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The Literature of Colonial America

Ⅰ Fill in the blanks . 1. Among the members of the small band of Jamestown settlers was ________, an English soldier of fortune, whose reports of exploration, published in the early 1600s, have been described as the first distinct American literature written in English. 2. The term “Puritan” was applied to those settlers who originally were devout members of the Church of ______. 3. _______College was established in 1636, with a printing press set up nearly in 1639. 4. The first permanent English settlement in North American was established at _____, Virginia. 5. ______ was a famous explorer and colonist. He established Jamestown. 6. John Smith published _____ books in all. 7. In the book _____ John Smith wrote that “here nature and liberty afford us that freely which in English we want, or it costs us dearly.” 8. The General History of Virginia contains Smith’s most famous tale of how the Indian princess named ______ saved him from the wrath of her father. 9. Hard work, thrift, piety and sobriety, these were the _____values that dominated much of the early American writing. 10. The American poets who emerged in the seventeenth century adapted the style of established European poets to the subject matter confronted in a strange, new environment. _______Bradstreet was one such poet. 11. Bradford used a word “_______” to describe the community of believers who sailed from Southampton England, on the Mayflower and settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620. 12. In 1620, ______was elected Governor of Plymouth, Massachusetts. 13. From 1621 until his death, ______probably possessed more power than any other colonial governor. 14. Bradford’s work consists of two books. The first book deals with the persecutions of the Separatists in Scrooby, England, the second book describes the singing of the “______Compact”. 15. The History of New England is a priceless gift _____left us. 16. The writer who best expressed the Puritan faith in the colonial period was _______. 17. The Puritan philosophy known as ______ was important in New England during colonial time, and had a profound influence on the early American mind for several generations. 18. Many Puritan wrote verse, but the work of two writers, Anne Bradstreet and Edward ______, rose to the level of real poetry. 19. Before his death, Jonathan ______had gained a position as America’s first systematic philosopher.

Ⅱ Match the names of the writers with their works. . 1. Jonathan Edwards a. The Day of Doom 2. Increase Mather b. The magnolia Christi America 3. John Smith c. The History of the Dividing Line 4. William Byrd d. The General History of Virginia 5. Olaudah Equiano e. A True Sight of Sin 6. William Bradford f. Freedom of the Will 7. Cotton Mather g. Cases of Conscience concerning Evil Spirits 8. Thomas Hooker h. The Interesting Narrative 9. Anne Bradstreet i. Preparatory Meditations 10. Edward Taylor j. The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America 11. Michael Wigglesworth k. The History of Plymouth Plantation 12. Roger Williams l. A Key into the Language of America Ⅲ Multiple Choice. . 1.Early in the seventeenth century, the English settlements in ________began the main stream of what we recognize as the American national history. A. Virginia and Pennsylvania B. Massachusetts and New York C. Virginia and Massachusetts D. New York and Pennsylvania 2. The first writings that we call American were the narratives and _______of the early settlements. A. journals B. poetry C. drama D. folklores 3. Among the earliest settlers in North America were Frenchmen who settled in the Northern colonies and along the _____River. A. St. Louis B. St. Lawrence C. Mississippi D. Hudson 4. In 1620 a number of Puritans came to settle in ________. A. Virginia B. Georgia C. Maryland D. Massachusetts 5. Whose reports of exploration, published in the early 1600s, have been regarded as the first distinct American literature written in English? A. John Winthrop’s B. John Smith’s C. William Bradford’s D. Christopher Columbus’s 6. In 1612, John Smith published in England a book called ________. A. A Map of Virginia with a Description of the Country B. The General History of Massachusetts C. A Description of New England D. The Early History of Plymouth Colony 7. What style did the seventeenth century American poets adapt to the subject matter confronted in a strangely new environment? A. The style of their own. B. The style mixed with England and American elements. C. The style mixed with native-American and British tradition. D. The style of established European poets.

