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• Eachard contents himself with hunting down the argument of his opponent, and rarely meddles with the man: he thinks it fufi. cient, if he can prove him a dull and affected, a foppilh and pedantic, an ignorant and a foolish reasoner. He wishes not to render him hateful to the populace, or obnoxious to the government. He laughs in his antagoniit's face at the very time he disarms him ; then helps him to his sword again, and humourously rallies him for not knowing how to use it. In short, Eachard's discussion of an argument or confutation of a book, divefted of that severity and acrimony, with which theological disputes are too often maintained, resembles a feast, where easy wit, sprightly humour, good-nature, and good sense form the most agreeable part of the entertainment.'

This learned and merry divine * was educated at Cambridge ; where he took his degree of Master of Arts in 1660. In 1070 he published his celebrated work above-mentioned. He afterward attacked the philosophy of Hobbs, with all the powers of his wit, humour, raillery, and reason; so that, as his pretent Editor observes, all the serious and systematical books, written by the most eminent and learned of our divines, could never have rendered the philosophy of Hobbs so contemptible as the incomparable dialogues of Eachard, which contain the most judicious arguments, united with the most spirited fatire, and the liveliest mirth.

• Dr. Eachard died in 1697, and was succeeded in the Mastership of Catharine-hall, by Sir William Dawes.

• Eachard's works, we have reason to believe, were for a long time, the favourite companion both of divines and laymen. Swift fpeaks of them with respect. He seems indeed to have read our. Author with attention, and to have greatly profited by him. An ingenious gentleman assured me, that some outlines of the Tale of a Tub, might be traced in the writings of Eachard. This I am afraid is going too far. Certain it is, that this Writer was endowed with a very large share of wit, which he employed to the best and nobleit purposes, to the defence of religion and morality when attacked by a philosopher, who laid claim to the reputation of a great scholar, and a profound mathematician. Eachard had besides a vein of huo mour peculiar to himself, much useful learning, a ftrong manner of seasoning, without the appearance of it, and above all an uncommon skill in turning an adversary into ridicule; in which no writer has since exceeded, nor perhaps equalled him. Let us not forget too, that he possessed an inexhaustible fund of good-nature, with the moft easy and laughing pleasantry: qualities, which the haughty and {plenetic Swift could never enjoy.'

The elegant inscription on bis tomb is thus very properly introduced by the author of the memoirs prefixed to this edition :

• The famous Laurence Eachard, the historian, appears to have been nephew, or some other near relation, to this John Eachard ; but there was no affinity of genius between them,

: The

« The infcription on Dr. Eachard's tomb, will shew his character in a new light. A wic is supposed by some people to be a worfe member of society in proportion to the share he possesses of that dangerous quality, which as often excites oor hatred as our admiration. This amiable man was as respectable for the benevolence of his mind, as the extent of his capacity. He executed the trust reposed in him of Master of his college, with the utmost care and fidelity, to the general satisfaction of the Fellows, and with the approbation of the whole aniversity. He was extremely anxious to rebuild the greatest part, if not the whole, of Catharine-hall, which had fallen into decay: but unhappily for the college, he died before he could accomplish his generous design. However, he lived long enough to give that beautiful front, which the inscription fo justly celebrates : and this he effelied by the most painful assiduity in procuring liberal contributions from his learned friends, and considerable largefses from his rich acquaintance, who could not resist the power of his persuafive eloquence; and lastly, by bestowing the little all he was master of.

• He lies buried in the chapel of Catharine-hall : over his tomb is the following inscription, which will be a lasting monument of Dr. Eachard's worth, and of the gratitude of the learned society to which he belonged :

Tibi babeas, Catherina, hoc mortale depofitum
Ec in penetralibus tuis requiescere finas

Viri vere magni

Tenues hasce exuvias :
Si quæras cujæ fint, vix lapides facere poterunt

Fundatorem suum

Johannem Eachard S. T. P.
Academiæ Cantabrigienfis bis Pro-Cancellarium,
Hujus aulæ cuftodem vigilantillimum,

De utraque optime meritum.
Viderne lector, novam hanc collegij faciem

Quam pulchra ex ruinis affurgit !
Totum hoc musarum non indecorum domicilium,
Secundus hujus Romæ Romulus,

Poffet vocare luum.
Huic operi intentus, liberalitate partim sua
Hlaque maxima, (cum pauperis jostar viduæ
In hec Gazophylacium totum suum conjeciffet.)
L'artim aliena, quam vel amicitia inter doctiores

Vel suadela (quâ plurimum pollebat)
Inter divitiores unde quaque acciverat,
Huc usque restauravit collegium.

Et fi diutius fata pepercillent
Antiqua Ædificia diruendo,

Nova extruendo,
Nullum non movendo lapidem,
(Quæ erat optimi hominis indefeffa induitsia,)

Quod fordidum, ruinosum
Et vix collegij nomine indigitandum
Inveceras,

Elegans,

Elegans, magnificum
Et ab omni parte perfectum

Reliquifier.
Obijt Julii 700 1697.

Ætatis LXI, Eachard's works here collected, are, i. The Enquiry into the Grounds and Occasions of the Contempt of the Clergy. 2. Observations on an Answer to the Enquiry. 3. Hobbs's State of Nature confidered; in a dialogue between Timothy and Philautus. 4. Five Letters in Defence of the Enquiry, against Dr. Owen, and others. 5. A Second Dialogue between Timothy and Philautus, on the Writings of Hobbs. This last tract, which was originally publifhed in 1673, is now first added to the collection of Eachard's works; of which, it seems, there have been no fewer than twelve editions, before this of 1774.

