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allow the vintner's ivy to Sir William, but with equal justice will withhold from him the poet's bays. -To his pretenfions of defcent from Shakspeare, one might almost be induced to apply a ludicrous paffage uttered by Fielding's Phaeton in the Suds:


by all the parifh boys I'm flamm'd: "You the SUN's fon, you rafcal! you be d――d.”

About the time when this picture found its way into Mr. Keck's hands, the verification of portraits was fo little attended to, that both the Earl of Oxford, and Mr. Pope, admitted a juvenile one of King James I. as that of Shakspeare. Among the heads of illuftrious perfons engraved by Houbraken, are feveral imaginary ones, befide Ben Jonfon's and Otway's; and old Mr. Langford pofitively afferted that, in the fame collection, the grandfather of Cock the auctioneer had the honour to perfonate the great and amiable Thurloe, fecretary of ftate to Oliver Cromwell.

From the price of forty guineas paid for the fuppofed portrait of our author to Mrs. Barry, the real value of it fhould not be inferred. The poffeffion

"Much refpect is due to the authority of portraits that defcend in families from heir to heir; but little reliance can be placed on them when they are produced for fale (as in the prefent inftance) by alien hands, almost a century after the death of the perfon fuppofed to be represented; and then, (as Edmund fays in King Lear)" come pat, like the catastrophe of the old comedy." Shakspeare was buried in 1616; and in 1708 the first notice of this picture occurs. Where there is such a chaẩm in evidence, the validity of it may be not unfairly queftioned, and especially by those who remember a species of fraudulence recorded in Mr. Foote's Tafte: " Clap Lord Dupe's arms on that half-length of Erafmus; I have fold it him as his great grandfather's third brother, for fifty guineas."

of fomewhat more animated than canvas, might have been included, though not specified, in a bargain with an actress of acknowledged gallantry.

Yet allowing this to be a mere fanciful infinuation, a rich man does not easily miss what he is ambitious to find. At least he may be perfuaded he has found it, a circumftance which, as far as it affects his own content, will answer, for a while, the fame purpose. Thus the late Mr. Jennens, of Gopfal in Leicesterfhire, for many years congratulated himself as owner of another genuine portrait of Shakspeare, and by Cornelius Janfen; nor was difpofed to forgive the writer who obferved that, being dated in 1610, it could not have been the work of an artist who never faw England till 1618, above a year after our author's death.

So ready, however, are interefied people in affifting credulous ones to impofe on themfeives, that we will venture to predict,-if fome opulent dupe to the flimfy artifice of Chatterton fhould advertise a confiderable fum of money for a portrait of the Pfeudo-Rowley, fuch a defideratum would foon energe from the tutelary crypts of St. Mary Redcliff at Bristol, or a hitherto unheard of repofitory in the tomb of Syr Thybbot Gorges at Wraxall.

'A kindred trick had actually been paffed off by Chatterton on the late Mr. Barrett of Bristol, in whofe back parlour was a pretended head of Canynge, most contemptibly scratched with a pen on a fmall fquare piece of yellow parchment, and framed and glazed as an authentick icon by the "curyous poyntill" of Rowley. But this fame drawing very foon ceafed to be stationary, was alternately exhibited and concealed, as the wavering faith of its poffeffor fhifted about, and was prudently withheld at laft from the publick eye. Why it was not inferted in the late Hiftory of Bristol, as well as Rowley's plan and elevation of its ancient castle, (which all the rules of all the ages of architecture pronounce to be spurious) let the Rowleian advocates inform us

It would also come attefted as a ftrong likeness of our archæological bard, on the faith of a parchment exhibiting the hand and feal of the dygne Mayfter Wyllyam Canynge, fetting forth that Mayfter Thomas Rowlie was fo entyrely and passynge wele belovyd of himself, or our poetick knight, that one or the other causyd hys femblaunce to be ryght conynglye depeyncten on a marveilloufe fayre table of wood, and enfevelyd wyth hym, that deth mote theym not clene departyn and putte afunder.-A fimilar impofition, however, would in vain be attempted on the editors of Shakspeare, who, with all the zeal of Rowleians, are happily exempt from their credu- ~ lity.

