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An Elegy on the death of that famous wriler and
II. actor, Mr. William Shakspeare.
Each tree, whose thick and spreading growth hath I dare not do thy memory that wrong,
made Unto our larger griefs to give a tongue.
Rather a night beneath the boughs than shade, 1'1 only sigh in earnest, and let fall
Unwilling now to grow ; My solemn tears at thy great funeral.
Looks like the plume a captain wears, For every eye that rains a show'r for thee,
Whose rifled falls are steep'd i' the tears
Which from his last rage flow.
The piteous river wept itself away
Tbat reach the map, and look
If you a river there can spy, Shall still accompany thy honour'd name
And, for a river, your mock'd eye To all posterity; and make us be
Will find a shallow brook. Sensible of what we lost, in losing thee:.
WILLIAM D'AVENANT. Being the age's wonder ; whose smooth rhymes Did more reform than lash the looser times.
See, my lov'd Britons, see your Shakspeare rise, Nature herself did her own self admire,
An awful ghost, confess'd to human eyes ! As oft as thou wert pleased to attire
Unnam'd, methinks, distinguish'd I had been Her in her native lustre; and confess,
From other shades, by this eternal green, Thy dressing was her chiefest comeliness.
About whose wreaths the vulgar poets strive, How can we then forget thee, when the age
And with a touch their wither'd bays revive. Her chiefest tutor, and the widow'd stage Her only favorite, in thee, hath lost,
Untaught, unpractis’d, in a barbarous age,
I found not, but created first the stage :
On foreign trade I needed not rely,
Like fruitful Britain rich without supply.
DRYDEN's Prologue to his Alleration of With the bright lustre of thy matchless rhymes.
Troilus and Cressida. In Memory of our famous Shakspeare.
Shakspeare, who (taught by none) did first impart
To Fletcher wit, to labouring Jonson art; Sacred Spirit, whiles thy lyre
He, monarch-like, gave those his subjects law, Echoed o'er the Arcadian plains,
And is that nature which they paint and draw. Even Apollo did admire,
Fletcher reach'd that which on his heights did grow, Orpheus wonder'd at thy strains :
Whilst Jonson crept and gather'd all below.
This did his love, and this his mirth digest : Plautus sigh’d, Sophocles wept
One imitates him most, the other best. Tears of anger, for to hear,
If they have since out-writ all other men, After they so long had slept,
'Tis with the drops which fell from Shakspeare's pen. So bright a genius should appear;
DRYDEN's Prologue to his Alleration of the Who wrote his lines with a sun-beam,
Our Shakspeare wrote too in an age as blest, Like those that seem to preach, but prate. The happiest poet of his time, and best; Thou wert truly priest elect,
A gracious prince's favour cheer'd his muse, Chosen darling to the Nine,
A constant favour he ne'er fear'd to lose : Sach a trophy to erect
Therefore he wrote with fancy unconfin'd, By thy wit and skill divine.
And thoughts that were immortal as his mind.
OTWAY's Prologue to Caius Marins. That were all their other glories
(Thine excepted) torn away, By thy admirable stories
Shakspeare, the genius of our isle, whose mind Their garments ever shall be gay.
(The universal mirror of mankind)
Express'd all images, enrich'd the stage, Where thy honour'd bones do lie,
But sometimes stoop'd to please a barb'rous age, (As Statius once to Maro's urn)
When his immortal bays began to grow, Thither every year will I
Rude was the language, and the humour low. Slowly tread, and sadly mourn.
He, like the god of day, was always bright;
But rolling in its course, his orb of light
Was sully'd and obscur’d, though soaring high, l. Remembrance of Master William Shakspeare.
With spots contracted from the nether sky.
But whither is the advent'rous muse betray'd? ODE.
Forgive her rashness, venerable shade! 1.
May spring 'with purple flowers perfume thy urn,
And Avon with his greens thy grave adorn! Beware, delighted poets, when you sing,
Be all thy faults, whatever faults there be, To welcome nature in the early spring,
Imputed to the times, and not to thee ! Your num'rous feet not tread
Some scions shot from this immortal root, The banks of Avon ; for each flow'r,
Their tops much lower, and less fair the fruit. As it ne er knew a sun or show'r,
Jonson the tribute of my verse might claim, Hangs there the pensive head.
