Тетради по истории английской литературы

Пособие для учителей и учащихся. Часть III

Humanism in England

At the head of the English Renaissance better known as Reformation stood a group of new thinkers known as the Oxford Reformers. The leaders of this group were William Grocyn (1440?-1519), Thomas Linacre (cir. 1460-1524), John Colet (1467?-1519?), the great Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus (1467-1536), and Sir Thomas More (1478-1535). In 1491 Grocyn returned from Italy, where he had studied under greatest classical scholars of the day, and he started the regular public instruction in Greek at Oxford. He was soon joined by his friend Linacre. Among Linacre’s students was Thomas More, the attractive and quick-witted youth who already seemed likely to prove a “marvellous man”. By 1497, Oxford had acquired such a reputation as a school for the classics that Erasmus, too poor to go to Italy, came to England instead, to study under Grocyn and Linacre. Under these men and their associates Oxford became the centre of new learning in England and Cambridge soon joined in. The work of Oxford Reformers bears the stamp of a deeply serious and religious spirit. The knowledge of Greek which Colet gained in semi-pagan Italy he applied to the study of the New Testament, he also read a course of lectures on the Epistles of St. Paul. Colet devoted a considerable part of his fortune to the establishment of the free grammar school of St. Paul in London; and in this school (although great attention was given to the classics), the image of the child Christ was set up above the headmaster’s desk, with the inscription, “Hear ye Him”. Both Erasmus and More were profoundly serious, having caught much of Colet’s spirit. More jested with his executioner on the steps of the scaffold, but he willingly died for his faith. Thomas More was keenly alive to imperfections of both Church and State. In his account of imaginary commonwealth of Utopia (1516), he set before Europe a picture of an ideal state.

The Bible was translated and Luther faced Pope and Cardinal with his “Here I stand, Martin Luther; I cannot do otherwise: God help me.” The year of 1525 saw the introduction of Tyndale’s translation of the Bible, and eight years later the policy of Henry VIII withdrew the Church from the headship of Rome.

The difference between these English humanists and many of their Italian contemporaries is more than personal, it is national also. The Renaissance in England was a thing different from the Renaissance in Italy. The Renaissance in England produced no Raphael, no Michel Angelo; but it produced no Borgia or no Machiavelli. The Renaissance in Italy, which embodied in colour and stone a love of beauty, produced no such mighty intellect as that of Bacon, it produced no Shakespeare. The attraction of Italy for the English is the attraction of opposites.

In the fifteenth century England had absorbed many vital influences; early in the sixteenth century these new ideas began to find the outlet in the work of a new class of writers, and we reach the threshold of the Elizabethan Era, when the Renaissance expressed itself in English literature.

The Bible

The English Bible became, in its various forms, the single most important book of the sixteenth century.

Prior to the Reformation, most laypeople encountered the Bible through the interpretations of priests, who were able to read it in the Latin translation known as the Vulgate. Protestants insisted that the Scriptures should be available to all laypeople in their own languages. In 1525, a remarkable English translation of the New Testament by the Lutheran William Tyndale was printed on the Continent and smuggled into England. In 1530 it was followed by Tyndale's translation of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament). Attempts to suppress the edition were futile, although Tyndale himself was arrested and executed in 1536. Three years after Tyndale was burned at the stake, this book was ordered to be placed in every church in England.

With the accession of Edward VI, many editions of the Bible followed, but the process was sharply reversed when Mary came to the throne in 1553: along with people condemned as heretics, English Bibles were burned in great bonfires.

Marian persecution was directly responsible for what would become the most scholarly Protestant English Bible, the translation known as the Geneva Bible. After Elizabeth came to the throne, church authorities ordered a careful revision of the Great Bible. The success of the Geneva Bible prompted those Elizabethan Catholics to bring out a vernacular translation of their own, the Douay-Rheims version, in order to counter the Protestant readings and glosses.

After Elizabeth’s death in 1603, King James I and his bishops ordered that a revised translation of the entire Bible be undertaken by a group of forty-seven scholars. The result was the Authorised Version, more popularly known as the King James Bible.

In the passage selected here, I Corinthians 13, Tyndale’s use of the word “love,” echoed by Geneva Bible, is set against the Catholic “charity.” The latter term would gesture toward the religious doctrine of “works,” against the Protestant insistence on salvation by faith alone. It is a sign of the conservative, moderate Protestantism of the King James version that it too opts for “charity.”

From the Tyndale’s Bible, 1525, 1535.

1 Corinthians 13

Though I spake with the tongues of men and angels, and yet had no love, I were even as sounding brass: or as a tinkling cymbal.

And though I could prophesy, and understood all secrets, and all knowledge: yea, if I had all faiths so that I could move mountains out of their places, and yet had no love, I were nothing.

And though I bestowed all my goods to feed the poor, and though I gave my body even that I burned, and yet had no love, it profiteth me nothing.

Love suffereth long, and is courteous. Love envieth not. Love doth not frowardly, swelleth not, dealeth not dishonestly, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh not evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity: but rejoiceth in the truth, suffereth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth in all things.

Though that prophesying fail, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge vanish away, yet love falleth never away.

For our knowledge is imperfect, and our prophesying is imperfect.

But when that which is perfect is come then that which is imperfect shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I imagined as a child. But as soon as I was a man, I put away childishness.

Now we see in a glass even in a dark speaking: but then shall we see face to face. Now I know imperfectly: but then shall I know even as I am known.

Now abideth faith hope, and love, even these three: but the chief of these is love.

From the Geneva Bible, 1560, 1602.

1 Corinthians 13

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains and have not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned and have not love, it profith me nothing.

Love suffereth long and is kind.

Love envieth not.

Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doeth not behave itself unseemly.

Seeketh not her own.

Is not easily provoked.

Thinketh no evil.

Rejoiceth not in inequity, but rejoiceth in the truth.

Bareth all things.

Believeth all things.

Hopeth all things.

Endureth all things.

Love never fails.

But where there be propheses they shall fail, whether there be tounges, they shall cease, whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I fought as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things.

For now we see though a glass dark plain, but then face to face.

Now I know in part, but then shall I know even also as I am known.

And now abideth faith, hope, love - these three, but the greatest of these is love.

From the Douay-Rheims Bible, 1582.

1 Corinthians 13

1 IF I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; 5 Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. 12 We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know I part; but then I shall know even as I am known. 13 And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

From King James Bible, 1611

1 Corinthians 13

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.



13:1 si linguis hominum loquar et angelorum caritatem autem non habeam factus sum velut aes sonans aut cymbalum tinniens
13:2 et si habuero prophetiam et noverim mysteria omnia et omnem scientiam et habuero omnem fidem ita ut montes transferam caritatem autem non habuero nihil sum
13:3 et si distribuero in cibos pauperum omnes facultates meas et si tradidero corpus meum ut ardeam caritatem autem non habuero nihil mihi prodest
13:4 caritas patiens est benigna est caritas non aemulatur non agit perperam non inflatur
13:5 non est ambitiosa non quaerit quae sua sunt non inritatur non cogitat malum
13:6 non gaudet super iniquitatem congaudet autem veritati
13:7 omnia suffert omnia credit omnia sperat omnia sustinet
13:8 caritas numquam excidit sive prophetiae evacuabuntur sive linguae cessabunt sive scientia destruetur
13:9 ex parte enim cognoscimus et ex parte prophetamus
13:10 cum autem venerit quod perfectum est evacuabitur quod ex parte est
13:11 cum essem parvulus loquebar ut parvulus sapiebam ut parvulus cogitabam ut parvulus quando factus sum vir evacuavi quae erant parvuli
13:12 videmus nunc per speculum in enigmate tunc autem facie ad faciem nunc cognosco ex parte tunc autem cognoscam sicut et cognitus sum
13:13 nunc autem manet fides spes caritas tria haec maior autem his est caritas.

Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603).

Elizabeth I, queen of England from 1558 to 1603, set her mark indelibly on the age that has come to bear her name. Endowed with intelligence, courage, cunning, and a talent for self-display, she managed to survive and flourish in a world that would have easily crushed a weaker person. Her birth was a disappointment to her father, Henry VIII, who had hoped for a male heir to the throne, and her prospects were further dimmed when her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed three years later on charges of adultery and treason. At six years old, observers noted, Elizabeth had as much gravity as if she had been forty.

Under distinguished tutors, including the Protestant humanist Roger Ascham, the young princess received a rigorous education, with training in classical and modern languages, history, rhetoric, theology, and moral philosophy. Her religious orientation was Protestant, which put her in great danger during the reign of her Catholic half-sister, Mary. Upon Mary’s death, she ascended the throne and quickly made clear that the official religion of the land would be Protestantism.

Throughout her life Elizabeth took pride in her command of languages and felicity of expression. Her own writing includes carefully crafted letters and speeches on state occasions; verse translations of selections from the Psalms, Petrarch, Seneca, and Horace; prose translations from Boethius, Plutarch, and the French Protestant Queen Margaret of Navarre; and a few original poems.


Speech to the Troops at Tilbury (1)

My loving people,

We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear, I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, for your forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and We do assure you in the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean time, my lieutenant general(2) shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.

1. Delivered by Elizabeth to the land forces assembled at Tilbury
(Essex) to repel the anticipated invasion of the Spanish Armada.
2. Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester; he was the queen's favorite,
once rumored to be her lover.


Many sixteenth-century artists, such as Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, and William Shakespeare, brooded on the magical, transforming power of art. This power could be associated with civility and virtue but it could also have the demonic qualities. It is manifested by the "pleasing words" of Spenser's enchanter, Archimago, or by the incantations of Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. It is significant that Marlowe's great play was written at a time in which the possibility of sorcery was not merely a theatrical fantasy but a widely shared fear upon which the state could act with horrendous ferocity. Marlowe was himself the object of suspicion and hostility.

Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

Edmund Spenser’s fancy for reforming English verse by discarding rhyme and substituting unrhymed classical metres have caused him to be regarded as merely an obstreperous and pragmatic pedant. During his residence at the university the poet acquired a knowledge of Greek, and at a later period offered to impart that language to a friend in Ireland. Spenser's affinity with Plato is most marked, and he probably read him in the original.
Three years after leaving Cambridge, in 1579, Spenser issued his first volume of poetry, the Shepherd's Calendar.

The Shepherd's Calendar was hailed with enthusiasm as the advent of a "new poet." Not only was it a complete work in a form then new to English literature, but the execution showed the hand of a master. There had been nothing so finished, so sustained, so masterful in grasp, so brilliant in metre and phrase, since Chaucer. It was felt at once that the poet for whom the age had been waiting had come.

The secret of Spenser's enduring popularity with poets and lovers of poetry lies specially in this, that he excels in the poet's peculiar gift, the instinct for verbal music. Shakespeare, or the author of the sonnet usually assigned to him, felt and expressed this when he drew the parallel between "music and sweet poetry": "Thou lovest to hear the sweet melodious sound That Phoebus' lute, the queen of music, makes; And I in deep delight am chiefly drowned Whenas himself to singing he betakes." This is an early word in criticism of Spenser, and it is the last word about his prime and unquestionable excellence - a word in which all critics must agree. Whether he had imagination in the highest degree or only luxuriant fancy, and whether he could tell a story in the highest epic manner or only put together a richly varied series of picturesque incidents, are disputable points; but about the enchantment of his verse there can be no difference of opinion.

Sonnet 54

by Edmund Spenser

Of this world's theatre in which we stay,
My love, like the spectator, idly sits;
Beholding me, that all the pageants play,
Disguising diversely my troubled wits.
Sometimes I joy when glad occasion fits,
And mask in mirth like to a comedy:
Soon after, when my joy to sorrow flits,
I wail, and make my woes a tragedy.
Yet she, beholding me with constant eye,
Delights not in my mirth, nor rues my smart:
But, when I laugh, she mocks; and, when I cry,
She laughs, and hardens evermore her heart.
What then can move her? if nor mirth nor moan,
She is no woman, but a senseless stone.

William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare is a part of the English civilisation. Thomas Carlyle wrote of him: “I think the best judgment, not of this country only but of Europe at large, is pointing to the conclusion that Shakespeare is the chief of all poets hitherto; the greatest intellect who, in our recorded world, has left a record of himself in the way of literature.”

Shakespeare did not create that dramatic era of which he was the greatest outcome. The Elizabethan drama was more than a national amusement. The theatre was then, as in classic Greece, a national force, and a means of national education. The number of readers was still small; there were few bookbuyers. So, a man of talent had to choose the dramatic form. The first regular tragedy was produced about the time of Shakespeare’s birth, and he was twelve years old before the first licensed theatre was erected in England (1576). This drama had its origin in religion: it dealt with religious or moral themes and at first it was in Latin. Gradually it became a popular possession and was written in English. The gradual stages of its development were the Liturgical drama, the Miracle plays and the moral plays, or Morality.

The Liturgical drama. The services of the Church were in Latin, an unknown tongue to the great majority of the congregation. On certain important festivals of the Church, therefore, the clergy arranged in the chancel an actual representation, or tableaux, on the event commemorated on that day, that the service might be more intelligible and impressive. On Good Friday, for instance, the crucifix was taken down and solemnly buried, and on Easter it was brought from the tomb and replaced with solemn ceremonies. These dramatic ceremonies introduced into the services are commonly called the Liturgical Drama.

The Miracle plays. Out of such beginnings, plays founded on various incidents in the Bible, or on some legend of the saints, gradually took shape. In England the plays dealing with saintly legends were called Miracle plays. They were brought into England by the Normans. The first miracle play in England of which there is some record was given by the pupils in a school near St. Albans about 1100-1119. This was a play in honour of St. Katherine.

The moral plays. To answer the need to know the Bible and the legends of saints another kind of play, called the Moral play, or Morality, grew side by side with the miracle plays. The earliest date from the time of Henry VI. The object of a moral play was to teach a moral lesson by showing in the form of an allegory everyman’s lifelong struggle with the various temptations which are the common enemies of mankind.

Interludes. Interludes were short, comic scenes, intended to be played between the courses of a banquet, or immediately after its conclusion.

Through the interlude the drama became less religious and it drew nearer to life in its everyday aspects. all that was needed to transform the Interlude into a comedy was the introduction of a more fully developed plot.

Also, it had become customary to produce classic plays mostly in Latin at some of the schools and universities.

About 1580 we find the drama rapidly taking form in London through the work of a group of rising dramatists many of whom brought from the universities a tincture of new learning. Many of these dramatists lived in a wild, bohemian fashion. They were, as a class, mere literary adventurers, struggling to live by their wits as best as they could.

“The stream of time, which is continually washing the dissoluble fabrics of other poets, passes without injury by the adamant of Shakespeare.”

Dr. Samuel Johnson.


England's celebration of their patron Saint George is on 23 April, which is also the day claimed to be the birth date of Shakespeare. Although birth and death dates were not recorded in Shakespeare's time, churches did record baptisms and burials, usually a few days after the actual event. The infant William was baptised on 26 April 1564 in the parish church Holy Trinity of Stratford upon Avon Warwickshire. He lived with his fairly well-to-do parents on Henley Street, the first of the four sons born to John Shakespeare (c1530-1601) and Mary Arden (c1540-1608), who also had four daughters.

His father, John Shakespeare, was a businessman. His mother, Mary Arden, was connected with one of the oldest and most distinguished families in Warwickshire. . John Shakespeare was a local businessman and also involved in municipal affairs as Alderman and Bailiff, but a decline in his fortunes in his later years surely had an effect on William.

In his younger years Shakespeare attended the Christian Holy Trinity church, the now famous elegant limestone cross shaped cathedral on the banks of the Avon river, studying the Book of Common Prayer and the English Bible.

Early on Shakespeare likely attended the Elizabethan theatrical productions of travelling theatre troups, come to Stratford to entertain the local official townsmen, including the Queen's Men, Worcester's Men, Leicester's Men, and Lord Strange's Men. There is also the time when Queen Elizabeth herself visited nearby Kenilworth Castle and Shakespeare, said to have been duly impressed by the procession, recreated it in some of his later plays.

Although enrolment registers did not survive, around the age of eleven Shakespeare probably entered the grammar school of Stratford, King's New School, where he would have studied theatre and acting, as well as Latin literature and history. The old school at Stratford was suppressed along with many others when the monastic system of education was broken up. The religious upheaval of the early part of the century, and the impulse of the New Learning were thus felt in this provincial town. The boy’s school life was interrupted at about 13 because his help was needed at home. There is no much evidence about Shakespeare’s life at this time, but we may feel sure that with his deep and delicate apprehension of human life, he was quick to respond to the beauty, the pathos, the comedy, and the tragedy, that lay around him.

The next record of his life is in 1582, when still a minor at the age of eighteen and requiring his father's consent, Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway (1556–1623) married in the village of Temple Grafton. Baptisms of three children were recorded; Susanna (1583-1649), who went on to marry noted physician John Hall, and twins Judith (1585-1662) who married Richard Quiney, and Hamnet (1585-1596) his only son and heir who died at the age of eleven.

Three or four years later William Shakespeare left his wife and children and went to London. We know that Shakespeare became an actor there and that he made a place for himself among the crowd of struggling dramatists. He became a member of a leading company of players, the “Lord Chamberlain’s Company,” and by 1592 he had entered upon a prosperous career. In this active and hard-working years Shakespeare grew in fortune as well as in reputation. By 1597 he was able to buy a home for himself in his beloved Stratford. In 1599 he was one of the proprietors of “The Globe Theatre,” built in this year.

William Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616, according to his monument, and lies buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford upon Avon. While there is little known of her life, Anne Hathaway outlived her husband by seven years, dying in 1623 and is buried beside him. It is not clear as to how or why Shakespeare died, but in 1664 the reverend John Ward, vicar of Stratford recorded that "Shakespeare, Drayton and Ben Johnson had a merie meeting, and itt seems drank too hard, for Shakespeare died of a feavour there contracted.” His tombstone is inscribed with the following epitaph;

Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased heare
Blessed by y man y spares hes stones
And curst be he y moves my bones.

First Folio would be the first collection of Shakespeare’s dramatic works, a massive undertaking to compile thirty-six plays from his quarto texts (Shakespeare wrote most of his plays as `quarto texts', that being on a sheet of paper folded four ways), playbooks, transcriptions, and the memories of actors. The approximately nine hundred page manuscript took about two years to complete and was printed in 1623 as Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. It also featured on the frontispiece the famous engraved portrait of Shakespeare said to be by Martin Droeshout (1601-c1651).


Shakespeare seems to have begun his work as a dramatist by adapting and partially rewriting old plays. Titus Andronicus, a coarse and brutal tragedy, was probably one of the plays of the period. His arrangement of Henry VI was brought out in 1592 and seems to have brought him into notice. Among these earlier plays were The Comedy of Errors, in which Shakespeare joins the imitators of Plautus; The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love’s Labour’s Lost, into which many characteristic features of the Italian comedy were introduced, and the poetic fantasy of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.

In 1594 Shakespeare produced Richard II, and the other plays of his great historical series followed in quick succession. These plays are not merely nobly patriotic, they are, above all, broadly human. They show us the usurper Henry IV sleepless in his lonely power, and the jolly roisterers in the taverns of Eaastcheap; he shows us two royal failures: the incapable Richard II with his strain of poetry and sentiment, and the saintly but ineffectual Henry VII. He shows us also his hero-king Henry V, the doer of great deeds.

After the completion of this series of historical studies, Shakespeare turned for a time to comedy. The witty and brilliant Much Ado About Nothing, with its inimitable Dogberry and its touch of tragedy, the woodland pastoral As You Like It, and Twelfth Night were written in this time.

Up to 1600-s, Shakespeare’s success had been in comedy and in the historical drama. He had, indeed, written Romeo and Juliet, that romantic tragedy of ill-fated love, and had given hints of his power to sound the depths of yet profounder passion. But toward the close of the sixteenth century a change begins to be apparent in the spirit of Shakespeare’s work. As early as 1594-1595 he had already composed the greater part of his Sonnets. The general tone of the Sonnets is sombre; we read of a conflict between love and duty, of the passing youth, of the death of friends, of a profound disgust for a world in which evil is captain over good.

In the same year in which he wrote Twelfth Night (1601), he began in Julius Caesar that great series of plays which won him a place among the supreme tragic poets of the world. Now we find him to face the ultimate problems of existence, and to sound the depths of human weakness, agony, and crime. Whatever interpretations of the source for these tragic inspirations might have been suggested, it is evident that the thought of Shakespeare in these plays is largely occupied with the great fact of sin; sin, not in its remote and possible origin, nor even in its relation to a life hereafter, but sin as it is in this present world. Whatever form it assumes, – covetous ambition, envy, malice, ingratitude, – sin is represented as an ulcer at the heart of life, poisoning its very source, and bringing with it a train of miseries which confound alike the innocent and the guilty.

In Macbeth we are present at the ruin of a soul, standing irresolute at the brink of the first crime and then hurrying recklessly from guilt to guilt; in Othello we see the helplessness of a “noble nature” in the hands of fiendish ingenuity and malice; Ophelia, “the fair rose of May,” and Hamlet, perish with the guilty King and Queen; the outcast Lear, “more sinned against than sinning,” and the spotless Cordelia fall victims to a monstrous wickedness.

The stress and turmoil of these mighty tragedies culminates in King Lear. Shakespeare does not seek to evade or palliate, he faces the worst, and he reports honestly with that fearless sincerity which is characteristic of his genius. He shows us the worst, and yet he makes us feel that human society, with all its imperfections, rests securely on the basis of a moral order. He shows us that there is nothing so loathsome as sin, nothing so beautiful as goodness. He shows us that high endeavour, greatness, and innocence cannot really fail so long as they remain true to themselves, because they are their own exceeding great reward. He makes the good suffer, but he shows us that to the good the uses of adversity are sweet. Good is not “captive” in the hands of Ill, it is free and invulnerable. Worldly success may mean spiritual ruin; worldly ruin, spiritual success. Shakespeare does not explain the dark riddle of life; he does say with unequalled earnestness: “Woe unto them that call darkness light, and light darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.”

Shakespeare is no apologist for error; in his plays sin is laid bare in all its repulsive baseness and deformity. The great moral distinctions which – more than differences of class, or race, or intellect – separate soul from soul, are everywhere sharply and firmly drawn. If Richard III, or Iago, or the two woman fiends in Lear, reveal the spirit of wickedness incarnate, in no poet are virtue and holiness more lovely and divine. Our conceptions of the worth and dignity of humanity are raised, our ideals purified and ennobled, by the contemplation of the heroic in Shakespeare’s world. Cordelia, Virgilia, Miranda, Portia, elevate and sanctify our thoughts of womanhood by their loveliness and purity. The knightly courage of Henry V, the faithfulness of Kent, the blunt honesty and loyalty of Falconbridge, the Roman constancy of Horatio, all inspire us with a generous admiration for manly virtue. “Shakespeare,” says Coleridge, “is an author, of all others, calculated to make his readers better as well as wiser.” Yet with all his uncompromising morality, his stern condemnation of sin, Shakespeare pours out over the faults of the erring creatures he has made, the fullness of a marvelous tenderness and pity. The humility of a great nature under the sense of its own shortcomings, the recognition of an ideal excellence shine out through Shakespeare’s lessons of forgiveness and of charity. Throughout all of Shakespeare’s work, this compassion for human weakness, this large-hearted sympathy with human failures and mistakes, sheds a gracious and kindly light, but in two plays, Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice, the need of mercy is given an especial prominence. Shakespeare, hating and condemning sin, teaches us that our human weakness requires another law than that of rigid justice. Neither in our heavenly nor our earthly relations dare we “stand upon our bond.” He says that without mutual forbearance human life would be literally unlivable. Shakespeare enforces in his way the parable of the unjust servant, “Shouldest not thou, also, have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee?” Perhaps the greatest single characteristic of Shakespeare is his union of righteousness with charity.


Some probably inspired by Shakespeare's study of Lives (trans.1597) by Greek historian and essayist Plutarch and Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles (1587). Some are reworkings of previous stories, many based on English or Roman history. The dates given here are when they are said to have been first performed, followed by approximate printing dates in brackets, listed in chronological order of performance.

Titus Andronicus first performed in 1594 (printed in 1594),
Romeo and Juliet 1594-95 (1597),
Hamlet 1600-01 (1603),
Othello 1604-05 (1622),
Antony and Cleopatra 1606-07 (1623),
King Lear 1606 (1608),
Coriolanus 1607-08 (1623), derived from Plutarch
Timon of Athens 1607-08 (1623), and
Macbeth 1611-1612 (1623).



Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend…”

Act V, Scene III. A churchyard; in it a tomb belonging to the Capulets.


This letter doth make good the friar's words,
Their course of love, the tidings of her death:
And here he writes that he did buy a poison
Of a poor 'pothecary, and therewithal
Came to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet.
Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague!
See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.
And I for winking at your discords too
Have lost a brace of kinsmen: all are punish'd.

O brother Montague, give me thy hand:
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more
Can I demand.

But I can give thee more:
For I will raise her statue in pure gold;
That while Verona by that name is known,
There shall no figure at such rate be set
As that of true and faithful Juliet.

As rich shall Romeo's by his lady's lie;
Poor sacrifices of our enmity!

A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”


Hamlet, Act 3. Scene I

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,

And lose the name of action…”


Shakespeare's series of historical dramas, based on the English Kings from John to Henry VIII were a tremendous undertaking to dramatise the lives and rule of kings and the changing political events of his time. No other playwright had attempted such an ambitious body of work. Some were printed on their own or in the First Folio (1623).

King Henry VI Part 1 1592 (printed in 1594);
King Henry VI Part 2 1592-93 (1594);
King Henry VI Part 3 1592-93 (1623);
King John 1596-97 (1623);
King Henry IV Part 1 1597-98 (1598);
King Henry IV Part 2 1597-98 (1600);
King Henry V 1598-99 (1600);
Richard II 1600-01 (1597);
Richard III 1601 (1597); and
King Henry VIII 1612-13 (1623)

The Tragedy of King Richard the Second

The story

This play opens with King Richard II and his uncle John of Gaunt trying to convince Henry Bolingbroke (Gaunt's son) and Thomas Mowbray (Duke of Norfolk) settle a quarrel, wherein Bolingbroke accuses Mowbray of murdering Richard's brother the Duke of Gloucester (Thomas of Woodstock). Although Mowbray didn't kill him, he could have prevented it or at least told the truth that Richard II had ordered it. Richard II cannot calm them, so he allows them to compete in a joust, then stops the joust while it is starting and sentences the two to banishment from England Mowbray forever and Bolingbroke for five years. Mowbray predicts while leaving that Bolingbroke will retaliate and defeat Richard II. In despair, Bolingbroke's father Gaunt dies, and Richard II seizes all of Gaunt's lands and money. The Earl of Northumberland (Henry Percy), his son Henry Percy (Hotspur), Lord Ross, and Lord Willoughby all criticize Richard II of wasting England's money, for taking Gaunt's money to fund a war with Ireland, of taxing the commoners, and of fining the nobles for crimes their ancestors committed. Bolingbroke secretly returns to England with their help to usurp Richard II and correct these problems. Gaunt's brother (Richard's last surviving uncle) Edmund of Langley (1st Duke of York) tells Bolingbroke that he is doing wrong to defy Richard's order of banishment.

Bolingbroke defeats and executes Sir John Bushy, Sir Henry Green, and the Earl of Wiltshire, all accused by Bolingbroke of being favorites to Richard II and of misleading him. Edmund's (York's) son the Duke of Aumerle helps Richard II defend the crown, gaining courage from the hope that Heaven will support the "right", since Richard II feels he is the rightful King of England. Unfortunately, Richard's 12,000 Welsh soldiers disperse when they hear a false rumor that he is dead. Furthermore, the commoners revolt and Edmund (York) joins Bolingbroke. Consequently, Richard II flees to Flint Castle with Aumerle, the Earl of Salisbury, Sir Stephen Scroop, and Bishop Carlisle. There Richard II meets Bolingbroke asks Richard to repeal his banishment in exchange for peace. Richard, regretfully, replies, then becomes deeply depressed feeling Bolingbroke will usurp the throne. Bolingbroke does, by practically forcing Richard II to hand over the crown to him, renaming Bolingbroke to King Henry IV. Bishop Carlisle echoes Richard's prediction that England will fall to disorder because of the usurpation, so Northumberland arrests him. Aumerle wishes Richard II were still king and Lord Fitzwater falsely accuses Aumerle of killing Gloucester.

Richard II is ordered by Henry IV (Bol.) to go to Northern England and Richard's wife (the Queen) is ordered to return to her native France. Edmund (York) tells his wife (Duchess of York) of Richard's tragic journey to the north where the commoners threw dust at him. Their son Aumerle (renamed Rutland by Henry IV for being a friend to Richard II) plots with others to poison Henry IV at Oxford. Edmund (York) informs Henry IV and Aumerle and his mother plea for Aumerle's pardon, which Henry IV reservedly grants. Sir Pierce of Exton murders Richard II (in prison at Pomfret Castle) thinking it is Henry IV's wish that Richard II is dead. Richard II manages to kill two of Exton's helpers before dying himself, however. Henry IV has the Earl of Salisbury, Lord Spencer (formerly the Earl of Gloucester), Sir Thomas Blunt, and the Earl of Kent executed for treason. Sir Leonard Brocas and Sir Bennet Seely are also executed for plotting with Aumerle to poison Henry IV. The Abbot of Westminster kills himself, to avoid capture by Henry IV, though Bishop Carlisle is captured, then released by Henry IV and ordered to hide away in some secret place. Finally, Exton shows Richard II's body to Henry IV, whereby Henry IV reveals that though he sort of wanted Richard II dead, it will now only slander him and may bring repercussions. Henry IV banishes Exton.


Act 5. Scene II

SCENE II. The DUKE OF YORK's palace.

My lord, you told me you would tell the rest,
When weeping made you break the story off,
of our two cousins coming into London.

Where did I leave?

At that sad stop, my lord,
Where rude misgovern'd hands from windows' tops
Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard's head.

Then, as I said, the duke, great Bolingbroke,
Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed
Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know,
With slow but stately pace kept on his course,
Whilst all tongues cried 'God save thee,
You would have thought the very windows spake,
So many greedy looks of young and old
Through casements darted their desiring eyes
Upon his visage, and that all the walls
With painted imagery had said at once
'Jesu preserve thee! welcome, Bolingbroke!'
Whilst he, from the one side to the other turning,
Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed's neck,
Bespake them thus: 'I thank you, countrymen:'
And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along.

Alack, poor Richard! where rode he the whilst?

As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
After a well-graced actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious;
Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
Did scowl on gentle Richard; no man cried 'God save him!'
No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home:
But dust was thrown upon his sacred head:
Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
His face still combating with tears and smiles,
The badges of his grief and patience,
That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd
The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted
And barbarism itself have pitied him.
But heaven hath a hand in these events,
To whose high will we bound our calm contents.
To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now,
Whose state and honour I for aye allow.

Here comes my son Aumerle.

Aumerle that was;
But that is lost for being Richard's friend,
And, madam, you must call him Rutland now:
I am in parliament pledge for his truth
And lasting fealty to the new-made king.


Welcome, my son: who are the violets now
That strew the green lap of the new come spring?

Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care not:
God knows I had as lief be none as one.

Well, bear you well in this new spring of time,
Lest you be cropp'd before you come to prime.
What news from Oxford? hold those justs and triumphs?

For aught I know, my lord, they do.

You will be there, I know.

If God prevent not, I purpose so.

What seal is that, that hangs without thy bosom?
Yea, look'st thou pale? let me see the writing.

My lord, 'tis nothing.

No matter, then, who see it;
I will be satisfied; let me see the writing.

I do beseech your grace to pardon me:
It is a matter of small consequence,
Which for some reasons I would not have seen.

Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.
I fear, I fear,--

What should you fear?
'Tis nothing but some bond, that he is enter'd into
For gay apparel 'gainst the triumph day.

Bound to himself! what doth he with a bond
That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool.
Boy, let me see the writing.

I do beseech you, pardon me; I may not show it.

I will be satisfied; let me see it, I say.

He plucks it out of his bosom and reads it

Treason! foul treason! Villain! traitor! slave!

What is the matter, my lord?

Ho! who is within there?

Enter a Servant

Saddle my horse.
God for his mercy, what treachery is here!

Why, what is it, my lord?

Give me my boots, I say; saddle my horse.
Now, by mine honour, by my life, by my troth,
I will appeach the villain.

What is the matter?

Peace, foolish woman.

I will not peace. What is the matter, Aumerle.

Good mother, be content; it is no more
Than my poor life must answer.

Thy life answer!

Bring me my boots: I will unto the king.

Re-enter Servant with boots

Strike him, Aumerle. Poor boy, thou art amazed.
Hence, villain! never more come in my sight.

Give me my boots, I say.

Why, York, what wilt thou do?
Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own?
Have we more sons? or are we like to have?
Is not my teeming date drunk up with time?
And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age,
And rob me of a happy mother's name?
Is he not like thee? is he not thine own?

Thou fond mad woman,
Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy?
A dozen of them here have ta'en the sacrament,
And interchangeably set down their hands,
To kill the king at Oxford.

He shall be none;
We'll keep him here: then what is that to him?

Away, fond woman! were he twenty times my son,
I would appeach him.

Hadst thou groan'd for him
As I have done, thou wouldst be more pitiful.
But now I know thy mind; thou dost suspect
That I have been disloyal to thy bed,
And that he is a bastard, not thy son:
Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind:
He is as like thee as a man may be,
Not like to me, or any of my kin,
And yet I love him.

Make way, unruly woman!


After, Aumerle! mount thee upon his horse;
Spur post, and get before him to the king,
And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.
I'll not be long behind; though I be old,
I doubt not but to ride as fast as York:
And never will I rise up from the ground
Till Bolingbroke have pardon'd thee. Away, be gone!

