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to Currick and his contemporaries; but whether free distance of time, or diminished enthusiasm, to as the whole affair seems te verge on the ridiculons. In this light the celebrated Foote viewed it; for he intended to mimic the Stratford Jubilee at the Haymarket, by introducing a mock procession with a person, dressed like Garrick, at its head; a trood of underlings were to hail his appearance with the well known lines: *A nation's taste nds on you; Perhaps a untion's virtue too:* to which the pretended Roscius was to answer, * Tork-a-doodle-doo." Murphy's account of the Jubilee, is as follows: “In the course of the summer of 1769, Garrick dercord his hours to the completion of a design which he had long meditated, and had much at heart. This was to give a grand jubilee to the memory of Shakspeare at Stratford-on-Avon, the birth-place of our great poet. At that town all hands were set to work. A boarded rotunda, in imitation of Ranelegh, was erected on the banks of the river, and many other decorations were displayed in various to of the town. On the 5th and 6th of Septem1. a numerous concourse assembled from all parts of the country, and also from London. On the 7th, Peblic worship was celebrated with great magnifi•ence. As soon as the religious ceremony was over, the trangers went in crowds to read Shakspeare's epitaph over the door of the charnel at the east end orch. At three on the same day, the company met in the rotunda, where a handsome dinner was provided. A little after five, the musical perfunners ascended the orchestra, and the songs, comoned by Garrick, were sung with great applause. Currick closed the whole with an ode, upon dedieating a building, and erecting a statue to Shaksprare in bis native city. “On the 8th of September, there was a splendid ball in the rotunda, and for the following †. was announced a grand procession . the town, in which the principal characters in Shakspeare's plays were to be exhibited. . It happened, however, that * I tolent tempest of wind .# rain made it impossible to put this part of the scheme into execution;

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the Jubilee ended abruptly, and the company left the place with precipitation. “The Stratford Jubilee was, in October, transferred to Drury-lane. In order to give it a dramatic form, Garrick invented a comic fable, in which the inferior people of Stratford and the visitors were exhibited with great pleasantry. As it was never Vol. an exact account is not to be expected. We remember a scene in an inn-yard, with a postchaise standing at the remote end: when a crowd, after much diverting talk, withdrew from the place, a voice was heard from the inside of the .. Moody was within; he let down the blind, and, in the character of an Irishman, complained, that not being able to get a lodging, he was obliged to sleep in his chaise. He then came forward amidst bursts of applause; King soon joined him, and they two were the life of the piece. The dialogue throughout was carried on in a vein of humour. The songs that had been heard at Stratford were, occasionally, intermixed; and the whole concluded with a grand procession, in which Shakspeare's plays were exhibited in succession, with a banner displayed before each of them, and a scene painted on the canvas to mark the play intended. A train of Fo dressed in character, followed the coours, all in dumb shew, acting their respective parts. Mrs. Abington, at last, in a triumphal car, represented the Comic Muse. Dr. Arne's music, the magnificence of the scenery and decorations, and the abilities of the actors, conspired to establish the entertainment in the public opinion in so powerful a manner, that we are assured, by a gentleman who has a collection of the playbills, that it was repeated no less than one hundred times in the . course of the season. During the run of the piece, Garrick, on several intermediate nights, ascended a pulpit raised on the stage, and there spoke his 3. to, the Memory of Shakspeare in a style of graceful eloquence.’ This dramatic piece was revived by Mr. Kemble, on the 23d of April, 1816, exactly two hundred years after the death of Shakspeare, but it was not very favourably received.

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The most minute particulars relative to our great dramatist have a peculiar charm for his admirers; *** **, thing, however insignificant, which time has hallowed with recollections of Shakspeare, be*** - enerable from the force of association. some traditions affirm that Anne Hathaway, &rkspeare's wife, was born at Shottery, a village is the vicinity of Stratford. The cottage where Arse's family resided, still stands: some time aro, there was a bed in it, which attracted great *ice: an old woman of seventy was the chief wit-- it its favour, she had slept in it from child*-4, and had been invariably told that it was as **ot as the house, consequently, Shakspeare *** have slept in it. Large sums of money were repeatedly offered for this treasure; but in vain. During the celebration of Garrick's Jubilee, his brother George, purchased an inkstand, which the ** is said to have used, and a pair of fringed rooves, which it was assumed he hift worn. David orrors, notwithstanding all his enthusiasm for ** speare, was too careful of his purse to part *** its contents for reliques, the genuineness of *** * *s so questionable. In the garden attached to New Place, flourished • root-erry-tree, which the dramatist had planted ***, ti, awn hands; and in 1742, when Garrick ** *****in visited Stratford, they were ol. ****** its venerable branches by sir o lop*: -lo. fastead of pulling down New Place, ac“tosz to Malone's assertion, repaired it and did

