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THE ADDRESS TO THE READER
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.
PREFIXED TO THE FOLIO OF 1C23.
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
Shake-speare, at length thy pious fellowes give
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.
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.
"Renowned Spenser, lie a thought more nigh
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,
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,
Paccuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead,
In his well-torned and true-filed lings:
That so did take Eliza and our James!
And despaires day, but for thy Volumes light.
Upon the Lines and Life of the Famous
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,
A Catalogue of the severall Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies contained in this Volume.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
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.
The Life and Death of Julius Caesar.
Othello, the Moore of Venice.
ADDITIONAL COMMENDATORY POEMS
PREFIXED TO THE FOLIO EDITION OF 1632.
Upon the Effigies of my worthy Friend,
Spectator, this Life's Shaddow is ; To see
An Epitaph on the admirable Dramalicke Poet,
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
* 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,
And lowder tone of Clio; nimble hand,
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
Now, when they could no longer him enjoy,
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.