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indeed, seems that Johnson's temper was rather more serious than that of Addison, and Burke's than Johnson's. After all, the mere names tell enough. Think of Shakspere and Dryden together, and then of Addison and Burke. Think of Milton as the figure who intervenes between the first pair, and of Johnson similarly intervening between the second. You can hardly fail to perceive the trend of English letters. In 1600 these letters were alive with the spontaneity, the enthusiasm, and the versatility of the Elizabethan spirit. By Dryden's time this was already extinct ; throughout the century which followed him it showed little symptom of revival. The romantic revival which in Burke's time was just beginning, had, to be sure, enthusiasm ; but this was too conscious to seem spontaneous. And although the names of Rogers, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Lamb, Landor, and Moore, who had all begun writing before 1800, suggest something like versatility, it is rather variety. They differ from one another, but compared with the Elizabethan poets each seems limited, inflexible. Taken together, their works combine in complicated orchestral harmonies. To the end, however, you can hardly imagine any of them as master of more than a single instrument. Versatility can hardly be held to characterise any English man of letters who came to maturity in the eighteenth century.

So far as literature is concerned, then, that century seems more and more what the commonplaces of the school-books call it, a century of robustly formal tradition; rational, sensible, prejudiced, and towards the end restless ; admirable and manly in a thousand ways, but further, if so may be, from the spontaneous, enthusiastic versatility of Elizabethan days than was the period of Dryden. Above all, throughout this eighteenth century, English literature, like English history, seems more and more marked by that kind of insular temper which nowadays we unthinkingly believe always to have characterised the English.



In broad outline the history of America during the eighteenth century seems as different from that of England as was the case a century earlier. Two facts which we remarked in seventeenth-century America remained unchanged. In the first place no one really cared much who occupied the throne. To any American, the question of who was sent out as governor was generally more important than that of who sent him. In the second place, the absorptive power of the native American race remained undiminished, as indeed it seems still to remain. Though there was comparatively less immigration to America in the eighteenth century than in the seventeenth or the nineteenth, there was enough to show our surprising power of assimilation.

In another aspect, the history of America during the eighteenth century is unlike that of the century before. Until 1700, at least in New England, the dominant English ideal had been rather the moral than the political, the tradition of the English Bible rather than that of the Common Law. The fathers of New England had almost succeeded in establishing “a theocracy as near as might be to that which was the glory of Israel.” The story of the Mathers shows how this theocratic ambition came to grief. Church and State in America tended to separate with true Protestant antagonism. Once separate, the State was bound to control in public affairs; and so the Church began to decline into such formalism as later times, mistaking the lifeless rigidity of Puritan decline for the whole story, have been apt to believe all Puritanism. So, speaking very generally, we may call the eighteenth century in America one of growing material prosperity, under the chief guidance no longer of the clergy, but rather of that social class to whose commercial energy this prosperity was chiefly due.

It is to the eighteenth century, indeed, and to the pre-revolutionary part of it, that New England families owe most of the portraits which still attest their ancestral dignity, now so often a thing of the past. The best of these portraits were painted by the father of the celebrated Lord Lyndhurst. This was John Singleton Copley, a native of Boston who emigrated to England about the time of the Revolution and remained there for the rest of his life. Whoever knows Copley's American portraits will recognise in the people he painted a type of native Americans which had hardly developed in the seventeenth century and which hardly survived the Revolution.

These old New England worthies were mostly merchants who owed their fortune to their own ability. To take a single family, for example, there lived in Cambridge during the seventeenth century a presumably God-fearing man in no way related to the dominant clerical class or to the families conspicuous in the government of the colony. He was in some small way of trade, he married four times, and he left a great many children. One of these removed to Boston, where he so prospered as to be able in his last years to present to the Second Church, then under the ministry of Cotton Mather, a silver communion cup. His son, a grandson of the prolific tradesman of Cambridge, became a merchant of local eminence, whose affairs brought him into correspondence not only with England, but with France, Portugal, and the Indies. He married a lady whose family from the earliest days of the colony had maintained the dignity of what old Yankees used to call quality. And Copley painted them both; and very stately old figures they are ; and their silver bears a fine coat of arms.

So far the story is quite like that of prosperous people in the old country. The difference lies in the fact that when this old Boston worthy had made his fortune he found himself in a society where there was neither a nobility nor a landed gentry to deprive him of social distinction. The state of personal feeling which ensued, familiar throughout American history, was different from what any man of just this class has generally felt in England, and more like that of the grander merchants of Venice. As a prosperous man of affairs, he felt all the unquestioning sense of personal dignity which everywhere marks the condition of a gentleman. Superficially, perhaps in consequence, his manners seem to have become rather more like those of fashionable England than had been common in earlier America. A fragment from a letter addressed him during the Revolution by the minister of the church where he was for years a deacon will tell something of his temper. The reverend gentleman was travelling in the Middle States, where he had been impressed by the Moravian settlement at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; and he commented on it as follows:

“ The Nunnery, as they call it, is an object of curiosity. A picture of diligence, but as I could not but observe, much to the ruining of their health & to the destruction of the social disposition. About sixty or more girls kept entirely to work without any recreation or amusement & without any intercourse with men, under the strict orders of an Old Maid Governess. Judge how miserable must be their condition ! – Their complexions are sallow, & discontentment is painted on every countenance. More ordinary people I never saw. A remark struck me when I heard an Old Man praise the conduct of our soldiers when they were in Bethlehem. He said there was no one instance where they attempted the chastity of their women, which I could impute to another cause besides their love of virtue. For No woman need have against a Man any other armour than her ugliness, & the Girls at Bethlehem are well equipped with this Coat of Mail.

It is doubtful whether such words would have been apt to proceed in eighteenth-century England from a devout dissenting minister to a bell-wether of his flock. They read more like the correspondence of men of the world. The Revolution destroyed the fortunes and the social leadership of this class. To find such people again in America, we must probably wait until after the Civil War.

But, after all, this development of a small class into full contemporary vigour did not much affect what is often called the bone and the sinew of the American commonwealth, nor indeed did it result in any serious social breach. Our mercantile aristocracy was not hereditary; if fortune failed, its members reverted almost immediately to the sound old native type, and able people were continually making their way into that fortunate class whose prosperity the Revolution brought to an end.

Meanwhile throughout the first half of our eighteenth century, external affairs constantly took a pretty definite form. Increased commercial prosperity and superficial social changes could not alter the fact that until the conquest of Canada the English colonies in America were constantly menaced by disturbances which Yankee tradition still calls the French and Indian wars. These began before the seventeenth century closed. In 1690 Sir William Phips captured Port Royal, now Annapolis, in Nova Scotia ; later in the year he came to grief in an expedition against Quebec itself; in 1704 came the still remembered sack of Deerfield in the Connecticut valley ; in 1745 came Sir William Pepperell's somewhat fortuitous conquest of Louisbourg ; in 1755 came Braddock's defeat; in 1757 came Wolfe's final conquest at Quebec. The whole story is excellently told in the works of Francis Parkman. As we have seen before, these really record the struggle which decided the future of America. When the eighteenth century began, — as the encircling names of Quebec, Montreal, Chicago, St. Louis, and New Orleans may still remind us, – it was doubtful whether the continent which is now the United States should ultimately be controlled by the traditions of England or by those of continental Europe. Throughout

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