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of the Great Seal, and nephew of Lord Burleigh, ily; and while the people remained sound at heart, Elizabeth's great Prime Minister. The opportu the court under the Stuarts became more shamenity was thus open for him to follow a public less, until the steadily growing antagonism took career; and though under Elizabeth his progress shape in the definite division between the Cavwas slow, under James I he rose through one legal alier and Puritan parties. office after another until in 1617 he became Lord The lyrics composed by the group of men called Keeper, and in 1619 Lord High Chancellor. In the Cavalier Poets accurately reflect court condi1621, when accused of taking bribes, and im- | tions. Suckling, Lovelace, and Carew were courpeached, he pleaded guilty and threw himself tiers, and the cynicism, the nonchalance, and the upon the mercy of the House of Lords, although sophistication of their verses contrast with the maintaining to the last that he never “had bribe artlessness and sincerity of the Elizabethan poetry. or reward in his eye or thought when he pro- | Occasionally, of course, even these elegant triflers nounced any sentence or order.” The heavy sen- have their serious moments, and then they give tence pronounced by the Lords was in large part us such perfect things as To Lucasta, On Going remitted by the King, but Bacon never again sat to the Wars. But the mood of Why so Pale in Parliament. He died in 1626, having spent the and Wan, Fond Lover? is much more typical. last five years of his life studying and writing. In the elegance, the attention to form, and the
With characteristic Elizabethan versatility greater metrical regularity and simplicity of these Bacon combined in one person the statesman, Cavalier lyrics, is felt the influence of Jonson, philosophical scientist, and man of letters. As a whom all these men followed as their master. philosopher he did much to establish and popular The best of the Cavalier poets, however, was ize inductive reasoning, the basis of all modern no courtier, but a country clergyman, Robert scientific progress. As a man of letters he is sig Herrick (1591-1674). He was born before the nificant for both Latin and English work. Believ- | death of Marlowe and died in the same year as ing Latin to be the permanent language of scholar- Milton, but his poetical work belongs to the reign ship, he wrote comparatively little in English. || of Charles I. After graduating from Cambridge The Advancement of Learning (1605) was intended he entered the church, and was given the parish to be a summary of existing knowledge and an of Dean Prior in South Devonshire; dispossessed introduction to his projected but unfinished In by the Puritans in 1647, he returned in 1662, and stauratio Magna. But it is chiefly as the author there died. His single volume, Hesperides and of the Essays that Bacon is remembered by stu Noble Numbers, was printed in 1648. Though dents of English literature. Published first in Herrick protested that his life in Devon, far from 1597, again in larger number in 1612, and finally, the gay world of London, was that of an exile, his fifty-eight in all, in 1625, the Essays show Bacon delight in his country surroundings is unfeigned to be the master of terse, concise English, and a and altogether delightful, and The Argument of thinker whose ideas are always stimulating. his Book gives a very fair indication of the book's
Editions of the Essays are numerous and ac contents. Clergyman though he was, there was cessible. Good brief biographies are Church's nothing of the ascetic in Herrick. His devotional (E. M. L.), and Abbott's Francis Bacon, an poetry in Noble Numbers, while probably sincere Account of his Life and Works (Macmillan). enough, is certainly not notable for fervor. He Lee's essay in his Great Englishmen of the Sixteenth is really a hedonist, an Epicurean, enjoying the Century (Scribners') is noteworthy.
