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Nihil obstat:

GULIELMUS GILDEA, S.T.D.,

Censor Deputatus.

Imprimatur:

HERBERTUS CARDINALIS VAUGHAN,

Archiepiscopus Westmonast.

Die 28 Apr. 1899.

THE RELIGION OF

SH A KES PE ARE

CHIEFLY FROM THE WRITINGS OF THE

LATE MR. RICHARD SIMPSON, M.A.

BY

HENRY SEBASTIAN BOWDEN

OF THE ORATORY

LONDON: BURNS & OATES, LIMITED
NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO: BENZIGER BROTHERS

1899

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PREFACE

The following work has little claim to originality, the greater portion of it being based on manuscripts of the late Mr. Richard Simpson. From his singular acquaintance with Elizabethan literature, these writings offer a sound foundation for the study of Shakespeare in relation to the religious thought of his day. The State Paper documents, the Harleian, Ashmolean, Sloane, and Lansdowne collections, the Rutland and Salisbury Papers, Visitation Returns, the libraries of Paris and Lille, the archives of the English College at Rome, the Douay Registers, the Registers of the Jesuit Colleges of Malines and Bruges, the Stonyhurst MS., were all within the range of his research. It must be remembered also that many of these documents, now printed, indexed, and ready to hand, existed in Mr. Simpson's time only in manuscript, and thus their contents could only be acquired by laborious personal investigation. His note-books are abiding memorial of his exploring zeal. They contain autograph copies of every rare play, tale, or ballad, cognate to his subject, and abound with varied and recondite data and references.

But Mr. Simpson was not merely a collector of rare or curious material. As Shakespeare's plays

an

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