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and Amintas, and Amarillis. My leading design has been, to illustrate what may be called the moral sense of our ancestors. To show in what manner they felt, when they placed themselves by the power of imagination in trying situations, in the conflicts of duty and passion, or the strife of contending duties; what sort of loves and enmities theirs were; how their griefs were tempered, and their full-swoln joys abated: how much of Shakspeare shines in the great men his contemporaries, and how far in his divine mind and manners he surpassed them and all mankind.
Another object which I had in making these selections was, to bring together the most admired scenes in Fletcher and Massinger, in the estimation of the world the only dramatic poets of that age who are entitled to be considered after Shakspeare, and to exhibit them in the same volume with the more impressive scenes of old Marlowe, Heywood, Tourneur, Webster, Ford, and others. To show what we have slighted, while beyond all proportion we have cried up one or two favourite names.
The specimens are not accompanied with anything in the shape of biographical notices'. I had nothing of consequence to add to the slight sketches in Dodsley and the Biographia Dramatica, and I was unwilling to swell the volume with mere transcription. The reader will not fail to observe, fronı the frequent instances of two or more persons joining in the composition of the same play (the noble practice of those times), that of most of the writers contained in these selections it may be strictly said, that they were contemporaries. The whole period, from the middle of Elizabeth's reign to the close of the reign of Charles I., comprises a space of little more than half a century, within which time nearly all that we have of excellence in serious dramatic composition was produced, if we except the Samson Agonistes of Milton.
CHARLES LAMB. 1808.
? The few notes which are interspersed will be found to be chiefly critical,
The present new edition contains, in addition to what is indicated in the above preface, CHARLES LAMB's Extracts from the Garrick Plays, first published in Hone's Table Book, and now reprinted here by permission.
H. G. B.
THOMAS SACKVILLE AND
Page Bussy d'Ambois.
78 THOMAS NORTON. Page Byron's Conspiracy
85 THOMAS KYD. L.
88 GEORGE PEELE.
King and the Loyal
A Woman Kild with Kind:
ib. Lust's Dominion 14 The English Traveller
100 First part of Tamburlaine 16 Edward II.
THOMAS HEYWOOD AND
18 The Rich Jew of Malta
28 The Late Lancashire Witches 106
THOMAS MIDDLETON AND
127 44 The Merry Devil of Edmonton 45 THOMAS MIDDLETON.
Women Beware Women 134
More Dissemblers besides
139 THOMAS DECKER.
No Wit Help like a Woman's. 141 Old Fortunatus 50 The Witch.
143 First part of the Honest Whore 57
WILLIAM ROWLEY, THOMAS
DECKER, JOHN FORD, ETC.
The Witch of Edmonton . 153
The Atheist's Tragedy 156
The Revenger's Tragedy . 158
174 The Malcontent . 70 Duchess of Malfy
. 177 The Wonder of Women 71 The White Devil
. 189 The Insatiate Countess
203 GEORGE CHAPMAN.