good things of life while they last, and the true gods of his devotion are pagan deities–Pan and
Bacchus and Venus. It is next to impossible to CAROLINE SONG WRITERS
overpraise Herrick as a lyric artist. The sim
plicity and purity of diction, the freedom from Between the lyrics of the Jacobean and Caroline affectation, the dainty perfection of form, and poets and those of the Elizabethans there are the exquisite lightness and sureness of touch of certain general differences in spirit and manner. these poems make Herrick's book one of the most Where the temper of the earlier age was adven charming collections of lyric verse in the whole turous and enthusiastic that of the later was range of English poetry. intellectual and critical. In the drama Ben Jon A spiritual reaction against the license of the son led a revolt against romanticism in favor of a times is seen in the group of devotional poets new realism based upon classical dicta and involv represented by Herbert, Vaughan, and Crashaw. ing more of an insistence on form. So in the lyric They were Church of England men, not Puritans his influence was exerted along the same line, and (Crashaw was a Catholic), living retired and pious we notice an undoubted gain in art. To offset | lives, and singing their hymns of praise and prayer this gain, however, there took place a divorce with a sweet fervor, uncorrupted by the world. between art and morals, where in the Elizabethan The chief literary influence upon their verse is age the two had been happily wedded. The court that of Donne, and the elaborate ingenuity charhad degenerated steadily in character. Eliza acteristic of their work caused Dr. Johnson to beth's court was not only brilliant, it was morally dub them "the metaphysical poets," although the sound, and enjoyed the confidence of the people. fondness for “conceit” which prompted the apJames I, as a Scotchman, did not evoke the na- | pellation was common enough in English poetry tional loyalty as had Elizabeth, nor was his per- before Donne ever set pen to paper. sonality such as to endear him to his subjects. General references on the Caroline lyric are The gap between court and people widened stead- | the same as for the Elizabethan. A good an
thology, with an excellent introduction, is Schel | “characters,” each illustrated by a brief biography ling's Seventeenth Century Lyrics (Ginn). There of an appropriate person in history; A Church is a delightful essay on Herrick in E. Gosse's History of Britain (1655), from the birth of Christ Seventeenth Century Studies (Dodd, Mead, and Co.) to 1648; and The History of the Worthies of England
(1662), in which Fuller takes up the counties of
England one by one, lists for each its most notable SIR THOMAS BROWNE (1605-1682)
products and curiosities, and gives short accounts
of its notable men. Fuller's writing lacks the Browne was born in London, and after going
eloquence of Browne's or Taylor's, but it is clear, through Winchester and Oxford, studied at the
straightforward, sensible, and witty. He is fond most famous medical schools of Europe,-Mont
of antithesis, pun, quip, anecdote, and even his pelier, Padua, and Leyden, obtaining an M. D.
most serious work is enlivened by unexpected at the last. He returned to England, settled in
sallies. Norwich, and there passed the rest of his life as a practicing physician, apparently quite undis
WALTON (1593–1683) turbed by the turmoil of the Civil War. He was knighted in 1671.
Izaak Walton was born at Stafford, in 1593. Browne's prose is the leisure product of a man | In 1614 he was engaged in trade in London. Thirty who is both a scientist and a mystic. Religio | years later he left the city, and spent the remainMedici (1643, written some years earlier), a con- ing forty years of life in quiet retirement, visiting fession of his personal beliefs, shows the duality his many clerical friends, writing biographies of of his nature in its separation of science and re | Herbert, Hooker, and others, and always pracligion, and its acceptance of revealed religion as a ticing his art of angling and gathering information mystery to be taken on faith. Herein occurs for the book by which he is best known. Browne's perfect self-characterization: “Methinks Walton's memory lives because of The Complete there be not impossibilities enough in religion for Angler. This he published first in 1653; the fifth an active faith. ... I love to lose myself in a edition, which appeared in 1676, contained much mystery; to pursue my reason to an 0 Altitudo!" new material that Walton had accumulated durThe Vulgar Errors (1646), an examination of pop ing twenty-odd years of leisure. The book became ular superstitions, confutes many by an applica- | at once the locus classicus of information concerntion of scientific principles, and accepts as possible ing angling; it remains to this day the most deothers equally preposterous simply by failure to lightful treatise on the pleasures of a sport conapply the same principles. Urn-Burial (1658) is cerning which much has been written. Browne's best known and most splendid work. It may not be quite fair to say of Browne that the style makes the man, for a most agreeable per
TAYLOR (1613-1667) sonality appears in his pages. But certainly it is their unique style rather than their intellectual
Jeremy Taylor was born under the shadow of qualities which has kept Browne's books alive.
