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depends, especially in the article of expression, is only to be had in the same language. And you are not to be told with how much more certainty we determine of the degree of evidence, which such identity affords for this purpose, in a language we speak, than in one which we only. lisp or spell.
But You will best understand of what importance this affair of expression is to the discovery of imitations, by considering how seldom we are able to fix an imitation on Shakespear. The reason is, not, that there are not numberless passages in him very like to others in approved authors, or that he had not read enough to give us a fair hold of him; but that his expression is so totally his own, that he almost alway, sets us at defiance.
You will ask me, perhaps, now I am on this subject, how it happened that Shakespear's language is everywhere so much his own as to secure his imitations, if they were such, from discovery; when I pronounce with such assurance of those of our other poets. "The answer is given for me in the Preface to Mr. Theobald's Shakespear; though the observation, I think, is too good to come from that critic. It is, that, though his words, agreeably to the state of the English tongue at that time, be generally Latin, his phraseology is perfectly English: An advantage, he owed to his slender acquaintance with the Latin idiom. Whereas the other writers of his age, and such athers of an older date as were likely to fall into his hands, had not only the most familiar acquain
tance with the Latin idiom, but affected on all accafions to make use of it. Hence it comes to pass, that, though he might draw sometimes from the Latin (Ben Johnson, you know, tells us, He badlefs Greek) and the learned English writers, he takes non thing but the sentiment; the expression comes of itself, and is purely English.
I might indulge in other reflections, and detain you still further with examples taken from his works. But we have lain, as the Poet speaks, on these primrose beds, too long. It is time that you now rise to your own nobler inventions ; and that I return myself to those, Jess pleasing, perhaps, but more useful ftudies from which your friendly follicitations have called
Such as these amusements are, however, I cannot repent me of them, since they have been innocent at least, and even ingenuous; and, what I am fondeft to recollect, have helped to enliven those many years of friendship we have pass’d together in this place. I see indeed, with regret, the approach of that time, which threatens to take me both from it, and you. But however fortune may dispose of me, she cannot throw me to a distance, to which your affection and good wifhes, at least, will not follow me.
- The coming years of my life will not, I foresee, in many respects. be what the past have been to me. But, till they take me from myself, I must always bear about me the agreeable remembrance of our friendship.
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and J. WOODYER, in Cambridge. "A Syftem of Natural Philosophy, being
a Courfe of Lectures in Mechanics, Optics, Hydrostaticks, and Astronomy; in 2 Vol. 4to.
2. An Essay on Virtue, 4to.
3. Two Sermons preached before the University, on May 29, and June 11, 1747, 4*•.
4. A Sermon on Miracles, at the Primary Visitation of the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Ely, 4to.'
5. A Defence of the Lord Bishop of London's Discourses on Prophecy, in a Letter to Dr. Middleton, 8vo. 2d Edition.
6. A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Essex, at a Visitation July 10, 11, 12, 1753 7. Dissertatio de Immolatione Isaaci.
8. Institutes of Natural and Political Law, being the fubftance of a Course of Lectures on Grotius read in St. John's College in Cambridge, in 2 Vol. 8vo, 1756.
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excusa est. Notas addidit, atque omnia emendate imprimenda curavit Editor. 8vo
13. Remarks on a late Discourse of Free-thinking, in a Letter to F. H. D.D. by Phileleutherus Lipsienfis, the 8th Edition. 8vo.
14. The Elements of Algebra in Ten Books: by Nicholas Saunderson, LL.D. late Lucasian Professor of the Mathematics in the University of Cambridge, and F.R.S. To which are prefixed, 1. The Life and Character of the Author. 2. His Palpable Arithmetick decyphered. 2Vol. 4o.
15. Select Parts of Professor Saunderson's Elements of Algebra, for the use of Students in the Universities. 81. 1756.
16. Q. Horatii Flacci Epiftolæ ad Pifones, & Auguftum ; with an English Commentary and Notes. To which are added, two Differtations; The One, on the Provinces of the several Species of Dramatick Poetry; the Other, on Poetical Imitation. 3d Edit. 2 Vol, to which is added a Letter to Mr. Malon.