Image from page 195 of “The story of English literature for young readers” (1879)
Image from page 195 of “The story of English literature for young readers” (1879) by Internet Archive Book Images
Title: The story of English literature for young readers
Year: 1879 (1870s)
Authors: Lillie, Lucy C. (Lucy Cecil), b. 1855
Subjects: English literature
Publisher: Boston, D. Lothrop and company
Contributing Library: The Library of Congress
Digitizing Sponsor: The Library of Congress
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where, indeed,where an audience could be gathered. Instead ofthe inn-yard plays they now had the travelling 190 The Story of English Literature ^ preacher, who in loud and piercing tones would cry-out to them that they were on the high road to Per- dition that lisfht every ..^.word spoken was sin,every bit of finery sug-gested by the Devil. Youcan fancy how much allthis would influence apeople dependent somuch more upon outwardimpressions than we areto-day. The very chil-dren were sometimes in-terrupted in their gamesby preachers who toldthem of the dreadful tor-ments sure to follow uponsuch levity.The Puritans, as these reformers were called,dressed with extreme simplicity, and met only for graveor religious discourse, shunning all manner of gaiety.In their homes they avoided decorative furniture, andbright colors, or graceful curves. They lived simplelives, earnest, no doubt, and full of religious obser-vences, but rather gloomy and severe for the youngpeople growing up around them.
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St. Mary le Bow, Cheapside. For Young Readers. 191 Of course all this met with opposition from the stilllarge class of people devoted to the old ways ofthinking, and you remember how a devoted band ofPuritans sailed away in the Mayflower and foundedthe famous colony of New England, in 1620. Yourhistory tells you, too, how strong the Puritan elementbecame, a few years later, when Charles I. was be-headed and Cromwell governed England. Indeed sostrongly were politics and literature associated at thattime that most of the famous writers of the day wereknown also as either Roundheads or Cavaliers. Miltons father, as I have said, was a Puritan inspirit if not by profession, and throughout the longlife of the poet we may trace the effect of these Puri-tan influences of his childhood. He was sent at an early age to St. Pauls school,which stood then, as now, in the rear of the greatcathedral, a few steps distant from his fathers house ;and in these daily walks it is quite probable that thesch
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