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terations or Additions which Shakespear himself made, are taken notice of as they Occur. Some fufpected paffages which are exceffively bad, (and which feem Interpolations by being fo inserted that one can intirely omit them without any chaẩm, or deficience in the context) are degraded to the bottom of the page; with an Afterisk referring to the places of their infertion. The Scenes are mark'd fo diftinctly that every removal of place is fpecify'd; which is more neceffary in this Author than any other, fince he fhifts them more frequently: and fometimes without attending to this particular, the reader would have met with obfcurities. The more obfolete or unusual words are explained)Some of the moft fhining paffages are diftinguish'd by comma's in the margin; and where the beauty lay not in particulars but in the whole, a ftar is prefix'd to the scene. This seems to me a fhorter and less oftentatious method of performing the better half of Criticism (namely the pointing out an Author's excellencies) than to fill a whole paper with citations of fine paffages, with general Applaufes, or empty Exclamations at the tail of them. There is alfo fubjoin'd a Catalogue of thofe firft Editions by which the greater part of the various readings and of the corrected paffages are authorised, (most of which are fuch as carry their own.



evidence along with them.) Thefe Editions now hold the place of Originals, and are the only materials left to repair the defici ences or reftore the corrupted fenfe of the Author: I can only wish that a greater number of them (if a greater were ever published) may yet be found, by a fearch more fuccessful than mine, for the better accomplishment of this end.

I will conclude by faying of Shakespear, that with all his faults, and with all the irregularity of his Drama, one may look upon his works, in comparison of those that are more finish'd and regular, as upon an ancient majestick piece of Gothick Architecture, compar'd with a neat Modern building: The latter is more elegant and glaring, but the former is more ftrong and more folemn. It must be allow'd, that in one of thefe there are materials enough to make many of the other. It has much the greater variety, and much the nobler apartments; tho' we are often conducted to them by dark, odd, and uncouth paffages. Nor does the Whole fail to ftrike us with greater reverence, tho' many of the Parts are childish, ill-plac'd, and unequal to its grandeur.



A TABLE of the feveral Editions of Shakespear's Plays, made ufe of and compared in this Impreffion.

MR. William Shakespear's Comedies, Hiftories and Tragedies, publifh'd according to the Original Copies. the first Edition in Folio, 1623.

The fecond Impreffion in Folio, of 1632.

I. A Midfummer Night's Dream, as it hath been fundry times publickly acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlains Servants. Printed by James Roberts, Quarto, 1600 (the 36th Year of the Author's Age.)

II. A moft pleasant and excellent conceited Comedy of Sir John Falstaffe, and the Merry Wives of Windfor, with the fwaggering Vain of Ancient Piftol and Corporal Nym. printed for Arthur Johnson, 1619, Quarto.

III. The excellent Hiftory of the Merchant of Venice, with the extream Cruelty of Shylock the Jew toward the faid Merchant, in cutting a juft Pound of his Flesh, and the obtaining of Portia by the choice of three Caskets. Printed by J. Roberts, 1600, Quarto.

Another Edition of the fame, printed by J. R. for Tho. Heyes, in the fame Year (the 36th of his Age.)

IV. A pleasant conceited Comedy called Loves Labor loft, as it was prefented before her Highnefs this laft Chrifimas, newly corrected and augmented by William Seakefpear. Imprinted at London by W. W. for Cutbert Burley, 1598.

V. A pleasant conceited Hiftory call'd The Taming of a Shrew, as it hath been fundry times acted by the Right Honourable the Earl of Pembroke his Servants, Printed at London by V. S. for Nich. Ling, 1607. There is fcarce a line of this the fame with the prefent Play, yet the Plot and Scenary fcarce differ at all from it. I fhould think it not written by Shakespear; but there are fome Speeches (in one or two Scenes only) the fame: And we have there the conclufion of the Play, which


is manifeftly wanting in all the fubfequent Editions, as well as the latter part of the laft Act, manifeftly better, and clear of that impertinent Prolixity which is in the common Editions.

VI. Mr. William Shakespear his true Cronicle Hifto ry of the Life and Death of King Lear and his three Daughters, with the unfortunate Life of Edgar Son and Heir to the Earl of Gloucester, and his fullen and affumed humour of Tom a Bedlam. As it was play'd before the King's Majefty at Whitehall upon St. Stephen's Night in Christmas Holydays. By His Majefty's Servants playing ufually at the Globe on the Bankfide. Printed for Nath. Butter, 1608.

VII The Tragedy of King Richard the Second, as it hath been publickly acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlain his fervants. By William Shakespear. Brinted by Valentine Simms for Andrew Wife, 1598. (the 34th Year of Shakespear's Age.)

The fame, with new Additions, of the Parliament Scene, and the depofing of King Richard. As it hath been lately acted by the King's Majefty's Servants at the Globe. By W. Shakespear. Printed by W. W. for Matthew Law, 1608, and again 161.

VIII. The Hiftory of Henry the 4th, with the Battle at Shrewsbury, between the King and Lord Henry Piercy, Sirnamed Henry Hotspur of the North. With the humourous Conceits of Sir John Falstaffe, newly corrected by William Shakespear. Printed by P. S. for Andrew Wife, 1599, Quarto. his 35th Year."

The fame Printed in 1604.

The fame Printed for Matthew Law, &c, in 1608, Quarto.

IX. The Second Part of Henry the 4th, containing to his Death and Coronation of Henry the 5th. With the Humours of Sir John Falstaffe and fwaggering Piftol. As it hath been fundry times publickly acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlain his Servants. Written by William Shakespear. Printed by V. S. for Andrew Wife and William Afpley, 1600, Quarto, (the 36th Year of his Age.)

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X. The Cronicle History of Henry the 5th, with his Batle fought at Agincourt in France. Together with Ancient Piftol. As it hath been fundry times played by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlain's Servants. Printed by Tho. Crede for Tho. Millington, 1600.

Another Printed for T. P. 1608, Quarto. Thefe Editions are short in many Scenes and Speeches, and want the Chorus's; which (with many other noble Improvements) were fince added by the Author, not above 8 Years before his Death. This was one of the laft Plays he finifhed, a confiderable time after Henry the 6th had been written and acted. See the Epilogue of Henry 5th.

XI. Henry the 6th, firft Printed under this Title. The whole Contention between the two famous Houses. Lancafter and York: With the Tragical Ends of the good Duke Humphrey, Richard Duke of York, and King Henry the Sixth: divided into two parts, and newly corrected and inlarged. Written by W. Shakespear, Gent. Printed at London for T. P. (without a date) Quarto.

This was the first Sketch only of the present second and third Parts of Henry the Sixth, which were fince greatly inlarged, and the Poetry improved; the Scenary was much the fame as at prefent.

Since Printed under the fame Title by W. W. for Tho. 'Millington, with the true Tragedy of Richard D. of York, and the Death of good King Henry the 6th, acted by the Earl of Pembroke his Servants, 1600.

XII. The Tragedy of King Richard the 3d, containing his treacherous Plots against his Brother Clarence, the pitiful Murther of his Innocent Nephews, his tyrannical Ufurpations; with the whole courfe of his detefted Life, and moft deferved Death. As hath been lately acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlain his Servants. By W. Shakespear. Printed by Tho. Creed for Andrew Wife, 1598, Quarto (the 34th Year of the Author's Age.)

The fame newly augmented, Printed for the fame Printers in 1602.

The fame in 1612.

XIII. The moft lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronieas. As it hath been fundry times played by the King's


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