Excerpt from Colonial Prose and Poetry: The Transplanting of Culture, 1607-1650
During the period covered by this volume there were, as we have just assumed, two centres of inﬂu ence, Virginia and Massachusetts, Cavalier and Puri tan, the former an extension of county England, the latter of English borough life. Or, to use literary symbols and to compare small things with great, the two earliest colonies represented respectively the England or Herrick, Carew, and Lovelace, and the England of Milton, Bunyan, and Baxter. At the very outset we meet with a typical Cavalier, a burly survival of knight-errantry, Captain John Smith, and he, though not strictly speaking an American, is typical of the adventurers, English country gentle men, younger sons, plain town and country folk, who settled the southern colony. They were uncourtly but yet genuinely aristocratic, and, developing the aristocratic virtues of bravery and lavish hospitality, they formed a sort of feudal nobility whose qualities were accentuated by plantation life and by the ab sence of metropolitan standards. They brought with them no deep-seated artistic impulses, few inherited literary traditions. They produced little literature and developed (little culture. The repression of learning and the printing press was the least of their grievances against Governor Berkeley, even as late as I676.' They lived quite aloof from the political struggles of their time, and were quite untouched by its scientific or artistic achievements.
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