Critic and journalist, A. Glutton-Brock (1868-1924) contributed an unsigned review-essay on Sir Francis Meynell’s edition of Marvell and Vaughan to the Times Literary Supplement, 1 August, 1918; he then reprinted it in a collection of his essays.
Extract from More Essays on Books (1921), pp. 134-42, 145-8.
It was a happy idea of Mr. Meynell’s to put some poems of Marvell and Vaughan together in one volume and to call it The Best of Both Worlds. The very title is a light thrown on the virtues of these two poets, on their likeness and on the difference between them. Marvell is of this world; Vaughan of the other; but each gives us the best of his own world because he is not shut up in it. There is no worldliness in Marvell, no other-worldliness in Vaughan. Between them, they prove that there is a quality common to both worlds because it is common to them. It was, indeed, the virtue of their age to be aware of this common quality. Many then thought and felt in terms of both worlds; and neither religion nor science had set up a partition between them. There has never been a time in which so many men, not poets by profession, have attained to the highest excellence in poetry. It is not that, like the Elizabethans, they had the knack of pretty songs or were governed by a fine convention of art. The best amateur poetry of the seventeenth century escapes from convention and dares the utmost absurdities in its freedom; but the most absurd of them, [Edward] Benlowes himself, can think with the beauty of passion and feel with the precision of thought. Writing of a private music-meeting, he says:
Sure it was no time to pray,
The deities themselves then being all at play. [‘A Poetic Descant, ’ ll. 62-3]