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SHAKSPEARE

HIS TIMES

On the tip of his subduing tongue
All kind of arguments and question deep,
All replication prompt, and reason strong,
For his advantage still did wake and sleep:
To make the weeper laugh , the laugher veep,
He had the dialect and different skill,
Catching all passions in his craft of will;
That he did in the general bosom reign

of young , of old; and sexes both enchanted, The very age and body of the time his form and pressure.

SHAKSPKARE.

PARIS - PAINTED RY LACRAMPE AT Ce, RI'R DAMIEITK, 2

AND HIS TIMES

Including the Biography of the Poet

(RITICISM ON HJS GENICS AND WRITINGS; A NEW CHRONOLOGY OF HIS PLAYS; A DISQUISITION ON THIE

OBJECT OF HIS SONNETS, AND A HISTORY OF THE MANNERS, CUSTOMS, AMUSEMENTS,

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PARIS
BAUDRY'S EUROPEAN LIBRARY
3, QUAT MALAQUAIS, NEAR THE PONT DES ARTS,

AND STASSIN AND XAVIER, 9, RUE DU COQ, NEAR THE LOUVRE.
SOLD ALSO BY ANYOT, RUE DE LA PAIS; TRUCHY, BOULEVARD DES ITALIENS, BROCKHA'S AND AVENARIUS
KIE RICHELIEI LEOPOLD MICHELSEN, LEIPZIG, AND BY ALL THE PRINCIPAL

HOOKSELLERS ON THE CONTINENT

1843

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PREFACE.

Though two centuries have now elapsed, since the death of Shakspeare, no attempt has hitherto been made to render him the medium for a comprehensive and connected view of the Times in which he lived.

Yet, if any man be allowed to fill a station thus conspicuous and important, Shakspeare has undoubtedly the best claim to the distinction ; not only from his pre-eminence as a dramatic poet, but from the intimate relation which his works bear to the manners, customs, superstitions, and amusements of his age.

Struck with the interest which a work of this kind, if properly executed, might possess, the author was induced, several years ago, to commence the undertaking, with the express intention of blending with the detail of manners, etc. such a portion of criticism, biography, and literary history, as should render the whole still more attractive and complete.

In attempting this, it has been his aim to place Shakspeare in the foreground of the picture, and to throw around him, in groups more or less distinct and full, the various objects of his design; giving them prominency and light, according to their greater or smaller connection with the principal figure.

More especially has it been his wish, to infuse throughout the whole plan, whether considered in respect to its entire scope, or to the parts of which it is composed, that degree of unity and integrity, of relative proportion and just bearing, without which neither harmony, simplicity, nor effect, can be expected or produced.

! With a view, also, to distinctness and perspicuity of elucidation, the whole has been distributed into three parts or pictures, entitled, -"Shak

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