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And wishing personally to remain so,

As a mark of perfect esteem, And a natural tribute to the most powerful, universal abilities that ever graced the English stage,

Thus dedicates,
On most disinterested principles,
His First Volume of Critical Observations,


David Garrick, Esq;

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As most writers, both for and against the frage, bave either dealt out enthusiastic abuse or fulfoxne panegerics; the obvious utility of an impartial mediam between such extremes first suggested the following work : no man, who is not either mad or filly, cax be bardy enough to deny, that a well-regulated drama is worthy support in the most polished, learned or moral state ; nor, on the other side, can we contend in favour of many established pieces ; humour has been too often made the subtle conveyance of very licentious Sentiments, and many pernicious characters are placed in too fair a point of view; to develope rice from this poetical masquerade ; to strip off the serpent's shining coat, and to sew the poison wbich lurks witbin, is the DRAMATIC Censor's leading principle; to point out, in a plain manner, and unadorned stile, the beauties and defects of each piece ; to throw out hints reSpeating the performance of every character wortb notice ; and to give a concise general idea of tbe plays taken into consideration, the scope of his design.

Far from glancing an eye towards infallibity of opinion, the following ftri&tures and illustrations are submitted with all due deference to the public, as meant for useful information ; bow far they answer ibis desireable purpose, candid readers on perusal must determine.


The DRAMATIC Censor will gratefully receive, and respectfully use any remarks suitable to his plan, he may be favoured with, by letter directed to the care of Mr. Beil, publisher of this work, near Exeter-Exchange, Strand.





As altered from SHAKESPEARE by CIBBER. CRITICISM is undoubtedly the most elaborate and ungracious of all literary compositions: passing censure must ever be painful to a liberal mind, and has no palliation, no balancing pleasure but contrasted praise ; however, the general advantages arising from candid investigation, equally separated from partial indulgence or malevolent severity, deserve some degree of honest approbation, and strengthen the feelings to undertake with becoming resolution so hazard, ous a talk.

Dramatic compositions are of a nature too nice and complicate, for all admirers of the stage to consider with that attention which is necessary to understand them properly; hence much of VOL. I.



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