John Dryden



The Works of John Dryden, ed. H.T. Swedenberg, Jr. et al. (University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, 1956-2002). Vol. I: Poems 1649-80 (1956); Vol. II: Poems 1681-4 (1972); Vol. III: Poems 1685-92 (1969); Vol. IV: Poems 1693-6 (1974); Vols V and VI: The Works of Virgil in English 1697 (1987); Vol. VII:Poems 1697-1700 (2002); Vol. VIII: Plays (1962); Vol. IX: Plays (1966); Vol. X: Plays (1970); Vol. XI: Plays (1978); Vol. XII: Plays (1994); Vol. XIII: Plays (1984); Vol. XIV: Plays (1992); Vol. XV: Plays (1976); Vol. XVI: Plays (1996). Vol. XVII: Prose 1668-91 (1971); Vol. XVIII: Prose 1684 (1974); Vol. XIX: Prose 1688 (1979); Vol. XX:: Prose 1691-1698 (1989).


The Songs of Dryden, ed. Cyrus Lawrence Day (Cambridge, Mass., 1932).


The Poems of John Dryden, ed. Paul Hammond (vol. III also by David Hopkins), 5 vols (Harlow, 1995-2005).


The Poems of John Dryden, ed. James Kinsley, 4 vols (Oxford, 1958).


Hugh Macdonald, John Dryden: A Bibliography of Early Editions and of Drydeniana (Oxford, 1939).


The Critical and Miscellaneous Prose Works of John Dryden, ed. Edmond Malone, 3 vols (London, 1800).

Malone, Yale exemplum

An interleaved and annotated exemplum of Volume I, Part I, of Malone's edition of 1800 now at Yale (Osborn pb 118).


James M. Osborn, John Dryden: Some Biographical Facts and Problems ([New York, 1940]; revised edition, Gainesville, Florida, 1965).


The Works of John Dryden, ed. Sir Walter Scott, rev. George Saintsbury, 18 vols (Edinburgh, 1882-92).


The Letters of John Dryden, with Letters Addressed to Him, ed. Charles E. Ward (Durham, North Carolina, 1942).

Ward, Life

Charles E. Ward, The Life of John Dryden (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1961).


Autograph Literary Manuscripts

For all John Dryden's prolific literary activity, surviving autograph manuscripts by him are relatively few. The most important is the holograph of his well-known Heroique Stanza's on Cromwell (*DrJ 49) — a fair copy by him which, among other things, throws considerable light on the poet's characteristic punctuation, orthography and presentation. Unique also is the autograph manuscript of a later dedication written by Dryden on behalf of the composer Henry Purcell for the latter's edition of music in The Prophetess. This is the only known working draft by Dryden (*DrJ 298). Apart from early autograph verses contained in a letter to his cousin Honor Dryden (*DrJ 196) only one other literary manuscript is known to bear traces of the poet's hand: namely, a scribal copy of his ‘abortive opera’ The State of Innocence, which bears a number of minor corrections and revisions apparently made by him (*DrJ 287).

The remainder of Dryden's original literary manuscripts evidently met with the same fate as most such manuscripts in the seventeenth century and were destroyed, either by the author himself, or after having served as printer's copy, or through subsequent neglect. Neither is there any trace of the juvenile translation of Persius's Satire III, as well as ‘many other of my Exercises of this nature, in English Verse’, which Dryden wrote as a ‘Kings-Scholar at Westminster School’ and which, as he wrote in 1693, ‘are still in the Hands of my Learned Master, the Reverend Doctor [Richard] Busby’ [1606-95] (Macdonald, p. 1).

An authorial manuscript which was misidentified as Dryden's (by Macdonald, reporting hearsay in a belated note, p. 323, repeated in Osborn, p. 289) is National Library of Wales, NLW MS 5295E. This is indeed an original manuscript of Religio Laici but is the work of that title by Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury (see HrE 136), not Dryden. Roswell Gray Ham notes in his Otway and Lee (New Haven, 1931), p. 236, that ‘In his MS History of the Restoration Stage (Harvard Library) [i.e. Harvard Theatre Collection], p. 227, [John Payne] Collier states that he has the original manuscripts’ of the Prologue and Epilogue to the 1681 revival of Nathaniel Lee's Mithridates, ‘which vary from the printed form in making an interval between the closing and opening of the theaters of two instead of four months’. No manuscripts of these two pieces are known today except copies in a miscellany (DrJ 24, DrJ 112), but Collier's testimony that his manuscripts were ‘original’ does not carry conviction.


The most numerous examples of Dryden's handwriting are his letters — although the number of those extant must be only a very small portion of his original correspondence. In all, the texts of some sixty-three of Dryden's letters are known to survive, of which the autograph originals of some fifty-five have been recorded in recent times. All Dryden's recorded letters are given entries below (DrJ 301-367).

In addition to these letters, the detached autograph address leaf of an undated letter from Dryden to the Rev. Richard Busby, possibly belonging to one of the letters to Busby recorded below (DrJ 309-311), was sold at Puttick and Simpson's, 2 March 1870, lot 150, to Bupiere, and at Sotheby's, 3 December 1916, lot 212, to Dobell, and is now in the Folger (MS X. d. 10).

Three other letters by Dryden, not given entries below, are known only from early printed sources, from which they are edited in Ward: namely:

(i) To John Dennis, [c.March 1693/4]. Ward, Letter 31, edited from John Dennis, Letters upon Several Occasions (London, 1696), pp. 53-8.

(ii) To Elizabeth Thomas, 12 November 1699. Ward, Letter 68, edited from Miscellanea (London, 1727), pp. 149-51.

(iii) To Elizabeth Thomas, 29 December 1699. Ward, Letter 72, edited from Miscellanea (London, 1727), p. 153.

The personal letters in the entries below are, of course, additional to Dryden's verse epistles (such as that to Etherege: DrJ 201-211), to his commendatory poems, and to the formal dedicatory epistles he wrote for publication. The latter includes dedications of various of his works to Sir Robert Howard; James Bertie; first Earl of Abingdon; Charles Sackville, sixth Earl of Dorset; Edward, Lord Radclyffe; Hugh, Lord Clifford, second Baron Chudleigh; Philip Stanhope, second Earl of Chesterfield; John Sheffield, third Earl of Mulgrave and Marquess of Normanby; George Savile, Marquess of Halifax; Thomas, Earl of Danby, Viscount Latimer and Baron Osborne; James Butler, second Duke of Ormonde; Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery; James, Duke of Monmouth, and Anne, Duchess of Monmouth; William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle; James, Duke of York and Mary, Duchess of York; Philip Sidney, third Earl of Leicester; John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester; Sir Charles Sedley; Sir William Leveson-Gower; John, Lord Vaughan; Robert, Earl of Sunderland; John, Lord Haughton; Laurence Hyde, Earl of Rochester; and James Cecil, fourth Earl of Salisbury.

The entries for letters are also in addition to any dedications which, like *DrJ 298, may prove to have been written by Dryden on other men's behalf. These entries should perhaps be complemented by the small number of extant letters written to Dryden by his correspondents, the most substantial group of which is six letters by the poet William Walsh, now in the British Library (Walsh's own letterbook: Add. MS 10434) and Bodleian Library (MS Malone 9), and at least two by Philip Stanhope, second Earl of Chesterfield, are in his letterbook (British Library, Add. MS 19253). These letters are generally edited in Ward, and see Osborn, after p. 232, for a facsimile example.

