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Title: The Century of Columbus
Author: Walsh, James J. (James Joseph), 1865-1942
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Lives of the men to whom nineteenth century medical science
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The story of Papal patronage of the sciences and especially
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Addresses in the history of education on various occasions.
3rd thousand. New York, 1911. $2.00 net.

The story of the students and teachers of the sciences related to
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Academic addresses on How Old the New. New York,
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5th edition (50,000). 116 illustrations, 600 pages
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Lectures on The Influence of the Mind on the Body
delivered at Fordham University School of Medicine. Appletons,
New York, 1912, $6.00 net.


The Century of Columbus


JAMES J. WALSH, K.C.St.G., M.D., Ph.D., LL.D.
LITT.D. (Georgetown), Sc.D. (Notre Dame)



New York, 1914

Copyright, 1914
James J. Walsh



To The Knights of Columbus

for whom the material here presented in book form was originally
gathered for lectures in many parts of the country and whose hearty
interest in the dissemination of historical truth has encouraged its
completion, this book is fraternally and respectfully dedicated by
the author.

"There come from time to time, eras of more favorable conditions, in
which the thoughts of men draw nearer together than is their wont, and
the many interests of the intellectual world combine in one complete
type of general culture. The fifteenth century ... is one of these
happier eras; and what is sometimes said of the age of Pericles is
true of that of Lorenzo--it is an age productive of personalities,
many-sided, centralized, complete. Here, artists and philosophers and
those whom the action of the world has elevated and made keen, do not
live in isolation, but breathe a common air, and catch light and heat
from each other's thoughts. There is a spirit of general elevation and
enlightenment in which all alike communicate. ... That solemn
fifteenth century can hardly be studied too much, not merely for its
positive results in the things of the intellect and the imagination,
its concrete works of art, its special and prominent personalities,
with their profound aesthetic charm, but for its general spirit and
character, for the ethical qualities of which it is a consummate

                                Walter Pater, _The Renaissance._



In a previous book, "The Thirteenth Greatest of Centuries," I
described the period of human activity in which, as it appears to me,
more was accomplished that is of significance in the expression of
what is best in man and for the development of humanity than during
any corresponding period of the world's history. To many people it may
now seem that I am setting up a rival to the Thirteenth Century in
what is here called The Century of Columbus, the period from 1450 to
1550. I may as a foreword say, then, that there is no thought of that
and that I still feel quite sure that the Thirteenth is the Greatest
of Centuries, though it must be admitted that probably more supremely
great men were at work in Columbus' Century than in the preceding
period. The Thirteenth Century is greatest, however, because its
achievements were more widely diffused in their influence and because
more of mankind had the opportunity and the incentive to bring out the
highest that was in them, than at any other period in the world's
history. As a consequence a greater proportion of mankind was happy
than ever before or since, for happiness comes only with the
consciousness of good work done and the satisfaction of personal
achievement. And that is the greatest period of human history when man
is the happiest.

The Renaissance, however, for it is practically the period in history
usually known by that name which is here called the Century of
Columbus, achieved results in every mode of human endeavor that have
been inspiring models for all succeeding generations, most of all our
own. Just why greatness in human achievement should thus occur in
periods long separated from each other is hard to understand. I have
sometimes suggested that there is probably a biological law in the
matter, the factors of which are not well understood as yet. Every
third or fourth year the farmer expects to have an apple or fruit
year, as it is called--that is, to reap a fine fruit harvest, the
{viii} fruit product of the intervening years having often been quite
indifferent. Man is much more complex than the fruits and so it takes
a longer interval to prepare a great human harvest, hence humanity has
its supreme fruitage only every third or fourth century. Undoubtedly
Columbus' Century is one of the finest fruit periods of human history.

There was nothing that the men of the time did not do supremely well,
and a great many of them did nearly everything that they took in hand
better than any of their successors. As a curious contrast to our
time, very few of them limited themselves to any one mode of
expression. Because of its very contradiction of a great many of our
prevalent impressions, as for instance the universal persuasion of
constant human evolution and the supposed progress of mankind from
year to year but surely from century to century, and the thought so
common, that after all we must now be far ahead of the past,--though
there is abundant evidence of the vanity of this self-complacency--the
story of Columbus' Century should be interesting to our generation.
Since it furnishes the background of history on which alone the real
significance of the discovery of our continent just after the end of
the Middle Ages can be properly seen, it should have a special appeal
to Americans. These are the reasons for writing the book.

Owing to the large field that is covered, the author can scarcely hope
to have escaped errors of detail. His only thought is that the broad
view of the whole range of achievement may be sufficiently helpful to
those interested in the history of human culture to compensate for
faults that were almost inevitable. Its comprehensiveness may give the
book a suggestive and retrospective value. It is addressed not to the
special student but to the general reader interested in all phases of
human accomplishment who wishes to fill in the outlines of political
history with the story of the intellectual and ethical life of a great
epoch. Thanks are due to Mr. Stephen Horgan for material aid in the
selection of illustrations, no easy task because of the immense
material to choose from. A definite effort has been made to avoid the
well-known masterpieces and have the illustrations add to the
knowledge of the time.



INTRODUCTION                                                  xxv

  The discovery of America but one of a series of notable achievements
  in Columbus' time.

  His century, 1450 to 1550, had more great men than any other in
  human history.

  In the arts it is unsurpassed.

  In its deeds it rivals every other century, above all in social
  work, in scholarship, in education and in its achievements in the
  sciences, physical as well as biological, and in medicine and

  Its literature is behind that of certain other periods of history,
  but this is the age of Leo X and one of the most interesting epochs
  of world literature in every European country.



GREAT PAINTERS; RAPHAEL                                            1

  Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo the world's greatest
  Raphael, greatest of religious painters.
  Born at Urbino.
  Duke Frederick patron of art.
  Studies with Timotheo Viti and Perugino.
  Influence of Fra Bartolommeo.
  Work at Rome.
  Stanze of the Vatican.
  Camera della Segnatura.
  Cartoons for Sistine tapestries.
  Sistine Madonna.
  Raphael, art director and archaeologist.


LEONARDO DA VINCI                                                  15

  "Mona Lisa."
  Walter Pater's tribute.
  The "Last Supper" disclosed genius and methods of artist.
  The "Madonna of the Rocks."
  Sculptor, engineer, geologist, anatomist, zoologist, botanist and
  Dissections and proposed text-book of anatomy.
  Career as artist.
  Surpasses his master Verrocchio.
  Scientific interests.
  Personality, philosophy of life.
  Burckhardt's summary--"colossal genius"



MICHELANGELO                                                        32

  Humble origin of world's greatest genius.
  Little interest in books.
  Studio of Ghirlandajo.
  Academy of Lorenzo de' Medici.
  Early works.
  Pietà, reason for youthfulness of mother.
  Tomb of Pope Julius.
  Galley Slaves.
  Decoration of the Sistine Chapel.
  Sacristy of San Lorenzo.
  "Four-souled" Michelangelo's sonnets.
  Practical genius. Family cares.
  Advice on marriage.
  Friendship with Vittoria Colonna.
  Attitude toward religion.
  Influence waxes with time



  A century rich in painters.
  Fra Angelico the mystic.
  Perugino the teacher of Raphael;
    at the Sistine Chapel;
    pictures mistaken for Raphael's.
  Fra Bartolommeo's greatest works.
  Botticelli's mythology and psychology;
    illustrations of Dante.
  Bellini's portraits;
  Titian's wonderful color;
    religious pictures;
    mythological scenes.
  Piero dei Franceschi.
  Luca Signorelli.
  Melozzo da Forli.
  Correggio a middle-term between the various Italian schools;
    "Most skilful artist since the ancient Greeks."
  Tintoretto master of drawing and world artist.
  "The composition of Michelangelo and the coloring of Titian."
  Veronese's magnificent large pictures.


PAINTING OUTSIDE OF ITALY                                           71

  The Netherlands:
    The brothers Van Eyck forerunners;
    Roger van der Weyden;
    Memling's paintings at the Hospital of St. John, Bruges;
    Dirk Bouts;
    Quentin Matsys;
    Lucas van Leyden;
    Gerard David;
    Justus of Ghent;
    Jan van Mabuse;
    Bernard van Orley;
  Nuremberg rival of Bruges;
    the Holbeins.
    The Clouets;
    Juan de Borgona;
    Luis de Vargas;
    Pablo de Cespedes.
  Women painters in Spain


SCULPTURE IN ITALY                                                 85

  Ghiberti's doors for the Baptistery at Florence.
    The great equestrian statues of Gatamelata and Colleoni.
    Donatello's St. George,
    St. Francis,
    Bambino Gesu,
    St. John the Baptist
    Donatello's personality.
    His paralysis.
  Luca della Robbia, sculptor, worker in terra-cotta.
  Andrea del Verrocchio, goldsmith, painter, sculptor:
    "The Incredulity of St. Thomas,"
    "The Colleoni."
  Benvenuto Cellini, sculptor, goldsmith, writer.
  John of Bologna:
  The sculpture in the Certosa at Pavia.
  Decadence in sculpture



  Names of sculptors of Low Countries often unknown.
  Tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold.
    Veit Stoss,
    Adam Kraft,
    the Vischers.
    St. Sebald's shrine;
    Maximilian's Tomb at Innsbrück.
    Tours a great centre of art:
      Jean Fouchet and the Tomb of Agnes Sorel:
      Jean Goujon and Germain Pilon.
    Flemish and French tapestry.
  Golden Age of tapestry.
  Recent appreciation.
  Beautiful altar vessels, enamels, furniture,
    locks and keys, jewel boxes, armor, clocks


THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE CENTURY                                     114

  Brunelleschi's dome.
  Alberti's _"De re aedificatoria":_
    Church of San Francesco.
  Florence, Rucellai, Ricardi and Pitti Palace.
    Library of St Mark;
    Palace of the Doge and of the Grimani.
  Palladio at Vicenza.
  Genoa, the city of palaces.
    Villa of Pope Julius,
    Palace of Caprarola.
  Façade of the Certosa.
  Sistine Chapel and King's College, Cambridge.
  Louvain, Hotel de Ville.
  Brussels the _grande place._
    University of Alcalá.
    Cloister of Lupiana.
    Alcazar, Toledo.
  Giralda tower.
    Pavillon de l'Horloge;
    the Chateaux.
  Architecture of the Renaissance a living force 114


MUSIC                                                            134

  Renaissance music as original as art and literature.
  Beginning in Netherlands, Ockenheim, Josquin, Arcadelt.
  Degrees in music, England.
  German music, Hans Sachs.
  Roman music,
    Claude Goudimel,
    the brothers Animuccia,
    the brothers Nanini,
    Orlando di Lasso.
  Church reform of music.
    recent restoration as Catholic standard.
  Dominant seventh.
  Development of musical instruments--organ, violin


BOOKS AND PRINTS: WOOD AND METAL ENGRAVING                          146

  Renaissance appreciation of beautiful books.
  Artistic manuscripts.
  Invention of printing.
  Most beautiful printed books in the world
  Our imitation.
  Books of Hours.
  William Caxton:
    his place in English prose.
  Aldus Manutius:
    _Editiones principes_ of all the classics;
    business troubles;
  Geoffrey Tory.
  Simon de Collines.
  Champ Fleury.
  Tory, King's printer.
  The dream of Poliphilo.
  Fra Giocondo's illustrations.
  Dürer and German wood-engraving.
  French wood-engraving.
  German metal-engraving.
  Italian illustrations.
  Vesalius' anatomy.
  Artistic bookbinding.
  Decadence in bookmaking arts



SOCIAL WORK AND WORKERS                                          169

  Criterion of period;
    solution of social problems.
  The climax of guild social influence.
  Insurance features.
  No poorhouses, no orphan asylums.
  Care of ne'er-do-well.
  Guild of Holy Cross, Stratford;
    grammar school.
  Thirty thousand guilds in England.
  Sir Hugh Clopton's guild chapel and bridge.
  "Tag day."
  Beguines' care for dependents:
    their place in history.
  Lending institutions for the poor.
  St. Catherine of Genoa.
  Organization of charity.
  St. Philip Neri;
    modern appreciation.
  St. Ignatius.
  Political complications.
  Savonarola's fate.
  Las Casas' care for the Indians.
  St. Francis Borgia.
  Torture later in history.
  Witchcraft delusion post-reformation.
  Decadence of charity



  The humanity that cares for the ailing.
  Neglect in more recent times;
    jail-like hospitals without trained attendants.
  Beautiful Renaissance hospitals.
  Florence's Home of the Innocents.
  _Ospedale Maggiore_, Milan.
  _Santo Spirito Hospital_, Rome.
  Hospitals of the Beguines, Netherlands.
  St. John's Hospital, Bruges.
  Ample water supplies.
  Religious uniform and cleanliness.
  Sir Thomas More on hospitals.
  Brothers of Mercy in Spain.
  The Do-good Little Brothers.
  Care of the insane.
  Spain the leader.
  The "open door."
  Subsequent abuses.
  Italian asylums.
  Subsequent decadence


ST. IGNATIUS LOYOLA AND THE JESUITS                                206

  A great genius in organization.
  Political and religious situation in Europe.
  A new knighthood.
  The "Little Company of Jesus."
  The Spiritual Exercises.
  Jesuit Missions:
    South America,
    Reductions of Paraguay,
    North America.
  Jesuit Relations, gathering and transmitting knowledge.
  Education of the Jesuits;
    great pupils;
  Activity in the sciences.
  Jesuit astronomers.
  In other fields.
  All things to all men.
  Ignatius' legacy of persecution and contumely


SIR THOMAS MORE AND SOME CONTEMPORARIES                           223

  An artist in human will.
  England at More's birth.
  Opposes the King.
  Studies, Louvain, Paris.
  Busy barrister, care for the poor.
  Friendship with Erasmus.
  Family life.
  Margaret More.
  Dean Colet.
  John Caius.
  More's English writings.
  Controversial writings.
  Lord Chancellor,--clears the docket.
  Honors and wealth or duty and death.
  More's choice.
  Trying situation.
  Humor on the scaffold.
  Lord Campbell on his execution;
    on the Lord Chancellors who succeeded him


THE REFORMERS                                                    243

  Reformation or religious revolt.
  Change in education and its effect on men's minds.
  Janssen on intellectual movement of the Renaissance.
  Reformers, Luther, Calvin, Henry VIII.
  False impressions as to reformation, Hallam.
  Political corruption.
  Luther, Denifle, Grisar.
  Luther on indulgences.
  Luther and Zwingli.
  Judgments of God.
  Luther and Melanchthon condone bigamy.
  McGiffert's comment.
  Luther's discouragement.
  Calvin the austere.
  Life without relaxation.
  Calvin's discouragement.
  Execution of Servetus.
  Henry VIII's conscience.
  How the English people were robbed of their religion.
  Cobbett, Macaulay, Frederic Harrison
    and Professor Powell on the English and Scottish reformers.
  Professor Briggs on Saints of the Reformation.
  The counter-reformation.
  Effects of the reformation


GREAT EXPLORERS AND EMPIRE BUILDERS                               262

  Prince Henry the navigator.
  John II of Portugal.
  Bartholomew Dias.
  Vasco da Gama.
  Amerigo Vespucci.
  The Cabots.
  Circumnavigation of the globe.
  South Sea discoveries.
  Verazzano in New York.
  French explorers.
  Empire builders old and new.
  Spanish treatment of Indians.
  Contrast with ours.
  Explorers of Columbus Century and of present day



AMERICA IN COLUMBUS' CENTURY                                       275

  A glorious chapter of American history before 1550.
  Sidney Lee contrasts Spanish and English influence in America.
  Professor Bourne on early American culture.
  Mexican education.
  Universities of Mexico and Lima.
  Educational standards.
  Dr. Chanca on America.
  Garcilaso de la Vega.
  Professor Bourne contrasts Spanish and English education.
  Printing press.
  Early printed books.
  First American hospital.
  Champlain on Mexico.
  Remains at Panama.


SOME GREAT WOMEN                                                  290

  Renaissance women.
  Isabella of Castile.
  Genius for peace and war.
  Power of administration.
  Housewifely virtues.
  Care for Indians.
  Prescott's contrast of Isabella and Elizabeth.
  Vittoria Colonna.
  Letter to her husband on honesty.
  Influence on men of Renaissance.
  The Gonzagas.
  St. Catherine of Genoa.
  Battistina Vernazza.
  Lucretia Borgia.
  Historical traditions and facts.
  Gregorovius' vindication.
  Garnett on Borgia poisonings.
  Aldus' praise.
  Lucretia as a ruler.
  Her protection of the Jews.
  Her husband's love.
  Victor Hugo and the Lucretian myth.
  Marguerite of Navarre.
  Personal character.
  Care for the poor.
  Mary of Burgundy.
  St. Teresa.
  _Mater Spiritualium_.
  French, German and English tributes.
  Greatest of intellectual women.
  Some of her maxims.


FEMININE EDUCATION                                                313

  Phases of feminine education before our time.
  Italian universities.
  Benedictine convents.
  Charlemagne's time.
  St. Brigid of Ireland.
  Vittorino da Feltre and his pupils.
  Physical training.
  Lucretia, the mother of Lorenzo the Magnificent.
  Isabella and Beatrice D'Este.
  Abundant opportunities of feminine education.
  Influence on their homes.
  Renaissance gardens.
  _Camerini_ of Isabella D'Este.
  Lucretia Borgia's apartments.
  Feminine devotion to social problems.
  Comparison with our own time.
  Public appearances.
  Olympia Morata.
  Angela Merici, founder in education.
  The Ursulines and the Jesuits.
  Their continued activity all over the world.
  Anne of Bretagne.
  Marguerite of Navarre.
  Feminine education in Spain.
  Prescott's tribute.
  Feminine education in England:
    Margaret of Anjou,
    Margaret Beaufort,
    the Countess of Arundel,
    Lady Jane Grey,
    Mary Queen of Scots,
    Queen Elizabeth,
    Margaret More.
    Charitas Pirkheimer.
  Feminine education and religion.
  "Beauty, disposition, education, virtue, piety combined
    to make them harmonious human beings" (Burckhardt)



PHYSICAL SCIENCE OF THE CENTURY                                  343

  Science developed as wonderfully as art and literature.
  Translations of the classics of science.
  Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa.
  Cardinal Bessarion.
  Scientific scholars in Italy from all over the world.
  Linacre, Vesalius, Caius.
  Toscanelli and Columbus.
  Copernicus and a new universe.
  His attitude toward the reformation.
  Leonardo da Vinci, scientist and inventor.
  The scientific spirit.
  Telesio and the inductive method.
  Chemistry in medicine.
  Basil Valentine and Paracelsus.
  Columbus and the declination of the magnetic needle


BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES                                              360

  Nature study in the Middle Ages.
  Anatomists of the Renaissance.
  Acute Italian observation.
  Leonardo da Vinci.
  Supposed Church opposition to dissection.
  All the artists dissectors.
  Vesalius, father of modern anatomy.
  Columbus, Fallopius, Eustachius, Aranzi, Servetus.
  Circulation of the blood.
  Harvey's indebtedness to the Italian anatomists.
  Leonardo da Vinci, Brunfels, Fuchs, Tragus,
    Euricius and Valerius Cordus.
  Tributes to Valerius Cordus.
  Caesalpinus as a botanist.
  Ruellius and Pierre Belon in France.
  Spanish and Portuguese studies of American and Indian plants


MEDICINE                                                       381

  Standards of education.
  Clinical teaching.
  Rabelais' principles.
  Early printed medical books.
    chemistry and medicine,
    physical factors,
    in therapy,
    occupation diseases.
  Rejection of pretensions to knowledge.
  Paracelsus' contributions to surgery.
  Animal magnetism.
  Basil Valentine.
  Theories of auto-toxaemia.
  Cornelius Agrippa.
  Influence of mind on body.
  Pathological anatomy.
  Joost van Lom.
  Schenck von Graffenberg.
  Petrus Forestus.
  Paré on gout.
  Drugs from the new world.
  Botanical gardens.
  Theory and observation.
  Mental diseases, differentiation.
  Jerome Cardan, absurdities.
  Cornaro's longevity.
  Sanitary regulations.
  Pure food laws.
  Popular hygiene.
  Alcoholic beverages.
  Health boards in Italy.
  Tuberculosis contagion.
  Sir Thomas More on the place of the physician



SURGERY                                                          409

  Printing of old surgical text-books.
  Magnificent hospitals.
  Study of gunshot wounds.
  Ambroise Paré.
  Experiments with bullets.
  Surgical specialties.
  Bone surgery.
  Blood transfusion.
  Tracheotomy tube.
  Magnet in surgery.
  Cesarean operation.
  Gynaecology and obstetrics.
  Heart surgery.
  Cosmetic surgery.
  Artificial noses, lips and eyelids.
  Aseptic surgery.
  Pyemia as an infectious disease.
  Paracelsus against meddlesome surgery.
  German surgeons.
  Pfolspeundt, tubes in intestinal surgery.
  Brunschwig on the necessity of anatomy.
  Stiffened bandages.
  Gerssdorff, surgery of anchyloses.
  Hall on experience in surgery.
  Gurlt's four hundred pages on Renaissance surgery



LATIN LITERATURE                                                427

  Latin the universal language of scholars.
  Three great books:
    The "Imitation of Christ,"
    "Utopia" and the
    "Spiritual Exercises" of St Ignatius.
  The "Imitation" the most influential of human books.
  Other works by à Kempis.
  Tributes to the "Imitation";
    saints, jurists, soldiers, scholars agree in lauding it.
  One of the world's supremely great books.
  Illustrative passages.
  The Ode on Love.
  "Utopia" and Plato's "Republic" and St. Augustine's "City of God."
  A vivid piece of fiction.
  A profound social study.
  Translation by Bishop Burnet.
  The "Spiritual Exercises" a book of things, not words.
  Erasmus' _"Colloquia"_ and the _"Encomium Moriae"_


ITALIAN LITERATURE                                               442

  Age of Leo X.
  Ariosto "very nearly if not quite supreme" (Saintsbury).
  Orlando Furioso.
  Ariosto's similes, sonnet.
  Italian Mystery and Miracle plays.
  Carnival songs.
  Lorenzo de' Medici as a poet.
  Italian prose.
    "a universal genius" (Garnett).
  Guicciardini, history, reminiscences.
  Vasari--Lives of the Painters.
  Italian fiction,
    Luigi da Porto,
    Machiavelli's "Belphagor."
  Licentious stories intended to lessen license.
  Autobiography of Benevenuto Cellini, Castiglione's
    "Cortigiano" not the "Autobiography," the symbol
    of the century's thought and philosophy of life



FRENCH LITERATURE                                                462

  Prince Charles of Orleans.
  Clement Marot.
  Francis I as an author.
  Margaret of Navarre.
  "The Marguerites" of Marguerite.
  A French poetess of passion.
  Melin de Saint Gelais' epigrams.
  The Pleiades.
  Ronsard's "Prince and Peasant."
  Joachim du Bellay.
  French prose, Comines, Amyot's translations.
    misunderstood genius,
    his life,
    evidence for tolerance of time,
    modern studies and influence.
  Embodiment of French Renaissance


SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE LITERATURE                                 476

  Queen Isabella's letters.
  St. Teresa's mystical writings.
  The Tales of Chivalry.
  Amadis de Gaul.
  Tales of Roguery, Celestina, Lazarillo de Tormes.
  Mystical writers,
    John of Avila,
    Luis de Granada and
    Luis de Leon.
  Spanish poetry--Boscan and Garcilaso de la Vega.
  Camöens "greatest of modern epic poets" (Schlegel).
  Shorter poems.
  Love sonnets.


ENGLISH LITERATURE                                               485

  English dramatic literature--
    Passion and Nativity Plays,
  "Marriage of Witte and Science"
    first play marked off into acts and scenes.
  Dramatic quality of the Morality Plays.
  John Skelton's work.
  John Heywood's Interludes, "The Four P's," illustrative passage.
  Social and religious satire, "Ralph Royster Doyster."
  Percy's "Reliques," "Ancient Ballad of Chevy Chase."
  Malory's "Morte d' Arthur," Caxton's Translations.
  Scotch poetry.
  James I.
  "The King's Quair."
  Blind Harry, Robert Henryson, Gawin Douglas and William Dunbar.
  English poetry, Howard Earl of Surrey and Sir Thomas Wyeth.
  More's place in English prose.
  Life of Edward V.
  Berner's translation of Froissart.
  Collects of the English prayer-book.
  Tyndale and Coverdale's Translations of the Scriptures.


SCHOLARSHIP IN ITALY                                             501

  Italy Alma Mater Studiorum.
  The New Learning.
  AEneas Sylvius (Pope Pius II).
  Cardinal Bessarion.


  Greek teachers, Chalcondyles, Gaza, Trebizond and Argyropulos.
  Pope Nicholas V.
  Academy of Florence.
  Landino, Ficino and Politian.
  Italian academies.
  Pomponius Laetus,
    Roman Academy,
    Vitruvian Academy,
    Academy of Naples,
  Pico della Mirandola.



  Nowhere scholarship deeper than in Germany.
  Brothers of the Common Life, founders, purpose.
  Great pupils.
  Nicholas of Cusa.
  Rudolph Agricola.
  John of Dalberg.
  Jacob Wimpheling.
  Alexander Hegius.
  Ulrich von Hutten.
  Conrad Muth (Mutianus).
  Conrad Celtes, edition of Hroswitha's plays.
  Dürer and Wilibald Pirkheimer.
  Sandys on the German Humanists.
  Janssen on classic culture and Christian scholarship.
  Critical studies.



  Every country in Europe interested in the New Learning.
  The first teacher of the French, Aleander, an Italian.
  Budé (Budaeus), devotion to study.
  Foundation of College de France.
  Toussain, Turnebus, Rabelais, Montaigne.
  Rabelais "science without conscience is the ruination of the soul."
  The Scaligers.
  Spanish scholars:
    Antonio of Lebriza,
    all three students in Italy.
  Cardinal Ximenes,
    the University of Alcalá, Complutensian Polyglot.
  Grammar under the domination of Spanish minds.
  Portugal, the University of Coimbra.
  England early shared enthusiasm for New Learning.
  Linacre, John Free and Caius were teachers at Italian universities.
  Lord Grey of Codnor; John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester.
  Erasmus on English scholarship.
  Greek students:
    William Latimer,
    John Fisher.
  Critical scholarship.


SIR THOMAS MORE AND MAN'S SOCIAL PROBLEMS                        545

  Religious toleration and More's practice.
  Standing armies and their evils.
  "Balanced fear" and the balance of power.
  Over-estimation of gold and precious stones.
  A living wage.
  Not pleasure but virtue the end of life.
  Forest conservation.
  Scientific books.
  Division of time.
  More's own home.



AFTER THE REFORMATION                                             553

  Decadence in the arts, education, scholarship and humanitarianism
  begins immediately after the Reformation and culminates at the
  end of the eighteenth century.

  Education not freer; academic liberty less (Prof. Paulsen).

  The New Learning and the Reform doctrines.

  Bishop Bale on the neglect of books.

  Wanton destruction of libraries.

  Decadence in art, "King Whitewash and Queen Ugliness supreme."

  Gerhard Hauptmann on decay in art as the exorbitant price
  of personal freedom of conscience.

  Decline of charity.

  Jail-like hospitals.

  Dissolution of social organization.

  Superstition and torture rampant after the Reformation.

  The Witchcraft delusion.

  Political decadence.

  The pre-Reformation House of Lords.

  Popular holidays obliterated.

  Internationalism overshadowed.

  Modern social progress a reversion to mediaeval notions.




1. Sebastiano del Piombo, Christopher Columbus
   (Metropolitan Museum, New York)                    _Frontispiece_

2. Carpaccio, Meeting of Sts. Joachim and Anna.   Opposite page xxix

3. Titian, Emperor Charles V                                   xxxiv

4. Raphael, Drawing of Slaughter of Innocents.           On page   3

5. Raphael, Dream of the Knight                    Opposite page   4

6. Raphael, School of Athens                       Opposite page   8

7. Raphael, Poetry (Mosaic, Vatican)               Opposite page  14

8. Leonardo da Vinci, Madonna of the Rocks         Opposite page  20

9. Raphael, Pope Julius II                         Opposite page  37

10. Fra Angelico, St Francis                       Opposite page  53

11. Perugino, Entombment (Pitti)                   Opposite page  56

12. Borgognone, St. Catharine of Alexandria        Opposite page  57

13. Botticelli, Illustration for Dante                  On page   61

14. Bellini, Doge Loredano                         Opposite page  62

15. Correggio, Marriage of St. Catherine (Louvre)  Opposite page  66

16. Gossaert, Virgin and Child Jesus
    (Italian Influence over Flemish)               Opposite page  69

17. Van der Weyden, Mater Dolorosa                 Opposite page  71

18. Quentin Matsys, Legend of St. Ann (Centre)     Opposite page  73

19. Van Oriey, Dr. Zelle                           Opposite page  74

20. Dürer, Title Page of Life of Blessed Virgin          On page  76

21. Clouet, François, Elizabeth of Austria               On page  79

22. Navarrete, St. Peter and St. Paul (Escurial)         On page  81

23. Cespedes, The Last Supper (Cathedral, Cordova)       On page  83

24. Bertoldo di Giovanni, Battle (Bargello)        Opposite page  85

25. Rosselino, Antonio, Madonna                    Opposite page  87

26. Donatello, Gatamelata                          Opposite page  91

27. Benedetto Rovezzano, Chimney Piece             Opposite page  95

28. Pulpit, Leyden                                 Opposite page  98

29. Dürer, St John Baptist Preaching
     (Bas-relief in carved wood)                         On page 100

30. King Arthur (Innsbruck)                              On page 103

31. Henry VIII on Field of Cloth of Gold
     (Bas-relief, Rouen)                                 On page 104

32. Goujon, Jewel Cabinet                                On page 106

33. Armor (fifteenth century, Paris)                     On page 108

34. Scent Box, chased gold                               On page 111


35. Seats (fifteenth century miniatures)                 On page 112

36. Clock (Paris)                                        On page 113

37. Alberti, San Francesco (Rimini)                      On page 115

38. Michelangelo, St. Peter's (Rome)                     On page 116

39. Alberti, Rucellai Palace (Florence)                  On page 119

40. Court, Doge's Palace (Venice)                        On page 121

41. Palladio, Barbarano Palace (Vicenza)                 On page 123

42. Hotel de Ville (Louvain)                       Opposite page 124

43. Alcalá, Paranimfo                                    On page 125

44. Alcalá, Archiepiscopal Palace Court                 On page 126

45. Cloister (Lupiana, Spain)                            On page 128

46. Toledo, Alcazar                                      On page 130

47. Melozzo da Forli, Angel with Lute (Rome)       Opposite page 141

48. Violin and Bass Viol, Germany                        On page 144

49. Verard, "Book of Hours" Border                       On page 147

50. Fouquet, Miniature Livy MSS. (Paris)                 On page 150

51. Tory, Border from "Book of Hours"                    On page 157

52. Tory, Page of Collines' "Book of Hours"              On page 160

53. Dürer, Marriage of Blessed Virgin                    On page 163

54. Black Letter bordered page                           On page 165

55. Playing Card                                         On page 167

56. Stratford Guild Chapel                               On page 175

57. Stratford, Sir Hugh Clopton's Bridge                 On page 176

58. Bramante, Court of Hospital (Milan)                  On page 195

59. Memling, Martyrdom of St. Ursula
     (Bruges, Hospital of St. Jean)                Opposite page 197

60. Holbein, Sir Thomas More                       Opposite page 223

61. Matteo Civitale, Faith (Bargello)              Opposite page 243

62. Holbein, Henry VIII (London)                   Opposite page 255

63. Filippino Lippi, Madonna with Four Saints      Opposite page 260

64. Stradan, Columbus on First Voyage
      (niello, ivory)                                    On page 276

65. Columbus' Title of Letter                            On page 282

66. Columbus' Page from Letter (1494-)                   On page 283

67. Hospital, Mexico (founded before 1524)         Opposite page 287

68. Hospital, (another view)                       Opposite page 287

69. Crivelli, Madonna Enthroned                    Opposite page 290

70. Holbein, Queen Catherine of Aragon             Opposite page 293

71. Titian, Presentation of Virgin                 Opposite page 296

72. Palma Vecchio, St. Barbara                     Opposite page 304

73. Mostaert, Virgo Deipara (Antwerp)              Opposite page 312

74. Bellini, Madonna, St. Catherine and
      Mary Magdalen (Venice)                       Opposite page 318

75. Pinturicchio, Holy Family (Siena)              Opposite page 326

76. Dürer, Nativity On                                   On page 339

77. Vivarini, St. Clare                            Opposite page 341

78. Titian, Paracelsus                                   On page 386


79. Holbein, Dr. William Butts                     Opposite page 413

80. Cima da Conegliano, Christ (Dresden)           Opposite page 431

81. Titian, Ariosto                                Opposite page 443

82. Palma Vecchio, Poet
      (sometimes called Ariosto)                   Opposite page 449

83. Francia, Virgin Weeping over Body of Christ
      (London)                                     Opposite page 477

84. Page from early printed book, with woodcut           On page 487

85. Theatre, Title Page of Terence                       On page 491

86. Mantegna, St. George                           Opposite page 501

87. Correggio, Blessed Virgin and St Sebastian     Opposite page 508

88. Cima da Conegliano,
      Incredulity of St Thomas (Venice)            Opposite page 519

89. Tory, Francis I's Court                              On page 534




To many people the date of the discovery of America must seem somewhat
out of place. At least it must be hard for them to understand just how
it came about that before the fifteenth century closed so great a
discovery as this of a new continent could be made. The Middle Ages
are usually said to end with the Fall of Constantinople (1453), though
a number of historians in recent years have begun to date the close of
mediaeval history with the discovery of America itself. It scarcely
seems consonant with the usually accepted ideas of widespread
ignorance, lack of scientific curiosity with dearth of initiative and
absence of great human interests during the Middle Ages, that so
important an achievement as the discovery of America should have come
at this time. In spite of the growing knowledge that has revealed the
wonderful achievements of the mediaeval period, there are still a
great many people who think themselves well informed, for whom the
thousand years from about 500 to 1500 seem almost a series of blank
pages and it cannot but be very surprising to them that anyone should
have been able to rise out of the slough of despond so far as regards
human knowledge and enterprise which these times are often declared to
represent, to the climax of energy and daring and conscious successful
purpose required for the discovery of the Western Hemisphere.
Apparently only a special dispensation of Providence preparing the
modern time could possibly have brought this important discovery out
of the Nazareth of the so-called "Dark Ages."

All sorts of explanations have been deemed necessary to account for
Columbus' great discovery at this time. To some it has seemed to be
the result of a happy accident by which one of the deeply original
spirits among mankind, with the _wanderlust_ in his soul, succeeded
finally in having someone provide him with the opportunity for a long
vague voyage on which fortunately the discovery of the Western
Hemisphere was made. We hear much of happy accidents in scientific
{xxvi} discoveries and they are supposed to represent the fortunate
chances of humanity. It must not be forgotten, however, that only to
genius do these happy accidents occur. Newton discovered the laws of
gravitation after having seen the apple fall, but many billions of men
had seen apples fall before his time without being led to the faintest
hint of gravitation. Galvani touched the legs of a frog by accident
with his metal implements while making electrical experiments, and so
became "the frogs' dancing master" in the contemptuous phrase of many
of his scientific colleagues and the father of biological electricity
for us, but doubtless many others lacking his scientific insight had
seen this phenomenon without having their attention particularly
caught by it.

It has been suggested that not a little of the good fortune that
resulted in the discovery of the American Continent was due to
Columbus' obstinacy of character. He was a man who, having conceived
an idea, was bound to carry it out, cost what it might. These are, of
course, the men as a rule who make advances and discoveries and obtain
privileges for us. They are not satisfied to be as others, and the
world usually denominates them cranks. They insist on doing things
differently and their vision of great achievement does not fade or
become dim even under the clouds of objections that men are prone to
rouse against anything, and, above all, any purpose that they
themselves cannot understand. Columbus is said to have been one of
those mortals who are actually urged on by obstacles and who cannot be
made to back down from their purpose by rebuffs and refusals, or even
by the disappointments after preliminary encouragement which are so
much harder to bear. Columbus' steadfastness of character during the
voyage, which enabled him to overcome the murmurings of his men and
keep his ships to their course in spite of almost mutiny, is a reflex
of this trait of his character, and yet there have been no end of
obstinate men who have never succeeded in accomplishing anything worth
while. Once engaged on the expedition, or in the preliminaries for it,
Columbus' obstinacy of character in the better sense of that
expression was simply invaluable, but the question is. How did he
become engaged on the expedition at this time?


It takes only a little consideration of the history of the time in
which Columbus was educated and the story of the accomplishment of the
men who lived around him during the half century that preceded the
discovery of America to realize exactly why the discovery was made at
this particular time. There has probably never been a period when so
many supremely great things were done or when so many men whose
enduring accomplishment has influenced all the after generations were
alive, as during the nearly seventy years of Columbus' lifetime. In
order to illustrate, then, the background of the history of the
discovery of America, it has seemed worth while to take what may be
called Columbus' Century, from 1450 to 1550, and show what was
accomplished during it. The discovery of America came just about the
middle of it and represents one of a series of great achievements made
by the men of the time which are destined never to lose in interest
for mankind. To know the other great events and great men of the
period is to appreciate better just what the discovery of America
meant and the place that Columbus' work in this regard should have in
the history of human accomplishment. The present volume can be at best
only a very brief review of the great achievements and the story of
the lives of the men of this time.

John Ruskin once said that the only proper way to know the true
significance of a period of human history was to study the book of its
arts, the book of its deeds and the book of its words, that is, to
weigh the significance of its artistic accomplishment, the meaning of
what its men did for their fellowmen and the worth of its literature
in terms of world achievement. Judged by this standard, Columbus'
Century must be placed among the greatest periods of human
accomplishment in the world's history. It is the Renaissance period
and, as everyone knows, this is a famous epoch in modern times. It has
been a favorite study of a great many scholars in a great many
generations since. It introduced many of the ideas, indeed most of the
important thoughts and inventions on which our modern progress is
founded. It is true that its great impetus came from the impulse given
by the reintroduction of Greek ideas and Greek ideals into the modern
world, but only that {xxviii} there were men of talent and genius,
capable of being stirred to achievement by Greek incentive, nothing
great would have been accomplished. Besides, while it owes much to
Greece, it is great in its own right, and its men added much to what
came to them out of Greece and adopted and adapted classic ideas and
ideals so as to make them of great significance in the modern world.

As regards The Book of the Arts of Columbus' Century, scarcely more
need be said in this introductory chapter than what has already been
suggested, that this is the Renaissance period. All the world now
knows of the art of the Renaissance and of all that was accomplished
by men who lived during the century after the Fall of Constantinople
in 1453. Every form of art, painting, sculpture, architecture, music,
as well as the arts and crafts, achieved a supreme expression at this
time. Everywhere, particularly in Italy, men started up as if a new
life had come into the world and proceeded to the accomplishment of
artistic results which had apparently been impossible to preceding
generations, and, alas for the notion of human progress! have often
been the despair of succeeding generations. If imitation is the
sincerest flattery, then these artists of the Renaissance period have
indeed been flattered, for it has almost been the rule in the after
time to imitate them and even the greatest of the artists of
succeeding generations have been deeply influenced by the work of
these men and usually have been quite willing to confess how much they
owe to them.

In Italy the list of names of painters who were at this time doing
work which the world will never willingly let die, is long and
glorious. There has never been a period of equal influence and
achievement in this mode of art in the history of the race. Almost
every city in Italy produced a group of painters during this century
who would make a whole nation famous in any other period. The
Florentine School surpasses all the others in importance, and such
names as Fra Angelico, Benozzo Gozzoli, Fra Bartolommeo, Lippo Lippi
and Filippino Lippi, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Leonardo da Vinci,
Andrea del Sarto, Masaccio and Michelangelo, occur in its history.
Venice produced in the first half of our period such men as the
Vivarinis, the Bellinis, Titian, Carpaccio, Palma Vecchio, Giorgione
and Lorenzo Lotti, worthy predecessors of the great names that were to
come in the second half--Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese.


The Umbrian School of painters includes a group of men born in the
hill towns of Umbria, to be credited, therefore, to more than a single
city, but their greatness is sufficient for the glory of any number of
cities,--Gentile da Fabriano, Bonfigli, Perugino and his pupils,
Pinturicchio, Lo Spagna, and many others, above all Raphael. Bologna
possessed the three Caracci, Guido, Domenichino and Guercino. Parma
had Correggio, Ferrara, Dosso Dossi and Garofalo; Padua, Andrea
Mantegna and his master, Squarcione, and Rome, the pupils of Raphael,
Giulio Romano, Sassoferato and Carlo Maratta and Da Imola. These
schools of Italian painting embrace all the modes of expression with
the brush in their scope.

The other countries of Europe, however, were not without distinguished
representatives of the wondrous art spirit of the time. In Germany,
there were Albrecht Dürer and the Holbeins, in the Lowlands the Van
Eycks' greatest work came just before the opening of the century and
inspired Memling, Van der Weyden, Quentin Matsys and others. In Spain,
such men as Zurbaran and Ribalta were worthy forerunners of the great
geniuses Velasquez and Murillo, who represent the aftermath of the
glorious harvest of the workers in the field of art during this
Renaissance period. They were all willing to confess their obligations
to the great painters of the preceding age and their work is really a
continuation of that Renaissance spirit. The accomplishment of the
painters of Columbus' period proved as copious in stimulus for
subsequent painters as the great navigators' discovery of America
proved the stimulus to explorers, discoverers and empire makers during
the subsequent century. A great wind of the spirit was blowing abroad
and men were deeply affected by it, and accomplished results almost
undreamt of before, and even when the wind of the spirit was dying
down it still moved men to achievements that had only been surpassed
during the immediately preceding period and that were to be looked up
to with admiration and {xxx} envy and given that sincerest of praise,
imitation, during all the succeeding centuries.

The artists of Columbus Century, this great Renaissance period, were
never merely artists. Some of them, like Michelangelo and Leonardo da
Vinci, though among the greatest painters in the world, preferred to
think of themselves as something else than painters. Leonardo has
painted the greatest of portraits, but was a great engineer, an
architect, an inventor, a scientist, and anything else that he cared
to turn his hand to. Michelangelo was undoubtedly a great painter, yet
this was the least of his accomplishments, for he was greater as an
architect, a sculptor, and perhaps even as a poet, than he was as a
painter. Raphael, besides being a painter, was an architect and above
all an archaeologist. It was a sad loss to classic archaeology that he
did not live to accomplish his plan of making a model of old Rome. He
was a great student of the technics of his art and if he had not died
at the early age of thirty-seven would surely have accomplished much
besides painting. Many of the painters and sculptors of the time had
been goldsmiths or workers in metal, and nearly all of them were
handicraftsmen, handy with their hands and capable of doing things.
Practically all of them were architects and many of them proved their
powers in this regard. A man of the Renaissance always thought that he
could do anything well, and specialism was the last thing in the world
thought of. Their confidence in their own powers gave them a wonderful
breadth of ability to accomplish.

In sculpture the roll of great names is scarcely less wonderful than
that of the great painters. It includes such men as Verrocchio and
Leopardi, Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, the Della
Robbias, Benvenuto Cellini and many others of less fame in this great
period, but who would have been looked up to as wonder workers in the
art at any other time. The sculpture work, for instance, that was
accomplished in connection with Certosa at Pavia, though out of
harmony with some of the true aims of sculpture, shows how beautifully
Renaissance men worked out artistic ideas of any kind. Glorious as is
the list of sculptors in Italy, other countries are by no means
eclipsed by Italian pre-eminence. The work of {xxxi} the great
sculptors of Nuremberg, Adam Kraft and Peter Vischer, as well as of
the coterie of sculptors who did the wonderful group of heroes at
Innsbruck, show how the wind of the spirit of genius in art was
blowing abroad everywhere. In the Low Countries, while we do not
always know the names of the sculptors, their beautiful monuments are
with us. Such beautiful work as the Tomb of Mary of Burgundy, made by
Peter Beckere of Brussels, is an enduring memorial of artistic
excellence. There are wood carvings everywhere through the Low
Countries that display the artistic genius of the time, In France,
Colombe, trained in Flanders, did beautiful work, and Jean Juste and
his son have left a monument of their sculptural genius in the
Cathedral at Tours. Jean Fouchet made the lovely tomb of Agnes Sorel
at Loches, and after the spirit of the Renaissance had come to France,
Jean Goujon and Germain Pilon achieved their masterpieces. The reliefs
of Jean Goujon for the "Fountain of the Innocents" are very well known
and often to be seen in copies. The "Three Graces" of Germain Pilon,
though already there is perhaps some sign of decadence, is a charming
work of art that has never been excelled in the more modern time.

In architecture, Columbus' Century is, if anything, more famous than
for its accomplishment in other arts. Almost every city in Italy has a
distinguished architect who has left behind him a monument of genius.
Brunelleschi died just before the century; Bramante, Alberti, Leonardo
da Vinci, and above all, Michelangelo, are the great names of the
time. Such other names as Palladio, Sangallo, della Porta, Sansovino
and San Michele come after these, and the work of this group of men
has more influenced succeeding generations than any other. The
monuments of this time include the Cathedral of Santa Croce at
Florence, St. Peter's at Rome and many of the great palaces and
hospitals that now are the subject of so much admiration and attention
from scholarly visitors to Italy. In our own time the reproduction of
Renaissance architectural types and the careful study of what the
Italian Renaissance did in modifying for modern use classic types of
architecture has done more to give us handsome monumental buildings
than any other inspiration that men have had. {xxxii} Unfortunately,
the Renaissance in its adoration of classic types and ideals developed
a contempt for the older Gothic architecture that had many sad effects
on taste in art, but the people of the period succeeded in building a
glorious monument to themselves for all time.

This same century saw the rise and marvellous development of music in
nearly every department of that art and in a way that strikingly
illustrates how the genius of this time gave to men a power of lofty
expression in every aesthetic mode. In this form of art Italy was not
as in other departments of aesthetics the leader, though she proved
the apt pupil, excelling before the close of the period even her
masters. It is to the Flemings that we owe the great beginnings of
music at this time, as we also owe to them and to their brethren of
Holland so much in all the arts. Ockenheim of Hainault and his pupils,
above all Josquin, developed the technique of polyphonic music, and
Flanders furnished music masters for every important capital in
Europe. Claude Goudimel, born at Avignon, but educated in Flanders,
opened his famous school of music in Rome in the first half of the
sixteenth century, and while not perhaps, as has often been said, the
teacher of Palestrina, he helped to create the Roman school in which
developed the brothers Animuccia and the brothers Nanini. Orlando de
Lasso did his work at this time, and Stefano Vanneo of Recanati
published his treatise on counterpoint in 1531. The use of the chord
of the dominant seventh was invented and St. Philip Neri encouraged
those religious musical exercises which culminated first in the
Oratorio and subsequently in what we know as opera.

As always happens in a really great artistic period, there was a
magnificent development of the crafts as well as of the arts. When
such men as Verrocchio, probably even Leonardo da Vinci himself,
Pollaiuolo and Benvenuto Cellini were looked upon as goldsmiths as
well as sculptors, it is easy to understand how thoroughly artistic
was the goldsmithery of the time. As a matter of fact, most of the
artists of the Renaissance were trained in workshops. These were not
only technical schools, but art schools of the finest kind. As a
consequence not only in gold and metal work, but in every {xxxiii}
other craft, art impulses of lofty achievement are noted. The stained
glass of the time is among the most beautiful ever made. All
glass-making and porcelain reached a high plane of perfection. It is
interesting to note the decadence of fine glass-making that begins
toward the end of our period. Gem-cutting reached a climax of
perfection at this time that has ranked Renaissance gems among the
most precious in the world. The art of the medal and the medallion was
another artistic specialty of this time in which it has probably never
been excelled and very seldom equalled. In book-making artistic
craftsmanship surpassed itself. Before the development of printing as
the exclusive mode of making books there was a marvellous evolution of
illuminated hand-made books. Many specimens still extant are among the
most beautiful in the world. With these as models the printed books
came to be just as wonderful artistic products and so we have during
Columbus' period the finest book-making that the world has ever known.
Every portion of the book, the print, the spacing, the paper, the
binding was artistically done. What seemed a mere handicraft was
lifted to the plane of art and whenever in the aftertime--and never
more so than in our own period--men have wanted models for beautiful
book-making they have gone back to those produced during this period.

THE BOOK OF THE DEEDS of the century will be best appreciated from the
names of the doers, the men of action, of this wonderful time. History
was indeed making. What came with the rise of the Portuguese empire
mainly through the influence of Prince Henry and of the Spanish Empire
in America under Ferdinand and Isabella were only the great beginnings
of the wealth and power Europe was to draw from over-sea colonies.
Unfortunately the century was a period of political unrest. The
seething spirit that led to great achievement in every department gave
rise to many wars and disturbances. The Wars of The Roses in England
and the many wars in Italy, with the political disaffection in Germany
and the disturbed state of France, made human life very cheap just
when it was capable of most enduring accomplishment. Great monarchs
like the Emperor Charles V, Francis I, king of France, and Henry VIII
of England worked good and harm {xxxiv} in proportions very hard to
estimate properly. There was never a more tyrannical king than Henry
VIII and probably never a less just one than Francis I. Bishop Stubbs,
the English constitutional historian, has claimed for Charles V the
right to the title great, yet there is so much that is at least
questionable about his career as a ruler that history will probably
never willingly accord it. The military exploits, the courtly
intrigues, the corrupt diplomacy, the exhibition of the ugliest traits
of mankind were all emphasized in this period because great men are
great also in the ill they do, but fortunately there is another side
to the book of the deeds of the century worth while reading.

Among the events of the century are the great Battle of Pavia at which
Francis I of France was defeated so thoroughly that afterwards, while
confined in the Certosa, he sent the famous despatch to his mother,
"All is lost save honor." This century saw also the famous meeting of
the Field of the Cloth of Gold at which both English and French nobles
went so gaily attired and with so many handsome changes of raiment
that literally not a few of them "carried their castles on their
backs." Their subsequent bankruptcy strengthened the hands of the
crown in both countries. This unfortunately did more than anything
else to lay the foundations of that absolutism which needed the French
Revolution and its successors in other countries of the past century
to break up. It was the time of the famous Diet of Worms and of all
the political and religious disturbances which have been called the
Reformation, though in recent years historians have come to recognize
the movement not as a great epoch-making reform in religion, of which
it brought about the disintegration by its doctrine of individual
judgment, but as a religious revolt affecting the Northern nations of
Europe, disturbing the continuity of the traditions of culture and
education and art which had been so completely under the influence of
the old Church and which among these Northern nations were not caught
up again for several centuries after this unfortunate division in

  [Illustration: TITIAN, EMPEROR CHARLES V. ]

The greatest accomplishment of this period, however, was its
scholarship. In every country in Europe men devoted {xxxv} themselves
to the study of the Latin and Greek classics and opportunities for
education of the highest import were accorded everywhere. They were no
merely dry-as-dust scholars, and the names of such men as AEneas
Sylvius Piccolomini, who was afterwards Pope Pius II; of Aldus
Manutius, the great Venetian printer; of Leon Battista Alberti, famous
not only as a scholar, but as an architect and an artist in every
mode, and Lorenzo de' Medici himself, are only brilliant examples in a
single country of a scholarship that was eminently productive and
influential. In every country in Europe the story is the same. At the
beginning of this book it seemed that the scholarship of the century
might be summed up in a single chapter. I found that even a single
chapter for Italy was quite inadequate and that the Teutonic countries
of themselves required another chapter even for a quite incomplete
record of their scholarly achievements. Rudolph Agricola; Reuchlin,
who was known as "the three-tongued wonder" of Germany; Desiderius
Erasmus, the most influential scholar of Europe in this intellectual
period; Jacob Wimpfeling, the schoolmaster of Germany; Melanchthon,
the gentle _praeceptor Germaniae_, and all the products of the schools
of the Brethren of the Common Life serve to demonstrate the greatness
of the German scholarship of this period. In England there are such
men as Bishop Selling, Cardinal Morton, Archbishop Warham, Dean Colet,
Thomas Linacre, Dr. John Caius, Roger Ascham, Thomas More and many
others who in any other period would be reckoned among the
distinguished scholars.

And yet the other Latin countries did not lag much behind Italy and
were fair rivals of the Teutonic countries in scholarship at this
time. Queen Isabella herself learned Latin when she was already a
queen on the throne. Court fashions are sure to spread and this did.
Besides the queen encouraged Cardinal Ximenes in the production of
that magnificent monument of scholarship the Complutensian Polyglot
Bible. The development of the universities in Spain only parallels the
corresponding movement in the rest of Europe, but there were probably
more higher institutions of learning founded and above all more
refounded and re-established on a broader {xxxvi} basis at this time
than at any other corresponding period of history. In France the index
of scholarly accomplishment is the foundation of the Collège de
France, which was to mean so much for French intellectual life. It
made it possible for scholars to pursue their work unhampered by the
fossilized University of Paris, which had become cramped in
old-fashioned ways and for the time being was incapable of doing great
intellectual work itself and yet, owing to the charters and privileges
granted it in its flourishing period, was still capable of crushing
out the true spirit of knowledge and preventing real development.

There was never a time in the world's history when scholarship, in so
far as that term means knowledge of the great books of the past,
occupied so prominent a place in men's minds or had so much influence.
Nor has there ever been a time when so many of those in power felt
that the very best thing that they could do for their people as well
as for their own fame was the encouragement of learning. Scholars were
more highly honored than at any period in the world's history. Even
ruling princes and the higher nobility felt that they owed it to
themselves to be acquainted with the great works of literature or
pretend at least to a knowledge of them and that a portion of their
policy must be to patronize teachers and scholars of the New Learning.
To be a patron of scholars was considered quite as important as to act
in a similar capacity for painters, sculptors and architects, though
there might be more personal fame attached to securing the works of
the great masters in art. Fortunately these scholars were encouraged
in their labors, and we have a whole series of wonderful editions of
the old classics accomplished at a cost of time and labor and patience
that only a few of those who have labored at such work under ever so
much more favorable circumstances can properly appreciate. Their
editions were issued as beautiful books in this wonderful time, and so
they have remained as precious treasures for us down to our own day.

The achievements in art and scholarship in this century are well known
and universally recognized. It is seldom appreciated, however, that
the century is almost as great in its {xxxvii} wonderful progress in
science as it is in any other intellectual department. The foundations
of our modern sciences were laid broad and deep at this time, and
achievements of scientific generalization as well as accurate and
detailed observation were made, that may be placed with confidence in
comparison with those of any other time in the world's history, even
our own. Copernicus' theory probably revolutionized men's thinking
more with regard to the earth and the universe of which it forms a
part than the thought of any man has ever done during the whole
history of mankind. The great medical scientists of this period almost
as effectually revolutionized men's thinking with regard to the
constitution of men and animals as Copernicus had done with regard to
the universe. Vesalius, called the father of modern anatomy, has left
us a monument of genius in his work on the structure of the human
body, and his famous contemporaries, Eustachius, another Columbus, the
anatomist, and Caesalpinus as well as Servetus added to the knowledge
of anatomy and physiology which Vesalius had so well begun. Servetus
and Columbus described the circulation of the blood in the lungs about
the same time; and shortly after the close of our period Caesalpinus,
trained in the schools of this time, described the circulation of the
blood in the body.

In every department of biological science, in anatomy and physiology,
in pathology, in botany, in zoology, in palaeontology, in ethnology
and linguistics, in anthropology, noteworthy advances were made.
Magnificent applications of the knowledge acquired were made for the
benefit of man and animals, new plants for medicine were sought in
distant countries and a great new development of medicine took place.
None of the anatomists and physiologists of the time failed to use
their knowledge for the increase of information with regard to disease
and its treatment. Vesalius besides being a great anatomist was almost
as great a pathologist and one of the epoch-making diagnosticians of
medical history. He was the first since the Greeks to describe an
aneurism, that is the pathological dilatation of an artery through
disease or accident, and the first in the history of medicine to
demonstrate the presence of such a condition on the living subject.
Paracelsus, {xxxviii} Ambroise Paré, Linacre, John Caius and a whole
host of great teachers in Italy are names to conjure with in the
history of medicine and of surgery. There is probably no period in the
world's history that has so many names famous in medicine that the
world will never willingly let die.

The supremely great accomplishments of this time however, the true,
good and great deeds of the century, were what it did for men. This is
the period when there was more organization for social help and uplift
than at any other period that we know. Every social need was responded
to by the guilds. There were old-age pensions, disability wages,
insurance against fire, accident at sea, burglary, highway robbery,
the destruction of crops, the death of animals and all the other
developments of mutual protection against the unexpected which we have
been inclined to think were developments of our time. There were
30,000 guilds in England, it is said, when they were suppressed by
Henry VIII, and the money in the treasuries, many millions of pounds,
confiscated on the plea that they were religious organizations. They
maintained grammar schools, had burses at the universities, arranged
for technical training and apprenticeships, cared for orphans,
provided entertainments for the people of the town, brought the
membership together in friendly meetings and banquets several times
each year, held athletic contests, encouraged social life and innocent
amusements in every way and represented an ever vital nucleus of
fraternal interest among men. Our chapter on this shows too how
seriously the moneyed men of the time took their duty of philanthropic
care for their townsmen by various institutions.

A period that did so much for social needs could scarcely be expected
to have neglected its hospitals and as a matter of fact some of the
most beautiful hospitals in the world were built in this period, and
everywhere that a hospital was built it was worthy of its purpose. The
hospitals of a later time, especially the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries, were little better than jails and were eminently
unsuitable. At this time citizens, instead of thinking that anything
was good enough for the ailing poor, felt that the honor of the city
was concerned, and the hospital, being a municipal building, was
{xxxix} constructed with as much care for its beauty externally and
its utility internally as the famous town halls or churches of the
time. We know how well patients were cared for, since we have abundant
evidence of the clinical teaching of medicine at the bedside. Whenever
hospitals are well built and the attendant physician takes students
with him on his rounds, the best possible treatment of patients is
assured. They cared finely for the insane also and for the
weak-minded. The awful abuses in this regard that came in the
eighteenth century, and from which our own happier though far from
satisfactory conditions represent a reaction, were a lamentable,
almost incomprehensible degeneration from the magnificent work of the
earlier time.

The women of Columbus' Century are worthy in every way of a place
beside the men of their time. Those who in recent years have talked of
the nineteenth century as the first period in the world's history when
women secured an opportunity for the higher education forget amazingly
many phases of feminine education of the long ago. The University of
Salerno had its department of women's diseases in the charge of women
professors in the twelfth century. There were feminine professors at
the University of Bologna in the thirteenth century, and as a matter
of fact in no century since the twelfth has Italy been without
distinguished women professors at one or more of the Italian

Above all those who talk of feminine education as a recent evolution
must be strangely forgetful of the women of the Renaissance. In Italy,
in France, in Spain, in Germany, in England, there were long series of
distinguished women, some noted for their scholarship, some for their
artistic taste, some for their literary power, all of them for a fine
influence on the men of the time and an inspiration to what was best.
Much of the wonderful social history of the time is due to them, but
there is no department of intellectual or moral uplift in which their
names are not prominent. Vittoria Colonna, the D'Estes, the women of
the House of Medici, the Gonzagas in Italy, Queen Anne of Bretagne and
Marguerite of Navarre in France, Queen Isabella of Castile, Queen
Catherine of England, Margaret More, Mary Queen of Scots, Margaret of
Bourgogne, {xl} Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth--when was there ever
such a galaxy of learned women alive during the same hundred years?
Besides these known in secular literature there was St. Angela of
Merici, the great founder of the Ursulines; St. Catherine of Genoa,
the wonderful organizer of charity; St. Teresa, probably the greatest
intellectual woman who ever lived, and other women distinguished for
supreme qualities of mind and heart almost too numerous to mention.

The hardest chapters of the book to compress have been those on
Feminine Education and The Women of the Century. What they did to make
their homes beautiful and their home surroundings charming, how they
inspired the artists of the time, what they did to bring out the best
that was in them, this indeed makes a difficult story to tell in a few
pages. Their contributions to the intellectual treasure of mankind
were not very large and only two or three of them have a name that
will endure in literature and none of them in art, but what they
accomplished for the ethical progress of the race at a particularly
dangerous time when the study of pagan authors and of Grecian art had
relaxed the fibre of Christian morality, represents a triumph of
feminine accomplishment of which too much cannot be said in praise.

THE BOOK OF THE WORDS of the century forms the least important chapter
of the accomplishment of the time, and as compared with the arts and
the deeds its literature seems almost disappointing, yet it must not
be forgotten that this was the Age of Leo X, of which Saintsbury in
"The Earlier Renaissance," in his series of Periods of European
Literature, says, "Of few epochs is it more difficult to speak in
brief space than of this century." He adds that "the age of Leo X was
for no small length of time and under many changes of prevailing
literary taste extolled as one of the greatest ages of literature, as
perhaps the greatest age of modern literature." It fell from this high
estate about a century ago, but the reaction against it was, as always
is the case with reactions, exaggerated, and we are gradually growing
in the appreciation of the greatness of the literature of the time
again. We now know that there are very few periods that have
contributed so much that is really of enduring value to world
literature as this age of Leo X.


The Latin literature alone of this century would be enough to assure
it a place as one of the wonderful productive periods in world
letters. The "Imitation of Christ" was not written during the century,
though its author seems to have put it into the ultimate form in which
we now know it about the beginning of our period. It was during this
time that it came to be recognized as a great source of consolation, a
marvellous study of the human heart in time of trial and of triumph
and the most influential book that had ever come from the hand of man.
We have gathered together a small sheaf of the tributes that have been
paid to it by some of the serious thinkers in all generations since,
but it would be easy to fill a volume with words of highest
commendation. In the Latin literature of this period also must be
counted Sir Thomas More's "Utopia," which has been read in every
generation that has taken its social problems seriously ever since,
and never more so than in our own time. It deserves a place in world
literature beside Plato's "Republic," and it is far ahead of any of
the attempts at the description of a socialized state made in our
time. For scholars at least Erasmus' writings represent an enduring
contribution to Latin literature of the classic type, a storehouse of
information with regard to the scholarship and also lack of
scholarship of the time. For those interested in mystical subjects St.
Ignatius' "Spiritual Exercises" is another of the Latin works of the
period which, though it can scarcely be classed as literature, for, as
we have said, Ignatius like Michelangelo wrote things rather than
words, must take its place amid Columbian letters of lasting value
since it is more used now than ever before.

There are not many surpassing works of vernacular literature from this
time, and yet Machiavelli's history represents the only contribution
to historical literature that takes a place in human interests beside
the immortal trio of classical historians, Herodotus, Thucydides and
Tacitus. Ariosto represents one of the favorite works of Italian
scholars, and as the Italians have been the most cultured people in
the world ever since, their critical judgment must be accepted as of
great value. In popular literature the Tales of Chivalry, the
Picaresque romances or tales of roguery and the almost endless {xlii}
number of Italian novels show how wide must have been the popular
reading of the time. In France Villon has always been a favorite for
all classes, and with Charles of Orleans he has been known by scholars
at least outside of France and thoroughly appreciated. French modes of
verse following the Italian came to influence the other countries of
Europe at this time and have never ceased to supply ideas for the form
of the less serious modes of poetry at least for all the generations
down to our own. The influence of Clément Marot, of Brantôme and the
Pleiades was felt in every literature of Europe, and has not
completely disappeared even after the nearly four centuries that have
elapsed since their time.

The literature of the century contains besides the names of Rabelais
as well as Calvin in France, Baldassare Castiglione, Michelangelo,
Vasari, Politian, Bembo, Lorenzo de' Medici, Pico della Mirandola and
the learned ladies Vittoria Colonna, Margaret of Navarre, Lucretia
Tornabuoni, the mother of Lorenzo de Medici, as well as the great
scholars of the period in Italy. In Spain St. Teresa and the great
mystical writers were compensating for the triviality and worse of the
picaresque romances and the tales of chivalry. In Portugal the young
genius of Camöens was nurtured, while in England Sir Thomas More was
laying the foundations of modern English prose, the great Morality
Plays, "Everyman" and the "Castle of Perseverance," were written, and
the first fruits of English dramatic literature in its more modern
form came in "Ralph Royster Doyster" and "Gammer Gurton's Needle." In
Germany the literary product of the vernacular was less significant,
but Luther's great popular hymns and his vernacular translation of the
Scriptures gave a vigorous birth to modern German verse and prose,
while Hans Sachs and the Minnesingers did as much for popular poetry.
Few periods can present a literature so rich in every country, so
varied, with so many enduring elements and with so much that remains
as the constant possession of scholars ever since. The literature of
the time may not equal its art or even its science, but no apologies
are needed for it.

In a word, then, the books of the arts, the deeds and the words of
Columbus' Century when read even a little carefully {xliii} show us a
marvellous period in which man's power of achievement was at its very
highest. Its art in every department has never been excelled and has
only been equalled by that of the Greeks, from whom, however, we
possess no painting worthy of the name. Its intellectual achievements
in scholarship and in science give it the leadership in education in
the modern world at least. What it accomplished for men in great works
of humanity represent a triumph of humanitarianism in the best sense
of that word, and present achievements worthy to be emulated by the
modern time. The book of its words is of less import, and yet there
are not more than two or three periods in the world's history that
have surpassed it and there are some modes of literature in which it
is unexcelled. In the midst of this century the discovery of America
instead of being a surprise cannot but seem the most natural thing in
the world. Everywhere men were doing things that for many centuries
men had been unable to do and they were achieving triumphs in every
form of human effort. Given the fact that there was a large
undiscovered portion of the world, it was more likely to be discovered
at this time than at any other time in the world's history. That is
the background of Columbus' Discovery of America, which anyone who
wants to understand its place must know.






Any attempt at proper consideration of the book of the arts of
Columbus' Century must begin with the three great names of Raphael,
Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. They are the greatest trio in the
history of art--all their names associated with a single city at the
beginning of their lives but deeply influencing the world of art
before the end of them. Of the three as a painter Raphael is
undoubtedly the greatest, though surely here, if anywhere in the
history of art, comparisons are odious. Each of these geniuses in his
own department of painting was supreme,--as a religious painter
Raphael, as a portrait painter Leonardo, as a great decorative artist
Michelangelo. Raphael rivals Leonardo, however, in the painting of
portraits and some of Leonardo's religious paintings are almost the
only ones worthy to be placed besides Raphael's great religious
visions. Michelangelo, however, could on occasion, as he showed in the
Sistine, prove a rival of either of them in this mode.

As is so true of the men of this time as a rule, all three of these
men were much more than painters. Raphael died at the early age of
thirty-seven, yet he reached distinction as an architect and as an
archaeologist, besides accomplishing his great painting. Leonardo
insisted on not being thought of as a painter, but as an engineer and
architect, though he has painted the greatest portrait ever made and
beat Michelangelo once in a competition in sculpture. Michelangelo
reached supremacy in all four of the greatest modes of art. He is a
painter second to none in all that he attempted, he is the {2}
greatest sculptor since the time of the Greeks, he is one of the
greatest architects of all time, yet with all this, by what might seem
almost an impossible achievement, he was one of the greatest of poets
and has written sonnets that only Dante and Shakespeare have equalled.
These men of Columbus' Century not only were never narrow specialists
but quite the contrary; they were extremely varied in their interests
and felt in contradiction to what seems the prevalent impression in
our time that such breadth of interest only increased their powers of
expression in anything that they attempted.

Of the three probably Raphael has had the widest popular influence.
His paintings have all unconsciously to most people colored and
visualized for them the Biblical scenes, especially of the New
Testament, and since his time painters have been greatly influenced by
his compositions. He has deeply affected all the world of art and as
for several centuries now some of his greatest works have been held
outside of Italy, they have been producing their effect and giving
artists the thought of how well deepest vision could be expressed.

This man, who by universal consent was the greatest painter that ever
lived, was about nine years old when Columbus discovered America.
According to tradition he died on his birthday at the age of
thirty-seven in 1520. In less than two decades of active artist life
he had painted a series of pictures that were a triumph even in that
glorious period of marvellous artistic accomplishment. They have been
the subject of loving study and affectionate admiration ever since.
Many of them have been the despair of the artists who came after him.
But Raphael is not an artists' artist in any exclusive sense of the
word. He is as popular an idol with those who confess to having no
critical knowledge of art as he is the hopeless model of those whose
lives are devoted to art.


  (tapestry, VATICAN)]

Unlike many a genius, though his family was poor his early years were
surrounded by conditions all favorable for the development of his
talents. Raphael is his baptismal name and his family name was Santi.
(The name Sanzio often attributed to him has no warrant in history.)
His father Giovanni Santi filled the post of art expert, so far as
that office was formally constituted at that time, to Duke Frederick,
{4} reigning Prince of Urbino, and it was here that Raphael was born.
The Duke was one of the most distinguished and perhaps the most
discriminating of the great Renaissance patrons of art as well as of
letters, and a series of well-known painters, among them Piero della
Francesca, Melozzo da Forli and Justus of Ghent, were in his service
at this time. Duke Frederick's interest in everything artistic had
made the capital of his little principality one of the most important
art centres of this time and his palace is still the Mecca for
visitors to Italy who are interested in the development of art, for it
possesses some of the great masterpieces of the Renaissance painters.
Raphael in his boyhood had in a more limited way almost as favorable
surroundings as Michelangelo enjoyed in Florence, but with his
father's favor of his studies instead of the opposition that this
Florentine contemporary encountered. Urbino was indeed almost as much
of a centre of intellectual influence and progress at this time as the
court of Lorenzo the Magnificent, at which Michelangelo was brought
up. It was at Urbino that Baldassare Castiglione wrote _"Il
Cortigiano,"_ the book of The Gentleman, the elegant setting forth of
what was represented by that term in the Renaissance period.

When Raphael was about eleven his father died, but fortunately the
maternal uncle under whose guardianship he passed was quite as
favorable to art as his father had been. Yielding to the wishes of the
boy he permitted him to enter the studio of Timoteo Viti, a pupil of
the artist Francia, who had lately returned from his studies in other
portions of Italy to take up his residence in his native country.
During the next few years Raphael devoted himself to that training in
drawing which was to mean so much for him. Just about a century ago a
sketchbook was found, now in the Academy of Venice, having been
purchased for the city, in which there are over a hundred pen-and-ink
drawings of various pictures copied by Raphael, and competent critics
declare that the masterly genius of the artist can already be
recognized in them.

Besides these he painted a series of pictures in Timoteo's studio.
Some of these have been preserved. Probably the best known is "St.
George and St. Michael," now in the Louvre, though the "Dream of the
Knight" in the National Gallery, {5} London, has been the admiration
of young folk particularly for many generations. There are some who
claim that the most charming of these early pictures painted at Urbino
is the "Three Graces of the Tribune of Chantilly."


After this Raphael studied for a time, probably for some four years,
with Perugino at Perugia. This period of his life is mainly
interesting from the fact that while he acquired Perugino's technique,
Raphael went far beyond his master, though for a time his development
was probably hindered rather than helped by that master's influence.
Only one of the paintings made at Perugia, "The Coronation of the
Virgin," painted for the Franciscans of that city, and now to be seen
in the Vatican, reveals as art critics declare the real genius of
Raphael shining through and above the qualities that he had borrowed
from his Perugian master.

After Raphael's years of fruitful student work in the Hill Country so
dear to students of Italian culture for its four periods of great art,
there came his Florentine period, which represents a new and wonderful
evolution of his artistic genius. Here, when he arrived in 1504,
Leonardo da Vinci in his productive forties and the young Michelangelo
in his revealing later twenties were at work at their famous
historical cartoons, and the atmosphere of the city was deeply imbued
with the Renaissance spirit. It is a little difficult now to think of
Raphael as merely a young struggling artist, making his living by
painting portraits for rather commonplace people, and executing his
earlier Madonnas for private oratories, partly from love of his work
but mainly because he needed the money, yet this constituted his
occupation. [Footnote 1]

[Footnote 1: As pointed out by Grimm in his "Life of Michelangelo" the
patrons of the Renaissance painters at the beginning of that period,
and indeed until after the climax of its development had been reached,
were either of the middle class or consisted of the religious orders
and ecclesiastical authorities intent on the decoration of churches.
The town folk ordered pictures for their homes or for the decoration
of churches. The artist was a craftsman, like the goldsmith or any
other. When artists became the favorites of princes and kings and
rulers, when they came to occupy positions at courts, it was not long
before decadence began. Lives at court were not calculated to bring
out what was best nor to encourage profound thinking nor provide the
leisure which is necessary for great art, and truth lost its
attraction in jealous rivalry and the desire to please a patron.]

His Madonnas soon made him famous. At the end of his first year in
Florence came one of his masterpieces, the "Madonna of the Grand
Duke," still to be seen at the Pitti. At this {6} time Raphael was
under the influence of the great Dominican painter Fra Bartolommeo,
though undoubtedly the specimens of Fra Angelico's work so frequent in
Florence had their power over him. The sweetness and mystical beauty
which, added to the human tenderness of his lovely mothers, make his
Madonnas so charming are the fruit of Raphael's studies in Florence.
Under the influence of the two Dominican painters such great pictures
as "La Belle Jardinière," of the Louvre, the "Madonna of the
Goldfinch" now in the Uffizi, Florence, and the "Madonna of the
Meadow," one of the treasures of the Vienna collection, were produced.

Just before he left Florence he painted for Atlanta Baglioni an
"Entombment" which is his first attempt at an historic picture. The
critics declare that it was spoiled somewhat by overwork at it and
overanxiety to rival some of the great paintings of this kind from
Leonardo and Michelangelo which Raphael had so much admired. However
that may be, it is undoubtedly one of the world's greatest pictures,
especially when the age of the artist, twenty-five, is taken into
account. Just after he finished it he was summoned to Rome by that
discerning patron of genius Pope Julius II. His great opportunity had
arrived. Only a little more than ten years of life lay ahead of him,
but in that ten years the art of the world was to receive almost its
greatest treasures. In their "Italian Cities" the Blashfields have
told the story of his Roman career:--

  "Raphael's conquest of his surroundings was almost magical: he
  arrived a youth, well spoken of as to skill, yet by reputation
  hardly even _par inter pares;_ in ten short years--how long if we
  count them in art history--he died, having painted the Vatican, the
  Farnesina, world-famous altar-pieces, having planned the restoration
  of the entire _urbs_, having reconciled enemies and stimulated
  friends, and having succeeded without being hated.


  "He achieved this success by his great and manifold capacity, but,
  most of all, because in art he was the greatest assimilator and
  composer who ever lived. The two words are each other's complements;
  he received impressions, and he put them together; his temperament
  was exactly suited to this marvellous forcing house of Rome, for a
  Roman school never really existed, it was simply the Tusco-Umbrian
  school throned upon seven hills and growing grander and freer in the
  contemplation of Antiquity.

  "To this contemplation, Raphael brought not only a brilliant
  endowment but an astonishing mental accumulation; the mild eyes of
  the Uffizi portrait were piercing when they looked upon nature or
  upon art, and behind them was an alembic in which the things that
  entered through those eyes fused, precipitated, or crystallized as
  he willed."

Pope Julius II, himself one of the great geniuses of history, with a
dream of a united Italy long before there was any possibility of its
accomplishment, and with an appreciation of genius that alone would
have given him a commanding place among the world's great rulers, had
summoned to Rome for the decoration of the apartments of the Vatican
some of the greatest painters of the time. Even from distant Flanders
came Reuisch and then there were Perugino, Raphael's old master, now
advanced in years, and Signorelli, quite as old, and Lotto and Sodoma
and Peruzzi and others. It was beside these that Raphael had to do his
work. Within a year of Raphael's coming he, the youngest of them all,
not yet twenty-six years of age, was selected by the Pope--how well
advised he was--as the one to whom all the important decorations
should be entrusted. Then came the opportunity to do the Camera della
Segnatura, that triumph of decorative art. "This chamber of the
Vatican" became, as Raphael's biographer in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
says, "a sort of mirror of the tendencies of the human mind, a summary
of all its ideal history, a sort of pantheon of spiritual grandeurs.
Thereby the representation of ideas acquired a dramatic value, being
no longer as in the Middle Ages the immovable exposition of an
unchangeable truth but the impassioned search for knowledge in all its
branches, the moral life of humanity."


His decorations of the Camera de la Segnatura are probably among the
greatest contributions to decorative art ever made. They are certainly
among the most interesting. Only Michelangelo's wonderful decorations
in the Sistine Chapel rival them and there are some critics who would
concede the palm to Raphael. Here we have the index not only of his
power to paint marvellously but also of his intellectual genius and
his judgment of values in the history of literature and philosophy.
Such pictures as the "Disputa" and the "School of Athens" are real
contributions to the history of human thought. Only a man who was
himself of profound intellectuality on a plane of equality with the
great intellectual geniuses whom he was painting could have conceived
and completed these magnificent groups of the world's greatest men
successfully. It has been well said that to appreciate properly the
pictures of the Segnatura is of itself an education. To be able to
take them in their full significance as essays in art and in the
history of literature and philosophy is to have gone far on the road
to culture. Raphael's achievement here is that of a great mind gifted
with a wonderful power of comprehension as well as an almost
unrivalled faculty of expression. No decorative pictures of the modern
time, however great, can be placed beside them.

It has often been a source of wonder how Raphael was able to paint so
appropriately the figures of Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and others in
his great picture of the "School of Athens." Only the genius that
gives men intuition, that enabled Shakespeare to portray wonderfully
the character of the men of all times and the blind Homer to give us
an enduring picture of man could have enabled him to do it. It was the
time of the New Learning and the recently aroused interest in the
classics, but no mere accumulation of information would ever have made
him capable of such a representation. As Gladstone once said of Homer,
a whole encyclopaedia of information with regard to the Greeks of
Homer's time would not have told us as much about them as Homer has
given us. At the time when he did the painting Raphael was not much
more than thirty and his life had been occupied with painting and not
with the accumulation of erudition. Henry Strachey in {9} his sketch
of Raphael calls attention to the fact that none of the great
contemporary Italian humanists were in Rome at this time. Neither
Bembo nor Bibbiena nor Castiglione were where they might be readily
consulted, and it was only Raphael's genius insight that enabled him
to accomplish so wonderfully the task he had been set. For while the
subjects were probably chosen for him he had to work out the details
for himself, and indeed these wonderful compositions show this very

  [Illustration: Raphael, School of Athens]

Raphael revealed for us in the "Camera della Segnatura," as almost no
one else has done, the attitude of mind of his period with regard to
the meaning of life. Years of scholarly devotion to the study of pagan
antiquity and especially the great Greek philosophers and poets, as
well as the remains of its sculpture, had awakened in men's minds a
broader view of life and its significance than had been possible for
centuries. Raphael has summed this up in the wonderful documents that
he has left in the Vatican and put on canvas what the great scholars
of the time tried to express in words. The late Professor Kraus of
Munich in his chapter on Medicean Rome in the second volume of the
Cambridge modern History has told the story of this:

  "The four pictures of the camera represent the aspirations of the
  soul of man in each of its faculties; the striving of all humanity
  towards God by means of aesthetic perception (Parnassus), the
  explanation of reason in philosophical inquiry and all scientific
  research (the _School of Athens_), order in Church and State (_Gift
  of Ecclesiastical and Secular Laws_) and finally Theology. The whole
  may be summed up as a pictorial representation of Pico della
  Mirandola's celebrated phrase, _philosophia veritatem quaerit,
  theologia invenit, religio possidet;_ and it corresponds with what
  Marsilio says in his _Academy of Noble Minds_ when he characterized
  our life's work as an ascent to the angels and to God."

Artists and poets and writers have vied with each other in saying
strong words of high praise with regard to these decorations. The
Blashfields in their "Italian Cities" have told the story of the
limitations under which he worked, those of the room, lighted from two
sides with two walls pierced by {10} windows, and then the fact that
to a great extent probably his subjects were dictated, yet he must
needs body them forth in concrete form and clearly. How well the young
artist not only overcame these difficulties but out of the very
difficulties created the most marvellous portions of his masterpieces
the Blashfields have also told.

In one paragraph they have detailed the story of Raphael's
associations with the artists of Rome at that period. Because it gives
some idea of the wealth of artistic genius existent in this time it
concerns us deeply here. They say: "The Urbinate (Raphael) strong as
he was, had felt the need of strengthening himself still further by
acquiring the friendship of other artists, and creating a kind of
little court. We are told that almost nightly at his table there met,
Luca Signorelli, Pietro Perugino, Baldassare Peruzzi, Giovanantonio
Bazzi and Lorenzo Lotto. What an age! when a single supper party could
furnish such an assemblage of world-famous artists, who in turn, as
they went from their quarters in the Borgo Vecchio, might meet
Michelangelo returning from the Vatican with the contingent of
Florentines, Bugiardini, Granacci, Aristotile da Sangallo, and
l'Indaco, who were helping him in the Sistine Chapel."

So much has been said of the Camera della Segnatura that it is
sometimes forgotten that there are other rooms at the Vatican
decorated by Raphael, only less wonderful than this. If they existed
anywhere else they would be prized very highly, and if they were by
any other artist would place him among the great artists of all time.
The Camera del Incendio, so called because of the representation of
"The Fire in the Borgo," has in this scene one of the most dramatic
pictures ever painted. There are other great dramatic subjects finely
treated here, as "The Oath of Leo III" and the "Coronation of
Charlemagne." In this work Raphael was probably assisted to a
noteworthy extent by pupils and associates, yet all of it is stamped
with his genius. There are in the Camera del Eliodoro such pictures as
"Jacob's Dream," the "Sacrifice of Isaac" and the "Burning Bush,"
which show Raphael's wonderful power of composition and at the same
time the readiness of genius which enabled him to turn from one
subject to another, accomplishing {11} so much that one is astounded
to think of how ideas must have crowded on him and yet how well all is
done considering that the artist so often needs above all the element
of time to perfect his work. Had Raphael been spared to the ordinary
length of life or to such years as Michelangelo's four score and ten
or Titian's almost five score, what an abundance of his art there
would be in the world.

One of Raphael's greatest works at Rome is comparatively little
appreciated except by those whose attention has been particularly
called to it. This was his making of the cartoons for the series of
tapestries to be hung in the Sistine Chapel. These tapestries were to
be manufactured in the Low Countries, but the Pope wanted the subjects
that were to be represented to come from Raphael. Raphael consented to
make the cartoons for them, though he knew that they would be cut into
rolls some two inches wide to be handed over to the weavers. He had no
idea that they would ever be exhibited except in the imperfect way in
which tapestry can represent painting. Most artists of high rank would
probably refuse such a commission. Certainly it seemed rather
derogatory to his dignity as an artist to think that he should furnish
only copies that were themselves to have no place among his collected
works and prove at most a dubious addition to his fame. Under these
circumstances it would not have been surprising if the composition and
the manner of execution of the cartoons had been far below that of his
works in painting and fresco.

He gave himself to the commission, however, whole-heartedly and
executed a series of designs that are among the greatest compositions
that have ever come from an artist's hand. These cartoons, after
having been copied in tapestry, lay in the narrow rolls into which
they had been slit in the tapestry factory in the Low Countries until,
resurrected almost in our own time, they became the most precious
treasures of the South Kensington Museum in London. Here they have
been the favorite study of artists from all countries and have added
laurels to Raphael's crown of artistic glory. He had the artist's true
sense of joy in work and the artistic conscience to satisfy the canons
of his own judgment and taste, even in a task that was to represent
him only at second hand. Almost {12} never in history has the great
artist consented thus to make himself subsidiary to the artisan, and
that Raphael, the greatest of artists, should have done it shows the
genuine spirit of true art as developed at this time.

Some of these cartoons, as "St. Paul Preaching to the Athenians," are
considered among Raphael's greatest works. Raphael has well been
called the greatest decorator who ever lived, yet he consented to add
his mite to the decoration of the Sistine Chapel, in which
Michelangelo's triumphant work stood out so grandly above, in order
that the hangings on the walls might be worthy of that wonderful
chapel that a great Pope had planned and had had the happy faculty of
securing the greatest men of all time as collaborators in finishing.

Perhaps nothing shows the wonderful artistic power and influence of
Raphael more than the fact that his compositions have dictated
practically all the interpretation of Bible scenes for the after time.
Quite unconsciously men have adopted his way of looking at things. He
did not costume Biblical characters in the clothes of his own time,
but on the other hand, in spite of his wide knowledge as an
archaeologist, he did not attempt to make his pictures true to the
genuine life of the times and the costuming of the older period. The
set of cartoons particularly illustrate how well he visualized the
scenes and yet the Apostles are dressed in garments that they never
wore. As I write there is before me an engraving of Paul preaching to
the Athenians. That Unknown God whom they had worshipped he is come to
preach to them. It is a wonderful composition. Probably nothing has
ever excelled it. There is probably not a single feature in it,
however, that in any way represents what is true to history in the
scene or the people. After his time for centuries his visualization
satisfied people's minds, so much is genius able to impose itself on

The Sistine Madonna, the only picture of Raphael's painted on canvas,
is usually considered to be the greatest religious painting that ever
was executed and one of the most wonderful realizations of vivid
poetic imagination that the world possesses. Everything in it is full
of sublime suggestion. The majestic attitude of the Madonna posed upon
the clouds, her face of perfect beauty, her far-away gaze of rapt
veneration {13} and absorption in her motherhood, but motherhood of
the Divine, proclaim her a vision from Heaven. No more wonderful
conception of the human mother of the Divinity has ever been reached
and yet critics and artists are a unit in proclaiming that the Virgin
Mother is surpassed in wondrous realization of profound imagination by
the Divine Child Whom she holds so tenderly in her arms. He looks out
into the world from those arms with solemn sacred eyes that somehow
give the idea of His profound interest in all that He sees and of an
all-embracing vision. Then there is the rugged, bearded Pope Sixtus
gazing upward with rapt devotion and the graceful, beautiful Saint
Barbara adequately representative of the modest virgins who all over
the world, for all the time since the coming of Christ, modestly cast
their eyes down before the Virgin Mother and her child. Below are the
two exquisite boy angels, whose charming childish attitudes of rapture
have always roused so much interest.

It is said that these were the portraits of two little boys who came
to gaze, boy fashion, curiously into the window of the studio while
Raphael was painting. His transformation of the mischievous,
inquisitive, supremely boyish faces into the look of angelic rapture
is one of the triumphs of the picture that have always made it of the
greatest interest. Painted originally for an Italian Church it is now
the treasure of the gallery of Dresden, where it occupies a room by
itself that is more like a shrine to which devout worshippers come
from all over the world and in which as in some sacred place the
visitor distinctly lowers his voice and walks on tiptoe. Nothing tells
more of what the picture means than to watch the crowds that come from
all over the world to see it and the way in which it is almost
worshipped by those whose opinion is worth the most.

After the Sistine Madonna, unfortunately for art, Raphael's attention
was drawn more and more from its special sphere of work as a painter
and his time was taken up and his attention absorbed by the larger,
wider pursuits of art director and archaeologist. This would not have
been so sad perhaps only for the brevity of the life destined to be
his. Had he lived to three score and ten the ten years devoted to
these {14} phases of art work, as they may well be called, would
probably have proved beneficial to his development. As it was we are
likely to think of it as time wasted by a great genius painter. His
art directorship proves the genius of the man. His workshop at Rome
gradually took on the character of a school of art. In this designs
were prepared not only for fresco but for mosaic work, for tapestry,
for the carving of wood and stone and even for engraving and other
phases of art. Vasari mentions fifty scholars who were employed as
pupils and assistants in this workshop. In the meantime Raphael's
interest in art history and his passion for classical art led him to
dispatch artists to Naples and Athens, to make drawings of noteworthy
antiquities that had been discovered. His manifold interests serve to
show how broad were his own sympathies with everything artistic.

Towards the end of his life, though Raphael at thirty-five had no idea
that death was impending, he devoted himself to the study of Roman
antiquities and to the direction of the archaeological excavations
which were then being carried on in Rome. He had conceived the design
of reconstructing an entire plan of ancient Rome, based partly on the
discoveries of the excavators and partly on the descriptions of
classical writers. For this he made numerous plans and sketches with
his own hand, and though these have unfortunately perished, there is
in the Library at Munich a copy of the report which he drew up on this
subject. It is in the form of a Latin letter to Pope Leo X, showing
how deeply the Pope was interested in the scheme and that very
probably it was due to his urging that Raphael took it up. This letter
has been declared a monument to the industry and the archaeological
learning of the artist. Ordinarily in the modern time we are likely to
think that the artist devotes himself to his painting and leaves to
the professional scholar such work as this. We do not look for
many-sidedness in the artist. Raphael, however, like Leonardo da Vinci
and Michelangelo, evidently had a magnificent breadth of intellect
that would have given the most precious fruits of the spirit in many
lines besides painting, had he only lived to anything like the years
of so many of his great contemporaries.





When it was announced that the "Mona Lisa" had been stolen from the
Louvre a thrill of solicitude that was almost dismay went through the
civilized world. Its recovery has been a triumph. It is only a woman's
portrait, herself of no importance, with what some might call a
conventional landscape behind it, all on a comparatively small canvas,
with its colors rather dimmed by time and by unfortunate surroundings
during its somewhat over four hundred years of existence, yet it was
looked upon as one of the most precious art treasures of the race.
Critics with a right to an opinion have often declared that it was
probably the greatest portrait of a human being that had ever been
painted. When we recall how magnificently Rembrandt portrayed the
Dutch burghers of his time, with what marvellous expression Raphael
painted some of the personages he knew and how wondrously Velasquez
painted some of his contemporaries; the placing of Leonardo's "Mona
Lisa" above them by good critics shows what a supreme place must be
accorded to it in the history of art. Art critics have expressed
themselves in almost unmeasured terms as to the significance of the
expression on the face of the "Mona Lisa." They do not hesitate to
proclaim that Leonardo painted the very soul and not merely the bodily
features of a woman. Walter Pater in his "The Renaissance" has written
an almost dithyrambic description of it that is well known and yet
deserves to be quoted again if only to show how a really great critic
can be carried away by a favorite work of art:--

  "'La Gioconda' is, in the truest sense, Leonardo's masterpiece, the
  revealing instance of his mode of thought and work. In
  suggestiveness, only the 'Melancholia' of Dürer is comparable to it;
  and no crude symbolism disturbs the effect of its subdued and
  graceful mystery. We all know the face {16} and hands of the figure,
  set in its marble chair, in that cirque of fantastic rocks, as in
  some faint light under sea. Perhaps of all ancient pictures time has
  chilled it least.

  "The presence that thus rose so strangely beside the waters, is
  expressive of what in the ways of a thousand years man had come to
  desire. Here is the head upon which all 'the ends of the world are
  come,' and the eyelids are a little weary. It is a beauty wrought
  out from within upon the flesh, the deposit, little cell by cell, of
  strange thoughts and fantastic reveries and exquisite passions. Set
  it for a moment beside one of those white Greek goddesses or
  beautiful women of antiquity, and how would they be troubled by this
  beauty, into which the soul with all its maladies has passed? All
  the thoughts and experience of the world have etched and moulded
  there, in that which they have of power to refine and make
  expressive the outward form, the animalism of Greece, the lust of
  Rome, the reverie of the middle age with its spiritual ambition and
  imaginative loves, the return of the Pagan world, the sins of the
  Borgias. She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the
  vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of
  the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen
  day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern
  merchants; and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as
  Saint Anne, the mother of Mary; and all this has been to her but as
  the sound of lyres and flutes, and lives only in the delicacy with
  which it has moulded the changing lineaments, and tinged the eyelids
  and the hands."

While the "Mona Lisa" was undoubtedly the greatest of Leonardo's
portraits, perhaps the best possible idea of Leonardo's power as an
artist is to be found in the "Last Supper." Instead of making a placid
group he has chosen the moment just after the Lord had said that one
of the Twelve will betray Him and when all are asking "Is it I, Lord?"
He represents not only the individual shock but also the natural
grouping that occurred as a consequence of the announcement There are
four groups of three each, separate and with very distinct interest
and yet they are so arranged as not to break the unity of the picture.
On the left side the outer three {17} are all intently gazing on the
Lord while the external group on the other side are gazing away from
Him, but their hands all point towards Him. The inner three on the
right are talking directly to Him while the corresponding three on the
left are occupied among themselves and yet evidently intent on Him.
There was probably never put together a more expressive set of faces.
Each one is eminently individual, and each one shows marvellously the
character of the Apostle represented. It has been said that it is as
if the painter had made a condensed biography of each one of them with
his brush. All the special characteristics of the different Apostles
that we know are here to be seen in their faces. He has painted the
souls and characters of the men in the imaginary portraits that he

There is an old tradition mentioned by Vasari, that charming gatherer
of legends with regard to the old painters, that Leonardo, unable to
satisfy himself with the head and face of Jesus, left it unfinished.
This would indeed have been a sad loss to art. Leonardo hesitated for
long, wondering above all whether he should follow a model, but
finally made his peace with tradition, accepted the type of head for
the Lord that had been created by Giotto, and refining it still more
succeeded in giving a look of mystic superhumanity to it that would
evoke the idea of divinity. It is easy to see how much he borrowed but
it is harder to realize how much he added, yet artists who have
studied it have felt that here indeed was a triumph and that, as far
as possible, Leonardo had represented the human face divine. He
followed his model strictly in the case of the Apostles' heads and
none knew better than he how to select models, but in the head of
Christ he turns from the model and works out his design from ideals of
the human face of which so many existed in his well-stored fancy. The
face of Christ was left somewhat vague, trembling, undissolved like
faces seen in cloud or in the fire. Leonardo himself once counselled
his students to look for suggestions in curious cloud and fire shapes
and even to study the vague forms that occur in imitation of human
faces on cracked and stained surfaces of ruined walls, and some of his
own devotion to this seems to have been of help to him in this
marvellous face.


Much has been said about the head of Judas in this picture. According
to Vasari, Leonardo fairly outdid himself on this face and head and he
talks about "the force and truth with which the master has exhibited
the imperious determination, hatred and treachery of Judas." According
to another legend he had haunted the purlieus of Florence for months,
searching for a head and face expressive enough in its malignity for
his Judas. Possibly one might expect to find a human monster then in
the Apostle traitor. In spite of Vasari's traditions, who here seems
to have indulged his fancy for the sensational, Judas has a very
interesting human face, rather weak than strong, but with redeeming
qualities in it. After all it must not be forgotten that the face had
to recall or at least not negative the fact that this man had been for
three years in the company of the Lord, chosen as one of the Twelve,
with possibilities of as great accomplishment for good as the others
if he had not turned aside. Judas was not foreordained to be a
traitor, but he made himself such. It was not his nature that
compelled him to the crime, but his failure to control certain
elemental passions, above all the craving for money, that led him into
it. Many a good man since has been led off the same way. We have the
face of a man who might have been one of the honored Apostles. That he
was not is his own fault. It is said that the same model was used by
Leonardo for Peter and Judas. If so, surely it was a stroke of genius.
Peter too was weak. He even denied the Master, but had it in him to
realize his weakness and repent. Peter's face is in the light, Judas'
face in the shadow of Leonardo's picture. If Leonardo had not given
Judas the bag to carry, thrown his face out of the line of the
Apostles near him who are in the light, and made him ominously upset
the salt while reaching for a better quality of bread than that near
him, it would have been rather difficult to pick him out from among
the others.

One thing is absolutely true in this great work of art. All the faces
of the Apostles, with the possible exception of John's, are rudely
strong. The men who were to carry on the work of the Master and
convert the world to Christianity were not effeminate in any sense,
and above all they had been the rough {19} fishermen of Galilee. Their
costumes are modernized, their beards are probably less unkempt than
if they were really Judeans, but here is a group of men whose very
strength of feature makes them striking.

As has been well said, Leonardo broke up the old formality and
immobility of the earlier painters and brought life and action into
the scene. For the first time the personages are deprived of their
halos and there is nothing to make the group of men anything more than
human beings deeply interested in a great purpose and disturbed to the
depths of their beings by the suggestion from the Master Himself that
now that purpose was to be thwarted by the treason of one of their
number. This conception seems all the more natural when we recall that
none of them had as yet been confirmed in grace, that one was to deny,
another betray and all were to be hesitant and cowardly in a great
moment of trial.

With all this of thought in Leonardo's picture it might be expected
that all of his attention would be given to the faces and little to
the composition itself and to the setting of the picture. The exact
contrary is what happens. The composition is probably the most
wonderful ever done. The room itself is so arranged that everything
leads the eye toward the centre of the picture where the Master sits,
while behind Him the middle one of three windows, with an arched
casement, frames Him apart from the Apostles. Through these three
windows at the back can be seen one of the varied mountainous
landscapes that Leonardo delighted in. The extent of the landscape
which can be seen shows that the supper was held in an "upper room."
The bare beams of the ceiling in that coffered arrangement common in
Italy, the walls ornamented with large panel spaces filled in with a
damasked pattern are all worked over with artistic completeness of
detail. It is details of this kind one might expect the painter of the
Last Supper to have overlooked in his intentness on the sublime moment
and the characters. The tablecloth, moreover, is beautifully worked
and the linen and the pattern of it and the folds are done with as
meticulous care as one might expect from a _genre_ painter of tissues.
The glasses and table service are very carefully drawn and every
detail was executed with {20} an artistic conscience and eye to
perfection, even of trifles, that reveals the thoroughness and
all-embracing skill of the artist.

The more one knows of Leonardo's power to paint detail and of his
devoted study of nature, the less surprise is there at the traditions
with regard to his head of Medusa. It was much for an artist to
attempt to make a picture of this hideous head on which were the
writhing serpents, the sight of which, according to tradition, turned
beholders to stone, but he has succeeded in accomplishing a
presentation of the horrible as far as it is possible. The writhing
serpents are done with a devotion to detail and a lifelike naturalness
that only a great observer of nature could have reached. Besides the
serpents in all their varieties there are bats and lizards and vermin
of many kinds in the picture, while the cloudy mephitic breath which
can be seen issuing from the mouth completes the picture. The intense
realism of these details of low animal life is a surprise at that
period, but above all a surprise that it should have been done by a
man who had such wonderful power of idealization when he wished to use
it. It is this combination of qualities so opposite in themselves and
often thought mutually exclusive that makes the never-ending surprise
of Leonardo's genius. That the painter of the "Last Supper" and the
charming "Madonna of the Rocks" should have also made this "Head of
Medusa" is indeed difficult to understand, and yet not more than might
be expected from one of the greatest of the artists of the Renaissance
who is at the same time almost the world's most manifold genius.


