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HORACE HOWARD FURNESS, M. A. (Harv.)
HON. LITT. D. (CANTAB.)
MUCH ADOE ABOUT NOTHING
J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY
THE Text, here reprinted, is that of the First Folio; which is not, however, the earliest. Much Ado About Nothing had already appeared, in a Quarto form, in the year 1600, twenty-three years before it was printed in the First Folio. Nevertheless, there is in reality but one text, inasmuch as it is from this Quarto that the Folio itself was printed, a fact which any one can discern for himself by an examination of the Textual Notes in the following pages.
Wherever the Folio differs from the Quarto, it is mostly,' Dyce says, 'for the worse;' this 'worse,' however, consists chiefly of trivial typographical errors. Occasionally, the variations in the Folio are improvements, as, for instance, where, in the Quarto, Dogberry says “any man that knowes the stat'utes,' the Folio, with a nearer approach to Dogberry's language, has "anie man that knowes the Statues ;' again, where the Quarto regardless of rhyme says :
• Hang thou there vpon the toomb
* Praising hir when I am dead,' the Folio has :
* Hang thou there vpon the tombe
Where Leonato, full of amazed horror at the sight of Borachio, recoils and asks (according to the Quarto):
'Art thou the slaue that with thy breath hast killd
Mine innocent child ?' the Folio, with heightened dramatic effect, repeats the thou', 'Art 'thou thou the slaue that with thy breath hast kild mine innocent childe?'
Furthermore, the stage directions are rather more exact, even to the specifying of names of actors, in the Folio than in the Quarto ; where the Quarto has ‘Enter prince, Leonato, Claudio, Musicke,' the Folio has · Enter Prince, Leonato, Claudio, and lacke Wilson.'
The most noteworthy difference between the two texts is the omission in several places in the Folio of lines and portions of lines which