ISBN: 1277182477 / ISBN-13: 9781277182477
The Poetical Works of John Dryden Volume 1
by John Dryden
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from ... Show synopsis This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1854 edition. Excerpt: ...less artificial manner--Addison and Swift. I think that it may not unjustly be affirmed, that he was the first1 who presented an example of a style, polished, elegant, and copious. This was effected, not by the importation of foreign words, or learned constructions, but by calling out the native strength of the language, recovering its lost idioms, recalling its forgotten beauties, and producing the strongest effects by common and familiar expressions. His prose style has the same kind of excellence as his poetical; harmonious without effort, familiar without meanness, flowing on with richness of sound, variety of cadence, majesty and flexibility of movement, and with a copious and expanded eloquence. Mille habet ornatus, mille decenter habet. i ' Clarendon himself is often liable to exception, both in sentiment and style; and our language indeed was not entirely polished till the present century.' See Sir W. Jones's Pref. to Nadir Shah. A writer1 who has deeply studied the principles and structure of our language, confesses that Dryden's practical knowledge of the English language was beyond all others exquisite and wonderful. With the polished and perhaps fastidious taste which the late Mr. Fox possessed, with his dislike of every thing pedantic, or inflated, with his love of simplicity of expression and purity of style, with the nicety of his choice in the selection of words, and forms of speech; we can hardly wonder at the decision which he adopted of admitting no word into his history, for which he had not the authority of Dryden.2 He was anxious to lend his high influence in restoring that pure and idiomatic style which he thought had been much corrupted by the example of some eminent writers; and perhaps unjustly estimated in the opinion...