26 OCTOBER 1878, Page 23

Tales from the Old Dramatists. By Marmadnke E. Browne. (Reming-

ton.)—Mr. Browne has made an interesting and useful book out of his sub- ject, though he has given us something different from what his title would lead us to expect. We naturally think of " Tales from Shakespeare," and fancy that this will be a companion volume. It is really quite another thing, for the author—whether rightly or wrongly, it is not our present purpose to decide—gives as much criticism as narrative. This, of course, in one sense, enhances the value of his work, for the criticism is sound and sensible; but it is not what we look for, and it must be allowed that the effect of the narrative is in no small degree marred by the criticism, if we may so speak, of the comment. Still, the book is a useful one. Few people care to read " Venice Preserved," or " Cato," or "Douglas," to mention the three most famous of the eight which Mr. Browne has selected from the "Old Dramatists," but they will be glad to learn something about them from these agreeable pages.