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t act, we find cing the Eng.
intermediate ocess and her nguage. She
Jogue; it is jature; and ill be ready wer, I bege, for the gh the me language. man would ated. Is it AKSPEABE, f the nar. ing which ld be able ап excuse, ze wife of
a solitary medies as Furconakspeare, bnisbed, nd ludiurance of e weeds he latter stances,
words. cary age as been duff by hat any
words These, e three se tas Te 21which eded;
Ir a presumptuous artist should undertake to remove a supposed defect in the Trans-
Nec Deus intersit nisi dignus vindice nodus.
I wish it were in my power to say of indecency as I have said of profaneness, that the examples of it are not very numerous. persons whose acquaintance with Shakspeare depends on theatrical representations, in
Unfortunately the reverse is the case. Those which great alterations are made in the plays, can have little idea of the frequent recurrence in the original text, of expressions, which, however they might be tolerated in the sixteenth century, are by no means admissible in the nineteenth. no example can in this place be given, for an obvious reason.
Of these expressions bent on me to observe, in behalf of my favourite author, that, in comparison with most
I feel it, however, incumof the contemporary poets, and with the dramatists of the seventeenth century, the plays
of Shakspeare are remarkably decent; but it is not sufficient that his defects are trifling in comparison with writers who are highly defective. It certainly is my wish, and it has been my study, to exclude from this publication whatever is unfit to be read aloud by a gentleman to a company of ladies. I can hardly imagine a more pleasing occupation for a winter's evening in the country, than for a father to read one of Shakspeare's plays to his family circle. My object is to enable him to do so without incurring the danger of falling unawares among words and expressions which are of such a nature as to raise a blush on the cheek of modesty, or render it necessary for the reader to pause, and examine the sequel, before he proceeds further in the entertainment of the evening. .
But though many erasures have for this purpose been made in the writings of Shakspeare in the present edition, the reader may be assured that not a single line, nor even
the half of a line, has, in any one instance, been added to the original text. I know the i force of Shakspeare, and the weakness of my own pen, too well, to think of attempting
the smallest interpolation. In a few, but in very few instances, one or two words (at the most three) have been inserted to connect the sense of what follows the passage that is expunged with that which precedes it. The few words which are thus added, are connecting particles, words of little moment, and in no degree affecting the meaning of the author, or the story of the play. A word that is less objectionable is sometimes substituted for a synonymous word that is improper. In the following work I have copied the text of the last Edition of the late Mr. Stee
This I have done so scrupulously, as seldom to have allowed myself to alter either the words or the punctuation. Othello's speech, for example, in the second scene of the fifth act, will be found as it is in Mr. Steevens, and in the old editions of Shakspeare, not as it is usually spoken on the stage. In a few instances I have deviated from Mr. Steevens, in compliance with the original folio of 1623. I do not presume to enter into any critical disputes as to certain readings of “ Judean or Indian,” « Sables or Sable," or any thing of that nature, respecting which many persons of superior abilities have entertained contrary opinions. The glossary (but nothing except the glossary) is borrowed from the edition of 1803. It was compiled by Mr. Harris, under the direction of Mr. Steevens.
My great objects in this undertaking are to remove from the writings of Shakspeare some defects which diminish their value, and at the same time to present to the Public an edition of his plays, which the parent, the guardian, and the instructor of youth may place, without fear, in the hands of the pupil; and from which the pupil may derive instruction as well as pleasure ; may improve his moral principles while he refines his taste; and, without incurring the danger of being hurt with any indelicacy of expression, may learn in the fate of Macbeth, that even a kingdom is dearly purchased, if virtue be the price of the acquisition.
* My first idea of the FAMILY SHAKSPEARE arose from the recollection of my father's custom of reading in this manner to his family. Shakspeare (with whom no person was better acquainted) was a frequent subject of the evening's entertainment. In the perfection of reading few men were equal to my father; and such was his good taste, his delicacy, and his prompt discretion, that his family listened with delight to Lear, Hamlet, and Othello, without knowing that those matchless tragedies contained words and expressions improper to be pronounced; and without having reason to suspect that any parts of the plays had been omitted by the circumspect and judicious reader.
It afterwards occurred to me, that what my father did so readily and successfully for his family, my inferior abilities might, with the assistance of time and mature consideration, be able to accomplish for the benefit of the public. I say, therefore, that if “ The Family Shakspeare" is entitled to any merit, it orig tes with
cts are trifling Ish, and it has ad aloud by a
ng occupation speare's plays ag the danger ure as to raise use, and exa
ngs of Shak.
I know the of attempting words (at the ssage that is Bed, are coneaning of the s substituted
te Mr. Stee
alter either scene of the kspeare, not Ir. Steevens,
any critical or any thing tained cond from the · Steerens. Shakspeare the Public youth may derive in
73 of reading
family, my complish for any merit,
Alonso, king of Naples.
MIRANDA, Daughter to Prospero.
Ariel, an airy Spirit.
Other Spirits attending on Prospero.
SCENE, the Sea, with a Ship; afterwards an uninhabited Island,
SCENE I. - On a Ship at Sea.
Gon. Good; yet remember whom thou hast
aboard. A storm with thunder and lightning.
1 Boats. None that I more love than myself. You Enter a Ship-master and a Boatswain.
are a counsellor; if you can command these ele
ments to silence, and work the peace of the present, Master. Boatswain,
we will not hand a rope more; use your authority. Boats. Here, master : what cheer?
If you cannot, give thanks you have lived so long, Master. Good : Speak to the mariners : fall to't and make yourself ready in your cabin for the yarely', or we run ourselves aground : bestir, bestir. mischance of the hour, if it so hap. — Cheerly, good (Erit. hearts. Out of our way, I say.
[Exit. Enter Mariners.
Gon. I have great comfort from this fellow;
methinks, he hath no drowning mark upon him! Beats. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, hearts; yare, yare : "Take in the top-sail ; Tend to good fate, to his hanging; make the rope of his the master's whistle. — Blow till thou burst thy destiny our cable, for our own doth little advantage ! wind, if room enough!
If he be not born to be hanged, our case is miserable.
(Ereunl. Enter Alonso, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND,
Boats. Down with the topmast; yare; lower, master? Play the men.
lower ; bring her to try with main course. [Acry Boals. I pray now, keep below.
within.] A plague upon this howling ! they are Ant. Where is the master, boatswain ?
louder than the weather, or our office Boats. Do you not hear him? You mar our
Re-enter SEBASTIAN, Antonio, and Gonzalo. labour ! keep your cabins . you do assist the storm. Gon. Nay, good, be patient.
Yet again ? what do you here? Shall we give o'er Boats. When the sea is. Hence! What care and drown? Have you a mind to sink ? these roarers for the name of king? To cabins : Seb. A plague o' your throat ! you bawling, blassilence : trouble us not.
phemous, uncharitable dog!