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Lady of the Lake

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By: (1767-1816)

At the request of Mr. Siddons, Manager and Patentee of the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh, the following Performance was composed. I am very sensible that Mr. Scott’s Poem of “The Lady of the Lake” afforded material for a much superior Drama than the one here presented to the public; but as Mr. Siddons, in all his correspondence with me on the subject, urged expedition, I was more attentive to the interest of a Friend than to the fame of an Author; and the whole piece was arranged, written, and copied in the short space of ten days. I can claim little merit beyond that of a compiler. Some few flowrets, indeed (or rather weeds, as the critics may call them, at the foot of Parnassus), are of my own planting; but the praise of poetic ingenuity belongs solely to the Author from whence the scenes, characters, and sentiments have been borrowed. To quote the translated words of Montaigne, which have been appositely applied to similar compositions, I have here only made a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought little more of my own than the band which ties them.

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