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THE Life of Dryden


Page v Verses in Praise of Mr. Dryden Upon the death of Lord Hastings Heroic ftanzas on the death of Cliver Cromwell Aftræa Redux, a poemi bri- the Restoration of King Charles II.

13 A Panegyric on the Coronation of Charlis H.

24 An Address to Lord Chancellos.dlyde..

28 Satire on the Dutch

33 To her royal highness the Duchess, on the memorable

Victory gained by the Duke over the Hollanders,

June 3, 1665, and on her Journey into the North 35 Annus Mirabilis: The Year of Wonders, 1666, 37 Effay upon Satire. By Mr. Dryden and the Earl of Mulgrave

97 Absalom and Achitophel, Part I.

109 Ditto, Part II.

145 A Key to both Parts


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OHN DRYDEN, Esq; was descended of a wor-

thy family in Huntington shire, often serving as Representatives for that County, and Son of Erasmus Dryden of Tichmarsh, in Northamptonshire, third Son of Sir Erasmus Dryden of Canons Ashby, in the fame County, Baronet. He was born at Aldwinckle, near Oundle, in that County, August 9, 1631, and educated in Westminster School under Dr. Richard Bulby, being one of the King's Scholars upon the Royal Foundation, as he tells us himself in an advertisement prefix'd to his translation of the Third Satire of Persius, where he observes, that he had translated that Satire, while he was at that School, for a Thursday Night's Exercise; and, in 1649, wrote a Poem upon the death of the Lord Hastings, in which he display'd a luxuriant, tho' incorrect imagination, in a very harsh turn of Versification. The


following he was elected a Scholar of Trinity College in Cambridge. But we know little of him from that time till the death of the Protector Oliver Cromwell, upon which he wrote Heroic Stanza's, full of the highest compliments to the memory of a man, of whom he afterwards declar'd the greatest detestation, At the Restoration he wrote a Poem upon that subject under the title of Aftræa redux, and a Panygeric to the King on his Coronation the same year, and, on New Year's Day 1662, presented a Poem to Lord Chancellor Hyde. In 1665, he wrote a Poem to the Duchess of York on the victory gain'd by the Duke against the Hollanders; and the year following he publish'd his Annus Mirabilis, an Historical Poem. In


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1668, upon the death of Sir William Davenant, he was made Poet Laureat, and the same year publish'd his Essay of Dramatic Poesy. The year following his Comedy, call?d The Wild Gallant, was acted at the Theatre Royal; after which he wrote a great number of other Dramatic Performances, which are generally thought the most faulty of his works, and the greateft defects of them are owing chiefly, perhaps, to his conforming himself to the popular taste, since he owns himself, that he never wrote any thing to please himself, but Anthony and Cleopatra. His faults, in this respect, were ridicul'd with great pleasantry, in 1671, in the Rehearsal, written by the Duke of Buckingham, with the asliftance of Dr. Thomas Sprať his Chaplain, afterwards Bishop of Rochester, Mr. Martin Clifford, Master of the Charter-House, and Mr. Samuel Butler, Author of Hudibras. His Conquest of Granada was likewise criticis'd upon by Mr. Elkanah Settle, who, tho' a most contemptible Poet, yet, for many years, was Mr. Dryden's Rival upon the Stage. In the latter end of the year 1679, an Eflay on Satire being dispers'd in manuscript, containing many gross reflections upon the Duchess of Portsmouth, and the witty but profligate Earl of Rochester, and they suspecting Mr. Dryden to be the Author of it, he was severely chastis’d by three men, hir'd for that purpofe, at Will's Coffee-House in Covent Garden.' In 1680, he publish'd a translation of Ovid's Epiftles into English Verse by several hands, several of which Epistles were done by himfelf; and he wrote the Preface to it; and the year following publish'd his Abfalom and Achitophel, written at the desire of King Charles II. in which having expos'd the character of the Duke of Buckingham, under the character of Zimri, it occafion'd a fory, that his Grace took his revenge of him by


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