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"highly satisfactory; and that nearly the whole of the third would “ in all likelihood be as well pleased with twenty or thirty pages of “ miscellaneous dramatic information, as with any play whatever “ of the same extent. I therefore hope, sir, you will consult as
many of your friends as you conveniently can, and, if they should « coincide in opinion with me, that you will make the alteration suggested, and oblige your sincere wellwisher,
We know ourselves too well, and respect the public too much, to hazard our title to indulgence by laying claim to perfection:not only willing to take a hint, but solicitous to be instructed, we receive the advice that has been offered with the thanks and obedi. ence to which it is intitled; and we own, that the many substantial reasons by which it has been inforced, have made an impression upon our minds which, on superficial consideration, we could not have expected: to those offered by Dramaticus we have one to add which seems to have some weight, and with many of our readers perhaps will be conclusive: it is, that the irregularity in our time of publication has occasionally arisen from difficulties in the printing of the play. Under the influence of all these considerations, we beg leave to propound the question to our subscribers, whose will respecting it shall be to us a law: for it must be anticipated that, to make the proposed change, without the concurrence of A LARGE MAJORITY of our subscribers, would be a violation of our promise; the more inexcusable, because deliberate and voluntary.
To the end then that we may give the public the most perfect satisfaction practicable, we earnestly intreat our subscribers to take the trouble of separately and individually signifying their opinion, whether or not the play shall be commuted for an equivalent of miscellaneous matter. This may be done by each subscriber, either personally announcing his will at the place of publication, where it shall be registered, or sending a ticket there to the same effect, written thus, for instance, “ I AM FOR THE PROPOSED CHANGE,” or “I OBJECT TO THE PROPOSED CHANGE,” and signed. If the objectors be as inconsiderable in number as Dramaticus imagines, then will we venture to make the change, and trust to their kindness and good sense to give their ultimate concurrence to the desire of the majority. It must be obvious to our readers, that the proposed innovation, though it create no greater pecuniary expense, will impose a vast addition of labour upon the editor.
In one thing, and one only, have we to deplore our failure: we mean in the promised criticisms upon the distant theatres of the union. To this we should be ashamed to advert, if we could not account for it in a reasonable way. The trade of literature is yet but young in this country: it is not here as in England, where the market is constantly so overstocked with the commodity of authorship, and the dealers in it are so numerous and eager to sell, that any one who wants a small quantity may go to the next shop and purchase by retail. Most of the leading literary characters of America are professional gentlemen, who write for amusement only; while the few who follow it as an exclusive business are generally employed in a way that forbids their undertaking so inconsiderable an office as that of writing a letter of a few pages once a month. If an adequate pecuniary compensation could have procured it, our friends should have had no cause to animadvert, nor ourselves to apologizeMeasures, however, are adopted which we persuade ourselves cannot fail to secure us the necessary communications in the ensuing theatrical season.
The failure of this work was, as our worthy correspondent Dramaticus truly remarks, for some time predicted. It has, nevertheless, passed through its infancy; and, thanks to a generous and discerning public, grows up with a great daily increase of health and vigor, and with the fairest prospects of a still greater. Every number is returned with new congratulations, new patronage, new incitements to effort, and new hopes of prosperity; so that as we look back with pleasure and pride, we look forward with satisfaction and confidence. The difficulties which lay in our way have (all but that adverted to) been surmounted, and we have now only to continue with assiduity and care what has hitherto been done with spirit and success.
[Continued from page 338, Vol. III.] THE introduction of the opera by the influence and agency of cardinal Mazarine, which happened in the year 1647, made a sort of revolution in the theatre; and therefore constitutes an era in the history of the French stage, the novelty and singularity of which claim particular notice. But before entering upon it, we must take a final leave of the dramatists who flourished contemporaneously with Corneille, and a concise review of the pieces they brought forth after the death of Richelieu.
Tristan was a dramatic poet of some consideration. He wrote several plays; some of which had a tolerable share of reputation and success. His Mariamne, however, was the best, and by far the most. productive to him of profit and reputation.
Of Scudery we have already spoken as one of the agents of cardinal Richelieu. After the death of his master, he produced a tragedy called Axiane, written in prose. As he threw himself wholly on the cardinal, and chose rather to build his fame and his fortunes on that powerful man's patronage and influence than Vol. IV,