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This is the frontispiece to a very interesting Manual by 
the once famous English musician and madrigalist, 
Thomas Morley (1557-1604), a great collector of con- 
temporary 'Aires,' Organist at St. Paul's, and Gentle- 
man of the Chapel Royal. Several of Morley's pieces 
attained the honour of insertion in Queen Elizabeth's 
Virginall Book. The treatise on Music was the first 
of its kind in smy language, was translated into 
German and other languages, and was for a century 
the standard book on the subject. 



an Cnglisf) #arner 







This Edition is limited to 750 copies 
for England and A merica 


Edinburgh : T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty 



I. Extract from Thomas Wilson's -^r^^/P/^^/ijrzV, 1554 . i 

II. Sir Philip Sidney's Letter to his brother Robert^ 1580 . . 5 

III. Extract from Francis Meres's /'«//«^/j' TIaw/a, 1598 . . lo 

IV. Dryden's Dedicatory Epistle to the Rival Ladies, 1664 . . 23 
V. Sir Robert Howard's /'r^«fi? /cy&^rw^w /'/a/j, 1665 . . 30 

VI, Dryden's Essay of Dramatic Poesy, 1668 • • • . 37 
VII. Extract from Thomas EUwood's History of Himself , describ- 
ing his relations with Milton, 1713 135 

VIII. Bishop Copleston's Advice to a Young Reviewer, 1807 . 149 
IX. The Bickerstaff and Partridge Tracts, 1708 . . 167, 185 

X. 0x2.-^% Present State of Wit, 1711 201 

XI. Tickell's Life of Addison, 1721 

XII. Steele's Dedicatory Epistle to Congreve, 1722 

XIII. Extract from Chamberlayne's Angliae Notitia, 1669 

XIV. Eachard's Grounds and Occasions of the Contempt of the 

Clergy and of Religion, 1670 

XV. BickerstafiPs Miseries of the Domestic Chaplain, 1710 
XVI. Frankhn's Poor Richard Improved, 1757 .... 





The miscellaneous pieces comprised in this volume are 
of interest and value, as illustrating the history of English 
literature and of an important side of English social life, 
namely, the character and status of the clergy in the 
seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. They have 
been arranged chronologically under the subjects with 
which they are respectively concerned. The first three — 
the excerpt from Wilson's Art of Rhetoric, Sir Philip 
Sidney's Letter to his brother Robert, and the dissertation 
from Meres's Palladis Tamia — are, if minor, certainly char- 
acteristic examples of pre-Elizabethan and Elizabethan 
literary criticism. The next three — the Dedicatory Epistle 
to the Rival Ladies, Howard's Preface to Four New Plays, 
and the Essay of Dramatic Poesy — not only introduce us to 
one of the most interesting critical controversies of the 
seventeenth century, but present us, in the last work, with 
an epoch-marking masterpiece, both in English criticism 
and in English prose composition. Bishop Copleston's 
brochure brings us to the early days of the Edinburgh 
Review, and to the dawn of the criticism with which we 
are, unhappily, only too familiar in our own time. From 
criticism we pass, in the extract from Ellwood's life of 
himself, to biography and social history, to the most vivid 
account we have of Milton as a personality and in private 
life. Next comes a series of pamphlets illustrating social 
and literary history in the reigns of Anne and George i., 

viii Critical Essays 

opening with the pamphlets bearing on Swift's inimitable 
Partridge hoax, now for the first time collected and re- 
printed, and preceding Gay's Present State of Wit, which 
gives a lively account of the periodic literature current 
in 1711. Next comes Tickell's valuable memoir of his 
friend Addison, prefixed, as preface, to his edition of 
Addison's works, published in 1721, with Steele's singularly 
interesting strictures on the memoir, being the dedication 
of the second edition of the Drummer to Congreve. The 
reprint of Eachard's Grounds and Occasions of the Contempt 
of the Clergy and Religion Enquired into, with the preceding 
extract from Chamberlayne's Anglice Notitia and the suc- 
ceeding papers of Steele's in the Tatler and Guardian, 
throws light on a question which is not only of great interest 
in itself, but which has been brought into prominence 
through the controversies excited by Macaulay's famous 
picture of the clergy of the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries. Last comes what is by general consent acknow- 
ledged to be one of the most valuable contributions ever 
made to the literature of proverbs, Franklin's summary 
of the maxims in Poor Richard's Almanack. 

Our first excerpt is the preface to a work which is entitled 
to the distinction of being the first systematic contribution 
to literary criticism written in the English language. It 
appeared in 1553, and was entitled The Art of Rhetorique, 
for the use of all suche as are studious of eloquence, sette 
foorthe in Englishe by Thomas Wilson, and it was dedicated 
to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick. Thomas Wilson — 
erroneously designated Sir Thomas Wilson, presumably 
because he has been confounded with a knight of that 
name— was born about 1525, educated at Eton and sub- 
sequently at King's College, Cambridge, whence he gradu- 

Introduction ix 

ated B.A. in 1549. In life he played many parts, as tutor 
to distinguished pupils, notably Henry and Charles Brandon, 
afterwards Dukes of Suffolk, as diplomatist and ambassador 
to various countries, as a Secretary of State and a Privy 
Councillor, as one of the Masters of Requests, and as Master 
of St. Catherine's Hospital at the Tower, at which place and 
in which capacity he terminated a very full and busy life 
on June i6th, 1581. The pupil of Sir John Cheke and of Sir 
Thomas Smith, and the intimate friend of Roger Ascham, 
Wilson was one of the most accomplished scholars in 
England, being especially distinguished by his knowledge 
of Greek. He is the author of a translation, of a singularly 
vigorous translation, of the Olynthiacs and Philippics of 
Demosthenes, published in 1570. His most popular work, 
judging at least from the quickly succeeding editions, 
appears to have been his first. The Rule of Reason, con- 
teinynge the Art of Logique set forth in Englishe, published 
by Grafton in 1551, and dedicated to Edward VI. The Art 
of Rhetorique is said to have been published at the same 
time, but the earliest known copy is dated January 1553. 
The interest of this Art of Rhetoric is threefold. It is the 
work of a writer intelligently familiar with the Greek and 
Roman classics, and it thus stands beside Elyot's Governour, 
which appeared two years before, as one of the earliest 
illustrations of the influence of the Renaissance on our ver- 
nacular literature. It is one of the earliest examples, not only 
of the employment of the English language in the treatment 
of scholastic subjects, but of the vindication of the use of 
English in the treatment of such subjects ; and, lastly, it is 
remarkable for its sound and weighty good sense. His friend, 
Ascham, had already said : * He that wyll wryte well in any 
tongue muste folowe thys councel of Aristotle, to speake as 

X Critical Essays 

the common people do,to think as wise men do.and so shoulde 
every man understande hym. Many English writers have not 
done so, but usinge straunge words, as Latin, French, and 
Italian, do make all thinges darke and harde.' And it is 
indeed by no means improbable that this work, which is 
written to inculcate all that Ascham upheld, may have been 
suggested by Ascham. It is in three books, and draws 
largely on Quintilian, the first two books being substantially 
little more than a compilation, but a very judicious one, from 
the Institutes of Oratory. But Wilson is no pedant, and has 
many excellent remarks on the nature of the influence which 
the classics should exercise on English composition. One 
passage is worth transcribing — 

* Among all other lessons, this should first be learned, that we 
never affect any straunge ynkhorne termes, but to speake as is 
commonly received, neither seeking to be over fine, nor yet being 
over carelesse, using our speeche as most men doe, and ordering 
our wittes as the fewest have done. Some seke so far outlandishe 
English, that thei forget altogether their mothers language. And 
I dare sweare this, if some of their mothers were alive, thei were 
not able to tell what thei saie ; and yet these fine English clerkes 
will saie thei speake in their mother tongue — if a man should 
charge them for counterfeityng the kinges Englishe. . . . The 
unlearned or foolish phantasicalle that smelles but of learnyng 
(suche fellowes as have seen learned men in their daies) will so Latin 
their tongues that the simple can not but wonder at their talke, 
and thinke surely thei speake by some revelation. I know them 
that thinke Rhetorique to stand wholie upon darke woordes ; and he 
that can catche an ynke home terme by the taile him thei coumpt 
to bee a fine Englisheman and a good Rhetorician.' 

In turning to Wilson's own style, we are reminded of 
Butler's sarcasm — 

* All a rhetorician's rules 
Teach nothing but to name his tools.' 

Introduction xi 

He is not, indeed, deficient, as the excerpt given shows, in 
dignity and weightiness, but neither there nor elsewhere 
has he any of the finer qualities of style, his rhythm being 
harsh and unmusical, his diction cumbrous and diffuse. 

The excerpt which comes next in this miscellany is by 
the author of that treatise which is, with the exceptions, 
perhaps, of George Puttenham's Art of English Poesie and 
Ben Jonson's Discoveries^ the most precious contribution 
to criticism made in the Elizabethan age ; but, indeed, the 
Defence of Poesie stands alone : alone in originality, alone in 
inspiring eloquence. The letter we print is taken from Arthur 
Collins's Sydney Papers, vol. i. pp. 283-5, ^"^ was written 
by Sir Philip Sidney to his brother Robert, afterwards 
(August 1618) second Earl of Leicester, then at Prague. 
From letters of Sir Henry Sidney in the same collection 
(see letters dated March 25th and October 1578) we learn 
that Robert, then in his eighteenth year, had been sent 
abroad to see the world and to acquire foreign languages, 
that he was flighty and extravagant, and had in consequence 
greatly annoyed his father, who had threatened to recall 
him home. * Follow,' Sir Henry had written, ' the direction 
of your most loving brother. Imitate his virtues, exercyses, 
studyes and accyons, hee ys a rare ornament of thys age.' 
This letter was written at a critical time in Sidney's life. 
With great courage and with the noblest intentions, though 
with extraordinary want of tact, for he was only in his 
twenty-sixth year, he had presumed to dissuade Queen 
Elizabeth from marrying the Duke of Anjou. The Queen 
had been greatly offended, and he had had to retire from 
Court. The greater part of the year 1580 he spent at 
Wilton with his sister Mary, busy with the Arcadia. In 
August he had, through the influence of his uncle Leicester, 

xii Critical Essays 

become recorxiled w ith the Queen, and a little later took 
up his residence at Leicester House, from which this letter 
is dated. It is a mere trifle, yet it illustrates very strikingly 
and even touchingly Sidney's serious, sweet, and beautiful 
character. The admirable remarks on the true use of the 
study of history, such as ' I never require great study in 
Ciceronianism, the chief abuse of Oxford, qui dum verba 
sectantur, res ipsas negligunt' remind us of the author of 
the Defence ; while the ' great part of my comfort is in you,' 
' be careful of yourself, and I shall never have cares,' and the 
' I write this to you as one that for myself have given over 
the delight in the world,' show that he had estimated royal 
reconciliations at their true value, and anticipate the beauti- 
ful and pathetic words with which he is said to have taken 
leave of the world. Short and hurried as this letter is, we 
feel it is one of those trifles which, as Plutarch observes, 
throw far more light on character than actions of importance 
often do. 

Between 1580 and the appearance of Meres's work in 
1598 there was much activity in critical literature. Five 
years before the date of Sidney's letter George Gascogne 
had published his Ceriayne Notes of Instructum concerning 
the nuikyng of Verse in Rhyme. This was succeeded in 
1584 by James L's Ane Short Treatise conteining some 
rewles and cautelis to be observit. Then came William 
'^ehbe's Discourse of English Poesie, 1586, which had been 
preceded by Sidney's charming Defeitce of Poetry, composed 
in or about 1579, but not published till 1595. This and 
Puttenham's elaborate treatise. The Art of English Poesie 
contrived into three books (1589), had indeed marked an 
epoch in the history of criticism. Memorable, too, in this 
branch of literature is Harington's Apologie for Poetry 

Introduction xiii 

(1591), prefixed to his translation of the Orlando Furioso. 
But it was not criticism only which had been advancing. 
The publication of the first part of Lyly's Euphues and of 
Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar in 1579 may be said to have 
initiated the golden age of our literature. The next twenty 
years saw Marlowe, Greene, Peele, Kyd, Shakespeare, 
Chapman, Decker, and Ben Jonson at the head of our 
drama ; Spenser, Warner, Daniel, and Drayton leading 
narrative poetry; the contributors to England's Helicon, 
published a year later, at the head of our sonneteers and 
lyric poets ; and Sidney, Lyly, Greene, and Hooker in the 
van of our prose literature. The history of Meres's work, 
a dissertation from which is here extracted, is curious. In 
(^r about 1596, Nicholas Ling and John Bodeiiham con- 
ceived the idea of i)ubiishing a series of volumes containing 
proverbs, maxims, and sententious reflections on religion, 
morals, and life generally. Accordingly in 1597 appeared 
a small volume containing various apothegms, extracted 
principally from the Classics and the Fathers, comi^led 
by Nicholas Ling and dedicated to Bodenham. It was 
entitled Politeuphuia: Wits Commonwealth. In the follow- 
ing year appeared ' Palladis Taniia, Wits Treasury: Being 
the Second Part of Wits Commonwealth. By Francis 
Meres, Maistcr of Arts in both Universities.' On the title- 
page is the motto ' Vivitur ingenio, cetera mortis crunt.' 
It was printed by P. Short for Cuthbert Burbie. From the 
address to the reader, which does not appear in the first 
edition, though it was apparently intended for that edition, 
we learn that it had been undertaken because of the extra- 
ordinary popularity of Wits Commonwealth, which 'thrice 
within one year had runne thorough the Presse.' Meres's 
work differs importantly from Wiis Covniiomvealth. It is 

xii Critical Essays 

become reconciled with the Queen, and a little later took 
up his residence at Leicester House, from which this letter 
is dated. It is a mere trifle, yet it illustrates very strikingly 
and even touchingly Sidney's serious, sweet, and beautiful 
character. The admirable remarks on the true use of the 
study of history, such as ' I never require great study in 
Ciceronianism, the chief abuse of Oxford, qui dum verba 
sectantur, res ipsas negligunt' '■emind us of the author of 
the Defence ; while the ' great part of my comfort is in you,' 
' be careful of yourself, and I shall never have cares,' and the 
' I write this to you as one that for myself have given over 
the delight in the world,' show that he had estimated royal 
reconciliations at their true value, and anticipate the beauti- 
ful and pathetic words with which he is said to have taken 
leave of the world. Short and hurried as this letter is, we 
feel it is one of those trifles which, as Plutarch observes, 
throw far more light on character than actions of importance 
often do. 

Between 1580 and the appearance of Meres's work in 
1598 there was much activity in critical literature. Five 
years before the date of Sidney's letter George Gascogne 
had published his Certayne Notes of Instruction concerning 
the makyng of Verse in Rhyme. This was succeeded in 
1584 by James I.'s Ane Short Treatise conteining some 
rewles and cautelis to be observit. Then came William 
^€o\>€s Discourse of English Poesie, 1586, which had been 
preceded by Sidney's charming Defence of Poetry, composed 
in or about 1579, but not published till 1595. This and 
Puttenham's elaborate treatise, The Art of English Poesie 
contrived into three books (1589), had indeed marked an 
epoch in the history of criticism. Memorable, too, in this 
branch of literature is Harington's Apologie for Poetry 

Introduction xiii 

(1591), prefixed to his translation of the Orlando Furioso. 
But it was not criticism only which had been advancing. 
The publication of the first part of Lyly's Euphues and of 
Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar in 1579 may be said to have 
initiated the golden age of our literature. The next twenty 
years saw Marlowe, Greene, Peele, Kyd, Shakespeare, 
Chapman, Decker, and Ben Jonson at the head of our 
drama ; Spenser, Warner, Daniel, and Drayton leading 
narrative poetry ; the contributors to England's Helicon, 
published a year later, at the head of our sonneteers and 
lyric poets ; and Sidney, Lyly, Greene, and Hooker in the 
van of our prose literature. The history of Meres's work, 
a dissertation from which is here extracted, is curious. In 
or about 1596, Nicholas Ling and John Bodenham con- 
ceived the idea of publishing a series of volumes containing 
proverbs, maxims, and sententious reflections on religion, 
morals, and life generally. Accordingly in 1597 appeared 
a small volume containing various apothegms, extracted 
principally from the Classics and the Fathers, compiled 
by Nicholas Ling and dedicated to Bodenham. It was 
entitled Politeuphuia: Wits Coymnonwealth. In the follow- 
ing year appeared * Palladis Tamia, Wits Treasury : Being 
the Second Part of Wits Commonwealth. By Francis 
Meres, Maister of Arts in both Universities.' On the title- 
page is the motto ' Vivitur ingenio, cetera mortis erunt.' 
It was printed by P. Short for Cuthbert Burbie. From the 
address to the reader, which does not appear in the first 
edition, though it was apparently intended for that edition, 
we learn that it had been undertaken because of the extra- 
ordinary popularity of Wits Commonwealth, which 'thrice 
within one year had runne thorough the Presse.' Meres's 
work differs importantly from Wits Commonwealth. It is 

xiv Critical Essays 

not merely a compilation, but contains original matter, 
generally by way of commentary. The extracts are much 
fuller, many being taken from modern writers, notably 
Robert Greene, Lyly, Warner, and Sir Philip Sidney. In 
1634 the work was re-issued under another title, Wits 
Commonwealth, The Second Part: A Treasurie of Divine, 
Moral, and Phylosophical Similes and Sentences generally 
useful But more particular pt.b lis hed for the Use of Schools. 
In 1636 it was again reprinted. The only part of Meres's 
work which is of interest now is what is here reprinted. It 
belongs to that portion of his compilation which treats 
of studies and reading, the preceding sections discussing 
respectively of ' books,' of ' reading of books,' of ' choice 
to be had in reading of books,' of ' the use of reading many 
books,' of • philosophers,' of ' poetry,' of * poets,' consisting 
for the most part of remarks compiled from Plutarch, and 
in one or two instances from Sir Philip Sidney's Defence 
of Poetry. A portion of the passage which immediately 
precedes the Discourse may be transcribed because of its 
plain speaking about the indifference of Elizabeth and her 
ministers to the fortune of poets ; though this, with curious 
inconsistency, is flatly contradicted, probably for prudential 
reasons, in the Discourse itself — 

'As the Greeke and Latin Poets have wonne immortal credit 
to their native speech, being encouraged and graced by liberal 
patrones and bountiful benefactors; so our famous and learned 
Lawreate masters of England would entitle our English to far 
greater admired excellency, if either the Emperor Augustus 01 
Octavia his sister or noble Maecenas were alive to reward and 
countenance them ; or if witty Comedians and stately Tragedians 
(the glorious and goodlie representers of all fine witte, glorified 
phrase and great action) bee still supported and uphelde, by which 
meanes (O ingrateful and damned age) our Poets are soly or chiefly 
maintained, countenanced and patronized.' 

Introduction xv 

Of the author of this work, Francis Meres or Meers, 
comparatively little is known. He sprang from an old and 
highly respectable family in Lincolnshire, and was born in 
1565, the son of Thomas Meres, of Kirton in Holland in 
that county. After graduating from Pembroke College, 
Cambridge, in 1587, proceeding M.A. in 1591 at his own 
University, and subsequently by ad eundem at Oxford, he 
settled in London, where in 1597, having taken orders, he 
was living in Botolf Lane. He was presented in July 1602 
to the rectory of Wing in Rutland, keeping a school there. 
He remained at Wing till his death, in his eighty-first year, 
January 29, 1646-7. As Charles FitzGeoffrey, in a Latin 
poem in his Affanice addressed to Meres, speaks of him 
as ' Theologus et poeta,' it is possible that the ' F. M.' who 
was a contributor to the Paradise of Dainty Devices is to be 
identified with Meres. In addition to the Palladis Tamia, 
Meres was the author of a sermon published in 1597, a 
copy of which is in the Bodleian, and of two translations 
from the Spanish, neither of which is of any interest. 

Meres's Discourse is, like the rest of his work, mainly a 
compilation, with additions and remarks of his own. Much 
of it is derived from the thirty-first chapter of the first book 
of Puttenham ; with these distinctions, that Meres's includes 
the poets who had come into prominence between 1589 
and 1598, and instituted parallels, biographical and critical, 
between them and the ancient Classics. It is the notices 
of these poets, and more particularly the references to 
Shakespeare's writings, which make this treatise so in- 
valuable to literary students. Thus we are indebted to 
Meres for a list of the plays which Shakespeare had pro- 
duced by 1598, and for a striking testimony to his eminence 
at that date as a dramatic poet, as a narrative poet, and as 

xvi Critical Essays 

a writer of sonnets. The perplexing reference to Lov^s 
Labour's Won has never been, and perhaps never will be, 
satisfactorily explained. To assume that it is another title 
for AWs Well that Ends Well in an earlier form is to cut 
rather than to solve the knot. It is quite possible that it 
refers to a play that has perished. The references to the 
imprisonment of Nash for writing the Isle of Dogs, to the un- 
happy deaths of Peele, Greene, and Marlowe, and to the high 
personal character of Drayton are of great interest. Meres 
was plainly a man of muddled and inaccurate learning, of 
no judgment, and of no critical power, a sort of Elizabethan 
Boswell without Boswell's virtues, and it is no paradox to 
say that it is this which gives his Discourse its chief 
interest. It probably represents not his own but the 
judgments current on contemporary writers in Elizabethan 
literary circles. And we cannot but be struck with their 
general fairness. Full justice is done to Shakespeare, 
who is placed at the head of the dramatists ; full justice is 
done to Spenser, who is styled divine, and placed at the 
head of narrative poets; to Sidney, both as a prose writer and 
as a poet; to Drayton, to Daniel, and to Hall, Lodge, and 
Marston, as satirists. We are surprised to find such a high 
place assigned to Warner, * styled by the best wits of both 
our universities the English Homer,' and a modern critic 
would probably substitute different names, notably those of 
Lodge and Campion, for those of Daniel and Drayton in a list 
of the chief lyric poets then in activity. In Meres's remarks 
on painters and musicians, there is nothing to detain us. 

Of a very different order is the important critical treatise 
which comes next, Dryden's Essay of Dramatic Poesy, to 
which are prefixed as prolegomena Dryden's Dedicatory 
Epistle to The Rival Ladies, Sir Robert Howard's Preface to 

Introduction xvii 

Four New Plays, and, as supplementary, Howard's Preface 
to The Duke of Lerma, and Dryden's Defence of the Essay 
of Dramatic Poesy. As Dryden's Essay, like almost all his 
writings, both in verse and prose, was of a more or less 
occasional character, it will be necessary to explain at some 
length the origin of the controversy out of which it sprang, 
as well as the immediate object with which it was written. 

The Restoration found Dryden a literary adventurer, with 
a very slender patrimony and with no prospects. Poetry 
was a drug in the market ; hack-work for the booksellers 
was not to his taste ; and the only chance of remunerative 
employment open to him was to write for the stage. To 
this he accordingly betook himself. He began with 
comedy, and his comedy was a failure. He then betook 
himself to a species of drama, for which his parts and 
accomplishments were better fitted. Dryden had few or 
none of the qualifications essential in a great dramatist ; 
but as a rhetorician, in the more comprehensive sense of 
the term, he was soon to be unrivalled. In the rhymed 
heroic plays, as they were called, he found just the sphere 
in which he was most qualified to excel. The taste for 
these dramas, which owed most to France and something 
to Italy and Spain, had come in with the Restoration. 
Their chief peculiarities were the complete subordination 
of the dramatic to the rhetorical element, the predominance 
of pageant, and the substitution of rhymed for blank 
verse. Dryden's first experiment in this drama was the 
Rival Ladies, in which the tragic portions are composed in 
rhyme, blank verse being reserved for the parts approaching 
comedy. In his next play, the Indian Queen, written in 
conjunction with Howard, blank verse is wholly discarded. 
The dedication of the Rival Ladies to Orrery is appro- 

b 7 

xviii Critical Essays 

priate. Roger Boyle, Baron Broghill, and first Earl of 
Orrery, was at this time Lord President of Munster, and 
it was he who had revived these rhymed plays in his 
Henry F., which was brought out in the same year as 
Dryden's comedy. Whoever has read this drama and 
Orrery's subsequent experiments, Mustapha (1665), the 
Black Prince (1667), Tryphon (1668), will be able to estimate 
Dryden's absurd flattery at its proper value. 

But these dramatic innovations were sure not to pass with- 
out protest, though the protest came from a quarter where it 
might least have been expected. Sir Robert Howard was 
the sixth son of Thomas, first Earl of Berkshire. He had 
distinguished himself on the Royalist side in the Civil 
War, and had paid the penalty for his loyalty by an im- 
prisonment in Windsor Castle during the Commonwealth. 
At the Restoration he had been made an Auditor of the 
Exchequer. Dryden seems to have made his acquaintance 
shortly after arriving in London. In 1660 Howard pub- 
lished a collection of poems and translations, to which 
Dryden prefixed an address 'to his honoured friend' on 
' his excellent poems.' Howard's rank and position made 
him a useful friend to Dryden, and Dryden in his turn was 
no doubt of much service to Howard. Howard introduced 
him to his family, and in December 1663 Dryden married 
his friend's eldest sister, the Lady Elizabeth Howard. In 
the following year Dryden assisted his brother-in-law in 
the composition of the Indian Queen. There had prob- 
ably been some misunderstanding or dispute about the 
extent of the assistance which Dryden had given, which 
accounts for what follows. In any case Howard published 
in 1665, professedly under pressure from Herringman, four 
plays, two comedies, TJie Surprisal and The Committee^ and 

Introduction xix 

two tragedies, the Vestal Virgin and Indian Queen ; and to 
the volume he prefixed the preface, which is here reprinted. 
It will be seen that though he makes no reference to 
Dryden, he combats all the doctrines laid down in the 
preface to the Rival Ladies. He exalts the English drama 
above the French, the Italian, and the Spanish ; and vindi- 
cates blank verse against rhymed, making, however, a 
flattering exception of Orrery's dramas. If Dryden was 
not pleased, he appears to have had the grace to conceal 
his displeasure. For he passed the greater part of 1666 at 
his father-in-law's house, and dedicated to Howard his 
Annus Mirabilis. But Howard was to have his answer. In 
the Essay of Dramatic Poesy he is introduced in the person 
of Crites, and in his mouth are placed all the arguments 
advanced in the Preface that they may be duly refuted and 
demolished by Dryden in the person of Neander. At this 
mode of retorting Howard became really angry ; and in the 
Preface to the Duke of Lerma, published in the middle of 
1668, he replied in a tone so contemptuous and insolent 
that Dryden, in turn, completely lost his temper. The sting 
of Howard's Preface lies, it will be seen, in his affecting the 
air of a person to whom as a statesman and public man the 
points in dispute are mere trifles, hardly worth consideration, 
and in the patronising condescension with which he descends 
to a discussion with one to whom as a mere litterateur such 
trifles are of importance. The Defence of the Essay of 
Dramatic Poesy Dryden prefixed to the second edition of 
the Indian Emperor^ one of the best of his heroic plays. 
The seriously critical portion of this admirable little treatise 
deals with Howard's attacks on the employment of rhyme 
in tragedy, on the observance of strict rules in dramatic 
composition, and on the observance of the unities. But 

XX Critical Essays 

irritated by the tone of Howard's tract, Dryden does not 
confine himself to answering his friend's arguments. He 
ridicules, what Shadwell had ridiculed before, Howard's 
coxcombical affectation of universal knowledge, makes 
sarcastic reference to an absurdity of which his opponent 
had been guilty in the House of Commons, mercilessly 
exposes his ignorance of Latin, and the uncouthness and 
obscurity of his English. Tiie brothers-in-law afterwards 
became reconciled, and in token of that reconciliation 
Dryden cancelled this tract. 

The Essay of Dramatic Poesy was written at Charleton 
Park in the latter part of 1665, and published by Herringman 
in 1668. It was afterwards carefully revised, and republished 
with a dedication to Lord Buckhurst in 1684. Dryden 
spent more pains than was usual with him on the com- 
position of this essay, though he speaks modestly of it 
as ' rude and indigested,' and it is indeed the most elaborate 
of his critical disquisitions. It was, he said, written 'chiefly 
to vindicate the honour of our English writers from the 
censure of those who unjustly prefer the French before 
them.' Its more immediate and particular object was to 
regulate dramatic composition by reducing it to critical 
principles, and these principles he discerned in a judicious 
compromise between the licence of romantic drama as 
represented by Shakespeare and his School, and the austere 
restraints imposed by the canons of the classical drama. 
Assuming that a drama should be ' 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,' it is shown that this 
end can only be attained in a drama founded on such a 
compromise ; that the ancient and modern classical drama 

Introduction xxi 

fails in nature ; that the Shakespearian drama fails in art 
At the conclusion of the essay he vindicates the employ- 
ment of rhyme, a contention which he afterwards aban- 
doned. The dramatic setting of the essay was no doubt 
suggested by the Platonic Dialogues^ or by Cicero, and the 
essay itself may have been suggested by Flecknoe's short 
Discourse of the English Stage, published in 1664. 

The Essay of Dramatic Poesy may be said to make an era 
in the history of English criticism, and to mark an era in the 
history of English prose composition. It was incomparably 
the best purely critical treatise which had hitherto appeared 
in our language, both synthetically in its definition and 
application of principles, and particularly in its lucid, 
exact, and purely discriminating analysis. It was also the 
most striking and successful illustration of what may be 
called the new prose style, or that style which, initiated by 
Hobbes and developed by Sprat, Cowley, and Denham^ 
blended the ease and plasticity of colloquy with the solidity 
and dignity of rhetoric, of that style in which Dryden was 
soon to become a consummate master. 

The Advice to a Young Reviewer brings us into a 
very different sphere of criticism, and has indeed a direct 
application to our own time. It was written by Edward 
Copleston, afterwards Dean of St. Paul's and Bishop of 
Llandaff. Born in February 1776 at Offwell, in Devonshire, 
Copleston gained in his sixteenth year a scholarship at 
Corpus Christi College, Oxford. After carrying off the prize 
for Latin verse, he was elected in 1795 Fellow of Oriel. In 
1800, having been ordained priest, he became Vicar of St. 
Mary's. In 1802 he was elected Professor of Poetry, in 
which capacity he delivered the lectures subsequently pub- 
lished under the title of Prcelectiones Academiccs — a favourite 

^ See his Preface to his version of part of Virgil's second Aeneid. 

xxli Critical Essays 

book of Cardinal Newman's. In 1814 he succeeded Dr. 
Eveleigh as Provost of Oriel. In 1826 he was made Dean 
of Chester, in 1828 Bishop of Llandaff and Dean of St. 
Paul's. He died at Llandaff, on October 14th, 1849. Cople- 
ston is one of the fathers of modern Oxford, and from his 
provostship date many of the reforms which transformed 
the University of Gibbon and Southey into the University 
of Whateley, of Newman, o^ Keble, and of Pusey. The 
brochure which is printed here was written when Copleston 
was Fellow and Tutor of Oriel. It was immediately in- 
spired, not, as is commonly supposed, by the critiques in the 
Edinburgh Review, but by the critiques in the British Critic, 
a periodical founded in 1793, and exceedingly influential 
between that time and about 181 2. Archbishop Whateley, 
correcting a statement in the Life of Copleston by W. J. 
Copleston, says that it was occasioned by a review of Mant's 
poems in the British Critic} But on referring to the review 
of these poems, which appeared in the November number 
of 1806, plainly the review referred to, we find nothing in it 
to support Whateley's assertion. That the reviews in the 
British Critic are, however, what Copleston is parodying in 
the critique of U Allegro is abundantly clear, but what he 
says about voyages and travels and about science and 
recondite learning appear to have reference to articles 
particularly characteristic of the Edinburgh Review. It 
was not, however, till after the date of Copleston's parody 
that the Edinburgh Review began conspicuously to illustrate 
what Copleston here satirises ; it was not till a time more 
recent still that periodical literature generally exemplified 
in literal seriousness what Copleston intended as extrava- 
gant irony. It is interesting to compare with Copleston's 

* Whateley's Reminiscences of Bishop Copleston, p. 6. 

Introduction xxiii 

remarks what Thackeray says on the same subjects in the 
twenty-fourth chapter of Pendennis, entitled * The Pall Mall 
Gazette.' This brochure is evidently modelled on Swift's 
' Digression Concerning Critics ' in the third section of the 
Tale of a Tub, and owes something also to the Treatise on 
the Bathos in Pope's and Swift's Miscellanies, as the title 
may have been suggested by Shaftesbury's Advice to an 
Author. The Advice itself and the supplementary critique 
of Milton are clever and have good points, but they will not 
bear comparison with the satire of Swift and Pope. 

The excerpt which comes next in this Miscellany links 
with the name of the author of the Essay of Dramatic Poesy 
the name of the most illustrious of his contemporaries. 
The difference, indeed, between Milton and Dryden is a 
difference not in degree merely, but in kind, so immeasur- 
ably distant and alien is the sphere in which they moved 
and worked both as men and as writers. It has sometimes 
been questioned whether Dryden is a poet. Few would 
dispute that Milton divides with Shakespeare the supremacy 
in English poetry. In Dryden as a man there is little to 
attract or interest us. In character and in private life he 
appears to have been perfectly commonplace. We close 
his biography, and our curiosity is satisfied. With Milton 
it is far otherwise. We feel instinctively that he belongs 
to the demi-gods of our race. We have the same curi- 
osity about him as we have about Homer, ^schylus, and 
Shakespeare, so that the merest trifles which throw any 
light on his personality assume an interest altogether 
out of proportion to their intrinsic importance. Our 
debt to Ellwood is, it must be admitted, much less than 
it might have been, if he had thought a little more of 
Milton and a little less of his somewhat stupid self 

xxiv Critical Essays 

and the sect to which he belonged. But, as the pro- 
verb says, we must not look a gift-horse in the mouth, and 
we are the richer for the Quaker's reminiscences. With 
Ellwood's work, the History of Thomas Ellwood, written 
by Himself, we are only concerned so far as it bears on his 
relation with Milton. Born in 1639, the son of a small 
squire and justice of the peace at Crowell in Oxfordshire, 
Ellwood had, in 1659, been persuaded by Edward Burrough, 
one of the most distinguished of Fox's followers, to join 
the Quakers. He was in his twenty-fourth year when he 
first met Milton. Milton was then living in Jewin Street, 
having removed from his former lodging in Holborn, most 
probably in the autumn of 1661. The restoration had 
terminated his work as a controversialist and politician. 
For a short time his life had been in peril, but he had 
received a pardon, and could at least live in peace. He 
could no longer be of service as a patriot, and was now 
occupied with the composition of Paradise Lost. Since 
1650 he had been blind, and for study and recreation was 
dependent on assistance. Having little domestic comfort 
as a widower, he had just married his third wife. 

Ellwood's narrative tells its own story. What especially 
strikes us in it, and what makes it particularly interesting, is 
that it presents Milton in a light in which he is not presented 
elsewhere. Ellwood seems to have had the same attraction 
for him as Bonstetten had for Gray. No doubt the simplicity, 
freshness, and enthusiasm of the young Quaker touched 
and interested the lonely and world-wearied poet who, 
when Ellwood first met him, had entered on his fifty-fifth 
year ; he had no doubt, too, the scholar's sympathy with a 
disinterested love of learning. In any case, but for Ellwood, 
we should never have known the softer side of Milton's 


character, never have known of what gentleness, patience, 
and courtesy he was capable. And, indeed, when we 
remember Milton's position at this time, as tragical as that 
of Demosthenes after Chaeronea, and of Dante at the Court 
of Verona, there is something inexpressibly touching in 
the picture here given with so much simplicity and with 
such evident unconsciousness on the part of the painter 
of the effect produced. There is one passage which is quite 
delicious, and yet its point may be, as it commonly is, easily 
missed. It illustrates the density of Ellwood's stupidity, 
and the delicate irony of the sadly courteous poet. Milton 
had lent him, it will be seen, the manuscript of Paradise 
Lost; and on Ellwood returning it to him, ' he asked me 
how I liked it, and what I thought of it, which I modestly 
but freely told him, and after some further discourse about 
it I pleasantly said to him, " Thou has said much here of 
Paradise Lost, but what has thou to say of Paradise 
Found?'" Now the whole point and scope of Paradise 
Lost is Paradise Found — the redemption — the substitu- 
tion of a spiritual Eden within man for a physical Eden 
without man, a point emphasised in the invocation, and 
elaborately worked out in the closing vision from the 
Specular Mount. It is easy to understand the significance 
of what follows : ' He made me no answer, but sat some- 
time in a muse ; then broke off that discourse, and fell 
upon another subject' The result no doubt of that 
'muse' was the suspicion, or, perhaps, the conviction, that 
the rest of the world would, in all probability, be as obtuse 
as Ellwood ; and to that suspicion or conviction we appear 
to owe Paradise Regained. The Plague over, Milton 
returned to London, settling in Artillery Walk, Bunhill 
Fields. * And when afterwards I went to wait on him there 

xxvi Critical Essays 

... he shewed me his second poem, called Paradise 
Regained, and in a pleasant tone said to me, " This is owing 
to you, for you put it into my head by the question you put 
to me at Chalfont, which before I had not thought of." ' In 
'the pleasant tone ' more, and much more, is implied, of that 
we may be very sure, than meets the ear. We should like 
to have seen the expression on Milton's face both on this 
occasion and also when, on Dryden requesting his permis- 
sion to turn Paradise Lost into an opera, he replied, * Oh, 
certainly, you may tug my verses if you please, Mr. 
Dryden.' It may be added that Paradise Lost was not 
published till 1667, and Paradise Regained did not see 
the light till 1671. Ell wood seems to imply that Paradise 
Regained was composed between the end of August or the 
beginning of September 1665, and the end of the autumn 
of the same year, which is, of course, incredible and quite 
at variance with what Phillips tells us. Ellwood is, no 
doubt, expressing himself loosely, and his 'afterwards' 
need not necessarily relate to his first, or to his second, or 
even to his third visit to Milton after the poet's return to 
Artillery Walk, but refers vaguely to one of those ' occa- 
sions which drew him to London.' When he last saw 
Milton we have no means of knowing. He never refers to 
him again. His autobiography closes with the year 1683. 

For the rest of his life Ellwood was engaged for the most 
part in fighting the battles of the Quakers— esoterically in 
endeavouring to compose their internal feuds, exoterically 
in defending them and their tenets against their common 
enemies— and in writing poetry, which it is to be hoped he 
did not communicate to his ' master.' After the death of 
his father in 1684 he lived in retirement at Amersham. His 
most important literary service was his edition of George 
Yo-^s Journal, the manuscript of which he transcribed and 

Introduction xxvii 

published. He died at his house on Hunger Hill, Amer- 
sham, in March 17 14, and lies with Penn in the Quaker's 
burying-ground at New Jordan, Chalfont St. Giles. 

We have now arrived at the pamphlets in our Miscellany 
bearing on the reign of Queen Anne. First come the Part- 
ridge tracts. The history of the inimitable hoax of which they 
are the record is full of interest. In November 1707 Swift, 
then Vicar of Laracor, came over to England on a commis- 
sion from Archbishop King. His two satires, the Battle of 
the Books and the Tale of a Tub, published anonymously 
three years before, had given him a foremost place among 
the wits, for their authorship was an open secret. Though 
he was at this time principally engaged in the cause of the 
Established Church, in active opposition to what he con- 
sidered the lax latitudinarianism of the Whigs on the one 
hand and the attacks of the Freethinkers on the other, he 
found leisure for doing society another service. Nothing 
was more detestable to Swift than charlatanry and impos- 
ture. From time immemorial the commonest form which 
quackery has assumed has been associated with astrology 
and prophecy. It was the frequent theme or satire in the 
New Comedy of the Greeks and in the Comedy of Rome ; it 
has fallen under the lash of Horace and Juvenal ; nowhere 
is Lucian more amusing than when dealing with this 
species of roguery. Chaucer with exquisite humour 
exposed it and its kindred alchemy in the fourteenth 
century, and Ben Jonson and the author of Albumazar 
in the seventeenth. Nothing in Hudibras is more rich in 
wit and humour than the exposure of Sidrophel, and one of 
the best of Dryden's comedies is the Mock Astrologer. But 
it was reserved for Swift to produce the most amusing satire 
which has ever gibbeted these mischievous mountebanks. 

John Partridge, whose real name is said to have been 

xxviii Critical Essays 

Hewson, was born on the i8th of January 1644. He began 
life, it appears, as a shoemaker; but being a youth of some 
abilities and ambition, had acquired a fair knowledge of 
Latin and a smattering of Greek and Hebrew. He had 
then betaken himself to the study of astrology and of the 
occult sciences. After publishing the Nativity of Lewis 
XIV. and an astrological essay entitled Prodromus, he set 
up in 1680 a regular prophetic almanac, under the title of 
Merlinus Liberatus. A Protestant alarmist, for such he 
affected to be, was not likely to find favour under the govern- 
ment of James II., and Partridge accordingly made his way 
to Holland. On his return he resumed his Almanac, the 
character of which is exactly described in the introduction 
to the Predictions, and it appears to have had a wide sale. 
Partridge, however, was not the only impostor of his kind, 
but had, as we gather from notices in his Almanac and from 
his other pamphlets, many rivals. He was accordingly 
obliged to resort to every method of bringing himself and 
his Almanac into prominence, which he did by extensive 
and impudent advertisements in the newspapers and else- 
where. In his Almanac for 1707 he issues a notice warning 
the public against impostors usurping his name. It was 
this which probably attracted Swift's attention and sug- 
gested his mischievous hoax. 

The pamphlets tell their own tale, and it is not neces- 
sary to tell it here. The name, Isaac Bickerstaff, which 
has in sound the curious propriety so characteristic of 
Dickens's names, was, like so many of the names in 
Dickens, suggested by a name on a sign -board, the 
name of a locksmith in Long Acre. The second tract, 
purporting to be written by a revenue ofificer, and giving 
an account of Partridge's death, was, of course, from the 

Introduction xxix 

pen of Swift. The verses on Partridge's death appeared 
anonymously on a separate sheet as a broadside. It is 
amusing to learn that the tract announcing Partridge's 
death, and the approaching death of the Duke of Noailles, 
was taken quite seriously, for Partridge's name was struck 
off the rolls of Stationers' Hall, and the Inquisition in 
Portugal ordered the tract containing the treasonable pre- 
diction to be burned. As Stationers' Hall had assumed 
that Partridge was dead — a serious matter for the prospects 
of his Almanac — it became necessary for him to vindicate his 
title to being a living person. Whether the next tract, 
Squire Bickerstaff Detected^ was, as Scott asserts, the result 
of an appeal to Rowe or Yalden by Partridge, and they, 
under the pretence of assisting him, treacherously making a 
fool of him, or an independent jeu d'esprit, is not quite 
clear. Nor is it easy to settle with any certainty the 
authorship. In the Dublin edition of Swift's works, it is 
attributed to Nicholas Rowe ; Scott assigns it to Thomas 
Yalden, the preacher of Bridewell and a well-known poet. 
Congreve is also said to have had a hand in it. It would 
have been well for Partridge had he allowed matters to rest 
here, but unhappily he inserted in the November issue of his 
Almanac another solemn assurance to the public that he was 
still alive ; and was fool enough to add, that he was not only 
alive at the time he was writing, but was also alive on the 
day on which Bickerstaff had asserted that he was dead. 
Swift saw his opportunity, and in the most amusing of this 
series of tracts proceeded to prove that Partridge, under 
whatever delusions as to his continued existence he might 
be labouring, was most certainly dead and buried. 

The tracts here printed by no means exhaust the litera- 
ture of the Partridge hoax, but nothing else which appeared 

XXX Critical Essays 

is worth reviving. It is surprising that Scott should include 
in Swift's works a vapid and pointless contribution attributed 
to a * Person of Quality.' The effect of all this on poor 
Partridge was most disastrous ; for three years his Almanac 
was discontinued. When it was revived, in 17 14, he had 
discovered that his enemy was Swift. What comments he 
made will be found at the end of these tracts. Partridge 
did not long survive the resuscitation of his Almanac. 
What had been fiction became fact on June 24th, 171 5, 
and his virtues and accomplishments, delineated by a hand 
more friendly than Swift's, were long decipherable, in most 
respectable Latin, on his tomb in Mortlake Churchyard. 

The Partridge hoax has left a permanent trace in our 
classical literature. When, in the spring of 1709, Steele 
was about to start the Tatler, he thought he could best 
secure the ear of the public by adopting the name with 
which Englishmen were then as familiar as a century and a 
half afterwards they became with the name of Pickwick. It 
was under the title of the Lucubrations of Isaac Bickerstaff 
that the essays which initiated the most attractive and 
popular form of our periodical literature appeared. 

The next tract, Gay's Presetit State of Wit, takes up the 
history of our popular literature during the period which 
immediately succeeded the discomfiture of poor Partridge. 
Its author, John Gay, who is, as we need scarcely add, one 
of the most eminent of the minor poets of the Augustan age, 
was at the time of its appearance almost entirely unknown. 
Born in September 1685, at Barnstaple, of a respectable but 
decayed family, he had received a good education at the free 
grammar school of that place. On leaving school he had 
been apprenticed to a silk mercer in London. But he had 
polite tastes, and employed his leisure time in scribbling 

Introduction xxxi 

verses and in frequenting with his friend, Aaron Hill, the 
literary coffee-houses. In 1708 he published a vapid and 
stupid parody, suggested by John Philip's Splendid Shilling 
and Cider, entitled Wine. His next performance was the 
tract which is here printed, and which is dated May 3rd, 
171 1. It is written with skill and sprightliness, and 
certainly shows a very exact and extensive acquaintance 
with the journalistic world of those times. And it is this 
which gives it its value. The best and most useful form, 
perhaps, which our remarks on it can take will be to furnish 
it with a running commentary explaining its allusions both 
to publications and to persons. It begins with a reference 
to the unhappy plight of Dr. King. This was Dr. William 
King, who is not to be confounded with his contemporaries 
and namesakes, the Archbishop of Dublin or the Principal 
of St. Mary Hall, Oxford, but who may be best, perhaps, 
described as the Dr. William King 'who could write verses 
in a tavern three hours after he could not speak.' He had 
'ong been a prominent figure among wits and humorists. 
His most important recent performances had been his Art of 
Cookery and his Art of Love, published respectively in 1708 
and in 1709. In the latter year he had, much to the disgust 
of Sir John Soames, issued some very amusing parodies of 
the Philosophical Transactions, which he entitled Useful 
Transactions in Philosophy and other sorts of Learning, to 
be continued as long as it could find buyers. It ceased 
apparently to find buyers, and after reaching three numbers 
had collapsed. When the Examiner was started in August 
1710, King was one of the chief contributors. Latterly, 
however, things had been going very badly with this 'poor 
starving wit,' as Swift called him. He was either imprisoned 
or on the point of being imprisoned in the Fleet, but death 

xxxii Critical Essays 

freed him from his troubles at the end of 17 12. John Ozell 
was, perhaps, the most ridiculous of the scribblers then 
before the public, maturing steadily for the Dunciad, where, 
many years afterwards, he found his proper place. He 
rarely aspired beyond 'translations,' and the Monthly 
Amusement referred to is not, as might be supposed, a 
periodical, but simply his frequent appearances as a 
translator. Gay next passes to periodicals and newspapers. 
De Foe is treated as he was always treated by the wits. 
Pope's lines are well known, and the only reference to him 
in Swift is : ' The fellow who was pilloried — I forget his 
name.' Posterity has done him more justice. The 'poor 
Review ' is of course the Weekly Review, started by De Foe 
in 1704, the first number of which appeared on Saturday, 
February 19th of that year. It had been continued weekly, 
and still continued, till 1712, extending to nine volumes, 
eight of which are extant.^ The Observator, which is also 
described as in its decline, had been set up by John Tutchin 
in imitation of the paper issued by Sir Roger L'Estrange in 
1681, its first number appearing April ist, 1702. Tutchin, 
dying in 1707, the paper was continued for the benefit of his 
widow, under the management of George Ridpath, the editor 
of the Flying Post, and it continued to linger on till 1712, 
when it was extinguished by the Stamp Tax. The first 
number of the Examiner appeared on the 3rd of August 
1 7 10, and it was set up by the Tories to oppose the Tatler, 
the chief contributors to it being Dr. King, Bolingbroke, 
then Henry St. John, Prior, Atterbury, and Dr. Freind. 
With No. 14 (Thursday, October 26th, 17 10), Swift 
assumed the management, and writing thirty-two papers 
successively, made it the most influential political journal 

* See Late Stuart Tracts, 

Introduction xxxiii 

in the kingdom. The ' Letter to Crassus * appeared on 
February ist, i/ii, and was written by Swift. To oppose 
the Examiner^ the Whigs set up what, after the second 
number, they called the Whig Examiner^ the first number of 
which appeared on September 14th, 1710. It was continued 
weekly till October 12th, five numbers appearing, all of 
which were, with one exception, perhaps, written by 
Addison, so that Gay's conjecture — if Bickerstaff may be 
extended to include Addison — was correct. The Medley^ 
to which Gay next passes, was another Whig organ. The 
first number appeared on August 5th, 1710, and it was 
continued weekly till August 6th, 171 1. It was conducted 
by Arthur Mainwaring, a man of family and fortune, and 
an ardent Whig, with the assistance of Steele, Anthony 
Henley, and Oldmixon. 

With the reference to the TatleVy we pass from obscurity 
into daylight. Since April 12th, 1709, that delightful 
periodical had regularly appeared three times a week. With 
the two hundredth and seventy-first number on January 
2nd, 171 1, it suddenly ceased. Of the great surprise and 
disappointment caused by its cessation, of the causes 
assigned for it, and of the high appreciation of all it had 
effected for moral and intellectual improvement and 
pleasure. Gay gives a vivid picture. What he says con- 
jecturally about the reasons for its discontinuance is so 
near the truth that we may suspect he had had some light 
on the subject from Steele himself. It was, of course, from 
the preface to the edition of the first three volumes of the 
collected Tatlers, published in 17 10, that Gay derived what 
he says about the contributions of Addison (though Steele 
had not mentioned him by name, in accordance, no doubt, 
with Addison's request) and about the verses of Swift. In all 

c 7 

xxxlv Critical Essays 

probability this was the first public association of Addison's 
name with the Tatler. The Mr. Henley referred to was 
Anthony Henley, a man of family and fortune, and one of the 
most distinguished of the wits of that age, to whom Garth 
dedicated The Dispensary. In politics he was a rabid Whig, 
and it was he who described Swift as ' a beast for ever after 
the order of Melchisedec' Gay had not been misinformed, 
for Henley was the author of the first letter in No. 26 and 
of the letter in No. 193, under the character of Downes. 

The cessation of the Tatler had been the signal for the 
appearance of several spurious papers purporting to be new 
numbers. One entitling itself No. 272 was published by 
one John Baker ; another, purporting to be No. 273, was by 
' Isaac Bickerstaff, Junior.' Then, on January 6th, appeared 
what purported to be Nos. 272 and 273 of the original issue, 
with a letter from Charles Lillie, one of the publishers of 
the original Tatler. Later in January, William Harrison, a 
prot^gS of Swift, a young man whose name will be familiar 
to all who are acquainted with Swift's Journal to Stella, was 
encouraged by Swift to start a new Tatler, Swift liberally 
assisting him with notes, and not only contributing himself 
but inducing Congreve also to contribute a paper. And 
this new Tatler actually ran to fifty-two numbers, appearing 
twice a week between January 13th and May 19th, 171 1, 
but, feeble from the first, it then collapsed. Nor had the 
' atler\iQQ.Vi without rivals. In the two hundred and twenty- 
ninth number of the Tatler, Addison, enumerating his anta- 
gonists, says, * I was threatened to be answered weekly Tit 
for Tat, I was undermined by the Whisperer, scolded at by a 
Female Tatler, and slandered by another of the same character 
under the title of Atalantis.' To confine ourselves, how- 
ever, to the publications mentioned by Gay. The Growler 

Introduction xxxv 

appeared on the 27th of January 171 1, on the discon- 
tinuance of the Tatler. The Whisperer was first published 
on October nth, 1709, under the character of * Mrs. Jenny 
Distaff, half-sister to Isaac Bickerstaff.' The Tell Tale 
appears to be a facetious title for the Female Tatler^ the 
first number of which appeared on July 8th, 1709, and was 
continued for a hundred and eleven numbers, under the 
editorship of Thomas Baker, till March 3rd, 1710. The 
allusion in the postscript to the British Apollo is to a paper 
entitled The British Apollo: or Curious Amusements for the 
Ingenious^ the first number of which appeared on Friday, 
March 13th, 1708, the paper regularly continuing on 
Wednesdays and Fridays till March i6th, 171 1. Selections 
from this curious miscellany were afterwards printed in 
three volumes, and ran into three editions. Gay does not 
appear to be aware that this periodical had ceased. The 
reference in * the two statesmen of the last reign whose 
characters are well expressed in their mottoes ' are to Lord 
Somers and the Earl of Halifax, as what follows refers 
respectively to Addison and Steele. The tract closes with 
a reference to the Spectator, the first number of which had 
appeared on the first of the preceding March. 

Gay's brochure attracted the attention of Swift, who thus 
refers to it in his Journal to Stella, May 14th, 171 1 : 'Dr. 
Freind was with me and pulled out a two-penny pamphlet 
just published called The State of Wit. The author seems 
to be a Whig, yet he speaks very highly of a paper called 
the Examiner, and says the supposed author of it is Dr. 
Swift, but above all he praises the Tatler and Spectator! 

The two tracts which follow consist of the Life of 
Addison, which forms the preface to Addison's collected 
works, published by Tickell in 1721, and of the Dedicatory 

xxxvi Critical Essays 

Epistle prefixed by Steele to an edition of Addison's 
Drummer in 1722. To the student of the literary history 
of those times they are of great interest and importance. 
Of all Addison's friends, Steele had long been the most 
intimate of the younger men whom he had taken 
under his patronage. Tickell was the most loyal and the 
most attached. While still at Oxford he had expressed 
his admiration of Addison in extravagant terms : on 
arriving in London he made his acquaintance. Tickell 
was an accomplished poet and man of letters, and though 
not a profound a graceful scholar. Addison was pleased 
with a homage which was worth accepting. As he rose, 
his proUgi rose with him. On his appointment as Chief 
Secretary in Ireland he took Tickell with him. When he 
was appointed Secretary of State he chose him as Under 
Secretary, and shortly before his death made him his 
literary executor, instructing him to collect his writings in 
a final and authentic edition. This, for reasons which will 
be explained directly, was a task of no small difficulty, but 
to this task Tickell loyally addressed himself. In the 
spring of 1721 appeared, in four sumptuous quartos, the 
collected edition of Addison's works. It was prefaced by 
the biography which is here reprinted, and to the biography 
was appended that noble and pathetic elegy which will 
make Tickell's name as immortal as Addison's. 

There can be very little doubt that Steele had been greatly 
distressed and hurt by the rupture of the friendship which 
had so long existed between himself and Addison, but that 
Tickell should have taken his place in Addison's affections 
must have been inexpressibly galling to him. Naturally 
irritated, his irritation had no doubt been intensified by 
Addison appointing Tickell Under Secretary of State, and 

Introduction xxxvii 

still more by his making him his literary executor — offices 
which Steel might naturally have expected, had all gone 
well, to fill himself. It would not have been in human nature 
that he could regard Tickell with any other feelings than 
hostility and jealousy. Tickell's omission of the Drummer 
from Addison's works was, in all probability — such at least 
is the impression which the letter makes on me — a mere 
pretext for the gratification of personal spite. There is 
nothing to justify the interpretation which he puts on 
Tickell's words. All that Steele here says about Addison 
he had said publicly and quite as emphatically before, as 
Tickell had recorded. As Steele had, in Tickell's own 
words, given to Addison ' the honour of the most applauded 
pieces,' it is absurd to accuse Tickell of insinuating that 
Addison wished his papers to be marked because he was 
afraid Steele would assume the credit of these pieces. In 
one important particular he flatly contradicts himself. 
At the beginning he asks * whether it was a decent and 
reasonable thing that works written, as a great part of 
Mr. Addison's were, in correspondence with me, ought to 
have been published without my review of the catalogue 
of them.' Three pages afterward, it appears that, in com- 
pliance with the request of Addison delivered to him by 
Tickell, he did mark with his own hand those Tatlers which 
were inserted in Addison's works — a statement of Tickell's, 
but a statement to which Steele takes no exception. So 
far from attempting to disparage Steele, Tickell does 
ample justice to him ; and to accuse him of insensibility 
to Addison's virtues, and of cold indifference to him per- 
sonally, is a charge refuted not only by all we know of 
Tickell, but by every page in the tract itself Many of the 
objections which he makes to Tickell's remarks are too 


xxxviii Critical Essays 

absurd to discuss. From nothing indeed which Tickell 
says, but from one of Steele's own admissions, it is 
impossible not to draw a conclusion very derogatory to 
Steele's honesty, and to make us suspect that his sensitive- 
ness was caused by his own uneasy conscience : ' What I 
never did declare was Mr. Addison's I had his direct in- 
junctions to hide.' This certainly seems to imply that 
Steele had allowed himself to be credited with what really 
belonged to his friend. A month after Addison's death he 
had written in great alarm to Tonson, on hearing that it 
had been proposed to separate Addison's papers in the 
Tatler from his own. He bases his objection, it is true, on 
the pecuniary injury which he and his family would suffer, 
but this is plainly mere subterfuge. The truth probably is, 
that Steele wished to leave as undefined as possible what 
belonged to Addison and what belonged to himself ; that 
he was greatly annoyed when he found that their respec- 
tive shares were by Addison's own, or at least his alleged, 
request to be defined ; that in his assignation of the papers 
he had not been quite honest ; and that, knowing this, he 
suspected that Tickell knew it too. There is nothing to 
support Steele's assertion that it was at his instigation that 
Addison distinguished his contributions to the Spectato} 
and the Guardian. Addison, as his last injunctions 
showed, must have contemplated a collective edition of his 
works, and must have desired therefore that they should 
be identified. Steele's ambition, no doubt, was that he 
and his friend should go down to posterity together, but 
the appointment of Tickell instead of himself as Addison's 
literary executor dashed this hope to the ground. 

Few things in literary biography are more pathetic than 
the estrangement between Addison and Steele. They had 

Introduction xxxix 

played as boys together ; they had, for nearly a quarter of 
a century, shared each other's burdens, and the burdens had 
not been light ; in misfortune and in prosperity, in business 
and in pleasure, they had never been parted. The wisdom 
and prudence of Addison had more than once been the 
salvation of Steele ; what he knew of books and learning 
had been almost entirely derived from Addison's conversa- 
tion ; what moral virtue he had, from Addison's influence. 
And he had repaid this with an admiration and affection 
which bordered on idolatry. A more generous and genial, 
a more kindly, a more warm-hearted man than Steele never 
lived, and it is easy to conceive what his feelings must 
have been when he found his friend estranged from him 
and a rival in his place. There is much to excuse what 
this letter to Congreve plainly betrays ; but excuse is not 
justification. Tickell had a delicate and difficult task to 
perform : a duty to his dead friend, which was paramount, 
a duty to Steele, and a duty to himself, and he succeeded 
in performing each with admirable tact. Whether Tickell 
ever made any reply to Steele's strictures, I have not been 
able to discover. 

We pass now from the literary pamphlets to the extract 
and excerpts illustrating the condition of the Church and 
the clergy at the end of the seventeenth and about the first 
half of the eighteenth century. They are of particular 
interest, not only in themselves, but in their relation to 
Swift and Macaulay — to Swift as a Church reformer, to 
Macaulay as a social historian. Few historical questions 
in our own time provoked more controversy than the 
famous pages delineating the clergy who, according to 
Macaulay, were typical of their order about the time of the 
Restoration. The first excerpt is from Chamberlayne's 

xl Critical Essays 

AnglicB Notitia. The author of that work, Edward 
Chamberlayne, was born on the 13th of December 1616. 
He was educated at Oxford, where he graduated as B.A. 
in April 1638. For a short time he was Reader in Rhetoric 
to the University, but on the breaking out of the Civil War 
he left for the Continent, where he visited nearly every 
country in Europe. At the Restoration he returned ; and 
about 1675, after having been secretary to the Earl of 
Carlisle, he became tutor to the King's natural son, Henry 
Fitzroy, afterwards Duke of Grafton, and subsequently 
instructor in English to Prince George of Denmark. He 
was also one of the earliest Fellows of the Royal Society. 
He died at Chelsea in May 1703. In 1669 he published 
anonymously AnglicB Notitia, or the Present State of England 
with Divers Reflection upon the Ancient State therefor, a 
work no doubt suggested by and apparently modelled on 
the well-known UEstat Nouveau de la France. The work 
contains more statistics than reflections, and is exactly 
what its title implies — a succinct account of England, 
beginning with its name, its climate, its topography, and 
giving information, now invaluable, about everything in- 
cluded in its constitution and in its economy. The extract 
printed here is, as is indicated, from pp. 383-389 and p. 401. 
The work passed through two editions in the year of its 
appearance, the second bearing the author's name, and at 
the time of Chamberlayne's death it had, with successive 
amplifications, reached its twentieth edition. 

Of a very different order to Chamberlayne's work is the 
remarkable tract which follows. The author, John Eachard, 
was born about 1636, at what date is doubtful, but he was 
admitted into Catherine Hall, Cambridge, in May 1653. 
Becoming Fellow of the Hall in 1658, he was chosen, on 

Introduction xli 

the death of Dr. Lightfoot, Master. His perfectly unevent- 
ful life closed on the 7th of July 1697. Personally he was 
a facetious and agreeable man, and had the reputation of 
being rather a wit and humorist than a divine and scholar. 
Baker complained of his inferiority as a preacher; and 
Swift, observing * that men who are happy enough at ridi- 
cule are sometimes perfectly stupid upon grave subjects,' 
gives Eachard as an instance. The Grounds and Occasions of 
the Contempt of the Clergy and Religion enquired into, In a 
letter written to R, L., appeared anonymously in 1670. 
This anonymity Eachard carefully preserved during the 
controversies which it occasioned. It is difficult to under- 
stand how any one after reading the preface could have 
misunderstood the purpose of the book. But Eachard's 
fate was Swift's fate afterwards, though there was more 
excuse for the High Church party missing the point of 
the Tale of a Tub than for the clergy generally missing 
that of Eachard's plea for them. Ridicule is always a 
dangerous ally, especially when directed against an insti- 
tution or community, for men naturally identify themselves 
with the body of which they are members, and resent as 
individuals what reflects on them collectively. When one 
of the opponents of Barnabus Oley in his preface to Herbert's 
Country Parson observed : ' The pretence of your book 
was to show the occasions, your book is become the occa- 
sion of the contempt of God's ministers,' he expressed what 
the majority of the clergy felt. The storm burst at once, 
and the storm raged for months. ' I have had,' wrote 
Eachard in one of his many rejoinders, ' as many several 
names as the Grand Seignior has titles of honour ; for 
setting aside the vulgar and familiar ones of Rogue, Rascal, 
Dog, and Thief (which may be taken by way of endear- 

xlii Critical Essays 

ment as well as out of prejudice and offence), as also 
those of more certain signification, as Malicious Rogue, 
Ill-Natured Rascal, Lay Dog, and Spiteful Thief.' He had 
also, he said, been called Rebel, Traitor, Scot, Sadducee, 
and Socinian. Among the most elaborate replies to his 
work were : An Answer to a Letter of Enquiry into the 
Ground, etc., 1671 ; A Vindication of the Clergy from the 
Contempt imposed upon them, By the author of the 
Grounds, etc., 1672 ; Hieragonisticon, or Corah's Doom, 
being an Answer to, etc., 1672 ; An Answer to two Letters of 
T. B., etc., 1673. The occasional references to it in the 
theological literature of these times are indeed innumerable. 
Many affected to treat him as a mere buffoon — the con- 
coctor, as one bitterly put it, of 'a pretty fardle of tales 
bundled together, and they have had the hap to fall into 
such hands as had rather lose a friend, not to say their 
country, than a jest.' Anthony Wood, writing at the time 
of its appearance, classes it with ' the fooleries, playes, 
poems, and drolling books,* with which, as he bitterly com- 
plains, people were * taken with,' coupling with it Marvell's 
Rehearsal Transposed and Butler's Hudibras} 

To some of his opponents Eachard replied. Of his method 
of conducting controversy, in which it is clear that he 
perfectly revelled, I give a short specimen. It is from his 
letter to the author of Hieragonisticon : — 

' You may possibly think, sir, that I have read your book, 
but if you do you are most mistaken. For as long as I 
can get Tolambu's History of Mustard, Frederigo Devasta- 
tion of Pepper, The Dragon, with cuts, Mandringo's Pismires 
rebuff eted and retro-confounded, Is qui me dubitat, or a flap 
against the Maggot of Heresie, Effiorescentina Flosculorum, 

* Wood's Life and Times, Clark's Ed. vol. ii. p. 240. 

Introduction xHii 

or a choice collection of F. (sic) Withers Poems or the like, I 
do not intend to meddle with it. Alas, sir, I am as unlikely 
to read your book that I can't get down the title no more 
than a duck can swallow a yoked heifer' — and then follows 
an imitation of gulps straining at the divided syllables 
of Hieragonisticon. 

There is no reason to suspect the sincerity of Eachard, 
or to doubt that he was, in his own words, an honest 
and hearty wisher that ' the best of the clergy might for 
ever continue, as they are, rich and learned, and that 
the rest might be very useful and well esteemed in their 
profession.' To describe the work as *a series of jocose 
caricatures — as Churchill Babington in his animadver- 
sions on Macaulay's History does — is absurd. Eachard 
was evidently a man of strong common sense, of much 
shrewdness, a close observer, and one who had acquainted 
himself exactly and extensively with the subject which he 
treats. But he was a humorist, and, like Swift, sometimes 
gave the reins to his humour. It must be remembered that 
his remarks apply only to the inferior clergy, and there can 
be no doubt that since the Reformation they had, as a 
body, sunk very low. Chamberlayne had no motive for 
exaggeration, but the language he uses in describing them 
is stronger even than Eachard's. Swift had no motive for 
exaggeration, and yet his pictures of Corusodes and Eugenio 
in his Essay on the Fates of Clergymen, and what we gather 
from his Project for the Advancement of Religion, his Letter 
to a Young Clergyman, and what may be gathered generally 
from his writings, very exactly corroborate Eachard's 
account. The lighter literature of the later seventeenth 
and of the first half of the eighteenth century teems with 
proofs of the contempt to which their ignorance and 

xliv Critical Essays 

poverty exposed them. To the testimonies of Oldham 
and Steele, and to the authorities quoted by Macaulay and 
Mr. Lecky, may be added innumerable passages from 
the Observator, from De Foe's Review, from Pepys,i from 
Baxter's Life of himself, from Archbishop Sharp's Life, 
from Burnet, and many others. 

It is remarkable that Eachard says nothing about two 
causes which undoubtedly contributed to degrade the 
Church in the eyes of the laity : its close association with 
party politics, and the spread of latitudinarianism, a con- 
spicuous epoch in which was marked some twenty-six years 
later in the Bangorian controversy. 

The appearance of the first volume of Macaulay's History in 
1848 again brought Eachard's work into prominence. Mac- 
aulay's famous description of the clergy of the seventeenth 
century in his third chapter was based mainly on Eachard's 
account. The clergy and orthodox laity of our own day were 
as angry with Eachard's interpreter as their predecessors, 
nearly two centuries before, had been with Eachard himself 
The controversy began seriously, after some preliminary 
skirmishing in the newspapers and lighter reviews, with 
Mr. Churchill Babington's Mr. Macaulay's Characters of 
the Clergy in the Latter Part of the Seventeenth Century Con- 
sidered, published shortly after the appearance of the 
History. What Mr. Babington and those whom he repre- 
sented forgot was precisely what Eachard's opponents had 
forgotten, that it was not the clergy universally who had 
been described, for Macaulay, like Eachard, had distin- 
guished, but the clergy as represented by its proletariat. 

^ See, for example, Diary, February i6th, 1668: 'Much discourse about 
the bad state of the Church, and how the clergy are come to be men of no 
worth in the world, and, as the world do now generally discourse, they 
must be reformed.' 

Introduction xlv 

If Eachard had occasionally given the reins to humour, 
Macaulay had occasionally perhaps given them to rhetoric. 
But of the substantial accuracy of both there can be no 
doubt at all. 

On the intelligent, discriminating friends of the Church, 
Eachard's work had something of the same effect as Jeremy 
Collier's Short View of the Profaneness and Immorality of 
the English Stage had in another sphere. It directed serious 
attention to what all thoughtful and right-feeling people 
must have felt to be a national scandal. It was an appeal 
to sentiment and reason on matters with respect to which, 
in this country at least, such appeals are seldom made in 
vain. It did not, indeed, lead immediately to practical 
reform, but it advanced the cause of reform by inspiring and 
bringing other initiators into the field. And pre-eminent 
among these was Swift. Swift was evidently well acquainted 
with Eachard's work. In the apology prefixed to the 
fourth edition of the Tale of a Tub in 1710, he speaks of 
Eachard with great respect. Contemptuously explaining 
that he has no intention of answering the attacks which had 
been made on the Tale, he observes : ' When Dr. Eachard 
wrote his book about the Contempt of the Clergy, numbers of 
these answerers immediately started up, whose memory, if he 
had not kept alive by his replies, it would now be utterly 
unknown that he were ever answered at all.' No one who 
is familiar with Swift's tracts on Church reform can doubt 
that he had read Eachard's work with minute attention, 
and was greatly influenced by it. In his Project for 
the Advancement of Religion, he largely attributed the 
scandalous immorality everywhere prevalent to the insuf- 
ficiency of religious instruction, and to the low character 
of the clergy, the result mainly of their ignorance and 

xlvi Critical Essays 

poverty. His Letter to a Young Clergyman is little more 
than a didactic adaptation of that portion of Eachard's 
work which deals with the character and education of the 
clergy. The Essay on the Fates of Clergymen is another 
study from the Contempt, while the fragment of the tract 
which he had begun, Concerning that Universal Hatred which 
prevails against the Clergy, brings us still more closely to 
Eachard. The likeness between them cannot be traced 
further ; they were both, it is true, humorists, but there 
is little in common between the austere and bitter, yet, 
at the same time, delicious flavour of the one, and the 
trenchant and graphic, but coarse and rollicking, humour 
of the other. 

The essays reprinted from the Tatler give humorous 
expression to a grievance which not only wounded the pride 
of the clergy, but touched them on an equally sensitive 
part — the stomach. It was not usual for the chaplain in 
great houses to remain at table for the second course. 
When the sweets were brought in, he was expected to 
retire. As Macaulay puts it : 'He might fill himself with 
the corned beef and carrots ; but as soon as the tarts and 
cheese-cakes made their appearance, he quitted his seat and 
stood aloof till he was summoned to return thanks for the 
repast, from a great part of which he had been excluded.' 
Gay refers to this churlish custom in the second book 
of Trivia : — 

'Cheese that the table's closing rites denies, 
And bids me with th' unwilling chaplain rise.* 

Possibly the custom originally arose, not from any wish to 
mark the social inferiority of the chaplain, but because his 
presence was a check on conversation. It must be owned, 

Introduction xlvii 

however, that this would have been more intelligible had he 
retired, not with the corned beef and carrots, but with the 
ladies. The passage quoted by Steele from Oldham is 
from his Satire, addressed to a Friend that is about to Leave 
the University and come Abroad in the Worlds not the only 
poem in which Oldham has thrown light on the degraded 
profession of the clergy. See the end of his Satire, spoken 
in the person of Spenser. 

The last piece in this Miscellany has no connection 
with what precedes it, but it has an interest of its own. 
Among the many services of one of the purest and most 
indefatigable of philanthropists to his fellow-citizens was 
the establishment of what is commonly known as Poor 
Richard's Alntafiack. Of this periodical, and of the 
particular number of it which is here reprinted, Franklin 
gives the following account in his autobiography : — 

'In 1732 I first published an Almanack, under the name of 
Richard Saunders ; it was continued by me about twenty-five years, 
and commonly called Roor Richard's Almanack. I endeavoured to 
make it both entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to 
be in such demand that I reaped considerable profit from it, 
vending annually near ten thousand. And observing that it was 
generally read (scarce any neighbourhood in the province being 
without it), I considered it as a proper vehicle for conveying 
instruction among the common people, who bought scarcely any 
other books. I therefore filled all the little spaces that occurred 
between the remarkable days in the calendar with proverbial 
sentences, chiefly such as inculcated industry and frugality as the 
means of procuring wealth and thereby securing virtue, it being 
more difficult for a man in want to act always honestly, as, to use 
here one of these proverbs, "it is hard for an empty sack to stand 
upright." These proverbs, which contained the wisdom of many 
ages and nations, I assembled and formed into a connected dis- 
course prefixed to the Almanack of 1757, as the harangue of a wise 

xlviii Critical Essays 

old man to the people attending an auction. The bringing all 
these scattered counsels thus into a focus enabled them to make 
a greater impression. The piece being universally approved, was 
copied in all the newspapers of the American Continent, reprinted 
in Britain on a large sheet of paper to be stuck up in houses ; two 
translations were made of it in France, and great numbers bought 
by the clergy to distribute gratis among their poor parishioners and 
tenants. In Pennsylvania, as it discouraged useless expense in 
foreign superfluities, some thought it had its share of influence in 
producing that growing plenty of money which was observable for 
several years after its publication.' — Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin^ 
Part II., Works Edit. 1833, vol. ii. pp. 146-148. 

Reprinted innumerable times while Franklin was alive, this 
paper has, since his death, passed through seventy editions 
in English, fifty-six in French, eleven in German, and nine 
in Italian. It has been translated into nearly every language 
in Europe: into French,German, and Italian, as we have seen; 
into Spanish, Danish, Swedish, Polish, Bohemian, Dutch, 
Welsh, and modern Greek ; it has also been translated into 
Chinese.^ In the edition of Franklin's Works, printed in 
London in 1806, it appears under the title of The Way to 
Wealth, as clearly shown in the Preface to an old Pennsylvanian 
Almanack, entitled Poor Richard Improved, and under this title 
it was usually printed when detached from the Almanack. 

As Franklin himself owns, the maxims have little pre- 
tension to originality. It is evident that he had laid under 
contribution such collections as Clerk's Adagia Latino- 
Anglica, Herbert's Jacula Prudentum, James Howell's 
collection of proverbs, David Ferguson's Scotch Proverbs 
(with the successively increasing editions between 1641 and 
1706), Ray's famous Collection of English Proverbs, William 

^ For this information I am indebted to Mr. Paul Leicester Ford's interesting 
monograph on the sayings of Poor Richard, prefixed to his selections from the 
Almanack, privately printed at Brooklyn in 1890. 

Introduction xHx 

Penn's Maxims, and the like. A few are probably original, 
and many have been re-minted and owe their form to him. 

The first number of the famous Almanack from which they 
are extracted was published at the end of 1732, just after 
Franklin had set up as a printer and stationer for himself, 
its publication being announced in the Pennsylvania Gazette 
of December 9th, 1732 ; and for twenty-five years it continued 
regularly to appear, the last number being that for the year 
1758, and having for preface the discourse which became 
so extraordinarily popular. The name assumed by Franklin 
was no doubt borrowed from that of Richard Saunders, 
a well-known astrologer of the seventeenth century, of whom 
there is a notice in the Dictionary of National Biography. 
But Mr. Leicester Ford^ says that it was the name of *a 
chyrurgeon ' of the eighteenth century who for many years 
issued a popular almanac entitled The Apollo Anglicanus. 
Of this publication I know nothing, and can discover nothing. 
The probability is that its compiler, whoever he was, antici- 
pated Franklin in assuming the name of John Saunders. 
He is most certainly not to be identified with Saunders the 
astrologer, who died in, or not much later than, 1687. 

It remains to add that no pains have been spared to make 
the texts of the excerpts and tracts in this Miscellany as 
accurate as possible — indeed, Mr. Arber's name is a sufficient 
guarantee of the efficiency with which this important part 
of the work has been done. For the modernisation of the 
spelling, which some readers may perhaps be inclined to 
regret, and for the punctuation, as well as for the elucidatory 
notes within brackets, Mr. Arber is solely responsible. 


^ Introduction to his selections from the Almanack. 

d 7 

Thomas Wilson. 

Eloquence first given by GOD^ 

after lost by man^ and last 

repaired by GOD again. 

Thomas Wilson. 

d Eloquence first given by GOD^ 

after lost by man^ and last 

repaired by GOD again, 

[ The Art of Rhetoric.'] 

|An in whom is poured the breath of life, was made 
at his iirst being an everlasting creature, unto the 
likeness of GOD ; endued with reason, and appointed 
lord over all other things living. But after the fall 
of our first father, sin so crept in that our knowledge 
(vas much darkened, and by corruption of this our flesh, man's 
reason and entendment [intellect] were both overwhelmed. 
At what time, GOD being sore grieved with the folly of 
one man ; pitied, of His mere goodness, the whole state and 
posterity of mankind. And therefore whereas through the 
wicked suggestion of our ghostly enemy, the joyful fruition 
of GOD's glory was altogether lost ; it pleased our heavenly 
Father to repair mankind of his free mercy and to grant an 
everlasting inheritance unto such as would by constant faith 
seek earnestly thereafter. 

Long it was, ere that man knew ; himself being destitute of 
GOD's grace, so that all things waxed savage, the earth 
untilled, society neglected, GOD's will not known, man 
against man, one against another, and all against order. 
Some lived by spoil, some like brute beasts grazed upon the 
ground, some went naked, some roamed like woodwoses 
[mad wild men] , none did anything by reason, but most did 
what they could by manhood. None almost considered the 
everliving GOD ; but all lived most commonly after their own 
lust. By death, they thought that all things ended ; by life, 
they looked for none other living. None remembered the 
true observation of wedlock, none tendered the education 

^^^arS"-] ^^^ POWER OF Eloquence & Reason. 3 

of their children ; laws were not regarded, true dealing 
was not once used. For virtue, vice bare place ; for right 
and equity, might used authority. And therefore whereas 
man through reason might have used order, man through 
folly fell into error. And thus for lack of skill and want of 
grace, evil so prevailed that the devil was most esteemed : 
and GOD either almost unknown among them all or else 
nothing feared among so many. Therefore — even now when 
man was thus past all hope of amendment — GOD still 
tendering his own workmanship ; stirred up his faithful and 
elect, to persuade with reason all men to society : and gave 
his appointed ministers knowledge both to see the natures of 
men ; and also granted to them the gift of utterance, that 
they might with ease win folk at their will, and frame them 
by reason to all good order. 

And therefore whereas men lived brutishly in open fields 
having neither house to shroud [cover] them in, nor attire to 
clothe their backs ; nor yet any regard to seek their best 
avail [interest] : these appointed of GOD, called them together 
by utterance of speech ; and persuaded with them what was 
good, what was bad, and what was gainful for mankind. 
And although at first the rude could hardly learn, and either 
for the strangeness of the thing would not gladly receive the 
offer or else for lack of knowledge could not perceive the 
goodness : yet being somewhat drawn and delighted with the 
pleasantness of reason and the sweetness of utterance, after 
a certain space, they became through nurture and good 
advisement, of wild, sober ; of cruel, gentle ; of fools, wise ; 
and of beasts, men. Such force hath the tongue, and such 
is the power of Eloquence and Reason that most men are 
forced, even to yield in that which most standeth against 
their will. And therefore the poets do feign that Hercules, 
being a man of great wisdom, had all men linked together by 
the ears in a chain, to draw them and lead them even as he 
listed. For his wit so great, his tongue so eloquent, and his 
experience such that no man was able to withstand his 
reason : but every one was rather driven to do that which he 
would, and to will that which he did ; agreeing to his advice 
both in word and work, in all that ever they were able. 

Neither can I see that men could have been brought by 
any other means to live together in fellowship of life, to 

4 Eloquence fostereth Society. ^'^^554. 

maintain cities, to deal truly, and willingly to obey one 
another : if men, at the first, had not by art and eloquence 
persuaded that which they full oft found out by reason. For 
what man, I pray you, being better able to maintain himself 
by valiant courage than by living in base subjection, would 
not rather look to rule like a lord, than to live like an 
underling ; if by reason he were not persuaded that it 
behoveth every man to live in his own vocation, and not to 
seek any higher room than that whereunto he was at the 
first, appointed ? Who would dig and delve from morn till 
evening ? Who would travail and toil with the sweat of his 
brows? Yea, who would, for his King's pleasure, adventure 
and hazard his life, if wit had not so won men that they 
thought nothing more needful in this world nor anything 
whereunto they were more bounden than here to live in 
their duty and to train their whole life, according to their 
calling. Therefore whereas men are in many things weakly 
by nature, and subject to much infirmity; I think in this 
one point they pass all other creatures living, that they have 
the gift of speech and reason. 

And among all other, I think him of most worthy fame, 
and amongst men to be taken for half a god that therein doth 
chiefly and above all other excel men ; wherein men do 
excel beasts. For he that is among the reasonable, of all 
the most reasonable ; and among the witty, of all the most 
witty ; and among the eloquent, of all the most eloquent : 
him, think I, among all men, not only to be taken for a 
singular man, but rather to be counted for half a god. For 
in seeking the excellency hereof, the sooner he draweth to 
perfection the nigher he cometh to GOD, who is the chief 
Wisdom : and therefore called GOD because He is the most 
wise, or rather wisdom itself. 

Now then seeing that GOD giveth heavenly grace unto 
such as called unto him with outstretched hands and 
humble heart ; never wanting to those that want not to 
themselves : I purpose by His grace and especial assistance, 
to set forth such precepts of eloquence, and to show what 
observation the wise have used in handling of their matters : 
that the unlearned by seeing the practice of others, may have 
sortie knowledge themselves ; and learn by their neighbours' 
device what is necessary for themselves in their own case. 

Sir Philip Sidney. 

Letter to his brother Robert, then in 
Germany^ i8 October 1580, 

Sir Philip Sidney to his brother, Robert Sidney, 

who was the first Earl of Leicester of that 

familiar name. 

My dear Brother, 

Or the money you have received, assure yourself 
(for it is true) there is nothing I spend so pleaseth 
me ; as that which is for you. If ever I have 
ability, you shall find it so : if not, yet shall not 
any brother living be better beloved than you, of me. 
I cannot write now to N. White. Do you excuse me ! 
For his nephew, they are but passions in my father ; which 
we must bear with reverence : but I am sorry he should 
return till he had the circuit of his travel ; for you shall 
never have such a servant, as he would prove. Use your own 
discretion ! 

For your countenance, I would (for no cause) have it 
diminished in Germany. In Italy, your greatest expense 
must be upon worthy men, and not upon householding. 
Look to your diet, sweet Robin ! and hold up your heart in 
courage and virtue. Truly, great part of my comfort is in 
you ! I know not myself what I meant by bravery in you ; 
so greatly you may see I condemn you. Be careful of 
yourself, and I shall never have cares. 

I have written to Master Savell. I wish you kept still 
together. He is an excellent man. And there may, if you 


list, pass good exercises betwixt you and Master Nevell. 
There is great expectation of you both. 

For method of writing history, Boden hath written at 
large. You may read him, and gather out of many words, 
some matter. 

This I think, in haste. A Story is either to be considered 
as a Story ; or as a Treatise, which, besides that, addeth 
many things for profit and ornament. As a Story, he is 
nothing, but a narration of things done, with the begin- 
nings, causes, and appendices thereof. In that kind, your 
method must be to have seriem temporum very exactly, which 
the chronologies of Melancthon, Tarchagnora, Languet 
and such others will help you to. 

Then to consider by that .... as you note yourself, 
Xenophon to follow Thucydides, so doth Thucydides follow 
Herodotus, and Diodorus Siculus follow Xenophon. So 
generally, do the Roman stories follow the Greek ; and the 
particular stories of the present monarchies follow the 

In that kind, you have principally to note the examples of 
virtue and vice, with their good or evil success ; the 
establishment or ruins of great Estates, with the causes, the 
time, and circumstances of the laws then written of; the 
enterings and endings of wars ; and therein, the stratagems 
against the enemy, and the discipline upon the soldier. 

And thus much as a very historiographer. 

Besides this, the Historian makes himself a Discourser for 
profit ; and an Orator, yea, a Poet sometimes, for ornament. 
An Orator ; in making excellent orations, e re nata, which 
are to be marked, but marked with the note of rhetorical 
remembrances : a Poet ; in painting for the effects, the 
motions, the whisperings of the people, which though in 
disputation, one might say were true — yet who will mark 
them well shall find them taste of a poetical vein, and in that 
kind are gallantly to be marked — for though perchance, 
they were not so, yet it is enough they might be so. The 
last point which tends to teach profit, is of a Discourser; 
which name I give to whosoever speaks non simpliciter de 
facto, sed de qualitatibus et circumstantiis facti: and that is it 

^isoaS-] Qualifications of a Historian. 7 

which makes me and many others, rather note much with 
our pen than with our mind. 

Because we leave all these discourses to the confused trust 
of our memory ; because they be not tied to the tenour of a 
question : as Philosophers use sometimes, places; the Divine, 
in telling his opinion and reasons in religion ; sometimes the 
Lawyer, in showing the causes and benefits of laws; some- 
times a Natural Philosopher, in setting down the causes of 
any strange thing which the Story binds him to speak of ; 
but most commonly a Moral Philosopher, either in the 
ethic part, where he sets forth virtues or vices and the 
natures of passions; or in the politic, when he doth (as 
often he doth) meddle sententiously with matters of Estate. 
Again, sometimes he gives precept of war, both offensive 
and defensive. And so, lastly, not professing any art as 
his matter leads him, he deals with all arts ; which — because 
it carrieth the life of a lively example — it is wonderful 
what light it gives to the arts themselves ; so as the great 
Civilians help themselves with the discourses of the Historians. 
So do Soldiers ; and even Philosophers and Astronomers. 

But that I wish herein is this, that when you read any 
such thing, you straight bring it to his head, not only of 
what art ; but by your logical subdivisions to the next member 
and parcel of the art. And so — as in a table — be it witty 
words, of which Tacitus is full ; sentences, of which Livy ; 
or similitudes, whereof Plutarch : straight to lay it up in 
the right place of his storehouse — as either military, or more 
specially defensive military, or more particularly, defensive 
by fortification — and so lay it up. So likewise in politic 
matters. And such a little table you may easily make 
wherewith I would have you ever join the historical part; 
which is only the example of some stratagem, or good 
counsel, or such like. 

This write I to you, in great haste, of method, without 
method : but, with more leisure and study — if I do not find 
some book that satisfies — I will venture to write more largely 
of it unto you. 

Master Savell will, with ease, help you to set down such 
a table of remembrance to yourself; and for your sake I 
perceive he will do much ; and if ever I be able, I will 
deserve it of him. One only thing, as it comes into my 

8 Keep and increase your music! Pisol'S 

mind, let me remember you of, that you consider wherein the 
Historian excelleth, and that to note: as Dion Niceus in 
the searching the secrets of government ; Tacitus, in the 
pithy opening of the venom of wickedness; and so of the 

My time — exceedingly short — will suffer me to write no 
more leisurely. Stephen can tell you who stands with me, 
while I am writing. 

Now, dear brother! take delight likewise in the mathe- 
matical. Master Savell is excellent in them. I think you 
understand the sphere. If you do, I care little for any more 
astronomy in you. Arithmetic and Geometry, I would wish 
you well seen in : so as both in matter of number and 
measure, you might have a feeling and active judgment. I 
would you did bear the mechanical instruments, wherein the 
Dutch excel. 

I write this to you as one, that for myself have given over 
the delight in the world ; but wish to you as much, if not 
more, than to myself. 

So you can speak and write Latin, not barbarously ; I 
never require great study in Ciceronianism, the chief abuse 
of Oxford, qui dnm verba sedantur, res ipsas neglifj^mit. 

My toyful books I will send — with GOD's help — by 
February [1581] ; at which time you shall have your money. 
And for ;^20o [nearly 3^2,000 at the present day] a year, 
assure yourself! If the estates of England remain, you shall 
not fail of it. Use it to your best profit! 

My Lord of Leicester sends you £40, as I understand, by 
Stephen ; and promiseth he will continue that stipend 
yearly at the least. Then that is above commons. In any 
case, write largely and diligently unto him : for, in truth, I 
have good proof that he means to be every way good unto 
you. The odd ^^30 shall come with the ^100, or else my 
father and I will jarle. 

Now, sweet Brother, take a delight to keep and increase 
your music. You will not believe what a want I find of it, 
in my melancholy times. 

At horsemanship ; when you exercise it, read Crison 
Claudio, and a book that is called La Gloria de V Cavallo 
withal : that you may join the thorough contemplation of it 


^^sol'^lsso:] Sir F. Drake's return home, rich. 9 

with the exercise : and so shall you profit more in a month, 
than others in a year. And mark the bitting, saddling, and 
cur[ry]ing of horses. 

I would, by the way, your Worship would learn a better 
hand. You write worse than I : and I write evil enough. 
Once again, have a care of your diet ; and consequently of 
your complexion. Remember gratior est veniens in pulchro 
corpore virtus. 

Now, Sir, for news ; I refer myself to this bearer. He can 
tell you how idly we look on our neighbour's fires : and 
nothing is happened notable at home ; save only Drake's 
return. Of which yet, I know not the secret points : but 
about the world he hath been, and rich he is returned. 
Portugal, we say, is lost. And to conclude, my eyes are 
almost closed up, overwatched with tedious business. 

God bless you, sweet Boy ! and accomplish the joyful hope 
I conceive of you. Once again commend me to Master 
Nevell, Master Savell, and honest Harry White, and 
bid him be merry. 

When you play at weapons ; I would have you get thick 
caps and bracers [gloves], and play out your play lustily; for 
indeed, ticks and dalliances are nothing in earnest : for the 
time of the one and the other greatly differs. And use as 
well the blow as the thrust. It is good in itself; and besides 
increaseth your breath and strength, and will make you a 
strong man at the tourney and barriers. First, in any case, 
practise the single sword ; and then, with the dagger. Let 
no day pass without an hour or two of such exercise. The 
rest, study; or confer diligently : and so shall you come home 
to my comfort and credit. 

Lord 1 how I have babbled ! Once again, farewell, dearest 
Brother ! 

Your most loving and careful brother 

Philip Sidney. 

At Leicester House 

this i8th of October 1580. 


Francis Meres, M. A. 

Sketch of English Literature^ Paintings 
and Music ^ up to September 1598. 

A comparative Discourse of our English Poets [Painters 
and Musicians] with the Greek, Latin, and Italian 
Poets [Painters and Musicians], 

S Greece had three poets of great antiquity, 

Orpheus, Linus, and Mus^eus; and Italy, other 

three ancient poets, Livius Andronicus, Ennius, 

and Plautus : so hath England three ancient 

poets, Chaucer, Gower, and Lydgate. 

As Homer is reputed the Prince of Greek poet<? ; and 

Petrarch of Italian poets : so Chaucer is accounted the 

god of English poets. 

As Homer was the first that adorned the Greek tongue 
with true quantity : so [William Langland, the author ofj 
PiEKS Plowman was the first that observ^ed the true 
quantity of our verse without the curiosity of rhyme. 

sep^'s?8.] English Writers of Latin Verse, ii 

Ovid writ a Chronicle from the beginning of the world 
to his own time; that is, to the reign of Augustus the 
Emperor : so hath Harding the Chronicler (after his manner 
of old harsh rhyming) from Adam to his time ; that is, to 
the reign of King Edward IV. 

As SoTADES Maronites, the Iambic poet, gave himself 
wholly to write impure and lascivious things : so Skelton 
(I know not for what great worthiness, surnamed the 
Poet Laureate) applied his wit to scurrilities and ridiculous 
matters ; such [as] among the Greeks were called Pantomimi, 
with us, buffoons. 

As CoNSALVO Perez, that excellent learned man, and 
secretary to King Philip [II.] of Spain, in translating the 
** Ulysses " [Odyssey] of Homer out of Greek into Spanish, 
hath, by good judgement, avoided the fault of rhyming, 
although [he hath] not fully hit perfect and true versifying : 
so hath Henry Howard, that true and noble Earl of Surrey, 
in translating the fourth book of Virgil's jEtieas : whom 
Michael Drayton in his England's Heroical Epistles hath 
eternized for an Epistle to his fair Geraldine. 

