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"This play (says Dr. Johnson) "is deservedly celebrated for the propriety of its fictions, and "solemnity, grandeur, and variety "of its action; but it has no nice "discriminations of character: the " events are too great to admit the "influence of particular disposi"tions, and the course of the ac"tion necessarily determines the "conduct of the agents.
"The danger of ambition is "well described; and I know not "whether it may not be said, in "defence of some parts which now
seem improbable, that in Shak"speare's time it was necessary to "warn credulity against vain and "illusive predictions.
"The passions are directed to "their true end. Lady Macbeth " is merely detested; and though "the courage of Macbeth pre
serves some esteem, yet every "reader rejoices at his fall."
Mr. Harris, in his Philosophical Arrangements, observes of this tragedy:
"It is not only admirable as a "poem; but is, perhaps, at the "same time one of the most moral "pieces existing. It teaches us "the danger of venturing, though "but for once, upon a capital "offence, by showing us that it "is impossible to be wicked by "halves; and that we cannot 66 stop; that we are in a manner "compelled to proceed; and yet "that, be the success as it may, "we are sure in the event to be"come wretched and unhappy."
An anonymous critic objects, and we think justly, to the stage practice of a numerous chorus of witches. After paying a tribute of praise to the chief characters, as performed by Mr. Kemble and Mrs. Siddons, he adds, "but my pleasure, and, I am persuaded,
soon as they are recognised, row an air of burlesque upon e whole. The women, who è generally pretty enough, to witch us in a sense very difent from Shakspeare's, are en employed in laughing with ch other, and sometimes with audience, at their dresses, ich they think frightful, but ich, in fact, conceal neither ir bright eyes, nor rosy lips, r, scarcely, their neat silk ckings. Now all this interotion to the solemn infiuence the scene may be avoided by easy alteration in the permance. The fine words of incantations (partly Shakre's and partly Middleton's), highly-appropriate music of cke, the harmony of our best ces may all be preserved, and : scene rescued from its preat violation, by stationing the ole chorus behind the scenes, rtly on the ground and partly ft, to make their responses the intervals of the spells of ecate and her three attendants. e music would indisputably heard with an effect more table to the occasion; and r eyes would not then perade us to think of the play, instead of Macbeth." MACBETH. Trag. with all alterations, amendments, adns, and new songs. Acted at Duke's Theatre. 4to. 1674. alteration was made by Sir iam Davenant.
ownes the prompter says, that Lee, the poet, having an intion to turn actor, had the of Duncan assigned to him on revival, but did not succeed . His name, however, stands nst the character in the printopy. It was performed with
great splendour. The admirable music by Mr. Locke is still retained.
5. MACBETH, the Historical Tragedy of (written originally by Shakspeare). Newly adapted to the stage, with alterations by J. Lee, as performed at the Theatre in Edinburgh. Svo. 1753. Lan guage is not strong enough to express our contempt of Mr. Lee's performance. If sense, spirit, and versification, were ever discoverable in Shakspeare's play, so sure has our reformer laid them all in ruins. Criticism disdains to point out each particular mischief of this monkey hand; but yet, gentle reader, accept the following specimen of its atteinpt to improve the well-known incantation with which the fourth act begins:
And Hecate cries, 'Tis time, 't is time.
Toad (that under mossy stone,
6. MACBETH. Trag. by Wm. Shakspeare. Collated with the old and modern editions. 8vo. 1773.
7. MACBETH. Tragedy, by William Shakspeare. With Notes and Emendations, by Harry Rowe, &c. Printed at York. Svo. 1799. The criticisms and emendations are more amusing than solid.
8. MACBETH. Trag. by Shak speare. Revised by J. P. Kemble,
and now first published as it is acted at Covent Garden Theatre. 8vo. 1803.
