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British Literature 1640-1789: An Anthology, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-95248-1
1248 pages
February 2016
British Literature 1640-1789: An Anthology, 4th Edition (1118952480) cover image


Spanning the period from the British Civil War to the French Revolution, the fourth edition of this successful anthology increases its coverage of canonical writings, plays, and of the development of British Literature in the American colonies.

  • A thoroughly updated new edition of this popular anthology which focuses firmly on the eighteenth century without neglecting the seventeenth century
  • Contains new texts including the play Rover by Aphra Behn, and Beggars' Opera by John Gay; increased canonical works, including works by Dryden, Pope, and Johnson; and historical contextual materials, with particualr attention to the Americas
  • Features updated introductions throughout, taking into acccount recent critical works and editions
  • Includes useful resources such as an alternative list of contents by theme, and a chronolgy of literary and political events, providing valuable historical and cultural context

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Table of Contents

List of Authors xvii

Chronology xix

Thematic Table of Contents xxvi

Introduction xxxvi

Editorial Principles xlv

Preface to the Fourth Edition xlvii

Acknowledgments xlix

Ballads and Newsbooks from the Civil War (1640–1649) 1

The World is Turned Upside Down (1646) 1

The King’s Last farewell to the World, or The Dead King’s Living Meditations, at the approach of Death denounced against Him (1649) 3

The Royal Health to the Rising Sun (1649) 6

from A Perfect Diurnal of Some Passages in Parliament (1649) 7

Number 288, 29 January–5 February 1649 7

from Mercurius Pragmaticus (1649) 8

Number 43, 30 January–6 February 1649 8

Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) 10

from Leviathan (1651) 10

Chapter XIII: Of the NATURAL CONDITION of Mankind, as concerning their Felicity, and Misery 10

Robert Herrick (1591–1674) 14

from Hesperides (1648) 14

The Argument of His Book 14

To Daffodils 15

The Night-piece, to Julia 15

The Hock-Cart, or Harvest Home 16

Upon Julia’s Clothes 17

When he would have his verses read 18

Delight in Disorder 18

To the Virgins, to make much of Time 18

His Return to London 19

The Bad Season Makes the Poet Sad 19

The Pillar of Fame 20

John Milton (1608–1674) 21

from The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce; Restored to the Good of Both Sexes, From the bondage of Canon Law, and other mistakes, to Christian freedom, guided by the Rule of Charity. Wherein also many places of Scripture, have recovered their long-lost meaning. Seasonable to be now thought on in the Reformation intended. (1643) 23

Book I: The Preface 23

from Chapter I 26

from Chapter VI 26

from Areopagitica; A Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing, to the Parliament of England (1644) 27

from Poems (1673) 44

Sonnet 18 (1655) On the Late Massacre in Piemont 44

Sonnet 19 (1652?) “When I Consider how my Light is Spent” 44

Sonnet 16 [To the Lord General Cromwell, 1652] 45

from Paradise Lost (1667) 45

The Verse 47

Book I 47

Book II 66

Book IV 91

Book IX 116

Abraham Cowley (1618–1667) 145

Anacreontiques: Or, Some Copies of Verses Translated Paraphrastically out of Anacreon 145

To the Royal Society 152

Andrew Marvell (1621–1678) 157

from Miscellaneous Poems (1681) 158

The Coronet 158

The Picture of Little T.C. in a Prospect of Flowers 158

Bermudas (1653?) 159

The Mower to the Glo-Worms (1651–2?) 161

An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (1650) 161

The Garden (1651–2?) 164

On a Drop of Dew (1651–2?) 167

To his Coy Mistress (c.1645) 168

Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623–1673) 170

from Poems and Fancies (1653) 170

Poets have most Pleasure in this Life 170

from The Description of a New World, called the Blazing World (1666) 171

John Bunyan (1628–1688) 179

from Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666) 179

John Dryden (1631–1700) 183

To My Honoured Friend, Dr Charleton, on his learned and useful Works; and more particularly this of STONE-HENGE, by him Restored to the true

Founders (1663) 184

Mac Flecknoe (1676?) 186

Absalom and Achitophel: A Poem (1681) 192

To the Memory of Mr. Oldham (1684) 217

To the Pious Memory of the Accomplished Young LADY Mrs. Anne Killigrew, Excellent in the two Sister-Arts of Poesy, and Painting. An Ode (1686) 218

Song for St. Cecilia’s Day (1687) 223

Alexander’s Feast 225

from Fables Ancient and Modern (1700) 230

Pygmalion and the Statue 230

Secular Masque 232

Katherine Philips (1632–1664) 237

from Poems by the most deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips, the matchless Orinda (1667) 237

