Page images
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

P. 108." - our poet has made use of all advantages." "our poet has prevailed himself of all advantages."

P. 112."

This was the substance-" &c.

66 This,

my lord, was the substance-."

P. 118." but since these I have named

P. 119.

publick "

[ocr errors]

are already

"but being these I have named," &c.



and a right disposition of them."

and a right disposing of them."

P. 120. " A good poet never establishes the first line—” "A good poet never concludes upon the first line-"

P. 122.“ at least we are able to prove that the eastern people have used it from all antiquity.”

[blocks in formation]

These words are not in the first edition.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

There is scarce an humour, &c. which they have

not used."

There is scarce an humour, &c. which they have not blown upon.'

Other minute variations I have not thought it necessary to set down.






Sir Robert Howard, in the same year in which the ESSAY OF DRAMATICK POESY was published, produced a play, entitled THE GREAT FAVOURITE, or, The Duke of LERMA; to which he prefixed an Address to the Reader, containing some observations on that Essay. This Address having occasioned a Reply from our author, I have thought proper to give it a place here.



I CANNOT plead the usual excuse for publish

ing this trifle, which is commonly the subject of most Prefaces, by charging it upon the importunity of friends; for, I confess, I was myself willing, at the first desire of Mr. Herringman, to print it; not for any great opinion that I had entertained, but for the opinion that others were pleased to express which being told me by some friends, I was concerned to let the world judge what subject matter of offence was contained in it. Some were pleased to believe little of it mine: but they are both obliging to me, though perhaps not inten

[blocks in formation]

tentionally; the last, by thinking there was any thing in it that was worth so ill-designed an envy, as to place it to another author ; the others, (perhaps the best-bred informers,) by continuing their displeasure towards me, since I most gratefully acknowledge to have received some advantage in the opinion of the sober part of the world, by the loss of theirs.

For the subject, I came accidentally to write upon it; for a gentleman brought a play to the King's Company, called THE DUKE OF LERMA; and by them I was desired to peruse it, and return my opinion, whether I thought it fit for the stage. After I had read it, I acquainted them, that in my judgment it would not be of much use for such a design; since the contrivance scarce would merit the name of a plot, and some of that assisted by a disguise; and it ended abruptly and on the person of Philip the Third there was fixed such a mean character, and on the daughter of the Duke of Lerma such a vicious one, that I could not but judge it unfit to be presented by any that had a respect, not only to princes, but indeed to either man or woman. And about that time, being to go into the country, I was persuaded by Mr. Hart to make it my diversion there; that so great a hint might not be lost, as the Duke of Lerma saving himself in his last extremity by his unexpected disguise, which is as well in the true story as the old play : and besides that and the names, my altering the most part of the characters, and the

« PreviousContinue »