n preparing for the press a new edition of this little work, the author has endeavored to render it more worthy of the approbation and kindly feeling with which it has been received; she cannot better express her sense of both than by justifying, as far as it is in her power, the cordial and flattering tone of all the public criticisms. It is to the great name of SHAKSPEARE, that bond of sympathy among all who speak his language, and to the subject of the work, not to its own merits, that she attributes the success it has met with,--success the more delightful, because, in truth, it was from the very first, so entirely unlooked for, as to be a matter of surprise as well as of pleasure and gratitude.
t of lunatics; and whereas they used to condemn poor distempered wretches to straw and darkness, stripes and a strait waistcoat, they now send them to sunshine and green fields, to wander in gardens among birds and flowers, and soothe them with soft music and kind flattering speech.
You laugh at me! perhaps I deserve it.
No, in truth; I am a little amused, but most honestly attentive: and perhaps wish I could think more like you. But to proceed: I allow that with this view of the case, you could not well have chosen your illustrations from real life; but why not from history?
As far as history could guide me, I have taken her with me in one or two recent publications, which all tend to the same object. Nor have I here lost sight of her; but I have entered on a land where she alone is not to be trusted, and may make a pleasant companion but a most fallacious guide. To drop metaphor: history informs us that such things have been done or have occurred;