Friendship 237

Friendship’s Mystery, To my dearest Lucasia 238

Epitaph On her Son H. P. at St. Syth’s Church where her body also lies Interred 240

The Virgin 240

Upon the graving of her Name upon a Tree in Barnelmes Walks 241

To the truly competent Judge of Honour, Lucasia, upon a scandalous Libel made by J. J. 241

To Mrs. Wogan, my Honoured Friend, on the Death of her Husband 243

Orinda to Lucasia 244

Parting with Lucasia, A Song 245

To Antenor, on a Paper of mine which J. J. threatens to publish to prejudice him 246

John Locke (1632–1704) 247

from An Essay concerning the True Original, Extent and End of Civil Government (1690) 248

from Chapter 1 248

from Chapter 2 Of the State of Nature 248

from Chapter 4 Of Slavery 250

from Chapter 5 Of Property 251

Samuel Pepys (1633–1703) 253

from Diary 255

July 1665 255

August 1665 258

Aphra Behn (1640?–1689) 260

from Poems upon Several Occasions (1684) 261

The Golden Age: A Paraphrase on a Translation out of French 261

The Disappointment 266

from Lycidus: or the Lover in Fashion (1688) 270

To the Fair Clarinda, Who Made Love to Me,

Imagined More than Woman 270

The Rover: Or, The Banished Cavaliers (1677) 270

Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slave. A True History (1688) 333

John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester (1647–1680) 376

The Imperfect Enjoyment 376

A Ramble in Saint James’s Park 378

A Satyr against Reason and Mankind 382

The Disabled Debauchee 387

Lampoon 389

[Signior Dildo] 389

A Satire on Charles II 391

A Letter from Artemiza in the Town to Chloe in the Country 392

Daniel Defoe (1660–1731) 399

from An Essay upon Projects (1698) 400

An Academy for Women 400

from The True-Born Englishman: A Satire (1700) 406

Part I 406

The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters: Or Proposals for the Establishment of the Church (1702) 415

A True Relation of the Apparition of one Mrs. Veal, The next Day after Her Death: To One Mrs. Bargrave at Canterbury. The 8th of September, 1705 (1706) 425

from the London Gazette 431

Monday, 11 January to Thursday, 14 January 1702 431

Anne Kingsmill Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661–1720) 432

The Introduction 432

Life’s Progress 434

Adam Posed 435

The Petition for an Absolute Retreat 436

To the Nightingale 442

A Poem for the Birth-day of the Right Honourable the Lady Catharine Tufton 443

The Atheist and the Acorn 445

The Unequal Fetters 446

The Answer (to Pope’s Impromptu) 447

The Spleen: A Pindaric Poem (1701; revised 1713) 448

Mary Astell (1666–1731) 452

from A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, for the Advancement of their True and Greatest Interest. By a Lover of her Sex (1694) 452

Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) 455

A Tale of a Tub Written for the Universal Improvement of Mankind (1704) 457

A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burden to Their Parents or the Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public (1729) 527

A Description of the Morning (1709) 533

The Lady’s Dressing Room (1732) 534

A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed Written

for the Honour of the Fair Sex (1734) 537

A Description of a City Shower (1710) 539

Stella’s Birth-Day (13 March 1719) 541

Delarivier Manley (c.1670–1724) 542

from Secret Memoirs and Manners of Several Persons of Quality of Both Sexes. From the New Atalantis, an Island in the Mediterranean (1709) 543

William Congreve (1670–1729) 556

The Way of the World (1700) 557

Joseph Addison (1672–1719) and Richard Steele (1672–1729) 619

from the Spectator 620

Number 11, Tuesday, March 13, 1711 [Inkle and Yarico] 620

Number 159, Saturday, September 1, 1711 [The Visions of Mirzah] 622

Isaac Watts (1674–1748) 626

from Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language for the Use of Children (1715) 626

Against Quarrelling and Fighting 626

The Sluggard 627

Allan Ramsay (1684–1758) 628

from The Poems of Allan Ramsay (1800) 628

Polwart on the Green (1721) 628

Give Me a Lass with a Lump of Land (1721) 629

John Gay (1685–1732) 630

The Beggar’s Opera (1728) 631

Alexander Pope (1688–1744) 678

An Essay on Criticism (1711) 679

The RAPE of the LOCK. An Heroi-Comical Poem (1714) 696

Eloisa to Abelard (1717) 717

from The Dunciad Variorum (1729) 725

Martinus Scriblerus, of the Poem 725

Dunciados Periocha: or, Arguments to the Books 727

The Dunciad, Book the First 729

from Letters 738

To Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1 September 1718) 738

Mary Collier (1688?–1762) 741

The Woman’s Labour: An Epistle To Mr. Stephen Duck; In Answer to his late Poem, called The Thresher’s Labour… (1739) 741