With all this of magnificent accomplishment in painting, which sets
him on a pinnacle by himself in this great department of art, it might
be thought that Leonardo's main claim to recognition was because of
his painting. He himself, however, would have been the first to object
to estimation of him on any such grounds. He probably scarcely
considered himself to be a painter at all, or at least occupied
himself with painting only in his leisure moments. He beat
Michelangelo once in a competition in sculpture, but doubtless thought
less of himself as a sculptor than as a painter. He made what his
generation declared to be the greatest equestrian statue {21} ever
modelled and his generation knew what they meant by that, for they had
before them two such triumphs of equestrian statuary as Donatello's
"Gatamelata" and Verrocchio's "Colleoni." Just as in painting, when he
wanted to do sculpture he could do it with a supreme perfection that
is unrivalled. Strange as it may seem, Leonardo thought of himself as
an engineer. He actually took on himself the contract for extending
the canal system around Milan and accomplished it so well that his
work still remains in use. During the course of this he invented the
wheelbarrow, the movable derrick, the self-dumping derrick, various
modes of moving rock, locks for canals and a system for maintaining a
navigable level of water in rivers which were usually nearly dry in
the summer time.

Leonardo had the thorough appreciation of himself that genius is so
likely to have and that in smaller men seems conceit. He knew that
there was practically nothing to which he cared to turn his hand in
which he could not work out original ideas. He was only in his middle
twenties when he wrote the letter to Ludovico Sforza in which he tells
his future patron very calmly all the things he might be expected to
do if the Duke should have need of them.

  "MOST ILLUSTRIOUS LORD.--Having studied and estimated the works of
  the present inventors of warlike engines, I have found that in them
  there is nothing novel to distinguish them. I therefore force myself
  to address your Excellency that I may disclose to you the secrets of
  my art. 1. I have a method of bridges, very light and very strong;
  easy of transport and incombustible. 2. New means of destroying any
  fortress or castle (which hath not foundations hewn of solid rock)
  without the employment of bombards. 3. Of making mines and passages,
  immediately and noiselessly, under ditches and streams. 4. I have
  designed irresistible protected chariots for the carrying of
  artillery against the enemy. 5. I can construct bombards, cannon,
  mortars, passavolanti; all new and very beautiful. 6. Likewise
  battering rams, machines for the casting of projectiles, and other
  astounding engines. 7. For sea combats I have contrivances both
  offensive and defensive; ships whose sides would repel stone and
  iron balls, and explosives, unknown to any soul. 8. In {22} days of
  peace, I should hope to satisfy your Excellency in architecture, in
  the erection of public and private buildings, in the construction of
  canals and aqueducts. I am acquainted with the arts of sculpture and
  painting, and can execute orders in marble, metal, clay or in
  painting with oil, as well as any artist. And I can undertake that
  equestrian statue cast in bronze, which shall eternally glorify the
  blessed memory of your lordship's father and of the illustrious
  house of Sforza.

  "And if any of the above seem extravagant or beyond the reach of
  possibility, I offer myself prepared to make experiment in your
  park; or in whatsoever place it may please your Excellency to
  appoint; to whose gracious attention I most humbly recommend

Was there ever a more confident genius? There was never a man who
fulfilled all his promises better.

What Leonardo was able to accomplish as an engineer can be seen in the
canal some 200 miles in length still in existence by which he
conducted the waters of the Adda over the arduous passes of the
Valtellina to the gates of Milan. In its own way and considering the
conditions under which he had to work and the obstacles that he had to
overcome, this was as great an engineering feat as the digging of the
Panama Canal, certainly a much greater engineering project than the
completion of the Suez Canal, though until Panama came to shroud the
glory of that our generation was inclined to be rather proud of that

So far from being merely an artistic mind Leonardo da Vinci had
typically the scientific and inquiring mind. Whenever a scientific
problem came up to him, no matter how others had solved it before him
and above all no matter how his contemporaries were solving it, he
solved it for himself and almost inevitably in the true light of
science. For instance while he was engineer, in charge, to use our
modern term, of the canals of central Italy, the cuttings necessary
for them brought to light a series of fossils. These were mainly
shells resembling the seashells of his time, though not exactly like
them. Before this a number of such finds had been made and man had
found it very hard to explain them. They were usually {23} uncovered
beneath a rather thick layer of earth. They looked like shells that
belonged to creatures that had lived on a seashore. How could their
presence be explained far from the sea and completely covered up?
Occasionally, when found near the surface on the tops of rather high
mountains a distance from the sea, the explanation had been offered
and generally accepted that they had been deposited there by the
Deluge. The buried shells and especially those deeply buried could not
be thus explained. Scientists, and let us not forget that it was
scientists in the true sense of the term who were especially concerned
with such objects, men who knew their mathematics and principles of
science very well and who had made valuable observations in other
departments of science, evolved a learned theory of their presence.
These were incomplete beings occurring in the earth because of a
surplusage of creative power that had not quite finished its work.
Their development had been arrested as it were before they actually
became living creatures. When Leonardo da Vinci ran across the shells
in the cuttings for his canals, he suggested another and a simpler
explanation as it seemed to him. These were actually marine shellfish,
which had been deposited where they now were at a time when this
portion of land was submerged by the sea. They had become covered
during the process of sedimentation and transformation of the land
which had gradually pushed the sea far away. It always requires a
genius to offer so simple an explanation as that, and as a rule it
seems quite out of the question to most of his contemporaries, because
of its very simplicity. They usually express their disdain for such
simple-mindedness or wrong-headedness rather forcibly, though after a
time they come to accept the explanation of it, but usually refuse to
give the inventor any credit for his idea, because it now seems so
obvious that they cannot think of it as so very new, after all.

We know that Leonardo had made a series of studies of the shells of
the seashore, though ordinarily it was presumed that his studies had
been directed rather to their artistic beauty than to scientific
knowledge with regard to them. Apparently his very familiarity with
them, however, led him to lay the foundation stone of the science of
palaeontology. There are {24} sketches of a number of the spiral
shells to be found in his notebooks. These are all charming in their
pretty curves, and they caught his artistic eye. Nature never makes
anything merely useful. This strong outwardly rude cover of shell for
the amorphous ugly shellfish--that is, ugly according to most human
standards--is very pretty in its forms and its color. The fine use
that Leonardo made of his study in seashells was pointed out by
someone who studied some of the spiral staircases for the corners of
palaces in Northern Italy which Leonardo is said to have planned.
These were only private stairways leading usually from the ladies'
apartments to the gardens of the castles and were probably designed to
be useful as fire escapes. They projected sometimes from the angles of
the building. We know what hideous things fire escapes can be. These
were very pretty and effectively decorative. They were planned in
imitation of the spirals of some of the whorl seashells that Leonardo
had been studying.

Everywhere we find that mixture of the devotion to the useful and the
practical as well as the aesthetic, to the scientific as well as the
artistic. He made a series of dissections. These dissections were made
at a time when, if we would believe certain of our modern historians
of science in its relation to religion, the Church had absolutely
forbidden dissection. Such declarations are all the more
incomprehensible because not only did all the anatomists and surgeons
of this century do dissection quite freely, and the greatest
dissections were done in Rome by the Papal Physicians in the Papal
Medical School, but every artist of the time studied anatomy for art
purposes through dissections. We have dissections from Raphael and
from Michelangelo and from many others as well as from Leonardo da

Leonardo proposed after making a large number of dissections to write
a text-book of anatomy. Ordinarily it might seem that such a text-book
from an artist's hands would be eminently superficial and not at all
likely to further the science of anatomy, though it might be helpful
for students of art, especially in their dissection work. During the
past twenty years, however, a series of Leonardo's sketches made from
his dissections have been republished from a number of {25}
collections of the originals in important libraries in Europe. The
collection at Windsor Castle in England is particularly valuable and
the sketches are very complete. Anyone who looks over these
republications will realize at once that had Leonardo written his
text-book of anatomy and illustrated it with his own drawings, it
would have been an epoch-making landmark in the history of anatomy and
of medicine.

It was not until a quarter of a century after the artist's death that
Vesalius, but five years old when Leonardo died, published his great
anatomical text-book. At the time Vesalius was only twenty-seven years
of age, but his work revolutionized anatomy and he is rightly greeted
as the father of modern anatomy. Had Vesalius had the opportunity to
consult Leonardo's work, his own would have been greatly facilitated.
It was not merely anatomy for art purposes but for all purposes,
scientific as well as artistic, that Leonardo with characteristic
thoroughness had studied.

There are studies of his in zoology, made evidently for the sake of
his work in sculpture, that represent important additions to this
scientific department. The same thing is true with regard to botany.
Flowers caught his artistic eye, but they appealed quite as much to
the scientific sense and so we find sketches of many varieties of them
that are very interesting but also very startling from a scientific
standpoint because they show a knowledge of the parts of the flowers
in detail not usually supposed to exist at that time. One is not
surprised to hear that he did distinguished work in mathematics.
Somehow the exact scientific bent of his mind and its literalness in
all matters pertaining to science would lead us to expect that. There
probably never has been a mind so thoroughly rounded out as his.
Aristotle had greater scientific precision and wider knowledge, but
lacked something at least of Leonardo's power to execute his artistic
ideas, or we would surely have some great art from him or traditions
of it. It is even not startling, with this knowledge of the scientific
side of Leonardo's mind, to find that he advanced a theory of
evolution. That generalization far from being new, as is often
imagined, has appealed to many great investigating minds down the
centuries, according to the title of a modern {26} scientist's history
of the theory all the way "From the Greeks to Darwin."

One of the most interesting anticipations of a set of ideas that are
definitely considered quite modern, and indeed have developed so
recently that we are not quite sure of all their significance as yet,
is Leonardo da Vinci's occupation with muscular movements and the
saving of time and labor by carefully regulating these movements. He
suggested that each different kind of work done by human muscular
labor should be carefully studied, with the idea of simplifying and
reducing the number of movements necessary for its accomplishment in
order to save both time and effort. In a word he anticipated
practically the modern ideas of the efficiency engineer of the present
time though, as I have said, we are rather prone to think these ideas
quite new and recent.

The personality of this universal genius is one of the most
interesting that mankind has to study. Every detail is of special
import. Leonardo da Vinci was born of the noble Florentine house of
Vinci in the Val d'Arno. He was a precocious child, attracting
attention by his beauty of feature and by his winning ways. There are
stories of his improvising music and songs even when he was very
young. A little later we hear of him pitying the caged songbirds and
buying them and setting them free. As a growing boy he liked colors;
indeed, they may almost be said to have had a fascination for him, and
the bright dresses of the Florentine girls and of the peasants from
the vicinity caught his eye. Tradition also connects him with a fancy
for spirited horses. As if these were not enough to show an artistic
temperament, while still scarcely more than a boy he began to design
and sketch and even mould objects that he was interested in. Vasari's
stories of him show that even at this early date, when he was only a
boy, his sketches and plastic work had for subjects smiling women.

His vocation seemed clear and his father took him for education to the
workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio, then the greatest artist in
Florence and one whose work has always maintained an influence over
succeeding generations. Those of us who have seen his "Colleoni" in
Venice are likely to think {27} of him as a great sculptor.
Undoubtedly he was one of the great sculptors of the world, but he had
the broad artistic spirit of the men of the Renaissance, and there was
no form of art in which he was not interested and in which he did not
accomplish things worthy of his great time to be the admiration of
succeeding generations. Verrocchio was a great painter as well as a
sculptor, but he was also a worker in metals and, as so many of these
artists of the Renaissance, quite ready to design household objects
for even ordinary use, provided only he was allowed to put beauty in
them. Drinking vessels, instruments of music, gates, wooden doors and
above all any objects that were meant for sacred uses he was glad to
take commissions for.

It was just the place to train such a many-sided genius as Leonardo,
though rather let us say it was just the place for such a many-sided
genius to find and train himself. Certainly the young Leonardo must
have owed very little except suggestion and some minor directions in
technics to anyone else. He very soon came to surpass his master in
painting at least, and the master recognized that fact apparently
without any jealousy. According to the story as we have it, Verrocchio
was employed by the Brethren of Vallombrosa to paint the "Baptism of
Christ." Leonardo was given by the master permission to paint an angel
in the left-hand corner. There was such a striking contrast between
the fresh youthful work of the pupil and the labored work of the
master that Verrocchio is said to have painted no more, or at least
made no more ambitious attempts at great pictures. Sculpture was
always the favorite of the old master, however, so that it was not so
much of a tragedy.

It was after this, in his early manhood, that Leonardo became
interested in the things of nature around him and made many
investigations into their meaning. He took up astronomy for a time and
anticipated some of the thoughts that Copernicus was to put in order
in his great theory. Such ideas in astronomy were in the air at that
time. Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa had more than hinted at them when,
about the middle of the fifteenth century, he declared that the earth
moved in the heavens like the other stars. Astronomical subjects were
{28} favorite speculations for intellectual genius. Regiomontanus, who
died before he was forty, was alive in Leonardo's boyhood, and after
having begun that series of astronomical leaflets which later were to
influence so deeply Columbus and the Portuguese navigators, was
invited down to Rome to reform the calendar. Toscanelli made the
observations on comets, out of which later their orbits were
confirmed. Every form of natural observation caught the inquiring
Leonardo's eye, and he studied the plants around him and meditated on
crystal formation and occupied himself with all the forms of living
things. Somehow his feeling seemed to be that such broadening of his
intelligence would help him to breadth of expression in art, though
probably it was only his native curiosity occupying itself in the
insatiable youthful years with everything that came to hand. His
achievements in science are sketched hurriedly in the chapter on
Physical Science.

Leonardo seems to have occupied himself much with mechanical toys. He
made mechanical birds that flew, mechanical lions that walked and a
lizard which crawled and whose horns and eyes moved while the
oscillating wings were constantly in motion. Every one of these
contrivances, however, was the result of serious study. He took up
with great assiduity the problem of flying and was quite sure that he
would be able to make a machine by which men would accomplish
locomotion through the air. He studied the wings of birds very
carefully, and anticipated the knowledge of most of the principles of
flight as they developed in later years. He used his mechanical lion
as a bait to catch the attention of Francis I. The beast is said to
have walked across the audience chamber towards the monarch until,
when close to him, it stood up and disclosed the fact that the "Lily
of France" was stamped upon its heart. Leonardo's own name is derived
from lion and this was supposed to be his declaration of patriotic
affection and loyalty to the French King.

Something of the _busyness_ of his mind can be understood from the
gossip that one hears about him in the letters of the time or even
from what may be concluded from his own diary. It is said, for
instance, that in the midst of the painting of the "Last Supper" there
was quite an interruption in the work {29} because Leonardo became
very much interested in the invention of a new machine for mincing
meat and making sausages. The head of one of the Apostles was left
unfinished for a time because Leonardo could not get the blades of the
new machine fixed so as to make them more to his satisfaction.
Unfriendly critics said that he would do anything so as to get away
from his painting. Those who least understood declared that this was
because he was trivial of mind and incapable of concentrating his
attention. Anyone who has done artistic work of any kind, or indeed
has devoted himself to literary work of any description, is likely to
understand Leonardo's ways in such matters. The time comes when the
particular vein of thought is exhausted for the moment and new ideas
come slowly and with difficulty. The serious self-critical writer or
artist recognizes that what he does at such times has not the
significance he would like it to have and that he is likely to have to
erase or greatly modify most of it afterwards or to regret it if he
does not. If he is wise, then, he turns aside and gives his mind a
complete rest by devoting it to something quite different from that in
which he has been engaged before. If he insists on continuing his work
after inspiration ceases or his particular vein of thought runs out,
it becomes more and more difficult and more and more of a drudgery.
Finally, unless he is almost entirely without proper
self-appreciation, he literally has to give up the work that has
become so difficult.

Leonardo did not wait for this, but after a certain set of ideas had
run out devoted himself to other and quite different things. He had
had trouble with cleaning his brushes, and had found that a rather
strong lye could be extracted from fowls' droppings. He at once
devoted considerable time to finding out whether the material thus
obtained could not also be used for the washing of linen. Indeed, his
attention to inventions for the relief of domestic difficulties stamps
him as quite modern in his notions. Besides his sausage-making machine
he invented a spit for the roasting of pigs and designed various forms
of utensils that would be handier than those commonly in use at that

Some of Leonardo's expressions are well worth chronicling {30} because
they show us so well the character of the man. He did not write any
moral essays, but a number of expressions of his that have been
preserved show that he had decided and very definite opinions with
regard to many important human interests. His greatest picture was
probably the "Battle of the Standards," in which, according to the
descriptions preserved for us, he pictured all the horrors of war. He
depicted the frenzy of contest at its fiercest. In one of his famous
expressions he disposes of war in two words as _pazzia bestialissima_.
I find it a little hard to translate that in the force of the
original, but I suppose it would be something like "the climax of
animal frenzy." Even that is not as strong as that superlative
_bestialissima_ in Italian.

The ease with which he transferred his services from one distinguished
noble master to another has led some to suggest that he was lacking in
loyalty, or at least was quite satisfied with life so long as he found
someone to pay him for his work. As a matter of fact he often spent
much more in experiments of various kinds than he was paid for the
results of his labors, and money seems to have meant very little to
him. He was known to be generous to his friends, and he once said "the
poor are those who have many wants." He realized very well that
poverty is entirely relative, and if a man is dissatisfied with what
he has he is poor, no matter how much he has. As might be expected,
above all Leonardo realized the preciousness of work. For him indeed
blessed was the man who had found his work. His expression was "as a
day well spent gives joyful sleep, so does a life well spent give
joyful death."

With the disturbed conditions in Italy in his time he probably had to
suffer many injustices, frequently had his labors interrupted, his
work often undone, and it is easy to understand how much the jealousy
of smaller men around him must have irritated him. He realized,
however, that happiness depends on not permitting one's self to be
bothered by such trifles. The only satisfaction is to go on with one's
works. As he said, "The best shield against injustice is to double the
cloak of longsuffering." His philosophy of life was in many ways
ideal, then. Something of a stoic one needs must be to follow {31} it,
but why should the petty trivialities of foolish human squabbling
disturb a man who has all of art and science spread out before him and
who knows so much more than others of his generation, but whose
knowledge surely must have made it very clear to him how little after
all he knew of all that was to be known?

Like his Italian contemporaries, generally, Leonardo remained faithful
in his adhesion to the old Church. His charming "Madonna" and his
"Last Supper" could scarcely have come from one who was not a
believer. If these things were mere matters of imagination for the
artists of the Renaissance, they would not have been expressed with
such marvellous reality. We do not know much about his life, though we
know so much about his work and thought. When he came to die, however,
he left a legacy for masses for his soul. This was the custom of the
time and might very well be considered only a conventional
acknowledgment of his adhesion to the customs of his contemporaries.
Besides, however, he left a sum of money for candles to be burnt at
the shrine of the Blessed Virgin in the little village where he had
been raised as a boy and where he had often prayed. This would seem to
indicate that the faith of his childhood was still precious to him or
had come back in its boyish tenderness at the end of his life. His
whole career is that of a wonderfully-rounded man who could scarcely
fail to recognize the place of the spiritual in life and its
significance for man's understanding of the universe.

Burckhardt concludes one of the chapters of his work on "The
Renaissance in Italy" with words that probably sum up better than any
others Leonardo's character. No one was better fitted to know whereof
he spoke than the great German historian of the Renaissance. "The
colossal outlines of Leonardo's nature can never be more than dimly
and distantly conceived."




Probably the greatest artistic genius that the world has ever known,
certainly the man who was best able to express his thoughts most
perfectly in every mode of art, with chisel, pencil, brush and pen,
was the son of Lodovico de Leonardo Buonarroti-Simoni, whom succeeding
generations have known as Michelangelo. He was a member of a noble
Italian family much reduced in the world. They claimed to be related
to the celebrated Counts of Canossa in Northern Italy, and when Angelo
became famous there was a recognition of the relationship by the head
of the Canossa family of that day. Nobility is usually willing to be
related to great genius, but genealogists have not been able to trace
the relationship. When Michelangelo was born (March 6, 1475), his
father was the governor of the Castle of Caprese, which stood on the
crest of a bold and rocky ridge of the Catenaian Alps, overlooking the
wild and rugged hills in which the Tiber and Arno rise. He died two
months before Shakespeare's birth in 1564, when another month of life
would have brought him to his ninetieth year. He is another typical
example of the fact that genius usually inhabits long-lived bodies.
Great men may be short-lived by accident, but as a rule the
over-abounding vitality, which enables a great mind to express itself
greatly, also enables the personality with which it is associated to
reach longevity.

It is fortunate for us, seeing that Angelo was such a great genius,
that as Lilly said: [Footnote 2] "There are few great men of whom we
possess so many and such authentic documents." His works are the
living monuments of his genius, but we have, besides even minute
details of all his long life, his struggles, {33} his triumphs, his
friendships, his patrons and above all the fire of trial through which
his genius passed in order to secure its expression of itself.

  [Footnote 2: W. S. Lilly: "Renaissance Types." Macmillan, 1904.]

Michelangelo's mother died when he was very young, her only place in
his life being that she gave him his name because she saw something
divine in him, though perhaps that is not rare. When his father's term
of office expired he returned to Florence, but left his infant son at
Caprese in the care of a wet nurse, the daughter of a stone mason and
the wife of another stone mason. Michelangelo often said that he
imbibed a love for marble and stone-cutting with his first
nourishment. The chisel and mallet were his early play-toys, and
though he was but six when taken to Florence, there is a tradition of
rude charcoal sketches made on the walls by him in his country home.
In Florence he was sent to the school of the famous grammarian,
Francesco Venturino of Urbino, the teacher of the New Learning, who
was also some years later a teacher of Raphael. Michelangelo,
according to tradition, paid little attention to his books, however,
but was constantly to be found with a pencil in his hand, making
sketches of all kinds. He became associated with some art pupils and
artists, and before long most of his time was given up to drawing and

While Michelangelo lived in the Renaissance time, and was undoubtedly
influenced very deeply by the humanistic movement, this influence was
exerted in very different fashion from what is usually supposed by
those who think of the Renaissance as the time when the re-discovery
of the Greek classics made for book-knowledge and a consequent
deepening and sharpening of the intellectuality of man. Michelangelo
had very little interest in books at any time, probably despised
scholarship, had little Latin, though it would have been so easy for
him to have learned it, seeing that his native tongue was Italian, and
had probably no Greek. He died, as I have said, the year that
Shakespeare was born, and much has been made of the supposed
impossibility of Shakespeare's wonderful conception of the universe of
man without more knowledge in the sense of scholarship. Shakespeare
had little Latin and less Greek, but undoubtedly the man who best
deserves place beside him is Michelangelo, who was similarly situated.
{34} Condivi tells us that books were to Michelangelo "a dull and
endless strife." He was very often dreadfully beaten--as the artist
tells it himself, _bene spesso stranamente battuto_--for wandering in
the workshops of artists instead of going to school, or sketching for
himself instead of studying his books.

His father had intended that his son should go into the silk and
woollen business. When he discovered his artistic proclivities, of
course he forbade such foolish waste of time and punished the lad
severely. It seemed a disgrace that a member of the respectable
Buonarroti family should take up so non-lucrative and
little-considered occupation as that of a painter on canvas and worker
in marble. There was the usual result. Michelangelo could not overcome
his native genius, and after some trying scenes his father finally
consented to permit him to enter the studio of Domenico Ghirlandajo,
who was at the moment the most distinguished painter in Italy. It was
not long, moreover, before Angelo was correcting his master's drawing.
At first Ghirlandajo was disturbed by this, but he was won inevitably
by the distinction of Angelo's work until one day he declared, though
altogether Angelo was only a year in his studio, "this young man knows
more of art than I do myself." Then he was given a place in the
Academy of Lorenzo de' Medici, Ghirlandajo having been asked to
nominate two of his best pupils for the Academy and selecting as one
Angelo. Surely this selection proved that the teacher was not, as some
have said, jealous of the pupil.

At Lorenzo's academy Michelangelo came in contact with some of the
most distinguished men of Italy of that day. There were Lorenzo's two
sons, Giovanni and Giulio, who afterwards became Popes Leo X and
Clement VII; Pico della Mirandola, the poet and scholar; Politian, the
poet, classicist and philosopher; Ficino, the head of the Platonic
academy at Florence of that day, and Bibbiena and Castiglione, the
latter subsequently the author of the famous book _"Il Cortigiano."_
The two last-named were Raphael's great friends when a few years later
he was studying in Florence. It is not surprising that under these
circumstances Angelo became very much interested in antique sculpture,
nor that his first independent work was a bas-relief, representing a
battle between Hercules {35} and the Centaurs. This is still preserved
in the Casa Buonarroti, and with its crowded figures reveals the
genius and the assured artistic grasp of the future great sculptor who
executed it.

Angelo, however, soon realized that if he was to do sculpture
successfully he must study not only the outside of the human body and
the antique sculptures, but he must know all the structures of the
body. Accordingly he had dead bodies conveyed from the hospital to a
special room provided for him in the convent of Santo Spirito, and
dissected them carefully. It has often been said in the modern time
that at this period dissection was forbidden by the Church, but there
is absolutely no trace of any such legislation, and every artist of
the latter part of the fifteenth century did dissection. Michelangelo
rewarded the prior of the monastery for his help in these studies by
carving for him a crucifix out of wood, which revealed the benefit
derived from his dissections. With such zeal for art it is not
surprising that the young man soon found himself capable of doing
sculpture of great artistic significance. We have traditions of a
statue of "Hercules," a high relief of the "Madonna" and a "Sleeping
Cupid," which had an eventful history. A dealer buried it in the earth
for a time and then sold it as an antique. Cardinal Riario, who
purchased it, finding out the trick, invited the sculptor, who knew
nothing of the deception, to Rome, and some of his first important
work was done there.

His earliest Roman work was of antique subjects, a "Cupid," which has
been lost, and a "Bacchus," now in the Bargello. His first great
commission, however, came from the Cardinal de St. Denis, the French
Ambassador at Rome. This was of a "Madonna" with the dead Saviour on
her knees, just after His taking down from the Cross. The group is now
in St. Peter's at Rome, and though executed when Michelangelo was less
than twenty-five years of age, has come to be looked upon as one of
the great sculptures of the world. Copies of it are now to be seen in
most of the important museums, so that a good idea of his youthful
genius can be readily obtained by anyone desirous of knowing it.

Some critics have objected that the "Madonna" in the {36} group is
entirely too young to be the mother of the dead son, who lies across
her knees. Michelangelo's own answer to that objection is, of course,
the only one that will interest those who love the group and would
like to know just his meaning. We have it from Condivi, to whom
Michelangelo confided it:

  "Don't you know," he said, "that chaste women keep their youthful
  looks much longer than others? Isn't this much more true in the case
  of a Virgin who had never known a wanton desire to leave its shade
  upon her beauty! ... It is quite the contrary with the form of the
  'Son of God,' because I wanted to show that He really took upon Him
  human flesh, and that He bore all the miseries of man, yet without

The "Pietà" is probably one of the supreme sculptures of all time, but
Michelangelo's next important work was to place him beyond all doubt
in the rank of world sculptors. This was his "David." It is all the
more interesting because of the difficulties under which he executed
it. A huge block of marble of the finest vein lay in the works at
Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, which several sculptors had designed
to make use of and at least two or three had begun work on, but then
had given up. Michelangelo saw it and saw in it the possibilities of a
heroic statue. He offered his design, it was accepted by the
authorities, and he set to work. He built a workshop on the spot and
shut himself up for eighteen months, absolutely refusing to let anyone
see his work. The result was the "David" so well known. A copy of it
was afterwards made in bronze and may be seen on the hill above
Florence. It has often been said that the difference in impressiveness
between the bronze and marble statues shows how much better adapted
marble is for the expression of the human figure. The triumph of the
artist, not only in the execution of this triumphant expression of
youth, but also over the strict limitations of his materials, shows
the eminently practical genius of the man who, at the age of thirty,
was able to accomplish such a work.

  [Illustration: RAPHAEL, POPE JULIUS II]

After these great sculptures, Michelangelo entered into a competition
in painting and was chosen as a rival of Leonardo to decorate one side
of the Council Hall of the Signory. Leonardo was already at work when
Michelangelo received his {37} commission. Unfortunately neither of
the paintings was ever completed. Only a portion of Leonardo's cartoon
remains for us, though Michelangelo's, representing some Pisan
soldiers surprised by Florentines while bathing in the Arno, is now at
Holkham Hall in England and has been well engraved by Schiavonetti.
This cartoon was the subject of much study by contemporaries, and
Raphael particularly was greatly influenced by it.

After this work Michelangelo was summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II
and commissioned to make that great tomb which occupied so much of
Angelo's attention for the next quarter of a century, caused him so
many difficulties and disturbances of mind and was destined eventually
to remain unfinished or at least to be of nothing like the
significance that was originally planned. If one looks a little into
Michelangelo's life at this time, surrounded as he was by the
jealousies of his colleagues, disturbed at his work by political
animosities of various kinds, by the slights of those who failed to
appreciate and the open envy of those who favored his rivals, some
idea of the difficulties of his artistic soul will be understood.

In the midst of his preparations for the making of the great tomb of
Pope Julius, for which he spent nearly a year in the quarries up at
Carrara obtaining the proper kind of marble and working out three or
four statues while the men of the quarries were getting out the other
marble that he wished, the execution of the tomb was put off.
Fortunately the work done at this time was not entirely lost. The two
galley slaves at the Louvre, which are among the greatest sculptures
of their kind ever made, attest Michelangelo's industry, as well as
genius, and they have been favorite studies of artists of all kinds
ever since.

When the execution of the tomb was put off Michelangelo was summoned
to paint the vault of the Sistine Chapel. It is said that he owed this
commission to the jealousy of rivals who hoped to discredit him. The
Sistine Chapel is a most difficult room for effective decoration,
since it is simply an oblong box with a low-vaulted ceiling. It was
this ceiling that Michelangelo was supposed to decorate in fresco. He
{38} refused at first to accept the commission, saying that he was no
fresco painter, but the Pope insisted. For over three years, except
when eating and sleeping, he was hidden behind the scaffolding, lying
on his back most of the time painting above him, so that he could not
read without placing his book above his head after a while. When the
scaffold was taken down, the triumphant manifestation of his genius
revealed one of the most superb monuments of art that the world

As Grimm says, "If a man wants to get an idea of the art of Giotto and
his pupils, architecture and painting together, he must go to the
Campo Santo at Pisa; if he wants the masterpiece of the following art
period, the extensive development that lies between Masaccio and
Michelangelo, he must go to the Sistine Chapel."

Fortunately for the after-time it is one of the few great decorative
works of this time that can be studied as the artist left it, or at
least without having to make allowance for the well-meant additions of
restorers. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has been sadly injured by
smoke and by water percolation from the roof and it has faded somewhat
with time under the conditions of use of the chapel, but it has been
spared from the misguided efforts of men by its position. A great Pope
is said to have said, "There are two ways of ruining a work of art, by
destruction and by restoration." He might well have added, especially
in the light of what has happened even in the Vatican to Raphael and
others, "and of the two the latter is the worse." From this
Michelangelo's great work has happily been saved, and as a result it
remains even in its damaged condition one of the acknowledged triumphs
of human art, undoubtedly the greatest decorative work that has ever
been done since the time of the Greeks.

Some of Michelangelo's greatest work was done for the Julian tomb, and
the triumph of his genius at this time is the "Moses," which was to
have been one of four prophets that were to have found a place on the
monument. It would not be difficult to collect some of the most
effusive expressions of artistic enthusiasm over the "Moses." Men who
are themselves great sculptors have declared that it is the triumph of
man's power over marble. It is extremely difficult, artists have {39}
declared, to give a work in marble a decided facial expression, yet
Michelangelo succeeded in doing it in the "Moses," but, as has also
been said, every portion of the statue partakes of this wonderful
power that he had of making it profoundly expressive. Men whose
opinions are valuable because of their own significant work have been
unstinted in their praise of the now famous knee of the statue and the
wonderful way in which the foot of the right leg rests upon the
ground. All these are but details, however. One must have seen the
statue many times and have had its meaning in every part grow by
repetition of impression, and then something of the wonderful genius
of its sculptor comes home to the beholder. We cannot but regret that
Michelangelo was not permitted in peace to finish the great tomb as he
had planned it, for with the "Moses" as an example we would surely
have had in it the greatest triumph of modern genius in sculpture, if
not indeed of all time.

This is probably one of the most striking figures ever made. It has
made the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, in which it is, a place of
pilgrimage for artists from all over the world, and for all those
interested in art ever since. Michelangelo has taken the moment when
Moses, descending from the Mount with the tables of the law in his
hands, sees before him the procession of the Golden Calf. In Exodus it
is said, "he waxed hot with wrath." Moses has just come from communion
with the Most High, and his wrath is tempered and sublimated by
religious enthusiasm and by the majesty which the consciousness of his
high mission imparts to him. Every portion of the statue breathes with
the wrath of justice, yet with the sublime feeling of the awfulness of
the crime that has just been committed against the Most High and that
His servant must pitilessly condemn.

And yet, had the artist been allowed to work on uninterrupted at the
Julian tomb, we might have missed some or all of the great work that
he accomplished under the direction of the Medici Popes in Florence.
While the "Moses" is looked upon as the finest expression of his
powers in mature years, as the "David" is of his younger life, there
are good critics who have not hesitated to say that Michelangelo's
most {40} interesting work is to be found in the series of statues the
very consummation of the sculptor's skill which are in the sacristy of
San Lorenzo. There are four allegorical figures, "Dawn and Twilight,"
"Day and Night," which recall the principal phases and the rapid
course of man's destiny, in which Michelangelo has expressed in
imperishable marble his thoughts with regard to life and its
significance. There are, besides, two statues of the "Medici," one,
that of "Lorenzo"--not the great Lorenzo, but his son--and the other,
"Giuliano," the younger son of il Magnifico. So little are these
considered, however, now as portrait statues of the Medici that one of
them is known as _il pensiero_, the thinker, and its fellow is
likewise thought of as expressing an ideal rather than a person.
Michelangelo himself had said that in a hundred years no one would
care whom these statues represented, so looking through the temporal
with a great artist's vision they became in his hands symbols of
immortal moods of humanity.

Michelangelo's crowning work of a great lifetime came in his later
years when he devoted himself to architecture. In this department of
art he was as great as in any other and probably greater than anyone
who had ever preceded him. Some of his smaller works, as the "Porta
del Popolo" and the twin churches near it, are admirable in
themselves, yet simple and admirably suited to their surroundings.
Millet once said that the essence of beauty in art consists in the
adaptation of truth so as to suit the conditions. The triumph of
Michelangelo's architecture came in the great dome of St. Peter's. As
the great basilica was unfortunately finished in the after-time, no
proper conception of this can be obtained from the plaza of St.
Peter's. Close up only from the roof of the great Church itself does
one get a true idea of its marvellous beauty and stupendous size. It
was intended, of course, to be seen from a long distance, and when
thus seen it stands out with wondrous effectiveness. In the old days,
when men came in carriages over the mountains to Rome, the Dome of St.
Peter's was the first thing to be seen from twenty miles away, and,
thus seen, profoundly impressed the beholder. From Tivoli, for
instance, when nothing else is visible above the horizon except
Michelangelo's mighty dome, and all of Rome, {41} even on her seven
hills, is lost to sight, its stupendous size and wondrous charm can be
properly appreciated. It then appeals to the beholder not as a work of
man, but seems more like some great natural wonder from the hand of
the Creator Himself.

How Michelangelo succeeded in building it with the materials that he
had at hand, with the assistance--material and personal--that he could
command, and in spite of all the obstacles that were placed in his
path, the misunderstandings, the jealousies, the petty rivalries of
smaller artists, is indeed a wonder. Some of his biographers have been
astonished that he should have known enough of mathematics to be able
to plan and construct it properly. They frankly confess that he had no
opportunity as a young man to make the mathematical studies necessary
for such work and apparently forget that whenever Michelangelo would
do anything he somehow found in himself the power to accomplish his
purpose with absolute thoroughness. He had set out to put the Pantheon
above St. Peter's tomb, and he succeeded in his ambition, for the
great dome, though it does not begin to curve into a dome until it is
more than a hundred feet above the pavement, is somewhat larger in
diameter than the great vault of the Pantheon, the triumph of Roman
power to build, which had been hailed as one of the wonders of the

One further phase of Michelangelo's accomplishment must be mentioned.
This greatest of sculptors, boldest and most successful of architects
and finest of decorative painters, was also one of the greatest of
poets. "Four-souled" is the apt epithet that has been coined to
express this versatility. It has been said that only Dante and
Shakespeare have equalled him in the writing of sonnets, and there is
no doubt at all that he is one of the most important contributors to
Italian literature, even in the glorious Age of Leo X. Addington
Symonds declared his sonnets to be the rough-hewn blocking out of
poems rather than finished works of art, and the great Italian critic,
Bembo, declared "he says _things_, while other poets say words." His
friend and biographer, Condivi, said, "he devoted himself to poetry
rather for his own delight than because he made a profession of it,
always depreciating himself and accusing his {42} ignorance." His
poems were scribbled on the backs of old letters or drawings or other
papers that chanced to be around, and only occasionally copied and
sent off to his friends. Although often urged by his friends, he would
never consent to make any collection of his poems during his lifetime.
Many of them were faithfully preserved, however, and of some of them
the various readings and corrections show that his artistic sense
would not allow him to let things go from him without, to some extent
at least, giving them a form worthy of the thought.

Nowhere can one find the character of Michelangelo better expressed
than in his sonnets, and there is a deep religious vein in them which
reveals the profound belief of this greatest of men in all the great
truths of Christianity and his sense of personal devotion to the
Creator and his dependence on Him and the necessity for doing
everything for Him that is extremely refreshing. For Michelangelo this
was the solution of the mystery of life.

Perhaps the best idea of his sonnets can be obtained from his lines on
Dante. It had come to be the custom during the Renaissance to think
that the only literature worth while thinking about was the classical,
and above all Greek, and that the Middle Ages had produced nothing of
significance in art or letters. Even Dante was not thought to be a
great exception to this rule, though it was admitted that he stood far
above his contemporaries. The word Gothic, as applied to the
architecture, the art and the literature of these rude ancestors, the
descendants of the Gothic barbarians, was invented by the critics of
the Renaissance to express to the full their contempt for the products
of the earlier period. Michelangelo had no illusions with regard to
comparative values. Above all he recognized the surpassing character
of Dante's poetry. His sonnet tells the rest and sympathetically
insists that he would have been willing to have borne even Dante's
years of suffering and exile to produce such marvellous poetry.

  "Into the dark abyss he made his way;
    Both nether worlds he saw, and in the might
    Of his great soul beheld God's splendor bright,
  And gave to us on earth true light of day:
  Star of supremest worth with his clear ray,
    Heaven's secrets he revealed to our dim sight,
    And had for guerdon what the base world's spite
  Oft gives to souls that noblest grace display,
  Full ill was Dante's life work understood,
    His purpose high by that ungrateful state.
  That welcomed all with kindness but the good.
    Would I were such, to bear like evil fate.
  To taste his exile, share his lofty mood!
    For this I'd gladly give all earth calls great."


The bitter rivalries and jealousies that surrounded him have sometimes
produced the impression that Michelangelo must himself have been of a
carping disposition, not ready to acknowledge the merits of other
artists, though it is felt in extenuation, as it were, that in this he
only shared the spirit of the time. Any such impression would be quite
unjustified by what we know of Michelangelo. His admiration for the
ancients was unbounded. It was he who, when they were first excavated,
stepped up to the horses that are now on the Capitoline in Rome, and
patting one of them on the back said "get up," as if they seemed to
him so true to life that they ought to walk off. A single paragraph
from the sketch of Michelangelo in the Artists' Biographies [Footnote
3] will show how thoroughly he appreciated some of his immediate

  [Footnote 3: Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1878.]

  "Angelo was a great admirer of the three famous Florentine artists
  who had preceded him. Of Ghiberti's 'Gates to the Baptistry,' he
  said, 'They are so beautiful that they are worthy of being the gates
  of Paradise.' Standing before Donatello's statue of St. Mark, he
  cried out, 'Mark, why don't you speak to me?' and on another
  occasion he said, 'If St. Mark looked thus we may safely believe
  what he has written.' When he was advised to vary the lantern on the
  Medici Chapel from that which Brunelleschi had built on the old
  sacristy of San Lorenzo, he remarked, 'It may be varied, but not
  improved.' Of other artists he spoke no less pleasantly, saying of
  Gentile da Fabriano that his name corresponded with the grace of his
  {44} style; and of Cesari's medals, that 'art has reached its last
  hour, for beyond this it cannot go.'"

If there ever was a man who had a right to pride himself a little on
his powers and his achievements, surely it was Michelangelo. He had
succeeded in bodying forth thoughts too deep for words in every mode
of human expression, even making words serve his purpose greatly
though inadequately; men of genius had so admired his work and been
influenced by it that all during life he had that sincerest of
flattery, imitation, from men who themselves were among the notable
geniuses of his generation, yet it was he who, in his sonnet towards
the end of his life, begged pardon of his God if he had ever used his
powers as if they were his own and not for the glory of the Creator
who had given them. We have any number of stories of his patient study
of art and architecture, even until the end of his life. Once Cardinal
Farnese met him, when he was past sixty, in solitary contemplation
amid the ruins of the Coliseum. To his question as to why he was there
and alone, Angelo replied, "I am still at school taking my lessons so
that I may continue to learn." He once drew a picture of an old man,
somewhat resembling himself, seated in a child's carriage with the
motto, "I still learn."

His anatomical studies begun in his early youth at Florence were never
given up, and when other subjects were lacking he dissected domestic
animals and above all welcomed the opportunity to dissect several
horses. Dürer in Germany and Da Vinci in Italy had been faithful
dissectors, and Michelangelo kept up the tradition.

The personality of this greatest of geniuses that the world has ever
known can scarcely fail to be interesting. Michelangelo is the true
type of one of the greatest periods of human history, and as such
every detail of his life appeals to men. Like many great geniuses,
Michelangelo was what is called a handy man, that is, one who could
fashion implements and objects skilfully with his hands. It is said
that all through his life he preferred not to entrust the making of
the implements of his art to any other hand. He used to make his own
chisels, files, and piercers and to mix his own colors. Even to an
advanced age he continued to use the chisel for himself and was
{45}ever famous for his audacious skilfulness with it. At the age of
sixty he is described as bringing down more scales from a very high
block of marble in a short time than three young marble-cutters could
in three or four times that space. With a single blow, Vigenero
described him as bringing down scales of marble three or four inches
in breadth and with such precision to the line that if he had broken
away, even a very little more, he risked the ruin of his work.

How lonely he was in the midst of all his great work, and how many
material difficulties there were to weigh on his spirit and keep him
from intoxication with that joy of the artist in accomplishment, which
might even have hurt the work or at least the striving of even so
great an artist as he, can be very well understood through quotations
from some letters to his father, in which, not querulously, but as if
needing someone as a confidant, he pours out his inmost feelings:

  "I stand here in intense anxiety and with the greatest fatigue of
  body. I have no friends of any sort, nor do I wish any; and I have
  not time enough to eat what is needful. Let no more annoyances be
  added to me, for I cannot bear another ounce." In the summer of 1508
  he wrote, "I am sick at heart, ill, and worn out with fatigue,
  helpless and penniless." A year later he wrote again: "The Pope has
  not given me a groat for a year; and I do not ask for it, for I feel
  that I have not merited it, and this because painting is not the
  sort of work which is my profession. And yet I waste my time without
  fruits--God help me!"

Michelangelo's views with regard to matrimony are well known. To a
priest who asked him one day why he never married he said, "I have a
wife who is too much for me already; one who unceasingly persecutes
me. It is my art; and my works are my children." And yet his
tenderness of soul and his affection for children was not eclipsed by
his absorption in his art, for Grimm tells the story of a child
stopping him on the street and asking him to make a drawing, and the
artist took the sheet of paper offered him and fulfilled the wish.

When Michelangelo was an old man of seventy-five, however, he was
ready to give advice to his grandnephew Leonardo in the matter of
marriage. That advice is interesting {46} from a good many
standpoints, but especially because Michelangelo thought that the
choice of a wife was something to pray and ask for special aid from on
High about:

  "Leonardo, I wrote thee about taking a wife, and told thee of three
  girls which have been here mentioned to me. ... I do not know any of
  them, and cannot say either good or evil of them, nor advise you
  about one more than the other. ... Giov. Francesco might give you
  good advice; he is old and knows the world. [Michelangelo himself
  was seventy-five years young at this time.] Remember me to him.
  Above all, seek the counsel of God, for it is a great step. Remember
  that the husband should be at least ten years older than the wife,
  and that she should be healthy." Again he wrote, "Leonardo, I sent
  thee in my last a note as to marriageable girls, which had been sent
  me from Florence. ... Thou needst a wife to associate with, and whom
  thou canst rule, and who will not care about pomps, and run about
  every day to parties and marriages. It is easy for a woman to go
  wrong who does these things. Nor is it to be said by anyone that
  thou wishest to ennoble thyself by marriage, for it is well known
  that we are as ancient and noble citizens of Florence as those of
  any other house. Recommend thyself to God and He may aid thee."
  [Footnote 4]

    [Footnote 4: It may be interesting to know that the grand-nephew
    did take a wife, one of those recommended by his grand-uncle, and
    that Michelangelo dictated the names of the children, often went
    to see them, loaded them with presents and was their mother's best
    friend and confidant.]

The great artist did not escape the disturbing cares of family life by
his bachelorhood, however, for it became the custom of his brothers to
turn to him for aid whenever there was trouble. His family had
objected to his becoming a sculptor because it was beneath the dignity
of their nobility, but now that he was successful they were quite
willing to use his money freely. He had a scapegrace younger brother
who was particularly a thorn in his side, ever getting into trouble
and being helped out, above all constantly demanding money.
Michelangelo once wrote to him while he was at work on the great
ceiling of the Sistine.

  "If you take care to do well, and to honor and revere your {47}
  father, I will aid you like the others, and will soon establish you
  in a good shop. ... I have gone about throughout all Italy for
  twelve years, leading a dog's life, bearing all manner of insults,
  enduring all sorts of drudgery, lacerating my body with many toils,
  placing my life itself under a thousand perils solely to aid my
  family, and now that I have commenced to raise it up a little, thou
  alone wishest to do that which shall confound and ruin in an hour
  everything that I have done in so many years and with so many

Michelangelo's letters of consolation to his brother's (Leonardo's)
daughter, who was delicate and ailing, show how tender were his family
affections. He has sometimes been pictured as the self-centred
bachelor, occupied only with his art. Any such picture of him is but
one of the many one-sided false impressions of these geniuses of the
Renaissance, all of whom, when known intimately, prove to be
whole-hearted human beings with all the human interests deeply

One of the most interesting incidents in Michelangelo's life is his
association with Vittoria Colonna. This is one of the most charming
episodes of platonic friendship with wonderful mutual influence for
good chronicled in history. Vittoria was an inspiration to
Michelangelo in his work, and his tributes to her are full of the
loftiest admiration and almost saintlike worship. On the other hand,
no one could have held a higher place in the esteem of Vittoria than
Michelangelo. She had suggested the subjects for certain pictures and
Michelangelo painted them. She wrote in thankfulness and said with
regard to one of them:

  "I had the greatest faith in God, that He would give you a
  supernatural grace to paint this 'Christ'; then I saw it, so
  wonderful that it surpassed in every way my expectations. Being
  emboldened by your miracles, I desired that which I now see
  marvellously fulfilled--that is, that it should stand in every part
  in the highest perfection, and that one could not desire more nor
  reach forward to desire so much. And I tell you that it gave me joy
  that the angel on the right hand is so beautiful; for the Archangel
  Michael will place you, Michelangelo, on the right hand of the Lord
  at the Judgment Day. And, meanwhile, I know not how to serve you
  otherwise than to {48} pray to this sweet 'Christ,' Whom you have so
  well and perfectly painted, and to entreat you to command me as
  altogether yours in all and through all."

This friendship of Michelangelo and Vittoria has become so celebrated
that to many it may seem that time has woven a romantic halo around
it, far transcending the reality. Only a little study of contemporary
documents, however, is needed to show that the facts are interesting
beyond even the stories that are told. Modern biographers have
enriched the tradition with many details, and Grimm has given a most
beautiful picture of this most famous of friendships between man and
woman which reflects so much honor on both the participants. Nothing
that I know contradicts so many false notions as to the Renaissance
that are widely disseminated and that are only too often taken as a
criterion of modes of thinking and of conduct in this period. All the
so-called Pagan tendencies of the Renaissance are contradicted by it.

Condivi, Angelo's pupil, who wrote about his master during his
master's lifetime and who was intimately associated with him for many
years, pays an affectionate tribute to Michelangelo's purity of mind
and speech. The great master was a model of magnanimity, and Condivi

  "I have often heard him speak about love; and others who have
  listened to him on this subject will bear me out in saying that the
  only love of which he spoke was the kind which is spoken of in
  Plato's works. For my part I do not know what Plato says, but one
  thing I, who have lived with him so long and so intimately, can
  assert, that I have never heard any but the purest words issue from
  his mouth."

He was one of the most abstemious of men. He literally thought nothing
about creature comforts. Often he would take a piece of bread in his
hand while at his work and that would be all during the course of a
long day. His meals were likely to be irregular, and he paid very
little attention to them. As for his sleep, he was noted even among
the strenuous livers of his time for his ability to work without sleep
and for the small amount that he took. When he was deeply interested
in some work he would lie down in his clothes, and after a few hours
get up to work again. The surprise is that he should {49} have lived
to the age of nearly ninety under such living conditions, but work
never kills, and if the original vitality is extensive men live on to
the limit of existence much better by consuming their energy than by
allowing it to react within them, as it so often does. Some repentant
expressions of his had been taken to indicate, be it said by modern
writers, never by his contemporaries, that he was of a passionate
nature and had given rein to his impulses in youth. Except these words
of repentance, however, which are rather conventional in his time and
indicate a falling below ideals rather than actual serious faults, we
have absolutely no evidence. On the other hand, we have some
expressions of his which indicate how much difficulty he found in
curbing his passions in youth and how glad he is that he used the
effort, since it saved him from regrets in after life.

The thought of death was a favorite one with him, and he seems
frequently to have dwelt on it and to have considered that there was
no thought that was better for a man. Not only did it prove
chastening, but above all it helped a man to eliminate the quest of
the trivial and the merely selfish in life. He held the thought of
death as the only consideration that makes us know ourselves and saves
us from becoming a prey to kindred, friends or masters, to ambition,
and to the other vices and sins which rob a man of himself. That was
his main purpose in life, to live it for accomplishment and not merely
for the trifles which easily satisfy so many men. Whenever he was
tempted to permit himself to derogate from his highest aims in life
for the sake of the distinction of the moment, the thought of death
was sobering, and the time when the darkness cometh and no man can
labor brought him back to his best work, no matter what the
difficulties might be in doing it.

Angelo's relation to religion is all the more interesting because it
is often said that the great men of the Renaissance, because of their
profound study of pagan antiquity, had become touched with paganism.
There is not a trace of this in Michelangelo, however, and surely he
must be considered as the typical great man of the Renaissance. All
his life he had thought of his relation to his Creator and of the
necessity for accomplishing work, not for himself alone nor for
selfish {50} purposes, but with great aims that would be worthy of the
talents that had been given him. Once, when he was having great
difficulties because of opposition to his plans and interference with
designs that he felt must be carried out, he said to Pope Paul III,
"Holy Father, you see what I gain; if these fatigues which I endure do
not benefit my soul I lose both time and labor." The Pope, with whom
Michelangelo was a great favorite and who loved above all his sincere,
straightforward simplicity and his deep feeling of religion, laid his
hands paternally on the great artist's shoulders and said, "Have no
doubt. You are benefiting both soul and body."

Toward the end of his life his mind became more and more occupied with
religious thoughts, and there was a charmingly simple piety that he
cultivated. This had been expressed often before in his great works of
art, both paintings and sculptures, and still more clearly in his
sonnets. Some seem to think that an artist, because of his occupation,
may express beautiful thoughts on religious subjects, even though he
does not feel them. Somehow it is supposed to be the artist's business
to work himself into such moods and then express them, as if it were
possible to express greatly in art, what one does not really feel.
Most people, however, seem to think that formal expression in _words_
must mean more in such matters, and for them Michelangelo's sonnets
will doubtless be proofs of his absolute sincerity in religious
matters. Towards the end of his life most of his poetry is deeply
religious in character. He sent two sonnets to Vasari when he was
about seventy-five, as he told the biographer "that you may see where
I keep my thoughts." A more lofty expression of Christian humility and
the spirit of prayerfulness has perhaps never been made. One of them,
because it expresses his recognition of the fact that the trifles of
the world had carried even him away, that _fascinatio nugacitatis quae
obscurat bona_ of the Scriptures, is worth quoting as a summation of
his religious life and feelings:


  "The fables of the world have filched away
    The time I had for thinking upon God;
    His grace lies buried 'neath oblivion's sod,
  Whence springs an evil crop of sins alway.
  What makes another wise, leads me astray,
    Slow to discern the bad path I have trod:
    Hope fades, but still desire ascends that God
  May free from self-love, my sure decay.
  Shorten half-way my road to heaven from earth!
    Dear Lord, I cannot even half-way rise
    Unless Thou help me on this pilgrimage.
  Teach me to hate the world so little worth.
    And all the lovely things I clasp and prize.
    That endless life, ere death, may be my wage."

Angelo's last work in sculpture was a group very like his first great
religious group, the "Pietà." It consisted of the Blessed Virgin with
the dead Christ and two other figures. Only the "Christ" was ever
finished. His intention was that this group should be placed on an
altar over his tomb, but his wish was never fulfilled. The
circumstances of his work at it are interesting. Like many an old man,
he often found himself wakeful at night and needed something to occupy
his thoughts. When he arose this way he used to work in solitude and
silence at these figures with loving recollection and care and with
the thought that it would be his monument after death. He had come to
look upon death rather as a friend than an enemy, saying once that
"life, which had been given to us without our asking, had wonderful
possibilities of good in it, and death, which came unsummoned from the
same Providential hand, could surely not prove less full of blessing."

Towards sunset on the eighteenth of February, 1564, Michelangelo
turned to his friends and said, "I give my soul to God, my body to the
earth and my worldly possessions to my nearest of kin, charging them
through life to remember the sufferings of Jesus Christ." In making a
will some years before, he left as alternative heir the Church, on
condition that the "income was to be given for the love of God to the
modest poor."

While Leonardo da Vinci was indeed a universal genius well deserving
of the high title, it must not be forgotten that the age in which he
lived was the age of Michelangelo. The "divine master," his compatriot
artists have loved to call him ever since his own day. It is probable
that he must be {52} conceded to have carried human nature as far in
its power of expression of the beauty and truth of life as any man
that ever lived. The divine in human nature nowhere shines out so
conspicuously as in Michelangelo's achievements. There was no form of
art, no mode of expression, no field of thought in which he did not
excel. It must be confessed that his thoughts were often too high and
too deep for human nature's limitations, and that he did not always
succeed in completing his work in such a way as he himself would have
wished, and above all such as would have made it thoroughly
comprehensible to ordinary mortals. His works give us a better idea of
human nature's possibilities, yet Vittoria Colonna, who knew him so
well, declared that those who admire Michelangelo's works admire but
the smallest part of him. She had come to realize how much more there
was in him than even his works made manifest. Often the artist is a
disappointment after his works. Michelangelo's personality made one
disappointed with his works as if there should be much more in them.

As his contemporaries knew him then, he was, if possible, greater than
he is revealed to us in his works. Probably no larger man in all the
best sense of that term has ever lived, painter, sculptor, architect,
poet, simple, humble, devout, in friendship a model, as a teacher
deeply beloved--this man, who succeeded so marvellously in everything
that he attempted, is one of human nature's proudest boasts, yet
himself realized poignantly how little he could really accomplish of
all that surged up in his soul. No career in history so makes it clear
that the breath of the Creator is in His creatures to inspire and
exalt. How deeply a creature may influence his kind, Michelangelo
illustrates as perhaps no other. There are certainly not more than a
few chosen spirits to be numerated on the fingers of one hand whom we
think of in the same breath with him when we count up man's beneficent
geniuses, and we can scarcely foresee an end to that influence apart
from the complete destruction of our modern civilization. As Grimm
said at the end of his sixth edition of Michelangelo's life, "It is
not thinkable that the influence on the artistic work of mankind which
has proceeded from him should not continue to wax with the course of





Perhaps nothing illustrates better the wealth of genius in what we
have called Columbus' Century than the fact that after detailed
accounts of the lives of Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci,
many painters of the first rank still remain to be treated of in the
second place, as it were, a number of them exhibiting some quality
that has given them an almost unique distinction in the history of
art. Some of these great painters are acknowledged to be among the
most distinguished artists of all time. When it is realized that men
like Fra Angelico, Perugino, Botticelli, Titian, Correggio, Tintoretto
and Veronese have to be grouped together in a single chapter, the
necessities of compression in our account of the century will begin to
be appreciated. Each of them deserves, for any adequate presentation
of his work, not a few paragraphs, but a large volume, and about each
of them indeed not one but many volumes have been written even
centuries after their deaths. It must not be forgotten that almost the
same abbreviation of the story must be made for any other phase of the
century's achievements.

When Columbus' Century opened, Fra Angelico had just been summoned to
Rome to set about what has usually been considered the crowning labor
of his life. This was the painting in fresco of the walls of the small
oratory in the Vatican, since known as the chapel of Nicholas V,
because the decoration of it was ordered by that great pontiff, a man
of deep scholarship and an enlightened patron of the fine arts, whose
aim to make Rome not only the centre of the religious life, but also
of the best influences for art and science for all the world, {54} has
come to be well recognized. Artists and art critics have been almost
fulsome in their praise of these decorations of Fra Angelico. The
walls were covered on three sides with two series of paintings, the
upper portion illustrating the life of St. Stephen, the lower that of
St. Lawrence. That two sets of subjects so similar should have been
treated in close juxtaposition without any repetition in design or
composition is in itself the best possible evidence of the artist's
power and his constructive imagination. The designs show a freshness
of conception very remarkable in a man of advanced years, yet withal
there is absolutely no falling off in the power and sincerity of his
art, and if anything a deepening of the religious feeling so
characteristic of him. When he did this work he was probably past
sixty-five years of age.

Fortunately in our day, when it is so easy to obtain cheap
reproductions of the works of all the great painters, and when copies
in color of Fra Angelico's paintings may readily be secured, anyone
may know for himself something at least of the sweetness and power of
this charming painter of the early Renaissance. His Madonnas have a
most taking motherly expression and yet are full of the mystic
saintliness that becomes the Mother of God. His angels are a
constantly-repeated argument and impelling appeal for the existence of
these invisible creatures, which have been well declared to look so
real as to be convincing. His pictures of Christ as man and boy are
replete with humanity, and yet have the Divinity shining through the
veils of flesh. No one but a man who believed firmly, completely and
entirely in what he was painting could ever have given us these
marvellous representations. It is easy to understand, then, that when
it comes to his pictures of the saints Fra Angelico has given us,
absolutely true to life, representations of them in various actions as
their activities appeal to him. Among them he has introduced some
portraits of his friends, thus laying the foundation of that portrait
painting which was to develop so finely in the next generation and
which was fortunately to preserve for us the features of so many whom
we would like to have known. In the meantime, in the background of his
pictures he has given us the beginning of modern landscape painting in
all the beauty and {55} charm of his own, simple, single-hearted way
of looking at the beauties of nature.

One of the most important of the Italian painters of the first half of
Columbus' Century, all the more interesting because he was young
Raphael's master, was Pietro Vannucci, whom, from the name of his
adopted town Perugia, the world of art knows as Perugino. He was born
just before the century began in 1447. His parents were poor, though
not of low condition, and as a boy Pietro worked as a shop drudge with
a painter in Perugia. There has been much discussion as to who this
painter was, and probably the best determination is Niccolo da
Foligno, who is sometimes considered the originator of the school of
Umbrian painters, in which Perugino thereafter took so important a
place. Niccolo was himself a pupil of Benozzo Gozzoli, who owed his
training to Fra Angelico. There were other artists at Perugia under
whose influence young Perugino came, and their names, when taken in
connection with those already mentioned, will show the wondrous art
influences abroad in the period. Vasari mentions also Bonfigli, known
also as Benedetto Buonfiglio, whose work can be seen at its best only
in Perugia and is well deserving of study, and Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, in
whom the typical Umbrian landscapes, which are so important a feature
in Perugino's pictures, first make their appearance. A still more
important influence in Perugino's life was Piero della Francesca, who
was perhaps at Perugia for a while, though Perugino may have met him

After his apprentice work in art at Perugia, Perugino travelled and
was influenced by such men as Luca Signorelli, Lorenzo and the group
of great painters then at Florence, including Ghirlandajo, Cosi,
Moroselli and Botticelli, as well as the master Verrocchio, in whose
studio, or rather workshop, Perugino probably came in contact with
Leonardo da Vinci and also Lorenzo di Credi. There are two oft-quoted
lines from Giovanni Santi, "two youths alike in age and love, Leonardo
da Vinci and the Perugian Peter of Pieve." It was Perugino's merit to
have reached distinction, even amongst these, and his religious
pictures have a value all their own. After his years of training and
journeying, Perugino had his {56} opportunity at Rome, especially in
the Sistine Chapel. Of his work there, Berenson said in his "Central
Italian Painters of the Renaissance," "It is the golden joyous color
and the fine rhythm of the groups and above all the buoyant
spaciousness of this fresco that win and hold us." He has spoken of
"the golden dreamy summerings" of his pictures in the Louvre, and
especially "the round containing the Madonna with the guardian saints
and angels, all dipped in the color of Heaven, dreaming away in bliss
the glowing summer afternoon." Perugino's power to paint man "not as a
mite against infinity, but as man should be in Eden, dominant and
towering high over the horizon," has given him a place all his own.
"It is this exaltation of human being over the landscape that not only
justifies but renders paintings great."

Grimm, in his "Life of Michelangelo," goes out of his way to say that
"Perugino's work in the Sistine Chapel far surpasses the others,
though they include such great men as Botticelli, Signorelli and
Ghirlandajo. His simplicity, his symmetry, his thoughtful composition
and finishing of individual figures, though in the others these are
often in masses, scarcely to be distinguished, all these give a
surpassing distinction to his painting."

Perhaps the greatest tribute to Perugino that has been paid by
subsequent generations is the attribution to Raphael of some of the
works that have since been determined to be Perugino's. "Apollo and
Marsyas" of the Louvre, Paris, which has had its place in the Salon
Carré for thirty years, is a typical example and is still called a
Raphael in the Louvre catalogue, though now it has been almost
definitely assigned to Perugino. Most of the important galleries of
Europe have pictures that they value very highly that were done by
Perugino, and mistakes with regard to his work have always been such
as indicated the highest appreciation of Perugino, for they have been
attributed to great masters.



One of the great painters of this time who, if he had done nothing
else but influence Raphael deeply, would deserve a place in any
account of the art of this century is Fra Bartolommeo. He was the
intimate personal friend of Savonarola and painted the well-known
portrait of the great preacher after {57} the unfortunate execution of
the friar. At a time when the Order of St. Dominic was very unpopular,
Bartolommeo entered it in 1500, and for a time gave up painting.
[Footnote 5] He returned to his art, however, "for the profit of the
Convent and the glory of God." Quite naturally he was very much
influenced by the works of Fra Angelico, his brother, in religion,
which were all round him in the monastery of San Marco, and also came
under the influence of Leonardo da Vinci, who worked at Florence
during the first decade of the sixteenth century. Bartolommeo had
charge of the studio San Marco, and it was here that Raphael came in
contact with him to the mutual benefit of both the painters, though
Raphael was much the younger man. In 1508 Bartolommeo visited Venice
and came under the spell of the rich coloring of Bellini and Titian.

  [Footnote 5: It is often said that it was fortunate that
  Savonarola's preaching did not continue to influence the Florentines
  deeply, for if it had it would surely have seriously disturbed art,
  and as it is, it is often declared that there must have been many
  beautiful works of art sacrificed in the bonfires built in the
  streets of Florence under Savonarola's inspiration. In the sketch of
  Fra Bartolommeo (M. E. James, London, 1902), the answer to this is
  contained in a single paragraph:

    "The artists of Italy had no quarrel with the friar; some of the
    best of them were his devoted friends, while many entered his
    Order. Fra Filippo Lappacini in 1492, Fra Agostino di Paulo, Fra
    Ambrogio and Fra Luca della Robbia, Fra Benedetto (miniature
    painter), 1495, Fra Eustachio, 1496. Michael Angelo read the
    friar's sermons constantly; Cronaca, the great architect, 'could
    talk of nothing else.' Raphael painted him among the doctors of
    the Church. Baldini, Lorenzo di Credi and Botticelli loved him."]

Fra Bartolommeo's greatest works are probably the "Marriage of St.
Catherine," "The Last Judgment," now in the Church of Santa Maria
Nuova, Florence, the picture which is said to have attracted the
attention of Raphael, and the well-known "Descent from the Cross," or
as it is often called, "Lamentation over Christ," "in which the
expression of suffering on the faces is charmingly differentiated for
the various characters of St. John, the Magdalen and the Blessed
Virgin, and so subdued that a heavenly peace illumines the group." It
has been declared that Bartolommeo united the spirituality {58} of Fra
Angelico to the perfect treatment in form and color of Raphael,
combined with a gentle gravity that was all his own and a devotion
that was part of his life. The "Descent from the Cross" is one of his
last works and, far from showing any sign of failing power, is
masterly and firm. In anatomy and composition and color it is
unsurpassed; in delicacy of feeling and religious devotion it is
considered one of the great pictures of the world. His portrait of
"Savonarola," a work of love on the part of an ardent disciple, is
deservedly his best-known work and is one of the great portraits of
all time, worthy to be placed beside those of such masters of
portraiture as Bellini, Titian, Raphael and even Leonardo.

Among the other secondary painters of Columbus' time one of the
greatest, an artist who would have stood out above all his
contemporaries in almost any other period of art, is Sandro
Botticelli. He is the only contemporary whom Leonardo mentions in his
"Treatise on Painting." A quarter of a century ago Walter Pater, in
his Renaissance essays, said of him in regard to this distinction of
being mentioned by Leonardo:

  "This pre-eminence may be due to chance only, but to some it will
  rather appear a result of deliberate judgment, for people have begun
  to find out the charm of Botticelli's work; and his name, little
  known in the last century, is quietly becoming important. In the
  middle of the fifteenth century he had already anticipated much of
  that meditative subtlety, which is sometimes supposed peculiar to
  the great imaginative workmen of its close. Leaving the simple
  religion which had occupied the followers of Giotto for a century,
  and the simple naturalism which had grown out of it, a thing of
  birds and flowers only, he sought inspiration in what to him were
  works of the modern world, the writings of Dante and Boccaccio, and
  in new readings of his own of classical stories; or if he painted
  religious incidents, painted them with an undercurrent of original
  sentiment, which touches you as the real matter of the picture
  through the veil of its ostensible subject."

In his pictures of "Spring" and the "Birth of Venus," Botticelli has
shown his power to paint great imaginative pictures, and the "Venus"
particularly shows his faculty of expressing the intimate, elusive
psychology of his subject. In {59} his little sketch of Botticelli,
Streeter (Catholic Truth Society, London, 1900) says:

  "Perhaps the most striking thing in this dainty discerned vision of
  antiquity is the conscious emphasis laid on the distance from which
  the vision is beheld. The sorrow Botticelli had learned to restrain
  in his recent 'Madonnas' breaks out afresh in the wistful
  plaintiveness of the goddess of pleasure, separated from her true
  home by 'the travail of the world through twenty centuries,' by a
  'yawning sepulchre wherein the old faiths of the world lay buried
  and whence Christ had arisen.' It would seem, not as some critics
  have asserted, that Botticelli strove, and strove in vain, to
  achieve the true embodiment of a pagan ideal, but rather that he
  sought in this strange mingling of pagan and mediaeval sentiment to
  express his own profound instinct of the impossibility, to a later
  age, of ever reaching it."

Botticelli is famous above all for his round pictures. Somehow these
_tondi_, as they are called, became fashionable in Florence about the
middle of the latter half of the fifteenth century, and when he was
about thirty Botticelli painted a series. One need only see the
charming reproductions that are now so often used for decorative
purposes to realize how beautiful they are. The "Madonna of the
Magnificat," so-called because the Blessed Virgin is represented with
pen in hand, as writing her song of praise, though also known as the
"Coronation of the Blessed Virgin" because the angels are represented
as placing the crown on her head, is the most perfect of these. The
lines of the composition, which have been exquisitely arranged so as
to fit into the round frame, have been very aptly compared with those
of the corolla of an open rose. Botticelli was able not only to
conquer the difficulties of this round form of painting, but actually
to elaborate out of the difficulties involved in this form of
composition new beauties, just as a poet may choose a particularly
difficult metre, and actually add to the quality or at least the charm
of his poetry by the exquisite form in which he puts it.

One of Botticelli's forms of artistic activity that has attracted the
attention of artists and literati very much in the modern {60} time is
his execution of a series of illustrations for Dante. With his
profound sympathy with the mediaeval spirit it might well be
anticipated that he would make as nearly adequate illustrations of
Dante as may be possible. It requires a deep knowledge of Dante to
appreciate these illustrations. They are not at all like modern
attempts to illustrate Dante and are separated as far as Heaven from
earth from Doré's illustrations. They are extremely naive and simple,
and at first are likely to strike a modern as being caricatures rather
than illustrations. The grotesque element in Dante is not minimized to
the slightest extent. It requires much study to appreciate Ruskin's
profound expression that a noble grotesque is one of the most sublime
achievements of art. The illustrations have to be studied in
connection with the text and with a thorough spirit of devotion to
Dante before proper appreciation comes. Great authorities in art and
in the older literature, however, have united in declaring these the
most wonderfully illuminating illustrations of Dante that were ever
made. It is an index of the genius of Botticelli that he should have
achieved so marvellously in a mode of art unfamiliar to him personally
and then quite new in the world. His illustrations were made as copies
for the illustration of a printed book.

Until Botticelli has been studied faithfully and seriously, most
people are likely to think of him as a painter of what he saw with a
certain poetic charm and a naivete which makes him by contrast
particularly interesting to the modern world. Few realize how much
appreciative students of Botticelli, who are at the same time art
critics, have learned to think of his high seriousness, his lofty
purpose and his marvellous execution in his paintings. It is above all
for his psychology that he has come to be admired in the modern time,
and as our own interest in psychology has deepened, the appreciation
for Botticelli has grown. He was gifted with a profound psychological
insight into character, which he knew how to express with almost
incredible simplicity and directness. Talking of his St. Augustine,
St. Jerome, St. Eligius and St. John, a well-known German critic.
Prof. Steinman, recently said:




  "It would seem that in these four strongly contrasting figures
  Botticelli aimed at portraying the four human temperaments in their
  separate and distinctive modes of response to the same spiritual
  appeal: the fiery enthusiasm of the impulsive St. John, looking
  upwards, rapt in wonder; the studious concentration with which St.
  Augustine, who here represents the phlegmatic temperament, unmoved,
  continues his writing; the nerve-strained longing of St. Jerome,
  worn and wasted with many fastings and watchings; and the benignity
  of the sanguine St. Eligius, who, gazing before him, raises his hand
  in blessing. With consummate skill, Botticelli has distinguished
  between the reality of these living figures and the ideal quality of
  the celestial vision. And a special artistic interest is given to
  this picture, making it a typical instance of the rare versatility
  of the painter's genius, by the fact that in the vigorous, massive,
  realistic portraiture of the saints, in the fantastic, poetical
  delicacy of the angelic choirs, in the stiff, severe traditionalism
  of the central figures of the mystery, it shows three separate modes
  of imaginative conception, three separate methods in the
  manipulation of line and colour, so distinct and individualized that
  it would seem almost that they must be the work of three separate

A very great painter, who is not often appreciated as he should be
outside of Italy, though in recent years he is much better known, is
Giovanni Bellini, the distinguished Venetian painter. His portrait of
the "Doge Loredano" is now recognized as one of the world's great
portraits, and copies of it are to be seen everywhere. His
masterpieces, however, are his altar pictures, which are noted for
their beauty and devotional quality. His Madonnas particularly are
famous. His well-known painting at Berlin of the "Angels Mourning over
Christ" is probably one of the most humanly touching of mystical
pictures. The "Presentation of the Infant Christ" in the Temple, in
which Mary is shown presenting the child to the High Priest over a
table, while the striking expression of worship on the faces of old
Simeon and Joseph completes the meaning of the picture in wondrous
fashion, is another typical example of Bellini's power to express the
loftiest devotional sentiments.

  [Illustration: BELLINI, DOGE LOREDANO ]

Among those in second rank in this great period of art, one {63} of
the greatest was surely Titian. In any other period he would quite
easily have been the greatest painter of his time. His painting was
done in Venice, and his early training was in glass work and mosaic
work, to which apparently must be attributed his marvellous
development of color in painting. At the age of about fifteen he
entered the studio of Giovanni Bellini, at that time the greatest of
Venetian painters and one of the important contributors to the art of
this period. In this studio a group of young men, including Giorgione,
with whom Titian came to be on terms of intimate friendship, Giovanni
Palma, Lorenzo Lotto and Sebastiano Luciani, all destined to fame,
were brought together. Especially Titian and Giorgione broke away from
the older traditions of painting and became founders in modern art.
All of his long productive life of nearly 100 years, except for very
short visits elsewhere, Titian lived in Venice and did his marvellous
painting there. There are masterpieces by him that are acknowledged by
artists and critics to be among the greatest paintings we have. No one
has been more faithfully studied by art students in all the
generations since his time. Some of his Madonnas are among the most
beautiful in the world and bear comparison even with all but the very
finest of Raphael's. His "Entombment of Christ" in the Louvre is a
surpassing representation of this scene which so often appealed to
artists. The "Assumption" at the Academy in Venice is probably one of
the most visited of pictures in Italy and shows all the best
qualities, though some also of the defects, of the great Venetian.

Such pictures as the "Presentation of the Blessed Virgin," in the
Vatican at Rome, show how Titian faithfully developed his best powers
until he arrived at the very climax of artistic expression. No more
thoroughly satisfying representations of religious themes were
probably ever made. While he could make wonderful pictures on a large
scale, and his compositions have always been the subject of loving
study, some of his smaller pictures are almost more beautiful than any
he has made, and his series of small Madonnas are only equalled and
very few of them surpassed even by Raphael's treatment of the same

As a portrait painter, however, Titian almost excelled his {64} work
as a religious painter. His series of portraits of the Emperor Charles
V are among the world's greatest portraits. His portrayals of Philip
II are thought by some even to surpass those of his father. Titian's
portraits of himself and his daughter are wonderful "counterfeit
presentments" of the real individuals. Indeed, the portraits of his
contemporaries left us by Titian have an eternal interest, and besides
being great works of art they are marvellously illuminating of the
human personalities depicted. They represent not merely a reproduction
of the features of the individual, but preserve for posterity the
character and the very soul. Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael have
surpassed him when they set themselves the same task. Van Dyke is his
equal in some respects, but much less satisfying. Rembrandt and
Velasquez are his peers, but there are those who think that he
combines the best qualities of both these great successors in the same
field to a noteworthy degree.

Besides his religious pictures and portraits, however, Titian
succeeded in painting some of the greatest representations of ancient
mythological lore that have ever been done. His much-admired picture
of the "Bacchanals" in Madrid and the still more famous "Bacchus and
Ariadne," so often now seen in copies, show how well he could enter
into the spirit of the old Olympian mythology. It was typical of the
Renaissance time in which he lived that he should thus be inspired by
Greek culture and religion. If we did not have from his hands so many
beautiful Christian devotional pictures, which never could have been
painted except by a man who was himself a believer in the religious
scenes and mysteries that he portrays, it would have been almost
impossible to believe, after a study of these pagan pictures, that he
could have retained a devout Christian piety and faith with such a
sympathetic appreciation and an intimate understanding of the
psychology of the old pagan myths. It was this combination, however,
that was perfectly possible to the great minds of the Renaissance
period. The greater they were like Titian, Michelangelo and Raphael,
the deeper was their faith, though the higher their power to portray
phases of religious feeling that might be considered so foreign to
their religious experience as to be quite out of {65} the range of
their sympathetic expression. Smaller men, influenced by Greek
mythology, became merely pagan, but the greater men retained their
faith in its completeness. The smaller men are so much more numerous
that we have the tradition of the Renaissance making men pagan, but
this is not true with regard to the geniuses of the time.

Titian, as Delacroix said in the article in his _"Dictionnaire des
Beaux Arts,"_ is one of those who came closest to the spirit of
antiquity. The great modern artist and art connoisseur did not
hesitate to declare that nowhere, unless perhaps in such great
monuments of antiquity as the sculptures of the Pantheon, can
antiquity be so well understood as in the pictures of Titian. Yet this
is the painter whom the bishops and ecclesiastics, the monks and
friars and the people of his time, desirous of expressing what was
deepest in their sense of devotion and piety, sought after most
eagerly, because of his wonderful ability to express all the charm of
religious personages and all the power of religious feelings. He has
all the many-sidedness of the Renaissance, yet without any loss of the
mediaeval power to inspire profound Christian feeling.

A very great school of art of the Renaissance was that which took its
rise in Southern Tuscany and the Romagna, of whom the three best-known
representatives are Piero dei Franceschi, Luca Signorelli and Melozzo
da Forli. Piero's influence on Perugino has already been spoken of.
Berenson declares him "hardly inferior to Giotto and Masaccio in
feeling for tactile values; in communicating values of force he is the
rival of Donatello; he was perhaps the first to use effects of light
for their direct tonic or subduing and soothing qualities; and,
finally judged as an illustrator, it may be questioned whether another
painter has ever presented a world more complete and convincing, has
ever had an ideal more majestic, or ever endowed things with more
heroic significance."

Piero's two pupils, Melozzo and Signorelli, each of them starting, as
Berenson says, with the heritage Piero left him, yet following the
promptings of his own temperament and the guidance of his own genius,
touched excellence in his own splendid way. Melozzo was the grander
temperament, {66} Signorelli the subtler and deeper mind. Visitors to
Loretto, who see the music-making angels in a cupola there, are likely
to be surprised into an appreciation of the power of the painter to
express something of the witchery of music. Berenson says of them:
[Footnote 6] "Almost they are French Gothic in their witchery, and
they listen to their own playing as if to charm out the most secret
spirit of their instruments. And you can see what a sense Signorelli
had for refined beauty, if, when seated with Guido's 'Aurora,' you
will rest your eyes on a Madonna by him in the same pavilion of the
Rospigliosi Palace."

  [Footnote 6: _Op. cit_, p. 81.]

One of the very great artists of the Renaissance, who has come into
his own of appreciation in recent years again, is Antonio Allegri,
generally known as Correggio, from the small town near Mantua in which
he was born. He is one of the most surprising figures in the history
of art. So far as we know, he had no teachers and no pupils. He seems
never to have visited any of the cities in which in his time
(1494-1524) so many great pictures might have been seen, nor did he
seek to make the acquaintance of any of his great contemporaries. All
that we know of him was that he had "an uncle who painted, but was no
artist." He influenced the artists of the after-time in Italy almost
more than any of his contemporaries. By some he is placed among the
decadent or "sweet" school of Italian painting, and undoubtedly such
painters as Guido Reni and Carlo Dolci, who were for many centuries
more popular than the greater masters, were deeply influenced by him.
While so negligent of others' achievements in life he was destined to
form a school that attracted more attention from subsequent
generations than almost any of his contemporaries. His pictures
represent a climax of Italian religious art, and his painting of
angels and celestial beings, together with that of Fra Angelico two
generations before, serves to show how wonderfully the Italian
painters of this time were able to visualize spiritual conceptions.


Grimm, in his "Life of Michelangelo," says of Correggio: "As Parma,
where he (Correggio) painted, lies between Milan, Florence and Venice,
so does Correggio's painting represent a middle term between the
schools of these cities. Greater {67} than all who came after
Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael there are many qualities of his art
in which Correggio excels even these. Unlike the Venetians, he did not
neglect drawing; he embraced the whole of his art and made a distinct

Grimm goes as far as to say, "If we could think of streams flowing
together out of the genius of Raphael, Leonardo, Titian and
Michelangelo to form a new spirit, that spirit would be Correggio's.
He has the dreamy smiling sweetness of Leonardo, and to add an
external detail, his fate as to our absolute ignorance of his inner
and outer life; he has the joyous, radiant, uncreated quality of
Raphael with his brief life and its interruption in the very bloom of
it; he has the boldness of Michelangelo, his liking for unprecedented
attitudes and his power to reproduce them in marvellous
foreshortening; he has Titian's soft coloring and the gift to picture
the palpitating naked flesh as if the pulse was beating in it."

It is one of the world's greatest losses in art that he was cut off in
his prime at the early age of thirty, yet what we have from him shows
the supreme artist, and though we might have had further precious art
treasures, we could scarcely have had a completer revelation of his

Leigh Hunt, in his article on him in the "Catholic Encyclopaedia,"
emphasizes the far-reaching influence which Correggio's work had over
artists after his time and how deeply the principles of his art
prevailed in painting and sculpture in the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries over all Italy and France.

"Correggio is the most skilful artist since the ancient Greeks in the
art of foreshortening; and, indeed, he was master of every technical
device in painting, being the first to introduce the rules of aerial
perspective. Radiant light floods his pictures and is so delicately
graded that it passes subtly into shade with that play of reflections
among the shadows which gives transparency in every modulation. This
is _chiaroscuro_. Even in Allegri's earliest works it was prominent,
and later he became the acknowledged master of it. His refined feeling
made Correggio paint the nude as though from a vision of ideal beauty;
the sensuous in life he made pure and beautiful; earthly pleasures he
spiritualized, and gave expression of mental beauty, the very
culmination of true art. His angel pictures {68} are a cry of _Sursum
Corda_. The age in which he lived and worked was partly responsible
for this; but his modesty, his retiring disposition, his fondness for
solitude, his ideal homelife, his piety and the fellowship of the
Benedictine monks contributed far more to it."

A very great painter of Columbus' Century, though he is usually
thought of as of a later period, was Jacopo Robusti, whom we know as
Tintoretto. According to Ridolfi, himself born almost on the date of
Tintoretto's death, the artist was born in 1512, though later dates up
to 1520 have been assumed for him. Like many of the other great
workers of the Renaissance, he too lived to be at least seventy-five
and probably well beyond eighty. The same store of energy that enabled
him to accomplish his work gave him length of days. He was the son of
a dyer, and, as a boy, was fond of drawing, finding the colors used by
his father valuable for practice in painting. While he lived at a time
when many of the great painters of the Renaissance were at work, he
was not deeply influenced by them, but fortunately for himself
developed his own genius. He is famous for his drawing, his power over
which he owed to dissection, drawing from life and from models draped
and lighted in various ways, some of them suspended from the ceiling
so as to get the correct prospective of flying figures. He invented an
ingenious device, a rectangular framework with strings across it
which, held before the eye, taught how to measure the proportions
accurately. While Venetian painters generally are famous for their
coloring, Tintoretto is the master of them all in drawing and one of
the world's greatest artists in Italy.


Like every other great worker of the Renaissance, almost without
exception, he had a passion for work and has left us an enormous
amount of finished painting. Some of his paintings, as, for instance,
the "Bacchus and Ariadne," are looked upon as the greatest of their
kind. Some of his great paintings in the palace of the doges at Venice
have been a favorite study of artists ever since his time. Ruskin
considered him one of the greatest painters who ever lived and has
made his name and work familiar to English-speaking peoples. Probably
no one has ever dared to attempt the solution of so many {69} problems
in painting as Tintoretto, and no one has solved them better. He
deeply influenced his own generation and has influenced every
generation since that has had true critical spirit and appreciation
for art. It has been well said of him, and without exaggeration, that
he mastered every detail of his art. Ridolfi tells us his two favorite
subjects of study were the works of Titian and the reliefs of
Michelangelo. He wrote on the wall of his studio these words, _Il
disegno di Michelangelo é il colorito di Titiano_ (the drawing and
composition of Michelangelo and the coloring of Titian). These were
his ambitions. He as nearly accomplished this transcendent purpose as
perhaps it is possible to be done.

An eminent painter of the Venetian school at this time, who is usually
thought of as belonging to a later period, is Paolo Cagliari, better
known as Veronese. He was twenty-two years of age, however, before
Columbus' Century closed, and as he began his work very early in life
he had received some important commissions before he was twenty-five
years of age. He owes all his training to the great period at least.
His greatest picture, the "Marriage at Cana," was painted practically
within the decade after the close of our period. He was very fond of
huge compositions, and Tintoretto alone outdid him in the conception
of large pictures and the filling of large canvases. Like most of the
painters of the Renaissance, he was a man of tireless energy, as well
as sharing the facility that so many of them possessed; his very large
pictures did not serve to limit the number of his paintings to the
extent that might otherwise be expected. He was a master of decoration
and of the use of the sumptuous color that the Venetians had invented
because of their familiarity with pigments and the making of glass,
and no great decorative painter has equalled him in the effect
produced by this wealth of color. Already the decadence is beginning
and his great paintings lack feeling, and above all exhibit no trace
of religious feeling, though many of them are on religious subjects,
but they are splendid, unexcelled, cold triumphs of composition.

These great painters of the Renaissance, touched by the humanistic
spirit abroad in the world of their time and with the old Greek ideas
of the place of man as the very centre of {70} the universe, created a
new way of looking at men in their relation to the world around them.
They Hellenized their vision of men and stamped it upon the culture
and civilization of their time. Berenson has suggested in his "The
Central Italian Painters of the Renaissance" that they thus influenced
not only men's way of looking at men, but actually to some degree
transformed men themselves by the mirror they held before them. He
said: [Footnote 7]

  [Footnote 7: Op. cit, p. 67.]

  "The way of visualizing, affected by the artists, the humanists and
  the ruling classes, could not help becoming universal. Who had the
  power to break through this new standard of vision and, out of the
  chaos of things, to select shapes more definitely expressive of
  reality than those fixed by men of genius? No one had such power.
  People had perforce to see things in that way and in no other, to
  see only the shapes depicted, to love only the ideals presented. Nor
  was this all. Owing to this subtle and most irresistible of all
  forces, the unconscious habits of imitation, people soon ended
  either by actually resembling the new ideals or, at all events,
  earnestly endeavoring to be like them. The result has been that,
  after five centuries of constant imitation of a type first presented
  by Donatello and Masaccio, we have, as a race, come to be more like
  that type than we ever were before. For there is no more curious
  truth than the trite statement that nature imitates art. Art teaches
  us not only what to see, but what to be."





While it is the custom to think of our period, Columbus' Century, as
the time of the Renaissance, owing its inspiration to the rebirth of
Greek ideas into the modern world, it must not be forgotten that quite
apart from this there was a "great wind of the spirit" of art blowing
abroad at this epoch. The Renaissance is thought of as Italian, but
the Teutonic countries exhibit in Columbus' Century a great artistic
development at the beginning quite uninfluenced by the New Learning
that came from the Greek rebirth. Painting, sculpture, architecture
and the arts and crafts, all reached a climax of expression in the
Teutonic countries, especially in the latter half of the fifteenth
century, the evidence for which is to be seen in the monuments
preserved for us particularly in the Low Countries and in Southern

Flemish art above all others reached a high level of perfection at
this time that has scarcely ever or anywhere been surpassed. The work
of the brothers Van Eyck, accomplished just before the opening of
Columbus' Century, paved the way for a great new development of art
and made their invention of painting in oil the favorite medium of
pictorial expression. After such a work as "The Adoration of the
Lamb," at Ghent, no one could doubt either of their genius as artists
or the future of the new mode in painting. Their pupil, Roger Van der
Weyden, did not excel his masters, but carried on worthily the
tradition which they had established, and passed on the torch which
they had lighted to successors whose fame was to be undying. Memling
is indeed a great master in painting, almost never excelled, seldom
equalled and representing a phase of art development quite independent
of the humanistic side of the Renaissance.


The wonderful decorations of the casket of St. Ursula in the Hospital
of St. John at Bruges, done just about the time of the discovery of
America, are not unworthy to be placed beside the greatest art of
Europe from any period. The almost more beautiful "Adoration of the
Magi" in the same place shows a minute finish in detail, a marvellous
power of composition, a charm of expression and a wonderful
application of colors which have not faded during all these four and a
half centuries, which deservedly place it among the world's supreme
artistic triumphs. What Giotto is at Padua in the Arena, and Fra
Angelico in San Marco at Florence, Memling is in the Hospital of St.
John at Bruges. The pictures must be seen in all the glory of their
unfading colors to be properly appreciated or to enable those who are
less familiar with the great work of the Netherlands painters to
understand the encomiums of critics; but even uncolored reproductions
give some idea of the charm of the originals.

Strange to say, because of the neglect of the biographical details of
their painters' lives by the Teutonic nations, even Memling's name has
not been quite certain until comparatively recent years. Bruges was
one of the great merchant towns of this time, wealthy, populous, busy,
enterprising, ambitious, the home of merchant princes who were as
generous in their patronage of art as the ecclesiastics or nobility of
Italy, or as our own millionaires, though they believed in the
creation of new works of art especially adapted to their surroundings
rather than the collection of those that had an established
reputation. During the first half of the fifteenth century Brabant had
produced the group of famous artists whom we have mentioned, most of
whom worked at some time or other in Bruges. As Weale, himself an
associate of the Royal Academy of Belgium, says in his "Hans Memlinc":
[Footnote 8] "Of none of all the many celebrated men who made this
town their home has Bruges more reason to be proud than of Hans
Memlinc." While his works remained, however, the personal memory of
him was lost, and hence it is only in our time that it has been quite
sure that the initial letter of his name should be "M" and not "H,"
though the other form is often used by writers about art, and that the
final letter should probably be "c" and not "g" though in English the
latter terminal has been most frequent.

  [Footnote 8: London: George Bell & Sons, 1907.]



It was only in 1889 that Father Dussart, S.J., discovered in the
Public Library of St. Omer in a manuscript by the historian, James De
Meyere, an extract from a diary, in which the death of John Memmelinc,
the painter, is placed on the 11th of August, 1494. He was probably
born about 1435, or a little before, so that his accomplishment as a
painter was all in the first half of Columbus' Century. Memling is the
greatest of all these early painters of the Netherlands in his
portraits, and yet there are many religious pictures which are full of
the devotion of the best of the Italians and wonderful in their
composition, in their solution of the technical problems of painting
and their marvellous power of expression which show him to be one of
the great painters of the world. His great picture, which has been
called "Christ the Light of the World," is a triumph in every mode of
the painter's expression. His shrine of St. Ursula, an oblong
tabernacle of carved oak with gabled ends, for which Memling did a
series of miniatures, is one of the most beautiful accomplishments of
this kind in the world. In very contracted panels, Memling has placed
hundreds of beautiful faces and details of architecture, shipping and
water scenes that must be seen to be appreciated. "It has been said
that Van Eyck, even when painting religious subjects, only awakes
earthly ideas, whilst Memling, even when painting earthly scenes,
kindles thoughts of heavenly things. It is easy to see by his
paintings that he was indeed a man humble and pure of heart, who, when
the arts were beginning to abdicate their position as handmaids of the
Church in order to minister to the pleasures of men, preserved his
love for Christian tradition, and in earnest simplicity painted what
he believed and venerated as he conceived and saw it in his
meditations. There is no affectation, no seeking after novelties, no
mixture of pagan ideas in his works."

Memling's contemporary, Dirk Bouts, deserves scarcely less praise, and
Quentin Matsys is another of the genius painters of the time. The
story of his rise from blacksmith to painter is only a good
illustration, whether legendary or not, of the {74} closeness of the
mechanical arts, those of the goldsmith and the silversmith
particularly, but of all the smiths, to the liberal arts of painting
and sculpture. The divorce of these higher and lower arts from each
other always leads to decadence, not alone in the mechanical, but also
in the liberal arts. The goldsmith or silversmith in the Low
Countries, in Italy, in Nuremberg, easily became a sculptor in the
highest sense of the term, and not infrequently turned his attention
successfully to other arts. It was an ideal condition, showing how
deeply culture had penetrated, and whenever something of it at least
does not exist the liberal arts are sure to be artificial and
borrowed, not native and genuine.

Memling's successors in the Flemish tradition of painting maintained
their master's distinction, and even when lacking in that genius which
alone enables men to do great work did painting that is far above the
mediocre, and that served to spread the spirit of culture among the
people. Lucas van Leyden, in a short life of less than forty years,
did some beautiful things that shall always keep his memory alive.
Gerard David falls only short of the work of such great contemporaries
as Memling himself. David's pupil, Moestart, nobly continues the
tradition of his master. Michiel Coxcie and others do good work before
the end of Columbus' Century, which, in a country less dowered with
great artists than Flanders, would have secured them places of highest
distinction in the history of national art.

The generation of Flemish painters after Memling who studied in Italy
represent among them some great artists worthy to be mentioned even
beside their Italian masters, though these are confessedly the great
Renaissance artists. Justus of Ghent is the first of these, an actual
contemporary of Memling and a man who not only learned from but also
in turn deeply influenced the Italians with whom he was brought in
contact. Jan van Mabuse-Gossaert, Bernard van Orley, Blondeel and
Gerard David were touched by the spirit of the Italian Renaissance and
its great painters, yet preserved the native fire of their genius and
displayed national characteristics which have deservedly given them a
place quite apart from the Italian schools. Some of their paintings
are among those the world knows best and values most highly, and they
have gained in prestige in later years as the knowledge and
appreciation of Teutonic art has spread.

  [Illustration: VAN ORLEY, DR. ZELLE]


Great as was the distinction and achievement of the Low Countries, at
this time it was not so far superior to Southern Germany as to eclipse
its brilliancy. What Bruges was to the Low Countries, and especially
Flanders as an art capital at the beginning of Columbus' Century,
Nuremberg was to Southern Germany. The city well deserves the name of
Northern Florence, for all the arts flourished luxuriantly and the
monuments attest, even better than any traditions, how much was
accomplished here for art. Her greatest artist in this, very like so
many of his Italian contemporaries, was not limited in his powers of
expression to any one narrow mode, for Albert Dürer was painter,
designer, engraver, but also like Leonardo a mathematician, and like
Michelangelo a writer. Dürer's place as a painter is too well known to
need special description here. He is now acknowledged to be one of the
world's greatest artists, worthy to be mentioned in the same breath
even with his supremely great contemporaries, Raphael, Leonardo,
Titian, Botticelli and Correggio. In recent years he has come to be
more generally known. His pious pictures have a certain Teutonic
literalness added to their mystical quality that gives them

He is one of the great group of cultured intellectual people who made
Nuremberg so famous at this time. While his art has many essential
German characteristics, it is much more than national, though it shows
very well the high standard of excellence that the German painters of
this time had attained. His visits to Italy and the Netherlands
broadened his views, developed his artistic sense, refined his taste
and did much for him, yet the essential German character of his
painting and his absolute individuality as an artist remained. Some of
his Madonnas are quite as charming in their way, though very different
from the Italian, as those of the great Renaissance painters in the
peninsula. His "Adoration of the Magi" will bear comparison with the
masterpieces even of Italy and the Netherlands, and his Madonnas,
though of German type, have a sweetness all their own. In his second
period some of his {76} painting at Venice shows how deeply he was
influenced by the Venetian colorists and yet was never merely an

  (WOODCUT, 1511)]

Dürer did fine work of real artistic quality, not only in painting,
but also in wood engraving, and afterwards in engraving on copper.
Prints from his woodcuts or copperplates still command high prices,
and indeed it is probable that only those of Rembrandt are valued more
highly. He brought these two modes of art to great perfection. He was
a fine craftsman, as well as an artist, and both etching and wood {77}
engraving owe much to his inventive ability and handicraftsmanship.

As might be expected of this intimate friend of Wilibald Pirkheimer,
he was a scholar as well as an artist, and we have from him three
books, one on the proportions of the human figure, which shows how
carefully he studied the essentials of his art; one on geometry and
one on the art of fortification. Like Leonardo he felt his ability as
an engineer, and like Raphael and Michelangelo was widely interested
not only in every mode of art, but all the intellectual interests of
his time. No more than the Italians he was not a narrow specialist in
any sense of the word, and nothing shows so clearly as his career and
achievements how much the spirit of genius was abroad at this time in
Europe everywhere, lifting men up to heights of accomplishment that
had scarcely been possible before.

Besides Dürer, the great painters of South Germany were the Holbeins,
father and son. Hans Holbein the elder first came into prominence at
Augsburg as a partner to his brother Sigmund, a painter, none of whose
works have come down to us. His early works are nearly all on the
Passion and show the influence of his studies of the Passion Plays, so
frequently given all over South Germany at this time. Early in the
sixteenth century he came under Italian influence and painted some
pictures that, while naive and primitive, exhibit evidence of high
artistic ability. His fame was eclipsed entirely by his son, Hans
Holbein, known as the younger, though there is no doubt at all of the
influence exerted by Holbein the father on the art of his period, and
his sketchbooks are precious material for the biography and customs of
his contemporaries.

His son left Augsburg about 1515 to become an illustrator of books at
Basel. The first patron of the younger Holbein is said to have been
Erasmus, for whom, shortly after his arrival, he illustrated an
edition of the _"Encomium Moriae"_ by pen-and-ink sketches, which are
now in the Museum at Basel. After some five years of work as an
illustrator, Hans began to attract attention by his portrait drawings.
Some of these, as J. A. Crowe in his article on Holbein in the ninth
edition of {78} the "Encyclopaedia Britannica" says, are "finished
with German delicacy and with a power and subtlety of hand seldom
rivalled in any school." That he could paint with almost equal
distinction his portrait of Boniface Amerbach, painted in 1519,
furnishes ample evidence, for it is "acknowledged to be one of the
most complete examples of smooth and transparent handling that Holbein
ever executed" (Crowe).

