The Pleasures of England
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In the eighth century, England was looked up to with admiration and gratitude, as superior to all the other countries of Western Europe in piety and learning, and as the land whence the most zealous and successful saints and teachers came forth to convert and enlighten the still barbarous regions of the continent. This statement is broadly true; yet the correction it needs is a very important one. England, —under her first Alfred of Northumberland, and under Ina of Wessex, is indeed during these centuries the most learned, thoughtful, and progressive of European states.