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In presenting the first volume of this edition of the Works of Shakspeare to the notice of the public, the Editor deems it expedient to point out the leading features by which it is distinguished.
The text of Malone, as published in 1821, ini twenty-one volumes, is scrupulously followed ; and a brief Historical Sketch and Argument are prefixed to each Play.
Dr. Johnson has observed in his excellent Preface, that ‘notes are often necessary, but a necessary evil : such only are inserted as may serve to elucidate obscure passages, or to explain obsolete words and phrases ; by which the Editor hopes to obtain for his work the
appellation of a legible edition of Shakspeare,' uniform with the most popular productions of the present day, and suited to the taste of the age.
The attention of the youthful reader will be directed to the most striking and brilliant passages by the Index, which is intended to form a complete reference to the Beauties of Shakspeare.
The Illustrations are drawn from the one hundred and seventy plates in Boydell's Edition, and executed on steel, in the first style of outline engraving.
The number and quality of the illustrations, the convenience and portability of the form adopted, and the general execution of the whole work, will it is hoped merit the approbation of the public, as the most useful, ornamental, and economical edition of Shakspeare.
PAGE 1. Portrait of Shakspeare. Frontispiece. 2. Shakspeare nursed by Tragedy and Comedy, from a Painting
by Romney. . . . . . . . . . . viii 3. Infant Shakspeare attended by Nature and the Passions.
Romney. . . . . . . . . . . xii 4. The Monument of Shakspeare in Stratford Church.-- Boydell. xl 5. Shakspeare between Poetry and Painting.–Banks. . .
THE TEMPEST. 6. Prospero and Miranda before the cell of Prospero.- Romney. 7. Prospero, Miranda, and Ariel.-Hamilton. . . 8. Prospero, Miranda, Caliban, and Ariel.-- Fuseli. . . . 9. Trinculo, Stephano, and Caliban.-Smirke. 10. Ferdinand and Miranda.-Hamilton. . . . . . 11. Prospero, Ferdinand, Miranda, Mask, &c.-Wright. . . 12. Ferdinand and Miranda playing at chess.-Wheatley. . .
TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA. 13. Valentine, Proteus, Silvia, and Julia.-Angelica Kauffman. . 14. Valentine, Proteus, Silvia, and Julia. Stothard. . . .