Art was gradually being pushed out in the German countries, however,
and above all there was no opportunity for religious painting, which
used to form the chief source of income and of inspiration, as well as
the principal resource of painters before this, as it continued to be
in the Latin countries. Besides, the religious revolution had come to
occupy men's minds with disputes about religious subjects, and
interest in art further declined. How well Holbein could have painted
religious pictures is very well illustrated by the famous altar-piece
of the Burgomaster Meyer, with his wives and children, in prayer
before the Blessed Virgin. Few Madonnas are more impressive than this,
but now the beautiful Mother of God was no longer an object of
reverence. Holbein could get no further commissions of this kind, and
was pitifully reduced, it is said, even to the painting of escutcheons
for a living. Erasmus, whose portrait he had so often made in many
different positions, compassionated his poverty and lack of occupation
and sent him with a note of introduction to Sir Thomas More. More
appreciated him at once, had him paint his own portrait and those of
his family and engaged the interest of the nobility in him.


Holbein executed portraits of many of the prominent nobility of
England, and after two happy years returned to Basel, taking to
Erasmus the sketch of More's family, which is still to be seen in the
gallery of that city, being indeed one of the precious treasures of
it. With the money made in London, Holbein purchased a house and made
the charming portraits of his wife and children for it, but the next
year witnessed the fury of the Iconoclasts, who, in their so-called
reforming zeal, destroyed in one day almost all the religious pictures
at Basel. It is not surprising to find him two years later back in
England, where the merchants of the Steel Yard gave him a series {79}
of commissions to paint portraits and he was employed also by the
Court to provide the famous series of portraits of prospective Queens
for Henry VIII. Some of these make it very dear that he could do
portraits absolutely without flattery. {80} The series of drawings by
him at Windsor form one of the most precious treasures of the English
Crown. He was busy painting a picture of Henry VIII, "Confirming the
Privileges of the Barber Surgeons," still to be seen in their building
in London, when he sickened of the plague and died in 1543. Crowe
says, "Had he lived his last years in Germany he would not have
changed the current which decided the fate of painting in that
country; he would but have shared the fate of Dürer and others, who
merely prolonged the agony of art amidst the troubles of the

Everywhere a great spirit entered into art and produced a series of
artists with an originality and a power of expression that has given
them a place in the history of art. The first important development of
the modern period in France came among the illuminators of books and
is well illustrated by the work of Jean Fouquet of Tours, the Court
Painter of Louis XI. I have mentioned some of the books illuminated by
him in the chapter on Books and Prints, and a copy of one of his
illuminations from the famous Livy manuscript will be found there. He
did a series of larger works which entitles him to the name of
painter, and his portraits are worthy of the time. Bourdischon and
Perreal, the first a painter of historical subjects and portraits in
the reign of Louis XI, and the second, attached to the army of Charles
VIII in his Italian expedition, painted many battle scenes. These
first French artists were little influenced by Italian art, and then
come a group, Jean Cousin and the Clouets, especially François, who is
often called Janet, who, though under Italian influence to some
extent, yet showed, especially taken in connection with the sculptors
Colombe and Jean Goujon, that France possessed artists capable of
forming a native school. Clouet's portrait of Elizabeth of Austria,
wife of Charles IX, is worthy of the great portrait painters of this



In Spain, as in France, there was a development of art in Columbus'
Century that owes nothing to external influence and shows the
originality of the time. As early as 1454 one Sanchez de Castro, "the
Morning Star" of Andalusia, painted a _retablo_ in the Cathedral of
Seville and a fresco of St. Julian in the Church of the same city. He
was still painting in 1516, so {82} that he must have enjoyed as long
a life as many of the great Italian artists of the time. Juan de
Borgona was working at Toledo in 1495 at a series of paintings which
recall Perugino, yet have an originality of their own. It is not
surprising, then, to find Luis de Morales, born about the beginning of
the sixteenth century, called "the Divine" and hailed as the first
Spaniard whose genius and good fortune have obtained him a place among
the great painters of Europe. One of the master painters of this time
is Juan Fernandez Navarrete, most of whose pictures were painted after
the close of our century, but who had passed some twenty-five years of
his life in it and been subjected to its influence and received his
education from it. He is extremely interesting, because his nickname
_el Mudo_, the Dumb, recalls the fact that he was one of the
unfortunate deaf who, for lack of hearing, cannot speak, and yet
succeeded in developing a great mode of expression for himself. Such
opportunities for the defective are supposed to be quite modern, but
as a matter of fact, in spite of difficulties and obstacles, genius
usually finds a mode of expression. Like Italy, Spain has its schools
of painting, and the school of Andalusia came into prominence under
Luis de Vargas, "the best painter of the Sevillan line from Sanchez de
Castro to Velasquez" (Sterling, "The Artists of Spain"). His earliest
known work was completed just about the end of Columbus' Century. It
is the altar-piece of the Chapel of the Nativity in the Cathedral at
Seville, so often admired. Vargas is famous for his portraits, "for
the grandeur and simplicity of his design, his correct drawing and
fresh coloring and the great purity and grace in his female heads."
[Footnote 9] Pablo de Cespedes, born toward the end of our period,
doing his work afterwards, is very well known.

  [Footnote 9: Painting, Spanish and French, Gerard W. Smith, among
  the Art Handbooks.]



In the School of Valentia, Juan de Juanes is famous for his religious
pictures. His vigor and variety of invention are wonderful and his
coloring is splendid. His numerous faces of Christ were unrivalled,
the best perhaps being that with the Sacred Cup. His pencil was wholly
dedicated to religion, and, {84} according to the tradition, he
habitually communicated and confessed before taking a sacred picture.
He had two daughters, Dorothea and Marguerita, who are famous in the
history of Spanish art, typical, illustrious women of the Spanish





Columbus' Century was destined to see the creation of some of the
finest sculpture since the time of the Greeks. Probably in no
department of art does this period stand out as so surely surpassing
any other period of modern times, or indeed any time except the
Periclean, as in its power to furnish great examples of plastic art.
Triumphs of sculpture were accomplished in every medium--stone,
bronze, terra-cotta, wood and the precious metals. The eve of the
century saw the making of some very great sculptures, which portended
the wonderful development that was to come. It was in 1447 that
Ghiberti completed the second pair of doors for the Baptistery at
Florence, which have been the admiration of the world ever since.
After this it was easy to understand that there was no development of
artistic expression in plastic work that might not be expected. All
the expectations possible were realized in the succeeding hundred

Columbus' Century was ushered in with as great a triumph in sculpture
and by the work of a master as great in his maturity, which came just
then, as Fra Angelico was in painting. Fra Angelico, however, had been
but little touched by the Renaissance spirit of classicism, while
Donatello, the familiar name for Donato di Niccolo di Betti Pardi,
whom the classic impulse was to carry ahead of all contemporary
artists and indeed to make a model and a subject of study for all
succeeding students of sculpture, was born even before the close of
the fourteenth century, but like so many of the distinguished artists
of the Renaissance period, lived a long life of persistent work and
great achievement, and the most important part of that work came after

His greatest triumph, the monument to Gatamelata, was set up in Padua
in 1453. There are two equestrian statues {86} that are conceded by
all the world to be supreme works of art, and copies of which are to
be found in many museums throughout our civilization. One of these is
Donatello's "Gatamelata" and the other the "Colleoni," by Verrocchio,
who was a disciple of Donatello. The earlier sculptor had seen some of
the equestrian monuments of the Roman times and had wondered whether
he could not imitate them, or at least accomplish the same purpose.
Undaunted by the difficulties as men seem ever to have been at this
time, he faced not only the problem of making the model that would
express his ideas, but of putting it into the bronze form that would
make it imperishable. He had to master all the problems of equine
anatomy, but above all he had to make himself familiar with the
details of the technique of the founders' art so as to master the
process of casting so large a work absolutely in the round.
Practically he had to discover a great many of these technical points
for himself, and he had to invent methods of accomplishing his
purpose. To most men at any time this would have seemed an almost
impossible achievement. They would have been discouraged from
attempting it. There were many simpler forms of his art that he might
practise, and not take on his shoulders all the technics of the bronze
foundry, but Donatello undisturbedly went on his way and accomplished
his purpose.

There is nothing more interesting and at the same time nothing more
characteristic of this period of discovery and a achievement--indeed,
it is a worthy prelude to Columbus' Century--than the fact that the
very first equestrian statue, made in the modern times when all the
difficulties, material as well as artistic, were heaped up before the
sculptor, is one of the greatest monuments of that kind in the world's
history. Only the "Colleoni," made a half a century later, surpasses,
if indeed that is to be conceded, yet this was the very first attempt.
This is not so surprising, however, if one realizes the significance
of other work of this time. Within a half a century of the invention
of oil painting some of the greatest masterpieces of that mode came
into existence; within less than half a century of the invention of
printing, some of the most beautiful books that have ever been made
were printed. There has been a {87} tendency in our time, as a result
of much discussion of evolution, to think that such triumphs of
achievement come only after long evolution and as the climax of a
prolonged process of development. On the contrary genius at any time
in the world's history takes hold of a mode of expression for the
first time and secures a triumph in it that will be the envy and
admiration of all succeeding generations.


While Donatello's success in this huge equestrian work might be
expected to stamp his genius as much more fitted for monumental
sculpture than any other mode of his favorite art, there is scarcely
any phase of sculpture which he has not illustrated beautifully. The
very spirit of youth is caught and fixed in imperishable bronze in his
"St. George." There is probably no more successful attempt at the
artistic rendering of the "little poor man of God" than Donatello's
sculptured expression of him in his statue of "St. Francis" in the
Church of St. Antony of Padua.

It was Donatello who, according to M. Muntz, the German authority on
the history of sculpture, recovered the child from antiquity and gave
it back to art. Some of his baby faces are among the most beautiful
ever made, and yet without any of the sickly sentimentality that would
make them pall. Their bodies are alive, their draperies cling or float
as they touch their wearers, or are caught up by the air. Only his
great contemporary, Luca della Robbia, has rivalled him in this
regard, and it is doubtful whether even he has excelled him, though
the world as a rule knows della Robbia for his baby faces and thinks
of Donatello as having accomplished more monumental work. Donatello's
"Bambino Gesu," infinitely human, and his boyish "St. John the
Baptist," precociously serious, in the Church of the Vanchetoni,
Florence, where they are seldom seen unless particularly looked for,
are charming examples of Donatello's power of expression in child

In Donatello, as in so many of these artists of Columbus' Century, the
man is almost more interesting than his work. While at Padua doing the
"Gatamelata," Vasari tells us that his works were held to be miracles,
and they were praised so much that finally the master resolved
characteristically to return to Florence. He naively remarked one day,
"If I stayed {88} here any longer I should forget all I have ever
known through being so much praised. I shall willingly return home,
where I get censured continually; for such censure gives occasion for
study and brings as a consequence greater glory." His end was very
sad. He, whose hands had accomplished so much, was stricken with
paralysis and yet lived on for years. His pupils, with whom the great
master was a favorite, took care of him, and even to the end took his
suggestions, worked out his ideas and brought their work to him for
criticism. Galileo, a century later unable to see after having seen
farther into the heavens than any other; Beethoven, unable to hear
after having written some of the most divinely beautiful music ever
conceived, may be compared to Donatello, with his useless skilful

Even this sad fate did not sour him, however, but only made him
tenderer to those who needed help. He had no near relatives, and some
distant connections, hearing that his end was near, and as Hope Rea
tells in his "Donatello" (London: George Bell & Sons), to which I am
indebted for most of the details of this sketch, reminded him of their
existence and begged him to leave them a small property which he
possessed near Prato. "I cannot consent to that, relations mine," he
answered them, "because I wish, as indeed seems to me to be
reasonable, to leave it to the peasant who has labored so long upon
it, and not to you who have never done anything in connection with it
and indeed wish for it as some recompense for your visit to me. Go, I
give you my blessing." The epigram, with which old Giorgio Vasari ends
his all too short appreciation of the great master, seems the most
fitting close that could be made to any notice of his life, "O lo
spirito di Donato opera nel Buonarroto, ó quello del Buonarroto
anticipo di operare in Donato" ("Either the spirit of Donatello
wrought again in Buonarotti, or the genius of Buonarotti had
pre-existence in Donatello.")

Among the great artists, in the highest sense of that word, and one of
the great sculptors of this period must be reckoned Luca della Robbia,
with whose name there are naturally associated the names of others of
this family, and particularly Andrea. Luca was chosen as one of the
sculptors to execute {89} portions of the decorative work of the Duomo
at Florence. He did one of the famous _cantorias_, the two sculptured
marble singing galleries which are unfortunately no longer in the
Duomo itself, but in the museum at the Eastern end of the great
church. This was finished in 1438, when Luca, whose years run
coincident with the century, was thirty-eight years of age. Among the
artists from whom the Florentine officials might have chosen for the
execution of these singing galleries was also Donatello, who actually
modelled the other of the pair, and Ghiberti, since famous for the
great doors of the Baptistery. It is sufficient to say that when Luca
della Robbia's singing gallery was finished, the Florentines realized
very well that no mistake had been made in giving him the execution of
it, even though he had such great rivals.

This is almost the only great work in marble that we have from Luca
della Robbia. He was a scientist, as well as an artist, and he was
very much interested in artistic glazed work. He devoted himself to
making this as perfect as possible and succeeded in adding this as a
wonderful new medium to sculpture. Like so many other of the artists,
painters and sculptors of this time, he was originally a goldsmith,
but became ambitious of doing higher things than those usually
committed to the craftsmen. Vasari tells us that he carved all day and
drew all night, keeping his feet warm through the long winter evenings
by covering them up in a basketful of carpenter shavings. He worked at
the glazing of terra-cotta with the idea at first apparently of
preserving his clay models by baking them.

Working in this new medium he brought to the execution of the models
for it all his genius as a sculptor and succeeded in accomplishing
some of the most beautiful results. He developed the medium so as to
secure charming color, creamy white figures that stand out from a
cloudy blue background, with a glaze that is perfect and joints that
are almost invisible. It is only in comparatively recent years that a
due meed of appreciation has been accorded to della Robbia's work once
more, though his contemporaries valued him at his true worth, but in
compensation for the neglect his pieces are now among the most costly
works of art whenever they turn up at public {90} sales. While
devoting himself to the new artistic modes, he accepted commissions in
both bronze and marble for the embellishment of Florence, and the
bronze doors of the sacristy of the Duomo are his, as well as certain
reliefs in marble on the Campanile.

"In fact," as Hope Rea says in his "Tuscan and Venetian Artists,"
[Footnote 10] "the total amount of work produced by him in the middle
twenty years of his life shows him to have been one of those strenuous
laborers in art, the like of whom have hardly been seen before or
since the years of the Renaissance." Luca never married, but he gave
every opportunity to his nephew, Andrea della Robbia, who was an apt
pupil, but who confined himself practically entirely to the new style
invented by his uncle. In spite of what might be expected, the young
man, with the advantage of his uncle's training and the possession of
his uncle's secrets, did not do better work, though the amount of it
that he turned out made the della Robbia terra-cotta an important part
of Florentine art. In his hands, and those of his son Giovanni, what
had been as pure an art as any form of sculpture came to be merely a
decorative craft. Andrea's many beautiful pieces, however, and
especially the well-known "Bambine," the swaddled infant medallions of
the Hospital of the Innocents, have been very popular at all times and
have entered into renewed popularity in our day. The great series of
incidents of St. Francis' life, executed by Andrea for the Franciscan
monastery of La Verna, represents the climax of his art work. He was
thoroughly sympathetic with the early Franciscan traditions and he
expressed the details of them beautifully.

  [Footnote 10: "The Tuscan and Venetian Artists: Their Thought and
  Work," by Hope Rea. London: J. M. Dent & Co., 1904.]


One of the greatest of the sculptors of the Renaissance, who must
indeed be reckoned among the greatest artists of all times, is
Leonardo da Vinci's teacher, Andrea del Verrocchio. He was one of the
wonderful Florentine artists whose genius was recognized by Lorenzo
the Magnificent and was given the opportunity to express his artistic
conceptions worthily by this liberal patron of the arts and
literature. Three of his great {91} works, the tomb of Piero and
Giovanni de Medici in the Church of San Lorenzo; his "David," which is
in the National Museum, the Bargello in Florence and the "Child
Holding a Dolphin," now in the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio, were
all three executed for Lorenzo. These are all in bronze, but with the
versatility of the men of his time, Verrocchio could express himself
in other media just as charmingly. Michel has said of the terra-cotta
"Madonna" made for the Hospital of Santa Maria Novella that in it
"supreme distinction of thought is combined with the most scrupulous
observation of nature." The famous marble bust of a "Flower Girl" is
in the Bargello. A silver _basso-rilievo_, the "Beheading of John the
Baptist," is now in the Cathedral Museum at Florence.

His two masterpieces are "The Incredulity of St. Thomas" and the
statue of Colleoni, the celebrated _condottiere_ who had commanded the
Venetian troops. Both of these are in bronze. Little as the deep
feeling of the scene between Christ and the doubting Thomas might seem
apt to lend itself to expression in sculpture, Verrocchio has
succeeded in making an extremely beautiful and touching work of art.
The Divine Humanity, urging Thomas the doubter to put his hand into
His pierced side, is a wonderful realization of one of the most
pathetic of incidents. The triumph of Verrocchio's genius, however, is
the "Colleoni." It is probably the greatest equestrian statue ever
made. His contemporaries declared that Leonardo da Vinci's figure of
the Duke of Milan on horseback surpassed it. Sometimes doubt is
expressed as to whether Donatello's "Gatamelata" does not rival it.
That question must be left for great artists and sculptors to decide,
and in the meantime there is no doubt at all that Verrocchio was one
of the greatest sculptors who ever lived. Burckhardt declared that "we
have a right to call this equestrian statue the finest in the world."

Unfortunately Verrocchio was seized with a chill while casting it and
died at the early age of forty-three, or we might have had some still
more wonderful work from him. He is a typical many-sided genius of the
Renaissance, though in sculpture particularly only two, perhaps three,
of his greatest contemporaries ever equalled him; it is even doubtful
if they {92} have excelled his "Colleoni," yet everything that he ever
did was an advance on his previous accomplishment. His disciple,
Leopardi, who finished the casting of the "Colleoni," is another great
sculptor of the time who, in any other period, would be looked upon as
a supreme artist. He has shone with reflected glory, besides, for his
part in the "Colleoni," though it is very doubtful whether any but
very small credit is due to him for the completion of this work which
Verrocchio had left in such a state that but little was required to
make it what it had been ever since, one of the world's greatest
monuments of sculpture.

A great sculptor of the Renaissance, whose career presents many other
features of interest, however, which have made him famous, is
Benvenuto Cellini. He was born in 1500 and, like many of the artists
and most of the sculptors of the time, began his life work as an
apprentice to a goldsmith. After a troubled early manhood in Rome and
other Italian cities, during which he executed some medals that are
among the best of their kind ever made, and various ornamental pieces
in the precious metals, he was for a time at the court of Francis I.
Afterwards he worked in Florence, lending his genius to the
fortification of the city during the war with Siena. While his career
is entirely exceptional among the great artists of the time it is
often taken for a type of the restless, rather unmoral than immoral,
character that was supposed to be produced by the paganizing influence
of the New Learning. The true types of Columbus' Century among the
artists, however, are such men as Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo,
deeply intent on their work, anxious only for the opportunity to
accomplish high artistic purpose and without any of that restless
unmorality that is at least supposed to have characterized Cellini. It
would be much nearer the truth to point to the lives of such men as
Fra Angelico or Fra Bartolommeo, happy in their monastery homes, or
Correggio, who spent his time so peacefully with the religious of the
little town in which he lived, than to appeal to Benvenuto's chequered
stormy career as typical of the Renaissance.

Cellini's autobiography, as great a work of imaginative art, very
probably, as any that he ever executed in plastic materials, has
attracted as much attention in literature as his great {93} sculptures
have in art. His name, then, has become familiar to many who know
nothing about the intimate personal careers of the great artists of
the time and who will in all good faith continue to draw their
conclusions as to the character of the men of the Renaissance from
Cellini's rather boastful proclamation of his successful vices, though
this exactly represents the exception which proves the rule to be the
opposite. In spite of his forbidding picture of himself he had moments
of intense religious feeling and highest inspiration. Anyone who has
seen his famous "Christ" in marble in the Escurial will not be likely
to think that he was entirely lacking in deep religious feeling. His
famous bronze group of "Perseus holding the Head of Medusa," to which
deservedly the Florentines have given a distinguished place in front
of the old ducal palace at Florence, is one of the masterpieces of
modern sculpture. W. M. Rossetti spoke of it in his article in the
"Encyclopaedia Britannica" as "a work full of the fire of genius and
the grandeur of a terrible beauty. One of the most typical and
unforgettable monuments of the Italian Renaissance." His story of the
casting of this great monument shows the difficulties under which the
sculptors of the time labored, and yet how triumphantly they overcame
technical obstacles and made great works of art.

While so great as a sculptor in monumental work, Cellini never thought
art objects of small size beneath his attention, and like Raphael,
willing to make the cartoons for the tapestries of the Sistine Chapel
and composing great pictorial scenes as their subjects, so Cellini,
with a true Renaissance artistic spirit, modelled beautifully any and
every form of work in metal. He modelled flagons, bells and even rings
and jewels, designed coins and medals for the Papal mint and for the
Medici at Florence. It has been said that everything minted under his
direction attained the highest excellence. His work in _alto-rilievo_
was as fine as that in _basso-rilievo_. All over Europe there are
well-authenticated specimens of smaller pieces from his hands, a bell
in the Rothschild collection, a gold salt-cellar in Vienna, a shield
elaborately wrought in Windsor Castle and even beautifully chased
armor, such as he made for Charles IX of Sweden, which may be seen at


Of course, for any proper estimation of the Italian sculpture of this
period, the work of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo must bulk very
large. They have been treated in separate chapters, and there is room
here only to say that, while unfortunately we have almost none of
Leonardo's sculpture, we have from his own great artistically critical
generation traditions of magnificent accomplishment. As for
Michelangelo, his own generation admired him only too much, and the
almost inevitable imitation of his genius brought on decadence in
plastic art much sooner than it would otherwise have come. His faults
were imitated without any of the genius in power of expression that
condones them in the great originals. If Michelangelo's sculpture had
been the only contribution of this period to plastic art, that would
have been sufficient to place it high among the periods of greatest
productivity in this department of art. As it is, there were men who
preceded Michelangelo whose genius is unquestioned and whose
achievements have been recognized by the world ever since.

The roll of sculptors of the century worthily closes with the name of
John of Bologna, who was born at Douai in Flanders, but passed all his
life in Italy, and it is hard to know whether to group him with the
Italian or extra-Italian sculptors. Most of his great work was done
after the end of our century, but as he was probably more than
twenty-five years of age when the century closed, and received all his
training and inspiration from the men of our time, he deserves a place
here. John, who owes his name of Bologna to the fact that one of his
greatest works, the bronze "Neptune," was prepared for the fountain of
Bologna, was often called by his contemporaries _Il Fiammingo_, in
reference to the place of his birth. Probably no sculptor of his time
has been more popular all down the centuries than he, and there are
very few with any claim to education and culture who do not know his
wonderful figure of "Mercury," with winged feet borne aloft upon the
breezes blowing out of the mouth of Aeolus, the god of the winds.
There has probably never been a more masterly expression of light,
easy, graceful movements in statuary than this. It is for his power to
express movement {95} within the limitations of plastic art that John
is famous. His "Rape of the Sabines" in the Bargello in Florence is
declared "to have come nearer to expressing swift-flashing motion and
airy lightness than has ever been accomplished before or since." He
lacked the faults of exaggeration of the later Renaissance and had
many of its best qualities.


The sculptured work on and in the Certosa at Pavia belongs mainly to
Columbus' period. It remains one of the great architectural and
sculptural monuments of the world. It has its defects, which are
mainly due to over-luxuriousness of decoration and failure to make the
decoration and the structure itself harmonize, but it remains a
beautiful example of the art of the time. It has continued to be ever
since a place of pilgrimage for art lovers, and it will doubtless
continue to be so for as long as this present phase of our
civilization lasts. It contains some most effective work, and while
not all of its sculpture is conceived in the true spirit of what
belongs to plastic art, there is much of it that has never been
surpassed except by supremely great sculptors, the men who are looked
upon as the world's geniuses in this department. When the Certosa is
compared with some of the churches which in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries were thought to be the highest expressions of
artistic excellence, the taste and the ability of the sculptors and
architects of the Renaissance become manifest.

Perhaps nothing brings out in greater relief the accomplishment of the
sculptors of this period than the deep decadence of the art in the
succeeding century. The only name that stands out with any prominence
during the seventeenth century is that of Bernini, a man of undoubted
talent, who, in a better period of art, might have been a sculptor of
the first rank. Much of his monumental work, however, is thoroughly
inartistic and has been declared "a series of perfect models of what
is worst in plastic art." It is still more illuminating to learn that
this work was looked upon in his time with the loftiest admiration. No
sculptor in any period had quite so much fulsome praise. The
eighteenth century sank, if possible, still lower in all that
pertained to true sculpture, and sculptors often of great technical
skill occupied themselves in making such {96} trivialities as statues
covered with filmy veils, through which forms and features could be
seen, and other tricks of art. It was not until Canova came at the end
of the eighteenth century that there was any gleam of hope for
sculpture, and even this was eclipsed to some extent by the classic
formalism which came in with it.




While Italy excelled in sculpture at this time, as indeed in every
department of art, the other countries of Europe practically all
enjoyed a magnificent period of development in plastic art, not a
little of it thoroughly national in character and some of the most
precious of it quite apart from Italian influence. Besides, there was
a marvellous accomplishment in the subsidiary arts and artistic crafts
well deserving of mention which confirms the place of this period
among the greatest of productive eras. A very noteworthy development
of sculpture took place in the Netherlands, where in the midst of the
rising democracies and the commercial prosperity there was a great
outburst of artistic genius. Wealthy patrons had the good taste to
recognize artistic genius and encourage it. There has never been a
period or country when tradesmen proved more discriminatingly
beneficent. It would be indeed surprising if the country that produced
the Van Eycks and the first great evolution of oil painting with the
work of Van der Weyden, Memling, Quentin Matsys, Gerard David and so
many others on canvas, should not have given us sculpture worthy of
this fine artistic development.

We do not, as a rule, know the names of the individual sculptors in
the Netherlands, because apparently they looked upon themselves as
artist artisans, whose duty it was to do their work faithfully and
thoroughly, looking for no reward of fame and no special recognition
beyond their own consciousness of having done good work. Their
sculptures are to be seen in many places, in the cathedrals, the town
halls and the other beautiful buildings erected at this time. Louvain,
Brussels and many of the other towns of what is now Belgium {98}
particularly must have had many artistic workers in stone who well
deserved the name of sculptors. They executed not only beautifully
decorative work, but also full-length statues, busts, medallions in
high and low relief, and plastic ornaments of all kinds. The high
quality of their accomplishment can scarcely be disputed, and yet the
lack of their names has often left the impression that there were no
great sculptors at this time; the fine sculpture that has come down to
us is, however, an emphatic contradiction of any such notion.

Some of the work done in the humble medium of wood is particularly
interesting. The charmingly artistic wood-carving of the consecration
of St. Eloi in the Church of Notre Dame at Bruges is a striking
example. The choir seats of the Church at Louvain are quite as worthy
of high praise, and the wood-carvings in the choir at Harlem so often
admired come from this same period. Perhaps one of the best examples
of the wood-carving of the time is the pulpit of the Cathedral at
Leyden, which was made in this century.

The tombs of Mary of Burgundy and of Charles the Bold in the Church of
Notre Dame, Bruges, still further emphasize the sculptural capacity of
these generations, though, from the rarity of large masterpieces,
there were apparently but few opportunities to display it on a
monumental scale. These monuments, especially the older one, are
supremely great works of art. A comparison of them is very
illuminating for the history of sculpture in our period. Though
constructed scarcely half a century apart, they are executed under the
influence of the two typical but very different art impulses of this
century. The tomb of Mary, made by Peter Beckere of Brussels in 1502,
is mediaeval and Gothic in spirit. That of Charles, made by order of
Philip II just before 1560, is a distinctly Renaissance work. The
later is much more modern and obvious in the meaning of all its
symbolism, but one need not be an artist to see how much more
genuinely artistic is the earlier tomb. At first glance one seems
almost a replica of the other, except, of course, for the figure of
the deceased and the subjects of the decorations of the sarcophaguses,
but it takes but little study to discover what a descent there is in
the art quality of the Renaissance work. Nowhere can one see the {99}
value of the old and the new nor compare Gothic and Renaissance so
easily as here.

  [Illustration: PULPIT, LEYDEN]

Sculpture developed very wonderfully in Germany during the first half
of Columbus' Century. The commercial prosperity of the time, the
development of industries and the increase of trade caused an inflow
of wealth into many of the cities of Southern Germany particularly,
and not a little of this wealth found its way through the generosity
of donors into the decoration of their churches. The people's faith
was deep and full. Reform had not yet come to disturb it. Germany
devoted itself especially to sculptured decoration in wood. An immense
number of carved altars, pulpits, choir screens, stalls, tabernacles
and other church fittings of very great elaborateness and usually fine
artistic quality were produced. One of the first of the great German
wood-carvers was Jörg Syrlin, who executed the famous choir stalls of
Ulm cathedral, so richly decorated and ornamented with statuettes and
canopies. His son of the same name did the great pulpit in the same
cathedral and was given the commission for the elaborate stalls in
Blaubeuren church. These were finished within a year of the discovery
of America. At Nuremberg wood-carving also reached a high degree of
excellence, and Veit Stoss of Nuremberg, though notorious for his
escapades, was looked upon as the most skilful of artists for church
woodwork. He was invited to Cracow to do the high altar, the
tabernacle and the stalls of the Frauenkirchen. His masterpiece is the
great wooden panel nearly six feet square, carved toward the end of
the fifteenth century, with an immense number of scenes from Bible
history, which is now among the treasures of the Nuremberg town hall.

Albrecht Dürer himself with Renaissance versatility took up sculpture
and did not despise even the humble medium of wood. He was a clever
wood-carver and executed a tabernacle with an exquisitely carved
relief of Christ on the Cross between His mother and St. John, which
still may be seen in the chapel of the monastery at Landau. The
British Museum possesses a number of miniature reliefs in boxwood
which were also made by Dürer, though he early abandoned wood-carving
for art work in materials that might be expected {100} to be more
enduring. The influence of the wood-carving of this period can be
noted in the work of the sculptors of the time, even after they
abandoned it for stone and bronze. {101} Adam Kraft's great Schreyer
monument in St. Sebald's Church at Nuremberg, for instance, shows very
clearly the influence of wood-carving. There is no doubt, however,
about his high place among the sculptors, even of this glorious
period, in the art.


The Vischer family for three generations executed a series of very
great monuments in bronze, especially during the second half of
Columbus' Century. The genius of the family was Peter Vischer of the
second generation, who was admitted as a master sculptor into the
sculptors' guild of Nuremberg in 1489. Perhaps the most interesting
thing about his work is his absolute mastery of the technique of his
art. Few men have ever succeeded in casting in bronze to such good
effect. After having finished the magnificent tomb of Archbishop
Ernest in Magdeburg Cathedral, in which some traces of Gothic
influence still linger, Vischer obtained the opportunity for his
masterpiece in the beautiful canopy for the shrine of St. Sebald at
Nuremberg, a veritable triumph of plastic art. Modern, critical
appreciation of it has very well corroborated contemporary admiration.
Its details are a never-ending source of interest and study. Some of
the statuettes of saints attached to the slender columns of the canopy
are among the most charming examples of their kind that we have. They
have grace and dignity, as well as great expressiveness. Near the base
there is a small, evidently portrait, figure of a rather stout,
bearded man wearing a large leathern apron and holding some of the
sculptor's tools with which he usually worked that is considered to be
a figure of Peter himself. It is a marvel of clever realism.

The story of the execution of this monumental masterpiece is of itself
a lesson in the art work of the time. Peter was assisted by his sons,
and they worked at it almost continuously for more than ten years,
between 1508 and 1519. It was often extremely difficult for them to
secure money enough for their work from the authorities who had agreed
to pay, though stingily enough, yet they devoted themselves to it as
whole-heartedly as if it was a munificently rewarded work. The smaller
figures are executed with marvellous attention to detail, and every
feature of the work, the graceful scroll {102} foliage so abundantly
used, the dragons and even the grotesques, all the details which crowd
every possible part of the canopy, were executed evidently without the
slightest regard for the time and labor which were required for them
and with the good workman's delight in his work.

It has sometimes been said that these Teutonic sculptors of Nuremberg
were mere workers in bronze who reproduced in that material the ideas
and drawings of others. As pointed out by Cecil Headlam in his little
book on "The Bronze Founders of Nuremberg," [Footnote 11] "The
evidence of our eyes, which enable us to trace the development of
their style, would be enough to refute that opinion even if we were
without the documentary evidence which shows that father and sons
alike were patient and painstaking draughtsmen as well as craftsmen
all their lives." There is no doubt at all that they adopted and
adapted many ideas from the great Italian sculptors of their own and
the preceding time. They were deeply influenced by Sansovino,
Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci, but they were not mere imitators and
they were not plagiarists in any sense of the word. To quote Mr.
Headlam again (page 131):

    [Footnote 11: "The Bronze Founders of Nuremberg: Peter Vischer and
    His Family," by Cecil Headlam, B. A., formerly Demi of Magdalen
    College, Oxford. London: George Bell & Sons, 1906.]

  "They could apply the lessons they had learnt from their careful
  study of the Italian Masters, and apply them with successful
  originality. It is in the energy which lives in the King Arthur, the
  simple yet vigorous composition and execution of bas-reliefs, such
  as the Healing of the Blind Man of St. Sebald's tomb, or the Tucher
  Memorial, with their wholly admirable treatment of lines and planes;
  it is in the tender and spiritual feeling infused into the greatest
  of their bronze portraits that the unanswerable vindication lies of
  an imitation proved not too slavish and of a study that has not
  deadened but inspired."

Other cities in Southern Germany, as Augsburg and Innsbrück, and at
least one city in Northern Germany, Lübeck, are in possession of
bronze sculptures which show how thoroughly alive was the spirit of
plastic art all over Germany at this time.

  [Illustration: KING ARTHUR (INNSBRUCK)]

Innsbrück possesses a series of bronze statues, all of them {103}
executed in the first half of the sixteenth century, which has always
attracted the attention of the world artists ever since. There are
twenty-eight colossal bronze figures around the tomb of the Emperor
Maximilian which stands in the centre of the nave of the Cathedral.
They are designed to represent the heroes of the olden time and one of
them, usually looked upon as the finest, is an ideal statue of King
Arthur of the Briton legends, famous for the nobility of the face and
pose. He is represented in the plate armor of the early fifteenth
century. The statue of Theodoric is also considered to be not only a
very fine example of the work of the period, but also one of the
world's great bronze statues. The difficulties encountered {104} in
the accomplishment of the casting of the bronze for these were so
great that the Emperor invited Peter Vischer from Nuremberg to
superintend at least this portion of the work and it is probable that
his influence was felt also on the modeling. The designs are usually
attributed to local artists at Innsbruck, however, of whose names we
are not sure. In nothing are these older periods so different from
ours as in the utter neglect of artists to make any effort to secure
their personal fame.


In France even before the time of the Renaissance, or at least before
the effect of Greek ideas was felt, there was a magnificent
development of sculpture, an inheritance from the older period of the
thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries which had left such
magnificent monuments as the tombs in St. Denis, Le Beau Dieu at
Amiens and the statues in the porch of the cathedral at Chartres. The
first of these French Gothic sculptors of Columbus' Century is
Colombe, trained in Flanders, who founded a school of sculpture at
Tours. He {105} executed the tomb of Margaret of Austria and her
husband Duke Philibert of Savoy in the Marble Church of Brou. Tours
became a great centre of art in the latter half of the fifteenth
century. Its name, the town of spires, indicates that there had always
been aspirations after effect in their ecclesiastical architecture and
this reached a culmination in statuary at this time. With Colombe his
nephews worked while Jean Juste and his son collaborated in the poetic
tomb built in honor of the son and daughter of Charles VIII in the
Cathedral of Tours. Here also they erected the famous tomb of Louis
XII and Anne of Bretagne, which has since been carried to St. Denis.
The Justes had a power of putting touching human qualities into marble
that has always given a special interest to their work. Jean Fouchet
probably made at this time the lovely tomb of Agnes Sorel at Loches
which has been so famous and has helped to make Loches a favorite
pilgrimage place ever since.

French sculpture touched by the Renaissance reached a further triumph
of artistic development in the first half of the sixteenth century.
Two names particularly stand out, those of Jean Goujon and Germain
Pilon. Though the first signs of that affectation and mannerism which
developed as the Renaissance progressed are to be already noted in
their styles, they combined great technical skill with refinement in
modelling. Undoubtedly the greatest of the French sculptors of the
time was Jean Goujon, whose most pleasing work is the marble group of
Diana reclining beside a stag, which exhibits a power beyond that of
any except the greatest Italian sculptors. He executed a series of
sculptures for the older part of the Louvre which beautifully
harmonizes with the architecture. His reliefs for the Fountain of the
Innocents are one of the best known of his works and have a charm all
their own.

The other great sculptor, Germain Pilon, trained under the influence
of the Renaissance, did his best work just after the close of
Columbus' Century. His group of the Three Graces bearing on their
heads an urn containing the heart of Henry II, executed for Catherine
de Medici, has been deservedly very much praised. Other men, Maitre
Ponce and Barthélemy Prieur, did work that has attracted much
attention about this same time. A fine portrait effigy of a recumbent
figure in full {106} armor of the duke of Montmorency, which has
always attracted the attention of those of critical artistic taste and
is one of the treasures of the Louvre, is the work of Prieur.

  [Illustration: GOUJON, JEAN, JEWEL CABINET ]

The story of subsequent decadence is as striking in France as in other
countries. No sculpture of any significance appeared during the
seventeenth century, though some of the artists of the time exhibited
great technical skill. Indeed it was not until the coming of Hudon, at
the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century,
that there is any relief from the story of mediocrity or worse, and
{107} in his time the plastic arts had reached a very low ebb. Modern
French sculpture is the result of the movement begun by Hudon, but it
is separated from the Renaissance by nearly two centuries of

A very interesting and valuable development of the arts and crafts
that came in the Netherlands at this time was in the execution of art
tapestries. This is the period when weaving of all kinds came to its
highest perfection all over the world. The fifteenth and sixteenth
century Oriental rugs command the highest prices and are among the
most beautiful examples of carpet weaving that we have. In the
Netherlands and in France tapestry reached its highest perfection and
the examples executed at this time are now the precious treasures of
governmental museums and similar public institutions almost without
exception and probably will not change hands again because they are
looked upon as too valuable for educational purposes and the uplifting
of popular taste for public authorities ever to part with them. In the
Netherlands particularly, tapestry-making reached a climax of
perfection. After Michelangelo had been asked to decorate the ceiling
of the Sistine Chapel, Raphael was requested to do a series of
cartoons for the tapestries to be hung around the walls of it, which
were to be executed in Flanders. After their completion they were the
admiration of Rome, and we have many expressions of praise for them
from the great men of the time whose critical ability in all matters
relating to art cannot be doubted.

Vasari has an enthusiastic tribute, which even discounting his
well-known tendency to praise overmuch under certain circumstances,
still serves to show how thoroughly satisfied this period of great art
was with these masterpieces. He said:

  "One is astonished at the sight of this series. The execution is
  marvellous. One can hardly imagine how it was possible, with simple
  threads, to procure such delicacy in the hair and beards and to
  express the suppleness of flesh. It is a work more Godlike than
  human; the waters, the animals and the habitations are so perfectly
  represented that they appear painted with the brush, not woven."


The tapestries were first shown the day after Christmas, {108} 1519,
in the Sistine Chapel for which they had been designed. Some of the
greatest of the Renaissance scholars and artists and literary men were
present on the occasion. It was the custom at that time to send as
Ambassadors to Rome from foreign countries, distinguished scholars and
amateurs. Many of these were present. All were enthusiastic in their
admiration. Rumor said that they were quite unable to express all that
they felt for these new works of art. Everyone present, one of the
guests said in a letter to his sovereign, was speechless at the sight
of these hangings and it is the unanimous opinion that nothing more
beautiful exists in the universe. Another of those present wrote:


  "After the Christmas celebrations were over, the Pope exposed in his
  chapel seven tapestries (the eighth not being finished) executed in
  the West (in Flanders). They were considered by every one the most
  beautiful specimens of the weaver's art ever executed. And this in
  spite of the celebrity attained by other tapestries--those in the
  antechamber of Pope Julius II, those made for the Marchese of Mantua
  after the cartoons of Mantegna, and those made for the King of
  Naples. They were designed by Raphael of Urbino, an excellent
  painter, who received from the Pope 100 ducats for each cartoon.
  They contain much gold, silver and silk, and the weaving cost 1,500
  ducats apiece--a total of 16,000 ducats ($160,000) for the set--as
  the Pope himself says, though rumor would put the cost at 20,000
  golden ducats."

Even this account gives evidence that it was not because of their
rarity, but on account of their unique quality that the Sistine
tapestries were so much admired. As a matter of fact, most of the
ruling court families of Italy ordered tapestries for themselves that
have since become famous and most of these were made in France and in
the Netherlands.

There is absolutely no doubt left now that this is the period when the
best tapestries ever made were woven. George Leland Hunter in his
"Tapestries, Their Origin, History and Renaissance" [Footnote 12] says
that the Golden Age of tapestries was the Gothic Renaissance
Transition--the last half of the fifteenth century and the first half
of the sixteenth century--the hundred years during which Renaissance
tapestries began and Gothic tapestries ceased to be woven, while many
of the greatest tapestries were of mixed style like the story of the
Virgin at Rheims. There are sets woven at various times during this
period which are among the greatest tapestry treasures of the world.
The largest of all these sets is the story of St. Rémi in the church
of the same name at Rheims--sixteen feet high with a combined width of
165 feet. When exhibited at the Paris Exhibition in 1900, one of them,
wrong side out in order to display the richness and solidity of the
ancient unfaded colors, attracted the attention of amateurs from all
over the world. The story of St. Étienne in nine pieces at the Cluny
Museum {110} at Paris was presented to the Cathedral of Auxerre in

  [Footnote 12: John Lane Co., New York, 1912. pp. 33.]

As a matter of fact there was scarcely a cathedral or monastery in
France at this time that did not come into the possession of beautiful
tapestries that are now very precious treasures. During recent years
the value of such tapestries have increased very much and our
millionaires have been willing to spend almost fabulous sums in order
to get possession of them. We have had the opportunity here in America
through the munificence of the late Mr. Pierpont Morgan to see some of
them in the Metropolitan Museum and have learned to realize that the
praise of them is well deserved. Mr. Hunter says that "the most famous
tapestries in the world are the Renaissance tapestries, though the
only distinction in most cases between the Gothic tapestries of the
end of the fifteenth and the Renaissance tapestries at the beginning
of the sixteenth, is that in one, whatever architecture or
ornamentation or decoration is used has Gothic motives, while the
models for these same details in the later tapestries is drawn from
the Renaissance." The Brussels tapestries of the early sixteenth
century are particularly beautiful and are the despair of the modern
tapestry makers. Other Flemish cities, however, Arras, Tournai,
Bruges, Lille, Antwerp became famous for their tapestries and Delft,
in Holland, was a worthy rival. The art seems to require too much
patience for our modern artisans to compete with their brethren of the
old time, but doubtless with the rise and appreciation of artistic
handicraftsmanship and the demand for charming decoration of homes and
public buildings regardless of cost, we may look confidently for a
development even in this line.

The other phases of the arts and crafts also developed very
wonderfully outside of Italy as well as in the peninsula. Beautiful
vessels for altar use, chalices, candlesticks, crucifixes and the like
were made, and indeed this is the supreme period of their manufacture.
Some of the chalices of this time were made by distinguished sculptors
who felt that they could not devote themselves to more suitable art
work than this for Church purposes. Under the inspiration of deep
religious feeling some even of the smaller pieces are among the
world's {111} great works of art. Benvenuto Cellino made morses,
chalices and crucifixes that are famous. Many of these were executed
for patrons outside of Italy. His well-known crucifix in the Escurial
near Madrid, made for Philip II, is a typical example. Processional
crosses lent themselves to decorative effect very well, and some of
them from this time are indeed very beautiful works of art. The same
application of artistic craftsmanship was to be noted with regard to
nearly everything meant for the service of the Church or for use in
municipal building for the decoration of municipal property. The
well-known iron well railing executed, it is said, by Quentin Matsys
(or Massys), when the artist was but a blacksmith and had not yet
taken up painting, is a typical sample of the combination of the
beautiful and useful which characterizes so much of the work of this
time and carries away every point of admiration.


There was scarcely any form of decorative work that did not receive
high artistic development at this time nearly everywhere throughout
Europe. In recent years enamels have attracted much attention, and the
recent presentation of the Barwell collection to the British Museum
brought the Limoges work into prominence again. The London
_Illustrated News_ reproduced a series of Limoges enamels in the
Barwell collection that are marvellous in color and artistic
excellence. {112} The Courtois, the younger of whom, Jean, died in
1586, are probably the greatest artistic craftsmen in this mode.
Pierre Courtois (or Courteys) made just about the end of our century
the largest enamels which ever came out of Limoges with life-size
figures of the Virtues. Pierre Reymond (Raymond or Rexmont), who was
the Mayor of Limoges in 1567, did some work that attracted attention
as early as 1532. The stream of artistic influence at this time can be
studied very well in his work, for he was influenced by the Germans in
his early maturity, later came under the influence of the Italian
school, though he had been a pupil of Nardon Pénicaud, who himself
came of a famous French family of fifteenth and sixteenth century
artists, whose work always possesses distinction. Some of the plaques
and salvers of this time in enamel are among the most precious
treasures of national collections throughout the world.

  [Illustration: SEATS (fifteenth CENTURY MINIATURES)]

Some of the locks and keys and latches and hinges for doors made
during this period are among the most beautiful examples of iron work
in the world. The Cluny Museum in Paris possesses a number of these as
well as other iron work of Columbus' Century which show that the men
of this time had the true artistic spirit in their work. The armorers
of the period made probably the most beautiful armor that has ever
been made, and the finest pieces in collections, especially {113} in
national armories, are nearly all from this time. Scent boxes and
jewel boxes of various kinds in the precious or semi-precious metals
were always executed with fine artistic taste, or at least some of the
best examples of these in the world come from this time. Clocks were
made with a perfection of mechanism and at the same time an ornateness
that give them a place in the art world instead of merely in the
industrial domain. The furniture of the time is noted for its artistic
quality, and some of the smaller pieces made by well-known sculptors
or under their direction were works of art that now are thought of as
world treasures for all time.





Just as the introduction of Greek ideas gave a new impetus to
literature and art and sculpture and painting, so it did also, and
perhaps to an even greater degree, to architecture. The effect of
classic thought had begun to be felt before 1450. It was noted first
in ecclesiastical architecture and its influence can be traced
throughout Europe. Brunelleschi, who built the great dome of the
Cathedral in Florence, died in 1444, but not until he had shown the
world of his time how beautiful such a conception was and how it could
be accomplished. He had gone to Rome and studied the Pantheon, as well
as all the other great buildings which the Romans had left in that
city, and during his studies, becoming enamored of the subject, he
mastered every detail of their style and became familiar with every
form of Roman art. He first completed the Church of San Lorenzo in
Florence and then was entrusted with a larger work, the completion of
the Santo Spirito, which Arnolfo and Giotto had left unfinished and
apparently, according to the practice of the Middle Ages, without even
a drawing to show how they intended to complete it. They would have
given it a Gothic roof. Brunelleschi conceived the dome and then, in
the course of his studies and designing, definitely initiated the
development of Renaissance architecture.

The first important influence in the architecture of our century is
Leon Battista Alberti, who was led to the study of architecture
because of his interest in classical literature and his desire to
restore a classical style in building as well as in letters. In order
to accomplish this, he wrote a text-book of architecture, _"De re
aedificatoria."_ Besides the theory of classic architecture, he also
devoted himself to its practical exemplification, and there are some
models of his work that are well {115} known. The charming little
classic Church of San Francesco at Rimini and the much more important
Church of San Andrea at Mantua were erected under his direction. The
latter Church is noted, according to Fergusson in his "History of
Modern Architecture," [Footnote 13] for "the beauty of its
proportions, the extreme elegance of every part and the
appropriateness of the modes in which classical details are used
without the least violence or straining." All the details of the
classical architecture as applied to Churches are to be found in this
in their simplest and most sincere form. They were to become so
familiar afterwards as to represent a standard of Church architecture.

  [Footnote 13: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1899.]


  [Illustration: MICHELANGELO, ST. PETER's (ROME)]

The great development of this new style came under {116} Bramante of
Urbino, who was born the year that Brunelleschi died. His most
remarkable monument in ecclesiastical architecture is the Church at
Lodi. Alberti's work had been mainly {117} the restoration of the
Basilican form. Bramante emphasized the domical or Byzantine type.
After these two the change from the mediaeval to the modern style of
architecture may be said to have been completed and under the most
favorable auspices. The dome of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which
Fergusson pronounces "both externally and internally one of the most
pleasing specimens of its class found anywhere," is another monument
to Bramante's genius. Bramante is most famous, however, for his bold
design and magnificent foundations for St Peter's at Rome. He did not
live to complete this, but had his original plan been carried out, the
finished building would have been in many ways more satisfactory than
it is and would have exhibited many less serious architectural faults.

An excellent type of the ornate architecture of the Renaissance period
is the facade of the famous Certosa near Pavia. The designs for it
were prepared by Borgognone, a distinguished Milanese artist of that
time, one of whose pictures will be found reproduced in the chapter on
Secondary Italian Painters. He was much more essentially a painter
than an architect, and this the Certosa demonstrates. Many an
architect, with no ambition outside of his own department, would be
eminently well pleased, however, to have succeeded in producing so
beautiful and harmonious a design as may be seen in the façade of the
great Church of the Italian Carthusians.

The architectural monument of the century is St. Peter's at Rome,
designed originally by Bramante, whose design was developed and
harmonized very beautifully by Sangallo, but only after Raphael had
carried on Bramante's work for some six years and Baldassare Peruzzi
had succeeded him for an equal term, though without accomplishing
much. The defects so often noted come from this succession of
architects. Sangallo's design has been preserved for us and shows what
a magnificent conception he had. Michelangelo's dome might well have
taken its place in this design without any of the overpowering effect
that it has on the structure as completed. In spite of all the
criticism that may be made of St. Peter's, because, as the editor of
the recent edition of Fergusson's "History of Architecture" (Dodd,
Mead & Co., 1899) says, "the {118} big pulls away from the beautiful
and there must be a compromise," it is one of the most wonderful of
churches and one of the most marvellous structures that ever came from
the hand of man. Fergusson himself is severe in criticism, and yet he
says, "in spite of all its faults of detail, the interior of St.
Peter's approaches more nearly to the sublime in architectural effect
than any other which the hand of man has executed."

In England Renaissance architecture, that is the influence of the
classical, had very little, indeed almost no effect during Columbus'
Century. The genius, as well as the taste of the builders and
architects of the time, however, is well illustrated by the
development of Gothic architecture which took place in this period.
The Italians of the Renaissance decided that the interior of buildings
should be decorated by paintings. The English builders were yet in the
period in which they considered that the interior decoration, just as
the exterior decoration, should flow naturally from the construction
of the building. These two styles are very well illustrated in two
famous structures which were built within the same generation, though
separated by half the width of the European continent, and which are
triumphs of the respective styles of architecture. These are the
Sistine Chapel at Rome and King's College Chapel of Cambridge, the
plans of which, because of the inevitable contrast they suggest and
the supreme effectiveness of both of them, deserve study. Each has a
beauty of its own that advocates of either style cannot help but
admire, and both give magnificent testimony to the power of the men of
this time to express themselves nobly and beautifully in structural
work under the influence of religious ideas.

In Spain the architecture of the time is noteworthy, though it is
mainly of ecclesiastical character. All of the buildings erected by
Ferdinand and Isabella are in the Gothic style, and the famous Church
of St. John of the Kings at Toledo is as Gothic as the chapel of Henry
VII at Westminster. The Cathedral at Salamanca commenced in 1513 and
that of Segovia in 1525 are both thoroughly Gothic. These buildings
are so well known that the accomplishment of this period in
architecture need scarcely be emphasized. The first distinctively
Renaissance work in Spain is the Cathedral at {119} Granada, which,
though Gothic in certain ways, contains Renaissance suggestions and
modifications of form that have been adopted for many modern Churches.


The secular architecture of this period made as great progress as the
ecclesiastical architecture, and it is of even greater interest
because nearly all the ideas in common use among architects for
monumental public buildings or ambitious private structures in our
time are adopted and adapted from the architecture of Columbus'
Century. As in ecclesiastical {120} architecture, the Renaissance
begins in Florence. The erection of two of the magnificent palaces of
the city, still well known and admired, the Riccardi, formerly called
the Medicean, and the Pitti, were the initial steps. The Riccardi was
designed by Michelozzi and has a splendid façade 500 feet in length
and 90 feet in height. The Pitti is 490 feet in length, three stories
high in the centre, each story 40 feet in height, with immense windows
24 feet apart from centre to centre. They show very well what the
architects of this time could accomplish on this grand scale. Both
were completed just about the beginning of Columbus' Century. After
this, the Florentine buildings became more ornate, and yet with the
ornament properly adapted to the structure and producing an effect of
beauty that has deservedly won modern admiration and study. Probably
the two most famous buildings of the first half of Columbus' Century
are the Rucellai and the Guadagni palaces of Florence, the façades of
which have been much admired. The Rucellai Palace was designed by
Alberti, the Guadagni by Bramante. As their ideas dominated
ecclesiastical architecture, so now they were to dominate secular

After Florence comes Venice, and here the wealth of the city, its
Oriental affiliations and the light and air of its surroundings gave
rise to a series of marvellously beautiful ornate Renaissance
buildings, famous throughout the world and especially known to
English-speaking people through Ruskin's "Stones of Venice." The most
famous of these is the Palazzo Vendramini, which may be permitted to
speak for itself. One of the most beautiful buildings in Venice is the
Library of St. Mark, situated exactly opposite the Doge's Palace and
built by Sansovino. Scarcely less beautiful is San Micheli's
masterpiece, the Palace of the Grimani, which is now the post-office.
These buildings are familiar to all. To know them is to admire them,
and the architects of every progressive structural period since have
devoted much study to them.

  [Illustration: COURT DOGE'S PALACE (VENICE)]

A very interesting development of Renaissance architecture took place
in the little city of Vicenza, the birthplace of Palladio and the
scene of some of his best work. Palladio was not so perfect in his
achievements, as some of his admirers have suggested, but he applied
most of the Renaissance ideas to {121} architecture very successfully,
and his influence upon the after-time, as some of the illustrations
which we have selected from his work will show, has been felt at all
times and nearly everywhere. The Thiene Palace, which has been very
much praised {122} and is generally quoted as one of his most
successful designs, has been criticized rather severely by Fergusson,
and yet its effectiveness cannot be gainsaid.

The Chiericate Palace, another one of Palladio's designs reckoned
among his best, has the objection that it is open and weak at the
angles and solid in the centre and the centre is full above and weak
below, and yet, after mentioning these faults, Fergusson says that
there is "an exquisite proportion of parts which redeems this façade
and an undefinable elegance of detail which disarms the critic of
Palladio's work so that in spite of the worst possible arrangements
they still leave a pleasing impression on the mind of the spectator."
This is, perhaps, damning by faint praise, but it is praise indeed
from Fergusson. Many others have been most enthusiastic about this and
other of Palladio's works, and one has only to look around at our
modern ambitious structures to realize how much of influence Palladio
still has.

In Genoa there are some very beautiful buildings of this time, though
as their material, despite the name "the city of palaces," was mainly
rubble masonry covered with stucco, the windows without dressings, the
intention being to paint the architectural mouldings on the stucco and
also to paint frescoes between them, the unsatisfactoriness of much of
the architecture for modern study can be realized. In spite of these
limitations, Galeazzo Alessi (1500 to 1572) succeeded in making some
very beautiful buildings. Probably the most admired example is the
building now known as the Municipalata in the Strada Nuova, formerly
known as the Tursi-Doria Palace.

Vignola (1507 to 1573) occupies the place in Rome that Palladio holds
in Vicenza towards the end of Columbus' Century. A charming example of
his construction is the Villa of Pope Julius near Rome, the façade of
which is certainly his and which, without being ambitious, represents
his power to express simplicity and dignity even in a summer house.

His great work is the Palace of Caprarola, built some thirty miles
outside of Rome for the Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. The building is
all the more interesting because it has furnished ideas for some of
the larger public buildings of our time and contains more than a
suggestion for some recent architectural plans of somewhat startling
character for New York City.




The plan of the Palace of Caprarola is a pentagon enclosing a circular
court, each of the five sides measures 130 feet and the court is 65
feet in diameter, while the three stories are each about 30 feet in
height. It is usually considered one of the finest palaces in Italy.
In spite of the difficulty of the task and the singularly unfavorable
nature of pentagonal form for architectural effect externally and
commodious arrangements internally, the architect succeeded admirably.
As the picture of it shows very well, the approach was managed
beautifully and the effect of castellation very well secured.

The story of architecture, secular as well as religious, outside of
Italy is quite as interesting as that in Italy itself at this time.
Everywhere throughout Europe beautiful buildings were erected in
charming taste and with fine effectiveness. This is particularly true
as regards the municipal buildings of various kinds, the town halls,
the hospitals, the asylums for foundling children, and all the other
structures due to civic munificence at this time. Just as in regard to
painting and sculpture, the Netherlands was the seat of some extremely
beautiful artistic work of great originality and perfection of detail
during this period. There is scarcely an important town of Belgium,
and even a number of those that have become quite unimportant in our
time, which does not present some architectural monument of cardinal
importance in the history of architecture. While Italy is much better
known, Belgium deserves, and in recent years has very properly
received, devoted attention from students and amateurs in all the
arts, and not least has its architecture come into its due meed of
praise and appreciation.

  [Illustration: HOTEL DE VILLE, LOUVAIN]

One of the most beautiful architectural monuments of the later
fifteenth century is the town hall of Louvain. Indeed, it is one of
the most beautiful architectural monuments of its kind in the world.
Schayes, in his "History of Architecture," says, "Not only is the
Hôtel de Ville of Louvain the most remarkable municipal edifice in
Belgium, but one may seek in vain its equal in Europe." Its architect,
whose name was unknown until well on in the nineteenth century, was
only a master mason of this capital of Brabant when he was entrusted
{125} with the task of making for the burghers of one of the most
important towns of the time a town hall such as they would consider
worthy of them, but above all surpassing those erected by any of the
neighboring towns. He succeeded eminently in fulfilling the
commission, and fortunately the town hall remains almost in its
original condition as a monument to the wonderful artistic workmanship
of the time.


George Wharton James, in his book on "Some Old Flemish Towns," says,
"The exquisite Hôtel de Ville reminds one of the caskets or
reliquaries which Kings and Queens used to give to be placed upon the
high altars of Cathedrals. There is the same simplicity of design, the
same beauty of line, the {126} rectangle with gables, emphasized by a
graceful tower at each pinnacle, and another at each angle, the whole
finished with a crown spire tipped with a golden flèche." The
decorations are most delicate, reminding one of the lace work of the
country, but it seems almost incredible that this effect should have
been produced so marvellously in stone.


In spite of the multitude of decorations, the structure does not
strike one, as do so many of the buildings of the seventeenth century,
as over-decorated, but somehow all the charming sculptured ornament
seems as {127} suitably in place here as it is in the exquisite
patterns of the lace of the town.

The beautiful Hôtel de Ville of Brussels is almost as interesting as
that at Louvain and represents the early part of the Columbus'
Century. At the opposite side of the Grande Place is what is now known
as the Maison du Roi, formerly known as the Broodhuis or House of
Bread, which is scarcely less interesting, though very much restored,
than the Hôtel de Ville. The one is a monument of the Gothic of the
middle of the fifteenth century, the other shows the influence of the
Renaissance in the early sixteenth century. The whole of the Grand
Place gives an excellent idea of the devotion of these municipalities
to civic beauty and monumental construction and represents an
anticipation of ideas that are usually considered modern but that were
very thoroughly developed and applied in making the "City Beautiful"
in Columbus' Century. Were there space, much might be said here about
the magnificent town halls of Bruges, Ghent and other cities of the

The architecture of Spain, practically always connected with the names
of ecclesiastics and usually built for ecclesiastical or educational
or charitable purposes, shows very well the profound intellectual
genius of the people for whom Columbus' discovery was made and who
were beginning to reap the material benefits of his extension of the
Spanish realms in the Western continent. One of the most important of
the buildings of the time is that of the University of Alcalá, under
the direction of the celebrated Cardinal Ximenes, or Cisneros. The
rebuilding commenced about 1510 and continued nearly to the end of
Columbus' Century. It is an extremely beautiful building. The
Archiepiscopal Palace is quite equal to it, and its court has been
very highly praised. Fergusson has spoken highly of the bracket
capitals in the upper story of this court, of which we give a sketch,
and he thinks this invention of the Spanish architect a distinctly new
and valuable idea in architecture which unfortunately has not been
commonly adopted.

Some of the internal arrangements have been very much admired, and the
Paranimfo, a state apartment in the University, deserves attention not
only for its intrinsic beauty, but {128} from its being so essentially
Spanish in style. The roof is of richly-carved woodwork in panels in a
style borrowed from the Moors. Fergusson says that there is another
and more beautiful specimen of this sort of work in the chapel of the
University above the Cenotaph of the great Cardinal.

  [Illustration: CLOISTER, (LUPIANA, SPAIN)]

Elsewhere in Spain some of these beautiful courts and interiors were
ornamented very highly as became a Southern {129} people, and yet with
an effectiveness and taste that have caused them to be very much
admired in after-times. In the Monastery of Lupiana there is a
cloistered court similar in design to that at Alcalá, but even
grander, four stories in height, each gallery being lighter than the
one below it and so arranged as to give the appearance of sufficient
strength, combined with the lightness and elegance peculiarly
appropriate to domestic architecture, especially when employed
internally as it is here. Fergusson, from whom the opinion just
expressed is quoted, thinks that the Spanish architects were far more
happy than their Italian brethren in this regard and mainly because
they borrowed ideas from their own Spanish art rather than kept too
insistently to classic ideas.

Two royal buildings in Spain, the Palace of Charles V at Granada and
the Alcazar of Toledo, deserve to be mentioned. The Alcazar was begun
before the end of Columbus' Century, but not finished until later. The
sketch of it here presented gives an excellent idea of how simple and
yet properly ornate for monumental purposes the Spanish architects
were making their buildings at this time. The truly Spanish features
of solidity below, with the increasing richness and openness above, is
very effective and is all the more interesting because historians of
architecture declare that this effect was little understood outside of
the Spanish peninsula.

The upper portion of the famous tower of the Giralda at Seville, which
has always attracted so much attention for its beauty, was being built
just at the close of the century. We in modern America have given it
the tribute of sincerest flattery by imitating it in the tower of
Madison Square Garden. It is interesting to realize that the Spaniards
put a figure of Faith at the summit of the beautiful tower, pointing
strikingly heavenward. Is it significant that we in our time have
found nothing better to put there than the outworn symbol of a statue
to Diana?

French secular architecture at this time made some fine achievements
which are very well known and have been very much admired. The Louvre
in Paris is a succession of monuments to the architectural spirit of
the French for centuries. I think that there is very general agreement
that the portion {130} of this building erected in Columbus' Century
is not only the most interesting, but the most beautiful. The Pavilion
de I'Horloge is quite charming in its effectiveness. The ornamental
portions are said to have been sculptured from designs furnished by
Jean Goujon. This is enough of itself to make us sure that they would
be beautiful, but they were besides very artistically designed to
heighten the effect of the architecture.


The best-known contributions to architecture by the French in this
time are their famous châteaux. The typical example of these is the
Château of Chambord, commenced by Francis I immediately after his
return from his Spanish captivity. While the design is classical in
detail, it is eminently French in character, and it has been a
favorite study of architects ever since. Its repute shows how well
architects at this time {131} accomplished their purpose of making an
impressively beautiful building. At this same time the Château of
Madrid, situated in the Bois de Boulogne at Paris and which was
unfortunately destroyed during the Revolution, was built, and the
sketches that are left to us show us its beauty and effectiveness
secured through comparative simplicity. All the famous châteaux of
France were either built or received their most famous additions under
the influence of the new spirit that came into architecture under the
influence of Francis I. Those of Bury and Blois and Amboise and
Chenonceaux were products of this period. The staircase and the wing
in the centre of which it stands at Blois are among the most admired,
or at least the most frequently drawn, of the works of this age.

All the other departments of architecture, besides the ecclesiastical
and municipal, were affected by the enterprising spirit which entered
into architecture at this time. Leonardo da Vinci offered to build
fortifications under any and all circumstances, the more difficult the
better, and succeeded in doing some excellent work. According to
tradition he laid firm foundations, even under water, for certain
French fortifications, and these still remain. In bridge building
particularly this period did some excellent work. In the chapter on
Social Work and Workers will be found an illustration of the bridge
built across the Avon at Stratford by Sir Hugh Clopton about the time
of the discovery of America, which shows that they could build
beautifully as well as enduringly at this time. There are many private
houses in the towns of Europe erected at this time, some of them even
by families without any pretension to wealth or nobility, which
illustrate very well how sincere and thorough was their domestic
architecture, how beautiful because of its honest straightforwardness
and how eminently enduring. Fra Giocondo, who edited the Aldine
edition of Vitruvius in 1511 and who edited Caesar in 1513, introduced
illustrations into these works, and particularly a plan of Caesar's
bridge across the Rhine. He used his classical knowledge to good
purpose, however, for in the service of the king of France he probably
built two of the noble bridges that still span the Seine. These were
finished early in the {132} sixteenth century. It would not be
difficult to note other examples of this same kind in many parts of
Europe at this time.

Fergusson summed up the place of this century in architecture very
well in his advice to Italy as to what must be done in order to
restore to that country the precedence that she won in architecture in
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. He said (p. 169): "Italy has
only to go back to the inspirations which characterize the end of the
fifteenth and the dawn of the sixteenth century, to base upon them a
style which will be as beautiful as it would be appropriate to her
wants and her climate. If she will only attempt to revive the
traditions of the great age which is hallowed by the memories of
Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, of Bramante, Sangallo, and even of
Michelangelo, she cannot go wrong. These men erred occasionally from
inexperience, and because the system under which the art was conducted
in their days was such as to render success impossible; but their
aspirations were right, and there was an impress of nobleness on their
works _which has not since been surpassed._

"Since their time the history of Italian art may be summed up in a few
words. During the fifteenth century it was original, appropriate and
grand; during the sixteenth it became correct and elegant, though too
often also tinctured with pedantry; and in the seventeenth it broke
out into caprice and affectation, till it became as bizarre as it was
tasteless. During the eighteenth it sank down to a uniform level of
timid mediocrity, as devoid of life as it is of art."

It is as true for all the countries of Europe as for Italy that what
is needed for the redemption of architecture from the unfortunate
sordid influences which have crept over it is a return to the ideas of
Columbus' Century. Fortunately, since Fergusson wrote his paragraph of
advice for Italy, a great change has come over the attitude of men
generally toward architecture, and beautiful buildings are being
erected nearly everywhere, most of them with Renaissance ideas
prominent in them, but above all with the lessons drawn from this
fruitful period of beautiful construction guiding the minds and hands
of architects and builders. All around us handsome Renaissance
buildings are rising. Inasmuch as they are mere {133} imitations, they
are unfortunate evidence of our lack of originality. If, somehow,
using the same high standards of taste and the inspiration of the
classic authors as did the men of Columbus' Century, we can succeed in
evolving an architecture suited to our conditions and our environment
and appropriate for the uses of our day, then we shall accomplish the
solution of the problem which they solved so well. What they did above
all was to accomplish in building Horace's dictum that "he who mingles
the useful and the beautiful takes every point." The merely useful is
hideous. The merely beautiful is monstrous. Success lies in that
combination of use and beauty, of which Columbus' contemporaries so
ingeniously found the key.




Everyone concedes the supreme accomplishment of Italy in the arts of
painting, sculpture, architecture, and even in the lesser arts and
crafts during the Renaissance period, which we have called Columbus'
Century. It is not always realized, however, that her place in music
is almost equally important and that her accomplishment in this art
came also during this same period. While musical development into
modern forms came as a rule after the close of our century, the great
foundations of modern music were laid at this time. These are not so
deep beneath the surface of developed music, however, as to be hidden
from us entirely at the present time. On the contrary, there are many
composers and musical measures of this period which still have an
interest quite apart from their antiquity and which music-lovers know
very well in spite of the time that has elapsed since their

We know nothing of ancient music, and indeed are scarcely able to
conceive just how Grecian music was composed or written and expressed.
It might be thought, then, that the Renaissance, representing the
influence upon the modern world of the rebirth of Greek ideas, would
be lacking in any important development of music. In every other
department, even in that of science, indeed it might well be said,
especially in that of science, the influence of contact with ancient
Greek ideas can be readily seen. They formed the stimulus for study
and often supplied the fundamental information on which modern, that
is Renaissance, developments were built up. Without this aid from the
ancients, then, it might reasonably be expected that music would be
neglected or would certainly be in abeyance, but this is not the case.
There is a great period of musical history, not perhaps so significant
as the progress in other departments of aesthetics, but containing
within itself {135} a magnificent achievement and the germ of all our
modern music.

Perhaps there is nothing that demonstrates so well the fact that the
Renaissance was not, as it is so often considered, a rebirth out of
nothingness after some 1500 years of darkness and lack of
accomplishment than the history of music. Only that there had been a
great period of advance in Europe before the Renaissance, the stimulus
of Greek would have had very little effect. The old philosophers said
that things are received according to the capacity of the receiver,
and in the modern time a favorite maxim of teachers is that students
take away from a lecture what is of value to them just in proportion
to what they brought to it. It was the height of the culture of the
preceding period that enabled the generations of the Renaissance to
take such good advantage of the New Learning. In music, there being no
New Learning, they had to depend on their own efforts, and the
magnificent fruits of their musical progress show how the genius of
the time was capable of accomplishment for itself.

As a result of the lack of any stimulus from Greek sources for music,
the first development of it at this time is noted not in Italy, as is
true for other modes of aesthetic evolution because of contiguity to
Greece, but, on the contrary, in the distant West of Europe and
especially in the Netherlands. Henderson, in his "The Story of Music,"
declares that "all the countries at this time took Netherlandish
masters," and one finds the names of distinguished teachers of music,
who were from the Low Countries, in centres so far apart as Naples,
Venice, Munich and Madrid.

The first of these, who was an extremely important factor in the music
of the time, was Ockeghem, or Ockenheim, of Hainault, who, in the
latter half of the fifteenth century, came to be looked upon as
probably the greatest teacher of the time. He is surpassed in fame by
his pupil, Josse Despres, usually known by the name, familiarly used
among his friends, Josquin, who is also a native of Hainault.
Henderson declares that "in technical skill no master has ever
surpassed Ockeghem; and all that he knew he taught Josquin, who made
it the outlet for his real musical genius." Luther said of him, "They
sing {136} only Josquin in Italy; Josquin alone in France; only
Josquin in Germany; in Flanders, in Hungary, in Bohemia, in Spain, it
is always only Josquin." From this testimony, and the otherwise
well-known popularity of this composer's music, it is probable that
there has never been a great European musician who, in his own time,
has gained more universal acclaim among music-lovers than Josquin.

There is no doubt at all of the merit of his work. Arcadelt, who was
Palestrina's teacher at Rome and himself a distinguished musician of
this time, said of him: "Other composers make their music where their
notes take them, but Josquin takes his music where he wills."
Arcadelt's musical ability is recognized; an Ave Maria by him is still
often sung.

Other countries were not without an important development in music at
this time. England had been the leader in musical composition and
evolution before Flanders had her turn. In the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries England had developed part singing and also laid
the foundations of counterpoint. In the fifteenth century musical
composition and erudition came to be considered of so much importance
that academic honors were conferred on musicians. John Hamboys, the
author of some treatises on the art of music, is said to be the first
on whom the degree of Doctor of Music was ever conferred. In 1463,
according to the records, the University of Cambridge conferred the
degree of Doctor of Music on Thomas Seynt Just and the degree of
Bachelor of Music on Henry Habyngton. During the following century it
was required that candidates for the degree of Musical Doctor should
present an original musical composition. America has followed England
in the granting of academic degrees for music, though I believe no
other country has done so except Ireland.

In the latter half of Columbus' Century there was a vigorous native
school of music in Germany which devoted itself, however, almost
entirely to the composition of songs for the people. The best known of
the composers of this time is the famous Hans Sachs of Nuremberg, who,
in the first half of the sixteenth century, wrote so many ballads for
the people and set them to his own music. He was by trade a shoemaker,
and all the musical composers in this particular mode {137} seem to
have been craftsmen who took to musical composition and the writing of
ballads for their music as a recreation after their daily labor. They
organized themselves into guilds, which, in imitation of the old
knightly songsters of the days of chivalry, they called
Meistersingers. In its vigorous originality this movement produced at
the beginning some striking folk music with a wonderful influence on
the life of the people. After a time, however, the spirit of
exclusiveness asserted itself and seriously hurt their work. They
enacted rigid and pedantic laws, refused to admit to mastership in the
guild those who did not follow these laws, and the letter killed the
spirit, and true music disappeared, while men who prided themselves on
their musical ability and taste were trying to uplift it, but were
really regulating it out of existence. The decline in music is,
however, only commensurate with the decline in the other arts and due
to many of the same causes. The latter half of Columbus' Century saw
the rise of the great Roman school of music which, at the end of this
period, was to bring about a culmination of musical achievements that
places this among the greatest musical epochs of the world. As was
true everywhere in Italy, Rome owed its musical incentive and teaching
to a Fleming. The great master was Claude Goudimel, who is said to
have been born at Avignon, but who was educated in Flanders and is
known as a Fleming. Among his pupils at Rome, where he opened a
school, are the most famous musicians of the sixteenth century and
some of the most famous of all time. Among others, probably, were
Palestrina, the supreme master of modern church music, though the old
tradition of Goudimel's great influence over him is now denied; the
brothers Animuccia, one of whom was the penitent and intimate friend
of St. Philip Neri, the founder of the Oratory, after which the
Oratorio is named, and the brothers Nanini, who contributed so much to
Italian music before the end of the sixteenth century. Another of his
pupils was Orlando di Lasso, known as Lassus or Latres of Mons, who
was one of the greatest and most popular of the musicians of this
time. He was known in many countries and popular in all of them. To
him we owe the definite attempt to make words and music run along in
such harmony as would {138} emphasize and thoroughly co-ordinate the
meaning of both. An abuse had been growing for a considerable period
by which prolix florid passages of music were written for single
syllables. Even Josquin had indulged much in this vicious mode. After
Orlando di Lasso's reformation, the practice was to come back again in
the fiorituri of the opera composers, especially the Italians of the
early nineteenth century, and had to be combated by Wagner. There is
little in the revolution effected in music by the modern German
composer in this regard at least that was not anticipated by his great
predecessor, Orlando, full three centuries before. Orlando di Lasso
was known, moreover, for the sweetness, beauty, as well as the great
number and variety of his works. One of his songs, "Matona! Lovely
Maiden!" has been pronounced one of the most charming part songs in

Lassus (di Lasso) tried every form of music at this time, but devoted
himself chiefly to musical compositions for church purposes. We have
from him psalms, hymns, litanies, magnificats, motets, as well as more
lengthy musical settings for religious services. Bonavia Hunt, the
Warden of Trinity College, London, and lecturer on musical history, in
his "History of Music" declares that Lassus' settings of the Seven
Penitential Psalms for five voices are among his best works. They
contain elements that have made them a favorite study for students of
music even in our time. Lassus introduced such musical terms as
_Allegro_ and _Adagio_ into music and brought chromatic elements into
musical composition. He was very greatly appreciated in his own day
and was called _Princeps Musicae_, the prince of music. He received as
much honor from statesmen as Palestrina did from churchmen, and the
story of the honor paid to both of them by their own generation is the
best possible tribute to the musical taste of the time. Lassus was
made a Knight of the Order of the Golden Spur.

The greatest musician of this time, however, probably indeed the
greatest of all times, is Palestrina, who in 1551 was appointed the
musical director of the Julian Chapel in the Vatican with the definite
hope that he would reform the evils that had crept into music and were
making the art in its most recent {139} development so unsuitable for
religious purposes. The Council of Trent, whose sessions were being
held with interruptions at this time, had to legislate so as to secure
suitable music for the mass. Ornamental passages of all kinds, or at
least what were supposed to be such, had been introduced into church
music, until finally it was quite impossible to follow the words of
the service. As Cardinal Borromeo said, "These singers counted for
their principal glory that when one says _Sanctus_ another says
_Sabaoth_ and a third _gloria tua_ and the whole effect of the music
is little more than a confused whirling and snarling, more resembling
the performance of cats in January than the beautiful flowers of May."
He was one of the committee who insisted at various sessions of the
Council of Trent on musical reform, and while their work has sometimes
been falsely represented as derogatory of music itself, all that the
Council wished to accomplish was to secure intelligibility of the
words, and as a matter of fact their insistence on the simplification
of music led to a magnificent new development in the art.

It has sometimes been said that Palestrina's work represented a
revolution in the music of his time. This is not true, however, for
his great mass music was only an evolution in the hands of the great
master of the musical movement that had preceded his time. The story
of his having been asked to write music very different from that which
had immediately preceded, in order that church music might be
preserved and figured music be thus still used in ecclesiastical
services, has been discredited by recent historical research. At the
end of Columbus' Century a climax in musical expression had been
reached which Palestrina represents and which marked an epoch in the
history of music. The abuses that had crept in were quite apart from
the genuine evolution of music. Henderson, in his "How Music
Developed" (New York: Stokes, 1898, page 73), has told the story:

  "The mass of Marcellus was not written to order, and there was
  nothing new in its style. The mass is simply a model of all that was
  best in Palestrina's day. It embodied all that was noblest in the
  polyphonic style developed by the Netherlands school. Its melody is
  pure, sweet and fluent, and its {140} expressive capacity perfectly
  adapted to the devotional spirit of the text. Palestrina's
  contemporaries, such as Lasso and some of his predecessors, wrote in
  the same style. Lasso's 'Penitential Psalms' are much simpler in
  style than this mass. Its apparent simplicity lies in the fact that
  its profound mastery of technical resources conceals its superb art.
  The polyphonic writing is matchless in its evenness; every part is
  as good as every other part. The harmonies are beautiful, yet there
  is apparently no direct attempt to produce them. They seem just to
  happen. But above all other qualities stands the innate power of
  expression in this music. It is, as Ambrose has hinted, as if the
  composer had brought the angelic host to earth."

Mees, in his "Choirs and Choral Music," has outlined what
the place of Palestrina's music in church services is, and made it
very clear how helpful it is for devotion instead of suggesting
distractions, as modern music is so sure to do. Dickenson, in his
"Study of the History of Music," says that in "Comparing a mass by
Palestrina with one of Schubert or Gounod he (the hearer) will
perceive not only a difference of style and form, but also one of
purpose and ideal. The modern work strives to depict the moods
suggested by the words according to the general methods that prevail
in modern lyric and dramatic music; while the aim of the older music
is to render a universal sentiment of devotion that is impersonal and
general. Music here conforms to the idea of prayer. There is no
thought of definite portrayal; the music strives merely to deepen the
mystical impression of the ceremony as a whole."

Mees had said in his work, p. 61:

  "Palestrina's conception of what the music of the Roman church
  should be was in perfect accord with the principle held by the early
  church: that music should form an integral part of the liturgy and
  add to its impressiveness. ... No sensuous melodies, no dissonant
  tension-creating harmonies, no abrupt rhythms distract the thoughts
  and excite the sensibilities. Chains of consonant chords growing out
  of the combination of smoothly-flowing, closely-interwoven parts,
  the contours of which are all but lost in the maze of tones, lull
  the mind into that state of submission to indefinite impressions
  which makes it susceptible to the mystic influence of the ceremonial
  and turns it away from worldly things."



Perhaps the best proof of the enduring value of Palestrina's work is
to be found in the fact that some of his compositions are still to be
heard in the Sistine Chapel, and that even in our own time [Footnote
14] a definite movement to restore his music to its proper high place
in the service of the Church has been initiated. Whenever, since his
death, music has been really on a high plane, Palestrina has been
thoroughly appreciated. Whenever musical taste has been debased and
men have gone seeking after novelty and bizarre effects and
over-decoration, Palestrina has been neglected. For music, he is what
Dante is to literature and art, the touchstone by which it is easiest
to estimate properly the value of a generation's critical faculty and
spirit of appreciation. Henderson, in his "How Music Developed,"
already quoted from, has summed up Palestrina's accomplishment in a
few words:

    [Footnote 14: The decree of Pope Pius X, requiring the restoration
    of the Gregorian Chant to the place of honor in the Liturgic
    Services and making Palestrina's music the standard to which choir
    music should properly conform, seemed to many music-lovers
    distinctly reactionary and perhaps old-fogyish. As a matter of
    fact, it was a well-judged restoration of such criteria in church
    music as would preclude the possibility of modern unsuitable
    developments of music finding their way further into church
    services. It was open to the same objections on the part of those
    who knew no better as the decree of Pope Leo XIII that St. Thomas
    Aquinas' Philosophy should be the standard in Catholic schools of
    Philosophy and Theology. The two decrees will be set beside each
    other in history as examples of the ability of great Popes so to
    direct church policy as to preserve the faithful from human
    degeneracies of taste and thought. Palestrina's music is as firm a
    standard of church music as Aquinas' thought is a safe criterion
    in philosophy.]

  "Before leaving the subject of Palestrina, let me endeavor to make
  clear to the reader wherein his style is so fine. Composers before
  him had begun to aim at the simplification of church music. They
  sought to accomplish their purpose by breaking the shackles of
  canonic law. The canon had demanded the most exact imitation in the
  different voice parts. The new style allowed the greatest freedom.
  The result was that free polyphony took the place of rigid canon.
  {142} Consequently composers were able to devote more attention to
  the development of fluent, beautiful and expressive melody. The
  merit of Palestrina's work was that it carried this style to
  perfection. His compositions became the models for succeeding
  composers, and indeed they remain to this day unequalled as examples
  of pure church music."

Palestrina's career furnishes another striking example of the
opportunities for genius to express itself provided by this period.
According to a contemporary manuscript authority, so that the story is
probably much more authentic than such stories usually are, young
Pierluigi of Palestrina, the ancient Praeneste, while peddling in the
streets of Rome the products of his father's farm, used to sing songs,
one of which was heard by the choirmaster of Santa Maria Maggiore. He
found that the boy had not only a beautiful voice, but a taste for
music, so he gave him the opportunity for a musical education.
Palestrina lived to be over eighty years of age, with manifold
opportunities afforded him for the display of his genius. The latter
half of his life was spent as one of the most honored men of his
generation. His most brilliant period began when he was nearly seventy
and when he was apparently thinking his career at an end. His complete
works in thirty-three volumes have just been published, the last
volume of the completed edition being presented to Pius X in 1908, who
was most interested in this great modern monument to the Catholic
genius of music. The great composer is worthy to stand beside St.
Teresa, St. Philip Neri and St. Ignatius Loyola as one of the
protagonists of the counter reformation. He did for music and the
Church what others did for education, mysticism and social reform.

One of the most interesting chapters in the history of music began
just about the end of Columbus' Century. St. Philip Neri, of whom we
have spoken in the chapter on Social Work and Workers of the period,
was himself devoted to music and recognized how much it might mean for
occupation of mind with higher things that would be a source at once
of pleasure and social relaxation. He appreciated also how much of
value music might lend to the proper expression of religious feeling,
and even how much it might add to genuine religious {143} sentiment.
The Miracle Plays of the latter half of the fifteenth century had
always been accompanied by certain songs and glees with words relating
to the sacred subjects often set to popular music. St. Philip
recognized that these performances might be raised to a higher plane
by introducing more music and using the best possible music for their
illustration. Accordingly, in the course of services held in his
oratory, he introduced historical scenes and sacred allegories with a
musical setting, calling as a rule on his musical friends in Rome, and
especially Animuccia, to supply him with compositions. Hence the term
oratorio, the Italian word for oratory, for this class of music. It
was not to reach its highest form of expression, the dramatic, until
the end of the sixteenth century, but it is an invention of Columbus'

An extremely important invention of this time was the introduction of
the chord of the dominant seventh. The discovery is usually said to
have been due to Claudio Monteverde of the seventeenth century, but
the earliest extant musical works, in which examples of the phenomenal
chord of the dominant seventh with the full freedom of present-day
practice are found, are those of Jean Mouton of Holling in Lorraine,
who died about 1522. For nearly a century after this time this great
discovery, like so many others in every department of science,
struggled for a place. It was finally acknowledged. This discovery
brought music into close relation with science, and demonstrated its
foundation in the natural laws of acoustics. In his article on the
History of Music in "The Encyclopaedia Britannica," Sir George A.
MacFarren, Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge, declared
"that the discovery of the dominant seventh lays open the principle
for which pagan philosophers and Christians had been vainly groping
through centuries while a veil of mathematical calculation hung
between them and the truth." The curious feature of the history of its
introduction lies in the fact that it failed of appreciation from
orthodox musicians for a considerable period and actually met with
organized opposition.

Even this brief sketch will suffice to show how greatly music
developed during Columbus' Century. There is probably no corresponding
period in the world's history that can show as {144} much real advance
that is lasting progress. Perhaps in no department of aesthetics does
supposed progress come and go from generation to generation more
easily than in music. What certain generations of musical critics have
very highly praised is often judged by their successors quite
worthless. The musical achievements of this period have, on the
contrary, been beacon lights for succeeding generations. Whenever the
principles that came to be accepted at this time have been much
departed from, musical taste has proved false and musical
accomplishment trivial. It is this sort of achievement, absolutely
enduring in its quality, which above all counts for humanity, and it
is nowhere so well illustrated in every department of intellectual
effort as during this century of Columbus.


The organ, as we have it at the present time, practically came into
its modern shape during Columbus' Century. In the latter part of the
fifteenth century the pedals and their {145} application were
developed by the organ-builders of the time, and in the first half of
the sixteenth century pipes in large numbers came to be used, and the
stops were arranged as in the modern organ. There are records of
organ-building, particularly in France about the end of the first
quarter of the sixteenth century, which show that the instrument had
reached a very modern phase and that it was only a question of the
adaptation of such mechanical aids as would enable the organist to
control a greater number of pipes that was now needed to bring about
the further development of this instrument. A good idea of the
perfection of the organ at this time may be obtained from the
description of one built at St. Maurice, Angers, France, in 1511, of
which we have a detailed account in a legal process some years later.
This contained two towers of thirty-five-foot pipe, forty-eight stops
and a separate pedal. The independent pedal came into general use at
this time. About this same time the violin began to develop and came
very nearly into its modern form by the end of Columbus' Century, so
that it was ready for the perfecting process which was to take place
in the following hundred years.




The scholarship of this century is well known to all the world, and
the Renaissance is looked upon as the time when the deep knowledge of
the classics, the New Learning or Humanism as it was called, awoke the
modern spirit. The men of the time learned much from books. It is
interesting to note, then, how much they did for books. The
generations amply repaid the debt they owed to the past by what they
accomplished for the preservation of the ancient writings, and above
all by putting them in a worthy dress for the use and the admiration
of future generations. The Renaissance must probably be considered to
have appreciated books more than any other period in the world's
history and to have done more to give dignity, beauty and permanence
to the objects of their devotion.

It was no mere accident that just at the beginning of this period,
about 1450, the invention of printing was perfected. Books had been
rising in value and in price, though the demand had been constantly
increasing, until it was only to be expected that some method of
making them available for a much larger number of people must come.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and the need for a thing sets
men's minds at work until they have obtained it. Caxton's experience,
detailed further on in this chapter, is illuminating in this regard.
Great, however, as is the invention, the credit for which apparently
must be shared by the Germans Gutenberg, Fust and Schoeffer, the use
that was made of that invention during the century that followed is
deserving of still higher appreciation. It had indeed come to a worthy
time, but not by accident, for any time receives its deserts and wins
the rewards of its own interests and efforts.



If ordinary impressions were to be accepted, it might well be expected
that printing having been invented about the middle of the fifteenth
century, the first century would see industrious, but rather crude
applications of the invention, until men became accustomed to its
employment, and then gradually, by that progress which is so often
assumed to be inevitable in mankind, printing would rise to be an art
more and more beautiful as time went on, until in the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries we would have the most beautiful examples of
book-making. As a matter of fact, however, during the first half
century, immediately after the preliminary tentative application of
the art, printing rose to a perfection that has never been excelled
since and only equalled in few periods.

Between 1475 and 1525 some of the most beautiful printed books ever
made were completed and {148} worthily bound. Columbus' Century can
boast the production of the most beautiful books in the world.
Succeeding centuries saw a decadence in the arts of book-making which
was progressive until the latter half of the nineteenth century. At
that time some of the worst books ever made, with poorly designed,
cheap type, still cheaper but fortunately perishable paper, sadly
inartistic illustrations and ugly bindings, were made (_perpetrated_
is the expression one book-lover has used). It must not be forgotten
that this same decadence affected everything else, and that painting
and sculpture and architecture reached their lowest ebb also in the
nineteenth century, though the book continued to be in the depths for
longer than any of the other products of the arts.

Fortunately, William Morris came to call attention to the utter
ugliness of commercialized book-making and to arouse his generation to
a noble effort for the recovery of the lost art. He demonstrated how
artistically books might be made by taking as models the printed books
of Columbus' time. He imitated as far as possible their beautiful
hand-made paper without reflecting surface, of a tint that made the
ink stand out on printed pages with wide margins and judicious
spacing, with type faces eminently suited for easy reading, and made
with an eye to real artistic quality and with ink that has not faded
all these 400 years. All these were book qualities well worthy of
emulation. The work has been taken up in many places since, and now
beautiful books are not so rare as they were, though it is doubtful
whether, even with all our mechanical appliances, our ability to sell
reasonably large editions, the prosperity of the time and the interest
of publishers and bibliophiles, we have succeeded in making any books
that we would dare to set in comparison with a number of the volumes
that were printed in Columbus' Century.

The perfection which book-making by hand had reached at the time when
printing was invented and began to come into general use made it
comparatively easy for excellent printed books to be made--excellent
in the sense both of good printing and fine illustration. The "Books
of Hours" of the later fifteenth century are among the most beautiful
volumes that were ever made. They were finely written in a dear hand,
{149} beautifully decorated, handsomely illuminated and very suitably
bound. Even the best painters did not hesitate to devote themselves to
the making of illuminated illustrations for favorite volumes. The
French were, as Dante suggests in Canto XI of the "Purgatorio," the
best illuminators in his time, and they continued to maintain this
superiority during the fifteenth century. Gerard W. Smith in his
"Painting, Spanish and French" (Illustrated Handbooks of Art History),
says that "the French school of miniature, though surpassed in
seriousness and originality by those of Flanders and Italy, was yet
skilful in appropriating many of the excellences of both. They
surpassed the former in the general composition of their subjects and
the latter in their perspective." The best known of their artist
illustrators of this time was Jean Fouquet, the Court painter of Louis
XI, whose work as painter is discussed in the chapter, Painting
Outside of Italy. The pictures by him in the illuminated Josephus in
the Paris Library are especially well known and often praised for
their freedom of invention, their variety and the perfection of detail
in their accessories. The compositions made for the illustration of
Titus Livius, Livy the Latin historian, have been pronounced admirable
for their naturalness and life. Fouquet is particularly happy in the
landscapes which he introduces into his pictures and the architectural
details which he adds. The miniature, which we have copied from the
Livy manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale, illustrates all of
these qualities very well and makes it clear that no element of
artistic beauty or picturesque values was lacking in the books that
were being made by hand when printing came to revolutionize the arts
of book-making.

Some of the extra-illuminated books of this period are among the most
beautiful printed books ever issued in their ornateness. Not long
since Tregaskis advertised a little Book of Hours, printed by _Simon
duBois pour maistre geofroy tori de bourges 1527,_ at sixty guineas.
He describes it as extremely rare and the first in which occurs the
Arabesque border so frequently used by Tory and his successors in
subsequent editions. Dibden, reproducing some of the borders in his
"Bibliographical Decameron," said that he had seen {150} nothing more
beautiful of this kind. Each page is printed within a varying woodcut
border of birds, fish, flowers and insects, with the initials of the
Queen Mother and of the King and Queen crowned, in combination with
the arms of France and Savoy.


This is, of course, the period when these books were most beautifully
done. There are a number of examples of them that have appeared in the
sales in recent years and have {151} commanded high prices not alone
because of their antiquity, but because of the exquisite charm of
their decorations.

It was in competition with such exquisite books that the early
printers found themselves. No wonder, then, that they were stimulated
to do beautiful work and that their best efforts were aroused. The
fine, broad enterprise of the printers of the time can be very well
appreciated from the rapid development of their art and craft by the
making of fonts of letters for all the different alphabets. Greek type
was made as early as 1465. The first book wholly printed in Greek
minuscules was Lascaris' Grammar at Milan in 1476. The first Hebrew
types appeared as early as 1475. Aldus' famous Italic type, said to be
an imitation of the handwriting of Petrarch, was introduced by Aldus
Manutius of Venice for his projected small edition of the classics.
The cutting of it was probably done by the painter Francia
(Raibolini). It was first used in the Virgil of 1500. Arabic types
were first used for the printing of a book in 1514 at Fano in Italy.
Syriac was used for printing as early as 1538, and just after the end
of Columbus' Century excellent types of this language were in use. A
Psalter was printed in Russian at Cracow as early as 1491, and the
Russian types were used at Prague in 1517. Anglo-Saxon and Irish types
were used shortly after the end of Columbus' Century.

Music printing began early, the earliest specimen of music type
occurring in Higden's "Polychronicon," printed by Wynken de Worde at
Westminster in 1495. Notes had been printed from wooden blocks
twenty-five years earlier, though some books had spaces left to be
filled in by hand. About 1500 a musical press was established at
Venice. Toward the end of the century special types and presses of
many kinds for music were invented.

The great English printer of this time, William Caxton, is a
characteristic type of the scholarly printers of the period. We know
almost nothing about his life. He records his thanks to his parents
for having given him an education that fitted him to earn a living,
though he does not say where or how he was educated. Just about the
beginning of Columbus' Century he settled at Bruges, going into
business on his own {152} account, and soon became prosperous. He had
been an apprentice to Robert Large, a wealthy London mercer of the
time, who was one of the influential men of the period. In 1453 Caxton
returned to England for his formal admittance as a member of the
Mercers' Company. His story after this is not unlike that of
Schliemann, the discoverer of Troy in our own time. He retired from
business apparently with a competency, entered the service of Margaret
Duchess of Burgundy, probably in order to have more time for his
literary work, and the next year he finished his translation from the
French of the "Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye," which was
dedicated to Margaret. His book was very much sought after and
circulated in manuscript. The task of copying it was too great and
entirely too slow for the demand. With true business instinct, Caxton
then "practysed & lerned at grete charge and dispense to ordeyne this
said book in prynte." His book was printed at Bruges in 1474. The next
year his second book, the "Game & Pleye of Chess," which he had also
translated from the French, was printed.

The following year, 1476, Caxton returned to England and set up his
own printing press at Westminster. The first issue from his press was
the "Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers," which bears the date
1477. Though he died fourteen years later, in 1491, he is said to have
issued ninety-six books from the Westminster Press in the intervening
brief period. His publications include the works of Chaucer and Gower,
Sir Thomas Malory's _"Morte d'Arthur"_ and a number of translations
from French, Latin and Dutch, most of them probably made by himself
and all of them under his editorial direction. He issued a number of
smaller pious books which show his deep religious interest. Though
brought up to a trade which he pursued successfully until he had made
money, he was a scholarly man who wrote excellent vigorous English and
had an ardent enthusiasm for literature. He is one of the greatest
forces in English prose before the sixteenth century, and with Sir
Thomas More helped to fix it in the form in which it was to pass to
the Elizabethans and be given our modern shape. His life is the best
possible evidence of the opportunities for education that abounded at
the beginning of Columbus' {153} Century, and which even those quite
outside of what would ordinarily be thought the possible chances for
the higher education might readily secure.

The story of the great printers of the Renaissance might well be
summed up in the work of the Venetian, Aldus Manutius, who was a
distinguished scholar as well as publisher. Born 1450, he was a pupil
of Guarino of Verona, and having studied Greek very faithfully,
resolved to print all the Greek classics. He adopted the handwriting
of Musurus as the model on which his Greek type was cast and then
proceeded to make arrangements for worthy publication. The ink was
made in the publishing house and only the best materials employed. He
had special paper from the mills of Fabriano, and the bookbinding was
done in a separate department of his own establishment. [Footnote 15]
The result was the magnificent set of Editiones Principes issued by
his house. The first of these was Musaeus, printed in 1493. Altogether
twenty-eight _editiones principes_ of the {154} Greek and Latin
classics were issued in some twenty-two years. His trade symbol, the
Dolphin and the Anchor, signifies speed and tenacity. In reference to
it, Aldus himself once said, "I have achieved much by patience (the
word he used was _cunctando_, literally by taking my time) and I work
without pause." As we have said, Aldus invented the form of type
called Italic, for which he received a patent from Pope Leo X. In 1500
Aldus printed the first leaf of a proposed Bible in Hebrew, Greek and
Latin--a Polyglot Bible which was never completed. His work was
carried on after his death in 1515 by the Asolani, his
brothers-in-law, and later by Paolo Manuzio, his son, and afterwards
by another Aldus, his grandson. In 1518 the Aeschylus was printed, and
there was then no extant Greek classic of the first rank unprinted.