Had he not strove to blemish Shakspeare's pame.
But like the radiant twins that gild the sphere, The British Eagle and the Mantuan Swan Fletcher and Beaumont next in pomp appear. Tow'r equal heights. But, happier Stratford, thou Fenton's Epistle lo Southerne, 1711. With incontested laurels deck thy brow;
Thy bard was thine unschool'd,and from thee brought
More than all Egypt, Greece, or Asia taught; An Inscription for a Monument of Shakspeare. Nor Homer's self such matchless laurels won;
The Greek has rivals, but thy Shakspeare none O youths and virgins: O declining eld:
T. SEWARD. O pale misfortune's slaves: O ye who dwell Unknown with humble quiet; ye who wait In courts, or fill the golden seat of kings :
Far from the sun and summer gale,
Richly paint the vernal year:.
The features? Hath not oft his faithful tongue This can unlock the gates of joy ;
Of horror that, and thrilling fears,
Gray's Ode on the Progress of Poesy, Say to each other : “ This was Shakspeare's form; “Who walk'd in every path of human life, "Felt every passion ; and to all mankind Next Shakspeare sat, irregularly great, "Doth now, will ever, that experience yield
And in his hand a magic rod did hold, “Which his own genius only could acquire.” Which visionary beings did create,
And turn the foulest dross to purest gold:
Or bad, or good, obey his dread command;
Those aw'd by terrors of his magic wand,
The which not all their powers united might withwhen lightning fires
stand. The arch of heaven, and thunders rock the ground,
Lloyd's Progress of Envy, 1751. When furious whirlwinds rend the howling air, And ocean, groaning from his lowest bed, Heaves his tempestuous billows to the sky;
Oh, where's the bard, who at one view
Could look the whole creation through,
He scorn'd the rules of imitation,
Of altering, pilfering, and translation, When learning's triumph o'er her barb'rous foes
Nor painted horror, grief, or rage, First rear'd the stage, immortal Shakspeare rose;
From models of a former age; Each change of many-colour'd life he drew,
The bright original he took, Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new:
And tore the leaf from nature's book, Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
"Tis Shakspeare.And panting time toil'd after him in vain :
LLOYD's Shakspeare, a Poem.
breast. In the first seat, in robe of various dies,
Sat Shakspeare. In one hand a wand he bore, Upon Shakspeare's Monument at Stratford-upon- The other held a globe, which to his will
For mighty wonders fam'd in days of yore;
Obedient turn'd, and own'd a master's skill: Great Homer's birth seven rival cities claim; Things of the noblest kind his genius drew, Too mighty ouch monopoly of fame.
And look'd through nature at a single view: Yet not to birth alone did Homer owe
A loose he gave to his unbounded soul, His wond'rous worth ; what Egypt could bestow,
And taught new lands to rise, new seas to roll With all the schools of Greece and Asia join'd,
Call’d into being scenes unknown before, Enlarg’d the immense expansion of his mind : And, passing nature's bounds, was something more. Nor vet unrivallid the Mæonian strain ;
Original Dedication & Prefate
To the Players' Edition.
The Dedication of the Players. Prefixed to Fellow alive, as was our SHAKESPEARE, by the first folio, 1623.
humble offer of his playes, to your most noble
patronage. Wherein, as we have justly obTo the most Noble and Incomparable Paire of served, no man to come neere your L. L. but Brethren, William Earle of Pembroke, &c.
with a kind of religious addresse, it hath bin Lord Chamberlaine to the King's most Ex- the height of our care, who are the Presenters, cellent Majesty, and Philip Earle of Mont
to make the present worthy of your H. H. by gomery, &c. Gentleman of his Majesties Bed- the perfection. But, there we must also crave chamber. Both Knights of the Most Noble
our abilities to be considered, my Lords. We Order of the Garter, and our singular good cannot go beyond our owne powers. Country Lords.
