r-stealing question, admitting that I could not, as some had done, "entirely discredit the story," and following it up by proof (in opposition to the assertion of Malone), that Sir Thomas Lucy had deer, which Shakespeare might have been concerned in stealing. I also, in the same place (vol. i. p. xcv.), showed, from several authorities, how common and how venial offence it was considered in the middle of the reign of Elizabeth. Looking over some MSS. of that time, a few weeks since, I met with a very singular and confirmatory piece of evidence, establishing that in the year 1585, the precise period when our great dramatist is supposed to have made free with the deer of the knight of Charlcote, nearly all the cooks'-shops and ordinaries of London were supplied with stolen venison. The following letter from the lord mayor (which I copy from the original) of that day, Thomas Pullyson, to secretary Walsingham, speaks for itself, and shows that the matter has been deemed of so much important as to call for the int
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