Imatges de pÓgina

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When I commenced the “Pictorial" edition of Shakspere, twelve
years ago, you had recently entered upon your noble task of presenting, at one
of our then national theatres, the text of Shakspere, not deformed by pre-
sumptuous innovations, and not vulgarized by stage conventionalities. We were
engaged, each in our own way, in the honest endeavour “to diffuse more widely
a more intimate knowledge, and in that a deeper love, of our great poet's works."
I use here the words of a letter which you did me the favour to write to me
in 1839. At the precise time when you are quitting for ever that profession
which you have long elevated and adorned, I shall be sending to the press the
first volume of this revised edition of the Dramas which
years the objects of our common reverence. At such a time, so full of conflict-
ing feelings to yourself, and of unmixed regret to others, I may be permitted to
offer & parting tribute, however humble, in saying that your living commentary
upon the language, and your artistical penetration into the real nature of the
characters and incidents, of these wondrous creations, have often given a co-
herence and force to my own imperfect conceptions, which the best criticism
might have failed to supply. This consideration, as well as the coincidence of
time which I have mentioned, lead me to inscribe this edition to you; with
every sentiment of respect for your public exertions and your private character,
and with the wish, in which thousands participate, that you may find in retire-
ment that peace and holy rest, which make the evening of a well-spent life calm
and beautiful as an unclouded sunset,

I remain,
My dear Sir,
Most sincerely yours,

St. John's Wood,

February 28, 1851.

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