as I beleeve, & the gaineing of those 4 languages; besides he is a scholler & well read in the latin & Greeke authors, & noe doubt of an approved conversation; for he corn’s now lately out of the house of the Lord Fairefax who was Generall, where he was intrusted to give some instructions in the Languages to the Lady his Daughter. If upon the death of Mr. Wakerley the Councell shall thinke that I shall need any assistant in the performance of my place (though for my part I find noe encumberance of that which belongs to me, except it be in point of attendance at Conferences with Ambassadors, which I must confesse, in my Condition I am not fit for) it would be hard for them to find a Man soe fit every way for that purpose as this Gentleman, one who I beleeve in a short time would be able to doe them as good service as Mr. Ascan. This my Lord I write sincerely without any other end than to performe my dutey to the Publick in helping them to an able servant; laying aside those Jealosies & that æmulation which mine owne condition might suggest to me by bringing in such a coadjutor; & remaine,
My Lord your most obliged & faithfull servant
Feb: the 21:
John Milton. 1652.
For the Honourable the Lord Bradshaw.
The lively antiquarian John Aubrey (1626-97) recorded several comments on Marvell in his Brief Lives (first published in 1813), which reappear in part in Letters from the Bodleian and in Anthony à Wood’s Athenae Oxonienses (see No. 10).
Extract from Brief Lives, ed. A. Clark (1898), II, pp. 53-4, 56, 304.