As these Neoterics, Jovianus Pontanus, Politianus, 
Marullus Tarchaniota, the two Stroz^e the father and the 
son, Palingenius, IVIantuanus, Philelphus, Quintianus 
Stoa, and Germanus Brixius have obtained renown, and 
good place among the ancient Latin poets : so also these 
Englishmen, being Latin poets ; Walter Haddon, 
Nicholas Carr, Gabriel Harvey, Christopher Ockland, 
Thomas Newton, with his Leland, Thomas Watson, 
Thomas Campion, [John] Brunswerd, and Willey have 
attained [a] good report and honourable advancement in the 
Latin empire [of letters]. 

As the Greek tongue is made famous and eloquent by 
Homer, Hesiod, Euripides, ^schylus, Sophocles, Pin- 
DARUS, Phocylides, and Aristophanes ; and the Latin 
tongue by Virgil, Ovid, Horace, Silius Italicus, Lucanus, 
Lucretius, Ausonius, and Claudianus : so the English 
tongue is mightily enriched, and gorgeously invested in rare 

12 Sidney, OUR rarest Poet, [s^fx^^; 

ornaments and resplendent habiliments by Sir Philip 
Sydney, Spenser, Daniel, Drayton, Warner, Shake- 
speare, Marlow, and Chapman. 

As Xenophon, who did imitate so excellently as to give 
us effigiemjusti imperii, "the portraiture of a just empire " 
under the name of Cyrus, (as Cicero saith of him) made 
therein an absolute heroical poem ; and as Heliodorus 
wrote in prose, his sugared invention of that picture of love in 
Theagines and Cariclea ; and yet both excellent admired 
poets : so Sir Philip Sidney writ his immortal poem, The 
Countess of Pembroke's "Arcadia" in prose; and yet our 
rarest poet. 

As Sextus Propertius said, Nescio quid magis nascitur 
Jliade : so I say of Spenser's Fairy Queen ; I know not what 
more excellent or exquisite poem may be written. 

As Achilles had the advantage of Hector, because it 
was his fortune to be extolled and renowned by the heavenly 
verse of Homer: so Spenser's Eliza, the Fairy Queen, hath 
the advantage of all the Queens in the world, to be eternized 
by so divine a poet. 

As Theocritus is famoused for his Idyllia in Greek, and 
Virgil for his Eclogues in Latin : so Spenser their imitator 
in his Shepherds Calendar is renowned for the like argument ; 
and honoured for fine poetical invention, and most exquisite wit. 

As Parthenius Nicaeus excellently sang the praises of 
Arete : so Daniel hath divinely sonnetted the matchless 
beauty of Delia. 

As every one mourneth, when he heareth of the lamentable 
plangors [plaints] of [the] Thracian Orpheus for his dearest 
Eurydice : so every one passionateth, when he readeth the 
afflicted death of Daniel's distressed Rosamond. 

As Lucan hath mournfully depainted the Civil Wars of 
PoMPEY and C^sar: so hath Daniel, the Civil Wars of 
York and Lancaster ; and Drayton, the Civil Wars of 
Edward IL and the Barons. 

As Virgil doth imitate Catullus in the like matter of 
Ariadne, for his story of Queen Dido: so Michael 
Drayton doth imitate Ovid in his England's Heroical 

As Sophocles was called a Bee for the sweetness of his 
tongue : so in Charles Fitz-Geffry's Drake, Drayton is 

sep^jTsgJ William Warner, our English Homer! 13 

termed "golden-mouthed," for the purity and preciousness of 
his style and phrase. 

As Accius, Marcus Atilius, and Milithus were called 
Tragaediographi ; because they writ tragedies : so we may 
truly term Michael Drayton, Tragaediographus : for his pas- 
sionate penning [the poem of] tht downfalls of valiant Robert 
of Normandy, chaste Matilda, and great Gaveston. 

As Joannes Honterus, in Latin verse, wrote three books 
of Cosmography, with geographical tables ; so Michael 
Drayton is now in penning in English verse, a poem called 
Poly-olbion [which is] geographical and hydrographical of all 
the forests, woods, mountains, fountains, rivers, lakes, floods, 
baths [spas], and springs that be in England. 

As AuLUS Persius Flaccus is reported, among all 
writers to [have] been of an honest life and upright con- 
versation : so Michael Drayton, queni toties honoris et 
amoris causa nomino, among scholars, soldiers, poets, and all 
sorts of people, is held for a man of virtuous disposition, 
honest conversation, and well governed carriage : which is 
almost miraculous among good wits in these declining and 
corrupt times; when there is nothing but roguery in villainous 
man, and when cheating and craftiness are counted the 
cleanest wit and soundest wisdom. 

As Decius Ausonius Gallus, in libris Fastorum, penned 
the occurrences of the world from the first creation of it to 
this time ; that is, to the reign of the Emperor Gratian : so 
Warner, in his absolute Albion's England, hath most admir- 
ably penned the history of his own country from Noah to his 
time, that is, to the reign of Queen Elizabeth. I have heard 
him termed of the best wits of both our Universities, our 
English Homer. 

As Euripides is the most sententious among the Greek 
poets : so is Warner among our English poets. 

As the soul of Euphorbus was thought to live in Pytha- 
goras : so the sweet witty soul of Ovid lives in mellifluous 
and honey-tongued Shakespeare. Witness his Venus and 
Adonis; his Lucrece; his sugared Sonnets, among his private 
friends ; &c. 

As Plautus and Seneca are accounted the best for Comedy 
and Tragedy among the Latins: so Shakespeare among the 
English is the most excellent in both kinds for the stage. 

14 Shakespeare, 5th Poet; ist Dramatist, [sep^\%1: 

For Comedy : witness his Gentlemen of Verona ; his [Comedy 
of] Errors; his Love's Labour's Lost; his Love's Labour's Won 
[ ? All's Well that Ends Well] his Midsummer Night's Dream ; 
and his Merchant of Venice. 

For Tragedy: his Richard IL, Richard IIL, Henry 
IV., King John, Titus Andronicus, and his Romeo and 

As Epius Stolo said that the Muses would speak with 
Plautus's tongue, if they would speak Latin: so I say that 
the Muses would speak with Shakespeare's fine filed phrase ; 
if they would speak English. 

As MuSiEUS, who wrote the love of Hero and Leander, had 
two excellent scholars, Thamyras and Hercules; so hath 
he [MUSMUS] in England, two excellent poets, imitators 
of him in the same argument and subject, Christopher 
Marlow and George Chapman. 

As Ovid saith of his work, 

Jamque opus exegi, quod nee JoviS ira, nee ignis, 
Nee poterit ferrum, nee edax abolere vetustas; 

And as Horace saith of his, 

Exegi monumentum cere perennius 
Regalique situ pyramidum altius, 
Quod non imber edax, non Aquilo impotcns 
Possit diruere, aut innumerabilis 
Annorum series, et fuga temporum : 

So I say, severally, of Sir Philip Sidney's, Spenser's 
Daniel's, Drayton's, Shakespeare's, and Warner's works, 

Non Jovis ira : inibres : Mars : ferrum : flamma : senectus : 
Hoc opus unda : lues : turbo : venena ruent. 
Et quanquam ad pulcherrimum hoc opus evertendiim, tres illi Dii 
conspirabunt, Chronus^Vulcanus, et Pater ipsegentis. 
Non tamen annorum series, non flamma, nee ensis ; 
Sternum potuit hoc abolere Decus. 

As Italy had Dante, Boccace [Boccacio], Petrarch, 
Tasso, Celiano, and Ariosto : so England had Matthew 
RoYDON, Thomas Atchelow, Thomas Watson, Thomas 
Kyd, Robert Greene, and George Peele. 

s;p'i*Ys98.] Our Heroic, Lyric, and Tragic Poets. 15 

As there are eight famous and chief languages ; Hebrew, 
Greek, Latin, Syriac, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, and French ; 
so there are eight notable several kinds of poets, [1] Heroic, 
[2] Lyric, [3] Tragic, [4] Comic, [5] Satiric, [6] Iambic, 
[7] Elegiac, and [8] Pastoral. 

[1] As Homer and Virgil among the Greeks and Latins 
are the chief Heroic poets : so Spenser and Warner be our 
chief heroical "makers." 

[2] As PiNDARus, ANACREON,and Callimachus, among the 
Greeks ; and Horace and Cutallus among the Latins 
are the best Lyric poets : so in this faculty, the best among 
our poets are Spenser, who excelleth in all kinds ; Daniel, 
Drayton, Shakespeare, Breton. 

[3] As these Tragic poets flourished in Greece : ^Eschylus, 
Euripides, Sophocles, Alexander ^Etolus ; Ach^eus 
Erithriceus, Astydamas Atheniensis, Apollodorus Tar- 
sensis, Nicomachus Phrygius, Thespis Atticus, and Timon 
Apolloniates ; and these among the Latins, Accius, 
Marcus Atilius, Pomponus Secundus, and Seneca : so 
these are our best for Tragedy; The Lord Buckhurst, 
Doctor Leg, of Cambridge, Doctor Edes, of Oxford, Master 
Edward Ferris, the author[s] of the Mirror for Magis- 
trates, Marlow, Peele, Watson, Kyd, Shakespeare, 
Drayton, Chapman, Decker, and Benjamin Johnson. 

AsMarcus Anneus Lucanus writ two excellent tragedies; 
one called Medea, the other De incendio TrojcB cum Priami 
calamitate : so Doctor Leg hath penned two famous tragedies ; 
the one of Richard III., the other of The Destruction oj 

[4] The best poets for Comedy among the Greeks are these : 
Menander, Aristophanes, Eupolis Atheniensis, Alexis 
Terius, Nicostratus, Amipsias Atheniensis, Anaxandrides 
Rhodeus, Aristonymus,Archippus Atheniensis, and Callias 
Atheniensis ; and among the Latins, Plautus, Terence, 
N^vius, Sextus Turpilius, Licinius Imbrex, and 
ViRGiLius Romanus : so the best for Comedy amongst us be 
Edward [Vere], Earl of Oxford ; Doctor Gager, of Oxford; 
Master Rowley, once a rare scholar of learned Pembroke 
Hall in Cambridge ; Master Edwardes, one of Her Majesty's 
Chapel; eloquent and witty John Lilly, Lodge, Gascoigne, 
Greene, Shakespeare, Thomas Nash. Thomas Heywood, 

1 6 Our Comic, Iambic, and Elegiac Poets. [sepS: 

Anthony Munday, our best plotter; Chapman, Porter, 
Wilson, Hathway, and Henry Chettle. 

[5] As Horace, Lucilius, Juvenal, Persius, and Lucul- 
Lus are the best for Satire among the Latins : so with us, 
in the same faculty, these are chief [William Langland, the 
author of] PiERS PLOWMAN, [T.] Lodge, [Joseph] Hall of 
Emmanuel College in Cambridge [afterwards Bishop of 
Norwich] ; [John IMarston] the Author of Pygmalion's 
Image, and certain Satires ; the Author of Skialetheia. 

[6] Among the Greeks, I will name but two for Iambics, 
Archilochus Parius and Hipponax Ephesius : so amongst 
us, I name but two lambical poets ; Gabriel Harvey and 
Richard Stanyhurst, because I have seen no more in this 

[7] As these are famous among the Greeks for Elegies, 
IvIelanthus, IVIymnerus Colophonius, Olympius Mysius, 
Parthenius Nicceus, Philetas Cous, Theogenes Megaren- 
sis, and Pigres Halicarnassoeus; and these among the Latins, 
M^CENAS, Ovid, Tibullus, Propertius, C. Valgius, 
Cassius Severus, and Clodius Sabinus : so these are the 
most passionate among us to bewail and bemoan the per- 
plexities of love, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, Sir 
Thomas Wyatt the Elder, Sir Francis Bryan, Sir Philip 
Sidney, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Edward Dyer, Spenser, 
Daniel, Drayton, Shakespeare, Whetstone, Gascoigne, 
Samuel Page sometime Fellow of Corpus Christi College 
in Oxford, Churchyard, Breton. 

[8] As Theocritus in Greek; Virgil and Mantuan in 
Latin, Sannazar in Italian, and [Thomas Watson] the 
Author of A MINT M Gaudia and Walsingham's Melibceus 
are the best for Pastoral : so amongst us the best in this 
kind are Sir Philip Sidney, Master Challoner, Spenser, 
Stephen Gosson, Abraham Fraunce, and Barnfield. 

These and many other Epigrammatists, the Latin tongue 
hath ; Q. Catullus, Porcius Licinius, Quintus Corni- 
Ficius, Martial, Cnceus Getulicus, and witty Sir Thomas 
More : so in English we have these, Heywood, Drant, 
Kendal, Bastard, Davies. 

seJ^YsgJ Our Pastoral, and Epigrammatic Poets, i 7 

As noble M^cenas, that sprang from the Etruscan Kings, 
not only graced poets by his bounty, but also by being a poet 
himself; and as James VI., now King of Scotland, is not only a 
favourer of poets, but a poet ; as my friend Master Richard 
Barnfeld hath in this distich passing well recorded, 

The King of Scots now living is a poet, 
As his Lepanto and his Furies show it : 

so Elizabeth, our dread Sovereign and gracious Queen, is not 
only a liberal Patron unto poets, but an excellent poet her- 
self ; whose learned, delicate and noble Muse surmounteth, 
be it in Ode, Elegy, Epigram ; or in any other kind of poem. 
Heroic or Lyric. 

OcTAViA, sister unto Augustus the Emperor, was exceed- 
ingly] bountiful unto Virgil, who gave him for making 
twenty-six verses, ^1,137, to wit, ten sestertice for every 
verse (which amounted to above ^^43 for every verse) : so 
learned Mary, the honourable Countess of Pembroke [and] 
the noble sister of the immortal Sir Philip Sidney, is very 
liberal unto poets. Besides, she is a most delicate poet, of 
whom I may say, as Antipater Sidonius writeth of Sappho : 

Dulcia Mnemosyne demirans carmina ScupphuSy 
QucBsivit decima Pieris unde foret. 

Among others, in times past, poets had these favourers ; 
Augustus, M^CENAS, Sophocles, Germanicus; an Emperor, 
a Nobleman, a Senator, and a Captain : so of later times, poets 
have [had] these patrons ; Robert, King of Sicily, the great 
King Francis [I.] of France, King James of Scotland, and 
Queen Elizabeth of England. 

As in former times, two great Cardinals, Bemba and Biena 
did countenance poets : so of late years, two great Preachers, 
have given them their right hands in fellowship ; Beza and 

As the learned philosophers Fracastorius and Scaliger 
have highly prized them : so have the eloquent orators, 
Pontanus and Muretus very gloriously estimated them. 

As Georgius Buchananus' Jepthm, amongst all modern 

B 7 

1 8 Our Emblem and Translating Poets, [sept^^i^al: 

tragedies, is able to abide the touch of Aristotle's precepts 
and EuRiPiDEs's examples: so is Bishop Watson's ^SS/ILOM. 

As Terence for his translations out of Apollodorus and 
Menander, and Aquilius for his translation out of 
Menander, and C. Germanicus Augustus for his out of 
Aratus, and Ausonius for his translated Epigrams out of 
[the] Greek, and Doctor Johnson for his Frog-fight out of 
Homer, and Watson for his Antigone out of Sophocles, 
have got good commendations : so these versifiers for their 
learned translations, are of good note among us ; Phaer 
foi Virgil's Aineiii, Golding for Ovid's Metamorphosis, 
Harington for his Orlando Furioso, the Translators of 
Seneca's Tragedies, Barnabe Googe for Palingenius's 
[Zodiac of Life], Turberville for Ovid's Epistles and 
Mantuan, and Chapman for his inchoate Homer. 

As the Latins have these Emblematists, Andreas 
Alciatus, Reusnerus, and Sambucus : so we have these, 
Geffrey Whitney, Andrew Willet, and Thomas Combe. 

As NoNNUS Panapolyta wrote the Gospel of Saint John 
in Greek hexameters: so Gervase Markham hath written 
Solomon's Canticles in English verse. 

As Cornelius Plinius writ the life of Pomponus 
Secundus : so young Charles Fitz-Geffery, that high 
towering falcon, hath most gloriously penned The honourable 
Life and Death of worthy Sir Francis Drake. 

As Hesiod wrote learnedly of husbandry in Greek : so 
Tusser [hath] very wittily and experimentally written of it 
in English. 

As Antipater Sidonius was famous for extemporal verse in 
Greek, and Ovid for his 

Quicquid conahar dicere versus erat : 

so was our Tarleton, of whom Doctor Case, that learned 
physician, thus speaketh in the Seventh Book and 17th 
chapter of his Politics. 

Aristotles suum Theodoretum laudavit quendam peritum 
TragcBdiarum actorem, CiCERO suum RosciUM : nos Angli 
Tarletonum, in cujus voce et vtdtu omnes jocosi affectus, in 
ciijus cerebroso capite lepidcB facetice habitant. 

And so is now our witty [Thomas] Wilson, who, for 

Lp^t^Ysgs.] Meres's Address to Tom Nash. 19 

learning and extemporal wit in this faculty, is without com- 
pare or compeer ; as to his great and eternal commendations, 
he manifested in his challenge at the Swan, on the Bank 

As Achilles tortured the dead body of Hector ; and as 
Antonius and his wife Fulvia tormented the lifeless corpse 
of Cicero ; so Gabriel Harvey hath showed the same 
inhumanity to Greene, that lies full low in his grave. 

As EuPOLis of Athens used great liberty in taxing the vices 
of men : so doth Thomas Nash. Witness the brood of the 
Harveys ! 

As AcTiEON was worried of his own hounds : so is Tom Nash 
of his Isle of Dogs. Dogs were the death of Euripides ; but 
be not disconsolate, gallant young Juvenal! Linus, the son of 
Apollo, died the same death. Yet GOD forbid that so brave 
a wit should so basely perish ! Thine are but paper dogs, 
neither is thy banishment like Ovid's, eternally to converse 
with the barbarous Getce. Therefore comfort thyself, sweet 
Tom ! with Cicero's glorious return to Rome ; and with the 
counsel -^neas gives to his seabeaten soldiers, Lib i, j^neid. 

Pluck up thine heart ! and drive from thence both fear 

and care away ! 
To think on this, may pleasure be perhaps another day. 
Durato, et temet rebus servato secundis. 

As Anacreon died by the pot : so George Peele, by the 

As Archesilaus Prytanceus perished by wine at a drunken 
feast, as Hermippus testifieth in Diogenes : so Robert 
Greene died by a surfeit taken of pickled herrings and 
Rhenish wine ; as witnesseth Thomas Nash, who was at the 
fatal banquet. 

As JoDELLE, a French tragical poet, being an epicure 
and an atheist, made a pitiful end : so our tragical poet 
Marlow, for his Epicurism and Atheism, had a tragical death; 
as you may read of this Marlow more at large, in the Theatre 
of GOD'S judgments, in the 25th chapter, entreating of Epicures 
and A theists. 

As the poet Lycophron was shot to death by a certain rival 
of his : so Christopher Marlow was stabbed to death by 
a baudy Servingman, a rival of his, in his lewd love. 

20 English Elizabethan Painters, [i^^^^. 


Pelles painted a mare and a dog so lively [Itfelike]^ 
that horses and dogs passing by would neigh and 
bark at them. lie grew so famous for his excellent 
art, that great Alexander came often to his shop to 
visit him, and commanded that none other should paint him. 
At his death, he left Venus unfinished ; neither was any 
[one] ever found, that durst perfect what he had begun. 

Zeuxis was so excellent in painting, that it was easier for 
any man to view his pictures than to imitate them ; who, to 
make an excellent table [picture], had five Agrigentine virgins 
naked by him. He painted grapes so lively, that birds did fly 
to eat them. 

Parrhasius painted a sheet [curtain] so artificially, that 
Zeuxis took it for a sheet indeed ; and commanded it to be 
taken away, to see the picture that he thought it had veiled. 

As learned and skilful Greece had these excellently renowned 
for their limning ; so England hath these : Hiliard, Isaac 
Oliver, and John de Creetes, very famous for their painting. 

As Greece moreover had these painters, Timantes, 
Phidias, Polignotus, Paneus, Bularchus, Eumarus, 
CiMON Cleonceus, Pythis, Appollodorus Atheniensis, 
Aristides Thebanus, Nicophanes, Perseus, Antiphilus, 
and Nicearchus : so in England, we have also these; 
William and Francis Segar, brethren ; Thomas and John 
Bettes; Lockey, Lyne, Peake, Peter Cole, Arnolde, 
Marcus, Jacques de Bray, Cornelius, Peter Golchis, 
Hieronimo and Peter van de Velde. 

As Lysippus, Praxiteles, and PYROOTELESwere excellent 
engravers : so we have these engravers ; Rogers, Chris- 
topher SwiTSER, and Cure. 


He loadstone draweth iron unto it, but the stone of 
Ethiopia called Theamedes driveth it away : so there 
is a kind of music that doth assuage and appease 
^ the affections, and a kind that doth kindle and 
provoke the passions. 

sept^'s^:] Excellent Musicians in England. 21 

As there is no law that hath sovereignty over love ; so 
there is no heart that hath rule over music, but music 
subdues it. 

As one day takes from us the credit of another : so one 
strain of music extincts [extinguishes] the pleasure of another. 

As the heart ruleth over all the members : so music over- 
cometh the heart. 

As beauty is not beauty without virtue : so music is not 
music without art. 

As all things love their likes : so the more curious ear, the 
delicatest music. 

As too much speaking hurts, too much galling smarts ; so 
too much music gluts and distempereth. 

As Plato and Aristotle are accounted Princes in 
philosophy and logic ; Hippocrates and Galen, in physic ; 
Ptolomy in astromony ; Euclid in geometry ; and Cicero 
in eloquence : so Boetius is esteemed a Prince and captain in 

As Priests were famous among the Egyptians; Magi among 
the Chaldeans, and Gymnosophists among the Indians ; so 
Musicians flourished among the Grecians : and therefore 
Epaminondas was accounted more unlearned than Themis- 
tocles, because he had no skill in music. 

As Mercury, by his eloquence, reclaimed men from their 
barbarousness and cruelty : so Orpheus, by his music, subdued 
fierce beasts and wild birds. 

As Demosthenes, Isocrates, and Cicero, excelled in 
oratory : so Orpheus, Amphion, and Linus surpassed in 

As Greece had these excellent musicians, Arion, Dorceus, 
TiMOTHEUS Milesius, Chrysogonus, Terpander, Lesbius, 
Simon Magnesius, Philamon, Linus, Stratonicus, Aris- 
tonus, Chiron, Achilles, Clinias, Eumonius, Demo- 
dochus, and Ruffinus : so England hath these. Master 
Cooper, Master Fairfax, Master Tallis, Master Taverner, 
Master Blithman, Master Byrd, Doctor Tie, Doctor 
Dallis, Doctor Bull, Master Thomas Mud, sometime 
Fellow of Pembroke Hall in Cambridge, Master Edv^^ard 
Johnson, Master Blankes, Master Randall, Master Philips, 
Master Dowland, and Master Morley. 


Satirists are very profitable. 

r F. Meres. 
LSept. 1598. 

A Choice is to be had in Reading of Books. 

S THE Lord DE LA NouE in the sixth Discourse of his 
Politic and Military Discourses, censureth the books 
of Amadis de Gaul; which, he saith, are no less 
hurtful to youth than the works of Machiavelli 
so these books are accordingly to be censured of, 

to age 

whose names follow. 

Bevis of Hampton. 
Guy of Warwick. 
Arthur of the Round Table. 
HUON of Bordeaux. 
Oliver of Castile. 
The Four Sons of A YMON. 

The Honour of Chivalry. 
Primaleon of Greece. 
Palermin de Oliva. 
The Seven Champions [of 
Christendom] . 

The Mirror of Knighthood. 




The Stories of Palladin and 

The Black Knight. 
The Maiden Knight. 
The History of C^lestina. 
The Castle of Fame. 
Gallian of France. 
Ornatus and Artesia. 



S that ship is endangered where all lean to one side ; 
but is in safety, one leaning one way and another 
another way : so the dissensions of Poets among 
themselves, doth make them, that they less infect 
their readers. And for this purpose, our Satirists [Joseph] 
Hall [aftenvards Bishop of Norwich], [John Marston] the 
Author of Pygmalion's Image and Certain Satires, [John] 
Rankins, and such others, are very profitable. 


John Dryden. 
Dedicatory Epistle to The Rival Ladies, 

[Printed in 1664.] 

To THE Right Honourable 
Roger, Earl of Orrery. 


His worthless present was designed you, long be- 

fore it was a Play ; when it was only a confused 
mass of thoughts tumbling over one another in 
the dark : when the Fancy was yet in its first 
work, moving the sleeping Images of Things to- 
wards the light, there to be distinguished ; and then, either 
chosen or rejected by the Judgement. It was yours, my Lord ! 
before I could call it mine. 

And I confess, in that first tumult of my thoughts, there 
appeared a disorderly kind of beauty in some of them ; which 
gave me hope, something worthy of my Lord of Orrery 
might be drawn from them : but I was then, in that eager- 
ness of Imagination, which, by over pleasing Fanciful Men, 
flatters them into the danger of writing ; so that, when I had 
moulded it to that shape it now bears, I looked with such dis- 
gust upon it, that the censures of our severest critics are 
charitable to what I thought, and still think' of it myself. 

*Tis so far from me, to believe this perfect ; that I am apt to 
conclude our best plays are scarcely so. For the Stage being 
the Representation of the World and the actions in it ; how 
can it be imagined that the Picture of Human Life can be 
more exact than Life itself is ? 

He may be allowed sometimes to err, who undertakes to 
move so many Characters and Humours (as are requisite in a 
Play) in those narrow channels, which are proper to each of 
them ; to conduct his Imaginary Persons through so many 
various intrigues and chances, as the labouring Audience 
shall think them lost under every billow : and then, at length, 
to work them so naturally out of their distresses, that when 
the whole Plot is laid open, the Spectators may rest satisfied 
that every Cause was powerful enough to produce the Effect 
it had ; and that the whole Chain of them was, with such 



24 Lord Orrery a victim to the gout. [J- ,^-^,^6 

due order, linked together, that the first Accident [Incident] 
would, naturally, beget the second, till they All rendered 
the Conclusion necessary. 

These difficulties, my Lord ! may reasonably excuse the 
errors of my Undertaking : but for this confidence of my 
Dedication, I have an argument, which is too advantageous 
for me not to publish it to the World. 'Tis the kindness 
your Lordship has continually shown to all my writings. 
You have been pleased, my Lord ! they should sometimes 
cress the Irish seas, to kiss your hands ; which passage, con- 
trary to the experience of others, I have found the least 
dangerous in the world. Your favour has shone upon me, at a 
remote distance, without the least knowledge of my person : 
and, like the influence of the heavenly bodies, you have done 
good, without knowing to whom you did it. 'Tis this virtue in 
your Lordship, which emboldens me to this attempt. For 
did I not consider you as my Patron, I have little reason to 
desire you for my Judge : and should appear, with as much 
awe before you, in the Reading; as I had, when the full 
theatre sate upon the Action. 

For who so severely judge of faults, as he who has given 
testimony he commits none ? Your excellent Poems having 
afforded that knowledge of it to the World, that your enemies 
are ready to upbraid you with it as a crime, for a Man of 
Business to write so well. Neither durst I have justified 
your Lordship in it, if examples of it had not been in the 
world before you : if Xenophon had not written a Romance ; 
and a certain Roman, called Augustus CiESAR, a Tragedy 
and Epigrams. But their writing was the entertainment of 
their pleasure ; yours is only a diversion of your pain. The 
Muses have seldom employed your thoughts, but when some 
violent fit of the gout has snatched you from Affairs of State : 
and, like the priestess of Apollo, you never come to deliver 
his oracles, but unwillingly, and in torment. So that we are 
obliged to your Lordship's misery, for our delight. You treat 
us with the cruel pleasure of a Turkish triumph, where those 
who cut and wound their bodies, sing songs of victory as they 
pass ; and divert others with their own sufferings. Other 
men endure their diseases, your Lordship only can enjoy them ! 

Plotting and Writing in this kind, are, certainly, more 
troublesome employments than many which signify more, 

f'^iSG Skilful titilation of a noble Author. 25 

and are of greater moment in the world. The Fancy, Memory, 
and Judgement are then extended, Hke so many Hmbs, upon 
the rack ; all of them reaching, with their utmost stress, at 
Nature : a thing so almost infinite and boundless, as can 
never fully be comprehended but where the Images of all 
things are always present. 

Yet I wonder not your Lordship succeeds so well in this 
attempt. The knowledge of men is your daily practice in the 
world. To work and bend their stubborn minds ; which go 
not all after the same grain, but, each of them so particular 
a way, that the same common humours, in several persons, 
must be wrought upon by several means. 

Thus, my Lord ! your sickness is but the imitation of your 
health ; the Poet but subordinate to the Statesman in you. 
You still govern men with the same address, and manage 
business with the same prudence : allowing it here, as in the 
world, the due increase and growth till it comes to the just 
height ; and then turning it, when it is fully ripe, and Nature 
calls out (as it were) to be delivered. With this only ad- 
vantage of ease to you, in your Poetry : that you have 
Fortune, here, at your command : with which. Wisdom does 
often unsuccessfully struggle in the world. Here is no 
Chance, which you have not foreseen. All your heroes are 
more than your subjects, they are your creatures : and, 
though they seem to move freely, in all the sallies of their 
passions ; yet, you make destinies for them, which they can- 
not shun. They are moved, if I may dare to say so, like the 
rational creatures of the Almighty Poet ; who walk at 
liberty, in their own opinion, because their fetters are in- 
vincible : when, indeed, the Prison of their Will is the more 
sure, for being large ; and instead of an Absolute Power over 
their actions, they have only a Wretched Desire of doing that, 
which they cannot choose but do. 

I have dwelt, my Lord ! thus long, upon your Writing ; not 
because you deserve not greater and more noble commenda- 
tions, but because I am not equally able to express them in 
other subjects. Like an ill swimmer, I have willingly stayed 
long in my own depth ; and though I am eager of performing 
more, yet I am loath to venture out beyond my knowledge. 
For beyond your Poetry, my Lord 1 all is Ocean to me. 

To speak of you as a Soldier, or a Statesman, were only 

26 Writing Plays in Rhyme is not a [^■f'^X' 

to betray my own ignorance: and I could hope no better suc- 
cess from it, than that miserable Rhetorician had, who so- 
lemnly declaimed before Hannibal " of the Conduct of Armies, 
and the Art of War." I can only say, in general, that the 
Souls of other men shine out at little cranies ; they under- 
stand some one thing, perhaps, to admiration, while they 
are darkened on all the other parts : but your Lordship's 
Soul is an entire Globe of Light, breaking out on every side ; 
and if I have only discovered one beam of it, 'tis not that the 
light falls unequally, but because the body which receives it, 
is of unequal parts. 

The acknowledgement of which, is a fair occasion offered 
me, to retire from the consideration of your Lordship to that of 
myself. I here present you, my Lord ! with that in Print, 
which you had the goodness not to dislike upon the Stage ; 
and account it happy to have met you here in England : 
it being, at best, like small wines, to be drunk out upon the 
place [i.e., of vintage, where produced] ; and hasnotbody enough 
to endure the sea. 

I know not, whether I have been so careful of the Plot and 
Language, as I ought : but for the latter, I have endeavoured 
to write English, as near as I could distinguish it from the 
tongue of pedants, and that of affected travellers. Only, I 
am sorry that, speaking so noble a language as we do, we 
have not a more certain Measure of it, as they have in France: 
where they have an "Academy" erected for that purpose, 
and endowed with large privileges by the present King 
[Louis XIV.]. I wish, we might, at length, leave to borrow 
words from other nations ; which is now a wantonness in 
us, not a necessity : but so long as some affect to speak 
them, there will not want others who will have the boldness 
to write them. 

But I fear, lest defending the received words ; I shall be 
accused for following the New Way : I mean, of writing 
Scenes in Verse ; though, to speak properly, 'tis no so much 
a New Way amongst us, as an Old Way new revived. For, 
many years [i.e., 1561] before Shakespeare's Plays, was the 
Tragedy of Queen [or rather King] GORBODUC [of which, how- 
ever, the authentic title is " Ferrex and Porrex "] in English 
Verse ; written by that famous Lord Buckhurst, afterwards 
Earl of Dorset, and progenitor to that excellent Person, 


[Lord BucKHURST, see p. 503] who, as he inherits his Soul 
and Title, I wish may inherit his good fortune ! 

But supposing our countrymen had not received this 
Writing, till of late! Shall we oppose ourselves to the most 
polished and civilised nations of Europe ? Shall we, with 
the same singularity, oppose the World in this, as most of us 
do in pronouncing Latin ? Or do we desire, that the brand 
which Barclay has, I hope unjustly, laid upon the English, 
should still continue? Angli suos ac sua omnia inipense 
mirantur; cceteras nationes despectui habent. All the Spanish and 
Italian Tragedies I have yet seen, are writ in Rhyme. For 
the French, I do not name them : because it is the fate of 
our countrymen, to admit little of theirs among us, but the 
basest of their men, the extravagancies of their fashions, and 
the frippery of their merchandise. 

Shakespeare, who (with some errors, not to be avoided in 
that Age) had, undoubtedly, a larger Soul of Poesy than ever 
any of our nation, was the First, who (to shun the pains of 
continual rhyming) invented that kind of writing which we 
call Blank Verse [Dryden is here wrong as to fact, Lord 
Surrey wrote the earliest printed English Blank Verse in his 
Fourth Book of the ^neid, printed in 1548' ; but the French, 
more properly Prose Mesuree : into which, the English Tongue 
so naturally slides, that in writing Prose, 'tis hardly to be 
avoided. And, therefore, I admire [marvel that] some men 
should perpetually stumble in a way so easy : and, inverting 
the order of their words, constantly close their lines with verbs. 
Which, though commended, sometimes, in writing Latin ; yet, 
we were whipt at Westminster, if we used it twice together. 

I know some, who, if they were to write in Blank Verse 
iS^V, / ask your pardon ! would think it sounded more heroi- 

^ Sir, I, your pardon ask ! 

I should judge him to have little command of English, 
whom the necessity of a rhyme should force upon this rock ; 
though, sometimes, it cannot be easily avoided. 

And, indeed, this is the only inconvenience with which 
Rhyme can be charged. This is that, which makes them 
say, *' Rhyme is not natural. It being only so, when the 
Poet either makes a vicious choice of words ; or places them, 
for Rhyme's sake, so unnaturally, as no man would, in ordi- 


nary speaking." But when 'tis so judiciously ordered, that the 
first word in the verse seems to beget the second ; and that, 
the next; till that becomes the last word in the line, which, 
in the negligence of Prose, would be so : it must, then, be 
granted, Rhyme has all advantages of Prose, besides its own. 

But the excellence and dignity of it, were never fully known, 
till Mr. Waller taught it. He, first, made writing easily, 
an Art : first, showed us to conclude the Sense, most com- 
monly in distiches ; which in the Verse of those before him, 
runs on for so many lines together, that the reader is out of 
breath, to overtake it. 

This sweetness of Mr. Waller's Lyric Poesy was, after- 
wards, followed in the Epic, by Sir John Denham, in his 
Cooper's Hill ; a Poem which, your Lordship knows ! for the 
majesty of the style, is, and ever will be the Exact Standard 
of Good Writing. 

But if we owe the invention of it to Mr. Waller ; we are 
acknowledging for the noblest use of it, to Sir William 
D'Avenant; who, at once, brought it upon the Stage, and 
made it perfect in The Siege of Rhodes. 

The advantages which Rhyme has over Blank Verse, are 
so many that it were lost time to name them. 

Sir Philip Sidney, in his Defence of Poesy, gives us one, 
which, in my opinion, is not the least considerable : I mean, 
the Help it brings to Memory ; which Rhyme so knits up by the 
Affinity of Sounds, that by remembering the last word in one 
line, we often call to mind both the verses. 

Then, in the Quickness of Repartees, which in Discoursive 
Scenes fall very often : it has so particular a grace, and is so 
aptly suited to them, that the Sudden Smartness of the Answer, 
and the Sweetness of the Rhyme set off the beauty of each other. 

But that benefit, which I consider most in it, because I 
have not seldom found it, is that it Bounds and Circum- 
scribes the Fancy. For Imagination in a Poet, is a faculty 
so wild and lawless, that, like a high ranging spaniel, it must 
have clogs tied to it, lest it outrun the Judgement. The great 
easiness of Blank Verse renders the Poet too luxuriant. He 
is tempted to say many things, which might better be omitted, 
or, at least, shut up in fewer words. 

But when the difficulty of artful Rhyming is interposed. 

^■J^'^iS] Rhyme best in argumentative Scenes. 29 

where the Poet commonly confines his Sense to his Couplet ; 
and must contrive that Sense into such words that the 
Rhyme shall naturally follow them, not they the Rhyme [pp. 
571 581] : the Fancy then gives leisure to the Judgement to 
come in ; which, seeing so heavy a tax imposed, is ready to 
cut off all unnecessary expenses. 

This last consideration has already answered an objection, 
which some have made, that " Rhyme is only an Em- 
broidery of Sense ; to make that which is ordinary in itself, 
pass for excellent with less examination." But, certainly, 
that which most regulates the Fancy, and gives the Judge- 
ment its busiest employment, is likeily] to bring forth the 
richest and clearest thoughts. The Poet examines that 
most which he produceth with the greatest leisure, and 
which, he knows, must pass the severest test of the audience, 
because they are aptest to have it ever in their memory : 
as the stomach makes the best concoction when it strictly 
embraces the nourishment, and takes account of every little 
particle as it passes through. 

But, as the best medicines may lose their virtue, by being ill 
applied ; so is it withVerse, if a fit Subject be not chosen for 
it. Neither must the Argument alone, but the Characters 
and Persons be great and noble : otherwise, as Scaliger 
says of Claudian, the Poet will be Ignobiliore materia 
depressus. The Scenes which (in my opinion) most com- 
mend it, are those of Argumentation and Discourse, on the 
result of which, the doing or not doing [of] some considerable 
Action should depend. 

But, my Lord ! though I have more to say upon this sub- 
ject ; yet, I must remember, 'tis your Lordship, to whom I 
speak : who have much better commended this Way by your 
writing in it; than I can do, by writing for it. Where my 
Reasons cannot prevail, I am sure your Lordship's Example 
must. Your Rhetoric has gained my cause; as least, the 
greatest part of my design has already succeeded to my wish : 
which was, to interest so noble a Person in the Quarrel ; 
and withal, to testify to the World, how happy I esteem 
myself in the honour of being, My Lord, 

Your Lordship's most humble, and most obedient servant, 

John Dryden, 


The Honourable Sir Robert Howard, 
Auditor of the Exchequer. 

Preface to Four new Plays, 

[Licensed 7 March 1663, Printed the same year.] 


Here is none more sensible than I am, how great 
a charity the most Ingenious may need, that expose 
their private wit to a public judgement : since the 
same Phancy from whence the thoughts proceed, 
must probably be kind to its own issue. This 
renders men no perfecter judges of their own writings, than 
fathers are of their own children : who find out that wit in 
them, which another discerns not ; and see not those errors, 
which are evident to the unconcerned. Nor is this Self Kind- 
ness more fatal to men in their writings, than in their actions ; 
every man being a greater flatterer to himself, than he knows 
how to be to another : otherwise, it were impossible that 
things of such distant natures, should find their own authors 
so equally kind in their affections to them ; and men so 
different in parts and virtues, should rest equally contented in 
their own opinions. 

This apprehension, added to that greater [one] which I 
have of my own weakness, may, I hope, incline the Reader 
to believe me, when I assure him that these follies were made 
public, as much against my inclination as judgement. But, 
being pursued with so many solicitations of Mr. Herring- 
man's [the Publisher], and having received civilities from him, 
if it were possible, exceeding his importunities : I, at last, 
yielded to prefer that which he believed his interest ; be- 
fore that, which I apprehended my own disadvantage. Con- 
sidering withal, that he might pretend. It would be a real 
loss to him : and could be but an imaginary prejudice to me : 
since things of this nature, though never so excellent, or 
never so mean, have seldom proved the foundation of men's 

^'? \"°"i66s:]^L^ Plays were by Speeches & Choruses. 3 1 

new built fortunes, or the ruin of their old. It being the fate 
of Poetry, though of no other good parts, to be wholly sepa- 
rated from Interest : and there are few that know me but 
will easily believe, I am not much concerned in an unprofitable 

This clear account I have given the Reader, of this seeming 
contradiction, to offer that to the World which I dislike my- 
self : and, in all things, I have no greater an ambition than 
to be believed [to be] a Person, that would rather be unkind 
to myself, than ungrateful to others. 

I have made this excuse for myself. I offer none for my 
writings ; but freely leave the Reader to condemn that which 
has received my sentence already. 

Yet, I shall presume to say something in the justification 
of our nation's Plays, though not of my own : since, in my 
judgement, without being partial to my country, I do really 
prefer our Plays as much before any other nation's ; as I do the 
best of ours before my own. 

The manner of the Stage Entertainments has differed in 
all Ages ; and, as it has increased in use, it has enlarged itself 
in business. The general manner of Plays among the 
Ancients we find in Seneca's Tragedies, for serious subjects; 
and in Terence and Plautus, for the comical. In which 
latter, we see some pretences to Plots ; though certainly short 
of what we have seen in some of Mr. [Ben.] Johnson's Plays. 
And for their Wit, especially Plautus, I suppose it suited 
much better in those days, than it would do in ours. For 
were their Plays strictly translated, and presented on our 
Stage ; they would hardly bring as many audiences as they 
have now admirers. 

The serious Plays were anciently composed of Speeches 
and Choruses ; where all things are Related, but no matter of 
fact Presented on the Stage. This pattern, the French do, 
at this time, nearly follow : only leaving out the Chorus, 
making up their Plays with almost Entire and Discoursive 
Scenes ; presenting the business in Relations [p. 535]. This 
way has very much affected some of our nation, who possibly 
believe well of it, more upon the account that what the French 
do ought to be a fashion, than upon the reason of the thing. 

32 The French follow this ancient PLAN.p\J°^g 

It is first necessary to consider, Why, probably, the com- 
positions of the Ancients, especially in their serious Plays 
were after this manner ? And it will be found, that the subjects 
they commonly chose, drave them upon the necessity ; which 
were usually the most known stories and Fables [p. 522]. 
Accordingly, Seneca, making choice of Medea, Hyppolitus, 
and Hercules (Etceus, it was impossible to show Medea 
throwing old mangled ^EsoN into her age-renewing caldron, 
or to present the scattered limbs of Hyppolitus upon the 
Stage, and show Hercules burning upon his own funeral 

And this, the judicious Horace clearly speaks of, in his 
A rte Poetica ; where he says 

Non tanten intus 
Digna geri, promes in scenam : multaque tolles 
Ex oculis, qucB mox narret facundia prcBsens. 
Nee pueros coram populo Medea trucidet if. 537.I 

Aut humana palam coquat extra nefarius Atreus, 
Aut in avem Progne vertatur, Cadmus in anguem. 
Quodcunque ostendit mihi sic, incredulus odi. 

So that it appears a fault to chose such Subjects for the 
Stage ; but much greater, to affect that Method which those 
subjects enforce : and therefore the French seem much mis- 
taken, who, without the necessity, sometimes commit the 
error. And this is as plainly decided by the same author, in 
his preceding words 

Aut agitur res in Scenis aut acta refertur : 
Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem ; 
Quam qucB sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, et qu<z 
Ipse sibi tradit spectator. 

By which, he directly declares his judgement, " That every 
thing makes more impression Presented, than Related." Nor, 
indeed, can any one rationally assert the contrary. For, if 
they affirm otherwise, they do, by consequence, maintain. That 
a whole Play might as well be Related, as Acted 

^'? ^S'leet] Our Tragi-Comedies disapproved of. 33 

Therefore whoever chooses a subject, that enforces him to 
Relations, is to blame ; and he that does it without the 
necessity of the subject, is much more. 

If these premisses be granted, 'tis no partiality to con- 
clude, That our English Plays justly challenge the pre- 

Yet, I shall as candidly acknowledge, that our best Poets 
have differed from other nations, though not so happily 
Infelicitous ly\, in usually mingling and interweaving Mirth 
and Sadness, through the whole course of their Plays. Ben. 
Johnson only excepted ; who keeps himself entire to one 
Argument. And I confess I am now convinced in my own 
judgement, that it is most proper to keep the audience in one 
entire disposition both of Concern and Attention : for when 
Scenes of so different natures, immediately succeed one 
another; 'tis probable, the audience may not so suddenly 
recollect themselves, as to start into an enjoyment of Mirth, 
or into the concern for the Sadness. Yet I dispute not but the 
variety of this world may afford pursuing accidents of such 
different natures ; but yet, though possible in themselves to 
be, they may not be so proper to be Presented. An Entire 
Connection being the natural beauty of all Plays : and 
Language, the Ornament to dress them in ; which, in serious 
Subjects, ought to be great and easy, like a high born Person 
that expresses greatness without pride or affection. 

The easier dictates of Nature ought to flow in Comedy; 
yet separated from obsceneness. There being nothing more 
impudent than the immodesty of words. Wit should be 
chaste ; and those that have it, can only write well 

Si modo 
Scimus in urbanum Lepido se ponere dido. 

Another way of the Ancients, which the French follow, and 
our Stage has, now lately, practised ; is to write in Rhyme. 
And this is the dispute betwixt many ingenious persons. 
Whether Verse in Rhyme ; or Verse without the Sound, which 
may he called Blank Verse (though a hard expression) is to bs 
preferred ? 

But take the question, largely, and it is never to be decided 

C 7 

34 Write Poems in Rhyme, Plays in Prose.^ %t:",^^ 

[p. 512] ; but, by right application, I suppose it may. For, in 
the general, they are both proper: that is, one for a Play; the 
other for a Poem or Copy of Verses : as Blank Verse being 
as much too low for one [i.e., a Poem or Verses] ; as Rhyme is 
unnatural for the other [i.e., a Play]. 

A Poem, being a premeditated Form of thoughts, upon 
designed occasions: ought not to be unfurnished of any 
Harmony in Words or Sound. The other [a Play] is pre- 
sented as the present ejfect of accidents not thought of. So 
that, 'tis impossible, it should be equally proper to both 
these ; unless it were possible that all persons were born so 
much more than Poets, that verses were not to be composed 
by them, but already made in them. 

Some may object " That this argument is trivial ; because, 
whatever is showed, 'tis known still to be but a Play." But 
such may as well excuse an ill scene, that is not naturally 
painted; because they know 'tis only a scene, and not really 
a city or country. 

But there is yet another thing which makes Verse upon the 
Stage appear more unnatural, that is, when a piece of a verse 
is made up by one that knew not what the other meant to say ; 
and the former verse answered as perfectly in Sound as the 
last is supplied in Measure. So that the smartness of a 
Reply, which has its beauty by coming from sudden thoughts, 
seems lost by that which rather looks like a Design of two, 
than the Answer of one. 

It may be said, that " Rhyme is such a confinement to a 
quick and luxuriant Phancy, that it gives a stop to its speed, 
till slow Judgement comes in to assist it [j!).492];" but this is 
no argument for the question in hand. For the dispute is not 
which way a man may write best in ; but which is most 
proper for the subject he writes upon. And if this were let 
pass, the argument is yet unsolved in itself; for he that 
wants Judgement in the liberty of his Phancy, may as well 
shew the defect of it in its confinement : and, to say truth, 
he that has judgement will avoid the errors, and he that wants 
it, will commit them both. 

It may be objected, " 'Tis improbable that any should 
speak ex tempore^ as well as Beaumont and Fletcher makes 
them; though in Blank Verse." I do not only acknowledge 

^'? \arT66s.'] ThE ItALIANS EXCEL IN THEIR OpERAS. 35 

that, but that 'tis also improbable any will write so well that 
way. But if that may be allowed improbable ; I believe it 
may be concluded impossible that any should speak as good 
Verses in Rhyme, as the best Poets have writ : and therefore, 
that which seems nearest to what he intends is ever to be 

Nor are great thoughts more adorned by Verse ; than 
Verse unbeautified by mean ones. So that Verse seems 
not only unfit in the best use of it, but much more in the 
worst, when " a servant is called," or " a door bid to be shut " 
in Rhyme [p. 569]. Verses, I mean good ones, do, in their 
height of Phancy, declare the labour that brought them 
forth ! like Majesty that grows with care : and Nature, that 
made the Poet capable, seems to retire, and leave its offers to 
be made perfect by pains and judgement. 

Against this, I can raise no argument, but my Lord of 
Orrery's writings. In whose Verse, the greatness of the 
Majesty seems unsullied with the cares, and his inimitable 
Phancy descends to us in such easy expressions, that they 
seem as if neither had ever been added to the other : but 
both together flowing from a height ; like birds got so high 
that use no labouring wings, but only, with an easy care, 
preserve a steadiness in motion. But this particular hap- 
piness, among those multitudes which that excellent Person 
is owner of, does not convince my reason, but employ my 
wonder. Yet, I am glad such Verse has been written for our 
Stage ; since it has so happily exceeded those whom we 
seemed to imitate. 

But while I give these arguments against Verse, I may 
seem faulty, that I have not only writ ill ones, but writ any. 
But since it was the fashion ; I was resolved, as in all in- 
different things, not to appear singular : the danger of the 
vanity being greater than the error. And therefore, I fol- 
lowed it as a fashion ; though very far off. 

For the Italian plays ; I have seen some of them, which 
have been given me as the best : but they are so inconsider- 
able that the particulars of them are not at all worthy to 
entertain the Reader. But, as much as they are short of 
others, in this ; they exceed in their other performances on 
the Stage. I mean their Operas : which, consisting of 
Music and Painting ; there's none but will believe it as 

36 A Play is more artistic than a NovEL.L^'J^Man'^s: 

much harder to equal them in that way, than 'tis to excel 
them in the other. 

The Spanish Plays pretend to more ; but, indeed, are not 
much : being nothing but so many novels put into Acts and 
scenes, without the least attempt or design of making the 
Reader more concerned than a well-told tale might do. 
Whereas, a Poet that endeavours not to heighten the acci- 
dents which Fortune seems to scatter in a well-knit Design, 
had better have told his tale by a fireside, than presented it 
on a Stage. 

For these times, wherein we write. I admire to hear the 
Poets so often cry out upon, and wittily (as they believe) 
threaten their judges ; since the effects of their mercy has so 
much exceeded their justice, that others with me, cannot but 
remember how many favourable audiences, some of our ill 
plays have had : and, when I consider how severe the former 
Age has been to some of the best of Mr. Johnson's never to 
be equalled Comedies ; I cannot but wonder why any Poet 
should speak of former Times, but rather acknowledge that 
the want of abilities in this Age are largely supplied with the 
mercies of it. 

I deny not, but there are some who resolve to like nothing, 
and such, perhaps, are not unwise ; since, by that general 
resolution, they may be certainly in the right sometimes : 
which, perhaps, they would seldom be, if they should venture 
their understandings in different censures ; and, being forced 
to a general liking or disliking (lest they should discover too 
much their own weakness), 'tis to be expected they would 
rather choose to pretend to Judgement than Good Nature, 
though I wish they could find better ways to shew either. 

But I forget myself; not considering that while I entertain 
the Reader, in the entrance, with what a good play should 
be : when he is come beyond the entrance, he must be treated 
with what ill plays are. But in this, I resemble the greatest 
part of the World, that better know how to talk of many things, 
than to perform them ; and live short of their own discourses. 

And now, I seem like an eager hunter, that has long pur- 
sued a chase after an inconsiderable quarry ; and gives over, 
weary : as I do. 


Dramatic Poesy, 




Fungar vice cotis^ acutum 
Redder e quceferrum valet ^ex or s ipsasecandi. 

Horat. De Arte Poet. 


Printed for Henry Herringman, at the sign of the 
Anchor^ on the Lower-walk of the New- 
Exchange. 1668. 


To the Right Honourable 


5 / 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, served as an amusement to me in 
the country [in 1665], when the violence of the last 
Plague had driven me from the town. Seeing, then, our theatres 
shut up ; I was engaged in these kind[s] 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 judgement being a little altered since the writing of it: 
but whether for the better or worse, I know not. Neither indeed is it 
much material in an Essay, where all I have said is problematical. 
For the way of writing Plays in Verse, which I have seemed to 
favour[p. 561]; I have, since that time, laid the practice of it aside till 
I have more leisure, because I find it troublesome and slow. But I 
am no way altered from my opinion of it, at least, with any reasons 
which have opposed it. For your Lordship may easily observe that 
none are very violent against it ; but those who either have not 
attempted it, or who have succeeded ill in their attempt. 'Tis enough 
for me, to have your Lordship's example for my excuse in that 
little which I have done in it : and I am sure my adversaries can 
bring no such arguments against Verse, as the Fourth Act of 
POMPEY will furnish me with in its defence. 

Yet, my Lord! you must suffer me a little to complain of you ! 
that you too soon withdraw from us a contentment, of which we 
expected the continuance, because you gave it us so early. 'Tis a 
revolt without occasion from your Party ! where your merits 
had already raised you to the highest commands : and where you 
have not the excuse of other men that you have been ill used 
and therefore laid down arms. I know no other quarrel you can 
have to Verse, than that which Spurina had to his beauty ; when 
he tore and mangled the features of his face, only because they 
pleased too well the lookers on. It was an honour which seemed to 
wait for you, to lead out a New Colony of Writers from the Mother 
Nation ; and, upon the first spreading of your ensigns^ there had 

40 Address TO Lord BucKHURST. p-^'^'^^°: 

been many in a readiness to have followed so fortunate a Leader ; 
if not all, yet the better part of writers. 

Pars, indocili melior grege, mollis et expes 
Inominata perprimat cubilia. 

I am almost of opinion that we should force you to accept of the 
command; as sometimes the PrcBtorian Bands have compelled their 
Captains to receive the Empire. The Court, which is the best and 
surest judge of writing, has generally allowed of Verse ; and in the 
Town, it has found favourers of Wit and Quality. 

As for your own particular, my Lord! you have yet youth 
and time enough to give part of it to the Divertisement of the 
of the Public, before you enter into the serious and more unpleasant 
Business of the World. 

That which the French Poet said of the Temple of Love, may be 
as well applied to the Temple of Muses. The words, as near[ly] 
as I can remember them, were these — 

La jeunesse a mauvaise grace 

N'ayant pas adore dans le Temple d'Amour; 

II faut qu'il entre : et pour le sage ; 

Si ce n'est son vrai sejour, 

Ce'st un gite sur son passage. 

/ leave the words to work their effect upon your Lordship, in 
their own language ; because no other can so well express the 
nobleness of the thought : and wish you may be soon called to bear 
a part in the affaires of the Nation, where I know the World ex- 
pects you, and wonders why you have been so long forgotten ; there 
being no person amongst our young nobility, on whom the eyes of 
all men are so much bent. But, in the meantime, your Lordship 
may imitate the Course of Nature, which gives us the flower before 
the fruit ; that I may speak to you in the language of the Muses, 
which I have taken from an excellent Poem to the King [i.e., 
Charles II.j 

As Nature, when she fruit designs, thinks fit 
By beauteous blossoms to proceed to it, 
And while she does accomplish all the Spring, 
Birds, to her secret operations sing. 

I confess I have no greater reason in addressing this Essay to 
your Lordship, than that it might awaken in you the desire oj 
writing something, in whatever kind it be, which might be an 

'■ ^^7.] Address to Lord Buckhurst. 41 

honour to our Age and country. And, methinks, it might have 
the same effect upon you, which, HoMER tells us, th-e fight of the 
Greeks and Trojans before the fleet had on the spirit of ACHILLES ; 
who, though lie had resolved not to engage, yet found a martial 
warmth to steal upon him at the sight of blows, the sound oj 
trutupets, and the cries of fighting men. 

For )uy own part, if in treating of this subject, I sometimes 
dissent from the opinion of better Wits, I declare it is not so much to 
combat their opinions as to defend mine own, which were first made 
tublic. Sometimes, like a scholar in a fencing school, I put forth 
myself, and show my own ill play, on purpose to be better taught. 
Sometimes, I stand desperately to my arms, like the Foot, when 
deserted by tJveir Horse ; not in hope to overcome, but only to yield 
on more honourable terms. 

And yet, tny Lord ! this War of Opinions, you well know, has 
fallen out among the Writers of all Ages, and sometimes betwixt 
friends : only it has been persecuted by some, like pedants, with 
violence of words ; and tnan aged, by others, like gentlemen, with 
candour and civility. Even TULLY had a controversy with his 
dear AtticuS; and in one of his Dialogues, makes him stistain 
the part of an enemy in Philosophy, who, in his Letters, is his con- 
fident of State, and made privy to the most weighty afi'airs of the 
Roman Senate : afui the same respect, which was paid by TuLLY 
to Atticus ; we find returned to him, afterwards, by C^SAR, on 
a like occasion : who, answering his book in praise of Cato, made 
it not so much his business to condemn Cato, as to praise CiCERO. 

But that I may decline some part of the encounter with my 
adversaries, whom I am neither willing to combat, nor well able 
to resist; I will give your Lordship the relation of a dispute be- 
turixt some of our wits upon this subject : in which, they did not 
only speak of Plays in Verse, but mingled, in the freedom of 
discourse, some things of the Ancient, many of the Modern Ways 
of Writing ; comparing those with these, and the Wits of our 
Nation with those of others. 'Tis true, they differed in their opinions, 
as 'tis probable they would ; neither do I take upon me to reconcile, 
but to relate them, and that, as TACITUS professes of himself, 
sine studio partium aut ira., " without passion or interest" : 
leaving your Lordship to decide it in favour of which part, you shall 
judge most reasonable/ And withal, to pardon the many errors of 
Your Lordship's most obedient humble servant, 

John D r y d e n . 




\N£ drift of the ensuing Discourse was 
chiefly to vindicate the honour of our English 
Writers from the censure of those who 
unjustly prefer the French before them. This I intimate, 
lest any should think me so exceeding vain, as to teach 
others an Art which they understand much better than 
myself. BzU if this incorrect Essay, written in the 
country, without the help of books or advice of friends, 
shall find any acceptance in the World: I promise to 
myself a better success of the Second Part, wherein the 
virtues and faults of the English Poets who have 
writtejz, either in this, the Epic, or the Lyric way, will 
be more fully treated of; and their several styles impar- 
tially imitated. 










fL'fl'^^liy.,^'^-!^?; VS^B^^Br;>&» 







Dramatic Poesy. 

T WAS that memorable day [^rd of June 1665] in 
the first summer of the late war, when our Navy 
engaged the Dutch ; a day, wherein the two most 
mighty and best appointed Fleets which any Age 
had ever seen, disputed the command of the 
greater half of the Globe, the commerce of Nations, and the 
riches of the Universe. While these vast floating bodies, on 
either side, moved against each other in parallel lines ; and 
our countrymen, under the happy conduct of His Royal 
Highness [the Duke of York], went breaking by little and 
little, into the line of the enemies : the noise of the cannon 
from both navies reached our ears about the City ; so that all 
men being alarmed with it, and in a dreadful suspense of the 
event v/hich we knew was then deciding, every one went fol- 
lowing the sound as his fancy [imagination] led him. And leav- 
ing the Town almost empty, some took towards the Park ; 
some cross the river, others dowr^ it : all seeking the noise in 
the depth of silence. 

Among the rest, it was the fortune of Eugenius, Crites, 
LisiDEius and Neander to be in company together: three 
of them persons whom their Wit and Quality have made 
known to all the Town ; and whom I have chosen to hidQ 


A famousboatloadofCritics. p- °,76^!^: 

under these borrowed names, that they may not suffer by so 
ill a Relation as I am going to make, of their discourse. 

Taking then, a barge, which a servant of Lisideius had 
provided for them, they made haste to shoot the Bridge [i.e., 
London Bridge] : and [so] left behind them that great fall of 
waters, which hindered them from hearing what they desired. 

After which, having disengaged themselves from many 
vessels which rode at anchor in the Thames, and almost 
blocked up the passage towards Greenwich : they ordered the 
watermen to let fall their oars more gently ; and then, every 
one favouring his own curiosity with a strict silence, it was 
not long ere they perceived the air break about them, like 
the noise of distant thunder, or of swallows in a chimney. 
Those little undulations of sound, though almost vanishing 
before they reached them ; yet still seeming to retain some- 
what of their first horror, which they had betwixt the fleets. 

After they had attentively listened till such time, as the 
sound, by little and little, went from them ; Eugenius [i.e., 
Lord BucKHURST] lifting up his head, and taking notice of 
it, was the first to congratulate to the rest, that happy 
Omen of our nation's victory: adding, "we had but this to 
desire, in confirmation of it, that we might hear no more of 
that noise, which was now leaving the English coast.*' 

When the rest had concurred in the same opinion, 
Crites [i.e., Sir Robert Howard] (a person of a sharp 
judgment, and somewhat a too delicate a taste in wit, which 
the World have mistaken in him for ill nature) said, smiling, 
to us, " That if the concernment of this battle had not been 
so exceeding[ly] great, he could scarce have wished the victory 
at the price, he knew, must pay for it; in being subject to the 
reading and hearing of so many ill verses, he was sure would 
be made upon it." Adding, '* That no argument could 'scape 
some of those eternal rhymers, who watch a battle with more 
diligence than the ravens and birds of prey ; and the worst 
of them surest to be first in upon the quarry : while the better 
able, either, out of modesty, writ not at all ; or set that due 
value upon their poems, as to let them be often called for, 
and long expected." 

" There are some of those impertinent people you speak 
of," answered Lisideius [i.e., Sir Charles Sedley], "who, 
to my knowledge, are already so provided, either way, that 

^,^^!^] Dryden's attack on George Wither. 45 

they can produce not only a Panegyric upon the Victory : but, 
if need be, a Funeral Elegy upon the Duke, and, after they 
have crowned his valour with many laurels, at last, deplore 
the odds under which he fell ; concluding that his courage 
deserved a better destiny." All the company smiled at the 
conceipt of Lisideius. 

But Crites, more eager than before, began to make par- 
ticular exceptions against some writers, and said, "The 
Public Magistrate ought to send, betimes, to forbid them : and 
that it concerned the peace and quiet of all honest people, that 
ill poets should be as well silenced as seditious preachers." 

"In my opinion " replied Eugenius, "you pursue your point 
too far ! For, as to my own particular, I am so great a lover 
of Poesy, that I could wish them all rewarded, who attempt 
but to do well. At least, I would not have them worse used 
than Sylla the Dictator did one of their brethren heretofore. 
Qtcem in condone vidimus (says Tully, speaking of him) cum 
ei libellum malus poeta de populo subjecisset, quod epigramma in 
eum fecisset tantummodo alternis versibus longiuculis, statim ex iis 
rebus quae tunc vendebat jubere eiprcemium tribui, sub ea conditione 
ne quid postea scriberet." 

" I could wish, with all my heart," replied Crites, "that 
many whom we know, were as bountifully thanked, upon the 
same condition, that they would never trouble us again. 
For amongst others, I have a mortal apprehension of two 
poets, whom this Victory, with the help of both her wings, 
will never be able to escape." 

*"Tis easy to guess, whom you intend," said Lisideius, 
" and without naming them, I ask you if one [i.e., George 
Wither] of them does not perpetually pay us with clenches 
upon words, and a certain clownish kind of raillery ? If, now 
and then, he does not offer at a catachresis [which COTGRAVE 
defines as ' the abuse, or necessary use of one word, for lack of 
another more proper ' ] or Clevelandism, wresting and torturing 
a word into another meaning ? In fine, if be not one of those 
whom the French would call un mauvais buffon ; one that is 
so much a well wilier to the Satire, that he spares no man : and 
though he cannot strike a blow to hurt any, yet ought to be 
punished for the malice of the action ; as our witches are justly 
hanged, because they think themselves so, and suffer deser- 
vedly for believing they did mischief, because they meant it." 

46 His second attack, on Francis Quarles. [J- ^Z^^: 

"You have described him," said Crites, "so exactly, that I 
am afraid to come after you, with my other Extremity of 
Poetry. He [i.e., Francis Quarles] is one of those, who, hav- 
mg had some advantage of education and converse [i.e., conver- 
sation, in the sense of Culture through mixture with society], knows 
better than the other, what a Poet should be; but puts it into 
practice more unluckily than any man. His style and matter 
are everywhere alike. He is the most calm, peaceable writer 
you ever read. He never disquiets your passions with the 
least concernment ; but still leaves you in as even a temper 
as he found you. He is a very Leveller in poetry ; he creeps 
along, with ten little words in every line, and helps out his 
numbers with For to, and Unto, and all the pretty expletives 
he can find, till he drags them to the end of another line : 
while the Sense is left, tired, halfway behind it. He doubly 
starves all his verses; first, for want of Thought, and then, of 
Expression. Hispoetry neither has wit in it, nor seems to have 
it; like him, in Martial, 

Pauper videri CiNNA vult, et est pauper. 

He affects plainness, to cover his Want of Imagination. 
When he writes in the serious way ; the highest flight of his 
Fancy is some miserable antithesis or seeming contradiction : 
and in the comic ; he is still reaching at some thin conceit, 
the ghost of a jest, and that too flies before him, never to be 
caught. These swallows, which we see before us on the 
Thames, are the just resemblance of his Wit. You may ob- 
serve how near the water they stoop ! how many proffers they 
make to dip, and yet how seldom they touch it ! and when 
they do, 'tis but the surface ! they skim over it, but to catch a 
gnat, and then mount in the air and leave it ! " 

" Well, gentlemen !" said Eugenius, " you may speak 
your pleasure of these authors ; but though I and some few 
more about the Town, may give you a peaceable hearing : 
yet, assure yourselves ! there are multitudes who would think 
you malicious, and them injured ; especially him whom you 
first described, he is the very Withers oi the City. They have 
bought more Editions of his works, than would serve to lay 
under all their pies at the Lord Mayor's Christmas. When 
his famous poem [i.e.. Speculum Speculativium ; Or, A Con- 
sidering Glass. Being an Inspection into the present and late 

J- °,'^'|,!^;] The Battle of the Ancients & Moderns. 47 

sad condition of these Nations. . . . London. Written June xiii. 
XDCLX, and there imprinted the same year] first came out in 
the year 1660, I have seen them read it in the midst of 
Change time. Nay, so vehement were they at it, that they 
lost their bargain by the candles' ends ! But what will you 
say, if he has been received among the Great Ones ? I can 
assure you, he is, this day, the envy of a Great Person, who 
is Lord in the Art of Quibbling; and who does not take it 
well, than any man should intrude so far into his province." 
" All I would wish," replied Crites, " is that they who love 
his writings, may still admire him and his fellow poet. Qui 
B avium non adit S-c, is curse sufficient." 

"And farther," added Lisideius ; " I believe there is no 
man who writes well ; but would think himself very hardly 
dealt with, if their admirers should praise anything of his. 
Nam quos conteninimus eorum quoque laudes contemnimus.^' 

"There are so few who write well, in this Age," said 
Crites," that methinks any praises should be welcome. They 
neither rise to the dignity of the last Age, nor to any of the 
Ancients : and we may cry out of the Writers of this Time, with 
more reason than Petronius of his, Pace vestra liceat dixisse, 
primi omnium eloquentiam perdidistis ! ' You have debauched 
the true old Poetry so far, that Nature (which is the Soul of 
it) is not in any of your writings ! ' " 

" If your quarrel," said Eugenius, " to those who now 
write, be grounded only upon your reverence to Antiquity ; 
there is no man more ready to adore those great Greeks and 
Romans than I am : but, on the other side, I cannot think so 
contemptibly of the Age I live in, or so dishonourably of rny 
own Country as not to judge [that] we equal the Ancients in 
most kinds of Poesy, and in some, surpass them ; neither 
know I any reason why I may not be as zealous for the 
reputation of our Age, as we find the Ancients themselves, 
in reference to those who lived before them. For you hear 
Horace saying 

Indignor quidquam reprehendi, non quia crassff 
Compositum, ille pide've putetur, sed quia nuper. 
And, after, 

Si meliora dies, ut vina, poemata reddit, 

Scire velim pretium chartis quotus arroget annus ? 

48 Dramatic Poesy chosen for discussion. [J- ^.J^^';- 

But I see I am engaging in a wide dispute, where the argu- 
ments are not like[ly] to reach close, on either side [p. 497]: for 
Poesy is of so large extent, and so many (both of the Ancients 
and Moderns) have done well in all kinds of it, that, in 
citing one against the other, we shall take up more time this 
evening, than each man's occasions will allow him. There- 
fore, I would ask Crites to what part of Poesy, he would 
confine his arguments? and whether he would defend the 
general cause of the Ancients against the Moderns ; or oppose 
any Age of the Moderns against this of ours ? 

Crites, a little while considering upon this demand, told 
EuGENius, he approved of his propositions ; and, if he 
pleased, he would limit their dispute to Dramatic Poesy : in 
which, he thought it not difficult to prove, either that the 
Ancients were superior to the Moderns ; or the last Age to 
this of ours. 

EuGENius was somewhat surprised, when he heard Crites 
make choice of that subject. " For ought I see," said he, "I 
have undertaken a harder province than I imagined. For 
though I never judged the plays of the Greek and Roman 
poets comparable to ours : yet, on the other side, those we now 
see acted, come short of many which were written in the last 
Age. But my comfort is, if we were o'ercome, it will be only 
by our own countrymen ; and if we yield to them in this one 
part of Poesy, we [the] more surpass them in all the other[s]. 

For in the Epic, or Lyric way, it will be hard for them to 
shew us one such amongst them, as we have many now living, 
or who lately were so. They can produce nothing so Courtly 
writ, or which expresses so much the conversation of a 
gentleman, as Sir John Suckling ; nothing so even, 
sweet, and flowing, as Mr. Waller ; nothing so majestic, 
so correct, as Sir John Denham; nothing so elevated, so 
copious, and full of spirit, as Mr. Cowley. As for the 
Italian, French, and Spanish plays, I can make it evident, 
that those who now write, surpass them ; and that the Drama 
is wholly ours." 

All of them were thus far of Eugenius his opinion, that 
"the sweetness of English Verse was never understood or 
practised by our fathers " ; even Crites himself did not much 
oppose it : and every one was willing to acknowledge how 
much our Poesy is improved by the happiness of some writers 

J- ^Je^s!^:] LisiDEius— A Definition of a Play. 49 

yet living, who first taught us to mould our thoughts into 
easy and significant words ; to retrench the superfluities of 
expression; and to make our Rhyme so properly a part of the 
Verse, that it should never mislead the Sense, but itself be 
led and governed by it. 

Ugenius was going to continue this discourse, when 
LisiDEius told him, that " it was necessary, before 
they proceeded further, to take a Standing Measure 
of their controversy. For how was it possible to be 
decided who writ the best plays, before we know what a Play 
should be ? but this once agreed on by both parties, each 
might have recourse to it ; either to prove his own advan- 
tages, or discover the failings of his adversary." 

He had no sooner said this ; but all desired the favour of 
him to give the definition of a Play : and they were the 
more importunate, because neither Aristotle, nor Horace, 
nor any other who writ of that subject, had ever done it. 

LisiDEius, after some modest denials, at last, confessed 
he had a rude notion of it ; indeed, rather a Description than 
a Definition ; but which served to guide him in his private 
thoughts, when he was to make a judgment of what others 
writ. That he conceived a Play ought to be A just and 
LIVELY Image of Human Nature, repre- 

This Definition, though Crites raised a logical objection 
against it (that ** it was only a genere et fine," and so not 
altogether perfect), was yet well received by the rest. 

And, after they had given order to the watermen to turn their 
barge, and row softly, that they might take the cool of the 
evening in their return: Crites, being desired by the company 
to begin, spoke on behalf of the Ancients, in this manner. 

IF confidence presage a victory; Eugenius, in his 
own opinion, has already triumphed over the 
Ancients. Nothing seems more easy to him, than 
to overcome those whom it is our greatest praise 

to have imitated well : for we do not only build upon their 

foundation, but by their models. 

D 7 

50 Crites opens the First Argument.^ ^,76'^s!^ 

Dramatic Poesy had time enough, reckoning from Thespis 
who first invented it, to Aristophanes ; to be born, to grow 
up, and to flourish in maturity. 

It has been observed of Arts and Sciences, that in one and the 
same century, they have arrived to a great perfection [/>. 520J. And, 
no wonder ! since every Age has a kind of Universal Genius, 
which incHnes those that live in it to some particular studies. 
The work then being pushed on by many hands, must, of 
necessity, go forward. 

Is it not evident, in these last hundred years, when the 
study of Philosophy has been the business of all the Virtuosi 
in Christendom, that almost a new Nature has been re- 
vealed to us ? that more errors of the School have been 
detected, more useful experiments in Philosophy have been 
made, more noble secrets in Optics, Medicine, Anatomy, 
Astronomy, discovered ; than, in all those credulous and 
doting Ages, from Aristotle to us [p. 520]? So true it is, 
that nothing spreads more fast than Science, when rightly 
and generally cultivated. 

Add to this, the more than common Emulation that was, in 
those times, of writing well : which, though it be found in all 
Ages and all persons that pretend to the same reputation : 
yet Poesy, being then in more esteem than now it is, had greater 
honours decreed to the Professors of it, and consequently the rival- 
ship was more high between them. They had Judges ordained 
to decide their merit, and prizes to reward it : and historians 
have been diligent to record of iEscHYLUS, Euripides, 
Sophocles, Lycophron, and the rest of them, both who they 
were that vanquished in these Wars of the Theatre, and how 
often they were crowned : while the Asian Kings and Grecian 
Commonwealths scarce[ly] afforded them a nobler subject 
than the unmanly luxuries of a debauched Court, or giddy 
intrigues of a factious city. Alit cemulatio ingenia, says 
Paterculus, et nunc invidia, nunc admiratio incitationem 
accendit : * Emulation is the spur of wit ; and sometimes 
envy, sometimes admiration quickens our endeavours.* 

But now, since the rewards of honour are taken away : 
that Virtuous Emulation is turned into direct Malice ; yet 
so slothful, that it contents itself to condemn and cry down 

^' °i76s^:] Ckites — We neglect to look on Nature. 5 1 

others, without attempting to do better. 'Tis a reputation 
too unprofitable, to take the necessary pains for it ; yet 
wishing they had it, is incitement enough to hinder others 
from it. And this, in short, Eugenius, is the reason why 
you have now so few good poets, and so many severe judges. 
Certainly, to imitate the Ancients well, much labour and 
long study is required : which pains, I have already shown, 
our poets would want encouragement to take ; if yet they had 
ability to go through with it. 

Those Ancients have been faithful Imitators and wise 
Observers of that Nature, which is so torn and ill-repre- 
sented in our Plays. They have handed down to us a perfect 
Resemblance of Her, which we, like ill copyers, neglecting to 
look on, have rendered monstrous and disfigured. 

But that you may know, how much you are indebted to 
your Masters ! and be ashamed to have so ill-requited 
them ! I must remember you, that all the Rules by which 
we practise the Drama at this day (either such as relate to 
the Justness and Symmetry of the Plot ; or the episodical 
ornaments, such as Descriptions, Narrations, and other 
beauties which are not essential to the playj, were delivered 
to us from the Observations that Aristotle made of those 
Poets, which either lived before him, or were his contem- 
poraries. We have added nothing of our own, except we 
have the confidence to say, * Our wit is better 1 ' which none 
boast of in our Age, but such as understand not theirs. 
Of that book, which Aristotle has left us, irepc t^? 
n.oi7]TLKri<i ; Horace his Art of Poetry is an excellent Com- 
ment, and, I believe, restores to us, that Second Book of his 
[i.e., Aristotle] concerning Comedy, which is wanting in 

Out of these two [Authors], have been extracted the 
Famous Rules, which the French call, Des trois Unites, 
or 'The Three Unities,' which ought to be observed in 
every regular Play ; namely, of Time, Place, and 

The Unity of Time, they comprehend in Twenty- 
four hours, the compass of a natural Day; or, as near it, as can 
be contrived. And the reason of it is obvious to every one. 
That the Time of the feigned Action or Fable of the Play 

52 Crites— The Unity of Time. [^-^Z^;^. 

should be proportioned, as near as can be, to the duration of that 
Time in which it is REPRESENTED. Since therefore all 
plays are acted on the Theatre in a space of time much 
within the compass of Twenty-four hours ; that Play is to be 
thought the nearest Imitation of Nature, whose Plot or Action 
is confined within that time. 

And, by the same Rule which concludes this General 
Proportion of Time, it follows, That all the parts of it are to 
he equally subdivided. As, namely, that one Act take not up 
the supposed time of Half a day, which is out of proportion 
to the rest ; since the other four are then to be straitened 
within the compass of the remaining half : for it is unnatural 
that one Act which, being spoken or written, is not longer 
than the rest ; should be supposed longer by the audience. 
'Tis therefore the Poet's duty to take care that no Act should 
be imagined to exceed the Time in which it is Represented on the 
Stage ; and that the intervals and inequalities of time, be 
be supposed to fall out between the Acts. 

This Rule of T i m e , how well it has been observed by 
the Ancients, most of their plays will witness. You see 
them, in their Tragedies (wherein to follow this Rule is 
certainly most difficult), from the very beginning of their 
Plays, falling close into that part of the Story, which they 
intend for the Action or principal Object of it : leaving the 
former part to be delivered by Narration. So that they set 
the audience, as it were, at the post where the race is to 
be concluded: and, saving them the tedious expectation of 
seeing the Poet set out and ride the beginning of the course; 
you behold him not, till he is in sight of the goal, and just 
upon you. 

For the Second Unity, which is that of Place; the 
Ancients meant by it, That the scene [locality] ought to be 
continued, through the Play, in the same place, where it was laid 
in the beginning. For the Stage, on which it is represented, 
being but one, and the same place; it is unnatural to conceive 
it many, and those far distant from one another. I will not 
deny but by the Variation of Painted scenes [scenery was intro- 
duced about this time into the English theatres, by Sir WILLIAM 
D'AVENANT and Betterton the Actor: see Vol. II. p. 278J 
the Fancy which, in these cases, will contribute to its own 

^■^leet-?.] C RITES — ThE UnITYOfPlACE. 53 

deceit, may sometimes imagine it several places, upon some 
appearance of probability : yet it still carries the greater 
likelihood of truths if those places be supposed so near each 
other as in the same town or city, which may all be 
comprehended under the larger denomination of One Place ; 
for a greater distance will bear no proportion to the shortness 
of time which is allotted in the acting, to pass from one of them 
to another. 

For the observation of this ; next to the Ancients, the 
French are most to be commended. They tie themselves so 
strictly to the Unity of Place, that you never see in any of 
their plays, a scene [locality] changed in the middle of an 
Act. If the Act begins in a garden, a street, or [a] chamber; 
'tis ended in the same place. And that you may know it to 
be the same, the Stage is so supplied with persons, that it is 
never empty all the time. He that enters the second has 
business with him, who was on before ; and before the second 
quits the stage, a third appears, who has business with him. 
This CoRNEiLLE calls La Liaison des Scenes, 'the Continuity 
or Joining of the Scenes' : and it is a good mark of a well 
contrived Play, when all the persons are known to each other, 
and every one of them has some affairs with all the rest. 

As for the third Unity, which is that of Action, the 
Ancients meant no other by it, than what the Logicians do 
by their Finis ; the End or Scope of any Action, that which 
is the First in intention, and Last in execution. 

Now the Poet is to aim at one great and complete Action ; 
to the carrying on of which, all things in the Play, even the 
very obstacles, are to be subservient. And the reason of this, 
is as evident as any of the former. For two Actions, equally 
laboured and driven on by the Writer, would destroy the 
Unity of the Poem. It would be no longer one Play, but 
two. Not but that there may be many actions in a Flay (as 
Ben. Johnson has observed in his Discoveries), but they 
must be all subservient to the great one ; which our language 
happily expresses, in the name of Under Plots. Such as, in 
Terence's Eunuch, is the deference and reconcilement of 
Thais and Phmdria ; which is not the chief business of 
the Play, but promotes the marriage of Chcerea and 
Chremes's sister, principally intended by the Poet. 

54 C R I T E s— T HE Unity of Action. [J- ^Zti: 

* There ought to be but one Action,' says Corneille, 
• that is, one complete Action, which leaves the mind of the 
audience in a full repose.* But this cannot be brought to pass, 
but by many other imperfect ones, which conduce to it, and 
hold the audience in a delightful suspense of what will be. 

If by these Rules (to omit many others drawn from the 
Precepts and Practice of the Ancients), we should judge our 
modern plays, 'tis probable that few of them would endure 
the trial. That which should be the business of a Day, 
takes up, in some of them, an Age. Instead of One Action, 
they are the Epitome of a man's life. And for one spot of 
ground, which the Stage should represent ; we are sometimes 
in more countries than the map can show us. 

But if we will allow the Ancients to have contrived well ; 
we must acknowledge them to have writ better. Question- 
less, we are deprived of a great stock of wit, in the loss of 
Menander among the Greek poets, and of Ccecilius, 
Affranius, and Varius among the Romans. We may 
guess of Menander's excellency by the Plays of Terence ; 
who translated some of his, and yet wanted so much of him, 
that he was called by C. C^sar, the Half-MENANDER : and 
of Varius, by the testimonies of Horace, Martial, and 
Velleius Paterculus. 'Tis probable that these, could 
they be recovered, would decide the controversy. 

But so long as Aristophanes in the Old Comedy, and 
Plautus in the New are extant; while the Tragedies of 
Euripides, Sophocles, and Seneca are to be had : I can 
never see one of those Plays which are now written, but it 
increases my admiration of the Ancients. And yet I must 
acknowledge further, that to admire them as we ought, we 
should understand them better than we do. Doubtless, many 
things appear flat to us, whose wit depended upon some custom 
or story, which never came to our knowledge ; or perhaps upon 
some criticism in their language, which, being so long dead, 
and only remaining in their books, it is not possible they 
should make us know it perfectly. 

To read Macrobius explaining the propriety and elegancy 
of many words in Virgil, which I had before passed over 
without consideration as common things, is enough to assure 
me that I ought to think the same of Terence ; and that, in 

^' ^/eS] Writes — The plagiaries of Father Ben. 55 

the purity of his style, which Tully so much valued that he 
ever carried his Works about him, there is yet left in him 
great room for admiration, if I knew but where to place it. 

In the meantime, I must desire you to take notice that the 
greatest man of the last Age, Ben. Johnson, was willing to 
give place to them in all things. He was not only a pro- 
fessed imitator of Horace, but a learned plagiary of all 
the others. You track him everywhere in their snow. 
If Horace, Lucan, Petronius Arbiter, Seneca, and 
Juvenal had their own from him ; there are few serious 
thoughts that are new in him. You will pardon me, there- 
fore, if I presume, he loved their fashion ; when he wore 
their clothes. 

But since I have otherwise a great veneration for him , 
and you, Eugenius! prefer him above all other poets : I will 
use no farther argument to you than his example. I will 
produce Father Ben. to you, dressed in all the ornaments 
and colours of the Ancients. You will need no other guide 
to our party, if you follow him : and whether you consider 
the bad plays of our Age, or regard the good ones of the last : 
both the best and worst of the Modern poets will equally 
instruct you to esteem the Ancients." 

Crites had no sooner left speaking; but Eugenius, who 
waited with some impatience for it, thus began : 

Have observed in your speech, that the former part 
of it is convincing, as to what the Moderns have 
profited by the Rules of the Ancients : but, in the 
latter, you are careful to conceal, how much they 
have excelled them. 

We own all the helps we have from them ; and want 
neither veneration nor gratitude, while we acknowledge that, 
to overcome them, we must make use of all the advan- 
tages we have received from them. But to these assistances, 
we have joined our own industry : for had we sate down with 
a dull imitation of them ; we might then have lost somewhat 
of the old perfection, but never acquired any that was new. 
We draw not, therefore, after their lines ; but those of 
Nature : and having the Life before us, besides the ex- 
perience of all they knew, it is no wonder if we hit some airs 
and features, which they have missed. 


I deny not what you urge of Arts and Sciences [p. 514] ; 
that they have flourished in some ages more than others: 
but your instance in Philosophy [p. 514] makes for me. 

For if Natural Causes be more known now, than in the 
time of Aristotle, because more studied ; it follows that 
Poesy and other Arts may, with the same pains, arrive still 
nearer to perfection. And that granted, it will rest for you 
to prove, that they wrought more perfect Images of Human 
Life than we. 

Which, seeing, in your discourse, you have avoided to make 
good ; it shall now be my task to show you some of their 
Defects, and some few Excellencies of the Moderns. And I 
think, there is none amongst us can imagine I do it 
enviously ; or with purpose to detract from them : for what 
interest of Fame, or Profit, can the Living lose by the repu- 
tation of the Dead ? On the other side, it is a great truth, 
which Velleius Paterculus affirms. Audita visis libentiiis 
laudamus; et prcesentia invidia, prceterita admiratione prosequi- 
mur, et his nos obrui, illis instrui credimus, * That Praise or 
Censure is certainly the most sincere, which unbribed 
Posterity shall give us.' 

Be pleased, then, in the first place, to take notice that the 
Greek Poesy, which Crites has affirmed to have arrived to 
perfection in the reign of the Old Comedy [p. 514], was so far 
from it, that the distinction of it into Acts was not known to 
them ; or if it were, it is yet so darkly delivered to us, that we 
cannot make it out. 

All we know of it is, from the singing of their Chorus : and 
that too, is so uncertain, that in some of their Plays, we have 
reason to conjecture they sang more than five times. 

Aristotle, indeed, divides the integral parts of a Play 
into four. 

Firstly. The Protasis or Entrance, which gives light 
only to the Characters of the persons ; and proceeds 
very little into any part of the Action. 

Secondly. The Epitasis or Working up of the Plot, 
where the Play grows warmer ; the Design or Action of 
it is drawing on, and you see something promising, that 
it will come to pass. 

Thirdly. The Catastasis or Counter-turn, which 

^ °i66s^:] EuGENius — Aristotle's Image of a Play. 57 

destroys that expectation, embroils the action in new 
difficulties, and leaves you far distant from that hope in 
which it found you : as you may have observed in a 
violent stream, resisted by a narrow passage ; it turns 
round to an eddy, and carries back the waters with more 
swiftness than it brought them on. 

Lastly. The Catastrophe, which the Grecians call 
hea-L^; the French, Le denoument ; and we, the Discovery 
or Unravelling of the Plot. There, you see all things 
settling again upon the first foundations ; and the ob- 
stacles, which hindered the Design or Action of the Play, 
once removed, it ends with that Resemblance of Truth or 
Nature, that the audience 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 actti: 

So that you see, the Grecians cannot be said to have con- 
sumated this Art : writing rather by Entrances than by Acts ; 
and having rather a general indigested notion of a Play, 
than knowing how and where to bestow the particular graces 
of it. 

But since the Spaniards, at this day, allow but three Acts, 
which they call jfornadas, to a Play ; and the Italians, in many 
of theirs, follow them : when I condemn the Ancients, I de- 
clare it is not altogether because they have not five Acts to every 
Play ; but because they have not confined themselves to one certain 
number. 'Tis building a house, without a model : and when 
they succeeded in such undertakings, they ought to have 
sacrificed to Fortune, not to the Muses. 

Next, for the Plot, which Aristotle called ro fiv6o<;, and 
often Twv Trpay/jLCLTov avvdeaif; ; and from him, the Romans^ 
Fabula. It has already been judiciously observed by a late 
Writer that * in their Tradgedies, it was only some tale 

58 EuGENius — Staleness of Ancients' plots, p- °,^^!5: 

derived from Thebes or Troy ; or, at least, something that 
happened in those two Ages: which was worn so threadbare 
by the pens of all the Epic Poets ; and even, by tradition itself 
of the talkative Greeklings, as Ben. Johnson calls them, 
that before it came upon the Stage, it was already known to all 
the audience. And the people, as soon as ever they heard the 
name of CBdipus, knew as well as the Poet, that he had 
killed his father by a mistake, and committed incest with his 
mother, before the Play ; that they were now to hear of a 
great plague, an oracle, and the ghost of Laws : so that they 
sate, with a yawning kind of expectation, till he was to come, 
with his eyes pulled out, and speak a hundred or two of verses, 
in a tragic tone, in complaint of his misfortunes.' 

But one CBdipus, Hercules, or Medea had been toler- 
able. Poor people ! They scaped not so good cheap. They 
had still the chapon bouille set before them, till their appetites 
were cloyed with the same dish ; and the Novelty being gone, 
the Pleasure vanished. So that one main end of Dramatic 
Poesy, in its definition [p. 513] (which was, to cause Delight) 
was, of consequence, destroyed. 

In their Comedies, the Romans generally borrowed 
their Plots from the Greek poets : and theirs were commonly 
a little girl stolen or wandered from her parents, brought back 
unknown to the same city, there got with child by some lewd 
young fellow, who (by the help of his servant) cheats his 
father. And when her time comes to cry J UNO Lucina fer 
opem ! one or other sees a little box or cabinet, which was 
carried away with her, and so discovers her to her friends : 
if some god do not prevent [anticipate] it, by coming down in 
a machine [i.e., supernaturally] , and take the thanks of it to 

By the Plot, you may guess much [many] of the characters 
of the Persons. An old Father that would willingly, before 
he dies, see his son well married. His debauched Son, kind 
in his nature to his wench, but miserably in want of money. 
A Servant or Slave, who has so much wit [as] to strike in with 
him, and help to dupe his father, A braggadochio Captain, 
a Parasite, and a Lady of Pleasure. 

As for the poor honest maid, upon whom all the story is 
built, and who ought to be one of the principal Actors in the 
Play ; she is commonly a Mute in it. She has the breeding 

°^^!^;]EuGENius- Ancients had no Unity of Place. 59 

of the old Elizabeth [Elizabethan] way, for " maids to be 
seen, and not to be heard " : and it is enough, you know she 
is willing to be married, when the Fifth Act requires it. 

These are plots built after the Italian mode of houses. 
You see through them all at once. The Characters, indeed, 
are Imitations of Nature : but so narrow as if they had imi- 
tated only an eye or an hand, and did not dare to venture on 
the lines of a face, or the proportion of a body. 

But in how strait a compass sorever, they have bounded their 
Plots and Characters, we will pass it by, if they have regu- 
larly pursued them, and perfectly observed those three Unities, 
of T I M E, Place, and Action; the knowledge of which, 
you say ! is derived to us from them. 

But, in the first place, give me leave to tell you ! that the 
Unity of P L A c E, however it might be practised by them, 
was never any of their Rules. We neither find it in 
Aristotle, Horace, or any who have written of it ; till, in 
our Age, the French poets first made it a Precept of the Stage. 

The Unity of Time, even Terence himself, who was 
the best and most regular of them, has neglected. His 
Heautontimoroumenos or " Self Punisher " takes up, visibly, 
two days. *' Therefore," says Scaliger, " the two first Acts 
concluding the first day, were acted overnight ; the last three 
on the ensuing day." 

And Euripides, in tying himself to one day, has committed 
an absurdity never to be forgiven him. For, in one of his 
Tragedies, he has made Theseus go from Athens to Thebes, 
which was about forty English miles ; under the walls of it, 
to give battle ; and appear victorious in the next Act : and yet, 
from the time of his departure, to the return of the Nuntius, 
who gives relation of his victory ; Mthra and the Chorus 
have but thirty-six verses, that is, not for every mile, a verse. 

The like error is evident in Terence his Eunuch ; when 
Laches the old man, enters, in a mistake, the house oi Thais; 
where, between his Exit and the Entrance of Pythias (who 
comes to give an ample relation of the garboils he has raised 
within), Parmeno who was left upon the stage, has not 
above five lines to speak. C'est bien employe, un temps si court ! 
says the French poet, who furnished me with one of the[se] 

6o EuGENius — Ancients' neglect of Time. [J- ^J^^; 

And almost all their Tragedies will afford us examples of 
the like nature. 

