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SH A KSP E ARE
DESIGNED FOR THE USE OF YOUNG PEOPLE
BY CHARLES LAMB
WITH ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS
BY SIR JOHN GILBERT, R.A.
THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE
The following Tales are meant to be submitted to the young reader as an introduction to the study of Shakspeare, for which purpose his words are used whenever it seemed possible to bring them in : and in whatever has been added to give them the regular form of a connected story, diligent care has been taken to select such words as might least interrupt the effect of the beautiful English tongue in which he wrote: therefore words introduced into our language since his time have been as far as possible avoided.
In those Tales which have been taken from the Tragedies, as my young readers will perceive when they come to see the source from which these stories are derived, Shakspeare's own words, with little alteration, recur very frequently in the narrative as well as in the dialogue ; but in those made from the Comedies I found myself scarcely ever able to turn his words into the narrative form : therefore I fear in them I have made use of dialogue too frequently for young people not used to the dramatic form of writing. But this fault, if it be, as I fear, a fault, has been caused by my earnest wish to give as much of Shakspeare's own words as possible : and if the “ He said,” and “ She said,” the question and the reply, should sometimes seem tedious to their young ears, they must pardon it, because it was the only way I knew of, in which I could give them a few hints and little foretastes of