Andrew Marvell, the Critical Heritage

By Elizabeth Story Donno | Go to book overview

do as much as Press-money, if you bid Defiance to a Standing-army, though it be but in the Clouds….

The Pitcher hath two Ears: if you cannot lay hold on one side, take him by t’other, and dash him to the ground: Remember his name is not only Lauderdail, but Guilford too.1 The honest Covenanters have been whetting their Pens at him these Five years; so have we our Spleens in England, we have spent the most part of our Gaul in Ink-pots; Try what the rest will do in a round Charge or two. Nevertheless, write on still: I am sorry we have lost the Prime Pen; therefore make sure of Andrew. Hee’s a shrewd man against Popery, though for his Religion, you may place him, as Pasquin at Rome placed Henry the Eighth, betwixt Moses, the Messiah, and Mahomet, with this Motto in his Mouth, quo me vertam nescio.2 ’Tis well he is now Transprosed into Politicks; they say he had much ado to live upon Poetry.


17.

Sir Roger L’Estrange on the Growth of Popery

1678-1683/4

According to a mock-Rabelaisian sermon published in 1682, Roger L’Estrange (1616-1704) was acknowledged by common consent as the ‘Yerker, Firker, Whipster, Scribler General of Tory-Land’ (Toryrorydammeeplotshamee, p. 10). An ardent royalist, he was made a licenser of the press in 1633 (and subsequently forced to license RT I); he was also given the sole privilege of purveying the news but was driven from the field by the popularity of the Gazette. Taking the name Observator, he then published three series of generally bi- or tri-weekly comments on political matters from 1678 to 1686/7.

1 Duke of Lauderdale and Earl of Guilford, John Maitland was active in suppressing Scots dissenters. (See Letters, pp. 313, 343. )

2 I do not know whither I shall turn (from Cicero, pro Cluent 1.4).

-71-

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