'Tis true, they have kept the Continuity, or as you called 
it, Liaison des Scenes, somewhat better. Two do not perpe- 
tually come in together, talk, and go out together; and other 
two succeeded them, and do the same, throughout the Act: 
which the English call by the name of " Single Scenes." But 
the reason is, because they have seldom above two or three 
Scenes, properly so called, in every Act. For it is to be ac- 
counted a new Scene, not every time the Stage is empty : but 
every person who enters, though to others, makes it so; 
because he introduces a new business. 

Now the Plots of their Plays being narrow, and the persons 
few : one of their Acts was written in a less compass than 
one of our well-wrought Scenes ; and yet they are often 
deficient even in this. 

To go no further than Terence. You find in the Eunuch, 
Antipho entering, single, in the midst of the Third Act, after 
Chremes and Pythias were gone off. In the same play, 
you have likewise DORIAS beginning the Fourth Act alone; 
and after she has made a relation of what was done at the 
soldier's entertainment (which, by the way, was very inarti- 
ficial to do ; because she was presumed to speak directly to 
the Audience, and to acquaint them with what was necessary 
to be known : but yet should have been so contrived by the 
Poet as to have been told by persons of the Drama to one 
another, and so by them, to have come to the knowledge of 
the people), she quits the Stage : and Phmdria enters next, 
alone likewise. He also gives you an account of himself, and 
of his returning from the country, in monologue : to which 
unnatural way of Narration, Terence is subject in all his 

In his Adelphi or "Brothers," Syrus and Demea enter 
after the Scene was broken by the departure of Sostrata, 
Geta, And Canthara: and, indeed, you can scarce look into 
any of his Comedies, where you will not presently discover 
the same interruption. 

And as they have failed both in [the] laying of the Plots, and 
managing of them, swerving from the Rules of their own Art, 
by misrepresenting Nature to us, in which they have ill satis- 
fied one intention of a Play, which was Delight : so in the 

J- ^6^-7.1 EuGENius — Bad tendency of their Plays. 6i 

Instructive part [/^. 513, 582-4], they have erred worse. In- 
stead of punishing vice, and rewarding virtue ; they have 
often shown a prosperous wickedness, and an unhappy piety. 
They have set before us a bloody Image of Revenge, in 
Medea ; and given her dragons to convey her safe from 
punishment. A Priam and Astyanax murdered, and 
Cassandra ravished ; and Lust and Murder ending in the 
victory of him that acted them. In short, there is no inde- 
corum in any of our modern Plays; which, if I would excuse, I 
could not shadow with some Authority from the Ancients. 

And one farther note of them, let me leave you ! Tragedies 
and Comedies were not writ then, as they are now, promis- 
cuously, by the same person : but he who found his genius 
bending to the one, never attempted the other way. This is 
so plain, that I need not instance to you, that Aristophanes, 
Plautus, Terence never, any of them, writ a Tragedy; 
iEscHYLUS, Euripides, Sophocles, and Seneca never 
meddled with Comedy. The Sock and Buskin were not worn 
by the same Poet. Having then so much care to excel in one 
kind ; very little is to be pardoned them, if they miscarried in it. 

And this would lead me to the consideration of their Wit, 
had not Crites given me sufficient warning, not to be too 
bold in my judgement of it ; because (the languages being 
dead, and many of the customs and little accidents on which 
it depended lost to us [p. 518]) we are not competent judges of 
it. But though I grant that, here and there, we may miss 
the application of a proverb or a custom ; yet, a thing well 
said, will be Wit in all languages : and, though it may lose 
something in the translation ; yet, to him who reads it in 
the original, 'tis still the same. He has an Idea of its ex- 
cellency ; though it cannot pass from his mind into any 
other expression or words than those in which he finds it. 

When Phmdria, in the Eunuch, had a command from his 
mistress to be absent two days ; and encouraging himself to 
go through with it, said. Tandem ego non ilia caream, si opus 
sity vel totum triduum ? Parmeno, to mock the softness of 
his master, lifting up his hands and eyes, cries out, as it were 
in admiration, Hui ! universum triduum ! The elegancy of 
which universum^ though it cannot be rendered in our 

62 EuGENius— Cleveland's way of Elocution, [^^"^f^ 

language ; yet leaves an impression of the Wit on our 

But this happens seldom in him [i.e., Terence]; in Plautus 
oftner, who is infinitely too bold in his metaphors and coin- 
ing words ; out of which, many times, his Wit is nothing. 
Which, questionless, was one reason why Horace falls upon 
him so severely in those verses. 

Sed Proavi nostri Plautinos et numeros et 
Laudavere sales, nimium patienter utrumqtie 
Ne dicarn stolide. 

For Horace himself was cautious to obtrude [in obtruding] 
a new word upon his readers : and makes custom and com- 
mon use, the best measure of receiving it into our writings. 

Multa renascentur qua nunc cecidere, cadentque 
Quce nunc sunt in honore vocahida, si volet usus 
Quern penes, arbitrium est, et jus, et norma loquendi. 

The not observing of this Rule, is that which the World has 
blamed in our satirist Cleveland. To express a thing hard 
and unnaturally is his New Way of Elocution. Tis true, no 
poet but may sometimes use a catachresis. Virgil does it, 

Mistaque ridenti Colocasia fundet A cantho — 

in his Eclogue of PoLLio. 
And in his Seventh JBneid — 

Mirantur et unda, 
Miratur nenius, insuetam ftdgentia longe^ 
Scuta virum fluvio, pictaque innare carinas. 

And Ovid once ; so modestly, that he asks leave to do it. 

Si verbo audacia detur 

Hand metuam summi dixisse Palatia coeli, 

calling the Court of Jupiter, by the name of Augustus his 
palace. Though, in another place, he is more bold ; where 
he says, Et longas visent Capitolia pampas. 

^!^;] EuGENius — Wit best, in easy language. 63 

But to do this always, and never be able to write a line 
without it, though it may be admired by some few pedants, 
will not pass upon those who know that Wit is best conveyed 
to us in the most easy language : and is most to be admired, when 
a great thought comes dressed in words so commonly received, thai 
it is understood by the meanest apprehensions; as the best meat is 
the most easily digested. But we cannot read a verse of 
Cleveland's, without making a face at it ; as if every word 
were a pill to swallow. He gives us, many times, a hard nut 
to break our teeth, without a kernel for our pains. So that 
there is this difference between his Satires and Doctor 
Donne's: that the one [Donne] gives us deep thoughts 
in common language, though rough cadence ; the other 
[Cleveland] gives us common thoughts in abtruse words. 
*Tis true, in some places, his wit is independent of his words, 
as in that of the Rebel Scot — 

Had Cain been Scot, GOD would have changed his doom, 
Not forced him wander, but confined him home. 

Si sic, omnia dixisset ! This is Wit in all languages. 'Tis 
like Mercury, never to be lost or killed. And so that 

For beauty, like white powder, makes no noise, 

And yet the silent hypocrite destroys. 

You see the last line is highly metaphorical ; but it is so 
soft and gentle, that it does not shock us as we read it. 

But to return from whence I have digressed, to the con- 
sideration of the Ancients' Writing and Wit ; of which, by 
this time, you will grant us, in some measure, to be fit judges. 

Though I see many excellent thoughts in Seneca: yet he, 
of them, who had a genius most proper for the Stage, was 
Ovid. He [i.e., Ovid] had a way of writing so fit to stir up a 
pleasing admiration and concernment, which are the objects 
of a Tragedy ; and to show the various movements of a soul 
combating betwixt different passions: that, had he lived in 
our Age, or (in his own) could have writ with our advantages, 
no man but must have yielded to him ; and therefore, I am 
confident the Medea is none of his. For, though I esteem 

64 EuGENius — Ancients had few Love ScENES.p- ^,75^5!^. 

it, for the gravity and sentiousness of it (which he himself 
concludes to be suitable to a Tragedy, Omne genus scripti 
gravitate Tragcedia vincit ; yet it moves not my soul enough, 
to judge that he, who, in the Epic way, wrote things so near 
the Drama (as the stories of Myrrh A, of Caunus and 
BiBLls, and the rest) should stir up no more concernment, 
where he most endeavoured it. 

The masterpiece of Seneca, I hold to be that Scene in the 
Troades, where Ulysses is seeking for Astyanax, to kill him. 
There, you see the tenderness of a mother so represented in 
Andromache, that it raises compassion to a high degree in 
the reader ; and bears the nearest resemblance, of anything 
in their Tragedies, to the excellent Scenes of Passion in 
Shakespeare or in Fletcher. 

For Love Scenes, you will find but few among them. 
Their Tragic poets dealt not with that soft passion ; but with 
Lust, Cruelty, Revenge, Ambition, and those bloody actions 
they produced, which were more capable of raising horror 
than compassion in an audience : leaving Love untouched, 
whose gentleness would have tempered them ; which is the 
most frequent of all the passions, and which (being the private 
concernment of every person) is soothed by viewing its own 
Image [p. 549] in a public entertainment. 

Among their Comedies, we find a Scene or two of tender- 
ness : and that, where you would least expect it, in Plautus. 
But to speak generally, their lovers say little, when they see 
each other, but anima mea ! vita mea ! ^cor) kul yfryxv ! as the 
women, in Juvenal's time, used to cry out, in the fury of 
their kindness. 

Then indeed, to speak sense were an offence. Any sudden 
gust of passion, as an ecstasy of love in an unexpected meeting, 
cannot better be expressed than in a word and a sigh, breaking 
one another. Nature is dumb on such occasions ; and to make 
her speak, would be to represent her unlike herself. But there 
are a thousand other concernments of lovers as jealousies, 
complaints, contrivances, and the like ; where, not to open their 
minds at large to each other, were to be wanting to their own 
love, and to the expectation of the audience : who watch the 
Movements of their Minds, as much as the Changes of their 
Fortunes. For the Imaging of the first [p. 549], is properly 
the work of a Poet ; the latter, he borrows of the Historian." 

■'■ ^leet-";] Crites concludes the First Argument. 65 

EuGENius was proceeding in that part of his discourse, 
when Crites interrupted him. 

See," said he, " Eugenius and I are never likely 

to have this question decided betwixt us : for he 
maintains the Moderns have acquired a new perfec- 
tion in writing ; I only grant, they have altered the 
mode of it. 

Homer describes his heroes, [as] men of great appetites ; 
lovers of beef broiled upon the coals, and good fellows : con- 
trary to the practice of the French romances, whose heroes 
neither eat, nor drink, nor sleep for love. 

Virgil makes jEneas, a bold avower of his own virtues, 

Sum pius jEneas fama super cethera notus ; 

which, in the civility of our Poets, is the character of a 
Fanfaron or Hector. For with us, the Knight takes occasion to 
walk out, or sleep, to avoid the vanity of telling his own story ; 
which the trusty Squire is ever to perform for him [p. 535]. 

So, in their Love Scenes, of which Eugenius spoke last, 
the Ancients were more hearty ; we, the more talkative. They 
writ love, as it was then the mode to make it. 

And I will grant thus much to Eugenius, that, perhaps, 
one of their Poets, had he lived in our Age, 

Siforet hoc nostrum fata delupsus in cBvum, 

as Horace says of Lucilius, he had altered many things : 
not that they were not natural before ; but that he might ac- 
commodate himself to the Age he lived in. Yet, in the mean- 
time, we are not to conclude anything rashly against those 
great men ; but preserve to them, the dignity of Masters : and 
give that honour to their memories, quos lihitina sacravit ; part 
of which, we expect may be paid to us in future times." 

This moderation of Crites, as it was pleasing to all the 
company, so it put an end to that dispute : which Eugenius, 
who seemed to have the better of the argument, would urge 
no further. 

But LisiDEius, after he had acknowledged himself of Euge- 
nius his opinion, concerning the Ancients; yet told him, 

H 7 

66 LisiDEius — Opens the Second Argument.^- ^,^^!^ 

" He had forborne till his discourse was ended, to ask him, 
Why he preferred the English Plays above those of other 
nations ? and whether we ought not to submit our Stage to 
the exactness of our next neighbours ?" 

" Though," said Eugenius, " I am, at all times, ready to 
defend the honour of my country against the French ; and to 
maintain, we are as well able to vanquish them with our pens, 
as our ancestors have been with their swords : yet, if you 
please ! " added he, looking upon Neander, " I will commit 
this cause to my friend's management. His opinion of our 
plays is the same with mine. And besides, there is no reason 
that Crites and I, who have now left the Stage, should 
re-enter so suddenly upon it : which is against the laws of 

F THE question had been stated," replied Lisideius, 
" Who had writ best, the French or English, forty 
years ago [i.e., in 1625]? I should have been of 
your opinion ; and adjudged the honour to our 
own nation: but, since that time," said he, turning towards 
Neander, " we have been so long bad Englishmen, that 
we had not leisure to be good Poets. Beaumont [d. 1615], 
Fletcher [d. 1625], and Johnson [d. 1637], who were 
only [alone] capable of bringing us to that degree of perfec- 
tion which we have, were just then leaving the world ; 
as if, in an Age of so much horror. Wit and those 
milder studies of humanity had no farther business among 
us. But the Muses, who ever follow peace, went to plant in 
another country. It was then, that the great Cardinal de 
Richelieu began to take them into his protection ; and that, 
by his encouragement, Corneille and some other Frenchmen 
reformed their Theatre : which, before, was so much below 
ours, as it now surpasses it, and the rest of Europe. But 
because Crites, in his discourse for the Ancients, has 
prevented [anticipated] me by touching on many Rules of the 
Stage, which the Moderns have borrowed from them; I shall 
only, in short, demand of you, ' Whether you are not con- 
vinced that, of all nations, the French have best observed 
them ? ' 

In the Unity of T i m e , you find them so scrupulous, that 
it yet remains a dispute among their Poets, * Whether the 

^' ^i665-7-] LisiDEius — Tragi-Comedy in England. 6^ 

artificial day, of twelve hours more or less, be not meant by 
Aristotle, rather that the natural one of twenty-four ? ' and 
consequently, 'Whether all Plays ought not to be reduced into 
that compass ? ' This I can testify, that in all their dramas 
writ within these last twenty years [1645-1665] and upwards, 
I have not observed any, that have extended the time to thirty 

In the Unity of Place, they are full[y] as scrupulous. 
For many of their critics limit it to that spot of ground, where 
the Play is supposed to begin. None of them exceed the 
compass of the same town or city. 

The Unity of A c T i o n in all their plays, is yet more 
conspicuous. For they do not burden them with Under Plots, 
as the English do ; which is the reason why many Scenes 
of our Tragi-Comedies carry on a Design that is nothing 
of kin to the main Plot : and that we see two distincts webs 
in a Play, like those in ill-wrought stuffs ; and two Actions 
(that is, two Plays carried on together) to the confounding of 
the audience : who, before they are warm in their concern- 
ments for one part, are diverted to another; and, by that 
means, expouse the interest of neither. 

From hence likewise, it arises that one half of our Actors 
[i.e., the Characters in a Play] are not known to the other. 
They keep their distances, as if they were MONTAGUES and 
Capulets ; and seldom begin an acquaintance till the last 
Scene of the fifth Act, when they are all to meet on the Stage. 

There is no Theatre in the world has anything so absurd 
as the English Tragi-Comedy. 'Tis a Drama of our own 
invention ; and the fashion of it is enough to proclaim it so. 
Here, a course of mirth ; there, another of sadness and pas- 
sion ; a third of honour ; and the fourth, a duel. Thus, in 
two hours and a half, we run through all the fits of Bedlam. 

The French afford you as much variety, on the same 
day; but they do it not so unseasonably, or mal apropos 
as we. Our Poets present you the Play and the Farce to- 
gether ; and our Stages still retain somewhat of the original 
civility of the " Red Bull." 

Atque ursum et pugiles media inter carmina poscunt. 

'The end of Tragedies or serious Plays,' says Aristotle, 'is 
to beget Admiration [wonderment], Compassion, or Concern- 

68 LisiDEius — Truth inwoven with Fiction. [J- ^^Zpi. 

rnent.' But are not mirth and compassion things incompatible? 
and is it not evident, that the Poet must, of necessity, destroy 
the former, by interminghng the latter ? that is, he must ruin 
the sole end and object of his Tragedy, to introduce somewhat 
that is forced in, and is not of the body of it ! Would you not 
think that physician mad ! who having prescribed a purge, 
should immediately order you to take restringents upon it ? 

But to leave our Plays, and return to theirs. I have noted 
one great advantage they have had in the Plotting of their 
Tragedies, that is, they are always grounded upon some 
known History, according to that of Horace, Ex noto fictum 
carm n sequar: and in that, they have so imitated the Ancients, 
that they have surpassed them. For the Ancients, as was 
observed before [p. 522], took for the foundation of their Plays 
some poetical fiction; such as, under that consideration, could 
move but little concernment in the audience, because they al- 
ready knew the event of it. But the French[man] goes farther. 

A tque ita mentitur, sic veris falso remiscet, 
Primo ne medium, medio ne discrepet imum. 

He so interweaves Truth with probable Fiction, that he 
puts a pleasing fallacy upon us; mends the intrigues of Fate; 
and dispenses with the severity of History, to reward that 
virtue, which has been rendered to us, there, unfortunate. 
Sometimes the Story has left the success so doubtful, that 
the writer is free, by the privilege of a Poet, to take that 
which, of two or more relations, will best suit his Design. 
As, for example, the death of Cyrus; whom Justin and 
some others report to have perished in the Scythian War; but 
Xenophon affirms to have died in his bed of extreme old age. 

Nay more, when the event is past dispute, even then, we 
are willing to be deceived : and the Poet, if he contrives it 
with appearance of truth, has all the audience of his party 
[on his side], at least, during the time his Play is acting. So 
na urally, we are kind to virtue (when our own interest is not 
in question) that we take it up, as the general concernment 
of mankind. 

On the other side, if you consider the Historical Plays of 
Shakespeare; they are rather so many Chronicles of Kings, 

^' ^xZes-":] L^s^^^^'^s — ^^ CRAVE Truth, or its shew. 69 

or the business, many times, of thirty or forty years crampt 
into a Representation of two hours and a half: which is not 
to imitate or paint Nature, but rather to draw her in minia- 
ture, to take her in little ; to look upon her, through the 
wrong of a perspective [telescope], and receive her Im.ages [pp. 
528, 549], not only much less, but infinitely more imperfect 
than the Life. This, instead of making a Play delightful, 
renders it ridiculous. 

Quodcunque ostendis mihi sic, incredidiis odi. 

For the Spirit of Man cannot be satisfied but with Truth, 
or, at least. Verisimilitude : and a Poem is to contain, if not 
ra ervfia, yet irvfiota-cv o/xoia ; as one of the Greek poets has 
expressed it. [See p. 589.] 

Another thing, in which the French differ from us and 
from the Spaniards, is that they do not embarrass or cumber 
themselves with too much Plot. They only represent so 
much of a Story as will constitute One whole and great 
Action sufficient for a Play. We, who undertake more, do but 
multiply Adventures [pp. 541, 552] ; which (not being produced 
from one another, as Effects from Causes, but, barely, follow- 
ing) constitute many Actions in the Drama, and consequently 
make it many Plays. 

But, by pursuing close [ly] one Argument, which is not 
cloyed with many Turns ; the French have gained more 
liberty for Verse, in which they write. They have leisure to 
dwell upon a subject which deserves it ; and to represent the 
passions [p. ^^2] (which we have acknowledged to be the Poet's 
work) without being hurried from one thing to another, as 
we are in the plays of Calderon ; which we have seen lately 
upon our theatres, under the name of Spanish Plots. 

I have taken notice but of one Tragedy of ours ; whose 
Plot has that uniformity and unity of Design in it, which I 
have commended in the French ; and that is, Rollo, or 
rather under the name of RoLLO, the story of Bassanius 
and GcETA, in Herodian. There, indeed, the plot is neither 
large nor intricate ; but just enough to fill the minds of the 
audience, not to cloy them. Besides, you see it founded on 
the truth of History; only the time of the Action is not 
reduceable to the strictness of the Rules. And you see, 

yo A French Play exalts one chief CHARAcxER.p^yg'^^^^; 

in some places, a little farce mingled, which is below the 
dignity of the other parts. And in this, all our Poets are ex- 
tremely peccant ; even Ben. Johnson himself, in SEyANUS 
and Catiline, has given this Oleo [hodge-podge] of a Play, 
this unnatural mixture of Comedy and Tragedy : which, to 
me, sounds just as ridiculous as The History of David, with 
the merry humours of GOLIAS. In SEyANUS, you may take 
notice of the Scene between LiviA and the Physician; which 
is a pleasant satire upon the artificial helps of beauty. In 
Catiline, you may see the Parliament of Women; the little 
envies of them to one another ; and all that passes betwixt 
Curio and Fulvia. Scenes, admirable in their kind, but 
of an ill mingle with the rest. 

But I return again to the French Writers : who, as I have 
said, do not burden themselves too much with Plot ; which 
has been reproached to them by an Ingenious Person of our 
nation, as a fault. For he says, ' They commonly make but 
one person considerable in a Play. They dwell upon him 
and his concernments ; while the rest of the persons are 
only subservient to set him off.' If he intends this by it, that 
there is one person in the Play who is of greater dignity than 
the rest ; he must tax not only theirs, but those of the 
Ancients, and (which he would be loath to do) the best of 
ours. For it 'tis impossible but that one person must be 
more conspicuous in it than any other; and consequently 
the greatest share in the Action must devolve on him. We 
see it so in the management of all affairs. Even in the most 
equal aristocracy, the balance cannot be so justly poised, 
but some one will be superior to the rest, either in parts, 
fortune, interest, or the consideration of some glorious ex- 
ploit ; which will reduce [lead] the greatest part of business 
into his hands. 

But if he would have us to imagine, that in exalting of 
one character, the rest of them are neglected ; and that all of 
them have not some share or other in the Action of the Play: 
I desire him to produce any of Corneille's Tragedies, 
wherein every person, like so many servants in a well 
governed family, has not some employment ; and who is not 
necessary to the carrying on of the Plot, or, at least, to your 
understanding it. 

^'^.eet-?'.] LiSIDEIUS — TwO KINDS OF RELATIONS. 71 

There are, indeed, some protactic persons [precursors] in 
the Ancients ; whom they make use of in their Plays, either 
to hear or give the Relation : but the French avoid this with 
great address ; making their Narrations only to, or by such, 
who are some way interessed [interested] in the main Design. 

And now I am speaking of Relations; I cannot 
take a fitter opportunity to add this, in favour of the French, 
that they often use them with better judgement, more apropos 
than the English do. 

Not that I commend Narrations in general ; but 
there are two sorts of them : 

One, of those things which are antecedent to the Play, and 
are related to make the Conduct of it more clear to us. But 
'tis a fault to choose such subjects for the Stage, as will in- 
force us upon that rock: because we see that they are seldom 
listened to by the audience ; and that it is, many times, the 
ruin of the play. For, being once let pass without attention, 
the audience can never recover themselves to understand the 
Plot ; and, indeed, it is somewhat unreasonable that they 
should be put to so much trouble, as that, to comprehend 
what passes in their sight, they must have recourse to what 
was done, perhaps ten or twenty years ago. 

But there is another sort of Relations, that is, of things 
happening in the Action of a Play, and supposed to be done 
behind the scenes : and this is, many times, both convenient 
and beautiful. For by it, the French avoid the tumult, 
which we are subject to in England, by representing duels, 
battles, and such like ; which renders our Stage too like the 
theatres where they fight for prizes [i.e., theatres used as 
Fencing Schools, for Assaults of Arms, S-c.]. For what is more 
ridiculous than to represent an army, with a drum and five 
men behind it ? All which, the hero on the other side, is to 
drive in before him. Or to see a duel fought, and one slain 
with two or three thrusts of the foils ? which we know are 
so blunted, that we might give a man an hour to kill another, 
in good earnest, with them. 

I have observed that in all our Tragedies, the audience 
cannot forbear laughing, when the Actors are to die. 'Tis 
the most comic part of the whole Play. 

All Passions may be lively Represented on the Stage, if, 

7 2 LiSIDEIUS 1 M A G I N A T I O N V. S I G H T. [J* ^,2?5!5, 

to the well writing of them, the Actor supplies a good 
commanded voice, and limbs that move easily, and without 
stiffness : but there are many Actions, which can never be 
Imitated to a just height. 

Dying, especially, is a thing, which none but a Roman gladi- 
ator could naturally perform upon the Stage, when he did not 
Imitate or Represent it, but naturally Do it. And, therefore, 
it is better to omit the Representation of it. The words of a 
good writer, which describe it lively, will make a deeper 
impression of belief in us, than all the Actor can persuade us 
to, when he seems to fall dead before us : as the Poet, in the 
description of a beautiful garden, or meadow, will please our 
Imagination more than the place itself will please our sight. 
When we see death Represented, we are convinced it is but 
fiction ; but when we hear it Related, our eyes (the strongest 
witnesses) are wanting, which might have undeceived us : 
and we are all willing to favour the sleight, when the Poet 
does not too grossly impose upon us. 

They, therefore, who imagine these Relations would make 
no concernment in the audience, are deceived, by confound- 
ing them with the other ; which are of things antecedent to 
the Play. Those are made often, in cold blood, as I may 
say, to the audience ; but these are warmed with our concern- 
ments, which are, before, awakened in the Play. 

What the philosophers say of Motion, that * when it is once 
begun, it continues of itself ; and will do so, to Eternity, with- 
out some stop be put to it,' is clearly true, on this occasion. 
The Soul, being moved with the Characters and Fortunes of 
those Imaginary Persons, continues going of its own accord ; 
and we are no more weary to hear what becomes of them, 
when they are not on the Stage, than we are to listen to the 
news of an absent mistress. 

But it is objected, * That if one part of the Play may be 
related; then, why not all? ' 

I answer. Some parts of the Action are more fit to be 
Represented ; some, to be Related. Corneille says judi- 
ciously, * That the Poet is not obliged to expose to view all 
particular actions, which conduce to the principal. He 
ought to select such of them to be Seen, which will appear 
with the greatest beauty, either by the magnificence of the 
shew, or the vehemence of the passions which they produce, 

^' ^t66s-7'.] Lisideius — Emotion, the noblest Action, y;^ 

or some other charm which they have in them : and let the 
rest arrive to the audience, by Narration.' 

'Tis a great mistake in us, to believe the French present 
no part of the Action upon the Stage. Every alteration, or 
crossing of a Design ; every new sprung passion, and turn of 
it, is a part of the Action, and much the noblest : except we 
conceive nothing to be Action, till they come to blows ; as if 
the painting of the Hero's Mind were not more properly the 
Poet's work, than, the strength of his Body. 

Nor does this anything contradict the opinion of Horace, 
where he tells us 

Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem 
Quam qua sunt occulis subjecta fidelibus. 

For he says, immediately after, 

Non tamen intus 
Digna geri promes in scenam, MuUaque tolles 
Ex occulis, qucB mox narret facundia prcssens. 

Among which " many," he recounts some, 

Nee pueros coram populo Medea trucidet, 

Aut in avem Progne mutetur, Cadmus in anguem, &c. 

that is, 'Those actions, which, by reason of their cruelty, will 
cause aversion in us ; or (by reason of their impossibility) un- 
belief {pp. 496, 545], ought either wholly to be avoided by 
a Poet, or only delivered by Narration.' To which, we may 
have leave to add, such as * to avoid tumult,' as was before 
hinted {pp. 535, 544]; or *to reduce the Plot into a more 
reasonable compass of time,' or 'for defect of beauty in them,' 
are rather to be Related than presented to the eye. 

Examples of all these kinds, are frequent ; not only among 
all the Ancients, but in the best received of our English poets. 

We find Ben. Johnson using them in his Magnetic Lady, 
where one comes out from dinner, and Relates the quarrels 
and disorders of it ; to save the indecent appearing of them 
on the Stage, and to abbreviate the story : and this, in express 
imitation of Terence, who had done the same before him, in 

74 LisiDEius — Uses of Relations in Plays, p- ^,"4^. 

his Eunuch; where Pythias makes the like Relation of what 
had happened within, at the soldiers' entertainment. 

The Relations, likewise, of SEjf anus's death and the pro- 
digies before it, are remarkable. The one of which, was hid 
from sight, to avoid the horror and tumult of the Representa- 
tion : the other, to shun the introducing of things impossible 
to be believed. 

In that excellent Play, the Kijig and no King, Fletcher 
goes yet farther. For the whole unravelling of the Plot is 
done by Narration in the Fifth Act, after the manner of the 
Ancients: and it moves great concernment in the audience; 
though it be only a Relation of what was done many years 
before the Play. 

I could multiply other instances ; but these are sufficient 
to prove, that there is no error in chosing a subject which re- 
quires this sort of Narration. In the ill managing of them, 
they may. 

But I find, I have been too long in this discourse; since the 
French have many other excellencies, not common to us. 

As that, you never see any of their Plays end with a Con- 
version, or simple Change of Will : which is the ordinary way 
our Poets use [are accustomed] to end theirs. 

It shows little art in the conclusion of a Dramatic Poem, 
when they who have hindered the felicity during the Four Acts, 
desist from it in the Fifth, without some powerful cause to 
take them off: and though I deny not but such reasons may 
be found ; yet it is a path that is cautiously to be trod, and 
the Poet is to be sure he convinces the audience, that the 
motive is strong enough. 

As, for example, the conversion of the Usurer in the 
Scornful Lady, seems to me, a little forced. For, being a 
Usurer, which implies a Lover of Money in the highest 
degree of covetousness (and such, the Poet has represented 
him) ; the account he gives for the sudden change, is, 
that he has been duped by the wild young fellow: which, 
in reason, might render him more wary another time, and 
make him punish himself with harder fare and coarser 
clothes, to get it up again. But that he should look upon it 
as a judgement, and so repent ; we may expect to hear of in 
a Sermon, but I should never endure it in a Play. 

'■ ^i66s^.'] LisiDEius — Rhyme v. Blank Verse. 75 

I pass by this. Neither will I insist upon the care they take, 
that no person, after his first entrance, shall ever appear ; hut the 
business which brings upon the Stage, shall be evident. Which, 
if observed, must needs render all the events of the Play 
more natural. For there, you see the probability of every 
accident, in the cause that produced it ; and that which 
appears chance in the Play, will seem so reasonable to you, 
that you will there find it almost necessary : so that in the 
Exits of their Actors, you have a clear account of their purpose 
and design in the next Entrance ; though, if the Scene be well 
wrought, the event will commonly deceive you. ' For there 
is nothing so absurd,' says Corneille, ' as for an Actor to 
leave the Stage, only because he has no more to say ! ' 

I should now speak of the beauty of their Rhyme, and the just 
reason I have to prefer that way of writing, in Tragedies, 
before ours, in Blank Verse. But, because it is partly re- 
ceived by us, and therefore, not altogether peculiar to them ; 
I will say no more of it, in relation to their Plays. For our 
own ; I doubt not but it will exceedingly beautify them : and 
I can see but one reason why it should not generally obtain ; 
that is, because our Poets write so ill in it [pp. 503, 578, 598]. 
This, indeed, may prove a more prevailing argument, than all 
others which are used to destroy it: and, therefore, I am only 
troubled when great and judicious Poets, and those who are 
acknowledged such, have writ or spoke against it. As for 
others, they are to be answered by that one sentence of an 
ancient author. Sect ut primo ad consequendos eos quos priores 
ducimus accendimur, ita ubi aut prcBteriri, aut cequari eos posse 
desperavimus, studium cum spe senescit : quod, scilicet, assequi non 
potest, sequi desinit; prcBteriioque eo in quo eminere non possumus, 
aliquid in quo nitamur conquirimus." 

LisiDEius concluded, in this manner; and N bander, after 
a little pause, thus answered him. 

Shall grant Lisideius, without much dispute, a 
great part of what he has urged against us. 

For I acknowledge the French contrive their Plots 
more regularly ; observe the laws of Comedy, and 
decorum of the Stage, to speak generally, with more exactness 

"j^ Neander — French have Tragi- Comedy, p- ^lltl-^. 

than the English. Farther, I deny not but he has taxed us 
justly, in some irregularities of ours ; which he has mentioned. 
Yet, after all, I am of opinion, that neither our faults, nor 
their virtues are considerable enough to place them above us. 

For the lively Imitation of Nature being the Definition of a 
Play [p. 513] ; those which best fulfil that law, ought to be 
esteemed superior to the others. 'Tis true those beauties of 
the French Poesy are such as will raise perfection higher 
where it is ; but are not sufficient to give it where it is not. 
They are, indeed, the beauties of a Statue, not of a Man ; 
because not animated with the Soul of Poesy, which {limitation 
of Humour and Passions. 

And this, Lisideius himself, or any other, however biased 
to their party, cannot but acknowledge; if he will either 
compare the Humours of our Comedies, or the Characters of 
our serious Plays with theirs. 

He that will look upon theirs, which have been written till 
[within] these last ten years [i.e., 1655, when MOLIERE began 
to write], or thereabouts, will find it a hard matter to pick out 
two or three passable Humours amongst them. Corneille 
himself, their Arch Poet ; what has he produced, except the 
Liar ? and you know how it was cried up in France. But 
when it came upon the English Stage, though well translated, 
and that part of DORANT acted to so much advantage by 
Mr. Hart, as, I am confident, it never received in its own 
country ; the most favourable to it, would not put it in com- 
petition with many of Fletcher's or Ben. Johnson's. In 
the rest of Corneille's Comedies you have little humour. 
He tells you, himself, his way is first to show two lovers in 
good intelligence with each other ; in the working up of the 
Play, to embroil them by some mistake ; and in the latter end, 
to clear it up. 

But, of late years, de Moliere, the younger Corneille, 
Quinault, and some others, have been imitating, afar off, 
the quick turns and graces of the English Stage. They 
have mixed their serious Plays with mirth, like our Tragi- 
comedies, since the death of Cardinal Richelieu [in 1642] : 
which Lisideius and many others not observing, have com- 
mended that in them for a virtue [p. 531], which they them- 
selves no longer practise. 

'■ ^iZet^:] Neander — Defence of Tragi-Comedy. "j^j 

Most of their new Plays are, like some of ours, derived from 
the Spanish novels. There is scarce one of them, without a 
veil ; and a trusty DiEGO, who drolls, much after the rate of 
the Adventures [pp. 533, 552]. But their humours, if I may 
grace them with that name, are so thin sown ; that never above 
One of them comes up in a Play. I dare take upon me, to find 
more variety of them, in one play of Ben. Johnson's, than in 
all theirs together: as he who has seen the Alchemist, the 
Silent Woman, or Bartholotiiew Fair, cannot but acknowledge 
with me. I grant the French have performed what was 
possible on the ground work of the Spanish plays. What 
was pleasant before, they have made regular. But there is 
not above one good play to be writ upon all those Plots. 
They are too much alike, to please often ; which we need 
not [adduce] the experience of our own Stage to justify. 

As for their New Way of mingling Mirth with serious Plot, 
I do not, with Lisideius, condemn the thing ; though I can- 
not approve their manner of doing it. He tells us, we cannot 
so speedily re-collect ourselves, after a Scene of great Passion 
and Concernment, as to pass to another of Mirth and Humour, 
and to enjoy it with any relish. But why should he imagine 
the Soul of Man more heavy than his Senses? Does not the 
eye pass from an unpleasant object, to a pleasant, in a much 
shorter time than is required to this ? and does not the un- 
pleasantness of the first commend the beauty of the latter ? 
The old rule of Logic might have convinced him, that ' Con- 
traries when placed near, set off each other.' A continued 
gravity keeps the spirit too much bent. We must refresh it 
sometimes ; as we bait [lunch] upon a journey, that we may go 
on with greater ease. A Scene of Mirth mixed with Tragedy, 
has the same effect upon us, which our music has betwixt 
the Acts ; and that, we find a relief to us from the best Plots 
and Language of the Stage, if the discourses have been long. 

I must, therefore, have stronger arguments, ere I am con- 
vinced that Compassion and Mirth, in the same subject, 
destroy each other : and, in the meantime, cannot but con- 
clude to the honour of our Nation, that we have invented, 
increased, and perfected a more pleasant way of writing for 
the Stage than was ever known to the Ancients or Moderns 
of any nation ; which is, Tragi-Comedy. 

And this leads me to wonder why Lisideius [/>. 533], and 

78 Neander — French Verse is frigid and p- °,^^!^ 

many others, should cry up the barrenness of the French Plots 
above the variety and copiousness of the English ? 

Their Plots are single. They carry on one Design, which 
is push forward by all the Actors ; every scene in the Play 
contributing and moving towards it. Ours, besides the main 
Design, have Under Plots or By-Concernments of less con- 
siderable persons and intrigues ; which are carried on, with 
the motion of the main Plot : just as they say the orb [?orbits] 
of the fixed stars, and those of the planets (though they have 
motions of their own), are whirled about, by the motion of 
the Primum Mobile in which they are contained. That 
similitude expresses much of the English Stage. For, if con- 
trary motions may be found in Nature to agree, if a planet 
can go East and West at the same time; one way, by virtue 
of his own motion, the other, by the force of the First Mover : 
it will not be difficult to imagine how the Under Plot, which 
is only different [from], not contrary to the great Design, may 
naturally be conducted along with it. 

EuGENius [? LisiDEius] has already shown us [p. 534], 
from the confession of the French poets, that the Unity of 
Action is sufficiently preserved, if all the imperfect actions of 
the Play are conducing to the main Design : but when those 
petty intrigues of a Play are so ill ordered, that they have no 
coherence with the other; I must grant, that Lisideius has 
reason to tax that Want of due Connection. For Co-ordina- 
tion in a Play is as dangerous and unnatural as in a State. 
In the meantime, he must acknowledge, our Variety (if well 
ordered) will afford a greater pleasure to the audience. 

As for his other argument, that by pursuing one single Theme, 
they gain an advantage to express, and work up the passions [p. 
533] ; I wish any example he could bring from them, would 
make it good. For I confess their verses are, to me, the 
coldest I have ever read. 

Neither, indeed, is it possible for them, in the way they 
take, so to express Passion as that the effects of it should ap- 
pear in the concernment of an audience; their speeches being 
so many declamations, which tire us with the length : so 
that, instead of persuading us to grieve for their imaginary 
heroes, we are concerned for our own trouble, as we are, in 
the tedious visits of bad [dull] company ; we are in pain till 
they are gone. 


When the French Stage came to be reformed by Cardinal 
Richelieu, those long harangues were introduced, to comply 
with the gravity of a Churchman. Look upon the Cinna and 
POMPEY ! They are not so properly to be called Plays, as 
long Discourses of Reason [s] of State : and Polieucte, in 
matters of Religion, is as solemn as the long stops upon our 
organs. Since that time, it has grown into a custom ; and 
their Actors speak by the hour glass, as our Parsons do. 
Nay, they account it the grace of their parts ! and think 
themselves disparaged by the Poet, if they may not twice or 
thrice in a Play, entertain the audience, with a speech of a 
hundred or two hundred lines. 

I deny not but this may suit well enough with the French : 
for as we, who are a more sullen people, come to be diverted 
at our Plays ; they, who are of an airy and gay temper, come 
thither to make themselves more serious. And this I conceive 
to be one reason why Comedy is more pleasing to us, and 
Tragedy to them. 

But, to speak generally, it cannot be denied that short 
Speeches and Replies are more apt to move the passions, and 
beget concernment in us ; than the other. For it is unnatural 
for any one in a gust of passion, to speak long together ; or 
for another, in the same condition, to suffer him without 

Grief and Passion are like floods raised in little brooks, by 
a sudden rain. They are quickly up; and if the Concernment 
be poured unexpectedly in upon us, it overflows us : but a long 
sober shower gives them leisure to run out as they came in, 
without troubling the ordinary current. 

As for Comedy, Repartee is one of its chiefest graces. The 
greatest pleasure of the audience is a Chase of Wit, kept up 
on both sides, and swiftly managed. And this, our forefathers 
(if not we) have had, in Fletcher's Plays, to a much higher 
degree of perfection, than the French Poets can arrive at. 

There is another part of Lisideius his discourse, in which 
he has rather excused our neighbours, than commended them ; 
that is, for aiming only [simply] to make one person considerable 
in their Plays. 

'Tis very true what he has urged, that one Character in all 
Plays, even without the Poet's care, will have the advantage 

8o Neander — Our Plays have more variety.[J- ^,^6^. 

of all the others; and that the Design of the whole Drama will 
chiefly depend on it. But this hinders not, that there may 
be more shining Characters in the Play ; many persons of a 
second magnitude, nay, some so very near, so almost equal 
to the first, that greatness may be opposed to greatness: and 
all the persons be made considerable, not only by their Quality, 
but their Action. 

'Tis evident that the more the persons are ; the greater will 
be the variety of the Plot. If then, the parts are managed so 
regularl}^, that the beauty of the whole be kept entire ; and 
that the variety become not a perplexed and confused mas;i 
of accidents : you will find it infinitely pleasing, to be 
led in a labyrinth of Design ; where you see some of your 
way before you, yet discern not the end, till you arrive 
at it. 

And that all this is practicable; I can produce, for examples, 
many of our English plays, as the Maid's Tragedy, the 
Alchemist, the Silent Woman. 

I was going to have named the Fox ; but that the Unity of 
Design seems not exactly observed in it. For there appear 
two Actions in the Play ; the first naturally ending with the 
Fourth Act, the second forced from it, in the Fifth. Which 
yet, is the less to be condemned in him, because the disguise 
of VoLPONE (though it suited not with his character as a 
crafty or covetous person) agreed well enough with that of 
a voluptuary: and, by it, the Poet gained the end he aimed at, 
the punishment of vice, and reward of virtue; which that 
disguise produced. So that, to judge equally of it, it was 
an excellent Fifth Act ; but not so naturally proceeding from 
the former. 

But to leave this, and to pass to the latter part of Lisideius 
his discourse; which concerns Relations. I must acknow- 
ledge, with him, that the French have reason, when they hide 
that part of the A ction, which would occasion too much tumult on 
the Stage ; and choose rather to have it made known by Nar- 
ration to the audience [p. 535]. Farther; I think it very con- 
venient, for the reasons he has given, that all incredible Actions 
were removed [p. 537] : but, whether custom has so insinuated 
itself into our countrymen, or Nature has so formed them to 
fierceness, I know not ; but they will scarcely suffer combats 


or other objects of horror to be taken from them. And indeed 
the indecency of tumults is all which can be objected against 
fighting. For why may not our imagination as well suffer 
itself to be deluded with the probability of it, as any other 
thing in the Play. For my part, I can, with as great ease, 
persuade myself that the blows, which are struck, are given 
in good earnest ; as I can, that they who strike them, are 
Kings, or Princes, or those persons which they represent. 

For objects of incredibility lii, 537], I would be satisfied from 
LisiDEius, whether we have any so removed from all ap- 
pearance of truth, as are those in Corneille's ^iV£)/?OM£Z)£; ? 
A Play that has been frequented [repeated] the most, of any 
he has writ. If the Perseus or the son of the heathen god, 
the Pegasus, and the Monster, were not capable to choke a 
strong belief? let him blame any representation of ours here- 
after! Those, indeed, were objects of delight; yet the reason is 
the same as to the probability: for he makes it not a Ballette 
[Ballet] or Masque; but a Play, which is, to resemble truth. 

As for Death, that it ought not to be represented [p. 536] : I 
have, besides the arguments alleged by Lisideius, the autho- 
rity of Ben. Johnson, who hasforeborne it in his Tragedies: 
for both the death of Se^anus and Catiline are Related. 
Though, in the latter, I cannot but observe one irregularity of 
that great poet. He has removed the Scene in the same 
Act, from Rome to Catiline's army ; and from thence, again 
to Rome : and, besides, has allowed a very inconsiderable 
time after Catiline's speech, for the striking of the battle, 
and the return of Petreius, who is to relate the event 
of it to the Senate. Which I should not animadvert upon 
him, who was otherwise a painful observer of to irpeirov or 
the Decorum of the Stage : if he had not used extreme 
severity in his judgement [in his " Discoveries "J upon the 
incomparable Shakespeare, for the same fault. 

To conclude on this subject of Relations, if we are to be 
blamed for showing too much of the Action ; the French are 
as faulty for discovering too little of it. A mean betwixt 
both, should be observed by every judicious writer, so as the 
audience may neither be left unsatisfied, by not seeing what 
is beautiful ; or shocked, by beholding what is either incredible 
or indecent. 

I hope I have already proved in this discourse, that though 

F 7 

82 Neander — Losses through the Unities, p- ^Zf-^: 

we are not altogether so punctual as the French, in observing 
the laws of Comedy : yet our errors are so few, and [so] little ; 
and those things wherein we excel them so considerable, 
that we ought, of right, to be preferred before them. 

But what will Lisideius say ? if they themselves acknow- 
kdge they are too strictly tied up by those laws : for the 
breaking which, he has blamed the English ? I will allege 
Corneille's words, as I find them in the end of this Discourse 
of The three Unities. II est facile aux speculatifs d'etre severe, 
&c. * 'Tis easy, for speculative people to judge severely: but if 
they would produce to public view, ten or twelve pieces of 
this nature ; they would, perhaps, give more latitude to the 
Rules, than Ihavedone: when, by experience, they had known 
how much we are bound up, and constrained by them, and 
how many beauties of the Stage they banished from it.' 

To illustrate, a little, what he has said. By their servile 
imitations of the Unities of Time and Place, and 
Integrityof Scenes; they have brought upon them- 
selves the Dearth of Plot and Narrowness of Imagination 
which may be observed in all their Plays. 

How many beautiful accidents might naturally happen in 
two or three days ; which cannot arrive, with any probability, 
in the compass of twenty-four hours ? There is time to be 
allowed, also,for maturity of design: which, amongst great and 
prudent persons, such as are often represented in Tragedy, 
cannot, with any likelihood of truth, be brought to pass at so 
short a warning. 

Farther, by tying themselves strictly to the Unity of 
Place and Unbroken Scenes; they are forced, 
many times, to omit some beauties which cannot be shown 
where the Act began : but might, if the Scene were interrupted, 
and the Stage cleared, for the persons to enter in another 
place. And therefore, the French Poets are often forced upon 
absurdities. For if the Act begins in a Chamber, all the 
persons in the Play must have some business or other to 
come thither ; or else they are not to be shown in that Act : 
and sometimes their characters are very unfitting to appear 
there. As, suppose it were the King's Bedchamber ; yet the 
meanest man in the Tragedy, must come and despatch his 
business there, rather than in the Lobby or Courtyard (which 


is [were] fitter for him), for fear the Stage should be cleared, 
and the Scenes broken. 

Many times, they fall, by it, into a greater inconvenience : 
for they keep their Scenes Unbroken ; and yet Change the 
Place. As, in one of their newest Plays [i.e., before 1665]. 
Where the Act begins in a Street : there, a gentleman is to 
meet his friend ; he sees him, with his man, coming out from 
his father's house ; they talk together, and the first goes out. 
The second, who is a lover, has made an appointment with 
his mistress : she appears at the Window ; and then, we are 
to imagine the Scene lies under it. This gentleman is called 
away, and leaves his servant with his mistress. Presently, 
her father is heard from within. The young lady is afraid 
the servingman should be discovered ; and thrusts him 
through a door, which is supposed to be her Closet [Boudoir]. 
After this, the father enters to the daughter ; and now the 
Scene is in a House : for he is seeking, from one room to 
another, for his poor Philipin or French Diego : who is 
heard from within, drolling, and breaking many a miserable 
conceit upon his sad condition. In this ridiculous manner, 
the Play goes on ; the Stage being never empty all the while. 
So that the Street, the Window, the two Houses, and the 
Closet are made to walk about, and the Persons to stand still ! 

Now, what, I beseech you ! is more easy than to write a 
regular French Play ? or more difficult than to write an 
irregular English one, like those of Fletcher, or of 
Shakespeare ? 

If they content themselves, as Corneille did, with some 
flat design, which (like an ill riddle) is found out ere it be 
half proposed ; such Plots, we can make every way regular, 
as easily as they : but whene'er they endeavour to rise up to 
any quick Turns or Counter-turns of Plot, as some of them 
have attempted, since Corneille's Plays have been less in 
vogue; you see they write as irregularly as we ! though they 
cover it more speciously. Hence the reason is perspicuous, 
why no French plays, when translated, have, or ever can 
succeed upon the English Stage. For, if you consider the 
Plots, our own are fuller of variety ; if the Writing, ours are 
more quick, and fuller of spirit : and therefore 'tis a strange 
mistake in those who decry the way of writing Plays m 
Verse ; as if the English therein imitated the French. 

84 Neander — English Plays better in Plot, P^el^: 

We have borrowed nothing from them. Our Plots are 
weaved in English looms. We endeavour, therein, to follow 
the variety and greatness of Characters, which are derived 
to us from Shakespeare and Fletcher. The copiousness 
and well knitting of the Intrigues, we have from Johnson. 
And for the Verse itself, we have English precedents, of elder 
date than any of Corneille's plays. Not to name our old 
Comedies before Shakespeare, which are all writ in verse of 
six feet or Alexandrines, such as the French now use : I can 
show in Shakespeare, many Scenes of Rhyme together; 
and the like in Ben Johnson's tragedies. In Catiline and 
Sejanus, sometimes, thirty or forty lines. I mean, besides 
the Chorus or the Monologues ; which, by the way, showed 
Ben. no enemy to this way of writing: especially if you look 
upon his Sad Shepherd, which goes sometimes upon rhyme, 
sometimes upon blank verse ; like a horse, who eases himself 
upon trot and amble. You find him, likewise, commending 
Fletcher's pastoral of the Faithftd Shepherdess: which is, 
for the most part, [in] Rhyme; though not refined to that 
purity, to which it hath since been brought. And these 
examples are enough to clear us from a servile imitation of 
the French. 

But to return, from whence I have digressed. I dare 
boldly affirm these two things of the English Drama. 

First. That we have many Plays of ours as regular as 
any of theirs ; and which, besides, have more variety of 
Plot and Characters. And 

Secondly. That in most of the irregular Plays of 
Shakespeare or Fletcher (for Ben. Johnson's are for 
the most part regular), there is a more masculine Fancy, 
and greater Spirit in all the Writing, than there is in any 
of the French. 
I could produce, even in Shakespeare's and Fletcher's 
Works, some Plays which are almost exactly formed ; as the 
Merry Wives of Windsor and the Scornful Lady. But because, 
generally speaking, Shakespeare, who writ first, did not 
perfectly observe the laws of Comedy ; and Fletcher, who 
came nearer to perfection [in this respect], yet, through care- 
lessness, made many faults : I will take the pattern of a per- 
fect Play from Ben Johnson, who was a careful and learned 

^i&65^:] Characters, & Writing, than the French. 85 

observer of the Dramatic Laws ; and, from all his Comedies, 
I shall select the Silent Woman [p. 597], of which I will make 
a short examen [examination], according to those Rules which 
the French observe." 

As N BANDER was beginning to examine the Silent Woman : 
EuGENius, looking earnestly upon him, " I beseech you, 
Neander! " said he, "gratify the company, and me in 
particular, so far, as, before you speak of the Play, to give us 
a Character of the Author : and tell us, frankly, your opinion ! 
whether you do not think all writers, both French and 
English, ought to give place to him ? " 

Fear," replied Neander, " that in obeying your 
commands, I shall draw a little envy upon my- 
self. Besides, in performing them, it will be first 
necessary to speak somewhat of Shakespeare 
and Fletcher his Rivals in Poesy ; and one of them, in 
my opinion, at least his Equal, perhaps his Superior. 

To begin then with Shakespeare. He was the man, who, 
of all Modern and perhaps Ancient poets, had the largest and 
most comprehensive Soul [p. 540]. All the Images of 
Nature [pp. 528, 533] were still present [apparent] to him 
[p. 489] : and he drew them not laboriously, but luckily 
[felicitously]. 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 natur- 
ally learned. He needed not the spectacles of books, to read 
Nature; he looked inwards, and found her there. I cannot 
say, he is everywhere alike. Were he so ; I should do him 
injury to compare him [even] 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 pre- 
sented to him. No man can say, he ever had a fit subject 
for his wit, and did not then raise himself as high above the 
rest of poets. 

Quantum lenta solent, inter viberna cupressi. 

The consideration of this, made Mr. Hales, of Eton, say, 
* That there was no subject of which any poet ever writ ; but 
he would produce it much better treated of in Shakespeare.' 

86 Neander — Beaumont and Fletcher's PZeS: 

And however others are, now, generally preferred before him ; 
yet the Age wherein he lived (which had contemporaries with 
him, Fletcher and Johnson) never equalled them to him, 
in their esteem. And in the last King's [CHARLES I.] Court, 
when Ben.'s reputation was at [the] highest ; Sir John 
Suckling, and with him, the greater part of the Courtiers, 
set our Shakespeare far above him. 

Beaumont and Fletcher (of whom I am next to speak), 
had, with the advantage of Shakespeare's wit, which was 
their precedent, great natural gifts improved by study. 
Beaumont, especially, being so accurate a judge of plays, 
that Ben. Johnson, while he [i.e., Beaumont] lived, submit- 
ted all his writings to his censure ; and, 'tis thought, used his 
judgement in correcting, if not contriving all his plots. What 
value he had for [i.e., attached to] him, appears by the verses 
he writ to him : and therefore I need speak no farther of it. 

The first Play which brought Fletcher and him in esteem, 
was their Philaster. For, before that, they had written 
two or three very unsuccessfully : as the like is reported of 
Ben. Johnson, before he writ Every Man in his Humour [acted 
in 1598]. Their Plots were generally more regular than 
Shakespeare's, especially those which were made before 
Beaumont's death : and they understood, and imitated the 
conversation of gentlemen [in the conventional sense in which 
it was understood in Dryden's time], much better [i.e., than 
Shakespeare] ; whose wild debaucheries, and quickness of 
wit in repartees, no Poet can ever paint as they have done. 

This Humour, which Ben.Johnson derived from particular 
persons; they made it not their business to describe. They 
represented all the passions very lively; but, above all, Love. 

I am apt to believe the English language, in them, arrived 
to its highest perfection. What words have since been taken 
in, are rather superfluous than necessary. 

Their Plays are now the most pleasant and frequent en- 
tertainments of the Stage ; two of theirs being acted through 
the year, for one of Shakespeare's or Johnson's. The reason 
iS because there is a certain Gaiety in their Comedies, and 
Pathos in their more serious Plays, which suit generally with 
all men's humours. Shakespeare's Language is likewise a 
little obsolete; and Ben. Johnson's Wit comes short of theirs. 


As for Johnson, to whose character I am now arrived ; if 
we look upon him, while he was himself (for his last Plays 
were but his dotages) I think him the most learned and 
judicious Writer which any Theatre ever had. He was a 
most severe judge of himself, as well as others. One cannot 
say he wanted Wit ; but rather, that he was frugal of it 
[p. 572]. In his works, you find little to retrench or alter. 

Wit and Language, and Humour also in some measure, 
we had before him ; but something of Art was wanting to the 
Drama, till he came. He managed his strength to more advan- 
tage than any who preceded him. You seldom find him making 
love in any of his Scenes, or endeavouring to move the pas- 
sions: his genius was too sullen and saturnine to doit grace- 
fully; especially when he knew, he came after those who had 
performed both to such a height. Humour was his proper 
sphere ; and in that, he delighted most to represent mechanic 
[uncultivated] people. 

He was deeply conversant in the Ancients, both Greek 
and Latin ; and he borrowed boldly from them. There is 
scarce a Poet or Historian, among the Roman authors of 
those times, whom he has not translated in Sejanus 
and 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 own poets 
had written either of his Tragedies, we had seen less of it 
than in him. 

If there was any fault in his Language, 'twas that he 
weaved it too closely and laboriously in his serious Plays. 
Perhaps, too, he did a little too much Romanize our tongue ; 
leaving the words which he translated, almost as much Latin 
as he found them : wherein, though he learnedly followed the 
idiom of their language, he did not enough comply with ours. 

If I would compare him with Shakespeare, I must acknow- 
ledge him, the more correct Poet ; but Shakespeare, the 
greater Wit. Shakespeare was the Homer, or Father of 
our Dramatic Poets ; Johnson was the Virgil, the pattern 
of elaborate writing. I admire him ; but I love Shakespeare. 

To conclude of him. As he has given us the most correct 

88 Neander — Discussion of Ben. Jonson's p^xZet-": 

Plays ; so in the Precepts which he has laid down in his 
Discoveries, we have as many and profitable Rules as any 
wherewith the French can furnish us. 

Having thus spoken of this author ; I proceed to the ex- 
amination of his Comedy, the Silent Woman, 

Rxamen of the ^^ Silent Womanr 

begin, first, with the Length of the Action. It is 
so far from exceeding the compass of a natural day, 
that it takes not up an artificial one. 'Tis all in- 
cluded in the limits of three hours and a half; which 
is no more than is required for the presentment [represen- 
tation of it] on the Stage. A beauty, perhaps, not much 
observed. If it had [been] ; we should not have looked upon 
the Spanish Translation [i.e., the adaptation from the Spanish] 
oi Five Hours [pp. 533, 541], with so much wonder. 

The Scene of it is laid in London. The Latitude of 
Place is almost as little as you can imagine : for it lies all 
within the compass of two houses ; and, after the First Act, 
in one. 

The Continuity of Scenes is observed more than in any of 
our Plays, excepting his own Fox and Alchemist, They are 
not broken above twice, or thrice at the most, in the whole 
Comedy : and in the two best of Corneille's Plays, the Cw 
and CiNNA, they are interrupted once a piece. 

The Action of the Play is entirely One : the end or aim of 
which, is the settling Morose's estate on Dauphine, 

The Intrigue of it is the greatest and most noble of any 
pure unmixed Comedy in any language. You see in it, 
many persons of various Characters and Humours ; and all 

As first. Morose, an old man, to whom all noise, but his 
own talking, is offensive. Some, who would be thought 
critics, say, " This humour of his is forced." But, to remove 
that oljjection, we may consider him, first, to be naturally of 
a delicate hearing, as many are, to whom all sharp sounds 
are unpleasant : and, secondly, we may attribute much of it 
to the peevishness of his age, or the wayward authority of an 

^^,665^0 Epicene, as the pattern of a perfect Play. 89 

old man in his own house, where he may make himseli 
obeyed ; and this the Poet seems to allude to, in his name 
Morose. Besides this, I am assured from divers persons, 
that Ben Johnson was actually acquainted with such a man, 
one altogether as ridiculous as he is here represented. 

Others say, ' It is not enough, to find one man of such an 
humour. It must be common to more ; and the more 
common, the more natural.' To prove this, they instance 
in the best of comical characters, Falstaff. There are many 
men resembling him ; Old, Fat, Merry, Cowardly, Drunken, 
Amorous, Vain, and Lying. But to convince these people ; 
I need but [to] tell them, that Humour is the ridiculous 
extravagance of conversation, wherein one man differs from all 
others. If then it be common, or communicated to any ; how 
differs it from other men's ? or what indeed causes it to be 
ridiculous, so much as the singularity of it. As for Falstaff, 
he is not properly one Humour ; but a Miscellany of Humours 
or Images drawn from so many several men. That wherein 
he is singular is his Wit, or those things he says, prceter ex- 
pectatum, 'unexpected by the audience'; his quick evasions, 
when you imagine him surprised : which, as they are extre- 
mely diverting of themselves, so receive a great addition 
from his person ; for the very sight of such an unwieldy old 
debauched fellow is a Comedy alone. 

And here, having a place so proper for it, I cannot but 
enlarge somewhat upon this subject of Humour, into which 
I am fallen. 

The Ancients had little of it in their Comedies : for the to 
f^ekolov [facetious absurdities] of the Old Comedy, of which 
Aristophanes was chief, was not so much to imitate a man ; 
as to make the people laugh at some odd conceit, which had 
commonly somewhat of unnatural or obscene in it. Thus, 
when you see SocRATES brought upon the Stage, you are not 
to imagine him made ridiculous by the imitation of his 
actions : but rather, by making him perform something very 
unlike himself; something so childish and absurd, as, by 
comparing it with the gravity of the true Socrates, makes a 
ridiculous object for the spectators. 

In the New Comedy which succeeded, the Poets sought, 
indeed, to express the ^6o<: [manners and habits] ; as in their 

90 Neander — Definition of Humour, p- ^,^5^. 

Tragedies, the 7rddo<i [sufferings] of mankind. But this ^Oo<i con- 
tained only the general characters of men and manners; as [of] 
Old Men, Lovers, Servingmen,Courtizans, Parasites, and such 
other persons as we see in their Comedies. All which, they 
made alike: that is, one Old Man or Father, one Lover, one 
Courtizan so like another, as if the first of them had begot 
the rest of every [each] sort. Ex liomine hunc natum dicas. 
The same custom they observed likewise in their Tragedies. 
As for the French. Though they have the word humeur 
among them : yet they have small use of it in their Comedies 
or Farces : they being but ill imitations of the ridiculum or 
that which stirred up laughter in the Old Comedy. But 
among the English, 'tis otherwise. Where, by Humour is 
meant some extravagant habit, passion, or affection, particidar, as 
I said before, to some one person, by the oddness of which, he is 
immediately distinguished from the rest of men : which, being 
lively and naturally represented, most frequently begets 
that malicious pleasure in the audience, which is testified 
by laughter : as all things which are deviations from com- 
mon customs, are ever the aptest to produce it. Though, 
by the way, this Laughter is only accidental, as the person re- 
presented is fantastic or bizarre; but Pleasure is essential to 
it, as the Imitation of what is natural. This description of 
these Humours,* drawn from the knowledge and observation 
of particular persons, was the peculiar genius and talent of 
Ben. Johnson. To whose Play, I now return. 

Besides MoROSE, there are, at least, nine or ten different 
Characters and Humours in the Silent Woman : all which 
persons have several concernments of their own ; yet are all 
used by the Poet to the conducting of the main Design to 

I shall not waste time in commending the Writing of this 
Play: but I will give you my opinion, that there is more Wit 
and Acuteness of Fancy in it, than in any of Ben.Johnson's. 
Besides that, he has here described the conversation of gentle- 
men, in the persons of True Wit and his friends, with more 
gaiety, air, and freedom than in the rest of his Comedies. 

For the Contrivance of the Plot: 'tis extreme[ly] elaborate; 

* Compare Dryden's definition of Humour, with that of Lord Macau- 
lay, in his review of Diary and Letters ofMada?ne UArbla y [Edinburgh 
iieview, Jan. 1843). E. A. 1880. 


and yet, withal, easy. For the SeVi?, or Untying of it : 'tis so 
admirable, that, when it is done, no one of the audience would 
think the Poet could have missed it ; and yet, it was con- 
cealed so much before the last Scene, that any other way 
would sooner have entered into your thoughts. 

But I dare not take upon me, to commend the Fabric of 
it ; because it is altogether so full of Art, that I must unravel 
every Scene in it, to commend it as I ought. And this 
excellent contrivance is still the more to be admired ; because 
'tis [a] Comedy where the persons are only of common rank; 
and their business, private ; not elevated by passions or high 
concernments as in serious Plays. Here, every one is a 
proper judge of what he sees. Nothing is represented but 
that with which he daily converses : so that, by consequence, 
all faults lie open to discovery ; and few are pardonable. 
'Tis this, which Horace has judiciously observed — 

Creditur ex medio quia res arcessit habere 
Sudoris minimum, sed hahet Comedia tanto 
Plus oneris, quanto Venice minus. 

But our Poet, who was not ignorant of these difficulties, had 
prevailed [? availed] himself of all advantages; as he who 
designs a large leap, takes his rise from the highest ground. 

One of these Advantages is that, which Corneille has 
laid down as the greatest which can arrive [happen] to any 
Poem; and which he, himself, could never compass, above 
thrice, in all his plays, viz., the making choice of some signal 
and long expected day ; whereon the action of the Play is to de- 
pend. This day was that designed by Dauphine, for the 
settling of his uncle's estate upon him : which to compass, 
he contrives to marry him. That the marriage had been 
plotted by him, long beforehand, is made evident, by what 
he tells True Wit, in the Second Act, that *in one moment, 
he [True Wit] had destroyed what he had been raising 
many months.' 

There is another artifice of the Poet, which I cannot here 
omit ; because, by the frequent practice of it in his Comedies, 
he has left it to us, almost as a Rule : that is, when he has 
any Character or Humour, wherein he would show a coup de 
maitre or his highest skill ; he recommends it to your observation 
by a pleasant description of it, before the person first appears. 

92 Neander — Other BEAUTIES IN THE ^/'/c^A^^.p- ^j^!^ 

Thus, in Bartholomew Fair, he gives you the pictures oi 
NUMPS and Cokes; and in this, those of Daw, Lafoole, 
Morose, and the Collegiate Ladies : all which you hear 
described, before you, see them. So that, before they come 
upon the Stage, you have a longing expectation of them ; 
which prepares you to receive them favourably : and when 
they are there, even from their first appearance, you are so 
far acquainted with them, that nothing of their humour is 
lost to you. 

I will observe yet one thing further of this admirable Plot. 
The business of it rises in every Act. The Second is greater 
than the First ; the Third, than the Second : and so forward, 
to the Fifth. There, too, you see, till the very last Scene, 
new difficulties arising to obstruct the Action of the Play : 
and when the audience is brought into despair that the 
business can naturally be effected ; then, and not before, the 
Discovery is made. 

But that the Poet might entertain you with more variety, 
all this while ; he reserves some new Characters to show 
you, which he opens not till the Second and Third Acts. In 
the Second, MoROSE, Daw, the Barber, and Otter ; in the 
Third, the Collegiate Ladies. All which, he moves, afterwards, 
in by-walks or under-plots, as diversions to the main Design, 
least it grow tedious : though they are still naturally joined 
with it ; and, somewhere or other, subservient to it. Thus, 
like a skilful chess player, by little and little, he draws out his 
men ; and makes his pawns of use to his greater persons. 

If this Comedy and some others of his, were translated 
into French prose (which would now be no wonder to them, 
since Moliere has lately given them Plays out of Verse; 
which have not displeased them), I believe the controversy 
would soon be decided betwixt the two nations : even making 
them, the judges. 

But we need not call our heroes to our aid. Be it spoken 
to the honour of the English ! our nation can never want, 
in any age, such, who are able to dispute the Empire of Wit 
with any people in the universe. And though the fury of a 
Civil War, and power (for twenty years together [1640-1660 
A.d.]) abandoned to a barbarous race of men, enemies of all 

^" ^i76s-7:]Neander — We CAN win the Empire of Wit. 93 

good learning,* had buried the Muses under the ruins of 
Monarchy : yet, with the Restoration of our happiness [1660], 
we see revived Poesy lifting up its head, and already shaking 
oif the rubbish, which lay so heavy upon it. 

We have seen, since His Majesty's return, many 
Dramatic Poems which yield not to those of any foreign 
nation, and which deserve all laurels but the English. I 
will set aside flattery and envy. It cannot be denied but we 
have had some little blemish, either in the Plot or Writing 
of all those plays which have been made within these seven 
years ; and, perhaps, there is no nation in the world so quick 
to discern them, or so difficult to pardon them, as ours : yet, 
if we can persuade ourselves to use the candour of that Poet 
[Horace], who, though the most severe of critics, has left us 
this caution, by which to moderate our censures. 

Ubi plura nitent in carmine non ego paucis offendar maculis. 

If, in consideration of their many and great beauties, we can 
wink at some slight and little imperfections ; if we, I say, can 
be thus equal to ourselves : I ask no favour from the French. 

And if I do not venture upon any particular judgement of 
our late Plays : 'tis out of the consideration which an ancient 
writer gives me. Vivorum, ut magna admiratio ita censura 
difficilis ; * betwixt the extremes of admiration and malice, 
'tis hard to judge uprightly of the living.' Only, I think it 
may be permitted me to say, that as it is no lessening to us, 
to yield to some Plays (and those not many) of our nation, 
in the last Age : so can it be no addition, to pronounce of 
our present Poets, that they have far surpassed all the Ancients, 
and the Modern Writers of other countries.^' 

This, my Lord ! [i.e., the Dedicatee, the Lord BucKHURST, 
P- 503] was the substance of what was then spoke, on that 
occasion : and Lisideius, I think, was going to reply ; when 
he was prevented thus by Crites. 

Am confident," said he, ** the most material things 
that can be said, have been already urged, on 
either side. If they have not ; I must beg of 
Lisideius, that he will defer his answer till 

* Glorious John Dryden ! thee liest ! Cromwell and his Court 
were no " enemies of all good learning," though they utterly rejected the 
Dramatic Iwanch of it. E. A. 1880. 

94 Crites — Opens the Third Argument, [J- ^,76s^: 

another time. For I confess I have a joint quarrel to 
you both : because you have concluded [pp. 539, 548], 
without any reason given for it, that Rhyme is proper for 
the Stage. 

I will not dispute how ancient it hath been among us to 
write this way. Perhaps our ancestors knew no better, till 
Shakespeare's time. I will grant, it was not altogether 
left by him ; and that Fletcher and Ben. Johnson used it 
frequently in their Pastorals, and sometimes in other Plays. 

Farther; I will not argue, whether we received it origin- 
ally from our own countrymen, or from the French. For 
that is an inquiry of as little benefit as theirs, who, in the 
midst of the Great Plague [1665], were not so solicitous to 
provide against it ; as to know whether we had it from the 
malignity of our own air, or by transportation from Holland. 

I have therefore only to affirm that it is not allowable in 
serious Plays. For Comedies. I find you are already con- 
cluding with me. 

To prove this, I might satisfy myself to tell you, how 
much in vain it is, for you, to strive against the stream of the 
People's inclination! the greatest part of whom, are pre- 
possessed so much with those excellent plays of Shakes- 
peare, Fletcher, and Ben. Johnson, which have been 
written out of Rhyme, that (except you could bring them 
such as were written better in it ; and those, too, by persons 
of equal reputation with them) it will be impossible for you 
to gain your cause with them : who will (still) be judges. 
This it is to which, in fine, all your reasons must submit. 
The unanimous consent of an audience is so powerful, that 
even Julius C^sar (as Macrobius reports of him), when he, 
was Perpetual Dictator, was not able to balance it, on the 
other side: but when Laberius, a Roman knight, at his 
request, contended in the Mime with another poet ; he was 
forced to cry out, Etiam favente me victus es Liberi. 

But I will not, on this occasion, take the advantage of the 
greater number; but only urge such reasons against Rhyme, 
as I find in the writings of those who have argued for the 
other way. 

First, then, I am of opinion, that Rhyme is unnatural in 
a Play, because Dialogue, there, is presented as the effect of 
sudden thought. For a Play is the Imitation of Nature: and 

J- ^j^J";] AND SAYS Rhyme is not fit for Tragedy. 95 

since no man, without premeditation, speaks in rhyme; 
neither ought he to do it on the Stage. This hinders not but 
the Fancy may be, there, elevated to a higher pitch of 
thought than it is in ordinary discourse ; for there is a 
probability that men of excellent and quick parts, may speak 
noble things ex tempore : but those thoughts are never fettered 
with the numbers and sound of Verse, without study ; and 
therefore it cannot be but unnatural, to present the most free 
way of speaking, in that which is the most constrained. 

' For this reason,' says Aristotle, * 'tis best, to write 
Tragedy in that kind of Verse, which is the least such, or 
which is nearest Prose' : and this, among the Ancients, was 
the Iambic ; and with us, is Blank Verse, or the Measure of 
Verse kept exactly, without rhyme. These numbers, therefore, 
are fittest for a Play : the others [i.e., Rhymed Verse] for a 
paper of Verses, or a Poem [p. 566]. Blank Verse being as much 
below them, as Rhyme is improper for the Drama : and, if 
it be objected that neither are Blank Verses made extempore ; 
yet, as nearest Nature, they are still to be preferred. 

But there are two particular exceptions [objections], which 
many, beside myself, have had to Verse [i.e., in rhyme] ; by 
which it will appear yet more plainly, how improper it is 
in Plays. And the first of them is grounded upon that very 
reason, for which some have commended Rhyme. They 
say, 'The quickness of Repartees in argumentative scenes, 
receives an ornament from Verse [pp. 492, 498].' Now, 
what is more unreasonable than to imagine that a man should not 
only light upon the Wit, but the Rhyme too ; upon the sudden ? 
This nicking of him, who spoke before, both in Sound and 
Measure, is so great a happiness [felicity], that you must, at 
least, suppose the persons of your Play to be poets. Arcades 
omnes et cantare pares et respondere parati. They must have 
arrived to the degree of quicquid conabar dicere, to make 
verses, almost whether they will or not. 

If they are anything below this, it will look rather like 
the design of two, than the answer of one. It will appear 
that your Actors hold intelligence together ; that they per- 
form their tricks, like fortune tellers, by confederacy. The 
hand of Art will be too visible in it, against that maxim of 
all professions, ^rs est celare artem ; 'that it is the greatest 
perfection of Art, to keep itself undiscovered.' 

96 Crites — Rhyme cannot express great [J- ^j^^!^: 

Nor will it serve you to object, that however you manage 
it, 'tis still known to be a Play ; and consequently the dia- 
logue of two persons, understood to be the labour of one 
Poet. For a Play is still an Imitation of Nature. We know 
we are to be deceived, and we desire to be so : but no man 
ever was deceived, but with a probability of Truth ; for who 
will suffer a gross lie to be fastened upon him ? Thus, we 
sufficiently understand that the scenes [i.e., the scenery which 
was just now coming into use on the English Stage], which 
represent cities and countries to us, are not really such, but 
only painted on boards and canvas. But shall that excuse 
the ill painture [painting] or designment of them ? Nay 
rather, ought they not to be laboured with so much the more 
diligence and exactness, to help the Imagination ? since the 
Mind of Man doth naturally bend to, and seek after Truth ; 
and therefore the nearer anything comes to the Imitation of 
it, the more it pleases. 

Thus, you see ! your Rhyme is incapable of expressing 
the greatest thoughts, naturally ; and the lowest, it cannot, 
with any grace. For what is more unbefitting the majesty 
of Verse, than * to call a servant,' or * bid a door be shut ' 
in Rhyme ? And yet, this miserable necessity you are forced 
upon 1 

* But Verse,' you say, * circumscribes a quick and luxuriant 
Fancy, which would extend itself too far, on every subject; did 
not the labour which is required to well-turned and polished 
Rhyme, set bounds to it [pp. 492-493].' Yet this argument, 
if granted, would only prove, that we may write better in Verse, 
but not more naturally. 

Neither is it able to evince that. For he who wants 
judgement to confine his Fancy, in Blank Verse ; may want 
it as well, in Rhyme : and he who has it, will avoid errors in 
both kinds [pp. 498, 571]. Latin Verse was as great a con- 
finement to the imagination of those poets, as Rhyme to ours: 
and yet, you find Ovid saying too much on every subject. 

Nescivit, says Seneca, quod bene cessit relinquere : of which 
he [Ovid] gives you one famous instance in his description of 
the Deluge. 


Omnia pontus erat, deerant quoque litora ponto. 
Now all was sea; nor had that sea a shore. 

Thus Ovid's Fancy was not limited by Verse ; and Virgil 
needed not Verse to have bounded his. 

In our own language, we see Ben. Johnson confining him- 
self to what ought to be said, even in the liberty of Blank 
Verse ; and yet Corneille, the most judicious of the French 
poets, is still varying the same Sense a hundred ways, and 
dwelling eternally upon the same subject, though confined by 

Some other exceptions, I have to Verse ; but these I have 
named, being, for the most part, already public : I conceive 
it reasonable they should, first, be answered." 

T CONCERNS me less than any," said Neander, 
seeing he had ended, ** to reply to this discourse, 
because when I should have proved that Verse 
may be natural in Plays ; yet I should always be 
ready to confess that those which I [i.e., Dryden, see pp. 503, 
566] have written in this kind, come short of that perfection 
which is required. Yet since you are pleased I should under- 
take this province, I will do it : though, with all imaginable 
respect and deference both to that Person [i.e., Sir Robert 
Howard, see p. 494] from whom you have borrowed your 
strongest arguments; and to whose judgement, when I have 
said all, I finally submit. 

But before I proceed to answer your objections ; I must 
first remember you, that I exclude all Comedy from my 
defence ; and next, that I deny not but Blank Verse may be 
also used : and content myself only to assert that in serious 
Plays, where the Subject and Characters are great, and the 
Plot unmixed with mirth (which might allay or divert these 
concernments which are produced). Rhyme is there, as natural, 
and more effectual than Blank Verse. 

And now having laid down this as a foundation : to begin 
with Crites, I must crave leave to tell him, that some of his 
arguments against Rhyme, reach no farther that from the 
faults or defects of ill Rhyme to conclude against the use of it in 

98 Neander confesses Rhyme is unfit for p- ^Ztl 

general [p. 598]. May not I conclude against Blank Verse, by 
the same reason ? If the words of some Poets, who write in 
it, are either ill-chosen or ill-placed ; which makes not only 
Rhyme, but all kinds of Verse, in any language, unnatural: 
shall I, for their virtuous affectation, condemn those excellent 
lines of Fletcher, which are written in that kind ? Is there 
anything in Rhyme more constrained, than this line in Blank 
Verse ? 

I, heaven invoke! and strong resistance make. 

Where you see both the clauses are placed unnaturally ; that 
is, contrary to the common way of speaking, and that, with- 
out the excuse of a rhyme to cause it : yet you would think 
me very ridiculous, if I should accuse the stubbornness of 
Blank Verse for this ; and not rather, the stiffness of the 
Poet. Therefore, Crites ! you must either prove that words, 
though well chosen and duly placed, yet render not Rhyme natural 
in itself; or that, however natural and easy the Rhyme may be, 
yet it is not proper for a Play. 

If you insist on the former part ; I would ask you what 
other conditions are required to make Rhyme natural in 
itself, besides an election of apt words, and a right disposing 
of them ? For the due choice of your words expresses your 
Sense naturally, and the due placing them adapts the Rhyme 
to it. 

If you object that one verse may be made for the sake of 
another, though both the words and rhyme be apt, I answer it 
cannot possibly so fall out. For either there is a dependence 
of sense betwixt the first line and the second ; or there is 
none. If there be that connection, then, in the natural 
position of the words, the latter line must, of necessity, flow 
from the former : if there be no dependence, yet, still, the due 
ordering of words makes the last line as natural in itself as 
the other. So that the necessity of a rhyme never forces 
any but bad or lazy writers, to say what they would not 

*Tis true, there is both care and art required to write in 
Verse. A good Poet never concludes upon the first line, till 
he has sought out such a rhyme as may fit the Sense already 
prepared, to heighten the second. Many times, the Close of 
the Sense falls into the middle of the next verse, or farther 

'■ ^isS-";] ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ '^ > BUT IS FIT FOR TrAGEDY. 99 

off: and he may often prevail [avail] himself of the same 
advantages in English, which Virgil had in Latin ; he may 
break off in the hemistich, and begin another line. 

Indeed, the not observing these two last things, makes 
Plays that are writ in Verse so tedious : for though, most 
commonly, the Sense is to be confined to the Couplet ; yet, 
nothing that does perpetuo tenore fiuere, ' run in the same 
channel,' can please always. 'Tis like the murmuring of a 
stream : which, not varying in the fall, causes at first atten- 
tion ; at last, drowsiness. Variety of Cadences 
is the best Rule ; the greatest help to the Actors, and refresh- 
ment to the Audience. 

If, then. Verse may be made natural in itself; how becomes 
it improper to a Play ? You say, * The Stage is the Repre- 
sentation of Nature, and no man, in ordinary conversation, 
speaks in Rhyme ' : but you foresaw, when you said this, 
that it might be answered, * Neither does any man speak in 
Blank Verse, or in measure without Rhyme ! ' therefore you 
concluded, ' That which is nearest Nature is still to be pre- 
ferred.' But you took no notice that Rhyme might be made 
as natural as Blank Verse, by the well placing of the words, 
&c. All the difference between them, when they are both 
correct, is the sound in one, which the other wants : and if 
so, the sweetness of it, and all the advantages resulting from 
it which are handled in the Preface to the Eival Ladies [pp. 
487-493], will yet stand good. 

As for that place of Aristotle, where he says, 'Plays 
should be writ in that kind of Verse which is nearest Prose' : 
it makes little for you, Blank Verse being, properly, but 
Measured Prose. 

Now Measure, alone, in any modern language, does not 
constitute Verse. Those of the Ancients, in Greek and 
Latin, consisted in Quantity of Words, and a determinate 
number of Feet. But when, by the inundations of the Goths 
and Vandals, into Italy, new languages were brought in, and 
barbarously mingled with the Latin, of which, the Italian, 
Spanish, French, and ours (made out of them, and the 
Teutonic) are dialects : a New Way of Poesy was practised, 
new, I say, in those countries ; for, in all probability, it 
was that of the conquerors in their own nations. The New 
Way consisted of Measure or Number of Feet, and Rhyme. 

loo Neander — The Romance Nations and p- ^^i^^^. 

The sweetness of Rhyme and observation of Accent, supply- 
ing the place of Quantity in Words : which could neither 
exactly be observed by those Barbarians who knew not the 
Rules of it ; neither was it suitable to their tongues, as it had 
been to the Greek and Latin. 

No man is tied in Modern Poesy, to observe any farther 
Rules in the Feet of his Verse, but that they be dissyllables 
(whether Spondee, Trochee, or Iambic, it matters not) ; only 
he is obliged to Rhyme. Neither do the Spanish, French, 
Italians, or Germans acknowledge at all, or very rarely, any 
such kind of Poesy as Blank Verse among them. There- 
fore, at most, 'tis but a Poetic Prose, a sermo pedestris ; and, 
as such, most fit for Comedies: where I acknowledge Rhyme 
to be improper. 

Farther, as to that quotation of Aristotle, our Couplet 
Verses may be rendered as near Prose, as Blank Verse itself; 
by using those advantages I lately named, as Breaks in the 
Hemistich, or Running the Sense into another line: thereby, 
making Art and Order appear as loose and free as Nature. 
Or, not tying ourselves to Couplets strictly, we may use the 
benefit of the Pindaric way, practised in the Siege of Rhodes ; 
where the numbers vary, and the rhyme is disposed carelessly, 
and far from often chiming. 

Neither is that other advantage of the Ancients to be de- 
spised, of changing the Kind of Verse, when they please, with 
the change of the Scene, or some new Entrance. For they con- 
fine not themselves always to Iambics; but extend their liberty 
to all Lyric Numbers ; and sometimes, even, to Hexameter. 

But I need not go so far, to prove that Rhyme, as it suc- 
ceeds to all other offices of Greek and Latin Verse, so 
especially to this of Plays ; since the custom of all nations, at 
this day, confirms it. All the French, Italian, and Spanish 
Tragedies are generally writ in it ; and, sure[ly], the Universal 
Consent of the most civilised parts of the world ought in this, 
as it doth in other customs, [to] include the rest. 

But perhaps, you may tell me, I have proposed such a way 
to make Rhyme natural ; and, consequently, proper to Plays, 
as is impracticable; and that I shall scarce find six or eight 
lines together in a Play, where the words are so placed and 
chosen, as is required to make it natural. 

■'■ ^i66s-7.] "^^^ Germans have no Blank Verse, ioi 

I answer, no Poet need constrain himself, at all times, to 
it. It is enough, he makes it his general rule. For I deny 
not but sometimes there may be a greatness in placing the 
words otherwise ; and sometimes they may sound better. 
Sometimes also, the variety itself is excuse enough. But if, 
for the most part, the words be placed, as they are in the 
negligence of Prose ; it is sufficient to denominate the way 
practicable : for we esteem that to be such, which, in the trial, 
oftener succeeds than misses. And thus far, you may find 
the practice made good in many Plays : where, you do not 
remember still ! that if you cannot find six natural Rhymes 
together; it will be as hard for you to produce as many lines 
in Blank Verse, even among the greatest of our poets, against 
which I cannot make some reasonable exception. 

And this, Sir, calls to my remembrance the beginning of 
your discourse, where you told us we should never find the 
audience favourable to this kind of writing, till we could produce 
as gro 1 plays in Rhyme, as Ben. Johnson, Fletcher, and 
Shakespeare had writ out of it [p. 558]. But it is to raise envy 
to the Living, to compare them with the Dead. They are 
honoured, and almost adored by us, as they deserve ; neither 
do I know any so presumptuous of themselves, as to contend 
with them. Yet give me leave to say thus much, without in- 
jury to their ashes, that not only we shall never equal them ; 
but they could never equal themselves, were they to rise, and 
write again. We acknowledge them our Fathers in Wit : 
but they have ruined their estates themselves before they 
came to their children's hands. There is scarce a Humour, 
a Character, or any kind of Plot ; which they have not blown 
upon. All comes sullied or wasted to us : and were they to 
entertain this Age, they could not make so plenteous treat- 
ments out of such decayed fortunes. This, therefore, will be 
a good argument to us, either not to write at all ; or to 
attempt some other way. There are no Bays to be expected 
in their walks, Tentanda via est qua me quoque possum tollere 

This way of Writing in Verse, they have only left free to 
us. Our Age is arrived to a perfection in it, which they 
never knew : and which (if we may guess by what of theirs 
we have seen in Verse, as the Faithful Shepherdess and Sad 

I02 Neander — Blank Verse is too low for p ^.^e^j. 

Shepherd) 'tis probable they never could have reached. For 
the Genius of every Age is different : and though ours excel 
in this ; I deny not but that to imitate Nature in that perfec- 
tion which they did in Prose [i.e., Blank Verse] is a greater 
commendation than to vi^rite in Verse exactly. 

As for what you have added, that the people are not generally 
inclined to like this way : if it were true, it would be no wonder 
but betwixt the shaking off of an old habit, and the introduc- 
ing of a new, there should be difficulty. Do we not see them 
stick to Hopkins and Sternhold's Psalms ; and forsake 
those of David, I mean Sandys his Translation of them ? If, 
by thQ people, you understand the Multitude, the oliroWoi', 
'tis no matter, what they think ! They are sometimes in the 
right, sometimes in the wrong. Their judgement is a mere 
lottery. Est uhi plebs recte putat, est ubipeccat. Horace says it 
of the Vulgar, judging Poesy. But if you mean, the mixed 
Audience of the Populace and the Noblesse : I dare 
confidently affirm, that a great part of the latter sort are 
already favourable to Verse; and that no serious Plays, writ- 
ten since the King's return [May 1660], have been more 
kindly received by them, than the Siege cf Rhodes, the 
MuSTAPHA, the Indian Queen and Indian Emperor. [Seep. 503.] 

But I come now to the Inference of your first argument. 
You said, ' The dialogue of Plays is presented as the effect of 
sudden thought ; but no one speaks suddenly or, ex tempore, 
in Rhyme ' [p. 498] : and your inferred from thence, that 
Rhyme, which you acknowledge to be proper to Epic Poesy 
[p. 559], cannot equally be proper to Dramatic; unless we could 
suppose all men born so much more than poets, that verses should 
be made in them, not by ihcDi. 

It has been formerly urged by you [p. 499] and confessed by 
me [p. 563] that * since no man spoke any kind of verse 
ex tempore ; that which was nearest Nature was to be pre- 
ferred.' I answer you, therefore, by distinguishing betwixt 
what is nearest to the nature of Comedy : which is the Imi- 
tation of common persons and Ordinary Speaking: and, what 
is nearest the nature of a serious Play. 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 

^' ^iTel-":] A Poem ; how much more for a Tragedy ? 103 

common converse [conversation], as high as the Imagination 
of the Poet can carry them, with proportion to verisimihty 
[verisimilitude] . 

Tragedy, we know, is wont to Image to us the minds and 
fortunes of noble persons : and to pourtray these exactly. 
Heroic Rhyme is nearest Nature ; as being the noblest kind 
of Modern Verse. 

Indignatur enim privatis, et prope socco, 
Dignis carminibus narrari ccena Thyestce. 
says Horace. And in another place, 

Effutire leveis indigna tragcedia versus. 

Blank Verse is acknowledged to be too low for a Poem, 
nay more, for a paper of Verses [pp. 473, 498, 559] ; but if 
too low for an ordinary Sonnet, how much more for Tragedy ! 
which is, by Aristotle, in the dispute between the Epic 
Poesy and the Dramatic, (for many reasons he there alleges) 
ranked above it. 

But setting this defence aside, your argument is almost as 
strong against the use of Rhyme in Poems, as in Plays. For 
the Epic way is everywhere interlaced with Dialogue or Dis- 
coursive Scenes: and, therefore, you must either grant Rhyme 
to be improper there, which is contrary to your assertion ; or 
admit it into Plays, by the same title which you have given 
it to Poems. 

For though Tragedy be justly preferred above the other, 
yet there is a great affinity between them ; as may easily be 
discovered in that Definition of a Play, which LisiDEiusgave 
us [p. 513]. The genus of them is the same, A just and 
LIVELY Image of Human Nature, in its 


Fortune: so is the End, namely, for the de- 
light AND benefit of MANKIND. The 
Characters and Persons are still the same, viz., the greatest 
of both sorts : only the manner of acquainting us with those 
actions, passions, and fortunes is different. Tragedy performs 
it, viva voce, or by Action in Dialogue: wherein it excels the 
Epic Poem ; which does it, chiefly, by Narration, and there- 
fore is not so lively an Image of Human Nature. However, 

I04 Neander — Rhymed Repartees are no [■>• ^Zt^. 

the agreement betwixt them is such, that if Rhyme be proper 
for one, it must be for the other. 

Verse, 'tis true, is not 'the effect of Sudden Thought.' 
But this hinders not, that Sudden Thought may be repre- 
sented in Verse : since those thoughts are such, as must be 
higher than Nature can raise them without premeditation, 
especially, to a continuance of them, even out of Verse : and, 
consequently, you cannot imagine them, to have been sudden, 
either in the Poet or the Actors. 

A Play, as I have said, to be like Nature, is to be set above 
it; as statues which are placed on high, are made greater 
than the life, that they may descend to the sight, in their 
just proportion. 

Perhaps, I have insisted too long upon this objection ; but 
the clearing of it, will make my stay shorter on the rest. 

You tell us, Crites ! that ' Rhyme is most unnatural in 
Repartees or Short Replies : when he who answers, it being 
presumed he knew not what the other would say, yet makes 
up that part of the Verse which was left incomplete; and sup- 
plies both the sound and the measure of it. This,' you say, 
* looks rather like the Confederacy of two, than the Answer 
of one.' 

This, I confess, is an objection which is in every one's 
mouth, who loves not Rhyme ; but suppose, I beseech you ! 
the Repartee were made only in Blank Verse ; might not 
part of the same argument be turned against you ? For the 
measure is as often supplied there, as it is in Rhyme : the 
latter half of the hemistich as commonly made up, or a 
second line subjoined as a reply to the former ; which any one 
leaf in Johnson's Plays will sufficiently make clear to you. 

You will often find in the Greek Tragedians, and in Seneca; 
that when a Scene grows up into the warmth of Repartees, 
which is the close fighting of it, the latter part of the trimeter 
is supplied by him who answers : and yet it was never ob- 
served as a fault in them, by any of the Ancient or Modern 
critics. The case is the same in our verse, as it was in theirs: 
Rhyme to us, being in lieu of Quantity to them. 

But if no latitude is to be allowed a Poet ; you take from 
him, not only his license of quidlihet audendi : but you tie 
him up in a straighter compass than you would a Philosopher. 

^ ^166^:] MORE A Confederacy than a Dance is. 105 

This is, indeed, Musas colere severiores. You would have him 
follow Nature, but he must follow her on foot. You have 
dismounted him from his Pegasus ! 

But you tell us * this supplying the last half of a verse, or 
adjoining a whole second to the former, looks more like the 
Design of two, than the Answer of one [pp. 498, 559] .' Suppose 
we acknowledge it. How comes this Confederacy to be more 
displeasing to you, than a dance which is well contrived ? 
You see there, the united Design of many persons to make 
up one Figure. After they have separated themselves in 
many petty divisions ; they rejoin, one by one, into the gross. 
The Confederacy is plain amongst them ; for Chance could 
never produce anything so beautiful, and yet there is nothing 
in it that shocks your sight. 

