Reference > Cambridge History > The Age of Dryden > Dryden > Dryden’s Enemies and Younger Literary Friends
  Odes, Songs and Hymns His Great Qualities as a Writer of Verse and Prose  


The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VIII. The Age of Dryden.

I. Dryden.

§ 33. Dryden’s Enemies and Younger Literary Friends.

Thus, in labours manifold and not without a disquietude of spirit from which the decline of life is rarely exempt, Dryden’s days and his literary career drew nearer and nearer to their close. Advancing years, and, perhaps, other influences which it is difficult or impossible to estimate, had rendered him less consistently observant of the general habit of his youth and manhood to allow his censors and adversaries to abuse and revile him as they chose, without returning libel for libel, or lampoon for lampoon. If he could afford to contemn Milbourne, he turned upon Blackmore with almost savage energy, and attempted a tu quoque of very doubtful force against Jeremy Collier, in words which were not to be spoken in public till after he had himself passed away. 118  It is more pleasing to remember that, in his latter years, he had not fallen away from his generous usage of encouraging the efforts of other writers—especially of younger men such as Southern 119  and Congreve 120  and Granville. 121  Indeed, to each of the latter pair, at different dates, obeying a generous impulse that could not help repeating itself, he bequeathed the laurels of which the world of letters knew him to be the rightful wearer. He died, after a short illness, on 1 May, 1700, and, with due solemnity (though contemporary scandal sought to distort the facts) was, less than a fortnight afterwards, buried in Westminster abbey, in the grave of Chaucer. Twenty years later, by the tardy munificence of the duke of Buckinghamshire (who did not live to see it erected) a plain monument with an equally simple inscription was raised over his remains.   82

Note 118. Prologue and epilogue to Fletcher’s Pilgrim. [ back ]
Note 119To Mr. Southern, on his Comedy called “The Wives’ Excuse” (1692). [ back ]
Note 120To my dear Friend Mr. Congreve, on his Comedy called “The Double Dealer” (1693). [ back ]
Note 121To Mr. Granville, on his excellent Tragedy, called “Heroick Love” (1698). [ back ]

  Odes, Songs and Hymns His Great Qualities as a Writer of Verse and Prose  

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