| o in his power for its preservation. The rev: Francis Gastrell purchased the building from sir Hugh Clopton's heir, and being disgusted with the trouble of shewing the mulberry-tree to so many visitors, he caused this interesting and beautiful memorial of Shakspeare, to be cut down. In the recess of a chimney stood an old oak chair, which, for o years, received worshipers as numerous as the renowned shrine of the irgin at Loretto. This relic was, in the year 1790, purchased by a Russian princess, and removed to London in a post-chaise. The first folio edition of Shakspeare derives estimation from a variety of circumstances, and happy is the bibliopole who can rank among his treasures a genuine o of this invaluable book. The ori§. price of this work was £1; and the late Mr. oswell, at the sale of the Kemble library, thought himself fortunate in obtaining that gentleman's folio Shakspeare for £112:7s.; it is probable, however, that Mr. Kemble had spent three times as much in illustrating it. The best authenticated jo. reliques were disposed of at the sale of Garrick's effects, in 1823. An auction took place at that great actor's residence in the Adelphi, on the 23d of June. His collection of pictures, fetched a large sum, but the following lots are the only ones necessary to be noticed here :

An ink-stand, formed of the Stratford mulberry: tres, sold for £5:15s; 6d. to Mr. Knowles. A e

salt-cellar, made ofdelst-ware, which it is believed belonged to Shakspeare, sold for £2:2s, to Mr. Webb. A pair of gloves and a dagger, formerly worn by sh. said, on tolerably good grounds, to be authentic; sold for £3: 5s. Mrs. Garrick also bequeathed a pair of gloves, once worn by Shakspeare, to Mrs. Siddons; how are we to distinguish the genuine ! box, made of the mulberry-tree at Stratford, containing the freedom of Lichfield, presented to Mr. Garrick; £4: 10s. We have little confidence in the gloves, dagger, and salt-cellar; the box and ink-stand were certainly curious, and if composed of the true wood, acquire a value with every lover of genius. vase and pedestal of the most exquisite workmanship, formed of the mulberry-tree, planted by Shakspeare, curiously, mounted and ornamented with silver gilt, and a finely polished black marble

base and steps, the pedestal containing a medallion of Shakspeare on the one side, and on the other the following inscription: “Sacred to the memory of William Shakspeare, the applause, delight, and wonder of the British stage, born 1564, died 1616...' supported on a carved and partly gilt bracket, with a glass cover, sold for £22:11s 6d. This vase was placed in the chamber in which Garrick slept. A singularly curious elbow-chair, enriched with the emblems of tragedy and comedy, admirably carved from a design '. Hogarth, with a oil. of Shakspeare on the back, carved from a portion of the celebrated *". by Hogarth himself; sold for £152: 3s. This chair was always placed by the side of the statue of Shakspeare by Roubilliac, in the temple dedicated to the bard. A medallion portrait of Shakspeare, carved on a piece of the Stratford mulberry-tree, and originally worn by Garrick at the Jubilee, sold for £13.

