From "Upon Appleton Houfe, to my Lord Fairfax"
By Andrew Marvell
Hear Angela Caraway read from "Upon Appleton House"! (388 k.b.)

Within this fober Frame expect
Work of no Forrain Architect;
That unto Caves the Quarries drew,
And Forrefts did to Paftures hew;
Who of his great Defign in pain [n. 1 ]
Did for a Model vault his Brain,
Whofe Columns fhould fo high be rais'd
To arch the Brows that on them gaz'd.

Why fhould of all things Man unrul'd
Such unproportion'd dwellings build?
The Beafts are by their Denns expreft:
And Birds contrive an equal Neft; [n. 2]
The low roof'd Tortoifes do dwell
In cafes fit of Tortoife-fhell:
No Creature loves an empty fpace;
Their Bodies meafure out their Place.

But He, fuperflouufly fpread,
Demands more room alive then dead.
And in his hollow Palace goes
Where Winds as he themfelves may lofe.
What need of all this Marble Cruft
T'impark the wanton Mote of Duft, [n. 3]
That thinks by Breadth the World t'unite
Though the firft Builders fail'd in Height? [n. 4]

But all things are compofed here
Like Nature, orderly and near:
In which we the Dimenfions find
Of that more fober Age and Mind,
When larger fized Men did ftoop
To enter at a narrow loop;
As practifing, in doors fo ftrait,
To ftrain themfelves through Heavens Gate.

And furely when the after Age
Shall hither come in Pilgrimage,
Thefe facred Places to adore,
By Vere and Fairfax trod before, [nn. 5--6]
Men will difpute how their Extent
Within fuch dwarfifh Confines went:
And fome will fmile at this, as well
As Romulus his Bee-like Cell. [n. 7 ]

Yet thus the laden Houfe does fwear,
And fcarce indures the Mafter great;
But where he comes the fwelling Hall
Stirs, and the Square grows Spherical; [n. 8]
More by his Magnitude diftreft,
Then he is by its ftraitnefs preft.
And too officioufly it flights
That in it felf which him delights. [n. 9]

A Stately Frontifpice of Poor [n. 10]
Adorns without the open Door:
Nor lefs the Rooms within commends [n. 11]
Daily new Furniture of Friends.
The Houfe was built upon the Place
Only as for a Mark of Grace;
And for an Inn to entertain
Its Lord a while, but not remain.

Him Bifhops-Hill, or Denson may, [n. 12-13]
Or Bilbrough, better hold then they:
But Nature here hath been fo free
As if fhe faid leave this to me.
Art would more neatly have defac'd
What fhe had laid fo fweetly waft;
In fragrant Gardens, fhady Woods,
Deep Meadows, and tranfparent Floods.

While with flow Eyes we thefe furvey,
And on each pleafant footftep ftay,
We opportunly may relate
The Progrefs of this Houfes Fate.
A Nunnery firft gave it birth. [n. 14]
For Virgin Buildings oft brought forth.
And all that Neighbour-Ruine fhows
The Quarries whence this dwelling rofe.

Oh Thou, that dear and happy lfle [n.15]
The Garden of the World ere while, [n.16]
Thou Paradife of four Seas. [n.17]
Which Heaven planted us to pleafe,
But, to exclude the World, did guard
With warry if not flaming Sword; [n. 18]
What lucklefs Apple did we taft,
To make us Mortal, and The Waft.

Unhappy! fhall we never more
That fweet Milltia reftore,
When Gardens only had their Towrs,
And all the Garrifons were Flowrs,
When Rofes only Arms might bear,
And Men did rofie Garlands wear?
Tulips, in feveral Colours barr'd,
Were then the Switzers of our Guard. [n. 19]

The Gardiner had the Soldiers place,
And his more gentle Forts did trace.
The Nurfery of all things green
Was then the only Magazeen.
The Winter Quarters were the Stoves,
Where he the tender Plants removes.
But War all this doth overgrow:
We Ord'nance Plant and Powder fow.

