’Where I have used three or four
lines together of any author I have
acknowledged it in the notes.’
He did make frequent acknowledgment of lines or thoughts taken from other poets in Psalms 6, 21, 63, 104, 139. But in a note to Ps. 114 he absolutely spoke of the work as his own. Now the ground upon which Thompson ascribed this piece to Marvell is precisely that on which he also ascribed to Marvell Addison’s poems in Nos. 453 and 465 of the Spectator. He found them all in the latter part of a book of extracts of which he said that the first part was in Marvell’s handwriting, ’and the rest copied by his order.’ It is very doubtful whether even the first part of the MS. book, containing verse of Marvell’s, was really in Marvell’s handwriting, and that the part written later was copied by his order, is an unfounded assumption. Captain Thompson said of the MS. book that it was many years in the care of Mr. Nettleton, and communicated to the editor by Mr. Thomas Raikes.—Probably it was Mr. Nettleton who in his youth had added to the book copies of Addison’s and Dr. Watts’s verses from the Spectator, and Mallet’s version of the old ballad of William and Margaret, all of which pieces Captain Edward Thompson therefore supposed to have been written by Marvell.
* * * * *
1. HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 143.
’One with a flash begins, and ends
Another out of smoke brings glorious light,
And (without raising expectation high)
Surprises us with dazzling miracles.’
2. JUV. Sat. vii. 167.
‘Six more, at least, join their consenting voice.’
3. LUCR. 1. iv. 959.
’—What studies please,
what most delight,
And fill men’s thoughts, they dream them o’er at night.’
4. HOR. 2 Sat. vi. 58.
‘One of uncommon silence and reserve.’
5. HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 5.
‘Admitted to the sight, would you not laugh?’
6. JUV. Sat. xiii. 54.
’ ’Twas impious then (so much
was age revered)
For youth to keep their seats when an old man appear’d.’
7. HOR. 2 Ep. ii. 208.
’Visions and magic spells can you
And laugh at witches, ghosts, and prodigies?’
8. VIRG. AEn. i. 415.
’They march obscure, for Venus kindly
With mists their persons, and involves in clouds.’
9. JUV. Sat. xv. 163.
’Tiger with tiger, bear with bear,
In leagues offensive and defensive join’d.’
10. VIRG. Georg. i. 201.
’So the boat’s brawny crew
the current stem,
And, slow advancing, struggle with the stream:
But if they slack their hands, or cease to strive,
Then down the flood with headlong haste they drive.’