principles against Bishop Parker, when that venal Apostate to bigotry promulgated, in his Ecclesiastical Polity, ‘that it was more necessary to set a severe government over men’s consciences and religious persuasions, than over their vices and immoralities. ’ The humor and eloquence of Marvell’s prose tracts were admired and probably imitated by Swift. In playful exuberance of figure he sometimes resembles Burke. For consistency of principles it is not so easy to find his parallel. His few poetical pieces betray some adherence to the school of conceit, but there is much in it that comes from the heart warm, pure, and affectionate.
Note: Francis Jeffrey in an unsigned review of Campbell’s anthology in the Edinburgh Review for March 1819 (31, 482), prefaces a quotation of Campbell’s remarks on Marvell with this comment:
The following brief account of Andrew Marvell is worth extracting, for the spirit with which it is written—though, we think, Mr. Campbell does not do justice to the sweetness and tenderness which characterize the poetry, as it did the private life, of this inflexible patriot.
On the basis of the descriptive phrase ‘witty delicacy, ’ repeatedly echoed, the essayist Charles Lamb (1775-1834) later received considerable, if undue, acclaim for having rediscovered Marvell as a poet, particularly a ‘garden-loving poet, ’ as he referred to him in 1824 in the London Magazine.
(a) Extract from a letter to William Godwin (14 December 1800) in The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, ed. E. V. Lucas (1903-5), VI, p. 202.
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Publication information: Book title: Andrew Marvell, the Critical Heritage. Contributors: Elizabeth Story Donno - Editor. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 131.
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