were taken. These have now been inserted; and to the few explanatory "notes" referred to in the original preface (seven in all) I have added some of my own that I thought likely to be useful, not only to the younger readers but also to such of their elders as may not be critical students of Shakespeare. As Mrs. Cowden-Clarke reminds us in one of her notes, it is sometimes necessary, in order to understand a passage separated from the context, to know who says it, or to whom, or when or how he says it. Good critics, indeed, though they had the context to guide them, have often erred in ascribing to Shakespeare himself opinions and sentiments that are in no sense his own, but merely those of the persons into whose mouth he puts them.

In the quotations from the Poems I have endeavoured to follow the plan of my predecessor. In some cases I have given passages of five or six lines or more, as she occasionally does, instead of picking out a single "proverb," or more than one, from it. In the poems oftener than in the plays a passage of half a dozen lines forms a cluster of as many one-line pithy expressions, figurative or other, of the same idea. In other instances, the single line or couplet to which the quotation might be restricted is aptly enforced or illustrated by the lines that follow. The reader can clip or chop up such passages at his discretion.

W. J. R.

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