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To the Reader.

This Figure, that thou here seeft put,

It was for gentle Shakespeare cut; Wherein the Grauer had a strife

with Nature, to out-doo the life : O, could he but haue drawne his wit

As well in brasse, as he hath hit His face ; the Print would then surpasse

All, that vvas euer vvrit in braffe. But, fince he cannot, Reader, looke

Not on his Picture, but his Booke.

ر

B. I.

SHAKESPEARES

COMEDIES,
HISTORIES, &
TRAGEDIES.

Published according to the True Originall Copies.

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LONDON
Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed. Blount. 162 3.

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TO THE MOST NOBLE

AND
INCOMPARABLE PAIRE

OF BRETHREN.

VVL LI AM Earle of Pembroke, &c. Lord Chamberlaine to the Kings moft Excellent Maiesty.

AND

PHILIP
Earle of Montgomery,&c. Gentleman of his Maiesties
Bed-Chamber. Both Knights of themoft Noble Order
of the Garter, and our fingular good

LOR DS.
Right Honourable,

Hilst we studie to be thankful in our particular , for
the many fauors we haue receiued from your L.L
We are falne upon the ill fortune , to mingle
two the most diuerse things that can bee , feare,

and rashnesse; rashnesse in the enterprize , and feare of the successe. For, when we valem the places your H.H. Justaine , we cannot but know their dignity greater, then to descend to the reading of these trifles : and, vvhile we name them trifles, we haue depriu'd our selues of the defence of our Dedication. But since your L.L. haue beene pleas'd to thinke these trifles fome-thing , beeretofore ; and baue profequuted both them, and their Authour liuing, vvith so much fauour: We hope, that (they out-liuing him, and he not hauing the fate, common with some, to be exequutor to his owne writings ) you will vse the like indulgence toward them , you baue done

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For,

vnto their parent. There is a great difference, bvhether any Booke choose bis Patrones, or finde them : This hath done both. so much were your L L. likings of the feuerall parts, bohen they were acted, as before they vvere published, the Volume ask'd to be

yours. We haue but collected them, and done an office to the dead, to procure bis Orphanes, Guardians; vvithout ambition either of selfe-profit, or fame : onely to keepe the memory of so worthy a Friend, & Fellow aliue, as was our S HA KES PEARE, by humble offer of his playes, to your most noble patronage. Wherein, as De haue iuftly obserued, no man to come neere your L.L. but vvith a kind of religious addresse ;it bath bin the height of our care, vuho are the Presenters, to make the present worthy of your H.H. by the perfection. But, there we must also craue our abilities to be considerd, my Lords. We cannot go beyond our owne powers. Country hands reach foorth milke, creame, fruites, or what they haue : and many Nations (me haue heard) that had not gummes & incense , obtained their requests with a leauened Cake. It boas no fault to approch their Gods, by what meanes they could: And the most, though meanest, of things are made more precious, when they are dedicated to Temples. In that name therefore, we most humbly consecrate to your H. H. these remaines of your seruant Shakespeare ; that what delight is in them, may be euer your L.L. the reputation bis, & the faults ours, if any be committed, by a payre so carefull to them their gratitude both to the liuing, and the dead, as is

Your Lordshippes most bounden,

IOHN HEMINGE.
HENRY CON DEL L.

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