philip.
Even those who, like Van Helmont, wished to defend the church and to
reconcile the Tridentine decrees with philosophy, found that their
labors brought them under suspicion and that what the church demanded
was not harmony of thought but abnegation of it.

The first act of the revolt may be said to be a secret compact, known
as the Compromise, [Sidenote: The Compromise, 1565] originally entered
into by twenty nobles at Brussels and soon joined by three hundred
other nobles elsewhere.  The document signed by them denounced the
Edicts as surpassing the greatest recorded barbarity of tyrants and as
threatening the complete ruin of the country.  To resist them the
signers promised each other mutual support.  In this as in subsequent
developments the Calvinist minority took the lead, but was supported by
strong Catholic forces.  Among the latter was the Prince of Orange, not
yet a Protestant.  His conversion really made little difference in his
program; both before and after it he wanted tolerance or reconciliation
on Cassander's plan of compromise.  He would have greatly liked to have
seen the Peace of Augsburg, now the public law of the Empire, extended
to the Low Countries, but this was made difficult even to advocate
because the Peace of Augsburg provided liberty only for the Lutheran
confession, whereas the majority of Protestants in the Netherlands were
now Calvinists.  For the same reason little help could be expected from
the German princes, for the mutual animosity that was the curse of the
Protestant churches prevented their making common cause against the
same enemy.

As the Huguenots--for so they began to be called in Brabant as well as
in France--were as yet too few {256} to rebel, the only course open was
to appeal to the government once more.  A petition to make the Edicts
milder was presented to Margaret in 1566.  One of her advisers bade her
not to be afraid of "those beggars."  Originating in the scorn of
enemies, like so many party names, the epithet "Beggars" (Gueux)
presently became the designation and a proud one, of the nobles who had
signed the Compromise and later of all the rebels.

Encouraged by the regent's apparent lack of power to coerce them, the
Calvinist preachers became daily bolder.  Once again their religion
showed its remarkable powers of organization.  Lacking nothing in
funds, derived from a constituency of wealthy merchants, the preachers
of the Reformation were soon able to forge a machinery of propaganda
and party action that stood them in good stead against the greater
numbers of their enemies.  Especially in critical times, discipline,
unity, and enthusiasm make headway against the deadly hatred of enemies
and the deadlier apathy and timidity of the mass of mankind.  It is
true that the methods of the preachers often aroused opposition.

[Sidenote: Iconoclasm]

The zeal of the Calvinists, inflamed by oppression and encouraged by
the weakness of the government, burst into an iconoclastic riot,
[Sidenote: August 11, 1566] first among the unemployed at Armentières,
but spreading rapidly to Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, and then to the
northern provinces, Holland and Zeeland.  The English agent at Brussels
wrote: "Coming into Oure Lady Church, yt looked like hell wher were
above 1000 torches brannyng and syche a noise as yf heven and erth had
gone together with fallyng of images and fallyng down of costly works."
Books and manuscripts as well as pictures were destroyed.  The cry
"Long live the Beggars" resounded from one end of the land to the {257}
other.  But withal there was no pillage and no robbery.  The gold in
the churches was left untouched.  Margaret feared a _jacquerie_ but,
lacking troops, had to look on with folded hands at least for the
moment.  By chance there arrived just at this time an answer from
Philip to the earlier petition of the Beggars.  The king promised to
abolish the Spanish inquisition and to soften the edicts.  Freedom of
conscience was tacitly granted, but the government made an exception,
as soon as it dared, of those who had committed sacrilege in the recent
riots.  These men were outlawed.

[Sidenote: Civil war]

No longer fearing a religious war the Calvinists started it themselves.
Louis of Nassau, a brother of Prince William, hired German mercenaries
and invaded Flanders, where he won some slight successes.  In Amsterdam
the great Beggar Brederode entered into negotiations with Huguenots and
English friends.  The first battle between the Beggars and the
government troops, [Sidenote: March 13, 1567] near Antwerp, ended in a
rout for the former.

Philip now ordered ten thousand Spanish veterans, led by Alva, to march
from Italy to the Netherlands.  Making their way through the Free
County of Burgundy and Lorraine they entered Brussels on August 9,
1567.  [Sidenote: Alva 1508-83]  Ferdinand Alvarez de Toledo, Duke of
Alva, had won experience and reputation as a soldier in the German
wars.  Though self-controlled and courtly in manner, his passionate
patriotism and bigotry made him a fit instrument to execute Philip's
orders to make the Netherlands Spanish and Catholic.  He began with no
uncertain hand, building forts at Antwerp and quartering his troops at
Brussels where their foreign manners and Roman piety gave offence to
the citizens.  On September 9 he arrested the counts of Egmont and
Horn, next to Orange the chief leaders of the patriotic party.  Setting
up a tribunal, called the Council of {258} Troubles, to deal with cases
of rebellion and heresy, he inaugurated a reign of terror.  He himself
spent seven hours a day in this court trying cases and signing
death-warrants.  Not only heretics were punished but also agitators and
those who had advocated tolerance.  Sincere Catholics, indeed, noted
that the crime of heresy was generally the mere pretext for dealing
with patriots and all those obnoxious to the government.  [Sidenote:
Executions]  For the first time we have definite statistics of the
numbers executed.  For instance, on January 4, 1568, 48 persons were
sentenced to death, on February 20, 37; on February 21, 71; on March
20, 55; and so on for day after day, week in and week out.  On March 3
at the same hour throughout the whole land 1500 men were executed.  The
total number put to death during the six years of Alva's administration
has been variously estimated at from 6,000 to 18,000.  The lower number
is probably nearer the truth, though not high enough.  Emigration on a
hitherto unknown scale within the next thirty or forty years carried
400,000 persons from the Netherlands.  Thousands of others fled to the
woods and became freebooters.  The people as a whole were prostrated
with terror.  The prosperity of the land was ruined by the wholesale
confiscations of goods.  Alva boasted that by such means he had added
to the revenues of his territories 500,000 ducats per annum.

William of Orange retired to his estates at Dillenburg not to yield to
the tyrant but to find a _point d'appui_ from which to fight.  Wishing
to avoid anything that might cause division among the people he kept
the religious issue in the background and complained only of foreign
tyranny.  He tried to enlist the sympathies of the Emperor Maximilian
II and to collect money and men.  William's friend Villiers invaded the
Burgundian State near Maastricht and Louis of Nassau marched with
troops into Friesland.  {259} [Sidenote: April, 1568]  By this time
Alva had increased his army by 10,000 German cavalry and both the rebel
leaders were severely defeated.

This triumph was followed by an act of power and defiance on Alva's
part sometimes compared to the execution of Louis XVI by the French
Republicans.  Hitherto the sufferers from his reign of blood had not in
any case been men of the highest rank.  The first execution of nobles
took place at Brussels on June 1, that of the captured Villiers
followed on June 2, and that of Egmont and Horn on June 5.

Orange himself now took the field with 25,000 troops, a motley
aggregate of French, Flemish, and Walloon Huguenots and of German
mercenaries.  But he had no genius for war to oppose to the veterans of
Alva.  Continually harassed by the Spaniards he was kept in fear for
his communications, dared not risk a general engagement and was
humiliated by seeing his retreat, in November, turned into a rout.

[Sidenote: July 16, 1570]

Finding that severity did not pacify the provinces, Alva issued a
proclamation that on the face of it was a general amnesty with pardon
for all who submitted.  But he excepted by name several hundred
emigrants, all the Protestant clergy, all who had helped them, all
iconoclasts, all who had signed petitions for religious liberty, and
all who had rebelled.  As these exceptions included the greater portion
of those who stood in need of pardon the measure proved illusory as a
means of reconciliation.  Coupled with it were other measures,
including the prohibition to subjects to attend foreign universities,
intended to put a check on free trade in ideas.

[Sidenote: Taxation]

Alva's difficulties and the miseries of the unhappy land entrusted to
his tender mercies were increased by want of money.  Notwithstanding
the privilege of {260} granting their own taxes the States General were
summoned [Sidenote: March 21, 1569] and forced to accept new imposts of
one per cent. on all property real and personal, ten per cent. on the
sale of all movable goods and five per cent. on the sale of real
estate.  These were Spanish taxes, exorbitant in any case but
absolutely ruinous to a commercial people.  A terrible financial panic
followed.  Houses at Antwerp that had rented for 300 gulden could now
be had for 50 gulden.  Imports fell off to such an extent that at this
port they yielded but 14,000 gulden per annum instead of 80,000 as
formerly.  The harbor was filled with empty boats; the market drugged
with goods of all sorts that no one would buy.

[Sidenote: Beggars of the Sea]

The cause of the patriots looked hopeless.  Orange, discredited by
defeat, had retired to Germany.  At one time, to avoid the clamors of
his troops for pay, he was obliged to flee by night from Strassburg.
But in this dark hour help came from the sea.  Louis of Nassau, not
primarily a statesman like his brother but a passionate crusader for
Protestantism, had been at La Rochelle and had there seen the excellent
work done by privateers.  In emulation of his French brethren he
granted letters of marque to the sailors of Holland and Zeeland.
Recruits thronged to the ships, Huguenots, men from Liège, and the
laborers of the Walloon provinces thrown out of work by the commercial
crisis.  These men promptly won striking successes in preying on
Spanish commerce.  Their many and rich prizes were taken to England or
to Emden and sold.  Often they landed on the coasts and attacked small
Catholic forces, or murdered priests.  On the night of March 31-April
1, 1572, these Beggars of the Sea seized the small town of Brielle on a
large island at the mouth of the Meuse not far from the Hague.  This
success was immediately followed by the insurrection of Rotterdam and
Flushing.  The war was conducted with combined {261} heroism and
frightfulness.  Receiving no quarter the Beggars gave none, and to
avenge themselves on the unspeakable wrongs committed by Alva they
themselves at times massacred the innocent.  But their success spread
like wildfire.  The coast towns "fell away like beads from a rosary
when one is gone."  Fortifications in all of them were strengthened
and, where necessary, dykes were opened.  Reinforcements also came from

[Sidenote: Revolution]

By this time the revolt had become a veritable revolution.  It found
its battle hymn in the Wilhelmuslied and its Washington in William of
Orange.  As all the towns of Holland save Amsterdam were in his hands,
in June the provincial Estates met--albeit illegally, for there was no
one authorized to convene them--assumed sovereign power and made
William their Stat-holder.  They voted large taxes and forced loans
from rich citizens, and raised money from the sale of prizes taken at
sea.  All defect in prescriptive and legal power was made up by the
popularity of the prince, deeply loved by all classes, not only on
account of his affability to all, even the humblest, but still more
because of confidence in his ability.  Never did his versatility,
patience and skill in management shine more brightly.  Among the troops
raised by the patriots he kept strict discipline, thus making by
contrast more lurid the savage pillage by the Spaniards.  He kept far
from fanatics and swashbucklers of whom there were plenty attracted to
the revolt.  His master idea was to keep the Netherlands together and
to free them from the foreigner.  Complete independence of Spain was
not at first planned, but it soon became inevitable.

For a moment there was a prospect of help from Coligny's policy of
prosecuting a war with Spain, but these hopes were destroyed by the
defeat of the French Huguenots near Mons [Sidenote: July 17, 1572] and
by the massacre of Saint {262} Bartholomew.  [Sidenote: August 24,
1572]  Freed from menace in this quarter and encouraged by his
brilliant victory, Alva turned north with an army now increased to
40,000 veterans.  First he took Malines and delivered it to his
soldiers for "the most dreadful and inhuman sack of the day" as a
contemporary wrote.  The army then marched to Guelders and stormed
Zutphen under express orders from their general "not to leave one man
alive or one building unburnt."  "With the help of God," as Alva
piously reported, the same punishment was meted out to Naarden.  Then
he marched to the still royalist Amsterdam from which base he proceeded
to invest Haarlem.  The siege was a long and hard one for the
Spaniards, harassed by the winter weather and by epidemics.  Alva wrote
Philip that it was "the bloodiest war known for long years" and begged
for reinforcements.  [Sidenote: July 12, 1573]  At last famine overcame
the brave defenders of the city and it capitulated.  Finding that his
cruelty had only nerved the people to the most desperate resistance,
and wishing to give an example of clemency to a city that would
surrender rather than await storming, Alva contented himself with
putting to death to the last man 2300 French, English, and Walloon
soldiers of the garrison, and five or six citizens.  He also demanded a
ransom of 100,000 dollars[3] in lieu of plunder.  Not content with this
meager largess the Spanish troops mutinied, and only the promise of
further cities to sack quieted them.  The fortunes of the patriots were
a little raised by the defeat of the Spanish fleet in the Zuiderzee by
the Beggars on October 12, 1573.

[Sidenote: Requesens]

For some time Philip had begun to suspect that Alva's methods were not
the proper ones to win back the affectionate loyalty of his people.
Though he hesitated long he finally removed him late in 1573 and {263}
appointed in his stead Don Louis Requesens.  Had Philip come himself he
might have been able to do something, for the majority professed
personal loyalty to him, and in that age, as Shakespeare reminds us,
divinity still hedged a king.  But not having the decision to act in
person Philip picked out a favorite, known from his constant attendance
on his master as "the king's hour-glass," in whom he saw the slavishly
obedient tool that he thought he wanted.  The only difference between
the new governor and the old was that Requesens lacked Alva's ability;
he had all the other's narrowly Spanish views, his bigotry and

Once arrived in the provinces committed to his charge, he had no choice
but to continue the war.  But on January 27, 1574, Orange conquered
Middelburg and from that date the Spanish flag ceased to float over any
portion of the soil of Holland or Zeeland.  In open battle at Mook,
however, [Sidenote: April 14, 1574] the Spanish veterans again achieved
success, defeating the patriots under Louis of Nassau, who lost his
life.  The beginning of the year saw the investment of Leyden in great
force.  The heroism of the defence has become proverbial.  When, in
September, the dykes were cut to admit the sea, so that the vessels of
the Beggars were able to sail to the relief of the city, the siege was
raised.  It was the first important military victory for the patriots
and marks the turning-point of the revolt.  Henceforth the Netherlands
could not be wholly subdued.

Requesens summoned the States General and offered a pardon to all who
would submit.  But the people saw in this only a sign of weakness.  A
flood of pamphlets calling to arms replied to the advances of the
government.  Among the pamphleteers the ablest was Philip van Marnix,
[Sidenote: Marnix, 1538-98] a Calvinist who turned his powers of satire
against Spain and the Catholic {264} church.  William of Orange, now a
Protestant, living at Delft, inspired the whole movement.  Requesens,
believing that if he were out of the way the revolt would collapse,
like Alva offered public rewards for his assassination.  That there was
really no common ground was proved at a conference between the two
foes, broken off without result.  In the campaign of 1575 the Spanish
army again achieved great things, taking Oudewater, Schoonhoven and
other places.  But the rebels would not give up.

[Sidenote: March 5, 1576]

The situation was changed by the death of Requesens.  Before his
successor could be appointed events moved rapidly.  After taking
Zierikzee on June 29, the Spanish army turned to Aalst, quartered the
soldiers on the inhabitants, and forced the loyal city to pay the full
costs of their maintenance.  If even the Catholics were alienated by
this, the Protestants went so far as to preach that any Spaniard might
be murdered without sin.  In the concerted action against Spain the
Estates of Brabant now took the leading part; meeting at Brussels they
intimidated the Council of State and raised an army of 3000 men.  By
this time Holland and Zeeland were to all intents and purposes an
independent state.  The Calvinists, strong among the native population,
were recruited by a vast influx of immigrants from other Provinces
until theirs became the dominant religion.  Holland and Zeeland pursued
a separate military and financial policy.  Alone among the provinces
they were prosperous, for they had command of the rich sea-borne

The growth of republican theory kept pace with the progress of the
revolt.  Orange was surrounded by men holding the free principles of
Duplessis-Mornay and corresponding with him.  Dutchmen now openly
voiced their belief that princes were made for the sake of their
subjects and not subjects for the sake {265} of princes.  Even though
they denied the equal rights of the common people they asserted the
sovereignty of the representative assembly.  The Council of State,
having assumed the authority of the viceroy during the interim, was
deluged with letters petitioning them to shake off the Spanish yoke
entirely.  But, as the Council still remained loyal to Philip, on
September 4 its members were arrested, a _coup d'état_ planned in the
interests of Orange and doubtless with his knowledge.  It was, of
course, tantamount to treason.  The Estates General now seized
sovereign powers.  Still protesting their loyalty to the monarch's
person and to the Catholic religion, they demanded virtual independence
and the withdrawal of the Spanish troops.  To enforce their demands
they collected an army and took possession of several forts.  But the
Spanish veterans never once thought of giving way.  Gathering at
Antwerp where they were besieged by the soldiers of the States General,
[Sidenote: November 4, 1576] they attacked and then scattered the bands
sent against them and proceeded to sack Antwerp like a captured town.
In one dreadful day 7000 of the patriots, in part soldiers, in part
noncombatants, perished.  The wealth of the city was looted.  The army
of occupation boasted as of a victory of this deed of blood, known to
the Netherlanders as "the Spanish fury."

Naturally, such a blow only welded the provinces more firmly together
and steeled their temper to an even harder resistance.  Its immediate
result was a treaty, known as the Pacification of Ghent, between the
provinces represented in the States General on the one hand and Holland
and Zeeland on the other, for the purposes of union and of driving out
the foreigner.  The religious question was left undecided, save that
the northern provinces agreed to do nothing for the present against the
Roman church.  But, as {266} heretofore, the Calvinists, now inscribing
"Pro fide et patria" on their banners, were the more active and
patriotic party.

[Sidenote: Don John, 1547-78]

On May 1, 1577, the new Governor-General, Don John of Austria, entered
Brussels.  A natural son of Charles V, at the age of twenty-four he had
made himself famous by the naval victory of Lepanto, and his name still
more celebrated in popular legend on account of his innumerable amours.
That he had some charm of manner must be assumed; that he had ability
in certain directions cannot be denied; but his aristocratic hauteur,
his contempt for a nation of merchants and his disgust at dealing with
them, made him the worst possible person for the position of Governor.
Philip's detailed instructions left nothing to the imagination: the
gist of them was to assure the Catholic religion and obedience of his
subjects "as far as possible," to speak French, and not to take his
mistresses from the most influential families, nor to alienate them in
any other way.  After force had been tried and failed the effect of
gentleness was to be essayed.  Don John was to be a dove of peace and
an angel of love.

But even if a far abler man had been sent to heal the troubles in the
Netherlands, the breach was now past mending.  In the States General,
as in the nation at large, there were still two parties, one for Orange
and one for Philip, but both were determined to get rid of the devilish
incubus of the Spanish army.  The division of the two parties was to
some extent sectional, but still more that class division that seems
inevitable between conservatives and liberals.  The king still had for
him the clergy, the majority of the nobles and higher bourgeoisie; with
William were ranged the Calvinists, the middle and lower classes and
most of the "intellectuals", lawyers, men of learning and those
publicists known as the "monarchomachs."  Many of {267} these were
still Catholics who wished to distinguish sharply between the religious
and the national issue.  At the very moment of Don John's arrival the
Estates passed a resolution to uphold the Catholic faith.

[Sidenote: February, 1577]

Even before he had entered his capital Don John issued the "Perpetual
Edict" agreeing to withdraw the Spanish troops in return for a grant of
600,000 guilders for their pay.  He promised to respect the privileges
of the provinces and to free political prisoners, including the son of
Orange.  In April the troops really withdrew.  The small effect of
these measures of conciliation became apparent when the Estates General
voted by a majority of one only to recognize Don John as their
Statholder.  [Sidenote: May 12]  So little influence did he have that
he felt more like a prisoner than a governor; he soon fled from his
capital to the fortress of Namur whence he wrote urging his king to
send back the troops at once and let him "bathe in the blood of the

William was as much pleased as John was enraged at the failure of the
policy of reconciliation.  While the majority of the states still hoped
for peace William was determined on independence at all costs.  In
August he sent a demand to the representatives to do their duty by the
people, for he did not doubt that they had the right to depose the
tyrant.  Never did his prospects look brighter.  Help was offered by
Elizabeth and the tide of republican feeling began to rise higher.  In
proportion as the laborers were drawn to the party of revolt did the
doctrine of the monarchomachs become liberal.  No longer satisfied with
the democracy of corporations and castes of the Middle Ages, the people
began to dream of the individualistic democracy of modern times.

The executive power, virtually abandoned by Don John, now became
centered in a Committee of {268} Eighteen, nominally on fortifications,
but in reality, like the French Committee of Public Safety, supreme in
all matters.  This body was first appointed by the citizens of
Brussels, but the States General were helpless against it.  It was
supported by the armed force of the patriots and by the personal
prestige of Orange.  His power was growing, for, with the capitulation
of the Spanish garrison at Utrecht he had been appointed Statholder of
that province.  When he entered Brussels on September 23, he was
received with the wild acclamations of the populace.  Opposition to him
seemed impossible.  And yet, even at this high-water mark of his power,
his difficulties were considerable.  Each province was jealous of its
rights and, as in the American Revolution, each province wished to
contribute as little as possible to the common fund.  Moreover the
religious question was still extremely delicate.  Orange's permission
to the Catholics to celebrate their rites on his estates alienated as
many Protestant fanatics as it conciliated those of the old religion.

[Sidenote: Archduke Matthew]

The Netherlands were not yet strong enough to do without powerful
foreign support, nor was public opinion yet ripe for the declaration of
an independent republic.  Feeling that a statholder of some sort was
necessary, the States General petitioned Philip to remove Don John and
to appoint a legitimate prince of the blood.  This petition was perhaps
intentionally impossible of fulfilment in a way agreeable to Philip,
for he had no legitimate brother or son.  But a prince of the House of
Hapsburg offered himself in the person of the Archduke Matthew, a son
of the Emperor Maximilian, recently deceased.  [Sidenote: October 12,
1576]  Though he had neither ability of his own nor support from his
brother, the Emperor Rudolph II, and though but nineteen years old, he
offered his services to the Netherlands and immediately went thither.
With high statecraft William {269} drew Matthew into his policy, for he
saw that the dangers to be feared were anarchy and disunion.  In some
cities, notably Ghent, where another Committee of Eighteen was
appointed on the Brussels model, the lowest classes assumed a
dictatorship analagous to that of the Bolsheviki in Russia.  At the
same time the Patriots' demand that Orange should be made Governor of
Brabant was distasteful to the large loyalist element in the
population.  William at once saw the use that might be made of Matthew
as a figure-head to rally those who still reverenced the house of
Hapsburg and who saw in monarchy the only guarantee of order at home
and consideration abroad.  Promptly arresting the Duke of Aerschot, a
powerful noble who tried to use Matthew's name to create a separate
faction, Orange induced the States General first to decree Don John an
enemy of the country [Sidenote: December 7, 1577] and then to offer the
governorship of the Netherlands to the archduke, at the same time
begging him, on account of his youth, to leave the administration in
the hands of William.  After Matthew's entry into Brussels [Sidenote:
January 18, 1578] the States General swore allegiance to this puppet in
the hands of their greatest statesman.

Almost immediately the war broke out again.  Both sides had been busy
raising troops.  At Gembloux Don John with 20,000 men defeated about
the same number of Patriot troops.  [Sidenote: January 31]  But this
failed to clarify a situation that tended to become ever more
complicated.  Help from England and France came in tiny dribblets just
sufficient to keep Philip's energies occupied in the cruel civil war.
But the vacancy, so to speak, on the ducal throne of the Burgundian
state, seemed to invite the candidacy of neighboring princes and a
chance of seriously interesting France came when the ambition of
Francis, Duke of Anjou, was stirred to become ruler of the Low
Countries.  William attempted also to make {270} use of him.  In return
for the promise to raise 12,000 troops, Anjou received from the States
General the title of "Defender of the Freedom of the Netherlands
against the tyranny of the Spaniards and their allies."  The result was
that the Catholic population was divided in its support between Matthew
and Anjou, and that Orange retained the balance of influence.

[Sidenote: Protestant schism]

The insuperable difficulty in the way of success for the policy of this
great man was still the religious one.  Calvinism had been largely
drawn off to Holland and Zeeland, and Catholicism remained the religion
of the great majority of the population in the other provinces.  At
first sight the latter appeared far from being an intractable force.
In contrast with the fiery zeal of the Calvinists on the one hand and
of the Spaniards on the other, the faith of the Catholic Flemings and
Walloons seemed lukewarm, an old custom rather than a living
conviction.  Most were shocked by the fanaticism of the Spaniards, who
thus proved the worst enemies of their faith, and yet, within the
Netherlands, they were very unwilling to see the old religion perish.
When the lower classes at Ghent assumed the leadership they rather
forced than converted that city to the Calvinist confession.  Their
acts were taken as a breach of the Pacification of Ghent and threatened
the whole policy of Orange by creating fresh discord.  To obviate this,
William proposed to the States General a religious peace on the basis
of the _status quo_ with refusal to allow further proselyting.
[Sidenote: July, 1578]  But this measure, acceptable to the Catholics,
was deeply resented by the Calvinists.  It was said that one who
changed his religion as often as his coat must prefer human to divine
things and that he who would tolerate Romanists must himself be an

[Sidenote: Division of the Netherlands]

It was therefore, a primarily religious issue, and no difference of
race, language or material interest, {271} that divided the Netherlands
into two halves.  For a time the common hatred of all the people for
the foreigner welded them into a united whole; but no sooner was the
pressure of the Spanish yoke even slightly relaxed than the mutual
antipathy of Calvinist and Catholic showed itself.  If we look closely
into the causes why the North should become predominantly Protestant
while the South gradually reverted to an entirely Catholic faith, we
must see that the reasons were in part racial, in part geographical and
in part social.  Geographically and linguistically the Northern
provinces looked for their culture to Germany, and the Southern
provinces to France.  Moreover the easy defensibility of Holland and
Zeeland, behind their moats, made them the natural refuge of a hunted
sect and, this tendency once having asserted itself, the polarization
of the Netherlands naturally followed, Protestants being drawn and
driven to their friends in the North and Catholics similarly finding it
necessary or advisable to settle in the South.  Moreover in the
Southern provinces the two privileged classes, clergy and nobility,
were relatively stronger than in the almost entirely bourgeois and
commercial North.  And the influence of both was thrown into the scale
of the Roman church, the first promptly and as a matter of course, the
second eventually as a reaction from the strongly democratic tendency
of Calvinism.  In some of the Southern cities there ensued at this time
a desperate struggle between the Protestant democracy and the Catholic
aristocracy.  The few Protestants of gentle birth in the Walloon
provinces felt ill at ease in company with their Dutch co-religionists
and were called by them "Malcontents" because they looked askance at
the political principles of the North.

[Sidenote: January 1579]

The separatist tendencies on both sides crystallized as some of the
Southern provinces signed a league at {272} Arras on January 5 for the
protection of the Catholic religion.  On the 29th this was answered by
the Union of Utrecht, signed by the representatives of Holland,
Zeeland, Utrecht, Friesland, Guelders, Zutphen, and the city of Ghent,
binding the said provinces to resist all foreign tyranny.  Complete
freedom of worship was granted, a matter of importance as the Catholic
minority was, and has always remained, large.  By this act a new state
was born.  Orange still continued to labor for union with the Southern
provinces, but he failed.  A bitter religious war broke out in the
cities of the South.  At Ghent the churches were plundered anew.
[Sidenote: 1581]  At Brussels and Antwerp the Protestant proletariat
won a temporary ascendancy and Catholic worship was forbidden in both
cities.  A general emigration from them ensued.  Under the stress of
the religious war which was also a class war, the last vestiges of
union perished.  The States General ceased to have power to raise taxes
or enforce decrees, and presently it was no more regarded.

Even William of Orange now abandoned his show of respect for the
monarch and became wholly the champion of liberty and of the people.
[Sidenote: 1580]  The States General recognized Anjou as their prince,
but at the same time drew up a very republican constitution.  The
representatives of the people were given not only the legislative but
also the executive powers, including the direction of foreign affairs.
The States of the Northern Provinces formally deposed Philip,
[Sidenote: Deposition of Philip, 1581] who could do nothing in reply.
A proclamation had already been issued offering 25,000 dollars and a
patent of nobility to anyone who would assassinate Orange who was
branded as "a traitor and rascal" and as "the enemy of the human race."

[Sidenote: October 1, 1578]

Don John, having died unlamented, was succeeded by Alexander Farnese, a
son of the ex-regent Margaret {273} of Parma.  [Sidenote: Farnese,
1545-92]  Though an Italian in temperament he united a rare diplomatic
pliability with energy as a soldier.  Moreover, whereas his
predecessors had despised the people they were sent to govern and had
hated the task of dealing with them, he set his heart on making a
success.  By this time the eyes of all Europe were fixed on the
struggle in the Low Countries and it seemed a worthy achievement to
accomplish what so many famous soldiers and statesmen had failed in.
It is doubtless due to the genius of Farnese that the Spanish yoke was
again fixed on the neck of the southern of the two confederacies into
which the Burgundian state had spontaneously separated.  Welcomed by a
large number of the signers of the Treaty of Arras, [Sidenote: 1579] he
promptly raised an army of 31,000 men, mostly Germans, attacked and
took Maastricht.  A sickening pillage followed in which no less than
1700 women were slaughtered.  Seeing his mistake, on capturing the next
town, Tournai, he restrained his army and allowed even the garrison to
march out with the honors of war.  Not one citizen was executed, though
an indemnity of 200,000 guilders was demanded.  His clemency helped his
cause more than his success in arms.

[Sidenote: Conquest of the South]

Slowly but surely his campaign of conquest progressed.  It was a war of
sieges only, without battles.  Bruges was taken after a long
investment, and was mildly treated.  [Sidenote: 1584]  Ghent
surrendered and was also let off with an indemnity but without bloody
punishment.  After a hard siege Antwerp capitulated.  [Sidenote: 1585]
Practically the whole of the Southern confederacy had been reduced to
obedience to the king of Spain.  The Protestant religion was forbidden
by law but in each case when a city was conquered the Protestants were
given from two to four years either to become reconciled or to emigrate.

{274} But the land that was reconquered was not the land that had
revolted.  A ghastly ruin accompanied by a numbing blight on thought
and energy settled on the once happy lands of Flanders and Brabant.
The civil wars had so wasted the country that wolves prowled even at
the gates of great cities.  The _coup de grace_ was given to the
commerce of Antwerp by the barring of the Scheldt by Holland.  Trade
with the East and West Indies was forbidden by Spain until 1640.

[Sidenote: Freedom of the North]

But the North, after a desperate struggle and much suffering,
vindicated its freedom.  Anjou tried first to make himself their
tyrant; [Sidenote: January 17, 1583] his soldiers at Antwerp attacked
the citizens but were beaten off after frightful street fighting.  The
"French fury" as it was called, taught the Dutch once again to distrust
foreign governors, though the death of Anjou relieved them of fear.

[Sidenote: June, 1584]

But a sterner foe was at hand.  Having reduced what is now called
Belgium, Farnese attacked the Reformation and the republicans in their
last strongholds in Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht.  The long war, of a
high technical interest because of the peculiar military problems to be
solved, was finally decided in favor of the Dutch.  The result was due
in part to the heroic courage of the people, in part to the highly
defensible nature of their country, saved time and again by that great
ally, the sea.

[Sidenote: July 10, 1584]

A cruel blow was the assassination of Orange whose last words were "God
have pity on this poor people."  His life had been devoted to them in
no spirit of ambition or vulgar pride; his energy, his patience, his
breadth had served the people well.  And at his death they showed
themselves worthy of him and of the cause.  Around his body the Estates
of Holland convened and resolved to bear themselves manfully {275}
without abatement of zeal.  Right nobly did they acquit themselves.

[Sidenote: 1586, Leicester]

The bad ending of a final attempt to get foreign help taught the Dutch
Republic once and for all to rely only on itself.  Robert Dudley, Earl
of Leicester, Elizabeth's favorite, was inaugurated as Governor
General.  His assumption of independent power enraged his royal
mistress, whereas the Dutch were alienated by the suspicion that he
sacrificed their interests to those of England, and by his military
failures.  In less than two years he was forced to return home.
[Sidenote: 1587]

[Sidenote: Oldenbarneveldt, 1547-1619]

Under the statesmanlike guidance of John van Oldenbarneveldt, since
1586 Pensionary of Holland, a Republic was set up founded on the
supremacy of the Estates.  Under his exact, prudent, and resolute
leadership internal freedom and external power were alike developed.
Though the war continued long after 1588 the defeat of the Armada in
that year crippled Spain beyond hope of recovery and made the new
nation practically safe.

[Sidenote: The Dutch Republic]

The North had suffered much in the war.  The frequent inundation of the
land destroyed crops.  Amsterdam long held out against the rest of
Holland in loyalty to the king, but she suffered so much by the
blockade of the Beggars of the Sea and by the emigration of her
merchants to nearby cities, that at last she gave in and cast her lot
with her people.  From that time she assumed the commercial hegemony
once exercised by Antwerp.  Recovering rapidly from the devastations of
war, the Dutch Republic became, in the seventeenth century, the first
sea-power and first money-power in the world.  She gave a king to
England and put a bridle in the mouth of France.  She established
colonies in America and in the East Indies.  With her celebrated new
university of Leyden, with {276} publicists like Grotius, theologians
like Jansen, painters like Van Dyke and Rembrandt, philosophers like
Spinoza, she took the lead in many of the fields of thought.  Her
material and spiritual power, her tolerance and freedom, became the
envy of the world.

[1] The guilder, also called the "Dutch pound," at this time was worth
40 cents intrinsically.  Money had many times the purchasing power that
it has in 1920.

[2] The word, meaning "prayer," indicated, like the English
"benevolence" and the French "don gratuit," that the tax had once been
voluntarily granted.

[3] The dollar, or Thaler, is worth 75 cents, intrinsically.





[Sidenote: Henry VIII, 1509-47]

"The heavens laugh, the earth exults; all is full of milk and honey and
nectar."  With these words the accession of Henry VIII was announced to
Erasmus by his pupil and the king's tutor, Lord Mountjoy.  This lover
of learning thought the new monarch would be not only Octavus but
Octavius, fostering letters and cherishing the learned.  There was a
general feeling that a new era was beginning and a new day dawning
after the long darkness of the Middle Age with its nightmares of Black
Deaths and Peasants' Revolts and, worst of all, the civil war that had
humbled England's power and racked her almost to pieces within.

It was commonly believed that the young prince was a paragon: handsome,
athletic, learned, generous, wise, and merciful.  That he was fond of
sports, strong and in early life physically attractive, is well
attested.  The principal evidences of his learning are the fulsome
testimony of Erasmus and his work against Luther.  But it has been
lately shown that Erasmus was capable of passing off, as the work of a
powerful patron, compositions which he knew to be written by Latin
secretaries; and the royal author of the _Defence of the Seven
Sacraments_, which evinces but mediocre talent, received much
unacknowledged assistance.

If judged by his foreign relations Henry's statesmanship was
unsuccessful.  His insincerity and perfidy often overreached
themselves, and he was often {278} deceived.  Moreover, he was
inconstant, pursuing no worthy end whatever.  England was by her
insular location and by the nearly equal division of power on the
Continent between France and the emperor, in a wonderfully safe and
advantageous place.  But, so far was Henry from using this gift of
fortune, that he seems to have acted only on caprice.

[Sidenote: Domestic policy]

In domestic policy Henry achieved his greatest successes, in fact, very
remarkable ones indeed.  Doubtless here also he was favored by fortune,
in that his own ends happened in the main to coincide with the deeper
current of his people's purpose, for he was supported by just that
wealthy and enterprising bourgeois class that was to call itself the
people and to make public opinion for the next three centuries.  In
time this class would become sufficiently conscious of its own power to
make Parliament supreme and to demand a reckoning even from the crown,
but at first it needed the prestige of the royal name to conquer the
two privileged classes, the clergy and the nobility.  The merchants and
the moneyed men only too willingly became the faithful followers of a
chief who lavishly tossed to them the wealth of the church and the
political privileges of the barons.  And Henry had just one strong
quality that enabled him to take full advantage of this position; he
seemed to lead rather than to drive, and he never wantonly challenged
Parliament.  The atrocity of his acts was only equaled by their
scrupulous legality.

On Henry's morals there should be less disagreement than on his mental
gifts.  Holbein's faithful portraits do not belie him.  The
broad-shouldered, heavy-jowled man, standing so firmly on his widely
parted feet, has a certain strength of will, or rather of boundless
egotism.  Francis and Charles showed themselves persecuting, and were
capable of having a {279} defaulting minister or a rebel put to death;
but neither Charles nor Francis, nor any other king in modern times,
has to answer for the lives of so many nobles and ministers, cardinals
and queens, whose heads, as Thomas More put it, he kicked around like

[Sidenote: Empson and Dudley executed, April 25, 1509]

The reign began, as it ended, with political murder.  The miserly Henry
VII had made use of two tools, Empson and Dudley, who, by minute
inquisition into technical offences and by nice adjustment of fines to
the wealth of the offender, had made the law unpopular and the king
rich.  Four days after his succession, Henry VIII issued a proclamation
asking all those who had sustained injury or loss of goods by these
commissioners, to make supplication to the king.  The floodgates of
pent-up wrath were opened, and the two unhappy ministers swept away by
an act of attainder.

[Sidenote: War with France and Scotland]

The pacific policy of the first years of the reign did not last long.
The young king felt the need of martial glory, of emulating the fifth
Henry, of making himself talked about and enrolling his name on the
list of conquerors who, in return for plaguing mankind, have been
deified by them.  It is useless to look for any statesmanlike purpose
in the war provoked with France and Scotland, but in the purpose for
which he set out Henry was brilliantly successful: the French were so
quickly routed near Guinegate [Sidenote: August 13, 1513] that the
action has been known in history as the Battle of the Spurs.  While the
king was still absent in France and his queen regent in England, his
lieutenants inflicted a decisive defeat on the Scots [Sidenote:
September] and slew their king, James IV, at Flodden.  England won
nothing save military glory by these campaigns, for the invasion of
France was at once abandoned and that of Scotland not even undertaken.

[Sidenote: Wolsey, c. 1475-1530]

The gratification of the national vanity redounded the profit not only
of Henry but of his minister, {280} Thomas Wolsey.  A poor man, like
the other tools of the Tudor despot, he rose rapidly in church and
state partly by solid gifts of statesmanship, partly by baser arts.  By
May, 1515, Erasmus described him as all-powerful with the king and as
bearing the main burden of public affairs on his shoulders, and fifteen
years later Luther spoke of him as "the demigod of England, or rather
of Europe."  His position at home he owed to his ability to curry favor
with the king by shouldering the odium of unpopular acts.  [Sidenote:
May, 1521]  When the Duke of Buckingham was executed for the crime of
standing next in succession to the throne, Wolsey was blamed; many
people thought, as it was put in a pun attributed to Charles V, that
"it was a pity so noble a _buck_ should have been slain by such a
hound."  Wolsey lost the support of the nobles by the pride that
delighted to humble them, and of the commons by the avarice that
accumulated a corrupt fortune.  But, though the rich hated him for his
law in regard to enclosures, and the poor for not having that law
enforced, he recked little of aught, knowing himself secure under the
royal shield.

To make his sovereign abroad as great as at home, he took advantage of
the nice balance of power existing on the Continent.  "Nothing pleases
him more than to be called the arbiter of Christendom," wrote
Giustiniani, and such, in fact, he very nearly was.  His diplomatic
gifts were displayed with immense show during the summer of 1520, when
Henry met both Francis and Charles V, and promised each secretly to
support him against his rival.  The camp where the royalties of France
and England met, near Guines, amid scenes of pageantry and chivalry so
resplendent as to give it the name of The Field of Cloth of Gold, saw
an alliance cemented by oath, only to be followed by a solemn
engagement between Henry and Charles, {281} repugnant in every
particular to that with France.  When war actually broke out between
the two, England preferred to throw her weight against France, thereby
almost helping Charles to the throne of universal empire and raising up
for herself an enemy to menace her safety in many a crisis to come.  In
the end, then, Wolsey's perfidious policy failed; and his personal
ambition for the papacy was also frustrated.

But while "the congress of kings," as Erasmus called it, was disporting
itself at Guines and Calais, the tide of a new movement was swiftly and
steadily rising, no more obeying them than had the ocean obeyed Canute.
More in England than in most countries the Reformation was an imported
product.  Its "dawn came up like thunder" from across the North Sea.

Luther's Theses on Indulgences were sent by Erasmus to his English
friends Thomas More and John Colet little more than four months after
their promulgation.  [Sidenote: March 5, 1518]  By February, 1519,
Froben had exported to England a number of volumes of Luther's works.
One of them fell into the hands of Henry VIII or his sister Mary,
quondam Queen of France, as is shown by the royal arms stamped on it.
Many others were sold by a bookseller at Oxford throughout 1520, in
which year a government official in London wrote to his son in the
country, [Sidenote: March 3, 1520] "there be heretics here which take
Luther's opinions."  The universities were both infected at the same
time.  At Cambridge, especially, a number of young men, many of them
later prominent reformers, met at the White Horse Tavern regularly to
discuss the new ideas.  The tavern was nicknamed "Germany" [Sidenote:
1521] and the young enthusiasts "Germans" in consequence.  But
surprisingly numerous as are the evidences of the spread of Lutheranism
in these early years, naturally it as yet had few prominent adherents.
When Erasmus wrote Luther that he had well-wishers {282} [Sidenote:
May, 1519] in England, and those of the greatest, he was exaggerating
or misinformed.  At most he may have been thinking of John Colet, whose
death in September, 1519, came before he could take any part in the
religious controversy.

At an early date the government took its stand against the heresy.
Luther's books were examined by a committee of the University of
Cambridge, [Sidenote: 1520] condemned and burnt by them, and soon
afterwards by the government.  At St. Paul's in London, [Sidenote: May
12, 1521] in the presence of many high dignitaries and a crowd of
thirty thousand spectators Luther's books were burnt and his doctrine
"reprobated" in addresses by John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and
Cardinal Wolsey.  A little later it was forbidden to read, import or
keep such works, and measures were taken to enforce this law.
Commissions searched for the said pamphlets; stationers and merchants
were put under bond not to trade in them; and the German merchants of
the Steelyard were examined.  When it was discovered [Sidenote: 1526]
that these foreigners had stopped "the mass of the body of Christ,"
commonly celebrated by them in All Hallows' Church the Great, at
London, they were haled before Wolsey's legatine court, forced to
acknowledge its jurisdiction, and dealt with.

With one accord the leading Englishmen declared against Luther.
Cuthbert Tunstall, a mathematician and diplomatist, and later Bishop of
London, wrote Wolsey from Worms of the devotion of the Germans to their
leader, and sent to him _The Babylonian Captivity_ with the comment,
"there is much strange opinion in it near to the opinions of Boheme; I
pray God keep that book out of England."  [Sidenote: January 21, 1521]
Wolsey himself, biassed perhaps by his ambition for the tiara, labored
to suppress the heresy.  Most important of all, Sir Thomas More was
promptly and decisively alienated.  {283} It was More, according to
Henry VIII, who "by subtle, sinister slights unnaturally procured and
provoked him" to write against the heretic.  His _Defence of the Seven
Sacraments_, in reply to the _Babylonian Captivity_, though an
extremely poor work, was greeted, on its appearance, as a masterpiece.
[Sidenote: July, 1521]  The handsome copy bound in gold, sent to Leo X,
was read to the pope and declared by him the best antidote to heresy
yet produced.  In recognition of so valuable an arm, or of so valiant a
champion, the pope granted an indulgence of ten years and ten periods
of forty days to the readers of the book, and to its author the long
coveted title Defender of the Faith.  Luther answered the king with
ridicule and the controversy was continued by Henry's henchmen More,
Fisher, and others.  Stung to the quick, Henry, who had already urged
the emperor to crush the heretic, now wrote with the same purpose to
the elector and dukes of Saxony and to other German princes.

[Sidenote: Growth of Lutheranism]

But while the chief priests and rulers were not slow to reject the new
"gospel," the common people heard it gladly.  The rapid diffusion of
Lutheranism is proved by many a side light and by the very
proclamations issued from time to time to "resist the damnable
heresies" or to suppress tainted books.  John Heywood's _The Four P's:
a merry Interlude of a Palmer, a Pardoner, a Potycary and a Pedlar_,
written about 1528 though not published until some years later, is full
of Lutheran doctrine, and so is another book very popular at the time,
Simon Fish's _Supplication of Beggars_.  John Skelton's _Colyn Clout_,
[Sidenote: c. 1522] a scathing indictment of the clergy, mentions that

  Some have smacke
  Of Luther's sacke,
  And a brennyng sparke
  Of Luther's warke.

{284} [Sidenote: William Tyndale's Bible]

But the acceptance of the Reformation, as apart from mere grumbling at
the church, could not come until a Protestant literature was built up.
In England as elsewhere the most powerful Protestant tract was the
vernacular Bible.  Owing to the disfavor in which Wyclif's doctrines
were held, no English versions had been printed until the Protestant
divine William Tyndale highly resolved to make the holy book more
familiar to the ploughboy than to the bishop.

Educated at both Oxford and Cambridge, Tyndale imbibed the doctrines
first of Erasmus, then of Luther, and finally of Zwingli.  Applying for
help in his project to the bishop of London and finding none,
[Sidenote: 1524] he sailed for Germany where he completed a translation
of the New Testament, and started printing it at Cologne.  Driven hence
by the intervention of Cochlaeus and the magistrates, he went to Worms
and got another printer to finish the job.  [Sidenote: 1526]  Of the
six thousand copies in the first edition many were smuggled to England,
where Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of London, tried to buy them all up,
"thinking," as the chronicler Hall phrased it, "that he had God by the
toe when he indeed had the devil by the fist."  The money went to
Tyndale and was used to issue further editions, of which no less than
seven appeared in the next ten years.

The government's attitude was that

  Having respect to the malignity of this present time,
  with the inclination of the people to erroneous opinions,
  the translation of the New Testament should rather be the
  occasion of continuance or increase of errors among the
  said people than any benefit or commodity towards the
  weal of their souls.

But the magistrates were unable to quench the fiery zeal of Tyndale who
continued to translate parts of the Old Testament and to print them and
other tracts at Antwerp and at Cologne, until his martyrdom at {285}
Vilvorde, near Brussels, on October 6, 1536.  In 1913 a monument was
erected on the place of his death.

Under the leadership of Tyndale on the one side and of More on the
other the air became dark with a host of controversial tracts.
[Sidenote: Controversial tracts]  They are half filled with theological
metaphysic, half with the bitterest invective.  Luther called Henry
VIII "a damnable and rotten worm, a snivelling, drivelling swine of a
sophist"; More retorted by complaining of the violent language of "this
apostate, this open incestuous lecher, this plain limb of the devil and
manifest messenger of hell."  Absurd but natural tactic, with a sure
effect on the people, which relishes both morals and scandal!  To prove
that faith justifies, the Protestants pointed to the debauchery of the
friars; to prove the mass a sacrifice their enemies mocked at "Friar
Martin and Gate Callate his nun lusking together in lechery."  But with
all the invective there was much solid argument of the kind that
appealed to an age of theological politics.  In England as elsewhere
the significance of the Reformation was that it was the first issue of
supreme importance to be argued by means of the press before the bar of
a public opinion sufficiently enlightened to appreciate its importance
and sufficiently strong to make a choice and to enforce its decision.

The party of the Reformation in England at first consisted of two
classes, London tradesmen and certain members of what Bismarck long
afterward called "the learned proletariat."  In 1532 the bishops were
able to say:

  In the crime of heresy, thanked be God, there hath no
  notable person fallen in our time.  Truth it is that
  certain apostate friars and monks, lewd priests, bankrupt
  merchants, vagabonds and lewd, idle fellows of corrupt
  nature have embraced the abominable and erroneous
  opinions lately sprung in Germany and by them have
  been some seduced in simplicity and ignorance.

[Sidenote: Anti-clerical feeling]

But though both anti-clerical feeling and sympathy with the new
doctrines waxed apace, it is probable that no change would have taken
place for many years had it not been for the king's divorce.  The
importance of this episode, born of the most strangely mingled motives
of conscience, policy, and lust, is not that, as sometimes said, it
proved the English people ready to follow their government in religious
matters as sheep follow their shepherd.  Its importance is simply that
it loosed England from its ancient moorings of papal supremacy, and
thus established one, though only one, of the cardinal principles of
the Protestant revolt.  The Reformation consisted not only in a
religions change but in an assertion of nationalism, in a class revolt,
and in certain cultural revolutions.  It was only the first that the
government had any idea of sanctioning, but by so doing it enabled the
people later to take matters into their own hands and add the social
and cultural elements.  Thus the Reformation in England ran a course
quite different from that in Germany.  In the former the cultural
revolution came first, followed fast by the rising of the lower and the
triumph of the middle classes.  Last of all came the successful
realization of a national state.  But in England nationalism came
first; then under Edward the economic revolution; and lastly, under the
Puritans, the transmutation of spiritual values.

[Sidenote: Divorce of Catherine of Aragon]

The occasion of the breach with Rome was the divorce of Henry from
Catharine of Aragon, who had previously married his brother Arthur when
they were both fifteen, and had lived with him as his wife for five
months until his death.  As marriage with a brother's widow was
forbidden by Canon Law, a {287} dispensation from the pope had been
secured, to enable Catharine to marry Henry.  The king's scruples about
the legality of the act were aroused by the death of all the queen's
children, save the Princess Mary, in which he saw the fulfilment of the
curse denounced in Leviticus xx, 21: "If a man shall take his brother's
wife . . . they shall be childless."  Just at this time Henry fell in
love with Anne Boleyn, [Sidenote: Anne Boleyn] and this further
increased his dissatisfaction with his present estate.

He therefore applied to the pope for annulment of marriage, but the
unhappy Clement VII, now in the emperor's fist, felt unable to give it
to him.  He writhed and twisted, dallied with the proposals that Henry
should take a second wife, or that his illegitimate son the Duke of
Richmond should marry his half sister Mary; in short he was ready to
grant a dispensation for anything save for the one horrible crime of
divorce--as the annulment was then called.  His difficulties in getting
at the rights of the question were not made easier by the readiness of
both parties to commit a little perjury or to forge a little bull to
further their cause.

Seeing no help in sight from Rome Henry began to collect the opinions
of universities and "strange doctors."  The English, French, and
Italian universities decided as the king wished that his marriage was
null; Wittenberg and Marburg rendered contrary opinions.  Many
theologians, including Erasmus, Luther, and Melanchthon, expressed the
opinion that bigamy would be the best way to meet the situation.

But more was needed to make the annulment legal than the verdict of
universities.  Repulsed by Rome Henry was forced to make an alliance,
though it proved but a temporary one, with the Reforming and
anti-clerical parties in his realm.  At Easter, 1529, Lutheran books
began to circulate at court, books {288} advocating the confiscation of
ecclesiastical property and the reduction of the church to a state of
primitive simplicity.  To Chapuis, the imperial ambassador, Henry
pointedly praised Luther, whom he had lately called "a wolf of hell and
a limb of Satan," remarking that though he had mixed heresy in his
books that was not sufficient reason for reproving and rejecting the
many truths he had brought to light.  To punish Wolsey for the failure
to secure what was wanted from Rome, [Sidenote: November 4, 1530] the
pampered minister was arrested for treason, but died of chagrin before
he could be executed.  "Had I served my God," said he, "as diligently
as I have served my king, he would not have given me over in my grey

[Sidenote: Reformation Parliament, November 3, 1529]

In the meantime there had already met that Parliament that was to pass,
in the seven years of its existence, the most momentous and
revolutionary laws as yet placed upon the statute-books.  The elections
were free, or nearly so; the franchise varied from a fairly democratic
one in London to a highly oligarchical one in some boroughs.
Notwithstanding the popular feeling that Catharine was an injured woman
and that war with the Empire might ruin the valuable trade with
Flanders, the "government," as would now be said, that is, the king,
received hearty support by the majority of members.  The only possible
explanation for this, apart from the king's acknowledged skill as a
parliamentary leader, is the strength of the anti-clerical feeling.
The rebellion of the laity against the clergy, and of the patriots
against the Italian yoke, needed but the example of Germany to burst
all the dykes and barriers of medieval custom.  The significance of the
revolution was that it was a forcible reform of the church by the
state.  The wish of the people was to end ecclesiastical abuses without
much regard to doctrine; the wish of the king was to make himself {289}
"emperor and pope" in his own dominions.  While Henry studied Wyclif's
program, and the people read the English Testament, the lessons they
derived from these sources were at first moral and political, not
doctrinal or philosophic.

[Sidenote: Submission of the clergy, December 1530]

The first step in the reduction of the church was taken when the
attorney-general filed in the court of King's Bench an information
against the whole body of the clergy for violating the statutes of
Provisors and Praemunire by having recognized Wolsey's legatine
authority.  Of course there was no justice in this; the king himself
had recognized Wolsey's authority and anyone who had denied it would
have been punished.  But the suit was sufficient to accomplish the
government's purposes, which were, first to wring money from the clergy
and then to force them to declare the king "sole protector and supreme
head of the church and clergy of England."  Reluctantly the Convocation
of Canterbury accepted this demand in the form that the king was,
"their singular protector, only and supreme lord and, as far as the law
of Christ allows, even Supreme Head."  Henry further proposed that the
oaths of the clergy to the pope be abolished and himself made supreme
legislator.  [Sidenote: May 15, 1532]  Convocation accepted this demand
also in a document known as "the submission of the clergy."

If such was the action of the spiritual estate, it was natural that the
temporal peers and the Commons in parliament should go much further.
[Sidenote: 1532]  A petition of the Commons, really emanating from the
government and probably from Thomas Cromwell, complained bitterly of
the tyranny of the ordinaries in ecclesiastical jurisdiction, of
excessive fees and vexations and frivolous charges of heresy made
against unlearned laymen.  [Sidenote: May 1532]  Abuses of like nature
were dealt with in statutes limiting the fees exacted by priests and
regulating {290} pluralities and non-residence.  Annates were abolished
with the proviso that the king might negotiate with the pope,--the
intention of the government being thus to bring pressure to bear on the
curia.  No wonder the clergy were thoroughly frightened.  Bishop
Fisher, their bravest champion, protested in the House of Lords: "For
God's sake, see what a realm the kingdom of Boheme was, and when the
church fell down, there fell the glory of the kingdom.  Now with the
Commons is nothing but 'Down with the church,' and all this meseemeth
is for lack of faith only."

