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one hundred thousand lines in these plays, and that it often was necessary to consult Say, Shall the current of our right run on ? "

P. 37. Say, shall the current of our right roam on?” P. 476. 7. " And now he feasts, mouthing the flesh of men, -" P. 38.

" And now he feasts, mousing the flesh of men,-"P.479. 8. " A greater power than ye

P. 39. “ A greater power than we P. 478. 9. " For grief is proud, and makes his owner stoop.” P. 52. “ For grief is proud, and makes his owner stout.” P.492.

0, that a man would speak these words to me!” P. 52. " O, that a man should speak these words to me!" P. 497. “ Is’t not amiss, when it is truly done?

P. 64.
Is not amiss, when it is truly done.

P. 504.
Then, in despight of broad-ey'd walclful day, -" P.72.

“ Then, in despight of brooded watchful day,–” P.512. 13. “ A whole armado of collected sail." P. 74. 66 A whole armado of convicted fail.'

P. 514. 14. " And bitter Shame hath Spoil'd the sweet world's taste.' " And bitter shame hath spoil'd the sweet word's taste.

P. 519. Strong reafons make strong actions.P. 81.

" Strong reasons make strange actions. P. 522. 16. " Must make a stand at what your highness will," P. 89. " Doth make a stand at what your highness will,

P. 530. 17: Had none, my lord! why, did not you provoke me ? "

P. 96. - Had none, my lord! why, did you not provoke me?”

P. 536. 18. • Mad'st it no conscience to destroy a king.

" Made it no conscience to destroy a king.' P. 537. 19. Sir, sir, impatience has its privilege. P.

Sir, fir, impatience has his privilege.” P. 541.

Or, when he doom'd this beauty to the grave., P. 102. 5 Or, when lie doom'd this beauty to a grave,

P. 541.

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P. 122.

P. 124

" To the yet-unbegotten sins of time.”. P. 102.
" To the yet-unbegotten sin of times." P. 541.
" And breaihing to this breathless excellence, -" P. 102.

" And breathing to his breathlefs excellence,-"P.54%. 23. ss And your supplies, which you have wifi'd so long,~"

P. 121. “ And your supply, which you have wish'd so long.

P. 561. 24. " What's that to thee? Why may I not demand" What's that to thee? Why may not I demand~"

P. 562. 25. "

O, my sweet sir, news fitted to the night. P. 123.

" O, my sweet fir, news fitting to the night.” P. 563. . 26. “ Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts,

" Leaves them ; invisible his fiege is now

Against the mind,

Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts, - Leaves them invisible; and his fiege is now

Against the mind, -" P. 565. 27. The salt of them is hot. ". P. 125.

- The falt in them is hot. P. 568. Two other restorations in this play I have not set down :

" Before we will lay down our just-borne arms – and

Ad II. sc. ii. *** Be these sad signs confirmers of thy word.

AT III. sc.i. because I pointed them out on a former occasion.

It may perhaps be urged that some of the variations in these lists, are of no great consequence; but to preserve our poe’ts genuine text is certainly important; for otherwise, as Dr. Johnson has justly obferved, " the history of our language will be loft;" and as our poet's words are changed, we are constantly in danger of lofing his meaning also. Every reader must wish to peruse what Shakspeare wrote, fupported at once by the authority of the authentick copies, and the usage of his contemporaries, rather than what the editor of the second folio, or Pope, or Hanmer, or Warburton, have arbitrarily substituted in its place.

which of the preceding editors, from the time of the publication of the second folio, each emendation was made, it will easily be believed, that this was not effected without much trouble.

Whenever I mention the old copy in my notes, if the play be one originally printed in quarto, I mean the first quarto copy; if the play appeared originally in folio, I mean the first folio; and when I inention the old copies, I mean the first quarto and first folio, which, when that expression is used, it may be concluded, concur in the same reading. In like manner, the folio always means the first folio, and the quarto, the earliest quarto, with the exceptions already mentioned. In general, however, the date of each quarto is given, when it is cited. Where there are two quarto copies printed in the same year, they are particularly distinguished, and the variations noticed.

The two great duties of an editor are, to exhibit thre genuine text of his author, and to explain his obscurities. Both of these objects have been so constantly before my eyes , that, I'am confident, one of them will not be found to have been neglected for the other. I can with perfect truth say, with Dr. Johnson, that "not a single passage in the whole work has appeared to me obscure, which

Let me not, however, be misunderstood. All these variations have not been discovered by the prefent collation, some of them having been pointed out by preceding editors; but such as had been already noticed were merely pointed out: the original readings are now established and supported by the usage of our poet himself and that of his contemporaries, and restored to the text, instead of being degraded to the bottom of the page.

I have not endeavoured to illustrate.” I have examined the notes of all the editors, and my own former remarks, with equal rigour; and have endeavoured as much as possible to avoid all controversy, having constantly had in view a philanthropick observation made by the editor above mentioned: “I know not (fays that excellent writer, ) why our editors fhould, with such implacable anger, per. fecute their predecessors. Oi vexpo pari Sáxvxow, the dead, it is true, can make no resistance, they may be attacked with great security ; but since they can neither feel nor mend, the safety of mauling them seems greater than the pleasure: nor perhaps would it much misbeleem us to remember, amidst our triumphs over the nonsensical and the senfeless, that we likewise are men ; that debemur morti, and, as Swift observed to Burnet , shall soon be among the dead ourselves."

I have in general given the true explication of a passage, by wltomfoever made , without loading the page with the preceding unsuccessful attempts at elucidation, and by this means have obtained room for much additional illustration : for, as on the one hand, I trust very few fuperfluous or unnecessary annotations have been admitted, so on the other, I believe, that not a single valuable explication of any obscure passage in these plays has ever appeared, which will not be found in the following volumes.

The admirers of this poet will, I trust, not merely pardon the great accession of new notes in the present edition, but examine them with some degree of pleasure. An idle notion has been propagated, that Shakspeare has been buried under his

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commentators ; and it has again and again been
repeated by the tasteless and the dull, “that notes,
though often necessary, are necessary evils.” There
is no person, I believe, who has an higher respect
for the authority of Dr. Johnson than I have; but
he has been misunderitood, or misrepresented, as
if these words contained a general caution to all the
readers of this poet. Dr. Johnson, in the part of
his preface here alluded to, is addressing the young
reader, to whom Shakspeare is new; and him he
very judiciously counsels, to “read every play from
the first scene to the last, with utter negligence of
all his commentators... Let him read on, through
brightness and obscurity, through integrity and
corruption; let him preserve his comprehension
of the dialogue, and his interest in the fable.” But
to much the greater and more enlightened part of
his readers, (for how few are there compara-
tively to whom Shakspeare is new ?) he gives a
very different advice : Let thent to whom the
pleasures of novelty have ceased ,
ness, and read the commentators."

During the era of conjectural criticism and ca-
pricious innovation, notes were indeed evils ; while
one page was covered with ingenious sophistry in
support of some idle conjecture, and another was
walted in its overthrow, or in erecting a new
fabrick equally unsubstantial as the former. But
this era is now happily past away; and conjecture
and emendation have given place to rational ex-
planation. We shall never, I hope, again be told,
that as the best guesser was the belt diviner, so
he
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