« ForrigeFortsæt »
This black and loathsome reign of superstition and cruelty instantly reversed all that had been done in the preceding to favour the reformation. No sooner was Mary seated upon the throne, than popery was restored, the monastic institutions revived, the English bible prohibited; and every expedient, which bigotry armed with fire and faggot could employ, was tried to reduce the people to their former state of stupid and servile ignorance. No circumstances could apparently be more inimical to the cultivation of letters. Yet we find, even in this reign, a college founded at Oxford, (Trinity College) in the constitution of which, classical literature was particularly inculcated.
Though the iron arm of persecution was uplifted to destroy all who were friends to civil and intellectual progression; it is somewhat
consolatory to observe that there yet remained a few minds unpalsied by its deadly power; and enjoyed sufficient security for the peace, ful pursuits of literature. From contemplate ing, therefore, the dark picture of Mary's reign, the mental eye turns with pleasure from its political and superstitious horrors to the more gay and refreshing scene of its literary history. Still, it should be recollected, that the literary productions which appeared under Mary, are not the genuine fruits of her reign. They were planted, and even grown, in the preceding;