Allusion has already been made in the Introduction to the moderation shown by St. Augustine and his company of monks when they came in 597 to preach Christianity in England, and to the happy result of that moderation, as seen in their influence on English Literature. Realizing the great part played in the life of the people by their hero lays, they set to work to present the new teaching in similar form. They wrote poems in the native alliterative metre, in which they substituted Bible events and Bible or Christian characters for the old heroes and their doings, and sometimes, it must be confessed, a good deal of the old pagan element was allowed to creep into the treatment. That there was no general attempt to oust the old stories appears from the fact that it is to the copies written in the monasteries that we owe the few fragments of the old literature which we still possess. How deeply the native lays had permeated society and how peacefully they were allowed for a time to exist side by side with the new learning, may be inferred from Alcuin’s rebuke to the monks at Lindisfarne, already mentioned, 1 “in the refectory the Bible should be read … patristic sermons, not pagan songs. For what has Ingeld to do with Christ?”