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TESTIMONIES OF AUTHORS
HIS GRACE AND HIS WRITINGS
Earl of RosCOMMON, Eray on Translated Verse. HA
APPY that author! whose correct cflay
DRYDEN, Abfalom and Achitophel. Sharp-judging Adriel, the Mufis' friend, Ilimitif a Muie--- In Sanhedrin's debate, True to his prince, but not a llave of state.
DrYDEN, Verses to Lord Roscommon.
DRYDEN, Preface to Virgil's Æneis. - Your Essay on Poetry, which was published without a name, and of which I was not honoured with the
confidence, I read over and over with much delight, « and as much instruction; and, without flattering you, " or making myself more moral than I'am, not without
“ some envy, I was loth to be informed how an epic “poem should be written, or how a tragedy should be “ contrived and managed in better verse, and with more
judgment, than I could teach others.
“ I gave the unknown author his due commendation, « I must confefs; but who can answer for me, and for " the rest of the poets who heard me read the poem, “ whether we should not have been better pleased to have “ seen our own names at the bottom of the title-page? “ Perhaps we commended it the more, that we might “ seem to be above the censure, &c."
DRYDEN, Ibid. " This is but doing justice to my country, part of “ which honour will reflect on your lordship, whose
thoughts are always just, your numbers harmonious, your words chosen, your expressions strong and manly, your verse flowing, and your turns as happy as they are easy. If you would set us more copies, your example would make all precepts needless. In the
meantime, that little you have writ is owned, and " that particularly by the poets (who are a nation not “over-layith of praise to their contemporaries) as a par"ticular ornament of our language: but the sweetest “ eilences are always confined in the smallest glasses."
DRYDEN, Dedication to Aurengzebe. How great and manly in your lordship is your contempt of popular applause, and your retired virtue, which lines only to a few, with whom you live so easily and
freely, that you make it evident you have a soul which is capable of all the tenderness of friendship, and that you only retire yourself from those who are not capable of returning it! Your kindness, where you have once placed it, is inviolable; and it is to that only I attribute my happiness in your love. This makes me more easily forsake an argument on which I could otherwise delight to dwell; I mean your judgment in your choice of friends, because I have the honour to be one. After which, I am sure, you will more easily permit me to be silent in the care you have taken of my fortune, which you have rescued, not only from the power of others, but from my worst of enemies, my own modesty and laziness : which favour, had it been employed on a more deserving subject, had been an effect of justice in your nature ; but as placed on me, is only charity. Yet withal it is conferred on such a man, as prefers your kindness itself before any of its consequences; and who values, as the greatest of your favours, those of your love, and of your conversation. From this constancy to your friends I might reasonably assume, that your
refentments would be as strong and lasting if they were not restrained by a nobler principle of good-nature and generosity; for certainly it is the fame composition of mind, the same resolution and courage, which makes the greatest friendships and the greatest enmities. To this firmness in all your actions (though you are wanting in no other ornaments of mind and body, yet to this) I principally ascribe the interest your merits have acquired you in the royal family. A prince who is constant to himself, and