Page images


valls of physique, and other remedies which I and the late queen's : but your father had no am useing for my gravel, I am still drudgeing damage. I sent my man for the present you on : always a poet, and never a good one. I designed me; but he return'd empty-handed; pass my time sometimes with Ovid, and some for there was no such man as Carter, a carrier, times with our old English poet Chaucer; trans- inning at the Bear and Ragged Staff in Smith lateing such stories as best please my fancy ; field, nor any one there ever heard of such a and intend, besides them, to add somewhat of person ; by which I ghess that some body has my own; so that it is not impossible, but ere deceiv'd you with a counterfeited name. Yet the summer be pass'd, I may come down to you my obligations are the samo; and the favour with a volume in my hand, like a dog out of the shall be always own'd by, water, with a duck in his mouth. As for the

Madam, rarities you promise, if beggars might be

Your most bumble servant, choosers, a part of a chine of honest bacon

and kinsman, wou'd please my appetite more than all the

Joux DBYDEN. marrow puddings; for I like them better plain, For Mrs. Stewart, having a very vulgar stomach. My wife, and Alt Cotterstocke neare Oundle, &c. your cousin, Charles, give you their most humble service, and thanks for your remembrance of them. I present my own to my worthy cousin, your husband, and am with all respect,

Your most obliged servant,



March the 4th, 1698 (-9.) Mrs. Stewart, att Cotterstock

I have reason to be pleas'd with writo. near Oundle, in Northamptonshire,

ing to you, because you are daily giveing me These.

occasions to be pleas'd. The present which To be left with the Postmaster of Oundle. you made me this week, I have receiv'd ; and

it will be part of the treat I am to make to threo of my friends about Tuesday next: my cousin

Driden, of Chesterton, having been also pleas'd LETTER XXXII.

to add to it a turkey hen with eggs, and a good young goose; besides a very kind letter, and the news of his own good health, which I value

more than all the rest; he being so noble a MADAM, Thursday, Feb. 9th. -- 98 (-9.]

benefactor to a poor and so undeserving a kinsFor this time I must follow a bad example, man, and one of anolher persuasion in matters and send you a shorter letter than your short of religion. Your enquiry of his welfare, and one: you were hindered by dancers, and I am sending also mine, have at once oblig'd both forced to dance attendance all this afternoon him and me. I hope my good cousin Stewart after a troublesome business, so soon as I have will often visite him, especially before hunting written this and seal'd it. Onely I can assure

goes out,* to be a comfort to hiin in bis sorrow you, that your father and mother, and all your

for the loss of his deare brother, who was a relations, are in health, or were yesterday,

most extraordinary well-natured man, and much when I sent to enquire of their welfare. On

my friend. Exercise, I know, is my cousin Tuesday night we had a violent wind, which Dryden's life, and the ofiner he goes out will blew down three of my chimneys, and disman

be the better for his heaith. We poor Cathotled all one side of my house, by throwing down lics daily expect a most severe proclamation to the tiles. My neighbours, and indeed all the come out against us it and at the same time are town, suffered more or less; and some were • Driden, of Chesterton, who, as appears from kill'd. The great trees in St. James's Park our author's Epistle addressed to him, was a keen are many of them torn up from the roots ; as


+ Probably Bevil Driden. they were before Oliver Cromwell's death, * : This severe proclamation appeared in the Lon.

don Gazette, No.3476, Monday, March 6, 1998-9. It • Our author commemorated this circumstance in

enjoined all Popish recusants to remove to their his Elegy on the Protector:"

respective places of abode; or if they had done, to

the dwellings of their fathers or mothers; and not to The isle, when her protecting genius went, remove five iniies from thence: and it charged the Upon his olisequies loud sighs conferr'd.

lord mayor of London, and all other justices of


satisfyed that the King is very unwilling to per- manuscript, which are worth your reading, secute us, considering us to be but an handfull, come abroad, you shall be sure of them; because and those disarmed; but the archbishop of Can- being a poetess yourself, you like those enterterbury is our heavy enemy, and heavy indeed tainments. I am still drudging at a book of he is in all respects.*

