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natural human virtue realized those ends of security, equality, brotherhood, and freedom for which the very institution of society seemed to have been framed. It is as he wanders through this dreamland of the new reason that More touches the great problems which were fast opening before the modern world, problems of labour, of crime, of conscience, of government. Merely to have seen and to have examined questions such as these would prove the keenness of his intellect, but its far-reaching originality is shown in the solutions which he proposes. Amidst much that is the pure play of an exuberant fancy, much that is mere recollection of the dreams of bygone dreamers, we find again and again the most important social and political discoveries of later times anticipated by the genius of Thomas More.


In some points, such as his treatment of the question of Labour, he still remains far in advance of current opinion. The whole system of society around him seemed to him "nothing but a conspiracy of the rich against the poor." Its economic legislation from the Statute of Labourers to the statutes by which the Parliament of 1515 strove to fix a standard of wages was simply the carrying out of such a conspiracy by process of law. "The rich are ever striving to pare away something further from the daily wages of the poor by private fraud and even by public law, so that the wrong already existing (for it is a wrong that those from whom the State derives most benefit should receive least reward) is made yet greater by means of the law of the State." "The rich devise every means by which they may in the first place secure to themselves what they have amassed by wrong, and then take to their own use and profit at the lowest possible price the work and labour of the poor. And so soon as the rich decide on adopting these devices in the name of the public, then they become law.' The result was the wretched existence to which the labour class was doomed, "a life so wretched that even a beast's life seems enviable." No such cry of pity for the poor, of protest against the system of agrarian and manufacturing tyranny which found its expression in the Statute-book had been heard since the days of Piers Ploughman. But from Christendom More turns with a smile to "Nowhere." In "Nowhere" the aim of legislation is to secure the welfare, social, industrial, intellectual, religious, of the community at large, and of the labour-class as the true basis of a well-ordered commonwealth. The end of its labour-laws was simply the welfare of the labourer. Goods were possessed indeed in common, but work was compulsory with all. The period of toil was shortened to the nine hours demanded by modern artizans, and the object of this curtailment was the intellectual improvement of the worker. "In the institution of the weal public this end is only and chiefly pretended and minded that what time may possibly be spared from the necessary occupations and affairs of the commonwealth, all that the citizens should withdraw from bodily service to the free liberty of the mind and garnishing of the same. For herein they conceive the felicity of this life to consist." A public system of education enabled the

Utopians to avail themselves of their leisure. While in England half of the population could read no English, every child was well taught in "Nowhere." The physical aspects of society were cared for as attentively as its moral. The houses of Utopia "in the beginning were very low and like homely cottages or poor shepherd huts made at all adventures of every rude piece of timber that came first to hand, with mud walls and ridged roofs thatched over with straw." The picture was really that of the common English town of More's day, the home of squalor and pestilence. In Utopia however they had at last come to realize the connexion between public morality and the health which springs from light, air, comfort, and cleanliness. "The streets were twenty feet broad; the houses backed by spacious gardens, and curiously builded after a gorgeous and gallant sort, with their stories one after another. The outsides of the walls be made either of hard flint, or of plaster, or else of brick; and the inner sides be well strengthened by timber work. The roofs be plain and flat, covered over with plaster, so tempered that no fire can hurt or perish it, and withstanding the violence of the weather better than lead. They keep the wind out of their windows with glass, for it is there much used, and sometimes also with fine linen cloth dipped in oil or amber, and that for two commodities, for by this means more light cometh in and the wind is better kept out."

