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reading, but is much blamed for his unfaithfull quotations. His manner of studie was thus: he wore a long quilt cap, which came, 2 or 3, at least, inches, over his eies, which served him as an umbrella to defend his eies from the light. About every 3 houres his man was to bring him a roll and a pott of ale to refocillate his wasted spirits. So he studied and dranke, and munched some bread; and this maintained him till night; and then he made a

good supper. Now he did well not to dine, which breakes of one's fancy, which will not presently be regained: and it's with invention as a flux-when once it is flowing, it runnes amaine; if it is checked, flowes but guttim: and the like for perspiration-check it, and 'tis spoyled.

. He was of a strange Saturnine complexion. Sir C. W. sayd once, that he had the countenance of a witch. AUBREY, JOHN, 1669-96, Brief Lives, ed. Clark, vol. 1, pp. 174, 175.

The books and little pamphlets that he wrote, were theological, historical, political, controversial, &c., but very few of his own profession: all which are in number near 200, bound

up in about 40 volumes in fol. and qu. in Linc. Inn Library: To which an eminent sage of the law, [William Noy,] who had little respect for those published in his time, promised to give the works of John Taylor the water poet to accompany them. 'Twas not only he, but many others afterwards, especially royalists, that judged his books to be worth little or nothing, his proofs for no arguments, and affirmations for no testimonies, having several forgeries made in them for his and the ends of his brethren. They are all in the English tongue, and by the generality of scholars are looked upon to be rather rhapsodical and confused, than any way. polite or concise, yet for antiquaries, critics, and sometimes for divines, they are useful. In most of them he shews great industry, but little judgment, especially in his large folios against the pope's usurpations. He may be well intituled Voluminous Prynne, as Tostatus Albulensis was 200 years before his time called Voluminous Tostatus: for I verily believe, that if rightly computed, he wrote a sheet for every day of his life, reckoning from the time when he came to the use of reason and the state of man.

His custom when he studied was to put on a long quilted cap which came an inch over his eyes, serving as an umbrella to defend them from too much light, and seldom eating a dinner, would every 3 hours or more be maunching a roll of bread, and now and then refresh his exhausted spirits with ale brought to him by his

servant.-WOOD, ANTHONY, 16911721, Athena Oxonienses, vol. 11, f. 439.

His activity, and the firmness and intrepidity of his character in public life, were as ardent as they were in his study— his soul was Roman; and Eachard says, that Charles II., who could not but admire his earnest honesty, his copious learning, and the public persecutions he suffered, and the ten imprisonments he endured, inflicted by all parties, dignified him with the title of "the Cato of the Age;" and one of his own party facetiously described him as "William the Conqueror,"

he had most hardly earned by his inflexible and invincible nature. . . . Such is the history of a man whose greatness of character was clouded over and lost in a fatal passion for scribbling; such is the history of a voluminous author whose genius was such that he could write a folio much easier than a page; and "seldom dined" that he might quote "squadrons of authorities."--DISRAELI, ISAAC, 1812-13, Voluminous Author Without Judgment, Calamities of Authors.


Histrio-Mastix: The Player's Scourge, or Actor's Tragoedie, divided into two Parts: wherein it is largely evidenced by divers Arguments; by the concurring Authorities and Resolutions of sundry Texts of Scripture, of the whole Primitive Church both under the Law and the Gospel, of 55 Synods and Councils, of 71 Fathers and Christian writers before the year of our Lord 1200, of above 150 foreign and domestic Protestant and Popish authors since, of 40 heathen Philosophers, Historians, and Poets, of many heathen, many Christian Nations, Republics, Emperors, Princes, Magistrates; of sundry apostolical, canonical, imperial Constitutions; and of our own English Statutes, Magistrates, Universities, Writers, PreachersThat Popular Stage Plays (the very pomps of the Divell, which we renounce in Baptism, if we believe the Fathers) are

sinful, heathenish, lewd, ungodly spectacles, and most pernicious corruptions, condemned in all ages as intolerable mischiefs to Churches, to Republics, to the manners, minds, and souls of men; and that the profession of Play-poets, of Stage-Players, together with the penning, acting, and frequenting of stage-plays, are unlawful, infamous, and misbeseeming Christians. All pretences to the contrary are here likewise fully answered, and the unlawfulness of acting or beholding academical Interludes briefly discussed; besides sundry other particulars concerning Dancing, Dicing, Health-drinking, etc., of which the Table will inform you. By William Prynne, an Utter Barrister of Lincoln's Inn.-TITLE PAGE TO FIRST EDITION, 1633.

Prynne's literary character may be illustrated by his singular book, "Histriomastix,' where we observe how an author's exuberant learning, like corn heaped in a granary, grows rank and musty, by a want of power to ventilate and stir about the heavy mass.-DISRAELI, ISAAC, 1812-13, Voluminous Author Without Judgment, Calamities of Authors.

