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HE firft edition of the following work was published at the Clarendon prefs in the year 1744; an account of which is given by the editor, Sir T. H. in the following preface written by himself. The impreffion, having been small, was fuddenly bought up; and the original price advanced to a very exorbitant fum. The great demand therefore of the publick for fo elegant an edition induced the delegates of the university press to set about this republication in which the inaccuracies of the first impreffion in punctuation and spelling are carefully adjusted; and, in order to obviate fuch other objections as have been made to it, at the end of each volume are annexed the various readings of the two moft authentick publishers of our author's plays, Mr. Theobald, and Mr. Capell. The gloffary (to which are prefixed Mr. Upton's rules explaining the anomalies of our author) has received very confiderable additions, not only from the several editions of Shakespear's plays, but likewife from the notes of the editors of Beaumont and Fletcher, Ben. Jonson, and others; from Mr. Urry's gloffary to Chaucer, and Mr. Upton's to Spenfer; Lye's etymologicon, Dr. Grey's notes upon Shakespear, &c. Besides which the reader will find fome valuable notes communicated by the Rev. Dr. Percy, editor of Reliques of
ancient poetry; the Rev. Mr. Warton, late poetryprofeffor in this university; and John Hawkins efquire of Twickenham; to whom was fubmitted the inspection of the additional gloffary: which the editor begs leave thus publickly to acknowledge, with thanks for the many inftances of their obliging attention to this work. All additional notes and explanations are inclosed in brackets; and, if they are not always here given to their refpective authors, the editor may justly claim the forgiveness of the reader, as the error is owing to fuch as have not acknowledged to whom they were themselves indebted. And, as fome minutia may have efcaped his vigilance in collating, he prefumes the pardon of all those who are acquainted with the extreme nicety of the undertaking; and hopes, the candid reader, who shall detect any fuch flight omiffion, will excuse it. The editor has the further fatisfaction to inform the reader, that the plates of the frontifpieces to each play are in the very best preservation, the tail-pieces only being worn-out; which are reengraved by a very eminent artist.
THE epiftle addreffed to Sir T. H. by the late ingenious Mr. Collins was recommended as worthy to be prefixed to the present edition.