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EDITED

WITH INTRODUCTION, NOTES, APPENDICES,

AND GLOSSARY.

BY

THOMAS MARC PARROTT, PH.D.

Professor of English in Princeton University

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NEW YORK

HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY

1903

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PREFACE.

This edition aims first of all by means of the Introduction to inform the student of the circumstances under which the Merchant of Venice was written and to show him something of Shakespeare's mastery of his art. Further, it presents, with a few necessary omissions, a new and, I trust, an accurate text. The text of the Cambridge edition has been used to print from, but this has been throughout checked and corrected by a reference to the original sources. For these I have relied upon Griggs's photographic reproductions of the First and Second Quartos and upon Staunton's reprint of the First Folio, with an occasional reference to the copies of the First, Second, and Fourth Folios at present deposited in the Library of Princeton University. As a rule the readings of the Second Quarto have been followed. In the few cases where I have deviated from the old copies it has been with the conviction that I was thereby restoring the true reading.

The Critical and Explanatory Notes are intended for the young student who is just making acquaintance with the work of Shakespeare. They are, in consequence, detailed and copious. I have, I trust, realized the futility of sending a child in one of our secondary schools to works of reference which he perhaps cannot and certainly will not consult. In the preparation of these notes I have drawn upon many sources.

Chief among these has been that magnificent monument of American scholarship, Dr. Furness's Variorum Edition.

The Textual Notes are intended primarily to justify the text presented in the body of the book. They may also, it is hoped, serve to introduce students of a somewhat more advanced stage to the fascinating subject of Shakespearian text-criticism. In the various appendices matters are touched upon that are of interest to all students of the play, but a consideration of which may be profitably postponed to the study of the play itself, for after all “the play's the thing."

The Glossary is for the most part based upon Schmidt's Shakespeare-Lexicon, supplemented, so far as is possible, by reference to the New English Dictionary.

In conclusion I wish to express my sincere thanks to Mr. D. L. Chambers for his valued assistance in the preparation and in the proof-reading of the text, and to my colleague, Mr. A. W. Long, whose long experience and ripened judgment render him at once a severe and a sympathetic critic of such a work as this.

T. M. P. PRINCETON UNIVERSITY,

May 12, 1903.

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