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and has many characters and many incidents; and though it is not without sallies of frantick dignity, and more noise than meaning, yet as it makes approaches to the possibilities of real life, and has some sentiments which leave a strong impression', it continued long to attract attention. Amidst the distresses of princes and the vicissitudes of empire are inserted several scenes which the writer intended for comick; but which, I suppose, that age did not much commend, and this would not endure. There are, however, passages of excellence universally acknowledged; the dispute and the reconciliation of Dorax and Sebastian has always been admired ".

This play was first acted in 1690, after Dryden had for some years discontinued dramatick poetry 3.

Amphitryon is a comedy derived from Plautus and Molière. 83 The dedication is dated Oct. 1690. This play seems to have succeeded at its first appearance; and was, I think, long considered as a very diverting entertainment.

Cleomeness is a tragedy, only remarkable as it occasioned an 84 incident related in The Guardian, and allusively mentioned by

delivered to the actors.' When printed the lines were restored. Works, vii. 306-8.

ing manner' in which Dryden 'gave his first reading of this play to the actors. Apology, p. 71.

5 Works, viii. 203. First acted in

Addison, criticizing this play; May, 1692, and printed in that year.

continues:- Dryden, indeed, generally wrong in his sentiments.' The Guardian, No. 110.

* Dorax or Alonzo was a Portuguese renegade. The beginning of this passage is somewhat comical:'SEBASTIAN (salus). Reserved behaviour, open nobleness,

A long mysterious track of a stern bounty;

But now the hand of fate is on the

And draws the scene to sight.
Re-enter Dorax, having taken off
his turban, and put on a peruke,
hat, and cravat.

DORAX. Now do you know me?
SEBASTIAN. Thou should'st be
Alonzo.' Works, vii. 433.

See The Rambler, No. 125, for Dryden's 'improprieties' in this play and Aurengzebe.

3 Post, DRYDEN, 139.


Works, viii. 1. First acted in 1690. Malone's Dryden, i. 212, 219. Cibber describes 'the cold, flat, and unaffect

Southerne (post, DRYDEN, 90) wrote the same year that Mr. Dryden, falling sick last summer, bequeathed to my care the last act.' Malone's Dryden, i.212,219. Malone publishes the following receipt:

'Oct. ye 6th, 1691.

Receiv'd the sum of Thirty Guinneys, for which I resigne to Mr. Tonson all my right in the printing ye copy of Cleomenes, a tragedy.


Witnesse my hand,
John Dryden.

John Dryden, Jun.' Ib. i. 455. Tonson told Atterbury that Cleomenes had the fortune to please the town.' 'Therefore I read it over,' wrote Atterbury, 'and found what I expected in it-much prophaneness.' Atterbury Corres. ii. 16. Macready (Reminiscences, i. 354) describes it as 'a play that has all the marks of a decaying intellect upon it.'

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Dryden in his preface 1. As he came out from the representation, he was accosted thus by some airy stripling: Had I been left alone with a young beauty, I would not have spent my time like your Spartan.' 'That, Sir,' said Dryden, 'perhaps is true; but give me leave to tell you, that you are no hero.'

85 King Arthur is another opera. It was the last work that Dryden performed for King Charles, who did not live to see it exhibited; and it does not seem to have been ever brought upon the stage3. In the dedication to the marquis of Halifax there is a very elegant character of Charles, and a pleasing account of his latter life. When this was first brought upon the stage, news that the duke of Monmouth had landed was told in the theatre,

He mentions that 'foolish objec tion which is raised against me by the sparks, for Cleomenes not accepting the favours of Cassandra. They would not have refused a fair lady! I grant they would not; but let them grant me that they are not heroes; and so much for the point of honour.' Works, viii. 221. For the scene see ib. p. 324. 'In The Guardian, No. 45, by Steele, this remark assumes a more lively air by being converted into an extempore saying.. can only answer, as I remember Mr. Dryden did," &c. ... The tale most probably was formed on the passage in the Preface.' Malone's Dryden, ii. 229.


26 This poem was the last piece of service which I had the honour to do for my gracious master, King Charles II.' Works, viii. 129. For Dryden's complaint of the king's neglect see post, DRYDEN, 144 m.

3 This is a mistake. It was first acted and printed in 1691. Malone's Dryden, i. 212, 219; Works, viii. 123. According to Roscius Anglicanus, p. 57, 'it was very gainful to the Company.' Cibber says that,' though the success in appearance was very great,' the expenses were still greater. Apology, p. 110.

Collier describes it as 'a strange jumble and hotch potch of matters

the Hell of Heathenism and the Hell of Revelation; a fit of smut, and then a jest about original sin.' A Short View of the English Stage, 3rd ed. 1698, p. 188.

