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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

While England adhered to Eugenius


was respectively succeeded by

Boniface IX, Innocent VI, and Gregory XII; and Clement, at his death, in 1394, by Benedict XIII, the most implacable spirit in prolonging the schism, from whose authority France for a time withdrew, without acknowledging any other head, but afterwards returned, at the same time urging his resignation of the chair. At last the Cardinals, disgusted with the unprincipled dissimulation of both, and at their wits' end in devising a way to stay the scandal, and build up the influence of the whole church, then so rapidly sinking in the estimation of the world, amidst such unheard of calamities, deserted both, and summoned a council, which met at Pisa, and in which both were deposed, and another, in the person of Alexander V, elected to fill the chair. But in place of proving a remedy, the step rendered the schism still more furious. After that, John XXIII, successor to Alexander V, was reluctantly prevailed on to call a council, which accordingly met at Constance, in 1414, but in which he himself was deposed. Martin V being chosen, was succeeded by Eugenius IV. But the Fathers of Basle elected Felix V, thus renewing the schism, and dividing the church for some years, from France and the Empire observing a neutrality, while England adhered to Eugenius, Aragon and the smaller states to Felix; but the partisans of Felix gradually losing their influence, Nicholas V, the successor of Eugenius, after much cajolery, prevailed on him to resign his claim, and thus restored peace to the world.

style="text-align: justify;">At that time the kinds of learning taught were, in the greater part of Europe, confined to few, being almost entirely monopolised by the clergy and a few laymen; by the former for the dogmatism of the schools and the study of the canon law, and by the latter for civil jurisprudence and medicine. Even the sons of nobles were generally wholly illiterate, one of them, only, being educated, to act as the clerk of the family. We are even told of a noble, when a conspiracy was detected, with the name of his son attached to it, saying, "Thank God, none of my children were ever taught to write." The great mass of the people, and especially those of the lower classes, were as ignorant of direct educational training as a tribe of semi-barbarians at the present day. Many of the nobility, although as scantily educated as the lowest of our own people, and having as much difficulty in inditing an epistle as some of these would now have, would still admirably maintain their position in such a state of society, by the influence which their high birth and breeding, elevated bearing, superiority of character, and possession of domain, gave them; and by the traditionary feudal awe that had sunk so deeply into the feelings of their comparatively, and often absolutely, abject dependents and followers, extending itself, when unaccompanied by overt acts of oppression, to the inhabitants of the smaller towns, where so many restraints surrounded their personal independence, from their precarious modes of living, owing to all so much depending on each other for a subsistence, and the endless jealousies prevailing among them.

At the same time all classes, although frequently possessing a sufficiency, if not an abundance, of the rough necessaries of life, enjoyed nothing of the comfort and elegancies of subsequent times. The house of many a noble presented such a plainness in furnishing as a person, in very moderate circumstances, would now be almost ashamed to possess. The circumstances of the middle classes were much more lowly; plain boards and wooden trenchers, few beds but many _shake-downs_, rough stools and no chairs, with wonderfully few apartments relative to the size of


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