8. ______ was a civil covenant designed to allow the temporal state to serve the godly citizen. A. The early history of Plymouth colony B. The magnolia Christi America C. Mayflower Compact D. Freedom of the Will 9. How many books did Cotton Mather, an inexhaustible writer, produced? A. About 400. B. About 500 C. About 600 D. About 300 10. Somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean ______delivered his sermon A Model of Christian Charity. It became his important work. A. John Winthrop B. Michael Wigglesworth C. William Bradford D. Thomas Hooker 11. ______ was regarded as the most eminent and admired minister in the first generation of New England Puritans. A. Cotton Mather B. John Cotton C. John Eliot D. Edward Taylor 12. Who among the following translated the Bible into the Indian tongue? A. Roger Williams B. John Eliot C. Cotton Mather D. John Smith 13. The best of Puritan poets was ______, whose complete edition of poems appeared in 1960, more than two hundred years after his death. A. Anne Bradstreet B. Michael Wigglesworth C. Thomas Hooker D. Edward Taylor 14. English literature in America is only about more than ________years old. A. 500 B. 600 C. 200 D. 100 15. The early history of ________ Colony was the history of Bradford’s leadership. A. Plymouth B. Jamestown C. New England D. mayflower 16. Which statement about Cotton Mather is not true? A. He was a great Puritan historian. B. He was an inexhaustible writer. C. He was a skillful preacher and an eminent theologian. D. He was a graduate of Oxford College. 17. Jonathan Edwards’ best and most representative sermon was _________. A. A True Sight of Sin B. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God C. A Model of Christian Charity D. God’s Determinations 18. Which writer is not a poet? A. Michael Wigglesworth B. Anne Bradstreet C. Edward Taylor D. Thomas Hooker 19. The common thread throughout American literature has been the emphasis on the

________. A. revolutionism B. reason C. individualism D. rationalism 20. Anne Bradstreet was a puritan poet. Her poems made such a stir in England that she become known as the “_______” who appeared in America. A. Ninth Muse B. Tenth Muse C. Best Muse D. First Muse 21. The ship “_______” carried about one hundred Pilgrims and took 66 days to beat its way across the Atlantic. In December of 1620, it put the Pilgrims ashore at Plymouth, Massachusetts. A. Sunflower B. Armada C. Mayflower D. Titanic 22. Which writer best expressed the Puritan sense of the self? A. Jonathan Edwards. B. Increase Mather. C. John Smith. D. Thomas Hooker. 23. Before ______ the American newspapers were cultural and literary in nature, but after this time, they become more political. A. 1620 B. 1700 C. 1775 D. 1750 Ⅳ Literary Terms . 1. Separatists 2. Pilgrims and Puritans 3. Olaudah Equiano (1745~1797) 4. Literary Journals 5. Slave Narratives 6. John Smith (1580~1631) 7. William Bradford (1590~1657) 8. Jonathan Edwards (1703~1758) 9. John Winthrop (1588~1649) 10. The Mathers 11. Michael Wigglesworth (1631~1705) Ⅴ Identification. . 1. Identify the author and briefly introduce the following works. (1) Leah and Rachel (2) The Magnalia Christi Americana (3) The Freedom of the Will 2. Identify the poem. I heard the merry grasshopper then sing, The black-clad cricket bear a second part, They kept one tune, and played on the same string, Seeming to glory in their little art. Shall creatures abject thus their voice raise? And in their kind resound their maker’s praise,

