Sidor som bilder

Thus from authors dramatic retiring, I'll now
To the foremost, and fag-end, most humbly make


who notwithstanding conceive themselves in possession of every sane faculty, took it into his head that he could compose a tragedy; which was executed accordingly; when, in order to benefit the poor fellow in a pecuniary point of view, subscriptions were collected by his late employer, from persons of fashion, in order to have the piece elegantly printed in quarto, with decorative engravings. One of these volumes the writer hereof has partly perused; and if it were possible to conceive what a thousand personages writing a thousand lines promiscuously would produce, then may the subject matter of Oronzo's Feast be truly defined. Having now come to a close with the dra-matic literary corps, I must request the pardon of many personages, whose names are not inscribed in the poem of Sir Noodle, or my own elaborate annotations ; such individuals, for instance, as Boaden, the author of Fontainville Forest, who, some years back, intended “ To tip Billy Shakspeare the go by;" but, unfortunately for the public, has not yet been as good as his word. Apropos, one more individual shall blazon my page, viz. the late Miles Peter Andrews, from whose pen, it must be confessed, many well written prologues and epilogues

My candour must strike ev'ry playwright, I'm cer

tain ;

The piece, therefore, closing, I drop the green


have appeared, which, I believe, without a single exception, received the most flattering applause that could possibly accompany such species of compositions.

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Romance Writers.

Majorem fidem homines adhibent eis quæ non intelligunt. Cupidine humani ingenii libentius obscura creduntur.


Men are usually prone to believe that which they least comprehend; and, through the instability of human wit, obscure things are thus more easily accredited.


me, ye gods, this dread task to subdue, My muse 'gins to flag, though the theme's scarce in


The names wou'd engross quarto volume ;-while


Wou'd not contain titles of works, wondrous olio:

My task, then, must be to select from the crowd, While the phalanx, by hundreds, in note I'll en


Ah! prove then, ye Nine, and Apollo propitious !
Unaided by you my gall’d nag


vicious S; When I shall my saddle incontinent lose, And reap, for my pains, the loud laugh of the

muse. (e)

(e) Nothing more powerfully displays that men are all but children of a larger growth, than the extraordinary predilection which is more or less manifested by every rank of society for the perusal of the marvellous. Nay even though we pretend to deride the idea of supernatural agency, we are, nevertheless, fond of listening to the detail of any narrative, avouched as a fact, though it is in direct opposition to the tenets we profess. Under these circumstances it is not surprising that Milton, Locke, and Dr. Johnson, should have felt interested in the

perusal of romances, and the fables of knights errant and their persecuted dulcineas. Within the last twenty years the leading features of romance writing have undergone a complete change, as no production of this nature can go down, the drama of which is not performed in a catholic country, and the burthen of the tale connected with some wandering spirit of the night.

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