Cambridge University, and spent his youth in a His sentences are involved, and his vocabulary
little round of home, school, and college, taking his staggers under its load of polysyllabic latinisms.
first degree at seventeen, a fellowship and holy But these same ponderous vocables confer a
orders at twenty, and the master's degree at twentysonorous majesty and a subtle harmony of rhythm
one. Though Milton and other famous literary which make this prose as impressive in its way as
lights were at Cambridge in his time, Taylor seems Milton's verse. Shot through and through with
to have had no contact with them. In 1634 he went imaginative beauty by a mind that loved to linger
to London to preach as a substitute at St. Paul's, over the inscrutability and brevity of human life,
and made so striking a success in the pulpit lately these long periods sweep on with the subdued
vacated by that great preacher John Donne, that pomp and somber glory of a funeral cortege.
he attracted the attention of Archbishop Laud, who made him a fellow of All-Souls, Oxford; later he was given a living at Uppingham, near
Cambridge. The placid course of his life was inFULLER (1608-1661)
terrupted by the Civil War, in which he followed After eight years of study at Cambridge Fuller the Royalist cause and was made one of the entered the church, and finally became preacher King's chaplains. He somehow drifted to South at the Savoy Chapel in London, being famous for Wales, taught in a private school, and became his witty and sensible sermons. In the Civil War chaplain to the Earl of Carbery, at whose resihe was in active service as chaplain to one of the dence, Golden Grove, he did his best literary Royalist regiments. During the Commonwealth work-Holy Living (1650), Holy Dying (1651), and he supported himself by his writing, and by the some fine sermons. Between 1654 and 1658 he aid of patrons who secured him preaching ap was three times imprisoned by the Puritans, then pointments and private chaplaincies. After the obtained a small position in Ireland, and after the Restoration he returned to the Savoy, and was Restoration was made Bishop of one of the Irish made chaplain-in-extraordinary to Charles II, but sees, and Vice-Chancellor of Dublin University. died shortly after of typhoid fever.
His last years were harassed and embittered by Fuller's chief works are the History of the Holy ! controversy, and were productive of no first-rate War (1639), an account of the Crusades; The Holy literary work. State and the Profane State (1642), a series of ! Taylor enjoyed a great reputation as a pulpit
orator, and his sermons are notable for fervor and | favorite form of courtly diversion is made to serve brilliant rhetoric. It is, however, upon Holy | as handmaid to the expression of a serious theme, Living, practical directions for the conduct of life, the praise of virtue; and Lycidas, flower of English and the more beautiful Holy Dying, that his fame elegiac poetry. The first two of these so-called chiefly rests. In comparison with that of his “minor” poems are done in the full spirit of the great contemporaries Browne and Milton, Tay Renaissance; Comus, with its moral earnestness, lor's prose has a decidedly modern effect, being and Lycidas, notably in the passage on the corsimpler in vocabulary and sentence structure. It ruption of the church, show the Puritan in Milhas not the sustained grandeur of Browne's, but ton. is distinguished by its wealth of illustration 2. The prose writings consist mainly of controfigure, anecdote, and quotation-happily employed, versial pamphlets on political and religious matand lending a rich poetic quality.
ters. They include pamphlets against episcopacy, Holy Living and Holy Dying are reprinted in
four on divorce, the wise and liberal Tractate on Bohn's Library. The best short life is by E. Gosse Education, and many arguments in defense of the (E. M. L.).
Puritan party, the best of them being Eikonoklastes (The Image Smasher, in reply to Eikon Basilike,
The Royal Image, an idealization of Charles I) MILTON (1608-1674)
and the Latin Defense of the English People. John Milton, the voice of Puritan England,
The greatest of Milton's prose works, however, was born in a London home which, Puritan though
is the Areopagitica (1644), a plea for freedom of it was, yet did not have to banish the refining
the press, eloquent and impassioned. Milton said graces of culture to make room for piety. From
of prose that he had in it but the use of his left its atmosphere of learning and music he had not
hand. But although his is in some points of style far to go to reach St. Paul's School; school days
inferior to Bacon's, it has a grandeur and loftiness over, he went up to Christ's College, Cambridge,
that were far beyond Bacon; the tremendous conwhere his fair beauty of complexion and hair and
viction of a righteous cause surges through it, and fineness of spirit gained for him the namesurely
lifts it at times to magnificent heights of eloimplying no effeminacy of temper-of “the Lady
quence. of Christ's.” After seven years of residence he
3. The works of the last period are three: Paratook his master's degree in 1632, and retired to his
dise Lost (1667), Paradise Regained (1671), and father's new home in Horton, a quiet village on
Samson Agonistes (1671). The last is the story of the Thames, where he spent six years in study and
Samson, cast in the mould of Greek tragedy; its deliberate cultivation of his literary faculty. In
austere beauty gains in impressiveness from the 1638 he started on the grand tour, but the news
likeness between the situation of Milton, old and of troublous times in England cut short his travels;
blind and forlorn in a hostile age, and that of the “I thought it shame,” he says, “to be travelling
Israelite champion, a blind captive among the
Philistines. Paradise Regained shows the redempfor amusement abroad while my fellow citizens were fighting for liberty at home.” So home he
tion of mankind through Christ's temptation in came to play a man's part in the civil strife of the
the wilderness; in interest and beauty it is innext twenty years. With his pen he fought on
ferior to its predecessor. Paradise Losi, "the life the Puritan side, and on the establishment of the
history of the universe," written to Commonwealth in 1649 was appointed Latin
“assert eternal Providence, Secretary to conduct the foreign correspondence
And justify the ways of God to men,” of Cromwell's government. Zealous performance of his duties brought him the reward of total is the great epic of the modern world, equalled blindness, but with the aid of an amanuensis only by Dante's Divine Comedy in loftiness of conhe labored on, until the Restoration in 1660 ception and grandeur of execution. It would be drove him into retirement. In poverty, obscur idle to deny that the execution is unequal; there ity, and loneliness he spent the remaining four are dreary wastes of theological dialectic which teen years of life, doubtless reflecting in bitter all readers shun. But these are spots on the face ness of spirit on the license of those Restoration of the sun. Milton calls to the service of his days, but sustained by the writing of his greatest celestial muse all the resources of his vast learning poetry.
and all the splendors of an imagination of unMilton's work falls naturally into three divi bounded sweep and daring, and the greater part sions: 1, the minor poems; 2, political prose; 3, the of the epic is not only morally sublime, it is major poems.
superbly beautiful poetry. In particular, it is 1. While still at Cambridge Milton had given written in blank verse unsurpassed for harmony earnest of his powers by the beautiful Ode on the and majesty, the perfect example of what Arnold Morning of Christ's Nativity, the fine sonnet On. calls “the grand style." Being Arrived at the Age of Twenty-three, and the The Life of Milton by D. Masson (6 vols., lines on Shakespeare prefixed to the 1632 folio of Macmillan) is the standard source of informaShakespeare's plays. The six years at Horton tion; good shorter biographies are by M. Pattison brought forth the companion pieces L'Allegro and (E. M. L.) and Walter Raleigh (Putnams). Il Penseroso, fresh with the beauty of country Single volume editions are by A. W. Verity (Camscenery, and yet filled with the enthusiasm of the bridge Univ. Press), Masson (Macmillan), W. V. scholar for his books; the masque Comus, composed | Moody (Houghton Mifflin). The prose is pubfor an inaugural festivity of 1634, wherein this lished in Bohn's Library.
PEPYS (1633-1703) Samuel Pepys, who quite unconsciously made himself one of the most interesting if not most significant figures of English literature, was born in 1633. From St. Paul's School, London, he went up in 1651 to Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he remained three or four years. On leaving the University he married, and soon attached himself to his cousin Sir Edward Montagu, later the Earl of Sandwich, to whom he owed much of his subsequent advancement. In 1660 he went with the expedition that brought Charles II back to England, acting as secretary to Montagu, the commander-in-chief. The same year he was appointed “Clerk of the Acts” in the Navy Office, and began the keeping of his diary. Until 1688 he was actively engaged in governmental affairs, part of the time as member of Parliament, but chiefly in the Admiralty, where his record was brilliant. Because of his intimate friendship with the Duke of York he was at times attacked by political enemies; charges of peculation were brought against him, but none were proved. With the exile of James II in 1688 Pepys's official career ended. He was dismissed from the Admiralty in March, 1689; the remaining years of his life he spent in retirement, and died in 1703.
The manuscript of the Diary, by which Pepys is known to the world, was among the books he willed to Magdalene College. It was written in short-hand, for no eye but his own, and was at once an honest record of fact, and a complete revelation of Pepys's character. Attention was first drawn to it by an article of Sir Walter Scott's (1826), reviewing a fragmentary edition of the year preceding. Since that time many editions have appeared, the last and best being that edited by Henry Wheatley, and published by George Bell and Sons in eight volumes.
