To the great Variety of Readers.

From the most able, to him that can but spell: There you are number'A We had rather you were weighd. 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, & you wil stand for your priviledges wee know: to read and censure. Do so, but buy it first. That doth best commend a Bookc, the Stationer sales. 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 Jackc go. And though you be a Magistrate of wit, and sit on the Stage at Black-Friers, or the Cock-pit to arraigne Playes dailic, 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, then any purchas'd Letters of commendation.

It had bene a thing, we confesse, worthie to have bene wished, that the Author himsclfe had liv'd 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 do not envie his Friends, the office of their care, and paine, to have collected & publish'd them; and so to have publish'd them, as where (before) you were abus'd with diverse stolne, and surreptitious copies, maimed, and deformed by the frauds and stealthes of injurious impostors, that expos'd them: even those, are now offered 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 casinesse, that wee have scarce received from him a blot in his papers. But it is not our province, who onelie gather his works, and give them you, to praise him. It is yours that reade him. And there we hope, to your divers capacities, you will find enough, both to draw, and hold you : for his wit can no more lie hid, then it could be lost. Reade him, therefore; and againe, and againc: 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, whom if you need, can bee your guides: if you neede them not, you can lcade yourselves, and others. And such Readers we wish him.

John Heminge,
Heniue Condell.



To the Reader."

This Figure, that thou here seest put,

It was for gentle Shakespeare cut;

Wherein the Graver had a strife

With Nature, to out-doo the life:

0, could he but have drawne his wit

As well in brass, as he hath hit

His face; the print would then surpasse

All, that was ever writ in brasse,

But, since he cannot, Reader, looke

Not on his Picture, but his Booke.—B. J.

To The Memorie of the deceased Authour
Mauler W. Shakespeare.

Shake-speare, at length thy pious fellowes give
The world thy Workes: thy Workcs, by which,

out-live Thy Tombe, thy name must: when that stone is

rent, And Time dissolves thy Stratford Moniiuent, Here we alive shall view thee still. This booke, When Brasse and Marble fade, shall make thee

looke Fresh to all Ages ; when Posteritie Shall loath what's new, thiuke all is prodegie That is not Shake-speares; ev'ry Line, each Verse, Here shall revive, redeeme thee from thy Herse. Xor Fire, nor cankring Age, as Naso said, Of his, thy wit-fraught Booke shall once invade. Nor shall I e're beleeve, or thinke thee dead (Though mist) until our bankrout Stage be sped (Impossible) with some new strain t'out-do Passions of Juliet, and her Romeo; Or till I heare a Scene more nobly take, Then when thy half-Sword parlying Romans spake, Till these, till any of thy Volumes rest, Shall with more tire, more feeling be exprest, Be sure, our Shakespeare, thou canst never dye, But crown'd with Lawrell, live eternally.

L. Dioges.

To the Memurie </M. W. Shakespeare.

Wee wondred (Shakespeare) that thou went'st so

soone From the Worlds-Stage to the Graves-Tyring


j line*, written by Ben Jonson, refer to, and are placed

Taiie, the engraved portrait of Shakespeare in the tin" folio.
Joru-n here alludes to trie following line by W. Basse,
voice were for home time attributed to Donne, and printed
«K»g hi* poema:—

"Renowned Spenser, lie a thought more nigh
To learned Chaucer; and, rare Beaumont, lie
A ht:le nearer Spenser; to make room
For Shakespeare in your threefold four-fold tomb:
To lodge all four in one bed make a shift

Wee thought thee dead, but this thy printed

worth, Tels thy Spectators, that thou went'st but forth To enter with applause. An Actor's Art Can dye, and live to acte a second part. That's but an Exit of Mortalitie; This, a Re-entrance to a Plaudite.—I. M.

To the memory of my beloved, the Author,

Mr. William Shakespeare,

and what he hath left us.

To draw no envy (Shakespeare) on thy name,
Am I thus ample to thy Booke and Fame;
While I confess thy writings to be such,
As neither Man nor Muse can praise too much.
'Tis true, and all men's suffrage. But these wayes
Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise;
For seeliest Ignorance ou these may light,
Which, when it sounds at best, but eccho's right;
Or blind Affection, which doth ue're advance
The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance;
Or crafty Malice might pretend this praise,
And thinke to ruine where it seem'd to raise.
These are, as some infamous Baud or Whore
Should praise a Matron:—what could hurt her

But thou art proofe against them, and, indeed,
Above th' ill fortune of them, or the nued.
I, therefore, will begin. Soule of the Age!
The applause! delight! the wonder of our Stage!
My Shakespeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by b
Chaucer or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lye
A little further, to make thee a room :
Thou art a Moniment, without a tombe,
And art alive still, while thy Booke doth live,
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
That I not miss thee so, my braine excuses,—
I meane with great, but disproportion'd Muses;
For if I thought my judgement were of yeeres,
I should commit thee surely with thy peeres,
And tell, how farro thou didst our Lily out-shine,
Or sporting Kid, or Marlowe's mighty line.
And though thou hadst small Latino, and lesse

Greeke, From thence to honour thee, I would not seeke For names; but call forth thund'ring .Eschilus, Euripides, and Sophocles to us,

Until doomsday; for hardly will a fifth,
lietwixt this day and that, by fate be slain.
For whom your curtains may be drawn again.
But if precedency in death doth bar
A fourth place in your sacred sepulchre,
Under this carved marble of thine own,
Sleep, rare tragedian, Shakespeare, sleep alone:
Thy unmolested peace, unshared cave,
Possess as lord, not tenant, of thy grave;
That unto us and others it may be
Honour hereafter to be laid by thee."

Paccuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead,
To life againe, to heare thy Buskin tread
And shake a Stage: Or, when thy Sockes were on,
Leave thee alone for the comparison
Of all that insolent Greece or haughtie Rome
Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come.
Triumph, my Britaine! thou hast one to showe,
To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age, but for all time!
And all the Muses still were in their prime,
When, like Apollo, he came forth to warme
Our eares, or like a Mercury to charme!
Nature herself was proud of his designes,
And joy'd to weare the dressing of his lines!
Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit,
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other Wit.
The merry Greeke, tart Aristophanes,
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please;
But antiquated and deserted lye,
As they were not of Nature's family.
Yet must I not give Nature all; thy Art,
My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part:
For though the Poets matter, Nature be,
His Art doth give the fashion. And, that he,
Who casts to write a living line, must sweat
(Such as thine are) and strike the second heat
Upon the Muses anvile: turne the same,
(And himselfe with it) that he thinkes to frame;
Or, for the lawrell, he may gain a scorne,—
For a good Poet's made, as well as borne.
And such wert thou. Looke how the father's face
Lives in his issue, even so the race
Of Shakespeares minde and manners brightly

In his well-torned and true-filed lings:
In each of which, he seemed to shake a Lance,
As brandish't at the eyes of Ignorance.
Sweet Swan of Avon! what a sight it were
To see thee in our waters yet appear,
And make those flights upon the bankes of

That so did take Eliza and our James!
But stay, I see thee in the Hemisphere
Advanced, and made a Constellation there!
Shine forth, thou Starre of Poets, and with rage
Or influence, chide or cheere the drooping Stage;
Which, since thy flight frO hence, hath mouru'd
like night,

And despaires day, but for thy Volumes light.


Upon the Lines and Life of the Famous
Scenicke Poet,
Master William Shakespeare.

Those hands which you so clapt, go now and wring,

You Britaines brave; for done are Shakespeare's dayes:

His dayes are done, that made the dainty Playes Which make the Globe of heav'n and earth to ring.

Dr/de is that veine, dry'd is the Thespian Spring, Turn'd all to teares, and Phmbus clouds his rayes: That corps, that coffin, now besticke those bayes,

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A Catalogue of the severall Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies contained in this Volume.


The Tempest.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Measure for Measure.
The Comedy of Errours.
Much adoo about Nothing.
Loves Labour lost.
Midsommer Nights Dreame.
The Merchant of Venice.
As You Like It.
The Taming of the Shrew.
All is Well, that Ends Well.
Twelfe-Night, or What You Will
The Winters Tale.


The Life and Death of King John.

The Life and Death of Richard the Second.

The First Part of King Henry the Fourth.

The Second Part of K. Henry the Fourth.

The Life of King Henry the Fift.

The First Part of King Henry the Sixt.

The Second Part of King Hen. the Sixt.

The Third Part of King Henry the Sixt.

The Life and Death of Richard the Third.

The Life of King Henry the Eight.


The Tragedy of Coriolanus.
Titus Audronicus.
Romeo and Juliet.
Timon of Athens.

The Life and Death of Julius Caesar.
The Tragedy of Macbeth
The Tragedy of Hamlet.
King Lear.

Othello, the Moore of Venice.
Anthony and Cleopater.
Cymbeline King of Britaine.



Upon the Effigies of my worthy Friend,
the Author,
Master William Shakespeare,
and his Workes.

Spectator, this Life's Shaddow is ; To see
The truer image and a livelier he,
Turne Reader. But, observe his Comicke vaine,
Laugh, and proceed next to a Tragicke straine,
Then weep, So when thou find'st two contraries,
Two different passions from thy rapt soule rise,
Say, (who alone effect such wonders could)
Rare Shakespeare to the life thou dost behold.

An Epitaph on the admirable Dramalicke Poet,
W. Shakespeare?

WHATneede my Shakespeare for his honour"d bones

The labour of an Age in piled stones,

Or that his hallow'd Reliques should be hid

Under a star-ypointing Pyramid?

Dear Sonne of Memory, great Heire of Fame,

What needst thou such dull witness of thy Name?

