« EelmineJätka »
in an errour,
and a witty answer to a bad poet, who told him, Yet I suppose he will not give any large com* It was an easie thing to write like a mad- mendations to his middle state : por, as the man :" "No," said he, “it is very difficult to sailer said, will be fond after a shipwrack to put write like a madman, but it is a very easie to sea again.* If my friend will adventure after matter to write like a fool.” Otway and he this, I can but wish him a good wind, as being are safe by death from all at:acks, bui we poor his, and poets militant (to use Mr. Cowley's expression)
My dear Mr. Dennis, are at the mercy of wretched scribblers : and
Your most affectionate when they cannot fasten upon our verses, they
and most faithful Servan, fall upon our morals, our principles of state, and
JOAN DRYDEN. religion. For my principles of religion, I will not justifie them to you: I know yours are far different. For the same reason, I shall say nothing of my principles of state. I believe you in yours
LETTER XII. follow the dictates of your reason, as I in mine do those of my conscience. If I thought myself
TO MR. JACOB TONSOX. I would retract it. I am sure that I suffer for them; and Milton makes even the [The copy money for translating the Eneid was Devil say that no creature is in love with pain. fifty pounds for each book The rising of the second For my morals betwixt man and man, I am not
subscription seems to allude to the practice of fixing
a riay, after which no subscriptions were to be reto be my own judge. I appeal to the world, if ceived except on payment of an advanced prioc. I have deceived or defrauded any man: and
The first subscribers to Dryden's Virgil paid five
guineas; a plate was dedicated to each of them, and for my private conversation, they who see me
ornamented with his arms. A second class paid every day can be the best witnesses, whether or two guineas only, and were not so honoured in no it be blameless and inoffensive. Hitherto I
the subsequent letters there occur several allusions
to these arrangements, and to the transference of have no reason to complain that men of either names from the higher to the lower class.) party shun my company. I have never been an impudent beggar at the doors of noblemen: my
Probably written in April 1695. visits have indeed been too rare to be unaccept MR. TONSON,
Wednesday morning. able; and but just enough to testifie my grati It is now three dayes since I have ended the tude for their bounty, which I have frequently fourth Eneid ; and I am this morning beginreceived, but always unasked, as themselves ning to transcribe it, as you may do after vards; will witness.
for I am willing some few of my friends may I have written more than I needed to you on see it, and shall give leave to you, to shew your this subject ; for I dare say you justifie me to transcription to some others, wbose names I yourself. As for that which I firsi intended for will tell you. The paying Ned Sheldon the the principal subject of this letter, which is my fifty pounds put me upon this speed; but I in. friend's passion and his design of marriage, on lend not so much to overtoil myself, after the better consideration I have changed my mind; sixth book is ended. If the second subscriptions for having had the honour to see my dear friend rise, I will take so much the more time, because Wycherly's letter to him on that occasion, I find the profit will incourage me the more ; if nol, nothing to be added or amended. But as well I must make the mure haste ; yel always with as I love Mr. Wycherly, I confess I love my as much care as I am able. But however, I will self so well, that I will not shew how much I not fail in my paines of translating the sixth am inferiour to him in wit and judgment, by un Eneid with the same exactness as I have perdertaking any thing after him. There is Moses formed the fourth : because that book is my and the Prophets in his council. Jupiter and greatest favourite.
Yon know money is now Juno, as the poets tell us, made Tiresias their very scrupulously receiv'd : in the last which umpire in a certain merry dispute, which fell you did me the favour to change for my wife, out in heaven betwixt them. Tiresias, you besides the clip'd money, there were at least know, had been of both sexes, and therefore was forty shillings brass. You may, if you please, a proper judge ; our friend Mr. Wycherly is full come to me at the Coffee-house this afternoon, as competent an arbitrator ; he has been a or at farthest 10-morrow, that we may take care bachelor, and marryed man, and is now a wide together, where and when I may receive tha ower. Virgil says of Ceneus,
• Dryden's evil opinion of the state of matrimony Nunc vir, nunc femina, Ceneus,
never fails to glance forth upon such occasions as Rursus et in veterem fato revoluta figuram. the present.
