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themselves confessed that, in every department of honest industry, the discarded warriors prospered beyond other men, that none was charged with any theft or robbery, that none was heard to ask an alms, and that if a baker, a mason, or a waggoner attracted notice by his diligence and sobriety, he was in all probability one of Oliver's old soldiers.”

The return of the Stuarts was followed, among the gayer classes, by an outburst of the most derisive incredulity. From mocking the solemn gait and the nasal twang of the Puritans, they naturally proceeded to ridicule their doctrines. The higher intellectual influences were tending strongly in the same direction among the learned. Hobbes had created in his disciples an indisposition to believe in incorporeal substances, and a similar feeling was produced by the philosophy of Bacon, which had then acquired an immense popularity. From the endless controversies, the social and religious anarchy, of the period; from the cynicism of writers, and the frivolity of courtiers, a new generation was drinking in the spirit of scepticism, of doubt, of free inquiry. Four or five in the House of Commons,' said Montesquieu, ‘go to mass or to the parliamentary sermon. one speaks of religion, everybody begins to laugh. A man happening to say, “I believe this like an article of faith,” everybody burst out laughing.'

A sceptical movement shows an alteration in the character of the age,

of the same nature as that which now causes the educated majority to regard with indifference disputes which, little more than a century ago, would have inflamed a kingdom. Scepticism and toleration are related as the antecedent and consequent of progress. A profound change was soon effected in the notion of witchcraft. In 1664, two witches were hung, under a sentence of Sir Mathew Hale, who justified it by the affirmations of Scripture and the wisdom of all nations'— irresistible reasoning. Three were executed in 1682. But, while in 1660 the belief was common, in 1688 the sense of its improbability was equally general. In Scotland it passed away much more slowly, and, to the last, found its most ardent supporters among the Presbyterian clergy. In 1664, nine women were burned together, and trials were frequent until the close of the century.

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Revolutions had changed completely the position of ecclesiastics. Once they formed the majority of the Upper House, and rivalled in their imperial pomp the greatest of the barons; now they were regarded, on the whole, as a plebeian class. The fact that a man could read, no longer raised a presumption that he was in orders. Laymen had risen who were able to negotiate treaties, and to administer justice. Prelates had ceased to be necessary, or even desirable, in the conduct of civil affairs; and the priestly office, in losing its worldly motives, lost its attraction for the illustrious. Many divines - especially during the domination of the Puritans — attached themselves to households in the relation of menial servants. A cook was considered the most suitable helpmate for a parson. Not one benefice in fifty enabled him to bring up a family comfortably. Often he fed swine or loaded dung-carts to obtain daily bread. Nor, at the Restoration, did the dissenters fare better. Says Baxter, who was one of them:

Many hundreds of these, with their wives and children, had neither house nor bread. ... Their congregations had enough to do, besides a small maintenance, to help them out of prison, or to maintain them there. Though they were as frugal as possible, they could hardly live; some lived on little more than brown bread and water, many had but little more than eight or ten pounds a year to maintain a family, so a piece of flesh has not come to one of their tables in six weeks' time, their allowance could scarce afford them bread and cheese. One went to plow six days and preached on the Lord's day. Another was forced to cut tobacco for a livelihood.'

When at length the Church was reinstated, she had suffered a still further loss of her ancient influence. It was observed, with sorrow, that she 'recovered much of her temporal possessions, but not her spiritual rule. Her cause was never again to be identified with political reaction. The London clergy were always spoken of as a class apart; and it was chiefly they who upheld the fame of their profession for learning and eloquence.

In Scotland, on the contrary, the clergy were supreme. Their very names were sacred. To speak disrespectfully of them was a grievous offence; to differ from them was heresy; to pass them without saluting them was a crime. Their instructions were direct from heaven. When they died, candles were mysteriously extinguished, or stars miraculously appeared in the firmament. Fancy with what rapture each precious word was received ! Yet a zealous pastor would discourse for two hours; a vigorous one, five or six. On great occasions, several would be present, in order that, when one was exhausted, he might be succeeded by another. In 1670, from one pulpit in Edinburgh, thirty sermons were delivered weekly. When sacrament was administered, on Wednesday they fasted, with prayers and preaching for more than eight hours; on Saturday, they listened to two or three sermons; on Sunday, to so many that the congregation remained together more than twelve hours; on Monday, to three or four additional ones by way of thanksgiving. Still the people never wearied. Has history any parallel to such eagerness and such endurance ?

