"O but, fir,

"Your resolution cannot hold."

Here again this editor betrays his ignorance of Shakspeare's metre; for not knowing that burn was ufed as a diffyllable, he reads

"O but, dear fir," &c.

Again, in King Henry VIII. Act II. fc. iii. the Old Lady declares to Anne Boleyn,

"'Tis ftrange; a three-pence bow'd would hire me,
"Old as I am, to queen it."

But instead of this, hire not being perceived to be ufed as a word of two fyllables, we find in the fecond folio,

" 'Tis ftrange; a three-pence bow'd now would hire me," &c.,

This editor, indeed, was even ignorant of the author's manner of accenting words, for in The Tempeft, where we find,

Spirits, which by mine art

"I have from their confines call'd to enact

"My prefent fancies,-"

he exhibits the second line thus:

"I have from all their confines call'd to enact," &c.

Again, in King Lear, Act II. fc. i. inftead of

"To have the expence and waste of his revénues,—" the latter word, being, I fuppofe, differently accented after our poet's death, the editor of the fecond folio has given us,

"To have the expence and waste of révenues."

Various other inftances of the fame kind might be produced; but that I may not weary my readers, I will only add, that no perfon who wishes to perufe the plays of Shakspeare fhould ever open the Second Folio, or either of the fubfequent copies, in which all these capricious alterations were adopted, with many additional errors and inno


It may seem strange, that the person to whom the care of fupervifing the fecond folio was con-. figned, fhould have been thus ignorant of our poet's language: but it fhould be remembered, that in the beginning of the reign of Charles the First many words and modes of fpeech began to be dif used, which had been common in the age of Queen Elizabeth. The editor of the fecond folio was probably a young man, perhaps born in the year 1600. That Sir William D'Avenant, who was born in 1605, did not always perfectly understand our author's language, is manifeft from various alterations which he has made in fome of his pieces. The fucceffive Chronicles of English hiftory, which were compiled between the years 1540 and 1630, afford indubitable proofs of the gradual change in our phrafeology during that period. Thus a narrative which Hall exhibits in what now appears to us as very uncouth and ancient diction, is again exhibited by Holinfhed, about forty years afterwards, in fomewhat a less rude form; and in the chronicles of Speed and Baker in 1611 and 1630, affumes a fomewhat more polifhed air. In the fecond edition of Gafcoigne's Poems printed in 1587, the editor thought it neceffary to explain many of the words by placing more familiar terms in the margin, though not much more than twenty years had elapfed

from the time of their compofition: fo rapid were at that time the changes in our language.

My late friend Mr. Tyrrwhitt, a man of fuch candour, accuracy, and profound learning, that his death must be confidered as an irreparable lofs to literature, was of opinion, that in printing these plays the original fpelling fhould be adhered to, and that we never could be fure of a perfectly faithful edition, unless the firft folio copy was made the standard, and actually fent to the prefs, with fuch corrections as the editor might think proper. By others it was fuggefted, that the notes fhould not be fubjoined to the text, but placed at the end of each volume, and that they fhould be accompanied by a complete Gloffary. The former fcheme (that of fending the firft folio to the prefs) appeared to me liable to many objections; and I am confident that if the notes were detached from the text, many readers would remain uninformed, rather than undergo the trouble occafioned by perpetual references from one part of a volume to another.

In the prefent edition I have endeavoured to obtain all the advantages which would have refulted from Mr. Tyrrwhitt's plan, without any of its inconveniences. Having often experienced the fallacioufnefs of collation by the eye, I determined, after I had adjusted the text in the best manner in my power, to have every proof-fheet of my work read aloud to me, while I perufed the first folio, for thofe plays which first appeared in that edition; and for all those which had been previously printed, the firft quarto copy, excepting only in the inftances of The Merry Wives of Windfor, and King Henry V. which, being either fketches or imperfect copies, could not be wholly relied

on; and King Richard III of the earlieft edition. of which tragedy I was not poffeffed. I had at the fame time before me a table which I had formed of the variations between the quartos and the folio. By this laborious procefs not a fingle innovation, made either by the editor of the fecond folio, or any of the modern editors, could efcape me. From the Index to all the words and phrates explained or illuftrated in the notes, which I have fubjoined to this work, every ufe may be derived which the moft copious Gloffary could afford; while thofe readers who are lefs intent on philological inquiries, by the notes being appended to the text, are relieved from the irkfome tafk of feeking information in a different volume from that immediately before them.

If it be asked, what has been the fruit of all this labour, I answer, that many innovations, tranfpofitions, &c. have been detected by this means; many hundred emendations have been made, and, I trust,

• At the time the tragedy of King Richard III. was in the prefs, I was obliged to make use of the fecond edition printed in 1598; but have fince been furnished with the edition of 1597, which I have collated verbatim, and the most material variations are noticed in the Appendix. .

7 If the explication of any word or phrafe fhould appear unfatisfactory, the reader, by turning to the Gloffarial Index, may know at once whether any additional information has been obtained on the subject. Thus, in Macbeth, Vol. IV. p. 392, Dr. Warburton's erroneous interpretation of the word blood-bolter'd is inferted; but the true explication of that provincial term may be found in the APPENDIX. So of the phrase, "Will you take eggs for money" in The Winter's Tale; and fome others.

* Left this affertion fhould be fuppofed to be made without evidence, I fubjoin a lift of the restorations made from the original copy, and fupported by contemporary usage, in two plays only; The Winter's Tale and King John. The lines in the Italick character are exhibited as they appear in the edition of 1778,

a genuine text has been formed. Wherever any

(as being much more correctly printed than that of 1785,) those in the common character as they appear in the present edition (i. e. Mr. Malone's, in ten volumes).

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"The doctrine of ill-doing, no, nor dream'd-" P. 295.

we know not

"The doctrine of ill-doing; nor dream'd-." P. 126. 3. " As o'er-dy'd blacks, as winds, as waters;-" P. 300. "As o'er-dy'd blacks, as wind, as waters ;-" P. 130. 4. "As ornament oft does." P. 302.

"As ornaments oft do." P. 130.

The original copy, with a difregard of grammar, reads " As ornaments oft does." This inaccuracy has been conftantly corrected by every editor, wherever it occurs; but the correction fhould always be made in the verb, and not in the noun.

5. "Have you not-thought (for cogitation

"Refides not in the man that does not think it)

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My wife is flippery?" P. 408.

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My wife is flippery?" · P. 138.

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eyes,-" P. 408.

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P. 139.

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