Duke of York

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Chapter 39 (1 references)

I mentioned the affectation of Orrery, in ending all his letters on the Life of Swift in studied varieties of phrase, and never in the common mode of 'I am', &c. an observation which I remember to have been made several years ago by old Mr Sheridan. This species of affectation in writing, as a foreign lady of distinguished talents once remarked to me, is almost peculiar to the English. I took up a volume of Dryden, containing the Conquest of Granada, and several other plays, of which all the dedications had such studied conclusions. Dr Johnson said, such conclusions were more elegant, and, in addressing persons of high rank (as when Dryden dedicated to the Duke of York), they were likewise more respectful. I agreed that THERE it was much better: it was making his escape from the royal presence with a genteel sudden timidity, in place of having the resolution to stand still, and make a formal bow.