ion to the Earl of Dorset and
Middlesex, was successful above the author's expectations, "no comedy
these many years having filled the theatre so long together. And I had
the great honour," continues Shadwell, "to find so many friends, that
the house was never so full since it was built as upon the third day
of this play, and vast numbers went away that could not be admitted."
[Footnote: Dedication to the Squire of Alsatia, Shadwell's Works, vol.
iv.] From the Squire of Alsatia the author derived some few hints, and
learned the footing on which the bullies and thieves of the Sanctuary
stood with their neighbours, the fiery young students of the Temple,
of which some intimation is given in the dramatic piece.
Such are the materials to which the author stands indebted for the
composition of the Fortunes of Nigel, a novel, which may be perhaps
one of those that are more amusing on a second perusal, than when read
a first time for the sake of the story, the incidents of which are few