4 Annotations

Nix  •  Link

Dryden's staying power --

Dryden's 1683 translation of Plutarch's Lives, as edited by Arthur Hugh Clough in the 1860s, is still in print in a popular edition (Modern Library) 324 years later.

CGS  •  Link

A quote that still has dire meaning.

"We must beat the iron while it is hot, but we may polish it at leisure."

JOHN DRYDEN, Dedication of the Aeneis

Bill  •  Link

Dryden was the father of true English poetry, and the most universal of all poets. This universality has been objected to him as a fault; but it was the unhappy effect of penury and dependence. He was not at liberty to pursue his own inclination; but was frequently obliged to prostitute his pen to such persons and things as a man of his talents must have despised. He was the great improver of our language, and versification. The chains of our English bards were formerly heard to rattle only; in the age of Waller and Dryden, they became harmonious. He has failed in most of his dramatic writings, of which the prologues, epilogues, and prefaces, are generally more valuable than the pieces to which they are affixed. But even in this branch of poetry, he has written enough to perpetuate his fame; as his "All for Love," his "Spanish Friar," and "Don Sebastian," can never be forgotten. There was a native fire in this great poet, which poverty could not damp, nor old age extinguish. On the contrary, he was still improving as a writer, while he was declining as a man; and was tar advanced in years, when he wrote his "Alexander's Feast," which is confessedly at the head of modern lyrics, and in the true spirit of the ancient. Great injury has been done him, in taking an estimate of his character from the meanest of his productions. It would be just as uncandid, to determine the merit of Kneller, from the vilest of his paintings.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1775.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Feb