Miscellanyes,* which I hope will be well This day was played a revived comedy of enough; if otherwise, threescore and seven will Mr. Congreve's, called, " The Double Dealer, be pardon'd. Charles is not yet so well recovwhich was never very takeing. In the play- er'd as I wish him; but I may say, without bill was printed— Written by Mr. Congreve; vanity, that his virtue and sobriety have made with severall expressions omitted.” What kind him much belov'd in all companies. Both he of expressions those were, you may easily ghess, and his mother give you their most humble acif you have seen the Monday's Gazette, wherein knowledgments of your rememb'ring them. Be is the king's order for the reformation of the pleasd to give mine to my cousin Stewart, who stage:* but the printing an author's name in a am both his and your play-bill is a new manner of proceeding, at least

Most obliged obedient servant, in England. When any papers of verses in


You may see I was in hast, by writeing or peace, to put the statute ist William and Mary, c. 9. for amoving Papists ten miles from London and

the wrong side of the paper. Westminster, into execution, by tendering them the

For Mrs. Steward, etc. ut supra. declaration therein mentioned ; and also another act of William and Mary, far disarming Papists.

• Dr. Thomas Tennison, who succeeded to the see of Canterbury in 1694, on the death of Tillotson. He Is thus sarcastically described by William Shippen, in" Faction Displayed," a poem written a few years

LETTER XXXIV -aterwards :

TO MRS. STEWARD. " A pause ensued, till Patriarcho's grace Was pleased to rear his huge unwieldy mass;


Tuesday, July the 11th, (1699.) A mass unanimated with a soul, - Or else he'd ne'er be made so vile a tool;

As I cannot accuse my self to havo receiv'd He'd ne'er his apostolic charge profane,

any letters from you without answer, so, on the And atheists' and fanaticks' cause maintain. At length, as from the hollow of an oak,

other side, I am oblig'd to believe it, because The bulky primite yawn'd, and silence broke: you say it. 'Tis true, I have had so many fitis I much approve," &c.

of sickness, and so much other unpleasant busiSo also Edmund Smith, in his elegant ode, Char


that I may possibly have receiv'd those Lettus Percivallo suo : " Scribe securus, quid agit Senatus,

favours, and deferr'd my acknowledgment till I Quid caput stertit grave Lembethanum,

forgot to thank you for them. However it be, Quid comes Guilford, quid habent novorum I cannot but confess, that never was any unanDawksque Dyerque."'-Malone.

swering man so civilly reproach'd by a fair lady. * The London Gazette, No. 3474, Monday, Feb. 27

I presum’d to send you word by your sisters* 1698-9, contains the order alluded to:

"His majesty has been pleased to command, that of the trouble I intended you this summer; and the following order should be sent to both Play.

added a petition, that you would order some houses: “ His majesty being informed, that, notwithstand.

small beer to be brew'd for me without hops, or ing an order made the fifth of June, 1697, by the Earl with a very inconsiderable quantity; because I of Sunderland, then lord chamberlain of his majes.

lost my health last year by drinking bitter beer ty's household, to prevent the profancness and immorality of the stage, several plays have lately been at Tichmarsh. It may perhaps be sour, but I acted, containin; expressions contrary to religion like it not the worse, if it be small enough. and good manners: And whereas the master of the revels las represented, that, in contempt of the said

What els I have to request, is onely the favour order, the actors do ollen neglect to leave out such of your coach, to meet me at Oundle, and to profane and indecent expressions as he has thought

convey me to you : of which I shall not fail to proper to be omitted : These are therefore to signify his majesty's pleasure, that you do not hereafter give you timely notice. My humble service at presume to act any thing in any play, contrary to tends my cousin Stewart and your relations at religion and good manners, as you shall answer it

Oundle. My wife and sonn desire the same at your utmost peril, Given under my hand this 18th of February, 1693, in the eleventh year of his favour; and I am particularly, Madam, majesty's reign

"Pere Bertic.

Your most obedient servant, "An order has been likewise sent, by his majesty's

John DRYDEN. command, to the master ofthe revels, not to license any plays containing expressions contrary to reli. For Mrs. Stewart, etc. gion and good manners, and to give notice to the Jord chamberlain of his majesty's household, or, in • The beautiful fables. his absence, to the vice-chamberlain, if the players

+ Dorothy and Jemima Creed; the latter of presume to act any thing which he has struek whom died Feb. 23, 1705-6, and was buried at Tich




I shall with great pleasure attend you on this

occasion, when ere you'l permit it ; unless you TO SAMUEL PEPYS, ESQ.*

would have the kindness to double it to mee, by ADRON MIO,

July the 14th, 1699. suffering my coach to wayte on you (and who I REMEMBER, last year, when I had the hon- you can gayne mee ye same favour from) hither, our of dineing with you, you were pleased to to a cold chicken and a sallade, any noone after recommend to me the character of Chaucer's Sunday, as being just stepping into the ayre for “Good Parson.” Any desire of yours is a 2 days. command to me; and accordingly I have put it I am, most respectfully, into my English, with such additions and alter

Your honord and obednt servant, ations as I thought fit. Having translated as

S. P. many Fables from Ovid, and as many Novills from Boccace and Tales from Chaucer, as will make an indifferent large volume in folio, I in

LETTER XXXVII. tend them for the press in Michaelmas term next.

