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liams, the speaker of the house of commons, complained to her majesty, that more than an hundred flourishing schools had been destroyed in the demolition of the monasteries. In the year 1560, an injunction was directed to the bishop of London, from his metropolitan, requiring him to forbear ordaining any more artificers, or other illiterate persons who exercised secular occupations: and in the year 1570, Horne, bishop of Winchester, enjoined the minor canons of his cathedral to commit to memory, every week, one chapter of St. Paul's EpisTles in Latin ; and this task was actually repeated by some of them before the bishop, dean, and prebendaries, at a public episcopal visitation of that church.46
Dr. John Hoper, or Hooper, whose refusal to be consecrated bishop in the old Romish pontifical habits laid the foundation of the subsequent dissent of the Puritans, having been raised by King Edward to the bishoprick of Gloucester, in 1550, made a strict visitation of his diocese the following year, and among other interrogatories ordered to be put to each minister, were the following concerning the Ten Commandments, the Artieles of Faith, and the Lord's Prayer : “1. How many Commandments ? 2. Where are they written? 3. Whether they can recite them by heart? " “1. What are the Articles of the Christian Faith? 2. Whether they can recite them by heart? 3. That they corroborate them by authority of Scrip
"1. Whether they can say the petitions” [of the Lord's
prayer] “ by heart?” 2. How they know it to be the Lord's Prayer? 3. Where is it written?" " Which demands," says Strype, “how easy soever they were, many curates and priests (such was the igno(46) Warton's Hist. of English Poetry, II. pp. 443, 444. 459, 460.
rance of those days) could say but little to. Some could say
the Pater Noster in Latin, but not in English. Few could say the Ten Commandments. Few could prove the Articles of Faith by Scripture: that was out of their
Ralph Morice, the secretary and friend of Archbishop Cranmer, relates a pleasant story of an ignorant popish priest who resided near Scarborough. This man sitting among his neiglıbours at the alehouse, and talking of the archbishop, opposed those who commended him, and peevishly exclaimed “what make ye so much of him? he was but an ostler, and hath as much learning as the goslings of the green that go yonder.” Information of this slander being given to Lord Cromwell, the priest was committed to the Fleet-prison, and confined there for eight or nine weeks, till upon application to Cranmer, who was ignorant of his imprisonment, he was sent for by the archbishop. “ It is told me,” said Cranmer, “that you be prisoner in the Fleet, for calling me an ostler. Did you ever see me before this day?” “No, forsooth ;' answered the priest. “What meant you then to call me an ostler,” said his grace, “and so to deface me among your neighbours ?” The priest attempted his excuse, by saying, that “he was overseen in drink.” “Well," replied his lordship, “now ye be come, you may oppose me to know what learning I have: Begin in grammar if you will, or else in philosophy, or other sciences, or divinity.” “ I beseech your grace pardon me,” said the priest ; “I have no manner of learning in the Latin tongue, but altogether in English.” “Well then,” said the archbishop, "if you will not oppose me, I will oppose you. Are you not wont to read the Bible ?” “Yes, that we do daily," answered the priest. “I pray you tell me then,” continued his lordship, “who was David's father?" The priest paused, and then said, “I cannot surely tell (47) Strype's Memorials of Abp. Cranmer, I, ch, xviii, pp. 311, 312
your lordship.” The archbishop added, “If you cannot tell me that, yet declare unto me who was Solomon's father?” The poor priest who was at a loss to answer the archbishop's inquiries, apologized, by saying, “Surely, I am nothing at all seen in those genealogies.” “ Then I perceive,” said Cranmer, “however you have reported of me, that I had no learning, I can now bear you witness, that you have none at all :” and after some expostulation with the priest dismissed him, by saying, “God amend you, and get ye home to your cure, and from henceforth learn to be an honest man, or at least a reasonable man."48
To remedy the ignorance which prevailed, several measures were adopted ; HOMILIES were drawn the instruction of the people ; the Bible, and Erasmus's PARAPHRASE OF THE New Testament in English, were ordered to be placed in every parish church ; and the most eminent preachers were chosen to accompany the king's visitors to preach, and deliver instructions on the principles of religion, wherever a visitation was held.49 There were also, during the course of this reign, that is, in less than seven years and six months, eleven impressions of the whole English Bible published, and six of the English New Testament; and it is worthy of notice, that the Bibles were not all of one text, or with the same notes, but were reprinted according to the preceding editions; whether Tindall's, Coverdale's, Matthewe's, Cranmer's, or Taverner's; the reformers seeming to be more intent on gratifying the tastes of all readers, than fearful of perplexing them by slight variations. But it is doubted by the writer of the preface to king James's translation, whether “there were any translation, or cor
(48) Strype's Memorials of Abp. Cranmer, I. ch. xxxi. pp. 627–629, (49) Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation, pt. ii. B. i. pp. 26, 27. Lond
1681, fol, (50) Newcome's Historical View of Eog. Bib. Translations, sec. 5, p. 64.
