« PreviousContinue »
Ir will naturally be expected, that those who have ventured to bring forward a nero Edition of SHAKSPEARE, at a period when the Public is supplied even to repletion with old ones, should explicitly state the grounds on which they conceived such an act of apparent supererogation to be advisable.
The Editions of Shakspeare are indeed very numerous. They have been produced in forms, aiming at the accommodation of every description of purchasers, and professing to be adapted to every taste, rank, and age; they are seen under the most splendid and under the simplest aspects ; and are to be found, with or without notes and illustrations, graduating downwards from the magnificent folio, emblazoned with letters as large as those upon a tombstone, to the minute volumes, printed with invisible types, of which ten or a dozen can conveniently be accommodated in the pocket. The Publishers of the present Work have thought, nevertheless, that an Edition of this Great Poet, combining clearness and beauty of mechanical execution, with extreme purity of text and orthography, printed in a convenient form, and attainable at a moderate price, is not yet before the Public ; at least, that these qualities are more fully attained in that which they have now brought forward than in any other with which they are acquainted. Two of these qualities, the external appearance of the work, and its price, are, by the simple act of publication, at once submitted to the judgment of the Public. The third,—the alleged purity of the text,—is of infinitely greater consequence, and can only be established by the slow lapse of time. This rare quality it has been the chief aim of