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Marvell
Marvell
326

tian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland,' first published in 1776. In 1653 he composed the Latin verses to be sent with Cromwell's portrait to Christina of Sweden. In 1655 he published, though anonymously, his poem on 'The First Anniversary of the Government under his Highness the Lord Protector,' which breathes unbounded admiration for Cromwell and complete confidence in his government. In November 1657 he celebrated the marriage of Mary Cromwell and Lord Fauconberg in two pastoral songs, in which the bride and bridegroom appear as Cynthia and Endymion,and the Protector as 'Jove himself,' Another poem written in the same year, describing Blake's victory at Santa Cruz, is throughout addressed to the Protector, and was probably presented to him by the poet himself. This series of Cromwellian poems closes with the elegy, 'Upon the Death of his late Highness the Lord Protector,' which of all the poems on that subject is the only one distinguished by an accent of sincerity and personal affection. Marvell gave Richard Cromwell the same unwavering support. 'A Cromwell,' he observes in the elegy, 'in an hour a prince will grow,' As member for Hull in Richard Cromwell's parliament he voted throughout with the government against the republican opposition. 'They have much the odds in speaking,' says one of his letters, 'but it is to be hoped our justice, our affection, and our number, which is at least two-thirds, will wear them out at the long run' (Aitken, Marvell's Poems, i. xxix).

At the Restoration, however, as Marvell's political poems were, with one exception, unpublished, his devotion to Cromwell and his house did not stand in his way. He was again elected member for Hull in April 1660, and for a third time in April 1661. Marvell owed his elections partly to his connection with various local families, and partly to his own efficiency as a representative of local interests. Hull kept up the old custom of paying its members, and the records of the corporation show that Marvell and his colleague, Colonel Anthony Gilby, regularly received their fee of 6s. 8d. per day 'for knights' pence, being their fee as burgesses of parliament 'as long as the sessions lasted (Grosart, ii. xxxv). Marvell, on his part, vigilantly guarded the interests of his constituents, and regularly informed the corporation of the progress of public affairs and of all private or public legislation in which they were concerned. A series of about three hundred letters of this nature is preserved among the Hull records, and has been printed by Dr. Grosart (Marvell, Works, vol. ii.)

Twice during the early part of the reign of Charles II Marvell was for some time absent from his parliamentary duties. In 1663 he was in Holland on business of his own; but though John, lord Belasyse [q. v.], the high steward of Hull, urged that a new member should be elected in his place, the corporation simply sent him 'a courteous and prudent' letter of recall (ib. ii. 86). In July 1663, by leave of parliament and his constituents, Marvell accompanied Charles Howard, first earl of Carlisle, in his embassy to Russia, Sweden, and Denmark in the capacity of secretary. He did not return till January 1665, though the mission was originally intended to take only one year (ib. ii. 93–7, i. xlviii). An account of the mission, containing Latin letters and speeches composed by Marvell, was printed in 1669, 'A Relation of three Embassies from his Sacred Majesty Charles II to the great Duke of Muscovy, &c, performed by the Earl of Carlisle in the Years 1663 and 16&4,' 8vo [by Guy Miège]; reprinted in Harris's 'Collection of Voyages,' 1705, vol. ii.; copious extracts are given by Grosart (ii. 100–82). In 1671 Marvell again contemplated absenting himself from parliament. 'I think it will be my lot,' he writes, 'to go on an honest fair employment to Ireland,' but the plan came to nothing (ib. ii. 392).

As a member of parliament Marvell rarely intervened in debate, and as late as 1677 concludes a speech with the apology that he was not used to speak there, and consequently expressed himself with abruptness (Grey, Debates, 1763, iv. 324). He had some influence, however, and Edward Philips attributes Milton's impunity at the Restoration largely to Marvell, who in the House of Commons acted vigorously in his behalf and made a considerable party for him (Letters of State, by Mr. John Milton, to which is added an Account of his Life, 1694, p. xxxviii). On 17 Dec. 1660 he complained to the house of the exorbitant fees which the serjeant-at-arms had exacted of Milton, and succeeded in getting the question referred to a committee (Old Parliamentary History, xxiii. 54). In 1667 Marvell spoke twice during the discussions on Clarendon's impeachment, and also made a violent attack on Arlington (Grey, i. 14, 36, 70; cf. Bebington, Arlington's letters to Sir W. Temple, 1701, p. 226). His most important speech, however, was one delivered upon the second reading of the Bill for Securing the Protestant Religion, on 27 March 1677, in which he opposed the bill on the ground of the exorbitant power which it would give to the bishops if a catholic prince ascended the throne (Grey,