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DEDICATION of the PLAYERS.
то тн Е MOST NOBLE AND INCOMPARABLE PAIRE
WILLIAM, Earle of PEMBROKE, &c. Lord Chamberlaine to the King's Most Excellent Majestie ;
PHILIP, Earle of MONTGOMERY, &c. Gentleman of his
. Majesties Bed-Chamber; Both Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and
· our singular good LORDS.
Right HONOURABLE, Whilst we studie to be thankful in our particular, for the many favours we have received from your L. L. we are falne upon the ill-fortune, to mingle two the most diverse things that can be, feare, and rashnesse; rashnesse in the enterprize, and feare of the successe. For, when we value the places your H. H. sustaine, wee cannot but know the dignity greater, than to descend to the reading of these trifles: and, while we name them trifles, we have deprived our. Xxiij
522 THE DEDICATION OF THE PLAYERS. selves of the defence of our dedication. But since your L. L. have been pleased to thinke these trifles something, heeretofore; and have prosequuted both them, and their authour living, with so much favour: we hope (that they out living him, and he not having the fate, common with some, to be exequutor to his owne writings) you will use the same indulgence toward them, you have done unto their parent. There is a great difference, whether any booke choose his patrones, or finde them: this hath done both. For, so much were you L. L. likings of the severall parts, when they were acted, as before they were published, the volume asked to be yours. We have but collected them, and done an office to the dead, to procure his orphanes, guardians; without ambition either of selfe-profit, or fame ; onely to keep the memory of so worthy a friend, and fellow alive, as was our SHAKSPERE, by humble offer of his playes, to your most noble patronage. Wherein, as we have justly observed, no man to come neere your L. L. but with a kind of religious addresse; it hath been the height of our care, who are the presenters, to make the present worthy of your H. H. by the perfection. But, there we must also crave our abilities to be considered, my Lords. We cannot goe beyond our owne powers. Country hands reach forth milke, creame, fruits, or what they have: and many nations (we have heard) that had not gummes and incense, obtained their requests with a leavened cake. It was no fault to approch their gods by what meanes they could :
THE DEDICATION OF THE PLAYERS. 523 and the most, though meanest of things are made more precious, when they are dedicated to temples. In that name, therefore, we most humbly consecrate to your H. H. these remaines of your servant SHAKspere; that what delight is in them may be ever your L. L. the reputation his, and the fault ours, if any be committed, by a paire so carefull to shew their gratitude both to the living, and the dead, as is
Your Lordshippes most bounden,
S HA K S P E R E.
Upon the Effigies of my worthy Friend, the Author, Master
WILLIAM SHAKSPERE, and his Works.
Spectator, this life's shadow is-to see
To the Memory of my beloved, the Author,