And now to the Abbyfs I pafs
Of that unfathomable Grafs, [n. 20]
Where Men like Grafhoppers appear, [n. 21]
But Grafhoppers are Gyants there; [n. 22]
They, in there fqueking Laugh, contemn
Us as we walk more low then them:
And, from the Precipices tall
Of the green fpir's, to us do call.

To fee men through this Meadow Dive,
We wonder how they rife alive. [n. 22]
As, under Water, none does know
Whether he fall through it or go. [n. 23]
But, as the Marriners that found,
And fhow upon their Lead the Ground, [n. 24]
They bring up Flow'rs fo to be feen,
And prove they've at the Bottom been.

But I, retiring from the Flood,
Take Sanctuary in the Wood;
And, while it lafts, my felf imbark
In this yet green, yet growing Ark;
Where the firft Carpenter might beft [n. 25]
Fit Timber for his Keel have Preft. [n. 26]
And where all Creatures might have fhares,
Although in Armies, not in Paires. [n. 27]

The double Wood of ancient Stocks
Link'd in fo thick, an Union locks, [n. 28]
It like two Pedigrees appears, [n. 29]
On one hand Fairfax, th' other Veres:
Of whom though many fell in War, [n. 30]
Yet more to Heaven fhooting are:
And, as they Natures Cradle deckt,
Will in green Age her Hearfe expect.

Then as I carlefs on the Bed,
Of gelid Straw-berryes do tread,
And through the Hazles thick efpy
The hatching Thraftles fhining Eye,
The Heron from the Afhes top, [n. 31]
The eldeft of its young lets drop,
As if it Stork-like did pretend [n. 31]
That Tribute to its Lord to fend.

Thus I, eafie Philofopher,
Among the Birds and Trees confer:
And little now to make me, wants
Or of the Fowles, or of the Plants.
Give me but Wings as they, and I
Streight floting on the Air fhall fly:
Or turn me but, and you fhall fee
I was but an inverted Tree. [n. 32]

Then, languishing with eafe, I tofs
On Pallets fwoln of Velvet Mofs;
While the Wind, cooling through the Boughs,
Flatters with Air my panting Brows.
Thanks for my Reft ye Moffy Banks,
And unto you cool Zephyr's Thanks,
Who, as my Hair, my Thoughts too fhed, [n. 33]
And winnow from the Chaff my Head.

How fafe, methinks, and ftrong, behind
Thefe Trees have I incamp'd my Mind;
Where Beauty, aiming at the Heart,
Bends in fome Tree its ufelefs Dart;
And where the World no certain Shot
Can make, or me it toucheth not.
But I on it fecurely play,
And gaul its Horfemen all the Day.

Bind me ye Woodbines in your twines,
Curle me about ye gadding Vines, [n. 34]
And Oh fo clofe your Circles lace,
That I may never leave this Place:
But, left your Fetters prove too weak,
Ere I your Silken Bondage break,
Do you, O Brambles, chain me too,
And courteous Briars nail me through.

Here in the Morning tye my Chain,
Where the two Woods have made a Lane;
While, like a Guard on either fide,
The Trees before their Lord divide;
This, like a long and equal Thread,
Betwixt two Labyrinths does lead.
But, where the Floods did lately drown,
There at the Ev'ning ftake me down.

But now away my Hooks, my Quills,
And Angles, idle Utenfils.
The young Maria walks to night: [35]
Hide trifling Youth thy Pleafures flight.
'Twere fhame that fuch judicious Eyes
Should with fuch Toyes a Man furprize;
She that already is the Law
Of all her Sex, her Ages Aw.

See how loofe Nature, in refpect
To her, it felf doth recollect;
And every thing fo whifhe and fine, [n. 36]
Starts forth with to its Bonne Mine. [n. 37]
The Sun himfelf, of Her aware,
Seems to defcend with greater Care;
And left She fee him go to Bed,
In blufhing Clouds conceales his Head.

