Andrew Marvell

Andrew Marvell

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Andrew Marvell by Augustine Birrell

Published:

1905

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Andrew Marvell

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Book Excerpt

we learn'd at Grammar School, and to scan verses as he does the Author's prose before we did or were obliged to understand them."[8:2]

Irrational methods have often amazingly good results, and the Hull Grammar School provided its head-master's only son with the rudiments of learning, thus enabling him to become in after years what John Milton himself, the author of that terrible Treatise on Education addressed to Mr. Hartlibb, affirmed Andrew Marvell to be in a written testimonial, "a scholar, and well-read in the Latin and Greek authors."

Attached to the Grammar School there was "a great garden," renowned for its wall-fruit and flowers; so by leaving Winestead behind, our "garden-poet," that was to be, was not deprived of inspiration.

Apart from these meagre facts, we know nothing of Marvell's boyhood at Hull. His clerical foe, Dr. Parker, afterwards Bishop of Oxford, writes contemptuously of "an hunger-starved whelp of a country vicar," and in another passage, which undoubtedly refer