Some historical grounds for the play

Richard II, was more than simple entertainment when it was first performed. It played an active political role in the Essex Rebellion of 1601. The rebellion was touched off, in part, by the elderly Queen's refusal to name an heir, but there were other complex issues at stake. At the end of the 16th century, Elizabeth, like Richard II, "was criticized for having abdicated many of her powers in favour of Cecil and Raleigh" (de Chambrun). Robert Cecil and Walter Raleigh were particular enemies of Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex, a longtime favorite of Queen Elizabeth, and a close friend of the Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare's patron. By the beginning of 1601, Essex and a group of supporters had determined to resolve his difficulties and to rid Elizabeth of corrupt counsellors in one move. They planned to storm the Palace, arrest Essex's enemies, and proclaim, "Long live the Queen and after her, long live King James of Scotland, only legitimate heir to the English throne". To generate support for the rebellion amongst Londoners, Essex's supporters arranged for Richard II to be played the day before the rebellion. Sunday dawned and the Earl marched into the streets with his followers. But the play had failed to stir up support for Essex, and worse, news of his plan had been leaked to his enemies. Essex and his men met with armed resistance at the Palace and were forced to withdraw. They retreated to Essex House where they were besieged for a few hours before giving themselves up to arrest. There is no direct evidence that Shakespeare's Company was ever punished for its part in the Rebellion. Some historians think that the actors were told to leave London for a period of time, but the Company played again for Elizabeth in December of 1601. The Queen had the last word in this affair, as an excerpt from a conversation between Elizabeth and the historian, William Lambarde, shows. Examining some antiquated historical documents, "her Majesty fell upon the reign of King Richard II, saying `I am Richard II. know ye not that?' " Gaunt and the Duke of York await the King. Gaunt hopes that Richard will listen to the advice he has to offer, but York doubts that he will. In York’s opinion, Richard listens only to flatterers and has too much of a taste for luxury. Gaunt says that Richard’s reign will not last long; it will burn itself out. Then he gives a long speech in praise of England which he finishes with bitter regrets about the dismal state into which the nation has fallen as a result of Richard’s misgovernment. When the King enters with his courtiers, Gaunt puts his complaints directly to Richard. He says that if Richard’s grandfather, Edward III, had known how Richard would destroy the land he rules, he would have prevented Richard from becoming king. The situation is shameful, Gaunt says, claiming that Richard’s policy of “farming” the realm has turned him into a landlord rather than a king. Richard responds angrily, saying that if Gaunt were not his uncle, he would have him beheaded. Gaunt is not intimidated, and says Richard should not spare him, since Richard has already killed Gaunt’s brother, Gloucester. Gaunt sees himself as a prophet and warns that Richard’s vanity and treatment of the people he is supposed to govern will not last long, and will in fact be his undoing. Methinks I am a prophet new inspired And thus expiring do foretell of him: His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last, For violent fires soon burn out themselves; Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short; He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes; With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder: Light vanity, insatiate cormorant, Consuming means, soon preys upon itself. He sees that Richard believes that England is his to do with as he will. In the following soliloquy he admonishes Richard for violating the social order and for leasing out his land, the land he lovingly calls Eden and states that it is the envy of less happier lands. This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall, Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands, This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England, Gaunt continues heaping glory upon glory on England as his monologue continues and calls the country that he loves a nurse, and equates the land to a mother. To Gaunt, England is a mother that breeds kings that are feared by their very breeding and lineage, which makes them renowned throughout the then known world for their deeds. This deeds, he intimates, are instigated by some higher power for Christian service and true chivalry. His exultation of these kings of renown does not include Richard as Gaunt ends his speech and his life with a condemning admonishment against his nephew, and king, for his treatment of the land and its people. This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings, Fear'd by their breed and famous by their birth, Renowned for their deeds as far from home, For Christian service and true chivalry, As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry, Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son, This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land, Dear for her reputation through the world, Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it. Richard does not realize that in violating the established social order he will bring disaster on his head. The passing of property and titles from one generation to the next was a foundation of the medieval social order. When Richard violates this by illegally seizing Gaunt’s lands, he offends the very system, sanctioned by God, that confers legitimacy on his own position as king. Like King John, Richard II is a political play. Where in King John Shakespeare showed the pretensions of majesty – the monarch’s glory and greatness, his just right to govern, and his moral obligation to govern well – being undercut at every turn by tickling commodity, in Richard II, Shakespeare combines his sources to bring out the complexity of the conflict between an incompetent king and an efficient usurper. He constructs his plot around the successive stages in the development of this conflict, and he defines his characters by the two principles that arise from it – the nature of kingship and the right of rebellion. The play’s central figure Richard, is characterised in terms of his conception of himself as king, and his tragedy as a man is inseparable from his tragedy as a ruler of a people, a people who must continue to suffer the consequences of that tragedy long after he himself has been released from it. It is in the double focus created by the play’s structure.

COMEDIES, listed in chronological order of performance.

Taming of the Shrew first performed 1593-94 (1623),
Comedy of Errors 1594 (1623),
Two Gentlemen of Verona 1594-95 (1623),
Love's Labour's Lost 1594-95 (1598),
Midsummer Night's Dream 1595-96 (1600),
Merchant of Venice 1596-1597 (1600),
Much Ado About Nothing 1598-1599 (1600),
As You Like It 1599-00 (1623),
Merry Wives of Windsor 1600-01 (1602),
Troilus and Cressida 1602 (1609),
Twelfth Night 1602 (1623),
All's Well That Ends Well 1602-03 (1623),
Measure for Measure 1604 (1623),
Pericles, Prince of Tyre 1608-09 (1609),
Tempest (1611),
Cymbeline 1611-12 (1623),
Winter's Tale 1611-12 (1623).

Taming of the Shrew


Worse and worse; she will not come! O vile,
Intolerable, not to be endured!
Sirrah Grumio, go to your mistress;
Say, I command her to come to me.


I know her answer.


She will not.

The fouler fortune mine, and there an end.

Now, by my holidame, here comes Katharina!


What is your will, sir, that you send for me?

Where is your sister, and Hortensio's wife?

They sit conferring by the parlor fire.

Go fetch them hither: if they deny to come.
Swinge me them soundly forth unto their husbands:
Away, I say, and bring them hither straight.


Here is a wonder, if you talk of a wonder.

And so it is: I wonder what it bodes.

Marry, peace it bodes, and love and quiet life,
And awful rule and right supremacy;
And, to be short, what not, that's sweet and happy?

Now, fair befal thee, good Petruchio!
The wager thou hast won; and I will add
Unto their losses twenty thousand crowns;
Another dowry to another daughter,
For she is changed, as she had never been.

Nay, I will win my wager better yet
And show more sign of her obedience,
Her new-built virtue and obedience.
See where she comes and brings your froward wives
As prisoners to her womanly persuasion.

Re-enter KATHARINA, with BIANCA and Widow

Katharina, that cap of yours becomes you not:
Off with that bauble, throw it under-foot.

Lord, let me never have a cause to sigh,
Till I be brought to such a silly pass!

Fie! what a foolish duty call you this?

I would your duty were as foolish too:
The wisdom of your duty, fair Bianca,
Hath cost me an hundred crowns since supper-time.

The more fool you, for laying on my duty.

Katharina, I charge thee, tell these headstrong women
What duty they do owe their lords and husbands.

Come, come, you're mocking: we will have no telling.

Come on, I say; and first begin with her.

She shall not.

I say she shall: and first begin with her.

Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow,
And dart not scornful glances from those eyes,
To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor:
It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads,
Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds,
And in no sense is meet or amiable.
A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,
And for thy maintenance commits his body
To painful labour both by sea and land,
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks and true obedience;
Too little payment for so great a debt.
Such duty as the subject owes the prince
Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
And not obedient to his honest will,
What is she but a foul contending rebel
And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
I am ashamed that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace;
Or seek for rule, supremacy and sway,
When they are bound to serve, love and obey.
Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
But that our soft conditions and our hearts
Should well agree with our external parts?
Come, come, you froward and unable worms!
My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
My heart as great, my reason haply more,
To bandy word for word and frown for frown;
But now I see our lances are but straws,
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,
That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.
Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,
And place your hands below your husband's foot:
In token of which duty, if he please,
My hand is ready; may it do him ease.

Why, there's a wench! Come on, and kiss me, Kate.

Well, go thy ways, old lad; for thou shalt ha't.

'Tis a good hearing when children are toward.

But a harsh hearing when women are froward.

Come, Kate, we'll to bed.
We three are married, but you two are sped.


'Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white;
And, being a winner, God give you good night!


Now, go thy ways; thou hast tamed a curst shrew.

'Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tamed so.



What is ‘sonnet’? Some terms in Russian:

Сонет , что значит ‘песенка’, – особая форма стихотворения, зародившаяся в XIII веке в поэзии провансальских трубадуров. Из Прованса сонет перешел в Италию, где достиг высокого совершенства в творчестве Данте Алигьери и Франческо Петрарки. Классический итальянский сонет состоит из четырнадцати строк и делится на две части – октаву (восьмистишие), включающую два катрена (четверостишия) и секстет (шестистишие), распадающийся на два терцета (трехстишия). Примером этой стихотворной формы может служить сонет А.С. Пушкина:

Суровый Дант не презирал сонета;

В нем жар любви Петрарка изливал;

Игру его любил творец Макбета,

Им скорбну мысль Камоэнс облекал.

И в наши дни пленяет он поэта;

Вордсворт его орудием избрал,

Когда вдали от суетного света

Природы он рисует идеал.

Под сенью гор Тавриды отдаленной

Певец Литвы в размер его стесненный

Свои мечты мгновенно заключал.

У нас еще его не знали девы,

Как для него уж Дельвиг забывал

Гекзаметра священные напевы.

От итальянских поэтов форму сонета переняли в XVII веке испанцы, французы и англичане. В Англии своего высшего расцвета сонет достиг в конце XVI–начале XVII века. К форме сонета обращались Томас Уайат, Генри Хоувард, Филип Сидни, Эдмунд Спэнсер. В последнее десятилетие XVI века написал свои "Сонеты" Шекспир. В то время была разработана новая форма сонета, которая получила название английской или шекcпировской. В шекcпировском сонете тоже четырнадцать строк, но он состоит из трех четверостиший и заключительной строфы – двустишия.

It is generally agreed that most of the Shakespearean Sonnets were written in the 1590s, some printed at this time as well. Others were written or revised right before being printed. 154 sonnets and "A Lover's Complaint" were published by Thomas Thorpe as Shake-speares Sonnets in 1609. The order, dates, and authorship of the Sonnets have been much debated with no conclusive findings.

Evoking Petrarch's style and lyrically writing of beauty, mortality, and love with its moral anguish and worshipful adoration of a usually unattainable love.


Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,
Which I by lacking have supposed dead,
And there reigns love and all love's loving parts,
And all those friends which I thought buried.
How many a holy and obsequious tear
Hath dear religious love stol'n from mine eye
As interest of the dead, which now appear
But things removed that hidden in thee lie!
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,
Who all their parts of me to thee did give;
That due of many now is thine alone:
Their images I loved I view in thee,
And thou, all they, hast all the all of me.

Translations into Russian:


Сердца, что я умершими считал,
В твоей груди нашли себе приют.
Царит любви в ней светлый идеал,
Друзей ушедших образы живут.

О, сколько чистых надмогильных слез
Из глаз моих струил я много раз!
Но не навек любимых рок унес,
Они в тебе схоронены сейчас.

Храня в себе, ты воскрешаешь их:
Возлюбленных угасших хоровод
Мою любовь собрал в сердцах своих
И всю ее тебе передает.

В тебе я вижу всех любимых мной, -
Ты - все они, и я - всегда с тобой.

Перевод А. Финкеля


В твоей груди я слышу все сердца,
Что я считал сокрытыми в могилах.
В чертах прекрасных твоего лица
Есть отблеск лиц, когда-то сердцу милых.

Немало я над ними пролил слез,
Склоняясь ниц у камня гробового.
Но, видно, рок на время их унес -
И вот теперь встречаемся мы снова.

В тебе нашли последний свой приют
Мне близкие и памятные лица,
И все тебе с поклоном отдают
Моей любви растраченной частицы.

Всех дорогих в тебе я нахожу
И весь тебе - им всем - принадлежу.

Перевод С. Маршака


Твоя прияла грудь все мертвые сердца;
Их в жизни этой нет, я мертвыми их мнил;
И у тебя в груди любви их нет конца,
В ней все мои друзья, которых схоронил.

Надгробных пролил я близ мертвых много слез,
Перед гробами их как дань любви живой!
Благоговейно им, умершим, в дань принес;
Они теперь в тебе, они живут с тобой.

И смотришь ты теперь могилою живой,
На ней и блеск, и свет скончавшихся друзей,
Я передал их всех душе твоей одной,
Что многим я давал, то отдал только ей.

Их лики милые в себе объединя,
Имеешь также ты своим - всего меня!

Перевод К. Случевского


Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all triumphant splendor on my brow;
But out, alack! he was but one hour mine;
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.

Translations into Russian:


Я наблюдал, как солнечный восход
Ласкает горы взором благосклонным,
Потом улыбку шлет лугам зеленым
И золотит поверхность бледных вод.

Но часто позволяет небосвод
Слоняться тучам перед светлым троном.
Они ползут над миром омраченным,
Лишая землю царственных щедрот.

Так солнышко мое взошло на час,
Меня дарами щедро осыпая.
Подкралась туча хмурая, слепая,
И нежный свет любви моей угас.

Но не ропщу я на печальный жребий -
Бывают тучи на земле, как в небе.

Перевод С. Маршака


Я видел много раз, как по утрам
Ласкает солнце взглядом царским горы,
Льнет поцелуем к бархатным лугам
И золотит, небесный маг, озера.

А после позволяет, чтоб на нем
Клубилась туч уродливая стая,
Гнала его на запад со стыдом,
От мира лик божественный скрывая.

Вот так однажды солнца своего
Я озарен был лаской животворной;
Но горе мне! На час один всего -
И вновь оно покрылось тучей черной.

Но я его люблю и в этой мгле:
Что можно небу, можно и земле.

Перевод А.. Финкеля


Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all;
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?
No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call;
All mine was thine before thou hadst this more.
Then if for my love thou my love receivest,
I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest;
But yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest
By wilful taste of what thyself refusest.
I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief,
Although thou steal thee all my poverty;
And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief
To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury.
Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows,
Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes.


Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

Translations into Russian:


Одна волна сменяется другою, 
На берег беспрерывно громоздясь; 
Минуты друг за другом чередою 
Бегут вперед, к погибели стремясь. 
Так выброшен младенец в море света, 
Вперед, вперед - он к зрелости ползет, 
Но Время дар назад берет, и Лета 
Зловещие затмения несет. 
Цвет свежий Время мнет и губит люто, 
Чело красы как плугом бороздит 
И жрет любую редкость - Время круто, 
Его косы никто не избежит. 
Но лютую косу сдержав, сонет 
Твой образ сохранит на сотни лет.  
Перевод Игоря Фрадкина 


Как бьются волны в каменистый брег, 
Чтобы разбиться каждой в свой черед, 
Так за минутою минута в бег 
Пускается и, пробежав, умрет. 
Рожденье - свет в течении времен, 
Который движет нами до поры; 
Затменьями он будет искривлен, 
И время сокрушит свои дары. 
Оно пронзает прелесть юных форм, 
Усердствует, морщины углубив; 
Природа для него - всего лишь корм, 
И вечный серп его трудолюбив. 
Но ты не бойся; мною ты воспет 
Для нынешних и для грядущих лет.  
Перевод Владимира Микушевича 