Heylin, a bigoted enemy of everything puritanical, and not scrupulous as to veracity, may be suspected of having aggravated, if not misrepresented, the tendency of a book much more tiresome than seditious. HALLAM, HENRY, 1827-41, The Constitutional History of England, ch. viii.

This block of a book, on which Prynne had been busy for seven years, was to produce various consequences. Not only were dramatists, players, and all in any way connected with the theatrical interest to be roused in its behalf for personal reasons, but on the plea that the character of the Queen had been attacked in the book for her patronage of stage-plays, and her performances personally in courtmasques-there was to be a sudden rush of other classes of the community to the defence of the tottering institution. The courtiers were to get up masques and plays out of loyalty; the members of the Inns of Court were to do the same with all the more alacrity that it was one of their number that had struck the disloyal blow; the scholars in colleges were to catch the same enthusiasm; and those who had gone to the theatres for mere amusement before, were to go twice as

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often to spite Prynne and the Puritans. MASSON, DAVID, 1858, The Life of John Milton, vol. 1, ch. vi.

The tone of the work is in general dry and calm; but the author is capable of rising to eloquence, as in the final exhor


tation in act v of the Second Part. the choice of the arguments themselves, as will be seen from the brief sketch of the book appended below the text, there is nothing new; but they are nowhere else developed with anything like the same fulness; and for the historian of the drama Prynne's treatise furnishes an ample repository of much useful learning. It is to be observed that his acquaintance with the stage-plays of his own times was obviously of the most limited description.WARD, ADOLPHUS WILLIAM, 1875-99, A History of English Dramatic Literature, vol. III, p. 241.

He was the author, in the course of his life, of no less than one hundred and eighty distinct works; many of them, it is true, were pamphlets, but others terribly bulky an inextinguishable man; that onslaught on the drama and dramatic people, and play-goers, including people of the Court, called "Histriomastix," was a foul-mouthed, close-printed, big quarto of a thousand pages. One would think such a book could do little harm; but he was tried for it, was heavily fined, and sentenced to stand in the pillory and lose his ears.-MITCHELL, DONALD G., 1890, English Lands Letters and Kings, Elizabeth to Anne, p. 143.


A late hot querist for tythes, whom ye may know, by his wits lying ever beside him in the margin, to be ever beside his wits in the text. A fierce reformer once; now rankled with a contrary heat.-MILTON, JOHN, 1659, Considerations on the Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings out of the Church.

Mr. Prynn's books, having been made use of for wast paper, begin now to be scarce, and to be got into curious hands, purely for this reason, because he commonly cites his vouchers for what he delivers, and thereby gives his reader an opportunity of examining the truth of them. Mr. Baker, of Cambridge, believes his study hath more of Mr. Prynne's books. than any one of that university, and he

well remembers, that he sent up his "Anti-Arminianism" to Mr. Strype, which he could not meet with at London, when he was writing one of his books, and yet it has two editions. -HEARNE, THOMAS, 1719, Reliquiæ Hearnianæ, ed. Bliss, Aug. 25, vol. II, p. 105.

The most terrible phenomenon as a Puritan pamphleteer was the lawyer, William Prynne.-MASSON, DAVID, 1858, The Life of John Milton, vol. 1, ch. vi.

They are without style; they speak like business men; at most, here and there, a pamphlet of Prynne possesses a little vigour.-TAINE, H. A., 1871, History of English Literatue, tr. Van Laun, vol. 1, bk. ii, ch. v, p. 398.

In 1627 Prynne's first book appeared. "The Perpetuity of a Regenerate Man's Estate." Under the forms of theological argument, Prynne's contention is, in the main, a contention for the central idea of Calvinism, the immediate dependence of the individual soul upon God without the intervention of human or material agencies. But in Prynne's hands the theme was stripped of all the imaginative grandeur with which it has been so often clothed. His pages, with their margins crowded with references, afforded a palpable evidence how much he owed to his reading and his memory. He had no formative genius, no broad culture, no sense of humour. He had no perception of the relative importance of things distasteful to him. "Health's Sickness,' a violent diatribe on the supreme wickedness of drinking healths, was followed by "The Unloveliness of Lovelocks," an equally violent diatribe on the supreme wickedness

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of the long lock of hair floating over the shoulder, which was the latest fashion amongst courtiers. The folly of the day was chastised with a torrent of learned objurgation which would not have been out of place in a harangue directed against. the seven deadly sins. He had nothing worse to say when he sat down to prepare "A Brief Survey and Censure of Mr. Cosin's Cozening Devotions."-GARDINER, SAMUEL R., 1883, History of England from the Accession of James I. to The Outbreak of the Civil War, vol. VII, p. 13.

