Dryden had virulent enemies in his time. His satires and the king’s favour enraged John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, who legend says had him mugged one night in a dark passageway off Garrick Street, near Covent Garden.
(Michael Schmidt, Lives of the Poets, p.300)
I’m not a big fan of Dryden’s poetry, and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of professional rivalry between poets. But I’d have to say that in this instance — as in so many others — Rochester took things a little too far.