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THIS ingenious writer and honest patriot, was a native of Kingston-upon-Hull, in Yorkshire, of which place his father was minister. After receiving a preparatory education under his paternal roof, he was sent, at the age of thirteen, to Trinity College, Cambridge; but he had not been long there before he was perverted to the Roman church by some Jesuits, who took him to London. There, however, he was found by his father in a bookseller's shop, and conveyed back to his college, and reconciled to the church he had been inveigled from. Some time before the civil wars he lost his father, who was drowned in crossing the Humber. The following remarkable account of this accident is given in the Biographia Britannica.
“On that shore of the Humber, opposite to Kingston, lived a lady, whose virtue and good sense recommended her to the esteem of old Mr. Marvell, as his piety and understanding obliged her to take a particular notice of him ; from this mutual approbation arose an intimate acquaintance, which was soon improved into a very strict friendship. This lady had an only daughter, whose duty, ingenuity, devotion, and general exemplary behaviour, had endeared her to all who
knew her, and rendered her the darling of her mother; 'whose fondness for her was such, that she could scarcely bear to let her child be ever out of her sight. Mr. Marvell, desiring to increase and perpetuate the amity between the families, asked the lady to let her beloved daughter come over to Kingston to stand godmother for a child of his; which, out of her great regard for him, she consented to, though she thereby deprived herself of the pleasure of her daughter's company, for a longer space of time (as the young lady must necessarily lie at Kingston one night) than she would have agreed to on any other consideration, but that of obliging her friend. The young lady came over to Kingston, and the ceremony was performed. The next day, when she came down to the water-side, in order to return home, she found the wind very high, and the water so extremely rough as to render the passage so dangerous, that the boatmen earnestly dissuaded her from crossing. But she, who knew how miserable her mother would be till she saw her again, insisted on going, notwithstanding all that could be urged by the watermen or by Mr. Marvell, who earnestly entreated her to return to his house, and wait for better weather. Mr. Marvell finding her thus resolutely bent to venture her life, rather than disoblige a fond parent, told her, that as she had brought herself into that dangerous situation on his account, he thought himself bound in honour and conscience to share
it with her; and accordingly having, with difficulty, persuaded some watermen to attempt the. passage, they both got into the boat. Just as they put off, Mr. Marvell threw his gold-headed cane on shore, to some friends who attended at the water side, telling them, that as he could not suffer the young lady to go alone, and, as he apprehended, the consequence might be fatal, if he perished, he desired them to give that cane to his son, and bid him remember his father. Thus he, armed with innocence, and his fair charge with filial duty and affection, cheerfully set forward, to meet their inevitable fate; for the boat was overset, and they were lost.
“ The lady whose excessive fondness had plunged her daughter and friend into this terrible condition, went the same afternoon into her garden, and seated herself in an arbour, from whence she could view the water, and while, with no small anxiety, she beheld the tempestuous state it was in, she saw (or rather thought she saw) a most lovely boy with flaxen hair come into the garden; who making directly up to her, said, “Madam, your daughter is safe now.' The lady greatly surprized, said,
said, “ My pretty dear, how did you know any thing of my daughter, or that she was in danger ?' Then bidding him stay there, slie arose and went into the house, to look for a pretty piece of new money, to reward him with ; but on her return into the garden, the child was gone, and on examining her family about him, she found
nobody but herself had seen him, nor could they recollect
any child in the neighbourhood which answered her description. This gave her some suspicion of her misfortune, which was soon after confirmed, with the additional aggravation, that her friend was involved in the same accident, and of course, his family greater sufferers, she having only lost her pleasure, they their support; and thinking herself bound by every tie, to make all the retaliation in her power, she sent for our author, charged herself with the expense of his future education, and at her death left him her whole fortune."
Being thus in better circumstances than he would have been if his father had lived, he went abroad as far as Constantinople, where he resided as secretary to the English ambassador. In 1653, we find him in England, employed by Cromwell, , as tutor to some relation of his ; He was also assistant to Milton in the office of Latin Secretary. He was representative for his native town in the parliament which called home the king. This trust he discharged with strict integrity and fidelity, and was highly esteemed by his constituents, to. whom he constantly sent a particular account of every proceeding of the House of Commons, with his own opinion thereon. A conduct so respectful, together with his general obliging deportment towards them, did not fail to endear him to their affection, and they were not wanting on their side to express their sense of it, by allowing liim