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The Life of

Richard Brinsley Sheridan

(1751-1816)

SCARCELY anything remains at the present hour to attest the superiority of Richard Brinsley Sheridan over the great men of the times just passed away, but his contributions to the dramatic literature of the country, yet was he acknowledged to be at one period of his existence the most gifted genius of his age. Unfortunately for his memory, his last and least happy moments are those best remembered. He has been judged of when the decay of his intellect, the carelessness, nay, even the recklessness of his conduct, and the perplexities in which he was involved, had changed the character of the man. He has been regarded as the dissipated, thoughtless butterfly that passed through an ephemeral existence; as one who was merely a brilliant ornament of society, or the boon companion of an idle hour. Far superior, however, was he to almost all those great personages who figured with him on the stage of existence in those qualities which are most highly prized in the busy section of the world,

His life is a romance. Even those who are wont to receive with incredulity the narrative of the biogVOL. I.

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