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his fine paffages is equally ftriking. It appears to me, that the dramatic requires a different fpecies of criticism from any other poetry. A drama is to be confidered in the light of a living body; regularity of features, grace of limbs, fmoothnefs and delicacy of complexion, cannot render it perfect, if it is not properly organized within, as well as beautiful in its external ftructure. Many a character in a play, like a handsome person paralytic, is inert, feeble, and totally unfit for its duties and offices, fo that its neceffary exertions must be fupplied by some substitute. The action is carried on much after the manner it is done in epic poetry, by the help of defcription and narration, and a series of detached parts.
It is unfair to judge fingly of every line, in a work where the merit depends on the refult of various operations, and repeated efforts to obtain a particular end. Works without genius are usually regularly dull, and coldly correct, resembling those living characters that want, while
They dream the blank of life along, Senfe to be right, and paffion to be wrong". Some allowances must be made to those who are more animated and more employed, if in the bustle of great actions, and the exertion of great powers, they fall into fome little errors. The genius of Shakefpear is fo extenfive and profound, I have reafon to fear a greater number of excellencies have escaped my difcernment, than I have suffered faults to pass without my animadverfion : but I hope this weak attempt to vindicate our great dramatic poet, will excite fome critic able to do him more ample juftice. In that confidence I have left untouched many of his pieces, which deferve the protection of more judicious zeal and skilful care.
* Dr. Young's Satires.