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thoughts themselves will be as much changed (perhaps for the better) as the diction has been improved. These remarks, of course, refer principally to those more recondite and complicated imaginations and reasonings which it is the prerogative of superior minds to create or evolve in their diviner moods, when "thoughts that breathe, and words that burn," give perpetuity of youth to their mental offspring. Yet they do apply, more or less, to all literary productions in which fancy, feeling, or elaborate argument, are component principles, or characteristic features. There is but one splendid exception to this usage not to call it law—of nature in our poetic annals. The plays which pass under the names of Beaumont and Fletcher were unquestionably written so consentaneously, that it is impossible now to ascertain the peculiar merits of either, by apportioning to each his share of personal contributions to the common stock, or of labour in turning that capital to the best advantage. Unhappily, however, these extraordinary emanations of twin-minds— nobly gifted, but atrociously prostituted— are so tainted with the grossness of the age in which they appeared, and which they too faith fully reflected, that they will neither bear to be read nor represented in our better and more fastidious times; for not merely more fastidious, but positively better, in this respect, our times are, notwithstanding the well-founded charges of licentiousness which may yet be brought against many of the books and much of the conversation of the present day.
The volume before us is a monument of friendship and genius far otherwise directed and far more honourably employed, however short in poetical display it may fall of the former meretricious offspring of combined talents, at once the glory and the shame of