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to me of no special use. For the school-room they are worse than useless. While preparing his lesson, the pupil is not likely to overlook any thing in the notes that will help him ; and at the recitation, neither the notes themselves, nor any thing that may serve as a guide-board to them, should be directly before his eyes.

With regard to this and all other features of this edition, I have been guided by my experience as a teacher, while I have aimed at the same time to keep constantly in view the wants and the tastes of the general reader. The favor with which The Merchant of Venice has been received, both by teachers and by the public, encourages me in bringing out this second number of the series, which I trust may prove in some respects even more worthy of their approval.

Cambridge, June 1, 1871.

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The Tempest occupies the first nineteen pages of the Folio of 1623, and no earlier edition of the play has been discovered. It is not unlikely, as White has suggested, that "it was made the leading play, as being one of the latest and most admired works of its author.” Mr. Joseph Hunter* has attempted to show that it was written as early as 1596 ; but the commentators generally agree that the date cannot be put earlier than 1603, and that it was probably as late as 1611.

* New Illustrations of Shakespeare (1845), vol. i. pp. 122–157.

The speech of Gonzalo (ii. 1), “I'th' commonwealth I would by contraries,” etc.,* is manifestly copied from a passage in Florio's translation of Montaigne, which appeared in 1603. We must therefore believe that the play was written after that time, unless we adopt the hypothesis that Shakespeare had seen Florio's work in manuscript. The Accounts of the Revels at Court state that The Tempest was performed before King James, Nov. ist, 1611 ; but the entry, which is as follows, is now known to be a forgery:

Hallomas nyght was presented
By the Kings

att Whithall before ye Kinges
players.

Matie a play called the Tempest. “To this positive external testimony," says White, "are to be added some external probabilities. First, in the occurrence of a passage in the Introduction to Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, written between 1612 and 1614, which has a hit, not necessarily ill-humored, at those who have 'a Servantmonster' in their dramatis persona, and ‘beget Tales, Tempests, and such like Drolleries,' where the allusion to The Tempest is too plain to be mistaken—an allusion which would be made only when the impression of that play was fresh in the public mind. Next, in the publication by Sil[vester] Jourdan of a quarto pamphlet entitled 'A Discovery of the Barmvdas, otherwise called the Ile of Divels : by Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Sommers, and Captayne Newport, with diuers others. London, 1610.' This pamphlet tells of the tempest which scattered the fleet commanded by Somers and Gates, and the happy discovery, by some of the shipwrecked, of land which proved to be the Bermudas. It alludes to the general belief that these islands were never inhabited by any Christian or. Heathen people,' being 'reputed a most prodigious and enchanted place,' adding that, nevertheless, those who were cast away upon them, and lived there nine months, found the air temperate and the country abundantly fruitful of all fit nec* See note, p. 124.

† This was written before the forgery was detected.

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