Parker 1671, 338-42).
The Hobbesianism of this account of the 'Philosophy of a Phanatick' is unmistakable; but so too is the theatricality. It was no wonder that both Owen and Humfrey claimed to see in Parker the playwright as much as the man of God 10
(Owen 1669, 71; Anon 1669a; [Humfrey] 1670, 31).
Such familiarity with the stage and with literary satire suggests that our play-going ten-year-old schoolboy and his mother were not alone in their tastes. The point is perhaps caught most graphically in the long verse elegy for 'Mris. G.E. lately Deceased,' which ranges from the merits of the lady in question, to Dryden, Macbeth, fashionable actors, Patrick's Friendly Debate, and pulpit style (Anon 1669b).32 Appreciation of the problems implicit in claims for a 'literary culture of nonconformity' (Cf. especially Keeble 1987, 153-55, 214-29) in the Restoration makes the lives of people in the past more comprehensible, if more complex. Andrew Marvell has too often seemed simply Marvellian in the way he has avoided ready categorization; yet no less instructive is the career of Robert Wild, nonconformist minister, vulgar wit, learned and influential satirist of Dryden, whose disclaimer, 'we Non-Conformists ... never going to Plays,' should surely be taken with as much salt as his contention, in the same sentence, that his fellow nonconformists were 'never good at' raillery and ridicule (Wild 1672, 14-15). It might seem tempting to discount as market-driven the quirky carer of Wild, a presbyterian, who had been ejected from his benefice, and therefore had a living to make;33 yet others, even including John Milton and Andrew Marvell, were in much the same case. 34