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He was a Man take him for allin all,
his like again.
P R E F A G E.
The excellencies of our great Dramatic Poct are fo well known, and so universally acknowledged, that it may seem unnecessary to dwell on perfections which every one confeffes, and which even Envy itfelf has no longer the effrontery to deny. If any author is entitled to the appellation of a Univerfal Genius, on whom can that honourable distinction be more readily conferred, than on him, who, with the most fubtile penétration, has pierced through the dark developements of the human heart; who has painted the most beautiful scenes of Nature ; who has given life and action to Virtue, inculcating the noblest system of morality, and animating mankind to tread those steps which lead to the happiness of individuals, and, in consequence, to the general good of the Community?
Poetry too often is considered as a mere relief, to fill up the vacancy of indolence, or to dissipate the languor of dislipation; and fo seldom is it employed in effecting its noblest purposes, that the neglect of it can neither be wondered at, nor condemned. It is, how ever, calculated to answer ends more important than the gratification of idleness: the purposes of amusement are, and ought to be, only its secondary considerati
It has, for its ultimate object, the interest and welfare of society; and, if properly directed, may be made instrumental in enlarging the mind, extending the views; and by supplying materials for reflection, imperceptibly leads mankind to the knowledge and pračtice of yirtue.