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Cumptuous as to question what the united fuffrages of the best judges have allowed him, yet, at least, to qualify it by a colder praise than hath been hitherto bestowed on him. It muft, indeed, be acknowledged by the moft enthufiaftic admirer of this immortal poet, that many of his plays, which owe their chief beauties to a boldness of invention, and a wildness of fancy, appear to have been in some degree indebted, either for plot, management, or machinery, to other writers. This remark receives confirmation from the discovery of Middleton's MS. play, above mentioned ; in which, somewhat of that imagery that hath equally astonished, charmed, and terrified us, in the closet and the theatre, in the tragedy of Macbeth, may be traced out by a curious and discerning eye. How far Shakspeare was indebted to old English translations of the Greek and Latin classics—to Stow, Hall, Holingshed, and the translator of Hector Boethius's History of Scotland, hath been sufficiently noticed by preceding critics. It was, indeed, left to the indefatigable Mr. Steevens, to turn over a thousand dull and insignificant entries at Stationers Hail, in order to discover all the minutiæ of dates and titles which bore any reference to Shakspeare ; and after a moft laborious research, with an eye (as Dr. Johnson fays of the fagacious Mr. B-'s) that looked keenly an vacancy, he made a discovery of several plays, on similar subjects with many of Shakspeare's, which were prior to his, and even before his first entrance on the stage. All this may be true : nay, we have not a doubt of the fact. But nothing that hath yet been produced of Shakspeare's plagiarism, can deprive him of one tittle of his almost prescriptive right to all the honours of a great and unequalled original. The most captious critic, in the fulness of a desire to find fault, must allow, that Shakspeare's borrowed ornaments fit on him with a more natural grace and elegance than on their original proprietors. They are so exquifitely disposed of-so nicely blended with what is unquestionably his own property, that we know not where the borrowed parts end, nor where the original ones begin. The whole appears to be the production of the fame malter : simplex duntaxat et unum. We may, perhaps, assert, that in the general and more disgraceful sense of the word, this great poet never appears to have borrowed at all. He had read indeed; and his capacious mind was stored with a vast treasure of knowledge and observation, He had reflected on the great acquifitions he had made ; had af, ranged them in his mind with much care and exactness. Ву these means, they became incorporated with his own natural, and in the truest sense of the term, unborrowed reflections. Hence it is obvious to suppose, that when he addressed himself to composition, he drew indiscriminately from the immense ftorehouse of his mind, whatever was fit for his purpose, whether

of

of native of acquired knowledge—indifferent, and perhaps unconscious, whole property, any part of it might be. This is not an uncommon circumstance. The utmoit circumspection cannot always prevent its occurrence: for it is difficult to distinguish the power of invention from that of reflection. Fancy may claim for its own what had been first only adopted by memory

Shakspeare hath the admirable art not only of applying his borrowed parts with propriety, but of embellishing and improving them. He adds to them a grace and dignity, which, at least, are his own. In the tragedy of Macbeth, his spirits, though similar in name to those of Middleton (particularly the presiding Deity hath in each the Grecian name of Hecate), yet they differ from Middleton's in almost every essential attribute of conduct and character. Middleton's fairies are light, frisky beings, who wreak their malice on small culprits, and revenge little mischiefs. Shakspeare's are brought on the stage for purposes of higher account. They are to be the instruments of dire events-revolutions that were worthy the council of the Gods. This great object was of fufficient importance to excuse the interposition of supernatural beings. Hence, what Middleton invented to amuse, Shakspeare's more daring genius improved into an instrument of terror. This he hath accomplished with wonderful propriety: and we admire that kill and power which, on fo flight a basis, could erect such a ftupendous fabric.

