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LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, BROWN, AND GREEN,

PATERNOSTER-ROW.

1824.

LONDON : Printed by A. & R. Spottiswoode,

New-Street-Square.

TO

CHARLES MILLS, Esq.

AS A SINCERE

TESTIMONY OF RESPECT FOR HIS TALENTS AND

LITERARY ATTAINMENTS,

AND OF GRATITUDE FOR HIS FRIENDSHIP,

THESE VOLUMES

ARE, WITH PRIDE AND PLEASURE,

MOST AFFECTIONATELY

INSCRIBED.

April, 1824.

PREFACE.

IN 1753, Mrs. Lennox published a work entitled " Shakspeare Illustrated; or, the Novels and Histories on which the Plays of Shakspeare are founded.” The subject was well chosen ; for as Johnson, the friend of the authoress, observed with regard to Milton's great poem, " it must be interesting to find what was first projected, whence the scheme was taken, how it was improved, by what assistance it was executed, and from what stores the materials were collected; whether its founder dug them from the quarries of nature, or demolished other buildings to embellish his own."

Of the thirty-five plays usually ascribed to Shakspeare, Mrs. Lennox entirely neglected no less than twelve. Of the twenty-three on which she wrote essays, she failed in six instances of

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