Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/239

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CHAPTER XVII

Circa 1660—1688

THE RESTORATION

"Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." 

I Cor. XV.

WHEN Charles II., the Merry Monarch, came to his own again in 1660 and once more occupied the throne of his ancestors, the whole country burst into unrestrained joy. But if Englishmen had eleven years previously swept away a Court and its vices, they now had unwittingly restored a Court with worse vices. Deplorable indeed were the morals of the newly-restored Court. The age was one of "coarse wit and loud laughter, of clever talk, of dancing, duelling, dining, theatre-going, card-playing, horse-racing, and of amusement raised to the dignity of a fine art." Passions sternly repressed

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