The fourteenth century is interesting for the awakening, especially in Italy, of literature and art; for the wars between the French and English, and the English and the Scots; for the rivalry between the Italian republics; for the efforts of Rienzi to establish popular freedom at Rome; for the insurrection of the Flemish weavers, under the Van Arteveldes, against their feudal oppressors; for the terrible "Jacquerie" in Paris; for the insurrection of Wat Tyler in England; for the Swiss confederation; for a schism in the Church when the popes retired to Avignon; for the aggrandizement of the Visconti at Milan and the Medici at Florence; for incipient religious reforms under Wyclif in England and John Huss in Bohemia; for the foundation of new colleges at Oxford and Cambridge; for the establishment of guilds in London; for the exploration of distant countries; for the dreadful pestilence which swept over Europe, known in England as the Black Death; for the development of modern languages by the poets; and for the rise of the English House of Commons as a great constitutional power.

As early as the fourteenth century, the age of the Arteveldes, Froissart estimated the number of fighting men whom Ghent could bring into the field at eighty thousand. The city, by its jurisdiction over many large but subordinate towns, disposed of more than its own immediate population, which has been reckoned as high as two hundred thousand.

As early as the fourteenth century, the age of the Arteveldes, Froissart estimated the number of fighting men whom Ghent could bring into the field at eighty thousand. The city, by its jurisdiction over many large but subordinate towns, disposed of more than its own immediate population, which has been reckoned as high as two hundred thousand.

As early as the fourteenth century, the age of the Arteveldes, Froissart estimated the number of fighting men whom Ghent could bring into the field at eighty thousand. The city, by its jurisdiction over many large but subordinate towns, disposed of more than its own immediate population, which has been reckoned as high as two hundred thousand.

As early as the fourteenth century, the age of the Arteveldes, Froissart estimated the number of fighting men whom Ghent could bring into the field at eighty thousand. The city, by its jurisdiction over many large but subordinate towns, disposed of more than its own immediate population, which has been reckoned as high as two hundred thousand.

Below, as in the bottom of a bowl, lay Malines, its small red-roofed houses stretching away in all directions to the remains of the ancient walls, topped here and there with a red-sailed windmill, in the midst of verdant fresh fields wooded here and there with clumps of willows, where the armies of the counts of Flanders, and the Van Arteveldes, fought in the olden days.