TO MRS, STEWARD. In the mean time, my parson desires the favour of being known to you, and promises,


Saturday, Aug.5th, 1699. if you find any fault in his character, he will re

This is only a word, to threaten you with a form it. Whenever you please, he will wait on

troublesome guest, next week : I have taken you, and for the safer conveyance, I will carry places for my self and my sonn in the Oundle him in my pocket ; who am

coach, which setts out on Thursday next the My Padrons most obedient servant, tenth of this present August; and hope to wait JOHN DRYDEN.

on a fair lady at Cotterstock on Friday the For Samuel Pepys, Esq.

eleventh. If you please to let your coach como Att his house in York-street, These.

to Oundle, I shall save my cousin Creed the trouble of hers. All heer are your most hum

ble servants, and particularly an old cripple, who LETTER XXXVI.

calls him self

Your most obliged kinsman, Answer to the foregoing, by Mr. Pepys.

And admirer,
Friday, July 14, 1699.

John Dryden. You truly have obliged mee; and possibly, For Mrs. Stewart, Att in saying so, I am more in earnest then you

Cotterstock, near Oundle, can readily think ; as verily hopeing, from this in Northamptonshire. These. your copy of one “Good Parson," to fancy To be left with the Postmaster of Oundle. some amends made mee for the hourly offence I beare with from the sight of so many lewd originalls.

LETTER XXXVIII. • The founder of the Pepysian library, Magdalen College, Cambridge. He was secretary to the Admi

TO MRS. STEWARD. ralty in the reign or Charles II, and James II. “He first (says Granger, Biogr. Hist. iv. 322.) reduced MADAM,

Sept. 28th, 1699. the affairs of the Admiralty to order and method; Your goodness to me will make you sollici. and that method was so just, as to have been a standing model to his successors in that important

tous of my welfare since I left Cotterstock. office. His “ Menoirs' relating to the Navy is a My journey has in general been as happy as it well-written piece; and his copious collection of cou'd be, without the satisfaction and honour of manuscripts, now remaining with the rest of his library at Magdalen College in Cambridge, is an

your company. 'Tis true, the master of the invaluable treasure of naval knowledge. He was stage-coach has not been over civill to me; for far from being a mere man of business; his conversation and address had been greatly refined by

he turned us out of the road at the first step, and travel. He thoroughly understood and practised made us go to Pilton; there we took in a fair music; was a judge of painting, sculpture, and ar. young lady of eighteen, and her brother, a young chitecture ; and had more than a superficial knowledge in history and philosophy. His fame among

gentleman ; they are related to the Treshams, the virtuosi was such, that he was thought to be a but not of that name: thence we drove to Higvery proper person to be placed at the head of the ham, where we had an old serving-woman, and Royal Society, of which he was some time (1685, 1686,) president. His prints bave been already men a young fine mayd: we dined at Blelso, and lay tioned. His collection of English Ballads, in tive at Silso, six miles beyond Bedford. There we large folio volumes, begun by Mr. Selden, and car ried down to 17 is one of his singular curiosities.

put out the old woman, and took in Councellour 06. 26 May 1703.'

