Page:Anne Bradstreet and her time.djvu/30

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14
ANNE BRADSTREET.

Lucy Hutchinson did of her husband: "He was as kind a father, as dear a brother, as good a master, as faithful a friend as the world had." In a time when, for the Cavalier element, license still ruled and law less passion was glorified by every play writer, the Puritan demanded a different standard, and lived a life of manly purity in strange contrast to the grossness of the time. Of Hutchinson and Dudley and thousands of their contemporaries the same record held good: "Neither in youth nor riper years could the most fair or enticing woman draw him into unnecessary familiarity or dalliance. Wise and virtuous women he loved, and delighted in all pure and holy and unblameable conversation with them, but so as never to excite scandal or temptation. Scurrilous discourse even among men he abhorred; and though he some times took pleasure in wit and mirth, yet that which was mixed with impurity he never could endure."

Naturally with such standards life grew orderly and methodical. "Plain living and high thinking," took the place of high living and next to no thinking. Heavy drinking was renounced. Sobriety and self-restraint ruled here as in every other act of life, and the division between Cavalier and Nonconformist became daily more and more marked. Persecution had not yet made the gloom and hardness which soon came to be inseparable from the word Puritan, and children were still allowed many enjoyments afterward totally renounced. Milton could write, even after his faith had settled and matured:

"Haste then, nymph, and bring with thee
Jest and youthful jollity,