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Concerning his GRACE, and his Writings,
E. of RoscoMMON, Esay on Trans. Verse.
DRYDEN, Absal. and Achit. Sharp-judging AdrieL, the Muses Friend, Himself a Muse --In Sanhedrin's Debate, True to his Prince, but not a Slave of State.
* Essay on Poetry:
DRYDEN, Verses to Lord Rosc.
DRYDEN, Pref. to VIRGIL's Æneis. “ Your Ellay of Poetry, which was publish'd « without a Name, and of which I was not hos “ nour'd with the Confidence, I read over and over, « with much Delight, and as much Instruction: « And, without flattering you, or making myself « more moral than I am, not without some Envy. “ I was loth to be inform'd how an Epic Poem « should be written, or how a Tragedy should be “ contriv'd and manag’d, in better Verse, and with “ more Judgment, than I cou'd teach others.
“ I gave the unknown Author his due Commen« dation, I must confess : But who can answer for, “ me, and for the rest of the Poets who heard me « read the Poem, whether we should not have i “ been better pleas'd, to have seen our own Names " at the Bottom of the Title-Page? Perhaps we :
u com- :
« commended it the more, that we might seem to « be above the Cenfure, br.
DRYDEN, Ibid. « This is but doing Justice to my Country; « part of which Honour will reflect on your Lord« ship ; whose Thoughts are always just, your “ Numbers harmonious, your Words chosen, your “ Expressions strong and manly, your Verse flow“ ing, and your Turns as happy as they are easy. If « you would set us more copies, your Example “ would make all Precepts needless. In the mean “ time, that little you have writ is own'd, and that “ particularly by the Poets (who are a Nation not « over-lavish of Praise to their Contemporaries) as a “ particular Ornament of our Language: But the “ sweetest Efences are always confin'd in the “ smallest Glasses."
DRYDEN, Ded. to AURENGEZEB. How great and manly in your Lordship, is yout Contempt of popular Applause; and your retir'd Virtue, which shines 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 re
turning turning it. Your Kindness, where 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 How nour to be one. After which, I am sure you will more easily permit me to be fiient, 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 effect of Justice in your Naturc; but as plac'd on me, is only Charity. Yet withal, 'tis conferr'd 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 affumie, that your Resentments would be as strong and lasting, if they were not restrain'd 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 Friendships, and the 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