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Popular Literature

The language and style of the English Bible in all its versions are like those of any other popular book, well adapted to the capacity of the common people and calculated to communicate the Gospel even to the illiterate. As the English language has been, like every other living language, changing, it became necessary to 'modernise the language of the Bible on several occasions lest it should fail of the purpose for which it was produced.

Literary tradition in England has always enjoined the use of the current language and in- it in works intended for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. All the "popular" books have, therefore, been written in the common language current at the time among the people. A learned pedant like Evelyn who brags-"Let it be remembered that I did not altogether compile this work for the sake of ordinary rustics, mere forest- ers and woodmen, but for the benefit and diversion of gentlemen and persons of quality"-may perhaps win the applause of the scholars of his own age; but he will be certainly forgotten by those of the next.

We shall attempt to describe briefly the char- acteristic features of the style and language of some of the most popular English books in' order to sisted upon