chapter  8
26 Pages

Jonson’s Eirenic Community: The Case of The Masque of Augurs (1622)

For Marvell, memory supplies some charter from the past, whether for groups or for nations. Cultural memory might supply a warning as much or more than any normative account of what community should entail. His restless sense of the demands of belief and practice met with an aestheticizing response, emphasizing the grand performance of cultural memory in his work. Milton's elegance' was here trained on encouraging others to due worship, but the response to him and his works often evaded this obligation to religious community in preference for the different cultural memories elicited by epithet learned'. In 164142, Milton had begun his career as a controversialist by attacking episcopacy with a view to disestablishing the Laudian Church. The enlisting of Milton into the community of the learned helped obviate his challenge to his readers in politics and religion alike. Milton himself uses the terms learned' and ingenious' but his commendations of others very heavily favour the former.