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Mean time while just encouragement you want, *
You only paint to live, not live to paint.

Else should we see your noble pencil trace
Our unities of action, time, and place;
A whole composed of parts, and those the best,
With every various character exprest;
Heroes at large, and at a nearer view ;
Less, and at distance, an ignobler crew;
While all the figures in one action join,
As tending to complete the main design,

More cannot be by mortal art exprest;
But venerable age shall add the rest :
For Time shall with his ready pencil stand,
Retouch your figures with his ripening hand,
Mellow your colours, and embrown the teint,
Add every grace, which time alone can grant;
To future ages shall your fame convey,
And give more beauties than he takes a way.



AUSPICIOUS poet, wert thou not my friend,
How could I envy what I must commend !
But since 'tis Nature's law in love and wit,
That youth should reign and withering age submit,
With less regret those laurels I resign,
Which, dying on my brows, revive on thine. I
With better grace an ancient chief may yield
The long-contended honours of the field
Than venture all his fortune at a cast,
And fight, like Hannibal, to lose at last.
Young princes, obstinate to win the prize,
Though yearly beaten, yearly yet they rise :
Old monarchs, though successful, still in doubt,
Catch at a peace, and wisely turn devout.
Thine be the laurel then ; thy blooming age
Can best, if any can, support the stage;
Which so declines, that shortly we may see
Players and plays reduced to second infancy:

* Lines 164, 165, omitted in Tonson's folio and in subsequent editions.

George Granville, afterwards a Secretary of State, and created Lord Lansdowne by Queen Anne in 1711, when twelve peers were created to secure a majority for the Ministry in the House of Lords. Granville's play of “Heroic Love, or the Cruel Separation," which gave occasion to this complimentary poem of Dryden, was produced on the stage in 1698, and was recei much applause, Pope in one of his earliest poems couples him with Waller, who was his model. “Waller's strains or Granville's moving lays."

Pastorals, Spring, 46. Dryden had already once bequeathed his laurels to Congrevę. See the poem to Congreve.


Sharp to the world, but thoughtless of renown,
They plot not on the stage, but on the town,
And, in despair their empty pit to fill,
Set up some foreign monster in a bill.
Thus they jog on, still tricking, never thriving,
And murdering plays, which they miscall reviving. *
Our sense is nonsense, through their pipes conveyed;
Scarce can a poet know the play he made,
'Tis so disguised in death ; nor thinks 'tis he
That suffers in the mangled tragedy.
Thus Itys first was killed, and after dressed
For his own sire, the chief invited guest. +
I say not this of thy successful scenes,
Where thine was all the glory, theirs the gains.
With length of time, much judgment, and more toil,
Not ill they acted what they could not spoil.
Their setting sun I still shoots a glimmering ray,
Like ancient Rome, majestic in decay;
And better gleanings their worn soil can boast
Than the crab-vintage of the neighbouring coast. S
This difference yet the judging world will see;
Thou copiest Homer, and they copy thee.

'Tis hard, my friend, to write in such an age
As damns not only poets, but the stage.
That sacred art, by Heaven itself infused,
Which Moses, David, Solomon have used,
Is now to be no more: the Muses' foes
Would sink their Maker's praises into prose.

* This is an attack on the players of Drury Lane, whose performances Dryden designates as "crab-vintage," as he explains in a note of his own. The accusation of "murdering plays, which they miscall reviving." refers to a revival of Dryden's “Almanzor” at Drury Lane, which had displeased him. This attack on the Drury Lane company provoked a retort from one of them, George Powel, in a Preface to a tragedy called "The Fatal Discovery, or Love in Ruins," 4to. 1698. After a slap at “ Almanzor," Powel says: “I confess he is a little severe, when he will allow our best performance to bear no better fruit than a crab vintage. Indeed, if we young actors spoke but half as sourly as his old gall scribbles, we should be crab all over.

+ Killed by Procne, his mother. (Ovid, Metam. vi. 620.)