'Tis She that to thefe Gardens gave
That wondrous Beauty which they have;
She ftreightnefs on the Woods beftows;
To Her the Meadow fweetnefs owes;
Nothing could make the River be
So Chryftal-pure but only She;
She yet more Pure, Sweet, Streight, and Fair,
Then Gardens, Woods, Meads, Rivers are.

Mean time ye Fields, Springs, Bufhes, Flow'rs,
Where yet She leads her ftudious Hours,
(Till Fate her worthily traflates,
And find a Fairfax for out Thwaites) [n. 38]
Employ the means you have by Her,
And in your kind your felves preferr;
That, as all Virgins She preceds,
So you all Woods, Streams, Gardens, Meads.

By Angela C. Caraway
1.'pain'- refers to the "throes of travail," as those of Jupiter when Minerva was born (Grosart 42).
2.'equal'- appropriate (for their size)(Kermode 112).
3.'mole of dust'- unformed mass; false conception; shapeless, lifeless lump of flesh in the womb (Grosart 42).
4.'first builders'- refers to the builders of the tower of Babel (Kermode 117).
5.'Vere'- refers to Horace, brother of General Sir Francis Vere and infers all the Veres as visitors of Lady Fairfax. Or Fairfax refers to William Fairfax (Grosart 43).
6.'Vere'- Anne Vere, Fairfax's wife (Kermode 117).
7.'Romulus'- an allusion to the size of the tugurium, the covering holding its inhabitant (Romulus) just as a waxen cell holds a young newly-hatched bee. The Caffre huts in Africa are like bee hives, and the tugurium in which the Roman brothers passed their early life was to Marvell similar in shape (Grosart 43). 8.'Spherical'- reference to the cupola (Kermode 118).
9.'That'- its humility (118).
10.'Frontispiece of Poor'- The door is presented as the frontispiece of a book, and the poor, expecting the alms of Fairfax, create its decoration (118).
11.'Nor'- no (Grosart 43).
12.'Bishops-hill'- location of Davy Hall, one of Isabella's estates (43) or Fairfax's house in York (Kermode 119).
13.'Denson'- Denton, the estate in which Isabella and William lived after marriage (Grosart 43). Fairfax's estate 30 miles from Nunappleton (Kermode 119).
14.'Nunnery'- Nunappleton was the original place name as it stood as an abbey. Thomas and Guy Fairfax, William's sons, forced Anna Langton the abbess to turn the property over to them. They tore down the religious buildings and built a house with part of the remains (Grosart 42-43).
15.'Oh Thou, that dear and happy Isle'- could refer to John of Gaunt's well-known strophe to England in Richard II (46).
16.'Garden of the World'- England is recognized as the garden of the world (Kermode 126).
17.'four seas'- from Genesis 2- an acknowledged phrase in Britain (Grosart 46).
18.'flaming sword'- from Genesis 3 (46).
19.'Switzers of our Guard'- an allusion to mercenary troops obtained then from Switzerland, Germany, and the Continent generally. Swiss guards attended royalty (46-47). A reference to the black, yellow, and red stripes of the papal Swiss guard (Kermode 127).
20.'unfathomable'- unmeasurable (Woudhuysen 146).
21.lines 96-97- refer to Numbers 13:33-- 'And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight' (476). The grasshoppers were perched on the tops of the luxuriant grass-spires (Grosart 47).
22.'As, under Water, none does know'- reference to the idea that under water one can hardly keep at the same distance from the surface, but generally in the attempt to keep below inclines downwards (47).
23.'go'- advances (Woudhuysen 477).
24.'Ground'- mud or sand from the seabed (Kermode 128).
25.'first carpenter'- Noah (132).
26.'Prest'- commandeered (132).
27.'Paires'- from Genesis 6:19 and Genesis 7:15 (Grosart 50).
28.'Union'- noun, subject of the sentence (Kermode 132).
29.'Pedigree'- genealogical trees (132).
30.'in War'- the trees were cut down to meet a wartime demand for timber (132).
31.'Heron' and 'Stork-like'- The stork was held to leave behind one of its young as a tribute to the owner; the heron is imagined as dropping one young bird in similar tribute (Kermode 134).
32.'inverted tree'- "Man is like an inverted tree." -- a commonplace which traces back to Aristotle and even to Plato (135).
33.'shed'- separate, part (136).
34.'gadding Vines'- from 'Lycidas' (Grosart 51).
35.'Maria'- Mary, daughter of the 'Great Lord Fairfax,' born at Bishophill on July 30, 1638. Marvel was her tutor (51).
36.'whifhe'- hushed (51).
37.'Bonne Mine'- good appearance puts on its best behavior (Kermode 138).
38.'Thwaites'- Isabella Thwaites- orphan and great heiress under the abbess of Nunappleton, who refused to let her consort with William Fairfax who loved her. Eventually the nunnery was broken into by force, and William carried Isabella away and married her in 1518 (Grosart 43).
Nunapppleton House
By Angela C. Caraway

