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Rowlandson, Franklin, Melville

Lecture for English 299

Michael Drexler

on 15 February 2016

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Transcript of Rowlandson, Franklin, Melville

John Winthrop, 1630
John Milton, Paradise Lost, 1674
Mary Rowlandson & Increase Mather, 1682
Salem, 1692
Dollars damn me; and the malicious Devil is forever grinning in upon me, holding the door ajar.

What I feel most moved to write, that is banned, -- it will not pay. Yet, altogether, write the other way I cannot. So the product is a final hash, and all my books are botches.
Letter to Hawthorne, June ?, 1851
Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work. We have taken out a commission.... Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this covenant and sealed our commission, and will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of these articles which are the ends we have propounded, and, dissembling with our God...the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us, and be revenged of such a people, and make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant.

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man.... For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, and all professors for God's sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God's worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going.
Communion, Competition, and Isolation
ravenous beasts
Praying Indians
The Lord renewed my strength still, and carried me along, that I might see more of His power.

The next day was Sabbath. I then remembered how careless I had been of God's holy time...to see how righteous itwas with God to cut off the threat of my life and cast me out of His presence forever.

I found, there was mercy promised again, if we would return to Him by repentence; and though we were scattered from one end of the earth to the other, yet the Lord would gather us together, and turn all those curses upon our enemies.

Before I knew what affliction meant, I was ready sometimes to wish for it..."For whom the Lord loveth he chastiseth, and scourgeth every Son whom he receiveth"...I hope I can say ...as David did, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted."
A Marvel and a Paradox
when the English army with new supplies were sent forth to pursue after the enemy, and they understanding it, fled before them till they came to Banquaug river, where they forthwith went over safely; that that river should be impassable to the English. I can but admire to see the wonderful providence of God in preserving the heathen for further affliction to our poor country (129).

I have been in the midst of those roaring lions, and savage bears, that feared neither God, nor man, nor the devil, by night and day, alone and in company, sleeping all sorts together, and yet not one of them ever offered me the least abuse of unchastity to me, in word or action (130).
a scourge to the whole land
Shakespeare, Tempest,1611
John Smith, Jamestown (1607)
Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way? Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a colour as the visible absence of colour; and at the same time the concrete of all colours; is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows—a colourless, all-colour of atheism from which we shrink? And when we consider that other theory of the natural philosophers, that all other earthly hues—every stately or lovely emblazoning—the sweet tinges of sunset skies and woods; yea, and the gilded velvets of butterflies, and the butterfly cheeks of young girls; all these are but subtile deceits, not actually inherent in substances, but only laid on from without; so that all deified Nature absolutely paints like the harlot, whose allurements cover nothing but the charnel-house within; and when we proceed further, and consider that the mystical cosmetic which produces every one of her hues, the great principle of light, for ever remains white or colourless in itself, and if operating without medium upon matter, would touch all objects, even tulips and roses, with its own blank tinge—pondering all this, the palsied universe lies before us a leper; and like wilful travellers in Lapland, who refuse to wear coloured and colouring glasses upon their eyes, so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?
Jonathon Edwards
In that time came a company of Indians to us, near thirty, all on horseback. My heart skipped within me, thinking they had been Englishmen at the first sight of them, for they were dressed in English apparel, with hats, white neckcloths, and sashes about their waists; and ribbons upon their shoulders; but when they came near, there was a vast difference between the lovely faces of Christians, and foul looks of those heathens, which much damped my spirit again. (Sixteenth Remove).
But here I cannot but stay and make a pause, and stand half amazed at this poor people’s present condition. . .Being thus passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation. . . they had now no friends to welcome them, nor inns to entertain or refresh their weatherbeaten bodies, no houses or much less towns to repair to. . . [The] savage barbarians, when they met with them. . . were readier to fill their sides full of arrows than otherwise. . . If they looked behind them, there was the mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar and gulf to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.
The only known contemporary portrait of a 17th-century New England Indian. Oil on canvas by Charles Osgood, 1837–1838, from an original by an unknown artist, 1681. Presumed to be an individual named David who once saved the life of John Winthrop, Jr. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Would you live with ease, Do what you ought, and not what you please.

No man e'ere was glorious, who was not laborious.

Deny Self for Self's sake.

God helps them that help themselves.
Ginger Nut
Master of Chancery
John Jacob Astor
Used in Bookbinding
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