the sight of God. Drayton must assuredly have perceived how greatly such an appeal tended to exalt his hero's character, and what an opening it afforded for impressive rhetoric. Nor could the incident have escaped his notice, for there is abundant internal evidence of his acquaintance with Shakespeare's drama in the closet as well as on the stage. It can only be concluded that he did not choose to be indebted to Shakespeare, or despaired of rivalling him. His notice of his great contemporary in the "Epistle to Reynolds" is surprisingly cold; but the legend, however unauthentic, of Shakespeare's death from a fever contracted at a merry-making in Drayton's company, seems incompatible with any serious estrangement, and Shakespeare's son-in-law was Drayton's physician when the latter revisited his native Warwickshire. The same jealousy of obligation must have influenced his treatment of the incident of the Dauphin's derisive present of tennis balls, which both Shakespeare and he have adopted from Holinshed or his
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