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PREFACE.

ENTLEY, in his “ Dissertation on the Epistles of

Phalaris,” relates that : published a few lambics, as a choice fragment of an old tragedian, given him by Muretus; who soon after confessed the jest, that they were made by himself.” I should have thought that Mr. Collier, in the same manner, meant to mystify the Shakespearian Scaligers of this age by the publication of his volume of “ Notes and EMENDATIONS ;” but as he had formerly evinced such praiseworthy respect for the remains of our great poet, and had been such a staunch defender of the integrity of the old text, I could not bring myself to believe that he would indulge in a hoax which might lead to mischievous results. I am constrained, therefore, to imagine it possible that he has himself been made the victim of such a delusion by some “ Puck* of a commentator,” who finding a tattered copy of the second folio edition of Shakespeare's plays, which had belonged to some old player or person connected with the stage, containing erasures of those parts considered superfluous in representation, and numerous stage directions, grafted upon it all that he could glean from some edition or editions with notes, and added conjectures and

• The Poet Tieck, in his “ Mittsommer Nacht," or Shakespeare's

b

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