1 “Mr. Betterton's company in Lincoln's Inn Fields." There had been a separation of the actors into two companies is

$ “Drury Lane Play-house.

li Peter Anthony Motteux was a French Huguenot who came over to England on the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and became a book seller and merchant in London, and had also a place in the Post Office. He translated “Don Quixote" into English; he also was editor of the "Gentleman's Journal." His knowledge of the English language was fully equal to Dryden's praise in this poem. Motteux's tragedy. "Beauty in Distress," was published in June 1608. with this complimentary poem prefixed. Jeremy Collier's attack on “the immorality and profaneness of the English stage," in which Dryden was severely handled, had appeared in the previous March : Dryden retaliates in this poem, and excuses himself for his attacks on the clergy. In his Epilogue to "The Pilgrim," written very shortly before his death, Dryden defended himseli against Collier : but it must be admitted that his self-defence is not complete or satisfactory.

Were they content to prune the lavish vine
Of straggling branches, and improve the wine,
Who but a madman would-his thoughts defend?
All would submit, for all but fools will mend.
But when to common sense they give the lie,
And turn distorted words to blasphemy,
They give the scandal; and the wise discern
Their glosses teach an age, too apt to learn.
What I have loosely or profanely writ
Let them to fires, their due desert, commit:
Nor, when accused by me, let them complain ;
Their faults, and not their function, I arraign.
Kebellion, worse than witchcraft, they pursued ; *
The pulpit preached the crime, the people rued.
The stage was silenced; for the saints would see
In fields performed their plotted tragedy.
But let us first reform, and then so live
That we may teach our teachers to forgive;
Our desk be placed below their lofty chairs;
Ours be the practice, as the precept theirs.
The moral part at least we may divide,
Humility reward and punish pride ;
Ambition, interest, avarice, accuse;
These are the province of the tragic Muse.
These hast thou chosen; and the public voice
Has equalled thy performance with thy choice.
Time, action, place, are so preserved by thee
That even Corneille might with envy seet
The alliance of his tripled Unity.
Thy incidents perhaps too thick are sown;
But so much plenty is thy fault alone ;
At least but two can that good crime commit,
Thou in design, and Wycherly in wit.
Let thine own Gauls condemn thee, if they dare;
Contented to be thinly regular :
Born there, but not for them, our fruitful soil
With more increase rewards thy happy toil.
Their tongue, enfeebled, is refined too much ;
And, like pure gold, it bends at every touch :
Our sturdy Teuton yet will art obey,
More fit for manly thought, and strengthened with allay.
But whence art thou inspired, and thou alone,
To flourish in an idiom not thy own ?
It moves our wonder, that a foreign guest

Should overmatch the most, and match the best.
In under-praising thy deserts, I wrong ;
Here find the first deficience of our tongue :
Words, once my stock, are wanting to commend

So great a poet and so good a friend.
* “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.” (1 Sam. xv. 23.)

+ Corneille, a word of three syllables, as pronounced in French. Some modern editors have wrongly printed it Corneille. Even is to be pronounced as one syllable ev'n.



How blessed is he who leads a country life,
Unvexed with anxious cares and void of strife !
Who, studying peace and shunning civil rage,
Enjoyed his youth and now enjoys his age :
All who deserve his love he makes his own;
And, to be loved himself, needs only to be known.

Just, good, and wise, contending neighbours come
From your award to wait their final doom,
And, foes before, return in friendship home.
Without their cost you terminate the cause
And save the expense of long litigious laws,
Where suits are traversed, and so little won
That he who conquers is but last undone.

