Imatges de pÓgina

"which accompany human nature, and are for the "moft part excufed by the violence of his love; fo "that they deftroy not our pity or concernment "for him this anfwer may be applied to most of "his objections of that kind.

"And Rollo committing many murders, when "he is anfwerable but for one, is too feverely ar"raigned by him; for it adds to our horror and "deteftation of the criminal; and poetick juftice "is not neglected neither; for we ftab him in our "minds for every offence which he cominits; and "the point which the poet is to gain on the au"dience, is not fo much in the death of an of "fender as the raifing an horror of his crimes.


That the criminal thould neither be wholly guilty, nor wholly innocent, but fo participating "of both as to move both pity and terror, is cer"tainly a good rule, but not perpetually to be "obferved; for that were to make all tragedies too "much alike, which objection he forefaw, but "has not fully anfwered.

"To conclude, therefore: if the plays of the "ancients are more correctly plotted, ours are "more beautifully written. And if we can raife. "paffions as high on worfe foundations, it fhews "" our genius in tragedy is greater; for in all other parts of it the English have manifeitly excelled them."

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THE original of the following letter is preferved in the Library at Lambeth, and was kindly imparted to the publick by the Reverend Dr. Vyfe.

Copy of an original Letter from John
Dryden, Efq, to his fons in Italy, from

a MS.

a MS. in the Lambeth Library, marked N° 933, P. 56. (Superfcribed)

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"Al-illuftriffimo Sigre
"Carlo Dryden, Camariere

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"d'Honore A. S. S. In Roma.

"Sept. the 3d, our ftyle.

Dear Sons,

Being now at Sir William Bowver's in the "country, I cannot write at large, becaufe I find myfelf fomewhat indifpofed with a cold, and am thick of hearing, rather worfe than I was in I am glad to find, by your letter of July 26th, your ftyle, that you are both in health; but wonder you fhould think me fo "negligent as to forget to give you an account of


the hip in which your parcel is to come. I "have written to you two or three letters con""" cerning it, which I have fent by fafe hands, as. "I told you, and doubt not but you have them

before this can arrive to you. Being out of "town, I have forgotten the fhip's name, which 63 your mother will enquire, and put it into her "letter, which is joined with mine. But the "master's name I remember: he is called Mr. "Ralph Thorp; the fhip is bound to Leghorn, configned to Mr. Peter and Mr. Thomas Ball, "merchants. I am of your opinion, that by "Tonfon's means almost all our letters have mif"carried for this laft year. But, however, he has "miffed of his defign in the Dedication, though he "had prepared the book for it; for in every figure "of Æneas he has caufed him to be drawn like



"Franca per Mantoua.

"King William, with a hooked nofe. After my "return to town, I intend to alter a play of Sir "Robert Howard's, written long fince, and lately

put into my hands: 'tis called The Conqueft of "China by the Tartars. It will coft me fix weeks "ftudy, with the probable benefit of an hundred "pounds. In the mean time, I am writing a fong "for St. Cecilia's Feaft, who, you know, is the "patronefs of mufick. This is troublesome, and 66 no way beneficial; but I could not deny the Stewards of the Feaft, who came in a body to me to defire that kindness, one of them being "Mr. Bridgman, whofe parents are your mother's "friends. I hope to fend you thirty guineas be"tween Michaelmas and Chriftmas, of which I "will give you an account when I come to town. "I remember the counfel you give me in your "letter; but diffembling, though lawful in fome

cafes, is not my talent; yet, for your fake, I "will ftruggle with the plain openness of my na"ture, and keep in my juft refentments against that "degenerate order. In the mean time, I flatter "not myself with any manner of hopes, but do "my duty, and fuffer for God's fake; being af "fured, before-hand, never to be rewarded, though "the times thould alter. Towards the latter end "of this month, September, Charles will begin


to recover his perfect health, according to his << nativity, which, cafting it myself, I am fure is Sc true, and all things hitherto have happened accordingly to the very time that I predicted them; "I hope at the fame time to recover more health according to my age. Remember me to poor "Harry, whofe prayers I earneftly defire. My


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"Virgil fucceeds in the world beyond its defert or "my expectation. You know the profits might "have been more; but neither my conscience not my honour would fuffer me to take them: but never can repent of my conftancy, fince I a "thoroughly perfuaded of the juftice of the cau "for which I fuffer. It has pleafed God to rai up many friends to me amongst my enemie "though they who ought to have been my frienc "are negligent of me. I am called to dinner, an "cannot go on with this letter, which I defin “you to excuse; and am


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"Your most affectionate father,


EDMUND SMITH is one of thofe lucky

writers who have, without much labour, attained high reputation, and who are mentioned with reverence rather for the poffeffion than the exertion of uncommon abilities.


Of his life little is known; and that little claims. no praise but what can be given to intellectual excellence, feldom employed to any virtuous purpose. His character, as given by Mr. Oldifworth, with all the partiality of friendship, which is faid by Dr. Burton to fhew. "what fine things one man



"of parts can fay of another," and which, however, comprises great part of what can be known of Mr. Smith, it is better to tranfcribe at once than to take by pieces. I fhall fubjoin fuch little memorials as accident has enabled me to collect.

Mr. EDMUND SMITH was the only fon of an eminent merchant, one Mr. Neale, by a daughter of the famous baron Lechmere. Some misfortunes of his father, which were foon followed by his death, were the occafion of the fon's being left very young in the hands of a near relation (one who married Mr. Neale's fifter), whose name was Smith.

This gentleman and his lady treated him as their own child, and put him to Westminster-school under the care of Dr. Bufby; whence, after the lofs of his faithful and generous guardian (whofe name he affumed and retained), he was removed to Chrift-church in Oxford, and there by his aunt handfomely maintained till her death; after which he continued a member of that learned and ingenious fociety till within five years of his own; though, fome time before his leaving Chrift-church, he was fent for by his mother to Worcester, and owned and acknowledged as her legitimate fon; which had not been mentioned, but to wipe off the afperfions that were ignorantly caft by fome on his birth. It is to be remembered, for our author's honour, that, when at Weft minfter election le ftood a candidate for one of the univerfities, he fo fignally distinguished himself by his confpicuous performances, that there arofe no fmall contention, between the reprefentative electors of Trinitycollege in Cambridge and Chrift-church in Oxon,

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