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MARTIN CHARLES BURNEY, ESQ.
Forgive me, BURNEY, if to thee these late
TRAGEDIES OF SHAK SPEARE, CONSIDERED WITH REFERENCE TO THEIR FITNESS FOR
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,
I found inscribed under this harlequin figure the following lines :
To paint fair Nature, by divine command,
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