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TEXT OF THE STANDARD EDITION BY ISAAC REED;
A SELECTION OF NOTES,
FROM THE COMMENTARIES OF STEEVENS, MALONE, AND JOHNSON:
Preface by Dr. Johnson ;
A GLOSSARY OF OBSOLETE WORDS.
PRINTED BY W. LEWIS, FINCH-LANE;
FOR ISAAC, TUCKEY, AND CO.,
DEDICATION AND PREFACE
The Dedication of the Players. Prefixed to the first folio, 1623.
are made more precious, when they are dedicated to Temples. In that name, therefore, we most humbly To the Most Noble and Incomparable Paire of Bre-consecrate to your H. H. these remaines of your thren, William Earle of Pembroke, &c. Lord servant SHAKESPEARE; that what delight is in them Chamberlaine to the Kings Most Excellent Ma- may be ever your L. L. the reputation his, and the jesty, and Philip Earle of Montgomery, &c. faults ours, if any be committed, by a payre so careGentleman of his Majesties Bed-chamber. Both full to shew their gratitude both to the living, and Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the dead, as is and our singular good Lords.
Your Lordshippes most bounden,
Whilst we studie to be thankful in our particular, for the many favors we have received from your L. L. The Preface of the Players.
we are falne upon the ill fortune, to mingle two the most diverse things that can bee, feare, and rashBesse; rashnesse in the enterprize, and feare of the successe. For, when we valew the places your H. H. sustaine, we cannot but know their dignity greater, then to descend to the reading of these trifles and, while we name them trifles, we have depriv'd ourselves of the defence of our Dedication. But since your L. L. have been pleas'd to thinke these trifles some-thing, heeretofore; and have prosequuted both them, and their Authour living, with so much favour: we hope that (they out-living him, and he not having the fate, common with some, to be exequutor to his owne writings) you will use the same indulgence toward them, you have done unto their parent. There is a great difference, whether any booke choose his Patrones, or finde them: This hath done both. For, so much were your L. L. hikings of the severall parts, when they were acted, as before they were published, the Volume ask'd to be yours. We have but collected them, and done an office to the dead, to procure his Orphanes, Guardians; without ambition either of selfe-profit, or fame: onely to keepe the memory of so worthy a Friend, and Fellow alive, as was our SHAKESPEARE, by humble offer of his playes, to your most noble patronage. Wherein, as we have justly observed, no man to come neere your L. L. but with a kind of religious addresse, it hath bin the height of our care, who are the Presenters, to make the present worthy of your H. H. by the perfection. But, there we must also crave our abilities to be considered, my Lords. We cannot go beyond our owne powers. Country hands reach foorth milke, creame, fruites, or what they have: and many Nations (we have heard) that had not gummes and incense, obtained their requests with a leavened Cake. It was no fault to approch their Gods by what meanes they could: And the most, though meanest, of things 3925
Prefixed to the first folio edition published in 1623.
To the great variety of Readers, From the most able, to him that can but spell · there you are number'd. We had rather you were weigh'd. Especially, when the fate of all Bookes depends upon your capacities: and not of your heads alone, but of your purses. Well! it is now publique, and you wil stand for your priviledges we know: to read, and censure. Do so, but buy it first. That doth best commend a Booke, the Stationer saics. Then, how odde soever your braines be, or your wisedomes, make your licence the same, and spare not. Judge your sixe-pen'orth, you shillings worth, your five shillings worth at a tim or higher, so you rise to the just rates, and welcome. But, whatever you do, Buy. Censure will not drive a Trade, or make the Jacke go. And though you be a Magistrate of wit, and sit on the Stage at Black-Friers, or the Cock-pit, to arraigne Playes dailie, know, these Playes have had their triall alreadie, and stood out all Appeales; and do now come forth quitted rather by a Decree of Court, than any purchas'd Letters of commendation.
It had bene a thing, we confesse, worthie to have bene wished, that the Author himselfe had lived to have set forth, and overseen his owne writings; But since it hath bin ordain'd otherwise, and he by death departed from that right, we pray you, doe not envie his Friends, the office of their care and paine, to have collected and publish'd them; and so to have publish'd them, as where (before) you were abus'd with divers stolne, and surreptitious copies, maimed and deformed by the frauds and stealthes of injurious impostors, that expos'd them: even those are now offer'd to your view cur'd, and perfect of their limbes; and all the rest, absolute in their numbers, as he conceived the: Who, as he was a happie imitator of Nature, was a most gentle