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And rais'd by valour, from a birth unknown,
Acknowledges no pow'r above his own."

P. I. Con. Gran. Act I. Sc. I.

Dryden had a passion and warmth of temperament which often stands him in the stead of imagination, for he never wants "thick-coming fancies," when his mind is elevated and excited by a sensual subject. All his descriptions of love, and the effects of love, are brilliant in the extreme—not however remarkable for any simple adherence to the truth of nature, but rather for a spirited and graceful ingenuity, excepting when he touches on the personal feelings of the lover. What Dryden had felt, he never fails to do justice to,—his language never leaves the mind of the reader short of the full meaning of the writer.

Of this class are the following passages in the " Conquest of Granada." ,

"Howe'er imperious in her words she were,
Her parting looks had nothing of severe;
A glancing smile allur'd me to command,
And her soft fingers gently press'd my hand.
I felt the pleasure glide thro' ev'ry part;
Her hand went through me to my very heart."

AeiU. Sc. II.

"Almanz. 'Tis the essay of an untaught first love;
Yet rude, unfashion'd truth it does express;
'Tis love just peeping in a hasty dress.
Retire, fair creature, to your needful rest;
There's something noble lab'ring in my breast;
This raging fire, which through the mass does move,
Shall purge my dross, and shall refine my love."

Act III. Sc. I.

"Asleep, awake, I'll haunt you ev'ry where;
From my white shroud groan love into your ear,
When in your lover's arms you sleep at night,
I'll glide in cold betwixt, and seize my right."

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"How bless'd was I before this fatal day!
When all I knew of love, was to obey:
'Twas life becalm'd, without a gentle breath;
Though not so cold, yet motionless as death.


A heavy quiet state; but love, all strife,
All rapid, is the hurricane of life."

Act V. Sc. I.

"Love is that madness which all lovers have;
But yet 'tis sweet and pleasing so to rave.
'Tis an enchantment, where the reason's bound:
But Paradise is in th' enchanted ground.
A palace, void of envy, cares, and strife;
Where gentle hours delude so much of life.
To take those charms away, and set me free,
Is but to send me into misery.
And prudence, of whose cure so much you boast,
Restores those pains, which that sweet folly lost."

P. II. Con. Gran. Act III. Sc. III.

In the two " Conquests of Granada," the patient reader finds some of the brightest little passages that are to be found in poetry, concealed under heaps of rubbish. Take the following," the result of a careful search:

"I am as free as nature first made man,
Ere the base laws of servitude began,
When wild in woods, the noble savage ran."

Would it be believed that this is preceded by the two following lines.

"Obey'd as sovereign by thy subjects be,
But know, that I alone am king of me."

P. I. Con. Gran. Act I. Sc. I.

This beautiful image has been often quoted.
"What precious drops are those
Which silently each other's track pursue,
Bright as young diamonds in their infant dew }"

P. II. Con. Gran. Act. III. Sc. I.

The exquisite propriety of Dryden's language, cannot be shown in a sweeter specimen than the following. "As some fair tulip, by a storm opprest, Shrinks up, and folds its silken arms to rest; And, bending to the blast, all pale and dead, Hears, from within, the wind sing round its head: So, shrowded up your beauty disappears; Unveil, my love, and lay aside your fears. The storm that caus'd your fright, is past and done."

P. I. Con. Gran. Act V. Sc. I.

The force of expression in this comparison will be felt by every one.

"As one, who in some frightful dream would shun
His pressing foe, labours in vain to run;
And his own slowness in his sleep bemoans,
With thick short sighs, weak cries, and tender groans."

P. I. Con. Gran. Act III. Sc. I.

We collect three or four more specimens.

"Far hence, upon the mountains of the moon,
Is my abode; where heav'n and nature smile,
And strew with flow'rs the secret bed of Nile.
Bless'd souls are there refin'd, and made more bright;
And, in the shades of heav'n, prepar'd for light."

Act 11. Sc. IV.

"Mark but how terribly his eyes appear!
And yet there's something roughly noble there,
Which, in unfashion'd nature, looks divine;
And like a gem doe3 in the quarry shine"

Act 111. Sc. I.

"I wo' not love you, give me back my heart;
But give it as you had it, fierce and brave;
11 was not made to be a woman's slave:
But, lion-like, has been in deserts bred;
And, us'd to range, will ne'er be tamely led."

