By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Preface to the Works of Shakespeare (1734)
Author: Theobald, Lewis, 1688-1744
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Preface to the Works of Shakespeare (1734)" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Transcriber's Note:
This e-text includes a few passages in accented Greek:
  Παρθένον, ἧς ἀπέλυσε μίτρην‧ ἯΣ ἨΡΙΝΌΝ ἄνθος
    (Parthenon, hês apelyse mitrên; HÊS ÊRINON anthos)
If it does not display properly, use the transliterated (Latin-1)
version instead. ]

       *       *       *       *       *

         The Augustan Reprint Society

                LEWIS THEOBALD
     _Preface to The Works of Shakespeare_

            With an Introduction by
                  Hugh G. Dick

             Publication Number 20
             (Extra Series, No. 2)

                  Los Angeles
    William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
           University of California

       *       *       *       *       *


H. RICHARD ARCHER, _Clark Memorial Library_
RICHARD C. BOYS, _University of Michigan_
EDWARD NILES HOOKER, _University of California, Los Angeles_
H.T. SWEDENBERG, JR., _University of California, Los Angeles_


W. EARL BRITTON, _University of Michigan_
JOHN LOFTIS, _University of California, Los Angeles_


EMMETT L. AVERY, _State College of Washington_
BENJAMIN BOYCE, _University of Nebraska_
LOUIS I. BREDVOLD, _University of Michigan_
CLEANTH BROOKS, _Yale University_
JAMES L. CLIFFORD, _Columbia University_
ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, _University of Chicago_
SAMUEL H. MONK, _University of Minnesota_
ERNEST MOSSNER, _University of Texas_
JAMES SUTHERLAND, _Queen Mary College, London_

       *       *       *       *       *


Lewis Theobald's edition of Shakespeare (1734) is one cornerstone
of modern Shakespearian scholarship and hence of English literary
scholarship in general. It is the first edition of an English writer in
which a man with a professional breadth and concentration of reading in
the writer's period tried to bring all relevant, ascertainable fact to
bear on the establishment of the author's text and the explication of
his obscurities. For Theobald was the first editor of Shakespeare who
displayed a well grounded knowledge of Shakespeare's language and
metrical practice and that of his contemporaries, the sources and
chronology of his plays, and the broad range of Elizabethan-Jacobean
drama as a means of illuminating the work of the master writer. Thus
both in the edition itself and in his Preface, which stands as the first
significant statement of a scholar's editorial duties and methods in
handling an English classic, Theobald takes his place as an important
progenitor of modern English studies.

It is regrettable, though it was perhaps historically inevitable, that
this pioneer of English literary scholarship should have been tagged
"piddling Theobald" by Pope and crowned the first king of _The Dunciad_.
Pope's edition of Shakespeare was completed by 1725, and in the
following year Theobald made the poet his implacable enemy when he
issued his _Shakespeare Restored_, which demolished Pope's pretensions
as an editor by offering some two hundred corrections. But the conflict
was not merely strife between two writers: it was a clash between two
kinds of criticism in which the weight of tradition and polite taste
were all on the side of Pope. What Theobald had done, in modern
terms, was to open the rift between criticism and scholarship or, in
eighteenth-century terms, to proclaim himself a "literal critic" and to
insist upon the need for "literal criticism" in the understanding and
just appreciation of an older writer. The new concept, which Theobald
owed largely to Richard Bentley as primate of the classical scholars,
was of course the narrower one--implicit in it was the idea of
specialization--and Theobald's opponents among the literati were
quick to assail him as a mere "Word-catcher" (cf. R.F. Jones, _Lewis
Theobald_, 1919, p. 114).

His own edition of Shakespeare, therefore, was the work of a man and a
method on trial. At first Theobald had proposed simply to write further
commentary on Shakespeare's plays, but by 1729 he determined to issue a
new edition and in October of that year signed a contract with Tonson.
From the first Theobald found warm support for his project among
booksellers, incipient patrons, and men of learning. His work went
forward steadily; subscribers, including members of the Royal Family,
were readily forthcoming; and by late 1731 Theobald felt that his labors
were virtually complete. But vexing delays occurred in the printing so
that the edition, though dated 1733, did not appear until early in 1734,
New Style. When it did appear, it was plain to all that Theobald's
vindication of himself and his method was complete. Judicious critics
like the anonymous author of _Some Remarks on the Tragedy of Hamlet_
(1736) were quick to applaud Theobald's achievement, and even Pope
himself was silenced.

Ultimately of course Theobald came under severe attack by succeeding
editors of Shakespeare, notably Warburton and Johnson, yet both men were
guilty of unwarranted abuse of their predecessor, whose edition was nine
times issued in the course of the century and was still in current use
by the time of Coleridge (cf. Wm. Jaggard, _Shakespeare Bibliography_,
1911, pp. 499-504). Warburton and Johnson's abuse, coupled with that of
Pope, obscured Theobald's real achievements for more than a century
until J.C. Collins did much to rehabilitate his reputation by an essay
celebrating him as "The Porson of Shakespearian Criticism" (_Essays and
Studies_, 1895, pp. 263-315). Collins's emotional defense was largely
substantiated by T.R. Lounsbury's meticulous _The Text of Shakespeare_
(1906), R.F. Jones's _Lewis Theobald_ (1919), which brought much new
material to light, and most recently by R.B. McKerrow's dispassionate
appraisal, "The Treatment of Shakespeare's Text by his Earlier Editors,
1709-1768" (_Proceedings of the British Academy_, XIX, 1933, 23-27). As
a result, so complete has been Theobald's vindication that even in a
student's handbook he is hailed as "the great pioneer of serious
Shakespeare scholarship" and as "the first giant" in the field
(_A Companion to Shakespeare Studies_, 1934, ed. H. Granville Barker
and G.B. Harrison, pp. 306-07).

Theobald's Preface occupied his attention for over a year and gave him
much trouble in the writing. Its originality was, and still is, a matter
of sharp dispute. The first we hear of it is in a letter of 12 November
1731 from Theobald to his coadjutor Warburton, who had expressed some
concern about what Theobald planned to prefix to his edition. Theobald
announced a major change in plan when he replied that "The affair of the
_Prolegomena_ I have determined to soften into a _Preface_." He then
proceeded to make a strange request:

  But, dear Sir, will you, at your leisure hours, think over for me
  upon the contents, topics, orders, &c. of this branch of my labour?
  You have a comprehensive memory, and a happiness of digesting the
  matter joined to it, which my head is often too much embarrassed to
  perform.... But how unreasonable is it to expect this labour, when
  it is the only part in which I shall not be able to be just to my
  friends: for, to confess assistance in a _Preface_ will, I am
  afraid, make me appear too naked (John Nichols, _Illustrations
  of the Literary History of the Eighteenth Century_, 1817, II,

His next letter, which contains the list of acknowledgements
substantially as printed, thanks Warburton for consenting to give the
requested help, announces that he is himself busy about "the Contents...
wch. I am Endeavouring to modell in my Head, in Order to communicate
them to you, for your Directions & refinement," indicates that he has
"already rough-hewn the Exordium & Conclusion," and asserts that "What I
shall send you from Time to Time, I look upon only as Materials: wch I
hope may grow into a fine Building, under your judicious Management"
(Jones, _op. cit._, pp. 283-84).

Warburton apparently misunderstood or overlooked Theobald's remarks
about materials, for in his next letter Theobald was obliged to return,
somewhat ambiguously, to the same point:

  I make no Question of my being wrong in the disjointed Parts
  of my Preface, but my Intention was, (after I had given you the
  Conclusion, & the Manner in wch. I meant to start) to give you a
  List of all the other general Heads design'd to be handled, then to
  transmit to you, at proper Leisure, my rough Working off of each
  respective Head, that you might have the Trouble only of refining &
  embellishing wth: additional Inrichments: of the general Arrangement,
  wch. you should think best for the whole; & of making the proper
  Transitions from Subject to Subject, wch. I account no inconsiderable
  Beauty (_Ibid._, pp. 289-90).

Finally on January 10, 1733, Theobald wrote Warburton: "I promise myself
now shortly to sit down upon ye fine Synopsis, wch. you so modestly call
the Skeleton of Preface" (_Ibid._, p. 310).

It is clear from the foregoing that Theobald wrote most of the Preface
topic by topic, and probably followed the plan for the general structure
as submitted by Warburton. Yet it is equally clear that certain parts of
the Preface, such as the contrast between _Julius Caesar_ and Addison's
_Cato_, which Warburton later claimed as his and which Theobald omitted
from his second edition, were furnished Theobald as "additional
Inrichments" (D.N. Smith, _Eighteenth Century Essays on Shakespeare_,
1903, pp. xlviii-ix). When later a break did occur between the two men,
neither was free from blame. Theobald had asked and got so much help
with the Preface that he should have acknowledged the debt, no matter
how naked it might have made him seem. Warburton, on the other hand, had
had honest warning that acknowledgement would not be made for this part
of his help; and if his synopsis were followed, as seems likely, his
condemnation of the Preface as "Theobald's heap of disjointed stuff" was
disingenuous, to say the least. Far less defensible was his assertion in
the same letter to Thomas Birch that, apart from the section on Greek
texts, virtually the entire Preface was stitched together from notes
which he had supplied (Nichols, _Illustrations_, II, 81).

Three further points concerning the Preface demand mention. First, the
section on Shakespeare's life is often dismissed as a simple recension
of Rowe's Life (1709). Actually, however, the expansion itself is a
characteristic example of Theobald's habit of exploring original
sources. To take only a single instance, Rowe says that Shakespeare's
"Family, as appears by the Register and Publick Writings relating to
that Town, were of good Figure and Fashion there, and are mention'd as
Gentlemen" (ed. S.H. Monk, Augustan Society Reprints, 1949, p. ii).
To this statement Theobald adds plentiful detail drawn from the same
Stratford records, from tombs in the Stratford Church, and from
documents in the Heralds' Office connected with the coat of arms
obtained for the playwright's father. Such typical expansions were
the result of conscientious research.

Second, all critics have agreed to condemn the digression in which
Theobald advertised his ability to emend Greek texts. Theobald himself
was hesitant about including it lest he be indicted for pedantry, but
was encouraged to do so by Warburton, who later scoffed at what he had
originally admired. This much may be said in Theobald's behalf. Such a
digression would not have seemed irrelevant in an age which took its
classical scholarship seriously; and such digressions, arising naturally
out of context and strategically placed before the conclusion, were not
only allowed but actually encouraged by classical rhetoricians like
Cicero and Quintilian, whose teachings were still standard in the
English schools.

Finally, the Preface exists in two forms. The later and shorter form
was that designed for Theobald's second edition (1740), which omits all
passages presumably contributed by Warburton and more besides, the
section on Greek texts, and the list of acknowledgements to contemporary
Shakespearian enthusiasts. This abridged form has been frequently
reprinted. From a copy in the University of Michigan Library the
original Preface is here reproduced for the first time.

    Hugh G. Dick
    University of California,
    Los Angeles

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *

[Transcriber's Note:
Most Sidenotes appear at the beginning of a paragraph. Where they
originally appeared at mid-paragraph, their approximate position is
shown with an asterisk*.]


                 Seven Volumes.

Collated with the Oldest Copies, and Corrected;
     With NOTES, Explanatory, and Critical:

               By Mr. _THEOBALD_.

_I, Decus, i, nostrum: melioribus utere Fatis._

    Printed for A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch,
         J. Tonson, F. Clay, W. Feales,
               and R. Wellington.


       *       *       *       *       *



The Attempt to write upon SHAKESPEARE is like going into a large, a
spacious, and a splendid Dome thro’ the Conveyance of a narrow and
obscure Entry. A Glare of Light suddenly breaks upon you, beyond
what the Avenue at first promis’d: and a thousand Beauties of Genius
and Character, like so many gaudy Apartments pouring at once upon
the Eye, diffuse and throw themselves out to the Mind. The Prospect
is too wide to come within the Compass of a single View: ’tis a gay
Confusion of pleasing Objects, too various to be enjoyed but in a
general Admiration; and they must be separated, and ey’d distinctly,
in order to give the proper Entertainment.

    [Sidenote*: A sketch of _Shakespeare’s_ general Character.]

And as in great Piles of Building, some Parts are often finish’d up
to hit the Taste of the _Connoisseur_; others more negligently put
together, to strike the Fancy of a common and unlearned Beholder:
Some Parts are made stupendiously magnificent and grand, to surprize
with the vast Design and Execution of the Architect; others are
contracted, to amuse you with his Neatness and Elegance in little.
*So, in _Shakespeare_, we may find _Traíts_ that will stand the Test
of the severest Judgment; and Strokes as carelessly hit off, to the
Level of the more ordinary Capacities: Some Descriptions rais’d to
that Pitch of Grandeur, as to astonish you with the Compass and
Elevation of his Thought: and others copying Nature within so
narrow, so confined a Circle, as if the Author’s Talent lay only
at drawing in Miniature.