I acknowledge that the hand of Art appears in Repartee, 
as, of necessity, it must in all kind[s] of Verse. But there is, 
also, the quick and poignant brevity of it (which is a high 
Imitation of Nature, in those sudden gusts of passion) to 
mingle with it : and this joined with the cadency and sweet- 
ness of the Rhyme, leaves nothing in the Soul of the Hearer to 
desire. 'Tis an Art which appears ; but it appears only like 
the shadowings of painture [painting], which, being to cause 
the rounding of it, cannot be absent ; but while that is con- 
sidered, they are lost. So while we attend to the other 
beauties of the Matter, the care and labour of the Rhyme is 
carried from us ; or, at least, drowned in its own sweetness, 
as bees are some times buried in their honey. 

When a Poet has found the Repartee ; the last perfection 
he can add to it, is to put it into Verse. However good the 
Thought may be, however apt the Words in which 'tis 
couched; yet he finds himself at a little unrest, while Rhyme 
is wanting. He cannot leave it, till that comes naturally ; 
and then is at ease, and sits down contented. 

From Replies, which are the most elevated thoughts of 
Verse, you pass to the most mean ones, those which are 
common with the lowest of household conversation. In these 
you say, the majesty of the Verse suffers. You instance in 
"the calling of a servant " or "commanding a door to be 
shut " in Rhyme. This, Crites ! is a good observation of 
yours; but no argument. For it proves no more, but that 
such thoughts should be waved, as often as may be, by the 

io6 Neander — The English Language is p- ^.Tes^ 

address of the Poet. But suppose they are necessary in the 
places where he uses them ; yet there is no need to put them 
into rhyme. He may place them in the beginning of a verse 
and break it off, as unfit (when so debased) for any other use: 
or granting the worst, that they require more room than the 
hemistich will allow ; yet still, there is a choice to be made 
of best words and least vulgar (provided they be apt) to 
express such thoughts. 

Many have blamed Rhyme in general for this fault, when 
the Poet, with a little care, might have redressed it : but they 
do it, with no more justice, than if English Poesy should be 
made ridiculous, for the sake of [John Taylor] the Water 
Poet's rhymes. 

Our language is noble, full, and significant ; and I know 
not why he who is master of it, may not clothe ordinary things 
in it, as decently as the Latin ; if he use the same diligence 
in his choice of words. 

Delectus verborum origo est eloquentice was the saying of 
Julius C^sar; one so curious in his, that none of them can 
be changed but for the worse. 

One would think " Unlock the door ! " was a thing as 
vulgar as could be spoken ; and yet Seneca could make it 
sound high and lofty, in his Latin — 

Reserate clusos regit pastes Laris. 

But I turn from this exception, both because it happens 
not above twice or thrice in any Play, that those vulgar 
thoughts are used : and then too, were there no other apology 
to be made, yet the necessity of them (which is, alike, in all 
kind[s] of writing) may excuse them. Besides that, the 
great eagerness and precipitation with which they are spoken, 
makes us rather mind the substance than the dress ; that for 
which they are spoken, rather than what is spoke[n]. For 
they are always the effect of some hasty concernment ; and 
something of consequence depends upon them. 

Thus, Crites ! I have endeavoured to answer your 
objections. It remains only that I should vindicate an 
argument for Verse, which you have gone about to overthrow. 

It had formerly been said [j>. 492] that, ' The easiness of 


Blank Verse renders the Poet too luxuriant ; but that the 
labour of Rhyme bounds and circumscribes an over fruitful 
fancy : the Sense there being commonly confined to the 
Couplet ; and the words so ordered that the Rhyme naturally 
follows them, not they, the Rhyme.' 

To this, you answered, that ' It was no argument to the 
question in hand : for the dispute was not which way a man 
may write best ; but which is most proper for the subject on 
which he writes.' 

First. Give me leave, Sir, to remember you ! that the 
argument on which you raised this objection was only 
secondary. It was built upon the hypothesis, that to write 
in Verse was proper for serious Plays. Which supposition 
being granted (as it was briefly made out in that discourse, 
by shewing how Verse might be made natural) : it asserted 
that this way of writing was a help to the Poet's judgement, 
by putting bounds to a wild, overflowing Fancy. I think 
therefore it will not be hard for me to make good what it was 
to prove. 

But you add, that, 'Were this let pass; yet he who wants 
judgement in the liberty of the Fancy, may as well shew the 
defect of it, when he is confined to Verse : for he who has 
judgement, will avoid errors ; and he who has it not will 
commit them in all kinds of writing.* 

This argument, as you have taken it from a most acute 
person, so I confess it carries much weight in it. But by 
using the word Judgement here indefinitely, you seem to have 
put a fallacy upon us. I grant he who has judgement, that 
is, so profound, so strong, so infallible a judgement that he 
needs no helps to keep it always poised and upright, will 
commit no faults ; either in Rhyme, or out of it : and, on the 
other extreme, he who has a judgement so weak and crazed, 
that no helps can correct or amend it, shall write scurvily out 
of Rhyme ; and worse in it. But the first of these Judge- 
ments, is nowhere to be found ; and the latter is not fit to 
write at all. 

To speak, therefore, of Judgement as it is in the best Poets; 
they who have the greatest proportion of it, want other helps 
than from it within : as, for example, you would be loath to say 
that he who was endued with a sound judgement, had no need 
of history, geography, or moral philosophy, to write correctly. 

io8 Conclusion OFTHE Discussion, p ^Zf-^'. 

Judgement is, indeed, the Master Workman in a Play ; 
but he requires many subordinate hands, many tools to his 
assistance. And Verse, I affirm to be one of these. 'Tis a 
* Rule and Line ' by which he keeps his building compact and 
even ; which, otherwise, lawless Imagination would raise, 
either irregularly or loosely. At least, if the Poet commits 
errors with this help ; he would make greater and more 
without it. 'Tis, in short, a slow and painful, but the surest 
kind of working. 

Ovid, whom you accuse [p. 561] for luxuriancyin Verse, had, 
perhaps, been farther guilty of it, had he writ in Prose. And 
foryour instance of Ben. Johnson [p. 561] ; who, you say, writ 
exactly, without the help of Rhyme : you are to remember, 
'tis only an aid to a luxuriant Fancy ; which his was not 
[p. 551]. As he did not want Imagination; so, none ever said 
he had much to spare. Neither was Verse then refined so 
much, to be a help to that Age as it is to ours. 

Thus then, the second thoughts being usually the best, as 
receiving the maturest digestion from judgement ; and the 
last and most mature product of those thoughts, being art- 
full and laboured Verse : it may well be inferred, that Verse 
is a great help to a luxuriant Fancy. And this is what that 
argument, which you opposed, was to evince. 

Neander was pursuing this discourse so eagerly that 
EuGENius had called to him twice or thrice, ere he took 
notice that the barge stood still ; and that they were at the 
foot of Somerset Stairs, where they had appointed it to land. 

The company were all sorry to separate so soon, though a 
great part of the evening was already spent : and stood a 
while, looking back upon the water ; which the moonbeams 
played upon, and made it appear like floating quicksilver. 

At last, they went up, through a crowd of French people, 
who were merrily dancing in the open air, and nothing con- 
cerned for the noise of the guns, which had alarmed the Town 
that afternoon. 

Walking thence together to the Piazza, they parted there, 
EuGENius and Lisideius, to some pleasant appointment 
they had made; and Crites and Neander to their several 



The Honourable Sir Robert Howard, 
Auditor of the Exchequer. 

Preface to The great 
Favourite^ or the Duke of Lerma, 


[Published in 1668.] 


Cannot plead the usual excuse for publishing 
this trifle, which is commonly the subject of most 
Prefaces, by charging it upon the importunity of 
friends ; for I confess I was myself willing, at the 
first desire of Mr. Herringman [the Publisher], to 
print it : not for any great opinion that I had entertained ; 
but for the opinion that others were pleased to express. 
Which, being told me by some friends, I was concerned to 
let the World judge what subject matter of offence was con- 
tained in it. Some were pleased to believe little of it mine ; 
but they are both obliging to me, though perhaps not inten- 
tionally : the last, by thinking there was anything in it that 
was worth so ill designed an envy, as to place it to another 
author; the others, perhaps the best bred Informers, by con- 
tinuing their displeasure towards me, since I most gratefully 
acknowledge to have received some advantage in the opinion 
of the sober part of the World, by the loss of theirs. 

For the subject, I came accidentally to write upon it. For 
a gentleman brought a Play to the King's Company, called. 
The Duke of Lerma ; and, by them, I was desired to peruse 
it, and return my opinion, ** Whether I thought it fit for the 
Stage ! " After I had read it, I acquainted them that, ** In 
my judgement, it would not be of much use for such a design, 

I lo Occasion of writing The great FAV0URiTE.\^°\^i 

since the Contrivance scarce would merit the name of a 
Plot ; and some of that, assisted by a disguise : and it ended 
abruptly. And on the person of Philip III., there was fixed 
such a mean Character; and on the daughter of the Duke 
of Lerma, such a vicious one : that I could not but judge it 
unfit to be presented by any that had a respect, not only to 
Princes, but indeed, to either Man or Woman." 

And, about that time, being to go in the country, I was 
persuaded by Mr. Hart to make it my diversion there, that 
so great a hint might not be lost, as the Duke of Lerma 
saving himself, in his last extremity, by his unexpected dis- 
guise : which is as well in the true Story [history], as the old 
Play. And besides that and the Names; my altering the 
most part of the Characters, and the whole Design, made me 
uncapable to use much more, though, perhaps, written with 
higher Style and Thoughts than I could attain to. 

I intend not to trouble myself nor the World any more in 
such subjects; but take my leave of these my too long ac- 
quaintances : since that little Fancy and Liberty I once en- 
joyed, is now fettered in business of more unpleasant natures. 
Yet, were I free to apply my thoughts, as my own choice 
directed them ; I should hardly again venture into the Civil 
Wars of Censures. 

Uhi . . . Nullos hahitiira triumphos. 

In the next place. I must ingeniously confess that the 
manner of Plays, which now are in most esteem, is beyond 
my power to perform [p. 587] ; nor do I condemn, in the least, 
anything, of what nature soever, that pleases ; since nothing 
could appear to me a ruder folly, than to censure the satis- 
faction of others. I rather blame the unnecessary under- 
derstanding of some, that have laboured to give strict Rules 
to things that are not mathematical; and, with such eager- 
ness, pursuing their own seeming reasons, that, at last, we 
are to apprehend such Argumentative Poets will grow as 
strict as Sancho Panza's Doctor was, to our very appetites : 
for in the difference of Tragedy and Comedy, and of Fars 
[farce] itself, there can be no determination, but by the 
taste; nor in the manner of their composure. And, who- 


] Tragedy, Comedy, & Farce not different, i i i 

ever would endeavour to like or dislike, by the Rules of 
others ; he will be as unsuccessful, as if he should try to be 
persuaded into a power of believing, not what he must, but 
what others direct him to believe. 

But I confess, 'tis not necessary for Poets to study strict 
Reason : since they are so used to a greater latitude [pp. 568, 
588], than is allowed by that severe Inquisition, that they 
must infringe their own Jurisdiction, to profess themselves 
obliged to argue well. I will not, therefore, pretend to say, 
why I writ this Play, some Scenes in Blank Verse, others in 
Rhyme ; since I have no better a reason to give than Chance, 
which waited upon my present Fancy : and I expect no 
better reason from any Ingenious Person, than his Fancy, 
for which he best relishes. 

I cannot, therefore, but beg leave of the Reader, to take a 
little notice of the great pains the author of an Essay of Dra- 
matic Poesy has taken, to prove " Rhyme as natural in a serious 
V\a.y, d.r\di mov t ejfectual\.h3.n Blank Verse" [/>/>. 561, 581]. Thus 
he states the question, but pursues that which he calls natural, 
in a wrong application ; for 'tis not the question, whether 
Rhyme or not Rhyme be best or most natural for a grave or 
serious Subject : but what is nearest the nature of that which 
it presents. 

Now, after all the endeavours of that Ingenious Person, a 
Play will still be supposed to be a Composition of several per- 
sons speaking ex tempore and 'tis as certain, that good verses 
are the hardest things that can be imagined, to be so spoken 
[p. 582]. So that if any will be pleased to impose the rule ol 
measuring things to be the best, by being nearest Nature; 
it is granted, by consequence, that which is most remote from 
the thing supposed, must needs be most improper : and, there- 
fore, I may justly say, that both I and the question were 
equally mistaken. For I do own I had rather read good verses, 
than either Blank Verse or Prose; and therefore the author 
did himself injury, if he like Verse so well in Plays, to lay down 
Rules to raise arguments, only unanswerable against himself. 

But the same author, being filled with the precedents of 
the Ancients writing their Plays in Verse, commends the 
thing; and assures us that "our language is noble, full, and 
significant," charging all defects upon the ill placing of words; 

112 The Unities, figments based on Nothing. [" 


and proves it, by quoting Seneca loftily expressing such an 
ordinary thing, as " shutting a door." 

Reserate clusos regit pastes Laris. 

I suppose he was himself highly affected with the sound of 
these words. But to have completed his Dictates [injunctions] ; 
together with his arguments, he should have obliged us by 
charming our ears with such an art of placing words, as, in an 
English verse, to express so loftily **the shutting of a door" : 
that we might have been as much affected with the sound of 
his words. 

This, instead of being an argument upon the question, 
rightly stated, is an attempt to prove, that Nothing may seem 
Something by the help of a verse ; which I easily grant to be 
the ill fortune of it : and therefore, the question being so much 
mistaken, I wonder to see that author trouble himself twice 
about it, with such an absolute Triumph declared by his own 
imagination. But I have heard that a gentleman in Parlia- 
ment, going to speak twice, and being interrupted by another 
member, as against the Orders of the House : he was excused, 
by a third [member] assuring the House he had not yet 
spoken to the question. 

But, if we examine the General Rules laid down for Plays 
by strict Reason ; we shall find the errors equally gross : for 
the great Foundation that is laid to build upon, is Nothing, 
as it is generally stated ; which will appear on the examina- 
tion of the particulars. 

First. We are told the Plot should not be so ridiculously 
contrived, as to crowd several Countries into one Stage. 
Secondly, to cramp the accidents of many years or days, into 
the Representation of two hours and a half. And, lastly, 
a conclusion drawn that the only remaining dispute, is con- 
cerning Time ; whether it should be contained in twelve or 
four and twenty hours ; and the Place to be limited to the 
spot of ground, either in town or city, where the Play is sup- 
posed to begin [p. 531]. And this is caWed nearest to Nature. 
For that is concluded most natural, which is most probable, 
and nearest to that which it presents. 

I am so well pleased with any ingenious offers, as all these 



;;] There are no Rules in Dramatic Poesy. 113 

are, that I should not examine this strictly, did not the con- 
fidence of others force me to it: there being not anything 
more unreasonable to my judgement, than the attempts to in- 
fringe the Liberty of Opinion by Rules so little demonstrative. 

To shew, therefore, upon what ill grounds, they dictate Laws 
for Dramatic Poesy ; I shall endeavour to make it evident that 
there's no such thing, as what they All pretend [/». 592]. For, if 
strictly and duly weighed, 'tis as impossible for one Stage to 
represent two houses or two rooms truly, as two countries or 
kingdoms ; and as impossible that five hours or four and 
twenty hours should be two hours and a half, as that a 
thousand hours or years should be less than what they are, 
or the greatest part of time to be comprehended in the less. 
For all being impossible ; they are none of them nearest the 
Truth, or nature of what they present. For impossibilities 
are all equal, and admit no degrees. And, then, if all those 
Poets that have so fervently laboured to give Rules as 
Maxims, would but be pleased to abbreviate ; or endure to 
hear their Reasons reduced into one strict Definition ; it must 
be, That there are degrees in impossibilities, and that many 
things, which are not possible, may yet be more or less im- 
possible ; and from this, proceed to give Rules to observe the 
least absurdity in things, which are not at all. 

I suppose, I need not trouble the Reader, with so imperti- 
nent a delay, to attempt a further confutation of such ill 
grounded Reasons, than, thus, by opening the true state of 
the case. Nor do I design to make any further use of it, than 
from hence, to draw this modest conclusion : 

That I would have all attempts of this nature, be submitted 
to the Fancy of others ; and bear the name of Propositions [^. 
590], not of confident Laws, or Rules made by demonstration. 

And, then, I shall not discommend any Poet that dresses 
his Play in such a fashion as his Fancy best approves : and 
fairly leave it for others to follow, if it appears to them most 
convenient and fullest of ornament. 

But, writing this Epistle, in much haste ; I had almost 
forgot one argument or observation, which that author has 
most good fortune in. It is in his Epistle Dedicatory, before 
his Essay of Dramatic Poesy, where, speaking of Rhymes in 
Plays, he desires it may be observed, *' That none are 

H 7 

114 Dryden, a self-deceived person![ 

Sir R. Howaid. 


violent against it ; but such as have not attempted it; or who 
have succeeded ill in the attempt [pp. 503, 539, 598]," which, 
as to myself and him, I easily acknowledge : for I confess none 
has written, in that way, better than himself ; nor few worse 
than I. Yet, I hope he is so ingenious, that he would not wish 
this argument should extend further than to him and me. 
For if it should be received as a good one : all Divines and 
Philosophers would find a readier way of confutation than 
they yet have done, of any that should oppose the least 
Thesis or Definition, by saying, " They were denied by none 
but such as never attempted to write, or succeeded ill in 
the attempt." 

Thus, as I am one, that am extremely well pleased with 
most of the Propositions, which are ingeniously laid down in 
that Essay, for regulating the Stage : so I am also always 
concerned for the true honour of Reason, and would have 
no spurious issue fathered upon her Fancy, may be allowed 
her wantonness. 

But Reason is always pure and chaste : and, as it re- 
sembles the sun, in making all things clear ; it also resembles 
it, in its several positions. When it shines in full height, 
and directly ascendant over any subject, it leaves but little 
shadow : but, when descended and grown low, its oblique 
shining renders the shadow larger than the substance ; and 
gives the deceived person [i.e., Dryden] a wrong measure 
of his own proportion. 

Thus, begging the Reader's excuse, for this seeming im- 
pertinency ; I submit what I have written to the liberty of 
his uncontined opinion : which is all the favour I ask of 
others, to afford me. 


ji_ Ki ■" 

John Dryden. 

j^ Defence of An Essay of 
Dramatic Poesy. 

Being an Answer to the Preface of The great Favourite or 
the Duke of Lerma. 

[Prefaced to the Second Edition of TAt 
Indian Emperor. 1668.] 

He former Edition of the Indian Emperor, being 
full of faults, which had escaped the printer; 1 
have been willing to overlook this Second with 
more care : and, though I could not allow myself 
so much time as was necessary, yet, by that 
little I have done, the press is freed from some gross errors 
which it had to answer for before. 

As for the more material faults of writing, which are 
properly mine ; though I see many of them, I want leisure 
to amend them. ' Tis enough for those, who make one 
Poem the business of their lives, to leave that correct; yet, 
excepting Virgil, I never met with any which was so, in 
any language. 

But while I was thus employed about this impression, 
there came to my hands, a new printed Play, called, The great 
Favourite, or the Duke of Lerma. The author of which, a 
noble and most ingenious Person, has done rne the favour 
to make some observations and animadversions upon my 
Dramatic Essay. 

I must confess he might have better consulted his reputa- 
tion, than by matching himself with so weak an adversary. 
But if his honour be diminished in the choice of his an- 
tagonist, it is sufficiently recompensed in the election of his 

ii6 Banters Sir R. Howard Defence &c.\}-^^^^^ 

cause : which being the weaker, in all appearance (as com- 
bating the received opinions of the best Ancient and Modern 
authors), will add to his glory, if he overcome ; and to the 
opinion of his generosity, if he be vanquished, since he 
engages at so great odds, and so (like a Cavalier) undertakes 
the protection of the weaker party. 

I have only to fear, on my own behalf, that so good a 
cause as mine, may not suffer by my ill management or weak 
defence ; yet I cannot, in honour, but take the glove, when 
'tis offered me : though I am only a Champion, by succession; 
and, no more able to defend the right of Aristotle and 
Horace, than an infant Dymock, to maintain the title of 
a King. 

For my own concernment in the controversy, it is so 
small, that I can easily be contented to be driven from a few 
Notions of Dramatic Poesy, especially by one who has the 
reputation of understanding all things [!] : and I might justly 
make that excuse for my yielding to him, which the Philo- 
sopher made to the Emperor, " Why should I offer to contend 
with him, who is Master of more than twenty Legions of 
Arts and Sciences ! " But I am forced to fight, and there- 
fore it will be no shame to be overcome. 

Yet, I am so much his servant as not to meddle with 
anything which does not concern me in his Preface. There- 
fore, I leave the good sense, and other excellencies of the 
first twenty lines {i.e., of the Preface, see p. 573] to be con- 
sidered by the critics. 

As for the Play of The Duke of Lerma ; having so much 
al ered and beautified it, as he has done, it can be justly 
belong to none but him. Indeed, they must be extreme[ly] 
ignorant as well as envious, who would rob him of that 
honour : for you see him putting in his claim to it, even in 
the first two lines. 

Repulse upon repulse, like waves thrown hack, 
That slide to hang upon obdurate rocks. 

After this, let Detraction do its worst ! for if this be not 

^■^'^itesj Defence &c. & returns his Salute. 117 

his, it deserves to be. For my part, I declare for Distributive 
Justice ! and from this, and what follows, he certainly de- 
serves those advantages, which he acknowledges, to have received 
from the opinion of sober men. 

In the next place, I must beg leave to observe his great 
address in courting the Reader to his party. For, intending 
to assault all Poets both Ancient and Modern, he discovers 
not his whole Design at once ; but seems only to aim at me, 
and attack me on my weakest side, my Defence of Verse. 

To begin with me. He gives me the compellation of 
"The Author of a Dramatic Essay''; which is a little Dis- 
course in dialogue, for the most part borrowed from the 
observations of others. Therefore, that I may not be wanting 
to him in civility, I return his compliment, by calling him, 
" The Author of The Duke of Lerma." 

But, that I may pass over his salute, he takes notice [p. 575] 
of my great pains to prove " Rhyme as natural in a serious 
Play; and more effectual that Blank Verse " [p. 561]. Thus, 
indeed, I did state the question, but he tells me, I pursue that 
which I call natural, in a wrong application ; for His not the 
question whether Rhyme or not Rhyme he best or most natural 
for a serious Subject ; hut what is nearest the nature of that it 

If I have formerly mistaken the question ; I must confess 
my ignorance so far, as to say I continue still in my mistake. 
But he ought to have proved that I mistook it ; for 'tis yet 
but gratis dictum. I still shall think I have gained my point, 
if I can prove that " Rhyme is best or most natural for a 
serious Subject." 

As for the question, as he states it, "Whether Rhyme be 
nearest the nature of what it represents"; I wonder he should 
think me so ridiculous as to dispute whether Prose or Verse 
be nearest to ordinary conversation ? 

It still remains for him, to prove his Inference, that, Since 
Verse is granted to be more remote than Prose from ordinary 
conversation ; therefore no serious Plays ought to be v^^rit in 
Verse: and when he clearly makes that good, I will ac- 
knowledge his victory as absolute as he can desire it. 

The question now is, which of us two has mistaken it ? 

1 1 8 Literal v. Poetic Likeness. Defence &c. [J- ^"^.te": 

And if it appear I have not, the World will suspect what gentle- 
man that was, who was allowed to speak twice in Parliament, 
because he had not yet spoken to the question [p. 576] : and, per- 
haps, conclude it to be the same, who (as 'tis reported) 
maintained a contradiction in terminis, in the face of three 
hundred persons. 

But to return to Verse. Whether it be natural or not in 
Plays, is a problem which is not demonstrable, of either side. 
'Tis enough for me, that he acknowledges that he had rather 
read good Verse than Prose [p. 575] : for if all the enemies of 
Verse will confess as much, I shall not need to prove that it is 
natural. I am satisfied, if it cause Delight ; for Delight is 
the chief, if not the only end of Poesy. Instruction can be 
admitted but in the second place ; for Poesy only instructs as 
it delights. 

'Tis true, that to Imitate Well is a Poet's work: but to 
affect the soul, and excite the passions, and, above all, to 
move Admiration [wondering astonishment] (which is the 
Delight of serious Plays), a bare Imitation will not serve. 
The converse [conversation] therefore, which a Poet is to 
imitate, must be heightened with all the arts and ornaments of 
Poesy ; and must be such as, strictly considered, could never 
be supposed [to be] spoken by any, without premeditation. 

As for what he urges, that, A Play will still be supposed to 
be a composition of several persons speaking ex tempore ; and that 
good verses are the hardest things, which can be imagined, to be 
so spoken [p.S7S] • I must crave leave to dissent from his 
opinion, as to the former part of it. For, if I am not deceived, 
A Play is supposed to be the work of the Poet, imitating or 
representing the conversation of several persons : and this I 
think to be as clear, as he thinks the contrary. 

But I will be bolder, and do not doubt to make it good, 
though a paradox, that, One great reason why Prose is not 
to be used in serious Plays is because it is too near the nature 
of converse [conversation]. There may be too great a likeness. 
As the most skilful painters affirm there may be too near a 
resemblance in a picture. To take every lineament and 
feature is not to make an excellent piece, but to take so much 
only as will make a beautiful resemblance of the whole ; and, 

^' ^'^i668.] Defence &c. Prose, Blank Verse, Rhyme. 119 

with an ingenious flattery of Nature, to heighten the beauties 
of some parts, and hide the deformities of the rest. For so, 
says Horace — 

Ut pictura Poesis erit 

HcBC amat ohscurum ; vult hc2c sub luce videri^ 

Judicis argutum quce non formidat acumen. 

Et qucB 
Desperat, tractata nitescere posse, reUnquit. 

In Bartholomew Fair, or the lowest kind of Comedy, that 
degree of heightening is used which is proper to set off that 
subject. 'Tis true, the author was not there to go out of 
Prose, as he does in his higher arguments of Comedy, the 
Fox and Alchemist; yet he does so raise his matter in that 
Prose, as to render it dehghtful : which he could never have 
performed had he only said or done those very things that 
are daily spoken or practised in the Fair. For then, the Fair 
itself would be as full of pleasure to an Ingenious Person, as 
the Play ; which we manifestly see it is not : but he hath 
made an excellent Lazar of it. The copy is of price, though 
the origin be vile. 

You see in Catiline and SEyANUS; where the argument 
is great, he sometimes ascends to Verse, which shews he 
thought it not unnatural in serious Plays : and had his genius 
been as proper for Rhyme as it was for Humour, or had the 
Age in which he lived, attained to as much knowledge in 
Verse, as ours ; 'tis probable he would have adorned those 
Subjects with that kind of writing. 

Thus Prose, though the rightful Prince, yet is, by 
common consent, deposed ; as too weak for the Government 
of serious Plays : and he failing, there now start up two 
competitors! one, the nearer in blood, which is Blank 
Verse; the other, more fit for the ends of Government, 
which is Rhyme. Blank Verse is, indeed, the 
nearer Prose; but he is blemished with the weakness of 
his predecessor. Rhyme (for I will deal clearly !) has 
somewhat of the Usurper in him ; but he is brave and 
generous, and his dominion pleasing. For this reason of 
Delight, the Ancients (whom I will still believe as wise as 
those who so confidently correct them) wrote all their 

i20 DryDEN's GREAT ERROR. DEFENCE dfC.[^- ^"^.^^i 

Tragedies in Verse: though they knew it most remote from 

But I perceive I am falling into the danger of another re- 
buke from my opponent : for when I plead that " the Ancients 
used Verse," I prove not that, They would have admitted 
Rhyme, had it then been written. 

All I can say, is, That it seems to have succeeded Verse, 
by the general consent of Poets in all modern languages. 
For almost all their serious Plays are written in it : which, 
though it be no Demonstration that therefore it ought to be 
so ; yet, at least, the Practice first, and then the Continua- 
tion of it shews that it attained the end, which was, to 
Please. And if that cannot be compassed here, I will be the 
first who shall lay it down. 

For I confess my chief endeavours are to delight the Age 
in which I live [p. 582]. If the Humour of this, be for Low 
Comedy, small Accidents [Incidents], and Raillery ; I will force 
my genius to obey it : though, with more reputation, I could 
write in Verse. I know, I am not so fitted, by nature, to 
write Comedy. I want that gaiety of Humour which is 
required to it. My conversation is dull and slow. My 
Humour is saturnine and reserved. In short, I am none of 
those, who endeavour to break jests in company, or make 
repartees. So that those who decry my Comedies, do me 
no injury, except it be in point of profit. Reputation in 
them is the last thing to which I shall pretend. 

I beg pardon for entertaining the reader with so ill a 
subject : but before 1 quit that argument, which was the 
cause of this digression ; I cannot but take notice how I am 
corrected for my quotation of Seneca, in my defence of Plays 
in Verse. 

My words were these [p. 570] : "Our language is noble, full, 
and significant ; and I know not why he, who is master of it, 
may not clothe ordinary things in it, as decently as the Latin ; 
if he use the same diligence in his choice of words.'' 

One would think, " Unlock the door," was a thing as 
vulgar as could be spoken : yet Seneca could make it sound 
high and lofty in his Latin. 

Reserate clusos regit postes Laris 

^' ^^ U68:] Defence &c. Sir Robert's bad Latin, i 2 1 

But he says of me, That being filled with the precedents 
of the Ancients who Writ their Plays in Verse, I commend the 
thing ; declaring our language to he full, noble, and significant, 
and charging all the defects upon the ill placing of words ; which 
I prove by quoting Seneca's loftily expressing such an ordinary 
thing as shutting the door. 

Here he manifestly mistakes. For I spoke not of the 
Placing, but the Choice of words : for which I quoted that 
aphorism of Julius CiESAR, Delectus verbormn est origo elo- 
quentice. But delectus verhorum is no more Latin for the 
"Placing of words;" than Reserate is Latin iov" Shut ih^ 
the door ! " as he interprets it ; which I,ignorantly, construed 
" Unlock or open it ! " 

He supposes I was highly affected with the Sound of these 
words ; and I suppose I may more justly imagine it of 
him : for if he had not been extremely satisfied with the 
Sound, he would have minded the Sense a little better. 

But these are, now, to be no faults. For, ten days after 
his book was published, and that his mistakes are grown so 
famous that they are come back to him, he sends his Errata 
to be printed, and annexed to his Play ; and desires that in- 
stead of Shutting, you should read Opening, which, it seems, 
was the printer's fault. I wonder at his modesty ! that he 
did not rather say it was Seneca's or mine : and that in 
some authors, Reserate was to Shut as well as to Open; as the 
word Barach, say the learned, is [in Hebrew] both to Bless and 

Well, since it was the printerfs fault] ; he was a naughty 
man, to commit the same mistake twice in six lines. 

I warrant you ! Delectus verbormn for Placing of words, was 
his mistake too ; though the author forgot to tell him of it. 
If it were my book, I assure you it should [be]. For those 
rascals ought to be the proxies of every Gentleman-Author ; 
and to be chastised for him, when he is not pleased to own an 

Yet, since he has given the Errata, I wish he would have 
enlarged them only a few sheets more ; and then he would have 
spared me the labour of an answer. For this cursed printer 
is so given to mistakes, that there is scarce a sentence in the 
Preface without some false grammar, or hard sense [i.e., 
difficulty in gathering the meaning] in it ; which will all be 

122 Sir Robert's worse English. Defence &c.\^- ^'^tt^i. 

charged upon the Poet : because he is so good natured as 
to lay but three errors to the Printer's account, and to take 
the rest upon himself; who is better able to support them. 
But he needs not [to] apprehend that I should strictly 
examine those little faults ; except I am called upon to do it. 
I shall return, therefore, to that quotation of Seneca ; and 
answer not to what he writes, but to what he means. 

I never intended it as an Argument, but only as an Illus- 
tration of what I had said before [/». 570] concerning the 
Election of words. And all he can charge me with, is only this. 
That if Seneca could make an ordinary thing sound well in 
Latin by the choice of words ; the same, with like care, might 
be performed in English. If it cannot, I have committed 
an error on the right hand, by commending too much, the 
copiousness and well sounding of our language : which I hope 
my countrymen will pardon me. At least, the words which 
follow in my Dramatic Essay will plead somewhat in my be- 
half. For I say there [p. 570], That this objection happens 
but seldom in a Play ; and then too, either the meanness of 
the expression may be avoided, or shut out from the verse by 
breaking it in the midst. 

But I have said too much in the Defence of Verse. For, 
after all, 'tis a very indifferent thing to me, whether it obtain 
or not. I am content, hereafter to be ordered by his rule, 
that is, ** to write it, sometimes, because it pleases me " 
[p. 575] ; and so much the rather, because " he has declared 
that it pleases him," 

But, he has taken his last farewell of the Miises ; and he 
has done it civilly, by honouring them with the name of his 
long acquaintances [p. 574] : which is a compliment they have 
scarce deserved from him. 

For my own part, I bear a share in the public loss ; and 
how emulous soever I may be, of his Fame and Reputation, 
I cannot but give this testimony of his Style, that it is ex- 
treme[ly] poetical, even in Oratory ; his Thoughts elevated, 
sometimes above common apprehension ; his Notions politic 
and grave, and tending to the instruction of Princes and re- 
formation of State : that they are abundantly interlaced with 
variety of fancies, tropes, and figures, which the Critics have 

^' ^'^1668.] Defence &c. He has left the Muses ! 1 23 

enviously branded with the name of Obscurity and False 

Well, he is now fettered in business of more unpleasant nature 
[p. 574]. The Muses have lost him, but the Commonwealth 
gains by it. The corruption of a Poet is the generation of a 

He will not venture again into the Civil Wars of Censure 

Uhi .... nullos hahitura triumphos. 

If he had not told us, he had left the Muses ; we might 
have half suspected it by that word, ubi, which does not any 
way belong to them, in that place. The rest of the verse is 
indeed Lucan's : but that ubi, I will answer for it, is his 

Yet he has another reason for this disgust of Poesy. For 
he says, immediately after, that the manner of Plays which are 
now in most esteem, is beyond his power to perform [p. 574] . To 
perform the manner of a thing, is new English to me. 

However he condemns not the satisfaction of others, but rather 
their unnecessary understanding; who, like Sancho Panza's 
Doctor, prescribe too strictly to our appetites. For, says he, in 
the difference of Tragedy and Comedy and of Farce itself ; there 
can be no determination but by the taste ; nor in the manner of 
their composure. 

We shall see him, now, as great a Critic as he was a Poet: 
and the reason why he excelled so much in Poetry will be 
evident ; for it will have proceeded from the exactness of his 

In the difference of Tragedy, Comedy, and Farce itself ', there 
can be no determination but by the taste. I will not quarrel 
with the obscurity of this phrase, though I justly might : 
but beg his pardon, if I do not rightly understand him. If 
he means that there is no essential difference betwixt Comedy, 
Tragedy, and Farce ; but only what is made by people's 
taste, which distinguishes one of them from the other : that 
is so manifest an error, that I need lose no time to contra- 
dict it. 

Were there neither Judge, Taste, or Opinion in the world ; 
yet they would differ in their natures. For the Action, 

124 Poesy must be Ethical. DeI'Ence&cS^- ^^^^ 


Character, and Language of Tragedy would still be great and 
high : that of Comedy, lower and more familiar. Admiration 
would be the Delight of the one : Satire, of the other. 

I have but briefly touched upon these things ; because, 
whatever his words are, I can scarce [ly] imagine that he who is 
always concerned for the true honour of Reason, and would have no 
spurious issue fathered upon her [p. 578], should mean anything 
so absurd, as to affirm that there is no difference between Comedy 
and Tragedy, hut what is made by taste only : unless he would 
have us understand the Comedies of my Lord L. [?] ; where 
the First Act should be Potages, the Second, Fricasses, S-c.y 
and the Fifth, a chere entiere of women. 

I rather guess, he means that betwixt one Comedy or 
Tragedy and another ; there is no other difference but what 
is made by the liking or disliking of the audience. This is, 
indeed, a less error than the former ; but yet it is a great 

The liking or disliking of the people gives the Play the 
denomination of "good" or " bad " ; but does not really make 
or constitute it such. To please the people ought to be the 
Poet's aim [pp. 513, 582, 584] ; because Plays are made for 
their delight : but it does not follow, that they are always 
pleased with good plays ; or that the plays which please 
them, are always good. 

The Humour of the people is now for Comedy ; therefore, 
in hope to please them, I write Comedies rather than serious 
Plays ; and, so far, their taste prescribes to me. But it does 
not follow from that reason, that Comedy is to be preferred 
before Tragedy, in its own nature. For that which is so, in 
its own nature, cannot be otherwise ; as a man cannot but be 
a rational creature : but the opinion of the people may alter ; 
and in another Age, or perhaps in this, serious Plays may be 
set up above Comedies. 

This I think a sufficient answer. If it be not, he has pro- 
vided me of [with] an excuse. It seems, in his wisdom, he fore- 
saw my weakness ; and has found out this expedient for me. 
That it is not necessary for Poets to study strict Reason : since they 
are so used to a greater latitude than is allowed by that severe 
inquisition; that they must infringe their own jurisdiction to 
profess themselves obliged to argue well. 

I am obliged to him, for discovering to me this back door ; 

^ ^"^1668:] Defence &c. A great Wit's great work, i 2 5 

but I am not yet resolved on my retreat. For I am of opi- 
nion, that they cannot be good Poets, who are not accustomed 
to argue well. False Reasonings and Colours of Speech are 
the certain marks of one who does not understand the Stage. 
For Moral Truth is the Mistress of the Poet as much as of 
the Philosopher. Poesy must resemble Natural Truth ; but 
it must he Ethical. Indeed the Poet dresses Truth, and 
adorns Nature ; but does not alter them. 

Ficta voluptatis causa sint proxima veris. 

Therefore that is not the best Poesy which resembles notions 
of things, which are not, to things which are : though the Fancy 
may be great, and the Words flowing ; yet the Soul is but half 
satisfied, when there is not Truth in the foundation [p. 560]. 

This is that which makes Virgil [to] be preferred before the 
rest of poets. In Variety of Fancy, and Sweetness of Expres- 
sion, you see Ovid far above him ; for Virgil rejected many 
of those things which Ovid wrote. "A great Wit's great 
work, is to refuse," as my worthy friend. Sir John Birken- 
head has ingeniously expressed it. You rarely meet with 
anything in Virgil but Truth ; which therefore leaves the 
strongest impression of Pleasure in the Soul. This I thought 
myself obliged to say in behalf of Poesy : and to declare 
(though it be against myself) that when poets do not argue 
well, the defect is in the Workmen, not in the Art. 

And, now, I come to the boldest part of his Discourse, 
wherein he attacks not me, but all the Ancient and Moderns ; 
and undermines, as he thinks, the very foundations on which 
Dramatic Poesy is built. I could wish he would have de- 
clined that envy, which must, of necessity, follow such an 
undertaking : and contented himself with triumphing over 
me, in my opinions of Verse ; which I will never, hereafter, 
dispute with him. But he must pardon me, if I have that 
veneration for Aristotle, Horace, Ben. Johnson, and 
CORNEILLE, that I dare not serve him in such a cause, and 
against such heroes : but rather fight under their protection ; 
as Homer reports of little Teucer, who shot the Trojans 
from under the large buckler of Ajax Telamon — 

126 Foundation of Poesy. Defence &c. [-'^'^^668: 

XTr\ 8'ap* air AiavTO<i aaicei TeXafxcoiidSaco, &C. 

He stood beneath his brother's ample shield ; 
And, covered there, shot death through all the field. 

The words of my noble adversary are these — 

But if we examine the general Rules laid down for Plays, by 
strict Reason, we shall find the errors equally gross ; for the great 
Foundation which is laid to build upon, is Nothing, as it is gene- 
rally stated : as will appear ^ipon the examination of the particu- 

These particulars, in due time, shall be examined. In the 
meanwhile, let us consider, what this great Foundation is ; 
which, he says, is " Nothing, as it is generally stated." 

I never heard of any other Foundation of Dramatic Poesy, 
than the Imitation of Nature : neither was there ever pre- 
tended any other, by the Ancients or Moderns, or me who 
endeavoured to follow them in that Rule. This I have 
plainly said, in my Definition of a Play, that IT is A JUST 


Thus 'the Foundation, as it is generally stated," will stand 
sure, if this Definition of a Play be true. If it be not, he 
ought to have made his exception against it ; by proving that 
a Play is not an Imitation of Nature, but somewhat else, 
which he is pleased to think it. 

But 'tis very plain, that he has mistaken the Foundation, for 
that which is built upon it ; though not immediately. For 
the direct and immediate consequence is this. If Nature be 
to be imitated, then there is a Rule for imitating Nature 
rightly ; otherwise, there may be an End, and no Means con- 
ducing to it. 

Hitherto, I have proceeded by demonstration. But as our 
Divines, when they have proved a Deity (because there is 
Order), and have inferred that this Deity ought to be wor- 
shipped, differ, afterwards, in the Manner of the Worship : 
so, having laid down, that "Nature is to be imitated ; " and 
that Proposition [p. 577] proving the next, that, then, "there 
are means, which conduce to the imitating of Nature"; I 
dare proceed no farther, positively, but have only laid down 
some opinions of the Ancients and Moderns, and of my own, as 

^'^^^66%^ -Defence &c. The ^^^^r was tentative. 127 

Means which they used, and which I thought probable, for 
the attaining of that End. 

Those Means are the same, which my antagonist calls the 
Foundations : how properly the World may judge ! And to 
prove that this is his meaning, he clears it immediately to 
you, by enumerating those Rules or Propositions, against 
which he makes his particular exceptions, as namely, those 
of T I M E and Place, in these words. 

First, we are told the Plot should not he so ridiculously contrived, 
as to crowd several Countries into one Stage. Secondly, to cramp 
the accidents of many years or days, into the Representation of two 
hours and a half. And, lastly, a conclusion drawn that the only 
remaining dispute, is concerning Time ; whether it should be con- 
tained in Twelve or Four and twenty hours ; and the Place to he 
limited to the spot of ground, [either in town or city] where the 
Play is supposed to begin. And this is called nearest to Nature. 
For that is concluded most natural ; which is most probable and 
nearest to that which it presents. 

Thus he has, only, made a small Mistake of the Means 
conducing to the end, for the End itself; and of the Super- 
structure for the Foundation. But he proceeds, 

To shew, therefore, upon what ill grounds, they dictate Laws for 
Dramatic Poesy &c. 

He is, here, pleased to charge me with being Magisterial ; 
as he has done in many other places of his Preface. 

Therefore, in vindication of myself, I must crave leave to 
say, that my whole Discourse was sceptical, according to 
that way of reasoning which was used by Socrates, Plato, 
and all the Academics of old ; which Tully and the best 
of the Ancients followed, and which is imitated by the 
modest Inquisitions of the Royal Society. 

That it is so, not only the name will show, which \s An 
Essay ; but the frame and composition of the work. You see 
it is a dialogue sustained by persons of several opinions, 
all of them left doubtful, to be determined by the readers in 
general ; and more particularly deferred to the accurate judge- 
ment of my Lord Buckhurst, to whom I made a dedication 
of my book. These are my words, in my Epistle, speaking 
of the persons, whom I introduced in my dialogue, " 'Tis 
true, they differed in their opinions, as 'tis probable they would ; 

128 Dryden not arrogant. Defence &c. [J- ^'^^'J^ 

neither do I take upon me to reconcile, but to relate them : 
leaving your Lordship to decide it, in favour of that part, 
which you shall judge most reasonable." 

And, after that, in my Advertisements to the Reader, I said 
this, " The drift of the ensuing Discourse was chiefly to vin- 
dicate the honour of our English Writers, from the censure of 
those who injustly prefer the French before them. This I 
intimate, lest any should think me so exceeding vain, as to 
teach others an Art, which they understand much better than 

But this is more than [is] necessary to clear my modesty 
in that point : and I am very confident that there is scarce 
any man, who has lost so much time as to read that trifle, 
but will be my compurgator as to that arrogance whereof I 
am accused. The truth is, if I had been naturally guilty of 
so much vanity, as to dictate my opinions ; yet I do not find 
that the Character of a Positive or Self Conceited Person is 
of such advantage to any in this Age, that I should labour to 
be Publicly Admitted of that Order. 

But I am not, now, to defend my own cause, when that 
of all the Ancients and Moderns is in question. For this 
gentleman, who accuses me of arrogance, has taken a course 
not to be taxed with the other extreme of modesty. Those 
Propositions which are laid down in my Discourse, as Helps 
to the better Imitation of Nature, are not mine, as I have 
said ; nor were ever pretended so to be : but were derived from 
the authority of Aristotle and Horace, and from the rules 
and examples of Ben. Johnson and Corneille. These are 
the men, with whom be properly he contends : and against 
whom he will endeavour to make it evident, that there is no such 
thing as what they All pretend. 

His argument against the Unities of Place and 
T I M E is this. 

That 'tis as impossible for one Stage to present two Rooms or 
Houses truly, as two Countries or Kingdoms ; and as impossible 
that Five hours or Twenty-four hours should be Two hours as that 
a Thousand years or hours should be less than what they are, or 
the greatest part of time to be comprehended in the less : for all of 
them being impossible they are none of them nearest the Truth or 

''^■^eS:] Defence &c. Place, Real or Imaginary. 129 

Nature of what they present, for impossibilities are all equal, and 
admit of no degrees. 

This argument is so scattered into parts, that it can scarce 
be united into a Syllogism : yet, in obedience to him, I will 
abbreviate, and comprehend as much of it, as I can, in few 
words ; that my Answer to it, may be more perspicuous. 

I conceive his meaning to be what follows, as to the Unity 
of P L A c E. If I mistake, I beg his pardon! professing it 
is not out of any design to play the argumentative Poet. ** If 
one Stage cannot properly present two Rooms or Houses, 
much less two Countries or Kingdoms ; then there can be no 
Unity of Place: but one Stage cannot properly perform this; 
therefore, there can be no Unity of Place." 

I plainly deny his Minor Proposition : the force of which 
if I mistake not, depends on this; that "the Stage being one 
place, cannot be two." This, indeed, is as great a secret as 
that, "we are all mortal." But, to requite it with another, 
I must crave leave to tell him, that " though the Stage can- 
not be two places, yet it may properly Represent them, suc- 
cessively or at several times." 

His argument is, indeed, no more than a mere fallacy : 
which will evidently appear, when we distinguished Place 
as it relates to Plays, into Real and Imaginary. The Real 
place is that theatre or piece of ground, on which the Play is 
acted. The Imaginary, that house, town, or country, where 
the action of the Drama is supposed to be ; or, more plainly, 
where the Scene of the Play is laid. 

Let us now apply this to that Herculean argument, which 
if strictly and duly weighed, is to make it evident, that there is no 
such thing as what they All pretend. 'Tis impossible, he says, for 
one Stage to present two Rooms or Houses. I answer, "Tis 
neither impossible, nor improper, for one real place to repre- 
sent two or more imaginary places : so it be done successively," 
which, in other words, is no more than this, " That the Im- 
agination of the Audience, aided by the words of the Poet, 
and painted scenes [scenery], nay suppose the Stage to be some- 
times one place, sometimes another ; now a garden or wood, 
and immediately a camp ; " which I appeal to every man's 
imagination, if it be not true ! 

Neither the Ancients nor Moderns (as much fools as he is 

I30 Imagination and Reason. Defence (2fc. p- ^'^.SS; 

pleased to think them) ever asserted that they could make 
one place, two: but they might hope, by the good leave of 
this author! that the change of a Scene might lead the Im- 
agination to suppose the place altered. So that he cannot 
fasten those absurdities upon this Scene of a Play or Ima- 
ginary Place of Action ; that it is one place, and yet two. 

And this being so clearly proved, that 'tis past any shew of 
a reasonable denial ; it will not be hard to destroy that other 
part of his argument, which depends upon it : that 'tis as im- 
possible for a Stage to represent two Rooms or Houses, as two 
Countries or Kingdoms : for his reason is already overthrown, 
which was, because both were alike impossible. This is manifestly 
otherwise : for 'tis proved that a stage may properly Repre- 
sent two Rooms or Houses. For the Imagination, being 
judge of what is represented, will, in reason, be less chocqued 
[shocked] with the appearance of two rooms in the same house, 
or two houses in the same city ; than with two distant cities in 
the same country, ortwo remote countries in the same universe. 

Imagination in a man or reasonable creature is supposed 
to participate of Reason ; and, when that governs (as it does 
in the belief of fiction) reason is not destroyed, but misled or 
blinded. That can prescribe to the Reason, during the time 
of the representation, somewhat like a weak belief of what it 
sees and hears ; and Reason suffers itself to be so hoodwinked, 
that it may better enjoy the pleasures of the fiction : but it 
is never so wholly made a captive as to be drawn headlong 
into a persuasion of those things which are most remote 
from probability. 'Tis, in that case, a free born subject, not 
a slave. It will contribute willingly its assent, as far as it 
sees convenient : but will not be forced. 

Now, there is a greater Vicinity, in Nature, betwixt two 
rooms than betwixt two houses ; betwixt two houses, than be- 
twixt two cities : and so, of the rest. Reason, therefore, can 
sooner be led by Imagination, to step from one room to another, 
than to walk to two distant houses : and yet, rather to go 
thither, than to fly like a witch through the air, and be 
hurried from one region to another. Fancy and Reason go 
hand in hand. The first cannot leave the last behind : and 
though Fancy, when it sees the wide gulf, would venture 
over, as the nimbler; yet, it is withheld by Reason, which 
will refuse to take the leap, when the distance, over it, appears 

'■ °'^i6^:] Defence &c. A Mirror held to Nature. 131 

too large. If Ben. Johnson himself, will remove the scene 
from Rome into Tuscany, in the same Act ; and from thence, 
returnto Rome,inthe Scene which immediate follows; Reason 
will consider there is no proportionable allowance of time to 
perform the journey; and therefore, will choose to stay at home. 

So then, the less change of place there is, the less time is 
taken up in transporting the persons of the Drama, with 
Analogy to Reason : and in that Analogy or Resemblance of 
Fiction to Truth consists the excellency of the Play. 

For what else concerns the Unity of Place ; I have already 
given my opinion of it in my Essay, that "there is a latitude 
to be allowed to it, as several places in the same town or 
city; or places adjacent to each other, in the same country; 
which may all be comprehended under the larger denomination 
of One Place ; yet, with this restriction, the nearer and fewer 
those imaginary places are, the greater resemblance they will 
have to Truth : and Reason which cannot make them One, 
will be more easily led to suppose them so." 

What has been said of the Unity of P l a c e , may easily 
be applied to that of Time. I grant it to be impossible that 
tJie greater part of time should he comprehended in the less, that 
Twenty-four hours should be crowded into three. But there is no 
necessity of that supposition. 

For as Place, so T i M e relating to a Play, is either Imagi- 
nary or Real. The Real is comprehended in those three 
hours, more or less, in the space of which the Play is Repre- 
sented. The Imaginary is that which is Supposed to be 
taken up in the representation; as twenty-four hours, more or 
less. Now, no man ever could suppose that twenty-four real 
hours could be included in the space of three : but where is 
the absurdity of affirming, that the feigned business of twenty- 
four imagined hours, may not more naturally be represented 
in the compass of three real hours, than the like feigned 
business of twenty-four years in the same proportion of real 
time ? For the proportions are always real ; and much nearer, 
by his permission ! of twenty-four to three, than of 4000 to it. 

I am almost fearful of illustrating anything by Similitude ; 
lest he should confute it for an Argument : yet, I think the 
comparison of a Glass will discover, very aptly, the fallacy of 
his argument, both concerning Time and Place. The strength 

132 Dryden's opinion on Time. Defence &c. p- °'^,J 


of his Reason depends on this, " That the less cannot com- 
prehend the greater." I have already answered that we need 
not suppose it does. I say not, that the less can comprehend 
the greater ; but only that it may represent it ; as m a mirror, 
of half a yard [in] diameter, a whole room, and many persons 
in it, may be seen at once : not that it can comprehend that 
room or those persons, but that it represents them to the sight. 

But the Author of The Duke of Lerma is to be excused for 
his declaring against the Unity of Time. For, if I be not 
much mistaken, he is an interessed [interested] person ; the 
time of that Play taking up so many years as the favour of 
the Duke of Lerma continued : nay, the Second and Third 
Acts including all the time of his prosperity, which was a 
great part of the reign of Philip III. ; for in the beginning of 
the Second Act, he was not yet a favourite, and before the 
end of the Third, was in disgrace. 

I say not this, with the least design of limiting the Stage 
too servilely to twenty-four hours : however he be pleased to 
tax me with dogmatizing in that point. In my Dialogue, as 
I before hinted, several persons maintained their several 
opinions. One of them, indeed, who supported the cause of 
the French Poesy, said, how strict they were in that particu- 
lar [p. 531] : but he who answered in behalf of our nation, was 
willing to give more latitude to the Rule ; and cites the 
words of CoRNEiLLE himself, complaining against the 
severity of it, and observing what beauties it banished from 
the Stage, page 44, of my Essay. 

In few words, my own opinion is this ; and I willingly sub- 
mit it to my adversary, when he will please impartially to 
consider it. That the Imaginary Time of every Play ought 
to be contrived into as narrow a compass, as the nature of 
the Plot, the quality of the Persons, and variety of Accidents 
will allow. In Comedy, I would not exceed twenty-four or 
thirty hours ; for the Plot, Accidents, and Persons of Comedy 
are small, and may be naturally turned in a little compass. 
But in Tragedy, the Design is weighty, and the Persons great ; 
therefore there will, naturally, be required a greater space 
of time, in which to move them. 

And this, though Ben. Johnson has not told us, yet 'tis, 
manifestly, his opinion. For you see, that, to his Comedies, 

^'^"^fiei] Defence &c. He prefers the Epicene. 133 

he allows generally but twenty-four hours : to his two Tragedies 
SEJANUSdiVidi Catiline, a much larger time; though he draws 
both of them into as narrow a compass as he can. For he 
shows you only the latter end of Se'^ANUS his favour ; and 
the conspiracy of CATILINE already ripe, and just breaking 
out into action. 

But as it is an error on the one side, to make too great a 
disproportion betwixt the imaginary time of the Play, and 
the real time of its representation : so, on the other side, 'tis 
an oversight to compress the Accidents of a Play into a 
narrower compass than that in which they could naturally 
be produced. 

Of this last error, the French are seldom guilty, because 
the thinness of their Plots prevents them from it : but few 
Englishmen, except Ben. Johnson, have ever made a Plot, 
with variety of Design in it, included in twenty-four hours ; 
which was altogether natural. For this reason, I prefer the 
Silent Woman before all other plays; I think, justly: as I do 
its author, in judgement, above all other poets. Yet of the 
two, I think that error the most pardonable, which, in too 
straight a compass, crowds together many accidents : since 
it produces more variety, and consequently more pleasure to 
the audience ; and because the nearness of proportion betwixt 
the imaginary and real time does speciously cover the com- 
pression of the Accidents. 

Thus I have endeavoured to answer the meaning of his 
argument. For, as he drew it, I humbly conceive, it was 
none. As will appear by his Proposition, and the proof of 
it. His Proposition was this, If strictly and duly weighed, 
His as impossible for one Stage to present two Rooms or Houses, 
as two countries or kingdoms, &c. And his Proof this. For all 
being impossible, they are none of them, nearest the Truth or 
Nature of what they present. 

Here you see, instead of a Proof or Reason, there is only 
a petitio principii. For, in plain words, his sense is this, 
"Two things are as impossible as one another: because 
they are both equally impossible." But he takes those two 
things to be granted as impossible ; which he ought to have 
proved such, before he had proceeded to prove them equally 
impossible. He should have made out, first, that it was 

1 34 Defence &c. Dryden's graceful Adieu. [J- ^"^.f^^ 

impossible for one Stage to represent two Houses ; and then 
have gone forward, to prove that it was as equally impossible 
for a Stage to present two Houses, as two Countries. 

After all this, the very absurdity to which he would reduce 
me, is none at all. For his only drives at this. That if his 
argument be true, I must then acknowledge that there are 
degrees in impossibilities. Which I easily grant him, without 
dispute. And if I mistake not, Aristotle and the School 
are of my opinion. For there are some things which are 
absolutely impossible, and others which are only so, ex parte. 
As, 'tis absolutely impossible for a thing to be and 7iot to be, 
at the same time : but, for a stone to move naturally upward, 
is only impossible ex parte materice ; but it is not impossible 
for the First Mover to alter the nature of it. 

His last assault, like that of a Frenchman, is most feeble. 
For where I have observed that "None have been violent 
against Verse; but such only as have not attempted it, or have 
succeeded ill in their attempt " [pp. 503, 539, 561, 578], he will 
needs, according to his usual custom, improve my Observation 
into an Argument, that he might have the glory to confute it. 

But I lay my observation at his feet : as I do my pen, 
which I have often employed, willingly, in his deserved com- 
mendations ; and, now, most unwillingly, against his judge- 
ment. For his person and parts, I honour them, as much 
as any man living: and have had so many particular 
obligations to him, that I should be very ungrateful, if I did 
not acknowledge them to the World. 

But I gave not the first occasion of this Difference in 
Opinions. In my Epistle Dedicatory, before my Rival Ladies 
[pp. 487-493], I said somewhat in behalf of Verse: which 
he was pleased to answer in his Preface to his Plays [pp. 494- 
500]. That occasioned my reply in my Essay [pp. 501-572] : 
and that reply begot his rejoinder in his Preface to The Duke 
of Lerma [pp. 573-578]. But, as I was the last who took 
up arms; I will be the first to lay them down. For what I 
have here written, I submit it wholly to him [p. 561]; and, if I 
do not hereafter answer what may be objected to this paper, I 
hope the World will not impute it to any other reason, than 
only the due respect which I have for so noble an opponent. 


Thomas Ellwood. 

Relations with John Milton. 

Mentioned, before, that, when I was a boy, I 
made some good progress in learning ; and lost it 
all again before I came to be a man : nor was I 
rightly sensible of my loss therein, until I came 
amongst the Quakers. But then, I both saw my 
loss, and lamented it ; and applied myself with the utmost 
diligence, at all leisure times, to recover it : so false I found 
that charge to be, which, in those times, was cast as a 
reproach upon the Quakers, that " they despised and decried 
all human learning " because they denied it to be essentially 
necessary to a Gospel Ministry ; which was one of the contro- 
versies of those times. 

But though I toiled hard, and spared no pains, to regain 
what once I had been master of ; yet I found it a matter of 
so great difficulty, that I was ready to say as the noble 
eunuch to Philip, in another case, ** How can I ! unless 
I had some man to guide me ? " 

This, I had formerly complained of to my especial friend 
Isaac Penington, but now more earnestly ; which put him 
upon considering and contriving a means for my assistance. 

He had an intimate acquaintance with Dr. Paget, a 
physician of note in London ; and he, with John Milton, 
a gentleman of great note in learning, throughout the learned 

136 Ellwood alone at Crowell, in 1661 ; but [^- f 


world, for the accurate pieces he had written on various 
subjects and occasions. 

This person, having filled a public station in the former 
times, lived now a private and retired life in London : and, 
having wholly lost his sight, kept a man to read to him ; 
which, usually, was the son of some gentleman of his ac- 
quaintance, whom, in kindness, he took to improve in his 

Thus, by the mediation of my friend Isaac Penington, 
with Dr. Paget ; and of Dr. Paget with John Milton, was 
I admitted to come to him : not as a servant to him (which, 
at that time, he needed not), nor to be in the house with 
him ; but only to have the liberty of coming to his house, at 
certain hours, when I would, and to read to him, what books 
he should appoint me, which was all the favour I desired. 

But this being a matter which would require some time to 
bring it about, I, in the meanwhile, returned to my father's 
house [at Crowell] in Oxfordshire. 

I had, before, received direction by letters from my eldest 
sister, written by my father's command, to put off [dispose of] 
what cattle he had left about his house, and to discharge his 
servants ; which I had done at the time called Michaelmas 
[1661] before. 

So that, all that winter when I was at home, I lived like a 
hermit, all alone ; having a pretty large house, and nobody 
in it but myself, at nights especially. But an elderly woman, 
whose father had been an old servant to the family, came 
every morning, and made my bed ; and did what else I had 
occasion for her to do : till I fell ill of the small-pox, and 
then I had her with me, and the nurse. 

But now, understanding by letter from my sister, that my 
father did not intend to return and settle there ; I made off 
[sold] those provisions which were in the house, that they 
might not be spoiled when I was gone : and because they 
were what I should have spent, if I had tarried there, I 
took the money made of them, to myself, for my support at 
London ; if the project succeeded for my going thither. This 
done, I committed the care of the house to a tenant of my 
father's, who lived in the town ; and taking my leave of Crowell, 
went up to my sure friend Isaac Penington again. Where, 
understanding that the mediation used for my admittance to 

T.EUwood.j READS jQ Milton in the spring of 1662. 137 

John Milton had succeeded so well, that I might come 
when I would : I hastened to London [in the Spring of 1663], 
and, in the first place, went to wait upon him. 

He received me courteously, as well for the sake of Dr. 
Paget, who introduced me; as of Isaac Penington, who 
recommended me : to both of whom, he bore a good respect. 
And having inquired divers things of me, with respect to my 
former progression in learning, he dismissed me, to provide 
myself of such accommodation as might be most suitable to 
my future studies. 

I went, therefore, and took myself a lodging as near to his 
house, which was then in Jewin Street, as conveniently as 
I could ; and from thenceforward, went every day in the 
afternoon, except on the First Days of the week ; and, sitting 
by him in his dining-room, read to him, in such books in the 
Latin tongue as he pleased to hear me read. 

At my first sitting to read to him, observing that I used 
the English pronounciation ; he told me, " If I would have 
the benefit of the Latin tongue, not only to read and under- 
stand Latin authors, but to converse with foreigners, either 
abroad or at home ; I must learn the foreign pronounciation." 

To this, I consenting, he instructed me how to sound the 
vowels so different [ly] from the common pronounciation used 
by the English, who speak Anglice their Latin, that (with 
some few other variations, in sounding some consonants : in 
particular case[s] , as c before e or i, like ch ; sc before i, like 
sh, &c.) the Latin, thus spoken, seemed as different from 
that which was delivered as the English generally speak it, 
as if it were another language. 

I had, before, during my retired life at my father's, by 
unwearied diligence and industry, so far recovered the Rules 
of Grammar (in which, I had, once, been very ready) that 
I could both read a Latin author ; and, after a sort, hammer 
out his meaning. But this change of pronounciation proved 
a new difficulty to me. It was now harder for me to read ; 
than it was, before, to understand, when read. But 

Labor omnia vincit 

Incessant pains, 
The end obtains. 

138 III in the country all the summer. ["^J 


And so, did I : which made my reading the more acceptable 
to my Master. He, on the other hand, perceiving with what 
earnest desire, I pursued learning, gave me not only all the 
encouragement, but all the help he could. For, having a 
curious ear, he understood by my tone, when I understood 
what I read, and when I did not ; and, accordingly, would 
stop me, examine me, and open the most difficult passages. 

Thus I went on, for about six weeks' time, reading to him 
in the afternoons; and exercising myself with my own books, 
in my chamber, in the forenoons. I was sensible of an im- 

But, alas, I had fixed my studies in a wrong place. Lon- 
don and I could never agree, for health. My lungs, as 
I suppose, were too tender, to bear the sulphurous air of that 
city : so that, I soon began to droop, and in less than two 
months' time, I was fain to leave both my studies and the 
city ; and return into the country to preserve life, and much 
ado I had to get thither. 

I chose to go down to Wiccombe, and to John Ranch's 
house there: both as he was a physician, and his wife a 
honest, hearty, discreet, and grave matron, whom I had a very 
good esteem of; and who, I knew, had a good regard for me. 
There, I lay ill a considerable time ; and to that degree of 
weakness, that scarcely any who saw me, expected my life 
[that I should live] : but the LORD was both gracious to 
me, in my illness; and was pleased to raise me up again, 
that I might serve Him in my generation. 

As soon as I had recovered so much strength, as to be fit 
to travel ; I obtained of my father (who was then at his 
house in Crovvell, to dispose of some things he had there ; and 
who, in my illness, had come to see me) so much money as 
would clear all charges in the house, for physic, food, and 
attendance : and having fully discharged all, I took leave of 
my friends in that family, and town ; and returned [? in 
October 1662] to my studies at London. 

I was very kindly received by my Master, who had con- 
ceived so good an opinion of me, that my conversation, I 
found, was acceptable to him ; and he seemed heartily glad 
of my recovery and return : and into our old method of study, 
we fell again ; I reading to him, and he explaining to me as 
occasion required. 

T. £iiwood.-| jg gj,jj^ ^Q Bridewell, 26 October 1662. 139 

But as if learning had been a forbidden fruit to me ; scarce 
was I well settled in my work ; before I met with another 
diversion [hindrance], which turned me quite out of my work. 

For a sudden storm arising (from, I know not what sur- 
mise of a plot ; and thereby danger to the Government) ; the 
meetings of Dissenters, such, I mean, as could be found 
(which, perhaps, were not many besides the Quakers) were 
broken up throughout the City : and the prisons mostly filled 
with our Friends. 

I was, that morning, which was the 26th day of the 8th 
month [which, according to the reckoning of the Society oj 
Friends, was October. Their First month down to 1752, was 
March], 1662, at the Meeting, at the Bull and Mouth, by 
Alders Gate : when, on a sudden, a party of soldiers, of the 
Trained Bands of the City, rushed in with noise and clamour: 
being led by one, who was called Major Rosewell : an 
apothecary if I misremember not ; and, at that time, under 
the ill name of a Papist. 

[So the Friends there, with Ellwood, are taken ; and sent to Bridewell 
till the 19th December following : when they were taken to Newgate, ex- 
pecting to be called at the Old Bailey sessions : but, not being called, were 
sent back to Bridewell again. On the 29th December, they were brought 
up at the Sessions, and, refusing to swear, were all committed to the 
"Common Side "of Newgate ; but that prison being so full, they were sent 
back to Bridewell again. Then we have the following extraordinary 

Having made up our packs, and taken our leave of our 
Friends, whom we were to leave behind ; we took our bundles 
on our shoulders, and walked, two and two a breast, through 
the Old Bailey into Fleet Street, and so to Old Bridewell. 
And it being about the middle of the afternoon, and the 
streets pretty full of people ; both the shopkeepers at their 
doors, and passengers in the way would stop us, and ask us, 
'* What we were ? and whither we were going? " 

And when we had told them, " We were prisoners, going 
from one prison to another (from Newgate to Bridewell)." 

" What," said they, " without a keeper? " 

"No," said we, "for our Word, which we have given, is 
our keeper." 

Some thereupon would advise us, not to go to prison ; but 
to go home. But we told them, " We could not do so. We 
could suffer for our testimony ; but could not fly from it." 

140 Released from Bridewell, Jan. 1663. [^-^ 

T. Ellwood. 
1 713. 

I do not remember we had any abuse offered us ; but were 
generally pitied by the people. 

When we were come to Bridewell, we were not put up into 
the great room in which we had been before : but into a low 
room, in another fair court, which had a pump in the middle 
of it. And, here, we were not shut up as before : but had the 
liberty of the court, to walk in ; and of the pump, to wash 
and drink at. And, indeed, we might easily have gone quite 
away, if we would ; there was a passage through the court 
into the street : but we were true and steady prisoners, and 
looked upon this liberty arising from their confidence in us, 
to be a kind of parole upon us ; so that both Conscience and 

Honour stood now engaged for our true imprisonment. 


And this privilege we enjoyed by the indulgence of our 

Keeper, whose heart GOD disposed to favour us: so that both 

the Master and his porter were very civil and kind to us, and 

had been so, indeed, all along. For when we were shut up 

before ; the porter would readily let some of us go home in 

an evening, and stay at home till next morning, which was 

a great conveniency to men of trade and business : which I, 

being free from, forbore asking for myself, that I might not 

hinder others. 

* * » • * 

Under this easy restraint, we lay till the Court sate at the 
Old Bailey again ; and, then (whether it was that the heat of 
the storm was somewhat abated, or by what other means 
Providence wrought it, I know not), we were called to the 
bar ; and without further question, discharged. 

Whereupon we returned to Bridewell again ; and having 
raised some monies among us, and therewith gratified both 
the Master and his porter, for their kindness to us : we spent 
some time in a solemn meeting, to return our thankful 
acknowledgment to the LORD; both for His preservation 
of us in prison, and deliverance of us out of it. And then, 
taking a solemn farewell of each other ; we departed with 
bag and baggage [at the end of January 1663]. 

[Thus, by such magnificent patience under arbitrary injustice, these 
invincible Quakers shamed the reckless Crime which, in those days, went 
by the name of The Law : and such stories as Ellwood's Lt/e and 
George Fox's Journal abound with like splendid victories of patience, 


by men who were incapable of telling a lie or of intentionally breaking their 

John Bunyan's imprisonment at this time was much of the same kind as 
ELLWOOD's,assoonasthe Keeper of Bedford gaol found hecould trust him.] 

Being now at liberty, I visited more generally my friends, 
that were still in prison : and, more particularly, my friend 
and benefactor, William Penington, at his house; and 
then, went to wait upon my Master, Milton. With whom, 
yet, I could not propose to enter upon my intermitted studies, 
until I had been in Buckinghamshire, to visit my worthy 
friends, Isaac Penington and his virtuous wife, with other 
friends in that country [district or county]. 

Thither, therefore, I betook myself; and the weather being 
frosty, and the ways by that means clean and good ; I walked 
it through in a day : and was received by my friends there, 
with such demonstration of hearty kindness, as made my 
journey very easy to me. 

I intended only a visit hither, not a continuance ; and 
therefore purposed, after I had stayed a few days, to return 
to my lodging and former course [i.e., of reading to MiLTON] 
in London. But Providence ordered otherwise. 

Isaac Penington had, at that time, two sons and one 
daughter, all then very young : of whom, the eldest son, John 
Penington, and the daughter, Mary (the wife of Daniel 
Wharley), are yet living at the writing of this [? 1713]. 
And being himself both skilful and curious in pronounciation; 
he was very desirous to have them well grounded in the rudi- 
ments of the English tongue. To which end, he had sent for 
a man, out of Lancashire, whom, upon inquiry, he had heard 
of; who was, undoubtedly, the most accurate English teacher, 
that ever I met with or have heard of. His name was 
Richard Bradley. But as he pretended no higher than 
the English tongue, and had led them, by grammar rules, to 
the highest improvement they were capable of, in that ; he 
had then taken his leave, and was gone up to London, to 
teach an English school of Friends' children there. 

This put my friend to a fresh strait. He had sought for a 
new teacher to instruct his children in the Latin tongue, as 
the old had done in the English : but had not yet found one. 
Wherefore, one evening, as we sate together by the fire, in 
his bedchamber, which, for want of health, he kept : he 

142 Stays with the Peningtons till 1669. p- 

? 1713- 

asked me, his wife being by, " If I would be so kind to him, 
as to stay a while with him ; till he could hear of such a 
man as he aimed at: and, in the meantime, enter his children 
in the rudiments of the Latin tongue ? " 

This question was not more unexpected, than surprising 
to me ; and the more, because it seemed directly to thwart 
my former purpose and undertaking, of endeavouring to 
improve myself, by following my studies with my Master, 
Milton : which this would give, at least, a present diversion 
from ; and, for how long, I could not foresee. 

But the sense I had, of the manifold obligations I lay 
under to these worthy friends of mine, shut out all reason- 
ings ; and disposed my mind to an absolute resignation to 
their desire, that I might testify my gratitude by a willing- 
ness to do them any friendly service, that I could be capable 

And though I questioned my ability to carry on that work 
to its due height and proportion ; yet, as that was not pro- 
posed, but an initiation only by Accidence into Grammar, I 
consented to the proposal, as a present expedient, till a more 
qualified person should be found : without further treaty or 
mention of terms between us, than that of mutual friendship. 

And to render this digression from my own studies, the 
less uneasy to my mind ; I recollected, and often thought of, 
that Rule of Lilly — 

Qui docet indoctos, licet indoctissimus essetf 
ipse hrevi reliquis, doctior esse queat. 

He that th'unlearned doth teach, may quickly be 
More learned than they, though most unlearned he. 

With this consideration, I undertook this province ; and 
left it not until I married : which was not till [the zSth October 
in] the year 1669, near[ly] seven years from the time I came 

In which time, having the use of my friend's books, as 
well as of my own, I spent my leisure hours much in reading; 
not without some improvement to myself in my private 
studies : which (with the good success of my labours 
bestowed on the children, and the agreeableness of con- 


Eiiwood.j Outrage BY Justice Bennet, i July 1665. 143 

versation which I found in the family) rendered my under- 
taking more satisfactory ; and my stay there more easy to 


* « » » « 

Although the storm raised by the Act for Banishment [16 
Car. II. c. 4. 1664], fell with the greatest weight and force 
upon some other parts, as at London, Hertford, &c.: yet were 
we, in Buckinghamshire, not wholly exempted therefrom. 
For a part of that shower reached us also. 

For a Friend, of Amersham, whose name was Edward 
Perot or Parret, departing this life ; and notice being given, 
that his body would be buried there on such a day (which 
was the First Day of the Fifth Month \July], 1665) : the 
Friends of the adjacent parts of the country, resorted pretty 
generally to the burial. So that there was a fair appearance 
of Friends and neighbours ; the deceased having been well 
beloved by both. 

After we had spent some time together, in the house 
(Morgan Watkins, who, at that time, happened to be at 
Isaac Penington's, being with us) ; the body was taken 
up, and borne on Friends' shoulders, along the street, in 
order to be carried to the burying-ground : which was at the 
town's end ; being part of an orchard belonging to the 
deceased, which he, in his lifetime, had appointed for that 

It so happened, that one Ambrose Bennet, a Barrister at 
Law, and a Justice of the Peace for that county, was riding 
through the town [of Amersham] that morning, in his way 
to Aylesbury : and was, by some ill-disposed person or other, 
informed that there was a Quaker to be buried there that 
day ; and that most of the Quakers in the country [county] 
were come thither to the burial. 

Upon this, he set up his horses, and stayed. And when 
we, not knowing anything of his design against us, went 
innocently forward to perform our Christian duty, for the 
interment of our Friend ; he rushed out of his Inn upon us, 
with the Constables and a rabble of rude fellows whom he 
had gathered together : and, having his drawn sword in his 
hand, struck one of the foremost of the bearers, with it ; 
commanding them " To set down the coffin ! " But the Friend, 
who was so stricken, whose name was Thomas Dell (being 

144 Ten Friends sent to Aylesbury Gaol ; [^f'^i^xt 

more concerned for the safety of the dead body than his own, 
lest it should fall from his shoulder, and any indecency 
thereupon follow) held the coffin fast. Which the Justice 
observing, and being enraged that his word (how unjust 
soever) was not forthwith obeyed, set his hand to the coffin; 
and, with a forcible thrust, threw it off the bearers' shoulders, 
so that it fell to the ground, in the midst of the street : and 
there, we were forced to leave it. 

For, immediately thereupon, the Justice giving command 
for the apprehending us ; the Constables with the rabble fell 
on us, and drew some, and drove others in the Inn : giving 
thereby an opportunity to the rest, to walk away. 

Of those that were thus taken, I was one. And being, 
with many more, put into a room, under a guard; we were 
kept there, till another Justice, called Sir Thomas Clayton, 
whom Justice Bennet had sent for, to join with him in 
committing us, was come. 

And then, being called forth severally before them, they 
picked out ten of us ; and committed us to Aylesbury gaol : for 
what, neither we, nor they knew. For we were not convicted 
of having either done or said anything, which the law could 
take hold of. 

For they took us up in the open street, the King's high- 
way, not doing any unlawful act ; but peaceably carrying 
and accompanying the corpse of our deceased Friend, to 
bury it. Which they would not suffer us to do ; but caused 
the body to lie in the open street, and in the cartway : so 
that all the travellers that passed by (whether horsemen, 
coaches, carts, or waggons) were fain to break out of the way, 
to go by it, that they might not drive over it ; until it was 
almost night. And then, having caused a grave to be made 
in the unconsecrated part, as it is accounted, of that which 
is called the Church Yard : they forcibly took the body from 
the widow (whose right and property it was), and buried it 

When the Justices had delivered us prisoners to the Con- 
stable, it being then late in the day, which was the seventh 
day of the week : he (not willing to go so far as Aylesbury, 
nine long miles, with us, that night ; nor to put the town [of 
Amersham] to the charge of keeping us, there, that night and 

T. Ellwood."! 


the First day and night following) dismissed us, upon our 
parole, to come to him again at a set hour, on the Second day 

Whereupon, we all went home to our respective habita- 
tions ; and coming to him punctually [on Monday, ^rd July, 
1665] according to promise, were by him, without guard, 
conducted to the Prison. 

The Gaoler, whose name was Nathaniel Birch, had, not 
long before, behaved himself very wickedly, with great rude- 
ness and cruelty, to some of our Friends of the lower side of 
the country [i.e., Buckinghamshire]; whom he, combining with 
the Clerk of the Peace, whose name was Henry Wells, had 
contrived to get into his gaol : and after they were legally 
discharged in Court, detained them in prison, using great 
violence, and shutting them up close in the Common Gaol 
among the felons ; because they would not give him his un- 
righteous demand of Fees, which they were the more strait- 
ened in, from his treacherous dealing with them. And they 
having, through suffering, maintained their freedom, and 
obtained their liberty : we were the more concerned to keep 
what they had so hardly gained ; and therefore resolved not 
to make any contract or terms for either Chamber Rent or 
Fees, but to demand a Free Prison. Which we did. 

When we came in, the gaoler was ridden out to wait on 
the Judges, who came in, that day [^rd July, 1665], to begin 
the Assize ; and his wife was somewhat at a loss, how to 
deal with us. But being a cunning woman, she treated us 
with a great appearance of courtesy, offering us the choice of 
all her rooms; and when we asked, " Upon what terms? " 
she still referred us to her husband ; telling us, she " did not 
doubt, but that he would be very reasonable and civil to us." 
Thus, she endeavoured to have drawn us to take possession 
of some of her chambers, at a venture ; and trust to her 
husband's kind usage : but, we, who, at the cost of our 
Friends, had a proof of his kindness, were too wary to be 
drawn in by the fair words of a woman : and therefore told 
her, ** We would not settle anywhere till her husband came 
home ; and then would have a Free Prison, wheresoever he 
put us." 

Accordingly, walking all together into the court of the 

K 7 

146 Sir W. Morton reviles them, ["^f 


prison, in which was a well of very good water ; and having, 
beforehand, sent to a Friend in the town, a widow woman, 
whose name was Sarah Lambarn, to bring us some bread 
and cheese : we sate down upon the ground round about the 
well ; and when we had eaten, we drank of the water out of 
the well. 

Our great concern was for our Friend, Isaac Penington, 
because of the tenderness of his constitution : but he was so 
lively in his spirit, and so cheerfully given up to suifer ; that 
he rather encouraged us, than needed any encouragement 
from us. 

In this posture, the gaoler, when he came home, found us. 
And having, before he came to us, consulted his wife ; and 
by her, understood on what terms we stood : when he came 
to us, he hid his teeth, and putting on a shew of kindness, 
seemed much troubled that we should sit there abroad [in the 
open air], especially his old friend, Mr. Penington; and 
thereupon, invited us to come in, and take what rooms in his 
house we pleased. We asked, " Upon what terms ? " letting 
him know, withal, that we were determined to have a Free 

He (like the Sun and the Wind, in the fable, that strove 
which of them should take from the traveller, his cloak) hav- 
ing, like the wind, tried rough, boisterous, violent means to our 
Friends before, but in vain ; resolved now to imitate the Sun, 
and shine as pleasantly as he could upon us. Wherefore, 
he told us, ** We should make the terms ourselves ; and be 
as free as we desired. If we thought fit, when we were 
released, to give him anything ; he would thank us for it : 
and if not, he would demand nothing." 

Upon these terms, we went in : and dispose ourselves, 
some in the dwelling-house, others in the malt-house : where 
they chose to be. 

During the Assize, we were brought before Judge Morton 
[Sir William Morton, Recorder of Gloucester], a sour angry 
man, who [being an old Cavalier Officer, naturally,] very rudely 
reviled us, but would not hear either us or the cause ; refer- 
ring the matter to the two Justices, who had committed us. 

They, when the Assize was ended, sent for us, to be 

EUwood.j^jjjLE jjj gaol; Milton comes to Chalfont. 147 

brought before them, at their Inn [at Aylesbury] ; and fined 
us, as I remember, 6s. 8d. a piece : which we not consent- 
ing to pay, they committed us to prison again, for one 
month from that time; on the Act for Banishment. 

When we had lain there that month [i.e., not later than the 
middle of August, 1665], I, with another, went to the gaoler, 
to demand our liberty : which he readily granted, telling us, 
** The door should be opened, when we pleased to go." 

This answer of his, I reported to the rest of my Friends 
there ; and, thereupon, we raised among us a small sum of 
money, which they put into my hand, for the gaoler. Where- 
upon, I, taking another with me, went to the gaoler, with 
the money in my hand ; and reminding him of the terms, 
upon which we accepted the use of his rooms, I told him, 
" That though we could not pay Chamber Rent nor Fees, 
yet inasmuch as he had now been civil to us, we were will- 
ing to acknowledge it by a small token " : and thereupon, 
gave him the money. He, putting it into his pocket, said, 
" I thank you, and your Friends for it ! and to let you see 
that I take it as a gift, not a debt ; I will not look on it, to 
see how much it is." 

The prison door being then set open for us ; we went out, 

and departed to our respective homes. 


Some little time before I went to Aylesbury prison [on ^rd 
jftdy, 1665], I was desired by my quondam Master, Milton, 
to take a house for him in the neighbourhood where I dwelt ; 
that he might get out of the City, for the safety of himself 
and his family : the Pestilence then growing hot in London. 

I took a pretty box for him [i.e., in June, 1665] in Giles- 
Chalfont [Chalfont St. Giles], a mile from me [Ellwood was 
then living in ISAAC Penington's house, called The Grange, 
at Chalfont St. Peter ; or Peter's Chalfont, as he calls it], of which, 
I gave him notice : and intended to have waited on him, and 
seen him well settled in it ; but was prevented by that im- 
prisonment. [Therefore Milton did not come into Buckingham- 
shire at this time, till after the ^rd July, 1665.] 

But, now [i.e., not later than the middle of August, 1665], 
being released, and returned home ; I soon made a visit to 
him, to welcome him into the country [county]. 

148 Ellwood s\5GGEs,i:s, Paradise Found, i665.[' 

T. Ellwood. 

After some common discourses had passed between us 
[evidently at Ellwood' s first visit], he called for a manuscript 
of his : which being brought, he delivered to me; bidding me, 
"Take it home with me, and read it at my leisure; and, 
when I had so done, return it to him, with my judgement 
thereupon ! " 

When I came home [i.e., The Grange; from which Isaac 
Penington, with his family {including THOMAS Ellwood) 
was, by military force, expelled about a month after their first 
return from Aylesbury gaol (i.e., about the middle of September) ; 
and he again sent to the same prison], and had set myself to 
read it ; 1 found it was that excellent poem, which he en- 
titled, Paradise Lost. 

After I had, with the best attention, read it through : I 
made him another visit, and returned him his book ; with 
due acknowledgment of the favour he had done me, in com- 
municating it to me. 

He asked me, ** How I liked it ? And what I thought of 
it ? " Which I, modestly but freely, told him. 

And, after some further discourse about it, I pleasantly 
said to him, " Thou hast said much, here, of Paradise lost : 
but what hast thou to say oi Paradise found? 

He made me no answer; but sate some time in a muse: 
then brake off that discourse, and fell upon another subject. 

After the sickness [Plague] was over ; and the City well 
cleansed, and become safely habitable again : he returned 

And when, afterwards [probably in 1668 or 1669], I went to 
wait on him there (which I seldom failed of doing, whenever 
my occasions drew me to London), he showed me his second 
poem, called Paradise Regained : and, in a pleasant tone, said 
to me, *' This is owing to you ! For you put it into my 
head, by the question you put to me at Chalfont ! which, be- 
fore, I had not thought of." 

[Paradise Regained -wsiS licensed for publication on 2nd July, 1670.] 














Ou are now about to enter on a Profession 
which has the means of doing much good 
to society, and scarcely any temptation to do 
harm. You may encourage Genius, you may 
chastise superficial Arrogance, expose False- 
hood, correct Error, and guide the Taste and 
Opinions of the Age in no small degree by the books 
you praise and recommend. And this too may be done 
without running the risk of making any enemies ; or sub- 
jecting yourself to be called to account for your criticism, 
however severe. While your name is unknown, your person 
is invulnerable : at the same time your aim is sure, for you 
may take it at your leisure ; and your blows fall heavier 
than those of any Writer whose name is given, or who is 
simply anonymous. There is a mysterious authority in the 
plural. We, which no single name, whatever may be its 
reputation, can acquire ; and, under the sanction of this 
imposing style, your strictures, your praises, and your 
dogmas, will command universal attention ; and be received 
as the fruit of united talents, acting on one common 
principle — as the judgments of a tribunal who decide only 
on mature deliberation, and who protect the interests of 
Literature with unceasing vigilance. 

Such being the high importance of that Office, and such 
its opportunities ; I cannot bestow a few hours of leisure 
better than in furnishing you with some hints for the more 

152 Write what will sell! [Bp- e. copiestone. 

easy and effectual discharge of it : hints which are, I 
confess, loosely thrown together ; but which are the result 
of long experience, and of frequent reflection and com- 
parison. And if anything should strike you, at first sight, as 
rather equivocal in point of morality, or deficient in liberality 
and feeling ; I beg you will suppress all such scruples, 
and consider them as the offspring of a contracted educa- 
tion and narrow way of thinking, which a little inter- 
course with the World and sober reasoning will speedily 

Now as in the conduct of life nothing is more to be 
desired than some Governing Principle of action, to which 
all other principles and motives must be made subservient ; 
so in the Art of Reviewing I would lay down as a funda- 
mental position, which you must never lose sight of, and 
which must be the mainspring of all your criticisms — 
Write what will sell ! To this Golden Rule every minor 
canon must be subordinate ; and must be either immediately 
deducible from it, or at least be made consistent with 

Be not staggered at the sound of a precept which, upon 
examination, will be found as honest and virtuous as it 
is discreet. I have already sketched out the great services 
which it is in your power to render mankind ; but all 
your efforts will be unavailing if men did not read what 
you write. Your utility therefore, it is plain, depends upon 
your popularity ; and popularity cannot be attained without 
humouring the taste and inclinations of men. 

Be assured that, by a similar train of sound and judicious 
reasoning, the consciences of thousands in public life are 
daily quieted. It is better for the State that their Party 
should govern than any other. The good which they can 
effect by the exercise of power is infinitely greater than 
any which could arise from a rigid adherence to certain 
subordinate moral precepts ; which therefore should be 
violated without scruple whenever they stand in the way of 
their leading purpose. He who sticks at these can never 
act a great part in the World, and is not fit to act it if he 
could. Such maxims may be very useful in ordinary 
affairs, and for the guidance of ordinary men : but when 

Bp. E. Coplestone.-| /T^j^^^ff. pyBLIC TASTE, NOT GUIDE IT ! I 53 

we mount into the sphere of public utility, we must adopt 
more enlarged principles ; and not suffer ourselves to be 
cramped and fettered by petty notions of Right and Moral 

When you have reconciled yourself to this liberal way 
of thinking ; you will find many inferior advantages resulting 
from it, which at first did not enter into your consideration. 
In particular, it will greatly lighten your labours, to follow 
the public taste, instead of taking upon you to direct it. 
The task of Pleasing is at all times easier than that of 
Instructing : at least it does not stand in need of painful 
research and preparation ; and may be effected in general 
by a little vivacity of manner, and a dexterous morigeration 
[compliance, or obsequiousness], as Lord BACON calls it, to 
the humours and frailties of men. Your responsibility too 
is thereby much lessened. Justice and Candour can only 
be required of you so far as they coincide with this Main 
Principle : and a little experience will convince you that these 
are not the happiest means of accomplishing your purpose. 
It has been idly said. That a Reviewer acts in a judicial 
capacity, and that his conduct should be regulated by the 
same rules by which the Judge of a Civil Court is governed : 
that he should rid himself of every bias ; be patient, cautious, 
sedate, and rigidly impartial ; that he should not seek to 
shew off himself, and should check every disposition to 
enter into the case as a partizan. 

Such is the language of superficial thinkers ; but in reality 
there is no analogy between the two cases. A Judge is 
promoted to that office by the authority of the State ; a 
Reviewer by his own. The former is independent of 
control, and may therefore freely follow the dictates of 
his own conscience : the latter depends for his very bread 
upon the breath of public opinion ; the great law of self- 
preservation therefore points out to him a different line 
of action. Besides, as we have already observed, if he ceases 
to please, he is no longer read ; and consequently is no 
longer useful. In a Court of Justice, too, the part of 
amusing the bystanders rests with the Counsel : in the case 
of criticism, if the Reviewer himself does not undertake 
it, who will ? 

154 The arts of Quizzing and Banter. [Bp- e. copiestone. 

Instead of vainly aspiring to the gravity of a Magistrate ; 
I would advise him, when he sits down to write, to place 
himself in the imaginary situation of a cross-examining 
Pleader. He may comment, in a vain of agreeable irony, 
upon the profession, the manner of life, the look, dress, 
or even the name, of the witness he is examining : when 
he has raised a contemptuous opinion of him in the minds 
of the Court, he may proceed to draw answers from him 
capable of a ludicrous turn ; and he may carve and garble 
these to his own liking. 

This mode of proceeding you will find most practicable in 
Poetry, where the boldness of the image or the delicacy 
of thought (for which the Reader's mind was prepared 
in the original) will easily be made to appear extravagant, or 
affected, if judiciously singled out, and detached from the 
group to which it belongs. Again, since much depends 
upon the rhythm and the terseness of expression (both 
of which are sometimes destroyed by dropping a single 
word, or transposing a phrase), I have known much advant- 
age arise from not quoting in the form of a literal extract : 
but giving a brief summary in prose, of the contents 
of a poetical passage ; and interlarding your own language, 
with occasional phrases of the Poem marked with inverted 

These, and a thousand other little expedients, by which 
the arts of Quizzing and Banter flourish, practice will 
soon teach you. If it should be necessary to transcribe 
a dull passage, not very fertile in topics of humour and 
raillery ; you may introduce it as a " favourable specimen 
of the Author's manner." 

Few people are aware of the powerful effects of what is 
philosophically termed Association. Without any positive 
violation of truth, the whole dignity of a passage may be 
undermined by contriving to raise some vulgar and ridic- 
ulous notions in the mind of the reader : and language 
teems with examples of words by which the same idea 
is expressed, with the difference only that one excites a 
feeling of respect, the other of contempt. Thus you may 
call a fit of melancholy, "the sulks"; resentment, "a pet"; 
a steed, "a nag"; a feast, "a junketing"; sorrow and 

Bp. E. Coplestone.-j ^q^ jq ^yX UP BOOKS OF TrAVEL. 1 55 

affliction, "whining and blubbering". By transferring the 
terms pecuHar to one state of society, to analogous situations 
and characters in another, the same object is attained. 
"A Drill Serjeant" or "a Cat and Nine Tails" in the Trojan 
War, " a Lesbos smack putting into the Piraeus," " the 
Penny Post of Jerusalem," and other combinations of the 
like nature which, when you have a little indulged in that 
vein of thought, will readily suggest themselves, never fail 
to raise a smile, if not immediately at the expense of the 
Author, yet entirely destructive of that frame of mind which 
his Poem requires in order to be relished. 

I have dwelt the longer on this branch of Literature, 
because you are chiefly to look here for materials of fun 
and irony. 

Voyages and Travels indeed are no barren ground ; and 
you must seldom let a Number of your Review go abroad 
without an Article of this description. The charm of this 
species of writing, so universally felt, arises chiefly from 
its uniting Narrative with Information. The interest we 
take in the story can only be kept alive by minute incident 
and occasional detail ; which puts us in possession of the 
traveller's feelings, his hopes, his fears, his disappointments, 
and his pleasures. At the same time the thirst for know- 
ledge and love of novelty is gratified by continual informa- 
tion respecting the people and countries he visits. 