  [Footnote 15: The lofty motives that impelled men to take up the art
  of printing can be very well appreciated from some expressions of
  Aldus in this matter. As a boy he had been shy, awkward and
  retiring, and although receiving his education in the best schools
  of Ferrara and Rome, he had not shown any marked ability. For a time
  he seems to have studied for the priesthood, but instead became a
  tutor for princely houses. This gave him sufficient for his modest
  tastes and a quiet, scholarly life. At the age of forty he gave up
  this career, and with little money began to edit and prepare for
  printing the works of almost forgotten Greek authors. This was about
  the time that Columbus launched his vessels to sail to America.
  Early as this date might seem to be in the history of the art,
  printing had already been overdone. When Aldus reached Venice there
  were or had been 160 printers or publishers in that city. Most of
  them were poor, some of them were bankrupt and none of them were
  making any money that might be expected to tempt a man of forty
  without experience to take up a business career. The state of the
  trade at Rome was scarcely better. Italy was disturbed by rumors of
  impending war. It was under these conditions that Aldus declared in
  the preface of one of his early books:

    "I have made a vow to devote my life to the public good. God is my
    witness that this is my most earnest desire. ... I leave a
    peaceable life, preferring this which is laborious and exacting.
    ... Man was not born for pleasure unworthy of an elevated spirit,
    but for duties which dignify him. Let us leave to the vile the
    lower life of animals."]

Aldus devoted himself to the printing of the classics and quite
neglected the theological works which were so popular, at least among
the printers of the time. After seven years of the hardest kind of
work he said, "In this seventh year of my self-imposed task I can
truly say--yes, under oath--that I have not during these long years
had one hour of peaceful rest." In 1498, perhaps from overwork, but
more likely from neglect of the ordinary care of nature in regular
eating and sleeping, he came down with a severe illness. During his
illness his thoughts went back to his student days and he vowed that
he would become a priest if he recovered. After his recovery, however,
he asked and obtained a release from this obligation. The next year he
married the daughter of an eminent brother printer, Torresano of
Asola, and though there was great difference in their ages, Aldus
being fifty and his wife scarcely twenty, it seems to have proved a
happy marriage. Aldus health was better cared for after this, and then
his thrifty father-in-law, who was a successful publisher, probably
helped him with many suggestions, as a consequence of which Aldus made
his books cheaper and more widely salable, and henceforth we have less
querulousness over the neglect of the public to buy.

Aldus was one of the busiest of men. His motto was _festina lente_
(make haste slowly). He says in one of his books, "You do not know how
busy I am; the care I have to give to {155} my publications does not
allow me proper time to eat or sleep." In self-defence against bores,
and it is easy to understand how many there might be in this period of
reawakened interest in scholarship who would think that they could
occupy a few hours pleasantly and profitably for themselves in Aldus'
establishment, he put this warning on his door:

"Whoever you are, Aldus entreats you to be brief. When you have
spoken, leave him, unless you come like Hercules to help Atlas, weary
of his burden. Know that there is work here for everyone who enters
the door." Practically every important printer and publicist ever
since has had to try to protect himself and his time in some similar
way. Human nature, or at least the human nature of bores, has not
changed any in these five centuries.

In spite of all that he did for his generation, he met with little of
gratitude and almost less of personal appreciation. There were many
distinguished scholars who were dear personal friends, there were many
high ecclesiastics who admired and helped him, there were many noble
patrons and clients of his house who must have brought him much
consolation. But he had his critics as well: Erasmus could not refrain
from some biting witticisms with regard to the frugality of his table,
being himself somewhat of a glutton. Scaliger indeed said of him that
he drank like three, but did only half the work of one man, while
Aldus was very abstemious. Besides, Aldus complained that his books
were fraudulently reprinted, that his workmen were tempted away from
him after he had trained them, and that he even had to defend himself
against the treachery of his own employees at times. Already at that
time they were beginning to complain of the injustice done the author
by lack of copyright. Erasmus complained: "Our lawmakers do not
concern themselves about the matter. He who sells English cloth for
Venetian cloth is punished, but he who sells corrupt texts in place of
good ones goes free. Innumerable are the books that are corrupted,
especially in Germany. There are restraints on bad bakers, but none on
bad printers, and there is no corner of the earth where bad books do
not go."

A writer in the old _Scribner's Magazine_ for October, 1881, summed up
what Aldus had accomplished for his profession {156} in a paragraph
that evidently comes from a man who knows his subject well and
probably in the modern time has faced some of the problems that Aldus
had to meet, though with the advantage of the experience of over four
centuries since to help him in solving them.

  "Considering the difficulties he had to encounter, not the least of
  them the difficulty of getting compositors who could read Greek MSS.
  and compose Greek types, it is a wonder that they are as correct as
  they are. Some of them are above reproach. When he offered to the
  reader of his edition of Plato, as he did in the preface of that
  book, a gold crown for every discovered error, he must have had a
  confidence in its accuracy which comes only from the consciousness
  of thorough editorial work. Aldus' taste as editor went beyond the
  text. Not content with an accurate version, he had that version
  presented in pleasing types. Everybody admits the value of his
  invention of Italic, even if his use of it as a text-letter be not
  approved. But few persons consider that we are indebted to Aldus for
  the present forms that he introduced. How great this obligation is
  will be readily acknowledged after an examination of the uncouth
  characters and the discordant styles of Greek copyists before the
  sixteenth century. Aldus' invention of small capitals has already
  been noticed. Here, then, are three distinct styles of book-printing
  types which he introduced, and which have been adopted everywhere
  almost without dissent. Other printers have done work of high merit;
other type-founders have made pleasing ornamental or fancy types; but
  no printer or founder since Aldus has invented even one original
  style of printing types which has been adopted and kept in use as a
  text-letter for books." [Footnote 16]

  [Footnote 16: It was after Grolier's visit to Aldus in Italy that he
  took up the making of that collection of beautifully bound and
  printed books which have since made him famous; he evidently owed
  the inspiration not a little to the great Italian printer.]

The other most distinguished printer of Columbus' Century whose career
deserves to be sketched at some length was the Frenchman, Geoffrey
Tory or Trinus, who is not so well known as Aldus, coming a little
later in history, but whose work was of the highest artistic



Like Aldus, he was of poor parents, but attended the best schools in
the Province of Berry toward the end of the fifteenth century and then
travelled in Italy. He afterwards became instructor in Paris in the
College de Plessis, edited an edition of Pomponius Mela, which was
published by Jean Petit, and prepared "AEneas Sylvius" and other works
for Estienne the Elder. Fond of art, Tory began to practise
wood-engraving and gave up his teaching to study wood-engraving in
Italy. He supported himself while studying by painting miniatures for
the adornment of manuscripts and printed books and became a great
master of his chosen art. He engraved initials, characters and borders
for Simon de Collines in Paris, and his work shows the fullest
acquaintance with all the resources of his art. His plates marked with
the Cross of {158} Lorraine are now considered worthy of a very high
place in every choice collection.

His principal contribution to book-making was his remarkable original
work called "Champ Fleury." This book was divided into three parts for
the instruction of printers. The first of these parts contained a
treatise upon the proper use of letters. The second treated of the
origin of the capital letter and its proper place. The third contained
accurate drawings of letters and a large number of alphabets of
various kinds, so that proper selection of type might be made for
various kinds of books and varying sizes according to space and page.
This work had a far-reaching influence. One result was an immediate
and complete revolution in French typography and orthography--the
abandonment of the Gothic and the adoption of the new cutting of
antique type. After having been used for several centuries, the faces
of the type thus produced were abandoned for a time and are now being
revived. In this book also Tory laid down the rules for the proper use
in French of the accents, apostrophe and marks of punctuation. He did
more than anyone else to settle these vexed problems of usage for the
world. The publication of the book won from Francis I, himself a
scholar and patron of learning and an author to whom so much is owed
in the French Renaissance, the title of King's Printer. Some of Tory's
borders are illustrated on these pages. They have been fruitful models
full of suggestion for such work ever since.

With the development of printing, the need of methods of multiplying
illustrations for printed books soon made itself felt and was finely
responded to by the genius of the century. Wood-engraving in the
service of book-illustration came in very early in the history of
printing and was, after all, only a development of the wooden blocks,
out of which the first idea of movable types had originally sprung. It
was very crude at the beginning, and yet often with an artistic
expression that gives it great interest. Its possibilities for
printing in company with movable types soon began to be realized, and
as printed books became more beautiful and type faces more artistic,
the necessity for supplying artistic illustrations was felt, and then
it was not long before the need was supplied. Probably the {159} first
wood-engraving designed for book-illustration which exhibits a marked
artistic quality was "The Dream of Poliphilo," in which, as Woodberry
says in his "History of Wood-Engraving," "Italian wood-engraving,
quickened by the spirit of the Renaissance, displayed its most
beautiful creation." It was written by a Venetian monk, Francesco
Colombo, in 1467, and was first printed by Aldus in 1499. The subject
was a worthy one, for though the book is a strange mingling of Greek,
Latin, Hebrew and Arabic traditions and poetic symbolism, it typifies
the spirit of the Renaissance. It represents the search of youth for
the loveliness of universal nature and the perfection of ancient art
under the title of Polia, the charming maiden who combines all the
qualities. Altogether there are 192 designs. They have been attributed
to many illustrious masters, even John Bellini and Raphael, among
others, but were probably due to Benedetto Montagna.

How soon illustration came to aid in the understanding of the text in
books is very well illustrated by Fra Giocondo's work. When, in 1508,
he published the letters of the younger Pliny in the Aldine edition,
he not only described but illustrated the villas of the ancients. In
1511 he edited the Aldine edition of Vitruvius, with its rude woodcuts
that are yet much more thoroughly illustrative than many a more
ambitious modern book and which include the first modern plan of a
Roman house. When he issued his Aldine edition of Caesar in 1513 this
was illustrated with the earliest of all modern drawings of Caesar's
bridge across the Rhine. Fra Giocondo is in fact the true father of
the illustrated classic, as Sandys suggested in his Harvard Lectures
on the "Revival of Learning" (Cambridge University Press, 1905). It
may be well to add that the good friar was no mere student for
erudition's sake, since, as is noted in the chapter on architecture,
he entered the royal service in France, and in 1497 designed one at
least, if not two, of the noble bridges that still span the Seine.

The great improvement which came in book-illustration and the making
of prints we owe to Albrecht Dürer, who not only was the first to
discover the capacities of wood-engraving as a mode of artistic
expression, but who saw immediately that it could not equal the rival
art of copperplate-engraving in that delicacy of line and depth of
tone on which the metal-engraving depends for its excellence, but
appreciating the limitations, Dürer prescribed the materials and
processes of wood-engraving.




He increased the size of the cuts, gave breadth and boldness to the
lines and obtained new and pleasing effects from strong contrasts of
black and white. As Woodberry in his "History of Wood-Engraving"
(Harper's, New York, 1883) says: "He thus showed the true method of
wood-engraving; but the art owes to him much more than this: he
brought to the practice of it the hand and brain of a great master,
lifted it, a mechanic's trade, into the service of high imagination
and vigorous interest and placed it among the fine arts--a deed of far
more importance than any improvements in processes or methods." In so
doing, may we add that he only accomplished what so many of his
contemporaries did in other arts. The goldsmiths became sculptors and
painters, the decorators became true artists and the scholars learned
from their classical books to execute what they had studied in the

It would be hard to say enough of Dürer's wood-engravings. His prints
must be allowed to talk for themselves. Unfortunately, owing to limit
of space, we are only able to give one of them, but that will furnish
an excellent example of the marvellous qualities Dürer succeeded in
expressing, in what might have seemed before this time a hopelessly
coarse medium. The first of the four famous series of designs by which
his skill in wood-engraving is first shown was published in 1498, but
it was probably finished before that time. It consisted of fifteen
large woodcuts in illustration of the Apocalypse of St. John, to which
a vignette of wonderful nobility and simplicity was prefixed.

Other men did wonderful work in this new medium, after Dürer had shown
them the way, though none of them surpassed or perhaps even equalled
their master. Portions of the triumphal procession of Maximilian by
Hans Burgkmaier show that his disciples were thoroughly capable of
following in his footsteps. Such men as Hans Schaeuffelin and Hans
Springinklee, as well as Hans Baldung, far surpassed most of their
successors in the artistic quality of their wood-engraving. Lucas van
Leyden and the Cranachs show how artists took to {162} this new mode
of expression, and a series of men working in this century prove the
wonderful power of the time to stimulate men's genius.

Besides Dürer and the group who were largely influenced by him, one
man, Hans Holbein, deserves special mention because he illustrates
especially the connection of the new art with book-making. Holbein
commenced to practise wood-engraving as soon as he settled in Basel at
about the age of twenty. He began by designing the title page, initial
letters and woodcuts for the publishers of that period. He illustrated
the books of the humanists, especially the "Utopia" of Sir Thomas
More, then a new and popular work, and afterwards designed the
woodcuts for the Biblical translation of Luther, and he did some
excellent caricature work. He is a realist and has illustrated
particularly humble life, incidents of the daily doings of peasants
and children, and these scenes are sometimes introduced as the
background of initial letters, some twenty alphabets of which are
ascribed to him. Geoffrey Tory in France introduced a classical spirit
into wood-engraving, and the sculptors, Jean Cousin and Bernard
Salomon and especially Jean Goujon, who made some excellent cuts for
Vitruvius (1547), and a group of other illustrators in France, serve
to show how the art spread and was used all over the world.

Another interesting development both in prints and in
book-illustration came in the gradual evolution of metal-engraving,
which, like wood-engraving, reached some of its highest perfection in
Germany. Martin Schongauer, who died in 1488, is the first important
name, though he was preceded by an unknown German engraver usually
spoken of as "The Master of 1466." Schongauer used curved shading and
greatly developed the technique. After him came Dürer, who lifted
metal-engraving, especially copperplate-engraving, into the realm of
art. Probably nothing illustrates so well his power of minute
observation as some of his copperplates. His animals are reproduced
with fidelity and charm, and in the early days of landscape painting
he studied every leaf and branch and tree trunk and knew how to
picture just what he saw. The climax of artistic quality was reached
by Marcantonio in Italy, who worked under the direction of Raphael.
After the work of these masters there was very little left to be added
by subsequent engravers.




How much the illustration of books was helped by this new development
of art can be very readily appreciated by those who know some of the
old books. Even technical books, such as text-books of anatomy, were
beautifully illustrated from copperplates that are not merely
conventional pictures, but often real works of art. The plates for
Vesalius' anatomy were probably prepared under the direction of Titian
by one of his best students, Kalkar, and Eustachius' anatomical plates
probably also had the counsel of a great artist. [Footnote 17]

  [Footnote 17: How much the book-making and bookbinding of this
  period is appreciated in our time will perhaps be best and most
  easily realized from the following item: "At the sale of Lady
  Brooke's Library at Sotheby's, Mr. Quaritch bought for $1,500 the
  well-preserved copy of Livy, dated 1543, in a fine contemporary
  morocco binding, and paid $1,475 for a copy, dated 1533. of Petrus
  Martyr's _'De Rebus Oceanicis, et Orbe Novo'"_ (New York _Herald_,
  Nov. 26, 1913).]

While the inside of the book was cared for so thoroughly and
thoughtfully the outside of it was not neglected. This is the period
when the most beautiful bindings in the world were made. The name of
the Grolier Club in New York is testimony to this, for when our
American bibliophiles wanted to name their association worthily they
took their title from the great book-lover of Columbus' Century, Jean
Grolier, the Treasurer of France, who did so much to encourage the
beautiful book-making of the time. The collection of books made by
Grolier is probably the most famous ever brought together. They were
beautifully printed on the best of paper as a rule and most fittingly
and artistically bound. The life history of practically every one of
them has been traced, and many a book-lover has purchased immortality
at a comparatively cheap price by having at some time or other been in
possession of one of Grolier's books, for the name of every possessor
is chronicled as a rule. Many a book-owner of our time has his only
chance for being known in the time to come from the fact that he has
one of Grolier's books in his library.


  [Illustration: BLACK-LETTER WITH BORDERED PAGE (1520)]


The beautiful bindings need to be seen to be appreciated, but every
phase of artistic adornment in books was exhausted. While leather was
the favorite material for binding, silk and tapestry and plush were
used, and ornamentation of all kinds, metal, tortoise shell and
precious stones, was employed. There probably was never more taste
displayed than at this time, and though subsequent workmen learned to
finish much better, the best bindings of the modern time scarcely
compare with those of Columbus' period in artistic quality.

Brander Matthews in his "Bookbindings, Old and New," said: "We must
confess that there are very few finishers (of books) of our time who
have originality of invention, freshness of composition or
individuality of taste." He proceeds to say that in our time we have a
more certain handicraft, but less artistic quality. The handicraft has
improved, the art has declined. The hand has gained skill, but the
head has lost its force.

In our time we are again coming to appreciate properly the value of
beautiful books. There have been periods between ours and Columbus'
Century when only the most sordid ideas obtained in the book world, or
when bad taste ruled and book-binding, like printing and the other
arts, had a period of decadence after the sixteenth century, that is
hard to explain, though it is easy to find reasons for it, and which
continued to sink books into ever greater and greater lack of artistic
qualities until almost the twentieth century. Out of that pit dug by
neglect of interest in the beautiful as well as the useful we are now
climbing, but unfortunately many of our time are inclined to think
that this is the first time there has been that emergence, though we
are only beginning, as yet distantly, to imitate the beauties of
book-making in the mediaeval and Renaissance periods.

Even more interesting for the modern time is the attitude of these
great collectors of books of Columbus' time toward their precious
treasures. They did not consider that they belonged to themselves
alone, but to all those capable of using them. The distinguished
Italian collector who preceded Grolier, Maioli, had the motto printed
on his books, _Tho. Maioli et amicorum_--that is, "the property of
Thomas Maioli and his friends." A number of other book-collectors,
including Grolier, imitated this. Maioli is said to have had the true
amateur spirit and to have taken up the making of beautiful bindings
for himself. Geoffrey Tory also devoted himself to {167} bookbinding
as well as to wood-engraving and his work for the printers. In a word
it was a time when men were intent on making the book just as
beautiful as possible, while all the time bearing in mind that its
utility must be its principal characteristic.








Any century that does not display an important evolution of works for
the benefit of the poor whom we have "always with us," of organized
effort for the ailing who are inevitable in the present state of man's
existence, as well as some general recognition of social duty towards
the great body of men and women who must always be helped to make
something out of their lives, because they lack initiative and power
of accomplishment for themselves, does not deserve a place among the
great centuries of human existence. Columbus' Century is in this
regard one of the notable periods of human history. It saw the
building of magnificent hospitals in many countries, a phase of its
history so full of importance that we have had to reserve its
treatment for a special chapter on hospitals. It saw the organization
of many means of helping the poor, and particularly of definite
methods for the care of the old and the young, for the disabled and
unfortunate, and the origin of the institutions through which the poor
for their little pledges might secure loans to tide them over the
recurring crises of existence. Besides there were many asylums, in the
best sense of the word, founded for the care of the insane and chronic
sufferers of other kinds, and many other institutions of charity were
organized and established in such forms as to do the greatest possible
amount of good. Above all, this century saw the establishment of a
number of religious orders which were to accomplish social reforms of
many kinds, and the founders of which were to provide by their example
and {170} advice the proper encouragement for many charitable

The most interesting development of helpfulness at this time came in
connection with the many guilds which reached their highest
development at the end of the fifteenth century. These guilds took
care of the disabled, supported the old, took charge of orphans, gave
technical training to the children, founded schools in many places and
often sent the more intelligent boys even to the university, and
provided various entertainments during the year for the members of the
guilds and their neighbors and townsfolk. How universal was their
effect upon the life for instance of the English people will be best
appreciated from the calculation of Toulmin Smith, whose authority in
all that relates to the history of the English guilds is unquestioned,
that there were some thirty thousand of these brotherhood institutions
in existence in England about the beginning of the sixteenth century.

They touched every phase of the social life of the time and helped in
the solution of many of the social problems. They provided insurance
for their members against loss by fire, by robbery, at sea, by the
fall of a house, by imprisonment and even against loss from flood.
There was insurance against the loss of sight, against the loss of
limb or any other form of crippling. The deaf and dumb might be
insured so as to secure an income for them and corresponding relief
for leprosy might be obtained, so that if one were set apart from the
community by the law requiring segregation of lepers there might be
provision for food and lodging even though productive work had become
impossible. [Footnote 18] There was also insurance for the farmer
against the loss of cattle and farm products.

  [Footnote 18: Walsh, "The Thirteenth Greatest of Centuries,"
  Catholic Summer School Press Appendix, fifth edition, New York,

There were no poorhouses and no orphan asylums. We have just come to
recognize once more that the best possible guardian, as a rule, for
children is their mother, if she is alive. It is cheaper in the end to
help her to keep the family together than to put them into
institutions, and the home training is almost infinitely better. They
recognized this fact very {171} clearly in the later Middle Ages and
in Columbus' Century, and if mother were dead, and father could not
keep the children, which was very rarely the case, or if both parents
were dead, the children were distributed in families which adopted
them with the specific agreement that they should be looked upon as
members of the family. The guild officials looked after these children
and saw that they were not abused and obtained special opportunities
for their training, and supplied a dowry very often for the girls when
they married. Indeed, there was a tradition that "the children of the
guild," as these orphans were called, were likely to have better
opportunities in life than those whose parents were still living.

In spite of all their care for the poor, the time had, as every time
has had, the problem of the ne'er-do-well, the man with the
_wanderlust,_ who will not settle down anywhere and cannot be expected
to keep steadily at work. They dealt with what we have come to call
the tramp rather well. Above all, they avoided many of the abuses of
public begging. The method is worth while noting. When a member of the
guild died every member was expected to attend his funeral. Those that
did not were fined a small sum, but yet sufficient to deter them from
neglecting this obligation unless compelled by some necessity. These
fines went into the common fund for the benefit of the poor and were
given as alms for the intention of the dead brother's soul. Besides,
every member was expected to give a small coin as further alms for the
dead, and this sum of money was deposited with the treasurer of the
guild for this special purpose. Each one who gave an alms was handed a
token, which he might use as he saw fit. When a member of a guild met
someone who looked as though he needed help, instead of giving him
money he handed him this token and then the beggar might obtain
whatever he needed most--food, lodging or clothing--by presenting the
token to the treasurer of the guild, the sexton of the church or any
of the church wardens or the clergy. This prevented the abuse of
charity, gave immediate relief where it was needed and did not
pauperize, because the person benefited knew that the intention in
what was given him was the benefit of a dead brother's soul and not
merely pity for him.


The number and efficiency of the activities of the guild can be best
understood from a study of the history of the Guild of the Holy Cross
at Stratford. Owing to the fact that interest in Shakespeare has led
to a very careful study of every possible scrap of information with
regard to the life of the town during the century before his time, we
are in possession of many details with regard to it. The Guild of the
Holy Cross at Stratford came to represent nearly every form of
initiative for the good of the townspeople. They had their periodic
banquets, provided pageants, took care of the poor, built almshouses
that were very different from poorhouses, cared for the orphans and
disabled and supported the grammar school as well as helping some of
their members to the higher education. The guild became so famous for
its benefactions to the life of the town that distinguished members of
the nobility and judges, members of the professions and prominent
merchants from all the surrounding neighborhood asked and obtained the
privilege of becoming members. The guild acquired property and had a
definite income. We know that in 1481 it acquired the rectory of
Little Wilmcote, where the Ardens, the ancestors of Shakespeare's
mother, had property, with all its profits.

One very interesting development in Stratford shows the difference
between the poorhouses of subsequent centuries and the almshouses of
Columbus' Century. Just next to the Guild School and Chapel in
Stratford there is a row of little houses rather strange looking now,
but not so unlike the houses of the time in which they were erected as
to be noticeable. There are a dozen or more of these in which the aged
poor were to live, husband and wife occupying the ground floor of a
little house by themselves. Places were also provided in the upper
stories of these houses for the widowers, spinsters and old bachelors
who had become too old for work. They are neat little quarters, in
which the old folks still live contented and which the visitor to
Stratford finds of very great interest. The guild chapel not being far
away, a few hundred feet from the farthest of them, even the feeblest
of the old people who were not actually bedridden could have the
consolation of going to church and special services at convenient
hours {173} were held for them. As a matter of fact, after the
rebuilding of the chapel by Sir Hugh Clopton, a great many of the
townspeople, except on high festival days, used to go to the guild
chapel because of its convenience rather than to Trinity Church
outside the town. The boys at the guild school hard by played in their
yard, where the old folk could see them, thus providing the best
possible pastime for their elders, while during the day the busy
traffic of a main travelled road went by them, furnishing further

The grammar school which was founded and supported by the guild
deserves particular mention. It was free to the children of the
members of the guild, and the schoolmaster was forbidden to take
anything from his pupils. The master of the guild paid him an annual
salary. The date of its origin used to be set down as 1453, but it is
now known to have been in existence much earlier, though a thorough
reorganization took place at this time, giving rise to the idea of its
actual foundation. How successful it was in its work may be gathered
from the number of Stratford men who came to hold high positions in
England--there being no less than three Lord Chancellors in one
century--and from what we know of it in Shakespeare's time. It was
suppressed under Henry VIII, but owing to the disaffection among the
people it, as well as a number of other institutions of the kind, were
reestablished under Edward VI and have come to be known as Edward VI
Grammar Schools. As Gairdner has emphasized, there is very little
reason for this designation. The new foundations were made most
grudgingly and economically, considering the vast funds that had been
confiscated. The grammar school was so effective in its teaching,
however, that even the merchants' sons in Stratford wrote to one
another in rather good Latin. Some of the letters are extant.

Some of these details serve to show very well the character of the
social work accomplished by the guild, especially in its school and
its almhouses. Sir Sidney Lee continues: "But in 1547 all these
advantages ceased: The guild was dissolved and all the property came
into the royal treasure." The account of what happened to some of
these long-established funds for the benefit of the poor and of
education is to be {174} found in his chapter. They were transferred
to favorites of the King, who used them for various unworthy purposes
and, above all, merely to keep up with the pampered luxury of the

Rev. Augustus Jessop, the Anglican rector of Seaming, in his volume of
essays, "Before the Great Pillage," tells of other parts of England
and that "the almshouses in which old men and women were fed and
clothed were robbed to the last pound, the poor almsfolk being turned
out in the cold at an hour's warning to beg their bread. Hospitals for
the sick and needy, sometimes magnificently provided with nurses and
chaplains, whose very _raison d'être_ was that they were to look after
the care for those who were past caring for themselves, these were
stripped of all their belongings, the inmates sent out to hobble into
some convenient dry ditch to lie down and die, or to crawl into some
barn or hovel, there to be tended, nor without fear of consequences,
by some kindly man or woman who could not bear to see a suffering
fellow-creature drop down and die at their own door-posts."

How all this fine organization of social work ended has often been a
mystery to students of the social history of this time. It is not
difficult to understand, however, when the happenings of the latter
part of Columbus' Century are recalled. Sir Sidney Lee, in his
"Stratford-on-Avon," has told the story of the end of things so far as
Stratford is concerned. I prefer to let him tell the story (page 101):

  "The politicians who surrounded Henry VIII and Edward VI found the
  destruction of religious corporations not more satisfactory to their
  consciences than to their purses. In 1545 and in 1547 commissioners
  came to Stratford to report upon the possessions and constitution of
  the Guild of the Holy Cross. The income was estimated at fifty
  pounds, one shilling, eleven pence halfpenny, of which twenty-one
  pounds, six shillings and eight pence was paid as salary to four
  chaplains. There was a clerk, who received four shillings a year;
  and Oliver Baker, who saw to the clock (outside the chapel),
  received thirteen shillings and four pence. 'Upon the {175} premises
  was a free school, and William Dalam, the schoolmaster, had yearly
  for teaching ten pounds. 'There is also given yearly,' the report
  runs, 'to xxiiij poor men, brethren of the said guild, lxiijs:iijd;
  vz. xs. to be bestowed in coals, and the rest given in ready money;
  besides one house there called the Almshouse; and besides v. or
  vjli. given them of the good provision of the master of the same


A typical instance of the way that wealthy men looked at their social
duties during Columbus' Century is to be found in the case of Sir Hugh
Clopton of Stratford-on-Avon. He was the Lord Mayor in 1492 and,
having never married, he devoted his leisure and his wealth to
philanthropy. Earlier in life he had made his fortune as a merchant in
London. It was he who built New Place, which afterwards became
Shakespeare's property. Just across the street stood the chapel of the
guild and, as Sir Hugh was a prominent member when this edifice sadly
needed restoration at the end of the fifteenth century, he provided
for this. The chancel was left untouched, but the nave and tower as we
have it were rebuilt by him. He died before the work was finished, but
left enough money to secure its completion. It is a charming example
of the perpendicular Gothic of the time and was decorated by elaborate
paintings illustrating the history of the Holy Cross. {176} These
paintings were afterwards covered with whitewash, because the
"reforming" spirit could not tolerate such representations, but in
recent years some of them have been partly uncovered, disclosing how
interestingly the work was done.


Still more interesting, and perhaps the present generation will
consider it more practical, was Sir Hugh's rebuilding in solid stone
of the old wooden bridge over the Avon at Stratford. It was
constructed of free stone, with fourteen arches, and a long causeway
also of Stone, well walled on each side, was added to it. How much
this was needed can be judged from what Leland the antiquary, who
visited Stratford about 1530 on a tour through England, noted in his
account of his journey as to the great value of this gift. "Afore the
time of Hugh Clopton," he wrote, "there was but a poor bridge of
timber, and no causeway to come to it, whereby many poor folks either
refused to come to Stratford when the river was up, or coming thither
stood in jeopardy of life." The bridge is still standing to convince
us of the workmanlike thoroughness with which its foundations were


When Sir Hugh Clopton came to make his will, Stratford largely
benefited in other ways, as Mr. Sidney Lee, to whom we owe most of
these details, has noted in his "Stratford-on-Avon" (London: Seeley &
Co., 1907, page 94):

  "He bequeathed also C. marks to be given to xx. poor maidens of good
  name and fame dwelling in Stratford, i.e., to each of them five
  marks apiece at their marriage; and likewise CI. to the poor
  householders in Stratford; as also Lli. to the new building, 'the
  cross aisle in the Parish Church there' (Dugdale). The testator did
  not, at the same time, forget the needs of the poor of London, or
  their hospitals; and on behalf of poor scholars at the Universities,
  he established six exhibitions at Cambridge and Oxford, each of the
  annual value of four pounds for five years." [Footnote 19]

    [Footnote 19: It might possibly be thought that there were few
    opportunities for the making of fortunes of any significance in
    England at this time, and that therefore Sir Hugh Clopton's
    example would mean very little. As a matter of fact, however, this
    was the time when above all, fortunes were made rapidly and money
    flowed into England more than ever before. Taine in his "History
    of English Literature" quotes Acts of Parliament, the "Compendious
    Examination," by William Strafford, and other government documents
    which make this clear. He sums the situation up by saying:

      "Towards the close of the fifteenth century, the impetus was
      given commerce and the woollen trade made a sudden advance, and
      such an enormous one that cornfields were changed into pasture
      lands, 'whereby the inhabitants of the said town (Manchester)
      have gotten and come into riches and wealthy livings' so that in
      1553, forty thousand pieces of cloth were exported in English
      ships. It was already the England which we see to-day a land of
      meadows, green, intersected by hedgerows, crowded with cattle,
      abounding in ships, a manufacturing, opulent land, with a people
      of beef-eating toilers, who enrich it while they enrich
      themselves. They improved agriculture to such an extent, that in
      half a century the produce of an acre was doubled."]

Sir Hugh Clopton's many benefactions illustrate very thoroughly the
feeling of many of those who had made money at this time, that they
were stewards of their wealth for the benefit of the community. Civic
philanthropy is sometimes supposed to be a much more modern idea than
this century, and what was given for charity is sometimes thought to
have been but poorly directed. As a matter of fact, wealthy men were
{178} at least as thoughtful of their benefactions in that time as in
our own. If Sir Hugh Clopton's varied works for his towns-people are
to be considered as typical, and everything points to such a
conclusion, they were even more likely to do enduring good. He did not
specialize, but where he found a good work to do he did it. Indeed,
the whole story of doing good for others in this time deserves the
study of the modern time, because of its solution of many problems
that we are facing now.

An interesting phase of their collections for charity was the
continuance of the old custom which had existed for several centuries,
of having a special day on which everyone who was approached by
certain solicitors for charity was expected to give something. This
was usually the day after Whit-Sunday. Sometimes in the English
villages, at the entrance to a bridge, or across a market place or the
main street of the town, a rope was stretched and everyone who passed
had to pay a toll for charity. Our modern "tag day" was a revival of
this custom, though in the mediaeval towns, where everybody knew
everybody else, there were less social dangers in the custom.

The Low Countries were very prosperous at this time and took up
seriously the problem of helping the poor. As we have told more in
detail in the chapter on "Hospitals and Care for the Insane," the
order of Beguines took up the nursing and the visiting of the poor,
and in many places the Beguinages assumed the character to some extent
of institutions for the care of the poor. The word poorhouses has
becomes so unfortunate in its connotations that one would scarcely
think of using it in connection with these almost separate
village-like communities, with abundance of air and light, in which
the young women of the better classes took up their own life in small,
neat, attractive houses and cared for the aged poor and children in
little houses not far from their own. A great number of dependents
were maintained mainly out of the revenues derived from the incomes
which these young women of the better classes brought with them into
the institution and from the funds contributed by friends who were
interested in their good work. Our modern settlements are like them in
certain {179} ways, but there are so many differences in favor of the
older institutions, which represent indeed an almost ideal way of
exercising charity, that the contrast is striking.

Many of the religious orders that were doing such good work in
Columbus' time have gone through many vicissitudes. Governments have
often turned to enrich their favorites at the expense of charitable
foundations in their hands, and it has been an easy way for
politicians to get money. In spite of all this, some of them continue
to do their work even at the present time. Among these the Beguines
are particularly worthy of note. After the union of Holland and
Belgium, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, William of
Holland attempted to abrogate many of the rights of the Beguines and
confiscate much of their property. The municipality of Ghent, in which
the largest Beguinage was situated, sent a protest, in which they
catalogued the great services of the order in times of war and
epidemics, and the unfriendly purpose of the Holland Government was
changed. In the nineteenth century the list of good works accomplished
by the Beguines is very striking and some of them have been listed by
Miss Nutting and Miss Dock in their "History of Nursing":

  "In 1809-10 the Beguines of Belgium had devoted their whole strength
  to the service of the army during an epidemic of fever. During the
  war of 1813 their buildings were turned into hospitals, and after
  Waterloo they literally gave all they had to relieve the
  overwhelming distress. In 1832, 1849, and 1853 they again served
  nobly in cholera epidemics. Besides their readiness as nurses, they
  have likewise not been wanting as good citizens. In 1821 they
  contributed a generous sum toward the establishment of municipal
  industrial workshops, and have often acted as an aid society in
  dispensing contributions to sufferers from natural disasters, such
  as inundations and fires." That is a brief nineteenth-century
  chronicle of a charitable organization that was at an acme of its
  usefulness in Columbus' Century.

Such functions of helpfulness for those in need are now exercised by
various organizations which are of comparatively {180} recent date.
Because these organizations are new, it is often supposed that the
duties which they now fulfil were either quite unknown or almost
entirely overlooked in the older time. It only requires a little study
of the details of the social life and the organization of charity
before the Reformation to appreciate how much was accomplished by the
various religious orders. It has been so much the custom in
English-speaking countries particularly to think that the religious
were mainly occupied in their own little concerns, selfishly intent on
the accumulation of means to enable them to live in idleness, that
their real place in the life of the olden time has been almost
entirely lost sight of. They represented the charitable organizations
of all kinds that have come into prominence during this last few
generations and that were so sadly needed. Their duties were
accomplished by men and women who resigned all hope of profit for
themselves and gave themselves entirely to these good works, thus
obviating many of the abuses that are now beginning to be so manifest
in charity organization.

The story of the establishment of the Monti di Pietà, lending
institutions for the poor in Italy, is one of the most interesting
chapters not alone in the social work of this period, but of all
periods. The original suggestion for them came from that great
scholar, preacher and worker for the good of the people, St.
Bernardine of Siena, who died just before the opening of Columbus'
Century. Their organization, however, we owe to Blessed Bernardine of
Feltre, that worthy son of St. Francis of Assisi, who is generally
represented in his pictures with that symbol of a Monte di Pietà, a
little green hill composed of three mounds and on the top either a
cross or a standard, with the inscription, _"Curam illius habe"_ (Have
the care of it). As thus established these institutions, the Monti di
Pietà, were charitable lending houses, where the poor could obtain
money readily for pledges and usually with very little cost to them
beyond the repayment of the loan. At that time it was felt that
charity might well care for the poor to this extent, and it was the
custom for wealthy people who died to leave legacies by which
unredeemed pledges of household necessaries might be restored to the
poor without {181} the repayment of the loan. Such legacies, by the
way, are not unusual even yet in the Latin countries, and at least two
have been chronicled within the year. The spirit of these institutions
was excellent and they accomplished great good, spreading all over
Italy and finding their way in some form into the Latin countries at
least during Columbus' period.

St. Catherine of Genoa, whose work was done just about the beginning
of Columbus' Century, is a typical example of the organizer of charity
of this time. As a young widow she began to visit the patients in the
hospital, and finally came to spend all of her time there, except such
as was devoted to the visiting of the sick in their homes and the
bringing of them into the hospitals. Soon she organized a number of
others, or at least they gathered round her until a great work for
charity was being done. Many of the noblewomen of the time devoted
some hours at least every week to visiting the sick in the hospitals.
There is a touching story told of Frances, Duchess of Brittany, who
nursed through a severe illness her husband's successor on the ducal
throne, who had treated her with great injustice. She afterwards
retired to a Carmelite convent, where during an epidemic she nursed
the stricken nuns through its whole course, and at the end of it laid
down her own life. In the next century Evelyn, in his "Diary," tells
of his surprise on visiting the hospitals in Paris to see how many
noble persons, men and women, were waiting on them and "how decently
and Christianly the sick in Charité [one of the great hospitals] were
attended even to delicacy." This was only a continuation of the fine
traditions of the older time, surprising to Evelyn because they had
gone out entirely in Protestant England.

The period was particularly rich in social workers, especially those
who used Christianity as the basis by which to enable men to help
themselves. One of the greatest of these, whose influence so lives on
even in our own time that Cardinal Newman loved to speak of him as his
beloved Father Philip, was Philip Romolo Neri (1515-1595), better
known as St. Philip Neri, the Apostle of Rome. He proved a rather
brilliant scholar as a young man, but when a successful {182} business
career was opening up for him he gave it all up and in 1533 arrived in
Rome without any money, without having informed his father of the step
that he was taking and after having deliberately cut himself off from
the patronage of an uncle who had resolved to make him his heir. For a
while he tutored and wrote poetry and Latin and Italian, and then
studied philosophy at the Sapienza and theology in the school of the
Augustinians. When he was about thirty he became the close friend of
St. Ignatius Loyola, and many of the young men that gathered round
him, because of his attractive, amiable character, found a vocation
for the intellectual and spiritual life in the infant Society of

In 1548, together with his confessor, he founded the confraternity of
the Most Holy Trinity for the care of pilgrims and convalescents in
Rome. Its members met for communion once a month and there was
exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a practice which was introduced
by Philip. He sometimes preached even as a layman, and in 1551, at the
command of his confessor, for nothing short of this would have
overcome his humility, he entered the priesthood. He devoted his
attention particularly to men and boys and succeeded in making them
close personal friends. In the midst of this work priests gathered
round him, and finally Gregory XIII recognized the little community as
the Congregation of the Oratory. Pope Gregory XIV, who had previously
been a great personal friend of Philip's, would have made him a
cardinal only for the saint's great reluctance.

His little band of oratorians, among whom the most conspicuous was
Baronius, the Church historian, did wonderful work in Rome and many
other houses of this congregation came into existence. Few men that
ever lived had so much influence over all those who came in contact
with him as St. Philip Neri, and it is this personal influence that
characterized the work of his congregation in the after-time. Newman
and Faber and many of the distinguished converts of the Tractarian
movement in England became members of the Oratory, and St. Philip's
work has come down to our generation through them with very wonderful
success. His career represents another example of the marvellous power
of the {183} men of this time to create things of all kinds which
influence all succeeding generations.

St. Philip Neri's contemporary and intimate friend, St. Ignatius
Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, is always thought of as a great
organizer in education, seldom as a social worker. There was no phase
of social need in Rome, however, to which he did not give his personal
attention in spite of the many calls that there were on his time. He
taught little children catechism and insisted that this should be a
special feature of the work of his order in spite of its devotion to
the higher education. He organized various institutions for the poor
and secured by his efforts the foundation of a home for fallen women
in Rome and himself personally conducted through the streets to it
some of those who were to enter. His example in this matter must be
taken as a type of what many thoughtful persons of this time were
ready to do in the accomplishment of what they saw as their social

One of the great social reformers of the time whose unfortunate death
has made him the subject of wide attention ever since was Savonarola,
the Dominican monk, whose fate has been a sad stumbling-block of
misunderstanding of the time. He used his great powers of oratory to
bring about a social reform. It was sadly needed. Contact with the old
pagan ideas through the new learning had made many of the people of
the time even more selfish than usual. In the midst of the luxury and
worldly interests of the time there had come a neglect of the old
fellow-feeling of kindness and of charity that had characterized the
Middle Ages. This affected mainly the so-called better classes. It was
this, above all, that Savonarola tried to reform. He succeeded in
stirring up the people wonderfully, and it is probable that no one has
ever succeeded in working such a revolution in the social feelings of
a whole city as Savonarola did.

As a consequence of his ardent appeals people began a great
reformation of city life by reforming themselves. The confessionals
were thronged with penitents, the audiences outgrew the capacity of
the largest church in Florence, that city of ample churches, and the
very streets that had listened to nothing but pagan poetry for years
resounded to the music {184} of hymns and psalms. A really important
step in reform, however, was the great change in the attitude of mind
of men towards others, and especially those needy or in suffering. Men
sold their goods and gave the proceeds to the poor. Women gathered
together their vanities of all kinds, burned them in the market place
and devoted themselves to the care of the ailing. Old feuds were made
up, and thoughts of revenge put aside, though they had been the
dearest traditions in families for generations. For some time there
was probably never a happier community than Florence. No one was in
want, selfishness was almost at an end and lawlessness quite unknown.
The conditions were too good to last among ordinary humanity.
Political bickering began and political factors of all kinds obtruded
themselves on the movement. The citizens formed themselves into a
Christian commonwealth, over which they wished Savonarola to rule.
After a time, intoxicated by the apparent success of the movement, not
a few hoped to raise themselves to power in the midst of the rather
quixotic political conditions that had developed, and almost needless
to say they were urged on by certain of the ruling princes of Italy,
who hoped themselves to benefit by conditions in Florence.

Long ago Horace said, "You may put away nature as with a fork, but she
will come back." The supernatural ruled for a time in Florence, but
the natural reasserted itself and then the trouble began. Savonarola
was its victim, but not before he had shown clearly what the evils of
the time were and pointed out the path along which they might be
reformed, though the sudden reformation of them could not be hoped

Savonarola was a social, and not a religious, reformer. He has often
been proclaimed a pre-Reformation reformer, but there was no doctrine
of the old Church that Savonarola did not accept, and it was for
political and not theological reasons that he was put to death, though
ecclesiastics had so much to do with it. All the characteristic
doctrines of the Church--devotion to the Saints and to the Blessed
Virgin, the Blessed Sacrament, Transubstantiation--are dwelt on in his
writings, and he is even the author of a hymn to the Blessed Virgin
{185} and of a treatise on devotion to her. Nor was he at all carried
away with the idea of self-judgment and independence in religion. No
one teaches more emphatically than he the power of the Pope and the
necessity for obedience to Rome. Nothing stronger or more explicit in
this regard has ever been written than some passages that have been
found in his writings.

It is too bad that his great social influence for good was not allowed
to work itself out into important social reforms. Great churchmen of
the after-time have recognized the sad misfortune of his death, and
Pope Benedict XIV, whose authority in the matter of the canonization
of Saints and the honor to be paid them is the highest, made use of an
expression which shows in what lofty veneration Savonarola was held by
one of the greatest of the popes. As Cardinal Lambertini, Pope
Benedict said: "If God gives me the grace to get to Heaven, as soon as
I shall have consoled myself with the Beatific Vision my curiosity
will lead me to look for Savonarola." Half a century later a parallel
expression, which is almost more striking, was reported to have been
used by Pope Pius VII, who said: "In Heaven three serious questions
will be solved: The Immaculate Conception, the suppression of the
Society of Jesus and the death of Savonarola." [Footnote 20]

  [Footnote 20: How soon this vindication of Savonarola began to be
  felt in the minds of high ecclesiastics will perhaps be best
  realized from the fact that when, some ten years after the friar's
  death, Raphael was asked to decorate the stanze of the Vatican, he
  introduced Savonarola beside St. Thomas Aquinas, among the great
  doctors of the Church in the very first fresco that he painted. This
  fresco was seen and studied carefully by the Pope and greatly
  praised by him. Almost needless to say Raphael's action in the
  matter would never have been permitted, only that the reaction in
  favor of Savonarola had set in very strongly.]

As a matter of fact, all the sentiment of the great Catholic scholars
and historians of modern times has been intent on vindicating
Savonarola's character. It is not the Church but churchmen who
condemned him and not for religious but political reasons.
Unfortunately in English the general impression with regard to him is
derived from George Eliot's "Romola," and that distinguished English
novelist, in spite of her erudition, was least of all fitted by
temperament or {186} intellectual training and eminently unfitted
because of her religious ideas to write the life of Savonarola and his
relation to his time. No one saw the social abuses so well as he and
no one called attention to them so effectively. He recognized them as
abuses, however, and not in any sense as consequences of the religious
system. He would have been the last one in the world to have wished
for serious disturbance of the Church. He had for years held high
positions in the Dominican order and was in the most complete sympathy
with the religious orders and the hierarchy of his time.

One of the greatest of the social workers of this century is
undoubtedly Bartolomé de Las Casas, who did so much to moderate the
abuses in the treatment of the Indians, which had unfortunately crept
in under the Spanish sovereignty in the early days. He was the son of
Francisco Casas, who had accompanied Columbus on his second voyage and
brought back an Indian boy, whom he left to his son as a servant.
Bartolomé studied law at Salamanca, secured a high reputation as a
lawyer and then became the counsel to the Spanish governors of the
Antilles and later of the Island of Hispaniola. After some years of
successful legal practice Las Casas became a priest and devoted
himself to the alleviation of the condition of the Indians. In
becoming a priest his position as a reformer became assured. Strange
as that may seem to some who do not understand the period, he gained
almost complete freedom of speech and, having no solicitude for his
material needs, could devote all his time and energy untrammelled to
his chosen life work. He made mistakes, he was eminently unpractical,
but there is no doubt at all about his absolute devotion to the cause
of humanity and his untiring activity and zeal in the cause of proper
Christian treatment of the Indians. He aroused the attention of the
men of his time and, above all, of the sovereigns of Spain and the
most influential men and women of that country.

His crusade had much to do with the promulgation of the "New Laws" in
1542 and their amendments in 1543 and 1544. These did not abolish
serfdom, but they greatly limited it, so that it was even said that a
native enjoyed more privileges than a Creole. He refused the bishopric
of Cuzco in Peru {187} declaring that he would never accept any Church
dignity, and it was only after much urging that he consented to become
bishop of Chiapas in Southern Mexico. His powers of administration did
not prove as great as his humanitarian ideals and, while he talked
much of abuses, he was not able to correct them as well as many others
who did not set out to be so radical as he. He has written much and
his books have appeared in many editions. His was a great soul that
found a supreme purpose and devoted to it a long life of ninety years.
A less ardent advocate than he would almost surely have failed of
accomplishing the great reform that was needed. Like our own
Abolitionists, he was too radical in many of his views, and yet his
very enthusiasm carried others along into the execution of great good.
His writings have been a storehouse of information with regard to
conditions in the colonies and, while they have to be discounted from
the standpoint of his tendency to exaggeration of interest in the
Indian questions, that exaggeration is justified to a great extent by
the great humanitarian purpose that dictated it. Las Casas must
undoubtedly be considered one of the world's great philanthropists.

An important social influence, if the name of social reformer does not
quite suit him, was the Duke of Gandia, who is better known as St.
Francis Borgia. He was a great-grandson of Pope Alexander VI, and his
grandfather, Juan Borgia, who had acquired the hereditary Duchy of
Gandia in the kingdom of Valentia in Spain, was assassinated by an
unknown hand, possibly that of his brother, Caesar Borgia. On the
maternal side the Duke of Gandia was the great-grandson of Ferdinand
the Catholic. His grandfather had been the Archbishop of Saragossa. He
himself became a brilliant courtier at the Court of Charles V, and in
the absence of the Emperor was considered the head of the Imperial
household. He and his wife were the favorites of the Empress. After
the death of the Empress he was commissioned to convey her remains to
Granada and, having to identify them formally there before burial, was
shocked on the opening of the coffin at the change which a few days of
death had brought in the sovereign whom he had served so zealously. He
turned {188} to make his life mean something, not for passing honor
but for the good of others. In fulfilment of this purpose he joined
the Jesuits and eventually became the third General of the order. His
change of life attracted wide attention and did almost more than
anything else to lessen many selfish tendencies among the nobility of
the time due to the pagan spirit of the Renaissance. It was a social
reform that made the Borgian name as much of an inspiration for good
as it had been for ill.

Perhaps even more important for this period is what may be called the
negative side of its social history. Apparently a great many people
are quite convinced that the later Middle Ages and the Renaissance
were witnesses of many severe cruelties and torturing practices, some
of them legal, which reveal, if not an actual barbarity, a sad, almost
inhuman, lack of kindliness and fellow-feeling on the part of the men
and women of this time. Most people who have heard of cruelties and
torture are quite sure that in general these reached their climax of
bitterness in the later Middle Ages and that even the Renaissance time
was not free from them. In the more recent centuries, particularly the
seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth, men are supposed to be
climbing out of the slough of despond in this matter into which
humanity unfortunately had sunk during the mediaeval period. We rather
pride ourselves on this evolution of humanity, quite forgetting for
the moment how much greater than all the old-time barbarity is the
suffering incident to our industrial development. This is, however,
set down to inadvertence at most, while mediaeval and Renaissance
cruelty is thought of as deliberate.

There are not many impressions more false than this in history, and it
is entirely due to the ignorance of the date of a number of historical
events which are sometimes massed together as mediaeval or at least
not modern, modern history being supposed to begin as a rule with the
discovery of America. As a matter of fact, the refinements of torture
all came after Columbus' Century. The Virgin of Nuremberg, the iron
boots into which wedges were driven for torture purposes, the iron
gauntlets in which the hands of living {189} people were roasted and
many other of the hideous contrivances that rightly find a prominent
place in history were made in the later sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries, and not in Columbus' time nor during the mediaeval period.
The worst refinements of legal torture nearly all were devised in the
course of the witchcraft delusion which swept over Europe in the later
sixteenth and during the seventeenth century. There was comparatively
little witch baiting and witch hunting and very few witches put to
death during the earlier centuries. Witchcraft was a post-Reformation

The Encyclopedia Britannica (Ninth Edition), in its article on
torture, emphasizes particularly the fact that: "It is the boast of
the common law of England that it never recognized torture as legal.
Instances of torture as a means of obtaining evidence were invariably
ordered by the Crown or Council, or by some tribunal of extraordinary
authority such as the Star Chamber, not professing to be bound by the
rules of the common law." "The infliction of torture became more
common under the Tudor monarchs," this article continues. "Under Henry
VIII it appears to have been in frequent use." May I add that its
frequency is an incident of the end of his reign after the religious
difficulties began. "Only two cases are recorded under Edward VI and
eight under Mary. The reign of Elizabeth was its culminating point. In
the words of Hallam, 'the rack stood seldom idle in the tower for all
the latter part of Elizabeth's reign.' The varieties of torture used
at this period are fully described by Lingard, and consisted of the
rack, the scavenger's daughter, the iron gauntlets or bilboes, and the
cell called 'little ease.' The registers of the council during the
Tudor and early Stuart reigns are full of entries as to the use of
torture, both for state and for ordinary offences."

Under Elizabeth and the Stuarts, and even later, there were cases
fully recognized by the English common law which differed from torture
only in name. To quote the Encyclopedia Britannica again:

"The _peine forte et dure_ was a notable example of this. If a
prisoner stood mute of malice instead of pleading, he was {190}
condemned to the peine, that is, to be stretched upon his back and to
have iron laid upon him as much as he could bear, and more, and so to
continue, fed upon bad bread and stagnant water through alternate days
until he pleaded or died. It was abolished by George III, and George
IV enacted that a plea of 'not guilty' should be entered for a
prisoner so standing mute. A case of _peine_ occurred as lately as
1726. At times tying the thumbs with whipcords was used instead of the
_peine_. This was said to be a common practice at the Old Bailey up to
the last century. In trials for witchcraft the legal proceedings often
partook of the nature of the torture, as in the throwing of the
reputed witch into a pond to see whether she would sink or swim, in
drawing her blood, and in thrusting pins into the body to try to find
the insensible spot. Confessions, too, appear to have been often
extorted by actual torture, and torture of an unusual nature, as the
devil was supposed to protect his votaries from the effects of
ordinary torture."

The seventeenth century particularly witnessed the deaths of many
thousands of poor people who were thought to be witches. Persecutions
for witchcraft took place more particularly in the countries most
affected by the Reformation. Germany as well as England had many of
them. Even the crudest forms of torture were invented with almost
devilish ingenuity at this time. It was under the influence of this
delusional psychic contagion and the dread of possession by the devil
that the insane and sufferers from nervous diseases of all kinds came
to be treated more inhumanly than ever before. A climax of inhumanity
in their regard was reached in the eighteenth century, when manacles
and chains and dungeons were employed, until at last the exaggeration
of ill-treatment brought with it reaction and reform.

Humanitarianism shows a decline, marked and definite and progressive
from the end of the sixteenth until the end of the eighteenth century.
Interest in religion sank as in England until John Wesley came to put
a new spirit into it. The rights of men were less and less respected
and the poor were oppressed by those above them until the awful
conditions that developed in the _ancien régime_ came in France, and
{191} nearly similar conditions in other countries. The French
Revolution had to come. Men could stand no more. As Hilaire Belloc,
one of the best of the modern historians of the French Revolution,
says, "That movement was really an attempt to restore to men the
rights which they had enjoyed during the Middle Ages."




An excellent criterion of the social status of any period in history
is the genuine humanitarian purpose that animates it, and how
seriously it takes the duty of caring for those who most need care is
to be found in the character of its hospital buildings and their
maintenance. Tried by this standard, Columbus' Century proves to be
one of the greatest of the centuries of history. This will seem very
surprising to most people, because the general impression has been
that until our generation hospitals were rather ugly buildings of
institutional type, with small windows, sordid surroundings and very
unsuitable internal arrangements for the ailing. There is no doubt at
all that hospital buildings just before our generation--and some of
them unfortunately remain over as living witnesses--were all that has
been thus suggested and if possible worse. Indeed, some of the
hospital buildings of two generations ago were about as unsuitable for
their purpose as could well be imagined. The general feeling with
regard to this fact, however, is not so much one of blame as of pity.
Most people assume that the older generations did not know how to
build good hospitals. They did as well as they could, but until the
development of modern knowledge of hygiene and sanitation, as well as
the demand made on hospital administration by modern surgery,
hospitals could scarcely be expected to be anything but the sordid
piles of buildings they usually were, thought proper if they but
furnished a protection from the weather and sustenance for the sick

Anyone who will consult the real history of hospitals, however, will
be surprised to find that the worst hospitals in the world's history
were built in the first half of the nineteenth century. The usual
impression is that, if the hospitals of a {193} century ago were so
bad, those of the century preceding that must have been much worse and
so on progressively more unsuitable until in the Middle Ages they must
have been unspeakable. As a matter of fact, the hospitals of the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were beautiful buildings as a
rule, quite as charming structures for their purposes as all the other
architecture of that time--churches, monasteries, abbeys, castles,
town halls and the rest. They had at this time a period of wonderful
surgical practice, of which we have learned from the republication of
their text-books of surgery only in recent years, and there is a
definite, direct ratio between surgery and proper hospital
organization. Whenever there is good surgery there are good hospitals,
and whenever there are good hospitals, surgery will be found occupying
a prominent, progressive place in the history of medicine.

It is hard to understand the periods of decadence in hospital
construction and maintenance and in nursing care and training, but not
more difficult than to understand the ups and downs of surgery. That
anaesthesia and antiseptic practice should obtain for a while and then
gradually be lost is no harder to understand than that hospitals
should gradually "sink to an almost indescribable level of
degradation." Miss Nutting and Miss Dock, in their "History of
Nursing," have described the century from 1750 to 1850 as "The Dark
Period of Nursing."

They quote Jacobsohn, the well-known German writer about care for the
ailing, who says "that it is a remarkable fact that attention to the
well-being of the sick, improvements in hospitals and institutions
generally and to details of nursing care, had a period of complete and
lasting stagnation after the middle of the seventeenth century, or
from the close of the Thirty Years' War. Neither officials nor
physicians took any interest in the elevation of the nursing or in
improving the conditions of hospitals. During the first two-thirds of
the eighteenth century he proceeds to say nothing was done to bring
either construction or nursing to a better state. Solely among the
religious orders did nursing remain an interest and some remnants of
technique survive. The result was that in this period the general
level of nursing fell far below that of earlier {194} periods. The
hospitals of cities were like prisons, with bare, undecorated walls
and little dark rooms, small windows where no sun could enter, and
dismal wards where fifty or one hundred patients were crowded
together, deprived of all comforts and even of necessities. In the
municipal and state institutions of this period, the beautiful
gardens, roomy halls and springs of water of the old cloister hospital
of the Middle Ages were not heard of, still less the comforts of their
friendly interiors."

It so happens that just about the beginning of Columbus' Century there
was a great new development of hospital building. This was only what
might have been expected, for a wonderful new period of architecture
was just beginning and buildings of all kinds were being erected with
a magnificence that has made them the admiration of the world ever
since. Handsome basilicas, Renaissance palaces, town halls were being
executed by the architects of the time so as to make them precious
monuments for future generations. Hospitals came in for their share of
this renewal of architectural interest, and a series of really
beautiful hospital buildings were erected which we have come to admire
very much since we ourselves have wakened up to the duty of building
fine hospitals. The old municipalities felt that buildings erected for
the poorer citizens must not be planned with the idea that anything
was good enough for the poor, but must be suitable to the dignity of
the city.

One of the most beautiful hospitals of this time is the famous
_Ospedale Santa Maria degli Innocenti,_ which has been called the
finest and most interesting foundling asylum in the world. It was
built under the patronage of the guild of silk merchants in the early
part of the fifteenth century, being completed in 1451, and is a model
of charming architecture, decorated with fine paintings and adorned
with the well-known della Robbia blue medallions. The Italians did
not, however, call it--as in our ruder Northern ways is our custom--a
foundling asylum, thus stamping the tragedy of their existence on the
children, but the Home of Innocents. Surely they were the innocent
victims of the conditions which had brought about their abandonment by
their parents. The {195} children were kept until the age of seven,
and then they were placed about with families who promised to treat
them as their own children. The boys were taught trades; the girls,
trained in all domestic occupations, were, when married, given dowries
by the hospital or the foster parents, or received into convents if
they so wished. As showing how the spirit that organized it in
Columbus' Century lives on, we may quote what Miss Nutting and Miss
Dock say with regard to the hospital in their "History of Nursing" (p.



  "To-day this richly historic house is in charge of the Sisters of
  St. Vincent de Paul, under the direction of a highly scientific and
  progressive council chiefly consisting of medical men, and is one of
  the most perfectly kept and well managed institutions of the kind in
  existence, its union of mediaeval charm with modern science being a
  congenial and happy one."

Other hospitals in Florence are scarcely less interesting. The
hospital where Romola went to nurse her patients is still in
existence, but is no longer a hospital. It is now the very interesting
Accademia dei Belli Arti. One of the beautiful hospitals erected at
this time which may serve as a type of the buildings erected for
hospital purposes is the great Ospedale Maggiore of Milan. Important
portions of this were finished during Columbus' Century. One of its
courts is so beautiful that it has been attributed to Michelangelo,
though it seems more probable that it was due to that almost equally
great architectural genius, Bramante. The famous Santo Spirito
Hospital in the Borgo at Rome was rebuilt by Sixtus IV in the first
half of Columbus' Century and had many of the characteristics of the
best architecture of the time. Practically every city in Italy did
some really fine hospital building at this time. Naples and Venice
added to their beautiful mediaeval hospitals and everywhere there was
high development of humanitarian purpose in this regard.

Italy, however, was not the only country of Europe to have fine
hospitals. Indeed, every country had a share in this, and wherever
there was a flourishing period of architectural evolution hospitals
came in for their share of the development. In the Low Countries and
Northeastern France, where a series of beautiful cathedrals and
churches were being rebuilt or newly erected, and above all where the
magnificent town halls that have been such a subject for admiration
ever since were being erected, hospitals received great attention. Not
only were fine buildings erected, but a magnificent organization of
nursing and care for the ailing occurred. There was great prosperity
among the people, they were doing the trade of the world, they were
democratic in their ideas and they felt that the dignity of the
municipalities required worthy care for the citizens no matter how
poor they might be.



Above all, some of our own ideas in hospitals developed among them and
many of the wealthy came to realize that they could be better cared
for in the efficient hands of trained attendants in properly arranged
hospital quarters than in their own homes. There was not that dread of
hospitals which develops whenever they are exclusively for the
poor--and deservedly, because the patients are inevitably the subject
of many abuses.

That picturesque Belgian community, the Beguines, had charge of a
number of hospitals at this time which became famous for their
thorough organization and maintenance on a high level of efficiency.
One of these was founded at Beaune by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of the
Duke of Burgundy, just about the beginning of Columbus' Century. Miss
Nutting and Miss Dock, in their "History of Nursing," have given a
description (p. 269) of this, as well as some of the details of the
nursing and management mainly taken from Helyot's "History of the
Religious Orders":

  "It was built with much magnificence, with long wards extending into
  a chapel, so that the sick could hear the services, and opening into
  square courts with galleries above and below. Patients of both sexes
  and of all ranks and degrees were received, both rich and poor.
  There was one ward for those most seriously ill, and back of all a
  building for the dead, with 'many lavatories and stone tables.' In
  the upper galleries were suites of apartments for wealthy patients,
  and the gentlefolk came from leagues around. The suites consisted of
  a bedroom, dressing-room, anteroom and cabinet. They were richly
  furnished, and each patient had three beds, that he might move from
  one to another. Each apartment had its own linen, utensils and
  furniture, 'and borrowed nothing from any other.' The suites and
  wards were named after the King, royal family, dukes of Burgundy,
  and other prominent personages. In the middle wards patients of the
  middle class were received, and in the lower galleries the poor. The
  rich patients had their own food and wine sent to them, and paid for
  their medicines, but the rooms and the sisters' services were free.
  Few, however, left without bestowing a gift. The poor were cared for
  without any cost, but if they wanted {198} anything special they had
  to buy it. A little river ran through the court and was carried in
  canals past the different departments for drainage. It was noted
  that the hospital had no bad odors, such as were found in so many
  others, but was sweet and clean."

The conditions in these hospitals of Columbus' Century were so much
better than we have had any idea of until recent historical studies
revealed them to us, and so many people have somehow become persuaded
that hospitals of the olden time were without proper provision for the
care of the sick, such as we have elaborated again in our time, that
descriptions of other hospitals seem necessary to make the hospital
organization of the time clear. Miss Nutting and Miss Dock declare
that "the hospital at Châlons sur Saône was also very magnificent, and
there, too, there were no bad odors, but in winter delicate perfumes
and in summer baskets of growing plants hung from the ceiling. It had
a large garden with a stream running through it with little bridges
over it." It is easy to understand what a charming place for
convalescents and what a pleasant view for patients could be made out
of such surroundings. There is no doubt that they were well taken
advantage of, for this is the time of the beautiful Renaissance
gardens, when everywhere natural beauty was cultivated to a good

Helyot, in his _"Les Ordres Monastiques."_ describes the beautiful
drug rooms in these hospitals, where the various medicaments were
prepared, many of them being grown in the hospital garden, and also
the other rooms of the hospital, the quarters for the nursing sisters,
and says that "the patients were nursed with all the skill and
goodness of heart and refinement that might be expected from the
conditions surrounding them." He appreciated very well that proper
quarters for patients and nurses make strongly for such nursing
conditions as are sure to be of the greatest possible help in the care
of diseases.

A special nursing order of Beguines was formed at this time, and as
these religious women were recruited as a rule from the better classes
of the population, bringing in with them such dowries as would enable
them to support {199} themselves in whatever work they might
undertake, it is easy to understand on what a high plane the nursing
must have been. It would remind one of the conditions in the early
days of the trained nurse in modern times, when so many of the
applicants for nursing positions were prepared by their family life at
home for devotion to a liberal profession rather than merely the
taking up of an occupation necessary for livelihood.

How their efforts were appreciated by patients will be very well
understood from what may still be seen at the hospital of St. Jean at
Bruges. The great painter Memling was for a time a patient in the
hospital. He felt that he owed his life to the good sisters who had
done so much for him, and so he painted a great altar-piece for them
and decorated the famous Shrine of St. Ursula. The pictures were
painted just about the time that Columbus discovered America. They are
among the most beautiful examples of religious painting ever made. The
decorations of the shrine particularly are among the world's great
works of art. They are almost miniatures and contain large numbers of
faces, beautifully executed, but every detail has been worked out by
the great painter, evidently as a labor of love. The texture of some
of the garments as he reproduces them has proved a source of wonder to
artist visitors ever since. Many thousands of visitors find their way
to the hospital every year, and even the small sum of money (twenty
cents) which is charged for admission to see them constitutes in the
annual aggregate an income of thousands of dollars. The hospital,
which is very spacious and has large gardens with the canal winding
alongside of it, is enabled to carry on its work much better as a
consequence of this notable addition to its revenues due to the
gratitude of a patient of over four hundred years ago.

Many of these hospitals had beautiful decorations. They understood
very well at that time that patients' minds must be occupied if they
are to be saved from the depressing effect of too much thinking about
themselves, and they felt that staring at bare walls was not conducive
to diversion of mind. In many of these hospitals then there were
beautifully {200} decorated walls and great pictures in the corridors.
As these were painted directly on the wall, as a rule they did not
collect dust nor present opportunities for dirt to gather.

Helyot has insisted on the ample water supply that they made it a rule
to secure for these old-time hospitals. It was felt that the plentiful
use of water was absolutely essential for maintaining healthy
conditions in hospital work. In our modern time we have come more and
more to realize that, while antiseptics are of great value once
infection has taken place and dirt has found an entrance, soap and hot
water are the best possible materials, especially when frequently
applied, to maintain sanitary conditions.

Many of the habits worn by the religious who were devoted to nursing
had certain features that made them much more hygienic for patients
than ordinary feminine dress. As a rule, they were very simple, often
made of washable materials, the head was always covered and spotless
white was worn around the shoulders and at the wrist. This was
sufficient of itself to keep constantly in mind the necessity for
scrupulous cleanliness. Dirt showed very readily. When the nurses, or
at least those who had the main duties to perform, came of refined
families and wore these habits there could have been no neglect of

The best possible evidence for the proper appreciation of the place of
hospitals in life at this time is to be found in Sir Thomas More's
account of the hospitals in Utopia. It must not be forgotten that he
was travelling in Flanders when he wrote it. He pictures the people of
his ideal republic as possessed of fine large hospital buildings,
providing ample accommodations so that even in times of epidemic there
need be no danger of contagion and abundantly supplied with all that
is necessary for the care of the ailing. The standard was not what was
good enough for the ailing poor, but what was worthy of the dignity of
the city caring for its citizens. The proof of the completeness of
their arrangements for the care of patients is to be found in the
added declaration that practically everyone who was sick preferred to
go to the hospital rather than to be cared for at home. This is the
condition of affairs which is now developing among us again, {201}
after a long interval, during which hospitals were the dread of the
poor and the detestation of those who had to go to them. The whole
passage is extremely interesting for this reason:

  "But they take more care of their sick than of any others; these are
  lodged and provided for in public hospitals. They have belonging to
  every town four hospitals, that are built without their walls and
  are so large that they may pass for little towns; by this means, if
  they had ever such a number of sick persons, they could lodge them
  conveniently, and at such a distance that such of them as are sick
  from infectious diseases may be kept so far from the rest that there
  can be no danger of contagion. The hospitals are furnished and
  stored with all things that are convenient for the ease and recovery
  of the sick; and those that are put in them are looked after with
  such tender and watchful care, and are so constantly attended by
  their skilful physicians, that as none is sent to them against their
  will, so there is scarce one in a whole town that, if he should fall
  ill, would not choose rather to go thither than lie sick at home."

The spirit of the century and its power of organization of charity and
good works is well expressed by the foundation of the Brothers of
Mercy in Spain, in 1538, by a Portuguese soldier who had been wounded
in battle, as was not infrequent in those days, and vowed to devote
his life to God if he recovered. He rented a small house in Granada,
where he gathered together a number of sick people and nursed them
with the greatest care. In order to support them he went through the
streets in the evening with a basket begging for his patients. After a
time others came and joined him in his good work. Alms boxes were
placed here and there through the city to remind people of the help
that was needed. Gradually the scope of their work increased, they
were given charge of hospitals, they visited the sick at their homes
and the order spread not only over Europe but throughout the
Spanish-American countries on this continent. Within a hundred years
after the foundation the annual number of patients under their care
was said to have been some two hundred thousand. A number of houses of
the order was {202} founded in Italy, and over their alms boxes down
there the sign was, _Fate bene, fratelli_, (Do good, little brothers).
From this sign they came to be known as the _Fate Bene Fratelli_, the
Do Good Little Brothers.

The proper care of the insane is usually looked upon as a very modern
phase of humanitarian evolution. Most people think that until the last
hundred years the insane have been hideously neglected, when not
treated with absolute barbarity, and that the rule has been simply to
put them away so that they could not injure themselves or others,
confining, manacling, and otherwise hampering their activities,
regardless of their health or the mental effect on them. In this once
more, as in most of the historical ideas with regard to humanitarian
development, the erroneous notions are due to the fact that the care
for the insane was at its lowest point during the eighteenth and the
early part of the nineteenth century, and that there has been a
magnificent improvement since, though it must not be forgotten that
there has not been a single generation since when there have not been
very serious complaints deservedly uttered of awful neglect of the
insane in some part of the civilized world. We have had revelations
with regard to the care of the insane in the country districts of even
our Eastern States which have been almost incredible. The conditions
that we have come to learn as existing in the South in the care of the
insane, which have been brought to light by the recent investigation
of pellagra, have been of a similar character. The epithet mediaeval
which is applied so often to these conditions is absolutely
unwarranted by our present knowledge of old-time care of the insane.

It has been concluded that, since care for the insane was so neglected
in the eighteenth century, it must have been almost infinitely worse
in preceding centuries. The same fallacy lies at the root of a great
many false impressions with regard to mediaeval and Renaissance
history. The eighteenth was the lowest of centuries in art,
literature, education, and humanitarian purpose. The preceding
centuries exhibit some very interesting developments of care for the
insane, some of which anticipate our most modern ideas. At Gheel in
{203} Belgium, from the earlier Middle Ages, they cared for defectives
on the village plan. Similar institutions were not infrequent. They
developed the "open door" system of caring for the insane and insane
institutions were mainly in connection with monasteries, well out in
the country, and under good conditions, since they were never crowded.
It is always crowding that brings serious abuses with it and leads to
what seems to be barbarity, but is really an inability to cope with
the large problem with inadequate means.

It so happened that just before the beginning of Columbus' Century
there was a special development of care for the insane and the opening
of a series of hospitals that represent an epoch in the history of
care for these poor people. The most important part of this
development of the fifteenth century occurred in Spain. Asylums were
founded at Valencia, Saragossa, Seville, Valladolid and Toledo. This
movement has sometimes been attributed to Moorish or Mohammedan
influence, but even Lecky, in his "History of European Morals," has
rejected these assertions which are absolutely without proof. Spain
continued to be the country in which lunatics were best cared for in
Europe down to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Pinel, the
great French psychiatrist who struck the manacles from the insane of
France, declared Spain to be the country in which lunatics were
treated with most wisdom and most humanity. In his book on "Mental
Alienation" he gives some details of the treatment which show a very
modern recognition of the need to be gentle and careful of the insane
rather than harsh and forceful.

In England a rather important development of care for the insane
occurred during this century in connection with Bedlam Hospital,
London. This, originally founded as a home for the suffering poor, as
its name Bethlehem (house of bread) implies, whether they had any
specific ailment or not, came after a time to be a hospital, and then
as a further development confined its care to the insane. Tyndale is
the first to use the word Bedlam as meaning a madhouse or a madman, so
that the conversion had evidently taken place in his time. One very
interesting custom developed which serves to show the mode of
treatment practised. A "bedlam" came to {204} signify one who had been
discharged from this hospital with the license to beg. After recovery
from their acute conditions the insane were allowed to go out on
condition, if there was no one to care for them, that they wore a tin
plate on their arms as a badge to indicate that they had been for a
time in the asylum. This tin plate aroused the sympathy of those they
met and they were helped in various ways by the people of the time.
Besides, it served as a warning that, since such people had been for a
time in the asylum, they were not to be irritated nor treated quite as
other folk, but on the contrary to be cared for. They were known as
bedlamers, bedlamites or bedlam beggars. They were treated so well
that tramps and other beggars of various descriptions obtained
possession of badges and abused the confidence of the public.

After Henry VIII's time Bedlam, which had been a religious
institution, passed under the care of the state, and from this time on
the story of abuses of all kinds is repeated at successive
investigations in every other generation. Evelyn, in his "Diary of
1656," notes that he saw several poor creatures in Bedlam in chains.
In the eighteenth century it became the custom for those seeking
diversion and entertainment to visit Bedlam and observe the antics of
the insane patients as a mode of amusement. This was done particularly
by the nobility and their friends. A penny was charged for admission
into the hospital, and there is a tradition that at one time an annual
income of £400 accrued from this source. This would mean that one
hundred thousand people had visited the hospital in the course of a
year. Some of Hogarth's pictures show the hospital being visited in
this way by fashionable ladies.

In Rome the Popes, recognizing the superiority of the care for the
insane as practised in Spain and in Navarre, opened a Pazzarella at
Rome in the sixteenth century under the care of three Navarrese. This
hospital for the insane "received crazed persons of whatever nation
they be and care is taken to restore them to their right mind; but if
the madness prove incurable they are kept during life and have food
and raiment necessary to the condition they are in." Evidently they
{205} looked for improvement in many cases and expected to allow the
patients to leave the asylum at least for a time, though if their
alienation continued they were kept. Just about the end of Columbus'
Century a Venetian lady of wealth, evidently attracted by the kind of
care given the insane, "was moved to such great pity of these poor
creatures upon sight of them that she left them heirs to her whole
estate. This enabled the management with the approbation of Pope Pius
IV to open a new house."

It is after the sixteenth century that decadence in the care of the
insane becomes very marked. This reached its climax, as might well be
expected, just about the same time that hospitals and care for the
ailing reached their lowest ebb of efficiency. Burdett, in his
"Hospitals and Asylums of the World," London, 1901, gives his third
chapter the title, "The Period of Brutal Suppression in Treatment and
Cruelty, 1750 to 1850." This decadence was largely due to the fact
that institutions for the care of the insane became State asylums,
with hired attendants, whose only interest after a time was the
drawing of their salary and having as little trouble as possible with
the care of the insane. In the previous centuries they had been under
the care of the religious orders.




While painters and sculptors and architects and poets during the
Renaissance period were creating masterpieces that were to influence
all succeeding generations, a Spanish soldier, using men as his
material, created a human masterpiece for the accomplishment of great
purposes that was destined to be as vital and enduring as any of the
supreme achievements of the time. As Raphael used color and
Michelangelo marble, and Leonardo da Vinci the original ideas of an
inventive genius of first rank, Ignatius Loyola formed men's wills to
a great creative end that was destined to influence not only Europe
but every continent on the globe perhaps more than any other creation
of the time. The Company of Jesus, as he called it--and he liked to
add the epithet little--the band of trained soldiers whose motto was
to be "For the Greater Glory of God" (_Ad Major em Dei Gloriam_) and
whose purposes were to be as various as all the activities that can be
included under such a standard, came to be within half a century after
his death the most powerful body of intellectual men in their
influence over mankind that the world has ever seen. It was not so
much a deliberate creation as a Providential formation, gradually
finding its place in the world under the guiding genius of a great
soul living on after the death of the body it had informed.

Born in Spain in the Castle of Loyola the year before Columbus
discovered America, the youngest of eleven children, Ignatius until
his thirtieth year was a venturous chivalric soldier. Wounded at the
siege of Pamplona by the French in 1521, when his leg healed in bad
position, he had it rebroken, bearing the awful pain in those
pre-anaesthetic days rather than have his pride annoyed by deformity.
During the enforced idleness he read, after exhausting all the other
reading {207} of the place, especially the romances of chivalry, a
life of Christ and lives of various saints, particularly that of St.
Francis of Assisi, and came to the conclusion that life was only worth
living when lived in imitation of the God Man. Amidst many almost
incredible difficulties, for more than a dozen of years, he formed his
character by spiritual exercises, took up the study of grammar in a
class with little boys, supported himself by begging as one of the
beggar students of the time, and gathered around him at the University
of Paris a group of seven men, who in 1534 took their vows with him as
members of the Company of Jesus. With true Spanish chivalry, their
first object was to win over the Holy Land from the infidels by going
to Jerusalem and converting it. Prevented by war from doing this, they
became teachers and missionaries in Italy. Their zeal was so great and
yet so directed by reason, they were so absolutely unselfish and had a
charm that attracted so much attention, that they accomplished
wonders. The Pope received them with kindness and gave them
provisional confirmation of their rule. Pope Paul III had insisted on
limiting the number of religious orders because of abuses that had
arisen in them, but after reading Ignatius' rule he declared "the
finger of God is here," gave them the fullest confirmation and in 1543
they were acknowledged as one of the religious orders of the Church.

Francis Thompson has summed up very strikingly, with a poet's eye for
effect, the situation in Europe when Loyola was born. That will give
the best idea what a confusion there was all around him at the moment
when this son of an obscure nobleman began the work that was finally
destined to bring order out of much of the religious and educational
chaos of the time at least:

  "It was a great, a brilliant, a corrupt epoch, fraught with
  possibilities of glory and peril to a youth of Spain. The old order
  was yielding. Throughout Europe the nations were loud with the
  falling ruins of feudalism, and the consolidation of absolute
  monarchies was ushering in the new political creation. In a mighty
  dust of war and revolt Christendom itself was vanishing, leaving in
  its stead an adjustment of States {208} on a secular basis, to be
  known as 'the balance of European Power.'

  "In the year after little Loyola's birth Columbus sailed to begin
  the New World. When the boy passed to the Court the day of Ferdinand
  and Isabella was done; Charles V was waiting to ascend the Spanish
  throne. Before he began the campaign which ended in the breach of
  Pamplona, Charles had inherited the sceptre of Spain and been
  elected to the Empire of Germany. The great captain, Gonsalvo de
  Cordova, was dead; Francis I was King of France, singing _'Souvent
  femme varie,_ and preparing to tilt with Charles for the supremacy
  of Europe. English Harry was still bluff Hal, no gospel light yet
  dawned from Boleyn's eyes and many an English Queen, little dreaming
  of that perilous dignity to come, still bore her head on her
  shoulders. But a thick-necked young German friar, with the
  Reformation in his cowl, was about to cut the tow-rope between the
  Teuton nations and the boat of Peter. There was a constable Bourbon
  who should presently halloo those revolting Teutons to the sack of
  Rome, there was Cellini, a goldsmith, who should brag to have killed
  him there: a young Gaston de Foix was to flame athwart Italy, and
  leave like a modern Epaminondas--the victors weeping at Ravenna: a
  Bayard, last of chivalry in an unchivalric age, was to leave a name
  _sans peur et sans reproche._ And there was a young Loyola: what of
  him? Why, before Cervantes came to laugh Spain's chivalry away,
  should he not be a Spanish Bayard, a Spanish Gaston de Foix, or
  indeed both in one?"

A knight he dreamed to be and a knight he was to be, but very
different from his dreams. Cervantes did not laugh Spain's nor
Europe's chivalry away. Any such thought was farthest from him.
Ignatius Loyola was to demonstrate the chivalry still in many hearts
and was to form and lead men who should accomplish knight-errant tasks
all over the world, thinking not of themselves, but lifting men up, an
army, as I have said he preferred to call it "a little company," of
leaders of others to what seemed less quixotic in his time than in
ours, the greater glory of God, but was not without its visionary
quality even then. A knight undaunted, _sans peur et sans reproche,_
{209} he surely was, but when he fell his purpose actively survived
him, his own great soul had passed into it and it was destined to
survive him apparently forever.

After nearly four centuries the Jesuits, as Ignatius' "little company
of Jesus" came to be called, are still at their work--teachers,
missionaries, writers, scientists, editors; anywhere and everywhere
accomplishing the purpose of their founder, doing anything and
everything that seems best fitted to advance according to their motto,
"The Greater Glory of God." When they were suppressed in 1773 there
were about twenty thousand of them. After a full generation of formal
non-existence they rose from the dead, as it were, and now there are
some sixteen thousand of them in the world, with some twenty-five
thousand pupils in their schools in this country alone, and probably
two hundred thousand in their schools all over the world. No body of
men have more influence, nor is that influence used more for good,
than is true of the Jesuits. They are human, and individual members
have their faults.

Ignatius was named as the first General, and to him is due the
Constitutions of the Order. His only other writing is the little book
of the "Spiritual Exercises," a compendium of the thoughts with which
men were to exercise their souls and hearts during the thirty days of
retreat which they made in order to strip themselves as far as
possible of earthly motives and of all selfishness, so as to take up
seriously the following of Christ. It has been said, and probably with
justice, that this little book has influenced the conduct of men more
since it was written than any that ever came from the hands of man. It
was composed within the same quarter of a century while Machiavelli
was writing "The Prince." The Jesuit constitutions have been the
admiration of all those who have given them deep study and they are
the model of those of most of the religious orders, both of men and
women, founded since his time. They were not written with ideals alone
in mind, but they were a growth in the mind of Ignatius during the
years of his generalate and represent the condensed practical
experience of the Jesuits during the first ten years of their
existence as it passed through the alembic of a genius {210} for
government, directed by a saint's absolute desire only to secure the
greater glory of God.

The only purpose of Ignatius was to influence men to imitate the life
that the God Man had lived on earth, which had become the absorbing
motive of his own life. He gave himself as a result to all forms of
work for social betterment that would conduce to this. The teaching of
catechism to children was considered most important by him, and he
took it on himself as a personal obligation. The social evil and the
reform of erring women were his special care in Rome, and he did not
hesitate to be seen conducting these women to a house of refuge that
he had had established for them in the city. His work for them
accomplished great and lasting good. He realized that education was
the most important means of influencing men, so to this his order was
particularly devoted.

Ignatius' supreme quality was his marvellous ability to select the men
who would be of service in great undertakings. St. Francis Xavier, who
became the great Apostle of the Indies, acknowledged that he owed
under Providence his call to this sublime work entirely to Ignatius,
who had turned his ambition from the pursuit of scholarly distinction
to a life directed to the extension of Christianity. The brilliant
young professor at the University of Paris who at first rather
despised the elderly student, apparently slow-witted because of
unaccustomedness to the task of study, came to look upon Ignatius
almost as a second father, and his expression "What doth it profit a
man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" became for him the
keynote of existence. Once he had given himself to the new purpose in
life, Francis Xavier took nothing back, and when Ignatius obtained for
him the privilege of going to the Indies as an apostle he succeeded in
the ten years between 1542 and 1552 in planting Christianity firmly
among the natives in both India and Japan, and was only prevented from
accomplishing as much for China by his premature death in 1552. As it
was, he left the inspiration of his example to be the spirit of the
greatest missionary work in the East that has ever been known.

This work of the missions was to be one of the principal {211}
features of Jesuit accomplishment during the after-time. While they
conducted some of the most important colleges in Europe and came to
have more than one hundred thousand students under their care within a
hundred years, their missionaries were soon to be found in every land.
The century of Jesuit missions in Japan after St. Francis Xavier's
time is one of the most glorious, edifying and romantic chapters in
Church history. They succeeded in converting many thousands of
Japanese and organizing them into Christian communities. Unfortunately
political troubles within, commercial rivalries of various kinds from
without eventually led to the persecution of the Christians. The
Japanese Christians showed then that they knew how to die with the
firmness of the early martyrs. All the priests were put to death or
banished, and yet so thorough had been the training of the native
catechists that even in our own time, with the opening up of Japan to
missionary work again, village communities have been found in which
the Christian faith was preserved.

In India their success was not less remarkable and they succeeded in
solving the caste problem, which had been up to this time a hopeless
obstacle in the path of Christianity. Robert de Nobili, the nephew of
Bellarmine, the great theological writer and historian of the Church,
adopted the dress and the extremely difficult habits of life of the
high-caste Brahmin. In a few years he succeeded in converting over one
hundred thousand of this hitherto impossibly exclusive class. He had
many worthy companions as his colleagues and successors. Among others
Andrada, the first Apostle of Thibet, succeeded in penetrating into
the forbidden sacred land of the Lamas and in making many conversions.
All the castes of India were taken care of and there were great
missionary centres at Goa, Mangalore, Madura, Calcutta and Bombay.

The Chinese missions of the Jesuits were in their own good time not
less successful and in certain ways gave the order even greater
prestige. Distinguished scholars like Father Ricci impressed
themselves upon even the contemptuous Chinese mandarins, established
astronomical observatories and succeeded in gaining the favor of the
Court. As a consequence, their brethren received permission to
evangelize the people, {212} and proceeded to make many thousands of
converts. Unfortunately, here as in Japan, political disturbances in
China itself and Western commercial jealousies, with the fear that the
Jesuits might favor certain nations rather than others in trade, led
eventually to their banishment and the destruction of their missions.

It is on the American continent, however, that the story of the Jesuit
missions is particularly interesting for Americans. Ignatius himself
founded the missions in South America, opening up the missions of
Brazil through Father De Nobreza in 1549. Later in Chili, in Peru and
in Mexico the Jesuits labored with unexampled success among the
Indians. At the beginning of the seventeenth century they established
the famous Reductions of Paraguay. These were communities of Christian
Indians living in peaceful ways in the most happy community life. The
story of the life led by the Indians in these Reductions reads more
like some ideal commonwealth than an actual chapter of the history of
a savage people gradually being brought to a happy civilization.
Students of social order have often gone back to study the ways and
means by which this great work was accomplished and have been
enthusiastic in their praise of the marvels accomplished. In 1717
these Reductions in Paraguay counted over one hundred thousand
Christian Indians. With the suppression of the Society in the
Portuguese dominions after the middle of the eighteenth century they
fell into decay, and an accomplished ideal of human life that made men
happier than has perhaps ever before been the case disappeared from

In North America the labors of the Jesuits were quite as wonderful as
elsewhere, perhaps even more marvellous in the heroism displayed than
in any other part of the globe. Their labors among the Indians, though
they risked and often incurred torture and death and though their
lives involved the most difficult kind of labors under the most trying
conditions of hardship, lack of food and suffering from the
inclemencies of the climate, and the still more uncertain temper of
the savages, form a chapter in the history of humanity that is among
the most stirring tales of human bravery for a high, unselfish
purpose. The lives of such men as Fathers Daniel, Lallemant, {213}
Bréboeuf, Jogues and Marquette are monuments of supreme human devotion
to the great cause of humanity and Christianity. They preceded the
pioneers, and their stories of life among the Indians as told in the
"Jesuit Relations" are the most precious documents in the early
history of exploration on this continent, making important
contributions to the sciences of Indian ethnology and of American
geography, as well as other departments of knowledge. Bancroft said of
them: "The history of their labors is connected with the origin of
every celebrated town in the annals of French America; not a cape was
turned, nor a river entered but a Jesuit led the way." Parkman has
paid a fine tribute to their work as missionaries and pioneers, though
it is sad to see how ill he appreciated the motive of their work and
how he failed almost completely to realize the sublime humanity of
their intentions.

Everywhere they went they devoted themselves not only to the spread of
Christianity, but also to the gathering of precious scientific
information, which they transmitted to Europe. They brought about the
introduction into Europe of valuable botanical specimens, especially
of medicinal plants and various substances that they found in use
among the Indians. The name Jesuits' bark for quinine is only a
testimony to the fact that it was a missionary of the order in Brazil
who first learned how valuable this substance was in the treatment of
malarial fevers and brought about its introduction into Europe. They
compiled dictionaries of the Indian languages, which are now the only
remains of some of these native American languages, important
contributions to philology. Often these language studies are the only
significant evidence of the relationships among the Indian tribes and
of their real place of origin in the country. The geographical
knowledge that they gathered and transmitted was most precious.

All this was done in the midst of a self-sacrificing life among the
Indians that a modern reads with ever-increasing astonishment. It
seems almost incredible when it is recalled that the men who bore
these sufferings so heroically were always highly educated, scholarly
graduates of European colleges and often the descendants of gently
nurtured families. Not infrequently the missionaries could see but
very little fruit {214} from their labors for long periods and they
had to be satisfied if they could make even a few converts among the
old and the women and children as the result of years of labor. The
contribution to civilization of these men, formed after the mighty
saintly mind of Columbus' great contemporary Ignatius Loyola, is one
of the greatest things that we owe to Columbus' Century.

The most important function of the Jesuits, however, as planned by
Ignatius himself, was not missionary work, but education. Ignatius
contemplated that his little Company of Jesus should be, first of all,
teachers. His constitutions arranged the training and outlined the
methods. Before a generation had passed after his death they had some
of the best schools in Europe. Everywhere the Jesuit schools were
attended by the better classes, and the first century of the history
of the Jesuits had not closed before there were more than one hundred
thousand students in attendance in their classrooms. The reason for
this was that their system of teaching and of intellectual discipline
turned out scholars better than any other. What they taught as the
basis of education was the classics. The humanities had come in as a
great feature of education with the Renaissance. When the order was
founded the Renaissance spirit was at its height and the schools of
the New Learning had multiplied all over Europe. The Jesuits adopted
it as the best means of training the mind, and how well they used it
history shows.

At once, with that careful attention to details so characteristic of
the order, they began to systematize education, and the great _ratio
studiorum_, probably the most significant contribution to the
literature of methods of education ever made, was the result. It
emphasized particularly the necessity for the prelection, that is, of
preliminary discussion and explanation of the lesson which the
students were expected to study for the next day, careful methods of
recitation and demonstration and then finally insisted on the need of
frequent repetitions. Competition was looked upon as a most precious
element for the arousing of student interest. After a period of
neglect, we are coming back to this thought once more. Themes, that
is, written exercises, and especially those {215} in which the
language to be learned was directly employed, were set down as a most
important factor in linguistic education. The actual use of the
language to be learned in class was dwelt on. After the classics the
student was expected to take a course in philosophy, that is, in logic
and general metaphysics and psychology, before graduation. Above all,
moral as well as intellectual training was insisted on.

In his "Essays on Educational Reformers," Quick summed up in the first
paragraph of his book the place of the Jesuits in education rather
strikingly: "Since the revival of learning, no body of men has played
so prominent a part in education as the Jesuits. With characteristic
sagacity and energy, they soon seized on education as a stepping-stone
to power and influence; and with their talent for organization, they
framed a system of schools which drove all important competitors from
the field, and made Jesuits the instructors of Catholic, and even, to
some extent, of Protestant Europe. Their skill in this capacity is
attested by the highest authorities, by Bacon and Descartes, the
latter of whom had himself been their pupil; and it naturally met with
its reward: for more than one hundred years nearly all the foremost
men throughout Christendom, both among the clergy and laity, had
received the Jesuit training, and for life regarded their old masters
with reverence and affection."

If the estimation of any body of teachers is to be rightly adjudged,
surely there can be no better source of evidence with regard to them
than what is to be obtained from their students. Almost without
exception pupils of the Jesuits are most ardent in their praise. Only
those who do not know them personally have been bitter in denunciation
of them. To know them well enough is to love and honor them.

A few of the names of the great pupils of the Jesuit schools will
serve to exemplify the sort of men that they were influencing by their
education. Among them were: Bossuet, Corneille, Molière, Bourdaloue,
Tasso, Fontenelle, Diderot, Voltaire, Bourdelais, Descartes, Buffon,
Justus Lipsius, Muratori, Calderon, Vico the jurisconsult, Richelieu,
Tilly, Malesherbes, Don John of Austria, Luxemburg, Esterhazy,
Choiseul, St. Francis de Sales, Lambertini, one of the great scholars
of his {216} time, afterwards the most learned of Popes under the name
of Benedict XIV, and the late Pope Leo XIII, one of the greatest of
the moderns.

Some idea of the productiveness of the Jesuits as scientific,
philosophic and literary writers may be obtained from the catalogue of
their works issued by the Fathers de Backer and which has been brought
up to date by Father Sommervogel. Hughes, in "Loyola and the
Educational System of the Jesuits" in the Great Educators Series
(Scribner's, 1902), has summed up the significance of these works:

  "But at length the two Fathers de Backer published a series of seven
  quarto volumes, in the years 1853-1861; and the first step they
  followed up, in the years 1869-1876, with a new edition in three
  immense folios, containing the names of 11,100 authors. This number
  does not include the supplements, with the names of writers in the
  present century, and of the anonymous and pseudonymous authors. Of
  this last category. Father Sommervogel's researches, up to 1884,
  enabled him to publish a catalogue, which fills a full octavo volume
  of 600 pages, with double columns. The writers of this century, whom
  the De Backers catalogued in their supplement, filled 647 columns,
  folio, very small print. Altogether the three folios contain 7,086
  columns, compressed with every art of typographical condensation.

  "Suarez of course is to be seen there, and Cornelius à Lapide,
  Petau, and the Bollandists. A single name like that of Zaccaria has
  117 works recorded under it--whereof the 116th is in thirteen
  volumes quarto, and the 117th in twenty-two volumes octavo. The
  catechism of Canisius fills nearly eleven columns with the notices
  of its principal editions, translations, abridgments; the
  commentaries upon it, and critiques. Rossignol has 66 works to his
  name. The list of productions about Edmund Campion, for or against
  him, chiefly in English, fills in De Backers' folio, two and a half
  columns of minutest print. Bellarmine, in Father Sommervogel's new
  edition, fills fifty pages, double column.

  "Under each work are recorded the editions, translations, sometimes
  made into every language, including Arabic, {217} Chinese, Indian;
  also the critiques, and the works published in refutation--a
  controversial enterprise which largely built up the Protestant
  theological literature of the times, and, in Bellarmine's case
  alone, meant the theological Protestant literature for 40 or 50
  years afterwards. Oxford founded an anti-Bellarmine chair. The
  editions of one of this great man's works are catalogued by
  Sommervogel under the distinct heads of 54 languages.

  "In the methodical or synoptic table, at the end of the De Backers'
  work, not only are the subjects well-nigh innumerable, which have
  their catalogues of authors' names attached to them, but such
  subjects too are here as might not be expected. Thus "Military Art"
  has 32 authors' names under it; Agriculture 11; Navy 12; Music 45;
  Medicine 28.

  "To conclude then this history of our Educational Order, we have one
  synoptical view of it in these twelve or thirteen thousand authors,
  all of one family. We have much more. This one work 'attesting,' as
  De Backer says in his Preface, 'at one and the same time a
  prodigious activity and often an indisputable merit, whereof three
  and a half centuries have been the course in time, and the whole
  world the place and theatre, is a general record of religion,
  letters, science and education in every country, civilized or
  barbarous, where the Society of Jesus labored and travelled.'"

Very often it seems to be thought that, since the basis of Jesuit
education was the classics, therefore little or no attention was paid
to the sciences and consequently an important phase of human
intellectual development was neglected and an essential set of
interests of humanity were set back or at least failed of their
evolution. Those who think that, however, fail entirely to know the
history of the Jesuits and their educational efforts and achievements.
As a matter of fact, the Jesuits have always had distinguished
scientists among them, and many of the great discoverers and teachers
in science for the last three centuries and a half have been members
of the order. Very early in their history the Jesuits turned their
attention to astronomy, then the one of the physical sciences most
developed, and nearly every important Jesuit College soon had an
observatory in which good work {218} was done. When Gregory XIII,
scarcely more than a quarter of a century after Ignatius' death,
wanted to bring about the reformation of the calendar, it was to a
Jesuit, Father Clavius, that he turned. Ever since that time there
have been distinguished Jesuit astronomers. In our own time, Father
Secchi, the Jesuit, probably did more important work than any other
single astronomer of the third quarter of the nineteenth century.
Among the names of the Jesuit astronomers are: Father Scheiner, who
made observations particularly on the sun; Father Cysatus, whose
papers on comets are justly numbered among the most important
concerning this subject; Father Zupi, who first described the dark
stripes or bands on Jupiter and first saw the phases of Mercury which
Galileo surmised rather than saw; Father Grimaldi, who studied Saturn
and drew up one of the first maps of the moon worthy of the name;
Father Riccioli, who introduced the lunar nomenclature; Father
Maximilian Hell, whose memory our own Newcomb vindicated, and many

They were noted for their intimate relations with scholars who were
devoting themselves to similar subjects, and they were close
correspondents of Kepler and succeeded in helping him to keep his
professorship at the University of Gratz when the Emperor of Austria
issued a decree banishing all Protestant professors from Austrian
Universities. [Footnote 21]

  [Footnote 21: About this same time when Harvey on a trip through
  Europe went to visit the Jesuits in their colleges in a number of
  towns, the fact was noted by the men who accompanied him, and they
  jested with him as regards the possibility of his either converting
  the Jesuits or being converted by them. He said, however, that he
  found nowhere more sympathetic friends and interested scholars than
  among these religious. His friendship for them has even given some
  ground for the declaration that he may have been a Catholic.]

