William Shakespeare.

The plays of William Shakespeare; in twenty-one volumes, with the corrections and illustrations of various commentators, to which are added notes (Volume 1) online

. (page 1 of 38)
Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe plays of William Shakespeare; in twenty-one volumes, with the corrections and illustrations of various commentators, to which are added notes (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 38)
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Engraved by W-Holl.

<m C ^MadjdeMti

PubluhtdJ)*-'~2ff*-i0ii,by F.Ci:J.lUt-iryton..l-lhc other Proprietors.

















Vtt. Auct. apud Siiidanu
Time, which is continually washing away the dissoluble Fabricks of other
Poets, passes without Injury by the Adamant of Shakspeark.

Dr. Johnson's Preface.




Printed for J. Nichols and Son ; F. C. and J. Rivington ; J. Stockdale ;
W. Lowndes; G. Wilkie and J. Robinson; T. Egerton ; J.Walker;
Scatcherd and Letterman ; W. Clarke and Sons; J. Barker; J. Cuthell ;
R. Lea ; Lackington and Co. ; J. Deighton ; J. White and Co. ; B. Crosby
and Co ; W. Earle; J.Gray and Son; Longman and Co.; Cadell and
Davics ; J. Harding ; R. H. Evans ; J. Booker; S. Bagster ; J.Mawman ',
Black and Co.; J. Black; J. Richardsou ; J. Booth; Newman and
Co.; R. Pheney; R. Scholey ; J. Murray; J. Aspcrne ; J. Faulder:
B.Baldwin; Cradock and Joy ; Sharpc and Hailes; Johnson and Co.:
Gale and Co. ; G. Robinson ; C Brown ; and Wilson and Son, York.




K15 3
3 L3


Advertisement - - - i

Advertisement by Mr. Reed xi

Advertisement by Mr. Steevens 1

Preface to Mr. Ricfiardson' 's Proposals, fyc. - 4

Proposals by William Richardson - - 14

Supplement to Proposals - - - - 1 7
Advertisement by Mr. Steevens to edition of I 793 24

Rowe's Life of Shakspeare, $c. 57

Anecdotes of Shah spear e from Oldys, c. - 120

Baptisms, Marriages, fyc. - - - 132

Shakspeare* s Coat of Arms - - - 146

Shakspeare* s Mortgage - - - 149

Shakspeare* s Will - - - - - 154

Dedication by Hemings and Condell - - 1 63

Preface by ditto 166

by Pope 168

by Theobald . - - - 1 88

by Hanmer - 222

- by Warburton - 226

by Johnson - - - - - 245

Advertisement to twenty Plays, by Steevens - 311

Preface by CapeU 326

Advertisement by Steevens - 396

Preface by M. Mason - 417

Advertisement by Reed - - - - 421

Preface by Malone 424



Dr. Farmer's Essay on the Learning ofShak-

speare 1

Colmafi's Remarks on it - - - 87

Ancient Trati stations from Classick Authors - 92
Entries of Shakspeare* s Plays on the Sta-
tioners 3 Books - - . - - 119
List of ancient Editions of Shakspeare' s Plays 139
List of modern Editions - - - - 1 48
List of ancient Editions of Shakspeare' s Poems 152
List of modern ditto - - - - 1 53
List of altered Plays from Shakspeare - 156
List of detached Pieces of Criticism on Shak-
speare, his Editors, fyc. - - - 1 67
Commendatory Verses on Shakspeare - - 181
Malone's Attempt to ascertain the Order of

Shakspeare's Plays - 222

Malone's Essay on Ford's Pamphlet, fyc. - 374
Steevens's Remarks on it - - - - 408


Malone J s historical Account of the English Stage 1

Additions 351

Additions by Steevens - 404

Further Historical Account by Chalmers - 417
Addenda by the same - - - - 5i3



Two Gentlemen of Verona,
Midsummer Night's Dream.



Merry Wives of Windsor.
Twelfth Night.

Much Ado about Nothing.
Measure for Measure.


Love's Labour's Lost.
Merchant of Venice.

as you like it.

All's well that ends well.


Taming of the Shrew.
Winter's Tale.



King John.

King Richard II.
King Henry IV. Part I.

King Henry IV. Part II.
King Henry V.

King Henry VI. Part I.
King Henry VI. Part II.


King Henry VI. Part III.

Dissertation, S$c.
King Richard III.

King Henry VIII.
Troilus and Cressida.



Julius C&sar.


Antony and Cleopatra.
King Lear.




Timon of Athens.

