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Year. Page.

Every Man in his Humour........BAnJonson,..

............................1598

1

Volponeg........
..........................................Ditto,...

.......................... 1605

The Alchemist,

................Ditto, .............................1610 67

Rule a Wife and have a Wife......deks.Fletcher,.................1624 106

The Chances, ...........

.Ditto,...................before 1625 132

A New Way to pay Old Debts, .....

ko.. MASSINGER, ..................... 1633 157

Sir Bent. HowARD:............

......1665 186

The Rehearsal... Williers

Villiers......BUCKINGHAM, ... Meman1672 * 215

Key to the Rehearsal.............................

237

The Country Girl..

mum

WYCHEBLY................1675 - 243

The Plain Dealer,

...

....................Ditto........

.................1677

266

The Old Bachelor, ..........

um...... Congreve................ 1693 309

The Double Dealer, .............

............ ..DITTO............ ..........1694 336

Love for Love,

..1695364

Pod wormware..........................Ditto, .....

The Way of the World.................

......

..Ditto............................1700 399

Bothe Provoked Wife,.....Sangheran... Vaxpuguio .............1699 430

.....................Ditto.

........

........Ditto,.....

...............1706 488,

The Provoked Husband,

..VANBROGN & CIBBER,K.X....1727

509

M'he Spanish Friar..........

Apabango. DRYDEN,..kook...............1681 547

Colles....Cibberdekor....... 1700 — 579

She world and She would not..............Ditto.......... ...............1703 606

.......... Dittog...K.S.....................1704 639

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REMARKS

ON

ENGLISH COMEDY.

In the notices of English Tragedy, prefixed to the first volume of this Collection, we have applied them severally to three periods of dramatic history. The same distinction may be followed with advantage in the present sketch; not that we pretend, in either case, a perfect and accurate division, for the influence of those causes which occasioned a change of taste was necessarily gradual. Our observations are therefore only applied

to a general view of each æra, the commencement and termination of which may doubtless include plays which rather belonged to the school of that by which it is preceded or followed.

I. Our dramatic antiquaries maintain, that the oldest play which can, with any propriety, claim the title of a comedy, is the piece of low and broad humour, entitled, Gammer Gurton's Needle. If so, the art speedily improved ; for that piece was acted in 1575, and within the space of thirty years, the comedies of Shakespeare, of Jonson, of Beaumont and Fletcher, and of Massinger, had graced the British theatre. The nature of our miscellaneous collection necessarily excludes the works of Shakespeare, which every lover of the drama possesses in a complete state, and consequently excuses us from the presumptuous attempt of epitomizing the general characteristics of his comedies. His powerful, though far unequal rival, despairing of imitating the wild and impetuous flights of his genius, professed, with a sullen and splenetic affectation of condescension, that he copied nature, and required no laugh from the audience, but when their own observation could trace in common life a likeness of the comic characters which he drew. It was on Jonson's comedies those lines of Dryden were chiefly grounded, which exposed the latter poet to the charge of an attempt to undermine the reputation of a celebrated predecessor :

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