Jenuings his daughter ; het faulicr gucing alung

in the Kittering coach, or rideing by it, with which I have given them,* that they may the other company. We all dined at Hatfield to- better endure the sight of so great a judge and gether, and came to town sale at seaven in the poet. I am now in feare that I purged them out evening. We had a young doctour, who rode of their spirit; as our Master Bushby us'd to by our coach, and seemed to have a smicker- whip a boy so long, till he made him a confirm's ing* to our young lady of Pilton, and ever rode blockhead. My cousin Driden saw them in before to get dinner in a readiness. My sonn, the country; and the greatest exception he Charles, knew him formerly a Jacobite ; and made to them was a satire against the Dutch now going over to Antigoo, with Colonel Code valour in the last war. He desir'd me to omit rington,t haveing been formerly in the West it, (to use his own words,) "out of the respect Indies.—Which of our iwo young ladios was he had to his Sovereign." I obeyed his comthe handsomor, I know not. My son liked the mands, and left onely the praises, which I think Councellour's daughter best: I thought they are due to the gallantry of my own countrymen. were both equall. But not goeing to Tiche In the description which I have made of a parmarsh Grove, and afterwards by Catworth, I liament-man,t I think that I have not only missed my two couple of rabbets, which my drawn the features of my worthy kinsman, but cousin, your father, had given me to carry with have also given my own opinion of what an Engme, and cou'd not see my sister by the way ; I lishman in Parliament ought to be ; and deliver was likewise disappointed of Mr. Cole's Riba- it as a memorial of my own principles to all davia wine: but I am almost resolved to posterity. I have consulted the judgment of sue the stage-coach, for putting me six or sca- my unbyass'd friends, who have some of them ven miles out of the way, which he cannot the honour to be known to you : and they think justify.

there is nothing which can justly give offence Be pleased to accept my acknowledgment of in that part of the poem. I say not this to cast all your favours, and my Cousin Stuart's; and a blind on your judgment, (which I could not do, by employing my sonn and me in any thing you if I endeavoured it,) but to assure you,

that nodesire to have done, give us occasion to take thing relateing to the publique shall stand withour revenge on our kind relations both at Oundle out your permission ; for it were to want comand Cotterstock. Bo pleas'd, your father, mon sense to desire your patronage, and reyour mother, your two fair sisters, and your solve to dis oblige you. And as I will not hazbrother, may find my sonn's service and mine ard my hopes of your protection, by refusing to made acceptable to them by your delivery; obey you in any thing which I can perform and believe me to be with all manner of grati. with my conscience or my honour, so I am tude, give me leave to add, all manner of adoration, Madam,

but that it was addressed to Mr. Montague, is as.

certained by the words-“From Mr. Dryden," being Your most obliged obedient servant, indorsed on it, in that gentleman's handwriting. JOHN DRYDEN. Charles Montague, (afterwards Earlor Halifax,) was

at this time First Lord of the Treasury, and Chan. For Mrs. Slewart, All

cellor of the Exchequer; the latter of which offices Collerstock near Oundle,

he had held trom the year 1694. -The date is supIn Northamptonshire, These.

plied by the subsequent letter.- Malone.

• The verses addressed to his kinsman, John Dri. To be left with the Postmaster of Oundle.

den, of Chesterton, Esq.- The former poem which had been submitted to Mr. Montague, was that ad. dressed to Mary, Duchess of Ormond. They were

both inserted in the volume of Fables which was LETTER XXXIX.

then printing. See the next letter.- Malone.

1 The lines alluded to occur in the Epistle to Dri. TO THE RIGHT HON. CHARLES MONTAGUE.

den of Chesterton. They are very cautiously word

ed ; yet obviously imply that opposition to governSIR,

[Octob. 1699.)

ment was one quality of a good patriot Dryden,

sensible of the suspicion arising from his politics These verses had waited on you with the and religion, seems, in this letter, to deprecate former, but that they wanted that correction

Montague's displeasure, and to prepossess him in

favour of the poem, as inoffensive toward the gov. • To smicker, though omitted hy Dr. Johnson, is

ernment. I am afraid that indemnity was all he found, says Mr. Malone, in kersey's Dictionary,

had to hope for from the protection of this famed 1708 ; where it is interpreted—"To look amorously,

Mæcenas; at least, he returns no thanks for bene.

fits hitherto received ; and of these he was no nig or wantonly." 1 Christopher Codrington, Governor of the Carib

gard where there was room for them. Pope's bitter bee Islands.

verses on Halifax are well known: 1 Colonel John Creed, a gallant soldier. He died · Dryden alone what wonder came not nigh, at Oundle, Nov 21, 1751, aged 73, and was buried in Dryden alone escaped his judging eye ; the church of Tichmarsh,

Yet still the great have kindness in rezerve, The superscription of this letter is wanting ; He help'd to bury, whom he help'd lo slarve.

