Possibly by Andrew Marvell; Latham & Matthews say the attribution is uncertain.

See also ‘Third advice to a painter’.

4 Annotations

First Reading

CGS  •  Link

last work of Sir John Denham,…


First draw the sea, that portion which between
The greater world and this of ours is seen;
Here place the British, there the Holland fleet,
Vast floating armies! both prepared to meet.
Draw the whole world, expecting who should reign,
After this combat, o'er the conquer'd main.

Make Heaven concern'd, and an unusual star 7
Declare th'importance of th'approaching war.
Make the sea shine with gallantry, and all
The English youth flock to their Admiral,
The valiant Duke! whose early deeds abroad,
Such rage in fight, and art in conduct show'd.
His bright sword now a dearer int'rest draws,
His brother's glory, and his country's cause.

....'What wonders may not English valour work, 277
Led by th'example of victorious York?
Or what defence against him can they make,
Who, at such distance, does their country shake?
His fatal hand their bulwarks will o'erthrow,
And let in both the ocean, and the foe;'
Thus cry the people;--and, their land to keep,
Allow our title to command the deep;
Blaming their States' ill conduct, to provoke
Those arms, which freed them from the Spanish yoke.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

The text CGS cites above is that of the first broadside of 1665 which contains only 64 lines:

Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
Instructions to a painter for the drawing of a picture of the state and posture of the English forces at sea, under the command of his Royal Highness in the conclusion of the year 1664.
London : [s.n.], printed in the year 1665.
1 sheet ([1] p.) ; 1/2⁰. Verse - "First draw the sea, that portion which between,".
Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), W499

a far lengthier version was issued late in 1666:

Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
Instructions to a painter, for the drawing of the posture & progress of His Maties forces at sea, under the command of His Highness Royal. Together with the battel & victory obtained over the Dutch, June 3. 1665. By Edm. Waller Esq;
London : printed for Henry Herringman, at the Anchor on the Lower Walk of the New Exchange, 1666.
18 p. ; 2mo.
Wing (CD Rom 1996) W 500

Dated 1667 (said by L&M to have been issued late in 1666 a statement I have not been able to confirm):

The second advice to a painter, for drawing the history of our navall business; in imitation of Mr. Waller. Being the last work of Sir John Denham.
London] : [s.n.], printed in the year, 1667.
15, [1] p. ; 8vo.

Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), M886A, also a another edition M886B, and further:

Directions to a painter, for describing our naval business in imitation of Mr. Waller. Being the last works of Sir John Denham. Whereunto is annexed Clarindon’s housewarming, by an unknown author.
[London : s.n.], Printed in the year 1667.
[2], 44 p. ; 8vo. Gathered in 8’s. Wing (1996) M869B

another edition:
[2], 46, [2] p. ; 8vo. with a final erata leaf. Gathered in 4's. Wing (1996) M 869B

Priority between the 4 printings has yet to be determined but most probably is in the order listed.

The main part of the work includes The second advice to a painter and The third advice to a painter, as well as two new sections, none of which can be attributed to Denham. Both it and Clarindon’s housewarming have been attributed to Andrew Marvell. The four Advices were reprinted and ascribed to Denham in part three of "A collection of the newest and most ingenious poems, songs, catches, &c. against popery, relating to the times," 1689, and were again reprinted in "Poems on affairs of state," 1702, where they are "said to be written by Sir John Denham, but believed to be writ by Mr. Milton." Cf. The poetical works of Sir John Denham, ed. by T.H. Banks, 1928, p. 327-331, and The poems & letters of Andrew Marvell, ed. by H.M. Margoliouth, 1927. v. 1, p. 269-270.


L&M footnote for 14 December 1666 states that Pepys was alluding to the 'Denham' / Marvell text. On the basis of information available 2009 it would seem uncertain whether he is alluding to the second, full, version of the Waller text or the 'Denham' / Marvell reply.


This vein of verse was exhausted with the following, which is currently attributed to Denham by standard catalogs despite his having died in 1669:

Further advice to a painter. Or, Directions to dravv the late engagement Aug. 11th. 1673.
[Another advice to a painter; or, Directions how to draw the late engagement, August 11th. 1673]
London : printed for R. Vaughan in the Little Old Baily, 1673.

[2], 6 p. ; 4to. Wing (2nd ed.), D1002

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The second and third advice to a painter, for drawing the history of our navall actions, the two last years, 1665 and 1666 in answer to Mr. Waller.
Denham, John, Sir, 1615-1669., Marvell, Andrew, 1621-1678.
A Breda: [s.n.], 1667.
Early English Books Online (full text)…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.