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ties of an extenfive undertaking cannot at once be adjusted, it is now the time (in its earliest progrefs) to offer any hints, however imperfect.
THOUGH many of the engravings that have been hitherto published from the page of Shakespeare, are merely trash-yet it may not be unfatisfactory to those who wish to defign from him, to view fuch engravings; as from fome of them, there may perhaps be caught fome idea worth improving on. I have therefore at the end of the few plays which are treated of in the ensuing tract (and in which the pages are marked from the edition by Johnfon and Steevens) inferted a list of all fuch as have been published from each play. Many objections may be raifed against the plan that I had formed for an edition; particularly on account of the multiplicity of the prints; but I was willing to recommend the introduction of more of them than may be neceffary, rather than too few-from an unwillingness to reject fuch of thofe already published, which might poffibly poffefs even a very small share of merit-leaving it to superior men to felect from my crowded variety. The plan of Meffrs. Boydells edition, in having the plates on a large scale, and separate, (like those perhaps of Cooke's voyages) will exhibit many of the scenes, in a much fuperior manner to what my reduced fize can.
If there should be found any of thofe prints that are mentioned in the Kft at the end of each play, not taken any notice of in any part of the play-it is, because they did not strike me as poffeffing any merit, or as
+Charles Taylor's publication of the Picturefque Beautics of Shakespeare, is not yet compleated. Nor is the edition of the plays by Lowndes. The editors of the French edition of Shakespeare, publifhed propofals for a fet of prints; but I believe they were never carried into execution. In a Gentleman's Magazine about the time of Dr. Dod's death, is a letter pofitively affuring the public, that he was in want of a fum to pay Parifian artists, who were executing plates for an edition of Shakespeare in quarto. The letter mentions that the perfon who wrote it, had feen fpecimens of the print-that Dr. Dod had the undertaking deeply at heart—and that he went to Paris once or twice about it.
containing any thing, that was likely in the leaft degree, to give rife to anygood hint. The Plan I had formed in my own mind was this:
To have printed the most approved Text and Notes, with a type equal to that of Foulis; and of a fize somewhat larger than the Memoirs of Thomas Hollis; that is, of the largest Quarto fize poffible.
ALL the Prefaces which have yet been written by the various Commentators (including those by Dod, Capell and fome other later ones) to have been inferted in the order in which they were written; and in short, all that the united exertions of Mr. Steevens, Mr. Malone, and Mr. Reade, have enriched the late editions with.*
THE Frontispiece to have been the old head of Shakespeare, by Droefhout, with the lines of Ben Jonfon engraven under.
AND to the first Preface or Dedication, namely the Dedication of the Players, I meant to have proposed a Head-piece being engraved on the top of the sheet; and it might be a fac-fimile of the small head which Marshall had the felicity of engraving, and which faces page 196 of the last edition by Johnson and Steevens, with the fame lines engraved under.
THE Preface of the players will follow next—and afterwards the Preface of Rowe-on the top of which might be engraved a fac-fimile of the fmall head only of Shakefpcare, which appears in the frontispiece to each
*To thefe might be added, at proper places, fome few particular extracts from the work of Mrs.. Montague, (as her chapter on the Preternatural Beings, to precede, or to be placed after the Tem peft) and from fome very few other writers. A few good additions might be likewife made to the Commendatory Verfes on Shakespeare; and fome of them might be extrafted from the Italian poem of Lorenzo Pignotti, entitled Shakespeare, and dedicated to Mrs. Montague; it is ia quarto, and printed at Firenze, in 1779.
of the volumes of Rowe's edition. The head may be engraved as it now is, without any ornament whatever thrown round it; not even the ufual laurel wreath. The clumfy figures in this frontispiece were probably defigned by Fourdrinier-but they should not be cenfured; for thougla they are poorly executed, yet they were meant as a grateful offering to the poet.
THE next Preface is that of Pope's. The head prefixed to his edition, is declared by Oldy, to be a juvenile portrait of James I. This however, is no decided authority; and as this head (engraved as it is in Mrs. Griffith's work) appears a noble ornament; it might therefore be placed opposite the Preface of Pope. It is likewife well engraved by Vertue.
