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is not free from the fashionable con- | ler," was born at Gloucester, and, ceits of his age, but he was capable after some service in the navy in of writing excellent lyric verse. his youth, set up in London as
HENRY MORE (1614-1687), fellow a waterman, and used to travel of Christ's College, Cambridge, is in a wherry along the coasts.
He known chiefly as one of the leaders was also a great pedestrian, and of the Cambridge Platonists, and travelled on foot from London to spent his whole life at his Univer- Edinburgh, and thence to Braemar, sity, absorbed in theological and in 1618-a journey described in his philosophical studies. Starting from Penniless Pilgrimage of the same the Puritan point of view, he became year. Possessing a rough humour more and more of a mystic, and and a facile pen, he composed adopted the views not only of the several strange productions, rough later Platonists but of the cabalistic poems and pamphlets of all kinds, writers. His eccentric philosophical many of them scurrilous and dull. poem, Psychozoia Platonica, or a In the list given by Mr. Goodwin Platonical Song of the Soul (1642), is in the Dictionary of National Bioonly one of a series of treatises and graphy, 157 different works by discourses, and is of very little in- Taylor are enumerated. The fol. terest to the literary student. More lowing may be given as specimen is buried in Christ's College Chapel. titles : A Kicksey - Winsey, or a
MARGARET, DUCHESS OF NEW- Lerry Come-Twang (1619); A very CASTLE (1624?-1674), daughter of Sir Merry Wherry-Ferry Voyage, or Thomas Lucas, and maid of honour York for my Money (1622); A most to Queen Henrietta Maria, published | Horrible, Terrible, Tolerable, Ter. a book called Poems and Fancies magant Satire (1635); and The (1653) She brought out no less World turned Upside-down (1647). than twelve folio volumes of poems, Taylor made a name for himself by plays, and philosophical prose, to his attacks on well-known or notori. some of which her husband, himself ous people; and Thomas Coryat the a playwright, contributed ; but her traveller and George Wither were writings are more voluminous than among those who felt his satire. valuable.
It is almost needless to mention KATHERINE PHILIPS (1631-1664), that most of the dramatists were the wife of a gentleman at Cardigan, lyric poets, and that their songs are wrote under the pseudonym of Or- actually the best things of their age inda, and was very popular as a in their simplicity and freedom from writer with her contemporaries, who extravagant metaphor. It is a relief called her the “matchless" Orinda. to turn from the tortuous phrases of Her style is less conceited and these lesser poets, to say nothing of quaint than usual, but it has a dis- Herrick and Crashaw, to the songs tinct leaning to the commonplace. scattered through the plays of so
THOMAS STANLEY (1625-1678), late a dramatist as Shirley. In the born at Cumberlow in Hertford-dramatists' lyrics the finest traditions shire, was educated at Pembroke of Elizabethan poetry were preserved, Hall, Cambridge, and, after travel. even during a period of obvious deling abroad, came back to England cadence in verse-writing; and these and lived in the Middle Temple. In survived, with a certain remnant of 1647 he published a volume of life, in the more formal lyrics of poems, chiefly love-songs, full of Dryden and his companion playbeautiful thought and happy fancy, wrights. The indefatigable scholar, but marked by the usual tendency to Mr. A. H. Bullen, in his collections odd conceits.
of Elizabethan songs, has rescued JOHN TAYLOR (1580-1634), known many of these exquisite lyrics from as the “Water-Poet" or the "Scul. total oblivion.
THE PROSE WRITERS OF THE CAROLIVE PERIOD.
§ 1. Theological character of the age. JOHN HALES and WILLIAM
CHILLINGWORTH. § 2. SIR THOMAS BROWNE. § 3. THOMAS FULLER. $ 4. JEREMY TAYLOR : his life. $ 5. His works. $ 6. His style : comparison with Spenser. § 7. The sectaries : RICHARD BAXTER. The Quakers : Fox, Penn, and BARCLAY.