The same foresight which appears in More's treatment of the questions of Labor and the Public Health is yet more apparent in his treatment of the question of Crime. He was the first to suggest that punishment was less effective in suppressing it than prevention. "If you allow your people to be badly taught, their morals to be corrupted from childhood, and then when they are men punish them for the very crimes to which they have been trained in childhoodwhat is this but to make thieves and then to punish them?" He was the first to plead for proportion between the punishment and the crime, and to point out the folly of the cruel penalties of his day. "Simple theft is not so great an offence as to be punished with death." If a thief and a murderer are sure of the same penalty, More shows that the law is simply tempting the thief to secure his theft by murder. "While we go about to make thieves afraid, we are really provoking them to kill good men.” The end of all punishment he declares to be reformation, "nothing else but the destruction of vice and the saving of men. He advises "so using and ordering criminals that they cannot choose but be good; and what harm soever they did before, the residue of their lives to make amends for the same." Above all he urges that to be remedial punishment must be wrought out by labour and hope, so that "none is hopeless or in despair to recover again his former state of freedom by giving good tokens and likelihood of himself that he will ever after that live a true and honest man." It is not too much to say that in the great principles More lays down he anticipated every one of the improvements in our criminal system which have distinguished the låst hundred years.

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His treatment of the religious question was even more in advance of his age. If the houses of Utopia were strangely in contrast with the halls of England, where the bones from every dinner lay rotting in the dirty straw which strewed the floor, where the smoke curled about the rafters, and the wind whistled through the unglazed windows; if its penal legislation had little likeness to the gallows which stood out so frequently against our English sky; the religion of Nowhere" was in yet stronger conflict with the faith of Christendom. It rested simply on nature and reason. It held that God's design was the happiness of man, and that the ascetic rejection of human delights, save for the common good, was thanklessness to the Giver. Christianity indeed had already reached Utopia, but it had few priests; religion found its centre rather in the family than in the congregation: and each household confessed its faults to its own natural head. A yet stranger characteristic was seen in the peaceable way in which it lived side by side with the older religions. More than a century before William of Orange, More discerned and proclaimed the great principle of religious toleration. In "Nowhere "it is lawful to every man to be of what religion he would. Even the disbelievers in Divine Being or in the immortality of man, who by a single exception to its perfect religious indifference were excluded from public office, were excluded, not on the ground of their religious belief, but because their opinions were deemed to be degrading to mankind and therefore to incapacitate those who held them from governing in a noble temper. But they were subject to no punishment, because the people of Utopia were "persuaded that it is not in a man's power to believe what he list." The religion which a man held he might propagate by argument, though not by violence or insult to the religion of others. But while each sect performed its rites in private, all assembled for public worship in a spacious temple, where the vast throng, clad in white, and grouped round a priest clothed in fair raiment wrought marvellously out of birds' plumage, joined in hymns and prayers so framed as to be acceptable to all. The importance of this public devotion lay in the evidence it afforded that liberty of conscience could be combined with religious unity.


But even more important than More's defence of religious freedom was his firm maintenance of political liberty against the monarchy. Steady and irresistible as was the growth of the royal power, it was far from seeming to the keenest political thinker of that day so natural and inevitable a development of our history as it seems to some writers in our own. In political hints which lie scattered over the whole of the Utopia More notes with a bitter irony the advance of the new despotism. It was only in "Nowhere" that a sovereign was "removable on suspicion of a design to enslave his people." In England the work of slavery was being quietly wrought, hints the great lawyer, through the law, "There will never be wanting some pretence for deciding in the king's favour; as that equity is on his side, or the strict letter of the law, or some forced interpretation of it: or if none of these, that the royal prerogative ought with conscientious judges


to outweigh all other considerations." We are startled at the precision with which More describes the processes by which the law courts were to lend themselves to the advance of tyranny till their crowning judgement in the case of ship-money. But behind these. judicial expedients lay great principles of absolutism, which partly from the example of foreign monarchies, partly from the sense of social and political insecurity, and yet more from the isolated position of the Crown, were gradually winning their way in public opinion. "These notions More goes boldly on in words written, it must be remembered, within the precincts of Henry's court and beneath the eye of Wolsey "these notions are fostered by the maxim that the king can do no wrong, however much he may wish to do it; that not only the property but the persons of his subjects are his own; and that a man has a right to no more than the king's goodness thinks fit not to take from him." It is only in the light of this emphatic protest against the king-worship which was soon to override liberty and law that we can understand More's later career. Steady to the last in his loyalty to Parliaments, as steady in his resistance to mere personal rule, it was with a smile as fearless as the smile with which he penned the half-jesting words of his Utopia that he sealed them with his blood on Tower Hill.

