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SHAKESPEARE'S

LEGAL ACQUIREMENTS CONSIDERED.

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LONDON: PRINTED BY >T. Clowks AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET, AND CHARING CROSS.

PREFACE.

When my old and valued friend, Mr. Payne Collier, received the following Letter, which I wrote with a view to assist him in his Shakespearian lucubrations, he forthwith, in terms which I should like to copy if they were not so complimentary, strongly recommended me to print and publish it in my own name,—intimating that I might thus have "the glory of placing a stone on the lofty Cairn of our immortal bard." If he had said a "pebble," the word would have been more appropriate. But the hope of making any addition, even if infinitesimally small, to this great national monument, is enough to induce me to follow my friend's advice, although I am aware that by the attempt I shall be exposed to some peril. In pointing out Shakespeare's frequent use of law-phrases, and the strict propriety with which he always applies them, the Chief Justice may be likened to the Cobbler, who, when shown the masterpiece of a great painter, representing the Pope surrounded by an interesting historical group, could not be prevailed upon

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