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Whittingham and Rowland, Printers, Goswell Street, London.



The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doc-
tor Faustus; by Christopher Marlowe

Lust's Dominion; or, the Lascivious Queen: a Tra-
gedy, by Christopher Marlowe .

A Pleasant conceited Comedy ; called Mother Bom-
bie; by John Lyly

Midas: a Comedy; by Ditto


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ments of ambition, and dash the cup of hope from the lip of less fortunate merit. Such feelTHERE are few things that would tend more im mediately to repress our vanity, and to gratify our curiosity at the same time, than an attentive examination of the fluctuation of opinion, in regard to the respective literary rank of authors. To contemplate the feverish elevation that superficial and obtrusive ignorance has sometimes risen to, as opposed to the cold and bitter neglect that has more frequently chilled the labours of retiring genius: to see the same man, per

Who having sometime, like young Phaëton,

Rid in the burnish'd chariot of the Sun, outliving his popularity, and in his own time forgotten: to see posterity, to whom we so frequently and foolishly appeal, as one that

- truly renders

To each man his desertstripping the tombs of the dead of their wellearned chaplets, to place them on the brow some unworthy minion of its own: to see these things, is a sufficient evidence of the instability of popular favour, to embitter the successful moare naturally awakened on presenting these





dramas to the public, selected as they have been from authors who delighted and enlightened the ages in which they wrote, but who were for nearly two centuries after forgotten; whose works, indeed, have been preserved to us, rather as curiosities, the possession of which tended to gratify the humble pride of their possessor, than as relics of high and inestimable value.

This is not the place for, neither would the Editor have been justified in any where indulging in, an extended critical examination of the works in this collection. He has sometimes ventured, it is true, to throw out an opinion as they passed under his notice; but he wishes it to be understood as only expressive of his own feeling, and not as an attempt to direct the judgment of his reader. There is no doubt a great inequality in the different writers, and indeed in their several works: they are certainly inferior to what the public might have expected from the contemporaries of Shakspeare, if it were not remembered that Shakspeare was a prodigy in his own time, as well as in ours: neither has the Editor, in his most sanguine moments, presumed to place them on a level with the works of Beaumont and Fletcher, or Jonson, or Massinger; but he believes it will be conceded to him, that they have many excellencies in common with those great men; the same peculiarities in their language, their manner of thinking, and their moral feeling; in brief, that they are of the same school,

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