Romeo and Juliet.
Comedy of Errors.


Titus Andronicus.
Pericles, and Dissertations.
Addenda, and Glossarial Index.


I HE present edition has been carefully revised by
the late Mr. Reed's coadjutor in the fifth edition,
who was particularly recommended to the proprie-
tors for that office by Mr. Steevens : how he has
answered such a recommendation is left to the
public to judge : he only begs permission to say,
that he hopes the present edition will not be found
inferior to any of the preceding.

In a work extending to twenty-one volumes some
errors will unavoidably occur ; such as have hap-
pened in former editions have been corrected in
this : a few notes have been added in their proper
places, and a short Appendix in the twenty-first
volume, of some observations which occurred to
the editor in the course of reading the proof sheet9.

In the twentieth volume, Arthur Broke's Tra-
gicall Historye ofRomeus and Juliet has been care-
fully revised from a copy of the edition printed in
1562, and collated by Mr. Joseph Haslewood, who
also furnished from the British Bibliographer the

vol. i. a


prose Address to the reader, which is not found in
the edition printed in 1587, made use of by Mr.

A more faithful copy of the portrait of Shak-
speare than any before engraved from the picture
formerly in the possession of Mr. Steevens is pre-
fixed, and also an engraving cf Mr. Flaxman's
Monument in Poplar Chapel, to the memory of
Mr. Steevens, on which is sculptured his likeness
in profile that will be acknowledged a striking re-
semblance by all who knew him.

A brief memorial of Mr. Reed is justly due in
this work, and as that has been so lately done by
his friend Mr. Nichols, in the second volume of
his Literary Anecdotes of the eighteenth century,
the following is with his permission extracted from
that Magazine of amusing and interesting literary



" Isaac Reed, an eminent collector of books
and able commentator, was born in the parish of
St. Dunstan in the West, where his father passed
unambitiously through life, in the useful occupa-
tion of a baker, and had the satisfaction of wit-
nessing the son's literary attainments with that
enthusiasm which frequently prevails in a strong
uncultivated mind.


" He commenced his public life very reputably,

as a solicitor and conveyancer ; but for several
years before his death had confined the practical
part of his business to the last-mentioned branch
of his profession. Placed in a situation which
above all others is frequently the road to riches and
honour, Mr. Reed's principal ambition was to ac-
quire a fundamental knowledge of the jurispru-
dence of his country ; and thus far he was emi-
nently successful. But the law, however alluring
its prospects, had not charms sufficient to engage
his whole attention ; he loved, he venerated, that
admirable system, which from the days of Alfred
and Canute, from the bold usurping Norman to
the present reign, has been regularly ameliorating;
but he detested the chicanery of which he was al-
most daily a witness in many of its professors. If
ever there was a mind devoid of guile, it was
Isaac Reed's ; and an attempt to make " the worse
appear the better cause," would have been with
him a breach of moral obligation. Hence an ex-
tensive line of business was necessarily precluded;
but he had the satisfaction of numbering among
his clients many highly valued friends ; and other
avenues to fame, if not to fortune, were open to
his capacious mind. His intimate knowledge of
antient English literature was unbounded. His
own publications, though not very numerous, were
all valuable ; and he was more satisfied with being

a 2


a faithful editor, than ambitious of being an ori-
ginal composer.

" In the year 1768, he collected into one vo-
lume, 12mo. "The Poetical Works of the Hon.
Lady M[ar]y W[ortele]y M[ontagu]e." His other
publications were, Middleton's " Witch, a Tragi-
Coomodie," a few copies only for his friends, 1 778 ;
the sixth volume of Dr. Young's Works, 1778,
12mo. " Biographia Dramatica," 2 volumes, 8vo.
1782, founded upon " Baker's Companion to the
Playhouse :" the biographical department of this
work is the result of diligent enquiry, and his
strictures on the productions of the English drama
display sound judgment and correct taste ; an im-
proved edition of Dodsley's old Plays, with Notes,
12 vols. 8vo. 1780 ; Dodsley's Collection of Poems,
with Biographical Notes, 6 vols. 8vo. 1782; " The
Repository ; a select Collection of Fugitive Pieces
of Wit and Humour, in Prose and Verse, by the
most eminent Writers," 4 vols. 8vo. 1777 1783;
Pearch's Collection of Poems, with Biographical
Notes, 4 vols. 8vo. 1783, (which some have ascribed
to the late George Keate, esq.) ; " A Complete
Collection of the Cambridge Prize Poems, from
their first Institution, in 1750, to the present
Time;" 8vo. 1773; an edition of Johnson and
Steevens's Shakspeare, 10 vol. 8vo. 1785, which
he undertook at the request of Dr. Farmer and


