Internet Shakespeare Editions

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  • Title: Prefatory Materials (Folio 1, 1664)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: Ben Jonson
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Prefatory Materials (Folio 1, 1664)

    The Epistle Dedicatory.
    office to the dead, to procure his Orphanes, Gura-
    dians; without ambition either of self-profit, or fame:
    only to keep the memory of so worthy a Friend and
    Fellow alive, as was our Shakespeare, by humble
    offer of his Playes, to your most Noble Patronage.
    Wherein, as we have justly observed, no man to come
    near your L.L. but with a kind of religious address;
    it hath been the height of our care, who are the Pre-
    senters, to make the Present worthy of your H.H.
    by the Perfection. But, there we must also crave our
    abilities to be considered, my Lords. We cannot goe
    beyond our own powers. Countrey hands reach forth
    Milk, Cream, Fruits, or what they have: and many
    Nations (we have heard) that had not Gummes and
    Incense, obtained their requests with a leavened
    Cake; It was no fault to approach their gods, by
    what means they could: And the most, theugh mean-
    est of things, are made precious, when they are dedica-
    ted to Temples. In that name therefore, we most hum-
    bly consecrate to your H.H. these remains of your
    servant Shakespeare; that what delight is in them,
    may be ever your L.L. the reputation his, and the
    faults ours, if any be committed by a pair so care{f}ul to
    shew their gratitude both to the living, and the dead,
    as is
    Your Lordships most bounden
    John Heminge,
    Henry Condell.