It must not be thought, however, that the Jesuits were interested only
in astronomy. They had a large number of mathematicians and of
teachers of all the physical sciences. The famous Roman College,
founded in St. Ignatius' time, was always looked up to as the type of
what a Jesuit College should be. It was here that the great scholarly
Father Kircher taught for nearly half of the seventeenth century. He
was invited to Rome to begin his teaching there just {219} before the
condemnation of Galileo. He would not have received the invitation had
there been the slightest feeling of opposition on the part of the
Church or his order to the teaching of science. While teaching at the
Roman College he wrote a series of text-books on all phases of
physical science. There are several text-books on magnetism, one on
light, a second on sound, a third on astronomy, a fourth on the
subterranean world and many others.

It would be easy to think that these books are mere compilations and
that they were probably scarcely more than small hand-books of the
imperfect knowledge of the time. On the contrary, they are magnificent
large volumes beautifully printed, finely illustrated, bibliographic
treasures full of original observation. They are some of the best
text-books ever issued. Father Kircher's originality is demonstrated
by the fact that he is the perfecter of the projecting stereoscope or
magic lantern, which he was led to invent in his desire to be able to
make demonstrations to his classes. He also founded the Kircherian
Museum, by which the teaching of anthropology and ethnology were
greatly furthered through the curiosities sent to Rome by the Jesuit
missionaries all over the world. His book, "On the Pest," is full of
observations of great value and contains the first suggestions that
infectious diseases are carried by insects. There was no subject that
he touched that he did not illuminate.

Since that time there have been many distinguished Jesuit scientists,
and they have continued their work down to our own day. At the present
time, one of the best known of biologists in the special field of
entomology is Father Wasmann, S.J., who has published some seven
hundred papers on ants, their hosts and guests, and who, taking
advantage of the help of his brethren all over the world, has
described many hundreds of new species. How successful the Jesuits
have been in their pursuit of science will perhaps be best realized
from the fact that, while in Poggendorff's "Biographical Dictionary of
Science" out of something less than nine thousand names nearly one
thousand are Catholic clergymen, about five hundred of these are
Jesuits. Their occupations first of all as priests often left them but
little leisure {220} for scientific investigations, and yet they
succeeded in stamping their names upon the history of science.

Two departments of modern science owe much to them. Father Secchi's
wonderful inventions of instruments for meteorology were awarded
prizes by the French Academy of Sciences, and other members of the
order made successful investigations in the science. The Jesuits in
the Philippines and the West Indies have done more to study out the
conditions which precede cyclones and hurricanes so as to give warning
with regard to them than any others. Their work was fully recognized
by the United States Government. Many of the Jesuit colleges and
universities throughout the world now have seismological observatories
for the study of earthquakes, and undoubtedly their intimate
connection and wide distribution will bring important details of
information into this department of knowledge from which significant
conclusions may be reached.

The work of the Jesuits has come to be better appreciated in
English-speaking countries, where old religious prejudices hampered
its proper recognition, until comparatively recent times. Macaulay, in
his essay on Ranke's "History of the Popes," has summed up the
achievements of the Jesuits in his own striking way. When he wrote the
Jesuits were unknown personally in England, and so it is not
surprising that there are passages in his panegyric that are full of
the old prejudices which had accumulated in English history and by
which the term Jesuitic has become a word of the worst reproach.
Macaulay's wide reading, however, had brought to him a very extensive
knowledge of the wonderful work accomplished by Loyola and his sons
during the two centuries after their foundation. The passage is too
well known to be more than referred to here.

His tribute to their successful work as missionaries all over the
world, which undoubtedly set the fashion after which Protestant
historians in English-speaking countries have come to acknowledge the
marvellous work of the Jesuits among the savages, is not so well
known: "The old world was not wide enough for this strange activity.
The Jesuits invaded all the countries which the great marine
discoveries of the preceding {221} age had laid open to European
enterprise. In the depths of the Peruvian mines, at the marts of the
African slave-caravans, on the shores of the Spice Islands, in the
observatories of China, they were to be found. They made converts in
regions which neither avarice nor curiosity had tempted any of their
countrymen to enter, and preached and disputed in tongues of which no
other native of the West understood a word."

No wonder that Parkman, who in some ways has helped to make us
Americans understand them better but who in many ways is utterly
lacking in proper sympathy for them probably because he failed to know
them well personally, said of them:

  "The Jesuit was, and is, everywhere--in the schoolroom, in the
  library, in the cabinets of princes and ministers, in the huts of
  savages, in the tropics, in the frozen north, in India, in China, in
  Japan, in Africa, in America; now as a Christian priest, now as a
  soldier, a mathematician, an astrologer, a Brahmin, a mandarin,
  under countless disguises, by a thousand arts, luring, persuading,
  or compelling souls into the fold of Rome."

He feels sure that there must be much to condemn in them, since they
have been the subject of so much criticism and persecution. Like many
another, he cannot bring himself to think that their founder's last
wish for them, that they should be persecuted even as their Lord and
Master was, should be the symbol of their fate. Where he knows them
best, however, as in Canada, he has unmixed praise for them, though he
declares that it is not for him to eulogize them, but to portray them
as they were.

At once the keynote for the proper appreciation of the Jesuits and the
summary of what Loyola accomplished through them is to be found in the
closing paragraphs of Francis Thompson's "Life of St. Ignatius"
(Benzigers': New York, 1909, pp. 318):

  "Issuing from this Manresan cave, forgotten by the world which he
  had forgotten, and rejected in the land which bore him, single and
  unaided he constructed and set in motion a force that stemmed and
  rolled back the reformation which had engulfed the North and
  threatened to conquer {222} Christendom. He cast the foundations of
  his Order deep; and, satisfied that his work was good, died--leaving
  it for legacy only the God-required gift that all men should speak
  ill of it.

  "Most singular bequest that Founder ever transmitted, it has
  singularly been fulfilled. The union of energy and patience,
  sagacity and a self-devotion which held nothing impossible that was
  bidden it, were the leading qualities of St. Ignatius; and so far as
  his Order has prospered, it has been because it incarnated the
  qualities of its Founder. The administrative genius which, among the
  princes of Europe or the 'untutored minds' of Paraguay, is perhaps
  its most striking secular feature, comes to it direct from the man
  who might have ruled provinces in the greatest empire of the
  sixteenth century; but chose rather to rule, from the altars of the
  Church, an army which has outlasted the armies of Spain, and made
  conquests more perdurable than the vast empire which drifted to its
  fall in the wake of the broken galleons of the Armada."

The Jesuits are literally one of the greatest creations of this great
period. Not to know them as such is to miss the significance of their
order and not a little of the true spirit of the epoch from which they
sprang. The arts and literature of the Renaissance produced no work
destined to live so vividly, nor to influence men in all succeeding
generations so deeply, as "the little company of Jesus," as Ignatius
of Loyola conceived and organized it.


  [Illustration: HOLBEIN, SIR THOMAS MORE]



While in this great period of the Renaissance, Raphael, Leonardo da
Vinci and Michelangelo, and so many others, were demonstrating the
power of the human mind to express itself in aesthetic modes of all
kinds, and Copernicus and Regiomontanus and Vesalius and Paracelsus
were showing how man's intellect might penetrate the mysteries of the
universe without him and that smaller universe the microcosm that he
is himself, and Erasmus and Pico della Mirandola and Linacre were
exhibiting human scholarship at its highest, a great contemporary in
England expressed human life at its best in strong terms of the human
will. This was Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, put to
death by Henry VIII, but not until he had succeeded in making out of
his life a wonderful work of living art of the profoundest
significance, to which men of all classes have been attracted ever
since. He was a great scholar, a great lawyer, a great judge--the
only man who ever cleared the docket of the English Court of
Chancery,--a writer of distinguished ability not only in his own
language but in Latin, a philosopher who so far as the consideration
of social problems was concerned deserves a place beside Plato: yet
not for any of these attainments is he famous, but for his unflinching
following of what he saw to be his duty even though it cost him
everything that men usually hold dear--life, reputation, property and
even the possibility of poverty and suffering for those he held dear
after his death.

Sir Thomas More was born in London, February 7, 1478. We are likely to
think of the Wars of the Roses as farther away from us, but they were
not yet over. Edward the Fourth was now firmly fixed on the throne,
but there had been stormy times for the monarchy in his reign. Edward
{224} originally ascended the throne in March, 1461, but the revolt of
the Kingmaker Earl of Warwick had led to the restoration of poor Henry
VI in 1470, and Edward had to flee the country. He returned in 1471,
defeated Warwick at Barnet, April 14, 1471, and Margaret of Anjou at
Tewkesbury, May 4, 1471. There was tranquillity for a dozen of years
after this, but it was not until Henry VII defeated Richard III at
Bosworth in 1485, and then married the Yorkist Princess Elizabeth,
that peace was assured to England. It was into a very disturbed
England, then, that Sir Thomas More was born. As a boy he had as
teacher Nicholas Holt, who seems, with the true Renaissance spirit, to
have been thoroughly able to arouse the youth's interest. At the age
of twelve he entered the household of Cardinal Morton, the Archbishop
of Canterbury. It was the good old custom at that time to have boys
brought up in the households of distinguished nobles or high
ecclesiastical dignitaries, with the idea that association with men of
parts represented the best stimulus for that development of the
intellectual faculties which constitutes real education.

It was not long before young More attracted the attention of the
distinguished old Cardinal, who prophesied his future greatness.
Roper, who married More's daughter Margaret, tells an incident of the
boy's life at this time and adds that, as a consequence of the
Cardinal's appreciation of him. More was sent to the university. He
says in a famous paragraph that shows us More's precocity and that
sense of humor that was to characterize him all his life:

  "Though More were young of years, yet would he at Christmas suddenly
  sometimes step in among the players, and never studying for the
  matter, make a part of his own there presently among them which made
  the lookers on more sport than all the players beside. In whose wit
  and towardness the Cardinal much delighting, would often say of him
  to the nobles that divers times dine with him: 'This child here
  waiting at the table, whoever shall live to see it, will prove a
  marvellous man.' Whereupon for his better furtherance in learning,
  he placed him at Oxford."

After some four years in the Cardinal's household, More {225} went to
the university on the bounty of his patron, and afterwards took up the
study of law and was admitted to the bar.

When he was twenty-six More became a member of Parliament, and the
next year, in 1505, he married. The story of his marriage has an
interest rather unique of its kind. He had gone down to the home of
John Colt of Newhall, in Essex, with the avowed purpose of getting him
a wife. He had been told that John's elder daughter was just the
person for him. When he got down there he liked the second daughter
better, but married her elder sister so as not to subject her to the
discredit of being passed over. There are those who have said that his
sanctity began right there. It is to be hoped that his wife knew
nothing of it until much later.

The year of his marriage, when he might reasonably have been expected
to be circumspect as to his political future, More strenuously opposed
in Parliament King Henry's (VII) proposal for a very large subsidy as
the marriage portion of his daughter Margaret. In spite of his youth,
his arguments in the matter were so forcible and in accord with
old-time custom and law in England that the House of Commons reduced
the subsidy to scarcely more than a quarter of the amount demanded.
When his favorite courtiers brought to Henry VII the news that a man
whom he would deem scarcely more than a beardless boy had brought
about the disappointment of his hopes and schemes and deprived him of
an opportunity to fill his coffers, than which nothing was dearer to
the miserly King's heart, it is easy to understand that More was not a
favorite at Court.

More seems to have considered it advisable to absent himself from
England for a while at this time, because of the king's displeasure.
This provided an opportunity to spend some time at Paris, and also at
Louvain. At Louvain he began that acquaintance with Erasmus which
ripened into the enduring intimacy of later life. No opportunity seems
to have been missed by him to develop his intellect and broaden his
intellectual interests. While he was a lawyer, the Greek authors
became a favorite subject of study and philosophy and science his
diversions. Literally, it might be said of {226} him, that there was
nothing that was human that did not interest him.

After some time, More returned to London and took up the practice of
law. After the death of Henry VII, in 1509, he became the most popular
barrister of the day and very soon obtained an immensely lucrative
practice. He refused to receive fees from the poor, and especially
from widows and orphans who seemed to him to be oppressed in any way.
Tradition shows him as a sort of legal aid society for the city of
London at that time. He absolutely refused to plead in cases which he
thought unjust. Such punctilious practice of the law is sometimes said
to hamper a successful career and, above all, lead to the loss of the
opportunities that bring a lawyer into prominence. The very opposite
happened with More, and he became the best known of his profession
before he was forty.

The pleasantest part of More's life was these years of his
professional career. He then had the opportunity to associate
frequently in the most charming of friendly and literary intercourse
with the group of men whose names are famous in the English
Renaissance. He and Erasmus were life-long friends, and perhaps there
is no greater tribute to Erasmus' character than More's devoted
affection for him, and his sympathetic devotion to More. Erasmus
himself, though a much greater scholar, had nothing like the depth and
strength of character possessed by More. The men were in many ways
almost exact opposites of each other, and perhaps they felt how
complementary their qualities were. More was eminently practical,
Erasmus was rather impractical; More was humorous, Erasmus was witty.
More sympathized with all humanity, even when he found something to
criticise; Erasmus' criticism was likely to be bitter and he laughed
at rather than with people, so that he did not make himself generally
loved, but quite the contrary, except for a few close friends, while
the most typical characteristic of More's life is the love and
affection it aroused.

More's family life is one of the most interesting features of his
career. Erasmus has spoken of it with enthusiastic admiration and, as
he had personal experience of it for rather {227} long periods at
several different times and was himself a highly sensitive, readily
irritable individual, his testimony in the matter is all the more
significant. It may be due to Erasmus' enthusiastic admiration for
More, but in any case it shows us how thoroughly he appreciated and
was ready to place on record his enjoyment of the privilege of being
received as a friend into the household:

  "Does my friend regulate his household, where misunderstandings and
  quarrels are altogether unknown! Indeed, he is looked up to as a
  general healer of all differences, and he was never known to part
  from any on terms of unkindness. His house seems to enjoy the
  peculiar happiness that all who dwell under its roof go forth into
  the world bettered in their morals as well as improved in their
  condition; and no spot was ever known to fall on the reputation of
  any of its fortunate inhabitants. Here you might imagine yourself in
  the academy of Plato. But, indeed, I should do injustice to his
  house by comparing it with the school of that philosopher where
  nothing but abstract questions, and occasional moral virtues, were
  the subjects of discussion; it would be truer to call it a school of
  religion, and an arena for the exercise of all Christian virtues.
  All its inmates apply themselves to liberal studies, though piety is
  their first care. No wrangling or angry word is ever heard within
  the walls. No one is idle; everyone does his duty with alacrity, and
  regularity and good order are prescribed by the mere force of
  kindness and courtesy. Everyone performs his allotted task, and yet
  all are as cheerful as if mirth were their only employment. Surely
  such a household deserves to be called a school of the Christian

Some who have found a lack in the chancellor's life of what may be
called romance, for both his courtships were eminently matter-of-fact,
may find adequate compensation for this and material for the proper
appreciation of More's affectionate nature in the contemplation of the
intense affection which he displayed for his children, and especially
for his daughter Margaret. Margaret More richly deserved all this
affection of her father, but there is probably not a case in history
where such affection has been so charmingly expressed. {228}
Fortunately for us, the extensive correspondence that passed between
father and daughter is largely preserved for us. The letters are
charming expressions of paternal and daughterly affection. Perhaps the
one that may interest the young folks of this generation the most is
that in which Sir Thomas replies to a letter of his daughter's asking
for money. Probably there would be rather ready agreement that, in the
great majority of cases, paternal answers to filial requests for money
in our time are couched in somewhat different terms. The father wrote
with classic references that are meant to make her studies seem all
the more valuable:

  "You ask me, my dear Margaret, for money with too much bashfulness
  and timidity, since you are asking from a father that is eager to
  give, and since you have written to me a letter such that I would
  not only repay each line of it with a golden philippine, as
  Alexander did the verses of Cherilos, but, if my means were as great
  as my desire, I would reward each syllable with two gold ounces. As
  it is, I send you only what you have asked, but would have added
  more, only that as I am eager to give, so am I desirous to be asked
  and coaxed by my daughter, especially by you, whom virtue and
  learning have made so dear to my soul. So the sooner you spend this
  money well, as you are wont to do, and the sooner you ask for more,
  the more you will be sure of pleasing your father."

Linacre, the second of the group with whom More was associated to a
considerable extent, is one of the great characters of the England of
that time. Like More, he had attracted the attention of a great
Churchman, Bishop Selling; when young, he had gone to Italy in his
train and there had had the advantage of intimate association with the
family of the Medici when Lorenzo the Magnificent was training his
boys to be rulers of Italy, political and ecclesiastical. Linacre
stayed some ten years in Italy, mainly during the pontificate of Pope
Alexander VI, of whom so much that is derogatory has been said, but,
instead of having his devotion to the Church lessened by the abuses
that are said to have existed in Italy at this time, he came back to
England as a fervent Catholic. Years afterwards, when toward the end
of life {229} he felt its emptiness, he distributed his property for
educational purposes and became a priest. His foundations in both
Cambridge and Oxford, and especially his foundation of the Royal
College of Physicians, were very valuable contributions to the
intellectual life of England. The College of Physicians lives on under
the constitutions that he provided. His chairs founded at Oxford and
Cambridge were not so fortunate, because the disturbances of the end
of Henry VIII's reign and the time of Edward VI led to the
confiscation of many of these educational foundations, or at least of
their diversion to the King's private purposes.

Erasmus was the greatest scholar of the time, Linacre was looked up to
as perhaps the best Greek scholar of the period, and, while in Italy,
Manutius in Venice had taken advantage of his knowledge for the
editing of certain of the Greek classics. He himself translated a
number of volumes of Galen into Latin, and the translation was
proclaimed, in Erasmus's words, to be better than the original Greek.

The third of this group of friends of More was scarcely less
distinguished than the other two. It was Dean Colet of St. Paul's. He,
too, had been touched by the spirit of the Renaissance, but like all
the others of this group, instead of being attracted towards Paganism
or away from Christianity, his devotion to the Church and his faith
had been broadened and deepened by his knowledge. His sermons at St.
Paul's attracted widespread attention. But his personal influence was
perhaps even more telling.

According to tradition, these men and certain others, as Lyly and at
some times probably John Caius, who afterwards founded Caius College
at Cambridge, used to meet for an afternoon's discussion of things
literary, social and philosophic at the home of Colet's mother in
Stepney. There we have a picture of them arguing over literary
questions with that intense seriousness which characterized the
Renaissance, and in the midst of which Colet had sometimes to restrain
the ardent enthusiasm of the others lest argument should run into
strife. Here, according to tradition, Dame Colet, mother of the Dean,
used sometimes to bring them for a collation some of the strawberries
that had been introduced into England {230} from Holland, probably by
Erasmus himself or through his influence, and some of which were grown
in the Colet garden. With English milk and the sweet cakes of the
time, they made a pleasant interlude in the afternoon or served as a
fitting smoothing apparatus for the end of a discussion that had waxed

Such a group of men make an Academy in the best sense of the word.
When Plato led his scholars through the groves of Academus and
discussed high thoughts with them, the first Academy came into
existence and the English Renaissance furnished another striking
example of how the friction of various many-sided minds may serve to
bring out what is best in all of them. The pleasure of such
intercourse only those who have had opportunities of sharing it can
properly appreciate. The meetings must, indeed, have been events in
the lives of the men, and More, who had not had the opportunity to go
to Italy, must have drunk in with special enthusiasm all that their
long years of Italian experience had given to the others. These
interludes from his more serious practical duties at the bar must have
been most happy and marvellously broadening in their effects.

A good idea of More's interests as a young man between twenty-five and
thirty can be obtained from his setting himself to make a translation
of Pico della Mirandola's "Life, Letters and Works." While Pico was
one of the most learned men of the Renaissance, he was also one of the
most pious. And more than any other he showed the possibility of being
profoundly acquainted with Greek culture, and yet retaining a deep
devotion to religion. More's praise of him in the life that he wrote
shows better than anything else the drift of his own thoughts. The
passage affords a good idea of More's prose style in English, with the
spelling somewhat but not entirely modernized:

  "Oh very happy mind," he writes, "which none adversity might
  oppress, which no prosperity might enhance: Not the cunning of all
  philosophy was able to make him proud, not the knowledge of the
  hebrewe chaldey and arabie language besides greke and latin could
  make him vain gloriuse, not his great substance, not his noble blood
  coulde blow up his heart, {231} not the beauty of his body, not the
  great occasions of sin were able to pull him back into the voluptous
  broad way that lead us to hell: what thing was there of so marvelous
  strength that might overturn that mind of him which now: as Seneca
  saith was gotten above fortune as he which as well her favor as her
  malice hath, saitheth nought, that he might be coupled with a
  spiritual knot unto Christ and his heavenly citizens."

More also wrote some verses on the vicissitudes of fortune, in which
he describes her as distributing brittle gifts among men only to amuse
herself by suddenly taking them back again. It was the literal
expression of his own career, and his advice as to how to defy her is
best illustrated by his own life:

  "This is her sport, thus proveth she her might;
  Great boast she mak'th if one be by her power
  Wealthy and wretched both within an hour.
  Wherefore if thou in surety lust to stand.
  Take poverty's part and let proud fortune go.
  Receive nothing that cometh from her hand.
  Love, manner and virtue: they be only tho,
  Which double Fortune may not take thee fro':
  Then may'st thou boldly defy her turning chance.
  She can thee neither hinder nor advance.'"

The young King Henry VIII became deeply interested in More because of
his brilliancy of intellect, his successful conduct of affairs, his
sterling character and, above all, for his wit and humor. He wanted to
have him as a member of his Court, but this More long resisted. He
preferred independence to a courtier's life, and in spite of the
urging of Wolsey, who had been made a Cardinal by Leo X in 1515, and
alleged how dear his service would be to his majesty, continued to
refuse. After an embassy to Flanders, however, on which he went with
Cuthbert Tunstal to confer with the ambassadors of Charles V, who was
then, however, only Archduke of Austria, upon a renewal of the
alliance with the English Monarch and a further embassy of the same
kind in 1516, {232} More consented to enter the Royal Court. On his
embassy in Flanders he had probably taken the leisure to write out his
"Utopia" in Latin, and it was published on the Continent, though not
published in England until nearly twenty years after his death. The
contact with Erasmus woke More's literary spirit, and Erasmus felt
that there were magnificent possibilities for literature in More's
intellect. Erasmus bewailed his becoming a courtier and says in his
letters "the King really dragged him to his Court. No one ever strove
more eagerly to gain admission there than More did to avoid it."

More's literary reputation rests more particularly on his "Utopia,"
written when he was thirty-seven years of age, during his absence from
England on the commission in the Low Countries with Cuthbert Tunstal.
That absence was but for six months, and this will give some idea of
More's industry. At home he was deep in his law practice, and now when
he had leisure from social and ambassadorial demands he found time to
write one of the most interesting contributions to the science of
government from the social side that probably has ever been written.
It was written in Latin and was first printed at Louvain late in 1516
under the editorship of Erasmus, Peter Giles, sometimes known under
his Latin name as AEgidius, and others of More's literary friends in
Flanders. It was subsequently revised by More and printed by Frobinius
at Basel in November, 1518. The book became popular on the Continent
and was reprinted at Paris and Vienna, but was not published in
England during More's lifetime. More evidently feared that it might be
misunderstood there, though he had been very careful in the course of
the book to make whatever might seem to reflect upon England appear to
be directly referred to some other country.

An English translation was not published in England until Edward the
VI's reign in 1551. The standard translation, however, is that made by
Bishop Burnet. It can scarcely but seem strange that the author of the
history of "The Protestant Reformation," who more than any other
almost kept England from relaxing any of her antipopery feeling or
governmental regulations, should translate the last great Papal {233}
Catholic's book for his countrymen, but it is a tribute the
significance of which cannot be missed. Burnet is said to have been
induced to make the translation from the same feelings of protest
against arbitrary government that led to More's writing of it. The
passages quoted here are always taken from Burnet's translation.

Unfortunately, "Utopia" is mainly known to ordinary readers from the
adjective Utopian, derived from it and which has come to mean a
hopelessly ideal or infeasibly impractical scheme. Doubtless many have
been deterred from even the thought of reading it, because of the
feeling produced that a book of Utopian character could not be of any
serious import. Utopia from the Greek simply means nowhere. More
himself often calls it by the Latin name Nusquama, with the same
meaning. It was simply a country which unfortunately existed nowhere
as yet, in which things were done very differently from anywhere in
civilized Europe at least, but where the people had reasoned out what
ought to be their attitude of mind towards many things which in Europe
following tradition and convention were liable to many abuses and
social wrongs.

Sir Thomas recognized all the danger there was from the so-called
Reformation and did not hesitate to take his part in the controversies
that inevitably came. As early as 1523 he published the answer to
Luther, in 1525 a pamphlet letter against Pomeranus, in 1528 the
dialogue "Quoth He and Quoth I," in 1529 the "Supplication of Souls,"
in 1531 the "Confutation of Tindale," in 1532 his "Apology," in 1533
"The Deballation of Salem and Bizance" and in 1533 the "Answer to the
Supper of the Lord," probably written by either William Tindale or
George Jay. [Footnote 22]

  [Footnote 22: A good idea of how the spelling of the
  English language has changed in four centuries may be
  gathered from the title of one of these controversial
  works of More's, as it appeared recently in the catalogue
  of a bookseller. The frequent use of _y_ where we now use _i_
  would almost make one think that the _i_'s have been
  exhausted in the particular font of type, or else that
  this typesetter had a special fondness for _y_. This latter
  idea is probably true, for, as a matter of fact, in books
  printed about this same time so many _y_'s were not
  ordinarily used.

    "Sir Thomas More A dyaloge . . . whereyn he treatyed dyvers maters
    as of the veneracyon and worshyp of ymagys and relyques, prayng to
    sayntis, and goynge on pylgrymage. Wyth many other thyngys
    touchyng the pestylent secte of Luther and Tyndale, etc. Newly
    oversene. Sm. folio black letter, with the leaf of "fawtes escaped
    in the pryntynge."]

When Cardinal Wolsey, Lord Chancellor, fell after the failure of the
divorce proceedings, the King insisted on Sir Thomas More accepting
the position. More must have known how {234} difficult, indeed almost
impossible, the post would be for him. It was dangerous, however, to
oppose Henry VIII's will, and so within a week after the deposition of
Wolsey, Sir Thomas More was installed as Lord Chancellor, an office
that had very seldom before this been held by a layman, though it has
been held by laymen ever since, almost without exception. His
installation is said to have taken place with the joy and applause of
the whole kingdom. There are some who have said that More was glad to
triumph over Wolsey, and that indeed he took advantage of the
opportunity afforded him by the new dignity to abuse his predecessor
and to show that he had schemed to succeed him. There are no grounds
for such expressions, however, and even Wolsey himself had declared
that More was the man who should have the post, the only one fitted to
succeed him. Erasmus, writing on the matter, is quite sure that More
himself does not deserve to be congratulated, for he foresaw the
difficulties ahead, but the kingdom deserves congratulation. He felt,
too, that it would be a loss to literature. As he said: "I do not at
all congratulate More or literature, but I do indeed congratulate
England, for a better or holier judge could not be appointed."

The most characteristic feature of More's Chancellorship was his
prompt disposing of cases. He realized very well that not only must
justice be done, but as far as possible it must be done promptly, and
the tedious drawing out of cases to great length works injustice, even
though they are justly decided after many years. The Court of Chancery
in England has become a byword for slowness of procedure and has been
satirized on many occasions during the nineteenth {235} century, but
already in the sixteenth century there were many cases before the
Court that had been dragging on for twenty years, and even more.
Delays were mainly due to the fact that Lord Chancellors were occupied
with many other duties and did not always feel equal to the task of
trying cases and weighing evidence. Undoubtedly some delays had been
occasioned by the fact that presents were received, if not by the Lord
Chancellor himself at least by court officials, and the longer cases
were allowed to drag on the more opportunity was there in them for
such irregularities. The clearing up of the calendar of the Court of
Chancery marked an epoch in English legal history and is one of our
best evidences of More's thoroughly practical character.

It is by his death more than anything else that More is admirable.
Here was a man of marvellous breadth of interests, to whom life must
have meant very much. As a young man he had been brought in intimate
contact with the pick of the intellectual men of his time. In early
manhood he had been the chosen friend of the best scholars in
Europe--men like Colet, Erasmus and Linacre, with international
reputations. He had represented his King abroad in important missions
before he was forty. He had shown himself a great lawyer in spite of a
scrupulosity of conscience that would ordinarily be supposed to make
the successful practice of the law extremely difficult.
Notwithstanding the most thorough honesty in every activity of life
and the absence of every hint even of truckling of any kind to popular
or royal opinion, he had been the favorite of all classes. As an
author he wrote books that the world will not willingly let die. They
are occupied with things that men often push away from them, serious,
high-minded, purposeful, yet they are more read now than they were in
his own time. He was a philosopher worthy to be placed beside the
greatest practical philosopher, and his ideal republic, written in his
own profound vein of humor, is a distinct contribution to that form of

To this man there came, about the age of fifty, the highest office
that he could possibly hope to attain in England. He was the favorite
of his King and of the Court. He used his high office for the benefit
of the commonwealth in every way, {236} and above all for the benefit
of the people. He revolutionized methods in chancery and succeeded in
bringing Justice back to haunts of the law, where her presence had
been so rare as almost to be doubted. He had a great future before him
in the possibilities of good for others. Unselfish as he had always
shown himself to be, surely he could have had no greater satisfaction
for his ambition than this. In the midst of his efficient duties there
came a decision to be made with regard to himself. The Lord High
Chancellor of England is often spoken of as the keeper of the King's
conscience. Such More evidently deemed himself to be in reality.
Anyhow, he was the keeper of his own conscience.

The King, unable to obtain a divorce from the wife whom he had married
twenty years before in order to marry a younger, handsomer woman, had
resolved to grant one to himself and for that purpose assumed the
supremacy in Church as well as in State. The great nobles, knowing his
headstrong character, submitted to this usurpation of authority, which
was besides baited with the possibility of enrichment through the
confiscation of monastic property and its transfer to king's
favorites. Even the bishops of England hesitated but for a time, and
then almost to a man took the oath of supremacy which declared Henry
to be supreme head of the Church as well as the State. There were only
one or two notable exceptions to this.

It would seem as though after this there ought to be no difficulty for
More. If the bishops and the clergy of the country were willing to
accept the King as the head of the Church, why should a layman
hesitate? And yet More hesitated. He refused to take the oath of
supremacy. It was represented to him that to refuse was dangerous. On
the other hand, it was shown to him, and it must have been very clear
to himself, that if he took it he would obtain great favor with the
King, and that indeed there was almost nothing that he might not
aspire to. Lord Chancellor he was, but ennoblement and enrichment
would surely come to him. The King had always thought much of him, was
now particularly irritated by his refusal, but would be won to him
completely if he yielded. It seemed not unlikely that a peerage would
be his at once, and {237} that higher degrees of nobility were only a
question of time. Times were disturbed, and he might be able to do
much good, certainly he could not expect that other advisers near the
King would do anything but yield to the monarch's whims.

Here was a dilemma. On the one hand, honor, power, wealth and the
favor of his King, as well as the esteem of his generation; on the
other hand, disgrace, impoverishment of his family by attainder,
imprisonment, probably death. More calmly weighed it all and decided
in favor of following his conscience, no matter what it might cost
him. He did so entirely on his own strength of character and without
any encouragement from others. On the contrary, there was every

Having made his decision he did not proceed to think that everyone
else ought to have seen it the same way, but on the contrary he felt
for the others, realized all the difficulties and calmly recognized
that they might well be in good faith. When the decision of his judges
that he must die was announced to him, he told them very calmly that
he thanked them for their decision and said that he hoped to meet them
in heaven. The passage is well worth reading in More's own quaint,
simple, forcible language.

It is probable that there has never been an occasion in the world's
history when the obligation of following conscience has been more
clearly seen and more devotedly acknowledged than when More went to
death for what was called treason, because he refused to take the oath
that the King of England was the head of the Church as well as of the
State. Every human motive was urgent against his following of
conscience in the matter. He stood almost entirely alone. Bishop
Fisher of Rochester, it is true, was with him, but More stated in one
of his letters that even had the bishop found some way to compound
with his conscience and take the oath as so many other upright and
conscientious men, as they thought themselves and others thought them,
had done, he did not feel that he could take it.

It was urged upon him that the very fact that he stood alone showed
that there must be something wrong about his {238} method of reasoning
and his mode of coming to a decision in the matter. All the bishops of
England had consented to take the oath. Some of them, it is true, had
solaced their conscience by putting in an additional phrase, "as far
as the law of God allowed," or something of that kind, but most of
them had taken it without any such modification, and indeed, as a
rule, the Commissioners who had administered the oath refused to
accept it unless taken literally and without additions.

Perhaps the hardest trial for More's constancy of purpose came from
his own family. When he was imprisoned they were allowed to see him
frequently, with the deliberate idea that they would surely break down
his scruples. His wife absolutely refused to see why anyone should set
himself up in opposition to all the rest of the kingdom and think that
his conscience should be followed no matter what happened, though so
many other people's consciences were apparently at ease in the matter.
As she said to him over and over again, did he think that he was
better than the Bishops of England and the priests who had taken the
oath, and did he set himself up as the only one who properly
understood and could see the right in the question? Some of her
expressions are typical of women in her position and show us how
little human nature has changed in these four hundred years. More
simply laughed at her quietly and gently and, after explaining his
position a few times from varying standpoints, refused to argue with
her, but occupied the time of her visits with talk about other matters
as far as possible. It was not hard to divert her mind, as a rule, to
any other subject, for she did not see very deeply into anything and,
above all, had no hint at all of the serious condition of affairs in

His daughter Margaret, of whom he thought so much, was a much more
dangerous temptress than Mistress More, though of course she did not
think of herself in any such role. She has told the story in a letter
to the Lady Allington, More's step-daughter, for his second wife had
been previously married. Lady Allington had written to Margaret a long
letter, in which she related an interview that she had had with
Audley, the Lord Chancellor, who had promised to help {239} More,
though he declared that the remedy was in More's own hands, if he
would put aside his foolish scruples. Audley had said to Lady
Allington that "he marvelled that More was so obstinate in his own
conceit in matter that no one scrupled save the blind Bishop [Fisher]
and he." Always, when wife or daughter came to see him, they first
prayed together, and I may say that the prayers were not short, for
they included the Seven Penitential Psalms as well as other formal
prayers. When Margaret approached the subject of Lady Allington's
letter and how More's obstinacy was alienating his friends, smiling,
he called her mistress Eve, the temptress, and asked if his daughter
Allington had played the serpent with her "and with a letter set you
at work to come tempt your father again and for the favor that you
bear him labor to make him swear against his conscience and so send
him to the devil."

It was at this time that he emphasized very much the fact that
everyone must make up his conscience for himself. We have the verbatim
report of one of his conversations with his daughter that emphasized
this position very strongly:

  "Verily, daughter, I never intend to pin my soul at another man's
  back, not even the best man that I know this day living. For I know
  not whither he may hap to carry it. There is no man living of whom,
  while he liveth, I may make myself sure. Some may do for favor, and
  some may do for fear, and so might they carry my soul a wrong way.
  And some might hap to frame himself a conscience, and think that if
  he did it for fear God would forgive it. And some may peradventure
  think that they will repent and be shriven thereof, and that so
  shall God remit it to them. And some may be, peradventure, of the
  mind that, if they say one thing and think the while contrary, God
  more regardeth the heart than the tongue; and that, therefore, their
  oath goeth upon what they think and not upon what they say. But in
  good faith, Margaret, I can use no such ways in so great a matter."

In spite of this, Margaret still urged that he was not asked to swear
against his conscience in order to keep others company, but instructed
to reform his conscience by the {240} considerations that such and so
many men consider the oath lawful, and even a duty since Parliament
required it.

Bridgett, in his "Life of Sir Thomas More," gives some details of the
conclusion of the discussion that have a very human interest: "When he
saw his daughter, after this discussion, sitting very sadly, not from
any fear she had about his soul, but at the temporal consequences she
foresaw, he smiled again and exclaimed: 'How now, daughter Margaret?
What now, Mother Eve? Where is your mind now? Sit not musing with some
serpent in your breast, upon some new persuasion to offer Father Adam
the apple yet once again.'

"'In good faith, father,' replied Margaret, 'I can no further go. For
since the example of so many wise men cannot move you, I see not what
to say more, unless I should look to persuade you with the reason that
Master Harry Pattenson made.' (It will be remembered that Pattenson
was More's fool, now in the service of the Lord Mayor.) 'For,'
continued Margaret, 'he met one day one of our men, and when he had
asked where you were, and heard that you were in the Tower still, he
waxed angry with you and said: "Why, what aileth him that he will not
swear? Wherefore should he stick to swear? I have sworn the oath
myself." And so,' says Margaret, 'have I sworn.' At this More laughed
and said 'that word was like Eve too, for she offered Adam no worse
fruit than she had eaten herself.'"

All the details of the scenes of his death have a deep interest of
their own. He was ready to obey the King in everything, except where
he felt his conscience was involved. When they came to ask him not to
make a speech at his execution, because the King wished him not to, he
thanked them very simply and said he was glad to have had the King's
wishes conveyed to him and that he would surely obey them. He added
that he had had in mind to say something, but that now he would
refrain. When it was called to his attention that the clothes that he
wore would fall as a perquisite to the executioner, and that therefore
the worse he wore the less his loss, he asked if there was anyone who
could do him a greater favor than the headsman was going to perform
and {241} that he would prefer to wear his best. He had actually
donned them when it was represented to him by the Governor that this
was a bad precedent to set, and then he changed them for others. He
was the same, meek gentleman in everything, though it might be
expected that his insistence on his conscience against that of all the
others would mark him as an obstinate man absolutely immovable in his
own opinions.

The humor that characterized all his life and that had so endeared him
to his friends did not abandon him even to the very end. Twenty years
before Erasmus had written about it, punning on the name, _Encomium
Moriae_, using the Greek word Moria for folly. Years and high office,
serious persecution, bitter imprisonment, lofty decisions involving
death all had not obliterated it. When he was about to ascend the
scaffold the steps of that structure proved to be rather shaky, and he
asked that he should be given a hand going up, though as for coming
down he said he felt that he might be left to shift for himself. On
the scaffold he commended himself to the headsman, gave him a present
and then, as he was placing his head on the block, his beard, which he
had been unused to wearing before he went to prison, coming on it he
pushed it out of the way, saying "This at least has committed no
treason." All the rest was silent communion with his God.

Thus died one of the greatest men of his race--great in intellect, in
sympathy, in practical philosophy, great above all in character.
_Totus teres atque rotundus_.

Of his execution Lord Campbell, in his "Lives of the Lord Chancellors
of England," said: "Considering the splendor of his talent, the
greatness of his acquirements, and the innocence of his life, we must
still regard his murder as the blackest crime that has ever been
perpetrated in England under the forms of law."

In closing his life of him in "The Lives of the Lord Chancellors,"
Lord Campbell, who had no sympathy at all with More's religious views
and who is quite sure that the Reformation was a very wonderful
benefit to England, declared:


  "I am indeed reluctant to take leave of Sir Thomas More not only
  from his agreeable qualities and extraordinary merits, but from my
  abhorrence of the mean, sordid, unprincipled chancellors who
  succeeded him and made the latter half of the reign of Henry VIII
  the most disgraceful period in our annals."





During the last quarter of Columbus' Century, Europe was very
seriously disturbed and the minds of men very much occupied with the
movement which has come to be called in English-speaking countries at
least the "reformation," though many historians now prefer to speak of
it as the religious revolt in Germany during the sixteenth century.
There is no doubt that this movement was due to the unrest--political,
social and religious--which came over men at this time. The conquests
in scholarship through the study of the Greek and Latin classics had
awakened men's minds. The great achievements in art and architecture
had still further aroused them to a sense of their own power. The
introduction of Greek ideas into the modern world had brought about
great developments in science. Columbus, largely influenced by
classical studies, had initiated a movement that revolutionized men's
thinking with regard to the earth on which they live. Copernicus,
taught by men who were making commentaries on Ptolemy, saw farther
than his masters and gave the world a new universe at this time.
Physical science was developing and biological science, especially in
all that relates to anatomy and physiology, was receiving a marvellous
impetus. No wonder men felt ready for change.

Above all, a complete change in the basis of education influenced men
deeply. For centuries education had occupied itself with science, and
particularly the ethical sciences. Philosophy in its various aspects
constituted the curriculum of the old universities. Metaphysics,
logic, rhetoric, grammar, the ethical philosophies or, as we would
say, sciences of the world, of thought, of speech, and of political
and moral science, though of course also mathematics, music and
astronomy, had been the subjects of special attention. Now men {244}
were trained by means of the classics, the New Learning, as it was
called. Quite naturally they came to know so much more about these
than their fathers had ever had the opportunity to learn and, above
all, they had come to think these so much more important than anything
that had been taught their fathers, that the rising generation were
quite sure that they knew ever so much more than preceding generations
had known. A corresponding state of mind developed in our own time
when, as a consequence of the gradual replacement of the classics in
university curricula by science, another generation arose educated
very differently from its forefathers. What has come to be called
modernism, which may be best defined as the feeling that we in the
modern time know so much more than our forefathers did that we can
scarcely be expected to accept complacently the philosophy and
religion that satisfied them, is really an intellectual movement very
similar to that which can be noted nearly everywhere during Columbus'

The picture of it as drawn by Janssen, in his "History of the German
People" (Vol. III, p. 17), can scarcely fail to attract attention,
because of its anticipation of what are usually considered to be quite
modern ideas. There was the same lack of respect for the older time,
the same feeling that until their precious time men really did not
know enough to be able to take any serious thought about the Church
and Christianity, and the same tendency to make fun of practices of
the older time simply because of failure to understand the spirit
behind them. The passage is all the more interesting when it is
recalled that nearly every one of the men who thus in his younger
years was so sure of the failure of the Church in its mission came
back in later life and recognized that without Christian unity, and
even the dogmatism which earlier he had so contemned, there could be
no real church. Janssen said:

  "Erasmus did, however, seriously propose a revision of the doctrines
  laid down by the early Church. He was inclined to look upon the
  transactions, the controversies, and the doctrinal decisions of the
  christological period as the first step in the continuous
  deterioration of the Church. The Church {245} had since then, he
  considered, departed from her 'ancient evangelical simplicity';
  theology had become subservient to a casuistical philosophy, which
  in its turn had degenerated into the scholastic methods by which the
  actual ruin of Christian doctrine and Christian life had been
  brought about. During the whole of his literary career he waged war
  against this barren scholasticism with an acrimony that had no
  parallel, and its representatives were a butt for his ridicule and
  contempt. Ever since the domination of this scholasticism had set
  in, the whole Western world, he declared, had been subject to a
  spirit of Judaism and Pharisaism which had crushed the true life of
  Christianity and theology and perverted it to mere monastic sanctity
  and empty ceremonialism.

  "The contempt for the Middle Ages as for a period of darkness and
  spiritual bondage, of sophistry in learning, and mere _outwardness_
  in life and conduct, originated with Erasmus and his school, and was
  transmitted by them to the later so-called reformers. Thanks to the
  high esteem in which Erasmus was held for his culture and
  scholarship, his ironical and calumnious writings against the
  mediaeval culture, and against the influence of the Church and the
  traditions of Christian schools, passed for a long time

No wonder that a great many people felt that the religion and
philosophy of life that had been quite good enough for their
forefathers was not good enough for them, because they thought that
they were so far above their forbears in all intellectual attainments.
As a consequence, a great religious revolution that has disturbed
Western Christianity ever since took place. Writers have viewed it
from many and varying standpoints and have agreed to differ about its
significance. The place accorded this revolutionary movement in
history depends entirely on the writer about it. For some historians
it was a great movement in human freedom and the origin of practically
all the blessings of modern civilization. For others it was mainly a
political reaction brought about by ambitious monarchs tempted by the
idea of ruling Church as well as State and, above all, of enriching
themselves by the confiscation of Church property. These two
contradictory views are gradually being brought into some harmony. It
has taken {246} all the power of modern scientific and critical
history, with the consultation of original and contemporary documents
and the critical appreciation of these, to bring us a little nearer
the truth. We are not yet in a position to see this clearly. But we
are much nearer than ever before, and the future is most promising.

In the meantime, the only way that the reform movement can be treated
concretely and objectively in its place in Columbus' Century is to
consider it, as we have every other important phase of the period's
activity, through the lives of the men who are the acknowledged
leaders and prime movers in it. There are three who, though utterly
out of sympathy with each other, are more responsible for the division
of Western Christianity than any others. These are Luther in Germany,
Calvin in France and Switzerland, and through Knox in Scotland, and
finally Henry VIII in England. Undoubtedly all three of these men were
of great force of character, possessed of a personality that enabled
them to dominate others. Luther and Calvin were besides the masters of
a vigorous style in the vernacular when that mode of expression was
rare enough to make them a power over the masses of the people in
their respective countries. Scholars had always used Latin for learned
discussions of religious subjects up to this time, but now these were
brought into the forum of popular debate through the use of the
vernacular. Above all, every man was told that all he needed to do was
read the Scriptures, interpret them for himself and make out his own
religion without the necessity for submitting to any authority. Hallam
declares that "it cannot be denied that the reform was brought about
by stimulating the most ignorant to reject the authority of their
Church," though he adds in comment that "it instantly withdrew this
liberty of judgment and devoted all who presumed to swerve from the
line drawn by law to virulent obloquy and sometimes to bonds and

Lord Acton once declared that the most difficult problem in historical
writing would be to have a confirmed Catholic and a confirmed
Protestant agree in the writing of the lives of the reformers, and
especially of Luther. Very many lives of the three men we have
mentioned have been written, and Lord {247} Acton's suggestion might
well be repeated with regard to nearly all of them. In recent years,
however, owing to the publication of contemporary documents consequent
upon the opening of archives and the scientific development of
history, it has been possible to get actual facts rather than opinions
with regard to them and we are now probably in a better position to
judge them and the movement with which their names and activities are
so intimately connected than any generation since their time. As the
editors of the "Cambridge Modern History" declared in their preface,
"the long conspiracy against the revelation of truth has gradually
given way." "In view of changes and of gains such as these (the
printing of archives), it has become impossible for the historical
writer of the present age to trust without reserve even to the most
respected secondary authorities. While we cannot obtain ultimate
history in this generation, conventional history can be discarded and
the point can be shown that has been reached on the road from one to
the other." These expressions are more true with regard to the history
of the Reformation and the reformers than any other period and men.

All the generalized explanations of Luther's movement that used to be
accepted as accounting for the Reformation and its progress have now
been definitely rejected by the almost universal consensus of
historians. The reaction began at least a generation ago. Hallam, in
his "Introduction to the History of Literature," said:

  "Whatever be the bias of our minds as to the truth of Luther's
  doctrines, we should be careful, in considering the Reformation as a
  part of the history of mankind, not to be misled by the superficial
  and ungrounded representations which we sometimes find in modern
  writers. Such as this, that Luther, struck by the absurdity of the
  prevailing superstitions, was desirous of introducing a more
  rational system of religion; or that he contended for freedom of
  inquiry, and the boundless privileges of individual judgment; or
  what others have pleased to suggest, that his zeal for learning and
  ancient philosophy led him to attack the ignorance of the monks and
  the crafty policy of the Church, which withstood all liberal {248}
  studies. These notions are merely fallacious refinements, as every
  man of plain understanding, who is acquainted with the early
  reformers, or has considered their history, must acknowledge."

Recent historical investigation emphasizes more and more that the
movement was not religious in any sense, except superficially, and
that the forces that gathered behind Luther were political. There was
the opportunity for reigning princes to become both the head of the
Church and the State in their dominions and, above all, to get
possession of the property of the Church and share it with the
nobility or creatures of their own, thus strengthening their hold upon
the government and securing extension of power. We know in our day the
all-persuasive power of political graft and how it saps honesty and
corrupts character. Everywhere the track of it can be followed readily
in the Reformation period.

Luther was not only the first but the most important of these
reformers. There has been more controversy over the true import of his
work than that of any of the others. He was undoubtedly the leader
through whom the religious revolution of this period was brought
about. He had had predecessors, but the work of none of them had
anything like the significance of his. Within the past ten years his
history has been revolutionized. Denifle, the great historian of the
mediaeval universities, by publishing all the documents that show the
worse side of Luther's character created a great commotion in Germany.
Grisar's later life of the reformer is, in accordance with the
traditions of his order, much more irenic, yet makes it very clear how
many of the very generally accepted favorable impressions with regard
to Luther are contradicted by the many lately unearthed materials with
regard to his life now available. Only those who have read these books
can have any pretence to know the realities of the history of the
religious revolt in Germany, though even these probably must not be
considered as representing ultimate truth.

With regard to Luther and the other reformers, as well as the
significance of the whole movement, I have preferred to quote only
Protestant authorities in order to avoid the almost inevitable bias of
my own educational training and {249} environment. Even thus I can
only hope to give an approximately impartial discussion of these men
whose work as I see it did more to hurt human development in every
line of thought than anything else in modern history.

The story of Luther's early life, of the unhappiness of his home, of
the sudden death of his friend which made him turn from a career at
the bar to enter the monastery, all tend to show him by heredity and
personal character as a man of strong impulses ruled by them. There is
no doubt at all that during the early years of his career as a monk
Luther was happy and that the stories of his unhappiness are founded
on inconsiderate expressions of his own in later life, which are
contradicted by documents written in his earlier years. The doctrine
of indulgences, against which he inveighed so vigorously, is as
eminently open to abuse as religion itself--and had undoubtedly been
abused in his time, but the teaching of the Church on the subject
remains exactly what it was in Luther's day and before it, yet has
been accepted by the intelligent members of the Church ever since.
Converts like Newman or Manning, not to mention many others of our
time, find no difficulty at all in accepting it, once they understand
it. The Protestant arguments founded on it are due entirely to
misunderstanding of the true significance of the Church's position in
the matter. Only those who _will_ not cannot understand it. Luther's
declaration that he found the doctrine of indulgences too hard to
comprehend is shown to be one of those interesting ideas as to his
earlier career that developed in his mind in all sincerity in later
life, but which are contradicted by his own writings, for there is
from him an admirable sermon on the subject of indulgences which
contains an excellent exposition of the Church's teaching.

Luther gradually developed into one of the men so common in the
world's history who are quite sure that the world is wrong in nearly
everything and that they are born to set it right. They believe
thoroughly in themselves, they have a great fund of energy to draw on,
they usually have strong powers of expression and there are a large
number of people waiting to be led by them and not a few quite willing
to take {250} advantage for their own purposes of the movement that
the restless create. It is well understood now that the great majority
of men do not think for themselves, but stand ready to accept other
people's thoughts, and often are more willing to carry out such
thoughts to their logical conclusions, or at least to try to fit them
to practical life, than are the original thinkers. The fate of a
generation depends on whom it chooses as its leaders. Unfortunately,
the choice is not often quite voluntary, but is forced on men by
conditions, or they are imposed upon by the genius appeal of the
leader, and sometimes even more by those who gather round him at the
beginning of a movement and help to give it momentum.

Luther's relations with Zwingli, the Swiss reformer, show more clearly
than anything else the character of the reformer, his assurance of his
divine mission and his absolute confidence that he has a
Heaven-directed mission. Zwingli would not agree with Luther's
interpretation of the doctrine of the Last Supper. They proceeded to
anathematize each other, and when induced by friends they met at a
conference, each claimed the victory in the argument. The Zwinglians
seem, indeed, to have recognized the force of Luther's contentions,
but dared not yield entirely, and when they returned to their homes
Zwingli spoke very contemptuously of his antagonist's arguments and
loudly claimed that he had completely vanquished him. This drew from
Luther some bitter denunciations, and among other things Luther wrote
to Jacob Probst of Bremen as follows:

  "In boasting that I was vanquished at Marburg the sacramentarians
  act as is their wont. For they are not only liars, but falsehood,
  deceit, and hypocrisy itself, as Carlstadt and Zwingli show both in
  deeds and words. They revoked at Marburg, as you can see from the
  articles drawn up there, the things hitherto taught in their
  pestilential books concerning baptism, the use of the sacraments,
  and the preaching of the word. We revoked nothing. But when they
  were conquered also in the matter of the Lord's Supper they were
  unwilling to renounce their position even though they could see it
  was untenable, for they feared their people, to whom they could not
  have returned if they had recanted."


He never forgave Zwingli, and when some time later the Swiss reformer,
acting as a chaplain to the Swiss Protestant Army in a battle with the
Swiss Catholic cantons, was killed, Luther pronounced this event a
special dispensation of Providence. He was fully persuaded that the
special spirit of prophecy had come down over him and that he had been
inspired to denounce Zwingli and to declare that his doom was not far
off. After the news of Zwingli's sad, untimely end, he wrote to his
friend Link:

  "We see the judgment of God a second time--first in the case of
  Münzer, and now of Zwingli. I was a prophet when I said, God will
  not long endure these mad and furious blasphemies with which they
  overflow, laughing at our God-made bread, and calling us carnivora,
  savages, drinkers of blood, and other horrible names."

This exaggeration of his own importance and conviction of his intimate
relations with the Deity became more and more manifest as time goes
on. The spectacle is not at all unfamiliar, though it is usually
pathological, and the surprise always is how many followers such
characters are able to gather around them at any time in the history
of the race. It is this aspect of Luther's life and the psychic
development of his career that have attracted the special attention of
historians in recent years and received ample illustration from
hitherto unused original documents.

Some of the recent studies of Luther, written by those who are making
out just as good a case as possible with all the contemporary
information that now is available, have some very illuminating
passages as to the character of the reformer, who has been
traditionally set up as a great religious leader. For instance, the
explanation of how Luther came to permit the Landgrave Philip of Hesse
to take a second wife is very disturbing to those who think of him as
a reformer of religion. McGiffert, in his "Martin Luther, the Man and
His Work" (New York, 1912), has much to say with regard to the permit
undoubtedly granted not only by Luther, but also by Melanchthon for
this bigamy, and then the proposed denial of the marriage, which is,
if possible, more disturbing to the modern world than the permit
itself. McGiffert said (p. 364):


  "The proposed denial of the marriage, which seems to throw so
  sinister a light upon the whole affair, Luther justified somewhat
  sophistically by an appeal to the traditional maxim of the
  inviolability of the confessional, requiring the priest, if
  necessary, to tell an untruth rather than divulge its secrets. He
  justified it also by the more fundamental principle that the supreme
  ethical motive is regard for our neighbor's good, and it is better
  to lie than to do him harm. To this principle, taught not by a few
  ethical teachers of our own as well as other ages, he gave frequent

McGiffert, with all his obvious effort to defend Luther, frankly finds
this whole incident too much. He said (p. 366):

  "Regarded from any point of view, the landgrave's bigamy was a
  disgraceful affair, and Luther's consent the gravest blunder [!] of
  his career. He acted conscientiously [!], but with a lamentable want
  of moral discernment and a singular lack of penetration and
  foresight. To approve a relationship so derogatory to the women
  involved, and so subversive to one of the most sacred safeguards of
  society, showed too little fineness of moral feeling and sureness of
  moral conviction; while to be so easily duped by the dissolute
  prince was no more creditable to his perspicacity than thinking such
  an affair could be kept secret to his sagacity."

The same biographer has summed up the closing years of Luther's life,
from which we have so many records in the shape of letters and
documents of various kinds. As McGiffert says: "There is little sign
of flagging powers in his later writings. The same Luther still speaks
in them with all the racy humor, biting satire and coarse vituperation
of his best days." He continues (p. 373):

  "Despite the multiplicity of his occupations, his closing years were
  far from happy. As time passed, he became more censorious, impatient
  and bitter. He seems to have been troubled less frequently than in
  earlier life with doubts as to his own spiritual condition and
  divine mission, but he grew correspondingly despondent over the
  results of his labors and the unworthiness of his followers. Instead
  of finding the world transformed into a paradise by his gospel, he
  saw things continuing much as before, and his heart grew sick with
  {253} disappointment. The first flush of enthusiasm passed, and the
  joy of battle gone, he had time to observe the results of his work,
  and they were by no means to his liking.

  "Conditions even in Wittenberg itself were little to his liking. In
  this centre of gospel light he felt there should be a devotion and
  purity seen nowhere else. Instead, as the town grew in size and
  importance, and manners lost somewhat of their earlier simplicity,
  it seemed to his exaggerated sensibilities that everything was going
  rapidly to the bad."

Calvin, like Luther, was another of these vigorous active spirits so
common in this time of the Renaissance who felt that he had a special
call from on High to teach the world doctrines very different from
those received before. Like Luther, he too used his native tongue in
speech and writing with a forcefulness and originality that makes him
one of the founders of the prose of his language. From his earliest
youth of a very serious disposition, caring nothing for the games and
sports in which his fellow-scholars indulged, shunning society and its
pleasures, and prone to censure anything that was not deeply serious
and to condemn everything that smacked of frivolity, he found abundant
opportunity for reform. Severe to himself in the highest degree,
relaxation seemed almost sinful. He insisted that others should follow
the same regime and imputed even the ordinary amusements of life to
sin. He was lacking entirely in that disposition for healthy, happy
and hearty amusement which is a sign of good health of mind and body
and the best possible proof of absolute sanity. The old Church had
encouraged the recreations and amusements of the people. Calvin made
it a cardinal principle of religion that there were to be none of
them. He is probably no more to be held responsible for this, since it
was due to the lack of something in him, than is the color-blind
person for failure to perceive colors.

Poor Calvin, with no faculty for relaxation, insisted that others
should not indulge theirs, and made it the basis of his religion that
any such indulgence was sinful. From this to the doctrine of
predestination to eternal punishment was not difficult. A God who
meant life to be passed without recreation would surely not scruple to
condemn most of His creatures {254} quite without their own fault to
an eternity of punishment. Why is it when men make their gods they
make them worse than themselves? Even the wise Greeks did not escape
this pitfall.

There are always a number of people who are ready to follow anyone who
announces any doctrine, no matter how unreasonable it may seem to be,
if only he insists emphatically on his belief and if he evidently is a
sincere believer in it himself. Calvin was one of the dominant spirits
who readily gain control over others, and his severity to himself won
many of the sombre people around him to a devotion to his cause that
partook of worship. They even permitted themselves to be ruled by his
rigid hand, and there probably never has been a place where less
allowance was made for human nature than at Geneva during the days
when Calvin ruled there with a rod of iron and when his particular
mode of the reformation of religion was so completely accepted. To the
dour Scots this austere doctrine appealed particularly, and Calvin's
disciple, Knox, secured almost as much authority in Edinburgh as did
his master down at Geneva.

Like Luther, Calvin before the end of his life was profoundly
disillusioned with regard to the Reformation and its effect upon
mankind. The unfortunate divisions of the Protestants among
themselves, their readiness to persecute each other, their refusal to
permit anything like religious toleration, above all their rejection,
except for very limited numbers, of his own doctrines, made him
foresee nothing but evil for the future. He knew that he had stirred
mankind deeply in the West of Europe, but he could not foretell
anything but unfortunate results from the conditions that he saw
around him. He once said: "The future appals me. I dare not think of
it. Unless the Lord descends from heaven, barbarism will engulf us."

  [Illustration: HOLBEIN, HENRY VIII (LONDON)]

The blot on Calvin's name through the execution of Servetus has been
extenuated by his adherents, but the certainty of his complete
hostility to the unfortunate physiologist, who insisted in dabbling in
theology at a dangerous time, is now settled. Long before Servetus'
execution at Geneva, Calvin actually secured through his
well-developed system of {255} espionage and delation, extending even
into Catholic countries, the persecution of Servetus by the Catholic
ecclesiastical authorities in France. The details of this have now
been traced very clearly. When Servetus, thinking to find protection
where freedom of interpretation of Scriptures was preached, came to
Geneva his fate was sealed. Calvin himself made it a personal matter
to secure his conviction and bring about his execution. A number of
the reformers are on record agreeing that Calvin's action in this case
was eminently right, and even the gentle Melanchthon would not condemn
it. Nothing makes so perfectly clear as this that the claim made for
the Reformation of fostering or encouraging liberty of thought is
founded entirely on a misconception of what the reformers were trying
to do. The reformers wanted liberty of religious thinking for
themselves, but they were not ready to grant it to others. After all,
we in America do not need to appeal to foreign history in order to
understand that very well, for the Puritan disciples of Calvin, driven
out of England by Anglican religious persecution and intolerance, made
a home for themselves in New England, where they practised the
bitterest intolerance and absolutely refused to allow anyone to live
in their communities unless he or she, as Ann Hutchinson learned to
her cost, conformed unquestioningly to their religious tenets and

The history of Henry VIII has less in it to make historians disagree.
His uxoriousness represents the explanation of the revolutionary
changes that took place in the government and the religion of England.
He fell in love with a younger, handsomer woman than the elderly wife,
who for more than twenty years had been, as he confessed himself, his
faithful, loving spouse, and then his first marriage got on his
conscience. The succeeding marriages are the best commentary on this
explanation. His father, Henry VII, had left him a full treasury, and
the son had spent liberally during the early years of his reign, and
finally the famous Field of the Cloth of Gold had almost exhausted the
crown's resources. Many a nobleman had literally carried his estates
on his back and returned from France so heavily mortgaged that the
power of the nobles was broken. This made most of them thoroughly
{256} dependent on the King. When the trouble with the Church came
then, the King himself and most of the nobles were rather glad of the
opportunity to obtain possession of the Church properties, the estates
of the great monasteries, and the many foundations for charitable and
social purposes that existed in connection with Church societies. All
of these might well be brought under the law of the confiscation so as
to fatten the Royal treasury, or at least fall to an expectant
sycophantic nobility.

The question that many have been unable to answer satisfactorily for
themselves is how could the religion of a whole people be taken from
them under such sordid circumstances if they really held it. It has
been supposed that the change was made possible only by the fact that
for centuries there had been a growing feeling in England of
opposition to a foreign spiritual ruler, the Pope, and that this
culminated in Henry VIII's time and enabled him to assume the headship
of the English Church. James Gairdner has, however, dispelled this
idea completely, though himself an Anglican, and like Augustus Jessop
continuing in his adherence to the English Church. He shows in his
book on Lollardism that there was no widespread growing feeling of
opposition to Rome, and that while of course occasionally, when there
were difficulties between the crown and the Pope, mutterings of
spiritual insubordination were heard, which took the form expressed by
Shakespeare through the mouth of King John in his play, these were but
temporary and individual and not at all a growing sentiment of wide
diffusion. England up to Henry's time had been one of the most
faithful countries of Europe in the support of the Papacy, and
continued to be so until the change actually came.

As a matter of fact, the people of England were deprived of their
religion by fraud at first, and then by violence. They did not change
it voluntarily. They were deeply attached to their church and clergy.
Augustus Jessop, in his book "Before the Great Pillage," has told the
story of the clergy before the reformation. He said: "Take them all in
all I cannot resist the impression which has become deeper and deeper
upon me the more I have read {257} and pondered, that the parochial
clergy in England during the centuries between the Conquest and the
Reformation numbered amongst them at all times some of the best men of
their generation." He reechoes Chaucer's picture of the village parson
who "did as well as taught." Jessop adds: "Not once, nor twice in our
history these parish priests are to be found siding with the people
against those in power and chosen by the people to be their spokesmen
when their grievances were becoming unbearable." As to the pretended
corruption of the monasteries, that has been disproved by all the
careful investigation of recent years, until it has become perfectly
clear that the abuses were no greater than may be expected at any
time, since men are only human. The evidence for corruption was very
slight, and what there is was manifestly gathered in such a way as to
enable the government authorities to justify their settled purpose to
confiscate the property. It was the need of money that was important.

Nearly a century ago Cobbett, in his "History of the English
Reformation," had found it almost impossible to select words quite
strong enough to express his feeling with regard to the people who
brought about the English reformation. His expressions were considered
at that time as grossly exaggerated and the result of his tendency to
use strong language. In our time they still remain radical in mode,
but most writers now agree as to the essential truth of the facts on
which they are based. When it is recalled that millions of people have
for centuries thought of the Reformation as one of the greatest
blessings to mankind and the source of nearly every good that we have
in the modern time, it is indeed startling to read Cobbett's words,
yet Cobbett had made a special study of his subject, he was a great
practical-minded investigator, who knew his historical sources well,
who had gone directly to them and who had been shocked by the
difference between ordinary impressions as fostered for religious and
political purposes by historians and the realities that he found. No
wonder that he burst forth in his strong way:

  "The Reformation, as it is called, was (in England) engendered in
  beastly lust, brought forth in hypocrisy and {258} perfidy, and
  cherished and fed by plunder, devastation and rivers of innocent
  English and Irish blood."

Macaulay described the character of those who were most responsible
for the change of religion, the so-called reformation in England, in
words that are passing strange, considering that he himself would
never think of submitting to "the yoke of Rome" and seems even to have
felt that a great good had been accomplished, though by such vile
means. He says, in his "Essay on Hallam's Constitutional History,"
that the reformers were:

  "A king whose character may be described best by saying that he was
  despotism itself personified; unprincipled ministers; a rapacious
  aristocracy; a servile parliament. Such were the instruments by
  which England was delivered from the yoke of Rome. The work which
  had been begun by Henry, the murderer of his wives, was continued by
  Somerset, the murderer of his brother, and completed by Elizabeth,
  the murderer of her guest."

Some of the most unworthy motives and adjuvants were mixed up in the
reform movement. Indeed, it is possible to collect from non-Catholic
sources more bitter excoriations of the men who made the Reformation
possible than with regard to almost any group of men who accomplished
any other purpose in history. Frederic Harrison, for instance, said:
"It is not to be denied that the origin of the (English) Establishment
is mixed up with plunder, jobbery and intrigue, that stands out even
in the tortuous annals of the sixteenth century; that the annals run
black with red, along some of the blackest and reddest pages of royal
tyranny and government corruption."

Andrew Lang quotes Professor F. York Powell in a description of how
the reformation in Scotland was brought about in language that is, if
possible, stronger than this of Frederic Harrison: "The whole story of
Scottish Reformation, hatched in purchased treason and outrageous
intolerance, carried on in open rebellion and ruthless persecution,
justified only in its indirect results, is perhaps as sordid and
disgusting a story as the annals of any European country can show."

Almost needless to say, though the Reformation was a  {259} religious
movement and therefore might be expected to be intimately associated
with personal holiness on the part of its leaders, probably no one
would think for a moment of suggesting the title of saint for any of
those whose names are most prominent in the movement. To John Wesley,
who came two centuries and a half later, the name saint might readily
be attributed. He was one of those kindly characters, thoughtful for
others, thoughtless of himself, thoughtful especially of the poor,
whose personal winningness meant much for his cause. The reformers of
the sixteenth century, however, were egoistic leaders of men, with the
self-consciousness of a great purpose and determination to put that
through regardless of the suffering of others involved in it. There
was little that was sympathetic about them, though all of them had
certain compelling qualities of mind but not of heart which won men to
them. Saintliness of character, in the ordinary acceptation of the
word, would scarcely be thought of even distantly in connection with
them. All of them were fighters, and if others suffered in the
conflict they cared little, for they felt that they were in the right
and must do the work of the Lord cost what it might. It is no wonder
that in our own time Professor Briggs of the Union Theological
Seminary, New York, whose own religious experience must have been so
illuminating for him, reviewing the Reformation period, has suggested
that there were other and more saintly reformers alive at this time
whose influence unfortunately was not strong enough to turn the tide
of revolution once it had begun.

In an article in the _Independent_ (New York) entitled "How May We
Become More Truly Catholic," Professor Briggs said:

  "There were other and in some respects greater reformers in the
  sixteenth century than the more popular heroes Luther, Zwingli and
  Calvin. Sir Thomas More, the greatest jurist of his time, Lord
  Chancellor of England, a chief leader of reform before Cranmer,
  resigned his exalted position and went to the block rather than
  recognize the supremacy of the King in ecclesiastical affairs; a
  true knight, a martyr to the separation of civil and ecclesiastical
  jurisdiction. Erasmus, {260} the greatest scholar of his age,
  regarded by many as the real father of the Reformation, the teacher
  of the Swiss reformers, was unwilling to submerge learning and
  morals in an ocean of human blood. He urged reformation, not
  revolution. He has been crucified for centuries in popular
  Protestant opinion as a political time-server, but undoubtedly he
  was the most comprehensive reformer of them all.

  "John von Staupitz, doctor of theology, and Vicar-General of the
  German Augustinians, the teacher of Luther and his counsellor in the
  early stages of his reform, a man without a stain and above
  reproach, a Saint in the common estimation of Protestant and
  Catholic alike, the best exponent of the piety of his age, was an
  Apostle of Holy Love and good works, which he would not sacrifice in
  the interests of the Protestant dogma of justification by faith
  only. These three immortals who did not separate themselves from the
  Roman Catholic Church, who remained in the Church to patiently carry
  on the work of reform therein--these three were the irenic spirits,
  the heroic representatives of all that was truly Catholic, the
  beacons of the greater reformation that was impending."


This position taken by Professor Briggs has come to be more and more
recognized as the true one from the historical standpoint in recent
years. What has been called the Reformation had in it so many
unfortunate political elements that its force for good was frittered
away by the abuses inevitably connected with political associations.
The counter-reformation, which represented the reaction from the
religious revolt of the early sixteenth century, carried with it the
truer spirit of Christianity and gradually gathered round it those
forces for culture, social uplift and political liberty which mean
most for the benefit of mankind and which thrived so well under the
fostering care of Christianity. It is only with the breaking up of the
ideas and institutions fostered by the reformers that modern progress
along these lines has come. Protestantism hurt art, sadly hampered
education, ruined architecture, shackled philosophy, discouraged
scholarship and, above all, destroyed educational and humanitarian
foundations for mere personal profit, and took away the incentive for
true charity, its doctrine of salvation by faith only obliterating
{261} the divine significance of good works. In the Appendix, some of
these points are emphasized by quotations from well-known authorities,
who have summed up various phases of Reformation influence. These
writers, though themselves in sympathy with the reform movement in its
ideals, see its evil effects and lament them.




Columbus was not the first great successful explorer of this century
that we have called by his name. Many daring navigators, particularly
during the half century preceding the discovery of America, had braved
the perils of the ocean, so literally trackless for them, in order to
add to man's knowledge. A great stimulus to the spirit of navigation
and exploration came with the rediscovery of the Cape Verde Islands by
the Portuguese in 1447. Men dared after this to sail with the definite
purpose of finding hitherto unknown land, and their bravery was
rewarded in 1460 by the discovery of Sierra Leone. Prince Henry of
Portugal then realized that the future of his country, hemmed in as it
was in Europe, would largely depend upon the success of her
navigators. He gathered together and systematized all the knowledge
obtainable in nautical matters, and well deserves the name of Henry
the Navigator. It was under his inspiration that the coast of Africa
and the Senegal and the Gambia were explored. Probably no one more
than he helped to remove the imagined terrors of the deep and gave men
courage to venture ever farther and farther in exploration. His great
purpose was the spread of Christianity, and to this he brought every
incentive from patriotism and every possible help that could be
obtained from science in any way. His name gloriously opened Columbus'

It is possible that the old tradition that Henry established a college
of navigation and even, as some have declared, an astronomical
observatory at Sagres, near Cape St. Vincent, with the special purpose
of making observations on the declination of the sun so as to secure
more accurate nautical tables, may be a pious exaggeration of ardent
admirers. Undoubtedly, however, he did a great deal for the scientific
{263} development of navigation and established a tradition that was
well followed in Portugal. John II of Portugal appointed a commission
on navigation consisting of Roderick and Joseph, his physicians, and
Martin of Bohemia. They invented the astrolabe, though the cross staff
continued to be used for some time by navigators and was one of the
few instruments possessed by Columbus and Vasco da Gama. Martin Cortez
described the astrolabe and shows how much more convenient it is than
the cross staff for taking altitudes.

During the latter part of Columbus' Century, the Portuguese made a
series of magnificent discoveries. In 1486 King John II appointed
Bartholomew Dias as the head of an expedition whose purpose was to
sail around the southern end of Africa. Henry the Navigator had been
attracted by the story of Prester John, the legendary Christian king
of Abyssinia, who was said to rule over a large part of Africa. The
Christian monarchs of the West hoped to get in touch with him. Recent
reports had arrived apparently confirmatory of the tradition, and the
Portuguese under King John wanted to enter into friendly relations
with them. Dias sailed in 1487, reached the mouth of the Congo, which
had been discovered the year before, followed the African coast,
entered Walfisch Bay and erected a column near the present Angra
Pequeña. He was driven by a storm then far to the south, but after the
storm sailed easterly and, turning northward, he landed in Mossel Bay.
He followed the coast as far as Algoa Bay and the Great Fish River. On
his return he discovered the cape and gave it the name of _Cabo
Tormentoso_ (Stormy, Dangerous Cape), but on his arrival home King
John proposed the name it still bears--the Cape of Good Hope--with the
desire apparently of dissipating, if not its dangers, at least the
dread of them that so filled men's minds. After this it was a
comparatively easy matter to reach India, at least Dias had shown the
way, and the problem which had occupied Prince Henry of joining the
East and the West, so that the peoples might learn to exchange their
riches, the costly materials of the East and the religious treasures
of the West, was solved.

The great Portuguese Empire in India is an example of {264} empire
building under the most difficult circumstances, which shows the
energy and the enterprise, the courage and the successful achievement
of the men of this period. India was a very long distance from
Portugal in those days. To think of sending out a colony, the men for
which had to make the long voyage around the Cape of Good Hope with
all its dangers, was a daring thought reaching almost to hardihood. In
the course of a single generation, however, that empire became a
wonderful source of added power and income to the mother country.
Bartholomew Dias more than any other accomplished this for Portugal,
but there were a large number of men of bravery and high
administrative ability who helped in the work. Portugal had the
advantage at this time of producing a supremely great poet, Camöens,
who could celebrate the work of his fellow-countrymen and immortalize
the story of their achievement. Nearly always the poet comes when a
work worthy of his genius has been accomplished. India proved to be a
school of courage and enterprise for the Portuguese of that
generation, which lifted a little country (the smallest of Europe) to
almost the highest plane of influence and greatness.

While Columbus' great discovery has overshadowed the work of all the
other explorers and navigators in the Western Ocean at this time, it
must not be forgotten that during this century a large number of
hardy, heroic men, with a determination not due to ignorance or to
mere foolhardiness, but with purposes as sincere and courage as high
as our Arctic explorers, accomplished wonderful results in the
enlargement of human knowledge of the Western Continent and its
inhabitants and varied products. Even before Columbus himself had
reached the American continent, Amerigo Vespucci as well as the two
Cabots had already touched it. Vespucci's biographers insist that his
first voyage to America was made in 1497 and that he coasted along the
northern shore of South America and into the Gulf of Mexico, returning
to Spain November 15, 1498. It was in this latter year that Columbus
first touched the mainland. In 1499 Vespucci went out with a second
fleet and, keeping his former course, he succeeded in reaching the
mouth of the Orinoco River, and returned {265} to Cadiz in 1500. He
made a third voyage in 1501 and reached as far south as 52° of
latitude, having coasted the South American shore from 5° south
latitude to within 4° of Cape Horn. The fourth voyage was undertaken
the next year, and on this Vespucci explored portions of the coast of
Brazil. While it is usually said, and it must be confessed with some
justification, that Columbus was deprived of what may be considered
his proper privilege as first discoverer in not having the continent
of America named after him, there is no doubt that Vespucci deserved
highly of mankind for his daring explorations and his expert
seamanship and hardy navigation. The scientific world owes him still
more for the publication of his maps and detailed description of the
American coast. These served to spread widely definite knowledge with
regard to the new continent. Above all others, with the single
exception of Columbus, even if that exception must be made, he
deserved to have the Continent named after him. [Footnote 23]

  [Footnote 23: The news of Amerigo Vespucci's discovery
  seems to have spread rapidly throughout Europe and his
  writings became familiar within a few years to a much
  greater number of people than we would think possible in
  the limited means of communication at the time. In
  discussing "The Four Elements," the Morality Play, in the
  chapter on English Literature lines are quoted to show
  that the play was written within twenty years of the
  discovery of America. Ordinarily it would be assumed that
  this would mean Columbus' discovery in 1492, but the whole
  passage shows that the reference was to Amerigo's, in
  Latin Americus', discovery of the Continent. The complete
  passage is:

    "Till now, within this twenty years.
    Westward he found new lands.
    That we never heard tell of before this
    By writing nor other means.
    But this new lands found lately
    Been called America, because only
    Americus did first them find."]

While we are not likely to think of the Italians as a seafaring
people, Columbus himself is an Italian, so was Amerigo Vespucci, but
still more remarkable the other greatest navigators of the first half
of Columbus' Century, the Cabots, were also of Italian origin. John
and Sebastian Cabot were Venetians, settled at Bristol, and they
reached the continent of {266} North America in 1498 and sailed for a
considerable distance along it. It was on their discoveries that
England based its claims to the North American portion of the
hemisphere. Their merits as bold and fearless, yet intelligent,
navigators have rightly been given the highest recognition. Owing to
their connection with North America, we have known much more about
them than about many of the others who ventured to make long, perilous
voyages of discovery about this time.

The great Portuguese discoverers after Bartholomew Dias are Vasco da
Gama (c. 1460-1524) and Magellan (1470-1521), almost exactly his
contemporary. Vasco da Gama, who had proved his intrepidity as a
mariner often before, was entrusted with the fleet of four vessels
sent out by the Portuguese in July, 1497, in order to determine
whether the story of Bartholomew Dias, that it was possible to sail
around the continent of Africa and thus reach India, was true or not.
He touched at St. Helena Bay, rounded the Cape of Good Hope and on the
20th of May, 1498, arrived at Calcutta on the Malabar coast. On his
return he was magnificently received by the King, and three years
later he was sent out with a larger expedition which took possession
of India and created the Portuguese Indian Empire. At this time, in
spite of rich rewards, he was evidently distrusted by the King, who
apparently feared his ambition, and for twenty years he lived in
retirement. After that he was called from his seclusion and created
Viceroy of India. Unfortunately, his career as Viceroy lasted but a
few months, yet even in that short time he had succeeded in correcting
many abuses and reestablishing firmly Portuguese authority in India.
Da Gama had the good fortune to be celebrated in an immortal epic by
Camöens, and it is the tribute of the great poet almost more than his
own achievement that has given him high distinction among the many
great navigators of his time.

One of the greatest of the explorers of this time was undoubtedly Da
Gama's compatriot and contemporary, Ferdinand Magellan. He had been in
the service of the king of Portugal, but as his services were
unappreciated he went over to the king of Spain and succeeded in
persuading the Spanish Government that the Spice Islands could be
reached by {267} sailing to the West. The Portuguese had previously
reached them by sailing East. Magellan's idea was to find some mode of
getting through or around the American continent so as to sail into
the great South Sea. He reached the land to which he gave the name of
Patagonia, where he noted the presence of men of huge size. South of
this he succeeded in finding a passage which he called San Vittoria
Strait, but which has come much more properly to be known since as the
Straits of Magellan. He shed tears of joy, as Pigafetti who was with
him on the expedition tells, when he beheld the immense expanse of the
new ocean. He found it so placid that he gave it the name it has borne
ever since, the Pacific Ocean. For nearly four months he sailed on the
Pacific without seeing any inhabited land. His sailors were compelled
to eat even the skin and leather wherewith their rigging was bound and
to drink water which had become putrid. It required super-human
courage and perseverance to continue the expedition, but Magellan did
so. He touched at the Ladrone Islands, but unfortunately he was killed
shortly after his vessels reached the Spice Islands, it is presumed by
the natives, though perhaps by his own men, who dreaded his intensity
of purpose to circumnavigate the globe and feared that it would carry
them once more through similar awful sufferings to those which they
had experienced in the voyage through the Pacific Ocean.

His lieutenant, Sebastian de Elcano, directed his course from the
Moluccas to the Cape of Good Hope, but did not reach it until he had
gone through hardships almost as severe as those suffered in the
Pacific. He lost twenty-one of his men, but succeeded in getting back
to Seville just about three years and one month after they had sailed
from that port. They had accomplished, however, one of the greatest
achievements in the history of the race. They had circumnavigated the
globe and proved beyond all doubt that by sailing westward one might
come round to where one started. It is interesting to know that
Magellan's lieutenant, Sebastian, received high honors and armorial
bearings, with the globe of the world belted by the inscription, "You
were the first to go round me" (_Primus circumdedisti me_). Spain made
many claims {268} to lands discovered on this expedition and it added
notably to the extent of the Spanish Empire.

The French scarcely more than the Italians are thought of as great
navigators. We are likely to reserve that designation for the
Spaniards, Portuguese and English, yet next in point of priority at
this time there are records of some magnificent French accomplishments
in navigation. We have an account of a voyage by Paulmier de
Gonneville, a French priest, the evidence for which rests on a
judicial statement made before the Admiralty in France, July 19, 1505.
De Gonneville called the large island that he discovered Terre
Australe, so that for a long time it was thought that he was the first
to touch Australia. The description that he gives, however, of the
people and the products of the country evidently applies to some
northern island of the Indian Ocean and not to the great southern
continent. There is good reason to think, however, that in this voyage
important discoveries were made. A little later in the century,
Verrazano, an Italian in charge of a French expedition which sailed
along the coast of North America, entered the harbor of New York,
sailed up the Hudson River and landed an expedition on Manhattan
Island, where in 1524 a religious service, probably the Mass as Rev.
Dr. Morgan Dix suggested, was celebrated. Bennett's discussion of the
matter in his "Catholic Footsteps in Old New York" (New York, 1910)
leaves little doubt of the fact.

Two Spanish expeditions probably reached Australia during the first
half of the sixteenth century. The first of these was under Alvar de
Saavedra, who was sent out by Cortez. Cortez, having settled himself
in Mexico, wished to get in touch with the East, and especially the
Spice Islands, and it was he who despatched Saavedra, who was a
relative. There is some doubt as to whether this navigator did not
touch New Guinea rather than Australia, but there is no question but
that he navigated across the Pacific Ocean as early as 1528. In 1542
Bernard della Torre is reported to have landed on the Australian
continent, and critical analysis of his description of the natives and
of the conditions that he found there puts his discovery beyond all


The men who were leaders of expeditions to the newly discovered
countries at this time were all of them distinguished for bravery, and
most of them for high administrative ability and a talent for
government and the management of men which stamp them as among the
world's geniuses. In our time much has been said of the ability of
such a man as Cecil Rhodes and what he accomplished as an empire
builder in South Africa. Considering the difference of circumstances,
the lack of means of communication, the immense distances that had to
be traversed and the dangers encountered, there are at least three men
of Columbus' Century who have gained a place in history such as Cecil
Rhodes will never have. The qualities exercised were of the same kind,
but of much higher order, because requiring more independent activity
and the most absolute self-reliance. What Vasco da Gama did in India
for the Portuguese, Cortes in Mexico and Pizarro in Peru for the
Spaniards represent achievements in empire building that have
deservedly given these men an undying name in history. There were
unfortunate abuses in the work. There always are whenever a savage
race is brought under the dominance of what is at least supposed to be
a more civilized people. There always are, even in the heart of our
modern civilization, whenever one class of people can with impunity
take advantage of another.

The work of these men is perhaps best illustrated by short sketches of
the careers of Cortes and Pizarro. Cortes, sent as a boy to the
University of Salamanca, found that he had no liking for study and
that his restless spirit could not be satisfied with an education and
the career of law which his parents destined him for. He joined an
expedition that brought him to the Antilles at the age of nineteen,
and soon showed the qualities of daring and military aptitude that
made him a favorite with his superiors in the service. As a
consequence, he was named as commander in the expedition to Mexico. He
had solved the Indian method of warfare by decoy and ambush and turned
it against the Indians themselves. He soon became noted for the almost
lightning-like celerity, as it seemed to his opponents, of his
movements. When the Governor of the Antilles, suspecting Cortes of
{270} personal ambitious designs, sent an expedition against him, he
captured its commander by a surprise, though he himself had only
one-quarter of the force that his opponent mustered. Against
overwhelming odds he succeeded in conquering the Mexicans and
establishing Spanish dominion throughout the country.

While his conquest was disfigured by many of the unfortunate evils
that so often have characterized such events in history, Cortes was
not unkind to the Indians and he endeavored in every way to improve
their condition and lift them up to a higher plane of civilization.
Even Las Casas mentions him favorably and, while his kind treatment of
the Indians is sometimes said to have been part of a deep-laid plan to
use his power over them for selfish reasons and even for treason
against the Spanish Crown, this explanation seems far-fetched. Cortes
knew how easily his position could be undermined at court and, above
all, he knew the fate of many of the men who had accomplished great
things for Spain and of the readily comprehensible suspicions that
were likely to attach to a man who had made so great a success as his.
He was of an independent character and used expressions which
indicated that he would not submit to the treatment that had been
dealt out to others. It is not surprising, then, that after a time he
was excluded from the government of Mexico and had to look elsewhere
for further occupation for his restless ambition. He was allowed to
join the great expedition against Algiers in 1541, but after its
disastrous end did not long survive the failure. Cortes could write
well, and has written the accounts of his own achievements, and these
have been published in a number of editions, with translations into
many languages. They show that he was a clear-headed man of great
ability in an intellectual and literary sense, as well as for
administration, and, while colored quite naturally in his own favor,
they are valuable sources for history.

Pizarro, _filius nullius_, with his fortune to make, everything to
gain and nothing to lose, set sail at the age of twenty-eight with
Alonzo de Ojeda from Spain. After many hardships he attached himself
to Balboa, and accompanied him across the Isthmus of Panama in the
expedition which discovered the {271} Pacific. After Balboa's death he
followed the fortunes of Pedrarias, the governor of the region.
Hearing of the achievements of Cortes in Mexico and the reports of the
riches of the countries lying along the shore of the Pacific Ocean to
the south, he organized an expedition to conquer them. Their project
seemed so utterly rash and foolhardy, without any prospects of
success, that the people of Panama called those who had joined the
expedition "the company of lunatics." In spite of every
discouragement, Pizarro continued his preparations, and after eighteen
months returned to Panama with an abundance of gold and glowing
accounts of the wealth of the countries he had visited. The Governor,
jealous of his success, withdrew his support and refused to allow him
to continue his explorations.

Pizarro then crossed the ocean to Charles V, laid his information and
plans before him and Charles, recognizing his ability and the probable
success of his project, conferred on him the Order of the Knighthood
of St. James and made him Governor and Captain-General, with absolute
authority, in all the territories he might discover and subjugate. His
orders could be reviewed only by the Royal Council in Spain. Armed
with this authority, Pizarro proceeded to add the empire of Peru to
that of Charles V, then ruling over more of Europe than anyone since
the time of the Roman Emperors. The romantic story of this achievement
and of Pizarro's assassination have often attracted the attention of
dramatists, writers of fiction, as well as historians. There is no
doubt at all of the magnificent daring, the political talent, nor the
administrative ability of the man who succeeded in doing this in spite
of obstacles that looked absolutely unsurmountable. This was
accomplished by the free use of treachery, breaking of faith, as well
as taking advantage in every way of the natives, but empire builders
at all times have had such elements in them. Pizarro is no worse than
modern conquerors, and in many respects is far better. The stories of
India, Egypt and Africa will look quite as bad before the bar of
history as that of Peru.

Our own great task of exploration and of colonization and conquest
during the past hundred years has been the opening {272} up of Africa
and the finding of the North and South Poles. The opening up of Africa
represents a really great extension of civilization, and doubtless
will hold an important place in history. It is more than doubtful,
however, if our colonizers and conquerors will be dealt with any more
generously in history, or placed on a higher plane of fellow-feeling
for the natives, than the colonizers and conquerors of Columbus'
Century. The slave trade had been abolished early in the nineteenth
century, and yet there has been the feeling many times during the past
hundred years that the natives of South Africa were being abused
almost as in the days of slavery, and that even the natives of South
America under European influence in certain places were little better
than slaves. Indeed, the whole attitude of mind of the modern time
with regard to the early conquerors has had very interesting light
thrown on it by investigations, which showed that in many states of
our own country there was a system of employing ignorant labor that
could only be characterized as slavery.

After recalling the "spheres of influence" of the different nations
and the mode in which South Africa has been parcelled out without any
regard for the native inhabitants or their rights in the question, it
becomes clear that the world, for all its complacent condemnation of
the men of the older time, has not changed a particle since Columbus'
Century. The two Latin nations, the Spaniards and the Portuguese, were
the conquerors and colonizers in the early sixteenth century. The
Teutonic nations, England and Germany, because they had replaced Spain
and Portugal as the leading commercial countries, did the work in the
later nineteenth. The differences between the modes of action and the
general conduct of affairs at the two periods are very slight when
compared to the close similarities of motive and purpose. Nations at
both periods were looking for a region by which they could enrich
themselves, and explorers and colonists and pioneers who went out were
actuated by just the same motives at both times. Indeed, it is very
doubtful whether we have point for point accomplished anything like so
much good for the natives as the Spaniards tried to do, and as we have
seen in the {273} chapter on Columbus' Century in America, often with
striking success.

After all, it must not be forgotten that there are more Indians alive
in Mexico and in South America now than when Columbus landed. It has
been impossible as yet to lift the natives up to the high plane of
civilization of their European invaders, which has been reached only
after many centuries of training, but undoubtedly much has been done.
In many of these countries even the natives are nearly ready for
self-government, and the countries with the handicap of their mixed
races are, considering all the conditions, as prosperous as we are,
and visitors often declare their upper classes possessed of a higher
state of culture than ours. President Taft, after thorough practical
experience in the Philippines, declared that the natives were on the
high road to readiness for self-government and that they represent the
only example of a people who, invaded by civilized conquerors and
colonists, had been gradually lifted out of their barbarism on to a
higher and higher plane. The beginning of this accomplishment came in
Columbus' Century. It is only by comparing what our own and that
century did in the solution of similar problems that we can get any
idea of how admirable in many ways is the work of the earlier period.
If at the end of the next century the natives of Africa shall fare as
well as those of South America and the Philippines, the comparison
will be more satisfactory.

Our problem of adventurous navigation in the nineteenth century has
been the discovery of the North and South Poles. We have succeeded in
our purpose, but not without much sacrifice of treasure and men and
much suffering. For many people in our time the finding of the Poles
has seemed merely a quixotic undertaking, and, as a matter of fact,
there has been no great practical purpose in it. The voyages of the
navigators of the early sixteenth century must have seemed just as
quixotic, though after any successful voyage the fruits of the
expedition, in a commercial as well as a scientific and cultural way,
could be readily appreciated. When we estimate the difference between
the small sailing vessels of that time and the utter lack of
facilities for the storage and {274} preservation of food as well as
the dangers of the literally trackless ocean, some idea of the bravery
of these hardy adventurers can be appreciated. Our steam vessels, with
preserved foods and medicines usually available and the understanding
of the dangers that they are to meet, has made our voyages
comparatively simple, yet we have felt the inspiration of
accomplishment. Columbus' Century is almost infinitely higher in the
place that must be accorded to it for the spirit and the number of the
men who ventured upon long voyages from which so many never returned
and on which all trace was absolutely lost of many and many a vessel.
In spite of the losses, there was never any dearth of men to take up
the work of exploration and conquest, and their success revolutionized
modern history.




Since our English colonization of America did not take place until the
seventeenth century--Jamestown, 1607; Plymouth, 1620--it is ordinarily
presumed, in English-speaking countries at least, that there is little
or nothing worth while talking about in American history during
Columbus' Century, ending as it does in 1550. As a matter of fact,
however, though America was discovered only in 1492, there is an
extremely interesting and significant chapter of American history
between 1500 and 1550. This is, of course, all in the Spanish-American
countries. It has unfortunately been the custom to think of the
Spanish colonies as backward in all that relates to education and
culture, but the history of even this half century here in America,
when some magnificent progress was made, the landmarks of which still
remain, is quite enough to show how far from the realities of things
as they were some of our fondly cherished historic impressions are.
There is not a single phase of civilization that did not receive
diligent attention very early in the history of Spanish America, and
the results achieved were such as to represent enduring progress in
the intellectual life. In education, in printing and the distribution
of books, in art and architecture, in the training of the Indians in
the arts and crafts as well as in the principles of self-government,
and even in science, though this department of human accomplishment is
usually not supposed to be seriously taken at this time, there are
many significant early American achievements.

It is only in comparatively recent years that in English-speaking
countries there has come anything like a proper recognition of the
work done by the Spaniards in America in the early days of the history
of this continent. It has been the custom to think that, while the
English colonists came {276} to make a home here, the main purpose of
the Spaniards in America was to exploit the inhabitants and the
country and to do just as little as possible for either, provided only
the members of the Spanish expeditions made money enough to enable
them to live in comfort at home in Spain after a few years of stay
here in America. Mr. Sidney Lee, the distinguished editor of the
English Biographical Dictionary and an authority on Shakespeare and
the Elizabethan period, as well as the sixteenth century generally, in
a series of articles which appeared in _Scribner's_ for 1907 on "The
Call of the West," contradicted most of these notions that are so
prevalent with regard to the contrasted attitude of the English
colonists and the Spanish colonizers during the early history of the
continent. He said, for instance, not hesitating properly to
characterize the principal reason for this historical deception:


  "Especially has theological bias justified neglect or facilitated
  misconception of Spain's role in the sixteenth century drama of
  American history. Spain's initial adventures in the {277} New World
  are often consciously or unconsciously overlooked or underrated in
  order that she may figure on the stage of history as the benighted
  champion of a false and obsolete faith, which was vanquished under
  divine protecting providence by English defenders of the true
  religion. Many are the hostile critics who have painted sixteenth
  century Spain as the avaricious accumulator of American gold and
  silver, to which she had no right, as the monopolist of American
  trade, of which she robbed others, as the oppressor and exterminator
  of the weak and innocent aborigines of the new continent who
  deplored her presence among them. Cruelty in all its hideous forms
  is, indeed, commonly set forth as Spain's only instrument of rule in
  her sixteenth century empire. On the other hand, the English
  adventurer has been credited by the same pens with a touching
  humanity, with the purest religious aspirations, with a romantic
  courage which was always at the disposal of the oppressed native.

  "No such picture is recognized when we apply the touchstone of the
  oral traditions, printed books, maps and manuscripts concerning
  America which circulated in Shakespeare's England. There a
  predilection for romantic adventure is found to sway the Spaniards
  in even greater degree than it swayed the Elizabethan. Religious
  zeal is seen to inspirit the Spaniards more constantly and
  conspicuously than it stimulated his English contemporary. The
  motives of each nation are barely distinguishable one from another.
  Neither deserves to be credited with any monopoly of virtue or vice.
  Above all, the study of contemporary authorities brings into a
  dazzling light which illumes every corner of the picture _the
  commanding facts of the Spaniard's priority as explorer, as
  scientific navigator, as conqueror, as settler."_ (Italics ours.)

In education particularly the Spaniards accomplished much for which
they have been given almost no credit in English-speaking countries
until the last few years. As a matter of fact, as the President of a
great Eastern university said at a public dinner not long since, "We
have only just discovered Spanish America." The lamented Professor
Bourne of Yale, who wrote the third volume of "The American Nation"
[Footnote 24] {278} on Spain in America, was one of the earliest
American students of history to realize how much of injustice had been
done by the ordinarily accepted notions of Spanish-American history
that are common in English-speaking countries. In his chapter on "The
Transmission of European Culture," which is a vindication of
Spanish-American intellectual achievements, Professor Bourne proceeds
to institute comparisons between what was done in Spanish and in
English America in the early centuries for education and intellectual
development, and constantly to the disadvantage of the
English-speaking countries. He said:

    [Footnote 24: Harpers, New York.]

"Not all the institutions of learning founded in Mexico in the
_sixteenth century_ can be enumerated here, but it is not too much to
say that in number, range of studies and standards of attainments by
the officers they surpassed anything existing in English America
_until the nineteenth century_. (Italics ours.) Mexican scholars made
distinguished achievements in some branches of _science, particularly
medicine_ and surgery, but pre-eminently linguistics, history and
anthropology. Dictionaries and grammars of the native languages and
histories of the Mexican institutions are an imposing proof of their
scholarly devotion and intellectual activity. Conspicuous are Toribio
de Motolinia's '_Historia de las Indias de Nueva España,'_ Duran's
'_Historia de las Indias de Nueva España,'_ but most important of all
Sahagun's great work on Mexican life and religion." Most of these
works were written after the close of Columbus' Century, but the
ground had been prepared for them and some of the actual accumulation
of facts for them begun in our period. They followed as a natural
development out of the scholarly interests already displayed in the
first half of the sixteenth century.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of Spanish-American development
of education is the fact that its first landmark is a school for the
education of Indians. Not a few of the Spaniards who came to Mexico in
the first half of the sixteenth century had enjoyed the advantage of a
university education. As their children grew up they felt like sending
them back to Spain for university education, and many were {279} so
sent. The need for the education of the Indians was recognized early,
however, and in 1535 the College of Santa Cruz in Tlaltelolco, the
quarter of the City of Mexico reserved for the Indians, was founded
under the patronage of Bishop Zumarata. Among the faculty were, as
might be expected, graduates not only of Salamanca, the great Spanish
university of the time, but also of the University of Paris, which was
at this period the leading university of the world. It is interesting
to realize that these professors did not consider that they were
fulfilling their whole duty by teaching alone, but also devoted
themselves faithfully to what many have come to look upon apparently
as a modern development of university life, the duty of investigating
and writing. This is the real index of the vitality of a university
and the sincerity of its professors. Among the teachers of Santa Cruz
were such eminent scholars as Bernardino de Sahagun, the founder of
American anthropology, and Juan de Torquemada, himself a graduate of a
Mexican college, whose _"Monarquia Indiana"_ is a great storehouse of
facts concerning Mexico before the coming of the whites, containing
many precious details with regard to Mexican antiquity.

