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of his native language. He probably went: to Rome; with his elder brother, about the end of the year 1692, when he was about four-and-twenty ; and after having spent some time there, became an officer of the Pope's household, officiating as deputy to his brother Charles, after his departure from Italy about the middle of the year 1698. Previously to his leaving England, he translated the fourteenth Satire of Juvenal, which makes part of the version published by Dryden; and, while he resided at Rome, he wrote a comedy entitled The HUSBAND HIS Own CUCKOLD, which was acted at the Theatre in Lincoln's-Inn Fields, in
“ This youth, Great Sir, shall your fame's trumpet blow, ' " And soar, when my dull wings shall flag below;
“ A protestant Herculean column stand,
.: When I, a poor weak pillar of the land, : “ Now growing old, and (ain] crumbling into sand.”) Oldys mentions in his Manuscript Notes on Langbaine, that he had two copies in manuscript of Dryden's “ Poem to King William,” with a discourse prefixed, containing “ An Apology for his past Life and Writings, dedicated to the Lord Dorset ;" which he rightly supposed to have been an imposition on the world in Dryden's name, and to have been written with a view of ridiculing him.This pocin, however, and that above quoted, should seem to liave been different ; for to the latter, which contains only six pages, and the titlepage, there is no discourse prefixed.
9 His name appears as a witness to a contract between his father and Jacob Tonson, dated October 6th, 1691, which will be found in a subsequent page.
the winter of the year 1696, under his father's care, who assisted him with a Prologue, as Cone greve did with an Epilogue. It was published in the summer of that year,' with a Preface by our author. The younger John does not appear to have ever visited England, after he first left it. At the time of his father's death, he certainly was in Italy; and about six months afterwards, in com.' pany with Mr. Cecil, probably a younger son of John, the fifth Earl of Exeter, he made a tour to Sicily and Malta, of which his account, after remaining many years in manuscript, was published in 1776. Soon after his return to Rome from that excursion, (January 28, 1701, N. S.) he is said to have died there, of a fever.
Erasmus-Henry, the third son, was born May: 2, 1669, and admitted a Scholar at the CharterHouse, on the nomination of Charles the Second,
.' It was advertised as published, in the London Ga., zette, No. 3200, July 23, 1696. In the Dedication of this piece (dated Rome, August 20, 1695.) to his uncle Sir Robert Howard, the author delivers an opinion which we find at a subsequent period in Rowe's Life of Shakspcare :
" Shakspeare," says young Dryden, “ among all the writers of our nation, may stand himself as a Phenix,' the first and last of his order; in whom bounteous nature wonderfully supplied all the parts of a great poet and . excellent orator, and of whom alone one may venture boldly to say, that hadt he had more learning, perhaps he anight have been less a poet." .
February 5, 1682-3." In their Register is an entry, by which I learn that he left the House on the 2d of November, 1685, and was “ elected to the University ;" yet it does not appear that he became a member of either Oxford or Cambridge, probably from the same cause which prevented his brother John from accepting a Studentship of Christ Church. Like his brothers, he also went to Rome; and I do not find that he returned to Eng. land before his father's death. He is said by Mrs. Thomas, whose fictions have been already detected, to have been a priest, and domestick chaplain to Mary, Duchess of Norfolk ;: whom she has untruly represented as his near relation. By this lady we are also told, that he was allowed a liberal salary by the Duchess, and thirty pounds a year by the college in Flanders, where she tells us he was bred. But all these circumstances were mere inventions. He was not a minister of religion, but a Captain in the Pope's Guards ;and probably rc
* Sce p. 149, n. 4.
3 See p. 415. About the time Mrs. Thomas became acquainted with Dryden, he was in the habit of visiting the Duchess of Norfolk; a circumstance which probably gave rise to this fiction. . Mr. Spence mentions in his ANECDOTES, that Pope said to him," Dryden had three or four sons; John, Erasmus, Charles, and perhaps another. One of them was a Priest, and another a Captain in the Pope's Guards." But he was deceived by our author's younger son having two Christian names; for Dryden certainly had but three
mained at Rome till after the death of his elder brother. Sir Robert Driden, our author's first cousin, who was unmarried, and died at Canons. Ashby on the 19th of August, 1708, at the age of seventy-six, by his will devised his estate to his kinsman, Edward Dryden, the eldest son of Erasmus, a younger brother of the Poct ; passing by
sons. Mrs. Thomas probably led him into the other errour, that one of them was a priest ; for this conversacion passed in 1736, some years after her spurious nar. rative was published. The other part of his information was correct; for Erasmus-Henry was certainly a Captain (and probably as he stated, a Captain in the Pope's Guards); as appcars from the account-books of his uncle, Erasmus, in one of which are the following entries :
" RecMarch ye first, 1709, (1709-10,] of Jo. Wil. liams, to pay Captain Dryden my sonn's moncy rent accomp-1d. os. od.”
The same sum is entered again in another place thus : “ March ye first, (1709-10] of Jo. Williams, payd to Captain Dryden, 10l. os. od."
“22 May, 1710. Recd per Jo. Williams, twenty pounds, payd to Sir Erasmus Dryden, per sonn Dryden's order. (He had succeeded to the title only a day or two before.) .. ... ..
“ Recd about August the seaventh [1710), paid to Sir Eras. Dryden, by my sonn Mr. Edw. Dryden, besore he came to Ashby,—201. o. o."
In the year 1912, hc drew up the following Account for the three preceding years, including the sums paid to Sir Erasmus-Henry Dryden, for part of that time, (botha before and after he was a Baronet,) and to his mother before and after his death:..
Erasmus-Henry, the poet's youngest son, and a still nearer relation, to whom the title devolved, ... . .iii
iii......, : " Laday Dryden and Sir Eras. Accompt for 3 years. :: “ A receipt in full to Laday [day] per Sir Eras. 1709. “ Paid, as appears by receipts, to Sir Eras. . .' . and Mr. Shaw, (receiver for Lady Eliza. :'...
beth Dryden.]............. 100li. “ To Mr. Hodges (the Apothecary who.. .
attended Sir Erasmus-Henry Dryden in rii
his last illness.]. ............. 15 0.0 " To funeral charges ........... . 6 1 4
“ Per receipts . ............ 121 1
• Recd from Laday (Lady-day? 1709 to · Michellmas, 1710, one ycare and halfe,
at boli. per ann. .............. “ From Mickclmas 1710 to Laday (Lady- ; · day,] 1712, Lady [E. Dryden's] Thirds, 1 yeare and halfe, at coli. per ann. ..'
anno ... •co Reca of my dau. Dryden, (the wife of
his son, Edward Dryden,] by moneys
In the rough draft of this account, the sum above men. Lioned, paid to Captain Dryden in March 1709-10, is specificd. His uncle appears to have occasionally supplied him with ten pounds at a time; and the nephew,