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CAREFUL SELECTIONS FROM EACH PLAY;
WITH A
GENERAL INDEX,
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I shall not attempt any labored encomiums on Shakspeare, or endeavour to set forth his persections, at a time when such universal and just applause is “aid him, and when every tol-gue is big with his boundless fame. He mimself tells us,

To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heav'n to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.

And wasteful and ridiculous indeed it would be, to say any thing in his praise, when presenting the world with such a collection of BEAuries as perhaps is no where to be met with, and, I may very safely affirm, cannot be parallele from the productions of any other single author, ancient or modern There is scarcely a topic, congruen, with other writers, on which he has not excelled them all; there are hady nobly peculier to himself, where he shines unrivalled, and, like the eagle, 3roper est emblem of his daring genius, soars, beyond the common reath, and gazes undazzlea on the sqa. His4lights are son times so bold, frigid criticism almost dates to disapprove then, and those narrow minds which are incapable of elevating their ricas to the sublimity of their author's, are wiłsing to pring them town to a level with their own. Hence many fine passages have been condemned in Shakspeare, as rant and fustian, intolerable wonoast, and turgid nonsense, which, if read with the least glow ol the same imagination that warmed the writer's bosom, w uld blaze in the robes of sublimity, and obtain the commendation of a Longinus. And, unless some of the same spirit that elevated ho poet, elevate the reader too, he must not presume to talk of teste and elegance; he will prove a languid reader, an indiffer ni judge, and a far more indifferent critic and commentator. It is some time since I first proposed publishing this collectin; for Shakspeare was ever, of all modern authors, my chief favo r ite; and during my relaxations from my more severe and nec so sary studies at college, I never omitted to read and indulgomys it in the rapturous flights of this delightful and sweetest child of fancy; and when my imagination has been heated by the glow".g ardour of his uncommon fire, have never failed to lament, that is

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