Shakspeare's witches seem to be fully aware of the high importance of the subject of their incantations, by the number of the ingredients which they throw into the cauldron. Hecate is anxious for its success; and enquires into the particulars of the infernal mixture. They folemnly cast in their respective share of the composition : but instead of the gristle of a man hang'd after fun-set [i. e. a murderer, according to Middleton's play] they throw in the grease that's sweaten from a murderer's gibbet: and instead of Middleton's fat of an unbaptijed child, they mix with the other ingredients of the cauldron, the finger of birth-sirangled babe. Perhaps it may be impossible to describe the precise difference in the energy of these expresions. It must be felt from their several effects on the imagination. Considered in that view, the difference is very great: at least, it is felt to be such by us ; and from a variety of circumstances of this kind, we are perSuaded, that Shakspeare never sat down to write from another's copy. His language was the natural expresfion of a mind fraught with the boldest conceptions, and the most lively ideas : and when the whole of Middleton's play is published, perhaps our convictions will be still farther corroborated, of Shakspeare's having never considered it as a model for his scene of the witches in Macbeth, however he might have fallen on some para ticular modes of expression, that were scarce avoidable on the fame subject.

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The foene of the witches with Macbeth, after their incantations at the cauldron, is inexpreffibly solemn: and the expedient of thewing a future race of Kings, wonderfully striking and fublime. Distance and ob/curity affift and increase that terror which is one capital source of sublimity. But as if that were not sufficient, others are fhewn in a glass, as the descendents of Banquo, whose ruin he was contriving. To see them exalted to the height of power and authority, was an object to itrike ambition to madrels. We have made these remarks, in order to evince how effentially different the gay witches of Middleton are from the awíul fisters of Macbeth.

In a future Review, we will present our readers with some curious illustrations of difficult paffages in the plays, which cannot fail of being acceptable co all the lovers of Shakspeare. Art. III. Two Dissertations. 1. On the Preface to St. John's

Gospel. I. On praying to Jesus Christ. By Theophilus Lindsey,
A. M. With a fhort Poliscript by Dr. Jebb. 8vo. 2 s. 6 d.
Johnion. 1779.
N the preface to this work, Mr. Lindsey gives his reasons

for this addition to his former publications on the subject, in the following terms: 'I had resolved to have left my arguments to take their fate, as I had first put ibem down in the Apology * and Sequel t. But the friend (Mr. Temple) who bad confuted Mr. Burgh and Mr. Randolph, had also, with the fame disinterested regards to truth, publithed his disfatisfacrion I with the interpretation I had given of the prologue of Si. John's Gospel, the right understanding whereof seems of. great importance towards settling the true character of Jesus Christ; and objections from such a pen demand respect. And a few months pait, an anonymous person, in a “ Letter to Dr. Jebb, with relation to his declared Sentiments about the Un, Jawfulness of all religious Addresses to Jesus Christ,” has làboured much to thew, that I had not fufficiently proved that point. I bave then judged it proper, and hope it may be of some use, to review, and add farther support to what I had ad-s vanced on both these subje&ts, with an eye, as I went along, to fuch objections as I had met with, but without entering into a direct controverty with any one, to which I am much avurfe.'

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* Vide Review, vol. L. p. 56. 100.
+ Ibid. vol. lv. p. 195. 264. Vol. lvi. p. 14.
Ibid. vol. lvi. p. 36-

|| Ibid. vol. Ix. p. 77

The

The Dissertation on the Preface to St. John's Gospel is divided into four sections, the first of which more directly confiders the passage John i. 1-14. and is intended to support the affertion, or conclusion, that " That the Logos, the IVord, in this preface, is not Chrift, but the word, wisdom, power of God, communicated to him, and manifested by him.'

The second section mcntions the filence, as he apprehends, of the three other Evangelists on the subject of Christ's preexistence, and produces passages, from St. Luke's Gospel, and the Acts of the Apostles, which he concludes express a very different idea.

• A brief account of certain forms of expression in St. John's Gospel, which have been thought to favour the supposition of Christ being the Word, Logos, mentioned John i. 1.' constitutes the third section, and finishes what this writer has to offer on the immediate subject of the first differtation. For the fourth section treats · Of Socinianism and Socinus.'

