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And wishing perfonally to remain fo,
The DRAMATIC CENSOR,
And a natural tribute to the most powerful, univerfal abilities that ever graced the English stage, Thus dedicates,
On most difinterested principles,
His First Volume of Critical Observations,
David Garrick, Efq;
As most writers, both for and against the stage,
bave either dealt out entbufiaftic abuse or fulfome panegerics; the obvious utility of an impartial medium between fuch extremes first suggested the following work: no man, who is not either mad or filly, can be bardy enough to deny, that a well-regulated drama is worthy fupport in the most polished, learned or moral ftate; nor, on the other fide, can we contend in favour of many established pieces; humour has been too often made the fubtle conveyance of very licentious Sentiments, and many pernicious characters are placed in too fair a point of view; to develope vice from this poetical masquerade; to strip off the ferpent's fhining coat, and to shew the poison which lurks within, is the DRAMATIC CENSOR's leading principle; to point out, in a plain manner, and unadorned ftile, the beauties and defects of each piece; to throw out hints reSpecting the performance of every character worth notice; and to give a concife general idea of the plays taken into confideration, the scope of his defign.
Far from glancing an eye towards infallibity of opinion, the following ftri&tures and illustrations are fubmitted with all due deference to the public, as meant for useful information; bow far they answer this defireable purpofe, candid readers on perufal must determine.
The DRAMATIC CENSOR will gratefully receive; and respectfully use any remarks fuitable to his plan, he may be favoured with, by letter directed to the care of Mr. Bell, publisher of this work, near Exeter-Exchange, Strand.
RICHARD THE THIRD. As altered from SHAKESPEARE by CIBBER.
CRITICISM is undoubtedly the most
elaborate and ungracious of all literary compofitions: paffing cenfure muft ever be painful to a liberal mind, and has no palliation, no balancing pleasure but contrafted praise; however, the general advantages arifing from candid investigation, equally feparated from partial indulgence or malevolent severity, deferve fome degree of honeft approbation, and ftrengthen the feelings to undertake with becoming resolution so hazardous a task.
Dramatic compofitions are of a nature too nice and complicate, for all admirers of the stage to confider with that attention which is neceffary to understand them properly; hence much of VOL. I. B