Andrew Marvell, the Critical Heritage

By Elizabeth Story Donno | Go to book overview

A few brief extracts will amuse the reader. The following is a ludicrous description of the manner in which his opponent manages to shift the terms of the question, as suited his convenience.

[Quotes IV, pp. 190-3, 198, 230. ]

The conclusion is truly eloquent, and is all I can afford space to give. In the ludicrous remarks he makes on Howe’s three opponents, the readers of Marvell cannot fail to recognise that felicitous readiness of repartee, and that sustained and apparently exhaustless humour, by which his wit is so especially characterized.

[Quotes IV, pp. 239-42. ]


26.

Dr John Brown on Marvell

1854

John Brown (1784-1858) of Edinburgh, DD, published a three-volume edition of scarce theological tracts, including Howe’s discourse. His succinct comment indicates that even in theological circles an evaluation of Marvell’s effort in matters of dogma was coloured by his general reputation as a wit.

Extract from the Prefatory Notice, Theological Tracts (Edinburgh, 1854), III, pp. 77-8.

Andrew Marvell, the friend of Milton, an incorruptible patriot, in most venal times, and perhaps the wittiest prose writer in the English language, was the son of a learned and pious Puritan minister of the same name, master of the Grammar school, and lecturer of Trinity church, in Kingston-upon-Hull…. Besides the poems attributed to him, some of which are of high merit, he

-97-

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