« PreviousContinue »
THE diftinguished character of SHAKESPEARE as a
dramatic writer, the great demand for his works among the learned and polite, and a laudable zeal for promoting home manufactures, were the principal motives for undertaking an edition of his works in Scotland,
Before we give an account of the method used in conducting this edition, it may not be improper to take some notice of our author's modern editors. Nor will it perhaps be a difagreeable entertainment to the reader, to fee their fentiments of one another, in their own words.
"Mr. Rowe (the first of these editors) was indeed a "wit (fays Mr. Warburton ;) but fo utterly unacquainted "with the whole bufinefs of criticism, that he did not ❝ even collate or confult the first editions of the work he "undertook to publish."-" This gentleman (fays Mr. Theobald) had abilities, and a fufficient knowledge of "his author, had but his induftry been equal to his "talents."
The next editor was the univerfally-admired Mr. Pope; "who, (fays Mr. Warburton,) by the mere force of an "uncommon genius, without any particular ftudy or "profeffion of this art [criticifm,] discharged the great "parts of it fo well, as to make his edition the best "foundation for all further improvements. He fepa"rated the genuine from the fpurious plays; and, with VOL. I.