"Arms and the dusty field I less admire,
And soften strangely in some new desire.
Honour burns in me not so fiercely bright,
But pale as fires when master'd by the light."

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"You are to smile at his last groaning breath,
And laugh to see his eye-balls roll in death:
To judge the ling'ring soul's convulsive strife;
When thick short breath catches at parting life."

Act IV. .Sc. IL

"So, two kind turtles, when a storm is nigh,
Look up, and see it gath'ring in the sky:
Each calls his mate to shelter in the groves,
Leaving, in murmur, their unfinish'd loves.
Perch'd on some dropping branch they sit alone,
And coo, and hearken to each other's moan."

This distinction between love, the offspring of friendship, and friendship of love, is a very accurate specimen of the ingenious beauty of many parts of the plays before us.

"That friendship, which from wither'd love does shoot,

Like the faint herbage on a rock, wants root;

Love is a tender amity, refin'd:

Grafted on friendship, it exalts the kind.

But when the graff no longer does remain,

The dull stock lives; but never bears again."

P. II. Con. Gran. Act I. Sc. II.

The following description of Venus, is in a highly coloured style of painting, in which Dryden excelled. "So Venus moves, when to the thunderer, In smiles or tears, she would some suit prefer.

When with her cestus girt

And drawn by doves, she cuts the liquid skies,

To ev'ry eye a goddess is confest;

By all the heav'nly nation she is blest,

And each with secret joy admits her to his breast."

P. I. Con. Gran. Act V. Sc. 1.

The two passages we are about to extract, remind us very strongly of the author of Absalom and Achithophel. "What in another vanity would seem, Appears but noble confidence in him. No haughty boasting; but a manly pride: A soul too fiery, and too great to guide: He moves excentrique, like a wand'ring star, Whose motion's just, tho' tis not regular."


"While tim'rous wit goes round, or fords the shore,
He shoots the gulf and is already o'er;
And when the enthusiastic fit is spent,
Looks back amaz'd at what he undertook.''

P. II. Con. Gran. Act I. Sc. IV.

The opening lines of the rhyming plays usually appear as if much pains had been taken to render them strikinghy harmonious ; those in the beginning of the second part of the " Conquest of Granada," are of a pleasing order of poetical beauty.

"When empire in its childhood first appears,
A watehful fate o'er-sees its tender years;
'Till grown more strong, it thrusts and stretches out.
And elbows all the kingdoms round about:'

The place thus made for its first breathing free.

It moves again for ease and luxury:

'Till, swelling by degrees, it has possest

The greater space, and now crowds up the rest.

When, from behind, there starts some petty state,

And pushes on its now unwieldy fate:

Then, down the precipice of time it goes,

And sinks in minutes, which in ages rose.

Q. Isabel. Should bold Columbus in his search succeed,
And find those beds in which bright metals breed:
Tracing the sun, who seems to steal away,
That miser-like, he might alone survey
The wealth, which he in western mines did lay;
Not all that shining ore could give my heart
The joy, this conquer'd kingdom will impart:
Which, rescu'd from these misbeliever's hands,
Shall now, at once, shake off its double bands,
At once to freedom and true faith restor'd:
Its old religion, and its ancient lord."

The" Tyrannic Love" is another rhyming play. Dryden himself, we think, would have felt obliged to us for snatching the tender beauties which occur in this tragedy, from the blasting and infectious neighbourhood of the remainder. In no play are there more egregious absurdities, and in lew so many charming lines. The line of demarcation between loveliness and deformity is here so broad and definite, that we find no difficulty in the selection.

The following would, we think, be generally admired in any production of the present day.

"I have consulted one, who reads heav'n's doom,
And sees, as present, things which are to come.
'Tis that Nigrinus, made by our command
A tribune in the new Pannonian band.
Him have I seen, (on Ister's banks he stood,
Where last we winter'd) bind the head-long flood
In sudden ice, and where most swift it flows,
In chrystal nets the vvond'ring fishes close.
Then, with a moment's thaw, the streams enlarge,
And from the mesh the twinkling guests discharge.
In a deep vale, or near some ruin'd wall,
He would the ghosts of slaughter'd soldiers call;
Who slow to wounded bodies did repair,
And loth to enter, shiver'd in the air;
These his dread wand did to short life compel,
And forc'd the fates of battles to foretel.

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