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WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR, ESQ.
MY DEAR SIR,
I first communicated at Florence my explanation of Shakespeare's SONNETS. The interest you felt, and your desire that I should publish the discovery, have induced me, though after a lapse of ten years, to enter on the serious, and, perhaps, unpardonable task, of solving a literary difficulty.
When a silent man once begins to speak, he is sometimes apt to make up for lost time. You will see that I talk of
many matters besides the SONNETS; for which the late discoveries of Mr. Collier are partly accountable; but chiefly I have been
incited by an earnest wish to raise the ungracious veil that has so long obscured the fame of our grand poet and philosopher.
The ablest critic must be the kindliest; otherwise I should fear to lay this volume before you, lest you
should feel compelled to express an equally public dissent from some parts of my observations.
While writers of seeming novelties gain popularity in spite of a slovenly and vitiated style, let me congratulate you on having enforced the attention of our countrymen by original thought, clothed in pure and expressive English.
May you long continue to delight and instruct us, nursing our best impulses into active virtues !
I remain, ever,
Your sincere friend,
NRY THE EIGHTH