« 上一頁繼續 »
And rais'd by valour, from a birth unknown,
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,
AeiU. Sc. II.
"Almanz. 'Tis the essay of an untaught first love;
Act III. Sc. I.
"Asleep, awake, I'll haunt you ev'ry where;
"How bless'd was I before this fatal day!
VOL. I. PART I. U
A heavy quiet state; but love, all strife,
Act V. Sc. I.
"Love is that madness which all lovers have;
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,
Would it be believed that this is preceded by the two following lines.
"Obey'd as sovereign by thy subjects be,
P. I. Con. Gran. Act I. Sc. I.
This beautiful image has been often quoted.
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
P. I. Con. Gran. Act III. Sc. I.
We collect three or four more specimens.
"Far hence, upon the mountains of the moon,
Act 11. Sc. IV.
"Mark but how terribly his eyes appear!
Act 111. Sc. I.
"I wo' not love you, give me back my heart;
"Arms and the dusty field I less admire,
"You are to smile at his last groaning breath,
Act IV. .Sc. IL
"So, two kind turtles, when a storm is nigh,
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,
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,
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,
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,