Page:Anne Bradstreet and her time.djvu/170

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some phases of early colonial life.

MUCH of the depression evident in Anne Bradstreet's earlier verses came from the circumstances of her family life. No woman could have been less fitted to bear absence from those nearest to her, and though her adhesive nature had made her take as deep root in Ipswich, as if further change could not come, she welcomed anything that diminished the long separations, and made her husband's life center more at home. One solace seems to have been always open to her, her longest poem, the "Four Monarchies," showing her devotion to Ancient history and the thoroughness with which she had made it her own. Anatomy seems to have been studied also, the "Four Humours in Man's Constitution," showing an intimate acquaintance with the anatomical knowledge of the day; but in both cases it was not, as one might infer from her references to Greek and Latin authors, from original sources. Sir Walter Raleigh's "History of the World," Archbishop Usher's "Annals of the World," and Pemble's "Period of the Persian Monarchy," were all found in Puritan libraries, though she may have had access to others while still in England. Pemble was in high favor as an authority in Biblical exposition, the title of his book