OPPOSITE Theobald's Preface might be placed, the pleafing head pre-fixed to his large 8vo. edition, by Arlaud. There is some very little resemblance in the eyes of this portrait, to Marshall's print..
THE head which appears in Hanmer's edition, fhould not be placed before his Preface, unlefs fome proofs of a probable originality can be pro-. duced. I would therefore propose (in the lieu of this) the engraving a Head-piece to his Preface, which might be a fac-fimile of the Vignette which is defigned by Wale, and engraved by Woodfield, and which may be seen in fome edition of Shakespeare, that I do not immediately recollect—but it is a fquare Vignette, and contains the figures of Apollo and Minerva. The head in this Vignette, bears fome very little resemblance to that at Wentworth House.*
THE whole of the Vignette to the republication of Shakespeare's poems, by Thomas Evans, might be engraved as a Head-piece to Warburton's Preface..
*The epistle of Collins might be fubjoined to this Preface. It is ftrange that a critic fhould ob ferve of this poem-that if it has not fo much merit as the rest of his poems, yet that it has still more than the fubject deferves.
To the Advertisement to the Reader, (prefixed to the edition of twenty of the old quarto copies) might be placed Vertue's print, from the original in the poffeffion of Mr. Keck, and the fame lines may remain engraven
HOUBRAKEN'S pleasing portrait, from one in the poffeffion of John Nicoll, of Southgate, Efquire, may likewise ornament the Preface of Johnson.
AND oppofite poor Dod's Preface, might be placed the rich metzotinto, which is given in the edition of King Lear, by Jennens.
As a Head-piece to Steeven's fecond Advertisement, might be engraved a copy of the head which is in Johnson's first edition, and which is engraved by Vertue.
AND oppofite the Preface of Reade, might appear the fame beautiful head which he has presented to the public, from a picture in the poffeffion of the Duke of Chandois *
THE head in Bell's edition might be engraved as a Head-piece to fome other Preface, or fome other of the introductory matter. This head is fomewhat like the picture in the British museum. And the fmall head by Vandergucht, in Theobald's 12mo. edition, may be worth looking at.
As a Head-piece to Shakspeare's Will, might be engraved the fame print of his Houfe, which is in Mr. Malone's Supplement-and as a Tail-piece to this Will, might be introduced the prefent appearance of
JOSEPH Taylor (fays Mr. Malone) is faid by fome to have painted the only original picture of Shakespeare now extant, in the poffeffion of the Duke of Chandois. By others, Burbage is reported to have been the painter. Vol. 1. page 57.
this fame House; or in the ftead of that, might be engraved as a Tailpiece, the fac-fimile of his Hand Writing.
THE Buft in Stratford Church will be seen in the aftermentioned print of his tomb.
As a Head-piece to that leaf which treats on the Portraits of Shakespeare, might be engraved a new Portrait-namely, that which is now at Wentworth Houfe. He has an unhealthy look, and his mind seems depreffed by fome anguish, which is fettled in a confirmed gloom. * At each corner of the canvas, is a laurel wreath. I believe this picture belonged to Sir P. Lelly, who either left or gave it to Dryden. On the back of the old canvas, fome few years ago, was written: This picture belonged to the poet Dryden, or at least words very fimilar to these. There
He feems, (at the time of life when this picture was drawn) to have been lame and poor. 37th Sonnet and Crit. Rev. for January 1784, page 33.
I find a few traces of fome pictures of Shakespeare :
POPE, (fays Mr. Walpole) was not the only bard that foothed Sir Godfrey Kneller's vain-glory. Dryden repaid him for a prefent of Shakespeare's picture, with a copy of verfes full of luxuriant, but immortal touches.
Sir W. D'Avenant was poffeffed of the only original picture of Shakespeare ever painted.
MALONE'S Sup. v. 2. page 185.
Ar the Duke of Dorfet's, at Knoll, is a picture of Shakespeare. I believe there is one at Lord Exeter's, which is fuppofed an original.
AMICONI's next work was a picture of Shakespeare and the mufes over the orchestra of the new Theatre in Covent Garden. WALPOLE.
THIS Copy of Amiconi's, might have been taken from fome picture of Shakespeare, at that day well known in the theatre, which might have been an original,
THERE is a portrait in the British Museum,