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fpear himfelf made, are taken notice of as they Occur. Some suspected passages which are exceffively bad (and which seem interpolations by being so inserted that one can intirely omit them without any chasm, or deficience in the context) are degraded to the bottom of the page; with an arterisk referring to the places of their insertion. The scenes are marked fo distinctly that every removal of place is specify'd ; which is more necefsary in this Author than any other, since he shifts them more frequently : and sometimes without attending to this particular, the reader would have met with obscurities. The more obsolete or unusual words are explained. Some of the most shining passages are distinguished by comma's in the margin : and where the beauty lay not in particulars but in the whole, a star is prefixed to the scene. This seems to me a shorter and less oftentatious method of performing the better half of Criticism (namely the pointing out an Author's excellencies) than to fill a whole paper with citations of fine passages, with general applauses, or empty exclamations at the tail of them. There is also subjoined a catalogue of those first editions by which the greater part of the various readings and of the corrected passages are authorised (most of which are such as carry their own evidence along with them.) Thefe editions now hold the place of originals, and are the only materials left to repair the deficiencies or restore the corrupted sense of the Author : I can only with that a greater number of them (if a greater were ever published) may yet be found, by a search more successful than mine, for the better accomplishment of this end.
I will conclude by saying of Shakespear, that with all his faults, and with all the irregularity of his drama, one may look upon his works, in com
parison of those that are more finished and regular, as upon an ancient majestick piece of Gothic architecture, compared with a neat modern building : The latter is more elegant and glaring, but the former is more strong and more folemn. It must be allowed, that in one of there there are materials enough to make many of the other. It has much the greater variety, and much the nobler apartments; tho' we are often conducted to them by dark, odd, and uncouth passages. Nor does the whole fail to strike us with greater reverence, tho' many of the parts are childih, ill-placed, and unequal to its grandeur.