He was disgusted with the brutality of English manners, which he paints in no flattering colours, and he found pedantry and superstition as rampant in Oxford as in Geneva.
As Wellhausen says (p. 171): "The poet appears to believe that in the very act of describing enthusiastically the ancient deed of deliverance, he brings home to us the new; we are left sometimes in doubt whether he speaks of the past to suggest the new by analogy, or whether he is concerned directly with the future, and simply paints it with the colours of the past."
Other important manufactures are ships, paints, foundry and machine shop products, brass goods, furniture, boots and shoes, clothing, matches, cigars, malt liquors and fur goods; and slaughtering and meat packing is an important industry.
It paints popes, cardinals, prelates, rectors, monks and friars, who call themselves followers of Peter and keepers of the gates of heaven and hell, and pale poverty-stricken people, cotless and landless, who have to pay the fat clergy for spiritual assistance, and asks if these are Peter's priests.
In some of them he attacks superstition and philosophical error with the sharpness of his wit; in others he merely paints scenes of modern life.