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the identity of appearance which the story supposes, will be destroyed. We still, however, having a clue to the difficulty, can tell which is which, merely from the practical contradictions which arise, as soon as the different parties begin to speak; and we are indemnified for the perplexity and blunders into which we are thrown, by seeing others thrown into greater and almost inextricable ones. This play (among other considerations) leads us not to feel much regret that Shakspeare was not what is called a classical scholar. We do not think his forte would ever have lain in imitating or improving on what others invented, so much as in inventing for himself, and perfecting what he invented, -not perhaps by the omission of faults, but by the addition of the highest excellencies. His own genius was strong enough to bear him up, and he soared longest and best on unborrowed plumes.—The only passage of a very Shakspearian cast in this comedy is the one in which the Abbess, with admirable characteristick artifice, makes Adriana confess her own misconduct in driving her husband mad.
" Abbess. How long hath this possession held the man?
Adriana. This week he hath been heavy, sour, sad,
Abbess. Hath he not lost much wealth by wreck at sea ?
Adriana. To none of these, except it be the last :
Abbess. You should for that have reprehended him.
Adriana. It was the copy of our conference :
Abbess. And therefore came it that the man was mad':
Luciana. She never reprehended him but mildly,
Adriana. She did betray me to my own reproof."
Pinch the conjuror is also an excrescence not to be found in Plautus. He is indeed a very formidable anachronism.
“ They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-fac'd villain,
This is exactly like some of the Puritanical portraits to be met with in Hogarth.
We shall give for the satisfaction of the reader what the celebrated German critick, Schlegel, says on this subject, and then add a very few remarks of our
“ All the editors, with the exception of Capell, are unanimous in rejecting Titus Andronicus as unworthy of Shakspeare, though they always allow it to be printed with the other pieces, as the scape-goat, as it were, of their abusive criticism. The correct method in such an investigation is first to examine into the external grounds, evidences, &c. and to weigh their worth; and then to adduce the internal reasons derived from the quality of the work. The criticks of Shakspeare follow a course directly the reverse of this; they set out with a preconceived opinion against a piece, and seek, in justification of this opinion, to render the historical grounds sus
picious, and to set them aside. Titus Andronicus is to be found in the first folio edition of Shakspeare's
works, which it was known was conducted by He· minge and Condell, for many years his friends and
fellow-managers of the same theatre. Is it possible to persuade ourselves that they would not have known if a piece in their repertory did or did not actually belong to Shakspeare? And are we to lay to the charge of these honourable men a designed fraud in this single case, when we know that they did pot shew themselves so very desirous of scraping every thing together which went by the name of Shakspeare, but, as it appears, merely gave those plays of which they had manuscripts in hand ? Yet the following circumstance is still stronger: George Meres, a contemporary and admirer of Shakspeare, mentions Titus Andronicus in an enumeration of his works, in the year 1598. Meres was personally acquainted with the poet, and so very intimately, that the latter read over to him his Sonnets before they were printed. I cannot conceive that all the critical skepticism in the world would be sufficient to get over such a testimony.
« This tragedy, it is true, is framed according to a false idea of the tragick, which by an accumulation of cruelties and enormities degenerates into the horri. ble, and yet leaves no deep impression behind : the story of Tereus and Philomela is heightened and overcharged and under other names, and mixed up with the repast of Atreus and Thyestes, and many other incidents. In detail there is no want of beautiful lines, bold images, nay, even features which betray the peculiar conception of Shakspeare. Among