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In the edition of the Dramatic Works of Shakspeare now presented to the reader, it has been the design of the publishers, to give the text with as much accuracy as possible, accompanying it with such annotations only, as might be required for the purposes
Those who are acquainted with the various editions, and with the results of the labor of commentators, will be aware that this task is not an easy one. The publishers believed that they could best accomplish it, by selecting the comprehensive and valuable edition of Mr. SINGER as the basis of theirs, so far as relates to the notes ; rejecting, however, such of those notes, and such portions of any of them, as appeared to be unnecessary, and inserting additional ones where they seemed likely to be useful.
The changes in both these respects are so numerous, that there would have been no propriety in affixing to this edition the name of Mr. Singer ; but it would be injustice not to express to him the most important and constant obligations. The Preliminary
Remarks upon the several plays are derived from the same source. With regard to the text, they have preferred, in general, to follow the readings of the folio edition of 1623, with which the text of this edition has been carefully compared.
In order to present to the reader a biography of Shakspeare, they have preserved all such portions of that written by Dr. Symmons, and published in connection with Mr. Singer's edition, as were considered valuable; and, with the view of combining all the facts relative to the personal history of the Poet, which research, began too late, has been able to discover, they have added the “ New Facts regarding the Life of Shakspeare,"contained in a recent letter addressed by J. Payne Collier to Thomas Amyot, and now, for the first time, reprinted in this country.
In short, the object of the publishers has been, to prepare an edition in a handsome and convenient form, not too much encumbered with comments, nor too destitute of them, and comprehending such other advantages as the inquiries and research of the accomplished scholar, who has prepared the work for the press, have suggested...
HIELIARD, GRAY, & CO. Boston, August, 1836.
KING HENRY VIII......