If you wish therefore to run down the book, you have 
only to play off" these two parts against each other. When 
the Writer's object is to satisfy the first inclination, you 
are to thank him for communicating to the World such 
valuable facts as, whether he lost his way in the night, 
or sprained his ankle, or had no appetite for his dinner. 
If he is busied about describing the Mineralogy, Natural 
History, Agriculture, Trade, etc. of a country : you may 
mention a hundred books from whence the same information 
may be obtained ; and deprecate the practice of emptying 
old musty Folios into new Quartos, to gratify that sickly 
taste for a smattering about everything which distinguishes 
the present Age. 

In Works of Science and recondite Learning, the task 

156 Do NOT TOUCH Works of Research! [^p- ^- "^"p'^X;: 

you have undertaken will not be so difficult as you niay 
imagine. Tables of Contents and Indexes are blessed 
helps in the hands of a Reviewer ; but, more than all, the 
Preface is the field from which his richest harvest is to 
be gathered. 

In the Preface, the Author usually gives a summary 
of what has been written on the same subject before ; 
he acknowledges the assistance he has received from 
different sources, and the reasons of his dissent from former 
Writers ; he confesses that certain parts have been less 
attentively considered than others, and that information 
has come to his hands too late to be made use of; he 
points out many things in the composition of his Work 
which he thinks may provoke animadversion, and endeavours 
to defend or palliate his own practice. 

Here then is a fund of wealth for the Reviewer, lying 
upon the very surface. If he knows anything of his 
business, he will turn all these materials against the Author : 
carefully suppressing the source of his information ; and 
as if drawing from the stores of his own mind long ago 
laid up for this very purpose. If the Author's references 
are correct, a great point is gained ; for by consulting a 
few passages of the original Works, it will be easy to 
discuss the subject with the air of having a previous know- 
ledge of the whole. 

Your chief vantage ground is, That you may fasten 
upon any position in the book you are reviewing, and 
treat it as principal and essential ; when perhaps it is of 
little weight in the main argument : but, by allotting a 
large share of your criticism to it, the reader will naturally 
be led to give it a proportionate importance, and to consider 
the merit of the Treatise at issue upon that single question. 

If anybody complains that the greater and more valuable 
parts remain unnoticed ; your answer is, That it is impossible 
to pay attention to all ; and that your duty is rather to 
prevent the propagation of error, than to lavish praises 
upon that which, if really excellent, will work its way 
in the World without your help. 

Indeed, if the plan of your Review admits of selection, 
you had better not meddle with Works of deep research 
and original speculation ; such as have already attracted 


much notice, and cannot be treated superficially without 
fear of being found out. The time required for making 
yourself thoroughly master of the subject is so great, that 
you may depend upon it they will never pay for the 
reviewing. They are generally the fruit of long study, 
and of talents concentrated in the steady pursuit of one 
object : it is not likely therefore that you can throw much 
new light on a question of this nature, or even plausibly 
combat the Author's propositions ; in the course of a few 
hours, which is all you can well afford to devote to them. 
And without accomplishing one or the other of these points ; 
your Review will gain no celebrity, and of course no good 
will be done. 

Enough has been said to give you some insight into 
the facilities with which your new employment abounds. 
I will only mention one more, because of its extensive 
and almost universal application to all Branches of Litera- 
ture ; the topic, I mean, which by the old Rhetoricians 
was called e^ evavricav, That is, when a Work excels in 
one quality ; you may blame it for not having the 

For instance, if the biographical sketch of a Literary 
Character is minute and full of anecdote ; you may enlarge 
on the advantages of philosophical reflection, and the 
superior mind required to give a judicious analysis of the 
Opinions and Works of deceased Authors. On the contrary, 
if the latter method is pursued by the Biographer ; you 
can, with equal ease, extol the lively colouring, and truth, 
and interest, of exact delineation and detail. 

This topic, you will perceive, enters into Style as well 
as Matter ; where many virtues might be named zvhich 
are incompatible : and whichever the Author has preferred, 
it will be the signal for you to launch forth on the praises 
of its opposite ; and continually to hold up that to your 
Reader as the model of excellence in this species of Writing. 

You will perhaps wonder why all my instructions are 
pointed towards the Censure, and not the Praise, of Books ; 
but many reasons might be given why it should be so. 
The chief are, that this part is both easier, and will sell better. 

158 Secondary springs of action, [b?. e. copiestone. 

Let us hear the words of Mr BURKE on a subject not 
very dissimilar : 

"In such cases," says he, " the Writer has a certain fire 
and alacrity inspired into him by a consciousness that 
(let it fare how it will with the subject) his ingenuity will 
be sure of applause : and this alacrity becomes much greater, 
if he acts upon the offensive ; by ^-he impetuosity that 
always accompanies an attack, and the unfortunate pro- 
pensity which mankind have to finding and exaggerating 
faults." Pref , Vindic. Nat. Soc, p. 6. 

You will perceive that I have on no occasion sanctioned 
the baser motives of private pique, envy, revenge, and 
love of detraction. At least I have not recommended 
harsh treatment upon any of these grounds. I have argued 
simply on the abstract moral principle which a Reviewer 
should ever have present to his mind : but if any of these 
motives insinuate themselves as secondary springs of action, 
I would not condemn them. They may come in aid of 
the grand Leading Principle, and powerfully second its 

But it is time to close these tedious precepts, and to 
furnish you with, what speaks plainer than any precept, 
a Specimen of the Art itself, in which several of them 
are embodied. It is hastily done : but it exemplifies well 
enough what I have said of the Poetical department ; and 
exhibits most of those qualities which disappointed Authors 
are fond of railing at, under the names of Flippancy, 
Arrogance, Conceit, Misrepresentation, and Malevolence : 
reproaches which you will only regard as so many acknow- 
ledgments of success in your undertaking ; and infallible 
tests of an established fame, and [a] rapidly increasing 


ZJ Allegro. A Poem. 

By John Milton. 

No Printers name. 

T has become a practice of late with a certain 
description of people, who have no visible means 
of subsistence, to string together a few trite 
images of rural scenery, interspersed with 
vulgarisms in dialect, and traits of vulgar 
manners ; to dress up these materials in a Sing-Song jingle ; 
and to offer them for sale as a Poem. According to the most 
approved recipes, something about the heathen gods and god- 
desses ; and the schoolboy topics of Styx and Cerberus, and 
Elysium ; are occasionally thrown in, and the composition is 
complete. The stock in trade of these Adventurers is in general 
scanty enough ; and their Art therefore consists in disposing 
it to the best advantage. But if such be the aim of the Writer, 
it is the Critic's business to detect and defeat the imposture ; 
to warn the public against the purchase of shop-worn goods 
and tinsel wares ; to protect the fair trader, by exposing 
the tricks of needy Quacks and Mountebanks ; and to 
chastise that forward and noisy importunity with which 
they present themselves to the public notice. 

How far Mr. MiLTON is amenable to this discipline, 
will best appear from a brief analysis of the Poem before us. 
In the very opening he assumes a tone of authority 
which might better suit some veteran Bard than a raw 
candidate for the Delphic bays : for, before he proceeds 
to the regular process of Invocation, he clears the way, 
by driving from his presence (with sundry hard names ; 
and bitter reproaches on her father, mother, and all the 
family) a venerable Personage, whose age at least and 
staid matron-like appearance, might have entitled her to 
more civil language. 

Hence, loathed Melancholy I 

Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight bom, 

In Stygian cave forlorn, &c. 

i6o A MOCK Criticism OF Z'^zz^G^ipa [Bp- e. copiestone. 

There is no giving rules, however, in these matters, without 
a knowledge of the case. Perhaps the old lady had been 
frequently warned off before ; and provoked this violence 
by continuing still to lurk about the Poet's dwelling. And, 
to say the truth, the Reader will have but too good reason 
to remark, before he gets through the Poem, that it is one 
thing to tell the Spirit of Dulness to depart ; and another to 
get rid of her in reality. Like Glendower's Spirits, any 
one may order them away ; " but will they go, when you do 
order them ? " 

But let us suppose for a moment that the Parnassian 
decree is obeyed ; and, according to the letter of the Order 
(which is as precise and wordy as if Justice Shallow 
himself had drawn it) that the obnoxious female is sent back 
to the place of her birth, 

'Mongst horrid shapes, shrieks, sights, &c. 
At which we beg our fair readers not to be alarmed ; for 
we can assure them they are only words of course in all 
poetical Instruments of this nature, and mean no more 
than the " force and arms " and " instigation of the Devil " 
in a common Indictment. 

This nuisance then being abated ; we are left at liberty 
to contemplate a character of a different complexion, 
" buxom, blithe, and debonair " : one who, although evidently 
a great favourite of the Poet's and therefore to be received 
with all due courtesy, is notwithstanding introduced under 
the suspicious description of an alias. 

In heaven, ycleped EuPHROSYNE ; 

And by men, heart-easing Mirth. 
Judging indeed from the light and easy deportment of this 
gay Nymph ; one might guess there were good reasons for 
a change of name as she changed her residence. 

But of all vices there is none we abhor more than that of 
slanderous insinuation. We shall therefore confine our 
moral strictures to the Nymph's mother ; in whose defence 
the Poet has little to say himself. Here too, as in the case 
of the name, there is some doubt. For the uncertainty 
of descent on the Father's side having become trite to a 
proverb ; the Author, scorning that beaten track, has 


left us to choose between two mothers for his favourite • 
and without much to guide our choice ; for, whichever 
we fix upon, it is plain she was no better than she 
should be. As he seems however himself inclined to 
the latter of the two, we will even suppose it so to be. 
Or whether (as some sager say) 
The frolic wind that breathes the Springs 
Zephyr with Aurora playing, 
As he met her once a Maymg ; 
There on beds of violets blue. 
And fresh-blown roses washed in dew, &c. 
Some dull people might imagine that the wifid was more 
like the breath of Spring', than Spring, the breath of the 
wind: but we are more disposed to question the Author's 
Ethics than his Physics ; and accordingly cannot dismiss 
these May gambols without some observations. 

In the first place, Mr. M. seems to have higher notions 
of the antiquity of the May Pole than we have been 
accustomed to attach to it. Or perhaps he sought to 
shelter the equivocal nature of this affair under that 
sanction. To us, however, who can hardly subscribe to 
the doctrine that "Vice loses half its evil by losing all 
its grossness " ; neither the remoteness of time, nor the 
gaiety of the season, furnishes a sufficient palliation. 
" Violets blue " and " fresh-blown roses " are, to be sure, 
more agreeable objects of the Imagination than a gin shop 
in Wapping or a booth in Bartholomew Fair ; but, in point 
of morality, these are distinctions without a difference : 
or it may be the cultivation of mind (which teaches us to 
reject and nauseate these latter objects) aggravates the case, 
if our improvement in taste be not accompanied by a pro- 
portionate improvement of morals. 

If the Reader can reconcile himself to this latitude of 
principle, the anachronism will not long stand in his way. 
Much indeed may be said in favour of this union of ancient 
Mythology with modern notions and manners. It is a 
sort of chronological metaphor — an artificial analogy, by 
which ideas, widely remote and heterogeneous, are brought 
into contact ; and the mind is delighted by this unexpected 
assemblage, as it is by the combinations of figurative 

L 7 

i62 Mock quotation from Ben Jonson, [ ^p- e- copiestone. 

Thus in that elegant Interlude, which the pen of Ben 
Jonson has transmitted to us, of the loves of Hero and 
Leander : 

Gentles, that no longer your expectations may wander, 
Behold our chief actor, amorous Leander ! 
With a great deal of cloth, lapped about him like a scarf : 
For he yet serves his father, a Dyer in Puddle Wharf : 
Which place we'll make bold with, to call it our Abydus ; 
As the Bankside is our Sestos, and let it not be denied us. 
And far be it from us to deny the use of so reasonable 
a liberty ; especially if the request be backed (as it is in 
the case of Mr. M.) by the craving and imperious necessities 
of rhyme. What man who has ever bestrode Pegasus for 
an hour, will be insensible to such a claim ? 

Hand ignara inali miseris succurrere disco. 

We are next favoured with an enumeration of the 
Attendants of this " debonair " Nymph, in all the minute- 
ness of a German Dramatis Personce, or a Ropedancer's 

Haste thee, Nymph ; and bring with thee 
Jest and youthful Jollity, 
Quips and cranks and wanton wiles, 
Nods and becks and wreathed smiles, 
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek 
And love to live in dimple sleek ; 
Sport that wrinkled Care derides, 
And Laughter holding both his sides. 
The Author, to prove himself worthy of being admitted 
of the crew, skips and capers about upon " the light 
fantastic toe," that there is no following him. He scampers 
through all the Categories, in search of his imaginary 
beings, from Substance to Quality, and back again ; from 
thence to Action, Passion, Habit, &c. with incredible 
celerity. Who, for instance, would have expected cranks, 
nods, becks, and wreathkd smiles as part of a group in 
which Jest, Jollity, Sport, and Laughter figure away as 
full-formed entire Personages ? The family likeness is 
certainly very strong in the two last ; and if we had 
not been told, we should perhaps have thought the 
act of deriding as appropriate to Laughter as to Sport. 

Bp. E. Coplestone.-] LAXITY OF Mr. M.'s AMATORY NC/riONs! 163 

But how are we to understand the stage directions ? 
Come^ and trip it as you go. 
Are the words used synonymously ? Or is it meant that 
this airy gentry shall come in a Minuet step, and go off in a 
Jig? The phenomenon of a tripping crank is indeed novel, 
and would doubtless attract numerous spectators. 

But it is difficult to guess to whom, among this jolly 
company, the Poet addresses himself : for immediately after 
the Plural appellative j't'?^, he proceeds, 

And in thy right hand lead with thee 
The mountain Nymph, sweet Liberty. 
No sooner is this fair damsel introduced ; but Mr M., with 
most unbecoming levity, falls in love with her : and makes 
a request of her companion which is rather greedy, that 
he may live with both of them. 

To live with her, and live with thee. 
Even the gay libertine who sang " How happy could I be 
with either ! " did not go so far as this. But we have 
already had occasion to remark on the laxity of Mr M.'s 
amatory notions. 

The Poet, intoxicated with the charms of his Mistress, 
now rapidly runs over the pleasures which he proposes to 
himself in the enjoyment of her society. But though he 
has the advantage of being his own caterer, either his palate 
is of a peculiar structure, or he has not made the most 
judicious selection. 

To begin the day well, he will have the sky-lark 
to come in spite of sorrow 

And at his window bid " Good Morrow ! " 
The sky-lark, if we know anything of the nature of that bird, 
must come " in spite " of something else as well as " of 
sorrow," to the performance of this office. 

In the next image, the Natural History is better preserved ; 
and, as the thoughts are appropriate to the time of day, we 
will venture to transcribe the passage, as a favourable 
specimen of the Author's manner : 

While the Cock, with lively din, 

Scatters the rear of darkness thin, 

And to the stack, or the barn door, 

Stoutly struts his dames before ; 

i64 Mr. Milton LIKENED toChanticleer.[^p-^-^°p'^X: 

Oft listening how the hounds and horns 

Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn, 

From the side of some hoar hill, 

Through the high wood echoing still. 
Is it not lamentable that, after all, whether it is the Cock, or 
the Poet, that listens, should be left entirely to the Reader's 
conjectures ? Perhaps also his embarrassment may be in- 
creased by a slight resemblance of character in these two 
illustrious Personages, at least as far as relates to the extent 
and numbers of their seraglio. 

After z. flaming description of sunrise, on which the clouds 
attend in their very best liveries ; the Bill of Fare for the day 
proceeds in the usual manner. Whistling Ploughmen, sing- 
ing Milkmaids, and sentimental Shepherds are always to be 
had at a moment's notice ; and, if well grouped, serve to fill 
up the landscape agreeably enough. 

On this part of the Poem we have only to remark, that 
if Mr John Milton proposeth to make himself merry with 
Russet lawns, and fallows grey 
Where the nibbling flocks do stray ; 
Mountains on whose barren breast 
The labouring clouds do often rest, 
Meadows trim with daisies pied, 
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide. 
Towers and battlements, &c. &c. &c. 
he will either find himself egregiously disappointed ; or he 
must possess a disposition to merriment which even 
Democritus himself might envy. To such a pitch indeed 
does this solemn indication of joy sometimes rise, that we are 
inclined to give him credit for a literal adherence to the 
Apostolic precept, " Is any merry, let him sing Psalms ! " 

At length, however, he hies away at the sound of bell- 
ringing, and seems for some time to enjoy the tippling and 
fiddling and dancing of a village wake : but his fancy is 
soon haunted again by spectres and goblins, a set of beings 
not, in general, esteemed the companions or inspirers of mirth. 

With stories told of many a feat, 

How fairy Mab the junkets eat. 

She was pinched, and pulled, she said : 

Bp E. copiestone.-j ^^ jyj_ MAY \NRiTE NuRSERY Tales. 165 

And he, by friar's lanthern led, 

Tells how the drudging Goblin sweat 

To earn his cream-bowl duly set ; 

When, in one night, ere glimpse of morn, 

His shadowy Flail hath threshed the corn 

That ten day-labourers could not end. 

Then lies him down the lubbar Fiend ; 

And, stretched out all the chimney's length, 

Basks at the fire his hairy strength : 

And, crop-full, out of door he flings 

Ere the first cock his Matins rings. 
Mr. M. seems indeed to have a turn for this species of 
Nursery Tales and prattling Lullabies ; and, if he will 
studiously cultivate his talent, he need not despair of figuring 
in a conspicuous corner of Mr Newbery's shop window : 
unless indeed Mrs. Trimmer should think fit to proscribe 
those empty levities and idle superstitions, by which the 
World has been too long abused. 

From these rustic fictions, we are transported to another 
species o{ hum. 

Towered cities please us then. 
And the busy hum of men ; 
Where throngs of Knights and Barons bold, 
In weeds of peace, high triumphs hold : 
With store of Ladies, whose bright eyes 
Rain influence, and judge the Prize 
Of Wit or Arms ; while both contend 
To win her grace, whom all commend. 
To talk of the bright eyes of Ladies judging the Prize of 
Wit is indeed with the Poets a legitimate species of humming : 
but would not, we may ask, the rain from these Ladies' 
bright eyes rather tend to dim their lustre ? Or is there any 
quality in a shower of influence ; which, instead of deadening, 
serves only to brighten and exhilarate ? 

Whatever the case may be, we would advise Mr. M. by all 
means to keep out of the way of these " Knights and Barons 
bold " : for, if he has nothing but his Wit to trust to, we will 
venture to predict that, without a large share of most undue 
influence, he must be content to see the Prize adjudged to 
his competitors. 

1 66 Mr. M. seems to have some fancy! ![^p-^'^°p'"f8o7: 

- Of the latter part of the Poem Httle need be said. 

The Author does seem somewhat more at home when he 
gets among the Actors and Musicians : though his head is 
still running upon ORPHEUS and EURYDICE and Pluto, and 
other sombre personages ; who are ever thrusting themselves 
in where we least expect them, and who chill every rising 
emotion of mirth and gaiety. 

He appears however to be so ravished with this sketch of 
festive pleasures, or perhaps with himself for having sketched 
them so well, that he closes with a couplet which would not 
have disgraced a Sternhold. 

These delights if thou canst give, 

Mirth, with thee I mean to live. 
Of Mr. M.'s good intentions there can be no doubt ; but we 
beg leave to remind him that there are two opinions to be 
consulted. He presumes perhaps upon the poetical powers 
he has displayed, and considers them as irresistible : for every 
one must observe in how different a strain he avows his 
attachment now, and at the opening of the Poem. Then it was 
If I give thee honour due. 
Mirth, admit me of thy crew ! 
But having, it should seem, established his pretensions ; he 
now thinks it sufficient to give notice that he means to live 
with her, because he likes her. 

Upon the whole, Mr. MiLTON seems to be possessed of 
some fancy and talent for rhyming ; two most dangerous 
endowments which often unfit men for acting a useful part 
in life without qualifying them for that which is great and 
brilliant. If it be true, as we have heard, that he has declined 
advantageous prospects in business, for the sake of indulging 
his poetical humour ; we hope it is not yet too late to prevail 
upon him to retract his resolution. With the help of Cocker 
and common industry, he may become a respectable 
Scrivener : but it is not all the ZEPHYRS, and AURORAS, and 
CORYDONS, and Thyrsis's ; aye, nor his " junketing Queen 
Mab " and " drudging Goblins," that will ever make him a 



YEAR 1708. 

Wherein the Month and Day of 
the Month are set down, the 
Persons named, and the great 
Actions and Events of next Year 
particularly related, as they will 
come to pass. 

Written to prevent the People of England 
from being further imposed on by vulgar 
Almanack Makers, 

By Isaac Bi cker staff, Esq. 

Sold by John Morphew, near Stationers' Hall. 



for the Year 1708, &^c. 

Have long considered the gross abuse of Astro- 
logy in this Kingdom ; and upon debating 
the matter with myself, I could not possibly 
lay the fault upon the Art, but upon those 
gross Impostors who set up to be the Artists. 
I know several Learned Men have contended 
that the whole is a cheat ; that it is absurd and 
ridiculous to imagine the stars can have any 
influence at all on human actions, thoughts, or inclinations: 
and whoever has not bent his studies that way, may be 
excused for thinking so, when he sees in how wretched a man- 
ner this noble Art is treated by a few mean illiterate traders 
between us and the stars ; who import a yearly stock of non- 
sense, lies, folly, and impertinence, which they offer to the 
world as genuine from the planets, although they descend 
from no greater height than their own brains. 

I intend, in a short time, to publish a large and rational 
Defence of this Art ; and therefore shall say no more in its 
justification at present than that it hath been, in all Ages, de- 
fended by many Learned Men ; and, among the rest, by Soc- 
rates himself, whom I look upon as undoubtedly the wisest of 
uninspired mortals. To which if we add, that those who have 
condemned this Art, although otherwise learned, having been 
such as either did not apply their studies this way, or at least 
did not succeed in their applications ; their testimonies will 
not be of much weight to its disadvantage, since they are 
liable to the common objection of condemning what they did 
not understand. 

Nor am I at all offended, or think it an injury to the 
Art, when I see the common dealers in it, the Students in 

1 70 Influence of Almanacks in the country. [ Feb-Tyof: 

Astronomy, the Philomaths, and the rest of that tribe, treated 
by wise men with the utmost scorn and contempt : but I 
rather wonder, when I observe Gentlemen in the country, 
rich enough to serve the nation in Parhament, poring in 
Partridge's Almanack to find out the events of the year, at 
home and abroad ; not daring to propose a hunting match, 
unless Gadbury or he have fixed the weather. 

I will allow either of the two I have mentioned, or any 
others of the fraternity, to be not only Astrologers, but Con- 
jurers too, if I do not produce a hundred instances in all 
their Almanacks, to convince any reasonable man that they do 
not so much as understand Grammar and Syntax ; that they are 
not able to spell any word out of the usual road, nor even, in 
their Prefaces, to write common sense, or intelligible English. 

Then as their Observations or Predictions, they are such as 
will suit any Age or country in the world. 

This month, a certain great Person will he threatened with death 
or sickness. This the News Paper will tell them. For there 
we find at the end of the year, that no month passeth without 
the death of some Person of Note : and it would be hard if it 
should be otherwise, where there are at least two thousand 
Persons of Note in this kingdom, many of them old ; and the 
Almanack maker has the liberty of choosing the sickliest 
season of the year, where he may fix his prediction. 

Again, This month, an eminent Clergyman will be preferred. 
Of which, there may be some hundreds, half of them with one 
foot in the grave. 

Then, Sttch a Planet in such a House shews great machina- 
tions, plots, and conspiracies, that may, in time, be brought to 
light. After which, if we hear of any discovery, the Astrologer 
gets the honour : if not, his prediction still stands good. 

And, at last, God preserve King WiLLlAM from all his open 
and secret enemies, Amen. When, if the King should happen 
to have died, the Astrologer plainly foretold it ! otherwise it 
passeth but forthepiousejaculationof a loyal subject: although 
it unluckily happened in some of their Almanacks, that poor 
King William was prayed for, many months after he was 
dead ; because it fell out, that he died about the beginning 
of the year. 

To mention no more of their impertinent Predictions, What 
have we to do with their advertisements about pills, or their 

'■^fSTjoI] What Bickerstaff did foretell[!] 171 

mutual quarrels^in verse and prose of Whig and Tory ? where- 
with the stars have Httle to do. 

Having long observed and lamented these, and a hundred 
other abuses of this Art too tedious to repeat ; I resolved to 
proceed in a N-ew Way ; which, I doubt not, will be to the 
general satisfaction of the Kingdom. I can, this year, pro- 
duce but a specimen of what I design for the future : having 
employed the most part of my time in adjusting and correct- 
ing the calculations I made for some years past ; because 
I would offer nothing to the World, of which I am not as fully 
satisfied as that I am now alive. 

For these last two years, I have not failed in above one or two 
particulars, and those of no very great moment. I exactly 
foretold the miscarriage at Toulon [fruitlessly besieged by Prince 
Eugene, between 26th July , and 2'Lst August, 1707] with all its 
particulars : and the loss of Admiral [Sir Cloudesly] Shovel 
[at the Scilly isles, on 22nd October, 1707] ; although I was 
mistaken as to the day, placing that accident about thirty-six 
hours sooner than it happened ; but upon reviewing my 
Schemes, I quickly found the cause of that error. I likewise 
foretold the battle of Almanza [2$th April, 1707] to the very 
day and hour, with the loss on both sides, and the consequences 
thereof. All which I shewed to some friends many months 
before they happened : that is, I gave them papers sealed up, 
to open in such a time, after which they were at liberty to 
read them ; and there they found my Predictions true in every 
Article, except one or two very minute. 

As for the few following Predictions I now offer the World, 
I forbore to publish them until I had perused the several 
Almanacks iov the year we are now entered upon. I found 
them all in the usual strain ; and I beg the reader will com- 
pare their manner with mine. 

And here I make bold to tell the World that I lay the whole 
credit of my Art upon the truth of these Predictions ; and I will 
be content that Partridge and the rest of his clan may hcot 
me for a cheat and impostor, if I fail in any single particular of 
moment. I believe any man who reads this Paper [pamphlet], 
will look upon me to be at least a person of as much honesty 
and understanding as the common maker of Almanacks. I do 
not lurk in the dark. I am not whollv unknown to the World. 

172 I HAVE SET MY NaME AT LENGTH.' [^- ^^tb.Tyos: 

I have set my name at length, to be a mark of infamy to 
mankind, if they shall find I deceive them. 

In one thing, I must desire to be forgiven : that I talk more 
sparingly of home affairs. As it would be imprudence to dis- 
cover Secrets of State, so it would be dangerous to my person : 
but in smaller matters, and that as are not of public conse- 
quence, I shall be very free : and the truth of my conjectures 
will as much appear from these, as the other. 

As for the most signal events abroad, in France, Flanders, 
Italy, and Spain : I shall make no scruple to predict them in 
plain terms. Some of them are of importance ; and I hope I 
shall seldom mistake the day they will happen. Therefore I 
think good to inform the reader, that I, all along, make use 
of the Old Style observed in England ; which I desire he will 
compare with that of the News Papers at the time they relate 
the actions I mention. 

I must add one word more. I know it hath been the 
opinion of several Learned [Persons], who think well enough 
of the true Art of Astrology, that the stars do only incline and 
not force the actions or wills of men : and therefore, however 
I may proceed by right rules ; yet I cannot, in prudence, so 
confidently assure that the events will follow exactly as I 
predict them. 

I hope I have maturely considered this objection, which, in 
some cases, is of no little weight. For example, a man may, 
by the influence of an overruling planet, be disposed or in- 
clined to lust, rage, or avarice ; and yet, by the force of 
reason, overcome that evil influence. And this was the case 
of Socrates. But the great events of the World usually de- 
pending upon numbers of men ; it cannot be expected they 
should all unite to cross their inclinations, from pursuing a 
general design wherein they unanimously agree. Besides, 
the influence of the stars reacheth to many actions and 
events which are not, in any way, in the power of Reason, as 
sickness, death, and what we commonly call accidents ; with 
many more, needless to repeat. 

But now it is time to proceed to my Predictions : which I 
have begun to calculate from the time that the sun entereth 
into Aries [April] ; and this I take to be properly the beginning 
of the natural year. I pursue them to the time that he 

^Feb!'i5S Partridge will die on the 29TH of March, i y^) 

entereth Libra [September] or somewhat more ; which is the 
busy period of the year. The remainder I have not yet 
adjusted, upon account of several impediments needless here 
to mention. Besides, I must remind the reader again, that 
this is but a specimen of what I design, in succeeding years, to 
treat more at large ; if I may have liberty and encouragement. 

My first Prediction is but a trifle ; yet I will mention it to 
shew how ignorant those sottish pretenders to Astrology are 
in their own concerns. It relateth to Partridge the Almanack 
maker. I have consulted the star of his nativity by my own 
rules ; and find he will infallibly die upon the 29th of March 
[1708] next, about eleven at night, of a raging fever. There- 
fore I advise him to consider of it^ and settle his affairs in time. 

The month of A p r i l will be observable for the death of 
many Great Persons. 

On the 4th will die the Cardinal de Noailles, Archbishop 
of Paris. 

On the nth, the young Prince of the AsTURiAS, son to the 
Duke of Anjou. 

On the 14th, a great Peer of this realm will die at his 
country house. 

On the 19th, an old Layman of great fame and learning ; 
and on the 23rd, an eminent goldsmith in Lombard street. 

I could mention others, both at home and abroad, if I did 
not consider it is of very little use or instruction to the 
Reader, or to the World. 

As to Public Affairs. On the 7th of this month, there will 
bean insurrection in Dauphiny, occasioned by the oppressions 
of the people ; which will not be quieted in some months. 

On the 15th, there will be a violent storm on the south- 
east coast of France ; which will destroy many of their ships, 
and some in the very harbours. 

The 19th will be famous for the revolt of a whole Province 
or Kingdom, excepting one city : by which the affairs of a 
certain Prince in the Alliance will take a better face. 

May, against common conjectures, will be no very busy 
month in Europe; but very signal for the death of the 
Dauphin [Note, how SwiFT is killing off all the Great Men on 
the French side, one after another : because that would jump with the 
inclination of the nation just at the moment] ; which will happen 

174 Isaac Bickerstaff's /*/?^/?/C7'70i\^^. p-^^tb::;! 

on the 7th, after a short fit of sickness, and grievous torments 
with the stranguary. He dies less lamented by the Court 
than the Kingdom. 

On the gth, a Marshal of France will break his leg by a 
fall from his horse. I have not been able to discover whether 
he will then die or not. 

On the nth, will begin a most important siege, which the 
eyes of all Europe will be upon. I cannot be more particular; 
for in relating affairs that so nearly concern the Confederates, 
and consequently this Kingdom; I am forced to confine myself, 
for several reasons very obvious to the reader. 

On the 15th, news will arrive of a very surprising event ; 
than which, nothing could be more unexpected. 

On the 19th, three noble Ladies of this Kingdom, will, 
against all expectation, prove with child ; to the great joy of 
their husbands. 

On the 23rd, a famous buffoon of the Play House will die 
a ridiculous death, suitable to his vocation. 

June. This month will be distinguished at home by the 
utter dispersing of those ridiculous deluded enthusiasts, 
commonly called Prophets [Scotch and English Jesuits ajfecting 
inspiration, under the name of the French Prophets], occasioned 
chiefly by seeing the time come when many of their prophecies 
were to be fulfilled ; and then finding themselves deceived by 
the contrary events. It is indeed to be admired [astonished 
at] how any deceiver can be so weak to foretell things near 
at hand ; when a very few months must, of necessity, discover 
the imposture to all the world : in this point, less prudent than 
common Almanack makers, who are so wise [as] to wander 
in generals, talk dubiously, and leave to the reader the business 
of interpreting. 

On the 1st of this month, a French General will be killed 
by a random shot of a cannon ball. 

On the 6th, a fire will break out in all the suburbs of Paris, 
which will destroy above a thousand houses ; and seems to be 
the foreboding of what will happen, to the surprise of all 
Europe, about the end of the following month. 

On the loth, a great battle will be fought, which will begin 
at four of the clock in the afternoon, and last until nine at 
night, with great obstinacy, but no very decisive event. I 
shall not name the place, for the reasons aforesaid ; but the 

^■^fSTo?:] Isaac Bickerstaff's Predictions. 175 

Commanders of each left wing will be killed. ... I see 
bonfires, and hear the noise of guns for a victory. 

On the 14th, there will be a false report of the French 
King's death. 

On the 20th, Cardinal Portocarrero will die of a dysentery, 
with great suspicion of poison : but the report of his intentions 
to revolt to King Charles will prove false. 

July. The 6th of this month, a certain General will, 
by a glorious action, recover the reputation he lost by former 

On the 12th, a great Commander will die a prisoner in the 
hands of his enemies. 

On the 14th, a shameful discovery will be made of a French 
Jesuit giving poison to a great foreign General ; and, when 
he is put to the torture, [he] will make wonderful discoveries. 

In short, this will prove a month of great action, if I might 
have liberty to relate the particulars. 

At home, the death of an old famous Senator will happen on 
the 15th, at his country house, worn [out] with age and diseases. 

But that which will make this month memorable to all 
posterity, is the death of the French King Lewis XIV., after 
a week's sickness at Marli ; which will happen on the 29th, 
about six o'clock in the evening. It seemeth to be an effect 
of the gout in his stomach followed by a flux. And in three 
days after. Monsieur Chamillard will follow his master ; 
dying suddenly of an apoplexy. 

In this month likewise, an Ambassador will die in London; 
but I cannot assign the day. 

August. The affairs of France will seem to suffer 
no change for a while, under the Duke of Burgundy's 
administration. But the Genius that animated the whole 
machine being gone, will be the cause of mighty turns and 
revolutions in the following year. The new King maketh 
yet little change, either in the army or the Ministry ; but the 
libels against his [grand]father that fly about his very Court, 
give him uneasiness. 

I see an Express in mighty haste, with joy and wonder in 
his looks, arriving by the break of day on the 26th of this 
month, having travelled, in three days, a prodigious journey 
by land and sea. In the evening, I hear bells and guns, and 
see the blazing of a thousand bonfires. 

176 Isaac BiCKERSTAFF*s P/?EDiCTiONS. p- Teb"f7o8. 

A young Admiral, of noble birth, doth likewise, tMs month, 
gain immortal honour by a great achievement. 

The affairs of Poland are, this month, entirely settled. 
Augustus resigns his pretensions, which he had again 
taken up for some time. Stanislaus is peaceably possessed 
of the throne : and the King of Sweden declares for the 

I cannot omit one particular accident here at home : that, 
near the end of this month, much mischief will be done at 
Bartholomew Fair [held on August 2^th], by the fall of a booth. 

September. This month begins with a very sur- 
prising fit of frosty weather, which will last near [ly] twelve days. 

The Pope having long languished last month, the swell- 
ings in his legs breaking, and the flesh mortifying ; he will 
die on the nth instant. And, in three weeks' time, after a 
mighty contest, he will be succeeded by a Cardinal of the 
Imperial faction, but a native of Tuscany, who is now about 
6i years old. 

The French army acts now wholly on the defensive, 
strongly fortified in their trenches : and the young French 
King sendeth overtures for a treaty of peace, by the Duke of 
Mantua ; which, because it is a matter of State that con- 
cerneth us here at home, I shall speak no further of. 

I shall add but one Prediction more, and that in mystical 
terms, which shall be included in a verse out of Virgil. 

Alter erit jam TetHYS, et altera quce vehat Argo 
Dilectos Heroas. 

Upon the 25th day of this month, the fulfilling of this 
Prediction will be manifest to everybody. 

This is the furthest I have proceeded in my calculations 
for the present year. I do not pretend that these are all the 
great events which will happen in this period ; but that 
those I have set down will infallibly come to pass. 

It may perhaps, still be objected, why I have not spoken 
more particularly of affairs at home, or of the success of 
our armies abroad ; which I might, and could very largely 
have done. But those in Power have wisely discouraged 
men from meddling in public concerns : and I was resolved, 
by no means, to give the least offence. This I will venture 
to say, that it will be a glorious campaign for the Allies, 

'■°Fib?iri:J Common Astrologers & their pothooks. 177 

wherein the English forces, both by sea and land, will have 
their full share of honour ; that Her Majesty Queen Anne 
will continue in health and prosperity; and that no ill accident 
will arrive to any in the chief Ministry. 

As to the particular events I have mentioned, the readers 
may judge by the fulfilling of them, whether I am of the 
level with common Astrologers, who, with an old paltry 
cant, and a few Pothooks for Planets to amuse the vulgar, 
have, in my opinion, too long been suffered to abuse the 
World. But an honest Physician ought not to be despised 
because there are such things as mountebanks. 

I hope I have some share of reputation ; which I would 
not willingly forfeit for a frolic, or humour : and I believe no 
Gentleman, who reads this Paper, will look upon it to be of 
the same last and mould with the common scribbles that 
are every day hawked about. My fortune hath placed me 
above the little regard of writing for a few pence, which I 
neither value nor want. Therefore, let not any wise man 
too hastily condemn this Essay, intended for a good design, 
to cultivate and improve an ancient Art, long in disgrace by 
having fallen into mean unskilful hands. A little time will 
determine whether I have deceived others, or myself : and I 
think it is no very unreasonable request, that men would 
please to suspend their judgements till then. 

I was once of the opinion with those who despise all 
Predictions from the stars, till, in the year 1686, a Man 
of Quality shewed me written in his album, that the most 
learned astronomer. Captain H [alley], assured him he would 
never believe anything of the stars' influence, if there were 
not a great Revolution in England in the year 1688. Since 
that time, I began to have other thoughts [Swift does not 
say on what subject] ; and, after eighteen years' [1690-1708] 
diligent study and application [in what?], I think I have no 
reason to repent of my pains. 

I shall detain the reader no longer than to let him know, 
that the account I design to give of next year's events shall 
take in the principal affairs that happen in Europe. And if 
I be denied the liberty of offering it to my own country ; I 
shall appeal to the Learned World, by publishing it in Latin, 
and giving order to have it printed in Holland. 


M 7 


A Revenue Officer 
[Jonathan Swift.'^ 

A Letter to a Lord, 

[30 March 1708.] 

My Lord, 

N OBEDIENCE to your Lordship's commands, 

as well as to satisfy my own curiosity ; I 

have, for some days past, inquired constantly 

after Partrige the Almanack maker: of 

whom, it was foretold in Mr. Bickerstaff's 

Predictions, published about a month ago, 

that he should die, the 29th instant, about 

eleven at night, of a raging fever. 

I had some sort of knowledge of him, when I was employed 

in the Revenue ; because he used, every year, to present me 

with his Almanack, as he did other Gentlemen, upon the 

score of some little gratuity we gave him. 

I saw him accidentally once or twice, about ten days 
before he died : and observed he began very much to droop 
and languish ; although I hear his friends did not seem to 
apprehend him in any danger. 

About two or three days ago, he grew ill ; was confined 
first to his chamber, and in a few hours after, to his bed : 
where Dr. Case and Mrs. Kirleus \t'wo London qtiacks] 
were sent for, to visit, and to prescribe to him. 

Upon this intelligence, I sent thrice every day a servant 
or other, to inquire after his health : and yesterday, about 
four in the afternoon, word was brought me, that he was 
past hopes. 

Upon which, I prevailed with myself to go and see him : 
partly, out of commiseration : and, I confess, partly out of 
curiosity. He knew me very well, seemed surprised at my 
condescension, and made me compliments upon it, as well 

^^TiS^ch^yos;] Sham ACCOUNT OF Partridge's DEATH. 179 

as he could in the condition he was. The people about him, 
said he had been delirious : but, when I saw him, he had 
his understanding as well as ever I knew, and spoke strong 
and hearty, without any seeming uneasiness or constraint. 

After I had told him, I was sorry to see him in those 
melancholy circumstances, and said some other civilities 
suitable to the occasion ; I desired him to tell me freely and 
ingenuously, whether the Predictions, Mr. Bickerstaff had 
published relating to his death, had not too much affected 
and worked on his imagination ? 

He confessed he often had it in his head, but never with 
much apprehension till about a fortnight before : since 
which time, it had the perpetual possession of his mind and 
thoughts, and he did verily believe was the true natural 
cause of his present distemper. " For," said he, ** I am 
thoroughly persuaded, and I think I have very good reasons, 
that Mr. Bickerstaff spoke altogether by guess, and knew 
no more what will happen this year than I did mj'self." 

I told him, " His discourse surprised me, and I would be 
glad he were in a state of health to be able to tell me, what 
reason he had, to be convinced of Mr. Bickerstaff's 

He replied, " I am a poor ignorant fellow, bred to a mean 
trade ; yet I have sense enough to know that all pretences 
of foretelling by Astrology are deceits : for this manifest 
reason, because the wise and learned (who can only judge 
whether there be any truth in this science), do all unani- 
mously agree to laugh at and despise it ; and none but the 
poor ignorant vulgar give it any credit, and that only upon 
the word of such silly wretches as I and my fellows, who 
can hardly write or read." I then asked him, " Why he had 
not calculated his own nativity, to see whether it agreed 
with Bickerstaff's Predictions ? " 

At which, he shook his head, and said, " O, Sir ! this is 
no time for jesting, but for repenting those fooleries, as I do 
now from the very bottom of my heart." 

** By what I can gather from you," said I, " the Observa- 
tions and Predictions you printed with your Almanacks, were 
mere impositions upon the people." 

He replied, " If it were otherwise, I should have the less to 
answer for. We have a common form for all those things. 

l8o BiCKERSTAFF OUT BY ALMOST 4 HOURS. [^ ^'J March^'os! 

As to foretelling the weather, we never meddle with that ! 
but leave it to the printer, who taketh it out of any old 
Almanack, as he thinketh fit. The rest was my own inven- 
tion, to make my Almanack sell ; having a wife to maintain, 
and no other way to get my bread : for mending old shoes is 
a poor livelihood ! And," added he, sighing, " I wish I may 
not have done more mischief by my physic than by astro- 
logy ! although I had some good receipts from my grand- 
mother, and my own compositions were such as I thought 
could, at least, do no hurt." 

I had some other discourse with him, which now I cannot call 
to mind : and I fear I have already tired your Lordship. I 
shall only add one circumstance. That on his deathbed, he 
declared himself a Nonconformist, and had a Fanatic [the 
political designation of Dissenters] preacher to be his spiritual 

After half an hour's conversation, I took my leave ; being 
almost stifled by the closeness of the room. 

I imagined he could not hold out long ; and therefore 
withdrew to a little coffee-house hard by, leaving a servant 
at the house, with orders to come immediately, and tell me 
as near as he could the minute when Partrige should 
expire : which was not above two hours after, when, looking 
upon my watch, I found it to be above Five minutes after 
Seven. By which it is clear that Mr. Bickerstaff was 
mistaken almost four hours in his calculation [see p. 173]. 
In the other circumstances he was exact enough. 

But whether he hath not been the cause of this poor man's 
death as well as the Predictor may be very reasonably dis- 
puted. However, it must be confessed the matter is odd 
enough, whether we should endeavour to account for it by 
chance or the effect of imagination. 

For my own part, although I believe no man has less faith 
in these matters, yet I shall wait with some impatience, and 
not without expectation, the fulfilling of Mr. Bickerstaff's 
second prediction, that the Cardinal de Noailles is to die 
upon the 4th of April [1708] ; and if that should be verified 
as exactly as this of poor Partrige, I must own I shall be 
wholly surprised, and at a loss, and infallibly expect the 
accomplishment of all the rest. 


[In the original broadside, there are Deaths with darts, winged hour, 
glasses, crossed marrow-bones, &c.] 

[Jonathan Swift.] 

An Elegy on Mr, Patrtge, M^ Almanack 

maker ^ who died on the 2C)th of this 

instant March^ 1708. 

[Original broadside in the British Museum, C. 39. k./74.1 

Ell, 'tis as Bickerstaff has guest ; 
Though we all took it for a jest ; 
Patrige is dead ! nay more, he died 
Ere he could prove the good Squire lied ! 
Strange, an Astrologer should die 
Without one wonder in the sky 
Not one of all his crony stars 

To pay their duty at his hearse ! 

No meteor, no eclipse appeared, 

No comet with a flaming beard ! 

The sun has rose and gone to bed 

Just as if Patrige were not dead; 

Nor hid himself behind the moon 

To make a dreadful night at noon. 

He at fit periods walks through Aries^ 

Howe'er our earthly motion varies ; 

And twice a year he'll cut th'Equator, 

As if there had been no such matter. 

Some Wits have wondered what analogy 

There is 'twixt* Cobbling and Astrology? '^as'^Jrobbfer 

How Patrige made his optics rise 

From a shoe-sole, to reach the skies ? 

A list, the cobblers' temples ties, 

82 Connection between Cobbling & Astrology. p;if^; 

To keep the hair out of their eyes ; 
From whence, 'tis plain, the diadem 
That Princes wear, derives from them : 
And therefore crowns are now-a-days 
Adorned with golden stars and rays ; 
Which plainly shews the near alliance 
'Twixt Cobbling and the Planet science. 

Besides, that slow-paced sign Bo-otes 
As 'tis miscalled ; we know not who 'tis ? 
But Patrige ended all disputes ; 
He knew his trade ! and called it Boots ! * 
The Horned Moon which heretofore *AfmJ!Zi. 

Upon their shoes, the Romans wore, 
Whose wideness kept their toes from corns, 
And whence we claim our Shoeing Horns, 
Shews how the art of Cobbling bears 
A near resemblance to the Spheres. 

A scrap of parchment hung by Geometry, 
A great refinement in Barometry, 
Can, like the stars, foretell the weather : 
And what is parchment else, but leather ? 
Which an Astrologer might use 
Either for Almanacks or shoes. 

Thus Patrige, by his Wit and parts, 
At once, did practise both these Arts ; 
And as the boding owl (or rather 
The bat, because her wings are leather) 
Steals from her private cell by night, 
And flies about the candle light : 
So learned Patrige could as well 
Creep in the dark, from leathern cell ; 
And in his fancy, fly as far, 
To peep upon a twinkling star ! 
Besides, he could confound the Spheres 
And set the Planets by the ears. 
To shew his skill, he, Mars would join 

«. Mir.^i'^os:] Partridge, a cobbling star. 183 

To Venus, in aspect malign, 

Then call in Mercury for aid, 

And cure the wounds that Venus made. 

Great scholars have in Lucian read 
When Philip, King of Greece was dead, 
His soul and spirit did divide. 
And each part took a different side : 
One rose a Star ; the other fell 
Beneath, and mended shoes in hell. 

Thus Patrige still shines in each Art, 
The Cobbling, and Star-gazing Part ; 
And is installed as good a star 
As any of the Caesars are. 

Thou, high exalted in thy sphere, 
May'st follow still thy calling there ! 
To thee, the Bull will lend his hide, 
By Phcehus newly tanned and dried ! 
For thee, they Argo's hulk will tax. 
And scrape her pitchy sides for wax ! 
Then Ariadne kindly lends 
Her braided hair, to make thee ends I 
The point of Sagittarius' dart 
Turns to an awl, by heavenly art 1 
And Vulcan, wheedled by his wife, 
Will forge for thee, a paring-knife ! 

Triumphant Star ! some pity shew 
On Cobblers militant below ! 
* But do not shed thy influence down 
Upon St. James's end o' the Town ! 
Consider where the moon and stars 
Have their devoutest worshippers ! 
Astrologers and lunatics 
Have in Moorfields their stations fixt : 
Hither, thy gentle aspect bend, 
t Nor look asquint on an old friend ! 

• SedneciK 

Arc too sede 
tibi Ugeris 
Orbe, &'c. 

+ Neve tuam 
videas obliquo 
tdtre Romain. 

1 84 

J. Swift. 
30 Mar. Z708. 


Ere five foot deep, lies on his back, 
A Cobbler, Starmonger, and Quack ; 
Who to the stars, in pure good will. 
Does to his best, look upward still. 
Weep all you customers, that use 
His Pills, his Almanacks, or Shoes 1 
And you that did your fortunes seek, 
Step to this grave, but once a week ! 
This earth which bears his body's print 
You'll find has so much virtue in it; 
That I durst pawn my ears, 'twill tell 
Whatever concerns you, full as well 
{In physic, stolen goods, or love) 
As he himself could, when above I 

LONDON: Printed in the Year 1708. 


Squire Bickerstaff detected ; 


Astrological Impostor convicted. 



Student in Physic and Astrology. 

[This was written for PARTRIDGE, either by NICHOLAS ROWE or Dr. 
Yalden, and put forth by him, in good faith, in proof of his continued 


T IS hard, my dear countrymen of these United 
Nations ! it is very hard, that a Britain born, 
a Protestant Astrologer, a man of Revolu- 
tion Principles, an assertor of the Liberty and 
Property of the people, should cry out in vain, 
for justice against a Frenchman, a Papist, 
and an illiterate pretender to Science, that 
would blast my reputation, most inhumanly 
bury me alive, and defraud my native country of those 
services which, in my double capacity [Physician and Astro- 
loger], I daily offer the public. 

What great provocations I have received, let the impar- 
tial reader judge ! and how unwillingly, even in my own 
defence, I now enter the lists against Falsehood, Ignorance, 
and Envy ! But I am exasperated at length, to drag out 
this Cacus from the den of obscurity, where he lurketh, to 
detect him by the light of those stars he hath so impudently 
traduced, and to shew there is not a Monster in the skies so 
pernicious and malevolent to mankind as an ignorant preten- 
der to Physic and Astrology. 

I shall not directly fall on the many gross errors, nor 
expose the notorious absurdities of this prostituted libeller, 

i86GreatMen and P u b l i c S p ir i ts ! [ ^ n. row| 

until I have let the Learned World fairly into the controversy 
depending ; and then leave the unprejudiced to judge of the 
merits and justice of my cause. 

It was towards the conclusion of the year 1707 [according 
to the old way of reckoning the year from March 2$th. The 
precise date is February, 1708, see p. 469], when an impudent 
Pamphlet crept into the world, intituled Predictions S-c. by 
Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire. Among the many arrogant 
assertions laid down by that lying Spirit of Divination j he 
was pleased to pitch on the Cardinal de Noailles and my- 
self, among many other eminent and illustrious persons that 
were to die within the confines of the ensuing year, and 
peremptorily fixed the month, day, and hours of our deaths. 

This, I think, is sporting with Great Men, and Public 
Spirits, to the scandal of Religion, and reproach of Power : 
and if Sovereign Princes and Astrologers must make diver- 
sion for the vulgar, why then. Farewell, say I, to all 
Governments, Ecclesiastical and Civil ! But, I thank my 
better stars ! I am alive to confront this false and audacious 
Predictor, and to make him rue the hour he ever affronted a 
Man of Science and Resentment. 

The Cardinal may take what measures he pleases, with 
him : as His Excellency is a foreigner and a Papist, he hath 
no reason to rely on me for his justification. I shall only 
assure the World that he is alive ! but as he was bred to 
Letters, and is master of a pen, let him use it in his own 
defence ! 

In the meantime, I shall present the Public with a faithful 
Narrative of the ungenerous treatment and hard usage I have 
received from the virulent Papers and malicious practices of 
this pretended Astrologer. 

A true and impartial 





Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq», 

against Me. 

He 29th of March, Anno Dom., 1708, being 
the night this Sham Prophet had so im- 
pudently fixed for my last ; which made 
little impression on myself, but I cannot 
answer for my whole family. For my wife, 
with a concern more than usual, prevailed 
on me to take somewhat to sweat for a 
cold ; and between the hours of 8 and 9, to 
go to bed. 

The maid as she was warming my bed, with the curiosity 
natural to young women, runs to the window, and asks of one 
passing the street, " Who the bell tolled for ? " 

** Dr. Partridge," says he, '* the famous Almanack maker, 
who died suddenly this evening." 

The poor girl provoked, told him, " He lied like a rascal ! " 
The other very sedately replied, "The sexton had so 
informed him ; and if false, he was to blame for imposing on 
a stranger." 

She asked a second, and a third as they passed ; and every 
one was in the same tone. 

Now I don't say these were accomplices to a certain astro- 
logical Squire, and that one Bickerstaff might be sauntering 
thereabouts ; because I will assert nothing here but what I 
dare attest, and plain matter of fact. 

i88ThevisitoftheUndertaker. ['N. Ro^^- 

My wife, at this, fell into a violent disorder ; and I must 
own I was a little discomposed at the oddness of the accident. 

In the meantime, one knocks at the door. Betty runneth 
down and opening, finds a sober grave person, who modestly 
inquires " If this was Dr. Partridge's ? " 

She, taking him for some cautious City patient, that came 
at that time for privacy, shews him into the dining-room. 

As soon as I could compose myself, I went to him ; and was 
surprised to find my gentleman mounted on a table with a 
two-foot rule in his hand, measuring my walls, and taking the 
dimensions of the room. 

" Pray, Sir," says I, *' not to interrupt you, have you any 
business with me ? " 

" Only, Sir," replies he, " to order the girl to bring me a 
better light : for this is but a dim one." 

" Sir," sayeth I, " my name is Partridge ! " 

** Oh ! the Doctor's brother, belike," cries he. " The stair- 
case, I believe, and these two apartments hung in close 
mourning will be sufficient ; and only a strip of Bays [cloth] 
round the other rooms. The Doctor must needs die rich. 
He had great dealings in his way, for many years. If he had 
no family Coat [of arms], you had as good use the scutcheons 
of the Company. They are as showish and will look as 
magnificent as if he were descended from the Blood-Royal." 

With that, I assumed a greater air of authority, and de- 
manded, " Who employed him ? and how he came there? " 

" Why, I was sent, Sir, by the Company of Undertakers," 
saith he, " and they were employed by the honest gentleman 
who is the executor to the good Doctor departed : and our 
rascally porter, I believe is fallen fast asleep with the black 
cloth and sconces or he had been here ; and we might have 
been tacking up by this time." 

*' Sir," says I, '* pray be advised by a friend, and make the 
best of your speed out of my doors ; for I hear my wife's 
voice," which, by the way, is pretty distinguishable! "and in 
that corner of the room stands a good cudgel which somebody 
[i.e., himself] has felt ere now. If that light in her hands, and 
she knew the business you came about ; without consulting 
the stars, I can assure you it will be employed very much 
to the detriment of your person." 

" Sir," cries he, bowing with great civility, ** I perceive 

' '^^ ^°7'^8:] All the Town knows you are dead ! 1 89 

extreme grief for the loss of the Doctor disorders you a 
little at present : but early in the morning, I'll wait on 
you, with all necessary materials." 

Now I mention no Mr. Bickerstaff, nor do I say that a 
certain star-gazing Squire has been a playing my executor 
before his time : but I leave the World to judge, and if it puts 
thingstothingsfairly together, it won't be much wide of the mark. 

Well, once more I get my doors closed, and prepare for 
bed, in hopes of a little repose, after so many ruffling adven- 
tures. Just as I was putting out my light in order to it, 
another bounceth as hard as he can knock. 

I open the window and ask, " Who is there, and what he 
wants ? " 

** I am Ned the Sexton," replies he, "and come to know 
whether the Doctor left any orders for a Funeral Sermon ? 
and where he is to be laid ? and whether his grave is to be 
plain or bricked ? " 

" Why, Sirrah ! " says I, " you know me well enough. 
You know I am not dead ; and how dare you affront me after 
this manner ! " 

"Alack a day, Sir," replies the fellow, " why it is in print, 
and the whole Town knows you are dead. Why, there's Mr. 
White the joiner is but fitting screws to your coffin ! He'll 
be here with it in an instant. He was afraid you would have 
wanted it before this time." 

" Sirrah ! sirrah ! " saith I, " you shall know to-morrow 
to your cost that I am alive ! and alive like to be ! " 

" Why, 'tis strange, Sir," says he, " you should make such 
a secret of your death to us that are your neighbours. It 
looks as if you had a design to defraud the Church of its dues : 
and let me tell you, for one who has lived so long by the 
heavens, that is unhandsomely done ! " 

" Hist ! hist ! " says another rogue that stood by him, 
" away. Doctor ! into your flannel gear as fast as you can ! for 
here is a whole pack of dismals coming to you with their 
black equipage ; how indecent will it look for you to stand 
frightening folks at your window, when you should have been 
in your coffin this three hours ! " 

In short, what with Undertakers, Embalmers, Joiners, 
Sextons, and your Elegy hawkers upon a late practitioner in 
Physic and Astrology ; I got not one wink of sleep that night, 
nor scarce a moment's rest ever since. 

I90 Remonstrances in the streets. ['^ ^""^ 

Now, I doubt not but this villanous Squire has the impu- 
dence to assert that these are entirely strangers to him ; he, 
good man! knoweth nothing of the matter! and honest 
Isaac Bickerstaff, I warrant you ! is more a man of honour 
than to be an accompHce with a pack of rascals that walk the 
streets on nights, and disturb good people in their beds. But 
he is out, if he thinks the whole World is blind ! for there is 
one John Partridge can smell a knave as far as Grub street, 
although he lies in the most exalted garret, and writeth 
himself " Squire " ! But I will keep my temper ! and proceed 
in the Narration. 

I could not stir out of doors for the space of three months 
after this ; but presently one comes up to me in the street : 
" Mr. Partridge, that coffin you were last buried in, I have 
not yet been paid for." 

" Doctor ! " cries another dog, " How do you think people 
can live by making graves for nothing ? Next time you die, 
you may even toll out the bell yourself, for Ned ! " 

A third rogue tips me by the elbow, and wonders " how I 
have the conscience to sneak abroad, without paying my 
funeral expenses." 

** Lord!" says one, *' I durst have sworn that was honest 
Dr. Partridge, my old friend; but, poor man, he is gone ! " 

" I beg your pardon," says another, " you look so like my 
old acquaintance that I used to consult on some private 
occasions : but, alack, he is gone the way of all flesh." 

*' Look, look ! " cries a third, after a competent space of star- 
ing at me; " would not one think our neighbour the Almanack 
maker was crept out of his grave, to take another peep at 
the stars in this world, and shew how much he is improved 
in fortune telling by having taken a journey to the other." 

Nay, the very Reader of our parish (a good sober discreet 
person) has sent two or three times for me to come and be 
buried decently, or send him sufficient reasons to the con- 
trary : or if I have been interred in any other parish, to 
produce my certificate as the Act requires. 

My poor wife is almost run distracted with being called 
Widow Partridge, when she knows it's false : and once a 
Term, she is cited into the Court, to take out Letters of 


But the greatest grievance is a paltry Quack that takes up 
my calling just under my nose ; and in his printed directions 
with a, N. B.VS^, says : He lives in the house of the late ingenious 
Mr, John Partridge^ an eminent Practitioner in Leather, 
Physic, and Astrology. 

But to shew how far the wicked spirit of envy, malice, and 
resentment can hurry some men, my nameless old persecutor 
had provided a monument at the stone-cutter's, and would 
have it erected in the parish church : and this piece of noto- 
rious and expensive villany had actually succeeded, if I had 
not used my utmost interest with the Vestry ; where it was 
carried at last but by two voices, that I am alive. 

That stratagem failing, out cometh a long sable Elegy 
bedecked with hour-glasses, mattocks, skulls, spades, and 
skeletons, with an Epitaph [see p. 486] as confidently written 
to abuse me and my profession, as if I had been under 
ground these twenty years. 

And, after such barbarous treatment as this, can the 
World blame me, when I ask, What is become of the freedom 
of an Englishman ? and, Where is the Liberty and Property 
that my old glorious Friend [William III.] came over to 
assert ? We have driven Popery out of the nation ! and 
sent Slavery to foreign climes ! The Arts only remain in 
bondage, when a Man of Science and Character shall be 
openly insulted ! in the midst of the many useful services he 
is daily paying the public. Was it ever heard, even in 
Turkey or Algiers, that a State Astrologer was bantered out 
of his life, by an ignorant impostor ? or bawled out of the 
world, by a pack of villanous deep-mouthed hawkers ? 

Though I print Almanacks, and publish Advertisements; 
although I produce certificates under the Minister's and 
Churchwardens' hands, that I am alive : and attest the same, 
on oath, at Quarter Sessions : out comes A full and true 
Relation of the death and interment of JOHN PARTRIDGE. 
Truth is borne down ; Attestations, neglected ; the testimony 
of sober persons, despised : and a man is looked upon by his 
neighbours as if he had been seven years dead, and is buried 
alive in the midst of his friends and acquaintance. 

Now can any man of common sense think it consistent 
with the honour of my profession, and not much beneath the 
dignity of a philosopher, to stand bawling, before his own 

192 Partridge's genuine idea of Bickerstaff. [ ^ ^°^|: 

door, " Alive ! Alive ! Ho ! the famous Doctor Partridge ! 
no counterfeit, but all alive ! " as if I had the twelve celestial 
Monsters of the Zodiac to shew within, or was forced for a 
livelihood, to turn retailer to May and Bartholomew Fairs. 

Therefore, if Her Majesty would but graciously be pleased 
to think a hardship of this nature worthy her royal considera- 
tion ; and the next Parl[ia]m[en]t, in their great wisdom, cast 
but an eye towards the deplorable case of their old Philomath 
that annually bestoweth his poetical good wishes on them : 
I am sure there is one Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire, would 
soon be trussed up ! for his bloody persecution, and putting 
good subjects in terror of their lives. And that henceforward, 
to murder a man by way of Prophecy, and bury him in a 
printed Letter, either to a Lord or Commoner, shall as legally 
entitle him to the present possession of Tyburn, as if he 
robbed on the highway, or cut your throat in bed. 


N-B-'IS* There is now in the Press, my Appeal to the Learned; 
Or my general Invitation to all Astrologers, Divines, Physicians, 
Lawyers, Mathematicians, Philologers, and to the Literati of the 
whole World, to come and take their Places in the Common Court 
of Knowledge, and receive the Charge given in by me, against 
Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., that most notorious Impostor in 
Science and illiterate Pretender to the Stars ; where I shall openly 
convict him of ignorance in his profession, impudence and false- 
hood in every assertion, to the great detriment and scandal of 
Astrology. I shall further demonstrate to the Judicious, that 
France and Rome are at the bottom of this horrid conspiracy 
against me ; and that the Culprit aforesaid is a Popish emissary, 
has paid his visits to St. Germains, and is now in the Measures of 
Lewis XIV. ; that in attempting my reputation, there is a 
general Massacre of Learning designed in these realms ; and, 
through my sides, there is a wound given to all the Protestant 
Almanack makers in the universe. 

Vivat Reginal 



It was a bold touch 


Not satisfied with this Impartial Account, when next Almanack time 
came (in the following November, 1708), Partridge's ^//«a«a<;/^ for 1709 
P.P. 2465/8] contained the following : 

You may remember that there was a Paper published 
predicting my death upon the 29th March at night, 1708, 
and after the day was past, the same villain told the World I 
was dead, and how I died, and that he was with me at the 
time of my death. 

I thank GOD, by whose mercy I have my Being, that I 
am still alive, and (excepting my age) as well as ever I was 
in my life : as I was also at that 29th of March. And that 
Paper was said to be done by one Bickerstaff, Esq. But that 
was a sham name, it was done by an impudent lying fellow. 

But his Prediction did not prove true ! What will he say 
to that ? For the fool had considered the " Star of my 
Nativity " as he said. Why the truth is, he will be hard put 
to it to find a salvo for his Honour. It was a bold touch ! 
and he did not know but it might prove true. 

One hardly knows whether to wonder most at the self-delusion or 
credulity of this last paragraph by the old quack. 

This called forth from Swift : 



R. Partridge hath been lately pleased to 

treat me after a very rough manner, in 

that which is called his Almanack for the 

present year. Such usage is very undecent 

from one Gentleman to another, and does 

not at all contribute to the discovery of 

Truth, which ought to be the great End in 

all disputes of the Learned. To call a 

man, fool, and villain, and impudent fellow, only for differing 

from him in a point merely speculative, is, in my humble 

opinion, a very improper style for a person of his Education. 

I appeal to the Learned World, whether, in my last year's 






Predictions, I gave him the least provocation for such un- 
worthy treatment. Philosophers have differed in all Ages ; 
but the discreetest among them, have always differed as 
became Philosophers. Scurrility and Passion in a Controversy 
among Scholars, is just so much of nothing to the purpose ; 
and, at best, a tacit confession of a weak cause. 

My concern is not so much for my own reputation, as that 
of the Republic of Letters; which Mr. Partridge hath 
endeavoured to wound through my sides. If men of public 
spirit must be superciliously treated for their ingenious 
attempts ; how will true useful knowledge be ever advanced? 
I wish Mr. Partridge knew the thoughts which foreign 
Universities have conceived of his ungenerous proceeding 
with me : but I am too tender of his reputation to publish 
them to the World. That spirit of envy and pride, which 
blasts so many rising Geniuses in our nation, is yet unknown 
among Professors abroad. The necessity of justifying myself 
will excuse my vanity, when I tell the reader that I have re- 
ceived nearly a hundred Honorary Letters from several part 
of Europe, some as far as Muscovey, in praise of my per- 
formance : besides several others, which (as I have been credibly 
informed) were opened in the P[ost] Office, and never sent me. 

It is true, the Inquisition in P[ortuga]l was pleased to burn 
my Predictions [A fact, as Sir Pa ul Methuen, the English 
Ambassador there, informed Swift], and condemned the 
Author and the readers of them : but, I hope at the same 
time, it will be considered in how deplorable a state Learn- 
ing lieth at present in that Kingdom. And, with the pro- 
foundest reverence for crowned heads, I will presume to add, 
that it a little concerned His Majesty of Portugal to interpose 
his authority in behalf of a Scholar and a Gentleman, the sub- 
ject of a nation with which he is now in so strict an alliance. 

But the other Kingdoms and States of Europe have treated 
me with more candour and generosity. If I had leave to 
print the Latin letters transmitted to me from foreign parts, 
they would fill a Volume ! and be a full defence against all 
that Mr. Partridge, or his accomplices of the P[ortuga]l 
Inquisition, will be ever able to object : who, by the way, 
are the only enemies my Predictions have ever met with, at 
home or abroad. But I hope I know better what is due to 
the honour of a Learned Correspondence in so tender a point. 

J- ^j7^;] Mock Quotations from Learned Letters. 195 

Yet some of those illustrious Persons will, perhaps, excuse 
me for transcribing a passage or two, in my own vindication. 

* The most learned Monsieur Leibnitz thus addresseth 
to me his third Letter, Illustrissimo Bickerstaffio Astrologico 
Instauratori, &c. Monsieur le Clerc, quoting my Predic- 
tions in a treatise he published last year, is pleased to say, 
Ita nuperrime BiCKERSTAFFiUS, magnum illud AnglicB sidus. 
Another great Professor writing of me, has these words., 
BiCKERSTAFFiUS nobiUs Anghis, Astrologarum hujusce seculi 
facile Princeps. Signior Magliabecchi, the Great Duke's 
famous Library Keeper, spendeth almost his whole Letter in 
compliments and praises. It is true the renowned Professor 
of Astronomy at Utrecht seemeth to differ from me in one 
article ; but it is after the modest manner that becometh a 
Philosopher, as Pace tanti viri dixerim : and, page 55, he 
seemeth to lay the error upon the printer, as, indeed it ought, 
and sayeth, vel forsan error typographi, cum alioquin BiCKER- 
STAFFiUS vir doctissimus, &c. 

If Mr. Partridge had followed these examples in the con- 
troversy between us, he might have spared me the trouble of 
justifying myself in so public a manner. I believe few men 
are readier to own their error than I, or more thankful to 
those who will please to inform him of them. But it seems 
this Gentleman, instead of encouraging the progress of his 
own Art, is pleased to look upon all Attempts of this kind as 
an invasion of his Province. 

He has been indeed so wise, as to make no objection 
against the truth of my Predictions, except in one single point, 
relating to himself. And to demonstrate how much men are 
blinded by their own partiality, I do solemnly assure the 
reader, that he is the only person from whom I ever heard 
that objection offered ! which consideration alone, I think, 
will take off its weight. 

With my utmost endeavours, I have not been able to trace 
above two Objections ever made against the truth of my last 
year's Prophecies. 

The first was of a Frenchman, who was pleased to publish 
to the World, that the Cardinal DE Noailles was still alive, 
notwithstanding the pretended Prophecy of Monsieur Biquer- 

* The quotations here, are said to be a parody of those of Bentley 
in his controversy with Boyle. 

196 Proofs THAT Partridge IS NOT ALIVE, p^; 



STAFFE. But how far a Frenchman, a Papist, and an enemy 
is to be believed, in his own cause, against an English 
Protestant, who is true to the Government, I shall leave to 
the candid and impartial reader ! 

The other objection isthe unhappy occasion of this Discourse, 
and relateth to an article in my Predictions, which foretold the 
death of Mr. Partridge to happen on March 29, 1708. This, 
he is pleased to contradict absolutely, in the Almanack he has 
published for the present year ; and in that ungentlemanly 
manner (pardon the expression !) as I have above related. 

In that Work, he very roundly asserts that he is not only 
now alive, hut was likewise alive upon that very zgth of March, 
when I had foretold he should die. 

This is the subject of the present Controversy between us, 
which I design to handle with all brevity, perspicuity, and 
calmness. In this dispute, I am sensible the eyes, not only 
of England, but of all Europe will be upon us : and the 
Learned in every country will, I doubt not, take part on that 
side where they find most appearance of Reason and Truth. 

Without entering into criticisms of Chronology about the 
hour of his death, I shall only prove that Mr. Partridge is not 

And my first argument is thus. Above a thousand 
Gentlemen having bought his Almanack for this year, merely 
to find what he said against me : at every line they read, 
they would lift up their eyes, and cry out, between rage and 
laughter. They were sure, no man alive ever wrote such stuff as 
this I Neither did I ever hear that opinion disputed. So 
that Mr. Partridge lieth under a dilemma, either of disown- 
ing his Almanack, or allowing himself to be no man alive. 

Death is defined by all Philosophers [as] a separation of 
the soul and body. Now it is certain that the poor woman 
[Mrs. Partridge] who has best reason to know, has gone 
about, for some time, to every alley in the neighbourhood, and 
swore to her gossips that her husband had neither life nor soul 
in him. Therefore, if an uninformed Carcass walks still about, 
and is pleased to call itself Partridge; Mr. Bickerstaff doth 
not think himself any way answerable for that ! Neither had 
the said Carcass any right to beat the poor boy, who 
happened to pass by it in the street, crying A full and true 
Account of Dr. Partridge's death, S-c. 

■'■^i'^^:] Proofs that Partridge is not alive. 197 

Secondly. Mr. Partridge pretendeth to tell fortunes 
and recover stolen goods, which all the parish says, he 
must do b}'' conversing with the Devil and other evil spirits : 
and no wise man will ever allow, he could converse 
personally with either, until after he was dead. 

Thirdly. I will plainly prove him to be dead out of his 
own Almanack for this year; and from the very passage 
which he produceth to make us think him alive. He there 
sayeth, He is not only now alive, but was also alive upon that 
very 2gtk of March, which I foretold he should die on. By this, 
he declareth his opinion that a man may be alive now, who 
was not alive a twelve month ago. And, indeed, here lies 
the sophistry of his argument. He dareth not assert he was 
alive ever since the 2gth of March ! but that he is now alive, 
and was so on that day. I grant the latter, for he did not die 
until night, as appeareth in a printed account of his death, 
in a. Letter to a Lord; and whether he be since revived, I 
leave the World to judge ! This indeed is perfect cavilling ; 
and I am ashamed to dwell any longer upon it. 

Fourthly. I will appeal to Mr. Partridge himself, 
whether it be probable I could have been so indiscreet as to 
begin my Predictions with the only falsehood that ever was 
pretended to be in them ! and this in an affair at home, 
where I had so many opportunities to be exact, and must 
have given such advantages against me, to a person of Mr. 
Partridge's Wit and Learning : who, if he could possibly 
have raised one single objection more against the truth of my 
Prophecies, would hardly have spared me ! 

And here I must take occasion to reprove the above- 
mentioned Writer [i.e., Swift himself, see p. 482] of the 
Relation of Mr. Partridge's death, in a Letter to a Lord, who 
was pleased to tax me with a mistake of four whole hours in 
my calculation of that event. I must confess, this censure, 
pronounced with an air of certainty, in a matter that so 
nearly concerned me, and by a grave judicious author, moved 
me not a little. But though I was at that time out of Town, 
yet several of my friends, whose curiosity had led them to be 
exactly informed (as for my own part ; having no doubt at 
all of the matter, I never once thought of it ! ) assured me, I 
computed to something under half an hour : which (I speak 
my private opinion ! ) is an error of no very great magnitude, 
that men should raise clamour about it ! 

198 Dead men still issuing Almanacks. p^.^J; 

I shall only say, it would not be amiss, if that Author 
would henceforth be more tender of other men's reputation, 
as well as of his own ! It is well there were no more 
mistakes of that kind : if there had been, I presume he 
would have told me of them, with as little ceremony. 

There is one objection against Mr. Partridge's death, which 
I have sometimes met with, although indeed very slightly 
offered, That he still continueth to write Almanacks. But 
this is no more than what is common to all of that Profes- 
sion. Gadbury, Poor Robin, DovE, WiNG, and several 
others, do yearly publish their A Imanacks, though several of 
them have been dead since before the Revolution. Now the 
natural reason of this I take to be, that whereas it is the 
privilege of other Authors, to live after their deaths ; 
Almanack makers are only excluded, because their Disserta- 
tions, treating only upon the Minutes as they pass, become 
useless as those go off: in consideration of which, Time, 
whose Registers they are, gives them a lease in reversion, 
to continue their Works after their death. Or, perhaps, a 
Name can make an Almanack as well as sell one. And to 
strengthen this conjecture, I have heard the booksellers 
affirm, that they have desired Mr. Partridge to spare him- 
self further trouble, and only to lend his Name; which could 
make Almanacks much better than himself. 

I should not have given the Public or myself, the trouble 
of this Vindication, if my name had not been made use of by 
several persons, to whom I never lent it : one of which, a 
few days ago, was pleased to father on me, a new set of 
Predictions. But I think these are things too serious to be 
trifled with. It grieved me to the heart, when I saw my 
Labours, which had cost me so much thought and watching, 
bawled about by the common hawkers of Grub street ; which I 
only intended for the weighty consideration of the gravest per- 
sons. This prejudiced the World so much at first, that several 
of my friends had the assurance to ask me, ** Whether I were 
in jest ? " To which I only answered coldly, that " the event 
will shew ! " But it is the talent of our Age and nation to 
turn things of the greatest importance into ridicule. When 
the end of the year had verified all my Predictions ; out 
cometh Mr. Partridge's Almanack! disputing the point of 
his death. So that I am employed, like the General who 

^" ^"I'^H-s".] Partridge discontinues his Almanack. 199 

was forced to kill his enemies twice over, whom a 
necromancer had raised to life. If Mr. Partridge has 
practised the same experiment upon himself, and be again 
alive; long may he continue so! But that doth not, in the 
least, contradict my veracity ! For I think I have clearly 
proved, by invincible demonstration, that he died, at farthest, 
within half an hour of the time I foretold [ ; and not four 
hours sooner, as the above-mentioned Author, in his Letter 
to a Lord hath maliciously suggested, with a design to blast 
my credit, by charging me with so gross a mistake], 


Under the combined assault of the Wits, PARTRIDGE ceased to publish 
his Ahnanack for a while ; but afterwards took heart again, publishing 
his '■'■ Merlinus Redivivus, being an Almanack for the year 17 14, by John 
Partridge, a Lover of Truth [P.P. 2465/6] ;" at p. 2 of which is th^ 
following epistle. 

To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq. 


There seems to be a kind of fantastical propriety in 
a dead man's addressing himself to a person not in Being. 
Isaac Bickerstaff \i.e., Richard Steele] is no more [the 
Ta.t\er having come to an end], and I have now nothing to 
dispute with on the subject of his fictions concerning me, sed 
magni nominis umbra, " a shadow only, and a mighty name." 

I have indeed been for some years silent, or, in the lan- 
guage of Mr. Bickerstaff, " dead " ; yet like many an old 
man that is reported so by his heirs, I have lived long enough 
to bury my successor [^A^Tatler having been discontinued]. In 
short, I am returned to Being after you have left it ; and since 
you were once pleased to call yourself my brother-astrologer, 
the world may be apt to compare our story to that of the twin- 
stars Castor and Pollux, and say it was our destiny , not to ap- 
pear together, butaccordingtothe fable, to live and die by turns. 

Now, Sir, my intention in this Epistle is to let you know 
that I shall behave myself in my new Being with as much 
moderation as possible, and that I have no longer any 
quarrel with you [i.e., Steele], for the accounts you inserted 
in your writings [the joke was continued in the Tatler] con- 
cerning my death, being sensible that you were no less 
abused in that particular than myself. 

200 Partridge comes back from the dead. [J- ^^'^^^l 

The person from whom you took up that report, I know, 
was your namesake, the author of Bickerstaff's Predictions, 
* videDr. a notorious cheat.* And if you had been indeed as 
s[wi]FT. much an Astrologer as you pretended, you might 
have known that his word was no more to be taken than that 
of an Irish evidence [SwiFT was now Dean of St. Patrick's] : 
that not being the only Tale of a Tub he had vented. The only 
satisfaction therefore, I expect is, that your bookseller in the 
next edition of your Works [The Tatler], do strike out my name 
and insert his in the room of it. I have some thoughts of 
obliging the World with his nativity, but shall defer that 
till another opportunity. 

I have nothing to add further, but only that when you 
think fit to return to life again in whatever shape, of Censor 
[the designation of the supposed Writer of the Tatler], a Guardian, 
an Englishman, or any other figure, I shall hope you will 
do justice to Your revived friend and servant, 

John Partridge. 

On the last leaf of this Almanack is the following notice : — 
This is to give notice to all people, that all those Prophecies, 
Predictions, Almanacks, and other pamphlets, that had my 
name either true, or shammed with the want of a Letter 
[i.e., spelling his name Partrige instead of Partridge] : I 
say, they are all impudent forgeries, by a breed of villains, and 
wholly without my knowledge or consent. And I doubt not 
but those beggarly villains that have scarce bread to eat 
without being rogues, two or three poor printers and a book- 
binder, with honest Ben, will be at their old Trade again of 
Prophesying in my name. This is therefore to give notice, 
that if there is anything in print in my name beside this 
Almanack, you may depend on it that it is a lie, and he is a 
villain that writes and prints it. 

In his Almanack for 171 5 [P.P. 2465 /y]. Partridge says — 
It is very probable, that the beggarly knavish Crew will be 
this year also printing Prophecies and Predictions in my name, 
to cheat the country as they used to do. This is therefore 
to give notice, that if there is anything of that kind done in 
my name besides this Almanack printed by the Company of 
Stationers, you may be certain it is not mine, but a cheat, 
and therefore refuse it. 

1^ H E 

^re0ent ©tate 


W I T, 




Friend in the Country. 

L O ND O N: 

Printed in the Year, M D C C X I. 

(Price 3^.) 



present ^tate 

O F 

WIT, &c. 

S I R, 

Ou acquaint me in your last, that you are 

still so busy building at , that your 

friends must not hope to see you in Town 
this year : at the same time, you desire 
me, that you may not be quite at a loss 
in conversation among the beau monde 
next winter, to send you an account of 
the present State of Wit in Town : which, 
without further preface, I shall endeavour 
to perform ; and give you the histories and characters of all 
our Periodical Papers, whether monthly, weekly, or diurnal, 
with the same freedom I used to send you our other Town 

I shall only premise, that, as you know, I never cared one 
farthing, either for Whig or Tory : so I shall consider our 
Writers purely as they are such, without any respect to 
which Party they belong. 

Dr. King has, for some time, lain down his monthly 
Philosophical Transactions, which the title-page informed us at 
first, were only to be continued as they sold ; and though 
that gentleman has a world of Wit, yet as it lies in one par- 
ticular way of raillery, the Town soon grew weary of his 
Writings : though I cannot but think that their author deserves 
a much better fate than to languish out the small remainder 
of his life in the Fleet prison. 

204 Gay's opinion of Daniel Defoe. [jMayS^tl: 

About the same time that the Doctor left off writing, one 
Mr. OzELL put out his Monthly Amusement-, which is still 
continued : and as it is generally some French novel or play 
indifferently translated, it is more or less taken notice of, as 
the original piece is more or less agreeable. 

As to our Weekly Papers, the poor Review [by DANIEL 
Defoe] is quite exhausted, and grown so very contemptible, 
that though he has provoked all his Brothers of the Quill 
round, none of them will enter into a controversy with him. 
This fellow, who had excellent natural parts, but wanted a 
small foundation of learning, is a lively instance of those Wits 
who, as an ingenious author says, "will endure but one 
skimming" [!]. 

The Observator was almost in the same condition ; but since 
our party struggles have run so high, he is much mended for 
the better : which is imputed to the charitable assistance of 
some outlying friends. 

These two authors might however have flourished some 
time longer, had not the controversy been taken up by abler 

The Examiner is a paper which all men, who speak with- 
out prejudice, allow to be well written. Though his subject 
will admit of no great variety ; he is continually placing it 
in so many different lights, and endeavouring to inculcate 
the same thing by so many beautiful changes of expression, 
that men who are concerned in no Party, may read him 
with pleasure. His way of assuming the Question in debate 
is extremely artful ; and his Letter to Crassus is, I think, a 
masterpiece. As these Papers are supposed to have been 
written by several hands, the critics will tell you that they 
can discern a difference in their styles and beauties ; and 
pretend to observe that the first Examiners abound chiefly in 
Wit, the last in Humour. 

Soon after their first appearance, came out a Paper from 
the other side, called the Whig Examiner, written with so 
much fire, and in so excellent a style, as put the Tories in 
no small pain for their favourite hero. Every one cried, 
" BiCKERSTAFF must be the author ! " and people were the 
more confirmed in this opinion, upon its being so soon laid 
down . which seemed to shew that it was only written to 

3 May fjTii] The Writers in the Examiner. 205 

bind the iixaminers to their good behaviour, and was never 
designed to be a Weekly Paper. 

The Examiners, therefore, have no one to combat with. 
at present, but their friend the Medley : the author of which 
Paper, though he seems to be a man of good sense, and 
expresses it luckily now and then, is, I think, for the most 
part, perfectly a stranger to fine writing. 

I presume I need not tell you that the Examiner carries 
much the more sail, as it is supposed to be written by the 
direction, and under the eye of some Great Persons who sit 
at the helm of affairs, and is consequently looked on as a 
sort of Public Notice which way they are steering us. 

The reputed author is Dr. S[wif]t, with the assistance, 
sometimes, of Dr. Att[erbur]y and Mr. P[rio]r. 

The Medley is said to be written by Mr. Old[mixo]n ; and 
supervised by Mr. Mayn[warin]g, who perhaps might 
entirely write those few Papers which are so much better 
than the rest. 

Before I proceed further in the account of our Weekly 
Papers, it will be necessary to inform you that at the begin- 
ning of the winter [on Jan. 2, 1711] , to the infinite surprise 
of all men, Mr. Steele flang up his Tatler; and instead 
of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire, subscribed himself Richard 
Steele to the last of those Papers, after a handsome 
compliment to the Town for their kind acceptance of his 
endeavours to divert them. 

The chief reason he thought fit to give for his leaving off 
writing was, that having been so long looked on in all public 
places and companies as the Author of those papers, he found 
that his most intimate friends and acquaintance were in pain 
to speak or act before him. 

The Town was very far from being satisfied with this 
reason, and most people judged the true cause to be, either 

That he was quite spent, and wanted matter to continue 

his undertaking any longer ; or 

That he laid it down as a sort of submission to, and 

composition with, the Government, for some past offences; 

or, lastly, 

That he had a mind to vary his Shape, and appear again 

in some new light. 

2o6 Immense social influence of the Tatler. [ulj^^ii. 

However that were, his disappearance seemed to be bewailed 
as some general calamity. Every one wanted so agreeable 
an amusement, and the Coffee-houses began to be sensible 
that the Esquire's Lucubrations alone had brought them more 
customers, than all their other News Papers put together. 

It must indeed be confessed that never man threw up his 
pen, under stronger temptations to have employed it longer. 
His reputation was at a greater height, than I believe ever 
any living author's was before him. It is reasonable to 
suppose that his gains were proportionably considerable. 
Every one read him with pleasure and good-will ; and the 
Tories, in respect to his other good qualities, had almost 
forgiven his unaccountable imprudence in declaring against 

Lastly, it was highly improbable that, if he threw off 
a Character the ideas of which were so strongly impressed in 
every one's mind, however finely he might write in any new 
form, that he should meet with the same reception. 

To give you my own thoughts of this Gentleman's Writings, 
I shall, in the first place, observe, that there is a noble 
difference between him and all the rest of our Polite and 
Gallant Authors. The latter have endeavoured to please 
the Age by falling in with them, and encouraging them 
in their fashionable vices and false notions of things. It 
would have been a jest, some time since, for a man to 
have asserted that anything witty could be said in praise 
of a married state, or that Devotion and Virtue were any 
way necessary to the character of a Fine Gentleman. 
BiCKERSTAFF Ventured to tell the Town that they were 
a parcel of fops, fools, and coquettes ; but in such a manner 
as even pleased them, and made them more than half 
inclined to believe that he spoke truth. 

Instead of complying with the false sentiments or vicious 
tastes of the Age — either in morality, criticism, or good breed- 
ing — he has boldly assured them, that they were altogether 
in the wrong; and commanded them, with an authority which 
perfectly well became him, to surrender themselves to his 
arguments for Virtue and Good Sense. 

It is incredible to conceive the effect his writings have had 
on the Town ; how many thousand follies they have either 

jMayf;"'] ^'^ ^^'^^ ^^^ ^^ ^ ^^^ ^^'^ ^^ ThINKING. 207 

quite banished or given a very great check to ! how much 
countenance, they have added to Virtue and Rehgion ! how 
many people they have rendered happy, by shewing them it 
was their own fault if they were not so ! and, lastly, how 
entirely they have convinced our young fops and young 
fellows of the value and advantages of Learning ! 

He has indeed rescued it out of the hands of pedants and 
fools, and discovered the true method of making it amiable 
and lovely to all mankind. In the dress he gives it, it is a 
most welcome guest at tea-tables and assemblies, and is 
relished and caressed by the merchants on the Change. 
Accordingly there is not a Lady at Court, nor a Banker in 
Lombard Street, who is not verily persuaded that Captain 
Steele is the greatest Scholar and best Casuist of any man 
in England. 

Lastly, his writings have set all our Wits and Men of Letters 
on a new way of Thinking, of which they had little or no 
notion before : and, although we cannot say that any of them 
have come up to the beauties of the original, I think we may 
venture to affirm, that every one of them writes and thinks 
much more justly than they did some time since. 

The vast variety of subjects which Mr. Steele has treated 
of, in so different manners, and yet All so perfectly well, 
made the World believe that it was impossible they should 
all come from the same hand. This set every one upon 
guessing who was the Esquire's friend ? and most people at 
first fancied it must be Doctor Swift; but it is now no 
longer a secret, that his only great and constant assistant 
was Mr. Addison. 

This is that excellent friend to whom Mr. Steele owes so 
much ; and who refuses to have his name set before those 
Pieces which the greatest pens in England would be proud 
to own. Indeed, they could hardly add to this Gentleman's 
reputation : whose works in Latin and English Poetry long 
since convinced the World, that he was the greatest Master 
in Europe of those two languages. 

I am assured, from good hands, that all the visions, and 
other tracts of that way of writing, with a very great 
number of the most exquisite pieces of wit and raillery 
throughout the Lucubrations are entirely of this Gentleman's 
composing: which may, in some measure, account for that 

2o8 The suppositious Continuations of Tatler. [f/,^; 

different Genius, which appears in the winter papers, from 
those of the summer ; at which time, as the Examiner often 
hinted, this friend of Mr. Steele was in Ireland. 

Mr. Steele confesses in his last Volume of the Tatlers 
that he is obliged to Dr. Swift for his Town Shower, and the 
Description of the Morn, with some other hints received from 
him in private conversation. 

I have also heard that several of those Letters, which came 
as from unknown hands, were written by Mr. Henley : 
which is an answer to your query, " Who those friends are, 
whom Mr. Steele speaks of in his last Tatler ? " 

But to proceed with my account of our other papers. 
The expiration of Bickerstaff's Lucubrations was attended 
with much the same consequences as the death oiMELlBCEUS's 
Ox in Virgil : as the latter engendered swarms of bees, the 
former immediately produced whole swarms of little satirical 

One of these authors called himself the Growler, and 
assured us that, to make amends for Mr. Steele's silence, 
he was resolved to growl at us weekly, as long as we should 
think fit to give him any encouragement. Another Gentle- 
man, with more modesty, called his paper, the Whisperer; 
and a third, to please the Ladies, christened his, the Tell 

At the same time came out several Tatlers ; each of which, 
with equal truth and wit, assured us that he was the genuine 
Isaac Bickerstaff. 

It may be observed that when the Esquire laid down his 
pen ; though he could not but foresee that several scribblers 
would soon snatch it up, which he might (one would think) 
easily have prevented : he scorned to take any further care 
about it, but left the field fairly open to any worthy successor. 
Immediately, some of our VV^its were for forming themselves 
into a Club, headed by one Mr. Harrison, and trying how 
they could shoot in this Bow of Ulysses ; but soon found 
that this sort of writing requires so fine and particular a 
manner of Thinking, with so exact a Knowledge of the World, 
as must make them utterly despair of success. 

They seemed indeed at first to think, that what was only 
the garnish of the former Tatlers, was that which recom- 

fyi^;] They are all swept away by the Spectator. 209 

mended them ; and not those Substantial Entertainments 
which they everywhere abound in. According they were 
continually talking of their Maid, Night Cap, Spectacles, and 
Charles Lillie. However there were, now and then, some 
faint endeavours at Humour and sparks of Wit : which the 
Town, for want of better entertainment, was content to hunt 
after, through a heap of impertinences ; but even those are, 
at present, become wholly invisible and quite swallowed up 
in the blaze of the Spectator. 

You may remember, I told you before, that one cause 
assigned for the laying down the Tatler was. Want of 
Matter; and, indeed, this was the prevailing opinion in 
Town : when we were surprised all at once by a paper 
called the Spectator, which was promised to be continued 
every day ; and was written in so excellent a style, with so 
nice a judgment, and such a noble profusion of Wit and 
Humour, that it was not difficult to determine it could 
come from no other hands but those which had penned the 

This immediately alarmed these gentlemen, who, as it is 
said Mr. Steele phrases it, had " the Censorship in Com- 
mission." They found the new Spectator came on like a 
torrent, and swept away all before him. They despaired 
ever to equal him in Wit, Humour, or Learning ; which had 
been their true and certain way of opposing him: and there- 
fore rather chose to fall on the Author ; and to call out for 
help to all good Christians, by assuring them again and 
again that they were the First, Original, True, and Undis- 
puted Isaac Bickerstaff. 

Meanwhile, the Spectator, whom we regard as our Shelter 
from that flood of false wit and impertinence which was break- 
ing in upon us, is in every one's hands ; and a constant topic 
for our morning conversation at tea-tables and coffee-houses. 
We had at first, indeed, no manner of notion how a diurnal 
paper could be continued in the spirit and style of our present 
Spectators : but, to our no small surprise, we find them still 
rising upon us, and can only wonder from whence so pro- 
digious a run of Wit and Learning can proceed ; since some 
of our best judges seem to think that they have hitherto, in 
general, outshone even the Esquire's first Tatlers. 

Most people fancy, from their frequency, that they must be 

O 7 

2 10 Addison behind the curtain, Steele in front.[J- p^^J; 

composed by a Society : I withal assign the first places to 
Mr. Steele and his Friend. 

