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to the

RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLEY,

Earl of south AMPton, AND BARoN or titch FIELD.

Right Honourable,
I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished

lines to your Lordship, nor how the world will censure me for

choosing SO strong a prop to support so weak a burthen : only if

your honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours till I have honoured you with some graver labour. But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and never after ear" so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, and your honourt to your heart's content; which I wish may always answer your own

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wish, and the world's hopeful expectation.
Your Honour's in all duty,

WILLIAM SHAKEspeARE.

* Ear—plough. # Honour. As a duke is now styled “your grace,” so “your honour” was formerly the usual mode of address to noblemen in general.

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