[Sidenote: Marriage with Anne Boleyn]

It had taken Henry several years to prepare the way for his chief
object, the divorce.  His hand was at last forced by the knowledge that
Anne was pregnant; he married her on January 25, 1533, without waiting
for final sentence of annulment of marriage with Catharine.  In so
doing he might seem, at first glance, to have followed the advice so
freely tendered him to discharge his conscience by committing bigamy;
but doubtless he regarded his first marriage as illegal all the time
and merely waited for the opportunity to get a court that would so
pronounce it.  The vacancy of the archbishopric of Canterbury enabled
him to appoint to it Thomas Cranmer, [Sidenote: Cranmer] the obsequious
divine who had first suggested his present plan.  Cranmer was a
Lutheran, so far committed to the new faith that he had married; he was
intelligent, learned, a wonderful master of language, and capable at
last of dying for his belief.  But that he showed himself pliable to
his master's wishes beyond all bounds of decency is a fact made all the
more glaring by the firm and honorable conduct of More and Fisher.  His
worst act was possibly on the occasion of his nomination to the
province of Canterbury; wishing to be confirmed by the pope he
concealed his real views and took an oath of obedience to the Holy See,
having previously signed {291} a protest that he considered the oath a
mere form and not a reality.

The first use he made of his position was to pronounce sentence that
Henry and Catharine had never been legally married, though at the same
time asserting that this did not affect the legitimacy of Mary because
her parents had believed themselves married.  Immediately afterwards it
was declared that Anne was a lawful wife, and she was crowned queen,
[Sidenote: 1533] amid the smothered execrations of the populace, on
June 1.  On September 7, the Princess Elizabeth was born.  Catharine's
cause was taken up at Rome; Clement's brief forbidding the king to
remarry was followed by final sentence in Catharine's favor.  Her last
years were rendered miserable by humiliation and acts of petty spite.
When she died her late husband, with characteristic indecency,
[Sidenote: January 1536] celebrated the joyous event by giving a ball
at which he and Anne appeared dressed in yellow.

[Sidenote: March 1534]

The feeling of the people showed itself in this case finer and more
chivalrous than that prevalent at court.  The treatment of Catharine
was so unpopular that Chapuis wrote that the king was much hated by his
subjects.  [Sidenote: January, 1536]  Resolved to make an example of
the murmurers, the government selected Elizabeth Barton, the "Holy Maid
of Kent."  After her hysterical visions and a lucky prophecy had won
her an audience, she fell under the influence of monks and prophesied
that the king would not survive his marriage with Anne one month, and
proclaimed that he was no longer king in the eyes of God.  [Sidenote:
April 1, 1534]  She and her accomplices were arrested, attainted
without trial, and executed.  She may pass as an English Catholic

[Sidenote: Act in Restraint of Appeals, February 1533]

Continuing its course of making the king absolute master the Parliament
passed an Act in Restraint of Appeals, the first constitutional break
with Rome.  {292} The theory of the government was set forth in the

  Whereas by divers sundry old authentic histories and
  chronicles, it is manifestly declared and expressed, that
  this realm of England is an Empire, and so hath been
  accepted in the world, governed by one supreme head and
  king . . . unto whom a body politic compact of all sorts
  and degrees of people, divided in terms, and by names of
  spirituality and temporally, be bounden and ought to
  bear, next to God, a natural and humble obedience. . . .

therefore all jurisdiction of foreign powers was denied.

[Sidenote: January 15, 1534]

When, after a recess, Parliament met again there were forty vacancies
to be filled in the Lower House, and this time care was taken that the
new members should be well affected.  Scarcely a third of the spiritual
lords assembled, though whether their absence was commanded, or their
presence not required, by the king, is uncertain.  As, in earlier
Parliaments, the spiritual peers had outnumbered the temporal, this was
a matter of importance.  Another sign of the secularization of the
government was the change in the character of the chancellors.  Wolsey
was the last great ecclesiastical minister of the reign; More and
Cromwell who followed him were laymen.

The severance with Rome was now completed by three laws.  In the first
place the definite abolition of the annates meant that henceforth the
election of archbishops and bishops must be under licence by the king
and that they must swear allegiance to him before consecration.  A
second act forbade the payment of Peter's pence and all other fees to
Rome, and vested in the Archbishop of Canterbury the right to grant
licences previously granted by the pope.  A third act, for the
subjection of the clergy, put convocation under the royal power and
forbade all privileges inconsistent with this.  The new pope, Paul III,
struck back, though {293} with hesitation, excommunicating the king,
[Sidenote: 1535-8] declaring all his children by Anne Boleyn
illegitimate, and absolving his subjects from their oath of allegiance.

[Sidenote: 1534]

Two acts entrenched the king in his despotic pretensions.  The Act of
Succession, [Sidenote: Act of Succession] notable as the first
assertion by crown and Parliament of the right to legislate in this
constitutional matter, vested the inheritance of the crown in the issue
of Henry and Anne, and made it high treason to question the marriage.
The Act of Supremacy [Sidenote: Act of Supremacy] declared that the
king's majesty "justly and rightfully is and ought to be supreme head
of the church of England," pointedly omitting the qualification
insisted on by Convocation,--"as far as the law of Christ allows."
Exactly how far this supremacy went was at first puzzling.  That it
extended not only to the governance of the temporalities of the church,
but to issuing injunctions on spiritual matters and defining articles
of belief was soon made apparent; on the other hand the monarch never
claimed in person the power to celebrate mass.

That the abrogation of the papal authority was accepted so easily is
proof of the extent to which the national feeling of the English church
had already gone.  An oath to recognize the supremacy of the king was
tendered to both convocations, to the universities, to the clergy and
to prominent laymen, and was with few exceptions readily taken.
Doubtless many swallowed the oath from mere cowardice; others took it
with mental reservations; and yet that the majority complied shows that
the substitution of a royal for a papal despotism was acceptable to the
conscience of the country at large.  Many believed that they were not
departing from the Catholic faith; but that others welcomed the act as
a step towards the Reformation cannot be doubted.  How strong was the
hold of Luther on the country will presently be shown, but here {294}
only one instance of the exuberance of the will for a purely national
religion need be quoted.  "God hath showed himself the God of England,
or rather an English God," wrote Hugh Latimer, [Sidenote: 1537] a
leading Lutheran; not only the church but the Deity had become insular!

[Sidenote: Fisher]

But there were a few, and among them the greatest, who refused to
become accomplices in the break with Roman Christendom.  John Fisher,
Bishop of Rochester, a friend of Erasmus and a man of admirable
steadfastness, had long been horrified by the tyranny of Henry.  He had
stoutly upheld the rightfulness of Catharine's marriage, and now ho
refused to see in the monarch the fit ruler of the church.  So strongly
did he feel on these subjects that he invited Charles to invade England
and depose the king.  This was treason, though probably the government
that sent him to the tower was ignorant of the act.  When Paul III
rewarded Fisher by creating him a cardinal [Sidenote: May 20, 1535]
Henry furiously declared he would send his head to Rome to get the hat.
[Sidenote: June 22]  The old man of seventy-six was accordingly

[Sidenote: Sir Thomas More executed, July 6]

This execution was followed by that of Sir Thomas More, the greatest
ornament of his country.  As More has been remembered almost entirely
by his noble _Utopia_ and his noble death, it is hard to estimate his
character soberly.  That his genius was polished to the highest
perfection, that in a hard age he had an altogether lovely sympathy
with the poor, and in a servile age the courage of his convictions,
would seem enough to excuse any faults.  But a deep vein of fanaticism
ran through his whole nature and tinctured all his acts, political,
ecclesiastical, and private.  Not only was his language violent in the
extreme, but his acts were equally merciless when his passions were
aroused.  Appointed chancellor after the fall of Wolsey, he did not
scruple to hit the man who was down, describing {295} him, in a
scathing speech in Parliament, as the scabby wether separated by the
careful shepherd from the sound sheep.  In his hatred of the new
opinions he not only sent men to death and torture for holding them,
but reviled them while doing it.  "Heretics as they be," he wrote, "the
clergy doth denounce them.  And as they be well worthy, the temporality
doth burn them.  And after the fire of Smithfield, hell doth receive
them, where the wretches burn for ever."

As chancellor he saw with growing disapproval the course of the tyrant.
He opposed the marriage with Anne Boleyn.  The day after the submission
of the clergy he resigned the great seal.  He could not long avoid
further offence to his master, and his refusal to take the oath of
supremacy was the crime for which he was condemned.  His behaviour
during his last days and on the scaffold was perfect.  He spent his
time in severe self-discipline; he uttered eloquent words of
forgiveness of his enemies, messages of love to the daughter whom he
tenderly loved, and brave jests.

[Sidenote: Anabaptist martyrs, 1536]

But while More's passion was one that any man might envy, his courage
was shared by humbler martyrs.  In the same year in which he was
beheaded thirteen Dutch Anabaptists were burnt, as he would have
approved, by the English government.  Mute, inglorious Christs, they
were led like sheep to the slaughter and as lambs dumb before their
shearers.  They had no eloquence, no high position, to make their words
ring from side to side of Europe and echo down the centuries; but their
meek endurance should not go unremembered.

To take More's place as chief minister Henry appointed the most
obsequious tool he could find, Thomas Cromwell.  [Sidenote: Thomas
Cromwell, 1485?-1540]  To good purpose this man had studied
Machiavelli's _Prince_ as a practical manual of tyranny.  His most
important service to the crown was the {296} next step in the reduction
of the medieval church, the dissolution of the monasteries.  [Sidenote:
Dissolution of the monasteries]  Like other acts tending towards the
Reformation this was, on the whole, popular, and had been rehearsed on
a small scale on several previous occasions in English history.  The
pope and the king of France taught Edward II to dissolve the
preceptories, to the number of twenty-three, belonging to the Templars;
in 1410 the Commons petitioned for the confiscation of all church
property; in 1414 the alien priories in England fell under the
animadversion of the government; their property was handed over to the
crown and they escaped only by the payment of heavy fines, by
incorporation into English orders, and by partial confiscation of their
land.  The idea prevailed that mortmain had failed of its object and
that therefore the church might rightfully be relieved of her
ill-gotten gains.  These were grossly exaggerated, a pamphleteer
believing that the wealth of the church amounted to half the property
of the realm.  In reality the total revenue of the spirituality
amounted to only L320,000; that of the monasteries to only L140,000.
There had been few endowments in the fifteenth century; only eight new
ones, in fact, in the whole period 1399-1509.  Colleges, schools, and
hospitals now attracted the money that had previously gone to the monks.

Moreover, the monastic life had fallen on evil days.  The abbeys no
longer were centers of learning and of the manufacture of books.  The
functions of hospitality and of charity that they still exercised were
not sufficient to redeem them in the eyes of the people for the "gross,
carnal, and vicious living" with which they were commonly and quite
rightly charged.  Visitations undertaken not by hostile governments but
by bishops in the fifteenth century prove that much immorality obtained
within the cloister walls.  By 1528 {297} they had become so
intolerable that a popular pamphleteer, Simon Fish, in his
_Supplication of Beggars_, proposed that the mendicant friars be
entirely suppressed.

[Sidenote: January 21, 1535]

A commission was now issued to Thomas Cromwell, empowering him to hold
a general visitation of all churches, monasteries, and collegiate
bodies.  The evidence gathered of the shocking disorders obtaining in
the cloisters of both sexes is on the whole credible and well
substantiated.  Nevertheless these disorders furnished rather the
pretext than the real reason for the dissolutions that followed.
Cromwell boasted that he would make his king the richest in
Christendom, and this was the shortest and most popular way to do it.

[Sidenote: 1536]

Accordingly an act was passed for the dissolution of all small
religious houses with an income of less than L200 a year.  The rights
of the founders were safe-guarded, and pensions guaranteed to those
inmates who did not find shelter in one of the larger establishments.
By this act 376 houses were dissolved with an aggregate revenue of
L32,000, not counting plate and jewels confiscated.  Two thousand monks
or nuns were affected in addition to about eight thousand retainers or
servants.  The immediate effect was a large amount of misery, but the
result in the long run was good.  Perhaps the principal political
importance of this and the subsequent spoliations of the church was to
make the Reformation profitable and therefore popular with an
enterprising class.  For the lion's share of the prey did not go to the
lion, but to the jackals.  From the king's favorites to whom he threw
the spoils was founded a new aristocracy, a class with a strong vested
interest in opposing the restoration of the papal church.  To the
Protestant citizens of London was now added a Protestant landed gentry.

{298} [Sidenote: Union with Wales, 1536]

Before the "Reformation Parliament" had ceased to exist, one more act
of great importance was passed.  Wales was a wild country, imperfectly
governed by irregular means.  By the first Act of Union in British
history, Wales was now incorporated with England and the anomalies, or
distinctions, in its legal and administrative system, wiped out.  By
severe measures, in the course of which 5000 men were sent to the
gallows, the western mountaineers were reduced to order during the
years 1534-40; and in 1543 their union with England was completed.  The
measure was statesmanlike and successful; it was undoubtedly aided by
the loyalty of the Welsh to their own Tudor dynasty.

[Sidenote: April 14, 1536]

When Parliament dissolved after having accomplished, during its seven
years, the greatest permanent revolution in the history of England, it
had snapped the bands with Rome and determined articles of religious
belief; it had given the king more power in the church than the pope
ever had, and had exalted his prerogative in the state to a pitch never
reached before or afterwards; it had dissolved the smaller monasteries,
abridged the liberties of the subject, settled the succession to the
throne, created new treasons and heresies; it had handled grave social
problems, like enclosures and mendicancy; and had united Wales to

[Sidenote: Execution of Anne Boleyn]

And now the woman for whose sake, one is tempted to say, the king had
done it all--though of course his share in the revolution does not
represent the real forces that accomplished it--the woman he had won
with "such a world of charge and hell of pain," was to be cast into the
outer darkness of the most hideous tragedy in history.  Anne Boleyn was
not a good woman.  And yet, when she was accused of adultery [Sidenote:
May 19, 1536] with four men and of incest with her own brother, {299}
though she was tried by a large panel of peers, condemned, and
beheaded, it is impossible to be sure of her guilt.

[Sidenote: Jane Seymour]

On the day following Anne's execution or, as some say, on May 30, Henry
married his third wife, Jane Seymour.  On October 12, 1537, she bore
him a son, Edward.  Forced by her husband to take part in the
christening, an exhausting ceremony too much for her strength, she
sickened and died soon afterwards.

[Sidenote: Lutheran tracts]

In the meantime the Lutheran movement was growing apace in England.  In
the last two decades of Henry's reign seven of Luther's tracts and some
of his hymns were translated into English.  Five of the tracts proved
popular enough to be reprinted.  One of them was _The Liberty of a
Christian Man_, turned into English by John Tewkesbury whom, having
died for his faith, More called "a stinking martyr."  The hymns and
some of the other tracts were Englished by Miles Coverdale.  In
addition to this there was translated an account of Luther's death in
1546, the Augsburg Confession and four treatises of Melanchthon, and
one each of Zwingli, Oecolampadius and Bullinger,--this last reprinted.
Of course these versions are not a full measure of Lutheran influence,
but a mere barometer.  The party now numbered powerful preachers like
Latimer and Ridley; Thomas Cranmer the Archbishop of Canterbury and
Thomas Cromwell, since May, 1534, the king's principal secretary.  The
adherence of the last named to the Reforming party is perhaps the most
significant sign of the times.  As his only object was to be on the
winning side, and as he had not a bit of real religious interest, it
makes it all the more impressive that, believing the cat was about to
jump in the direction of Lutheranism, he should have tried to put
himself in the line of its trajectory {300} by doing all he could to
foster the Reformers at home and the Protestant alliance abroad.

[Sidenote: Coverdale, 1488?-1569]

One of the decisive factors in the Reformation again proved to be the
English Bible, completed, after the end of Tyndale's labors by a man of
less scholarship but equally happy mastery of language, Miles
Coverdale.  Of little original genius, he spent his life largely in the
labor of translating tracts and treatises by the German Reformers into
his native tongue.  [Sidenote: The English Bible, 1535]  His first
great work was the completion of the English Bible which was published
by Christopher Froschauer of Zurich in 1535, the title-page stating
that it had been translated "out of Douche and Latyn"--the "Douche"
being, of course, Luther's German version.  For the New Testament and
for the Old Testament as far as the end of Chronicles, Tyndale's
version was used; the rest was by Coverdale.  The work was dedicated to
the king, and, as Cromwell had already been considering the
advisability of authorizing the English Bible, this was not an
unwelcome thing.  But as the government was as yet unprepared to
recognize work avowedly based on German Protestant versions, [Sidenote:
1537] they resorted to the device of re-issuing the Bible with the name
of Thomas Matthew as translator, though in fact it consisted entirely
of the work of Tyndale and Coverdale.  [Sidenote: 1538-9]  A light
revision of this work was re-issued as the Great Bible, [Sidenote:
October 11, 1538] and Injunctions were issued by Cromwell ordering a
Bible of the largest size to be set up in every church, and the people
to be encouraged to read it.  They were also to be taught the Lord's
prayer and creed in English, spiritual sermons were to be preached, and
superstitions, such as going on pilgrimages, burning candles to saints,
and kissing and licking relics, were to be discouraged.

At the same time Cromwell diligently sought a _rapprochement_ with the
German Protestants.  The idea {301} was an obvious one that, having won
the enmity of Charles, England should support his dangerous intestine
enemies, the Schmalkaldic princes.  In that day of theological politics
it was natural to try to find cement for the alliance in a common
confession.  Embassy after embassy made pilgrimages to Wittenberg,
where the envoys had long discussions with the Reformers [Sidenote:
January, 1536] both about the divorce and about matters of faith.  They
took back with them to England, together with a personal letter from
Luther to Cromwell, [Sidenote: April] a second opinion unfavorable to
the divorce and a confession drawn up in Seventeen Articles.  In this,
though in the main it was, as it was called, "a repetition and exegesis
of the Augsburg Confession," considerable concessions were made to the
wishes of the English.  Melanchthon was the draughtsman and Luther the
originator of the articles.

This symbol now became the basis of the first definition of faith drawn
up by the government.  Some such statement was urgently needed, for,
amid the bewildering acts of the Reformation Parliament, the people
hardly knew what the king expected them to believe.  The king therefore
presented to Convocation a Book of Articles of Faith and Ceremonies,
[Sidenote: July 11 The Book of Articles] commonly called the Ten
Articles, drafted by Fox on the basis of the memorandum he had received
at Wittenberg, in close substantial and frequently in verbal agreement
with it.  By this confession the Bible, the three creeds, and the acts
of the first four councils were designated as authoritative; the three
Lutheran sacraments of baptism, penance, and the altar were retained;
justification by faith and good works jointly was proclaimed; the use
of images was allowed and purgatory disallowed; the real presence in
the sacrament was strongly affirmed.  The significance of the articles,
however, is not so much their Lutheran provenance, as in their
promulgation {302} by the crown.  It was the last step in the
enslavement of religion.  "This king," as Luther remarked, "wants to be
God.  He founds articles of faith, which even the pope never did."

[Sidenote: The Pilgrimage of Grace]

It only remained to see what the people would say to the new order.
Within a few months after the dissolution of the Reformation Parliament
and the publication of the Ten Articles, the people in the north spread
upon the page of history an extremely emphatic protest.  For this is
really what the Pilgrimage of Grace was--not a rebellion against king,
property, or any established institution, but a great demonstration
against the policy for which Cromwell became the scapegoat.  In those
days of slow communication opinions travelled on the beaten roads of
commerce.  As late as Mary's reign there is proof that Protestantism
was confined to the south, east, and midlands,--roughly speaking to a
circle with London as its center and a radius of one hundred miles.  In
these earlier years, Protestant opinion was probably even more
confined; London was both royalist and anti-Roman Catholic; the ports
on the south-eastern coast, including Calais, at that time an English
station in France, and the university towns had strong Lutheran and
still stronger anti-clerical parties.

But in the wilds of the north and west it was different.  There, hardly
any bourgeois class of traders existed to adopt "the religion of
merchants" as Protestantism has been called.  Perhaps more important
was the mere slowness of the diffusion of ideas.  The good old ways
were good enough for men who never knew anything else.  The people were
discontented with the high taxes, and the nobles, who in the north
retained feudal affections if not feudal power, were outraged by the
ascendency in the royal councils of low-born upstarts.  Moreover, it
seems that the clergy {303} were stronger in the north even before the
inroads of the new doctrines.  In the suppression of the lesser
monasteries Yorkshire, the largest county in England, had lost the most
foundations, 53 in all, and Lincolnshire the next most, 37.  Irritation
at the suppression itself was greatly increased among the clergy by the
insolence and thoroughness of the visitation, in which not only
monasteries but parish priests had been examined.  In resisting the
king in the name of the church the priests had before them the example
of the most popular English saint, Thomas Becket.  They were the real
fomenters of the demonstration, and the gentlemen, not the people, its

Rioting began in Lincolnshire on October 1, 1536, and before the end of
the month 40,000 men had joined the movement.  A petition to the king
was drawn up demanding that the church holidays be kept as before, that
the church be relieved of the payment of first-fruits and tithes, that
the suppressed houses be restored except those which the king "kept for
his pleasure only," that taxes be reduced and some unpopular officials

Henry thundered an answer in his most high and mighty style: "How
presumptuous then are ye, the rude commons of one shire, and that one
of the most brute and beastly of the whole realm, and of least
experience to find fault with your prince in the electing of his
councillors and prelates!"  He at once dispatched an army with orders
"to invade their countries, to burn, spoil and destroy their goods,
wives and children."  [Sidenote: March 1537]  Repression of the rising
in Lincolnshire was followed by the execution of forty-six leaders.

But the movement had promptly spread to Yorkshire, where men gathered
as for a peaceable demonstration, [Sidenote: October 1536] and swore
not to enter "this pilgrimage of grace for the commonwealth, save only
for the {304} maintenance of God's faith and church militant,
preservation of the king's person, and purifying the nobility of all
villein's blood and evil counsellors, to the restitution of Christ's
church and the suppression of heretics' opinions."  In Yorkshire it was
feared that the money extorted from the abbeys was going to London; and
that the new treason's acts would operate harshly.  Cumberland and
Westmoreland soon joined the rising, their special grievance being the
economic one of the rise of rents, or rather of the heavy fines exacted
by landlords on the renewal of leases.  An army of 35,000 was raised by
the insurgents but their leader, Robert Aske, did not wish to fight,
though he was opposed by only 8,000 royal troops.  He preferred a
parley and demanded, in addition to a free pardon, the acceptance of
the northern demands, the summons of a free Parliament, the restoration
of the papal supremacy as touching the cure of souls, and the
suppression of the books of Tyndale, Huss, Luther, and Melanchthon.
The king invited Aske to a personal interview, and promised to accede
to the demand for a Parliament if the petitioners would disperse.  An
act of violence on a part of a few of the northerners was held to
absolve the government, and Henry, having gathered his forces,
demanded, and secured, a "dreadful execution" of vengeance.

Though the Pilgrimage of Grace had some effect in warning Henry not to
dabble in foreign heresies, the policy he had most at heart, that of
making himself absolute in state and church, went on apace.  The
culmination of the growth of the royal power is commonly seen in the
Statute of Proclamations [Sidenote: Statute of Proclamations, 1539]
apparently giving the king's proclamations the same validity as law
save when they touched the lives, liberty, or property of subjects or
were repugnant to existing statutes.  Probably, however, the intent of
Parliament was not {305} to confer new powers on the crown but to
regulate the enforcement of already existing prerogatives.  As a matter
of fact no proclamations were issued during the last years of Henry's
reign that might not have been issued before.

But the reform of the church by the government, in morals and usages,
not in doctrine, proceeded unchecked.  The larger monasteries had been
falling into the king's hands by voluntary surrender ever since 1536; a
new visitation and a new Act for the dissolution [Sidenote: 1539] of
the greater monasteries completed the process.

[Sidenote: War on relics]

An iconoclastic war was now begun not, as in other countries, by the
mob, but by the government.  Relics like the Blood of Hailes were
destroyed, and the Rood of Boxley, a crucifix mechanically contrived so
that the priests made it nod and smile or shake its head and frown
according to the liberality of its worshipper, was taken down and the
mechanism exposed in various places.  At Walsingham in Norfolk was a
nodding image of the Virgin, a bottle of her milk, still liquid, and a
knuckle of St. Peter.  The shrine, ranking though it did with Loretto
and Compostella in popular veneration, was now destroyed.  With much
zest the government next attacked the shrine of St. Thomas Becket at
Canterbury, thus revenging the humiliation of another Henry at the
hands of the church.  The martyr was now declared to be a rebel who had
fled from the realm.

[Sidenote: 1536]

The definition of doctrine, coupled with negotiations with the
Schmalkaldic princes, continued briskly.  The project for an alliance
came to nothing, for John Frederic of Saxony wrote that God would not
allow them to have communication with Henry.  Two embassies to England
engaged in assiduous, but fruitless, theological discussion.  Henry
himself, with the aid of Cuthbert Tunstall, drew up a long statement
"against {306} the opinions of the Germans on the sacrament in both
kinds, private masses, and sacerdotal marriage."  The reactionary
tendency of the English is seen in the _Institution of the Christian
Man_, [Sidenote: Definitions of Faith] published with royal authority,
and still more in the Act of the Six Articles.  [Sidenote: 1537]  In
the former the four sacraments previously discarded are again "found."
[Sidenote: 1539]  In the latter, transubstantiation is affirmed, the
doctrine of communion in both kinds branded as heresy, the marriage of
priests declared void, vows of chastity are made perpetually binding,
private masses and auricular confessions are sanctioned.  Denial of
transubstantiation was made punishable by the stake and forfeiture of
goods; those who spoke against the other articles were declared guilty
of felony on the second offence.  This act, officially entitled "for
abolishing diversity in opinions" was really the first act of
uniformity.  It was carried by the influence of the king and the laity
against the parties represented by Cromwell and Cranmer.  It ended the
plans for a Schmalkaldic alliance.  [Sidenote: July 10, 1539]  Luther
thanked God that they were rid of that blasphemer who had tried to
enter their league but failed.

By a desperate gamble Cromwell now tried to save what was left of his
pro-German policy.  Duke William of Cleves-Jülich-Berg had adopted an
Erasmian compromise between Lutheranism and Romanism, in some respects
resembling the course pursued by Henry.  In this direction Cromwell
accordingly next turned and induced his master to contract a marriage
with Anne, [Sidenote: January 6, 1540] the duke's sister.  As Henry had
offered to the European audience three tragedies in his three former
marriages, he now, in true Greek style, presented in his fourth a farce
or "satyric drama."  The monarch did not like his new wife in the
least, and found means of ridding himself of her more speedily than was
usual even with him.  Having shared her bed for six months {307} he
divorced her on the ground that the marriage had not been consummated.
[Sidenote: July 28, 1540]  The ex-queen continued to live as "the
king's good sister" with a pension and establishment of her own, but
Cromwell vicariously expiated her failure to please.  He was attainted,
without trial, for treason, and speedily executed.

[Sidenote: Bluebeard's wives]

On the same day Henry married Catharine Howard, a beautiful girl
selected by the Catholics to play the same part for them that Anne
Boleyn had played for the Lutherans, and who did so more exactly than
her backers intended.  Like her predecessor she was beheaded for
adultery on February 13, 1542.  On July 12, 1543, Bluebeard concluded
his matrimonial adventures by taking Catharine Parr, a lady who, like
Sieyès after the Terror, must have congratulated herself on her rare
ability in surviving.

[Sidenote: Catholic reaction]

As a Catholic reaction marked the last eight years of Henry's reign, it
may perhaps be well to say a few words about the state of opinion in
England at that time.  The belief that the whole people took their
religion with sheepish meekness from their king is too simple and too
dishonorable to the national character to be believed.  That they
_appeared_ to do this is really a proof that parties were nearly
divided.  Just as in modern times great issues are often decided in
general elections by narrow majorities, so in the sixteenth century
public opinion veered now this way, now that, in part guided by the
government, in part affecting it even when the channels by which it did
so are not obvious.  We must not imagine that the people took no
interest in the course of affairs.  On the contrary the burning issues
of the day were discussed in public house and marketplace with the same
vivacity with which politics are now debated in the New England country
store.  "The Word of God was disputed, rhymed, sung and jangled in
every alehouse and {308} tavern," says a contemporary state paper.  In
private, graver men argued with the high spirit reflected in More's

Four parties may be plainly discerned.  First and most numerous were
the strict Anglicans, orthodox and royalist, comprising the greater
part of the crown-loving, priest-hating and yet, in intellectual
matters, conservative common people.  Secondly, there were the pope's
followers, still strong in numbers especially among the clergy and in
the north.  Their leaders were among the most high-minded of the
nation, but were also the first to be smitten by the king's wrath
which, as his satellites were always repeating in Latin proverb, meant
death.  Such men were More and Fisher and the London Carthusians
executed in 1535 for refusing the oath of supremacy.  Third, there were
the Lutherans, an active and intelligent minority of city merchants and
artisans, led by men of conspicuous talents and generally of high
character, like Coverdale, Kidley, and Latimer.  With these leaders
were a few opportunists like Cranmer and a few Machiavellians like
Cromwell.  Lastly there was a very small contingent of extremists,
Zwinglians and Anabaptists, all classed together as blasphemers and as
social agitators.  Their chief notes were the variety of their opinions
and the unanimity of their persecution by all other parties.  Some of
them were men of intelligible social and religious tenets; others
furnished the "lunatic fringe" of the reform movement.  The
proclamation banishing them from England [Sidenote: 1538] on pain of
death merely continued the previous practice of the government.

The fall of the Cromwell ministry, if it may be so termed by modern
analogy, was followed by a government in which Henry acted as his own
prime minister.  {309} He had made good his boast that if his shirt
knew his counsel he would strip it off.[1]  Two of his great ministers
he had cast down for being too Catholic, one for being too Protestant.
Having procured laws enabling him to burn Romanists as traitors and
Lutherans as heretics, he established a régime of pure Anglicanism, the
only genuine Anglican Catholicism, however much it may have been
imitated in after centuries, that ever existed.

[Sidenote: Anti-protestant measures]

Measures were at once taken towards suppressing the Protestants and
their Bible.  One of the first martyrs was Robert Barnes, a personal
friend of Luther.  Much stir was created by the burning, some years
later, of a gentlewoman named Anne Askewe and of three men, at
Smithfield.  The revulsion naturally caused by this cruelty prepared
the people for the Protestant rule of Edward.  The Bible was also
attacked.  The translation of 1539 was examined by Convocation in 1540
and criticized for not agreeing more closely with the Latin.  In 1543
all marginal notes were obliterated and the lower classes forbidden to
read the Bible at all.

Henry's reign ended as it began with war on France and Scotland, but
with little success.  The government was put to dire straits to raise
money.  A forced loan of 10 per cent. on property was exacted in 1542
and repudiated by law the next year.  An income tax rising from four
pence to two shillings in the pound on goods and from eight pence to
three shillings on revenue from land, was imposed.  Crown lands were
sold or mortgaged.  The last and most disastrous expedient was the
debasement of the coinage, the old equivalent of the modern issue of
irredeemable paper.  As a consequence of this prices rose enormously.

[1] The metaphor came from Erasmus, _De lingua_, 1525, _Opera_, iv,
682, where the words are attributed to Caecilius Metellus.



[Sidenote: Accession of Edward VI, January 28, 1547]

The real test of the popularity of Henry's double revolution,
constitutional and religious, came when England was no longer guided by
his strong personality, but was ruled by a child and governed by a weak
and shifting regency.  It is significant that, whereas the prerogative
of the crown was considerably relaxed, though substantially handed on
to Edward's stronger successors, the Reformation proceeded at
accelerated pace.

[Sidenote: Somerset Regent]

Henry himself, not so much to insure further change as to safeguard
that already made, appointed Reformers as his son's tutors and made the
majority of the Council of Regency Protestant.  The young king's
maternal uncle, Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, was chosen by the
council as Protector and created Duke of Somerset.  [Sidenote: 1547]
Mildness was the characteristic of his rule.  He ignored Henry's
treason and heresy acts even before they had been repealed.

[Sidenote: Repeal of treason and heresy laws]

The first general election was held with little government
interference.  Parliament may be assumed to have expressed the will of
the nation when it repealed Henry's treason and heresy laws, the
ancient act _De Haeretico comburendo_, the Act of the Six Articles, and
the Statute of Proclamations.

To ascertain exactly what, at a given time, is the "public opinion" of
a political group, is one of the most difficult tasks of the
historian.[1]  Even nowadays it is certain that the will of the
majority is frequently not reflected either in the acts of the
legislature or in the newspaper press.  It cannot even be said that the
wishes of the majority are always public opinion.  In expressing the
voice of the people there is generally some section more vocal, more
powerful on account {311} of wealth or intelligence, and more deeply in
earnest than any other; and this minority, though sometimes a
relatively small one, imposes its will in the name of the people and
identifies its voice with the voice of God.

[Sidenote: Protestant public opinion]

Therefore, when we read the testimony of contemporaries that the
majority of England was still Catholic by the middle of the sixteenth
century, a further analysis of popular opinion must be made to account
for the apparently spontaneous rush of the Reformation.  Some of these
estimates are doubtless exaggerations, as that of Paget who wrote in
1549 that eleven Englishmen out of twelve were Catholics.  But
conceding, as we must, that a considerable majority was still
anti-Protestant, it must be remembered that this majority included most
of the indifferent and listless and almost all those who held their
opinions for no better reason than they had inherited them and refused
the trouble of thinking about them.  Nearly the solid north and west,
the country districts and the unrepresented and mute proletariat of the
cities, counted as Catholic but hardly counted for anything else.  The
commercial class of the towns and the intellectual class, which, though
relatively small, then as now made public opinion as measured by all
ordinary tests, was predominantly and enthusiastically Protestant.

If we analyse the expressed wishes of England, we shall find a mixture
of real religious faith and of worldly, and sometimes discreditable,
motives.  A new party always numbers among its constituency not only
those who love its principles but those who hate its opponents.  With
the Protestants were a host of allies varying from those who detested
Rome to those who repudiated all religion.  Moreover every successful
party has a number of hangers-on for the sake of political spoils, and
some who follow its fortunes {312} with no purpose save to fish in
troubled waters.

But whatever their constituency or relative numbers, the Protestants
now carried all before them.  In the free religious debate that
followed the death of Henry, the press teemed with satires and
pamphlets, mostly Protestant.  From foreign parts flocked allies, while
the native stock of literary ammunition was reinforced by German and
Swiss books.  In the reign of Edward there were three new translations
of Luther's books, five of Melanchthon's, two of Zwingli's, two of
Oecolampadius's, three of Bullinger's and four of Calvin's.  Many
English religious leaders were in correspondence with Bullinger, many
with Calvin, and some with Melanchthon.  Among the prominent European
Protestants called to England during this reign were Bucer and Fagius
of Germany, Peter Martyr and Bernardino Ochino of Italy, and the Pole
John Laski.

The purification of the churches began promptly.  [Sidenote: 1547]
Images, roods and stained glass windows were destroyed, while the
buildings were whitewashed on the inside, properly to express the
austerity of the new cult.  Evidence shows that these acts,
countenanced by the government, were popular in the towns but not in
the country districts.

[Sidenote: Book of Common Prayer, 1549]

Next came the preparation of an English liturgy.  The first Book of
Common Prayer was the work of Cranmer.  Many things in it, including
some of the most beautiful portions, were translations from the Roman
Breviary; but the high and solemn music of its language must be
credited to the genius of its translator.  Just as the English Bible
popularized the Reformation, so the English Prayer Book strengthened
and broadened the hold of the Anglican church.  Doctrinally, it was a
compromise between Romanism, Lutheranism and Calvinism.  Its use was
enforced by the Act of Uniformity, [Sidenote: 1549] {313} the first and
mildest of the statutes that bore that name.  Though it might be
celebrated in Greek, Latin or Hebrew as well as in English, priests
using any other service were punished with loss of benefices and

At this time there must have been an unrecorded struggle in the Council
of Regency between the two religious parties, followed by the victory
of the innovators.  [Sidenote: End of 1549]  The pace of the
Reformation was at once increased; between 1550 and 1553 England gave
up most of what was left of distinctively medieval Catholicism.  For
one thing, the marriage of priests was now legalized.  [Sidenote:
Accelerated Reformation]  That public opinion was hardly prepared for
this as yet is shown by the act itself in which celibacy of the clergy
is declared to be the better condition, and marriage only allowed to
prevent vice.  The people still regarded priests' wives much as
concubines and the government spoke of clergymen as "sotted with their
wives and children."  There is one other bit of evidence, of a most
singular character, showing that this and subsequent Acts of Uniformity
were not thoroughly enforced.  The test of orthodoxy came to be taking
the communion occasionally according to the Anglican rite.  This was at
first expected of everyone and then demanded by law; but the law was
evaded by permitting a conscientious objector to hire a substitute to
take communion for him.

In 1552 the Prayer Book was revised in a Protestant sense.  Bucer had
something to do with this revision, and so did John Knox.  Little was
now left of the mass, nothing of private confession or anointing the
sick.  Further steps were the reform of the Canon Law and the
publication of the Forty-two Articles of Religion.  These were drawn up
by Cranmer on the basis of thirteen articles agreed upon by a
conference of three English Bishops, four English doctors, and two
German missionaries, Boyneburg and Myconius, in {314} May, 1538.
Cranmer hoped to make his statement irenic; and in fact it contained
some Roman and Calvinistic elements, but in the main it was Lutheran.
Justification by faith was asserted; only two sacraments were retained.
Transubstantiation was denounced as repugnant to Scripture and private
masses as "dangerous impostures."  The real presence was maintained in
a Lutheran sense: the bread was said to be the Body of Christ, and the
wine the Blood of Christ, but only after a heavenly and spiritual
manner.  It was said that by Christ's ordinance the sacrament is not
reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.

A reform of the clergy was also undertaken, and was much needed.  In
1551 Bishop Hooper found in his diocese of 311 clergymen, 171 could not
repeat the Ten Commandments, ten could not say the Lord's Prayer in
English, seven could not tell who was its author, and sixty-two were
absentees, chiefly because of pluralities.

The notable characteristic of the Edwardian Reformation was its
mildness.  There were no Catholic martyrs.  It is true that heretics
coming under the category of blasphemers or deniers of Christianity
could still be put to death by common law, and two men were actually
executed for speculations about the divinity of Christ, but such cases
were wholly exceptional.

[Sidenote: Social disorders]

The social disorders of the time, coming to a head, seemed to threaten
England with a rising of the lower classes similar to the Peasants' War
of 1525 in Germany.  The events in England prove that, however much
these ebullitions might be stimulated by the atmosphere of the
religious change, they wore not the direct result of the new gospel.
In the west of England and in Oxfordshire the lower classes rebelled
{315} under the leadership of Catholic priests; in the east the rising,
known as Kett's rebellion, took on an Anabaptist character.  The real
causes of discontent were the same in both cases.  The growing wealth
of the commercial classes had widened the gap between rich and poor.
The inclosures continued to be a grievance, by the ejection of small
tenants and the appropriation of common lands.  But by far the greatest
cause of hardship to the poor was the debasement of the coinage.
Wheat, barley, oats and cattle rose in price to two or three times
their previous cost, while wages, kept down by law, rose only 11 per
cent.  No wonder that the condition of the laborer had become

The demands of the eastern rising, centering at Norwich, bordered on
communism.  The first was for the enfranchisement of all bondsmen for
the reason that Christ had made all men free.  Inclosures of commons
and private property in game and fish were denounced and further
agrarian demands were voiced.  The rebels committed no murder and
little sacrilege, but vented their passions by slaughtering vast
numbers of sheep.  All the peasant risings were suppressed by the
government, and the economic forces continued to operate against the
wasteful agricultural system of the time and in favor of wool-growing
and manufacture.

[Sidenote: Execution of Somerset, January 22, 1552]

After five years under Protector Somerset there was a change of
government signalized, as usual under Henry VIII, by the execution of
the resigning minister.  Somerset suffered from the unpopularity of the
new religious policy in some quarters and from that following the
peasants' rebellion in others.  As usual, the government was blamed for
the economic evils of the time and for once, in having debased the
coinage, justly.  Moreover the Protector had been {316} involved by
scheming rivals in the odium more than in the guilt of fratricide, for
this least bloody of all English ministers in that century, had
executed his brother, Thomas, Baron Seymour, a rash and ambitious man
rightly supposed to be plotting his own advancement by a royal marriage.

Among the leaders of the Reformation belonging to the class of mere
adventurers, John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, was the ablest and the
worst.  As the Protector held quasi-royal powers, he could only be
deposed by using the person of the young king.  Warwick ingratiated
himself with Edward and brought the child of thirteen to the council.
Of course he could only speak what was taught him, but the name of
royalty had so dread a prestige that none dared disobey him.  At his
command Warwick was created Duke of Northumberland, [Sidenote:
Northumberland and Suffolk] and his confederate, Henry Grey Marquis of
Dorset, was created Duke of Suffolk.  A little later these men, again
using the person of the king, had Somerset tried and executed.

The conspirators did not long enjoy their triumph.  While Edward lived
and was a minor they were safe, but Edward was a consumptive visibly
declining.  They had no hope of perpetuating their power save to alter
the succession, and this they tried to do.  Another Earl of Warwick had
been a king-maker, why not the present one?  Henry VIII's will
appointed to succeed him, in case of Edward's death without issue, (1)
Mary, (2) Elizabeth, (3) the heirs of his younger sister Mary who had
married Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.  Of this marriage there had
been born two daughters, the elder of whom, Frances, married Henry
Grey, recently created Duke of Suffolk.  The issue of this marriage
were three daughters, and the eldest of them, Lady Jane Grey, was
picked by the two dukes as the heir to the throne, and was married to
{317} Northumberland's son, Guilford Dudley.  The young king was now
appealed to, on the ground of his religious feeling, to alter the
succession so as to exclude not only his Catholic sister Mary but his
lukewarm sister Elizabeth in favor of the strongly Protestant Lady
Jane.  Though his lawyers told him he could not alter the succession to
the crown, he intimidated them into drawing up a "devise" purporting to
do this.

[1] See A. L. Lowell: _Public Opinion and Popular Government_, 1914.


[Sidenote: Proclamation of Queen Jane, July 10, 1553]

When Edward died on July 6, 1553, Northumberland had taken such
precautions as he could to ensure the success of his project.  He had
gathered his own men at London and tried to secure help from France,
whose king would have been only too glad to involve England in civil
war.  The death of the king was concealed for four days while
preparations were being made, and then Queen Jane was proclaimed.
Mary's challenge arrived the next day and she (Mary) at once began
raising an army.  Had her person been secured the plot might have
succeeded, but she avoided the set snares.  Charles V wished to support
her for religious reasons, but feared to excite patriotic feeling by
dispatching an army and therefore confined his intervention to
diplomatic representations to Northumberland.

[Sidenote: Accession of Mary]

There was no doubt as to the choice of the people.  Even the strongest
Protestants hated civil turmoil more than they did Catholicism, and the
people as a whole felt instinctively that if the crown was put up as a
prize for unscrupulous politicians there would be no end of strife.
All therefore flocked to Mary, and almost without a struggle she
overcame the conspirators and entered her capital amid great rejoicing.
Northumberland, after a despicable and fruitless recantation, was
executed and so were his son and his son's wife, Queen Jane.  Sympathy
was felt for her on {318} account of her youth, beauty and remarkable
talents, but none for her backers.

The relief with which the settlement was regarded gave the new queen at
least the good will of the nation to start with.  This she gradually
lost.  Just as Elizabeth instinctively did the popular thing, so Mary
seemed almost by fatality to choose the worst course possible.  Her
foreign policy, in the first place, was both un-English and
unsuccessful.  [Sidenote: Marriage of Mary and Philip, July 25, 1554]
Almost at once Charles V proposed his son Philip as Mary's husband,
and, after about a year of negotiation, the marriage took place.  The
tremendous unpopularity of this step was due not so much to hostility
to Spain, though Spain was beginning to be regarded as the national foe
rather than France, but to the fear of a foreign domination.  England
had never before been ruled by a queen, if we except the disastrous
reign of Mathilda, and it was natural to suppose that Mary's husband
should have the prerogative as well as the title of king.  In vain
Philip tried to disabuse the English of the idea that he was asserting
any independent claims; in some way the people felt that they were
being annexed to Spain, and they hated it.

The religious aim of the marriage, to aid in the restoration of
Catholicism, was also disliked.  Cardinal Pole frankly avowed this
purpose, declaring that

  as Christ, being heir of the world, was sent down by his
  Father from the royal throne, to be at once Spouse and
  Son of the Virgin Mary and to be made the Comforter
  and Saviour of mankind; so, in like manner, the greatest
  of all princes upon earth, the heir of his father's
  kingdom, departed from his own broad and happy realms that
  he, too, might come hither into this land of trouble, to be
  the spouse and son of this virgin Mary . . . to aid in the
  reconciliation of this people to Christ and the church.

For Mary herself the marriage was most unhappy.  {319} She was a bride
of thirty-eight, already worn and aged by grief and care; her
bridegroom was only twenty-seven.  She adored him, but he almost
loathed her and made her miserable by neglect and unfaithfulness.  Her
passionate hopes for a child led her to believe and announce that she
was to have one, and her disappointment was correspondingly bitter.

So unpopular was the marriage coupled with the queen's religious
policy, that it led to a rebellion under Sir Thomas Wyatt.  Though
suppressed, it was a dangerous symptom, especially as Mary failed to
profit by the warning.  Her attempts to implicate her sister Elizabeth
in the charge of treason failed.

Had Mary's foreign policy only been strong it might have conciliated
the patriotic pride of the ever present jingo.  But under her
leadership England seemed to decline almost to its nadir.  The command
of the sea was lost and, as a consequence of this and of the military
genius of the Duke of Guise, Calais, held for over two centuries, was
conquered by the French.  [Sidenote: 1558]  With the subsequent loss of
Guines the last English outpost on the continent was reft from her.

[Sidenote: Religious policy]

Notwithstanding Mary's saying that "Calais" would be found in her heart
when she died, by far her deepest interest was the restoration of
Catholicism.  To assist her in this task she had Cardinal Reginald
Pole, in whose veins flowed the royal blood of England and whom the
pope appointed as legate to the kingdom.  Though Mary's own impulse was
to act strongly, she sensibly adopted the emperor's advice to go slowly
and, as far as possible, in legal forms.  Within a month of her
succession she issued a proclamation stating her intention to remain
Catholic and her hope that her subjects would embrace the same
religion, but at the same time disclaiming the intention of forcing
them and forbidding strife and the use of {320} "those new-found
devilish terms of papist or heretic or such like."

Elections to the first Parliament were free; it passed two noteworthy
Acts of Repeal, [Sidenote: Repeal of Reforming acts] the first
restoring the _status quo_ at the death of Henry VIII, the second
restoring the _status quo_ of 1529 on the eve of the Reformation
Parliament.  This second act abolished eighteen statutes of Henry VIII
and one of Edward VI, but it refused to restore the church lands.  The
fate of the confiscated ecclesiastical property was one of the greatest
obstacles, if not the greatest, in the path of reconciliation with
Rome.  The pope at first insisted upon it, and Pole was deeply grieved
at being obliged to absolve sinners who kept the fruits of their sins.
But the English, as the Spanish ambassador Renard wrote, "would rather
get themselves massacred than let go" the abbey lands.  The very
Statute of Repeal, therefore, that in other respects met Mary's
demands, carefully guarded the titles to the secularized lands, making
all suits relating to them triable only in crown courts.

The second point on which Parliament, truly representing a large
section of public opinion, was obstinate, was in the refusal to
recognize the papal supremacy.  The people as a whole cared not what
dogma they were supposed to believe, but they for the most part
cordially hated the pope.  They therefore agreed to pass the acts of
repeal only on condition that nothing was said about the royal
supremacy.  To Mary's insistence they returned a blank refusal to act
and she was compelled to wait "while Parliament debated articles that
might well puzzle a general council," as a contemporary wrote.

Lords and Commons were quite willing to pass acts to strengthen the
crown and then to leave the responsibility {321} for further action to
it.  Thus the divorce of Henry and Catharine of Aragon was repealed and
the Revival of treason laws were revived.  [Sidenote: Revival of
treason laws]  Going even beyond the limit of Henry VIII it was made
treason to "pray or desire" that God would shorten the queen's days.
Worse than that, Parliament revived the heresy laws.  It is a strange
comment on the nature of legislatures that they have so often, as in
this case, protected property better than life, and made money more
sacred than conscience.  However, it was not Parliament but the
executive that carried out to its full extent the policy of persecution
and religious reaction.

The country soon showed its opposition.  A temporary disarray that
might have been mistaken for disintegration had been produced in the
Protestant ranks by the recantation of Northumberland.  The restoration
of the mass was accomplished in orderly manner in most places.  The
English formulas had been patient of a Catholic interpretation, and
doubtless many persons regarded the change from one liturgy to the
other as a matter of slight importance.  Moreover the majority made a
principle of conformity to the government, believing that an act of the
law relieved the conscience of the individual of responsibility.  But
even so, there was a large minority of recusants.  Of 8800 beneficed
clergy in England, 2000 were ejected for refusal to comply.  A very
large number fled to the Continent, forming colonies at
Frankfort-on-the-Main and at Geneva and scattering in other places.
The opinion of the imperial ambassador Renard that English Protestants
depended entirely on support from abroad was tolerably true for this
reign, for their books continued to be printed abroad, and a few
further translations from foreign reformers were made.  It is
noteworthy that these mostly treat of the {322} question, then so much
in debate, whether Protestants might innocently attend the mass.

Other expressions of the temper of the people were the riots in London.
On the last day of the first Parliament a dog with a tonsured crown, a
rope around its neck and a writing signifying that priests and bishops
should be hung, was thrown through a window into the queen's presence
chamber.  At another time a cat was found tonsured, surpliced, and with
a wafer in its mouth in derision of the mass.  The perpetrators of
these outrages could not be found.

[Sidenote: Passive resistance]

A sterner, though passive, resistance to the government was gloriously
evinced when stake and rack began to do their work.  Mary was totally
unprepared for the strength of Protestant feeling in the country.  She
hoped a few executions would strike terror into the hearts of all and
render further persecution unnecessary.  But from the execution of the
first martyr, John Rogers, it was plain that the people sympathized
with the victims rather than feared their fate.  Not content with
warring on the living, Mary even broke the sleep of the dead.[1]  The
bodies of Bucer and Fagius were dug up and burned.  The body of Peter
Martyr's wife was also exhumed, though, as no evidence of heresy could
be procured, it was thrown on a dunghill to rot.

[Sidenote: Martyrs, October 16, 1555]

The most famous victims were Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer.  The first
two were burnt alive together, Latimer at the stake comforting his
friend by assuring him, "This day we shall light such a candle, by
God's grace, in England, as I trust, shall never be put out."  A
special procedure was reserved for Cranmer, as primate.  Every effort
was made to get him to recant.  He at first signed four submissions
recognizing the {323} power of the pope as and if restored by
Parliament.  He then signed two real recantations, and finally drew up
a seventh document, repudiating his recantations, re-affirming his
faith in the Protestant doctrine of the sacraments and denouncing the
pope.  By holding his right hand in the fire, when he was burned at the
stake, he testified his bitter repentance for its act in signing the
recantations.  [Sidenote: March 21, 1556]

The total number of martyrs in Mary's reign fell very little, if at
all, short of 300.  The lists of them are precise and circumstantial.
The geographical distribution is interesting, furnishing, as it does,
the only statistical information available in the sixteenth century for
the spread of Protestantism.  It graphically illustrates the fact, so
often noticed before, that the strongholds of the new opinions were the
commercial towns of the south and east.  If a straight line be drawn
from the Wash to Portsmouth, passing about twenty miles west of London,
it will roughly divide the Protestant from the Catholic portions of
England.  Out of 290 martyrdoms known, 247 took place east of this
line, that is, in the city of London and the counties of Essex,
Hertford, Kent, Sussex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridge.  Thirteen are
recorded in the south center, at Winchester and Salisbury, eleven at
the western ports of the Severn, Bristol and Gloucester.  There were
three in Wales, all on the coast at St. David's; one in the
south-western peninsula at Exeter, a few in the midlands, and not one
north of Lincolnshire and Cheshire.

When it is said that the English changed their religion easily, this
record of heroic opposition must be remembered to the contrary.  Mary's
reign became more and more hateful to her people until at last it is
possible that only the prospect of its speedy termination prevented a
rebellion.  The popular epithet of {324} "bloody" rightly distinguishes
her place in the estimate of history.  It is true that her persecution
sinks into insignificance compared with the holocausts of victims to
the inquisition in the Netherlands.  But the English people naturally
judged by their own history, and in all of that such a reign of terror
was unexampled.  The note of Mary's reign is sterility and its
achievement was to create, in reaction to the policy then pursued, a
ferocious and indelible hatred of Rome.

[1] The canon law forbade the burial of heretics in consecrated ground,
but it is said that Charles V refused to dig up Luther's body when he
took Wittenberg.


[Sidenote: Elizabeth, 1558-1603]

However numerous and thorny were the problems pressed for solution into
the hands of the maiden of twenty-five now called upon to rule England,
the greatest of all questions, that of religion, almost settled itself.
It is extremely hard to divest ourselves of the wisdom that comes after
the event and to put ourselves in the position of the men of that time
and estimate fairly the apparent feasibility of various alternatives.
But it is hard to believe that the considerations that seem so
overwhelming to us should not have forced themselves upon the attention
of the more thoughtful men of that generation.

In the first place, while the daughter of Anne Boleyn was predestined
by heredity and breeding to oppose Rome, yet she was brought up in the
Anglican Catholicism of Henry VIII.  At the age of eleven she had
translated Margaret of Navarre's _Mirror of the Sinful Soul_, a work
expressing the spirit of devotion joined with liberalism in creed and
outward conformity in cult.  The rapid vicissitudes of faith in England
taught her tolerance, and her own acute intellect and practical sense
inclined her to indifference.  She did not scruple to give all parties,
Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinist, the impression, when it suited her,
that she was almost in agreement with each of them.  The accusation
{325} that she was "an atheist and a maintainer of atheism" [Sidenote:
1601] meant no more than that her interests were secular.  She once
said that she would rather hear a thousand masses than be guilty of the
millions of crimes perpetrated by some of those who had suppressed the
mass.  She liked candles, crucifixes and ritual just as she
inordinately loved personal display.  And politically she learned very
early to fear the republicanism of Knox.