In how many Points of Light must we be oblig’d to gaze at this great
Poet! In how many Branches of Excellence to consider, and admire
him! Whether we view him on the Side of Art or Nature, he ought
equally to engage our Attention: Whether we respect the Force and
Greatness of his Genius, the Extent of his Knowledge and Reading,
the Power and Address with which he throws out and applies either
Nature, or Learning, there is ample Scope both for our Wonder and
Pleasure. If his Diction, and the cloathing of his Thoughts attract
us, how much more must we be charm’d with the Richness, and Variety,
of his Images and Ideas! If his Images and Ideas steal into our
Souls, and strike upon our Fancy, how much are they improv’d in
Price, when we come to reflect with what Propriety and Justness they
are apply’d to Character! If we look into his Characters, and how
they are furnish’d and proportion’d to the Employment he cuts out
for them, how are we taken up with the Mastery of his Portraits!
What Draughts of Nature! What Variety of Originals, and how
differing each from the other! How are they dress’d from the Stores
of his own luxurious Imagination; without being the Apes of Mode, or
borrowing from any foreign Wardrobe! Each of Them are the Standards
of Fashion for themselves: like Gentlemen that are above the
Direction of their Tailors, and can adorn themselves without the Aid
of Imitation. If other Poets draw more than one Fool or Coxcomb,
there is the same Resemblance in them, as in that Painter’s
Draughts, who was happy only at forming a Rose: you find them all
younger Brothers of the same Family, and all of them have a Pretence
to give the same Crest: But _Shakespeare_’s Clowns and Fops come all
of a different House: they are no farther allied to one another than
as Man to Man, Members of the same Species: but as different in
Features and Lineaments of Character, as we are from one another in
Face, or Complexion. But I am unawares launching into his Character
as a Writer, before I have said what I intended of him as a private
Member of the Republick.

    [Sidenote: Some Particulars of his private Life.]

Mr. _Rowe_ has very justly observ’d, that People are fond of
discovering any little personal Story of the Great Men of Antiquity:
and that the common Accidents of their Lives naturally become the
Subject of our critical Enquiries: That however trifling such a
Curiosity at the first View may appear, yet, as for what relates to
Men of Letters, the Knowledge of an Author may, perhaps, sometimes
conduce to the better understanding his Works: And, indeed, this
Author’s Works, from the bad Treatment he has met with from his
Editors, have so long wanted a Comment, that one would zealously
embrace every Method of Information, that could contribute to
recover them from the Injuries with which they have so long lain

’Tis certain, that if we have first admir’d the Man in his Writings,
his Case is so circumstanc’d, that we must naturally admire the
Writings in the Man: That if we go back to take a View of his
Education, and the Employment in Life which Fortune had cut out
for him, we shall retain the stronger Ideas of his extensive

His Father, we are told, was a considerable Dealer in Wool; but
having no fewer than ten Children, of whom our _Shakespeare_ was the
eldest, the best Education he could afford him was no better than to
qualify him for his own Business and Employment. I cannot affirm
with any Certainty how long his Father liv’d; but I take him to be
the same Mr. _John Shakespeare_ who was living in the Year 1599,
and who then, in Honour of his Son, took out an Extract of his
Family-Arms from the Herald’s Office; by which it appears, that he
had been Officer and Bailiff of _Stratford_, and that he enjoy’d
some hereditary Lands and Tenements, the Reward of his Great
Grandfather’s faithful and approved Service to King _Henry_

Be this as it will, our _Shakespeare_, it seems, was bred for some
Time at a Free-School; the very Free-School, I presume, founded at
_Stratford_: where, we are told, he acquired what _Latin_ he was
Master of: but, that his Father being oblig’d, thro’ Narrowness
of Circumstance, to withdraw him too soon from thence, he was
so unhappily prevented from making any Proficiency in the Dead
Languages: A Point, that will deserve some little Discussion in
the Sequel of this Dissertation.

How long he continued in his Father’s Way of Business, either as an
Assistant to him, or on his own proper Account, no Notices are left
to inform us: nor have I been able to learn precisely at what
Period of Life he quitted his native _Stratford_, and began his
Acquaintance with _London_, and the _Stage_.

In order to settle in the World after a Family-manner, he thought
fit, Mr. _Rowe_ acquaints us, to marry while he was yet very young.
It is certain, he did so: for by the Monument, in _Stratford_
Church, erected to the Memory of his Daughter _Susanna_, the Wife of
_John Hall_, Gentleman, it appears, that she died on the 2d Day of
_July_ in the Year 1649, aged 66. So that She was born in 1583, when
her Father could not be full 19 Years old; who was himself born in
the Year 1564. Nor was She his eldest Child, for he had another
Daughter, _Judith_, who was born before her, and who was married to
one Mr. _Thomas Quiney_. So that _Shakespeare_ must have entred into
Wedlock, by that Time he was turn’d of seventeen Years.

Whether the Force of Inclination merely, or some concurring
Circumstances of Convenience in the Match, prompted him to marry
so early, is not easy to be determin’d at this Distance: but ’tis
probable, a View of Interest might partly sway his Conduct in this
Point: for he married the Daughter of one _Hathaway_, a substantial
Yeoman in his Neighbourhood, and She had the Start of him in Age no
less than 8 Years. She surviv’d him, notwithstanding, seven Seasons,
and dy’d that very Year in which the _Players_ publish’d the first
Edition of his Works in _Folio_, Anno Dom. 1623, at the Age of 67
Years, as we likewise learn from her Monument in _Stratford_-Church.

How long he continued in this kind of Settlement, upon his own
Native Spot, is not more easily to be determin’d. But if the
Tradition be true, of that Extravagance which forc’d him both to
quit his Country and way of Living; to wit, his being engag’d, with
a Knot of young Deer-stealers, to rob the Park of Sir _Thomas Lucy_
of _Cherlecot_ near _Stratford_: the Enterprize favours so much of
Youth and Levity, we may reasonably suppose it was before he could
write full Many. Besides, considering he has left us six and thirty
Plays, which are avow’d to be genuine; (to throw out of the Question
those Seven, in which his Title is disputed: tho’ I can, beyond all
Controversy, prove some Touches in every one of them to come from
his Pen:) and considering too, that he had retir’d from the Stage,
to spend the latter Part of his Days at his own Native _Stratford_;
the Interval of Time, necessarily required for the finishing so many
Dramatic Pieces, obliges us to suppose he threw himself very early
upon the Play-house. And as he could, probably, contract no
Acquaintance with the Drama, while he was driving on the Affair of
Wool at home; some Time must be lost, even after he had commenc’d
Player, before he could attain Knowledge enough in the Science to
qualify himself for turning Author.

It has been observ’d by Mr. _Rowe_, that, amongst other Extravagancies
which our Author has given to his Sir _John Falstaffe_, in the
_Merry Wives_ of _Windsor_, he has made him a Deer-stealer; and that
he might at the same time remember his _Warwickshire_ Prosecutor,
under the Name of Justice _Shallow_, he has given him very near the
same Coat of Arms, which _Dugdale_, in his Antiquities of that
County, describes for a Family there. There are two Coats, I
observe, in _Dugdale_, where three Silver Fishes are borne in the
Name of _Lucy_; and another Coat, to the Monument of _Thomas Lucy_,
Son of Sir _William Lucy_, in which are quarter’d in four several
Divisions, twelve little Fishes, three in each Division, probably
_Luces_. This very Coat, indeed, seems alluded to in _Shallow_’s
giving the _dozen_ White _Luces_, and in _Slender_ saying, _he may
quarter_. When I consider the exceeding Candour and Good-nature of
our Author, (which inclin’d all the gentler Part of the World to
love him; as the Power of his Wit obliged the Men of the most
delicate Knowledge and polite Learning to admire him;) and that he
should throw this humorous Piece of Satire at his Prosecutor, at
least twenty Years after the Provocation given; I am confidently
persuaded it must be owing to an unforgiving Rancour on the
Prosecutor’s Side: and if This was the Case, it were Pity but the
Disgrace of such an Inveteracy should remain as a lasting Reproach,
and _Shallow_ stand as a Mark of Ridicule to stigmatize his

It is said, our Author spent some Years before his Death, in Ease,
Retirement, and the Conversation of his Friends, at his Native
_Stratford_. I could never pick up any certain Intelligence, when He
relinquish’d the Stage. I know, it has been mistakenly thought by
some, that _Spenser_’s _Thalia_, in his _Tears of his Muses_, where
she laments the Loss of her _Willy_ in the Comic Scene, has been
apply’d to our Author’s quitting the Stage. But _Spenser_ himself,
’tis well known, quitted the Stage of Life in the Year 1598; and,
five Years after this, we find _Shakespeare_’s Name among the Actors
in _Ben Jonson_’s _Sejanus_, which first made its Appearance in the
Year 1603. Nor, surely, could he then have any Thoughts of retiring,
since, that very Year, a Licence under the Privy-Seal was granted
by K. _James_ I. to him and _Fletcher_, _Burbage_, _Phillippes_,
_Hemmings_, _Condel_, &c. authorizing them to exercise the Art of
playing Comedies, Tragedies, &c. as well at their usual House call’d
the _Globe_ on the other Side of the Water, as in any other Parts of
the Kingdom, during his Majesty’s Pleasure: (A Copy of which Licence
is preserv’d in _Rymer_’s _Foedera_.) Again, ’tis certain, that
_Shakespeare_ did not exhibit his _Macbeth_, till after the _Union_
was brought about, and till after K. _James_ I. had begun to touch
for the _Evil_: for ’tis plain, he has inserted Compliments, on both
those Accounts, upon his Royal Master in that Tragedy.

Nor, indeed, could the Number of the Dramatic Pieces, he produced,
admit of his retiring near so early as that Period. So that what
_Spenser_ there says, if it relate at all to _Shakespeare_, must
hint at some occasional Recess he made for a time upon a Disgust
taken: or the _Willy_, there mention’d, must relate to some other
favourite Poet. I believe, we may safely determine that he had not
quitted in the Year 1610. For in his _Tempest_, our Author makes
mention of the _Bermuda_ Islands, which were unknown to the
_English_, till, in 1609, Sir _John Summers_ made a Voyage to
_North-America_, and discover’d them: and afterwards invited some
of his Countrymen to settle a Plantation there. That he became the
private Gentleman at least three Years before his Decease, is pretty
obvious from another Circumstance: I mean, from that remarkable and
well-known Story, which Mr. _Rowe_ has given us of our Author’s
Intimacy with Mr. _John Combe_, an old Gentleman noted thereabouts
for his Wealth and Usury: and upon whom _Shakespeare_ made the
following facetious Epitaph.

  Ten in the hundred lies here in-grav’d,
  ’Tis a hundred to ten his Soul is not sav’d;
  If any Man ask who lies in this Tomb,
  Oh! oh! quoth the Devil, ’tis my _John-a-Combe_.

This sarcastical Piece of Wit was, at the Gentleman’s own Request,
thrown out extemporally in his Company. And this Mr. _John Combe_
I take to be the same, who, by _Dugdale_ in his Antiquities of
_Warwickshire_, is said to have dy’d in the Year 1614, and for whom
at the upper End of the Quire, of the Guild of the Holy Cross at
_Stratford_, a fair Monument is erected, having a Statue thereon cut
in Alabaster, and in a Gown with this Epitaph. “Here lyeth enterr’d
the Body of _John Combe_ Esq; who dy’d the 10th of _July_, 1614, who
bequeathed several Annual Charities to the Parish of _Stratford_,
and 100_l._ to be lent to fifteen poor Tradesmen from three years to
three years, changing the Parties every third Year, at the Rate of
fifty Shillings _per Annum_, the Increase to be distributed to the
Almes-poor there.”--The Donation has all the Air of a rich and
sagacious Usurer.

_Shakespeare_ himself did not survive Mr. _Combe_ long, for he dy’d
in the Year 1616, the 53d of his Age. He lies buried on the North
Side of the Chancel in the great Church at _Stratford_; where a
Monument, decent enough for the Time, is erected to him, and plac’d
against the Wall. He is represented under an Arch in a sitting
Posture, a Cushion spread before him, with a Pen in his Right Hand,
and his Left rested on a Scrowl of Paper. The _Latin_ Distich, which
is placed under the Cushion, has been given us by Mr. _Pope_, or his
Graver, in this Manner.

  INGENIO _Pylium_, Genio _Socratem_, Arte _Maronem_,
  Terra tegit, Populus mæret, Olympus habet.

I confess, I don’t conceive the Difference betwixt _Ingeniô_ and
_Geniô_ in the first Verse. They seem to me intirely synonomous
Terms; nor was the _Pylian_ Sage _Nestor_ celebrated for his
Ingenuity, but for an Experience and Judgment owing to his long Age.
_Dugdale_, in his Antiquities of _Warwickshire_, has copied this
Distich with a Distinction which Mr. _Rowe_ has follow’d, and which
certainly restores us the true meaning of the Epitaph.

  _JUDICIO Pylium_, Genio _Socratem_, &c.

