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BEAUTIES OF SHAKSPEARE,
SELECTED FROM EACH PLAY.
DIGESTING THEM UNDER PROPER HEADS.
BY THE LATE
REV. WILLIAM DODD, LL. D.
PUBLISHED BY PHILLIPS & SAMPSON.
122 WASHINGTON STREET.
I SHALL not attempt any labored encomiums on Shakspeare, or endeavour to set forth his perfections, at a time when such universal and just applause is "aid him, and when every tougue is big with his boundless fame. He aimself tells us,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
To seek the beauteous eye of heav'n to garnish,
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 undazzled 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 bompast, 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 sublimity, and obtain the commendation of a Longinus. And, unless some of the same spirit that elevated he poet, elevate the reader too, he must not presume to talk of taste and elegance; he will prove a languid reader, an indifferent judge, and a far more indifferent critic and commentator.
It is some time since I first proposed publishing this collecti n; for Shakspeare was ever, of all modern authors, my chief favor ite; and during my relaxations from my more severe and nec s sary studies at college, I never omitted to read and indulge mys it in the rapturous flights of this delightful and sweetest child of fancy: and when my imagination has been heated by the glowg ardour of his uncommon fire, have never failed to lament, that is