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The Works of John Dryden, Volume XX

The Works of John Dryden, Volume XX: Prose 1691-1698 De Arte Graphica and Shorter Works

John Dryden
EDITOR A.E. Wallace Maurer
TEXTUAL EDITOR George R. Guffey
Copyright Date: 1989
Pages: 546
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pp2h8
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  • Book Info
    The Works of John Dryden, Volume XX
    Book Description:

    For the first time since 1695, a complete text ofDe Arte Graphicaas Dryden himself wrote it is available to readers. In all, Volume XX presents six pieces written during Dryden's final decade, each of them either requested by a friend or commissioned by a publisher. Two are translations, three introduce translations made by others, and the sixth introduces an original work by one of Dryden's friends. The most recent version ofDe Arte Graphica, Saintsbury's late nineteenth-century reissue of Scott's edition, based the text of the translated matter on an edition that was heavily revised by someone other than Dryden. In fact, only one of the pieces offered here, the briefCharacter of Saint-Evremond, has appeared complete in a twentieth-century edition. The commentary in this volume supplies biographical and bibliographical contexts for these pieces and draws attention to the views on history and historians, poetry and painting, Virgil and translation, which Dryden expresses in them. Many other volumes of prose, poetry, and plays are available in the California Edition ofThe Works of John Dryden.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-90533-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
    A. E. W. M. and G. R. G.
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-1)
  4. Preface to A Dialogue Concerning Women
    (pp. 3-5)
    John Dryden

    ThePerusal of this Dialogue, in defence of the Fair Sex, Written by a Gentleman of my acquaintance, much surpris’d me: For it was not easie for me to imagine, that one so young, cou’d have treated so nice a Subject with so much judgment. ’Tis true, I was not ignorant that he was naturally Ingenious, and that he had improv’d himself by Travelling; and from thence I might reasonably have expected that air of Gallantry, which is so visibly diffus’d through the body of the Work, and is indeed the Soul that animates all things of this nature: But...

  5. A Character of Saint-Evremond
    (pp. 7-11)
    J. Dryden

    The Discourses which compose this Book, being printed already, in another Language, there may be several amongst us, who have only heard in general ofMonsieur St. Evremont,and the Reputation he has with the Men of Sence, and therefore may be well enough pleas’d to know what it is, wherein he Excels, and which distinguishes him from other Writers: For it is not with the Wits of our Times, how Eminent so ever, as with those who lived underAugustuswhen the Empire and Language were in some Sence Universal; they properly wrote to the World: the Moderns, even...

  6. A Character of Polybius and His Writings
    (pp. 13-36)
    JOHN DRYDEN

    The worthy Author of this Translation, who is very much my Friend, was pleas’d to intrust it in my hands, for many Months together, before he publish’d it; desiring me to review theEnglish, and to Correct what I found amiss: which he needed not have done, if his Modesty wou’d have given him leave, to have relyed on his own Abilities; who is so great a Master of our Stile and Language, as the world will acknowledge him to be, after the reading of this Excellent Version.

    ’Tis true, thatPolybiushas formerly appear’d in anEnglishDress; but...

  7. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  8. De Arte Graphica

    • Preface of the Translator, With a Parallel, of Poetry and Painting
      (pp. 38-77)

      It may be reasonably expected, that I shou’d say something on my own behalf, in respect to my present Undertaking. First, then, the Reader may be pleas’d to know, that it was not of my own choice that I undertook this Work. Many of our most Skillfull Painters, and other Artists, were pleas’d to recommend this Authour to me, as one who perfectly understood the Rules of Painting; who gave the best and most concise Instructions for Performance, and the surest to inform the Judgment of all who lov’d this noble Art: That they who before were rather fond of...

    • The Preface of the French Author
      (pp. 78-81)

      Amongall the beautiful and delightful Arts, that of Painting has always found the most Lovers; the number of them almost including all Mankind. Of whom great multitudes are daily found, who value themselves on the knowledge of it; either because they keep company with Painters, or that they have seen good Pieces; or lastly, because their Gusto is naturally good. Which notwithstanding, that Knowledge of theirs (if we may so call it) is so very superficial, and so ill grounded, that it is impossible for them to describe in what consists the beauty of those Works which they admire,...

    • A Table of the Precepts Contain’d in This Treatise
      (pp. 82-83)
    • The Art of Painting
      (pp. 84-109)

      Painting* and Poesy are two Sisters, which are so like in all things, that they mutually lend to each other both their Name and Office. One is call’d a dumb Poesy, and the other a speaking Picture. [5.] The Poets have never said any thing but what they believ’d would please the Ears. And it has been the constant endeavour of the Painters to give pleasure to the Eyes. In short, those things which the Poets have thought unworthy of their Pens, the Painters have judg’d to be unworthy of their Pencils. *For both of them, that they might contribute...