In 1614, the greater part of the Town of _Stratford_ was consumed by
Fire; but our _Shakespeare_’s House, among some others, escap’d the
Flames. This House was first built by Sir _Hugh Clopton_, a younger
Brother of an ancient Family in that Neighbourhood, who took their
Name from the Manor of _Clopton_. Sir _Hugh_ was Sheriff of _London_
in the Reign of _Richard_ III, and Lord Mayor in the Reign of King
_Henry_ VII. To this Gentleman the Town of _Stratford_ is indebted
for the fine Stone-bridge, consisting of fourteen Arches, which at
an extraordinary Expence he built over the _Avon_, together with a
Cause-way running at the West-end thereof; as also for rebuilding
the Chapel adjoining to his House, and the Cross-Isle in the Church
there. It is remarkable of him, that, tho’ he liv’d and dy’d a
Batchelor, among the other extensive Charities which he left both
to the City of _London_ and Town of _Stratford_, he bequeath’d
considerable Legacies for the Marriage of poor Maidens of good Name
and Fame both in _London_ and at _Stratford_. Notwithstanding which
large Donations in his Life, and Bequests at his Death, as he had
purchased the Manor of _Clopton_, and all the Estate of the Family,
so he left the same again to his Elder Brother’s Son with a very
great Addition: (a Proof, how well Beneficence and Oeconomy may walk
hand in hand in wise Families:) Good part of which Estate is yet in
the Possession of _Edward Clopton_, Esq; and Sir _Hugh Clopton_,
Knt. lineally descended from the Elder Brother of the first Sir
_Hugh_: Who particularly bequeathed to his Nephew, by his Will, his
House, by the Name of his _Great-house_ in _Stratford_.

The Estate had now been sold out of the _Clopton_ Family for above a
Century, at the Time when _Shakespeare_ became the Purchaser: who,
having repair’d and modell’d it to his own Mind, chang’d the Name to
_New-place_; which the Mansion-house, since erected upon the same
Spot, at this day retains. The House and Lands, which attended it,
continued in _Shakespeare_’s Descendants to the Time of the
_Restoration_: when they were repurchased by the _Clopton_ Family,
and the Mansion now belongs to Sir _Hugh Clopton_, Knt. To the
Favour of this worthy Gentleman I owe the Knowledge of one
Particular, in Honour of our Poet’s once Dwelling-house, of which,
I presume, Mr. ROWE never was appriz’d. When the Civil War raged in
_England_, and K. _Charles_ the _First’s_ Queen was driven by the
Necessity of Affairs to make a Recess in _Warwickshire_, She kept
her Court for three Weeks in _New-place_. We may reasonably suppose
it then the best private House in the Town; and her Majesty
preferr’d it to the _College_, which was in the Possession of
the _Combe_-Family, who did not so strongly favour the King’s Party.

How much our Author employ’d himself in Poetry, after his Retirement
from the Stage, does not so evidently appear: Very few posthumous
Sketches of his Pen have been recover’d to ascertain that Point. We
have been told, indeed, in Print, but not till very lately, That two
large Chests full of this Great Man’s loose Papers and Manuscripts,
in the Hands of an ignorant Baker of _Warwick_, (who married one of
the Descendants from our _Shakespeare_) were carelesly scatter’d
and thrown about, as Garret-Lumber, and Litter, to the particular
Knowledge of the late Sir _William Bishop_, till they were all
consumed in the general Fire and Destruction, of that Town. I cannot
help being a little apt to distrust the Authority of this Tradition;
because as his Wife surviv’d him seven Years, and as his Favourite
Daughter _Susanna_ surviv’d her twenty six Years, ’tis very
improbable, they should suffer such a Treasure to be remov’d, and
translated into a remoter Branch of the Family, without a Scrutiny
first made into the Value of it. This, I say, inclines me to
distrust the Authority of the Relation: but, notwithstanding such
an apparent Improbability, if we really lost such a Treasure, by
whatever Fatality or Caprice of Fortune they came into such ignorant
and neglectful Hands, I agree with the _Relater_, the Misfortune is
wholly irreparable.

    [Sidenote*: His Character as a _Writer_.]

To these Particulars, which regard his Person and private Life, some
few more are to be glean’d from Mr. ROWE’s Account of his _Life_
and _Writings_: *Let us now take a short View of him in his publick
Capacity, as a _Writer_: and, from thence, the Transition will be
easy to the _State_ in which his _Writings_ have been handed down
to us.

No Age, perhaps, can produce an Author more various from himself,
than _Shakespeare_ has been universally acknowledg’d to be. The
Diversity in Stile, and other Parts of Composition, so obvious in
him, is as variously to be accounted for. His Education, we find,
was at best but begun: and he started early into a Science from the
Force of Genius, unequally assisted by acquir’d Improvements. His
Fire, Spirit, and Exuberance of Imagination gave an Impetuosity
to his Pen: His Ideas flow’d from him in a Stream rapid, but not
turbulent; copious, but not ever overbearing its Shores. The Ease
and Sweetness of his Temper might not a little contribute to his
Facility in Writing; as his Employment, as a _Player_, gave him an
Advantage and Habit of fancying himself the very Character he meant
to delineate. He used the Helps of his Function in forming himself
to create and express that _Sublime_, which other Actors can only
copy, and throw out, in Action and graceful Attitude. But _Nullum
fine Veniâ placuit Ingenium_, says _Seneca_. The Genius, that
gives us the greatest Pleasure, sometimes stands in Need of our
Indulgence. Whenever this happens with regard to _Shakespeare_,
I would willingly impute it to a Vice of _his Times_. We see
Complaisance enough, in our own Days, paid to a _bad Taste_. His
_Clinches_, _false Wit_, and descending beneath himself, seem to
be a Deference paid to _reigning Barbarism_. He was a _Sampson_ in
Strength, but he suffer’d some such _Dalilah_ to give him up to the

As I have mention’d the Sweetness of his Disposition, I am tempted
to make a Reflexion or two on a Sentiment of his, which, I am
persuaded, came from the Heart.

  The Man, that hath no Musick in himself,
  Nor is not mov’d with Concord of sweet Sounds,
  Is fit for Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils:
  The Motions of his Spirit are dull as Night,
  And his Affections dark as _Erebus_:
  Let no such Man be trusted.----

    [Sidenote: A Lover of _Musick_.]

_Shakespeare_ was all Openness, Candour, and Complacence; and had
such a Share of Harmony in his Frame and Temperature, that we have
no Reason to doubt, from a Number of fine Passages, Allusions,
Similies, &_c._ fetch’d from _Musick_, but that He was a passionate
Lover of it. And to this, perhaps, we may owe that great Number of
_Sonnets_, which are sprinkled thro’ his _Plays_. I have found,
that the Stanza’s sung by the Gravedigger in _Hamlet_, are not of
_Shakespeare_’s own Composition, but owe their Original to the old
Earl of _Surrey_’s Poems. Many other of his Occasional little Songs,
I doubt not, but he purposely copied from his Contemporary Writers;
sometimes, out of Banter; sometimes, to do them Honour. The Manner
of their Introduction, and the Uses to which he has assigned them,
will easily determine for which of the Reasons they are respectively
employ’d. In _As you like it_, there are several little Copies of
Verses on _Rosalind_, which are said to be the right _Butter-woman’s
Rank to Market_, and the very _false Gallop of Verses_. Dr. _Thomas
Lodge_, a Physician who flourish’d early in Queen _Elizabeth_’s
Reign, and was a great Writer of the Pastoral Songs and Madrigals,
which were so much the Strain of those Times, composed a whole
Volume of Poems in Praise of his Mistress, whom he calls
_Rosalinde_. I never yet could meet with this Collection; but
whenever I do, I am persuaded, I shall find many of our Author’s
Canzonets on this Subject to be Scraps of the Doctor’s amorous Muse:
as, perhaps, those by _Biron_ too, and the other Lovers in _Love’s
Labour’s lost_, may prove to be.

It has been remark’d in the Course of my Notes, that Musick in our
Author’s time had a very different Use from what it has now. At this
Time, it is only employ’d to raise and inflame the Passions; it,
then, was apply’d to calm and allay all kinds of Perturbations. And,
agreeable to this Observation, throughout all _Shakespeare_’s Plays,
where Musick is either actually used, or its Powers describ’d, it is
chiefly said to be for these Ends. His _Twelfth-Night_, particularly,
begins with a fine Reflexion that admirably marks its soothing

  That Strain again;--It had a dying Fall.
  Oh, it came o’er my Ear like the sweet South,
  That breathes upon a Bank of Violets,
  Stealing and giving Odour!

    [Sidenote*: _Milton_ an Imitator of him.]

This _Similitude_ is remarkable not only for the Beauty of the
Image that it presents, but likewise for the Exactness to the Thing
compared. This is a way of Teaching peculiar to the Poets; that,
when they would describe the Nature of any thing, they do it not by
a direct Enumeration of its Attributes or Qualities, but by bringing
something into Comparison, and describing those Qualities of it that
are of the Kind with those in the Thing compared. So, here for
instance, the Poet willing to instruct in the Properties of Musick,
in which the same Strains have a Power to excite Pleasure, or Pain,
according to that State of Mind the Hearer is then in, does it
by presenting the Image of a sweet South Wind blowing o’er a
Violet-bank; which wafts away the Odour of the Violets, and at the
same time communicates to it its own Sweetness: by This insinuating,
that affecting Musick, tho’ it takes away the natural sweet
Tranquillity of the Mind, yet, at the same time, communicates a
Pleasure the Mind felt not before. This Knowledge, of the same
Objects being capable of raising two contrary Affections, is a Proof
of no ordinary Progress in the Study of human Nature. *The general
Beauties of those two Poems of _MILTON_, intitled, _L’Allegro_ and
_Il Pensoroso_, are obvious to all Readers, because the Descriptions
are the most poetical in the World; yet there is a peculiar Beauty
in those two excellent Pieces, that will much enhance the Value of
them to the more capable Readers; which has never, I think, been
observ’d. The Images, in each Poem, which he raises to excite Mirth
and Melancholy, are exactly the same, only shewn in different
Attitudes. Had a Writer, less acquainted with Nature, given us two
Poems on these Subjects, he would have been sure to have sought out
the most contrary Images to raise these contrary Passions. And,
particularly, as _Shakespeare_, in the Passage I am now commenting,
speaks of these different Effects in Musick; so _Milton_ has brought
it into each Poem as the Exciter of each Affection: and lest we
should mistake him, as meaning that different Airs had this
different Power, (which every Fidler is proud to have you
understand,) He gives the Image of those self-same Strains that
_Orpheus_ used to regain _Eurydice_, as proper both to excite Mirth
and Melancholy. But _Milton_ most industriously copied the Conduct
of our _Shakespeare_, in Passages that shew’d an intimate
Acquaintance with Nature and Science.

    [Sidenote: Shakespeare’s _Knowledge of Nature_.]

I have not thought it out of my Province, whenever Occasion offer’d,
to take notice of some of our Poet’s grand Touches of Nature: Some,
that do not appear superficially such; but in which he seems the
most deeply instructed; and to which, no doubt, he has so much ow’d
that happy Preservation of his _Characters_, for which he is justly
celebrated. If he was not acquainted with the Rule as deliver’d by
_Horace_, his own admirable Genius pierc’d into the Necessity of
such a Rule.

  ----Servetur ad imum
  Qualis ab incœpto processerit, & sibi constet.

For what can be more ridiculous, than, in our modern Writers, to
make a debauch’d young Man, immers’d in all the Vices of his Age and
Time, in a few hours take up, confine himself in the way of Honour
to one Woman, and moralize in good earnest on the Follies of his
past Behaviour? Nor can, that great Examplar of _Comic_ Writing,
_Terence_ be altogether excused in this Regard; who, in his
_Adelphi_, has left _Demea_ in the last Scenes so unlike himself:
whom, as _Shakespeare_ expresses it, _he has turn’d with the seamy
Side of his Wit outward_. This Conduct, as Errors are more readily
imitated than Perfections, _Beaumont_ and _Fletcher_ seem to
have follow’d in a Character in their _Scornful Lady_. It may be
objected, perhaps, by some who do not go to the Bottom of our Poet’s
Conduct, that he has likewise transgress’d against the Rule himself,
by making Prince _Harry_ at once, upon coming to the Crown, throw
off his former Dissoluteness, and take up the Practice of a sober
Morality and all the kingly Virtues. But this would be a mistaken
Objection. The Prince’s Reformation is not so sudden, as not to be
prepar’d and expected by the Audience. He gives, indeed, a Loose to
Vanity, and a light unweigh’d Behaviour, when he is trifling among
his dissolute Companions; but the Sparks of innate Honour and true
Nobleness break from him upon every proper Occasion, where we would
hope to see him awake to Sentiments suiting his Birth and Dignity.
And our Poet has so well, and artfully, guarded his Character from
the Suspicions of habitual and unreformable Profligateness; that
even from the first shewing him upon the Stage, in the first Part of
_Henry_ IV, when he made him consent to join with _Falstaffe_ in a
Robbery on the Highway, he has taken care not to carry him off the
Scene, without an Intimation that he knows them all, and their
unyok’d Humour; and that, like the Sun, he will permit them only for
a while to obscure and cloud his Brightness; then break thro’ the
Mist, when he pleases to be himself again; that his Lustre, when
wanted, may be the more wonder’d at.

Another of _Shakespeare_’s grand Touches of Nature, and which lies
still deeper from the Ken of common Observation, has been taken
notice of in a Note upon _The Tempest_; where _Prospero_ at once
interrupts the Masque of _Spirits_, and starts into a sudden Passion
and Disorder of Mind. As the latent Cause of his Emotion is there
fully inquir’d into, I shall no farther dwell upon it here.

Such a Conduct in a Poet (as _Shakespeare_ has manifested on many
like Occasions;) where the Turn of _Action_ arises from Reflexions
of his _Characters_, where the Reason of it is not express’d in
Words, but drawn from the inmost Resources of Nature, shews him
truly capable of that Art, which is more in Rule than Practice:
_Ars est celare Artem_. ’Tis the Foible of your worser Poets to make
a Parade and Ostentation of that little Science they have; and to
throw it out in the most ambitious Colours. And whenever a Writer of
this Class shall attempt to copy these artful Concealments of our
Author, and shall either think them easy, or practised by a Writer
for his Ease, he will soon be convinced of his Mistake by the
Difficulty of reaching the Imitation of them.