Meanwhile, dissent had multiplied sects, and the Revolution established them, -Anabaptists, Quakers, Enthusiasts, Seekers, Arians, Socinians, Anti-Trinitarians, Deists,—the list is interminable. No danger henceforward that Protestantism would be only a new edition of Catholicism. Divisions are at once the symptoms and the agents of progress. Uniformity of opinion is the airy good of emperors and popes, whose arguments are edicts, inquisitions, and flames.

Poetry. It is true, in general, of nations as of individuals, that as the reflective faculties develop, the imaginative are enfeebled. Memory, judgment, wit, supply their place. The mind, disciplined, retraces its steps. Criticism succeeds invention. But criticism is a science, and, like every other, is constantly tending towards perfection. It was now in a very imperfect state. The age of inspired intuition had passed; the age of agreeable imitation had not arrived; and the ascendancy was left to an inferior school of poetry—a school without the powers of the earlier and without the correctness of a later— a school which, blending bombasts and conceits, yet expressed a phase in the revolution of taste that was to issue in the neatness and finish of wellordered periods, in the truth of sentiment and the harmony of versification. Its absorbing care was not for the foundation, but for the outer shape. The prevailing immorality infected it. Gallantry held the chief rank. The literature and manners of polite France led the fashion. We have seen the change foreshadowed. We see it in the occasional rhymes of the palace and the college; in the lewd and lawless Earl of Rochester, who wrote a satire against Mankind, then an epistle on Nothing, and songs numberless, whose titles cannot be copied. Two or three are still to be


found in the expurgated books of extracts. A stanza or two will be a sufficient revelation of him:

•When, wearied with a world of woe,
To thy safe bosom I retire,
Where love and peace and honour flow,
May I contented there expire.'



•My dear mistress has a heart
Soft as those kind looks she gave me;
When, with love's resistless art,
And her eyes, she did enslave me;
But her constancy's so weak,
She's so wild and apt to wander,
That my jealous heart would break

Should we live one day asunder.'
An adept in compliments and salutations. So are the others.
Sedley, a charming talker, sings thus to Chloris:

'My passion with your beauty grew,
And Cupid at my heart,
Still as his mother favoured you,

Threw a new flaming dart.'

"An hundred thousand oaths your fears
Perhaps would not remove,
And if I gazed a thousand years,

I could no deeper love.' Dorset, at sea, on the eve of battle, addresses a song to the ladies:

"To all you Ladies now at land

We men at sea indite;
But first would have you understand

How hard it is to write;
The Muses now, and Neptune too,

We must implore to write to you.'
Then for the sake of speaking:

• While you, regardless of our woe,
Sit careless at a play,-
Perhaps permit some happier man

To kiss your hand or flirt your fan.'
And in the conventional language of the drawing-room:

Our tears we'll send a speedier way,

The tide shall waft them twice a day.' There is courtesy here, but a lack of enthusiasm; elegance, but no weight; smoothness, but no depth. It is correct, or nearly so, but external and cold. It is the style, also, of Waller, a fashionable wit, in the front rank of worldlings and courtiers. His verses resemble the little events or little sentiments from which they spring:

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Go, lovely rose !
Tell her that wastes her time and me,

That now she knows
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be. ...

Then dic! that she
The common fate of all things rare

May read in thee,
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair.'


Most of his verses are addressed to a lady whom he had long wooed. When she had ceased to be beautiful, she asked him if he would write others for her, and he replied, as one accustomed to murmur, with a soft voice, commonplaces which he could not be aid to think: ‘Yes, madam, when you are as young and as handsome as you were formerly. A purely mechanical versifier, he survives mainly on the credit of a single couplet:

"The soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed,

Lets in new light through chinks that Time hath made.' Unlike the amorous poets around him, Denham has left not one copy of their vapid effusions. In the midst of insincerity, he is sincere, preoccupied by moral motives. His best poem, Cooper's Hill, is a description of natural scenery, blended with the grave reflections which the scene suggests, and which are fundamental to the English mind:

My eye, descending from the hill, surveys
Where Thames among the wanton valleys strays;
Thames, the most loved of all the Ocean's sons
By his old sire, to his embraces runs,
Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea,
Like mortal life to meet eternity.
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. .
But his proud head the airy mountain hides
Among the clouds; his shoulders and his sides
A shady mantle clothes; his curled brows
Frown on the gentle stream, which calmly flows,
While winds and storms his lofty forehead beat,
The common fate of all that's high or great.'

The reputation of the piece rests almost entirely upon the famous quatrain in italics. As for the rest, there is little adornment, less ardency, nothing to warm, or melt, or fascinate. It is argument in stately and regular verse, but, as such, is no ordinary perform

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