1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmond Malone

Thomas Green, 13 May 1800; Extracts from the Diary of a Lover of Literature (1810) 221.



Finished Malone's Life of Dryden, prefixed to an Edition of his Prose Works. By the drudgery of searching deeds, wills, genealogies, registers, and recods of all sorts, Malone has discovered some new facts, and detected a few mistakes, respecting Dryden and his Famly, of very little consequence though they regard so great a character; and the whole substance of which, might have been appended, in a few notes, to Johnson's Life. — What a contrast between these two pieces of biography! Malone admits, indeed, that his is the life of the man, and Johnson's of the poet. — In the Preface, Malone states, that Burke greatly admired, and had diligently read, Dryden's Miscellaneous Essays; and that his own style was perhaps originally formed on Dryden's, it bearing a greater resemblance to his, than of any other English writer. Fox, I am told, entertains a similar predilection for Dryden's prose style: — a singular coincidence of opinion, in two such men; whose taste, in their own compositions, appears to differ so essentially. — In a note (p. 140, of the Life) Malone gives to Bacon, an allusion which was intended for Hooker: — the passage referred to, is the very first sentence of Ecclesiastical Polity.