THERE is a feeling for which but little credit is allowed to critics, and which it may be thought great affectation for us to profess: we shall however venture to express it in spite of the incredulity of prejudice. We know then no greater pleasure than to hail the triumph of genius, and to watch over the progress of a growing fame. A mind of common generosity feels itself humiliated, when it is forced to crush unopposing weakness; to do execution even on resolute and stout offenders, though just, is after all but dirty work; but to be able to bestow rewards on exalted merit, seems for the time not only to place us on a level with the subject of our praise, but even to elevate us above our ordinary nature. We must not however attempt to explain the feeling too nicely, lest it should appear rather selfish than benevolent; but be it selfishness or be it kindness, it was never excited so strongly in our breast as by the display of the talents of Mr. Kean.
In our criticism on his Shylock, we promised to retract our praise, if we saw any reason:--something we do wish to alter in that paper, but not the praise. We said that his voice was disagreeable and his figure insignificant. We did not then know that he was labouring under a severe cold, and the tasteless gaberdine of the old Jew concealed that person which was expanded by the heroism of Richard: here his soul seemed to enlarge and o'er-inform its tenement, which, under its inspiring influence, became at once impressive and picturesque. Then his fine and somewhat Italian countenance, all intellect and