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A Y S
IN FIFTEEN VOLUMES.
CORRECTIONS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
TO WHICH ARE ADDED,
SAMUEL JOHNSON And GEORGE STEEVENS.
THE FOURTH EDITION.
REVISED AND AUGMENTED
(WITH A GLOSSARIAL INDEX)
BY THE EDITOR OF DODSLEY'S COLLECTION OF
TH* *TI£H! TPAMMATEYZ UN, TON KAAAMON AnOBPEXHN EIZ NOYN.
Vet. AuB. afiut. Suidam.
MOLT* DIES, VARIUSQUE LABOR MUTABILIS ÆVI
Printed for T. Longman, B. Law and Son, C. Dilly, J. Robson, J. Johnson,
Th E reader may observe that, contrary to former usage, no head of Shakspeare is presixed to the present edition of his Plays. The undisguised fact is this. The only portrait of him that even pre-" tends to authenticity, by means of injudicious cleaning, or some other accident, has become little better than the " shadow of a shade." * The late Sir Joshua Reynolds indeed once suggested, that whatever person it was designed for, it might have been left, as it now appears, unfinished. Various copies and plates, however, are said at different times to have been made from it; but a regard for truth obliges us to confess that diey are all unlike each other, t and convey no distinct resemblance of the poor remains of their avowed original. Of the drapery and curling hair exhi
* Such, we think, were the remarks, that occurred to us several yean ago, when this portrait was accessible. We wished indeed to have confirmed them by a second view of it; but a late accident in the noble family to which it belongs, has precluded us from that satisfaction.
+ Vertue's portraits have been over-praised on account of their fidelity; for we have now before us six different heads of Shakspeare engraved by him, and do not scruple to assert that they have individually a different cast of countenance. Cucullus nan facit monaclmm. The .chape of our author's ear-ring and falling-band may correspond in them all, but where shall we find an equal conformity in his features?
Few objects indeed are occasionally more difficult to seize, than the flcndfr traits that mark tbe character of a face; and the eye will otten