Controversy Quotations

Studied Misrepresentation

Samuel Johnson, Life of Dryden

[Speaking of Elkanah Settle’s response in kind to Dryden’s attack upon his drama, The Empress of Morocco: in the context provided by Johnson Settle’s response seems very just]

To say that his answer is equal to the censure, is no high condemnation. To expose Dryden’s method of analysing his expressions, he tries the same experiment upon the description of the ships in the Indian Emperor [one of Dryden’s plays] , of which however he does not deny the excellence; but intends to show, that by studied misconstruction everything may be equally represented as ridiculous.

And again we come back to this same point: without honesty, humility and charity controversy acts rather like Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, than like the glorious polemics of Paul which shed light on all areas of theology while arraigning and destroying an host of errors.

2 replies on “Studied Misrepresentation”

Well, I suppose John, Revelation and Romans would be harder: if for no other reason, because of the massive literatures on those books.

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