  Speret idem, sudet multùm, frustráq; laboret,
  Ausus idem:----

Another grand Touch of Nature in our Author, (not less difficult to
imitate, tho’ more obvious to the Remark of a common Reader) is,
when he brings down at once any _Character_ from the Ferment
and Height of Passion, makes him correct himself for the unruly
Disposition, and fall into Reflexions of a sober and moral Tenour.
An exquisite fine Instance of this Kind occurs in _Lear_, where that
old King, hasty and intemperate in his Passions, coming to his Son
and Daughter _Cornwall_, is told by the Earl of _Gloucester_ that
they are not to be spoken with: and thereupon throws himself into a
Rage, supposing the Excuse of Sickness and Weariness in them to be a
purpos’d Contempt: _Gloucester_ begs him to think of the fiery and
unremoveable Quality of the Duke: and This, which was design’d to
qualify his Passion, serves to exaggerate the Transports of it.

As the Conduct of Prince _Henry_ in the first Instance, the secret
and mental Reflexions in the Case of _Prospero_, and the instant
Detour of _Lear_ from the Violence of Rage to a Temper of Reasoning,
do so much Honour to that surprizing Knowledge of human Nature,
which is certainly our Author’s Masterpiece, I thought, they could
not be set in too good a Light. Indeed, to point out, and exclaim
upon, all the Beauties of _Shakespeare_, as they come singly in
Review, would be as insipid, as endless; as tedious, as unnecessary:
But the Explanation of those Beauties, that are less obvious to
common Readers, and whose Illustration depends on the Rules of just
Criticism, and an exact Knowledge of human Life, should deservedly
have a Share in a general Critic upon the Author.

    [Sidenote*: Mr. _Addison_ and _He_ compared, on a similar Topick.]

I shall dismiss the Examination into these his latent Beauties, when
I have made a short Comment upon a remarkable Passage from _Julius
Cæsar_, which is inexpressibly fine in its self, *and greatly
discovers our Author’s Knowledge and Researches into Nature.

  Between the acting of a dreadful Thing,
  And the first Motion, all the _Interim_ is
  Like a Phantasma, or a hideous Dream:
  The Genius, and the mortal Instruments
  Are then in Council; and the State of Man,
  Like to a little Kingdom, suffers then
  The Nature of an Insurrection.

That nice Critick _Dionysius_ of _Halicarnassus_ confesses, that he
could not find those great Strokes, which he calls the _terrible
Graces_, in any of the Historians, which he frequently met with in
_Homer_. I believe, the Success would be the same likewise, if we
sought for them in any other of _our_ Authors besides our _British_
HOMER, _Shakespeare_. This Description of the Condition of
Conspirators has a Pomp and Terror in it, that perfectly astonishes.
Our excellent Mr. _Addison_, whose Modesty made him sometimes
diffident in his own Genius, but whose exquisite Judgment always led
him to the safest Guides, as we may see by those many fine Strokes
in his _Cato_ borrow’d from the _Philippics_ of _Cicero_, has
paraphrased this fine Description; but we are no longer to expect
those _terrible Graces_, which he could not hinder from evaporating
in the Transfusion.

  O think, what anxious Moments pass between
  The Birth of Plots, and their last fatal Periods.
  Oh, ’tis a dreadful Interval of Time,
  Fill’d up with Horror all, and big with Death.

I shall observe two Things on this fine Imitation: first, that the
Subjects of these two Conspiracies being so very different, (the
Fortunes of _Cæsar_ and the _Roman_ Empire being concern’d in the
First; and That of only a few Auxiliary Troops, in the other;)
Mr. _Addison_ could not with Propriety bring in that magnificent
Circumstance, which gives the terrible Grace to _Shakespeare_’s

  The Genius and the mortal Instruments
  Are then in Council.----

For Kingdoms, in the poetical Theology, besides their good, have
their evil _Genius_’s likewise: represented here with the most
daring Stretch of Fancy, as fitting in Council with the Conspirators,
whom he calls the _mortal Instruments_. But this Would have been
too great an Apparatus to the Rape, and Desertion, of _Syphax_, and
_Sempronius_. Secondly, The other Thing very observable is, that Mr.
_Addison_ was so warm’d and affected with the Fire of _Shakespeare_’s
Description; that, instead of copying his Author’s Sentiments, he
has, before he was aware, given us only the Image of his own
Impressions on the reading his great Original. For,

  Oh, ’tis a dreadful Interval of Time,
  Fill’d up with Horror all, and big with Death;

are but the Affections raised by such forcible Images as these;

  ----All the _Int’rim_ is
  Like a Phantasma, or a hideous Dream.
  ----the State of Man,
  Like to a little Kingdom, suffers then
  The Nature of an Insurrection.

Comparing the Mind of a Conspirator to an Anarchy, is just and
beautiful; but the _Interim_ to a _hideous Dream_ has something in
it so wonderfully natural, and lays the human Soul so open, that one
cannot but be surpriz’d, that any Poet, who had not himself been,
some time or other, engaged in a Conspiracy, could ever have given
such Force of Colouring to Truth and Nature.

    [Sidenote: The Question on _Shakespeare_’s Learning handled.]

It has been allow’d on all hands, far our Author was indebted to
_Nature_; it is not so well agreed, how much he ow’d to _Languages_
and acquir’d _Learning_. The Decisions on this Subject were
certainly set on Foot by the Hint from _Ben Jonson_, that he had
small _Latin_ and less _Greek_: And from this Tradition, as it were,
Mr. _Rowe_ has thought fit peremptorily to declare, that, “It is
without Controversy, he had no Knowledge of the Writings of the
ancient Poets, for that in his Works we find no Traces of any thing
which looks like an Imitation of the Ancients. For the Delicacy of
his Taste (_continues He_,) and the natural Bent of his own great
Genius (equal, if not superior, to some of the Best of theirs;)
would certainly have led him to read and study them with so much
Pleasure, that some of their fine Images would naturally have
insinuated themselves into, and been mix’d with, his own Writings:
so that his not copying, at least, something from them, may be an
Argument of his never having read them.” I shall leave it to the
Determination of my Learned Readers, from the numerous Passages,
which I have occasionally quoted in my Notes, in which our Poet
seems closely to have imitated the Classics, whether Mr. _Rowe_’s
Assertion be so absolutely to be depended on. The Result of the
Controversy must certainly, either way, terminate to our Author’s
Honour: how happily he could imitate them, if that Point be allow’d;
or how gloriously he could think like them, without owing any thing
to Imitation.

Tho’ I should be very unwilling to allow _Shakespeare_ so poor a
Scholar, as Many have labour’d to represent him, yet I shall be
very cautious of declaring too positively on the other side of the
Question: that is, with regard to my Opinion of his Knowledge in the
dead Languages. And therefore the Passages, that I occasionally
quote from the _Classics_, shall not be urged as Proofs that he
knowingly imitated those Originals; but brought to shew how happily
he has express’d himself upon the same Topicks. A very learned
Critick of our own Nation has declar’d, that a Sameness of Thought
and Sameness of Expression too, in Two Writers of a different Age,
can hardly happen, without a violent Suspicion of the Latter copying
from his Predecessor. I shall not therefore run any great Risque
of a Censure, tho’ I should venture to hint, that the Resemblance,
in Thought and Expression, of our Author and an Ancient (which
we should allow to be Imitation in One, whose Learning was not
question’d) may sometimes take its Rise from Strength of Memory, and
those Impressions which he ow’d to the School. And if we may allow a
Possibility of This, considering that, when he quitted the School,
he gave into his Father’s Profession and way of Living, and had,
’tis likely, but a slender Library of Classical Learning; and
considering what a Number of Translations, Romances, and Legends,
started about his Time, and a little before; (most of which, ’tis
very evident, he read;) I think, it may easily be reconcil’d, why he
rather schemed his _Plots_ and _Charaters_ from these more latter
Informations, than went back to those Fountains, for which he might
entertain a sincere Veneration, but to which he could not have so
ready a Recourse.

In touching on another Part of his Learning, as it related to the
Knowledge of _History_ and _Books_, I shall advance something, that,
at first sight, will very much wear the Appearance of a Paradox.
For I shall find it no hard Matter to prove, that from the grossest
Blunders in History, we are not to infer his real Ignorance of it:
Nor from a greater Use of _Latin_ Words, than ever any other
_English_ Author used, must we infer his Knowledge of that Language.

A Reader of Taste may easily observe, that tho’ _Shakespeare_,
almost in every Scene of his historical Plays, commits the grossest
Offences against Chronology, History, and Antient Politicks; yet
This was not thro’ Ignorance, as is generally supposed, but thro’
the too powerful Blaze of his Imagination; which, when once raised,
made all acquired Knowledge vanish and disappear before it. For
Instance, in his _Timon_, he turns _Athens_, which was a perfect
Democracy, into an Aristocracy; while he ridiculously gives a
Senator the Power of banishing _Alcibiades_. On the contrary, in
_Coriolanus_, he makes _Rome_, which at that time was a perfect
Aristocracy, a Democracy full as ridiculously, by making the People
choose _Coriolanus_ Consul: Whereas, in Fact, it was not till the
Time of _Manlius_ _Torquatus_, that the People had a Right of
choosing one Consul. But this Licence in him, as I have said, must
not be imputed to Ignorance: since as often we may find him, when
Occasion serves, reasoning up to the Truth of History; and throwing
out Sentiments as justly adapted to the Circumstances of his
Subject, as to the Dignity of his Characters, or Dictates of Nature
in general.

Then, to come to his Knowledge of the _Latin_ Tongue, ’tis certain,
there is a surprising Effusion of _Latin_ Words made _English_, far
more than in any one _English_ Author I have seen; but we must be
cautious to imagine, this was of his own doing. For the _English_
Tongue, in his Age, began extremely to suffer by an Inundation of
_Latin_; and to be overlaid, as it were, by its Nurse, when it had
just began to speak by her before-prudent Care and Assistance. And
this, to be sure, was occasion’d by the Pedantry of those two
Monarchs, _Elizabeth_ and _James_, Both great _Latinists_. For it
is not to be wonder’d at, if both the Court and Schools, equal
Flatterers of Power, should adapt themselves to the Royal Taste.
This, then, was the Condition of the _English_ Tongue when
_Shakespeare_ took it up: like a Beggar in a rich Wardrobe. He found
the pure native _English_ too cold and poor to second the Heat and
Abundance of his Imagination: and therefore was forc’d to dress it
up in the Robes, he saw provided for it: rich in themselves, but
ill-shaped; cut out to an air of Magnificence, but disproportion’d
and cumbersome. To the Costliness of Ornament, he added all the
Graces and Decorum of it. It may be said, this did not require, or
discover a Knowledge of the _Latin_. To the first, I think, it did
not; to the second, it is so far from discovering it, that, I think,
it discovers the contrary. To make This more obvious by a modern
Instance: The great MILTON likewise labour’d under the like
Inconvenience; when he first set upon adorning his own Tongue, he
likewise animated and enrich’d it with the _Latin_, but from his own
Stock: and so, rather by bringing in the Phrases, than the Words:
And This was natural; and will, I believe, always be the Case in the
same Circumstances. His Language, especially his Prose, is full of
_Latin_ Words indeed, but much fuller of _Latin_ Phrases: and his
Mastery in the Tongue made this unavoidable. On the contrary,
_Shakespeare_, who, perhaps, was not so intimately vers’d in the
_Language_, abounds in the Words of it, but has few or none of its
Phrases: Nor, indeed, if what I affirm be true, could He. This I
take to be the truest _Criterion_ to determine this long agitated

It may be mention’d, tho’ no certain Conclusion can be drawn from
it, as a probable Argument of his having read the Antients; that He
perpetually expresses the Genius of _Homer_, and other great Poets
of the Old World, in animating all the Parts of his Descriptions;
and, by bold and breathing Metaphors and Images, giving the
Properties of Life and Action to inanimate Things. He is a Copy
too of those _Greek_ Masters in the infinite use of _compound_ and
_de-compound Epithets_. I will not, indeed, aver, but that One with
_Shakespeare_’s exquisite Genius and Observation might have traced
these glaring Characteristics of Antiquity by reading _Homer_ in
_Chapman_’s Version.

    [Sidenote: _B. Jonson_ and _Shakespeare_ compar’d.]

An additional Word or two naturally falls in here upon the Genius of
our Author, as compared with that of _Jonson_ his Contemporary. They
are confessedly the greatest Writers our Nation could ever boast
of in the _Drama_. The first, we say, owed all to his prodigious
natural Genius; and the other a great deal to his Art and Learning.
This, if attended to, will explain a very remarkable Appearance in
their Writings. Besides those wonderful Masterpieces of Art and
Genius, which each has given Us; They are the Authors of other Works
very unworthy of them: But with this Difference; that in _Jonson_’s
bad Pieces we don’t discover one single Trace of the Author of
the _Fox_ and _Alchemist_: but in the wild extravagant Notes
of _Shakespeare_, you every now and then encounter Strains that
recognize the divine Composer. This Difference may be thus accounted
for. _Jonson_, as we said before, owing all his Excellence to his
Art, by which he sometimes strain’d himself to an uncommon Pitch,
when at other times he unbent and play’d with his Subject, having
nothing then to support him, it is no wonder he wrote so far beneath
himself. But _Sbakespeare_, indebted more largely to Nature, than
the Other to acquired Talents, in his most negligent Hours could
never so totally divest himself of his Genius, but that it would
frequently break out with astonishing Force and Splendor.