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762) 748

from LETTERS Of the Right Honourable Lady M–y W—y M—u: Written, during her Travels in EUROPE, ASIA and AFRICA, TO Persons of Distinction, Men of Letters, &c. in different Parts of Europe. WHICH CONTAIN, Among other CURIOUS Relations, Accounts of the POLICY and MANNERS of the TURKS; Drawn from Sources that have been inaccessible to other Travellers 748

To the Lady X —— 749

To the Lady —— 750

[To Lady Mar] 752

To Mr. [Alexander] Pope 755

To Mr. [Alexander] P[ope] 756

The Lover (1721–5) 758

The Reasons that Induced Dr. S[wift] to Write a Poem Called the Lady’s Dressing Room (1732–4) 759

To the Memory of Mr Congreve (1729?) 761

[A Summary of Lord Lyttelton’s advice to a Lady] (1731–3) 762

Trials at the Old Bailey (1722–1727) 763

from Select TRIALS at the Sessions House in the Old Bailey (1742) 763

H —— J ——, for a Rape, 1722 763

Gabriel Lawrence, for Sodomy, April, 1726 765

Mary Picart, alias Gandon, for Bigamy, June, 1725 766

Richard Savage, James Gregory, and William Merchant, for Murder, Thursday, Dec. 7, 1727 767

Eliza Fowler Haywood (1693–1756) 772

Fantomina: OR, Love in a Maze (1724) 772

James Thomson (1700–1748) 791

Winter. A Poem (1726) 791

Stephen Duck (1705–1756) 802

from Poems on Several Subjects (1730) 802

from The Thresher’s Labour 802

Mary Jones (1707–1778) 805

from Miscellanies in Prose and Verse (1750) 805

Soliloquy, on an Empty Purse 805

After the Small Pox 806

Her Epitaph 807

Samuel Johnson (1709–1784) 809

from The Life of Mr. Richard Savage, Son of the Earl of Rivers (1744) 811

The Vanity of Human Wishes (1749) 816

from the Rambler 825

Number 2, Saturday, 24 March 1750 825

Number 28, Saturday, 23 June 1750 828

Number 207, Tuesday, 10 March, 1752 831

From the Idler 834

Number 22, Saturday, 9 September 1758 834

Number 81, Saturday, 3 November 1759 836

from the Preface to A Dictionary of the English Language (1755) 837

The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia (1759) 845

from the Preface to The Plays of William Shakespeare (1765) 906

David Hume (1711–1776) 914

from Essays Moral and Political (1742) 914

Of the Liberty of the Press 914

from Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects (1777) 917

My Own Life 917

Jane Collier (1714/15–1755) 923

from An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting; with Proper Rules for the Exercise of that Pleasant Art (1753) 923

Thomas Gray (1716–1771) 932

Letter to Richard West (1741) 933

Sonnet [on the Death of Mr Richard West] (1742) 934

Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat (1748) 934

An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard (1751) 936

The Progress of Poesy: A Pindaric Ode (1768) 939

William Collins (1721–1759) 944

from Odes on Several Descriptive and Allegoric Subjects (1747) 944

Ode to Fear 944

Epode 945

Antistrophe 946

Ode on the Poetical Character 946

from A Collection of Poems by Several Hands (1748) 949

Ode to Evening 949

Mary Leapor (1722–1746) 951

from Poems on Several Occasions (1748) 951

The Month of August 951

An Epistle to a Lady 953

Mira’s Will 955

from Poems on Several Occasions (1751) 956

An Essay on Woman 956

Crumble-Hall 958

Man the Monarch 962

Christopher Smart (1722–1771) 965

from Jubilate Agno (c.1758–63) 966

from Fragment A (c.1758–9) 966

from Fragment B (1759–60) 966

Samson Occom (1723–1792) 970

from A Sermon Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul, an Indian 970




John Newton (1725–1807) 982

HYMN XLI [Amazing Grace] 982

Oliver Goldsmith (1728?–1774) 984

The Revolution in Low Life (1762) 984

The Deserted Village, a Poem (1770) 986

Edmund Burke (1729–1797) 997

from A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757), Part 2 998

Section 1, Of the Passion caused by the SUBLIME 998

Section 2, TERROR 998

Section 3, OBSCURITY 998

Section 4, Of the difference between CLEARNESS and OBSCURITY with regard to the passions 999

Section [5], The same subject continued 1000

Section 13, Beautiful objects small 1002

Section 14, SMOOTHNESS 1002

Section 15, Gradual VARIATION 1003

Section 16, DELICACY 1004

from Reflections on the Revolution in France, and on the Proceedings in Certain Societies in London Relative to that Event In a Letter