Just as Columbus' Century was closing, arrangements were made for the
organization of two universities in Spanish America--the one in Mexico
City and the other in Lima, Peru. They received their royal charters
the same year, 1551, but besides the granting of their charters a
definite amount of the Spanish revenues was set aside by the Crown as
a government contribution to their support. It seems worth while to
note that such encouragement on the part of the English Government for
an institution of learning in the American colonies a full century, or
even two, later than this would have been quite out of the question.
Whatever the English colonists did for education they had to do for
themselves. There was no aid and not even sympathy with their efforts.
English universities for several centuries refused to recognize
American universities as on a par with them, and rightly, for their
standards were too low, though it is an extremely interesting
commentary on the educational situation in America, and especially on
the usually accepted {280} notions as to the relative significance of
Spanish and English education here, that both the University of Lima
and of Mexico came to be recognized during the sixteenth century as
sister institutions of learning not only by Salamanca and the other
Spanish universities, at this time among the best institutions of
learning in Europe, but also by the other university of Europe, whose
prestige was the highest, that of Paris. There was a certain
interchange of professors among them, though this was not formally
organized, and graduates of Salamanca and Paris taught at both Mexico
and Lima. Students from these American universities were accorded
their American ratings and allowed to proceed with their work on an
equality with European university men, a privilege scarcely accorded
to English-American university students even yet.

The scholars of the Old World were quite well aware that the New
Learning was penetrating into the Western Hemisphere and were proud to
think that the humanities were being cultivated beyond the Western
ocean. Before the end of Columbus' Century, Marcantonio Flaminio, whom
Sandys in his "Harvard Lectures on the Revival of Learning" calls the
purest of the Latin poets of the age, a man who was a great friend of
Vittoria Colonna, in sending to Cardinal Alessandro Farnese a volume
of Latin poems by the scholars of Northern Italy, assures the Cardinal
that France and Spain and Germany and distant Brittany would do honor
to those Latin muses, and that even the New World would share in
admiration for them. As he puts it: "Those on whom the light of dawn
arises when the skies of Italy are wrapped in darkness will devote
their nights and days to the study of the Latin poets of Italy."

  "For strange to tell, e'en on that far-off shore
  Doth flourish now the love of Latin lore."

The newly created Universities of Mexico and Lima developed during the
half century following Columbus' Century into full-fledged
institutions of learning amply deserving the name university. Lectures
in medicine were delivered in {281} Mexico in 1578, and a full medical
faculty was organized before the close of the century. Our first
school of medicine in English America did not come into existence for
fully two centuries later. More than half a century before this,
however, special care had been exercised by the Spanish authorities to
prevent the exploitation of the Spanish colonists or the Indians by
pretenders to knowledge in medicine. As early as 1527 strict medical
regulations were drawn up by the municipal council of the City of
Mexico, granting the license to practise medicine only to those who
showed the possession of a university degree in medicine. Even earlier
than this arrangements had been made for the regular training of
barber surgeons, so that injuries and wounds of various kinds might be
treated promptly as well as properly, so that even the poorer classes
might have the benefit of some regular training in those whose
ministrations they could afford to pay for. A pure-drug ordinance,
regulating the practice of the apothecaries, was issued as early as
1529. It was practically only in our own time that similar regulations
were adopted in this country.

Standards in university teaching were well maintained. Post-graduate
work was literally post-graduate work, and students might take up the
study of medicine or of law or of divinity only after having made
proper preliminary studies in the undergraduate departments of the
university. The Spanish-American universities received a charter not
only from the Spanish crown, but also from the Pope. The formal title
of the University of Mexico was the Pontifical University of the city.
The Papal charter was sought because it was the only way to secure an
international value for academic degrees, for the Papacy was the
international authority of the time. Papal charters for the
universities, however, were granted only on condition that standards
should be maintained. There are any number of these Papal university
charters extant which emphasize this necessity. On the establishment
of a new university the professors had to be graduates of
well-recognized, authoritative universities, in which the examinations
were held in oath-bound secrecy, in order {282} to assure as far as
possible absolute fairness and the maintenance of standards. The
course of studies and the length of time for them had to be arranged
in accordance with the standards of older universities.





The Spanish-American universities had the advantage of being closely
in touch with the European universities, and as a consequence had
taken their traditions direct from them. Papal university charters, as
a rule, required explicitly that there should be three years of
university work before medicine or other graduate work might be taken
up, and then four years of medicine before the degree of doctor would
be granted. Even after this, according to the Italian laws of the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the practice of medicine must not
be begun by the graduate until he had spent a year in practice with an
experienced physician. This is the year of hospital work that we are
now trying to introduce into the medical schools as a requirement and
which is taken, but voluntarily, by most of those who are seriously
interested in their professional studies. The preliminary
requirements, that is, such formal academic preparation for the study
of medicine as makes it possible for a young man to take up the
subject and properly benefit by it, have only become obligatory by law
in very recent years here in America, and that to a very limited

The letter written to the Municipal Council of his native city,
Seville, by Dr. Chanca, who accompanied Columbus on his second
expedition, shows the thoroughly scientific interest and the acute
powers of observation of the Spanish physicians of this time. This is
unquestionably the first written document about the flora, the fauna,
the ethnology and the anthropology of America. Dr. Fernandez de Ybarra
published in the _Journal_ of the American Medical Association,
September 29, 1906, some abstracts from this letter which show that
these expressions are justified by its contents and are not mere
enthusiastic terms for rather commonplace observations. Chanca
described in detail woods of various kinds, fruit, spices, plants such
as cotton, the birds and animals, and above all the customs,
appearance and mode of living of the inhabitants. He gives in detail
their slave-making and cannibalistic tendencies. There was nothing
that escaped Chanca's observation. He found turpentine, tar, nutmegs,
ginger, aloes, though he noted that the aloes were not the same kind
as those in Spain (Barbadoes aloes are still {285} considered
inferior), cinnamon, cloves, mastic and many other things. He notes
the food of the inhabitants, their mode of working, the absence of
iron, yet the well-made implements, the presence of gold in many
places, describes the climate of the country and gives important
details with regard to its meteorology.

Dr. Chanca had been the physician to their majesties, and he gave up
not only this position, but a large and lucrative practice in order to
become the physician of the colonies. It is principally through him
that we have any account of Columbus' second voyage. This second
voyage was, of course, very different from the first and carried a
thousand five hundred persons, among them many of the nobility who had
recently been in the wars with the Moors and who were looking for new
conquests in America. They were restless and hard to manage, negligent
and rash, they tasted many things without due care and succeeded in
poisoning themselves on a number of occasions, they caught the fevers
of the country and only for the presence of Dr. Chanca it is very
probable that most of them would have perished. Columbus, who thought
that he owed him his life, praises him highly in a letter to the
Sovereigns, asking permission to pay him special fees in addition to
the salary and rations which he was allowed as _scrivener_ in the
Indies. His letter and the estimation in which he was held at the time
is the best possible evidence of the standard of attainments of the
Spanish physicians of Columbus' Century.

One of the memorable products of American scholarship during Columbus'
Century, that must not be passed over without mention here, is
Garcilaso de la Vega, the historian of Peru, born in our period,
though he did his work afterwards. He was the son of a daughter of the
Incas, the reigning family in Peru when the Spaniards came, and owed
to his mother the suggestion of writing a history of his ancestors and
their land. He travelled over the country consulting the old
inhabitants, the principal among whom were relatives through his
mother and his father was the Spanish Governor of Cuzco, one of the
few Spanish governors, be it said, who did not die a violent death.
Garcilaso was then in an {286} excellent position to gather all the
details of the story, yet without prejudice against the Spaniards. As
he spent his life after the age of twenty mainly in Europe, his
opportunities for thorough understanding of all the conditions were
complete. His work is of a great historic value, and indeed is the
foundation of all that we know of old Peru. It has been translated
into all the modern languages.

Besides this attention to the higher education and to the education of
the Indians, popular education was cared for sedulously and, above
all, the Indians were instructed in the use of their hands, in the
arts and crafts, and in every way that would make them useful, happy
citizens. The contrast between English America and Spanish America in
this matter is rather striking and has been emphasized by Professor
Bourne in the chapter of his book to which we have already referred.
He said:

  "Both the crown and the Church were solicitous for education in the
  colonies, and provisions were made for its promotion on a far
  greater scale than was possible or even attempted in the English
  colonies. The early Franciscan missionaries built a school beside
  each Church and in their teaching abundant use was made of signs,
  drawings and paintings. The native languages were reduced to
  writing, and in a few years Indians were learning to read and write.
  Pedro de Gante, a Flemish lay brother and a relative of Charles V,
  founded and conducted in the Indian quarter in Mexico a great
  school, attended by over a thousand Indian boys, which combined
  instruction in elementary and higher branches, the mechanical and
  fine arts. _In its workshops the boys were taught to be tailors,
  carpenters, blacksmiths, shoemakers and painters."_ (Italics ours.)

Almost needless to say it is only in quite recent years that we have
awakened to the necessity for such teaching for our Indians and, may
it be added, for the poorer classes of our population generally.

  [Illustration: HOSPITAL, MEXICO (FOUNDED BEFORE 1524)]


The printing press early found its home in America, and even during
Columbus' Century quite a number of books were published in the
Spanish-American countries. It is often said that the first book
printed in America was the {287} Massachusetts Bay Psalm Book, issued,
I believe, in 1638, but of course this was long anticipated in Mexico
and in South America. In this, as in many other of the details of
Spanish-American culture. Professor Bourne has given authoritative
information. He said:

  "The early promoters of education and missions did not rely upon the
  distant European presses for the publication of their manuals. The
  printing press was introduced into the New World probably as early
  as 1536, and it seems likely that the first book, an elementary
  Christian doctrine called 'La Escala Espiritual' (the ladder of the
  spirit), was issued in 1537. No copy of it, however, is known to
  exist. Seven different printers plied their craft in New Spain in
  the sixteenth century. Among the notable issues of these presses,
  besides the religious works and church service works, were
  dictionaries and grammars of the Mexican languages, Pufa's
  'Cedulario' in 1563, a compilation of royal ordinances, Farfan's
  'Tractado de Medicina.'"

An enduring and very striking monument of the humanitarian progress
made in Spanish America at this time in medicine is a hospital that
still stands in the City of Mexico. It was built originally by Cortes
and endowed by him, and his descendants still appoint the
superintendent and have much to do with the support of the hospital.
It was erected in 1524, and it might well be thought that at any such
early date as this it would be a very rude structure and the surprise
would be that it is still standing. Miss Nutting and Miss Dock,
however, in their "History of Nursing," have given two pictures of it,
both of which we reproduce here, and which show that it was a
beautiful hospital building and quite worthy of the great beginnings
that were made in other ways in Mexican educational and humanitarian
progress. The pretty courtyard and porticoes were eminently suitable
for the changeable climate of Mexico, and the whole building is a
monument of Spanish culture as well as Spanish charity. [Footnote 25]

  [Footnote 25: The surprise inevitable for many at finding that such
  a handsome hospital was erected at this time will be tempered by
  recalling that this is the period when some of the most beautiful
  hospitals in the world were erected. (See the chapter on Social Work
  and Workers.) Besides they began very early to erect beautiful
  buildings in Mexico City. The University Buildings, the Cathedral
  and other public buildings were worthy of the fine traditions of
  architecture prevalent in Europe and especially in Spain at this


Champlain, the French navigator, having visited the City of Mexico
before the end of the sixteenth century, said of it: "But all the
contentment I felt at the sight of things so agreeable (the beautiful
natural scenery) was but little in comparison with that which I
experienced when I beheld the beautiful City of Mexico, which I did
not suppose had such superb buildings with splendid ample palaces and
fine houses and the streets well laid and where are seen the large and
handsome shops of the merchants full of all sorts of every kind of

Nor must it be thought that Mexico was the only progressive part of
Spanish America so early in our history. Indeed, so much had been
accomplished in the Panama region by the end of Columbus' Century
that, when Sir Francis Drake raided the place some twenty years later,
the bank of the Chagres River was lined with warehouses, there was a
handsome monastery and beautiful church, and there were many houses of
stone decorated with carvings of many kinds, the residences of the
Governor and the royal officials. When the flow of the Chagres was
arrested in order to make the Gatun dam for the Panama Canal, all
vestiges of this disappeared, though the church was practically the
only building of any importance then standing. It showed by the charm
of its architecture and its interesting carvings how high had been the
culture and how good the taste of the builders almost a century before
there was any permanent settlement in English America. The rise of the
waters of the dam did not cover as important records of human progress
as when the great irrigation dam at Assuan submerged the ruins of the
ancient Temple of Philae in Egypt, nor cover up such interesting works
of art, but it did obliterate some of the evidence for a stage of
civilization in America that in English-speaking countries at least
has been wantonly minimized or sadly misunderstood.

There are many remains in Panama that give some idea {289} of how much
the Spaniards did during Columbus' Century and how permanent were many
of their constructions. There is an old bridge from the early part of
the sixteenth century which, though built without a keystone, has its
main arch still standing. There is the famous flat arch which
demonstrates so clearly that this region must have been very little
disturbed by earthquakes ever since, because it seems almost
incredible that a structure should stand with so slight curvature for
any length of time, even in an absolutely undisturbed country, yet
this has been in place for nearly four centuries in Panama. There was
a magnificent paved road across the isthmus, the King's Highway,
remains of which are still to be found in excellent preservation. Some
portions of it were used during the course of the construction of the
Panama Canal and proved very serviceable. When we realize what would
have happened to one of our roads in a century, much less four hundred
years, a good idea of their permanency of construction is reached. The
old tower of St. Jerome, still standing, shows how solidly and yet how
ornately the Spaniards built, and there was evidently a magnificent
set of monumental constructions for religious and civil purposes on
the isthmus almost a century before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth
Rock. The story of these early days in American history has not yet
been told in its entirety, but even the details that are available
show us how well the Spaniards labored for permanency of their
foundations in America.




Probably what must be considered the most interesting chapter in the
history of Columbus' Century for our generation is that which tells
the story of the women of the time who accomplished purposes that make
their names forever memorable. Great as were the men, the women were
in every way worthy of them, and these women of the Renaissance have
attracted attention ever since, though never more so than now, when we
are beginning to take seriously once more the problem of giving to
women the amplest opportunities for intellectual development and
achievement that they may desire. The Italian ladies of the
Renaissance have been the subject of particular attention, sometimes
indeed to the almost total eclipse of their equally as interesting
sisters of the other nationalities, for in every country in Europe the
Renaissance brought a magnificent development of feminine intellectual
incentive and accomplishment and brought out a fine demonstration of
women's powers.


It would be quite impossible to give any adequate idea of the large
numbers of women who at this period manifested intellectual ability of
a high order. All that can be done is to select from the various
countries of Europe those women who at this time did work of such high
order that their names will never willingly be let die and whose
careers will have an enduring interest for mankind so long as our
present form of civilization continues. They not only merit a place
beside the men of the time, but some of them indeed must be classed as
surpassing all but the very highest geniuses of the period. The
variety of their achievement is quite as interesting as its quality.
Above all, the women of Columbus' Century demonstrated their ability
to administer government, to organize particularly charitable
purposes, to secure the building of fine {291} hospitals and proper
care for the ailing poor, and to direct the decoration of their homes
and the beauty of home surroundings, so that Renaissance interior
decoration and gardens have been the special subject of imitation
whenever in the after-time the beautifying of the home has come to
occupy the position that it should.

The first woman to be considered in Columbus' Century should naturally
be Isabella of Castile, to whom so much of the possibility of
Columbus' achievement is due. Fortunately in recent years her life and
career have come to be much better known and we have reached a more
fitting appreciation of her wonderful administrative ability and
profound influence on her time. There is probably no woman in history
who so deeply influenced her own nation and generation as Isabella. In
a time of very great women she was the greatest. Withal, she was
charmingly feminine and did much to lift the position of her sex in
Spain up to the height of Renaissance achievements.

There is scarcely any mode of activity on which Isabella has not left
traces of her genius. Her power of inspiring men was very great. She
led her armies in person, and undoubtedly to her more than anyone else
is due the success of the Spaniards against the Moors at this time.
Her genius for peace as well as for war is evidenced by the formation
of a constabulary force in Spain, the _Santa Hermandad_, intended for
the protection of persons and property against injustice of any kind,
though particularly against the violence of the nobles. She found
Spain anarchic, without any power over disorders and with so many
elements of disaffection that it seemed hopeless to think of making it
a unified powerful country. She left it peaceful and prosperous, and
when she died she was the ruler of a greater domain than the Roman
Empire ever possessed. Some of this was undoubtedly her good fortune,
but the happy accidents of history occur, as a rule, only to those who
are able to take advantage of them. She encouraged education and,
above all, obtained a fine education for herself. Her Castilian has
been ranked as the standard of the language by the Spanish Royal
Academy. When a mother, she took up the study of Latin so as to share
her {292} children's education, and learned to know it well. She was
extremely solicitous for the education of her children and, in order
to secure the best possible mental training for them, she established
a palace school, where some of the most scholarly men of the time were
invited to teach.

As a rule, all that most of us know about Isabella is that she
recalled Columbus to her presence with the words: "I will assume the
undertaking for my own crown of Castile and am ready to pawn my jewels
to defray the expenses of it if the funds in the treasury should be
found inadequate." It was a woman's intuition surpassing in its
insight all the knowledge of those around her. There is perhaps one
other fact that a great many people know, and that is, that during the
siege of Granada she declared that she would not change her shift
until the town had been taken. Told of her in praise at the beginning,
the story has come in more refined times to seem a little ridiculous.
But for anyone who knows the strenuous life, most of which was passed
in the saddle, encouraging, cajoling, threatening, urging, leading,
inspiring the men of her time until what was the most disturbed and
unhappy country in Europe became a firmly consolidated nation, where
prosperity and happiness went hand in hand, the spirit of the woman
will be better revealed in that expression than in anything else.

There is perhaps no greater woman ruler in all the history of the
world. What she was capable of physically in her long rides on
horseback would seem almost incredible, and yet with all that she was
eminently womanly, a fond mother to her children, noted for her care
of her household and, strangest of all perhaps, a great needlewoman.
Many a church in Spain was proud to display an altar cloth that was
worked by her hands, and the historical traditions that traced them to
her actual hand labor are well authenticated.

Her daughters as well as her sons received the benefit of the best
education, though, with their mother's example and encouragement, they
devoted themselves to needlework and even to the arts of spinning and
weaving. It is said that Ferdinand the Catholic, her husband, could
declare, as Charlemagne had done, that he used no article of clothing
that {293} had not been made for him by his wife or his daughters.
When she was married to Ferdinand they were so poor that they had to
borrow the money to make the presents to the servants that were
customary on such occasions. It is said that she mended one doublet
for her husband, the King, as often as seven times. Her deep piety,
her firm character, her habits of industry and thrift, and yet her
ability to recognize what was likely to be good for her kingdom and
her people and to spend money freely on it, made an admirable example
for the time. Above all, she discouraged the idle extravagance of the
nobility and succeeded in greatly lessening the immorality at court.
She made a magnificent collection of books, fostered learning at the
universities, encouraged it among the women of the time, and it is no
wonder that historians have spoken so much in praise of her. With all
this she was extremely unhappy in her children--she saw her son die in
the promise of youth, her daughter went mad, other daughters,
including Queen Catherine of England, were destined, in spite of
felicitous auguries in early life, to the most poignant
unhappiness--and mother had to be the source of consolation for them


The spirit of Isabella in the matter of the rights of her subjects
will perhaps be best appreciated from the famous expression which she
used on hearing that Columbus had offered some of the Indians whom he
brought home with him to some of the Spanish nobility as gifts. The
Queen indignantly demanded when she heard of it, "Who gave permission
to Columbus to parcel out my vassals to anyone?" Having learned that
some of the Indians were being held as slaves in Spain she issued a
decree that they should be returned to their native country at the
expense of the person in whose possession they were found.

Prescott has drawn a striking contrast between the character of
Isabella and of Elizabeth. The two names are in origin the same and
there are many details of their careers that tempt to the making of a
comparison. Because Elizabeth is really a product of Columbus'
Century, seventeen years of age before the century closed, Prescott's
comparison is a document of special value for us here, for it tells
the {294} story of two great women of the time, though the work of one
of them was accomplished after the close of our period. He says (p.
188, Vol. III):

  "Both succeeded in establishing themselves on the throne after the
  most precarious vicissitudes. Each conducted her kingdom, through a
  long and triumphant reign, to a height of glory to which it had
  never before reached. Both lived to see the vanity of all earthly
  grandeur, and to fall the victims of an inconsolable melancholy; and
  both left behind an illustrious name, unrivalled in the subsequent
  annals of their country.

  "But with these few circumstances of their history, the resemblance
  ceases. Their characters afford scarcely a point of contact.
  Elizabeth, inheriting a large share of the bold and bluff King
  Harry's temperament, was haughty, arrogant, coarse and irascible;
  while with these fiercer qualities she mingled deep dissimulation
  and strange irresolution. Isabella, on the other hand, tempered the
  dignity of royal station with the most bland and courteous manners.
  Once resolved, she was constant in her purposes, and her conduct in
  public and private life was characterized by candour and integrity.
  Both may be said to have shown that magnanimity which is implied by
  the accomplishment of great objects in the face of great obstacles.
  But Elizabeth was desperately selfish; she was incapable of
  forgiving, not merely a real injury, but the slightest affront to
  her vanity; and she was merciless in exacting retribution. Isabella,
  on the other hand, lived only for others,--was ready at all times to
  sacrifice self to considerations of public duty; and, far from
  personal resentments, showed the greatest condescension and kindness
  to those who had most sensibly injured her; while her benevolent
  heart sought every means to mitigate the authorized severities of
  the law, even towards the guilty. . . .

  "To estimate this (contrast) aright, we must contemplate the results
  of their respective reigns. Elizabeth found all the materials of
  prosperity at hand, and availed herself of them most ably to build
  up a solid fabric of national grandeur. Isabella created these
  materials. She saw the faculties of her people locked up in a
  death-like lethargy, and she breathed {295} into them the breath of
  life for those great and heroic enterprises which terminated in such
  glorious consequences to the monarchy. It is when viewed from the
  depressed position of her early days, that the achievements of her
  reign seem scarcely less than miraculous."

Prescott has declared that her heart was filled with benevolence to
all mankind. In the most fiery heat of war she was engaged in devising
means for mitigating its horror. She is said to have been the first to
introduce the benevolent institution of camp hospitals and her lively
solicitude to spare the effusion of blood even of her enemies is often
told. Her establishment of the Inquisition and the exile of the Jews
are often set over against this, but Prescott did not hesitate to say,
"It will be difficult to condemn her indeed without condemning her
age; for these acts are not only excused, but extolled by her
contemporaries as constituting her constant claims to renown and to
the gratitude of her country." Spaniards of much more modern time have
not scrupled to pronounce the Inquisition "the great evidence of her
prudence and piety; whose uncommon utility not only Spain but all
Christendom freely acknowledged." Undoubtedly it saved Spain from some
of the troubles which devastated Germany during the Hundred Years' War
after the Reformation, when religious divisions so embittered the
struggle and made it impossible for national affairs to prosper or for
men to be brought to any common understanding with regard to anything
for the good of the commonwealth. The difference between the position
of Spain and of Germany in this regard is highly instructive.

There are so many distinguished women of this period in Italy that a
choice indeed is embarrassing. Probably, however, the general
consensus of opinion would be that the typical great intellectual
woman of this time is Vittoria Colonna, the daughter of the great
Roman family of that name, who became the wife of the Marquis of
Pescara. The Colonnas were at this time in exile at Naples, where her
father was the Grand Constable. Her mother was Agnesina de Montefeltro
of the Ducal house of Urbino and she was brought up after the age of
ten by her prospective sister-in-law, the Duchess {296} Costanza, in
the Island of Ischia. She was intimately related, then, to many of the
important noble families of Italy and her career may be taken as a
type of the possibilities of education and intellectual influence in
her class at this time. Her husband became distinguished as a military
leader and finally at scarcely more than thirty years of age was made
the General of the Imperial forces when the Pope and the Emperor
Charles V made an alliance and drove the French from Milan in 1528. He
had been the commander of the Imperial Army at the battle of Pavia in
1525, after which Francis I, badly beaten and taken prisoner, sent his
mother the famous despatch from his captive cell in the Certosa near
Pavia, "All is lost save honor."

Francis was too important a prisoner to be left to the fortunes of war
in Italy, so Charles V had him transferred by ship to Madrid.
Emissaries of the French, who tried to win the Marquis of Pescara from
his allegiance to the Emperor, represented this action to him as
something of an insult or at least a lack of trust. They offered him
the throne of Naples if he should abandon the Emperor and come over to
the French. The Marquis had been wounded and was just recovering when
these offers were made. He wrote to his wife, Vittoria, with whom he
was on terms of the most charming affection, telling her of the offer
and asking her advice. With a crown dangling before her and the added
temptation, the subtlest there could be for a woman, of going back as
Queen where she had been only a lady-in-waiting at Court, Vittoria
wrote the famous letter which has deservedly so often been quoted:

  "Consider well what you are doing, mindful of the fame and
  estimation which you have always enjoyed; and in truth, for my part,
  I care not to be the wife of a king, but rather to be joined to a
  faithful and loyal man; for it is not riches, titles, and kingdoms
  which can give true glory, infinite praise, and perpetual renown to
  noble spirits desirous of eternal fame; but faith, sincerity, and
  other virtues of the soul; and with these man may rise higher than
  the highest kings, not only in war, but in peace."



Not long afterwards her husband died as a consequence of his wounds
and Vittoria was broken-hearted. The letters which they had written to
each other show how much of a love match this was and all the sixteen
years of married life there seems to have been nothing to disturb it.
Vittoria's only consolation now was in religion, and she thought of
entering a convent, but it was felt that she could accomplish much
more good in the world and a special Papal brief was issued permitting
her to spend as much time as she wished in convents, but forbidding
superiors to allow her to take the veil until the poignancy of her
grief subsided and she might be able to make up her mind without being
too much overborne by her sense of loss. Most of the rest of her life
was spent in convents or in almost conventual seclusion. She wrote a
series of poems, many of which are religious. A long series
constitutes a sort of _In Memoriam_ for her dead husband. They are
written in very charming Italian verse and a well-known critic and
writer on Italian literature has described these poems "as penetrated
with genuine feeling. They have that dignity and sweetness which
belong to the spontaneous utterances of a noble heart." During the
last fifteen years of her life she lived very retired in Rome and
exercised her profound influence over many of the great men of the
Renaissance and particularly over Michelangelo.

Some idea of the place that she held in the cultured society of Italy
at this time may be gathered from the fact that in 1528 Castiglione
submitted his _"Il Cortigiano"_ to her in manuscript for her approval
and criticism. She kept it for a considerable time, read portions of
it to her friends, submitted others to them and then returned it with
the highest praise. She declared that she was quite jealous of the
persons that are quoted in the book, even though they were dead. A
writer who knew this period very thoroughly and who had studied
particularly the lives of the women of the Renaissance declared:

  "Vittoria Colonna was indeed a woman to be proud of: untouched by
  scandal, unspoiled by praise, incapable of any ungenerous action,
  unconvicted of one uncharitable word. Long in the midst of such
  religious and political dissensions {298} as divided and uprooted
  families, she yet preserved in all the relations of life that jewel
  of perfect loyalty which does not ask to be justified."

Only too often it seems to be the impression that Vittoria Colonna
stands almost alone in her supreme nobility of character, but that is
only due to the fact that she has been deservedly much talked of.
There are, however, many rivals in all that is best among the women of
Italy at this time. The charm of certain of these women of the
Renaissance can be best understood from the expressions of praise with
regard to them that we have from the distinguished literary men of the
time. One of them, Elizabeth Gonzaga, had some of the most beautiful
things said with regard to her by men whose judgment and critical
faculty commend them to the after world as great scholarly writers. In
the prefatory epistle to his _"Cortigiano"_ Castiglione says in
allusion to the death of this peerless lady, "but that which cannot be
spoken without tears is that the Duchess, also, is dead. And if my
mind be troubled also with the loss of so many friends that have left
me in this life as it were in a wilderness full of sorrow, yet with
how much more grief do I bear the affliction of my dear lady's death
than of all the rest; since she was more worthy than all and I more
bounden to her." Indeed Catiglione's great work was partly written as
a memorial to her. Pietro Bembo, recalling the happy days he had spent
at her court, says, "I have seen many excellent and noble women and
have heard of some who are as illustrious for certain qualities, but
in her alone among women all virtues were united and brought together.
I have never seen nor heard of anyone who was her equal and know very
few who have even come near her."

Every city in Italy possessed some of these noble women at this time.
Prominent among those who are not known as well as they deserve is
Donna Catarina Fiesco or Adorno of Genoa, one of the saintly women of
the time, who, in forgetfulness of self knew how to be so helpful to
others in a wise and womanly way that she has been given the title of
St. Catharine of Genoa. She was the daughter of one of the noble
Genoese ruling families, the Fieschi, the daughter {299} of Conte
Giacomo Fiesco, who was Viceroy of Naples and Papal Chamberlain during
the first half of the fifteenth century. Catarina was born July 10,
1447, the third of seven daughters whose mother also came from an
ancient house of Genoa enrolled in the first Libro d'Oro. Very early
she chose to be a religious, but Giuliano Adorno, a son of Doge
Antoniotto Adorno, fell in love with her and though his reputation was
that of a young blade and sport, he was good-looking and handsome of
figure, and Donna Catarina, having seen him several times at mass,
fell in love with him. Political considerations helped on the match
and indeed seemed to have been most powerful, for after Catarina had
been told of Giuliano's wild ways she refused to marry him and finally
was married in black, positively declining to don the customary red
velvet robe and lavish ornaments of gold and jewels of Genoese brides.
Their marriage, as Catarina evidently had dreaded, was not happy and
after five years Catarina betook herself to a convent. After her
departure her husband went from bad to worse, and finally, cast off by
his indulgent father, was reduced to abject poverty and despair. His
wife sought him out, lifted him up and together they took a house near
the Spedale Maggiore where they received and cared for poor
incurables. Five years later her husband died, "his death having paid
all debts," and Catarina was elected prioress of the women's
department of the hospital. She organized the nursing, reorganized the
hospital service, especially as regards the poor, and took her
official duties as prioress very seriously. She found time, however,
to compose a number of little books for persons in distress of mind
and of body, and some of them have been translated into French and
Spanish. Her "Treatise on Purgatory," setting forth the strength of
Christian piety in the face of death, was published in 1502 and had a
wide popularity in the Latin countries of Europe. She wrote a series
of dialogues that became very popular and were widely used by the
parish clergy in dramatic form in the churches. The two characters in
the dialogues were Good and Evil, and from rival pulpits these
presented their various claims. The custom of having this dialogic
form of church instruction is still extant in {300} Genoa. In 1509 she
died, leaving all of her property and possessions to the hospital, and
her body, miraculously preserved, reposes in a superb crystal casket
within the chapel of the hospital. Of her, as Edgcumbe Staley says in
his "Heroines of Genoa," the well-known Italian proverb has been
quoted: _Vera felicitá senza Dio non si da_--True happiness without
God there is none.

Another of these distinguished intellectual women of the Renaissance
in Italy was the venerable Battistina Vernazza, whose parents were
famous for their benevolence and had a high place in the Libro d'Oro
de' Benemeriti of Genoa. She was born in 1497. Early in life she
showed remarkable talents as a student of Latin and a writer of verses
in Latin and in the vernacular. She entered the Convento delle Grazie
but declined to take the veil until both her parents gave their
consent, and though her father was willing her mother refused to
permit her to be separated from her. After her mother's early death
she entered the convent and there became noted for her piety and
learning. Her writings are mainly controversial and were very famous
in her time. Letters of hers to well-known leaders of the
Protestantizing party are extant. At the death of her father, her
father's considerable fortune came to her. She applied it all to works
of charity, and especially in the direction of the rescue of young
girls from evil associations. She lived to be ninety years of age and
her memory is still so green among the Genoese because of all that she
did for the good of the people that in the quarter of the city where
she was born the Municipal School for Girls bears her name of
Battistina Vernazza.

Even the smaller towns gave birth to great women, and one of the most
distinguished women of the Century whose name is very little known,
mainly because her modesty would have it so, is Angela of Merici, the
distinguished founder of a religious order for the education of girls
of all classes, whose work has endured down to our time and whose
religious daughters are literally all over the world at the present
day. It is probable that the work of no woman of the Renaissance has
had so far-reaching an effect as that of this humble village maiden
whose one asset in life was her thought for {301} others and for duty.
An all too brief abstract of her story will be found in the chapter on
Feminine Education.

An important phase of the careers of the women of the Renaissance is
the manliness and independence of spirit which became manifest. It was
at this time that the word virago was first used but employed not as
now as a mark of disrespect, but on the contrary as a high compliment.
Catherine of Sforza, whose manly defence of her castle is well known
and whose life exhibited a series of thoroughly courageous incidents,
was known as the Virago of Forli, though at the same time she was
hailed as "the best gentlewoman of Italy." Isabella Gonzaga manifests
something of this same heroic vein and Clarice de Medici, the wife of
Filippo Strozzi, is in the same group. These women stand out as
remarkable, and yet many of the women of the Renaissance exhibited an
independence of character which is usually thought to be of much later

There are many educated people who are quite convinced that while the
Renaissance possessed distinguished women deservedly famous for their
unselfish character and their fine moral influence, it possessed an
even greater proportion of women whose vices made them a scandal for
all time and whose influence was far-reaching for evil. Indeed for
many the name of Lucretia Borgia, which has become a byword for
everything worst in human life, is supposed to be a better symbol of
the Renaissance than that of Vittoria Colonna. Probably the best
way--apart from the actual facts in the lives of women already
cited--to show the absolute untruth of this very prevalent impression
is to take the life of Lucretia Borgia herself, for it makes clear not
only how absolutely lacking in historical confirmation are the
ordinary traditions with regard to her, but on the contrary how well
she deserves to be classed among the great good women of the
Renaissance, all the scurrilous abuse of her that has accumulated to
the contrary notwithstanding. There is probably nothing that shows how
little of trust can be placed in contemporary documents unless these
are critically considered, than the complete change of view with
regard to the Borgia family, particularly Lucretia, which has taken
place in the last few years, as a consequence {302} of the more
careful scientific scholarly historical research of recent years.

The facts in Lucretia's life are comparatively few and rather easy to
understand. Its first part is shrouded in the calumnies so common with
regard to the Borgias. They were Spaniards making their way in Italy
and nothing was too bad to say of them. Her later life was all in the
limelight of publicity and should be the basis of any judgment of her.
When she was about twenty-four after two sad matrimonial experiences
she was married by political arrangement to Alfonso, the son of
Ercole, Duke of Ferrara. Before that marriage careful investigation as
to her character was made and a special envoy sent for that purpose
wrote that "there was nothing at all out of the way with Lucretia
herself. She was sensible, discreet, of good and loving nature and her
manners full of modesty and decorum; a good Christian filled with the
fear of God. ... In truth such are her good qualities that I rest
assured there is nothing to fear from her or rather everything to hope
from her." After her marriage Lucretia lived for nearly twenty years
at Ferrara. When she died in early middle life her funeral was
followed to the tomb by all the people of the city, who revered her as
a saint and looked up to her as one who had done everything that she
could to make life happier for her people. She was buried in the
Convent of the Sisters of the Corpus Christi, in the same tomb as the
Mother of Alfonso, the Duchess Leonora, of whose goodness we have
spoken, and her praises were on every tongue.

Whatever there is defamatory that is said about Lucretia concerns the
years before this marriage while she was living at Rome up to the age
of twenty-three. A knowledge of that fact alone is quite sufficient to
make the stories with regard to her unexampled viciousness very
dubious. Gregorovius has recently re-examined all the documents and
has completely vindicated her. She was merely the victim of the
violent political hatreds of the time. To take the one item of
poisoning with regard to which her name has been so infamous and her
reputation so notorious, Garnett, in the "Cambridge Modern History,"
declares that there is only one case in which the Borgias are supposed
to have used poison for which there is {303} any evidence, and that is
very dubious. With that one Lucretia had nothing to do. In discussing
her divorce from Sforza, he says: "The transaction also served to
discredit in some measure the charges against the Borgias of secret
poisoning, which would have been more easily and conveniently employed
than the disagreeable and scandalous method of a legal process."

Some of the tributes to Lucretia Borgia from her contemporaries are
highly laudatory. Among her friends were some of the best people of
the time. Aldus Manutius praises her to the skies, lauds her
benevolence to the poor, her care for the afflicted and her ability as
a ruler. There is no doubt at all that she was one of these wonderful
women of the Renaissance whose administrative ability must be admired
more than any other quality. During the absence of her husband she
ruled the State with wonderful prudence, and yet with a justice
tempered always with mercy. It was through her that a law was passed,
protecting the Jews of Ferrara, that became a model for other similar
legislation in the cities of Italy.

It is interesting to trace the change of attitude of mind toward her
on the part of those who either did not care for her or were actually
bitterly opposed to her. Her sister-in-law, Isabella D'Este, became a
real friend, as her letters attest, though at first she did not like
at all the idea of the union of the house of D'Este with that of the
Borgias, and it required all her father's force of will and all his
political astuteness besides to secure her presence at the marriage.
The letters of ten years later reveal a most intimate friendship
between these two women. Within a year after her marriage she had
completely won her husband, who was altogether indifferent at the
beginning and who married her because of his father's insistence and
entirely for political reasons. When her first baby died at birth her
husband was most solicitous for her, anxious about her health and made
a vow that he would go on a pilgrimage to Loretto for her recovery, a
vow which he fulfilled just as soon as her convalescence was assured.

The biographer of Bayard, the famous French Chevalier of the time,
_sans peur et sans reproche_, declared apropos of the visit of Bayard
to Madonna Lucretia at Ferrara: "I venture {304} to say that neither
in her time nor for many years before has there been such a glorious
princess. For she is beautiful and good, gentle and amiable to
everyone." Gregorovius declares in his "Lucretia Borgia, According to
Original Documents and Correspondence of Her Day": [Footnote 26]
"Lucretia had won universal esteem and affection; she had become the
mother of her people. She lent a ready ear to the suffering and helped
all who were in need. She put aside, as Jovius, a contemporary, said,
'the pomps and vanities of the world to which she had been accustomed
from childhood and gave herself up to pious works and founded and
endowed convents and hospitals.'" She died at the early age of forty,
so that the nearly twenty years of service for others represent not
the aftermath of a long stormy life, when human passions had burnt
themselves out, but the ripe years of maturity and highest vitality.

  [Footnote 26: Translated by Garner, Appleton, 1913, New York.]

Caviceo even ventured when he wished to praise the famous Isabella
Gonzaga to say that she approached the perfection of Lucretia. He
adds, and Gregorovius has emphasized this opinion, "she redeemed the
name of Borgia, which now was always mentioned with respect." Indeed
there are few women who ever lived of whom such marvellous encomiums
have been given by men who knew her well personally and who were
themselves often among those in a period of great men and women whose
memory the world will not willingly let die. Whatever of evil is said
of her is said by writers of scandal and littleness in her own time,
Italian enemies of the Spanish house of Borgia, which had come into
Italy and had a great success. These vile traditions, the kitchen
stories of the Renaissance, were gathered together and preserved
because so many people are interested in what is evil rather than
good. At a time when the greatness of the period in which she lived
was ill appreciated and when religious motives tempted to credulity
they came to be generally reported until Victor Hugo gathered them all
together for his characterization of her and with Donizetti's opera
popularized the idea that Lucretia was probably the worst woman who
had ever lived. It has taken much writing of real history to modify
this popular notion, which is not yet corrected, and nothing
illustrates {305} better the fallibility of popular historical
information than this Lucretia story.

  [Illustration: PALMA VECCHIO, ST. BARBARA]

When she came to die her husband said of her, writing to his nephew in
whose regard there was not the slightest question of hypocrisy or
pretence: "I cannot write this without tears, knowing myself to be
deprived of such a dear and sweet companion. For such her exemplary
conduct and the tender love which existed between us made her to me."

The greatest woman of the French Renaissance and probably the most
influential of the women of the time, with the possible exception of
Vittoria Colonna, was Marguerite of Angoulême. In English-speaking
countries she is better known as Marguerite of Navarre, though in
France she is sometimes spoken of also as Marguerite of Valois or of
France. She was the sister of Francis I, King of France, and devoted
in her affection towards him. Undoubtedly it was she more than any
other who inspired her brother with the idea of founding the College
of France, and it was she who was the patron and guardian of the
French Renaissance. After Francis had been captured at the battle of
Pavia and shipped as a prisoner to Spain she made the long, perilous,
difficult journey that it was in those days from Paris to Madrid with
sisterly devotion, and in spite of trying hardships stayed near her
brother during his confinement.

The world generally knows her as the author of the "Heptameron" and
has condemned her rather severely because of its too great freedom of
manners and morals. Our own generation, however, which from its
youngest years reads in our daily newspapers much worse stories than
Margaret ever wrote, should not be ready to condemn her. It is
difficult to understand her writing of these stories unless one knows
the conditions of the time. The license that had come in among the
novelists led to the telling of many stories that even our age,
accustomed to the greatest license in this matter, finds too frank.
Margaret, whom her generation has agreed in calling a saint, hoped to
undo the evil of such stories by telling them frankly and adding
morals to them. The stories have been read and the morals neglected.
Her idea was very much the same as the excuse made for the publication
of many {306} criminal stories of all kinds in our time, that
publicity makes for deterrence. The erroneous psychology of this
attempt at justification for a serious breach of ethics is only too
patent. Margaret's good intentions in the matter are undoubted. Good
intentions, however, do not guarantee that acts will be without evil
effects. Margaret was trying to correct the corruption of her time in
very much the same way as many women have been aroused into activity
in ours, only she made the sad mistake of using the wrong means by
thinking that publicity or information would prove a safeguard against
evil instead of an incentive to the very forms of vice that she was
trying to correct--above all for the young. Her significance in
literature is discussed in the chapter on French literature.

Margaret's personal character is one of the most beautiful in history
and it fully justifies the praise of her contemporaries and even
Vittoria Colonna's words, which would seem fulsome. The most
interesting phase of Marguerite's character is her devotion to the
sick poor. Down at Alençon the large hospital owed its origin to her
and her name was in benediction among the people because of all that
she did. Hers was no mere distant service such as a queen might render
because of the power she had to employ others, but she devoted herself
to personal work for them that made them feel her saintly
unselfishness. The king, her brother, gave her a grant for a foundling
school in Paris. This was known as _La Maison des Enfants Rouges_, The
House of the Red Children, because of the scarlet dresses which were
the uniforms. Francis in his grant says that his sister had told him
how these little children that had been picked up on the streets of
Paris die when they are taken to the Hôtel Dieu and that they need the
more special care of an institution for themselves and he is very glad
to come to her assistance.

When her own boy died at the age of a few months Marguerite, whose
tender family affection can be very well appreciated from her
relations with her brother, was stricken with grief. We have the naive
description, however, of the strength of soul with which she bore it:
"She went into her room, refusing the aid of any of the women attached
to the Court, she thanked the Lord very humbly for all the good it had
pleased {307} Him to do her." She went even farther than that,
however, she forbade that there should be any public grief, had the Te
Deum sung for joy in the church because the death meant the welcoming
into Heaven of an angel and she had placards made to be posted
throughout the city bearing the inscription, "The Lord hath given and
the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." And yet
she herself wore black after this and never changed it and after a
time this became the formal color of ladies' dress at her court.

One of the important women of the century whose administrative ability
surpassed that of the men of the time is Mary of Burgundy, whose
beautiful tomb is to be seen in Bruges. The monument is one of the
gems of the old town, but is not more than befitting the character of
the lady it was meant to commemorate. Her dealings with the proud
burghers of the Netherlands were those of a sympathetic sovereign
trying to assure prosperity to these thrifty towns whose trade made it
possible for so many of their people to become wealthy and happy
citizens. Had her mode of treating them descended to some of her
successors we would have been spared that ugly record of nearly a
hundred years of bloodshed and war and famine in the Low Countries,
which makes one of the saddest blots on modern history. Her granting
of privileges and conferring of rights with recognition of old customs
in formal documents is now commemorated in many places in the modern
art of the Low Countries, and these constitute her finest tribute and

The last of the women of this century who deserves to be mentioned and
without whom indeed any account of the century would be quite
incomplete is probably the greatest of all the women of the period and
perhaps the greatest intellectual woman who ever lived. The end of the
chapter brings us back to Spain to Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, whom
the world knows as St. Teresa. It is true that most of her work was
accomplished after the close of the century, but as she was born in
1515 and was therefore thirty-five years of age before Columbus'
Century closed, receiving all of her training and formation of mind in
the great Renaissance period, her place is naturally in this epoch.
She is the most important {308} of the women of the Renaissance,
though this is seldom realized, and her reputation instead of
decreasing with the years has rather increased. Even within the last
twenty years a number of lives of her was written in every language in
Europe and no less than a dozen of them have appeared in English. The
feminists of the modern time have turned to her as one of the great
representative women of all time.

It is worth while recording some of the great tributes to her. Her own
Spanish compatriots call her lovingly their Doctor of the Church. At
Rome at the entrance of the Vatican Basilica where appear in marble
the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church you will see one single
statue raised to a woman and bearing this inscription, _"Mater
Spiritualium"_--Mother of Things Spiritual. It is the statue of Teresa
who has been gloriously proclaimed the Mother of Spirituality, the
Mistress of Mystical Theology and practically a Doctor of the Church,
in the principles of the spiritual life.

The French and the Spanish are almost at opposite poles in their
critical appreciations, yet Teresa has been honored almost as much in
France as in her native country. Men so different as Bossuet and
Fénelon have united in proclaiming her their teacher in the science of
the saints and have declared her books, "The Way of Perfection," "The
Castle of the Soul," "The Book of Foundations" and "Spiritual Advice,"
the most wonderful contributions to human knowledge that have ever
been made.

Nor was her appeal only to the Latin races in Europe. The German
mystics have always found a special attraction in St. Teresa's work
and this was true not only among the Catholic students in Germany, but
also at nearly all times among the Protestants. In the modern time
Teresa has been the subject of many monographs by German writers.

In English, though national feeling and religious prejudice might be
expected to make Teresa little known or even deliberately neglected,
her works came to be very well known. In the middle of the seventeenth
century Crashaw became enamored (no other word will express his lofty
sentiments) of her writings and literally thought that no one had ever
had so high a vision of things other-worldly. George Eliot paid {309}
her tribute in the preface to "Middlemarch," and while her own
dissatisfaction with life makes that tribute somewhat grudging and
half-hearted, there is no doubt that our greatest woman novelist of
the nineteenth century had been very deeply influenced by the writings
of the calm light of the sixteenth.

Scarcely any writer has had as wide a European influence as this
cloistered saint, who wrote only because her confessor commanded her
to and who had no thought of style or of anything other than getting
the thoughts that would come to her as simply as possible before her
Spanish religious brethren. Her Spanish prose is a marvel of simple
dignity and correctness representing the best Spanish prose, even down
to our time. When Echegaray, the well-known Spanish novelist of our
time, received the Nobel Prize for literature a few years ago, he was
asked what he did for the perfection of his Spanish style. He declared
that almost the only book that he read for the sake of its style was
"The Letters of St. Teresa." We have nothing quite like these letters
in English, though Cowper's letters approach nearest to them. They are
full of simplicity, are deeply interesting in their detail of ordinary
life and above all are full of humor. This is the quality that most
people would be quite sure was lacking in the great Spanish nun. Those
who would explain her visions and her mortification on the ground of
hysteria or psycho-neurotic conditions would be undeceived at once in
their estimation of her character did they but read her letters. The
hysterical are above all lacking in a sense of humor and take
themselves very seriously.

Dante is probably the only writer in European literature with whom St.
Teresa can properly be compared. She has the same power to convey all
the deep significance of other-worldliness, the same universality of
interest, the same marvellous quality that draws to her particularly
those who are themselves of deeply poetic or profoundly spiritual
nature. Men who have spent long years in the study and the experience
of the things with which her writings are concerned, find them most
wondrously full of meaning and are most willing to devote time to
them. The editions of her various works would fill a very large
library, and there is no doubt at all that the {310} writings of no
woman who ever lived occupy so large a place in libraries all over the
world at the present time as those of St. Teresa.

Beside St. Thomas and Dante as a worthy member of a glorious trinity
of writers, with regard to the subjects that have been most elusive
though most alluring for men, St. Teresa deserves a place. Anyone who
would think, however, that she was merely a mystic would be sadly
mistaken in the estimate of her career. She was above all a thoroughly
practical woman. Her many foundations of the reform Carmelites under
the most discouraging circumstances show the indomitable will of the
woman and her power to live to accomplish. It was she who said when
her poverty was urged as a reason for not making further foundations,
"Teresa and five ducats can do nothing, but Teresa with God and five
ducats can do everything." There is no doubt now that she more than
any other in Spain turned back the tide of the Reformation. Her advice
was eagerly sought on all sides. While carefully maintaining her
cloistered life, she made many friends and influenced all of them for
what was best in them. Her reform of the Carmelites brought many
enemies, above all because other religious orders recognized that they
too would have to share in the reform, yet all was carried out to a
marvellously successful issue with gentleness and sweetness, but with
a firmness and courage that nothing could daunt and a power of
accomplishment that nothing could balk.

Those who think that Teresa's books are mere essays in pietism or
pleasant reading for moments of spiritual exaltation will be sadly
mistaken. For depth of meaning and profundity of aspiration after the
unknowable, yet approaching it nearer than any other has ever done,
St. Teresa's books are unmatched. For analysis of the soul and for the
manner of its unfolding in its strivings after higher things, Teresa
has no equal. Her pictures of celestial things are a constant reminder
of Dante. Most people think of the "Inferno" as Dante's masterpiece.
Those who know him best think rather of the "Purgatorio," but a few
lofty, poetic souls, steeped in the spiritual, have found his
"Paradiso" the sublimest of human documents. While there are constant
reminders of the {311} "Purgatorio" in many of Teresa's writings, it
is the "Paradise," however, that most frequently recurs in comparison.
What Cardinal Manning said of the "Paradiso" may well be repeated of
Teresa's mystical works. It has been said, "After the _'Summa'_ of St.
Thomas nothing remains but the vision of God." To this Cardinal
Manning added, "after the 'Paradiso' of Dante there remains nothing
but the beatific vision." Those whose life and studies have best
fitted them as judges have felt thus about the Spanish Doctress of the

Teresa was eminently human in every regard, and though what might be
considered harsh with herself, she was always kind to those who were
around her, and especially any who were in real suffering. She came by
these qualities very naturally, for her father is noted as an
extremely good man and exceptionally good to his servants and
charitable toward the poor of Avila. Indeed Teresa's biographers
insist so much on these qualities as to make it very clear that the
spirit of the time is represented by this member of the old Spanish
nobility, who took his duties towards others so seriously. Teresa was
not one of the exceptional souls who find convent life easy and even
consoling from the beginning, but on the contrary she has told herself
that she found the first eight days of her convent life terrible. It
seemed to her a prison. She had a physical fear of austerities and
pious books bored her. Perhaps the one very human thought that tempted
her more than any other to enter the convent was her feeling of
independence. The idea of marriage was quite distasteful. As she
expressed it, it was one thing to obey God, but quite another thing to
bind oneself to obey a man for a lifetime.

As if in compensation for all that the neurologists and psychiatrists
had to say of her, she herself had something to say of nervous
patients. For her, nervousness so-called was largely selfishness.
While sympathetic for feelings of depression, she had no sympathy for
those who would not throw them off by occupation of mind, but yielded
to them. She said, "What is called melancholy is at bottom only a
desire to have one's own way." She believed firmly that one could not
be made good by many rules, but goodness had to come from within and
from the spirit. She was quite impatient with the {312} religious
visitors, that is, special superiors sent to make inspections of
houses of religious who gave a number of new rules for the
communities. She said: "I am so tired with having to read all these
rules that I do not know what would become of me if I were obliged to
keep them."

It is easy to understand then why Cardinal Manning should have said
that St. Teresa furnishes an example that "spirituality perfects
common sense." She herself was one of the most sensible, joyous and
charming persons. Miss Field in the _Atlantic_ for March, 1903, says:
"Her charm, her sweetness, the loveliness of her conversation were
irresistible." It was Cardinal Manning, I believe, who declared that
"she was one of those sovereign souls that are born from time to time
as if to show what her race was created for at first and to what it is
still destined."

Teresa once said: "God preserve me from those great nobles who can do
something, yet who are such strange cranks." She reminded her nuns on
more than one occasion when she found in them a tendency to go to too
great lengths in austerity that we have a body as well as a soul, and
that this body when disregarded revenges itself upon the soul. There
are few subjects of importance in life on which St. Teresa has not
expressed herself wisely, and to know her writings is to be able to
quote many marvellous summations of worldly experience that the
cloister might seem to have precluded in her. On the subject of the
relation of low wages and virtue, Miss Repplier in the article on "Our
Loss of Nerve" _(Atlantic Monthly_, September, 1913) quoted St.
Teresa's profound comment which sums up so well our whole social
situation "where virtue is well rooted provocations matter little."





There is probably no more interesting phase of Columbus' Century for
our time than its feminine education, for the education of women had a
period of important development in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries which affected a very large number of women of the time and
afforded abundant opportunity to all those who wished to obtain the
highest intellectual culture. This was not, in spite of the apparently
very prevalent impression to that effect, the first time that women
had been given a chance to secure the higher education, for on the
contrary whenever there was a new awakening of educational interest,
women asked and obtained the privilege of sharing in it and showed how
thoroughly they could take advantage of such opportunities as were
afforded them. In the early days of the universities women had been
welcomed not only among the students but also the professors. They had
full charge of the department of women's diseases down in the south of
Italy where the most important part of the university was the medical
school, and then later at Bologna they had been professors in every
department,--in law, when the law school was the central university
feature, in mathematics, in literature, even in anatomy. As a
consequence of the tradition thus established there has never been a
century since the twelfth in which there have not been distinguished
women professors at some of the Italian universities.

Earlier when Charlemagne was reorganizing education on the continent
with the help of the Irish and English monks, the women of the court
attended the palace school as well as the men, and we have many
records of their interest. The women of the Benedictine monasteries
shared the interest of the Benedictines generally in literature, made
many copies of books, possessed large and important libraries and even
{314} became distinguished as writers. Hroswitha, the nun dramatist of
the tenth century, who came into prominence in Columbus' Century
because of the issuance of an edition of her work by Celtes, the
German Renaissance humanist, is but one example of the literary
interest in the Benedictine convents which must have been ardent and
widespread. Later we have the works of the great Abbess Hildegarde,
who wrote on many subjects and who was probably the most important
writer of her time. This is certainly true so far as physical sciences
are concerned. St. Bernard, who was her contemporary, has enjoyed more
reputation in subsequent generations than Hildegarde but she was
almost as well known in her own as the great founder of the

Earlier still than Charlemagne or the foundation of the convent
schools St. Brigid had established a college for women at Kildare, in
Ireland, to which there came many of the nobility not only of Ireland
itself but also of England and of the neighboring shores of Europe,
seeking the opportunity for higher education. We have learned more of
the details of this Irish phase of feminine education in recent years,
and it has grown ever more and more important in the history of

At every new phase of educational development, then, the women had had
their share in the movement, and it is not surprising that when the
Renaissance brought with it that deep interest in the ancient
classics, that was known as the New Learning, women also had their
share in this. The very first of the great Italian teachers of the
Renaissance Vittorino da Feltre insisted that there should be two
conditions for his teaching. One was that the young women should be
allowed to take advantage of it as well as the young men and the other
that the poor who desired to study should not be denied access to his
classes. The magnificent success that he made of education at Mantua
was soon followed by similar movements in other Italian cities and
everywhere the tradition of feminine education for those who desired
to have it, came into existence. Guarino's influence for feminine
education is only less than that of Vittorino. As a consequence there
was not a city of any importance in Italy in which there were not some
women {315} noted for their knowledge of the classics and their
interest in the New Learning, and in many of the cities there were
distinguished woman students who, even in their early years, exhibited
scholarly qualifications that made them famous.

Vittorino da Feltre, the great teacher of the beginning Renaissance,
had during the first half of the fifteenth century a school at Mantua,
where on the border of the lake he was teaching a group of noble
youths and maidens according to the high ideals of education which he
has so well laid down. Their course of study included Latin, Greek,
philosophy, mathematics, grammar, logic, music, singing and dancing.
Besides this, however, his scholars were taught "to live the simple
life, to tell the truth and to remember that true scholarship was
inseparable from virtue and a sense of lofty gratitude towards the
Creator." As might have been expected from the Greek traditions of
education, which were then attracting so much attention, the training
of the body was not neglected and various outdoor games were insisted
on so that there might be a healthy mind in a healthy body.

Some of the traditions of that school at Mantua make very interesting
reading and show how much some of the intervening periods in the
history of education degenerated from those early days. For instance,
we hear that not infrequently when Vittorino wanted to make a passage
of Virgil impressive his scholars were taken out to Pietole, which has
been identified as probably the village of Andes, in which, according
to Donatus, Virgil was born, and here in the shady groves Virgil would
be read and discussed and then there would be games and a return to
the castle. While Vittorino was broad in his selections in the classic
authors, and Virgil and Cicero and Homer and Demosthenes were read
with explanations and then certain passages required to be learned by
heart so as to form their style, he was no pedant and no friend of any
exhibition of mere erudition. His most important bit of advice for his
students was "First be sure that you have something to say, then say
it simply." No wonder one of the D'Estes declared "that for virtue,
learning and a rare and excellent way of teaching good manners, this
master surpassed all others."


It would be easy to think that perhaps the young noblewomen of the
time got but a very superficial knowledge of the classics, but we have
a tradition of Cecilia Gonzaga, the daughter of the reigning house of
Mantua and Vittorino's favorite pupil, that she could read Chrysostom
at the age of eight and could write Greek with singular purity at the
age of twelve. No wonder we hear of her later as the marvel of the
age. Evidently all prejudice with regard to feminine education was at
an end when Bembo said: "A girl ought to learn Latin, it puts the
finishing touch to her charm."

Sandys in his Harvard lectures on the Revival of Learning, has told
the story of some of these young women scholars of Vittorino da Feltre
and Guarino with some interesting details which show that success in
scholarship did not prove an inflater of vanity in the young women of
the time nor impair their religious spirit.

  "Women, as well as men, retained a grateful remembrance of the
  intellectual training, which they had received from Guarino and
  Vittorino. Vittorino's pupil, Cecilia Gonzaga, a daughter of the
  ruling house of Mantua, whose fresh and simple grace may be admired
  in the medallion of Pisanello, was already learning Greek at the age
  of seven; while, among the pupils of Guarino, Isotta Nogarola was
  skilled in Latin verse and prose, and quoted Greek and Latin authors
  in the course of those learned letters to her tutor, which were not
  entirely approved by the public opinion of Verona. In cases such as
  these, the studious temper was often associated with retiring habits
  and with strong religious feeling; and, like Baptista dei Malatesti,
  the former correspondent of Leonardo Bruni, both of these learned
  ladies ultimately took the veil."

While so much attention was paid to the classics, the great Italian
authors were not neglected and the Italian girls of the Renaissance
were brought up to know the classic literature of the vernacular. It
was the custom to have Dante and Petrarch and Ariosto read to them
while they were doing embroidery, and these charming young women of
the Renaissance in every country in Europe had the reputation for
doing most wonderful embroidery. They also learned to play on {317}
various musical instruments, and their voices were cultivated to the
best possible advantage. It is often a source of wonder where they got
the time to do all these things. Some of the letters from the French
and Spanish ambassadors at these various Italian courts tell of the
marvellous ability of these charming young women. As a rule the
ambassador's idea in writing such descriptions was to suggest the
possibility of marriages being arranged between the scions of the
noble houses of their own countries with these women. It was rather
important, therefore, that there should not be much exaggeration or
the ambassador might well be discredited.

It is easy to think that with all this of intellectual life the young
women of the time must have had very little exercise, especially in
the outer air, and above all must not have indulged in what we think
of as sport. The story of Vittorino da Feltre's school is a
contradiction of this, and besides the traditions that have come to us
show that every young woman of the nobility learned to ride horseback
at this time. All of them could ride boldly. They hunted and many of
them went hawking. Riding was of course an absolutely necessary
accomplishment at that time, for carriages were very rare, and such as
there were were almost impossibly uncomfortable for long journeys.
Good roads had not as yet been made outside of the towns, and the only
way to go visiting friends at any distance was on horseback. Many of
these young women had to travel long distances, especially at the time
of their marriage, and later on they sometimes accompanied their
husbands on rather long journeys.

In spite of their reputation for scholarship, we have not any very
serious remains of their intellectual efforts, and yet some of them
wrote poetry and prose well above the average in merit, and at least
in Italy their works are still read by students of Italian literature.
For instance, we have the poems of Lucretia de Medici, the mother of
Lorenzo the Magnificent, who had been one of the Tornabuoni family,
merchant princes of Florence, with many of the solid virtues of the
middle class from which she sprang. Tradition tells us that she was
ever her great son's most trusted councillor, and he has left it on
record that he thought her the wisest. She was {318} noted for her
princely alms, her endowment of poor convents, her dowries to orphan
girls, and though it has sometimes been said that these were all so
many bids for popularity, any such discount of her good works wrongs
her deeply, for she was profoundly religious, took particular care to
bring up her children piously, and it is to the fact that she wrote
hymns for them that we owe the poetic works that have come to us and
which rank high among this form of poetry.

The best known of these women of the Renaissance, that is, the most
famous for their learning, were the sisters D'Este, Isabella and
Beatrice, of whom we have so many interesting traditions. The famous
Battista Guarino of Verona was chosen as teacher for the girls, and
with him they learned to read Cicero and Virgil and study the history
of Greece. They learned Italian literature from the many distinguished
literary men, some of them themselves gifted poets, who came to the
beautiful palace and its gardens at Ferrara, and were welcomed by the
well-known patron of learning, the Duke of Ferrara. They learned to
read French at least and to enjoy Provençal poetry. Their mother,
Leonora of Aragon, the daughter of Ferdinand, or as he is sometimes
called, Ferrante, King of Naples, was herself a scholarly woman. The
traditions of scholarship at the Court of Naples were deep, and of
long duration. As their father was the famous scholar and patron of
learning, Duke Ercole I, there was a precious heritage of culture on
both sides. Their mother, however, was more known for her piety even
than for her learning, though this was so noteworthy as to be
historical. Her charities made her looked up to by all of her people
until it is not surprising that the chroniclers of her time speak of
her as a saint.


Often it is said that only a few of the daughters of the nobility had
the opportunity for the higher education, and it is even the custom to
declare that most of these were instances where fathers had expected
sons instead of daughters and then raised the girls as companions and
gave them the education that ordinarily was reserved for boys. George
Eliot's picture of the times as given in "Romola," has sometimes
emphasized this, and she herself seems not to have been quite able to
persuade herself that there were liberal and abundant {319}
opportunities for the education of women in Italy towards the end of
the fifteenth century. It was so difficult in her (George Eliot's)
time for a woman to obtain education that it was almost impossible to
bring oneself to think of ample facilities existing nearly four
centuries before. Anyone who reads Burckhardt, however, or indeed any
of the modern writers on the Renaissance, will not be likely to think
that education was reserved for single daughters of families, or that
they indeed had any better opportunities than others except for the
fact that family attention was centred on them as it is now.
Burckhardt notes that it was especially the wives and daughters of the
_condottieri,_ that is, of the hired leaders of armies, the self-made
men of the time, who were lifting themselves up into positions of
prominence, who were the most frequent among the educated women of the

The records are complete enough to show that there was probably as
much, if not more, feminine education in Italy at least than in our
own time. This will probably be hard for many people to believe, but,
as I have said, no important city was without it. What may be called
the important cities of that time nearly all contained less than
100,000 inhabitants and many of them had not more than ten to twenty
thousand. When one finds schools for the higher education of women in
every one of these it is easy to understand how widely diffused the
feminine movement was. Lest it should be thought that the education
provided for or allowed the women of the time was narrow in its scope,
with so many limitations that intellectual development in the true
sense of the word was hampered, it may be as well to recall that women
were even encouraged in the public display of their talents. We read
of the young princesses and their court attendants taking part in
Latin plays given before the Pope and other high ecclesiastics, as
well as visiting rulers at this time. We have the story of Ippolita
Sforza saluting Pope Pius II, who had been the scholarly AEneas
Sylvius before his elevation to the pontificate, with a graceful Latin
address when he came to the Congress at Mantua. Another of the
oratorical princesses of the time was Battista Montefeltro, who is
famous for addresses delivered on many important occasions.


While the D'Estes have been probably better known, historians declare
that the women of the House of Gonzaga reached the highest excellence
in this Renaissance period of feminine education. Everywhere, however,
woman received the opportunity for whatever education she desired.
Down in Naples the old Greek traditions had survived, and when the
disturbance of the Grecian Empire by the Turks brought about a
reawakening of Greek culture in the south of Italy, the women shared
it as well as the men. At the Court of Joanna or Giovanna, whose
career is of special interest as an anticipation of the ill-fated
Mary, Queen of Scots, many of the women reached high intellectual
distinction. It is to these lofty Neapolitan educational influences
that we owe the intellectual development of Vittoria Colonna.
Everywhere, however, the same story might be told. At Rome, at
Florence, at Verona, at Padua, even at Forli and Ravenna and Rimini,
as well as at Genoa, though Genoa was so much more intent on making
money than developing its culture, the women took excellent advantage
of the opportunities for learning, often proved to be more successful
in their studies than their brothers, and though they did not
accomplish much that was to endure in the intellectual life, they seem
to have been thoroughly respected by their contemporaries and looked
up to as cultured, scholarly personalities.

In his "Heroines of Genoa and the Rivieras," Edgcumbe Staley [Footnote
27] has said something of the productivity of the literary women even
of Genoa during this period. Genoa was known as probably more
interested in mere luxury and less interested in the intellectual life
for its own sake than any of the cities of Italy with which we are
familiar. The Genoese were the merchant princes whose wives and
children, like our own, were much more occupied with the display of
their wealth than in the development of a taste for art and letters
and the cultivation of a true critical faculty. I have already
mentioned some of the products of the Genoese intellectual life among
women, however, and this will add to the impression that I think is so
true that in proportion to the population there were just as many
women interested in education and in {321} literature, women writers
and poets in that time as there are in our own. Mr. Staley said:

    [Footnote 27: Scribner & Sons, New York.]

  "Among the glittering bevies of intellectual and virtuous damsels,
  who delighted in the beauties and revelled in the romances of the
  Villetta di Negro and similar pleasures, were such _gentildonne_ as
  Peretta Scarpa-Negrone and Livia Spinola, who wrote poems of the
  heart and the home; Benedetta--Livia's sister--and Caterina
  Gastadenghi--she sang and played the folk songs of Liguria; Leonora
  Cibo and Pellegrina Lescara, sweet translators of the 'Aeneid' of
  Virgil and the 'Odes' of Horace."

These educated women of the Renaissance were particularly noted for
the application of their education to the concerns of their home.
Their artistic taste was exercised, as we have already shown, in
selecting various ornaments for it and in directing artists in its
decoration. They did not have many art objects around them, but what
few there were had been made as a rule by distinguished artists and
represented something of the personality of the mistresses of the
household. But it must not be thought that they devoted themselves
exclusively to the cult of beauty in things. They realized their
influence for good over the men of their time and exercised it. The
example of Vittoria Colonna is often cited in this regard, but not
because it is exceptional, rather what was characteristic. These
educated women of the Renaissance were model wives and mothers. They
were sedulous for the education of their children, and the poetry that
we have from them, or the letters that have been preserved, and which
show very clearly their high intellectual development, were meant for
their children or for their relatives. Their homes were evidently
always their first thought. They planned their own dresses, often
executed some of the decoration for them, or had them designed or made
under their direction, bought beautiful books for the home, encouraged
the illuminators and the embroiderers and beautiful needleworkers of
the time, and in general proved to be ready and able to help through
their households to give opportunities for the artists, but also for
the artisans and the arts and crafts workers of the time.

We find a number of their names on the list of Aldus' {322} regular
customers at Venice, his subscribers, who made it possible by assuring
him at least the cost of his books to go on with his magnificent
editions of the classics. We have letters in which they complain of
the cost of these first editions because there were other household
expenses to be met, but undoubtedly they were always greatly helpful
in the educational cause.

Most interesting perhaps of all that they did is the beautiful
gardens, which, now that our generation through better transportation
facilities is able to live out of town, are coming to be more properly
appreciated than before. The Renaissance gardens have been the subject
of much writing and illustration in our magazines and books in recent
years, and it must not be forgotten that we owe them above all to the
women of the Renaissance. They invited artists and architects, who
designed them, and trained landscape gardeners to execute them, but it
was their interest that was most important. Their gardens came to be
an enlargement of their houses, and in the sunny land of Italy
afforded many refuges for pleasant living, even in the warmest
weather, and for the privacy of even their crowds of guests, which
made their homes welcome repairs for the nobility of the time.

Perhaps the best criterion of the thoroughness of the education given
women at this time is the influence exerted by the women of the period
on art and artists and literary men of the time, and above all the
cultivated taste displayed in their homes. A typical example is
afforded by Isabelle D'Este whose _camerini_, her private apartments,
are reproduced at South Kensington and described in one of their
manuals on Interior Decoration in Italy in the fifteenth century and
the sixteenth century. As these decorations for the dowager Duchess
D'Este were made just about the middle of Columbus' Century, the
authoritative description of them will be the best document. The
Museum of South Kensington has had one side of her painting room
reconstructed, and it shows, as no mere description could, the beauty
of the apartment and the taste of its owner.

A quotation from the description of the three rooms as given in the
South Kensington Art Handbook "Italian Wall Decorations of the
Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries" will {323} serve better than any
praise to give an idea of the charming retreat that Isabella made for
herself when her position as Dowager Duchess gave her the leisure as
well as the opportunity to devote herself to the construction of a
retreat which should reflect her personality.

  "The 'Grotta,' on the ground floor of the old Palazzo Bonnacolsi,
  remained set apart for her collections of art and for receptions;
  princes on their travels, ambassadors on their missions, travellers
  of distinction and artists came to visit her. She accumulated in it
  statues and rare objects, and even added a 'Cortile,' with fountains
  playing during the summer. But the three new rooms at the top of the
  'Paradiso' became the object of her predilection, and it is amidst
  such surroundings, the real 'paradise' of Isabella D'Este, that
  historians must place her portrait.

  "The first room was dedicated to music, the favorite pursuit of
  Isabella. The cupboards were filled with beautiful instruments:
  mandolines, lutes, clavichords inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and made
  specially for her by Lorenzo of Pavia; and here stood the famous
  organ by the same master, the description of which is to be found in
  the princess's correspondence. Round the walls of this first room
  were reproduced views of towns in 'intarsia' of rare woods, and on
  one of the panels figured a few bars of a 'Strambotto,' composed by
  Okenghem to words dictated by Isabella, and signed by that famous
  singing master. On the ceiling was the 'Stave,' which exists in the
  coat-of-arms of the House of Este, and along the cornices friezes
  were formed of musical instruments carved in the wood.

  "In the second room, devoted to painting and also to study, six
  masterpieces by the greatest painters of the time adorned the walls
  above the panelling.

  "The third room was reserved for receptions. Everywhere in the
  ceiling, in the compartments, in the friezes (delicately carved in
  gilded stucco upon an azure background) are found the devices
  commented on at length by the humanists of her court: 'Alpha and
  Omega' and the golden candlestick with seven branches, on which a
  single light has resisted the effects of the wind, with the motto,
  _'Unum sufficit in tenebris;'_ and {324} everywhere is to be read
  the mysterious motto of which she was so proud, _'Nec Spe nec
  Metu,'_ the highest resolution of a strong mind, which henceforth
  'without hope, without fear,' ended in solitude a tormented life. In
  the recess of the thick wall slightly raised above the floor,
  Isabella placed her writing table within reach of the shelves
  containing her favorite books; while she read there or wrote those
  letters addressed to the poets and artists of Italy, overflowing
  with enthusiasm for arts and letters, when she lifted her eyes
  beyond the tranquil waters at the mouth of the Po, towards
  Governolo, she would see coming the gilded Bucentaur with the
  coat-of-arms of Ferrara, which brought her news of her family,
  D'Este, and that of Aragon."

Lucretia Borgia at Ferrara not only continued the tradition of
aesthetic good taste so characteristic of the D'Este family into which
she had married, but even her years as mistress of the palace at
Ferrara mark an epoch in its history. She succeeded in securing the
services of some of the greatest of the artists of this wonderful
period, who came and contributed to the decoration of her private
apartments. Unfortunately her _camerini,_ private apartments, in the
Castello Rosso of Ferrara were destroyed by fire in 1634. They had
been adorned with paintings by Bellini, Titian and Dosso Dossi, fitted
into recesses of white marble carved by Antonio Lombardi. These rooms
as elsewhere were of small size, real living rooms, reflecting the
character of the personal taste of the owner. They were sanctuaries of
art and of literature with selected libraries of chosen volumes in
fine bindings and of music with beautiful musical instruments.

Many of these women of the Renaissance in Italy were famous for their
devotion to works of charity. Indeed I know nothing that is more
admirable than the story of their care for the ailing poor. It is
often presumed that between their interest in education and literature
and the artists of the time, and above all their devotion to the
pleasures of dress and decoration, silks and jewels and perfumes, then
coming in so rapidly from the East, these women must have had very
little time for anything but selfish display of their personal beauty
or intellectual talent. The rapid accumulation of wealth, {325}
proportionally at least as great as in our time, might very readily be
supposed to direct them as it has many other generations from the more
serious side of life. The actual story of their lives is very
different. There were exceptions, who have unfortunately attracted
more attention than others, of whom little that is good can be said.
The proportion, however, who devoted themselves with a nobility of
soul that deserves to be commemorated to unselfish care for those who
needed it was very large. Mr. Staley in his "Heroines of Genoa" (p.
225) has a paragraph on this subject which well deserves to be
recalled, for it refers almost entirely to the women of Columbus'
Century, and it must not be forgotten that Genoa was much more of a
commercial city, with a more rapid rise in wealth, than any other in
Italy except possibly Venice, and the beautiful spirit of personal
service for the poor is therefore all the more admirable.

  "Women in every age and land are prone much more to works of mercy
  and religion; of such surely was 'the crown of daughters of
  Genoa'--so-called by many writers. Benedettina Grimaldi, 'chaste,
  self-denying, amiable, charitable, moderate in dress and personal
  pleasures,' a munificent patroness of the great Ospedale di
  Pammatone, nursed patients suffering from plague and leprosy and
  endowed beds for their treatment and alleviation; Argentina,
  daughter of Signore Opicio Spinola, and wife of the Marchese di
  Monferrato: Violanta, daughter of Signore Gianandrea Doria; and
  Isabella, daughter of Signore Luca Fiasco, and wife of Luchino,
  Prince of Milan, were contemporaries in the beneficent field of
  charity. Devoted to the offices of religion, they proved the
  sincerity of their faith by their eleemosynary services to sick and
  dying men and women in prison and to debased mariners in port.
  Benevolent institutions were founded and endowed, under the style of
  'Le Donne di Misericordia,' in 1478 and in 1497, 'La Campagnia del
  Mantiletto'--'Wearers of the Veil,' by the munificence of
  noble-hearted women. All these threw open to the suffering objects
  of their regard the healthful pleasure grounds of their villas, and
  it was no rare sight to find a lady, fashionably attired, seated
  under the {326} colonnade of a temple, or beneath a shady tree,
  talking to and cheering poor and friendless sufferers."

The names of the princesses who were prominent in the feminine
education of this time have led many to conclude that only women of
the higher classes were given the chance to be educated at this time.
To a certain extent this is true, but at all times it must be true,
for they alone have the leisure for the intellectual life. To recall
what the nobility of Italy were at this time is to appreciate better
the real situation. They were the successful merchant-bankers and
their descendants (as the House of Medici), leaders of victorious
armies, the scions of old families, who had made their influence felt
in the politics of their cities for from three, sometimes even less,
to ten, rarely more generations, the children of great navigators or
admirals, even of successful traders and manufacturers--as the glass
makers of Murano and the merchant princes of Genoa--in a word they
represented exactly the same elements of the population as our
better-to-do classes of to-day. It was the daughters of these who were
accorded and took so well at this time the opportunity for education
and culture.

Besides these there were not a few of what may be called the lower
classes who became famous for their scholarship. This had always been
true in Italy particularly. Catherine of Siena was a dyer's daughter.
Dante's inamorata and her companions, whom we think of as cultured
because of the poems addressed to them, were the daughters of men in
trade. But in the Renaissance the opportunities even for the
comparatively poor to obtain education were greatly widened, and it is
evident that any of the young women of the time who had the ambition
for learning might obtain it and undoubtedly many of them did. The
tradition created by Vittorino da Feltre, according to which women and
those of less means might obtain education, maintained itself and
proved the seed of further developments in the liberal provision of
opportunities for education for all classes.


The names of a number of women scholars have come down to us who did
not belong to the higher nobility, and some of {327} their
achievements have become a part of the great tradition of scholarship
of the time. Alessandra Scala and Cassandra Fedele, for instance, were
among the most learned correspondents of Politian and were looked upon
as ladies with whom deep questions of scholarship might be discussed
seriously. Domitilla Trivulzio delivered Latin orations before
thronged assemblies and women orators were quite common. The tradition
that women should not speak in public did not obtain at all at this
time in Italy and we hear much of their eloquence. The impression so
prevalent at the present moment, that this is the first time in
history that women have dared to proclaim their rights publicly, is
quite erroneous and is founded on a deep ignorance of realities, with
a corresponding characteristic presumption of knowledge. Isotta of
Verona took part in public controversies with regard to the relative
value of men and women in life. It is strangely familiar to find that,
for instance, one of the subjects which she discussed was whether man
or woman was most to be blamed for what happened in the Garden of
Eden, and still more familiar to find that her argument was that man
was the responsible party. These learned women, however, were touched
also by the tender passion, and one of the most distinguished of the
feminine scholars, Veronica de Gambara, comes down to us in history as
a pattern of conjugal faithfulness, while Gaspara Stampa, the
distinguished poetess, according to tradition, died of love.

One of the little known scholars among the Women of the Renaissance,
who deserves a better fate than oblivion, is Olympia Morata, a
veritable prodigy of learning. She received most of her education at
the court of Duchess Renée at Ferrara. When she came, at the age of
twelve, to be the companion of the Duchess's daughter, she was already
familiar with Greek and Latin literature. This is surprising enough,
but her subsequent progress is even more remarkable. "At fourteen she
wrote Latin letters and essayed to imitate the dialogues of Cicero and
Plato. At sixteen she lectured at the University of Ferrara on the
Ciceronian Paradoxes" (Sandys). At twenty she married a good German,
of whom almost the only thing we know is that he was her husband, and
she {328} died at the early age of twenty-nine at Heidelberg. When her
literary remains were collected they were dedicated to one who was
reputed "the most learned lady of her age, Queen Elizabeth of

The movement for the education of women of this time would have been
quite incomplete, however, if the women themselves had not taken part
in the organization of feminine education. In treating of "The Women
of the Century" I have already suggested that this important element
of feminine education was not lacking. There is abundant evidence of
the presence and enduring work of at least one great woman educator,
in the sense of an organizer of educational methods, whose influence
has been continuously felt in many parts of the world ever since and
whose work is not only alive in our time but has shown its power to
adapt itself even to the needs and demands of the twentieth-century
woman. This is, after all, only what might be expected of an educator
of this time, since the other accomplishments of her contemporaries
have proved so lasting in their effects.

This very interesting woman of Columbus' Century, whose life is
comparatively little known, though her work occupies a very important
place in the history of education ever since, was Angela Merici, the
foundress of the Ursulines. When twenty years of age this daughter of
the lesser Italian nobility became convinced that the great need of
that time was the better instruction of young girls in Christian
doctrine and their training in a thoroughly Christian life. She
converted her home into a school, where at certain hours of the day
she gathered all the little girls of her native town of Desenzano, a
small municipality on the southwestern shore of Lake Garda in
Lombardy, and gave them lessons in the elements of Christianity. The
work, thus humbly begun, proved to have so many factors of worth in it
that it very soon attracted attention. Before long she was invited to
the neighboring city of Brescia to establish a similar school, but on
a much larger scale and more ambitious scope. She did so all the more
willingly because one day during her earlier life in the small town of
Desenzano she had had a vision in which it was revealed to her that
she was to found an association of young women {329} who would take
vows of chastity and devote their lives to the religious training of
young girls.

After years of patient waiting and thoughtful consideration of the
subject of organizing the education of young women and providing for
continuance of her work--the delay mainly due to the fact that Angela
feared that she might not be capable of accomplishing it properly--she
came to the establishment of a religious order that would take up this
service. When the constitutions which she had written were presented
to Paul III, the Pope, who in spite of his resolve not to increase the
number of religious orders, had felt compelled to approve the Jesuits
after reading their constitutions because, as he said, he perceived
"the finger of God is here"; also found himself forced to approve of
those written by Angela Merici, saying to St. Ignatius, the founder of
the Jesuits, as he did so, "I have given you sisters." What the
Jesuits did for the education of young men during the next two
centuries, the Ursulines did for the young women. They spread rapidly
until they had communities in all the Catholic countries of Europe,
and then houses were established beyond the seas in the Latin-American
countries and almost wherever missionaries succeeded in founding
churches. Mother Incarnation came to Quebec and is one of the most
wonderful women in the early history of the continent. That was before
the end of the seventeenth century. At the beginning of the eighteenth
(1726) they established a house in New Orleans.

When persecutions came the Ursulines were, as a rule, picked out as an
object of special enmity by those who sought to injure the Church.
During the French Revolution they were the special butt of the
intolerance of the French Republic and gave many martyrs to the cause
of religion. When the Kulturkampf came in Germany they were as
specifically selected for banishment as the Jesuits, and indeed they
have nearly always shared the fate of the Jesuits in times of trial.
They have not been without special distinction by persecution even
here in America. Their convent was burned down at Charlestown in
Massachusetts during the bitter wave of feelings against the religious
orders that had been aroused among Protestants in 1835. Their house
was the very centre of {330} danger in the "Know Nothing" riots in
Philadelphia some twenty years later.

To-day, four centuries after their foundation, the institute is still
actively alive and doing its work in every part of the world. When the
first sisters elected Angela as their superior they asked that the
name of the institute should be the Angelines, after her own name. She
was shocked and insisted that, as their superior, she would require
them to take the name of Ursulines in honor of St. Ursula. With all
this humility, her personality was so pervasive that it still lives in
all her houses. There are schools for young women in many of the
States of the Union and in many parts of Canada. They are to be found
in distant Alaska, teaching within the Arctic Circle. There are
Ursulines under the equator, both on this continent, in Brazil and in
Africa. This is only another example of the sort of work that the
wonderful characters of Columbus' Century accomplished. Whatever they
did had a vital force in it that made it live and prove a stimulus and
an example to the generations and the centuries down to our own time.
Angela of Merici, though almost unknown outside of the Catholic
Church, was one of the very great women of the Renaissance. Probably
no woman of the time, not even St. Teresa, has had so wide and deep an
influence over succeeding generations as the retiring Angela of

As might well be expected, the movement for feminine education which
was felt so strongly in Italy affected France to a scarcely less
degree. Indeed, there were much more intimate relations between the
nobility of the two countries and among the scholars of the time all
over Europe than is usually supposed. As all the scholarly writing was
done in Latin, the barrier of language was removed and educational
interests readily became very widely diffused. Early in Columbus'
Century, Queen Anne of Bretagne is famous for her insistence on
education for the women of the French Court. There was a school of
Latin at which they all attended, but besides they were expected to
know Italian as well as French, and while doing their needlework books
were read to them that were calculated to enrich their memories and
enhance their literary taste. Queen Anne believed very thoroughly in
the fullest of {331} intellectual development for women, and yet
insisted also on their duties as managers of their households, and
above all as home-makers in the best sense of the term. She knew the
dangers of merely intellectual education, and expressions of hers on
this subject are often quoted.

The court of Queen Marguerite of Navarre was at least as intellectual
as that of Queen Anne, and besides it had the advantage of the deeper
knowledge of the classics that had come in the meantime. Marguerite
encouraged literature, and herself contributed to it. She had the
large tolerance of mind of the educated woman and used it to protect
some of those who had fallen under the suspicion, so rife at the time
because of the religious troubles in Germany, of favoring or
attempting to teach heretical doctrines. As a consequence, she has
herself fallen under the suspicion of leanings towards heresy and
sympathy with the reformers. This was only, however, to the extent in
which that sympathy was shared by Erasmus and others of the time, who
saw the abuses that needed correction and hoped that the reform
movement would correct them, but who broke with it at once when they
realized that revolution and not true reformation was intended. The
correspondence between Vittoria Colonna and Marguerite is evidence at
once of the intimate relations of the learned women of different
countries and also of the sympathy existing between these two
scholarly women whose influence over their contemporaries meant so
much for the intellectual life of the time. The education given Mary
Queen of Scots, which is mentioned later in this chapter, shows how
much intellectual development was appreciated for the ruling classes
of the time in France.

There are certain expressions from some of these educated women,
especially those without much to do, that are wonderful anticipations
of some of the things that are heard very commonly now as regards the
attitude of educated women toward man's suppression of her in the
preceding time. How strangely familiar are these words from Louise
Labé, the French poetess of the middle class, one of whose poems of
passion will be found in the chapter on French literature. "The hour
has now struck," she declared, "when man can no {332} longer shackle
the honest liberty which our sex has so long yearned for, when women
are to prove how deeply men have hitherto wronged them." That
expression is not, however, any more familiar than one of the comments
of a masculine contemporary on this occupation of the educated women
of the time with political ideas, which is quoted by Miss Sichel in
her "Men and Women of the French Renaissance": "Political women go on
chattering as if it were they who did everything."

The women of the time, however, occupied themselves with practical
work of many kinds, and not merely with book-learning or political
scheming. There is a tradition of a feminine architect of the
Tuileries--Mlle. Perron (Porch) being her not inappropriate name. Many
Frenchwomen were particularly interested in the diffusion of education
among the poorer classes, and we have the story of many school
foundations. Mlle. Ste. Beuve, who founded a school and took up her
residence opposite to it, became very much interested in the pupils,
whom she called her "bees," and whom she encouraged by prizes and
distinctions of various kinds. After her death, by the request of the
scholars her place was set at table in their midst for the occasions
on which she used to come to them, for they felt that her spirit was
still with them. Mlle. Saintonge wanted to take up the work of
education, but was opposed by her father. She was very much
misunderstood, and at one time was stoned by the children on the
street. She began with the teaching of five little girls in a garret.
Ten years later she was brought in procession by all the people to the
great new convent school erected for her, because they realized now
how much her work was to mean and how thoroughly unselfish was her
devotion to the cause of education and uplift for their children. In
the course of the single century after the beginning of our period
over three hundred Ursuline schools were opened in France for the
education of girls, and the opportunities for education were greatly

Perhaps the greatest surprise for most people in our time is the fine
development of feminine education that took place in Spain during this
period. English-speaking people have, {333} as a rule, inherited
English prejudices with regard to Spain and are likely to be somewhat
in the position of asking, Has any good ever come out of Spain? As a
matter of fact, the century just after Columbus' Century belongs to
Spain for achievement in every department of intellectual and artistic
culture. Her literature, her painting, her philosophy, her educators
ruled the world of thought and aesthetics. For those who know
something of the high worth of Spanish achievement it is no surprise
to learn that education reached a high standard of development in the
peninsula during Columbus' Century and that, above all, feminine
education was magnificently organized, so that the intellectual
achievements of the women of this time deserve a high place in the
world's history. All this is mainly due to the influence of Isabella
of Castile, and has been known for as long as the history of this
period has been properly understood.

In his "History of Ferdinand and Isabella" Prescott has told the story
of the education and scholarship of Spain with words of high praise.
With regard to the feminine education of the time he said in the
chapter on "Castilian Literature" (Vol. II):

  "In this brilliant exhibition, those of the other sex must not be
  omitted who contributed by their intellectual endowments to the
  general illumination of the period. Among them the writers of that
  day lavish their panegyrics on the Marchioness of Monteagudo, and
  Doña Maria Pacheco, of the ancient house of Mendoza, sisters of the
  historian, Don Diego Hurtado, and daughters of the accomplished
  Count of Tendilla, who, while ambassador at Rome, induced Martyr to
  visit Spain and who was grandson of the famous Marquis of
  Santillana, and nephew of the Grand Cardinal. This illustrious
  family, rendered yet more illustrious by its merits than its birth,
  is worthy of specification, as affording altogether the most
  remarkable combination of literary talent in the enlightened court
  of Castile. The queen's instructor in the Latin language was a lady
  named Doña Beatriz de Galindo, called from her peculiar attainments
  _La Latina_. Another lady, Doña Lucia de Medrano, publicly lectured
  on the Latin classics in the University of Salamanca. And another,
  Doña Francisca de Lebrija, {334} daughter of the historian of that
  name, filled the chair of rhetoric with applause at Alcalá. But our
  limits will not allow a further enumeration of names which should
  never be permitted to sink into oblivion, were it only for the rare
  scholarship, peculiarly rare in the female sex, which they displayed
  in an age comparatively unenlightened. Female education in that day
  embraced a wider compass of erudition, in reference to the ancient
  languages, than is common at present; a circumstance attributable,
  probably, to the poverty of modern literature at that time, and the
  new and general appetite excited by the revival of classical
  learning in Italy. I am not aware, however, that it was usual for
  learned ladies, in any other country than Spain, to take part in the
  public exercises of the gymnasium, and deliver lectures from the
  chairs of the universities. This peculiarity, which may be referred
  in part to the queen's influence, who encouraged the love of study
  by her own example as well as by personal attendance on the academic
  examinations, may have been also suggested by a similar usage,
  already noticed among the Spanish Arabs." [Footnote 28]

    [Footnote 28: While Prescott's information with regard to the
    education of Spanish women is very interesting, certain parts of
    this passage are amusing because they represent mid-nineteenth
    century ideas with regard to the Renaissance period. Prescott
    talks of the age as "comparatively unenlightened," but then at
    that time we had not taken to imitating Renaissance architecture,
    studying Renaissance literature and art, copying Renaissance
    book-making and binding, admiring the marvellous workers of the
    Renaissance in every department and wondering how we could get
    some of the superabundant intellectual and artistic life of that
    time into ours. Prescott's complacency is typically American of
    two generations ago. Since his time we have learned much more of
    the old-time phases of feminine education as I have reviewed them
    briefly at the beginning of this chapter. We have learned that
    every country in Europe had a corresponding feministic movement to
    that of Spain, with learned ladies in profusion everywhere. His
    innuendo at the end of his paragraph on the subject that the
    Spanish development was probably due to similar Arabian customs is
    of a piece with that marked tendency in his time to find any source
    for good except Christianity. The Christian nations were supposed
    to have done nothing worth while till the Reformation. The Middle
    Ages were still the dark ages and men were supposed to have
    accomplished nothing. I need scarcely say that we have changed all
    that and that now the later Middle Ages are looked upon as one of
    the most productive periods of human history.]


The English ladies of the Renaissance are quite as distinguished as
their sisters of Italy, France and Spain for their interest in
education and the intellectual life. The first one who deserves
mention was, though a Queen of England, a Frenchwoman by birth. This
was Margaret of Anjou, the wife of the unfortunate Henry VI. If her
husband had possessed half the spirit or administrative ability of his
wife, the future history of England might have been very different. As
it was, the failure of Margaret to secure the throne either for her
husband or her children, left it to the Tudors with all that their
tyranny meant for England and with the unfortunate religious
disturbances which came as a consequence of the headstrong ways of the
passionate descendants of the Welsh knight. Margaret founded Queen's
College, Cambridge, just about the beginning of Columbus' Century and
gave that example of enlightened patronage of learning which was to
bear ample fruit among the Englishwomen of the Renaissance during the
succeeding centuries. One of her successors, Queen Elizabeth
Woodville, who refounded Queen's College when it was threatened with
disaster because of the impairment of its endowment and efficiency by
the Wars of the Roses, is another of the enlightened patronesses of
learning at this time.

About the middle of Columbus' Century, Margaret Beaufort founded the
Divinity Lectureships of Oxford and Cambridge, since known as the
Margaret Lectureships. She refounded Christ's College and St. John's
College in Cambridge a few years later. She also founded a free school
at Wymbourn in Dorsetshire. Her own intellectual abilities and
education are attested by her translation of the "Imitation of Christ"
at this time. Her wise counsellor in all of her efforts for the
benefit of education was the martyred Bishop Fisher, who has left us a
panegyric of her which enables us to appreciate her place as one of
the distinguished learned women of the Renaissance. Like nearly all of
these women, she was interested not only in books, but also in
artistic work of many kinds and believed that an educated woman's
first duty must be the decoration of the home. She excelled in
ornamental needlework at a time {336} when a great many of the noble
ladies were accustomed to do this sort of art work and when many
beautiful examples of it were produced. Another member of the nobility
who became well known for her intellectual attainments was Mary,
Countess of Arundel, the compiler of "Certain Ingenious Sentences," a
collection of proverbial expressions that had a wide popularity at
this time.

Toward the end of our Century came the women on whom the Renaissance
had a more direct influence. A great many of the daughters of the
nobility were given the opportunity for the highest education, and
many of them took it very brilliantly. The names of the distinguished
women scholars, or at least of women who were noted for their
attainments, are numerous and include many even of royal blood.
Evidently feminine education had become the fashion, and many others
must have been interested in it since it affected the great ladies so
deeply. It would be quite impossible to think that what occupied so
much the attention of the daughters of the highest nobility would not
also prove a great attraction for many others. Perhaps the best known
of the "blue stockings" of the time is Lady Jane Grey, of whose
attainments we have so sympathetic an account from Roger Ascham. He
says that she was deeply read in philosophy, and that she knew Latin,
Greek, Hebrew, Chaldaic, Arabic and French. We are told that she cared
much more to read her Greek authors than to go to routs and parties,
or even to go hunting, which was the most fashionable amusement of the
time. Besides, she knew music well and was particularly skilled in
needlework. Indeed, there is none of these distinguished scholarly
women of England of whose devotion to needlework we do not hear.

Mary Queen of Scots comes at the very end of the century, and French
rather than English or Scotch influence was at work in her education,
but the roll of her distinguished teachers shows how seriously the
question of proper education for the future queen was taken at this
period. George Buchanan was her professor of Latin, she studied
rhetoric with Fauchet, history with Pasquier and poetry with Ronsard.
We have at least one very interesting Latin poem that has been {337}
attributed to her, and if the attribution be correct it is excellent
evidence for her scholarliness. [Footnote 29]

  [Footnote 29:
    "O Domine Deus!
     Speravi in te;
     O care mi Iesu!
     Nunc libera me:
     In dura catena,
     In misera poena
     Desidero te;
     Languendo, gemendo,
     Et genuflectendo
     Adoro, imploro,
     Ut liberes me!"

Her rival, Elizabeth, was only seventeen years of age when the century
closed, but this was also the age of Lady Jane Grey, when she was put
to death, yet we hear much of her attainments and Elizabeth was one of
her great scholarly rivals. Like Lady Jane, Elizabeth is said to have
known five languages and to have studied music, philosophy, rhetoric
and history to such good purpose that her accomplishments were much
more than mediocre or conventional. With these examples before us
there can be no doubt at all of the fashionableness of the higher
education for women, and whatever is fashionable attracts the
attention of all classes of women.

Probably the best example of the provision of opportunities for even
the highest education for women is to be found in Sir Thomas More's
household. He thought that his girls should share equally with his
boys in their opportunities for the new learning. His daughter
Margaret is quite famous for her attainments, Erasmus and others
having praised her so highly. She had a thorough knowledge of Greek
and Latin and much more than a passing or superficial acquaintance
with philosophy, astronomy, physics, arithmetic, logic, rhetoric and
music. The affection of her father for her, his encouragement of her
studies and the intimate relations between them have made her
illustrious not only in the history of feminine education, but in
world history. While near the end of his life More was Lord
Chancellor, his family was not of the higher nobility, and he himself,
as practically a self-made man, belonged only to the professional
classes of the time. It seems not far-fetched, then, to conclude that
a good many of the daughters of lawyers and physicians at this time
must have had abundant opportunities afforded them for as much
education as they cared to have, though of course they would {338} not
have the advantages of More's children, which were due, however, not
to his political importance, but to his friendship for the great
scholars of the time. While Margaret is so well known it must not be
forgotten, though we hear so much less of them, that More's two other
daughters were also very well educated. Leland, the antiquary, wrote
of "the three learned nymphs, great More's fair progeny." If so little
is known of More's other daughters, it is probable that there were not
a few others who had similar advantages to theirs, though no record of
it is in history.

Among the many demonstrations that this intellectual movement among
women was not confined to Italy, nor even to the Southern nations, is
the career of Charitas Pirkheimer, the Abbess of the Convent of the
Poor Clares in Nuremberg. She became famous as an educated woman with
whom many of the distinguished scholars of the Renaissance were proud
to be associated. Her brother Wilibald, who was her guide and teacher,
appreciated her so much that he dedicated several of his books to her,
and in the preface of one, "On the Delayed Vengeance of the Deity," a
Latin translation of Plutarch's treatise, he praises her education and
her successful devotion to study. More disturbed than astonished, she
protested that she was only the friend of scholars, but not herself a
scholar. When Conrad Celtes published his collection of the works of
Roswitha, he presented one of the first copies of the book to Charity
Pirkheimer, and in a eulogy written on that occasion lauds her as one
of the glorious ornaments of the German Fatherland. He enclosed a
volume of his poems at the same time, and the good abbess very
candidly asked him to devote himself rather to the study of the sacred
books and the contemplation of high things than to the study of the
sensual and low in the ancients. She was a great friend of Johann
Butzbach and of Albrecht Dürer. Christopher Scheurl dedicated to her
his book on "The Uses of the Mass," In his article in the Catholic
Encyclopedia, Klemens Loffler says of her: "But all the praise she
received excited no pride in Charitas; she remained simple, affable,
modest and independent, uniting in perfect harmony high education and
deep piety. It was thus she resisted the severe temptations which hung
over the last ten years of her life."


