A Collection of Poems
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THE Remains of Mr. William Shakespeare, call'd, The Passionate Pilgrime, and, Sonnets to sundry Notes of Musick, (at the End of this Collection) came to my hands in a little stitch'd Book, printed at London for W. Jaggard, in the Year 1599. It is generally agreed he dy'd about the Year 1616. so that it appears plainly they were published by himself, being printed 17 Years before his Death.
I will say nothing of Venus and Adonis, nor of the Rape of Lucrece, they being universally allow'd to be Shakespear's, only that I have printed them from very old Editions, which I procur'd, as the Reader will find by my keeping close to his Spelling.
The Writings of Mr. Shakespeare are in so great Esteem, that several Gentlemen have subscrib'd to a late Edition of his Dramatick Works in Six Volumes; which makes me hope, that this little Book will not be unacceptable to the Publick.
I shall not take upon me to say any thing of the Author, an ingenious Person having compil'd some Memoirs of his Life, and prefix'd it to the late above-mention'd Edition; But I cannot omit inserting a Passage of Mr. Shakespeare's Life, very much to his Honour, and very remarkable, which was either unknown, or forgotten by the Writer of it.
That most learn'd Prince, and great Patron of Learning, King James the First, was pleas'd with his own Hand to write an amicable Letter to Mr. Shakespeare; which Letter, tho now lost, remain'd long in the Hands of Sir William D'avenant, as a credible Person now living can testify.