A number of writers took part in the Puritan and Church controversies, among whom for graphic force William Prynne stands out clearly.-BROOKE, STOPFORD A., 1896, English Literature, p. 155.

In point of style Prynne's historical works possess no merits. He apologises to his readers in the epistle to vol. ii. of his "Exact Chronological Vindication" for the absence of "elegant, lofty, eloquent language, embellishments, and transitions," and he understates their defects. The arrangement of his works is equally careless. Yet, in spite of these deficiencies, the amount of historical material they contain and the number of records printed for the first time in his pages give his historical writings a lasting value. -FIRTH, C. H., 1896, Dictionary of National Biography, vol. XLVI, p. 436.

In their strong convictions, ponderous learning, and stupendous dulness, Prynne's two hundred pamphlets, representing thirty-five years of unintermitted labour, are unique in the literature of the period. --MASTERMAN, J. HOWARD B., 1897, The Age of Milton, p. 181.

John Wilkins


John Wilkins was born at Oxford in 1614, and educated in his early years under the care of a well-known dissenter, Mr. John Dod, who was his grandfather on the mother s side. He afterwards entered at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and after taking his degree went abroad and became Chaplain to the Count Palatine. Joining the Parliamentary side when the Rebellion broke out, he was made Warden of Wadham in 1648, and Master of Trinity, Cambridge, in 1659, having in 1656 married Robina, sister of Oliver Cromwell, and widow of Peter French, Canon of Christ Church. On the Restoration, he was ejected from Trinity, but became Rector of St. Lawrence Jewry; and subsequently, through the help of a somewhat compromising patron, the Duke of Buckingham, he was promoted first to the Deanery of Ripon, and then to the Bishopric of Chester, in 1668. He died in 1672. His works were numerous. In 1638, there appeared "The Discovery of a New World: a Discourse to prove that

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there may be another habitable world in the Moon." A second part of this treats of "The Possibility of a Passage to the Moon." In 1640, appeared "A Discourse Concerning a new Planet: tending to prove that the Earth may be a Planet. Others of his works were "Mercury, or the Secret Messenger" (1641); "Mathematical Magic" (1684); "The Principles of Natural Religion" (printed after his death); and an "Essay towards a Real Character and Philosophical Language.' This last is a scheme for a universal language, and was written for, and published under the auspices of, the Royal Society, of which Wilkins was a devoted member.-CRAIK, HENRY, 1893, ed., English Prose, vol. II, p. 543.


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Mr. Francis Potter knew him very well, and was wont to say that he was a very ingeniose man, and had a very mechanicall head. He was much for trying experiments, and his head ran much upon the perpetuall motion. He was no great read man; but one of much and deepe thinking, and of a working head; and a prudent man as well as ingeniose. He was one of Seth, lord bishop of Sarum's most intimate friends. He was a lustie, strong growne, well sett, broad shouldered person, cheerfull, and hospitable.-AUBREY, JOHN, 1669-96, Brief Lives, ed. Clark, vol. II, pp. 299, 301.

Almost all that was preserved and kept up, of ingenuity and good learning, of good order and government, in the University of Oxford, was chiefly owing to his prudent conduct and encouragement. -TILLOTSON, JOHN, 1675, Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, Preface.

This Dr. Wilkins was a person endowed with rare gifts, he was a noted theologist and preacher, a curious critic in several. matters, an excellent mathematician and experimentist, and one as well seen in mechanisms and new philosophy (of which he was a great promoter) as any of his time.-WOOD, ANTHONY, 1691-1721, Athena Oxonienses, vol. 11, f. 506.

He was naturally ambitious, but was the wisest clerygman I ever knew. He was a lover of mankind, and had a delight in doing good.-BURNET, GILBERT, 1715-34, History of My Own Time.


Dr. Wilkins, a man of a penetrating genius and enlarged understanding, seems to have been born for the improvement of every kind of knowledge to which he applied himself. He was a very able naturalist and mathematician, and an excellent divine. He disdained to tread in the beaten track of philosophy, as his forefathers had done; but struck into the new

road pointed out by the great Lord Bacon. -GRANGER, JAMES, 1769-1824, Biographical History of England, vol. V, p. 15.

I discovered an alliance between Bishop Wilkins's art of flying, and his plan of universal language; the latter of which he no doubt calculated to prevent the want of an interpreter when he should arrive at the moon.-WALPOLE, HORACE, 1784, Letters, Oct. 15, ed. Cunningham, vol. VIII, p. 511.

One of the most ingenious men of his duction to the Literature of Europe, pt. iv, age.-HALLAM, HENRY, 1837-39, Introch. iii, par. 104.

