Excerpt from England Under the Stuarts
Perhaps the period during which the conditions of life under went least observable change is to be found in the years 1603 40. During this time.no great alteration took place in institu tions, in ideas or in religion, comparable to the changes of the preceding and of the following age. The English whom James came from Edinburgh to rule were the same English as those whom Pym, thirty-seven years later, took upon himself to lead; the England which, resting from the great Elizabethan labour of State construction and State defence, produced during a few brief years a literature of human life perfect in unity as in vigour, was the same England which, when presented with different problems, ﬂew into fratricidal factions. In the long intervening years a deep change of temper had indeed takenplace, due to great political events. But in society, in economics, in the religious convictions of' the people, it is difficult to name any great differences between the England of Shakespeare and the England of Pym.
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