    • Observations on the Art of Painting of Charles Alphonse du Fresnoy
      (pp. 110-197)

      Paintingand Poesy are two Sisters,& c. [¶ 1.] ’Tis a receiv’d truth, that the Arts have a certain relation to each other.There is no Art(saidTertullianin hisTreatise of Idolatry) which is not either the Father or the near Relation of another.AndCiceroin his Oration forArchiasthe Poet, says,That the Arts which have respect to human life, have a kind of Alliance amongst themselves, and hold each other (as we may say) by the hand.But those Arts which are the nearest related, and claim the most ancient Kindred with each...

    • The Judgment of Charles Alphonse du Fresnoy On the Works of the Principal and Best Painters of the Two Last Ages
      (pp. 198-206)

      Paintingwas in its Perfection amongst the Greeks. The principal Schools were atSycion,afterwards at Rhodes, at Athens, and atCorinth,and at last inRome.Wars and Luxury having overthrown theRomanEmpire, it was totally extinguish’d, together with all the noble Arts, the Studies of Humanity, and the other Sciences.

      It began to appear again in the Year 1450 amongst some Painters ofFlorence,of whichDomenico Ghirlandaiowas one, who was Master toMichael Angelo,and had some kind of Reputation, though his manner wasGothiqueand very dry.

      Michael Angelohis Scholar, flourish’d in the...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
  9. The Life of Lucian Written by John Dryden, Esq; Poet Laureate and Historiographer to King Charles II and James II
    (pp. 208-228)

    The Writing a Life is at all Times, and in all Circumstances the most difficult Task of an Historian; and notwithstanding the numerous Tribe of Biographers, we can scarce find one, exceptPlutarch,who deserves our Perusal, or can invite a second View. But if the Difficulty be so great, where the Materials are plentiful, and the Incidents extraordinary; what must it be when the Person that affords the Subject, denies Matter enough for a Page? The Learned seldom abound with Action, and it is Action only, that furnishes the Historian with Things agreeable and instructive. ’Tis true, thatDiogenes...

  10. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  11. The Annals of Cornelius Tacitus, Book I
    (pp. 230-294)

    Rome was govern’d at the first by *Kings. *Liberty✝ and the Consulship were introduc’d byLucius Brutus:the Dictatorship* was granted, butas necessity requir’d,and for some time: And the Authority of the Decemvirate* continu’d only for two Years✝. The Consular Power of the Military Tribunes* remain'd in force but for a little spaced✝. Neither was theArbitraryDominion ofCinna,or that ofSylla,of any long continuance✝. The Power ofPompeyandCrassus,were soon transferr’d toJulius Cœsar;and the Arms ofMarc AntonyandLepidus,gave place to those ofhis Successor, Augustus.Then it...

  12. COMMENTARY
    (pp. 295-404)

    Amelot:Tacite avec des Notes Politiques et Historiques,trans. Abraham Nicolas Amelot de la Houssaye, The Hague, 1692

    BH: Samuel Johnson,Lives of the English Poets,ed. George Birkbeck Hill, Oxford, 1905

    BIHR: Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research

    Bourdelot:Λουκιανoυ ... Luciani Samosatensis Philosophi Opera,ed. Joannes Bourdelotius, Paris, 1615

    Casaubon:Πολυβιoυ .. . Polybii Lycortte F. Megalopolitani Historiarum Libri qui Supersunt, interprete Isaaco Casaubono: Jacobus Gronovius recensuit,II, ad pagination, Amsterdam, 1670

    CL: Comparative Literature

    CP: Classical Philology

    CSPD: Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series

    D’Ablancourt:Lucien,trans. Nicholas Perrot, Sieur d’Ablancourt, Paris, 1688

    Des Maizeaux:The...

  13. TEXTUAL NOTES
    (pp. 405-418)

    The copy text is normally the first printing, on the theory that its accidentals are likely to be closest to the author’s practice; but a manuscript or a subsequent printing may be chosen when there is reasonable evidence either that it represents more accurately the original manuscript as finally revised by the author or that the author revised the accidentals.

    The copy text is normally reprintedliteratim,but there are certain classes of exceptions. In the first place, apparently authoritative variants found in other texts are introduced as they occur, except that their purely accidental features are made to conform...

  14. Appendixes:

    • Appendix A: Charles Alphonse Dufresnoy’s De Arte Graphica
      (pp. 421-434)
    • Appendix B: Reflections and Notes on The Annals of Tacitus, Book I
      (pp. 435-510)
  15. Index to the Commentary
    (pp. 511-521)