tres if the French Muses will keep the Greek models in their view, and not look with disdain upon a stage, whose mother is nature, whose soul is passion, and whose art is simplicity: a stage, which, to speak the truth, does not perhaps equal ours in splendour and elevation, but which excels it in simplicity and propriety, and equals it at least in the conduct and direction of those passions which may properly affect an honest man and a Christian.

we have another Sophocles, and in Racine a second Euripides. Thus is tragedy raised from her ashes, carried to the utmost point of greatness, and so dazzling that she prefers herself to herself. Surprised to see herself produced again in France in so short a time, and nearly in the same manner as before in Greece, she is disposed to believe that her fate is to make a short transition from her birth to her perfection, like the goddess that issued from the brain of Jupiter.

For my part, I shall think myself well recompensed for my labour, and shall attain the end which I had in view, if I shall in some little measure revive in the minds of those who purpose to run the round of polite literature, not an immoderate and blind reverence, but a true taste of antiquity; such a taste as both feeds and po

If we look back on the other side to the rise of comedy, we shall see it hatched by Margites from the Odyssey of Homer, in imitation of her eldest sister; but we see her, under the conduct of Aristophanes, become licentious and petulant, taking airs to herself which the magistrates were obliged to crush. Menander reduced her to bounds, taught her at once gayety and polite-lishes the mind, and enriches it by enabling it to ness, and enabled her to correct vice, without appropriate the wealth of foreigners, and to exshocking the offenders. Plautus, among the ert its natural fertility in exquisite productions; Romans, to whom we must now pass, united such a taste as gave the Racines, the Molieres, the earlier and the later comedy, and joined the Boileaus, the Fontaines, the Patras, the buffoonery with delicacy. Terence, who was Pelissons, and many other great geniuses of the better instructed, received comedy from Menan- last age, all that they were, and all that they der, and surpassed his original, as he endeavour-will always be; such a taste as puts the seal of ed to copy it. And lastly, Moliere produced a immortality to those works in which it is disnew species of comedy, which must be placed in covered; a taste so necessary, that without it a class by itself, in opposition to that of Aristo- we may be certain that the greatest powers of phanes, whose manner is likewise peculiar to nature will long continue in a state below themhimself. selves; for no man ought to allow himself to be flattered or seduced by the example of some men of genius, who have rather appeared to despise this taste than to despise it in reality. It is true that excellent originals have given occasion, without any fault of their own, to very bad copies. No man ought severely to ape either the ancients, or the moderns: but if it was necessary to run into an extreme of one side or the other, which is never done by a judicious and well-directed mind, it would be better for a wit, as for a painter, to enrich himself by what he can take from the ancients, than to grow poor by taking all from his own stock; or openly to affect an imitation of those moderns whose more fertile genius has produced beauties peculiar to themselves, and which themselves only can display with grace: beauties of that peculiar kind, that they are not fit to be imitated by others; though in those who first invented them they may be justly esteemed, and in them only.

SE Stang,

But such is the weakness of the human mind, that when we review the successions of the drama a third time, we find genius falling from its height, forgetting itself, and led astray by the love of novelty, and the desire of striking out new paths. Tragedy degenerated in Greece from the time of Aristotle, and in Rome after Augustus. At Rome and Athens comedy produced Mimi, pantomimes, burlettas, tricks, and farces, for the sake of variety; such is the character, and such the madness of the mind of man. It is satisfied with having made great conquests, and gives them up to attempt others, which are far from answering its expectation, and only enable it to discover its own folly, weakness, and deviations. But why should we be tired with standing still at the true point of perfection when it is attained? If eloquence be wearied, and forgets herself a while, yet she soon returns to her former point; so will it happen to our thea

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8 vols. folio. 1743.


SIR, THAT the Medicinal Dictionary is dedigated to you, is to be imputed only to your reputation for superior skill in those sciences which I have endeavoured to explain and facilitate; and you are, therefore, to consider this address, if it be agreeable to you, as one of the rewards of merit; and if otherwise, as one of the inconveniences of eminence.

However you shall receive it, my design cannot be disappointed; because this public appeal to your judgment will show that I do not found my hopes of approbation upon the ignorance of my readers, and that I fear his censure least, whose knowledge is most extensive. I am, sir, your most obedient humble servant,





MY LORD, SUCH is the power of interest over almost every mind, that no one is long without arguments to prove any position which is ardently wished to be true, or to justify any measures which are dictated by inclination.