Whilst I, as mite, can warble forth no higher lays? “Under the cooling shadow of a stately Elm, Close state I by a goodly River’s side, Where gliding streams the Rocks did overwhelm; A lonely place with pleasures dignifi’d. I once that lov’d the shady woods so well, Now thought the rivers did the trees excel, And if the sun would ever shine there would I dwell. “While musing thus with contemplation fed, And thousand fancies buzzing in my brain, The sweet tongu’d Philomel percht o’er my head, And chanted forth a most melodious strain, Which rapt me so with wonder and delight, I judg’d my hearing better than my sight, And wisht me wings with her awhile to my flight.” Questions: (1) This is taken from the Contemplations written by an early American woman writer. What is her name? (2) Make a brief comment on this short poem. 3. Identify the except. Make a brief comment on this except. “The clouds gathering thick upon us, and the winds singing and whistling most unusually, . . . a dreadful storm and hideous began to blow from out the Northeast, which swelling and roaring as it were by fits, some hours with more violence than others, at length did beat all light from heaven, which like an hell of darkness, turned black upon us… “Prayers might well be in the heart and lips, but drowned in the outcries of the Officers, —nothing heard that could give comfort, nothing seen that might encourage hope… “The sea swelled above the Clouds and gave battle unto heaven. “Sir George Summers being upon the watch, had an apparition of a little round light, like a faint star, trembling and streaming along with a sparking blaze, half the height from the mainmast, and shooting sometimes from shrouds, and for three or four hours together, or rather more, half the night it kept with us, running sometimes along the mainyard to the very end, and then returning… “It being now Friday, the fourth morning, it wanted little but that there had been a general determination to have shut up hatches and commending our sinful souls to God, committed the ship to the mercy of the sea.” 4. Identify the poem. “The kingly Lion and the strong-armed Bear, The large-limbed Mooses, with the tripping Deer;

Quill-darting Porcupines and Raccoons be Castled in the hollow of an aged tree; The skipping Squired, Rabbit, purblind Hare, Immured in the self=same castle are. “Concerning lions I will not say that I ever saw any myself, but some affirm that they have seen a lion at Cape Ann, which is not above six leagues from Boston; some likewise being lost in woods have heard such terrible roarings as have made them much aghast: which must either be devils or lions; there being no other creatures which use to roar saving bears, which have not such a terrible kind of roaring.” Questions: (1) The name of the poem is ________. (2) Briefly introduce the writer. 5. Identify the poem. Some hide themselves in Caves and Delves In places underground. Some rashly leap into the Deep, To scape by being drowned: Some to the Rocks (O senseless blocks!) And woody mountains run That there they might this fearful sight, And dreaded Presence shun … Not we, but he ate of the Tree, Whose fruit was interdicted: Yet on us all of his sad Fall, The punishment’s inflicted. How could we sin that had not been, Or how is his sin our Without consent, which to prevent, We never had a power … Yet to compare your sin with their Who lived a longer time, I do confess yours is much less, Though every sin’s a crime. … A crime it is, therefore in bliss You may not hope to dwell; But unto you I shall allow The easiest room in hell. The glorious King thus answering,

They cease and plead no longer: Their consciences must needs confess His reasons are the stronger. Questions: What is the name of the poem? Make a brief comment on it. Ⅵ Questions and Answers . Who was Anne Bradstreet? What were her literary achievements? Ⅶ. Essay Questions. Do you agree that in colonial America there was no poetry at all? Give your reason. Keys Ⅰ Fill in the blanks . 1. Captain John Smith 2. England 3. Harvard 4. Jamestown 5. Captain John Smith 6. 8 7. A Description of New England 8. Pocahontas 9. Puritan 10. Anne 11. Pilgrims 12. William Bradford 13. Bradford 14. Mayflower 15. John Winthrop 16. John Winthrop 17. Puritanism 18. Taylor 19. Edwards Ⅱ Matching. . 1-f ; 2-g; 3-d; 4-c; 5-h; 6-k; 7-b; 8-e; 9-j; 10-i; 11-a; 12-l Ⅲ .Multiple Choice. 1-5 CABDB 6-10 ADCBA 11-15 AADCA 16-20 DBDCB 21-23 CDD Ⅳ. Literary Terms. 1. Separatists: In the colonial period, the Puritans who had gone to extreme were known as “separatists”. Unlike the majority of Puritans, they saw no hope of reforming the Church of England from within. They felt that the influences of politics and the court had led to corruptions within the church. They wished to break free from the Church of England. Among them was the Plymouth plantation group. They wished to follow Calvin’s model, and to set up “particular” churches. 2. Pilgrims and Puritans: A small group of Europeans sailed from England on the Mayflower in 1620. The passengers were religious reformers—Puritans who were critical of the Church of England. Having given up hope of “purifying” the Church from within, they chose instead to withdraw from the Church. This action earned them the name separatists. We know them as the Pilgrims. They landed in North America and established a settlement at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. The colony never grew very large, however. Eventually, it was engulfed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the much larger settlement to the north. Like the Plymouth Colony, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was also founded by religious reformers. These reformers, however, did not withdraw from the

