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MERCHANT OF VENICE.
Each line, each verfe,
Here shall revive, redeem thee from thy hearfe.
THE HE Vignette Scene-print to Bell's laft edition by M. de Loutherbourg, is fo well defigned, and the ornaments so happily imagined, that I would propofe a fac fimile of it, for the head-piece. No alteration whatever I think should be made, unless indeed the dress of Gratiano were less cumbrous, and his face more expreffive-and the last look of Shylock fhould be directed more to Gratiano than to the audience. The figure of Shylock is as finely drawn, as that by Ramberg is meanly fo. Mr. Bell, is indeed right, when in his address he says-" The public have much to expect from the superior talents of Mr. Loutherbourghis having long-lived in habits of intimacy with Mr. Garrick, his familiarity with the stage, and dramatic effect, added to the renown he has acquired in every line of his profeffion, promises to foar ftill higher on the prefent occafion." His figure of this masterly character, fhews Strong conceptions of deep malevolence. It is indeed infinitely fuperior to any defign yet given of the Jew, nor can any other bear the leaft competition with it, unless it be the print mentioned for page 225.
As Launcelot is no small favourite on the stage, and poffeffes a good share of the drollery of Shakespeare's clowns, I would exhibit him for page 158; where I think this unthrifty knave will appear to more advanF
tage than in any other page, and he will there appear with old Gobbo, as faying:
And if the figure of Launcelot, in the print which represents that very scene in Taylor's Picturesque Beauties of Shakespeare," should not be entirely approved of: we may select from this fame print, the figure of Gobbo, which I think will be liable to no objection. And from Canaletti's Views of Venice, or from the Views of Venice, engraved by Luca Carlevariis, or any of the other books on the buildings of Italy, may be felected some small buildings to fill up the back-ground. Of the comedians who have moft fhone in the character of Launcelot, I believe the following names have been the most confpicuous-Neale *, Shuter + (or "comical Ned of Covent-Garden,") Woodward ‡, W. Palmer §, Yates ||, Quick, and our favourite Edwin. This part might have been given in Shakespeare's time to Will. Kempe, who was " as well in the favour of her Majestie, as in the opinion and good thoughts of the general audi
Do I look like a cudgel, or a hovel poft,
A staff, or a prop?-do you know me, father?
Neale was a fort of grotefque actor, whofe particular talent was fuited only to fome very peculiar characters, in which he was fure to excel every body elfe. He excelled in Shakespeare's Launcelot. DAVIES'S LIFE OF GARRICK..
+Shuter's Launcelot is equal to our warmest wishes.
Launcelot, another child of laughter, was reprefented with extreme pleafant propriety by Mr., Woodward.The archnefs and fimplicity requifite, were blended by him judiciously. DRAM. CENSOR.
§ OLD Gobbo, by Mr. Parfons, is the character Shakespeare intended; and his fon Launcelot, is plea fantly hit off by Mr. W. Palmer.. THEAT. REV. V. 1.
MR. Yates is perhaps the only actor living who feems to have a juft notion of Shakespear's fools; there is a chastness about his playing those characters, that forms the best comment on that great poet, and illuftrates the true force of his pen;-add to all thefe, he dreffes his parts with fingular propriety. THEAT, BIOGRAPHY, 177.
In this page, the warm affection of generous friendship is thus beautifully expreffed:
Sal. A kinder gentleman treads not the earth.
And even there, his eye being big with tears,
He wrung Baffanio's hand and fo they parted.
Salan. I think, he only loves the world for him.*
To feel the full force of these lines, we should refer to the feveral fituations of these two perfons throughout the whole course of this playparticularly at the pages 138, 200, 201, 204, and 224.
THERE might be a half-length metzotinto of them; and the dress of Bafanio may be partly taken from the print to Bell's first edition, from F 2 the
THIS noble spirit of friendship might have been realized, when my lord Southampton (the dear and generous friend of Shakespeare) embarked for the feige of Rees in the Dutchy of Cleve.
A SITUATION (between Anthonio and Bassanio) somewhat fimilar to that in the text, and which offers a very fine subject for the pencil will be found in the tryal scene, at the line of ;
fpeak me fair in death
I think the preference will be given to this laft.