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REGULATED BY THE RECENTLY DISCOVERED FOLIO OF 1632, CONTAINING
EARLY MANUSCRIPT EMENDATIONS
HISTORY OF THE STAGE, A LIFE OF THE POET, AND AN
INTRODUCTION TO EACH PLAY
BY J. PAYNE COLLIER, ESQ. F.S.A.
ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty-three,
BY J. S. REDFIELD, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.
In the present edition of the Works of Shakespeare, the text of the plays has been taken from that published in London by J. Payne Collier, a few months since, embodying the manuscript emendations recently discovered by him in a copy of the second folio edition published in 1632. The text of the Poems, the Life of Shakespeare, the account of the early English Drama, and the separate prefaces to the plays are from the octavo edition in 1844, by the same editor. As the latest edition contained no notes and those in his previous one were, to some extent, superseded by the alterations in the text, and were unsuited from their length to the requirements of a copy in a compact form, it was deemed advisable that new notes should be prepared.
This has been undertaken for the present work. It has been the aim by close condensation to convey a greater amount of information directly illustrative of the text than has ever been presented in a similar form. For information on an important portion of the task, that of indicating the variations between the quarto (where such are in existence) and folio copies of the plays, reliance has been placed almost entirely on Mr. Collier's first edition. That gentleman had free access to all the early copies in the libraries of the Duke of Devonshire and Lord Francis Egerton, better known to American readers as Earl of Ellesmere; collections formed at great labor and expense, and far more complete than any previously brought together in public or private repositories. The notes illustrative of obsolete words, expressions and customs, have been derived from the edition of Mr. Collier already referred to, Mr. Knight's Pictorial Shakspere, the works of Dyce, Douce, Halliwell, Hunter, Richardson, and the American editions of Messrs. Verplanck and Hudson, with such aid as a long acquaintance with the Dramatic and general Literature of the age of Elizabeth and James could furnish.
Notes, pointing out or commenting upon the sentiments expressed in the text, have bien purposely avoided, it being presumed that the reader having been furnished with every material for the employment of a correct taste and judgment, will prefer to exercise these faculties for himself. . Com nent of this description, which has often been carried to an impertinent or tedious extreme, has also been avoided in noting the variations between the text of the