« ПредишнаНапред »
procuring him to be beaten;, but this was false; for the Duke only wrote, or caused to be written, Reflections on that Poem, of which Mr. Dryden was follicited to write a second Part; but, declining it, engag'd Mr. Tate to undertake it under his Directi. on, and wrote near two hundred lines in it. His next Poem was entitled The Medal, a Satire against Sedition, written upon occasion of a medal struck on accoant of the Earl of Shaftsbury's acquittal by the Grand fury. In 1682, he publish'd his Religio Laici; and the year following the Tragedy of the Duke of Guise, written by him and Mr. Nathaniel Lee, gave great offence to the Whig Party, and was attack'd by several Writers. In the beginning of the Reign of King James II. he reconcil'd himself to the Church of Rome; and, in 1686, wrote “ A Defence " of the Papers written by the late King of blessed “ Memory, and found in his strong Box,” in oppofition to Dr. Edward Stillingfeet's “ Answer to fome “ Papers lately printed, concerning the Authority of as the Catholic Church in Matters of Faith, and the (+ Reformation of the Church of England." Upon which Dr. Stillingfeet wrote a Vindication of his Answer, in which he animadverted, in severe terms, upon Mr. Dryden's change of his Religion, as grounded upon his indifference to all Religion. The year following Mr. Dryden publish'd his Hind and Panther, in favour of the Church of Rome; which occafion'd an admirable piece of Ridicule, written by Mr. Charles Montagu, afterwards Earl of Halifax, and Mr. Matthew Prior, and entitled " The “ Hind and Panther transvers’d to the Story of the as Country Mouse and City Mouse.” About this time he was suppos'd to be engag'd in translating Monf. Varillas's History of Heresies; but this Tranflation never appear'd in print, tho', in the year 1688,
he publith'd the Life of St. Francis Xavier, translated from the French of Father Bouhours, the Jefuit:
Upon the Revolution he lost his place of Poet Laureat and Historiographer Royal, in which he was succeeded by Thomas Shadwell, Esq; In 1693, he publish'd a Translation of Juvenal by several hands, the first, third, fixth, tenth, and fixteenth being done by himself; and a Translation of Perfius, done intirely by himself; and, to the whole, prefix'd a long and beautiful discourse, by way of dedication, to the Earl of Dorset. His Translation of Du Fresnoy's Art of Painting was publish'd in 1695, and that of Virgil's Works in 1697. His last Work was his Fables, and perhaps the most perfect, in its kind, of all his Performances. He died on the first of May 1700, at his house in Gerard Street, where he had liv'd many years, and was interr'd in Westminster Abby, where a Monument was erected to him by John Sheffield, Duke of Buckinghamshire. He married the Lady Elizabeth Howard, Daughter to the Earl of Berkshire, by whom he had three Sons, Charles, John, and Henry, the two former of whont were likewise distinguish'd by their poetical Talents.
His character is drawn to great advantage by Mr. Congreve i, who tells us, that he had personal qualities to challenge both love and esteem from all, who were truly acquainted with him. He was of a nature exceedingly humane and compassionate, easily forgiving injuries, and capable of a prompt and fin. cere reconciliation with them, who had offended him. His friendship, where he profess’d it, went much beyond his profesion; and he gave many ilrong and generous instances of it, tho' his hereditary income was little more than a bare competency...
1 In the Dedication to Mr. Dryden's Dramatick Works.
As his reading had been very extensive, so was he very happy in a memory tenacious of every thing, that he had read. He was not more possess’d of knowledge, than he was communicative of it: but then his communication of it was by no means pedantic, or impos'd upon the conversation, but just fach, and went so far, as, by the natural turns of the discourse, in which he was engag'd, it was neeeffarily promoted or requir'd. He was extremely ready and gentle in his correction of the errors of any Writer, who thought fit to consult him; and full as ready and patient to admit of the reprehension of others, in respect of his own oversights or mistakes. He was of very easy, and indeed pleasing access; but something flow, and, as it were, diffident in his advances no others. He had something in his nature, that abhorr’d intrusion into any society whatever; and easily discountenanc'd in his approaches either to his superior or his equals. His parts did not decline with his years; but he was an improving Writer to the laft, even to near seventy years; improving in fire and imagination, as well as in judgment. He was equally excellent in Verse and in Prose; and his excellence in the latter he us’d to ascribe to his having often read Archbishop Tillotson's Works. His Versification and his Numbers he could learn of no body; for he first poffefs?d those talents in perfection in our Tongue. And it may be said in general of his Writings, that what he did in any one species, or distinct kind, would have been sufficient to have acquir'd him a great name,
E gone, you slaves, you idle vermin go,
Fly from the scourges, and your master know;
While mighty Lewis finds the pope too great,
Nor can th' Ægyptian patriarch blame thy mufe, Which for his firmness does his heat excuse;
Whatever councils have approv'd his creed,
But did that God (so little understood)
O! how much happier and more safe are they?
hat crime they fell,
For better ends our kind Redeemer dy'd,
That Chrift, who at the great deciding day,
To what stupidity are zealots grown,