Originally Nunappleton house was a small, ancient building belonging to the Cistercian Priory. It stood in the lowland about four miles from Steeton and was close to the Wharfe and Ouse rivers. Anna Langton presided over the nunnery, but later had to surrender it to Thomas and Guy Fairfax on Dec. 5, 1542. These heirs of William Fairfax tore down the religious buildings in order to build a house, using part of the materials from the old nunnery (Grosart 41-42).

Nunappleton house, often called Appleton House, was a brick mansion "with a center block and two wings at right-angles, forming three sides of a square" (Kermode 116). According to C.R. Markman's description in Life of the Great Lord Fairfax, the great hall which was 50 yards long was in the center of the house. A cupola surrounded the central portion of the house. On the north side was a great park with oak trees and 300 head of deer. On the south side were the ruins of the old nunnery, along with the elaborate flower garden and the ings, low meadows, which extended to the edge of the Wharfe river. The garden was planted with masses of tulips, pinks, and roses in separate beds, and the beds were cut in the shapes of forts with bastions (Markman qtd. in Kermode 116).

The scandal behind the house involves the marriage of Sir William Fairfax and Isabella Thwaites. The abbess, Anna Langton, was given charge of Isabella, an orphan, and was apparently very strict about the girl's acquaintances. However, Isabella was allowed to fraternize with neighborhood friends and go hunting and fishing occasionally. An interesting development came from her innocent activities in that she fell in love with William Fairfax. When Anna Langton found out, she banned William from the nunnery and sequestered Isabella in order to separate them. The abbess was apparently "scheming" and controlling of Isabella's fate (Grosart 41). However, despite her efforts, William attained an order from authorities which demanded Isabella's release. The abbess denied the order, and William had to enter the nunnery by force in order to carry Isabella off. They were later married at Bolton Percy Church in 1518, and their union produced statesmen, scholars, warriors, and poets. One of their offspring was Thomas Fairfax who later returned to the house in 1650 (Grosart 41-42).

Thomas Fairfax was the "commander-and-chief of the Parliamentary Army" (Kermode 113). He would not condone the King's execution because he disapproved of Cromwell's campaign against the Scots. As a result, he retired from the army and moved back to the Yorkshire properties to man his land and become both a scholar and a poet. He married Anne Vere, a strong Presbyterian woman of military line. Their daughter was Mary whom Andrew Marvell was hired to tutor in 1651. As a result, Marvell lived with them at Nunappleton for two years (113).

The house in which Marvell lived was built between the years of 1637-1650 (Kermode 116). This house no longer had wings and was much changed from the time the Fairfax's inhabited it (116). However, some ruins of the nunnery remain (116), and an old stone with the words "Guido Fairfax" carved in it still forms a part of the bridge which stood over a stream which ran into the Wharfe river (Grosart 42).

Works Cited

Grosart, Alexander B., Rev., ed. The Complete Poems of Andrew Marvell. vol. 1. New York: AMS Press, Inc., 1966. 41-42.

