Autor: John Buchan

Wydawnictwo: Perennial Press

In a famous letter Keats has expounded life under the similitude of Chambers. There is first the Thoughtless Chamber, when man lives only for sensation; then comes the Chamber of Maiden Thought, when he consciously rejoices in the world of sense, and from this happy illumination acquires insight into the human heart; thence open many doors—"but all dark, all leading to dark passages." The simile applies not only to individual experience, but to the corporate life of peoples. There come epochs when a nation seems to move from the sun into the twilight, when the free ardour of youth is crippled by hesitations, when the eyes turn inward and instinct gives place to questioning.Such a period commonly follows an age of confidence and exuberant creation. We can see the shadows beginning to lengthen in the early years of Elizabeth's successor, and they do not lift till the garish dawn of the Restoration. It is dangerous to generalize about an epoch, but the first half of the seventeenth century has a character so distinct that it is permissible to separate certain elements in its intellectual atmosphere, which affected the minds of all who dwelt in it, whatever their creeds or parties. Whether we study it in the record of its campaigns and parliaments, or in the careers of its protagonists, or in the books of its great writers, three facts are patent in contrast with its predecessor...
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