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New England (United States) (search for this): chapter 2
the ancestor of five especially intellectual families in New England, counting among her descendants William Ellery Channing,rs old, in the midst of the daily toils of the wife of a New England farmer, and under her rapidly increasing burden of mothe, verse-making had become as common as taking snuff; in New England, in the age before that, it had become much more common e some who did not take snuff. Tyler, II. p. 267. The New England divine, who had a horror of fine art, could not keep hishn Milton. Puritan prose. The literary instinct of New England Puritanism by no means exhausted itself in verse. In prana, Its sub-title was The Ecclesiastical history of New England from its first planting, in the year 1620, unto the yeare of the fantastic school in literature; he prolonged in New England the methods of that school even after his most cultivateth and seventeenth centuries. Its birthplace was Italy; New England was its grave; Cotton Mather was its last great apostle.
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
American, what does the form of their writing matter? The answer to this question depends upon what we mean by Americanism. Until the very outbreak of the Revolution there were few persons in the American colonies who were not, in sentiment as well as in mental inheritance, English. England was home to them, as it is now to the British Canadian or Australian. Circumstances were of course bringing about a gradual divergence in manners and in special sympathies between the colonist of Massachusetts or Virginia and the Englishman of London. Even the shock of the Revolution could, so far as literature was concerned, only hasten that divergence of type — not transform it into a difference of type. To this day, indeed, the course of that divergence has been so slow that we still find Mr. Howells uttering the opinion, not quite justly, that American literature is merely a condition of English literature. American literature. It would be a remarkable fact if America had, in so
Ovid (Michigan, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
of the best Elizabethan type. The famous story of his rescue by Pocahontas apparently represents the instinctive effort of a gallant gentleman-adventurer with a turn for expression to embellish his bluff narrative with a romantic incident. The first person of professedly literary pursuits to come to America was George Sandys, already a poet of recognized standing when, in 1621, he crossed the ocean as an official under the Governor of Virginia. The first five books of his translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses had just been published in England, and had been received with enthusiasm. On his departure for America he was sped by a rhymed tribute from Michael Drayton, exhorting him to go on with the same work in Virginia:-- Entice the Muses thither to repair; Entreat them gently; train them to that air, he urges. It was a rude air. To the ordinary privations of the pioneer, and the wearing routine of official duties, were added the sudden horrors of the James River massacre (Marc
Puritan (Ohio, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
na, Wendell Phillips, and Andrews Norton. She was born in 1612 of Puritan stock, her father being steward of the estates of the Puritan noblGovernor Bradstreet, in 1630. It is evident that, in spite of her Puritan sense of duty, she could not leave England for the raw life of the. Anne Bradstreet had the most genuinely poetic gift among our Puritan writers of verse. These formed, however, a surprisingly large clathe same time by the veritable poet of Puritanism, John Milton. Puritan prose. The literary instinct of New England Puritanism by no mein poetry the most effective work of the period was the product of Puritan zeal and Puritan narrowness. Two names stand out prominently as rPuritan narrowness. Two names stand out prominently as representative of this school of prose writing, mighty names in their day which have not yet ceased to echo in our memories: those of Cotton Mgroves, and seems to have some one invisible always conversing with her. This may fairly be called the high-water mark of Puritan prose.
