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of the old phraseology. The work appeared in October, 1568, in a magnificent folio, with portraits of the Queen, Leicester, and Burleigh, 140 wood engravings, and the simple title "The Holie Bible." Of the revisers (who seem as a body to have relied very largely upon the Geneva version), eight were bishops, hence the name assigned to the penultimate version of a remarkable series, "The Bishops' Bible." It soon replaced the Great Bible, and was sanctioned by ecclesiastical authority for public use; but it did not supersede the Geneva. Eighty-six editions of the latter appeared between 1568 and 1611 to only twenty of the Bishops' Bible, which was, however, carefully revised as regards the New Testament in 1572.
The stimulus which prompted the setting on foot of the Authorized Version was mainly due to James I. The matter was broached at the Hampton Court Conference in January, 1604. The King pressed forward the scheme during the ensuing summer, and took a prominent part in selecting the fifty-four translators and allotting the work to them.
Forty-seven scholars were eventually divided into six groups and set to work in 1606-7. In 1610 the whole translation was revised by six delegates, two from Westminster, two from Oxford, and two from Cambridge, to whom six coadjutors were soon added. After seven years' steady work the MS. was finally revised for press by Dr. Miles Smith, aided by Bishop Bilson, and in 1611 the Authorised Version was imprinted at London by Robert Barker.1 The book was stated to be produced by "his Majesty's special command," and "appointed to
1 Octavo and quarto editions appeared in 1612; the original Folio in Roman type in 1616. Of the variations and errors in early issues a good many were silently corrected long before the Great Revision of 1881-5. The dates in the margin were inserted from Ussher's Annales in 1701.
be read in churches," by whose authority is not precisely known.1
The revisers did not attempt to render the Bible afresh into the common language of their own day. This may be seen in the quaint and highly decorative English of the dedication, and in the interesting, if somewhat bombastical, preface. Their great merit consists in the fact that they so fully retained the simple and racy idiom of the earlier versions. Occasionally they even replace a familiar word by one more archaic, e. g., they substitute "charger" for "platter." As in the Liturgy, the Latin and Old English word may be seen side by side, as in act and deed, labour and work, transgression and sin, desert and wilderness, remission and forgiveness. Upon the whole, however, the Authorised Version is marked by an unusual predominance (greater even than in Swift) of Teutonic words. It is in every way a complex unity, the final product of a long series of strenuous, fortunate, converging efforts. The result of a century of toil and study from the conception by Tyndale to the conclusion in 1611, during which the researches of the ripest scholars, not of England alone, but of Europe, were absorbed into the work, it has been almost universally commended, not only for its fidelity, but also for its extraordinary force and beauty. Its harmony, simplicity, and energy have drawn panegyrics from foreigners and Catholics. Its English is, in the opinion of all the best judges, of uncommon beauty. "It lives in the ear like a music that can never be forgotten, like the sound of church bells. . . . Its felicities seem
1 On the development of our English Bible, consult William Tyndale, a Biography, by R. Demaus; Westcott's History of the English Bible (3rd ed. 1905); Eadie's English Bible, 1876; Moulton's History of English Bible, 1878; Lovett's Printed English Bible, 1894; Dore's English Bibles (2nd ed. 1888); Quarterly Review, April, 1870.
to be almost things instead of words; it is a part of the national mind, and the anchor of national seriousness; the memory of the dead passes into it; the potent traditions of childhood are stereotyped in its verses; the power of all the griefs and trials of a man is hidden beneath its words. A striking testimony to its essential greatness is the fact that instead of a cause of division, in this land of sect and schism, it has ever been a bond between the different sects, for it was soon adopted by the Puritans (Scottish, as well as English), and preferred even to the Genevan. After the Koran, it is doubtful whether any book has been more recited or read. It was of special importance to this country from the fact that England had no Luther, Calvin, or Knox. Hers was a common soldiers' Reformation due largely to the circulation of the vernacular Bible. So it has become part of the national mind, and has permanently impressed upon that mind a certain purity of the classic age of English literature. Its noble figures, happy turns, and pithy sentiments are upon every lip. It pervades the whole literature of our country.
RISE OF THE DRAMA
"The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, tragical-historical, tragical
"Few events in our literary history are so startling as this sudden rise of the Elizabethan drama."-Green's Short History of the English People.
Religion and the drama-Church festivals and moralities-The church, the market-place, the banquet-hall-Heywood's interludes-Gorboduc-Senecan plays.
THE evolution of religious worship leads inevitably to the exclusion of ecstatic elements and to the regularisation of every kind of religious demonstration within the bounds of a strict decorum. In the more vivid pages and passages of Church history conditions were different, and the great festivals of Holy Church during the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries were commonly attended by strange orgies, saturnalia, and burlesques of sacred rites and mysteries in which the dramatic, animal, and loutish instincts beneath the cassocks of the innumerable vicars, minor clerks, acolytes, choir boys, and lay brethren in the Church found a free vent for expression. Singing, grimacing, drinking, and dressing-up in masks formed prominent features in the topsy-turvy mummings and festi fatuorum, with their Fool Bishops, Boy Bishops, Lords of Misrule, and the rest of which Scott gives us a tantalising glimpse in his Abbot. The nobility gave them money as contemptuously as Theseus's courtiers threw coins to Bottom and his troupe, but the people adored these clownish and irreverent amusements, which were avowedly under
taken for their delectation, more antiquo, pristinum modum, "ad solacium populi." The responsible clergy tried to discipline them, but usually quite in vain, for any attempt to suppress the mummeries invariably led to popular tumults and street riots. The popular drama of the professional troubadours, mimi, and buffoons was thus in a way borrowed by the Church, in the person of the inferior clergy, in order to amuse the people, to keep them in a good humour, and to inveigle pence from the pockets of the well-to-do.
But the connection of the Church with the rise of popular drama was a much closer and profounder one than this. In England, as in India, Greece, France, where you will, the theatre is immediately the outcome of an act of worship. Religion adopted, and may almost be said to have created, the drama. It was born in the sanctuary, and its primitive form in the modern world was that of a religious pageant designed to commemorate Gospel scenes by either direct or allegorical representation. In Greece, its evolution from a ritual dance at festivals, in which one half-chorus set to another and gradually introduced spokesmen, is almost equally roundabout and indirect.
Simultaneously with the growth of the folk-drama was a singular new birth of drama in the very bosom of the Church's own ritual. The Mass, the commemorations of Palm Sunday and of Good Friday, of Maundy Thursday and of Christmas Day, such services as those of the Tenebræ (or extinction of lights), or of the tollite portas (or the dedication of the Church)-all these contained strong elements of drama, together with a marked potentiality of dramatic development. Symbolism and mimetic action were already there. What was wanting was dialogue, and this was soon to be supplied by the practice of antiphonal singing. It is, indeed, from the antiphon, in which one-half of the choir answers the other, or a choir