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Page 122

CHAPTER VII
SEVENTEENTH CENTURY - PURITANS AND CAVALIERS I

people were those Elizabethans ; for every one seemed to be able to do everything. Perhaps the best ex ample of the man of universal ability is Sir Walter Raleigh, an explorer, a colonizer, the manager of a vast Irish estate, a vice-admiral, a captain of the guard, and a courtier whose flattery could delight even so well flattered a woman as Queen Elizabeth. Moreover, when King James imprisoned him under a false charge of treason, this soldier and sailor and colonizer became an author and produced among other writings a History of the World.
He tells the story clearly and pleasantly. Sometimes he is eloquent, sometimes poetical ; e.g-. he speaks of the Roman Empire as a tree standing in the middle of a field. " But after some continuance," he says, " it shall begin to lose the beauty it had ; the storms of ambition shall beat her great boughs and branches one against another ; her leaves shall fail off, her limbs wither, and a rabble of barbarous nations enter the field and cut her down."
Several of the literary giants who began their work in the days of Queen Elizabeth are counted as of the times of James. The greatest of these were the philosopher Francis Bacon and the dramatist Ben Jonson.
Francis Bacon, 1561-1626. Francis Bacon seems to have been " growii up " from his earliest childhood. He was the son of Elizabeth's Lord Keeper, and it is said that as a boy his dignity and intelligence delighted her Majesty so much that she often questioned him on all sorts of subjects to see what he would answer. One day when she asked how old he was, he replied with all the readiness of an experienced courtier, " I am two years younger than your Majesty's happy

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