· What authority Dr. Warburton has for this al. teration I know not: and I am equally ignorant of his reasons for so unequivocally asserting that at rest means buried. Surely when once the principle of vitality has quitted his frame, a man is as much at rest above ground as under. So feebly is he armed, that, in the present instance, I con. sider the reverend critic as an unequal adversary; and, therefore, scorn to meet him within the lists of controversy. Impotency demands our pity; but when it affects Herculean muscularity, it but provokes our contempt. We disdain to punish, but we are bound to cxpose. Were the proposed reading. to be admitted, we should make Hamlet positively announce his own death, and afterwards advert to his own funeral. But of this too much.

· Johnson.


To a literary friend of mine am I indebted for the following very acute observation: “Through.. 56 out this play,” says he, 56 there is nothing 56 more beautiful than these dashes: by the in. 66 crease in their lengths, they distinctly mark the

66 increasing difficulty of utterance observable in a 66 dying man,” To which let me add, that although dashes are in frequent use with our tragic poets, yet they are seldom introduced with so good an effect as in the present instance.



Printed by Mercier and Chervet,
32, Little Bartholomew Close, London,

« VorigeDoorgaan »