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For ease of reference the order of the plays in the First Folio has been followed in this edition, in preference to the chronological scheme, in many respects more commendable; there is no fear nowadays of The Tempest being regarded as the earliest of the plays because of its position in the editio princeps. It should be noted that Troilus and Cressida is not mentioned at all in the original Catalogue of the several Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, though in the body of the book it opens the section of Tragedies. Pericles, not included in the First Folio, will be found in the last volume of the plays.

The twelfth volume will contain The Sonnets and Poems, together with a concise account of the poet's life, illustrative documents, early editions of the works, contested theories, &c.

I feel sure that many readers will thank me for reprinting the prefatory matter to the First Folio, unaccountably omitted from most modern editions—the precious testimony of Shakespeare's friends and fellow-actors, undertaking the design to keep the memory of so worthy a friend and fellow alive as was our SHAKESPEARE. It had been a thing, we confess, worthy to have been wished, that the Author himself had lived to have set forth, and overseen his own writings.'

I. G. September 8th, 1899.

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To the Reader

This figure, that thou here seest put,
It was for gentle Shakespeare cut :
Wherein the Graver had a strife
With Nature, to out-doo the life.
0, could he but have drawne his wit
As well in brasse as he hath hit
His face, the print would then surpasse
All that was ever writ in brasse ;
But since he cannot, reader, looke
Not on his picture, but his booke.

B. J.

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Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed. Blount. 1623.






Earl of Pembroke, &c., Lord Chamberlain to the

King's most Excellent Majesty



Earl of Montgomery, &c., Gentleman of his Majesty's
Bed-Chamber. Both Knights of the most Noble
Order of the Garter, and our singular good

Right Honourable,
Whilst we study to be thankful in our particular, for the many
favours we have received from your L.L., we are fallen upon
ill fortune, to mingle two the most diverse things that can be, fear,
and rashness ; rashness in the enterprise, and fear of the success.
For, when we value the places your H.H. sustain, we cannot but
know their dignity greater, than to descend to the reading of these
trifles : and, while we name them trifles, we have deprived ourselves
of the defence of our Dedication. But since your L.L. have been
pleased to think these trifles something heretofore ; and have pro-
secuted both them, and their Author living, with so much favour :
we hope, that (they outliving him, and he not having the fate,
common with some, to be executor to his own writings) you will
use the like indulgence toward them, you have done unto their
parent. There is a great difference, whether any Book choose his
Patrons or find them: This hath done both. For, so much were
your L.L. likings of the several parts, when they were acted, as
before they were published, the Volume asked to be yours.

We have but collected them, and done an office to the dead, to procure

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