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of experience that they learn to distinguish and arrange particulars. Hence it appears, that Hamlet chose Horatio as his friend, when about six years of age-when experience had taught him to “tell a dray-horse from a poney.”

WARBURTON.

(h) We beg you'll give us grace and time.

For us, grace, or indulgence ; for our pantomime, the time requisite for its performance.

This exquisite prologue stands unrivalled. Unlike similar compositions of our own times, it neither fatigues by a dull and formal prolixity, nor disgusts by a reiteration of hopes, and doubts, and fears, frivolous and unavailing: laconic and forcible, it demands nothing but that which it is entitled to claim,-time and attention; wisely considering that a good play can have no foundation more secure than its own merit, and that a whining prologue cannot prejudice a judicious audience in favour of a bad one, whatever is servile or impertinent it properly rejects. Like the Apollo of the Vatican, let this prologue be revered as the master-piece of its art; whose beauties the meanest artist may imitate, but the most exalted dare not hope to equal.

JOHNSON

This prologue is a very close imitation of the celebrated prologue to Gonzago and Baptista, which, even in the hands of our author, has been improved in no respect but in brevity:

“ For us, and for our Tragedie,
“ Here, stopeyng to your clemencie,
“ We beg your hereyng patientlie."

STÈEVENS.

(1)—THE PANTOMIME.

Some of the later editions have it, « The MeloDrama ;" but it is evidently an alteration of some modern editor, emanating from incogitancy. The melodrama, which was neither tragedy, nor comedy, nor opera, nor farce, nor pantomime, but a barbarous and an unnatural combination of all, was unknown in the time of our poet: the climax of theatrical licentiousness, it remained to be introduced in the reign of when our stage had arrived at a state the most abject and degraded. We, who live in an age when the theatre is dignified and adorned by a K- and a S-, with a copious range of drama for the display of their exalted talents, have but little cause to fear the re-admission of this monstrous abortion of dramatic libertinism : 1

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that it would be tolerated by an audience, sensible and judicious, it were absurd to suppose.

JOHNSON.

(k)—Row

A breeze; a kick-up.

JOHNSON.

I find this word, used, in the same sense, in an old ballad, (which, no doubt, was within our author's knowledge,) called Molle in ye Wadde. bl. let. 1564 :

“ Molle in ye Wadde and I felle outte,
“ And what doe you thinke it was aboutte?
« She wanted monnie - I had nonne,
“ And that's ye waie ye row begun." [began]

STEEVENS.

(1) Jump o'er a broomstick

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We might, with more propriety, read mop-stick ; but, as I do not approve of alterations unsupported by au

thority, or of emendations, captious and arbitrary, I leave B the text as I found it.

JOHNSON.

Broomstick is certainly right. The allusion is to an antient custom noticed in Quiz'em's Chronicles, printed by Stephen Typpe, at the Sign of the Catte and Fiddelle, London, 1598, bl. let. and entered in the books of the Stationers' Company, November 1598.

And ye Bryde and ye Brydegroome, not “ handyely fyndeing a Parson, and being in grievous “ hayst to bee wed; they did take a Broome-stycke, and

they did jumpe from one syde of ye Broome-stycke over " to ye other syde thereof; and haveing so done, they 66 did thinke them lawfulle Man and Wyffe.

STEEVENS.

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AMONGST. the popular superstitions is one, that butter is mad twice a year; viz. in summer, when its liquability renders it tenable only in a spoon; and, in winter, when, no longer intenerate, by its inflexible viscosity, it obstinately resists the knife.

JOHNSON

(6) Thou'lt sweetly tickle this young Jockey's mutton.

The quarto reads, and, I think, properly, pickle.

POPE.

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