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BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE DUTCHMAN'S FIRESIDE,"
&c. &c. &c.
"Come all you likely lads that has a mind for to range,
Into some foreign country, your situation for to change ;
Come all you girls from New England that are unmarried yet,
IN TWO VOLUME S.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY J. & J. HARPER.
* NO. 82 CLIFF-STREBT.
AND SOLD BY THE PRINCIPAL BOOKSELLERS THROUGHOUT
THE UNITED STATES.
241. do 96 bom,
[Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1832, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United · States for the Southern District of New York.]
We'll lose ourselves in Venus' grove of myrtle,
"O Rare Ben Jonson !" said some one, and O rare Beaumont and Fletcher say we; for in honest sincerity we prefer this gentle pair to all the old English dramatic writers except Shakspeare. For playful wit, richness of fancy, exuberance of invention, and, above all, for the -Sweet 'magic of their language, where shall we
find their superiors among the British bards ? It is not for us obscure wights to put on the critical nightcap, and, being notorious criminals ourselves, set up as judges of others; but we should hold ourselves base and ungrateful if we did not seize this chance opportunity to raise our voices in these remote regions of the West, where, peradventure, they never dreamed of one day possessing millions of readers, in humble acknowledgment of the many hours they have whiled away by the creations of their sprightly fancy, arrayed in the matchless melody of their tuneful verse. But mankind must have an idol, one who monopolizes their admiration and devotion. The name of Shakspeare has swallowed up that of his predecessors, contemporaries, and successors ; thousands, tens of thousands echo his name that never heard of Marlow,--Marlow, to whom Shakspeare himself condescended to be indebted, and whose conception of the character of -Faust is precisely that of Goëthe;--of Webster, Marston, Randolph, Cartwright, May, and all that singular knot of dramatists, who unite the greatest beauties with the greatest deformities, and whose genius has sunk under the licentiousness of the age in which it was their misfortune to live. The names of Massinger, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher are, it is true, more familiar; but it is only their names and one or two of their pieces that are generally known. These last have been preserved, not on the score of their superior beauties, but because they afforded an opportunity for Garrick and other great performers to reap laurels which belonged to the poet, by the exhibition of some striking character. Far be it from us to attempt to detract from the fame of Shakspeare. Superior he is, beyond doubt, to all his countrymen who went before or came after him, in the peculiar walk of his genius; but he is not so immeasurably superior as to cast all others into oblivion; and to us it seems almost a disgrace to England that a large portion of her own