INTRODUCTION. Nash's "CHOISE OF VALENTINES" has apparently come down to us only in manuscript form. It is extremely doubtful (Oldys notwithstanding), whether the poem was ever before accorded the dignity of print. Nor would it now be deemed worthy of such were the only considerations those of literary merit or intrinsic value: truth to tell there is little of either to recommend it. But, as it has been repeatedly said, and well insisted on, the... more...

FOREWORDS When Harrison Ainsworth, in his preface to Rookwood, claimed tobe "the first to write a purely flash song" he was very wide of themark. As a matter of fact, "Nix my doll, pals, fake away!" had beenanticipated, in its treatment of canting phraseology, by nearly three centuries, and subsequently, by authors whose names stand high, in other respects, in English literature. The mistake, however, was not altogether unpardonable; few,... more...