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PREFACE TO THIS REVISED EDITION.
It was in May, 189, that the First Volume of the Pictorial Edition of Shakspere was published The original Prospectus of the work furnished, to some extent, an adequate view of its chief features, and of the principles upon which it was to be conducted. of its literary objects it was said-“Shakspere deman.is a rational edition of luis wonderful performances, that slould address itself to the popular understanding in a spirit of enthusiastic love, and not of captious and presumptuous cavilling ;-with a sincere zeal for the illustration of the text, rather than a desire to parade the stores of useless learning ;—and offering a sober and liberal examination of conflicting opinions amongst the host of crities, in the hope of unravelling the perplexed, clearing up the obscure, and enforcing the beautiful, instead of prolonging those fierce and ridiculous controversies, which, always offensive, are doubly disagreeable in connexion with the works of the most tolerant and expansive mind that
ever lifted out of the region of petty hostilities and prejudices.”
It must be kept in mind that, when this was written, the field of Shaksperian criticism was only occupied by the old commentators.
Since that time, Mr. COLLIER, Mr. DYCE, Mr. HALLIWELL, Nr. STAUNTON, Mr. WHITE (in