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soon afterwards printed, though I have never seen an edition of that year. Of TYRANNICK Love, which was written in seven weeks, the entry in the same books was made on the 14th of July, 1669: it therefore made part of the theatrical entertainment of the preceding winter: and in the autumn of that year and the spring of the next, probably, were produced the two parts of THE CONQUEST OF GRANADA, which are mentioned in the preface to that play, though they were not registered at Stationers' Hall till February 20, 1670-71, nor published till 1672. The publication perhaps was retarded by the criticisms to which the Epilogue. to the Second Part gave rise, which were answered in the DEFENCE subjoined to it. In this Essay Dryden contends that an unjust preference was given to the dramatists of the former age, whose defects he here enumerates; and, with Horace, expresses his indignation, that the wit of the moderns should be depreciated, not on account of its coarseness or insipidity, but because it wanted the rust of antiquity;
non quia crassè
Compositum illepideve putetur, sed quia nuper.
He was now become sufficiently eminent to be an object of envy, and to give a degree of celebrity to any attempt to lessen his literary reputation. The great success which had attended his heroick plays, doubtless excited the jealousy of the rival candidates for fame. In this class, however, we
cannot place Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, who was so far from exercising his pen in any performance of that kind, that he thought the loud applause which had been bestowed for some years on the rhyming tragedies produced by D'Avenant, Dryden, Stapylton, Howard, Killigrew, and others, much misplaced, and resolved to correct the publick taste by holding them up to ridicule. With this view, in conjunction, it is said, with Martin Clifford, Master of the Charter-House, Butler, Sprat, and others," he wrote the celebrated farce entitled THE REHEARSAL. Some of the contemporary writers have stated, that it took up as much time as the Siege of Troy ;' and with justice ex
Buckingham's poem in answer to ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHEL, a piece utterly devoid of merit of any kind, furnishes us with a strong confirmation of the received opinion that he was aided by others in writing THE RE
Of one of his coadjutors, Martin Clifford, whom his contemporaries usually called Mat Clifford, little is known. Wood mentions in his manuscript additions to his own copy of the ATHENE OXONIENSIS, that he was a Lieutenant in Thomas Earl of Ossory's regiment in 1660; for which he quotes MERC. PUB. p. 510. He was elected from Westminster to Trinity College, Cambridge, ten years before our author went there; was made Master of the Charter-House Nov. 17, 1671; and died Dec. 10,1677. 3 See THE STATE POEMS, vol. ii. p. 216: "On the Duke of Bucks."
"I come to his farce, which must needs be well done, "For Troy was not longer before it was won,
"Since 'tis more than ten years since this farce was begun;
press their surprise, that such a combination of wits, and a period of ten years, should have been requisite for a work, which apparently a less numerous band could have produced without such mighty
"With the help of pimps, plays, and table-chat,
"With transcribing of these, and translating those,
“But where the devil his own wit doth lie,
They must have very good eyes that espy, "Unless in the dances and mimickry.
"I confess the dances are very well writ,
"And the time and the tune by Haines are well set,
"But when his poet, John Bayes, did appear,
"For he many years plagu'd his friends for their crimes, Repeating his verses in other men's rhymes,
"To the very same person ten thousand times.
"But his Grace has tormented the players more "Than the Howards, or Flecknoes, or all the store "Of damned dull rogues that e'er plagu❜d them before. "When in France, and in Spain, and in Holland, 'tis known,
"What wonders our mighty statesman has done ;
" "Twill make them all tremble to hear his renown.
throws. In the Key to this piece, published by a bookseller in 1704, we are told, that it was written, and ready for representation, before the middle of the year 1665, and that Sir Robert Howard, under the name of Bilboa, was then intended to have been the hero of the farce. That some interlude of this kind might have been thus early intended, is not improbable; but assuredly the original hero was not Howard, but D'Avenant; not only on account of the name of Bilboa, which alludes to his mili
"For he that can libel the poets, and knows
Our author, to whom these lines are ascribed in the STATE POEMS, without any authority I believe, in the Dedication of the Satires of Juvenal to Lord Dorset, has said something like what we find here in the seventh stanza. See vol. iii. p. 82.
4 The Key to THE REHEARSAL was published by Samuel Briscoe, a bookseller, who lived opposite to Will's Coffee-House in Russel-street, Covent-Garden, and appears to have been connected with several of the poets of his time. In the Preface to the Second volume of " Familiar Letters of Love and Gallantry," published by him. not long after our author's death, he says, that “after he had finished his collection, he had received several original letters and poems of Mr. Dryden ;"—but they never appeared.
Mr. Spence says, in his ANECDOTES, from the information of Dr. Lockier, that Tonson had a good Key to THE REHEARSAL, "but refused to print it, because he had been so much obliged to Dryden."
tary character, (for he was Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance under the Duke of Newcastle, in the Civil Wars,) but from the circumstance of the patch that in the course of the drama he is obliged to wear on his nose; which can relate to none but D'Avenant. Besides, he was a much more distinguished character, not only as Poet Laureate, but as superintendant of the Duke of York's Company of Comedians, and the introducer of heroick plays on the English stage. The allusions to Sir Robert Howard's tragedies are so few and inconsiderable, that he never could have been the author's principal object.-As soon as it was resolved that Dryden should be the hero, an abundant use was made of his INDIAN EMPEROR and CONQUEST OF GRANADA; 'yet the author was unwilling to lose any of the strokes which were pe
5 D'Avenant had met with the misfortune here alluded to, before the breaking out of the Civil Wars, as appears from " A [fictitious] Letter sent by Sir John Suckling, from France, deploring his sad estate and plight," 4to. 1641:
"The witty poet, let all know it,
"In this design that I call mine,
"Though he can write, he cannot fight,
"And bravely take a fort-a,
"His nose it is too short-a.”