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WHEN dramatic amusements are pursued with so much avidity as at present, and the works of our chief benefactors to the stage are so extensively diffused, it is somewhat surprising, that those of Otway, whose powers in tragedy are of such acknowledged excellence, should be less conspicuous. The most correct edition of Otway's Works is that of 1757, in 3 vols. 12mo. but in this several of his poems are omitted*, and it discovers, besides, many errors t which a proper attention to the early copies would have prevented. It
* Particularly the poem of" Windsor Castle."
f Of these the following will serve as a specimen—" Titus and Berenice," act 2, sc. 1. Berenice addresses herself to Antiochus—
"Hence, frozcard prince, either the truth relate,
A reference to the quarto, and above all, a comparison with the original, [Rac. Berenice, act 3, sc. 3,] from which it is a Vol. i. a
has also become extremely scarce. To remedy this inconvenience, and to present to the public an accurate and complete collection of the works of this eminent author, have been the objects for which this edition has been undertaken. The Editor has bestowed no inconsiderable pains upon the text, which has been collated with the quarto copies and earliest editions. He has followed the modern example, of prefixing a short critical introduction to each work; and where the lapse of time, political allusions, or the revolutions in manners and customs, have obscured the text, explanatory notes are introduced. In some places, resemblances between the author and other writers have been pointed out; not that the Editor considers every instance of this kind to be a plagiarism, but because it is interesting to observe the peculiar form which a thought assumes, when produced by
literal translation, plainly shews that the verse should thus appear:
"Henceforward, prince, either the truth relate,
Rejecting the word forbear, as being evidently redundant.
the same train of reflection, or generated by the same object, in different minds. To the whole is appended an extract from a scarce novel, which is an object of no small curiosity, since it was the mine from whence Otway drew so rich a treasure as" The Orphan."
The Editor might expect to be censured for the publication of those passages, sooffensive to readers of delicacy, with which the comedies abound, had he been permitted, as his judgment directed, to remove them. But as this discretion is not attached to the functions of an editor, but, on the contrary, a commendable vigilance is exercised to prevent either suppression, or interpolation, in an author's works, he consoles himself with reflecting, that the indecency of those scenes, which he has properly stigmatised, contains it's own antidote; for there, if ever, vice assumes it's native character of deformity. To acknowledge obligations to others, in a work where his own merits are so inconsiderable, will look like ostentation in the Editor; but it would be an act of injustice to refrain from confessing the assistance he has