  [Illustration: DÜRER NATIVITY ]


Some expressions of the women of the Renaissance are famous for their
wit and aptness. The famous reply of one of them, the Princess
Christina of Denmark, may be taken as evidence that witty power of
expression was not confined to the women of the Southern countries.
Her picture by Holbein, "The Lady with the Cloak," is so well known
that we seem to be able to recreate her personality rather completely.
She was approached by the ambassadors of Henry VIII after the death of
Jane Seymour with a proposal of marriage. Indeed, Holbein's picture
was made for the purpose of giving the uxorious Henry an idea of the
charms of the young woman. She was only eighteen at the time, but she
was already the widow of Francesco Sforza, and she is said to have
replied she would be quite willing to be the Queen of England if she
had two heads and could be sure of retaining one of them. As she had
only one, however, she could not take any risks in the matter. Julia
Cartwright's life of her, recently published, shows what a clever
woman of the Renaissance she was. Her reply is quite worthy of the
Italian ladies of the time, some of whom were noted for their rather
biting wit. One of the nobility in Italy having said that man's duty
was to fight and not to take part in social ceremonies, one of the
Gonzagas said; "It is too bad, then, that he does not hang himself up
in a closet with his armor whenever he is not actually engaged in

It is often assumed that intellectual development, and especially the
higher education, has a tendency to take women away from that devout
attitude of mind which makes them religious. There are many examples
in the Renaissance time, however, which serve to disprove this idea.
The smaller and more superficial minds may be thus affected. It is not
true for the larger, more profound intelligence. St. Teresa, in her
directions to the Mothers of houses as regards the reception of
postulants, said: "Where there is ignorance and piety do not forget
that the piety may evaporate and the ignorance remain." Many of the
best-known intellectual ladies of the Renaissance time were deeply
pious, Vittoria Colonna is a typical example, so in spite of the
apparent testimony of her famous book to the contrary is Marguerite of

  [Illustration: VIVARINI, ST. CLARE]


Lucretia Tornabuoni, the mother of Lorenzo the Magnificent, wrote some
charming religious verse. The difference of opinion between Clarice
dei Orsini, the wife of Lorenzo, and Politian as regards the teaching
of religion to her children, in which she came off victor, is well
known. Above all, these women were all close to the religious women of
the time. Many of them spent some days every year at least, often some
weeks, in favorite convents. They took their rest by following the
daily exercises of the monastic life in various convents. Vittoria
Colonna was noted for this, and during her widowhood spent very much
time in this way. Nothing that I know contradicts so completely the
slanders as to convent life at this time as these intimate relations
with the religious.

It is noteworthy that in our country and time, just in proportion as
education for women is widely diffused, the practice of more intimate
relations with convents grows more common. Many women of the world,
teachers, writers, take a few days each year now for a retreat in a
convent. Not a few of those who enter religion are very well educated.
A great many of those who belong to the teaching orders are thoroughly
trained, and often fine experts in their specialties. In the
Renaissance period the daughters of the great noble houses sometimes
entered religious orders. Not infrequently they met with opposition,
and especially parental and family influence was exerted to divert
them from their purpose. Paola and Cecilia Gonzaga both became
religious. There was considerable family opposition, especially on her
father's part, against Cecilia's accomplishment of her purpose, but
her great teacher, Vittorino da Feltre, one of whose favorite pupils
Cecilia was, took her side. When her father insisted on finding a
husband for her, Vittorino urged that women should be allowed to
choose their careers for themselves, and above all, if they felt the
call to the spiritual and intellectual life, should be given the
opportunity for the self-development that the peace and ordered life
of the cloister afforded.

Burckhardt has summed up the qualities of the women of {342} the
Renaissance in a single sentence, that is worth while recalling. So
much is said about the influence of the study of the classics in
producing pagan ideas and looseness of morals and relaxation of old
ethical standards during the Renaissance that it is well to recall
what this deep student of the time thought. His words will be found to
corroborate and sum up the character that we have been trying to paint
of the women of the Renaissance in these pages:

  "Their distinction consisted in the fact that their beauty,
  disposition, education, virtue and piety combined to make them
  harmonious human beings."




While it is universally conceded that the Renaissance was a supremely
great period in all the arts and literature, in education and
scholarship, and that its geographical discoveries made it noteworthy
from another standpoint, there is a very prevalent impression that it
was distinctly lacking in scientific development and that indeed the
proper attitude of mind for successful scientific investigation was a
much later evolution. Most of the discoveries of even basic notions in
science are almost universally thought to have been reserved for our
time or at least for generations much nearer to us than Columbus'

Nothing could well be less consonant with the actual history of
science than any such impression. At many times before ours man has
made great scientific progress. The greatest mystery of human history
is that often after great discoveries were made they were somehow lost
sight of. Over and over again men forget their previous knowledge and
have to begin once more. There was one of these magnificent
developments of scientific thought in every department during
Columbus' Century and discoveries were made and conclusions reached
which revolutionized other modes of scientific thinking just as much
as Columbus' discovery of America revolutionized geography, or the
work of Raphael or Michelangelo and Leonardo revolutionized the
artistic thought of the world.

When we recall that it was at this time that Copernicus set forth the
theory which has probably more influenced human thinking than any
other and that this discovery developed directly from the mathematics
of the time and while Vesalius revolutionized anatomy, the discovery
of the circulation of the blood began a similar revolution in
physiology and the foundations of botany and of modern chemistry in
their relations to medicine were laid, some idea of the greatness of
the {344} scientific advance of this period will be realized.
Mathematics, particularly, developed marvellously and it is always
when new horizons are opening out in mathematics that the exact
sciences are sure to have a period of wonderful progress. Beautiful
hospitals were erected and whenever there are good hospitals, surgery
makes progress and that care for the patient which constitutes the
essential part of medicine at all times, receives careful attention.

Above all the men of the Renaissance took it on themselves to edit and
translate and publish the ancient classics of science and make them
available for the study of their own and subsequent generations. The
debt which the modern world owes to the Renaissance in this matter is
only coming to be properly realized as a consequence of our own
development of scholarship in this generation. Only the profound
scholar is likely to appreciate properly how much we are indebted to
the patient, time-taking work of this period in making books
available. Not only the ancient classics but also the works of the
Middle Ages on scientific subjects were all published. The early
Christian scholars, the Arabians, and above all, the great teachers of
the later Middle Ages were edited and printed as an enduring heritage
for mankind.

The index of the feeling of the time toward physical science as well
as the interest of the scholars of the period in nearly every phase of
it is illustrated by the life of Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, who is
usually known as Cusanus. He was a distinguished German churchman who
was made Bishop of Brixen and afterwards Cardinal and who had the
confidence of the Popes to such a degree that he was sent out as
Legate for the correction of abuses in Germany. He was particularly
interested in mathematics and the great German historian of
mathematics. Cantor, devotes a score of pages to the advances in
mathematics which we owe to Cusanus. According to tradition during his
journeys over the rough roads in the rude carriage of the time, he
studied the curve described through the air by a fly as it was carried
round the wheel after alighting on the top of it. He recognized this
as a particular kind of curve which we know now as the cycloid and he
studied many of its peculiarities and suggested its mathematical


He was particularly interested in astronomy and declared that the
earth was round, was not the centre of the universe and that it could
not be absolutely at rest. As he put it in Latin: _terra igitur, quae
centrum esse nequit, motu omni carere non potest._ He described very
clearly how the earth moved around its own axis, and then he added
what cannot but seem a surprising declaration for those who in our
time think such an idea of much later origin, that he considered that
the earth itself cannot be fixed, but moves as do the other stars in
the heavens, _Consideravi quod terra ista non potest esse fixa sed
movetur ut aliae stellae._ More surprising still, he even seems to
have reached by anticipation some idea of the constitution of the sun.
He said: "To a spectator on the surface of the sun the splendor which
appears to us would be invisible since it contains as it were an earth
for its central mass with a circumferential envelope of light and heat
and between the two an atmosphere of water and clouds and of ambient

These expressions occur mainly in a book _"De Docta Ignorantia,"_ in
which the Cardinal points out how many things which even educated
people think they know are quite wrong. His other books are on
mathematics, though there is a little treatise on the correction of
the calendar which shows how thoroughly the men of the time recognized
the error that had crept into the year and how capable they were of
making the correction. In a book of his on "Static Experiments" he has
a very original discussion of laboratory methods for the study of
disease which is eminently scientific, and which is described in the
chapter on Medicine.

The life of George von Peuerbach, also Puerbach and Purbachius, the
Austrian astronomer, one of Cardinal Nicholas' proteges who lived to
be scarcely forty and whose greatest work was done just at the
beginning of Columbus' Century, is an excellent index of the
scientific spirit of the time. About 1440, when he was not yet twenty
years of age, he received the degree of Master of Philosophy and of
the Liberal Arts with the highest honors at the University of Vienna.
After this he seemed to have spent some time at postgraduate work in
Vienna, especially in mathematics under Johann von Gmünden. Just about
the beginning of Columbus' Century he went to {346} Italy. Cardinal
Nicholas of Cusa became interested in him and secured him a
lectureship on Astronomy at the University of Ferrara. During the next
few years he refused offers of professorships, at Bologna and Padua,
because he wanted to go back to Vienna to teach in his alma mater.
There, with the true Renaissance spirit of non-specialism, he lectured
on philology and classical literature, giving special postgraduate
courses in mathematics and astronomy. It was at this time that Johann
Müller, Regiomontanus, as he is known, came under his tutelage.
Purbach deserves the name that has been given him of the father of
mathematical astronomy in modern times.

He introduced the decimal system to replace the cumbersome duodecimal
method of calculation, which up to his time had been used in
mathematical astronomy. He took up the translation of Ptolemy's
"Almagest," replaced chords by sines and calculated tables of sines
for every minute of arc for a radius of 600,000 units. This wonderful
work of simplification naturally attracted wide attention. Cardinal
Bessarion was brought in touch with him during a visit to Vienna and
was impressed with his genius as an observer and a teacher. He
suggested that the work on Ptolemy should not be done on the faulty
Latin translation which was the only one available in Vienna at the
moment, but on some of the Greek manuscripts of the great Alexandrian
astronomer. He offered to secure them and also to provide for
Purbach's support during the stay in Rome necessary for the study. The
invitation was accepted on condition that his pupil Regiomontanus
should go with him. Unfortunately, however, Purbach died before his
journey to Rome. His works were very popular in his own time and his
commentary on the "Almagest of Ptolemy" as completed by Regiomontanus
became one of the standard text-books of the time. Altogether there
are some twenty of his works extant and his "New Theory of the
Planets" remained a favorite book of reference for astronomers even
long after the publication of Copernicus. His industry must have been
enormous but was after all not different from that of many of his

Astronomy was to be the great stimulating physical science of the
early part of Columbus' Century and Purbach's successor {347} in the
chain of scientific genius at this time was his pupil Johann Müller,
or as he has come to be known from the Latinization of the name of the
place of his birth, Königsberg (in Franconia, not far from Munich),
Regiomontanus. As we have said, young Müller made his studies with
Purbach at Vienna, became very much interested in astronomy and
mathematics, at his master's suggestion accompanied Cardinal Bessarion
to Italy and under his patronage took up the work of providing an
abridgment of Ptolemy's great work, the "Almagest," in a Latin
translation for those who might be deterred from the Greek.

Cardinal Bessarion became very much interested in him and gave him a
chance to study in Italy. Müller chose Padua and spent nearly ten
years there. Whenever anybody in almost any country in Europe wanted
to secure opportunities for study beyond those afforded by his native
land at this time he went down to Padua. Linacre, Vesalius, John Caius
went there for medicine, Copernicus, a little later than
Regiomontanus, for mathematics and astronomy and it was the ardently
desired goal of many a student's wishes. Müller spent nearly ten years
in Italy, most of it at Padua and at the age of about thirty-five
returned to Germany to take up his life work. He settled down in
Nuremberg, where in connection with Bernard Walther he secured the
erection of an observatory. Nuremberg, because of its fine work in the
metals, was the best place to obtain mechanical contrivances of all
kinds, and many of these were used for the first time for scientific
purposes at this observatory. It became quite a show place for
visitors and while Nuremberg was developing the literary and artistic
circles in which the Pirkheimers, Albrecht Dürer and the Vischers and
Adam Kraft shone conspicuously, scientific interest in the city was at
a similar high level.

Müller made a series of observations of great value in the astronomy
of the time and substituted Venus for the moon as a connecting link
between observations of the sun, the stars and the earth. He
recognized the influence of refraction in altering the apparent places
of the stars and he introduced the use of the tangent in mathematics.
His most important work for the time, however, was the publication of
a series of astronomical {348} leaflets, _"Ephemerides Astronomicae"_
in which his observations were published and also a series of
calendars for popular information. These announced the eclipses, solar
and lunar, for years before their recurrence and gave a high standing
to astronomy as a science. Some of these leaflets even reached Spain
and Portugal and encouraged Spanish and Portuguese navigators with the
thought that they could depend on observations of the stars for their
guidance at sea. In a way, then, Regiomontanus' work prepared the path
along which Columbus' discovery was made.

Regiomontanus' work attracted so much attention that he was invited to
Rome to become the Papal Astronomer and to take up the practical work
of correcting the Calendar. Unfortunately he died not long after his
arrival in Rome, though not before he had been chosen as Bishop of
Regensberg (Ratisbon) as a tribute to his scholarship and his piety.
He thus became a successor of Albertus Magnus (in the bishopric), who
had been in his time one of the profoundest of scholars and greatest
of scientists. The tradition of appreciation of scholarship and
original research had evidently been maintained for the three
centuries that separate the two bishop scientists.

A distinguished scientific student born at Nuremberg the same year as
Regiomontanus was Martin Behem or Behaim, the well-known navigator and
cartographer, who on his return to Nuremberg in 1493 made the famous
terrestrial globe which was meant to illustrate for his townsmen the
present state of geography as the Spaniards and Portuguese had been
remaking it. Behem's work is a striking testimony to the excellence of
geographic knowledge at this time, and only for the preservation of
this globe we could scarcely have believed in the modern time how
correct were the notions of the scholars of the period with regard to
the older continent at least.

One of the great physical scientists of this time is Toscanelli, the
physician, mathematician, astronomer and cosmographer, over whose
connection with Columbus such a controversy has raged in recent years.
He and Cardinal Cusanus were fellow students at the University of
Padua, where Toscanelli's course consisted of mathematics, philosophy
and medicine. He settled down as a practising physician in Florence
and took up {349} scientific studies of many kinds which brought him
into connection not only with the students of science, but with the
scholars and artists of the time. Brunelleschi and he were intimate
friends, but he was well known outside of Italy, and Regiomontanus
often consulted him. His services to astronomy consist in the
painstaking and exact observations on the orbit of the comets of 1433,
1449-50 and especially of Halley's comet on its appearance in 1456 and
of the comets of May, 1457, June, July and August of the same year.
These show a most accurate power of astronomical observation and
profound mathematical knowledge for that time. His famous chart
indicated just how a navigator might reach the coast of India by
sailing westward, and Columbus is said to have carried a copy of this
chart with him on his first voyage. Whether this is true or not, there
is no doubt of Toscanelli's place in the history of science because of
original work in astronomy, geodesy and geography.

The most important protagonist of physical science during Columbus'
Century, however, was undoubtedly Copernicus. Columbus gave the men of
his time a new world, but Copernicus gave them a new creation. When
early in the sixteenth century he published a preliminary sketch of
his theory, one of his ecclesiastical friends remarked to him that he
was giving his generation a new universe. There has probably never
been a theory advanced which has changed men's modes of thinking with
regard to the world they live in and their relation to it as the
Copernican hypothesis has done, though it must not be forgotten that
there are some as yet insuperable difficulties which keep it still in
the class of scientific hypotheses.

The earth had up to this time been universally thought of as the
centre of the universe, much more important than any of the other
bodies, sun, moon or stars, and all the others were thought to move
around it. Their apparent movement was due to the rotation of the
earth, which was quite unrecognized. The immense distances of space
were entirely undreamt of. In the new order of thinking the earth
became a minor planet of small size in our solar system which was of
inconspicuous magnitude when compared to the totality of the other
bodies of the universe. The acceptance of the new theory sank man in
his own estimation very considerably. The change of point of view of
{350} the meaning of the universe necessitated by the Copernican
theory was ever so much greater than that demanded by evolution in our

It took two centuries for men to adjust their thinking to these new
ideas. Francis Bacon, a full century after Copernicus' time, declared
emphatically that the Copernican theory did not explain the known
facts of astronomy as well as the Ptolemaic theory. In Bacon's time
Galileo was the subject of persecution and the reason for the
persecution was that he was advancing a doctrine which no other great
astronomer of his time accepted, and advancing it for reasons which
have not held in the after-time. The Copernican theory came eventually
to be accepted for quite different reasons from those advanced by

How Copernicus succeeded in coming to this magnificent generalization
is indeed hard to understand. It is easier to get some notion of it,
however, when his achievement is taken in connection with what was
being done all around him at this time. Living in a century when great
men were accomplishing triumphs in painting, sculpture, architecture
that have been the wonder of the world ever since, and when geography
was being revolutionized, and nearly every science awakened, it is not
surprising that he should have reached a height of mathematical and
astronomical expression beyond any that men had ever conceived before
and that he should have surpassed many of the generations to come
after him, by the clearness of his intuition of the astronomical
mystery of the universe.

Copernicus had not made many observations nor were such observations
as had been made by him worked out with that painstaking accuracy
which might be thought necessary to reach a great new conception of
the universe. He had the genius to see from even the few and imperfect
data that he had at hand what the true explanation of the diverse
phenomena of the heavens was. He had no demonstrations to advance. He
argued merely from analogy. Even Galileo, a century later, admitted to
Cardinal Bellarmine that he had no strict demonstration of his views
to offer, but that "the system seems to be true." While the feeling of
many scientists in the modern time is that great discoveries come from
patient {351} accumulation of accurate observations in large numbers,
the history of science shows that almost invariably the epochal steps
in progress have come from men who were comparatively young as a rule
and who were not overloaded with the information of their time. The
great artists of the Renaissance could probably have given no better
reasons for their artistic conceptions than Copernicus for his stroke
of genius, but they were all working at a time when somehow men were
capable as they never have been since of these far-reaching
intellectual achievements.

Copernicus was a Pole who, like other students of his time, gladly
welcomed the opportunity to go down to Italy for post-graduate work,
studied with Novara at Padua mathematics and astronomy and was quite
willing to add the study of medicine, because by so doing he could
secure an extension of the length of time he would be allowed to
remain in Italy. He then returned to be a canon of the Cathedral of
Frauenberg, and spent forty years in quiet patient observation and in
the practice of his medical profession not for money, but for the
benefit of the poor and such friends of the chapter of the Cathedral
as he was under obligations to because of the years they had supported
him in Italy. He probably reached his great astronomical theory when
he was about thirty. He did not publish the preliminary sketch of it
for twenty-five years. He did not publish his great book until just
before his death, keeping it by him, making changes in it and while
thoroughly convinced of its importance, quite sure that, owing to its
lack of definite demonstration, it would not be generally accepted.

Like so many of these geniuses of the Renaissance he was a simple
kindly man who had many good friends among those around him and who
had one of the very happy lives accorded to those who, having some
great thought and great work to occupy themselves with, have daily
duties that afford them diversion and bring them into contact with
friends in many ordinary relations in life. His humility of heart and
simplicity of character, as well as his deep religious faith, can be
very well appreciated from the prayer which at his own request was the
only inscription upon his tombstone: "I ask not the {352} grace
accorded to Paul, not that given to Peter; give me only the favor Thou
didst show to the thief on the Cross."

His attitude toward the reform movement, twenty years of which he
lived through in Germany, is interesting. He was an intimate friend of
Bishop Maurice Ferber of Ermland, who kept his see loyal to Rome at an
epoch when the secularization of the Teutonic Order and the falling
away of many bishops all around him make his position and that of his
diocese noteworthy in the history of that place and time. Copernicus
continued loyal to the old Church and in 1541 his great book _"De
Revolutionibus Orbium Celestium"_ was dedicated to Pope Paul III, who
accepted the dedication and until the Galileo matter brought
Copemicanism prominently into question there was never any thought of
Copernicus' book as containing matters opposed to faith. It was then
placed on the _Index_, but only until some minor passages should be
corrected which set forth the new theory as if it were an astronomical
doctrine founded on facts and demonstrations and not a hypothesis
still to be discussed by scientists.

The scientific spirit of this century is often scouted because in
spite of their scientific knowledge many of the astronomers and
mathematicians of this time as well as, of course, other educated men
following their example, could not quite rid themselves of the idea
that the stars were powerful influences over man's life and health.
The history of this idea, however, minimizes the objection. All down
the centuries men like Roger Bacon, Albertus Magnus, Nicholas of Cusa,
Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola insisted that there could be
nothing in what we now call astrology. Men parted with the older ideas
very slowly, however. Almost a hundred years after Columbus' Century
even Galileo made horoscopes and seems to have thoroughly believed in
them, though some of his prophecies were sadly mistaken. Kepler drew
up horoscopes, confessing that he had not much confidence in them but
that they were paid for much better than other mathematical work and
he sadly needed the money. Lord Bacon could not quite persuade himself
that there was nothing in astrology. As late as after the middle of
the eighteenth century Mesmer's thesis for graduation in medicine at
the University of Vienna, which {353} at that time had one of the best
medical schools of Europe, was on the influence of the stars on human
constitutions. It was accepted by the faculty and he got his degree.
Even in our time, though now the educated contemn, the mass of the
people still have not entirely rejected astrology. The men of
Columbus' Century can scarcely be thought less of for having accepted
it, though many of the scientists of the time did not.

The counterpart to the great scientific genius that Copernicus was,
the generalizer who discloses a new horizon, was to be found in his
contemporary, Leonardo da Vinci, who was an inventor, a practical
genius applying discoveries to everyday life. He solved most of the
mechanical problems, invented locks for canals, the wheelbarrow and
special methods of excavation, a machine for making files by
machinery, run by a weight, a machine for sawing marble blocks instead
of separating them by natural cleavage, the model of those still
employed at Carrara, as well as machines for planing iron, for making
vices, saws and planes, for spinning, for shearing the nap of cloth,
as well as an artist's sketching stool, a color grinder, a spring to
keep doors shut, a roasting jack, a hood for chimneys, movable
derricks quite similar to those in use among us to-day, with
contrivances for setting up marble columns on their bases, one of
which in principle was used to set up Cleopatra's Needle on the
Embankment in London in our time. A favorite field of invention was
that of all sorts of apparatus relating to war, military engines,
devices for pushing scaling ladders away from walls and many others.
He was probably the greatest inventive genius in the world's history.
He had an eminently practical mind. He devoted himself to the problem
of flying, studied the wings of birds and produced a series of
mechanical devices, tending toward the solution of that problem.

Taine said of him: "Leonardo da Vinci is the inventor by anticipation
of all the modern ideas and of all the modern curiosities, a universal
and refined genius, a solitary and inappeasable investigator, pushing
his divinations beyond his century so as at some times to reach ours."
There was scarcely anything that he touched that he did not illuminate
wonderfully by his genius. In studying the muscles of animals he
invented a {354} dynamometer, he improved spectacles and studied the
laws of light, invented the camera obscura and in his steam
experiments anticipated Watt. A very curious feature of his work is
his series of experiments with the steam gun, with which he was sure
that great destruction might be worked.

A very interesting invention of a scientific instrument of some
precision by Leonardo was what may be called a weather gauge. This was
made of a copper ring with a small rod of wood, which acted as a
balance. On it were two little balls, one covered with wax and the
other with material that absorbed moisture readily. When the air was
saturated with moisture this ball grew heavy and inclined the beam
till it touched one of the divisions marked on the copper ring set
behind it. The degree of moisture could thus be seen and the weather,
or at least changes in it, could be predicted. We have a whole series
of such arrangements mainly in the shape of toys in the modern time.
The hygroscopic qualities of cord or the tendency of certain colors to
change their tints when more moisture is present are used to indicate
approaching changes in the weather. Leonardo seems to have been the
first to make use of this practically and he deserves the credit of
priority in the invention.

His studies in optics might almost naturally be expected from a
painter so much occupied with color and whose intense curiosity
prompted him to know not merely the use of things but the causes of
and the reasons for them. He evolved much of the science of color
vision, suggested the principles of optics that came to be known only
much later, analyzed and explained the construction of the eye,
invented the camera obscura in imitation of it and gave us a theory of
color vision which is as good as any other that we have down to the
present day. These optical studies alone might well be considered as
enough to occupy an ordinary lifetime, but they seem to have been only
the results of a series of interludes of the nature of recreation for
Leonardo. He made his notes on the subject, filed them away with
others, made no attempt to print his conclusions, probably found very
few with whom he could discuss the subject, but he had satisfied
himself. That was what he wanted.


After knowing such facts as this we are not surprised to learn of his
anticipating by some sort of divination the laws of gravitation, the
molecular composition of water, the motion of waves, the undulatory
theory of light and heat, the earth's rotation and rotundity before
Columbus' time and many other surprising things. One finds in his
diary that he was planning the construction of a harbor and studying
the music of the waves on the beach at the same time.

Poggendorff, in his great Biographical Dictionary of prominent men of
science, quotes Libri's "History of Mathematics in Italy" as authority
for the declaration that Leonardo discovered capillarity and
diffraction, made use of the signs + and -, knew the camera obscura
(without a lens), made observations on resistance, on density, on the
weight of the air, on dust figures, on vibrating surfaces and on
friction and its effects.

All sorts of machines came from Leonardo's hands. He had a positive
genius for practical invention that has probably never been equalled,
surely not surpassed, even down to our own day. His inventive faculty
worked itself out, in machines of such variety as have never come from
the brain of a single individual before. Nor were these merely
primitive mechanical devices that we would surely despise now. On the
contrary, nearly all of them have endured in principle at least and
some of them almost as they came from him.

Leonardo also did distinguished work in the biological sciences, so
that Duval, Professor of Anatomy at the University of Paris and
himself well known both for his researches in biology and his
knowledge of the history of science, entitles an article with regard
to him in the French _Revue Scientifique_ (Dec. 7, 1889), "A Biologist
of the Fifteenth Century." His biological discoveries are discussed in
the chapter on the Biological Sciences.

Sometimes it is asserted by those who are so little familiar with the
history of science that they venture on such assertions rather easily,
that the true scientific spirit had not yet awakened and that while
men were making many observations and acquiring new information they
had not as yet the proper scientific attitude of mind to make really
great discoveries. It is {356} rather amusing to be told that of a
century when Copernicus and Vesalius and so many other distinguished
modern scientists were alive. Some writers suggest that the true
rising of the modern spirit of scientific inquiry did not come until
Francis Bacon's time. Francis Bacon is one of the idols of the
marketplace, but surely no serious student of history accords him the
place in science that our English forbears gave him when they were
insular enough to know very little about continental work, and above
all about Italian workers.

Francis Bacon, of course, had been long anticipated in all that
concerns the inductive method in science by his much greater namesake
Roger Bacon. In Columbus' Century however, a hundred years before
Bacon's time, Bernardino Telesio, the Italian philosopher, stated
fully the inductive method and recognized all its possibilities. In
_Science_ for December 19, 1913, Professor Carmichael said of him:

  "He abandoned completely the purely intellectual sphere of the
  ancient Greeks and other thinkers prior to his time and proposed an
  inquiry into the data given by the senses. He held that from these
  data all true knowledge really comes. The work of Telesio,
  therefore, marks the fundamental revolution in scientific thought by
  which we pass over from the ancient to the modern methods. He was
  successful in showing that from Aristotle the appeal lay to nature,
  and he made possible the day when men would no longer treat the
  _ipse dixit_ of the Stagirite philosopher as the final authority in
  matters of science."

The tendency of this century to make scientific principles of value
for practical purposes is well illustrated by the references to the
sympathetic telegraph which began to be much talked of at this time.
According to the story as told, friends at a distance might be able to
communicate with each other by having two dials around which the
letters of the alphabet were arranged with a magnetic needle swinging
free as the indicator. When the needle on one of the dials was moved
to a letter, the other by magnetic attraction was supposed to turn to
the same letter. This ingenious conceit has been attributed to
Cardinal Bembo, one of the great scholars of the Renaissance, who was
private secretary to Pope Leo X. His friend {357} Porta, the versatile
philosopher, made it widely known by the vivid description which he
gave of it in his celebrated work on "Natural Magic," published just
after the close of Columbus' Century.

A very important development in science came in the application of
chemistry to medicine, both as regards physiology and pathology. Basil
Valentine at the beginning of Columbus' Century led the way and
Paracelsus did much to indicate what the advantage of the application
of chemistry to medicine would be. Paracelsus compared the processes
in the human body with chemical phenomena and declared that
alterations in the chemical conditions of organs were the causes of
disease. He set himself up in opposition to the humoral theory of the
ancients and denied that the heart was the seat of heat manufacture in
the body, for every portion of the system had, he asserted, its source
of heat. It was through Paracelsus that chemistry was added to the
medical curriculum and George Korn in his chapter on Medical Chemistry
in Puschmann's "Handbook" attributes the foundation of certain
professorships for chemistry at the universities of this time to
Paracelsus' influence. Andreas Libavius did much to advance chemical
science in various directions by his study and preparation of
sulphuric acid and his recognition of the identity of the substance
made from sulphur and saltpeter with that obtained from vitriol and
alum. Studies of this kind brought a broad realization of the
possibilities of chemistry.

The spirit of the period as regards science and the development of the
faculty of observation at this time is very well illustrated by
Columbus' own observations on the declination of the magnetic needle
during his first voyage across the ocean. Brother Potamian has told
the story in "Makers of Electricity" (Fordham University Press, New
York, 1909), page 22:

  "It is one of the gems in the crown of Columbus, that he observed,
  measured and recorded this strange behavior of the magnetic needle
  in his narrative of the voyage. True, he did not notice it until he
  was far out on the trackless ocean. A week had elapsed since he left
  the lordly Teneriffe, and a few days since the mountainous outline
  of Gomera had disappeared {358} from sight. The memorable night was
  that of September 13th, 1492. There was no mistaking it; the needle
  of the Santa Maria pointed a little west of north instead of due
  north. Some days later on September 17th, the pilots, having taken
  the sun's amplitude, reported that the variation had reached a whole
  point of the compass, the alarming amount of 11 degrees.

  "The surprise and anxiety which Columbus manifested on those
  occasions may be taken as indications that the phenomenon was new to
  him. As a matter of fact, however, his needles were not true even at
  the outset of the voyage from the port of Palos, where, though no
  one was aware of it, they pointed about 3° east of north. This angle
  diminished from day to day as the Admiral kept the prow of his
  caravel directed to the West, until it vanished altogether, after
  which the needles veered to the West, and kept moving westward for a
  time as the flagship proceeded on her voyage.

  "Columbus thus determined a place on the Atlantic in which the
  magnetic meridian coincided with the geographical and in which the
  needle stood true to the pole. Six years later, in 1498, Sebastian
  Cabot found another place on the same ocean, a little further north,
  in which the compass lay exactly in the north-and-south line. These
  two observations, one by Columbus and the other by Cabot, sufficed
  to determine the position of the agonic line, or line of no
  variation, for that locality and epoch.

  "The _Columbian_ line acquired at once considerable importance in
  the geographical and the political world, because of the proposal
  that was made to discard the Island of Ferro and take it for the
  prime meridian from which longitude would be reckoned east and west,
  and also because it was selected by Pope Alexander VI to serve as a
  line of reference in settling the rival claims of the kingdoms of
  Portugal and Castile with regard to their respective discoveries. It
  was decided that all recently discovered lands lying to the east of
  that line should belong to Portugal; and those of the west to

The first observation of magnetic declination on land appears to have
been made about the year 1510 by {359} George Hartmann, Vicar of the
Church of St. Sebald, Nuremberg, who found it to be 6° East in Rome,
where he was living at the time. He observed it also in Nuremberg,
where the needle pointed ten degrees East of North. Columbus'
explanation of the declination to his sailors is interesting. He kept
silence about it at first, but when they grew alarmed, believing that
the laws of nature were changing as they advanced farther and farther
into the unknown, he told them that the needle did not point to the
North Star, which had been called the Cynosure, but to a fixed point
in the celestial sphere and that Polaris itself was not stationary,
but had a rotational movement of its own, like all other heavenly
bodies. They trusted him and their fears were allayed and a mutiny
averted. When on his return to Spain he reported the many and definite
observations on the variation of the compass which he had made he was
told by the scientists of the time that he, and not the needle, was in
error, because the latter was everywhere true to the pole. Just why
they were sure it was so they could not tell, but they refused to
believe even observations which showed that it was not so; though
these were reported by a man who had just overturned quite as strong
convictions by sailing westward and reaching land. It is such
contradictions of what seem to be obviously first principles of
science that in all ages have constituted great discoveries and
required genius to make them.




It is usually assumed that the biological sciences have developed in
comparatively recent years and that above all nearly 500 years ago in
the fifteenth century there could be no question of any developments
that would be of any serious significance in the history of science.
The word biology itself is only about a hundred years old and very
often it is assumed that human interest in departments of knowledge
begins with the naming of them. A period, however, that saw such
magnificent work in the physical sciences and especially such a
revolution of thought by means of observation as came through
Copernicus' theory, was not likely to neglect the biological sciences
entirely. As a matter of fact, biology, taking the word in its
broadest sense, made some magnificent strides at this time. Perhaps no
period until our own witnessed such significant advances in every
department of the biological sciences.

It is often said that the people of the Middle Ages had very little
interest in the world around them. Indeed, surprise is often expressed
that they should not have occupied themselves more with the wonderful
book of nature lying so invitingly open before them and given
themselves more to nature study. Some have even ventured to seek the
reason and have thought that they found in it an exaggeration of
interest in another world than this, and mediaeval lack of interest in
natural truth has been attributed to over-occupation with the
supernatural. Those who dare to think, however, that the people of the
Middle Ages were not interested in nature know nothing at all of the
great writers of that time. They are profoundly ignorant of the broad
interests of those whom they so lightly criticise. Dante is full of
nature study. More than any modern poet, with perhaps one or two
exceptions, he has used his {361} knowledge of nature and of science
to illustrate his meaning in many passages of his poetry. One needs
but turn to the "Divine Comedy" almost anywhere to prove this. In his
"Treatment of Nature in Dante." Professor Oscar Kuhns of Wesleyan
University has demonstrated this beyond all doubt.

Three voluminous encyclopaedias of knowledge, including many of the
wonderful facts of nature, were compiled in the thirteenth century.
Such men as Albertus Magnus, who has many volumes of scientific
writing on natural subjects and who made collections and observations
of all kinds, Roger Bacon, who has so many almost incredible
anticipations of modern knowledge, and Thomas Aquinas, who used the
facts of nature as known in his time for the basis of his philosophy
quite as Aristotle did long before, all were enthusiastic nature
students. They did not know many things which the modern schoolboy can
easily learn, for we have accumulated a great deal of information;
since not a little that they thought they knew was wrong,--but that
has been true in every period of the world's history of science and
even our own will not escape that inevitable law, but they knew ever
so much more than is usually thought and what they knew was much more
significant for real scientific progress than any but special students
of their works have any idea of.

It will not be surprising, then, to find that there were magnificent
foundations laid in the biological sciences in Columbus' Century, and
that indeed the work of this period represents some of the most
important fundamental truths in these sciences. Anatomy, for instance,
received a development during the Renaissance period that made it an
independent scientific department. Men began to think again for
themselves and make their own observations in the first half of the
century. It is rather interesting to see the details that were added
to the previous knowledge of anatomy, for these demonstrate the fact
that they were observing accurately; A few examples will suffice to
make this clear.

Achillini noticed the _ductus choledochus_, the duct leading from the
liver into the duodenum, and described the ilio-caecal valves.
Berengar of Carpi corrected a number of mistakes that had existed in
Mondino's _Anathomia_, the text-book {362} which had been most used
since the beginning of the fourteenth century, and he discovered the
foramina in the sphenoid bone. He will have, perhaps, still more of
interest for our time, because he was the first to describe the
vermiform appendix. He was also the first apparently to call attention
to the fact that the thorax in men and the pelvis in women are wider
in each case proportionately than in the other sex, and that roughly,
while the feminine form is conical, the masculine is an inverted cone.
Canani added much to the description of the muscles and was the first
to notice the presence of valves in veins, discovering them in the
_vena azygos_. Gabriele Zerbi noted the oblique and the circular
muscles of the stomach and described the puncta lachrymalia, the
ligamenta uteri and other anatomical details which had escaped
description previously. His book on anatomy divided the bones and
muscles and blood vessels into different chapters, and order was
beginning to come out of the confusion that had existed because of the
too-generalized teaching before.

It is of the anatomists of this time that Puschmann in his "History of
Medical Education" says, "The Italian anatomists had the habit of
making the dissections of bodies for themselves, and it is for this
reason that all the great anatomical discoveries of the time come from
Italy. The anatomical schools of that country were the best in the
world. All the greatest anatomists of the sixteenth century received
their education there, and among the masters of the Italian schools
are to be found the greatest names of which the science of anatomy can
boast." Neuberger in his "Handbook of the History of Medicine"
[Footnote 30] says, "The Italian professors, incited by the brilliant
example of 'Mondino,' surpassed all the other anatomists of the world
because they did not disdain to take in their own hands the anatomical
scalpel, and it is for that reason that at this time anatomy in Italy
was cultivated with greater breadth of vision than elsewhere. The
Italian anatomists initiated at the end of the fifteenth century the
most famous period in the history of the art of dissection {363} and
became the teachers to the physicians of the whole world."

  [Footnote 30: Neuberger u. Pagel: _"Handbuch der Geschichte der
  Medicin";_ Jena, 1903, Vol. II, p. 23.]

Martinotti in his "The Teaching of Anatomy in Bologna Before the
Nineteenth Century" [Footnote 31] gives a very good idea of the
thoroughly scientific spirit of their investigations and their ardent
curiosity with regard to anatomical details, as these may be gathered
from the commentaries of Berengar of Carpi. He says, for instance,
"Let no one think that by word of mouth alone or the study of books,
this science of anatomy" [he calls it discipline] "can be learned. For
this the sight and touch are absolutely necessary." "Nor can any real
knowledge of the members of the human body be obtained from a single
dissection, for this a number of dissections are required." He himself
says in suggesting with true scholarly spirit how little he knows in
spite of his opportunities, in order that others may be encouraged to
take as many opportunities as possible, "how many hundreds of cadavers
have I not dissected." This expression is sometimes said to be an
exaggeration, but it is in accord with the whole trend of Berengar's
method of study. A dissection in the old time did not mean a complete
study of the anatomy of the body by anatomical methods, but any
opening of the body, in order to determine a particular point or to
study any special part, was called an anatomy or dissection. Berengar
insists frequently that a number of preparations and sections of the
same viscus should be studied. He confesses that he had sectioned more
than 100 cadavers in order to determine a question in brain anatomy
and yet was not satisfied.

  [Footnote 31: G. Martinotti: _L'Insegnamento dell' Anatomia in
  Bologna Prima del Secolo XIX;_ Bologna, 1911.]

The interests of the artists of the Renaissance in painting not merely
the surface of things, but giving an idea of what they actually were,
led to a great development of curiosity as to the constitution of
human beings. Not a single great artist of the Renaissance failed to
make dissections for himself, and the greater the artist, the more
dissections, as a rule, we know he made. Michelangelo dissected
portions at least of more than 100 bodies, and Leonardo da Vinci
probably did even much more than that. He proposed at one time to
write a {364} textbook of anatomy. Ordinarily, it would be presumed
that any such proposition from an artist could scarcely be taken
seriously in the sense of a scientific text-book to represent real
contributions to anatomy as a science, though it might, of course, be
valuable for artists. In recent years, however, the republication of
the sketches of his dissections shows that Leonardo da Vinci might
have written a very wonderful textbook of anatomy and that his plates
are still valuable for the study of professed anatomists.

William Hunter declared that "Leonardo was the greatest anatomist of
this period," and, as altogether we have some 750 separate sketches of
dissections which he had actually studied, some idea of how much he
accomplished can be obtained. These sketches represent not merely the
muscles and the skeleton, though they give these very well and
especially suggest their functions very completely, but they also
contain sketches of all the viscera and even cross-sections of the
brain at different planes. This book alone, without anything further,
would give Leonardo a distinguished place in the history of physiology
as well as of anatomy.

With all this in mind, it is amusing to know the impression rather
prevalent among even educated people that there was Church opposition
to dissection at this time, and to have such books as President
White's "Warfare of Science with Theology" represent Vesalius a
generation after this as dissecting in fear and trembling because of
the danger he was incurring from the violation of ecclesiastical laws
against dissection. No such laws were ever in existence, and
dissection for scientific and artistic purposes was apparently much
better provided for than it is even in our time, and above all much
better cared for by the ecclesiastical authorities who might have
hampered it so much, than it was in the English-speaking countries two
or three generations ago, when ardent students of anatomy had either
to "resurrect" bodies themselves or buy them--as many of them
did--from "resurrectionists," with all the abuses connected with this
practice, in order to secure anatomical material.

The supreme development of anatomy in Columbus' Century came with
Vesalius. After exhibiting his trend of mind {365} towards scientific
and especially biological studies as a boy by the dissection of small
animals, the suggestion for which had come to him from the study of
Albertus Magnus' books, Vesalius went to Paris in order to find
opportunities for anatomical study; but while profiting not a little
there, he was rather disappointed because of the lack of facilities.
The jealousy of his teacher, Sylvius, which he aroused, made his work
still more difficult, so he went down to Italy, where he knew that he
could secure material for dissection and opportunities for study.
There, before he was twenty-five, they made him professor of anatomy
at the University of Padua, and he had the opportunity to write his
great text-book on anatomy, the _"De Fabrica Humani Corporis,"_ which
has remained a classic down to our day.

It would be rather difficult to enumerate all the discoveries that we
owe to Vesalius. He well deserves the name of the Father of Modern
Anatomy. Practically all of his productive life comes in Columbus'
Century, and he illustrates how thorough the scientific men of the
time were in their modes of thinking and ways of observation. Details
that might have been expected to escape him are described most
clearly. He was the first to point out that nerves penetrated muscles
and to suggest the physiological function that they performed of
bringing about contraction. He discovered the little blood vessels
that enter bones, the nutrient arteries, but still more definitely
described the nutrition of bones through the periosteum and its rich
blood supply. He added greatly to the knowledge of the time as regards
the anatomy of the abdominal wall and of the large organs of the
abdominal cavity, especially the stomach and the liver. His
descriptions of the sex organs are far in advance of all that his
predecessors had known, and here his anatomical knowledge also became
of value for suggestions in physiology,--the two cognate sciences
were, as might be expected, developing together. Vesalius described
the heart completely and suggested its mechanism, and yet could not
get away from Galen's declaration that the blood passes through the
septum of the heart. His description of blood vessels and their inner
and outer coat shows how carefully his observations were made. He
declared {366} afterwards that he was led to make these investigations
by the memory of his dissection of the bladders with which he used to
play as a boy and which he found to consist of several coats.

There is scarcely a department of anatomy on which Vesalius' name is
not stamped deeply. He devoted great care, for instance, to the
examination of the brain, emphasized the distinction between the gray
and white matter, described the corpus callosum, the septum lucidum,
the pineal gland and the corpora quadrigemina.

Two at least of Vesalius' disciples and assistants in teaching deserve
to be named in the great development of anatomy that came at this
time. One of them is Realdus Columbus, to whom we owe the discovery of
the circulation of the blood in the lungs, and the other, Fallopius,
whose name is familiar from its attachment to important structures in
the body which he first described. Columbus we shall have more to say
of under physiology, for the circulation of the blood was an important
contribution to that science. Columbus' work was done at Rome, whither
he was invited by the Popes to teach at the Papal Medical School, and
where his directions and demonstrations were attended by cardinals,
archbishops, and distinguished ecclesiastics. He had been Vesalius'
prosector at Padua and had succeeded him at Bologna, and then was
invited to Rome. He wrote a great text-book of anatomy, which was
dedicated to Pope Paul IV, and it was one of the treasures of the
Renaissance both because of the development of anatomy which it
represents, and its value as one of the early beautifully printed and
illustrated books of the medicine of this time.

Fallopius, the gifted pupil of Vesalius, of whom Haeser, the modern
historian of medicine, has said that he was "one of the most important
of the many-sided physicians of the sixteenth century," followed his
master's work, corrected some details of it and added many new facts.
We are not quite sure of the time of his birth, but he was probably
less than thirty, perhaps only twenty-five, when he became professor
of anatomy at Ferrara. He subsequently occupied the chair of anatomy
at Pisa, and later of anatomy and surgery at Padua. He {367} added
much to what was known before about the internal ear and described in
detail the tympanum and its relations to the osseous ring in which it
is situated. He also described minutely the circular and oval windows
and their communication with the vestibule and cochlea. He was the
first to point out the connection between the mastoid cells and the
middle ear. His description of the lachrymal passages in the eye was a
marked advance on those of his predecessors, and he also gave a
detailed account of the ethmoid bone and its cells in the nose. His
contributions to the anatomy of the bones and muscles were very
valuable. It was in myology particularly that he corrected Vesalius.
He studied the organs of generation in both sexes, and his description
of the canal or tube which leads from the ovary to the uterus attached
his name to the structure. Another discovery, the little canal through
which the facial nerve passes after leaving the auditory, is also
called after him the _aquaeductus Fallopii._

Puschmann in his "History of Medical Education" says of Fallopius (p.
297): "He furnished valuable information upon the development of the
bones and teeth, described the petrous bone more accurately, enriched
myology by admirable descriptions of the muscles of the external ear,
of the face, of the palate and of the tongue, made explicit statements
upon the anastomotic connections of certain blood-vessels--for
instance, of the carotid and vertebral arteries--and discovered the
nervus trochlearis. He instituted accurate investigations upon
particular parts of the organ of hearing and of the eye, by which he
was able to give fuller information upon the _ligamentum ciliare,_ the
_tunica hyaloidea,_ the lens, and other anatomical points."

As great, if not greater, than either as an anatomist was Eustachius,
to whom we owe a series of important discoveries. He studied
particularly the renal system and the head. His name is enshrined in
the Eustachian tube named after him. It has been said that after
Eustachius' time very little was added to our knowledge of the gross
anatomy of the teeth. He also made important discoveries in brain
anatomy. Unfortunately his text-book was never finished, and the
beautiful illustrations, the first copperplates for an anatomical work
ever made, were {368} not published in his lifetime. They were
faithfully preserved, however, in the Library of the Vatican, for,
like Columbus, he was a professor at the Papal Medical School in Rome,
and were published at the beginning of the eighteenth century by
Lancisi, himself, another Papal physician.

Another of the distinguished anatomists of the time was Aranzius, who
was the Professor of Anatomy in the Papal University of Bologna for
some thirty-two years just after the close of our period, having
received his training, however, in our century. He gave the first
correct account of the anatomy of the foetus and was the first to show
that the muscles of the eye do not arise from the dura mater but from
the margin of the optic cavity. He confirmed Columbus' views with
regard to the course of the blood in passing from the left to the
right side of the heart, and made a number of discoveries in the
anatomy of the brain. To him we owe the term _hippocampus_, and he
described the fourth ventricle very accurately, calling it the cistern
of the cerebellum.

The scientific development of physiology followed immediately, as
might be expected, on that of anatomy. Indeed, Vesalius deserves
almost as much credit for what he did for physiology as for his
researches in anatomy. The functions of bones, muscles and organs
were, as we have said, carefully discussed in connection with the
descriptions of their form, location and relations to other organs.

Probably the best way to present the advance made in physiology at
this time is to review the important steps of progress toward that
greatest generalization in modern physiology, the circulation of the
blood. Much more had been known of it before this time than is usually
thought, and probably even the ancients, especially in Greece, had
more than a hint of it. Before Columbus' Century closed, the discovery
of the pulmonary circulation was an accomplished fact, and there was
more than an inkling of the existence of the general circulation. The
full description of this was not made until afterwards, but it was not
long delayed, and it came from a man who belongs to our time. It did
not receive that thorough scientific statement which was to make it a
fundamental principle in the biological science of the time until
Harvey's day, nor indeed for some {369} time after Harvey's thoroughly
scientific description and demonstration. [Footnote 32]

  [Footnote 32: How clearly Rabelais understood the function of the
  circulation, though he did not properly appreciate its physiological
  anatomy, may be readily seen from his famous passage on the
  circulation, in which he talks about the blood as "the rivulet of
  gold which is received with such joy by all the organs because it is
  their sole restorative." A portion of the passage is worth while
  quoting because it represents a popularization of the scientific
  knowledge of the time. Rabelais was writing not for physicians nor
  even medical students, but for the educated general public of the
  time. He said:

    "The Spleen draweth from the _Blood_ its terrestrial parts,
    _viz._, the Grounds, Lees or thick Substance settled in the bottom
    thereof, which you term _Melancholy;_ the Bottle of the Gall
    subtracts from thence all the superfluous _Choler:_ whence it is
    brought to another Shop or Workhouse to be yet better purified and
    refined, that is the Heart, which by its agitation of Diastolick
    and Systolick Motions so neatly subtiliseth and inflames it, that
    in the _right-side_ Ventricle it is brought to Perfection and
    through the Veins is sent to all the Members; each Parcel of the
    Body draws it then into itself, and after it's own fashion, is
    cherished and alimented by it: Feet, Hands, Thighs, Arms, Eyes,
    Ears, Back, Breast, yea, all; and thus it is that who before were
    _Lenders,_ now become _Debtors,_ The Heart doth in its _left-side_
    Ventricle so thinnify the Blood that it thereby obtains the name
    of Spiritual; which being sent through the Arteries to all the
    members of the Body, serveth to warm and winnow or fan the other
    Blood which runneth through the Veins; The Lights never cease with
    its Lappets and Bellows to cool and refresh it; in Acknowledgment
    of which good the Heart through the Arterial Vein imparts unto it
    the choicest of it's Blood: At last it is made so fine and subtle
    within the _Rete Mirabile,_ that thereafter those _Animal Spirits_
    are framed and composed of it; by means whereof the Imagination,
    Discourse, Judgment, Resolution, Deliberation, Ratiocination, and
    Memory have their Rise, Actings and Operations."]

Harvey himself indeed has acknowledged his indebtedness to these men
of preceding generations, and any fair-minded review of the subject
makes it clear that there was a gradual progress towards this
all-important generalization for several generations, and not that
sudden discovery which is sometimes thought to have taken place. In
1546 Servetus, who had been Professor of Anatomy at Paris, but who had
a tendency to dabble in theology that subsequently proved unfortunate
for him, for, as will be recalled, he was burnt to death by Calvin
{370} at Geneva in 1553, sent to Curio, who was teaching anatomy at
Padua, a manuscript copy of his _"Restitutio Christianismi,"_ "The
Restoration of Christendom," in which he described completely the
circulation of the blood in the lungs.

Because Servetus' description first appeared in a theological work, it
has sometimes seemed to commentators that his expressions were
scarcely more than accidental and that it was only by chance that he
reached such a generalization. To say this, however, is to ignore
Servetus' career. He was an investigator of a thoroughly scientific
spirit, living in a time when discoveries, particularly in the
biological sciences, were being made all round him, and he had made
many dissections, had taught anatomy at the University of Paris and
was exactly in the most appropriate position to make such a new
discovery. He had done some distinguished work in botany, he had
suggested some modifications in pharmacology which met with violent
opposition, but have since been approved, and like so many of the men
of the Renaissance he had "taken all knowledge for his province" with
a wonderful degree of success. Unfortunately he invaded theology and
then got into trouble. He had to fly from Paris, though probably the
prosecution of him was due not a little to the enemies created by his
uncompromising spirit in the controversy over the use of syrups. He
was protected by the Archbishop of Vienne, who had him as physician
for a dozen of years, and it was Calvin who denounced him to the Roman
authorities in such a way that even the friendly Archbishop could no
longer protect him. He was allowed to escape from jail by connivance,
went to Geneva and there met his sad fate.

It may not be true, as has been said, that by putting him to death
Calvin put back the development of physiology for three-quarters of a
century until Harvey's time, but undoubtedly Servetus' death was a
very unfortunate incident for science.

Just about this same time a series of discoveries in Italy led up to
the thought of the existence of a circulation of the blood in lungs
and body. Already in the first edition of his great text-book of
anatomy in 1543, Vesalius had expressed doubts {371} with regard to
the Galenic doctrine that the blood passed through the septum of the
heart from one ventricle to another, and these doubts he emphasized in
the second edition. In 1547 Cananus, Professor of Anatomy at Ferrara,
observed the valves in the veins, and these are said to have been
described even before this, though the doctrine of their existence and
function was not generally accepted in science until after the more
complete description made by Fabricius of Aquapendente, who was born
in our century but did his important work afterwards. Columbus, who
was teaching anatomy at the Papal University of the Sapienza in Rome,
was even more complete and explicit in his description of the
pulmonary circulation than had been Servetus. The question as to
whether he knew of Servetus' discovery has never been absolutely
settled, though there seems very little likelihood of it. Apparently
the one possibility is that a copy of the edition of the _"Restitutio
Christianismi"_ which was burned with its unfortunate author, may have
been spared and found its way to Rome. Rome is indeed the least likely
place for such a book to have wandered, and only two copies of that
first edition are definitely known to have escaped. Of these Columbus
could have known nothing. Harvey himself, to quote Professor Foster in
his "History of Physiology," spoke of Columbus with respect as of a
great authority.

Columbus' work has sometimes been minimized in Western Europe,
especially by the English, apparently in the fear lest recognition for
him should lessen Harvey's glory. Harvey himself, however, quotes
Columbus as an authority in his work on the circulation, and the
Italian anatomist, who had been Vesalius' assistant, was undoubtedly a
great teacher, investigator, dissector, experimenter, observer and
writer with regard to a number of phases of medical science. He was
the first to insist on demonstrations of living animals as valuable in
the teaching of medicine. He declared that one could learn more about
the functions of the body from the dissection of a single dog than
from feeling the pulse for hours and merely studying Galen. He made
demonstrations on living animals and was constantly engaged in trying
to find out function as well as anatomical details. A number of
workers in the medical {372} sciences toward the end of Columbus'
Century were making experiments of various kinds on living and dead
animals in order to develop physiology. Eustachius studied the kidneys
experimentally, and the sensory functions were investigated very
carefully and with the true scientific spirit.

The completion of the discovery of the circulation of the blood came
in the person of Caesalpinus, who had received all of his education in
Columbus' Century. Anyone who reads his description of the systemic
circulation cannot fail to recognize that he really understood it. His
discovery did not impress his generation as did that of Harvey in the
next generation, nor did he understand so thoroughly the significance
of his discovery. The Italians, however, have quite rightly insisted
on vindicating for him the merit of having discovered the circulation
of the blood, and some of them have even suggested that Harvey learned
of it from him, but nothing can dim Harvey's glory as a great trained
observer and original genius, who appreciated thoroughly the nature of
the revolution that his discovery would work in the medical sciences.
Harvey himself would have been the first to deprecate the lessening of
the glory that was due to his predecessors or to his great teachers in
Italy, one of whom, Fabricius da Aquapendente, belongs partly to our
century. Indeed, in his book on the circulation, Harvey has given more
credit to his predecessors than many of his ardent English advocates
are prone to do in the modern time.

Professor Foster in his "Lectures on the History of Physiology During
the Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries," which were
delivered as the Lane Lectures in San Francisco, and some of them also
at Johns Hopkins, concedes Caesalpinus' priority of description. He
says (page 33):

  "He thus appears to have grasped the important truth, hidden, it
  would seem, from all before him, that the heart, at its systole,
  discharges its contents into the aorta (and pulmonary artery), and
  at its diastole receives blood from the vena cava (and pulmonary

  "Again in his 'Medical Questions,' he seems to have grasped the
  facts of the flow from the arteries to the veins, and of flow along
  the veins to the heart"


On page 35 of the same work Professor Foster says: "We must,
therefore, admit that Caesalpinus had not only clearly grasped the
pulmonary circulation, but had also laid hold of the systemic
circulation; he recognized that the flow of blood to the tissues took
place by the arteries and by the arteries alone, and that the return
of the blood from the tissues took place by the veins and not by the

Foster is prone to make little of Caesalpinus as a man of
book-learning rather than experimental or observational knowledge and
as a scholarly writer rather than a scientific discoverer. It must not
be forgotten, however, that Caesalpinus, besides being a great
anatomist, is one of the most important contributors to the botany of
this time. He was the director of the first botanical garden regularly
established in Italy, that at Pisa, which still exists, and he is
called by Linnaeus the first true systematic botanist. His work on
plants distributed more than 1500 plants into fifteen classes
distinguished by their fruits.

Every detail of the circulation is thus seen to have been understood,
and Professor Foster has quoted the passages from Caesalpinus' books
which make the necessity for such an admission very clear. The
Italians have always claimed the discovery of the circulation for
Caesalpinus, and the Southern nations of Europe generally have been
inclined to favor that claim, though the Germans and English have
refused to admit that even Caesalpinus' description, with all its
clearness of detail, can be taken to mean that he understood the new
doctrine that he thus was teaching. Besides, it is pointed out that
Caesalpinus' new doctrines met with very little response and indeed
scarcely any notice from his contemporaries. It must not be forgotten,
however, that Harvey himself hesitated for some dozen years to publish
his demonstration of the circulation of the blood, and there is good
reason to believe that while he presented his views to his class in
1616 and wrote his treatise in 1619, he delayed its publication until
1628 and was even then apprehensive lest its appearance make "mankind
his enemy." It is not surprising, then, in the light of this
recognized attitude of the scientific mind of the time that
Caesalpinus' declarations of half a century before should have been
passed {374} over by scientists without proper recognition of their

Any account of the development of the biological sciences at this time
would be quite incomplete without the great story of the botanists who
laid the broad, deep foundation of their favorite science during this
century. The first distinguished name among them is that of Leonardo
da Vinci, the story of whose work in botany seems almost incredible
until the actual notes of his observations are before one. While
Leonardo has been thought of always as a painter and only recently has
the idea of his greatness as a scientist become generally known, he
deserves eminently to be classed as one of the greatest of scientific
geniuses. It was in the biological sciences that he did his most
wonderful work. He knew the anatomy of men and animals very well and
studied whole series of questions touching living beings. He did work
in botany, palaeontology, zoology, physiology, so that Duval did not
hesitate to speak of him in the _Revue Scientifique_ [Footnote 33] as
A Biologist of the Fifteenth Century. He made special observations on
flying, on swimming, on the saving of life in shipwreck, on the
mechanics of joints, on horse movement, so that he anticipated what we
have learned by the camera. His special contribution to physiology was
that certain acts of the nervous system are reflex, that is, without
requiring attention from the higher centres.

  [Footnote 33: December 7, 1889.]

His studies in color are among the most interesting done up to his
time. These were not merely taken up from the physical standpoint but
especially from the physiological, and his theory of color vision
still attracts attention. He studied sound and made many valuable
observations once more physiological as well as physical. His most
interesting scientific conclusion was doubtless that with regard to
fossils. Having met with them deep below the surface of the earth, he
declared that they were not there by accident nor by any
incompleteness of creation, but that they represented living things
which had been covered up. He even suggested that marine fossils
pointed to the fact that the sea had at some time covered this spot
where {375} the fossils were found, though this was now far from water
and well above its level.

Some of his information with regard to botany was far ahead of his
time. He not only knew that the rings seen in the wood of the trunk of
a tree represent its age, one ring for each year, but he also knew how
to deduce from the differing thickness of the various rings the
particular kind of season and how favorable it was for growth. In
Italy moisture represents to a great extent the most important element
in a favorable year for plant growth. Leonardo seems to have shown by
the story of certain years in the past that when moisture was abundant
the rings of the trees were thicker than they had been in other years.
He pointed out, too, that the core of the trunk of a tree, the heart
of the wood as we call it, was not in the centre of the tree as a
rule, but always a little to one side because the tree had more
sunlight and heat on one side and grew more in that direction. He
pointed out too that when a tree is injured an abundance of sap is
carried to that spot in order to bring about repair, and that these
processes of repair always make a super-abundance of tissue, as if to
overstrengthen a weaker part--hence the irregularities that are
likely to exist on a tree where injuries have been inflicted. The
sketches of dissections of flowers found in his notebooks show how
well he anticipated many methods of study and details of knowledge in
botany supposed to be much more modern. They have proved as great a
surprise as his anatomical plates.

The professional botanists of this period have been very thoroughly
reviewed by Professor Edward Lee Greene, Professor of Botany at the
Catholic University and Associate in Botany in the United States
National Museum, in his "Landmarks of Botanical History," which forms
part of Volume LIV in the Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections. He
has called attention particularly to the work of the great German
Fathers of modern botany during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth
centuries. There are five of them who deserve a prominent place in the
history of botany. Otho Brunfelsius (1464-1534), Leonhardus Fuchsius
(1506-1566), Hieronymus Tragus (1498-1554), Euricius Cordus
(1486-1535) and Valerius Cordus (1515-1544). The four first named
represent two distinct {376} kinds of botanical work. Brunfels and
Fuchs busy themselves almost wholly with medical botany. Their one
idea was to describe plants that could be used in medicine or make
special additions to the diet. Most of their plant descriptions are
copied from older authors, some of them even the Greeks, but for
practical purposes they sought to render the identification of medical
plants more easy and certain by supplying pictures of them. There had
been botanical pictures before but they were miserable as a rule, and
both Brunfels and Fuchs greatly improved the representations. As
Greene says "these two might worthily have been styled Fathers of
Plant Iconography."

Books of botany must have been popular before this and indeed it was
probably because of the ready sale of such works that Brunfels and
Fuchs took up their elaboration of them. Their large picture books now
made it possible for all sorts and conditions of men, lettered and
illiterate, to identify some hundreds of useful plants; a thing which
had never happened in the world before that day. They added little to
scientific botany, however, but fortunately other men, Tragus and
Valerius Cordus, laid serious scientific foundations for the true
science of botany. Neither of these men wished to popularize botany so
much as to make it possible for plants to be so described as to be
readily identifiable by description. As Greene says "on Cordus' part
it is unmistakable that there is a deliberate plan of creating a new
phytography. Therefore and by study of the men and their books I think
we shall perceive that in the Germany of the first half of the
sixteenth century there were two fathers of plant iconography and two
fathers of descriptive botany."

Greene can scarcely say too much of the work of young Cordus. He says
(page 272): "To understand the exalted character of this genius it is
only necessary to canvass what the youth had also attained to along
other and different lines at the same time.

  "In field work in Germany--for botany alone--not to speak of geology
  and mineralogy, in both of which he was, for his time, an expert--he
  had wrought out more results than had his older contemporaries,
  Brunfelsius, Tragus, and Fuchsius combined. In his repeated journeys
  to the great forests and {377} wildest mountain districts, it is
  estimated that he discovered several hundred new plants. Sprengel
  has given the Linnaean names of some twenty-five of these new
  discoveries of Cordus; and that is perhaps double or treble the
  number of novelties gathered in by the whole three above named; and
  they both were men of longer life and more or less extensive

Greene re-echoes the praise of a contemporary in terms which show us
that this young man, who lived less than thirty years, had all the
qualities of a modern successful scientific investigator. Indeed that
contemporary description is worth while having near one as a catalogue
of qualities of the men who in every age succeed in science as a rule.
It comes from Riffius' Preface to Cordus' "Annotations on

  "To the best possible education of an intellect naturally keen,
  there was united in him that happy temperament to which nothing is
  impossible, or even difficult of attainment. To these gifts he added
  a truly marvellous industry and assiduity in research; and above
  all, a most wonderfully retentive memory for everything he either
  saw in nature or read in books. In this he so greatly excelled as to
  be able to carry in mind in their entirety descriptions of things
  which he had not seen but was looking to find; thus having the
  descriptions always available whenever occasion called for the use
  of them."

Conrad Gesner at Zurich declared that the four books of Cordus are
"truly extraordinary because of the accuracy with which the plants are
described. A century and a half later, Tournefort named Valerius
Cordus as having been the first of all men to excel in plant
description. Haller, the distinguished botanist and historian in
Linnaeus' time, credited Valerius Cordus with having been "the first
to teach independence of the poor descriptions of the ancients and to
describe plants anew." Greene says of him: "One sees that in all his
descriptions the same attention is given to the morphology and also to
the life history of the plant in as far as this is known to him. In
his practice of describing each species, both morphologically and
biologically, he is a herald of our late nineteenth and early
twentieth century writers who now that we have the microscope give
life histories with minuteness of detail before impossible."


Evidently Columbus' period gave birth to men as great in the
investigation of plants and as ardent in their desires to get the last
details of truth as were the geographers and the navigators of the
time to reach the ends of the earth and be able to map it out. There
was a great wind of the spirit of investigation abroad and everywhere
there were magnificent results from it. This school of botany in
Germany with Valerius Cordus as the climax of it, whose untimely death
before thirty was indeed an irremediable loss to science, illustrates
this very well.

While the most important contributions to the science of botany during
that period came from the Germans, Italy did not lag far behind in
this subject, and France, Spain and Portugal supplied their quota to
the science. Above all, it is to the Italians that we owe editions of
Theophrastus, Dioscorides and the elder Pliny, works which contained
so much of information with regard to the science of botany in ancient
times and the modern publication of which brought about a reawakening
of interest in that subject corresponding to what was noted in
connection with every other republication of classical thought in the
various departments of the intellectual life. The most important of
the botanists of Italy was Caesalpinus, professor of botany at Padua
and director of the botanic garden there at the close of the Columbus'
Century, but who was afterwards physician to Pope Clement VIII. To
him, as we have seen in discussing the physiology of the time, we owe
a complete description of the circulation of the blood in the century
before Harvey. Caesalpinus is called by Linnaeus _primus verus
systematicus,_ the first true systematic botanist. His work, _"De
Plantis,"_ contains an immense amount of information and a complete
classification of all the then known plants, some 1520 in number, into
fifteen classes. The distinguishing characters of this classification
are taken from the fruit and show careful observation and thoroughly
scientific attention to details.

Caesalpinus' place in the history of botany can be best appreciated
from the praise of his colleagues in this department of science. John
Ray, the English botanist of the end of the seventeenth century, in
his history of plants declared that {379} Caesalpinus' book "On
Plants" was indeed a work from which much might be learned. Fabrucci
and Carl Fuchs declare Caesalpinus' treatise to be of first rank.
Thomas Garzon, Pona of Verona and Balthazar and Michael Campi in the
eighteenth century praised his work as thoroughly scientific. We have
already quoted Linnaeus' opinion of him and the modern father of
botany gladly accepted the suggestion of Plumier that a newly
discovered plant should be given the name of Caesalpinus, in order
that that name might be forever memorable in botany. Boerhaave, whom
we think of much more as a physician than a botanist, but some of
whose greatest work was done with regard to medical botany in the
University garden of Leyden, advised a friend and disciple if he could
buy any of Caesalpinus' works, to do so, for they were among the best
on the subject.

In France Ruellius, whose life is about equally divided between the
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, was the physician to Francis I and
a distinguished botanist. He wrote scientific descriptions of a large
number of plants and put beside them the ordinary names which they
were called in various countries as he had obtained them from
peasants, farmers and country-people generally in his travels. His
work was an important contribution to the science of botany. Toward
the end of his life Ruellius, like his distinguished contemporary and
colleague, Linacre in England, became a priest. Another important
French contributor to the science is Pierre Belon of the first half of
the sixteenth century, though he had an interest in many other
biological sciences. He wrote a valuable treatise on coniferous plants
and a monograph on birds. This has attracted particular attention,
because in it "he compared the skeletons of birds and man in the same
posture and nearly as possible, bone for bone." As Garrison in his
"History of Medicine" (New York, 1913) says: "this was the first of
these serial arrangements of homologies which Owen and Haeckel made
famous." Belon travelled in Greece, Egypt and the Orient as well as
widely in Europe, mainly in the interests of _materia medica,_ but
everywhere picking up scientific information.

In Spain and Portugal writers in botany are the medical {380}
scientists and especially those who searched the Indies, West and
East, for plants with medicinal virtues. They did much both for pure
science and for medicine and some account of their work will be found
in the chapter on "Medicine" and "America in Columbus' Century." As
accumulators of information the biological scientists of all the
countries of Europe during Columbus' Century probably contributed more
to their various departments than their colleagues of any other
corresponding period in the history of science, even our own. They
had, of course, the advantage of fields ripe for the harvest, but they
undoubtedly took full advantage of their opportunities. Of all of them
might be said what Oliver Wendell Holmes said of the anatomists of the
Renaissance. They gathered in the rich harvest of discovery like the
harvesters in a grain field. After them in the next century came the
gleaners, who found many scattered precious grains of knowledge that
their predecessors with their rich harvest to care for had neglected.
Finally, in the later time, came into the field the geese, who found
here and there a grain of knowledge missed even by the gleaners and
who made a great cackling whenever they found one. The kindly satirist
was himself an anatomist, and we may take the exaggeration of his
picture with proper discount, yet with a recognition that it has much
more of truth than we always like to confess even to ourselves.




It is not surprising that there should have been a magnificent century
of achievement in medicine at this time because their standards of
medical education were at a high level and were well maintained. The
medieval requirements for medical education had been three years of
preliminary work at the university, four years in the medical schools,
special courses in surgery if practice was to be in that department,
and a year's experience with a physician before personal practice on
one's own responsibility was allowed. The laws of the Emperor
Frederick for the Two Sicilies in the thirteenth century were very
strict in this matter and they constituted the standard which came to
be very generally adopted. In the Italian universities the Papal
charters explicitly demanded these requirements. [Footnote 34]

  [Footnote 34: For full details of this surprising, too little known
  formal development of medicine, see Walsh, "The Popes and Science,"
  Fordham University Press, N. Y., 1907, where all the documents will
  be found.]

We have a series of re-enactments on this subject just about the
middle of the fifteenth century. Above all, clinical experience was
required before the license to practise would be issued. In 1449 the
medical Faculty of Paris required that graduates in medicine should
diligently visit the hospitals or accompany a skilful practitioner in
his visits to patients and refused to grant the license when this rule
was not observed. In Ingolstadt graduates in medicine, according to
the statutes of 1472, were obliged to take an oath that they would
practise only as the representatives of their teacher, or of some
other doctor of the faculty of that place, until they were considered
skilful enough to receive the license for practice on their own

In the hospitals of this time, which were large and well arranged,
thoroughly ventilated and capable of being well cleansed, {382} there
was ample opportunity for clinical teaching and we know that it was
taken. A manuscript of Galen of the fifteenth century which is
preserved at Dresden has a number of initial miniatures, in which
groups engaged in clinical instruction are noteworthy. In his "History
of Medical Education," [Footnote 35] Puschmann notes the details of
some of these. There is a picture of a patient suffering from some
wasting disease, near whose bed stand a doctor and two nurses, while
the doctor dictates a prescription to his pupils. There is a
demonstration of leg ulcers by a physician to a pupil and a surgical
operation on the leg performed by the pupil in the presence of his
teacher, as well as the opening of an abscess in the axilla. There
were hospitals in every town of 5,000 and this gave ample
opportunities for clinical experience. When hospitals are numerous and
well managed there must be physicians to attend on them and this
provides opportunities for thorough study of patients.

  [Footnote 35: Translation by Hare, London, 1891.]

The influences that were at work to lift medical education to a higher
plane in practical efficiency may be judged from such expressions as
those of Rabelais, who, in his letter on education in "Gargantua,"
suggests as preparatory studies for medicine, Greek and Latin with
even a little Hebrew, for the sake of the Holy Scriptures, and natural
science, especially zoology, botany and mineralogy, and "then
carefully go over again the books of the Greek, Arabian and Latin
physicians, not despising the Talmudists and Cabalists; and by
frequent dissections acquire perfect knowledge of the outer world, the
microcosm, which is man." He himself has shown in a number of passages
that he had taken his own advice and even in his famous description of
the anatomy of Lent in which his comparisons were formerly thought
more or less fanciful, "they are extraordinarily apt and vivid and
show deep knowledge of anatomy," while his descriptions of wounds show
a competent familiarity with surgical anatomy. This might very well be
expected, for Rabelais invented two surgical instruments, one for the
reduction of fractures of the thigh bone and the other for operating
in cases of strangulated hernia. He has at least one passage in which
it is clear that he knew much more about the circulation of the blood
than is usually supposed to have {383} been known in his time and
which demonstrates that there had been a gradual accumulation of
knowledge on this subject before Harvey's time. (See chapter on
Biological Sciences.)

The interest in medicine can be best realized from the large number of
medical books that were printed almost immediately after the discovery
of printing. After theology medicine was the subject most occupying
the attention of printers. During Columbus' Century a whole series of
the classics of medicine was reprinted and made available for wide
reading. The patience and scholarship required for this can only be
properly appreciated by those who know the labor of reading the
crabbed handwriting of the old manuscripts and collating them and the
time required to elucidate erroneous readings that had crept in
through the negligence of copyists. The world owes an immense debt to
the Renaissance for this work. To a great extent these books have been
neglected for the last two centuries and we are only now coming to
realize how much the scholarly interest of that time meant for
subsequent generations. Many of these books are now being republished
to the great benefit of medicine. Not only were Hippocrates and Galen
and Celsus and the other classics republished, but also the writers of
the intermediate time, Aëtius, Alexander of Tralles, the great Arabian
writers and then the important contributors to medicine and surgery in
the later Middle Ages. The value of the debt thus owed is growing in
estimation every year.

The publication of medical books, even during the score of years
immediately after printing began to be employed, shows the intense
interest in the subject. The first medical publication was a purgation
calendar, that is, a list of the days of the year on which purgations
should be practised. This was printed by Gutenberg, 1457. Heinrich von
Pfolspeundt's "Treatise on Surgery" was printed in 1460; in 1470
medical treatises by Valescus de Tarenta, Jacopo de Dondis and
Matthaeus Sylvaticus were printed. In 1471 treatises by Mesnë and
Nicolaus Salernitanus were put in type. In 1472 the old _"Regimen
Sanitatis"_ was printed and Bellegardo's monograph on "Pediatrics." In
1473 Simon of Genoa's "Medical Dictionary" was set up and in 1476
William of Salicet's "Cyrurgia" was given {384} to the press. In 1478
the first edition of Celsus was printed, and the first printed edition
of Mondino's _"Anathomia"_ was ready for sale. In 1479 came the first
edition of "Avicenna." In spite of the great losses of books that have
taken place in the course of time because of fire, water, use and
other enemies, we still possess many medical books printed practically
in every year of the first quarter of a century after the discovery of
printing. Unfortunately the neglect of these old classics during the
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries did more than all the other
inimical elements put together in reducing the number of medical
incunabula that we might have had.

The first great medical teacher of Columbus' period was Nicholas
Leonicenus, born in 1428, who studied medicine at Padua, lived for
some ninety-six years and was professor of medicine at Ferrara for
over sixty years. He translated the "Aphorisms" of Hippocrates and
some of Galen's works into Latin, and occupied himself with the
application of the principles laid down in these great classics in his
practice, and above all, in his teaching. He made it the business of
his life to oppose the Arabian over-medication and especially the use
of many drugs on general principles, and he insisted on natural modes
of cure, diet, water, exercise, fresh air and the correction of any
morbid habits that might have been formed. Probably more than anyone
else he influenced the medicine of the first half of Columbus' Century
and his work has come to be well recognized in recent years with the
growth of interest in the history of medicine.

After him, one of the most important of the physicians of the time was
Thomas Linacre, who, after studying some ten years in Italy, returned
to England to become the attending physician to Henry VIII. His
translations of Galen's works attracted wide attention and Erasmus,
Linacre's friend, once declared that after Linacre's translation Galen
now spoke much better Latin than he had Greek before. Linacre was a
type of the learned physicians of the time and was one of the greatest
scholars of the period. That scholarship did not make men impractical,
Linacre's organization of the College of Physicians of England is
abundant evidence. He found the practice of medicine on his return to
England sadly degenerate, {385} because there was no competent
authority to maintain proper standards of medical education and
prosecute those who attempted to practise medicine without any proper
training and sometimes, indeed, without any knowledge of the subject.
Through the charter from the King, at first for London and
subsequently for England, the duty of caring for the protection of the
public against the illegal practice of medicine was committed to the
Royal College of Physicians. Linacre organized and endowed it, and it
continues to exist and exert an excellent influence over medical
practice in England under its original charter down to the present

Another of the distinguished contributors to medical practice at this
time was John Caius, who also translated some of Galen's works and
especially the _"De Medendi Methodo,"_ his edition containing a series
of annotations from his teacher Montanus, and from his own
observations on patients. He is deservedly best known for his little
book on the Sweating Sickness, in which he exhibited his power of
observation and his ability to describe what he saw. Gesner, the great
European biologist of the time, who was on terms of intimate relation
by correspondence with Caius and knew his work on plants and animals
very well, styled him, in the preface to his _"Icones Animalium,"_ "a
man of consummate erudition, fidelity and diligence as well as
judgment," and in an epistle to Queen Elizabeth bestows upon him the
eulogium of "the most learned physician of his age." Caius has the
merit of introducing the regular practice of dissection into the
English teaching of medicine. As Linacre had done, Caius too, as he
grew older, used the money which he had accumulated as Royal physician
and in the lucrative practice of medicine in London for academic
foundations. Linacre founded chairs in Greek and medicine at Oxford
and Cambridge, as well as the College of Physicians, and Caius, after
having been the first president of Linacre's Royal College, founded
Caius College at Cambridge, where he died in 1572. His last year of
life had been disturbed by the looting of his rooms of a number of
pious articles connected with the old Church to which he faithfully
adhered, and Mr. Andrew Lang suggests that only Dr. Caius' timely,
though untimely, death (he was but 63 years of age) prevented {386}
him from sharing the fate of the pious articles associated with the
old faith which he had cherished as faithfully as the tenets of that
faith itself.

One of the important teachers of medicine at this time was Giovanni de
Monte, according to the custom of the time known by the Latinized name
of Montanus. He was distinguished for his application of the
humanities to medicine and his direct translations of Greek medical
books into Latin, so as to avoid the errors which had come from the
roundabout translation in the previous times of Greek into Arabian and
then into Latin. To him, almost more than any other, is due the
reputation that the medical school of Padua obtained at this time, for
he gave a series of clinical lectures on the patients in the Hospital
of St. Francis which were written down. They show how thorough were
his observations and how suggestive his teaching. No wonder that he
had pupils from all over Europe. His pupils thought of him as the
Americans did of Louis during the early part of the nineteenth
century. Many Germans went to hear him. It was a Polish student who
reported some of his lectures and Dr. John Caius was, as we have said,
one of his most ardent students. Montanus insisted on making careful
inspections of the dead bodies in order to control his diagnosis, and
the teaching at Padua under him was thoroughly practical and such as
we are likely to think of as modern.

  [Illustration: TITIAN, PARACELSUS ]

Quite different from the line of learned physicians who drew their
inspiration from the Greek classics of medicine, was another of the
great physicians of Columbus' period who ran counter to all the old
medical traditions and dared to think for himself. This was
Paracelsus, whose motto _"qui suus esse potest, non sit alterius"_--he
who can form an opinion of his own should not borrow that of
others--shows the independent character of the man. He broke away from
the teachings of medicine in Latin and sought far and wide for
anything and everything that might help in the cure of disease. He has
been an extremely hard man for historians to estimate and
appreciations of him have differed very greatly. There is no doubt at
all that he did much to introduce chemical remedies of many kinds into
medicine, though he was a decided opponent of the polypharmacy of his
day, a heritage from the Arabian {387} physicians, who delighted in
giving a large number of drugs. There are expressions of his which
show how carefully he had thought out the problems of the practice of
medicine. He said: "to be a true alchemist is to understand the
chemistry of life." "Medicine is not merely a science but an art. It
does not consist in compounding pills and plasters and drugs of all
kinds, but it deals with the processes of life, which must be
understood before they can be guided."

Above all Paracelsus recognized that success in medicine depends on
the treatment of the patient rather than his disease, and he insisted
on the idea that nature was, as a rule, eminently curative of diseases
rather than prone to make the affection worse, as physicians at so
many times in the history of medicine seem to have thought. Paracelsus
declared that "the knowledge of nature is the foundation of the
science of medicine and a physician should be the servant of nature,
not her enemy; he should be able to guide and direct her in her
struggle for life and not by his unreasonable drugging throw fresh
obstacles in the way of recovery." He appreciated very clearly the
influence of the mind on the body and said "the powerful will may cure
where a doubt will end in failure. The character of the physician may
act more powerfully upon the patient than all the drugs employed." He
realized also the place of the conditions surrounding the patient as
helpful towards his cure. He said: "the physical surroundings of the
patient may have a great influence upon the cure of his disease. Diet
is an extremely important element of cure and the physician should
know how to regulate the diet of the patient." He called attention to
the fact that trained attendants sympathetic with the patient are far
better for him than relatives who may be over-solicitous and show it,
or neglectful because they wish the death of the patient.

Paracelsus was the first to write on occupation diseases and his
monograph on _"Bergsucht,"_ "miner's disease," is a monument to his
power of observation. His clinical acuity is further exemplified by
his recognition of the relation between cretinism and endemic goitre.
He also wrote a booklet on mineral baths and analyzed mineral waters
for bathing and drinking purposes, getting at the iron content of
chalybeate {388} waters by testing with gallic acid, and the resultant
ink reaction, and also demonstrating the presence of other salts. He
did more than anyone else to establish properly in medicine the use of
opium (as laudanum), mercury, lead, arsenic, and his chemical
experiments taught him much about copper sulphate and potassium
sulphate and he recognized zinc as an elementary substance.

He did quite as much for medicine by his negative conclusions and his
opposition to medical practices that had been common up to his time as
by his positive observations. Indeed it might possibly be thought that
there was more to his credit from the negative side. He set himself up
in strenuous opposition to the silly uroscopy and uromancy by which
physicians had deceived others and very often deceived themselves.
Something of the value of the urine in medical diagnosis had been
recognized in the Middle Ages, and then, as practically always happens
in medicine, little-minded men had pretended to be able to learn much
more from it than could possibly be revealed by it. Every disease came
to have its specific urine and diagnosis and prognosis came to be
largely dependent on changes in the color and character of the urine
that were in themselves quite insignificant. Paracelsus brushed all
this ridiculous nonsense aside, but of course, in doing so, made a
great many enemies. Men are much more disturbed, as a rule, by having
their false knowledge corrected than their real knowledge amended.

Paracelsus also refused to accept the practically universal persuasion
that every disease was an indication for blood-letting. He was sure
that in a great many cases this practice did more harm than good. He
felt the same way with regard to the almost universal purgation that
was being practised for every form of ill. No one recognized better
than he that there were poisonous substances in the body which
produced serious affections. He was quite willing to be persuaded,
too, that these poisonous substances could be at least to some extent
removed from the body by purgatives. He feared, however, lest
purgation might carry off with it many materials more beneficial to
the body than the poisons it would drain were harmful. The idea of an
autotoxemia or an autointoxication {389} is constantly recurring in
medicine, and the supposed remedies for its cure prove subsequently
nearly always to have done more harm than good. Medicine owes much to
Paracelsus for his firm stand in this matter. Shakespeare's genius in
intuition was right when in "All's Well That Ends Well" he ranged the
modern German with one of the greatest of the ancients. "So say I,
both of Galen and Paracelsus."

Meyer in his "History of Chemistry" has summed up what Paracelsus
accomplished by the co-ordination of chemistry and medicine. As it is
not the purpose of the great German historian of chemistry to give a
panegyric of Paracelsus but simply to indicate his place in the
history of chemical evolution, that opinion must have great weight. He
said, page 71: [Footnote 36]

  [Footnote 36: "A History of Chemistry, from Earliest Times to the
  Present Day: Being also an Introduction to the Study of the
  Science," by Ernst von Meyer, Professor of Chemistry in the
  Technical High School, Dresden; translated, with the author's
  sanction, by George McGowan, Ph.D.; third edition; London: Macmillan
  and Co., 1906.]

"Paracelsus was the man who, in the first half of the sixteenth
century, opened out new paths for chemistry and medicine by joining
them together. To him is undoubtedly due the merit of freeing
chemistry from the restrictive fetters of alchemy, by a clear
definition of scientific aims. He taught that 'the object of chemistry
is not to make gold but to prepare medicines.' True chemical remedies
had been used now and again before his time, but Paracelsus differed
from his predecessors in the theoretical motives which led him to
employ them. He regarded the healthy human body as a combination of
certain chemical matters; when these underwent change in any way,
illness resulted, and the latter could therefore only be cured by
means of chemical medicines. The foregoing sentence contains the
quintessence of Paracelsus' doctrine; the principles of the old school
of Galen were quite incompatible with it, these having nothing to do
with chemistry."

His contributions to surgery are almost more important than those to
medicine, for he insisted on keeping wounds clean and deprecated the
meddlesome surgery of the time. Cutting loose from everything that had
been taught before his time, he {390} almost necessarily made many
mistakes. Besides, in spite of his insistence on scientific
demonstration, he accepted many things for which there was no good
reason. His works, most of which we owe not directly to himself but to
his students, contain many absurdities. There is no doubt at all,
however, that he was a great genius and that the medicine of this
century and of succeeding generations owes much to him. He well
deserves the name of the Father of Pharmaceutical Chemistry which has
sometimes been given to him. He represents one of the important links
in the tradition of medicine and is a man who is ever more appreciated
the more we have learned about him through recent studies of his
writings." [Footnote 37]

  [Footnote 37: Even Paracelsus' mistakes have had something of genius
  in them. Above all, his influence has lived on through the
  generations. His doctrine of signatures and his study of the effects
  of poisons on the human system had more to do than anything else
  with the establishment of the therapeutic systems of Hahnemann and

We have some two score of books attributed to him, but probably less
than a score are really his. Probably no one has ever had a higher
view of medicine. He bases it on the relationship which man bears to
nature as a whole and anticipates the very modern idea that disease is
not a negation, but itself a phase of life. Magnetism represents a
great force for him and some form of it is supposed to emanate from
all bodies and place them in relation with each other. The influence
of the stars on human constitutions is only one phase of this
magnetism which binds all the world together. The superabundance of
vitality in certain men gave them a magnetic influence over other men
and this magnetic influence might even persist after death. Hence
mummies were supposed to contain a certain astral balsam and the
consumption of mummy substance gave wonderful vitality to ailing
persons. Like scientists at all times, Paracelsus had to have his
explanation for miracles. He suggested that saints were people with an
abundance of vitality and some of this remained in their bodies after
their deaths just in the same way as it remained in the bodies of
mummies. It was sufficient, then, to come within the sphere of the
influence of these bodies to be affected by it. Miracles, then, were
not exceptions to the laws of nature but merely {391} fulfilment of
laws that men were only just getting to understand. That has been the
favorite mode of explanation for miracles ever since, though a new set
of facts has always been adduced as the basis of the explanation.

Of course Paracelsus believed in many absurdities. He suggests, for
instance, that it is possible to transplant toothache into a tree
after the following fashion. Having taken away a portion of the bark,
a piece of the wood is cut and with it the gum is pricked until the
blood flows. Then the piece of wood stained with blood is set again in
its place in the tree and the bark is also replaced. He believed also
in the vulnerary ointment, which could cure wounds, not by application
to the wound itself but to the weapon. It was important, however, that
the weapon should be stained with the blood from the wound. He had the
feeling that the morbid elements of an affection or a wound were
contained in the blood and might be neutralized even outside the body.
The vulnerary ointment was composed of moss from the head of a dead
person, preferably one who had been put to death for murder, mummy,
human fat and human blood. It all seems so absurd to us now, but
behind such prescriptions was the theory that some of the vital force
of these human beings could be made over to the diseased person in
order to add to his vitality. Many absurd prescriptions have been made
on theories not nearly so reasonable as this of Paracelsus.

To this period also belongs the name of Basil Valentine, who has been
called the last of the alchemists and the first of the chemists. Just
now we are passing through a phase of historical criticism which
throws doubt on his real existence, though we have a series of books
under his name published at the end of the sixteenth century.
Tradition declares that he was a Benedictine monk living about the
middle of the fifteenth century, who tested many forms of drugs with
the idea of securing materials for the cure of human diseases. To him
is attributed the discovery of hydrochloric acid, which he called the
spirit of salt, sugar of lead, and a method of preparing sulphuric
acid and probably ammonia. He is best known for his work on antimony
and his book, "The Triumphant Chariot of Antimony," put that metal and
its salts into medical practice {392} for centuries. The indication
for it was that disease was largely due to a toxaemia or accumulation
of poisons in the system, the modern idea of auto-toxaemia, and that
these could be best removed by brisk purgation. The use of calomel
subsequently, the theory underlying venesection and a great many of
our modern surgical fads for the improvement of man's condition by
taking something out of him have the same notion for basis.

Basil Valentine's works are precious because they insist that
physicians must know the drugs they use and their effects, not merely
by reading about them, but by studying them on patients and on
animals. He himself is said to have tried the effect of antimony on
the swine belonging to the monastery in which he did his work, and
other materials are said to have been tested in the same way. He is
thus really a father of experimental medicine. He cannot say too much
in deprecation of physicians who give medicines which they know little
about for diseases about which they know less. In my sketch of him in
"Catholic Churchmen in Science" (Dolphin Press, Philadelphia, 1907) I
quote a passage from his "Triumphant Chariot of Antimony," in which he
bitterly condemns the practice of physicians who give remedies knowing
practically nothing about them, only that they have been recommended
by someone else. It read like a diatribe of the modern time against
allowing the manufacturing chemist to suggest drugs for medical
practice. The passage makes very clear what is the secret of the
mystery by which remedies come and go in medicine because of
insufficient testing. Valentine said:

  "And whensoever I shall have occasion to contend in the school with
  such a Doctor, who knows not how himself to prepare his own
  medicines, but commits that business to another, I am sure I shall
  obtain the palm from him; for indeed, that good man knows not what
  medicines he prescribes to the sick; whether the color of them be
  white, black, grey or blew, he cannot tell; nor doth this wretched
  man know whether the medicine he gives be dry or hot, cold or humid;
  but he only knows that he found it so written in his Books, and
  thence pretends knowledge (or as it were, Possession) by
  Prescription of a very long time; yet he desires to further
  information. {393} Here again let it be lawful to exclaim, Good God,
  to what a state is the matter brought! what goodness of minde is in
  these men! what care do they take of the sick! Wo, wo to them! in
  the day of judgment they will find the fruit of their ignorance and
  rashness, then they will see Him Whom they pierced, when they
  neglected their Neighbor, sought after money and nothing else;
  whereas, were they cordial in their profession, they would spend
  Nights and Days in Labour that they might become more learned in
  their Art, whence more certain health would accrew to the sick with
  their Estimation and greater Glory to themselves. But since Labour
  is tedious to them, they commit the matter to Chance, and being
  secure of their Honour and content with their Fame, they (like
  Brawlers) defend themselves with a certain Garrulity, without any
  respect to Confidence or Truth."

Another of the great physicians of the time was Cornelius Agrippa,
born in 1486, of the old family of Nettesheim. Cornelius was at first
the secretary of the Emperor Maximilian, then a warrior and finally a
student of both law and medicine, yet all was accomplished so
expeditiously that when he was but twenty-four the Parliament of Dole
came in a body to hear his lectures on the Cabalistic Books of
Reuchlin. He practised for a while as a physician at Geneva after
having been an advocate at Metz and, with the tendency to wander that
so many of the men of this time had, we find him afterwards at
Freiburg, at Lyons, then for a time the physician of Louise of Savoy,
but jealousy drove him from the Court and a little later we find him
starving in Antwerp, and then in prison at Brussels. He passed through
Cologne, was at Bonn for a time and is heard from in prison at Lyons.
He seems to have run the whole gamut of human suffering. It is hard to
know what he was imprisoned for, but he seems to have been a man who
easily made enemies, refused to think that anyone else knew much and
probably his necessities led him into the doing of things that were
suspicious at least, if not actually criminal.

Agrippa was very much interested in magnetism, quite taken with the
idea of human magnetism and above all very much persuaded of the
influence of the mind on the body. He felt {394} the place that
autosuggestion or strong persuasion has in enabling men to accomplish
anything and he said: "We must therefore in every work and application
of things affect vehemently, imagine, hope and believe strongly, for
that will be a great help." He was quite sure that the mind could
influence the body strongly for healing purposes and would doubtless
have been looked upon as an advocate of New Thought or Psychic Healing
or some of the other schools of mental therapeutics in our time,
though he believed also in the use of medicines and remedial measures.
Another phase of his anticipation of some modern ideas may be still
more interesting for our generation, though it only shows how prone
human thought is to run in cycles and how hard it is to find anything
new under the sun: it may be rather surprising to many to learn that
Agrippa seems to have had a definite persuasion that woman was
superior to man. He was what the French would have called "a feminist
of the most modern." A book of his on the subject recently appeared as
a bibliographic treasure in the London bookseller, Tregaskis'
catalogue (No. 736). The title was: "Female Pre-Eminence: or The
Dignity and Excellence of that Sex Above the Male." An Ingenious
Discourse: Written originally in Latine, by Henry Cornelius Agrippa,
Knight, Doctor of Physick, Doctor of Both Laws, and Privy-Counsellor
to the Emperour Charles V. Done into English with additional
advantages. By H. (Enry) C. (are) Printed by T. R. and M. D. and are
to be sold by Henry Milion, 1670. The catalogue contains the note:
"Strong arguments in favor of women's superiority. It is rendered into
English, well embroidered with poetic imagery and rich in furiously
entertaining passages."

The most important scientific development for medicine came from
pathological anatomy. This science is supposed as a rule to be of much
later origin than the period we are occupied with, but the interest in
the history of medicine in recent years has shown us how much of
attention there was given to pathology and how many observations were
accumulating in the published books of the Renaissance time. There was
much more of such scientific observation in the Middle Ages than is
usually thought. Three men at the beginning of {395} Columbus'
Century, Professor Montagnana of Padua, Professor Savonarola of
Ferrara, the grandfather of the martyred Dominican, and Professor
Arcolani of Bologna, described a number of different lesions which
they had noted in the many bodies that were being dissected at this
time. In the next few years these observations multiply. Benedetti,
the Professor of Anatomy at Padua and the founder of the anatomical
theatre at that university, made reports on gall-stones and
apoplexies. Benivieni, a simple practising physician at Florence, was
probably the first to describe gall-stones and he has a very large
number of pathological observations. He is the first that we know who
made a number of autopsies with the definite idea of finding out the
cause of death and he has come deservedly to be called, as a
consequence, the Father of Pathological Anatomy. Allbutt, the Regius
Professor of Medicine at the University of Cambridge, says of him:
"Before Vesalius, before Eustachius, he opened the bodies of the dead
as deliberately and clear-sightedly as any pathologist in the spacious
times of Baillie, Bright and Addison," and Malgaigne has described his
book as "the only work on pathology which owes nothing to anyone."

It became the custom then to collect observations of this kind and
Berengar of Carpi, the discoverer of the appendix, who had dissected a
great many bodies, described a number of pathological changes. Aranzi,
the professor of medicine and of anatomy in Bologna, has many
observations of pathological finds in his book and paid special
attention to tumors. Ingrassias, professor of anatomy at Naples, was
also interested in pathology and, as specializing had become the
fashion, his observations were mainly with regard to bones.
Eustachius, the professor of anatomy in Rome, declares in the preface
to his anatomical tables that he was the first to make autopsies for
pathological purposes in Rome, and that he had collected an abundant
amount of material. The publication of Eustachius' anatomy was delayed
until long after his death and his pathological observations were
never published. Columbus in Rome made a series of autopsies even on
high ecclesiastics for the purpose of determining the cause of death
and evidently the science of pathology was gradually coming into
existence. Vesalius made a large number of pathological observations
{396} and promised in his book on normal anatomy to publish them.
Unfortunately he never did so, and his notes seem lost, though it is
not impossible that the manuscript or some portion of it may yet be
found in Spain.

In many other countries besides Italy, however, pathological anatomy
attracted much attention. Joost van Lom, often known by his Latin name
of Jodocus Lommius, a physician in Brussels, who was royal physician
to King Philip II, published three books of medical observations at
Antwerp just after the close of Columbus' Century (1560) in which
notes of all diseases and problems of prognosis are set forth. Johann
Kentmann, a physician of Torgau, devoted a great deal of attention to
the study of the formation of all kinds of calculi in human beings,
biliary, salivary and intestinal. Francisco Valles, Professor of
Medicine at the University of Alcalá in Spain, published a volume of
Galen's _"De Locis Affectis,"_ in which he incorporated many notes of
his own pathological observations. Jacques Houillier (Hollerius)
published about the same time at Paris, where he was professor of
medicine, a book on "Internal Diseases" with many pathological notes.
Johann Weyer (Wierus) also added valuable pathological annotations to
his writings.

At the end of the century pathological anatomy as a definite
department of medicine had been firmly established. Dodoens
(Dodonaeus), Royal physician to the Emperor Maximilian II and Rudolph
II, made a large number of valuable observations at autopsies and
described cases of pneumonia, ulcers of the stomach, inflammation of
the abdominal organs, aneurisms of the coronary arteries and of the
arteries of the stomach, stony concretions in the lungs, purulent
conditions of the ureters and kidney, and ergotism. Even more
important for the science was the work of Schenck von Graffenberg,
official physician at Freiburg in Breisgau, who gathered together a
larger collection of observations on the diseases of separate organs
than had ever been made since Hippocrates' time. He paid special
attention to the pathological anatomy of these cases and while many of
the observations were his own, a great many of them had been collected
from friends. His work was done after the close of Columbus' Century,
but he {397} himself was over twenty before the century closed and he
was only carrying out the inspiration that had been given by workers
in that tune. Pieter van Foreest (Petrus Forestus), a practising
physician in Delft, deserves almost as much credit as Schenck von
Graffenberg and much more than many of the professors in medicine and
anatomy of this tune. He made a special study of the pathological
conditions of the ordinary diseases and was indefatigable in
collecting information. His own observations include more than 100
cases with autopsies. With this spirit abroad the future of scientific
medicine was assured.

