The Puritan in Holland, England, and America: An Introduction to American History - Vol. 1

By Douglas Campbell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND

PRIVATE LIFE, EDUCATION, RELIGTON, AND MORALS

IF a person acquainted with the appearance of the country to-day could be carried back to the England of Three centuries ago, lie would find himself well-nigh a stranger in a strange land. Almost nothing before him would appear familiar. We see now highly cultivated fields, trim. hedges, fat cattle, smooth hard roads, neat cottages, and lordly mansions; not to mention the vast manufactories which have revolutionized the North. When Elizabeth ascended the throne, only about one fourth of the arable land was under cultivation, and that of the rudest character; the remainder was still covered with fen and forest, or was devoted to the pasturing of sheep. Through the forest the red deer wandered in thousands, while the wolf, the wild cat, the Nvild bull, and the wild boar were not uncommon.* None of the hedges which now form so charming a feature of the landscape then lined the roads. The cattle in the fields and the horses on the highway were small and of tittle value.

____________________
*
The German traveller Hentziier, who visited England in 1598, saw a wild wolf which had been captured there. Macaulay says that the last one on the island was slain in the reign of Cliarles II. He also tells us that the wild bull and the wild cat were found in the forest in 1685. "History of Englan," chap. iii.

-320-

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