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THE

PLAYS

OF

WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE,

ACCURATELY PRINTED FROM

THE TEXT OF MR. STEEVENS'S LAST EDITION,

WITH

A SELECTION OF THE MOST IMPORTANT NOTES.

IN EIGHT VOLUMES.

VOLUME VIII.

CONTAINING

KING LEAR;

ROMEO AND JULIET;

HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK
OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE.

LONDON:

B. LAW,

PRINTED FOR T.LONGMAN,
C. DILLY, J. JOHNSON,
G. G. AND J. ROBINSON, R. BALDWIN, H. L. GARDNER,
J. SEWELL, W. RICHARDSON, J. NICHOLS, F. AND C.RIVINGTON,
T.PAYNE, JUN. R. FAULDER, W. LOWNDES, B. AND J.WHITE,
G. AND T. WILKIE, J. AND J. TAYLOR, J. SCATCHERD,
T. EGERTON, E. NEWBERY, W. BENT, J.WALKER, W. CLARKE
AND SON, J. BARKER, J. EDWARDS, D. OGILVY AND SON,
J.CUTHELL, J. NUNN, J. ANDERSON, J. LACKINGTON AND CO.
T. KAY, J.DEIGHTON, W. MILLER, VERNOR AND HOOD, CADELL
AND DAVIES, MURRAY AND HIGHLEY, AND LEE AND HURST.

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The ftory of this tragedy had found its way into many ballads and other metrical pieces; yet Shakfpeare seems to have been more indebted to The True Chronicle Hiftory of King Leir and bis Three Daughters, Gonorill, Ragan, and Cordella, 1605, (which I have already published at the end of a collection of the quarto copies) than to all the other performances together. It appears from the books at Stationers' Hall, that fome play on this fubject was entered by Edward White, May 14, 1594. "A booke entituled, The mofte famous Chronicle Hyftorie of Leire King of England, and bis three Daughters." A piece with the fame title is entered again, May 8, 1605; and again Nov. 26, 1607. See the extracts from thefe Entries at the end of the Prefaces, &c. Vol. I. From The Mirror of Magiftrates, 1587, Shakspeare has, however, taken the hint for the behaviour of the Steward, and the reply of Cordelia to her father concern. ing her future marriage. The episode of Glofter and his fons must have been borrowed from Sidney's Arcadia, as I have not found the least trace of it in any other work. I have referred to these pieces, wherever our author feems more immediately to have followed them, in the course of my notes on the play. For the firft King Lear, fee likewife Six old Plays on which Shakspeare founded, &c. published for S. Leacroft, Charing-Crofs.

The reader will alfo find the flory of K. Lear, in the second book and 10th canto of Spenfer's Faery Queen, and in the 15th chapter of the third book of Warner's Albion's England, 1602.

The whole of this play, however, could not have been written till after 1603. Harfnet's pamphlet to which it contains fo many references, (as will appear in the notes) was not published till that year. STEEVENS.

Camden, in his Remains, (p. 306. ed. 1674,) tells a fimiliar ftory to this of Leir or Lear, of Ina king of the Weft Saxons; which, if the thing ever happened, probably was the real origin of the fable. See under the head of Wife Speeches. PERCY.

The ftory told by Camden in his Remaines, 4to. 1695, is this :-Ina, king of Weft Saxons, had three daughters, of whom upon a time he demanded whether they did love him, and fo would do during their lives, above all others: the two elder fware deeply they would; the youngest, but the wifeft, told her father flatly, without flattery, that albeit fhe did love, honour, and reverence him, and so would whilft she lived, as much as nature and daughterly dutie at the uttermost could expect, yet he did think that one day it would come to passe that she should affect another more fervently, meaning ber bufband, when she were married; who being made one flesh with her, as God by commandment had told, and nature had taught her, she was to cleave fast to, forfaking father and mother, kiffe and kinne. [Anonymous.] One referreth this to the daughters of king Leir."

It is, I think, more probable that Shakspeare had this passage in his thoughts, when he wrote Cordelia's reply concerning her future marriage, than The Mirrour for Magiftrates, as Camden's book was published recently before he appears to have compofed this play, and that portion of it which is entitled Wife Speeches, where the foregoing paffage is found, furnished him with a hint in Coriolanus.

The

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