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without the many noticing that such a being had existed, or had left such mighty remains.
It was not destined that our Author should participate, for any great length of time, of that retirement upon which he apparently had set his heart. The enjoyment of the heaven of his own mind, which he doubtless anticipated would fall to his share after retiring from the bustle of London, was shortened by his early death.
His WILL proves him to have died in the Christian Faith; and this is worth specially noting, as proving the power of the Religion we profess, over the mind of one of whom it has been said, that "take him for all in all, we ne'er shall look upon his like again."
It is hoped that little apology is required for producing the present volume, illustrative of the soul of Shakespeare. One virtue it will have, namely, to bring before many
readers passages which they had possibly overlooked in reading the plays, whilst the mind was occupied with the interest of the plot, and the characters.
To others, who have not become largely acquainted with the works of our great countryman, it may perhaps lead to an early introduction.
In conclusion, it must be understood, that the present selection of passages, and their arrangement, is not to be supposed as intended to bear upon either religion, government, politics, or social life at the present day. Since the time of our Author, all these have undergone great changes and revolutions, over which his writings have had little or no influence. The object and intention of the work is to give all the prominence possible to our countryman, as one of the great lights that have shone to illumine the earth, either as Moralist, Metaphysician, or
Poet; many of whose ideas on such subjects are destined to glide down the stream of truth, as long as man continues to be cheered in his daily labours from her refreshing well-springs.