9. THE MACKE (a game at Cards). A Play. Acted by Henslowe's Company, Feb. 21, 1594. Not printed.
10. MADAM FICKLE; or, The Witty false One. Com. by Thomas Durfey. Acted at the Duke's Theatre. 4to. 1677. This author, who, in regard both of plot and character, was certainly one of the greatest plagiaries that ever existed, has prefixed to this play a motto from Horace, viz. Non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum, which Langbaine has, humorously enough, explained to imply, "That "he could not write a play without "stealing." At least, however, he has given no proof to the contrary of such explanation in the piece before us, which is wholly made up from other comedies. For instance, the character of Sir Arthur Old-Love is a plain copy of Veterano, in The Antiquary; as is also the incident of Zechiel's creeping into the Tavern Bush, and Tilburn's being drunk under it, &c. of the scene of Sir Reverence Lamard and Pimpwell, in The Walks of Islington and Hogsdon. There are also several hints in it borrowed from Marston's Fawn. The scene is laid in Covent Garden.
11. THE MAD CAPTAIN. Opera, by Robert Drury. Acted at Goodman's Fields. Svo. 1733. Prologue spoken by the author.
12. A MAD COUPLE WELL MATCH'D. Comedy, by Richard Brome. 8vo. 1653. This play met with success, and was revived, with some very trivial alterations by Mrs. Behn, under the title of The Debauchee; or, The Credulous Cuckold, and reprinted in 4to.1677.
13. THE MAD GUARDIAN; or,
Sunshine after Rain. A Farce, in two acts, by T. Merchant. Svo. No date. [1795.] This entertainment, which is said to have been performed with the most flattering approbation at the Theatre Royal, Manchester, was printed at Huddersfield, in a volume, including also the author's "Fu
gitive Pieces in Prose and Verse." The name of Merchant, we understand to have been a fictitious one, assumed at that time by Mr. Thomas Dildin.-There is little plot, but considerable humour, in this piece, which has been since acted, for a benefit, at Covent Garden, under the latter title only.
14. THE MAD-HOUSE. A Rehearsal of a new Ballad Opera, burlesqued, called THE MADHouse, after the manner of Pasquin, by R. Baker. Acted at Lincoln's Inn Fields. 8vo. 1737.
15. THE MAD-HOUSE. Mus. Ent. by W. C. Oulton. Acted in Dublin. 12mo. 1785.
16. THE MAD LOVER. TragiCom. by Beaumont and Fletcher. Fol. 1647; 8vo. 1778. This play is particularly commended by Sir Aston Cokain, in his copy of verses on Fletcher's plays. The scene lies at Paphos. The plot of Cleanthe's suborning the priest to give a false oracle, in favour of her brother Syphax, is borrowed from the story of Mundus and Paulina, in Josephus, book xviii. ch. 4.
17. THE MAD LOVER. There would seem to have been an opera, with this title [See Acts AND GALATEA, Masque, by Motteux]; but we have not met with it; nor do we find it mentioned in any former list.
18. THE MADMAN. Burletta. Performed at Marybone Gardens. 4to. 1770.
19. THE MADMAN'S MORRIS.
Play, by Robert Wilson (in conjunction with Dekker and Drayton). Acted 1598. Not printed. 20. THE HISTORY OF MADOR KING OF BRITAIN. By Francis Beaumont. Entered on the book of the Stationers' Company, June 29, 1660; but not printed.
21. MADRIGAL AND TRULLETTA. A Mock Tragedy. 8vo. 1758. This piece was written by Mr. Reed. It was performed at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden, one night only (July 6), under the direction of Theoph. Cibber. It is intended as a ridicule upon some of the later performances of the buskin, and is executed with much humour; but was,' says the author, inhumanly butchered in "the representation."
22. A MAD WORLD MY MASTERS. Com. by Thomas Middleton. Acted by the children of Paul's. 4to. 1608; 4to. 1640; D. C. 1780. This is a very good play, and has been since borrowed from by many writers; particularly by Mrs. Behn, in her City Heiress; and by C. Johnson, in his Country Lasses.
23. THE MAGIC BANNER. See Alfred.
24. THE MAGIC CAVERN; or, Virtue's Triumph. Pant. by Mr. Wewitzer. This splendid and entertaining piece was first acted at Covent Garden, Dec. 27, 1784, and had a very successful run. 8vo. 1795.
