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First Published in 1907 PREFATORY NOTE

“A CAREFUL study of the text of Romeo and Juliet will show how little we can rely upon having the true text, as Shakespeare wrote it, in those plays for which the Folio is our earliest authority.” So wrote the Cambridge Editors in 1865, and the remark remains no less true and forcible at the present day in its applicability to The Errors as to the other plays for which the Folio is our earliest and only authority. The immense importance of a correct text of Shakespeare is the Editor's justification for the effort to arrive, as nearly as may be, at the goal of a true text in this edition of The Comedy of Errors. But the enormous and almost insuperable difficulties in the way of ascertaining Shakespeare's own text can be appreciated only by the life student of his works and of Elizabethan literature, and all allowances must in that respect be made for the defects of the present edition, defects of which the Editor is painfully conscious. At any rate he has attempted no mean standard of attainment. An Editor who is incapable of advancing our knowledge either in the critical or exegetical department of Shakespearian study had better hold his peace. He has no justification for adding yet another" edition " to the neverending stream. The public presumably demands its reprints, and it gets its reprints—of a sort-and, knowing no better,



3925 .1899



OCT -7 1908 233471

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