thumbnail of Why is a writer?; The hired pen
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
The I was there is a writer as a writer is produced by radio station under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Today's program the hired hand. When history looks back upon a writer it's often to say that he's famous sometimes very famous. History praises him. Oh he did this and that and it all came off so very nice. In short the writer has proved himself. Oh yeah. So do you mind. Oh we get it. I'm just interested in what you've got to say. Interested. Then why do you laugh. Will you chuckle. Oh well don't you see. Well it wasn't quite the Keith. What wasn't what you said about the writer. Oh and the tone
you what's the matter with the tone. It's much too respectable for one thing it certainly doesn't agree with what happened when I wrote my dear sir. Riden if you'd rather not. John Dryden. Oh yes. Don't you see. And that's why I can chuckle. It's all to the good to have praises now but you might be more accurate telling what kind of life I had to lead. I don't know that I know what cause I'm that won't come along then wot come along we're back of course to when I lived. You're not old fashioned about these things are you. I've never thought myself to be very well. Take us long. What year did you say. I didn't but if you want the word No no I don't. Might as well sixteen seventy nine was the worst. Of all and all part of a writer's life.
Here we are back to King child for the second. It sounds impossible to you it is a heaven to base your he said. If there's anything I can't think of a 0 0. 0 0 get it. Well look who's your Rochester fellow Dr. What do you want. Oh I you know I called for him I want to do. What I want in trust if you want it quite impossible that I don't see I don't see you know what do you mumbling about right. Oh I can't remember do you. Was it a poem Driton or something for the courts. Why not tomorrow morning at a concert remember Dr. think of the trouble you'll save your king. There's no sense having him racked his poor brain. Yes you're so right. Why not tomorrow and the afternoon of course. Close the door after yourself Dryden Will you come along where. Oh all right.
And what do you have to do with those people and those people. Hardly those people. You mean the king and his Court of course where you get gas I suppose and then you want to know I'm part of it. I'm the poet laureate of England. I compose all the official poetry I see no need to be so polite. This is just quite usual to hark back and one of them is that a writer must have what other men have which is a roof over one's head. A few pounds so that one's children may be educated and if anything remain a little food in the House and the king gives to the not always. We walk this way but not always. He often spends the money on himself and not pays you need the King and I now am is hired in a position which has its merit as long as one is in favorite court. See if you don't but you will in the meantime are here. Oh.
Mulgrave Oh my dear wife don't tell me Mulgrave was here and not lowered my grading so I didn't think he'd be out. His man was here. His men and he said would you actually use your inspector poem is not your pretty it. Then you let him leave it. Well there was no choice. His Lordship sent it and who might I ask is Lord Mowbray my patron. WATT I was just thinking that my patron Lord Mowbray's makes large demands for the few favors he does me. Thank you. No are they so law and they are indeed. He fancies himself a poet but with actually he's not one wit a poet. Well where is it. Here nor is he content with a short poem. It goes on for pages. Please pardon me if I don't stay then I promise you I'll see you later. I believe also if I could do write nice things to you.
