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His Royal Highness GEORGE Prince of WALES.



If this Edition of the immortal Shakspere possesses any merit in preference to it's predecessors, it may be attributed to the influence of your illustrious patronage; on its first being offered to the world, YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS was s graciously pleased to countenance the under taking, & it thence became more eminently my duty,& my to spare neither care nor expence in the execution of the work.. If I have fortunately succeeded so far as to render it in any degree worthy Your Royal attention & approbation, Ishall think myself happy being fir

British Library


most dutiful & devoted Servant, John Bell.

London Printed 1March 1788, for J.BELL, British Library, Strand.



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AFTER the many PREFACES contained in the subsequent pages, it will be sufficient to observe, of this Edition, that neither pains nor expence have been spared, to render it superior to every other. In point of exterior, it is believed, that it hath as yet no rival, either in ornaments, printing, or paper. In respect to its contents, it will be seen, that the Prolegomena have been diffe-rently arranged, and considerably augmented; the Text given with accuracy from the best readings; and the Annotations not only retrenched, where futile or needless, but interspersed with a variety of new illustrations. The present Editor hath presumed to deviate from the usual mode of printing the Author's name, by the omission of the letter a in the last syllable, viz. SHAKSPERE for SHAKSPEARE; but he thinks himself warranted in this alteration, by the fac simile of the AUTHOR'S subscription to his Will, as well as by the invariable custom of entering the names of his family in the Register-Book of the Parish of Stratford-uponAvon. The ancient method of spelling the partial derivation of the name will equally justify the present


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