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cheek of modesty, or render it necessary for the reader to pause, and examine the sequel, before he proceeds further in the entertainment of the evening.
But though many erasures have for this purpose been made in the writings of Shakspeare in the present edition, the reader may be assured that not a single line, nor even the half of a line, has in any one instance been added to the original text. I know the force of Shakspeare, and the weakness of my own pen, too well, to think of attempting the smallest interpolation. In a few, but in very few instances, one or two words (at the most three) have been inserted to connect the sense of what follows the passage that is expunged, with that which precedes it. The few words which are thus added, are connecting particles, words of little moment, and in no degree affecting the meaning of the author, or the story of the play. A word that is less objectionable is sometimes substituted for a synonymous word that is improper.
In the following work I have copied the text of the last edition of the late Mr. Steevens. This I have done so scrupulously as not to have allowed myself to alter either the words or the punctuation. Othello's speech, for example, in the second scene of the fifth act, will be found as it is in Mr. Steevens, and in the old editions of Shakspeare, not as it is usually spoken on the stage. I do not presume to enter into any critical disputes as to certain readings of Judean, or Indian ; May, or Way of Life; or any thing of that nature, respecting which many persons of superior abilities have entertained contrary opinions. The Glossarial Notes' (as they are termed) are taken from the edition of 1803.
My great objects in this undertaking are to remove from the writings of Shakspeare some defects which diminish their value, and at the same time to present to the public an edition of his plays, which the parent, the guardian, and the instructor of youth may place without fear in the hands of the pupil; and from which the pupil may derive instruction as well as pleasure ; may improve his moral principles while he refines his taste; and without incurring the danger of being hurt with any indelicacy of expression, may learn in the fate of Macbeth, that even a kingdom is dearly purchased, if virtue be the price of the acquisition.
THOMAS BOWDLER. RHYDDINGS, April 10. 1820.
The editor having been blamed for inserting in the former edition of this work, the theatre copy of Measure 'for Measure, has in this instance, as in all the other plays, had recourse to his own pen, endeavouring to render that comedy as little objectionable as it can be rendered, without destroying its great beauties, which are closely interwoven with its numerous defects.
Alonso, king of Naples.
Master of a ship, Boatswain, and Mariners.
MIRANDA, daughter to Prospero.
Other spirits attending on Prospero.
Scene, the sea, with a ship; afterwards an unin
ACT THE FIRST.
Or à Ship at Sea.
A Storm with Thunder and Lightning.
Enter a Ship-master and a Boatswain.
Mast. Good: Speak to the mariners: fall to't yarely,'or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir.
[Exit. Enter Mariners. Boats. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my hearts ; yare, yare: Take in the top-sail; Tend to the master's whistle. - Blow, till thou burst thy wind, if room enough!
Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDI
NAND, GONZALO, and others. Alon. Good boatswain, have care.
Where's the master ? Play the men.
Boats. I pray now, keep below.