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ourselves, especially when we consider the wide range which our collation has embraced, and the minute points which we have endeavoured to record, but at all events we have spared no pains to render our work as exact as we could. Those who have ever undertaken a similar task will best understand the difficulty, and will be most ready to make allowance for shortcomings. 'Expertus disces quam gravis iste labor.'

W. G. C.

J. G.

The five plays contained in this volume occur in the first Folio in the same order, and, with one exception, were there printed for the first time.

In the case of The Merry Wives of Windsor, two Quartos (Q, and Q2) imperfect copies of an earlier play, appeared in 1602 and 1619, the second a reprint of the first. They are described in a special Introduction to that play, and a reprint of Q1, collated with Q, is given in the last volume. A third Quarto (Q,) was printed from F, in 1630.


The Tempest was altered by Dryden and D'Avenant, and published as The Tempest; or the Enchanted Island, in 1669. We mark the emendations derived from it: 'Dryden's version.' D'Avenant, in his Law against Lovers fused Measure for Measure and Much Ado about Nothing into one play. We refer to his new readings as being from 'D'Avenant's version'.


IN preparing the present edition I have followed substantially the rules laid down in the Preface to the first edition, although I have exercised my judgement in occasionally departing from them, and in applying them more strictly than the original editors of the first volume found it necessary to do. But I have thought it more convenient, both for the arrangement of the plays and for those who use this work for purposes of study, to place the reprints of the imperfect quartos in the last volume instead of putting them immediately after the plays to which they refer. By this means the Comedies will be contained in three volumes, the Histories in two, and the Tragedies in three, while the last volume will include Pericles, the Poems, and the reprinted quartos.

In the first edition the readings of the annotated second Folio, which was once in the possession of the late Mr Payne Collier, were given on the authority of that gentleman, the editors not having had the opportunity of consulting the original. They were quoted as 'Collier MS.' and none were given which could be found in print earlier than 1853, when Mr Collier published his Notes and Emendations. As the editors. were blamed, somewhat unreasonably, for not quoting these readings at first hand, I have endeavoured to remove this rock of offence. By the kindness of the Duke of Devonshire, to whom the volume now belongs, I have been enabled to examine it at leisure, and so to correct what was faulty, and to supply

what was lacking, in the readings quoted from it in our first edition.

So much has been done for the textual criticism of Shakespeare in the more than twenty years which have passed since this work was completed that the additions to the notes are very numerous. My business as an editor has been to record all the emendations which have been suggested, without endeavouring to discriminate between them. It may be that in this way the notes contain many conjectures which are at best superfluous, but it seems better to err on the side of excess than of defect, and if there are any omissions they must be reckoned among the imperfections which are inseparable from a work involving so much minuteness of detail.



March 1887.

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ALONSO, King of Naples.

SEBASTIAN, his brother.

PROSPERO, the right Duke of Milan.

ANTONIO, his brother, the usurping Duke of Milan.

FERDINAND, Son to the King of Naples.

GONZALO, an honest old Counsellor.

[blocks in formation]

SCENE-A ship at sea: an uninhabited island.


THE ACTORS F1 at the end of the Play. 2 presented by] Edd.

3 Other...Prospero] Theobald.

4 A ship at sea:] At sea: Capell.

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