1680 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Andrew Marvell

John Aubrey, in Brief Lives, 1669-1696; ed. Clark (1898) 2:53-54.



Mr. Andrew Marvel: his father was minister of ... (I thinke, Hull: quaere)...., he was borne.

He had good grammar-education: and was after sent to ..., in Cambridge.

In the time of Oliver the Protector he was Latin Secretarie. He was a great master of the Latin tongue; an excellent poet in Latin or English: for Latin verses there was no man could come into competition with him. The verses called The Advice to the Painter were of his making.

His native towne of Hull loved him so well that they elected him for their representative in Parliament, and gave him an honourable pension to maintaine him.

He was of a middling stature, pretty strong sett, roundish faced, cherry cheek't, hazell eie, browne haire. He was in his conversation very modest, and of very few words: and though he loved wine he would never drinke in company, and was wont to say that, "he would not play the good-fellow in any man's company in whose hands he would not trust his life."

He kept bottles of wine at his lodgeing, and many times he would drinke liberally by himselfe to refreshe his spirits, and exalt his muse. I remember I have been told (Mr. Haake and Dr. Pell) that the learned ... (an High-German) was wont to keep bottells of good Rhenish-wine in his studie, and when he had spent his spirits he would drinke a good rummer of it.

James Harrington, esq. (author Oceanae) was his intimate friend. John Pell, D.D., was one of his acquaintance. He had not a generall acquaintance.

He wrote The Rehearsall transprosed, against Samuel Parker, D.D.; Mr. Smirke, (stitch'd, 4to, about 8 sheets); The naked Trueth.

Obiit Londini, Aug. 18. 1678; and is buried in St. Giles church in-the-fields about the middle (quaere iterum) of the south aisle. Some suspect that he was poysoned by the Jesuites, but I cannot be positive.

I remember I heard him say that the earle of Rochester was the only man in England that had the true vein of satyre.

He lies interred under the pewes in the south side of Saint Giles church in-the-fields, under the window wherein is painted in glasse a red lyon, (it was given by the inneholder of the Red Lyon Inne in Holborne) and is the ... window from the east. This account I had from the sexton that made his grave.