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The works of John Dryden, now first collected in eighteen volumes. Volume 02   By: (1631-1700)

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The Works Of John Dryden,

Now First Collected In Eighteen Volumes .

Illustrated With Notes, Historical, Critical, And Explanatory, And A Life Of The Author, By Walter Scott, Esq.

VOL. II. 1808.


Dedication of Mr Congreve's edition of Dryden's Dramatic Works to the Duke of Newcastle

The Wild Gallant, a Comedy Preface

The Rival Ladies, a Tragi comedy Dedication to the Earl of Orrery

The Indian Queen, a Tragedy

The Indian Emperor, or the Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards Dedication to the Duchess of Monmouth and Buccleuch Defence of an Essay of Dramatic Poesy Connection of the Indian Emperor to the Indian Queen

Secret Love, or the Maiden Queen Preface




Mr Congreve's edition of Dryden's dramatic works, in six volumes 12mo, printed for Tonson in 1735, has been chiefly resorted to for the text of the Plays in the present edition, although the assistance of the older copies, in quarto and folio, has been called in, where difficulties occurred, or improvements were obvious. The preliminary Dissertations, Dedications, and Prefaces, have been corrected from the excellent edition of Mr Malone. Congreve appears deeply to have felt the bequest, left him by his great predecessor, when, "just abandoning the ungrateful stage" he made it his intreaty, that his successor would be kind to his remains. Considerable pains have been bestowed by the present editor in correcting the text. The notes are limited to the explanation of such passages, as the fashion in language, in manners, or in literature, has, in the space of a century, rendered doubtful or obscure.



[Footnote 1: Thomas Pelham, Duke of Newcastle. No satire ever can convey such bitter reproof as the high strained eulogy of this dedication. This great and wealthy man unblushingly received Congreve's tribute of praise and gratitude, for his munificence in directing a splendid monument to be raised over Dryden's remains. But the incense of the dedicator was wasted on a block, more insensible than his Grace's workmen could have dug from the quarry. Neither pride nor shame could induce the Duke to accomplish what vanity had led him voluntarily to propose; and the dedication, instead of producing a tomb in honour of Dryden, will remain itself an eternal monument of the patron's disgrace.]

My Lord, It is the fortune of this edition of the dramatic works of the late Mr Dryden, to come into the world at a time, when your Grace has just given order for erecting, at your own expense, a noble monument to his memory.

This is an act of generosity, which has something in it so very uncommon, that the most unconcerned and indifferent persons must be moved with it. How much more must all such be affected by it, who had any due regard for the personal merits of the deceased, or are capable of any taste and distinction for the remains and elegant labours of one of the greatest men, that our nation has produced!

That, which distinguisheth actions of pure and elevated generosity, from those of a mixed and inferior nature, is nothing else but the absolutely disinterested views of the agent.

My Lord, this being granted, in how fair a light does your munificence stand? A munificence to the memory, to the ashes, of a man whom you never saw whom you never can see; and who, consequently, never could, by any personal obligation, induce you to do this deed of bounty; nor can he ever make you any acknowledgment for it, when it shall be done.

It is evident, your Grace can have acted thus from no other motive but your pure regard to merit; from your entire love for learning; and from that accurate taste and discernment, which, by your studies, you have so early attained to in the politer arts... Continue reading book >>

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