ART. XU. Shakespeare's Plays, as they are now performed at the Thea

tres Royal in London ; regulated from the Prompt Books of each - House, by Perniilion. With Notes critical and illustrative. By

the Authors of the Dramatic Cenfor. 8vo. 5 Vols. 15$: fewed.

Bell. 1774.

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In every Work regard the Writer's End,

Since none can compass more than they intend."
HE above precept of Mr. Pope's, occurred to us on look-

ing into this impression of Shakespeare's acting plays, which is not set in competition with any other edition, because it is executed on a different plan, and intended to answer a different purpose. The great aim of former editors has been to give us Shakespeare restored; the protefred design of this, perhaps more popular work, is to present the less critical * reader with Shakespeare as altered and accommodated to the taste of an age more refined than that in which the Author lived and wrote, more capable of tasing his beauties, and less apt to relish or even tolerate his defects. Those beauties, it must, to the honour of the stage, be allowed, are judiciously retained in the plays of this great poet, as acted at either theatre; and the deformities are, for the most part, with equal choice and discernment, expunged:

• The rhiming clowns that gladded Shakespear's age,
No more with Crambo entertain the itage," &c.

Though this edition is not meant for the profoundly learned, nor the deeply itudious, who love to find out and chace their own critical game ; yet we latter ourselves both parties may perceive fresh ideas itarted for specalation and reflection.

- EDITOR's Pref. Advertisement.

With

With undoubted propriety, therefore, have the present Edifors observed, that the most enthufiaftic admirers of Shaker peare-those who worship him as the god of their idolatry, fcruple not to admit that even his most regular pieces produce some Scenes and paffages, highly derogatory to his incomparable merit; that be frequently trifles, is now and then obscure, and fometimes, to gratify a vitiated age, indelicate. It is, further, with equal truth remarked, by way of apology for the faults of this wonderful genius, that they may juftly be attributed to the loose, quibbling, licentious taste of his time;' and that he, no doubt, on many occasions, wrote wildly *, merely to gratify the public; as Dryden wrote bombastically, and Congreve oba scenely, to indulge the humours, and engage the favour of theit audiences.'

6 Why then,' our Editor afks, fiould not the noble monu. ments he has left us--be restored to due proportion and natural luftre, by sweeping off those cobwebs, and that duft of de: praved opinion, which Shakespeare was unfortunately forced to throw on them; forced, we fay, for it is no ftrain of imagination to suppose that the Goths and Vandals of criticism; who frequented the theatre in his days, would, like those who over-san the Roman empire, have destroyed and configned to barbarous oblivion the fublime beauties which they could not relish; and it is matter of great question with us, whether the Fool in King Lear was not a more general favorite, than the old monarch himself.'

The above confiderations, we are told, first fuggested the idea which hath produced the present edition; and among the peculiar ufes of a printed copy of Shakespeare's plays, with the text regulated according to the Prompters books, the Editors have observed, that those who take books to the theatre, will not be puzzled to accompany the speaker, nor over apt to condema the performers for being imperfect, when they pass over what is designedly omitted. Here, however, it is observed, that as fome passages, of great merit for the closet, are never spoken, fuch, though omitted in the text, are here carefully preserved in the notes.

And with regard to the critical part of this undertaking, which is not by any means held forth as its greatest merit, the Editors profess, that having been long convinced that multiplying conjectural verbal criticisms, tends rather to perplex than inform the reader, they have given those readings which to them appeared most consonant to the Author's manner and meaning, without obtruding one capricious opinion on another.'

...One glaring chaos, and wild heap of wit."

Rev. Feb. 1774

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They have also furnished an explanation of technical and obsolete terms ; pointed out the leading beauties as they occur, without descanting so much as to anticipate the reader's conception and investigation; and they have shewn what appeared to them to be blemishes and imperfections. The requisites for representing every character of importance are defined, and the mode of performance effential for scenes peculiarly capital, is pointed out.'

In further expatiating on the value of this edition, they sum up all by claiming the merit of having earnestly consulted correctness, neatness, ornament, utility, and cheapness of price. We have,' it is added, avoided all oftentation of criticism, compacting our notes as much as possible. It has been our peculiar endeavour to render what we call the essence of Shakespeare more inftructive and intelligible ; especially to the ladies and to youth; glaring indecencies being removed, and intricate passages explained ;-ma general view of each play is also given, by way of introduction. This last circumstance, we think, will be peculiarly agreeable to younger readers; as may also the Essay on Oratory, prefixed by way of general introduction : although it might, with equal propriety, be prefixed to the works of any other eminent dramatic writer.

With respect to the numerous engravings with which this edition is embellished, it would be great injustice to the pube lifer not to acknowledge, that most of them are elegant, to a degree furpaffing any plates of the kind, of so small a fize. A few of them may, perhaps, afford the connoisseur some room for criticism, with respect to the designing and drawing, as well as in relation to the choice of the scenes represented : yet, on the whole, these cuts are certainly the prettieft ornaments that have yet been bestowed on any pocket edition of the works of our most excellent bard: and the bookseller allures us, in bis advertisement printed at the end of his numerous list of subfcribers, that as he has solicited and obtained the patronage of the generous public in the present undertaking, he hopes

* Of this there is a remarkable instance in the frontispiece to Henry V. The subject is the French soldier fupplicating Ancient Piftol to spare his life, and Pistol quibbling about Signieur Dext. Was there nothing in this play more important, more worthy of being exhibited in a pi@ure The scene itself is a disgrace to the reft of this drama ; and our Editors themselves are of the same opinion: for they have expressly reprobated the whole of this scene in their note upon it ; declaring that it is, throughout, despicable, unnecessary, and serving no purpose but to destroy the dignity of expectation. Y this very scene, despicable as it is, hath been chofen for the purpose of decoration ; to the exclusion of every other more Atriking and more respectable part of the play.

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