TO MR. JACOB TONSON.
fifty pounds and the guinneys; which must be
TO MR. JACOB TONSON.
(Wednesday the 13th of 7ber. f. 1695.) his decorations.*
MY GOOD FRIEND, This is onely 10 acquaint you, that I havo taken my place in the Oundel coach for 'Tues
day next; and hope to bo al London on WednesLETTER XIII.
day night. I had not confidence enough to hope Mr. Southern and Mr. Congreve would have given me the favour of their company for the
last foure miles ; but since they will be so kind Saturday, June the 8th, (f. 1695.) to a friend of theirs, who so truely loves both MR. TONSON,
them and you, I will please myself with expect'Tis now high time for me to think of my ing it, if the weather be not so bad as to hinder second subscriptions ; for the more time I have
them. for collecting them, the larger they are like to be.
I assure you I lay up your last kindnesses to I have now been idle just a fortnight ; and there
me in my heart: and the less I say of them, I fore might have called sooner on you, for the charge them to account so much the more ; being remainder of the first subscriptions. And be
very sensible that I have not hitherto deserved sides, Mr. Aston will be goeing into Cheshire
them. Having been obliged to sit up all last a week hence, who is my onely help, and to
night almost out of civility to strangers who were whom you are onely beholding for makeing the benighted, and to resign my bed to them, I am bargain betwixt us, which is so much to my sleepy all this day; anů if I had not taken a very loss; but I repent nothing of it that is passed, but lusty pike that day, they niust have gone supe that I do not find myself capable of translating perless to bed, foure ladyes and two gentlemen; so great an author, and therefore feare to lose
for Mr. Dudley and I were alone, with but one my own credit, and to hazard your profit, which
man and no mayd in the house. This time I it wou'd grieve me if you should loose, by your cannot write to my wife ; do me the favour to too good opinion of my abilities. I expected to
let her know I received her letter, am well, and have heard of you this week, according to the hope to be with her on Wednesday next, at intimation you gave me of it; but that failing, night. No more but that I must defer it no longer than till the ensueing
I am very inuch week, because Mr. Aston will afterwards be
Your Friend and Servant, gone, if not sooner.
JOHN DRYDEN. Be pleased to send me word what day will be most convenient to you; and be ready with the price of paper, and of the books. No matter for any dinner ; for that is a charge to you, and I
LETTER XV. care not for it. Mr. Congreve may be with us, as a common friend; for as you know him for yours, I make not the least doubt, but that he is much more mine ; send an immediate an
October the 29th, (f. 1695.) swer, and you shall find me ready to do all things Some kind of intercourse must be carryed on wch become
betwixt us, while I am translating Virgil. Your Servant,
Therefore I give you notice that I have done JOHN DRYDEN.
the seaventh Eneid in the country ;* and intend
some few days hence to go upon the eight : • One of the subscribers of the higher class. The when that is finished, I expect fifty pounds in decorations were probably his armorial bearings. * It was an ancient British custom, and prevailed
good silver ; not such as I have have had for10 Brotland within these forty years, to finish all merly. I am not obliged to take gold,t neither bargainis, contracts, and even consultations, at a tavern, thal the parties might noi, according to the ancient Caledonian phrase, part dry-lipp'd. The • At Burleigh, the seat of John, the fifth Earl of custom between authors and booksellers seems to Essex. have been universal; and the reader may recollect, + Both the gold and silver coin were at this time that the supposed poisoning of the celebrated Ed. much depreciated : and reinamed in a fluduuling mund Curl look place at a meeting of this kind. stale till a new coinage took place.
