1719 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Charles Sedley

Giles Jacob, in Poetical Register: or the Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets (1719) 242-43



This Gentleman may be deservedly rank'd in the first Class of Men of Wit and Gallantry: His Friendship was courted by every Body, and no one went out of his Company but pleas'd and improv'd: Time added but very little to Nature, for he was every thing that an English Gentleman could be. Besides an excellent Volume of Poems, he has given us Four Plays, viz.

I. The Mulberry-Garden; a Comedy, acted at the Theatre Royal, 1668. Dedicated to the Dutchess of Richmond and Lenox.

II. ANTHONY and CLEOPATRA; a Tragedy, acted at the Duke of York's Theatre, 1677. This Play was acted with great Applause. The Story from Appian, Dion Cassius, Plutarch's Life of Anthony.

III. BELLAMIRA, or The Mistress; a Comedy, acted by his Majesty's Servants, 1687. This Play is taken from Terence's Eunuch.

IV. Beauty the Conqueror, or The Death of MARC ANTHONY; a Tragedy, in Imitation of the Roman way of Writing. Printed in the Year 1702, but never acted.

My Lord Rochester, in the Imitation of the Tenth Satire of the First Book of Horace, has the following Verses in his Commendation.

Sidley has that prevailing gentle Art,
That can with a resistless Charm impart
The loosest Wishes to the chastest Heart,
Raise such a Conflict, kindle such a Fire,
Betwixt declining Virtue, and Desire;
That the poor vanquish'd Maid dissolves away,
In Dreams all Night, in Sighs and Tears all Day.