25. THE MAGIC FLUTE. Pant. by J. C. Cross. 1800.
26. THE MAGIC GIRDLE. Burletta, by George Savile Carey. Acted at Marybone Gardens. 4to. 1770.
27. THE MAGIC OAK; or, Harlequin Woodcutter. Pantom. Acted at Covent Garden. Songs. &c. only printed, Svo. 1799.
28. THE MAGIC PICTURE. Play. Acted at Covent Garden. 8vo. 1783. This was an alteration of Massinger's Picture, by the Rev. Henry Bate. The alterer has given a new turn to the drama, by making the changes of the picture the effects of Eugenius's jealousy, instead of the magic art of Baptista; by which, however, though the improbability of the fable is lessened, the interest is also in some measure diminished.
29. THE MAGICIAN; or, The Bottle Conjuror. Historico-HeroiSatiri-Comic Drama. Acted at the Star and Garter Tavern, 1749. Not printed.
30. THE MAGICIAN NO CONJUROR. Comic Opera, by Robert Merry. Acted at Covent Garden, 1792. Not printed. It was performed only four nights, but possessed a considerable portion of humour.
31. THE MAGICIAN OF THE MOUNTAIN. Pantomime. Acted at Drury Lane, 1763. The good sense of the audience condemned this piece to oblivion, after, we think, two representations.
32. THE MAGNET. Musical Entertainment. Performed at Marybone Gardens. 8vo. 1771.This magnet has little attraction without the aid of its music.
33. THE MAGNETICK LADY; or, Humours reconcil'd. Com. by Ben Jonson. Fol. 1640; 8vo. 1756. This play is in general esteemed a good one, yet did not escape the censure of some critics of that time: particularly Mr. Gill, master of St. Paul's school, or his son, wrote a satire against it; part of which (the whole being too long), we shall transcribe :
"But to advise thee, Ben, in this strict age,
"Abrick-kiln's better for thee than a stage.
"Thou better know'st a groundsil for to
"Than lay the plot or ground-work of a play,
"And better canst direct to cap a chimney,
"Than to converse with Clio, or Polyhimny.
"Fall then to work in thy old age
Take up thy trug and trowel, gentle
"Let plays alone: or if thou needs will
"And thrust thy feeble muse into the light,
"Let Lowin cease, and Taylor scorn to touch
"The loathed stage, for thou hast made it such."
But, to show how fiercely Ben But, to show how fiercely Ben could repartee on any one that had abused him, we present the reader with his answer.
"Shall the prosperity of a pardon still
"Cropt, branded, slit, neck-stockt; go, you are stript."
folio pages in the black letter, must have taken up a considerable time in the representation, and was printed by Rastell in about 1533. It begins with a dialogue between Felicite and Lyberte : Fylycite.
Al thyngys contryvyd by mannys reason, The world envyrenyd of hygh and low estate,
Be it erly or late welth hath a season; Welth is of wysdome the very trewe probate.
The substance of the allegory, says Mr. Warton (who had never seen any other copy than Mr. Garrick's, of which the first leaf and title are wanting) is briefly this: Magnificence becomes a dupe to two servants and favourites, Fansy, Counterfet Countenance, Crafty Conveyance, Clockyd Colusion, Courtly Abusion, and Foly. At length he is seized and robbed by Adversyte, by whom he is given up as a prisoner to Poverte. He is next delivered to Despare and Mischefe, who offer him a knife and a halter. He snatches the knife, to end his miseries by stabbing himself; when Good Hope and to take the rubarbe of repentance, Redresse appear, and persuade him with some gostly gummes, and a few drammes of devocyon. He becomes acquainted with Circumlows their directions, and seeks for speccyon and Perseverance, folhappiness in a state of penitence and contrition. There is some humour here and there in the dialogue, but the allusions are commonly low. Although many moralities were written about this period, Magnificence and The Nigramansir, by Skelton, are the first that bear the name of their author.
34. MAGNIFICENCE. | A goodly interlude and a me | ry deuysed and made by mayster Skelton, poet laureate, late de | ceasyd.. 35. THE MAGNIFICENT LoSee University Library, CamVERS. Com. by Ozell. This is bridge, D. 4. 8. It contains sixty only a translation, intended for the