§ 1. The Civil War, which led to the temporary overthrow of the ancient English monarchy, was in many respects a religious
as well as a political contest. It was a struggle for Religious tendency of liberty of faith at least as much as for liberty of Caroline civil government. The prose literature of this time, prose.
therefore, as well as of a period extending considerably beyond it, possesses a strongly religious or theological character. The blood of martyrs, it has been said, is the seed of the Church; and the alternate triumphs and persecutions through which passed both the Anglican Church and its countless dissenting rivals, naturally developed to the highest degree both the intellectual powers and the Christian energies of their adherents. The most notable outburst of theological eloquence whịch the Church of England has ever exhibited, in the writings of Jeremy Taylor, Barrow, and the other great Anglican fathers, was answered by the appearance, in the ranks of the sectaries, of many remarkable men, some hardly inferior in learning and genius to the leaders whose doctrines they opposed ; while others, with a ruder yet more fervent enthusiasm, were the founders of dissenting communities. This, for example, was the case with the Quakers.
ever memorable” JOHN ĦALES enjoyed among his contemporaries a vast reputation for his immense learning and
the acuteness of his wit. He was born at Bath, JOHN HALES entered Corpus Christi College, Oxford, as a scholar (1584-1656).
in 1597, became a fellow of Merton and, in 1612, public lecturer in Greek. From 1616 to 1619, he was in Holland as Sir Dudley Carleton's chaplain, and attended the Synod of Dort. In 1619 he retired to the learned obscurity of a fellowship at Eton, where he passed the sad and dangerous years of civil strife. in 1642 his writings rendered him so obnoxious to the dominant party that he was ejected from the canonry which
Laud had given him at Windsor, and was obliged to hide : a few years later (1649), he was deprived of his fellowship, and, after living as a private tutor at Colnbrook, went into lodgings at Eton, and for some time maintained his living by the sale of his books. Dying in 1656, he left behind him the reputation of one of the most solid and acute intellects which his country had produced. The greater part of his writings are controversial, treating of the political and religious questions which then agitated men's minds. His works were not published in full tiĩl 1765. His posthumous Golden Remains (1659) contains his valuable letters to Sir Dudley Carleton on the Synod of Dort (1618). While attending its sittings he was converted from the Calvinistic opinions which he had hitherto held, and took the standpoint of Episcopius and the Arminian divines. Both his controversial writings and his sermons are fine examples of that rich yet chastened eloquence which characterises the great English divines of the seventeenth century, and was carried to the highest pitch of rhetorical splendour by Taylor and of majestic grandeur by Barrow.
WILLIAM CHILLINGWORTH, also an eminent controversialist and an able defender of Protestantism, was converted to the Roman faith while a fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, and went to the Jesuits’ College at Douai. But he CHILLINGsubsequently returned to Oxford, where, in 1634, he WORTH
(1602-1644). renounced his new faith, and, going to all lengths the other way, published in 1637 his celebrated work against Roman Catholicism, entitled, The Religion of Protestants
a Safe Way to Salvation. This was an answer to a treatise, Charity Mistaken (1630), by a Jesuit father named Edward Knott, who had maintained in it that unrepenting heretics could not be saved. "In his long parenthetical periods,” says Hallam,“ as in those of other old English writers, in his copiousness, which is never empty or tautological, there is an inartificial eloquence springing from strength of intellect and sincerity of feeling, that cannot fail to impress the reader. But his chief excellence is the close reasoning which avoids every dangerous admission, and yields to no ambiguousness of language. . . Throughout the volume, Chillingworth contravenes the prevailing theories of the Anglican Church full as distinctly as those of the Roman. ... In later times his book obtained a high reputation ; he was called the immortal Chillingworth; he was the favourite of all the moderate and the latitudinarian writers, of Tillotson, Locke, and Warburton. Those of opposite tenets, when they happen to have read his book, can do nothing else but condemn its tendency." Chillingworth, in 1638, became canon and Chancellor of Salisbury; five years later he joined the Royalist army, and was taken prisoner at the fall of Arundel Castle. As he was ill he was allowed to retire to the bishop's palace at Chichester, where he died early in 1644. He is buried in Chichester Cathedral.
