1817 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dryden

Henry Neele, in The Monthly Magazine 42 (January 1817) 495.



Dryden is the foremost of these apostate poets. After writing some most nervous and elegant lines on the Protector, he, with an equal sacrifice of taste and principle, composed his fulsome panegyric on the restored Stuart. He is the father of the Anglo-Gallic school, the model of Pope, and the ultimate source to which all the Darwinian and Della-Cruscan fopperies may fairly be traced. He was the first who forsook Nature; and, when that land-mark is once lost sight of, it is impossible to calculate in what ocean of absurdities we may eventually be engulphed.