John Dryden

L'essai Of Dramatick Poesie, probablement écrit en 1666 quand les théâtres londoniens étaient fermés à cause de la peste, parut en 1668. Le porte-parole de Dryden dans cette conversation, Neander, critique Quinault et le théâtre français en général, mais cela n' empêcha pas Dryden de s'inspirer de (certains disent copier) L'Amant indiscret pour son Sir Martin Mar-all (1667) et d'Astrate pour son The Spanish Fryar (1681). Voir, par exemple, l'article de P. Legouis dans la Revue de Littérature Comparée de 1931 et The sources of John Dryden's Comedies de Ned Allen Bliss (1945 ; compte-rendu de F. Delattre).

“But of late years de Molière, the younger Corneille, Quinault, and some others, have been imitating of afar off the quick turns and graces of the English Stage. They have mixed their serious Plays with mirth, like our Tragicomedies since the death of Cardinal Richelieu […]. Most of their new Plays are like some of ours, derived from the Spanish Novels.


“I grant the French have performed what was possible on the groundwork of the Spanish Plays; what was pleasant before they have made regular; but there is not above one good Play to be writ upon all those Plots; they are too much alike to please often, which we need not the experience of our own Stage to justify. As for their new way of mingling mirth with serious Plot I do not […] condemn the thing, though I cannot approve their manner of doing it: