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her natural ease of deportment, and grandeur of person, concealed every minor failing. In the course of conversation, upon even trifling topics, she had a singular method of charming the ear; she uttered her words as Shakspeare advises the actors, smoothly and trippingly from the tongue; and however voluble in enunciation her part might require her to be, not a syllable was ever lost. "A remarkable instance of public regard was shewn to this lady when she first brought her daughter on the stage. Mrs. Pritchard stooped to play Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, in order to introduce Miss Pritchard in her attempt to act Juliet; the daughter's timidity was contrasted by the mother's apprehensions, which were strongly painted in their looks, and these were incessantly interchanged by stolen glances at each other. This scene of mutual sensibility was so affecting, that many of the audience burst into tears, and all were enthusiastic in their applause.

powers were then impaired, and the triumph of her wonderful successor was not long doubtful. Mrs. Barry died in November, 1801.


THE natural advantages of this wonderful woman were of the highest order. She was rather tall, yet not ungracefully so; her form was perfectly symmetrical, and the dignity of her gait and general deportment has never been equalled. In her youth she had all the feminine graces of her sex ; but at a maturer age, her countenance, though extremely beautiful, was chiefly remarkable on account of the commanding intellectual expression evident in every feature. The piercing intelligence of her eyes was quite astonishing; she frequently threw more meaning into a single glance, than could have been conveyed in a whole page of blank verse. Her voice was by far the finest we have ever heard, and her articulation was so distinct, that even a whisper from her was audible in the remotest parts cular excellencies must be confined to four of her of our immense theatres. Our notice of her partiprincipal Shakspeare characters, in all of which she has left an impression which makes it dangerous for any other actress to attempt them.

"In the year 1768, Mrs. Pritchard took leave of the public, in her favourite part, Lady Macbeth; and out of respect to that excellent woman, Garrick performed the ambitious Thane, as it happened also, for the last time. Mrs. Pritchard's action, both before and after the murder, was strongly characteristical; it presented an image of a mind insensible Isabella, in Measure for Measure.- Her dress to compunction, and inflexibly bent to achieve in this part was extremely plain: she appeared in its purpose. When she snatched the daggers from the simple habit of a nun; yet her surpassingly the irresolute Macbeth, despising his remorse and noble figure was, perhaps, never seen to greater terror, she presented to the audience an awful pic-advantage. The moment she came before the auture of intrepid guilt. As she grappled the instru-dience, every other object lost its attraction, and ments of death, and exclaimed, Give me the daggers," her look and gesture cannot be described, and will not soon be forgotten by the surviving spectators. At the banquet scene, she discovered, if possible, still greater felicity in delineating this terrible character. Macbeth, on beholding the ghost of Banquo, betrays himself to his guests by his alarm and perturbation. Mrs. Pritchard's skill in endeavouring to engage the attention of the company, and draw them from the observation of her lord's agitation, equalled anything that was ever seen in the art of acting. In exhibiting the last scene of Lady Macbeth, in which the terrors of a guilty conscience keep the mind broad awake while the body sleeps, Mrs. Pritchard's acting resembled those sudden flashes of lightning which more accurately discover the horrors of surrounding darkness.

"She spoke her farewell epilogue with many tears and sobs, which were increased by the generous feelings of a numerous and splendid audience. She retired to Bath and died there, about four months after, of a mortification in her foot."


THIS lady was a little above the middle size, with a fair complexion, well made, but rather incling to the en bon point. Her hair was of a light auburn, and fell gracefully on her shoulders, particularly in those parts which required this mode of head-dress. Her features were regular, and corresponding; and though her eyes were not naturally strong, or distinctly brilliant, they gave a pleasing interest to her looks. To all these there was a certain modest gaieté de cœur in her manner and address, that at once conciliated respect and affection.

Her chief excellence lay in the gentle and pathetic | characters of tragedy; her Desdemona was a truly admirable effort; the whole part being so naturally sustained, that her audience was cheated into a belief that the sufferings she delineated were real. In her old age the manager of Covent Garden theatre induced her to return to the stage, as the rival of Mrs. Siddons, then in the zenith of her popularity. Competent judges have declared that Mrs. Barry was superior in pathos; but her fine

the most restrained motion of her hand produced a
sensation which can only be conceived by those
who have seen her. When Lucio informed her of
Claudio's peril, the mournful expression of her fine
face told all a sister's love, and her eager willing-
ness to become a suppliant to Angelo was most af-
fectingly impressive. At the close of the scene,
before she could leave it, yet such was the grace
she had to go over the whole depth of the stage
and dignity of her exit, that it was constantly fol-
lowed with immense applause. Her supplication
to Angelo was surely the most moving piece of elo-
quence that ever flowed from mortal lips; it was
not merely pathetic, it was sublime; and in the
speech beginning

"Oh! you and I, and all the souls that are,
Were forfeit once,"

her action was indescribably beautiful; she placed
her left hand on the cross at her girdle, the other
was raised in an attitude of solemn adjuration, her
countenance gradually kindled into an ecstacy of
devotion, softened into tenderness by a recollection
of her brother's danger, and as she proceeded
with her energetic appeal, she stood before the au-
dience like a being under the immediate influence
Angelo's base proposal for extending mercy to
of inspiration. When she was fully possessed of
Claudio, the "corrupt deputy" seemed to wither
in the terrible burst of indignation which she poured
forth; as with irrepressible vehemence she ex-
claimed "I will proclaim thee to the world."
Nothing could be more natural than her dejection
when convinced that her complaints would be use-
less, and the expression of deep sorrow which she
threw into the following passage, as she retired,
can never be forgotten:


"I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request,

And fit his mind to death for his soul's rest."

interview with Claudio in the prison, had every excellence of which such a scene is susceptible. When Claudio, on hearing Angelo's terms, exclaimed, "Thou shalt not do it," her headlong delight, as she threw herself into his arms and cried out in the triumphant wildness of joy, "There spoke my brother," filled the audience with astonishment, which shewed itself in perfect silence for several seconds, and then broke into a shout of applause which appeared to shake the house,

Lady Constance. This character appears only in three scenes of King John; yet whenever Mrs. Siddons performed it, it was the chief point of attraction, and it deserved to be so. In her personification of this wonderful delineation of maternal affection and sorrow, you saw, from the first, that she was the prey of some all absorbing grief; yet pity was not the only sentiment she inspired, for ber miseries had a sublimity and grandeur about them, which made mere compassion improper. In the first scene, her eye was scarcely ever withdrawn from her "pretty Arthur;" she appeared to live in his looks, and in the desolation of widowhood, her heart seemed incapable of any other comfort. Yet her mind seemed to retain all its exalted character. The slightest wafture of her hand seemed to have the force of an irresistible command; her most casual glance appeared to compel obedience, and those that surrounded her, looked only worthy to be her servants. In the next scene, her reception of the messenger from the kings, and her refusing to be content," were in the finest strain of tragedy; but when she threw herself on the stage, exclaiming, "Here I and sorrow sit," a sublimely affecting picture was produced, which not even Garrick's Lear, when he cursed Goneril, could have surpassed. Her taunts of Austria,

"Hang a calf's skin on those recreant limbs," were conceived and uttered in a tone of bitter irony and contempt, which seemed to blast the being it was directed against. And in her appeal to heaven from the injustice of man, her voice, leok, and attitude, were so eloquent, intellectual, and commanding, that it was impossible to doubt the rectitude or success of her supplication. All this, however, was but preparatory to the effect produced in her last scene. Arthur is taken prisoner and carried into England by king John, and Constance on hearing of the event, abandons all hope. She entered with the hurried step and wild despairing look of madness; her voice had grown harsh with grief, its tones were broken and unequal. When the Cardinal addressed her in the ordinary topics of consolation, her answer,

"He talks to me that never had a son,”

was articulated with such agonized vehemence,
that her own were the only dry eyes in the theatre.
Then, as she enumerated the perfections of her
lost child, ber anguish and despair increased, her
brain grew giddy with phrenzied fancies, and with
as in a shriek of mental pain she exclaimed,
the rage of insanity she tore away her head-dress,

"I will not keep this form upou my head,
While there is such disorder in my wits."

With this burst of passion all the energy of her
the dreadful silence of despair.
nature seemed to vanish, and she left the stage in

the restlessness so common in disease; and then becoming tranquil, would listen to the solemn music with an air of divine content that made her look more than mortal; and during her supposed sleep, the rapture that breathed over her countenance did not seem of the earth. On awakening, the calm collected way in which she made her last requests might well be thought too real for mere acting; and her concluding speech,

"When I am dead, let me be us'd with honour," was a noble burst of dignified sentiment, which, conveyed in the melody of her voice, became a glorious triumph of genius.

Lady Macbeth.-This terrible character, the one in which Mrs. Siddons left the stage, was, perhaps, her most astonishing performance. When she appeared, reading Macbeth's letter, her keen, penetrating eye seemed to devour the lines, and her spirit revelled in the hope of coming greatness. Her courtesy to Duncan was of the most insinuating description, and well entitled her to be called "most kind hostess." When she persuaded her husband to the murder, her arguments were given in a cold, fiend-like tone, that curdled the blood with horror. After the perpetration of the deed, her scorn of Macbeth's terrors, and her exclamation, "Give me the daggers," was beyond conception powerful. Her diguity and grace in the banquet scene left competition at an immeasurable distance: there can be but one Siddons. We are almost afraid to speak of her excellence while she uttered the few sentences in which Shakspeare describes the terrors of a remorseful conscience. Her dress was perfectly white, and her face paler than her robes; her steps had no echo, and the immoveable fixedness of her eye was awful; she walked to a table and put down her taper without speaking. Then, as she rubbed her hands, and made the action of pouring water upon them, with fearful earnestness, she ejaculated, in a whispering tone, "Out, damned spot!" Her task is hopeless, the evidence of guilt remains. The blackness of despair overwhelmed her, and as she solemnly inquired, "Will all the perfumes of Arabia sweeten this little hand?" the throbbings of her heart were obvious both to the eye and the ear.


WE mention this enchanting actress as the most perfect representative of Juliet that ever graced the stage. To a finely-proportioned form, a Grecian head and features exquisitely harmonized, was added a mind fully capable of conceiving the sublimity and terror of the concluding scenes in the character of Juliet. We see her still, as she moved in the light of her own loveliness through the more level business of the play. At first, all playfulness Queen Katharine.-Dr. Johnson, in a couver- and girlish vivacity; then, as in the garden scene, sation with Mrs. Siddons, said, that in his opinion her volatility of heart tinged with a shade of methis was the most perfect female character in the lancholy; the subtle fever of love stealing over her whole range of our drama. Until Mrs. Siddons fine countenance, now giving its roses a deeper made it peculiarly her own, it had never been ade- blush, and now leaving it as pale as monumental quately filled: she was the very being of the poet's marble. In a little while, the timid, fearful maiden fancy-grand, commanding, melancholy. Her plead- became, without any violence to the spectators was for the people against Wolsey's exactions feelings, the resolute, heroic woman; and, in one were most majestically delivered: but who can describe her excellence in the trial scene? Har-potion, not even Siddons, in her noblest moments scene, that in which Juliet swallows the sleeping los's picture may give an idea of her attitude of inspiration, could excel her. As she proceeded and action, but any attempt to depict the intellect with her terrible description of the horrors of the he displayed must be futile. The lion-like Eliza- tomb, the vault of the Capulets seemed to rise: beth, in the days of her glory, could not have uttered Tybalt, festering in his shroud, was no longer a anything more indicative of mental power than the dream of fancy; and the madness which usurped by Mrs. Siddons. The struggle of mind and matter, accounted for. Nothing could equal this, unless it line," Lord cardinal-to you I speak," as delivered the brain of the trembling Juliet, seemed amply of infirmity and fortitude, so wonderfully drawn in Katharine's last scene at Kimbolton, were never was her own acting, when on slowly awakening in the monument she becomes conscious of her situaeffectually given till painted by this highly-gifted tion; beholds Romeo just expiring; and, tired of the woman. As she reposed on her cushioned chair, world and its sorrows, ends her own in the friendly she would cause the pillows to be shifted with all arms of death.


The Stratford Jubilee.


upon the plan of Ranelagh, decorated with various devices. Transparencies were invented for the town-house, through which the poet's most striking characters were seen. A small old house, where Shakspeare was born, was covered over with a curious emblematical transparency; the subject was the sun struggling through clouds to enlighten the world; a figurative representation of the fate and fortunes of the much-beloved bard. The Jubilee lasted three days; during which time, entertainments of oratorios, concerts, pageants, fire-works, &c. were presented to a very brilliant and numerous company assembled from all parts of the kingdom. Many persons of the highest quality and rank, of both sexes, some of the most celebrated beauties of the age, and men distinguished for their genius and love of the elegant arts, thought themselves happy to fill the grand chorus of this high festival. Mr. Garrick's Ode on Shakspeare was that part of the general exhibition which most excited the regard, and gained the applause, of the candid and judicious part of the company.

The Amphitheatre, erected by Garrick for the Stratford Jubilee. WE quote from Murphy and Davies, some account of the Jubilee celebrated by Garrick in honour of the mighty dramatist whose productions he so nobly illustrated. Davies gives us the following information:-"The idea of a Jubilee, or grand festival in honour of Shakspeare, was reserved for Garrick. Not many years since, a wealthy clergyman purchased the house and gardens of Shakspeare, at Stratford-upon-Avon. A man of taste, in such a situation, would have congratulated himself on his good fortune; but the fuckless and ignorant owner trod the ground which had been cultivated by the first genius of the world, without feeling those warm emotions which arise in the breast of the generous enthusiast. The mulberry-tree, planted by the poet's own hand, became an object of dislike to the tasteless proprietor, because it overshadowed his window and rendered the house, as he thought, subject to damps and moisture. In an evil hour, the unhappy priest ordered it to be cut down. The people of Stratford, who had been taught to venerate everything which had belonged to Shakspeare, were seized with grief and astonishment when they were informed of the sacrilegious deed; and nothing less than the destruction of the offender, in the first transports of their rage, would satisfy them. The miserable culprit was forced to skulk up and down, to save himself from the rage of the Stratfordians. He was obliged at last to leave the town, amidst the curses of the populace, who solemnly vowed never to suffer one of the same name to reside in Stratford. The mulberry-tree, thus cut down, was purchased by a carpenter, [Skottowe says a watchmaker named Thos. Sharp] who, knowing the value which all the world professed for anything which belonged to Shakspeare, very ingeniously cut into various shapes, of small trunks, snuff-boxes, teachests, standishes, tobacco-stoppers, &c. The corporation bought several of this man's curious manufacture of the mulberry-tree; and influenced by good sense and superior taste, they enclosed the freedom of Stratford in a box made of this sacred wood, and sent it to Mr. Garrick; at the same time, they requested of him, in very polite terms, a bust, statue, or picture of his admired Shakspeare, which, they informed him, they intended to place in their town hall; they also begged him to oblige them with his own picture, to be placed near that of his favourite author, in lasting remembrance of both. This judicious compliment gave rise to the Shakspeare Jubilee. In September, 1769, an amphitheatre was erected at Stratford,

"The airs of this ode were set to music by Dr. Arne, who combined all the powers of harmony to do justice to the subject. The recitative was spoken by Mr. Garrick, with such grace, energy, and propriety, that music was, for the first time, compelled to yield the palm to the superior force and harmony of speaking. Though the wealthy and liberal part of the inhabitants of Stratford were truly sensible of the honour conferred upon them by this magnificent festival in commemoration of their townsman, the lower and more ignorant class of the people entertained the most preposterous and absurd notions of the Jubilee: they viewed Mr. Garrick with some degree of apprehension and terror; they considered him as a magician, and dreaded the effects of his wand, as strongly as the deluded populace did formerly, in the darkest days of ignorance, the power of witchcraft. Yet one thing must not be forgotten; though these sordid wretches were so stupid as to impate the violent rains which fell during the Jubilee, to the judgment and vengeance of heaven, which was by them supposed to be angry with the exhibition of fireworks, balls, assemblies, masquerades, and other public diversions, they took advantage of the vast crowds of people who flocked to Stratford from all parts of the kingdom, to exact the most exorbitant prices for lodgings, provisions, and every necessary article of accommodation."

All this might appear very grand and imposing

to Garrick and his contemporaries; but whether
from distance of time, or diminished enthusiasm,
to us the whole affair seems to verge on the ridicu-
lons. In this light the celebrated Foote viewed it;
for he intended to mimic the Stratford Jubilee at
the Haymarket, by introducing a mock procession
with a person, dressed like Garrick, at its head; a
crowd of underlings were to hail his appearance
with the well known lines:

"A nation's taste depends on you;
Perhaps a nation's virtue too :"

to which the pretended Roscius was to answer,

the Jubilee ended abruptly, and the company left the place with precipitation.

The Stratford Jubilee was, in October, transferred to Drury-lane. In order to give it a dramatic form, Garrick invented a comic fable, in which the inferior people of Stratford and the visitors were exhibited with great pleasantry. As it was never published, an exact account is not to be expected. We remember a scene in an inn-yard, with a postchaise standing at the remote end: when a crowd, after much diverting talk, withdrew from the place, a voice was heard from the inside of the chaise. Moody was within; he let down the blind, and, in Murphy's account of the Jubilee, is as follows: the character of an Irishman, complained, that not "In the course of the summer of 1769, Garrick being able to get a lodging, he was obliged to sleep devoted his hours to the completion of a design in his chaise. He then came forward amidst bursts which he had long meditated, and had much at heart. of applause; King soon joined him, and they two This was to give a grand jubilee to the memory of were the life of the piece. The dialogue throughout Shakspeare at Stratford-on-Avon, the birth-place was carried on in a vein of humour. The songs of our great poet. At that town all hands were set that had been heard at Stratford were, occasionally, to work. A boarded rotunda, in imitation of Rane-intermixed; and the whole concluded with a grand lagh, was erected on the banks of the river, and procession, in which Shakspeare's plays were many other decorations were displayed in various exhibited in succession, with a banner displayed parts of the town. On the 5th and 6th of Septem- before each of them, and a scene painted on the ber, a numerous concourse assembled from all parts canvas to mark the play intended. A train of of the country, and also from London. On the 7th, performers, dressed in character, followed the copublic worship was celebrated with great magnifi- lours, all in dumb shew, acting their respective cence. As soon as the religious ceremony was over, parts. Mrs. Abington, at last, in a triumphal car, the strangers went in crowds to read Shakspeare's represented the Comic Muse. Dr. Arne's music, epitaph over the door of the charnel at the east end the magnificence of the scenery and decorations, of the church. At three on the same day, the com- and the abilities of the actors, conspired to establish pany met in the rotunda, where a handsome dinner the entertainment in the public opinion in so powerwas provided. A little after five, the musical per-ful a manner, that we are assured, by a gentleman formers ascended the orchestra, and the songs, com- who has a collection of the playbills, that it was posed by Garrick, were sung with great applause. repeated no less than one hundred times in the Garrick closed the whole with an ode, upon dedi- course of the season. During the run of the piece, cating a building, and erecting a statue to Shak- Garrick, on several intermediate nights, ascended speare in bis native city. a pulpit raised on the stage, and there spoke his Ode to the Memory of Shakspeare in a style of graceful eloquence.'

"On the 8th of September, there was a splendid ball in the rotunda, and for the following day was announced a grand procession through the town, in which the principal characters in Shakspeare's plays were to be exhibited. It happened, however, that a violent tempest of wind and rain made it impossible to put this part of the scheme into execution;


THE most minute particulars relative to our great dramatist have a peculiar charm for his admirers; and anything, however insignificant, which time has hallowed with recollections of Shakspeare, becomes venerable from the force of association. Some traditions affirm that Anne Hathaway, Shakspeare's wife, was born at Shottery, a village in the vicinity of Stratford. The cottage where Anne's family resided, still stands: some time ago, there was a bed in it, which attracted great notice; an old woman of seventy was the chief witness in its favour, she had slept in it from childhood, and had been invariably told that it was as antient as the house, consequently, Shakspeare wight have slept in it. Large sums of money were repeatedly offered for this treasure; but in vain. During the celebration of Garrick's Jubilee, his brother George, purchased an inkstand, which the poet is said to have used, and a pair of fringed gloves, which it was assumed he had worn. David Garrick, notwithstanding all his enthusiasm for Shakspeare, was too careful of his purse to part with its contents for reliques, the genuineness of which was so questionable.

In the garden attached to New Place, flourished mulberry-tree, which the dramatist had planted with his own hands; and in 1742, when Garrick and Macklin visited 'Stratford, they were regaled beneath its venerable branches by sir Hugh Clopton; who, instead of pulling down New Place, according to Malone's assertion, repaired it and did

This dramatic piece was revived by Mr. Kemble, on the 23d of April, 1816, exactly two hundred years after the death of Shakspeare, but it was not very favourably received.


everything in his power for its preservation. The rev. Francis Gastrell purchased the building from sir Hugh Clopton's heir, and being disgusted with the trouble of shewing the mulberry-tree to so many visitors, he caused this interesting and beautiful memorial of Shakspeare, to be cut down.

In the recess of a chimney stood an old oak chair, which, for many years, received worshippers as numerous as the renowned shrine of the Virgin at Loretto. This relic was, in the year 1790, purchased by a Russian princess, and removed to London in a post-chaise.

The first folio edition of Shakspeare derives estimation from a variety of circumstances, and happy is the bibliopole who can rank among his treasures a genuine copy of this invaluable book. The original price of this work was £1; and the late Mr. Boswell, at the sale of the Kemble library, thought himself fortunate in obtaining that gentleman's folio Shakspeare for £112:7s.; it is probable, however, that Mr. Kemble had spent three times as much in illustrating it.

The best authenticated Shakspeare reliques were disposed of at the sale of Garrick's effects, in 1823. An auction took place at that great actor's residence in the Adelphi, on the 23d of June. His collection of pictures fetched a large sum, but the following lots are the only ones necessary to be noticed here:

An ink-stand, formed of the Stratford mulberry

tree; sold for 25: 15s: 6d. to Mr. Knowles. A


salt-cellar, made of delft-ware, which it is believed belonged to Shakspeare, sold for £2: 2s. to Mr. Webb.

A pair of gloves and a dagger, formerly worn by Shakspeare, said, on tolerably good grounds, to be authentic; sold for £3: 5s. Mrs. Garrick also bequeathed a pair of gloves, once worn by Shakspeare, to Mrs. Siddons; how are we to distinguish the genuine?

Å box, made of the mulberry-tree at Stratford, containing the freedom of Lichfield, presented to Mr. Garrick; £4: 10s. We have little confidence in the gloves, dagger, and salt-cellar: the box and ink-stand were certainly curious, and if composed of the true wood, acquire a value with every lover of genius.

A vase and pedestal of the most exquisite workmanship, formed of the mulberry-tree, planted by Shakspeare, curiously mounted and ornamented with silver gilt, and a finely polished black marble

base and steps, the pedestal containing a medallion of Shakspeare on the one side, and on the other the following inscription: "Sacred to the memory of William Shakspeare, the applause, delight, and wonder of the British stage, born 1564, died 1616," supported on a carved and partly gilt bracket, with a glass cover, sold for £22:11s: 6d. This vase was placed in the chamber in which Garrick slept. A singularly curious elbow-chair, enriched with the emblems of tragedy and comedy, admirably carved from a design by Hogarth, with a medallion of Shakspeare on the back, carved from a portion of the celebrated mulberry-tree, by Hogarth himself; sold for £152: 3s. This chair was always placed by the side of the statue of Shakspeare by Roubilliac, in the temple dedicated to the bard. A medallion portrait of Shakspeare, carved on a piece of the Stratford mulberry-tree, and originally worn by Garrick at the Jubilee, sold for £13.

Original Dedication and Preface to the Players' Edition.

The Dedication of the Players. Prefixed to the first

folio, 1623.

