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beeli done, or that, where others have said enough, the images of nature were still present to him, and I have said no more.
he drew them not laboriously, but luckily : when Notes are often necessary, but they are necessary he describes ar y thing, you more than see it, you evils. Let him, that is yet unacquainted with the feel it too. Those, who accuse him to have wanted powers of Sbakspeare, and who desires to feel the learning, give him the greater commendation; he highest pleasure that the drama can give, read every was naturally learned; he needed not the spectacles play, from the first scene to the last, with utter of books to read Nature; he looked inwards, and negligence of all his commentators. Wben his found her there. I cannot say he is every where fancy is once on the wing, let it not stoop at cor- alike; were he so, I should do him injury to comrection or explanation, When his attention is pare him with the greatest of mankind. He is many strongly engaged, let it disdain alike to turn aside times flat and insipid; his comic wit degenerating to the name of Theobald and of Pope. Let him into clenches, his serious swelling into bombast. But read on through brightness and obscurity, through he is always great, when some great occasion is pre integrity and corruption; let him preserve his com- sented to him: no man can say, he ever had a fit prehension of the dialogue, and his interest in the subject for his wit, and did not then raise himself as fable. And when the pleasures of novelty have high above the rest of poets, ceased, let him attempi exactness, and read the
Quantum lenta solent inter viburna cupressi.” commentators.
Particular passages are cleared by notes, but the It is to be lamented, that such a writer should general effect of the work is weakened. The mind want a commentary; that his language should be. is refrigerated by interruption; the thoughts are di- come obsolete, or his sentiments obscure. But it is serted from the principal subject; the reader is vain to carry wishes beyond the condition of human Feary, he suspects not why; and at last throws away things; that which must happen to all, has hap. the book which he has too diligently studied. pened to Shakspeare, by accident and time; and
Parts are not to be examined till the whole has more than has been suffered by any other writer been surveyed; there is a kind of intellectual re- since the use of types, has been suffered by him moteness necessary for the comprehension of any through his own negligence of fame, or perhaps by great work in its full design and in its true propor- that superiority of mind, which despised its own uons; a close approach shews the smaller niceties, performances, when it compared them with its be the beauty of the whole is discerned no longer. powers, and judged those works unworthy to be pre
It is not very grateful to consider how little the served, which the critics of following ages were to succession of 'editors had added to this author's contend for the fame of restoring and explaining. power of pleasing. He was read, admired, studied, Among these candidates of inferior fame, I am and imitated, while he was yet deformed with all now to stand the judgment of the public; and wish the improprieties which ignorance and neglect could that I could confidently produce my commentary as accumulate upon him ; while the reading was yet cqual to the encouragement which I have had the not rectified, 'nor his allusions understood; yet then honour of receiving. Every work of this kind is by did Dryden pronounce, “that Shakspeare was the its nature deficient, and I should feel little solicitu ie man, who, of all modern and perhaps ancient poets, ał out the sentence, were it to be pronounced only bad ibe largest and most comprehensive soul Jilby the skilful and the learne
Preface to the Players' Edition
The Dedication of the Payers. Prefixed to the first are made more precious, when they are dedicated to folio, 1623.
Temples. In that name, therefore, we most humbly To the Most Noble and Incomparable Paire of Bre consecrate to your H. H. these remaines of your
thren, William Etrle of Pembroke, &c. Lord servant SHAKESPEARE; that what delight is in them Chamberlaine to the Kings Most Excellent Ma- may be ever your L. L. the reputation his, and the jesty, and Philip Earle of Montgomery, &c faults ours, if any be committed, by a payre so careGentleman of his Majesties Bed-chamber. “Both full to shew their gratitude both to the living, and Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the dead, as is and our singular good Lords.
