Andrew Marvell eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 283 pages of information about Andrew Marvell.


[181:1] Grosart, vol. iv. p. 248.

[183:1] Ranke’s History of England, vol. iii. p. 471.

[185:1] Ranke, vol. iii. p. 520.

[187:1] Grosart, vol. iv. (Growth of Popery), p. 275.

[187:2] Ibid., p. 279.

[189:1] See note to Dr. Airy’s edition of Burnet’s History, vol. ii. p. 73.

[199:1] Marvell’s commendatory verses on “Mr. Milton’s Paradise Lost” (so entitled in the volume of 1681) were first printed in the Second Edition (1674) of Milton’s great poem.  Marvell did not agree with Dryden in thinking that Paradise Lost would be improved by rhyme, and says so in these verses.

[202:1] Printed in Captain Thompson’s edition, vol. i. p. 432.

[204:1] Grosart, vol. iv. p. 304.

[205:1] Grosart, vol. iv. p. 308.

[206:1] Grosart, vol. iv. p. 322.

[209:1] Grosart, vol. iv. p. 327.

[210:1] This story is first told in a balder form by Cooke in his edition of 1726.  It may be read as Cooke tells it in the Dictionary of National Biography, xxxvi., p. 329.  There was probably some foundation for it.



Marvell was no orator or debater, and though a member of Parliament for nearly eighteen years, but rarely opened his mouth in the House of Commons.  His old enemy, Samuel Parker, whilst venting his posthumous spite upon the author of the Rehearsal Transprosed, would have us believe “that our Poet could not speak without a sound basting:  whereupon having frequently undergone this discipline, he learnt at length to hold his tongue.”  There is no good reason for believing the Bishop of Oxford, but it is the fact that, however taught, Marvell had learnt to hold his tongue.  His longest reported speech will be found in the Parliamentary History, vol. iv. p. 855.[211:1] When we remember how frequently in those days Marvell’s pet subjects were under fierce discussion, we must recognise how fixed was his habit of self-repression.

On one occasion only are we enabled to catch a glimpse of Marvell “before the Speaker.”  It was in March 1677, and is thus reported in the Parliamentary History, though no mention of the incident is made in the Journals of the House:—­

Debate on Mr. Andrew Marvell’s striking Sir Philip Harcourt, March 29.—­Mr. Marvell, coming up the house to his place, stumbling at Sir Philip Harcourt’s foot, in recovering himself, seemed to give Sir Philip a box on the ear.  The Speaker acquainting the house ’That he saw a box on the ear given, and it was his duty to inform the house of it,’ this debate ensued.
“Mr. Marvell.  What passed was through great acquaintance and familiarity betwixt us.  He neither gave him an affront, nor
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