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LONDON: PRINTED BY C. AND W. REYNELL, LITTLE PULTENEY STREET.

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TO

CHARLES LAMB, Esq.

THIS VOLUME IS INSCRIBED, AS A MARK OF OLD

FRIENDSHIP

AND LASTING ESTEEM,

BY THE AUTHOR.

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The following work, of which the first edition was sold in a few days, has been long out of print; the present republication has been undertaken to supply the constant and increasing demand which the rising popularity of the author has generated.

Those to whom the masterly criticisms of William Hazlitt are most familiar—we especially allude to the notices of the English poets, the dramatists of Elizabeth's time, the comic writers, the actors of his own day, and the painters of every age-will gladly hail the appearance of the present volume, as a sign and promise of others yet to come; as come they will, in the form of this, and containing matter certainly not less entitled to preservation in an elegant and convenient shape, should the success of the present venture warrant similar experiments.

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