§ 2. The writings of Sir THOMAS BROWNE, although less exclusively theological than those of his contemporaries, belong
chronologically, as well as by virtue of their style Sir Thomas and manner, to this department. Both as a man (1605-1682).
and as a writer he is one of the most peculiar and
eccentric of our great prose authors, and the task of giving a clear appreciation of him is unusually difficult. He was an exceedingly learned man, born in London, educated at Winchester College and at Pembroke College, Oxford, and, from 1637 onwards, a physician in the ancient city of Norwich. Here he married and lived peacefully, enjoying the society of his friends, among whom was Bishop Hall, and taking no part in the troubles of the Civil War. He was knighted by Charles II in 1671. His life was unusually prolonged, for he died in 1682, at the age of seventy-seven. His writings are of a most miscellaneous character, ranging from observations on natural science to the most arduous subtleties of moral and metaphysical speculation. In 1646 he published the Pseudodoxia Epidemica, his famous treatise on vulgar errors,” to a later edition of which (1658) were added the even more celebrated Hydriotaphia, or Urn Burial, and The Garden of Cyrus. Urn Burial was suggested by the digging up of some Roman funeral urns in Norfolk; the Pseudodoxia is a curious and voluminous attempt to overthrow many of the common notions and erroneous superstitions on various subjects. But a mere specification of his subject must altogether fail in giving an idea of Browne's strange and fascinating writings. Like Montaigne, he combines immense and recondite reading with a personal frankness and discursive
simplicity ; at every step the author starts some His style : its Latinism. extraordinary theory, which he illustrates by analo
gies so singular and unexpected that they infect the reader with a mingled feeling of amusement and surprise ; and all this in a style absolutely bristling with quaint latinisms, which would be pedantic in any other writer, but were the natural garb of Browne's thought. His diction is stiff with scholastic terms, with Latin epithets and past participles transported wholesale into English. The contrast between the simplicity of Browne's character and the out-of-the-way learning and odd caprices of theory in which he perpetually indulged, makes him one of the quaintest of writers ; yet no other English writer has risen to so high a dignity of sombre eloquence as he can claim in the final chapter of Urn Burial. Although his sentiments were deeply religious, he was also naturally something of a sceptic, and his sudden turns of thought and strange comparisons keep the reader constantly awake. In his
capacity for pursuing one idea through every conexhaustive
ceivable (and inconceivable) manifestation, he stands imagination, almost alone, and his ingenuity on such occasions
is absolutely portentous. For instance, in The Garden of Cyrus, a treatise on the quincunx, he finds quin
cunxes on the earth, in the waters, and in the heavens, nay, in the very intellectual constitution of the soul. He has a particular tendency to dwell upon the dark mysteries of time and the universe, and makes us thrill with the solemnity with which he suggests the nothingness of mortal life and the insignificance of human interests when compared with the immeasurable ages that lie before and behind us. In all Sir Thomas Browne's works an intimate companionship is established between the writer and the reader ; but the book in which he ostensibly proposes to communicate his own personal feelings and opinions most unreservedly, is his earliest work, Religio Medici (1642), a species of confession of faith. In this he by no means confines himself to theological matters, but takes the reader into his confidence in the same artless and undisguised manner as the immortal Montaigne. The images and illustrations with which his writings are crowded produce upon the reader the effect of the familiar yet mysterious forms that make up an Egyptian hieroglyphic; they have the same fantastic oddity, the same quaint stiffness in their attitude and general combination, and impress the mind with the same air of solemn rigidity and outlandish remoteness from the ordinary objects of our contemplation. Browne, with Milton and Jeremy Taylor, is one of the three great masters of decorative prose.
This prose of the Caroline epoch is, it must be conceded, a trifle debased when compared with the virile prose of Elizabeth's reign. It gives way to Browne and
the prose of decadent mannerisms; it abuses the permissible
his epoch. employment of Latinity ; it trusts to fine perorations and far-fetched similes. Its whole effect is admirable and astonishing, but it is the effect of a tour de force, of a brilliant effort rather than of a spontaneous masterpiece. Browne is less clumsy in his constructions than either Milton or Taylor, who never cared where their sentences led them; in the variety of his vocabulary and his sense of beauty in words he is their equal, if not here and there their superior. It is merely the comparative smallness of his work, considered as a whole, that tempts us to overlook his real importance.
$ 3. THOMAS FULLER is another great and attractive prose writer of the period, and has in some respects a kind of intellectual resemblance to Browne. Unlike Browne, however, he passed a very active life, and took a prominent part in the Civil War, in which he em
(1608-1661). braced the Royalist cause. It is said that he was to have been rewarded for his services with a bishopric, had the intention of the restored Court not been defeated by his death. He studied at Queens' and afterwards at Sidney-Sussex College in Cambridge, and, having taken Holy Orders, gained some fame by his preaching. His uncle, Bishop Davenant, gave him a prebendal stall in Salisbury Cathedral and the living of Broadwindsor in Dorset. About 1641, when he had