I have often thought that the conjunction of those two 
great Geniuses, who seem to stand in a class by themselves, 
so high above all our other Wits, resembled that of two 
statesmen in a late reign, whose characters are very well 
expressed in their two mottoes, vi2., Prodesse quam conspici 
[Lord Somers], and Otium cum dignitate [CHARLES 
Montagu, Earl of Halifax]. Accordingly the first [Addi- 
son] was continually at work behind the curtain, drew up 
and prepared all those schemes, which the latter still drove 
on, and stood out exposed to the World, to receive its praises 
or censures. 

Meantime, all our unbiassed well-wishers to Learning are 
in hopes that the known Temper and prudence of one of these 
Gentlemen will hinder the other from ever lashing out into 
Party, and rendering that Wit, which is at present a common 
good, odious and ungrateful to the better part of the Nation 
[by which, of course. Gay meant the Tories], 

If this piece of imprudence does not spoil so excellent a 
Paper, I propose to myself the highest satisfaction in reading 
it with you, over a dish of tea, every morning next winter. 

As we have yet had nothing new since the Spectator , it 
only remains for me to assure you, that I am 

Yours, &c., 

J[o H N]. G[A Y]. 
Westminster f May 3, 171 1, 


Upon a review of my letter, I find I have quite forgotten 
the British Apollo ; which might possibly have happened, 
from its having, of late, retreated out of this end of the 
Town into the country : where, I am informed however, that 
it still recommends itself by deciding wagers at cards, and 
giving good advice to shopkeepers and their apprentices. 



Thomas Tickell. 
Life of y o SE PH Addison. 

[Preface to first edition of Addison's Works 1721.] 

OsEPH Addison, the son of Lancelot Addison, 
D.D., and of Jane, the daughter of Nathaniel 
Gulston, D.D., and sister of Dr. William 
Gulston, Bishop of Bristol, was born at 
Milston, near Ambrosebury, in the county of 
Wilts, in the year 1671. 

His father, who was of the county of West- 
moreland, and educated at Queen's College in 
Oxford, passed many years in his travels through Europe 
and Africa; where he joined to the uncommon and excellent 
talents of Nature, a great knowledge of Letters and Things: 
of which, several books published by him, are ample testi- 
monies. He was Rector of Milston, above mentioned, when 
Mr. Addison, his eldest son, was born : and afterwards 
became Archdeacon of Coventry, and Dean of Lichfield. 

Mr. Addison received his first education at the Chartreuse 
[Charterhouse School in London] ; from whence he was removed 
very early to Queen's College, in Oxford. He had been there 
about two years, when the accidental sight of a Paper of his 
verses, in the hands of Dr. Lancaster, then Dean of that 
House, occasioned his being elected into Magdalen College. 

He employed his first years in the study of the old Greek 
and Roman Writers ; whose language and manner he caught, 
at that time of life, as strongly as other young people gain a 
French accent, or a genteel air. 

An early acquaintance with the Classics is what may be 
called the Good Breeding of Poetry, as it gives a certain 
gracefulness which never forsakes a mind that contracted it 
in youth ; but is seldom, or never, hit by those who would 
learn it too late. 


He first distinguished himself by his Latin compositions, 
published in the Muscb AngUcance : and was admired as one 
of the best Authors since the Augustan Age, in the two 
universities and the greatest part of Europe, before he was 
talked of as a Poet in Town. 

There is not, perhaps, any harder task than to tame the 
natural wildness of Wit, and to civilize the Fancy. The 
generality of our old English Poets abound in forced conceits 
and affected phrases ; and even those who are said to come 
the nearest to exactness, are but too often fond of unnatural 
beauties, and aim at something better than perfection. If 
Mr. Addison's example and precepts be the occasion that 
there now begins to be a great demand for Correctness, we 
may justly attribute it to his being first fashioned by the 
ancient Models, and familiarized to Propriety of Thought and 
Chastity of Style. 

Our country owes it to him, that the famous Monsieur 
BoiLEAU first conceived an opinion of the English Genius for 
Poetry, by perusing the present he made him of the Musce 
AngUcance. It has been currently reported, that this famous 
French poet, among the civilities he shewed Mr. Addison on 
that occasion, affirmed that he would not have written against 
Perrault, had he before seen such excellent Pieces by a 
modern hand. Such a saying would have been impertinent, 
and unworthy [of] Boileau ! whose dispute with Perrault 
turned chiefly upon some passages in the Ancients, which he 
rescued from the misinterpretations of his adversary. The 
true and natural compliment made by him, was that those 
books had given him a very new Idea of the English Polite- 
ness, and that he did not question but there were excellent 
compositions in the native language of a country, that pro- 
fessed the Roman Genius in so eminent a degree. 

The first English performance made public by him, is a 
short copy of verses To Mr. Dryden, with a view particu- 
larly to his Translations. 

This was soon followed by a Version of the fourth Georgic 
of Virgil; of which Mr. Dryden makes very honourable 
mention in the Postscript to his own Translation of Virgil's 
Works : wherein, I have often wondered that he did not, at 
the same time, acknowledge his obligation to Mr. Addison, 
for giving the Essay upon the Georgics, prefixed to Mr. Dryden's 

^■^'"i^S Public money purchasing Politeness. 213 

Translation. Lest the honour of so exquisite a piece of 
criticism should hereafter be transferred to a wrong Author, 
I have taken care to insert it in this Collection of his Works. 

Of some other copies of Verses, printed in the Miscellanies 
while he was young, the largest is An Account of the greatest 
English Poets ; in the close of which, he insinuates a design 
he then had of going into Holy Orders, to which he 
was strongly importuned by his father. His remarkable 
seriousness and modesty, which might have been urged as 
powerful reasons for his choosing that life, proved the chief 
obstacles to it. These qualities, by which the Priesthood is 
so much adorned, represented the duties of it as too weighty 
for him, and rendered him still the more worthy of that 
honour, which they made him decline. It is happy that this 
very circumstance has since turned so much to the advantage 
of Virtue and Religion ; in the cause of which, he has be- 
stowed his labours the more successfully, as they were his 
voluntary, not his necessary employment. The World be- 
came insensibly reconciled to Wisdom and Goodness, when 
they saw them recommended by him, with at least as much 
Spirit and Elegance as they had been ridiculed [with] for 
half a century. 

He was in his twenty-eighth year [1699], when his inclina- 
tion to see France and Italy was encouraged by the great 
Lord Chancellor Somers, one of that kind of patriots who 
think it no waste of the Public Treasure, to purchase Polite- 
ness to their country. His Poem upon one of King William's 
Campaigns, addressed to his Lordship, was received with 
great humanity ; and occasioned a message from him to the 
Author, to desire his acquaintance. 

He soon after obtained, by his Interest, a yearly pension 
of three hundred pounds from the Crown, to support him in 
his travels. If the uncommonness of a favour, and the dis- 
tinction of the person who confers it, enhance its value ; 
nothing could be more honourable to a young Man of Learning, 
than such a bounty from so eminent a Patron. 

How well Mr. Addison answered the expectations of my 
Lord Somers, cannot appear better than from the book of 
Travels, he dedicated to his Lordship at his return. It is not 
hard to conceive why that performance was at first but in- 
differently relished by the bulk of readers ; who expected an 

214 Addison's T ra vels in Italy. |7" 


Account, in a common way, of the customs and policies of the 
several Governments in Italy, reflections upon the Genius of 
the people, a Map [description] of the Provinces, or a measure 
of their buildings. How were they disappointed ! when, 
instead of such particulars, they were presented only with a 
Journal of Poetical Travels, with Remarks on the present 
picture of the country compared with the landskips [land- 
scapes] drawn by Classic Authors, and others the like uncon- 
cerning parts of knowledge ! One may easily imagine a 
reader of plain sense but without a fine taste, turning over 
these parts of the Volume which make more than half of it, 
and wondering how an Author who seems to have so solid an 
understanding when he treats of more weighty subjects in the 
other pages, should dwell upon such trifles, and give up so 
much room to matters of mere amusement. There are indeed 
but few men so fond of the Ancients, as to be transported 
with every little accident which introduces to their intimate 
acquaintance. Persons of that cast may here have the 
satisfaction of seeing Annotations upon an old Roman Poem, 
gathered from the hills and valleys where it was written. 
The Tiber and the Po serve to explain the verses which were 
made upon their banks; and the Alps and Apennines are 
made Commentators on those Authors, to whom they were 
subjects, so many centuries ago. 

Next to personal conversation with the Writers themselves, 
this is the surest way of coming at their sense ; a compen- 
dious and engaging kind of Criticism which convinces at first 
sight, and shews the vanity of conjectures made by Anti- 
quaries at a distance. If the knowledge of Polite Literature 
has its use, there is certainly a merit in illustrating the Per- 
fect Models of it ; and the Learned World will think some 
years of a man's life not misspent in so elegant an employ- 
ment. I shall conclude what I had to say on this Perform- 
ance, by observing that the fame of it increased from year 
to year ; and the demand for copies was so urgent, that their 
price rose to four or five times the original value, before it 
came out in a second edition. 

The Letter from Italy to my Lord Halifax may be con- 
sidered as the Text, upon which the book of Travels is a large 
Comment ; and has been esteemed by those who have a 
relish for Antiquity, as the most exquisite of his poetical per- 

T. Tickell. 

] He writes the Campaign. 215 

formances. A Translation of it, by Signer Salvini, Professor 
of the Greek tongue, at Florence, is inserted in this edition ; 
not only on account of its merit, but because it is the 
language of the country, which is the subject of the Poem. 

The materials for the Dialogues upon Medals, now first 
printed from a manuscript of the Author, were collected in 
the native country of those coins. The book itself was 
begun to be cast in form, at Vienna ; as appears from a letter 
to Mr. Stepney, then Minister at that Court, dated in 
November, 1702. 

Some time before the date of this letter, Mr. Addison had 
designed to return to England; when he received advice from 
his friends that he was pitched upon to attend the army 
under Prince Eugene, who had just begun the war in Italy, 
as Secretary from His Majesty. But an account of the death 
of King William, which he met with at Geneva, put an end 
to that thought : and, as his hopes of advancement in his own 
country, were fallen with the credit of his friends, who were 
out of power at the beginning of her late Majesty's reign, 
he had leisure to make the tour of Germany, in his way home. 

He remained, for some time after his return to England, 
without any public employment : which he did not obtain till 
the year 1704, when the Duke of Marlborough arrived at 
the highest pitch of glory, by delivering all Europe from 
slavery; and furnished Mr. Addison with a subject worthy 
of that Genius which appears in his Poem, called The Cam- 

The Lord Treasurer Godolphin, who was a fine judge of 
poetry, had a sight of this Work when it was only carried on 
as far as the applauded simile of the Angel ; and approved of 
the Poem, by bestowing on the Author, in a few days after, 
the place of Commissioner of Appeals, vacant by the removal 
of the famous Mr. [John] Locke to the Council of Trade. 

His next advancement was to the place of Under Sec- 
retary, which he held under Sir Charles Hedges, and the 
present Earl of Sunderland. The opera of Rosamond was 
written while he possessed that employment. What doubts 
soever have been raised about the merit of the Music, which, 
as the Italian taste at that time began wholly to prevail, was 
thought sufficient inexcusable, because it was the com- 
position of an Englishman ; the Poetry of this Piece hasgtven 

2i6 Tickell's innuendo against Steele, f^- 


as much pleasure in the closet, as others have afforded from 
the Stage, with all the assistance of voices and instruments. 

The Comedy called The Tender Husband appeared much 
about the same time ; to which Mr. Addison wrote the Pro- 
logue. Sir Richard Steele surprised him with a very 
handsome Dedication of his Play ; and has since acquainted 
the Public, that he owed some of the most taking scenes of 
it, to Mr. Addison. 

His next step in his fortune, was to the post of Secretary 
under the late Marquis of Wharton, who was appointed 
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in the year 1709. As I have 
proposed to touch but very lightly on those parts of his life, 
which do not regard him as an Author ; I shall not enlarge 
upon the great reputation he acquired, by his turn for busi- 
ness, and his unblemished integrity, in this and other employ- 

It must not be omitted here, that the salary of Keeper 
of the Records in Ireland was considerably raised, and that 
post bestowed upon him at this time, as a mark of the 
Queen's favour. 

He was in that Kingdom, when he first discovered Sir 
Richard Steele to be the Author of the Tatler, by an 
observation upon Virgil, which had been by him com- 
municated to his friend. The assistance he occasionally 
gave him afterwards, in the course of the Paper, did not a 
little contribute to advance its reputation ; and, upon the 
Change of the Ministry, he found leisure to engage more 
constantly in that Work : which, however, was dropped at 
last, as it had been taken up, without his participation. 

In the last Paper, which closed those celebrated Perform- 
ances, and in the Preface to the last Volume, Sir Richard 
Steele has given to Mr. Addison, the honour of the most 
applauded Pieces in that Collection. But as that ac- 
knowledgement was delivered only in general terms, without 
directing the Public to the several Papers ; Mr. Addison 
(who was content with the praise arising from his own Works, 
and too delicate to take any part of that which belonged to 
others), afterwards, thought fit to distinguish his Writings in 
the Spectators and Guardians, by such marks as might remove 
the least possibility of mistake in the most undiscerning 


It was necessary that his share in the Tatlers should be 
adjusted in a complete Collection of his Works : for which 
reason, Sir Richard Steele, in compliance with the request 
of his deceased friend, delivered to him by the Editor, was 
pleased to mark with his own hand, those Tatlers, which are 
inserted in this edition ; and even to point out several, in the 
writing of which, they were both concerned. 

The Plan of the Spectator, as far as regards the feigned 
Person of the Author, and of the several Characters that 
compose his Club, was projected in concert with Sir Richard 
Steele. And because many passages in the course of the 
Work would otherwise be obscure, I have taken leave to insert 
one single Paper written by Sir Richard Steele, wherein 
those Characters are drawn ; which may serve as a Dramatis 
PersoncB, or as so many pictures for an ornament and 
explication of the whole. 

As for the distinct Papers, they were never or seldom 
shewn to each other, by their respective Authors ; who fully 
answered the Promise they had made, and far outwent the 
Expectation they had raised, of pursuing their Labour in the 
same Spirit and Strength with which it was begun. 

It would have been impossible for Mr. Addison (who made 
little or no use of letters sent in, by the numerous correspon- 
dents of the Spectator) to have executed his large share of his 
task in so exquisite a manner ; if he had not engrafted into 
it many Pieces that had lain by him, in little hints and 
minutes, which he from time to time collected and ranged in 
order, and moulded into the form in which they now appear. 
Such are the Essays upon Wit, the Pleasures of the Imagi- 
nation, the Critique upon Milton, and some others : which I 
thought to have connected in a continued Series in this 
Edition, though they were at first published with the inter- 
ruption of writings on different subjects. But as such a 
scheme would have obliged me to cut off several graceful 
introductions and circumstances peculiarly adapted to the 
time and occasion of printing then ; I durst not pursue that 

The Tragedy of Cato appeared in public in the year 1713 ; 
when the greatest part of the last Act was added by the 
Author, to the foregoing which he had kept by him for many 
years. He took up a design of writing a play upon this sub- 

2i8 Why Cato had -ho D edica tion,\^ 

. Tickell. 

ject, when he was very young at the University; and even 
attempted something in it there, though not a line as it now 
stands. The work was performed by him in his travels, and 
retouched in England, without any formed resolution of 
bringing it upon the Stage, until his friends of the first Quality 
and Distinction prevailed on him, to put the last finishing to 
it, at a time when they thought the Doctrine of Liberty very 

It is in everybody's memory, with what applause it was 
received by the Public ; that the first run of it lasted for a 
month, and then stopped only because one of the performers 
became incapable of acting a principal part. 

The Author received a message that the Queen would be 
pleased to have it dedicated to her : but as he had designed 
that compliment elsewhere, he found himself obliged, by his 
duty on the one side, and his honour on the other, to send it 
into the World without any Dedication. 

The fame of this tragedy soon spread through Europe ; and 
it has not only been translated, but acted in most of the lan- 
guages of Christendom. The Translation of it into Italian 
by Signor Salvini is very well known : but I have not been 
able to learn, whether that of Signor Valetta, a young 
Neapolitan Nobleman, has ever been made public. 

If he had found time for the writing of another tragedy, the 
Death of Socrates would have been the story. And, how- 
ever unpromising that subject may appear ; it would be pre- 
sumptuous to censure his choice, who was so famous for 
raising the noblest plants from the most barren soil. It serves 
to shew that he thought the whole labour of such a Perform- 
ance unworthy to be thrown away upon those Intrigues and 
Adventures, to which the romantic taste has confined Modern 
Tragedy: and, after the example of his predecessors in 
Greece, would have employed the Drama to wear out of our 
minds everything that is mean or little, to cherish and cultivate that 
Humanity which is the ornament of our nature, to soften Insolence, 
to soothe Affliction, and to subdue our minds to the dispensations 
of Providence. {Spectator. No. 39.) 

Upon the death of the late Queen, the Lords Justices, 
in whom the Administration was lodged, appointed him their 

Soon after His Majesty's arrival in Great Britain, the 

^' ^'^i7*i:] Addison's posthumous Works. 219 

Earl of Sunderland, being constituted Lord Lieutenant of 
Ireland ; Mr. Addison became, a second time, Secretary for 
the Affairs of that Kingdom : and was made one of the Lords 
Commissioners of Trade, a little after his Lordship resigned 
the post of Lord Lieutenant. 

The Paper called the Freeholder, was undertaken at the time 
when the Rebellion broke out in Scotland. 

The only Works he left behind for the Public, are the Dia- 
logues upon medals, a.nd the Treatise upon the Christian Religion. 
Some account has been already given of the former : to which 
nothing is now to be added, except that a great part of the 
Latin quotations were rendered into English in a very hasty 
manner by the Editor and one of his friends who had the good 
nature to assist him, during his avocations of business. It 
was thought better to add these translations, such as they 
are ; than to let the Work come out unintelligible to those 
who do not possess the learned languages. 

The Scheme for the Treatise upon the Christian Religion 
was formed by the Author, about the end of the late Queen's 
reign ; at which time, he carefully perused the ancient 
Writings, which furnish the materials for it. His continual 
employment in business prevented him from executing it, until 
he resigned his office of Secretary of State ; and his death put 
a period to it, when he had imperfectly performed only one 
half of the design : he having proposed, as appears from the 
Introduction, to add the Jewish to the Heathen testimonies 
for the truth of the Christian History. He was more as- 
siduous than his health would well allow, in the pursuit of 
this Work : and had long determined to dedicate his Poetry 
also, for the future, wholly to religious subjects. 

Soon after, he was, from being one of the Lords Commis- 
sioners of Trade, advanced to the post of Secretary of State ; 
he found his health impaired by the return of that asthmatic 
indisposition ; which continued often, to afflict him during his 
exercise of that employment : and, at last, obliged him to beg 
His Majesty's leave to resign. 

His freedom from the anxiety of business so far re-estab- 
lished his health, that his friends began to hope he might 
last for many years : but (whether it were from a life too 

220 Addison's Letter to J. Ci?^ g^^^. [^•'^'f/J|; 

sedentary; or from his natural constitution, in which was one 
circumstance very remarkable, that, from his cradle, he never 
had a regular pulse) a long and painful relapse into an asthma 
and dropsy deprived the World of this great man, on the 17th 
of June, 1719. 

He left behind him only one daughter, by the Countess 
of Warwick ; to whom he was married in the year 1716. 

Not many days before his death, he gave me directions to 
collect his Writings, and at the same time committed to my 
care the Letter addressed to My. Craggs, his successor as 
Secretary of State, wherein he bequeaths them to him, as a 
token of friendship. 

Such a testimony, from the First Man of our Age, in such 
a point of time, will be perhaps as great and lasting an honour 
to that Gentleman as any even he could acquire to himself; 
and yet it is no more than was due from an affection that 
justly increased towards him, through the intimacy of several 
years. I cannot, save with the utmost tenderness, reflect on 
the kind concern with which Mr. Addison left Me as a sort of 
incumbrance upon this valuable legacy. Nor must I deny 
myself the honour to acknowlege that the goodness of that 
Great Man to me, like many other of his amiable qualities, 
seemed not so much to be renewed, as continued in his 
successor; who made me an example, that nothing could 
be indifferent to him which came recommended to Mr. 

Could any circumstance be more severe to me, while I was 
executing these Last Commands of the Author, than to see 
the Person to whom his Works were presented, cut off in the 
flower of his age, and carried from the high Office wherein he 
had succeeded Mr. Addison, to be laid next him, in the same 
grave ? I might dwell upon such thoughts as naturally rise 
from these minute resemblances in the fortune of two persons, 
whose names probably will be seldom mentioned asunder 
while either our Language or Story subsist ; were I not afraid 
of making this Preface too tedious : especially since I shall 
want all the patience of the reader, for having enlarged it 
with the following verses. 


To the Earl of Warwick 
On the T>eath ^Mr. Addison. 

F dumb too long, the drooping muse hath stay'd 
And left her debt to Addison unpaid, 
Blame not her silence, Warwick, but bemoan, 
And judge, oh judge, my bosom by your own. 
What mourner ever felt poetic fires ! 
Slow comes the verse that real woe inspires : 
Grief unaffected suits but ill with art, 
Or flowing numbers with a bleeding heart. 
Can I forget the dismal night that gave 
My soul's best part for ever to the grave ! 
How silent did his old companions tread 
By midnight lamps, the mansions of the dead 
Through breathing statues, then unheeded things, 
Through rows of warriors, and through walks of kings 
What awe did the slow solemn knell inspire ; 
The pealing organ, and the pausing choir ; 
The duties by the lawn-rob'd prelate paid ; 
And the last words, that dust to dust convey'd ! 

22 2 Tickell's Elegy on Addison. [' 

T Tlekdl. 

While speechless o'er thy closing grave we bend, 
Accept these tears, thou dear departed friend. 
Oh gone for ever I take this long adieu ; 
And sleep in peace, next thy lov'd Montague. 
To strew fresh laurels, let the task be mine, 
A frequent pilgrim, at thy sacred shrine; 
Mine with true sighs thy absence to bemoan. 
And grave with faithful epitaphs thy stone. 
If e'er from me thy lov'd memorial part, 
May shame afflict this alienated heart ; 
Of thee forgetful if I form a song, 
My lyre be broken, and untun'd my tongue. 
My grief be doubled from thy image free. 
And mirth a torment, unchastis'd by thee. 

Oft let me range the gloomy aisles alone. 
Sad luxury ! to vulgar minds unknown. 
Along the walls, where speaking marbles show 
What worthies form the hallow'd mould below ; 
Proud names who once the reins of empire held ; 
In arms who triumphed ; or in arts excelled ; 
Chiefs graced with scars and prodigal of blood ; 
Stern patriots who for sacred freedom stood ; 
Just men, by whom impartial laws were given ; 
And saints who taught and led the way to heaven ; 
Ne'er to these chambers, where the mighty rest 
Since their foundation came a nobler guest ; 
Nor e'er was to the bowers of bliss convey'd 
A fairer spirit or more welcome shade. 

T. Tickell 

S] Tickell's Elegy on Addison. 223 

In what new region to the just assigned, 
What new employments please th' unbody'd mind ; 
A winged virtue, through th' ethereal sky 
From world to world unweary'd does he fly? 
Or curious trace the long laborious maze 
Of heaven's decrees where wondering angels gaze ; 
Does he delight to hear bold seraphs tell 
How Michael battl'd and the dragon fell, 
Or mixed with milder cherubim to glow 
In hymns of love not ill-essay'd below ? 
Or dost thou warn poor mortals left behind 
A task well suited to thy gentle mind ? 
Oh 1 if sometimes thy spotless form descend 
To me thy aid, thou guardian genius lend 
When rage misguides me or when fear alarms. 
When pain distresses or when pleasure charms. 
In silent whisperings purer thoughts impart, 
And turn from ill a frail and feeble heart; 
Lead through the paths thy virtue trod before, 
Till bliss shall join nor death can part us more. 

That awful form, which, so the heavens decree, 
Must still be loved and still deplor'd by me 
In nightly visions seldom fails to rise, 
Or rous'd by fancy, meets my waking eyes. 
If business calls, or crowded courts invite ; 
Th' unblemish'd statesman seems to strike my sight ; 
If in the stage I seek to soothe my care 
I meet his soul which breathes in Cato there ; 

2 24 Tickell's Elegy on Addison. [ 

T. Tickell. 

If pensive to the rural shades I rove, 

His shape o'ertakes me in the lonely grove ; 

'Twas there of just and good he reason'd strong, 

Clear'd some great truth, or rais'd some serious song : 

There patient show'd us the wise course to steer, 

A candid censor, and a friend severe ; 

There taught us how to live ; and (oh ! too high 

The price for knowledge) taught us how to die. 


Sir Richard Steele. 
Dedicatory Epistle to William 

C O N G R E V E' 

tThis Dedication is prefixed to the Second"! 
Edition of Addison's Z?r2<»??«*y, 172a. J 


occasioned by Mr. T i c k e l l ' s Preface to the four 
volumes of Mr. Addison's Works. 

His is the second time that I have, without 
your leave, taken the liberty to make a 
public address to you. 

However uneasy you may be, for your 
own sake, in receiving compliments of 
this nature, I depend upon your known 
humanity for pardon; when I acknowledge 
that you have this present trouble, for mine. 
When I take myself to be ill treated with regard to my 
behaviour to the merit of other men ; my conduct towards 
you is an argument of my candour that way, as well as that 
your name and authority will be my protection in it. You 
will give me leave therefore, in a matter that concerns us in 
the Poetical World, to make you my judge whether I am not 
injured in the highest manner ! for with men of your taste 
and delicacy, it is a high crime and misdemeanour to be 
guilty of anything that is disingenuous. But I will go into 
my matter. 

Upon my return from Scotland, I visited Mr. Tonson's 
shop, and thanked him for his care in sending to my 
house, the Volumes of my dear and honoured friend Mr, 
Addison ; which are, at last, published by his Secretary, 
Mr. Tickell : but took occasion to observe, that I had not 
seen the Work before it came out ; which he did not think iit 
to excuse any otherwise than by a recrimination, that I had 
put into his hands, at a high price, a Comedy called The 

P 7 

226 The Drummer left out of Addison's Works.\^ 


Drummer ; which, by my zeal for it, he took to be written by 
Mr. Addison, and of which, after his {Addison's], death, he 
said, I directly acknowleged he was the author. 

To urge this hardship still more home, he produced a 
receipt under my hand, in these words — 

March 12, I7i5[-i6]. 
Received then, the sum of Fifty Guineas for the Copy [copy- 
right] of the Comedy called, The Drummer or the Haunted 
House. / say, received by order of the Author of the said 
Comedy, Richard Steele. 

and added, at the same time, that since Mr. Tickell had 
not thought fit to make that play a part of Mr. Addison's 
Works ; he would sell the Copy to any bookseller that would 
give most for it [i.e., ToNSON threw the onus of the authen- 
ticity of the Drummer on Steele]. 

This is represented thus circumstantially, to shew how in- 
cumbent it is upon me, as well in justice to the bookseller, 
as for many other considerations, to produce this Comedy a 
second time [It was first printed in 1716] ; and take this 
occasion to vindicate myself against certain insinuations 
thrown out by the Publisher [Thomas Tickell] of Mr. 
Addison's Writings, concerning my behaviour in the nicest 
circumstance — that of doing justice to the Merit of my Friend. 

I shall take the liberty, before I have ended this Letter, 
to say why I believe the Drummer a performance of Mr. 
Addison : and after I have declared this, any surviving 
writer may be at ease ; if there be any one who has hitherto 
been vain enough to hope, or silly enough to fear, it may be 
given to himself. 

Before I go any further, I must make my Public Appeal to 
you and all the Learned World, and humbly demand, Whether 
it was a decent and reasonable thing, that Works written, 
as a great part of Mr. Addison's were, in correspondence 
[coadjutorship] with me, ought to have been published with- 
out my review of the Catalogue of them ; or if there were 
any exception to be made against any circumstance in my 
conduct, Whether an opportunity to explain myself should 
not have been allowed me, before any Reflections were made 
on me in print. 

When I had perused Mr. Tickell's Preface, I had soon 

^"^*^\'7".] Tickell's rabid jealousy of Steele. 227 

so many objections, besides his omission to say anything of 
the Drummer, against his long-expected performance : the 
chief intention of which (and which it concerns me first to 
examine) seems to aim at doing the deceased Author justice, 
against me ! whom he insinuates to have assumed to myself, 
part of the merit of my friend. 

He is pleased, Sir, to express himself concerning the 
present Writer, in the following manner — 

The Comedy called The Tender Husband, appeared much 
about the same time; to which Mr. Addison wrote the Prologue: 
Sir Richard Steele surprised him with a very handsome 
Dedication of this Play ; and has since acquainted the Public, 
that he owed some of the most taking scenes of it, to Mr. Addison. 
Mr. Tickell's Preface. Pag. il 

He was in that Kingdom [Ireland] , when he first discovered 
Sir Richard Steele to be the Author of the Tatler, by an 
observation upon Virgil, which had been by him communicated 
to his friend. The assistance he occasionally gave him afterwards, 
in the course of the Paper, did not a little contribute to advance its 
reputation ; and, upon the Change of the Ministry [in the autumn 
of 1710] , he found leisure to engage more constantly in that 
Work : which, however, was dropped at last, as it had been taken 
up, without his participation. 

In the last Paper which closed those celebrated Performances, 
and in the Preface to the last Volume, Sir Richard Steele 
has given to Mr. Addison, the honour of the most applauded 
Pieces in that Collection. But as that acknowledgement was 
.delivered only in general terms, without directing the Public to 
the several Papers ; Mr. A DDISON {who was content with the 
praise arising from his own Works, and too delicate to take any 
part of that which belonged to others), afterwards thought fit to 
distinguish his Writings in the Spectators and Guardians by 
such marks as might remove the least possibility of mistake in the 
most undiscerning readers. It was necessary that his share in the 
Tatlers should be adjusted in a complete Collection of his Works : 
for which reason, Sir Richard Steele, in compliance with the 
request of his deceased friend, delivered to him by the Editor, was 
pleased to mark with his own hand, those Tatlers which are 
inserted in this edition ; and even to point out several, in the 
writing of which, they both were concerned. P^g. 12. 

2 28 Steele's acknowledgements of Addison. [' 

Sir R. Sttele. 

The Plan of the Spectator, as far as it related to the feigned 
Person of the A uthor, and of the several Characters that compose 
his Club, was projected in concert with Sir RiCHARD Steele : 
and because many passages in the course of the Work would other- 
wise be obscure, I have taken leave to insert one Paper written 
by Sir Richard Steele, wherein those Characters are drawn ; 
which may serve as a Dramatis Personse, or as so many pictures 
for an ornament and explication of the whole. As for the distinct 
Papers, they were never or seldom shewn to each other, by their 
respective A uthors ; who fully answered the Promise they made, 
and far outwent the Expectation they had raised, of pursuing their 
Labour in the same Spirit and Strength with which it was begun. 
Page 13- 

It need not be explained that it is here intimated, that I 
had not sufficiently acknowledged what was due to Mr. 
Addison in these Writings. I shall make a full Answer to 
what seems intended by the words, He was too delicate to take 
any part of that which belonged to others ; if I can recite out of 
my own Papers, anything that may make it appear groundless. 

The subsequent [following] encomiums bestowed by me 
on Mr. Addison will, I hope, be of service to me in this 

But I have only one Gentleman, who will be nameless, to 
thank for any frequent assistance to me : which indeed it would 
have been barbarous in him, to have denied to one with whom he 
has lived in an intimacy from childhood ; considering the great 
Ease with which he is able to despatch the most entertaining Pieces 
of this nature. This good office he performed with such force of 
Genius, Humour, Wit, and Learning, that I fared like a distressed 
Prince who calls in a powerful neighbour to his aid ; I was undone 
by my auxiliary ! When I had once called him in, I could not 
subsist without dependence on him. 

The same Hand wrote the distinguishing Characters of Men 
and Women under the names of Musical Instruments, the 
Distress of the News-Writers, the Inventory of the Play 
House, and the Description of the Thermometer; which I 
cannot but look upon, as the greatest embellishments of this Work. 
Pre/, to the 4th Vol. of the Tatlers. 

As to the Work itself, the acceptance it has met with is the best 
proof of its value : but I should err against that candour which 
an honest man should always carry about him, if I did not own 

Sir R. Steele 

:] Steele's acknowledgements of Addison. 229 

that the most approved Pieces in it were written by others ; and 
those, which have been most excepted against by myself. The 
Hand that has assisted me in those noble Discourses upon the 
Immortality of the Souly the Glorious Prospects of another Life, and 
the most sublime ideas of Religion and Virtue, is a person^ who is 
too fondly my friend ever to own them : but I should little deserve 
to be his, if I usurped the glory of them. I must acknowledge, at 
the same time, that I think the finest strokes of Wit and Humour 
in all Mr, Bickerstaff's Lucubrations, are those for which he 
is also beholden to him. Tatler, No. 271. 

/ hope the Apology I have made as to the license allowable to a 
feigned Character may excuse anything which has been said in 
these Discourses of the Spectator and his Works. But the imputation 
of the grossest vanity would still dwell upon me, if I did not give 
some account by what means I was enabled to keep up the Spirit 
of so long and approved a performance. A II the Papers marked 
with a Q,,lu,\,or O — that is to say, all the Papers which I have 
distinguished by any letter in the name of the Muse C L I — 
were given me by the Gentleman, of whose assistance I formerly 
boasted in the Preface and concluding Leaf of the Tatler. I am 
indeed much more proud of his long-continued friendship, than I 
should be of the fame of being thought the Author of any Writings 
which he himself is capable of producing. 

I remember, when I finished the Tender Husband ; I told him, 
there was nothing I so ardently wished as that we might, some 
time or other, publish a Work written by us both ; which should 
bear the name of the Monument, in memory of our friendship. I 
heartily wish what I have done here, were as honorary to that 
sacred name, as Learnings Wit, and Humanity render those Pieces, 
which I have taught the reader how to distinguish for his. 

When the Play above mentioned was last acted, there were so 
many applauded strokes in it which I had from the same hand, 
that I thought very meanly of myself that I had never publicly 
acknowledged them. 

After I have put other friends upon importuning him to publish 
Dramatic as well as other Writings, he has by him ; I shall end 
what I think I am obliged to say on this head, by giving the reader 
this hint for the better judgement of my productions : that the best 
Comment upon them would be, an Account when the Patron [i.e., 
Addison] to the Tender Husband was in England or abroad 
[i.e., Ireland]. Spectator, No 555 


My purpose in this Application is only to shew the esteem I have 
for you, and that I look upon my intimacy with you as one of the 
most valuable enjoyments of my life. Dedication before the Tendef 

I am sure, you have read my quotations with indignation 
against the little {petty] zeal which prompted the Editor (who 
by the way, has himself done nothing in applause of the Works 
which he prefaces) to the mean endeavour of adding to Mr. 
Addison, by disparaging a man who had (for the greatest part 
of his life) been his known bosom friend, and shielded him 
from all the resentments which many of his own Works would 
have brought upon him, at the time they were written. It is 
really a good office to Society, to expose the indiscretion of 
Intermedlers int he friendship and correspondence [coadjutor- 
ship] of men, whose sentiments, passions, and resentments are 
too great for their proportion of soul ! 

Could the Editor's indiscretion provoke me, even so far as 
(within the rules of strictest honour) I could go ; and I were 
not restrained by supererogatory affection to dear Mr. Addison, 
I would ask this unskilful Creature, What he means, when 
he speaks in an air of a reproach, that the Tatler was laid 
down as it was taken tip, without his participation ? Let him speak 
out and say, why without his knowledge would not serve his 
purpose as well ! 

If, as he says, he restrains himself to ** Mr. Addison's 
character as a Writer ; " while he attempts to lessen me, he 
exalts me ! for he has declared to all the World what I never 
have so explicitly done, that I am, to all intents and pur- 
poses, the Author of the Tatler! He very justly says, the 
occasional assistance Mr. Addison gave me. in the course of 
that Paper, ** did not a little contribute to advance its reputa- 
tion, especially when, upon the Change of Ministry [August, 
1710], he found leisure to engage more constantly in it." It 
was advanced indeed ! for it was raised to a greater thing 
than I intended it ! For the elegance, purity, and correctness 
which appeared in his Writings were not so much my pur- 
pose ; as (in any intelligible manner, as I could) to rally all 
those Singularities of human life, through the different Pro- 
fessions and Characters in it, which obstruct anything that 
was truly good and great. 


After this Acknowledgement, you will see ; that is, such 
a man as you will see, that I rejoiced in being excelled ! 
and made those little talents (whatever they are) which I 
have, give way and be subservient to the superior qualities of 
a Friend, whom I loved ! and whose modesty would never 
have admitted them to come into daylight, but under such a 

So that all which the Editor has said (either out of design, 
or incapacity), Mr. Congreve ! must end in this: that 
Steele has been so candid and upright, that he owes 
nothing to Mr. Addison as a Writer ; but whether he do, or 
does not, whatever Steele owes to Mr. Addison, the Public 
owe Addison to Steele ! 

But the Editor has such a fantastical and ignorant zeal 
for his Patron, that he will not allow his correspondents 
[coadjutors] to conceal anything of his ; though in obedience 
to his commands ! 

What I never did declare was Mr. Addison's, I had his 
direct injunctions to hide ; against the natural warmth and 
passion of my own temper towards my friends. 

Many of the Writings now published as his, I have been 
very patiently traduced and culminated for ; as they were 
pleasantries and oblique strokes upon certain of the wittiest 
men of the Age : who will now restore me to their goodwill, 
in proportion to the abatement of [the] Wit which they 
thought I employed against them. 

But I was saying, that the Editor won't allow us to obey 
his Patron's commands in anything which he thinks would 
redound to his credit, if discovered. And because I would 
shew a little Wit in my anger, I shall have the discretion to 
shew you that he has been guilty, in this particular, towards 
a much greater man than your humble servant, and one 
whom you are much more obliged to vindicate. 

Mr. Dryden, in his Virgil, after having acknowledged 
that a "certain excellent young man" [i.e., W. Congreve 
himself] had shewed him many faults in his translation of 
Virgil, which he had endeavoured to correct, goes on to 
say, '* Two other worthy friends of mine, who desire to have 
their names concealed, seeing me straightened in my time, 
took pity on me, and gave me the Life of Virgil, the two Pre- 
faces to the Pastorals and the Georgics, and all the Arguments 

232 Tickell's earnestness to disparage Steele. [^• 


in prose to the whole Translation." If Mr. Addison is one of 
the two friends, and the Preface to the Georgics be what the 
Editor calls the Essay upon the Georgics as one may adventure 
to say they are, from their being word for word the same, he 
has cast an inhuman reflection upon Mr. Dryden : who, 
though tied down not to name Mr. Addison, pointed at him 
so as all Mankind conservant in these matters knew him, 
with an eulogium equal to the highest merit, considering 
who it was that bestowed it. I could not avoid remarking 
upon this circumstance, out of justice to Mr. Dryden : but 
confess, at the same time, I took a great pleasure in doing it ; 
because I knew, in exposing this outrage, I made my court 


I have observed that the Editor will not let me or any one 
else obey Mr. Addison's commands, in hiding anything he 
desired to be concealed. 

I cannot but take further notice, that the circumstance of 
marking his Spectators [with the letters C, L, 7, 0,], which I 
did not know till I had done with the Work ; I made my own 
act ! because I thought it too great a sensibility in my friend ; 
and thought it (since it was done) better to be supposed 
marked by me than the Author himself. The real state of 
which, this zealot rashly and injudiciously exposes ! I ask 
the reader, Whether anything but an earnestness to disparage 
me could provoke the Editor, in behalf of Mr. Addison, to 
say that he marked it out of caution against me : when I had 
taken upon me to say, it was I that did it ! out of tenderness 
to him. 

As the imputation of any the Least Attempt of arrogating 
to myself, or detracting from Mr. Addison, is without any 
Colour of Truth : you will give me leave to go on in the same 
ardour towards him, and resent the cold, unaffectionate, dry, 
and barren manner, in which this Gentleman gives an Account 
of as great a Benefactor as any one Learned Man ever had of 
another. Would any man, who had been produced from a 
College life, and pushed into one of the most considerable 
Employments of the Kingdom as to its weight and trust, and 
greatly lucrative with respect to a Fellowship [i.e., of a 
College] : and who had been daily and hourly with one of the 
greatest men of the Age, be satisfied with himself, in saying 
nothing of such a Person besides what all the World knew ! 

sir R. Steele, j flCKELL, EXECUTOR FOR AdDISOn's FAME. 233 

except a particularity (and that to his disadvantage !) which 
I, his friend from a boy, don't know to be true, to wit, that 
*' he never had a regular pulse " ! 

As for the facts, and considerable periods of his life, he 
either knew nothing of them, or injudiciously places them in 
a worse light than that in which they really stood. 

When he speaks of Mr. Addison's dechning to go into 
Orders, his way of doing it is to lament his seriousness and 
modesty, which might have recommended him, proved the 
chief obstacles to it, it seems these qualities, by which the Priesthood 
is somuch adorned, representedthe duties of it as too weighty for him, 
and rendered him still more worthy of that honour which they 
made him decline. These, you know very well ! were not the 
Reasons which made Mr. Addison turn his thoughts to the 
civil World ; and, as you were the instrument of his becom- 
ing acquainted with my Lord Halifax, I doubt not but you 
remember the warm instances that noble Lord made to the 
Head of the College, not to insist upon Mr. Addison's going 
into Orders. His arguments were founded on the general 
pravity [depravity] and corruption of men of business [public 
men] who wanted liberal education. And I remember, as if 
I read the letter yesterday, that my Lord ended with a 
compliment, that "however he might be represented as no 
friend to the Church, he would never do it any other injury 
than keeping Mr. Addison out of it ! " 

The contention for this man in his early youth, among the 
people of greatest power; Mr. Secretary Tickell, the 
Executor for his Fame, is pleased to ascribe to " a serious 
visage and modesty of behaviour." 

When a Writer is grossly and essentially faulty, it were a 
jest to take notice of a false expression or a phrase, otherwise 
Priesthood in that place, might be observed upon ; as a term 
not used by the real well-wishers to Clergymen, except when 
they would express some solemn act, and not when that 
Order is spoken of as a Profession among Gentlemen. I will 
not therefore busy myself about the " unconcerning parts of 
knowledge, but be content like a reader of plain sense without 
politeness." And since Mr. Secretary will give us no account 
of this Gentleman, I admit "the Alps and Apennines" instead 
of the Editor, to be " Commentators of his Works," which, 
as the Editor says, " have raised a demand for correctness." 

234 Affection of the Addison family for STEELE.[^'fy'^^: 

This " demand," by the way, ought to be more strong upon 
those who were most about him, and had the greatest ad- 
vantage of his example. But as our Editor says, "that 
those who come nearest to exactness are but too often fond 
of unnatural beauties, and aim at something better than 

Believe me, Sir, Mr. Addison's example will carry no man 
further than that height for which Nature capacitated him : 
and the affectation of following great men in works above the 
genius of their imitators, will never rise farther than the pro- 
duction of uncommon and unsuitable ornaments in a barren 
discourse, like flowers upon a heath, such as the Author's 
phrase of " something better than perfection." 

But in his Preface^ if ever anything was, is that " some- 
thing better : " for it is so extraordinary, that we cannot say, 
it is too long or too short, or deny but that it is both. I 
think I abstract myself from all manner of prejudice when I 
aver that no man, though without any obligation to Mr. 
Addison, would have represented him in his family and in 
his friendships, or his personal character, so disadvantageously 
as his Secretary (in preference of whom, he incurred the 
warmest resentments of other Gentlemen) has been pleased 
to describe him in those particulars. 

Mr. Dean Addison, father of this memorable Man, left 
behind him four children, each of whom, for excellent talents 
and singular preferments, was as much above the ordinary 
World as their brother Joseph was above them. Were 
things of this nature to be exposed to public view, I could 
shew under the Dean's own hand, in the warmest terms, his 
blessing on the friendship between his son and me ; nor had 
he a child who did not prefer me in the first place of kindness 
and esteem, as their father loved me hke one of them : and I 
can with pleasure say, I never omitted any opportunity of 
shewing that zeal for their persons and Interests as became 
a Gentleman and a Friend. 

Were I now to indulge myself, I could talk a great deal to 
you, which I am sure would be entertaining : but as I am 
speaking at the same time to all the World, I consider it 
would be impertinent. 

Sir R. st«^e.-j Steele's splendid Sketch of Addison. 235 

Let me then confine myself awhile to the following Play 
[The Drummer], which I at first recommended to the Stage, 
and carried to the Press. 

No one who reads the Preface which I published with it, 
will imagine I could be induced to say so much, as I then 
did, had I not known the man I best loved had had a part in 
it ; or had I believed that any other concerned had much 
more to do than as an amanuensis. 

But, indeed, had I not known at the time of the transac- 
tion concerning the acting on the Stage and the sale of the 
Copy; I should, I think, have seen Mr. Addison in every 
page of it ! For he was above all men in that talent we call 
Humour; and enjoyed it in such perfection, that I have often 
reflected, after a night spent with him apart from the World, 
that I had had the pleasure of conversing with an intimate 
acquaintance of Terence and Catullus, who had all their 
Wit and Nature heightened with Humour more exquisite 
and delightful than any other man ever possessed. 

They who shall read this Play, after being let into the secret 
that it was written by Mr. Addison or under his direction, 
will probably be attentive to those excellencies which they 
before overlooked, and wonder they did not till now observe 
that there is not an expression in the whole Piece which has 
not in it the most nice propriety and aptitude to the Character 
which utters it. Here is that smiling Mirth, that delicate 
Satire and genteel Raillery, which appeared in Mr. Addison 
when he was free among intimates ; I say, when he was free 
from his remarkable bashfulness, which is a cloak that hides 
and muffles merit : and his abilities were covered only by 
modesty, which doubles the beauties which are seen, and gives 
credit and esteem to all that are concealed. 

The Drummer made no great figure on the Stage, though 
exquisitely well acted : but when I observe this, I say a much 
aarder thing of the Stage, than of the Comedy. 

When I say the Stage in this place, I am understood to 
mean, in general, the present Taste of theatrical representa- 
tions : where nothing that is not violent, and as I may say, 
grossly delightful, can come on, without hazard of being 
condemned or slighted. 

It is here republished, and recommended as a closet piece 
[i.e., for private reading], to recreate an intelligent mind in a 

236 Steele, an Aide-de-Camp to Addison. P' ^' ^''y*"]*; 

vacant hour: for vacant the reader must be, from every 
strong prepossession, in order to relish an entertainment, 
quod nequeo monstrare et sentio tantuni, which cannot be enjoyed 
to the degree it deserves, but by those of the most polite 
Taste among Scholars, the best Breeding among Gentlemen, 
and the least acquainted with sensual Pleasure among the 

The Editor [Thomas Tickell] is pleased to relate con- 
cerning Cato, that a Play under that design was projected by 
the Author very early, and wholly laid aside ; in advanced 
years, he reassumed the same design ; and many years after 
Four acts were finished, he wrote the Fifth ; and brought it 
upon the Stage. 

All the Town knows, how officious I was in bringing it on, 
and you (that know the Town, the Theatre, and Mankind 
very well) can judge how necessary it was, to take measures 
for making a performance of that sort, excellent as it is, run 
into popular applause. 

I promised before it was acted (and performed my duty ac- 
cordingly to the Author), that I would bring together so just 
an audience on the First Days of it, it should be impossible for 
the vulgar to put its success or due applause at any hazard : 
but I don't mention this, only to shew how good an Aide-de- 
Camp I was to Mr. Addison ; but to shew also that the Editor 
does as much to cloud the merit of this Work, as I did to 
set it forth. 

Mr. Tickell's account of its being taken up, laid down, 
and at last perfected, after such long intervals and pauses, 
would make any one believe, who did not know Mr. Addison, 
that it was accomplished with the greatest pain and labour ; 
and the issue rather of Learning and Industry than Capacity 
and Genius : but I do assure you, that never Play which could 
bring the author any reputation for Wit and Conduct, not- 
withstanding it was so long before it was finished, employed 
the Author so little a time in writing. 

If I remember right, the Fifth Act was written in less than 
a week's time ! For this was particular in this Writer, that 
when he had taken his resolution, or made his Plan for what 
he designed to write ; he would walk about the room and 
dictate it into Language, with as much freedom and ease as 


any one could write it down ; and attend to the Coherence 
and Grammar of what he dictated. 

I have been often thus employed by him; and never took 
it into my head, though he only spoke it and I took all the 
pains of throwing it upon paper, that I ought to call myself 
the Writer of it. 

I will put all my credit among men of Wit for the truth of 
my averment, when I presume to say that no one but Mr. 
Addison was, in any other way, the Writer of the Drummer. 

At the same time, I will allow, that he sent for me (which 
he could always do, from his natural power over me, as much 
as he could send for any of his clerks when he was Secretary 
of State), and told me that a Gentleman then in the room 
had written a play that he was sure I would like ; but it was 
to be a secret : and he knew I would take as much pains, 
since he recommended it, as I would for him. 

I hope nobody will be wronged or think himself aggrieved, 
that I give this rejected Work [the Comedy o/The Drummer not 
included by TiCKELL in his collected edition of A ddison's Works] 
where I do : and if a certain Gentleman [Tickell] is injured 
by it, I will allow I have wronged him upon this issue ; that 
if the reputed translator [Tickell] of the First Book of 
Homer shall please to give us another Book, there shall 
appear another good Judge in poetry, besides Mr. Alexander 
Pope, who shall like it ! 

But I detain you too long upon things that are too personal 
to myself, and will defer giving the World a true Notion of 
the Character and Talents of Mr. Addison, till I can speak 
of that amiable Gentlemen on an occasion void of con- 

I shall then perhaps say many things of him which will be 
new even to you, with regard to him in all parts of his 
Character: for which I was so zealous, that I could not 
be contented with praising and adorning him as much as lay 
in my own power ; but was ever soliciting and putting my 
friends upon the same office. 

And since the Editor [Tickell] has adorned his heavy 

238Tickell's attempt on Steele's reputation. P; 


Discourse with Prose in rhyme at the end of it, upon Mr. 
Addison's death : give me leave to atone for this long and 
tedious Epistle, by giving after it, what I dare say you will 
esteem, an excellent Poem on his marriage [hy Mr. Wel- 


I must conclude without satisfying as strong a desire, as 
every man had, of saying something remarkably handsome to 
the Person to whom I am writing : for you are so good a 
judge, that you would find out the Endeavourer to be witty ! 
and therefore, as I have tired you and myself, I will be con- 
tented with assuring you, which I do very honestly, I would 
rather have you satisfied with me on this subject, than any 
other man living. 

You will please pardon me, that I have, thus, laid this nice 
affair before a person who has the acknowledged superiority to 
all others ; not only in the most excellent talents ; but possess- 
ing them with an equanimity, candour, and benevolence which 
render those advantages a pleasure as great to the rest of the 
World as they can be to the owner of them. And since Fame 
consists in the Opinion of wise and good men : you must not 
blame me for taking the readiest way to baffle any Attempt 
upon my Reputation, by an Address to one, whom every wise 
and good man looks upon, with the greatest affection and 
I am. Sir, 

Your most obliged, 

most obedient, and 

most humble servant, 

Richard Steele- 


Edward Chamberlayne. 

The social position of the English Estab- 
lished Clergy^ in 1669, a. d. 

iAng-lice Notitia, or the Present State of England, ist Ed. 1669.] 

j T PRESENT, the revenues of the English Clergy are 
generally very small and insufficient : above a 
third of the best benefices of England, having 
been anciently, by the Pope's grant, appropriated to 
monasteries, were on their dissolution, made Lay 
fees ; besides what hath been taken by secret and indirect 
means, through corrupt compositions and compacts and 
customs in many other parishes. And also many estates 
being wholly exempt from paying tithes, as the lands that 
belonged to the Cistercian Monks, and to the Knights 
Templars and Hospitallers. 

And those benefices that are free from these things are 
yet (besides First Fruits and Tenths to the King, and Pro- 
curations to the Bishop) taxed towards the charges of their 
respective parishes, and towards the public charges of the 
nation, above and beyond the proportion of the Laity. 

The Bishoprics of England have been also since the latter 
of Henry VHI.'s reign, to the coming in of King James, 
most miserably robbed and spoiled of the greatest part of 
their lands and revenues. So that, at this day [1669] , a 
mean gentleman of ;^200 from land yearly, will not 
change his worldly estate and condition with divers Bishops : 
and an Attorney, a shopkeeper, a common artisan will hardly 
change theirs, with the ordinary Pastors of the Church. 

Some few Bishoprics do yet retain a competency. Amongst 
which, the Bishopric of Durham is accounted one of the 
chief : the yearly revenues whereof, before the late troubles 
\i.e., the Civil WaYs\ were above £6,000 [=£25,000 now] : of 
which by the late Act for abolishing Tenures in capite [1660], 
was lost about £2,000 yearly. 

240 Clergy thought the Refuse of Nation. [^''^"''"'Yegg; 

Out of this revenue, a yearly pension of :^8oo is paid to 
the Crown, ever since the reign of Queen Elizabeth ; who 
promised, in lieu thereof, so much in Impropriations : which 
was never performed. 

Above £3^0 yearly is paid to several officers of the County 
Palatine of Durham. 

The Assizes and Sessions, also, are duly kept in the 
Bishop's House, at the sole charges of the Bishop. 

Also the several expenses for keeping in repair certain 
banks of rivers in that Bishopric, and of several Houses 
belonging to the Bishopric. 

Moreover, the yearly Tenths, public taxes, the charges of 
going to and waiting at Parliament, being deducted; there 
will remain, in ordinary years, to the Bishop to keep hospi- 
tality, which must be great, and to provide for those of his 
family, but about :^i,5oo [=;^4,5oo now] yearly. 

The like might be said of some other principal Bishoprics. 

The great diminution of the revenues of the Clergy, and the 
little care of augmenting and defending the patrimony of the 
Church, is the great reproach and shame of the English 
Reformation ; and will, one day, prove the ruin of Church 
and State. 

" It is the last trick," saith St. Gregory, " that the Devil 
hath in this world. When he cannot bring the Word and 
Sacraments into disgrace by errors and heresies ; he invents 
thisproject,to bring the Clergy into contempt and low esteem." 

As it is now in England, where they are accounted by 
many, the Dross and Refuse of the nation. Men think it 
a stain to their blood to place their sons in that function ; 
and women are ashamed to marry with any of them. 

It hath been observed, even by strangers, that the iniquity 
of the present Times in England is such, that the English 
Clergy are not only hated by the Romanists on the one side, 
and maligned by the Presbyterians on the other . . . ; but 
also that, of all the Christian Clergy of Europe, whether 
Romish, Lutheran, or Calvinistic, none are so little respected, 
beloved, obeyed, or rewarded, as the present pious, learned, 
loyal Clergy of England ; even by those who have always 
professed themselves of that Communion. 



Grounds & Occasions 







Enquired into. 

In a Letter written to R. L. 


Printed by W. Godbid for N. Brooke at the 

Angel in Cornhill. 1670. 


This work is dated August 8, 1670. Anthony A Wood in his Lift 
{Ath. Oxon. I. Ixx. Ed. 181 3), gives the following account of our Author. 

February 9 [1672] A. W. went to London, and the next 
day he was kindly receiv'd by Sir Liolin Jenkyns, in his 
apartment in Exeter house in the Strand, within the city of 

Sunday 11 [Feb. 1672J, Sir Liolin Jenkyns took with 
him, in the morning, over the water to Lambeth, A. Wood, 
and after prayers, he conducted him up to the dining rome, 
where archb. Sheldon received him, and gave him his 
blessing. There then dined among the company, John 
EcHARD, the author of The Contempt of the Clergy, who sate 
at the lower end of the table between the archbishop's two 
chaplayns Samuel Parker and Thomas Thomkins, being 
the first time that the said Echard was introduced into the 
said archbishop's company. After dinner, the archbishop 
went into his withdrawing roome, and Echard with the 
chaplaynes and Ralph Snow to their lodgings to drink and 

John Eachard, S.T.P., was appointed Master of Catherine Hall, 
Cambridge, in 1675.] 


The Preface to the Reader. 

Can very easily fancy that many, upon the very first 
sight of the title, will presently imagine that the 
Author does either want the Great Tithes, lying 
under the pressure of some pitiful vicarage ; or that he 
is much out of humour, and dissatisfied with the present condition 
of affairs; or, lastly, that he writes to no purpose at all, there 
having been an abundance of unprofitable advisers in this kind. 

As to my being under some low Church dispensation ; you may 
know, I write not out of a pinching necessity, or out of any rising 
design. You may please to believe that, although I have a most 
solemn reverence for the Clergy in general, and especially for that 
of England ; yet, for my own part, I must confess to you, I am 
not of that holy employment ; and have as little thought of being 
Dean or Bishop, as they that think so, have hopes of being all Lord 

Nor less mistaken will they be, that shall judge me in the least 
discontented, or any ways disposed to disturb the peace of the 
present settled Church: for, in good truth, I have neither lost 
King's, nor Bishop's lands, that shotdd incline me to a surly and 
quarrelsome complaining; as many be, who would have been 
glad enough to see His Majesty restored, and would have endured 
Bishops daintily well, had they lost no money by their coming in. 

I am not, I will assure you, any of those Occasional Writers, 
that, missing preferment in the University, can presently write you 
their new ways of Education ; or being a little tormented with 

244 Preface to the R e a d e r. ["t- ^- "• ^g^t'^i.X' 

an ill-chosen wife, set forth the doctrine of Divorce to he truly 

The cause of these few sheets was honest and innocent, and as 
free from all passion as any design. 

As for the last thing which I supposed objected, viz., that this 
book is altogether needless, there having been an infinite number 
of Church- and Clergy -menders, that have made majiy tedious and 
imsuccessftd offers : I must needs confess, that it were very un- 
reasonable for me to expect a better reward. 

Only thus much, I think, with modesty may be said : that I 
cannot at present call to mind anything that is propounded but 
what is very hopeful, and easily accomplished. For, indeed, should 
I go about to tell you, that a child can never prove a profitable 
Instructor of the people, unless born when the sun is in Aries ; or 
brought up in a school that stands full South : that he can never 
be able to govern a parish, unless he can ride the great horse ; or 
that he can never go through the great work of the Ministry, unless 
for three hundred years backward it can he proved that none of 
his family ever had cough, ague, or grey hair : then I shoidd very 
patiently endure to be reckoned among the vainest that ever made 

But believe me, Reader ! I am not, as you will easily see, any 
contriver of an incorruptible and pure crystaline Church, or any 
expecter of a reign of nothing but Saints and Worthies : but only 
an honest and hearty Wisher that the best of our Clergy might, 
for ever, continue as they are, rich and learned ! and that the rest 
might be very useful and well esteemed in their Profession ! 



Grounds and Occasions 






Enquired into. 

Hat short discourse which we lately had 
concerning the Clergy, continues so fresh 
in your mind, that, I perceive by your last, 
you are more than a little troubled to 
observe that Disesteem that lies upon 
several of those holy men. Your good 
wishes for the Church, I know, are very 
strong and unfeigned ; and your hopes of 
the World receiving much more advantage and better advice 
from some of the Clergy, than usually it is found by experience 
to do, are neither needless nor impossible. 

And as I have always been a devout admirer as well as 
strict observer of your actions ; so I have constantly taken a 
great delight to concur with you in your very thoughts. 
Whereupon it is. Sir, that I have spent some few hours upon 
that which was the occasion of your last letter, and the 
subject of our late discourse. 

And before, Sir, I enter upon telling you what are my 
apprehensions ; I must most heartily profess that, for my 
own part, I did never think, since at all I understood the 
excellency and perfection of a Church, but that Ours, now 
lately Restored, as formerly Established, does far outgo, as to 

246 Bad Schooling of the Clergy. [I'A^'i^eyl 

all Christian ends and purposes, either the pomp and bravery 
of Rome herself, or the best of Free Spiritual States 
[N onconf or mists] . 

But if so be, it be allowable (where we have so undoubtedly 
learned and honourable a Clergy) to suppose that some of 
that sacred profession might possibly have attained to a 
greater degree of esteem and usefulness to the World : then 
I hope what has thus long hindered so great and desirable a 
blessing to the nation, may be modestly guessed at 1 either 
without giving any wilful offence to the present Church ; or 
any great trouble, dear Sir, to yourself. And, if I be not 
very much mistaken, whatever has heretofore, or does at 
present, lessen the value of our Clergy, or render it in any 
degree less serviceable to the World than might be reasonably 
hoped ; may be easily referred to two very plain things — the 
Ignorance of some, and the Poverty of others of the 

Nd first, as to the IGNORANCE of some of our Clergy 

If we would make a search to purpose, we must 
go as deep as the very Beginnings of Education; and, 
doubtless, may lay a great part of our misfortunes 
to the old-fashioned methods and discipline of Schooling 
itself: upon the well ordering of which, although much of 
the improvement of our Clergy cannot be denied mainly 
to depend: yet by reason this is so well known to yourself, 
as also that there have been many of undoubted learning and 
experience, that have set out their several models for this 
purpose ; I shall therefore only mention such Loss of Time 
and Abuse of Youth as is most remarkable and mischievous, 
and as could not be conveniently omitted in a Discourse of 
this nature, though ever so short. 

And first of all, it were certainly worth the considering. 
Whether it be unavoidably necessary to keep lads to 16 or 17 
years of age, m pure slavery to a few Latin or Greek words ? 
or Whether it may not be more convenient, especially if we 
call to mind their natural inclinations to ease and idleness, 
and how hardly they are persuaded of the excellency of the 
liberal Arts and Sciences (any further than the smart of the 

8Au|?^S'.] English Literature wanted in Schools, 247 

last piece of discipline is fresh in their memories), Whether, 
I say, it be not more proper and beneficial to mix with those 
unpleasant tasks and drudgeries, something that, in pro- 
bability, might not only take much better with them, but 
might also be much easier obtained ? 

As, suppose some part of time was allotted them, for the 
reading of some innocent English Authors ! where they need 
not go, every line, so unwillingly to a tormenting Dictionary, 
and whereby they might come in a short time, to apprehend 
common sense, and to begin to judge what is true. For you 
shall have lads that are arch knaves at the Nominative Case, 
and that have a notable quick eye at spying out of the Verb ; 
who, for want of reading such common and familiar books, 
shall understand no more of what is very plain and easy, than 
a well educated dog or horse. 

Or suppose they were taught, as they might much easier 
be than what is commonly offered to them, the principles of 
Arithmetic, Geometry, and such alluring parts of Learning. 
As these things undoubtedly would be much more useful, so 
much more delightful to them, than to be tormented with a 
tedious story how Phaeton broke his neck, or how many 
nuts and apples Tityrus had for his supper. 

For, most certainly, youths, if handsomely dealt with, are 
much inclinable to emulation, and to a very useful esteem of 
glory ; and more especially, if it be the reward of knowledge : 
and therefore, if such things were carefully and discreetly 
propounded to them, wherein they might not only earnestly 
contend amongst themselves, but might also see how far 
they outskill the rest of the World, a lad hereby would think 
himself high and mighty; and would certainly take great 
delight in contemning the next unlearned mortal he meets 

But if, instead hereof, you diet him with nothing but with 
Rules and Exceptions, with tiresome repetitions of Amo and 
TvTTTco, setting a day also apart also to recite verbatim all the 
burdensome task of the foregoing week (which I am confident 
is usually as dreadful as an old Parliament Fast) we must 
needs believe that such a one, thus managed, will scarce 
think to prove immortal, by such performances and accom- 
plishments as these. 

You know very well, Sir, that lads in general have but a 

248 Lads to be won to the love of Learning. [IZsXi 

kind of ugly and odd conception of Learning ; and look upon 
it as such a starving thing, and unnecessary perfection, 
especially as it is usually dispensed out unto them, that 
Nine-pins or Span-counter are judged much more heavenly 
employments ! And therefore what pleasure, do we think, can 
such a one take in being bound to get against breakfast, two 
or three hundred Rumblers out of Homer, in commendation 
of AcHiLLEs's toes, or the Grecians' boots ; or to have 
measured out to him, very early in the morning, fifteen or 
twenty well laid on lashes, for letting a syllable slip too soon, 
or hanging too long on it ? Doubtless instant execution upon 
such grand miscarriages as these, will eternally engage him 
to a most admirable opinion of the Muses ! 

Lads, certainly, ought to be won by all possible arts and 
devices : and though many have invented fine pictures and 
games, to cheat them into the undertaking of unreasonable 
burdens ; yet this, by no means, is such a lasting temptation 
as the propounding of that which in itself is pleasant and 
alluring. For we shall find very many, though of no excelling 
quickness, will soon perceive the design of the landscape ; 
and so, looking through the veil, will then begin to take as 
little delight in those pretty contrivances, as in getting by 
heart three or four leaves of ungayed nonsense. 

Neither seems the stratagem of Money to be so prevailing 
and catching, as a right down offer of such books which are 
ingenious and convenient : there being but very few so in- 
tolerably careful of their bellies, as to look upon the hopes of 
a cake or a few apples, to be a sufficient recompense, for 
cracking their pates with a heap of independent words. 

I am not sensible that I have said anything in disparage- 
ment of those two famous tongues, the Greek and Latin ; 
there being much reason to value them beyond others, be- 
cause the best of Human Learning has been delivered unto us 
in those languages. But he that worships them, purely out 
of honour to Rome and Athens, having little or no respect to 
the usefulness and excellency of the books themselves, as 
many do : it is a sign he has a great esteem and reverence of 
antiquity ; but I think him, by no means comparable, for 
happiness, to him who catches frogs or hunts butterflies. 

That some languages therefore ought to be studied is in a 
rnanner absolutely necessary: unless all were brought to one; 


which would be the happiest thing that the World could wish 

But whether the beginning of them might not be more 
insensibly instilled, and more advantageously obtained by 
reading philosophical as well as other ingenious Authors, than 
Janua linguarum, crabbed poems, and cross-grained prose, as 
it has been heretofore by others : so it ought to be afresh 
considered by all well-wishers, either to the Clergy or Learning. 

I know where it is the fashion of some schools, to prescribe 
to a lad, for his evening refreshment, out of Commenius, all 
the Terms of Art [technical terms] belonging to Anatomy, 
Mathematics, or some such piece of Learning. Now, is it 
not a very likely thing, that a lad should take most absolute 
delight in conquering such a pleasant task ; where, perhaps, 
he has two or three hundred words to keep in mind, with a 
very small proportion of sense thereunto belonging : whereas 
the use and full meaning of all those difficult terms would 
have been most insensibly obtained, by leisurely reading 
in particular, this or the other science ? 

Is it not also likely to be very savoury, and of comfortable 
use to one that can scarce distinguish between Virtue and 
Vice, to be tasked with high and moral poems ? It is usually 
said by those that are intimately acquainted with him, that 
Homer's Iliad and Odyssey contain, mystically, all the Moral 
Law for certain, if not a great part of the Gospel (I suppose 
much after that rate that Rabelais said his Gargantua con- 
tained all the Ten Commandments!); but perceivable only to 
those that have a poetical discerning spirit : with which gift, 
I suppose, few at school are so early qualified. 

Those admirable verses, Sir, of yours, both English and 
others, which you have sometimes favoured me with a sight 
of, will not suffer me to be so sottish as to slight and under- 
value so great and noble an accomplishment. But the 
committing of such high and brave sensed poems to a school- 
boy (whose main business is to search out cunningly the 
Antecedent and the Relative ; to lie at catch for a spruce 
Phrase, a Proverb, or a quaint and pithy Sentence) is not 
only to very little purpose, but that having gargled only those 
elegant books at school, this serves them instead of reading 
them afterwards ; and does, in a manner, prevent their being 
further looked into. So that all improvement, whatsoever jt 


be, that may be reaped out of the best and choicest poets, is 
for the most part utterly lost, in that a time is usually chosen 
of reading them, when discretion is much wanting to gain 
thence any true advantage. Thus that admirable and highly 
useful morality, Tully's Offices, because it is a book com- 
monly construed at school, is generally afterwards so con- 
temned by Academics, that it is a long hour's work to convince 
them that it is worthy of being looked into again; because they 
reckon it as a book read over at school, and, no question ! 
notably digested. 

If, therefore the ill methods of schooling do not only 
occasion a great loss of time there, but also do beget in lads 
a very odd opinion and apprehension of Learning, and much 
disposes them to be idle when they are got a little free from 
the usual severities; and that the hopes of more or less im- 
provement in the Universities very much depend hereupon : 
it is, without all doubt, the great concernment of all that wish 
to the Church, that such care and regard be had to the 
management of schools, that the Clergy be not so much 
obstructed in their first attempts and preparations to Learning. 

I cannot, Sir, possibly be so ignorant as not to consider 
that what has been now offered upon this argument, has not 
only been largely insisted on by others ; but also refers not 
particularly to the Clergy (whose welfare and esteem, I 
seem at present in a special manner solicitous about), but 
in general to all learned professions, and therefore might 
reasonably have been omitted : which certainly I had done, 
had not I called to mind that of those many that propound 
to themselves Learning for a profession, there is scarce one 
in ten but that his lot, choice, or necessity determines him 
to the study of Divinity. 

Thus, Sir, I have given you my thoughts concerning the 
orders and customs of common schools. A consideration, in 
my apprehension, not slightly to be weighed : being that 
upon which to me seems very much to depend the learning 
and wisdom of the Clergy, and the prosperity of the Church. 

The next unhappiness that seems to have hindered some 
of our Clergy from arriving to that degree of understanding 
that becomes such a holy office, whereby their company and 

^A^g'^Je;!] The ambition of parish schoolmasters. 251 

discourses might be much more, than they commonly are, 
valued and desired, is the inconsiderate sending of all kinds 
of lads to the Universities; let their parts be ever so low 
and pitiful, the instructions they have lain under ever so 
mean and contemptible, and the purses of their friends ever 
so short to maintain them there. If they have but the 
commendation of some lamentable and pitiful Construing 
Master, it passes for sufficient evidence that they will prove 
persons very eminent in the Church. That is to say, if a 
lad has but a lusty and well bearing memory, this being the 
usual and almost only thing whereby they judge of their 
abilities; if he can sing over very tunably three or four 
stanzas of Lilly's Poetry ; be very quick and ready to tell 
what is Latin for all the instruments belonging to his father's 
shop; if presently [at sight], upon the first scanning, he 
knows a Spondee from a Dactyl, and can fit a few of those 
same, without any sense, to his fingers' ends ; if, lastly, he can 
say perfectly by heart his Academic Catechism, in pure and 
passing Latin, i.e., " What is his Name ?" '* Where went he 
to School ?" and " What author is he best and chiefly skilled 
in?" " A forward boy !" cries the Schoolmaster: "a very 
pregnant child ! Ten thousand pities, but he should be a 
Scholar ; he proves a brave Clergyman, I'll warrant you ! " 

Away to the University he must needs go ! Then for a 
little Logic, a little Ethics, and, GOD knows! a very little of 
everything else ! And the next time you meet him, he is in 
the pulpit ! 

Neither ought the mischief which arises from small country 
schools to pass unconsidered. The little mighty Governors 
whereof, having, for the most part, not sucked in above 
six or seven mouthsful of University air, must yet, by all 
means, suppose themselves so notably furnished with all 
sorts of instructions, and are so ambitious of the glory of 
being counted able to send forth, now and then, to Oxford or 
Cambridge, from the little house by the Churchyard's side, 
one of their ill-educated disciples, that to such as these oft- 
times is committed the guidance and instruction of a whole 
parish : whose parts and improvements duly considered, 
will scarce render them fit Governors of a small Grammar 

Not that it is necessary to believe, that there never was 

252 Dismal Things are sent up to College. [l\^^^^; 


a learned or useful person in the Church, but such whose 
education had been at Westminster or St. Paul's. But, 
whereas most of the small schools, being by their first 
founders designed only for the advantage of poor parish 
children, and also that the stipend is usually so small and 
discouraging that very few who can do much more than teach 
to write and read, will accept of such preferment : for these 
to pretend to rig out their small ones for a University life, 
proves ofttimes a very great inconvenience and damage to 
the Church. 

And as many such Dismal Things are sent forth thus, 
with very small tackling ; so not a few are predestinated 
thither by their friends, from the foresight of a good benefice. 
If there be rich pasture, profitable customs, and that Henry 
VIII. has taken out no toll, the Holy Land is a very good 
land, and affords abundance of milk and honey ! Far be it 
from their consciences, the considering whether the lad is 
likely to be serviceable to the Church, or to make wiser and 
better any of his parishioners ! 

All this may seem, at first sight, to be easily avoided by a 
strict examination at the Universities ; and so returning by 
the next carrier, all that was sent up not fit for their purpose. 
But because many of their relations are ofttimes persons of 
an inferior condition ; and who (either by imprudent coun- 
sellors, or else out of a tickling conceit of their sons being, 
forsooth, a University Scholar) have purposely omitted all 
other opportunities of a livelihood ; to return such, would 
seem a very sharp and severe disappointment. 

Possibly, it might be much better, if parents themselves or 
their friends, would be much more wary of determining their 
children to the trade of Learning. And if some of undoubted 
knowledge and judgement, would offer their advice; and speak 
their hopes of a lad, about 13 or 14 years of age (which, I will 
assure you, Sir, may be done without conjuring !) ; and never 
omit to inquire. Whether his relations are able and willing 
to maintain him seven years at the University, or see some 
certain way of being continued there so long, by the help of 
friends or others, as also upon no such conditions as shall, 
in likelihood, deprive him of the greatest parts of his studies ? 

For it is a common fashion of a great many to compliment 
and invite inferior people's children to the University, and 

Aug^ie'o'] Usually seven years at the Universities. 253 

there pretend to make such an all bountiful provision for 
them, as they shall not fail of coming to a very eminent 
degree of Learning; but when they come there, they shall save 
a servant's wages. They took therefore, heretofore, a very good 
method to prevent Sizars overheating their brains. Bed- 
making, chamber-sweeping, and water-fetching were doubt- 
less great preservatives against too much vain philosophy. 
Now certainly such pretended favours and kindnesses as 
these, are the most right down discourtesies in the World. 
For it is ten times more happy, both for the lad and the 
Church, to be a corn-cutter or tooth-drawer, to make or mend 
shoes, or to be of any inferior profession ; than to be invited 
to, and promised the conveniences of, a learned education ; and 
to have his name only stand airing upon the College Tables 
[Notice- boards], and his chief business shall be, to buy egg? 
and butter. 

Neither ought lads' parts, before they be determined to the 
University, be only considered, and the likelihood of being 
disappointed in their studies ; but also abilities or hopes of 
being maintained until they be Masters of Arts. For whereas 
200, for the most part, yearly Commence [Matriculate] , scarce 
the fifth part of these continue after their taking the First 
Degree [B.A.]. As for the rest, having exactly learned, Quid 
est Logica ? and Quot sunt Virtutes Morales ? down they go, 
by the first carrier, on the top of the pack, into the West, or 
North, or elsewhere, according as their estates lie ; with 
BuRGESDicius, EusTACHius, and such great helps of Divinity; 
and then, for propagation of the Gospel ! By that time they 
can say the Predicaments and Creed ; they have their choice 
of preaching or starving ! Now what a Champion of Truth 
is such a thing likely to be ! What a huge blaze he makes 
in the Church ! What a Raiser of Doctrines ! What a 
Confounder of Heresies ! What an able Interpreter of hard 
Places ! What a Resolver of Cases of Conscience ! and what 
a prudent guide must he needs be to all his parish! 

You may possibly think, Sir, that this so early preaching 
might be easily avoided, by withholding Holy Orders ; the 
Church having very prudently constituted in her Canons, that 
none under twenty-three years of age, which is the usual age 
after seven years being at the University, should be admitted 
to that great employment. 

254 Graduates coming to a holy ripeness. [|Aug^^7o: 

This indeed might seem to do some service, were it care- 
fully observed ; and were there not a thing to be got, called a 
Dispensation, which will presently [at once] make you as old 
as you please. 

But if you will, Sir, we will suppose that Orders were 
strictly denied to all, unless qualified according to Canon. 1 
cannot foresee any other remedy but that most of those 
University youngsters must fall to the parish, and become a 
town charge until they be of spiritual age. For Philosophy 
is a very idle thing, when one is cold ! and a small System of 
Divinity, though it be Wollebius himself, is not sufficient 
when one is hungry ! 

What then shall we do with them ? and where shall we 
dispose of them, until they come to a holy ripeness ? 

May we venture them into the Desk to read Service ? 
That cannot be, because not capable ! Besides, the tempting 
Pulpit usually stands too near. Or shall we trust them in 
some good Gentleman's house, there to perform holy things? 
With all my heart ! so that they may not be called down from 
their studies to say Grace to every Health ; that they may have 
a little better wages than the Cook or Butler ; as also that 
there be a Groom in the house, besides the Chaplain (for 
sometimes to the ;£'io a year, they crowd [in] the looking after 
couple of geldings) : and that he may not be sent from table, 
picking his teeth, and sighing with his hat under his arm ; 
whilst the Knight and my Lady eat up the tarts and chickens! 

It may be also convenient, if he were suffered to speak now 
and then in the Parlour, besides at Grace and Prayer time ; and 
that my cousin Abigail and he sit not too near one another 
at meals, nor be presented together to the little vicarage ! 

All this, Sir, must be thought on ! For, in good earnest, a 
person at all thoughtful of himself and conscience, had much 
better choose to live with nothing but beans and pease 
pottage, so that he might have the command of his thoughts 
and time ; than to have his Second and Third Courses, and 
to obey the unreasonable humours of some families. 

And as some think two or three years' continuance in the 
University, to be time sufficient for being very great Instru- 
ments in the Church : so others we have, so moderate as to 
count that a solemn admission and a formal paying of College 
Detriments, without the trouble of Philosophical discourses, 


disputations, and the like, are virtues that will influence as far 
as Newcastle, and improve though at ever such a distance. 

So strangely possessed are people in general, with the 
easiness and small preparation that are requisite to the 
undertaking of the Ministry, that whereas in other professions, 
they plainly see, what considerable time is spent before they 
have any hopes of arriving to skill enough to practise with 
any confidence what they have designed ; yet to preach to 
ordinary people, and govern a country parish, is usually 
judged such an easy performance, that anybody counts him- 
self fit for the employment. We find very few so unreasonably 
confident of their parts, as to profess either Law or Physic, 
without either a considerable continuance in some of the Inns 
of Courts, or an industrious search in herbs, Anatomy, 
Chemistry, and the like, unless it be only to make a bond 
[bandage] or give a glyster [an injection]. But as for **the 
knack of Preaching " as they call it, that is such a very easy 
attainment, that he is counted dull to purpose, that is not 
able, at a very small warning, to fasten upon any text of 
Scripture, and to tear and tumble it, till the glass [the hour- 
glass on the pulpit] be out. 

Many, I know very well, are forced to discontinue [at 
College], having neither stock [capital] of their own, nor 
friends to maintain them in the University. But whereas a 
man's profession and employment in this world is very much 
in his own, or in the choice of such who are most nearly con- 
cerned for him ; he therefore, that foresees that he is not likely 
to have the advantage of a continued education, he had much 
better commit himself to an approved-of cobbler or tinker, 
wherein he may be duly respected according to his office and 
condition of life ; than to be only a disesteemed pettifogger or 
empiric in Divinity. 

By this time. Sir, I hope you begin to consider what a great 
disadvantage it has been to the Church and Religion, the 
mere venturous and inconsiderate determining of Youths to 
the profession of Learning. 

There is still one thing, by very few, at all minded, that 
ought also not to be overlooked : and that is, a good constitu- 
tion and health of body. And therefore discreet and wise phy- 
sicians ought also to be consulted, before an absolute resolve 

256 Sickly ones chosen for Choice Vessels. HA^g!^,67o: 

be made to live the Life of the Learned. For he that has 
strength enough to buy and bargain, may be of a very unfit 
habit of body to sit still so much, as, in general, is requisite to 
a competent degree of Learning. For although reading and 
thinking break neither legs nor arms ; yet, certainly, there is 
nothingthat flags the spirits, disorders the blood, and enfeebles 
the whole body of Man, as intense studies. 

As for him that rives blocks or carries packs, there is no 
great expense of parts, no anxiety of mind, no great intellec- 
tual pensiveness. Let him but wipe his forehead, and he is 
perfectly recovered ! But he that has many languages to re- 
member, the nature of almost the whole world to consult, 
many histories, Fathers, and Councils to search into ; if the 
fabric of his body be not strong and healthful, you will soon 
find him as thin as a piece of metaphysics, and look as piercing 
as a School subtilty. 

This, Sir, could not be conveniently omitted ; not only 
because many are very careless in this point, and, at a venture, 
determine their young relations to Learning : but because, 
for the most part, if, amongst many, there be but one of all 
the family that is weak and sickly, that is languishing and 
consumptive ; this, of all the rest, as counted not fit for any 
coarse employment, shall be picked out as a Choice Vessel 
for the Church ! Whereas, most evidently, he is much more 
able to dig daily in the mines, than to set cross-legged, 
musing upon his book. 

I am very sensible, how obvious it might be, here, to hint 
that this so curious and severe Inquiry would much hinder 
the practice, and abate the flourishing of the Universities : 
as also, there have been several, and are still, many Living 
Creatures in the world, who, whilst young, being of a very 
slow and meek apprehension, have yet afterward cheered up 
into a great briskness, and become masters of much reason. 
And others there have been, who, although forced to a short 
continuance in the University, and that ofttimes interrupted 
by unavoidable services, have yet, by singular care and in- 
dustry, proved very famous in their generation. And lastly, 
some also, of very feeble and crazy constitutions in their 
childhood, have out-studied their distempers, and have 
become very healthful and serviceable in the Church. 

As for the flourishing. Sir, of the Universities — what has 

I'^^g^j^y Capacity, Health, Maintenance required. 257 

been before said, aims not in the least at Gentlemen, whose 
coming thither is chiefly for the hopes of single [personal] im- 
provement ; and whose estates do free them from the necessity 
of making a gain of Arts and Sciences : but only at such as 
intend to make Learning their profession, as well as [their] 
accomplishment. So that our Schools may be still as full of 
flourishings, of fine clothes, rich gowns, and future benefactors, 
as ever. 

And suppose we do imagine, as it is necessary we should, 
that the number should be a little lessened ; this surely will 
not abate the true splendour of a University in any man's 
opinion, but his who reckons the flourishing thereof, rather 
from the multitude of mere gowns than from the Ingenuity 
and Learning of those that wear them : no more than we 
have reason to count the flourishing of the Church from that 
vast number of people that crowd into Holy Orders, rather 
than from those learned and useful persons that defend her 
Truths, and manifest her Ways. 

But I say, I do not see any perfect necessity that our 
Schools should hereupon be thinned and less frequented : 
having said nothing against the Multitude, but the indiscreet 
choice. If therefore, instead of such, either of inferior 
parts or a feeble constitution, or of unable friends ; there 
were picked out those that were of a tolerable ingenuity 
[natural capacity], of a study-bearing body, and had good 
hopes of being continued ; as hence there is nothing to 
hinder our Universities from being full, so likewise from 
being of great credit and learning. 

Not to deny, then, but that, now and then, there has been 
a lad of very submissive parts, and perhaps no great share 
of time allowed him for his studies, who has proved, beyond 
all expectation, brave and glorious : yet, surely, we are not 
to over-reckon this so rare a hit, as to think that one such 
proving lad should make recompense and satisfaction for 
those many " weak ones," as the common people love to 
phrase them, that are in the Church. And that no care 
ought to be taken, no choice made, no maintenance provided 
or considered ; because (now and then in an Age) one, 
miraculously, beyond all hopes, proves learned and useful ; 
is a practice, whereby never greater mischiefs and disesteem 
have been brought upon the Clergy. 

R 7 

258 University wants. English composition. [IauS 


I have, in short, Sir, run over what seemed to me, the 
First Occasions of that Small Learning that is to be found 
amongst some of the Clergy. I shall now pass from School- 
ing to the Universities. 

I am not so unmindful of that devotion which I owe to 
those places, nor of that great esteem I profess to have of 
the Guides and Governors thereof, as to go about to pre- 
scribe new Forms and Schemes of Education ; where Wisdom 
has laid her top-stone. Neither shall I here examine which 
Philosophy, the Old or New, makes the best sermons. It is 
hard to say, that exhortations can be to no purpose, if the 
preacher believes that the earth turns round ! or that his 
reproofs can take no effect, unless he will suppose a vacuum ! 
There have been good sermons, no question ! made in the 
days of Materia Prima and Occult Qualities : and there are, 
doubtless, still good discourses now, under the reign of 

There are but two things, wherein I count the Clergy 
chiefly concerned, as to University Improvements, that, at 
present, I shall make Inquiry into. 

And the first is this : Whether or not it were not highly 
useful, especially for the Clergy who are supposed to speak 
English to the people, that English Exercises were imposed 
upon lads, if not in Public Schools, yet at least privately. 
Not but that I am abundantly satisfied that Latin (0 
Latin ! it is the all in all ! and the very cream of the jest !) ; 
as also, that Oratory is the same in all languages, the same 
rules being observed, the same method, the same arguments 
and arts of persuasion : but yet, it seems somewhat beyond 
the reach of ordinary youth so to apprehend those general 
Laws as to make a just and allowable use of them in all 
languages, unless exercised particularly in them. 

Now we know the language that the very learned part of 
this nation must trust to live by, unless it be to make a bond 
[bandage] or prescribe a purge (which possibly may not oblige 
or work so well in any other language as Latin) is the 
English : and after a lad has taken his leave of Madame 
University, GOD bless him ! he is not likely to deal after- 
wards with much Latin ; unless it be to checker [variegate] 

I'Autiefo^ Writing tossing nonsense in letters. 259 

a sermon, or to say Salveto ! to some travelling Dominatio 
vestra. Neither is it enough to say, that the English is the 
language with which we are swaddled and rocked asleep ; and 
therefore there needs none of this artificial and superadded 
care. For there be those that speak very well, plainly, and 
to the purpose ; and yet write most pernicious and fantastical 
stuff: thinking that whatsoever is written must be more than 
ordinary, must be beyond the guise [manner] of common 
speech, must savour of reading and Learning, though it be 
altogether needless, and perfectly ridiculous. 

Neither ought we to suppose it sufficient that English books 
be frequently read, because there be of all sorts, good and bad ; 
and the worst are likely to be admired by Youth more than 
the best : unless Exercises be required of lads ; whereby it 
may be guessed what their judgement is, where they be 
mistaken, and what authors they propound to themselves for 
imitation. For by this means, they may be corrected and 
advised early, according as occasion shall require : which, if 
not done, their ill style will be so confirmed, their impro- 
prieties of speech will become so natural, that it will be a 
very hard matter to stir or alter their fashion of writing. 

It is very curious to observe what delicate letters, your 
young students write ! after they have got a little smack of 
University learning. In what elaborate heights, and tossing 
nonsense, will they greet a right down English father, or 
country friend 1 If there be a plain word in it, and such as 
is used at home, this *' tastes not," say they, " of education 
among philosophers ! " and is counted damnable duncery and 
want of fancy. Because " Your loving friend " or " humble 
servant " is a common phrase in country letters ; therefore 
the young Epistler is " Yours, to the Antipodes ! " or at least 
** to the Centre of the earth 1 " : and because ordinary folks 
" love " and ** respect " you ; therefore you are to him, " a 
Pole Star!" "a Jacob's Staff!" "a Loadstone!" and " a 
damask Rose ! " 

And the misery of it is, that this pernicious accustomed 
way of expression does not only, ofttimes, go along with them 
to their benefice, but accompanies them to the very grave. 

And, for the most part, an ordinary cheesemonger or plum- 
seller, that scarce [ly] ever heard of a University, shall write 
much better sense, and more to the purpose than these young 

26o A Latin Oration at the Universities. [^A^g^^eyo: 

philosophers, who injudiciously hunting only for great words, 
make themselves learn'edly ridiculous. 

Neither can it be easily apprehended, how the use of 
English Exercises should any ways hinder the improvement 
in the Latin tongue ; but rather be much to its advantage : 
and this may be easily believed, considering what dainty 
stuff is usually produced for a Latin entertainment ! Chicken 
broth is not thinner than that which is commonly offered 
for a Piece of most pleading and convincing Sense ! 

For, I will but suppose an Academic youngster to be put 
upon a Latin Oration. Away he goes presently to his maga- 
zine of collected phrases ! He picks out all the Glitterings 
he can find. He hauls in all Proverbs, " Flowers," Poetical 
snaps [snatches], Tales out of the Dictionary, or else ready 
Latined to his hand, out of Lycosthenes. 

This done, he comes to the end of the table, and having 
made a submissive leg [made a submissive bow] and a little 
admired [gazed at] the number, and understanding coun- 
tenances of his auditors : let the subject be what it will, he 
falls presently into a most lamentable complaint of his insuf- 
ficiency and tenuity [slenderness] that he, poor thing ! " hath 
no acquaintance with above a Muse and a half! " and ** that 
he never drank above six quarts of Helicon ! " and you ** have 
put him here upon such a task" (perhaps the business is 
only, Which is the nobler creature, a Flea or a Louse ? ) 
*' that would much better fit some old soaker at Parnassus, 
than his sipping unexperienced bibbership." Alas, poor 
child ! he is " sorry, at the very soul ! that he has no better 
speech ! and wonders in his heart, that you will lose so much 
time as to hear him ! for he has neither squibs nor fireworks, 
stars nor glories ! The cursed carrier lost his best Book of 
Phrases ; and the malicious mice and rats eat up all his 
Pearls and Golden Sentences.*^ 

Then he tickles over, a little, the skirts of the business. 
By and by, for similitude from the Sun and Moon, or if they 
be not at leisure, from *' the grey-eyed Morn," or ** a shady 
grove," or *' a purling stream." 

This done, he tells you that " Barnaby Bright would be 
much too short, for him to tell you all that he could say " : 
and so, "fearing he should break the thread of your patience," 
he concludes. 

sA^SeS'] University wants. Putting down punning. 261 

Now it seems, Sir, very probable, that if lads did but first 
of all, determine in English what they intended to say in 
Latin ; they would, of themselves, soon discern the trifling- 
ness of such Apologies, the pitifulness of their Matter, and 
the impertinency of their Tales and Fancies : and would (accord- 
ing to their subject, age, and parts) offer that which would 
be much more manly, and towards tolerable sense. 

And if I may tell you. Sir, what I really think, most of that 
ridiculousness, of those phantastical phrases, harsh and 
sometimes blasphemous metaphors, abundantly foppish 
similitudes, childish and empty transitions, and the like, so 
commonly uttered out of pulpits, and so fatally redounding 
to the discredit of the Clergy, may, in a great measure, be 
charged upon the want of that, which we have here so much 
contended for. 

The second Inquiry that may be made is this : Whether 
or not Punning, Quibbling, and that which they call Joquing 
[joking], and such delicacies of Wit, highly admired in some 
Academic Exercises, might not he very conveniently omitted ? 

For one may desire but to know this one thing : In what 
Profession shall that sort of Wit prove of advantage ? As for 
Law, where nothing but the most reaching subtility and the 
closest arguing is allowed of; it is not to be imagined that 
blending now and then a piece of a dry verse, and wreathing 
here and there an odd Latin Saying into a dismal jingle, 
should give Title to an estate, or clear out an obscure evidence! 
And as little serviceable can it be to Physic, which is made 
up of severe Reason and well tried Experiments ! 

And as for Divinity, in this place I shall say no more, but 
that those usually that have been Rope Dancers in the 
Schools, ofttimes prove Jack Puddings in the Pulpit. 

For he that in his youth has allowed himself this liberty of 
Academic Wit ; by this means he has usually so thinned his 
judgement, becomes so prejudiced against sober sense, and 
so altogether disposed to trifling and jingling ; that, so soon 
as he gets hold of a text, he presently thinks he has catched 
one of his old School Questions ; and so falls a flinging it 
out of one hand into another ! tossing it this way, and that ! 
lets it run a little upon the line, then " tanutus ! high jingo ! 
come again !" here catching at a word ! there lie nibbling and 
sucking at an and, a by, a quis or a quid, a sic or a sicut ! and 


thus minces the Text so small that his parishioners, until he 
rendezvous [reassemble] it again, can scarce tell, what is become 
of it. 

