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Malone's Essay on Ford's Pamphlet, &c.
THE present edition has been carefully revised by the late Mr. Reed's coadjutor in the fifth edition, who was particularly recommended to the proprietors for that office by Mr. Steevens: how he has answered such a recommendation is left to the public to judge: he only begs permission to say, that he hopes the present edition will not be found inferior to any of the preceding.
In a work extending to twenty-one volumes some errors will unavoidably occur; such as have happened in former editions have been corrected in this a few notes have been added in their proper places, and a short Appendix in the twenty-first volume, of some observations which occurred to the editor in the course of reading the proof sheets.
In the twentieth volume, Arthur Broke's Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet has been carefully revised from a copy of the edition printed in 1562, and collated by Mr. Joseph Haslewood, who also furnished from the British Bibliographer the
prose Address to the reader, which is not found in the edition printed in 1587, made use of by Mr. Malone.
A more faithful copy of the portrait of Shakspeare than any before engraved from the picture formerly in the possession of Mr. Steevens is prefixed, and also an engraving of Mr. Flaxman's Monument in Poplar Chapel, to the memory of Mr. Steevens, on which is sculptured his likeness in profile that will be acknowledged a striking resemblance by all who knew him.
A brief memorial of Mr. Reed is justly due in this work, and as that has been so lately done by his friend Mr. Nichols, in the second volume of his Literary Anecdotes of the eighteenth century, the following is with his permission extracted from that Magazine of amusing and interesting literary information.
"ISAAC REED, an eminent collector of books and able commentator, was born in the parish of St. Dunstan in the West, where his father passed unambitiously through life, in the useful occupation of a baker, and had the satisfaction of witnessing the son's literary attainments with that enthusiasm which frequently prevails in a strong uncultivated mind.