    [Sidenote: His Reputation under Disadvantages.]

As I have never propos’d to dilate farther on the Character of my
Author, than was necessary to explain the Nature and Use of this
Edition, I shall proceed to consider him as a Genius in Possession
of an Everlasting Name. And how great that Merit must be, which
could gain it against all the Disadvantages of the horrid Condition
in which he has hitherto appear’d! Had _Homer_, or any other admir’d
Author, first started into Publick so, maim’d and deform’d, we
cannot determine whether they had not sunk for ever under the
Ignominy of such an ill Appearance. The mangled Condition of
_Shakespeare_ has been acknowledg’d by Mr. _Rowe_, who publish’d him
indeed, but neither corrected his Text, nor collated the old Copies.
This Gentleman had Abilities, and a sufficient Knowledge of his
Author, had but his Industry been equal to his Talents. The same
mangled Condition has been acknowledg’d too by Mr. _Pope_, who
publish’d him likewise, pretended to have collated the old Copies,
and yet seldom has corrected the Text but to its Injury. I
congratulate with the _Manes_ of our Poet, that this Gentleman has
been sparing in _indulging his private Sense_; for He, who tampers
with an Author whom he does not understand, must do it at the
Expence of his Subject. I have made it evident throughout my
Remarks, that he has frequently inflicted a Wound where he intended
a Cure. He has acted with regard to our Author, as an Editor, whom
LIPSIUS mentions, did with regard to MARTIAL; _Inventus est nescio
quis _Popa_, qui non _vitia_ ejus, sed _ipsum_, excîdit._ He has
attack’d him like an unhandy _Slaughterman_; and not lopp’d off the
_Errors_, but the _Poet_.

    [Sidenote: Praise sometimes an Injury.]

When this is found to be the Fact, how absurd must appear the
Praises of such an Editor? It seems a moot Point, whether Mr. _Pope_
has done most Injury to _Shakespeare_ as his Editor and Encomiast;
or Mr. _Rymer_ done him Service as his Rival and Censurer. Were it
every where the true Text, which That Editor in his late pompous
Edition gave us, the Poet deserv’d not the large Encomiums bestow’d
by him: nor, in that Case, is _Rymer_’s Censure of the Barbarity of
his Thoughts, and the Impropriety of his Expressions, groundless.
They have Both shewn themselves in an equal _Impuissance_ of
suspecting or amending the corrupted Passages: and tho’ it be
neither Prudence to censure, or commend, what one does not
understand; yet if a Man must do one when he plays the Critick,
the latter is the more ridiculous Office. And by That _Shakespeare_
suffers most. For the natural Veneration, which we have for him,
makes us apt to swallow whatever is given us as _his_, and let off
with Encomiums; and hence we quit all Suspicions of Depravity: On
the contrary, the Censure of so divine an Author sets us upon his
Defence; and this produces an exact Scrutiny and Examination, which
ends in finding out and discriminating the true from the spurious.

It is not with any secret Pleasure, that I so frequently animadvert
on Mr. _Pope_ as a Critick; but there are Provocations, which a Man
can never quite forget. His Libels have been thrown out with so much
Inveteracy, that, not to dispute whether they _should_ come from a
_Christian_, they leave it a Question whether they _could_ come from
a _Man_. I should be loth to doubt, as _Quintus Serenus_ did in a
like Case,

  Sive homo, seu similis turpissima bestia nobis,
  Vulnera dente dedit.

The Indignation, perhaps, for being represented a _Blockhead_, may
be as strong in Us as it is in the Ladies for a Reflexion on their
_Beauties_. It is certain, I am indebted to Him for some _flagrant
Civilities_; and I shall willingly devote a part of my Life to the
honest Endeavour of quitting Scores: with this Exception however,
that I will not return those Civilities in his _peculiar_ Strain,
but confine myself, at lead, to the Limits of _common Decency_.
I shall ever think it better to want _Wit_, than to want _Humanity_:
and impartial Posterity may, perhaps, be of my Opinion.

    [Sidenote: The old Editions faulty, whence.]

But, to return to my Subject; which now calls upon me to inquire
into those Causes, to which the Depravations of my Author originally
may be assign’d. We are to consider him as a Writer, of whom no
authentic Manuscript was extant; as a Writer, whose Pieces were
dispersedly perform’d on the several _Stages_ then in Being. And it
was the Custom of those Days for the Poets to take a Price of the
_Players_ for the Pieces They from time to time furnish’d; and
thereupon it was suppos’d, they had no farther Right to print them
without the Consent of the _Players_. As it was the Interest of the
_Companies_ to keep their Plays unpublish’d, when any one succeeded,
there was a Contest betwixt the Curiosity of the Town, who demanded
to see it in Print, and the Policy of the _Stagers_, who wish’d
to secrete it within their own Walls. Hence, many Pieces were
taken down in Short-hand, and imperfectly copied by Ear, from
a _Representation_: Others were printed from piece-meal Parts,
surreptitiously obtain’d from the Theatres, uncorrect, and without
the Poet’s Knowledge. To some of these Causes we owe the train of
Blemishes, that deform those Pieces which stole singly into the
World in our Author’s Life-time.

There are still other Reasons, which may be suppos’d to have
affected the whole Set. When the _Players_ took upon them to publish
his Works intire, every Theatre was ransack’d to supply the Copy;
and _Parts_ collected which had gone thro’ as many Changes as
Performers, either from Mutilations or Additions made to them. Hence
we derive many Chasms and Incoherences in the Sense and Matter.
Scenes were frequently transposed, and shuffled out of their true
Place, to humour the Caprice or suppos’d Convenience of some
particular Actor. Hence much Confusion and Impropriety has attended,
and embarras’d, the Business and Fable. For there ever have been,
and ever will be in Playhouses, a Set of assuming Directors, who
know better than the Poet himself the Connexion and Dependance of
his Scenes; where Matter is defective, or Superfluities to be
retrench’d; Persons, that have the Fountain of _Inspiration_ as
peremptorily in them, as Kings have That of _Honour_. To these
obvious Causes of Corruption it must be added, that our Author has
lain under the Disadvantage of having his Errors propagated and
multiplied by Time: because, for near a Century; his Works were
republish’d from the faulty Copies without the assistance of any
intelligent Editor: which has been the Case likewise of many a
_Classic_ Writer.

    [Sidenote: The Editor’s Drift and Method.]

    [Sidenote*: Difference betwixt this Edition and Dr. _Bentley_’s

The Nature of any Distemper once found has generally been the
immediate Step to a Cure. _Shakespeare_’s Case has in a great
Measure resembled That of a corrupt _Classic_; and, consequently,
the Method of Cure was likewise to bear a Resemblance. By what
Means, and with what Success, this Cure has been effected on ancient
Writers, is too well known, and needs no formal Illustration. The
Reputation consequent on Tasks of that Nature invited me to attempt
the Method here; with this View, the Hopes of restoring to the
Publick their greatest Poet in his Original Purity: after having so
long lain in a Condition that was a Disgrace to common Sense. To
this End I have ventur’d on a Labour, that is the first Assay of
the kind on any modern Author whatsoever. For the late Edition of
_Milton_ by the Learned *Dr. _Bentley_ is, in the main, a Performance
of another Species. It is plain, it was the Intention of that
Great Man rather to Correct and pare off the Excrescencies of
the _Paradise Lost_, in the manner that _Tucca_ and _Varius_ were
employ’d to criticize the _Æneis_ of _Virgil_, than to restore
corrupted Passages. Hence, therefore, may be seen either the
Iniquity or Ignorance of his Censurers, who, from some Expressions,
would make us believe, the _Doctor_ every where gives us his
Corrections as the Original Text of the Author; whereas the chief
Turn of his Criticism is plainly to shew the World, that if _Milton_
did not write as He would have him, he ought to have wrote so.

I thought proper to premise this Observation to the Readers, as it
will shew that the Critic on _Shakespeare_ is of a quite different
Kind. His genuine Text is religiously adher’d to, and the numerous
Faults and Blemishes, purely his own, are left as they were found.
Nothing is alter’d, but what by the clearest Reasoning can be
proved a Corruption of the true Text; and the Alteration, a real
Restoration of the genuine Reading. Nay, so strictly have I strove
to give the true Reading, tho’ sometimes not to the Advantage of my
Author, that I have been ridiculously ridicul’d for it by Those, who
either were iniquitously for turning every thing to my Disadvantage;
or else were totally ignorant of the true Duty of an Editor.

The Science of Criticism, as far as it affects an Editor, seems
to be reduced to these three Classes; the Emendation of corrupt
Passages; the Explanation of obscure and difficult ones; and an
Inquiry into the Beauties and Defects of Composition. This Work is
principally confin’d to the two former Parts: tho’ there are some
Specimens interspers’d of the latter Kind, as several of the
Emendations were best supported, and several of the Difficulties
best explain’d, by taking notice of the Beauties and Defects of
the Composition peculiar to this Immortal Poet. But This was but
occasional, and for the sake only of perfecting the two other Parts,
which were the proper Objects of the Editor’s Labour. The third lies
open for every willing Undertaker: and I shall be pleas’d to see it
the Employment of a masterly Pen.

It must necessarily happen, as I have formerly observ’d, that where
the Assistance of Manuscripts is wanting to set an Author’s Meaning
right, and rescue him from those Errors which have been transmitted
down thro’ a Series of incorrect Editions, and a long Intervention
of Time, many Passages must be desperate, and past a Cure; and
their true Sense irretrievable either to Care or the Sagacity of
Conjecture. But is there any Reason therefore to say, That because
All cannot be retriev’d, All ought to be left desperate? We should
shew very little Honesty, or Wisdom, to play the Tyrants with an
Author’s Text; to raze, alter, innovate, and overturn, at all
Adventures, and to the utter Detriment of his Sense and Meaning:
But to be so very reserved and cautious, as to interpose no Relief
or Conjecture, where it manifestly labours and cries out for
Assistance, seems, on the other hand, an indolent Absurdity.

But because the Art of Criticism, both by Those who cannot form a
true Judgment of its Effects, nor can penetrate into its Causes,
(which takes in a great Number besides the Ladies;) is esteem’d only
an arbitrary capricious Tyranny exercis’d on Books; I think
proper to subjoin a Word or two about those Rules on which I have
proceeded, and by which I have regulated myself in this Edition. By
This, I flatter myself, it will appear, my Emendations are so far
from being arbitrary or capricious, that They are establish’d with
a very high Degree of moral Certainty.

As there are very few Pages in _Shakespeare_, upon which some
Suspicions of Depravity do not reasonably arise; I have thought it
my Duty, in the first place, by a diligent and laborious Collation
to take in the Assistances of all the older Copies.

In his _Historical Plays_, whenever our _English_ Chronicles, and in
his Tragedies when _Greek_ or _Roman_ Story, could give any Light;
no Pains have been omitted to set Passages right by comparing my
Author with his Originals: for, as I have frequently observed, he
was a close and accurate Copier where-ever his _Fable_ was founded
on _History_.

Where-ever the Author’s Sense is clear and discoverable, (tho’,
perchance, low and trivial;) I have not by any Innovation tamper’d
with his Text; out of an Ostentation of endeavouring to make him
speak better than the Old Copies have done.

Where, thro’ all the former Editions, a Passage has labour’d under
flat Nonsense and invincible Darkness, if, by the Addition or
Alteration of a Letter or two, I have restored to Him both Sense
and Sentiment, such Corrections, I am persuaded, will need no

And whenever I have taken a greater Latitude and Liberty in
amending, I have constantly endeavoured to support my Corrections
and Conjectures by parallel Passages and Authorities from himself,
the surest Means of expounding any Author whatsoever. _Cette voïe
d’interpreter un Autheur par lui-même est plus sure que tous les
Commentaires_, says a very learned _French_ Critick.

As to my _Notes_, (from which the common and learned Readers of our
Author, I hope, will derive some Pleasure;) I have endeavour’d to
give them a Variety in some Proportion to their Number. Where-ever
I have ventur’d at an Emendation, a _Note_ is constantly subjoin’d
to justify and assert the Reason of it. Where I only offer a
Conjecture, and do not disturb the Text, I fairly set forth my
Grounds for such Conjecture, and submit it to Judgment. Some Remarks
are spent in explaining Passages, Where the Wit or Satire depends
on an obscure Point of History: Others, where Allusions are to
Divinity, Philosophy, or other Branches of Science. Some are added
to shew, where there is a Suspicion of our Author having borrowed
from the Antients: Others, to shew where he is rallying his
Contemporaries; or where He himself is rallied by them. And some are
necessarily thrown in, to explain an obscure and obsolete _Term_,
_Phrase_, or _Idea_. I once intended to have added a complete and
copious _Glossary_; but as I have been importun’d, and am prepar’d,
to give a correct Edition of our Author’s POEMS, (in which many
Terms occur that are not to be met with in his _Plays_,) I thought a
_Glossary_ to all _Shakespeare_’s Works more proper to attend that

In reforming an infinite Number of Passages in the _Pointing_, where
the Sense was before quite lost, I have frequently subjoin’d Notes
to shew the _deprav’d_, and to prove the _reform’d_, Pointing: a
Part of Labour in this Work which I could very willingly have spared
myself. May it not be objected, why then have you burthen’d us with
these Notes? The Answer is obvious, and, if I mistake not, very
material. Without such Notes, these Passages in subsequent Editions
would be liable, thro’ the Ignorance of Printers and Correctors, to
fall into the old Confusion: Whereas, a Note on every one hinders
all possible Return to Depravity; and for ever secures them in a
State of Purity and Integrity not to be lost or forfeited.

