« PreviousContinue »
TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA;
MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR ;
TWELFTH-NIGHT: OR, WHAT YOU WILL;
PRINTED FOR T. LONGMAN, B. LAW, C. DILLY, J. JOHNSON,
IT has been the wish and the intention of the Reviser of thefe Volumes to effectuate an idea which the laft very intelligent Editor of SHAKSPEARE predicted would fome time take place.
"To other defects of our late editions," he fays, "may be fubjoined, as not the leaft notorious, an exuberance of comment. Indulgence to the remarks of others, as well as partiality to our own; an ambition in each little Hercules to fet up pillars, afcertaining how far he had travelled through the dreary wilds of black letter; and perhaps a reluctance or inability to decide between contradictory fentiments, have alfo occafioned the appearance of more annotations than were abfolutely wanted, unless it be thought requifite that our author, like a Dauphin Claffick, should be reduced to marginal profe for the ufe of children; that all his various readings (affembled by Mr. Capell) fhould be enumerated, the genealogies of all his real perfonages deduced; and that as many of his plays as are founded on Roman or British hiftory, fhould be attended by complete tranfcripts from their originals in Sir Thomas North's Plutarch, or the Chronicles of Hall and Holinfhed.-Thefe faults, indeed,-fi quid prodeft delicta fateri,-within half a century, (when the prefent race of voluminous criticks is extinct) cannot fail to he remedied by a judicious and frugal felection from the labours of us all. Nor is fuch an event to be deprecated even by ourfelves; fince we may be certain that fome ivy of each individual's, growth will ftill adhere to the parent oak, though not enough, as at prefent, to hide the princely trunk, and fuck the verdure out of it a.'- It may be feared