TO MR. JACOB TONSON.
will I; nor stay for it beyond four-and-twenty with him, when he comes next to town. I houres after it is due. I thank you for the doubt you have not yet been with my Lord civility of your last letter in the country; but the Chesterfield, and am in pain about it. thirty shillings upon every book remains with
Yours, me. You always intended I should get nothing
Joox DRYDEN, by the second subscriptions, as I found from first to last. And your promise to Mr. Congreve, When you have leysure, I shou'd be glad to that you had found a way for my benefit, which see how Mr. Congreve and you have worded was an encouragement to my paines, came at my propositions for Virgil.* When my sonne's lası, for me to desire Sir Godfrey Kneller and playť is acted, I intend to translate again, if my Mr. Closterman to gather for me. I then told health continue. Some time next week let mo Mr. Congreve, that I knew you too well to be- heare from you concerning the propositions. lieve you meant me any kindness : and he promised me to believe accordingly of you, if you did not. But this is past; and you shall have your bargain, if I live and have my health. You may
LETTER XVII. send me word what you have done in my busiress with the Earl of Derby, and I must have a
TO MR. JACOB TONBON. place for the Duke of Devonshire. Some of your friends will be glad to take back their three guin
Friday forenoon, 11. Feb. 16956.) neys. The Countess of Macclesfield gave her
I RECEIV'D your letter very kindly, I because money to Will Plowden before Christmas ; but
indeed I expecled none ; but thought you as very he remembered il not, and payd it not in. Mr.
a tradesman as Bentley. $ who has cursed our Aston tells me, my Lord Derby expects but one
Virgil so heartily. I shall loose enough by your book. I find, my Lord Chesterfield and my bill upon Mr. Knight ill for after having taken Lord Petre are both left out ; but my Lady Mac. it all in silver, and not in half-crowns peither, clesfield must have a place, if I can possibly: but shillings and sixpences, none of the money and Will Plowden shall pay you in three guin. will go ; for which reason I have sent it all back neys if I can obtain so much favour from you.* again, and as the less loss will receive it in I desire neither excuses nor reasons from you: guinneys at 29 shillings each. 'Tis troublesome for I am but too well satisfyed already. The
to be a looser, but it was my own fault to acNotes and Prefaces shall be short ; because you cept it this way, which I did to avoid moro shall get the more by saving paper.
trouble. JOHN DRYDEN.
I am not sorry that you will not allow any thing towards the notes ; for to make them good, would have cost me half a yeare's time at least.
Those I write shall be only marginall, to help LETTER XVI.
the unlearned, who understand not the poeticall fables. The prefaces, as I intend them, will be somewhat more learned. It wou'd require sea
ven yeares to translate Virgil exactly. But I MR. TONSON, Friday night. (f. Dec. 1695.)
promise you once more to do my best in the MEETING Sir Robert Howard at the play- four remaining books, as I have hitherto dono house this morning, and asking him how he in the foregoing. Upon triall I find all of your lik'd my seaventh Eneid, he told me you had trade are sharpers, and you not more than othnot brought it. He goes out of town to-morrow, ers; therefore I have not wholly left you. Mr. heing Satturday, after dinner. I desire you not Aston does not blame you for getting as good a to fail of carrying my manuscript for him to read in the country; and desire him to bring it up • Perhaps the proposals for the second subscrip
tion. See Letter XI.
1 " The Husband his own Cuckold," written by • From Inspecting the plates of Dryden's Virgil, our author's second son, John, and published in it appears, that the Earl of Derby had one inscribed July 1696. to him, as lari Lord Chesterfield. But this wrathful i Tonson's answer to the foregoing letter, seems letter made no fart her impression on the mercantile to have been pacific and apologeucal, yet peren.p. obstinacy of Tonson; and neither the Duke of Dev.
tory as to his terms. onshire, Lori Petre, nor Lady Macclesfield, obtained Richard Bentley, a hookseller and printer, who the place among the first subscribers, which Dryden Jived in Russel Street, Covent Garden so peremptorily demands for them.
