Andrew Marvel's Works

Andrew Marvel's Works is in Stewart Books.

Andrew Marvell Letter to a friend 1671

1671. The King (age 40) having, upon pretence of the great preparations of his neighbours, demanded three hundred thousand pounds for his navy, (though in conclusion he hath not sent out any) and that the Parliament should pay his debts, which the ministers would never particularize to the House of Commons, our house gave several bills. You see how far things were stretched beyond reason, there being no satisfaction how these debts were contracted, and all men foreseeing that what was given would not be applied to discharge the debts, which I hear are at this day risen to four millions.

Nevertheless, such was the number of the constant courtiers, increased by the apostate patriots, who were bought off for that turn, some at six, others at ten, one at fifteen thousand pounds, in money; besides which, offices, lands, and reversions to others, that it is a mercy they gave not away the whole land and liberty of England. The Duke of Buckingham (age 42) is again one hundred and forty thousand pounds in debt, and, by this prorogation, his creditors have time to tear all his lands in pieces. The House of Commons have run almost to the end of their time, and are grown extremely chargeable to the King (age 40), and odious to the people. They have signed and sealed ten thousand pounds a-year more to the Duchess of Cleveland (age 30), who has likewise ten thousand pounds out of the excise of beer and ale; five thousand pounds a year out of the post-office; and, they say, the reversion of all the king's leases, the reversion of all the places in the Customhouse, and, indeed, what not? All promotions, spiritual and temporal, pass under her cognizance.