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to the Royal Society, concerning the compressibility of Auids; we expressed our diffatisfaction with the description he gave of the apparatus, whereby his experiments were determined. In the present paper he says nothing to remove the difficulties we suggested, and which, if we had not, would doubtlefs have suggested themselves to every reader who might know any thing of the matter. It must certainly be a very nice instrument, and subject to more irregularities than the experimentalist may possibly be aware of, which can serve to the construction of the following table, of the compreffion of fluids :

Millionth Parts. Specific Gravity.
Compression of Spirit of Wine 66

846
Oil of Olives 48

918
Rain-water
46

1000
Sea-water
40

1028
Mercury 3

13595. Mr. Canton determines these fluids, also, not only to be compressible but elastic.No doubt of it; compressibility and elasticity are natural concomitants. We have many objections therefore to make to Mr. Canton's supposition, that the compressibility of fluids does not arise from the elasticity the fluids may contain. It was once thought that the Florentine experiment, regarding the incompressibility of water, was conclusive: Mr, Canton, and others before him, have fhewn it was not fo; and we make no doubt, but some time or other Mr. Canton's experiments will be as fully shewn to be inconclusive as that of the Academy del Cimento. The taking off the weight of the atmosphere, though by the most artificial means possible, is, in our opinion, no proof that all the air is extracted from a fuid, whereby it might be rendered compreslible or elastic to three parts out of a million of its bulk.-Having never seen Mr. Canton's apparatus, however, we do not pretend to depreciate the merit of his discoveries ; and, as the news-papers inform us, the Royal Society have honoured him with their prize-medal on the occasion, we hope they are more important and satisfactory to others than they, at present, appear to the Reviewers, Art. 51. An Account of the Effects of Lightening on three Ships in

the East Indies. By Mr. Veicht. This article may be dispatched in the same manner as that numbered 42, above mentioned.

and

55. contain accounts of two remarkable meteors; both seen at Oxford; the one March 5, 1764, and the other April 23, 1764. By the Rev. Mr. John Swinton, B.D. F.R.S. Member of the Academy degli Apatifli at Florence, &c.

{To be continued.]

Art. 53.

K-n-ky Revisto

A Review of Doctor Johnson's New Edition of Shakespeare : In

which the Ignorance, or Inattention, of that Editor is exposed, and the Poet defended from the Persecution of his Commentators. W. Kenrick. 8vo.

3 S. Payne.

By

W

HEN men, eminent for their abilities, or learning,

engage on contested points of literature or science, persons of inferior endowments will naturally look up to them, as to examples, for their imitation ; they will study their arts of attack and defence; they will copy their manners; and if the dispute be liberally conducted, they will observe how generously the MASTERS encounter,--scorning every little mean advantage, and mutually disclaiming all personal enmity, or private malice :-the love of Truth their principle, and Fame their only motive. With what superior skill do they wield the weapons of controversy! with what elegance of deportment, what refinement of address ! equally displaying the scholar, the genius, and the gentleman !

On the contrary, when we see, as too often we do fee, perfons of distinguished abilities indecently attacking each other, forgetful not only of what they owe to the cause of truth, but even the respect due to their own rank in the republic of letters,

- how much reason have we to regret the illiberal dispute, and to be forry for such improper examples !-examples which the paffions of mankind will but too naturally excite them to folsow!-How much, rather, were it to be wilhed, that men of letters would learn to diflent from each other with urbanity, and to debate with such candid opposition of sentiment, that every witness to the friendly contest, thould be ready to cry out with the poet,

Ingenuas didicise fideliter artes

Emollit mores, nec finit efle feros! The foregoing general reflection was excited by some paffages in the rough attack which the Author of the critical performance now before us, hath

made on a gentleman of established literary reputation. This Reviewer feems to be one of those violenta sailants whose aim is not merely to vanquish but even to exterminate his antagonist. With him, it is not enough that the

editor of Shakelpeare be proved to have mistaken his own powers and qualifications, when he undertook that arduous task, in which greater men than Dr. Johnson have failed of success, but he muft also be exposed as a very pretender to all literature and science * !-This is really outrageous! What must the im

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See

p. 54 ; where Mr. K, says, “it does not appear to him, that Dr. J. is matter of any one science, or any one language.' Rev. 16. 1765. нь

partial partial reader think of such extravagance? what, but that Mr. Kenrick is, in controversy, what the North-American Indians are in war; and comes armed with the tomahawk and scalpingknife, to slay, and to strip, the slain, with the barbarity of a Mohawk or a Cherokee.

To do our Author justice, however, he seems to have been conscious of his having offended against the laws of literary wár ; and he thus apologizes for it, in his preface; if, indeed, that can be called an apology, which is rather a justification :

• The Author,' says he, speaking of himself, can readily foresee, that he shall be thought to have treated both Dr. Johnson and Dr. Warburton (for he spares the bishop as little as he hath spared the doctor of laws) with an ill-becoming levity, if not with unmerited severity.-The Reviewer confeftes indeed he should have been glad to have had, on this occasion, less to do with the commentary of the reverend gentleman last mentioned. . And this, he has reason to think, would have been the case, had not Dr. Johnson been prevailed on by his printer prudentially to cancel several annotations, in which he had strongly expressed his dissent from that learned scholiast. But having, oa second thoughts, judged it expedient to shelter himself, as it were, under the wing of the bishop of Gloucester; it is hoped the justice due to Shakespeare will excuse the Reviewer, though he should be sometimes obliged, in correcting his present editor, to ruffle and expose an irreverend feather or two of the bishop's.

