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IN NINE VOLUMES.
WITH NOTES CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY,
By W. GIFFORD, Esq.
The Muses' fairest light in no dark time;
The wonder of a learned age; the line
Which none can pass; the most proportion'd wit,
To nature, the best judge of what was fit;
The deepest, plainest, highest, clearest pen;
The voice most echo'd by consenting men;
THE SOUL WHICH ANSWER'D BEST TO ALL WELL SAID
BY OTHERS, AND WHICH MOST REQUITAL MADE.
VOLUME THE THIRD.
THE SILENT WOMAN.
PRINTED FOR G. AND W. NICOL; F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON; CADELL
SEJANUS.] This "Tragedy" was first acted in 1603 by the company at the Globe; and Shakspeare, Burbadge, Lowin, Hemings, Condel, Philips, Cooke, and Sly, had parts in it. Though much applauded by the fashionable part of the audi ence, it proved "caviare to the general," and experienced considerable opposition. Sejanus was not published till 1605; when it appeared, in quarto, without a dedication, but accompanied by several copies of commendatory verses. Subsequently it seems to have acquired some degree of popularity: Jonson says that it had outlived the malice of its enemies, when he republished it in folio, in 1616; and it was one of the first plays revived after the Restoration. Sejanus is not divided into scenes in any of the editions; it has neither exits nor entrances; and is, upon the whole, the most involved and puzzling drama, in its internal arrangement, that was ever produced. The motto both to the quarto and folio is the same:
Non hic centauros, non gorgonas, harpyiasque
It is taken from Martial, and had already furnished the groundwork for the admirable prologue to Every Man in his Humour.