A number of the letters recorded here derive from three notable collections. One is the archive of the Dryden family itself, of Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire; this was first calendared in HMC, 2nd Report (1871), Appendix, pp. 62-3. Although the most obviously promising source, however, only one of Dryden's letters was retained by the family in 1871 (*DrJ 316). The remains of the archive are now in the Northamptonshire Record Office (D (CA)), their interest as regards the poet being confined to the few rare facsimiles and editions they contain, which have been noted below. For earlier investigations made with the help of the Dryden family by Samuel Derrick, Edmond Malone, Robert Bell, Alexander Stephens and others, see Osborn, pp. 16-17, 91, 235 et seq.

A second important collection is the papers of Dryden's publisher Jacob Tonson, formerly retained by the Baker family of Bayfordbury, Hertfordshire, and calendared in HMC, 2nd Report (1871), Appendix, pp. 69-72. This collection was largely dispersed in sales at Sotheby's (25 January 1904, 17 December 1907, 17 December 1924, 1 July 1925) and Christie's (5 November 1945), but virtually all the letters and documents relating to Dryden can be accounted for. The remains of the Bayfordbury archive are now in the Hertfordshire Record office (D/EBk) but contain nothing relating to Dryden or, indeed, to Tonson. One of Tonson's letters to Dryden is reproduced in facsimile in W. B. Carnochan, ‘Some suppressed verses in Dryden's translation of Juvenal VI’, TLS (21 January 1972), pp. 73-4.

A third important collection is the series of letters written by Dryden in his later years to Elizabeth, Mrs Elmes Steward (d.1743), daughter of his cousin Elizabeth Creed. Sixteen of these were discovered in 1799 by Malone (see Osborn, pp. 47-8). They were later dispersed. Eleven letters by Dryden to Elizabeth Steward, five letters to Walsh, and one to Halifax were sold at Evans (i.e. Sotheby's), 13 February 1833, lots 371-3, to Glynn, Thorpe, and Longman respectively. Most of these, plus the letter to Elmes Steward, comprised the sixteen letters sold at Sotheby's on 7 June 1898 (Phillipps sale), lot 313, to Sabin. They can now, however, all be accounted for, a seventeenth and previously unrecorded letter in the series coming to light as recently as 1983 (*DrJ 352).

What is cited below as ‘Malone, Yale exemplum’ is the source from which Ward printed his text of certain letters (*DrJ 340, DrJ 350, DrJ 354). It is an interleaved and annotated exemplum of Volume I, part I, of Malone's edition of Dryden's works in 1800 now at Yale (Osborn pb 118). In fact Malone's original annotations, made by him in preparation for a second edition (1812), and which are copied in the Yale exemplum, is now in the Bodleian (Mal. E. 61-63). Malone's annotations are extensively discussed in Osborn, pp. 133-59. Inter alia, Malone includes references to yet other, lost letters by Dryden.

In his annotated exemplum of Gerard Langbaine, An Account of the English Dramatick Poets (Oxford, 1691) (British Library, C.28.g.1, p. 131), William Oldys (1636-1708) refers to a letter he himself received from Dryden, but no details are given. In addition, Nathaniel W. Wraxall declared in 1799 that three of Dryden's letters were to be found among the Dorset (Sackville) Papers (see Osborn, pp. 262-5). These papers have since been moved and disturbed so much that only two letters by Dryden to Dorset have been recorded in relatively recent times (*DrJ 307 and *DrJ 317, the first of which is endorsed by Wraxall. There is no trace, however, of a third letter by the poet from this archive.

One other letter supposedly written by Dryden, to the poet Edmund Waller, may be discounted. The rumour of the existence of such a letter derives from a mistaken description by James Orchard Halliwell in 1841 of the private publication of one of Dryden's letters to William Walsh (*DrJ 316). Osborn was unable to trace this publication before 1940 (see Osborn (1940), p. 271), but the exemplum which came to light in 1963 confirmed his guess that the addressee was Walsh rather than Waller (see Osborn (1965), p. 287, where, however, he erroneously cites the letter as Ward's No. 28 instead of his No. 17).


Further examples of Dryden's hand are found in business documents, chiefly relating to his publishing agreements, as well as his early academic subscriptions. These are given separate entries below, along with certain documents which survive only in copies (DrJ 368-382).

Various of these documents are printed and discussed in Ward, p. 172; Osborn, p. 13; Henry B. Wheatly, ‘Dryden's Publishers’, Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, 11 (1909-11), 17-38, (pp. 36-8); Charles E. Ward, ‘Some Notes on Dryden’, Review of English Studies, 13 (1937), 297-306 (pp. 301-3), and ‘The Publication and Profits of Dryden's Virgil’, PMLA, 53 (1938), 807-12; John Barnard, ‘The Dates of Six Dryden Letters’, Pholologocal Quarterly, 42 (1963), 396-403 (p. 399), and ‘Dryden, Tonson, and Subscriptions for the 1697 Virgil’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 57 (1963), 129-51; and William Congreve: Letters & Documents, ed. John C. Hodges (London, 1964), pp. 96-104.

Another document in which, among other things, Dryden directed Richard Graham to settle accounts with Tonson for his Virgil was described by one R. Nixon in a manuscript edited in Notes & Queries, 5th Ser. 7 (19 May 1877), 386. It has not apparently surfaced since then.

Various other documents and receipts signed by ‘John Dryden’ have been wrongly attributed to the poet as a result of confusion with his various cousins of the same name. Since the time of Dr Johnson, for instance, it was generally believed that in 1683 Dryden was appointed Collector of Customs in the port of London (he was, indeed, seeking some such appointment in his letter to Rochester (*DrJ 312). This error was rectified in Charles E. Ward, ‘Was John Dryden Collector of Customs?’, Modern Language Notes, 47 (1932), 246-9 (and see also Ward, Life, pp. 324-5), although it still persists in many library catalogues today. The John Dryden who became Collector of Customs on 17 December 1683 — and who in fact received an income from the Exchequer for some years before that appointment — was a woollen draper of St Bride's Parish. An indenture of the 1680s signed by that Dryden (described in the document as ‘of ffleet-street Citizen and Woolen draper of London’) was sold at Sotheby's, 3 March 1980, lot 116, to Tucker. The same signature can be recognized on, for instance, a receipt for revenue received from the Tally Court on 15 July 1686 which was sold at Parke Bernet Galleries, New York, on 31 October 1950, lot 324, and which is now in Boston Public Library (MS E. 9. 4. D 848). Another of the poet's cousins was John Driden, MP (1635-1708), of Chesterton in Huntingdonshire. His signature appears, for instance, on a receipt for an annuity paid by the Exchequer on a war loan, dated 30 April 1694, which was sold at Sotheby's, 19 November 1903, lot 20, and which is now in the Folger (MS X. d. 13 (3)). It also appears on a two-page genealogy of Dryden the poet, dated 1684, which was offered for sale in Pickering and Chatto's catalogue No. 651 (1983), item 1048 (a photocopy of the manuscript is in the British Library, RP 2476). Yet another cousin was the ‘Jon: Dryden’ — viz. Jonathan Dryden (1639-1702), Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and later Prebendary of York — who wrote a letter in Latin in February ‘1659’ to Dr Richard Busby (the poet's old headmaster at Westminster), which is now in the British Library (Add. MS 4921, f. 191r-v). That gentleman was also responsible in 1663 for presenting several medieval manuscripts to his college (i.e. manuscripts B. 1. 27; B.11. 16; B. 14. 42, 43, 44; B. 15. 22, 27: James 25, 255, 326-8, 358, 363) — almost all bearing his signature and the date December 1653 [sic]. He signed a receipt in 1673 relating to tythes in Cheriton, Kent, where he was Rector — a document now in the British Library (Add. MS 42668, f. 153r) — and he might conceivably be the ‘Jon Dryden’ responsible for a letter of 24 November 1679 to Elizabeth Cleaver, concerning the death of Lady Clifford, which is preserved in a later transcript in the Bodleian (MS Rawl. letters 90, f. 55r). It may be supposed that one or more of these various John Drydens — or possibly other namesakes besides — were responsible for the signatures on other documents that have been reported from time to time, including: a receipt of 22 November 1669 recorded in the printed catalogue of The R. B. Adam Library (1929), III, 88 (a library subsequently incorporated in the Donald and Mary Hyde Collection); an Exchequer warrant of 1678 (together with ‘Two other Warrants, signed by his son and Wm. Dryden’) sold at Sotheby's, 26 March 1904, lot 618, to Maggs; an Exchequer receipt of 3 December 1679 sold at Sotheby's, 9 June 1920, lot 192, and now in the Folger (MS X.d.13(1)); an Excise receipt of 30 April 1684 sold at Sotheby's, 23 April 1923, lot 202, and 23 April 1934, lot 141, and now at Colorado College (Rare 826.08 T212 v. 1); and an Exchequer warrant of 30 March 1694 sold at Sotheby's, 24 March 1904, lot 298, to Benjamin. It is also interesting to note that the Folger possesses (MS X.d.13(2)) an Excise receipt relating to the second half of 1681 signed on behalf of ‘John Dryden’ by ‘W. Walsh’. The conjunction of these two names is interesting; however, the poet William Walsh (1663-1708) was only eighteen at this time and is not known to have become friendly with Dryden the poet until 1690 (see Ward, Life, p. 247).

Numerous other documents might, by the same token, be cited as having biographical relevance to John Dryden the poet, if not actually in his hand. For these, see principally Osborn and Ward, Life. Among them, a letter by Lady Elizabeth Dryden to Richard Bushy [1682?] is edited in Ward, (Letters), p. 150, from the text in Malone, I, ii 14-15. The original was sold at Sotheby's, 18 November 1929, in lot 157, to A. S. W. Rosenbach. An autograph letter by Dryden's son Charles Dryden, including verses, is in the Bodleian (MS Rawl. letters 90, f. 56r-v). A letter by his c ousin Honor Dryden was acquired by James Osborn at Sotheby's, 17 December 1963, in lot 466 (see Osborn, p. 287). Archbishop Sheldon's Fiat for the granting of Dryden's degree, 24 June 1668, is at Lambeth Palace (Faculty Office Records, F II 1668/32): see John R. Sweney, ‘An Unnoticed Dryden Document at Lambeth Palace’, N&Q, 224 (February 1979), 11-12. A Treasury document of 29 November 1671 to 17/19 June 1673 regarding an earlier loan of £500 made by Dryden to Charles II is in the National Archives, Kew (E. 403/2772, p. 109) and is printed in C.E. Ward, ‘Some Notes on Dryden’, Review of English Studies, 13 (1937), 297-306 (pp. 297-8). Several Treasury or Tally Court documents relating to Dryden's pension as Poet Laureate between 1677 and 1686 are at Yale (Osborn MS fb 55, fb 204, and Osborn MSS File 4630). Another, signed by the Duke of Ormonde on 11 January 1670/1, was sold at Sotheby's, 2 July 1968, lot 397, and is now at Princeton (RTCO1 Box 12, fl.35); while yet another, dated 9 March ‘1685’, is recorded in an (? American) sale on 21 May 1923. A petition signed by Charles Killigrew and other shareholders of the King's Playhouse, probably in 1678, complaining that Dryden had broken the terms of an earlier agreement, was once in the collection of Roger W. Barrett, of Chicago; was later offered in Simon Finch's sale catalogue No. 35 (1998), item 56, and is now at Yale. It is reproduced in facsimile in Osborn, after p. 202; facsimiles are in the British Library (RP 7658); and the text is also edited in California, XIII, 629.

Books from Dryden's Library

One other notable area open to investigation, especially of Dryden's signature, is that of books and manuscripts once owned by him or presented by him to other people. For a general discussion of this subject, see Osborn, pp. 241-50, 289, supplemented in Paul Hammond, ‘Dryden's Library’, N&Q, 229 (September 1984), 344-5. By far the most important known volume from Dryden's library is an exemplum of Spenser's Works (1679), once owned by Jacob Tonson, preserved at the poet's old college of Trinity College, Cambridge, and containing his extensive autograph annotations (see *DrJ 300). One other volume known to have been copiously annotated by Dryden was also owned by Tonson. On blank leaves in Thomas Rymer's presentation exemplum to Dryden of his Essay on the Tragedies of the last Age (London, 1677), Dryden wrote extensive comments, which were later edited in Tonson's edition of The Works of Beaumont and Fletcher (London, 1711). A single manuscript copy of the annotations is recorded (DrJ 299), but the presentation volume itself was probably destroyed by fire (see DrJ 299.6).

A few other books — including two presentation exempla of works by Dryden himself — bear evidence of his ownership, or at least are reported to do so, and have been given entries below (DrJ 299.2-300.5). For a list of 28 British and continental books in Latin, published between 1513 and 1674, which John Dryden (the poet?) is recorded to have bought ‘at the sale of Richard Smith's library, dispersed by auction in Great St. Bartholomew's Close, in May and June, 1682’, see W.C. Hazlitt's Contributions towards a Dictionary of English Book-Collectors, ed. Bernard Quaritch (14 parts, London 1892-1921; reprinted in New York, 1968), Part XII (1898), and T.A. Birrell, ‘John Dryden's Purchases at Two Book Auctions, 1680 and 1682’, English Studies, 42 (1961), 193-217.

Some other books supposedly once owned by Dryden have dubious pedigrees. In his letter of 12 March 1699/1700 to Mrs Steward (*DrJ 366), Dryden wrote that he was sending her an exemplum of his Fables Ancient and Modern (London, 1700), another exemplum having gone to his cousin John Driden of Chesterton. What purported to be this volume, inscribed three times on the flyleaf ‘For My Cousine Mrs Elizabeth Stuart, From the Author’, was offered for sale by James G. Commin of 230 High Street, Exeter (catalogue No. 400, April 1924). However (in view of the spelling of the name ‘Steward’ and the odd repetition of the inscription, its authenticity seems questionable.

Yet another inscribed volume is an exemplum of Gilbert Burnet, Some Letters containing an Account of what seemed most remarkable in Switzerland, Italy, etc. (Rotterdam, 1686), allegedly bearing Dryden's signature on the flyleaf with the date 1 February ‘1686’. This volume was sold at Puttick and Simpson's, 11 April 1870, lot 568, to Harvey, and again at Sotheby's, 9 December 1909, lot 61, to Sotheran, and in Phillip J. Pirages's sale catalogue for 1988, item 185. If the signature were genuine, this would be an interesting association volume in view of Burnet's vehement anti-Catholic sentiments — the very antithesis of Dryden's views at this time — and in view of Burnet's alleged influence on Dryden. Burnet claimed in his Defence of the Reflections on the Ninth Book of the First Volume of Mr. Varilla's History of Heresies (1687) that Dryden ‘discontinued his labour’ of translating Antoine Varilla's Histoire des révolutions arrivées dans l'Europe en matière de religion upon the appearance of Burnet's own Reflections on Mr. Varillas's History (1686) because Varillas was there so discredited — an explanation which might at least partly account for Dryden's decision (see Osborn, pp. 52-3, and Ward, Life, pp. 223-4). After all this, however, it it can be confidently asserted that the signature is not that of the poet

Further volumes allegedly owned by Dryden have been recorded by W.C. Hazlitt (1834-1913). An exemplum of Sir Richard Blackmore, King Arthur (London, 1695), once in Hazlitt's hands, had, he claimed ‘MS. notes of early date, said to be in Dryden's hand’ (Second Series of Bibliographical Collections and Notes (London, 1882, p. 50); cited in Macdonald, p. 282n). In his annotated exemplum of his own A Roll of Honour (London, 1908), now in the British Library (1655/5), Hazlitt notes (p. 64) that ‘Sir John Dryden. Great nephew of the poet. Ob. 1700…owned an imperfect copy of the first folio Shakespear, which may have been the poet's’. He adds that, besides the Spenser folio now at Trinity College, Cambridge (*DrJ 300), ‘a copy of the folio of 1618 exists, which presents strong evidence of having belonged to the later poet in his younger days’, Hazlitt's reference for this information being given as ‘Mr Cann's letter to me from Fowers, Cornwall, July 11, 1909’. None of these volumes can be traced at present.

Other inscribed volumes that Osborn mentions may be viewed somewhat sceptically. An interleaved Anthologia Graeca at Harvard (*EC65. D8474. Zz650b, formerly Sumner 134) bears on the flyleaf the name ‘John Dryden’ scribbled repeatedly in a schoolboy hand which might have belonged to any person of that name. An exemplum of Joshua Poole, The English Parnassus (London, 1657) in the British Library (C.60.f.14), has what Macdonald believed was the inscription ‘Jn Dn’ on the title-page — which might have been of some interest since the prefatory discussion of poetry is by one ‘J. D.’; however, the inscription may actually read ‘Jn Die’ (i.e. ? John Davie) and is certainly not Dryden's signature. A medieval manuscript of Peter Lombards's Exposition epistolarum D. Pauli in the British Library (Harley MS 3253) had, inside the cover according to Osborn (who was apparently quoting from the printed catalogue of Harleian manuscripts), the inscription ‘Liber aliquando Johannis Dryden’. The manuscript was rebound in 1967, but the inscription ‘John Drydens Booke’ appears on a flyleaf in a hand totally dissimilar to that of the poet. The name ‘[?] Dryden’ written in an exemplum of Reliquiae sacrae Carolinae (The Hague, 1651) at Duke University is also, as Osborn notes, ‘not in the poet's hand’. Finally Osborne records two volumes bearing both signatures and dates by a ‘John Dryden’: one an exemplum of Francis Bacon, Of the Advancement and Proficiencie of Learning (London, 1674), in the Folger (B 312/Copy 2), bearing on the title-page the inscription ‘John Dryden. 1677’ (as well as another inscription: ‘William Shaw his booke’); the other, an exemplum of Edward Fairfax, Godfrey of Bulloigne (London, 1600), in the Huntington (RB 69618), bearing on the title-page the inscription ‘John Dryden 1695’ (the authenticity of which Osborn rejects). To judge from photocopies, it is not inconceivable that these inscriptions are genuine, but neither of them bears an obvious resemblance to Dryden's and they should at least be viewed with suspicion.

Dryden's Revisions of Other Men's Works

The extremely limited tally of volumes associated — or reported to be associated — with Dryden could be speculatively extended with respect to the manuscripts of other authors' works that Dryden is reported to have taken a hand in revising. It is clear from comments made in the Preface to Sir Robert Howard's Poems (London, 1660), for instance, that Dryden amended ‘from grosse Errors’ the ‘blotted Copies’ of verse by his future brother-in-law, with whom he also collaborated in some respect on The Indian Queen in 1665 (see David Wallace Spielman, ‘Sir Robert Howard, John Dryden, and the Attribution of The Indian-Queen’, The Library, 7th Ser. 9 (September 2008), 334-48). He similarly revised the manuscript of Congreve's The Old Batchelour, putting it ‘in the order it was playd’ (see Kinsley, IV, 2027). The manuscript of Dryden's friend William Walsh's Dialogue concerning Women (1691) which the author sent to Dryden prompted the extended critique and, in effect, revision embodied in Dryden's letter to Walsh in ?1693 (*DrJ 316). Conceivably, he revised the manuscript of Lord Mulgrave's Essay upon Satire (see below), as well as other works of joint-authorship within the canon. Such manuscripts, however, have long disappeared. A poetical manuscript which, as Macdonald records (pp. 8-9), was one described as unpublished autograph poems by Sir Robert Howard bearing corrections possibly in Dryden's hand (sold at Sotheby's, 4 May 1910, lot 108) turns out to be spurious. The manuscript, formerly Phillipps MS 23273 and now in the British Library (Add. MS 38001), is, in fact, a set of autograph poetical drafts by William Walsh — who, interestingly enough, did write in a hand somewhat similar to Dryden's (see Croft, Autograph Poetry, I, Plate 60). Yet another manuscript which, according to somewhat speculative arguments, may have been owned by Dryden is a manuscript copy of Richard, Earl of Lauderdale's translation of Virgil owned (in 1965) by Margaret Boddy of Winona State College. It is one of seven recorded manuscript copies of this translation, discussed by Boddy in ‘The Manuscripts and Printed Editions of the Translation of Virgil Made by Richard Maitland, Fourth Earl of Lauderdale, and the Connexion with Dryden’, N&Q, 210 (April 1965), 144-50. It is clear at any rate, from Dryden's own Dedication of the Aeneis (1697), that he did receive one manuscript copy of Lauderdale's translation, while in one of the extant copies Lauderdale himself mentions having sent (possibly in stages) a relatively uncorrected version ‘to Mr. Dryden after Bryarly wrote it’.

The Manuscript Circulation of Dryden's Poems

Apart from the authorial manuscripts already noted, relatively few of the manuscript copies of works by Dryden recorded in the entries below are likely to have much authority, although there are notable exceptions. Despite the fact that Dryden was a professional writer who wrote for publication, certain of his poems were evidently circulated in manuscript before they were published. The most striking instance is his brilliant satire on Thomas Shadwell, Mac Flecknoe, which was almost certainly written in 1678 but not printed (in an unauthorized edition) until four years later. Manuscript copies proliferated as the poem was read and enjoyed both within and without Dryden's immediate circle. At present, fifteen contemporary or near-contemporary copies can be recorded (DrJ 87-101.5) and others may well come to light in due course. It is evident too, from remarks made in Dryden's dedicatory epistle to Sir Robert Howard, that his prefatory verses to Annus Mirabilis (1667) — that is, his Verses to her Highness the Dutchess [of York], on the memorable Victory gain'd by the Duke against the Hollanders, June the 3. 1665, and on Her Journey afterwards into the North (‘Madam,/ When, for our sakes, your Heroe you resign'd’) — had some degree of circulation in manuscript (whether in coffee-houses or elsewhere), otherwise they could scarcely have provoked the hostile comments to which Dryden alludes (‘…Some who have seen a paper of Verses which I wrote last year to her Highness the Dutchess, have accus'd them of…’ (Kinsley, I, 49)). No independent manuscripts of this poem are known today, although one of the two manuscript texts recorded below (DrJ 244) — in a miscellany also containing Annus Mirabilis (DrJ 7) — has its own interest in view of the marginal annotation against the latter poem: ‘Printed Lond 1667…mihi’. If by this comment the annotator meant that these poems were printed by or for him, then he might be no other than Dryden's publisher Henry Herringman (1628-1704). However, it is much more likely that mihi simply meant that the compuler or annotator possessed his own exemplum of the 1667 publication.

Some of Dryden's Prologues and Epilogues were circulated independently — presumably because they were occasional pieces of topical interest. Examples such as the Prologue to The Prophetess (1690) (see DrJ 135-151), which was officially suppressed after the first night because of its satirical remarks on King William's Irish War, might become marketable for ‘underground’ circulation, such texts eventually finding their way into the larger verse miscellanies and collections of poems on affairs of state. Dryden's verse epistle to Etherege in 1686 (DrJ 201-211) was certainly circulated in manuscript and there is also interesting evidence that Dryden used one of his sons as an amanuensis. On 17 December, 1686, Dr Owen Wynne told Etherege: ‘Mr Dryden & his Son (who Copied the father's answer to you) were, for suffering Copyes of ym to steal abroad, with my Lord [Middleton's] name in the Titlepage, & some say they were printed, tho I never saw ym but in a Suffolk = gent[leman's] hand in Writing’ (Bischöfliches Zentralarchiv Regensburg, BZA/Sch. F. XVII, Fasz. 4, No. 19). It seems evident, besides, that Dryden's Heroique Stanza's on Cromwell (DrJ 49-63) had some degree of circulation in manuscript; and so too did the poem To the Lady Castlemain, Upon Her incouraging his first Play (DrJ 215-219); while not all of the numerous copies of the epitaph Upon the Death of the Viscount Dundee in 1689 (DrJ 222.1-241) derive from early-eighteenth-century printed texts. Another poem whose only recorded text was probably not far removed from the author's manuscript is the incomplete ode ‘By Mr Dryden’ On the Marriage of …Mrs. Anastasia Stafford, with …George Holman (DrJ 108), known today only by the text printed in 1813 by Arthur Clifford from the lost Tixall Manuscript. Assuming that the attribution of this poem is correct (and it has not been questioned hitherto), it is reasonable to suppose, as Clifford argued, that this poem had restricted circulation within a very small group of Catholic families in Staffordshire, for Tixall Hall, seat of the Aston family, is only four miles from Stafford Castle, seat of the Staffords for whom the ode was written.

It is not impossible that the manuscripts of certain other poems may prove to have a textual history independent of printed versions. On the other hand, the recorded copies of, or extracts from, such major works as Absolom and Achitophel (DrJ 1-2.118) and The Hind and the Panther (DrJ 64-5), if not the text of Annus Mirabilis noted above (DrJ 7), were transcribed from printed editions. Dryden's works were also frequently gleaned for quotation in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century miscellanies, almost invariably taken from printed sources. Quotations from Dryden occasionally appear besides in letters among the Prior Papers owned by the Marquess of Bath at Longleat House (see HMC, 58, Bath III (1908), pp. 63, 185, 238-9, 466). In addition to the Lines on Tonson (DrJ 83), they include quotations from poems and plays in letters by Matthew Prior and his correspondents between 1695 and 1719, in Prior Papers, X, 156; VIII, 313; and VII, 108. Such copies and extracts from printed sources can have interest, nevertheless, as a recent commentator has noted, in providing a ‘record of the reading experience of someone who was in accord’ with the apologetics of those poems, while the Traquair Manuscript (DrJ 65), which has interesting Jacobite associations, may even ‘represent an updated scriptorial edition’.

For an account of the circulation of Dryden's verse in printed editions, see Paul Hammond, ‘The Circulation of Dryden's Poetry’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 86 (December 1992), 379-409.

Two manuscripts of particular poems by Dryden that may or may not correspond to certain entries below are recorded in sale catalogues: namely, Dryden's Heroique Stanza's ‘on the late Usuper, written after his funeral’ in a quarto volume including the elegies by Thomas Spratt and Edmund Waller sold at Sotheby's, 11 August 1857, lot 1967; and An Epitaph on the Lady Whitmore by ‘John Dryden, Esq., Poet Laureat’, in a collection of 140 historical items bound in three folio volumes owned by the Rev. Philip Bliss (1787-1857), antiquary and book collector, sold at Sotheby's, 21 August 1858 (Bliss sale), lot 68, to Lilly.

Dramatic Works

Among Dryden's dramatic works, only one appears to have enjoyed extensive circulation in manuscript: namely his unperformed operatic adaptation of Milton's Paradise Lost, originally called The Fall of Angels and published in 1677 as The State of Innocence. As Dryden himself notes in ‘The Author's Apology’, he was induced to publish the work in his own defence, ‘many hundred copies of it being dispersed abroad without my knowledge, or consent: so that every one gathering new faults, it became at length a libel against me’ (Scott-Saintsbury, V, 111). In addition to the Harvard manuscript containing what are probably the author's autograph corrections (*DrJ 287) — and, incidentally, written in a scribal hand not hitherto recognized elsewhere — seven contemporary manuscripts of this work may now be recorded (DrJ 288-294). An unspecified folio manuscript of The Fall of Angells, or Man in Innocence — which may or may not correspond to any of these copies — was offered in Thomas Rodd's sale catalogues of manuscripts in 1836, item 169*; in 1838, item 325; in 1841, item 614; and in 1846, p. 63, and was sold at Sotheby's, 4 February 1850, lot 596, to Williams. This may or may not also be the manuscript of this work recorded in An Appendix to the Rowfant Library [of Frederick Locker-Lampson (1821-95), poet] (London, 1900), p. 150.

There is evidence too that Marriage A-la-Mode had some degree of circulation in manuscript before its publication in 1673 (see Charles E. Ward, ‘The Dates of Two Dryden Plays’, PMLA, 51.i (1936), 786-92). Moreover, in his Dedication to the Earl of Rochester, Dryden notes: ‘You commended it to the view of His Majesty, then at Windsor [i.e. May-July 1671], and by his Approbation of it in Writing [i.e. in manuscript], made way for its kind reception on the Theatre’ (California, XI, 221). In his Dedication to the Earl of Mulgrave, Dryden remarks similarly on his Aureng-Zebe (published in 1676): ‘Some things in it have passed your approbation, and many your amendment. You were likewise pleased to recommend it to the king's perusal, before the last hand was added to it’ (Scott-Saintsbury, V, 197). There is, of course, no trace today of such manuscripts as these, which were given to Dryden's patrons for their amendments, shown to Charles II and perhaps passed around at Court. Neither is there any trace of the manuscript copy of The Kind Keeper; or, Mr. Limberham (published 1680) which Malone records in 1800 having seen ‘some years ago’: a manuscript ‘which had been found by Lord Bolingbroke among the sweepings of Pope's study, in which a pen had been drawn through several exceptionable passages, that do not appear in the printed play’ (Macdonald, p. 122). On the other hand, in Dryden's old college, Trinity College, Cambridge, is preserved a notable, pre-publication manuscript of The Indian Emperour as originally performed in 1665 (DrJ 268), possibly, so Bowers has argued, ‘copied from the transcript of Dryden's foul papers used by the publisher Herringman for his entry in the Stationers' Register on 26 May 1665’. The Douai Manuscript of this play (DrJ 269) is a later acting version based on a printed quarto and used at one of the English Catholic Colleges at Douai.

A few additional texts of plays by Dryden that have not been given separate entries below may be mentioned here. Late seventeenth- or eighteenth-century prompt-books of five of Dryden's plays (plus Oedipus) are discussed in Edward A. Langhans, Eighteenth Century British and Irish Promptbooks: A Descriptive Bibliography (New York, Westport, Conn., & London, 1987). Three of these promptbooks, for Oedipus, Don Sebastian and The Comical Lovers (Colley Cibber's adaptation of Dryden's Secret Love and Marriage a la Mode) — from the collection of promptbooks given by J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps to the Morrab Library, Penzance — were sold at Sotheby's, 27 May 1964 and are now in the University of Texas (Prompt books Box 1, Nos 90, 76, and 40). They are discussed, with facsimile examples, in Leo Hughes and A. H. Scouten, ‘Dryden with Variations: Three Prompt Books’, Theatre Research International, 11/2 (Summer 1986), 91-105.

To these recorded items may be added marked-up exempla of The Indian Emperour (1692) at Yale (Osborn pb 69, once owned by A.N.L. Munby (1913-74), writer and librarian), and two prompt-books of Tyrannick Love. One is an exemplum of the edition of 1670 marked up for use c.1682-4 by the Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, owned by Alexander Scala, of Kingston, Ontario, and discussed in detail by him in ‘A Smock Alley Promptbook for Tyrannick Love’, Theatre Notebook, 52/2 (1998), 65-90. The other is an exemplum of the 2nd edition, (1672), probably associated with the King's Company, and now in the Folger Shakespeare Library (Prompt T 40). It is described in Henry Hitch Adams, ‘A Prompt Copy of Dryden's Tyrannick Love’, Studies in Bibliography, 4 (1951-2), 170-4, a facsimile example appearing in Edward A. Langhans, Restoration Promptbooks (Carbondale & Edwardsville, 1981), pp. 31-4. It is also recorded in California, X, 501.

The manuscript part of Gomez associated with amateur performances of The Spanish Fryar given at Wotton Hall, Buckinghamshire, seat of the Grenville family, between 24 December 1723 and 4 January 1723/4, remains among the Grenville Papers in the British Library (Add. MS 57837), while the part for the same role written out by the actor John Ward (1704-73) is now in the Folger (T.a.100). The latter is discussed in James G. MacManaway, ‘The Two Earliest Prompt Books of Hamlet’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 43 (1949), 288-320 (p. 291 et seq.). Some accounts of a small theatrical touring company in Wales in 1741, preserved in the British Library (Add. MS 33488) — accounts which illustrate the fact that The Spanish Fryar was the most popular of Dryden's plays on the eighteenth-century stage — are briefly discussed in Charles E. Ward, ‘Dryden's “Spanish Friar” and a Provincial Touring Company’, N&Q, 176 (11 February 1939), 96-7.

A Prologue and Epilogue for amateur performances of The Indian Queen in 1738-9 are among the Finch manuscripts in the Leicestershire Record Office (DG. 7/D4 (i)). ‘A Prologue to the Indian Emperor when it was acted at Mr. Conduitt's House by Lady Caroline Lenos, Ld. Lempster & spoken by Miss Conduitt upon the occasion of their being honour'd wth. the presence of their Royal Highnesses the Duke, the Princess Mary & the Princess Louisa’ (‘Hold! Hold! My Lord, thô not like you prepar'd’) is among the Lothian Papers in the National Archives of Scotland (GD 40/15/39/15).

Musical Settings

By far the most numerous manuscript texts of plays by Dryden, however, belong to a quite distinct category in that they are musical. Copies not only of the musical settings of songs in Dryden's plays but also whole scores of the plays performed as operas proliferated well into the eighteenth century. Since these manuscripts are more properly a subject for study by musicologists rather than textual critics, they have not been given entries below but may briefly be listed as follows:

Amphitryon; or, The Two Sosia's (London, ‘1690’)

Songs in settings by Henry Purcell published as an appendix tothe first edition. The Works of Henry Purcell, XVI (London, 1906), 21-41. Songs in Act III, scene i (‘Celia, that I was was blest’); Act IV, scene i (‘Fair Iris I love, and hourly I dye’ and ‘Fair Iris and her Swain’) [Kinsley, II, 560-2; California XV, 283, 299-301]. Purcell's settings of various of these songs, or of The Masque (‘Great Neptine now no more’), in: Bodleian (MS Mus. Sch. C. 95, pp. 220-5, and MS Tenbury 787); British Library (Add. MSS 22099, f. 44r [recorded in California and in Day, p. 170]; 63626, ff. 43v-5 [formerly at Stoneleigh Abbey; recorded in John P. Cutts, ‘An Unpublished Purcell Setting’, Music & Letters, 38 (1957), 1-13 (pp. 6, 10)]; Egerton MS 2960, ff. 58v-9v [recorded in California]); Christ Church, Oxford (Mus. MSS 3 and 620); Conservatoire Royal de Musique, Brussels (MS 1035); Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (MS C 353); Folger (MS W.b.534); National Library of Scotland (Adv. MS 81. 9. 12, f. 18); Royal College of Music (MS 1147); and Yale (Osborn Music MS 9, f. 4r [recorded in Gloria Rose, ‘A New Purcell Source’, JAMS, 25 (1972), 230-6]). An eighteenth-century copy of the ‘Dialogue in Amphitrion’, in a musical setting by William Boyce, is in Durham Cathedral Library, Bamburgh MS M205.

Cleomenes, the Spartan Heroe (London, 1692)

Song in Act II, scene ii (‘No no, poor suff'ring Heart no Change endeavour’) [Kinsley, II, 597; Scott-Saintsbury, VIII, 292-3], in Purcell's setting in: British Library (Add. MS 24889, ff. 21v, 46v, 66v, 89v, and 35043, f. 5v [both recorded in Day, p. 1781]), and in Guildhall Library (Gresham College Purcell MS, ff. 15v-16r [Purcell's autograph manuscript]). Alan Gray (ed.), The Works of Henry Purcell, XVI (London, 1906), 120-1.

The Duke of Guise (London, 1683, as by Dryden and Nathaniel Lee)

Song in Act V, scene ii (‘Tell me Thirsis, tell your Anguish’) [Kinsley, I, 330; Scott-Saintsbury, VII, 112-15; The Works of Nathaniel Lee, ed. Thomas B. Stroup and Arthur L. Cooke, 2 vols (Brunswick, N.J., 1954-5), II, 387-476 (pp. 457, 473-6)], in a setting by Captain Henry Pack in: British Library (Add. MSS 19759, ff. 44v-5r, and 29397, ff. 25r-6v [both recorded in Day, p. 161]).

An Evening's Love: or, The Mock-Astrologer (London, 1671)

Songs published in Merry Drollery, Complete (London, 1670). Song in Act IV, scene i (‘Calm was the Even, and cleer was the Skie’) [Kinsley, I, 126; California, X, 270-1], in a setting by Alphonso Marsh in: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département de la Musique (Conservatoire MS Rés. 2489, pp. 326-7 [f. 39r-v] [collated in John P. Cutts, ‘Seventeenth-Century Songs and Lyrics in Paris Conservatoire MS. Res. 2489’, Musica Disciplina, 23 (1969), 117-39 (p. 132)]); Edinburgh University Library (MS La. III. 491, pp. 58-9 [recorded in California]).

The Indian Emperour: or, The Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards (London, 1667)

Song in a setting by Henry Purcell published in Banquet of Musick, Book VI (London, 1692); ed. Alan Gray, The Works of Henry Purcell, XX (London, 1916), 41-2. Song in Act II, scene I, lines 53-62 (‘I look'd and saw within the Book of Fate’) [California, IX, 47], in a setting by Henry Purcell in: Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (MU MS 120, f. 210); Guildhall Library (Gresham College Purcell MS, ff. 10v-11v [Purcell's autograph manuscript: collated in California]). Song in Act IV, scene iii, lines 1-16, ‘Ah fading joy, how quickly art thou past’. in British Library, Add. MS 31811, ff. 29r-32r

The Indian Queen

Published in Four New Plays…Written by the Honourable Robert Howard (London, 1665), written by Dryden and Howard. [California, VIII, 181-231. Operatic version by Henry Purcell published in London, 1695; California, VIII, 325-30. Edward J. Dent (ed.), The Works of Henry Purcell, XIX (London, 1912)]. Substantial scores, songs and extracts in: Bodleian (Mus. Sch. C. 72 and E. 397; MSS Tenbury 338, No. 3 [recorded in Dent]; 785; 1131; 1278; 1508); British Council (Chor. 222); British Library (Add. MSS 22099; 24889, f. 38r; 30839; 31447, ff. 57r-64r; 31449; 31453; 31455; 33237, ff. 83r-114v; 33271, ff. 83r-114v; 35043; 34027; 37072-3; 47446; 62668; R.M. 24. e. 6; 24. e. 10 [some of these recorded in Dent]); Christ Church, Oxford (Mus MSS 3; 32; 360, ff. 3v-4v; 363, ff. 7r-11v; 389, pp. 2-3; 469-70; 580, ff. 15v-16r, 20v-2r; 620 [some of these recorded in California]); Dulwich College (MS 86; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Mus. MSS 33; 119 [recorded in Dent]; 120; C353; 25. E. 13; 52. B. 7; Mus. Box II: Magdalene College Part-books); Folger (MSS V.b.197, Part I, pp. 56-8; 85; V.b.279; W.b.533. pp. 1-79; W.b.535, pp. 2-21, 87-121; W.b.540, pp. 1-46 second series); Oriel College, Oxford (U a 35); Royal Academy of Music (Misc. 2); Royal College of Music (MSS 1144; 1147; 2230, ff. 83r-99r [recorded in California]); York Minster (MSS M. 12. (S); M. 26. (S); M. 75).

King Arthur: or, The British Worthy (London, 1691

Henry Purcell's operatic score published piecemeal in various music books in 1690s and eighteenth century. Edited (1928) by Dennis Arundell, and revised by Margaret Laurie, The Works of Henry Purcell, XXVI (London, 1971). Complete or substantial scores and various songs and extracts (many recorded in Laurie, pp. xi-xiii) in: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département de la Musique (MS Conservatoire Rés. F. 202); Bodleian (MSS Mus. c. 26; MSS Tenbury 338; 785)); British Council (op. 29); British Library (Add. MSS 5333; 22099, f. 62r; 30839; 31445; 31447; 31813, ff. 44v-5v; 33234; 33236; 33237; 33287; 39565-7; 40139; 62670; R.M.23.a.17 (9); 24 e.6.; 24.e.7; 24.e.11); Christ Church, Oxford (Mus. MSS 3; 363; 620; 960; 1114); Clark Library, Los Angeles (D799M2 K52 [1736] Bound; fP985M4 K 52 [ca.1700] Bound); Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Mus. MSS 33; 119; 120; C 353; 25. e.13; 52. B. 7; Mus. Box II: Magdalene College Part-books); Folger (MSS V.b.197, Part6 I, pp. 35, 66-73, 144-5; W.b.532); Guildhall Library (Gresham College MS V. I. 33); Oriel College, Oxford (U a 35); Oxford Music Faculty (MS Mee e. 1); Royal Academy of Music (XXXIVB); Royal College of Music (MSS 520; 822; 1144; 1147; 1172); Yale (Osborn Music MS 9, ff. 1v-2r, 4v-6r [recorded by Gloria Rose in JAMS, 25 (1972), 230-6]); York Minster (MSS M. 11. (S), End B, p. 27; M. 12. (S)). A manuscript of this opera ‘with stage directions’ was also offered in H.G. Bohn's sale catalogue for 1866, Part II, section 3.

The Pilgrim (London, 1700). Written chiefly by Sir John Vanbrugh, adapted from John Fletcher's play.

Dryden's ‘Secular Masque’ (‘Chronos, Chronos, mend thy Page’) [Kinsley, IV, 1762-5; Scott-Saintsbury, VIII, 495-8], in a setting by Daniel Purcell, Gottfried Finger and others, published in A Collection of New Songs…in…the Pilgrim (London, 1700). Partial scores in: Bodleian (MSS Mus. Sch. C. 95, p. 95; C.107a, and C. 107b); and British Library (Add. MS 29378, ff. 194r-205v [recorded in Day, p. 184]).

The Spanish Frier: or, The Double Discovery (London, 1681)

Song in Act I, scene i (‘Look down, ye bless'd above, look down’) [Kinsley, I, 207; Scott-Saintsbury, VI, 419], in a setting by John Eccles, in British Library (Add. MS 29378, f. 139r-v [recorded in Day, p. 159]). Song in Act V, scene i (‘Farewell ungratefull Traytor’) [Kinsley, IV, 1872; Scott-Saintsbury, VI, 500], in a setting by Henry Pack, in British Library (Add. MS 19759, f. 20v [facsimile in Day, p. 59; recorded in Kinsley]).

Troilus and Cressida: or, Truth Found too Late (London, 1670)

Song in Act III, scene ii, lines 174-87 (‘Can life be a blessing’) [Kinsley, I, 174; California, XIII, 300], in an anonymous setting in Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Mus. MS 118, f. 4r [collated in California]).

Tyrannick Love: or, The Royal Martyr (London, 1670)

Music by Henry Purcell published in Deliciae Musicae (London, 1695). Alan Gray (ed.), The Works of Henry Purcell, XXI (London, 1917), 135-47. Song in Act IV, scene i (‘Hark, my Damilcar, we are call'd below!’) [Kinsley, I, 120-1; California, X, 148-9], in an anonymous setting in British Library (Add. MS 19759, ff. 29v-30r [facsimile in Day, p. 19; recorded in Kinsley and in California]). In Purcell's setting in: British Library (Add. MS 22099; R.M. 24.e.65); Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (MU MS 120, f. 243r); Folger (MS V.b.197, Part I, pp. 136-40 [recorded in California]); York Minster (MSS M. 11. (S); End B, pp. 6-9). Song in Act IV, scene i (‘Ah how sweet it is to love’) [Kinsley, I, 121-2; California, X, 151], in Purcell's setting in British Library (Add. MS 22099, f. 59 [recorded in Day, p. 148, and in California]); Christ Church, Oxford (Mus. MS 580, ff. 7v-8r [recorded in California]); Guildhall Library (Gresham College Purcell MS, ff. 60v-1 [Purcell's autograph MS: collated in California]).

Most of the sources noted above for setting by Henry Purcell have been recorded in Franklin B. Zimmerman, Henry Purcell: An Analytical Catalogue (London & New York, 1963). Zimmerman records a few manuscripts in private ownership in addition to those mentioned above (see his listings on pp. 479-81). The list above also excludes those songs, not by Dryden, incorporated in later productions of his plays.

The Canon

The canon of Dryden's dramatic and prose works is taken to be that established in Macdonald; the canon of his verse, that largely established in Kinsley and in Hammond. An exception is The Fair Stranger (‘Happy and free, securely blest’), which Kinsley accepts into the canon (IV, 1765) but which is here excluded. The poem was first published in Charles Gildon, A New Collection of Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1701). In addition to a musical setting in the manuscript songbook of Cornelio Galli, one of the Gentlemen of the Chapel to Queen Catherine of Braganza (British Library, Harley MS 1264, ff. 78v-80r, and see the facsimile in Day, p. 129), two manuscript copies of this song were preserved, at least until the nineteenth century, in a folio verse miscellany owned in 1662 by William Turner and afterwards by Catherine Gage, Lady Aston (d.1720). The Aston text — edited in Arthur Clifford, Tixall Poetry (Edinburgh, 1813), p. 183 — was apparently headed ‘Witty Mr Henningam's Song’. Indeed, it seems likely that the author was the fop Henry Heveningham (d.1700), who probably composed this song during the reign of William III in honour of a new ‘toast’ from France: see W.J. Cameron, ‘John Dryden and Henry Heveningham’, N&Q, 202 (May 1507), 199-203.

A poem discovered relatively recently which has attracted some attention is a forty-line commendatory piece To Mr. L: Maidwell on his new method (‘Latine is now of equal use become’), which is ascribed to ‘J. Drydon’ in a manuscript now at Leeds University (DrJ 197.5). This poem is accepted in the canon by Hammond, but remains open to debate.

A Latin couplet headed ‘By Mr Dryden spoke by his son wn a Westmr schollr’, beginning ‘Juno tonat lingua sed fulmine Jupitr unget’, appears in the ‘Killingworth notebook’, from which it is transcribed, with a facsimile, in Hilton Kelliher, ‘Dryden's Attributions and Texts from Harley MS. 6054’, British Library Journal, 25/1 (Spring 1999), 1-22 (pp. 10-11). This couplet, of c.1680-5, may well hve been written by Dryden the poet.

Yet further poems have been ascribed to Dryden in various sources and doubtful or spurious attributions will no doubt continue to come to light. A prologue beginning ‘Your most obliging kindness’ in Bodleian, MS Rawl. poet. 19, f. 146, for instance, is endorsed ‘Mr Dryden's 2nd Prologue for ye Players at Oxford’, though in Bodleian, MS Eng. poet. e. 4, p. 176, it is signed ‘J. S.’ (see Macdonald, p. 138). An Epilogue to The Rival Ladies, spoken ‘by the Doctor’ (‘'Tis true, what as a iest our poet meant’), appears after Dryden's known Prologue to this play (DrJ 152-153) in Bodleian, MS Ashmole 36/37, f. 267v, but is described by Kinsley (IV, 1824) as ‘not necessarily Dryden's own’. A similar judgement was passed in Macdonald (p. 98) — also in California, IX, 433 — on A song made by Sr Marten Marall & his man Warner to the Lady falklands tune (‘If thou wilt but bee my Joy’) which appears on a single folio leaf among the Portland manuscripts now at the University of Nottingham (Pw V 205). Apparently intended for use in Dryden's play Sir Martin Mar-all, or the Feign'd Innocence, it was first published in Welbeck Miscellany, No 2: A Collection of Poems by Several Hands never before published, ed Francis Needham (1934), pp. 46-7.

There has also been considerable discussion (in Macdonald, pp. 217-19; POAS, I (1963), pp. 396-413, and elsewhere) on what part, if any, Dryden played in the composition or revision of An Essay upon Satire (‘How dull and how insensible a beast’) by John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave. Many contemporaries, as also Alexander Pope (who had access to Mulgrave's papers), believed that Dryden had a hand in this satire, a belief which led to the notorious assault on Dryden in Rose Alley on 18 December 1679, at the instigation of the Earl of Rochester and/or, possibly, the Duchess of Portsmouth. The poem, which was apparently not published until 1689, achieved considerable popularity and manuscript copies were widely circulated. In view of this, even granted the poem's unlikely attribution to Dryden, entries are given for these copies below (DrJ 43.7-43.154).

For other poems that have been doubtfully or spuriously attributed to Dryden, see the ‘Index of Poems Excluded from this Edition’ in Hammond, V, 681-9.


Two genealogies of Dryden the poet, in the hand of either Gregory King, Rouge Dragon, or his assistant Samuel Stebbing, later Somerset Herald, and signed by his cousin John Driden of Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire, dated July 1684 and September 1687 respectively, were offered in Pickering and Chatto's sale catalogue No. 651 (1983), item 1048.

Translations from Dryden into Latin (c.1699) are found in British Library, Add. MS 29241, while an early-eighteenth-century translation of Alexander's Feast into Italian (as ‘Il Timoteo’), with music by Benedetto Marcello, is British Library, Egerton MS 2487, ff. 1r-21r.

A number of printed exempla of Absalom and Achitophel bear manuscript ‘keys’ whereby contemporary readers conjecturally identified the characters allegorically represented in the poem: see Macdonald, pp. 26, 225-6, and Kinsley, IV, 1878. A facsimile of one manuscript key in the British Library is reproduced in Garnett & Gosse (1903), III, 148. Yet another key was incorporated in a letter by Robert Wood to Sir William Petty, 22 November 1681, among the muniments of the Earl of Shelburne, Bowood House (Petty papers, Vol. 6, 2nd series, No. 97), now in the British Library (Add. MS 72850, f. 172r).

A series of critical comments on plays and poems by Dryden made in a miscellany of 1687-8 in the Bodleian (MS Eng. misc. c.34, ff. 24v, 26, 64, 119) is edited in G. Blakemore Evans, ‘A Seventeenth-Century Reader of Shakespeare’, Review of English Studies, 21 (1945), 271-9 (p. 278).

Correspondence concerning the major edition of Dryden's prose by Edmond Malone is preserved in the Bodleian (MSS Malone 27 and 40). Extensive notes on this edition made by George Thorn-Drury (1860-1931) are at Yale (Osborn MS e 3 and Osborn pd 105), as also is a manuscript copy of part of Malone's Life of Dryden (Files/Malone). Malone's transcripts of Tonson's letters to Dryden are in the Tinker Collection at Yale (see Osborn, p. 118). Letters written by Elizabeth Dryden to Malone in April 1799 are also at Yale (Osb MSS File 4627) and photocopies of them are in the British Library (RP 2713). Various printed exempla of Dryden's works once owned by Malone survive, some of which have been dispersed beyond the confines of the Malone Collection in the Bodleian; (for instance, his exemplum of Tyrannick Love (2nd edition, 1672), which is in the Folger (D2394 Bd. in D2206h v.2. Dobell).

Autograph notes on Dryden by Sir Walter Scott are in the National Library of Scotland (MS 894, f. 89r: see Osborn, pp. 164-5). An autograph biographical sketch of Dryden by Thomas Campbell, written in 1814, is in the Huntington (HM 33776).

Collections of papers on Dryden of Henry B. Wheatley (1838-1917), bibliographer and editor, are at Harvard (f.MS Eng 1578) and at Yale (Osborn e 4).

A set of the Scott-Saintsbury edition of Dryden's works (18 vols, 1882-93) annotated by George Thorn-Drury, KC (1860-1931), literary scholar and editor, is in the Bodleian (Thorn-Drury d. 55-72), as is his collection of Dryden's prologues and epilogues (Thorn-Drury d. 54).

Materials relating to Dryden are also among the papers of Professor Roswell Gray Ham (1891-1983) in the Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley (71/210 z, Carton 1).

Peter Beal