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The Works of John Dryden, Volume XVIII

The Works of John Dryden, Volume XVIII: Prose: The History of the League, 1684

EDITOR Alan Roper
TEXTUAL EDITOR Vinton A. Dearing
Copyright Date: 1974
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Works of John Dryden, Volume XVIII
    Book Description:

    This volume contains Dryden's 1684 translation of Louis Maimbourg's "The History of the League," a work relating to the religious wars of France in the preceding century, and which Dryden used as a commentary on the religious persecutions of his own time in England.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-90531-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[viii])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [ix]-[xii])
  3. The History of the League

    • Dryden’s Dedication to the King
      (pp. 3-8)
      John Dryden


      Having receiv’d the Honour of Your Majesty’s Commands to Translate theHistory of the League,I have apply’d my self with my utmost diligence to Obey them: First by a thorough understanding of my Authour, in which I was assisted by my former knowledge of theFrenchHistory, in general, and in particular of those very Transactions, which he has so Faithfully and Judiciously related: Then by giving his Thoughts the same Beauty in our Language which they had in the Original; and which I most of all endeavour’d, the same force and perspicuity: Both of which I hope...

    • The Authour’s Dedication to the French King
      (pp. 9-11)
      Louis Maimbourg


      France, which being well united, as we now behold it, under the Glorious Reign of your Majesty, might give law to all the World; was upon the point of self Destruction, by the division which was rais’d in it by two fatal Leagues of Rebels: the one in the middle, and the other towards the latter end of the last Age.

      Heresie produc’d the first, against the true Religion: Ambition under the Masque of Zeal gave birth to the second, with pretence of maintaining what the other wou’d have ruin’d: and both of them, though implacable Enemies to each...

    • The Authour’s Advertisement to the Reader
      (pp. 12-17)

      Since perhaps there are some, who may think themselves concern’d in this History, because they are the Grandchildren or Descendants of those who are here mention’d, I desire them to consider, that Writing like a faithfull Historian, I am oblig’d sincerely to relate either the good or ill, which they have done. If they find themselves offended, they must take their satisfaction on those who have prescrib’d the Laws of History: let them give an account of their own rules; for Historians are indispensably bound to follow them; and the sum of our reputation consists in a punctual execution of...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • The Contents of the Books
      (pp. 18-26)

      The General model of theLeague,its Origine, its design, and the Success it had quite contrary to the end which was propos’d by it. In what it resembled the League Calvinism. The condition in whichFrancewas at the return ofHenrythe third fromPoland.The ill Counsell which he follow’d at the beginning of his Reign, in renuing the War. The Commendation and Character of that Prince. The surprising change which was found in his Carriage, and in his Manners. The conjunction of the Politicks, or Malecontents with theHuguenots.Their powerfull Army Commanded by the Duke...

    • The History of the League: Lib. I
      (pp. 27-117)

      Though this work which I have undertaken is the natural sequel of theHistory of Calvinism,’tis yet most certain that the Subject which I treat has no relation to that Heresie. For it was not the desire of preserving the Catholique faith inFrance,nor any true motive of Religion which gave birth to theLeague,as the common people who have not been able to penetrate into the secret of that accursed Cabal, have always been persuaded. It was derived from two passions which in all ages have produc’d most tragical Effects, I mean Ambition and Hatred. ’Tis...

    • The History of the League: Lib. II
      (pp. 118-182)

      The King, according to his Custome, pass’d the Winter of this Memorable Year 1587, partly in Feasts, Gaming, Balets and Masquerades, and such other divertisements; and partly in his Processions, his Fraternities, his Retirements and his Penances, among theFeuillants,whom he had founded at theFauxbourgSt.Honore,among theCapuchins,and especially in his little Cells of the Monastery ofBois de Vincennes,wherein he had plac’d theJeronimiteswho were come fromSpain,and wherein afterwards were plac’d theMinimes.But to his great grief, at the beginning of the Spring, he was forc’d to quit the...

    • The History of the League: Lib. III
      (pp. 183-279)

      If I intended to follow the Example ofLivy,the Prince ofLatineHistorians, who never suffers a Prodigy to escape him, and describes it perhaps with as much superstition as exactness; I shou’d here make long narrations how the Sun was obscur’d on the sudden, without the interposition of any Cloud appearing in the Sky, with a flaming Sword shooting out from the Centre of the Body; palpable darkness like that of theEgyptiansat noon-day; extraordinary Tempests, Earthquakes, fiery Phantasms in the Air, and an hundred other Prodigies, which are said to have been produc’d and seen in...

    • The History of the League: Lib. IV
      (pp. 280-392)

      ThoughHenryKing ofNavarre,whom the deceas’d King had at his Death declar’d his Lawful Successor, immediately took upon himself, the Soveraign Title of King ofFrance,yet was he not acknowledg’d for such, at the same time by the whole Army. TheHugonots,whom he had brought to the Assistance of his Predecessor, were the first to render him Homage, as no ways doubting, but that the World was now their own, and thatCalvinismshou’d be the predominant Religion inFrance,under a Protestant King. But this very Consideration, gave great trouble and anxiety of Mind to...

    • [Illustration]
      (pp. None)
    • The Postscript of the Translator
      (pp. 393-416)

      That Government generally consider’d, is of divine Authority, will admit of no dispute: For whoever will seriously consider, that no man has naturally a right over his own Life, so as to murder himself; will find by consequence, that he has no right to take away anothers Life; and that no pact betwixt man and man, or of Corporations and Individuals, or of Soveraigns and Subjects, can intitle them to this right: So that no Offender can lawfully, and without sin, be punish’d, unless that power be deriv’d from God. ’Tis He who has commission’d Magistrates, and authoriz’d them to...

    (pp. 417-540)
    (pp. 541-544)
  6. Appendixes

    • Appendix A: Glossary of technical terms, titles, and offices
      (pp. 547-548)
    • Appendix B: “The Table.” An Index printed with The History of the League in 1684 with entries repaginated to the present edition
      (pp. 549-568)
    (pp. 569-577)
  8. Back Matter
    (pp. 578-578)