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H.E. Marshall

THERE is much that is quaint, much that is deeply wise, in More's Utopia, still no one is likely to agree with all he says, or to think that we could all be happy in a world such as he describes. For one thing, to those of us who love color it would seem a dull world indeed were we all forced to dress in coarse-spun, undyed sheep's wool, and if jewels and gold with all their lovely lights and gleamings were but the signs of degradation. Each one who reads it may find something in the Utopia that he would rather have otherwise. But each one, too, will find something to make him think.

HAVING told you a little about the songs of the cavaliers I must now tell you something about the religious poets who were a feature of the age. Of all our religious poets, of this time at least, George Herbert is the greatest. He was born in 1593 near the town of Montgomery, and was the son of a noble family, but his father died when he was little more than three, leaving his mother to bring up George with his nine brothers and sisters.

"I CHOSE my wife," says Dr. Primrose in the beginning of the book, "as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine, glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well. To do her justice, she was a good-natured, notable woman; and as for breeding, there were few county ladies who could show more. She could read any English book without much spelling; but for pickling, preserving, and cooking, none could excel her. She prided herself also upon being an excellent contriver in housekeeping; though I could never find that we grew richer with her contrivances."

GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH had written his stories so well, that although he warned people not to write about the British kings, they paid no heed to his warning. Soon many more people began to write about them, and especially about Arthur.

CHAUCER rose in the King's service. He became an esquire, and was sent on business for the King to France and to Italy. To Italy he went at least twice, and it is well to remember this, as it had an effect on his most famous poems. He must have done his business well, for we find him receiving now a pension for life worth about 200 pounds in our money, now a grant of a daily pitcher of wine besides a salary of "71/2d. a day and two robes yearly."

UPON a January day in 1527 two gaily decked barges met upon the Thames. In the one sat a man of forty. His fair hair and beard were already touched with gray. His face was grave and thoughtful, and his eyes gave to it a curious expression, for the right was dull and sightless, while with the left he looked about him sharply. This was Sir John Russell, gentleman of the Privy Chamber, soldier, ambassador, and favorite of King Henry VIII. Fighting in the King's French wars he had lost the sight of his right eye.

ANOTHER poet of this age, Robert Herrick, in himself joined the two styles of poetry of which we have been speaking, for he was both a love poet and a religious poet.

    SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot, 
        And never brought to min'? 
    Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
        And days o' lang syne?

WE are now going on two hundred years to speak of another book about Arthur. This is Morte d'Arthur, by Sir Thomas Malory.

Up to this time all books had to be written by hand. But in the fifteenth century printing was discovered. This was one of the greatest things which ever happened for literature, for books then became much more plentiful and were not nearly so dear as they had been, and so many more people could afford to buy them. And thus learning spread.

CHAUCER begins his description of the people who were gathered at the Tabard Inn with the knight, who was the highest in rank among them.

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