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dead; and a thousand other things as extravagant he says, but performs not one action in the play.
But none of the former calunnies will stick; and, therefore, it is at last charged upon me, that Almanzor does all things; or if you will have an absurd accusation, in their nonsense who make it, that he performs impossibilities : they say, that being a stranger, he appeases two fighting factions, when the authority of their lawful sovereign could not. This is indeed the most improbable of all his actions, but it is far from being impossible. Their king had made himself contemptible to his people, as the history of Granada tells us; and Almanzor, though a stranger, yet was already known to them by his gallantry in the Juego de torros, his engagement on the weaker side, and more especially by the character of his person and brave actions, given by Abdalla just before ; and, after all, the greatness of the enterprise consisted only in the daring, for he had the king's guards to second him : But we have read both of Cæsar, and many other generals, who have not only calmed a mutiny with a word, but have presented themselves single before an army of their enemies; which upon sight of them has revolted from their own leaders, and come over to their 'trenches. In the rest of Almanzor's actions you see him for the most part victorious; but the same fortune has constantly attended many heroes, who were not imaginary. Yet, you see it no inheritance to him ; for, in the first place, he is made a prisoner; and, in the last, defeated, and not able to preserve the city from being taken. If the history of the late Duke of Guise be true, he hazarded more, and performed not less in Naples, than Almanzor is feigned to have done in Granada.
;! I have been too tedious in this apology; but to make some satisfaction, I will leave the rest of my play exposed to the criticks, without defence.
The concernment of it is wholly passed from me, and ought to be in them who have been favourable to it, and are somewhat obliged to defend their opinions. That there are errors in it, I deny not;
Ast opere in tanto fas est obrepere somnum. But I have already swept the stakes : and, with the common good fortune of prosperous gamesters, can be content to sit quietly; to hear my fortune cursed by some, and my faults arraigned by others; and to suffer both without reply.
MR DRYDEN'S PLAY,
THE CONQUEST OF GRANADA.
The applause I gave among the foolish crowd
+ Jobo, Lord Vaughan, eldest surviving son of Richard, Earl of Carbery.
TO THE FIRST PART,
MRS ELLEN GWYN, IN A BROAD-BRIMMED HAT, AND WAIST-BELT.*
This jest was first of the other house's making,
* There is a vague tradition, that, in this grotesque dress, (for the brims of the hat were as broad as a cart-wheel,) Nell Gwyn had the good fortune first to attract the attention of her royal lover. Where the jest lay, is difficult to diseover : it seems to have originated with the duke of York's players.