Как волны вечно к берегу несутся, 
Спешат минуты наши к их концу. 
Одна другую догоняя бьются, 
Давая место новому бойцу. 
Рождение, увидев свет, ползет 
Ко зрелости, но чуть она настала, 
Борьбе с затменьем настает черед, 
И время рушит то, что созидало: 
Пронзает цвет, блистающий красою, 
Уродует морщинами чело, 
Жрет лучшее, что на земле взросло 
И злобно губит под своей косою. 
Но стих мой, знай, природе вопреки 
Спасет твой лик от губящей руки. 
Перевод М. Чайковского 
Как волны набегают на каменья 
И каждая там гибнет в свой черед, 
Так к своему концу спешат мгновенья, 
В стремленье неизменном - все вперед! 
Родимся мы  в огне лучей без тени 
И к зрелости бежим; но с той поры 
Должны  бороться против злых затмений, 
И время требует назад дары. 
Ты, Время, юность губишь беспощадно, 
В морщинах  искажаешь блеск красы, 
Все, что прекрасно, пожираешь жадно, 
Ничто не свято для твоей косы. 
И все ж мой стих переживет столетья: 
Так славы стоит, что хочу воспеть я! 
Перевод В. Я. Брюсова 
Как волны к берегам стремятся чередой, 
Так и минуты вслед одна другой стремятся, 
Становятся в ряды одна вслед за другой 
И силятся вперед пробиться и умчаться. 
Рожденное едва - уж к зрелости ползет, 
Но лишь она его цветами увенчает, 
С ним разрушенье в бой вступает в свой черед, 
А Время всех даров своих его лишает. 
И по челу оно проводит борозды, 
Румянец молодой с прекрасных щек смывает, 
Растаптывает в прах всех прелестей следы 
И все своей косой бесчувственной срезает. 
Но стих мой, не страшась руки его сухой, 
В грядущих временах почтит тебя хвалой. 
Перевод Н.Гербеля 
Подобно волнам, что о берег бьют, 
К нам приплывают умирать минуты, 
Сменив одна другую. Так в бою 
Солдаты наступают на редуты. 
Младенчество и юности рассвет 
Венчает зрелость - возраст благодатный, 
Но Время затмевает жизни свет, 
Подаренное требуя обратно. 
О, как оно коверкает черты 
И лоб морщиной бороздит косою! 
Как вмиг срезает стебли красоты 
Своею беспощадною косою! 
Сонет же, где воспел я милый взгляд твой, 
Надеюсь, устоит пред этой жатвой. 
Перевод С.И. Турухтанова 
Как волны в море, не переставая, 
Стремятся к берегам за рядом ряд, 
Так наши дни, друг друга подгоняя, 
Вперед, к пределу вечности спешат. 
Младенец, плывший в светлом океане, 
Едва к короне зрелости приплыл, 
Отправился дорогой испытаний 
Платить долги, которые нажил. 
Седое Время, юность разрушая, 
Морщину за морщиной бороздит, 
Жнет урожай, усталости не зная, 
Никто перед косой не устоит. 
И лишь мой стих переживет века - 
Ничто ему костлявая рука. 
Перевод Р. Бадыгова 
Как волны мчат на галечник морской, 
Минуты наши к вечности спешат, 
Сменяя предыдущие собой, 
И не дано их повернуть назад. 
Младенцами рождаемся на свет, 
Стремимся к зрелости в расцвете дней, 
Утрачиваем блеск на склоне лет, 
И Время губит скупостью своей. 
Идет бесстрастно, жалости не зная, 
Чертя на лбу морщины полосу, 
И даже твоя прелесть неземная 
Не остановит страшную косу. 
  У Времени в безжалостных руках 
  Не будешь ты. Ты будешь жить в стихах. 
Перевод Андрея Кузнецова 
Как волны к берегу несутся чередой, 
Так и минуты приближают свою смерть 
Когда одна спешит вослед другой 
В усилии грядущим овладеть. 
Венчает зрелостью во Славе горний свет 
Рожденного в яслях. Но вне его забот 
Овалов волн искривленный хребет 
И Время времени продлится не дает. 
И Время роет параллели на челе 
Созревшей красоты и юность не щадит, 
Сжирая лучшее в природе. На земле 
Перед Его косой ничто не устоит. 
Жестокая рука плоть превращает в прах. 
Но мной воспет, ты будешь жить в стихах! 
Перевод Александра Ситницкого 
Как волны моря к берегу бегут, 
Так и минуты тянутся в цепочке 
И полнят вечность, свой минутный труд 
Свершив и смерть приняв поодиночке. 
Младенчество ко зрелости венцу 
Ползет, сияя, но затменья злые 
Всю славу эту застят, и к концу 
Уносит Время все дары мирские: 
Канавы роет на челе красы, 
Сокровища природные уносит; 
Ничто не в силах отвести косы, 
Которая все неизбежно скосит. 
Но устоит одно: износу нет 
Моим стихам, в которых ты воспет. 
Перевод С. Степанова 
Как волны бьют о скат береговой, 
Минуты наши к вечности бегут. 
Придет одна и место даст другой, 
И вечен их неугомонный труд. 
Дни юности в лучах зари горят 
И зрелостью венчаются потом; 
Но их мрачит кривых затмений ряд - 
Из друга время станет их врагом. 
Оно пронзает молодости цвет, 
И бороздит, как плуг, чело красы. 
Ни юности, ни совершенству нет 
Спасения от злой его косы. 
Но смерть поправ, до будущих времен 
Дойдет мой стих: в нем блеск твой заключен. 
Перевод А. М. Финкеля 
Как движется к земле морской прибой, 
Так и ряды бессчетные минут, 
Сменяя предыдущие собой, 
Поочередно к вечности бегут. 
Младенчества новорожденный серп 
Стремится к зрелости и наконец, 
Кривых затмений испытав ущерб, 
Сдает в борьбе свой золотой венец. 
Резец годов у жизни на челе 
За полосой проводит полосу. 
Все лучшее, что дышит на земле, 
Ложится под разящую косу. 
Но время не сметет моей строки, 

Где ты пребудешь смерти вопреки!

Перевод С. Я. Маршака 

How we are to understand some language forms in Shakespearian poetry.

Английским поэтическим текстам с последней трети XV века и до второй половины прошлого столетия свойственны некоторые произносительные и орфографические особенности, которые в основном сводятся к следующему:

1. Пропуск слога ради соблюдения размера или иных стилистических соображений (сокращаемая часть слога часто заменяется апострофом):

(а) пропуск конечного гласного: th' = the;

(б) пропуск начального гласного: 'mongst = amongst; 'tis = it is, 't = it;

(в) пропуск гласного в середине слова: heav'n = heaven;

(г) пропуск согласного со стяжением гласных: se'en = seven, ne'er = never.

2. Эпентеза в окончании правильных глаголов в Past Indefinite (при написании над е ставится диакритический знак: unapproach_e_d, devis_e_d).

3. Использование архаической глагольной парадигмы 2 л. ед. ч. (art, wert, dost, canst, hast, goest), 3 л. ед. ч. (fadeth, loveth) и местоименной парадигмы 2 л. ед. ч. (thou - thee - thy - thine - thyself).

4. Написание глаголов в Past Indefinite с конечным t вместо ed (finisht, mixt).

5. Употребление приставки ‘а-’ перед глагольными формами и в некоторых наречиях (a-flying, a-getting, adown), восходящей для глаголов к старой герундиальной форме с предлогом ‘on’.

6. Изменения порядка слов (инверсия): And true plain hearts do in the faces rest = And true plain hearts do rest in the faces.

7. Употребление "глазной" или "зрительной" рифмы (eye rhyme), когда рифмуются слова, сходные по написанию, но различные по звучанию (love - remove).

Ниже приводятся варианты написания, отражающие произносительные нормы разных эпох и различных орфографических традиций (например, написание ‘е’ в конце слова):

(sweete = sweet); у = i (chylde = child, ayre = air); a = ea (hart = heart);

ou = о (controul = control); au = a (chaunt = chant); ie = у (angrie = angry); ea = e (spheare = sphere); er = ir (vertue = virtue); ее = ea (neer = near); ie = ее (frieze = freeze); ff = f (yff = if); nn = n (ynne = in);

tt = t (butt = but); s = ss (firmness = firmness); th = d (murther = murder); ck = с (musick = music); u = w (loue = lowe); w = u (howre = hour).

Многие из перечисленных выше особенностей в ранний новоанглийский период, а подчас и позднее - по XVIII век включительно - отражали реальные грамматические и фонетические свойства языка своей эпохи, однако постепенно они становились канонизированными приемами поэтического языка (ср. пункты 2, 3).

The Decline of the Renaissance.

Although Shakespeare and Milton are familiarly linked together as the two greatest poets of England, in the whole spirit and nature of their work they have hardly anything in common. This is not only due to an inborn, personal differences in the genius of these two representative poets; it is due also to the difference in the spirit of the times they represent. So far as we can guess from Shakespeare’s work, he seems to have shared the orthodox politics of the Tudor times, distrusting the actions of the populace, and stanch in his support of the power of the king. But the England in which Milton lived and worked was stirred by far different emotions. Milton interprets and expresses the England of Puritanism, as Shakespeare does the England of Elizabeth.

In point of actual time the tow poets are close together, for at the death of Shakespeare Milton was eight years old. But little more than half a century lies between that England in which loyalty to queen and country so triumphed over religious differences that Romanist and Protestant fought the Armada side by side, and that England that which hurried Charles I to the scaffold. In reality this change of the nation’s mood was a natural result of a long and steady development.

Great events conspired to force the questions of religious reform upon the life and conscience of the nation. In the century which saw the independence of the Anglican Church; the uprooting of great ecclesiastical institutions; the horrors of religious persecution; men and women could not have forgotten questions of religion even if they would. It was the century, too, in which the interrupted work of Wyclif was accomplished – the century which gave the nation the English Bible. Just as the introduction of the study of Greek at Oxford changed the horizon of the English mind, so the introduction of Tyndale’s translation of the Bible was incalculable spiritual force. The Bile became the literature of the people telling the poorest and plainest of the essential things in life in words which all could understand.

With this new idea of religious liberty, the idea of political liberty became closely associated. But this was met by petulant opposition. If Elizabeth had been wise enough to know when and how to yield to the will of her Parliament and people, the Stuarts took a different position and hold to it with an obstinate and reckless tenacity. The unkingly James (1603-1625) flaunted the “Divine Right” of his kingship into the face of an exasperated England. In the early years of Charles I, the growing Puritan sentiment was outraged by brutal persecution. Among the great leaders of protest in politics were Eliot, Pym, Cromwell; in literature it spoke in the strong, simple, biblical prose of John Bunyan, a poor tinker; its poet was John Milton.

In the early seventeenth century the drama was forced to contend with the bitter attacks of the Puritans. This hostility to the stage increased; unsuccessful attempts were made (1619-1631-1633) to suppress the Blackfriars Theatre, and the representation of plays on Sunday was prohibited. Many of the more respectable people stayed away from the theatres altogether, while those who came demanded plays of a more and more depraved character. Finally, about the beginning of the Civil War (1642) the theatres were closed altogether, and the drama almost ceased until the Restoration (1660).


The poetry of the early half of the seventeenth century is largely a continuation or a development of that of the greater Elizabethans. Many of the rising generation of writers were united by a personal loyalty to Ben Johnson, other poets took Spenser for their model. Others, again, imitated the poetic man­nerisms of John Donne, another Elizabethan of way­ward but powerful genius, of whom we have not yet spoken. England at this time was a house divided against itself, and the religious and political dissensions which rent and racked the nation, divided the poets also into sharply contrasted groups. Some, like the saintly George Herbert, expressed in poetry much that was best in the Church of England; others, like Milton, stirred by dif­ferent ideals, represented the militant and reforming spirit of Puritanism. But great as this difference may seem between the Anglican and the Puritan, it is insignificant to that which separates the Cavalier poets — the gay, elegant triflers of the Court, like Carew and Lovelace — from those poets who are at least united by a devotion to high ideals and by a lofty spirit­uality of nature. The variety of these schools, or groups, into which the poets of this time may be divided, the irre­concilable differences in feeling, and in the general attitude towards life, are characteristic of the confusion of the time. It is the literary expression of those con­flicting beliefs and ideals which were fought out in the Civil War.

John Donne (1573-1631).

John Donne was a man of intense and " highly passionate" nature, possessed of that abounding vitality, that capacity for strong emotions, which makes great saints or great sinners, and drives men to extremes. In his youth he showed that delight in action, travel, and adventure, characteristic of so many of the great Elizabethans. He was a hard student, but also a lover of pleasure. He was with Essex in 1590 in an expedition against Spain, in which the English destroyed the Spanish fleet and pillaged Cadiz. He took a trip to the Azores. He wandered through Spain and Italy, spending his fortune. After his return to England he became chief private secretary to Sir Thomas Egerton, a distin­guished lawyer and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, but a clandestine marriage with his patron's niece in 1601 ruined, for the time, his prospects of advancement. The marriage proved a happy one, but years of struggle and poverty fol­lowed. After much hesitation he resolved to take orders, and was ordained in 1615. His wife's death two years later appears to have wrought a great change in him and his thought now became concentrated upon spiritual things.

He held various ecclesiastical positions, and in 1621 was made Dean of Saint Paul's. Donne had enjoyed and suf­fered greatly, and that same intensity that had urged him into youthful excesses, helped to make him one of the great­est preachers England ever produced. He died in 1631.

One of the most obvious facts about Donne is the sharp contrast between the worldliness and impetuosity of his youth, and the saintliness and asceticism of his age. His life is naturally divided into two periods, the one before and the other after his wife's death in 1617. Donne's poetry was almost all written during the first of these two periods; in the second period he expressed himself chiefly through his sermons. As a poet, Donne is thus strictly an Elizabethan, although his followers belong to the reigns of James and Charles.

Yet while Donne was a younger contemporary of the greatest Elizabethan poets, he was independent of them, he was an "innovator," and in his own generation he stood alone in England in his conception of poetry, and in his difficult, fantastic, and at times harsh and repellent style. Donne's style, difficult and peculiar as it seems, is not only similar to that of certain European poets of this period, it is also related to that tendency to literary affectations which had already shown itself in England.

Donne's singularities are in keeping with that delight in far-fetched comparisons and extravagant "conceits," as they were called. The tendency to find an intellectual satisfaction in the whimsical, the abstruse, and the unex­pected, in verbal quibbles, and novel analogies, found its exponent in Donne. What the love of beauty was to Spenser, the love of ingenuity, the delight in intellectual subtility, in verbal dexterity, was to Donne. He was the poet of “wit.” This ingenuity of Donne must be dwelt upon, because his mannerisms were imitated by certain younger poets, and became the distinctive feature of a group of poets commonly known as the "Metaphysical School." But it would be a great mistake to think of Donne as a mere master of paradoxes, or a mere intellectual gymnast. His poems are alive with suggestion, close-packed with thought, and lit up by an occasional felicity of expression which the greatest poets hardly surpass.

Traces of Donne are also obvious at times in the quaint but often beautiful religious poetry of george herbert (1593-1633), richard crashaw (1613-1650?), henry vaughan (1621-1695), and francis QUARLES (1592-1644). Crashaw rises at rare moments to great heights of beauty and eloquence, but his verse in general is weighed down and disfigured by "conceits."

Herbert and Vaughan, while not free from the same ten­dency, write more simply, and their poems are full of sin­cere religious feeling. Indeed, their poetry is so tranquil, so lifted into the serene air of holy meditations, that it seems a place of sanctity in the midst of a turbulent age. The circumstances in which these two poets wrote were in keeping with the remote and unworldly atmosphere of their work, for Herbert was a country parson and Vaughan a village doctor in Wales.In 1630, Herbert became vicar of Bemerton, a village about a mile from Salisbury. Here he wrote his poems, and here he died three years later. The English country parson, immortalised by Chaucer and by Goldsmith, is, at his best, one of the most attrac­tive types of manly goodness that England has produced. Herbert had not the simplicity of Goldsmith's hero, for he had seen and known the world, but he had the good­ness, faithfulness, and spirituality. He was lowly in his own eyes and lovely in the eyes of others, and both the beauty of his nature and the religious seclusion of his surroundings shine through his poems.

Vaughan, Herbert's disciple in sacred poetry, fell below his master in art but surpassed him in depth and originality. Born in Wales of an ancient Welsh family, Vaughan left London shortly after 1646, and settled down for the rest of his life as a country doctor in his native Brecknockshire. Living out his secluded life in the quiet valley of the Usk, Vaughan saw God revealed not only in the services of the Church, but also in the living world of Nature, in the holy innocence of childhood, and in the "immortal longings" of his own spirit. To Vaughan, man's life on earth is a brief exile from that eternal existence from which he came, and to which, when he rises above his temporal limitations, he longs to return. The light of man's spirit is a spark of the Divine light.

The Retreate, Beyond the Veil, and Childhood, are among Vaughan's most beautiful poems. The reader will have no difficulty in discovering there, and in many other places in Vaughan's work, a striking anticipation of some of Words­worth's favourite ideas.

The Cavalier Poets. Meanwhile at Court a group of aristocratic poets com­posed their slight, but often charming love-songs to Celia, or Lucasta. Their thoughts are given to the pleasures of this world as frankly as those of Vaughan and Herbert are centred on the next. Among these are Thomas Carew (1598-3639), Richard Lovelace (1618-1658), and Sir John Suckling (1619-164l). Each of these holds an assured, though minor place, in literature by virtue of comparatively few poems.

Robert Herrick (1591-1674), a Devonshire vicar, while he shares in the mood of these light and graceful amourists, rises above them in vigour and charm.

There is a captivating naturalness and freshness in Herrick's note; the rural England of his time is green for­ever in his verse, the hedgerows are abloom, the Maypoles gay with garlands. He sings "Of brooks, of blossoms, birds and bowers. Of April, May, of June, and July-flowers."


John Donne


MARK but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is ;
It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be.
Thou know'st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead ;
Yet this enjoys before it woo,
And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two ;
And this, alas ! is more than we would do.

O stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, yea, more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is.
Though parents grudge, and you, we're met,
And cloister'd in these living walls of jet.
Though use make you apt to kill me,
Let not to that self-murder added be,
And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it suck'd from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou
Find'st not thyself nor me the weaker now.
'Tis true ; then learn how false fears be ;
Just so much honour, when thou yield'st to me,
Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.

John Donne

LXXX Sermons was first published in 1630

"Sermon XXVII", LXXX Sermons.

Preached March 28, 1619.

Preached to the LL. upon Easter-Day, at the Communion,

The King being then dangerously sick at New-Market .

Psal. 89:48

What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death?

At first, God gave the judgement of death upon man, when he should transgresse, absolutely, Morte morieris, Thou shalt surely dye: The woman in her Dialogue with the Serpent, she mollifies it, Ne fortè moriamur, perchance, if we eate, we may die; and then the Devill is as peremptory on the other side, Nequaquam moriemini, do what you will, surely you shall not die; And now God in this Text comes to his reply, Quis est homo, shall they not die? Give me but one instance, but one exception to this rule, What man is hee that liveth, and shall not see death? Let no man, no woman, no devill offer a Ne fortè, (perchance we may dye) much lesse a Nequaquam, (surely we shall not dye) except he be provided of an answer to this question, except he can give an instance against this generall, except he can produce that mans name, and history, that hath lived, and shall not see death. Wee are all conceived in close Prison; in our Mothers wombes, we are close Prisoners all; when we are borne, we are borne but to the liberty of the house; Prisoners still, though within larger walls; and then all our life is but a going out to the place of Execution, to death. Now was there ever any man seen to sleep in the Cart, between New-gate, and Tyborne? between the Prison, and the place of Execution, does any man sleep? And we sleep all the way; from the womb to the grave we are never thoroughly awake; but passe on with such dreames, and imaginations as these, I may live as well, as another, and why should I dye, rather then another? but awake, and tell me, sayes this Text, Quis homo? who is that other that thou talkest of? What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death?