Laici (1682) and The Hind and the Panther (1687), the first a poem in support of the Church of England, and the second Dryden's poetical confession of faith in Roman Catholicism, illustrate his command of the heroic couplet and his ability to reason in verse, at the same time that they exhibit the least pleasing phase of Dryden's character, his willingness to abandon an unprofitable for a profitable cause. For caustic wit his greatest satires, Absalom and Achitophel (1681) and MacFlecknoe (1682) have never been surpassed in English. At least two lyrics, the Song for St. Cecilia's Day and Alexander's Feast, witness his ability to move easily in forms other than the heroic couplet which he virtually established. As a translator of Virgil, Homer, and other classical poets, he did much to familiarize English readers with the literatures of Greece and Rome. In prose works such as the Essay on Dramatic Poesy (1668) and the Preface to the Fables (1699) he showed keen critical ability and the power to write clear and readable prose. During the last ten years of his life Dryden was a frequenter of Will's Coffee House, where in his easy chair he presided over the English literary world much as Dr. Johnson was to do seventy-five years later in The Club. Although generally neg. lected to-day, Dryden was a man of great power, and both by example and precept did much to establish the literary fashions that were to prevail in England until the time of Wordsworth.
The best one volume edition of Dryden is the Cambridge (Houghton Mifflin), although this does not contain the plays. The Scott-Saintsbury (Paterson, Edinburgh) is complete, although too cumbersome for general use. The best brief biography is Saintsbury's (E. M. L.). Lowell's essay in Among My Books, and William Hazlitt's in Lectures on the English Poels, are suggestive and valuable.
Over Daniel Defoe's life and character there John Dryden was born in 1631, in Northampton hangs a veil of mystery which baffles accurate biogshire. Educated at Westminster School and raphy. He was the son of a London Lutcher, a DisTrinity College, Cambridge, he published in senter, and went for a few years to a Dissenters' 1658 his Stanzas to the memory of Oliver school. Then he dropped out of sight, to reappear Cromwell. At the time of the Restoration he in 1684 as a London merchant getting married. By wrote the most distinguished of the many wel 1688 he was sufficiently interested in politics to join comes to Charles II, Astræa Redux. In 1663 actively in supporting William of Orange. Whathe began writing for the stage, and by 1670 had ever his business, his affairs were in so bad a state attained such eminence that he was appointed in 1691 that he went bankrupt to the tune of Poet Laureate and Historiographer Royal, with a £17,000; a managership of a tile factory set him stipend of two hundred pounds. A pension of one on his feet again. His literary activity dates aphundred pounds was later added to this, and in parently from about 1697, though he had done 1683 he became Collector of the Port of London. some writing before that; but it was in 1701, with The revolution of 1688 deprived him of all his The True-born Englishman, that Defoe made his public honors, and forced him to spend the last first great hit, for it brought not only popular twelve years of his life writing for a living. He but royal favor, and perhaps secret employment died in 1700, generally acknowledged England's by the King. Defoe was now launched upon a leading man of letters.
career, of pamphlet writing which lasted throughOf Dryden may be said what Dr. Johnson said out the rest of his life, and produced an almost of Goldsmith:“There is almost no form of writing | unbelievable number of articles on all sorts of which he did not attempt, and no form that he subjects. The best known of these, The Shortest attempted did he fail to adorn." His dramas were | Way with the Dissenters (1702), led to the author's many and popular; his religious poems, Religio ! imprisonment and exhibition in the pillory. After
his release from Newgate he started The Review, consideration, Swift's proud temper made him a tri-weekly political periodical, which ran 1704– intolerant of patronage, and to secure independ13, of first-rate importance in the history of the ence he entered the church. During the years of newspaper. For many years Defoe added to his residence with Temple at Moor Park, Swift wrote pamphleteering and journalistic activities the his first satires, The Battle of the Books, a jeu business of a government agent, ostensibly on d'esprit on a squabble over the comparative merits behalf of the Tory ministry, but certainly with | of ancient and modern literature, and The Tale of a bad breaches of faith to his employers. As Trent Tub, a powerful attack on the Catholics and Dissays: "For more than twenty years he practised senters in particular, and, in general, on the folly every sort of subterfuge to preserve his anonymity, of creed insistence on non-essentials. At Moor and he soon grew sufficiently callous to write, pre- ! Park, too, Swift met and came to love Esther sumably for pay, on all sides of any given