    [Sidenote*: Causes of Obscurities in _Shakespeare_.]

Again, as some Notes have been necessary to point out the Detection
of the corrupted Text, and establish the Reiteration of the genuine
Readings; some others have been as necessary for the Explanation of
Passages obscure and difficult. *To understand the Necessity and Use
of this Part of my Task, some Particulars of my Author’s Character
are previously to be explain’d. There are _Obscurities_ in him,
which are common to him with all Poets of the same Species; there
are Others, the Issue of the Times he liv’d in; and there are
Others, again, peculiar to himself. The Nature of Comic Poetry
being entirely satyrical, it busies itself more in exposing what
we call Caprice and Humour, than Vices cognizable to the Laws. The
_English_, from the Happiness of a free Constitution, and a Turn of
Mind peculiarly speculative and inquisitive, are observ’d to produce
more _Humourists_ and a greater Variety of Original _Characters_,
than any other People whatsoever: And These owing their immediate
Birth to the peculiar Genius of each Age, an infinite Number of
Things alluded to, glanced at, and expos’d, must needs become
obscure, as the _Characters_ themselves are antiquated, and disused.
An Editor therefore should be well vers’d in the History and Manners
of his Author’s Age, if he aims at doing him a Service in this Respect.

Besides, _Wit_ lying mostly in the Assemblage of _Ideas_, and in the
putting Those together with Quickness and Variety, wherein can be
found any Resemblance, or Congruity, to make up pleasant Pictures,
and agreeable Visions in the Fancy; the Writer, who aims at Wit,
must of course range far and wide for Materials. Now, the Age, in
which _Shakespeare_ liv’d, having, above all others, a wonderful
Affection to appear Learned, They declined vulgar Images, such as
are immediately fetch’d from Nature, and rang’d thro’ the Circle
of the Sciences to fetch their Ideas from thence. But as the
Resemblances of such Ideas to the Subject must necessarily lie very
much out of the common Way, and every piece of Wit appear a Riddle
to the Vulgar; This, that should have taught them the forced,
quaint, unnatural Tract they were in, (and induce them to follow a
more natural One,) was the very Thing that kept them attach’d to it.
The ostentatious Affectation of abstruse Learning, peculiar to that
Time, the Love that Men naturally have to every Thing that looks
like Mystery, fixed them down to this Habit of Obscurity. Thus
became the Poetry of DONNE (tho’ the wittiest Man of that Age,)
nothing but a continued Heap of Riddles. And our _Shakespeare_, with
all his easy Nature about him, for want of the Knowledge of the true
Rules of Art, falls frequently into this vicious Manner.

The third Species of _Obscurities_, which deform our Author, as
the Effects of his own Genius and Character, are Those that proceed
from his peculiar Manner of _Thinking_, and as peculiar a Manner of
_cloathing_ those _Thoughts_. With regard to his _Thinking_, it is
certain, that he had a general Knowledge of all the Sciences: But
his Acquaintance was rather That of a Traveller, than a Native.
Nothing in Philosophy was unknown to him; but every Thing in it had
the Grace and Force of Novelty. And as Novelty is one main Source of
Admiration, we are not to wonder that He has perpetual Allusions to
the most recondite Parts of the Sciences: and This was done not
so much out of Affectation, as the Effect of Admiration begot by
Novelty. Then, as to his _Style_ and _Diction_, we may much more
justly apply to SHAKESPEARE, what a celebrated Writer has said of
MILTON; _Our Language sunk under him, and was unequal to that
Greatness of Soul which furnish’d him with such glorious
Conceptions_. He therefore frequently uses old Words, to give his
Diction an Air of Solemnity; as he coins others, to express the
Novelty and Variety of his Ideas.

Upon every distinct Species of these _Obscurities_ I have thought it
my Province to employ a Note, for the Service of my Author, and the
Entertainment of my Readers. A few transient Remarks too I have not
scrupled to intermix, upon the Poet’s _Negligences_ and _Omissions_
in point of Art; but I have done it always in such a Manner, as will
testify my Deference and Veneration for the Immortal Author. Some
Censurers of _Shakespeare_, and particularly Mr. _Rymer_, have
taught me to distinguish betwixt the _Railer_ and _Critick_. The
Outrage of his Quotations is so remarkably violent, so push’d beyond
all Bounds of Decency and sober Reasoning, that it quite carries
over the Mark at which it was levell’d. Extravagant Abuse throws
off the Edge of the intended Disparagement, and turns the Madman’s
Weapon into his own Bosom. In short, as to _Rymer_, This is my
Opinion of him from his _Criticisms_ on the _Tragedies_ of the Last
Age. He writes with great Vivacity, and appears to have been a
Scholar: but, as for his Knowledge of the Art of Poetry, I can’t
perceive it was any deeper than his Acquaintance with _Bossu_ and
_Dacier_, from whom he has transcribed many of his best Reflexions.
The late Mr. _Gildon_ was One attached to _Rymer_ by a similar Way
of Thinking and Studies. They were Both of that Species of Criticks,
who are desirous of displaying their Powers rather in finding
Faults, than in consulting the Improvement of the World: the
_hypercritical_ Part of the Science of _Criticism_.

 I had not mentioned the modest Liberty I have here and there taken
of animadverting on my Author, but that I was willing to obviate in
time the splenetick Exaggerations of my Adversaries on this Head.
From past Experiments I have Reason to be conscious, in what Light
this Attempt may be placed: and that what I call a _modest Liberty_,
will, by a little of their Dexterity, be inverted into downright
_Impudence_. From a hundred mean and dishonest Artifices employ’d to
discredit this Edition, and to cry down its Editor, I have all the
Grounds in Nature to be aware of Attacks. But tho’ the Malice of Wit
join’d to the Smoothness of Versification may furnish some Ridicule;
Fact, I hope, will be able to stand its Ground against Banter and

    [Sidenote: _Shakespeare_’s Anachronisms defended.]

    [Sidenote*: Mr. _Pope_’s Anachronisms examin’d.]

It has been my Fate, it seems, as I thought it my Duty, to discover
some _Anachronisms_ in our Author; which might have slept in
Obscurity but for _this Restorer_, as Mr. _Pope_ is pleas’d
affectionately to style me; as, for Instance, where _Aristotle_
is mentioned by _Hector_ in _Troilus_ and _Cressida_: and _Galen_,
_Cato_, and _Alexander_ the Great, in _Coriolanus_. These, in Mr.
_Pope_’s Opinion, are Blunders, which the Illiteracy of the first
Publishers of his Works has father’d upon the Poet’s Memory: _it not
being at all credible, that These could be the Errors of any Man who
had the least Tincture of a School, or the least Conversation with_
_such as had._ But I have sufficiently proved, in the Course of my
_Notes_, that such Anachronisms were the Effect of poetic Licence,
rather than of Ignorance in our Poet. And if I may be permitted
to ask a modest Question by the way, *Why may not I restore an
Anachronism really made by our Author, as well as Mr. _Pope_ take
the Privilege to fix others upon him, which he never had it in his
Head to make; as I may venture to affirm He had not, in the Instance
of Sir _Francis Drake_, to which I have spoke in the proper Place?

But who shall dare make any Words about this Freedom of Mr. _Pope_’s
towards _Shakespeare_, if it can be prov’d, that, in his Fits of
Criticism, he makes no more Ceremony with good _Homer_ himself?
To try, then, a Criticism of his own advancing; In the 8th Book of
the _Odyssey_, where _Demodocus_ sings the Episode of the Loves of
_Mars_ and _Venus_; and that, upon their being taken in the Net by

  ----the God of Arms
  Must pay the Penalty for lawless Charms;

Mr. _Pope_ is so kind gravely to inform us, “That _Homer_ in This,
as in many other Places, seems to allude to the Laws of _Athens_,
where Death was the Punishment of Adultery.” But how is this
significant Observation made out? Why, who can possibly object any
Thing to the Contrary?----_Does not_ Pausanias_ relate, that _Draco_
the Lawgiver to the _Athenians_ granted Impunity to any Person that
took Revenge upon an Adulterer? And was it not also the Institution
of _Solon_, that if Any One took an Adulterer in the Fact, he might
use him as he pleas’d?_ These Things are very true: and to see What
a good Memory, and sound Judgment in Conjunction can atchieve! Tho’
_Homer_’s Date is not determin’d down to a single Year, yet ’tis
pretty generally agreed that he liv’d above 300 Years before _Draco_
and _Solon_: And That, it seems, has made him _seem_ to allude to
the very Laws, which these Two Legislators propounded above 300
Years after. If this Inference be not something like an _Anachronism_
or _Prolepsis_, I’ll look once more into my Lexicons for the true
Meaning of the Words. It appears to me, that somebody besides _Mars_
and _Venus_ has been caught in a Net by this Episode: and I could
call in other Instances to confirm what treacherous Tackle this
Network is, if not cautiously handled.

How just, notwithstanding, I have been in detecting the Anachronisms
of my Author, and in defending him for the Use of them, Our late
Editor seems to think, They should rather have slept in Obscurity:
and the having discovered them is sneer’d at, as a sort of
wrong-headed Sagacity.

The numerous Corrections, which I made of the Poet’s Text in my
SHAKESPEARE _Restor’d_, and which the Publick have been so kind to
think well of, are, in the Appendix of Mr. _Pope_’s last Edition,
slightingly call’d _Various Readings_, _Guesses_, &c. He confesses
to have inserted as many of them as he judg’d of any the least
Advantage to the Poet; but says, that the Whole amounted to about
25 Words: and pretends to have annexed a compleat List of the Rest,
which were not worth his embracing. Whoever has read my Book will at
one glance see, how in both these Points Veracity is strain’d, so an
Injury might but be done. _Malus etsi obesse non pote, tamen cogitat_.

    [Sidenote: _Literal Criticism_ defended.]

Another Expedient, to make my Work appear of a trifling Nature, has
been an Attempt to depreciate _Literal Criticism_. To this End, and
to pay a servile Compliment to Mr. _Pope_, an _Anonymous_ Writer
has, like a _Scotch_ Pedlar in Wit, unbraced his Pack on the
Subject. But, that his Virulence might not seem to be levelled
singly at Me, he has done Me the Honour to join Dr. _Bentley_ in
the Libel. I was in hopes, We should have been Both abused with
Smartness of Satire, at least; tho’ not with Solidity of Argument:
that it might have been worth some Reply in Defence of the Science
attacked. But I may fairly say of this Author, as _Falstaffe_ does
of _Poins_;--_Hang him, Baboon! his Wit is as thick as _Tewksbury_
Mustard; there is no more Conceit in him, than is in a _MALLET_._ If
it be not Prophanation to set the Opinion of the divine _Longinus_
against such a Scribler, he tells us expresly, “That to make a
Judgment upon _Words_ (and _Writings_) is the most consummate Fruit
of much Experience.” ἡ γὰρ τῶν λόγων κρίσις πολλῆς ἐστὶ πείρας
τελευταῖον ἐπιγέννημα. Whenever Words are depraved, the Sense of
course must be corrupted; and thence the Readers betray’d into a
false Meaning. Tho’ I should be convicted of Pedantry by some,
I’ll venture to subjoin a few flagrant Instances, in which I have
observed most Learned Men have suffer’d themselves to be deceived,
and consequently led their Readers into Error: and This for want
of the Help of _Literal Criticism_: in some, thro’ Indolence and
Inadvertence: in others, perhaps, thro’ an absolute Contempt of It.
If the _Subject_ may seem to invite this Digression, I hope, the
_Use_ and _Application_ will serve to excuse it.

    [Sidenote: _Platonius_ corrected.]

I. In that golden Fragment, which we have left of _Platonius_, upon
the three Kinds of _Greek_ Comedy, after he has told us, that when
the State of _Athens_ was alter’d from a Democracy to an Oligarchy,
and that the Poets grew cautious whom they libell’d in their
Comedies; when the People had no longer any Desire to choose the
accustom’d Officers for furnishing _Choric_ Singers, and defraying
the Expence of them, _Aristophanes_ brought on a Play in which
there was no _Chorus_. For, subjoins He, τῶν γὰρ ΧΟΡΕΥΤΩΝ μὴ
χειροτονουμένων, καὶ τῶν ΧΟΡΗΓΩΝ οὐκ ἐχόντων τὰς τροφὰς,
ὑπεξῃρέθη τῆς Κωμῳδίας τὰ χορικὰ μέλη, καὶ τῶν ὑποθέσεων ὁ
τρόπος μετεβλήθη. _“The _Chorus-Singers_ being no longer chosen
by Suffrage, and the _Furnishers_ of the_ Chorus _no longer having
their Maintenance, the _Choric_ Songs were taken out of Comedies,
and the Nature of the Argument and Fable chang’d._” But there
happen to be two signal Mistakes in this short Sentence. For the
_Chorus-Singers_ were never elected by Suffrage at all, but hir’d by
the proper Officer who was at the Expence of the _Chorus_: and the
_Furnishers_ of the _Chorus_ had never either Table, or Stipend,
allowed them, towards their Charge. To what Purpose then is this
Sentence, which should be a Deduction from the Premises, and yet is
none, brought in? Or how comes the Reasoning to be founded upon what
was not the Fact? The Mistake manifestly arises from a careless
Transposition made in the Text: Let the two _Greek_ Words, which I
have distinguished by _Capitals_, only change Places, and we recover
what _Platonius_ meant to infer: “That the [A]_Furnishers_
of _Chorus_’s being no longer elected by Suffrage, and the
[B]_Chorus-Singers_ having no Provision made for them, _Chorus_’s
were abolished, and the Subjects of Comedies alter’d.”