* The spe!ling Driden has always been preserved for the poet's cousin, to whom this poem is addressed. It has been seen that Dryden often spelt his own name with an i: this spelling occurs in one of Tonson's title-pages as late as 1688. The spelling of names at that time was very uncertain. The difference of spelling is convenient, to distinguish the two Johns. This John Driden was the poet's first cousin, being the second son of Sir hn Dryden, the elder brother of the poet's father Erasmus. He was a man of wealth, having inherited from his mother the property on which he resided, Chesterton, near Stilton, in Huntingdonshire. He was member for the county, and was an independent member of Parliament. This poem was written in 1600 and published in the “Fables" in the beginning of the next year. We know by letters of Dryden that he bestowed great care on the finishing of this poem, and was very proud of it. He writes to his cousin, Mrs. Steward, November 7, 1699: “The Earl of Dorset and your cousin Montague have both seen the two poems, to the Duchess of Ormond, and my worthy cousin Driden, and are of opinion that I never writ better. My other friends are divided in their judgments, which to prefer ; but the greater part are for those to my dear kinsman, which I have corrected with so much care, that they will now be worthy of his sight, and do neither of us any dishonour after our death." In a letter written to the same lady, after the publication of the volume, April 11, 1700. he says: “I always thought my verses to my cousin Driden were the best of the whole, and, to my comfort, the town thinks them so; and he, which pleases me most, is of the same judgment, as appears by a noble present he has sent me, which surprised me, because I did not in the least expect it." The present is said to have been sool. Dryden's intimacy with his cousin appears to have grown up towards the close of his life : his established fame probably excited his cousin's pride, and there was now political sympathy. The member for Huntingdonshire was in opposition to King William's ministry. Dryden was now hoping for something from the favour of Montague, who was the First Commissioner of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he wrote to Montague, October 1699, sending him this poem before publication, and deprecating offence at his political sentiments. Some lines reflecting on the Dutch valour in the war lately terminated he had omitted, he says, by the advice of his cousin, who thought them disrespectful to King William. “My cousin Driden saw them in the country, and the greatest exception he made to them was a satire against the Dutch valour in the last war. He desired me to omit it (to use his own words) 'out of the respect he had to his sovereign.' I obeyed his commands, and left only the praises which I think are due to the gallantry of my own countrymen. In the description which I have made of a Parliament-man, I think I have not only drawn the features of my worthy kinsman, but have also given my own opinion of what an Englishman in Parliament ought to be ; and deliver it as a memorial of my own principles to all posterity. I have consulted the judgment of my unbiassed friends, who have some of them the honour to be known to you: and they think there is nothing which can justly give offence in that part of the poem. I say not this to cast a blind on free judgment (which I could not do, if I endeavoured it), but to assure you that nothing relating to the public shall stand without your permission; for it were to want common sense to desire your patronage, and resolve to disoblige you."


Such are not your decrees; but so designed,
The sanction leaves a lasting peace behind,
Like your own soul serene, a pattern of your mind.

Promoting concord and composing strife,
Lord of yourself, uncumbered with a wife;
Where, for a year, a month, perhaps a night,
Long penitence succeeds a short delight :
Minds are so hardly matched that even the first,
Though paired by Heaven, in Paradise were cursed.
For man and woman, though in one they grow,
Yet, first or last, return again to two;
He to God's image, she to his was made ;
So farther from the fount the stream at random strayed.

How could he stand, when, put to double pain,
He must a weaker than himself sustain ?
Each might have stood perhaps, but each alone ;
Two wrestlers help to pull each other down.

Not that my verse would blemish all the fair ;
But yet, if some be bad, 'tis wisdom to beware,
And better shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
Thus have you shunned and shun the married state,
Trusting as little as you can to Fate.

No porter guards the passage of your door,
To admit the wealthy and exclude the poor ;
For God, who gave the riches, gave the heart
To sanctify the whole by giving part.
Heaven, who foresaw the will, the means has wrought,
And to the second son a blessing brought !
The first-begotten had his father's share,
But you, like Jacob, are Rebecca's heir. *

So may your stores and fruitful fields increase,
And ever be you blessed, who live to bless.
As Ceres sowed where'er her chariot flew,
As Heaven in deserts rained the bread of dew,
So free to many, to relations most,
You feed with manna your own Israel host.

With crowds attended of your ancient race,
You seek the champiant sports or sylvan chace ;
With well-breathed beagles you surround the wood,
Even then industrious of the common good ;
And often have you brought the wily fox
To suffer for the firstlings of the flocks;
Chased even amid the folds, and made to bleed,
Like felons, where they did the murderous deed.


* Mr. Driden, to whom this poem is addressed, was second son of Sir John Dryden, and inherited from his mother, daughter of Sir Robert Bevile.

+ Champian, an old English spelling of the word, formed from the French campagne. The same spelling occurs in a passage in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night,” in the first two folios. Daylight and champian discovers not" (act 2, scene 5). Another old spelling is champion. See Halliwell's “ Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words."

1 Compare “industrious of the needle and the chart” (The Hind and the Panther, part 2, line szi).

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