subject. Johnson, a ward of Temple's, some years younger Within the arena of journalism he was a treacher than Swift, but his greatest friend through life. ous mercenary who fought all comers with any On Temple's death in 1699 Swift was given a weapon and stratagem he could command.” In living at Laracor, near Dublin. The publication 1719 Defoe displayed in the large the com of the two early satires in 1704 made his reputabination of journalistic and narrative skill he had tion, and he continued to use his pen in political shown on a small scale as far back as 1706 in The and religious controversy. At first a Whig, he Apparition of Mrs. Veal by getting an account of joined the Tories in 1710, and for several years the solitary life of Alexander Selkirk on the island was a dominant figure in public life. Of the writof Juan Fernandez and expanding it into Robinson ings of these years The Conduct of the Allies (1711), Crusoe. The immediate popularity of the book a pamphlet written in opposition to Whig support Defoe turned to account by publishing in the of the war with France, is the best example. Swift next few years the series of prose fictions which hoped for an English bishopric, but The Tale of a constitute his real title to fame: Memoirs of a Tub had ruined his chances and he was forced to Cavalier (1720), Captain Singleton (1720), Moll ! be content with being made Dean of St. Patrick's, Flanders (1722), Journal of ihe Plague Year Dublin. On the downfall of the Tory ministry (1722), Colonel Jack (1722), Roxana (1724). The in 1714 Swift returned to Dublin, and there spent last six years of his life were employed in writing the rest of his life, exiled from the society where books of no moment and pamphlets on a great he had cut so brilliant a figure, and nursing a variety of matters.
grudge against all the world. Of Swift's London Defoe's importance in the history of English days The Journal to Stella, a sort of diary which literature comes (1) through The Review, which Swift kept for the entertainment of Esther Johninitiated certain ideas, such as the editorial and the son, gives an accurate and pleasing account. For special article, still employed in journalism, and Stella Swift cherished a devoted affection, and but for which The Tatler and The Spectator might though the rumor that the two were secretly marnever have been conceived; (2) through his fictions, ried has never been proved true, it was Stella who which are perhaps not novels in the modern sense of made life tolerable for the lonely Dean until her the word, since plot and characterization are only death in 1728. Despite his dislike for Ireland rudimentary, but which by their verisimilitude, ef Swift's heart burned at the wretchedness and fectiveness of single situations, and general popu oppression of the Irish people, and he endeared larity, paved the way for the work of Richardson himself to them by such writings as the Drapier's and Fielding. At all events Defoe's "genius for Letters (1724), defeating an English scheme to lying like the truth" has rarely been equalled in debase the Irish coinage, and the mordant Modest English fiction.
Proposal (1729). In 1726, was published Gullira's Defoe's chief works are reprinted in the Bohn Travels, most delightful of fictions and most terLibrary; there is a good edition of the novels, rible of satires. Swift's last years were embitwith introduction by G. A. Aitken (Dent & Co.). | tered by loneliness and physical agony and clouded The most up-to-date biography is the brief chap by madness. ter in the Cambridge History of English Litera By virtue of his sheer intellectual power and ture (vol. ix) by W. P. Trent.
his passionate feeling Swift is preeminent among
English satirists, particularly in the use of irony. SWIFT (1667-1745)
Under the childish squabbles of the brothers in The
Tale of a Tub concerning their coats, under the Jonathan Swift's involuntary and reluctant con- | marvels of Gulliver's adventures, under the coldly nection with Ireland, which he always resented as logical brutality of the Modest Proposal, seethes a trick of adverse fate, began with his birth there, passionate scorn for the pettiness, the hypocrisy, though his parents were English. His father died and the inhumanity of the human race. Swift, before he was born, leaving his mother poor, and it unlike Dryden and Pope, does not satirize the inwas only through the assistance of relatives that dividual; rather he expresses his savage contempt Swift was able to go to Trinity College, Dublin. for man himself, and in the depiction of the Yahoos There he made no brilliant record, obtaining his de he has presented the most terrible indictment of gree only by special favor. In 1689 place was made human frailty that the mind of man has ever confor him in the household of Sir William Temple, a ceived. The contrast between the utter misanwell known figure in English politics and letters; thropy of his writings and the facts of his private though his secretarial duties were light, and though | life-his love for Stella, his service of the Irish Temple seems to have treated the young man with people, and his secret benefactions among the