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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VI. The Drama to 1642, Part Two.

III. Middleton and Rowley

§ 4. The Old Law

That is, unless we are to believe, on the strength of a dubious allusion, that Middleton, before writing The Mayor of Quinborough, wrote The Old Law, or part of it, and that Massinger and Rowley, who would both have been too young to have collaborated with him at the time, added large portions later. Of Massinger, though he may conceivably have revised it at a much later date than that of its original production, there is no trace in the play; but of Rowley the traces are unmistakable, not so much in the actual writing of the comic parts as in the whole conception of the main scenes and characters. In a sense the play is the preparation for A Faire Quarrell (1617), which both wrote together; it seems to mark the beginning of the collaboration, and of that new influence which came into Middleton’s work with Rowley. It is in these two plays that we find, for the first time, that “exquisiteness of moral sensibility” which Lamb divined in the one, and that “delicacy of perception in matters of right and wrong” which he distinguished in the other.