This controversy was a very bitter and very personal one. A pamphlet under the title 'Some reflections on the pretended parallel in the play called the Duke of Guise,' and attributed to Thomas Shadwell, was published in 1683. Here we have an attack on Dryden, the point of which is to make out that his play is really disloyal. Thus the opposition to the succession of the Duke of York was made by Dryden parallel to the refusal of the Parisians to have Henry of Navarre for king; and this pamphlet abuses Dryden for likening the English Commons to the assassins of St. Bartholomew's Day. So again in the pamphlet much anger is expressed at the parallel between 'our present gracious Majestie' and King Henry III, who had been the contriver of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. Of all this Dryden complains in his answer, called 'Vindication, or the Parallel of the French Holy League and the English League and Covenant, turned into a seditious libel against the King and her Royal Highness'; and he says, with much pith, that if it had been really intended to represent the king under the character of Henry III it would probably have resulted in the hanging up of the poet. The dispute on both sides was carried into minute details of purely ephemeral interest.
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