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Marvell,* indeed, though he seldom spoke in parliament, by his great influence without doors, and the way in which it was exerted, merited the applause not only of his constituents but also of all his countrymen for his incorruptible integrity. We are told, that he had made himself obnoxious to government, both by his actions and his writings; though his patriotism did not render him personally unacceptable to his witty and profligate sovereign. Having one night been entertained by Charles II., who took great delight in his company, he was surprised the next day by a visit from the Lord Treasurer at his lodgings up two pair of stairs in a court in the Strand. He was writing, when Danby abruptly opened the door. Upon his observing to him, however, that he must have mistaken his way, the Treasurer replied, “ Not now I have found Mr. Marvell;" adding, that his Majesty wished to know what he could do to serve him. In answer to this, he remarked, he
and the esteem of the wise and the virtuous." in his Ode to Independence,' says:
" In aweful poverty his honest Muse
Walks forth, vindictive, through a venal land;
In vain Oppression lifts her iron hand: :
· * His power over Prince Rupert was such, that whenever he voted (as he frequently did) according to the sentiments of Marvell, the adverse party used to observe, · He has been with his tutor.” Nay, even in later days, when it was unsafe for Marvell to have it known where he lived, the Prince frequently visited him in the habit of a private person in order to enjoy his conversaa tion. The patriot Earl of Devonshire, also, was one of his intimate friends.
knew the nature of courts too well, not to be sensible that whoever is distinguished by a prince's favour, is expected to surrender to him his vote: that, of course, he could not accept with honour offers which would reduce him to the painful alternative of being either ungrateful to his king, or false to his country: and the only favour, therefore, which he would request of his Majesty wąs, that he would deem him as dutiful a subject as any he had, and more in his proper interest by refusing his offers than if he had embraced them.? Lord Danby then informed him, that his royal master had ordered a thousand pounds for him, which he hoped he would accept :' but this last offer was rejected with the same steadiness as the former ; though, soon after the departure of his noble visitor, he was obliged to borrow a guinea from a friend. .
In 1672, with a spirit becoming his patriotic cha. racter, he engaged in a controversy with Dr. Samuel Parker, at that time Archdeacon of Canterbury, and afterward Bishop of Oxford. This divine had affected to signalise his zeal for the Hierarchy, by defending and encouraging intolerance toward Non-conformists. In 1670, he published a book entitled, Ecclesiastical Polity, and the following year, “A Defence of it :' but what particularly roused Marvell to the attack was his Preface to Bishop Bramhall's “Vindication of Himself and the rest of the Episcopal Clergy from the Presbyterian Charge of Popery ;' in which, with strong expressions in favour of unlimited monarchy, * he recommended a rigorous prosecution of
* “ It is better,” he affirms, “10 submit to the unreasonable impositions of Nero and Caligula, than to hazard the dissolution of the state!" It is absolutely necessary, indeed, to the peace and government of the world, that the supreme government of .
all dissenters. Fully convinced of the dangerous tendency of such doctrines, Marvell determined to expose their author. This he happily effected by a tract called, The Rehearsal Transprosed, &c. or Animadversions upon a late Book, intituled, “A Preface showing what Grounds there are of Fears and Jealousies of Popery.” London, printed by A. B. for the Assigns of John Calvin and Theodore Beza, at the sign of the King's Indulgence, on the South-side of the Lake Leman, 1672.' in which, with great strength of argument and considerable wit and humour, he points out the absurdity of his antagonist's tenets.* To this the Doctor published an anonymous answer; upon which Marvell, in 1673, drew up his . Second Part of his Rehearsal Transprosed;' occasioned by two letters, the first from a nameless author en: titled, "The Reproof, &c.;' the second left at a friend's house with the signature J. G., and concluding, “ If thou darest to print or publish any lie or libel against Doctor Parker, by the eternal God I will cut thy throat.” Several other anonymous pieces were published, about the same time, in favour of Parker; but the patriot, nevertheless (not confining his remarks to the Preface and the • Reproof' of his Adversary, but exposing likewise
every commonwealth should be vested with a power to govem and conduct the consciences of subjects in affairs of religion!” • Tenderness and indulgence to such men (sectarians) were to nourish vipers in our own bowels, and the most sottish neglect of our quiet and security!”
* See the Extracts. At this time, as Burnet observes, “ the court had given such broad intimations of an ill design, both on our religion and the civil constitution, that it was no more a jealousy; all was, now, open and barefaced."
out see the ben such bro constitutiofaced."
and confuting various positions: advanced in his " Eeclesiastical Polity' and it's Defence) silenced the priest, and humbled his whole party. Even the King himself, in behalf of whose power Parker had written, was charmed with the wit of the Rehearsal?: it was read, with avidity, by all ranks of people ; and the Archdeacon, driven as it were from London by his defeat, did not again make his appearance in print for many years.* ... From this time to the year 1676, Marvell attended closely to the duties of his parliamentary trust, without engaging in controversial writing, his hours of leisure being chiefly employed in transmitting to his constituents and friends accounts of public measures and courtly intrigues. These Epistles are preserved in his works.
In the year last-mentioned, he published another controversial piece entitled, - Mr. Smirke, or the Divine in Mode, being certain Annotations upon the Animadversions on · The Naked Truth.' Together with
* Wood himself, though of Parker's party, says in his · Athence Oxonienses,' that “ it was thought by many of those, who were otherwise favourers of Parker's cause, that the victory lay on Marvell's side;—and for ever after it took down Parker's high spirit.”. Burnet represents him, as successfully attacked by the “ liveliest droll of the age;" and Swift, in his • Apology to the Tale of a Tub' remarks, “we still read Marvell's answer to Parker with pleasure (as the work of a great genius') though the book it answers be sunk long ago."
The title of the book was taken from the Rehearsal,' a witty comedy, which appeared to Marvell to furnish a parallel to his adversary in the incoherent and ridiculous character of Bays. In the subsequent work, he denominates the Rev. Dr. Turner ļ Mr. Smirk,' from a character in the comedy of the Man of Mode.
a Short Historical Essay concerning General Councils, Creeds, and Impositions in Matters of Religion.* * The Naked Truth' had been more particularly directed against Dr. Turner, then Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, a great defender of ecclesiastical authority. An answer to it, under the title of Animadversions on the Naked Truth,' appeared soon after it's publication; but the writer was not known': as it was suspected, however, to be his old antagonist Parker, Marvell once more took up his masterly pen in opposition to him, and a second time silenced his high-church adversary. . · Having completed his victory over the advocates for spiritual despotism, he resolved to attempt a similar conquest in respect to political tyranny. This gave birth to his · Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government in England; more particu: larly from the long prorogation of November 1675, ending February 15, 1676, till the last meeting of parliament, July 16, 1677?† In this work, the principles of our excellent constitution are clearly laid down; the legal authority of the Kings of England is precisely ascertained'; and the glory of the monarch, and the happiness of the people, are proved equally to depend upon a strict observance of their respective obligations. In comparing the sovereigns
: * First printed in the name of Andreas Rivetus, junior, of which the Anagram is, Res Nuda Veritas. The Naked Truth," published anonymously in the preceding year, by “An Humble Moderator,' was the production of Dr. Herbert Croft, Bishop of Hereford.
+ He wrote, also, “A Seasonable Question, and an Useful Answer;' and ' A Seasonable Argument to the Grand Juries of England to Petition for a New Parliament.'