Andrew Marvell eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 283 pages of information about Andrew Marvell.
and by keeping them alwayes up in their good humour.  I will not say what one prince may compass within his own time, or what a second, though surely much may be done; but it is enough if a great and durable design be accomplish’d in the third life; and supposing an hereditary succession of any three taking up still where the other left, and dealing still in that fair and tender way of management, it is impossible but that, even without reach or intention upon the prince’s part, all should fall into his hand, and in so short a time the very memory or thoughts of any such thing as publick liberty would, as it were by consent, expire and be for ever extinguish’d.  So that whatever the power of the magistrate be in the institution, it is much safer for them not to do that with the left hand which they may do with the right, nor by an extraordinary, what they may effect by the ordinary, way of government.  A prince that goes to the top of his power is like him that shall go to the bottom of his treasure."[178:1]

And as for the “common people” he has this to say:—­

“Yet neither do they want the use of reason, and perhaps their aggregated judgment discerns most truly the errours of government, forasmuch as they are the first, to be sure, that smart under them.  In this only they come to be short-sighted, that though they know the diseases, they understand not the remedies; and though good patients, they are ill physicians.  The magistrate only is authorized, qualified, and capable to make a just and effectual Reformation, and especially among the Ecclesiasticks.  For in all experience, as far as I can remember, they have never been forward to save the prince that labour.  If they had, there would have been no Wickliffe, no Husse, no Luther in history.  Or at least, upon so notable an emergency as the last, the Church of Rome would then in the Council of Trent have thought of rectifying itself in good earnest, that it might have recover’d its ancient character; whereas it left the same divisions much wider, and the Christian people of the world to suffer, Protestants under Popish governors, Popish under Protestants, rather than let go any point of interested ambition."[178:2]

FOOTNOTES: 

[152:1] “But the most virulent of all that writ against the sect was Parker, afterwards made Bishop of Oxford by King James:  who was full of satirical vivacity and was considerably learned, but was a man of no judgment and of as little virtue, and as to religion rather impious:  after he had for some years entertained the nation with several virulent books writ with much life, he was attacked by the liveliest droll of the age, who writ in a burlesque strain but with so peculiar and entertaining a conduct that from the King down to the tradesman his books were read with great pleasure, that not only humbled Parker but the whole party, for the author of the Rehearsal Transprosed had all the men of wit (or as the French phrase it all the laughers) on his side.”—­Burnet’s History of his Own Time.

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Andrew Marvell from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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