Church of England. Unlike the separatists, they were Puritans who intended instead to reform the Church from within, in America, the Puritans hopes to establish what John Winthrop, governor of the Colony, called a “city upon a hill,” a model community guided in all aspects by the Bible. Their form of government would be a theocracy, a state under the immediate guidance of God. Among the Puritans’ central beliefs were the ideas that human beings exist for the glory of God and that the Bible is the sole expression of God’s will. They also believed in predestination-- John Calvin’s doctrine that God has already decided who will achieve salvation and who will not. The elect, or saints, who are to be saved cannot take election for granted, however. Because of that, all devout Puritans searched their souls with great rigor and frequency for signs of grace. The Puritans felt that they could accomplish good only through continual hard work and self-discipline. When people today speak of the “Puritan ethic”, that is what they mean. Puritan ideas of hard work, frugality, self-improvement, and self-reliance are still regarded as basic American virtues. 3. Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797): When published in 1789, the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano created a sensation. The Interesting Narrative made society face the cruelties of slavery and contributed to the banning of the slave in both the United States and England. The son of a tribal elder in the powerful kingdom of Benin, Equiano might have followed in his father’s footsteps had he not been sold into slavery. When Equiano was eleven years old, he and his sister were kidnapped from their home in West Africa and sold to British slave traders. Separated from his sister, Equiano was taken first to the West Indies, then to Virginia, where he was purchased by a British captain and employed at sea. Renamed Guatavus Vassa, Equiano was enslaved for nearly ten years. After managing his Philadelphia master’s finances and making his own money in the process, Equiano amassed enough to buy his freedom. In later years, he settled in England and devoted himself to the abolition of slavery. To publicize the plight of slaves, he wrote his tow-volume autobiography, The Interesting Narrative. Although Equiano’s writing raised concern about the less than human conditions inherent ill slavery, the slave trade in the United States was not abolished by law until 1808, nearly 20 years after its publication. 4. Literary Journals: a journal is an individual’s day-by-day account of events. It provides valuable details that can be supplied only by a participant or an eyewitness. As a record of personal relations, a journal reveals much about the writer. While offering insights into the life of the writer, a journal is not necessarily a reliable record of facts. The writer’s impressions may color the telling of events, particularly a reliable record of facts. The writer’s impressions may color the telling of events, particularly when he or she is a participant. Journals written for publication rather than private use are even less likely to be objective. The European encounters with and conquest of the Americas are recorded in the

