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HIS DRAMATIC WORKS
CONDENSED, CONNECTED, AND EMPHASIZED,
SCHOOL, COLLEGE, PARLOUR, AND PLATFORM.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
• DAVID CHARLES BELL,
AUTHOR OF THE THEORY OF ELOCUTION,
," "THE CLASS BOOK OF POETRY,"
COM E DIES.
M E S.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1897, by
DAVID CHARLES BELL, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington,
The English Edition-published by Messrs. Hodder and Stoughton, Paternoster Row, London-is inscribed to the Editor's '• Fornier Patrons and Pupils
in Irelaud, England, Scotland, and Canada."
This Third Volume of “ The Reader's Shakespeare" contains all the Comedies—with the exception of “ The Tempest,” which, as a Romantis Play, is printed in the Second Volume.
These “Readings” do not consist of isolated Selections, but they are original “Condensations” of each play; including the various plots, and introducing the principal Scenes, Incidents, and Characters; rejecting nothing which good taste and experienced judgment should wish to be retained; for, in Shakespeare's Plays, whether
performed on the Stage, presented on the Platform, or read in the familycircle, there is much that must be omitted—a great deal that may be omitted--but, happily, with a valuable residuum of poetic beauty, human interest, good sense, good humour, and verbal photography.
The preparation of these Condensations has extended over more than sixty years, the greater number of them having been often read in public; therefore the retained text has been frequently revised, and it is now as carefully preserved as expurgation and compression allow; all the important verbal changes (many of them being evident improvements,) are contrasted with the Original Readings (0. R.) of the first Folio or the earlier Quartos. The poetic gems have been retained, as well as the refined wit and humour, of character or situation. The Connecting Remarks enable the Reader to dispense with superfluous and unimportant dialogue, and are so arranged as to form, with the abridged and purified text, a continuous story; avoiding the theatrical divisions into Acts and Scenes, as well as the annoying repetition of the names of the dramatis personæ---with their “ entrances and their " exits." The Notes explain all obsolete, irregular, and “ folk-lore” expressions; and, being directly under the eye of the Reader, each page becomes se'f-interpreting. The unobtrusive little diacritic" guides the attentive reader, by its silent direction, to ascertain at once the prominent or emphatic (antithetic) words—thus making many obscure passages easily intelligible, by denoting the exact meaning, or suggesting an oblique reference. - With these advantages, aided by revised punctuation, the whole of Shakespeare's Dramatic Works are, for the first time, presented in a readable, untheatrical form.
The Special Marks in these Volumes are extremely simple : (1) The diacritic mark (') for prominence or emphasis—placed 'before the word.
(2) An emotional or expressive pause (: : -);
(3) The letters 0. R, to denote the Original Reading (chiefly from the First Folio, 1623).
1517 THIRTY-FIFTH STREET,
WEST WASHINGTON, D. C.
a The diacritic mark is placed before the word, but its stress is chiefly manifested on its accented syllable; so that 'command might have been printed com'mand, 'compensation might have appeared as compen'sation; but as the whole of the marked word should partake of the increased stress, it was thought advisable to place the mark before the word,
THE FOLLOWING IS THE ORDER OF THE PLAYS IN THE FIRST FOLIO (1623).
"A CATALOG VE
The Second Part of K Henry the Fourth.
The Life of King Henry the Fift
The First Part of Kini Henry the Sixt
The Second Part of King Hen, the Sixt.
The Third Part of King Henry the Sixt.
The Life & Death of Richard The Third.
The Life of King Henry the Eight,
The Tragedy of Coriolanus.
Romeo and Juliet.
Timon of Athens.
The Life and Death of Julius Cæsar.
The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The Tragedy of Humlet.
Othello, the Moore of Venice.
Cymbeline, King of Britaine."