Page images

naturata. So in the case of Wit he distinguishes between Wit the faculty and Wit the product. Wit is of course used in the general meaning; it is the intelligence of the poet. Dryden here again is following Davenant : ‘Having describ'd the outward frame, the large rooms within, the lesser conveyances, and now the furniture; it were orderly to let you examine the matter of which that furniture is made : But though every Owner who hath the vanity to show his ornaments or hangings must endure the curiosity and censure of him that beholds them; yet I shall not give you the trouble of inquiring what is, but tell you of what I design'd their substance, which is, Wit: And Wit is the labourious and the lucky resultances of thought, having towards its excellence (as we say of the strokes of Painting) as well a happinesse, as care. Wit is not onely the luck and labor, but also the dexterity of thought, rounding the world, like the Sun, with unimaginable motion, and bringing swiftly home to the memory universal surveys.”—The Preface to Gondibert.

1. 34. 'Tis not the jerk or sting of an epigram, &c. Compare Dramatic Poesy, p. 31, and Of Heroic Plays, p. 152, 1. 19; Defence of the Epilogue, p. 173, 1. 25.

P. 15, 1. 9. This is one of the most systematic passages in Dryden : the functions of the poetic Imagination (called also Wit) are distinguished as Invention, Fancy, and Elocution; the proper virtues of the Imagination, corresponding to its three modes, are Quickness, Fertility, and Accuracy. The use of the term Imagination in a comprehensive sense, with Fancy as one of its special applications, is to be noted. P. 16, 1. 19. Totamque infusa, &c. Virgil, Aen. vi. 726. 1. 23. lumenque juventae.

Aen. i. 590. P. 17, 1. 1. Materiam superabat opus. Ovid, Metam. ii. 5 (of the Palace of the Sun).

1. 9. Dixeris egregie, &c. Hor. A. P. 47.

1. 32. Et nova fictaque nuper, &c. Hor. A. P. 52. P. 18, 1. 18. Lazar, i.e. leper, a term used more than once by Dryden, and always with reference to painting. Compare the Preface to Tyrannic Love : “If with much pains and some success I have drawn a deformed piece, there is as much of art and as near an imitation of Nature in a Lazar, as in a Venus.'

1. 25. stantes in curribus. Juvenal, Sat. 8, at the beginning :
• Stemmata quid faciunt ? quid prodest, Pontice, longo
Sanguine censeri, pictos ostendere vultus

Maiorum et stantis in curribus Aemilianos,' &c.
1. 27. spirantia, &c. Virgil, Aen. vi. 848.
1. 33. humi serpere. Hor. A. P. 28:

"Serpit humi tutus nimium timidusque procellae.'

P. 19, 1. 1. nunc non erat his locus. Hor. A. P. 19.

1. 15. I wrong the public to detain you longer. Mr. Christie compares Horace, Ep. ii. 1. 3:

in publica commoda peccem, Si longo sermone morer tua tempora Caesar.' 1. 20. the younger Pliny. Epist. vii. 28 : ‘Igitur ad alios hanc sinistram diligentiam conferant, nec sunt parum multi, qui carpere amicos suos iudicium vocant: mihi numquam persuadebunt ut meos amari a me nimium putem.'



P. 21. (Title-page of Essay.) The motto is from A. P. 304.

P. 24, 1. 8. Pompey. Corneille's tragedy La Mort de Pompée (Paris, 1644) was twice translated into English; by Mrs. Katherine Philips (Orinda), 1663; and in 1664, under the title of Pompey the Great, a Tragedy, by 'Certain Persons of Honour,' viz. Mr. Waller, Sir Charles Sedley, Lord Buckhurst. Corneille was informed of the English admiration for his works in a letter of Saint-Évremond in 1668 : ‘M. Waller, un des plus beaux esprits du siècle, attend toujours vos pièces nouvelles, et ne manque pas d'en traduire un acte ou deux en vers anglais, pour sa satisfaction particulière.'

1. 18. Spurina : Valerius Maximus, iv. 5 (externa): Dryden may have taken the example from Montaigne, ii. 23. pars indocili, &c. Hor. Epod. 16. 37. P. 25, l. 5. the French poet. Not yet identified.

