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Showing: 1-10 results of 11

INTRODUCTION Wherever English literature is studied, John Dryden is recognized as the author of some of the greatest political satires in the language. Until recently the fact has been overlooked that before he wrote the first of these satires, Absalom and Achitophel, he had entered the political arena with the prose tract here reproduced. The proof that the Historiographer Royal contributed to the anti-Whig propaganda of the spring of 1681... more...

INTRODUCTORY NOTE The age of Elizabeth, memorable for so many reasons in the history of England, was especially brilliant in literature, and, within literature, in the drama. With some falling off in spontaneity, the impulse to great dramatic production lasted till the Long Parliament closed the theaters in 1642; and when they were reopened at the Restoration, in 1660, the stage only too faithfully reflected the debased moral tone of the court... more...

His birth. His natural endowments, and first studies. His father purposes to recal him from his studies, and is diverted from that resolution. He continues his studies, and sets up a philosophy lecture. He is preserved from falling into heresy. His change of life. His retirement, and total conversion. He consecrates himself to God, by a vow. What happened to him in his journey to Venice. What he did at Venice. He goes to Rome, and from thence... more...

DUKE OF GUISE. A TRAGEDY. Ουτως δε φιλοτιμοι φυσεις εν ταις πολιτειαις το αγαν μη φυλαξαμεναι,... more...

LIMBERHAM. The extreme indelicacy of this play would, in the present times furnish ample and most just grounds for the unfavourable reception it met with from the public. But in the reign of Charles II. many plays were applauded, in which the painting is, at least, as coarse as that of Dryden. "Bellamira, or the Mistress," a gross translation by Sir Charles Sedley of Terence's "Eunuchus," had been often represented with the highest approbation.... more...


AMBOYNA. The tragedy of Amboyna, as it was justly termed by the English of the seventeenth century, was of itself too dreadful to be heightened by the mimic horrors of the stage. The reader may be reminded, that by three several treaties in the years 1613, 1615, and 1619, it was agreed betwixt England and Holland, that the English should enjoy one-third of the trade of the spice islands. For this purpose, factories were established on behalf of... more...

THE CONQUEST OF GRANADA. This play,—for the two parts only constitute an entire drama betwixt them,—seems to have been a favourite with Dryden, as well as with the public. In the Essay upon Heroic Plays, as well as in the dedication, the character of Almanzor is dwelt upon with that degree of complacency which an author experiences in analyzing a successful effort of his genius. Unquestionably the gross improbability of a hero, by... more...

SCENE.—London. THE WILD GALLANT. ACT I. SCENE I.—FAILER entering to BURR, who is putting on his buff-coat. Fail. What! not ready yet, man? Burr. You do not consider my voyage from Holland last night. Fail. Pish, a mere ferry; get up, get up: My cousin's maids will come and blanket thee anon; art thou not ashamed to lie a-bed so long? Burr. I may be more ashamed to rise; and so you'll say, dear heart, if you look upon my... more...

EPISTLES. EPISTLE I. TO MY HONOURED FRIEND SIR ROBERT HOWARD,[1] ON HIS EXCELLENT POEMS.   As there is music uninform'd by art  In those wild notes, which, with a merry heart,  The birds in unfrequented shades express,  Who, better taught at home, yet please us less:  So in your verse a native sweetness dwells,  Which shames composure, and its art excels.  Singing no more... more...

THE LIFE OF JOHN DRYDEN. John Dryden was born on the 9th of August 1631, at a place variously denominated Aldwincle, or Oldwincle, All Saints; or at Oldwincle, St Peter's, in Northamptonshire. The name Dryden or Driden, is from the North. There are Drydens still in the town of Scotland where we now write; and the poet's ancestors lived in the county of Cumberland. One of them, named John, removed from a place called Staff-hill, to... more...