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the enters offering to the Manes a libation composed of milk, honey, wine, oil, &c. upon

this Darius ifsues from his tomb. Let the wits, who are fo fmart on our ghost's difappearing at the cock's crowing, explain why, in reason, a ghost in Persia, or in Greece, should be more fond of milk and honey, thanaverse, in Denmark, tothe crowd ing of a cock. Each Poet adopted, in his work, the superstition relative to his subject; and the Poet who does fo, understands his business much better than the critie, who, in judging of that work, refuses it his attention. The phantom of Darius comes forth in his regal robes to Atoffa and the Satraps in council, who, in the Eastern manner, pay

their silent adorations to their emperor: His quality of Ghost does not appear to make any impression upon them; and the Satraps so exactly preserve the characters of courtiers, that they do not venture to tell him the true state of the affairs of his kingdom, and its recent disgraces : finding he cannot get any information from them, he addresses himself to Atosla, who does not break forth

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with that passion and tenderness, one should expect on the fight of her long lost hufband

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but very calmly informs him, after some flattery on the conftant prosperity of his reign, of the calamitous state of Persia under Xerxes, who has been stimu. lated by his courtiers, to make war upon Greece. The Phantom, who was to appear ignorant of what was past, that the Ear of the Athenians might be soothed and flattered with the detail of their victory at Salamis, is allowed, for the fame reason, such prescience, as to foretell their future triumphat Platea. Whatever else he adds by way of counfel or reproof, either in itself, or in the mode of delivering it, is nothing more than might be expected from any experienced Counfellor of state. Darius advises the old men to enjoy whatever they can, because riches are of no use in the grave. As this touches the most absurd and ridiculous foible in human nature, the increase of a greedy and solicitous desire of wealth, when the period of enjoyment of it becomes more precarious and short, the admonition has something of

a comic

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à comic and satirical turn, unbecoming the solemn character of the Speaker, and the såd exigency upon which he was called. The intervention of this præternatural Being gives nothing of the Marvellous or the Sublime to the piece, nor adds to, or is connected with its interest. The Supernatural divested of the August and the Terrible make but a poor figure in any species of poetry ; useless and unconnected with the fable, it wants propriety, in dramatic poetry, Shakefpear had so just a taste, that he never introduced any præternatural character on the ftage, that did not affist in the conduct of the drama. Indeed he had such prodigious force of talents, that he could make every being, his fancy created, subservient to his designs. The uncouth, awkward monster, Caliban, is so subject to his genius, as to assist in bringing things to the proposed end and perfection. And the flight Fairies, ucak mafiers though they be, even in their wanton gambols, and idle sports, perform great tasks by his jo potent art,

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But to return to the intended comparison between the Grecian Shade, and the Danish Ghost. The first propriety in the conduct of this kind of machinery feems to be, that the præternatural person be intimately connected with the fable ; that he increase the interest, add to the solemnity of it, and that his efficiency, in bringing on the catastrophe, be in some measure adequate to the violence done to the ordinary course of things, in his visible interposition. These are points peculiarly important in dramatic

poetry, as has been before observed. To these ends it is necessary, this Being ihould stand acknowledged and revered by the national Superstition, and thus every operation that developes the attributes, which vulgar opinion, or the nurse's legend, have taught us to ascribe to him, will augment our pleasure ; whether we give the reins toourimagination, and, as Spectators, willingly yield ourselves up to pleasing delusion, or, as Critics, examine the merit of the composition. I hope it is not difficult to thew, that in all these capital

points

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points our author has excelled. At the solemn midnight hour, Horatio and Marcellus, the schoolfellows of young Hamlet, come to the centinels upon guard, excited by a report that a Ghost of their late Mo

narch had, some preceding nights, appeared to them. Horatio, not being one of the believing vulgar, gives little credit to the story, but bids Bernardo proceed in his relation.

BERNARDO.

yon

Last night of all,
When fame star, that's westward from the poleg
Had made his course t'illume that part of heav'ng
Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,

The bell then beating onem Here enters the Ghost, after you are thus prepared. There is something folemn and sublime in thus regulating the walking of the Spirit, by the course of the Star : It intimates a connection and correspondence between things beyond our ken, and above the vihble diurnal sphere. Horatio is affected with that kind of fear, which such an appearance would naturally excite. He trembles,

and

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