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pasture, not tillage, that the new fences had been for the most part set up. It was the sheepmonger who threatened starvation to the husbandman. A dulness in the wool market, and an increased continental demand for corn at a high price, brought many a sheeprun back under the plough. In 1577 Harrison observed much more ground eared almost in every place than had been, of late years. Farming was undoubtedly at this time a very profitable profession, especially in the case of yeomen, who were still in very large numbers owners of their holdings, and had not to share their increased profits with a landlord. Harrison, keen observer as he was, duly appreciated the abuses which surrounded him: the hardships of competition; the high rents and prices; the extravagance in dress and diet; the tricks of professional beggars, which prevented the relief of the true poor indeed'; 'the greedy covetousness and lingering humour of masons, which led to the great importation of building operatives from abroad. Yet the picture he gives of England is that of a flourishing country. He describes the yeomen as

'a sort of people that have a certain pre eminence, and more estimation than labourers and the common sort of artificers, and commonly live wealthily, keep good houses, and travel to get riches. They are also for the most part farmers and gentlemen, and with grazing, frequenting of markets, and keeping servants (not idle servants as the gentlemen, but such as get their own and part of their master's living) do come to great wealth, insomuch that many of them are able and do buy the lands of unthrifty gentlemen, and often setting their sons to the schools, to the universities, and to the Inns of Court, or otherwise leaving them sufficient lands whereupon they may live without labour, do make them by those means to become gentlemen.'*

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He finds that the great increase in luxury and comfort was by no means confined to the higher classes. Many farmers have learned also to garnish their cupboards with plate, their beds with tapestry and silk hangings, and their tables with carpets and fine naperie.' The old men of his parish would talk wonderingly to him of the change since their young days, when in farmhouse and cottage alike the smoke of the fire found its way out by a hole in the roof, the beds were straw pallets and a log pillow, and folks ate with wooden spoon off wooden platter, and yet a farmer found difficulty in scraping together 4. for his rent. And now the 47. rent had been 'improved' into 40%., or 100l. and yet the farmer had seven years' rent by him at the end of his term to pay as a fine for the renewal of his lease, besides a fine garnish of pewter, three or four feather beds,

Harrison's description, pt. ii. Furnivall's ed. vol. i. p. 133.

carpets and tapestry, 'a silver salt, a bowl for wine, if not a whole nest, and a dozen of spoons to furnish up the suite.' Improved skill, as well as changed times, had helped to produce this result. The graziers were grown so cunning that they knew the weight of their beasts by sight and touch, 'a point of skill not commonly practised heretofore.' They were thus able to leave the butcher but small margin of profit, while they themselves wore 'velvet coats and gold chains.' Foreigners, fresh with the recollection of their own country, see still more to praise. A German notices the tapestried beds of the farmers with surprise. A Frenchman declares that the country was very wealthy that English artizans got more by the week than the German and Spanish got by the month; that journeymen hatters and carpenters could afford leisure and money to play tennis.

Thus the time of trouble was changed into a time of prosperity. The agricultural interests of England were once again flourishing. Yet the sunny sky was here and there clouded. Two classes suffered: those landlords whose rentsfixed for several lives or in perpetuity-did not change with altered money values; and the labourers, whose wages did not, in the reassessment of prices, maintain the same high proportion to the cost of living which they had reached after the Black Death. But in the majority of cases owner and occupier gained by the agrarian revolution, and the country, by thus giving up the feudal system the moment it was effete, was saved from the violence, which two centuries later, attended its overthrow in the rest of Europe. The Ket rebellion was a small evil compared to the Reign of Terror in France, and the disasters of Austerlitz and Jena to Austria and Prussia. The English change, occurring at the time when the domination of the educated classes was considered essential, was to the advantage of the landlord rather than of the tenant. But it was the natural result of economic laws, not of governmental interference. It enabled England to gain a world-wide supremacy in the eighteenth century, and, speaking of England, where alone the system is indigenous, it still gives us a political security scarcely shared by any other nation. That certain modifications to suit the inevitable reforms of time are occasionally necessary, and are at this moment expedient, may be generally allowed. But that chapter of the history of the sixteenth century, which we have now passed in review, tends strongly to show that the sweeping changes, daily proposed in our own time, would be extremely pernicious.

ART. V. 1. A short History of the Copts and of their Church; translated from the Arabic of Taqui-ed-Din El-Maqrizi. By the Rev. S. C. Malan, M.A. London, 1873.

2. The Calendar of the Coptic Church; translated from an Arabic MS., with Notes. By the Same.

3. The Divine Liturgy of St. Mark the Evangelist; translated from an old Coptic MS. By the Same.

4. A History of the Egyptian Revolution from the Period of the Mamelukes to the Death of Mohammed Ali. By A. A. Paton. London, 1870.

5. The Coptic Morning Service for the Lord's Day, translated into English. By John, Marquess of Bute, K.T. London, 1882. 6. A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by William Smith, D.C.L., and Henry Wace, D.D. Vol. I. Article, The Coptic Church.' London, 1877.

