Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
The Works of John Dryden, Volume XVII

The Works of John Dryden, Volume XVII: Prose, 1668-1691: An essay of Dramatick Poesie and Shorter Works

John Dryden
Copyright Date: 1971
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Works of John Dryden, Volume XVII
    Book Description:

    This collection of prose writing from the pen of Dryden dates from 1668 to 1691, and contains work that the editors describe as "a sampler of Dryden as biographer-historian, political commentator, religious controversialist, literary polemicist, literary theorist, and practical critic. Among the works contained here is his "Essay of Dramatick Poesie."

    eISBN: 978-0-520-90519-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface
    (pp. v-viii)
    S. H. M., H. T. S. and E. M.
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-1)
  4. An Essay of Dramatick Poesie
    (pp. 3-81)

    As I was lately reviewing my loose Papers, amongst the rest I found this Essay, the writing of which in this rude and indigested manner wherein your Lordship now sees it, serv’d as an amusement to me in the Country, when the violence of the last Plague had driven me from the Town. Seeing then our Theaters shut up, I was engag’d in these kind of thoughts with the same delight with which men think upon their absent Mistresses: I confess I find many things in this discourse which I do not now approve; my judgment being not little alter’d...

  5. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  6. Notes and Observations on The Empress of Morocco
    (pp. 83-184)

    WhenI first saw theEmpress ofMorocco, though I found it then to be a Rapsody of non-sense, I was very well contented to have let it pass, that the Reputation of a new Authour might not be wholly damn’d; but that he might be encourag’d to make his Audience some part of amends another time. In order to this, I strain’d a point of Conscience to cry up some passages of the Play, which I hop’d would recommend it to the liking of the more favourable Judges. But the ill report it had from those that had seen...

  7. Heads of an Answer to Rymer
    (pp. 185-193)

    He who undertakes to Answer this Excellent Critick of Mr.Rymer,in behalf of ourEnglishPoets against theGreek,ought to do it in this manner.

    Either by yielding to him the greatest part of what he contends for, which consists in this, that the μΰθoς(i.e.)the Design and Conduct of it is more conducing in theGreeks,to those Ends of Tragedy whichAristotleand he propose, namely, to cause Terror and Pity; yet the granting this does not set theGreeksabove theEnglishPoets.

    But the Answerer ought to prove two things; First, That the Fable...

  8. His Majesties Declaration Defended
    (pp. 195-225)

    Since you are pleas’d to require my Opinion of the Kings Declaration, and the Answer to it, which you write me word was sent you lately, I shall obey you the more willingly, because I know you are a lover of the Peace and Quietness of your Country; which the Author of this seditious Pamphlet, is endeavouring to disturb. Be pleas’d to understand then, that before the Declaration was yet published, and while it was only the common news, that such an one there was intended, to justifie the Dissolution of the two last Parliaments; it was generally agreed by...

  9. Contributions to Plutarchs Lives

    • Epistle Dedicatory
      (pp. 227-236)

      Lucretius, endeavouring to prove from the principles of his Philosophy, that the world had a casual beginning from the concourse ofAtomes;and that Men, as well as the rest of Animals, were produc’d from the vital heat and moisture of their Mother Earth; from the same principles is bound to answer this objection, why Men are not daily form’d after the same manner, which he tells us is, because the kindly warmth, and procreative faculty of the ground is now worn out: The Sun is a disabled Lover, and the Earth is past her teeming time.

      Though Religion has...

      (pp. 237-238)

      Youhave here, thefirst Volume of Plutarchs Lives,turn’d from theGreekintoEnglish;And (give me leave to say) thefirst attemptof doing it from theOriginalls.You may expect theRemainder,infour more;One after another as fast they may conveniently be dispatch’d from the Press. It is not my business, or pretence, to judge of a work of this quality, neither do I take upon me to recommend it to the world any farther, then under the Office of a fair, and a careful Publisher, and in discharge of a trust deposited in my...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • The Life of Plutarch
      (pp. 239-289)

      I know not by what Fate it comes to pass, that Historians, who give immortality to others, are so ill requited by Posterity, that their Actions and their Fortunes are usually forgotten; neither themselves incourag’d, while they live, nor their memory preserv’d entire to future Ages. ‘Tis the ingratitude of Mankind to their greatest Benefactors, that they, who teach us wisdome by the surest ways, (setting before us what we ought to shun or to pursue, by the examples of the most famous Men whom they Record, and by the experience of their Faults and Vertues,) should generally live poor...

  10. Contribution to A Defence of the Papers Written by the Late King of Blessed Memory, and Duchess of York A Defence of the Third [Duchess’s] Paper
    (pp. 291-323)

    I dare appeal to all unprejudic’d Readers, and especially to those who have any sense of Piety, whether upon perusal of the Paper written by Her late Highness the Duchess, they have not found in it somewhat which touch’d them to the very Soul; whether they did not plainly and perfectly discern in it the Spirit of Meekness, Devotion, and Sincerity, which animates the whole Discourse; and whether the Reader be not satisfied, that she who writ it has open’d her Heart without disguise, so as not to leave a Scruple that she was not in earnest. I am sure...

  11. Epistle Dedicatory for The Vocal and Instrumental Musick of the Prophetess
    (pp. 324-326)
    Henry Purcell

    Your Grace has been pleasd, so particularly to favour the Composition of the Musique In Diocletian, that from thence I have been incouragd to this presumption of Dedicating not onely it, but also the unworthy Authour of it, to your protection. All arts and Sciences have receivd their first encouragement from great persons; and owe their propagation and successe to their esteeme: like some sort of fruit trees, which being of a tender constitution, and delicate in their nature, require the shadow of the Cedar to shield their Infancy, from blites and Stormes. Musick and poetry, have ever been acknowledgd...

    (pp. 327-484)

    Absalom: Absalom and Achitophel

    Astraea: Astraea Redux

    Bacon,Works: The Works of Francis Bacon,ed. James Spedding, Robert Ellis, and Douglas Heath, 1857–1874

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

    Catalogue: A Catalogue of the Collection of Tracts for and Against Popery,ed. Thomas Jones,Remains,Chetham Society, XLVIII (1859), LXIV (1865)

    Clough:Plutarch’s Lives. The Translation Called Dryden’s. Corrected from the Greek and Revised by A. H. Clough,1859

    Corneille, (Euvres: (Euvres de P. Corneille,ed. Ch. Marty-Laveaux, Paris, 1863–1922

    Discourse of Satire: A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire,...

    (pp. 485-510)

    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...


    • Appendix A: His Majesties Declaration
      (pp. 513-517)
    • Appendix B: Copy of a Paper written by the late Duchess of York
      (pp. 519-520)
    (pp. 521-528)