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the finest private libraries in America—he exercised a baronial hospitality, blending the usual profusion of plantation life with the elegance of a traveled scholar and “picked man of countries.” Colonel Byrd was rather an amateur in literature. His History of the Dividing Line is written with a jocularity which rises occasionally into real humor, and which gives to the painful journey through the wilderness the air of a holiday expedition. Similar in tone were his diaries of A Progress to the Mines and A Journey to the Land of Eden in North Carolina.
The first formal historian of Virginia was Robert Beverly, a native and inhabitant of the place,” whose History of Virginia was printed at London in 1705. Beverly was a rich planter and large slave-owner, who, being in London in 1703, was shown by his bookseller the manuscript of a forthcoming work, Oldmixon's British Empire in America. Beverly was set upon writing his history by the inaccuracies in this, and likewise because the province “has been so misrepresented to the common people of England as to make them believe that the servants in Virginia are made to draw in cart and plow, and that the country turns all people black”-an impression which lingers still in parts of Europe. The most original portions of the book are those in which the author puts down his personal observations of the plants and animals of the New World, and particularly the account of the Indians, to which his third book is devoted, and which is accompanied by valuable plates. Beverly's know me of these matters was evidently at first hand, and his descriptions here are very fresh and interesting. The more strictly historical part of his work is not free from prejudice and inaccuracy. A more critical, detailed, and impartial, but much less readable, work was William Stith's History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia, 1747, which brought the subject down only to the year 1624. Stith was a clergyman, and at one time a professor in William and Mary College.
The Virginians were stanch royalists and churchmer. The Church of England was established by law, and nonconformity was persecuted in various ways. Three missionaries were sent to the colony in 1642 by the Puritans of New England, two from Braintree, Massachusetts, and one from New Haven. They were not suffered to preach, but many resorted to them in private houses, until, being finally driven out by fines and imprisonments, they took refuge in Catholic Maryland. The Virginia clergy were not, as a body, very much of a force in education or literature. Many of them, by reason of the scattering and dispersed condition of their parishes, lived as domestic chaplains with the wealthier planters, and partook of their illiteracy and their passion for gaming and hunting. Few of them inherited the zeal of Alexander Whitaker, the “ Apostle of Virginia," who came over in 1611 to preach to the colonists and convert the Indians, and who published in furtherance of those ends Good News from Virginia, in 1613, three years before his death by drowning in the James River.
The conditions were much more favorable for the production of a literature in New England than in the southern colonies. The free and genial existence of the “Old Dominion” had no counterpart among the settlers of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay, and the Puritans must have been rather unpleasant people to live with for persons of a different way of thinking. But their intensity of character, their respect for learning, and the heroic mood which sustained them through the hardships and dangers of their great enterprise are amply reflected in their own writings. If these are not so much literature as the raw materials of literature, they have at least been fortunate in finding interpreters among their descendants, and no modern Virginian has done for the memory of the Jamestown planters what Hawthorne, Whittier, Longfellow, and others have done in casting the
glamour of poetry and romance over the lives of the founders of New England.
Cotton Mather, in his Magnalia, quotes the following passage from one of those election sermons, delivered before the General Court of Massachusetts, which formed for many years the great annual intellectual event of the colony: “The question was often put unto our predecessors, What went ye out into the wilderness to see ? And the answer to it is not only too excellent but too notorious to be dissembled. We came hither because we would have our posterity settled under the pure and full dispensations of the Gospel, defended by rulers that should be of ourselves.” The New England colonies were, in fact, theocracies. Their leaders were clergymen, or laymen whose zeal for the faith was no whit inferior to that of the ministers themselves. Church and State were one. The freeman's oath · was only administered to church members, and there was no place in the social system for unbelievers or dissenters. The pilgrim fathers regarded their transplantation to the New World as an exile, and nothing is more touching in their written records than the repeated expressions of love and longing toward the old home which they had left, and even toward that Church of England from which they had sorrowfully separated themselves. It was not in any light or adventurous spirit that they faced the perils of the sea and the wilderness. “ This howling wilderness,” “these ends of the earth,” “these goings down of the sun,” are some of the epithets which they constantly applied to the land of their exile. Nevertheless they had come to stay, and, unlike Smith and Percy and Sandys, the early historians and writers of New England cast in their lots permanently with the new settlements. A few, indeed, went back after 1640– Mather says some ten or twelve of the ministers of the first 16 classis
or immigration were among them—when the victory of the Puritanic party in Parliament opened a career
for them in England, and made their presence there seem in some cases a duty. The celebrated Hugh Peters, for example, who was afterward Oliver Cromwell's chaplain, and was beheaded after the Restoration, went back in 1641, and in 1647 Nathaniel Ward, the minister of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and author of a quaint book against toleration, entitled The Simple Cobbler of Agawam, written in America and published shortly after its author's arrival in England. The civil war, too, put a stop to further emigration from England until after the Restoration in 1660.
The mass of the Puritan immigration consisted of men of the middle class, artisans and husbandmen, the most useful members of a new colony. But their leaders were clergymen educated at the universities, and especially at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, the great Puritan college; their civil magistrates were also in great part gentlemen of education and substance, like the elder Winthrop, who was learned in law, and Theophilus Eaton, first governor of New Haven, who was a London merchant of good estate. It is computed that there were in New England during the first generation as many university graduates as in any community of equal population in the old country. Almost the first care of the settlers was to establish schools. Every town of fifty families was required by law to maintain a common school, and every town of a hundred families a grammar or Latin school. In 1636, only sixteen years after the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock, Harvard College was founded at Newtown, whose name was thereupon changed to Cambridge, the General Court held at Boston on September 8, 1630, having already advanced £400 “by way of essay towards the building of something to begin a college.” “An university," says Mather, “which hath been to these plantations, for the good literature there cultivated, sal Gentium,
and a river without the streams whereof these regions would have been mere unwatered places for the devil.” By
1701 Harvard had put forth a vigorous offshoot, Yale College, at New Haven, the settlers of New Haven and Connecticut plantations having increased sufficiently to need a college at their own doors. A printing-press was set up at Cambridge in 1639, which was under the oversight of the university authorities, and afterward of licensers appointed by the civil power. The press was no more free in Massachusetts than in Virginia, and that “liberty of unlicensed printing" for which the Puritan Milton had pleaded in his Areopagitica, in 1644, was unknown in Puritan New England until some twenty years before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. “The Freeman's Oath” and an almanac were issued from the Cambridge press in 1639, and in 1640 the first English book printed in America, a collection of the psalms in meter, made by various ministers, and known as the Bay Psalm Book. The poetry of this version was worse, if possible, than that of Sternhold and Hopkins's famous rendering ; but it is noteworthy that one of the principal translators was that devoted “ Apostle to the Indians,” the Rev. John Eliot, who, in 1661–63, translated the Bible into the Algonquin tongue. Eliot hoped and toiled a life-time for the conversion of those “salvages,” “tawnies,”
devil-worshipers,” for whom our early writers have usually nothing but bad words. They have been destroyed instead of converted; but his (so entitled) Mamusse Wunneetupanatamwe Up-Biblum God naneeswe Nukkone Testament kah wonk Wusku Testament—the first Bible printed in America-remains a monument of missionary zeal and a work of great value to students of the Indian languages.
A modern writer has said that, to one looking back on the history of old New England, it seems as though the sun shone but dimly there, and the landscape was always dark and wintry. Such is the impression which one carries away from the perusal of books like Bradford's and Winthrop's Journals, or Mather's Wonders of the Invisible World --an