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not have written such utter trash. The case At the beginning of the nineteenth century of Chatterton was altogether a different one. a new school of criticism began to establish itThere, indeed, was high genius wrongfully self amongst us. CHARLES LAMB and WILLIAM employed; but the enthusiastic admiration Hazlitt led the way in approaching Shakof the thing produced might well shut the spere, if not wholly in the spirit of Æsthetics, eyes of the most acute to the inconsistencies yet with love, with deep knowledge, with which surrounded it. Not so with the new surpassing acuteness, with unshackled minds. treasures which William Henry Ireland dis- But a greater arose. A new era of critical covered from the pen of Shakspere. The opinion upon Shakspere, as propounded by people, however, settled the question. The Englishmen, may be dated from the delivery play was brought out at Drury Lane: and of the lectures of SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, the prologue by Sir James Bland Burgess at the Surrey Institution, in 1814. What is another instance of the mode in which that great man did for Shakspere during the the poetasters and witlings venerated Shak- remainder of his valuable life can scarcely be spere :

appreciated by the public. For his opinions “From deep oblivion snatch'd, this play ap

were not given to the world in formal trea

tises and ponderous volumes. They were pears : It claims respect, since Shakspeare's name it fragmentary; they were scattered, as it were, bears;

at random; many of them were the oral That name, the source of wonder and delight, lessons of that wisdom and knowledge which To a fair hearing has at least a right. he poured out to a few admiring disciples. We ask no more. With you the judgment | But they have had their effect. For our lies:

selves, personally, we owe debt of gratitude No forgeries escape your piercing eyes ! to that illustrious man that can never be Unbiass'd, then, pronounce your dread de- repaid. If in any degree we have been en

abled to present Shakspere to the popular Alike from prejudice or favour free.

mind under new aspects, looking at him from If, the fierce ordeal pass'd, you chance to a central point, which should permit us, find

however imperfectly, to comprehend someRich sterling ore, though rude and unrefin'd,

thing of his wondrous sysTEM, we owe the Stamp it your own, assert your poet's fame,

desire so to understand him ourselves to And add fresh wreaths to Shakspeare's honour'd name."

the germs of thought which are scattered

through the works of that philosopher; to The people did pronounce their “ dread whom the homage of future times will decree." When Mr. Kemble uttered the abundantly compensate for the partial negline

lect of his contemporaries. We desire to “And when this solemn mockery is o'er"

conclude this outline of the opinions of

others upon the works of Shakspere, in con“the most discordant howl echoed from the nection with the imperfect expression of our pit that ever assailed the organs of hearing." own sense of those opinions, with the name of Shakspere was vindicated.

COLERIDGE.

cree,

THE END.

G. Woodfall and Son, Printers, Angel Court, Skinner Street.

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