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Right Honourable,

Whilst we studie to be thankful in our particular, for the many favors we have received from your L. L. we are falne upon the ill fortune, to mingle two the most diverse things that can bee, feare, and rashnesse; rashnesse in the enterprize, and feare of the successe. For, when we valew the places your H. H. sustaine, we cannot but know their dignity greater, then to descend to the reading of these trifles: and, while we name them trisles, we have depriv'd ourselves of the defence of our Dedication. But since your L. L. have been pleas'd to thinke these trisles some-thing, heeretofore; and have prosequuted both them, and their Authour living, with so much favour: we hope that (they out-living him, and he not having the fate, common with some, to be exequutor to his owne writings) ou will use the same indulgence toward them, you i. done unto their parent. There is a great difference, whether any booke choose his Patrones, or finde them: This hath done both. For, so much were your L. L. likings of the severall parts, when they were acted, as before they were published, the Volume ask'd to be yours. We have but collected them, and done an office to the dead, to procure his Orphanes, Guardians; without ambition either of selfe-profit, or fame: onely to keepe the memory of so worthy a Friend, and Fellow alive, as was our ShakespeARE, by humble offer of his playes, to your most noble patronage. Wherein, as we have {..". observed, no man to come neere your L. L. ut with a kind of religious addresse, it hath bin the height of our care, who are the Presenters, to make the present worthy of your H. H. by the perfection. But, there we must also crave our abilities to be considered, my Lords. We cannot go be. yond our owne powers. Country hands reach foorth milke, creame, fruites, or what they have : and many Nations (we have heard) that had not gunmes and incense, obtained their requests with a leavened Cake. It was no fault to approch their Gods by what meanes they could: And the most, though meanest, of things are made more precious, when

fore, we most humbly consecrate to your H. H. these remaines of your servant St AkespeaRE; that what delight is in them may be ever your L. L. the reputation his, and the faults ours, if any be committed, by a payre so carefull to shew their gratitude both to the living, and the dead, as is Your Lordshippes most bounden, Joh N HEMi Nc E, HENRY CoNDEll.

The Preface of the Players. Prefixed to the first folio edition published in 1623. To the great variety of Readers, From the most able, to him that can but spell: there you are number'd. We had rather you were weigh'd. Especially, when the fate of all Bookes depends upon your capacities: and not of your heads alone, but of your purses. Well! it is now publique, and you wil stand for your priviledge. we know : to read, and censure. Do so, but buy it first. That doth best commend a Booke, the Stationer saies. Then, how odde soever your braines be, or your wisedomes, make your licence the same, and spare not. Judge your sixe-pen'orth, your shillings worth, your five shillings worth at a time. or higher, so you rise to the just rates, and welcome. . But, whatever you do, Buy. Censure will not drive a Trade, or make the Jacke go. And though you be a Magistrate of wit, and sit on the Stage at Black-Friers, or the Cock-pit, to arraigne §: dailie, know, these Playes have had their triall alreadie, and stood out all Appeales; and do now come forth quitted rather by a F. of Court, than any purchas'd Letters of commendation. It had bene a thing, we confesse, worthie to have bene wished, that the Author himselfe had lived to have set forth, and overseen his owne writings = But since it hath bin ordain'd otherwise, and he by death departed from that right, we pray you, dee not envie his Friends, the office of their care and paine, to have collected and publish'd them; and so to have publish'd them, as where (before) you were abus'd with divers stolne, and surreptitious copies, maimed and deformed by the frauds and stealthes of injurious impostors, that expos'd them : even those are now offer'd to your view cur'd, and perfect of their limbes; and all the rest. absolute in their numbers, as he conceived the : Who, as be was a happie imitator of Nature, was a most gentle ...' of it. His mind and hand went together : and what he thought, he uttered with that easinesse. that wee have scarse received from him a blot in his papers. But it is not our province, wbo onely

they are dedicated to Temples. In that name there

gather his works, and give them you, to praise hind

It is yours that reade him. And there we hope, to not to understand him. And so we leave you to

your divers capacities, you will finde enough, both odrow, and hold you : for his wit can no more lie bid, then it could be lost. . Reade him, therefore; *d assine, and againe: And if then you doe not the him, surely you are in some manifest danger,

other of his Friends, whom if you need, can bee your guides: if you neede them not, you can leade ourselves, and others. And such readers we wish im. Joh N HEMING e, HENRIE ConDELL

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On William Shakspeare, who died in April, 1616. RexowNEd Spenser, lie a thought more nigh To learned Chaucer; and rare Beaumont, lie A little nearer Spenser, to make room For Shakspeare, in your three-fold, four-fold tomb. To lodge all four in one bed make a shift Until doomsday; for hardly will a fift Betwixt this day and that by fate be slain, for whom your curtains may be drawn again. But if precedency in death doth bar A fourth place in your sacred sepulchre, Under this carved marble of thine own, Serp, rare tragedian, Shakspeare, sleep alone. Thy unuolested peace, unshared cave, Posses, as lord, not tenant, of thy grave;

unto us and others it may be

Honour hereafter to be laid by thee.—William BAsse.

