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In this preface to Hamlet, Hudson justifies some of his practices in editing school editions of Shakespeare. He begins by explaining that he believes footnotes should be on every page instead of collected together as endnotes "because ample experience has assured [him] ... that whatever of explanation young students need ... is much better every way when placed directly under the eye (iii). He also thinks that footnotes should be brief, excluding "all matter but what appeared fairly needful or useful" (iii). He complains of those texts where the footnote takes up more page space than the actual Shakespearean text. Such ideas about footnotes are common yet today amongst those writing about the teaching of Shakespeare in schools. He also justifies including a body of critical notes at the end of the play; this too should be limited to only that which is most interesting and of most immediate use to young people (v). He also complains that teachers and administrators are overly preoccupied with making students be conscious of learning, that "we seem to have got stuck fast in the strange notion, that children are never learning any thin unless they are conscious of it" (viii). He argues that such an emphasis upon this consciousness of learning is unhealthy for children and particularly so in the learning of Shakespeare; he writes, "Shakespeare, above all other others, should be allowed to teach as Nature teaches, else he ought not to be used as a textbook at all" (xii). Hudson's reaction is largely one against the use of Shakespeare in the teaching of elocution, a study extremely influential in bringing Shakespeare into the curriculum some decades before Hudson, but a subject which was dying out by the time Hudson was writing. He laments that "too much time and strength are spent in mere word-mongering and lingual dissection" and that "we are now chiefly intent on educating people into talkers" (xiv). He argues that "teachers are to be found attending very disproportionately ... to questions of grammar, etymology, rhetoric, and the mere technicalities of speech; thus sticking for ever in the husk of language, instead of getting through into the kernel of matter and thought," and adds that "a constant dissecting of his words and syllable just chokes off all passage of his blood into the pupil's mind" (xiv). He concludes that it is "a sin to use him so; for such use can hardly fail to breed a distaste for him and an aversion to him" (xiv - xv). Hudson, though, was far from an early advocate for performance-based methods and certainly did not argue for teaching visual art alongside Shakespeare (though it is pertinent to point out that many of the great picture books of Shakespeare - such as Rackham's and Robinson's would not even have been published until after Hudson's time). In his rebuttal against exercises in elocution, he harshly explains that "I have never had and never will have any thing but simple exercises; the pupils reading the author under the teacher's direction, correction, and explanation" and that "it is a joint communing of teacher and pupils with the author for the time being; just that, and nothing more" (xvii). It is curious to wonder, 130 years later, whether Hudson today would approve of having his pupils stand to read, dress up, move about the room as actors might, or even to look at paintings and drawings and allow them into his classroom sanctuary of teacher, pupil, and author.