In these words, we shall first, for our generall humiliation, consider the unanswerablenesse of this question, There is no man that lives, and shall not see death. Secondly, we shall see, how that modification of Eve may stand, fortè moriemur, how there may be a probable answer made to this question, that it is like enough, that there are some men that live, and shall not see death: And thirdly, we shall finde that truly spoken, which the Devill spake deceitfully then, we shall finde the Nequaquam verified, we shall finde a direct, and full answer to this question; we shall finde a man that lives, and shall not see death, our Lord, and Saviour Christ Jesus, of whom both S. Augustine, and S. Hierome, doe take this question to be principally asked, and this Text to be principally intended. Aske me this question then, of all the sons of men, generally guilty of originall sin, Quis homo, and I am speechlesse, I can make no answer; Aske me this question of those men, which shall be alive upon earth at the last day, when Christ comes to judgement, Quis homo, and I can make a probable answer; fortè moriemur, perchance they shall die; It is a problematicall matter, and we say nothing too peremptorily. Aske me this question without relation to originall sin, Quis homo, and then I will answer directly, fully, confidently, Ecce homo, there was a man that lived, and was not subject to death by the law, neither did he actually die so, but that he fulfilled the rest of this verse; Eruit animam de inferno, by his owne power, he delivered his soule from the hand of the grave. &gt;From the first, this lesson rises, Generall doctrines must be generally delivered, All men must die: From the second, this lesson, Collaterall and unrevealed doctrines must be soberly delivered, How shall we be changed at the last day, we know not so clearly: From the third, this lesson arises, Conditionall Doctrines must be conditionally delivered, If we be dead with him, we shall be raised with him.

First then, for the generality, Those other degrees of punishment, which God inflicted upon Adam, and Eve, and in them upon us, were as absolutely, and illimitedly pronounced, as this of death, and yet we see, they are many wayes extended, or contracted; To man it was said, In sudore vultus, In the sweat of thy browes, thou shalt eate thy bread, and how many men never sweat, till they sweat with eating? To the woman it was said, Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee: and how many women have no desire to their husbands, how many over-rule them? Hunger, and thirst, and wearinesse, and sicknesse are denounced upon all, and yet if you ask me Quis homo? What is the man that hungers and thirsts not, that labours not, that sickens not? I can tell you of many, that never felt any of these; but contract the question to that one of death, Quis homo? What man is he that shall not taste death? And I know none. Whether we consider the Summer Solstice, when the day is sixteen houres, and the night but eight, or the Winter Solstice, when the night is sixteen houres, and the day but eight, still all is but twenty foure houres, and still the evening and the morning make but a day: The Patriarchs in the old Testament had their Summer day, long lives; we are in the Winter, short lived; but Quis homo? Which of them, or us come not to our night in death? If we consider violent deaths, casuall deaths, it is almost a scornfull thing to see, with what wantonnesse, and sportfulnesse, death playes with us; We have seen a man Canon proofe in the time of War, and slain with his own Pistoll in the time of peace: We have seen a man recovered after his drowning, and live to hang himselfe. But for that one kinde of death, which is generall, (though nothing be in truth more against nature then dissolution, and corruption, which is death) we are come to call that death, naturall death, then which, indeed, nothing is more unnaturall; The generality makes it naturall; Moses sayes, that Mans age is seventy, and eighty is labour and pain; 11 Psal. 90:10. and yet himselfe was more then eighty, and in a good state, and habitude when he said so. No length, no strength enables us to answer this Quis homo? What man? &c.

Take a flat Map, a Globe in plano, and here is East, and there is West, as far asunder as two points can be put: but reduce this flat Map to roundnesse, which is the true form, and then East and West touch one another, and are all one: So consider mans life aright, to be a Circle, Pulvis es, & in pulverem reverteris, Dust thou art, and to dust thou must return; Nudus egressus, Nudus revertar, Iob 1. Naked I came, and naked I must go; In this, the circle, the two points meet, the womb and the grave are but one point, they make but one station, there is but a step from that to this. This brought in that custome amongst the Greek Emperours, that ever at the day of their Coronation, they were presented with severall sorts of Marble, that they might then bespeak their Tombe. And this brought in that Custome into the Primitive Church, that they called the Martyrs dayes, wherein they suffered, Natalitia Martyrum, their birth dayes; birth, and death is all one.

Their death was a birth to them into another life, into the glory of God; It ended one Circle, and created another; for immortality, and eternity is a Circle too; not a Circle where two points meet, but a Circle made at once; This life is a Circle, made with a Compasse, that passes from point to point; That life is a Circle stamped with a print, an endlesse, and perfect Circle, as soone as it begins. Of this Circle, the Mathematician is our great and good God; The other Circle we make up our selves; we bring the Cradle, and Grave together by a course of nature. Every man does; Mi Gheber, sayes the Originall; It is not Ishe, which is the first name of man, in the Scriptures, and signifies nothing but a sound, a voyce, a word; a Musicall ayre dyes, and evaporates, what wonder if man, that is but Ishe, a sound, dye too? It is not Adam, which is another name of man, and signifies nothing but red earth; Let it be earth red with blood, (with that murder which we have done upon our selves) let it be earth red with blushing, (so the word is used in the Originall) with a conscience of our own infirmity, what wonder if man, that is but Adam, guilty of this self-murder in himself, guilty of this in-borne frailty in himself, dye too? It is not Enos, which is also a third name of man, and signifies nothing but a wretched and miserable creature; what wonder if man, that is but earth, that is a burden to his Neighbours, to his friends, to his kindred, to himselfe, to whom all others, and to whom himself desires death, what wonder if he dye? But this question is framed upon none of these names; Not Ishe, not Adam, not Enos; but it is Mi Gheber, Quis vir; which is the word alwayes signifying a man accomplished in all excellencies, a man accompanied with all advantages; fame, and good opinion justly conceived, keepes him from being Ishe, a meere sound, standing onely upon popular acclamation; Innocency and integrity keepes him from being Adam, red earth, from bleeding, or blushing at any thing hee hath done; That holy and Religious Art of Arts, which S. Paul professed, That he knew how to want, and how to abound, keepes him from being Enos, miserable or wretched in any fortune; Hee is Gheber, a great Man, and a good Man, a happy Man, and a holy Man, and yet Mi Gheber, Quis homo, this man must see death.

And therefore we will carry this question a little higher, from Quis homo, to Quis deorum, Which of the gods have not seene death? Aske it of those, who are Gods by participation of Gods power, of those of whom God saies, Ego dixi, dii estis, and God answers for them, and of them, and to them, You shall dye like men; Aske it of those gods, who are gods by imputation, whom Creatures have created, whom Men have made gods, the gods of the Heathen, and do we not know, where all these gods dyed? Sometimes divers places dispute, who hath their tombes; but do not they deny their godhead in confessing their tombes? doe they not all answer, that they cannot answer this text, Mi Gheber, Quis homo, What man, Quis deorum, What god of mans making hath not seen death? As Iustin Martyr asks that question, Why should I pray to Apollo or Esculapius for health, Qui apud Chironem medicinam didicerunt, when I know who taught them all that they knew? so why should I looke for Immortality from such or such a god, whose grave I finde for a witnesse, that he himselfe is dead? Nay, carry this question higher then so, from this Quis homo, to quid homo, what is there in the nature and essence of Man, free from death? The whole man is not, for the dissolution of body and soule is death. The body is not; I shall as soon finde an immortall Rose, an eternall Flower, as an immortall body. And for the Immortality of the Soule, It is safelier said to be immortall, by preservation, then immortall by nature; That God keepes it from dying, then, that it cannot dye. We magnifie God in an humble and faithfull acknowledgment of the immortality of our soules, but if we aske, quid homo, what is there in the nature of Man, that should keepe him from death, even in that point, the question is not easily answered.

It is every mans case then; every man dyes; and though it may perchance be but a meere Hebraisme to say, that every man shall see death, perchance it amounts to no more, but to that phrase, Gustare mortem, To taste death, yet thus much may be implied in it too, That as every man must dye, so every man may see, that he must dye; as it cannot be avoided, so it may be understood. A beast dyes, but he does not see death; S. Basil sayes, he saw an Oxe weepe for the death of his yoke-fellow;  Basil orat. de Morte. but S. Basil might mistake the occasion of that Oxes teares. Many men dye too, and yet doe not see death; The approaches of death amaze them, and stupifie them; they feele no colluctation with Powers, and Principalities, upon their death bed; that is true; they feele no terrors in their consciences, no apprehensions of Judgement, upon their death bed; that is true; and this we call going away like a Lambe. But the Lambe of God had a sorrowfull sense of death; His soule was heavy unto death, and he had an apprehension, that his Father had forsaken him; And in this text, the Chalde Paraphrase expresses it thus, Videbit Angelum mortis, he shall see a Messenger, a forerunner, a power of Death, an executioner of Death, he shall see something with horror, though not such as shall shake his morall, or his Christian constancy.

So that this Videbunt, They shall see, implies also a Viderunt, they have seene, that is, they have used to see death, to observe a death in the decay of themselves, and of every creature, and of the whole Worlde. Almost fourteene hundred yeares ago, S. Cyprian writing against Demetrianus, who imputed all the warres, and deaths, and unseasonablenesses of that time, to the contempt, and irreligion of the Christians, that they were the cause of all those ils, because they would not worship their Gods, Cyprian imputes all those distempers to the age of the whole World; Canos videmus in pueris, saies hee, Wee see children borne gray-headed; Capilli deficiunt, antequam crescant, Their haire is changed, before it be growne. Nec aetas in senectute desinit, sed incipit a senectute, Wee doe not dye with age, but wee are borne old. Many of us have seene Death in our particular selves; in many of those steps, in which the morall Man expresses it; Wee have seene Mortem infantiae, pueritiam, Seneca. The death of infancy in youth; and Pueritiae, adolescentiam, and the death of youth in our middle age; And at last we shall see Mortem senectutis, mortem ipsam, the death of age in death it selfe. But yet after that, a step farther then that Morall man went, Mortem mortis in morte Iesu, We shall see the death of Death it self in the death of Christ. As we could not be cloathed at first, in Paradise, till some Creatures were dead, (for we were cloathed in beasts skins) so we cannot be cloathed in Heaven, but in his garment who dyed for us.

This Videbunt, this future sight of Death implies a viderunt, they have seene, they have studied Death in every Booke, in every Creature; and it implies a Vident, they doe presently see death in every object, They see the houre-glasse running to the death of the houre; They see the death of some prophane thoughts in themselves, by the entrance of some Religious thought of compunction, and conversion to God; and then they see the death of that Religious thought, by an inundation of new prophane thoughts, that overflow those. As Christ sayes, that as often as wee eate the Sacramentall Bread, we should remember his Death, so as often, as we eate ordinary bread, we may remember our death; for even hunger and thirst, are diseases; they are Mors quotidiana, Aug. a daily death, and if they lasted long, would kill us. In every object and subject, we all have, and doe, and shall see death; not to our comfort as an end of misery, not onely as such a misery in it selfe, as the Philosopher takes it to be, Mors omnium miseriarum, That Death is the death of all miserie, because it destroyes and dissolves our beeing; but as it is Stipendium peccati, The reward of sin; That as Solomon sayes, Indignatio Regis nuncius mortisProv. 16:14. The wrath of the King, is as a messenger of Death, so Mors nuncius indignationis Regis, We see in Death a testimony, that our Heavenly King is angry; for, but for his indignation against our sinnes, we should not dye. And this death, as it is Malum, ill, (for if ye weigh it in the Philosophers balance, it is an annihilation of our present beeing, and if ye weigh it in the Divine Balance, it is a seale of Gods anger against sin) so this death is generall; of this, this question there is no answer, Quis homo, What man, &c.

We passe then from the Morte moriemini, to the fortè moriemini, from the generality and the unescapableness of death, from this question, as it admits no answer, to the Forte moriemini, perchance we shall dye; that is, to the question as it may admit a probable answer. Of which, we said at first, that in such questions, nothing becomes a Christian better than sobriety; to make a true difference betweene problematicall, and dogmaticall points, betweene upper buildings, and foundations, betweene collaterall doctrines, and Doctrines in the right line: for fundamentall things, Sine haesitatione credantur, Aug. They must be beleeved without disputing; there is no more to be done for them, but beleeving; for things that are not so, we are to weigh them in two balances, in the balance of Analogy, and in the balance of scandall: we must hold them so, as may be analogall, proportionable, agreeable to the Articles of our Faith, and we must hold them so, as our brother be not justly offended, nor scandalized by them; wee must weigh them with faith, for our own strength, and we must weigh them with charity, for others weaknesse. Certainly nothing endangers a Church more, then to draw indifferent things to be necessary; I meane of a primary necessity, of a necessity to be beleeved De fide, not a secondary necessity, a necessity to be performed and practised for obedience: Without doubt, the Roman Church repents now, and sees now that she should better have preserved her selfe, if they had not denied so many particular things, which were indifferently and problematically disputed before, to be had necessarily De fide, in the Councell of Trent.

Taking then this Text for a probleme, Quis homo, What man lives, and shall not see Death? we answer, It may be that those Men, whom Christ shal find upon the earth alive, at his returne to Judge the World, shall dye then, and it may be they shall but be changed, and not dye. That Christ shall judge quick and dead, is a fundamentall thing; we heare it in S. Peters Sermon, to Cornelius and his company,  Acts 10:42. and we say it every day in the Creed, Hee shall judge the quick and the dead. But though we doe not take the quick and the dead, as Augustine and Chrysostome doe, for the Righteous which lived in faith, and the unrighteous, which were dead in sinne, Though wee doe not take the quick and the dead, as Ruffinus and others doe, for the soule and the body, (He shall judge the soule, which was alwaies alive, and he shall the body, which was dead for a time) though we take the words (as becomes us best) literally, yet the letter does not conclude, but that they, whom Christ shall finde alive upon earth, shall have a present and sudden dissolution, and a present and sudden re-union of body and soul again. Saint Paul sayes, Behold I shew you a mystery;1 Cor. 15:51. Therefore it is not a cleare case, and presently, and peremptorily determined; but what is it? We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. But whether this sleeping be spoke of death it self, and exclude that, that we shall not die, or whether this sleep be spoke of a rest in the grave, and exclude that, we shall not be buried, and remain in death, that may be a mystery still. S. Paul sayes too, The dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive, and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the ayre. 1 Thes. 4. But whether that may not still be true, that S. Augustine sayes, that there shall be Mors in raptu, An instant and sudden dis-union, and re-union of body and soul, which is death, who can tell? So on the other side, when it is said to him, in whom all we were, to Adam, Pulvis esGen. 3:19. Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return, when it is said, In Adam all die, 1 Cor. 15:22. when it is said, Death passed upon all men, for all have sinnedRom. 5:12. Why may not all those sentences of Scripture, which imply a necessity of dying, admit that restriction, Nisi dies judicii naturae cursum immutet,  Pet. Mar. We shall all die, except those, in whom the comming of Christ shall change the course of Nature.

Consider the Scriptures then, and we shall be absolutely concluded neither way; Consider Authority, and we shall finde the Fathers for the most part one way, and the Schoole for the most part another; Take later men, and all those in the Romane Church; Then Cajetan thinks, that they shall not die, and Catharin is so peremptory, that they shall, as that he sayes of the other opinion, Falsam esse confidenter asserimus, & contra Scripturas satis manifestas, & omnino sine ratione; It is false, and against Scriptures, and reason, saith he; Take later men, and all those in the reformed Church; and Calvin sayes, Quia aboletur prior natura, censetur species mortis, sed non migrabit anima à corpore: S. Paul calls it death, because it is a destruction of the former Beeing; but it is not truly death, saith Calvin; and Luther saith, That S. Pauls purpose in that place is only to shew the suddennesse of Christs comming to Judgement, Non autem inficiatur omnes morituros; nam dormire, est sepeliri: But S. Paul doth not deny, but that all shall die; for that sleeping which he speaks of, is buriall; and all shall die, though all shall not be buried, saith Luther.