But " Shall we debar Youth of such an innocent and 
harmless recreation, of such a great quickener of Parts and 
promoter of sagacity ? " 

As for the first, its innocency of being allowed of for a 
time ; I am so far from that persuasion that, from what has 
been before hinted, I count it perfectly contagious ! and as 
a thing that, for the most part, infects the whole life, and 
influences most actions ! For he that finds himself to have 
the right knack of letting off a joque, and of pleasing the 
Humsters ; he is not only very hardly brought off from 
admiring those goodly applauses, and heavenly shouts ; but 
it is ten to one ! if he directs not the whole bent of his studies 
to such idle and contemptible books as shall only furnish 
him with materials for a laugh ; and so neglects all that 
should inform his Judgement and Reason, and make him a 
man of sense and reputation in this world. 

And as for the pretence of making people sagacious, and 
pestilently witty ; I shall only desire that the nature of that 
kind of Wit may be considered ! which will be found to 
depend upon some such fooleries as these — 

As, first of all, the lucky ambiguity of some word or 
sentence. O, what a happiness is it ! and how much does 
a youngster count himself beholden to the stars ! that 
should help him to such a taking jest ! And whereas 
there be so many thousand words in the World, and that 
he should luck upon the right one ! that was so very 
much to his purpose, and that at the explosion, made 
such a goodly report ! 

Or else they rake Lilly's Grammar ; and if they can 
but find two or three letters of any name in any of the 
Rides or Examples of that good man's Works ; it is as 
very a piece of Wit as any has passed in the Town since 
the King came in [1660] ! 

O, how the Freshmen will skip, to hear one of those 

lines well laughed at, that they have been so often yerked 

[chided] for ! 

It is true, such things as these go for Wit so long as they 

continue in Latin ; but what dismally shrimped things would 

8 Aug^^ie^ya] English Society is now for one language. 263 

they appear, if turned into English ! And if we search into 
what was, or might be pretended ; we shall find the advan- 
tages of Latin-Wit to be very small and slender, when it 
comes into the World. I mean not only among strict Philo- 
sophers and Men of mere Notions, or amongst all-damning 
and illiterate Hectors ; but amongst those that are truly 
ingenious and judicious Masters of Fancy. We shall find that 
a quotation out of Qui mihi, an Axiom out of Logic, a Saying 
of a Philosopher, or the like, though managed with some 
quickness and applied with some seeming ingenuity, will 
not, in our days, pass, or be accepted, for Wit. 

For we must know that, as we are now in an Age of great 
Philosophers and Men of Reason, so of great quickness and 
fancy 1 and that Greek and Latin, which heretofore (though 
never so impertinently fetched in) was counted admirable, 
because it had a learned twang ; yet, now, such stuff, being 
out of fashion, is esteemed but very bad company ! 

For the World is now, especially in discourse, for One 
Language ! and he that has somewhat in his mind of Greek and 
Latin, is requested, now-a-days, *' to be civil, and translate it 
into English, for the benefit of the company ! " And he that 
has made it his whole business to accomplish himself for the 
applause of boys, schoolmasters, and the easiest of Country 
Divines; and has been shouldered out of the Cockpit for his 
Wit : when he comes into the World, is the most likely person 
to be kicked out of the company, for his pedantry and over- 
weening opinion of himself. 

And, were it necessary, it is an easy matter to appeal to 
Wits, both ancient and modern, that (beyond all controversy) 
have been sufficiently approved of, that never, I am confident ! 
received their improvements by employing their time in Puns 
and Quibbles. There is the prodigious Lucian, the great Don 
[Quixote] of Mancha; and there are many now living. Wits 
of our own, who never, certainly, were at all inspired from 
a Triptis's, TerrcB-filius's, or PrcBvarecator's speech. 

I have ventured. Sir, thus far, not to find fault with ; but 
only to inquire into an ancient custom or two of the Univer- 
sities ; wherein the Clergy seem to be a little concerned, as to 
their education there. 

I shall now look on them as beneficed, and consider th^ir 

264 Swaggering WITH Tall Words & Notions. Qa^I':^^ 


preaching. Wherein I pretend to give no rules, having 
neither any gift at it, nor authority to do it : but only shall 
make some conjectures at those useless and ridiculous things 
commonly uttered in pulpits, that are generally disgusted 
[disliked], and are very apt to bring contempt upon the 
preacher, and that religion which he professes. 

Amongst the first things that seem to be useless, may be 
reckoned the high tossing and swaggering preaching, either 
mountingly eloquent, or profoundly learned. For there be a 
sort of Divines, who, if they but happen of an unlucky hard 
word all the week, they think themselves not careful of their 
flock, if they lay it not up till Sunday, and bestow it amongst 
them, in their next preachment. Or if they light upon some 
difficult and obscure notion, which their curiosity inclines 
them to be better acquainted with, how useless soever 1 
nothing so frequent as for them, for a month or two months 
together, to tear and tumble this doctrine ! and the poor 
people, once a week, shall come and gaze upon them by the 
hour, until they preach themselves, as they think, into a 
right understanding. 

Those that are inclinable to make these useless speeches 
to the people ; they do it, for the most part, upon one of 
these two considerations. Either out of simple phantastic 
glory, and a great studiousness of being wondered at : as if 
getting into the pulpit were a kind of Staging [acting] ; where 
nothing was to be considered but how much the sermon 
takes ! and how much stared at ! Or else, they do this to 
gain a respect and reverence from their people : ** who," say 
they, " are to be puzzled now and then, and carried into the 
clouds ! For if the Minister's words be such as the Con- 
stable uses ; his matter plain and practical, such as comes 
to the common market : he may pass possibly for an honest 
and well-meaning man, but by no means for any scholar! 
Whereas if he springs forth, now and then, in high raptures 
towards the uppermost heavens ; dashing, here and there, an 
all-confounding word ! if he soars aloft in unintelligible huffs 1 
preaches points deep and mystical, and delivers them as 
darkly and phantastically ! this is the way," say they, " of 
being accounted a most able and learned Instructor." 

Others there be, whose parts stand not so much towards 
Tall Words and Lofty Notions, but consist in scattering up 

sAuSejoj Swaggering WITH Latin, Greek,& Hebrew. 265 

and down and besprinkling all their sermons with plenty of 
Greek and Latin. And because St. Paul, once or so, was 
pleased to make use of a little heathen Greek ; and that only, 
when he had occasion to discourse with some of the learned 
ones that well understood him : therefore must they needs 
bring in twenty Poets and Philosophers, if they can catch 
them, into an hour's talk [evidently the ordinary length of a 
sermon at this time, see pp. 259, 313] ; spreading themselves 
in abundance of Greek and Latin, to a company, perhaps, 
of farmers and shepherds. 

Neither will they rest there, but have at the Hebrew also ! 
not contenting themselves to tell the people in general, that 
they " have skill in the Text, and the exposition they offer, 
agrees with the Original " ; but must swagger also over the 
poor parishioners, with the dreadful Hebrew itself ! with 
their Ben-Israels ! Ben-Manasses ! and many more Bens 
that they are intimately acquainted with ! whereas there is 
nothing in the church, or near it by a mile, that understands 
them, but GOD Almighty! whom, it is supposed, they go not 
about to inform or satisfy. 

This learned way of talking, though, for the most part, it 
is done merely out of ostentation : yet, sometimes (which 
makes not the case much better), it is done in compliment 
and civility to the all-wise Patron, or all-understanding 
Justice of the Peace in the parish ; who, by the common 
farmers of the town, must be thought to understand the 
most intricate notions, and the most difficult languages. 

Now, what an admirable thing this is ! Suppose there 
should be one or so, in the whole church, that understands 
somewhat besides English : shall I not think that he under- 
stands that better ? Must I (out of courtship to his Worship 
and Understanding ; and because, perhaps, I am to dine 
with him) prate abundance of such stuff, which, I must 
needs know, nobody understands, or that will be the better for 
it but himself, and perhaps scarcely he ? 

This, I say, because I certainly know several of that dis- 
position : who, if they chance to have a man of any learning 
or understanding more than the rest in the parish, preach 
wholly at him ! and level most of their discourses at his 
supposed capacity ; and the rest of the good people shall 
have only a handsome gaze or view of the parson ! As if 

266 The Parson to preach to all the parish. [J-A^g'^ieyi 

plain words, useful and intelligible instructions were not as 
good for an Esquire, or one that is in Commission from the 
King, as for him that holds the plough or mends hedges. 

Certainly he that considers the design of his Office, and 
has a conscience answerable to that holy undertaking, must 
needs conceive himself engaged, not only to mind this or that 
accomplished or well-dressed person, but must have a uni- 
versal care and regard of all his parish. And as he must 
think himself bound, not only to visit down beds and silken 
curtains, but also flocks and straw [mattresses], if there be 
need : so ought his care to be as large to instruct the poor, 
the weak, and despicable part of his parish, as those that sit 
in the best pews. He that does otherwise, thinks not at all 
of a man's soul : but only accommodates himself to fine 
clothes, an abundance of ribbons, and the highest seat in the 
church ; not thinking that it will be as much to his reward in 
the next world, by sober advice, care, and instruction, to 
have saved one that takes collection [alms] as him that is able 
to relieve half the town. It is very plain that neither our 
Saviour, when he was upon earth and taught the World, 
made any such distinction in his discourses. What is more 
intelligible to all mankind than his Sermon upon the Mount ! 
Neither did the Apostles think of any such way. I wonder, 
whom they take for a pattern ! 

I will suppose once again, that the design of these persons 
is to gain glory : and I shall ask them, Can there be any 
greater in the world, than doing general good ? To omit future 
reward. Was it not always esteemed of old, that correcting 
evil practices, reducing people that lived amiss, was much 
better than making a high rant about a shuttlecock, and 
talking tara-iantara about a feather ? Or if they would be 
only admired, then would I gladly have them consider, What 
a thin and delicate kind of admiration is likely to be produced, 
by that which is not at all understood ? Certainly, that man 
has a design of building up to himself real fame in good 
earnest, by things well laid and spoken : his way to effect it 
is not by talking staringl}^, and casting a mist before the 
people's eyes ; but by offering such things by which he may 
be esteemed, with knowledge and understanding. 

Thus far concerning Hard Words, High Notions, and Un- 
profitable Quotations out of learned languages. 

sAurieJo."] Rash use of Frightful Metaphors. 267 

I shall now consider such things as are ridiculous, that serve 
for chimney and market talk, after the sermon be done ; and 
that do cause, more immediately, the preacher to be scorned 
and undervalued. 

I have no reason. Sir, to go about to determine what style 
or method is best for the improvement and advantage of all 
people. For, I question not but there have been as many 
several sorts of Preachers as Orators ; and though very 
different, yet useful and commendable in their kind. Tully 
takes very deservedly with many, Seneca with others, and 
Cato, no question ! said things wisely and well. So, doubt- 
less, the same place of Scripture may by several, be variously 
considered: and although their method and style be altogether 
different, yet they may all speak things very convenient for 
the people to know and be advised of. But yet, certainly, 
what is most undoubtedly useless and empty, or what is 
judged absolutely ridiculous, not by this or that curious or 
squeamish auditor, but by every man in the Corporation that 
understands but plain English and common sense, ought to 
be avoided. For all people are naturally born with such a 
judgement of true and allowable Rhetoric, that is, of what is 
decorous and convenient to be spoken, that whatever is 
grossly otherwise is usually ungrateful, not only to the wise 
and skilful part of the congregation, but shall seem also 
ridiculous to the very unlearned tradesmen [mechanics] and 
their young apprentices. Amongst which, may be chiefly 
reckoned these following, harsh Metaphors, childish Similitudes, 
and ill-applied Tales. 

The first main thing, I say, that makes many sermons so 
ridiculous, and the preachers of them so much disparaged 
and undervalued, is an inconsiderate use of frightful Metaphors : 
which making such a remarkable impression upon the ears, 
and leaving such a jarring twang behind them, are oftentimes 
remembered to the discredit of the Minister as long as he 
continues in the parish. 

I have heard the very children in the streets, and the little 
boys close about the fire, refresh themselves strangely but 
with the repetition of a few of such far-fetched and odd 
sounding expressions. Tully, therefore, and Caesar, the 

268 Nautical and Military Metaphors. Q-AuSeS 

two greatest masters of Roman eloquence, were very wary 
and sparing of that sort of Rhetoric. We may read many a 
page in their works before we meet with any of those bears ; 
and if you do light upon one or so, it shall not make your 
hair stand right up ! or put you into a fit of convulsions ! but 
it shall be so soft, significant, and familiar, as if it were made 
for the very purpose. 

But as for the common sort of people that are addicted to 
this sort of expression in their discourses ; away presently to 
both the Indies ! rake heaven and earth ! down to the bottom 
of the sea ! then tumble over all Arts and Sciences ! ransack 
all shops and warehouses ! spare neither camp nor city, but 
that they will have them ! So fond are such deceived ones 
of these same gay words, that they count all discourses 
empty, dull, and cloudy ; unless bespangled with these 
glitterings. Nay, so injudicious and impudent together will 
they sometimes be, that the Almighty Himself is often in 
danger of being dishonoured by these indiscreet and horrid 
Metaphor-mongers. And when they thus blaspheme the 
God of Heaven by such unhallowed expressions; to make 
amends, they will put you in an " As it were " forsooth ! or 
" As I may so say," that is, they will make bold to speak 
what they please concerning GOD Himself, rather than omit 
what they judge, though never so falsely, to be witty. And 
then they come in hobbling with their lame submission, and 
with their " reverence be it spoken " : as if it were not much 
better to leave out what they foresee is likely to be inter- 
preted for blasphemy, or at least great extravagancy ; than 
to utter that, for which their own reason and conscience tell 
them, they are bound to lay in beforehand an excuse. 

To which may be further subjoined, that Metaphors, though 
very apt and allowable, are intelligible but to some sorts of 
men, of this or that kind of life, of this or that profession. 

For example, perhaps one Gentleman's metaphorical knack 
of preaching comes of the sea ; and then we shall hear of 
nothing but " starboard " and " larboard," of " stems," 
" sterns," and "forecastles," and such salt-water language: 
so that one had need take a voyage to Smyrna or Aleppo, 
and very warily attend to all the sailors' terms, before I shall 
in the least understand my teacher. Now, though such a 
sermon may possibly do some good in a coast town ; yet 

8Aug!'^67fl Sermons packed with Similitudes. 269 

upward into the country, in an inland parish, it will do no 
more than Syriac or Arabic. 

Another, he falls a fighting with his text, and makes a 
pitched battle of it, dividing it into the Right Wing and 
Left Wing ; then he rears it ! flanks it ! intrenches it ! storms it ! 
and then he musters all again ! to see what word was lost or 
lamed in the skirmish : and so falling on again, with fresh 
valour, he fights backward and forward ! charges through 
and through ! routs ! kills ! takes ! and then, " Gentlemen ! 
as you were ! " Now to such of his parish as have been in 
the late wars, this is not very formidable ; for they do but 
suppose themselves at Edgehill or Naseby, and they are not 
much scared at his doctrine : but as for others, who have not 
had such fighting opportunities, it is very lamentable to con- 
sider how shivering they sit without understanding, till the 
battle be over ! 

Like instance might be easily given of many more dis- 
courses, the metaphorical phrasing whereof, depending upon 
peculiar arts, customs, trades, and professions, makes them 
useful and intelligible only to such, who have been very well 
busied in such like employments. 

Another thing. Sir, that brings great disrespect and mischief 
upon the Clergy, and that differs not much from what went 
immediately before, is their packing their sermons so full of 
Similitudes ; which, all the World knows, carry with them but 
very small force of argument, unless there be an exact agree- 
ment with that which is compared, of which there is very seldom 
any sufficient care taken. 

Besides, those that are addicted to this slender way of 
discourse, for the most part, do so weaken and enfeeble their 
judgement, by contenting themselves to understand by 
colours, features, and glimpses ; that they perfectly omit all 
the more profitable searching into the nature and causes of 
things themselves. By which means, it necessarily comes 
to pass, that what they undertake to prove and clear out to 
the Congregation, must needs be so faintly done, and with 
such little force of argument, that the conviction or persuasion 
will last no longer in the parishioners' minds, than the 
warmth of those similitudes shall glow in their fancy. So 
that he that has either been instructed in some part of his 

270 Beauty of our Saviour's Similitudes. [sAug^X" 

duty, or excited to the performance of the same, not by any 
judicious dependence of things, and lasting reason ; but by 
such faint and toyish evidence : his understanding, upon all 
occasions, will be as apt to be misled as ever, and his 
affections as troublesome and ungovernable. 

But they are not so Unserviceable, as, usually, they are 
Ridiculous. For people of the weakest parts are most com- 
monly overborn with these fooleries ; which, together with 
the great difficulty of their being prudently managed, must 
needs occasion them, for the most part, to be very trifling 
and childish. 

Especially, if we consider the choiceness of the authors 
out of which they are furnished. There is the never-to-be- 
commended-enough Lycosthenes. There is also the admi- 
rable piece [by Francis Meres] called the Second Part of 
Wits Commonwealth [1598] : I pray mind it ! it is the Second 
Part, and not the First ! And there is, besides, a book wholly 
consisting of Similitudes [? John Spencer's Things New 
and Old, or a Storehouse of Similies, Sentences, Allegories, &c., 
1658] applied and ready fitted to most preaching subjects, for 
the help of young beginners, who sometimes will not make 
them hit handsomely. 

It is very well known that such as are possessed with an 
admiration of such eloquence, think that they are very much 
encouraged in their way by the Scripture itself. "For," say 
they, " did not our blessed Saviour himself use many meta- 
phors and many parables? and did not his disciples, following 
his so excellent an example, do the like ? And is not this, 
not only warrant enough, but near upon a command to us 
so to do ? " 

If you please, therefore, we will see what our Saviour does 
in this case. In St. Matthew he tells his disciples, that " they 
are the salt of the earth," that " they are the light of the 
world," that " they are a city set on a hill." Furthermore, 
he tells his Apostles, that " he sends them forth as sheep in 
the midst of wolves ; " and bids them therefore " be as wise 
as serpents, and harmless as doves." Now, are not all these 
things plain and familiar, even almost to children themselves, 
<.hat can but taste and see; and to men of the lowest education 
and meanest capacities ! 

I shall not here insist upon those special and admirable 

g'Aug?^^] Man's Soul likened to an Oyster. 271 

reasons for which our Saviour made use of so many parables. 
Only thus much is needful to be said, namely, that they are 
very much mistaken, that, from hence, think themselves 
tolerated to turn all the world into frivolous and abominable 

As for our Saviour, when he spoke a parable, he was 
pleased to go no further than the fields, the seashore, a 
garden, a vineyard, or the like ; which are things, without 
the knowledge whereof, scarcely any man can be supposed 
to live in this world. 

But as for our Metaphorical- and Similitude-Men of the 
Pulpit, these things to them, are too still and languid ! they 
do not rattle and rumble ! These lie too near home, and 
within vulgar ken ! There is little on this side the moon 
that will content them ! Up, presently, to the Primum 
Mobile, and the Trepidation of the Firmament ! Dive into 
the bowels and hid treasures of the earth ! Despatch forth- 
with, for Peru and Jamaica ! A town bred or country bred 
similitude is worth nothing ! 

" It is reported of a tree growing upon the bank of 

Euphrates, the great river Euphrates! that it brings forth 

an Apple, to the eye very fair and tempting ; but inwardly 

it is filled with nothing but useless and deceiving dust. 

Even so, dust we are; and to dust we must all go!" 

Now, what a lucky discovery was this, that a man's Body 

should be so exactly like an Apple ! And, I will assure you 

that this was not thought on, till within these few years ! 

And I am afraid, too, he had a kind of a hint of this, 

from another who had formerly found out that a man's 

Soul was like an Oyster. For, says he in his prayer, 

*'Our souls are constantly gaping after thee, O LORD ! 

yea, verily, our souls do gape, even as an oyster gapeth I " 

It seems pretty hard, at first sight, to bring into a sermon 

all the Circles of the Globe and all the frightful terms of 

Astronomy ; but I will assure you, Sir, it is to be done ! 

because it has been. But not by every bungler and ordinary 

text-divider ; but by a man of great cunning and experience. 

There is a place in the prophet Malachi, where it will 

do very nicely, and that is chapter iv. ver. 2, "But unto 

you, that fear my Name, shall the Sun of Righteousness 

arise with healing in his wings." From which words, in 

272 Our Saviour passed through the Zodiac! [j-^^g 



the first place, it plainly appears that our Saviour passed 
through all the twelve signs of the Zodiac; and more than 
that too, all proved by very apt and familiar places of 

First, then, our Saviour was in Aries. Or else, what 
means that of the Psalmist, "The mountains skipped like 
rams, and the little hills like lambs ! " ? And again, that 
in Second of the Kings, chap. iii. ver. 4, " And Mesha, 
King of Moab, was a sheep master, and rendered unto the 
King of Israel an hundred thousand lambs," and what 
follows, "and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool ! " 
Mind it ! it was the King of Israel ! 

In like manner, was he in Taurus. Psalm xxii. 12. 
" Many bulls have compassed me ! Strong bulls of 
Bashan have beset me round ! " They were not ordinary 
bulls. They were compassing bulls ! they were besetting 
bulls ! they were strong Bashan bulls ! 

What need I speak of Gemini ? Surely you cannot but 
remember Esau and Jacob ! Genesis xxv. 24. " And 
when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold there 
were Twins in her womb ! " 

Or of Cancer ? when, as the Psalmist says so plainly, 
'* What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest ? thou 
Jordan ! that thou wast driven back ? " Nothing more 
plain ! 

It were as easy to shew the like in all the rest of the 

But instead of that, I shall rather choose to make this 
one practical Observation. That the mercy of GOD to 
mankind in sending His Son into the world, was a very 
signal mercy. It was a zodiacal mercy ! I say it was 
truly zodiacal ; for Christ keeps within the Tropics ! He 
goes not out of the Pale of the Church ; but yet he is 
not always at the same distance from a believer. Some- 
times he withdraws himself into the apogcBum of doubt, 
sorrow, and despair; but then he comes again into the 
perigceum of joy, content, and assurance ; but as for 
heathens and unbelievers, they are all arctic and ant- 
arctic reprobates ! " 
Now when such stuff as this, as sometimes it is, is vented 
in a poor parish, where people can scarce tell, what day of 

■^"auSo."] Wonderful things done by Metaphors. 273 

the month it is by the Almanack ? how seasonable and savoury 
it is likely to be ! 

It seems also not very easy for a man in his sermon to 
learn [teach] his parishioners how to dissolve gold, of what, 
and how the stuff is made. Now, to ring the bells and call 
the people on purpose together, would be but a blunt 
business ; but to do it neatly, and when nobody looked for it, 
that is the rarity and art of it ! 

Suppose, then, that he takes for his text that of St. Matthew, 

" Repent ye, for the Kingdom of GOD is at hand." 

Now, tell me, Sir, do you not perceive the gold to be in 

a dismal fear! to curl and quiver at the first reading of 

these words ! It must come in thus, " The blots and 

blurs of our sins must be taken out by the aqua-fortis of 

our tears ; to which aqua-fortis, if you put a fifth part of 

sal-ammoniaCf and set them in a gentle heat, it makes 

aqua-regia which dissolves gold." 

And now it is out ! Wonderful are the things that are to be 

done by the help of metaphors and similitudes ! And I will 

undertake that, with a little more pains and considerations, 

out of the very same words, he could have taught the people 

how to make custards, or marmalade, or to stew prunes ! 

But, pray, why " the aqua-fortis of tears ? " For if it so 
falls out that there should chance to be neither Apothecary, 
nor Druggist at church, there is an excellent jest wholly 

Now had he been so considerate as to have laid his wit in 
some more common and intelligible material ; for example, 
had he said the ** blots of sin " will be easily taken out " by 
the soap of sorrow, and the fullers-earth of contrition," then 
possibly the Parson and the parish might all have admired 
one another. For there be many a good-wife that under- 
stands very well all the intrigues of pepper, salt, and vinegar, 
who knows not anything of the all-powerfulness of aqua- 
fortis, how that it is such a spot-removing liquor ! 

I cannot but consider with what understanding the people 
sighed and cried, when the Minister made for them this 
metaphysical confession : 

Omnipotent All ! Thou art only ! Because Thou art 
all, and because Thou only art ! As for us, we are not ; 
but we seem to be ! and only seem to be, because we 

S 7 

274ParsonSlip-Stocking. Spiritual hucksters. [ 

1 6-0. 

are not ! for we be but Mites of Entity, and Crumbs of 
Something ! " and so on. 
As if a company of country people were bound to understand 
SuAREZ, and all the School Divines 1 

And as some are very high and learned in their attempts; 
so others there be, who are of somewhat too mean and dirty 

Such was he, who goes by the name of Parson Slip- 
Stocking. Who preaching about the grace and assistance 
of GOD, and that of ourselves we are able to do nothing, 
advised his " beloved" to take him this plain similitude. 

" A father calls his child to him, saying, * Child, pull 
off this stocking!' The child, mightily joyful that it 
should pull off father's stocking, takes hold of the stock- 
ing, and tugs! and pulls! and sweats! but to no purpose: 
for stocking stirs not, for it is but a child that pulls ! 
Then the father bids the child to rest a little, and try 
again. So then the child sets on again, tugs again; but 
no stocking comes : for child is but a child ! Then the 
father taking pity upon his child, puts his hand behind 
and slips down the stocking; and off comes the stocking ! 
Then how does the child rejoice ! for child hath pulled off 
father's stocking. Alas, poor child ! it was not child's 
strength, it was not child's sweating that got off the 
stocking ; but yet it was the father's hand that slipped 

down the stocking. Even so " 

Not much unlike to this, was he that, preaching about the 
Sacrament and Faith, makes Christ a shopkeeper ; telling 
you that ** Christ is a Treasury of all wares and com- 
modities," and thereupon, opening his wide throat, cries aloud, 
" Good people ! what do you lack ? What do you 
buy? Will you buy any balm of Gilead ? any eye salve ? 
any myrrh, aloes, or cassia ? Shall I fit you with a robe 
of Righteousness, or with a white garment ? See here ! 
What is it you want ? Here is a choice armoury! Shall I 
shew you a helmet of Salvation, a shield, or breastplateof 
Faith ? or will you please to walk in and see some precious 
stones ? a jasper, a sapphire, a chalcedony ? Speak, 
what do you buy?" 
Now, for my part, I must needs say (and I much fancy I 
speak the mind of thousands) that it had been much better 

Lull's.] Faith, a Foot ! a Ho^ ! a Shoe ! 275 

for such an imprudent and ridiculous bawler as this, to have 
been condemned to have cried oysters or brooms, than to dis- 
credit, after this unsanctified rate, his Profession and our 

It would be an endless thing, Sir, to count up to you all 
the follies, for a hundred years last past, that have been 
preached and printed of this kind. But yet I cannot omit 
that of the famous Divine in his time, who, advising the 
people in days of danger to run unto the LORD, tells 
them that " they cannot go to the LORD, much less run, 
without feet ; " that " there be therefore two feet to run 
to the LORD, Faith and Prayer." 

"It is plain that Faith is a foot, for, *by Faith we 
stand,' 2 Cor. i. 24; therefore by Faith, we must run 
to the LORD who is faithful. 

** The second is Prayer, a spiritual Leg to bear us 
thither. Now that Prayer is a spiritual Leg appears from 
several places in Scripture, as from that of Jonah speak- 
ing of coming, chap. ii. ver. 7, ' And my prayer came unto 
thy holy temple.' And likewise from that of the Apostle 
who says, Heb. iv. 16, 'Let us therefore go unto the 
throne of grace.' Both intimating that Prayer is a 
spiritual Leg : there being no coming or going to the 
LORD without the Leg of Prayer." 

He further adds, " Now that these feet may be able to 

bear us thither, we must put on the Hose [stockings] of 

Faith ; for the Apostle says, * Our feet must be shod with 

the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.' " 

The truth of it is, the Author is somewhat obscure : for, 

at first. Faith was a Foot, and by-and-by it is a Hose, 

and at last it proves a Shoe ! If he had pleased, he could 

have made it anything ! 

Neither can I let pass that of a later Author ; who telling 
us, " It is Goodness by which we must ascend to heaven," 
and that " Goodness is the Milky Way to Jupiter's Palace " ; 
could not rest there, but must tell us further, that " to 
strengthen us in our journey, we must not take morning 
milk, but some morning meditations : " fearing, I suppose, 
lest some people should mistake, and think to go to heaven 
by eating now and then a mess of morning milk, because the 
way was '* milky." 

276 Ask, Are the Similitudes true ? [J-AuSe/i 

Neither ought that to be omitted, not long since printed 
upon those words of St. John, " These things write I unto 
you, that ye sin not." 

The Observation is that " it is the purpose of Scripture 
to drive men from sin. These Scriptures contain Doc- 
trines, Precepts, Promises, Threatenings, and Histories. 
Now," says he, " take these five smooth stones, and put 
them into the Scrip of the heart, and throw them with the 
Sling of faith, by the Hand of a strong resolution, against 
the Forehead of sin : and we shall see it, like Goliath, 
fall before us." 
But I shall not trouble you any further upon this subject : 
but, if you have a mind to hear any more of this stuff, I shall 
refer you to the learned and judicious Author of the Friendly 
Debates [i.e., Simon Patrick, afterwards Bishop of Ely, who 
wrote A Friendly Debate between a Conformist and a Noncon- 
formist, in two parts, 1669] : who, particularly, has at large 
discovered the intolerable fooleries of this way of talking. 

I shall only add thus much, that such as go about to fetch 
blood into their pale and lean discourses, by the help of their 
brisk and sparkling similitudes, ought well to consider, 
Whether their similitudes be true ? 

I am confident. Sir, you have heard it, many and many a 
time, or, if need be, I can shew you it in a book, that when 
the preacher happens to talk how that the things here below 
will not satisfy the mind of man ; then comes in, " the round 
world which cannot fill the triangular heart of man ! " 
whereas every butcher knows that the heart is no more tri- 
angular than an ordinary pear, or a child's top. But because 
triangular is a hard word, and perhaps a jest ! therefore 
people have stolen it one from another, these two or three 
hundred years ; and, for aught I know, much longer ! for I 
cannot direct to the first inventor of the fancy. 

In like manner, they are to consider. What things, either 
in the heavens or belonging to the earth, have been found out, 
by experience, to contradict what has been formerly allowed 

Thus, because some ancient astronomers had observed that 
both the distances as well as the revolutions of the planets 
were in some proportion or harmony one to another : there- 
fore people that abounded with more imagination than skill, 

8A?g?i67o:] Ringing Chimes on particular words. 277 

presently fancied the Moon, Mercury, and Venus to be a kind 
of violins or trebles to Jupiter or Saturn ; that the Sun and 
Mars supplied the room of tenors, and the Printum Mobile 
running Division all the tune. So that one could scarce heai 
a sermon, but they must give you a touch of "the Harmony 
of the Spheres." 

Thus, Sir, you shall have them take that of St. Paul, about 
" faith, hope, and charity." And instead of a sober instruct- 
ing of the people in those eminent and excellent graces, they 
shall only ring you over a few changes upon the three words; 
crying, " Faith ! Hope ! and Charity ! " " Hope ! Faith ! and 
Charity ! " and so on : and when they have done their peal, 
they shall tell you that " this is much better than the 
Harmony of the Spheres ! " 

At other times, I have heard a long chiming only between 
two words ; as suppose Divinity and Philosophy, or Revela- 
tion and Reason. Setting forth with Revelation first. 
" Revelation is a Lady; Reason, an Handmaid! Revelation 
is the Esquire ; Reason, the Page ! Revelation is the Sun ; 
Reason, but the Moon ! Revelation is Manna ; Reason is but 
an acorn ! Revelation, a wedge of gold ; Reason, a small 
piece of silver 1 " 

Then, by and by. Reason gets it, and leads it away, 
'* Reason indeed is very good, but Revelation is much better ! 
Reason is a Councillor, but Revelation is the Lawgiver ! 
Reason is a candle, but Revelation is the snuffer ! " 

Certainly, those people are possessed with a very great 
degree of dulness, who living under the means of such en- 
lightening preaching, should not be mightily settled in the 
right notion and true bounds of Faith and Reason. 

No less ably, methought, was the difference between the 
Old Covenant and the New, lately determined. " The Old 
Covenant was of Works ; the New Covenant, of Faith. The 
Old Covenant was by Moses ; The New, by Christ. The 
Old was heretofore ; the New, afterwards. The Old was 
first ; the New was second. Old things are passed away : 
behold, all things are become new." And so the business 
was very fundamentally done. 

I shall say no more upon this subject, but this one thing, 
which relates to what was said a little before. He that has 
got a set of similitudes calculated according to the old 

278 The usual Preaching — The Preface. [L^g''', 


philosophy, and Ptolemy's system of the world, must burn 
his commonplace book, and go a-gleaning for new ones ; it 
being, nowadays, much more gentle and warrantable to take 
a similitude from the Man in the Moon than from solid orbs : 
for though few people do absolutely believe that there is 
any such Eminent Person there ; yet the thing is possible, 
whereas the other is not. 

I have now done. Sir, with that imprudent way of speaking 
by Metaphor and Simile. There are many other things 
commonly spoken out of the pulpit, that are much to the 
disadvantage and discredit of the Clergy ; that ought also to 
be briefly hinted. And that I may the better light upon 
them, I shall observe their common method of Preaching. 

[1,] Before the text be divided, a Preface is to be made. 

And it is a great chance if, first of all, the Minister does 
not make his text to be like something or other. 

For example. One, he tells you, " And now, methinks, 
my Text, like an ingenious [clever] Picture, looks upon all 
here present : in which, both nobles and people, may behold 
their sin and danger represented." This was a text out of 
Hosea. Now, had it been out of any other place of the Bible, 
the gentleman was sufficiently resolved to make it like " an 
ingenious Picture." 

Another taking, perhaps, the very same words, says, " I 
might compare my Text to the mountains of Bether, where 
the LORD disports Himself like a young hart or a pleasant 
roe among the spices." 

Another man's Text is ** like the rod of Moses, to divide 
the waves of sorrow"; or "like the mantle of Elijah, to 
restrain the swelling floods of grief." 

Another gets to his Text thus, " As Solomon went up six 
steps to come to the great Throne of Ivory, so must I ascend 
six degrees to come to the high top-meaning of my Text." 

Another thus, *' As Deborah arose, and went with Barak 
to Kadesh ; so, if you will go with him, and call in the third 
verse of the chapter, he will shew you the meaning of his 

Another, he fancies his Text to be extraordinarily like to 
" an orchard of pomegranates ; " or like " St. Matthew 

sA^gSG Usual preaching — Dividing the Text, 279 

sitting at the receipt of custom ; " or like " the dove that 
Noah sent out of the Ark." 

I beheve there are above forty places of Scripture, that 
have been " like Rachel and Leah " : and there is one in 
Genesis, as I well remember, that is ''like a pair of compasses 
stradling." And, if I be not much mistaken, there is one, 
somewhere else, that is " like a man going to Jericho." 

Now, Sir, having thus made the way to the Text as smooth 
and plain as anything, with a Preface, perhaps from Adam, 
though his business lie at the other end of the Bible : in the 
next place ; [2] he comes to divide the Text. 

Hie labor, hoc opus 
Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum, 
Silvestrem tenui. 

Now, come off the gloves ! and the hands being well chafed 
[rubbed together] ; he shrinks up his shoulders, and stretches 
forth himself as if he were going to cleave a bullock's head, 
or rive the body of an oak ! 

But we must observe, that there is a great difference of 
Texts. For all Texts come not asunder alike ! For some- 
times the words naturally /a// asunder! sometimes they drop 
asunder ! sometimes they melt ! sometimes they untwist ! and 
there be some words so willing to be parted that they divide 
themselves ! to the great ease and rejoicing of the Minister. 

But if they will not easily come to pieces, then he falls to 
hacking and hewing! as if he would make all fly into shivers ! 
The truth of it is, I have known, now and then, some knotty 
Texts, that have been divided seven or eight times over ! 
before they could make them split handsomely, according to 
their mind. 

But then comes the Joy of Joys ! when the Parts jingle ! 
or begin with the same Letter ! and especially if in Latin. 

O how it tickled the Divider ! when he got his Text into 
those two excellent branches, Accusatio vera: Comminatio 
severa : " A Charge full of Verity : A Discharge of Severity." 
And, I will warrant you ! that did not please a little, viz., 
** there are in the words, duplex miraculum; Miraculum in modo 
and Miraculum in nodo." 

But the luckiest I have met withal, both for Wit and 

28o Text like a spiritual Compass. HA^|?';67i 

Keeping of the Letter, is upon these words of 5^. Matthew xii. 
43, 44, 45 : " When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, 
he walketh through dry places, seeking rest and finding none. 
Then he saith I will return," &c. 

In which words, all these strange things were found out. 
First, there was a Captain and a Castle. (Do you see, Sir, the 
same letter !) Then, there was an ingress, an egress ; and a 
regress or reingress. Then, there was unroosting and unresting. 
Then, there were number and name, manner and measure, 
trouble and trial, resolution and revolution, assaults and as- 
sassination, voidness and vacuity. This was done at the same 
time, by the same man ! But, to confess the truth of it ! it 
was a good long Text ; and so, he had the greater advantage. 

But for a short Text, that, certainly, was the greatest 
break that ever was ! which was occasioned from those words 
of St. Luke xxiii. 28, " Weep not for me, weep for your- 
selves ! " or as some read it, " but weep for yourselves ! " 

It is a plain case, Sir ! Here are but eight words ; and the 
business was cunningly ordered, that there sprang out eight 
Parts. " Here are," says the Doctor, ** eight Words, and 
eight Parts ! 

1. Weep not ! 

2. But weep ! 

3. Weep not, but weep I 

4. Weep for me 1 

5. For yourselves I 

6. For me, for yourselves ! 

7. Weep not for me ! 

8. But weep for yourselves 1 

That is to say, North, North-and-by-East, North-North- 
East, North-East and by North, North-East, North-East 
and by East, East-North-East, East and by North, East." 

Now, it seems not very easy to determine, who has obliged 
the world most ; he that found out the Compass, or he that 
divided the fore-mentioned Text ? But I suppose the cracks 
[claps] will go generally upon the Doctor's side ! by reason 
what he did, was done by undoubted Art and absolute 
industry : but as for the other, the common report is that it 
was found out by mere foolish fortune. Well, let it go how 
it will ! questionless, they will be both famous in their way, 
and honourably mentioned to posterity. 


Neither ought he to be altogether sHghted, who taking that 
of Genesis xlviii. 2 for his text ; viz., " And one told Jacob, 
and said, ' Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee !'" pre- 
sently perceived, and made it out to his people, that his Text 
was " a spiritual Dial." 

"For," says he, **here be in my Text, twelve words, 
which do plainly represent the twelve hours. And one 
told Jacob, and said, 'Thy son Joseph cometh unto thee!' 
And here is, besides. Behold, which is the Hand of the 
Dial, that turns and points at every word of the Text. 
And one told Jacob, and said, ' Behold, thy son Joseph 
cometh unto thee /' For it is not said. Behold Jacob ! 
or Behold Joseph ! but it is. And one told Jacob, and 
said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee. That it 
is say, Behold And, Behold one, Behold told. Behold 
Jacob. Again Behold and, Behold said, and also Behold 
Behold, &c. Which is the reason that this word Behold 
is placed in the middle of the other twelve words, 
indifferently pointing to each word. 

" Now, as it needs must be One of the Clock before 
it can be Two or Three ; so I shall handle this word 
And, the first word of the Text, before I meddle with the 

** And one told Jacob. The word And is but a particle, 
and a small one : but small things are not to be des- 
pised. St. Matthew xviii. 10, Take heed that you despise 
not one of these little ones. For this And is as the tacks 
and loops amongst the curtains of the Tabernacle. The 
tacks put into the loops did couple the curtains of the 
Tent and sew the Tent together : so this particle And 
being put into the loops of the words immediately before 
the Text, does couple the Text to the foregoing verse, 
and sews them close together." 
I shall not trouble you, Sir, with the rest : being much 
after this witty rate, and to as much purpose. 

But we will go on, if you please. Sir ! to [3] the cunning 
Observations, Doctrines, and Inferences that are commonly 
made and raised from places of Scripture. 

One takes that for his Text, Psalm Ixviii. 3, But let the 

282 Quotations from Flames & Discoveries. [|Aug?^^o. 

righteous be glad. From whence, he raises this doctrine, 
that " there is a Spirit of Singularity in the Saints of GOD : 
but let the righteous — " a doctrine, I will warrant him ! of his 
own raising; it being not very easy for anybody to prevent him 1 
Another, he takes that of Isaiah xli. 14, 15, Fear not^ 
thou worm Jacob ! &c. . . . thou shalt thresh the mountains. 
Whence he observes that " the worm Jacob was a threshing 
worm ! " 

Another, that of Genesis xliv. i. And he commanded the 

Steward of the house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as 

much as they can carry : and makes this note from the words. 

That " great sacks and many sacks will hold more than 

few sacks and little ones. For look," says he, ** how 

they came prepared with sacks and beasts, so they were 

sent back with corn ! The greater, and the more sacks 

they had prepared, the more corn they carry away ! if 

they had prepared but small sacks, and a few ; they had 

carried away the less ! " 

Verily, and indeed extraordinarily true ! 

Another, he falls upon that of Isaiah Iviii. 5, Is it such a 
fast that I have chosen ? A day for a man to afflict his soul ? 
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush ? The Observation is 
that " Repentance for an hour, or a day, is not worth a 
bulrush ! " And, there, I think, he hit the business ! 

But of these, Sir, I can shew you a whole book full, in a 
treatise called Flames and Discoveries, consisting of very 
notable and extraordinary things which the inquisitive Author 
had privately observed and discovered, upon reading the 
Evangelists ; as for example : 

Upon reading that of 5^. John, chapter ii. verse 15, 
And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove 
them all out of the Temple ; this prying Divine makes 
these discoveries. " I discover," says he, " in the first 
place, that in the Church or Temple, a scourge may be 
made. And when he had made a scourge. Secondly, that 
it may be made use on, he drove them all out of the Temple.'" 
And it was a great chance that he had not discovered a 
third thing ; and that is, that the scourge was made, 
before it was made use of. 

sA^Sfiyo'] Such discoveries but pitiful guesses. 283 

Upon Matthew iv. 25, And there followed him great 
multitudes of people from Galilee, " I discover," says he, 
**when Jesus prevails with us, we shall soon leave our 
Galilees ! I discover also," says he, " a great miracle, 
viz.: that the way after Jesus being straight, that such 
a multitude should follow him." 

Matthew v. i. And seeing the multitude, he went up into a 
mountain. Upon this, he discovers several very remark- 
able things. First, he discovers that " Christ went 
from the multitude." Secondly, that " it is safe to take 
warning at our eyes, for seeing the multitude, he went up.'* 
Thirdly, " it is not fit to be always upon the plains and 
flats with the multitude : but, if we be risen with CHRIST, 
to seek those things that are above. 

He discovers also very strange things, from the latter 
part of the fore-mentioned verse. And when he was set, 
his disciples came unto him. i. Christ is not always 
in motion. And when he was set. 2. He walks not on 
the mountain, but sits, And when he was set. From 
whence also, in the third place, he advises people, that 
"when they are teaching they should not move too 
much, for that is to be carried to and fro with every 
wind of doctrine." Now, certainly, never was this place 
of Scripture more seasonably brought in. 

Now, Sir, if you be for a very short and witty dis- 
covery, let it be upon that of St. Matthew vi. 27. Which 
of you, by taking thought, can add one cubit unto his stature ? 
The discovery is this, that " whilst the disciples were 
taking thought for a cubit ; Christ takes them down a 
cubit lower ! " 

Notable also are two discoveries made upon St. 
Matthew v'm. i. i. That ** Christ went down, as well 
as went up. When he came down from the mountain." 
2. That "the multitude did not go 'hail fellow well met ! ' 
with him, nor before him ; iov great multitudes followed him." 
I love, with all my heart, when people can prove what 
they say. For there be many that will talk of their Dis- 
coveries and spiritual Observations ; and when all comes 
to all, they are nothing but pitiful guesses and slender con- 

In like manner, that was no contemptible discovery 

284 Searching for out-of-the-way texts. [lAui^tijo. 

that was made upon St. Matthew viii. 19. And a certain 
Scribe came and said, ^^ Master, I will follow thee where- 
soever thou goest.'* " A thou shall be followed more than 
a that. I will follow thee wheresoever thou goest. 

And, in my opinion, that was not altogether amiss, 
upon St. Matthew xi. 2. Now when John had heard in 
prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples. 
The discovery is this. That ** it is not good sending 
single to Christ, he sent two of his disciples.'^ 

Some also, possibly may not dislike that upon St. Luke 
xii. 35. Letyoiir loins he girded. ** I discover," says he, 
" there must be a holy girding and trussing up for heaven." 
But I shall end all, with that very politic one that 
he makes upon St. Matthew xii. 47. Then said one unto 
him ** Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without, 
desiring to speak with thee." But he answered and said, 
" Who is my mother ? and who are my brethren ? " "I dis- 
cover now," says he, "that Jesus is upon business." 
Doubtless, this was one of the greatest Discoverers of 
Hidden Mysteries, and one of the most Pryers into Spiritual 
Secrets that ever the world was owner of. It was very well 
that he happened upon the godly calling, and no secular 
employment : or else, in good truth ! down had they all 
gone ! Turk ! Pope ! and Emperor ! for he would have dis- 
covered them, one way or another, every man ! 

Not much unlike to these wonderful Discoverers, are they 
who, choosing to preach on some Point in Divinity, shall 
purposely avoid all such plain Texts as might give them very 
just occasion to discourse upon their intended subject, and 
shall pitch upon some other places of Scripture, which no 
creature in the world but themselves, did ever imagine that 
which they offer to be therein designed. Mymeaning,Sir,isthis. 

Suppose you have a mind to make a sermon concerning 
Episcopacy, as in the late times [the Commonwealth] there 
were several occasions for it, you must, by no means, take 
any place of Scripture that proves or favours that kind of 
Ecclesiastical Government ! for then the plot will be dis- 
covered ; and the people will say to themselves, *' We know 
where to find you ! You intend to preach about Episcopacy ! " 


But you must take Acts, chapter xvi. verse 30, Sirs, what 
must I do to be saved ? An absolute place for Episcopacy ! 
that all former Divines had idly overlooked ! For Sirs being 
in the Greek Kvpioi, which is to say, in true and strict 
translation, Lords, what is more plain than, that of old, 
Episcopacy was not only the acknowledged Government ; 
but that Bishops were formerly Peers of the Realm, and so 
ought to sit in the House of Lords ! 

Or, suppose that you have a mind to commend to your 
people. Kingly Government : you must not take any place 
that is plainly to the purpose ! but that of the Evangelist, 
Seek first the Kingdom of GOD ! From which words, the 
doctrine will plainly be, that Monarchy or Kingly Govern- 
ment is most according to the mind of GOD. For it is not 
said, " seek the Parliament of GOD ! " "the Army of GOD ! " 
or " the Committee of Safety of GOD ! " but it is ** seek the 
Kingdom of GOD!" And who could expect less? Im- 
mediately after this [i.e., this argument], the King came in, and 
the Bishops were restored [1660 a.d.]. 

Again, Sir (because I would willingly be understood), 
suppose you design to preach about Election and Reproba- 
tion. As for the eighth chapter to the Romans, that is too 
well known ! but there is a little private place in the Psalms 
that will do the business as well ! Psalm xc. ig. In the 
multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight my soul. 

The doctrine, which naturally flows from the words, will 
be that amongst the multitude of thoughts, there is a great 
thought of Election and Reprobation ; and then, away with 
the Point ! according as the preacher is inclined. 

Or suppose, lastly, that you were not fully satisfied that 
Pluralities were lawful or convenient. May I be so bold, 
Sir ? I pray, what Text would you choose to preach up against 
non-residents ? Certainly, nothing ever was better picked 
than that of St. Matthew i. 2. Abraham begat Isaac. A 
clear place against non-residents ! for " had Abraham not 
resided, but had discontinued from Sarah his wife, he could 
never have begotten Isaac ! " 

But it is high time, Sir, to make an end of their preaching, 
lest you be as much tired with the repetition of it, as the 
people were little benefited when they heard it. 


1 shall only mind you, Sir, of one thing more ; and that is 

[^4] the ridiculous, senseless, and unintended use which many 

of them make of Concordances. 

I shall give you but one instance of it, although I could 

furnish you with a hundred printed ones. 
The Text, Sir, is this, Galatians vi. 15, For in Christ 

Jesus neither Circumcision nor Uncircttmcision avail anything; 

but a new creature. Now, all the world knows the meaning 

of this to be, that, let a man be of what nation he will, Jew 

or Gentile, if he amends his life, and walks according to the 

Gospel, he shall be accepted with GOD. 

But this is not the way that pleases them ! They must 

bring into the sermon, to no purpose at all ! a vast heap of 

places of Scripture, which the Concordance will furnish them 

with, where the word new is mentioned. 

And the Observation must be that "GOD is for new 
things. GOD is for a new creature. St. John xix. 41, Now 
in the place where he was crucified, there was a garden ; and 
in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yei 
laid. There they laid Jesus. And again St. Mark xvi. 
17. Christ tells his disciples that they that are true 
believers, shall cast out devils, and speak with new 
tongues. And likewise, the prophet teaches us, Isaiah 
xlii. 10, Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise to 
the end of the earth. 

" Whence it is plain that Christ is not for old things. 
He is not for an old sepulchre. He is not for old tongues. 
He is not for an old song. He is not for an old creature. 
Christ is for a new creature I Circumcision and Uncircum- 
cision availeth nothing, but a new creature. And what do we 
read concerning Samson ? Judges xv. 15. Is it not that 
he slew a thousand of the Philistines with one new jaw- 
bone ? An oldoTiQ might have killed its tens, its twenties, 
its hundreds ! but it must be a new jawbone that is able 
to kill a thousand ! GOD is for the new creature ! 

" But may not some say, * Is GOD altogether for new 
things ? ' How comes it about then, that the prophet 
says, Isaiah i. 13, 14, Bring no more vain oblations ! &c. 
Your new Moons, and your appointed Feasts, my soul hateth ! 
And again, what means that, Deuteronomy xxxii. 17, ig, 
They sacrificed unto devils, and to new gods, whom they knew 

s-^Augf^eS] The Poverty of some of the clergy. 287 

not, to new gods that came newly up. . . . And when 
the LORD saw it, He abhorred them I To which I 
answer, that GOD indeed is not for new moons, nor for 
new gods ; but, excepting moons and gods, He is for the 
new creature." 

It is possible, Sir, that somebody besides yourself, may be 
so vain as to read this Letter : and they may perhaps tell 
you, that there be no such silly and useless people as I have 
described. And if there be, there be not above two or three 
in a country [county]. Or should there be, it is no such com- 
plaining matter : seeing that the same happens in other 
professions, in Law and Physic : in both [of] which, there be 
many a contemptible creature. 

Such therefore as these, may be pleased to know that, if 
there had been need, I could have told them, either the book 
(and very page almost) of all that has been spoken about 
Preaching, or else the When and Where, and the Person that 
preached it. 

As to the second, viz. : that the Clergy are all mightily 
furnished with Learning and Prudence ; except ten, twenty, 
or so ; I shall not say anything myself, because a very great 
Scholar of our nation shall speak for me : who tells us that 
" such Preaching as is usual, is a hindrance of Salvation 
rather than the means to it." And what he intends by 
** usual," I shall not here go about to explain. 

And as to the last, I shall also, in short, answer. That if the 
Advancement of true Religion and the eternal Salvation of a 
Man were no more considerable than the health of his body 
and the security of his estate ; we need not be more solicitous 
about the Learning and Prudence of the Clergy, than of the 
Lawyers and Physicians. But we believing it to be otherwise, 
surely, we ought to be more concerned for the reputation 
and success of the one than of the other. 

Come now, Sir, to the Second Part that was 
designed, viz. : the Poverty of some of the Clergy. 
By whose mean condition, their Sacred Profession 
is much disparaged, and their Doctrine undervalued. 
What large provisions, of old, GOD was pleased to make 

Priestly provision under the Old Law. [Ja^I^^ 


for the Priesthood, and upon what reasons, is easily seen to 
any one that but looks into the Bible. The Levites, it is true, 
were left out, in the Division of the Inheritance ; not to their 
loss, but to their great temporal advantage. For whereas, 
had they been common sharers with the rest, a Twelfth part 
only would have been their just allowance ; GOD was 
pleased to settle upon them, a Tenth, and that without any 
trouble or charge of tillage : which made their portion much 
more considerable than the rest. 

And as this provision was very bountiful, so the reasons, 
no question ! were very Divine and substantial : which seem 
chiefly to be these two. 

First, that the Priesthood might be altogether at leisure for 
the service of GOD : and that they of that Holy Order 
might not be distracted with the cares of the world ; 
and interrupted by every neighbour's horse or cow that 
breaks their hedges or shackles [or hobbled, feeds among] 
their corn. But that living a kind of spiritual life, and 
being removed a little from all worldly affairs ; they 
might always be fit to receive holy inspirations, and 
always ready to search out the Mind of GOD, and to 
advise and direct the people therein. 

Not as if this Divine exemption of them from the 
common troubles and cares of this life was intended as 
an opportunity of luxury and laziness : for certainly, 
there is a labour besides digging ! and there is a true 
carefulness without following the plough, and looking 
after their cattle ! 

And such was the employment of those holy men of 
old. Their care and business was to please GOD, and 
to charge themselves with the welfare of all His people : 
which thing, he that does it with a good and satisfied 
conscience, I will assure he has a task upon him much 
beyond them that have for their care, their hundreds of 
oxen and five hundreds of sheep. 
Another reason that this large allowance was made to the 
Priests, was that they might be enabled to relieve the 
poor, to entertain strangers, and thereby to encourage 
people in the ways of godliness. For they being, in a 
peculiar manner, the servants of GOD, GOD was 
pleased to entrust in their hands, a portion more than 

8Aug?i67o.] The meditations of a Country Parson. 289 

ordinary of the good things of the land, as the safest 
Storehouse and Treasury for such as were in need- 

That, in all Ages therefore, there should be a continued 
tolerable maintenance for the Clergy : the same reasons, as 
well as many others, make us think to be very necessary. 
Unless they will count money and victuals to be only Types 
and Shadows ! and so, to cease with the Ceremonial Law. 

For where the Minister is pinched as to the tolerable con- 
veniences of this life, the chief of his care and time must be 
spent, not in an impertinent [trifling] considering what Text 
of Scripture will be most useful for his parish ; what in- 
structions most seasonable ; and what authors, best to be 
consulted : but the chief of his thoughts and his main busi- 
ness must be, How to live that week ? Where he shall have 
bread for his family ? Whose sow has lately pigged ? 
Whence will come the next rejoicing goose, or the next 
cheerful basket ot apples ? how far to Lammas, or [Easter] 
Offerings ? When shall we have another christening and 
cakes ? and Who is likely to marry, or die ? 

These are very seasonable considerations, and worthy of a 
man's thoughts. For a family cannot be maintained by 
texts and contexts ! and a child that lies crying in the 
cradle, will not be satisfied without a little milk, and perhaps 
sugar ; though there be a small German System [of Divinity] 
in the house ! 

But suppose he does get into a little hole over the oven, 
with a lock to it, called his Study, towards the latter end 
of the week : for you must know, Sir, there are very few 
Texts of Scripture that can be divided, at soonest, before 
Friday night ; and some there be, that will never be divided 
but upon Sunday morning, and that not very early, but 
either a little before they go, or in the going, to church. I 
say, suppose the Gentleman gets thus into his Study, one 
may very nearly guess what is his first thought, when he 
comes there — viz., that the last kilderkin of drink is nearly 
departed ! that he has but one poor single groat in the house, 
and there is Judgement and Execution ready to come out 
against it, for milk and eggs ! 

Now, Sir, can any man think, that one thus racked and 

'1^ 7 

igo Usual library of a Country Parson, yx^'^e"?! 

tortured, can be seriously intent, half an hour, to contrive 
anything that might be of real advantage to his people ? 

Besides, perhaps, that week, he has met with some dismal 
crosses and most undoing misfortunes. 

There was a scurvy-conditioned mole, that broke into his 
pasture, and ploughed up the best part of his glebe. And, a 
little after that, came a couple of spiteful ill-favoured crows, 
and trampled down the little remaining grass. Another 
day, having but four chickens, sweep comes the kite ! and 
carries away the fattest and hopefullest of the brood. Then, 
after all this, came the jackdaws and starlings (idle birds that 
they are!), and they scattered and carried away from his 
thin thatched house, forty or fifty of the best straws. And, 
to make him completely unhappy, after all these afflictions, 
another day, that he had a pair of breeches on, coming over 
a perverse stile, he suffered very much, in carelessly lifting 
over his leg. 

Now, what parish can be so inconsiderate and unreason- 
able as to look for anything from one, whose fancy is thus 
checked, and whose understanding is thus ruffled and dis- 
ordered ? They may as soon expect comfort and consola- 
tion from him that lies racked with the gout and the stone, 
as from a Divine thus broken and shattered in his fortunes ! 

But we will grant that he meets not with any of these 
such frightful disasters ; but that he goes into his study with 
a mind as calm as the evening. For all that ; upon Sunday, 
we must be content with what GOD shall please to send us! 
For as for books, he is, for want of money, so moderately 
furnished, that except it be a small Geneva Bible (so small, 
as it will not be desired to lie open of itself), together with a 
certain Concordance thereunto belonging; as also a Latin 
book for all kind of Latin sentences, called Polyanthcea; with 
some Exposition upon the Catechism, a portion of which, is to 
be got by heart, and to be put off for his own ; and perhaps 
Mr. [Joseph] Caryl upon [John] Pineda [these two authors 
wrote vast Commentaries on the Book of Job] ; IMr. [John] 
DoD upon the Commandments, IMr. [Samuel] Clarke's Lives 
of famous men, both in Church and State (such as Mr. 
Carter of Norwich, that uses to eat such abundance of 
pudding) : besides, I say, these, there is scarcely anything 
to be found, but a budget of old stitched sermons hung up 

sA^g^'^ieS Argument for keeping the Clergy poor. 291 

behind the door, with a few broken girths, two or three yards 
of whipcord ; and, perhaps, a saw and a hammer, to prevent 

Now, what may not a Divine do, though but of ordinary 
parts and unhappy education, with such learned helps and 
assistances as these ? No vice, surely, durst stand before 
him ! no heresy, affront him ! 

And furthermore, Sir, it is to be considered, that he that 
is but thus meanly provided for : it is not his only infelicity 
that he has neither time, mind, nor books to improve himself 
for the inward benefit and satisfaction of his people ; but also 
that he is not capable of doing that outward good amongst 
the needy, which is a great ornament to that holy Profession, 
and a considerable advantage towards the having the doctrine 
believed and practised in a degenerate world. 

And that which augments the misery ; whether he be able or 
not, it is expected from him, if there comes a Brief to town, 
for the Minister to cast in his mite will not satisfy ! unless he 
can create sixpence or a shilling to put into the box, for a 
stale [lure], to decoy in the rest of the parish. Nay, he that 
hath but £"20 or ^30 [=£"60 to £go now] per annum, if he bids 
not up as high as the best in the parish in all acts of charity, 
he is counted carnal and earthly-minded ; only because he 
durst not coin ! and cannot work miracles! 

And let there come ever so many beggars, half of these, 
I will secure you ! shall presently inquire for the Minister's 
house. " For GOD," say they, " certainly dwells there, and 
has laid up for us, sufficient relief ! " 

I know many of the Laity are usually so extremely tender 
of the spiritual welfare of the Clergy, that they are apt to 
wish them but very small temporal goods, lest their inward 
state should be in danger ! A thing, they need not much fear, 
since that effectual humihation by Henry VIII. ** For," 
say they, " the great tithes, large glebes, good victuals and 
warm clothes do but puff up the Priest ! making him fat, 
foggy, and useless ! and fill him with pride, vainglory, and 
all kind of inward wickedness and pernicious corruption 1 
We see this plain," say they, " in the Whore of Babylon 
[Roman Catholic Church] ! To what a degree of luxury and 
intemperance, besides a great deal of false doctrine, have 

292 5S- OR 6S. FOR A SuNDAy's D U T Y. [^aSS 

riches and honour raised up that strumpet ! How does she 
strut it ! and swagger it over all the world ! terrifying Princes, 
and despising Kings and Emperors ! 

" The Clergy, if ever we would expect any edification from 
them, ought to be dieted and kept low ! to be meek and 
humble, quiet, and stand in need of a pot of milk from their 
next neighbour ! and always be very loth to ask for their 
very right, for fear of making any disturbance in the parish, 
or seeming to understand or have any respect for this vile 
and outward world ! 

'* Under the Law, indeed, in those old times of Darkness 
and Eating, the Priests had their first and second dishes, 
their milk and honey, their Manna and quails, also their 
outward and inward vestments : but now, under the Gospel, 
and in times of Light and Fasting, a much more sparing diet 
is fitter, and a single coat (though it be never so ancient and 
thin) is fully sufficient ! " 

" We must look," say they, " if we would be the better for 
them, for a hardy and labouring Clergy, that is mortified to 
[the possession of] a horse and all such pampering vanities ! 
and that can foot it five or six miles in the dirt, and preach 
till starlight, for as many [5 or 6] shillings ! as also a sober 
and temperate Clergy, that will not eat so much as the 
Laity, but that the least pig, the least sheaf, and the least of 
everything, may satisfy their Spiritualship ! And besides, a 
money-renouncing Clergy, that can abstain from seeing a 
penny, a month together ! unless it be when the Collectors 
and Visitationers come. These are all Gospel dispensations ! 
and great instances of patience, contentedness, and resigna- 
tion of affections [in respect] to all the emptinesses and 
fooleries of this life ! " 

But cannot a Clergyman choose rather to lie upon feathers 
than a hurdle ; but he must be idle, soft, and effeminate ! 
May he not desire wholesome food and fresh drink ; unless he 
be a cheat, a hypocrite, and an impostor ! And must he 
needs be void of all grace, though he has a shilling in his 
purse, after the rates be crossed [off] ! and full of pride and 
vanity though his house stands not upon crutches ; and 
though his chimney is to be seen a foot above the thatch ! 

O, how prettily and temperately may half a score of children 
be maintained with almost ;£*20 [=;^6o now] per annum\ 

sAul^ieJa] Financial difficulties of the Clergy. 293 

What a handsome shift, a poor ingenious and frugal Divine 
will make, to take it by turns, and wear a cassock [a long 
cloak] one year, and a pair of breeches another ! What a 
becoming thing is it for him that serves at the Altar, to fill 
the dung cart in dry weather, and to heat the oven and pull 
[strip] hemp in wet ! And what a pleasant thing is it, to see 
the Man of GOD fetching up his single melancholy cow from 
a small rib [strip] of land that is scarcely to be found without 
a guide ! or to be seated upon a soft and well grinded pouch 
[bag] of meal ! or to be planted upon a pannier, with a pair 
of geese or turkeys bobbing out their heads from under his 
canonical coat ! as you cannot but remember the man. Sir, 
that was thus accomplished. Or to find him raving about 
the yards or keeping his chamber close, because the duck 
lately miscarried of an egg, or that the never-failing hen has 
unhappily forsaken her wonted nest ! 

And now, shall we think that such employments as these, 
can, any way, consist with due reverence, or tolerable respect 
from a parish ? 

And he speaks altogether at a venture that says that "this 
is false, or, at least it need not be so ; notwithstanding the 
mean condition of some of the Clergy." For let any one make 
it out to me, which way is it possible that a man shall be 
able to maintain perhaps eight or ten in his family, with £"20 
or ^^30 per annum, without a intolerable dependence upon 
his parish ; and without committing himself to such vileness 
as will, in all likelihood, render him contemptible to his people. 

Now where the income is so pitifully small (which, I will 
assure you, is the portion of hundreds of the Clergy of this 
nation), which way shall he manage it for the subsistence of 
himself and his family ? 

If he keeps the glebe in his own hand (which he may 
easily do, almost in the hollow of it !) what increase can he 
expect from a couple of apple trees, a brood of ducklings, a 
hemp land, and as much pasture as is just able to summer a 

As for his tithes, he either rents them out to a layman ; 
who will be very unwilling to be his tenant, unless he may 
be sure to save by the bargain at least a third part : or else, 
he compounds for them ; and then, as for his money, he 
shall have it when all the rest of the world be paid ! 

294 Should not the Clergy be kept poor ? [lAng^Teyt 

But if he thinks fit to take his dues in kind, he then 
either demands his true and utmost right ; and if so, it is a 
great hazard if he be not counted a caterpillar ! a muck 
worm ! a very earthly minded man ! and too much sighted 
into this lower world! which was made, as many of the 
Laity think, altogether for themselves : or else, he must 
tamely commit himself to that little dose of the creature 
that shall be pleased to be proportioned out unto him ; 
choosing rather to starve in peace and quietness, than to 
gain his right by noise and disturbance. 

The best of all these ways that a Clergyman shall think 
fit for his preferment, to be managed (where it is so small), 
are such as will undoubtedly make him either to be hated 
and reviled, or else pitifully poor and disesteemed. 

But has it not gone very hard, in all Ages with the Men 
of GOD ? Was not our Lord and Master our great and high 
Priest? and was not his fare low, and his life full of trouble? 
And was not the condition of most of his disciples very 
mean ? Were not they notably pinched and severely treated 
after him ? And is it not the duty of every Christian to 
imitate such holy patterns ? but especially of the Clergy, 
who are to be shining lights and visible examples ; and 
therefore to be satisfied with a very little morsel, and to 
renounce ten times as much of the world as other people ? 

And is not patience better than the Great Tithes, and 
contentedness to be preferred before large fees and customs ? 
Is there any comparison between the expectation of a cringing 
bow or a low hat, and mortification to all such vanities and 
fopperies ; especially with those who, in a peculiar manner, 
hope to receive their inheritance, and make their harvest in 
the next life ? 

This was well thought of indeed. But for all that, if you 
please. Sir, we will consider a little, some of those remark- 
able Inconveniences that do, most undoubtedly, attend upon 
the Ministers being so meanly provided for. 

First of all, the holy Men of GOD or the Ministry in 
general, hereby, is disesteemed and rendered of small ac- 
count. For though they be called Men of GOD : yet when 
it is observed that GOD seems to take but little care of 

ijSs^^ti] Spiritual peddling with sermons. 295 

them, in making them tolerable provision for this life, or 
that men are suffered to take away that which GOD was 
pleased to provide for them ; the people are presently apt to 
think that they belong to GOD no more than ordinary folks, 
if so much. 

And although it is not to be questioned but that the 
Laying on of Hands is a most Divine institution : yet it is 
not all the Bishops' hands in the world, laid upon a man, if 
he be either notoriously ignorant or dismally poor, that can 
procure him any hearty and lasting respect. For though we 
find that some of the disciples of Christ that carried on and 
established the great designs of the Gospel, were persons of 
ordinary employments and education: yet we see little 
reason to think that miracles should be continued, to do 
that which natural endeavours, assisted by the Spirit of 
GOD, are able to perform. And if Christ were still upon 
earth to make bread for such as are his peculiar Servants 
and Declarers of his Mind and Doctrine ; the Laity, if they 
please, should eat up all the corn themselves, as well the 
tenth sheaf as the others : but seeing it is otherwise, and 
that that miraculous power was not left to the succeeding 
Clergy ; for them to beg their bread, or depend for their 
subsistence upon the good pleasure and humour of their 
parish, is a thing that renders that Holy Office very much 
slighted and disregarded. 

That constitution therefore of our Church was a most 
prudent design, that says that all who are ordained shall be 
ordained to somewhat, not ordained at random, to preach in 
general to the whole world, as they travel up and down the 
road; but to this or that particular parish. And, no question, 
the reason was, to prevent spiritual peddling ; and gadding up 
and down the country with a bag of trifling and insignificant 
sermons, inquiring " Who will buy any doctrine ? " So that 
no more might be received into Holy Orders than the Church 
had provision for. 

But so very little is this regarded, that if a young Divinity 
Intender has but got a sermon of his own, or of his father's ; 
although he knows not where to get a meal's meat or one 
penny of money by his preaching : yet he gets a Qualification 
from some beneficed man or other, who, perhaps, is no more 
,able to keep a curate than I am to keep ten footboys ! and so 

296 The Papacy inspires awe, many ways. ^Aug'^S 

he is made a Preacher. And upon this account, I have 
known an ordinary Divine, whose living would but just keep 
himself and his family from melancholy and despair, shroud 
under his protection as many Curates as the best Nobleman 
in the land hath Chaplains [i.e., eight]. 

Now, many such as these, go into Orders against the sky 
falls! foreseeing no more likelihood of any preferment coming 
to them, than you or I do of being Secretaries of State. Now, 
so often as any such as these, for want of maintenance, are 
put to any unworthy and disgraceful shifts ; this reflects 
disparagement upon all that Order of holy men. 

And we must have a great care of comparing our small 
preferred Clergy with those but of the like fortune, in the 
Church of Rome : they having many arts and devices of 
gaining respect and reverence to their Office, which we count 
neither just nor warrantable. We design no more, than to 
be in a likely capacity of doing good, and not discrediting 
our religion, nor suffering the Gospel to be disesteemed : but 
their aim is clearly, not only by cheats, contrived tales, 
and feigned miracles, to get money in abundance ; but to be 
worshipped, and almost deified, is as little as they will content 
themselves withal. 

For how can it be, but that the people belonging to a 
Church, wherein the Supreme Governor is believed never to 
err (either purely by virtue of his own single wisdom, or by 
help of his inspiring Chair, or by the assistance of his little 
infallible Cardinals ; for it matters not, where the root of 
not being mistaken lies) : I say, how can it be, but that all 
that are believers of such extraordinary knowledge, must 
needs stand in most direful awe, not only of the aforesaid 
Supreme, but of all that adhere to him, or are in any ghostly 
authority under him ? 

And although it so happens that this same extraordinary 
knowing Person is pleased to trouble himself with a good 
large proportion of this vile and contemptible world : so that 
should he, now and then, upon some odd and cloudy day, 
count himself mortal, and be a little mistaken ; yet he has 
chanced to make such a comfortable provision for himself 
and his followers, that he must needs be sufficiently valued 
and honoured amongst all. But had he but just enough to 

8Au|?^S] Roman Catholic priests not married. 297 

keep himself from catching cold and starving, so long as he 
is invested with such spiritual sovereignty and such a peculiar 
privilege of being infallible ; most certainly, without quarrel- 
ling, he takes the rode [?] of all mankind. 

And as for the most inferior priests of all, although they 
pretend not to such perfection of knowledge : yet there be 
many extraordinary things which they are believed to be able 
to do, which beget in people a most venerable respect towards 
them : such is, the power of "making GOD" in the Sacra- 
ment, a thing that must infallibly procure an infinite admira- 
tion of him that can do it, though he scarce knows the Ten 
Commandments, and has not a farthing to buy himself bread. 
And then, when " Christ is made," their giving but half of 
him to the Laity, is a thing also, if it be minded, that will 
very much help on the business, and make the people stand 
at a greater distance from the Clergy. I might instance, 
likewise, in their Auricular Confession, enjoining of Penance, 
forgiving sins, making of Saints, freeing people from Purga- 
tory, and many such useful tricks they have, and wonders 
they can do, to draw in the forward believing Laity into a 
most right worshipful opinion and honourable esteem of 

And therefore, seeing our holy Church of England counts 
it not just, nor warrantable, thus to cheat the world by 
belying the Scriptures ; and by making use of such falsehood 
and stratagems to gain respect and reverence : it behoves us, 
certainly, to wish for, and endeavour, all such means as are 
useful and lawful for the obtaining of the same. 

I might here, I think, conveniently add that though many 
preferments amongst the Clergy of Rome may possibly be as 
small as some of ours in England ; yet are we to be put in 
mind of one more excellent contrivance of theirs : and that 
is, the denial of marriage to Priests, whereby they are freed 
from the expenses of a family, and a train of young children, 
that, upon my word ! will soon suck up the milk of a cow or 
two, and grind in pieces a few sheaves of corn. The Church 
of England therefore thinking it not fit to oblige their Clergy 
to a single life (and I suppose are not likely to alter their 
opinion, unless they receive better reasons for it from Rome 
than have been as yet sent over) : he makes a comparison 
very wide from the purpose, that goes about to try the livings 

298 Good clothes grace the Message. yxS'ifyi 

here in England by those of the Church of Rome ; there 
being nothing more frequent in our Church than for a Clergy- 
man to have three or four children to get bread for, by that 
time, one, in theirs, shall be allowed to go into Holy Orders. 

There is still one thing remaining, which ought not to be 
forgotten (a thing that is sometimes urged, I know, by the 
Papist, for the single life of the Priests) that does also much 
lessen the esteem of our Ministry ; and that is the poor and 
contemptible employment that many children of the Clergy 
are forced upon, by reason of the meanness of their father's 

It has happened, I know, sometimes, that whereas it has 
pleased GOD to bestow upon the Clergyman a very sufficient 
income : yet such has been his carelessness as that he hath 
made but pitiful provision for his children : and, on the other 
side, notwithstanding all the good care and thoughtfulness of 
the father, it has happened, at other times, that the children, 
beyond the power of all advice, have seemed to be resolved 
for debauchery. 

But to see Clergymen's children condemned to the walking 
[holding] of horses ! to wait upon a tapster ! or the like ; and 
that only because their father was not able to allow them a 
more genteel education : these are such employments that 
cannot but bring great disgrace and dishonour upon the 

But this is not all the inconvenience that attends the 
small income that is the portion of some Clergymen : for 
besides that the Clergy in general is disesteemed, they are 
likely also to do but little good in their parish. For it is a 
hard matter for the people to believe, that he talks anything 
to the purpose, that wants ordinary food for his family ; and 
that his advice and exposition can come from above, that is 
scarcely defended against the weather. I have heard a 
travelling poor man beg with very good reason and a great 
stream of seasonable rhetoric ; and yet it has been very little 
minded, because his clothes were torn, or at least out of 
fashion. And, on the other side, I have heard but an 
ordinary saying proceeding from a fine suit and a good lusty 
title of honour, highly admired ; which would not possibly 
have been hearkened to, had it been uttered by a meaner 

8A^g':^67oO The advantages of a good countenance. 299 

person : yet, by all means, because it was a fancy of His 
Worship's, it must be counted high ! and notably expressed ! 
If, indeed, this world were made of sincere and pure beaten 
virtue, like the gold of the first Age, then such idle and fond 
prejudices would be a very vain supposal ; and the doctrine 
that proceeded from the most battered and contemptible 
habit [clothes] and the most sparing diet would be as ac- 
ceptable as that which flowed from a silken cassock [cloak] 
and the best cheer. But seeing the world is not absolutely 
perfect, it is to be questioned whether he that runs upon 
trust for every ounce of provisions he spends in his family, 
can scarce look from his pulpit into any seat in the church 
but that he spies somebody or other that he is beholden to 
and depends upon ; and, for want of money, has scarce con- 
fidence to speak handsomely to his Sextan : it is to be 
questioned, I say, whether one, thus destitute of all tolerable 
subsistence, and thus shattered and distracted with most 
necessary cares, can either invent with discretion, or utter with 
courage, anything that may be beneficial to his people, whereby 
they may become his diligent attenders and hearty respecters. 

And as the people do almost resolve against being amended 
or bettered by the Minister's preaching, whose circum- 
stances as to this life are so bad, and his condition so low : 
so likewise is their devotion very cool and indifferent, in 
hearing from such a one the Prayers of the Church. 

The Divine Service, all the world knows ! is the same, if 
read in the most magnificent Cathedral or in the most 
private parlour; or if performed by the Archbishop himself, 
or by the meanest of his priests : but as the solemnity of the 
place, besides the consecration of it to GOD Almighty, does 
much influence the devotion of the people ; so also the 
quality and condition of the person that reads it. And 
though there be not that acknowledged difference between a 
Priest comfortably provided for, and him that is in the thorns 
and briars ; as there is between one placed in great dignity 
and authority and one that is in less : yet such a difference 
the people will make, that they will scarce hearken to what 
is read by the one, and yet be most religiously attentive to 
the other. Not, surely, that any one can think that he 
whose countenance is cheerly and his barns full, can petitiori 

300 The Service read by contemptible men. \l'l^^Xt 

heaven more effectually, or prevail with GOD for the forgive- 
ness of a greater sin, than he who is pitifully pale and is not 
owner of an ear of corn : yet, most certainly, they do not 
delight to confess their sins and sing praises to GOD with 
him who sighs, more for want of money and victuals, 
than for his trespasses and offences. Thus it is, and will 
be ! do you or I, Sir, what we can to the contrary. 

Did our Church indeed believe, with the Papists, every 
person rightfully ordained, to be a kind of GOD Almighty, 
working miracles and doing wonders ; then would people 
most readily prostrate themselves to everything in Holy 
Orders, though it could but just creep! But as our Church 
counts those of the Clergy to be but mortal men, though 
peculiarly dedicated to GOD and His service ; their be- 
haviour, their condition and circumstances of life, will 
necessarily come into our value and esteem of them. And 
therefore it is no purpose for men to say " that this need not 
be, it being but mere prejudice, humour, and fancy : and that 
if the man be but truly in Holy Orders ; that is the great 
matter ! and from thence come blessings, absolution, and 
intercession through Christ with GOD. And that it is not 
Philosophy, Languages, Ecclesiastical History, Prudence, 
Discretion, and Reputation, by which the Minister can help 
us on towards heaven." 

Notwithstanding this, I say again, that seeing men are 
men, and seeing that we are of the Church of England and 
not of that of Rome, these things ought to be weighed and 
considered ; and for want of being so, our Church of England 
has suffered much. 

And I am almost confident that, since the Reformation, 
nothing has more hindered people from a just estimation of a 
Form of Prayer and our holy Liturgy than employing a company 
of boys, or old illiterate mumblers, to read the Service. And 
I do verily believe, that, at this very day, especially in Cities 
and Corporations, which make up the third part of our nation, 
there is nothing that does more keep back some dissatisfied 
people from Church till Service be over, than that it is read 
by some ^f lo or £12 man, with whose parts and education 
they are so well acquainted, as to have reason to know that 
he has but skill enough to read the Lessons with twice con- 
ning over. And though the office of the Reader be only tp 

LuSe?"-] Waiting outside till Prayers are over. 301 

read word for word, and neither to invent or expound : yet 
people love he should be a person of such worth and know- 
ledge, as it may be supposed he understands what he reads. 

And although for some it were too buidensome a task to 
read the Service twice a day, and preach as often ; yet cer- 
ll tainly it were much better if the people had but one sermon 

in a fortnight or month, so the Service were performed by 
a knowing and valuable person, than to run an unlearned 
rout of contemptible people into Holy Orders, on purpose 
only to say the Prayers of the Church, who perhaps shall 
understand very little more than a hollow pipe made of tin or 

Neither do I here at all reflect upon Cathedrals, where the 
Prayers are usually read by some grave and worthy person. 
And as for the unlearned singers, whether boys or men, 
there is no complaint to be made, as to this case, than that 
they have not an all understanding Organ, or a prudent and 
discreet Cornet. 

Neither need people be afraid that the Minister for want of 
preaching should grow stiff and rusty ; supposing he came 
not into the pulpit every week. For he can spend his time 
very honestly, either by taking better care of what he 
preaches, and lay considering what is most useful and season- 
able for the people : and not what subject he can preach upon 
with most ease, or upon what text he can make a brave 
speech, for which nobody shall be the better ! or where he can 
best steal, without being discovered, as is the practice of 
many Divines in private parishes. Or else, he may spend it 
in visiting the sick, instructing the ignorant, and recovering 
such as are gone astray. 

For though there be churches built for public assemblies, 
for public instruction and exhortation ; and though there be 
not many absolutely plain places of Scripture that oblige the 
Minister to walk from house to house : yet, certainly, people 
might receive much more advantage from such charitable 
visits and friendly conferences, than from general discourses 
levelled at the whole world, where perhaps the greatest part 
of the time shall be spent in useless Prefaces, Dividings, and 
Flourishings. Which thing is very practicable ; excepting 
some vast parishes : in which, also, it is much better to do 
good to some, than to none at all. 

302 Occasions of Contempt of the Clergy. {I'^.l^i 

There is but one calamity more that I shall mention, which 
though it need not absolutely, yet it does too frequently, ac- 
company the low condition of many of the Clergy : and that 
is, it is a great hazard if they be not idle, intemperate, and 

I say, I cannot prove it strictly and undeniably that a man 
smally beneficed, must of necessity be dissolute and 
debauched. But when we consider how much he lies subject 
to the humour of all reprobates, and how easily he is tempted 
from his own house of poverty and melancholy : it is to be 
feared that he will be willing, too often to forsake his own 
Study of a few scurvy books ; and his own habitation of dark- 
ness where there is seldom eating or drinking, for a good 
lightsome one where there is a bountiful provision of both. 

And when he comes there, though he swears not at all; yet 
he must be sure to say nothing to those that do it by all that 
they can think of. And though he judges it not fit to lead 
the Forlorn in vice and profaneness : yet, if he goes about to 
damp a frolic, there is great danger, not only of losing his 
Sunday dinner, but also all opportunities of such future 
refreshments, for his niceness and squeamishness ! 

And such as are but at all disposed to this lewd kind of 
meetings ; besides the Devil, he shall have solicitors enough ! 
who count all such revelling occasion very unsavoury and un- 
hallowed, unless they have the presence of some Clergyman 
to sanctify the ordinance : who, if he sticks at his glass, bless 
him ! and call him but "Doctor!" and it slides presently [i.e., 
the Clergyman drinks]. 

I take no delight, I must confess, to insist upon this : but 
only I could very much wish that such of our Governors as 
go amongst our small preferred Clergy, to take a view of the 
condition of the Church and Chancel ; that they would but 
make inquiry, Whether the Minister himself be not much out 
of repair ? 

Have now done, Sir, with the Grounds of that Dis- 
esteem that many of the Clergy lie under, both by 
the Ignorance of some, and the extreme Poverty of 
others. And I should have troubled you no further, 
but that I thought it convenient not to omit the particular 

sAuSs'to.] ^^^^ DOWN SUN AND MOON FOR ;^25 A YEAR. 303 

Occasions that do concur to the making of many of our 
Clergy so pitifully poor and contemptible. 

The first thing that contributes much to the Poverty of the 
Clergy is the great scarcity of Livings. 

Churches and Chapels we have enough, it is to be confessed, 
if compared v^^ith the bigness of our nation : but, in respect of 
that infinite number that are in Holy Orders, it is a very 
plain case, that there is a very great want. And I am confi- 
dent, that, in a very little time, I could procure hundreds 
that should ride both sun and moon down, and be ever- 
lastingly yours ! if you could help them but to a Living of £25 
or £^0 a year. 

And this, I suppose, to be chiefly occasioned upon these 
two accounts : either from the eagerness and ambition that some 
people have, of going into Orders ; or from the refuge of others 
into the Church, who, being otherwise disappointed of a 
livelihood, hope to make sure of one by that means. 

First, I say, that which increases the unprovided - for 
number of the Clergy, is people posting into Orders before 
they know their Message or business, only out of a certain 
pride and ambition. Thus some are hugely in love with 
the mere title of Priest or Deacon : never considering how 
they shall live, or what good they are likely to do in their 
Office ; but only they have a fancy, that a cassock, if it be 
made long, is a very handsome garment, though it be never 
paid for ; that the Desk is clearly the best, and the Pulpit, 
the highest seat in all the parish ; that they shall take place 
[precedence'] of most Esquires and Right Worshipfuls ; that 
they shall have the honour of being spiritual guides and 
counsellors ; and they shall be supposed to understand more 
of the Mind of GOD than ordinary, though perhaps they 
scarcely know the Old Law from the New, nor the Canon from 
the Apocrypha. Many, I say, such as these, there be, who 
know not where to get two groats, nor what they have to say 
to the people : but only because they have heard that the 
office of a Minister is the most noble and honourable employ- 
ment in the world ; therefore they (not knowing in the least 
what the meaning of that is). Orders, by all means, must 
have ! though it be to the disparagement of that holy 

Others also there be who are not so highly possessed with 

304 Ordained Clergy far in excess of Livings. [^^I^'i^g;! 

the mere dignity of the office and honourableness of the em- 
ployment ; but think, had they but licence and authority to 
preach, O how they could pay it away ! and that they can 
tell the people such strange things, as they never heard before, 
in all their lives ! That they have got such a commanding 
voice ! such heart-breaking expressions ! such a peculiar 
method of Text-dividing ! and such notable helps for the 
interpreting all difficulties in Scripture ! that they can shew 
the people a much shorter way to heaven than has been, as 
yet, made known by any ! 

Such a forwardness as this, of going in Holy Orders, either 
merely out of an ambitious humour of being called a Priest ; or 
of thinking they could do such feats and wonders, if they 
might be but free of the Pulpit, has filled the nation with 
many more Divines than there is any competent mainte- 
nance for in the Church. 

Another great crowd that is made in the Church is by 
those that take in there only as a place of shelter and refuge. 
Thus, we have many turn Priests and Deacons, either for 
want of employment in their profession of Law, Physic, or the 
like ; or having been unfortunate in their trade, or having 
broken a leg, or an arm, and so disabled from following 
their former calling ; or having had the pleasure of spending 
their estate, or being (perhaps deservedly) disappointed of 
their inheritance. The Church is a very large and good 
" Sanctuary" ; and one Spiritual shilling is as good as three 
Temporality shillings. Let the hardest come to the hardest ! 
if they can get by heart, Quid est fides ? Quid est Ecclesia ? 
quot sunt Concilia Generalia ? and gain Orders ; they may 
prove Readers or Preachers, according as their gifts and 
opportunities shall lie. Now many, such as these, the Church 
being not able to provide for (as there is no great reason that 
she should be solicitous about it) must needs prove a very 
great disparagement to her; they coming hither, just as the 
old heathens used to go to prayers. When nothing would 
stop the anger of the gods, then for a touch of devotion! and 
if there be no way to get victuals ; rather than starve, let us 
Read or Preach ! 

In short, Sir, we are perfectly overstocked with Professors 
of Divinity : there being scarce employment for half of those 
who undertake that office. And unless we had some of the 

I'Ant^efo.^ Exportation of Divines by the ton. 305 

Romish tricks, to ramble up and down, and cry Pardons and 
Indulgences ; or, for want of a living, have a good store of 
clients in the business of Purgatory, or the like, and so make 
such unrighteous gains of Religion : it were certainly much 
better if many of them were otherwise determined. Or un- 
less we have some vent [export] for our Learned Ones, beyond 
the sea ; and could transport so many tons of Divines yearly, 
as we do other commodities with which the nation is over- 
stocked; we do certainly very unadvisedly, to breed up so many 
to that Holy Calling, or to suffer so many to steal into Orders : 
seeing there is not sufficient work and employment for them. 

The next thing that does as much to heighten the misery of 
our Church, as to the poverty of it, is the Gentry's designing, 
not only the weak, the lame, and usually the most ill-favoured 
of their children for the office of the Ministry; but also such as 
they intend to settle nothing upon for their subsistence : 
leaving them wholly to the bare hopes of Church preferment. 
For, as they think, let the Thing look how it will, it is good 
enough for the Church ! and that if it had but limbs enough 
to climb the pulpit, and eyes enough to find the day of the 
month, it will serve well enough to preach, and read Service ! 

So, likewise, they think they have obliged the Clergy very 
much, if they please to bestow two or three years' education 
upon a younger son at the University : and then commend 
him to the grace of GOD, and the favour of the Church ; 
without one penny of money, or inch of land ! 

You must not think, that he will spoil his eldest son's estate, or 
hazard the lessening of the credit of the family, to do that which 
may, any way, tend to the reputation and honour of the Clergy ! 

And thus it comes to pass, that you may commonly ride 
ten miles, and scarce meet with a Divine that is worth 
above two spoons and a pepper box, besides his living or 
spiritual preferments. For, as for the Land, that goes 
sweeping away with the eldest son, for the immortality of 
the family ! and, as for the Money, that is usually employed 
for to bind out [apprentice] and set up other children ! And 
thus, you shall have them make no doubt of giving 5^500 or a 
5^1,000 [=;^i,5oo or £3,000 now] for a stock [capital] to them : 
but for the poor Divinity son, if he gets but enough to buy 
a broad hat at second-hand, and a small System of Faith or 
two, that is counted stock sufficient for him to set up withal. 

U 7 

3o6 Bricklayers better off than the Clergy. yXng.''i6'7o: 

And, possibly, he might make some kind of shift in this 
world, if anybody will engage that he shall have, neither 
wife nor children : but, if it so fall out, that he leaves the 
world, and behind him either the one or the others : in what 
a dismal condition are these likely to be ! and how will their 
sad calamities reflect upon the Clergy ! So dismal a thing 
is this commonly judged, that those that at their departure 
out of this life, are piously and virtuously disposed, do 
usually reckon the taking care for the relief of the poor Minis- 
ters' widows, to be an opportunity of as necessary charity as 
the mending the highways, and the erecting of hospitals. 

But neither are spiritual preferments only scarce, by reason 
of that great number that lie hovering over them ; and that 
they that are thus on the wing, are usually destitute of any 
other estate and livelihood : but also, when they come into 
possession of them, they finding, for the most part, nothing 
but a little sauce and Second Course (pigs, geese, and 
apples), must needs be put upon great perplexities for the 
standing necessaries of a family. 

So that if it be inquired by any one, How comes it to pass, 
that we have so many in Holy Orders that understand so 
little, and are able to do so little service in the Church ? 
if we may answer plainly and truly, we may say, " Because 
they are fit for nothing else ! " 

For, shall we think that any man that is not cursed to 
uselessness, poverty, and misery, will be content with ^^20 or 
£30 a year ? For though, in the bulk, it looks, at first, like 
a bountiful estate ; yet, if we think of it a little better, we shall 
find that an ordinary bricklayer or carpenter (I mean not 
your great undertakers [contractors] and master workmen) that 
earns constantly but his two shillings a day, has clearly a 
better revenue, and has certainly the command of more 
money. For that the one has no dilapidations and the like, 
to consume a great part of his weekly wages ; of which you 
know how much the other is subject unto. 

So that as long as we have so many small and contemp- 
tible livings belonging to our Church, let the world do what 
it can ! we must expect that they should be supplied by 
very lamentable and unserviceable Things. For that nobody 
else will meddle with them ! unless, one in an Age abounding 
with money, charity, and goodness, will preach for nothing ! 


For if men of knowledge, prudence, and wealth have a fancy 
against a Living of ;^20 or ^30 a year; there is no way to 
get them into such an undertaking, but by sending out a 
spiritual press [press gan^] : for that very few volunteers that 
are worth, unless better encouraged, will go into that Holy 
Warfare ! but it will be left to those who cannot devise how 
otherwise to live ! 

Neither must people say that, " besides Bishoprics, Pre- 
bendaries, and the like, we have several brave benefices, 
suffice to invite those of the best parts, education, and dis- 
cretion." For, imagine one Living in forty is worth ;^ioo 
[=5^300 now] a year, and supplied by a man of skill and 
wholesome counsel : what are the other thirty-nine the better 
for that ? What are the people about Carlisle bettered by 
his instructions and advice who lives at Dover ? It was 
certainly our Saviour's mind, not only that the Gospel should 
be preached to all nations at first ; but that the meaning and 
power of it should be preserved, and constantly declared to 
all people, by such as had judgement to do it. 