Mr. Steevens,the latter of whom resigning, for this
time, the office of Editor; some short Lives of
those English Poets who were added to Dr. John-
son's Collection, in 1790; the Fifth Edition of
Shakspeare, in 21 vols. 8vo. 1803, with his name
prefixed ; an effort which he with some difficulty
was persuaded to make. So extremely averse in-
deed was he to appearing before the publick, that,
when he was asked, as a matter of course, to add
only his initials at the end of the prefatory adver-
tisement of Dr. Young, his answer was nearly in
these words: " I solemnly declare, that I have
such a thorough dread of putting my name to any
publication whatever, that, if I were placed in the
alternative either of so doing or of standing in the
pillory, I believe I should prefer the latter." He
was a valuable contributor to the Westminster
Magazine, from 1773-4 to about the year 1780.
The biographical articles in that Miscellany are
from his pen. He became also very early one of
the proprietors of the European Magazine, and
was a constant contributor to it for many years,
particularly in the biographical and critical de-
partments. He was also an occasional volunteer
in the pages of Sylvanus Urban. So ample indeed
was his collection of literary curiosities, so ready
was he in turning to them, and so thoroughly able
to communicate information, that no man of cha-
racter ever applied to him in vain. Even the la-


bours of Dr. Johnson were benefited by his ac-
curacy; and for the last thirty years, there has
scarcely appeared any literary work in this coun-
try, of the least consequence, that required minute
and extensive research, which had not the advan-
tage of his liberal assistance, as the grateful pre-
faces of a variety of writers have abundantly tes-
tified. Among the earliest of these was the edi-
tion of Dr. King's Works, 1776, and the Supple-
ment to Swift, in the same year. In both these
works Mr. Nichols was most materially indebted
to the judicious remarks of Mr. Reed, whose
friendly assistance also in many instances contri-
buted to render his " Anecdotes of Mr. Bowyer,"
in 1782, completer than they otherwise could pos-
sibly have been. He contributed also many useful
notes to the later editions of Dr. Johnson's Lives
of the Poets. To enumerate the thanks of the
authors whom he had assisted by his advice would
be endless.

" With the late Dr. Farmer, the worthy master
of Emanuel College, Cambridge, he was long and
intimately acquainted, and regularly for many
years spent an autumnal month with him at that
pleasant seat of learning. At that period the thea-
tricals of Stirbitch Fair had powerful patronage in
the Combination-room of Emanuel, where the rou-
tine of performance was regularly settled, and


where the charms of the bottle were early deserted
for the pleasures of the sock and buskin. In the
boxes of this little theatre Dr. Farmer was the
Arbiter Eleganliarum, and presided with as much
dignity and unaffected ease as within the walls of
his own College. He was regularly surrounded
by a large party of congenial friends and able cri-
ticks; among whom Mr. Reed and Mr. Steevens
were constantly to be found. The last-mentioned
gentleman, it may not here improperly be noticed,
had so inviolable an attachment to Mr. Reed, that
notwithstanding a capriciousness of temper which
often led him to differ from his dearest friends,
and occasionally to lampoon them, there were
three persons with whom through life he scarcely
seemed to have a shade of difference of opinion ;
but those three were gentlemen with whom it was
not possible for the most captious person to have
differed Dr. Farmer, Mr. Tyrwhitt, and Isaac

" To follow Mr. Reed into the more retired
scenes of private and domestic life : he was an
early riser ; and, whenever the avocations of busi-
ness permitted leisure, applied, in general, several
hours in the morning, either in study or in the
arrangement of his numerous scarce Tracts. His
collection of books, which were chiefly English,
was perhaps one of the most extensive in that kind


that any private individual ever possessed ; and he
had a short time before his death made arrange-
ments for disposing of a great part of it. The
whole was afterwards sold by auction.

" He was naturally companionable j and fre-
quently enjoyed the conversation of the table at
the houses of a select circle of friends, to whom
his great knowledge of men and books, and his
firm fcyt modest mode of communicating that
knowledge, always rendered him highly accept-

" Exercise was to him a great source both of
health and pleasure. Frequently has the compiler
of this article enjoyed a twelve miles walk to par-
take with him in the hospitalities of Mr. Gough at
Enfield, and the luxury of examining with perfect
ease the rarer parts of an uncommonly rich topo-
graphical library. But the most intimate of his
friends was the friend of human kind at large, the
mild, benevolent Daniel Braithwaite, esq. late
comptroller of the Foreign Post-office, who has
frequently beguiled him into an agreeable saunter
of near twenty miles, to his delightful retreat in
the pleasant village of Amweli, where he was al-
ways as happy, and as much at home as Dr. John-
son was at Mr. Thrale's at Streatham.


