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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    wise, and he by death departed from that right,
    we pray you do not envy his Friends, the office
    115of their care, and pain, to have collected and
    publish'd them; & so to have publish'd them, as
    where (before) you were abus'd with divers
    stoln, and surreptitious Copies, maimed and de-
    formed by the frauds & stealths of injurious Im-
    120postors, that expos'd them: even those, are now
    offer'd to your view cured, and perfect of their
    limbs; and all the rest, absolute in their numbers
    as he conceived them. Who, as he was a happy
    imitator of Nature, was a most gentle expresser
    125of it. His mind and hand went together: And
    what he thought, he uttered with that easiness,
    that we have scarce received from him a blot in
    his Papers. But it is not our Province, who only
    gather his Works, and give them you to praise
    130him. It is yours that read him. And there we
    hope, to your divers capacities, you will find e-
    nough, both to draw, and hold you: for his wit
    can no more lie hid, then it could be lost. Read
    him, therefore; and again, & again: And if then
    135you do not like him, surely you are in some ma-
    nifest danger, not to understand him. And so we
    leave you to other of his Friends, who, if you
    need, can be your guides: if you need them not,
    you can lead yourselves, and others. And such
    140Readers we wish him.
    J. Heminge. H. Condell.