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-Nec PHOEBO GRATIOR ULLA EST
PRINTED BY ROBERT AND ANDREW FOULIS
M DCC LII,
Concerning his GRACE, and his WRITINGS.
Earl of ROSCOMMON, Elay on Translated Verse.
DRYDEN, Absalom and Achitophel.
Dryden, Verses to Lord RosCOMMON.
DRYDEN, Preface to VIRGIL'S Aeners. " Your Essay on Poetry, which was publisied without a u name, and of which I was not honour'd with the confi. * dence, I read over and over, with much delight, and as “ much inftru&tion; 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 Nould be writ“ ten, or how a Tragedy hould be contrived and managed, “ in better verse, and with more judgment, than I could teach 66 others.
“ I gave the unknown Author his due commendation, I. must confess: but who can answer for me, and for the rest « of the Poets who heard me read the Poein, whether wc “ Tould not have been better pleased, to have seen our own “ names at the bottom of the Title-page? Perhaps we com
* Ejay on Poetry.
"l mended 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 cho“ sen, your expressions Itrong and manly, your verse flow“ ing, and your turns as happy as they are easy. If you “ wouid set us more copies, your example would make all
precepts needless. In the mean time, that little you have “ writ is owned, and that particularly by the poets (who are
a nation not over-lavish of praise to their contemporaries)
as a particular ornament to our language : but the sweets “ cst efences are always confined in the smallest glames."
DRYDEN, Dedication to AURENGEZEB. How great and manly in your Lordship, is your contempt of popular applause; and your retired virtue, which fines 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, wķere you have once plac'd it, is inviolable: and 'tis 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 calily permit me to be silent, in the care you have taken of my fortune; which you have rescu’d, not only from the power of others, but from my worst of enemies, my own modesty and laziness. Which favour, had it been employ'd on a more deserving subject, had been an effe&t of justice in your nature; but as placed on me, is only charity. Yet withal, 'tis 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 resentments would be as (trong and latting, if they were not restrained by a nobler principle of good-nature and generosity. For certainly, 'tis the same composition of mind, the same resolution And courage, which makes the greatest friend ips, and the
[v] greatest enmities. To this firmness in all your actions (tho' you are wanting in no other ornaments of mind and body, yet to this) I principally ascribe the interest your merits have acquir'd you in the Royal Family: A prince, who is conftant to himself, and steady in all his undertakings; one with whom the character of HORACE will agree,
“ Si fractus illabatur orbis,
“ Impavidum ferient ruinae," Such a one cannot but place an esteem, and repose a confi. dence on him, whom no adversity, no change of courts, no bribery of interest, or cabal of factions, or advantages of fortune, can remoye from the solid foundations of honour and fidelity.
“ Ille meos, primus qui me fibi junxit, amores
“ Abftulit, ille habcat fecum, fervetque sepulcro." How well your Lordship will deserve that praise, I need no inspiration to foretel. You have already left no room for prophecy: Your early undertakings have been such, in the service of your king and country, when you offer'd yourself to the most dangerous employment, that of the sea: when you chose to abandon those delights, to which your youth and fortune did invite you, to undergo the hazards, and, which was worse, the company of common seamen; that you have made it evident, you will refuse no opportunity of rendring yourself useful to the nation, when either your courage or conduct shall be required.
Bishop BURNET, Preface to Sir T. More's Utopia. Our language is now certainly properer and more natural than it was formerly, chiefly since the correction that was given by the Rehearsal: and it is to be hoped that the Esay on Poetry, which may be well match'd with the best pieces of its kind that even AUGUSTUS's age produced, will have a more powerful operation; if clear sense, joined with home, but gentle reproofs, can work more on our writers, than that unmerciful exposing of 'em has done.
ADDISON, Spectator, No 253. We have three Poems in our tongue, which are of the same nature, and each of them a master-picce in its kind: the Ef