[Sidenote: Most of people Catholic]

The conservatism of Elizabeth's policy was determined also by the
consideration that, though the more intelligent and progressive classes
were Protestant, the mass of the people still clung to the Roman faith,
and, if they had no other power, had at least the _vis inertiae_.
Accurate figures cannot be obtained, but a number of indications are
significant.  In 1559 Convocation asserted the adherence of the clergy
to the ancient faith.  Maurice Clenoch estimated in 1561 that the
majority of the people would welcome foreign intervention in favor of
Mary Stuart and the old faith.  Nicholas Sanders, a contemporary
Catholic apologist, said that the common people of that period were
divided into three classes: husbandmen, shepherds and mechanics.  The
first two classes he considered entirely Catholic; the third class, he
said, were not tainted with schism as a whole, but only in some parts,
those, namely of sedentary occupation such as weavers, cobblers and
some lazy "aulici," _i.e._ servants and humble retainers of the great.
The remote parts of the kingdom, he added, were least tainted with
heresy and, as the towns were few and small, he estimated that less
than one per cent. of the population was Protestant.  Though these
figures are a tremendous exaggeration of the proportion of Catholics,
some support may be found for them in the information sent to the Curia
in 1567 that 32 English nobles were Catholic, 20 {326} well affected to
the Catholics and 15 Protestants.  Only slightly different is the
report sent in 1571 that at that time 33 English peers were Catholic,
15 doubtful and 16 heretical.  As a matter of fact, in religious
questions we find that the House of Lords would have been Catholic but
for the bishops, a solid phalanx of government nominees.

[Sidenote: But most powerful class Protestants]

But if the masses were Catholic, the strategically situated classes
were Reformed.  The first House of Commons of Elizabeth proved by its
acts to be strongly Protestant.  The assumption generally made that it
was packed by the government has been recently exploded.  Careful
testing shows that there was hardly any government interference.  Of
the 390 members, 168 had sat in earlier Parliaments of Mary, and that
was just the normal proportion of old members.  It must be remembered
that the parliamentary franchise approached the democratic only in the
towns, the strongholds of Protestantism, and that in the small boroughs
and in some of the counties the election was determined by just that
middle class most progressive and at this time most Protestant.

Another test of the temper of the country is the number of clergy
refusing the oath of supremacy.  Out of a total number of about nine
thousand only about two hundred lost their livings as recusants, and
most of these were Mary's appointees.

The same impression of Protestantism is given by the literature of the
time.  The fifty-six volumes of Elizabethan divinity published by the
Parker Society testify to the number of Reformation treaties, tracts,
hymns and letters of this period.  During the first thirty years of
Elizabeth's reign there were fifteen new translations of Luther's
works, not counting a number of reprints, two new translations from
Melanchthon, thirteen from Bullinger and thirty-four from Calvin.
{327} Notwithstanding this apparently large foreign influence, the
English Reformation at this time resumed the national character
temporarily lost during Mary's reign.  John Jewel's _Apologia Ecclesiae
Anglicanae_ [Sidenote: 1562] has been called by Creighton, "the first
methodical statement of the position of the church of England against
the church of Rome, and the groundwork of all subsequent controversy."

Finally, most of the prominent men of the time, and most of the rising
young men, were Protestants.  The English sea-captains, wolves of the
sea as they were, found it advisable to disguise themselves in the
sheep's clothing of zeal against the idolater.  More creditable to the
cause was the adherence of men like Sir William Cecil, later Lord
Burghley, a man of cool judgment and decent conversation.  Coverdale,
still active, was made a bishop.  John Foxe published, all in the
interests of his faith, the most popular and celebrated history of the
time.  Roger Ascham, Elizabeth's tutor, still looked to Lutheran
Germany as "a place where Christ's doctrine, the fear of God,
punishment of sin, and discipline of honesty were held in special
regard."  Edmund Spenser's great allegory, as well as some of his minor
poems, were largely inspired by Anglican and Calvinistic purposes.

[Sidenote: Conversion of the masses]

It was during Elizabeth's reign that the Roman Catholics lost the
majority they claimed in 1558 and became the tiny minority they have
ever since remained.  The time and to some extent the process through
which this came to pass can be traced with fair accuracy.  In 1563 the
policy of the government, till then wavering, became more decided,
indicating that the current had begun to set in favor of Protestantism.
The failure of the Northern rising and of the papal bull in 1569-70,
indicated the weakness of the ancient faith.  In 1572 a careful
estimate of the {328} religious state of England was made by a
contemporary, [Sidenote: Carleton's estimate] who thought that of the
three classes into which he divided the population, papist, Protestant
and atheist (by which he probably meant, indifferent) the first was
smaller than either of the other two.  Ten years later (1580-85) the
Jesuit mission in England claimed 120,000 converts.  But in reality
these adherents were not new converts, but the remnant of Romanism
remaining faithful.  If we assume, as a distinguished historian has
done, that this number included nearly all the obstinately devoted, as
the population of England and Wales was then about 4,000,000, the
proportion of Catholics was only about 3 per cent. of the total, at
which percentage it remained constant during the next century.  But
there were probably a considerable number of timid Roman Catholics not
daring to make themselves known to the Jesuit mission.  But even
allowing liberally for these, it is safe to say that by 1585 the
members of that church had sunk to a very small minority.

Those who see in the conversion of the English people the result merely
of government pressure must explain two inconvenient facts.  The first
is that the Puritans, who were more strongly persecuted than the
papists, waxed mightily notwithstanding.  The second is that, during
the period when the conversion of the masses took place, there were no
martyrdoms and there was little persecution.  The change was, in fact,
but the inevitable completion and consequence of the conversion of the
leaders of the people earlier.  With the masses, doubtless, the full
contrast between the old and the new faiths was not realized.
Attending the same churches if not the same church, using a liturgy
which some hoped would obtain papal sanction, and ignorant of the
changes made in translation from the Latin ritual, the uneducated did
not trouble themselves {329} about abstruse questions of dogma or even
about more obvious matters such as the supremacy of the pope and the
marriage of the clergy.  Moreover, there were strong positive forces
attracting them to the Anglican communion.  They soon learned to love
the English prayer-book, and the Bible became so necessary that the
Catholics were obliged to produce a version of their own.  English
insularity and patriotism drew them powerfully to the bosom of their
own peculiar communion.

[Sidenote: Elizabeth's policy]

Though we can now see that the forces drawing England to the
Reformation were decisive, the policy of Elizabeth was at first
cautious.  The old services went on until Parliament had spoken.  As
with Henry VIII, so with this daughter of his, scrupulous legality of
form marked the most revolutionary acts.  Elizabeth had been proclaimed
"Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith &c," this
"&c" being chosen to stand in place of the old title "Supreme Head of
the Church," thus dodging the question of its assumption or omission.
Parliament, however, very soon passed supremacy and uniformity acts to
supply the needed sanction.  The former repealed Philip and Mary's
Heresy Act and Repealing Statute, revived ten acts of Henry VIII and
one of Edward VI, but confirmed the repeal of six acts of Henry VIII.
Next, Parliament proceeded to seize the episcopal lands.  Its spirit
was just as secular as that of Henry's Parliaments, only there was less
ecclesiastical property left to grab.

The Book of Common Prayer was revised by introducing into the recension
of 1552 a few passages from the first edition of 1549, previously
rejected as too Catholic.  Three of the Forty-two Articles of Religion
of Edward were dropped, [Sidenote: The Thirty-nine Articles 1563] thus
making the Thirty-nine Articles that have ever since been the
authoritative {330} statement of Anglican doctrine.  Thus it is true to
some extent that the Elizabethan settlement was a compromise.  It took
special heed of various parties, and tried to avoid offence to
Lutherans, Zwinglians, and even to Roman Catholics.  But far more than
a compromise, it was a case of special development.  As it is usually
compared with the English Dissenting sects, the church of England is
often said to be the most conservative of the reformed bodies.  It is
often said that it is Protestant in doctrine and Catholic in ritual and
hierarchy.  But compared with the Lutheran church it is found to be if
anything further from Rome.  In fact the Anglicans of the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries abhorred the Lutherans as "semi-papists."

[Sidenote: The Church of England]

And yet the Anglican church was like the Lutheran not only in its
conservatism as compared with Calvinism, but in its political aspects.
Both became the strong allies of the throne; both had not only a
markedly national but a markedly governmental quality.  Just as the
Reformation succeeded in England by becoming national in opposition to
Spain, and remaining national in opposition to French culture, so the
Anglican church naturally became a perfect expression of the English
character.  Moderate, decorous, detesting extremes of speculation and
enthusiasm, she cares less for logic than for practical convenience.

Closely interwoven with the religious settlement were the questions of
the heir to the throne [Sidenote: Succession] and of foreign policy.
Elizabeth's life was the only breakwater that stood between the people
and a Catholic, if not a disputed, succession.  The nearest heir was
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, a granddaughter of Margaret Tudor, Henry
VIII's sister.  As a Catholic and a Frenchwoman, half by race and
wholly by her first marriage to Francis II, she would have been most
{331} distasteful to the ruling party in England.  Elizabeth was
therefore desired and finally urged by Parliament to marry.  Her
refusal to do this has been attributed to some hidden cause, as her
love for Leicester or the knowledge that she was incapable of bearing a
child.  But though neither of these hypotheses can be disproved,
neither is necessary to account for her policy.  It is true that it
would have strengthened her position to have had a child to succeed
her; but it would have weakened her personal sway to have had a
husband.  She wanted to rule as well as to reign.  Her many suitors
were encouraged just sufficiently to flatter her vanity and to attain
her diplomatic ends.  First, her brother-in-law Philip sought her hand,
and was promptly rejected as a Spanish Catholic.  Then, there was
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, apparently her favorite in spite of
his worthless character, but his rank was not high enough.  Then, there
were princes of Sweden and Denmark, an Archduke of Austria and two sons
of Catharine de' Medici's.  The suit of one of the latter began when
Elizabeth was thirty-nine years old and he was nineteen [Sidenote:
1566] and continued for ten years with apparent zest on both sides.
Parliament put all the pressure it could upon the queen to make her
flirtations end in matrimony, but it only made Elizabeth angry.  Twice
she forbade discussion of the matter, and, though she afterwards
consented to hear the petition, she was careful not to call another
Parliament for five years.

[Sidenote: Financial measures]

Vexatious financial difficulties had been left to Elizabeth.  Largely
owing to the debasement of the currency royal expenditure had risen
from L56,000 per annum at the end of Henry's reign to L345,000 in the
last year of Mary's reign.  The government's credit was in a bad way,
and the commerce of the kingdom deranged.  [Sidenote: 1560]  By the
wise expedient of calling in the {332} debased coins issued since 1543,
the hardest problems were solved.

[Sidenote: Underhand war]

Towards France and Spain Elizabeth's policy was one well described by
herself as "underhand war."  English volunteers, with government
connivance, but nominally on their own responsibility, fought in the
ranks of Huguenots and Netherlanders.  Torrents of money poured from
English churches to support their fellow-Protestants in France and
Holland.  English sailors seized Spanish galleons; if successful the
queen secretly shared the spoil; but if they were caught they might be
hanged as pirates by Philip or Alva.  This condition, unthinkable now,
was allowed by the inchoate state of international law; the very idea
of neutrality was foreign to the time.  States were always trying to
harm and overreach each other in secret ways.  In Elizabethan England
the anti-papal and anti-Spanish ardor of the mariners made possible
this buccaneering without government support, had not the rich prizes
themselves been enough to attract the adventurous.  Doubtless far more
energy went into privateering than into legitimate commerce.

Peace was officially made with France, recognizing the surrender of
Calais at first for a limited period of years.  Though peace was still
nominally kept with Spain for a long time, the shift of policy from one
of hostility to France to one of enmity to Spain was soon manifest.  As
long, however, as the government relied chiefly on the commercial
interests of the capital and other large towns, and as long as Spain
controlled the Netherlands, open war was nearly impossible, for it
would have been extremely unpopular with the merchants of both London
and the Low Countries.  In times of crisis, however, [Sidenote: 1569]
an embargo was laid on all trade with Philip's dominions.

Elizabeth's position was made extremely delicate by {333} the fact that
the heiress to her throne was the Scotch Queen Mary Stuart, who, since
1568, had been a refugee in England and had been kept in a sort of
honorable captivity.  On account of her religion she became the center
of the hopes and of the actual machinations of all English malcontents.
In these plots she participated as far as she dared.

[Sidenote: The Catholic Powers]

Elizabeth's crown would have been jeoparded had the Catholic powers, or
any one of them, acted promptly.  That they did not do so is proof,
partly of their mutual jealousies, party of the excellence of Cecil's
statesmanship.  Convinced though he was that civil peace could only be
secured by religious unity, for five years he played a hesitating game
in order to hold off the Catholics until his power should be strong
enough to crush them.  By a system of espionage, by permitting only
nobles and sailors to leave the kingdom without special licence, by
welcoming Dutch Protestant refugees, he clandestinely fostered the
strength of his party.  His scheme was so far successful that the pope
hesitated more than eleven years before issuing the bull of
deprivation.  For this Elizabeth had also to thank the Catholic
Hapsburgs; in the first place Philip who then hoped to marry her, and
in the second place the Emperor Ferdinand who said that if Elizabeth
were excommunicated the German Catholics would suffer for it and that
there were many German Protestant princes who deserved the ban as much
as she did.

Matters were clarified by the calling of the Council of Trent.  Asked
to send an embassy to this council Elizabeth refused for three reasons:
(1) because she had not been consulted about calling the council; (2)
because she did not consider it free, pious and Christian; (3) because
the pope sought to stir up sedition in her realms.  The council replied
to this snub by excommunicating her, but it is a significant sign of
the {334} times that neither they nor the pope as yet dared to use
spiritual weapons to depose her, as the pope endeavored to do a few
years later.

[Sidenote: Anti-Catholic laws]

Whether as a reply to this measure or not, Parliament passed more
stringent laws against Catholics.  Cecil's policy, inherited from
Thomas Cromwell, to centralize and unify the state, met with threefold
opposition; first from the papists who disliked nationalizing the
church, second from the holders of medieval franchises who objected to
their absorption in a centripetal system, and third from the old nobles
who resented their replacement in the royal council by upstarts.  All
these forces produced a serious crisis in the years 1569-70.  The
north, as the stronghold of both feudalism and Catholicism, led the
reaction.  The Duke of Norfolk, England's premier peer, plotted with
the northern earls to advance Mary's cause, and thought of marrying her
himself.  Pope Pius V warmly praised their scheme which culminated in a
rebellion.  [Sidenote: Rebellion, 1561]  The nobles and commons alike
were filled with the spirit of crusaders, bearing banners with the
cross and the five wounds of Christ.  At the same time they voiced the
grievance of the old-fashioned farmer against the new-fangled merchant.
Their banners inscribed "God speed the plough" bear witness to the
agrarian element common to so many revolts.  Their demands were the
restoration of Catholicism, intervention in Scotland to put Mary back
on her throne, and her recognition as heiress of England, and the
expulsion of foreign refugees.  Had they been able to secure Mary's
person or had the Scotch joined them, it is probable that they would
have seceded from the south of England.

But the new Pilgrimage of Grace was destined to no more success than
the old one.  Moray, Regent of Scotland, forcibly prevented assistance
going to the {335} rebels from North Britain.  Elizabeth prepared an
overwhelming army, but it was not needed.  The rebels, seeing the
hopelessness of their cause, dispersed and were pursued by an exemplary
punishment, no less than eight hundred being executed.  Three years
later Norfolk trod the traitor's path to the scaffold.  His death
sealed the ruin of the old nobility whose privileges were incompatible
with the new régime.  In the same year a parliamentary agitation in
favor of the execution of Mary witnessed how dead were medieval titles
to respect.

[Sidenote: Papal Bull, February 25, 1570]

Too late to have much effect, Pius V issued the bull _Regnans in
excelsis_, declaring that whereas the Roman pontiff has power over all
nations and kingdoms to destroy and ruin or to plant and build up, and
whereas Elizabeth, the slave of vice, has usurped the place of supreme
head of the church, has sent her realm to perdition and has celebrated
the impious mysteries of Calvin, therefore she is cut off from the body
of Christ and deprived of her pretended right to rule England, while
all her subjects are absolved from their oaths of allegiance.  The bull
also reasserted Elizabeth's illegitimacy, and echoed the complaint of
the northern earls that she had expelled the old nobility from her
council.  The promulgation of the bull, without the requisite warning
and allowance of a year for repentance, was contrary to the canon law.

The fulmination was sent to Alva to the Netherlands and a devotee was
found to carry it to England.  Forthwith Elizabeth issued a masterly
proclamation vouchsafing that,

  her majesty would have all her loving subjects to
  understand that, as long as they shall openly continue in
  the observation of her laws, and shall not wilfully and
  manifestly break them by open actions, her majesty's means
  is not to have any of them molested by any inquisition or
  examination of their consciences in causes of religion, but
  to accept and entreat them as her good and obedient subjects.

But to obviate the contamination of her people by political views
expressed in the bull, [Sidenote: Anti-papal laws] and to guard against
the danger of a further rising in the interests of Mary Stuart, the
Parliament of 1571 passed several necessary laws.  One of these forbade
bringing the bull into England; another made it treasonable to declare
that Elizabeth was not or ought not to be queen or that she was a
heretic, usurper or schismatic.

The first seventeen years of Elizabeth's reign had been blessedly free
from persecution.  The increasing strain between England and the papacy
was marked by a number of executions of Romanists.  A recent Catholic
estimate is that the total number of this faith who suffered under
Elizabeth was 189, of whom 128 were priests, 58 laymen and three women;
and to this should be added 32 Franciscans who died in prison of
starvation.  The contrast of 221 victims in Elizabeth's forty-five
years as against 290 in Mary's five years, is less important than the
different purpose of the government.  Under Mary the executions were
for heresy; under Elizabeth chiefly for treason.  It is true that the
whole age acted upon Sir Philip Sidney's maxim that it was the highest
wisdom of statesmanship never to separate religion from politics.
Church and state were practically one and the same body, and opinions
repugnant to established religion naturally resulted in acts inimical
to the civil order.  But the broad distinction is plain.  Cecil put men
to death not because he detested their dogma but because he feared
their politics.

Nothing proves more clearly the purposes of the English government than
its long duel with the Jesuit mission.  [Sidenote: Jesuit mission]  It
is unfair to say that the primary purpose {337} of the Curia was to get
all the privileges of loyalty for English Catholics while secretly
inciting them to rise and murder their sovereign.  But the very fact
that the Jesuits were instructed not to meddle in politics and yet were
unable to keep clear of the law, proves how inextricably politics and
religion were intertwined.  Immediately drawing the suspicion of
Burghley, they were put to the "bloody question" and illegally
tortured, even while the government felt called upon to explain that
they were not forced to the rack to answer "any question of their
supposed conscience" but only as to their political opinions.  But one
of these opinions was whether the pope had the right to depose the

[Sidenote: Character of Jesuits]

The history of these years is one more example of how much more
accursed it is to persecute than to be persecuted.  The Jesuits sent to
England were men of the noblest character, daring and enduring all with
fortitude, showing charity and loving-kindness even to their enemies.
But the character of their enemies correspondingly deteriorated.  That
sense of fair play that is the finest English quality disappeared under
the stress of fanaticism.  Not only Jesuits, but Catholic women and
children were attacked; one boy of thirteen was racked and executed as
a traitor.  The persecution by public opinion supplied what the
activity of the government overlooked.  In fact it was the government
that was the moderating factor.  The act passed in 1585 banishing the
Jesuits was intended to obviate sterner measures.  In dealing with the
mass of the population Burghley made persecution pay its way by
resorting to fines as the principal punishment.  During the last twenty
years of the reign no less than L6,000 per annum was thus collected.

The helpless rage of the popes against "the Jezebel of the north" waxed
until one of them, Gregory XIII, {338} sanctioned an attempt at her
assassination.  [Sidenote: Conspiracies]  In 1580 there appeared at the
court of Madrid one Humphrey Ely, later a secular priest.  He informed
the papal nunciature that some English nobles, mentioned by name, had
determined to murder Elizabeth but wished the pope's own assurance
that, in case they lost their lives in the attempt, they should not
have fallen into sin by the deed.  After giving his own opinion that
the bull of Pius V gave all men the right to take arms against the
queen in any fashion, the nuncio wrote to Rome.  From the papal
secretary, speaking in the pope's name, he received the following reply:

  As that guilty woman of England rules two so noble
  realms of Christendom, is the cause of so much harm to
  the Catholic faith, and is guilty of the loss of so many
  million souls, there is no doubt that any one who puts
  her out of the world with the proper intention of serving
  God thereby, not only commits no sin but even wins
  merit, especially seeing that the sentence of the late
  Pius V is standing against her.  If, therefore, these
  English nobles have really decided to do so fair a work,
  your honor may assure them that they commit no sin.
  Also we may trust in God that they will escape all danger.
  As to your own irregularity [caused to the nuncio as a
  priest by conspiracy to murder] the pope sends you his
  holy blessing.[1]

A conspiracy equally unsuccessful but more famous, because discovered
at the time, was that of Anthony Babington.  Burghley's excellent
secret service apprised the government not only of the principals but
also of aid and support given to them by Philip II and Mary Queen of
Scots.  Parliament petitioned for the execution of Mary.  Though there
was no doubt of her guilt, Elizabeth hesitated to give the dangerous
example of sending a crowned head to the block.  {339} With habitual
indirection she did her best to get Mary's jailer, Sir Amyas Paulet, to
put her to death without a warrant.  Failing in this, she finally
signed the warrant, [Sidenote: Mary beheaded, February 8, 1587] but
when her council acted upon it in secret haste lest she should change
her mind, she flew into a rage and, to prove her innocence, heavily
fined and imprisoned one of the privy council whom she selected as

[Sidenote: War with Spain]

The war with Spain is sometimes regarded as the inevitable consequence
of the religious opposition of the chief Catholic and the chief
Protestant power.  But probably the war would never have gone beyond
the stage of privateering and plots to assassinate in which it remained
inchoate for so long, had it not been for the Netherlands.  The
corner-stone of English policy has been to keep friendly, or weak, the
power controlling the mouths of the Rhine and the Scheldt.  The war of
liberation in the Netherlands had a twofold effect; in the first place
it damaged England's best customer, and secondly, Spanish
"frightfulness" shocked the English conscience.  For a long time the
policy of the queen herself was as cynically selfish as it could
possibly be.  She not only watched complacently the butcheries of Alva,
but she plotted and counterplotted, now offering aid to the Prince of
Orange, now betraying his cause in a way that may have been sport to
her but was death to the men she played with.  Her aim, as far as she
had a consistent one, was to allow Spain and the Netherlands to exhaust
each other.

Not only far nobler but, as it proved in the end, far wiser, was the
action of the Puritan party that poured money and recruits into the
cause of their oppressed fellow-Calvinists.  But an equally great
service to them, or at any rate a greater amount of damage to Spain,
was done by the hardy buccaneers, Hawkins and Drake, who preyed upon
the Spanish treasure {340} galleons and pillaged the Spanish
settlements in the New World.  These men and their fellows not only cut
the sinews of Spain's power but likewise built the fleet.

[Sidenote: England's sea power]

The eventual naval victory of England was preceded by a long course of
successful diplomacy.  As the aggressor England forced the haughtiest
power in Europe to endure a protracted series of outrages.  Not only
were rebels supported, not only were Spanish fleets taken forcibly into
English harbors and there stripped of moneys belonging to their
government, but refugees were protected and Spanish citizens put to
death by the English queen.  Philip and Alva could not effectively
resent and hardly dared to protest against the treatment, because they
felt themselves powerless.  As so often, the island kingdom was
protected by the ocean and by the proved superiority of her seamen.
After a score of petty fights all the way from the Bay of Biscay to the
Pacific Ocean, Spanish sailors had no desire for a trial of strength in

But in every respect save in sea power Spain felt herself immeasurably
superior to her foe.  Her wealth, her dominions, recently augmented by
the annexation of Portugal, were enormous; her army had been tried in a
hundred battles.  England's force was doubtless underestimated.  An
Italian expert stated that an army of 10,000 to 12,000 foot and 2,000
horse would be sufficient to conquer her.  Even to the last it was
thought that an invader would be welcomed by a large part of the
population, for English refugees never wearied of picturing the hatred
of the people for their queen.

But the decision was long postponed for two reasons.  First, Spain was
fully employed in subduing the Netherlands.  Secondly, the Catholic
powers hoped for the accession of Mary.  But after the assassination of
Orange in 1584, and after the execution of the Queen {341} of Scots,
these reasons for delay no longer existed.  Drake carried the naval war
[Sidenote: 1585] to the coasts of Spain and to her colonies.  The
consequent bankruptcy of the Bank of Seville and the wounded national
pride brought home to Spaniards the humiliation of their position.  All
that Philip could do was to pray for help and to forbid the importation
of English wares.  [Sidenote: April 1587]  In reply Drake fell upon the
harbor of Cadiz and destroyed twenty-four or more warships and vast
military stores.

So at last the decision was taken to crush the one power that seemed to
maintain the Reformation, to uphold the Huguenots and the Dutch
patriots and to harry with impunity the champions of Catholicism.  Pope
Sixtus V, not wishing to hazard anything, promised a subsidy of
1,000,000 crowns of gold, the first half payable on the landing of the
Spanish army, the second half two months later.  Save this, Philip had
no promise of help from any Catholic power.

The huge scale of his preparations was only equaled by their vast lack
of intelligence, insuring defeat from the first.  The type of ship
adopted was the old galley, intended to ram and grapple the enemy but
totally unfitted for manoeuvring in the Atlantic gales.  The 130 ships
carried 2500 guns, but the artillery, though numerous, was small,
intended rather to be used against the enemy crews than against the
ships themselves.  The necessary geographical information for the
invasion of Britain in the year 1588 was procured from Caesar's _De
Bello Gallico_.  The admiral in chief, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, had
never even commanded a ship before and most of the high officers were
equally innocent of professional knowledge, for sailors were despised
as inferior to soldiers.  Three-fourths of the crews were soldiers, all
but useless in naval warfare of the new type.  Blind zeal did little to
supply the lack {342} of foresight, though Philip spent hours on his
knees before the host in intercession for the success of his venture.
The very names of the ships, though quite in accordance with Spanish
practice, seem symbolic of the holy character of the crusade: _Santa
Maria de Gracia, Neustra Señora del Rosario, San Juan Baptista, La

On the English side there was also plenty of fanatical fury, but it was
accompanied by practical sense.  The grandfathers of Cromwell's
Ironsides had already learned, if they had not yet formulated, the
maxim, "Fear God and keep your powder dry."  Some of the ships in the
English navy had religious names, but many were called by more secular
appellations: _The Bull, The Tiger, The Dreadnought, The Revenge_.  To
meet the foe a very formidable and self-confident force of about
forty-five ships of the best sort had gathered from the well-tried
ranks of the buccaneers.  It is true that patronage did some damage to
the English service, but it was little compared to that of Spain.  Lord
Howard of Effingham was made admiral on account of his title, but the
vice-admiral was Sir Francis Drake, to whom the chief credit of the
action must fall.

[Sidenote: July, 1588]

The battle in the Channel was fought for nine days.  There was no
general strategy or tactics; the English simply sought to isolate and
sink a ship wherever they could.  Their heavier cannon were used
against the enemy, and fire-ships were sent among his vessels.  When
six Spanish ships had foundered in the Channel, the fleet turned
northward to the coasts of Holland.  During their flight an uncertain
number were destroyed by the English, and a few more fell a prey to the
Sea Beggars of Holland.  The rest, much battered, turned north to sail
around Scotland.  In the storms nineteen ships were wrecked on the
coasts of Scotland and Ireland; of thirty-five ships the Spaniards
themselves {343} could give no account.  For two months Philip was in
suspense as to the fate of his great Armada, of which at last only a
riddled and battered remnant returned to home harbors.

The importance of the victory over the Armada, like that of most
dramatic events, has been overestimated.  To contemporaries, at least
to the victors and their friends it appeared as the direct judgment of
God: "Flavit Deus et dissipati sunt."  The gorgeous rhetoric of Ranke
and Froude has painted it as one of the turning points in world
history.  But in reality it rather marked than made an epoch.  Had
Philip's ships won, it is still inconceivable that he could have
imposed his dominion on England any more than he could on the
Netherlands.  England was ripening and Spain was rotting for half a
century before the collision made this fact plain to all.  The Armada
did not end the war nor did it give the death blow to Spanish power,
much less to Catholicism.  On the Continent of Europe things went on
almost unchanged.

But in England the effect was considerable.  The victory stimulated
national pride; it strengthened the Protestants, and the left wing of
that party.  Though the Catholics had shown themselves loyal during the
crisis they were subjected, immediately thereafter, to the severest
persecution they had yet felt.  This was due partly to nervous
excitement of the whole population, partly to the advance towards power
of the Puritans, always the war party.

[Sidenote: Puritans]

Even in the first years of the great queen there had been a number of
Calvinists who looked askance at the Anglican settlement as too much of
a compromise with Catholicism and Lutheranism.  The Thirty-nine
Articles passed Convocation by a single vote [Sidenote: 1563] as
against a more Calvinistic confession.  Low-churchmen (as they would
now be called) attacked the "Aaronic" {344} vestments of the Anglican
priests, and prelacy was detested as but one degree removed from papacy.

The Puritans were not dissenters but were a party in the Anglican
communion thoroughly believing in a national church, but wishing to
make the breach with Rome as wide as possible.  They found fault with
all that had been retained in the Prayer Book for which there was no
direct warrant in Scripture, and many of them began to use, in secret
conventicles, the Genevan instead of the English liturgy.  Their
leader, Thomas Cartwright, [Sidenote: Cartwright, 1535-1603] a
professor of divinity at Cambridge until deprived of his chair by the
government, had brought back from the Netherlands ideals of a
presbyterian form of ecclesiastical polity.  In his view many "Popish
Abuses" remained in the church of England, among them the keeping of
saints' days, kneeling at communion, "the childish and superstitious
toys" connected with the baptismal service, the words then used in the
marriage service by the man, "with my body I thee worship" by which the
husband "made an idol of his wife," the use of such titles as
archbishop, arch-deacon, lord bishop.

It was because of their excessively scrupulous conscience in these
matters, that the name "Puritan" was given to the Calvinist by his
enemy, at first a mocking designation analogous to "Catharus" in the
Middle Ages.  But the tide set strongly in the Puritan direction.  Time
and again the Commons tried to initiate legislation to relieve the
consciences of the stricter party, but their efforts were blocked by
the crown.  From this time forth the church of England made an alliance
with the throne that has never been broken.  As Jewel had been
compelled, at the beginning of Elizabeth's reign, [Sidenote: 1562] to
defend the Anglican church against Rome, so Richard Hooker, in his
famous {345} _Ecclesiastical Polity_ [Sidenote: 1594] was now forced to
defend it from the extreme Protestants.  In the very year in which this
finely tempered work was written, a Jesuit reported that the Puritans
were the strongest body in the kingdom and particularly that they had
the most officers and soldiers on their side.  The coming Commonwealth
was already casting its shadow on the age of Shakespeare.

As a moral and religious influence Puritanism was of the utmost
importance in moulding the English--and American--character and it was,
take it all in all, a noble thing.  If it has been justly blamed for a
certain narrowness in its hostility, or indifference, to art and
refinement, it more than compensated for this by the moral earnestness
that it impressed on the people.  To bring the genius of the Bible into
English life and literature, to impress each man with the idea of
living for duty, to reduce politics and the whole life of the state to
ethical standards, are undoubted services of Puritanism.  Politically,
it favored the growth of self-reliance, self-control and a sense of
personal worth that made democracy possible and necessary.

[Sidenote: Browne, 1550?-1633?]

To the left of the Puritans were the Independents or Brownists as they
were called from their leader Robert Browne, the advocate of
_Reformation without Tarrying for Any_.  He had been a refugee in the
Netherlands, where he may have come under Anabaptist influence.  His
disciples differed from the followers of Cartwright in separating
themselves from the state church, in which they found many "filthy
traditions and inventions of men."  Beginning to organize hi separate
congregations about 1567, they were said by Sir Walter Raleigh to have
as many as 20,000 adherents in 1593.  Though heartily disliked by
re-actionaries and by the _beati possidentes_ in both church {346} and
state, they were, nevertheless, the party of the future.

[1] A. O. Meyer: _England und die katholische Kirche unter Elizabeth_,
p. 231.


If the union of England and Wales has been a marriage--after a
courtship of the primitive type; if the union with Scotland has been a
successful partnership--following a long period of cut-throat
competition; the position of Ireland has been that of a captive and a
slave.  To her unwilling mind the English domination has always been a
foreign one, and this fact makes more difference with her than whether
her master has been cruel, as formerly, or kind, as of late.

[Sidenote: English rule]

The saddest period in all Erin's sad life was that of the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, when to the old antagonism of race was added a
new hatred of creed and a new commercial competition.  The policy of
Henry was "to reduce that realm to the knowledge of God and obedience
of Us."  The policy of Elizabeth was to pray that God might "call them
to the knowledge of his truth and to a civil polity," and to assist the
Almighty by the most fiendish means to accomplish these ends.  The
government of the island was a crime, and yet for this crime some
considerations must be urged in extenuation.  England then regarded the
Irish much as the Americans have seemed to regard the Indians, as
savages to be killed and driven off to make room for a higher
civilization.  Had England been able to apply the method of
extermination she would doubtless have done so and there would then be
no Irish question today.  But in 1540 it was recognized that "to
enterprise the whole extirpation and total destruction of all the
Irishmen in the land would be a marvellous gumptious charge and great

Being unable to accomplish this or to put Ireland at {347} the bottom
of the sea, where Elizabeth's minister Walsingham often wished that it
were, the English had the alternatives of half governing or wholly
abandoning their neighbors.  The latter course was felt to be too
dangerous, but had it been adopted, Ireland might have evolved an
adequate government and prosperity of her own.  It is true that she was
more backward than England, but yet she had a considerable trade and
culture.  [Sidenote: Irish misery]  Certain points, like Dublin and
Waterford, had much commerce with the Continent.  And yet, as to the
nation as a whole, the report of 1515 probably speaks true in saying:
"There is no common folk in all this world so little set by, so greatly
despised, so feeble, so poor, so greatly trodden under foot, as the
king's poor common folk of Ireland."  There was no map of the whole of
Ireland; the roads were few and poor and the vaguest notions prevailed
as to the shape, size and population of the country.  The most
civilized part was the English Pale around Dublin; the native Irish
lived "west of the Barrow and west of the law," and were governed by
more than sixty native chiefs.  Intermarriage of colonists and natives
was forbidden by law.  The only way the Tudor government knew of
asserting its suzerainty over these septs, correctly described as "the
king's Irish enemies," was to raid them at intervals, slaying, robbing
and raping as they went.  It was after one of these raids in 1580 that
the poet Spencer wrote:

  The people were brought to such wretchedness that any
  strong heart would have rued the same.  Out of every
  corner of the woods and glens they came, creeping forth
  upon their hands, for their legs would not bear them.
  They looked like anatomies of death; they spoke like
  ghosts crying out of their graves.  They did eat the dead
  carrions, happy where they could find them; yea and one
  another soon after, inasmuch as the very carcasses they
  spared not to scrape out of their graves; and if they
  found a plot of watercresses or shamrocks, there they
  thronged as to a feast for a time.

The Irish chiefs were not to be tamed by either kindness or force.
Henry and Elizabeth scattered titles of "earl" and "lord" among the O's
and Macs of her western island, only to find that the coronet made not
the slightest difference in either their affections or their manners.
They still lived as marauding chiefs, surrounded by wild kerns and
gallowglasses fighting each other and preying on their own poor
subjects.  "Let a thousand of my people die," remarked one of them,
Neil Garv, "I pass not a pin. . . .  I will punish, exact, cut and hang
where and whenever I list."  Had they been able to make common cause
they might perhaps have shaken the English grasp from their necks, for
it was commonly corrupt and feeble.  Sir Henry Sidney was the strongest
and best governor sent to the island during the century, but he was
able to do little.  Though the others could be bribed and though one of
them, the Earl of Essex, conspired with the chiefs to rebel, and though
at the very end of Elizabeth's reign a capable Spanish army landed in
Ireland to help the natives, nothing ever enabled them to turn out the
hated "Sassenach."

[Sidenote: English colonization]

England had already tried to solve the Irish problem by colonization.
Leinster had long been a center of English settlement, and in 1573 the
first English colony was sent to Ulster.  But as it consisted chiefly
of bankrupts, fugitives from justice and others "of so corrupt a
disposition as England rather refuseth," it did not help matters much
but rather "irrecuperably damnified the state."  The Irish Parliament
continued to represent only the English of the Pale and of a few towns
outside of it.  Though the inhabitants of the {349} Pale remained
nominally Catholic, the Parliament was so servile that in 1541 it
destroyed the monasteries and repudiated the pope, [Sidenote: Religion]
shortly after which the king took the title of Head of the Irish
Church.  Not one penny of the confiscated wealth went to endow an Irish
university until 1591, when Trinity College was founded in the
interests of Protestantism.  Though almost every other country of
Europe had its own printing presses before 1500, Ireland had none until
1551, and then the press was used so exclusively for propaganda that it
made the very name of reading hateful to the natives.  There were,
however, no religious massacres and no martyrs of either cause.  The
persecuting laws were left until the following century.

[Sidenote: Commercial exploitation]

The rise of the traders to political power was more ominous than the
inception of a new religion.  The country was drained of treasure by
the exaction of enormous ransoms for captured chiefs.  The Irish
cloth-trade and sea-borne commerce were suppressed.  The country was
flooded with inferior coin, thus putting its merchants at a vast
disadvantage.  Finally, there was little left that the Irish were able
to import save liquors, and those "much corrupted."

With every plea in mitigation of judgment that can be offered, it must
be recognized that England's government of Ireland proved a failure.
If she did not make the Irish savage she did her best to keep them so,
and then punished them for it.  By exploiting Erin's resources she
impoverished herself.  By trying to impose Protestantism she made
Ireland the very stronghold of papacy.  By striving to destroy the
septs she created the nation.




One of the most important effects of modern means of easy communication
between all parts of the world has been to obliterate or minimize
distinctions in national character and in degrees of civilization.  The
manner of life of England and Australia differ less now than the manner
of life of England and Scotland differed in the sixteenth century.  The
great stream of culture then flowed much more strongly in the central
than in the outlying parts of Western Europe.  The Latin nations, Italy
and France, lay nearest the heart of civilization.  But slightly less
advanced in culture and in the amenities of life, and superior in some
respects, were the Netherlands, Switzerland, England and the southern
and central parts of Germany.  In partial shadow round about lay a belt
of lands: Spain, Portugal, Northern Germany, Prussia, Poland, Hungary,
Scandinavia, Scotland, and Ireland.

[Sidenote: Scotland]

Scotland, indeed, had her own universities, but her best scholars were
often found at Paris, or in German or Italian academies.  Scotch
humanists on the continent, the Scotch guard of the French king, and
Scotch monasteries, such as those at Erfurt and Würzburg, raised the
reputation of the country abroad rather than advanced its native
culture.  Printing was not introduced until 1507.  Brantôme in the
sixteenth century, like Aeneas Silvius in the fifteenth, remarked the
uncouthness of the northern kingdom.

Most backward of all was Scotland's political development.  No king
arose strong enough to be at once {351} the tyrant and the saviour of
his country; under the weak rule of a series of minors, regents and
wanton women a feudal baronage with a lush growth of intestine war and
crime, flourished mightily to curse the poor people.  When Sir David
Lyndsay asked, [Sidenote: 1528] Why are the Scots so poor? he gave the
correct answer:

  Wanting of justice, policy and peace,
  Are cause of their unhappiness, alas!

Something may also be attributed to the poverty of the soil and the
lack of important commerce or industries.

[Sidenote: Relations with England]

The policy of any small nation situated in dangerous proximity to a
larger one is almost necessarily determined by this fact.  In order to
assert her independence Scotland was forced to make common cause with
England's enemies.  Guerrilla warfare was endemic on the borders,
breaking out, in each generation, into some fiercer crisis.  England,
on the other hand, was driven to seek her own safety in the annexation
of her small enemy, or, failing that, by keeping her as impotent as
possible.  True to the maxims of the immoral political science that has
commonly passed for statesmanship, the Tudors consistently sought by
every form of deliberate perfidy to foster factions in North Britain,
to purchase traitors, to hire stabbers, to subsidize rebels, to breed
mischief, and to waste the country, at opportune intervals, with armies
and fleets.  Simply to protect the independence that England denied and
attacked, Scotch rulers became fast allies of France, to be counted on,
in every war between the great powers, to stir up trouble in England's

On neither side was the policy one of sheer hatred.  North and south
the purpose increased throughout the century to unite the two countries
and thus put an end to the perennial and noxious war.  If the early
Tudors {351} were mistaken in thinking they could assert a suzerainty
by force of arms, they also must be credited with laying the
foundations of the future dynastic union.  Margaret Tudor, Henry VIII's
sister, was married to James IV of Scotland.  Somerset hoped to effect
the union more directly by the marriage of Edward VI and Mary Queen of
Scots.  That a party of enlightened statesmen in England should
constantly keep the union in mind, is less remarkable under the
circumstances than that there should have been built up a considerable
body of Scotchmen aiming at the same goal.  Notwithstanding the
vitality of patriotism and the tenacity with which small nations
usually refuse to merge their own identity in a larger whole, very
strong motives called forth the existence of an English party.  One
favorable condition was the feudal disorganization of society.  Faction
was so common and so bitter that it was able to call in the national
enemy without utterly discrediting itself.  A second element was
jealousy of France.  For a time, with the French marriages of James V
with Mary of Lorraine, a sister of the Duke of Guise, and of Mary Queen
of Scots with Francis II, there seemed more danger that the little
kingdom should become an appanage of France than a satellite of her
southern neighbor.  The licentiousness of French officers and French
soldiers on Scotch soil made their nation least loved when it was most
seen.  [Sidenote: Influence of religion]  But the great influence
overcoming national sentiment was religion.  The Reformation that
brought not peace but a sword to so much of Europe in this case united
instead of divided the nations.

It is sometimes said that national character reveals itself in the
national religion.  This is true to some extent, but it is still more
important to say that a nation's history reveals itself in its forms of
faith.  From religious statistics of the present day one could {353}
deduce with considerable accuracy much of the history of any people.

The contrast between the churches of England and Scotland is the more
remarkable when it is considered that the North of England was the
stronghold of Catholicism, and that the Lowland Scot, next door to the
counties of the Northern Earls who rose against Elizabeth, flew to the
opposite extreme and embraced Protestantism in its most pronounced
form.  To say that Calvinism, uncompromising and bare of adornment,
appealed particularly to the dour, dry, rationalistic Scot, is at best
but a half truth and at worst a begging of the question.  The reasons
why England became Anglican and Scotland Presbyterian are found
immediately not in the diversity of national character but in the
circumstances of their respective polities and history.  England cast
loose from Rome at a time when the conservative influence of Luther was
predominant; Scotland was swept into the current of revolution under
the fiercer star of Calvin.  The English reformation was started by the
crown and supported by the new noblesse of commerce.  The Scotch
revolution was markedly baronial in tone.  It began with the humanists,
continued and flourished in the junior branches of great families,
among the burgesses of the towns and among the more vigorous of the
clergy, both regular and secular.  The crown was consistently against
the new movement, but the Scottish monarch was too weak to impose his
will, or even to have a will of his own.  Neither James V nor his
daughter could afford to break with Rome and with France.  James V,
especially, was thrown into the arms of his clergy by the hostility of
his nobles.  Moreover, after the death of many nobles at the battle of
Flodden, the clergy became, for a time, [Sidenote: 1513] the strongest
estate in the kingdom.

{354} Like the other estates the clergy were still in the Middle Ages
when the Reformation [Sidenote: Reformation] came on them like a thief
in the night.  In no country was the corruption greater.  The bishops
and priests took concubines and ate and drank and were drunken and
buffeted their fellow men.  They exacted their fees to the last
farthing, an especially odious one being the claim of the priest to the
best cow on the death of a parishioner.  As a consequence the parsons
and monks were hated by the laity.

Humanism shed a few bright beams on the hyperborean regions of Dundee
and Glasgow.  Some Erasmians, like Hector Boece, prepared others for
the Reformation without joining it themselves; some, like George
Buchanan, threw genius and learning into the scales of the new faith.
The unlearned, too, were touched with reforming zeal.  Lollardy sowed a
few seeds of heresy.  About 1520 Wyclif's version of the New Testament
was turned into Scots by one John Nesbit, but it remained in manuscript.

In the days before newspapers tidings were carried from place to place
by wandering merchants and itinerant scholars.  Far more than today
propaganda was dependent on personal intercourse.  One of the first
preachers of Lutheranism in Scotland was a Frenchman named La Tour, who
was martyred on his return to his own country.  The noble Patrick
Hamilton made a pilgrimage to the newly founded University of Marburg,
and possibly to Wittenberg.  Filled, as his Catholic countryman, Bishop
John Leslie put it, "with venom very poisonable and deadly . . . soaked
out of Luther and other archheretics," he returned to find the martyr's
crown in his native land.  [Sidenote: February 29, 1528]  "The reek of
Patrick Hamilton" infected all upon whom it blew.  Other young men
visited Germany.  Some, like Alexander Alesius and John MacAlpine,
found positions in {355} foreign universities.  Others visited
Wittenberg for a short time to carry thence the new gospel.  A Scotch
David[1] appears at Wittenberg in January 1528.  Another Scot,
"honorably born and well seen in scholastic theology, exiled from his
land on account of the Word," made Luther's acquaintance in May, 1529.
Another of the Reformer's visitors was James Wedderburn whose brother,
John, [Sidenote: 1540-2] translated some of the German's hymns, and
published them as "Ane compendious Booke of Godly and spiritual Songs."

While men like these were bringing tidings of the new faith back to
their countrymen, others were busy importing and distributing Lutheran
books.  The Parliament prohibited [Sidenote: July 17, 1525] all works
of "the heretic Luther and his disciples," but it could not enforce
this law.  The English agent at Antwerp reported to Wolsey that New
Testaments and other English works were bought by Scottish merchants
[Sidenote: February 20, 1527] and sent to Edinburgh and St. Andrews.
The popularity and influence of Tyndale's and Coverdale's Bible is
proved by the rapid anglicizing, from this date onward, of the Scots
dialect.  The circulation of the Scriptures in English is further
proved by the repetition of the injunctions against using them.  But
the first Bible printed in Scotland was that of Alexander Arbuthnot in
1579, based on the Geneva Bible in 1561.

[Sidenote: March 14, 1531]

Another indication of the growth of Lutheranism is the request of King
James V to Consistory for permission to tax his clergy one-third of
their revenues in order to raise an army against the swarm of his
Lutheran subjects.  As these Protestants met in private houses,
Parliament passed a law, [Sidenote: 1540] "That none hold nor let be
holden in their houses nor other ways, congregations or conventicles to
commune or dispute of {356} the Holy Scripture, without they be
theologians approved by famous universities."

As the new party grew the battle was joined.  At least twelve martyrs
perished in the years 1539-40.  [Sidenote: Pamphlets]  The field was
taken on either side by an army of pamphlets, ballads and broadsides,
of which the best known, perhaps, is David Lyndsay's _Ane Satire of the
thrie Estatis_.  In this the clergy are mercilessly attacked for greed
and wantonness.  [Sidenote: 1540]  The New Testament is highly praised
by some of the characters introduced into the poem, but a pardoner
complains that his credit has been entirely destroyed by it and wishes
the devil may take him who made that book.  He further wishes that
"Martin Luther, that false loon, Black Bullinger and Melanchthon" had
been smothered in their chrisom-cloths and that St. Paul had never been

[Sidenote: Mary Stuart, born Dec. 8, 1542]

When James V died, he left the crown to his infant daughter of six days
old, that Mary whose beauty, crimes and tragic end fixed the attention
of her contemporaries and of posterity alike.  For the first three
years of her reign the most powerful man in the kingdom was David
Beaton, Cardinal Archbishop of St. Andrews.  His policy, of course, was
to maintain the Catholic religion, and this implied the defence of
Scotch independence against England.  Henry VIII, with characteristic
lack of scruple, plotted to kidnap the infant queen and either to
kidnap or to assassinate the cardinal.  Failing in both, he sent an
army north with orders to put man, woman and child to the sword
wherever resistance was made.  Edinburgh castle remained untaken, but
Holyrood was burned and the country devastated as far as Sterling.

[Sidenote: Cardinal Beaton]

Defeated by England, Beaton was destined to {357} perish in conflict
with his other enemy, Protestantism.  During this time of transition
from Lutheranism to Calvinism, the demands of the Scotch reformers
would have been more moderate than they later became.  They would
doubtless have been content with a free Bible, free preaching and the
sequestration of the goods of the religious orders.  Under George
Wishart, who translated the First Helvetic Confession, [Sidenote: 1536
or 1537] the Kirk began to assume its Calvinistic garb and to take the
aspect of a party with a definite political program.  The place of
newspapers, both as purveyors of information and as organs of public
opinion, was taken by the sermons of the ministers, most of them
political and all of them controversial.  Of this party Beaton was the
scourge.  He himself believed that in 1545 heresy was almost extinct,
and doubtless his belief was confirmed when he was able to put Wishart
to death.  [Sidenote: March 1, 1546]  In revenge for this a few
fanatics murdered him.  [Sidenote: May 29]

[Sidenote: John Knox]

In the consummation of the religious revolution during the next quarter
of a century, one factor was the personality of John Knox.  A born
partisan, a man of one idea who could see no evil on his own side and
no good on the other, as a good fighter and a good hater he has had few
equals.  His supreme devotion to the cause he embraced made him
credulous of evil in his foes, and capable of using deceit and of
applauding political murder.  Of his first preaching against Romanism
it was said, "Other have sned [snipped] the branches, but this man
strikes at the root," and well nigh the latest judgment passed upon
him, that of Lord Acton, is that he differed from all other Protestant
founders in his desire that the Catholics should be exterminated,
either by the state or by the self-help of all Christian men.  His not
to speak the words of love and mercy from the gospel, but to curse and
{358} thunder against "those dumb dogs, the poisoned and pestilent
papists" in the style of the Old Testament prophet or psalmist.  But
while the harshness of his character has repelled many, his fundamental
consistency and his courage have won admiration.  As a great preacher,
"or he had done with his sermon he was so active and vigorous that he
was like to ding the pulpit in blads and fly out of it."  His style was
direct, vigorous, plain, full of pungent wit and biting sarcasm.

Even the year of his birth is in dispute.  The traditional date is
1505; but it has been shown with much reason that the more likely date
is 1513 or 1514.  That he had a university education and that he was
ordained priest is all that is known of him until about 1540.  During
the last months of Wishart's life Knox was his constant attendant.  His
own preaching continued the work of the martyr until June, 1547, when
St. Andrews was captured by the French fleet and Knox was made a galley
slave for nineteen months.  Under the lash and, what grieved him even
more, constantly plied with suggestions that he should "commit
idolatry" in praying to the image of Mary, his heart grew bitter
against the French and their religion.

Released, either through the influence of the English government,
[Sidenote: January 1549] or by an exchange of prisoners, Knox spent the
next five years in England.  After filling positions as preacher at
Berwick and Newcastle, [Sidenote: 1551] he was appointed royal chaplain
and was offered the bishopric of Rochester, which he declined because
he foresaw the troubles under Mary.  As the pioneer of Puritanism in
England he used his influence to make the Book of Common Prayer more
Protestant.  Not long after Mary's accession Knox fled to the
Continent, spending a few years at Frankfort and Geneva.  He was much
impressed by "that notable servant of {359} God, John Calvin" whose
system he adopted with political modifications of his own.

In the meantime things were not going well in Scotland.  The country
had suffered another severe defeat [Sidenote: September 10, 1547] at
the hands of the English in the battle of Pinkie.  The government was
largely in the hands of the Queen Dowager, Mary of Lorraine, who
naturally favored France, and who married her daughter, the Queen of
Scots, to the Dauphin Francis, [Sidenote: April 24, 1558] both of them
being fifteen years old.  By treaty she conveyed Scotland to the king
of France, acting on the good old theory that her people were a
chattel.  Though the pact, with its treason to the people, was secret,
its purport was guessed by all.  Whereas the accession of Francis II
momentarily bound Scotland closer to France, his death in the following
year again cut her loose, and allowed her to go her own way.

All the while the Reformed party had been slowly growing in strength.
Somerset took care to send plenty of English Bibles across the Cheviot
Hill, rightly seeing in them the best emissaries of the English
interest.  The Scotch were drawn towards England by the mildness of her
government as much as they were alienated from France by the ferocity
of hers.  In Scotland the English party, when it had the chance, made
no Catholic martyrs, but the French party continued to put heretics to
death.  The execution of the aged Walter Milne, [Sidenote: 1558] the
last of the victims of the Catholic persecution, excited especial

Knox now returned to his own country for a short visit.  [Sidenote:
Knox, August, 1555] He there preached passionately against the mass and
addressed a letter to the Regent Mary of Lorraine, begging her to favor
the gospel.  This she treated as a joke, and, after Knox had departed,
she sentenced him to death and burnt him in effigy.  From Geneva he
continued to be the chief adviser of the {360} Protestant party whose
leaders drew up a "Common Band," usually known as the First Scottish
Covenant.  [Sidenote: December 3, 1557]  The signers, including a large
number of nobles and gentlemen headed by the earls of Argyle, Glencairn
and Morton, promised to apply their whole power, substance and lives to
maintain, set forward and establish "the most blessed Word of God and
his congregation."  Under the protection of this bond, reformed
churches were set up openly.  The Lords of the Congregation, as they
were called, demanded that penal statutes against heretics be abrogated
and "that it be lawful to us to use ourselves in matters of religion
and conscience as we must answer to God."  This scheme of toleration
was too advanced for the time.

[Sidenote: 1557]

As the assistance of Knox was felt to be desirable, the Lords of the
Congregation urgently requested his return.  [Sidenote: 1558]  Before
doing so he published his "Appellation" [Sidenote: May 2, 1559] to the
nobles, estates and commonalty against the sentence of death recently
passed on him.  When he did arrive in Edinburgh, his preaching was like
a match set to kindling wood.  Wherever he went burst forth the flame
of iconoclasm.  Images were broken and monasteries stormed not, as he
himself wrote, by gentlemen or by "earnest professors of Christ," but
by "the rascal multitude."  In reckoning the forces of revolution, the
joy of the mob in looting must not be forgotten.  [Sidenote: May 11]
From Perth Knox wrote: "The places of idolatry were made equal with the
ground; all monuments of idolatry that could be apprehended, consumed
with fire; and priests commanded, under pain of death, to desist from
their blasphemous mass."  Similar outbursts occurred at St. Andrews,
and when Knox returned to Edinburgh, civil war seemed imminent.
Pamphlets of the time, like _The Beggars' Warning_, [Sidenote: 1559]
distinctly made the threat of social revolution.

