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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 Iead. 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 childhood what 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 tħe 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 last hundred years.

His treatment of the religious question was even more in advance of his age. If the houses of Utopia were strangely in contrast withi 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 congrega. tion: 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 a 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 whick 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.


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 litera

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. He 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 6. 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.


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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 be 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 Leest in the rewme of hevenes : but he that doth, and techith, schal be clepid greet in the kyngdom of hevenes. And i seye to you that but your rigtwisnesse be more plentuous thanne of Scribis and Farisees, ye schul not entre in to the kyngdom of hevenes. Ye han herd that it was seide to olde men: thou schalt not sle, and he that sleeth, schal be gilty to doom. But I seye to you that ech man that is wroth to his brothir schal be gilty to doom, and he that seith to his brother, fugh, schal be gilty to the counsell; but he that seith, fool, schal be gilty into the fire of helle. Therfore if thou offrist thi gifte at the auter, & there thou bithenkist that thi brother hath somwhat agens thee, leve there thi gifte bifore the auter, and go first to be recounseilid to thi brothir, and thanne thou schalt come and schalt offre thi gifte. Be thou consenting to thin adversarie soone, while thou art in the weye with him, lest peraventure thin adversarie take thee to the domesman, and the domesman take thee to the mynistre, and thou be sent in to prisoun. Treuly I sey to thee thou schalt not go out fro thennes till thou yelde the laste ferthing. Ye han herd that it was seid to olde men thou schalt not do leecherie. But I seye to you that every man that seeth a womman to coveyte hir hath now do leecherie bi hir in his herte. That if thi right yghe sclaundre thee, pull it out, and caste fro thee; for it spedith to thee that oon of thi membris peresche, than that al thi bodi go in to helle. And if thi right hond sclaundre thee kitte him away and caste fro thee, for it spedith to thee that oon of thi membris perische, than that al thi bodi go in to helle. And it hath ben seid, whoevere leveth his wyf, give he to hir a libel of forsaking. But I seye to you that every man that leveth his wyf, out teke cause of fornicacioun makith hir to do leecherie, and he that weddith the forsaken wyf doth avowtrie. Eftsoone ye han herd that it was seid to olde men thou schalt not forswere but thou schalt yeld thin othis to the lord. But I seye to you, that ye swere not for any thing, neither bi hevene for it is the trone of god. Neither bi erthe, for it is the stool of his feet; neither by Jerusalem, for it is the citee of a greet kyng. Neither thou schalt swere bi thin heed, for thou maist not make oon heer whyt ne black. But be your word ghe ghe, nay nay, and that, that is more than these is of yvel. ghe han herd that it hath be seid yghe for yghe, and toth for toth. But I seye to you that ye aghenstonde not an yvel man, but if ony smyte thee in the right cheke, schewe to him also the oother. And to him that stryve with thee in doom, and take away thi coate, leeve thou

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