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First Edition 1904.
Second Edition, March 1905.
Reprinted August 1905, 1906, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1914, 1915,
PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN
THESE lectures are based on a selection from materials used in teaching at Liverpool, Glasgow, and Oxford; and I have for the most part preserved the lecture form. The point of view taken in them is explained in the Introduction. I should, of course, wish them to be read in their order, and a knowledge of the first two is assumed in the remainder; but readers who may prefer to enter at once on the discussion of the several plays can do so by beginning at page 89.
Any one who writes on Shakespeare must owe much to his predecessors. Where I was conscious of a particular obligation, I have acknowledged it; but most of my reading of Shakespearean criticism was done many years ago, and I can only hope that I have not often reproduced as my own what belongs to another.
Many of the Notes will be of interest only to scholars, who may find, I hope, something new in them.
I have quoted, as a rule, from the Globe edition, and have referred always to its numeration of acts, scenes, and lines.
NOTE TO SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT
IN these impressions I have confined myself to making some formal improvements, correcting indubitable mistakes, and indicating here and there my desire to modify or develop at some future time statements which seem to me doubtful or open to misunderstanding. The changes, where it seemed desirable, are shown by the inclusion of sentences in square brackets.