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The Prose Works of Andrew Marvell

The Prose Works of Andrew Marvell: Volume II, 1676-1678

Annabel Patterson
Nicholas von Maltzahn
N. H. Keeble
Copyright Date: 2003
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 528
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  • Book Info
    The Prose Works of Andrew Marvell
    Book Description:

    Andrew Marvell (1621-78) is best known today as the author of a handful of exquisite lyrics and provocative political poems. In his own time, however, Marvell was famous for his brilliant prose interventions in the major issues of the Restoration, religious toleration, and what he called "arbitrary" as distinct from parliamentary government. This is the first modern edition of all Marvell's prose pamphlets, complete with introductions and annotation explaining the historical context. Four major scholars of the Restoration era have collaborated to produce this truly Anglo-American edition.From theRehearsal Transpros'd,a serio-comic best-seller which appeared with tacit permission from Charles II himself, through the documentaryAccount of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government,Marvell established himself not only as a model of liberal thought for the eighteenth century but also as an irresistible new voice in political polemic, wittier, more literary, and hence more readable than his contemporaries.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-15403-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Chronology: Marvell in the Restoration
    (pp. xi-xviii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xxii)

    • Introduction
      (pp. 3-34)

      There can be few publications more richly announced and situated than Marvell’s twinned pamphlets,Mr. Smirke; or the Divine in ModeandA Short Historical Essay Concerning General Councils, Creeds, and Impositions, in Matters of Religion. We know exactly what caused him to write them, and the sequence of events that led both up to and down from their publication is unusually fully documented. While the two parts of theRehearsal Transpros’dcan and must be located in the toleration debates of 1668–73, there is perhaps more local information about what provoked Marvell to return to the issue in...

    • Mr. Smirke; or, the Divine in Mode
      (pp. 35-114)

      All that I have to require of thee is; That wheresoever my Stile or Principles Strike out, and keep not within the same Bounds, that the most judicious Author² ofThe Naked Truthhath all along observed; he may not therefore be traduced.³ He could best have writ a Defence proportionable to his own Subject; had he esteemed it necessary, or that it was decent for him to have enter’d the Pit with so Scurrilous an Animadverter. But I thought it a piece of due Civility from one of the Laitie,⁴ to interess myself for one of the Clergy, who...

    • A Short Historical Essay Concerning General Councils, Creeds, and Impositions, in Matters of Religion
      (pp. 115-176)

      The Christian Religion, as first instituted by our Blessed Saviour, was the greatest security to Magistrates by the Obedience which it taught, and was fitted to enjoy no less security under them by a Practice conformable to that Doctrine. For our Saviour himself, not pretending to an Earthly Kingdom, took such care therefore to instruct his Followers in the due subjection to Governours; that while they observed his Precepts, they could neither fall under any jealousie of State, as an ambitious and dangerous Party, nor as Malefactors upon any other account deserve to suffer under the Publick Severity: So that...


    • Introduction
      (pp. 179-222)

      From 1660 until his death in 1678, Andrew Marvell was a member of parliament for his native Yorkshire constituency of Kingston-upon-Hull. It was his experience as parliamentarian that made him the author ofAn Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government, which work led to his posthumous reputation as “a famous Sticler about the French Popish & Court interest.”¹ This was Andrew Marvell “the incorruptible,”² of “Patriot fame,”³ celebrated as an exemplary MP in the eighteenth century. Of all his writings, theAccountmost contributed to contemporary politics and to the rich Whig tradition that sprang from them.


    • An Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government in England
      (pp. 223-378)

      An Account of the / GROWTH / of / POPERY / and / Arbitrary Government / in / ENGLAND. / [rule] / More Particularly, from the LongProrogationof /November, 1675. Ending the 15th. ofFebruary, / 1676, till the last Meeting ofParliament, the 16/ ofJuly1677. / [rule] /AMSTERDAM, Printed in the Year, 1677. [verso blank]

      An account of the Growth of POPERY, and Arbitrary Government in England, &c.

      There has now for divers Years, a design been carried on, to change the Lawful Government of England into an Absolute Tyranny, and to convert the...


    • Introduction
      (pp. 381-412)

      In 1677 John Howe, formerly chaplain to both Oliver and Richard Cromwell and now a leading London nonconformist minister,¹ published anonymously,² but with the bishop of London’s license,³ a 154-page octavo tract in the form of a letter to Robert Boyle⁴ entitledThe Reconcileableness of God’s Prescience of the Sins of Men, with the Wisdom and Sincerity of his Counsels, Exhortations, and Whatsoever Other Means He Uses to Prevent Them. The dilemma Howe addresses is a perennial problem in Christian theology: how is divine foreknowledge of human impenitency and damnation compatible with biblical promises of salvation and exhortations to faith?...

    • Remarks Upon a Late Disingenuous Discourse Writ by one T.D. & c.
      (pp. 413-482)

      Of all Vocations to which men addict themselves, or are dedicated, I have alwaies esteemed that of the Ministry to be the most noble and happy Imployment; as being more peculiarly directed to those two great Ends, the advancement of God’s Glory, and the promoting of Man’s Salvation. It hath seemed to me as if they who have chosen, and are set apart for [2] that Work, did, by the continual opportunity of conversing with their Maker, enjoy a state like that of Paradise; and in this superiour, that they are not also, as Adam, put into dress and...

  8. Index
    (pp. 483-493)