By this subtle sophistry of desire, I have been persuaded to hope that this book may, without impropriety, be inscribed to your lordship; but am not certain that my reasons will have the same force upon other understandings.

The dread which a writer feels of the public censure; the still greater dread of neglect; and the eager wish for support and protection, which is impressed by the consciousness of imbecility, are unknown to those who have never adventured into the world; and I am afraid, my lord, equally unknown to those who have always found the world ready to applaud them.

It is therefore not unlikely that the design of this address may be mistaken, and the effects of my fear imputed to my vanity. They who see your lordship's name prefixed to my performance, will rather condemn my presumption, than compassionate my anxiety.

But whatever be supposed my motive, the praise of judgment connot be denied me: for, to whom can timidity so properly fly for shelter, as to him who has been so long distinguished for candour and humanity? How can vanity be so completely gratified as by the allowed patronage of him, whose judgment has so long given a standard to the national taste? Or by what other means could I so powerfully suppress all opposition, but that of envy, as by declaring myself, my lord, your lordship's obliged and most obedient servant,


SHAKSPEARE Illustrated; or, The NovELS and HISTORIES on which the Plays of SHAKSPEARE are founded; collected and translated from the original authors. With Critical Remarks. By the Author of the FEMALE QUIXOTE. 1753.



MY LORD,-I HAVE no other pretence to the honour of a patronage so illustrious as that of your lordship, than the merit of attempting what has by some unaccountable neglect been hitherto omitted, though absolutely necessary to a perfect knowledge of the abilities of Shakspeare.

Among the powers that must conduce to constitute a poet, the first and most valuable is invention; the highest seems to be that which is able to produce a series of events. It is easy when the thread of a story is once drawn, to di versify it with variety of colours; and when a train of action is presented to the mind, a little acquaintance with life will supply circumstances and reflections, and a little knowledge of books furnish parallels and illustrations. To tell over again a story that has been told already, and to

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tell it better than the first author, is no rare | recommend a story, that it was far removed from qualification; but to strike out the first hints of common life, that its changes were frequent, a new fable: hence to introduce a set of char- and its close pathetic. acters so diversified in their several passions and interests, that from the clashing of this variety may result many necessary incidents: to make these incidents surprising, and yet natural, so as to delight the imagination without shocking the judgment of a reader; and finally to wind up the whole in a pleasing catastrophe, produced by those very means which seem most likely to oppose and prevent it, is the utmost effort of the human mind.

To discover how few of those writers, who profess to recount imaginary adventures, have been able to produce any thing by their own imagination, would require too much of that time which your lordship employs in nobler studies. Of all the novels and romances that wit or idleness, vanity or indigence, have pushed into the world, there are very few of which the end cannot be conjectured from the beginning; or where the authors have done more than to transpose the incidents of other tales, or strip the circumstances from one event for the decoration of another.

In the examination of a poet's character, it is therefore first to be inquired what degree of invention has been exerted by him. With this view I have very diligently read the works of Shakspeare, and now presume to lay the result of my searches before your lordship, before that judge whom Pliny himself would have wished for his assessor to hear a literary cause.

This disposition of the age concurred so happily with the imagination of Shakspeare, that he had no desire to reform it; and indeed to this he was indebted for the licentious variety, by which he made his plays more entertaining than those of any other author.

How much the translation of the following novels will add to the reputation of Shakspeare, or take away from it, you, my lord, and men learned and candid like you, if any such can be found, must now determine. Some danger, I am informed, there is, lest his admirers should think him injured, by this attempt, and clamour as at the diminution of the honour of that nation which boasts itself the parent of so great a poet.

That no such enemies may arise against me (though I am unwilling to believe it), I am far from being too confident, for who can fix bounds to bigotry and folly? My ser, my age, have not given me many opportunities of mingling in the world: there may be in it many a species of absurdity which I have never seen, and among them such vanity as pleases itself with false praise bestowed on another, and such superstition as worships idols, without supposing them to be gods.

He had looked with great attention on the scenes of nature: but his chief skill was in human actions, passions, and habits: he was therefore delighted with such tales as afforded numerous incidents, and exhibited many characters in many changes of situation. These characters are so copiously diversified, and some of them so justly pursued, that his works may be considered as a map of life, a faithful miniature of human transactions; and he that has read Shakspeare with attention, will perhaps find little new in the crowded world.

Among his other excellences it ought to be remarked, because it has hitherto been unnoticed, that his heroes are men, that the love and hatred, the hopes and fears, of his chief personages, are such as are common to other human beings, and not like those which later times have exhibited, peculiar to phantoms that strut upon the stage.

It is not perhaps very necessary to inquire whether the vehicle of so much delight and instruction be a story probable or unlikely, native or foreign. Shakspeare's excellence is not the fiction of a tale, but the representation of life: and his reputation is therefore safe, till human nature shall be changed. Nor can he, who has so many just claims to praise, suffer by losing that which ignorant admiration has unreasonably given him. To calumniate the dead is baseness, and to flatter them is surely folly.

From flattery, my lord, either of the dead or the living, I wish to be clear, and have therefore solicited the countenance of a patron, whom, if I knew how to praise him, I could praise with truth, and have the world on my side; whose candour and humanity are universally acknowledged, and whose judgment perhaps was then first to be doubted, when he condescended to admit this address from, my lord, your lordship's most obliged and most obedient humble servant,

But the truth is, that a very small part of the reputation of this mighty genius depends upon the naked plot or story of his plays. He lived in an age when the books of chivalry were yet popular, and when therefore the minds of his auditors were not accustomed to balance probabilities, or to examine nicely the proportion between causes and effects. It was sufficient to


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ing to your lordship "A Treatise on the Game of Draughts," I easily foresee that I shall be in danger of suffering ridicule on one part, while I am gaining honour on the other, and that many who may envy me the distinction of approaching you, will deride the present I presume to


Had I considered this little volume as having no purpose beyond that of teaching a game, I should indeed have left it to take its fate without a patron. Triflers may find or make any thing a trifle; but since it is the great characteristic of a wise man to see events in their causes, to obviate consequences, and ascertain contingencies, your lordship will think nothing a trifle by which the mind is inured to caution, foresight, and circumspection. The same skill, and often the same degree of skill, is exerted in great and little things, and your lordship may sometimes exercise, on a harmless game, those abilities which have been so happily employed in the service of your country. I am, my lord, your lordship's most obliged, most obedient, and most humble servant,


The EVANGELICAL HISTORY of JESUS CHRIST harmonized, explained, and illustrated.

2 vols. 8vo. 1758.


THAT we are fallen upon an age in which corruption is barely not universal, is universally confessed. Venality skulks no longer in the dark, but snatches the bribe in public; and prostitution issues forth without shame, glittering with the ornaments of successful wickedness. Rapine preys on the public without opposition, and perjury betrays it without inquiry. Irreligion is not only avowed, but boasted; and the pestilence that used to walk in darkness, is now destroying at noon-day

Shall this be the state of the English nation, and shall her lawgivers behold it without regard? Must the torrent continue to roll on till it shall sweep us in the gulph of perdition? Surely there will come a time when the careless shall be frighted, and the sluggish shall be roused; when every passion shall be put upon the guard by the dread of general depravity; when he who laughs at wickedness in his companion, shall start from it in his child: when the man who fears not for his soul, shall tremble for his possessions: when it shall be discovered that religion only can secure the rich from robbery, and the poor from oppression: can defend the state from treachery, and the throne from assassination.

If this time be ever to come, let it come quick ly: a few years longer, and perhaps all endeavours will be vain. We may be swallowed by an earthquake, we may be delivered to our enemies, or abandoned to that discord, which must inevitably prevail among men that have lost all sense of divine superintendence, and have no higher motive of action or forbearance, than present opinion of present interest.

It is the duty of private men to supplicate and propose; it is yours to hear and to do right. Let religion be once more restored, and the na tion shall once more be great and happy. This consequence is not far distant: that nation must always be powerful where every man performs his duty: and every man will perform his duty that considers himself as a being whose condition is to be settled to all eternity by the laws of Christ.

The only doctrine by which man can be made wise unto salvation, is the will of God revealed in the books of the Old and the New Testament.

To study the Scriptures, therefore, according to his abilities and attainments, is every man's duty, and to facilitate that study to those whom nature hath made weak, or education has left ignorant, or indispensable cares detain from regular processes of inquiry, is the business of those who have been blessed with abilities and learning, and are appointed the instructors of the lower classes of men, by that common father, who distributes to all created beings their qualifications and employments; who has allotted some to the labour of the hand, and some to the exercise of the mind; has commanded some to teach, and others to learn; has prescribed to some the patience of instruction, and to others the meekness of obedience.

