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bears the character of a man of sense, makes the fol. lowing reflection : How every fool en play upon a word! I think the best grace of wit will shortly turn into silenge, and discourse grow commendable in none but parrots. He could hardly have found stronger words to express his indignation at those false pretences to wit then in vogue ; and therefore though such trash is frequently interspersed in his writings, it would be unjust to cast it as an imputation upon his taste and judginent and, character as a writer.
There being many words in Shakspere which are grown out of use and obsolete, and many borrowed from other languages which are not enough naturalized or known among us, a glossary is added at the end of the work, for the explanation of all those terins which have hitherto been so many stumbling-blocks to the generality of readers; and where there is any obscurity in the text, not arising from the words, but from a reference to some antiquated customs now forgotten, or other causes of that kind, a note is put at the bot." tom of the page, to clear up the difficulty.
With these several helps, if that rich vein of sense which runs through the works of this author can be retrieved in every part, and brought to appear in its true light, and if it may be hoped, without presumption, that this is here efteted; they who love and admire him will receive a new pleasure, and all probably will be more ready to join in doing him justice, who does great honour to his country as a rare and perhaps a singular genius; one who hath attained an
high degree of perfection in those two great branches of poetry, tragedy and comedy, different as they are in their natures from each other; and who may be said without partiality to have equalled, if not excelled, in both kinds, the best writers of any age or country, who have thought it glory enough to disa tinguish themselves in either.
Since, therefore, other nations have taken care to dignify the works of their most celebrated poets with the fairest impressions beautified with the ornaments of sculpture, well may our Shaksperę be thought to deserve no less consideration: and as a fresh acknowJedgment hath lately been paid to his merit, and a high regard to his name and memory, by erecting his statue at a publick expence; so it is desired that this new edition of his works, which hath cost some attention and care, may be looked upon as another small monuiment designed and dedicated to his hanour.