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[92] of controversial pamphlets, which seldom live be. yond their generation, says: ‘There is indeed an exception, when a great genius undertakes to expose a foolish piece; so we still read Marvell's answer to Parker with pleasure, though the book it answers be sunk long ago.’

Perhaps, in the entire compass of our language, there is not to be found a finer piece of satirical writing than Marvell's famous parody of the speeches of Charles II., in which the private vices and public inconsistencies of the King, and his gross violations of his pledges on coming to the throne, are exposed with the keenest wit and the most laugh-provoking irony. Charles himself, although doubtless annoyed by it, could not refrain from joining in the mirth which it excited at his expense.

The friendship between Marvell and Milton remained firm and unbroken to the last. The former exerted himself to save his illustrious friend from persecution, and omitted no opportunity to defend him as a politician and to eulogize him as a poet. In 1654 he presented to Cromwell Milton's noble tract in Defence of the People of England, and, in writing to the author, says of the work, ‘When I consider how equally it teems and rises with so many figures, it seems to me a Trajan's column, in whose winding ascent we see embossed the several monuments of your learned victories.’ He was one of the first to appreciate Paradise Lost, and to commend it in some admirable lines. One couplet is exceedingly beautiful, in its reference to the author's blindness:—

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