1745 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dryden

Anonymous (aged 87), in Gentleman's Magazine 15 (1745) 99; in Censura Literaria 1 (1805) 179-80.



I remember plain John Dryden (before he paid his court with success to the great) in one uniform cloathing of Norwich drugget. I have eat tarts with him and Madam [Ann] Reeve at the Mulberry garden, when our author advanced to a sword and a chadreux wig. Posterity is absolutely mistaken as to that great man; though forced to be a satirist, he was the mildest creature breathing, and the readiest to help the young and deserving; though his comedies are horribly full of double entendres, yet it was owing to a false complaisance for a dissolute age. He was in company the modestest man that ever conversed.