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fore his mistress's face, without the least reason why he should put an end to his life, or probability that she would suffer him to do it. To make minute criticisms, where the great parts are so defective, would be trifling.
Having observed how poorly Corneille has represented characters borrowed from so great a portrait-painter as Tacitus, let us now see what Shakspeare has done, from those awkward originals, our old chronicles.
H EN R Y IV.
THE peculiar dexterity, with which the author unfolds the characters, and prepares the events of this play, deserves our attention.
There is not perhaps any thing more difficult in the whole compass of the dramatic art, than to open to the spectator the previous incidents, that were productive of the present circumstances, and the characters of the persons from whose conduct, in such circumstances, the subsequent events are to flow. An intelligent spectator will receive great pleasure from observing every