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J 0 H N F O R D,
IN TWO VOLUMES.
NOTES CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY,
W. GIFFORD, Esq.
TO WHICH ARE ADDED
FAME'S MEMORIAL, AND VERSES TO THE MEMORY
OF BEN JONSON.
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
ERRATA. Page xcv, line 3 from bottom, for G. 158, read G. 153.
c, line 7 from bottom, for G. 222, read G. 242.
It is incidentally observed by Dr. Farmer, (Essay on Shakspeare,) “ that play-writing in the poet's days was scarcely thought a creditable employ.” To this, perhaps, mayin some measure be attributed the slight notice which is taken of the personal history of the dramatic writers by their contemporaries, and the little degree of interest which they appear to have excited. Of the immortal bard himself, scarcely any thing is known but what is told by Jonson; and Mr. Malone, who had been foraging for anecdotes of him nearly half a century, and had dwelt, over and over, with full conviction on the reports current about him down to the times of Rowe and Theobald, ends with rejecting the whole of them, and discomfortably but honestly confesses, that his Life is a blank.*
* Even the cherished peccadillo of deer-stealing,
That last infirmity of noble mind, the crown and ornament of Shakspeare's youthful vivacity, must now be given up-for Mr. Malone has proved with immense effort, that Sir T. Lucy had no park, and could therefore have no deer to be stolen!