{361} But as a matter of fact the change came as the most bloodless in
Europe.  The Reformers, popular with the middle and with part of the
upper classes, needed only to win English support to make themselves
perfectly secure.  The difficulty in this course lay in Queen
Elizabeth's natural dislike of Knox on account of his _First Blast of
the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women_.  In this
war-whoop, aimed against the Marys of England and Scotland, Knox had
argued that "to promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion or
empire above any realm is repugnant to nature, contrary to God, and,
finally, it is the subversion of good order and of all equity and
justice."  The author felt not a little embarrassment when a Protestant
woman ascended the throne of England and he needed her help.  But to
save his soul he "that never feared nor flattered any flesh" could not
admit that he was in the wrong, nor take back aught that he had said.
He seems to have acted on Barry Lyndon's maxim that "a gentleman fights
but never apologizes."  When he wrote Elizabeth, [Sidenote: July 20,
1559] all he would say was that he was not her enemy and had never
offended her or her realm maliciously or of purpose.  He seasoned this
attempt at reconciliation by adding a stinging rebuke to the proud
young queen for having "declined from God and bowed to idolatry,"
during her sister's reign, for fear of her life.

But the advantages of union outweighed such minor considerations as bad
manners, and early in 1560 a league was formed between England and the
Lords of the Congregation.  Shortly after the death of Mary of Lorraine
[Sidenote: June 11, 1560] the Treaty of Edinburgh [Sidenote: Treaty of
Edinburgh, July 6] was signed between the queen of England and the
lords of Scotland.  This provided: (1) that all English and French
troops be sent out of Scotland except 120 French; (2) that all warlike
preparations cease; (3) that the {362} Berwickshire citadel of the sea,
Eyemouth, be dismantled; (4) that Mary and Francis should disuse the
English title and arms; (5) that Philip of Spain should arbitrate
certain points, if necessary; (6) that Elizabeth had not acted
wrongfully in making a league with the Lords of the Congregation.  Mary
and Francis refused to ratify this treaty.

A supplementary agreement was proposed between Mary Stuart and her
rebellious Protestant subjects.  She promised to summon Parliament at
once, to make neither war nor peace without the consent of the estates,
and to govern according to the advice of a council of twelve chosen
jointly by herself and the estates.  She promised to give no high
offices to strangers or to clergymen; and she extended to all a general

[Sidenote: Revolution]

The summons of Parliament immediately after these negotiations proved
as disastrous to the old régime as the assembly of the French Estates
General in 1789.  Though bloodless, the Scotch revolution was as
thorough, in its own small way, as that of Robespierre.  Religion was
changed and a new distribution of political power secured, transferring
the ascendency of the crown and of the old privileged orders to a class
of "new men," low-born ministers of the kirk, small "lairds" and
burgesses.  The very constitution of the new Parliament was
revolutionary.  In the old legislative assemblies between ten and
twenty greater barons were summoned; in the Parliament of 1560 no less
than 106 small barons assembled, and it was to them, together with the
burgesses of the cities, that the adoption of the new religion was due.
A Confession of Faith, [Sidenote: Scottish Confession] on extreme
Calvinistic lines, had been drawn up by Knox and his fellows; this was
presented to Parliament and adopted with only eight dissenting voices,
those of five laymen and three bishops.  The minority was overawed, not
only by the majority in {363} Parliament but by the public opinion of
the capital and of the whole Lowlands.

[Sidenote: Laws of the estates]

Just a week after the adoption of the Confession, the estates passed
three laws: (1) Abolishing the pope's authority and all jurisdiction by
Catholic prelates; (2) repealing all previous statutes in favor of the
Roman church; (3) forbidding the celebration of mass.  The law calls it
"wicked idolatry" and provides that "no manner of person nor persons
say mass, nor yet hear mass, nor be present thereat under pain of
confiscation of all their goods movable and immovable and punishing
their bodies at the discretion of the magistrate."  The penalty for the
third offence was made death, and all officers were commanded to "take
diligent suit and inquisition" to prevent the celebration of the
Catholic rite.  In reality, persecution was extremely mild, simply
because there was hardly any resistance.  Scarcely three Catholic
martyrs can be named, and there was no Pilgrimage of Grace.  This is
all the more remarkable in that probably three-fourths of the people
were still Catholic.  The Reformation, like most other revolutions, was
the work not of the majority, but of that part of the people that had
the energy and intelligence to see most clearly and act most strongly.
For the first time in Scotch history a great issue was submitted to a
public opinion sufficiently developed to realize its importance.  The
great choice was made not by counting heads but by weighing character.

The burgher class having seized the reins of government proceeded to
use them in the interests of their kirk.  The prime duty of the state
was asserted to be the maintenance of the true religion.  Ministers
were paid by the government.  Almost any act of government might be
made the subject of interference by the church, for Knox's profession,
"with the policy, mind {364} us to meddle no further than it hath
religion mixed in it," was obviously an elastic and self-imposed

[Sidenote: Theocracy]

The character of the kirk was that of a democratic, puritanical
theocracy.  The real rulers of it, and through it of the state, were
the ministers and elders elected by the people.  The democracy of the
kirk consisted in the rise of most of these men from the lower ranks of
the people; its theocracy in the claim of these men, once established
in Moses' seat, to interpret the commands of God.  "I see," said Queen
Mary, after a conversation with Knox, "that my subjects shall obey you
rather than me."  "Madam," replied Knox, "my study is that both princes
and people shall obey God"--but, of course, the voice of the pulpit was
the voice of God.  As a contemporary put it: "Knox is king; what he
wills obeyit is."  Finally the kirk was a tyranny, as a democracy may
well be.  In life, in manners, in thought, the citizen was obliged,
under severe social penalty, to conform exactly to a very narrow

[Sidenote: Queen Mary in Scotland, August 19, 1561]

When Queen Mary, a widow eighteen years old, landed in Scotland, she
must have been aware of the thorny path she was to tread.  It is
impossible not to pity her, the spoiled darling of the gayest court of
Europe, exposed to the bleak skies and bleaker winds of doctrines at
Edinburgh.  Endowed with high spirit, courage, no little cleverness and
much charm, she might have mastered the situation had her character or
discretion equaled her intellect and beauty.  But, thwarted, nagged and
bullied by men whose religion she hated, whose power she feared and
whose low birth she despised, she became more and more reckless in the
pursuit of pleasure until she was tangled in a network of vice and
crime, and delivered helpless into the hands of her enemies.

{365} Her true policy, and the one which she began to follow, was
marked out for her by circumstances.  Scotland was to her but the
stepping-stone to the throne of England.  As Elizabeth's next heir she
might become queen either through the death of the reigning sovereign,
or as the head of a Catholic rebellion.  At first she prudently decided
to wait for the natural course of events, selecting as her secretary of
state Maitland, "the Scottish Cecil," a staid politician bent on
keeping friends with England.  But at last growing impatient, she
compromised herself in the Catholic plots and risings of the
disaffected southerners.

So, while aspiring to three crowns, Mary showed herself incapable of
keeping even the one she had.  Not religion but her own crimes and
follies caused her downfall, but it was over religion that the first
clash with her subjects came.  She would have liked to restore
Catholicism, though this was not her first object, for she would have
been content to be left in the private enjoyment of her own worship.
Even on this the stalwarts of the kirk looked askance.  Knox preached
as Mary landed that one mass was more terrible to him than ten thousand
armed invaders.  Mary sent for him, hoping to win the hard man by a
display of feminine and queenly graciousness.  [Sidenote: August
1561-December 1563]  In all he had five interviews with her,
picturesquely described by himself.  On his side there were long, stern
sermons on the duties of princes and the wickedness of idolatry, all
richly illustrated with examples drawn from the sacred page.  On her
side there was "howling together with womanly weeping," "more howling
and tears above that the matter did require," "so many tears that her
chamber-boy could scarce get napkins enough to dry her eyes."  With
absurdly unconscious offensiveness and egotism Knox began acquaintance
with his sovereign by remarking that he was as well {366} content to
live under her as Paul under Nero.  Previously he had maintained that
the government was set up to control religion; now he informed Mary
that "right religion took neither original nor authority from worldly
princes but from the Eternal God alone."  "'Think ye,' quoth she, 'that
subjects, having power, may resist their princes?'  'If princes exceed
their bounds, madam, they may be resisted and even deposed,'" replied
Knox.  Mary's marriage was the most urgent immediate question of
policy.  When Knox took the liberty of discussing it with her she burst
out: "What have you to do with my marriage?  Or what are you within
this commonwealth?"  "A subject born within the same," superbly
retorted the East Lothian peasant, "and though neither earl, lord nor
baron, God has made me a profitable member."

[Sidenote: Marriage with Darnley, July 1565]

Determined, quite excusably, to please herself rather than her advisers
in the choice of a husband, Mary selected her cousin Henry Stuart Lord
Darnley; a "long lad" not yet twenty.  The marriage was celebrated in
July, 1565; the necessary papal dispensation therefor was actually
drawn up on September 25 but was thoughtfully provided with a false
date as of four months earlier.  Almost from the first the marriage was
wretchedly unhappy.  The petulant boy insisted on being treated as
king, whereas Mary allowed him only "his due."  Darnley was jealous,
probably with good cause, of his wife's Italian secretary, David
Riccio, and murdered him in Mary's presence; [Sidenote: March 9, 1566]
"an action worthy of all praise," pontificated Knox.

With this crime begins in earnest that sickening tale of court intrigue
and blackest villainy that has commonly passed as the then history of
Scotland.  To revenge her beloved secretary Mary plotted with a new
paramour, the Earl of Bothwell, an able soldier, a {367} nominal
Protestant and an evil liver.  On the night of February 9-10, 1567, the
house of Kirk o' Field near Edinburgh where Darnley was staying and
where his wife had but just left him, was blown up by gunpowder and
later his dead body was found near by.  Public opinion at once laid the
crime at the right doors, and it did not need Mary's hasty marriage
with Bothwell [Sidenote: Marriage with Bothwell, May 15, 1567] to
confirm the suspicion of her complicity.

The path of those opposed to the queen was made easier by the fact that
she now had an heir, James, [Sidenote: James VI, June 19, 1566] of
Scotland the sixth and afterwards of England the first.  The temper of
the people of Edinburgh was indicated by the posting up of numerous
placards accusing Bothwell and Mary.  One of these was a banner on
which was painted a little boy kneeling and crowned, and thereon the
legend: "Avenge the death of my father!"  Deeds followed words;
[Sidenote: July 16] Parliament compelled the queen under threat of
death to abdicate in favor of her son and to appoint her half-brother,
the Earl of Moray, regent.  At the coronation of the infant king Knox
preached.  [Sidenote: July 29]  A still more drastic step was taken
when Parliament declared Mary guilty of murder [Sidenote: December 15]
and formally deposed her from the throne.  That Mary really was guilty
in the fullest degree there can be no reasonable doubt.  An element of
mystery has been added to the situation by a dispute over the
genuineness of a series of letters and poems purporting to have been
written by Mary to Bothwell and known collectively as the Casket
Letters.  They were discovered in a suspiciously opportune way by her
enemies.  The originals not being extant, some historians have regarded
them in whole or in part as forgeries, but Robertson, Ranke, Froude,
Andrew Lang and Pollard accept them as genuine.  This is my opinion,
but it seems to me that the fascination of {368} mystery has lent the
documents undue importance.  Had they never been found Mary's guilt
would have been established by circumstantial evidence.

Mary was confined for a short time in the castle of Lochleven, but
contrived to escape.  As she approached Glasgow she risked a battle,
[Sidenote: May, 1568] but her troops were defeated and she fled to
England.  Throwing herself on Elizabeth's mercy she found prison and
finally, after nineteen years, the scaffold.  An inquiry was held
concerning her case, but no verdict was rendered because it did not
suit Elizabeth to degrade her sister sovereign more than was necessary.
Not for the murder of her husband, but for complicity in a plot against
Elizabeth, was Mary finally condemned to die.  In spite of the fact
that she did everything possible to disgrace herself more deeply than
ever, such as pensioning the assassin of her brother Moray, her
sufferings made her the martyr of sentimentalists, and pieces of
embroidery or other possessions of the beautiful queen have been handed
down as the precious relics of a saint.[2]

All the murderous intrigues just narrated contributed thoroughly to
disgrace the Catholic and royalist party.  The revolution had left
society dissolved, full of bloodthirsty and false men.  But though the
Protestants had their share of such villains, they also had the one
consistent and public-spirited element in the kingdom, namely Knox and
his immediate followers.  Moray was a man rather above the average
respectability and he confirmed the triumph of Protestantism in the
Lowlands in the few short years preceding his assassination in January,
1570.  But by this time the revolution had been so firmly accomplished
that nothing could shake it.  The deposition of a queen, though {369} a
defiance of all the Catholic powers and of all the royalist sentiment
of Europe, had succeeded.  The young king was brought up a Protestant,
and his mind was so thoroughly turned against his mother that he
acquiesced without a murmur in her execution.  At last peace and
security smiled upon North Britain.  [Sidenote: Preparation for union
with England]  The coming event of the union with England cast its
beneficent shadow over the reign of Elizabeth's successor.

[Sidenote: Absolution]

The Reformation ran the same course as in England earlier; one is
almost tempted to hypostatize it and say that it took the bit between
its teeth and ran away with its riders.  Actually, the man cast for the
rôle of Henry VIII was James VI; the slobbering pedant without drawing
the sword did what his abler ancestors could not do after a life-time
of battle.  He made himself all but absolute, and this, demonstrably,
as head of the kirk.

In 1584 Parliament passed a series of statutes known as the Black Acts,
putting the bodies and souls of the Scotch under the yoke of the king,
who was now pope as well.  In 1587 the whole property of the
pre-Reformation church, with some trifling exceptions, was confiscated
and put at the king's disposition.  As in England, so here, the lands
of abbeys and of prelates was thrown to new men of the pushing,
commercial type.  Thus was founded a landed aristocracy with interests
distinct from the old barons and strong in supporting both king and

[Sidenote: Reaction in the kirk, 1592]

It is true that this condition was but temporary.  Just as in England
later the Parliament and the Puritans called the crown to account, so
in Scotland the kirk continued to administer drastic advice to the
monarch and finally to put direct legal pressure upon him.  The Black
Acts were abrogated by Parliament in 1592 and from that time forth
ensued a struggle between the {370} king and the presbyteries which, in
the opinion of the former, agreed as well together as God and the
devil.  Still more after his accession to the English throne James came
to prefer the episcopal form of church government as more subservient,
and to act on the maxim, "no bishop, no king."

[1] Could he have been David Borthwick or David Lyndsay?  See Luther's
letters and _Dictionary of National Biography_.

[2] Such a piece of embroidery has been kept in my mother's family from
that day to this.





It is sometimes so easy to see, after the event, why things should have
taken just the course they did take, that it may seem remarkable that
political foresight is so rare.  It is probable, however, that the
study of history not only illumines many things, and places them in
their true perspective, but also tends to simplify too much,
overemphasizing, to our minds, the elements that finally triumphed and
casting those that succumbed into the shadow.

[Sidenote: Italy]

However this may be, Italy of the sixteenth century appears to offer an
unusually clear case of a logical sequence of effects due to previously
ascertainable causes.  That Italy should toy with the Reformation
without accepting it, that she should finally suppress it and along
with it much of her own spiritual life, seems to be entirely due to her
geographical, political and cultural condition at the time when she
felt the impact of the new ideas.

In all these respects, indeed, there was something that might at first
blush have seemed favorable to the Lutheran revolt.  Few lands were
more open to German and Swiss influences than was their transalpine
neighbor.  Commercially, Italy and Germany were united by a thousand
bonds, and a constant influx of northern travellers, students, artists,
officials and soldiers, might be supposed to carry with them the
contagion of the new ideas.  Again, the lack of political unity might
be supposed, as in Germany, so in Italy, {372} to facilitate sectional
reformation.  Finally, the Renaissance, with its unparalleled freedom
of thought and its strong anti-clerical bias, would at least insure a
fair hearing for innovations in doctrine and ecclesiastical ideals.

And yet, as even contemporaries saw, there were some things which
weighed far more heavily in the scale of Catholicism than did those
just mentioned in the scale of Protestantism.  In the first place the
autonomy of the political divisions was more apparent than real.  Too
weak and too disunited to offer resistance to any strong foreign power,
contended for by the three greatest, Italy became gradually more and
more a Spanish dependency.  After Pavia [Sidenote: 1525] and the treaty
of Cateau-Cambrésis [Sidenote: 1529] French influence was reduced to a
threat rather than a reality.  Naples had long been an appendage of the
Spanish crown; Milan was now wrested from the French, and one after
another most of the smaller states passed into Spain's "sphere of
influence."  The strongest of all the states, the papal dominions,
became in reality, if not nominally, a dependency of the emperor after
the sack of Rome.  [Sidenote: 1527]  Tuscany, Savoy and Venetia
maintained a semblance of independence, but Savoy was at that time
hardly Italian.  Venice had passed the zenith of her power, and
Florence, even under her brilliant Duke Cosimo de' Medici [Sidenote:
Cosimo de' Medici, 1537-1574] was amenable to the pressure of the
Spanish soldier and the Spanish priest.

Enormous odds were thrown against the Reformers because Italy was the
seat of the papacy.  In spite of all hatred of Roman morals and in
spite of all distrust of Roman doctrine, this was a source of pride and
of advantage of the whole country.  As long as tribute flowed from all
Western Europe, as long as kings and emperors kissed the pontiff's toe,
Rome was still in a sense the capital of Christendom.  An example of
how {373} the papacy was both served and despised has been left us by
the Florentine statesman and historian [Sidenote: Guiccidardini,
1483-1540] Guiccidardini: "So much evil cannot be said of the Roman
curia," he wrote, "that more does not deserve to be said of it, for it
is an infamy, an example of all the shame and wickedness of the world."
He might have been supposed to be ready to support any enemy of such an
institution, but what does he say?

  No man dislikes more than do I the ambition, avarice
  and effeminacy of the priests, not only because these
  vices are hateful in themselves but because they are
  especially unbecoming to men who have vowed a life
  dependent upon God. . . .  Nevertheless, my employment
  with several popes has forced me to desire their greatness
  for my own advantage.  But for this consideration I
  should have loved Luther like myself, not to free myself
  from the silly laws of Christianity as commonly understood,
  but to put this gang of criminals under restraint,
  so that they might live either without vices or without power.

From this precious text we learn much of the inner history of
contemporary Italy.  As far as the Italian mind was liberated in
religion it was atheistic, as far as it was reforming it went no
further than rejection of the hierarchy.  The enemies to be dreaded by
Rome were, as the poet Luigi Alamanni wrote, [Sidenote: Alamanni,
1495-1556] not Luther and Germany, but her own sloth, drunkenness,
avarice, ambition, sensuality and gluttony.

The great spiritual factor that defeated Protestantism in Italy was not
Catholicism but the Renaissance.  [Sidenote: Renaissance vs.
Reformation]  Deeply imbued with the tincture of classical learning,
naturally speculative and tolerant, the Italian mind had already
advanced, in its best representatives, far beyond the intellectual
stage of the Reformers.  The hostility of the Renaissance to the
Reformation was a deep and subtle antithesis of the interests of this
world {374} and of the next.  It is notable that whereas some
philosophical minds, like that of the brilliant Olympia Morata, who had
once been completely skeptical, later came under the influence of
Luther, there was not one artist of the first rank, not one of the
greatest poets, that seems to have been in the least attracted by him.
A few minor poets, like Folengo, [Sidenote: Folengo, 1491-1544] showed
traces of his influence, but Ariosto and Tasso were bitterly hostile.
[Sidenote: Ariosto, 1531]  The former cared only for his fantastic
world of chivalry and faery, and when he did mention, in a satire
dedicated to Bembo, that Friar Martin had become a heretic as Nicoletto
had become an infidel, the reason in both cases is that they had
overstrained their intellects in the study of metaphysical theology,
"because when the mind soars up to see God it is no wonder that, it
falls down sometimes blind and confused."  Heresy he elsewhere pictures
as a devastating monster.

{375} But there was a third reason why the Reformation could not
succeed in Italy, and that was that it could not catch the ear of the
common people.  If for the churchman it was a heresy, and for the
free-thinker a superstition, for the "general public" of ordinarily
educated persons it was an aristocratic fad.  Those who did embrace its
doctrines and read its books, and they were not a few of the
second-rate humanists, cherished it as their fathers had cherished the
neo-Platonism of Pico della Mirandola, as an esoteric philosophy.  So
little inclined were they to bring their faith to the people that they
preferred to translate the Bible into better Greek or classical Latin
rather than into the vulgar Tuscan.  And just at the moment when it
seemed as if a popular movement of some sort might result from the
efforts of the Reformers, or in spite of them, came the Roman
Inquisition and nipped the budding plant.

[Sidenote: Christian Renaissance]

But between the levels of the greatest intellectual leaders and that of
the illiterate masses, there was a surprising number of groups of men
and women more or less tinctured with the doctrines of the north.  And
yet, even here, one must add that their religion was seldom pure
Lutheranism or Calvinism; it was Christianized humanism.  There was the
brilliant woman Vittoria Colonna, who read with rapture the doctrine of
justification by faith, but who remained a conforming Catholic all her
life.  There was Ochino, the general of the Capuchins, whose defection
caused a panic at Rome but who remained, nevertheless, an independent
rather than an orthodox Protestant.  Of like quality were Peter Martyr
Vermigli, an exile for his faith, and Jerome Bolsec, a native of France
but an inhabitant of Ferrara, whence he took to Geneva an eccentric
doctrine that caused much trouble to Calvin.  Finally, it was perfectly
in accordance with the Italian genius that the most radical of
Protestant dissenters, the unitarians Lelio and Fausto Sozzini, should
have been born in Siena.

Among the little nests of Lutherans or Christian mystics the most
important were at Venice, Ferrara and Naples.  As early as 1519
Luther's books found their way to Venice, and in 1525 one of the
leading canon lawyers in the city wrote an elaborate refutation of
them, together with a letter to the Reformer himself, informing him
that his act of burning the papal decretals was worse than that of
Judas in betraying, or of Pilate in crucifying, Christ.  The first
sufferer for the new religion was Jerome Galateo.  [Sidenote: 1530]
Nevertheless, the new church waxed strong, and many were executed for
their opinions.  A correspondence of the brethren with Bucer and Luther
has been preserved.  In one letter they deeply deplore the schisms on
the doctrine of the eucharist as hurtful to their cause.  The {376}
famous artist Lorenzo Lotto [Sidenote: 1540] was employed to paint
pictures of Luther and his wife, probably copies of Cranach.  The
appearance of the Socinians about 1550, and the mutual animosity of the
several sects, including the Anabaptist, was destructive.  Probably
more fatal was the disaster of the Schmalkaldic war and the complete
triumph of the emperor.  The Inquisition finished the work of crushing
out what remained of the new doctrines.

[Sidenote: Naples]

That Naples became a focus of Protestantism was due mainly to John de
Valdes, a deeply religious Spaniard.  From his circle went out a
treatise on justification entitled _The Benefit of Christ's Death_, by
Benedict of Mantua, of which no less than 40,000 copies were sold, for
it was the one reforming work to enjoy popularity rivalling that of
Luther and Erasmus.  Influenced by Valdes, also, Bartholomew Forzio
translated Luther's _Address to the German Nobility_ into Italian.

[Sidenote: Ferrara]

At the court of Ferrara the duchess, Renée de France, gathered a little
circle of Protestants.  Calvin himself spent some time here, and his
influence, together with the high protection of his patroness, made the
place a fulcrum against Rome.  Isabella d'Este, originally of Ferrara
and later Marchioness of Mantua, one of the brilliant women of the
Renaissance, for a while toyed with the fashionable theology.  Cardinal
Bembo saw at her castle at Mantua paintings of Erasmus and Luther.
[Sidenote: 1537]  One of the courtly poets of Northern Italy, Francis
Berni, bears witness to the good repute of the Protestants.  In his
_Rifacimento_ of Boiardo's _Orlando Inamorato_, he wrote: "Some rascal
hypocrites snarl between their teeth, 'Freethinker!  Lutheran!' but
Lutheran means, you know, good Christian."

[Sidenote: Roman prelates affected by Luther]

The most significant sign of the times, and the most ominous for the
papacy, was that among those affected by the leaven of Lutheranism were
many of the leading {377} luminaries in the bosom of the church.  That
the Florentine chronicler Bartholomew Cerratani expressed his hope that
Luther's distinguished morals, piety and learning should reform the
curia was bad enough; that the papal nuncio Vergerio, after being sent
on a mission to Wittenberg, should go over to the enemy, was worse;
that cardinals like Contarini and Pole should preach justification by
faith and concede much that the Protestants asked, was worst of all.
"No one now passes at Rome," wrote Peter Anthony Bandini about 1540,
"as a cultivated man or a good courtier who does not harbor some
heretical opinions."  Paul Sarpi, the eminent historian of Trent,
reports that Luther's arguments were held to be unanswerable at Rome,
but that he was resisted in order that authority might be uphold.  For
this statement he appeals to a diary of Francis Chieregato, an eminent
ecclesiastic who died on December 6, 1539.  As the diary has not been
found, Lord Acton rejects the assertion, believing that Sarpi's word
cannot be taken unsupported.  But a curious confirmation of Sarpi's
assertion, [Sidenote: Sarpi's assertion] and one that renders it
acceptable, is found in Luther's table talk.  Speaking on February 22,
1538, he says that he has heard from Rome that it was there believed to
be impossible to refute him until St. Paul had been deposed.  Ho
regarded this as a signal testimony to the truth of his doctrines; to
us it is valuable only as an evidence of Roman opinion.  It is not too
much to say that at about that time the most distinguished Italian
prelates were steering for Wittenberg and threatened to take Rome with
them.  How they failed is the history of the Counter-reformation.

SECTION 2.  THE PAPACY.  1522-1590

Nothing can better indicate the consternation caused at Rome by the
appearance of the Lutheran revolt than {378} the fact that for the
first time in 144 years and for the last time in history the cardinals
elected as supreme pontiff a man who was not an Italian, Adrian of
Utrecht.  [Sidenote: Adrian VI, 1522-September 1523]  After teaching
theology at Louvain he had been appointed tutor to Prince Charles and,
on the accession of his pupil to the Spanish throne was created Bishop
of Tortosa, and shortly thereafter cardinal and Inquisitor General of
Spain.  While in this country he distinguished himself equally by the
justness of his administration and by his bitter hatred of Luther,
against whom he wrote several letters both to his imperial master and
to his old colleagues at Louvain.

[Sidenote: December 1521]

The death of Leo X was followed by an unusually long conclave, on
account of the even balance of parties.  At last, despairing of
agreement, and feeling also that extraordinary measures were needed to
meet the exigencies of the situation, the cardinals, in January,
offered the tiara to Adrian, who, alone among modern popes, kept his
baptismal name while in office.  The failure of Adrian VI to accomplish
much was due largely to the shortness of his pontificate of only twenty
months, and still more to the invincible corruption he found at Rome.
His really high sense of duty awakened no response save fear and hatred
among the courtiers of the Medicis.  When he tried to restore the
ruined finances of the church he was accused of niggardliness; when he
made war on abuses he was called a barbarian; when he frankly
confessed, in his appeal to the German Diets, that perchance the whole
evil infecting the church came from the rottenness of the Curia, he was
assailed as putting arms into the arsenal of the enemy.  His greatest
crime in the eyes of his court was that he was a foreigner, an austere,
phlegmatic man, who could understand neither their tongue nor their

{379} Exhausted by the fruitless struggle, Adrian sank into his grave,
a good pope unwept and unhonored as few bad popes have ever been.  On
his tomb the cardinals wrote: "Here lies Adrian VI whose supreme
misfortune in life was that he was called upon to rule."  A like
judgment was expressed more wittily by the people, who erected a
monument to Adrian's physician and labeled it, "Liberatori Patriae."

[Sidenote: Clement VII, 1523-34]

The swing of the pendulum so often noticed in politics was particularly
marked in the elections to the papacy of the sixteenth century.  In
almost every instance the new pope was an opponent, and in some sort a
contrast, to his predecessor.  In no case was this more true than in
the election of 1523.  Deciding that if Adrian's methods were necessary
to save the church the medicine was worse than the disease, the
cardinals lost no time in raising another Medici to the throne.  Like
all of his race, Clement VII was a patron of art and literature, and
tolerant of abuses.  Personally moral and temperate, he cared little
save for an easy life and the advancement of the Three Balls.  He began
that policy, which nearly proved fatal to the church, of treating the
Protestants with alternate indulgence and severity.  But for himself
the more immediate trouble came not from the enemy of the church but
from its protector.  Though Adrian was an old officer of Charles V, it
was really in the reign of Clement that the process began by which
first Italy, then the papacy, then the whole church was put under the
Spanish yoke.

[Sidenote: Spanish influence, 1525-6]

After Pavia and the treaty of Madrid had eliminated French influence,
Charles naturally felt his power and naturally intended to have it
respected even by the pope.  Irritated by Clement's perpetual deceit
and intrigue with France, Charles addressed to him, in 1526, a document
which Ranke calls the most {380} formidable ever used by any Catholic
prince to a pope during the century, containing passages "of which no
follower of Luther need be ashamed."

[Sidenote: Sack of Rome, May and September 1527]

Rather to threaten the pope than to make war on him, Charles gathered a
formidable army of German and Spanish soldiers in the north under the
command of his general Frundsberg.  All the soldiers were restless and
mutinous for want of pay, and in addition to this a powerful motive
worked among the German landsknechts.  Many of them were Lutheran and
looked to the conquest of Rome as the triumph of their cause.  As they
loudly demanded to be lead against Antichrist, Frundsberg found that
his authority was powerless to stop them.  [Sidenote: March 16, 1527]
When he died of rage and mortification the French traitor Charles,
Constable of Bourbon, was appointed by the emperor in his place, and,
finding there was nothing else to do, led the army against Rome and
promised the soldiers as much booty as they could take.  Twice, in May
and September, the city was put to the horrors of a sack, with all the
atrocities of murder, theft and rapine almost inseparable from war.  In
addition to plundering, the Lutherans took particular pleasure in
desecrating the objects of veneration to the Catholics.  Many an image
and shrine was destroyed, while Luther was acclaimed pope by his
boisterous champions.  But far away on the Elbe he heard of the sack
and expressed his sorrow for it.

The importance of the sack of Rome, like that of other dramatic events,
is apt to be exaggerated.  It has been called the end of the
Renaissance and the beginning of the Catholic reaction.  It was neither
the one nor the other, but only one incident in the long, stubborn
process of the Hispanization of Italy and the church.  For centuries no
emperor had had so much power in Italy as had Charles.  With Naples and
{381} Milan were now linked Siena and Genoa under his rule; the states
of the church were virtually at his disposal, and even Florence, under
its hereditary duke, Alexander de' Medici, was for a while under the
control of the pope and through him, of Charles.

Nor did the fall of the holy city put the fear of God into the hearts
of the prelates for more than a moment.  The Medici, Clement, who never
sold his soul but only pawned it from time to time, without entirely
abandoning the idea of reform, indefinitely postponed it.
Procrastinating, timid, false, he was not the man to deal with serious
abuses.  He toyed with the idea of a council but when, on the mere
rumor that a council was to be called the prices of all salable offices
dropped in a panic, he hesitated.  Moreover he feared the council would
be used by the emperor to subordinate him even in spiritual matters.
Perhaps he meant well, but abuses were too lucrative to be lightly
affronted.  As to Lutheranism, Clement was completely misinformed and
almost completely indifferent.  While he and the emperor were at odds
it grew mightily.  Here as elsewhere he was irresolute; his
pontificate, as a contemporary wrote, was "one of scruples,
considerations and discords, of buts and ifs and thens and moreovers,
and plenty of words without effect."

[Sidenote: Paul III, 1534-49]

The pontificate of Paul III marks the turning point in the Catholic
reaction.  Under him the council of Trent was at last opened; the new
orders, especially the Jesuits, were formed, and such instrumentalities
as the Inquisition and Index of prohibited books put on a new footing.
Paul III, a Farnese from the States of the Church, owed his election
partly to his strength of character, partly to the weakness of his
health, for the cardinals liked frequent vacancies in the Holy See.
Cautious and choleric, prolix and stubborn, he had a real desire for
reform and an earnest wish to avoid {382} quarrels with either of the
great powers that menaced him, the emperor and France.  The reforming
spirit of the pope showed itself in the appointment of several men of
the highest character to the cardinalate, among them Gaspar Contarini
and Fisher, Bishop of Rochester.  In other cases, however, the
exigencies of politics induced the nomination of bad men, such as Del
Monte and David Beaton.  At the same time a commission was named to
recommend practical reforms.  The draft for a bull they presented for
this purpose was rejected by the Consistory, but some of their
recommendations, such as the prohibition of the Roman clergy to visit
taverns, theaters and gambling dens, were adopted.

[Sidenote: May, 1535  _Consilium delectorum cardinalium et aliorum

A second commission of nine ecclesiastics of high character, including
John Peter Caraffa, Contarini, Pole and Giberti, was created to make a
comprehensive report on reform.  The important memorial they drew up
fully exposed the prevalent abuses.  The root of all they found in the
exaggeration of the papal power of collation and the laxity with which
it was used.  Not only were morally unworthy men often made bishops and
prelates, but dispensations for renunciation of benefices, for
absenteeism and for other hurtful practices were freely sold.  The
commission demanded drastic reform of these abuses as well as of the
monastic orders, and called for the abolition of the venal exercise of
spiritual authority by legates and nuncios.  But the reform memorial,
excellent and searching as it was, led to nothing.  At most it was of
some use as a basis of reforms made by the Council of Trent later.  But
for the moment it only rendered the position of the church more
difficult.  The reform of the Dataria, for example, the office which
sold graces, privileges, indults, dispensations and benefices, was
{383} considered impossible because half of the papal revenue, or
110,000 ducats annually, came from it.  Nor could the fees of the
Penitentiary be abolished for fear of bankruptcy, though in 1540 they
were partially reduced.  [Sidenote: 1538]  The most obvious results of
the Consilium was to put another weapon into the hands of the
Lutherans.  Published by an unauthorized person, it was at once seized
upon by the Reformers as proof of the hopeless depravity of the Curia.
So dangerous did it prove to simple-minded Catholics that it was
presently put on the Index!

Paul's diplomacy tried to play off the Empire against France and to
divert the attention of both to a crusade against the Turk.  Hoping to
advance the cause of the church by means of the war declared by Charles
V on the Schmalkaldic League, the pope, in return for a subsidy,
exacted a declaration in the treaty, that the reason of the war was
religious and the occasion for it the refusal of the Protestants to
recognize the Council of Trent's authority.  But when Charles was
victor he used his advantage only to strengthen his own prerogative,
not effectively to suppress heresy.  Paul now dreaded the emperor more
than he did the Protestants and his position was not made easier by the
threat of Charles to come to terms with the Lutherans did Paul succeed
in rousing France against him.  In fact, with all his squirming, Paul
III only sank deeper into the Spanish vassalage, while the championship
of the church passed from his control into that of new agencies that he
had created.

[Sidenote: Julius III, 1550-55]

It was perhaps an effort to free the Holy See from the Spanish yoke
that led the cardinals to raise to the purple, as Julius III, Cardinal
John Mary Ciocchi del Monte who as one of the presidents of the
oecumenical council had distinguished himself by his opposition to
{384} the emperor.  Nevertheless his pontificate marked a relaxation of
the church's effort, for policy or strength to pursue reform he had

[Sidenote: Marcellus II, April 9-May 1, 1555]

Marcellus II, who was pope for twenty-two days, would hardly be
remembered save for the noble Mass of Pope Marcellus dedicated to him
by Palestrina.

With the elevation of Cardinal Caraffa to the tiara Peter's keys
[Sidenote: Paul IV, 1555-9] were once more restored to strong hands and
a reforming heart.  The founder of the Theatines was a hot-blooded
Neapolitan still, in spite of his seventy-nine years, hale and hearty.
Among the reforms he accomplished were some regulations relating to the
residence of bishops and some rules for the bridling of Jews, usurers,
prostitutes, players and mountebanks.  But he was unable to reform
himself.  He advanced his young kinsmen shamelessly to political
office.  His jealousy of the Jesuits, in whom he saw a rival to his own
order, not only caused him to neglect to use them but made him put them
in a very critical position.  Nor did he dare to summon again the
council that had been prorogued, for fear that some stronger power
should use it against himself.  He chafed under the Spanish yoke,
coming nearer to a conflict with Charles V and his son Philip II than
any pope had ventured to do.  He even thought of threatening Philip
with the Inquisition, but was restrained by prudence.  In his purpose
of freeing Italy from foreign domination he accomplished nothing

[Sidenote: Pius IV, 1560-5]

Pius IV was a contrast to the predecessor whom he hated.  John Angelo
Medici, of Milan, not connected with the Florentine family, was a
cheerful, well-wishing, beneficent man, genial and fond of life, a son
of the Renaissance, a patron of art and letters.  The choice of a name
often expresses the ideals and tendencies of a pope; that of Pius was
chosen perhaps in imitation {385} of Pius II, Aeneas Sylvius
Piccolomini, the most famous humanist to sit on the fisherman's throne.
And yet the spirit of the times no longer allowed the gross
licentiousness of the earlier age, and the cause of reform progressed
not a little under the diplomatic guidance of the Milanese.  In the
first place, doubtless from personal motives, he made a fearful example
of the kinsmen of his predecessor, four of whom he executed chiefly for
the reason that they had been advanced by papal influence.  This
salutary example practically put an end to nepotism; at least the
unfortunate nephews of Paul IV were the last to aspire to independent
principalities solely on the strength of kinship to a pope.

[Sidenote: Reforms]

The demand for the continuation and completion of the general council,
which had become loud, was acceded to by Pius who thought, like the
American boss, that at times it was necessary to "pander to the public
conscience."  The happy issue of the council, from his point of view,
in its complete submissiveness to the papal prerogative, led Pius to
emphasize the spiritual rather than the political claims of the
hierarchy.  In this the church made a great gain, for, as the history
of the time shows plainly, in the game of politics the papacy could no
longer hold its own against the national states surrounding it.  Pius
leaned heavily on Philip, for by this time Spain had become the
acknowledged champion of the church, but he was able to do so without
loss of prestige because of the gradual separation of the temporal from
the spiritual power.

Among his measures the most noteworthy was one regulating the powers of
the college of cardinals, while their exclusive right to elect the
pontiff was maintained against the pretensions of the council.  The
best Catholic spirit of the time was represented in {386} Cardinal
Charles Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan, an excellent prelate who sought
to win back members of Christ to the fold by his good example, while he
did not disdain to use the harsher methods of persecution when
necessary.  Among the amiable weaknesses of Pius was the belief,
inherited from a bygone age, that the Protestants might still be
reunited to the church by a few concessions, such as those of the
marriage of the clergy and the use of the cup by the laity.

[Sidenote: Pius V, 1566-72]

With Pius V a sterner spirit entered into the councils of the church.
The election of the Dominican and Chief Inquisitor Michael Ghislieri
was a triumph for the policy of Borromeo.  His pitiless hatred of the
heretics hounded Catharine de' Medici against the Huguenots, and Philip
II against the Dutch.  Contrary to the dictates of prudence and the
wishes of the greatest Catholic princes, he issued the bull deposing
Elizabeth.  But he was severe to himself, an ascetic nicknamed for his
monkish narrowness "Friar Wooden-shoe" by the Roman populace.  He
ruthlessly reformed the Italian clergy, meting out terrible punishments
to all sinners.  Under his leadership Catholicism took the offensive in
earnest and accomplished much.  His zeal won him the name of saint, for
he was the last of the Roman pontiffs to be canonized.

But the reign of sainthood coupled with absolutism is apt to grow
irksome, and it was with relief that the Romans hailed the election of
Hugo Buoncompagno as Gregory XIII.  [Sidenote: Gregory XIII, 1572-85]
He did little but follow out, somewhat weakly, the paths indicated by
his predecessors.  So heavily did he lean on Spain that he was called
the chaplain of Philip, but, as the obligations were mutual, and the
Catholic king came also to depend more and more upon the spiritual arms
wielded by the papacy, it might just as well have been said that Philip
was the executioner employed by Gregory.  The {387} mediocrity of his
rule did not prevent notable achievement by the Jesuits in the cause of
the church.  His reform of the calendar will be described more fully

Gregory XIII offers an opportunity to measure the moral standard of the
papacy after half a century of reform.  His policy was guided largely
by his ruling passion, love of a natural son, born before he had taken
priest's orders, whom he made Gonfaloniere of the church and would have
advanced to still further preferment had not his advisers objected.
Gregory was the pope who thanked God "for the grace vouchsafed unto
Christendom" in the massacre of St. Bartholomew.  He was also the pope
who praised and encouraged the plan for the assassination of

[Sidenote: Sixtus V, 1585-90]

In the person of Sixtus V the spirit of Pius V returned to power.
Felix Peretti was a Franciscan and an Inquisitor, an earnest man and a
hard one.  Like his predecessors pursuing the goal of absolutism, he
had an advantage over them in the blessing disguised as the disaster of
the Spanish Armada.  From this time forward the papacy was forced to
champion its cause with the spiritual weapons at its command, and the
gain to it as a moral and religious power was enormous.  In some ways
it assumed the primacy of Catholic Europe, previously usurped by Spain,
and attained an influence that it had not had since the Great Schism of
the fourteenth century.

The reforms of Sixtus are important rather for their comprehensive than
for their drastic quality.  The whole machinery of the Curia was made
over, the routine of business being delegated to a number of standing
committees known as Congregations, such as the Congregation of
Ceremonies to watch over matters of precedence at the papal court, and
the Congregation {388} of the Consistory to prepare the work of the
Consistory.  The number of cardinals was fixed at seventy.  New
editions of the breviary and of the Index were carefully prepared.  At
the same time the moral reforms of Trent were laxly carried out, for
while decrees enforcing them were promulgated by Sixtus with one hand,
with the other he sold dispensations and privileges.

[1] _Ante_, p. 338.


While the popes were enjoying their _jus incorrigibilitatis_--as Luther
wittily expressed it--the church was going to rack and ruin.  Had the
safety of Peter's boat been left to its captains, it would apparently
have foundered in the waves of schism and heresy.  No such dangerous
enemy has ever attacked the church as that then issuing from her own
bosom.  Neither the medieval heretics nor the modern philosophers have
won from her in so short a time such masses of adherents.  Where
Voltaire slew his thousands Luther slew his ten thousands, for Voltaire
appealed only to the intellect, Luther appealed to the conscience.

[Sidenote: Decline of Protestantism]

The extraordinary thing about the Protestant conquests was their sudden
end.  Within less than fifty years the Scandinavian North, most of
Germany including Austria, parts of Hungary, Poland, most of
Switzerland, and Great Britain had declared for the "gospel."  France
was divided and apparently going the same road; even in Italy there
were serious symptoms of disaffection.  That within a single generation
the tide should be not only stopped but rolled back is one of the most
dramatic changes of fortune in history.  The only country which
Protestantism gained after 1560 was the Dutch Republic.  Large parts of
Germany and Poland were won back to the church, and Catholicism made
safe in all the Latin countries.

{389} [Sidenote: Spanish revival]

The spirit that accomplished this work was the spirit of Spain.  More
extraordinary than the rapid growth of her empire was the conquest of
Europe by her ideals.  The character of the Counter-reformation was
determined by her genius.  It was not, as it started to be in Italy, a
more or less inwardly Christianized Renaissance.  It was a distinct and
powerful religious revival, and one that showed itself, as many others
have done, by a mighty reaction.  Medievalism was restored, largely by
medieval methods, the general council, the emphasis on tradition and
dogma, coercion of mind and body, and the ministrations of a monastic
order, new only in its discipline and effectiveness, a reduplication of
the old mendicant orders in spirit and ideal.

[Sidenote: Preparation for calling a council]

The Oecumenical Council was so double-edged a weapon that it is not
remarkable that the popes hesitated to grasp it in their war with the
heretic.  They had uncomfortable memories of Constance and Basle, of
the election and deposition of popes and of decrees limiting their
prerogatives.  And, moreover, the council was the first authority
invoked by the heretic himself.  Adrian might have been willing to risk
such a synod, but before he had time to call one, his place was taken
by the vacillating and pusillanimous Clement.  Perpetually toying with
the idea he yet allowed the pressure of his courtiers and the
difficulties of the political situation--for France was opposed to the
council as an imperial scheme--indefinitely to postpone the summons.

The more serious-minded Paul III found another lion in his path.  He
for the first time really labored to summon the general synod, but he
found that the Protestants had now changed their position and would no
longer consent to recognize its authority under any conditions to which
he could possibly assent.  Though {390} his nuncio Vergerio received in
Germany and even in Wittenberg a cordial welcome, it was soon
discovered that the ideas of the proper constitution of the council
entertained by the two parties were irreconciliable.  Fundamentally
each wanted a council in which its own predominance should be assured.
The Schmalkaldic princes, on the advice of their theologians, asked for
a free German synod in which they should have a majority vote, and in
this they were supported by Francis I and Henry VIII.  Naturally no
pope could consent to any such measures; under these discouraging
circumstances, the opening of the council was continually postponed,
and in place of it the emperor held a series of religious colloquies
that only served to make the differences of the two parties more

[Sidenote: Summons of Council, November 19, 1544]

After several years of negotiation the path was made smooth and the
bull _Laetare Hierusalem_ summoned a general synod to meet at Trent on
March 15, 1545, and assigned it three tasks: (1) The pacification of
religious disputes by doctrinal decisions; (2) the reform of
ecclesiastical abuses; (3) the discussion of a crusade against the
infidel.  Delay still interfered with the opening of the assembly,
which did not take place until December 15, 1545.

[Sidenote: First period, 1545-7]

The council was held at three separate periods with long intervals.
The first period was 1545-7, the second 1551-2, the third 1562-3.  The
city of Trent was chosen in order to yield to the demand for a German
town while at the same time selecting that one nearest to Italy, for
the pope was determined to keep the action of the synod under control.
Two measures were adopted to insure this end, the initiative and
presidency of the papal legates and packing the membership.  The
faculties to be granted the legates were already decided upon in 1544;
these lieutenants were to be, according to Father Paul Sarpi, angels of
peace to preside, make {391} all necessary regulations, and publish
them "according to custom."  The phrase that the council should decide
on measures, "legatis proponentibus" was simply the constitutional
expression of the principal familiar in many governments, that the
legislative should act only on the initiative of the executive, thus
giving an immense advantage to the latter.  The second means of
subordinating the council was the decision to vote by heads and not by
nations and to allow no proxies.  This gave a constant majority to the
Italian prelates sent by the pope.  So successful were these measures
that the French ambassador bitterly jested of the Holy Ghost coming to
Trent in the mailbags from Rome.

[Sidenote: Membership]

At the first session there were only thirty-four members entitled to
vote: four cardinals, four archbishops, twenty-one bishops and five
generals of orders.  There were also present other personages,
including an ambassador from King Ferdinand, four Spanish secular
priests and a number of friars.  The first question debated was the
precedence of dogma or reform.  Regarding the council chiefly as an
instrument for condemning the heretics, the pope was in favor of taking
up dogma first.  The emperor, on the other hand, wishing rather to
conciliate the Protestants and if possible to lure them back to the old
church, was in favor of starting with reform.  The struggle, which was
carried on not so much on the floor of the synod as behind the members'
backs in the intrigues of courts, was decided by a compromise to the
effect that both dogma and reform should be taken up simultaneously.
But all enactments dealing with ecclesiastical irregularities were to
bear the proviso "under reservation of the papal authority."

[Sidenote: Dogmatic decrees]

The dogmatic decrees at Trent were almost wholly oriented by the
polemic against Protestantism.  {392} Practically nothing was defined
save what had already been taken up in the Augsburg Confession or in
the writings of Calvin, of Zwingli and of the Anabaptists.  Inevitably,
a spirit so purely defensive could not be animated by a primarily
philosophical interest.  The guiding star was not a system but a
policy, and this policy was nothing more nor less than that of
re-establishing tradition.  The practice of the church was the standard
applied; many an unhistorical assertion was made to justify it and many
a practice of comparatively recent growth was sanctioned by the
postulate that "it had descended from apostolic use."  "By show of
antiquity they introduce novelty," was Bacon's correct judgment.

[Sidenote: Bible and tradition]

Quite naturally the first of the important dogmatic decrees was on the
basis of authority.  The Protestants had acknowledged the Bible only;
over against them the Tridentine fathers declared for the Bible _and_
the tradition of the church.  The canon of Scripture was different from
that recognized by the Protestants in that it included the Apocrypha.

[Sidenote: Justification]

After passing various reform decrees on preaching, catechetical
instruction, privileges of mendicants and indulgences, the council took
up the thorny question of justification.  Discussion was postponed for
some months out of consideration for the emperor, who feared it might
irritate the Protestants, and only gave his consent to it in the hope
that some ambiguous form acceptable to that party, might be found.  How
deeply the solifidian doctrine had penetrated into the very bosom of
the church was revealed by the storminess of the debate.  The passions
of the right reverend fathers were so excited by the consideration of a
fundamental article of their faith that in the course of disputation
they accused one another of conduct unbecoming to Christians, taunted
one another with {393} plebeian origin and tore hair from one another's
beards.  The decree as finally passed established the position that
faith and works together justify, and condemned the semi-Lutheran
doctrines of "duplicate justice" and imputed righteousness hitherto
held by such eminent theologians as Contarini and Cajetan.

Having accomplished this important work the council appeared to the
pope ready for dissolution.  The protests of the emperor kept it
together for a few months longer, but an outbreak of the spotted fever
and the fear of a raid during the Schmalkaldic war, served as
sufficient excuses to translate the council to Bologna.  [Sidenote:
March 1547]  Though nothing was accomplished in this city the assembly
was not formally prorogued until September 13, 1549.

[Sidenote: Second period, 1551-2]

Under pressure from the emperor Pope Julius III convoked the synod for
a second time at Trent on May 1, 1551.  The personnel was different.
The Jesuits Lainez and Salmeron were present working in the interests
of the papacy.  No French clergy took part as Henry II was hostile.
The Protestants were required to send a delegation, which was received
on January 24, 1552.  They presented a confession, but declined to
recognize the authority of a body in which they were not represented.
Several dogmatic decrees were passed on the sacraments, reasserting
transubstantiation and all the doctrines and usages of the church.  A
few reform decrees were also passed, but before a great deal could be
accomplished the revolt of Maurice of Saxony put both emperor and
council in a precarious position and the latter was consequently
prorogued for a second time on April 28, 1552.

[Sidenote: Third period, 1562-3]

When, after ten long years, the council again convened at the command
of Pius IV, in January, 1562, it is extraordinary to see how little the
problems confronting it had changed.  Not only was the struggle {394}
for power between pope and council and between pope and emperor still
going on, but hopes were still entertained in some quarters of
reconciling the schismatics.  Pius invited all princes, whether
Catholic or heretical, to send delegates, but was rebuffed by some of
them.  The argument was then taken up by the Emperor Ferdinand who sent
in an imposing demand for reforms, including the authorization of the
marriage of priests, communion in both kinds, the use of the vulgar
tongue in divine service, and drastic rules for the improvement of the
convents and of the papal courts.

[Sidenote: Jesuits present]

The contention over this bone among the fathers, now far more numerous
than in the earlier days, waxed so hot that for ten whole months no
session could be held.  Mobs of the partisans of the various factions
fought in the streets and bitter taunts of "French diseases" and
"Spanish eruptions" were exchanged between them.  For a time the
situation seemed inextricable and one cardinal prophesied the impending
downfall of the papacy.  But in the nick of time to prevent such a
catastrophe the pope was able to send into the field the newly
recruited praetorian guards of the Society of Jesuits.  Under the
command of Cardinal Morone these indefatigable zealots turned the flank
of the opposing forces partly by intrigue at the imperial court, partly
by skilful manipulation of debate.  The emperor's mind was changed;
reforms demanded by him were dropped.

The questions actually taken up and settled were dogmatic ones, chiefly
concerning the sacrifice of the mass and the perpetuation of the
Catholic customs of communion in one kind, the celebration of masses in
honor of saints, the celebration of masses in which the priest only
communicates, the mixing of water with the wine, the prohibition of the
use of the vulgar tongue, and the sanction of masses for the dead.
Other {395} decrees amended the marriage laws, and enjoined the
preparation of an Index of prohibited books, of a catechism and of
standard editions of missal and breviary.

[Sidenote: Subjection to papacy]

How completely the council in its last estate was subdued to the will
of the pope is shown by its request that the decrees should all be
confirmed by him.  This was done by Pius IV in the bull Benedictus
Deus.  [Sidenote: January 26, 1564]  Pius also caused to be prepared a
symbol known as the Tridentine Profession of Faith which was made
binding on all priests.  Save that it was slightly enlarged in 1877 by
the pronouncement on Papal Infallibility, it stands to the present day.

[Sidenote: Reception of decrees]

The complete triumph of the papal claims was offset by the cool
reception which the decrees received in Catholic Europe.  Only the
Italian states, Poland, Portugal and Savoy unreservedly recognized the
authority of all of them.  Philip II, bigot as he was, preferred to
make his own rules for his clergy and recognized the laws of Trent with
the proviso "saving the royal rights."  France sanctioned only the
dogmatic, not the practical decrees.  The emperor never officially
recognized the work of the council at all.  Nor were the governments
the only recalcitrants.  According to Sarpi the body of German
Catholics paid no attention to the prescribed reforms and the council
was openly mocked in France as claiming an authority superior to that
of the apostles.

To Father Paul Sarpi, indeed, the most intelligent observer of the next
generation, the council seemed to have been a failure if not a fraud.
Its history he calls an Iliad of woes.  The professed objects of the
council, healing the schism and asserting the episcopal power he thinks
frustrated, for the schism was made irreconciliable and the church
reduced to servitude.

But the judgment of posterity has reversed that of {396} the great
historian, [Sidenote: Constructive work] at least as far as the value
of the work done at Trent to the cause of Catholicism is concerned.  If
the church shut out the Protestants and recognized her limited domain,
she at least took appropriate measures to establish her rule over what
was left.  Her power was now collected; her dogma was unified and made
consistent as opposed to the mutually diverse Protestant creeds.  In
several points, indeed, where the opinion of the members was divided,
the words of the decrees were ambiguous, but as against the Protestants
they were distinct and so comprehensive as rather to supersede than to
supplement earlier standards.

Nor should the moral impulse of the council be underestimated,
ridiculed though it was by its opponents as if expressed in the maxim,
"si non caste, tamen caute."  Sweeping decrees for urgent reforms were
passed, and above all a machinery set up to carry on the good work.  In
providing for a catechism, for authoritative editions of the Vulgate,
breviary and other standard works, in regulating moot points, in
striking at lax discipline, the council did a lasting service to
Catholicism and perhaps to the world.  Not the least of the practical
reforms was the provision for the opening of seminaries to train the
diocesan clergy.  The first measure looking to this was passed in 1546;
Cardinal Pole at once began to act upon it, and a decree of the third
session [Sidenote: 1563] ordered that each diocese should have such a
school for the education of priests.  The Roman seminary, opened two
years later, [Sidenote: 1565] was a model for subsequent foundations.


