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tences have not the majestic sonorousness of Milton's, but every phrase has its work to do and is placed where it can do that work best. In the hands of Dryden prose became a keen-edged instrument.

The year 1700 is marked by the death of this poet, critic, dramatist, and satirist. The seventeenth century had seen the noblest imaginative work of Shakespeare; the thoughtfulness for form of Ben Jonson; the accurate reasoning of Bacon; the gay trivialities, sometimes touched with seriousness, of the Cavalier poets; the tender grace of Walton; the earnestness, aspiration, and devotion of the writers of religious prose and poetry; the majesty of Paradise Lost; the spiritual symbolism of The Pilgrim's Progress; and now, last of all, had come John Dryden, who stood in the story of the century for the development of critical judgment. The glow of the Elizabethan inspiration had long since passed away. Looking forward to the eighteenth century, one could not hope to find a great imaginative poetry or a marked originality, but one could justly expect an unus ual development of literary moderation and correctness.

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LITERATURE OF THE CONFLICT AND THE COMMONWEALTH.

John Milton, earlier poems and pamphlets.

Izaak Walton.

Religious poets:

George Herbert.

Richard Crashaw.

Henry Vaughan.

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In the early years of the seventeenth century Shakespeare produced his finest plays, the deeper comedies and the tragedies. His sonnets were published. Raleigh typifies the Elizabethan of universal ability. Bacon wrote his Instauratio Magna. In 1611, the "King James version " of the Bible was produced.

Next to Shakespeare in greatness, but strongly contrasted with him in method of work and cast of mind, was Ben Jonson. His most interesting work is his masques. The romantic plays most like Shakespeare's were those of Beaumont and Fletcher. In 1623, thirty-six of Shakespeare's plays were collected and printed.

The drama gradually became less excellent; partly because it ceased to reflect life, partly because Puritan influence resulted in abandoning the theatre to the careless and immoral. In 1642 the theatres were closed.

The writers of the Commonwealth were all influenced to some extent by the "conceits" of Donne. Their writings were, first, meditative and critical, represented by the earlier work of Milton, many of his shorter poems and his pamphlets; second, earnestly religious, represented by the work of Herbert, Crashaw, and Vaughan in poetry and that of Fuller, Taylor, and Baxter in prose; third, in the lighter, merrier strain of the Cavalier poets, Carew, Suckling, Lovelace, and

Herrick who also wrote religious poems. Izaak Walton belongs to none of these classes. The Compleat Angler is his

best work.

After the Restoration of 1660 Butler caricatured the Puritans in Hudibras; Milton produced his greatest work, Paradise Lost; and Bunyan wrote the best of allegories, The Pilgrim's Progress.

The greatest writer of the last years of the century was Dryden. The drama revived, but valued polish rather than sincerity, and demanded indecency and the repression of emotion. Dryden lowered his work by yielding to the taste of the times. He wrote plays, poems on popular subjects, satire, religious argument in verse, and translated the Æneid and other works. Literary moderation and correctness marked the close of the century.

CHAPTER VII

CENTURY XVIII

THE CENTURY OF PROSE

92. Coffee drinking. Coffee drinking had a great deal to do with the development of literature in the eighteenth century. Some twenty years after Jonson's death, coffee became the fashionable drink, and coffee houses were opened by the hundred. These houses took the place of informal, inexpensive clubs; and gradually one became noted as headquarters for political discussion, another for social gossip, another for ship news, etc. "Will's" became the special meeting-place for literary men. Dryden was their chief, and around him circled several of those writers who were to do the best literary work of the early part of the eighteenth century.

Not long before Dryden's death, a boy of twelve slipped into the edge of the circle and stood gazing at the great man with dark, earnest eyes; for Dryden was the poet whom he most reverenced and admired. The boy was very small, he was badly deformed, and so helpless that he could not stand without supports; but his mind was wonderfully active, and he hoped to be able some day to write poems that would make him famous. He had already made some attempts that were amazingly good for a child.

93. Alexander Pope, 1688-1744. This boy's name was Alexander Pope. His father was a retired merchant who was exceedingly proud of his precocious son,

while his mother looked upon him as the most marvellous boy that ever lived. The family were Roman Catholics, and therefore he would not have been allowed to enter either of the universities even if he had been well; but he did a vast amount of reading and studying, though with very little formal instruction. Before

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he was twenty-one he had published several poems, he was well known among the literary men of the time, and associated with them upon equal terms. A dramatist four times his age had asked him for suggestions and criticisms. One suggestion which had come to him from William Walsh, a critic of the day, became the motto of his literary life. "Be correct," said Walsh,

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