Take then that which is certain; It is certain, a judgement thou must passe; If thy close and cautelous proceeding have saved thee from all informations in the Exchequer, thy clearnesse of thy title from all Courts at Common Law, thy moderation from the Chancery, and Star-Chamber, If heighth of thy place, and Authority, have saved thee, even from the tongues of men, so that ill men dare not slander thy actions, nor good men dare not discover thy actions, no not to thy self, All those judgements, and all the judgements of the world, are but interlocutory judgements; There is a finall judgement, In judicantes & judicatos, against Prisoners and Judges too, where all shalbe judged again; Datum est omne judicium, John 5. All judgement is given to the Son of man, and upon all the sons of men must his judgement passe. A judgement is certain, and the uncertainty of this judgement is certain too; perchance God will put off thy judgement; thou shalt not die yet; but who knows whether God in his mercy, do put off this judgement, till these good motions which his blessed Spirit inspires into thee now, may take roote, and receive growth, and bring forth fruit, or whether he put it off, for a heavier judgement, to let thee see, by thy departing from these good motions, and returning to thy former sins, after a remorse conceived against those sins, that thou art inexcusable even to thy self, and thy condemnation is just, even to thine own conscience. So perchance God will bring this judgement upon thee now; now thou maist die; but whether God will bring that judgement upon thee now, in mercy, whilest his Graces, in his Ordinance of preaching, work some tendernesse in thee, and give thee some preparation, some fitnesse, some courage to say, Veni Domine Iesu, Come Lord Iesu, come quickly, come now, or whether he will come now in judgement, because all this can work no tendernesse in thee, who can tell?

Thou hearest the word of God preached, as thou hearest an Oration, with some gladnesse in thy self, if thou canst heare him, and never be moved by his Oratory; thou thinkest it a degree of wisdome, to be above perswasion; and when thou art told, that he that feares God, feares nothing else, thou thinkest thy self more valiant then so, if thou feare not God neither; Whether or why God defers, or hastens the judgement, we know not; This is certain, this all S. Pauls places collineate to, this all the Fathers, and all the Schoole, all the Cajetans, and all the Catharins, all the Luthers, and all the Calvins agree in, A judgement must be, and it must be In ictu oculi, In the twinkling of an eye, and Fur in nocte, A thiefe in the night. Make the question, Quis homo? What man is he that liveth, and shall not passe this judgement? or, what man is he that liveth, and knowes when this judgement shall be? So it is a Nemo scit, A question without an answer; but as it, as in the text, Quis homo? Who liveth, and shall not die? so it is a problematicall matter; and in such things as are problematicall, if thou love the peace of Sion, be not too inquisitive to know, nor too vehement, when thou thinkest thou doest know it.

Come then to ask this question, not problematically, (as it is contracted to them that shall live in the last dayes) nor peremptorily of man, (as he is subject to originall sin) but at large, so, as the question may include Christ himself, and then to that Quis homo? What man is he? We answer directly, here is the man that shall not see death; And of him principally, and literally, S. Augustine (as we said before) takes this question to be framed; Vt quaeras, dictum, non ut desperes, saith he, this question is moved, to move thee to seek out, and to have thy recourse to that man which is the Lord of Life, not to make thee despaire, that there is no such man, in whose self, and in whom, for all us, there is Redemption from death; For, sayes he, this question is an exception to that which was said before the text; which is, Wherefore hast thou made all men in vain? Consider it better, sayes the Holy Ghost, here, and it will not prove so; Man is not made in vain at first, though he doe die now; for, Perditio tua ex te, This death proceeds from man himself; and Quare moriemini domus Israel? Why will ye die, O house of Israel? God made not death, neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living;  Sap. 1:13. The Wise man sayes it, and the true God sweares it, As I live saith the Lord, I would not the death of a sinner. God did not create man in vain then, though he die; not in vain, for since he will needs die, God receives glory even by his death, in the execution of his justice; not in vaine neither, because though he be dead, God hath provided him a Redeemer from death, in his mercy; Man is not created in vain at all; nor all men, so neare vanity as to die; for here is one man, God and Man Christ Jesus, which liveth, and shall not see death. And conformable to S. Augustines purpose, speaks S. Hierome too, Scio quòd nullus homo carneus evadet, sed novi Deum sub velamento carnis latentem; I know there is no man but shall die; but I know where there is a God clothed in mans flesh, and that person cannot die.

But did not Christ die then? Shall we joyne with any of those Heretiques, which brought Christ upon the stage to play a part, and say he was born, or lived, or dyed, In phantasmate, In apparance only, and representation; God forbid; so all men were created in vain indeed, if we had not in him a regeneration in his true death. Where is the contract between him, and his Father, that Oportuit pati, All this Christ ought to suffer, and so enter into glory: Is that contract void, and of none effect? Must he not die? Where is the ratification of that contract in all the Prophets? Where is Esays Vere languores nostros tulit, Surely he hath born our sorrows; and, he made his grave with the wicked in his death; Esay 53:4, 9. Is the ratification of the Prophets cancelled? Shall he not, must he not die? Where is the consummation, and the testification of all this? Where is the Gospell, Consummatum est? And he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost? Is that fabulous? Did he not die? How stands the validity of that contract, Christ must die; the dignity of those Prophecies, Christ will die; the truth of the Gospell, Christ did die, with this answer to this question, Here is a man that liveth and shall not see death? Very well; For though Christ Jesus did truly die, so as was contracted, so as was prophecied, so as was related, yet hee did not die so, as was intended in this question, so as other naturall men do die.

For first, Christ dyed because he would dye; other men admitted to the dignity of Martyrdome, are willing to dye; but they dye by the torments of the Executioners, they cannot bid their soules goe out, and say, now I will dye. And this was Christs case: It was not only, I lay down my life for my sheepJohn 10:15. but he sayes also, No man can take away my soule; And, I have power to lay it down; And De facto, he did lay it down, he did dye, before the torments could have extorted his soule from him; Many crucified men lived many dayes upon the Crosse; The thieves were alive, long after Christ was dead; and therefore Pilate wondred, that he was already dead.  Mar. 15:44. His soule did not leave his body by force, but because he would, and when he would, and how he would; August. Thus far then first, this is an answer to this question, Quis homo? Christ did not die naturally, nor violently, as all others doe, but only voluntarily.

Again, the penalty of death appertaining only to them, who were derived from Adam by carnall, and sinfull generation, Christ Jesus being conceived miraculously of a Virgin, by the over-shadowing of the Holy Ghost, was not subject to the Law of death; and therefore in his person, it is a true answer to this Quis homo? Here is a man, that shall not see death, that is, he need not see death, he hath not incurred Gods displeasure, he is not involved in a general rebellion, and therfore is not involved in the generall mortality, not included in the generall penalty. He needed not have dyed by the rigour of any Law, all we must; he could not dye by the malice, or force of any Executioner, all we must; at least by natures generall Executioners, Age, and Sicknesse; And then, when out of his own pleasure, and to advance our salvation, he would dye, yet he dyed so, as that though there were a dis-union of body and soule, (which is truly death) yet there remained a Nobler, and faster union, then that of body and soule, the Hypostaticall Union of the God-head, not onely to his soule, but to his body too; so that even in his death, both parts were still, not onely inhabited by, but united to the Godhead it selfe; and in respect of that inseparable Union, we may answer to this question, Quis homo? Here is a man that shall not see death, that is, he shall see no separation of that, which is incomparably, and incomprehensibly, a better soul then his soule, the God-head shall not be separated from his body.

But, that which is indeed the most direct, and literall answer, to this question, is, That whereas the death in this Text, is intended of such a death, as hath Dominion over us, and from which we have no power to raise our selves, we may truly, and fully answer to his Quis homo? here is a man, that shall never see death so, but that he shall even in the jawes, and teeth of death, and in the bowels and wombe of the grave, and in the sink, and furnace of hell it selfe, retaine an Almighty power, and an effectuall purpose, to deliver his soule from death, by a glorious, a victorious, and a Triumphant Resurrection: So it is true, Christ Jesus dyed, else none of us could live; but yet hee dyed not so, as is intended in this question; Not by the necessity of any Law, not by the violence of any Executioner, not by the separation of his best soule, (if we may so call it) the God-head, nor by such a separation of his naturall, and humane soule, as that he would not, or could not, or did not resume it againe.

If then this question had beene asked of Angels at first, Quis Angelus? what Angel is that, that stands, and shall not fall? though as many of those Angels, as were disposed to that answer, Erimus similes Altissimo, We will be like God, and stand of our selves, without any dependance upon him, did fall, yet otherwise they might have answered the question fairly, All we may stand, if we will; If this question had been asked of Adam in Paradise, Quis homo? though when he harkned to her, who had harkned to that voyce, Eritis sicut Dii, You shall be as Gods, he fell too, yet otherwise, he might have answered the question fairly so, I may live, and not dye, if I will; so, if this question be asked of us now, as the question implies the generall penalty, as it considers us onely as the sons of Adam, we have no other answer, but that by Adam sin entred upon all, and death by sin upon all; as it implies the state of them onely, whom Christ at his second comming shall finde upon earth, wee have no other answer but a modest, non liquet, we are not sure, whether we shall dye then, or no; wee are onely sure, it shall be so, as most conduces to our good, and Gods glory; but as the question implies us to be members of our Head, Christ Jesus, as it was a true answer in him, it is true in every one of us, adopted in him, Here is a man that liveth, and shall not see death.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, sayes Solomon, Prov. 18:21. in another sense; and in this sense too, If my tongue, suggested by my heart, and by my heart rooted in faith, can say, Non moriar, non moriar; If I can say, (and my conscience doe not tell me, that I belye mine owne state) if I can say, That the blood of my Saviour runs in my veines, That the breath of his Spirit quickens all my purposes, that all my deaths have their Resurrection, all my sins their remorses, all my rebellions their reconciliations, I will harken no more after this question, as it is intended de morte naturali, of a naturall death, I know I must die that death, what care I? nor de morte spirituali, the death of sin, I know I doe, and shall die so; why despaire I? but I will finde out another death, mortem raptus, a death of rapture, and of extasie, that death which S. Paul died more then once,  2 Cor. 12; Acts 9. The death which S. Gregory speaks of, Divina contemplatio quoddam sepulchrum animae, The contemplation of God, and heaven, is a kinde of buriall, and Sepulchre, and rest of the soule; and in this death of rapture, and extasie, in this death of the Contemplation of my interest in my Saviour, I shall finde my self, and all my sins enterred, and entombed in his wounds, and like a Lily in Paradise, out of red earth, I shall see my soule rise out of his blade, in a candor, and in an innocence, contracted there, acceptable in the sight of his Father.

Though I have been dead, in the delight of sin, so that that of S. Paul, That a Widow that liveth in pleasure, is dead while she liveth, 1 Tim. 5:6. be true of my soule, that so, viduatur, gratiâ mortuâ, when Christ is dead, not for the soule, but in the soule, that the soule hath no sense of Christ, Viduatur anima, the soul is a Widow, and no Dowager, she hath lost her husband, and hath nothing from him; yea though I have made a Covenant with death, and have been at an agreement with hell, Esay 28:15. and in a vain confidence have said to my self, that when the overflowing scourge shall passe through, it shall not come to me, yet God shall annull that covenant; he shall bring that scourge, that is, some medicinall correction upon me, and so give me a participation of all the stripes of his son; he shall give me a sweat, that is, some horrour, and religious feare, and so give me a participation of his Agony; he shall give me a diet, perchance want, and penury, and so a participation of his fasting; and if he draw blood, if he kill me, all this shall be but Mors raptus, a death of rapture towards him, into a heavenly, and assured Contemplation, that I have a part in all his passion, yea such an intire interest in his whole passion, as though all that he did, or suffered, had been done, and suffered for my soule alone; Quasi moriens, & ecce vivo2 Cor. 6:9. some shew of death I shall have, for I shall sin; and some shew of death again, for I shall have a dissolution of this Tabernacle; Sed ecce vivo, still the Lord of life will keep me alive, and that with an Ecce, Behold, I live; that is, he will declare, and manifest my blessed state to me; I shall not sit in the shadow of death; no nor shall I not sit in darknesse; his gracious purpose shall evermore be upon me, and I shall ever discerne that gracious purpose of his; I shall not die, nor I shall not doubt that I shall; If I be dead within doores, (If I have sinned in my heart) why, Suscitavit in domo, Christ gave a Resurrection to the Rulers daughter within doores, in the house;  Mat. 9:23. If I be dead in the gate, (If I have sinned in the gates of my soul) in mine Eies, or Eares, or Hands, in actuall sins, why, Suscitavit in porta, Christ gave a Resurrection to the young man at the gate of NaimLuke 7:11. If I be dead in the grave, (in customary, and habituall sins) why, Suscitavit in Sepulchro, Christ gave a Resurrection to Lazarus in the grave too. John 11. If God give me mortem raptus, a death of rapture, of extasie, of fervent Contemplation of Christ Jesus, a Transfusion, a Transplantation, a Transmigration, a Transmutation into him, (for good digestion brings alwaies assimilation, certainly, if I come to a true meditation upon Christ, I come to a conformity with Christ) this is principally that Pretiosa mors SanctorumPsal. 116:15. Pretious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of his Saints, by which they are dead and buryed, and risen again in Christ Jesus; pretious is that death, by which we apply that pretious blood to our selves, and grow strong enough by it, to meet Davids question, Quis homo? what man? with Christs answer, Ego homo, I am the man, in whom whosoever abideth, shall not see death

Thomas Carew


GAZE not on thy beauty's pride,
Tender maid, in the false tide
That from lovers' eyes doth slide.

Let thy faithful crystal show
How thy colours come and go : 5
Beauty takes a foil from woe.

Love, that in those smooth streams lies
Under pity's fair disguies,
Will thy melting heart surprise.

Nets of passion's finest thread, 10
Snaring poems, will be spread,
All to catch thy maidenhead.

Then beware ! for those that cure
Love's disease, themselves endure
For reward a calenture. 15

Rather let the lover pine,
Than his pale cheek should assign
A perpetual blush to thine.

Robert Herrick


GET up, get up for shame, the blooming morn
Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
See how Aurora throws her fair
Fresh-quilted colours through the air :
Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see
The dew bespangling herb and tree.
Each flower has wept and bow'd toward the east
Above an hour since : yet you not dress'd ;
Nay ! not so much as out of bed?
When all the birds have matins said
And sung their thankful hymns, 'tis sin,
Nay, profanation to keep in,
Whereas a thousand virgins on this day
Spring, sooner than the lark, to fetch in May.

Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and green,
And sweet as Flora. Take no care
For jewels for your gown or hair :
Fear not ; the leaves will strew
Gems in abundance upon you :
Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
Against you come, some orient pearls unwept ;
Come and receive them while the light
Hangs on the dew-locks of the night :
And Titan on the eastern hill
Retires himself, or else stands still
Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in praying :
Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying.

Come, my Corinna, come ; and, coming, mark
How each field turns a street, each street a park
Made green and trimm'd with trees : see how
Devotion gives each house a bough
Or branch : each porch, each door ere this
An ark, a tabernacle is,
Made up of white-thorn neatly interwove ;
As if here were those cooler shades of love.
Can such delights be in the street
And open fields and we not see't ?
Come, we'll abroad ; and let's obey
The proclamation made for May :
And sin no more, as we have done, by staying ;
But, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying.

There's not a budding boy or girl this day
But is got up, and gone to bring in May.
A deal of youth, ere this, is come
Back, and with white-thorn laden home.
Some have despatch'd their cakes and cream
Before that we have left to dream :
And some have wept, and woo'd, and plighted troth,
And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth :
Many a green-gown has been given ;
Many a kiss, both odd and even :
Many a glance too has been sent
From out the eye, love's firmament ;
Many a jest told of the keys betraying
This night, and locks pick'd, yet we're not a-Maying.

Come, let us go while we are in our prime ;
And take the harmless folly of the time.
We shall grow old apace, and die
Before we know our liberty.
Our life is short, and our days run
As fast away as does the sun ;
And, as a vapour or a drop of rain
Once lost, can ne'er be found again,
So when or you or I are made
A fable, song, or fleeting shade,
All love, all liking, all delight
Lies drowned with us in endless night.
Then while time serves, and we are but decaying,
Come, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying.

Henry Vaughan


SO, stick up ivy and the bays,
And then restore the heathen ways.
Green will remind you of the spring,
Though this great day denies the thing ;
And mortifies the earth, and all
But your wild revels, and loose hall.
Could you wear flow'rs, and roses strow
Blushing upon your breasts' warm snow,
That very dress your lightness will
Rebuke, and wither at the ill.
The brightness of this day we owe
Not unto music, masque, nor show,
Nor gallant furniture, nor plate,
But to the manger's mean estate.
His life while here, as well as birth,
Was but a check to pomp and mirth ;
And all man's greatness you may see
Condemned by His humility.

Then leave your open house and noise,
To welcome Him with holy joys,
And the poor shepherds' watchfulness,
Whom light and hymns from Heav'n did bless.
What you abound with, cast abroad
To those that want, and ease your load.
Who empties thus, will bring more in ;
But riot is both loss and sin.
Dress finely what comes not in sight,
And then you keep your Christmas right.

Henry Vaughan


HAPPY those early days, when I
Shin'd in my angel-infancy !
Before I understood this place
Appointed for my second race,
Or taught my soul to fancy ought
But a white, celestial thought ;
When yet I had not walk'd above
A mile or two from my first love,
And looking back—at that short space—
Could see a glimpse of His bright face ;
When on some gilded cloud, or flow'r,
My gazing soul would dwell an hour,
And in those weaker glories spy
Some shadows of eternity ;
Before I taught my tongue to wound
My conscience with a sinful sound,
Or had the black art to dispense
A sev'ral sin to ev'ry sense,
But felt through all this fleshly dress
Bright shoots of everlastingness.
O how I long to travel back,
And tread again that ancient track !
That I might once more reach that plain,
Where first I left my glorious train ;
From whence th' enlighten'd spirit sees
That shady City of palm-trees.
But ah ! my soul with too much stay
Is drunk, and staggers in the way !
Some men a forward motion love,
But I by backward steps would move ;
And when this dust falls to the urn,
In that state I came, return.