Your Lordshippes most bounden,
John HEMINGE, Right Honourable,
HENRY CONDELL. Whilst we studie to be thankful in our particular, for the many favors we have received from your L.L. The Preface of the Players. Prefixed to the first we are falne upon the ill fortune, to mingle two the most diverse things that can bee, feare, and rash
folio edition published in 1623. nesse; rashnesse in the enterprize, and feare of the To the great variety of Readers, successe. For, when we valew the places your From the most able, to him that can but spell H. H. sustaine, we cannot but know their dignity there you are number'd. We had rather you were greater, then to descend to the reading of these tri- weigh'd. Especially, when the fate of all Bookes tles, and, while we name them trifles, we have de- depends upon your capacities : and not of your priv'd ourselves of the defence of our Dedication. heads alone, but of your purses. Well! it is now But since your L. L. hare been pleas’d to thinke putlique, and you wil stand for your priviledges we these trifles some-thing, heeretofore ; and have pro- know: to read, and censure. Do so, but buy it sequuted both them, and their Authour living, with first. That doth best commend a Booke, the Sta. so much favour: we hope that (they out-living him, tioner saics. Then, how odde soever your braines and he not having the fate, common with some, to be, or your Wisedomes, make your licence the same, be exequutor to his owne writings) you will use the and spare not. Judge your sixe-pen'orth, your same indulgence toward them, you have done unto shillings worth, your five shillings worth at a tinie, their parent. There is a great difference, whether or higher, so you rise to the just rates, and welcome. any booke choose his Patrones, or finde them: This But, whatever you do, Buy. Censure will not drive hath done both. For, so much were your L. L. a Trade, or make the Jacke go. And though you likings of the severall parts, when they were acted, be a Magistrate of wit, and sit on the Stage at as before they were published, the Volume ask'd to Black-Friers, or the Cock-pit, to arraigne Playes be yours. We have but collected them, and done dailie, know, these Playes have had their triall'alan office to the dead, to procure his Orphanes, Guar- readie, and stood out all Appeales; and do now dians; without ambition either of selfe-profit, or come forth quitted rather by a Decree of Court, fame: onely to keepe the memory of so worthy a than any purchas’d Letters of commendation. Friend, and Fellow alive, as was our SHAKESPEARE, It had bene a thing, we confesse, worthie to have by humble offer of his playes, to your most noble bene wished, that the Author himselfe had lived to patronage. Wherein, as we have justly observed, have set forth, and overseen his owne writings; no man to come neere your L. L. but with a kind But since it bath bin ordain'd otherwise, and he by of religious addresse, it hath bin the height of our death departed from that right, we pray you, doe care, who are the Presenters, to make the present not envie his Friends, the office of their care and worthy of your H. H. by the perfection. But, there paine, to have collected and publish'd them; and we must also crave our abilities to be considered, so to have publish'd them, as where (before) you my Lords. We cannot go beyond our owne powers. were abus'd with divers stolne, and surreptitious Country hands reach foorth milke, creame, fruites, copies, maimed and deformed by the frauds and or what they have: and many Nations (we have stealthes of injurious impostors, that expos’d them : heard) that had not gummes and incense, obtained even those are now offer'd to your view cur'd, and their requests with a leavened Cake. it was no perfect of their limbes; and all the rest, absolute fault to approch their Gods by what meanes they in their numbers, as he conceived the: Who, as he could: And the most, though meanest, of things was a happie imitator of Nature, was a most gentle
expresser of it. His mind and hand went together: and againe, and againe: And if then you doe not and what he thought, he uttered with that easinesse, like him, surely you are in some manifest danger, that wee have scarse received from him a blot in Dot to understand him. And so we leave you to bis papers. But it is not our province, who onely other of bis Friends, wbom if you need, can bee gather bis works, and give them you, to praise him. your guides: if you neede them not, you can leade It is yours that reade him. And there we hope, to yourselves, and others. And such readers we wish your divers capacities, you will finde enough, both him.
John HEMINGE, to draw, and hold you: for his wit can no more lie
HENRIE CONDELL. bid, then it could be lost. Reade him, therefore ;
COMMENDATORY VERSES ON SHAKSPEARE,
BY CONTEMPORARY POETS.