Northampton (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
at they were both ardent defenders of the Calvinistic doctrine, Jonathan Edwards and Cotton Mather had really very little in common, as to either character or experience. Edwards was modest and gentle in character, and simple to the point of bareness in style; and life was not arranged very smoothly for him. Jonathan Edwards. Jonathan Edwards was born, the son of a Connecticut minister, in 1703. He took his degree at Yale in 1720, and thereafter became college tutor, minister at Northampton, missionary to the Stockbridge Indians, and finally president of Princeton College. He died in 1758. As a child he showed ability in mental science and divinity. At twelve he displayed the acuteness and courtesy in speculative controversy which were to be his lifelong characteristics. Until he had fairly entered the ministry he manifested just as keen interest and intelligence in other fields. At seventeen he had somehow evolved a system of idealistic philosophy much like that which
United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 2
created an altogether new and distinct type of literature. What Fisher Ames said nearly a century ago is still true : It is no reproach to the genius of America, if it does not produce ordinarily such men as were deemed the prodigies of the ancient world. Nature has provided for the propagation of men — giants are rare; and it is forbidden by her laws that there should be races of them. Probably no more wholesome service can now be done to the elementary study of the literature of the United States than by directing it toward the sane and cheerful recognition of the close relation which has always existed between American writing and English writing; and toward a careful weighing of the American authors in whom we properly take pride, upon the same scales which have served us in determining the value of British authors. With such ends in view, the present book will attempt, not to be a literary history of America, but simply to give a connected account of the pure literature whi
Andrews Norton (search for this): chapter 2
with Anne Bradstreet, who, indeed, represents a second step toward a type of writing which should be in some sense American in quality as well as in birthplace. Though born in England, she became absolutely identified with American thought and life, exerted an immense influence in her day, and was the ancestor of five especially intellectual families in New England, counting among her descendants William Ellery Channing, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Richard Henry Dana, Wendell Phillips, and Andrews Norton. She was born in 1612 of Puritan stock, her father being steward of the estates of the Puritan nobleman, the Earl of Lincoln. She was married at sixteen and came to America with her husband, Governor Bradstreet, in 1630. It is evident that, in spite of her Puritan sense of duty, she could not leave England for the raw life of the colonies without a pang. After a time, she wrote many years later, I changed my condition and was married, and came into this country, where I found a new w
Jesus Christ (search for this): chapter 2
the simplest experiences of life with pious reflections: When he washed his hands, he must think of the clean hands, as well as pure heart, which belong to the citizens of Zion. . . . Upon the sight of a tall man, he said, Lord, give that man high attainments in Christianity; let him fear God above many. More characteristic than either of these instances, perhaps, is his remark on the occasion of a man going by without observing him, Lord, I pray thee help that man to take a due notice of Christ. He was an extraordinarily voluminous writer. He published fourteen books in one year, and a list of his known publications contains three hundred and eighty-three titles. Most of these titles, like — a large part of his writing, are fearfully and wonderfully made: Christianus per Ignem; or, a Disciple Warming of Himself and Owning his Lord Nails Fastened; or, Proposals of Piety Complied Withal; and so on. No theme appeared to be simple enough for Cotton Mather to treat simply; and in
Benjamin Franklin (search for this): chapter 2
erving in the treasury of pure literature. In proceeding with our account of American literature, then, we shall try to keep ourselves within the boundary here set. We shall find occasion from time to time to suggest the historical importance of an author or a book, but the final judgment on them will be based upon their relation to literature. Such an account may properly begin with a consideration of the germs or fragments of pure literature which were produced in America before, with Franklin, what we may now more properly call American Literature began. The early colonists. The earliest writing done in America was the work of persons who not only were of English birth, but whose stay in America was comparatively short. Captain John Smith was the first American colonist to write a book, A true relation of Virginia. It was a brilliant and vigorous piece of narrative, and was followed before his return to England by two other books of merit. But it is only in a historical
Sarah Pierrepont (search for this): chapter 2
sanity which is called bigotry, that so acute a mind and so gentle a heart should have bent themselves to the enunciation of a creed so blind and so brutal. No modern audience could now hear, without a shudder amounting to detestation, some of those pages in the sermons of Jonathan Edwards by which he felt himself to be best serving God and man; but Jonathan Edwards wrote literature when, in 1725, at the age of twenty-two, he inscribed on the blank leaf of a book this description of Sarah Pierrepont, afterwards his wife:-- They say there is a young lady in New Haven who is beloved of that Great Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and that she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on him — that she expects after a while to be received up where he is, to be raised up out of the world and caught up into heaven; being
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