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ESSAYS.

TO

MARTIN CHARLES BURNEY, ESQ.

Forgive me, BURNEY, if to thee these late
And hasty products of a critic pen,
Thyself no coinmon judge of books and men,
In feeling of thy worth I dedicate.
My verse was offered to an older friend;
The humbler prose has fallen to thy share:
Nor could I miss the occasion to declare,
What spoken in thy presence must offend-
That, set aside some few caprices wild,
Those humorous clouds that Ait o'er brightest days,
In all my threadings of this worldly maze,
(And I have watched thee almost from a child),
Free from self-seeking, envy, low design,
I have not found a whiter soul than thine.

ESSAYS.

ON THE

TRAGEDIES OF SHAK SPEARE, CONSIDERED WITH REFERENCE TO THEIR FITNESS FOR

STAGE REPRESENTATION.

TAKING a turn the other day in the Abbey, I was struck with the affected attitude of a figure, which I do not remember to have seen before, and which upon examination proved to be a whole-length of the celebrated Mr. Garrick. Though I would not go so far with some good catholics abroad as to shut players altogether out of consecrated ground, yet I own I was not a little scandalized at the introduction of theatrical airs and gestures into a place set apart to remind us of the saddest realities. Going nearer,

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I found inscribed under this harlequin figure the following lines :

To paint fair Nature, by divine command,
Her magic pencil in his glowing hand,
A Shakspeare rose; then, to expand his fame
Wide o'er this breathing world, a Garrick came.
Though sunk in death the forms the Poet drew,
The Actor's genius bade them breathe anew;
Though, like the bard himself, in night they lay,
Immortal Garrick calld them back to day:
And till Eternity with pow'r sublime
Shall mark the mortal hour of hoary Time,
Shakspeare and Garrick like twin-stars shall shine,
And earth irradiate with a beam divine.

It would be an insult to my readers' understandings to attempt any thing like a criticism on this farrago of false thoughts and nonsense. But the reflection it led me into was a kind of wonder, how, from the days of the actor here celebrated to our own, it should have been the fashion to compliment every performer in his turn, that has had the luck to please the town in any of the great characters of Shakspeare, with the notion of possessing a mind congenial with the poet's: how people should come thus unaccountably to confound the power of originating poetical images and conceptions with the

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