A good idea of the accomplishment of the medical teachers of the time
may be judged very well from the life of Fracastorius. Prof. Osler in
his sketch of him published in his book, "An Alabama Student,"
[Footnote 38] says: "The scientific reputation of Fracastorius rests
upon the work _'De Contagione.'_ It contains among other things three
contributions of the first importance--a clear statement of the
problems of contagion and infection, a recognition of typhus fever and
a remarkable pronouncement on the contagiousness of phthisis." In the
same sketch Osler adds: "Fracastorius draws a remarkable parallel
between the processes of contagion and the fermentation of wine. It is
not the same as putrefaction, which differs in the absence of any new
generation and is accompanied with an abominable smell. Certain
poisons resemble contagion in their action, but they differ
essentially in not producing in the individual the principle or germ
capable of acting on another poison." This discussion is wonderfully
complete and thorough, yet conservative. Later Boyle declared that a
time would come when someone would discover the cause of fermentation
and probably at the same time throw light on the origin of contagious
disease. That prophecy was fulfilled when Pasteur made his studies in
the fermentation of wine and beer and then went on to lay the
foundation of bacteriology. Fracastorius' thoroughly scientific spirit
will be appreciated from the fact that, like Leonardo, he saw fossils
in their true light and has the first reference in the history of
science to the magnetic poles of the earth.

  [Footnote 38: Oxford Press, 1908.]


Men whose names are usually associated with surgery often manifested
successful interest, and above all, power of observation in pure
medicine. A single example may be taken in illustration. Anyone who
thinks that observation and theory and investigation of arthritism is
new or that we have occupied ourselves much more with the study of its
symptoms than they did in the olden time should read Paré's chapters
on Gout. He says that the word gout, which appealed to him as French,
was probably used because the humors distil drop by drop, _goutte à
goutte_ over the joints. Or perhaps because sometimes a single drop
(goutte) of the humor of this disease causes very great pain. He
describes the deposits of gypsum-like material, or stony matter like
chalk, which occur in the affection. The severe pains which occur in
connection with the disease Paré does not hesitate to attribute to
alteration of the humors by a poison which he calls _"virus
arthritique"_ He notes that the pains are distinctly influenced by
atmospheric fluctuations, so that one may well say of the gouty that
they carry with them an almanac which may serve them as a weather
indicator all their lives. Serious complications can arise in gout if
the humors of the disease involve other organs than the joints. He
attributed inflammations of the liver, of the pleura, colicky
disturbances of the intestines, to this cause. Continuous fevers
represented for him the effect of the gouty toxin upon the large
vessels, while paralyses might occur if the gouty toxin involved the
"porosities" of the nerves.

He described a sanguineous gout frequent in the springtime, especially
among young people with acutely inflamed joints, the pain being most
severe in the mornings and the urine red and dense. This is evidently
acute rheumatic arthritis. Bilious gout occurred more among the
middle-aged and the involved joints were yellow rather than red and
the pain attained its maximum intensity in the early afternoons. The
urine was lemon yellow in color but often cloudy. The third form was
pituitary gout which occurred particularly in the winter, having as a
main symptom coryza, affecting the old rather than the young, but
usually without acute pain. The affected area is cold rather than hot
to the touch and the discomfort is most noted during the night. The
urine was pale in color and thick. {399} Melancholy gout, the fourth
form of the disease, was also an affection of old age, producing a
livid color in the joints and making them cold to the touch. The
patients' pains were worse at intervals of three or four days and the
urine had a deep cloudy color. Sanguineous gout was the most curable
of these four and usually lasted two to three weeks; bilious gout was
much more serious and often ended in death. Pituitary and melancholy
gout were chronic diseases of long duration. It is rather easy to see
Paré's powers of observation in all this. He jumped to conclusions and
over-generalized, as men have always done and thus made mistakes. Down
even to the present day, however, physicians have never quite got away
from the tendency to group these acute and chronic painful conditions
of joints under a single word, and rheumatism for many represents the
key to a puzzle that still exists.

An important development in medicine was the publication early in the
sixteenth century of regulations by the Bishop of Bamberg and the
Elector of Brandenburg, by which physicians or midwives were
authorized to be summoned as experts in medico-legal cases.
Medico-legal autopsies are on record long before this, though there
was always serious objection to their performance because of the
natural feeling of deterrence men have toward the destruction of the
human body. In general, however, the basis of our legal medicine and
the status of the physician in court as an expert was determined at
this time.

Probably nothing shows so well the great interest of this time in the
development of medicine and particularly therapeutics, as the number
of drugs imported from America and the East Indies, the many
experiments and careful observations made with them and the books
written about them. As a matter of fact no century has given us more
new drugs of enduring value. Schaer in the chapter on the history of
pharmacology and toxicology in modern times in Puschmann's "Handbook
of the History of Medicine" has summed up the work of this period.
Three well-known books of the time containing interesting scientific
material were written by Gonzalo Fernandez, a personal friend of
Columbus who, from his birthplace, is often known as Oviedo, Nicolas
Monardes and Francisco Hernandez. Fernandez was the superintendent of
the {400} government gold mines in South America, but after his return
he wrote his great work, _"Historia General y Natural de las Indias."_
The second of these, Monardes, deserves well of pharmacology and all
that relates to drugs through his famous collection of the natural
products of America which became widely known through his description
of them. [Footnote 39] Hernandez wrote on Mexican and Central American
plants and his _"Historia Plantarum Novae Hispaniae"_ is an important
source of information. Besides these, Pasi and Conti, Italians who had
travelled in the East Indies, wrote books containing valuable
observations on Oriental drugs and plants, and the Frenchman Bellonius
(Pierre Belon) (See chapter on Biological Sciences) described Arabian,
Persian and Indian products, while the Spaniard, Christobel Acosta,
and the Portuguese, Garcia da Orta and Duarte Barbosa, visited various
parts of the East and East African Malabar and wrote books which,
while not specifically medical, had much to say with regard to the
indigenous plants, especially such as either had been used by the
natives for medical purposes or promised to be of significance in this
way. The Portuguese apothecary Pirez directed a special letter with
regard to Hindustan and Farther India and what might be expected for
pharmacology from these regions to the king of Portugal which is of
great importance.

  [Footnote 39: Monardes proved of so much interest that he was
  translated into English before the end of the sixteenth century, and
  his book was widely read.]

The Belgian, Charles de l'Esclus, better known as a rule under his
Latin name of Carolus Clusius, as professor of botany, director of the
botanical garden and superintendent of the Museum in Vienna and later
in Leyden, gathered together an immense amount of information, was in
correspondence with all who were interested in botany and in
pharmacology. He succeeded in making an encyclopedia of information
with regard to these subjects that has ever since been considered one
of the most important fundamental works in the history of this
department of science.

The spirit of the physicians of the time as regards scientific methods
in clinical medicine and their attitude towards {401} observation as
by far the most important means of obtaining medical truth is very
well brought out by some passages written by John Hall, a poet and
medical writer who wrote a translation of Lanfranc's _"Chirurgia
Parva"_ published shortly after the close of Columbus' Century. To
this was appended "A very Frutefull and Necessary Briefe Worke of
Anatomie" and "An Historiall Expostulation: against the beastlye
Abusers, both of Chyrurgerie and Physyke in our Tyme: with a Goodlye
Doctrine and Instruction Necessarye to be marked & folowed of all
Chirurgiens." In the Expostulation, which may be found in the Percy
Society's republication of old texts for 1844, Dr. Hall said: "Galen
also hath freely admonished that we ought not if we will be perfectly
cunning to trust only to doctrine written in books, but rather to our
proper eyes which are to be trusted above all other authors, yea!
before Hippocrates and Galen."

It is this trusting to observation rather than books that is, of
course, the key-note of clinical medicine and of medical progress. The
men of this time are often blamed for not having trusted to their
observation more and to their books too much. There is no doubt that
some of them erred rather seriously in this matter. Yet at all times
in the history of medicine the great majority of physicians have not
observed for themselves, but have taken their observation at second
hand from others. Hall has insisted over and over again that as
regards surgery the necessity for observation was extremely important.
In the chapter on Surgery a quotation from his Expostulation on this
matter will be found.

Even in the department of mental diseases there were distinct
contributions to the problems of this intricate specialty of great
value. This is not so surprising, for above all the men of the
Renaissance could see things for themselves and describe what they
saw. Shakespeare represents the Renaissance in England and no one has
ever succeeded so well as he in describing forms of the milder mental
diseases as they occur in characters like Ophelia or King Lear.
Paracelsus even attempted what has not been achieved yet, a definition
of the insane person. "The person is sick in mind in whom the
reasonable and unreasonable spirit are not present in proper {402}
proportion and strength." He distinguished fools "who are animals
without any sense" from the imbeciles and idiots "who are deranged
beasts." His contemporary, Montanus, who was professor at Padua, and
has been called the second Galen, treated of melancholy in his medical
consultations and ascribed its etiology to _intemperies cerebri._ He
recommended treatment by water, by venesection and by hellebore. Jean
Fernel divided melancholy into what we now know as melancholy in the
proper sense of the word and mania. He considered that both affections
were due to disturbances of the fluids of the brain. Jodocus Lommius
differentiated between delirium, phrenitis, melancholia and mania and
described a particular variety of this last form as hydrophobia.
William Rondelet, Professor at Montpellier, frankly abandoned all
metaphysics in this subject and considered that melancholia was due
either to a defect of the brain or to some disturbance of the body
which brought about a sympathetic derangement of the brain, the
stomach particularly being likely to do this. He gave a rather
striking picture of the fixed ideas that take possession of those
suffering from melancholia. He differentiated mania from melancholia
by saying that the melancholia was due to a frigid humor, while mania
was due to the malignity of the thin and bilious humors of the body.
His contemporary, Francis Varreliora, described cases in which
insanity had occurred as a consequence of love troubles and in which
the cure of melancholy came about through the successful treatment of
an affection such as haemorrhoids that had been disturbing the patient
for a good while. It was a good many generations before medicine
advanced very far beyond the ideas that were put forward by these
physicians of the Renaissance in discussing their mental cases.

The extent to which balneotherapy was appreciated in this century may
be realized very well from the fact that just after the close of it
Winternach mentions some seventy-five places in Europe where there
were bathing establishments. About the same time Dr. Ruland of
Regensburg, published a monograph of twenty-eight pages containing an
alphabetically arranged list of diseases with the indication of the
particular watering place that would do them good. Indeed just after
{403} the close of Columbus' Century there is abundant evidence of the
very great revival of interest in the old hydrotherapeutic methods
which had taken place during the Renaissance.

One of the most interesting things about the medicine of this century,
that is often not appreciated, is that it did not go to that excess in
the employment of certain means of treatment to which some of the
succeeding centuries unfortunately did. Columbus' medical
contemporaries corrected the Arabian abuse of polypharmacy, which had
a tendency to manifest itself over and over again during the later
Middle Ages in spite of the well directed efforts of thoughtful
physicians to suppress it. The diffusion of a knowledge of the classic
authors in medicine did more than anything else to secure its
eradication at this time. Physicians used bleeding, but not in every
case, as came to be the custom later, and not to the excess in which
it was employed at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the
nineteenth century. Poor Mirabeau, the orator of the French
Revolution, under the best French skilled care a century ago, was bled
some eighty ounces in the course of forty-eight hours. Under the
impetus given by Basil Valentine's "Triumphant Chariot of Antimony"
they used antimony frequently, but not at all to the extent that it
was employed in the eighteenth century. Purgatives were much more
abused in the later seventeenth and eighteenth centuries than during
Columbus' Century. Under the immediate influence of the Greeks the
physicians of this time were thoroughly conservative, and there is as
little of regrettable therapeutics to be chronicled as at any time in
the world's history.

Jerome Cardan of this time is one of the geniuses of the history of
science whose career is extremely difficult to understand. His mixture
of credulity with a genuine scientific temper of mind that tests
everything by experiment, combined with his wonderful ability in
mathematics, adds to the difficulty of understanding him. He was a
great believer in dreams but then that was because he was sure that so
many of his own dreams had come true. He was a serious student of all
the borderland subjects between spirit and matter and constituted a
Psychic Research Society in himself, but with the tendency to accept
the marvellous on general principles. He {404} heard that instruments
which had been magnetized could be used for surgical operations
without producing pain and having tried some experiments in the matter
he announced this as a great discovery. He was sure that he had the
power to magnetize others in such a way as to prevent pain, but, after
all, it must not be forgotten that in these he only imitated what has
attracted much attention at many times in the history of medicine and
electricity. As the publisher of the formula for cubic equations he
has a distinguished place in mathematics, and he was looked upon as
one of the great thinkers of his time. His contributions to medicine,
and the estimation he secured for the profession by his popularity
among the great ones of Europe at this time, have made his life most
interesting to our generation.

Cardan's almost infantile absurdities have sometimes been cited as
indicating a lack of the critical scientific spirit at this time.
Anyone who recalls, however, the attitude of mind of some of the most
prominent scientists of our time towards certain questions, as, for
instance, vaccination, spiritism, and even phrenology and other
psychic subjects, will not be likely to accept any criterion of lack
of the critical faculty that might be set up arbitrarily, because a
scientist exhibited a tendency to accept some things without as
absolute proof as other men demand. Nearly all the great scientists
had certain peculiarities in this regard and Cardan is only an
exaggeration of this tendency. His absurdities have sometimes been
quoted as if they represented common opinions of the learned men of
this time and exhibited their lack of critical judgment, but no one
has scored Cardan's absurd opinions more severely, nor called
attention more emphatically to the fact that this great scientific
genius accepted some childish trivialities, than his contemporary,
Scaliger, who so often entered into controversies with him.

An instructive contrast to some of Cardan's absurdities is a little
book that has been a classic ever since in popular medicine, Louis
Cornaro's "Means of Obtaining a Long and Healthy Life," which was
published at this time (Padua, 1558). Editions of it have been issued
in nearly every generation since. Cornaro, to give a sentence or two
from Addison's essay {405} on the volume "was of an infirm
constitution till about forty, when by obstinately persisting in the
Rules recommended in this Book, he recovered a perfect state of
health, insomuch, that at four-score he published this Treatise. He
lived to give a fourth edition of it, and after having passed his
hundredth year, died without pain or agony, like one who falls asleep.
This Book is highly extolled by many eminent authors, and is written
with such a spirit of cheerfulness and good sense, as are the natural
concomitants of temperance and virtue."

The little book insists very much on temperance in eating and drinking
and is quite as sensible in its way as any popular book on medicine
ever written. It is a living proof that in spite of the popular
medical delusions of many kinds so frequent in this period, though not
more frequent than they are in our own, men of sense could view the
question of right living from the proper standpoint and give good
advice with regard to it. In the preface to the latest American
edition (New York, 1912) the publisher said: "The methods followed by
Cornaro and the recommendations and suggestions submitted by him can
be compared to advantage with the teachings of authorities of the
present day, such as Metchnikoff. The book is now presented to the
American public, not only as a literary and scientific curiosity, but
as a manual of practical instruction." [Footnote 40]

  [Footnote 40: The first American edition, annotated by Mason L.
  Weems (Philadelphia, 1809), had with what might be thought
  characteristic American enterprise Benjamin Franklin's "Way to
  Wealth" as an Appendix.]

It is interesting to bring together some of the sanitary regulations
of this period because it is often presumed that it is only in our
time that public care of the health has come to be recognized as a
duty of the civil authorities. Wickersheimer in his "Medicine and
Physicians in France, at the Time of the Renaissance," [Footnote 41]
has gathered a number of the details. It was forbidden butchers in
Paris to keep meat for sale more than two days in winter or thirty-six
hours in summer. Hotel keepers were not allowed to kill their own meat
because, as {406} they could cook it before selling it, it was easy
for them to "dissimulate bad meats." Restaurateurs were forbidden to
serve meat which had been warmed over or warmed-over soup or
vegetables. Fish was guarded particularly by detailed regulations and
heavy fines were inflicted for its sale, except under conditions that
must have assured its absolute freshness. Butter and fish could not be
sold in the same shop. It was forbidden to put coloring matter in
butter, no matter what the form of color material used, and also to
mix old butter with new. The sellers of spices were required by Louis
XII to watch over the absolute cleanness of their mustard mills and to
employ as workmen only those who were clean and in good health.
Similar regulations existed for the bakers. In a word, they
anticipated in many ways the pure food laws of our time. Unfortunately
these regulations were allowed to fall into abeyance during the
neglect of social order that characterized the notable degeneration of
the eighteenth and earlier nineteenth centuries.

  [Footnote 41: _"La Médicine et Les Médecins en France à l'Époque de
  la Renaissance,"_ Paris: Thesis 1905.]

Some of the popular hygiene of the time is very interesting and
distinctly foreshadows practices of our own time. Erasmus gave
directions to students for cleanliness. The hands were to be washed
after each meal; a practice rendered necessary by the absence of forks
and the nails were to be cut and cleaned every week. Gums and teeth
were to be rubbed with a rough towel every day according to Montaigne,
and various tooth powders were commonly employed. The feet and the
hair ought to be washed at least once a week. Among foods, sea-fish
were preferred to river fish and the livelier the fish the better it
was liked. Shellfish were recommended by some and deprecated by
others. Lobsters were usually counted difficult of digestion, and
oysters and other shellfish shared in this prejudice. Popular
traditions as to food were quite like our own. Peas were very much
praised as an article of diet, spinach was considered to be good for
torpid liver, water cress was said to have a favorable action on the
bowels and lettuce as well as most of the material for green salads
was declared to be sedative in action. Cucumbers were indigestible
unless cooked, melons must be ripe and soft and without any spots in
them or they were dangerous, and cabbage and onions were {407} praised
or blamed as articles of food according to the particular part of the
country from which one came.

Even in the matter of drinks opinions were not so different from those
which are held at the present time, though there was just as much
disagreement as regards their effects as we are accustomed to. In
Normandy, where apples were common and cider a familiar drink, cider
was considered to be much better for men than wine. In the middle and
South of France, however, wine was considered of the greatest value
for health, and white wine was considered to be diuretic while red
wine was recommended for diarrheic conditions. Wine was declared to be
much more wholesome as a drink than water and there is no doubt at all
that in this our colleagues of that time were eminently justified by
their observations. Any water in the neighborhood of cities or
considerable centres of population was almost sure to be contaminated
by sewage of some description and to be distinctly dangerous. Wine was
ever so much less likely to be followed by disease than water. There
were many who recognized how much of evil was done by the abuse of
wine however, and Renou declared that in that century wine had killed
many more people than the sword. He declared that the abuse of wine
led to degenerations of the brain and the liver, disturbances of the
nerves, brought on tremors, convulsions, even paralysis, and was
active in the production of dyspnoea and other serious conditions.

Dr. Cramer calls attention [Footnote 42] to the fact that in 1481 the
republic of Lucca in Italy elected three citizens to serve as a board
of health. They were given plenary powers to act in case of epidemics.
Their main purpose was to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
For this purpose they kept in touch with other countries, so as to be
forewarned of places where epidemics were raging, and they had the
right to forbid entrance into Lucca of persons, animals or goods until
after a sufficient delay to insure the absence of infection or
thorough disinfection. The word quarantine of course is very old,
though often the idea is supposed to be new, and there seems no doubt
that in most of the Italian cities health boards and health
regulations anticipating many supposedly modern developments were in
existence. There is even question of {408} the contagiousness of
tuberculosis having been recognized at this time, and measures taken
to prevent its spread. We know that scarcely more than a century after
Columbus' period every principality in Italy has laws declaring
tuberculosis contagious and regulating it.

  [Footnote 42: _Revue Médicale de la Suisse Romaine._
  1914, XXIX, No. I.]

Sir Thomas More in his "Utopia" has a very curiously interesting
paragraph with regard to the status of physicians in his ideal
Republic, which shows what his own idea of the place of medicine in
the world is. His long friendship with Linacre might very well have
been expected to give him such a high estimation of the physician. It
is all the more interesting because he expresses depreciation of his
own profession of the law in "Utopia." What is striking in this
passage is his recognition of the lofty place that medicine deserves
to hold in the intellectual world as a department of philosophy and
science. He emphasizes the fact that the less people need physicians
the more they appreciate them, thus anticipating the modern idea that
prevention rather than cure is the great basis for prestige in medical
science. His fine tribute to the honor that medicine should have in
the estimation of men will make his words a fitting close to this
chapter on medicine in Columbus' Century.

  "One of my companions, Thricius Apinatus, happened to carry with him
  some of Hippocrates' works and Galen's 'Microtechne,' which they
  hold in great estimation, for though there is no nation in the world
  that need physic so little as they do, yet there is not any that
  honors it so much; they reckon the knowledge of it one of the most
  pleasantest and profitable parts of philosophy, by which as they
  search into the secrets of nature, so they not only find this study
  highly agreeable, but think that such inquiries are very acceptable
  to the Author of nature; and imagine, that as He, like the inventors
  of curious engines amongst mankind, has exposed this great machine of
  the universe to the view of the only creatures capable of
  contemplating it, so an exact and curious observer, who admires His
  workmanship, is much more acceptable to Him than one of the herd,
  who, like a beast incapable of reason, looks on this glorious scene
  with the eyes of a dull and unconcerned spectator."




Ordinarily it is assumed that surgery has received almost its only and
its greatest development in our time. Probably no development of
knowledge that has come to us in the recent revival of interest in the
history of medicine has been more surprising than the finding that
surgery had several periods of great progress before our time. One of
these and the most important came during the thirteenth and fourteenth
centuries. Another great phase of surgical advance, after a period of
decline such as seems inevitable in all human affairs, occurred during
the Renaissance. It had its origin in or at least was greatly
influenced by the publication of the chapters on surgery in the Latin
and Greek classics, though strange as that may sound to modern ears
even more was probably accomplished for surgical development by the
printing of the text-books of the later mediaeval surgeons. The new
impetus thus given affected nearly every phase of surgery and
accomplished ever so much more than we would be likely to think
possible, only that the republication of old surgical text-books in
recent years has proved such a revelation to us.

As I have said in preceding chapters, one of the greatest debts of the
modern time to the Renaissance is due for the printing of old books in
the early days of printing. Scholars were willing to give liberally of
their time and to devote patient labor to secure a good text for the
printers, and somehow or other great printers succeeded in bringing
out usually in magnificent editions, though of small size as regards
the number of copies, not only the ancient but what we have now come
to recognize as the mediaeval classics of medicine and surgery. The
chapters on surgery in such writers as Aëtius, Alexander of Tralles
and the Arab writers like Abulcassis are among the most important
contributions to the medicine of {410} their time. The text-books on
surgery of such men as Theodoric, Hugo of Lucca, the Four Masters,
William of Salicet and Guy de Chauliac are landmarks in the history of
a great surgical era. All of these were reprinted usually in
magnificent editions during Columbus' Century. Without such reprinting
at a cost of time and money that we can scarcely understand, many of
these precious treasures of the history of medicine and surgery would
almost surely have been lost. Certainly very few of them would have
remained in the manuscript forms in which they then existed and at
most, only in seriously mutilated conditions. There have been several
centuries since when they would have been utterly neglected, for
almost no hint of their value survived and there was an impression
prevalent that no one knew anything either about medicine or surgery
during the Middle Ages at all worthy of preservation. This publication
of the old text-books gave an impetus to the surgeons of the time that
brought about a great new era in surgery, though there were other
important factors at work in producing this. Above all the development
of anatomy made for a corresponding development in surgery and by
increasing men's knowledge of the tissues through which operations had
to be made, added to their confidence and decreased the mortality of
surgical intervention. The magnificent hospitals of the time are of
themselves the best possible evidence of proper care for patients, not
alone in a medical, but also surgical way. It cannot be too often
repeated that whenever hospitals are well built, properly cared for
and suitably maintained, there is sure to be good medical practice and
a fine development of surgery; whenever hospitals are neglected,
medical and surgical practice both sink to a very low standard.
Hospital construction reached a very high plane during the Renaissance
period, only to sink afterwards, as did every other constructive
effort for humanitarian purposes, to what Jacobsohn, the German
historian of hospitals and care for the ailing, calls an indescribable
level of degradation. Literally, the worst hospitals in the world's
history were erected at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of
the nineteenth century. Hospital organization and maintenance
inevitably sank in the same way. A corresponding decadence in medical
and surgical practice could {411} not help but occur,--fortunately to
be followed by the progress of our own time. There are many, however,
who seem to think that because the twentieth century is so far ahead
of the early nineteenth it must be correspondingly in advance of
preceding centuries. This assumption constitutes the most important
reason for the very common failure in our time to understand properly
the history of medicine and surgery as well, indeed, as that of every
phase of science.

This was the period when gunpowder began to be used extensively in the
operations of war and it is not surprising that a great deal of
attention was given to gunshot surgery. We have four books, treatises
in their way on gunshot wounds, that were written at this time by men
of large experience. They made mistakes of course, there is no period
in the world's history, even our own, when men have not made mistakes,
but the surgeons of Columbus' Century accumulated an immense number of
observations and gradually worked out a rather valuable set of
suggestions with regard to the treatment of various kinds of wounds.
At the beginning of the century they made the mistake of thinking that
bullets caused both poisoned and burned wounds, and they were
over-anxious to treat these imaginary consequences rather than the
mechanical effects produced in their passage. They gradually worked
out their problems however, even using experiment in order to show the
effects of wounds. Braunschweig, Felix Würtz, De Vigo and Ferri are
the classics of the time on gunshot wounds and their books have
probably been more read in our generation than in any other since the
end of the sixteenth century. Nothing is indeed more surprising than
the recognition of the value of the observations made by these
old-time surgeons which has come in the last twenty years.

The greatest of the surgeons of Columbus' Century is the Frenchman,
Ambroise Paré, who has come to be spoken of as the Father of Modern
Surgery. He well deserves the title if we restrict it definitely to
the modern time and do not conclude, as so many do, that there had
been no surgery since the classical period, for, of course, there was
a very great era of surgery during the thirteenth and fourteenth
centuries, but as is the way with humanity a period of decadence
occurred, {412} followed by another upward phase in the curve of
history of which in his time Paré is the apex.

It is to him that we owe the treatment of gunshot wounds by simple
water dressings, or at most by aromatics. When he began his work they
were treating gunshot wounds as if they were poisoned and burned
wounds by pouring boiling oil along the track of the bullet. Paré ran
out of oil on an historical occasion but found that the wounded left
untreated recovered with less pain and complications than those
subjected to the heroic remedy. He recognized the mistake and had the
genius to correct it properly. He reinvented the ligature, though, of
course, it had been in use a number of times before and had gone out
because of the tendency to produce sepsis involved in it, and because
so often secondary hemorrhage occurred from the coming away of the
ligature in the suppuration which ensued. He deserves, as do several
others, the credit of real invention in its use. Paré himself speaks
of this discovery, which he made just at the close of Columbus'
Century, as an inspiration which came to him through Divine Grace.

In nearly every department of surgery Paré left his mark. He was a
thoroughly practical surgeon. He suggested, as did also Maggi, the
Italian surgeon at this time, exarticulation as an important mode of
amputation. This consisted of the removal of an injured limb or a
gangrenous member at the joint just above, because in this way there
was less danger of complications and a better stump could be obtained
for subsequent use. In order to demonstrate that gunshots did not make
a burned wound he demonstrated that when balls are fired even into a
bag of gunpowder it does not explode. Maggi [Footnote 43]
independently made this same observation but went further and showed
also that shot do not melt when they strike a hard surface and that
balls of wax that are fired do not spread out {413} as if the wax were
melted. This series of experiments made to demonstrate certain
valuable points in gunshot surgery is quite worthy of the most modern
time and indicates well the thoroughly scientific spirit that was
abroad at this period. Paré also suggested that cut tendons should be
sewed, the ends being carefully brought together and that no portion
of the tongue should be removed after injury, but the parts should be
brought together, for there was great power of healing in this organ.
He advised the cutting of the uvula with a ligature gradually made
tighter and he, as well as Franco, devised an apparatus to fill up the
cleft in the bone of a defective palate and other similar mechanical

  [Footnote 43: Anyone who doubts the ability of the men of this time
  to discuss a practical scientific question from a thoroughly
  scientific standpoint with experimental demonstrations and close
  reasoning, should read Gurlt's account of Maggi's experiments with
  gunshot, and the German surgeon's comparison of the conclusions of
  this colleague of the early sixteenth century with the facts brought
  out by the discussion of the same subject after the Franco-German
  War of 1871 and the experiments which were made just afterwards
  along the same line.]

    [Illustration: HOLBEIN, DR. WILLIAM BUTTS ]

Indeed from the mechanical side of surgery Paré is the most
interesting. Orthopedics, that is the treatment mechanical and
surgical of deformed children, in order to bring about their cure or
at least the lessening of their deformity, is generally supposed to be
new, but there are many suggestions for it in the Renaissance period.
Helferich in his _"Geschichte der Chirurgie"_ in Puschmann's
_"Handbuch"_ says, for instance, that Paré's orthopedic armamentarium
was rather extensive. He used various apparatus and specially designed
shoes with bandages in order to bring on the over-correction of club
foot. He treated flat foot in various ways and particularly by the use
of special shoes. He invented a corset with holes in it for
ventilation to be worn for various torsions of the spine and other
spinal deformities. He and Fallopius taught the value of resections
for joint troubles of various kinds and even for deformities. Paré
declared that _genu valgum,_ that is knock-knees, were due to similar
causes as those which produced club foot, or at least that the
affections were related.

A very interesting incident in his experience is related by Paré in
his memoirs with regard to one of these surprising cases of deep
injury to the brain which seem inevitably fatal, yet the patient
survives. It is, as suggested by Dr. Mumford, a replica of the
well-known Harvard crowbar case, the most famous in American surgery,
in which a quarry man recovered from his injury in spite of the fact
that a tamping iron had passed completely through his head from
beneath the chin upwards, coming out through the top of the skull.
{414} The specimens from the case, secured long afterwards at the time
of the man's death, may still be seen in the Harvard Museum. Paré's
case was very similar but concerns a very important individual.
Francis of Lorraine, Duke of Guise, was wounded before Boulogne, "with
a thrust of a lance, which entered above the right eye, towards the
nose, and passed out on the other side between the ear and the back
of the neck, with so great a violence that the head of the lance, with
a piece of wood, was broken and remained fast; so that it could not be
drawn out save with extreme force with smith's pincers. Yet,
notwithstanding the violence of the blow, which was not without
fracture of bones, nerves, veins and arteries, and other parts torn
and broken, my lord, by the grace of God, was healed." Without the
corroboration of the possibility of this by our modern case, it is
probable that there would be serious doubts as to it.

The bone surgery of the Renaissance period is particularly
interesting. Fallopius declared for the preservation of the periosteum
of the bone just as far as was possible whenever there was bone
disease or injury. We know now that the periosteum in healthy
condition will bring about regeneration of bone, and it was evidently
because of clinical observation of the satisfactory improvement that
occurred in cases when the periosteum was interfered with just as
little as possible that brought Fallopius to this conclusion. Their
treatment of fractures was excellent and they secured good results. It
was during this time that the older methods of using force in the
reduction of dislocations yielded to the maxim that joints should be
restored along the same path through which the dislocation took place.
A series of surgeons at this time, notably Massa, Ingrassias and Vigo,
wrote about spinal disease, describing "penetrating corruption" of the
spine, persistent suppuration and the subsequent deformity, using the
term _"ventositas spinae,"_ and others that would indicate their
interest in what we know as Pott's Disease. Vigo described fractures
of the inner table of the skull when the outer table is unbroken, and
Argelata described depression without fracture as occurring in young

Considerable valuable advance was made in the treatment of fractures
of the skull and injuries of the brain. Vigo {415} brought back the
use of the crown trephine and did much to make the instrument popular.
A great many surgeons invented a variety of instruments for lifting up
depressed bone, or for removing fragments, and each one was sure that
his particular type of instrument was the best to use. It is
interesting to read Helferich's "History of Surgery" in Puschmann's
_"Handbuch"_ on these and other points, because they are arranged in
the order in which the discoveries and rediscoveries and inventions
and reinventions were made. The Renaissance is particularly full of
interesting surgical history. The late effects of brain injury,
dementia, deafness and various forms of paralyses were carefully
studied by such men as Fallopius, Paré and Della Croce.

Various phases of surgery were taken up and discussed that are often
supposed to be much more modern. The whole question of the transfusion
of blood, for instance, attracted wide attention at this time. Magnus
Pegelius of Rostock suggested that the artery of one patient should be
fastened directly to the artery of another patient in order to bring
about transfusion. The use of this method of treatment, after large
losses of blood or in case of anaemia, is mentioned by a number of
men. At least as much was hoped for from it as in our time from
opotherapy. Jerome Cardan went farther than any in what he looked for
from the transfusion of blood. He always saw the possibility of
mystical results and his suggestion was that the transfusion of blood
might bring about a change in the morals of individuals. It was even
said that the use of animal's blood in the same way might bring about
an endowment of the human individual with certain animal qualities of
disposition. This is quite as absurd yet quite as reasonable as many
of our surgical attempts at the reform of criminals by operation on
their brains. In 1539 Benedictus noted the occurrence of hemophilia or
bleeders' disease. This had been noticed before in the Middle Ages,
but had been lost sight of.

With regard to varicose veins the Renaissance abandoned the older
methods of operation and suggested the use of bandages. Savonarola,
the grandfather of Savonarola the Dominican, who was burnt to death in
Florence, described various forms of bandages and suggested rest in
the prone position {416} with the feet higher than the head for the
relief of discomfort. Savonarola was much interested in the correction
of deformities and classifies rather carefully the different forms of
gibbosity of the spine, forward, backward and to the side, and
suggests their treatment with bandages that may be put on when soft
and pliable, but which harden after their application. Paré at the end
of the century used a corset made of very thin perforated iron plates
which he insisted should be well padded. This should be changed every
three months and its shape often altered so as to suit the growth of
the body and the changes brought about by itself.

Some of the developments of surgical technique at this time are
extremely interesting because they illustrate that accurate attention
to detail and inventive ability in surgery that is usually supposed to
be reserved for a much later time. Paré, for instance, invented a
whole series of special apparatus for nearly every phase of corrective
surgery, many of which have been mentioned. Fallopius insisted on
bringing the muscles of the neck together and retaining them in
position by sutures whenever they were severed, because results were
nearly always excellent and function was restored. Every important
surgeon of the time emphasized the sewing of severed tendons. Vidus
Vidius invented a gold or silver tube to be used after tracheotomy in
order to permit breathing through it, and suggested the use of this
instrument also after injuries of the larynx. Monteux devised a magnet
to aid in the extraction of swallowed iron objects that were caught in
the throat.

All the specialties developed wonderfully at this time. The story of
the Caesarean operation attests the evolution of obstetrics. In 1500
Jacob Nufer, a veterinarian, performed this operation successfully on
his own wife, and a number of others followed the example until within
twenty-five years after the close of our period, Rousset counts up his
cases of the operation as 15. Gynaecology and obstetrics always
develop together, and Weyer, the Dutch physician and surgeon, who did
so much to rid the world of the witchcraft delusion and point out its
connection with what we know as hysterical manifestations, wrote a
text-book on gynaecology, and Caspar {417} Wolff laid the deep
foundations of the science of gynaecology at this time. Würtz, who
comes after our period, but was deeply influenced by it, and who must
indeed be considered as a follower of Paracelsus, insisted very much
on the simple treatment of wounds and emphatically opposed the common
custom of "thrusting clouts and rags, balsam, oil and salve into
them." Such teaching would have much to do with making advances in
gynaecology and obstetrics possible.

Cabrol advised the removal of the breast for cancer and insisted on
its complete removal and also of a part of the pectoral muscle, if
that seemed to the operator to be necessary, because of actual or
apparent involvement. Cabrol also declared that wounds of the heart
were not necessarily fatal and gives the details of one which he
himself had treated and had afterwards seen at autopsy, death having
taken place from another condition. He mentions the fact that stags'
hearts had been found in which there were definite indications of
healed wounds so that the long-time tradition as to the fatality of
heart wounds is not absolute. Della Croce taught that blood or pus or
other fluid should be emptied out of the thorax by aspiration. He
suggested the use of a cupping glass or a syringe, or in case of
necessity even of the mouth for this purpose. He advised the placing
of a metal tube in the thorax for drainage purposes. Arculanus advised
the opening of empyemata by a perforation of the thorax that would
permit drainage. If one had opened spontaneously and become chronic, a
lower opening for better drainage should be made.

Nor were they less ingenious in their suggestions as to surgical
intervention in conditions within the abdomen. Riolanus explained
ileus as thoroughly as anyone has ever done it and recognized exactly
what the condition was and the only way by which it could be treated.
Paré advised the letting out of gas from over-distended intestines
when these could not easily be returned to the abdomen. Fioravanti
reported a case of splenectomy with the recovery of the patient. All
sorts of bougies for strictures were invented, and many suggestions as
to instrumental relief in difficult strictures made.

Savonarola suggested the extirpation of _ranula,_ evidently {418}
after having had the experience that the mere emptying of this cyst of
the gland beneath the tongue is practically always followed by the
refilling of it. He gave the technique of puncture for ascites and has
some interesting details of cases, including one in which a fall led
to the traumatic evacuation of the fluid with subsequent cure. He
recommended the puncture of the pleural cavity for pleural effusion,
and above all for empyema whenever the case was in serious condition.
A little bit later, Berengar of Carpi, who is usually considered much
more important in anatomy than in surgery, discussed the question of
fracture of the skull by _contrecoup,_ evidently after considerable
experience. He detailed some cases of _extirpatio uteri_ for
procidentia and developed the technique of inunctions of mercury for
lues. Whether he was the first to do this or not we are not sure.
There is no doubt that his practice attracted wide attention. He was
visited by patients from all over the world and was summoned on
consultations even to great distances in order to see members of the
nobility. There probably never has been a more important discovery in
therapeutics than the use of mercury for specific disease, and the men
of this time to whom must be attributed the development of this phase
of therapeutics deserve the highest praise. It required the most
careful, patient, prolonged observation, and this was successfully

While gunshot wounds were becoming so frequent as to claim much
attention, wounds from swords and other sharp instruments causing ugly
disfigurements were rather common. Cosmetic surgery attracted
attention. It might be thought that owing to their ignorance of
aseptic surgery there would be no possibility of any great development
of plastic surgery at this time. As a matter of fact, however, not a
little was done that was of great significance for the correction of
disfigurements due to injury and unsightly congenital defects or scars
after disease. A number of procedures for the correction of harelip
and of cleft palate have already been noted. Just at the beginning of
Columbus' Century the technique of the Brancas, father and son, for
the restoration of noses that had been lost by injury or disease
attracted wide attention. Their method was to make the new nose from
the skin of the arm, {419} lifting a flap from the inner portion of
the upper arm, fastening it to the forehead and bandaging the hand
firmly on top of the head so as to keep the flap in place, fed by the
circulation of the arm until it had obtained a firm hold, when the
attachment to the arm was cut and the nose fashioned from the living
tissue thus obtained. Vianeo and Aranzi both described methods of
forming the nose, and it was suggested that a portion of the skin of
the forehead might be used for that purpose. Defects of the lips and
eyelids were cured by slipping tissues over and by freshening the
edges and bringing them together.

An extremely interesting surgical writer of the beginning of the
sixteenth century is Michele Angelo Biondo, sometimes known by his
Latin name of Blondus. There are some passages in his writings with
regard to the use of warm water as the only proper dressing for wounds
that are rather startling. He tells of some physicians of his time
who, in place of liniments and all the various applications that are
made by the "wax-dealers," simply wash off their wounds with warm
water. He adds that these physicians insist that a great many surgical
patients are not killed by their disease so much as by the custom of
allowing them only small amounts of food and the unfortunate effect
produced on them by the applications to their wounds. He adds further
that these men are not wont to treat patients suffering from fevers by
keeping them on a light diet, but on the contrary they give them wine
and nourishing food instead of slops (ptisans). His comment is that
this sensible method of supporting treatment unfortunately does not
make much headway in the profession. Apparently it was too simple and
natural to appeal to the physician of the time. He adds with fine
irony, "It is said to be preferable to die methodically than to live

Gurlt in his _"Geschichte der Chirurgie"_ (Berlin, 1898), to whom I
owe most of what is here said of the work of these old surgeons, gives
some further details of Biondo's treatment of wounds. After the
staunching of the bleeding, the wound was to be cleansed and then
covered with _oleum abjetinum,_ very probably oil of turpentine, one
part to two parts of oil of roses. With regard to the use of water in
the treatment of {420} wounds, Biondo said: "The most experienced of
the older physicians held water in such dread that they would scarcely
use it in removing dirt from the neighborhood of wounds. I myself,
however, having seen the wonderful effect of water in wounded parts,
cannot help but be amazed at its super-celestial virtue." In spite of
this strong declaration, Biondo in his book gives chapters on all the
old methods of treating wounds and the various applications that were
supposed to work wonders in bringing about healing. The consequence
was that the water doctrine was pushed into the background and
probably attracted very little attention. Here was the germ of a great
discovery, the use of boiled water, evidently with some experience
behind it, and yet it was to remain untried, its true value
unappreciated until four centuries later.

Paracelsus, who brought about the revolution in medicine at this time,
worked almost as great a change with regard to surgery. At least the
principles that he laid down were as startlingly different from much
of those accepted in his time and strikingly like those we have come
to accept in our time. He insisted that to as great an extent as
possible wounds should be left to nature, for there was a definite
tendency to cure. He inveighed strongly against meddlesome surgery and
declared that not a little of the subsequent complications in wounds
were due to misdirected efforts at cure of them. He talked about
_pestilence_ due to wounds, and declared that he had seen it spread
epidemically from one patient to another in hospital wards. He
discussed pyaemia as _Wundsucht,_ that is, an infectious disease
produced from a wound. Paracelsus described gangrene and proclaimed
its epidemic character. He is the first from whom we have a careful
study of the effects of lightning and almost the first who believed
that it was possible for a man to be struck by lightning and yet not
be killed or even fatally injured.

In general, the ideas of this time were not nearly so distant from our
own as some of the intermediate periods have been. Fallopius described
union by first intention as resembling that which occurred between two
waxed surfaces when they were brought together in parallel lines and
adhered. {421} Würtz described a wound fever, evidently erysipelas,
and warned about the possibility of its becoming epidemic.

Arceo, known also by his Latin name of Francisco Arceus, a Spanish
surgeon, born near the end of the fifteenth century, illustrates the
vitality of surgery in Spain at this time. He has a number of
interesting surgical suggestions and has this to say with regard to
club foot. The foot should be soaked thoroughly for thirty days in
warm water in which some cereal has been cooked. Then the surgeon,
taking the lame foot, should exert all his force to put it back into
its due position and the form that he desires. This can usually be
accomplished without difficulty or delay, partly because of the
preceding softening of the tissues, but above all because of the
tender age and soft tissues of the child. Then a bandage should be
used to maintain the foot in this position until the correction
becomes permanent. Ambroise Paré, as I have said, accomplished similar
results, but he also used a number of forms of apparatus for the cure
of club foot and for the prevention of contractures in the joints as a
consequence of paralysis. He is the first surgeon whom we know to have
interested himself in artificial hands, arms and legs for those
deprived by amputation of members and the first to employ artificial
eyes. Fabricius of Aquapendente, born in Columbus' period, but doing
his work afterwards, recommends massage and bandaging for _pes varus_
and an iron shoe with side pieces for _pes valgus._ He made the
correction gradual. He said, "I talk from experience, as I have had
much to do with crooked legs, feet and backs and have made them
straight and proper."

That Germany was not without the distinctive spirit of the time by
thoughtful work in surgery is made clear through the writings of Hugo
von Pfolspeundt, which were found only a few years ago. In what
relates to the mechanics of surgery he made many practical suggestions
and inventions. For harelip he suggested that stitches should be
placed on the mucous surface as well as on the skin surface, after the
edges of the cleft had been freshened in order to be brought closely
together and held in coaptation. He also suggested the use of a
permanent weight extension for fractures and for certain {422}
injuries of the joints. Perhaps his most interesting surgical
development for us is a description of a silver tube with flanges to
be inserted in the intestines when there were large wounds, or when
the intestines had been severed, the ends being brought together
carefully over the tube which was allowed to remain in situ.
Pfolspeundt said that he had often seen these tubes used and the
patient live for many years afterwards. This is an early form of what
is known as the Murphy button in our time, though it was not the first
suggestion of a mechanical device to aid the repair of intestinal
injuries. One of the latest mediaeval surgeons had employed the
trachea of an animal as the tube over which the wounded intestines
were brought together. This became disintegrated after a while in the
secretions, but remained intact until after thorough agglutination of
the intestines had occurred.

Pfolspeundt was not an educated man and did not even write his own
German tongue with correctness, not to say elegance. He was just a
practical devotee of surgery, probably not even a regularly practising
physician, and yet his writings show how much there was that he knew
of technical details, extremely important for surgical practice, that
are usually supposed to be of much later origin. After all, some of
our own distinguished surgeons have not been educated men in any sense
of the word, and there has sometimes been the feeling that a surplus
of information of what had been accomplished just before his time,
sometimes deterred the physician, as well as the surgeon, from
thinking independently about problems connected with practice and
reaching valuable practical conclusions.

Besides Pfolspeundt there are at least two other German surgeons of
this time whose writings have come down to us that deserve a place in
a history of distinguished accomplishment in Columbus' Century. One of
these is Jerome of Brunschwig, whose name is spelled in many different
ways, and the other is Hans von Gerssdorff. Brunschwig, or
Braunschweig, used to be considered the oldest writer on surgery in
German until the comparatively recent discovery of Hugo von
Pfolspeundt's manuscript. He published his surgery in 1497, and it
went through nine editions in a few years. It {423} contains a number
of woodcuts, and these probably helped to give it its popularity.

Brunschwig was very proud of his calling as a surgeon, and quotes what
Galen, Rhazes, Abulcassis, Lanfranc and Guy de Chauliac had declared
should be the qualities possessed by a surgeon and insisted
particularly that he "should have deep knowledge and trained
observation of anatomy, so that whenever it may be necessary to cut or
cauterize, he shall know exactly in what regions to do it, so as to do
just as little damage as possible and that he shall be capable of
diagnosing joint conditions and know what important organs may be
injured by bullet or other wounds with weapons and be able to judge of
the danger of cutting down for their removal." He recommends above all
that the young surgeon should invariably call an older and more
experienced colleague, or even two, in consultation, if the case is
very difficult, and he has doubts about it.

Some of his details of technique are very interesting as showing how
carefully he thought out even minor problems connected with the
practice of surgery. For instance, he says as to wounds of the face,
that as "the beauty of the countenance is what above every other thing
makes men beautiful, the surgeon must take the greatest care that no
ill-looking or ugly union should take place in it, and just as far as
possible the parts should be brought together and kept in apposition,
with as delicate means as possible, until healing has taken place."

On the other hand he does not hesitate to discuss even fractures of
the breast-bone, and says that if the patient expectorates blood it is
a bad sign, for almost surely some of the arteries lying under the
bone have been ruptured. He suggests position to help in the
correction of deformity and displacement of the bone, and mentions
that some of the older surgeons sought to raise it up by means of
large dry cups. In fractures of the ribs similar recommendations were
made, but Brunschwig was of the opinion that they did more harm than
good. He recommended bandages, thickened with albumen, or leather
moulded to the part, and he covered the thorax with a large binder.


There is no doubt at all that he knew very well the books of his
predecessors and that he had thoughtfully adapted them in the way that
had been taught him by his forty years of experience. He begins his
book with a dedication to the praise of God and His Mother, not
forgetting the honorable magistrates of the city of Strassburg. He
says in the preface that he is tempted to write his book because there
are many young, inexpert masters of surgery in the care of wounds who
do not understand it and consequently inflict much harm on mankind. He
hopes to be able to instruct them and also others who, living in the
smaller towns and villages, have not had the opportunity to see the
practice of surgery and yet must be able to help the ailing and
injured. The picture of the position of the surgeon of the time is
rather interesting.

The next of the German surgeons of this period was Hans von
Gerssdorff, who practised in Strassburg. His well-known work is the
"Field Book of Surgery," in which he gives some of the experiences of
long years as a military and municipal physician. The book was issued
with a series of woodcuts, some of them anatomical but most of them
surgical in interest, which are very well executed. His illustration
of an amputation is the first one of this subject ever made, and there
are many pictures of his instruments. We have only room to note some
of his discussions of subjects usually not supposed to be thought of
in his time. He discusses wounds of the liver, especially such as
occur from large wounds of the abdomen, and says that if the liver
substance itself has been wounded the issue will surely be fatal. If
the liver is not wounded, yet appears in the wound, it should be
replaced and the external wounds sewed. His discussions of wounds of
the deep organs are all in about this same conservative strain.

Gerssdorff has much to say with regard to contractures and anchyloses.
When these deformities are to be corrected, the tissues around the
joints should be softened by means of embrocations and the rubbing in
of old oil, and the contractures gradually overcome by manipulation or
by instrumental means. He invented a number of apparatus for
stretching such contractures, and four of the large pictures reproduce
them. They are partly in the shape of armor or {425} splints so
arranged that they can be bent or made straight by means of a screw.
There is also a screw arrangement for bringing about extension in
various directions. He did not believe very much in going too slowly
about the correction, for he declares that most of the contractures
and anchyloses can be overcome in a few hours.

In discussing amputations he mentions the use of anaesthetics by the
older surgeons, and quotes from Guy de Chauliac the method of
anaesthesia employed by him, but he thinks that better results are
obtained without the use of such material. He had never employed
anaesthetics himself, though he had performed over 100 amputations.
Perhaps his Teutonic people were able to stand pain better than the
patients of the Latin countries. The refusal to use anaesthetics is
very interesting at this time, for the practice gradually disappeared
and was forgotten. Gerssdorff warns particularly against the use of
opium alone as a means of preventing pain, and Chauliac had done the
same thing earlier.

The spirit that the surgeons of the time were expected to have is very
well illustrated by a passage from John Hall, written shortly after
the close of Columbus' Century in his "Historian Expostulation," which
is referred to more at length in the chapter on Medicine. He said, "I
would therefore that all Chirurgiens should be learned, so would I
have no man think himself learned otherwise than chiefly by
experience, for learning in Chirurgery consisteth not in speculation
only, nor in practice only, but in speculation well practised by

Dr. Hall made a series of rhyming verses which were meant to be
helpful to the young surgeon to enable him to recall his duties
readily. He urged him above all never to treat a case unless he
understood it, when in doubt to call in a consultant and advises him
after consultation to console the patient, but to talk seriously to
some of the patient's friends. Above all not to disturb the patient's
feelings. Among other excellent bits of good advice he insists very
much on the knowledge of anatomy, and two of his rhyming stanzas
regarding it seem worth while quoting to show the spirit in which he


  "He is no true chirurgien
    That cannot show by arte
  The nature of every member
    Each from other apart.

  For in that noble handy work
    There doth nothing excell
  The knowledge of anatomy
    If it be learned well."

In a chapter of this kind, almost needless to say, it is impossible to
give any formal account of the surgery of the time. All that I have
been able to do is to point out that in every country in Europe
surgeons were thinking for themselves and facing most of our modern
surgical problems and finding not inept solutions. There is scarcely a
phase of our modern surgery from antisepsis and anaesthesia to
technical details of various kinds, through plastic surgery, the use
of apparatus, manipulation and many forms of instruments, which cannot
be found in the surgical text-books of this time. Gurlt in his great
"History of Surgery" has taken some 400 pages of a large octavo
volume, with the excerpts in rather small type, to tell the story of
the surgery of Columbus' Century. Helferich occupies several hundred
pages of Puschmann's "Handbook of the History of Medicine" with the
details of what was done by the period's surgeons. The specialties
developed, and in all of them important contributions were made. The
great independent, seeking temper of the era is as noteworthy in
surgery as it is in every other department of intellectual effort at
this time.






The Latin literature produced during Columbus' period, or at least the
books written in Latin, are literally legion. There has seldom been an
age of greater literary productivity, and in every department men
wrote in Latin. It was the universal language of scholars. Every
educated man understood it; whenever he wrote for educated men he
employed it. When scholars of different languages met it was a ready
resource. This custom did not begin to lose its hold until after the
end of Columbus' Century, though it received a severe shock from
Paracelsus' refusal to use anything but the vernacular and was given
its death blow by the popularization of even theological subjects in
the vernacular during the reformation movement. Latin continued for
two centuries after Luther's time to be the medium of communication
between scholars, but its use gradually went out in the depths of the
degradation of scholarship in the eighteenth century.

There are many who apparently can see only unmixed good in the gradual
supersession of Latin by the various vernacular languages, but a
universal academic language had many advantages. As a rule, an
educated man needed to know only one language besides his own at this
time. Practical education for scientific purposes, and above all for
law and medicine and philosophy and theology, was very much
simplified. Now the student of science must know, as a rule, at least
two languages besides his own. In recent years we have come to
recognize the need of a universal language, and hence the {428}
successive waves of interest in newly-invented languages. Latin,
however, besides its practical usefulness as a common tongue, rewarded
the student of it by opening up to him a precious literature which
made it well worth his while to have devoted time and labor to its

The most fertile period of modern Latin was undoubtedly the era of the
Renaissance from 1450 to 1550, yet of all this Latin writing of
Columbus' Century very little endures in the sense of being read for
its own sake in our time. The old books have many of them gone up in
value, but that is mainly because of their special significance in the
history of their particular science or in the development of printing.
Books like Vesalius' _"Fabrica Humani Corporis"_ have become classics
that every scholarly student of medicine must have seen, though in
practical value they have been superseded by later books. Some of the
philosophical and theological works of the period and a number of the
mystical and spiritual works are still read for their own sake, but
with certain exceptions, like Thomas à Kempis' works and others that
we shall mention, these are rather curiosities that appeal to the
erudition of the special student than real living books to be

An immense amount of Latin verse was written at this time. Sannazaro,
one of the ablest members of the Academy of Naples, wrote a poem
comparable in size to Virgil's AEneid on "The Birth of Christ." This
is only one instance. There were literally hundreds of scholars at
this time who thought because they could write Latin verses in which
the rules of grammar and prosody were not violated, and above all if
they could use the words that had been employed by their favorite
Latin authors and repeat felicitously the expressions of Virgil and
Horace and the classic poets generally, that they were making
literature at least if not poetry. Men have always had such illusions,
have always written what was only of interest for their own time and
have had the pleasure and satisfaction derived from the occupation of
mind and the anticipations of reputation and glory. None of this Latin
poetry has survived, and indeed it is only a very rare specialist in
Latin literature, and usually one who has devoted himself to
Renaissance Latin, who is likely to know anything about it.
Undoubtedly some {429} of it was eminently scholarly. There is no
doubt either that not a little of it was of fair poetic quality. It
was all, however, of distinctly academic character, and it has gone
into the limbo of forgotten writing, which now contains such an
immense amount of material.

There is probably nothing which shows so clearly that the writer, and
above all the poet, is born and not made, that it is originality of
thought and not mode of expression that makes for enduring literature,
as the fate of so much of the product of these Renaissance writers. On
the other hand, there is nothing that better illustrates the value of
originality of thought apart from style than the preservation as
enduring influences upon mankind of a series of books in which style
was probably the last thing that the author thought about, and the
mode of expression had almost no place in his mind compared to his
desire to set forth his thought effectively.

Three of the books that have lived from this time and will, so far as
human judgment can foresee, always continue to live, are Thomas à
Kempis' _"De Imitatione Christi"_ Sir Thomas More's "Utopia" and St.
Ignatius of Loyola's _"Exercitia Spiritualia"_ All three of them were
written in Latin because that was the language in which they would
appeal to most readers at the time. All three of the authors probably
thought nothing at all about the language that they were using except
for its convenience for others, inasmuch as it could be read by the
men of all nations whom they most wished to reach. All of them are
direct, simple, even forcible in their modes of expression, but there
was surely little filing done and probably very little rewriting.
Thomas à Kempis' book, almost without a doubt, flowed from his pen
just in the way that his words flowed out of his full heart in the
spiritual conferences that he gave to his brethren. There was probably
never a thought given to verbal nicety except to secure as simple an
expression of his overflowing ideas as possible. The "Utopia" is
written in correct, but not classical Latin, and it is very likely
that Erasmus would have found many faults of usage in it, while the
Ciceronians of that time would surely have been horrified at the very
thought of having to read such Latin and would scarcely be able to
understand how anyone could write {430} such unCiceronian phrases. As
was said of Michelangelo, St Ignatius wrote things rather than words,
and the "Spiritual Exercises" are a mine of thought, but not a model
of style in any sense.

There has been question as to whether the "Imitation of Christ" was
really written by Thomas à Kempis, but that question has now, I think,
been definitely settled. Everything points to the authorship by the
brother of the Common Life, who was born in the little town of Kempen
and lived some seventy years in the Monastery of St. Agnes, acting as
spiritual adviser to his brethren, giving them consolation and advice
in times of trial, directing their thoughts always to the higher life.
There are many Flemicisms, that is, Latin usages which were common in
the Netherlands of this time, in most of the manuscripts. It has been
argued that since these do not exist in all the manuscripts, the
argument founded on them is not absolute. The preponderance of
evidence, however, is for the Flemish copies as being nearer the
original, and the absence of these special modes of expression in
other manuscripts only indicates that a great many copyists of the
time, particularly in Italy and France, were quite aware of these
imperfections of language and endeavored to correct them out of their
better knowledge of Latin. This only serves to show how little the
style of the book had to do with its popularity and that it was the
thought that appealed to the world of the time and has continued ever
since to give the work wide popularity.

À Kempis himself was born in the fourteenth century, but as he lived
to be past ninety, dying in 1471, more than twenty years of his life,
during which he was active and in possession of his faculties, were
passed in our period. The "Imitation of Christ" was probably written
some twenty years before Columbus' Century began, but did not take the
definitive form in which we know it until about the beginning of our
period. It has a right to a place, therefore, among the great works of
the time. I have sometimes suggested that three men, whose names begin
with _k_ sounds, accomplished magnificent broadenings of human
knowledge at this time. Columbus discovered a new continent,
Copernicus revealed a new universe and à Kempis unveiled a wonderful
new world in man's own soul. {431} He did as much for the microcosm
man as Copernicus for the cosmos or Columbus for our earth. Hitherto
unexplored regions were laid bare and the beginning of the mapping out
of them was made. More than either of his great contemporaries,
however, à Kempis finished his work. Very little has been added to
what he was able to accomplish for man's self-revelation in his little


The work did not spring into popularity at once, though it gradually
began to be known and used by chosen spirits in many places, and some
of the greatest of the men of the time learned to appreciate it. It is
a charming testimony to the fact that a Kempis himself first did and
then taught that he cared so little for the reputation attached to his
work, that his name was not directly associated with it, and in the
course of time there came to be some doubt about its authorship. "If
thou wilt profitably know and learn," he had said, "desire to be
unknown." It is one of the most difficult of tasks, but the humble
brother of the Common Life who had written a sublimely beautiful book
had learned it. He had written other books, indeed there are probably
at least a dozen attributed to him on reasonably good evidence, yet
had said, "In general we all need to be silent more than to speak,
indeed there are few who are too slow to speak." None of his other
books are quite equal to the "Imitation," yet many of them, as "The
Little Garden of Roses" and "The Valley of Lilies," are well worth
reading and exhibit many of the traits of charming simplicity,
marvellous insight and psychological power that have given his
greatest work its reputation.

All down the centuries since men have admired and praised the
"Imitation." It has not been a classic in the sense of a book that
everyone praises and very few read, but on the contrary it has been
the familiar reading of a great many of the chosen spirits among
mankind ever since. To have been the favorite book of Sir Thomas More,
Bossuet and Massillon, of Loyola and Bellarmine, of John Wesley,
Samuel Johnson, Lamartine, La Harpe, Michelet, Leibnitz and Villemain
is indeed a distinction. Nor has it appealed only to Christians, for
men like Renan and Comte almost in our own time have praised it very
highly. Far from its reading being confined {432} to scholars by
profession or those much occupied with the things of the spirit, we
find that it was the favorite reading of General Chinese Gordon,
General Wolseley, the late Emperor Frederick and Stanley the explorer.
George Eliot shows her deep appreciation of it in "The Mill on the
Floss," where she says that "It works miracles to this day, turning
bitter waters into sweetness." Sir James Stephen speaks of it as a
work "which could not fail to attract notice and which commended
itself to all souls driven to despair." The late Lord Russell of
Killowen always carried a copy of it with him and used to read a
chapter in it every day quite as Ignatius of Loyola had done three
centuries and a half before. The frequent surprise is the contrast of
the men devoted to it. Pobiedonostseff, the head of the Holy Russian
Synod, the power behind the Czar for so long, used to read in it every

St. Francis de Sales said of "The Imitation," "Its author is the Holy
Spirit." Pascal said of it, "One expects only a book and finds a man."
De Quincey declared: "Next to the Bible in European publicity and
currency this book came forward as an answer to the sighing of
Christian Europe for light from heaven." Dr. Samuel Johnson declared
that "Thomas à Kempis must be a good book, as the world has opened its
arms to receive it." The sentence in it which he repeated most
frequently and which evidently had come home to him is "Be not angry
that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot
make yourself as you wish to be." Matthew Arnold, whose religious
views might possibly be thought to bias his judgment with regard to it
and whose feeling for style might be supposed to be deterred by its
lack of finish in language, called the "Imitation" "The most exquisite
document after those of the New Testament of all that the Christian
spirit has ever inspired." What may be more surprising to some, he
even did not hesitate to add that "Its moral precepts are equal to the
best ever furnished by the great masters of morals--Epictetus or
Marcus Aurelius."

Some of the expressions used with regard to the "Imitation" are among
the most laudatory that have ever been used of any book. They come
from men of all kinds, in all generations, {433} in all nations since,
and many of them among the most respected of their time. Fontenelle
declared the "Imitation" "the finest book ever issued from the hand of
man." Caro, the French philosopher, compares it with other books
famous in the same ethical line, only to put it on a pinnacle by
itself. "Open the 'Imitation,'" he says, "after having read the _'De
Officiis'_ of Cicero or the _'Enchiridion'_ of Epictetus, and you will
feel yourself transported into another world as in a moment."
Lamennais declared that the "Imitation" "has made more saints than all
the books of controversy. The more one reads, the more one marvels.
There is something celestial in the simplicity of this wonderful
book." Henri Martin, the French historian, declared, "This book has
not grown old and never will grow old, because it is the expression of
the eternal tenderness of the soul. It has been the consolation of
thousands--one might say of millions--of souls."

Lamartine in his "Jocelyn" (and it must not be forgotten that
Lamartine was an historian and a critic as well as a poet) wrote:

  "Harassed by an inward strife,
  I find in the 'Imitation' a new life--
  Book obscure, unhonored, like to potter's clay.
  Yet rich in Gospel truths as flowers in May.
  Where loftiest wisdom, human and Divine,
  Peace to the troubled soul to speak, combine."

La Harpe, a dramatist as well as a critic, whose "Cours de
Littérature" was a standard text-book for so long, was in prison and
sadly in need of comfort and consolation when he began to appreciate
the "Imitation." There is almost no limit to his praise of it, and
praise under these circumstances must indeed be considered to come
from the heart. He wrote: "Never before or since have I experienced
emotion so violent and yet so unexpectedly sweet--the words, 'Behold I
am here,' echoing unceasingly in my heart, awakening its faculties and
moving it to the uttermost depths."

It is not surprising then to find that Dean Church says of it, "No
book of human composition has been the companion of {434} so many
serious hours, has been prized in widely different religious
communions, has nerved and comforted so many and such different
minds--preacher and soldier and solitary thinker--Christians, or even
it may be those unable to believe." Dean Milman in his "Latin
Christianity" declared "that this book supplies some imperious want in
the Christianity of mankind, that it supplied it with a fulness and
felicity which left nothing to be desired, its boundless popularity is
the one unanswerable testimony." He even has some words of praise for
a Kempis' style: "The style is ecclesiastical Latin, but the
perfection of ecclesiastical Latin of pure and of sound construction."
Dean Plumptre, whose studies of Dante and the great Greek poets gave
him so good a right to judge of the place of books in the world's
literature, is one of the worshippers at the shrine of the
"Imitation." The Rev. Dr. Liddon, the great Greek lexicographer,
called it "the very choicest of devotional works, the product of the
highest Christian genius and one of the books that have touched the
heart of the world."

More than this could scarcely be said of any book. Was there ever a
chorus of praise quite so harmonious? Did praise ever come from men by
whom one could more wish to be praised? Evidently, the "Imitation of
Christ" is for all men at all times. It is the poem of our common
human nature.

When Sir John Lubbock included the "Imitation" in his list of the
hundred best books some people expressed surprise. The editor of the
_Pall Mall Gazette_ invited the opinions of his readers on the
subject, and some of the most distinguished of English churchmen, as
well as many English men of distinction, said their praise of it
publicly. Archdeacon Farrar, whose sympathies with the fourth book of
the "Imitation" would certainly be very slight and whose opposition to
many Catholic doctrines that à Kempis received devoutly might possibly
be expected to prejudice him somewhat against it, wrote that "If all
the books in the world were in a blaze the first twelve I should
snatch from the flames would be the Bible, 'The Imitation of Christ,'
'Homer,' 'AEschylus,' 'Thucydides,' 'Tacitus,' 'Virgil,' 'Marcus
Aurelius,' 'Dante,' 'Shakespeare,' 'Milton' and 'Wordsworth.'" {435}
The men with whom à Kempis is thus placed in association are among the
accepted geniuses of literary history before as well as since his
time. It would not be difficult to make a sheaf of quotations each one
of them scarcely less laudatory than this of Archdeacon Farrar. They
come from all manner of men, devout and undevout, bookish and
practical, spiritual and worldly, men of wide experience in life, who
have done things that the world will not soon forget, and who, if any,
have the right to speak for the race as regards the significance of
life and what any book can mean for direction and guidance in the
living of it and consolation in its trials and difficulties.

Lamartine in his "Entretiens Familiers" called it "the poem of the
soul," and declared that it "condensed into a few pages the practical
philosophy of men of all climates and of all countries who have
sought, have suffered, have studied and prayed in their tears ever
since flesh suffered and the mind reflected."

To adopt his term, the "Imitation" is literally a great poem. It is a
creation and it is a vision. The poet is the creator and the seer. The
greater he is, the more capable he is of taking the ordinary materials
of life and making great poetry of them. The greater the poet, the
more of mankind he appeals to. It is the vision of the experiences of
man and not of individual men that the poet sees. What all have seen
and felt, but none so well expressed is the theme of poetry. The more
one reads of the "Imitation," the more one realizes all the truth of
this characterization of it as poetry. If one takes passages of it as
they have been put into rhythmic sentences the feeling of the poetry
in them is brought home very clearly. For instance, this from Chapter
XXII of the third book:

  "Why one has less, another more;
  Not ours to question this, but Thine
  With Whom each man's deserts are strictly watched.
  Wherefore, Lord God, I think it a great blessing
  Not to have much which outwardly seems worth
  Praise or glory--as men judge of them."

Or if the ode--for such it really is--on Love from the fifth chapter
of the third book be read alongside one of the great {436} choruses
from the Greek tragedians, as above all some of those of Sophocles in
"Antigone" or the "Oedipus at Colonos," the lofty poetic quality will
be easier to grasp:

  "A great thing is love,
  A great good every way.
  Making all burdens light,
  Bearing all that is unequal,
  Carrying a burden without feeling it.
  Turning all bitterness to a sweet savor.
  The noble love of Jesus
  Impelleth men to good deeds
  And exciteth them always
  To desire that which is better.
  Love will tend upwards
  Nor be detained
  By things of earth
  It would be free.

  Nothing is sweeter than love,
  Nothing stronger, nothing higher.
  Nothing fuller, nothing better
  Nor more pleasant in heaven or earth.
  For love is born of God
  Nor can it rest
  Except in Him
  Above all things created.
  Love is swift, sincere.
  Pious, pleasant and delightsome.
  Brave, patient, faithful,
  Careful, long suffering, manly.
  Never seeking its own good;
  For where a man looks for himself
  He falls away from love."

The next most significant book of the Latin literature of the time is
Sir Thomas More's "Utopia." Few books are more surprising in the midst
of their environment. Probably no one {437} has ever so risen above
the social atmosphere around him and breathed the rarefied air of
ideal social conditions as More in the "Utopia." It was written under
the influence of his first acquaintance with Plato's "Republic" and as
a result of his talks with that great French scholar and friend of
Erasmus, Peter Giles, or as he is known in the history of scholarship,
Aegidius. More discussed not merely literary topics, but the
application of the Greek literature that they were both interested in
to the contemporary politics of Europe and the social conditions of
their time. Not yet thirty years of age, More's powers of observation
were at their highest, and his principles of life had not yet been
hardened into conventional form by actual contact with too many
difficulties. With no experience as yet of government and with the
highest ideals of fellowship and unselfishness, he wrote out a
wonderful scheme of ideal government by which the happiness of mankind
would be attained. He saw clearly through all the social illusions and
the social problems, and with almost youthful enthusiasm put forth his
solution of all the difficulties he saw.

Undoubtedly the "Utopia" is the main literary monument of Sir Thomas
More's great genius. Sir Sidney Lee in his "Great Englishmen of the
Sixteenth Century" (Scribner's, 1904) declares that "it is as
admirable in literary form as it is original in thought. It displays a
mind rebelling in the power of detachment from the sentiment and the
prejudices which prevailed in his personal environment. To a large
extent this power of detachment was bred of his study of Greek
literature." There is, perhaps, no greater series of compliments for
the significance of the classics in education than the fact that these
men of the Renaissance found in the Greek books not only the source of
their literature, but also their art and architecture and even their
science, and above all were given the breadth of mind to follow the
suggestions that they met with. It must not be forgotten, however,
that More was also deeply influenced by St. Augustine's _"De Civitate
Dei"_ Evident traces of this can be found. It is known that he had
been reading the work of the great Latin father of the Church and that
he admired him very deeply. Without any narrowness or bigotry,
inspired by Augustine's great work, it was a {438} Christian Republic
of Plato that the future Lord Chancellor of England sketched for his

"Utopia" was published at the end of 1516 in Louvain, then probably
the most prominent and undoubtedly the most cosmopolitan centre of
academic learning in Europe. There were perhaps 5,000 students at the
University there at the moment, and it was one of the large
universities of the world. A new edition was published only four
months later from a famous press in Paris, and within the year the
great scholar-printer, Froben of Basel, produced what we would now
call an _édition de luxe_ at the suggestion and under the editorship
of Erasmus, and with illustrations by Erasmus' friend, for whom More
was to be such a beneficent patron later in England--Hans Holbein.

It is not surprising to hear that the book was warmly welcomed by all
the scholars of Europe. The epithets which the publishers bestowed on
it in the title page, _aureus, saluiatis, festivus_--a golden,
wholesome, optimistic book--were adopted from expressions of opinion
uttered by some of the best scholars of Europe. Erasmus was loud in
his praise of it, it was warmly welcomed in France, it found its way
everywhere among the scholars of Italy, it was read, though not too
openly, in England, where there was some suspicion of its critical
quality as regards English government and where Tudor wilfulness did
not brook critical review of its acts.

The book was eminently interesting; there probably never has been a
_social Tendens_ novel before or since that has been so full of
interest. The preliminary chapter of the book is, as Sidney Lee says,
"a vivid piece of fiction which Defoe could not have excelled." More
relates how he accidentally came upon his scholarly friend, Peter
Giles, in the streets of Antwerp in conversation with an old sailor
named Raphael or Ralph Hythlodaye. This name means an observer of
trifles. More takes advantage of the current interest in the
discoveries of the Western Continent by making him a sailor lately
returned from a voyage to the New World under the command of Amerigo
Vespucci. The name America after Amerigo was just gaining currency at
that time and this added to the interest. Ralph had been impressed by
the beneficent forms of {439} government which prevailed in the New
World. He had also visited England and had noticed social evils there
which called for speedy redress. The poor were getting poorer, the
rich were getting richer, the degradation of the masses was sapping
the strength of the country, the wrong things were in honor and social
reform must come, it was hinted, or there would be social revolution.
The book contained a fearless exposure of the social evils very
commonly witnessed in every country in Europe at that time, though
tinged more by More's experience in England than anywhere else.

Since its publication, the book has been read in every generation that
has taken its social problems seriously. It was not published in
England until 1551, but was translated into English again by Bishop
Burnet in a form that has made it an English classic. It contains such
a surprising anticipation of so many suggestions for the relief of
social evils that are now discussed that I have preferred to put a
series of quotations from it in the Appendix in order to show how
little there is new in human thinking, and above all how a sympathetic
genius at any time succeeds in seeing clearly and solving as well the
problems of mankind as at any other time, in utter contradiction of
the so much talked of evolution that is presumed to bring these
problems gradually before the bar of human justice and secure their
amelioration. The book is worthy to be placed beside Plato's
"Republic," and it will be more read in the near future than probably
any other work of similar nature. In our own generation editions of it
have been issued in every modern language and a number of editions in
English. It is one of the enduring books of mankind that a scholar of
any nation cannot afford to confess not having read and in which the
social reformer will ever find suggestions for human uplift and the
greatest happiness for the greatest number.

The third great book of the Latin literature of the century is St.
Ignatius's _"Exercitia Spiritualia."_ This is not a book to be read,
however, but to be lived. It is a book of material for thought rather
than of words to be conned. It has deeply influenced every generation
of men ever since. If it had done nothing else but form all the
members of his own order ever {440} since, that would be enough of
itself to stamp it as a very great human document. It has, however,
deeply influenced all the religious orders both of men and women since
it was written, and is now the basis of nearly all of the formative
exercises on which the modern religious life is based. It is
undoubtedly the work of a great spiritual and intellectual genius who
above all knew how to suppress himself. There is not a word too much
in it, and the one complaint has been of an abbreviation beyond what
would make it readily intelligible. Those who have studied it most
deeply, however, find no difficulty of understanding, though they
recognize the impossibility, unless perhaps after many years of
devotion to it, of comprehending all of its precious significance. It
is the directions for the spiritual life in shorthand, and it is
surprising that a man should have committed it to all the
possibilities of misunderstanding in its present form, but its lack of
too great detail makes it all the more precious and leaves that room
for the expression of the individuality of the one who gives the
exercises that is so necessary.

The fourth book that deserves a place in any account of the Latin
literature of this period is Erasmus' _"Colloquia"_ though doubtless
some might plead for a place for the _"Encomium Moriae,"_ which has
had an academic immortality at least. The _"Colloquia"_ is eminently a
book for scholars written in the elegant Latin that Erasmus could
employ so effectively, and it went through many editions in his
lifetime and has had many reprints ever since. It was distinctly a
book of style rather than of matter and of academic rather than
popular interest. Scholars at all times have turned to its pages for
refreshment and information and have been regaled by its charming
style and its wit. It is entirely too bitter to be always admirable,
but many of its satirical parts give an excellent idea, though
undoubtedly exaggerated if taken as a picture of the times, of the
conditions of education at the moment. It has not been often
translated, and hence, in our generally complacent ignorance of Latin,
is less known in our time than in any other since its publication. Its
career in comparison with the three other volumes of Latin literature
in this chapter, its contemporaries, emphasizes the difference between
the place of {441} style and thought in the world literature. The
scholars of the period doubtless looked upon Erasmus' book as a very
triumph of scholarship, a great contribution to world literature. "The
Imitation of Christ," "Utopia" and the "Spiritual Exercises" were read
originally not for themselves, but for a purpose. These have
maintained an active life, however, while at most the _"Colloquia"_
has enjoyed a rather inanimate academic existence.

This does not detract from the merit of the book, however, nor from
that of Erasmus' other contributions to the Latin literature of the
time. Latin was at best an adopted language, however, and the
expression of native genius in it could scarcely be expected. The
prose has been eminently more fortunate than the verse, and it is to
the former, not the latter, that we turn in order to find some of the
great contributions of the period to world literature.




As I have said in the Introduction, in spite of the supreme greatness
of the artistic products of Columbus' Century, its paintings,
sculpture and architecture, the literature of the time was not only
not neglected, but occupies a place in the history of culture only
second to that of the Periclean age of Athens. For a long time,
indeed, the Age of Leo X, as it was called, was considered to be a
serious rival in its literary treasures to that marvellous period of
Greek thinking and writing. Subsequently the literary world passed
through a period of exaggerated critical depreciation of it. There has
been, however, a growing tendency in recent years, indeed during the
last half century, to restore older appreciation of the literature of
this period and to value it highly.

In every country in Europe there were books written during this time
which not only will never die, but which are part of the familiar
reading of the scholars at least of all time. Not that there are not
many popular elements in this literature, but its scholarliness has
made it a special favorite, and there are not a few books written at
this time which no one with any pretence to education would willingly
confess to being ignorant of. Ariosto, Machiavelli, Rabelais, Villon,
Sir Thomas More, Erasmus, St. Teresa, Marguerite of Navarre and the
Pleiades, as well as the Collects of the English Prayer Book, all
these have an enduring significance in the realm of world literature
that has brought about the publication of editions and translations of
them in every cultivated language even in our generation over four
centuries after their original production.

  [Illustration: TITIAN, ARIOSTO ]

The Italian literature of the century is especially rich. It would be
quite impossible to give it any adequate treatment in a chapter, for
this is the Renaissance period, and the literature {443} of the
Italian Renaissance has been treated in many volumes. The most
important of the writers is undoubtedly Ariosto, who has been much
more appreciated by his own people than by other countries, though at
times of deep interest in literature he has always had a profound
influence on writers beyond the bounds of Italy. Saintsbury, in "The
Earlier Renaissance," has summed up his best qualities in some
sentences that, considering the distance in time and place and
temperament which separate poet and critic, may very well be taken as
highest praise. Ariosto, he says, "is very nearly if not quite supreme
in more than one respect. It may also be said that he never fails and
that this freedom from failure is not due to tame faultlessness or a
cowardly absence from the most difficult attempts--that it will go
hard--but we must rank him, at lowest, just below the very greatest of
all. Such a place is, I believe, his right even on the calculus of
those who refuse the historic estimate or at least admit it with
grudging. It has been said that as Rabelais he represents the greatest
literature of his time penetrated most fully by the extra literary as
well as the literary characteristics of that time; and it may be added
not merely that few times have been so thoroughly represented, but
that few have ever so thoroughly lent themselves to representation."

With what is perhaps almost pardonable compatriotic enthusiasm,
considering his really great merits as a poet, he has been called the
Italian Homer, and his great work, _"Orlando Furioso"_ has been called
"the most beautiful and varied and wonderful romantic poem that the
literature of the world can boast of." In it are woven together with
charming art the two great romantic cycles of Charlemagne and Arthur.
It is the poetic apotheosis of chivalry written in wonderful
perfection of style and taking form and with marvellous variety of
incident. While the great poem has been a favorite rather with the
Italians than with foreigners, when one realizes how deeply cultured
Italian readers have been as a rule for all the centuries since
Ariosto's time, it is probable that no higher compliment than this
devotion of his compatriots could be paid to him. The "Orlando" has
not been without honor, however, in foreign countries, among those
whose opinion is most {444} to be valued. It cast into the shade the
numberless poetical romances that had been written during the
preceding century. None of the many imitations that it evoked have
approached it either in beauty of form or style or in deep underlying
human interest. Ariosto knew above all the human heart and had
excellent control of pathos. He is especially capable in making the
impossible or the improbable seem reasonable. Now, after four
centuries, we know that he is of all time and belongs to the culture
of all centuries.

Modern readers unacquainted with the writings of the older time are
often inclined to think that the interests of the older writers were
very different from those of humanity to-day and that, as a
consequence, the reading of them would surely be a great bore. Even a
little reading of Ariosto would show how eminently human and for all
time a classic writer is and how literally it is true that he is often
a commentary on the morning paper. One or two of Ariosto's comparisons
which show his interest in humanity and in life around him will serve
to illustrate this. His observation of children is as close as that of

  "Like to a child that puts a fruit away
    When ripe, and then forgets where it is stored,
  If it should chance that after many a day
    Thither his step returns where is his hoard.
  He wonders to behold it in decay.
    Rotten and spoiled, and richness all outpoured;
  And what he loved of old with keen delight
    He hates, spurns, loathes, and flings away in spite."

Like Dante, too, he was an observer of animals and noted especially
the ways of dogs.

  "And as we see two dogs the combat wage,
    Whether by envy moved, or other hate,
  Approaching whet the teeth, nor yet engage.
    With eyes askance, and red as coals in grate,
  Then to their biting come, on fire with rage.
    With bitter cries, and backs with spite elate,
  So came with swords and cries and many a taunt
  Circassia's knight and he of Chiaramont."

Ariosto's other poems, besides his Epic, are of minor significance. He
wrote a series of satires that are rather chatty essays, on subjects
literary and personal, in verse, than satires in our sense of the
word. Above all, Ariosto took his own disappointments in life
good-humoredly, and his optimism would remind one of Cervantes in
certain ways. Garnett in his "History of Italian Literature" (page
151) says, "His lyrical pieces are not remarkable, except one
impressive sonnet in which he appears to express compunction for the
irregularities of his life:

  "How may I deem that Thou in heaven wilt hear,
    O Lord divine, my fruitless prayer to Thee,
    If for all clamor of the tongue Thou see
  That yet unto the heart the net is dear?
  Sunder it Thou, who all behold'st so clear,
    Nor heed the stubborn will's oppugnancy.
    And this do Thou perform, ere, fraught with me,
  Charon to Tartarus his pinnace steer.
  By habitude of ill that veils Thy light.
    And sensual lure, and paths in error trod.
  Evil from good no more I know aright.
    Ruth for frail soul submissive to the rod
  May move a mortal; in her own despite
    To drag her heavenward is work of God."

In Italy the _sacre rappresentazioni,_ as the Miracle and Mystery
plays were called, had a distinct period of development, though not
equal to that of the English, and good specimens of them have not been
preserved for us. We have evidence of the influence of them, however,
in the fact that some of the scholarly poets of the time wrote plays
founded on the myths of the old Olympian religion after the model of
some of these mystery plays. Politian's _"Orfeo"_ is perhaps the best
example of this. It was little better than an improvisation composed
in the short space of two days at Mantua on the {446} occasion of
Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga's visit to his native town in 1472, but it
marks an epoch in the evolution of Italian poetry. Addington Symonds
has even gone so far as to say that "it is the earliest example of the
secular drama, containing within the compass of its brief scenes the
germ of the opera, the tragedy and the pastoral play." It contained
portions that were to be sung as well as to be spoken, and there are
episodes of _terza rima,_ Madrigals, a Carnival song, a Ballata as
well as the choral passages that are distinctly operatic. After
Orpheus has violated the law that he must not look upon his wife until
they have reached the upper world, his complaint is of lyric quality
that has something of the Grecian choric ode in it. Addington Symonds
in his "Sketches and Studies in Southern Europe" has translated the
passages so as to give an excellent idea of the character of the play:

  "Who hath laid laws on Love?
      Will pity not be given
      For one short look so full thereof?
      Since I am robbed of heaven,
      Since all my joy so great is turned to pain,
      I will go back and plead with Death again!


  Nay, seek not back to turn!
      Vain is thy weeping, all thy words are vain.
      Eurydice may not complain
      Of aught but thee--albeit her grief is great.
      Vain are thy verses 'gainst the voice of fate!
      How vain thy song! For death is stern!
      Try not the backward path: thy feet refrain!
      The laws of the abyss are fixed and firm remain."

Addington Symonds has given a number of examples of the popular
Italian poetry of the Renaissance [Footnote 44] which show the
qualities of this mode of literature very well, and above all
illustrate how like in its character it is to the lighter modes of
{447} verse at all times and especially our own. Politian, the great
scholar whose learning filled the lecture rooms of Florence with
students of all nations and whose critical and rhetorical works marked
an epoch in the history of scholarship, was able to unbend at times
and write _ballate,_ as they were called, though they were very
different from our ballads, which were to be sung during the dances in
the piazzas on summer evenings. Stanzas from some of these will serve
to show their character. The last stanza, for instance, of his May
Ballad is on the world-old theme, "Gather ye rose-buds while ye may."

  "I went a-roaming, maidens, one bright day.
  In a green garden in mid month of May.

  For when the full rose quits her tender sheath.
    When she is sweetest and most fair to see.
  Then is the time to place her in thy wreath,
    Before her beauty and her freshness flee.
    Gather ye therefore roses with great glee.
  Sweet girls, or ere their perfume pass away.

  I went a-roaming, maidens, one bright day,
  In a green garden in mid month of May."

    [Footnote 44: "Sketches and Studies in Southern Europe,"
    New York, 1880]

Many of the Italian scholars of the period gave the time to the
writing of ballads, and one which has been ascribed to Lorenzo dei
Medici is often quoted. In it the word _signore,_ which means lord, is
used instead of the name of the lady, because she is the lord of the
singer's soul.

  "How can I sing light-souled and fancy-free
  When my loved lord no longer smiles on me?

  One only comfort soothes my heart's despair.
    And mid this sorrow lends my soul some cheer;
  Unto my lord I ever yielded fair
    Service of faith untainted pure and clear;
    If then I die thus guiltless, on my bier
  It may be she will shed one tear for me.          {448}

  How can I sing light-souled and fancy-free
  When my loved lord no longer smiles on me?"

These ballads were often on the pagan theme of snatching life's
opportunities while one might, a popular expression of the Renaissance
time, an echo of Horace's _Carpe diem,_  "snatch the day," which the
Roman had taken from his Greek models. Every now and then, however,
there is a more serious note in the Carnival songs written to be sung
during the revels at the Carnival time, when it is surprising to find
such a thought emphasized. One of the best known of these Carnival
songs is attributed to Lorenzo de' Medici:

  "Fair is youth and void of sorrow;
    But it hourly flies away.
    Youths and maids, enjoy to-day;
  Naught ye know about to-morrow.

  Midas treads a wearier measure:
    All he touches turns to gold:
  If there be no taste of pleasure,
    What's the use of wealth untold?

  What's the joy his fingers hold,
    When he's forced to thirst for aye?
    Youths and maids, enjoy to-day;
  Naught ye know about to-morrow."


After Lorenzo's death one of these Carnival songs, to express the
grief of his people for him, written by Antonio Alamanni, was sung by
maskers habited as skeletons who rode on a car of death, the music to
it being that of a dead march. As a contrast to the less serious songs
it is worth quoting:

  "Sorrow, tears, and penitence
    Are our doom of pain for aye:
    This dead concourse riding by
  Hath no cry but penitence!          {449}

  E'en as you are, once were we:
    You shall be as now we are:
  We are dead men, as you see:
    We shall see you dead men, where
    Naught avails to take great care.
  After sins, of penitence.

  We too in the Carnival
    Sang our love-songs through the town
  Thus from sin to sin we all
    Headlong, heedless, tumbled down;--
    Now we cry, the world around.
  Penitence! oh, penitence!

  Senseless, blind, and stubborn fools!
    Time steals all things as he rides:
  Honors, glories, states, and schools,
    Pass away, and naught abides;
    Till the tomb our carcass hides.
  And compels this penitence."

Strange as it may seem, the Italian prose of Columbus' Century has had
a wider vogue and influence than its poetry. Two literary springs in
prose have flowed out of Italy--fiction and history. The greatest of
modern historical writers is undoubtedly Machiavelli. His name has
been so much deprecated because of the doctrines that he is thought to
have suggested that very few people realize what a profound student of
human nature he was and how deep was his philosophy. His famous book,
_"Il Principe"_ (The Prince), was written within a decade of Columbus'
death and at once attracted wide attention. This great political
monograph is a calm analysis of the various methods whereby an
ambitious conscienceless man may rise to sovereign power. It is
usually supposed to be a setting forth of his own absolutely
principleless philosophy. As a matter of fact, it is quite as much a
lesson in politics for all the world, and while it might be studied
faithfully by a man who wanted to usurp sovereign authority in a free
state, it contains a series of lessons, which he who {450} runs may
read, for all citizens to know just how the downfall of their
liberties may be brought about. There probably was never a
contribution to political philosophy that has attracted so much
attention. It is one of the few books that the serious politicians of
all countries and nearly every generation since Machiavelli's time
have considered it worth while to read. As a matter of fact, it is
esteemed so highly as a human document that it is almost considered a
serious defect in scholarship for anyone who claims to be educated to
confess ignorance of it.

After a set of discourses on Livy, Machiavelli was commissioned to
write the history of Florence. This is the first attempt in any
literature to trace the political life of a people, showing all the
forces at work upon them and the consequent effects. He places the
portrait of Florence on the background of a very striking group of
pictures drawn from Italian history. Necessarily, since he was
employed at their suggestion for the purpose, the Medici are given a
place of first rank and very great prominence. This was not mere
subserviency, however, but was a very proper estimation of the role
played by that house in the fortunes of Florence. He puts into the
mouths of his historical characters speeches after the manner of Livy
and Thucydides, and some of these speeches are masterpieces of Italian
oratory. His style is vigorous and without any thought of
ornamentation, informed only by the effort to express his meaning
completely and forcibly. Later he wrote a play which John Addington
Symonds, the English critic whose deep knowledge of Italian literature
gives his opinion much weight, did not hesitate to call "the ripest
and most powerful single play in the Italian language." There may be
difference of opinion as to Machiavelli's place in philosophy, and
above all in ethics, but there can be no doubt about his genius as an
historian and a writer, as a profound student of men and their ways
and one of the greatest contributors to political philosophy.

We have come to discount all that has been said in derogation of
Machiavelli's personal character, though it must not be forgotten that
even in the older time there were men who realized that his book was
an essay in political philosophy that {451} made a wonderful
revelation and not in any sense a confession of personal opinions. It
has been said that we owe the expression, "Old Nick," as used
familiarly for the devil, to the fact that Machiavelli's first name
Was Nicholas. Sam Butler long ago wrote:

  "Nick Machiavelli had ne'er a trick,
  Though he gave his name to our old Nick."

In our own time some of the men whose wide knowledge and large
experience have best fitted them to express an opinion on Machiavelli
have been most emphatic in their high estimation of his character and
influence. Above all, they have insisted on the enduring character of
his work and the fact that it appeals to the essential in human
nature, not to the passing fads of any single generation. Two such
different men in intellectual training as John Morley and Lord Acton
are agreed on this as they could not have agreed on most other things.
Morley said that "Machiavelli was a contemporary of any age and a
citizen of any country." Lord Acton said that he was "no vanishing
type, but a constant and contemporary influence."

Besides a novel, which we quote from later in this chapter, and his
political and historical works, Machiavelli wrote a series of plays
and poems which are of high literary value. Garnett in his "Italian
Literature" says that "he came nearer than any contemporary, except
Leonardo da Vinci, to approving himself a universal genius. No man of
his time stands higher intellectually, and his want of moral elevation
is largely redeemed by his ample endowment with the one virtue chiefly
needful to an Italian of his day, but of which too many Italians were

Another of Columbus' great contemporaries among Italian writers was
Guicciardini, the Italian historian (1483-1540). Unlike most of the
great historians, he was a man of affairs. When less than twenty he
was sent as Florentine Ambassador to the King of Spain, and in his
early twenties, under Pope Leo X, governed Modena and Reggio with such
talent as drew wide attention to him. He was the Lieutenant-General of
the Anti-Imperial Army in 1527, later was one of the Eight at {452}
Florence, and from 1531 to 1534 ruled Bologna as Papal Vice-Legate. He
tells the story of Italy from 1492 to 1534 in great detail. He writes
as an eye-witness who had himself been prominent in most of the scenes
that he describes. The mass of matter is not allowed to obscure the
picture as a whole, and the work has distinct literary value. Probably
never in the world's history has such a description of events come
from a man who was himself one of the most prominent actors in them.
His work has been declared "the greatest historical work that had
appeared since the beginning of the modern era" ("Encyclopaedia

About the middle of the nineteenth century Guicciardini's hitherto
unpublished works were given to the public in ten volumes and served
to throw wonderful light on the historian himself. His _"Ricordi
Politici"_ deserve to be placed beside Machiavelli's "Prince," and it
is easy to understand, after reading them, that Guicciardini regarded
his friend Machiavelli somewhat as "an amiable visionary or political
enthusiast." There has probably never been a set of human documents
that illuminated the heights and depths of humanity so well as these
writings of the Renaissance. To read Machiavelli, Guicciardini's
_"Ricordi,"_ Benvenuto Cellini's "Autobiography" and Rabelais is to
see the contradictions that there are in this microcosm man better
than is possible in any other way. If we but add Montaigne, who was
educated in our century, the picture is complete. These men of the
Renaissance saw clearly and deeply into humanity through the lens of
themselves. Guicciardini, devoid of passion as well as of high moral
standards in personal life, eminently loyal to his patrons at all
times, just so far as administration of law went, and unquestionably
able, possesses all that ordinarily is assumed to bring the admiration
if not the respect of men, yet no one can read his "Reminiscences"
without feeling the deepest repugnance for his cynicism, selfishness
and distrust of men. Ranke has impugned his good faith as an
historian, and his quondam repute is gone. It is this very contrast,
as exhibited in his writings, that makes Guicciardini's works as
valuable a contribution to the story of humanity as the many
masterpieces of his contemporaries.


One of the writers of this time who must not be omitted, though his
merit has not always been recognized, is Vasari, whose "Lives of the
Painters" has interested every generation in every country who have
occupied themselves much with the great artists. Himself an artist,
living on intimate terms with many of the men whose lives he sketched
and gathering anecdotes about them and rescuing many a personal trait
from oblivion that otherwise would have been lost to posterity, Vasari
succeeded in making an extremely valuable as well as interesting book.
Some of his anecdotes have been discredited, and he has often been
open to the criticism of lack of critical acumen in his compilations
of materials, but his industry, his recognition of what was likely to
be of interest and his untiring efforts to make his sketch as complete
as possible, deserve the recognition which they have obtained. While
his style is apparently most artless, he possesses, as Garnett has
said, "either the science or the knack of felicitous composition to an
extraordinary degree." It must not be forgotten that this apparent
lack of art is often the highest art, and so it is not surprising to
hear Vasari spoken of as the Herodotus of art. His good taste in art
as well as in literature is demonstrated by his admiration for the
first fruits of the early Tuscan school which were neglected in his
day. He was one of the genial, lovable men of the time who made many

The most popularly interesting phase of the literature of the
Renaissance and Columbus' Century for our time is doubtless the
fiction that was written so plentifully and so widely read during the
period. Whenever a large number of people become interested in
reading, after a time more and more superficial reading is provided
for them until finally the most trivial of story-telling becomes the
vogue. This has happened at a number of times in the world's history.
It can be traced in Rome with the decadence, in the Oriental
countries, as Burton's edition of the "Thousand and One Nights" shows
so clearly, and in our own time as well as during the fifteenth and
sixteenth century. Another interesting development is the tendency for
the fiction that is popular among the better and supposedly more
educated classes, gradually {454} to be occupied more and more with
sex problems and sexual questions of all kinds. Whenever many have
leisure and a smattering of education, this occurs. It is quite
noticeable during the Renaissance period, though a great many good
stories were written of excellent literary quality without any tinge
of this.

The writing of novels in Italy had begun with Boccaccio in the
fourteenth century, and continued with Sacchetti and Giovanni Il
Fiorentino. About the middle of the fifteenth century, however, this
mode of writing became all the fashion, and the number of novels,
though of course by the word _novelle_ the Italians meant a short
story, is almost without end. Very many of them have been lost, but a
very large number have been preserved. The first of the writers of the
time was Massuccio Salernitano, who flourished during the latter half
of the fifteenth century and died towards its close. Doni has said of
him, "Hail then to the name of Salernitano, who, scorning to borrow
even a single word from Boccaccio, has produced a work which he may
justly regard as his own." It is to him that we owe the first form of
what afterwards became "Romeo and Juliet." Massuccio was a realist and
called "Heaven to witness that the whole of his stories are a faithful
narrative of events occurring during his own time." Fifty of his
novels at least are extant.

Often these novel writers did not attempt any other mode of
literature, and indeed not infrequently were not scholarly in any
sense of the word, but the next of the Italian novelists of the time,
Savadino degli Arienti, was an accomplished scholar and historian. His
history of his native city Bologna is still considered very valuable
by his countrymen. He entitled his tales "Porretane" because he
declared that they had been recited at the baths of Porreto, which was
the favorite summer resort and place of public amusement for the
Bolognese. The recital of these would be supposed to occupy somewhat
the place that moving pictures do now. There is a variety of amusing
adventures, witty stories, love tales, and sometimes tragic incidents
for contrast. Besides his novels and his history, Ariente wrote an
account of illustrious ladies, _Delle Donne Clare,_ dedicated to
Giunipera Sforza Bentivoglio, {455} which shows very clearly how the
women of the Renaissance, as we have come to know them, were
appreciated by their masculine contemporaries very early in Columbus'

After Savadino comes Luigi da Porto. Crippled by a wound early in
life, he turned from the army to literature and became the friend of
many of the scholars of the time, especially Cardinal Bembo and
members of the Gonzaga family. To him we owe "Juliet" in its best and
purest form. It is the only story we have from him, but it secured
world-wide reputation at the time and has never lost its interest for
mankind. Porto was followed by Leonardo Illicini, another writer of a
single novel which has been preserved and has gone through a number of
editions. Illicini, or Licinio, as his name is sometimes given, was a
physician, for a time the court physician to the Duke of Milan,
afterwards professor of medicine at Ferrara and one of the
distinguished philosophers of the time. Every man is said to have one
good story in him, if he only has the time and energy to write it, and
Illicini wrote his and attracted the attention of his distinguished
friends and contemporaries by the nobleness and beauty of the
sentiments which he incorporated into it and which make it a singular
exception to the usual tenor of Italian novels.

Like Illicini, Machiavelli, the historian and political philosopher,
took it upon himself to write a novel which few people have read and
yet which has a certain exaggeration of social satire which sets it
rather closely in touch with our time. The story represents indeed a
curious ever-recurring phase of the attitude that men are
accustomed--for jest purposes only--to assume toward marriage.
According to the story, the devils were very much disturbed over the
fact that most of the married men who came to hell blamed their coming
on their wives. Hell had been well enough so long as people were
willing to admit that they were punished deservedly, but society the