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THE

PLAY S

OF

S HA K S P E A R E.

VOL. I.

When Learning's triumph o'er her barbarous foes
First rear'd the stage, immortal Shakspeare rose;
Each change of many-color'd life he drew,
Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new :
Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
And panting Time toil'd after him in vain.
His powerful strokes presiding Truth impress’d,
And unresisted Passion storm'd the breast.

JOHNSON.

A loose he gave to his unbounded soul,
And taught new lands to rise, new seas to roll;
Call'd into being scenes unknown before,
And, passing Nature's bounds, was something more.

CHURCHILL.

THE

PLAYS

S H A K S P E A R E..

IN FOURTEEN VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LIFE OF SHAKSPEARE.

TEMPEST,

TWO GENTLEMEN OP VERONA.

LONDON:
L. A. LEWIS, 125, FLEET STREET.

MDCCCXLI.

LONDON :
Printed by Maurice and Co., Howford Buildings,

Fenchurch Street.

LIFE

WILLIAM SHAKS PEARE.

No feeling appears more universal, and natural to the mind of man, than that which transfers an admiration of works of genius into an inquiry respecting the mind whence they emanated; and seldom has curiosity been less gratified than in its researches into the biography of the greatest genius ever known in dramatic poetry. But little more than two centuries have elapsed since the death of our author, and almost as much is ascertained of the private life of Homer, as can now be gleaned of WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE, of whom little more can be learned, save that he lived and died, and was buried in his native town: yet his talents appear to have been highly appreciated by his contemporaries, and still more so by his immediate successors : and it might

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