11 S. XL APRIL 24, 1915 ] NOTES AND QUERIES.
this time not unusual. Mr. Chambers, ' Poems of John Donne,' vol. i. pp. xxxviii-ix, has drawn attention to a reference in Drayton's ' Epistle to Rey- nolds ' to poems circulating thus " by transcription."* With regard to the parallel between ' The Duchess of Malfy and ' The Wife,' this can barely be ac counted for in any other way if the firsi quarto of 1623 gives us the text of the original stage version of the play. Th poem was riot published until early in 1614 and Ostler, who took the part of An tonio in the play, died before the end of that year.f It is also, perhaps, worth y of notice that, although Overbury's poem was entered in the Stationers' Register on 13 Dec., 1613, and the earliest extant edition is dated 1614, Wood states that it was " printed several times at London while the author lived,! i-e., previous to 15 Sept., 1613.
The wording of the title-page of the 1615 edition also clearly indicates that neither Webster nor any one person was the author of the whole of the additional Characters then printed.
The five previous editions (or t: im- pressions ") all purport to be primarily editions of Sir Thomas Overbury's poem, to which precedence is given on the title- page of each. The first edition is without Characters ; the second contains twenty- one, the third twenty-two, and the fourth and fifth thirty-one.
These Characters were admittedly not all Overbury's ; they were " written by himselfe and other learned Gentlemen his friends." But with the sixth edition all pretence that Overbury was mainly re- sponsible is abandoned, and ' The Wife ' is relegated to a secondary position on the title-page. The title of this edition is :
" New and choise Characters of severall Authors ; together with that exquisite and unmatcht Poeme, The Wife, written by Syr Thomas Over- burie. With the former Characters and Conceited Newes, all in one Volume."
- Possibly the words used in the publisher's
Preface to the fifth (1614) edition, " Others [i.e. ' Characters '1 now added. . . .first transcribed by Gentlemen of the same qualitio," may be taken as indicating that these Characters had been thus circulated in manuscript.
t Although many passages contained in the ' Newes ' reappear in ' The Devil's Law Case,' I can find none in ' The Duchess of Malfy,' perhaps because Webster borrowed from a MS. which did not include the ' Newes.'
$ Cited on the authority of Dr. E. F. Rimbault (Introduction to Overbury's ' Works,' 1890, pp. xii- xiii).
It is precisely these forty-two new Cha- racters that are described as being the work " of severall authors " not possibly,, therefore, of Webster alone, nor even of Webster and Cocke. The sudden ap- pearance of forty-two fresh Characters (printed in two separate sections of ten and thirty-two respectively with separate title-pages), bringing the number of Characters from thirty-one to seventy-three,, indicates, then, that the publisher has-, pressed several hands into his service in/ order to meet the apparently insatiable demand of the public for this new and. piquant form of literature.
H. DUGDALE SYKES. Enfield.
(To be. continued.)
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF HISTORIES OF" IRISH COUNTIES AND TOWNS.
(See ante, pp. 103, 183.) PART III. D.
Varieties of Irish History, from Ancient and' Modern Sources and Original Documents. By J. J. Gaskin. Coloured illustrations, crown 8vo, cloth. Dublin, 1869. Contains chapter on Dalkey.
The Midland Septs and the Pale. By Rev. F. R. Montgomery Hitchcock, M.A. Crown 8vo, cloth. Dublin, 1908. Contains chapter on Delvin.
DEBRY. See Londonderry.
Ballymoney and Derrykeighan. By Rev. J. Mac- Erlean.
DINGLE. History of Dingle. By Thompson. London, 1847. .
An Ulster Parish, being a History of Donagholoney ( Waringstown). By E. D. Atkinson. Crown 8vo, cloth. Dublin, 1898.
An Ancient Irish Parish, Past and Present:.: Donaghmore. By Rev. J. Davison Cowan, LL.D. Illustrated, 8vo, pp. viii + 402. London, 1914.
ketches in Ireland descriptive of Interesting Portions of the Counties of Donegal, Cork, and Kerry. By Rev. Caesar Otway. 12mo, cloth. Dublin, 1839.
Scenery and Antiquities of North- West Donegal. . By William Harkin. Map and plates, 8vo, cloth. Londonderry, 1893.
"nis-owen and Tirconnell, an Account of the Antiquities and Writers of Co. Donegal. By - W. J. Doherty. Crown 8 vo, cloth. Dublin,. 1895.