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in discussion and conjecture on this subject d. The poet's relations with his publisher during the progress of his translation and of the printing of Virgil were anything but pleasant. Several of Dryden's letters of this period which have been preserved abound in complaints and accusations against Tonson. At one time he has thoughts of leaving him, but upon trial he finds that all of his trade are sharpers, and he not more than others.' He accuses him of paying him in clipped and in bad money, and on one occasion he sends him by Tonson's messenger three insulting lines of poetry, with a message, "Tell the dog that he who wrote these lines can write more. Tonson must have been startled by this beginning of a portrait of him :
• With leering looks, bull-faced, and freckled fair,
And frowsy pores that taint the ambient air o.' Dryden is said to have begun his translation of Virgil at the house of his cousin John Driden of Chesterton, and there
d From a positive statement made by one of Dryden's biographers, the Rev. John Mitford, in Pickering's Aldine edition of Dryden's Poems, published in 1832, there should be in existence an agreement dated June 15, 1694, between Dryden and Tonson, attested by Congreve as one of the witnesses : but Mr. Mitford does not say where the agreement is to be seen, and he makes his statement without giving any authority. Mr. Mitford says that by this agreement Dryden was to receive for the Virgil 200l., to be paid at stated intervals, and a hundred copies of the work on large paper, Tonson to pay all expenses, and have the proceeds of the sale of the small paper copies. But this statement of the case is not consistent with many passages of Dryden's letters on the subject, of 1695, 1996, and 1697, which are printed by Malone and Scott. Dryden's letters, however, are not sufficient to enable us to arrive at certainty as to his arrangements with his publisher. The subject is discussed in Malone's Life, in the Rev. Mr. Hooper's, prefixed to the recent reprint of the Aldine edition, and in the Memoir of the Globe edition.
These three lines are introduced into a poem called 'Faction Displayed,' ascribed to Mr. Shippen, published after Dryden's death, and are there quoted as Dryden's description of Tonson, who figures in this poem as Bibliopolo. Pope called Tonson, left-legged Jacob' in the Dunciad, and referred in a note to Dryden's two left legs.' This story therefore is well authenticated.
to have written the first lines with a diamond on a windowpane. Some part of the work was done at Denham Court in Buckinghamshire, the seat of Sir William Bowyer, an old Cambridge friend; and the Seventh Book of the Æneid was translated at Burleigh, the house of the Earl of Exeter, in Northamptonshire. Dr. Knightly Chetwode supplied the Life of Virgil and the Preface to the Pastorals, and Addison wrote the arguments of the books and an Essay on the Georgics. Among those who recommended the work to the public by poetical addresses of compliment printed in the front were George Granville the dramatist, the future Lord Lansdowne, and Henry St. John, the future celebrated Lord Bolingbroke.
Amid general congratulation and eulogy, the publication of Virgil called forth some enemies and detractors. The most elaborate attack on the translation came from a Norfolk clergyman, the Rev. Luke Milbourne, neither whose criticism nor whose name would be remembered but for Dryden's having pilloried him in some of his subsequent writingsf. The most famous of Dryden's detractors was a younger kinsman, the celebrated Jonathan Swift 8, who never forgetting, it is said, a discouraging opinion on some of his early poetry privately given him by Dryden, whose advice he had asked,
I Dryden on two occasions couples Milbourne with Sir Richard Blackmore, the doctor, who attacked his plays: in the Epistle to John Driden, where Blackmore is Maurus,
: Wouldst thou be soon dispatched and perish whole,
Trust Maurus with thy life and Milbourne with thy soul;' and in the preface to the • Fables,'where he lashes Milbourne unsparingly, and after replying to Jeremy Collier with some respect, he ends with a general defiance: 'As for the rest of those who have written against me, they are such scoundrels that they deserve not the least notice to be taken of them. Blackmore and Milbourne are only distinguished from the crowd by being remembered to their infamy.'
