John Dryden
John Dryden was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden.
Walter Scott
Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world during his time....

 called him "Glorious John." He was made Poet Laureate
Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom
The Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, also referred to as the Poet Laureate, is the Poet Laureate appointed by the monarch of the United Kingdom on the advice of the Prime Minister...

 in 1667.
Dryden was born in the village rectory
A rectory is the residence, or former residence, of a rector, most often a Christian cleric, but in some cases an academic rector or other person with that title...

 of Aldwincle
Aldwincle is a village in the east of the county of Northamptonshire, England. It is on a bend of the River Nene not far from Thrapston.In 1879, two ecclesiastical parishes, Aldwinkle All Saints and Aldwinkle St Peter merged after the parish church of the former was declared redundant in 1971 and...

 near Thrapston
Thrapston is a small town in Northamptonshire, England. It is the headquarters of the East Northamptonshire district, and in 2001 had a population of 4,855. By 2006, this was estimated to be over 5,700....

 in Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire is a landlocked county in the English East Midlands, with a population of 629,676 as at the 2001 census. It has boundaries with the ceremonial counties of Warwickshire to the west, Leicestershire and Rutland to the north, Cambridgeshire to the east, Bedfordshire to the south-east,...

, where his maternal grandfather was Rector of All Saints
All Saints Church, Aldwincle
All Saints Church, Aldwincle, is a redundant Anglican church in the village of Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building, and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust....


By viewing Nature, Nature's handmaid Art,Makes mighty things from small beginnings grow.

Annus Mirabilis (poem)|Annus Mirabilis (1667), stanza 155.

Pains of love be sweeter farThan all other pleasures are.

Tyrannick Love|Tyrannick Love (1669), Act IV, scene i.

I am as free as Nature first made man,Ere the base laws of servitude began,When wild in woods the noble savage ran.

The Conquest of Granada|The Conquest of Granada (1669-1670), Pt. 1, Act I, scene i.

Death in itself is nothing; but we fearTo be we know not what, we know not where.

Aureng-Zebe (1676), Act IV, scene i.

When I consider life, 'tis all a cheat;Yet, fooled with hope, men favor the deceit;Trust on, and think tomorrow will repay.Tomorrow's falser than the former day.None would live past years again,Yet all hope pleasure in what yet remain;And from the dregs of life think to receiveWhat the first sprightly running could not give.

Aureng-Zebe (1676), Act IV, scene i.

Whatever is, is in its causes just.

Oedipus (1679), Act III, scene i.

Of no distemper, of no blast he died,But fell like autumn fruit that mellowed long — Even wondered at, because he dropped no sooner.Fate seemed to wind him up for fourscore years,Yet freshly ran he on ten winters more;Till like a clock worn out with eating time,The wheels of weary life at last stood still.

Oedipus (1679), Act IV scene i

There is a pleasure sureIn being mad which none but madmen know.

The Spanish Friar, Act II scene i (1681)

Like a led victim, to my death I'll go, And, dying, bless the hand that gave the blow.

The Spanish Friar, Act II scene i (1681)