1. 24. an excellent poem to the King by Davenant, 1663, 4”; in his works in folio, 1673 (to the Kings most Sacred Majesty), pp. 260-271; the lines quoted are on p. 268 (Malone).

P. 26, I. 20. Even Tully, &c. Cf. De Finibus, v. I 'Tum Pomponius : At ego quem vos ut deditum Epicuro insectari soletis,' &c.

1. 27. Caesar. In his Anticato ; cf. Suetonius, Jul. 56; Plutarch, Caesar, at the beginning; Juvenal, Sat. vi. 38.

P. 27, 1. 7. Tacitus. Annal. i. I 'Sine ira et studio quorum causas procul habeo.' P. 28, 1. 1. That memorable day. June 3, 1665.

1. 6. While these vast floating bodies, &c. The punctuation here is that of all the old editions, including the Folio and Congreve's. Modern editors (except Mr. W. H. Low) punctuate universe : while. Compare the opening of Cowley's Discourse, by way of Vision, con. cerning the Government of Oliver Cromwell : It was the Funeral Day of the late Man who made himself to be call'd Protector. And though


I bore but little affection either to the Memory of him, or to the Trouble and Folly of all publick Pageantry, yet I was forc'd by the Importunity of my Company to go along with them,' &c.

1. 19. Eugenius. Charles Sackville, son of Richard 5th Earl of Dorset; born Jan. 24, 1638 ; Lord Buckhurst in 1652 on his father's succession to the earldom ; created Earl of Middlesex, 1675; suc. ceeded as 6th Earl of Dorset, 1677; F.R.S., 1699; died Jan. 29, 1707. He served as a volunteer in the fleet in 1665, when he composed his song 'To all you ladies now on land.' See the Preface to Juvenal, vol. ii. p. 15.

1. 20. Lisideius. Sir Charles Sedley, or Sidley (c. 1639-1701), was about the same age as Dryden, who dedicated The Assignation to him (1673), calling him the Tibullus of his age. His plays are Antony and Cleopatra (1677), a rhyming tragedy; The Tyrant King of Crete ; The Mulberry Garden (1668), founded on Molière's École des Maris; Bellamira, or, the Mistress (1687), taken from the Eunuchus of Terence; The Grumbler.

1. 20. Crites. Sir Robert Howard (1626-1698), Dryden's brotherin-law. His Poems were published in 1660, with verses from Dryden prefixed. In 1665 Foure New Plays of Howard were published in

viz. Surprisal and Committee (comedies), and Vestal Virgin and Indian Queen (tragedies). The Preface of this volume led to Dryden's Essay (see p. 133). The Great Favourite, or the Duke of Lerma : a Tragedy, was published in 1668, with Howard's answer. Howard's Five Plays were published together in 1692. He was represented as Sir Positive At-all in Shadwell's comedy of The Sullen Lovers, 1668; see p. III, I. 22, note.

1. 20. Neander. Dryden. P. 30, 1. 28. says Tully. Pro Archia, 10. 25.

P. 31, 1. 9. one of them. Robert Wild; his 'famous poem' came out in 1660. • Iter Boreale. Attempting something upon the Successful and Matchless March of the Lord General George Monck, from Scotland to London, The Last Winter, &c. Veni, Vidi, Vici. By a Rural Pen. London, Printed on St. George's Day, Being the 23d of April, 1660. It opens with the following lines :

• The day is broke! Melpomene, be gone;
Hag of my fancy, let me now alone :
Night-mare my soul no more; Go take thy flight
Where Traytors Ghosts keep an eternal night;
Flee to Mount Caucasus, and bear thy part
With the black Fowl that tears Prometheus' heart
For his bold Sacriledge : Go fetch the groans
Of defunct Tyrants, with them croke thy Tones;
Go in Alecto with her flaming whip,

How she firks Nol, and makes old Bradshaw skip :
Go make thyself away. Thou shalt no more
Choke up my Standish with the blood and gore
Of English Tragedies : I now will chose
The merriest of the Nine to be my Muse.

