The year 1600 dawned upon a people who had gone through a vast change in the last century. Everywhere we perceive marks of progress. Let us compare any learned book of the year 1499 with one of 1599. The former is written in bad Latin, poor in diction, ponderous in composition, and not easy of comprehension. Of independent spirit and individual conviction we find little trace. There are undoubtedly exceptions, but they are very rare. Even the Latin of the earlier Humanitarians reminds us of the subtle vapidness of monkish language, almost as much as of the artistic phrases of ancient rhetoricians.