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optimists who are unaffectedly fond of the country and capable of making an idyllic picture of life, and are not disquieted by personal ambitions nor uneasy because of the imperfections of the world and the insolubility of the “great problems.” His kindliness embraces all living things, and he seems to have found his own place in life very satisfactory. His book reflects his nature, and is attractive not only for the quaintness of its style, but also for its genuine qualities. None other gives a pleasanter picture of life in the seventeenth century.

As the mood of the Elizabethan period declined, intellect and fancy took the place of creative imagination. Characteris

The great revolution was religious as well as political, and a large part of the writings is controversial or dogmatic and in consequence falls

outside the catalogue of pure literature, and yet it is the expression of the dominant thought of the age.

Emerson calls Jeremy Taylor “the Shakespeare of divines,” but neither he nor the other great prose artist, Sir Thomas Browne, is strictly representative. The period was an episode in English constitutional history, and its literature is transitional between the exuberance of the former age and the elegant, temperate refinement of the eighteenth century. It was followed by a period of reaction and license. Milton is the great literary figure of the Revolution, but even he is a partisan. Sermons and theological writings are the most characteristic product of the times and, as said before, for the most part are not literature in the true sense.

tics of the Literature of the Puritan Period.


In “ Lycidas” can any general plan be found in the succession of the rhymes and the metrical scheme?

Compare Milton's treatment of grief and lamentation in the “ Lycidas” with Shelley's in his “ Adonais.”

What other elegies or threnodies in our literature may be classed with the two just mentioned ?

Analyze the first pamplilet on “ Divorce” with reference to (a) erroneous assumption of principles or premises, and (b) strong phrasing and eloquence.

What fundamentally common principle have Milton's “ Areopagitica” and Jeremy Taylor's “ Liberty of Prophesying”?

What were the distinguishing characteristics of the group called by Dr. Johnson the “ Metaphysical Poets”?

Point out some special facts and incidents showing how, during the Puritan period, all secular and intellectual pursuits were largely subjected to religious fanaticism.


ARNOLD, M. Milton. (In his Essays in Criticism, 2d ser.)
FROUDE, J. A. Life of John Bunyan. (E. M. L.)
GARNETT, R. Life of Milton. (G. W. S.)
MACAULAY, T. B. Essay on Milton.
MASTERMAN, J. H. B. Age of Milton.
Pattison, M. Life of Milton. (E. M. L.)
TAINE, H. A. History of English Literature, bk. ii, c. 5–6.
WARD, A. W. History of English Dramatic Literature, v. 2.

For careful and authoritative articles on Andrew Marvel, Abraham Cowley, Izaak Walton, George Wither, Edmund Waller, consult the Dictionary of National Biography.” Ed. Stephen and Lee.




Historical References

MACAULAY, T. B. History of England, c. 1-5.
GREEN, J. R. Short History of the English People, c. 9.
GNEIST, R. The English Parliament, c. 5–6.
Mackintosh, Sir J. History of the Revolution of 1688.
AIRY, O. English Restoration and Louis XIV., 1648–1678. (Epochs

of Modern History.) JUSSERAND, J. J. A French Ambassador at the Court of Charles

the Second. 1892.

AFTER the death of Oliver Cromwell, it soon became evident that the old order must be reinstated. Charles II. Historical

was restored to the throne of England in 1660. Sketch.

The rights of the subject were secured and the powers of the monarch were limited by the recognition of many of the constitutional changes inaugurated under the

Long Parliament.” Episcopacy was reëstablished, and many of the leading Puritans joined their brethren who had fled to New England early in the century. The rigid social system of the Puritans was abolished, but unfortunately many of the Puritan virtues, temperance, manliness, and devotion to formal duty, also suffered temporary eclipse. The king was one half French in blood, his mother being a daughter of the great Henry IV., his exile was passed in France, and he had learned to regulate his life by the worst French standards. The morals of the

court circle were incredibly degraded; but just as we cannot suppose the entire body of Englishmen to have become narrow-minded, repressed, and fanatical, during the years of Puritan supremacy, so we cannot suppose it to have become entirely profligate under the Restoration. The temporary supremacy of a party does not alter the permanent character of a people.

The dominant party, however, gave the tone to the literary expression, and the reaction from repression carried it to the extreme of license. In the Elizabethan age a certain freedom of expression was tolerated which allowed, in some cases, the use of language that to us seems coarse, but in the literature of the Restoration the sentiments are coarse, judged not by the conventional standards of one age, but by permanent moral standards. In particular the dramas of the period are corrupt and corrupting. Many of the plays turn on seduction or adultery, and a few are so decidedly cynical and unwholesome as to be a disgrace to our literature. The romantic standard of the Elizabethans was trailed in the mire, and it is fortunate that much of the Restoration drama is as poor artistically as it is false morally, and need be read only by those who are compelled to make a study of the period.

In 1685 Charles II. died and was succeeded by his brother James II., an avowed Romanist, and by his nature devoted to the principles of absolution and incapable of comprehending the advance of constitutional liberty. His disregard of the rights of the subject and his attempts to reinstate the Roman Catholic Church brought about armed resistance which ended in his deposition and the establishment of his daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange, also a grandson of Charles I., as joint sovereigns.

With them the final stage in the development of modern Protestant, constitutional England opens. The foundation of the Royal Society (1662), the publication of Newton's theory of light (1671), and his mathematical works (1665–1689) mark the foundations of modern science and the beginnings of the lines of thought which received such great development in the next two centuries.

of this age.

John Dryden is the most considerable literary figure

He was born in the eastern part of England at Aldwinkle in Northamptonshire, and was educated at John Dryden,

Westminster School and at Trinity College, 1631-1700. Cambridge. We cannot learn that he distinguished himself at college. Indeed, there was nothing precocious or brilliant about him, and he was always more marked for sense and vigor than for genius. Although he remained seven years at the university, he seems to have cherished a feeling of resentment against his Alma Mater, the cause of which is not known. In one of his later prologues recited at Oxford, he says of himself :

“Oxford to him a dearer name shall be
Than his own mother university;
Thebes did his green, unknowing youth engage,

He chooses Athens in his riper age.” Those four lines in the rhymed pentameter or heroic couplet, the favorite meter of Dryden and Pope, are as different in style from anything Elizabethan as well can be. The main structural difference consists in making each line a grammatical unit, so that in most cases the marks of punctuation come at the ends of the lines. This is called the end-stopt method, and lends itself to sententious epigram, but is apt to degenerate into a monotonous singsong

The other method of making the grammar

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