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SEVERAL years have elapsed since two plays of Shakspeare, King Lear and Cymbeline, accompanied by the remarks of various commentators, together with some observations of his own, were presented to the public by an anonymous editor, the person who now offers to their acceptance two others of the productions of the same poet, and illustrated in the same manner : Some unpropitious accidents attending their publication prevented the former of these from being favoured with such a degree of general notice as, under more auspicious circumstances, he ventures to flatter himself, they might, possibly, have obtained; of these it would, at the present moment, be as fruitless to complain, as uninteresting to the reader to be made acquainted with their origin and peculiar nature. He upon that occasion delivered so particular an account of his design, and the motives which prompted its execution, that to expatiate, at present, upon that subject, would, to those who thought

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his former attempt deserving of their attention, prove altogether superfluous, and with respect to persons of an opposite description, he has little reason to imagine that any thing which he could now advance, would contribute, in any considerable degree, to influence their judgment in his favour: Some, possibly, there are, from whom the obscurity, in which his preceding Essay so long lay buried, may have entirely concealed the knowledge of it, and these he begs to refer for information to that source which is now open for their inspection: Whatever of that nature, it would, at the present period, be in his power to communicate, would be little more than a repetition of matter varied, at most, perhaps, a little in the expression: One or two particulars, however, there are, which he cannot prevail upon himself to conclude without taking notice of And first-as he has reason for suspecting that the notes, upon the former occasion, were, in some instances, perhaps, a little too much swelled out, he has upon this, endeavoured to retrench their number and their length, and where he was apprehensive of their appearing tedious in company with the text, cast them into an Appendix: If they should still be thought too numerous, or, in some cases, unnecessary, he wishes it



ing to obtrude upon the public, under a n and fallacious form, illustrations of which th have, long since been in the possession. is now, a second time, about to try his fortu in appearing before them as a critic, and editor: That their approbation would affo him pleasure, he will not attempt to disser ble; but, at the same time, should his effo fail of the success to which he has aspire his consolation will be, that while, from t prosecution of his purpose, he derived son amusement, the time bestowed upon it wa at least, innocently employed, and, his e pectations never having been sanguine, b disappointment will be proportionally light.


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