    [Footnote A: Χορηγῶν.]
    [Footnote B: Χορευτῶν.]

II. There is another more egregious Error still subsisting in this
instructive Fragment, which has likewise escaped the Notice of
the Learned. The Author is saying, that, in the _old Comedy_, the
_Masks_ were made so nearly to resemble the Persons to be satirized,
that before the Actor spoke a Word, it was known whom he was to
personate. But, in the _New Comedy_, when _Athens_ was conquered
by the _Macedonians_, and the Poets were fearful lest their Masks
should be construed to resemble any of their New Governors, they
formed them so preposterously as only to move Laughter; ὁρῶμεν γοῦν
(says He) τὰς ὀφρῦς ἐν τοῖς προσώποις τῆς Μενάνδρου κωμῳδίας ὁποίας
ἔχει, καὶ ὅπως ἐξεστραμμένον τὸ ΣΩΜΑ. καὶ οὐδε κατὰ ἀνθρώπων φύσιν.
“We see therefore what strange Eyebrows there are to the Masks used in_
Menander_’s Comedies; and how the _Body_ is distorted, and unlike
any human Creature alive.” But the Author, ’tis evident, is speaking
abstractedly of _Masks_; and what Reference has the _Distortion_ of the
_Body_ to the Look of a _Visor_? I am satisfied, _Platonius_ wrote; καὶ
ὅπως ἐξεστραμμένον τὸ ὌΜΜΑ, _i.e._ “and how the _Eyes_ were _goggled_
and _distorted_.” This is to the Purpose of his Subject: and _Jul.
Pollux_, in describing the Comic Masques, speaks of some that had
ΣΤΡΕΒΛΟΝ τὸ ὌΜΜΑ: Others, that were ΔΙΑΣΤΡΟΦΟΙ τὴν ὌΨΙΝ.
PERVERSIS _oculis_, as _Cicero_ calls them, speaking of _Roscius_.

    [Sidenote: _Camerarius_ and _Keuster_, mistaken.]

III. _Suidas_, in the short Account that he has given us of
_Sophocles_, tells us, that, besides Dramatic Pieces, he wrote
Hymns and Elegies; καὶ λόγον καταλογάδην περὶ τοῦ Χοροῦ πρὸς
Θέσπιν καὶ Χοίριλον ἀγωνιζόμενος. This the Learned _Camerarius_
has thus translated: _Scripsit Oratione solutâ de _Choro_ contra
_Thespin_ & _Chœrilum_ quempiam._ And _Keuster_ likewise
understood, and render’d, the Passage to the same Effect. He
owns, the Place is obscure, and suspected by him. “For how could
_Sophocles_ contend with _Thespis_ and _Chœrilus_, who liv’d long
before his Time?” The Scholiast upon [C]_Aristophanes_, however,
expresly says, as _Keuster_ might have remember’d, that _Sophocles_
actually did contend with _Chœrilus_. But that is a Point nothing
to the Passage in Question; which means, as I have shewn in another
Place, That _Sophocles_ declaimed in Prose, contending to obtain a
_Chorus_ for reviving some Pieces of _Thespis_ and _Chœrilus_.
Is This contending against Them, as rival Poets?

    [Footnote C: In Ranis, v. 73.]

    [Sidenote: _Meursius_, and _Camerarius_ mistaken.]

IV. Some other Learned Men have likewise been mistaken in
Particulars with regard to _Sophocles_. In the Synopsis of his Life,
we find these Words; Τελευτᾶ δὲ μετὰ Ἐυριπίδην ἐτῶν ϛ’. _Meursius_,
as well as _Camerarius_, have expounded This, as if _Sophocles_
surviv’d _Euripides_ six Years. But the best Accounts agree that
they died both in the same Year, a little before the _Frogs_ of
_Aristophanes_ was play’d; _scil._ Olymp. 93, 3. The Meaning,
therefore, of the Passage is, as some of the Commentators have
rightly observ’d; _That _Sophocles_ died after _Euripides_, at
90 Years of Age._ The Mistake arose from hence, that, in Numerals,
ϛʹ signifies as well 6 as 90.

    [Sidenote: Father _Brumoy_ mistaken.]

V. The Learned Father _Brumoy_ too, who has lately given us three
Volumes upon the _Theatre_ of the _Greeks_, has slipt into an Error
about _Sophocles_; for, speaking of his _Antigone_, he tells us, it
was in such Request as to be perform’d Two and Thirty times; _Elle
fût representée trente deux fois._ The Account, on which This is
grounded, we have from the Argument prefix’d to _Antigone_ by
_Aristophanes_ the Grammarian: and the _Latin_ Translator of this
Argument, probably, led Father _Brumoy_ into his Mistake, and
he should have referr’d to the Original. The _Greek_ Words are;
λέλεκται δὲ τὸ δρᾶμα τοῦτο τριακοστὸν δεύτερον. i. e. “_This _Play_
is said to have been the _Thirty Second_, in Order of Time, produced
by_ Sophocles.”

The Mistakes, that I have mentioned, (tho’ they necessarily lead
into Error, from the Authority with which they come into the World;)
yet are such, ’tis obvious, as have been the Effects of Inadvertence;
and therefore I do not quote them to the Dishonour of their Learned
Authors. I shall point out Two or Three, which seem to have sprung
from another Source: either a due Want of Sagacity, or an absolute
Neglect of _literal Criticism_.

    [Sidenote: Sir _George Wheler_ corrected.]

VI. Sir _George Wheler_, who, in his JOURNEY into GREECE, has traded
much with _Greek_ Antiquities and Inscriptions, and who certainly
was no mean Scholar, has shewn himself very careless in this
Respect. When he was at _Sardis_, he met with a Medal of the Emperor
_Commodus_ seated in the Midst of the Zodiack with Celestial Signs
engraven on it; and, on the other Side, a Figure with a Crown-Mure
with these Letters about it, Σάρδις Ἀσίας, ΑΥΔΙΑΣ, Ἕλλαδος, ᾱ
μητρόπολις: __Sardis_, the first Metropolis of _Asia_, _Greece_,
and _Audia_._--But where and what _Audia_ was, (_says He_) I find
not. Now is it not very strange, that this Gentleman should not
remember, that _Sardis_ was the Capital City of _Lydia_; and,
consequently, that for ΑΥΔΙΑΣ we should read ΛΥΔΊΑΣ? Tho’ my
Correction is too obvious to want any Justification, yet, I find, it
has One from the Learned Father [D]_Harduin_; who produces another
Coin of _Sardis_ (in the _French_ King’s Cabinet) which bears the
very same Inscription, only exhibited as it ought to be.

    [Footnote D: In his _Nummi Antiqui illustrati_.]

Nor was This a single Inaccuracy in Sir _George_. I’ll instance in
Two pretty Inscriptions, the One an _Epitaph_, the other a _Votive
Table_, which He has given Us, but in a very corrupt Condition. Tho’
I have never been in _Greece_, nor seen the Inscriptions any where
but in _his_ Book, I think, I can restore them to their true Sense
and Numbers: And, as they are particularly elegant, some Readers
will not be displeas’d to see them in a State of Purity.

    [Sidenote: An _Epitaph_ corrected and explained.]

VII. _Of the Antiquities of _Philadelphia_ (says he) I had but a
slender Account; only I have the Copy of one Inscription, being the
Monument of a _Virgin_, in these three Couplets of Verses_. But she
was so far from being a _Virgin_, that the Epitaph shews her to have
been a _Wife_; that it was put up in Memory of Her by her _Husband_;
and that she dy’d in the Flower of her Youth at the Age of twenty

  Ξαντίππην Ἀκύλα μνήμην [1]βίου παρέδωκην
    Βωμῷ [2]τειμήσας σεμνω ταυτην ἄλοχον‧
  Παρθένον ἧς ἀπέλυσε μίτρην ΗΣΔΡΙΟΝ ἄνθοσ.
    Ἔσκεν ἐν ἡμιτελεῖ παυσαμενον θαλάμῳ.
  Τρεῖς γαρ ἐπ᾽ εἰκοσίους τελεῶσε [3]βιον ἐνιαυτοὺς,
    Καὶ μετὰ τούσδε θάνεν [4]τουτου λιπουσαφαος.

    1 βιότου παρέδωκεν.
    2 τιμήσας σεμνοτάτην.
    3 βιοῦσ᾽.
    4 τοῦτο λιποῦσα φάος. ]

I have, for Brevity’s sake, mark’d the general Corrections, which I
have made, at the Side. The third Verse is neither true in Quantity,
nor Language: ΗΣΔΡΙΟΝ is a Monster of a Word, which never could
be the Reading of any Marble. As I correct it, we recover a most
beautiful Couplet.

  Παρθένον, ἧς ἀπέλυσε μίτρην‧ ἯΣ ἨΡΙΝΌΝ ἄνθος.
  Ἔσκεν ἐν ἡμιτελεῖ παυσάμενον θαλάμῳ.

  Puellam, cujus Zonam solvit; cujus _VERNUS_ Flos
  Præproperô tabuit in Thalamô.

    [Sidenote: A _Votive Table_ corrected.]

VIII. I come now to the _Votive Table_, which is rich in poetick
Graces, however overwhelm’d with Depravation: and Sir _George_
seems as much to have mistaken the Purport, as the Words, of the
Inscription. _At _Chalcedon_, _says he_, I found an Inscription in
the Wall of a private House near the Church; which signifieth, that
_Evante_, the Son of _Antipater_, having made a prosperous Voyage,
and desiring to return by the _Ægean_ Sea, offered Cakes at a
Statue, which he had erected to _Jupiter_, which had sent him such
good Weather, as a Token of his good Voyage._

[1]ΟΥΡΙΟΝ ἐπὶ [2]ΠΡΙΜΝΗΣ τις ὁδηγητῆρα καλείτω,
Ζῆνα κατὰ [3]πρωτΟΝ ΩΝιστιον ἐκπετάσας
Καμπύλον εἰλίσσει κῦμα παρὰ ψαμαθοῖς.
Εἶτα κατ᾽ Αἰγαῖαν πόντου πλάκα [5]ΝΑΣ ἐρεύνων,
Νείσθω‧ τῷ δὲ [6]ΒΑΛΛΩΝ ψαιστὰ παρὰ [7]ΤΩ ΖΩΑΝΩ.
[8]ΟΔΕ τὸν [9]ΕΥΑΝΤΗ τὸν ἀεὶ θεὸν Ἀντιπάτρου παῖς
Στησε [10]φιλων ἀγαθῆς σύμβολον εὐπλοΐης.

    1 Ὂυρον.
    2 πρύμνης.
    3 πρώτων, ἱστίον.
    4 Κυανεαῖς δίνησιν ἐπίδρομον.
    5 Νόστον.
    6 βαλών.
    7 ξοάνῳ
    8 Ἐσδέ.
    9 εὐανθῆ.
   10 Φίλων. ]

I have mark’d, as before, my Corrections at the Side; and I may
venture to say, I have supported the faltring Verses both with
_Numbers_ and _Sense_. But who ever heard of _Evante_, as the Name
of a Man, in _Greece_? Neither is this Inscription a Piece of Ethnic
Devotion, as Sir _George_ has suppos’d it, to a Statue erected to
_Jupiter_: On the contrary, it despises those fruitless Superstitions.
_Philo_ (a _Christian_, as it seems to me;) sets it up, in Thanks
for a safe Voyage, to the _true God_. That all my Readers may
equally share in this little Poem, I have attempted to put it into
an _English_ Dress.

  Invoke who Will the prosp’rous Gale _behind_,
  _Jove_ at the _Prow_, while to the guiding Wind
  O’er the blue Billows he the Sail expands,
  Where _Neptune_ with each Wave heaps Hills of Sands:
  Then let him, when the Surge he backward plows,
  Pour to his Statue-God unaiding Vows:
  But to the God of Gods, for Deaths o’erpast,
  For Safety lent him on the watry Waste,
  To native Shores return’d, thus _Philo_ pays
  His Monument of Thanks, of grateful Praise.