· That he may not be suspected, however, of attempting to injure either, from a principle of spleen or resentment, he can safely aver, with regard to both, what another of Dr. Warburton's antagonists hath declared in respect to him alone; i. e. “ That he is personally a stranger to either of these gentlemen; never conversed with them ; never saw them [bit onte] ; never had the least communication with them of any kind ; never hath received or solicited any favour from either ; nor, on the other hand, had been ever personally disobliged by them ; so that it is impoffible this proceeding can have been influenced either by disappointment or resentment. The truth is, that the Reviewer hath always understood it to be an established law in the republic of letters, wisely calculated to restrain the excesses of insult, pe. tulance and ill-nature, too apt to shoot up in the fplenetic recesses of solitary literature, that every writer should be treated on the same foot of civility, on which, when unprovoked by prior ili ufage, he hath been accustomed to treat others." Now, whether he hath treated either of these gentlemen worfe than they have treated Shakespeare, he dares appeal to the impartiality of the public; which, at whateyer low estimation it may rate an obscure author, who hath never set his name to a book; it will | hardly think there can be a greater difference between him and

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this par nobile fratrum of commentators, than there is between them and the inimitable writer on whose works they have fo freely commented. If the Reviewer hath at any time, indeed, behaved towards these gentlemen with little ceremony, it hath been always when they deserved much less : for it is to be observed, he had nothing to do with the political characters of either. He did not think it necessary, therefore, to pay any deference to Dr. Johnson, as his majesty's pensioner ; nor to Dr. Warburton, as bilhop of Gloucester. Their literary character was all that concerned him ; and even, viewing them in this Jight, he had to respect them only as commentators on Shakespeare.

• Not that the Reviewer piques himself on being deficient in point of civility, or would take upon himself to infringe the necessary forms of decency and decorum. He admits, as Dr. Johnfon observes, “ that respect is due to high place, and tenderness for living reputation :” but then he conceives that respect to be limited both as to place and time ; and cannot admit that any tenderness for the living gives us a right to trample inhumanly and sacrilegiously on the dead.

Had the bishop of Gloucester, when he entered on that right-reverend function, made a public recantation of the errors of poetry, and formally renounced the pomps and vanities of verbal criticism; not one of the heresies he maintained, or the fins he committed in this kind, absurd and enormous as they were, should, with the Reviewer's consent, have risen up in judgment against him; or have been dragged from that oblivion, to which they seemed eternally consigned. But if either Dr. Warburton, or his friends, presume on the influence of lawnTiceves in the republic of letters, it is proper to inform them there are neither bishops, priests, nor deacons in that community. The republic of letters is a perfect democracy, where, all being equal, there is no respect of persons, but every one hath a right to speak the truth jf another, to censure without fear, and to commend without favour or affection. Nor is the literary community of less dignity than the political. Popularity and inAuence, indeed, may be obtained, for a while, by finifter means in both; but though birth and wealth may confer eminence and power in the one, not the descent of an Alexander, nor the riches of Cræsus, confer prerogative or authority in the other.'

How far such apologizing as this, may suffice to excuse the many extraordinary freedoms which this Writer hath taken with Dr. Johnson, (some of which we may be obliged to quote, in the course of the article, although we fhould rather chuse to avoid the spreading of such personalities) we leave our Readers to conclude ; and shall now proceed to give some idea of Mr. Kena şick's hypercriticisins.

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4 This large pamphlet contains only half of the Author's des fign, which is, to take a review of all the eight volumes of which Dr. Johnson's edition of Shakespeare contists. The prefent firA part goes no farther than the third volume. Mr. K. begins with the Tempeft; and goes on with the plays, in the order wherein they are printed. As a specimen of his abilities and manner as a critic, in general, and of his knowlege of Shakespeare, and the earlier English poets, in particular, we fhall select a few passages; and the fewer will fuffice, as we fhall "have an opportunity of returning to the subject, when the second part of this undertaking fhall be publifhed :—and it is promised, in the advertisement, with all convenient speed.'

In The Midsummer-night's Dream, the following passage hath given rise to some very notable criticisms : Qusen. Full often the hath goslipt by my fide ;

And fat with me, on Neptune's yellow sands,
Marking th' embarked traders on the flood,
When we have laught to see the sails conceive,
· And grow big: bellied with the wanton wind :
Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait,
Following (her womb then rich with my young Squire)
Would imitate"; and sail upon the land,
To fetch me trifles, and return again

As from 'a voyage rich with merchandize.
Mr. Kenrick obferves, that the Doctors Warburton and
Johnson have both attempted to illustrate this paffage, without

fuccess. « The difficulty, says he, lies in the fixth, seventh, and eighth lines. Dr. Warburton says, “ Following what ? The did not follow the fhip, whose motion the imitated; for that failed on the water, flie on the land. If by following we are to understand imitating, it will be a mere pleonasm-imitating would imitałe. From the poet's description of the actions it plainly *appears we should read

FOLLYING

Would imitaté. 'i. e. wantoning in fport and gaiety. Thus the old English writers--and they beleeven FOLYLY and falsely- says Sir J. Mandeville, from and in the sense of folâtrer, to play the wanton. This exactly agrees to the action described. -- full often has the golipt by my site--and--when we have bought to fee."

This note, Dr. Johnson tells us, 'is very ingenious; but, *continues he, "finde follying is a word of which I know not

any example ; and the fairy's favourite might,' without much licentiousness of language, be said to follow a ship that sailed in

the direction of the coaft, I think there is no sufficient reason for adopting it. The coinage of new words is a violent remedy, *not to be afed but in the last necessity."

6. I will

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