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Venus and Adonis
Dedication

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Vilia miretur vulgus: mihi flavus Apollo
Pocula Castalia plena ministret aqua.


TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE
Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton,
and Baron of Titchfield.




Right Honorable,


I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to
your Lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so
strong a prop to support so weak a burden; only if your Honor seem
but pleased, I account myself highly praised and vow to take advantage
of all idle hours till I have honored you with some graver labor.
But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it
had so noble a godfather and never after ear so barren a land, for fear it
yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honorable survey, and
your Honor to your heart’s content, which I wish may always answer
your own wish and the world’s hopeful expectation.


Your Honor’s in all duty,
William Shakespeare.