" With Mr. Bindley, senior Commissioner of
the Stamp-office, whose skill and taste in collect-
ing rare and valuable articles in literature were
so congenial to his own, Mr. Reed had many in-
terchanges of reciprocal obligation. But his more
immediate associates were, James Sayer, esq. of
Great Ormond-street ; Mr. Romney and Mr. Hay-
ley, the eminent painter and poet ; William Long,
esq. the celebrated surgeon ; Edmund Malone,*
esq. the great rival commentator on Shak peare ;
J. P. Kemble, esq. not only an excellent critick
and collector of dramatic curiosities, but himself,
(perhaps with the exception of his sister only,)
the best living exemplar of Shakspeare's text;
the Rev. H. J. Todd, the illustrator of Milton
and Spenser, to whom he left a legacy for his
trouble in superintending the sale of his library ;
Francis Newbery, esq. of Heathfield, co. Sussex ;
Richard Sharp, esq. M. P. for Castle Rising ; and
George Nicol, esq. the judicious purveyor of li-
terary curiosities for the King. Some of these
gentlemen were members of a select dining-club,
of which he had from its origin been the presi-

* Mr. Malone died May 25, 1812. He was brother to Lord
Sunderlin ; and had he survived his Lordship would have suc-
ceeded to the title, the remainder being in him. Like Mr.
Steevens, he devoted his life and his fortune to the task of
making the great Bard better known by his countrymen.


" He died Jan. .5, 1807, at his chambers in
Staple-inn, of which honourable society he had
long been one of the antientsj and his remains
were interred at Am well, agreeably to his own

Library of the

Royal Institution,

Dec. 9, 1812.



1 HE merits of our great dramatick Bard, the
pride and glory of his country, have been so amply
displayed by persons of various and first-rate talents,
that it would appear like presumption in any one,
and especially in him whose name is subscribed to
this Advertisement, to imagine himself capable of
adding any thing on so exhausted a subject. After
the labours of men of such high estimation asRowe,
Pope, Warburton, Johnson, Farmer, and Steevens,
with others of inferior name, the rank of Shak-
speare in the poetical world is not a point at this
time subject to controversy. His pre-eminence is
admitted ; his superiority confessed. Long ago it
might be said of him, as it has been, in the ener-
getick lines of Johnson, of one almost his equal,

" At length, our mighty bard's victorious lays
" Fill the loud voice of universal praise ;
** And baffled spite, with hopeless anguish dumb,
" Yields to renown the centuries to come."

a renown, established on so solid a foundation, as
to bid defiance to the caprices of fashion, and to
the canker of time.


admirable plan of illustrating Shakspeare by the
study of writers of his own time. By following
this track, most of the difficulties of the author
have been overcome, his meaning (in many in-
stances apparently lost) has been recovered, and
much wild unfounded conjecture has been happily
got rid of. By perseverance in this plan, he ef-
fected more to the elucidation of his author than
any if not all his predecessors, and justly entitled
himself to the distinction of being confessed the
best editor of Shakspeare.

The edition which now solicits the notice of the
publick is faithfully printed from the copy given by
Mr. Steevens to the proprietors of the preceding
edition, in his life-time ; with such additions as, it
is presumed, he would have received, had he lived
to determine on them himself. The whole was
entrusted to the care of the present Editor, who
has, with the aid of an able and vigilant assistant,
and a careful printer, endeavoured to fulfil the trust
reposed in him, as well as continued ill health and
depressed spirits would permit.

" Learning, as vast as mental power could seize,
** In sport displaying and with grateful ease,
" Lightly the stage of chequer'd life he trod,
" Careless of chance, confiding in his God !

" This tomb may perish, but not so his name
" Who shed new lustre upon Shakspeare's fame!"


By a memorandum in the hand-writing of Mr.
Steevens it appeared to be his intention to adopt
and introduce into the prolegomena of the present
edition some parts of two late works of Mr. George
Chalmers. An application was therefore made to
that gentleman for his consent, which was imme-
diately granted ; and to render the favour more
acceptable, permission was given to divest the ex-
tracts of the offensive asperities of controversy.