To the Memory of my Belored the Author, Mr. Willian Shakspeare, and what he hath left us.

To draw no envy, Shakspeare, on thy mame,
Aral thus ample to thy book, and fame;
While 1 confess thy writings to be such,
As neither man, nor muse, can praise too much ;
Tis true, and all men's suffrage : but these ways
Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise:
For seeliest ignorance on these may light,
Which, when it sounds at best, but echoes right; -
Or blind affection, which doth ne'er advance
The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance;
0 onfty malice might pretend this praise,
And think to ruin, where it seem'd to raise:
These are, as some infämous bawd, or whore,
Should praise a matron; what could hurt her more?
But thou art proof against them; and, indeed,
Above the ill fortune of them, or the need:
I, therefore, will begin:—Soul of the age,
The applause, desight, the wonder of our stage,
My Shakspeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by
Chancer, or Spenser; or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room:
Theuart a monument without a tomb;
And at alive still, while thy book doth live,
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
That I not mix thee so, my brain excuses;
Imran, with great but disproportion'd muses:
Foo,if I thought my judgment were of years,
I should commit thee surely with thy peers;
And tell—how far thou didst our Lyly outshine,
Or sporting Kyd, or Marlowe's miglity line.
And though thou hadst small Latin, and less Greek,
From thence to honour thee, I would not seek
for names; but call forth thund'ring AEschylus,
Euripides, and Sophocles, to us,
Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordoua dead,
To life again, to hear thy buskin tread
And shake a stage; or, when thy socks were on,
leave thee aloue; for the comparison
of all that insolent Greece, or hanghty Rome,
Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come.
Triumph, my Britain! thou hast one to show,
To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age, but for all time;
And all the muses still were in their prime,
When like Apollo he came forth to warm
our ears, crlike a Mercury to charm.
Nature herself was proud of his designs,
And joy'd to wear the dressing of his lines;
Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit,
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit:
The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes,
Nat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please;
Batantiquated and deserted lie,
***hry were not of Nature's family. -
a most I not give Nature all; thy art,

My *Shakspeare, must enjoy a part:—
of though the poet's matternaturebo,
His art doth give the fashion; and that he,

Who casts to write a living line, must sweat,
. as thine are) and strike the second heat
Upon the muses anvil; turn the same,
o himself with it) that he thinks to frame;
Dr, for the laurel, he may gain a scorn,-
For a good poet's made, as well as born:
And such wert thou. Look, how the father's face
Lives in his issue; even so the race
Of Shakspeare's mind, and manners, brightly shines
In his well-torned and true-filed lines;
In each of which he seems to shake a lance,
As brandish'd at the eyes of ignorance.
Sweet swan of Avon, what a sight it were,
To see thee in our waters yet appear;
And make those flights upon |. banks of Thames,
That so did take Eliza, and our James'
But stay : I see thee in the hemisphere
Advanc'd, and made a constellation there t—
Shine'forth, thou star of poets; and with rage,
Or influence, claide, or cheer, the drooping stage;
Which, * thy flight from hence, Wi mourn’d like
And deo. day, but for thy volumes light!
BkN Joxsox.

Upon the Lines and Life of the famous Scenick Poet, Master William Shakspeare.

Those hands which you so org. go now and wring,
You Britains brave; for done are Shakspeare's days;
His days are done that made the dainty plays,
Which made the globe of heaven and earth to ring:
Dry’d is that vein, dry'd is the Thespian spring,
Turn’d all to tears, and Phoebus clouds his rays;
That corpse, that cosfin, now bestick those bays,
Which crown'd him poet first, then poet's king.
If tragedies might any prologue have,
All those he made would scarce make one to this;
Where fame, now that he gone is to the grave,
(Death's public tiring-house) the Nuntius is:
For, though his line of life went soon about.
The life yet of his lines shall never out.
Hugu Holland

To the Memory of the deceased Author, Master William Shakspeare.

Sir AksprARE, at length thy pious fellows give
The world thy works; thy works, by which outlive
Thy tomb, thy name must: when that stone is rent,
And time dissolves thy Stratford monument.
Here we alive shall view thee still ; this book,
When brass and marble fade, shall make thee look
Fresh to all ages, when F."
Shall loath what's new, think all is prodigy
That is not Shakspeare's, every line, each verse,
Here shall revive, redeem thee from thy hers
Nor fire, nor cank'ring age, as Naso said
Of his, thy wit-fraught book shall once invade:
Nor shall le’er believe or think thee dead,
Though miss'd, until our bankrout stage be sped
(Impossible) with some new strain to out-do
Passions “of Juliet, and her Romeo;”
Or till I hear a scene more nobly take.
Than when thy half-sword parlying Romans spake:
Till these, till any of thy volume's rest,
Shall with more fire, more feeling be express'd,
Be sure, our Shakspeare, thou canst never die,
But, crown'd with laurel, live eternally.-L. Digges.

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That praises are without reason lavished on the dead, and that the honours due only to excellence are paid to antiquity, is a complaint likely to be always continued by those, who, being able to add nothing to truth, hope for eminence from the heresies o aradox; or those, who, being forced by disappointment upon consolatory expedients, are willing to hope from posterity what the presentage refuses, and flatter themselves that the regard which is yet denied by envy, will be at last bestowed by time. Antiquity, like every other quality that attracts the notice of mankind, has undoubtedly votaries that reverence it, not from reason, but from prejudice. Some seem to admire indiscriminately whatever has been long preserved, without considering that time has sometimes co-operated with chance; all perhaps are more willing to honour past than present excellence; and the mind contemplates ge. nius through the shades of age, as the eye surveys the sun through artificial opacity. The great contention of criticism is to find the faults of the moderns, and the beauties of the ancients. While an author is yet living, we estimate his powers by his worst performance; and when he is dead, we rate them by his best. To works, however, of which the excellence is not absolute and definite, but gradual and comparative; to works, not raised upon principles demonstrative and scientific, but ol. wholly to observation and experience, no other test can be applied than length of duration and continuance of esteem. What mankind have long possessed they have often examined and compared, and if they persist to value the possession, it is because freuent comparisons have confirmed opinion in its avour. As among the works of nature no man can properly call a river deep, or a mountain high without the knowledge of many mountains, an many rivers; so in the production of genius, nothing can be styled excellent till it has been compared with other works of the same kind. Demonstration immediately displays its power, and has nothing to hope or fear from the flux of years; but works tentative and experimental must be estimated by their proportion to the general and collective ability of man, as it is discovered in a long succession of endeavours. Of the first building that was raised, it might be with certainty determined that it was round or square; but whether it was spacious or lofty must have been referred to time. The Pythagorean scale of numbers was at once discovered to be perfect; but the poems of Homer we yet know not to transcend the common limits of human intelligence, but by remarking, that nation after nation, and century after century, has been able to do little more than transpose his incidents, new name his characters, and paraphrase his sentiments. The reverence, due to writings that have long subsisted, arises therefore, not from any credulous confidence in the superior wisdom of past ages, or

which they once illuminated. The effects of flvour and competition are at an end; the tradition of his friendships and his enmities has perished; his works support no opinion with arguments, nor supply any faction with invectives; they can neither indulge vanity, nor gratify malignity; but are read without any other reason than the desire of pleasure, and are therefore praised only as pleasure is obtained; yet, thus unassisted by interest or passion, they have past through variations of taste and changes of manners, and, as they devolved from one generation to another, have received new honours at every transmission. But because human judgment, though it be gradually gaining upon certainty, never becomes infallible; and approbation, though long continued, may yet be ol. the approbation of prejudice, or fashion; it is proper to inquire, by what peculiarities of excellence Shakspeare has gained and kept the favour of his countrymen. Nothing can please many, and please long, but just representations of general nature. Particular manners can be known to few, and therefore few only can judge how o they are copied. The irregular combinations of fanciful invention may delight awhile, by that novelty of which the common satiety of life sends us all in quest; but the pleasures of sudden wonder are soon exhausted, and the mind can only repose on the stability of


Shakspeare is above all writers, at least above all modern writers, the poet of nature; the poet that holds up to his readers a faithful mirror of manners and of life. His characters are not modified by the customs of particular places, unpractised by the rest of the world: o the peculiarities of studies or professions, which can operate but upon small numbers; or by the accidents of transient fashions or temporary opinions: they are the genuine progeny of common humanity, such as the world will always supply, and observation will always find. His persons act and speak by the influence of those general passions and principles by which all minds are agitated, and the whole system of life is continued in motion. In the writings of other poets a character is too often an individuals in those of Shakspeare it is commonly a species.

