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corpse, that coffin now bestick those bays,
For though his line of life went soon about.
TO THE MEMORIE
OF THE DECEASED AUTHOR MASTER
SHAKESPEARE, at length thy pious fellows give
Than when thy half-Sword parlying Romans spake.
TO THE MEMORY OF M. W. SHAKESPEARE.
We wondered (Shakespeare) that thou wents’t so soon
THE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE,
CONTAINING ALL HIS COMEDIES, HISTORIES AND TRAGEDIES: TRULY SET FORTH, ACCORDING
TO THEIR FIRST ORIGINAL.
THE NAMES OF THE PRINCIPAL ACTORS
IN ALL THESE PLAYS.
William Shakespeare. Richard Burbadge. John Hemmings. Augustine Phillips. William Kempt. Thomas Poope. George Bryan. Henry Condell. William Slye. Richard Cowly. John Lowine. Samuell Crosse. Alexander Cooke.
CONTAINED IN THIS VOLUME,
Midsummer Night's Dream.
The T'aming of the Shrew.
All's well that End's well.
The Winter's Tale.
The Tragedy of Hamlet.
Othello, The Moor of Venice.
Cymbeline, King of Britain.
The First Edition. The Tempest first appeared in the Folio of 1623, where it occupies pp. 1-19; no reference has been found to any earlier edition.
The position of the play in the First Folio may perhaps be regarded as evidence of its contemporary popularity ; or, it may have been merely due to a happy, if perhaps unconscious, intuition 'on the part of the editors
• It is a mimic, magic tempest which we are to see; a tempest raised by Art, to work moral ends with actual men and women, and then to sink into a calm. And in such a storm and calm we have the very idea of a Play or Drama, the fitting specimen and frontispiece of the whole volume of plays before us.' *
With the exception of The Comedy of Errors, The Tempest is the shortest of Shakespeare's plays; certain critics have held that the text was abridged for acting purposes; others refer its brevity to the unusual amount of stage-machinery introduced, or to the necessities of Court representation.
The Epilogue to the play, as in the case of 2 Henry IV. and Henry VIII., is evidently by some other hand than Shakespeare's.
Some scholars hold the same opinion concerning the Masque in Act IV. Shakespeare may well have introduced it in compliance with the fashion of the time; it is obviously intended to celebrate some contemporary marriage. One must bear in mind the fondness for this species of poetical pageantry during the reign of James I. (cp. Ben Jonson's Masque).
Date of Composition. No positive evidence exists for the Date of Composition of The Tempest; the probabilities are in favour of 1610-12.
The superior limit may be fixed at 1603; the speech of Gonzalo, describing his ideal Commonwealth (II. 1. 147, etc.), was certainly derived from a passage in Florio's translation of taigne's · Essays,' first pub
* Sir E. Strachey, Quarterly Review, July 1890, p. 116.