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9. Sir Thomas Overbury his Wife. With addition of many new Elegies upon his untimely and much lamented death. As also New Newes, and divers more Characters (never before annexed), written by himselfe and other learned Gentlemen. The ninth impression, augmented. London, printed by Edward Griffin for Lawrence L'isle, &c. 1616, small octavo, pp. 292.
This edition was twice printed in the same year. 10.
The Tenth Impression. London, Lawrence Lisle, &c. 1618, small octavo.
11. Sir Thoinas Overbury his Wife. With Additions of New Characters, and many other Wittie Conceits never before Printed. The Eleventh Impression. London, Printed for Lawrence Lisle, and are to be sold by Henry Seile, at the Tigershead in Pauls Church-yard, 1622, small octavo.
In the prefatory matter to this edition is a complimentary poem in English, “Ad Comitissam Rut. landiæ,” which is not in the preceding ones. The “ Witty Conceitos," mentioned in the title, consist of * Paradoxes, as they were spoken in a Maske, and presented before his Majesty at Whitehall;" “The Mountebankes Receipts ;" and three Mountebank's
The Twelfth Impression. Dublin, 1626, small octavo.
This edition, which is mentioned in Harding and Lepard's Catalogue, 1829, p. 420, is of great rarity.
The Twelfth Impression. London, 1627, small octavo.
Called also the turisth impression on the title-page. See Harding and Lepard's Catalogue, before-men. tioned. 14.
The Thirteenth Impression. Lonclon, Printed for Robert Allot, and are to bee soll (ut the signe of the Beare in Pauls Church-yard, 1628, sinall octavo. 15.
The Fourteenth Impression. London, Robert Allot, 1630, small octavo. 16.
The Fifteenth Impression. London, R. B. for Robert Allot, &c. 1632, small octavo. pp. 320. 17.
The Sixteenth Impression. London, Printed by John Haviland for A. Crooke, and are to be sold at the signe of the Beare in Pauls Church-yard, 1638, small octavo.
This edition contains the character of "a Dunce," not in any former impression. 18.
The Seventeenth Impression. London, 1655, small octavo.
A copy in the Douce Collection. -19.
The Eighteenth Impression. London, 1664, small octavo.
Called, incorrectly, in the title-page, the seventeenth erlition. In 1673, appeared “The Illustrious Wife, viz.
that excellent Poem, Sir Thomas Overburie's Wife, illustrated by Giles Oldisworth, nephew to the same Sir T. 0." I have not been able to find a copy of this rare volume in any collection, public or private. Oldisworth, it is well known, took a dcep interest in everything relative to his unfortunate uncle, and his “Illustrations” of his celebrated poem, would doubtless contain some remarks of peculiar importance and value.
In 1756, appeared “The Miscellaneous Works in Verse and Prose of Sir Thomas Overbury, Knt., with Memoir of his Life. The Tenth Edition. London, Printed for IP. Owen, at Ilomer's Ilead, near Temple Bar.” It is a small octavo of 252 pages, exclusive of 23 pages of introductory matter.
The “Miscellaneous Works" is a mere reprint of the volume above described, without any attempt to collect the other writings of the same author. From its being called “the Tenth Edition," it is presumed that its editor was unacquainted with any edition later than the ninth. It is a very imperfect reprint, having only twelve out of the twenty pieces of "Newes" contained in the previous editions, besides
many grave and iinportant errors, that could easily, if necessary, be pointed out.
The reprint of Overbury's Wife and Characters, in the following pages, is taken from the ninth edi. tion, of which, as I have stated, there were two impressions in the same year. They differ only in a few minor points, and in the spelling. The contents of both are precisely the same.
As the present volume is a collection of Overbury's writings, I have taken the liberty to reject some few pieces (evidently foisted in by the publisher) that were not the productions of his muse, nor in character with the rest of the work in which they appear. They consist of "An Elegy on the late Lord William Howard, Baron of Effingham, dead the tenth of December, 1615," written by Bishop Corbet; "An Elegy on the Death of the Lauly Rutland," by Francis Beaumont; Sir Henry Wotton's beautiful poem on “ The Character of a Happy Life ;” and “Certaine Edicts from a Parliament in Eutopia, written by the Lady Southwell."
It is also necessary to mention the reasons why the "Witty Conceites," added to the eleventh edicion, have been rejected. They consist of “Paradoxes, as they were spoken in a Maske, and presented before his Majesty at White-Hall;" "The Mountebanke's Receipts ;” and three “Mountebanke's" Songs. They are all connected, and form part of “The Mountebank's Masque," printed by Mr. J. P. Collier, from a MS. in the possession of the Duke of Devonshire, in the valuable Iniyo Jones volume, issued by the Shakespeare Society in 1848. Mr. Collier considers it to be the production of the cele
brated satirist and dramatist, John Marston, and adds, “It is a new discovery, and we impute it to him, not only because his name is on the cover, in a handwriting of the time, although only in pencil, but because it is corrected in several places in his own handwriting, which entirely agrees with other extant specimens. The piece possesses much of the strength, and some of the coarseness, of the popular writer's mind; but it well merited to be brought to light precisely in the shape in which it has descended to us.”
The "Mountebank's Masque” had previously appeared in print, although, at the momentofwriting, it had escaped the recollection of the learned editor. It forms the second part of the “Gesta Grayorum,"as printed in Nichols?“ Progresses of Queen Elizabeth” (vol. iii. p. 320, edit. 1823). The first part of the “Gray's Inn Revels, A.D. 1594,” is taken from a printed copy. “The second part of the Gesta Grayorum," says Nichols," appears more like a hanter on the former part, than an actual Exhibition; and requires some apology for allusions ill-suited to the refinement of the present age. It is taken from a MS in the Harleian Collection, and is without daté; but Henry the Second, Prince of Giaya and Purpulia, occurs in th: List of Subscribers to Minsheu's Dictionary, 1677."