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The Merchant of Venice

Temple School Shakespeare

This series, published by arrangement with
Messrs. J. W. Dent & Co., of London, is de-
signed primarily for class use, and bears no
direct relation to the widely known “Temple
Shakespeare.”

Price, 35 Cents Each

The Tempest.

Edited by OLIPHANT SMEATON, M.A, v Macbeth.

Edited by GEORGE SMITH, M.A. Julius Cæsar.

Edited by F. ARMYTAGE-Morley, M.A. As You Like It.

Edited by Flora MASSON Hamlet.

Edited by OLIPHANT SMEATON, M.A. Richard II.

Edited by W. KEITH LEASK, M.A. The Merchant of Venice.

Edited by R. M'William, M.A. A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Edited by Rev. W. H. FLECKER, M.A. Henry V.

Edited by R. H. Case, M.A.

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Also Many Illustrations in the Introduction and Glossary from Contemporary Prints

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NEW YORK

HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY

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THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.

Introduction.

Life of Shakespeare-Birth and Parentage. The play of The Merchant of Venice was written by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, who was born at Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, on the 22nd or 23rd April 1564. The latter date has been accepted as the more likely, an old tradition stating that he died on the anniversary

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of his birth, and we know beyond question his death occurred or April 23rd, 1616. His father, John Shakespeare, belonged to a family which had given generations of substantial yeomen to the Midland districts of England. At the time of the poet's birth John was a prosperous “ general merchant" in agricultural produce. Corn, malt, hides, wool, leather, hay are named among the wares in which he dealt. Aubrey, the first biographer of Shakespeare, styled the father of the latter 66 butcher." Others have classed him as a “glover.” Possibly, like colonial storekeepers of the present day, he may have united

many

branches of trade in himself, so as to consult the convenience of rural customers coming from a distance.

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