If the Counter-reformation was in part a pure reaction to medievalism it
was in part also a religious revival.  If this was stimulated by the
Protestant {397} example, it was also the outcome of the rising tide of
Catholic pietism in the fifteenth century.  Still more was it the answer
to a demand on the part of the church for an instrument with which to
combat the dangers of heresy and to conquer spiritually the new worlds of

Great crises in the church have frequently produced new revivals of
monasticism.  From Benedict to Bernard, from Bernard to Francis and
Dominic, from the friars to the Jesuits, there is an evolution in the
adaptation of the monastic life to the needs of Latin Christianity.
Several new orders, [Sidenote: New monastic orders] all with more or less
in common, started in the first half of the sixteenth century.  Under Leo
X there assembled at Rome a number of men united by the wish to renew
their spiritual lives by religious exercises.  From this Oratory of
Divine Love, as it was called, under the inspiration of Gaetano di Tiene
and John Peter Caraffa, arose the order of Theatines, [Sidenote: 1524] a
body of devoted priests, dressing not in a special garb but in ordinary
priest's robes, who soon attained a prominent position in the Catholic
reformation.  Their especial task was to educate the clergy.

The order of the Capuchins [Sidenote: c. 1526] was an offshoot of the
Franciscans.  It restored the relaxed discipline of the early friars and
its members went about teaching the poor.  Notwithstanding the blow to it
when its third vicar Bernardino Ochino became a Calvinist, it flourished
and turned its energies especially against the heretics.

Of the other orders founded at this time, the Barnabites (1530), the
Somascians (1532), the Brothers of Mercy (1540), the Ursulines (1537),
only the common characteristics can be pointed out.  It is notable that
they were all animated by a social ideal; not only the salvation of the
individual soul but also the {398} amelioration of humanity was now their
purpose.  Some of the orders devoted themselves to the education of
children, some to home missions or foreign missions, some to nursing the
sick, some to the rescue of fallen women.  The evolution of monasticism
had already pointed the way to these tasks; its apogee was reached with
the organization of the Company of Jesus.

[Sidenote: Typical Jesuit]

The Jesuit has become one of those typical figures, like the Puritan and
the buccaneer.  Though less exploited in fiction than he was in the days
of Dumas, Eugene Sue and Zola, the mention of his name calls to the
imagination the picture of a tall, spare man, handsome, courteous,
obliging, but subtle, deceitful, dangerous, capable of nursing the
blackest thoughts and of sanctioning the worst actions for the
advancement of his cause.  The _Lettres Provinciales_ of Pascal first
stamped on public opinion the idea that the Jesuit was necessarily
immoral and venomous; the implacable hatred of Michelet and Symonds has
brought them as criminals before the bar of history.  On the other hand
they have had their apologists and friends even outside their own order.
Let us neither praise nor blame, but seek to understand them.

[Sidenote: Loyola, c. 1493-1556]

In that memorable hour when Luther said his ever-lasting nay at Worms one
of his auditors was--or might have been for she was undoubtedly present
in the city--Germaine de Foix, the wife of the Margrave John of
Brandenburg.  The beautiful and frivolous young woman had been by a
former marriage the second wife of Ferdinand the Catholic and at his
court she had been known and worshipped by a young page of good family,
Iñigo de Loyola.  Like the romantic Spaniard that he was he had taken, as
he told later, for his lady "no duchess nor countess but one far higher"
and to her he paid court in the genuine spirit of old chivalry.  Not that
this prevented him from addressing {399} less disinterested attentions to
other ladies, for, if something of a Don Quixote he was also something of
a Don Juan.  Indeed, at the carnival of 1515, his "enormous misdemeanors"
had caused him to be tried before a court of justice and little did his
plea of benefit of clergy avail him, for the judge failed to find a
tonsure on his head "even as large as a seal on a papal bull," and he was
probably punished severely.

Loyola was a Basque, and a soldier to his fingertips.  When the French
army invaded Spain he was given command of the fortress of Pampeluna.
Defending it bravely against desperate odds he was wounded [Sidenote: May
23, 1521] in the leg with a cannon ball and forced to yield.  The leg was
badly set and the bone knit crooked.  With indomitable courage he had it
broken and reset, stretched on racks and the protruding bone sawed off,
but all the torture, in the age before anaesthetics, was in vain.  The
young man of about twenty-eight--the exact year of his birth is
unknown--found himself a cripple for life.

To while away the long hours of convalescence he asked for the romances
of chivalry but was unable to get them and read in their place legends of
the saints and a life of Christ by Ludolph of Saxony.  His imagination
took fire at the new possibilities of heroism and of fame.  "What if you
should be a saint like Dominic or Francis?" he asked himself, "ay, what
if you should even surpass them in sanctity?"  His choice was fixed.  He
took Madonna for his lady and determined to become a soldier of Christ.

As soon as he was able to move he made a pilgrimage to Seville and
Manresa and there dedicated his arms in a church in imitation of the
knights he had read about in _Amadis of Gaul_.  Then, with a general
confession and much fasting and mortification of the flesh, began a
period of doubt and spiritual anguish {400} that has sometimes been
compared with that of Luther.  Both were men of strong will and
intellect, both suffered from the sense of sin.  But Luther's development
was somewhat quieter and more normal--if, indeed, in the psychology of
conversion so carefully studied by James, the quieter is the more normal.
At any rate where Luther had one vision on an exceptional occasion,
Loyola had hundreds and had them daily.  Ignatius saw the Trinity as a
clavichord with three strings, the miracle of transubstantiation as light
in bread, Satan as a glistening serpent covered with bright, mysterious
eyes, Jesus as "a big round form shining as gold," and the Trinity again
as "a ball of fire."

But with all the visions he kept his will fixed on his purpose.
[Sidenote: 1523]  At first this took the form of a vow to preach to the
infidels and he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, only to be turned back by
the highest Christian authority in that region, the politically-minded
Franciscan vicar.

[Sidenote: 1524]

On returning to Spain he went to Barcelona and started to learn Latin
with boys, for his education as a gentleman had included nothing but
reading and writing his own tongue.  Thence he went to the university of
Alcalá where he won disciples but was imprisoned for six weeks by the
Inquisition and forbidden to hold meetings with them.  Practically the
same experience was repeated at Salamanca where he was detained by the
Holy Office for twenty-two days and again prohibited from holding
religious meetings.  Thus he was chased out of Spain by the church he
sought to serve.  Turning his steps to Paris he entered the College of
Montaigu, and, if he here was free from the Inquisition he was publicly
whipped by the college authorities as a dangerous fanatic.  Nevertheless,
here he gathered his first permanent disciples, Peter Le Fèvre of Savoy,
Francis Xavier of Pampeluna and two Castilians, {401} James Laynez and
Alfonso Salmeron.  The little man, hardly over five feet two inches high,
deformed and scarred, at the age of thirty-five, won men to him by his
smile, as of a conqueror in pain, by his enthusiasm, his mission and his

[Sidenote: _The Spiritual Exercises_]

If one reckons the greatness of a piece of literature not by the beauty
of the style or the profundity of the thought but by the influence it has
exercised over men, the _Spiritual Exercises_ of Ignatius will rank high.
Its chief sources were the meditation and observation of its author.  If
he took some things from Garcia de Cisneros, some from _The Imitation of
Christ_, some from the rules of Montaigu, where he studied, far more he
took from the course of discipline to which he had subjected himself at
Manresa.  The psychological soundness of Loyola's method is found in his
discovery that the best way to win a man to an ideal is to kindle his
imagination.  His own thought was imaginative to the verge of abnormality
and the means which he took to awaken and artificially to stimulate this
faculty in his followers were drastic in the extreme.

The purpose of the _Exercises_ is stated in the axiom that "Man was
created to praise, reverence and serve God our Lord and thereby to save
his soul."  To fit a man for this work the spiritual exercises were
divided into four periods called weeks, though each period might be
shortened or lengthened at the discretion of the director.  The first
week was devoted to the consideration of sin; the second to that of
Christ's life as far as Palm Sunday; the third to his passion; and the
fourth to his resurrection and ascension.  Knowing the tremendous power
of the stimulant to be administered Ignatius inserted wise counsels of
moderation in the application of it.  But, subject only to the condition
that the novice was not to be plied beyond what he could bear, he was
directed in the first week of {402} solitary meditation to try to see the
length, breadth and depth of hell, to hear the lamentations and
blasphemies of the damned, to smell the smoke and brimstone, to taste the
bitterness of tears and of the worm of conscience and to feel the
burnings of the unquenchable fire.  In like manner in the other weeks he
was to try to picture to himself in as vivid a manner as possible all the
events brought before his mind, whether terrible or glorious.  The end of
all this discipline was to be the complete subjection of the man to the
church.  The Jesuit was directed ever "to praise all the precepts of the
church, holding the mind ready to find reasons for her defence and nowise
in her offence."  There must be an unconditional surrender to her not
only of the will but of the intelligence.  "To make sure of being right
in all things," says Loyola, "we ought always to hold by the principle
that the white I see I should believe to be black if the hierarchical
church were so to rule it."

Inspired by this ideal the small body of students, agreeing to be called
henceforth the Company of Jesus--a military term, the _socii_ being the
companions or followers of a chief in arms--took vows to live in poverty
and chastity [Sidenote: August 15, 1540] and to make a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem.  With this object they set out to Venice and then turned
towards Rome for papal approbation of their enterprise.  Their first
reception was chilling, but they gradually won a few new recruits and
Ignatius drafted the constitution [Sidenote: September 27, 1540] for a
new order which was handed to the pope by Contarini and approved in the
bull _Regimini militantis ecclesiae_, which quotes from the formula of
the Jesuits:

  Whoever wishes to fight for God under the standard
  of the cross and to serve the Lord alone and his vicar on
  earth the Roman pontiff shall, after a solemn vow of
  perpetual chastity, consider that he is part of a society
  instituted chiefly for these ends, for the profit of souls in
  life and Christian doctrine, for the propagation of the
  faith through public preaching, the ministry of God's
  word, spiritual exercises and works of charity, and
  especially for the education of children and ignorant persons
  in Christianity, for the hearing of confession and for the
  giving of spiritual consolation.

Moreover it is stated that the members of the new order should be bound
by a vow of special obedience to the pope and should hold themselves
ready at his behest to propagate the faith among Turks, infidels,
heretics or schismatics, or to minister to believers.

[Sidenote: April 1547]

Ignatius was chosen first general of the order.  The pope then cancelled
the previous limitation of the number of Jesuits to 60 [Sidenote: 1544]
and later issued a large charter of privileges for them.  [Sidenote:
1549]  They were exempted from taxes and episcopal jurisdiction; no
member was to be allowed to accept any dignity without the general's
consent, nor could any member be assigned to the spiritual direction of
women.  Among many other grants was one to the effect that the faithful
might confess to them and receive communion without permission of their
parish priests.  A confirmation of all privileges and a grant of others
was made in a bull of July 21, 1550.

[Sidenote: Organization of the Society of Jesus, 1550]

The express end of the order being the world-domination of the church,
its constitution provided a marvellously apt organization for this
purpose.  Everything was to be subordinate to efficiency.  Detachment
from the world went only so far as necessary for the completer conquest
of the world.  Asceticism, fasting, self-discipline were to be moderate
so as not to interfere with health.  No special dress was prescribed, for
it might be a hindrance rather than a help.  The purpose being to win
over the classes rather than the masses, the Jesuits were particular to
select as members only robust men of agreeable appearance, calm minds and
{404} eloquence.  That an aspirant to the order should also be rich and
of good family was not requisite but was considered desirable.  Men of
bad reputation, intractible, choleric, or men who had ever been tainted
with heresy, were excluded.  No women were recruited.

After selection, the neophyte was put on a probation of two years.  He
was then assigned to the class of scholars for further discipline.  He
was later placed either as a temporal coadjutor, a sort of lay brother
charged with inferior duties, or as a spiritual coadjutor, who took the
three irrevocable vows.  Finally, there was a class, to which admission
was gained after long experience, the Professed of Four Vows, the fourth
being one of special obedience to the pope.  A small number of secret
Jesuits who might be considered as another class, were charged with
dangerous missions and with spying.

[Sidenote: General]

Over the order was placed a General who was practically, though not
theoretically, absolute.  On paper he was limited by the possibility of
being deposed and by the election, independently of his influence, of an
"admonitor" and some assistants.  In practice the only limitations of his
power were the physical ones inherent in the difficulties of
administering provinces thousands of miles away.  From every province,
however, he received confidential reports from a multitude of spies.

The spirit of the order was that of absolute, unquestioning, blind
obedience.  The member must obey his superior "like a corpse which can be
turned this way or that, or a rod that follows every impulse, or a ball
of wax that might be moulded in any form."  The ideal was an old one; the
famous _perinde ac cadaver_ itself dates back to Francis of Assisi, but
nowhere had the ideal been so completely realized as by the companions of
Ignatius.  In fact, in this as in other respects, the {405} Jesuits were
but a natural culmination of the evolution of monasticism.  More and more
had the orders tended to become highly disciplined, unified bodies, apt
to be used for the service of the church and of the pope.

[Sidenote: Growth]

The growth of the society was extraordinarily rapid.  By 1544 they had
nine establishments, two each in Italy, Spain and Portugal and one each
in France, Germany and the Netherlands.  When Loyola [Sidenote: July 31,
1556] died Jesuits could be found in Japan and Brazil, in Abyssinia and
on the Congo; in Europe they were in almost every country and included
doctors at the largest universities and papal nuncios to Poland and
Ireland.  There were in all twelve provinces, about 65 residences and
1500 members.

Their work was as broad as their field, but it was dedicated especially
to three several tasks: education, war against the heretic, and foreign
missions.  Neither of the first two was particularly contemplated by the
founders of the order in their earliest period.  At that time they were
rather like the friars, popular preachers, catechists, confessors and
charitable workers.  But the exigencies of the time called them to supply
other needs.  The education of the young was the natural result of their
desire to dominate the intellectual class.  Their seminaries, at first
adapted only to their own uses, soon became famous.

[Sidenote: Combating heresy]

In the task of combating heresy they were also the most successful of the
papal cohorts.  Though not the primary purpose of the order, it soon came
to be regarded as their special field.  The bull canonizing Loyola
[Sidenote: 1623] speaks of him as an instrument raised up by divine
providence especially to combat that "foulest of monsters" Martin Luther.
Beginning in Italy the Jesuits revived the nearly extinct popular piety.
Going among the poor as missionaries they found many who knew no prayers,
many who had not confessed for {406} thirty or forty years, and a host of
priests as blind as their flocks.

In most other Catholic countries they had to fight for the right to
exist.  In France the Parlement of Paris was against them, and even after
the king had granted them permission to settle in the country in 1553,
the Parlement accused them of jeoparding the faith, destroying the peace
of the church, supplanting the old orders and tearing down more than they
built up.  Nevertheless they won their way to a place of great power,
until, sitting at the counsels of the monarch, they were able to crush
their Catholic opponents, the Jansenists, as completely as their
Protestant enemies were crushed by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

In the Netherlands the Jesuits were welcomed as allies of the Spanish
power.  The people were impressed by their zeal, piety, and
disinterestedness, and in the Southern provinces they were able to bear
away a victory after a fierce fight with Calvinism.

In England, where they showed the most devotion, they met with the least
success.  The blood of their martyrs did not sow the ground with Catholic
seed, and they were expelled by statute under Elizabeth.

[Sidenote: Jesuit victories]

The most striking victories of the Jesuits were won in Central Europe.
When the first of their company, Peter Faber, entered Germany in 1540, he
found nearly the whole country Lutheran.  The Wittelsbachs of Bavaria
were almost the only reigning family that never compromised with the
Reformers and in them the Jesuits found their starting point and their
most constant ally.  Called to the universities of Ingolstadt and Vienna
their success was great and from these foci they radiated in all
directions, to Poland, to Hungary, to the Rhine.  One of their most
eminent missionaries was Peter Canisius, whose catechism, published in
1555 in three forms, short, long and middle, and in two {407} languages,
German and Latin, became the chief spiritual text-book of the Catholics.
The idea and selection of material was borrowed from Luther and he was
imitated also in the omission of all overt polemic material.  This last
feature was, of course, one of the strongest.

[Sidenote: Missions to heathens]

But the conquests of the Company of Jesus were as notable in lands beyond
Europe as they were in the heart of civilization.  They were not, indeed,
pioneers in the field of foreign missions.  The Catholic church showed
itself from an early period solicitous for the salvation of the natives
of America and of the Far East.  The bull of Alexander VI stated that his
motive in dividing the newly discovered lands between Spain and Portugal
was chiefly to assist in the propagation of the faith.  That the
Protestants at first developed no activity in the conversion of the
heathen was partly because their energies were fully employed in securing
their own position, and still more, perhaps, because, in the sixteenth
century, Spain and Portugal had a practical monopoly of the transoceanic
trade and thus the only opportunities of coming into contact with the

Very early Dominican and Franciscan friars went to America.  Though some
of them exemplified Christian virtues that might well have impressed the
natives, the greater number relied on the puissant support of the Toledo
sword.  Though the natives, as heathen born in invincible ignorance, were
exempt from the jurisdiction of the inquisitor, they were driven by
terror if not by fire, into embracing the religion of their conquerors.
If some steadfast chiefs told the missionaries that they would rather go
to hell after death than live for ever with the cruel Christians, the
tribes as a whole, seeing their dreaded idols overthrown and their
temples uprooted, embraced the religion of the stronger God, as they
quailed before his {408} votaries.  Little could they understand of the
mysteries of the faith, and in some places long continued to worship
Christ and Mary with the ritual and attributes of older deities.  But
nominally a million of them were converted by 1532, and when the Jesuits
arrived a still more successful effort was made to win over the red man.
The important mission in Brazil, served by brave and devoted brothers of
Ignatius, achieved remarkable results, whereas in Paraguay the Jesuits
founded a state completely under their own tutelage.

In the Far East the path of the missionary was broken by the trader.  At
Goa the first ambassadors of Christ were friars, and here they erected a
cathedral, a convent, and schools for training native priests.  But the
greatest of the missionaries to this region was Francis Xavier,
[Sidenote: Xavier, 1506-52] the companion of Loyola.  Not forgetting the
vow which he, together with all the first members of the society, had
taken, [Sidenote: April 1541] he sailed from Lisbon, clothed with
extraordinary powers.  The pope made him his vicar for all the lands
bathed by the Indian Ocean, [Sidenote: May, 1542] and the king of
Portugal gave him official sanction and support.  Arriving at Goa he put
himself in touch with the earlier missionaries and began an earnest fight
against the immorality of the port, both Christian and native.  His motto
"Amplius" led him soon to virgin fields, among the natives of the coast
and of Ceylon.  In 1545 he went to Cochin-China, thence to the Moluccas
and to Japan, preaching in every place and baptizing by the thousand and
ten thousand.

Though Xavier was a man of brilliant endowments and though he was
passionately devoted to the cause, to neither of his good qualities did
he owe the successes, whether solid or specious, with which he has been
credited.  In the first place, judged by the standards of modern
missions, the superficiality of his work was {409} almost inconceivable.
He never mastered one of the languages of the countries which he visited.
He learned by rote a few sentences, generally the creed and some phrases
on the horrors of hell, and repeated them to the crowds attracted to him
by the sound of a bell.  He addressed himself to masses rather than to
individuals and he regarded the culmination of his work as being merely
the administration of baptism and not the conversion of heart or
understanding.  Thus, he spent hours in baptizing, with all possible
speed, sick and dying children, believing that he was thus rescuing their
souls from limbo.  Probably many of his adult converts never understood
the meaning of the application of water and oil, salt and spittle, that
make up the ritual of Catholic baptism.

[Sidenote: Use of force]

In the second place, what permanent success he achieved was due largely
to the invocation of the aid of the civil power.  One of the most
illuminating of Xavier's letters is that written to King John of Portugal
on January 20, 1548, in which he not only makes the reasonable request
that native Christians be protected from persecution by their countrymen,
but adds that every governor should take such measures to convert them as
would insure success to his preaching, for without such support, he says,
the cause of the gospel in the Indies would be desperate, few would come
to baptism and those who did come would not profit much in religion.
Therefore he urges that every governor, under whose rule many natives
were not converted, should be mulcted of all his goods and imprisoned on
his return to Portugal.  What the measures applied by the Portugese
officers must have been, under such pressure, can easily be inferred from
a slight knowledge of their savage rule.

It has been said that every organism carries in {410} itself the seeds of
its own decay.  The premature corruption [Sidenote: Decay of Jesuits] of
the order was noticed by its more earnest members quite early in its
career.  The future general Francis Borgia wrote: [Sidenote: 1560] "The
time will come when the Company will be completely absorbed in human
sciences without any application to virtue; ambition, pride and arrogance
will rule."  The General Aquaviva said explicitly, [Sidenote: 1587] "Love
of the things of this world and the spirit of the courtier are dangerous
diseases in our Company.  Almost in spite of us the evil creeps in little
by little under the fair pretext of gaining princes, prelates, and the
great ones of the world."

A principal cause of the ultimate odium in which the Jesuits were held as
well as of their temporary successes, was their desire for speedy
results.  [Sidenote: Efficiency]  Every one has noticed the immense
versatility of the Jesuits and their superficiality.  They produced
excellent scholars of a certain rank, men who could decipher Latin
inscriptions, observe the planets, publish libraries of historical
sources, of casuistry and apologetic, or write catechisms or epigrams.
They turned with equal facility to preaching to naked savages and to the
production of art for the most cultivated peoples in the world.  And yet
they have rarely, if ever, produced a great scholar, a great scientist, a
great thinker, or even a great ascetic.  They were not founded for such
purposes; they were founded to fight for the church and they did that
with extraordinary success.

[Sidenote: Failure]

But their very efficiency became, as pursued for its own sake it must
always become, soulless.  In terms suggested by the Great War, the
Jesuits were the incarnation of religious militarism.  To set up an ideal
of aggrandizement, to fill a body of men with a fanatical enthusiasm for
that ideal and then to provide an organization and discipline
marvellously adapted to conquest, that is what the Prussian schoolmaster
who {411} proverbially won Sadowa, and the Jesuits who beat back the
Reformation, have known how to do better than anyone else.  Their methods
took account of everything except the conscience of mankind.

Moreover, there can be no doubt that in their eager pursuit of tangible
results they lowered the ethical standards of the church.  Wishing to
open her doors as widely as possible to all men, and finding that they
could not make all men saints, they brought down the requirements for
admission to the average human level.  One cannot take the denunciations
of Jesuitical "casuistry" and "probabilism" at their face value, but one
can find in Jesuit works on ethics, and in some of their early works,
very dangerous compromises with the world.  [Sidenote: Jesuitical
compromises]  One reads in their books how the bankrupt, without sinning
mortally, may defraud his creditors of his mortaged goods; how the
servant may be excused for pilfering from his master; how a rich man may
pardonably deceive the tax-collector; how the adulteress may rightfully
deny her sin to her husband, even on oath.[1]  Doubtless these are
extreme instances, but that they should have been possible at all is a
melancholy warning to all who would, even for pious ends, substitute
inferior imitations for genuine morality.

[1] Substantiation of these statements in excerpts from Jesuit works of
moral theology, printed in C. Mirbt: _Quellen zur Geschichte des
Papst-tums_[3], 1911, pp. 447 ff.


Not only by propaganda appealing to the mind and heart did the Catholic
church roll back the tides of Reformation and Renaissance, but by
coercion also.  In this the church was not alone; the Protestants also
persecuted and they also censored the press with the object of
preventing their adherents from reading the arguments of their
opponents.  But the Catholic {412} church was not only more consistent
in the application of her intolerant theories but she almost always
assumed the direction of the coercive measures directly instead of
applying them through the agency of the state.  Divided as they were,
dependent on the support of the civil government and hampered, at least
to some slight extent, by their more liberal tendencies, the
Protestants never had instrumentalities half as efficient or one-tenth
as terrible as the Inquisition and the Index.

The Inquisition was a child of the Middle Ages.  For centuries before
Luther the Holy Office had cauterized the heretical growths on the body
of Mother Church.  The old form was utilized but was given a new lease
of life by the work it was called upon to perform against the
Protestants.  Outside of the Netherlands the two forms of the
Inquisition which played the largest part in the battles of the
sixteenth century were the Spanish and the Roman.

[Sidenote: Spanish Inquisition]

The Inquisition was licensed in Spain by a bull of Sixtus IV of 1478,
and actually established by Ferdinand and Isabella in Castile in 1480,
and soon afterwards in their other dominions.  It has sometimes been
said that the Spanish Inquisition was really a political rather than an
ecclesiastical instrument, but the latest historian of the subject,
whose deep study makes his verdict final, has disposed of this theory.
Though occasionally called upon to interfere in political matters, this
was exceptional.  Far more often it asserted an authority and an
independence that embarrassed not a little the royal government.  On
the other hand it soon grew so great and powerful that it was able to
ignore the commands of the popes.  On account of its irresponsible
power it was unpopular and was only tolerated because it was so
efficient in crushing out the heresy that the people hated.

{413} [Sidenote: Procedure]

The annals of its procedure and achievements are one long record of
diabolical cruelty, of protracted confinement in dungeons, of endless
delay and browbeating to break the spirit, of ingenious tortures and of
racked and crushed limbs and of burning flesh.  In mitigation of
judgment, it must be remembered that the methods of the civil courts
were also cruel at that time, and the punishments severe.

As the guilt of the suspected person was always presumed, every effort
was made to secure confession, for in matters of belief there is no
other equally satisfactory proof.  Without being told the nature of his
crime or who was the informant against him, the person on trial was
simply urged to confess.  An advocate was given him only to take
advantage of his professional relations with his client by betraying
him.  The enormous, almost incredible procrastination by which the
accused would be kept in prison awaiting trial sometimes for five or
ten or even twenty years, usually sufficed to break his spirit or to
unbalance his mind.  Torture was first threatened and then applied.
All rules intended to limit its amount proved illusory, and it was
applied practically to any extent deemed necessary, and to all classes;
nobles and clergy were no less obnoxious to it than were commons.  Nor
was there any privileged age, except that of the tenderest childhood.
Men and women of ninety and boys and girls of twelve or fourteen were
racked, as were young mothers and women with child.  Insanity, however,
if recognized as genuine, was considered a bar to torture.

Acquittal was almost, though not quite, unknown.  Sometimes sentence
was suspended and the accused discharged without formal exoneration.
Very rarely acquittal by compurgation, that is by oath of the accused
supported by the oaths of a number of persons that they believed he was
telling the truth, was allowed.  {414} Practically the only plea open
to the suspect was that the informers against him were actuated by
malice.  As he was not told who his accusers were this was difficult
for him to use.

[Sidenote: Penalties]

The penalties were various, including scourging, the galleys and
perpetual imprisonment.  Capital punishment by fire was pronounced not
only on those who were impenitent but on those who, after having been
once discharged, had relapsed.  In Spain, heretics who recanted before
execution were first strangled; the obstinately impenitent were burned
alive.  Persons convicted of heresy who could not be reached were burnt
in effigy.

Acting on the maxim _ecclesia non sitit sanguinem_ the Inquisitors did
not put their victims to death by their own officers but handed them
over to the civil authorities for execution.  With revolting hypocrisy
they even adjured the hangmen to be merciful, well knowing that the
latter had no option but to carry out the sentence of the church.
Magistrates who endeavored to exercise any discretion in favor of the
condemned were promptly threatened with excommunication.

If anything could be wanting to complete the horror it was supplied by
the festive spirit of the executions.  The _Auto da Fe_, [Sidenote:
_Auto da Fe_] or act of faith, was a favorite spectacle of the
Spaniards; no holiday was quite complete without its holocaust of human
victims.  The staging was elaborate, and the ceremony as impressive as
possible.  Secular and spiritual authorities were ordered to be present
and vast crowds were edified by the horrible example of the untimely
end of the unbeliever.  Sundays and feast days were chosen for these
spectacles and on gala occasions, such as royal weddings and
christenings, a special effort was made to celebrate one of these holy

The number of victims has been variously estimated.  {415} An actual
count up to the year 1540, that is, before Protestantism became a
serious factor, shows that 20,226 were burned in person and 10,913 in
effigy, and these figures are incomplete.  It must be remembered that
for every one who paid the extreme penalty there were a large number of
others punished in other ways, or imprisoned and tortured while on
trial.  When Adrian of Utrecht, afterwards the pope, was Inquisitor
General 1516-22, 1,620 persons were burned alive, 560 in effigy and
21,845 were sentenced to penance or other lighter punishments.
Roughly, for one person sentenced to death ten suffered milder

[Sidenote: Crimes punished]

Heresy was not the only crime punished by the Inquisition; it also took
charge of blasphemy, bigamy and some forms of vice.  In its early years
it was chiefly directed against the Jews who, having been forced to the
baptismal font, had relapsed.  Later the Moriscos or christened Moors
supplied the largest number of victims.  As with the Jews, race hatred
was so deep an ingredient of the treatment meted out to them that the
nominal cause was sometimes forgotten, and baptism often failed to save
"the new Christian" who preserved any, even the most innocent, of the
national customs.  Many a man and woman was tortured for not eating
pork or for bathing in the Moorish fashion.

As Protestantism never obtained any hold in Spain, the Inquisition had
comparatively little trouble on that account.  During the sixteenth
century a total number of 1995 persons were punished as Protestants of
whom 1640 were foreigners and only 355 were Spaniards.  Even these
figures exaggerate the hold that the Reformation had in Spain, for any
error remotely resembling the tenets of Wittenberg immediately classed
its maintainer as Lutheran.  The first case known was found in Majorca
in 1523, but it was not until 1559 {416} that any considerable number
suffered for this faith.  In that year 24 Lutherans were burnt at
Rodrigo and Seville, 32 in 1562, and 19 Calvinists in 1569.

The dread of the Spanish Inquisition was such that only in those
dependencies early and completely subdued could it be introduced.
Established in Sicily in 1487 its temporal jurisdiction was suspended
during the years 1535-46, when it was revived by the fear of
Protestantism.  Even during its dark quarter, however, it was able to
punish heretics.  In an _auto_ celebrated at Palermo, [Sidenote: May
30, 1541] of the twenty-two culprits three were Lutherans and nineteen
Jews.  The capitulation of Naples in 1503 expressly excluded the
Spanish Inquisition, nor could it be established in Milan.  The
Portuguese Inquisition was set up in 1536.

[Sidenote: New World]

The New World was capable of offering less resistance.  Nevertheless,
for many years the inquisitorial powers were vested in the bishops sent
over to Mexico and Peru, and when the Inquisition was established in
both countries in 1570 it probably meant no increase of severity.  The
natives were exempt from its jurisdiction and it found little
combustible material save in captured Protestant Europeans.  A Fleming
was burned at Lima in 1548, and at the first _auto_ held at Mexico in
1574 thirty-six Lutherans were punished, all English captives, two by
burning and the rest by scourging or the galleys.

[Sidenote: Roman Inquisition]

The same need of repelling Protestantism that had helped to give a new
lease of life to the Spanish Inquisition called into being her sister
the Roman Inquisition.  By the bull _Licet ab initio_, [Sidenote: July
21, 1542] Paul IV reconstituted the Holy Office at Rome, directing and
empowering it to smite all who persisted in condemned opinions lest
others should be seduced by their example, not only in the papal states
but in all the nations of Christendom.  It was authorized to pronounce
{417} sentence on culprits and to invoke the aid of the secular arm to
punish them with prison, confiscation of goods and death.  Its
authority was directed particularly against persons of high estate,
even against heretical princes whose subjects were loosed from their
obligation of obedience and whose neighbors were invited to take away
their heritage.

[Sidenote: Procedure]

The procedure of the Holy Office at Rome was characterized by the
Augustinian Cardinal Seripando as at first lenient, but later, he
continues, "when the superhuman rigor of Caraffa [one of the first
Inquisitors General] held sway, the Inquisition acquired such a
reputation that from no other judgment-seat on earth were more horrible
and fearful sentences to be expected."  Besides the attention it paid
to Protestants it instituted very severe processes against Judaizing
Christians and took cognizance also of seduction, of pimping, of
sodomy, and of infringment of the ecclesiastical rules for fasting.

[Sidenote: Italy]

The Roman Inquisition was introduced into Milan by Michael Ghislieri,
afterwards pope, and flourished mightily under the protecting care of
Borromeo, cardinal archbishop of the city.  It was established by
Charles V, notwithstanding opposition, in Naples.  [Sidenote: 1547]
Venice also fought against its introduction but nevertheless finally
permitted it.  [Sidenote: 1544]  During the sixteenth century in that
city there were no less than 803 processes for Lutheranism, 5 for
Calvinism, 35 against Anabaptists, 43 for Judaism and 199 for sorcery.
In countries outside of Italy the Roman Inquisition did not take root.
Bishop Magrath endeavored in 1567 to give Ireland the benefit of the
institution, but naturally the English Government allowed no such thing.

[Sidenote: Censorship of the press]

A method of suppressing given opinions and propagating others probably
far more effective than the {418} mauling of men's bodies is the
guidance of their minds through direction of their reading and
instruction.  Naturally, before the invention of printing, and in an
illiterate society, the censorship of books would have slight
importance.  Plato was perhaps the first to propose that the reading of
immoral and impious books be forbidden, but I am not aware that his
suggestion was acted upon either in the states of Greece or in pagan
Rome.  Examples of the rejection of certain books by the early church
are not wanting.  Paul induced the Ephesian sorcerers to burn their
books; certain fathers of the church advised against the reading of
heathen authors; [Sidenote: c. 496] Pope Gelasius made a decree on the
books received and those not received by the church, and Manichaean
books were publicly burnt.

[Sidenote: Fourth century]

The invention of printing brought to the attention of the church the
danger of allowing her children to choose their own reading matter.
[Sidenote: Printing]  The first to animadvert upon it was Berthold,
Archbishop of Mayence, the city of Gutenberg.  On the 22d of March,
1485, he promulgated a decree to the effect that, whereas the divine
art of printing had been abused for the sake of lucre and whereas by
this means even Christ's books, missals and other works on religion,
were thumbed by the vulgar, and whereas the German idiom was too poor
to express such mysteries, and common persons too ignorant to
understand them, therefore every work translated into German must be
approved by the doctors of the university of Mayence before being

[Sidenote: June 1, 1501]

The example of the prelate was soon followed by popes and councils.
Alexander VI forbade as a detestable evil the printing of books
injurious to the Catholic faith, and made all archbishops official
censors for their dioceses.  This was enforced by a decree of the Fifth
Lateran Council setting forth that {419} although printing has brought
much advantage to the church [Sidenote: May 4, 1515] it has also
disseminated errors and pernicious dogmas contrary to the Christian
religion.  The decree forbids the printing of any book in any city or
diocese of Christendom without license from the local bishop or other
ecclesiastical authority.

This sweeping edict was supplemented by others directed against certain
books or authors, but for a whole generation the church left the
censorship chiefly to the discretion of the several national
governments.  This was the policy followed also by the Protestants,
both at this time and later.  [Sidenote: Protestant censorship]
Neither Luther, nor any other reformer for a long time attempted to
draw up regular indices of prohibited books.  Examples of something
approaching this may be found in the later history of Protestantism,
but they are so unimportant as to be negligible.

[Sidenote: National censorship, 1502]

The national governments, however, laid great stress on licensing.  The
first law in Spain was followed by an ever increasing strictness under
the inquisitor who drew up several indices of prohibited books,
completely independent of the official Roman lists.  The German Diets
and the French kings were careful to give their subjects the benefit of
their selection of reading matter.  In England, too, lists of
prohibited books were drawn up under all the Tudors.  Mary restricted
the right to print to licensed members of the Stationers' Company;
Elizabeth put the matter in the hands of Star Chamber.  [Sidenote:
1559]  A special license was required by the Injunctions, and a later
law was aimed at "seditious, schismatic or libellous books and other
fantastic writings."  [Sidenote: 1588]

[Sidenote: Catalogues of dangerous books]

The idea of a complete catalogue of heretical and dangerous writings
under ecclesiastical censure took its rise in the Netherlands.  After
the works of various authors had been severally prohibited in distinct
{420} proclamations, the University of Louvain, at the emperor's
command, drew up a fairly extensive list in 1546 and again, somewhat
enlarged, in 1550.  It mentions a number of Bibles in Greek, Latin and
the vernaculars, the works of Luther, Carlstadt, Osiander, Ochino,
Bullinger, Calvin, Oecolampadius, Jonas, Calvin, Melanchthon, Zwingli,
Huss and John Pupper of Goch, a Dutch author of the fifteenth century
revived by the Protestants.  It is remarkable that the works of Erasmus
are not included in this list.  Furthermore it is stated that certain
approved works, even when edited or translated by heretics, might be
allowed to students.  Among the various scientific works condemned are
an _Anatomy_ printed at Marburg by Eucharius Harzhorn, H. C. Agrippa's
_De vanitate scientiarum_, and Sebastian Münster's _Cosmographia
universalis_, a geography printed in 1544.  The Koran is prohibited,
and also a work called "Het paradijs van Venus," this latter presumably
as indecent.  Finally, all books printed since 1525 without name of
author, printer, time, and place, are prohibited.

[Sidenote: Roman Index]

Partly in imitation of this work of Louvain, partly in consequence of
the foundation of the Inquisition, the Roman Index of Prohibited Books
was promulgated.  Though the bull founding the Roman Inquisition said
nothing about books, their censure was included in practice.  Under the
influence of the Holy Office at Lucca a list of forbidden works was
drawn up by the Senate at Lucca, [Sidenote: 1545] including chiefly the
tracts of Italian heretics and satires on the church.  The fourth
session Council of Trent [Sidenote: April 8, 1546] prohibited the
printing of all anonymous books whatever and of all others on religion
until licensed.  A further indication of increasing severity may be
found in a bull issued by Julius III [Sidenote: 1550] who complained
that authors licensed to read heretical {421} books for the purpose of
refuting them were more likely to be seduced by them, and who therefore
revoked all licenses given up to that time.

[Sidenote: September, 1557]

When the Roman Inquisition issued a long list of volumes to be burnt
publicly, including works of Erasmus, Machiavelli and Poggio, this
might be considered the first Roman Index of Prohibited Books; but the
first document to bear that name was issued by Paul IV.  [Sidenote:
1559]  It divided writings into three classes: (1) Authors who had
erred _ex professo_ and whose whole works were forbidden; (2) Authors
who had erred occasionally and some of whose books only were mentioned;
(3) Anonymous books.  In addition to these classes 61 printers were
named, all works published by whom were banned.  The Index strove to be
as complete as possible.  Its chief though not its only source was the
catalogue of Louvain.  Many editions and versions of the Bible were
listed and the printing of any translation without permission of the
Inquisition was prohibited.  Particular attention was paid to Erasmus,
who was not only put in the first class by name but was signalized as
having "all his commentaries, notes, annotations, dialogues, epistles,
refutations, translations, books and writings" forbidden.

[Sidenote: Tridentine censorship, February 26, 1562]

The Council of Trent again took up the matter, passing a decree to the
effect that inasmuch as heresy had not been cured by the censorship
this should be made much stricter, and appointing a commission in
order, as, regardless of the parable,[1] it was phrased, to separate
the tares from the wheat.  The persons appointed for this delicate work
comprised four archbishops, nine bishops, two generals of orders and
some "minor theologians."  After much sweat they brought forth a report
on most of the doubtful authors though {422} the most difficult of all,
Erasmus, they relinquished to the theological faculties of Louvain and
Paris for expurgation.

[Sidenote: 1564]

The results of their labors were published by Paul IV under the name of
the Tridentine Index.  It was more sweeping, and at the same time more
discriminating than the former Index.  Erasmus was changed to the
second class, only a portion of his works being now condemned.  Among
the non-ecclesiastical authors banned were Machiavelli, Guicciardini
and Boccaccio.  It is noteworthy that the _Decameron_ was expurgated
not chiefly for its indecency but for its satire of ecclesiastics.
Thus, a tale of the seduction of an abbess is rendered acceptable by
changing the abbess into a countess; the story of how a priest led a
woman astray by impersonating the angel Gabriel is merely changed by
making the priest a layman masquerading as a fairy king.

The principles upon which the prohibition of books rested were set
forth in ten rules.  The most interesting are the following: (1) Books
printed before 1515 condemned by popes or council; (2) Versions of the
Bible; (3) books of heretics; (4) obscene books; (5) works on
witchcraft and necromancy.

In order to keep the Index up to date continual revision was necessary.
To insure this Pius V appointed a special Congregation of the Index,
which has lasted until the present day.  From his time to ours more
than forty Indices have been issued.  Those of the sixteenth century
were concerned mainly with Protestant books, those of later centuries
chiefly deal, for the purposes of internal discipline, with books
written by Catholics.  One of the functions of the Congregation was to
expurgate books, taking out the offensive passages.  A separate _Index
expurgatorius_, pointing out the passages to be deleted or corrected
was {423} published, and this name has sometimes incorrectly been
applied to the Index of prohibited books.

[Sidenote: Effect of the censorship]

The effect of the censorship of the press has been variously estimated.
The Index was early dubbed _sica destricta in omnes scriptores_ and
Sarpi called it "the finest secret ever discovered for applying
religion to the purpose of making men idiotic."  Milton thundered
against the censorship in England as "the greatest discouragement and
affront that can be offered to learning and learned men."  The evil of
the system of Rome was, in his opinion, double, for, as he wrote in his
immortal _Areopagitica_, "The Council of Trent and the Spanish
Inquisition engendering together brought forth and perfected those
catalogues and expurging indexes that rake through the entrails of many
an old good author with a violation worse than any that could be
offered to his tomb."  When we remember that the greatest works of
literature, such as the _Divine Comedy_, were tampered with, and that,
in the Spanish Expurgatorial Index of 1640 the list of passages to be
deleted or to be altered in Erasmus's works takes 59 double-columned,
closely printed folio pages, we can easily see the point of Milton's
indignant protest.  But, to his mind, it was still worse to subject a
book to the examination of unfit men before it could secure its
_imprimatur_.  Not without reason has liberty of the press been made
one of the cornerstones of the temple of freedom.

Various writers have labored to demonstrate the blighting effect that
the censorship was supposed to have on literature.  But it is
surprising how few examples they can bring.  Lea, who ought to know the
Spanish field exhaustively, can only point to a few professors of
theology who were persecuted and silenced for expressing unconventional
views on biblical criticism.  He conjectures that others must have
{424} remained mute through fear.  But, as the golden age of Spanish
literature came after the law made the printing of unlicensed books
punishable by death, [Sidenote: 1558] it is hard to see wherein
literature can have suffered.  The Roman Inquisition did not prevent
the appearance of Galileo's work, though it made him recant afterwards.
The strict English law that playwrights should not "meddle with matters
of divinity or state" made Shakespeare careful not to express his
religious and political views, but it is hard to see in what way it
hampered his genius.

And yet the influence of the various press laws was incalculably great
and was just what it was intended to be.  It affected science less than
one would think, and literature hardly at all, but it moulded the
opinions of the masses like putty in their rulers' hands.  That the
rank and file of Spaniards and Italians remained Catholic, and the vast
majority of Britons Protestant, was due more to the bondage of the
press than to any other one cause.  Originality was discouraged, the
people to some degree unfitted for the free debate that is at the
bottom of self-government, the hope of tolerance blighted, and the path
opened that led to religious wars.

[1] Matthew xiii, 28-30.





[Sidenote: Reformation, Renaissance and Exploration]

If, through the prism of history, we analyse the white light of
sixteenth-century civilization into its component parts, three colors
particularly emerge: the azure "light of the Gospel" as the Reformers
fondly called it in Germany, the golden beam of the Renaissance in
Italy, and the blood-red flame of exploration and conquest irradiating
the Iberian peninsula.  Which of the three contributed most to modern
culture it is hard to decide.  Each of the movements started
separately, gradually spreading until it came into contact, and thus
into competition and final blending with the other movements.  It was
the middle lands, France, England and the Netherlands that, feeling the
impulses from all sides, evolved the sanest and strongest synthesis.
While Germany almost committed suicide with the sword of the spirit,
while Italy sank into a voluptuous torpor of decadent art, while Spain
reeled under the load of unearned Western wealth, France, England
and Holland, taking a little from each of their neighbors, and not
too much from any, became strong, well-balanced, brilliant states.
But if eventually Germany, Italy and Spain all suffered from
over-specialization, for the moment the stimulus of new ideas and new
possibilities gave to each a sort of leadership in its own sphere.
While Germany and Italy were busy winning the realms of the spirit and
of the mind, Spain very nearly conquered the empire of the land and of
the sea.

{426} [Sidenote: Ferdinand, 1479-1516 and Isabella, 1474-1504]

The foundation of her national greatness, like that of the greatness of
so many other powers, was laid in the union of the various states into
which she was at one time divided.  The marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon
and Isabella of Castile was followed by a series of measures that put
Spain into the leading position in Europe, expelled the alien racial
and religious elements of her population, and secured to her a vast
colonial empire.  The conquest of Granada from the Moors, the
acquisition of Cerdagne and Roussillon from the French, and the
annexation of Naples, doubled the dominions of the Lions and Castles,
and started the proud land on the road to empire.  It is true that
eventually Spain exhausted herself by trying to do more than even her
young powers could accomplish, but for a while she retained the
hegemony of Christendom.  The same year that saw the discovery of
America [Sidenote: 1492] and the occupation of the Alhambra, was also
marked by the expulsion or forced conversion of the Jews, of whom
165,000 left the kingdom, 50,000 were baptized, and 20,000 perished in
race riots.  The statesmanship of Ferdinand showed itself in a more
favorable light in the measures taken to reduce the nobles, feudal
anarchs as they were, to fear of the law.  To take their place in the
government of the country he developed a new bureaucracy, which also,
to some extent, usurped the powers of the Cortes of Aragon and of the
Cortes of Castile.  [Sidenote: Francis Ximénez de Cisneros, 1436-1517]
In the meantime a notable reform of the church, in morals and in
learning if not in doctrine, was carried through by the great Cardinal

[Sidenote: Charles V, 1516-1556]

When Charles, the grandson of the Catholic Kings, succeeded Ferdinand
he was already, through his father, the Archduke Philip, the lord of
Burgundy and of the Netherlands, and the heir of Austria.  His election
as emperor made him, at the age of nineteen, the {427} greatest prince
of Christendom.  To his gigantic task he brought all the redeeming
qualities of dullness, for his mediocrity and moderation served his
peoples and his dynasty better than brilliant gifts and boundless
ambition would have done.  "Never," he is reported to have said in
1556, "did I aspire to universal monarchy, although it seemed well
within my power to attain it."  Though the long war with France turned
ever, until the very last, in his favor, he never pressed his advantage
to the point of crushing his enemy to earth.  But in Germany and Italy,
no less than in Spain and the Netherlands, he finally attained
something more than hegemony and something less than absolute power.

[Sidenote: Revolt of the Communes]

Though Spain benefited by his world power and became the capital state
of his far flung empire, "Charles of Ghent," as he was called, did not
at first find Spaniards docile subjects.  Within a very few years of
his accession a great revolt, or rather two great synchronous revolts,
one in Castile and one in Aragon, flared up.  The grievances in Castile
were partly economic, the _servicio_ (a tax) and the removal of money
from the realm, and partly national as against a strange king and his
foreign officers.  Not only the regent, Adrian of Utrecht, but many
important officials were northerners, and when Charles left Spain to be
crowned emperor, [Sidenote: 1520] the national pride could no longer
bear the humiliation of playing a subordinate part.  The revolt of the
Castilian Communes began with the gentry and spread from them to the
lower classes.  Even the grandees joined forces with the rebels, though
more from fear than from sympathy.  The various revolting communes
formed a central council, the Santa Junta, and put forth a program
re-asserting the rights of the Cortes to redress grievances.  Meeting
for a time with no resistance, the rebellion disintegrated {428}
through the operation of its own centrifugal forces, disunion and lack
of leadership.  So at length when the government, supplied with a small
force of German mercenaries, struck on the field of Villalar, the
rebels suffered a severe defeat.  [Sidenote: April, 1521]  A few cities
held out longer, Toledo last of all; but one by one they yielded,
partly to force, partly to the wise policy of concession and redress
followed by the government.

In our own time Barcelona and the east coast of Spain has been the
hotbed of revolutionary democracy and radical socialism.  Even so, the
rising in Aragon known as the Hermandad (Brotherhood) [Sidenote: The
Hermandad] contemporary with that in Castile, not only began earlier
and lasted longer, but was of a far more radical stamp.  Here were no
nobles airing their slights at the hands of a foreign king, but here
the trade-gilds rose in the name of equality against monarch and nobles
alike.  Two special causes fanned the fury of the populace to a white
heat.  The first was the decline of the Mediterranean trade due to the
rise of the Atlantic commerce; the other was the racial element.
Valencia was largely inhabited by Moors, the most industrious, sober
and thrifty, and consequently the most profitable of Spanish laborers.
The race hatred so deeply rooted in human nature added to the ferocity
of the class conflict.  Both sides were ruined by the war which,
beginning in 1519, dragged along for several years until the
proletariat was completely crushed.

[The Cortes]

The armed triumph of the government hardly damaged popular liberties as
embodied in the constitution of the Cortes of Castile.  When Charles
became king this body was not, like other parliaments, ordinarily a
representative assembly of the three estates, but consisted merely of
deputies of eighteen Castilian cities.  Only on special occasions, such
as a coronation, were nobles and clergy summoned to participate.  Its
great {429} power was that of granting taxes, though somehow it never
succeeded, as did the English House of Commons, in making the redress
of grievances conditional upon a subsidy.  But yet the power amounted
to something and it was one that neither Charles nor Philip commonly
ventured to violate.  Under both of them meetings of the Cortes were

Though never directly attacked, the powers of the Cortes declined
through the growth of vast interests outside their competence.  The
direction of foreign policy, so absorbing under Charles, and the charge
of the enormous and growing commercial interests, was confided not to
the representatives of the people, but to the Royal Council of Castile,
an appointative body of nine lawyers, three nobles, and one bishop.
Though not absolutely, yet relatively, the functions of the Cortes
diminished until they amounted to no more than those of a provincial

What reconciled the people to the concentration of new powers in the
hands of an irresponsible council was the apparently dazzling success
of Spanish policy throughout the greater part of the sixteenth century.
No banner was served like that of the Lions and Castles; no troops in
the world could stand against her famous regiments; no generals were
equal to Cortez and Alva; no statesmen abler than Parma, no admirals,
until the Armada, more daring than Magellan[1] and Don John, no
champions of the church against heretic and infidel like Loyola and

[Sidenote: The Spanish Empire]

That such an empire as the world had not seen since Rome should within
a single life-time rise to its zenith and, within a much shorter time,
decline to the verge of ruin, is one of the melodramas of history.
Perhaps, in reality, Spain was never quite so great as she looked, nor
was her fall quite so complete as it seemed.  But {430} the phenomena,
such as they are, sufficiently call for explanation.

First of all one is struck by the fortuitous, one might almost say,
unnatural, character of the Hapsburg empire.  While the union of
Castile and Aragon, bringing together neighboring peoples and filling a
political need, was the source of real strength, the subsequent
accretions of Italian and Burgundian territories rather detracted from
than added to the effective power of the Spanish state.  Philip would
have been far stronger had his father separated from his crown not only
Austria and the Holy Roman Empire of Germany, but the Netherlands as
well.  The revolt of the Dutch Republic was in itself almost enough to
ruin Spain.  Nor can it be said that the Italian states, won by the
sword of Ferdinand or of Charles, were valuable accessions to Spanish

[Sidenote: Colonies]

Quite different in its nature was the colonial empire, but in this it
resembled the other windfalls to the house of Hapsburg in that it was
an almost accidental, unsought-for acquisition.  The Genoese sailor who
went to the various courts of Europe begging for a few ships in which
to break the watery path to Asia, had in his beggar's wallet all the
kingdoms of a new world and the glory of them.  For a few years Spain
drank until she was drunken of conquest and the gold of America.  That
the draught acted momentarily as a stimulant, clearing her brain and
nerving her arm to deeds of valor, but that she suffered in the end
from the riotous debauch, cannot be doubted.  She soon learned that all
that glittered was not wealth, and that industries surfeited with metal
and starved of raw materials must perish.  The unearned coin proved to
be fairy gold in her coffers, turning to brown leaves and dust when she
wanted to use it.  It became a drug in her markets; it could not
lawfully be exported, and no {431} amount of it would purchase much
honest labor from an indolent population fed on fantasies of wealth.
The modern King Midas, on whose dominions the sun never set, was cursed
with a singular and to him inexplicable need of everything that money
was supposed to buy.  His armies mutinied, his ships rotted, and never
could his increasing income catch up with the far more rapidly
increasing expenses of his budget.

The poverty of the people was in large part the fault of the government
which pursued a fiscal policy ideally calculated to strike at the very
sources of wealth.  While, under the oppression of an ignorant
paternalism, unhappy Spain suffered from inanition, she was tended by a
physician who tried to cure her malady by phlebotomy.  There have been
worse men than Philip II, [Sidenote: Philip II, 1556-98] but there have
been hardly any who have caused more blood to flow from the veins of
their own people.  His life is proof that a well-meaning bigot can do
more harm than the most abandoned debauchee.  "I would rather lose all
my kingdoms," he averred, "than allow freedom of religion."  And again,
to a man condemned by the Inquisition for heresy, "If my own son were
as perverse as you, I myself would carry the faggot to burn him."
Consistently, laboriously, undeterred by any suffering or any horror,
he pursued his aim.  He was not afraid of hard work, scribbling reams
of minute directions daily to his officers.  His stubborn calm was
imperturbable; he took his pleasures--women, _autos-da-fe_ and
victories--sadly, and he suffered such chagrins as the death of four
wives, having a monstrosity for a son, and the loss of the Armada and
of the Netherlands, without turning a hair.

Spain's foreign policy came to be more and more polarized by the rise
of English sea-power.  Even under Charles, when France had been the
chief enemy, {432} [Sidenote: Spain vs. England] the Hapsburgs saw the
desirability of winning England as a strategic point for their
universal empire.  This policy was pursued by alternating alliance with
hostility.  For six years of his boyhood Charles had been betrothed to
Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's sister, to whom he sent a ring inscribed,
"Mary hath chosen the better part which shall not be taken away from
her."  His own precious person, however, was taken from her to be
bestowed on Isabella of Portugal, by whom he begot Philip.  When this
son succeeded him, notwithstanding the little unpleasantness of Henry
VIII's divorce, he advised him to turn again to an English marriage,
and Philip soon became the husband of Queen Mary.  After her death
without issue, he vainly wooed her sister, until he was gradually
forced by her Protestant buccaneers into an undesired war.