I shall have no Occasion, I believe, to ask the Pardon of _some_
Readers for these _Nine_ last Pages; and Others may be so kind to
pass them over at their Pleasure. (Those Discoveries, which give
Light and Satisfaction to the truly Learned, I must confess, are
Darkness and Mystery to the less capable: Φέγγος μὲν ξυνετοῖς,
ἀξυνετοῖς δ᾽ Ἐρεβος.) Nor will they be absolutely foreign, I hope,
to a Preface in some Measure critical; especially, as it could not
be amiss to shew, that I have read other Books with the same
Accuracy, with which I profess to have read _Shakespeare_. Besides,
I design’d this Inference from the Defence of Literal Criticism.
If the _Latin_ and _Greek_ Languages have receiv’d the greatest
Advantages imaginable from the Labours of the Editors and Criticks
of the two last Ages; by whose Aid and Assistance the Grammarians
have been enabled to write infinitely better in that Art than even
the preceding Grammarians, who wrote when those Tongues flourish’d
as living Languages: I should account it a peculiar Happiness, that,
by the faint Assay I have made in this Work, a Path might be chalk’d
out, for abler Hands, by which to derive the same Advantages to our
own Tongue: a Tongue, which, tho’ it wants none of the fundamental
Qualities of an universal Language, yet as a _noble Writer_ says,
lisps and stammers as in its Cradle; and has produced little more
towards its polishing than Complaints of its Barbarity.

    [Sidenote: The Delay of this Edition excused.]

Having now run thro’ all those Points, which I intended should
make any Part of this Dissertation, it only remains, that I should
account to the Publick, but more particularly to my Subscribers,
why they have waited so long for this Work; that I should make my
Acknowledgments to those Friends, who have been generous Assistants
to me in the conducting it: and, lastly, that I should acquaint my
Readers what Pains I have myself taken to make the Work as complete,
as faithful Industry, and my best Abilities, could render it.

In the middle of the Year 1728, I first put out my _Proposals_ for
publishing only _Emendations_ and _Remarks_ on our Poet: and I had
not gone on many Months in this Scheme, before I found it to be the
unanimous Wish of those who did me the Honour of their Subscriptions,
that I would give them the Poet’s Text corrected; and that I would
subjoin those Explanatory Remarks, which I had purpos’d to publish
upon the Foot of my first Proposals. Earnest Sollicitations were
made to me, that I would think of such an Edition; which I had as
strong Desires to listen to: and some _noble_ Persons then, whom I
have no Privilege to name, were pleased to interest themselves so
far in the Affair, as to propose to Mr. _Tonson_ his undertaking an
Impression of _Shakespeare_ with my Corrections. The throwing my
whole Work into a different Form, to comply with this Proposal, was
not the slightest Labour: and so no little Time was unavoidably
lost. While the Publication of my Remarks was thus respited, my
Enemies took an unfair Occasion to suggest, that I was extorting
Money from my Subscribers, without ever designing to give them
any Thing for it: an Insinuation levell’d at once to wound me
 Reputation and Interest. Conscious, however, of my own just
Intentions, and labouring all the while to bring my wish’d Purpose
to bear, I thought these anonymous Slanderers worthy of no Notice.
A Justification of myself would have been giving them Argument for
fresh Abuse; and I was willing to believe that any unkind Opinions,
entertain’d to my Prejudice, would naturally drop and lose their
Force, when the Publick should once be convinc’d that I was in
Earnest, and ready to do them Justice. I left no Means untry’d
to put it in my Power to do this: and I hope, without Breach of
Modesty, I may venture to appeal to all candid Judges, whether I
have not employ’d all my Power to be just to them in the Execution
of my Task. I must needs have been in the most Pain, who saw myself
daily so barbarously outraged. I might have taken advantage of
the favourable Impressions entertain’d of my Work, and hurried it
crudely into the World: But I have suffer’d, for my Author’s sake,
those Impressions to cool, and perhaps, be lost; and can now appeal
only to the _Judgment_ of the Publick. If I succeed in this Point,
the Reputation gain’d will be the more solid and lasting.

    [Sidenote: Acknowledgment of Assistance.]

I come now to speak of those kind Assistances which I have met with
from particular Friends, towards forwarding and compleating this
Work. Soon after my Design was known, I had the Honour of an
Invitation to _Cambridge_; and a generous Promise from the Learned
and ingenious Dr. _Thirlby_ of _Jesus_-College, there, who had taken
great Pains with my Author, that I should have the Liberty of
collating his Copy of _Shakespeare_, mark’d thro’ in the Margin with
his own Manuscript References and accurate Observations. He not only
made good this Promise, but favour’d me with a Set of Emendations,
interspers’d and distinguish’d in his Name thro’ the Edition, and
which can need no Recommendation here to the judicious Reader.

The next Assistance I receiv’d was from my ingenious Friend _Hawley
Bishop_ Esq; whose great Powers and extensive Learning are as well
known, as his uncommon Modesty, to all who have the Happiness of his
Acquaintance. This Gentleman was so generous, at the Expence both
of his Pocket and Time, to run thro’ all _Shakespeare_ with me. We
join’d Business and Entertainment together; and at every of our
Meetings, which were constantly once a Week, we read over a _Play_,
and came mutually prepar’d to communicate our Conjectures upon it to
each other. The Pleasure of these Appointments, I think, I may say,
richly compensated for the Labour in our own Thoughts: and I may
venture to affirm, in the Behalf of my Assistant, that our Author
has deriv’d no little Improvement from them.

To these, I must add the indefatigable Zeal and Industry of my most
ingenious and ever-respected Friend, the Reverend Mr. _William
Warburton_ of _Newark_ upon _Trent_. This Gentleman, from the
Motives of his frank and communicative Disposition, voluntarily took
a considerable Part of my Trouble off my Hands; not only read over
the whole Author for me, with the exactest Care; but enter’d into
a long and laborious Epistolary Correspondence; to which I owe no
small Part of my best Criticisms upon my Author.

The Number of Passages amended, and admirably Explained, which I
have taken care to distinguish with his Name, will shew a Fineness
of Spirit and Extent of Reading, beyond all the Commendations I can
give them: Nor, indeed, would I any farther be thought to commend a
Friend, than, in so doing, to give a Testimony of my own Gratitude.
How great a share soever of Praise I must lose from my self, in
confessing these Assistances; and however my own poor Conjectures
may be weaken’d by the Comparison with theirs; I am very well
content to sacrifice my Vanity to the Pride of being so assisted,
and the Pleasure of being just to their Merits. I beg leave to
observe to my Readers, in one Word, here, that from the Confession
of these successive Aids, and the Manner in which I deriv’d them,
it appears, I have pretty well fill’d up the _Interval_, betwixt my
first _Proposals_ and my _Publication_, with having my Author always
in View, and at Heart.

Some Hints I have the Honour to owe to the Informations of Dr.
_Mead_, and the late Dr. _Friend_: Others to the Kindness of the
ingenious _Martin Folkes_, Esq; who likewise furnish’d me with the
first _folio_ Edition of _Shakespeare_, at a Time when I could not
meet with it among the Booksellers; as my obliging Friend _Thomas
Coxeter_, Esq; did with several of the old 4to single Plays, which
I then had not in my own Collection. Some few Observations I
likewise owe to _F. Plumptree_, Esq; Others to the Favour of
anonymous Persons: for all which I most gladly render my

    [Sidenote: The Editor’s particular Pains taken.]

As to what regards my self singly, if the Edition do not speak
for the Pains I have taken about it, it will be very vain to plead
my own Labour and Diligence. Besides a faithful Collation of all
the printed Copies, which I have exhibited in my _Catalogue_ of
_Editions_ at the End of this Work; let it suffice to say, that, to
clear up several Errors in the Historical Plays, I purposely read
over _Hall_ and _Holingshead_’s Chronicles in the Reigns concern’d;
all the Novels in _Italian_, from which our Author had borrow’d any
of his Plots; such Parts of _Plutarch_, from which he had deriv’d
any Parts of his _Greek_ or _Roman_ Story: _Chaucer_ and _Spenser_’s
Works; all the Plays of _B. Jonson_, _Beaumont_ and _Fletcher_,
and above 800 old _English_ Plays, to ascertain the obsolete and
uncommon Phrases in him: Not to mention some Labour and Pains
unpleasantly spent in the dry Task of consulting Etymological

But as no Labour of Mine can be equivalent to the dear and ardent
Love I bear for _Shakespeare_, so, if the Publick shall be pleas’d
to allow that He owes any Thing to my Willingness and Endeavours of
restoring Him; I shall reckon the Part of my Life so engag’d, to
have been very happily employ’d: and put Myself, with great
Submission, to be try’d by my Country in the Affair.

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *


          are pleased to announce that

  of The University of California, Los Angeles

will become the publisher of the Augustan Reprints in May, 1949. The
editorial policy of the Society will continue unchanged. As in the past,
the editors will strive to furnish members inexpensive reprints of rare
seventeenth and eighteenth century works.

Publications for the fourth year (1949-1950)

[Transcriber’s Note:
Many of the listed titles are or will be available from Project
Gutenberg. Where possible, the e-text number is given in brackets.]

(_At least six items will be printed in the main from the following


John Dryden, _His Majesties Declaration Defended_ (1681) [#15074]
Daniel Defoe (?), _Vindication of the Press_ (1718) [#14084]
_Critical Remarks on Sir Charles Grandison, Clarissa, and Pamela_ (1754)


Thomas Southerne, _Oroonoko_ (1696)
Mrs. Centlivre, _The Busie Body_ (1709)
Charles Johnson, _Caelia_ (1733)
Charles Macklin, _Man of the World_ (1781) [#14463]


Andre Dacier, _Essay on Lyric Poetry_
_Poems_ by Thomas Sprat
_Poems_ by the Earl of Dorset
Samuel Johnson, _Vanity of Human Wishes_ (1749), and one of the 1750
  _Rambler_ papers. [#13350]


Lewis Theobald, _Preface to Shakespeare’s Works_ (1733)

A few copies of the early publications of the Society are still
available at the original rate.


H. RICHARD ARCHER, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_
R.C. BOYS, _University of Michigan_
E.N. HOOKER, _University of California, Los Angeles_
H.T. SWEDENBERG, JR., _University of California, Los Angeles_


First Year (1946-1947)

 1. Richard Blackmore's _Essay upon Wit_ (1716), and Addison’s
    _Freeholder_ No. 45 (1716). (I, 1) [#13484]

 2. Samuel Cobb’s _Of Poetry_ and _Discourse on Criticism_ (1707).
    (II, 1) [#14528]

 3. _Letter to A.H. Esq.; concerning the Stage_ (1698), and Richard
    Willis’ _Occasional Paper No. IX_ (1698). (III, 1)

 4. _Essay on Wit_ (1748), together with Characters by Flecknoe, and
    Joseph Warton’s _Adventurer_ Nos. 127 and 133. (I, 2) [#14973]

 5. Samuel Wesley’s _Epistle to a Friend Concerning Poetry_ (1700) and
    _Essay on Heroic Poetry_ (1693). (II, 2)

 6. _Representation of the Impiety and Immorality of the Stage_ (1704)
    and _Some Thoughts Concerning the Stage_ (1704). (III, 2) [#15656]

Second Year (1947-1948)

 7. John Gay’s _The Present State of Wit_ (1711); and a section on Wit
    from _The English Theophrastus_ (1702). (I, 3) [#14800]

 8. Rapin’s _De Carmine Pastorali_, translated by Creech (1684). (II, 3)

 9. T. Hanmer’s (?) _Some Remarks on the Tragedy of Hamlet_ (1736).
    (III, 3) [#14899]

10. Corbyn Morris’ _Essay towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit,
    etc._ (1744). (I, 4) [#16233]

11. Thomas Purney’s _Discourse on the Pastoral_ (1717). (II, 4) [#15313]

12. Essays on the Stage, selected, with an Introduction by Joseph Wood
    Krutch. (III, 4) [#16335]

Third Year (1948-1949)

13. Sir John Falstaff (pseud.), _The Theatre_ (1720). (IV, 1) [#15999]

14. Edward Moore’s _The Gamester_ (1753). (V, 1) [#16267]

15. John Oldmixon’s _Reflections on Dr. Swift’s Letter to Harley_
    (1712); and Arthur Mainwaring’s _The British Academy_ (1712). (VI, 1)

16. Nevil Payne’s _Fatal Jealousy_ (1673). (V, 2)

17. Nicholas Rowe’s _Some Account of the Life of Mr. William Shakespear_
    (1709). (Extra Series, 1) [#16275]

18. Aaron Hill’s Preface to _The Creation_; and Thomas Brereton’s
    Preface to _Esther_. (IV, 2) [#15870]

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *

[Transcriber’s Corrections:

  ARS title page: Publication Number 20
    _text reads_ 19, corrected by hand to 20. "Number 20" agrees with
    later years' ARS publication lists.

  vii: before he could write full Many.
    _text reads_ Man .

  xxiv: that surprizing Knowledge of human Nature
    _text reads_ surpizing

  xlii: its Causes, (which takes in a great Number
    _text has_ blank space before "which" at beginning of line

  lv: the Look of a _Visor_
    _text reads_ the Look o  a _with extra blank space_

Also Noted:

  xii: intirely synonomous Terms
    _spelling "synonomous" as in original_

  xvii: the Stanza's sung by the Gravedigger
    _apostrophe in original_

  xxiii: frustráq; laboret
    _abbreviation "q;" (-que) as in original_

  xxxvii: Sidenote: The old Editions faulty, whence.
    _exact text as in original_

  lx note 1: Ὂυρον
    _accent as in original_

  lxi: For Safety lent him on the watry Waste,
    _no apostrophe in "watry"_

  ARS List of Publications: _Preface to Shakespeare’s Works_
    _wording as in original_ ]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Preface to the Works of Shakespeare (1734)" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.