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A copy of this, the first-edition of André's “Cow Chace," superbly bound, and in uncut condition in which respect it is almost unique), will be sold in the choice collection of John A. Rice, Esq., in February. Wild surmises have been made as to the probable price it will bring, and they are all in the hundreds. But the Veterans are arming themelves, and there is ominous silence before the battle.
The original manuscript of the Cow-Chace and the American Times, the title of which is given further on, are still in existence, the former in the possession of Dr. Sprague, and the latter of Mr. T. B. Myers. (?) Some doubts, however, are entertained as to the genuineness of the Cow-Chace and other MSS. The writing of the former has a delicate, lady-like appearance.
The “ Cow Chace " first appeared in Rivington's Gazette, a semi-weekly tory paper, published in New York, three issues of which contain the three cantos of André's Poem.
' In the year following its publication in New York an edition appeared in London, with a Preface and Additional Notes. Several editions appeared soon after, and now we have another (a reprint of the London edition, 1781,) by Robert Clarke & Co., of Cincinnati. In the next number of the BIBLIOPOLIST we shall give the poem exactly as it appeared in Rivington's Gazette.
The COW-CHACE is dated from ELIZABETHTown, August 1, 1780, and occupies the first eighteen pages, the last verse ending :
And now I've clos'd my epic strain,
I tremble as I show it,
Should ever catch the poet.
Then follows Yankee Doodle's Expedition to RHODE ISLAND, WRITTEN at PhilADELPHIA, three pages. ON THE AFFAIR BETWEEN THE REBEL GENERALS HOWE and GADDESDEN, Written at Charlestown, four pages. See next page for a description of the remaining part of the volume.
[This remarkable “ ADVERTISEMENT” follows the title reprinted on the
next page.] “The masters of Reason have decided, that when doctrines and practices have been fairly examined, and proved to be contrary to Truth, and injurious to society, then and not before may Ridicule be lawfully employed in the service of Virtue.
“This is exactly the case of the grand American Rebellion, it has been weighed in the balance, and found wanting; able writers have exposed its principles, its conduct, and its final aim. Reason has done her part, and therefore this is the legitimate moment for Satire.
“Accordingly the following piece is offered to the Public. What is found to want in Genius, the Author cannot supply ; what it may want of Correction, he hopes the candor of the Public will excuse on account of the fugitive nature of the subject : next year the publication would be too late; for in all probability there will be then no Congress existing.” It will be seen that the “Cow-Chace” forms a very small portion of the volume which bears this title. What follows the “ Affair between the Rebel Generals” is, in fact, the longest poem in the volume, and fills the remaining forty-three pages (including the Title and Advertisement printed on separate leaves). The "American Times” is supposed to be a reprint from an earlier London edition (see Duyckinck's Cyclopædia of American Literature), but no copy of the original is known (to us) to exist.