Notwithstanding all that he could do to lose fortune's favors, she
continued for many years to smile on her darling Hapsburg.  After a
naval disaster inflicted by the Turks on the Spaniard off the coast of
Tripoli, the defeated power recovered and revenged herself in the great
naval victory of Lepanto, in October 1571.  The lustre added to the
Lions and Castles by this important success was far outshone by the
acquisition of Portugal and all her colonies, in 1581.  Though not the
nearest heir, Philip was the strongest, and by bribery and menaces won
the homage of the Portuguese nobles after the death of the aged king
Henry on January 31, 1580.  For sixty years Spain held the lesser
country and, what was more important to her, the colonies in the East
Indies and in Africa.  So vast an empire had not yet been heard of, or
imagined possible, in the history of the world.  No wonder that its
shimmer dazzled the eyes not only of contemporaries, but of posterity.
According to Macaulay, {433} Philip's power was equal to that of
Napoleon, and its ruin is the most instructive lesson in history of how
not to govern.

How hollow was this semblance of might was demonstrated by the first
stalwart peoples that dared to test it, first by the Dutch and then by
England.  The story of the Armada has already been told.  Its
preparation marked the height of Philip's effort and the height of his
incompetence.  Its annihilation was a cruel blow to his pride.  But in
Spain, barring a temporary financial panic, things went much the same
after 1588 as before it.  The full bloom of Spanish culture, gorgeous
with Velasquez and fragrant with Cervantes and Calderon, followed hard
upon the defeat of the Armada.

[Sidenote: War with the Moors]

The fact is that Spain suffered much more from internal disorders than
from foreign levy.  The chief occasion of her troubles was the presence
among her people of a large body of Moors, hated both for their race
and for their religion.  With the capitulation of Granada, the
enjoyment of Mohammedanism was guaranteed to the Moors, but this
tolerance only lasted for six years, when a decree went out that all
must be baptized or must emigrate from Andalusia.  In Aragon, however,
always independent of Castile, they continued to enjoy religious
freedom.  Charles at his coronation took a solemn oath to respect the
faith of Islam in these lands, but soon afterwards, frightened by the
rise of heresy in Germany, he applied to Clement to absolve him from
his oath.  This sanction of bad faith, at first creditably withheld,
[Sidenote: 1524] was finally granted and was promptly followed by a
general order for expulsion or conversion.  Throughout the whole of
Spain the poor Moriscos now began to be systematically pillaged and
persecuted by whoever chose to do it.  All manner of taxes, tithes,
servitudes and fines {434} were demanded of them.  The last straw that
broke the endurance of a people tried by every manner of tyranny and
extortion, was an edict ordering all Moors to learn Castilian within
three years, after which the use of Arabic was to be forbidden,
prohibiting all Moorish customs and costumes, and strictly enjoining
attendance at church.

As the Moors had been previously disarmed and as they had no military
discipline, rebellion seemed a counsel of despair, but it ensued.  The
populace rose in helpless fury, and for three years defied the might of
the Spanish empire.  But the result could not be doubtful.  A naked
peasantry could not withstand the disciplined battalions that had
proved their valor on every field from Mexico to the Levant and from
Saxony to Algiers.  It was not a war but a massacre and pillage.  The
whole of Andalusia, the most flourishing province in Spain, beautiful
with its snowy mountains, fertile with its tilled valleys, and sweet
with the peaceful toil of human habitation, was swept by a universal
storm of carnage and of flame.  The young men either perished in
fighting against fearful odds, or were slaughtered after yielding as
prisoners.  Those who sought to fly to Africa found the avenues of
escape blocked by the pitiless Toledo blades.  The aged were hunted
down like wild beasts; the women and young children were sold into
slavery, to toil under the lash or to share the hated bed of the
conqueror.  The massacre cost Spain 60,000 lives and three million
ducats, not to speak of the harm that it did to her spirit.

[1] A Portuguese in Spanish service.


[Sidenote: Division of the New World between Spain and Portugal]

When Columbus returned with glowing accounts of the "India" he had
found, the value of his work was at once appreciated.  Forthwith began
that struggle for colonial power which has absorbed so much of the
{435} energies of the European nations.  In view of the Portuguese
discoveries in Africa, it was felt necessary to mark out the "spheres
of influence" of the two powers at once, and, with an instinctive
appeal to the one authority claiming to be international, the Spanish
government immediately applied to Pope Alexander VI for confirmation in
the new-found territories.  Acting on the suggestion of Columbus that
the line of Spanish influence be drawn one hundred leagues west of any
of the Cape Verde Islands or of the Azores, the pope, with magnificent
self-assurance, issued a bull, _Inter caetera divinae_, [Sidenote: May
4, 1493] of his own mere liberality and in virtue of the authority of
Peter, conferring on Castile forever "all dominions, camps, posts, and
villages, with all the rights and jurisdictions pertaining to them,"
west of the parallel, and leaving to Portugal all that fell to the east
of it.  Portugal promptly protested that the line was too far east, and
by the treaty of Tordesillas; [Sidenote: 1494] it was moved to 370
leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands, thus falling between the 48th
and 49th parallel of longitude.  The intention was doubtless to confer
on Spain all land immediately west of the Atlantic, but, as a matter of
fact, South America thrusts so far to the eastward, that a portion of
her territory, later claimed as Brazil, fell to the lot of Portugal.

[Sidenote: Spanish adventurers]

Spain lost no time in exploiting her new dominions, during the next
century hundreds of ships carried tens thousands of adventurers to seek
their fortune in the west.  For it was not as colonists that most of
them went, but in a spirit compounded of that of the crusader, the
knight-errant, and the pirate.  If there is anything in the paradox
that artists have created natural beauty, it is a truer one to say that
the Spanish romances created the Spanish colonial empire.  The men who
sailed on the great adventure had feasted {436} on tales of paladins
and hippogrifs, of enchanted palaces and fountains of youth, and
miraculously fair women to be rescued and then claimed by knights.
They read in books of travel purporting to tell the sober truth of
satyrs and of purple unicorns and of men who spread their feet over
their heads for umbrellas and of others whose heads grew between their
shoulders.  No wonder that when they went to a strange country they
found the River of Life in the Orinoco, colonies of Amazons in the
jungle, and El Dorado, the land of gold, in the riches of Mexico and
Peru!  It is a testimony to the imaginative mood of Europe, as well as
to the power of the pen, that the whole continent came to be called,
not after its discoverer, but after the man who wrote the best
romances--mostly fictions--about his travels in it.

[Sidenote: Exploitation of natives]

In the Greater Antilles, where Spain made her first colonies, her rule
showed at its worst.  The soft native race, the Caribs, almost
completely disappeared within half a century.  The best modern
authority estimates that whereas the native population of Española
(Haiti) was between 200,000 and 300,000 in 1493, by 1548 hardly 5000
Indians were left.  In part the extinction of the natives was due to
new diseases and to the vices of civilization, but far more to the
heartless exploitation of them by the conquerors.  Bartholomew de las
Casas, the first priest to come to this unfortunate island, tells
stories of Spanish cruelty that would be incredible were they not so
well supported.  With his own eyes he saw 3000 inoffensive Indians
slaughtered at a single time; of another batch of 300 he observed that
within a few months more than half perished at hard labor.  Again, he
saw 6000 Indian children condemned to work in the mines, of whom few or
none long survived.  In vain a bull of Paul III declared the Indians
capable of becoming {437} Christians and forbade their enslavement.  In
vain the Spanish government tried to mitigate at least some of the
hardships of the natives' lot, [Sidenote: 1537] ordering that they
should be well fed and paid.  The temptation to exploit them was too
strong; and when they perished the Spaniards supplied their place by
importing negroes from Africa, a people of tougher fibre.

Spanish exploration, followed by sparse settlement, soon opened up the
greater part of the Americas south of the latitude of the present city
of San Francisco.  Of many expeditions into the trackless wilderness,
only a few were financially repaying; the majority were a drain on the
resources of the mother country.  In every place where the Spaniard set
foot the native quailed and, after at most one desperate struggle, went
down, never again to loose the conqueror's grip from his throat or to
move the conqueror's knee from his chest.  Even the bravest were as
helpless as children before warriors armed with thunder and riding upon
unknown monsters.

But in no place, save in the islands, did the native races wholly
disappear as they did in the English settlements.  The Spaniards came
not like the Puritans, as artisans and tillers of the soil intent on
founding new homes, but as military conquerors, requiring a race of
helots to toil for them.  For a period anarchy reigned; the captains
not only plundered the Indians but fought one another fiercely for more
room--more room in the endless wilderness!  Eventually, however,
conditions became more stable; Spain imposed her effective control, her
language, religion and institutions on a vast region, doing for South
America what Rome had once done for her.

The lover of adventure will find rich reward in tracing the discovery
of the Mississippi by De Soto, of Florida by Ponce de Leon, and of the
whole course of {438} the Amazon by Orellana who sailed down it from
Peru, or in reading of Balboa, "when with eagle eyes he stared at the
Pacific."  A resolute man could hardly set out exploring without
stumbling upon some mighty river, some vast continent, or some
unmeasured ocean.  But among all these fairly-tales [Transcriber's
note: fairy-tales?] there are some that are so marvellous that they
would be thought too extravagant by the most daring writers of romance.
That one captain with four hundred men, and another with two hundred,
should each march against an extensive and populous empire, cut down
their armies at odds of a hundred to one, put their kings to the sword
and their temples to the torch, and after it all reap a harvest of gold
and precious stones such as for quantity had never been heard of
before--all this meets us not in the tales of Ariosto or of Dumas, but
in the pages of authentic history.

[Conquest of Mexico]

In the tableland of Mexico dwelt the Aztecs, the most civilized and
warlike of North American aborigines.  Their polity was that of a
Spartan military despotism, their religion the most grewsome known to
man.  Before their temples were piled pyramids of human skulls; the
deities were placated by human sacrifice, and at times, according to
the deicidal and theophagous rites common to many primitive
superstitions, themselves sacrificed in effigy or in the person of a
beautiful captive and their flesh eaten in sacramental cannibalism.
Though the civilization of the Aztecs, derived from the earlier and
perhaps more advanced Mayans, was scarcely so high as that of the
ancient Egyptians, they had cultivated the arts sufficiently to work
the mines of gold and silver and to hammer the precious metals into
elaborate and massive ornaments.

When rumors of their wealth reached Cuba it seemed at last as if the
dream of El Dorado had come true.  Hernando Cortez, a cultured,
resolute, brave and {439} politic leader, gathered a force of four
hundred white men, with a small outfit of artillery and cavalry, and,
on Good Friday, 1519, landed at the place now called Vera Cruz and
marched on the capital.  The race of warriors who delighted in nothing
but slaughter, was stupefied, partly by an old prophecy of the coming
of a god to subdue the land, partly by the strange and terrible arms of
the invaders.  Moreover their neighbors and subjects were ready to rise
against them and become allies of the Spaniards.  In a few months of
crowded battle and massacre they lay broken and helpless at the feet of
the audacious conqueror, who promptly sent to Spain a glowing account
of his new empire and a tribute of gold and silver.  Albert Dürer in
August, 1520, saw at Brussels the "things brought the king from the new
golden land," and describes them in his diary as including "a whole
golden sun, a fathom in breadth, and a whole silver moon of the same
size, and two rooms full of the same sort of armour, and also all kinds
of weapons, accoutrements and bows, wonderful shields . . . altogether
valued at a hundred thousand guidon.  And all my life," he adds, "I
have never seen anything that so rejoiced my heart as did these things."

[Conquest of Peru]

If an artist, familiar with kings and courts and the greatest marts of
Europe could write thus, what wonder that the imagination of the world
took fire?  The golden sun and the silver moon were, to all men who saw
them, like Helen's breasts, the sun and moon of heart's desire, to lure
them over the western waves.  Twelve years after Cortez, came Pizarro
who, with a still smaller force conquered an even wealthier and more
civilized empire.  The Incas, unlike the Mexicans, were a mild race,
living in a sort of theocratic socialism, in which the emperor, as god,
exercised absolute power over his subjects and in return cared {440}
for at least their common wants.  The Spaniards outdid themselves in
acts of treachery and blood.  In vain the emperor, Atahualpa, after
voluntarily placing himself in the hands of Pizarro, filled the room
used as his prison nine feet high with gold as ransom; when he could
give no more he was tried on the preposterous charges of treason to
Charles V and of heresy, and suffered death at the stake.  Pizarro
coolly pocketed the till then undreamed of sum of 4,500,000 ducats,[1]
worth in our standards more than one hundred million dollars.

[Sidenote: Circumnavigation of the globe, 1519-22]

But the crowning act of the age of discovery was the circumnavigation
of the globe.  The leader of the great enterprise that put the seal of
man's dominion on the earth, was Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese in
Spanish service.  With a fleet of five vessels, only one of which put a
ring around the world, and with a crew of about 275 men of whom only 18
returned successful, he sailed from Europe.  [Sidenote: September 20,
1519]  Coasting down the east of South America, [October 21, 1519]
exploring the inlets and rivers, he entered the straits that bear his
name and covered their 360 miles in thirty-eight days.  After following
the coast up some distance north, he struck across the Pacific, the
breadth of which he much underestimated.  For ninety-eight days he was
driven by the east trade-wind without once sighting land save two
desert islands, while his crew endured extremities of hunger, thirst
and scurvy.  At last he came to the islands he called, after the
thievish propensities of their inhabitants, the Ladrones, making his
first landing at Guam.  Spending but three days here to refit and
provision, he sailed again on March 9, [Sidenote: 1521] and a week
later discovered the islands known, since 1542, as the Philippines.
{441} In an expedition against a savage chief the great leader met his
death on April 27, 1521.  As other sailors and as he, too, had
previously been as far to the east as he now found himself, he had
practically completed the circumnavigation of the globe.  The most
splendid triumph of the age of discovery coincided almost to a day with
the time that Luther was achieving the most glorious deed of the
Reformation at Worms.

[Sidenote: September 1522]

Magellan's ship, the Vittoria, proceeded under Sebastian del Cano, and
finally, with thirty-one men, of whom only eighteen had started out in
her, came back to Portugal.  The men who had burst asunder one of the
bonds of the older world, were, nevertheless, deeply troubled by a
strange, medieval scruple.  Having mysteriously lost a day by following
the sun in his westward course, they did penance for having celebrated
the fasts and feasts of the church on the wrong dates.

[Sidenote: Portuguese Exploration]

While Spain was extending her dominions westward, little Portugal was
building up an even greater empire in both hemispheres.  In the
fifteenth century, this hardy people, confined to their coast and
without possibility of expanding inwards, had seen that their future
lay upon the water.  To the possessor of sea power the ocean makes of
every land bordering on it a frontier, vulnerable to them and
impervious to the enemy.  The first ventures of the Portuguese were
naturally in the lands near by, the North African coast and the islands
known as the Madeiras and the Azores.  Feeling their way southward
along the African coast they reached the Cape of Good Hope but did not
at once go much further.  [Sidenote: 1486 or 1488]  This path to India
was not broken until eleven years later, when Vasco da Gama, after a
voyage of great daring [Sidenote: 1497-8]--he was ninety-three days at
sea on a course of 4500 miles from the Cape Verde Islands to South
Africa--reached Calicut on May 20, 1498.  This city, now sunken in the
sea, was {442} then the most flourishing port on the Malabar Coast,
exploited entirely by Mohammedan traders.  Spices had long been the
staple of Venetian trade with the Orient, and when he returned with
rich cargo of them the immediate effect upon Europe was greater than
that of the voyage of Columbus.  Trade seeks to follow the line of
least resistance, and the establishment of a water way between Europe
and the East was like connecting two electrically charged bodies in a
Leyden jar by a copper wire.  The current was no longer forced through
a poor medium, but ran easily through the better conductor.  With more
rapidity than one would think possible in that age, the commercial
consequences of the discovery were appreciated.  The trade of the
Levant died away, and the center of gravity was transferred from the
Mediterranean to the Atlantic.  While Venice decayed Lisbon rose with
mushroom speed to the position of the great emporium of European
ocean-borne trade, until she in her turn was supplanted by Antwerp.

Da Gama was soon imitated by others.  [Sidenote: 1500]  Cabral made
commercial settlements at Calicut and the neighboring town of Cochin,
and came home with unheard-of riches in spice, pearls and gems.
[Sidenote: 1503]  Da Gama returned and bombarded Calicut, and Francis
d'Almeida was made Governor of India [Sidenote: 1505] and tried to
consolidate the Portuguese power there on the correct principle that
who was lord of the sea was lord of the peninsula.  The rough methods
of the Portuguese and their competition with the Arab traders made war
inevitable between the two rivals.  To the other causes of enmity that
of religion was added, for, like the Spaniards, the Portuguese tried to
combine the characters of merchants and missionaries, of pirates and
crusaders.  When the first of Da Gama's sailors to land at Calicut was
asked what he sought, his laconic answer, "Christians {443} and
spices," had in it as much of truth as of epigrammatic neatness.

[Sidenote: Portuguese cruelty to Indians]

Had the Portuguese but treated the Hindoos humanely they would have
found in them allies against the Mohammedan traders, but all of them,
not excepting their greatest statesman, Alphonso d'Albuquerque, pursued
a policy of frightfulness.  When Da Gama met an Arab ship, after
sacking it, he blew it up with gunpowder and left it to sink in flames
while the women on board held up their babies with piteous cries to
touch the heart of this knight of Christ and of mammon.  Without the
least compunction Albuquerque tells in his commentaries how he burned
the Indian villages, put part of their inhabitants to death and ordered
the noses and ears of the survivors cut off.

[Sidenote: Trade]

Nevertheless, the Portuguese got what they wanted, the wealthy trade of
the East.  Albuquerque, failing to storm Calicut, seized Goa farther
north and made it the chief emporium.  But they soon felt the need of
stations farther east, for, as long as the Arabs held Malacca, where
spices were cheaper, the intruders did not have the monopoly they
desired.  Accordingly Albuquerque seized this city on the Malay
Straits, [Sidenote: 1511] which, though now it has sunk into
insignificance, was then the Singapore or Hong-Kong of the Far East.
Sumatra, Java and the northern coast of Australia were explored, the
Moluccas were bought from Spain for 350,000 ducats, and even Japan and
China were reached by the daring traders.  In the meantime posts were
established along the whole western and eastern coasts of Africa and in
Madagascar.  But wherever they went the Portuguese sought commercial
advantage not permanent settlement.  Aptly compared by a Chinese
observer to fishes who died if taken from the sea, they founded an
empire of vast length out of incredible thinness.

{444} [Sidenote: Brazil]

The one exception to this rule, and an important one, was Brazil.  The
least showy of the colonies and the one that brought in the least quick
profit eventually became a second and a greater Portugal, outstripping
the mother country in population and dividing South America almost
equally with the Spanish.  In many ways the settlement of this colony
resembled that of North America by the English more than it did the
violent and superficial conquests of Spain.  Settlers came to it less
as adventurers than as home-seekers and some of them fled from
religious persecution.  The great source of wealth, the sugar-cane, was
introduced from Madeira in 1548 and in the following year the mother
country sent a royal governor and some troops.

[Sidenote: Decadence of Portugal]

But even more than Spain Portugal overtaxed her strength in her grasp
for sudden riches.  The cup that her mariners took from the gorgeous
Eastern enchantress had a subtle, transforming drug mingled with its
spices, whereby they were metamorphosed, if not into animals, at least
into orientals, or Africans.  While Lisbon grew by leaps and bounds the
country-side was denuded, and the landowners, to fill the places of the
peasants who had become sailors, imported quantities of negro slaves.
Thus not only the Portuguese abroad, but those at home, undeterred by
racial antipathy, adulterated their blood with that of the dark
peoples.  Add to this that the trade, immensely lucrative as it seemed,
was an enormous drain on the population of the little state; and the
causes of Portugal's decline, almost as sudden as its rise, are in
large part explained.  So rapid was it, indeed, that it was noticed not
only by foreign travellers but by the natives.  Camoens, though he
dedicated his life to composing an epic in honor of Vasco da Gama,
lamented his country's decay in these terms:

  O pride of empire!  O vain covetise
    Of that vain glory that we men call fame . . .
  What punishment and what just penalties
    Thou dost inflict on those thou dost inflame . . .
  Thou dost depopulate our ancient state
    Till dissipation brings debility.

Nor were artificial causes wanting to make the colonies expensive and
the home treasury insolvent.  The governors as royal favorites regarded
their appointments as easy roads to quick wealth, and they plundered
not only the inhabitants but their royal master.  The inefficient and
extravagant management of trade, which was a government monopoly,
furnished a lamentable example of the effects of public ownership.  And
when possible the church interfered to add the burden of bigotry to
that of corruption.  An amusing example of this occurred when a
supposed tooth of Buddha was brought to Goa, to redeem which the Rajah
of Pegu offered a sum equal to half a million dollars.  While the
government was inclined to sell, the archbishop forbade the acceptance
of such tainted money and ordered the relic destroyed.

[Sidenote: 1521-80]

Within Portugal itself other factors aided the decline.  From the
accession of John III to the amalgamation with Spain sixty years later,
the Cortes was rarely summoned.  The expulsion of many Jews in 1497,
the massacre and subsequent exile of the New Christians or Marranos,
[Sidenote: 1506-7] most of whom went to Holland, commenced an era of
destructive bigotry completed by the Inquisition.  [Sidenote: The
Inquisition established, 1536]  Strict censorship of the press and the
education of the people by the Jesuits each added their bit to the
forces of spiritual decadence.

For the fury of religious zeal ill supplied the exhausted powers of a
state fainting with loss of blood and from the intoxication of
corruption.  Gradually her grasp relaxed on North Africa until only
three {446} small posts in Morocco were left her, those of Ceuta,
Arzila and Tangier.  A last frantic effort to recover them and to
punish the infidel, undertaken by the young King Sebastian, ended in
disaster and in his death in 1578.  After a short reign of two years by
his uncle Henry, who as a cardinal had no legitimate heirs, Portugal
feebly yielded to her strongest suitor, Philip II, [Sidenote:
1580-1640] and for sixty years remained a captive of Spain.

[Sidenote: Other nations explore]

Other nations eagerly crowded in to seize the trident that was falling
from the hands of the Iberian peoples.  There were James Cartier of
France, and Sebastian Cabot and Sir Martin Frobisher and Sir Francis
Drake of England, and others.  They explored the coast of North America
and sought a Northwest Passage to Asia.  Drake, after a voyage of two
years and a half, [Sidenote: 1577-80] duplicated the feat of Magellan,
though he took quite a different course, following the American western
coast up to the Golden Gate.  He, too, returned "very richly fraught
with gold, silver, silk and precious stones," the best incentive to
further endeavor.  But no colonies of permanence and consequence were
as yet planted by the northern nations.  Until the seventeenth century
their voyages were either actuated by commercial motives or were purely
adventurous.  The age did not lack daring explorers by land as well as
by sea.  Lewis di Varthema rivalled his countryman Marco Polo by an
extensive journey in the first decade of the century.  Like Burckhardt
and Burton in the nineteenth century he visited Mecca and Medina as a
Mohammedan pilgrim, and also journeyed to Cairo, Beirut, Aleppo and
Damascus and then to the distant lands of India and the Malay peninsula.

[Sidenote: Russia]

It may seem strange to speak of Russia in connection with the age of
discovery, and yet it was precisely in the light of a new and strange
land that our English ancestors regarded it.  Cabot's voyage to the
{447} White Sea in the middle of the century was every whit as new an
adventure as was the voyage to India.  Richard Chancellor and others
followed him and established a regular trade with Muscovy, [Sidenote:
1553] and through it and the Caspian with Asia.  The rest of Europe,
west of Poland and the Turks, hardly heard of Russia or felt its impact
more than they now do of the Tartars of the Steppes.

But it was just at this time that Russia was taking the first strides
on the road to become a great power.  How broadly operative were some
of the influences at work in Europe lies patent in the singular
parallel that her development offers to that of her more civilized
contemporaries.  Just as despotism, consolidation, and conquest were
the order of the day elsewhere, so they were in the eastern plains of
Europe.  Basil III [Sidenote: Basil III, 1505-33] struck down the
rights of cities, nobles and princes to bring the whole country under
his own autocracy.  Ivan the Terrible, [Sidenote: Ivan IV, 1533-84]
called Czar of all the Russias, added to this policy one of extensive
territorial aggrandizement.  Having humbled the Tartars he acquired
much land to the south and east, and then turned his attention to the
west, where, however, Poland barred his way to the Baltic.  Just as in
its subsequent history, so then, one of the great needs of Russia was
for a good port.  Another of her needs was for better technical
processes.  Anticipating Peter the Great, Ivan endeavored to get German
workmen to initiate good methods, but he failed to accomplish much,
partly because Charles V forbade his subjects to go to add strength to
a rival state.

[Sidenote: Europe vs. Asia]

While Europe found most of the other continents as soft as butter to
her trenchant blade, she met her match in Asia.  The theory of
Herodotus that the course of history is marked by alternate movements
east and west has been strikingly confirmed by {449} subsequent events.
In a secular grapple the two continents have heaved back and forth,
neither being able to conquer the other completely.  If the empires of
Macedon and Rome carried the line of victory far to the orient, they
were avenged by the successive inroads of the Huns, the Saracens, the
Mongols and the Turks.  If for the last four centuries the line has
again been pushed steadily back, until Europe dominates Asia, it is far
from certain that this condition will be permanent.

In spiritual matters Europe owes a balance of indebtedness to Asia, and
by far the greater part of it to the Semites.  The Phoenician alphabet
and Arabian numerals are capital borrowed and yielding how enormous a
usufruct!  Above all, Asiatic religions--albeit the greatest of them
was the child of Hellas as well as of Judaea--have conquered the whole
world save a few savage tribes.  Ever since the cry of "There is no God
but Allah and Mahomet is his prophet" had aroused the Arabian nomads
from their age-long slumber, it was as a religious warfare that the
contest of the continents revealed itself.  After the scimitar had
swept the Greek Empire out of Asia Minor and had cut Spain from
Christendom, the crusades and the rise of the Spanish kingdoms had
gradually beaten it back.  But while the Saracen was being slowly but
surely driven from the western peninsula, the banner of the Crescent in
the east was seized by a race with a genius for war inversely
proportional to its other gifts.  [Sidenote: The Turks]  The Turks, who
have never added to the arts of peace anything more important than the
fabrication of luxurious carpets and the invention of a sensuous bath,
were able to found cannon and to drill battalions that drove the armies
of nobler races before them.  From the sack of Constantinople in 1453
to the siege of Vienna in 1529 and even to some extent long after that,
the {449} majestic and terrible advance of the janizaries threatened
the whole fabric of Europe.

[Sidenote: Selim I, 1512-20]

Under Sultan Selim I the Turkish arms were turned to the east and
south.  Persia, Kurdistan, Syria and Egypt were crushed, while the
title of Caliph, and with it the spiritual leadership of the Mahommetan
world, was wrested from the last of the Abassid dynasty.  But it was
under his successor, Suleiman the Magnificent, [Sidenote: Suleiman
1520-6] that the banner of the prophet, "fanned by conquest's crimson
wing," was borne to the heart of Europe.  Belgrade and Rhodes were
captured, Hungary completely overrun, and Vienna besieged.  The naval
exploits of Khair-ed-din, called Barbarossa, carried the terror of the
Turkish arms into the whole Mediterranean, subdued Algiers and defeated
the Christian fleets under Andrew Doria.

On the death of Suleiman the Crescent Moon had attained the zenith of
its glory.  The vast empire was not badly administered; some
authorities hold that justice was better served under the Sultan than
under any contemporary Christian king.  A hierarchy of officials,
administrative, ecclesiastical, secretarial and military, held office
directly under the Sultan, being wisely granted by him sufficient
liberty to allow initiative, and yet kept under control direct enough
to prevent the secession of distant provinces.

The international position of the infidel power was an anomalous one.
Almost every pope tried to revive the crusading spirit against the
arch-enemy of Christ, and the greatest epic poet of the sixteenth
century chose for his subject the Delivery of Jerusalem in a holy war.
On the other hand the Most Christian King found no difficulty in making
alliances with the Sublime Porte, and the same course was advocated,
though not adopted, by some of the Protestant states of Germany.
Finally, that champion of the church, Philip {450} II, for the first
time in the history of his country, [Sidenote: 1580] made a peace with
the infidel Sultan recognizing his right to exist in the society of

The sixteenth century, which in so much else marked a transition from
medieval to modern times, in this also saw the turning-point of events,
inasmuch as the tide drawn by the Half Moon to its flood about 1529,
from that time onwards has steadily, if very slowly, ebbed.

[1] Allowing $2.40 to a ducat this would be $10,800,000 intrinsically
at a time when money had ten times the purchasing power that it has





[Sidenote: Unity of civilized world]

Political history is that of the state; economic and intellectual
history that of a different group.  In modern times this group includes
all civilized nations.  Even in political history there are many
striking parallels, but in social development and in culture the recent
evolution of civilized peoples has been nearly identical.  This
fundamental unity of the nations has grown stronger with the centuries
on account of improving methods of transport and communication.
Formally it might seem that in the Middle Ages the white nations were
more closely bound together than they are now.  They had one church, a
nearly identical jurisprudence, one great literature and one language
for the educated classes; they even inherited from Rome the ideal of a
single world-state.  But if the growth of national pride, the division
of the church and the rise of modern languages and literatures have
been centrifugal forces, they have been outweighed by the advent of new
influences tending to bind all peoples together.  The place of a single
church is taken by a common point of view, the scientific; the place of
Latin as a medium of learning has been taken by English, French, and
German, each one more widely known to those to whom it is not native
now than ever was Latin in the earlier centuries.  The fruits of
discovery are common to all nations, who now live under similar
conditions, reading the same books and (under different names) the same
newspapers, doing the same {452} business and enjoying the same
luxuries in the same manner.  Even in matters of government we are
visibly approaching the perhaps distant but apparently certain goal of
a single world-state.

[Sidenote: Changes in population]

In estimating the economic and cultural conditions of the sixteenth
century it is therefore desirable to treat Western Europe as a whole.
One of the marked differences between all countries then and now is in
population.  No simple law has been discovered as to the causes of the
fluctuations in the numbers of the people within a given territory.
This varies with the wealth of the territory, but not in direct ratio
to it; for it can be shown that the wealth of Europe in the last four
hundred years has increased vastly more than its population.  Nor can
it be discovered to vary directly in proportion to the combined amount
and distribution of wealth, for in sixteenth-century England while the
number of the people was increasing wealth was being concentrated in
fewer hands almost as fast as it was being created.  It is obvious that
sanitation and transportation have a good deal to do with the
population of certain areas.  The largest cities of our own times could
not have existed in the Middle Ages, for they could not have been
provisioned, nor have been kept endurably healthy without elaborate
aqueducts and drains.

Other more obscure factors enter in to complicate the problems of
population.  Some nations, like Spain in the sixteenth and Ireland in
the nineteenth century, have lost immensely through emigration.  The
cause of this was doubtless not that the nation in question was growing
absolutely poorer, but that the increase of wealth or in accessibility
to richer lands made it relatively poorer.  It is obvious again that
great visitations like pestilence or war diminish population directly,
though the effect of such factors is usually {453} temporary.  How much
voluntary sterility operates is problematical.  Aegidius Albertinus,
writing in 1602, attributed the growth in population of Protestant
countries since the Reformation to the abolition of sacerdotal
celibacy, and this has also been mentioned as a cause by a recent
writer.  Probably the last named forces have a very slight influence;
the primary one being, as Malthus stated, the increase of means of

As censuses were almost unknown to sixteenth-century Europe outside of
a few Italian cities, the student is forced to rely for his data on
various other calculations, in some cases tolerably reliable, in others
deplorably deficient.  The best of these are the enumerations of
hearths made for purposes of taxation in several countries.  Other
counts were sometimes made for fiscal or military, and occasionally for
religious, purposes.  Estimates by contemporary observers supplement
our knowledge, which may be taken as at least approximately correct.

[Sidenote: England and Wales]

The religious census of 1603 gave the number of communicants in England
and Wales as 2,275,000, to which must be added 8475 recusants.  Adding
50 per cent. for non-communicants, we arrive at the figure of
3,425,000, which is doubtless too low.  Another calculation based on a
record of births and deaths yields the figure 4,812,000 for the year
1600.  The average, 4,100,000, is probably nearly correct, of which
about a tenth in Wales.  England had grown considerably during the
century, this increase being especially remarkable in the large towns.
Whereas, in 1534, 150,000 quarters of wheat were consumed in London
annually, the figure for 1605 is 500,000.  The population in the same
time had probably increased from 60,000 to 225,000.  No figures worth
anything can be given for Ireland, and for Scotland it is only safe to
say {454} that in 1500 the population was about 500,000 and in 1600
about 700,000.

[Sidenote: The Netherlands]

Enumerations of hearths and of communicants give good bases for
reckoning the population of the Netherlands.  Holland, the largest of
the Northern provinces, had about 200,000 people in 1514; Brabant the
greatest of the Southern, in 1526 had 500,000.  The population of the
largest town, Antwerp, in 1526 was 88,000, in 1550 about 110,000.  At
the same time it is remarkable that in 1521 Ghent impressed Dürer as
the greatest city he had seen in the Low Countries.  For the whole
territory of the Netherlands, including Holland and Belgium, and a
little more on the borders, the population was in 1560 about 3,000,000.
This is the same figure as that given for 1567 by Lewis Guicciardini.
Later in the century the country suffered by war and emigration.

[Sidenote: Germany]

The lack of a unified government, and the great diversity of
conditions, makes the population of Germany more difficult to estimate.
Brandenburg, having in 1535 an area of 10,000 square miles, and a
population between 300,000 and 400,000, has been aptly compared for
size and numbers to the present state of Vermont.  Bavaria had in 1554
a population of 434,000; in 1596 of 468,000.  Würzburg had in 1538 only
12,000; Hamburg in 1521 12,000 and in 1594 19,000.  Danzig had in 1550
about 21,000.  The largest city in central Germany, if not in the whole
country--as a chronicler stated in 1572--was Erfurt, with a population
of 32,000 in 1505.  It was the center of the rising Saxon industries,
mining and dying, and of commerce.  Lübeck, Cologne, Nuremberg and
Augsburg equalled or perhaps surpassed it in size, and certainly in
wealth.  The total population of German Switzerland was over 200,000.
The whole German-speaking population of Central Europe amounted to
perhaps twenty millions {455} in 1600, though it had been reckoned by
the imperial government in 1500 as twelve millions.

[Sidenote: France]

The number of Frenchmen did not greatly increase in France in the 16th
century.  Though the borders of the state were extended, she suffered
terribly by religious wars, and somewhat by emigration.  Not only did
many Huguenots flee from her to Switzerland, the Netherlands and
England, but economic reasons led to large movements from the south and
perhaps from the north.  To fill up the gap caused by emigration from
Spain a considerable number of French peasants moved to that land; and
it is also possible that the same class of people sought new homes in
Burgundy and Savoy to escape the pressure of taxes and dues.  Various
estimates concur in giving France a population of 15,000,000 to
16,000,000.  The Paris of Henry II was by far the largest city in the
world, numbering perhaps 300,000; but when Henry IV besieged it it had
been reduced by war to 220,000.  After that it waxed mightily again.

[Sidenote: Italy]

Italy, leader in many ways, was the first to take accurate statistics
of population, births and deaths.  These begin by the middle of the
fifteenth century, but are rare until the middle of the sixteenth, when
they become frequent.  Notwithstanding war and pestilence the numbers
of inhabitants seemed to grow steadily, the apparent result in the
statistics being perhaps in part due to the increasing rigor of the
census.  Herewith follow specimens of the extant figures: The city of
Brescia had 65,000 in 1505, and 43,000 in 1548.  During the same
period, however, the people in her whole territory of 2200 square miles
had increased from 303,000 to 342,000.  The city of Verona had 27,000
in 1473 and 52,000 in 1548; her land of 1200 square miles had in the
first named year 99,000, in the last 159,000.  The kingdom of Sicily
grew from 600,000 in 1501 to {456} 800,000 in 1548, and 1,180,000 in
1615.  The kingdom of Naples, without the capital, had about 1,270,000
people in 1501; 2,110,000 in 1545; the total including the capital
amounted in 1600 to 3,000,000.  The republic of Venice increased from
1,650,000 in 1550 to 1,850,000 in 1620.  Florence with her territory
had 586,000 in 1551 and 649,000 in 1622.  In the year 1600 Milan with
Lombardy had 1,350,000 inhabitants; Savoy in Italy 800,000; continental
Genoa 500,000; Parma, Piacenza and Modena together 500,000; Sardinia
300,000; Corsica 150,000; Malta 41,000; Lucca 110,000.  The population
of Rome fluctuated violently.  In 1521 it is supposed to have been
about 55,000, but was reduced by the sack to 32,000.  After this it
rapidly recovered, reaching 45,000 under Paul IV (1558), and 100,000
under Sixtus V (1590).  The total population of the States of the
Church when the first census was taken in 1656 was 1,880,000.

[Sidenote: Spain]

The final impression one gets after reading the extremely divergent
estimates of the population of Spain is that it increased during the
first half of the century and decreased during the latter half.  The
highest figure for the increase of population during the reign of
Charles V is the untrustworthy one of Habler, who believes the number
of inhabitants to have doubled.  This belief is founded on the
conviction that the wealth of the kingdom doubled in that time.  But
though population tends to increase with wealth, it certainly does not
increase in the same proportion as wealth, so that, considering this
fact and also that the increase in wealth as shown by the doubling of
income from royal domains was in part merely apparent, due to the
falling value of money, we may dismiss Habler's figure as too high.
And yet there is good evidence for the belief that there was a
considerable increment.  The cities especially gained with the new
stimulus to {457} commerce and industry.  In 1525 Toledo employed
10,000 workers in silk, who had increased fivefold by 1550.
Unfortunately for accuracy these figures are merely contemporary
guesses, but they certainly indicate a large growth in the population
of Toledo, and similar figures are given for Seville, Burgos and other
manufacturing and trading centers.  From such estimates, however,
combined with the censuses of hearths, peculiarly unsatisfactory in
Spain as they excluded the privileged classes and were, as their
violent fluctuations show, carelessly made, we may arrive at the
conclusion that in 1557 the population of Spain was barely 9,000,000.

More difficult, if possible, is it to measure the amount of the decline
in the latter half of the century.  [Sidenote: Decline]  It was widely
noticed and commented on by contemporaries, who attributed it in part
to the increase in sheep-farming (as in England) and in part to
emigration to America.  There were doubtless other more important and
more obscure causes, namely the increasing rivalry in both commerce and
industry of the north of Europe and the consequent decay of Spain's
means of livelihood.  The emigration amounted on the average to perhaps
4000 per annum throughout the century.  The total Spanish population of
America was reckoned by Velasco in 1574 at 30,500 households, or
152,500 souls.  This would, however, imply a much larger emigration,
probably double the last number, to account for the many Spaniards lost
by the perils of the sea or in the depths of the wilderness.  It is
known, for example, that whereas the Spanish population of Venezuela
was reckoned at 200 households at least 2000 Spaniards had gone to
settle there.  An emigration of 300,000 before 1574, or say 400,000 for
the whole century, would have left a considerable gap at home.  Add to
this the industrial decline by which {458} Altamira reckons that the
cities of the center and north, which suffered most, lost from one-half
to one-third of their total population, and it is evident that a very
considerable shrinkage took place.  The census of 1594 reported a
population of 8,200,000.

[Sidenote: Portugal]

The same tendency to depopulation was noticed to a much greater degree
by contemporary observers of Portugal.  Unfortunately, no even
approximately accurate figures can be given.  Two million is almost
certainly too large for 1600.

[Sidenote: General table]

The following statistical table will enable the reader to form some
estimate of the movements of population.  Admitting that the margin of
error is fairly large in some of the earlier estimates, it is believed
that they are sufficiently near the truth to be of real service.

  _Country                                 1500            1600_
  England and Wales  . . . . . . . .  3,000,000       4,100,000

  Scotland . . . . . . . . . . . . .    500,000         700,000

  The Netherlands (Holland and
    Belgium) (1550)  . . . . . . . .                 3,000,000

  Germany (including Austria, German
    Switzerland, Franche Comté and
    Savoy north of the Alps, but
    excluding Hungary, the Netherlands,
    East and West Prussia) . . . . .   12,000,000    20,000,000

  France (1550)  . . . . . . . . . .                 16,000,000

  Italy  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   10,000,000    13,000,000

  Spain (1557 and 1594)  . . . . . .     9,000,000[1] 8,200,000

  Poland with East and West Prussia                   3,000,000

  Denmark  . . . . . . . . . . . . .                    600,000

  Sweden, Norway and Finland . . . .                  1,400,000

[1] For a higher estimate--ten to twelve millions in 1500--see note in


[Sidenote: Gigantic increase in wealth since 16th century]

If the number of Europe's inhabitants has increased fourfold since
Luther's time, the amount of her wealth has increased in a vastly
greater ratio.  The difference {459} between the twentieth and the
sixteenth centuries is greater than anyone would at first blush believe
possible.  Moreover it is a difference that is, during times of peace,
continually increasing.  During the century from the close of the
Napoleonic to the opening of the Great War, the wealth of the white
races probably doubled every twenty-five years.  The new factors that
made this possible were the exploited resources of America, and the
steam-engine.  Prior to 1815 the increase of the world's wealth was
much slower, but if it doubled once a century,--as would seem not
improbable--we should have to allow that the world of 1914 was one
hundred and twenty-eight times as rich as it was in 1514.

[Sidenote: Change from poverty to affluence emphasized]

Of course such a statement cannot pretend to anything like exactitude;
the mathematical figure is a mere figure of speech; it is intended only
to emphasize the fact that one of the most momentous changes during the
last four centuries has been that from poverty to affluence.  That the
statement, surprising as it may seem, is no exaggeration, may be borne
out by a few comparisons.

[Sidenote: War a test of a nation's financial strength]

One of the tests of a nation's financial strength is that of war.
Francis I in time of war mustered at most an army of 100,000, and he
reached this figure, or perhaps slightly exceeded it, only once during
his reign, in the years 1536-7.  This is only half the number of
soldiers, proportionately to the population, that France maintained in
time of peace at the opening of the twentieth century.  And for more
than four years, at a time when war was infinitely more expensive than
it was when Pavia was fought, France kept in the field about an even
five millions of men, more than an eighth of her population instead of
about one one-hundred-and-fiftieth.  Similar figures could be given for
Germany and England.  It is true that the power of {460} modern states
is multiplied by their greater facilities for borrowing, but with all
allowances the contrast suggests an enormous difference of wealth.

[Sidenote: Labor power of the world]

Take, as a standard of comparison, the labor power of the world.  In
1918 the United States alone produced 685,000,000 tons of coal.  Each
ton burned gives almost as much power as is expended by two laborers
working for a whole year.  Thus the United States from its coal only
had command of the equivalent of the labor of 1,370,000,000 men, or
more than thrice the adult male labor power of the whole world; more
than fifty times the whole labor power of sixteenth-century Europe.
This does not take account of the fact that labor is far more
productive now than then, even without steam.  The comparison is
instructive because the population of the United States in 1910 was
about equal to that of the whole of Europe in 1600.

The same impression would be given by a comparison of the production of
any other standard product.  More gold was produced in the year 1915
than the whole stock of gold in the world in 1550, perhaps in 1600.
More wheat is produced annually in Minnesota than the granaries of the
cities of the world would hold four centuries ago.

[Sidenote: Poverty of the Middle Ages]

In fact, there was hardly wealth at all in the Middle Ages, only
degrees of poverty, and the sixteenth century first began to see the
accumulation of fortunes worthy of the name.  In 1909 there were 1100
persons in France with an income of more than $40,000 per annum; among
them were 150 with an income of more than $200,000.  In England in 1916
seventy-nine persons paid income taxes on estates of more than
$125,000,000.  On the other hand the richest man in France, Jacques
Coeur, whose fortune was proverbial like that of Rockefeller today, had
in 1503 a capital of only {461} $5,400,000.  The total wealth of the
house of Fugger about 1550 has been estimated at $32,000,000, though
the capital of their bank was never anything like that.  The contrast
was greatest among the very richest class, but it was sufficiently
striking in the middle classes.  Such a condition as comfort hardly

The same impression will be given to the student of public finance.  As
more will be said in another paragraph on the revenues of the principal
states, only one example need be given here for the sake of contrast.
The total revenue of Francis I was $256,000 per annum, that of Henry II
even less, $228,000.  The revenue of France in 1905 was $750,000,000.
Henry VIII often had more difficulty in raising a loan of L50,000 than
the English government had recently in borrowing six billions.

[Sidenote: Value of money]

It is impossible to say which is the harder task, to compare the total
wealth of the world at two given periods, or to compare the value of
money at different times.  Even the mechanical difficulties in the
comparison of prices are enormous.  When we read that wheat at
Wittenberg sold at one gulden the scheffel, it is necessary to
determine in the first place how much a gulden and how much a scheffel
represented in terms of dollars and bushels.  When we discover that
there were half a dozen different guldens, and half a dozen separate
measures known as scheffels, varying from province to province and from
time to time, and varying widely, it is evident that great caution is
necessary in ascertaining exactly which gulden and exactly which
scheffel is meant.

When coin and measure have been reduced to known quantities, there
remains the problem of fixing the quality.  Cloth is quoted in the
sixteenth century as of standard sizes and grades, but neither of these
important factors is accurately known to any modern {462} economist.
One would think that in quoting prices of animals an invariable
standard would be secured.  Quite the contrary.  So much has the breed
of cattle improved that a fat ox now weighs two or three times what a
good ox weighed four centuries ago.  Horses are larger, stronger and
faster; hens lay many more eggs, cows give much more milk now than
formerly.  Shoes, clothes, lumber, candles, are not of the same quality
in different centuries, and of course there is an ever increasing list
of new articles in which no comparison can be made.

[Sidenote: Fluctuation in coinage]

Nevertheless, some allowance can be made for all factors involved, as
far as they are mechanical; some comparisons can be given that bear a
sufficiently close relation to exactitude to form the basis from which
certain valid deductions can be drawn.  Now first as to the intrinsic
value, in amounts of gold and silver in the several coins.  The vast
fluctuation in the value of the English shilling, due to the successive
debasements and final restitution of the coinage, is thus expressed:

 _Year      Troy grains         Year     Troy grains_
  1461 . . . . . .  133         1551 . . . . . .  20
  1527 . . . . . .  118         1552 . . . . . .  88
  1543 . . . . . .  100         1560 . . . . . .  89
  1545 . . . . . .  60          1601 . . . . . .  86
  1546 . . . . . .  40          1919 . . . . . .  87.27

A similar depreciation, more gradual but never rectified, is seen in
the value of French money.  The standard of reckoning was the livre
tournois, which varied intrinsically in value of the silver put into it
as follows:

  Years                     Intrinsic value of silver
  1500  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  93 cents
  1512-40 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  78 cents
  1541-60 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  66 cents
  1561-72 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  62 cents
  1573-79 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  57 cents
  1580-1600 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  51 cents

[Sidenote: Value of Spanish coins]

The standard Spanish gold coin after 1497 was the ducat, which had
3.485 grammes of gold (value in our money $2.40).  This was divided
into 375 maravedis, which therefore had a value of about two-thirds of
a cent each.  A Castilian marc of gold had 230 grammes or a value of
about $16.  After 1537 a handsome silver coin, known as the peso fuerte
or "piece of eight" because each contained eight reals, was minted in
America.  Its value was about $1.06 of our money, it being the
predecessor of our dollar.

The great difficulty with the coinage of Germany and Italy is not so
much in its fluctuation as in the number of mints.  The name gulden
[Sidenote: Gulden a general term] was given to almost any coin,
originally, as its etymology signifies, a gold piece, but later also to
a silver piece.  Among gold guldens there was the Rhenish gulden
intrinsically worth $1.34; the Philip's gulden in the Netherlands of 96
cents and the Carolus gulden coined after 1520 and worth $1.14.  But
the coin commonly used in reckoning was the silver gulden, worth
intrinsically 56 cents.  This was divided into 20 groschen.  Other
coins quite ordinarily met with in the literature of the times are
pounds (7.5 cents), pfennigs (various values), stivers, crowns, nobles,
angels ($2), and Hungarians ducats ($1.75).  Since 1518 the chief
silver coin was the thaler, at first considered the equal of a silver
gulden.  The law of 1559, however, made them two different coins,
restoring the thaler to what had probably been its former value of 72
cents, and leaving the imperial gulden in law, what it had commonly
become in fact, a lesser amount of silver.

The coinage of Italy was dominated by the gold gulden or florin of
Florence and the ducat of Venice, {464} each worth not far from $2.25
of our money.  Both these coins, partly on account of their beauty,
partly because of the simple honesty with which they were kept at the
nominal standard, attained just fame throughout the Middle Ages and
thereafter, and became widely used in other lands.

[Sidenote: Wheat]

The standard of value determined, it is now possible to compare the
prices of some staple articles.  First in importance comes wheat, which
fluctuated enormously within short periods at the same place and in
terms of the same amounts of silver.  From Luther's letters we learn
that wheat sold at Wittenberg for one gulden a scheffel in 1539 and for
three groschen a scheffel in 1542, the latter price being considered
"so cheap as never before," the former reached in a time almost of
famine and calling for intervention on the part of the government.
However we interpret these figures (and I believe them to mean that
wheat sold at from twelve cents to eighty cents a bushel) they
certainly indicate a tremendous instability in prices, due to the poor
communications and backward methods of agriculture, making years of
plenty alternate with years of hunger.  In the case of Wittenberg, the
lower level was nearer the normal, for in 1527 wheat was there sold at
twenty cents a bushel.  In other parts of Germany it was dearer; at
Strassburg from 1526-50 it averaged 30 cents a bushel; from 1551-75 it
went up to an average of 58 cents, and from 1576-1600 the average again
rose to 80 cents a bushel.

Prices also rose in England throughout the century even in terms of
silver.  Of course part of the rise in the middle years was due to the
debasement of the coinage.  Reduced to bushels and dollars, the
following table shows the tendency of prices:

  1530 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17 cents a bushel
  1537 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   30 cents
  1544 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   45 cents
  1546 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   69 cents
  1547 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   12 cents
  1548 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   24 cents
  1549 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   48 cents
  1550 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   54 cents
  1572 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   66 cents
  1595 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      $1.14

Wheat in France averaged 23 cents a bushel prior to 1540, after which
it rose markedly in price, touching $1.50 in 1600, under exceptional
conditions.  In order to compare with prices nowadays we must remember
that $1 a bushel was a remarkably good price before the late war,
during which it was fixed at $2.20 by the American government.  Barley
in England rose from 6 cents a bushel in 1530 to 10 cents in 1547 and
33 cents in 1549.  It was in 1913 70 cents a bushel.  Oats rose from 5
cents a bushel in England in 1530 to 18 cents in 1549; in 1913 38 cents.

[Sidenote: Animals]

Animals sold much lower in the sixteenth century than they do now,
though it must be remembered that they are worth more after several
centuries of careful breeding.  Horses then sold at $2.50 in England
and at $4 to $11 in France; the average price in 1913 was $244 for
working animals.  Cows were worth $2 in England in 1530; from $4 to
$6.40 in France; oxen apparently came considerably higher, averaging in
England $10 a head in 1547 and in France from $9 to $16 a yoke.  At
present they are sold by weight, averaging in 1913 9 cents per lb., or
$90 for one weighing a thousand pounds.  Beef then cost about 2/3 of a
cent a pound instead of 40 cents as in 1914.  A sheep was sold in 1585
at $1.60, a large swine at $5, and pigs at 26 cents apiece.  Pork cost
2 cents a pound; hens sold in England at 12 cents a piece and geese and
ducks for the same; at Wittenberg geese fetched only 6 cents in 1527.
Eggs might have been bought at 2 cents a dozen.

{466} [Sidenote: Groceries]

Wholesale prices of groceries, taken mostly from an English table drawn
up about 1580, were as follows: Oil was $140 the ton, or 55 cents a
gallon; train-oil was just half that price; Newfoundland fish cost then
$2.50 the quintal dry, as against $7.81 in 1913.  Gascon wines (claret)
varied according to quality, from 16 cents to 24 cents a quart.  Salt
fetched $7.50 a ton, which is very close to the price that it was in
1913 ($1.02 per bbl. of 280 lbs.).  Soap was $13 the hundredweight.
Pepper and sugar cost nearly the same, about $70 the hundredweight, or
far higher than they were in 1919, when each cost $11 the
hundredweight.  Spices also cost more in the sixteenth century than
they do now, and rose throughout the century.  By 1580 the wholesale
price per hundredweight was $224 for cloves, the same for nutmegs, $150
for cinnamon, $300 for mace.  Ginger was $90 the hundredweight, and
candles 6.6 cents the lb. as against 7.25 cents now.

[Sidenote: Drygoods]

Drygoods varied immensely in cost.  Raw wool sold in England in 1510
for 4 cents per lb., as against 26 cents just four hundred years later.
Fine cloth sold at $65 "the piece," the length and breadth of which it
is unfortunately impossible to determine accurately.  Different grades
came in different sizes, averaging a yard in width, but from 18 yards
to 47 yards in length, the finer coming in longer rolls.  Sorting
cloths were $45 the piece.  Linen cost 20 cents a yard in 1580; Mary,
Queen of Scots, five years later paid $6.50 the yard for purple velvet
and 28 cents the yard for buckram to line the same.  The coarse clothes
of the poor were cheaper, a workman's suit in France costing $1.80 in
1600, a child's whole wardrobe $3.40, and a soldier's uniform $4.20.
The prices of the poorest women's dresses ranged from $3 to $6 each.
In 1520 Albert Dürer paid in the Netherlands 17 cents for one pair of
shoes, 33 cents for another and 20 cents for a {467} pair of woman's
gloves.  A pair of spectacles cost him 22 cents, a pair of gloves for
himself 38 cents.

[Sidenote: Metals]

Metals were dearer in the sixteenth century than they are now.  Iron
cost $60 a ton in 1580 against $22 a ton in 1913.  Lead fetched $42 the
ton and tin $15 the cwt.  The ratio of gold to silver was about 1 to
11.  The only fuel much used was wood, which was fairly cheap but of
course not nearly as efficient as our coal.

[Sidenote: Interest]

Interest, as the price of money, varied then as it does now in inverse
ratio to the security offered by the debtor, and on the whole within
much the same range that it does now.  The best security was believed
to be that of the German Free Cities, governed as they were by the
commercial class that appreciated the virtue of prompt and honest
payment.  Accordingly, we find that they had no trouble in borrowing at
5 per cent., their bonds taking the form of perpetual annuities, like
the English consols.  So eagerly were these investments sought that
they were apportioned on petition as special favors to the creditors.
The cities of Paris and London also enjoyed high credit.  The national
governments had to pay far higher, owing to their poverty and
dishonesty.  Francis I borrowed at 10 per cent.; Charles V paid higher
in the market of Antwerp, the extreme instance being that of 50 per
cent. per annum.  In 1550 he regularly paid 20 per cent., a ruinous
rate that foreshadowed his bankruptcy and was partly caused by its
forecast.  Until the recent war we were accustomed to think of the
great nations borrowing at 2-4 per cent., but during the war the rate
immensely rose.  Anglo-French bonds, backed by the joint and several
credit of the two nations, sold on the New York Stock Exchange in 1918
at a price that would yield the investor more than 12 per cent., and
City of Paris bonds at a rate of more than 16 per cent.