It is from this wide extension of § that so much instruction is derived. It is this which fills the plays of Shakspeare with practical axioms and domestic wisdom. It was said of Euripides, that every verse was a precept; and it may be said of Shakspeare, that from his works may be collected a system of civil and oeconomical prudence. Yet his real power is not shewn in the splendour of particular passages, but by the progress of his fable. and the tenour of his dialogue; and he that tries to recommend him by select quotations, will succeed like the pedant in Hierocles, who, when he offered his house to sale, carried a brick in his pocket as a specimen.

loomy persuasion of the degeneracy of mankind, É. is the consequence of acknowledged indubitable ositions, that what has been longest known has een most considered, and what is most considered is best understood. The poet, of whose works I have undertaken the revision, may now begin to assume the dignity of an ancient, and claim the privilege of an established fame and prescriptive veneration. He has long outlived his century, the term commonly fixed as the test of literary merit. Whatever advantages he might once derive from personal allusions, local customs, or temporary opinions, have for many years been lost; and every topic of merriment or motive of sorrow, which the modes of artificial life afforded him, now only obscure the scenes

It will not easily be imagined how much Shakspeare excels in accommodating his sentiments to real life, but by comparing him with other authorsIt was observed of the ancient schools of declamation, that the more diligently they were frequented. the more was the student disqualified for the world. because he found nothing there which he should ever meet in any other place. The same remark may be applied to every stage but that of Shakspeare. The theatre, when it is under any other direction, is peopled by such characters as were never seen, conversing in a language which was never heard, upon topics which will never arise in the commerce of mankind. But the dialogue on this author is often so evidently determined tow the incident which produces it, and is pursued with ... much ease and simplicity, that it seems scarcely as dum the ment of fiction, but to have been gleaned by diligent selection out of counumon conversation, is common occurrences. tpon every other stage he universal agent is ** whose power all good and evil is "distrioutd, and every action quickened or retarded. To ** *loyer, a lady, and a rival into the fable; to otangle them in conuradictory obligatious, perplex ** with oppositions of interest, and harass them with violence of desires inconsistent with each other, to make then uneet in rapture, and part in * to fill their mouths with hyperbolical joy * outrageous sorrow , to distress then as nothing outan ever was distressed ; to deliver them as not thm: human ever was delivered, is the business of **n \ramatist. For this, probability is violated, * * misrepresented, and language is depraved. *\ove is only one of many passions, and as it has he treat influence upon the sum of life, it has little operation in the dramas of a poet, who caught his ideas from the living world, and exhibited only what he saw before him. . He knew, that any other Passion, as it was regular or exorbitant, was a cause of happiness or calamity. Characters thus ample and general were not easily diocriminated and preserved, yet perhaps, no poet •ver kept his personages more distinct from each other. I will not say with Pope, that every speech may be assigned to the proper speaker, because many speeches there are which have nothing chararteristical ; but, perhaps, though some may be *qually adapted to every person, it will be difficult to find any that can be properly transferred from the present possessor to another claimant. The choice is right, when there is reason for choice. other dramatists can only gain attention by hyPorbolical or aggravated characters, by sabulous and unexampled excellence or depravity, as the writer, of barbarous romances invigorated the reader by a giant and a dwarf; and he that should form his expectations of human affairs from the play, or from the tale, would be equally deceived. Shakspeare has no heroes; his scenes are occupied only by men, who act and speak as the reader thinks that he should himself have spoken or acted on the same occasion: even where the agency is *pernatural, the dialogue is level with life. Other writers disguise the most natural passions and most frequent incidents; so that he who contemplates then in the book will not know them in the world: Shakspeare approximates the remote, and familiartze, the wondersul; the event which he repre*** will not happen, but if it were possible, its *iocets would probably be such as he has assigned; and it may lie said, that he has not only shewn hucan essare as it acts in real exigencies, but as it •ould be found in trials, to whi it cannot be exP---1. This therefore is the praise of Shakspeare, that to drama is the mirror of life; that he who has ==red this imagination, in following the phantoms which other writers raise up before him, may here * - cured of his delirious ecstacies, by reading human -ontiments in human language; by scenes from •le-i, a Lermit may estimate the transactions of the ***, and a confessor predict the progress of the PaoanHe adherence to general nature has exposed him to the censure of critics, who form their judgments tion marrower principles. Dennis and Rymer think * Romans not sufficiently Roman ; and Voltaire ****** - his kings as not completely royal. Dennis a off-odel, that Menenius a senator of Rome, **4 i play the buffoon; and Voltaire perhaps thinks *****, violated when the Danish usurper is repre-sied as a drunkard. But Shakspeare always ***** a slure predominate over accident; and if * or--rves the essential character, is not ver * -f- of disunctious superinduced and adventi*-*. His story requires Romans or king, but

