Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed]

View of an Ancient Building in Henley street, Stratford-on-Avon, the birth place of SHAKESPEARE; with a representation of the Jubilee procession-September 6, 1769.

[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

BY THE REV. WILLIAM DODD, LL. D.

The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local babitation and a name.Midsummer Night's Dream.

BALTIMORE:

WM. H. HICKMAN.

1835.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

PREFACE.

SHALL not attempt any labored encomiums on Shakspeare, or endeavor to set forth his perfections, at a time when such universal and just applause is paid him, and when every tongue is big with his boundless fame. He himself tells us,

To gild refined gold, to paint the lilly,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seck the beauteous eye of heaven 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 BEAUTIES as perhaps is no where to be met with, and, I may very safely affirm, cannot be paralleled from the productions of any other single author, ancient or modern. There is scarcely a topic, common with other writers, on which he has not excelled them all; there are many nobly peculiar to himself, where he shines unrivalled, and, like the eagle, properest emblem of his daring genius, soars beyond the common reach, and gazes, undazzeled, on the sun. His flights are sometimes so bold, frigid criticism almost dares to disapprove them; and those narrow minds, which are incapable of elevating their ideas to the sublimity of their author's, are willing to bring them down to a level with their own. Hence many fine passages have been condemned in Shakspeare, as rant and fustian, intolerable bombast and turgid nonsense, which, if read with the least glow of the same imagination that warmed the writer's bosom, would blaze in the robes of

« AnteriorContinua »