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pose, to instruct them rightly in the tunes of the Psalms; upon which they now very much value themselves, and indeed outdo most of the country churches that I have ever heard.
As Sir Roger is landlord to the whole congregation, he keeps them in very good order, and will suffer nobody to sleep in it besides himself; for if by chance he has been surprised into a short nap at sermon, upon recovering out of it he stands up and looks about him, and if he sees anybody else nodding, either wakes them himself or sends his servants to them. Several other of the old knight's particularities break out upon these occasions. Sometimes he will be lengthening out a verse in the singing Psalms, half a minute after the rest of the congregation have done with it; sometimes, when he is pleased with the matter of his devotion, he pronounces amen three or four times to the same prayer ; and sometimes stands up, when everybody else is upon their knees, to count the congregation, or see if any of his tenants are missing.
I was yesterday very much surprised to hear my old friend, in the midst of the service, calling out to one John Matthews to mind what he was about, and not disturb the congregation. This John Matthews, it seems, is remarkable for being an idle fellow, and at that time was kicking his heels for his diversion. This authority of the knight, though exerted in that odd manner which accompanies him in all the circumstances of life, has a very good effect upon the parish, who are not polite enough to see anything ridiculous in his behavior; besides that, the general good sense and worthiness of his character make his friends observe these little singularities as foils that rather set off than blemish his good qualities.
As soon as the sermon is finished, nobody presumes to stir till Sir Roger is gone out of the church. The knight walks down from his seat in the chancel between a double row of his tenants, that stand bowing to him on each side ; and every now and then inquires how such a one's wife, or mother, or son, or father does, whom he does not see at church, which is understood as a secret reprimand to the person that is absent.
The chaplain has often told me, that upon a catechising day, when Sir Roger has been pleased with a boy that answers well, he has ordered a Bible to be given him next day for his encouragement, and sometimes accompanies it with a flitch of bacon to his mother. Sir Roger has likewise added five pounds a year to the clerk's place; and, that he may encourage the young fellows to make themselves perfect in the church service, has promised, upon the death of the present incumbent, who is very old, to bestow it according to merit.
THE DREAM. I was once myself in agonies of grief that are unutterable, and in so great a distraction of mind, that I thought myself even out of the possibility of receiving comfort. The occasion was as follows: When I was a youth, in a part of the army which was then quartered at Dover, I fell in love with an agreeable young woman of a good family in those parts, and had the satisfaction of seeing my addresses kindly received, which occasioned the perplexity I am going to relate.
We were in a calm evening diverting ourselves upon the top of a cliff with the prospect of the sea, and trifling away the time in such
little fondnesses as are most ridiculous to people in business and most agreeable to those in love.
In the midst of these our innocent endearments, she snatched a paper of verses out of my hand and ran away with them. I was following her when, on a sudden, the ground, though at a considerable distance from the verge of the precipice, sunk under her, and threw her down from so prodigious a height upon such a range of rocks, as would have dashed her into ten thousand pieces had her body been made of adamant. It is much easier for my reader to imagine my state of mind upon such an occasion than for me to express it. I said to myself, It is not in the power of heaven to relieve me! when I awaked, equally transported and astonished, to see myself drawn out of an affliction which, the very moment before, appeared to me altogether inextricable.
The impressions of grief and horror were so lively on this occasion, that while they lasted they made me more miserable than I was at the real death of this beloved person, which happened a few months after, at a time when the match between us was concluded; inasmuch as the imaginary death was untimely, and I myself in a sort an accessory ; whereas her real decease had at least these alleviations, of being natural and inevitable. The memory of the dream I have related still dwells so strongly upon
that I can never read the description of Dover-cliff in Shakespeare's tragedy of King Lear without a fresh sense of my escape. The prospect from that place is drawn with such proper incidents, that whoever can read it without growing giddy must have a good head, or a very
The Augustan age of literature extends from 1700–1727. It includes the reigns of Anne and of George I.
Pope, Addison, Steele, and Swift were the principal writers.
Pope's principal works are Pastorals, The Messiah, Ode on St. Cecilia's Day, Essay on Criticism, Rape of the Lock, The Temple of Fame, Elegy on an Unfortunate Lady, Windsor Forest, Translation of the Niad, Epistle from Eloise to Abelard, Essay on Man, Miscellanies, Dunciad, Epistles, Satires, Moral Essays, The Universal Prayer, The Dying Christian to His Soul, etc.
Pope's mission was to teach correctness of style.
Matthew Prior, associated with Charles Montague, wrote The Country Mouse and the City House.
Other poets of the time were Thomas Parnell, Dr. Watts, Blackmore, and Robert Blair.
This age, with the preceding and following, constitute the artificial age of poetry.
No sonnets were written during this time. It was an age of satire.
The character of the drama was a continuation of that of the previous period.
The critical age was unfavorable for poetry, but excellent for prose. Swift was one of the most vigorous prose writers. Satire was his forte, Swift became Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin.
His principal works are The Battle of the Books, Tole of a Tub, Gulli. ver's Travels, Drapier's Letters, Verses on his Oun Death, contributions to the Scriblerus Club, etc.
Swift lived an unhappy life, and made a sorrowful end.
The Campaign was a poem in honor of Marlborough’s victory at Blenheim.
Addison was patronized by Whigs.
The fictitious adventures of Robinson Crusoe were written by De Foe twenty years before Richardson published his first novel.
De Foe was persecuted for his liberal sentiments.
Other prose writers were Arbuthnot, Bolingbroke, Shaftesbury, Bentley, Bishop Atterbury, Bishop Berkeley, and Lady Mary Wortley Montague.
1727-1784. TO period is more interesting in its literary or political his
tory than that upon which we are now entering, -Dr. Johnson the central figure in the one and the “Great Commoner,” William Pitt, afterwards Earl of Chatham, in the other. It is a period fraught with events which shaped the destinies of nations.
In 1727 George II. succeeded his father to the throne, and engaged in a war in which nearly all Europe took part—the war of the Austrian succession.* During the King's absence on the continent, Charles Edward, the young Pretender, landed in Scotland to make one more effort to secure the throne of his ancestors, but was defeated in the battle of Culloden, 1745. This was the last attempt of the Stuarts to regain the throne of England.
In 1760 George III., grandson of George II., ascended the throne, and Bute was created prime minister, but, becoming unpopular, he soon resigned, and the ministry fell upon Grenville. It was during this ministry that the American colonies offered resistance to the unjust taxation imposed upon them. In William Pitt they had a strong friend. Through his exertions the Stamp Act was repealed. His acceptance of the
* George espoused the cause of Maria Theresa, the heir to the throne of Austria, and in person defeated the French at the battle of Dettingen.