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THE WORKS OF JOHN WEBSTER:
NOW FIRST COLLECTED, WITH SOME
ACCOUNT OF THE AUTHOR, AND NOTES,
BY THE REV. ALEXANDER DYCE, B.A.
JOHN WEBSTER AND HIS WRITINGS.
Seldom has the biographer greater cause to lament the deficiency of materials for his task than when engaged on the life of any of our early dramatists. Among that illustrious band John WEBSTER occupies a distinguished place; and yet so little do we know concerning him, that the present essay must consist almost entirely of an account of his different productions, and of an attempt to show that he was not the author of certain prose pieces which have been attributed to his pen.
It is said that he was clerk of St. Andrew's, Holborn, and a Member of the Merchant Tailors' Company.*
* Gildon, I believe, was the first who asserted that our author was clerk of St. Andrew's. I searched the registers of that church, but the name of Webster did not occur in them; and I examined the MSS. belonging to the Parish Clerks' Hall, in Woodstreet, with as little success.
He VOL. I.