1699 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Nathaniel Lee

Charles Gildon, in Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets (1699) 85-86.



All the Account I can give you of our Author, is, That he was Son of a Minister of the Church of England, had part of his Education at Cambridge, was received with general Applause in most of his Plays. He run Mad, and was some Years in Bethlem, and after he was let out he was never perfectly well; so died in the Street in the Night Time. That he has shewn a Master-piece in Lucius Junius Brutus, which scarce one of his Contemporaries have equal'd, and none excel'd, can never be doubted.

Caesar Borgia, a Tragedy, 4to. 1680. Acted at the Duke's Theatre. See Guiciardine, lib. 5, 6. Mariana, lib. 27, 28. Sir Paul Ricaut's Contin. of Platina, in the Reign of Pope Alexander the Sixth.

Constantine the Great, a Tragedy, 4to. 1684. Acted at the Theatre Royal, by their Majesty's Servants. Plot from Eusebius de vita Constantini, Zonarus, Eutropius, Baronius, Ammianus Marcellinus, and Beard's Theatre of God's Judgments.

Gloriana, the Court of Augustus Caesar, a Tragedy, 4to. 1676. Acted at the Theatre Royal, by their Majesties Servants, and dedicated to the Dutchess of Portsmouth. See the Stories of Caesario, Marcellus and Julia, in Cleopatra, Part 1. Book 3. Part 5. Book 3. &c.

Lucius, Junius Brutus, Father of his Country, a Tragedy, 4to. 1681. Acted at the Duke's Theatre, and dedicated to the Right Honourable, the Earl of Dorset and Middlesex. See the Story of Junius Brutus in Clelia, a Romance, Par. 2. Book 1. and Part 3. Book 1: And for the true History, consult Florus, Livy, Dion, Hallicar, Orosius, &c.

Massacre of Paris, a Tragedy, 4to. 1690. Acted at the Theatre Royal, by their Majesties Servants. See Thuanus Pierre Mathieu, Davila, Mezeray, &c. If you compare a Play, call'd, The Duke of Guise, with this, you may find divers Passages there borrowed from hence.

Mithridates, King of Pontus, a Tragedy, 4to. 1678. Acted at the Theatre Royal, by their Majesties Servants; and dedicated to the Right Honourable, the Earl of Dorset and Middlesex. Plot from Appian, Alexand. Roman Hist. Florus, Vell. Paterculus, and Plutarch in the Lives of Scylla, Lucullus, Pompey, &c.

Nero, Emperor of Rome, his Tragedy, 4to. 1675. Acted at the Theatre Royal, by their Majesties Servants, and dedicated to the Right Honourable, the Earl of Rochester. Plot from Suetonius in vita Neronis, Aurelius Victor, Tacitus Annal. &c.

The Princess of Cleve, a Tragi-Comedy, 4to. 1689. Acted at the Queen's Theatre in Dorset Garden; and dedicated to the Right Honourable, Charles, Earl of Dorset and Middlesex, Lord Chamberlain of his Majesty's Houshold. Founded on a Romance of the same Title; see also a Book called, the French Rogue, 8vo.

The Rival Queens; or, The Death of Alexander the Great, a Tragedy, 4to. 1677. Acted at the Theatre Royal, by their Majesties Servants; and dedicated to the Right Honourable, John, Earl of Mulgrave. Plot from Quint. Curt. Plutarch's Life of Alexander the Great, Justin, Josephus, &c.

Sophonisba; or Hannibal's Overthrow, a Tragedy, 4to. 1676. Acted at the Theatre Royal, by their Majesties Servants; and dedicated to the Dutchess of Portsmouth. Plot from Sir Walter Raleighs Hist. of the World, Book 5. Chap. 3. Sect. 18. Livy, Florus, Appian, Diodorus, Polibius, Justin, &c.

Theodosius; or, The Force of Love, a Tragedy, 4to. 1680. Acted at the Duke's Theatre, by their Royal Highnesses Servants; and dedicated to her Grace, the Dutchess of Richmond. Plot from Pharamond, a Romance; Euseb. Hist. Ecclesiastica; Varannes; Martian, and Theodosius.

Most of these Plays have been applauded by the Spectators, and their Worth acknowledged by Dryden, and other Poets, in divers Copies of Verses before some of them. He joined with Mr. Dryden, in Two other Plays, viz. The Duke of Guise, and Oedipus, both Tragedies, for which see under Dryden Senior.