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Sir Thomas More was born in London, Feb. 7, 1477-78. 'He was sent at an early age to St. Anthony's School, where he had been preceded by John Colet, the future dean of St. Paul's, subsequently his inamate friend," the director of his life" he called him. At the age of thirteen he was placed by his father in the household of Thomas Morton, archbishop of Canterbury and lord chancellor; and about 1492 he entered the university of Oxford, where he was devoted to the classics. Subsequently he studied law at Lincoln's Inn, and became a lecturer on law at Furnival's Inn, while still sedulously cultivating literature. In 1497 he met Erasmus, then on his first visit to England, and the memorable friendship between the two men began. He contemplated becoming a priest, and about 1499 seems to have given lectures on Saint Augustine's "City of God," which possibly contained the germs of his " Utopia." His work at the bar was brilliantly successful; and he entered Parliament, rendering conspicuous service in opposing the exactions of the crown. made several visits to the Continent, meeting leading scholars and rendering diplomatic service. In 1523, on Wolsey's recommendation, he was elected speaker of the House of Commons. In 1529 he succeeded Wolsey as chancellor. He opposed the new Protestantism, retired from the chancellorship after brief occupancy, and his opposition to Henry VIII. in the matter of Henry's divorce and his relations to the pope cost him his life. His beheadal on Tower Hill (July . 1535), for refusing to acknowledge the king's ecclesiastical headship, is one of the blackest of the many black stains upon Henry's memory. More was one of the greatest scholars and thinkers and one of the noblest characters of his time or of all time. In his household," says Erasmus, "Plato's academy was revived again": only "the house at Chelsea is a veritable school of the Christian religion." A complete account of More's various writings may be found in the article upon him by Sidney Lee, in the Dictionary of National Biography. The Utopia" was first published in Latin at Louvain in 1516, under an arrangement by Erasmus, and at once became popular. The first French translation appeared in 1550, the first English one in 1551. Dibdin's and Arber's editions both have full and useful notes. The earliest life of More is that by William Roper, his son-inlaw: the best modern life is by Bridgett.


THE DIRECTORS OF THE OLD SOUTH WORK, Old South Meeting-house, Boston, Mass.

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The Sermon

on the Mount


MATTHEW, chap. v.


Nd Jhesus seynge the peple, went up into an hil; and whanne he was sett, his disciplis camen to him. And he openyde his mouthe, and taughte hem; and seide, Blessid be pore men in spirit; for the kyngdom of hevenes is herun. Blessid ben mylde men: for thei schulen weelde the erthe. Blessid ben thei that mournen: for thei schal bè coumfortid. Blessid be thei that hungren and thirsten rigtwisnesse: for thei schal be fulfilled. Blessid ben merciful men: for thei schul gete mercy. Blessid ben thei that ben of clene herte: for thei schulen se god. Blessid ben pesible men: for thei schulen be clepid goddis children. Blessid ben thei that suffren persecucioun for rightwisnesse : for the kyngdom of hevenes is hern. Ye schul be blessid whanne men schul curse you, and schul pursue you and schul seye al yvel agens you liynge for me. Joie ye and be ye glade for your meede is plenteous in hevenes: for so thei han pursued also prophetis that weren bifore you. Ye ben salt of the erthe, that if the salt vanishe awey wherynne schal it be saltid? to nothing it is worth over, no but it be cast out, and be defoulid of men. Ye ben light of the world, a citee sett on an hill may not be hid. Ne me teendith not a lanterne and puttith it undir a bushel: but on a candilstik that it give light to alle that ben in the hous. So, schyne your light before men, that thei see youre gode workis, and glorifie your fadir that is in hevenes. Nyle ghe deme that I cam to undo the Lawe or the prophetis, I cam not to undo the lawe but to fuffille. Forsothe I sey to you till hevene and erthe passe, oon lettre, or oon title, schal not passe fro the Lawe til alle thingis be don. Therfore he that brekith oon of these leeste maundementis, and techith thus men, schal be clepid the

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