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The Paradoxe of M. T. Cicero, &c. by Rob. Whyttington, Poet Laureat. Printed in Southwarke,

12mo.

1540

Webbe tranflated all the fixteen Books of Cicero's Epiftles, but probably they were not printed together in Shakspeare's Life-time. I fuppofe this, from a Paffage in his Dedication.

BOETHIUS.

Boethius, by Chaucer. Printed by Caxton, fol. Boethius in English Verse, by Tho. Rychard. Imprinted in the exempt monaftery of Tavistock,

4to.

1525

Eng. and Lat. by Geo. Colville, 4to. 15567

APULEIUS.

Apuleius's Golden Affe, tranflated into Eng. by Wm. Adlington, 4to. Lond. 1566 and 1571

FRONTINUS.

Stratagemes, Sleightes, and Policies of Warre, gathered by S. Julius Frontinus. Tranflated by Richard Morifine, 8vo. Printed by Tho. Berthelet.

1539

? In the Stationers' books, Jan. 13th, 1608, Matthew Lownes entered "Anitius Manlius Torquatus Severinus Boethius, a Christian Conful of Rome, newly tranflated out of Latin, together with original Notes explaining the obfcureft Places." Printed 8vo. 1609.

8 There is an entry of this tranflation in the books at Stationers hall in 1595. Valentine Simes is the name of the printer who entered it. It is again entered by Clement Knight in 1600.

PLINY JUN'.

Some felect Epiftles of Pliny the Younger into Eng. by Abr. Flemming, 4to. Lond.

POMPONIUS MELA.

Pomponius Mela, by A. Golding, 4to.

PLINY.

1576

1590

Pliny's Nat. Hift. by Dr. Phil. Holland, fol. 1601

SOLIN US.

Julius Solinus Polyhiftor, by A. Golding, 4to. 1587

VEGETIUS.

The four Bookes of Flavius Vegetius, concerning martial Policye, by John Sadler, 4to.

RUTILIUS RUFUS.

1572

A View of Valiaunce, tranflated from Rutilius Rufus, by Tho. Newton, 8vo.

DARES Phryg. and DICTYS Cret.

Dares and Dictys's Trojan War, in Verse.

2

CATO, and P. SYRUS.

1580

1555

Caton, tranflated into Englyfhe by Mayfter Benet Burgh, &c. mentioned by Caxton.

9 On the books of the Stationers' company is this entry: " Adam Iflip, 1600.] The xxxvii bookes of C. Plinius Secundus his Hiftorie of the Worlde. To be tranflated out of Latin into Englyfhe and fo printed."

2 Probably this was never printed.

Cathon [Parvus and Magnus] tranfl. &c. by Caxton

1483

1553

Preceptes of Cato, with Annotations of Erafmus, &c. 24mo. Lond. 1560 and 1562 Catonis Difticha, Latin and English, small 8vo. Lond. Ames mentions a Difcourfe of Human Nature, translated from Hippocrates, p. 428; an Extract from Pliny, tranflated from the French, p. 312; Efop, &c. by Caxton and others; and there is no doubt, but many Tranflations at prefent unknown, may be gradually recovered, either by industry or accident.

3 There is an entry of Caton at Stationers' hall in 1591 by Adams, in Eng. and Lat. Again, in the year 1591 by Tho. Orwin. Again, in 1605, "Four Bookes of morall Sentences, entitled Cato, tranflated out of Latin into English by J. M. Master of Arts.”

4 "Efop's Fables in Englyfhe" were entered May 7th, 1590, on the books of the Stationers' company. Again, Oct. 1591. Again, Efop's Fables in Meter, Nov. 1598. Some few of them had been paraphrafed by Lydgate, and I believe are still unpublished. See the Brit. Muf. MSS. Harl. 2251.

It is much to be lamented that Andrew Maunfell, a bookfeller in Lothbury, who published two parts of a catalogue of English printed books, fol. 1595, did not proceed to his third collection. This according to his own account of it, would have confifted of "Grammar, Logick, and Rhetoricke, Lawe, Hiftorie, Poetrie, Policie," &c. which, as he tells us, "for the most part concerne matters of delight and pleasure."

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THE drama before the time of Shakspeare was fo little cultivated, or fo ill understood, that to many it may appear unnecessary to carry our theatrical researches higher than that period. Dryden has truly obferved, that he "found not, but created first the stage;" of which no one can doubt, who confiders, that of all the plays iffued from the prefs antecedent to the year 1592, when there is reafon to believe he commenced a dramatick writer, the titles are fcarcely known, except to antiquaries; nor is there one of them that will bear a fecond perufal. Yet thefe, contemptible and few as they are, we may fuppofe to have been the most popular productions of the time, and the best that had been exhibited before the appearance of Shakfpeare.'

There are but thirty-eight plays, (exclufive of myfteries, mo ralities, interludes, and tranflated pieces,) now extant, written antecedent to, or in, the year 1592. Their titles are as follows: Tancred and Gifmund

Acolaftus

1540

1568

Ferrex and Porrex

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Damon and Pythias

1562

bably written before

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A minute investigation, therefore, of the origin and progrefs of the drama in England, will scarcely repay the labour of the inquiry. However, as the

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Between the years 1592 and 1600, the following plays were printed or exhibited; the greater part of which, probably, were written before our author commenced play-wright.

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The virtuous Octavia
Blind Beggar of Alex-

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