MEN AND CHARACTERISTICS
At the heart of a writer's awareness of the life around him are the images he draws from the types of human beings and from human attributes and functions.* They are an essential aspect of that which lends humanity and the quickening sense of life to his work. Although it is probable that no writer is without a trace of such imagery, we may have, at one extreme, the writer who, whether because unworldly or bookish or absorbed in nature, has only a minimum from such a source, and, at the other, he who is more intensely interested in human beings than anything in book or nature and finds in men and their attributes an inexhaustible source of vivifying analogy.
Donne belongs to neither extreme. In more than one chapter we have seen evidence, fragmentary as it may have been, of his keen observation of men and their ways. We have met in his imagery--to mention only the most conspicuous--astronomer, mathematician, physician, apothecary, alchemist, lawyer, thief, judge, prisoner, clergy. man, warrior, sailor, sportsman, actor, artist, king, courtier, and artisans and workmen of every kind. These were dealt with in terms of the particular fields of activity of which they are an integral part; we have now to add to them images first from that colorful and heterogeneous host of men and women who belong to no special group,____________________