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Reasons for Printing this WORK, and Dbservations
on it's Propriety. In the firft Place, The Publisher is ambitious of producing a Work which
may attract the admiration of all Europe, in hopes of deriving a proportionate share of reputation and advantage to himself ; he, therefore, fixes on our immortal Dramatic Bard.
Secondly, A polite and well-informed Class of Readers having declared it as their opinion, that SHA KSP E R E lias been elucidated into obfcurity, suggested first the defign of printing his Plays, entire, cleared from the incumbrance and interruption of Notes. The text of Dr. Johnson, and Mr. STEEVENS, is consequently preferred,
which, as Mr. Malone observes, seems now, indeed, finally settled, by a diligent collation of all the old copies hitherto discovered, and the judicious reitoration of ancient readings. The rejection of all Notes, from the page of the Text, is even approved by Dr. JOHNSON himself, who fays, that “ The reader is feldom pleased to find his “ opinion anticipated-it is natural to delight more in what we find, “ or make, than in what we receive.-Judgment, like other facul“ ties, is improved by practice, and its advancement is hindered by «« submission to dictatorial decisions."
In order to obviate every poflible objection, and to accommodate this Edition to the taste of every reader--the Prefaces, Introductions, Advertisements—the historical and literary information of every Editor of SHAKS PERE, of which there have not been less than eight, as well as the Notes and critical Illustrations of every Coins mentator, of which there are upwards of thirty--will be printed in a distinet, compact, and clear point of view, referring familiarly from Text to Notes, and from Commentaries to Text, by the mode of printing-so that, in fact, this Edition will comprise the labours of eight, EDITORS, and the elucidations of, at least;" thirty ANNOTATORS.
As to the Embellishments, they will be new and magnificent. The Public have much to expect froin the superior talents of Mr. Love THERBOURG-his having long lived in habits of intimacy with Mr. GARRICK, his familiarity with the stage, and dramatic effect, added to the renown he has acquired in every line of his profession, promises to soar ftill higher on the present occasion.
The Engravings of Mr. BARTOLOZZI are secure of praise and admiration in every part of the world ; and the rest shall be as near his Standard of merit, as the Artists of England and France can produce.
Such is the design, and the Publiher contidently hopes, that the execution of it will transcend his fechle delcription: -He is aware of having many impediments opposed to its circulation, through the usual channels of the trade; he forelees a holt of foes, and the powerful opponents with whom he mufi, in consequence, have to combat--but, hielded as he is by a firm resolution, and the spirit of his cause, he will boldly meet his adversaries, and vindicate his claim to public protection.