{468} Commercial paper, or loans advanced by banks to merchants on good
security, of course varied.  The lowest was reached at Genoa where from
time to time merchants secured accommodation at 3 per cent.  The
average in Germany was 6 per cent. and this was made the legal rate by
Brandenburg in 1565.  But usurers, able to take advantage of the
necessities of poor debtors, habitually exacted more, as they do now,
and loans on small mortgages or on pawned articles often ran at 30 per
cent.  On the whole, the rate of interest fell slightly during the

[Sidenote: Real estate]

The price of real estate is more difficult to compare than almost
anything, owing to the individual circumstances of each purchase.  Land
in France sold at rates ranging from $8 to $240 the acre.  Luther
bought a little farm in the country for $340, and a piece of property
in Wittenberg for $500.  After his death, in 1564, the house he lived
in, a large and handsome building formerly the Augustinian Cloister,
fetched $2072.  The house can be seen today[1] and would certainly, one
would think, now bring fifteen times as much.

[Sidenote: Books]

Books were comparatively cheap.  The Greek Testament sold for 48 cents,
a Latin Testament for half that amount, a Latin folio Bible published
in 1532 for $4, Luther's first New Testament at 84 cents.  One might
get a copy of the Pandects for $1.60, of Vergil for 10 cents, a Greek
grammar for 8 cents, Demosthenes and Aeschines in one volume at 20
cents, one of Luther's more important tracts for 30 cents and the
condemnation of him by the universities in a small pamphlet at 6 cents.
One of the things that has gone down most in price since that day is
postage.  Dürer while in the Netherlands paid a messenger 17 cents to
deliver a {469} letter (or several letters?), presumably sent to his
home in Nuremberg.

[Sidenote: Wages]

In accordance with the general rule that wages follow the trend of
prices sluggishly, whether upwards or downwards, there is less change
to be observed in them throughout the sixteenth century than there is
in the prices of commodities.  Subject to government regulation, the
remuneration of all kinds of labor remained nearly stationary while the
cost of living was rising.  Startling is the difference in the rewards
of the various classes, that of the manual laborers being cruelly low,
that of professional men somewhat less in proportion to the cost of
living than it is today, and that of government officers being very
high.  No one except court officials got a salary over $5000 a year,
and some of them got much more.  In 1553 a French chamberlain was paid
$51,000 per annum.

A French navvy received 8 cents a day in 1550, a carpenter as much as
26 cents.  A male domestic was given $7 to $12 a year in addition to
his keep and a woman $5 to $6.  As the number of working days in
Catholic countries was only about 250 a year, workmen made from $65 to
as low as $20.  If anything, labor was worse paid in Germany than it
was in France.  Agricultural labor in England was paid in two scales,
one for summer and one for winter.  It varied from 3 cents to 7 cents a
day, the smaller sum being paid only to men who were also boarded.  In
summer freemasons and master carpenters got from 8 cents to 11 cents
for a terribly long day, in winter 6 cents to 9 cents for a shorter
day.  The following scale was fixed by law in England in 1563: A hired
farmer was to have $10 a year and $2 for livery; a common farm hand was
allowed $8.25 and $1.25 extra for livery; a "mean servant" $6 and $1.25
respectively, a man child {470} $4 and $1; a chief woman cook $5 and
$1.60, a mean or simple woman $3 and $1; a woman child $2.50 and $1.
All were of course boarded and lodged.

The pay of French soldiers under Francis I was for privates $28 a year
in time of war; this fell to $1 a year in time of peace; for captains
$33 a month in time of peace and $66 in time of war.  Captains in the
English navy received $36 a month; common seamen $1.25 a month for
wages and the same allowance for food.

[Sidenote: Pay of clergymen]

The church fared little better than the army.  In Scotland, a poor
country but one in which the clergy were respected, by the law of 1562,
a parson if a single man was given $26 a year, if a married man a
maximum of $78 a year; probably a parsonage was added.  Doubtless many
Protestant ministers eked out their subsistence by fees, as the
Catholic priests certainly did.  Dürer gave 44 cents to a friar who
confessed his wife.  Every baptism, marriage and burial was taxed a
certain amount.  In France one could hire a priest to say a mass at
from 60 cents to $7 in 1500, and at from 30 to 40 cents in 1600.  At
this price it has remained since, a striking instance of religious
conservatism working to the detriment of the priest, for the same money
represents much less in real wages now than it did then.

[Sidenote: Physicians]

Fees for physicians ranged from 33 to 44 cents a visit in Germany about
1520.  Treatment and medicine were far higher.  At Antwerp Dürer paid
$2.20 for a small quantity of medicine for his wife.  Fees were
sometimes given for a whole course of attendance.  In England we hear
of such "cures" paid for at from $3.30 to $5.  Very little, if any,
advice was given free to the poor.  The physicians for the French king
received a salary of $200 a year and other favors.  William Butts,
physician to Henry VIII, had $500 per {471} annum, in addition to a
knighthood; and his salary was increased to over $600 for attending the
Duke of Richmond.

[Sidenote: Teachers]

Teachers in the lower schools were regarded as lackeys and paid
accordingly.  Nicholas Udal, head master of Eton, received $50 per
annum and various small allowances.  University professors were treated
more liberally.  Luther and Melanchthon at Wittenberg got a maximum of
$224 per annum, which was about the same as the stipend of leading
professors in other German universities and at Oxford and Cambridge.
The teacher also got a small honorarium from each student.  When Paul
III restored the Sapienza at Rome he paid a minimum of $17 per annum to
some friars who taught theology and who were cared for by their order,
but he gave high salaries to the professors of rhetoric and medicine.
Ordinarily these received $476 a year, but one professor of the
classics reached the highwater-mark with nearly $800.

[Sidenote: Royalties]

The rewards of literary men were more consistently small in the
sixteenth century than they are now, owing to the absence of effective
copyright.  An author usually received a small sum from the printer to
whom he first offered his manuscript, but his subsequent royalties, if
any, depended solely on the goodwill of the publisher.  A Wittenberg
printer offered Luther $224 per annum for his manuscripts, but the
Reformer declined it, wishing to make his books as cheap as possible.
In 1512 Erasmus got $8.40 from Badius the Parisian printer for a new
edition of his _Adages_.  In fact, the rewards of letters, such as they
were, were indirect, in the form of pensions, gifts and benefices from
the great.  Erasmus got so many of these favors that he lived more than
comfortably.  Luther died almost a rich man, so many _honoraria_ did he
collect from noble admirers.  Rabelais was given a benefice, though
{472} he only lived two years afterwards to enjoy its fruits.  Henry
VIII gave $500 to Thomas Murner for writing against Luther.  But the
lot of the average writer was hard.  Fulsome flattery was the most
lucrative production of the muse.

[Sidenote: Artists]

Artists fared better.  Dürer sold one picture for $375 and another for
$200, not counting the "tip" which his wife asked and received on each
occasion from the patron.  Probably his woodcuts brought him more from
the printers than any single painting, and when he died he left the
then respectable sum of $32,000.  He had been offered a pension of $300
per annum and a house at Antwerp by that city if he would settle there,
but he preferred to return to Nuremberg, where he was pensioned $600 a
year by the emperor.  Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo both received
$129 a month for work done for a prince, and the latter was given a
pension of $5200 a year by Paul III.  Raphael in 1520 left an estate of

[Sidenote: Value of money]

If a comparison of the value of money is made, the final impression
that one gets is that an ounce of gold was in 1563, let us say,
expected to do about ten times as much work as the same weight of
precious metal performed in 1913.[2]  If a few articles were then
actually dearer, they were comparatively unimportant and were balanced
by other articles even more than ten times as cheap.  But a dollar will
buy so many articles now which did not exist in former ages that a
plausible case can be made out for the paradox that money is now worth
more than it ever was before.  If an ounce of gold would in Luther's
time exchange for a much larger quantity of simple necessaries than it
will purchase now, on the other hand a man with an income of $5000 a
year is far better off than a man with the {473} same income, or indeed
with any income, was then.

[Sidenote: Trend of prices]

Notwithstanding the great difficulties of making out any fair index
number representing the cost of living and applicable to long periods,
owing to the fact that articles vary from time to time, as when candles
are replaced by gas and gas by electricity, yet the general trend of
prices can be pretty plainly ascertained.  Generally speaking,
prices--measured in weight of gold and not in coin--sank slowly from
1390 till 1520 under the influence of better technical methods of
production and possibly of the draining of gold and silver to the
Orient.  From 1520 till 1560 prices rose quite slowly on account of the
increased production of gold and silver and its more rapid circulation
by means of better banking.  From 1560 to 1600 prices rose with
enormous rapidity, partly because of the destruction of wealth and
increase in the cost of production following in the wake of the French
and Dutch wars of religion, and still more, perhaps, on account of the
torrent of American silver suddenly poured into the lap of Europe.
Taking the century as a whole, we find that wheat rose the most, as
much as 150 per cent. in England, 200 per cent. in France and 300 per
cent. in Germany.  Other articles rose less, and in some cases remained
stationary, or sank in price.  Money wages rose slowly, far less than
the cost of living.

[Sidenote: Increase in volume of precious metals]

Apart from special circumstances affecting the production of particular
classes of goods, the main cause of the general trend of prices upwards
was probably the increase in the volume of the precious metals.  Just
how great this was, it is impossible to determine, and yet a
calculation can be made, yielding figures near enough the actual to be
of service.  From the middle of the fifteenth century there had been a
considerable increase in the production of silver from German, Bohemian
and Hungarian mines.  Although this {474} increase was much more than
is usually allowed for--equalling, in the opinion of one scholar, the
produce of American mines until nearly the middle of the sixteenth
century--it was only enough to meet the expanding demands of commerce.
Before America entered the market, there was also a considerable import
of gold from Asia and Africa.  The tide of Mexican treasure began to
flood Spain about 1520, but did not reach the other countries in large
quantities until about 1560.  When we consider the general impression
concerning the increase of the currency immediately following the
pillage of the Aztecs and Incas, the following statistics of the
English mint are instructive, if they are not enigmatical.  During the
first fourteen years of Henry VIII (1509-23) the average amount of gold
minted in England was 24,666 troy pounds per annum, and of silver
31,225 troy pounds.  But in the years 1537-40, before the great
debasement of the currency had taken place, the amount of gold coined
fell to 3,297 Troy pounds per annum, and that of silver rose only to
52,974 troy pounds.  As each pound of gold was at that time worth as
much as eleven pounds of silver, this means that the actual amount of
new money put into circulation each year in the latter period was less
than a third of that minted in the earlier years.  The figures also
indicate the growing cheapness of silver, stimulating its import, while
the import of gold was greatly restricted, according to Gresham's law
that cheap money drives out dear.

[Sidenote: Estimates of gold and silver products]

The spoil of Mexico and Peru has frequently been over-estimated, by
none more extravagantly than by the Conquistadores and their
contemporaries.  But the estimates of modern scholars vary enormously.
Lexis believes that the total amount of gold produced by Europe and
America from 1501 to 1550 (the greater part, of course, by America)
amounted to $134,000,000.  {475} F. de Laiglesio, on the other hand,
thinks that not more than $4,320,000 was mined in America before 1555.
The most careful estimate, that made by Professor Haring, arrives at
the following results, [Sidenote: Haring's estimate] the amounts being
given in pesos each worth very nearly the same as our dollar.  Mexican

                                  1521-44      1345-60
  Gold  . . . . . . . . . . . .  5,348,900      343,670
  Silver  . . . . . . . . . . .  4,130,170   22,467,111

For Peru the proportions of gold and silver cannot be separated, but
the totals taken together from 1531-1560 amounted to probably
84,350,600 pesos.  Other small sums came from other parts of the New
World, and the final total for production of gold _and_ silver in
America until 1560 is given at 139,720,000 pesos.  This is a reduction
to 70 per cent. of the estimate of Lexis.  Assuming that the same
correction must be made on all of the estimates given by Lexis we have
the following figures for the world's production of precious metals in
kilogrammes and in dollars:[3]

                           Gold                   Silver
                     Average per annum       Average per annum
                                                  pesos or
                                                   of 25

                 in kilos     in dollars      kilos     grammes
1493-1520 . . .    4270        3,269,000     31,570   1,262,800 1521-44
. . .    4893        3,425,000     52,010   2,080,400 1545-60   . . .
4718        3,302,600    184,730   7,389,200 1561-80   . . .    4718
3,302,600    185,430   7,417,200 1581-1600 . . .    4641
3,268,700    230,480   9,219,200

{476} Combining these figures we see that the production of gold was
pretty steady throughout the century, making a total output of about
$330,000,000.  The production of silver, however, greatly increased
after 1544.  From the beginning of the century to that year it amounted
to $75,285,600; from 1545 to 1600 inclusive it increased to
$450,955,200, making a total output for the century of $526,240,800.
Of course these figures only roughly approximate the truth;
nevertheless they give a correct idea of the general processes at work.
Even for the first half of the century the production of the precious
metals was far in excess of anything that had preceded, and this
output, large as it was, was nearly tripled in the last half of the
century.  These figures, however, are extremely modest compared with
those of recent times, when more gold is mined in a year than was then
mined in a century.  The total amount mined in 1915 was $470,000,000;
in 1917 $428,000,000; for the period 1850 to 1916 inclusive the total
amount mined was $13,678,000,000.

[1] See the photograph in my _Life and Letters of Luther_, p. 364.

[2] No valid comparison can be made for the years after 1913, for in
most nations paper currencies have ousted gold.

[3] These figures are based on those of Sommerlad in the
_Handwörter-buch der Staatswissenschaften_, s.v. "Preis," taken from
Wiebe, who based on Lexis.  Figures quite similar to those of Sommerlad
are given by C. F. Bastable in the _Encyclopaedia Britannica_, s.v.
"Money."  I have incorporated Haring's corrections.


[Sidenote: The monarchies]

For a variety of reasons the sixteenth century was as monarchical in
mind as the twentieth century is democratic.  Immemorial prescription
then had a vigor since lost, and monarchy descended from classical and
biblical antiquity when kings were hedged with a genuine divinity.  The
study of Roman law, with its absolutist maxims, aided in the formation
of royalist sentiment.  The court as the center of fashion attracted a
brilliant society, while the small man satisfied his cravings for
gentility by devouring the court gossip that even then clogged the
presses.  It is probable that one reason why the throne became so
popular was that it was, next to the church, the best advertised {477}
article in the world.  But underlying these sentimental reasons for
loyalty there was a basis of solid utility, predisposing men to support
the scepter as the one power strong enough to overawe the nobles.  One
tyrant was better than many; one lion could do less harm than a pack of
wolves and hyaenas.  In the greater states men felt perfectly helpless
without a king to rule the anarchical chaos into which society would
have dissolved without him.  When the Spanish Communes rebelled against
Charles V they triumphed in the field, but their attempt simply
collapsed in face of their utter inability to solve the problem of
government without a royal governor.  They were as helpless as bees
without a queen.  Indeed, so strong was their instinct to get a royal
head that they tried to preserve themselves by kidnapping Charles's
mother, poor, mad Joanna, to fill the political vacuum that they had
made.  So in the civil wars in France; notwithstanding the more
promising materials for the formation of a republic in that country,
all parties were, in fact, headed by claimants to the throne.

[Sidenote: Councils of State]

Next to the king came the Council of State, composed of princes of the
blood, cardinals, nobles and some officers and secretaries of state,
not always of noble blood but frequently, especially in the cases of
the most powerful of them, scions of the middle class.  What proportion
of the executive power was wielded by the Council depended on the
personal character of the monarch.  Henry VIII was always master;
Elizabeth was more guided than guiding; the Councils of the Valois and
Hapsburgs profited by the preoccupation or the stupidity of their
masters to usurp the royal power for themselves.  In public opinion the
Council occupied a great place, similar to that of an English Cabinet
today.  The first Anglican prayerbook {478} contains petitions for the
Council, though it did not occur to the people to pray for Parliament
until the next century.

The countries were governed no longer by the nobles as such but by
officials appointed by the crown.  It is an indication of the growing
nationalization of policy that the sixteenth century saw the first
establishment of permanent diplomatic agents.  The first ambassadors,
selected largely from a panel of bishops, magistrates, judges and
scholars, were expected to function not only as envoys but also as
spies.  Under them was a host of secret agents expected to do underhand
work and to take the responsibility for it themselves so that, if found
out, they could be repudiated.

[Sidenote: Parliaments]

Very powerful was the national popular assembly: the Parliament, the
Diet, the States General, or the Cortes.  Its functions, prescriptive
and undefined, were commonly understood to include the granting of
taxes.  The assent of the body was also required, to a varying degree,
for the sanction of other laws.  But the real power of the people's
representatives lay in the fact that they were the chief organ for the
expression of that public opinion which in all countries and at all
times it is unsafe for governments to disregard.  Sitting in two or
more chambers to represent the several estates or sometimes--as in the
German Diet--subdivisions of these estates, the representatives were
composed of members of the privileged orders, the clergy and nobility,
and of the elected representatives of the city aristocracies.  The
majority of the population, the poor, were unrepresented.  That this
class had as great a stake in the commonwealth as any other, and that
they had a class consciousness capable of demanding reforms and of
taking energetic measures to secure them, is shown by a number of
rebellions of the proletariat, and yet it is not unfair to them, or
{479} disdainful, to say that on most matters they were too
uninstructed, too powerless and too mute to contribute much to that
body of sentiment called public opinion, one condition of which seems
to be that to exist it must find expression.

[Sidenote: Influence of the Estates General]

The Estates General, by whatever name they were called, supplemented in
France by provincial bodies called Parlements partaking of the nature
of high courts of justice, and in Germany by the local Diets (Landtag)
of the larger states, exercised a very real and in some cases a
decisive influence on public policy.  The monarch of half the world
dared not openly defy the Cortes of Aragon or of Castile; the imperious
Tudors diligently labored to get parliamentary sanction for their
tyrannical acts, and, on the few occasions when they could not do so,
hastened to abandon as gracefully as possible their previous
intentions.  In Germany the power of the Diet was not limited by the
emperor, but by the local governments, though even so it was
considerable.  When a Diet, under skilful manipulation or by
unscrupulous trickery, was induced by the executive to pass an
unpopular measure, like the Edict of Worms, the law became a dead
letter.  In some other instances, notably in its long campaign against
monopolies, even when it expressed the popular voice the Diet failed
because the emperor was supported by the wealthy capitalists.  Only
recently it has been revealed how the Fuggers of Augsburg and their
allies endeavored to manipulate or to frustrate its work in the matter
of government regulation of industry and commerce.

[Sidenote: Public finance]

The finances of most countries were managed corruptly and unwisely.
The taxes were numerous and complicated and bore most heavily on the
poor.  From ordinary taxes in most countries the privileged orders were
exempt, though they were forced to contribute {480} special sums levied
by themselves.  The general property tax (taille) in France yielded
2,400,000 livres tournois in 1517 and 4,600,000 in 1543.  The taxes
were farmed; that is, the right of collecting them was sold at auction,
with the natural result that they were put into the hands of
extortioners who made vast fortunes by oppressing the people.  Revenues
of the royal domain, excises on salt and other articles, import and
export duties, and the sale of offices and monopolies, supplemented the
direct taxes.  The system of taxation varied in each country.  Thus in
Spain the 10 per cent. tax on the price of an article every time it was
sold and the royalty on precious metals--20 per cent. after
1504--proved important sources of revenue.  Rome drove a lucrative
trade in spiritual wares.  Everywhere, fines for transgressions of the
law figured more largely as a source of revenue than they do nowadays.

[Sidenote: Wasteful expenditures]

Expenditures were both more wasteful and more niggardly than they are
today.  Though the service of the public debt was trifling compared
with modern standards, and though the administration of justice was not
expensive because of the fee system, the army and navy cost a good
deal, partly because they were composed largely of well paid
mercenaries.  The personal extravagances of the court were among the
heaviest burdens borne by the people.  The kings built palaces: they
wallowed in cloth of gold; they collected objects of art; they
squandered fortunes on mistresses and minions; they made constant
progresses with a retinue of thousands of servants and horses.  The two
greatest states, France and Spain, both went into bankruptcy in 1557.

[Sidenote: Public order]

The great task of government, that of keeping public order, protecting
life and property and punishing the criminal, was approached by our
forbears with more gusto than success.  The laws were terrible, but
they {481} were unequally executed.  In England among capital crimes
were the following: murder, arson, escape from prison, hunting by night
with painted faces or visors, embezzling property worth more than 40
shillings, carrying horses or mares into Scotland, conjuring,
practising witchcraft, removing landmarks, desertion from the army,
counterfeiting or mutilating coins, cattle-lifting, house-breaking,
picking of pockets.  All these were punished by hanging, but crimes of
special heinousness, such as poisoning, were visited with burning or
boiling to death.  The numerous laws against treason and heresy have
already been described.  Lesser punishments included flogging, pillory,
branding, the stocks, clipping ears, piercing tongues, and imprisonment
in dungeons made purposely as horrible as possible, dark, noisome dens
without furniture or conveniences, often too small for a man to stand
upright or to lie at full length.

[Sidenote: Number of executions]

With such laws it is not surprising that 72,000 men were hanged under
Henry VIII, an average of nearly 2,000 a year.  The number at present,
when the population of England and Wales has swollen to tenfold of what
it was then, is negligible.  Only nine men were hanged in the United
Kingdom in the years 1901-3; about 5,000 are now on the average
annually convicted of felony.  If anything, the punishments were
harsher on the Continent than in Britain.  The only refuge of the
criminal was the greed of his judges.  At Rome it was easy and regular
to pay a price for every crime, and at other places bribery was more or
less prevalent.

[Sidenote: Cruel trial methods]

The methods of trying criminals were as cruel as their punishments.  On
the Continent the presumption was held to be against the accused, and
the rack and its ghastly retinue of instruments of pain were freely
used to procure confession.  Calvin's hard saying that when men felt
the pain they spoke the truth merely {482} expressed the current
delusion, for legislators and judges, their hearts hardened in part by
the example of the church, concurred in his opinion.  The exceptional
protest of Montaigne deserves to be quoted for its humanity: "All that
exceeds simple death is absolute cruelty, nor can our laws expect that
he whom the fear of decapitation or hanging will not restrain should be
awed by imagining the horrors of a slow fire, burning pincers or
breaking on the wheel."

The spirit of the English law was against the use of torture, which,
however, made progress, especially in state trials, under the Tudors.
A man who refused to plead in an English court was subjected to the
_peine forte et dure_, which consisted in piling weights on his chest
until he either spoke or was crushed to death.  To enforce the laws
there was a constabulary in the country, supplemented by the regular
army, and a police force in the cities.  That of Paris consisted of 240
archers, among them twenty-four mounted men.  The inefficiency of some
of the English officers is amusingly caricatured in the persons of
Dogberry and Verges who, when they saw a thief, concluded that he was
no honest man and the less they had to meddle or make with him the more
for their honesty.

[Sidenote: Blue laws]

If, in all that has just been said, it is evident that the legislation
of that period and of our own had the same conception of the function
of government and only differed in method and efficiency, there was one
very large class of laws spread upon the statute-books of medieval
Europe that has almost vanished now.  A paternal statesmanship sought
to regulate the private lives of a citizen in every respect: the
fashion of his clothes, the number of courses at his meals, how many
guests he might have at wedding, dinner or dance, how long he should be
permitted to haunt the tavern, and how much he should drink, how he
{483} should spend Sunday, how he should become engaged, how dance, how
part his hair and with how thick a stick he should be indulged in the
luxury of beating his wife.

The "blue laws," as such regulations on their moral side came to be
called, were no Protestant innovation.  The Lutherans hardly made any
change whatever in this respect, but Calvin did give a new and biting
intensity to the medieval spirit.  His followers, the Puritans, in the
next century, almost succeeded in reducing the staple of a Christian
man's legitimate recreation to "seasonable meditation and prayer."  But
the idea originated long before the evolution of "the non-conformist

The fundamental cause of all this legislation was sheer conservatism.
[Sidenote: Spirit of conservatism]  Primitive men and savages have so
strong a feeling of the sanction of custom that they have, as Bagehot
expresses it, fairly screwed themselves down by their unreasoning
demands for conformity.  A good deal of this spirit has survived
throughout history and far more of it, naturally, was found four
centuries ago than at present, when reason has proved a solvent for so
many social institutions.  There are a good many laws of the period
under survey--such as that of Nuremberg against citizens parting their
hair--for which no discoverable basis can be found save the idea that
new-fangled fashions should not be allowed.

Economic reasons also played their part in the regulation of the habits
of the people.  Thus a law of Edward VI, after a preamble setting forth
that divers kinds of food are indifferent before God, nevertheless
commands all men to eat fish as heretofore on fast days, not as a
religious duty but to encourage fishermen, give them a livelihood and
thus train men for the navy.

A third very strong motive in the mind of the {484} sixteenth-century
statesmen, was that of differentiating the classes of citizens.  The
blue laws, if they may be so called in this case, were secretions of
the blue blood.  To make the vulgar know their places it was essential
to make them dress according to their rank.  The intention of An Act
for the Reformation of excess in Apparel, [Sidenote: Apparel according
to rank] passed by the English Parliament in 1532, was stated to be,

  the necessary repressing and avoiding and expelling of
  the excess daily more used in the sumptuous and costly
  apparel and array accustomably worn in this Realm,
  whereof hath ensued and daily do chance such sundry
  high and notorious detriments of the common weal, the
  subversion of good and politic order in knowledge and
  distinction of people according to their estates,
  pre-eminences, dignities and degrees to the utter
  impoverishment and undoing of many inexpert and light
  persons inclined to pride, mother of all vices.

The tenor of the act prescribes the garb appropriate to the royal
family, to nobles of different degree, to citizens according to their
income, to servants and husbandmen, to the clergy, doctors of divinity,
soldiers, lawyers and players.  Such laws were common in all countries.
A Scotch act provides "that it be lauchful to na wemen to weir
[clothes] abone [above] their estait except howries."  This law was not
only "apprevit" by King James VI, but endorsed with his own royal hand,
"This acte is verray gude."

Excessive fare at feasts was provided against for similar reasons and
with almost equal frequency.  By an English proclamation [Sidenote:
1517] the number of dishes served was to be regulated according to the
rank of the highest person present.  Thus, if a cardinal was guest or
host, there might be nine courses, if a lord of Parliament six, for a
citizen with an income of five hundred pounds a year, three.  Elsewhere
the number of guests at all {485} ordinary functions as well as the
number and price of gifts at weddings, christenings and like occasions,
was prescribed.

[Sidenote: 1526]

Games of chance were frequently forbidden.  Francis I ordered a
lieutenant with twenty archers to visit taverns and gaming houses and
arrest all players of cards, dice and other unlawful games.  This did
not prevent the establishment of a public lottery, [Sidenote: 1539] a
practice justified by alleging the examples of Italian cities in
raising revenue by this means.  Henry III forbade all games of chance
"to minors and other debauched persons," [Sidenote: 1577] and this was
followed six years later by a crushing impost on cards and dice,
interesting as one of the first attempts to suppress the instruments of
vice through the taxing power.  Merry England also had many laws
forbidding "tennis, bowles, dicing and cards," the object being to
encourage the practice of archery.

Tippling was the subject of occasional animadversion by the various
governments, though there seemed to be little sentiment against it
until the opening of the following century.  The regulation of the
number of taverns and of the amount of wine that might be kept in a
gentleman's cellar, as prescribed in an English law, [Sidenote: 1553]
mentions not the moral but the economic aspect of drinking.  The
purchase of French wines was said to drain England of money.

Though the theater also did not suffer much until the time of Cromwell,
plays were forbidden in the precincts of the city of London.  The Book
of Discipline in Scotland forbade attendance at theaters.  [Sidenote:
1574]  Calvin thoroughly disapproved of them, and even Luther
considered them "fools' work" and at times dangerous.

Commendable efforts to suppress the practice of duelling were led by
the Catholic church.  Clement {486} VII forbade it in a bull,
[Sidenote: 1524] confirmed by a decree of Council of Trent.  [Sidenote:
1563] An extraordinarily worded French proclamation of 1566 forbade
"all gentlemen and others to give each other the lie and, if they do
give each other the lie, to fight a duel about it."  Other governments
took the matter up very sluggishly.  Scotland forbade "the great
liberty that sundry persons take in provoking each other to singular
combats upon sudden and frivol occasions," without license from his

Two matters on which the Puritans felt very keenly, [Sidenote: 1551]
blasphemy and Sabbath-breaking, were but scantily looked after in the
century of the Reformation.  Scotland forbade "grievous and abominable
oaths, swearing, execrations and blasphemation," and somewhat similar
laws can be found in other countries.  Scotland was also a pioneer in
forbidding on the Sabbath all work, "gaming, playing, passing to
taverns and ale-houses and wilful remaining away from the parish kirk
in time of sermon."

[Sidenote: Mail]

Government has other functions than the enforcement of the civil and
criminal law.  Almost contemporary with the opening of the century was
the establishment of post offices for the forwarding of letters.  After
Maximilian had made a start in the Netherlands other countries were not
slow to follow his example.  Though under special government
supervision at first these letter-carriers were private men.

[Sidenote: Sanitation]

In the Middle Ages there had been efforts to safeguard public
sanitation.  The sixteenth century did not greatly improve on them.
Thus, Geneva passed a law that garbage and other refuse should not be
allowed to lie in the streets for more than three days in summer or
eight days in winter.  In extreme cases quarantine was adopted as a
precaution against epidemics.

{487} [Sidenote: War]

It is the most heart-breaking or the most absurd fact in human history,
according as the elements involved are focused in a humane or in a
cynical light, that the chief energies of government as well as the
most zealous forces of peoples, have been dedicated since civilization
began to the practice of wholesale homicide.  As we look back from the
experience of the Great War to the conflicts of other times, they seem
to our jaded imaginations almost as childish as they were vicious.  In
the sixteenth century, far more than in the nineteenth, the nations
boiled and bubbled with spleen and jealousy, hurled Thrasonical threats
and hyperbolic boasts in each other's teeth, breathing out mutual
extermination with no compunctious visitings of nature to stay their
hungry swords--but when they came to blows they had not the power of
boys.  The great nations were always fighting but never fought to a
finish.  In the whole century no national capital west of Hungary, save
Rome and Edinburgh, was captured by an enemy.  The real harm was not
done on the battlefield, where the carnage was incredibly small, but in
the raids and looting of town and country by the professional assassins
who filled the ranks of the hireling troops.  Then, indeed, cities were
burned, wealth was plundered and destroyed, men were subjected to
nameless tortures and women to indescribable outrages, and children
were tossed on pikes.  Nor did war seem then to shock the public
conscience, as it has at last succeeded in doing.  The people saw
nothing but dazzling glory in the slaughter of foemen on the stricken
field, in the fanfare of the trumpets and the thunder of the captains
and the shouting.  Soldiers, said Luther, founding his opinion on the
canon law, might be in a state of grace, for war was as necessary as
eating, drinking or any other business.  Statesmen like Machiavelli and
Bacon were keen for the largest armies {488} possible, as the mainstay
of a nation's power.  Only Erasmus was a clear-sighted pacifist, always
declaiming against war and once asserting that he agreed with Cicero in
thinking the most unjust peace preferable to the justest war.
Elsewhere he admitted that wars of self-defence were necessary.

[Sidenote: Arms]

Fire-arms had not fully established their ascendancy in the period of
Frundsberg, or even of Alva.  As late as 1596 an English soldier
lamented that his countrymen neglected the bow for the gun.
Halberdiers with pikes were the core of the army.  Artillery sometimes
inflicted very little damage, as at Flodden, sometimes considerable, as
at Marignano, where, with the French cavalry, it struck down the till
then almost invincible Swiss infantry.  In battle arquebusiers and
musketeers were interspersed with cross-bowmen.  Cannon of a large type
gave way to smaller field-guns; even the idea of the machine-gun
emerged in the fifteenth century.  The name of them, "organs," was
taken from their appearance with numerous barrels from which as many as
fifty bullets could be discharged at a time.  Cannon were transported
to the field on carts.  Rifles were invented by a German in 1520, but
not much used.  Pistols were first manufactured at Pistoia--whence the
name--about 1540.  Bombs were first used in 1588.

The arts of fortification and of siege were improved together, many
ingenious devices being called into being by the technically difficult
war of the Spaniards against the Dutch.  Tactics were not so perfect as
they afterwards became and of strategy there was no consistent theory.
Machiavelli, who wrote on the subject, based his ideas on the practice
of Rome and therefore despised fire-arms and preferred infantry to
cavalry.  Discipline was severe, and needed to be, notwithstanding
which there were sporadic and often very annoying {489} mutinies.
Punishments were terrible, as in civil life.  Blasphemy, cards, dicing,
duelling and women were forbidden in most regular armies, but in time
of war the soldiers were allowed an incredible license in pillaging and
in foraging.  Rings and other decorations were given as rewards of
valor.  Uniforms began first to be introduced in England by Henry VIII.

[Sidenote: Personnel of the armies]

The personnel of the armies was extremely bad.  Not counting the small
number of criminals who were allowed to expiate their misdeeds by
military service, the rank and file consisted of mercenaries who only
too rapidly became criminals under the tutelage of Mars.  There were a
few conscripts, but no universal training such as Machiavelli
recommended.  The officers were nobles or gentlemen who served for the
prestige and glory of the profession of arms, as well as for the good

[Sidenote: Size of armies compared]

But the most striking difference between armies then and now is not in
their armament nor in their quality but in the size.  Great battles
were fought and whole campaigns decided with twenty or thirty thousand
troops.  The French standing army was fixed by the ordinance of 1534 at
seven legions of six thousand men each, besides which were the
mercenaries, the whole amounting to a maximum, under Francis I, of
about 100,000 men.  The English official figures about 1588 gave the
army 90,000 foot soldiers and 9000 horse, but these figures were
grossly exaggerated.  In fact only 22,000 men were serviceable at the
crisis of England's war with Spain.  Other armies were proportionately
small.  The janizaries, whose intervention often decided battles,
numbered in 1520 only 12,000.  They were perhaps the best troops in
Europe, as the Turkish artillery was the most powerful known.  What all
these figures show, in short, is that the phenomenon of nations with
every man physically fit in {490} the army, engaging in a death grapple
until one goes down in complete exhaustion, is a modern development.

[Sidenote: Sea power]

The influence of sea power upon history has become proverbial, if,
indeed, it has not been overestimated since Admiral Mahan first wrote.
It may be pointed out that this influence is far from a constant
factor.  Sea power had a considerable importance in the wars of Greece
and of Rome, but in the Middle Ages it became negligible.  Only with
the opening of the seven seas to navigation was the command of the
waves found to secure the avenues to wealth and colonial expansion.  In
Portugal, Spain, and England, "the blue water school" of mariners
speedily created navies whose strife was apparently more decisive for
the future of history than were the battles of armies on land.

When the trade routes of the Atlantic superseded those of the
Mediterranean in importance, naturally methods of navigation changed,
and this involved a revolution in naval warfare greater than that
caused by steam or by the submarine.  From the time that Helen's beauty
launched a thousand ships until the battle of Lepanto, the oar had been
the chief instrument of locomotion, though supplemented, even from
Homeric times, by the sail.  Naval battles were like those on land; the
enemy keels approached and the soldiers on each strove to board and
master the other's crew.  The only distinctly naval tactic was that of
"ramming," as it was called in a once vivid metaphor.

But the wild winds and boisterous waves of the Atlantic broke the oar
in the galley-slave's hand and the muscles in his back.  Once again man
harnessed the hostile forces of nature; the free breezes were broken to
the yoke and new types of sailing ships were driven at racing speed
across the broad back of the sea.  Swift, yare vessels were built, at
first smaller than the {491} old galleons but infinitely more
manageable.  And the new boats, armed with thunder as they were clad
with wings, no longer sought to sink or capture enemies at close
quarters, but hurled destruction from afar.  Heavy guns took the place
of small weapons and of armed prow.

It was England's genius for the sea that enabled her to master the new
conditions first and most completely and that placed the trident in her
hands so firmly that no enemy has ever been able to wrest it from her.
Henry VIII paid great attention to the navy.  He had fifty-three
vessels with an aggregate of 11,268 tons, an average of 200 tons each,
carrying 1750 soldiers, 1250 sailors and 2085 guns.  Under Elizabeth
the number of vessels had sunk to 42, but the tonnage had risen to
17,055, and the crews numbered 5534 seamen, 804 gunners and 2008
soldiers.  The largest ships of the Tudor navy were of 1000 tons; the
flagship of the Spanish Armada was 1150 tons, carrying 46 guns and 422
men.  How tiny are these figures!  A single cruiser of today has a
larger tonnage than the whole of Elizabeth's fleet; a large submarine
is greater than the monsters of Philip.


Of all the forces making for equality among men probably the education
of the masses by means of cheap books and papers has been the
strongest.  But this force has been slow to ripen; at the close of the
Middle Ages the common man was still helpless.  The old privileged
orders were indeed weakened and despoiled of part of their
prerogatives, but it was chiefly by the rise of a new aristocracy, that
of wealth.

[Sidenote: Nobility]

The decay of feudalism and of ecclesiastical privilege took the form of
a changed and not of an abolished position for peer and priest.  They
were not cashiered, {492} but they were retained on cheaper terms.  The
feudal baron had been a petty king; his descendant had the option of
becoming either a highwayman or a courtier.  As the former alternative
became less and less rewarding, the greater part of the old nobles
abandoned their pretensions to independence and found a congenial
sphere as satellities of a monarch, "le roi soleil," as a typical king
was aptly called, whose beams they reflected and around whom they

As titles of nobility began now to be quite commonly given to men of
wealth and also to politicians, the old blood was renewed at the
expense of the ancient pride.  Not, indeed, that the latter showed any
signs of diminishing.  The arrogance of the noble was past all
toleration.  Men of rank treated the common citizens like dirt beneath
their feet, and even regarded artists and other geniuses as menials.
Alphonso, duke of Ferrara, wrote to Raphael in terms that no king would
now use to a photographer, calling him a liar and chiding him for
disrespect to his superior.  The same duke required Ariosto to
prostitute his genius by writing an apology for a fratricide committed
by his grace.  The duke of Mayenne poniarded one of his most devoted
followers for having aspired to the hand of the duke's widowed
daughter-in-law.  So difficult was it to conceive of a "gentleman"
without gentle blood that Castiglione, the arbiter of manners, lays
down as the first prerequisite to a perfect courtier that he shall be
of high birth.  And of course those who had not this advantage
pretended to it.  An Italian in London noticed in 1557 that all
gentlemen without other title insisted on being called "mister."

[Sidenote: Professions]

One sign of the break-up of the old medieval castes was the new
classification of men by calling, or profession.  It is true that two
of the professions, the {493} higher offices in army and church, became
apanages of the nobility, and the other liberal vocations were almost
as completely monopolized by the children of the moneyed middle class;
nevertheless it is significant that there were new roads by which men
might rise.  No class has profited more by the evolution of ideas than
has the intelligentsia.  From a subordinate, semi-menial position,
lawyers, physicians, educators and journalists, not to mention artists
and writers, have become the leading, almost the ruling, body of our
western democracies.

[Sidenote: Clergy]

Half way between a medieval estate and a modern calling stood the
clergy.  In Catholic countries they remained very numerous; there were
136 episcopal or archiepiscopal sees in France; there were 40,000
parish priests, with an equal number of secular clergy in subordinate
positions, 24,000 canons, 34,000 friars, 2500 Jesuits (in 1600), 12,000
monks and 80,000 nuns.  Though there were doubtless many worthy men
among them, it cannot honestly be said that the average were fitted
either morally or intellectually for their positions.  Grossly ignorant
of the meaning of the Latin in which they recited their masses and of
the main articles of their faith, many priests made up for these
defects by proficiency in a variety of superstitious charms.  The
public was accustomed to see nuns dancing at bridals and priests
haunting taverns and worse resorts.  Some attempts, serious and
partially successful, at reform, have been already described.  Profane
and amatory plays were forbidden in nunneries, bullfights were banished
from the Vatican and the dangers of the confessional were diminished by
the invention of the closed box in which the priest should sit and hear
his penitent through a small aperture instead of having her kneeling at
his knees.  So depraved was public opinion on the subject of the
confession that a {494} prolonged controversy took place in Spain as to
whether minor acts of impurity perpetrated by the priest while
confessing women were permissible or not.

[Sidenote: Conditions of the Protestant clergy]

Neither was the average Protestant clergyman a shining and a burning
light.  So little was the calling regarded that it was hard to fill it.
At one time a third of the parishes of England were said to lack
incumbents.  The stipends were wretched; the social position obscure.
The wives of the new clergy had an especially hard lot, being regarded
by the people as little better than concubines, and by Parliament
called "necessary evils."  The English government had to issue
injunctions in 1559 stating that because of the offence that has come
from the type of women commonly selected as helpmates by parsons, no
manner of priest or deacon should presume to marry without consent of
the bishop, of the girl's parents, "or of her master or mistress where
she serveth."  Many clergymen, nevertheless, afterwards married

Very little was done to secure a properly trained ministry.  Less than
half of the 2000 clergymen ordained at Wittenberg from 1537-60 were
university men; the majority were drapers, tailors and cobblers,
"common idiots and laymen" as they were called--though the word "idiot"
did not have quite the same disparaging sense that it has now.  Nor
were the reverend gentlemen of unusually high character.  As nothing
was demanded of them but purity of doctrine, purity of life sank into
the background.  It is really amazing to see how an acquaintance of
Luther's succeeded in getting one church after he had been dismissed
from another on well-founded charges of seduction, and how he was
thereafter convicted of rape.  This was perhaps an extreme case, but
that the majority of clergymen were morally unworthy is the {495}
melancholy conviction borne in by contemporary records.

[Sidenote: Character of sermons]

Sermons were long, doctrinal and political.  Cranmer advised Latimer
not to preach more than an hour and a half lest the king grow weary.
How the popular preacher--in this case a Catholic--appealed to his
audience, is worth quoting from a sermon delivered at Landau in 1550.

  The Lutherans [began the reverend gentleman] are
  opposed to the worship of Mary and the saints.  Now, my
  friends, be good enough to listen to me.  The soul of a
  man who had died got to the door of heaven and Peter
  shut it in his face.  Luckily, the Mother of God was
  taking a stroll outside with her sweet Son.  The deceased
  addresses her and reminds her of the Paters and Aves he
  has recited in her glory and the candles he has burnt
  before her images.  Thereupon Mary says to Jesus: "It's
  the honest truth, my Son."  The Lord, however, objected
  and addressed the suppliant: "Hast thou never heard
  that I am the way and the door to life everlasting?" he
  asks.  "If thou art the door, I am the window," retorted
  Mary, taking the "soul" by the hair and flinging it
  through the open casement.  And now I ask you whether
  it is not the same whether you enter Paradise by the door
  or by the window?

There was a naïve familiarity with sacred things in our ancestors that
cannot be imitated.  Who would now name a ship "Jesus," as Hawkins's
buccaneering slaver was named?  What serious clergyman would now
compare three of his friends to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,
as did Luther?  The Reformer also wrote a satire on the calling of a
council, in the form of a letter from the Holy Ghost signed by Gabriel
as notary and witnessed by Michael the Provost of Paradise and Raphael,
God's Court Physician.  At another time he made a lampoon on the
collection of {496} relics made by his enemy the Archbishop of Mayence,
stating that they contained such things as "a fair piece of Moses' left
horn, a whole pound of the wind that blew for Elijah in the cave on
Mount Horeb and two feathers and an egg of the Holy Ghost" as a dove.
All this, of course, not in ribald profanity, but in works intended for
edification. . . .

[Sidenote: The city]

Though beautiful, the city of our ancestors was far from admirable in
other ways.  Filth was hidden under its comely garments, so that it
resembled a Cossack prince--all ermine and vermin.  Its narrow streets,
huddled between strong walls, were over-run with pigs and chickens and
filled with refuse.  They were often ill-paved, flooded with mud and
slush in winter.  Moreover they were dark and dangerous at night,
infested with princes and young nobles on a spree and with other

[Sidenote: The house]

Like the exterior, the interior of the house of a substantial citizen
was more pretty than clean or sweet smelling.  The high wainscoting and
the furniture, in various styles, but frequently resembling what is now
known as "mission," was lovely, as were the ornaments--tapestries,
clocks, pictures and flowers.  But the place of carpets was supplied by
rushes renewed from time to time without disturbing the underlying mass
of rubbish beneath.  Windows were fewer than they are now, and fires
still fewer.  Sometimes there was an open hearth, sometimes a huge tile
stove.  Most houses had only one or two rooms heated, sometimes, as in
the case of the Augustinian friary at Wittenberg, only the bathroom,
but usually also the living room.

[Sidenote: Dress]

The dress of the people was far more various and picturesque than
nowadays.  Both sexes dressed in gaudy colors and delighted in strange
fashions, so that, {497} is Roger Ascham said, "he thought himself most
brave that was most monstrous in misorder."  For women the fashion of
decolleté was just coming in, as so many fashions do, from the
demi-monde.  To Catharine de' Medici is attributed the invention of the
corset, an atrocity to be excused only by her own urgent need of one.

[Sidenote: Food]

The day began at five in summer and at seven in winter.  A heavy
breakfast was followed by a heavier dinner at ten, and supper at five,
and there were between times two or three other tiffins or "drinkings."
The staple food was meat and cereal; very few of our vegetables were
known, though some were just beginning to be cultivated.  [Sidenote:
1585-6]  The most valuable article of food introduced from the new
world was the potato.  Another importation that did not become
thoroughly acclimatized in Europe was the turkey.  Even now they are
rare, but there are several interesting allusions to them in the
literature of that time, one of the year 1533 in Luther's table talk.
Poultry of other sorts was common, as were eggs, game and fish.  The
cooking relied for its highest effects on sugar and spices.  The
ordinary fruits--apples, cherries and oranges--furnished a wholesome
and pleasing variety to the table.  Knives and spoons were used in
eating, but forks were unknown, at least in northern Europe.

[Sidenote: Drink]

All the victuals were washed down with copious potations.  A
water-drinker, like Sir Thomas More, was the rarest of exceptions.  The
poor drank chiefly beer and ale; the mildest sort, known as "small
beer," was recommended to the man suffering from too strong drink of
the night before.  Wine was more prized, and there were a number of
varieties.  There being no champagne, Burgundy was held in high esteem,
as were some of the strong, sweet, Spanish and Portuguese {498} wines.
The most harmless drinks were claret and Rhine wine.  There were some
"mixed drinks," such as sack or hippocras, in which beer or wine was
sophisticated with eggs, spices and sugar.  The quantities habitually
drunk were large.  Roger Ascham records that Charles V drank the best
he ever saw, never less than a quart at a draft.  The breakfast table
of an English nobleman was set out with a quart of wine and a quart of
beer, liquor then taking the place of tea, coffee, chocolate and all
the "soft" beverages that now furnish stimulation and sociability.

[Sidenote: Tobacco, 1573]

"In these times," wrote Harrison, "the taking-in of the smoke of an
Indian herb called 'Tobaco' by an instrument formed like a little ladle
. . . is greatly taken up and used in England against rewmes [colds]
and some other diseases."  Like other drugs, tobacco soon came to be
used as a narcotic for its own sake, and was presently celebrated as
"divine tobacco" and "our holy herb nicotian" by the poets.  What,
indeed, are smoking, drinking, and other wooings of pure sensation at
the sacrifice of power and reason, but a sort of pragmatized poetry?
Some ages, and those the most poetical, like that of Pericles and that
of Rabelais, have deified intoxication and sensuality; others, markedly
our own, have preferred the accumulation of wealth and knowledge to
sensual indulgence.  It is a psychological contrast of importance.

Could we be suddenly transported on Mr. Wells's time machine four
hundred years back we should be less struck by what our ancestors had
than by what they lacked.  Quills took the place of fountain pens,
pencils, typewriters and dictaphones.  Not only was postage dearer but
there were no telephones or telegrams to supplement it.  The world's
news of yesterday, which we imbibe with our morning cup, then sifted
down slowly through various media of {499} communication, mostly oral.
It was two months after the battle before Philip of Spain knew the fate
of his own Armada.  The houses had no steam heat, no elevators; the
busy housewife was aided by no vacuum cleaner, sewing machine and gas
ranges; the business man could not ride to his office, nor the farmer
to his market, in automobiles.  There were neither railways nor
steamships to make travel rapid and luxurious.

[Sidenote: Travel]

Nevertheless, journeys for purposes of piety, pleasure and business
were common.  Pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Rome, Compostella, Loretto,
Walsingham and many other shrines were frequent in Catholic countries.
Students were perpetually wandering from one university to another:
merchants were on the road, and gentlemen felt the attractions of
sight-seeing.  The cheap and common mode of locomotion was on foot.
Boats on the rivers and horses on land furnished the alternatives.  The
roads were so poor that the horses were sometimes "almost shipwrecked."
The trip from Worms to Rome commonly took twelve days, but could be
made in seven.  Xavier's voyage from Lisbon to Goa took thirteen
months.  Inns were good in France and England; less pleasant elsewhere.
Erasmus particularly abominated the German inns, where a large living
and dining room would be heated to a high temperature by a stove around
which travelers would dry their steaming garments.  The smells caused
by those operations, together with the fleas and mice with which the
poorer inns were infested, made the stay anything but luxurious.  Any
complaint was met by the retort, "If you don't like it, go somewhere
else," a usually impracticable alternative.  When the traveller was
escorted to his bedroom, he found it very cold in winter, though the
featherbeds kept him warm enough.  He would see his chamber filled with
other beds occupied by his travelling companions of both {500} sexes,
and he himself was often forced to share his bed with a stranger.  The
custom of the time was to take one bath a week.  For this there were
public bath-houses, [Sidenote: Baths] frequented by both sexes.  A
common form of entertainment was the "bath-party."

[Sidenote: Sports]

With the same insatiable gusto that they displayed in other matters the
contemporaries of Luther and Shakespeare went in for amusements.  Never
has the theater been more popular.  Many sports, like bear-baiting and
bull-baiting, were cruel.  Hunting was also much relished, though
humane men like Luther and More protested against the "silly and woeful
beastes' slaughter and murder."  Tennis was so popular that there were
250 courts in Paris alone.  The game was different from the modern in
that the courts were 121 feet long, instead of 78 feet, and the wooden
balls and "bats"--as racquets are still called in England--were much
harder.  Cards and dice were passionately played, a game called
"triumph" or "trump" being the ancestor of our whist.  Chess was played
nearly as now.

Young people loved dances and some older people shook their heads over
them, then as now.  Melanchthon danced, at the age of forty-four, and
Luther approved of such parties, properly chaperoned, as a means of
bringing young people together.  On the other hand dances were
regulated in many states and prohibited in others, like Zurich and
Geneva.  Some of the dances were quite stately, like the minuet, others
were boisterous romps, in which the girls were kissed, embraced and
whirled around giddily by their partners.  The Scotch ambassador's
comment that Queen Elizabeth "danced very high" gives an impression of
agility that would hardly now be considered in the best taste.

[Sidenote: Manners]

The veneer of courtesy was thin.  True, humanists, {501} publicists and
authors composed for each other eulogies that would have been
hyperboles if addressed to the morning stars singing at the dawn of
creation, but once a quarrel had been started among the touchy race of
writers and a spouting geyser of inconceivable scurrility burst forth.
No imagery was too nasty, no epithet too strong, no charge too base to
bring against an opponent.  The heroic examples of Greek and Roman
invective paled before the inexhaustible resources of learned
billingsgate stored in the minds of the humanists and theologians.  To
accuse an enemy of atheism and heresy was a matter of course; to add
charges of unnatural vice or, if he were dead, stories of suicide and
of the devils hovering greedily over his deathbed, was extremely
common.  Even crowned heads exchanged similar amenities.

Withal, there was growing up a strong appreciation of the merits of
courtesy.  Was not Bayard, the captain in the army of Francis I a
"knight without fear and without reproach"?  Did not Sir Philip Sidney
do one of the perfect deeds of gentleness when, dying on the battle
field and tortured with thirst, he passed his cup of water to a common
soldier with the simple words, "Thy need is greater than mine"?  One of
the most justly famous and most popular books of the sixteenth century
was Baldessare Castiglione's _Book of the Courtier_, called by Dr.
Johnson the best treatise on good breeding ever written.  Published in
Italian in 1528, it was translated into Spanish in 1534, into French in
1537, into English and Latin in 1561, and finally into German in 1566.
There have been of it more than 140 editions.  It sets forth an ideal
of a Prince Charming, a man of noble birth, expert in games and in war,
brave, modest, unaffected, witty, an elegant speaker, a good dancer,
familiar with literature and accomplished in music, as well as a man of
honor {502} and courtesy.  It is significant that this ideal appealed
to the time, though it must be confessed it was rarely reached.
Ariosto, to whom the first book was dedicated by the author, depicts,
as his ideals, knights in whom the sense of honor has completely
replaced all Christian virtues.  They were always fighting each other
about their loves, much like the bulls, lions, rams and dogs to whom
the poet continually compares them.  Even the women were hardly safe in
their company.

Sometimes a brief anecdote will stamp a character as no long
description will do.  The following are typical of the manners of our

One winter morning a stately matron was ascending the steps of the
church of St. Gudule at Brussels.  They were covered with ice; she
slipped and took a precipitate and involuntary seat.  In the anguish of
the moment, a single word, of mere obscenity, escaped her lips.  When
the laughing bystanders, among whom was Erasmus, helped her to her
feet, she beat a hasty retreat, crimson with shame.  Nowadays ladies do
not have such a vocabulary at their tongue's end.

The Spanish ambassador Enriquez de Toledo was at Rome calling on
Imperia de Cugnatis, a lady who, though of the demi-monde, lived like a
princess, cultivated letters and art, and had many poets as well as
many nobles among her friends.  Her floors were carpeted with velvet
rugs, her walls hung with golden cloth, and her tables loaded with
costly bric-a-brac.  The Spanish courtier suddenly turned and spat
copiously in the face of his lackey and then explained to the slightly
startled company that he chose this objective rather than soil the
splendor he saw around him.  The disgusting act passed for a delicate
and successful flattery.

[Sidenote: 1538]

Among the students at Wittenberg was a certain Simon Lemchen, or
Lemnius, a lewd fellow of the baser {503} sort who published two
volumes of scurrilous epigrams bringing unfounded and nasty charges
against Luther, Melanchthon and the other Reformers and their wives.
When he fled the city before he could be arrested, Luther revenged
himself partly by a Catilinarian sermon, partly by composing, for
circulation among his friends, some verses about Lemnius in which the
scurrility and obscenity of the offending youth were well over-trumped.
One would be surprised at similar measures taken by a professor of
divinity today.

