Monday, July 16, 2007

1679 to 1682

1679. The Habeas Corpus Act passed by Parliament in May obliges English judges to issue upon request a writ of habeas corpus directing a jailer to produce the body of any prisoner and to show cause for his imprisonment. A prisoner shall be indicted in the first term of his commitment, says Parliament; he shall be tried no later than the second term, and once set free by order of the court he shall not be imprisoned again for the same offense.

1679. The Black Death takes at least 76,000 lives at Vienna.

Iphigenie en Aulide. Racine. French. 1679. Play. Attempt by woman who loves Achilles to foil Iphigenie's escape results in herself being sacrificed. Seems her name had been Iphigenie at birth. Character invented by Racine. Loosely based on Euripides.

1681. Pennsylvania has its beginnings in a land grant of 48,000 square miles in the New World given by Charles II to religious nonconformist William Penn, 37. Penn has been the first person of means to join the Society of Friends founded by George Fox in 1647.

1681. The dodo becomes extinct as the last of the species dies on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. A flightless bird related to the pigeon but as large as a turkey, the dodo has been killed by Europeans for food.

"The Garden." Andrew Marvell. British. 1681. Poetry. Contrast between the innocence, peace and beauty of the garden and the stress and trouble of the outside world.

"The Definition of Love." Andrew Marvell. British. 1681. Poetry. Deals with exalted passion and the impossibility of its fulfillment.

Absalom and Achitophel. John Dryden. British. 1681. Poetry. Heroic couplets. Attacks Puritan attempts to exclude the legitimate heir form the throne because he is Catholic.

1682. A Frame of Government drawn up by William Penn for the Pennsylvania colony contains an explicit clause permitting amendments, an innovation that makes it a self-adjusting constitution.

1682. Philadelphia--a city "of brotherly love"--is founded by William Penn.

1682. The Black Death kills nearly half the 10,000 inhabitants of Halle and wipes out much of Magdburg.

1682. Versailles becomes the seat of French government as Louis XIV moves his court into a palatial chateau built outside Paris at a cost of $325 million and some 227 lives.

Venice Preserved, or a Plot Discovered. Thomas Otway. British. 1682. Play. Venetian gentleman in reduced circumstances marries Belvidera, daughter of a Senator. The Senator, her father, disowns her. The husband becomes involved in a plot to overthrow the Venetian government. He warns the Senate of the plot, is condemned anyhow, and on the gallows, stabs his fellow conspirator to spare him an ignoble death. He commits suicide himself. Belvidera goes mad and dies.

MacFlecknoe. John Dryden. British. 1682. Poetry/Satire. Directed against Thomas Shadwell. The title is from Richard Flecknoe, an Irish priest noted for bad verse. Depicts Shadwell as Flecknoe's successor in the monarchy of nonsense. Model for Pope's Dunciad.

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