It's more than that. Do you mind if I watch over your shoulder. No let me read it to you. It's a satirical poem partly about Rob just the same one we met earlier. Yes the same. He was my patron also at one time a fickle patron a poor friend in time of the slightest need and a rival with Mulgrave for the king's affections. All rivalry are interesting Oh yes they care nothing for the king although they like themselves exceedingly and attack each other. Listen rod Chester I despise you for a mere want to have with it though thought to have a tail and cloven feet. For a while he missed you means to all mankind himself alone the ill effects does find and so alike which is just please suffer shame whose harmless malice is so much the same faults that his words affected is his wit. So often does he aim so seldom hit. Not
very good. No that does not bother my lord Mulgrave. He has nothing better to do. And what does he want you to do with it. Look it over. Which means which probably means add my genius to his lack of wit. However I don't intend to touch it. That's wise and wise. Yet it makes no difference since the Lord Rochester is sure to persuade the King that it is my poem. Your poem was why you wrote the best in the language. Come along I'll show you how it's done. Are you sure we won't be seen as a new kid since we're not hearing you live which seems very real to me. I certainly don't mind what the poem says about me. My last thought is myself that I think but it has other importance from what you think. What will the tone think. Is it usual the
satire be directed against the king. Well hardly directed at the word to why even that. Does the poet have a special license since we don't know which poet it's on but is there any doubt of our friend John Dryden. I don't see that everyone agreed. Whatever pen commands such satire has no takes the waterhole dried and responsible to rumor. Oh yes of course I forgot he was your royal poet laureate. That reminds me that I would reward him with a few pounds. Well we're having a new plague. Well I must say the king wouldn't believe it and I'm sure I didn't expect him to. Then why were you over it. Why. Because I have expectations. Oh of what kind they are not pleasant. What do you mean. Simply this I know something what you do not know. And knowing what I know I advise you not to walk home
with me. No such thing as you said yourself. I'm really not here. I'm well I'm somewhere ahead in the twentieth century and yes all well and good. I'm sure your health is not in any danger. I merely think it's best that you don't see what happens to me this evening. Where where do you intend to go. Go where I usually go. Go Dodd street with its coffee house. Is it something quite private. I shouldn't mean to meddle in your affairs. You're a gentleman of discretion. Thank you. Why not meet me in front of my home. Follow the street straight through Rose Street Covent Garden. Very well if you very well.
Hear it right. Now. Now. That you know John Dryden was on Monday the 78 at night variously assaulted and wounded in Rose Garden by divers men unknown. If any person shall make discovery of the offenders said Mr. Driver or to any justice of the peace not only receive £50 which is deposited in my hand.
It's all right I tell you what if I don't know you must not be rate yourself. It was going to happen. You will find it recorded in history. But I should have have been merely watched which was not pleasant and which I thought to spare you and you could not have done anything. Yes I suppose you're quite right. But if I could I should beat Rochester too we want to get what you are talking about but did not Rochester Ohio the rougher you and as he told you so. Then let us not assume what we do not know. Even those whom I do not much admire. Practices that principle I think I understand what you mean in the future I shall remember this. Yes by all means please do. For you see. Nothing lower can have happened to me accused of writing the poorest of verses and beaten for it in a dark street. Remember that. It's a
lesson. You might call it the fate of the time. Well. Good bye. Well Mr. Dryden Oh don't worry about me. I plan to live 20 more years and it's you who is leaving. Oh I suppose I'd better. Yes you had better sense as you once said. What was it. When history looks back upon a writer. It's often to say that he's famous. I did say that and it's true. Only. My last word to you before you leave. There are other things one must know. Goodbye goodbye so goodbye and I shall remember.
Heard in today's program where Fred welcomes Stribling Elmer Armstrong and Harry callus. As were our studio engineer it was written by Floyd Horowitz and directed by assisted by Barry. This is speaking this has been another program and this is a writer produced by school of the air television and radio center and distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters.
Please note: This content is only available at GBH and the Library of Congress, either due to copyright restrictions or because this content has not yet been reviewed for copyright or privacy issues. For information about on location research, click here.
Why is a writer?
The hired pen
Producing Organization
University of Iowa
WSUI 910 AM (Radio station : Iowa City, Iowa)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-959c9703).
Episode Description
The Hired Pen, which deals with English history during King Charles II. The Hired Pen was John Dryden.
Series Description
Produced by the Iowa School of the Air, this series focuses on various works of literature from Shakespeare to Twain.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Actor: Stribling, Don
Actor: Armstrong, Elmer
Actor: Wilkins, Fred
Actor: Kalas, Harry
Director: Walcoff, Larry
Producing Organization: University of Iowa
Producing Organization: WSUI 910 AM (Radio station : Iowa City, Iowa)
Writer: Horowitz, Floyd
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: S60-6-24 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:30?
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Why is a writer?; The hired pen,” 1961-03-24, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 27, 2023,
MLA: “Why is a writer?; The hired pen.” 1961-03-24. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 27, 2023. <>.
APA: Why is a writer?; The hired pen. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from