hands reach foorth milke, creame, fruites, or Right Honourable,
what they have : and many Nations (we have
heard) that had not gummes and incense, obWhilst we studie to be thankful in our par- tained their requests with a leavened Cake. It licular, for the many favors we have received was no fault to approch their Gods by what from your L. L. we are falne upon the ill for
meanes they could : And the most, though tune, lo mingle two the most diverse things that meanest, of things are made more precious, can bee, feare, and rashnesse ; rashnesse in the when they are dedicated to Temples. In that enterprize, and feare of the successe. For, name therefore, we most humbly consecrate to when we valew the places your H. H. sustaine, your H. H. these remaines of your servant we cannot but know their dignity greater, then SHAKESPEARE ; that what delight is in them may to descend to the reading of these trifles : and, be ever your L. L. the reputation his, and the while we name them trifles, we have depriy'd faults ours, if any be committed, by a payre so surselves of the defence of our Dedication. carefull to shew their gratitude both to the But since your L. L. have been pleasd to living, and the dead, as is thinke these trifles some-thing, heeretofore; Your Lordshippes most bounden, and bave prosequuted both them, and their
John HEMINGE, Authour living, with so much favour : we hope
HENRY CONDELL. that they out-living him, and he not having the fate, common with some, to be exequutor lo his owne writings) you will use the same in- The Preface of the Players. Prefixed to the dulgence toward them, you have done unto their
first folio edition published in 1623. parent. There is a great difference, whether
To the great variely of Readers, any booke choose his Patrones, or finde them : This hath done bolh. For, so much were your From the most able, to him that can but L. L. likings of the severall parts, when they spell : there you are number'd. We had rather were acled, as before they were published, the you were weigh’d. Especially, when the fale Volume ask'd to be yours. We have but col- of all Bookes depends upon your capacities : lected them, and done an office to the dead, to and not of your heads alone, but of your purses. procure his Orphanes, Guardians; without am- Well! it is now publique, and you wil stand bition either of selfe-profit, or fame; onely to for your priviledges we know: to read, and keepe the memory of so wortby a Friend, and censure. Do so, but buy it first. Tbal doth
Perhaps the original impression of the book helemaa
best commend a Booke, the Stationer saies. and deformed by the frauds and stealthes of inThen, how odde soever your braines be, or jurious impostors, that expos’d them : even your wisedomes, make your licence the same, those are now offer'd to your view cur'd and and spare not. Judge your sixe-pen'orth, perfect of their limbes ; and all the rest, abso your shillings worth, your five shillings worth lute in their numbers, as he conceived them : at a time, or higher, so you rise to the just Who, as he was a happie imitator of Nature, rates, and welcome. But, whatever you do, was a most gentle expresser of it. His mind Buy. Censure will not drive a Trade, or make and hand went together: and what he thought, the Jacke go. And though you be a Magistrate he uttered with that easinesse, that wee have of wit, and sit on the Stage at Black-Friers, or scarse received from him a blot in his papers. the Cock-pit, to arraigne Playes dailie, know, But it is not our province, who onely gather his these Playes have had their triall alreadie, and works, and give them you, to praise him. It stood out all Appeales; and do now come forth is yours that reade him. And there we hope, quitted rather by a Decree of Court, than any to your divers capacities, you will finde enough, purchas'd Letters of commendation.
