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principal parts or characters." The very curious papers lately difcovered in Dulwich College, from which large extracts are given at the end of the Hiftory of the Stage, prove, what I long fince suspected, that this play, and The First Part of King Henry VI. were in poffeffion of the fcene when Shakspeare began to write for the ftage; and the fame manufcripts fhow, that it was then very common for a dramatick poet to alter and amend the work of a preceding writer. The queftion therefore is now decifively settled; and undoubtedly fome additions were made to both these pieces by Shakfpeare. It is obfervable that the fecond fcene of the third act of Titus Andronicus is not found in the quarto copy printed in 1611. It is therefore highly probable, that this scene was added by our author; and his hand may be traced in the preceding act, as well as in a few other places.2 The additions which he made to Pericles are much more numerous, and therefore more strongly entitle it to a place among the dramatick pieces which he has adorned by his pen.
With refpect to the other contefted plays, Sir John Oldcastle, The London Prodigal, &c. which have now for near two centuries been falsely afcribed to our author, the manufcripts above mentioned completely clear him from that imputation; and prove, that while his great modefty made him fet but little value on his own inimitable productions, he could patiently endure to have the miferable trafh of other writers publickly imputed to him, without taking any measure to vindicate
2 If ever the account-book of Mr. Heminge fhall be discovered, we shall probably find in it-" Paid to William Shakspeare for mending Titus Andronicus." See Vol. III.
his fame. Sir John Oldcastle, we find from indubitable evidence, though afcribed in the title-page to "William Shakspeare," and printed in the year 1600, when his fame was in its meridian, was the joint-production of four other poets; Michael Drayton, Anthony Mundy, Richard Hathwaye, and Robert Wilfon.3
In the Differtation annexed to the three parts of King Henry the Sixth, I have difcuffed at large the question concerning their authenticity; and have affigned my reafons for thinking that the second and third of those plays were formed by Shakspeare, on two elder dramas now extant. Any difquifition therefore concerning these controverted pieces is here unneceffary.
Some years ago I published a fhort Effay on the economy and ufages of our old theatres. The Hiftorical Account of the English Stage, which has been formed on that effay, has fwelled to fuch a fize, in confequence of various researches fince made, and a great acceffion of very valuable materials, that is it become almost a new work. Of thefe, the most important are the curious papers which have been difcovered at Dulwich, and the very valuable Office-book of Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels to King James and King Charles the First, which have contributed to throw much light on our dramatick hiftory, and furnished fome fingular anecdotes of the poets of those times.
Twelve years have elapfed fince the Effay on the order of time in which the plays of Shakspeare were written, first appeared. A re-examination of these plays fince that time has furnifhed me with
• Vol. III. Additions.
feveral particulars in confirmation of what I had formerly fuggefted on this fubject. On a careful revifal of that Effay, which, I hope, is improved as well as confiderably enlarged, I had the fatiffaction of obferving that I had found reafon to attribute but two plays to an era widely distant from that to which they had been originally afcribed; and to make only a minute change in the arrangement of a few others. Some information, however, which has been obtained fince that Effay was printed in its prefent form, inclines me to think, that one of the two plays which I allude to, The Winter's Tale, was a still later production than I have fuppofed; for I have now good reason to believe, that it was first exhibited in the year 1613;4 and that confequently it must have been one of our poet's lateft works.
Though above a century and a half has elapfed fince the death of Shakspeare, it is fomewhat extraordinary, (as I obferved on a former occafion,) that none of his various editors fhould have attempted to feparate his genuine poetical compofitions from the fpurious performances with which they have been long intermixed; or have taken the trouble to compare them with the earlieft and moft authentick copies. Shortly after his death, a very incorrect impreffion of his poems was iffued out, which in every fubfequent edition, previous to the year 1780, was implicitly followed. They have been carefully revifed, and with many additional illustrations are now a fecond time faithfully printed from the original copies, excepting only
4 See Emendations and Additions, Vol. I. Part II. p. 286, [i. e. Mr. Malone's edition.]
The paragraph alluded to, in the prefent edition, will stand in its proper place. STEEVENS.
Venus and Adonis, of which I have not been able to procure the firft impreffion. The fecond edition, printed in 1596, was obligingly tranfmitted to me by the late Reverend Thomas Warton, of whofe friendly and valuable correfpondence I was deprived by death, when these volumes were almoft ready to be issued from the prefs. It is painful to recollect how many of (I had almost faid) my coadjutors have died since the prefent work was begun :-the elegant fcholar, and ingenious writer, whom I have juft mentioned Dr. Johnson, and Mr. Tyrwhitt: men, from whofe approbation of my labours I had promised myself much pleasure, and whofe ftamp could give a value and currency to any work.
With the materials which I have been fo fortunate as to obtain, relative to our poet, his kindred, and friends, it would not have been difficult to have formed a new Life of Shakspeare, lefs meagre and imperfect than that left us by Mr. Rowe: but the information which I have procured having been obtained at very different times, it is neceffàrily difperfed, partly in the copious notes fubjoined to Rowe's Life, and partly in the Hiftorical Account of our old actors. At fome future time I hope to weave the whole into one uniform and connected narrative.
My inquiries having been carried on almost to the very moment of publication, fome circumftances relative to our poet were obtained too late to be introduced into any part of the present work. Of thefe due ufe will be made hereafter.
The prefaces of Theobald, Hanmer, and Warburton, I have not retained, because they appeared to me to throw no light on our author or his works: the room which they would have taken up, will,
I truft, be found occupied by more valuable
As fome of the preceding editors have juftly been condemned for innovation, fo perhaps (for of objections there is no end,) I may be cenfured for too ftrict an adherence to the ancient copies. I have conftantly had in view the Roman fentiment adopted by Dr. Johnson, that it is more honourable to fave a citizen than to deftroy an enemy,' and, like him, "have been more careful to protect than to attack."-" I do not wifh the reader to forget, (fays the fame writer,) that the most commodious (and he might have added, the most forcible and elegant,) is not always the true reading." On this principle I have uniformly proceeded, having refolved never to deviate from the authentick copies, merely because the phraseology was harsh or uncommon. Many paffages, which have heretofore been confidered as corrupt, and are now supported by the ufage of contemporary writers, fully prove the propriety of this caution.
5 King Henry IV. Part II.
• See particularly The Merchant of Venice, Vol. VII. p. 297: That many may be meant
"" C ""
with the note there.
By the fool multitude.'
We undoubtedly should not now write
"But, left myself be guilty to felf-wrong,-"
vet we find this phrafe in The Comedy of Errors, A& III. Vol. XX. See alfo The Winter's Tale, Vol. IX. p. 420 :
This your fon-in-law,
"And fon unto the king, (whom heavens directing,) "Is troth-plight to your daughter."
Measure for Meafure; Vol. VI. p. 358: "to be fo bared,-." Coriolanus, Vol. XVI. p. 148, n.2:
"Which often, thus, correcting thy ftout heart," &c. Hamlet, Vol. XVIII. p. 40:
"That he might not beteem the winds of heaven," &c,