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VOLUME the FIRST,
A MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DREAM.
The MERCHANT of VENICE.
Printed for J. and R. TONSON, C. CORBET, H. WOODFALL
HAT praifes are without reafon lavished on
the dead, and that the honours due only to excellence are paid to antiquity, is a complaint likely to be always continued by thofe, who, being able to add nothing to truth, hope for eminence from the herefies of paradox; or those, who, being forced by disappointment upon confolatory expedients, are willing to hope from posterity what the prefent age refuses, and flatter themselves that the regard which is yet denied by envy, will be at laft bestowed by time.
Antiquity, like every other quality that attracts the notice of mankind, has undoubtedly votaries that reverence it, not from reafon, but from prejudice. Some feem to admire indifcriminately whatever has been long preferved, without confidering that time has fometimes co-operated with chance; all perhaps are more willing to honour past than prefent excellence; and the mind contemplates genius through the fhades of age, as the eye furveys VOL. I. [A]