& The relationship between Dryden and Swift has not been clearly ascertained; but Malone conjectured, with much probability, that Swift's grandmother, wife of Thonias Swift, vicar of Goodrich in Herefordshire, was daughter to a brother of Sir Erasmus Dryden, John Dryden's grandfather. The lady had a brother, Jonathan Dryden, a clergyman; whence Swift's Christian name.
has sneered at the work and its trio of dedications in his witty · Battle of the Books.' The story is told that Swift, , about the year 1692, sent Dryden several Pindaric odes for perusal, and to obtain his advice as to publication, and that Dryden returned them, saying, “Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet.'
Swift was always ready to sneer at his cousin Dryden. The translation of Virgil is alluded to disrespectfully in the dedication of "The Tale of a Tub. Some lines of Swift's ridicule Will's and his cousin's prefaces :
• Put on the critic's brow and sit
Read all the prefaces of Dryden,
While Dryden was engaged in translating Virgil, he published a translation of Du Fresnoy's Latin poem on the Art of Painting, to which he prefixed an essay, entitled 'Parallel of Poetry and Painting.' He wrote also in this period a Life of Lucian for a translation of Lucian's works, which was being prepared by Mr. Moyle, Sir Henry Shere, and other gentlemen, and which was not published till after Dryden's death. Dryden's great ode, Alexander's Feast, his second ode for St. Cecilia's day, was written very soon after the completion of the Virgil, and was sung at the feast of St. Cecilia, November 22, 1697. It is stated by Derrick, on somewhat doubtful authority, that Dryden received forty pounds for the use of this ode on that day. It is likely that he received a gratuity from the Society for which he composed it; but on the other hand, Dryden wrote in September to his sons at Rome, after he had undertaken to produce this ode for November,—This is troublesome, and no way beneficial; but I could not deny the stewards who came in a body to my house to desire that kindness, one of them being Mr. Bridgman, whose parents are your mother's friends.'
Dryden's three sons were now at Rome; the two elder had gone there in the end of 1692, and the youngest followed them. They were favoured by the Pope, Innocent the Twelfth, who made the eldest his Chamberlain, gave some other office in his household to the second, and made the third an officer of his Guards. A comedy written by Dryden's second son, John, “The Husband his Own Cuckold,' was brought out at the theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1696, with a prologue by Congreve and an epilogue by Dryden the father. Dryden wrote also a preface for the play when published, in which he gave his opinion that his son's comedy had been surpassed by only two living writers, his friends Southerne and Congreve, and ended characteristically, 'Farewell, reader; if you are a father, you will forgive me; if not, you will when you are a father.' Sir Robert Howard had taken great interest in his nephew's play, and had helped to adapt it for the stage: the play was dedicated to him, and the father's and uncle's encouragement was happily indicated by a motto from Virgil
"Et pater Aeneas et avunculus excitat Hector.'
Sir Robert Howard, Dryden's brother-in-law, with whom in earlier life he had had a literary controversy and a quarrel, was now his friend and benefactor, and Dryden mentions in one of his letters to his sons an intention to refashion for the stage a play by Sir Robert, “The Conquest of China by the Tartars,' with an expectation of receiving a hundred pounds for the work.
The publication of Jeremy Collier's famous work on “The Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage,' is unfortunately connected with Dryden's biography. Dryden was a prominent offender and deservedly a special object of attack. Collier's work appeared in March 1698. In June Dryden refers to it, in some lines addressed to Motteux on his play • Beauty in Distress. Collier was a clergyman, and Dryden, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, had always attacked all clergies. He affected to consider Collier's anger against himself as inspired by his attacks on Collier's brotherhood, and, while confessing faultiness, suggested that his antagonist exaggerated offencé and spread mischief. He does not name Collier, but he replies to the Muses' foes,'
• But when to common sense they give the lie
Their faults and not their function I arraign.' And then in beautiful lines he claims for the drama participation with the pulpit in moral instruction: ,
• But let us first reform, and then so live
That we may teach our teachers to forgive;
These are the province of the tragic muse.' There was moderation in this reply, and if Dryden had stopped here, posterity might have accepted his confession and apology. But in his very last composition, his epilogue for a representation for his own benefit, written within a few weeks before his death, he treats Collier's rebukes in another tone, throws the blame of his immoral writings on the court of Charles the Second, and on the brink of the grave jests on virtue and vice :
• Perhaps the parson stretched a point too far,
When with our theatres he waged a war.
The poets, who must live by courts or starve,