'Dec. 25, 1770. I went to King Arthur, and was tired to death, both of the nonsense of the piece and the execrable performance.' HORACE WALPOLE, Letters, v. 272.

'It was set to musie by Purcell, and is yet [1787] a favourite entertainment.' HAWKINS, Johnson's Works, 1787, ii. 339. It was revived in 1842-3. Macready's Reminiscences, ii. 208.

E. FitzGerald wrote in 1851 :— 'I am just now looking with great delight into Purcell's King Arthur, real noble English music, much of it; and assuredly the prototype of much of Handel.' Letters, i. 270.

'Let his human frailties be forgotten, and his clemency and moderation. (the inherent virtues of his family) be remembered with a grateful veneration. . . . He was master of too much good sense to delight in heavy conversation, and whatever his favourites of state might be, yet those of his affection were men of wit. He was easy with these, and complied only with the former. But in the latter part of his life, which certainly required to be most cautiously managed, his secret thoughts were communicated but to few; and those selected of that sort who were Amici omnium horarum, able to advise him in a serious consult, and afterwards capable of entertaining him with pleasant discourse as well as profitable.' Works, viii. 131–3. See also Boswell's Johnson, i. 442; ii. 341.

upon which the company departed, and Arthur was exhibited

no more 1.

His last drama was Love triumphant, a tragi-comedy. In 86 his dedication to the Earl of Salisbury he mentions 'the lowness of fortune to which he has voluntarily reduced himself, and of which he has no reason to be ashamed 3.'

This play appeared in 1694. It is said to have been unsuccessful. The catastrophe, proceeding merely from a change of mind, is confessed by the author to be defective. Thus he began and ended his dramatick labours with ill success".

From such a number of theatrical pieces it will be supposed 87 by most readers that he must have improved his fortune; at least, that such diligence with such abilities must have set penury at defiance. But in Dryden's time the drama was very far from that universal approbation which it has now obtained. The playhouse was abhorred by the Puritans, and avoided by those who desired the character of seriousness or decency. A grave lawyer would have debased his dignity, and a young trader would have impaired his credit, by appearing in those mansions of dissolute licentiousness?. The profits of the theatre when so many classes of the people were deducted from the audience were not great, and the poet had for a long time but a single night. The first that had two nights was Southern, and the

'This sentence was added to the second edition in forgetfulness of the statement that this opera was never brought upon the stage. The piece interrupted by Monmouth's landing was Albion and Albanius, ante, DRYDEN, 70.

Works, viii. 365. First acted about Dec. 1693, and printed in 1694. Malone's Dryden, i. 214, 219. As a second title Dryden had thought of Neither Side to Blame. Works, xviii. 11b. viii. 373. See post, DRYDEN, 189.

136, for his loss of the laureateship.

Malone (i. 217) quotes from a Letter from a Gentleman in London to a Friend in the Country, March 22, 1693-4:-'It was damned by the universal cry of the town, nemine contradicente, but the conceited poet.'

5 'Aristotle, I acknowledge, has declared that the catastrophe which is

made from the change of will is not of the first order of beauty. Works, viii. 374.

• Ante, DRYDEN, 14.

''The play-houses in so dissolute a time were become nests of prostitution, and the stage was defiled beyond all example; Dryden, the great master of dramatic poesy, being a monster of immodesty and of impurity of all sorts.' BURNET, History, i. 300. See post, DRYDEN, 124, 175; CONGREVE, 18.

In the dedication of Sir Antony Love in 1691 Southern speaks of his being interested in the third and sixth representation.' Malone's Dryden, i. 454. For Southerne see post, DRYDEN, 90; FENTON, II.

In the document signed by the players (post, DRYDEN, 91 m.) it is stated that 'the Company did also at Mr.Dryden's earnest request give him a third day for his last new play called



first that had three was Rowe. There were, however, in those days arts of improving a poet's profit, which Dryden forbore to practise; and a play therefore seldom produced him more than a hundred pounds, by the accumulated gain of the third night' the dedication, and the copy.

Almost every piece had a dedication, written with such elegance and luxuriance of praise as neither haughtiness nor avarice could be imagined able to resist. But he seems to have made flattery too cheap. That praise is worth nothing of which the price is known3.

To increase the value of his copies he often accompanied his work with a preface of criticism, a kind of learning then almost new in the English language, and which he, who had considered with great accuracy the principles of writing, was able to distribute copiously as occasions arose. By these dissertations the publick judgement must have been much improved; and Swift, who conversed with Dryden, relates that he regretted the success of his own instructions, and found his readers made suddenly too skilful to be easily satisfied *.

All for Love Rowe was only five years old at that time.

Cibber, in 1704, had his third and sixth day for The Careless Husband. See the Dedication. In the last act of Love's Last Shift he speaks of 'the duns a poet has in the morning upon the fourth day of his new play.'

