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Treasurer Clifford, and a more elegant Tibullus in that of Sir Charles Sidley.” So again, at a late period of life, in his Dedication of the Pastorals of Virgil to Hugh, Lord Clifford, he says, “ I have no reason to complain of fortune, since, in the midst of that abundance, I could not have chosen better than the worthy son of so illustrious a father. He was the patron of my manhood, when I fourished in the opinion of the world, though with small advantage to my fortune, till he awakened the remembrance of my royal master. He was that Pollio, or that Varus, who introduced me to Augustùs.” Some of these expressions, it must be acknowledged, may allude only to Lord Clifford's kindness while he was Treasurer, in relieving him from temporary embarrassments, when his pension in consequence of the poverty of the Exchequer, was ill paid : yet I know not any of his friends to whose patronage on this occasion it is more probable that he was indebted. Some of the great men whom he courted had perhaps the ability without the inclination, and others of his friends might have had the wish without the power to serve him. Lord Clifford appears to have possessed both. Lord Buckhurst, who in 1670 was made a Gentleman of the King's Bedchamber, Lord Rochester, who from an earlier period had been of his Majesty's Bedchamber, Lord Mulgrave, whom our author has thanked for “ the care he had taken of his fortune,” 'the Duchess of Monmouth, to whom he has acknowledged great obligations, and other friends, probably assisted. Among these, however, Sir Robert Howard, though so nearly connected, and now of considerable weight, must not be enumerated ; for in consequence of a disagreement on a subject of criticism, there was at this period a breach between Dryden and him. Dr. Johnson thought there was something in their conduct to each other not easily to be explained; but the progress of their literary warfare may be traced without difficulty. In the Dedication of The Rival LADIES to Lord Orrery, in 1664, Dryden had asserted the propriety of writing plays in rhyme. Howard, in the preface to his plays, which were collected and published in the following year, inaintained the opposite opinion. This gave rise to our author's ESSAY OF DRAMATICK Poesy, written in 1665, and published in 1667, in which with great civility he answers several of the arguments urged by his adversary ; to whose care, about the same time, he entrusted his Annus Mirabilis, while it passed through the press. In the middle of 1668, Howard rejoined in a preface prefixed to The DUKE OF LERMA, a tragedy; and Dryden, in the same year, having occasion to publish a new edition of his InDIAN EMPEROR, annexed to it a replication, happily enlivened by well-mannered wit, and pointed raillery. By the interposition of friends, probably, and by that placability and good nature which seem to have been distinguishing characteristics of Dryden's mind, in some time afterwards they appear to have been reconciled ; and they continued, it should seem, to live in friendship with each other to the close of their lives. As a peace-offering, the of fensive preface to The INDIAN EMPEROR was cancelled, with such care, that I have never met with an ancient copy of that play, in which it was found.
Between the re-opening of the theatres in the beginning of the year 1667 and the middle of the year 1670, Dryden produced five original plays, and two in which he was aided by others'; The Maiden QUEEN, The TempEST, SIR MARTIN MARALL, THE Mock ASTROLOGER, TYRANNICK LOVE, OR THE ROYAL MARTYR, and the two parts of THE CONQUEST OF GRANADA : and this appears to have been the period of his greatest dramatick exertion, if we confine our consideration to the number, without estimating the value, of his pieces. The MAIDEN Queen, which had probably been written in the country, while theatrical entertainments were discontinued, was entered in the Stationers' Register, Aug. 6, 1667 ; and therefore, without doubt, had been exhibited in the preceding winter The TEMPEST, though not entered in the same Register till January 6, 1669-70, at which time it was printed, we know
See a Letter to Jacob Tonsonyimbo App by our author about the year 1696.
from the epilogue, was acted in 1667.' Sir MARTIN MARA:LL was originally a mere translation from the French, made by William, Duke of Newcastle, and by him presented to our author, who revised and adapted it to the stage ; but it was entered at Stationers' Hall, June 24, 1668, as the Duke's play, without any mention of Dryden, either from respect to that nobleman, (on which account, perhaps, it was published anonymously,) or lest, were it delivered to the publick as the Laureate's performance, the giving it away from the King's Servants, with whom he was in a kind of partnership, might be considered as a breach of his contract. None of our author's pieces appear to have been more successful than this. It was acted above thirty times at the theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and four times at Court, between the time of its first exhibition and the removal of the Duke's Company from that house; and on the gth of November, 1671, they opened their new theatre in Dorset Gardens with the same comedy, which, though it had been already so often performed by the popularity of Nokes, who acted Marall, drew full audiences three nights successively.
The Mock AstroLOGER was registered in the Stationers' Books, Nov. 20, 1668, and, I believe,
Not adverting to this circumstance, I have suggested in a note on vol. i. p. 331, that this play was not acted till after D'Avenant's death in 1668; but I was certainly mistaken.
soon afterwards printed, though I have never seen an edition of that year. Of TYRANNICK LOVE, which was written in seven weeks, the entry in the same books was made on the 14th of July, 1669: it therefore made part of the theatrical entertainment of the preceding winter : and in the autumn of that year and the spring of the next, probably, were produced the two parts of The CONQUEST OF GRANADA, which are mentioned in the preface to that play, though they were not registered at Stationers' Hall till February 20, 1670-71, nor published till 1672. The publication perhaps was retarded by the criticisms to which the Epilogue to the Second Part gave rise, which were answered in the DEFENCE subjoined to it. In this Essay Dryden contends that an unjust preference was given to the dramatists of the former age, whose defects he here enumerates; and, with Horace, expresses his indignation, that the wit of the moderns should be depreciated, not on account of its coarseness or insipidity, but because it wanted the rust of antiquity ;
- non quia crassè Compositum illepideve putetur, sed quia nuper. He was now become sufficiently eminent to be an object of envy, and to give a degree of celebrity to any attempt to lessen his literary reputation. The great success which had attended his heroickplays, doubtless excited the jealousy of the rival candidates for fame. In this class, however, we