A banker or goldsmith, afterwards notorious for This seems to be a bitter jibe at Jacob's parsi- his share in the South Sea scheme, to which commony.
pany he was cashier.
TO MR. JACOB TONSOX.
TO MR. JACOB TONSON.
bargain as you cou'd, though I cou'd have gott
LETTER XIX. an hundred pounds more ; and you might have spared almost all your trouble if you had thought fit to publish the proposalls for the first subscriptions; for I have guynneas offered me every
Thursday morning, (f. Aug. 1696.) day, if there had been room; I believe, modestly MR. TONSON, speaking, I bave refused already 25. I mislike I HAD yesterday morning two watches sent nothing in your letter therefore, but onely your me by Mr. Tompion,* which I am to send my upbraiding me with the publique encourage sonnes this week. I cou'd not persuade him to ment, and my own reputation concerned in the take gold at any rate ; but he will take a goldnotes; when I assure you I cou'd not make them smith's bill for two and lwenty pounds, which is to my mind in less than half a year's time. Get their price. I desire you wou'd give him such the first half of Virgil transcribed as soon as
a bill, and abale it out of the next fifty pounds possibly you can, that I may put the notes to it; which you are to pay me when Virgil is finishd. and you may have the other four books which Ten Eneids are finish'd, and the ninth and lye ready for you when you bring the former; tenth written out in my own hand. You may that the press may slay as little as possibly it have them with the eight, which is in a foul can. My Lord Chesterfield has been to visite copy, when you please to call for them, and to me, but I durst say nothing of Virgil to him, for bring those which are transcrib'd. Mr. Tomfeare there should be no void place for him; if pion's man will be with me at four o'clock in the there be, let me know; and tell me whether afternoon, and bring the watches, and must be you have made room for the Duke of Devon- paid at sight. I desire you therefore to procure shire. Haveing no silver by me, I desire my a goldsmith's bill, and let me have it before that Lord Derby's money, deducting your own. And houre, and send an answer by my boy. let it be good, if you desire to oblige me, who
Yours, ain not your enemy, and may be your friend,
John DRYDEN. JOHN DRYDEN.
Let me heare from you as speedily as you
TO MR, JACOB TONSOX.
TO MR. JACOB TONSON
From the Coffee House. Nov. sth.
MR. TONSON, Wednesday afternoon. LETTER XVIII.
I have the remainder of my Northamptonshyre rents come up this weeke, and desire the favour of you to receive them for me, from the
carrier of Tocester, who lodges at the Castle in
May 26th, 1696. Smithfield. I suppose it is the same man from Send word, if you please, Sir, what is the whom you lately receiv'd them for my wife. most you will give for my sonn's play, that I Any time before ten o'clock to-morrow morning may take the fairest chapman, as I am bound will serve the turne. If I were not deeply into do for his benefit ; and if you have any silver gaged in my studyes, which will be finished in which will go, iny wise will be glad of it. I lost a day or two, I would not put you to this trouble. thirty shillings or more by the last payment of I have inclosed my tenant's letter to me, for you fifiy pounds, wch you made at Mr. Knights.
to show the carrier, and to testify the summ, Yours,
which is sixteen pounds and about tenn shit John DRYDEN. lings; which the letter sels down. Pray, Sir,
give in an acquittance for so much receiv'd, as Sir Ro: Howard* writt me word, that if I ( suppose you did last time. cou'd make any advantage by being paid in clipp'd money, he would change it in the Ex
Your very faithful Servant. chequer.
• Sir Robert Haward had been appointed auditor of the Exchequer in 1673, and held that oftice ul his death.
• The celebrated watchmaker, who was originally a jacksmith.-Malone 1 They were at this time at Rome.
