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TRA G E DY
Μ Α C Β Ε Τ Η.
HIS piece is perhaps one of the
greatest exertions of the tragic and poetic powers, that any age, or any country has produced. Here are opened new sources of terror, new creations of fancy. The agency of Witches and Spirits excites a spec cies of terror, that cannot be effected by the operation of human agency, or by any form or disposition of human things. For the known limits of their
capacities set certain bounds to our apprehenfions; mysterious horrors, undefined terrors, are raised by the intervention of beings, whose
nature we do not understand, whose actions we cannot control, and whose influence we know not how to escape. Here we feel through all the faculties of the soul, and to the utmost extent of her capacity. The dread of the interposition of such agents is the most falutary of all fears. It keeps up in our minds a sense of our connection with awful and invisible spirits, to whom our most secret actions are apparent, and from whose chastisement, Innocence alone can defend us.
many dangers Power will protect; many crimes may be concealed by Art and Hypocrisy; but when fupernatural Beings arise, to reveal, and to avenge, Guilt blushes through her mask, and trembles behind her bulwarks.
Shakespear has been sufficiently justified, by the best critics, for availing himself of the popular faith in witchcraft; and he is certainly as defensible in this point, as Euripides, and other Greek tragedians, for introducing Jupiter, Diana, Minerva, &c. whofe personal intervention, in the events exhi