To the most Noble and Incomparable Paire of Brethren, William Earle of 'Pembroke, &c. Lord Chamberlaine to the Kings most Excellent Majesty. and Philip Earle of Montgomery, &c. Gentleman of his Majesties Bed-chamber. Both Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and our singular good Lords.

Right Honourable,

Whilst we studie to be thankful in our particular, for the many favors we have received from your L. L. we are falne upon the ill fortune, to mingle two the most diverse things that can bee, feare, and rashnesse; rashnesse in the enterprize, and feare of the successe. For, when we valew the places your H. H. sustaine, we cannot but know their dignity greater, then to descend to the reading of these trifles: and, while we name them trifles, we have depriv'd ourselves of the defence of our Dedication. But since your L. L. have been pleas'd to thinke these trifles some-thing, heeretofore; and have prosequuted both them, and their Authour living, with so much favour: we hope that (they out-living him, and he not having the fate, common with some, to be exequutor to his owne writings) you will use the same indulgence toward them, you have done unto their parent. There is a great difference, whether any booke choose his Patrones, or finde them: This hath done both. For, so much were your L. L. likings of the severall parts, when they were acted, as before they were published, the Volume ask'd to be yours. We have but collected them, and done an office to the dead, to procure bis Orphanes, Guardians; without ambition either of selfe-profit, or fame: onely to keepe the memory of so worthy a Friend, and Fellow alive, as was our SHAKESPEARE, by humble offer of his playes, to your most noble patronage. Wherein, as we have justly observed, no man to come neere your L. L. but with a kind of religious addresse, it hath bin the height of our care, who are the Presenters, to make the present worthy of your H. H. by the perfection. But, there we must also crave our abilities to be considered, my Lords. We cannot go be yond our owne powers. Country hands reach foorth milke, creame, fruites, or what they have and many Nations (we have heard) that had not gummes and incense, obtained their requests with a leavened Cake. It was no fault to approch their Gods by what meanes they could: And the most, though meanest, of things are made more precious, when they are dedicated to Temples. In that name there


fore, we most humbly consecrate to your H. H. these remaines of your servant SHAKESPEARE; that what delight is in them may be ever your L. L. the reputation his, and the faults ours, if any be committed, by a payre so carefull to shew their gratitude both to the living, and the dead, as is

Your Lordshippes most bounden,


The Preface of the Players. Prefixed to the first folio edition published in 1623.

To the great variety of Readers, From the most able, to him that can but spell: there you are number'd. We had rather you were weigh'd. Especially, when the fate of all Bookes depends upon your capacities: and not of your beads alone, but of your purses. Well! it is now publique, and you wil stand for your priviledges we know to read, and censure. Do so, but buy it first. That doth best commend a Booke, the Stationer saies. Then, how odde soever your braines be, or your wisedomes, make your licence the same, and spare not. Judge your sixe-pen'orth, your shillings worth, your five shillings worth at a time, or higher, so you rise to the just rates, and welcome. But, whatever you do, Buy. Censure will not drive a Trade, or make the Jacke go. And though you be a Magistrate of wit, and sit on the Stage at Black-Friers, or the Cock-pit, to arraigne Playes dailie, know, these Playes have had their triall alreadie, and stood out all Appeales; and do now come forth quitted rather by a Decree of Court, than any purchas'd Letters of commendation.

It had bene a thing, we confesse, worthie to have bene wished, that the Author himselfe had lived to have set forth, and overseen his owne writings; But since it hath bin ordain'd otherwise, and he by death departed from that right, we pray you, doe not envie his Friends, the office of their care and paine, to have collected and publish'd them; and so to have publish'd them, as where (before) you were abus'd with divers stolne, and surreptitious copies, maimed and deformed by the frauds and stealthes of injurious impostors, that expos'd them: even those are now offer'd to your view cur'd, and perfect of their limbes; and all the rest, absolute in their numbers, as he conceived the: Who, as he was a happie imitator of Nature, was a most gentle expresser of it. His mind and hand went together: and what he thought, he uttered with that easinesse, that wee have scarse received from him a blot in his papers. But it is not our province, who onely gather his works, and give them you, to praise him.

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