journals of the explores. 5. Slave Narratives: A uniquely American literary genre, a slave narrative is an autobiographical account of life as a slave. Often written to expose the horrors of human bondage, it documents a slave’s experiences from his or her own point view. Encouraged by abolitionists, many freed or escaped slaves published narratives in the year before the Civil War. 6. John Smith (1580-1631): adventurer, poet, mapmaker, and egotist are just a few of the labels that apply to Smith, who earned a reputation as one of England’s most famous explorers by helping to lead the first successful English colony in America. Stories of his adventures, often embellished by his own pen, fascinated readers of his day and continue to provide details about early exploration of the Americas. Following a ten-year career as a soldier, Smith led a group of colonists to his continent, where they landed in Virginia in 1607 and founded Jamestown. As president of the colony from 1608 to 1609, Smith helped to obtain food, enforce discipline, and deal with the local Native Americans. Though Smith returned to England in 1609, he made two more voyages to America to explore the New England coast. He published several works in the course of his life, including The General History of Virginia, New England, and The Summer Isles (1624). 7. William Bradford (1590-1657): Survival in North America was a matter of endurance, intelligence, and courage. William Bradford had all three. Thirteen years after the founding of Jamestown, Bradford helped lead the Pilgrim to what is now Massachusetts. Bradford, who was born in Yorkshire, England, joined a group of Puritan extremists who believed the Church of England was corrupt and wished to separate from it. In the face of stiff persecution, they eventually fled to Holland and from there sailed to North America. After the death of the colony’s first leader, the Pilgrims elected William Bradford governor. He was reelected thirty times. During his tenure, he organized the repayment of debts to financial backers, encouraged new immigration, and established good relations with the Native Americans, without whose help the colony never would have survived. In 1630, Bradford began writing Of Plymouth Plantation, a firsthand account of the Pilgrims’ struggle to endure, sustained only by courage and unbending faith. The work, written in the simple language known as Puritan Plain Style, was not published until 1853. 8. Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758): Jonathan Edwards is so synonymous with “fire and brimstone”—a phrase symbolizing the torments of hell endured by sinners—that his name alone was enough to make many eighteenth-century Puritans shake in their shoes. This great American theologian and powerful Puritan preacher was born in east Windsor, Connecticut, where he grew up in an atmosphere of devout discipline. A brilliant academic, he learned Latin, Greek, and Hebrew by the age of twelve, entered Yale at thirteen, and graduated four years later as class valedictorian.

He went on to earn his master’s degree in theology. Edwards began his preaching career in 1727 as assistant to his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard, pastor of the church at Northampton, Massachusetts, one of the largest and wealthiest congregations in the Puritan worlds. Edwards also preached as a visiting minister throughout New England. Strongly desiring a return to the orthodoxy and fervent faith of the puritan past, he become a leader of the Great Awakening, a religious revival that swept the colonies in the 1730’s and 1740’s. The great Awakening did not last, however, and in 1750 Edwards was dismissed from his position after his extreme conservatism alienated much of the congregation. He continued to preach and write until his death in 1758, shortly after becoming president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Edward’s highly emotional sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is by far his most famous work. It was delivered to congregation in Enfield, Connecticut, in 1741, and it is said to have caused listeners to rise from their seats in a state of hysteria. 9. John Winthrop (1588-1649): Among the company of English Puritans who, in 1630, settled on the shore of Massachusetts Bay, the foremost figure was that of John Winthrop, already appointed Governor of the colony. His family was well known in his home shire of Suffolk, a family of property and position. Winthrop himself was a man of noble character, a conscientious Puritan, yet catholic in spirit beyond some of his associates, possessing the tastes and accomplishments of culture. During his voyage to America, he had busied himself in the composition of a little treatise which was characteristic of this broad-minded man. A Model of Christian Charity is the title of his essay; and in it he presents a plea for the exercise of an unselfish spirit on the part of all the members of this devoted band, now standing on the threshold of an experience which could not but be trying in the extreme on the nerves and temper of the of all. “We must be knit together in this work as one man!” was his cry. 10. The Mathers: through three generations Mathers—in grandfather, son and grandson—appear as brilliant intellectual leaders of the Massachusetts clergy. Richard Mather, 1596-1669, an Oxford graduate, who arrived in Boston in 1635, was one of that conscientious Puritan brotherhood that of necessity sought a refuge and a field for spiritual conquest in the New World. He became the minister at Dorchester. “My brother Mather is a mighty man,” Thomas Hooker said of him. Although he was a prolific writer, it is sufficient to the preface of the old Bay Psalm Book. Increase Mather, 1639-1723. Among the 4 sons who became ministers, it was through Increase Mather that the chief inheritance of scholarly gifts was transmitted. The father’s eloquence was more than equaled by the son’s; his Puritan zeal, his love of learning, his industry in the production of pamphlets and books, brought the name of Increase Mather into greater prominence than Richard Mather’s vigorous quill had won. For fifty-nine years, he served as minister of the North Church in Boston. He added some ninety titles to the list of colonial publications--the majority representing discourses prepared for his congregation. Perhaps the only

