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the preceding remark, that he may stand acquitted in the opinion of the public, as to any error in judgment, with regard to the undertaking now before them. In a word, he wishes it to be remembered, that the plan is not entirely his own, but that he has in a great measure fallen in with, and adopted the sentis ments of the eminent writer already named.
The method pursued throughout the work, will be seen in the following sketch or example;
For life, I prize it
This thou shouldst have done,
Rightly, to be great
A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery of honour.
Als well that ends well, A. 4, S. 5.
Mine honour keeps the weather of my fate :
holds dear; but the dear man
Troilus and Cressida, A. 5, S.
Honour but of danger wins a scar;
Set Honour in one eye and Death i' the other,
Julius Cafar, A. I, S. 2.
All's well that ends well, A. 2, S. 1.
All's well that ends well, A. 1, S. 2.
A jewel in a ten-times barr'd up chest,
Richard II. A. I, S. 1.
I am not covetous for gold;
Well, 'tis no matter; Honour pricks me on. Yea, but
how how if Honour prick me off when I come on? Can Honour set to a leg? No. · Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound?, No. Honour hath no skill in surgery then? No.
Henry IV. P. 1, A. 5, S. 1.
In like manner with the above, the Editor has endeavoured to exhibit the most striking sentiments of the “ great poet of nature," cleared of all impurities, of all 6 eye-offending.” dross*. He has broken and disjointed several of the speeches, but this must not be urged against him as a fault:---The nature of the work demanded it; and as the reader is referred to the act and scene of every play, in which the more beautiful of such speeches are to be found, and as there are likewise innumerable compilations in which they are given entire, there is consequently the less occasion for apology. It is hoped, moreover, that no one will object to the arrangement of any of the passages, by saying, “I would “ have disposed them in a different manner," but rather remember, that there is no particular rule or standard by which to be governed
* It must not be imagined, from what is here faid, that the Editor has at any time presumed to alter a single expression of Shakespeare; but only, that he has occasionally omitted an exceptionable line or two.
in such a matter. The Editor, indeed, is sensible that the order in which they are płaced, is not always
not always strictly proper. This, however, is not occasioned by negligence, but from an unwillingness to multiply the heads, or divisions, which are already sufficiently numerous. In fine, he has regulated - them in the way which to him appeared the best. The Editor repeats---The intention in the present selection is, to make the poet sometimes speak in maxims or fentences, according to the idea of Dr. Johnson; and at other times to give his description of one and the same affection or passion, as it is feen in different persons and at different seasons: or, as it may be called forth by accidental, by foreign and opposed circumstances *.
With respect to the notes, which are to be met with in the following pages, and which are distinguished by the initials A. B. they are the efforts of a young, but zealous eritic; of one who is desirous of rendering Shake
* Such particular passages, however, as are intimately connected with the fable and characters, or which, from the train of the dialogue, would scarcely be understood when standing alone, are not to be expected here.
speare as clear and perspicuous as possible* The indulgence of the reader is requested for them; and if the writer shall be found to have thrown a light on some of the obscurities of a favourite author, the world will no doubt readily acknowledge it, and amply reward him for his labours.
• He has likewise in his poffeffion a considerable number of observations on such passages of the poet as come not within the plan of the present work. If duly encouraged, he means to publish them without delay.