Intended to have been sent to a Gentleman In Paris (1790) 1004

William Cowper (1731–1800) 1019

On a Goldfinch Starved to Death in his Cage (1782) 1020

Epitaph on an Hare (1784) 1020

To the Immortal Memory of the Halibut on which I Dined this Day (1784) 1021

The Negro’s Complaint (1789) 1022

On a Spaniel Called Beau Killing a Young Bird (1793) 1024

Beau’s Reply 1024

On the Ice Islands Seen floating in the German Ocean (1799) 1025

The Castaway (1799) 1027

James Macpherson (1736–1796) 1029

from Fingal, an Ancient Epic Poem in Six Books, together with Several other Poems composed by Ossian, the Son of Fingal, translated from the Gaelic Language (1762) 1029

from Book IV 1029

Thomas Paine (1737–1809) 1032

from Common Sense (1776) 1033

Of the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise Remarks on the English Constitution 1033

from The American Crisis (1777) 1036

Number 1 1036

from The Rights of Man: being an Answer to Mr. Burke’s Attack on the French Revolution (1791) 1037

The American Declaration of Independence (1776) 1040

James Boswell (1740–1795) 1044

from The Life of Dr Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791) 1044

Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi (1741–1821) 1058

from Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson, LL.D. during the Last Twenty Years of his Life (1786) 1058

from Correspondence with Samuel Johnson (1773–5) 1060

Anna Laetitia Aiken Barbauld (1743–1825) 1063

from Poems (1792) 1063

The Mouse’s Petition 1063

Verses Written in an Alcove 1065

from the Monthly Magazine (1797) 1066

Washing-Day 1066

Olaudah Equiano (1745?–1797) 1069

from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African (1789) 1069

Chapter 5 1069

Hannah More (1745–1833) 1082

from Sensibility (1782) 1082

from The Slave Trade (1790) 1084

Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816) 1088

The School for Scandal (1777) 1088

Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770) 1137

from Poems, Supposed to have been Written at Bristol, By

Thomas Rowley, and Others, in the Fifteenth Century (1777) 1137

An Excelente Balade of Charitie: As wroten bie the gode Prieste Thomas Rowley, 1464 1137

Frances Burney (later d’Arblay) (1752–1840) 1141

from Journals and Letters 1142

27–8 March 1777 1142

22 March 1812 1144

Ann Cromartie Yearsley (1753–1806) 1154

from Poems on Several Occasions (1785) 1154

On Mrs. Montagu 1154

from Poems on Various Subjects (1787) 1156

To Indifference 1156

To those who accuse the Author of Ingratitude 1157

William Blake (1757–1827) 1159

from Songs of Innocence (1789) 1159

Introduction 1159

The Lamb 1160

The Little Black Boy 1161

The Chimney Sweeper 1161

Holy Thursday 1162

Infant Joy 1162

from Songs of Experience (1794) 1163

Introduction 1163

Holy Thursday 1163

The Chimney Sweeper 1164

The Tyger 1164

Ah! Sun-Flower 1165

Robert Burns (1759–1796) 1166

from Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786) 1166

Epistle to Davie, A Brother Poet 1166

To a Mouse, On turning her up in her Nest, with the Plough, November 1785 1171

Address to the Deil 1172

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797) 1177

from A Vindication of the Rights of Men, in a Letter to the Right Honourable Edmund Burke; occasioned by his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) 1177

Index of Titles and First Lines 1180

Index to the Introductions and Footnotes 1184

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Author Information

Robert DeMaria, Jr is the Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English Literature at Vassar College, USA. He is the General Editor of the Yale edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, and editor of the Johnsonian News Letter. He is the author of numerous books including The Life of Samuel Johnson (Wiley Blackwell, 1993), and Samuel Johnson and the Life of Reading (1997); and is the editor of British Literature 1640-1789: A Critical Reader (1998), Classical Literature and Its Reception: An Anthology (with Robert D. Brown, 2007), and A Companion to British Literature in four volumes (with Heesok Chang and Samantha Zacher, 2014), all published by Wiley Blackwell.
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"This is a magisterial anthology, skilfully selected and rigorously edited by Robert DeMaria, with crisp, authoritative explanatory material. The fourth edition of British Literature 1640-1789 retains the exciting openness of earlier editions to voices from the margins while intensifying its focus on the major authors and works as we teach them today." Thomas Keymer, University of Toronto

“Already the gold standard for this period, British Literature 1640-1789 keeps getting better. The range and inclusiveness of genres and authors is remarkable and inventive – no instructor will be at a loss for the canon or the non-canonical. In fact, this anthology helps reshape the canon. No such collection can ever be perfect, but this one comes as close to perfection as the form allows. Headnotes are superb and succinct, the layout and design eminently inviting to the eye.” James Engell, Harvard University 

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