When poet Andrew Marvell refused to trade his freedom even when he was neck-deep in poverty…
This is the story of the time when King Charles II ruled England. King Charles II was a spend-thrift. The Parliament of England had decided a budget for the king’s expenditure – King Charles II used to spend the entire amount to fulfill his needs and desires. Nobody dared to go against the king during that time but poet Andrew Marvell began criticizing the king openly. His writings reflected sarcasm and rage for the king.
The king thought that what difference would an ordinary writer’s writings make to him? King Charles II thought that the writer was a nobody in front of the king and if he offered some money to the writer then he would stop writing against him.
The king sent one of his loyal servants with a stack of money to Marvell. When the king’s loyal servant reached Marvell’s home, Marvell was writing something new against the king. As soon as Marvell saw the servant, he recognized him and said, “What are you doing here?”
The servant said, “The king wishes to give you a title in the king’s court.”
Marvell said, “I am not interested in having any title in the king’s court and I am never going to trade my freedom like this!”
The king’s loyal servant gave the stack full of notes to Marvell and said, “The king has sent this money for you so that you can come out of poverty.”
“I would prefer starving than accepting the king’s support. I don’t need the king’s money”, Marvell indifferently said.
Marvell was bold. He wrote what he believed. In spite of being in dire need of money, he chose to stand by what he believed in against all odds. If all the writers were like Marvell!
Marvell’s story symbolises courage and the strength to be a one man army against the most powerful people in the world. It is about standing by what you believe in and understanding that your freedom is more valuable than money.
So many writers today sing songs of political parties and powerful people for their own vested interests, instead of writing the truth. If there were more writers like Marvell, the map of the world would have been different.
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