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CHE EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON.

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THE EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON.

When the pensive mind contemplates the interesting history of the times of Shakespeare, and seeks for records of events connected with that distinguished man, it is natural to entertain a feeling of attachment to the memory of those individuals who contributed to the personal comfort, and to the literary protection, of that pre-eminent genius. With this feeling, retrospection immediately signalizes Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton, as an individual to whom England, in particular, and the world in general, are peculiarly indebted for his fostering patronage of that gifted child of nature.

There have been but few memoirs published of the lives of the illustrious men of those days; consequently, our knowledge of the private life of even so distinguished a character as the Earl of Southampton is but very scanty. We have traced some scattered anecdotes in various authors relative to him, and have deemed it. best to present them as we have found them ; at the same time regretting that they do not enlighten us upon the literary intercourse that must have existed between this distinguished nobleman and his grateful protégé.

In the pages of Malone we find a brief but interesting notice of the Earl, which states that he was born on the 6th of October, 1573. His father died in 1581, when he was only eight years old. Being a youth of very quick parts, he was, at

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