Excerpt: ...and language xxxvi of the 16th and 17th centuries; he did not always appreciate the naturalness, simplicity, and humour of his author, but his preface and notes are distinguished by clearness of thought and diction and by masterly common sense. He used Warburton's text, to print his own from. The readings and suggestions attributed to ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...and language xxxvi of the 16th and 17th centuries; he did not always appreciate the naturalness, simplicity, and humour of his author, but his preface and notes are distinguished by clearness of thought and diction and by masterly common sense. He used Warburton's text, to print his own from. The readings and suggestions attributed to 'Johnson, ' in our notes, are derived either from the edition of 1765, or from those which he furnished to the subsequent editions in which Steevens was his co-editor. Some few also found by the latter in Johnson's hand on the margin of his copy of 'Warburton, ' purchased by Steevens at Johnson's sale, were incorporated in later editions. Johnson's edition was attacked with great acrimony by Dr Kenrick, 1765 (Boswell, Vol. II. p. 300). It disappointed the public expectation, but reached, nevertheless, a second edition in 1768. Tyrwhitt's Observations and Conjectures were published anonymously in 1766. Capell's edition (10 volumes, small 8vo) was not published till 1768, though part of it had gone to press, as the editor himself tells us, in September, 1760. It contained the Plays in the order of the first and second Folios, with a preface, of which Dr Johnson said, referring to Tempest, I. 2. 356, 'The fellow should have come to me, and I would have endowed his purpose with words. As it is he doth gabble monstrously.' Defects of style apart, this preface was by far the most valuable contribution to Shakespearian criticism that had yet appeared, and the text was based upon a most searching collation of all the Folios and of all the Quartos known to exist at that time. Capell's own conjectures, not always very happy, which he has introduced into his text, are distinguished by being printed in black letter. The edition before us contains the scansion of the lines, with occasional verbal as well as metrical corrections, marked in red ink, in Capell's hand. This was done, as he tells us in a note...Read Less
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