« VorigeDoorgaan »
Receiv'd of wits an undiftinguith'd race,
23 to 4 Bathurthi each of the felf certain
Dr. Young's parasites and flatterers are painted with equal humour, and a generous contempt of servility;
Who'd be a crutch to prop a rotten peer ;
my lord's gracious, and vouchsafes it leave;
an Ambassador at Paris, Prior had, at one time of his
• Ver: 235.
22., Dryden alono (what wonder i): came not pigha
Dryden alone escap'd his judging eye ;
with true gratitude, bas seized every opportunity of Chewing his reverence for his great inafter, Dryden: whom Swift as constantly depreciated and maligned. “I do affirm (says he, severely, but with exquisite irony indeed, in the
• Alluding to the subscription that was made for his fuderal. Garth spoke an oration over him. His neceflities obliged him to produce (besides many other poetical pieces) twenty-seven plays in twenty-five years. He got zgl. for the copy, and 70l. for his benefits gencrally. Dramatic poetry was certainly not his talent, His plays, a very
fow' passages excepted, arc insufferably unnatural. It is remai kable, that he did not scruple to confess, that he could not relith the parbos and fimplicity of Euripides. When he published his fables, Tonson agreed to give him ewe hundred and fixty-eight pounds for tcz ibousand verses. And, to complete the full number of lines ftipulated for, he gave the bookseller the epiftle to his coulin, and the c... levraied music ode." Old Jacob Tonson used to say, that Dryden was a little jcalous of rivals. He would com. piimeat Crown when a play of his failed, but was: very cold to him if he met with success. He sometimes used to say that Crown had some genius; but then be added al. ways, that his father and Crown's mother were very well acquainted.”. Mr. Pope to Mr. Spence.:: + Ver. 245
Dedication of the Tale of a Tub to Prince Pofterity) upon the word of a sincere man, that there is now actually in being a certain poet, called John Dryden, whose translation of Virgil was lately printed in a large folio, well-bound, and, if diligent search were made, for aught I know is yet to be seen.” And he attacks him again in the Battle of Books, SHAFTESBURY is also very fond of petulantly carping at Dryden. “ To see the incorrigibleness of our poets, in their pedantic manner (says he, vol. iii, p.:276) their vanity, defiance of criticism; their shodomontade, and poetical bravado; we need only turn to our famous poetlaureat, the very Mr. Bays himself, in one of his latest and most valued pieces, Don Sebastian *, wric many years after the ingenious author of the Rebearsal had drawn his picture.” Shaftesbury's resent
Hieronta pas te per
and som sulated to god dhe Vo
could on WAS TFT
The dramatic works of Lope de Vega make twenty-fix Todames, besides four hundred fcriptural dramatic pieces, his. Aatos Sacramentales. His biographer affirms, that he oftea finished a play in twenty-four hours, nay some of his comedies in less than five. He wrote during his life 81,316,000 verses,
was excited by the admirable poem of Absalom and Achitopbel; and particularly by four lines in it, that related to Lord Alley, his father ;
And all to leave, what with his toil he won,
But Dryden's works will remain, when the Characteristics will be forgotten.
Bleft be the Great for those they take away,
• I semember to have heard my father say, that Mr. Elijah Fenton, who was his intimate friend, and had been his master, informed him, that Dryden, opon seeing some of Swife's earliest verses, said to him, “ Young man, you will never be a poet.” And that this was the cause of Swift's rooted averfion to Dryden, mentioned above. Baucis and Philemon was so much and so often altered, at the instigation of Addison, who mentioned this circumftance 20 my father, at Magdalen College, that not above eight lines remain as they originally stood. The violence of Fårty disputes never icierrupted the lincere friendship that Tubated between Swift and Addison, though of such op poate tempers as well as principles.
+ Ver. 255
THE sweetness and fimplicity of Gay's temper and manners, much endeared him to all his acquaintance, and made them always speak of him with particular fondnefs and attachment. He wrote with neatness, and terfeness, æquali quâdam mediocritate, but certainly without any elevation ; frequently without any fpirit. Trivia *
appears to be the best of his poems, in which are many strokes of genuine humour and pictures of London-life, which are now become curious, because our manners as well as our dresses, have been so much altered and changed within a few years. His fables, the most popular of all his works, have the fault of many modern fablewriters t, the ascribing to the different
• The fable of Cloacina is indelic:te. I should think this was one of the hints given him by Swifi, who himself was indebted, for many strokes in his Gulliver, to Bishop Godwir's Man in the Moon, or Voyage of Domingo Gonzales, 1638.
+ The long and languid introductions to the fables in the second volume (which is indeed much inferior to the ørst) read like party pampilets versified. Dione has not rescued us from the imputation of having no pastoralcomedy, that can be compared, in the smallest degrce, to