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in hearing plays, or in attending the exercises of the University. The subjects chosen for disputation in the schools mark the balance of the two streams of ancient and modern thought, and show the matter with which the rising mind of England was beginning to occupy itself. There were discussions on the tides—whether or how far they were caused by the attraction of the
There were arguments on the currencywhether a debt contracted, when the coin was pure, could be liquidated by the payment of debased money of the same nominal value. The keener intellects were climbing the stairs of the temple of Modern Science, though as yet they were few and feeble, and they were looked upon askance with orthodox suspicion. At their side the descendants of the schoolmen were working on the old safe methods, proving paradoxes by laws of logic amidst universal applause. The professor of medicine maintained in the queen's presence that it was not the province of the physician to cure disease, because diseases were infinite, and the infinite was beyond the reach of art; or again, because medicine could not retard age, and age ended in death, and there fore medicine could not preserve life. With trifles such as these, the second childhood of the authorities was content to drowse away the hours. More interesting than either science or logic, were perilous questions of politics, which Elizabeth permitted to be agitated before her.
The Puritan formula, that it was lawful to take arms against a bad sovereign was argued by examples
from the Bible, and from the stories of the patriot tyrannicides of Greece and Rome.
Dr. Humfrey deserted his friends to gain favour with the queen, and protested his horror of rebellion ; but the defenders of the rights of the people held their ground, and remained in possession of it. Pursuing the question into the subtilities of theology, they even ventured to say that God Himself might instigate a regicide, when Bishop Jewel, who was present, stepped down into the dangerous arena, and closed the discussion with a vindication of the divine right of kings.
More critically, even in that quiet haven of peaceful thought, the great subject of the day, which Elizabeth called her death-knell, still pursued her. An eloquent student discoursed on the perils to which a nation was exposed when the sovereign died with no successor declared. The comparative advantages were argued of elective and hereditary monarchy. Each side had its hot defenders; and though the votes of the University were in favour of the natural laws of succession, the champion of election had the best of the argument, and apparently best pleased the queen. When in the
. peroration of his speech he said he would maintain his opinion“ with his life, and, if need were, with his death,” she exclaimed, “ Excellent-oh, excellent."
At the close of the exercises she made a speech in Latin, as at Cambridge. She spoke very simply, deprecating the praises which had been heaped upon her. “She had been educated well,” she said, “though the seed had fallen on a barren soil; but she loved
study if she had not profited by it; and for the Universities, she would do her best that they should flourish while she lived, and after her death continue long to prosper.”
So five bright days passed swiftly, and on the sixth she rode away over Magdalen Bridge to Windsor. As she crested Headington Hill, she reined-in her horse and once more looked back. There at her feet lay the city in its beauty, the towers and spires springing from amidst the clustering masses of the College elms; there wound beneath their shade the silvery lines of the Cherwell and the Isis.
Farewell, Oxford,” she cried, “ farewell, my good subjects there !—farewell, my dear scholars, and may God prosper your studies !—farewell, farewell !!!
NOTES TO BOOK VI.
Scotland after the name of a landed proprietor, to show
that his estate bears the family name. P. 2. Palatie Palatia, in Asia Minor.
He never yet no villany ne said. Ne=not. Notice the
repetition of the negative, adding to its force. Villany (from villanus, the farm labourer) is conduct unbecoming a
gentleman, and fit for a boor only. No manner wight. Compare in the passage from Hooker
(p. 20), “ All manner laws.” Gipon. A frock or cassock. Compare French jupon. Ycome. Compare on page 3, Ypreved, and page 5, Ylorn.
The prefix marks the past tense, as in the German redu
horsemen : hence for war generally.
Floures flowers. Rede=Red.
Just. Compare joust or tournament.
P. 3. Pourtray, paint.
Carf. The past tense of kerven : to carve.
that did not pay his tithes.
given to him, and also of what was the legal income of
his benefice. P. 4. Lewed or lewd, means originally an unlearned man or
layman, opposed to a man of letters or a priest. Chanterie. An endowment to pay a priest to sing masses
for the soul of some one deceased. Dispitous without pity.
Dangerous ne digne=not distant nor haughty.
Compare "spiced holiness.”
Lite = little. Compare page 3, “Moche and lite."
Saturday Night,' (see p. 210,)“belyve the elder bairns,” &c. Suffice to thee thy good=let what riches you have be suf
ficient unto you. Press hath envy, and weal is blent over all = the world is
full of envy, and prosperity is often all overcast. P. 7. In trust of her, &c., i.e., fortune.
Light business. Not too much interference in other men's
affairs. As doth a croke with a wall. As an earthen pot with a
stone wall. Daunt thou thyself=subdue thyself. In buxumness = in a submissive spirit. Buxom is originally
pliant or (of the mind) yielding, obedient.
Thy ghost thy reason, thy better part.
Chauffed, taken directly from the French.
Yold. The archaic form of the past tense of yield. P. 10. A ram, the same which over Hellespontus swam.
The ram with the golden fleece, which carried away Phrixus and Helle: and whose fleece was afterwards the object of the Argonautic expedition.