Henry Vaughan


I CANNOT reach it ; and my striving eye
Dazzles at it, as at eternity.

Were now that chronicle alive,
Those white designs which children drive,
And the thoughts of each harmless hour,
With their content too in my pow'r,
Quickly would I make my path ev'n,
And by mere playing go to heaven.

Why should men love
A wolf, more than a lamb or dove ?
Or choose hell-fire and brimstone streams
Before bright stars and God's own beams ?
Who kisseth thorns will hurt his face,
But flowers do both refresh and grace ;
And sweetly living—fie on men !—
Are, when dead, medicinal then ;
If seeing much should make staid eyes,
And long experience should make wise ;
Since all that age doth teach is ill,
Why should I not love childhood still ?
Why, if I see a rock or shelf,
Shall I from thence cast down myself ?
Or by complying with the world,
From the same precipice be hurl'd ?
Those observations are but foul,
Which make me wise to lose my soul.

And yet the practice worldlings call
Business, and weighty action all,
Checking the poor child for his play,
But gravely cast themselves away.

Dear, harmless age ! the short, swift span
Where weeping Virtue parts with man ;
Where love without lust dwells, and bends
What way we please without self-ends.

An age of mysteries ! which he
Must live that would God's face see ;
Which angels guard, and with it play,
Angels ! which foul men drive away.

How do I study now, and scan
Thee more than e'er I studied man,
And only see through a long night
Thy edges and thy bordering light !
O for thy centre and midday !
For sure that is the narrow way !

George Herbert


O who will show me those delights on high?
Echo. I.
Thou Echo, thou art mortall, all men know.
Echo. No.
Wert thou not born among the trees and leaves?
Echo. Leaves.
And are there any leaves, that still abide?
Echo. Bide.
What leaves are they? impart the matter wholly.
Echo. Holy.
Are holy leaves the Echo then of blisse?

Echo. Yes.
Then tell me, what is that supreme delight?
Echo. Light.
Light to the minde : what shall the will enjoy?
Echo. Joy.
But are there cares and businesse with the pleasure?
Echo. Leisure.
Light, joy, and leisure ; but shall they persever?
Echo. Ever.

George Herbert


HOLINESS on the head,
Light and perfection on the breast,
Harmonious bells below raising the dead
To lead them unto life and rest.
Thus are true Aarons drest.*

Profaneness in my head,
Defects and darkness in my breast,
A noise of passions ringing me for dead
Unto a place where is no rest :
Poor priest ! thus am I drest.

Only another head
I have another heart and breast,
Another music, making live, not dead,
Without whom I could have no rest :
In Him I am well drest.

Christ is my only head,
My alone only heart and breast,
My only music, striking me e'en dead ;
That to the old man I may rest,
And be in Him new drest.

So holy in my Head,
Perfect and light in my dear Breast,
My doctrine tuned by Christ (who is not dead,
But lives in me while I do rest),
Come, people ; Aaron's drest.

JOHN MILTON (1608-1674.)

Shakespeare, the poet of man, was born in rural Eng­land; John Milton, into whose remote and lofty verse humanity enters so little, was born in Bread Street in the heart of London, December 9, 1608.

His early years were passed in a sober and orderly Puritan household among influences of refinement and culture. His father, John Milton, was a scrivener, but he was also well known as a musical composer. The younger Milton's faculty for music had thus an opportunity for early development; a fact of especial interest when we recall the distinctively musical character of his verse.

Milton was given every educational advantage. He had private instruction, and about 1620 was sent to the famous Grammar School of St. Paul. Here, he began to experiment in poetry, and we have paraphrases of two of the Psalms made by him at this time.

In 1624 Milton entered Christ's College, Cambridge, where he continued to work with the same steady and regulated enthusiasm. His youth was spotless and high-minded, with perhaps a touch of that austerity which deepened as he grew older. The year after he entered college he wrote his first original poem, On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough, and to this period also belong other short pieces.

After leaving Cambridge Milton spent nearly six years at his father's country house at Horton. Here he lived with books and Nature, studying the classics and physical science, and leaving his studious quiet only for an occasional trip to town to learn something new in music or in mathe­matics.

Milton's L''Allegro and Il Penseroso, composed at this time, reflect both the young poet and his surroundings. In both poems we detect Milton himself, a refined and serious nature, exquisitely responsive to whatever is best in life, with a quick and by no means narrow appreciation of things beautiful. The poems suggest to us a youthful Milton dreaming of gorgeous and visionary splendours in the long summer twilights, delighting in the plays of Jonson and Shakespeare, and spending lonely midnights in the loftiest speculations of philosophy; a Milton whose beauty-loving and religious nature was moved by the solemn ritual of the Church of England under the "high embowed roof" of a cathedral. In these poems, especially L'AUegro, Milton is very close to the Elizabethans. Comus (1634), Milton's next work, shows the decided growth of a new and distinctly Puritan spirit. In its form indeed, Comus belongs to the earlier age. It is a mask — one of those gorgeous dramatic spec­tacles which Renaissance England had learned from Italy, the favourite entertainment at the festivals of the rich, with which Ben Jonson so often delighted the court of James. Comus shows us how purity and innocence can thread the darkest and most tangled ways of earth, unharmed and invincible, through the inherent might of goodness. In noble and memorable words Milton declares that if we once lose faith in this essential power of righteousness, and in the ultimate triumph of good over evil which that power is destined to secure, the very foundations of the universe give way:

". . . Against the threats

Of malice or of sorcery, or that power

Which erring men call Chance, this I hold firm:

Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt,

Surprised by unjust force, but not enthralled:

Yea, even that which Mischief meant most harm

Shall in the happy trial prove most glory.

But evil on itself shall back recoil,

And mix no more with goodness, when at last,

Gathered like scum, and settled to itself,

It shall be in eternal restless change

Self-fed and self-consumed. If this fail,

The pillared firmament is rottenness,

And earth's base built on stubble."

We see the powers of Heaven descend to protect innocence, and in the parting words of the attend­ant spirit, we find both the practical lesson of the mask and the guiding principle of Milton:

"Mortals, that would follow me,

Love Virtue; she alone is free.

She can teach ye how to climb

Higher than the sphery chime;

Or, if Virtue feeble were,

Heaven itself would stoop to her." Comus

In his next poem, the pastoral elegy of Lycidas {16.37), the .space between Milton and the Elizabethans continues to widen. From the enthusiasm for virtue, he passes to an outburst of wrath and denuncia­tion – against those in the Church whom he considered the faithless shepherds of the flock.

"The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,"

but the hour of retribution is at hand.

Leaving England in April, 1638, he passed through Paris to Italy, meeting many learned and famous men, among the rest the old astronomer Galileo, to whom he refers in the early part of Paradise Lost.

Meanwhile the civil troubles in England seemed gathering to a crisis, and Milton resolved to shorten his trip, because, as he wrote."I considered it base that while my fellow-countrymen were fighting at home for liberty, I should be travelling abroad for intellectual culture."

We learn from the Epitaphium Damonis, a beautiful Latin elegy written at this time (1639), that Milton was already planning a great epic poem, but this project was to be rudely interrupted. England was on the brink of civil war, and after long years of preparation Milton put aside his cher­ished ambitions and freely gave up his life and genius to the service of his country. Except for occa­sional sonnets, the greatest poet in England forced himself to write prose for more than twenty years. Most of this prose was written in the heat of "hoarse disputes," and is often marred by the bitterness and personal abuse which marked the controversies of that troubled time; but this is redeemed in many places by earnestness and a noble eloquence.

Prominent among the works of this prose period are the Tractate on Education (1644), and the splendid Areopagitica, a burning plea for the liberty of the press.

Meanwhile (1643), Milton had taken a hasty and unfor­tunate step in marrying Mary Powell, a young girl of less than half his age, of Royalist family, who proved unsuited to him in disposition and education. After the execution of Charles I(1649) Milton ranged himself on the side of those who had taken this tremendous step. His pen continued to be busy for the state, until in 1652 his eyes failed him through over-use, and he was stricken with total blindness. In this year his wife died leaving him with three little girls. In 1656 he married Katherine Woodcock, who lived but little more than a year, and to whom he paid a touching tribute in one of his sonnets: "Methought I saw my late espoused Saint

Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave," etc.

In these later years of Milton's life, during which he suffered blindness, sorrow, and broken health, the cause for which he had sacrificed so much was lost and England brought again under the rule of a Stuart king. In the riotous years that followed Milton entered in earnest upon the composition of Paradise Lost.

The old poet lived his life of high contemplation and un­daunted labour.

The words of one who visited him at this time help to bring Milton before us, dressed neatly in black, and seated in a large arm-chair in a room with dark-green hangings, his soft hair falling over his shoulders, his sightless eyes still beautiful and clear.

Paradise Lost was published in 1667, to be followed in 1671 by Paradise Regained. With the latter poem appeared the noble drama of Samson Agonistes (or the Wrestler), and with it Milton's work was ended. He died on November 8, 1674, so quietly that those with him knew not when he passed away.

However we may appreciate the differences in the spirit of two great poets – Shakespeare and Milton – the saving grace of Shakespeare’s charity and Milton’s rigorous insistence on condemnation in strict accord with the offence, we do Milton wrong if we fail to honour and reverence him for that in which he was supremely great. We must remember that this intense zeal for righteousness was a master passion in the highest spirits of Milton's time, and that it is hard to combine zeal with tolerance. It is but natural that in the midst of the corrupt England of the Restora­tion, the almost solitary voice of the nation's better self could not prophesy smooth things. This Puritan severity is especially marked in the three great poems of Milton's later life. Paradise Lost, with its sequel, ParadiseRegained, constitutes the one great contribution of the English genius to the epic poetry of the world.

By the incomparable dignity and majesty of the verse, with its prolonged and solemn music, and the curious involution of its slowly unfolding sen­tences, we are lifted out of the ordinary or the trivial, into the incalculable spaces of that region into which it is the poet's object to transport us. In Paradise Lost, caught in the tremendous sweep of Milton's Imagination, we see our whole universe, with its circling sun and planets hang­ing suspended in the black abyss of chaos. Heaven, "the deep tract of Hell," and that illimitable and chaotic region which lies between, make up the vast Miltonic background, where legions of rebellious angels strive with God, and wherein is enacted the mysterious drama, not of men, but of the race of Man.

Milton, with the new daring of Puritanism, took for his province that "undiscovered country" beyond the walls of this goodly prison, as Shakespeare, through Hamlet, called the world. At the beginning of his great epic he invokes "The Heavenly Muse,"

"that on the secret top

Of Oreb or of Sinai, didst inspire,

That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed,

In the beginning how the heavens and earth

Rose out of chaos." Paradise Lost

He looks to the Hill of Sion,

"and Siloa's brook, that flowed

Fast by the oracle of God,"

rather than to Parnassus, and by Celestial guidance intends to soar "above the Aonian mount," and to pursue

"Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme."



METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me like Alcestis,(2) from the grave,
Whom Jove's great son(3) to her glad husband(4) gave,
Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint.
Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed taint

Purification in the old Law did save,
And such, as yet once more I trust to have
Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind:
Her face was veil'd;(5) yet to my fancied sight
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But O, as to embrace me she inclin'd,
I wak'd; she fled; and day brought back my night.

1 This sonnet was written about the year 1656, on the death of his second wife, Catharine, the daughter of Captain Woodcock of Hackney. She died in child-bed of a daughter, within a year after their marriage. Milton had now been some time totally blind.— 2 'Alcestis:' see Euripides.— 3 'Great son:' Hercules.— 4 'Glad husband:' Admetus.— 5 'Veil'd:' so was Alcestis.


Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of EDEN, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of OREB, or of SINAI, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
Rose out of CHAOS: Or if SION Hill
Delight thee more, and SILOA'S Brook that flow'd
Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' AONIAN Mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert th' Eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to men.


So Satan fell; and straight a fiery globe 
Of Angels on full sail of wing flew nigh, 
Who on their plumy vans received Him soft 
From his uneasy station, and upbore, 
As on a floating couch, through the blithe air; 
Then, in a flowery valley, set him down 
On a green bank, and set before him spread 
A table of celestial food, divine 
Ambrosial fruits fetched from the Tree of Life, 
And from the Fount of Life ambrosial drink,                 590 
That soon refreshed him wearied, and repaired 
What hunger, if aught hunger, had impaired, 
Or thirst; and, as he fed, Angelic quires 
Sung heavenly anthems of his victory 
Over temptation and the Tempter proud:- 
"True Image of the Father, whether throned 
In the bosom of bliss, and light of light 
Conceiving, or, remote from Heaven, enshrined 
In fleshly tabernacle and human form, 
Wandering the wilderness--whatever place,                   600 
Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing 
The Son of God, with Godlike force endued 
Against the attempter of thy Father's throne 
And thief of Paradise!  Him long of old 
Thou didst debel, and down from Heaven cast 
With all his army; now thou hast avenged 
Supplanted Adam, and, by vanquishing 
Temptation, hast regained lost Paradise, 
And frustrated the conquest fraudulent. 
He never more henceforth will dare set foot                 610 
In paradise to tempt; his snares are broke. 
For, though that seat of earthly bliss be failed, 
A fairer Paradise is founded now 
For Adam and his chosen sons, whom thou, 
A Saviour, art come down to reinstall; 
Where they shall dwell secure, when time shall be, 
Of tempter and temptation without fear. 
But thou, Infernal Serpent! shalt not long 
Rule in the clouds.  Like an autumnal star, 
Or lightning, thou shalt fall from Heaven, trod down        620 
Under his feet.  For proof, ere this thou feel'st 
Thy wound (yet not thy last and deadliest wound) 
By this repulse received, and hold'st in Hell 
No triumph; in all her gates Abaddon rues 
Thy bold attempt.  Hereafter learn with awe 
To dread the Son of God.  He, all unarmed, 
Shall chase thee, with the terror of his voice, 
From thy demoniac holds, possession foul-- 
Thee and thy legions; yelling they shall fly, 
And beg to hide them in a herd of swine,                    630 
Lest he command them down into the Deep, 
Bound, and to torment sent before their time. 
Hail, Son of the Most High, heir of both Worlds, 
Queller of Satan!  On thy glorious work 
Now enter, and begin to save Mankind." 
Thus they the Son of God, our Saviour meek, 
Sung victor, and, from heavenly feast refreshed, 
Brought on his way with joy.  He, unobserved, 
Home to his mother's house private returned. 

Seventeenth-century prose.

While the deep emo­tions, high imaginations, and poetic fancy which possessed Renaissance England, found their fullest and their earliest expression through poetry and the drama, from the close of the sixteenth century they began to ennoble prose also

Raleigh's History of the World (1614), tedious and discursive as it is, is illuminated by many noble and poetic passages. He undertook to write a survey of the course of human history. When we put aside all that seems pedan­tic or absurd in Raleigh's History, when we pass beyond the parade of a now antiquated learning, and reach the heart of his book, we see that it is the verdict on human life pronounced by a man who had known life well. Shut out at last from an active share in the world's life, Raleigh, the courtier, the soldier, the statesman, the colonist, the freebooter, the explorer, the poet, the philosopher, sits down at last in quiet, and asks what does this world mean, and what is its worth. The book, useless or ridiculous as history, is memorable as the personal revelation of a restless and splendid personality. It has the deep religious feeling and the deep melancholy of the English nation: it begins with a noble apostrophe to God, "The Almighty Mover" who "has been pleased to make himself known by the work of the world," and it ends with that passage on the emptiness of earthly ambitions, that tribute to Death the Conqueror, which is one of the glories of Eng­lish prose:

"O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none hath dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world hath flat­tered, thou only hast cast out of the world and despised. Thou hast drawn together all the far stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two narrow words, Hie jacet!"

JOHN BUNYAN. (1628-1688.)

“Was there ever yet anything written by mere man that was wished
longer by its readers, excepting Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, and
The Pilgrim's Progress?” — Dr. Samuel Johnson.

"Ingeniousdreamer! in whose well-told tale

Sweet fiction and sweet truth alike prevail;

Whose humourous vein, strong sense, and simple style,

May teach the gayest, make the gravest smile;

Witty, and well employed, and, like thy Lord,

Speaking in parables his slighted word,"Cowper.

"We are not afraid to say, that, though there were many clever
men in England during the latter half of the seventeenth century,
there were only two minds which possessed the imaginative faculty
in a very eminent degree. One of those minds produced the Paradise
Lost, the other the Pilgrim's Progress." – Lord Macaulay.

Raleigh, Milton, and many other great prose-writers of the seventeenth century, were children of the Revival of Learning. It is true that they were im­bued with the religious, serious, or meditative spirit preva­lent in their own time, but they had been trained up and steeped in those classical studies which had come in with the Renaissance, and their works were the outcome of the now culture.

Bunyan's spiritual inheritance was a mighty but a restricted one. He had no share in that world of classical culture, of art and beauty. He was not the child of the New Learn­ing, but of the Reformation; the child of that long period of religious struggle and experience, which began when the plain, unliterary people of England — the shop-keepers, artisans, and plowmen — could first read the Bible for themselves.