« This section,' our Author informs us, ' has been added, to give fome little information concerning F. Socinus, who was nearly coëval with those great men, Luther and Calvin, and was one of the lights which Divine Providence raised up at that period, to recover the loft truths of the Gospel. And that fection, it is added, together with the whole of this work, may, perhaps, contribute to soften, if not to remove, the prejudices of some persons against those to whom they give the name of Socinians, which name, as far as the author comprehends it, might be given to the Apostles of Jesus, as equally belonging to them.'

The second dissertation, On praying to Jesus Chrijl, consists of several sections, which, under different heads, repeat and farther illustrate those arguments that have been frequently employed against the practice.

However different Mr. Lindsey's sentiments on the above subjects may be from those of many of his tellow-christians, it ihould be observed, and it is greatly to be wilhed 'that it might be attended to, that he has a high veneration for the Scriptures, that he diligently and modestly investigates fcripture truth, and appears sincerely defirous to embrace it; no perfon, who may consider himself as most orthodox, or may be what is far better, really humble and pious, can be more truly and properly zealous for what he apprehends to be the truths of the Gospel, than this worthy divine: a consideration which fhould awaken and increase mutual candour and benevolence.

The Postscript, written by Dr. Jebb, is addrefled to the author of "A Letter to him, with relation to his declared Sentiments, &c.'as mentioned above. The writer of that letter, after having mentioned the Doctor's denial of the lawfulness of

religious religious addresses to Christ, farther adds, that Dr. Jebb 'rea fers his readers to Mr. Lindsey's Apology, for the proof thereof.' Dr. Jebb thinks it requifite to observe, that all the affertions and conclufions, proceeding on the idea of his having actually referred bis readers to Mr. Lindsey's publication, for a proof of his position, are absolutely deftitute of all foundation.'

Dr. Jebb remarks, that the defign of his publication has been entirely misapprehended; fince his intention was not to engage in controversy, but chiefly to allign the reasons which induced him to relinquilh his station in the Church of England. • Had it been my intention,' says he, to enter into the principles, on which my opinion, respecting the point in question, is founded, it is not probable that I should have contented myself with referring to Mr. Lindsey's publication, however highly I approve his arguments, and respect bis authority. I fhould also have thought it my duty, to have endeavoured to establish the truth of lo important a position, by such deductions as at least would have convinced my readers, that I had not taken up my opinion without some reflection on the subject; and should unquestionably have referred, perhaps very largely, to those passages in the sacred writings, which, in my apprehenfion, would enable my readers to determine the question for themselves. It has long been my persuasion, that we pay too much deference to the opinions of men respecting religion, and too little to the word of God, from which alone all our ideas respecting the Gospel ought to be deduced.'

The Doctor's letter, though thort, is very sensible, manifefting a candid and ingenuous mind, warm in the interests of religious liberty and truih. At the same time that he endeavours to correct the false conception entertained of the design of his pamphlet, he expresses the highest respect for Mr. Lindsey's abilities, and approbation of his argument,

There are some marks of negligence in the pamphlet, one instance of which seems to be in a passage we have quoted, where the Author observes, that the name of Socinians might have been applied to the Apostles of Christ : His meaning is obvious; but is there not a little Iricism in supposing those to be followers of Socinus who lived ages before him ? Art. IV. Objervations in Defence of the Liberty of Man, as a Moral

Agent ; in Antwer 10 Dri Priestley's Hlustrations of Philojopbical Neceffity. By John Palmer, Mioilter of New Broad Screer. 8vo,

35. lewed. Johnson., 1779. ArT. V. A Litter to the Rev. Mr. John Palmer, in Defence of the

IlluArations of Philofophical Necessity. By Joseph Priestley, LL. D.
F. R. S.

I s. 6.d Johnson. 1779.
Respectable opponent, as well as an old acquaintance, of

12 mo.

A

articles), attacks the doctrine of Philosophical Necefsty, in the I

first

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