A former plate of our author, which was copied from Martin Droefhout's in the title-page to the folio 1623, is worn out; nor does fo "abominable an imitation of humanity" deferve to be restored. The smaller head, prefixed to the Poems in 1640, is merely a reduced and reverfed copy by Marshall from its predeceffor, with a few flight changes in attitude and drefs.-We boaft therefore of no exterior ornaments, except thofe of better print and paper than have hitherto been allotted to any octavo edition of Shakspeare.

We are happy at least to have recollected a fingle imposition that was too grofs for even these gentlemen to swallow.Mr. Barrett, however, in the year 1776, affured Mr. Tyrwhitt and Mr. Steevens, that he received the aforefaid fcrawl of Canynge from Chatterton, who described it as having been found in the prolifick cheft, fecured by fix, or fix-and-twenty keys, no matter which.

2 They who with for decorations adapted to this edition of Shakspeare, will find them in Silvefter Harding's Portraits and Views, &c. &c. (appropriated to the whole fuite of our author's Historical Dramas, &c.) publifhed in thirty numbers.

See Gent. Mag. June 1759, p. 257.

Justice nevertheless requires us to fubjoin, that had an undoubted picture of our author been attainable, the Bookfellers would most readily have paid for the best engraving from it that could have been produced by the moft fkilful of our modern artifts; but it is idle to be at the charge of perpetuating illufions: and who fhall offer to point out, among the numerous prints of Shakspeare, any one that is more like him than the reft ?5

The play of Pericles has been added to this collection, by the advice of Dr. Farmer. To make room for it, Titus Andronicus might have been omitted; but our proprietors are of opinion that fome ancient prejudices in its favour may still exift, and for that reafon only it is preserved.

We have not reprinted the Sonnets, &c. of Shakfpeare, because the strongest act of parliament that could be framed would fail to compel readers into their service; notwithstanding these miscellaneous poems have derived every poffible advantage from the literature and judgment of their only intelligent. editor, Mr. Malone, whofe implements of criticism,

5 Lift of the different engravings from the Chandofan Shakfpeare:

By Vandergucht, to Rowe's edit.
Vertue, half fheet, Set of Poets
Do. fmall oval, Jacob's Lives
Do. to Warburton's 8vo.
Duchange, 8vo. to Theobald's

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No two of these Portraits are alike; nor does any one of them

Gravelot, half fheet, Hanmer's edit.
Houbraken, half fheet, Birch's Heads
Millar, fmall oval, Capell's Shakspeare
Hall, 8vo. Reed's edit.

bear the flightest resemblance to its wretched original. G. S.

like the ivory rake and golden fpade in Prudentius, are on this occafion difgraced by the objects of their culture. Had Shakspeare produced no other works than these, his name would have reached us with as little celebrity as time has conferred on that of Thomas Watson, an older and much more elegant fonnetteer.6

What remains to be added concerning this republication is, that a confiderable number of fresh remarks are both adopted and supplied by the prefent editors. They have perfifted in their former track of reading for the illuftration of their author, and cannot help obferving that those who receive the benefit of explanatory extracts from ancient writers, little know at what expence of time and labour fuch atoms of intelligence have been collected. -That the foregoing information, however, may communicate no alarm, or induce the reader to fuppose we have "bestowed our whole tedioufnefs" on him, we should add, that many notes have likewise been withdrawn. A few, manifeftly erroneous, are indeed retained, to fhow how much the tone of Shakspearian criticism is changed, or on account of the skill displayed in their confutation; for surely

• His Sonnets, though printed without date, were entered in the year 1581, on the books of the Stationers' Company, under the title of "Watfon's Paffions, manifefting the true Frenzy of Love."

Shakspeare appears to have been among the number of his readers, having in the following paffage of Venus and Adonis,"Leading him prifoner in a red-rofe chain,"

borrowed an idea from his 83d Sonnet:

"The Mufes not long fince intrapping love

"In chaines of rofes," &c.

Watfon, however, declares on this occafion that he imitated Ronfard; and it must be confeffed, with equal truth, that in the present inftance Ronfard had been a borrower from Anacreon.

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