Absalom and Achitophel
A political satire by Dryden (1649–1685). David is meant for
Charles II; Absalom for his natural son James, Duke of Monmouth,
handsome like Absalom, and, like him, rebellious. Achitophel is meant
for Lord Shaftesbury, Zimri for the Duke of Buckingham, and Abdael for
Monk. The selections are so skilfully made that the history of David
seems repeated. Of Absalom, Dryden says (Part i.):
Whatever he did was done with so much ease,
In him alone 'twas natural to please;
His motions all accompanied with grace,
And paradise was opened in his face.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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