press, should form a part of his original work; that information acquired too late to be employed in its proper place, fhould yet be found there.

That the very few ftage-directions which the old copies exhibit, were not taken from our author's manuscripts, but furnished by the players, is proved by one in Macbeth, Act IV. fc. i. where "A Show of eight kings" is directed, "and Banquo laft, with a glass in his hand;" though from the very words which the poet has written for Macbeth, it is manifeft that the glafs ought to be borne by the eighth king, and not by Banquo. All the stagedirections therefore throughout this work I have confidered as wholly in my power, and have regulated them in the best manner I could. The reader will alfo, I think, be pleased to find the place in which every scene is fuppofed to pafs, precifely ascertained: a fpecies of information, for which, though it often throws light on the dialogue, we look in vain in the ancient copies, and which has been too much neglected by the modern editors.

The play of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, which is now once more reftored to our author, I originally intended to have fubjoined, with Titus Andronicus, to the tenth volume; but, to preserve an equality of fize in my volumes, have been obliged to give it a different place. The hand of Shakspeare being indubitably found in that piece, it will, I doubt not, be confidered as a valuable acceffion; and it is of little confequence where it appears.

It has long been thought, that Titus Andronicus was not written originally by Shakspeare; about seventy years after his death, Ravenscroft having mentioned that he had been "told by fome anciently converfant with the ftage, that our poet only gave fome mafter-touches to one or two of the VOL. I.


principal parts or characters." The The very curious papers lately difcovered in Dulwich College, from which large extracts are given at the end of the Hiftory of the Stage, prove, what I long fince fufpected, that this play, and The First Part of King Henry VI. were in poffeffion of the fcene when Shakspeare began to write for the ftage; and the fame manufcripts fhow, that it was then very common for a dramatick poet to alter and amend the work of a preceding writer. The queftion therefore is now decifively fettled; and undoubtedly fome additions were made to both these pieces by Shakfpeare. It is obfervable that the second scene of the third act of Titus Andronicus is not found in the quarto copy printed in 1611. It is therefore highly probable, that this fcene was added by our author; and his hand may be traced in the preceding act, as well as in a few other places.2 The additions which he made to Pericles are much more numerous, and therefore more ftrongly entitle it to a place among the dramatick pieces which he has adorned by his pen.

With refpect to the other contefted plays, Sir John Oldcafile, The London Prodigal, &c. which have now for near two centuries been falfely afcribed to our author, the manufcripts above mentioned completely clear him from that imputation; and prove, that while his great modefty made him fet but little value on his own inimitable productions, he could patiently endure to have the miferable trafh of other writers publickly imputed to him, without taking any measure to vindicate

If ever the account-book of Mr. Heminge fhall be difcovered, we fhall probably find in it-" Paid to William Shakspeare for mending Titus Andronicus." See Vol. III.

his fame. Sir John Oldcastle, we find from indubitable evidence, though afcribed in the title-page to "William Shakspeare," and printed in the year 1600, when his fame was in its meridian, was the joint-production of four other poets; Michael Drayton, Anthony Mundy, Richard Hathwaye, and Robert Wilfon.3

In the Differtation annexed to the three parts of King Henry the Sixth, I have difcuffed at large the queftion concerning their authenticity; and have affigned my reafons for thinking that the fecond and third of those plays were formed by Shakspeare, on two elder dramas now extant. Any difquifition therefore concerning these controverted pieces is here unneceffary.


Some years ago I published a fhort Effay on the economy and ufages of our old theatres. The Hiftorical Account of the English Stage, which has been formed on that effay, has fwelled to fuch a fize, in confequence of various researches fince made, and a great acceffion of very valuable materials, that is it become almoft a new work. thefe, the most important are the curious papers which have been difcovered at Dulwich, and the very valuable Office-book of Sir Henry Herbert, Mafter of the Revels to King James and King Charles the First, which have contributed to throw much light on our dramatick hiftory, and furnifhed fome fingular anecdotes of the poets of those times.

Twelve years have elapfed fince the Effay on the order of time in which the plays of Shakspeare were written, firft appeared. A re-examination of thefe plays fince that time has furnished me with

3 Vol. III. Additions.

feveral particulars in confirmation of what I had formerly fuggefted on this fubject. On a careful revifal of that Effay, which, I hope, is improved as well as confiderably enlarged, I had the fatiffaction of obferving that I had found reason to attribute but two plays to an era widely diftant from that to which they had been originally ascribed; and to make only a minute change in the arrangement of a few others. Some information, however, which has been obtained fince that Effay was printed in its prefent form, inclines me to think, that one of the two plays which I allude to, The Winter's Tale, was a ftill later production than I have fuppofed; for I have now good reason to believe, that it was firft exhibited in the year 1613;4 and that confequently it must have been one of our poet's latest works.

Though above a century and a half has elapfed fince the death of Shakspeare, it is fomewhat extraordinary, (as I obferved on a former occafion,) that none of his various editors fhould have attempted to separate his genuine poetical compofitions from the fpurious performances with which they have been long intermixed; or have taken the trouble to compare them with the earliest and moft authentick copies. Shortly after his death, a very incorrect impreffion of his poems was iffued out, which in every subsequent edition, previous to the year 1780, was implicitly followed. They have been carefully revifed, and with many additional illuftrations are now a fecond time faithfully printed from the original copies, excepting only

4 Sce Emendations and Additions, Vol. I. Part II. p. 286, [i. e. Mr. Malone's edition]

The paragraph alluded to, in the present edition, will stand in its proper place. STEEVENS..

Venus and Adonis, of which I have not been able to procure the firft impreffion. The fecond edition, printed in 1596, was obligingly transmitted to me by the late Reverend Thomas Warton, of whofe friendly and valuable correfpondence I was deprived by death, when these volumes were almoft ready to be iflued from the prefs. It is painful to recollect how many of (I had almost faid) my coadjutors have died fince the prefent work was begun :the elegant fcholar, and ingenious writer, whom I have just mentioned; Dr. Johnson, and Mr. Tyrwhitt: men, from whose approbation of my labours I had promifed myfelf much pleasure, and whofe ftamp could give a value and currency to any work.

With the materials which I have been fo fortunate as to obtain, relative to our poet, his kindred, and friends, it would not have been difficult to have formed a new Life of Shakspeare, lefs meagre and imperfect than that left us by Mr. Rowe: but the information which I have procured having been obtained at very different times, it is neceffarily difperfed, partly in the copious notes fubjoined to Rowe's Life, and partly in the Hiftorical Account of our old actors. At fome future time I hope to weave the whole into one uniform and connected narrative.

My inquiries having been carried on almost to the very moment of publication, fome circumstances relative to our poet were obtained too late to be introduced into any part of the present work. thefe due ufe will be made hereafter.


The prefaces of Theobald, Hanmer, and Warburton, I have not retained, because they appeared to me to throw no light on our author or his works: the room which they would have taken up, will,

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