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I hope Dr. Farmer did not wish to exclude the three dramas before us, together with the Taming of a Shrew, from the number of thofe produced by our author, on account of the Latin quotations to be found in them, His proofs of Shakspeare's want of learning are too strong to ftand in need of such a support.
Though the objections which have been raised to the genuinenefs of the three plays of Henry the fixth have been fully confidered and anfwered by Dr. Johnfon, it may not be amifs to add here, from a contemporary writer, a paffage, which not only points at Shakspeare as the author of them, but alfo fhews, that, however meanly we may now think of them in comparison with his latter productions, they had, at the time of their appearance, a fufficient degree of excellence to alarm the jealousy of the older playwrights. The paffage, to which I refer, is in a pamphlet, entitled, Greene's Groatsworth of Witte, fuppofed to have been written by that voluminous author, Robert Greene, M. A. and faid, in the title-page, to be published at his dying request; probably, about 1592. The conclufion of this piece is an addrefs to his brother poets, to diffuade them from writing any more for the stage, on account of the ill treatment which they were used to receive from the players. It begins thus: To thofe gentlemen, bis quondam acquaint ance, that spend their wits in making player, R. G. wifheth a better exercife, &c. After having addreft himfelf particularly to Cbriflepher Marlowe and Thomas Lodge, (as I guess from circumstances, for their names are not mentioned), he goes on to a third (perhaps George Peele); and having warned him against depending on fo mean a flay as the players, he adds; Yes, truft them not for there is an upftart crow beautified with our feathers, that with his tygres head wrapt in a players hyde, fuppofes bee is as well able to bombafte out a blanke verfe as the best of you; and being an abfolute Johannes fac totum is, in his own conceit, the onely Shake-fcene in a country, There can be no doubt, I think, that Shake-fcene alludes to Shak peare; or that bis tygres head wrapt in a players hyde is a parodie upon the following line of York's fpeech to Margaret, Third Part of Henry the Sixth, act I. sc. iv:
Oh tygres heart, wrapt in a woman's bide.”
END OF VOLUME THE SIXTH,