one of his books sufficiently vitalized by human interest to be noted today is An Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences (1684), in which the piety, pedantry, and superstition characteristic of the religious scholar in that age are curiously mingled. This collection of strange visitations and marvelous deliverances was designed for the pious entertainment and spiritual comfort of its readers. It is one of the most interesting of these early American classics; and, like so many of the works previously cited, affords a vivid glimpse into the Puritan mind. For sixteen years, Increase Mather served as President of Harvard College. Cotton Mather, 1663-1728. His paternal relationship was not the only source of hereditary influence. The famous John Cotton was his grandfather on his mother’s side. All the accumulated piety and learning of his distinguished ancestry seemed to reside in this extraordinary man. He has been not inappropriately termed “tin literary behemoth of New England.” He had read Homer at ten years of age, and at eleven was admitted to Harvard College. He took his first degree at fifteen; at seventeen he began to preach, and soon afterward became associate with his father in the pastorate of the North Church in Boston, a connection which lasted for forty years. In his religious life, he became abnormal also; at times he lay for hours on the floor of his study in spiritual agony. He fortified himself for the conflict with error by fasts and vigils. His speech was full of pious ejaculations. Unhappily, Cotton Mather is most often remembered as a leader in the pitiful persecution of the unfortunate people accused of witchcraft at Salem in the last decade of the century. His Memorable Providence Relating to Witchcrafts (1691) and Wonders of the Invisible World (1693) contain curious records and much interesting matter relative to satanic possession; ideas which were firmly believed at that time, not only in New England, but very generally throughout Europe also. The most remarkable thing about Cotton Mather’s literary career is the number of his writings; four hundred or more titles are included in the catalogue of his works. The great work, the magnum opus of Cotton Mather’s prolific industry, was the famous Magnalia Christi Americana. 11. Michael Wigglesworth (1631-1705): He is Puritan versifier whose inspiration appealed strongly to contemporary minds. This most popular of early American poets was Rev. Michael Wigglesworth, minister at Malden, Massachusetts, author of a tremendous and dismal epic, surcharged with the extreme Calvinism of the time. His masterpiece of Puritan theological belief is entitled The Day of Doom; it was published in 1662, and for a hundred years remained—as Lowell expresses it— “the solace of every fireside” in the northern colonies. Ⅴ Identification. . 1. (1) Leah and Rachel It was written by John Hammond. John Hammond, a resident in the newer colony of Maryland, visiting his old home in 1656, became homesick for the one he had left so America. “It is not long since I came from thence,” he said, “nor do I intend, by God’s assistance, to be long out of is again...It is that country in which I desire to spend the remnant of my days, in which I covet to make my grave,” His little work, entitled Leach and Rachel (“the two fruitful sisters, Virginia and

