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now extant, and is intermingled with verse, the conclusion of it may not improperly be introduced here, and will at once furnish a specimen of his powers in either kind, at this early period of his life:
“You, Madam, (says the youthful poet,) are such a deity, that commands worship by providing the sacrifice. You are pleased, Madam, to force me to write, by sending me materials, and compel me to my greatest happiness. Yet though I highly value your magnificent present, pardon me if I must tell the world they are but imperfect emblems of your beauty; for the white and red of wax and paper are but shadows of that vermilion and snow in your lips and forehead ; and the silver of the inkhorn, if it presume to vie whiteness with your purer skin, must confess itself blacker than the liquor it contains. What then do I more than retrieve' your own gifts, and present you that paper adulterated with blots, which you gave spotless ?
“ For since 'twas mine, the white hath lost its hue, “ To shew 'twas ne'er it self, but whilst in you : “ The virgin wax hath blush'd it self to red, “ Since it with me hath lost its maidenhead. “ You, fairest nymphı, are wax : 0, may you be “ As well in softness as in purity! “ Till fate and your own happy choice reveal, “ Whom you so far shall bless, to make your seal.”
"To retrieve was sometimes formerly used in the sense of—to retribute, or pay back. Coles, in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, 4to. renders it by--recupero, instauro, de integro restituere.
It is but just to add, that for this cluster of forced conceits, and the indelicacy of one of the images, the age, rather than the writer, is answerable. Such conceits were at that time not merely pardoned, but admired ; and with the allusion no reader of either sex, however fastidious, was likely to be offended.
After residing seven years at Cambridge, about the middle of the year 1657 he removed to London. ? One of the bitterest of his adversaries has asserted, that having traduced a nobleman's son in a libel, he was obliged to quit the University from an apprehension of being expelled. But having excited
3 " Such," says one of our author's adversaries, . is the reasoning of a man of seven years' standing in Cambridge, and twice as many in Covent-Garden Coffeea house."--" Notes and Observations on The EMPRESS OF Morocco, revised, 4to. 1674.–This passage affords a confirmation of what has been already stated in p. 17; for there is probably no instance of any gownsman residing seven years in the University of Cambridge or Oxford, without taking a Master's degree. 3“ At Cambridge first your scurrilous vein began,
“ Where saucily you traduced a nobleman;
THE MEDAL OF John BAYES, 4to. 1682. The author, who is supposed to have been Thomas Shadwell, observes in a note, that at the Universities, noblemen's sons are called noblemen.
Granting for a moment that this improbable story was true, it is not very easy to discover on what ground our great animosity by his admirable poem of ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHEL, he was soon afterwards assailed by an host of enemies, and among others by the writer who produced this charge against him ; and we are not, on the bare assertion of an enraged antagonist, not corroborated by any contemporary evidence, to give credit to an invective in which the writer was probably not so studious of truth, as eager by any means to blacken the character of the triumphant poet, by the wit and acrimony of whose melodious verses Shaftesbury and his partisans, yet writhing with smart and vexation, were held up to publick scorn. In our own time we have seen the most flagitious calumnies published by the basest of mankind agaiņst the purest characters : judging, therefore, of the last age by the present, we should without hesitation at once reject all vague and unsupported charges of this kind, as unworthy of the slightest attention. In the instance before us, the lampooner probably did not know how long Dryden had remained at Cambridge. There is little occasion to inquire why he quits a University, who has resided there three years beyond the usual period.
When he settled in London, he was not without
author should have been expelled for the alleged libel. According to the account given, he had already been punished in a manner which ought rather to have pro. duced some animadversion from the University on his noble opponent than himself.
a reasonable prospect of success and advancement, his kinsman, Sir Gilbert Pickering, being a person of considerable weight at that time. This gentleman was doubly related to our author; for his father, Sir John Pickering, who died in 1628, having in 1608 married Susan, the sister of Erasmus Driden, Sir Gilbert was thus his cousin-german ; and the poet's mother being the niece of Sir John Pickering, she was also cousin-german to Sir Gilbert. He was born in the year 1612, and on the death of his father, January 29, 1627-8, succeeded to a good estate at Tichmarsh in Northamptonshire. In 1638, by the favour of that monarch whom he afterwards contributed to deprive of his life, he was created a Scottish Baronet, or, as with a superfluous precision it is frequently called, a Baronet of Nova Scotia. * In both the parliaments
3 Esc. 4 Car. p. 4. n. 84. 4 When the order of Baronets was first established in 1611, King James engaged that they should not exceed two hundred. However, towards the close of his reign, that number being completed, and the creation of Baronets being found a useful engine of Government, the courtier by whose influence the title was obtained receiv. ing usually a thousand pounds for the grant, it was not lightly to be parted with. A scheme, therefore, of cre. ating Baronets of Scotland was devised, which, it was conceived, would be no infraction of the original compact to confine the grants to a limited number; and as the English Baronets were created under the great seal of England, for the reduction of Ulster in Ireland, so the Scottish Baronets were created under the great seal of
of 1640 he represented the county of Northampton. Being a staunch adherent to what the fanatical saints of those days called the good old cause, having taken the Covenant, and warmly espoused all the measures pursued by the republican party during the Civil War, he was nominated one of the King's Judges in 1649, and sat thrice in that illegal court by which his sovereign was murdered. From the guilt of their final sentence, however, he was free, having had either the moderation or the prudence to withdraw himself from that wicked and sanguinary tribunal on the third day of their publick sitting. Yet he afterwards adhered to the
Scotland, for the reduction of Acadia, or Nova Scotia. The scheme, however, was not carried into execution by King James; but early in the reign of his successor several Scottish Baronets were made; and about the year 1631 the number of English Baronets then amounting to near three hundred, it was thought indecent to proceed further in breach of the engagement made by King James, and such Englishmen as sought this title between that period and 1640, were made Baronets of Scotland. Afterwards, however, Charles became less scrupulous, and English Baronets were created as usual, so as to amount at his death to the number of 458.
From this statement it appears, that there is no more necessity for calling a Baronet created under the great seal of Scotland, (whether he be an Englishman or Scotchman,) a Baronet of Nova Scotia, than there is to denominate one created under the great seal of England, a Baronet of Ulster.
Com. Journ. vol. viii. p. 60.