Neither again must they say, that " Cities, Corporations, 
and the great trading towns of this nation, which are the 
strength and glory of it, and that contain the useful people 
of the world, are usually instructed by very learned and 
judicious persons." For, I suppose that our Saviour's design 
was not that Mayors, Aldermen, and merchants should be 
only saved : but also that all plain country people should 
partake of the same means ; who (though they read not so 
many Gazettes as citizens ; nor concern themselves where the 
Turk or King of France [Louis XIV.] sets on next) yet the 
true knowledge of GOD is now so plainly delivered in 
Scripture, that there wants nothing but sober and prudent 
Offerers of the same, to make it saving to those of the 
meanest understandings. And therefore, in all parishes, if 
possible, there ought to be such a fixed and settled provision 
as might reasonably invite some careful and prudent person, 
for the people's guide and instruction in holy matters. 

And furthermore, it might be added, that the revenue 
belonging to most of the Corporation Livings is no such 
mighty business : for were it not for the uncertain and 
humorsome contribution of the well-pleased parishioners, 
the Parson and his family might be easily starved, for all the 

3o8 Indisposition of people to go to Church, [l^l'^^^fo. 

lands and income that belong to the Church. Besides, the 
great mischief that such kind of hired Preachers have done 
in the World — which I shall not stay here, to insist upon. 

And as we have not churches enough, in respect of the 
great multitude that are qualified for a Living: so, considering 
the smallness of the revenue and the number of people that 
are to be the hearers, it is very plain that we have too many. 
And we shall, many times, find two churches in the same 
yard, when as one would hold double the people of both the 
parishes. If they were united for the encouragement of some 
deserving person, he might easily make shift to spend, very 
honestly and temperately, the revenue of both. 

And what though churches stand at a little further 
distance ? People may please to walk a mile, without 
distemperating themselves ; when as they shall go three or 
four to a market, to sell two pennyworth of eggs. 

But suppose they resolved to pretend that they shall catch 
cold (the clouds being more than ordinarily thick upon the 
Sunday ; as they usually are, if there be religion in the case) ; 
and that they are absolutely bent upon having instruction 
brought to their own town. Why might not one sermon a 
day, or (rather than fail) one in a fortnight, from a prudent 
and well-esteemed-of Preacher, do as well as two a day from 
him that talks, all the year long, nothing to the purpose ; 
and thereupon is laughed at and despised ? 

I know what people will presently say to this, viz., that 
** if, upon Sunday, the Church doors be shut, the Alehouses 
will be open ! and therefore, there must be somebody (though 
never so weak and lamentable !) to pass away the time in the 
Church, that the people may be kept sober and peaceable." 

Truly, if religion and the worship of GOD consisted only 
in negatives, and that the observation of the Sabbath, was 
only not to be drunk ! then they speak much to the purpose : 
but if it be otherwise, very little. It being not much unlike, 
as it is the fashion in many places, to the sending of little 
children of two or three years old to a School Dame, without 
any design of learning one letter, but only to keep them out of 
the fire and water. 

Last of all, people must not say that "there needs no great 
store of learning in a Minister ; and therefore a small Living 
may answer his deserts : for that there be Homilies made on 

8A^g^'l67o.]'^i^vicE,NOT Preaching, THE Parson's work. 309 

purpose by the Church for young beginners and slow inventors. 
Whereupon it is, that such difference is made between giving 
Orders, and License to Preach : the latter being granted only 
to such, as the Bishop shall judge able to make sermons." 

But this does not seem to do the business. For though it 
be not necessary for every Guide of a parish to understand 
all the Oriental languages, or to make exactly elegant or 
profound discourses for the Pulpit ; yet, most certainly, it is 
very requisite that he should be so far learned and judicious 
as prudently to advise, direct, inform, and satisfy the people 
in holy matters; when they demand it, or beg it from him. 
Which to perform readily and judiciously requires much 
more discretion and skill, than, upon long deliberation, to 
make a continued talk of an hour, without any great discern- 
ible failings. So that were a Minister tied up, never to 
speak one sentence of his own invention out of the pulpit in 
his whole lifetime ; yet doubtless many other occasions there 
be, for which neither wisdom nor reputation should be want- 
ing in him that has the care and government of a parish. 

I shall not here go about to please myself with the imagi- 
nation of all the Great Tithes being restored to the Church ; 
having little reason to hope to see such days of virtue. Nor 
shall I here question the almightiness of former Kings and 
Parliaments, nor dispute whether all the King Henries in 
the world, with ever such a powerful Parliament, were able 
to determine to any other use, what was once solemnly 
dedicated to GOD, and His service. By yet, when we look 
over the Prefaces to those Acts of Parliament whereby some 
Church revenues were granted to Henry VHL, one cannot 
but be much taken with the ingenuity of that Parliament ; 
that when the King wanted a supply of money and an 
augmentation to his revenue, how handsomely, out of the 
Church they made provision for him, without doing them- 
selves any injury at all ! 

For, say they, seeing His Majesty is our joy and life; 
seeing that he is so courageous and wise ; seeing that he is so very 
tender of, and well affected to, all his subjects; and that he has 
been at such large expenses, for five and twenty whole years, 
to defend and protect this his realm: therefore, in all duty and 
gratitude, and as a manifest token of our unfeigned thankful- 
ness, We do grant unto the king and his heirs for ever, &c. 

3IO Rob the Bishops to help the Clergy ! [^XuSS' 

It follows as closely as can be, that because the king has 
been a good and deserving king, and had been at much 
trouble and expense for the safety and honour of the nation, 
that therefore all his wants shall be supplied out of the 
Church ! as if all the charges that he had been at, were upon 
the account only of his Ecclesiastical subjects, and not in 
relation to the rest. 

It is not, Sir, for you or I to guess, which way the whole 
Clergy in general, might be better provided for. But, sure 
it is, and must not be denied, that so long as many Livings 
continue as they now are, thus impoverished ; and that there be 
so few encouragements for men of sobriety, wisdom, and learn- 
ing : we have no reason to expect much better Instructors 
and Governors of parishes, than at present we commonly find. 

There is a way, I know, that some people love marvel- 
lously to talk of ; and that is a just and equal levelling of 
Ecclesiastical preferments. 

"What a delicate refreshment," say they, "would it be, 
if ;;^20,ooo or £30,000 a year were taken from the Bishops, 
and discreetly sprinkled amongst the poorer and meaner 
sort of the Clergy ! how would it rejoice their hearts, and 
encourage them in their Office ! "What need those great and 
sumptuous palaces, their city and their country houses, their 
parks and spacious waters, their costly dishes and fashion- 
able sauces ? May not he that lives in a small thatched 
house, that can scarcely walk four strides in his own ground, 
that has only read well concerning venison, fish, and fowl: 
may not he, I say, preach as loud and to as much purpose as 
one of those high and mighty Spiritualists ? Go to, then ! 
Seeing it hath pleased GOD to make such a bountiful pro- 
vision for His Church in general, what need we be solicitous 
about the emending the low condition of many of the Clergy, 
when as there is such a plain remedy at hand, had we but 
grace to apply it?" 

This invention pleases some mainly well. But for all the 
great care they pretend to have of the distressed part of the 
Clergy, I am confident, one might easily guess what would 
please them much better ! if (instead of augmenting small 
benefices) the Bishops would be pleased to return to them, 
those lands purchased in their absence [i.e., during the Com- 
monwealth, which were restored to the Bishoprics at the Re- 

8a5^i67o:] Beloved ! there is little hope of that 1311 

storation] : and then, as for the relieving of the Clergy, they 
would try if they could find out another way ! 

But, art thou in good earnest ? my excellent Contriver ! 
Dost thou think that if the greatest of our Church prefer- 
ments were wisely parcelled out amongst those that are in 
want, it would do such feats and courtesies ? And dost 
thou not likewise think, that if ten or twenty of the lustiest 
Noblemen's estates of England were cleverly sliced among 
the indigent ; would it not strangely refresh some of the 
poor Laity that cry ** Small Coal!" or grind scissors! 
I do suppose if GOD should afterwards incline thy mind 
(for I fancy it will not be as yet, a good while !) to be a 
Benefactor to the Church ; thy wisdom may possibly direct 
thee to disperse thy goodness in smaller parcels, rather than 
to flow in upon two or three with full happiness. 

But if it be my inclination to settle upon one Ecclesias- 
tical person and his successors for ever, a -^1,000 a year 
[=;£'3,ooo now] upon condition only to read the Service of the 
Church once in a week ; and you take it ill, and find fault with 
my prudence and the method of my munificence, and say that 
** the stipend is much too large for such a small task ": yet, 
I am confident, that should I make thy Laityship heir of 
such an estate, and oblige thee only to the trouble and 
expense of spending a single chicken or half a dozen larks once 
a year, in commemoration of me ; that thou wouldst count me 
the wisest man that ever was, since the Creation ! and pray 
to GOD never to dispose thy mind, to part with one farthing 
of it for any other use, than for the service of thyself and thy 

And yet so it is, that, because the Bishops, upon their 
first being restored [in 1660], had the confidence to levy 
fines, according as they were justly due; and desired to live 
in their own houses, if not pulled down ! and to receive their 
own rents: presently, they cry out, "The Churchmen have 
got all the treasure and money of the nation into their hands." 

If they have, let them thank GOD for it ! and make a good 
use of it. Weep not, Beloved ! for there is very little hope 
that they will cast it all into the sea, on purpose to stop the 
mouths of them, that say '* they have too much ! " 

What other contrivances there may be, for the settling 

312 Ridiculous Preaching moves to Atheism. [J-;£*":'i^t 

upon Ministers in general, a sufficient revenue for their sub- 
sistence and encouragement in their office ; I shall leave to 
be considered of, by the Governors of Learning and Religion. 

Only thus much is certain, that so long as the main- 
tenance of many Ministers is so very small, it is not to be 
avoided, but that a great part of them will want learning, 
prudence, courage, and esteem to do any good where they live. 

And what if we have (as by all must be acknowledged) 
as wise and learned Bishops as be in the world, and many 
others of very great understanding and wisdom ; yet (as was 
before hinted) unless there be provided for most towns and 
parishes some tolerable and sufficient Guides, the strength of 
Religion, and the credit of the Clergy will daily languish 
more and more. 

Not that it is to be believed that every small country 
parish should be altogether hopeless as to the next life, 
unless they have a Hooker, a Chillingworth, a Hammond, 
or a Sanderson dwelling amongst them : but it is requisite, 
and might be brought about, that somebody there should be, 
to whom the people have reason to attend, and to be directed 
and guided by him. 

I have. Sir, no more to say, were it not that you find 
the word Religion in the Title : of which in particular I have 
spoken very little. Neither need I ! considering how nearly 
it depends, as to its glory and strength, upon the reputation 
and mouth of the Priest. 

And I shall add no more but this, viz., that among those 
many things that tend to the decay of Religion, and of a due 
reverence of the Holy Scriptures, nothing has more occa- 
sioned it than the ridiculous and idle discourses that are 
uttered out of pulpits. For when the Gallants of the world 
do observe how the Ministers themselves do jingle, quibble, 
and play the fool with the Texts : no wonder, if they, who are 
so inclinable to Atheism, do not only deride and despise the 
Priests ; but droll upon the Bible ! and make a mock of all 
that is sober and sacred ! 

I am. Sir, Your most humble servant, 

T. B. 

August 8, 1670. 




Isaac Bickerstaff 
[i,e,y R/cuA ji D Steele']. 

The miseries of the Domestic Chaplain^ 

in 1 7 10. 


[The TatUr. No. 255. Thursday, 23 Nov. 1710,] 

To the Censor of Great Britain. 

Am at present, under very great difficulties ; which 
is not in the power of any one besides yourself, 
to redress. Whether or not, you shall think it a 
proper Case to come before your Court of Honour, 
I cannot tell : but thus it is. 

I am Chaplain to an honourable Family, very regular at the 
Hours of Devotion^ and I hope of an unblameable life : but, for 
not offering to rise at the Second Course, I found my Patron and 
his Lady very sullen and out of humour; though, at first, I did 
not know the reason of it. 

314 A Chaplaincy lost by eating jelly. [^jNoV^',' 

R. Steele. 

At length, when I happened to help myself to a jelly, the Lady 
of the house, otherwise a devout woman, told me ^^ It did not 
become a Man of my Cloth, to delight in such frivolous food ! " 
But as I still continued to sit out the last course, I was yesterday 
informed by the butler, that "His Lordship had no further 
occasion for my service." 

A II which is humbly submitted to your consideration, by. 

Your most humble servant, &c. 

The case of this Gentleman deserves pity, especially if he 
loves sweetmeats ; to which, if I may guess by his letter, 
he is no enemy. 

In the meantime, I have often wondered at the indecency 
of discarding the holiest man from the table, as soon as the 
most delicious parts of the entertainment are served up : 
and could never conceive a reason for so absurd a custom. 

Is it because a licorous palate, or a sweet tooth (as they 
call it), is not consistent with the sanctity of his character? 

This is but a trifling pretence ! No man of the most rigid 
virtue, gives offence by any excesses in plum pudding or 
plum porridge ; and that, because they are the first parts 
of the dinner. Is there anything that tends to incitation 
in sweetmeats, more than in ordinary dishes ? Certainly 
not ! Sugar-plums are a very innocent diet ; and conserves 
of a much colder nature than your common pickles. 

I have sometimes thought that the Ceremony of the Chap- 
lain flying away from the Dessert was typical and figurative. 
To mark out to the company, how they ought to retire from 
all the luscious baits of temptation, and deny their appetites 
the gratifications that are most pleasing to them. 

Or, at least, to signify that we ought to stint ourselves in 
the most lawful satisfactions; and not make our Pleasure, 
but our Support the end of eating. 

But, most certainly, if such a lesson of temperance had been 
necessary at a table : our Clergy would have recommended 
it to all the Lay masters of families ; and not have disturbed 

Nov.Tji';.] Steele's beautiful wayof putting things. 3 1 5 

other men's tables with such unreasonable examples of 

The original therefore of this barbarous custom, I take to 
have been merely accidental. 

The Chaplain retired, out of pure complaisance, to make 
room for the removal of the dishes, or possibly for the 
ranging of the dessert. This, by degrees, grew into a duty; 
till, at length, as the fashion improved, the good man found 
himself cut off from the Third part of the entertainment : 
and, if the arrogance of the Patron goes on, it is not impos- 
sible but, in the next generation, he may see himself reduced 
to the Tithe or Tenth Dish of the table. A sufficient caution 
not to part with any privilege we are once possessed of 1 

It was usual for the Priest, in old times, to feast upon 
the sacrifice, nay the honey cake ; while the hungry Laity 
looked upon him with great devotion : or, as the late Lord 
Rochester describes it in a very lively manner, 

And while the Priest did eat, the People stared. 

At present, the custom is inverted. The Laity feast 
while the Priest stands by as an humble spectator. 

This necessarily puts the good man upon making great 
ravages on all the dishes that stand near him ; and upon 
distinguishing himself by voraciousness of appetite, as know- 
ing that " his time is short." 

I would fain ask these stiff-necked Patrons, Whether they 
would not take it ill of a Chaplain that, in his grace, after 
meat, should return thanks for the whole entertainment, 
with an exception to the dessert ? And yet I cannot but 
think that in such a proceeding, he would but deal with 
them as they deserved. 

What would a Roman Catholic priest think (who is 
always helped first, and placed next the ladies), should he 
see a Clergyman giving his company the slip at the first 
appearance of the tarts or sweetmeats ? Would he not 

3i6 The Patrons' insolence of power. [^gNov^^'io. 

believe that he had the same antipathy to a candid orange 
or a piece of puif paste, as some have to a Cheshire cheese 
or a breast of mutton ? 

Yet to so ridiculous a height is this foolish custom grown, 
that even the Christmas Pie, which in its very nature is 
a kind of consecrated cate and a badge of distinction, is 
often forbidden to the Druid of the family. 

Strange ! that a sirloin of beef, whether boiled or roasted, 
when entire, is exposed to his utmost depredations and in- 
cisions ; but if minced into small pieces and tossed up with 
plums and sugar, it changes its property ; and, forsooth, it 
is meat for his Master ! 

In this Case, I know not which to censure [blame], the 
Patron or the Chaplain ! the insolence of power, or the abject- 
ness of dependence ' 

For my own part, I have often blushed to see a Gentleman, 
whom I knew to have more Wit and Learning than myself, 
and who was bred up with me at the University upon the 
same foot of a liberal education, treated in such an igno- 
minious manner ; and sunk beneath those of his own rank, 
by reason of that character which ought to bring him honour. 

This deters men of generous minds from placing themselves 
in such a station of life ; and by that means frequently ex- 
cludes Persons of Quality from the improving and agreeable 
conversation of a learned and obsequious friend. 

Mr. Oldham lets us know that he was affrighted from the 
thought of such an employment, by the scandalous sort of 
treatment, which often accompanies it. 

Some think themselves exalted to the sky^ 
If they light in some noble family : 
Diet, a horse, and Thirty pounds a year ; 
Besides tk'advantage of his Lordship's ear. 
The credit of the business, and the State ; 

,3Nov.'%io.] Oldham's Description of a Chaplain. 317 

Are things that in a youngster's sense sound great. 

Little the unexperienced wretch does know, 

What slavery he oft must undergo ! 

Who, though in silken scarf and cassock drest. 

Wears but a gayer livery, at best. 

When dinner calls, the Implement must wait, 

With holy words to consecrate the meat : 

But hold it, for a favour seldom known, 

If he be deigned the honour to sit down ! 

Soon as the tarts appear, " Sir Crape, withdraw I 

These dainties are not for a spiritual maw ! 

Observe your distance ! and be sure to stand 

Hard by the cistern with your cap in hand ! 

There, for diversion, you may pick your teeth 

Till the kind Voider comes for your relief. '' 

Let others who, such meannesses can brook, 
Strike countenance to every Great Man's look : 
I rate my freedom higher ! 

The author's raillery is the raillery of a friend, and does 
not turn the Sacred Order into ridicule : but it is a just 
censure on such persons as take advantages from the neces- 
sities of a Man of Merit, to impose upon him hardships that 
are by no means suitable to the dignity of his profession. 

Nestor Ironside 
[/.^., Richard Steele]. 

Another description of the miseries of the 
Domestic Chaplain^ in 1713, a.d, 

{The Guardian. No. 173. Thursday, 17 Sept. 1713.] 

Hen I am disposed to give myself a day's 
rest, I order the Lion to be opened [i.e., 
a letter-box at BuTTON^s Coffee-house], and 
search into that magazine of intelligence 
for such letters as are to my purpose. 
The first I looked into, comes to me 
from one who is Chaplain to a great 

He treats himself, in the beginning of it, after such a manner 
as I am persuaded no Man of Sense would treat him. Even 
the Lawyer, and the Physician to a Man of Quality, expect 
to be used like gentlemen ; and much more, may any one of 
so superior a profession ! 

I am by no means encouraging that dispute. Whether the 
Chaplain, or the Master of the house be the better man, and 
the more to be respected ? The two learned authors, Dr. HiCKS 

17 s^^t^'Tia-] Chaplain, a friend, guide, & companion. 3 1 9 

and Mr. Collier (to whom I might add several others) are 
to be excused, if they have carried the point a little too high 
in favour of the Chaplain : since in so corrupt an Age as that 
we live in, the popular opinion runs so far into the other 

The only controversy between the Patron and the Chaplain 
ought to be, Which should promote the good designs and 
interests of each other most ? And, for my own part, I think 
it is the happiest circumstance in a great Estate or Title, that 
it qualifies a man for choosing, out of such a learned and 
valuable body of men as that of the English Clergy, a friend, 
a spiritual guide, and a companion. 

The letter which I have received from one of this Order, is 
as follows : 

Mr. Guardian, 

Hope you will not only indulge me in the liberty of two 
or three questions ; but also in the solution of them. 

I have had the honour, m,any years, of being 
Chaplain in a noble Family ; and of being accounted 
the highest servant in the house : either out of respect to my 
Cloth, or because I lie in the uppermost garret. 

Whilst my old Lord lived, his table was always adorned with 
useful Learning and innocent Mirth, as well as covered with 
Plenty. I was not looked upon as a piece of furniture, fit only to 
sanctify and garnish a feast; but treated as a Gentleman, and 
generally desired to fill up the conversation, an hour after I had 
done my duty [i.e., said grace after dinner]. 

But now my young Lord is come to the Estate, I find I am 
looked upon as a Censor Morum, an obstacle to mirth and talk : 
and suffered to retire constantly with ** Prosperity to the Church 1 " 
in my mouth [i.e., after drinking this toast]. 

/ declare, solemnly, Sir, that I have heard nothing from all the 
fine Gentlemen who visit us, more remarkable, for half a year, 
than that one young Lord was seven times drunk at Genoa. 

I have lately taken the liberty to stay three or four rounds [i.e., 


of the bottle] beyond [the toast of] The Church ! to see what topics 
of discourse they went upon : hut, to my great surprise, have hardly 
heard a word all the time, besides the Toasts. Then they all stared 
full in my face, and shewed all the actions of uneasiness till I was 

Immediately upon my departure, to use the words of an old 
Comedy, " I find by the noise they make, that they had a mind to 
be private." 

I am at a loss to imagine what conversation they have among 
one another, which I may not be present at : since I love innocent 
Mirth as much as any of them ; and am shocked with no freedoms 
whatsoever, which are inconsistent with Christianity. 

I have, with much ado, maintained my post hitherto at the 
dessert, and every day eat a tart in the face of my Patron : but 
how long I shall be invested with this privilege, J do not know. 
For the servants, who do not see me supported as I was in my 
old Lord's time, begin to brush very familiarly by me : and they 
thrust aside my chair, when they set the sweetmeats on the table. 

I have been born and educated a Gentleman, and desire you will 
make the public sensible that the Christian Priesthood was never 
thought, in any Age or country, to debase the Man who is a member 
of it. Among the great services which your useful Papers daily 
do to Religion, this perhaps will not he the least : and it will lay a 
very great obligation on 

Your unknown servant, 

G. W. 


Benjamin Franklin. 

Toor "^j CHARD improved^ 
"Being an Almanac^ &'c.^ for 
the year of our Lord 1758. 

Richard Saunders. Philom. 

Courteous Reader. 

Have heard that nothing gives an author so great 
pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted 
by other learned authors. This pleasure I have 
seldom enjoyed. For though I have been, if 1 
may say it without vanity, an eminent author of 

X 7 

322 We are taxed by Idleness and Folly, [fjuiy?;""; 

Almanacs annually, now a full quarter of a century, my brother 
authors in the same way, for what reason I know not, have 
ever been very sparing in their applauses ; and no other 
author has taken the least notice of me : so that did not my 
writings produce me some solid Pudding, the great deficiency 
of Praise would have quite discouraged me. 

I concluded at length, that the people were the best 
judges of my merit ; for they buy my works : and besides, in 
my rambles, where I am not personally known, I have 
frequently heard one or other of my Adages repeated, with 
*' as Poor Richard says ! " at the end of it. This gave me 
some satisfaction, as it shewed, not only that my Instructions 
were regarded, but discovered likewise some respect for my 
Authority. And I own, that to encourage the practice of 
remembering and repeating those wise Sentences : I have 
sometimes quoted myself with great gravity. 

Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an 
incident I am going to relate to you ! 

I stopped my horse lately, where a great number of people 
were collected at a Vendue [sale] of Merchant's goods. The 
hour of sale not being come, they were conversing on the 
badness of the Times : and one of the company called to a 
clean old man, with white locks, *' Pray, Father Abraham ! 
what do you think of the Times ? Won't these heavy taxes 
quite ruin the country ? How shall we be ever able to pay 
them ? What would you advise us to? " 

Father Abraham stood up, and replied, " If you would 
have my advice ; I will give it you, in short ; for a word to 
the wise is enough, and many words won't fill a bushel, as 
Poor Richard says." 

They all joined, desiring him to speak his mind ; and 
gathering round him, he proceeded as follows : 

" Friends " says he, " and neighbours ! The taxes are 
mdeed very heavy ; and if those laid on by the Government 
were the only ones we had to pay, we might the more easily 
discharge them : but we have many others, and much more 
grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our 
Idleness, three times as much by our Pride, and four times 
as much by our Folly : and from these taxes, the Com- 
missioners cannot ease, or deliver us by allowing an abate- 
ment. However let us hearken to good advice, and something 

tjJ^iy""!"'] Time, the most preci-ous of all things. 323 

may be done for us. GOD helps them that help themselves^ as 
Poor Richard says in his Almanac of 1733. 

It would be thought a hard Government that should tax 
its people One-tenth part of their Time, to be employed in 
its service. But Idleness taxes many of us much more ; 
if v^^e reckon all that is spent in absolute sloth, or doing of 
nothing; with that which is spent in idle employments or 
amusements that amount to nothing. Sloth, by bringing on 
diseases, absolutely shortens life. Sloth, like Rust, consumes 
faster than Labour wears ; while the used key is always bright, as 
Poor Richard says. But dost thou love Life ? Then do not 
squander time! for thafs the stuff Life is made of, as Poor 
Richard says. 

How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep ? 
forgetting that the sleeping fox catches no poultry ; and that 
there will be sleeping enough in the grave, as Poor Richard 
says. If Time be of all things the most precious, Wasting of 
Time must be (as Poor Richard says) the greatest prodigality ; 
since, as he elsewhere tells us, Lost time is never found again; 
and what we call Time enough ! always proves little enough. 
Let us then up and be doing, and doing to the purpose : so, 
by diligence, shall we do more with less perplexity. Sloth 
makes all things difficult, but Industry all things easy, as Poor 
Richard says : and He that riseth late, must trot all day ; and 
shall scarce overtake his business at night. While Laziness 
travels so slowly, that Poverty soon overtakes him, as we read in 
Poor Richard ; who adds. Drive thy business ! Let not that 
drive thee ! and 

Early to bed, and early to rise, 

Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. 

So what signifies wishing and hoping for better Times ! We 
may make these Times better, if we bestir ourselves ! Industry 
need not wish ! as Poor Richard says ; and He that lives on 
Hope, will die fasting. There are no gains without pains. 
Then Help hands ! for I have no lands ; or if I have, they are 
smartly taxed. And as Poor Richard likewise observes, 
He that hath a Trade, hath an Estate, and He that hath a Call- 
ing, hath an Office of Profit and Honour : but, then, the Trade 


must be worked at, and the Calling well followed, or neither 
the Estate, nor the Office, will enable us to pay our taxes. 

If we are industrious, we shall never starve, for, as Poor 
Richard says. At the working man's house, Hunger looks in; 
but dares not enter. Nor will the Bailiff, or the Constable 
enter: for Industry pays debts, while Despair increaseih them, says 
Poor Richard. 

What though you have found no treasure, nor has any 
rich relation left you a legacy, Diligence is the Mother of Good- 
luck, as Poor Richard says; and GOD gives all things to 
Industry. Then 

Plough deep, while sluggards sleep ; 

And you shall have corn to sell and to keep, 

says Poor DiCK. Work while it is called to-day; for you 
know not, how much you may be hindered to-morrow : which 
makes Poor RiCHARD say, One To-day is worth two To-morrows, 
and farther. Have you somewhat to do to-morrow ? do it to-day ! 

If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a 
good master should catch you idle ? Are you then your own 
Master ? Be ashamed to catch yourself idle ! as Poor DiCK says. 
When there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, 
your country, and your gracious King ; be up by peep of day ! 
Let not the sun look down, and say, '* Inglorious, here he lies !" 
Handle your tools, without mittens ! Remember that The 
cat in glove catches no mice ! as Poor Richard says. 

'Tis true there is much to be done ; and perhaps you are 
weak handed ; but stick to it steadily ! and you will see great 
effects, For Constant dropping wears away stones, and By dili- 
gence and patience, the mouse ate in two the cable, and little 
strokes fell great oaks ; as Poor Richard says in his Almanac, 
the year I cannot, just now, remember. 

Methinks, I hear some of you say, " Must a man afford 
himself no leisure ? " 

" I will tell thee, my friend ! what Poor Richard says. 

Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure ! and 
Since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour I 

Leisure is time for doing something useful. This leisure the 


diligent man will obtain; but the lazy man never. So that, 
as Poor Richard says, A life of leisure, and a life of laziness 
are two things. Do you imagine that Sloth will afford you 
more comfort than Labour ? No ! for as Poor Richard says, 
Trouble springs from idleness, and grievous toil from needless ease. 
Many without labour, would live by their Wits only ; but they'll 
break, for want of Stock [i.e., Capital]. Whereas Industry 
gives comfort, and plenty, and respect. Fly Pleasures ! and 
they'll follow you ! The diligent spinner has a large shift, and 

Now I have a sheep and a cow 
Everybody bids me ** Good morrow** 

All which is well said by Poor Richard. 

But with our Industry ; we must likewise be Steady, 
Settled, and Careful : and oversee our own affairs with our 
own eyes, and not trust too much to others. For, as Poor 
Richard says, 

7 never saw an oft removed tree, 

Nor yet an oft removed family, 

That throve so well, as those that settled be. 

And again, Three Removes are as bad as a Fire ; and again 
Keep thy shop ! and thy shop will keep thee ! and again, // yoti 
woidd have your business done, go! tf not, send I and again, 

He that by the plough woidd thrive ; 
Himself must either hold or drive. 

And again. The Bye of the master will do more work than both 
his Hands ; and again. Want of Care does us more damage than 
Want of Knowledge ; and again, Not to oversee workmen, is to 
leave them your purse open. 

Trusting too much to others' care, is the ruin of many. 
For, as the Almanac says. In the affairs of this world, men 
are saved, not by faith, but by the want of it. But a man's own 
care is profitable ; for, saith Poor Dick, Learning is to the 
Studious, and Riches to the Careful ; as well as Power to the 
Bold, and Heaven to the Virtuous. And further, If you would 
have a faithful servant, and one that you like ; serve yourself ! 

And again, he adviseth to circumspection and care, even in 

326 We must add Frugality to Industry. [^•j^[^'f 

B. Franklin. 

the smallest matters ; because sometimes, A little neglect may 
breed great mischief: adding, For want of a nail, the shoe was 
lost ; for want of a shoe, the horse was lost ; and for want of a 
horse, the rider was lost ; being overtaken, and slain by the 
enemy. All for want of care about a horse-shoe nail. 

So much for Industry, my friends ! and attention to one's 
own business ; but to these we must add Frugality, if we 
would make our industry more certainly successful. A man 
may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, keep his nose, all 
his life, to the grindstone ; and die not worth a groat at last. A 
fat Kitchen makes a lean Will, as Poor Richard says, and 

Many estates are spent in the getting, 

Since women, for Tea, forsook spinning and knitting ; 

And men, for Punch, forsook hewing and splitting. 

If you would be healthy, says he in another Almanac, think 
of Saving, as well as of Getting ! The Indies have not made Spain 
rich; because her Outgoes are greater than her Incomes. 

Away, then, with your expensive follies ! and you will not 
have so much cause to complain of hard Times, heavy taxes, 
and chargeable families. For, as Poor DiCK says, 

Women and Wine, Game and Deceit, 

Make the Wealth small, and the Wants great. 

And farther. What maintains one vice, would bring up two children. 

You may think perhaps, that, a little tea, or a little punch, 
now and then ; diet, a little more costly ; clothes, a little 
finer ; and a little entertainment, now and then ; can be no 
great matter. But remember what Poor Richard says. 
Many a Little makes a Mickle ; and farther. Beware of little ex- 
penses ! a small leak will sink a great ship ; and again, Who 
dainties love ; shall beggars prove ! and moreover, Fools make 
feasts, and wise men eat them. 

Here are you all got together at this Vendue of Fineries 
and knicknacks ! You call them Goods : but if you do not 
take care, they will prove Evils to some of you ! You expect 
they will be sold cheap, and perhaps they may, for less than 
they cost ; but if you have no occasion for them, they must 
be dear to you ! Remember what Poor Richard says ! Buy 

7juiTi*7S7-] Silks, &c., put out the kitchen fire. 327 

what thou hast no need of, and, ere long, thou shalt sell thy 
necessaries ! And again, At a great pennyworth, pause a while ! 
He means, that perhaps the cheapness is apparent only, and 
not real ; or the bargain by straitening thee in thy business, 
may do thee more harm than good. For in another place, 
he says. Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths. 

Again, Poor Richard says, 'Tis foolish, to lay out money in 
a purchase of Repentance : and yet this folly is practised every 
day at Vendues, for want of minding the Almanac. 

Wise men, as Poor DiCK says, learn by others^ harms ; Fools, 
scarcely by their own : but Felix quern faciunt aliena perictda 
cautum. Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, 
has gone with a hungry belly, and half starved their families. 
Silks and satins, scarlet and velvets, as Poor RICHARD says, put 
out the kitchen fire I These are not the necessaries of life ; they 
can scarcely be called the conveniences : and yet only because 
they look pretty, how many want to have them ! The arti- 
ficial wants of mankind thus become more numerous than the 
natural ; and as Poor Dick says. For one ipoov person, there are 
a hundred indigent. 

By these, and other extravagances, the genteel are reduced 
to poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom they formerly 
despised; but who, through Industry and Frugality, have 
maintained their standing. In which case, it appears plainly 
that A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his 
knees, as Poor Richard says. Perhaps they have had a small 
estate left them, which they knew not the getting of. They 
think 'tis day ! and will never be night ! ; that a little to be spent 
out of so much ! is not worth minding {A Child and a Fool, as Poor 
Richard says, imagine Twenty Shillings and Twenty Years can 
never be spent) : but always taking out of the meal tub, and never 
putting in, soon comes to the bottom. Then, as Poor DiCK says. 
When the welVs dry, they know the worth of water ! but this they 
might have known before, if they had taken his advice. // 
you would know the value of money ; go, and try to borrow some I 
For, he that goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing ! and indeed, so 
does he that lends to such people, when he goes to get it in 
again ! 

Poor Dick further advises, and says 

Fond Pride of Dress is, sure, a very curse ! 

Ere Fancy you consult ; consult your purse ! 

328 Pride with Plenty, Poverty, Infamy. [^juiy^J 


And again, Pride is as loud a beggar as Want, and a great deal 
more saucy ! When you have bought one fine thing, you must 
buy ten more, that your appearance may be all of a piece ; but 
Poor Dick says, 'Tis easier to suppress the First desire, than to 
satisfy All that follow it. And 'tis as truly folly, for the poor to 
ape the rich ; as for the frog to swell, in order to equal the ox. 

Great Estates may venture more ; 
But little boats should keep near shore ! 

'Tis, however, a folly soon punished ! for Pride that dines 
on Vanity, sups on Contempt, as Poor Richard says. And in 
another place. Pride breakfasted with Plenty, dined with Poverty, 
and supped with Infamy. 

And, after all, of what use is this Pride of Appearance ? for 
which so much is risked, so much is suffered ! It cannot 
promote health or ease pain ! It makes no increase of merit 
in the person 1 It creates envy ! It hastens misfortune 1 

What is a butterfly ? At best 
He's but a caterpillar drest ! 
The gaudy fop's his picture just. 

as Poor Richard says. 

But what madness must it be, to run into debt for these 
superfluities ? 

We are offered, by the terms of this Vendue, Six Months' 
Credit ; and that, perhaps, has induced some of us to attend 
it, because we cannot spare the ready money, and hope now 
to be fine without it. But, ah, think what you do, when you 
run in debt ? You give to another, power over your liberty ! If 
you cannot pay at the time, you will be ashamed to see your 
creditor 1 You will be in fear, when you speak to him ! You 
will make poor pitiful sneaking excuses ! and, by degrees, 
come to lose your veracity, and sink into base downright 
lying ! For, as Poor Richard says. The second vice is Lying, 
the first is Running into Debt : and again, to the same purpose, 
Lying rides upon Debt's back. Whereas a free born English- 
man ought not to be ashamed or afraid to see, or speak to 
any man living. But Poverty often deprives a man of all 
spirit and virtue. 'Tis hard for an Empty Bag to stand upright! 
as Poor Richard truly says. What would you think of that 
Prince, or the Government, who should issue an Edict for- 

7 juiy"S] ^^^ ^^^ -^^^ Want, save while you may ! 329 

bidding you to dress like a Gentleman or Gentlewoman, on 
pain of imprisonment or servitude. Would you not say that 
" You are free ! have a right to dress as you please ! and that 
such an Edict would be a breach of your privileges ! and such 
a Government, tyrannical ! " And yet you are about to put 
yourself under that tyranny, when you run in debt for such 
dress ! Your creditor has authority, at his pleasure, to 
deprive you of your liberty, by confining you in gaol for life ! 
or to sell you for a servant, if you should not be able to pay 
him ! When you have got your bargain ; you may, perhaps, 
think little of payment, but Creditors {Poor Richard tells us) 
have better memories than Debtors; and, in another place, says. 
Creditors are a superstitious sect ! great observers of set days and 
times. The day comes round, before you are aware ; and the 
demand is made, before you are prepared to satisfy it : or, if 
you bear your debt in mind, the term which, at first, seemed 
so long, will, as it lessens, appear extremely short. Time 
will seem to have added wings to his heels, as well as 
shoulders. Those have a short Lent, saith Poor Richard, who 
owe money to be paid at Easter. Then since, as he says, The 
Borrower is a slave to the Lender, and the Debtor to the Creditor ; 
disdain the chain ! preserve your freedom ! and maintain 
your independency ! Be industrious and free ! be frugal and 
free ! At present, perhaps, you may think yourself in thriving 
circumstances ; and that you can bear a little extravagance 
without injury : but 

For Age and Want, save while you may ! 
No morning sun lasts a whole day, 

as Poor Richard says. 

Gain may be temporary and uncertain ; but, ever while you 
live. Expense is constant and certain : and 'tis easier to build 
two chimneys than to keep one in fuel, as Poor Richard says. 
So rather go to bed supperless, than rise in debt ! 

Get what you can ! and what you get, hold ! 

'Tis the Stone that will turn all your lead into gold ! 

as Poor Richard says. And when you have got the Philo- 
sopher's Stone, sure, you will no longer complain of bad times, 
or the difficulty of paying taxes. 

S30 Humbly ask for the blessing of GOD ! [yjui^"!"^; 


This doctrine, my friends ! is Reason and Wisdom ! But, 
after all, do not depend too much upon your own Industry, and 
Frugality, and Prudence ; though excellent things ! For 
they may all be blasted without the Blessing of Heaven : and, 
therefore, ask that Blessing humbly ! and be not uncharitable 
to those that at present, seem to want it ; but comfort and 
help them ! Remember, Job suffered, and was afterwards 

And now to conclude. Experience keeps a dear school ; but 
Fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that ! for it is true, 
We may give Advice, but we cannot give Conduct, as Poor 
Richard says. However, remember this ! They that won't 
be counselled, can't be helped ! as Poor RiCHARD says : and 
farther, that, // you will not hear reason, she'll surely rap your 
knuckles ! " 

Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people 
heard it, and approved the doctrine ; and immediately prac- 
tised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon ! 
For the Vendue opened, and they began to buy extravagantly ; 
notwithstanding all his cautions, and their own fear of taxes. 

I found the good man had thoroughly studied my Almanacs, 
and digested all I had dropped on those topics during the 
course of five and twenty years. The frequent mention he 
made of me, must have tired any one else ; but my vanity 
was wonderfully delighted with it : though I was conscious 
that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own, which he 
ascribed to me ; but rather the gleanings I had made of the 
Sense of all Ages and Nations. However, I resolved to be 
the better for the Echo of it ; and though I had, at first, de- 
termined to buy stuff for a new coat ; I went away resolved 
to wear my old one a little longer. Reader ! if thou wilt do 
the same, thy profit will be as great as mine. 
I am, as ever. 

Thine, to serve thee ! 

July 7, 1757. Richard Saunders. 


Abraham, 285. 

Absalom, Watson's, 18. 

Accius, 13, 15. 

Account of the Greatest English Poets, 

Account of the Proceedings of I. Bicker- 
staff against Me, N.Rowe, 187-193. 

Achaeus Erithrioeus, 15. 

Achilles, 12, 19, 21, 41, 248. 

Act of Banishment, lif'i, 147. 

Actseon, 19. 

Adagia Latino- Anglica, Clerk's, xlviii. 

Adam, 279. 

Addison, Dean, 234. 

Joseph, viii, xxxiv, xxxv, xxxvi, 

xxxvii, xxxviii, 207, 211, 225, 226, 
227, 228, 229, 234, 240; and the 
Whig Examiner, xxxiii ; Chief Sec- 
retary in Ireland, xxxvi ; Secretary 
of State, xxxvi ; Tickell's Life of, 

Lancelot, 211. 

Adelphi, Terence's, 60. 

Advice to an Author, Shaftesbury's, 

Advice to a Young Reviewer, Cople- 
ston's, xxi, 150-158. 

^neas, 11, 19, 65. 

yEneid, Virgil's, xxi, 18, 62. Lord 
Surrey's, 27. 

iEschylus, xxiii, 11, 15, 50, 61. 

iEson, 32. 

^thra, 59. 

Affanise, FitzGeoffrey's, xv. 

Affranius, 54. 

Ajax Telamon, 125. 

Albion's England, 13, 

Albumazar, Jonson's, xxvii. 

Alchemist, Jonson's, 77, 80, 88, 1 19. 

Aleppo, 268. 

Alexander ^tolus, 15, 20. 

Alexis Ferius, 15. 

Allegories, Spenser's, 37a 

Airs Well that Ends Well, xvi, 14. 
Almanack, Franklin's, xlviii, xlix, 321- 

Partridge's, 170, 178, 180, 193, 

196, 200. 
Almanza, battle of, 171. 
Amadis de Gaul, 22. 
Ambrosebury, 211. 
Amersham, Ellwood lived at, xxvi, 

Amintce Gaudia, 1 6. 
Amipsias Atheniensis, 15. 
Amphion, 21. 
An Answer to a Letter of Enquiry, by 

Eachard, xlii. 
Anacreon, 15, 19. 
Anaxandrides Rhodeus, 15. 
Andreas Alciatus, 18. 
Andromede, 81. 
Ane Short Treatise conteining some 

rewles and cautelis to be observit, by 

James I., xii. 
Angel, the, in Cornhill, 241. 
Anglise Notitia, viii, xl. 
Anjou, Duke of, xi, 173. 
Anne, queen, vii, xxvii, 177. 
Annus Mirabilis, Dryden's, xix« 
Antigone, Watson's, 18. 
Antipater, Sidonius, 17, 18. 
Antiphilus, 20. 
Antipho, 60. 
Antonius, 18. 
Apelles, 20. 
Apocrypha, The, 303. 
Apollo, 19, 24. 
Apollo Angltcanus, xliv. 
Apollodorus, 18. 

Atheniensis, 20. 

Tarsensis, 15. 

Apologiefor Poetry, Harington's, xii. 
Aquilius, 18. 
Aratus, 18. 
Arber, Prof., xlix. 



Critical Essays 

Arcadia, Sidney's, xi, 12. 

Archesilaus Prytanceus, 19. 

Archilochus Parius, 16. 

Archippus Atheniensis, 15. 

Arete, 12. 

Ariadne, 12, 183. 

Aries, 272. 

Arion, 21. 

Ariosto, 14. 

Aristides, Thebanus, 20. 

Aristonus, 21. 

Aristonymus, 15. 

Aristophanes, 11, 15, 50, 54, 61, 

Aristotle, 18, 21, 49, 51, 56, 57, 59, 

66, 95. 97. 100, 103, 116, 125, 128, 

Arnolde, 20. 
Art of Cookery, xxxi. 

of English Poesie, xi, xii. 

of Love, xxxi. 

of Rhetoric, Wilson's, vii, viii, ix. 

Arthur of the Round Table, 22. 
Artillery Walk, Milton settles in, xxv. 
Ascham, Roger, x ; Thomas Wilson, 

pupil of, ix. 
Astrological Impostor convicted (Bicker- 

staffe), 185, 186. 
Asturias, Prince of, 173. 
Astyanax, 61. 

Astydamas Atheniensis, 15. 
Atalantis, xxxiv. 
Atchdow, Thomas, 14. 
Athens, 19. 
Atreus, 32. 

Atterbury, Dr., xxxii, 205, 
Atticus, 41. 
Augustus, emperor, xiv, 11, 17, 24, 61, 

Aulus Parcius Flaccus, 13. 
Aurora, 162. 
Ausonius, 11, 18. 
Aylesbury, 144, 147. 

Babington, Churchill, xliii, xliv. 

Bacon, Lord, 153. 

Baker, John, xxxiv ; his opinion of 

Eachard, xli. 
Thomas, editor of the Female 

Tatler, xxxv. 
Barak, 278. 
Barclay, 27. 
Barnaby Bright, l(Xi, 
Barnficld, Richard, 16, 17. 
Barnstaple, Gay born there, xxx. 

Bartholomew Fair, 77, 92. 

Bassanius and Gceta, 69. 

Bastard, 16. 

Battle of Books, Swift's, xxviL 

Baxter's Life, xliv. 

Beaumont, 34, 66, 86. 

Bemba, Cardinal, 17. 

Bennet, Ambrose, Justice, 143, 144. 

Bentley, 195. 

Berkshire, Thomas Howard, Earl of, 

Betterton, 52. 
Bettes, John, 20. 

Thomas, 20. 

Bevis of Hampton, 22. 

Beza, 17. 

Bible, The, 278, 279, 288, 312. 

the Geneva, 290. 

Biblis, 64. 

Bickerstaff, Isaac, xxviii, xxxiii, xxxiv, 

xxxv, 167-181, 185-200, 204, 205, 

206, 208, 209, 313-320. 
Biena, Cardinal, 17. 
Birch, Nathaniel, 145. 
Birkenhead, Sir John, 125. 
Black Knight, the, 22. 

Prince, the, xviii. 

Blanchardine, 22. 

Blankes, 21. 

Blithman, 21. 

Boccaccio, 14. 

Boden, 6. 

Bodenham, John, xiii. 

Boetius, 21. 

Boileau, Monsieur, 212. 

Bolingbroke, xxxii. 

Bonstetten, his attraction for Gray, 

XX iv. 
Boswell, xvi. 

Botolf Lane, Meres lived in, xv. 
Boyle, Roger, xviii, 195. 
Bradley, Richard, 141. 
Brandon, Charles, ix. 

Henry, ix. 

Bray, Jacques de, 20. 

Breton, 15, 16. 

Bridewell, Yalden, preacher of, xxix. 

Bristol, 211. 

British Apollo, xxxv, 210. 

Critic, xxii. 

Brixius, Germanus, II. 
Broghill, Baron, xviii. 
Brooke, N., 241. 
Brunswerd, John, il. 
Bryan, Sir Francis, 16. 



Buchananus, Georgius, 17. 
Buckhurst, Lord, xx, 15, 26, 39-41, 44, 

93. 127. 
Bularchus, 20. 
Bull, Doctor, 21. 
Bunhill Fields, xxv. 
Bunyan, John, 141. 
Burbie, Cuthbert, xiii. 
Burgundy, Duke of, 175. 
Burke, 158. 
Burnet, xliv. 

Burrough, Edward, xxiv. 
Butler, X. 

Button's Coffee House, 318. 
Byrd, 21. 

Cadmus, 32. 

Caesar, 12, 41, 267. 

Calderon, 69. 

Callias Atheniensis, 15. 

Callimachus, 15. 

Cambridge, viii. 

Campaign, The, Addison's, 215. 

Campion, Thos., xvi, 11. 

Canthara, 60. 

Capulets, 67. 

Cariclea, 12. 

Carlisle, 307. 

Carr, Nicholas, il. 

Carter, 290. 

Caryl, Joseph, 290. 

Case, Doctor, 18, 178. 

Cassandra, 61. 

Cassius Severus, 16. 

Castle of Fame, 22. 

Castor, 199. 

Cataline, 70, 81, 84, 87, 119, 133. 

Cato, 41, 217, 236, 267. 

Catullus, 12, 16, 235. 

Caunus, 64. 

Celiano, 14. 

Censor of Great Britain, Bickerstaff's 
letter to, 313. 

Cerberus, 159. 

Certayne Notes of Instruction concern- 
ing the makyngof Verse in Rhyme, 

Chseronea, xxv. 

Chaldeans, 21. 

Chalfont, Milton at, xxvi. 

St. Giles, xxvii, 147. 

St. Peter, 147. 

Challoner, Master, 16. 

Chamberlayne, Edward, viii, xxix, xl, 
xliii, 239-240 ; his publications, xl ; 

secretary to the Earl of Carlisle, xl ; 
instructor to Prince George of Den- 
mark, xl; Fellow of the Royal 
Society, xl. 

Chamillard, 175. 

Chapman, George, xiii, 12, 14, 15, 16, 

Charles i., 86. 

II., 40. 

Charleton Park, Dryden writes Essay 
of Dramatic Poesie there, xx. 

Chartreuse (Charterhouse School, Lon- 
don), 211. 

Chaucer, xxvii, 10. 

Cheke, Sir John, Thomas Wilson, 
pupil of, ix. 

Chelsea, Chamberlayne dies at, xl. 

Chester, Copleston, Dean of, xxii. 

Earl of, xl. 

Chettle, Henry, 16. 

Chillingworth, 312. 

Chiron, 21. 

Chcerea, 53. 

Chremes, 53. 

Christian Religion, Addison's, 219. 

Chrysogonus, 21. 

Churchyard, 16. 

Cicero, xxi, 12, 18, 19, 21. 

Cider, Phillip's, xxxi. 

Cinna, 46, 79. 

Civil War, the, Chamberlayne and, xl ; 
Howard distinguishes himself in, 

Clark's edition of Wood's Life and 
Times, xiii. 

Clarke, Samuel, 290. 

Claudian, 29. 

Claudianus, 11. 

Claudius Csesar, 54. 

Cleonoeus, Cimon, 20. 

Clere, Monsieur le, 195. 

Clerk's collections, xlviii. 

Cleveland, 62, 63. 

Clinias, 21. 

Clodius Sabinus, 16. 

Cnceus Getulicus, 16. 

Cocker, 166. 

Coecilius, 54. 

Cokes, 92. 

Cole, Peter, 20. 

Collection of English Proverbs, Ray's, 

Collegiate Ladies, 92. 

Collier, Jeremy, xlv. 



Critical Essays 

Collins, Arthur, xi. 

Combe, Thomas, i8. 

Comedy of Errors, 14. 

Comedy of Rome, xxvii. 

Commenius, 249. 

Commiitee, The, by Howard, xviii. 

Concerning that Universal Hatred 

against the Clergy : A Study by 

Eachard, xlvi. 
Concordances, the misuse of, 286. 
Congreve, William, viii, xxix, xxxiv, 

225, 231. 
Contempt of the Clergy, xlv, xlvi. 
Cooper, 21. 
Cooper's Hill, 28. 
Copleston, Bishop, vii, xxi, 149-166; 

Professor of Poetry, xxi ; Provost of 

Oriel, xxii ; his university reforms, 

W. J., his Life of Bishop Cople- 
ston, xxii. 
Corneille, 53, 54, 66, 70, 72, 75, 81, 

82, 83, 84, 91, 97, 125, 128, 132. 

the younger, 76. 

Cornelius, painter, 20, 

Plinius, 18. 

Cornificius, Quintus, 16. 

Corpus Christi College, Page, Fellow 

of, 16 ; Copleston a scholar at, xxi. 
Corusodes in Swift's Essay on the Fates 

of Clergymen, xliii. 
Cotgrave, 45. 

Country Parson, Herbert's, xli. 
Coventry, Archdeacon of, 211. 
Cowley, xxi, 48. 
Craggs, J., 220. 
Crape, Sir, 317. 
Creetes, John de, 20. 
Cremes, 60. 
Crison, Claudia, 8. 
Crites, Howard introduced as in Essay 

of Dramatic Poesie, xix, 43-49, 55, 

56, 61, 65, 66, 93, 97, 104, 105, 

106, 108. 
Cromwell, 93. 
Crowell, Ellwood born there, xxiv, 

Cure, 20. 
Curio, 70. 

Curious Amusements, Gay's, xxxv. 
Cutallus, 15. 
Cyrus, 12, 68. 

Dallis, Doctor, 21. 
Daniel, xiii, xvi, 12, 15, 16. 

Dante, xxv, 14. 

Dauphine, 88, 91, 173. 

D'Avenant, Sir William, 28, 52. 

Davies, 16. 

Daw, 92. 

De Foe, xxxii, xliv, 204. 

De incendio Trojce cum Priami eaU 
amilate, 15. 

Deborah, 278. 

Decius Ausonius Gallus, 13. 

Decker, 15. 

Dedicatory Epistle to the Rival Ladies, 
vii, xvi, xvii. 

Dedicatory Epistle to William Con- 
greve, Steele's, 225-238. 

Defence of Dramatic Poesy, Dryden's, 
xi, xii, xiv, xvii, xix, 28. 

Delia, 12. 

Dell, Thomas, 143. 

Demea, 60. 

Democritus, 164. 

Demodochus, 21. 

Demosthenes, xxv, 21 ; Wilson's trans- 
lation of, ix. 

Denham, Sir John, 28, 48 ; his version 
of Virgil's second ALneid, xxi. 

Denmark, Prince George of, Chamber- 
layne, instructor to, xl. 

Description of the Thermometer, 228. 

Destruction of Jerusalem, 15. 

Deuteronomy, 286. 

Devastation of Pepper, Frederigo's, 

Dialogues upon Medals, 215, 219. 

Diary, Pepys', xliv. 

and Letters of Madame D'Ar- 

blay, 90. 

Dickens, Charles, xxviii. 

Dictionary of National Biography, 

Dido, 12. 
Diego, 77, 83. 
Digressions concerning Critics, Swift's, 

Diodorus Siculus, 6. 
Diogenes, 19. 
Dion Nicaus, 8. 
Discourse of English Poesie, Webbe's, 

xii, xiv. 

of the English Stage, Fleck- 


on Poetry, Meres's, xv, xvi. 

Discoveries, Johnson's, xi, 53, 88, 

Dispensary, Garth's, xxxiv. 



•Distaff,' Mrs. Jenny, half-sister to 
Bickerstail, xxxv. 

Distress of the News Writers, 228. 

Dod, John, 290. 

Donne, Doctor, 63, 

Dorant, 76. 

Dorceus, 21. 

Dorias, 60. 

Dorset, Lord, 26, 27. 

Dove, 198. 

Dowland, 21. 

Dragon, the, xlii. 

Drake, Sir Charles Fitz-Geoffrey's, 12. 

Sir Francis, 9, 18. 

Drant, 16. 

Drayton, Michael, xiii, xvi, 11, 12, 13, 
14, 15, 16. 

Drummer, Addison's, viii, xxxvi, 
xxxvii, 225, 226, 227, 235, 237. 

Dryden, xvi, xviii, xix, xx, xxiii, 114, 
212, 231, 232 ; his acquaintance 
with Howard, xviii ; his Dedicatory 
Epistle to the Rival Ladies, 23-29 ; 
his Essay of Dramatic Poesy, 39-108 ; 
his defence of same, 115-134; his 
request to Milton to turn Paradise 
Lost into an opera, xxvi ; his style, 
xxi ; in the person of Neander, xix. 

Dublin edition of Swift's works, xxix. 

Dr, King, Archbishop of, xxxi. 

Dudley, John, Earl of Warwick, viii. 

Duke of Lerma, xix, no, 115, 116, 

132, 134- 
Dunciad, Oxell's, xxxii. 
Durham, 240 ; the bishopric of, 239. 
Dyer, Sir Edward, 16. 

Eachard, John, viii, xl, xliii, xliv, xlv, 
xlvi ; Swift's observations regarding, 
xli ; Contempt of the Clergy enquired 
into, 241-312. 

Eclogues, Virgil's, 12. 

Edes, Doctor, 15. 

Edgehill, 269. 

Edinburgh Review, vii, xxii. 

Edward II., 12. 

IV., II. 

Earl of Oxford, 15. 

Edwardes, 15. 

Egypt, 21. 

Elegy, BickerstafFs, 189. 

on the Death of Mr. Addison, 

Tickell's, 221. 

on Mr. Partridge, 181-184. 

Elijah, 278. 

Eliza, 12. 

Elizabeth, queen, xiv, 13, 17, 59, 240; 
dissuaded by Leicester from marrying 
the Duke of Anjou, xi. 

•Elizabethan Boswell,' Meres referred 
to as, xvi. 

literary criticism, vii. 

Ellwood, Thomas, vii, xxiii, xxiv, 
XXV, xxvi ; his edition of Fox^s Jour- 
nal, xxvi ; his relations with Milton, 
xiv, 13S-148. 

Ely, Bishop of, 276. 

Elyot, ix. 

Emmanuel College, 16. 

• England s Helicon,^ xiii. 

Heroical Epistles, 11, 12. 

English Drama, exalted by Howard, 

Ennius, 10. 

Epaminondas, 21. 

Epicures and Atheists, 19. 

Epigrams, Ausonius', 18. 

Epistle to his Fair Geraldine, II. 

Epistles, Ovid's, 18. 

Esau, 272. 

Esquire's Lucubrations, 206, 208, 209. 

Essay of Dramatic Poesy, Dryden's, 
vii, xvi, xvii, xix, xx, xxi, xxiii, iii, 
113, 117, 122; Dryden's defence of, 

Essay on the Fates of Clergymen, Swift's, 

xliii, xlvi. 
Essay upon the Georgics, 212. 
Ethiopia, 20. 
Eton, viii. 
Euclid, 21. 

Eugene, Prince, 171, 215. 
Eugenio in Swift's Essay on the Fates 

of Clergymen, xliii. 
Eugenius, 43, 44, 45, 46, 48, 49, 51, 

55, 64, 65, 66, 78, 85, 108. 
Eumarus, 20. 
Eumonius, 21. 

Eunuch, Terence's, 53, 59, 60, 61, 74. 
Euphorbus, 13. 
Euphrosyne, 160. 
Euphues, Lyly's, xiii. 
Eupolis Atheniensis, 15, 19. 
Euripides, 11, 13, 15, 18, 50, 54, 59, 

Eurydice, 12, 166. 
Eustachius, 253. 
Eveleigh, Dr., succeeded by Copleston 

as Provost of Oriel, xxii. 
Every Man in his Humour^ 86, 


Critical Essays 

Examiner, the, xxxv, 204 ; opposed by 
the Whig Examiner, xxxiii ; Dr. King 
and, xxxi ; first appearance of, xxxii. 

Fairfax, 21. 

Fairy Queen, 12. 

Faithful Shepherdess, 84, lOl. 

Falstaff, 89. 

Female Taller, xxxiv, xxxv, 

Ferrex and Porrex, 26. 

Ferris, Edward, 15. 

Fitz-Geoffrey, Charles, 12, 18 ; his 
poem addressed to Meres, xv. 

Fitzroy, Henry, Chamberlayne tutor 
to, xi. 

Flames and Discoveries, 282. 

Flap against the Maggot of Heresie, xlii. 

Flecknoe, xxi. 

Fletcher, 34, 64, 66, 74, 76, 79, 83, 
84, 85, 86, 94, 98, loi. 

Florence, 215. 

Flying Post, xxxii. 

Ford, Paul Leicester, xlix ; his mono- 
graph on sayings of Poor Richard, 

Four Sons of Ay man, 22. 

Fox, George, xxvi, 140. 

Fox, Johnson's, 80, 119. 

Fracastorius, 17. 

France, Francis I. of, 17. 

Franklin, Benjamin, viii, xlvii, xlviii, 
xlix, 321-330; his works, xlvii, 
xlviii, xlix ; his Almanack, xlvii, 

Fraunce, Abraham, 16. 

Frederigo, xlii. 

Freind, Dr., xxxii, xxxv. 

Friendly Debates, 276. 

Frog Fight, Johnson's, 18. 

Fulvia, 19, 70. 

Furies, 17. 

Gadbury, Robin, 170, 198. 

Gager, Dr., 15. 

Galen, 21. 

Gallian of France, 22. 

Gargantua, 22. 

Garth, xxxiv. 

Gascoigne, Geo., xii, 15, 16. 

Gaveston, 13. 

Gay, John, viii, xxx, xxxii, xxxiii, xlvi, 

201-210 ; his publications, xxxiv, 

Genesis, Book of, 272, 279, 281, 282. 
Gentlemen of Verona, ix. 

George I. , vii. 

Georgic, Addison's, 212, 231. 

Germanicus, 17. 

Geta, 60. 

GetEe, 19. 

Gibbon, the. University of, xxii. 

Gireleon, 22. 

Glendower, 160. 

Gloucester, Sir W, Morton, Recorder 

of, 146. 
God, 1-4, 19, 63, 267, 268. 
Godbid, W., 241. 
Godolphin, Lord, 215. 
Golchis, Peter, 20. 
Golding, 18. 
Googe, Barnabe, 18. 
Gospel of St. John, Panapolyta's, 18. 
Gosson, Stephen, 16. 
Governour, Elyot's, ix. 
Gower, 10. 
Grafton, Duke of, xi. 

publisher, ix. 

Grammar, Lilly's, 262. 

Grand Seignor, xli. 

Gratian, 13. 

Gray, xxiv. 

Great Favourite of the Duke of Lerma, 

109, 115. 
Greece, 10, 15, 20, 21. 
Greene, Robert, xiii, xiv, xvi, 14, 15, 

Greenwich, 44. 

Gregory, Saint, 240. 

Grounds and Occasions of the Contempt 

of Clergy, Eachard's, viii, xli, 241- 

Growler, The, xxxiv. 
Guardian, The, viii, xxxviii, 216, 318. 
Gulston, Wm. , bishop. 

Nathaniel, D.D., 211. 

Guy of Warwick, 22. 
Gymnosophists, 21. 

Haddon, Walter, 11. 

Hales, 85. 

Halifax, Earl of, xxxv, 210, 214, 233. 

Hall, Joseph, xvi, 16, 22. 

Halley, Captain, 177. 

Hammond, 312. 

Hannibal, 26. 

Harding, 11. 

Harington, xii, 18. 

Harrison, Wm., protigi of Swift, 

xxxiv, 208. 
Hart, 76, no. 



Harvey, Gabriel, 1 6, 19. 

Hath way, 16. 

Hebe, 162. 

Hector, 19, 65. 

Hedges, Sir Charles, 215. 

Heliodorus, 12. 

Henley, Anthony, xxxiv, 208 ; assists 

the Medley, xxxiii ; his description 

of Swift, xxxix. 
Henry iv., 14. 
Henry v., his rhymed plays revived by 

Orrery, xviii. 
Henry viii., 239, 252, 291, 309. 
Herbert, xli. 
Hercules, 3, 14, 58, 
Hercules ^tssus, 32. 
Hermippus, 19. 
Hero, 162. 

Hero and Leander, 14. 
Herodian, 69. 
Herodotus, 6. 

Herringman, xviii, xx, 30, 37, 109. 
Hertford, 143. 
Hesiod, 11, 18. 
Hewson, real name of John Partridge, 

Hey wood, Thos., 15, 16. 
Hicks, D., 318. 
Hieragonisticon, or Corah'' s Doom, 

Eachard's, xlii, xliii. 
Hieronimo, 20. 
Hiliard, 20. 

Hill, Aaron, friend of Gay, xxxi. 
Hippocrates, 21. 
Hipponax Ephesius, 16. 
History, Macaulay's, xliii, xliv. 
History of C a lest in a, 22. 

of Mustard, Tolambu's, xlii. 

of Thomas Ellwood, xxiv. 

Hobbes, xxi. 

Homer, xxiii, 10, II, 12, 13, 15, 18, 41, 

87, 125, 237, 248, 249. 
Honour of Chivalry, 22. 
Honourable Life and Death of Worthy 

Sir Francis Drake, 18. 
Honterus, Joannes, 13. 
Hooker, xiii, 312. 
Hopkins, 102. 
Horace, xxvii, 11, 14, 15, 16, 32, 49, 

51. 54, 55, 57, 59, 62, 65, 66, 73, 

91, 93, 116, 119, 125, 128. 
Hosea, 278. 
House of Commons, Howard accused 

of absurdity in the, xx. 
Howard, Henry, 11, 16. 

Howard, Sir Robert, vii, xvi, xvii, xviii, 
xix, XX, 30-36, 44, 97, 109-114, 116, 
121 ; introduced as Crites in Essay of 
Dramatic Poesy, xix ; accused by 
Dry den of an absurdity in House of 
Commons, xx ; a useful friend to 
Dryden, xviii. 

Lady Elizabeth, Dryden marries, 


Thomas, Earl of Berkshire, xviii. 

Hudibras, xxvii, xlii. 

Hunger Hill, Ellwood dies at, xxvii. 

Huon of Bordeaux, 22. 

Hyppolitus, 32. 

Idyllia, 12. 

Iliad, Homer's, 249. 

Illustrissimo Bickerstaffio Astrologico 

Instauratori, 195. 
Image and Certaiti Satires, Pygmalion's, 

Indian Emperor, xix, 102, 115. 
Queen, Dryden's, xvii, xviii, xix, 

Institutes of 07-atory, Wilson's, x. 
Inventory of the Play House, 228. 
Ireland, Addison, Chief Secretary of, 

Ironside, Nestor \i.e. Richard Steele], 

Isaac, 285. 
Isaiah, 282, 286. 
Isle of Dogs, Nash's, 19. 
Isocrates, 21, 

Jacob, 272, 281, 282. 

James I., His Ane Short Treatise, xii. 

II., 239 ; Partridge and the 

government of, xxviii. 

Jenkyns, Sir Liolin, 242. 

Jepthse, 17. 

Jewin Street, Milton living at, xxiv. 

Job, The Book, 290. 

Jodelle, 19. 

John, Saint, 276, 282, 284, 286. 

Johnson, Edward, 21. 

Johnston, 15, 18, 200. 

Jonah, Book of, 275. 

Jonson, Benjamin, xxvii, 15, 18, 31, 33, 
36, 53, 55, 58, 66, 70, 73, 76, 77, 81, 
85, 86, 87, 88, 90, 94, 97, loi, 104, 
108, 125, 128, 131, 132, 133, 162. 

Joseph, 281. 

Jotirnal, Fox's, 140 ; Ellwood, editor 
of, xxxi. 


Critical Essays 

Journal to Stella, Swift's, xxxiv. 

Judges, The Book of, 286. 

Julius Csesar, 94, 106, I2I. 

Jupiter, 62. 

Justin, 66. 

Juvenal, xxvii, 16, 19, 55, 64. 

Keble, The University of, xxii, 

Kendal, 16. 

King, John, 72. 

Archbishop, Swift's commission 

from, xxvii. 

and no King, 74. 

Dr., xxxii. 

Dr. William, Gay and the plight 

of, xxxi ; his parodies, xxxi. 
King's College, Cambridge, viii. 
Kings, Book of, 272. 
Kirleus, Mrs., a London quack, 178. 
Kirton, Holland, birthplace of Francis 

Meres, xv. 
Kyd, Thomas, xiii, 14, 15. 

La Gloria de T Cavallo, 8. 
Laberius, 94. 
Lafoole, 92. 
Laius, 58. 

L' Allegro, xxii. 159. 
Lambarn, Sarah, 146. 
Lancaster, Dr., 211. 
Langland, William, 10, 16. 
Languet, 6. 

Laracor, Swift, vicar of, xxvii. 
Leah, 279. 
Leander, 162. 
Lecky, xliv. 
Leg, Dr., 15. 
Leibnitz, Monsieur, 195. 
Leicester, Robert Sidney, Earl of, xi, 
8 ; Sir Philip Sidney's Letter to, 

Leland, 11. 
Lepanto, 17. 
Lerma, Duke oi{The Great Favourite], 

Howard's Preface to, 109. 
Lesbius, 21. 

VEstat Nouveau de la France, xl. 
L'Estrange, Sir Roger, xxxii. 
Letter from Italy, Addison's, 214. 
to his Brother Robert, Sidney's, 

vii, 5-9- 
to a Young Clergyman, Swift's, 

xliii, xlvi. 

to Crassus, xxxiii, 204. 

Lewis XIV., 175. 

Lichfield, Lancelot Addison, Dean of, 

Licinius Imbrex, 15. 
Life and Times, Wood's, xlii. 

of foseph Addiso7t, Tickell's, 211- 


of Copleston, xxii. 

of Virgil, Congreve's. 

Lightfoot, Dr., xli. 

Lillie, Charles, xxxiv, 209. 

Lilly, John, 15, 142, 251, 262. 

Ling, Nicholas, xiii. 

Linus, 10, 19, 21. 

Lisideius, 43, 44, 47, 65, 66, 68, 75, 
.76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 82, 93, 108. 

Livia, 70. 

Livius Andronicus, lo. 

Livy, 7. 

Llandaff, Copleston, Bishop of, xxi, 

Locke, John, 215. 

Lockey, 20. 

Lodge, T., xvi, 15, 16. 

London, 37, 137, 141, 143, 148, 184, 200. 

Long Acre, name Bickerstaff on a sign- 
board in, xxviii. 

Louis XIV., 26, 307. 

Love's Labour Lost, 14. 

Labour won, xvi. 

Lucan, 12, 15, 123. 

Lucanus, 11. 

Lucian, xxvii, 1S3, 263. 

Lucilius, 65. 

Lucrece, 13. 

Lucretius, 11. 

Lucubrations of Isaac Bickerstaff, xxx, 
229, 230. 

Lucullus, 16. 

Luke, St., 280, 284. 

Lycophron, 19, 50. 

Lycosthenes, 260, 270. 

Lydgate, 10. 

Lyly, xiii, xiv. 

Lyne, 20. 

Lysippus, 20. 

Macaulay, viii, xxxix, xliii, xlvi, 90. 
Macaulay's Characters of Clergy, by 

Babington, xliv. 
Machiavelli, 22. 
Macrobius, 54, 94. 
Maecenas, xiv, 16, 17- 
Magi, 21. 

Magliabecchi, Signior, 10$. 
Magnetic Lady, 73. 



Maid, The, 209, 

Maid's Tragedy, 80. 

Maiden Knight, 22. 

Mainwaring, Arthur, conducted the 

Medley, xxxiii. 
Mandringo, xlii, 
Mant's Poems, xxii. 
Mantua, Duke of, 176. 
Mantuan, 16, 18. 
Mantuanus, li. 
Marcus, 20. 

Annius Lucanus, 15. 

Atilius, 13, 15. 

Mark, St., 286. 

Markham, Gervase, 18. 

Marlborough, Duke of, 215. 

Marli, 175. 

Marlow, Christopher, xiii, xvi, 12, 14, 

15. 19- 

Marston, John, xvi, 16, 22. 

Martial, 16, 54, 46. 

Master of St. Catherine's Hospital, 
Thomas Wilson, ix. 

Matilda, 13. 

Matthew, St., 270, 273, 278, 280, 281, 
283, 284, 285. 

Marvell, xlii. 

Maxims, Penn's, xlix. 

Maynwaring, 205. 

Medea, 15, 32, 58, 61, 63. 

Medley, The, xxxiii, 205. 

Melancthon, 6, 17. 

Melanthus, 1 6. 

Melchisedec, xxxiv. 

Melibaus, 16, 208. 

Metnoirs of Benjamin Franklin, xlviii. 

Menander, 15, 18, 54. 

Merchant of Venice, 14. 

Mercury, 21, 66. 

Meres [or Meers], Francis, vii, xii, xiii, 
XV, 270 ; his list of Shakespeare's 
plays, XV ; Sketch of English Litera- 
ture, etc., 10-22. 

Merlinus Liberatus, Partridge's, xxviii. 

Redivivus, 199. 

Merry Wives of Windsor^ 84. 

Mervin, 22. 

Meta>norphosis, Ovid's, 18. 

Methuen, Sir Paul, 194. 

Midsummer Night's Dream, 14. 

Milithus, 13. 

Milston, 211. 

Milton, John, vii, xxiii, xxiv, xxv, 159- 
166, 217 ; Dryden's request to, xxvi ; 
Ellwood's relations with, 135-148. 

Mirror for Magistrates, 1 5. 

for Knighthood, 22. 

Miscellatties, Addison's, 213. 

Pope's and Swift's, xxiii. 

Miseries of the Domestic Chaplain, 

Mock Astrologer, Dryden's, xxvii. 
Moliere, 76, 92. 
Montagu, Charles, 210. 
Montagues, the, 67. 
Monthly Amusements, Ozell's, xxxii, 

Moore, Sir Thomas, 16. 
Moorfields, 183. 
Morley, 21. 

Morose (in Silent Woman), 88, 89, 90. 
Morphew, John, 167. 
Mortlake, Partridge's tomb at, xxx. 
Moses, 277, 278. 
Mud, Thomas, 21. 
Munday, Anthony, 16. 
Munster, Lord, President of, xviii. 
Muretus, 17. 
Musa Anglicana, 212. 
Musaeus, 10, 14. 
Muscovey, 194. 
Musical instruments, 228. 
Mustapha, 102. 
Mustapha, Orrery's, xviii. 
Mymnerus Colophonius, 16. 
Myrrha, stories of, 64. 

Ni^vius, 15. 

Naseby, 269. 

Nash, Thomas, 15, 19; his imprison- 
ment, xvi. 

Nativity of Lewis XLV., xxviii. 

Neande'r, 43, 66, 75, 85, 92, 93, 97, 
100, 108. 

Nevell, Master, 9. 

New Comedy of the Greeks, xxvii. 

Jordan, Ellwood buried at, xxvii. 

Newbery, 165. 

Newman, Cardinal, xxii ; the university 
of, xxii. 

Newton, Thomas, il. 

Nicseus, 12. 

Nicearchus, 20. 

Nicomachus Phrygius, IJ- 

Nicophanes, 20. 

Nicostratus, 15. 

Night Cap, 209. 

Noah, Warner's history from, to his 
own time, 13. 

Noailles, Duke of, xxix. 


Critical Essays 

Noailles, de, Cardinal, 1 73, 1 80, 1 86, 195. 
Normandy, Robert of, 13. 
Norwich, Bishop of, 16, 22. 
Noue, Lord de la, 22. 
Numps, 92. 

Observatory xliv, 202 ; set up by John 

Tutchin, xxxii. 
Ockland, Christopher, 11. 
Octavia, sister of Emperor Augustus, 

xlv, 17. 
Odyssey, 249. 
GEdipus, 58. 
Offices, Tally's, 250. 
Offwell, Edward Copleston born there, 

Oldham, xliii, xlvii, 216. 
Oldmixon, 205 ; assists the Medley, 

Oley, Bamabus, xli. 
Oliver, Isaac, 20. 
Oliver of Castile, 22. 
Olympius Mysius, 16. 
Olynthiacs, Wilson, translation of, ix. 
Oriel College, xxii ; Copleston Fellow 

of, xxi. 
Orlando Ftirioso, xiii, 18. 
Ornatus and Artesia, 22. 
Orpheus, 10, 12, 21, 166. 
Orrery, Earl of, xix, 23, 35 ; Rival 

Ladies dedicated to, xvii. 
Otter, 92. 
Ovid, II, 12, 13, 16, 18, 19, 62,63, 

96, 97, 125. 
Owlglass, 22. 
Oxford, XV, xxxi, 148 ; study of Cicero- 

nianism, the abuse of, xii. 
Oxford, Earl of, 15. 
Ozell, John, xxxii. 

Pagb, Samuel, 16. 

Paget, Dr., 135, 136, 137. 

Palermin de Oliva, 22. 

Palingenius, II, 18. 

' Pall Mall Gazette,' a chapter of 
Pendennis, xxiii. 

Palladis Tamia, vii, xiii, xv. 

Panapolyta, Nonnus, 18. 

Paneus, 20. 

Paradise Lost, xxiv, xxv, xxvi, 148. 

Regained, xxv, xxvi, 148. 

of Dainty Devices, Meres, con- 
tributor to, XV. 

Parker, Samuel, 242. 

and Cooke, 149. 

Parmeno, 59, 61. 

Parret, Edward, 143. 

Parrhasius, 20. 

Parthenius, 12, 16. 

Partridge, John, viii, xxriii, 170, 171, 
172, 173, 178, 180, 185, 187, 188, 
190-199; his Almanack, xxviii, xxix, 
XXX ; Swift's Verses on Death of, 
xxix; Swift's Hoax against, xxviii, 
xxix, XXX ; his Tracts, xxvii. 

widow, 190. 

Pastorals, 231. 

Paterculus, 50. 

Pattrick, Simon, 276. 

Paul, St., 265, 277. 

Peake, 20. 

Peele, George, xiii, xvi, 14, 15, 19. 

Pembroke College, 21 ; Meres gradu- 
ates at, XV. 

Countess of, 17. 

Pendennis, xxiii. 

Penington, Isaac, 135, 136, 137, 141, 
143, 146, 147, 148. 

Penn, William, xxvii, xlix. 

Pennington, John, 141. 

Pennington, William, 141. 

Pennsylvania, Franklin's Almanack in, 

Pennsylvania Gazette, xlix. 

Pepys, xliv. 

Perez, Consalvo, 11. 

Perot, Edward, 143. 

Perrault, 212. 

Perseus, 20, 81. 

Persius, 16. 

Petrarch, 10, 1 4. 

Petreius, 81. 

Petronius, 47, 55. 

Phsedria, 53, 60, 61. 

Phaer, 18. 

Phaeton, 247. 

Phidias, 20. 

Philadelphia, 321. 

Philamon, 21. 

Philaster, 86. 

Philelphus, 11. 

Philetas Cous, 16. 

Philip, King of Greece, 183. 

II. of Spain, 11. 

III., no, 132. 

Philipin, 83. 

Philippics, Wilson's translation of, ix. 

Philips, 21. 

Philom, 321. 

Philosophical Transcutions, xxxi. 



Phocylides, 11. 
Phoebus, 183. 
Pickwick, XXX. 
Pie7-s Plowmatt, lO, 16. 
Pigres Halicarnassoeus, 16. 
Pindarus, 11, 15. 
Pineda, John, 290. 

Pismires rebuffeted, Mandringo's, xlii. 
Plague, The, Milton returned to Lon- 
don after, xxv. 
Plato, 21, 127. 
Platonic Dialogues , xxi. 
Plautus, 10, 13, 14, IS, 31, 51, 54, 61, 

62, 64. 
Plutarch, xii, xiv, 7. 
Pluto, 166. 
Poems, Orrery's, 24. 
Polieucte, 79. 
Polignotus, 20. 
Politeuphuia, xiii. 
Politic and Military Discourses, 22. 
Politics, Case's, 18. 
Pollio, 62. 
Pollux, 199. 
Polyanthcea, 290. 
Pompey, 12, 39, 79. 
Pomponius Secundus, 15, 18. 
Pontanus, Jovianus, 11, 17. 
Poor Richard Improved, Franklin's, 

xlviii, 321-330. 

Richards Almanack, viii, xlvii. 

Pope, xxxii, 137. 

Porcius Licinius, 16. 

Portocarrero, Cardinal, 175. 

Potter, 16. 

PrcElectiones Academicce, xxi. 

Praxiteles, 20. 

Pre-Elizabethan literary criticism, vii. 

Predictions, BickerstafTs, 200. 

Swift's, 194, 195, 198. 

for the Year 1708, 167. 

Preface to Four New Plays, Howard's, 

vii, xvii. 
Preface to the Duke ofLerma, Howard's, 

Present State of Ettgland, Chamber- 

layne's, xl. 
Present State of Wit, Gay's, viii, xxx, 

Priam, 61. 

Primaleon of Greece, 22. 
Prior, xxxii, 205. 

Privy Councillor, Thomas Wilson, a, ix. 
Prodromus, Partridge's, xxviii. 
Progne, 32, 

Project for the Advancement of Religion, 

xliii, xlv. 
Propertius, 16. 
Provost of Oriel College, Copleston, 

XX ii. 
Psalms, The, 281. 
Ptolemy, 21. 

Pusey, The University of, xxii. 
Puttenham, George, xi, xii, xv. 
Pygmalion, 16. 
Pygmalion! s Image and Certain Satires, 

Pyrgoteles, 20. 
Pythagoras, 13. 
Pythias, 60. 
Pythus, 20. 

QuARLES, Francis, 46. 
Queen Gorboduc, 26. 
Queen's College, 211. 
Quinault, 76. 
Quintilian, x. 

Rabelais, 249. 

Rachael, 279. 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 16. 

Ranee, John, 138. 

Rankins, John, 22, 

Ray, xlviii. 

Ridpath, George, editor of Flying 
Post, xxxii. 

Rehearsal Transposed, Marvell's, xlii. 

Reminiscences of Bishop Copleston, 

Restoration, the, xxxix ; Chamberlayne 
and, Dryden affected by, xvii ; 
Howard at the, xviii ; terminates 
Milton's work as a politician, xxiv. 

Reusnerus, 18. 

Revenue Oflicer, A, Swift's, 178-184. 

Review, Defoe's, xliv. 

Richard II., 14. 

///., 14, 15. 

Saunders, an Almanack by Frank- 
lin, xlvii. 

Richelieu, Cardinal, 66, 76, 79. 

Rival Ladies, xvii, xix, 134. 

Rivington, F. C. and J. 

Robert, King of Sicily, 1 7. 

Rogers, 20. 

RoUo, 69. 

Romeo and Juliet , 14. 

Rosamond, 1 2, 215- 

Roscius, 18. 

Rosewell, Major, ng. 


Critical Essays 

Rowe, Nicholas, xxix, 185 ; Squire 
Bickerstaff Detected, written for 
Partridge, 187-193. 

Rowley, 15. 

Roydon, Matthew, 14. 

Ruffinus, 21. 

Rule of Reason , Wilson's, ix. 

Sad Shepherd, 84, 102. 

Sagittarius, 183. 

St. Catherine Hall, 242 ; Eachard, 

Fellow of, xl. 
St. John, Henry, xxxii. 
St. Mary Hall, Dr. King, Principal of, 

St. Paul's, Copleston, Dean of, xxi. 
Salvini, 215, 218. 
Sambucus, 18. 
Samson, 286. 
Sandys, 102. 
Sannazaro, 16. 
Sappho, 17. 
Sarah, 285. 
Satire, Oldham's, quoted by Steele, 

Saunders, John, xlix. 

Richard, xlix, 321. 

Savell, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. 

Scaliger, 17, 29. 

Scornful Lady, 74, 84. 

Scotland, James, King of, 17. 

Scott, xxix, XXX. 

Secretary of State, Addison, xxxvi. 

Wilson, ix. 

Sedley, Sir Charles, 44. 
Segar, Francis, 20. 

Wm., 20. 

Sejanus, 70, 74, 81, 84, 87, 119, 133. 
Seneca, 13, 15, 18, 31, 32, 54, 55, 61, 

63, 64, 96, 104, 106, 112, 120, 121, 

122, 267. 
Sentences, Spencer's, 270. 
Seven Champions of Christendom, 22. 
Sextus Propertius, 18. 

Turpilius, 15. 

Shakespeare, xiii, xv, xvi, xx, xxiii, 12, 

13, 14, 15, 16, 26, 27, 64, 68, 81, 

83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 94, loi. 
Shallow, Justice, 160. 
Sharp, Archbishop, his Life, xliv. 
Shepherds Calendar, Spenser's, xiii, 12. 
Short, P., printer, xiii. 
Short View of the Profaneness and 

Immorality of the English Stage, xlv. 
Shovel, Sir Cloudesley, 171. 

Sicily, King of, 17. 

Sidney, Sir Henry, xi. 

Sidney, Mary, xi. 

Sir Philip, vii, xi, xii, xiii, xiv, 

xvi, 12, 14, 16, 17, 28; his Letter to 

his Brother Robert, 5-9. 

Robert, xi. 

' Robin,' 5. 

Stephen, 8. 

Papers, by Collins, xi. 

Sidrophel in Htidibras, xxvii. 
Siege of Rhodes, 28, 100, 102. 
Sile7tt Woman, 77, 80, 85, 133 ; Ex- 

amen of, 88. 
Silius Italicus, 11. 
Simon Magnesius, 21. 
Skelton, ii. 
Skialetheia, 16. 
Slip-stocking, Parson, 274. 
Smith, Sir Thomas, Thomas Wilson a 

pupil of, ix. 
Smyrna, 268. 
Snow, Ralph, 242. 
Soames, Sir John, his disgust of King's 

parodies, xxxi. 
Social Position of the English Estab- 
lished Clergy in 1 669, 239, 24O. 
Socrates, 89, 127, 169, 172, 218. 
Solomon, 278. 

Solomon's Canticles, Marlsham's, 18. 
Somers, Lord, xxxv, 210, 213. 
Sonnets, Shakespeare's, 13. 
Sophocles, II, 12, 15, 17, 18, 50, 54, 61. 
Sostrata, 60. 
Sotades Maronites, 1 1 . 
Southey, The University of, xxii. 
Spectacles, 209. 
Spectator, xxxviii, 216, 217, 227, 228, 

229, 232 ; praised by Gay, xxxv ; 

Gay's reference to, xxxv. 
Speculum Speculativium , 46. 
Spencer, John, 270. 
Spenser, xiii, xvi, 12, 14, 15, 16. 
Splendid Shilling, Philip's, xxxi. 
Sprat, xxi. 
Spurina, 39. 
Squire Bickerstaff Detected, xxix, 185, 

Stadwell, XX. 
Stamp Tax extinguishes the Observator, 

Stanislaus, 176. 
Stanyhurst, Richard, 16. 
State of Wit, xxxv. [vide, Present 

State of Wit]. 



Stationers' Hall, Partridge struck off 
the rolls of, xxix. 

Steele, Sir Richard, viii, xxx, xxxv, 
xxxvii, xxxviii, xxxix, xliv, xlvii, 
199, 205, 207-210, 216, 217, 318, 
320 ; assists the Medley, xxxiii ; his 
Dedicatory Epistle to Addison's 
Drummer, xxxvi ; his Dedicatory 
Epistle to Wm. Cotigreve, 225-238 ; 
his Miseries of the Domestic Chap- 
lain, 313-320. 

Stepney, 215. 

Sternhold, 102, 166. 

Stoa, Quintianus, 11. 

Stolo, Epius, 14. 

Storehouse of Similies, 270. 

Stories of Palladin and Palmendos, 

Stratonicus, 21. 

Strozce, the father and son, II. 

Stuart Tracts, xxxii. 

Suckling, Sir John, 48, 86. 

Suffolk, Duke of, pupil of Thomas 
Wilson, ix. 

Sunderland, Earl of, 215, 219. 

Sutprisal, Howard's, xviii. 

Surrey, Earl of, il, 16, 27. 

Swan, Wilson's, 19. 

Swift, viii, xxiii, xxix, xxx, xxxi, xxiii, 
xxxix, xliii, xlv, 173, 177, 200, 205, 
207 ; his attention to Partridge, 
xxviii ; described by Henley, xxxiv ; 
his observations of Eachard, xli ; 
reference to Gay in his Jou7-nal to 
Stella, xxxv ; his Revenue Officer, a 
letter to a Lord, 178-184; his Vin- 
dication of Isaac Bickerstaff, 193- 
199 ; his visit to England, November 
1707, xxxii. 

Switser, Christopher, 20. 

Sylla, 45- 

Syrus, 60. 

Tacitus, 7, 8, 41. 

Tale of a Tub, Swift's, xxiii, xxvii, xli, 

Tallis, 21. 

Tarchagnora, 6. 

Tarchaniota, Marullus, II. 

Tarleton, 18. 

Tasso, 14. 

Tatler, The, viii, xxxiii, xxxiv, xxxvii, 
xxxviii, xlvi, 205, 20S, 209, 216, 227, 
228, 231, 313 ; discontinuance of, 
xxxv ; the New, xxxiv ; opposed by 

the Examiner, xxxii ; praised by 

Gay, xxxv ; started by Steel, xxx. 
Taurus, 15. 
Taverner, 21. 
Taylor, John, 106. 
Tell Tale, Gay's, xxxv. 
Tender Husband, The, 216, 227, 229. 
Terence, 15, 18, 31, 53, 54, 59, 60, 61, 

62, 73. 235. 
Terpander, 21. 
Teucer, 125. 
Thackeray and Copleston's remarks, 

Thais, 53. 
Thamyras, 14. 
Theagines, 12. 
Theamedes, 20. 

Theatre of GoiPs Judgments, 19. 
Thebes, 58. 
Themistocles, 21. 
Theocritus, 12, 16. 
Theodoretus, 18. 
Theogenes Megarensis, 16. 
' Theologus et Poeta,' Fitz-Geoffrey 

refers to Meres as, xv. 
Thespis, 15, 50. 
Thomkins, 242. 
Thucydides, 6. 
Tibullus, 16, 
Tickell, viii, xxxv, xxxvi-xxxix, 225, 

276; his edition of Addison's Works, 

viii; Life of Joseph Addisott, 211- 

220; Undersecretary of State, xxxvi. 
Timantes, 20. 
Timon Appolloniates, 15. 
Timotheus Milesius, 21. 
Tit for Tat, Addison answered weekly 

by, xxxiv. 
Titus Andronicus, 14. 
Tityrus, 247. 
To Mr. Dry den, verses by Addison, 

Tolambu, his History of Mustard, xlii. 
Tortson, xxxviii, 225, 226. 
Tower, the, ix. 
Town Shower, 208. 
Tragaediographus , 13. 
Tragedies, Seneca's, 18. 
Tr easier ie of Divine, Moral, and Phylo- 

sophical Similes, xiv. 
Treatise on the Bathos, xxiii. 
Trimmer, 165. 
Trivia, Gay's, xlvi. 
Troades, Seneca's. 
Troy, 58. 


Critical Essays 

Tryphon, Orrery's, xviii. 

Tully, 41, 45. 5S> 127, 250, 267. 

Turberville, 18. 

Tusser, 18. 

Tutchin, John, xxxii ; and the Observa- 

tor, xxxii. 
Tyburn, 192. 

Ulysses, ii, 164, 208. 

Useful Transactions in Philosophy, 

Utrecht, 195. 

Valbtta, Signor, 218. 

Valgius, C., 16. 

Varius, 54- 

Velde, Peter van de, 20. 

Velleius Paterculus, 54, 56. 

Venus, 20, 183. 

Venus and Adonis, 13. 

Verona, Dante at the Court of, xxv. 

Vestal Virgin, Howard's, xix. 

Vindication of the Clergy from the 

Contempt, Eachard's, xlii. 

Isaac Bickerstaff, 193. 

Virgil, xxi, li, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 54, 

62, 65, 87, 125, 176, 208, 216, 231. 
Volpone, 80. 
Vulcan, 183. 

Waller, 28, 48. 
Walsingham, 16. 
Warner, xiii, xliv, 12, 13, 14, 


Warwick, Countess of, 220. 

Earl of, viii, 221. 

Watkins, Morgan, 143. 
Watson, Bishop, 18. 

Thomas, 11, 14, 15, 16. 

Way to Wealth, Franklin's, xlviii. 

Webbe, Wm. , xii. 

Weekly Review, started by Defoe, 

Wells, Henry, 145. 
Welsted, 238. 

Westminster, 210. 

Wharley, Daniel, 14I. 

Mary, 141. 

Wharton, Marquis of, 216. 

Whateley, Archbishop, xxii ; the Uni- 
versity of. 

Whetstone, 16. 

Whig Examiner, the, xxxiii, 204, 205. 

Whisperer, the, xxxiv, xxxv. 

White, Henry, 9. 

N., s. 

Whitney, Geffrey, 18. 

Wiccombe, 138. 

Willett, Andrevif, 18, 

Willey, II. 

Williamiii., 170, 191, 213, 215. 

Wilson, Thomas, vii, x, 16, 18 ; his 
Eloquence first given by God, I -4 ; 
art of rhetoric, viii ; designated Sir 
Thomas Wilson, viii. 

Wilton, Sidney stays there, xi. 

Windsor Castle, Howard imprisoned 
there, xviii. 

Wine, parody by Gay, xxxi. 

Wing, 19S ; Meres stays there, xv. 

Wither, George, 45. 

Withers, F., xliii, 46. 

Wits Commonwealth, xiii, xix, 271 ; 
second part of, xiii. 

Wits Treasury, Meres, xiii, xiv. 

Wollebius, 254. 

Wood, Anthony, xlii, 242. 

Works, Addison's, 213, 217. 

Fletcher's, 84. 

Terence's, 55. 

Wyat, Sir Thomas, 16. 

Xenophon, 6, 12, 24, 

Yalden, Dr., 185 ; Partridge appeals 

to, xxix. 
York, Duke of, 43. 

Zeuxis, 20. 
Zodiac of Life, 18. 

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