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themselves rich in a more precious treasure and eloquent in a more sublime language, nobles by the right of an earlier creation and priests by the imposition of a mightier hand. People who saw nothing of the godly but their uncouth visages, and heard nothing of them but

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their groans and their whining hymns, might laugh at them. But those had little reason to laugh who encountered them in the hall of debate or on the field of battle."

When Charles I (1625–1649) came to the throne he determined to impose on these formidable fanatics a system of religion which

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they abhorred and a scheme of taxation which was not based upon the consent of parliament. There followed a political struggle which lasted until 1642 and a civil war which ended 1649 in the complete triumph of the Puritans, the decapitation of the king, and the transformation of the government into a commonwealth with Oliver Cromwell as Protector. After Cromwell's death in 1658, his son Richard was unable to retain his power, and the monarchy was restored, Charles II, the son of Charles I, becoming king. These great events naturally produced a profound effect upon the literature of the time. Accordingly we find the writers of the day sharply divided into two parties, the Puritans and the Cavaliers.

For the most part the latter were gay, noble, and courtly gentlemen. Somebody has aptly compared them to the Southerners who fought under Lee and Jackson in our civil war. Robert Browning, in his “ Cavalier Tunes," caught their spirit when he wrote:

“King Charles, and who'll do him right now?

King Charles, and who's ripe for fight now?
Give a rouse: here's, in hell's despite now,
King Charles !"
Kentish Sir Byng stood for his King,
Bidding the crop-headed Parliament swing:
And, pressing a troop unable to stoop
And see the rogues flourish and honest folk droop,
Marched them along, fifty-score strong,

Great-hearted gentlemen, singing this song.”
The army with which Cromwell opposed these gallant soldiers is
described by Macaulay as democratic, sober, intelligent, and animated
by fierce religious zeal. He adds:

“In war this strange force was irresistible. The stubborn courage characteristic of the English people was, by the system of Cromwell, at once regulated and stimulated. His troops moved to victory with the precision of machines, while burning with the wildest fanaticism of Crusaders. His army never found an enemy who could stand its onset. In England, Scotland, Ireland, Flanders, the Puritan warriors, often surrounded by difficulties, sometimes contending against threefold odds, not only never failed to conquer, but never failed to destroy and break in pieces whatever force was opposed to them. They at length came to regard the day of battle as a day of certain

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triumph and marched against the most renowned battalions of Europe with disdainful confidence. Turenne was startled by the shout of stern exultation with which his English allies advanced to the combat, and expressed the delight of a true soldier when he learned it was ever the fashion of Cromwell's pikemen to rejoice greatly when they beheld the enemy; and the banished Cavaliers felt an emotion of national pride, when they saw a brigade of their countrymen, outnumbered by foes and abandoned by friends, drive before it in headlong rout the finest infantry of Spain and force a passage into a counterscarp which had just been pronounced impregnable by the ablest of the Marshals of France."

In literature, as in war, the Puritan excelled the Cavalier. Among the latter, however, were several excellent writers both in prose and

Brief notes on the chief of these follow: Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) in 1651 published “ Leviathan: or the Matter, Form, and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil,” in which he represented man as a selfish and ferocious animal, requiring the strong arm of despotism to keep him in check. In this and other works he maintained that all human actions spring from selfishness. Words,” he said, in “Leviathan,” “ are wise men's counters,—they do but reckon with them; but they are the money of fools."

Robert Herrick (1591-1674) is one of our finest lyrical poets. As a young man he often heard the chimes at midnight with Ben Jonson; later he took holy orders. Among his best verses are the following:



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“Her pretty feet, like snails, did creep

A little out, and then,
As if they playëd at bo-peep,

Did soon draw in again.”
His best poem, “A Thanksgiving for his House,” is a lovely medley
of piety and satisfaction for the material comforts of life. Sir Egerton
Brydges calls him the most gladsome of bards, singing as if he would
never grow old, as fresh as spring, as blithe as summer, and as ripe
as autumn.

The good sentence, “Be wisely worldly, be not worldly wise," occurs in the “ Emblems ” of Francis Quarles (1592–1644).

Thomas Carew (1594–1639) wrote a considerable amount of graceful verse, of which this, called “ Disdain Returned,” is a fair sample:

“He that loves a rosy cheek,

Or a coral lip admires,
Or from starlike eyes doth seek

Fuel to maintain his fires,
As old Time makes these decay.

So his flames must waste away.”
Several of his lyrics retain their freshness. This is especially true
of “ On a Girdle ” and “ Go, Lovely Rose.”

Sir John Suckling (1609–1642) was the best bowler of his generation, invented cribbage, and wrote excellent light verses. The best of these are " The Ballad upon a Wedding," “ Constancy," "I prithee send me back my heart," and the following “ Song ":

“Why so pale and wan, fond lover?

Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well can't move her,

Looking ill prevail ?

Prithee, why so pale?
“Why so dull and mute, young sinner ?

Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can't win her,

Saying nothing do't?

Prithee, why so mute?
“Quit, quit for shame; this will not move,

This cannot take her;
If of herself she will not love,

Nothing can make her;

The devil take her."
Richard Lovelace (1618–1658) wrote two almost perfect lyrics,

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“To Lucasta, on Going to the Wars” and “ To Althea, from Prison." The first runs thus:

“Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,

That from the nunnery
Of_thy chaste breast and quiet mind

To war and arms I fly.
Yet this inconstancy is such

As you too shall adore:
I could not love thee, dear, so much,

Loved I not honor more.
The last stanza of “ Althea ” is as follows:

"Stone walls do not a prison make,

Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take

That for an hermitage.
If I have freedom in my love

And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,

Enjoy such liberty.”
Sir John Denham (1615–1669) is chiefly remembered by these two
couplets descriptive of the Thames in his “ Cooper's Hill ”:

“O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme!
Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull;

Strong without rage; without o'erflowing, full.”
The most popular in his own day of the Cavalier poets was Abra-
ham Cowley (1618-1667). “The Chronicle," " On the Death of
Mr. Crashaw," "A Wish," and " The Wish " should be read by all
students. One or two of his sentences linger in the memory. For
Let but the wicked men from out thee' go,

And all the fools that crowd thee so,
Even thou, who dost thy millions boast,
A village less than Islington will grow,
A solitude almost.

-Of Solitude.
“God the first garden made, and the first city Cain.”

-The Garden.
Probably it is not an exaggeration to say that Cowley is now chiefly
remembered by Pope's lines:

Who now reads Cowley? If he pleases yet
His moral pleases, not his pointed wit:
Forgot his epic, nay, Pindaric art,
But still I love the language of his heart.”

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