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RIGHT HON. GEORGE CANNING,
I DO MYSELF THE HONOUR
PRESENTING TO YOU THE FOLLOWING WORK.
AS YOUR NAME CARRIES ITS OWN EULOGY WITH IT,
YOUR TALENTS REQUIRE NO FLATTERY FROM ME,
IN A MORE PROLIX DEDICATION,
I AM, SIR,
YOUR VERY OBEDIENT
AND VERY HUMBLE SERVANT,
HENRY M. GRAVES.
In submitting the following Essay to the reader, I shall be permitted to mention to him, that I have purposely avoided reading any critique, paper, essay, or remarks on either the genius or the characters of our celebrated Bard. I mention this, more for the professed critic than for the general reader, for the purpose of saying that if plagiarism (than which I know nothing more unpardonable) is to be discovered in the work, I trust it will be attributed to accident, and not wilfulness.
The Essay which follows, was one of four others, for which the author received a prize; (unjustly he owns when he recollects the cleverness of the other papers ;) and the Letter which is annexed, was intended by me to be made more polished and finished for the public eye; but I found that in doing so, I but added study instead of ornament; and as the former is totally irrelevant in the epistolary style, I shall allow it to be perused exactly as it was originally written, and have only to blame myself, if the critic should treat it harshly.