The portrait of Shakspeare prefixed to the pre-
sent edition, is a copy of the picture formerly be-
longing to Mr. Felton, now to Alderman Boydell,
and at present at the Shakspeare Gallery, in Pall
Mall. After what has been written on the subject
it will be only necessary to add, that Mr. Steevens
persevered in his opinion that this, of all the por-
traits, had the fairest chance of being a genuine
likeness of the author. Of the canvas Chandois
picture he remained convinced that it possessed
no claims to authenticity.

Some apology is due to those gentlemen who,
during the course of the publication, have oblig-
ingly offered the present Editor their assistance,
which he should thankfully have received, had he
considered himself at liberty to accept their favours.
He was fearful of loading the pago, which Mr.
Steevens in some instances thought too much
crouded already, and therefore confined himself
to the copy left to his care by his deceased friend.


But it is time to conclude. He will therefore
detain the reader no longer than just to offer a few
words in extenuation of any errors or omissions
that may be discovered in his part of the work ; a
work which, notwithstanding the utmost exertion
of diligence, has never been produced without
some imperfection. Circumstanced as he has
been, he is sensible how inadequate his powers
were to the task imposed on him, and hopes for
the indulgence of the reader. He feels that "the
inaudible and noiseless foot of time" has insen-
sibly brought on that period of life and those at-
tendant infirmities which weaken the attachment
to early pursuits, and diminish their importance:
" Superfluous lags the veteran on the stage."

To the admonition he is content to pay obedience,
and satisfied that the hour is arrived when " well-
timed retreat" is the measure which prudence dic-
tates, and reason will approve, he here bids adieu
to Shakspeare, and his Commentators ; acknow-
ledging the candour with which very imperfect
efforts have been received, and wishing for his suc-
cessors the same gratification he has experienced
in his humble endeavours to illustrate the greatest
poet the world ever knew.


Staple Inn,
May 2, 1803.


" WHEN I said I would die a bachelor, (cries
Benedick,) I did not think I should live till I were
married.*' The present Editor of Shakspeare may
urge a kindred apology in defence of an opinion
hazarded in his Prefatory Advertisement; for when
he declared his disbelief in the existence of a ge-
nuine likeness of our great Dramatick Writer, he
most certainly did not suppose any Portrait of that
description could have occurred, and much less
that he himself should have been instrumental in
producing it. 1 He is happy, however, to find he
was mistaken in both his suppositions j and conse-
quently has done his utmost to promote the ap-
pearance of an accurate and finished Engraving,
from a Picture which had been unfaithfully as well
as poorly imitated by Droeshout and Marshall?

1 See Mr. Richardson's Proposals, p. 4.

* " Martin Droeshout. One of the indifferent engravers of
the last century. He resided in England, and was employed by
the booksellers. His portraits, which are the best part of his
works, have nothing but their scarcity to recommend them. He
engraved the head of Shalcspeare, John Fox, the martyrologist,
John Hotvson, Bishop of Durham," Ac.

Strutt's Dictionary of Engrawrs, Vol. I. p. 26*4.

" William Marshall. He was one of those laborious artists
whose engravings were chiefly confined to the ornamenting of
books. And indeed his patience and assiduity is all we can ad-
mire when we turn over his prints, which are prodigiously nu-
merous. He worked with the graver only, but in a dry tasteless
style; and from the similarity which appears in the design of all
his portraits, it is supposed that he worked from his own drawings


Of the character repeatedly and deliberately be-
stowed by the same Editor on the first of these
old engravers, not a single word will be retracted ;
for, if the judgment of experienced artists be of
any value, the plate by Droeshout now under con-
sideration has (in one instance at least) established
his claim to the title of " a most abominable imi-
tator of humanity."

Mr. Fuseli has pronounced, that the Portrait
described in the Proposals of Mr. Richardson,
was the work of a Flemish hand. It may also be
observed, that the verses in praise of Droeshout* s
performance, were probably written as soon as
they were bespoke, and before their author had
found opportunity or inclination to compare the
plate with its original. He might previously have
known that the picture conveyed a just resem-
blance of Shakspeare; took it for granted that the
copy would be exact; and, therefore, rashly as-
signed to the engraver a panegyrick which the
painter had more immediately deserved. It is
lucky indeed for those to whom metrical recom-
mendations are necessary, that custom does not
require they should be delivered upon oath.

It is likewise probable that Ben Jonson had no
intimate acquaintance with the graphick art, and

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe plays of William Shakespeare; in twenty-one volumes, with the corrections and illustrations of various commentators, to which are added notes (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 38)