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KING RICHARD III.
Vignette by Moreau. 26
Pages Vol. 17. TIMON OF ATHENS. Vignette by Moreau. 92,"
Vignette by Loutherbourg.
Vignette by Loutherbourg. 81 · Vol 18. HAMLET.
Vignette by moreau Vol. 19. TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.
Character. • OTHELLO.
Character. 1'01. 20. CYMBELINE.
ALPHABETICAL LIST OF THE PLAYS.
As You Like It
7 King Lear
Much Ado About Nothin
Measure for Measure Cymbeline.
20 Midsummer Night's Dream Hamlet
18 Merchant of Venice fulius Cæsar
16 Macbeth King John
II Romeo and Juliet
12 Twelfth Night
14 Taming of the Shrew - Henry 8th.
as Winter's Tale
PREFACE OF THE PLAYERS
to their Edition in Folio, 1623.
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 heads alone, but of your purses. Well! it is now publique, and you will 'stand for your priviledges, we know, to read, and censure. Doe so, but buy it first. That doth best commend a booke, the stationer saies. Then, how odde soever your braineş be, or your wisedomes, make your licence the same, and spare not. Judge your sixepen'orth, your shillings worth, your five shillings worth at a time, or higher, so you rise to the just Aij
rates, and welcome. But, whatever you doe, buy. Censure will not drive a trade, or make the jacke goe. And though you be a magistrate of wit, and sit on the stage at Black-Friars, or the Cock-Pit, to arraigne plays dayly, know, these playes have had their triall already, 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 been wished, that the author himself had liv'd to have set forth, and overseen his owne writings; but since it hath been ordained otherwise, and he by death departed from that right, we pray you do not envy his friends, the office of their care and paine, to have collected and published them; and so to have published them, as where (before) you were: abused with divers stolne and surreptitious copies, maimed and deformed by the frauds and stealths of injurious impostors, that exposed them: even those are now offered to your view cured, and perfect of their limbes; and all the rest; absolute in their numbers as he conceived them. Who, as he was a happy imitator of nature, was a most gentle expresser of it. His minde and hand went together: and what he thought, he uttered with that easinesse, that wee have scarce received from him a blot in his papers. But it is not our province who onely gather his workes, and give them you, to praise him. It is yours that reade him. And there we hope, to your divers capacities, you will finde enough, both to draw, and hold you: for his wit can no more lie
hid, than it could be lost. Reade him, therefore; and againe, and againe : and if then you doe not like him, surely you are in some manifest danger, not to understand him. And so we leave you to other of his friends, who, if you need, can be your guides : if you need them not, you can leade yourselves, and others. And such readers we wish him.
John HEMING E. HENRIE CONDELL