By what methods the unenlightened and ignorant may be made proper readers of the word of God, has been long and diligently considered. Commentaries of all kinds have indeed been copiously produced: but there still remain multitudes to whom the labours of the learned are of little use, for whom expositions require an expositor. To those, indeed, who read the divine books without vain curiosity, or a desire to be wise beyond their powers, it will always be easy to discern the strait path, to find the words of everlasting life. But such is the condition of our nature, that we are always attempting what it is difficult to perform: he who reads the Scripture to gain goodness, is desirous likewise to gain knowledge, and by his impatience of ignorance, falls into error.

This danger has appeared to the doctors of the Romish church, so much to be feared, and so difficult to be escaped, that they have snatched the Bible out of the hands of the people, and confined the liberty of perusing it to those whom literature has previously qualified. By this expedient they have formed a kind of uniformity,

I am afraid too much like that of colours in the dark but they have certainly usurped a power which God has never given them, and precluded great numbers from the highest spiritual consolation.

I know not whether this prohibition has not brought upon them an evil which they themselves have not discovered. It is granted, I believe, by the Romanists themselves, that the best commentaries on the Bible have been the works of Protestants. I know not, indeed, whether, since the celebrated paraphrase of Erasmus, any scholar has appeared amongst them, whose works are much valued, even in his own communion. Why have those who excel in every other kind of knowledge, to whom the world owes much of the increase of light which has shone upon these

latter ages, failed, and failed only when they ANGELL'S STENOGRAPHY, OR SHORT-HAND


have attempted to explain the scriptures of God? Why, but because they are in the church less read and less examined, because they have another rule of deciding controversies, and instituting laws.

Of the Bible some of the books are prophetical, some doctrinal and historical, as the gospels, of which we have in the subsequent pages attempted an illustration. The books of the evangelists contain an account of the life of our blessed Saviour, more particularly of the years of his ministry, interspersed with his precepts, doctrines, and predictions. Each of these histories contains facts and dictates related likewise in the rest, that the truth might be established by concurrence of testimony; and each has likewise facts and dictates which the rest omit, to prove that they were wrote without communication.

These writers, not affecting the exactness of chronologers, and relating various events of the same life, or the same events with various circumstances, have some difficulties to him, who, without the help of many books, desires to col lect a series of the acts and precepts of Jesus Christ; fully to know his life, whose example was given for our imitation; fully to understand his precepts, which it is sure destruction to disobey. In this work, therefore, an attempt has been made, by the help of harmonists and expositors, to reduce the four gospels into one series of narration, to form a complete history out of the different narratives of the evangelists, by inserting every event in the order of time, and connecting every precept of life and doctrine, with the occasion on which it was delivered; showing, as far as history or the knowledge of ancient customs can inform us, the reason and propriety of every action; and explaining, or endeavouring to explain, every precept and declaration in its true meaning.

recommend to the unlearned reader to consult us when he finds any difficulty, as men who have laboured not to deceive ourselves, and who are without any temptation to deceive him: but as men, however, that, while they mean best, may be mistaken. Let him be careful, therefore, to distinguish what we cite from the gospels, from what we offer as our own: he will find many difficulties removed; and if some yet remain, let him remember that "God is in heaven, and we upon earth," that "our thoughts are not God's thoughts," and that the great cure of doubt is an humble mind.

Let it not be hastily concluded, that we intend to substitute this book for the gospels, or obtrude our own expositions as the oracles of God. We



ment of arts and sciences has always been es-
teemed laudable; and in proportion to their uti-
lity and advantage to mankind, they have gene-
rally gained the patronage of persons the most
distinguished for birth, learning, and reputation
in the world. This is an art undoubtedly of
public utility, and which has been cultivated by
persons of distinguished abilities, as will appear
from its history. But as most of their systems
have been defective, clogged with a multiplicity
of rules, and perplexed by arbitrary, intricate,
and impracticable schemes, I have endeavoured
to rectify their defects, to adapt it to all capa-
cities, and render it of general, lasting, and ex-
tensive benefit. How this is effected, the follow-
ing plates will sufficiently explain, to which I
have prefixed a suitable introduction, and a con-
cise and impartial history of the origin and pro-
gressive improvements of this art.
And as I
have submitted the whole to the inspection of ac-
curate judges, whose approbation I am honoured
with, I most humbly crave leave to publish it to
the world under your grace's patronage; not
merely on account of your great dignity and
high rank in life, though these receive a lustre
from your grace's humanity; but also from a
knowledge of your grace's disposition to encou-
rage every useful art, and favour all true pro-
moters of science. That your grace may long
live the friend of learning, the guardian of li-
berty, and the patron of virtue, and then trans-
mit your name with the highest honour and es-
teem to latest posterity, is the ardent wish
of your grace's most humble, &c.

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