Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/50

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which lasted from before Christmas till the end of January, 1608, many persons would have starved to death or have perished from cold had it not been for the relief houses temporarily established by the corporation of London. Christ's Hospital was originally a home for the poor and fatherless; St. Thomas' and St. Bartholomew's were hospitals in our sense of the word. London was noted for its charity. Throughout all England laws were in force that provided relief for the helpless and worthy poor.

Bring what charges we may, Englishmen can look back upon this age, cruel and half-savage as it was in many respects, and thrill with pride, for it was the greatest age of modern times. There was good Queen Bess and her land; there were Sir Francis Drake, and John Hawkins, and Martin Frobisher, and Walter Raleigh, and Lord Howard of Effingham. There were the poets and the playwrights. And there was Gresham, who built the Exchange, and laid the foundation of England's commercial supremacy.

Now, leaving ancient quotations, let us come down to writing of our own time, and read a paragraph from the best recent picture of Elizabethan life and times; Kingsley's Westward Ho! Amyas Leigh, the hero of the novel, has sailed around the world with Drake, and has come back