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that Marvell addressed ' to his coy mistress,' the quaint and unequal lines, not quite unworthy of Cowley, in which we are surprised with the following striking thought:
'But at my back I always hear
'The Character of Holland' is more likely to have proceeded from Marvell's satirical pen :—
'Holland, that scarce deserves the name of land,
The allusions indicate that it was written during the Protectorate. We wish that we had sufficient authority for assigning to our Author the 'Dialogue between the Resolved Soul and 'created Pleasure'; but the versification seems much too polished, the turns of thought too delicate, and the whole is in too pure a taste for Marvell's day: it must, we think, be of later date. It is given in Thompson's edition of the Works, but, we presume, does not appear in the folio edition of the Poems. It is by far the most beautiful of all the specimens selected by Mr. Dove; and, as it may be new to many of our readers, we shall indulge ourselves in extracting it.
'A DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE RESOLVED SOUL, AND CREATED PLEASURE.
'Courage, my soul, now learn to wield
'Welcome the creation's guest,
'I sup above, and cannot stay,
'On these downy pillows lie,
. My gentle rest is on a thought, Conscious of doing what I ought.
'If thou be'st with perfumes pleas'd,
'A soul that knows not to presume, Is heaven's, and its own, perfume.
'Every thing does seem to vie
'When the Creator's skill is priz'd, The rest is all but earth disguis'd.
'Hark how music then prepares,
'Had I but any time to lose,
'Earth cannot shew so brave a sight,
Then persevere; for still new charges sound;And, if thou overcom'st, thou shalt be crown'd.
'All that's costly, fair, and sweet,
'If things of sight such heavens be,
'Wheresoe'er thy foot shall go,
'Wer't not for price, who'd value gold?
'Wilt thou all the glory have
'What friends, if to myself untrue?
'Thou shalt know each hidden cause;And see the future time:
'None thither mounts by the degree
'Triumph, triumph, victorious soul!The world has not one pleasure more:
Marvell might occasionally trifle in poetry; but, in his prose writings, he appears in his native vigour of character as the indignant satirist and the intrepid advocate of freedom. In the 'Rehearsal Transprosed,' appears the following ironical lament on the 'doleful evils' of the press, which must serve as a sufficient specimen.
'" The press hath owed him (Parker) a shame a long time, and is but now beginning to pay off the debt. The press (that villanous engine) invented much about the same time with the Reformation, hath done more mischief to the discipline of our Church than the doctrine can make amends for. It was a happy time, when all learning was in manuscript, and some little officer, like our author, did keep the keys of the library; when the clergy needed no more knowledge than to read the liturgy, and the laity no more clerkship than to save them from hanging. But now, since printing came into the world, such is the mischief, that a man cannot write a book, but presently he is answered. Could the press but at once be conjured to obey only an imprimatur, our author might not disdaine, perhaps, to be one of its most zealous patrons. There have been wayes found out to banish ministers, to find not only the people, but even the grounds and fields where they assembled in conventicles; but no art yet could prevent these seditious meetings of letters. Two or three brawny fellows in a corner, with meer ink and elbow grease, do more harm than a hundred systematical divines, with their sweaty preaching. And, what is a strange thing, the very spunges, which one would think should rather deface and blot out the whole book, and were anciently used for that purpose, are become now the instruments to make them legible. Their ugly printing letters, which look but like so many rotten tooth-drawers; and yet these rascally operators of the press have got a trick to fasten them again in a few minutes, that they grow as firm a set, and as biting and talkative as ever. O, printing! how hast thou disturbed the peace of mankind! That lead, when moulded into bullets, is not so mortal as when formed into letters! There was a mistake, sure, in the story of Cadmus; and the serpent's teeth which he sowed, were nothing else but the letters which he invented. The first essay that was made towards this art, was in single characters upon iron, wherewith, of old, they stigmatized slaves and remarkable offenders; and it was of good use, sometimes, to brand a schismatic; but a bulky Dutchman diverted it quite from its first institution, and contriving those innumerable syntagmes of alphabets, hath pestered the world ever since, with the gross bodies of their German divinity. One would have thought in reason, that a Dutchman might have contented himself only with the wine-press."' pp. 45, 46.
We have been led into writing too long an article for so small a book, but the subject must be our apology; and we have to thank Mr. Dove for the opportunity of dwelling upon the character of Andrew Marvell.
VOL. VIII. N.S.
Art. V. The Christian Warfare illustrated. By the Rev. Robert Vaughan. 8vo. pp. 410. Price 10*. 6d. London, 1832.
A LTHOUGH it is not announced in the title-page, our readers "^ will probably be aware that the Author of this volume is the Biographer of Wycliffe, to whose pen the public are indebted also for the Memorials of the Stuart Dynasty. It is not always that laborious literary pursuits, honourable as they may be in themselves and valuable in their results, have been combined, in the Christian minister, with spirituality of mind, active zeal, and pastoral fidelity. The volume before us will shew, however, that they are not incompatible;—that secular studies do not necessarily unfit the mind for the functions of the sacred office;—that they may not only be subordinated, but rendered subservient to the proper business of a Christian pastor. We do not imagine that Mr. Vaughan has had any idea, in putting forth this volume, of vindicating himself from the possible suspicion of his being exclusively devoted to literature or supremely anxious for literary fame. But it is adapted to render the reputation he has acquired by his former writings still more creditable, by shewing that they have not had the effect of secularizing his mind, of alienating him from the humbler yet higher avocations of the pulpit, or of diverting the flow of his affections from their proper consecrated channel.
And we think we can perceive in the style of these theological compositions, one advantageous effect of his literary labours. They are remarkably free from the provincialisms of any theological school, although there is no appearance of any effort to deviate from customary phraseology. How is it that laymen are generally the best religious writers, the most lucid, natural, and popular? Chiefly, we imagine, because they have learned to think and to write in the language of general literature and social intercourse, before they have taken up their theological theme. Whereas the Christian church is both internally distinguished, and in some measure separated from "those without,'' by a variety of dialects, each harsh and obscure to all but those who speak it; and hence in some degree originate the shibboleths and sibboleths, the logomachies, and the mutual prejudices which divide the various schools and sections of the religious world. There is nothing so musical to some ears as a brogue; and from the same cause, perhaps,—early association,—persons are apt to become attached to the improprieties of a technical and deformed phraseology. In all ages too, and among men of all religions, there has been discovered a strong propensity to invest religion with a sacred language removed from vulgar discourse, and forbidden to all but the priests. The Sanscrit of the Brahmins, the Koran Arabic of the Moslem, the Latin of the Romish