Advertisement

The Poetry of the Second Dutch War

  • Nicholas Jose

Abstract

The atmosphere of 1660–61 had been fertile for panegyric, but once its initial outburst in those years was over public poetry of praise dwindled. Poets had to find less obvious objects for their rhetoric of restoration: so Dryden addressed the New Year 1662, while Waller wrote about urban improvements and Cowley about the Royal Society. After its narrow political service in 1660–61, the idea of restoration was beginning to establish an independent status as a general literary theme. Then after the middle of the decade the second Dutch War once more caused the restoration theme to be applied to explicitly Stuart issues. The war marked a new phase of political unrest as well as providing a fresh topic of controversy and launching a new wave of public poetry. The central arguments of the mid-century, about the nature of power, authority and government in England, were revived, transmuted now into debate about the management of the war. Parliament was able to call the king’s ministers to account for their conduct, thus achieving a temporary supremacy over the monarch and severely curtailing the royal prerogative.1 Clarendon was dismissed and exiled and this meant, effectively, the defeat of the Chancellor’s out-moded vision of a balanced government mediated by privy council.

Keywords

English Literature Balance Government Contemporary History Privy Council Moral Anger 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Clayton Roberts, The Growth of Responsible Government in Stuart England (Cambridge, 1966), pp. 151–83.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    P. Eraser, The Intelligence of the Secretaries of State and Their Monopoly of Licensed News 1660–1688 (Cambridge, 1956),pp. 78–85Google Scholar
  3. J.R.Jones, Britain and Europe in the Seventeenth Century (1966), pp. 56–8, 60Google Scholar
  4. K.H.D. Haley, The First Earl of Shaftesbury (Oxford, 1968), pp. 171–201, 266–8Google Scholar
  5. Graham Greene, Lord Rochester’s Monkey (1974), pp. 47–54Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    Abraham Cowley, Poemata Latina (1668), pp. 313–64.Google Scholar
  7. 5.
    Poems, ed. J. Hunt (1870), p. 61. Cf. Iter Boreale, line 363.Google Scholar
  8. 6.
    Mary Tom Osborne, Advice-to-a-Painter Poems 1633–1856 (University of Texas, 1949), pp. 14–17.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Some details of the Second Advice’s answering burlesque of Waller’s Instructions are given by Warren L. Chernaik, The Poetry of Limitation: A Study of Edmund Waller (New Haven and London, 1968), pp. 186–92.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, ed. P. Laslett (Cambridge, 1967), p. 433.Google Scholar
  11. 17.
    James Kinsley, ‘The “Three Glorious Victories” in Annus Mirabilis’, RES, n.s., VII (1956), 30–7.Google Scholar
  12. 18.
    Dryden used the apparently unobjectionable notion of moderation in a parallel situation later: Charles E. Ward, The Life of John Dryden (Chapel Hill, 1961), pp. 123–6.Google Scholar
  13. 23.
    Bruce A. Rosenberg has discussed the poem’s alchemical language: ‘Annus Mirabilis Distilled’, PMLA, LXXIX (1964), 254–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 25.
    Other painterly elements in the poem are discussed by Michael Gearin-Tosh, ‘The Structure of Marvell’s “Last Instructions to a Painter”’, Essays in Criticism, 22(1972), 48–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 26.
    For example, Pierre Legouis, Andrew Marvell: Poet, Puritan, Patriot (second edition, Oxford, 1968), pp. 163–92Google Scholar
  16. Ruth Nevo, The Dial of Virtue: A Study of Poems on Affairs of State in the Seventeenth Century (Princeton, 1963), pp. 173–9.Google Scholar
  17. The balance is redressed by John M. Wallace, who covers the poem’s background and emphasises, rather exclusively, the poem’s hopeful endorsement of loyalism in the interests of an anti-French foreign policy: Destiny His Choice: The Loyalism of Andrew Marvell (Cambridge, 1968), pp. 145–83Google Scholar
  18. see also David Farley-Hills, The Benevolence of Laughter: Comic Poetry of the Commonwealth and Restoration (1974), pp. 72–98.Google Scholar
  19. More sympathetic is Elsie Duncan-Jones, ‘A Great Master of Words: Some Aspects of Marvell’s Poems of Praise and Blame’ (Proceedings of the British Academy, 1975).Google Scholar
  20. In her brilliant ‘The Shooting of the Bears: Poetry and Politics in Andrew Marvell’, Andrew Marvell, Essays on the Tercentenary of his Death, ed. R.L. Brett (Oxford, 1979), pp. 62–103, Barbara Everett appreciates Marvell’s reluctance (or incapacity) to ‘subsume the minutiae of [his] time into a largely unjust but vital artistic harmony’.Google Scholar
  21. 28.
    The idea of true and false sovereignty in the poem is dealt with by Joseph H. Summers, ‘Andrew Marvell: Private Taste and Public Judgement’, Stratford-upon-Avon Studies, 11 (1970), 181–209.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Nicholas Jose 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Jose

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations