Charles Dryden (1666–1704)

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Charles Dryden (1666–1704), was chamberlain to Pope Innocent XII, He was the eldest son of John Dryden the poet. He was educated at Westminster and Trinity College, Oxford: translated Juvenal's seventh satire for bis father's version, 1692. He drowned in the Thames.[1]

Biography[edit]

Charles Dryden, born at Charlton in 1666, was the first son of John Dryden the poet, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Berkshire. He was educated at Westminster, elected to Trinity College, Cambridge.[2]

In 1683, Dryden wrote some poems, one of which, in Latin, appeared in the second Miscellany. He executed the seventh satire for his father's translation of Juvenal in 1692. About that time he went to Italy and was appointed chamberlain to Pope Innocent XII. Here he wrote an English poem which appeared in the fourth Miscellany. He returned to England about 1697 or 1698; administered to his father's effects; was drowned in the Thames near Datchet, and buried at Windsor 20 August 1704.[3]

Dryden, who was a believer in astrology, calculated his son's horoscope, and on the strength of it prophesies in 1697 that he will soon recover his health, injured by a fall at Rome. Corinna constructed an elaborate fiction upon this basis, showing that Dryden had foretold three periods of danger to his son; at one of which Charles fell from a (non-existent) tower of the Vatican five stories high and was "mashed to a mummy" for the time.[4] Malone reprints this narrative,[5] which is only worth notice from the use made of it in Sir Walter Scott's Guy Mannering.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lee 1903, p. 366.
  2. ^ Stephen 1888, pp. 73–74.
  3. ^ a b Stephen 1888, p. 74.
  4. ^ Stephen 1888, p. 74 cites Wilson, Life of Congreve.
  5. ^ Stephen 1888, p. 74 cites Malone Life of Dryden vol. ?, pp. 404–420.

References[edit]