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In this attempt to illustrate the ENGLISH OF SHAKESPEARE, I would be understood to have had a twofold purpose, in conformity with the title of the volume, which would naturally be taken to promise something of exposition in regard both to the language or style of Shakespeare and to the English Language generally.
My first business I have considered to be the correct exhibition and explanation of the noble work of our great dramatist with which the volume professes to be specially occupied. I will begin, therefore, by stating what I have done, or endeavoured to do, for the Play of JULIUS CESAR.
I have given what I believe to be a more nearly authentic Text than has yet appeared. Julius Cæsar is, probably, of all Shakespeare's Plays, the one of which the text has come down to us in the least unsatisfactory state. From whatever cause it has happened, the passages in this Play as to the true reading of which there can be much reasonable doubt are, comparatively, very few. Even when anything is wrong in the original edition, the manner in which it is to be set to rights is for the most part both pretty obvious and nearly certain. There are perhaps scarcely so many as half-a-dozen lines of any importance which must be given up as hopelessly incurable or even doubtful. It is, I should think, of all