A few years before the publication of Pilgrim's Progress, Milton had put the doctrine and the spirit of Puritanism into his great epic, but Milton had the varied scholarship and the beauty-loving temperament that marked the men of the Renaissance. He was master of almost every language and every literature then known to European scholars; he was literally "the heir of all the ages,'" and he made royal use of his vast inheritance. But Bunyan sprang from and belonged to the great mass of the people. His father was of "that rank which is meanest and most despised of all the families of the land."While Milton had all; Bunyan had only the torments of his strange spiritual conflict, the enforced leisure of his long imprisonment, his genius, and the English Bible. And it is the comparative narrowness of Banyan's inher­itance, the obscurity of his station, the commonplace character of his surroundings, that make him, more truly than the cultured Milton, the representative of the great body of English Puritans, — of the earnest, simple-minded men and women who had no library but the English Bible, and to whom religion was a vital and ab­sorbing reality.

John Bunyan was born on the outskirts of Elstow, a village about a mile from Bedford, in 1628. His father was a brazier, or tinker, a patcher of old cans or kettles, — and Bunyan was bred to the same humble calling. There was nothing exceptional in his situation, or especially striking in his surroundings. He was a poor man's child in an English village. The country about Elstow is restful and pleasing, rather than bold or romantic; near by, the river Ouse flows tranquilly through broad stretches of flat and open meadows. The land is fertile. It is a place where one would expect to find comfort and content. Bunyan was given some elementary instruction, but he afterwards forgot most of the little he had ever learned. When he was in his seventeenth year he served for a short time in the Parliamentary army (1644-1647). But at the close of the Civil War, after this experience of the world outside his village, he returned to Elstow, married a woman as poor as himself, and began a life apparently destined to be undisturbed, monotonous, and respectable. Bunyan was no pale, hysterical fanatic, no weakling, no over-wrought student; he was a sturdy, big-boned, florid-faced, English tinker, every inch a man, yet there was something in him that set him apart from his neighbours. In the midst of those peaceful, commonplace surround­ings, he was tortured by a sense of his own wickedness, by doubts, by temptations to utter terrible blasphemies, by despair. Living, to all outward appearance, the most ordinary of lives, Bunyan's soul became the battlefield of that fierce conflict which he has himself described in Gtrace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. This book is the autobiography of a man's spirit. No one can read it without feeling that the foundation of Bunyan's character, as well as the chief source of his power, is his intense and direct relation to the unseen. We cannot explain this; but as truly as Napoleon had a genius for war, or Watts for scientific invention, Bunyan, like Dante or St. Francis of Assisi, had a genius for religion, and things which to others seem vague and remote, were to him immediate and sometimes terrible realities. As a child he had been affected with fearful dreams and terrible visions. Once, when he was nine or ten years old, an awful despair over­came him in the midst of his play. As he grew older these visions loft him, until that strange conflict began within him not long after his return to Elstow. This spiritual conflict lasted about four years. Once when he was playing tip-cat, a voice from heaven darted suddenly into his soul asking him if he will leave his sins. Burdened with a sense of his guilt, he gave up his favourite amusements one by one. He gave up the delight of ringing the bells in the church-tower: he gave up dancing on the village green. But Bunyan, though given to swearing in his youth, had never been what the ordinary man would call wicked. His struggle was not the ordinary battle with the grosser temptations; what he desired was not outward respectability, not out­ward conformity to the conventional standards of those about him, it was a state of inward certainty and peace. He was “in a flame to find the way to heaven,” but for him the way seemed barred. One day he sat down on a settle in the street of a neighbouring town and brooded upon his condition. "I lifted up my head," he writes, "but methought I saw, as if the sun that shineth in the heavens did grudge to give light; and as if the stones in the streets, and the tiles upon the houses, did bend themselves against me. Methought they all combined together to banish me out of the world."

To men of a colder and more materialistic temperament, this violence of emotion seems merely morbid, unnecessary, or absurd. It is as incomprehensible to them as the rap­tures of a poet to one whose nature is hopelessly prosaic and matter-of-fact. But to understand Bunyan, or his greatest book, we must follow him through the agonies of his spiritual experiences, with sympathy and imagination. We must realise that in those years of inward torment Bunyan — poor, narrow-minded, perplexed, but magnifi­cently and utterly in earnest — was making his own painful pilgrimage from the City of Destruction to a City of Peace.

At last he found it. In 1653 he joined a little commu­nity of dissenters, presided over by a certain John Gifford, and after a time he began to preach. After the Restora­tion he was arrested for preaching in unlicensed conventicles and thrown into the Bedford gaol. He refused to make the promise to give up preaching which would have given him liberty. "If you let me out to-day," he said, "I will preach again to-morrow." He remained in the gaol for eleven years, supporting himself by making " long-tagged thread laces," preaching to his fellow-prisoners, and writing Grace Abounding and several other books. In 1672 the Declaration of Indulgence was passed, an act granting religious liberty both to Roman Catholics and Nonconformists, and Bunyan was released. But three years later on the repeal of this act, Bunyan, who had re­sumed his preaching, was again imprisoned. It was during this second imprisonment, which lasted three years, that he began to write Pilgrim's Progress. The first part of this marvellous book was published in a cheap and unos­tentatious form in 1678.

Bunyan wrote many other books after this; The second part of the Pilgrim's Progress, The Life and Death of Mr. Badman, and The Holy War, the last of which Macaulay declared to be, Pilgrim's Progress alone excepted, "the best allegory that ever was written.'' In these last years Bunyan rose to great influence among those of his own sect, and was popularly called "Bishop Bunyan." In 1688 exposure to a rain-storm while he was engaged in a work of mercy, resulted in a sudden illness, and he died in a few days.

The popularity of the Pilgrim's Progress was long con­fined to readers of the lower and middle classes. It was written for the people by a man of the people. It was written by a dissenter at a time when dissenters were persecuted and despised, and its distinctly religious purpose, as well as the humble station of its author, combined to place it outside the conventional bounds of literature. The polite world disdained it; the critics ignored it, or failed to take it seriously. But in the course of a hundred years the power of the book began to impress the literary and fashionable classes, and when Macaulay wrote his sketch of Bunyan in 1854, the "edu­cated minority" had “come over to the opinion of the common people.” To-day the fame of Bunyan's master­piece is probably greater than it has ever been before. It has been translated into many foreign languages, and it stands with those few supreme books which, like Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver's Travels, remain the delight and admi­ration of the high and the low, the young and the old, the ignorant and the cultured. What is there in the unpre­tentious work of ''the inspired tinker" that has obtained for it the permanence and the universality of the great classics?

In the first place, Bunyan, sectarian as he was, chose for his allegory a broad and vital theme. In Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan is not occu­pied with abstract and philosophical speculations; his purpose is purely practical, and his appeal is not to the head but to the heart. Milton's aim, to "justify the ways of God to men, " is general: the key-note of Bunyan's book is the cry of the individual conscience; it is heard in the question of Christian at the very beginning of the allegory, "What shall I do to be saved?" Bunyan's appeal is thus direct and personal, for Christian, the pilgrim, is a representative man, corresponding, in many ways, to the hero of the old Moralities; he is a type of the race. Christian's journey, it is true, is not every man's journey through this world; it is the story of a pilgrimage " from the City of Destruction to the City of Zion;" but the general treat­ment of this theme is so broadly human, that Christian's pilgrimage becomes the living and dramatic record of man's spiritual progress, the type of the battle fought by every thinking man whose hopes and aspirations are not wholly earthly and material. This largeness of view is one of the most surprising features of Bunyan's book, and one of the reasons for its perennial interest. Froude's views on theological questions were widely different from those of Bunyan, yet Froude wrote: "The religion of Pil­grim's Progress is the religion which must be always and everywhere, as long as man believes that he has a soul and is responsible for his actions."

And this theme of fundamental and almost universal in­terest is not presented in an abstract, or doctrinal, form, it is made extraordinarily real by the intensity of Bunyan's earnestness, extraordinarily picturesque and dramatic by the vividness of his poetic imagination. Christian's ex­periences are real to us because they were real to Bunyan; because Bunyan himself had sunk in the Slough of De­spond, climbed the Hill of Difficulty, and fought his own fight with Apollyon. He had lived in the presence of the invisible; he still bore the scars of his own awful conflict, and the powers of evil had for him a positive and objective reality. He could describe these things from bitter ex­perience; he could describe them poetically because he had that power of imagery which distinguishes the poet. He turns instinctively to imagery when he describes his tor­ments in Grace Abounding. Describing one of his periods of doubt and depression, he wrote: “I found myself in a miry bog, that shook if I did but stir.” In another place he speaks of his “tumultuous thoughts, that did use, like masterless hell-hounds, to roar and bellow, and make an hideous noise within me.” It is this inborn power to con­ceive of the invisible and the intangible, in objective forms, that makes the allegory in the Pilgrim's Progress so spon­taneous, so free from any suggestion of artifice. Bunyan, moreover, was not a mere sublime visionary, oblivious of the vulgar realities around him; he was a shrewd observer of human life and character, and his intensely spiritual nature was well ballasted with humour and solid common sense. Although Pilgrim's Progress purports to be a dream, Bunyan docs not transport us to cloud-land. Christian travels through our familiar and every-day world, meeting many very substantial human beings in the course of his journey. The very names of Bunyan's characters are often miracles of characterisation. Mr. By-Ends alone, whose judgment always happened to coincide with his worldly advantage, shows Bunyan's satiric humour, his insight into human nature, and his power of dramatic portraiture.

To such enduring qualities in Pilgrim's Progress, we must add the remarkable strength, simplicity, and beauty of its style. Like many another Puritan, Bunyan had read and re-read the Bible, until the strong, vig­orous, and musical English of King James' Trans­lation had become a part of his mental as well as his spiritual life. His style was formed, his images were often taken from this great model, and his prose has much of the grandeur and restraint of his original. This reticence is characteristic of Bunyan's style; he says what he means with directness and precision, and produces the impression he desires with­out the introduction of one superfluous word. This is Bunyan's description of the entrance of Christian and Hopeful into the heavenly city: “Now I saw in my dream, that these two men went in at the gate; and lo! as they entered, they were transfigured; and they had raiment put on that shone like gold. There were also that met them with harps and crowns, and gave them to them; the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honour. Then I heard in my dream, that all the bells in the city rang again for joy, and that it was said unto them, 'Enter ye into the joy of your Lord.'”

Such, then, are some of the great qualities which have made a book, written without conscious art and with no thought of literary fame, a great classic. The tinker in Bedford gaol knew nothing of the matters of reforming language, or true principles of literary art. He had something to say, he was con­strained to give his message as best he could, but to him the message was the important matter, not the words in which it was delivered. "I could also," he says in Grace Abounding, "have slipped into a style much higher than this in which I have here discoursed, and could have adorned all things more than I have seemed to do; but I dare not. God did not play in convincing of me; the Devil did not play in tempting of me; neither did I play when I sunk as into a bottomless pit, when the pangs of Hell caught hold upon me: wherefore I may not play in relating of them, but be plain and simple, and lay down the thing as it was." Here in brief is the main source of Bunyan's power.

The Pilgrim’s Progress

From This World to That Which is to Come;

Delivered under the Similitude of a Dream

by John Bunyan


Now I saw in my dream, that Christian went not forth alone; for there was one whose name was Hopeful, (being so made by the beholding of Christian and Faithful in their words and behavior, in their sufferings at the fair,) who joined himself unto him, and entering into a brotherly covenant, told him that he would be his companion. Thus one died to bear testimony to the truth, and another rises out of his ashes to be a companion with Christian in his pilgrimage. This Hopeful also told Christian, that there were many more of the men in the fair that would take their time, and follow after.

So I saw, that quickly after they were got out of the fair, they overtook one that was going before them, whose name was By-ends; so they said to him, What countryman, sir? and how far go you this way? He told them, that he came from the town of Fair-speech, and he was going to the Celestial City; but told them not his name.

From Fair-speech? said Christian; is there any good that lives there? Prov. 26:25.

BY-ENDS: Yes, said By-ends, I hope so.

CHRISTIAN: Pray, sir, what may I call you? said Christian.

BY-ENDS: I am a stranger to you, and you to me: if you be going this way, I shall be glad of your company; if not, I must be content.

CHRISTIAN: This town of Fair-speech, said Christian, I have heard of; and, as I remember, they say it’s a wealthy place.

BY-ENDS: Yes, I will assure you that it is; and I have very many rich kindred there.

CHRISTIAN: Pray, who are your kindred there, if a man may be so bold?

BY-ENDS: Almost the whole town; and in particular my Lord Turn-about, my Lord Time-server, my Lord Fair-speech, from whose ancestors that town first took its name; also, Mr. Smooth-man, Mr. Facing-both-ways, Mr. Any-thing; and the parson of our parish, Mr. Two-tongues, was my mother’s own brother, by father’s side; and, to tell you the truth, I am become a gentleman of good quality; yet my great-grandfather was but a waterman, looking one way and rowing another, and I got most of my estate by the same occupation.

CHRISTIAN: Are you a married man.

BY-ENDS: Yes, and my wife is a very virtuous woman, the daughter of a virtuous woman; she was my Lady Feigning’s daughter; therefore she came of a very honorable family, and is arrived to such a pitch of breeding, that she knows how to carry it to all, even to prince and peasant. ‘Tis true, we somewhat differ in religion from those of the stricter sort, yet but in two small points: First, we never strive against wind and tide. Secondly, we are always most zealous when religion goes in his silver slippers; we love much to walk with him in the street, if the sun shines and the people applaud him.

Then Christian stepped a little aside to his fellow Hopeful, saying, it runs in my mind that this is one By-ends, of Fair-speech; and if it be he, we have as very a knave in our company as dwelleth in all these parts. Then said Hopeful, Ask him; methinks he should not be ashamed of his name. So Christian came up with him again, and said, Sir, you talk as if you knew something more than all the world doth; and, if I take not my mark amiss, I deem I have half a guess of you. Is not your name Mr. By-ends of Fair-speech?

BY-ENDS: This is not my name, but indeed it is a nickname that is given me by some that cannot abide me, and I must be content to bear it as a reproach, as other good men have borne theirs before me.

CHRISTIAN: But did you never give an occasion to men to call you by this name?

BY-ENDS: Never, never! The worst that ever I did to give them an occasion to give me this name was, that I had always the luck to jump in my judgment with the present way of the times, whatever it was, and my chance was to get thereby: but if things are thus cast upon me, let me count them a blessing; but let not the malicious load me therefore with reproach.

CHRISTIAN: I thought, indeed, that you were the man that I heard of; and to tell you what I think, I fear this name belongs to you more properly than you are willing we should think it doth.

BY-ENDS: Well if you will thus imagine, I cannot help it; you shall find me a fair company-keeper, if you will still admit me your associate.

CHRISTIAN: If you will go with us, you must go against wind and tide; the which, I perceive, is against your opinion: you must also own Religion in his rags, as well as when in his silver slippers; and stand by him, too, when bound in irons, as well as when he walketh the streets with applause.

BY-ENDS: You must not impose, nor lord it over my faith; leave me to my liberty, and let me go with you.

CHRISTIAN: Not a step farther, unless you will do, in what I propound, as we.

Then said By-ends, I shall never desert my old principles, since they are harmless and profitable. If I may not go with you, I must do as I did before you overtook me, even go by myself, until some overtake me that will be glad of my company.

Now I saw in my dream, that Christian and Hopeful forsook him, and kept their distance before him; but one of them, looking back, saw three men following Mr. By-ends; and, behold, as they came up with him, he made them a very low congee; and they also gave him a compliment. The men’s names were, Mr. Hold-the-world, Mr. Money-love, and Mr. Save-all, men that Mr. By-ends had formerly been acquainted with; for in their minority they were schoolfellows, and taught by one Mr. Gripeman, a schoolmaster in Lovegain, which is a market-town in the county of Coveting, in the North. This Schoolmaster taught them the art of getting, either by violence, cozenage, flattering, lying, or by putting on a guise of religion; and these four gentlemen had attained much of the art of their master, so that they could each of them have kept such a school themselves.

Well, when they had, as I said, thus saluted each other, Mr. Money-love said to Mr. By-ends, Who are they upon the road before us? For Christian and Hopeful were yet within view.

BY-ENDS: They are a couple of far country-men, that, after their mode, are going on pilgrimage.

MR. MONEY-LOVE: Alas! why did they not stay, that we might have had their good company? for they, and we, and you, sir, I hope, are all going on pilgrimage.

BY-ENDS: We are so, indeed; but the men before us are so rigid, and love so much their own notions, and do also so lightly esteem the opinions of others, that let a man be ever so godly, yet if he jumps not with them in all things, they thrust him quite out of their company.

MR. SAVE-ALL: That is bad; but we read of some that are righteous overmuch, and such men’s rigidness prevails with them to judge and condemn all but themselves. But I pray, what, and how many, were the things wherein you differed?

BY-ENDS: Why, they, after their headstrong manner, conclude that it is their duty to rush on their journey all weathers, and I am for waiting for wind and tide. They are for hazarding all for God at a clap; and I am for taking all advantages to secure my life and estate. They are for holding their notions, though all other men be against them; but I am for religion in what, and so far as the times and my safety will bear it. They are for religion when in rags and contempt; but I am for him when he walks in his silver slippers, in the sunshine, and with applause.

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