John Judges the Lords

John Dryden was enjoying a convivial meeting with a group of fashionable wits, including the earls of Buckingham and Dorset. Someone proposed a poetic competition, each man present to write an impromptu composition, and Dryden to judge which was the best. The Earl of Dorset was the first to hand in his piece of paper. Dryden waited until all the contributions had been completed before he began to read them. His face showed his pleasure as he studied the succession of witty or beautiful verses, but the broadest smile spread over his countenance as he opened the Earl of Dorset’s paper. “I will have to award the prize to my Lord Dorset,” he said and then read out the earl’s contribution: “I promise to pay John Dryden, or order, on demand the sum of £500. Dorset.”

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Published in: on December 10, 2009 at 10:16 PM  Leave a Comment  
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