The Miscellaneous Prose Works Volume 1
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1848 edition. Excerpt: ...1678, Dryden accommodated with a prologue Shadwell's play of the " True Widow;" but to write these occasional pieces was part of his profession, and the circumstance does not prove that the breach between these rivals for public applause was ever thoroughly healed; on the contrary, it seems likely, that, in the case of Shadwell, as in that of Settle, political hatred only gangrened a wound inflicted by literary rivalry. After their quarrel became desperate, Dryden resumed his prologue, and adapted it to a play by Afra Behn, called the " Widow Ranter, or Bacon in Virginia." l Whatever was the progress of the dispute, it is certain that Shadwell, as zealously attached to the Whig faction as Dryden to the Tories, buckled on his armour among their other poetasters to encounter the champion of royalty. His answer to " The Medal" is entitled " The Medal of John Bayes: " it appeared in autumn 1681, and is distinguished by scurrility, even among the scurrilous lampoons of Settle, Care, and Pordage. " Those," he coolly says, " who know Dryden, know there is not an untrue word spoke of him in the poem;" although he is there charged with the most gross and infamous crimes. Shadwell also seems to have had a share in a lampoon, entitled " The Tory Poets," in which both Dryden and Otway were grossly reviled.2 On both occasions, his satire was as clumsy as his overgrown person, and as brutally coarse as his conversation: for Shadwell resembled Ben Jonson in his vulgar and intemperate pleasures, as well as in his style of comedy and corpulence of body.1 Dryden seems to have thought, that such reiterated attacks, from a contemporary of some eminence, whom he had once called friend, merited a...
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