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Mr. JOHNSON's

PREFACE

To his EDITION of

SHAKESPEAR's PLAYS.

[Price One Shilling.]

Malone adds.

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LONDON:

Printed for J. and R. TONSON, H. WOODFALL, J. RIVINGTON,
R. BALDWIN, L. HAWES, CLARK and COLLINS, T. LONGMAN,

W. JOHNSTON, T. CASLON, C. CORBET, T. LOWNDS,
and the Executors of B. DODD.
M,DCC,LXV.

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PREFACE.

TH

AHAT praises are without reafon lavished on the dead, and that the honours due only to excellence are paid to antiquity, is a complaint likely to be always continued by thofe, who, being able to add nothing to truth, hope for eminence from the herefies of paradox; or those, who, being forced by difappointment upon confolatory expedients, are willing to hope from pofterity what the prefent age refufes, and flatter themselves that the regard which is yet denied by envy, will be at laft bestowed by time.

Antiquity, like every other quality that, attracts the notice of mankind, has undoubtedly votaries that reverence it, not from reafon, but from prejudice. Some feem to admire indifcriminately whatever has been long preferved, without confidering that time has fometimes co-operated with chance; all perhaps are more willing to honour paft than prefent excellence; and the mind contemplates genius through the fhades of age, as the eye furveys the fun through artificial opacity. The great contention of criticifm is to find the faults of the moderns, and the beauties of the ancients. While an auA 3 thour

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