Thou in our wonder and astonishment

Hast built thyselfe a lasting Monument:

For whilst, to th' shame of slow-endevouring Art,

Thy easie numbers flow, and that each heartc

Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued d Booke

Those Del phicke Lineswith deep Impression tooke;

Then thou, our fancy of herself bereaving,

Dost make us Marble with too much conceiving;

And, so Sepulcher'd, in such pompe dost lie,

That Kings for such a Tombe would wish to die.

On Worthy Master Shakespeare and his Poems.

A Mind reflecting ages past, whose cleere
And equall surface can make things appeare
Distant a Thousand yeares, and represent

* Troilnt and Creuida although not found in this list, i« yet inserted in the collection. From this circumstance, and because the play has only one leaf paged, the figures of which, 79 and Mr, do not correspond, any more than the signatures, with the preceding and following pages, Farmer inferred that the insertion of Troilus and Creuida was an after-thought of Heming and Condell. Its omission from the Catalogue may be accounted for by the supposition that the folio was printed off

Them in their lively colours, just extent.

To out-run hasty Time, retrive the fates,

Rowle backe the heavens, blow ope the iron gates

Of Death and Lethe, where (confused) lye

Great heapes of ruinous mortalitie.

In that deepe duskie dungeon to discerne

A royal Ghost from Churles ; By art to leame

The Physiognomie of shades, and give

Them suddaine birth, wondring how oft they live;

What story coldly tells, what Poets faine

At second hand, and picture without braine,

Senselesse and soullesse showes. To give a Stage

(Ample and true with life) voice, action, age,

As Plato's yeare and new Scene of the world

Them unto us, or us to them had hurld:

To raise our auueient Soveraignes from their herse,

Make Kings his subjects; by exchanging verse'

Eulive their pale trunkos, that the present age

Joyes in their joy, and trembles at their rage:

Yet so to temper passion, that our eares

Take pleasure in their paine: And eyes in teares

Both weepe and smile: fearefull at plots so sad,

Then, laughing at our fearo; abus'd, and glad

To be abus'd; affected with that truth

Which we perceive is false ; pleas'd in that ruth

At which we start; and by elaborate play

Tortur'd and tickled; by a crablike way

Time past made pastime, and in ugly sort

Disgorging up his ravaine for our sport

While the Plebeian Impe, from lofty throne,

Creates and rules a world, and workes upon

Mankind by secret engines; Now to move

A chilling pitty, then a rigorous love:

To strike up and stroake down, both joy and ire;

To steere th' affections; and by heavenly fire

Mould us anew. Stolne from ourselves

This, and much more which cannot bee express'd But by himselfe, his tongue, and his own brest, Was Shakespeare's freehold; which his cunning braine

Improv'd by favour of the nine-fold traine,
The buskind Muse, the Commicke Queene, the

And lowder tone of Clio; nimble hand,
And nimbler foote of the melodious paire,
The silver-voyced Lady; the most faire
Calliope, whose speaking silence daunts,
And she, whose praise the heavenly body chants.
These jointly woo'd him, envying one another,
(Obey'cl by all as spouse, but lov'd as brother),
And wrought a curious robe of sable grave,
Fresh greene, and pleasant yellow, red most brave,
And constant blew, rich purple, guiltlesse white,
The lowly Russet, and the Scarlet bright;
Branch'd and embroidred like the painted Spring,
Each leafe match'd with a flower, and each string
Of golden wire, each line of silke; there run
Italian workes whose thred the Sisters spun;

before the player editors had purchased the right of publishing it from Honian and Whalley, who brought out the quarto impression in 1609.

b These famous lines are Milton's.

c The folio reads part, an obvious misprint for "heart," the word found in the edition of Milton's Minor Poems, 1645. d — unvalued—] IncMmablt.

And there did sing, or seeme to sing, the choyce
Birdes of a forraine note and various voyce.
Here hangs a mossey rocke; there playes a faire
But chiding fountaine, purled: Not the ayre,
Nor cloudes nor thunder, but were living drawne,
Not out of common Tiffany or Lawne,
But fine materials, which the Muses know,
And onely know the countries where they grow.

Now, when they could no longer him enjoy,
In mortall garments pent, " death may destroy,"
They say, "his body, but his verse shall live,
And more then nature takes, our hands shall give.

a The author of this magnificent tribute to the genius of Shakespeare is unknown. By some writers it has been ascribed to Milton; by others to Jasper Mayne; Mr. Boaden conjectured it was from the pen of George Chapman; and the Rev. Joseph

In a lesse volume, but more strongly bound, Shakespeare shall breathe and speak, with Laurell

crown'd Which never fades. Fed with Ambrosian meato In a well-lyned vesture, rich and neate."

So with this robe they cloath him, bid him

weare it, For time shall never stainc, nor envy tcare it.

The friendly admirer of his Endowments,

I. M. S."

Hunter suggests the probability that the writer was Richard James, author of a poem called Iter Lancastreme, and that the initials I. M. S. represented IaMeS.

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