The subjects on which the bishop wrote do not attract us, and his knowledge is trebly superannuated. trebly superannuated. But his style deserves great praise. His sentences are short, pointed, and exact. He has little or nothing of the redundant languor of his contemporaries; and justice has never yet been done to him as a pioneer in English prose. The praise given to Tillotson belongs properly to Wilkins, for Tillotson lived a generation later, and learned to write English from his study of the Bishop of Chester, whom he enthusiastically admired. The curious reader will find much in the style of Wilkins to remind him of that of Bishop Berkeley. -GOSSE, EDMUND, 1888, A History of Eighteenth Century Literature, 1660-1780, p. 76.

His great learning and high position made him a connecting link between the new scientific movement that centered in the Royal Society and the Broad Church party that was growing up under the leadership of his friend and son-in-law, Tillotson. He deserves a place among the minor prose writers of the period chiefly as the pioneer of that more concise, exact and pointed literary style, which is especially associated with the literary history of the Restoration period. --MASTERMAN, J. HOWARD B., 1897, The Age of Milton, pp. 235, 236.

Anne Bradstreet


The first American woman of letters, and called by her contemporaries "The Tenth Muse." Her prose work includes a brief autobiographic sketch, "Religious Experiences;" "Meditations Divine and Moral," a series of shrewd, strong aphorisms. In her lifetime she was known only as a poet, and her verse, the bulk of which is considerable, comprises elegies, epitaphs; "The Four Monarchies," a rhymed chronicle of ancient history; "The Four Elements;" "The Four Humours of Man;" "The Four Ages of Man;" "The Four Seasons of the Year;" "Dialogue between Old England and New;" "Contemplations." She followed artificial models, and her lines reflect the grotesque conceits of the time, but here and there are gleams of real poetic vigour, while in the poem "Contemplations;" the least laboured of them all, she exhibits true poetic inspiration.-ADAMS, OSCAR FAY, 1897, A Dictionary of American Authors, p. 35.


Having had from her birth a very delicate constitution, prostrated when only sixteen years old by the small-pox, troubled at one time with lameness, subject to frequent attacks of sickness, to fevers, and to fits of fainting, she bore these numerous inflictions with meekness and resignation. Recognizing the inestimable blessing of health, she regarded it as the reward of virtue, and looked upon

her various maladies as tokens of the divine displeasure at her thoughtlessness or wrong-doing. She says that her religious belief was at times shaken; but her doubts and fears were soon banished, if, indeed, they were not exaggerated in number and importance by her tender conscience. Her children were constantly in her mind. It was for them that she committed to writing her own religious experiences, her own feelings of joy or sorrow at the various changes which brightened or darkened her life. Her most pointed similes are drawn from the familiar incidents of domestic life, especially the bringing-up of children.--ELLIS, JOHN HARVARD, 1867, ed., The Works of Anne Bradstreet in Prose and Verse, Introduction, p. lvii.

Whatever work this writer wrought, whether good or bad, she wrought in the midst of circumstances that did not altogether help her, but hindered her rather. She was the laborious wife of a New England farmer, the mother of eight children, and herself from childhood of a delicate constitution. The most of her poems were produced between 1630 and 1642, that is, before she was thirty years old; and during these years, she had neither leisure, nor elegant surroundings, nor freedom from anxious thoughts, nor even

abounding health. Somehow, during her busy life-time, she contrived to put upon record compositions numerous enough to fill a royal octavo volume of four hundred pages, compositions which entice and reward our reading of them, two hundred years after she lived. TYLER, MOSES CoIT, 1878, A History of American Literature, 1607-1676, vol. 1, p. 280.

Whose Augustan features, if some Smybert only had preserved them for us, assuredly should distinguish the entrance to the Harvard Annex.-STEDMAN, EDMUND CLARENCE, 1885, Poets of America, p. 277.

From Anne Bradstreet has descended a sturdy literary progeny. Holmes, Channing, R. H. Dana, Buckminster, and many other New England authors trace a lineal descent from this earliest singer of the new world.-PATTEE, FRED LEWIS, 1896, A History of American Literature, p. 36.

sturdy literary progeny.


The Tenth Muse Lately sprung up in America. Or Severall Poems, compiled with great variety of Wit and Learning, full of delight. Wherein especially is contained a compleat discourse and description of The Four Elements; Constitutions, Ages of Man, Seasons of the Year. Together with an Exact Epitomie of the Four Monarchies, viz. The Assyrian, Persian, Grecian, Roman. Also a Dialogue between Old England and New, concerning the late troubles. With divers other pleasant and serious Poems. By a Gentlewoman in those parts. Printed at London for Stephen Bowtell at the signe of the Bible in Popes Head-Alley. 1650. THE TENTH MUSE, 1650 Title Page of First Edition.

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