both to draw, and hold you : for his wit can no It had bene a thing, we confesse, worthie to more lie hid, then it could be lost. Reade him, have bene wished, that the Author himselfe had therefore; and againe, and againe: And if then Jived to have set forth, and overseen his owne you doe not like him, surely you are in some writings: But since it hath bin ordain'd other manifest danger, not to understand him. And wise, and he by death departed from that right, so we leave you to other of his Friends, whom we pray you, doe not envie bis Friends, the if you need, can bee your guides : if you neede office of their care and paine, lo have collected them not, you can leade yourselves, and others. and publish'd them; and so lo have publish'a And such readers we wish him. them, as where (before) you were abus’d with
John HEMINGE, divers stolne, and surreptitious copies, maimed
HENRIE CONDELL. Every possible adulteration has of late years | lued at six or seven guineas, now it has reached been practised in fitting up copies of this folio its present enormous price, may not artifice be edition. When leaves have been wanting, they still more on the stretch to vamp up copies for have been reprinted with battered types, and the benefit of future catalogues and auctions ?foisted into vacancies, without notice of such Shakspeare might say of those who profit by defects and the remedies applied to them. hin, what Antony has observed of EnobarbusWhen the title has been lost, a spurious one
my fortuney have has been fabricated, with a blank space left for
Corrupted honest men." the head of Shakspeare, afterwards added from Mr. Garrick, about forty years ago, paid the second, third, or fourth impression. To only Il. 16s. to Mr. Payne at the Meuse Gate conceal these frauds, thick vermillion lines have for a fine copy of this folio. After the death of been usually drawn over the edges of the en our Roscius, it should have accompanied his gravings, which would otherwise have betrayed collection of old plays to the British Museum; themselves when let into a supplemental page, but had been taken out of his library, and basse however craftily it was lined at the back, and not been heard of since. discoloured with tobacco-water till it had ascumed the true jaune antique.
did not amount to more than 250 ; and we may Sometimes leaves have been inserted from the suppose that different fires in London had their second folio, and in a known instance, the entire share of them. Before the year 1649 they were play of Cymbeline; the genuine date at the end so scarce, that (as Mr. Malone bas observed) of it (1632) having been altered into 1623. King Charles I. was obliged to content himself
Since it was thought advantageous to adopt with a folio 1632, at present in my possession. such contrivances while the book was only va
It is not my design to enter into a criticism His characters are so much nature herself, upon this author; though to do it effectually, that it is a sort of injury to call them by so disand not superficially, would be the best occasion tant a name as copies of her. Those of other that any just writer could take, to form the poets, have a constant resemblance, which judgment and taste of our nation. For of all shows that they received them from one another, English poets, Shakspeare must be confessed to and were but multipliers of the same image : be the fairest and fullest subject for criticism, each picture, like a mock rainbow, is but the and to afford the most numerous, as well as reflection of a reflection. But every single chamost conspicuous instances, both of beauties racter in Shakspeare is as much an individual and faults of all sorts. But this far exceeds the as those in life itself : it is as impossible find bounds of a preface, the business of which is any two alike ; and such as from their relation only to give an account of the fate of his works, or affinity in any respect appear most to be and the disadvantages under which they have twins, will, upon comparison, be found remarbeen transmitted to us. We shall hereby exte- kably distinct. To this life and variety of chanoate many faults which are his, and clear him racter, we must add the wonderful preservation from the imputation of many which are not : a of it: which is such throughout his plays, that design, which, though it can be no guide to had all the speeches been printed without the fature critics to do him justice in one way, will very names of the persons, I believe one might at least be sufficient to prevent their doing him have applied them with certainty to every an injustice in the other.
speaker. * I cannot however but mention some of his The power over our passions was never posprincipal and characteristic excellencies, for sessed in a more eminent degree, or displayed which (notwithstanding his defects) he is justly in so different instances. Yet all along, there and universally elevated above all other drama is seen no labour, no pains to raise them; no tie writers. Not that this is the proper place preparation to guide our guess to the effect, or of praising him, but because I would not omit be perceived to lead toward it: but the heart any occasion of doing it.
swells, and the tears burst out, just at the proIf ever any author deserved the name of an per places : we are surprised the moment we original, it was Shakspeare. Homer himself weep; and yet upon reflection find the passion drew not his art so immediately from the foun- so just, that we should be surprised if we had lains of nature; it proceeded through Egyptian not wept, and wept at that very moment. strainers and channels, and came to him not How astonishing is it again, that the passions without some tincture of the learning, or some directly opposite to these, laughter and spleen, cast of the models, of those before him. The poetry of Shakspeare was inspiration indeed: he • Addison, in the 273d Spectator, has delivered is not so much an imitator, as an instrument a similar opinion respecting Homer: “There is of nature ; and it is not so just to say that he reader may not ascribe to the person who speaks
scarce a speech or action in the Iliad, which the speaks from her, as that she speaks through or acts, without seeing his name at the head of it.”.