And (come what will) I'll scribble once again': &c. P. 31, 1. 10. clenches upon words. Clench paronomasia, play upon words: cf. supra, and Prologue to Troilus and Cressida: The fulsome clench that nauseates the Town. Compare also Butler on Benlowes (A Small Poet): “There is no feat of activity or gambol of wit that ever was performed by man, from him that vaults on Pegasus to him that tumbles through the hoop of an anagram,

but Benlowes has got the mastery in it, whether it be high-rope wit or low-rope wit. He has all sorts of echoes, rebuses, chronograms, &c., besides carwitchets, clenches, and quibbles.' Cf. also Cowley, An Answer to a Copy of Verses sent me to Jersey: “The land is undefild with Clinches yet.'

1. 12. Catachresis. karáxpnous, quam recte dicimus abusionem, quae non habentibus nomen suum accommodat quod in proximo est : sic Equum Palladis arte Aedificant, &c.' (Quintilian): 'It is an improper kind of speech, somewhat more desperate than a Metaphor, and is the expressing of one matter by the name of another, which is incompatible with, and sometimes clean contrary to it,' &c. (The Mysterie of Rhetorick Unveild, by John Smith, Gent., 1673).

1. 12. Clevelandism. John Cleveland (1613-1658), the strongest of the Cavalier satirical poets, and one of the most reckless followers of he metaphysical' fashion in poetry. What Dryden means by Clevelandism may be understood by a reference to Cleveland's verses in memory of Mr. Edward King, in the little volume published at Cambridge in 1638 :

• But can his spacious vertue find a grave
Within th' impostum'd bubble of a wave ?
Whose learning if we sound, we must confesse
The sea but shallow, and him bottomlesse.
Could not the winds to countermand thy death
With their whole card of lungs redeem thy breath?
Or some new Iland in thy rescue peep,
To heave thy resurrection from the deep?
That so the world might see thy safety wrought
With no less miracle then thy self was thought.
The famous Stagirite (who in his life
Had nature as familiar as his wife)
Bequeath'd his widow to survive with thee
Queen Dowager of all Philosophie.

An ominous legacie, that did portend
Thy fate, and Predecessour's second end !
Some have affirm'd that what on earth we find
The sea can parallel for shape and kind :
Books, arts and tongues were wanting, but in thee
Neptune hath got an Universitie.

[blocks in formation]

When we have fill'd the rundlets of our eyes
We'll issue't forth, and vent such elegies,
As that our tears shall seem the Irish Seas,

We floating Ilands, living Hebrides.'

1. 23. The other extremity of poetry' is not as easily identified as the first extreme; possibly Flecknoe, as Malone suggests, 1. 32. teħ little words.

• While expletives their feeble aid do join,
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line':

(Pope, Essay on Criticism, 11. 346-7). P. 32, 1. 5. Martial, viii. 19.

1. 32. by the candles' ends. Bids are accepted as long as the candle-end is burning. Compare Dryden's Life of Lucian, referring to Lucian's Auction of Philosophers: 'those who accused him for exposing Socrates, Plato, Diogenes, and other great philosophers, to the laughter of the people, when Jupiter sold them by an inch of candle.'

1. 33. the great Ones. Ones, the plural, was noted by Dryden not long after as bad grammar. See Defence of the Epilogue to the Conquest of Granada, p. 168, 1. 27. P. 33, 1. 6. Qui Bavium. Virgil, Ecl. 3. 90.

1. 16. Petronius. Satyr. 2.

1. 20. Eugenius here opens up the question between Ancients and Moderns. See Introduction, p. xxii.

1. 32, Hor. Ep. ii. 1. 76. P. 34, 1. 2. Ibid. 34.

P. 35, 1. 8. that the Drama is wholly ours. Imitated from the phrase of Quintilian x: “Satira quidem tota vostra est.'

1. 9. Eugenius his opinion. Not as sometimes explained, a corruption of the true genitive by false etymology, but an old and common use of the pronoun to give the inflexion of the noun. Cf. below, p. 38, 1, 24, Horace his Art of Poetry, and p. 55, 1. 32.

1. 17. On the influence of rhyme compare, besides the well-known couplet in Hudibras, Butler's remarks in prose on A Small Poet : “When he writes he commonly steers the sense of his lines by the rhyme that is at the end of them, as butchers do calves by the tail,'

« EelmineJätka »