Gay had four nights for The Beggar's Opera. N. & Q. 1 S. i. 178.

Aaron Hill (Works, 1754, ii. 370) wrote, in 1749, of his Merope :-'The balance of my three nights' benefits came but to £148.'

In Cibber's Lives, v. 328, it is stated that, while Dryden had never made more than 100 by a play, Southerne, by one of his, cleared £700. 'Southern was not beneath the drudgery of solicitation, and often sold his tickets at a very high price by applying to persons of distinction.' He sold the copyright of The Spartan Dame for £150. Biog. Dram. i. 680.


Shadwell, in James II's reign, received for a third night at Drury Lane, 'at single prices, £130, which was the greatest receipt they ever had at that house at single prices. Boxes, 4s. od.; Pit, 2s. 6d.; First Gal

lery, Is. 6d.; Upper Gallery, Is. oď.' Roscius Anglicanus, p. 56.

Before 1762 Drury Lane 'held no more than £220; the charge on the author's night was £63. In 1762 the house was enlarged to a receipt of £335. Murphy's Garrick, p. 362.

Johnson, it seems, only cleared £195 175. by his three nights of Irene. For the copy he received £100. Boswell's Johnson, i. 198 n.


Ante, DRYDEN,72; post, 170, 172. 4 "The word relates (writes Malone, i. 239) seems to refer to some passage in Swift's works; but I have in vain sought for it.' The passage is the following from A Tale of a Tub:'He[Dryden] hath often said to me in confidence that the world would have never suspected him to be so great a poet, if he had not assured them so frequently in his prefaces that it was impossible they could either doubt or forget it. Perhaps it may be so; however, I much fear his instructions have edified out of their place, and taught men to grow wiser in certain points, where he never intended they should.' Swift's Works, x. 125. Malone quotes 'somewhat similar

His prologues had such reputation that for some time a play 90 was considered as less likely to be well received if some of his verses did not introduce it. The price of a prologue was two guineas, till being asked to write one for Mr. Southern, he demanded three, 'Not,' said he, 'young man, out of disrespect to you, but the players have had my goods too cheap'.'

Though he declares that in his own opinion his genius was not 91 dramatick, he had great confidence in his own fertility; for he is said to have engaged by contract to furnish four plays a year3.

It is certain that in one year, 1678, he published All for Love, 92 Assignation, two parts of The Conquest of Granada, Sir Martin Marall, and The State of Innocence, six complete plays*; with a celerity of performance which, though all Langbaine's charges of plagiarism should be allowed, shews such facility of composition, such readiness of language, and such copiousness of


sentences in Dryden' from Works, vi. 134, vii. 235.

For Swift's perpetual malevolence to Dryden' see post, SWIFT, 18.

* For Dryden's Prologues and Epilogue for Southerne's plays see Works, x. 374, 377, 391, and for his poetical Epistle to him see ib. xi. 46. Pope described Southerne as

'Tom, whom heaven sent down to raise

The price of prologues and of plays.' To Mr. T. Southern, on his Birthday, 1742.

Warburton adds in a note: 'This alludes to a story Mr. Southern told of Dryden about the same time to Mr. P. and Mr. W.' The price, Warburton says, was raised from four to six guineas. He adds that 'he was the first who brought the booksellers to give £100 for the copy of a play.' Warburton's Pope, vi. 66.

How they found their account in this I cannot understand, seeing that the usual price of a play was one shilling, or eighteenpence at most.

For Gray's account of Southerne in 1737 see his Letters, i. 8.

* Post, DRYDEN, 264, 329.

3 In Messrs. Sotheran & Co.'s Cata. of Autos. No. 12 (1899), Lot 64, is a document signed by some of the players, which states:-'Whereas

upon Mr. Dryden's binding himself to write 3 Plays a yeare, the said Mr. Dryden was admitted and continued as a Sharer in the King's Playhouse for divers yeares, and received for his share and a quarter 3 or 4 hundred pounds communibus annis, but though he received the moneys, we received not the Plays, not one in a yeare.' See also Malone's Dryden, i. 72, and The Rehearsal, p. 40.

Johnson's authority is Jacob's Poet. Register, i. 82. Of these six All for Love was published in 1678 (ante, DRYDEN, 78); Assignation in 1673 (ante, 63); Conquest of Granada in 1672 (ante, 48); Sir Martin Marall in 1668 (ante, 29); and The State of Innocence in 1674 (ante, 71). In sixteen years (1667 to the end of 1682) he produced eighteen dramas. 'From 1667 to 1670 he probably wrote five or six plays. There is good ground for believing that Shakespeare, for several years, composed two plays in each year.' Malone's Dryden, i. 78.

Ticknor quotes 'the anecdotes of Montalvan that Lopez wrote five fulllength dramas in fifteen days.' Span. Lit. ii. 203, quoted in Century Cyclo.

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