Maryland”), was written with a purpose to show what boundless opportunity was afforded in these two colonies to those who in England had on opportunity at all. (2) The Magnalia Christi Mather It was written by Cotton Mather. The book, completed in December, 1697, was published at London in 1702. It stands fitly enough is the last important literary effort of seventeenth-century colonial Puritanism. Something over a thousand pages of closely printed matter is included in the seven parts or volumes of this monumental work. The planting of New England and its growth, the lives of its governors and its famous divines, a history of Harvard College, the organization of the churches, “a faithful record of many wonderful Providences,” and an “account of the Wars of the Lord --being an history of the manifold afflictions and disturbances of the churches in New England “--such is the scope of the Magnalia Christi Americana, or The Great Acts of Christ in America. The style is pedantic and artificial, but the spirit of the writer is perfectly sincere. Now and them the narrative grows simple and strong. There is a frequent use of Old Testament phraseology which indicates a clear perception of its poetical value. Cotton Mather lived throughout the first quarter of the eighteenth century; but in all essential respects, in personality and in utterance, he belongs wholly to the seventeenth. The consummate product of the old Puritan theology, he stands as the last important representative of the type in American literature. (3) The Freedom of the Will It is, however, as the author of an extraordinary book entitled An Inquiry into the Freedom of the Will, that Jonathan Edwards holds his position in American letters. This work is a defense of the Calvinistic doctrines of foreordination, original sin, and eternal punishment. It is a masterpiece of philosophical reasoning, and although in the broadening of men’s minds the old theological ideas have been greatly modified, The Freedom of the Will is still recognized as a profound work, and has a definite place in the literature of theological discussion; it has been called “the one large contribution which America has made to the deeper philosophic thought of the world.” 2. (1) Anne Bradstreet. (2) These stanzas, written by Anne Bradstreet, taken from her best known and most attractive poem, Contemplations, was written late in her life, at her home in Andover. The poem is properly described as “a genuine expression of poetic feeling in the presence of nature.” This short poem offers the reader an insight into the mentality of the early Puritan pioneering in a new world. When she, the poet, heard the grasshopper and the cricket sing, she thought of this as their praising their creator and searched her own soul accordingly. It is evident that she saw something metaphysical inhering in the physical, a mode of perception which was singularly Puritan. 3. This vivid narrative, called A True Repertory of the wrack and redemption of Sir Thomas Gates, knight, upon and from the Islands of the Bermudas, was written by William Strachey, of whose personality little is known. The tremendous picture of

shipwreck and disaster is presented in a masterly style. The vivid descriptions of his experiences may have inspired Shakespeare’s Tempest. 4. (1) Of the Beasts that Live on the Land. (2) William Wood, published in 1634 his New England’s Prospect, an interesting description of the country in which he had made his home. A little of a poet, also, he enlivened his account by putting some of his observations into verse. 5. The Day of Doom, by Michael Wigglesworth. Composed of 224 ballad stanzas, this long and desolate composition is an imaginative account of the final day of Judgment (or “doom”). The poem Laments the “backsliding” of puritans into sin and complacency and depicts the final day of judgment as a series of dramatic confrontations between sinners--meaning everyone --and their God. Ⅵ Questions and answers. . Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) is one of the most important figures in the history of American Literature. She is considered by many to be the first American poet, and her first collection of poems, The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung up in America, By a Gentlewoman of Those Parts, was the first book written by a woman to be published in the United States. Mrs. Bradstreet’s work also serves as a document of the struggles of Puritan wife against the hardships of New England colonial life. Ⅶ. Essay Questions. The strenuous life of the pioneer left time of cultivating any of the arts. And the spirit of New England was too serious and too stern to permit indulgence in what was merely pleasant or beautiful. Even after the first critical years of danger and struggle were past, the intellectual life of the people was bounded by the narrow limits of religious discussion and theological debate. That the Puritan was not without imagination, however, is abundantly proved by the forceful figures and impassioned rhetoric of the prose writers who did only occasionally slip into rhyme. William Wood and John Cotton are such examples, though the latter wrote much of his verse in the pages of the household almanac, where it remained hidden from the public eye; and sometimes he disguised its metrical character by inscribing it in Greek. If poetry be rare among the forefathers of America, it is nevertheless true that the first English book printed in America passed for poetry with them, and for poetry of an edifying and noble type. The Whole Booke of Psalmes, commonly know as the Bay Psalm Book, was printed on the new press at Cambridge in 1640. This work, designed to provide a material version of the Psalms of David, to be used in the churches, contains the joint efforts of three New England minister, Thomas Welde and John Eliot. The preface was written by Mather .The Bay Psalm Book served its sacred purpose in the New England churches for more than a century; it was even used to some extent by Puritan worshipers in England and Scotland until 1750. At the old south church in Boston, the Bay Psalm Book, although it had been revised, was not displaced until 1786.


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