Essays of John Dryden: Introdcution. List of Dryden's works. Epistle dedicatory of the Rival ladies. Preface to Annus mirabillis. Of dramatic poesy, an essay. Prologue to Secret love or the Maiden queen. Defence of an Essay of dramatic poesy. Preface to An evening's love. Of heroic plays, an essay. Epilogue to the second part of the Conquest of Granada. Defence of the epilogue. The author's apology for heroic poetry and poetic license. Preface to All for love. Preface to Troilus and Cressida, containing the grounds of criticism in tragedy. Preface to Ovid's Epistles. Dedication of the Spanish friar. Preface to SylvŠ (The second miscellany) Preface to Albion and Albanus. Notes

Front Cover
Clarendon Press, 1900 - Criticism

From inside the book

Selected pages

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 226 - And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along. Duch. Alas ! poor Richard ! where rides he the while ? York. As in a theatre, the eyes of men, After a well-graced actor leaves the stage, Are idly bent on him that enters next, Thinking his prattle to be tedious : Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes Did scowl on Richard ; no man cried, God save him...
Page 82 - Catiline. But he has done his robberies so openly that one may see he fears not to be taxed by any law. He invades authors like a monarch; and what would be theft in other poets is only victory in him. With the spoils of these writers he so represents old Rome to us, in its rites, ceremonies, and customs, that if one of their poets had written either of his tragedies, we had seen less of it than in him.
Page 80 - I cannot say he is everywhere alike; were he so, I should do him injury to compare him with the greatest of mankind. He is many times flat, insipid ; his comic wit degenerating into clenches, his serious swelling into bombast. But he is always great when some great occasion is presented to him...
Page 80 - All the images of nature were still present to him, and he drew them not laboriously, but luckily : when he describes anything, you more than see it, you feel it too. Those who accuse him to have wanted learning give him the greater commendation : he was naturally learned ; he needed not the spectacles of books to read nature ; he looked inwards, and found her there.
Page 101 - This last is indeed the representation of nature, but 'tis nature wrought up to an higher pitch. The plot, the characters, the wit, the passions, the descriptions are all exalted above the level of common converse, as high as the imagination of the poet can carry them, with proportion to verisimility.
Page 153 - I boldly answer him, that an heroic poet is not tied to a bare representation of what is true, or exceeding probable; but that he may let himself loose to visionary objects, and to the representation of such things as depending not on sense, and therefore not to be comprehended by knowledge, may give him a freer scope for imagination.
Page 36 - A just and lively image of human nature, representing its passions and humours, and the changes of fortune to which it is subject, for the delight and instruction of mankind.
Page 45 - ... are satisfied with the conduct of it. "Thus this great man delivered to us the image of a play. And I must confess it is so lively, that from thence much light has been derived to the forming it more perfectly into acts and scenes. But what poet first limited to five the number of the acts, I know not, only we see it so firmly established in the time of Horace, that he gives it for a rule in comedy, Neu brevior quinto, neu sit productior actu.
Page lxi - In my style, I have professed to imitate the divine Shakespeare; which that I might perform more freely, I have disencumbered myself from rhyme. Not that I condemn my former way, but that this is more proper to my present purpose.
Page 8 - For imagination in a poet is a faculty so wild and lawless, that like an high-ranging spaniel, it must have clogs tied to it, lest it outrun the judgment.

Bibliographic information