Andrew Marvell, the Critical Heritage

By Elizabeth Story Donno | Go to book overview

5.

An anonymous comment on the author of the Rehearsal Transpros’d

1674

A second anonymous pamphlet (of ten pages) appeared in 1674 in the guise of a burlesque letter. Calling his addressee ‘Merry Andrew’ (a popular term for a mountebank’s assistant), its author signs himself ‘Theophilus Thorowthistle’ from his ‘Mannor of No-land in the Isle of Silly. ’

Extract from Sober Reflections, or, A Solid Confutation of Mr. Andrew Marvel’s Works, In a Letter ab Ignoto ad Ignotum, pp. 1-4.

Marvel of Marvels, for that is the Character given you by a certain sort of Impertinent People who love mischief; Mischief your Minion Medium, which like a rich vein runs through the heart of all your Syllogismes, to the utter impoverishing of their Consequences; for, from a vicious medium (as unfledg’d a Logician as you are) you may Cock-sure, inferr, there must necessarily follow a vile consequence.

But, how defective soever you are in your Syllogismes, you make ample satisfaction; nay, you supererrogate in your Dilemma’s, they are as surprizing as a Welsh-hook, with Pull her to her, push her from her; or like a Rope and Butter, if th’one slip, t’other will be sure to hold. Your Similitudes are most apposite and unparallel’d, V[erbi] G[ratia] even as a Wheel-barrow goes rumble-dee, rumble-dee, so my Lord Mayor owes me Five hundred pounds. Your Examples are without example; for Quibbles you are the very word-pecker of word-peckers, and for Rhetorical flourishes (like a Whisler before a Morris-dance) you carry it away from them all with flying-colours, your Workes being most artificially set forth and beautified with choice pieces of Poetry, like a Cow-turd stuck with Gilly flowers, most dexterously interwoven with Natural Experiments; most richly embroidered

-45-

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