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discussion, than any other of his plays. At the same time, it has always excited a great degree of interest, and, as it ever has been, is now highly popular with the British public: and As You LIKE IT, a comedy of the highest general interest, is, as we conceive, the most elegant of our author's compositions of this class.
This is all that it has been thought necessary to state with respect to the principle of the work. Of the work itself, we have only to say, that the materials for the whole have been long collected; and that more than the half of that whole has been worked up with as much care as the parts now presented to the public, without the least regard to what the play was, or distinction as to the degree of its merit or popularity. As to the order in which the plays are to be printed, as well as in the division of acts and scenes, it is our purpose, consulting the convenience and habits of our readers, to follow the current edition, that of Johnson and Steevens, by Reed; as is done in the present specimen.
Licentious and conjectural emendation has not been confined merely to our author's text. His name has, without
sufficient warrant, and against the use and evidence of his own age, and a century and a half afterwards, been barbarously corrupted. As he published it, it was uniformly Shakespeare; and in his Sonnets, printed seven, or eight years before his death, it is given with a hyphen, Shake-speare, not only in the title, but in the running line at the head of every leaf throughout the book. It is so also published in the address of one of the copies of commendatory verses, prefixed to the folios. As he published it, all his contemporaries printed it: and such printing, with a pronunciation correspondent with the spelling, descended to the middle of the last century. It is only then upon his subscriptions to his will and a mortgage deed, fac-similes of which are given in Reed's edition, that the modern alteration of his name to Shakspeare is founded. But as in one out of these, four signatures the last syllable of his
name is abbreviated, and in two others spelt by abbreviation differently from what is on all hands admitted to be the proper spelling of his name, it is not easy to conceive why his having, solely in these instances, spelt the first syllable also differently, should be taken as a decisive proof that his name was not there also abbreviated, and was other than he had himself in print given it, and the whole world besides had for many generations supposed it to be, and had so printed and pronounced it. For these reasons, and others to be another day set forth more in detail, we have continued the old reading of his time, and call our author Shakespeare.
The letters 0. C. or old copies, in the margin, always signify the quartos and folios of 1623; and generally, but not necessarily, that of 1632.
The additions from the quartos are put within brackets.
ADDENDA ET CORRIGENDA.
P. 34. P. 40. P. 49.
P. 4. « When he the ambitious.” « He" should be within brackets, being restored from the quartos. P. 13. “ Seem to me.” So the quartos.
“ Seemes” the folios. P. 23. “ From this time.” So the quartos.
« For" &c. the folios. Note b. after exercised" add,“ See, greenly."
P. 25, b. The passage beginning “ This heavy headed,” and ending “ to his own scandal," should be included in brackets, as taken from the quartos.
P. 30, l. 1. Opposite “ porcupine" insert in the margin“ porpentine" 0. c.
Ib. “With traiterous gifts." So the quartos. The folios read “ hath traiterous gifts," and omit the parenthesis that follows.
“Whirling," quartos, is “ hurling" in the folios.
“So he does indeed” the quartos read; “ has” the folios.
NOTES ON HAMLET. P. 6. n. 10. After “commentators," add, “ who have laboured the point.”
P. 13, n. 30. For “ in the sense,” read “ not in the sense;" and after “author's works," omit “where."
P. 35, n. 98. Add, “ We however find this to have been the language of the day. J. Heywood says of Mars and Venus :
“ The tel-tale sunne straight to the smith discovers
Britaines Troy.fo. 1609, p. 109." P. 123. n. 30. For “the Promptuar. parvulor." read “two works.”
P. 128. n. 44. For “ See II H. IV. Falst. &c.” read, “But Mr. Ritson says, the Cornish chough is pronounced by the natives chow; and though the word is not spelt here, as it is in I H. IV. Falst. II. 2. chuff, it may yet, from its association with wealth, be much doubted whether it has, in either instance, any relation to that bird."
AS YOU LIKE IT. TEXT. . P. 60. For “ South-sea-off discovery," read, “ South-sea of.”