he thinks only on men. He knew that Rome, like every other city, had men of all dispositions; and wanting a buffoon, he went into the senate-house for that which the senate-house would certainly have afforded him. He was inclined to shew an usurper and a murderer, not only odious but despicable ; he therefore added drunkenness to his other qualities, knowing that kings love wine like other men, and that wine exerts its natural power upon kings. These are the petty cavils of petty minds; a poet overlooks the casual distinction of country and condition, as a painter, satisfied with the figure, neglects the drapery. The censure which he has incurred by mixing comic and tragic scenes, as it extends to all his works, deserves more consideration. Let the fact be first stated, and then examined. Shakspeare's plays are not in the rigorous and critical sense either tragedies or comedies, but compositions of a distinct kind; exhibiting the real state of sublunary nature, which partakes of good and evil, joy and sorrow, mingled with endless variety of proportion and innumerable modes of combination; and expressing the course of the world, in which the loss of one is the gain of another; in which, at the same time, the reveller is hasting to his wine, and the mourner burying his friend; in which the malignity of one is sometimes defeated by the frolic of another; and many mischiefs and many benefits are done and hindered without design. Out of this chaos of mingled purposes and casualties, the ancient poets, according to the laws which custom had prescribed, selected some the crimes of men, and some their absurdities: some the momentous vicissitudes of life, and some the lighter occurrences; some the terrors of distress, and some the gaieties of prosperity. Thus rose the two modes of imitation, known by the names of tragedy and comedy, compositions intended to promote different ends by contrary means, and considered as so little allied, that I do not recollect among the Greeks or Romans a single writer who attempted both. Shakspeare has united the powers of exciting laughter and sorrow, not only in one mind, but in one composition. Almost all his plays are divided between serious and ludicrous characters, and, in the successive evolutions of the design, sometimes roduce seriousness and sorrow, and sometimes evity and laughter. That this is a practice contrary to the rules of criticism will be readily allowed; but there is always an appeal open from criticism to nature. The end of writing is to instruct; the end of poetry is to instruct by pleasing. That the mingled drama may convey ||". instruction of tragedy or comedy cannoi be denied, because it includes both in its alternations of exhibition, and approaches nearer than either to the appearance of life, by shewing how great machinations and slender o: may promote or obviate one another, and the high and the low co-operate in the general system by unavoidable concatenation. It is objected, that by this change of scenes the passions are interrupted in their progression, and that the principal event, being, not advanced by a due gradation of preparatory incidents, wants at last the power to move, which constitutes the persection of dramatic poetry. This reasoning is so specious, that it is received as true even by those who in daily experience feel it to be false. The interchanges of mingled scenes seldom fail to produce the intended vicissitudes of passion. Fiction cannot move so much, but that the attention ma be easily transferred; and though it must be allowed that pleasing melancholy may be sometimes interrupted by unwelcome levity, yet let it be con: sidered likewise, that melancholy is often not leasing, and that the disturbance of one man o' . the relief of another; that different auditors have

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