in Dryden's famous satire, is Thomas Shadwell, poet-laureate,
whose immortality rests on the not very complimentary line, “Shadwell
never deviates into sense.” (1640-1692.)
N.B. Flecknoe was an Irish Roman Catholic priest, doggerel
sonneteer, and playwright. Shadwell, according to Dryden, was his
The rest to some slight meaning make pretence,
But Shadwell never deviates into sense.
Dryden: MacFlecknoe, 19, 20.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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