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HE first edition of the following work was published at the Clarendon press in the year
1744; an account of which is given by the editor, Sir T. H. in the following preface written by himself. The impression, having been small, was suddenly bought up; and the original price advanced to a very exorbitant sum. The great demand therefore of the publick for fo elegant an edition induced the delegates of the university press to set about this republication: in which the inaccuracies of the first impression in punctuation and spelling are carefully adjusted; and, in order to obviate such other objections as have been made to it, at the end of each volume are annexed the various readings of the two most authentick publishers of our author's plays, Mr. Theobald, and Mr. Capell. The gloffary (to which are prefixed Mr. Upton's rules explaining the anomalies of our author) has received very conliderable additions, not only from the several editions of Shakespear's plays, but likewise from the notes of the editors of Beaumont and Fletcher, Ben. Jonson, and others; from Mr. Urry's glossary to Chaucer, and Mr. Upton's to Spenser ; Lye's etymologicon, Dr. Grey's notes upon Shakespear, &c. Besides which the reader will find some valuable notes communicated by the Rev. Dr. Percy, editor of Reliques of
(iv) ancient poetry; the Rev. Mr. Warton, late poetryprofessor in this university; and John Hawkins esquire of Twickenham; to whom was submitted the inspection of the additional glossary: which the editor begs leave thus publickly to acknowledge, with thanks for the many instances of their obliging attention to this work. All additional notes and explanations are inclosed in brackets; and, if they are not always here given to their respective authors, the editor may juftly claim the forgiveness of the reader, as the error is owing to such as have not acknowledged to whom they were themselves indebted. And, as some minutiæ may have escaped his vigilance in collating, he presumes the pardon of all those who are acquainted with the extreme nicety of the undertaking; and hopes, the candid reader, who shall detect any such slight omission, will excuse it.' The editor has the further satisfaction to inform the reader, that the plates of the frontispieces to each play are in the very best preservation, the tail-pieces only being worn-out; which are reengraved by a very eminent artist.
The epistle addressed to Sir T. H. by the late ingenious Mr. Collins was recommended as worthy to be prefixed to the present edition.