On William Shakspeare, who died in April, 1616. My Shakspeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by RENOWNED Spenser, lie a thought more nigh
Chaucer, or Spenser; or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room :
Thou art a monument without a tomb;
thy book doth live, To lodge all four in one bed make a shift
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
Tbat I not mix thee so, my brain excuses ;
I mean, with great but disproportion'd muses : For whom your curtains may be drawn again.
For, if I thought my judgment were of years, But if precedency in death doth bar
I should commit thee surely with thy peers ; A fourth place in your sacred sepulcbre,
And tell—how far thou didst our Lyly outshine, Under this carved marble of thine own,
Or sporting Kyd, or Marlowe's mighty line. Sleep, rare tragedian, Shakspeare, sleep alone.
And though thou badst small Latin, and less Greek,
From thence to honour thee, I would not seek Thy unmolested peace, unshared cave, Possess, as lord, not tenant, of thy grave;
For names; but call forth thund'ring Æschylus, That unto us and others it may be
Euripides, and Sophocles, to us,
Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordoua dead,
And shake a stage; or, when thy socks were on,
Leave thee alone; for the comparison Mi William Shakspeare, and what he hath left us.
Of all that insolent Greece, or haughty Rome,
Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come. To draw no envy, Shakspeare, on thy name, Triumph, my Britain! thou hast one to show, Am I thus ample to thy book, and fame;
To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age, but for all time;
Nature herself was proud of his designs,
The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes, And think to ruin, where it seem's to raise : Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please ; These are, as some infámous bawd, or whore, But antiquated and deserted lie, Shoull praise a matron; what could hurt her inore ? As they were not of Nature's family. But thou art proof against them; and, indeed, Yet must I not give Nature all; thy ar'., Above the ill fortune of them, or the need:
My gentle Shakspeare, must enjoy a part .1, therefore, will begin :-Soul of the age, For though the poet's mattei nature be, The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage, His art doth give the fashion : and that be,
Who casts to write a living line, must sweat, For, though his line of life went soon about, (Such as thine are) and strike the second heat The life yet of his lines shall never out. Upon the muses' anvil; turn the same,
Hugh HOLLAND. (And himself with it) that he thinks to frame; Or, for the laurel, he may gain a scorn,
To the Memory of the deceased Author, Master For a good poet's made, as well as born:
William Shakspeare. And such wert thuu. Look, how the father's face SHAKSPEARE, at length thy pious fellows give Lives in his issue; even so the race
The world thy works; thy works, by which outlive Or Shakspeare's mind, and manners, brightly shines Thy tomb, thy name must : when that stone is renc, In his well-torned and true-filed lines;
And time dissolves thy Stratford monument, In each of which he seems to shake a lance,
Here we alive shall view thee still; this book, As brandish'd at the eyes of ignorance.
When brass and marble fade, shall make thee look Sweet swan of Avon, what a nght it were,
Fresh to all ages, when posterity To see thee in our waters yet appear;
Shall loath what's new, think all is prodigy And make those flights upon the banks of Thames, That is not Shakspeare's, every line, each verse, That so did take Eliza, and our James!
Here shall revive, redeem thee from thy herse, But stay; I see thee in the hemisphere
Nor fire, nor cank'ring age,-as Naso said Adyane'd, and made a constellation there:
Of his,—thy wit-fraught book shall once invade : Shine forth, thou star of poets; and with rage, Nor shall l' e'er believe or think thee dead, Or influence, chide, or cheer, the drooping stage ; Though miss’d, nntil our bankrout stage be sped Which, since thy light from hence, hath mourn’d (Impossible) with some new strain to out-do like night,
Passions “ of Juliet, and her Romeo ;"
Or till I hear a scene more nobly take,
Till these, till any of thy volume's rest,
Be sure, our Shakspeare, thou canst never die, Those hands which you so clapp'd, go now and wring. But, crown'd with laurel, live eternally. You Britains brave; for done are Shakspeare's days;
L. Digges His days are done that made the dainty plays, Which made the globe of heaven and earth to To the Memory of Master W. Shakspeare. ring:
We wonder'd, Shakspeare, that thou went'st so soon Dryd is that vein, dry'd is the Thespian spring, From the world's stage to the grave's tiring-room: Turn'd all to tears, and Phæbus clouds his rays; We thought thee dead ; but this thy printed worth That corpse, that coffin, now bestick those bays, Which crown'd him poet first, then poet's king. To enter with applause : an actor's art
Tells thy spectators, that thou went'st but forth If tragedies might any prologue have,
Can die, and live to act a second part:
This a re-entrance to a plaudite.