[Sidenote: Morals]

In measuring the morals of a given epoch statistics are not applicable;
or, at any rate, it is probably true that the general impression one
gets of the moral tone of any period is more trustworthy than would be
got from carefully compiled figures.  And that one does get such an
impression, and a very strong one, is undeniable.  Everyone has in his
mind a more or less distinct idea of the ethical standards of ancient
Athens, of Rome, of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Puritan
Commonwealth, the Restoration, the Victorian Age.

The sixteenth century was a time when morals were perhaps not much
worse than they are now, but when vice and crime were more flaunted and
talked about.  Puritanism and prudery have nowadays done their best to
conceal the corruption and indecency beneath the surface.  But our
ancestors had no such delicacy.  The naïve frankness of the age, both
when it gloried in the flesh and when it reproved sin, gives a
full-blooded complexion to that time that is lacking now.  The large
average consumption of alcohol--a certain irritant to moral
maladies--and the unequal administration of justice, with laws at once
savage and corruptly dispensed, must have had bad consequences.

The Reformation had no permanent discernible {504} effect on moral
standards.  Accompanied as it often was with a temporary zeal for
righteousness, it was too often followed by a breaking up of
conventional standards and an emphasis on dogma at the expense of
character, that operated badly.  Latimer thought that the English
Reformation had been followed by a wave of wickedness.  Luther said
that when the devil of the papacy had been driven out, seven other
devils entered to take its place, and that at Wittenberg a man was
considered quite a saint who could say that he had not broken the first
commandment, but only the other nine.  Much of this complaint must be
set down to disappointment at not reaching perfection, and over against
it may be set many testimonies to the moral benefits assured by the

[Sidenote: Violence]

It was an age of violence.  Murder was common everywhere.  On the
slightest provocation a man of spirit was expected to whip out a rapier
or dagger and plunge it into his insulter.  The murder of unfaithful
wives was an especial point of honor.  Benvenuto Cellini boasts of
several assassinations and numerous assaults, and he himself got off
without a scratch from the law, Pope Paul III graciously protesting
that "men unique in their profession, like Benvenuto, were not subject
to the laws."  The number of unique men must have been large in the
Holy City, for in 1497 a citizen testified that he had seen more than a
hundred bodies of persons foully done to death thrown into the Tiber,
and no one bothered about it.

[Sidenote: Brigandage]

Brigandage stalked unabashed through the whole of Europe.  By 1585 the
number of bandits in the papal states alone had risen to 27,000.
Sixtus V took energetic means to repress them.  One of his stratagems
is too characteristic to omit mentioning.  He had a train of mules
loaded with poisoned food and then {505} drove them along a road he
knew to be infested by highwaymen, who, as he had calculated, actually
took them and ate of the food, of which many died.

Other countries were perhaps less scourged by robbers, but none was
free.  Erasmus's praise of Henry VIII, in 1519, for having cleared his
realm of free-booters, was premature.  In the wilder parts, especially
on the Scotch border, they were still rife.  In 1529 the Armstrongs of
Lidderdale, just over the border, could boast that they had burned 52
churches, besides making heavy depredations on private property.  When
James V took stern measures to suppress them, [Sidenote: 1532] and
instituted a College of Justice for that purpose, the good law was

Bands of old soldiers and new recruits wandered through France, Spain
and the Netherlands.  The worst robbers in Germany were the free
knights.  From their picturesque castles they emerged to pillage
peaceful villages and trains of merchandise going from one walled city
to another.  In doing so they inflicted wanton mutilations on the
unfortunate merchants whom they regarded as their natural prey.  Even
the greatest of them, like Francis von Sickingen, were not ashamed to
"let their horses bite off travellers' purses" now and then.  But it
was not only the nobles who became gentlemen of the road.  A well-to-do
merchant of Berlin, named John Kohlhase, was robbed of a couple of
horses by a Saxon squire, and, failing to get redress in the corrupt
courts, threw down the gauntlet to the whole of Electoral Saxony in a
proclamation that he would rob, burn and take reprisals until he was
given compensation for his loss.  For six years [Sidenote: 1534-40] he
maintained himself as a highwayman, but was finally taken and executed
in Brandenburg.

[Sidenote: Fraud]

Fraud of all descriptions was not less rampant than force.  When
Machiavelli reduced to a reasoned {506} theory the practice of all
hypocrisy and guile, the courts of Europe were only too ready to listen
to his advice.  In fact, they carried their mutual attempts at
deception to a point that was not only harmful to themselves, but
ridiculous, making it a principle to violate oaths and to debase the
currency of good faith in every possible way.  There was also much
untruth in private life.  Unfortunately, lying in the interests of
piety was justified by Luther, while the Jesuits made a soul-rotting
art of equivocation.

[Sidenote: Unchastity]

The standard of sexual purity was disturbed by a reaction against the
asceticism of the Middle Ages.  Luther proclaimed that chastity was
impossible, while the humanists gloried in the flesh.  Public opinion
was not scandalized by prostitution; learned men occasionally debated
whether fornication was a sin, and the Italians now began to call a
harlot a "courteous woman" [Sidenote: c. 1500] (courtesan) as they
called an assassin a "brave man" (bravo).  Augustine had said that
harlots were remedies against worse things, and the church had not only
winked at brothels, but frequently licensed them herself.  Bastardy was
no bar to hereditary right in Italy.

The Reformers tried to make a clean sweep of the "social evil."  Under
Luther's direction brothels were closed in the reformed cities.  When
this was done at Strassburg the women drew up a petition, stating that
they had pursued their profession not from liking but only to earn
bread, and asked for honest work.  Serious attempts were made to give
it to them, or to get them husbands.  At Zurich and some other cities
the brothels were left open, but were put under the supervision of an
officer who was to see that no married men frequented them.  The
reformers had a strange ally in the growing fear of venereal diseases.
Other countries followed Germany in their war on the prostitute.  In
London the public houses of ill fame {507} were closed in 1546, in
Paris in 1560.  An edict of July 23, 1566 commanded all prostitutes to
leave Rome, but when 25,000 persons, including the women and their
dependents, left the city, the loss of public revenue induced the pope
to allow them to return on August 17 of the same year.

[Sidenote: Polygamy]

One of the striking aberrations of the sixteenth century, as it seems
to us, was the persistent advocacy of polygamy as, if not desirable in
itself, at least preferable to divorce.  Divorce or annulment of
marriage was not hard to obtain by people of influence, whether
Catholic or Protestant, but it was a more difficult matter than it is
in America now.  In Scotland there was indeed a sort of trial marriage,
known as "handfasting," by which the parties might live together for a
year and a day and then continue as married or separate.  But,
beginning with Luther, many of the Reformers thought polygamy less
wrong than divorce, on the biblical ground that whereas the former had
been practised in the Old Testament times and was not clearly forbidden
by the New Testament, divorce was prohibited save for adultery.  Luther
advanced this thesis as early as 1520, when it was purely theoretical,
but he did not shrink from applying it on occasion.  It is
extraordinary what a large body of reputable opinion was prepared to
tolerate polygamy, at least in exceptional cases.  Popes, theologians,
humanists like Erasmus, and philosophers like Bruno, all thought a
plurality of wives a natural condition.

[Sidenote: Marriage]

But all the while the instincts of the masses were sounder in this
respect than the precepts of their guides.  While polygamy remained a
freakish and exceptional practice, the passions of the age were
absorbed to a high degree by monogamous marriage.  Matrimony having
been just restored to its proper dignity as the best estate for man,
its praises were {508} sounded highly.  The church, indeed, remained
true to her preference for celibacy, but the Inquisition found much
business in suppressing the then common opinion that marriage was
better than virginity.  To the Reformers marriage was not only the
necessary condition of happiness to mankind, but the typically holy
estate in which God's service could best be done.  From all sides
paeans arose celebrating matrimony as the true remedy for sin and also
as the happiest estate.  The delights of wedded love are celebrated
equally in Luther's table talk and letters and in the poems of the
Italian humanist Pontano.  "I have always been of the opinion," writes
Ariosto, "that without a wife at his side no man can attain perfect
goodness or live without sin."  "In marriage there is one mind in two
bodies," says Henry Cornelius Agrippa, "one harmony, the same sorrows,
the same joys, an identical will, common riches, poverty and honors,
the same bed and the same table. . . .  Only a husband and wife can
love each other infinitely and serve each other as long as both do
live, for no love is either so vehement or so holy as theirs."

The passion for marriage in itself is witnessed by the practice of
widows and widowers of remarrying as soon and as often as possible.
[Sidenote: Remarriage common]  Luther's friend, Justus Jonas, married
thrice, each time with a remark to the effect that it was better to
marry than to burn.  The English Bishop Richard Cox excused his second
marriage, at an advanced age, by an absurd letter lamenting that he had
not the gift of chastity.  Willibrandis Rosenblatt married in
succession Louis Keller, Oecolampadius, Capito and Bucer, the
ecclesiastical eminence of her last three husbands giving her, one
would think, an almost official position.  Sir Thomas More married a
second wife just one month after his first wife's death.

{509} [Sidenote: Treatment of wives]

Sad to relate, the wives so necessary to men's happiness were
frequently ill treated after they were won.  In the sixteenth century
women were still treated as minors; if married they could make no will;
their husbands could beat them with impunity, for cruelty was no cause
for divorce.  Sir Thomas More's home-life is lauded by Erasmus as a
very paragon, because "he got more compliance from his wife by jokes
and blandishments than most husbands by imperious harshness."  One of
these jokes, a customary one, was that his wife was neither pretty nor
young; one of the "blandishments," I suppose, was an epigram by Sir
Thomas to the effect that though a wife was a heavy burden she might be
useful if she would die and leave her husband money.  In Utopia, he
assures us, husbands chastise their wives.

[Sidenote: Position of woman]

In the position of women various currents crossed each other.  The old
horror of the temptress, inherited from the early church, the lofty
scorn exhibited by the Greek philosophers, mingled with strands of
chivalry and a still newer appreciation of the real dignity of woman
and of her equal powers.  Ariosto treated women like spoiled children;
the humanists delighted to rake up the old jibes at them in musty
authors; the divines were hardest of all in their judgment.  "Nature
doth paint them forth," says John Knox of women, "to be weak, frail,
impatient, feeble and foolish, and experience hath declared them to be
unconstant, variable, cruel and void of the spirit of council and
regimen."  "If women bear children until they become sick and
eventually die," preaches Luther, "that does no harm.  Let them bear
children till they die of it; that is what they are for."  In 1595 the
question was debated at Wittenberg as to whether women were human
beings.  The general tone was one of disparagement.  An anthology might
be made of the {510} proverbs recommending (à la Nietzsche) the whip as
the best treatment for the sex.

But withal there was a certain chivalry that revolted against all this
brutality.  Castiglione champions courtesy and kindness to women on the
highest and most beautiful ground, the spiritual value of woman's love.
Ariosto sings:

  No doubt they are accurst and past all grace
  That dare to strike a damsel in the face,
  Or of her head to minish but a hair.

Certain works like T. Elyot's _Defence of Good Women_ and like
Cornelius Agrippa's _Nobility and Excellence of the Female Sex_,
witness a genuine appreciation of woman's worth.  Some critics have
seen in the last named work a paradox, like the _Praise of Folly_, such
as was dear to the humanists.  To me it seems absolutely sincere, even
when it goes so far as to proclaim that woman is as superior to man as
man is to beast and to celebrate her as the last and supreme work of
the creation.

[Sidenote: Children]

The family was far larger, on the average, in the sixteenth century
than it is now.  One can hardly think of any man in this generation
with as many as a dozen children; it is possible to mention several of
that time with over twenty.  Anthony Koberger, the famous Nuremberg
printer had twenty-five children, eight by his first and seventeen by
his second wife.  Albert Dürer was the third of eighteen children of
the same couple, of whom apparently only three reached maturity.  John
Colet, born in 1467, was the eldest of twenty-two brothers and sisters
of whom by 1499 he was the only survivor.  Of course these families
were exceptional, but not glaringly so.  A brood of six to twelve was a
very common occurrence.

Children were brought up harshly in many families, {511} strictly in
almost all.  They were not expected to sit in the presence of their
parents, unless asked, or to speak unless spoken to.  They must needs
bow and crave a blessing twice a day.  Lady Jane Grey complained that
if she did not do everything as perfectly as God made the world, she
was bitterly taunted and presently so nipped and pinched by her noble
parents that she thought herself in hell.  The rod was much resorted
to.  And yet there was a good deal of natural affection.  Few fathers
have even been better to their babies than was Luther, and he humanely
advised others to rely as much on reward as on punishment--on the apple
as on the switch--and above all not to chastise the little ones so
harshly as to make them fear or hate their parents.

The _patria potestas_ was supposed to extend, as it did in Rome, during
the adult as during the callow years.  Especially did public opinion
insist on children marrying according to the wishes of their parents.
Among the nobility child-marriage was common, a mere form, of course,
not at once followed by cohabitation.  A betrothal was a very solemn
thing, amounting to a definite contract.  Perfect liberty was allowed
the engaged couple, by law in Sweden and by custom in many other
countries.  All the more necessary, in the opinion of the time, to
prevent youths and maidens betrothing themselves without their parents'

[Sidenote: Health]

Probably the standard of health is now higher than it was then, and the
average longevity greater.  It is true that few epidemics have ever
been more fatal than the recent influenza; and on the other hand one
can point to plenty of examples of sixteenth-century men who reached a
crude and green old age.  Statistics were then few and unreliable.  In
1905 the death-rate in London was 15.6 per thousand; in the years
1861-1880 it averaged 23 per thousand.  It has been {512} calculated
that this is just what the death-rate was in London in a healthy year
under Elizabeth, but it must be remembered that a year without some
sort of epidemic was almost exceptional.

[Sidenote: Epidemics]

Bubonic plague was pandemic at that time, and horribly fatal.  Many of
the figures given--as that 200,000 people perished in Moscow in 1570,
50,000 at Lyons in 1572, and 50,000 at Venice during the years 1575-7,
must be gross exaggerations, but they give a vivid idea of the popular
idea of the prevalent mortality.  Another scourge was the sweating
sickness, first noticed as epidemic in 1485 and returning in 1507,
1517, 1528 and 1551.  Tuberculosis was probably as wide-spread in the
sixteenth as it is in the twentieth century, but it figured less
prominently on account of worse diseases and because it was seldom
recognized until the last stages.  Smallpox was common, unchecked as it
was by vaccination, and with it were confounded a variety of zymotic
diseases, such as measles, which only began to be recognized as
different in the course of the sixteenth century.  One disease almost
characteristic of former ages, so much more prevalent was it in them,
due to the more unwholesome food and drink, was the stone.

Venereal diseases became so prominent in the sixteenth century that it
has often been thought that the syphilis was imported from America.
This, however, has been denied by authorities who believe that it came
down from classical antiquity, but that it was not differentiated from
other scourges.  The Latin name variola, like the English pox, was
applied indiscriminately to syphilis, small-pox, chicken-pox, etc.
Gonorrhea was also common.  The spread of these diseases was assisted
by many causes besides the prevalent moral looseness; by lack of
cleanliness in public baths, for example.

{513} Useless to go through the whole roster of the plagues.  Suffice
it to say that whatever now torments poor mortals, from tooth-ache to
cold in the head, and from rheumatism to lunacy, was known to our
ancestors in aggravated forms.  Deleterious was the use of alcohol, the
evils of which were so little understood that it was actually
prescribed for many disorders of which it is a certain irritant.  Add
to this the lack of sanitary measures, not only of disinfection but of
common cleanliness, and the etiology of the phenomena is satisfactorily
accounted for.

[Sidenote: Medicine]

If even now medicine as a science and an art seems backward compared
with surgery, it has nevertheless made considerable advances since it
began to be empirical.  In the Middle Ages it was almost purely
dogmatic; men did not ask their eyes and minds what was the nature of
the human body and the effect of this or that drug on it, they asked
Aristotle, or Hippocrates, or Galen or Avicenna.  The chief rivalries,
and they were bitter, were between the Greek and the Arabian schools.
[Sidenote: c. 1550]  Galenism finally triumphed just before the
beginnings of experiment and research were made.  The greatest name in
the first half of the century was that of Theophrastus Paracelsus,
[Sidenote: Paracelsus, 1493-1541] as arrant a quack as ever lived, but
one who did something to break up the strangle-hold of tradition.  He
worked out his system _a priori_ from a fantastic postulate of the
parallelism between man and the universe, the microcosm and the
macrocosm.  He held that the Bible gave valuable prescriptions, as in
the treatment of wounds by oil and wine.

[Sidenote: Surgery]

Under the leadership of Ambroise Paré [Sidenote: Paré, 1510-90] surgery
improved rather more than medicine.  Without anaesthetics, indeed,
operations were difficult, but a good deal was accomplished.  Paré
first made amputation on a large scale possible by inventing a ligature
for {514} large arteries that effectively controlled hemorrhage.  This
barber's apprentice, who despised the schools and wrote in the
vernacular, made other important improvements in the surgeon's
technique.  It is noteworthy that each discovery was treated as a trade
secret to be exploited for the benefit of a few practitioners and not
given freely to the good of mankind.

In obstetrics Paré also made discoveries that need not be detailed
here.  Until his time it was almost universal for women to be attended
in childbirth only by midwives of their own sex.  Indeed, so strong was
the prejudice on this point that women were known to die of abdominal
tumors rather than allow male physicians to examine them.  The
admission of men to the profession of midwife marked a considerable
improvement in method.

[Sidenote: Lunacy]

The treatment of lunacy was inept.  The poor patients were whipped or
otherwise tormented for alluding to the subject of their monomania.
Our ancestors found fun in watching the antics of crazed minds, and
made up parties to go to Bedlams and tease the insane.  Indeed, some of
the scenes in Shakespeare's plays, in which madness is depicted, and
which seem tragic to us, probably had a comic value for the groundlings
before whom the plays were first produced.

[Sidenote: Hospitals]

As early as 1510 Luther saw one of the hospitals at Florence.  He tells
how beautiful they were, how clean and well served by honorable matrons
tending the poor freely all day without making known their names and at
night returning home.  Such institutions were the glory of Italy, for
they were sadly to seek in other lands.  When they were finally
established elsewhere, they were too often left to the care of ignorant
and evil menials.  The stories one may read of the Hôtel-Dieu, at
Paris, are fairly hair-raising.





[Sidenote: Reformation and economic revolution]

Parallel with the Reformation was taking place an economic revolution
even deeper and more enduring in its consequences.  Both Reformation
and Revolution were manifestations of the individualistic spirit of the
age; the substitution, in the latter case, of private enterprise and
competition for common effort as a method of producing wealth and of
distributing it.  Both were prepared for long before they actually
upset the existing order; both have taken several centuries to unfold
their full consequences, and in each the truly decisive steps were
taken in the sixteenth century.

It is doubtless incorrect to see either in the Reformation or in the
economic revolution a direct and simple cause of the other.  They
interacted and to a certain extent joined forces; but to a greater
degree each sought to use the other, and each has at times been
credited, or blamed, with the results of the other's operations.
Contemporaries noticed the effects, mostly the bad effects, of the rise
of capitalism, and often mistakenly attributed them to the Reformation;
and the new kings of commerce were only too ready to hide behind the
mask of Protestantism while despoiling the church.  Like other
historical forces, while easily separable in thought, the two movements
were usually inextricably interwoven in action.

[Sidenote: Rise of capitalism]

Capitalism supplanted gild-production because of its fitness as a
social instrument for the production and {516} storing of wealth.  In
competition with capital the medieval communism succumbed in one line
of business after another--in banking, in trade, in mining, in industry
and finally in agriculture--because it was unable to produce the
results that capital produced.  By the vast reward that the newer
system gave to individual enterprise, to technical improvement and to
investment, capitalism proved the aptest tool for the creation and
preservation of wealth ever devised.  It is true that the manifold
multiplication of riches in the last four centuries is due primarily to
inventions for the exploitation of natural resources, but the
capitalistic method is ideally fitted for the utilization of these new
discoveries and for laying up of their increment for ultimate social
use.  And this is an inestimable service to any society.  Only a fairly
rich people can afford the luxuries of beauty, knowledge, and power,
that enhance the value of life and allow it to climb to ever greater
heights.  To balance this service, it must be taken into account that
capitalism has lamentably failed justly to distribute rewards.  Its
tendency is to intercept the greater part of the wealth it creates for
the benefit of a single class, and thereby to rob the rest of the
community of their due dividend.

[Sidenote: Primary cause of the capitalistic revolution]

So delicate is the adjustment of society that an apparently trivial new
factor will often upset the whole equilibrium and produce the most
incalculable results.  Thus, the primary cause of the capitalistic
revolution appears to have been a purely mechanical one, the increase
in the production of the precious metals.  Wealth could not be stored
at all in the Middle Ages save in the form of specie; nor without it
could large commerce be developed, nor large industry financed, nor was
investment possible.  Moreover the rise of prices consequent on the
increase of the precious metals gave a powerful stimulus to manufacture
and a {517} fillip to the merchant and to the entrepreneur such as they
have rarely received before or since.  It was, in short, the
development of the power of money that gave rise to the money power.

In the earlier Middle Ages there prevailed a "natural economy," or
system in which payments were made chiefly in the form of services and
by barter; this gave place very gradually to our modern "money economy"
in which gold and silver are both the normal standards of value and the
sole instruments of exchange.  Already in the twelfth century money was
being used in the towns of Western Europe; not until the late
fourteenth or fifteenth did it become a dominant factor in rural life.
This change was not the great revolution itself, but was the
indispensable prerequisite of it, and in large part its direct cause.

[Sidenote: Money-making kings]

Gold and silver could now be hoarded in the form of money, and so the
first step was taken in the formation of large fortunes, known to the
ancient world, but almost absent in the Middle Ages.  The first great
fortunes were made by kings, by nobles with large landed estates, and
by officers in government service.  Henry VII left a large fortune to
his son.  Some of the popes and some of the princes of Germany and
Italy hoarded money even when they were paying interest on a debt,--a
testimony to the increasing estimate of the value of hard cash.  The
chief nobles were scarcely behind the kings in accumulating treasure.
Their vast revenues from land were much more like government imposts
than like rents.  Thus Montmorency in France gave his daughter a dowry
amounting to $420,000.  The duke of Gandia in Spain owned estates
peopled by 60,000 Moriscos and yielding a princely revenue.  Vast
ransoms were exacted in war, and fines, confiscation and pillage filled
the coffers of the lords.  After the atrocious war against the
Moriscos, the duke of {518} Lerma sold their houses on his estates for
500,000 ducats.

[Sidenote: Officials]

In the monarchies of Europe the only avenue to wealth at first open to
private men was the government service.  Offices, benefices, naval and
military commands, were bought with the expectation, often justified,
of making money out of them.  The farmed revenues yielded immense
profit to the collectors.  No small fortunes were reaped by Empson and
Dudley, the tools of Henry VII, but they were far surpassed by the
hoards of Wolsey and of Cromwell.  Such was the great fortune made in
France by Semblançay, the son of a plain merchant of Tours, who turned
the offices of treasurer and superintendent of finances to such good
account that he bought himself large estates and baronies.  Fortunes on
a proportionately smaller scale were made by the servants of the German
princes, as by John Schenitz, a minion of the Archbishop Elector Albert
of Mayence.  So insecure was the tenure of riches accumulated in royal
or princely service that most of the men who did so, including all
those mentioned in this paragraph, ended on the scaffold, save, indeed,
Wolsey, who would have done so had he not died while awaiting trial.

It is to be noted that, though land was the principal form of wealth in
the Middle Ages, no great fortunes were made from it at the beginning
of the capitalistic era, save by the titled holders of enormous
domains.  The small landlords suffered at the expense of the burghers
in Germany, and not until these burghers turned to the country and
bought up landed estates did agriculture become thoroughly profitable.

[Sidenote: Banking]

The intimate connection of government and capitalism is demonstrated by
the fact that, next to officials, government concessionaires and
bankers were the first to make great fortunes.  At this time banking
was {519} closely dependent on public loans and was therefore the first
great business to be established on the capitalistic basis.  The first
"trust" was the money trust.  Though banking had been well started in
the Middle Ages, it was still in an imperfect state of development.
Jews and goldsmiths made a considerable number of commercial loans but
these loans were always regarded by the borrower as temporary
expedients; the habitual conduct of business on borrowed capital was
unknown.  But, just as the new output of the German mines was
increasing the supply of precious metals, the greater costliness of
war, due to the substitution of mercenaries and fire-arms for feudal
levies equipped with bows and pikes, made the governments of Europe
need money more than ever before.  They made great loans at home and
abroad, and it was the interest on these that expanded the banking
business until it became an international power.  Well before the
sixteenth century men had made a fine art of receiving deposits,
loaning capital and performing other financial operations, but it was
not until the late fifteenth century that the bankers reaped the full
reward of their skill and of the new opportunities.  The three balls in
the arms of the Medici testify to the heights to which a profession,
once humble, might raise its experts.  In Italy the science of
accounting, [Sidenote: Science of accounting] or of double-entry
bookkeeping, originated; it was slowly adopted in other lands.  The
first English work on the subject is that by John Gouge in 1543,
entitled: "A Profitable Treatyce called the Instrument or Boke to learn
to know the good order of the keeping of the famouse reconnynge, called
in Latin, Dare et Habere, and, in Englyshe, Debitor and Creditor."  It
was in Italy that modern technique of clearing bills was developed; the
simple system by which balances are settled not by full payment of each
debt in money, but by comparing {520} the paper certificates of
indebtedness.  This immense saving, as developed by the Genoese, was
soon extended from their own city to the whole of Northern Italy, so
that the bankers would meet several times a year in the first
international clearing-house.  From Genoa the same system was then
applied to distant cities, with great profit, even more in security
than in saving of capital.  If bills payable at Antwerp were bought at
Genoa, they were paid at Antwerp by selling bills on Lisbon, perhaps,
and these in turn by selling exchange on Genoa.  These processes seem
simple and are now universal, but how vastly they facilitated the
development of banking and business when first discovered can hardly be

From the improvement of exchange the Genoese soon proceeded to
arbitrage, a transaction more profitable and more socially useful at
that time when poor communications made the differences in prices
between bills of exchange, bullion, coins, stocks and bonds in distant
markets more considerable than they are now.  The Genoese bankers also
invented the first substitutes for money in the form of circulating
notes.  In all this, and in other ways, they made enormous profits that
soon induced others to copy them.

[Sidenote: Great firms]

Though the Italians invented modern banking they were eventually
surpassed by the Germans, if not in technique at least in the size of
the firms established.  The largest Florentine bank in 1529 was that of
Thomas Guadegni with a capital of 520,000 florins ($1,170,000).  The
capital of the house of Fugger at Augsburg, distinct from the personal
fortunes of its members, was in 1546, 4,700,000 gold gulden
($11,500,000).  The average annual profits of the Fuggers during the
years 1511-27 were 54.5 per cent.; from 1534-6, 2.2 per cent.; from
1540-46, 19 per cent.; from 1547-53, 5.6 per cent.  Another Augsburg
firm, the Welsers, averaged 9 per {521} cent. for the fifteen years
1502-17.  Dividends were not declared annually, but a general casting
up of accounts was made every few years and a new balance struck, each
partner withdrawing as much as he wished, or leaving it to be credited
to his account as new capital.

[Sidenote: Risks of banking]

Though the Fuggers and other firms soon went into large business of all
sorts, they remained primarily bankers.  As such they enjoyed boundless
credit with the public from whom they received deposits at regular
interest.  The proportion of these deposits to the capital continually
rose.  This general tendency, together with the habit of changing the
amount of capital every few years, is evident from the following table
of the liabilities of the Fuggers in gold gulden at several different

  Year                   Capital      Deposits
  1527 . . . . . . .   2,000,000       290,000
  1536 . . . . . . .   1,500,000       900,000
  1546 . . . . . . .   4,700,000     1,300,000
  1563 . . . . . . .   2,000,000     3,100,000
  1577 . . . . . . .   1,300,000     4,000,000

A smaller Augsburg firm, the Haugs, had in 1560, a capital of 140,000
florins and deposits of 648,000.  As all these deposits were subject to
be withdrawn at sight, and as the firms usually kept a very small
reserve of specie, it would seem that banking was subject to great
risks.  The unsoundness of the method was counterbalanced by the fact
that most of the deposits were made by members of the banker's family,
or by friends, who harbored a strong sentiment against embarrassing the
bank by withdrawing at inconvenient seasons.  Doubtless the almost
uniformly profitable career of most firms for many years concealed many

The crash came finally as the result of the bankruptcy {522} of the
Spanish and French governments.  [Sidenote: Bankruptcy of France and
Spain, 1557]  Spain's repudiation of her debt was partial, taking the
form of consolidation and conversion; France, however, simply stopped
all payments of interest and amortization.  Many banks throughout
Europe failed, and drew down with them their creditors.  The years
1557-64 saw the first of these characteristically modern phenomena,
international financial crises.  There were hard times everywhere.
Other states followed the example of the French and Spanish
governments, England constituting the fortunate exception.  Recovery
followed at length, however, and speculation boomed; but a second
Spanish state bankruptcy [Sidenote: 1575] brought on another crisis,
and there was a third, following the defeat of the Armada.  The failure
of many of the great private companies was followed by the institution
of state banks.  The first to be erected was the Banco di Rialto in
Venice.  [Sidenote: 1587]

The banks were the agencies for the spread of the capitalistic system
to other fields.  The great firms either bought up, or obtained as
concessions from some government, the natural resources requisite for
the production of wealth.  One of the very first things seized by them
were the mines.  [Sidenote: Mining]  Indeed, the profitable
exploitation of the German mines especially dates from their
acquisition by the Fuggers and other bankers late in the fifteenth
century.  Partly by the development of new methods of refining ore, but
chiefly by driving large numbers of laborers to their maximum effort,
the new mine-owners increased the production of metal almost at a
bound, and thereby poured untold wealth into their own coffers.  The
total value of metals produced in Germany in 1525 amounted to
$4,800,000 per annum, and employed over 100,000 men.  Until 1545 the
German production of silver was greater than the American, and copper
was almost as valuable {523} a product.  Notwithstanding its increased
production, its value doubled between 1527 and 1557.  The shares in
these great companies were, like the "Fugger letters," or certificates
of interest-bearing deposits in banks, assignable and were actively
traded in on various bourses.  Each share was a certificate of
partnership which then carried with it unlimited liability for the
debts of the company.  One of the favorite speculative issues was found
in the shares of the Mansfeld Copper Co., established in 1524 with a
capital of 70,000 gulden, which was increased to 120,000 gulden in 1528.

[Sidenote: Commerce]

Whereas, in banking and in mining, capital had almost created the
opportunities for its employment, in commerce it partly supplanted the
older system and partly entered into new paths.  In the Middle Ages
domestic, and to some extent international, commerce was carried on by
fairs adapted to bring producer and consumer together and hence reduce
the functions of middleman to the narrowest limits.  Such was the
annual fair at Stourbridge; such the famous bookmart at
Frankfort-on-the-Main, and such were the fairs in Lyons, Antwerp, and
many other cities.  Only in the larger towns was a market perpetually
open.  Foreign commerce was also carried on by companies formed on the
analogy of the medieval gilds.

New conditions called for fresh means of meeting them.  The great
change in sea-borne trade effected by the discovery of the new routes
to India and America, was not so much in the quantity of goods carried
as in the paths by which they traveled.  The commerce of the two inland
seas, the Mediterranean and the Baltic, relatively declined, while that
of the Atlantic seaboard grew by leaps and bounds.  New and large
companies came into existence, formed on the joint-stock principle.
Over them the various governments exercised a large control, giving
them a semi-political character.

{524} [Sidenote: Portugal]

As Portugal was the first to tap the wealth of the gorgeous East, into
her lap fell the stream of gold from that quarter.  The secret of her
windfall was the small bulk and enormous value of her cargoes.  From
Malabar she fetched pepper and ginger, from Ceylon cinnamon and pearls,
from Bengal opium, the only known conqueror of pain, and with it
frankincense and indigo.  Borneo supplied camphor, Amboyna nutmegs and
mace, and two small islands, Temote and Tidor, offered cloves.  These
products sold for forty times as much in London or in Antwerp as they
cost in the Orient.  No wonder that wealth came in a gale of perfume to
Lisbon.  The cost of the ship and of the voyage, averaging two years
from departure to return, was $20,000, and any ship might bring back a
cargo worth $750,000.  But the risks were great.  Of the 104 ships that
sailed from 1497-1506 only 72 returned.  In the following century of
about 800 Portuguese vessels engaged in the India trade nearly
one-eighth were lost.  Even the risk of loss in sailing from Lisbon to
the ports of northern Europe was appreciable.  The king of Portugal
insured ships on a voyage from Lisbon to Antwerp for a premium of six
per cent.

[Sidenote: Spain]

Spain found the path towards the setting sun as golden as Portugal had
found the reflection of his rising beams.  At her height she had a
thousand merchant galleons.  The chief imports were the precious
metals, but they were not the only ones.  Cochineal, selling at $370 a
hundredweight in London, surpassed in value any spice from Celebes.
Dye-wood, ebony, some drugs, nuts and a few other articles richly
repaid importation.  There was also a very considerable export trade.
Cadiz and Seville sent to the Indies annually 2,240,000 gallons of
wine, with quantities of oil, clothes and other necessities.  Many
ships, not {525} only Spanish but Portuguese and English, were weighted
with human flesh from Africa as heavily as Christian with his black
load of sin, and in the case of Portugal, at least, the load almost
sent its bearer to the City of Destruction.

But Spanish keels made other wakes than westward.  To Flanders oil and
wool were sent to be exchanged for manufactured wares, tapestries and
books.  Italy asked hides and dyes in return for her brocades, pearls
and linen.  The undoubtedly great extent of Spanish commerce even in
places where it had no monopoly, is all the more remarkable in that it
was at the first burdened by what in the end choked it, government
regulation.  Cadiz had the best harbor, but Seville was favored by the
king; even ships allowed to unload at Cadiz could do so only on
condition that their cargoes be transported directly to Seville.  A
particularly crushing tax was the alcabala, or 10 per cent. impost on
all sales.  Other import duties, royalties on metals, excise on food,
monopolies, and petty regulations finally handicapped Spain's merchants
so effectually that they fell behind those of other countries in the
race for supremacy.

[Sidenote: France]

As the mariners of the Iberian peninsula drooped under the shackles of
unwise laws, hardy sailors sprang into their places.  Neither of the
other Latin nations, however, was able to do so.  The once proud
supremacy of Venice and of Genoa was gone; the former sank as Lisbon
rose and the latter, who held her own at least as a money market until
1540, was about that time surpassed, though she was never wholly
superseded, by Antwerp.  Italy exported wheat, flax, woad and other
products, but chiefly by land routes or in foreign keels.  Nor was
France able to take any great part in maritime trade.  Content with the
freight brought her by other nations, she sent out few {526}
expeditions, and those few, like that of James Cartier, had no present
result either in commerce or in colonies.  Her greatest mart was Lyons,
the fairs there being carefully fostered by the kings and being
naturally favored by the growth of manufacture, while the maritime
harbors either declined or at least gained nothing.  For a few years La
Rochelle battened on religious piracy, but that was all.

[Sidenote: Germany]

In no country is the struggle for existence between the medieval and
the modern commercial methods plainer than in Germany.  The trade of
the Hanse towns failed to grow, partly for the reason that their
merchants had not command of the fluid wealth that raised to
pre-eminence the southern cities.  There were, indeed, other causes for
the decline of the Hanseatic Baltic trade.  The discovery of new
routes, especially the opening of Archangel on the White Sea,
short-circuited the current that had previously flowed through the
Kattegat and the Skager Rak.  Moreover, the development of both
wheat-growing and of commerce in the Netherlands and in England proved
disastrous to the Hanse.  The shores of the Baltic had at one time been
the granary of Europe, but they suffered somewhat by the greater yield
of the more intensive agriculture introduced at that time elsewhere.
Even then their export continued to be considerable, though diverted
from the northern to the southern ports of Europe.  In 1563, for
example, 6630 loads of grain were exported from Königsberg, and in 1573
7730 loads.

The Hanse towns lost their English trade in competition with the new
companies there formed.  A bitter diplomatic struggle was carried on by
Henry VIII.  The privileges to the Germans of the Steelyard confirmed
and extended by him were abridged by his son, partly restored by Mary
and again taken {527} away by Elizabeth.  The emperor, in agreement
with the cities' senates, started retaliatory measures against English
merchants, endeavoring to assure the Hanse towns that they should at
least "continue the ancient concord of their dear native country and
the good Dutches that now presently inhabit it."  He therefore ordered
English merchants banished, against which Elizabeth protested.

While the North of Germany was suffering from its failure to adapt
itself to new conditions, a power was rising in the South capable of
levying tribute not only from the whole Empire but from the habitable
earth.  Among the merchant princes who, in Augsburg, in Nuremberg, in
Strassburg, placed on their own brows the golden crown of riches, the
Fuggers were both typical and supreme.  James Fugger "the Rich,"
[Sidenote: James Fugger, 1459-1525] springing from a family already
opulent, was one of those geniuses of finance that turn everything
touched into gold.  He carried on a large banking business, he loaned
money to emperors and princes, he bought up mines and fitted out
fleets, he re-organized great industries, he speculated in politics and
religion.  For the princes of the empire he farmed taxes; for the pope
he sold indulgences at a 33 1/3 per cent. commission, and collected
annates and other dues.  In Hungary, in Spain, in Italy, in the New
World, his agents were delving for money and skilfully diverting it
into his coffers.  He was also a pillar of the church and a
philanthropist, founding a library at Augsburg and building model
tenements for poor workers.  He became the incarnation of a new Great
Power, that of international finance.  A contemporary chronicler says:
"emperors, kings, princes and governors have sent ambassage unto him;
the pope hath greeted him as his beloved son and hath embraced him;
cardinals have risen before him. . . .  He hath become the glory {528}
of the whole German land."  His sons, Raymond, Anthony and Jerome, were
raised by Charles V to the rank and privileges of counts, bannerets and

Throughout the century corporations became less and less family
partnerships and more and more impersonal or "soulless."  They were
semi-public, semi-private affairs, resting on special charters and
actively promoted, not only in Germany but in England and other
countries, by the emperor, king, or territorial prince.  On the other
hand the capital was largely subscribed by private business men and the
direction of the companies' affairs was left in their hands.  Liability
was unlimited.

[Sidenote: Monopolies]

In their methods many of the sixteenth century corporations were
surprisingly "modern."  Monopolies, corners, trusts and agreements to
keep up prices flourished, notwithstanding constant legislation against
them, as that against secret schedules of prices passed by the Diet of
Nuremberg.  [Sidenote: 1522-33]  Particularly noteworthy were the
number of agreements to create a monopoly price in metals.  [Sidenote:
1524]  Thus a ring of German mine-owners was formed artificially to
raise the price of silver, a measure defended publicly on the ground
that it enriched Germany at the expense of the foreigner.  Another
example was the formation of a tinning company under the patronage of
Duke George of Saxony.  [Sidenote: 1518]  It proposed agreements with
its Bohemian rivals to fix the price of tin, [Sidenote: 1549] but these
usually failed even after a monopoly of Bohemian tin had been granted
by Ferdinand to Conrad Mayr of Augsburg.

[Sidenote: Corners]

The immense difficulty of cornering any of the larger articles of
commerce was not so well appreciated in the earlier time as it is now.
Nothing is more instructive than the history of the mercury "trusts" of
those years.  [Sidenote: 1523]  When the competing companies owning
mines at Idria in Carniola amalgamated for the purpose of {529}
enhancing the price of quicksilver, the attempt broke down by reason of
the Spanish mines.  Accordingly, one Ambrose Höchstetter of Augsburg
[Sidenote: 1528] conceived the ambitious project of cornering the whole
supply of the world.  As has happened so often since, the higher price
brought forth a much larger quantity of the article than had been
reckoned with, the so-called "invisible supply"; the corner broke down
and Höchstetter failed with enormous liabilities of 800,000 gulden, and
died in prison.  The crash shook the financial world, but was
nevertheless followed by still better planned and better financed
efforts of the Fuggers to put the whole quicksilver product of the
world into an international trust.  These final attempts were more or
less successful.  Another ambitious scheme, which failed, was that of
Conrad Rott of Augsburg [Sidenote: 1570 ff.] to get a monopoly of
pepper.  He agreed to buy six hundred tons of pepper from the king of
Portugal one year and one thousand tons the next, at the rate of 680
ducats the ton, but even this failed to give him the desired monopoly.

[Sidenote: Regulation of monopolies]

Just as in our own memory the trusts have aroused popular hatred and
have brought down on their heads many attempts, usually unsuccessful,
of governments to deal with them, so at the beginning of the
capitalistic era, intense unpopularity was the lot of the new
commercial methods and their exponents.  Monopolies were fiercely
denounced in the contemporary German tracts and every Diet made some
effort to deal with them.  First of all the merchants had to meet not
only the envy and prejudices of the old order, but the positive
teachings of the church.  The prohibition of usury, and the doctrine
that every article had a just or natural price, barred the road of the
early entrepreneur.  Aquinas believed that no one should be allowed to
make more money than he needed and that profits on {530} commerce
should be scaled down to such a point that they would give only a
reasonable return.  This idea was shared by Catholic and Protestant
alike in the first years of the Reformation; it can be found in Geiler
of Kaiserberg and in Luther.  In the Reformer's influential tract, _To
the German Nobility_, [Sidenote: 1520] usury and "Fuggerei" are
denounced as the greatest misfortunes of Germany.  Ulrich von Hutten
said that of the four classes of robbers, free-booting knights,
lawyers, priests and merchants, the merchants were the worst.

The imperial Diets reflected popular opinion faithfully enough to try
their best to bridle the great companies.  The Diet of Trèves-Cologne
[Sidenote: 1512] asked that monopolies and artificial enhancement of
the prices of spice, copper and woolen cloth be prohibited.  To effect
this acts were passed intended to insure competition.  [Sidenote: 1523]
This law against monopolies, however, was not vigorously enforced until
the Imperial Treasurer cited before his tribunal many merchants of
Augsburg accused of violating it.  The panic-stricken offenders
feverishly hastened to make interest with the princes and city
magistrates.  But their main support was the emperor, who intervened
energetically in their favor.  From this time the bankers and great
merchants labored hard at each Diet to place the control of monopolies
in the hands of the monarch.  In return for his constant support he was
made a large sharer in the profits of the great houses.

In the struggle with the Diets, at last the capitalists were thoroughly
successful.  The Imperial Council of Regency passed an epoch-making
ordinance, [Sidenote: 1525] kept secret for fear of the people,
expressly allowing merchants to sell at the highest prices they could
get and recognizing certain monopolies said to be in the national
interest as against other countries, and justified for the wages they
provided for labor.  About this {531} time, for some reason, the
agitation gradually died down.  It is probable that the religious
controversy took the public's mind off economic questions and the
Peasant's War, like all unsuccessful but dangerous risings of the poor,
was followed by a strong reaction in favor of the conservative rich.
Moreover, it is evident that the currents of the time were too strong
to be resisted by the feeble methods proposed by the reformers.  When
we remember that the chief practical measure recommended by Luther was
the total prohibition of trading in spices and other foreign wares that
took money out of the country, it is easy to see that the regulation of
a complex industry was beyond the scope of his ability.  And little, if
any, enlightenment came from other quarters.

[Sidenote: The Netherlands]

While the towns of southern Germany were becoming the world's banking
and industrial centers, the cities of the Netherlands became its chief
staple ports.  For generations Antwerp had had two fairs a year, but in
1484 it started a perpetual market, open to all merchants, even to
foreigners, the whole year round, and in addition to this it increased
its fairs to four.  Later a new Merchants' Exchange or Bourse was built
[Sidenote: 1531] in which almost all the transactions now seen on our
stock or produce exchanges took place.  There was wild speculation,
partly on borrowed money, especially in pepper, the price of which
furnished a sort of barometer of bourse feeling.  Bets on prices and on
events were made, and from this practice various forms of insurance
took their rise.

[Sidenote: Antwerp]

The discovery of the new world brought an era of prosperity to Antwerp
that doubtless put her at the head of all commercial cities until the
Spanish sword cut her down.  In 1560 there were commonly 2500 ships
anchored in her harbor, as against 500 at Amsterdam, her chief rival
and eventual heir.  Of these not {532} uncommonly as many as 500 sailed
in one day, and, it is said, 12,000 carriages came in daily, 2000 with
passengers and 10,000 with wares.  Even if these statements are
considerable exaggerations, a reliable account of the exports in the
single year 1560 shows the real greatness of the town.  The total
imports in that year amounted to 31,870,000 gulden ($17,848,000),
divided as follows: Italian silks, satins and ornaments 6,000,000
gulden; German dimities 1,200,000; German wines 3,000,000; Northern
wheat 3,360,000; French wine 2,000,000; French dyes 600,000; French
salt 360,000; Spanish wool 1,250,000; Spanish wine 1,600,000;
Portuguese spices 2,000,000; English wool 500,000; English cloth
10,000,000.  The last named article indicates the decay of Flemish
weaving due to English competition.  For a time there had been war to
the knife with English merchants, following the great commercial treaty
popularly called the _Malus Intercursus_.  [Sidenote: 1506]  According
to the theory then held that one nation's loss was another's gain,
[Sidenote: Commercial policy] this treaty was considered a masterpiece
of policy in England and the foundation of her commercial greatness.
It and its predecessor, the _Magnus Intercursus_, [Sidenote: 1496]
marked the new policy, characteristic of modern times, that made
commercial advantages a chief object of diplomacy and of legislation.
Protective tariffs were enacted, the export of gold and silver
prohibited, and sumptuary laws passed to encourage domestic industries.
The policy as to export varied throughout the century and according to
the article.  The value of ships was highly appreciated.  Sir Walter
Raleigh opined that command of the sea meant command of the world's
riches and ultimately of the world itself.  Sir Humphrey Gilbert drew
up a report advocating the acquisition of colonies as means of
providing markets for home products.  So little were the rights of the
natives {533} considered that Sir Humphrey stated that the savages
would be amply rewarded for all that could be taken from them by the
inestimable gift of Christianity.

[Sidenote: Buccaneering]

As little regard was shown for the property of Catholics as for that of
heathens.  Merry England drew her dividends from slave-trading and from
buccaneering as well as from honest exchange of goods.  There is
something fascinating about the career of a man like Sir John Hawking
whose character was as infamous as his daring was serviceable.  He
early learned that "negroes were very good merchandise in Hispaniola
and that they might easily be had upon the coast of Guinea," and so,
financed by the British aristocracy and blessed by Protestant patriots,
he chartered the _Jesus of Lübeck_ and went burning, stealing and
body-snatching in West African villages, crowded his hold full of
blacks and sold those of them who survived at $800 a head in the
Indies.  Quite fittingly he received as a crest "a demi-Moor, proper,
in chains."  He then went preying on the Spanish galleons, and at one
time swindled Philip out of $200,000 by pretending to be a traitor and
a renegade; thus he rose from slaver to pirate and from pirate to

[Sidenote: English commerce]

So pious, patriotic and profitable a business as buccaneering absorbed
a greater portion of England's energies than did ordinary maritime
commerce.  A list of all ships engaged in foreign trade in 1572 shows
that they amounted to an aggregate of only 51,000 tons burden, less
than that of a single steamer of the largest size today.  The largest
ship that could reach London was of 240 tons, but some twice as large
anchored at other harbors.  Throughout the century trade multiplied,
that of London, which profited the most, ten-fold.  If the customs'
dues furnish an accurate barometer for the volume of trade, while
London was increasing the other ports were falling behind not only
{534} relatively but positively.  In the years 1506-9 London yielded to
the treasury $60,000 and other ports $75,000; in 1581-2 London paid
$175,000 and other ports only $25,000.

As she grew in size and wealth London, like Antwerp, felt the need of
permanent fairs.  From the continental city Sir Thomas Gresham, the
English financial agent in the Netherlands, brought architect and
materials [Sidenote: 1568] and erected the Royal Exchange on the north
side of Cornhill in London, where the same institution stands today.
Built by Gresham at his own expense, it was lined by a hundred small
shops rented by him.  As the new was rung in, the old passed away.  The
ancient restrictions on the fluidity of capital were almost broken down
[Sidenote: 1542 and 1571] by the end of Elizabeth's reign.  The
statutes of bankruptcy, giving new and strong securities to creditors,
marked the advent to power of the commercial class.  Capitalism took
form in the chartering of large companies.  The first of these, "the
mistery and company of the Merchant Adventurers for the discovery of
regions, dominions, islands and places unknown," [Sidenote: 1553]
commonly called the Russia Company, was a joint-stock corporation with
240 members, each with a share valued at $125.  It traded principally
with Russia, but, before the century was out, was followed by the
Levant Company, the East India Company, and others, for the
exploitation of other regions.

To northern Spain England sent coarse cloth, cottons, sheepskins,
wheat, butter and cheese, and brought back wine, oranges, lemons and
timber.  To France went wax, tallow, butter, cheese, wheat, rye,
"Manchester cloth," beans and biscuit in exchange for pitch, rosin,
feathers, prunes and "great ynnions that be xii or xiiii ynches
aboute," iron and wine.  To the Russian Baltic ports, Riga, Reval and
Narva went coarse cloth, "corrupt" (_i.e._, adulterated) wine,
cony-skins, {535} salt and brandy, and from the same came flax, hemp,
pitch, tar, tallow, wax and furs.  Salmon from Ireland and other fish
from Scotland and Denmark were paid for by "corrupt" wines.  To the
Italian ports of Leghorn, Barcelona, Civita Vecchia and Venice, and to
the Balearic Isles went lead, fine cloth, hides, Newfoundland fish and
lime, and from them came oil, silk and fine porcelain.  To Barbary went
fine cloth, ordnance and artillery, armor and timber for oars, though,
as a memorandum of 1580 says, "if the Spaniards catch you trading with
them, you shall die for it."  Probably what they objected to most was
the sale of arms to the infidel.  From Barbary came sugar, saltpetre,
dates, molasses and carpets.  Andalusia demanded fine cloth and cambric
in return for wines called "seckes," sweet oil, raisins, salt,
cochineal, indigo, sumac, silk and soap.  Portugal took butter, cheese,
fine cloth "light green or sad blue," lead, tin and hides in exchange
for salt, oil, soap, cinnamon, cloves, nutmegs, pepper and all other
Indian wares.

While the English drove practically no trade with the East Indies, to
the West Indies they sent directly oil, looking-glasses, knives,
shears, scissors, linen, and wine which, to be salable, must be
"singular good."  From thence came gold, pearls "very orient and big
withall," sugar and molasses.  To Syria went colored cloth of the
finest quality, and for it currants and sweet oil were taken.  The
establishment of an English factor in Turkey [Sidenote: 1582] with the
express purpose of furthering trade with that country is an interesting
landmark in commercial history.

Even as late as the reign of Elizabeth England imported almost all
"artificiality," as high-grade manufactures of a certain sort were
called.  A famous Elizabethan play turns on the scarcity of needles,
[Sidenote: _Gammer Gurton's Needle_, c. 1559] the whole household being
turned upside down to look for {536} the one lost by Gammer Gurton.
These articles, as well as knives, nails, pins, buttons, dolls,
tennis-balls, tape, thread, glass, and laces, were imported from the
Netherlands and Germany.  From the same quarter came "small wares for
grocers,"--by which may be meant cabbages, turnips and lettuce,--and
also hops, copper and brass ware.

[Sidenote: Manufacture]

Having swept all before it in the domains of banking, mining and trade,
capitalism, flushed with victory, sought for new worlds to conquer and
found them in manufacture.  Here also a great struggle was necessary.
Hitherto the opposition to the new companies had been mainly on the
part of the consumer; now the hostility of the laborer was aroused.
The grapple of the two classes, in which the wage-earner went down,
partly before the arquebus of the mercenary, partly under the lash and
branding-iron of pitiless laws, will be described in the next section.
Here it is not the strife of the classes, but of the two economic
systems, that is considered.  Capitalism won economically before it
imposed its yoke on the vanquished by the harsh means of soldier and
police.  It won, in the final analysis, not because of the inherent
power of concentrated wealth, though it used and abused this
recklessly, but because, in the struggle for existence, it proved
itself the form of life better fitted to survive in the conditions of
modern society.  It called forth technical improvements, it stimulated
individual effort, it put an immense premium on thrift and investment,
it cheapened production by the application of initially expensive but
ultimately repaying, apparatus, it effected enormous economies in
wholesale production and distribution.  Before the new methods of
business the old gilds stood as helpless, as unready, as bowmen in the
face of cannon.

{537} [Sidenote: Gilds]

Each medieval "craft" or "mistery" [1] was in the hands of a gild, all
the members of which were theoretically equal.  Each passed through the
ranks of apprentice and other lower grades until he normally became a
master-workman and as such entitled to a full and equal share in the
management.  The gild managed its property almost like that of an
endowment in the hands of trustees; it supervised the whole life of
each member, took care of him when sick, buried him when dead and
pensioned his widow.  In these respects it was like some mutual benefit
societies of our day.  Almost inevitably in that age, it was under the
protection of a patron saint and discharged various religious duties.
It acted as a corporate whole in the government of the city and marched
and acted as one on festive occasions.

As typical of the organization of industry at the turning-point may be
given the list of gilds at Antwerp drawn up by Albert Dürer: [Sidenote:
1520] There were goldsmiths, painters, stone-cutters, embroiderers,
sculptors, joiners, carpenters, sailors, fishermen, butchers,
cloth-weavers, bakers, cobblers, "and all sorts of artisans and many
laborers and merchants of provisions."  The list is fully as
significant for what it omits as for what it includes.  Be it noted
that there was no gild of printers, for that art had grown up since the
crafts had begun to decline, and, though in some places found as a
gild, was usually a combination of a learned profession and a
capitalistic venture.  Again, in this great banking and trading port,
there is no mention of gilds of wholesale merchants (for the "merchants
of provisions" were certainly not this) nor of bankers.  These were two
fully capitalized businesses.  Finally, observe that there were many
skilled and unskilled laborers {538} not included in a special gild.
Here we have the beginning of the proletariat.  A century earlier there
would have been no special class of laborers, a century later no gilds
worth mentioning.

The gilds were handicapped by their own petty regulations.
Notwithstanding the fact that their high standards of craftsmanship
produced an excellent grade of goods, they were over-regulated and
hide-bound, averse to new methods.  There was as great a contrast
between their meticulous traditions and the freer paths of the new
capitalism as there was between scholasticism and science.  They could
neither raise nor administer the funds needed for foreign commerce