Vinton A. Dearing and Alan Roper (eds), The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 14: Plays; The Kind Keeper; The Spanish Fryar; The Duke of Guise; and The Vindication of the Duke of Guise
pg 202Editor’s NoteEPILOGUE, By a Friend of the Author's.
- 1There's none I'am sure, who is a Friend to Love,
- 2But will our Fryar's Character approve:
- 3The ablest Spark among you sometimes needs
- 4Such pious help for charitable Deeds.
- 5Our Church, alas! (as Rome objects) does want
- 6These Ghostly Comforts for the falling Saint:
- Editor’s Note7This gains them their Whore-Converts, and may be
- 8One Reason of the Growth of Popery.
- 9So Mahomet's Religion came in fashion,
- Editor’s Note10By the large leave it gave to Fornication.
- 11Fear not the guilt, if you can pay for't well,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus12There is no Dives in the Roman Hell.
- Editor’s Note13Gold opens the strait gate, and lets him in;
- Editor’s Note14But want of money is a mortal sin.
- Editor’s Note15For all besides you may discount to Heaven,
- Editor’s Note16And drop a Bead to keep the Tallies even.
- 17How are men cozen'd still with shows of good!
- 18The Baud's best Mask is the grave Fryar's Hood.
- 19Though Vice no more a Clergy-man displeases,
- 20Than Doctors can be thought to hate Diseases:
- 21'Tis by your living ill that they live well,
- 22By your Debauches their fat Paunches swell.
- 23'Tis a mock-war between the Priest and Devil,
- 24When they think fit, they can be very civil.
- 25As some who did French Counsels most advance,
- Critical Apparatus26To blind the World, have rail'd in Print at France,
- 27Thus do the Clergy at your Vices bawl,
- 28That with more ease they may engross them all.
- Critical Apparatus29By damning yours, they do their own maintain:
- Editor’s Note30A Church-man's godliness is alwaies gain.
- pg 20331Hence to their Prince they will superiour be;
- 32And civil Treason grows Church-Loyalty:
- 33They boast the gift of Heaven is in their power;
- Editor’s Note34Well may they give the God they can devour.
- 35Still to the sick and dead their claims they lay;
- 36For 'tis on Carrion that the Vermin prey.
- 37Nor have they less Dominion on our Life,
- 38They trot the Husband, and they pace the Wife.
- Editor’s Note39Rouze up you Cuckolds of the Northern climes,
- Editor’s Note40And learn from Sweden to prevent such crimes.
- 44Your Wives and Daughters soon will leave the Cells,
- Editor’s Note45When they have lost the sound of Aaron's Bells.pg 204
Robert Wolseley wrote the epilogue (London Stage, Part I, p. 292). In summer 1680, when Dryden was presumably near the end of his work on the play, he visited Wolseley's father, Sir Robert, in Staffordshire. Osborn (p. 217) supposes the son was present, and Winn (p. 332) thinks it possible. Osborn describes the son as "a man about court who had literary interests and who five years later contributed a preface to Rochester's Valentiniani A poem in the Osborn collection at Yale called "An Essay on Poetry" says Wolseley attempted to rival Dryden (POAS, V, 3). Winn (p. 334) says the anti-Catholicism in the epilogue is stronger than anything in the play. Summers (V, 453) notes that the author of The Revolter (1687) blamed Dryden for letting the epilogue be printed, "which in effect is the same thing, as if he had done it himself." Summers notes that in Poems on Affairs of State, III (1704), 2–3, the epilogue is ascribed to Dryden. It is there called "Satyr upon Romish Confessors," and lacks ll. 1–4 of the original.
7 This gains them their Whore-Converts. Cf. Absalom and Achitophel, l. 127: "[the 'Jebusites'] rak'd, for Converts, even the Court and Stews" (Works, II, 9). See query in note to l. 34 below. The most prominent "Whore-Convert" was the king's mistress the Duchess of Cleveland, who had converted in 1663, about the time Dryden addressed her in his poem To the Lady Castlemaine, upon Her Incouraging His First Play (Works, I, 45–46).
10 Fornication. I.e., by allowing four wives.
12 Dives] Q3–4; Dives Q1–2, F, D.
12 Dives. "Rich man," the conventional name for the rich man in Jesus' parable (Luke 16:20–25).
13 strait gate. Another biblical allusion (Matt. 7:13, Luke 13:24).
15 all besides you may discount. All other sins you may pay a smaller price for in advance (OED, discount).
16 drop a Bead. Say a casual prayer (OED, drop, sense 15 of the verb; bead).
26 France,] ~. Q1–4, F, D.
29 maintain:] ~. Q1–4, D; ~, F.
30 godliness is alwaies gain. "Godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Tim. 6:6).
34 the God they can devour. Referring to the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation: Summers (V, 453) points to Absalom and Achitophel, ll. 118–121 (Works, II, 9). Did Wolseley influence Dryden?
39 Rouze up you Cuckolds. Summers (V, 454) notes almost the same language in the epilogue to Ravenscroft's The London Cuckolds, produced in the winter of 1681, but that would also be an influence of, not on, Wolseley's epilogue.
40 As Summers shows by multiple quotations (V, 454), the idea was widespread in England that Sweden had passed and put into effect a law to geld friars taken in that country. Ward, London Spy, p. 377 (Part XVI), thought Denmark was the place. Saintsbury (S-S, VI, 523) had found no evidence for the allegation and indeed there seems to be none.
43 Summers notes (V, 454) that Shakespeare in his Troilus and Cressida, V, x, 42–45, and Dryden in the prologue to Amphitryon, ll. 1–2 (Works, XV, 227), both suppose that a bee can live after it has left its sting in someone. The prologue to Amphitryon reads,
- The lab'ring Bee, when his sharp Sting is gone,
- Forgets his Golden Work, and turns a Drone.
Dryden's couplet, then, has two of the rhyme words in Wolseley's triplet, but these and the other words they have in common are perhaps inevitable draughts on the vocabulary of bee culture and so not evidence that Wolseley remembered Dryden's lines.
45 Aaron's Bells. Aaron's ephod, a kind of apron, had bells on its fringes (Exod. 28:31–35, 39:22–26). His successors as high priests of the Jews wore similar garments. As Summers notes (V, 455), the Bible says Aaron's "sound shall be heard when he goeth in."