J M. (Death's public tiring-house) the Nuntius is.
(Perhaps John Marston.
these roarers for the name of king? To cabin ;
silence : trouble us not. Alonzo, King of Naples. SEBASTIAN, his brother.
Gon. Good; yet remember whom thou hast
aboard. PROSPERO, the rightful Duke of Milan.
Boats. None that I more love than myself. You ANTONIO, his brother, the usurping Duke of Milan. FERDINAND, son to the King of Naples.
are a counsellor ; if you can command these ele
ments to silence, and work the peace of the present, Gonzalo, an honest old counsellor of Naples. we will not band a rope more ; use your authority. ADRIAS, lords.
If you cannot, give thanks you bave lived so long, FRANCISCO,
and make yourself ready in your cabin for the misCaliban, a savage and deformed slave.
chance of the hour, if it so bap.-Cheerly, good TEINCULO, a jester.
hearts.-Out of our way, I say.
(Exit. STEPHANO, a drunken butler.
Gon. I have great comfort from this fellow: meMaster of a ship, Boatswain, and Mariners.
thinks he hath no drowning mark upon him; bis MIRANDA, daughter to Prospero.
complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good ARIEL, an airy spirit.
fate, to his hanging ! make the rope of his destiny IRIS,
our cable, for our own doth little advantage! If CERES,
be be not born to be hanged, our case is miserable. JUNO, spirits.
Re-enter Boatswain. Reapers,
Boats. Down with the topmast; yare ; lower, Other spirits attending on Prospero.
lower; bring her to try with main-course. [A cry SCENE.-The Sec, with a Ship; afterwards an un- within.) A plague upon this howling! they are inhabited Island.
louder than the weather, or our office.
Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and Gonzalo. Yet again? what do you here? Shall we give o'er,
and drown? Have you a mind to sink ? ACT I.
Seb. A pox o? your tbroat! you bawling, blas
phemous, incbaritable dog!
Boats. Work you, then.
Ant. Hang, cur, hang! you wboreson, insolent
noise-maker, we are less afraid to be drowned than Enter a Ship-master and a Boatswain. thou art. Master. Boatswain,
Gon. I'll warrant bim for drowning; though the Boats. Here, master : What cheer?
ship were no stronger than a nut-shell, and as Master. Good : Speak to the mariners: fall to't leaky as an unstanched wench. farely, or we run ourselves agrouod; bestir, be
Boats. Lay her a-hold, a-hold: set her two stir.
courses off; tu sea again, lay her off. Enter Mariners.
Enter Mariners wet. Boats. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my
Mar. All lost! to prayers, lo prayers! all lost ! hearts; yare, yare: take in the top-sail; Tend to
[Ereunt, the master's wbistle.- Blow till thou burst thy
Boats. What, must our mouths be cold ? wiod, if room enough!
Gon. The king and prince at prayers ! let us
assist them, Enter ALONZO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND, For our case is as theirs. GONZALO, and others.
Seb. I am out of patience. Alon. Good Boatswain, have care. Where's the Ant. We are merely cheated of our lives by master! Play the men.
drunkards. Boats. I pray now, keep below.
This wide-chapped rascal ;-'Would, thou might'st Ant. Where is the master, Boatswain !
lie drowning; Boais. Do you not hear him? You mar our la- The washing of ten tides ! bour; Keep your cabins: you do assist the storm. Gon. He'll be hanged yet ; Gon. Nay, good, be patient.
Though every drop of water swear against it, Boats. When the sea is. Hence! Wbat care And gape at wid'st to glut him.