« PreviousContinue »
Measure, for Mleasure
Society of English and French Literature
153 .85 ī
IN the Pembroke' edition of Shakespeare the edi,
• part of much of the work done by Shakespearians, without burdening him with the multifarious material.
For those who are interested in following out a further deeper study, they have prepared the more exhaustive information and critical apparatus supplied in their · First Folio' edition. What is given here, however, is meant to be equally sound, but a shorter cut to a like end. The same text is furnished, with other of the same advantages also, but the design has been in general to devise a slighter equipment to suit the requirements of the general reader.
A sufficient glossary, accordingly, for all recondite words likely to perplex him, is unobtrusively placed before him in the margins. There his eye may catch the explanation he may need, as he reads, finding it where he wants it without the trouble of turning to a bulky list at the end of the volume.
In lieu, again, of elaborate notes, each play is prefaced by a brief description and argument, with short summaries of the main information as to sources, date, early editions, etc.
The biography of the poet is made upon a similar plan, the idea being to give as concisely as possible
It is repro
the well-attested chief facts, and to forbear reconstruction, conjecture, or discussion.
The text furnished, taken together with the footnotes, is, in like fashion, a condensed equipment for the intelligent general reader. If he has any of the modern scientific regard for the truth, he will prefer to aught else that can be given him the exact wording of the first collected text of Shakespeare's own day. This, the First Folio Shakespeare, is, as Halliwell-Phillipps well described it, the most interesting and valuable book in the whole range of English literature.' It sold in 1623, when it was printed, at twenty shillings, or five dollars. To-day it is so rare that a perfect copy seldom comes to the auction-block, and then is only to be bought by collectors at the price of thousands of dollars.
This is the text that is here printed. duced with the fidelity of a facsimile, yet more readably, inasmuch as the only changes made, i.e., long s, the interchangeable i and j, u and y, the occasional y for th, abbreviated the for them, appear in modern type.
In making a popular, inexpensive reprint of this rarest and greatest of books, the editors feel that they perform a service for the reading public which is its own justification. Being in aim and execution unlike any other edition among the many editions of Shakespeare,
show cause for its appearance in the throng of volumes doing homage to the greatest of dramatists.
The text given in other modern editions is a derivation, of course, from the same original; but each succeeding editor for three centuries has modernized to suit his day and interpolated to suit his taste on top of the interpolations of his predecessors. The result is, from the