rection of a translation," in King Edward's time. This doubt, however, can only be considered as referring to any printed translation, or correction, since that writer could scarcely be ignorant of the Biblical labours of Sir John Cheke, the celebrated tutor of the prince, and the great reviver of Greek literature at that period, whose English translation of SȚ. MATTHEW's Gospel, in his own hand-writing, is said to be still preserved in MS. in the library, at Benet College, Cambridge.
This learned man, thinking it a dishonour to his native tongue to employ any words in writing, but those which were of true English or Saxon original, resolved to attempt a new translation of the Bible. The MS. copy at Cambridge contains the Gospel of St. Matthew, (except the last ten verses of the last chapter,) and also the first twenty verses of the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Mark. In this translation, which never was completed, the translator has adopted a
singular mode of spelling, agreeably to his peculiar notions of English orthography; for “1st. He would have none of the letter E put to the end of words, as needless and unexpressive of any sounds, as in the words excus, giv, deceiv, prais, commun. Unless where it is sounded, and then to be writ with a double E, as in necessitee. 2. Where the letter A was sounded long, he would have it writ with a double A, in distinction from A short, as in maad, straat, daar. 3. Where the letter I was sounded long, to be writ with a double I, as in desiir, liif. 4. He wholly threw the letter Y, out of the alphabet, as useless, and supplied it with I, as mi, sai, awai. U long he wrote with a long stroke over it, as in presum. 6. The rest of the long vowels he would have to be written with double letters as, weer, theer, (and sometimes thear,) noo, noon, adoo, thoos, loor, to avoid an E at the end. 7. Letters without sound he threw out, as frutes, wold, faut, dout, again, for against, hole, meen, for mean. And
8. changed the spelling in some words to make them the better expressive of the sounds, as in gud, britil, praisabil, sufferabil.” But after all his labour, Sir John was forced to make use of several words of foreign derivation.* The following is a specimen of this translation :
Matt. ch. i. v. 17. “Therefor from Abraham unto David there were fourteen degrees ; and from David unto the out-peopling to Babylon, fourteen degrees; and from the out-peopling to Babylon unto Christ, fourteen degrees."
18. “And Jesus Christ's birth was after this sort. After his mother Mari was ensured to Joseph, before thei weer cupled together, she was preived to be with child; and it was indeed by the Holi Ghoost."
19. “But Joseph her husband being a just man, and loth to use extremitee toward her, entended privili to divorse himself from her."
* Strype thus notices the great controversy in which Sir John Cheke was engaged, respecting the true pronunciation of the Greek tongue : “This language, (i. e. the Greek,) was little known or understood hitherto in this realm; and if any saw a piece of Greek they used to say, Græcum est ; non potest legi, i, e. It is Greek ; it cannot be read. And those few that did pretend to some insight into it, read it after a strange corrupt manner, pronouncing the vowels and diphthongs, and several of the consonants, very much amiss; confounding the sound of the vowels and diphthongs so, that there was little or no difference between them; as for example, al was pronounced as €; ol and el as ima; n, i, u, were expressed in one and the same sound, that is, as iwla. Also some of the consonants were pronounced differently, according as they were placed in the word, that is to say, when I was placed after fe, it was pronounced as our d; and when 7 was put after », then it was sounded as our 6. The x was pronounced as we do ch, B as we do the o consonant. But since different letters must have different sounds, Cheke, with his friend Smith, [Professor of Civil Law,] concluded these to be very false ways of reading Greek, and sounds utterly different from what the ancient Greeks read and spake." Strype's Life of Sir J. Cheke, sec. 3, pp. 17, 18.