Kermode, Frank, ed. Selected Poetry of Andrew Marvell. General Ed. John Hollander. New York: Signet Classics, 1967. 113, 116.

Marvell, Andrew. ""Upon Appleton House, to my Lord Farifax."" Miscellaneous Poems. London: Printed for Robert Boulter, 1681. 76-103.

Woudhuysen, H.R., ed. The Penguin Book of Renaissance Verse. New York: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1992. 476-479.

The Ambushed Abbey
By Angela C. Caraway

(Late one night at Nunappleton, young William Fairfax and a band of men approach the abbey in hopes of obtaining Isabella Thwaites, the love of Fairfax. They knock on the front entrance and are greeted by an angry Anna Langton, the Abbess.)

Abbess: What right do you have to intrude upon our sleep on such a night?

Fairfax: You have seen the order and know why I have come. I desire your relinquishing of the hold you force on Isabella.

Abbess: I have no hold on her whatsoever. Is it of my doing that she upon receiving your order would not comply? What have I to do with a young girl's emotions?

Fairfax: What indeed?! You know certain that she would not remove herself from my presence. In truth, she knows not of the order or of my diligence in pursuing her thus since you have control of her ears.

Abbess: I would not exercise such control--indeed I do not have to. She is of pure and sound mind and knows that which will bring evil and misery into her life and that which she must flee from. Because of her ample intellect, I have allowed her all knowledge, and seeing that her choices have thus far been grounded in purity, I have sequestered her not from the knowledge of your pursuit, but only from your presence, which she herself wishes to avoid.

Fairfax: You speak lies and yet profess to be such a holy and fair woman. If you are speaking the truth, then you will permit Isabella to subject herself to my presence one last time so that she may second your words.

Abbess: Do I appear devoid of intellect and quality? Do I seem dense? I may not live in the evil world in which you so comfortably dwell, but I am quite aware of its tricks, and I'll not have you sit and convince her either with your charm, which I do not fear, or your threats to her safety. She is my ward, and I'll not have her stolen and raped under the guise of your proving a point. Good night, young man--our conversation is complete. (She slams and bolts the door.)

Fairfax's Friend: So, Fairfax, a stronger woman of God I have never before seen paired with such an evil an demoned tongue. What would you have us do?

Fairfax: If only I could determine that Isabella does still love me and that the Abbess is the liar she appears to be. My love may have been teasing me in the garden those afternoons; she may be as despondent as the abbess claims.

Friend: What can we do? We are prepared to take the Abbey by force. We have the right, but your word seals our action.

Fairfax: Let us take it. I could not leave without knowing her mind, and if I am forced back by the coldness of her heart, we shall retreat and leave her to the hold of the Abbess.

Friend: As you will have it. (To the others:) Men, let us assert our right with arms, and with all respect to the sacredness of this dwelling and its inhabitants, let us take for Fairfax what is already his.

(A struggle with the door ensues and the bolts are broken. The men rush into the abbey while the screams of the Sisters wrack the building. Fairfax frantically searches for Isabella with all the terror of defeat weighing upon him. He approaches a large door on the top floor and shaking the knob finds it fast. He breaks in with the use of his staff and his stout shoulder to find Isabella standing behind it in terror. When she sees him, however, her terror fades, and she moves toward him.)

Isabella: William, you have come for me as you promised in the garden. I imagined you had forgotten me or given me up.

Fairfax: Forgotten? That bright face and silken hair, those arms that I long to encircle me? Isabella, I feared the same from you. The Abbess fairly convinced me mine was a lost cause.

Isabella: You cannot imagine what torture I've endured from her. She's forced scripture upon me with readings and rituals and chastisement beyond the bounds which holiness would permit.

Fairfax: I can only try to relieve you by telling you that this night will end your torture and seclusion. I wish to be your ward now--as your husband--if you would comply.

Isabella: My heart will make me more than comply. I have been yours since the moment our eyes fell upon one another, and I cannot belong to anyone else.

(They embrace passionately. Fairfax gathers his men and carries Isabella away so that they might be married.)