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A LIFE OF THE POET,
ORIGINAL AND SELECTED.
It has been the design of the publishers, in presenting this edition of the Dramatic Works of Shakspeare to the public, to give the text as accurately as possible ; encumbering it with as few notes as might seem important for the purposes of illustration. This task will not appear light to those acquainted with the different editions, and with the results of the labor of the various commentators. It was believed this could be best effected by adopting the full and comprehensive edition of Mr. Singer, as the foundation of theirs, relative to the notes ; exercising some discretion in relation to such portions as might appear unnecessary, and substituting others, thought to be more important.
Notwithstanding the changes in both respects, it would be injustice to Mr. Singer not to express to him very important obligations; and yet it is not thought proper to affix to this edition the name of Mr. Singer, although the remarks upon the several plays originate from the same great source. With regard to the text, the readings of the folio edition of 1623 have been preferred, in general.
In the accompanying biography of Shakspeare, they have drawn largely from that written by Dr. Symmons, and originally published with Mr. Singer's edition ; but, with the view of presenting all the important facts reļating to the personal history of the great Bard, they have added the “ New Facts regarding the Life of Shakspeare," found in a letter addressed by J. Payne Collier to Thomas Armyot, and now reprinted in this country.
In short, the publishers have aimed to prepare an edition, both in regard to text and notes, which should be as accurate and clear as possible, under the most careful research of the accomplished scholar who has prepared the work for the press; and in its combination of accuracy and elegance, they flatter themselves this will be found to be the most splendid edition ever presented to the American public.
PHILLIPS, SAMPSON, AND COMPANY.
GENERAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.
King HENRY VIII..............