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This entire passage, terminating at “ howling,” is defi. cient in grammatical correctness, for it contains an antecedent not succeeded by a consequent: but is there a reader of taste who would wish it to be any thing but what it is? As for those barbarisms of the double negative and the double comparative, which Malone is studious to recall from the old copies into Shakspeare's text, I have already declared my conviction that they are falsely charged upon Shakspeare. They are not to be found in those effusions of his muse which issued from the press under his own immediate inspection; and they must assuredly be considered as the illiterate errors of an illiterate transcriber.
I could now easily, and the task would be delightful to me, produce examples, from the page of Shakspeare, of all the excellencies which I have attributed to his diction; of its sublimity, its force, its tenderness, its pathos, its picturesque character, its sweet and evervarying harmony. But I have already very far transgressed the limits prescribed to me in my volume; and I must restrain myself. When, therefore, I have cited, at the close of what I am now writing, the description by Jaques, in “ As you Like it,” of the seven ages of man, as an evidence of Shakspeare's power to touch the most familiar topics into poetry, as the Phrygian monarch could touch the basest substances into gold, I shall conclude this long and, as I fear, this fatiguing treatise on Shakspeare and his works, by asking if he be not a mighty genius, sufficiently illustrious and commanding to call forth the choice spirits of a learned and intellectual century to assert his greatness, and to march in his triumph to fame?
Yes, Master of the human heart! we own
At thy command the varied tumult rolls :
These are thy wonders, Nature's darling birth !
In ages far remote, when Albion's state
Aug, 4th, 1825.
THE SEVEN AGES OF MAN.
All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players : They have their exits, and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being SEVEN AGES.
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard ;
In fair round belly, with good capon lined,
With spectacles on nose, and poucb on side ;