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to one of the scholarships of Trinity College, in Cambridge, where he was admitted, May u Ith, 1650, under the tuition of the Rev. Mr. Templer,' and was matriculated on the 6th of July following. I
At this early period hc conimenced poet, not only by the Elegy on the death of Lord Hastings, (16-19)’ mentioned by all his biographers, but by commendatory verses prefixed to the Poems of John Hoddesdon, in 1650 ;* neither of which af
From the Register of Trinity College.—Mr. Templer afterwards became a Doctor of Divinity, and published an Answer to Hobbes, under the title of Idea Theo. LOGIÆ LEVIATHANIS, &c. 8vo. 1673; “ a Treatise re. lating to the Worship of Gov," 8vo. 1694; and some single sermons. • Regr. Acad. Cant.
Published in a volume entitled “ Tears of the Muses on the Death of Henry, Lord Hastings," 8vo. 1649.
4 These verses being our author's second attempt at poetry, hitherto discovered, and ihe book in which they are found, ("* Sion and Parnassus, or Epigrams on several Texts of the Old and New Testament," 8vo. 1650,) buing uncommon, I shall subjoin them: “ To his Friend, the Authour, on his Divine Epigrams. • Thou hast inspir'd me with thy soul, and I • Who ne'er before could ken of Poetry, “ Am grown so good proficient, I can lend “ A line in commendation of my friend. “ Yet 'tis but of the second hand ; if ought “ There be in this, 'tis from thy fancy brought. “Good thief, who dar'st, Prometheus-like, aspire, “ And fill thy pocms with celestiall fire:
forded any indication of that genius by which he was afterwards so highly distinguished.
Of his school performances we only know, that he translated the third satire of Persius, for a Thursday-night's exercise imposed by his Master, whose high opinion of his talents is strongly evinced by prescribing such a task; and he has himself told us,' that he believed it and many other exercises of this nature were in 1693 in the hands of Dr. Busby; but whither they have since wandered, I have not been able to learn.
whose by night's exthird satire
" Enliven'd by these sparks divinc, their rayes
J. DRYden of Trip. C." s In his translation of Persius, fol. 1693. Sat. j. • It has long been a tradition at Westminster, that The only notice I have been able to recover concerning his early college days, is the following order, which was made about two years after his admission :
« July 19, 1652. Agreed, then, that Dryden be put out of Comons, for a forthnight at least, and that he goe not out of the colledg, during the time aforesaid, excepting to sermons, without express leave from the Master or Vice-Master; and that at the end of the furthnight he read a confession of his crimc in the hall at dinner-time at the three ...- fellowes table.
“ His crime was, his disobedience to the Vicemaster, and his contumacy in taking his punishment inflicted by him."
What degree of reputation he obtained in his acadenrick course, it is now extremely difficult, if not impossible to ascertain. It has been mentioned as extraordinary, that his name is not found in any of thc Cambridge Verses composed in his time on
verses on our Saviour's miracle in turning water into wine, being prescribed as an exercise, Dryden brought sp the following single line:
“ Lympha pudica Devu vidit, et erubuit." But he certainly has no title to this pentameter; for it is found, with a slight variation, in an cpigram on this subject, by Richard Crashau", published in his Epigram. MAT: SACR :, 8vo. 1634. Sec Boswell's Life of John. son, third edit. vol. iii. p. 326.
" Conclusion-Buok in the Archives of Trinity College, p. 221.
publick occasions; that he took no degree in the University; and that he did not obtain a fellowship in his College.--From whatever cause it may have proceeded, he certainly was not a fellow :' but one of the other subjects of surprise has not been accurately stated; for he took the degree of Bachelor at the regular time, in January 1653-4,' and in 1657 was made Master of Arts,' though in
? Our author's cousin, Jonathan, (son probably of that Jonathan Dryden, to whom in 1646, were consigned the profits of the vicarage of Goodrich, in Herefordshire, of which Swift's grandfather was incumbent,) was clected from Westminster Schoul into Trinity College, in Cam. bridge, in 1656, and was chosen a Fellow of that College in 1662; which lias occasioned some confusion on this subject. The poct never was a Fellow. In the British Muscun (MSS. Birch. 4291) is a Latin letter addressed to Dr. Busby, 31 Jan. 1659-60, and signed Jon. Dryden, in which way this person subscribed liis Christian name; which in the printed catalogue is erroneously attributed to our author. The poems in the Cambridge V'erscs pub. lished in 1661, on the death of Henry, Duke of Glo. cester, and Mary, Princess of Orange, and in 1663, on the marriage of Charles II. which have been ascribed to our author, were written by this Jonathan ; who was in such straitened circumstances, that when he took his first degree in arts, the following order was made concerning lim:
" Jan. 13, 1659. " It was concluded, that Dryden and three others, in regard of their povertie, should each have 2:05. of their commencement-money abated on raken their batchellor of arts degrce."---Conclusion-Buok in the Archives of Trinity College, p. 299.
I Rogi. Acad. Cant.
the University Register, owing perhaps to the irregularity of that turbulent time, his name is unaccountably omitted.
: The only general Collection of either gay or lugubrious verse, that was issued out by the Uni. versity of Cambridge during the unfortunate and disgraceful period of Dryden's being a member of it, appeared in 1654, under the title of OLIVA Pacis,' &c. in honour of the peace concluded
Prsity of Calind of Dryo or the titl
9 In the patent creating him Poet Laureate, he is expressly styled Master of Arts; a title which he certainly would not have assumed, if he had not a right to it, as his pretensions to this distinction could at that time have been easily refuted. The Rev. Mr. Borlase, Registrar of the University of Cambridge, who obligingly, at my request, cxamined the list of Graduates of that University, is of opinion, that if our author ever was a Master of Arts, that degree must have been conferred on him by some other University. At Oxford, however, though once denominated by him" the Athens of his riper age," it is very improbable that he should have taken this degree, no notice of it being found in the Faste of the accurate
Wood. - The full title is Oliva Pacis ad Illustrissimum
Celsissimumque OLIVERUM, Reipub. Angliæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Dominum Protectorem, de Pace cum fæderatis Belgis feliciter sancita, Carmen Cantabrigiense. 4to. 1654. On the death of the Usurper, thc Cantabrigians hailed his son, Richard, in a second Collection, (now extremely scarce,) entitled - MUSARUM CANTABRIGIENSIUM Luctus ct Gratulatio: ille in funere OLIVERI Angliæ, Scotir, et Hibernia, Protectoris ; hæc de Ria CARDI successione felicissima ad eundem. 4to. 1658.-As