He has my acknowledgment of ten guineas rem ceiv'd from him ; and, as I told you, I owe him
for above three yards of fine cloath : let him TO MR. JACOB TONSON.
reckon for it; and then there will reniain the rest SIR,
[f. Jan. 1696-7.]
for me, out of the len more names wch he has ACCORDING to my promise, I have sent you
given in. If he has not money by him, let him all that is properly yours of my translation. I
blott out as many of his names as he thinks desire, as you offer'd, that it should be transcrib'd good; and print onely those for which he pays or in a legible hand, and then sent back to me for strikes off, in adjusting the accounts bet wit me the last review. As for some notes on the
and him. This is so reasonaole on both sides,
that he cannot refuse it; but I wou'd have things margins, they are not every where, and when they are, are imperfect; so that you ought not to
ended now, because I am to deal with a draper, transcribe them, till I make them compleat. I who is of my own perswasion,* and to whom I feare you can scarcely make any thing of my
have promis'd my custome.
Yours, foul copy; but it is the best I have. You see,
Joan DRYDEN. my hand fails me, and therefore I write so short a letter. What I wrote yesterday was too sharp;
I have sent to my tailour, and he sends mo but I doubt it is all true. Your boy's coming word, that I had three yards and half elle of upon so unseasonable a visit, as if you were
cloath from Mr. Pate: I desire he would mako frighted for yourself, discomposed me.
his price, and deduct so much as it comes lo, Transcribe on very large paper, and leave a
and make even for the rest with ready money ; very large margin.
as also that he would send word what the name Send your boy for the foul copies, and he shall
for whom Sam Atkins left him to make achave them; for it will not satisfy me to send
count for. them by my own servant.
I cannot yet find the first sheet of the first Eneid. If it be lost; I will translate it over againe : but perhaps it may be amongst the
LETTER XXIII. loose papers. The fourth and ninth Eclogues, which I have sent, are corrected in my wife's
TO HIS SONS AT ROME. printed Miscellany."
Sept. the 3d, our Style, (1697.) DEAR SONS,
Being now at Sir William Bowyer'st in the LETTER XXII.
country, I cannot write at large, because I find
myself somewhat indisposed with a cold, and TO MR. JACOB TONSON.
am thick of hearing, rather worse than I was in
town. I am glad to find by your letter of July Tuesday Morning, July the 6th, 1697. 26th, your style, that you are both in health, but MR. TONSON,
wonder you should think me so negligent as to I DESIRE you wou'd let Mr. Patef know, I forget to give you an account of the ship in can print no more names of his subscribers than which your parcel is to come. I have written I have money for, before I print their names. to you two or three letters concerning it, which I
have sent by safe hands, as I told you; and • The Eclogues of Virgil had been published in the doubt not but you have them before this can Arst Miscellany. Dryden probably corrected them
arrive to you. Being out of town, I have forwith a pen in Lady Elizabeth's copy of the printed book, and sent it to the bookseller as what is techni. cally termed copy.
transcribes Mr. Pate's epitaph, the moral of which ! This person, in the last age, was frequently called “the learned tradesman." "Sir Andrew Foun.
Nervos atque artus esse sapientiæ, taine (says Swift in his Journal, October 6, 1710)
Non temere credere. came this morning, and caught me writing in bed. I went into the city with him, and we dined at the It would seein from Dryder's letter, that this Chop house, with Will Pate, the learned woollen-dra learned tradesman understood the mercantile, as per : then we sauntered at china shops and book- well as the literary use of the apothegm. sellers; went to the tavern, and drank two pints of A Roman Catholic. white wine," &c. Mr. William Pate was educated At Denham Court, in Buckinghamshire. Sir at Trinity Hall in Cambridge, where he took the de. William Bowyer married a kinswoman of Lady gree or B .L.
in 1746, and was buried at Elizabeth Dryden, Frances, daughter of Charles, Lee, in Kent.
Lord Cranbourne, eldest son of William, the second Mr. Malone who mentions these particulars, Earl of Salisbury.-Malone.