This study originated in curiosity about a passing remark made by Dryden in his "Account" of Annus Mirabilis . There he observes that "the same images serve equally for the epic poesy, and for the historic and panegyric, which are branches of it . . ." Wondering what connection Dryden saw between a major genre like epic and a minor one like panegyric, I began to investigate the status of panegyric in the seventeenth century and to examine works claiming to belong to this genre. I gradually discerned the outlines of a literary tradition that deserves to be taken seriously, especially by readers of Dryden. The purpose of this book is, then, to recover the tradition of panegyric (chapters 2 and 3) and to consider its impact on the poetry of Dryden (chapters 4 and 5).
Because many of the works under consideration here are not well known, I have liberally excerpted passages for discussion. All quotations from Dryden's poetry are from The Poems of John Dryden, edited by James Kinsley, Oxford, 1958, cited in the notes as Poems . For classical authors I have used the texts and translations of The
Loeb Classical Library, with the permission of the Harvard University Press and William Heinemann, Ltd. For neo-Latin authors I have used the following editions: The Poems of Desiderius Erasmus, edited by C. Reedijk, Leiden, 1956, with the permission of the E. J. Brill company; The Latin Epigrams of Thomas More, edited and translated by Leicester Bradner and C. Arthur Lynch, Chicago, 1953, with the permission of the University of Chicago Press; The Poetry of Walter Haddon, edited by Charles J. Lees, The Hague and Paris, 1967, with the permission of Mouton and Company, Publishers. I also wish to thank the editors at Holt, Rinehart and Winston for permission to quote from Robert Frost's poem "For John F. Kennedy His Inauguration."
One further note on quotation from Latin writers. Except in the introductory chapter, where all quotations are given in English, I have adopted a simple rule of thumb regarding translations. Excerpts from Latin panegyrics are cited in the original, followed by prose translations. Excerpts from Latin criticism or commentary on panegyric, however, are given only in translation. The responsibility for all unidentified translations is mine, but much of the credit belongs to Salle Ann Schlueter, who helped me prepare the English versions of quotations from the neo-Latin poets.
It is a pleasure to thank those who have given me guidance, criticism, and encouragement. I am especially grateful to Hugh M. Richmond and Thomas G. Barnes, who read the dissertation from which this book evolved, and to Leo Hughes, who read the manuscript in its final form. I am also obliged to friends and colleagues who gave me valuable suggestions on individual chapters—Larry
Carver Anne Englander, Joseph Englander, Blair Labatt, and Steven N. Zwicker. Most of all, I wish to thank Brendan O Hehir for the encouragement and direction he has so generously given to my work.
J. D. G.