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IN TWELVE VOLUMES.
RICHARD THE SECOND.
KING HENRY THE FOURTH, PART FIRST.
Ir was the intention of the editor to add to these volumes a few supplementary notes, referring to passages both in the Histories and Comedies. But as these, like those published with the Comedies, would necessarily be embodied in the Addenda and Corrigenda which will appear with the first volume, it has been thought not worth while to prepare and print matter which on the completion of the work would be entirely superfluous. The subject of the pronunciation of certain letters and syllables in Shakespeare's time, has been made the subject of special, though brief, consideration, in a Note which will appear on the completion of this work.
It may be well to say that the results of the recent investigation at the British Museum into the character and the age of the marginal corrections in Mr. Collier's folio of 1632, be those results what they may, can have no effect upon the congruity or the value of this edition of Shakespeare, which has been prepared from the beginning on the assumption that that volume, though containing many valuable suggestions, is utterly without authority, and was corrected at a date at least so late as to make the age of its emendations entirely worthless as evidence of the authenticity of the source whence they were derived. (See Putnam's Magazine, October and November, 1853, and Shakespeare's Scholar, 1854, pages 33-81, 483-504.)
In some quarters the text of this edition has been confidently spoken of as that of the folio of 1623; but erroneously; for the unimpeachable authenticity of that text is not held by the editor to extend its authority over the many and manifest corruptions that crept into it, to the correction of which all available helps must needs be assiduously applied.
Ravenswood, L. I., Aug. 13, 1859.