7. Egypt and the Egyptian Question. By D. Mackenzie Wallace. London, 1883.

8. Egypt after the War. By Villiers Stuart, of Dromana, M.P. London, 1883.


HE traveller, who in steamboat or dahabîyeh ascends the Nile from Cairo to Luxor, passes on the eastern bank of the river the ruins of the city of Coptos. There are still traceable the remains of a wall and a gateway; and one column with the cartouche of Thothmes III. attests the date of the ancient city. Though few tourists, eager to reach Karnak and Luxor, give the ruins more than a hurried glance, there are not many more important historic sites in the country. For, without taking note of the legends and mystic rites which connected the city with Isis and Osiris, Coptos was in the fourth century the centre of the old national life, and the seed-plot of the Christianity of Egypt.. And at this time it is important to keep these two ideas together, and to bear in mind that the Copts combine in themselves two remarkable claims on our attentiondescent from the ancient Egyptians, whose type of features they have preserved as depicted on the ancient monuments, and attachment. to the Faith of the Cross. The people most distinctly derived from the old inhabitants of the land were the first to embrace Christianity, and when the emissaries of Diocletian were busy trying to stamp out the Faith, a remnant fled to this fortified town of Coptos* as their Pella. Many

* Coptos is now called Kuft' or 'Guft.' Copts are called Kubt, Gubt,'' Kubtee,'' Gubtee.'

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have derived from their city of refuge the name which they have since borne; but it is more probable that they gave their name to the city, which was their chief abode. The name itself is most likely the same as the ancient Greek name of EgyptAi-yun-os-an explanation, which as Mr. Mackenzie Wallace observes, 'will be more readily accepted, if we remember that the Egyptians always pronounce the g hard, and that they usually confound the hard g and k: between Gypt or Kypt or Kopt there is little phonetic difference.

There are few volumes accessible, in which the ecclesiastical and political history of the Copts can be studied; but it is seen as in a picture when we look down from the high mounds of fawn-coloured dust on the churches and ruins of Old Cairo. The strange group of buildings, so different in style, and so vividly contrasted in historic association, yet all wrapt in the same garment of dusty death,' stamp on the mind the relations of the rival creeds of Christ and Islam. And indeed three, and not two only, of the potent faiths of the world are there represented. In the solid masonry and architrave imbedded in the wall, we trace undoubted marks of the power of Pagan Rome. Close by is the Coptic Church, where, according to an immemorial tradition, the Virgin and Child rested; and not far off, with vast quadrangle and colonnades formed of graceful Byzantine and Roman columns, stands the great mosque of the Conqueror Amr. And as the three periods in the history of the capital of Egypt are thus brought before us, marked by its successive names, Babylon, Fostat, Cairo, so we can take in at a glance three structures of stone and brick, which represent successive periods in the history of the Church in Egypt. Even if we discard the legend of the Saviour's Resting Place, in that Roman garrison were gathered a little knot of believers when Christianity was in its early purity. Later, when it triumphed over paganism, it reared churches which yonder shafts and capitals supported; and centuries afterwards its doctrine was corrupted, and its worship encrusted with ceremonial, and it fell before the sword of the Chieftain whose religion is preached to-day from a pulpit which those desecrated marble stems sustain. And it is a mournful proof of the degradation into which Egyptian Christianity has fallen, that many travellers feel it hard to see in the sordid neglect and tarnished splendour of the Coptic churches the shrines of a purer faith than that which the tented Arab built by plunder and blood. In the firm belief, however, that there is a vital spark, dim, but nevertheless actually alive, and waiting to be enkindled into a shining light in this religious community, we ask the reader to bear with us while we

describe, without partiality or prejudice, the actual state of this torn and stained remnant of the ancient Church of Egypt, which an Evangelist is believed to have planted, and so many saints and Fathers have adorned.

It is not our present purpose to tell again at any length the story of the Monophysite controversy. We shall only allude to the subject when necessary, in order to understand the present state and prospects of the Coptic Church and its relations with ElIslam.

Up to the date of the Council held at Chalcedon (the present Scutari) A.D. 451, the history of the Christians in Egypt resembled the history of their fellow-believers in Europe and Asia. Like the rest of the Faithful, they had endured their persecutions, and been comforted or enervated by their intervals of respite. But from the November day when the distinct nature of Christ was pronounced to be the orthodox doctrine, and the crowd of bishops and priests poured in two streams out of the great doors of the Basilica of St. Euphemia, the story of the Egyptian Church has to be written in a separate volume. The decision of the Fourth General Council cut away the last cord. From the date of its delivery the Egyptian Church had to hollow out a channel for itself, and could no longer blend its waters with the stream of orthodox belief. Dioscorus, the successor of Cyril in the Patriarchate of Alexandria, who had embraced the errors of Eutyches, had been deposed and banished by the Council. His orthodox successor was Proterius, whose election was supported by the Emperor Marcian. All those who acknowledged the decree of the Council were called Melchites or 'King's men,' as though they had accepted the decree simply at the Imperial bidding. The Monophysites elected Timothy Elurus (the Cat), as he was called, from his supple and artful activity. This man was banished, but his party was strong enough to obtain his recall, and to elect Monophysite successors. At first the distinction between the Melchites, or Orthodox party, and the Monophysites, was not so marked as it became in process of time. During the interval between the Council of Chalcedon and the Mohammedan invasion of Egypt, the peculiar article of the Coptic belief was constantly receiving, by the pressure of events, a sharper definition, and the Egyptians were gradually finding the distance widen between themselves

*The history of the Coptic Church may be studied compendiously in the exhaustive and elaborate article by Mr. Fuller in the 'Dictionary of Christian Biography, &c., the title of which is prefixed to the present article. Gibbon's account of the passions and tumults which disgraced the Council of Chalcedon should also be read.

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