not always even now remembered. It is, however, so close that at any epoch there is traceable a common movement which occupies them all. By the end of the fourteenth century they had secured their modern form in territorial and race unity with a government by monarchy more or less absolute. The fifteenth century saw with the strengthening of the monarchy the renascence of the fine arts, the great inventions, the awakening of enterprise in discovery, the mental quickening which began to call all authority to account. The sixteenth was the age of the Reformation, an event too often belittled by ecclesiastics who discern only its schismatic character, and not sufficiently emphasized by historians as the most pregnant political fact of any age with respect to the rise and growth of free institutions.
The seventeenth century saw in England the triumph of political ideas adapted to the new state of society which had arisen, but subversive of the tyrannical system which had done its work, a work great and go
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