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and are remarkable for easy fertility of thought. Barrow died of fever in 1677, having attained the honourable stations of Master of Trinity, and Vice-Chancellor of his University.

SAMUEL PEPYS, son of a London tailor, rose, by the help of his cousin Montagu, to be Secretary to the Admiralty under Charles II. and James II. He is worth remembrance as the writer of a most amusing Diary, originally kept in short-hand, which depicts the life of the time even to the minutest details of dinners, lace, and coat-buttons. The vanities and faults of the writer himself are displayed with comical unconcern. But the poor fellow had little notion that readers of the nineteenth century would have many a hearty laugh over his secret memoranda. He died in 1703.

ROBERT South, reputed to have been the wittiest of the old English divines, was the son of a London merchant, and was born in 1633 at Hackney. Educated at Oxford, he was chosen Public Orator in 1660. Besides being chaplain to Lord Chancellor Clarendon and rector of Islip in Oxfordshire, he held some other valuable livings. South's wit, unhappily, was often mixed with

Extreme in his opinions, he held all Nonconformists in abhorrence. But his love of royalty was fully as strong as his attachment to the National Church. No clergyman of his day exceeded him in the fervour of those sermons in which he maintained the doctrines-so delightful to the Stuarts—of passive obedience and divine right. South died in 1716. In spite of his intolerance as a public preacher, he bore the private reputation of a good and charitable man,










French influence.
A sad picture.

Spread of vice.
The theatres.
The poison too strong.
What Burke said.


It is not our purpose to present a minute picture of the courtlife, rotten to the very core, which blighted English morals and English literature during the reign of the second Charles. But, to preserve the completeness of our plan, this painful and repulsive subject must be touched upon; for there are many of our English writers whose spirit cannot be fully understood unless we know at least a little of the moral air they breathed, and the fountains from which they drank their inspiration. Mephitic air and poisoned streams they truly were from which the courtly authors of the Restoration Era drew the sustenance and productive power of their minds.

The little band of Puritan authors, folded in the mantle of righteousness, stood apart,—untainted and serene.

These Puritans, when in the ascendant, had with an iron hand crushed down many amusements, the desire of which is a natural appetite of man, and had thus created a hunger and a longing for the forbidden things, which became an unappeasable frenzy when the Restoration brought a change. The nation then plunged madly into



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the opposite extreme. And when we remember that from France, with the restored King, there came a troop of new fashions and amusements, which were but the old vices of human nature tricked out in modern attire, we shall see what kind of food the royal Court provided for the famished people.

An utter absence of shame marked the mode of life in this most wicked age. It was not that gambling as high, drinking is deep, adulteries as vile, had not been in other reigns. What stamps the reign of Charles II. with a deeper brand of infamy is the fact, that there was no attempt to throw even the thinnest veil over the evil that was rampant everywhere. The blush of innocence seemed almost forgotten in the courtcircles of England. Men and women were alike immoral-nay, depraved.

On Sunday the first of February, 1685—the night before Charles was seized with his mortal illness—the great gallery of Whitehall presented a scene of "inexpressible luxury and profaneness, gaming and all dissoluteness," which may be taken as a specimen of what had been witnessed there a thousand times before during his disgraceful reign. The king sat talking with threo of his mistresses. A French page, on whom the royal hand delighted to shower presents of ponies, guineas, and fine clothes, sang love-songs to the group. At a large table close by, where two thousand yellow guineas were heaped into a great bank, sat twenty of the profligate courtiers playing basset, then the fashionable game at cards. This went on, as it had been going on for five and twenty years, in the full gaze of all who chose to come and see. Little wonder that the poison should spread right and left, sinking down to the lowest classes of the people; and still less wonder that such shameless, undisguised licentiousness, should be faithfully reflected in the plays and the books, which were written in the hope of extracting smiles and gold from the beautiful profligates and high-born gamesters who surrounded the sullied throne.

Whitehall, as was natural, gave the tone to all English society; and books are but the reflection of what society thinks and does.



So the vices of Whitehall were mirrored in many of the chief writings of the time. All the comedies, and much of the Poetry, written from the Restoration to the close of the century, and later too, are disgustingly vicious. It took many a long year to root out the poisonous weeds that, sown in this age, spread their tangling fibres through the best soils of English poetry. Even yet the English stage has hardly been cleansed from the pollutions heaped upon it by the play-wrights, who manufactured highly-flavoured vice for the delectation of the wicked men and women that hung by the skirts of the worst of our Stuart kings.

When the theatres were re-opened at the Restoration, a new splendour was thrown around their performances. The female characters began to be personated by women. Rich dresses, beautifully painted scenes, and fine decorations, added to the attractions of the drama a dazzling effect, unknown in earlier times. Crowds flocked nightly to the play: and how were they entertained ? Almost all duties to God and to man were lield up to public mockery. Virtue in every form, especially truth and modesty, came in for the largest share of the comedian's jeering; the strongest sympathies of the audience were stirred, and their loudest applause drawn forth, by the triumph of the profligate, and the ridicule cast upon the victims of his


The plays of Dryden are nearly all tainted with the poisons that floated thick in the social atmosphere of the time; but those of Wycherley are, perhaps, the most diseased specimens of our dramatic literature that have lived to the present day. The satires, songs, and novels of the period also bear the brand and scars of vice, and flaunt them openly in the eyes of all. The writers of such things penned them without compunction; and there were few who thought it shame to read of vicious deeds, which sun and moon saw done by night and day without a bluslı or a pang of conscience. Yet there are things more dangerous than this brazen effrontery, this shameless show of iniquity. Men grow disgusted and surfeited with the grossness of paraded



-sin. Edmund Burke was a great and wise man; but he said a very foolish and pernicious thing, when, at the close of his indignant outburst in memory of the fallen Queen of France, he told the world that “vice itself loses half its evil by losing all its grossness." Never was a greater falsehood spoken. The vice which is draped in the garb of virtue, or has the varnish of an outward refinement laid over its leprosy, is tenfold more infectious and destructive than the shameless wickedness which wears no veil to hide its loathsome front.

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