who am,


very confident you will never impose any other do not embrace it. But these are things too terms on me. My thoughts at present are serious for a trilling letter. fix'd on Homer; and by my translation of the If you desire to hear any thing more of my first Iliad, I find him a poet more according to affairs, the Earl of Dorsett, and your cousin my genius than Virgil, and consequently hope Montague, have both seen the two poems, to I'may do him more justice in his fiery way the Duchess of Ormond, and my worthy cousin of writeing; which, as it is liable to more faults, Driden; and are of opinion, that I never writt so it is capable of more beauties, than the ex- better. My other friends are divided in their actness and sobriety of Virgil. Since 'tis for judgments, which to preterr; but the greater part my country's honour, as well as for my own, that are for those to my dear kinsman ; which I have I am willing to undertake this task, I despair corrected with so much care, that they will now not of being encourag'd in it by your favour, be worthy of bis sight, and do neither of us any

dishonour after our death. Sir,

There is this day to be acted a new tragedy, Your most obedient servant, made by Mr. Hopkins,* and, as I believe, ia JOHN DRYDEN. rhime. He has formerly written a play io verse,

call d "Boadicea,'' which you fair ladyes lik'd; and is a poet

vrites good verses without

knowing how or why; I mean, he wriles natuLETTER XL.

rally well, without art, or learning, or good sence, Congreve is ill of the gout at Barnet

Wells. I have had the honour of a visite from MADAM,

Nov. 7th, (1699.) the Earl of Dorsett, and din'd with him.-MatEven your expostulations are pleasing to me ;

ters in Scotland are in a high ferment, † and for though they shew you angry, yet they are

next door to a breach betwixt the two nations; not without many expressions of your kindness; but they say from court, that France and we and therefore I am proud to be so chidden. Yet are hand and glove. 'Tis thought, the king I cannot so farr abandon my own defence, as to

will endeavour to keep up a standing army, and confess any idleness or forgetfulness on my part.

make the stirr in Scotland his pretence for it; What has hind'red me from writeing to you, my cousin Driden, and the country party, I was neither ill health, nor, a worse thing, ingrat- suppose, will be against it; for when a spirit is

but a flood of little businesses, which yet raised, 'tis hard conjuring him down again.are necessary to my subsistance, and of which I You see I am dull by my writeing news ; but hop'd to have given you a good account before this it may be my cousin Creeds may be glad to time : but the court rather speaks kindly of me, • Charles Hopkins, son of Ifopkins, Bishop of than does any thing for me, though they promise Derry, in Ireland. He was educated at Cambridge,

and became Bacbelor of Arts in 1689; he afterwards largely; and perhaps they think I will advance

bore arms for king William in the Irish wars. as they go backward, in which they will be much 1694, he published a collection of epistolary poems deceived ; for I can never go an inch beyond and translations; and in 1695, " The History of

Love," which last gained him some reputation. my conscience and my honour.* If they will

Dorset honoured Hopkins with his notice ; and consider me as a man who has done my best to Dryden himself is said to have distinguished him

from the undergrowth of authors. He was careless improve the language, and especially the poetry,

both of his health and reputation, and sell a martyr and will be content with my acquiescence under to excess in 1700, aged only thirty-six years. Hopthe present government, and forbearing satire kins wrote three plays, 1. "Pyrrhus, King of Epi.

rus," 1695; 2. Boadicea, Queen of Britain," 1697 ; on it, that I can promise, because I can per

3. " Friendship Improved." This last is mentioned form it; but I can neither take the oaths, nor in the text as to he acted on 7th November,

# The fate of the Scottish colony at Darien, accele forsake my religion ; because I know not what

erated by the inhuman proclamations of William, church to go to, if I leave the Catholiquo; they who prohibited his American subiects to afford are all so divided amongst them selves in matters them assistance, was now nearly decided, and the

nation was almost frantic between rage and disap. of faith necessary to salvation, and yet all as

pointment. "The most inflammatory publications sumeing the name of Protestants. May God had been dispersed among the nation, the most be pleas'd to open your eyes, as he has open'd and counties, and whosoever ventured to dispute or mine! Truth is but one; and they who have doubt the utility of Darien, was reputed a public once heard of it, can plead no excuse, if they enemy, devoted to a hostile and corrupt court."

Laing's History, Book x. Dryden probably alludes to some expectations : Mr. John Driden of Chesterton, member for the through the interest of Halifax. They were never county or Huntingdon. rcalized ; whether from inattention, or on account Mrs. Steward's father, Mr. John Creed, of Ounof his politi and religion, cann be known. dle.

itude ;


[ocr errors]
« EelmineJätka »