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List of Actors prefixed to the same edition.
THE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, CONTAINING ALL HIS COMEDIES, HISTORIES, AND TRAGEDIES: Truly set forth, according to their first Original.
The Names of the Principal Actors in all these Plays.
William Shakespeare. Samuel Gilburne.
William Ecclestone. Henry Condell.
Joseph Taylor. William Slye.
Robert Benfield. Richard Cowly.
Robert Goughe. John Lowine.
Richard Robinson. Samuell Crosse.
John Shancke. Alexander Cooke. John Rice.
1 This heading precedes the list of the Actors in the first four folio editions. The names here, as in all the rest of this introductory matter, are spelt precisely as in the original.
Prefixed to the folio of 1623. To the most noble and incomparable pair of Brethren: William ? Earl of Pembroke, &c. Lord Chamberlain to the King's most excellent Majesty :
2 This was William Herbert, thought by some to be the “Mr. W. H.” to whom the Poet's Sonnets were inscribed, as “ the only begetter of these ensuing Sonnets.” Of this nobleman Lord Clarendon writes, -" He was the most universally loved and esteemed of any man of that age. ..... And as he had a great number of friends of the best men, so no man had ever the wickedness to avow himself to be his enemy. He was a man of excellent parts, and a graceful speaker upon any subject, having a good proportion of learning, and a ready wit to apply it, and enlarge upon it; of a pleasant and facetious humour, and a disposition affable, generous and magnificent. ..... He lived many years about the court, before in it; and never by it. ..... After the foul fall of Somerset, he was made lord chamberlain of the king's house, more for the court's sake than his own; and the court appeared with the more lustre, because he had the government of that province. As he lived upon his own fortune, so he stood upon his own feet, without any other support than of his proper virtue and merit. ..... He was exceedingly beloved in the court, because he never desired to get that for himself, which others laboured for, but was still ready to promote the pretences of worthy men. ..... As his conversation was most with men of the most pregnant parts and understanding, so towards any, who needed support or encouragement, though unknown, if fairly recommended to him, he was very liberal. ..... He was master of a great fortune from his ancestors, and had a great addition by his wife, for which he paid much too dear, by taking her person into the bargain : but all served not his expense, which was only limited by his great mind, and occasions to use it nobly. .... Yet his virtues and good inclinations were clouded with great infirmities, which he had in too exorbitant a proportion. He indulged to himself the pleasures of all kinds, almost in all excesses. ..... To these he sacrificed himself, his precious time, and much of his fortune ; ..... and died of an apoplexy, after a full and cheerful supper."
And Philip 3 Earl of Montgomery, &c. Gentleman of his Majesty's Bed-chamber: Both Knights of the most noble Order of the Garter, and our singular good Lords.
Whilst we study to be thankful, in our particular, for the many favours we have received from your Lordships, we are fallen upon the ill fortune, to mingle two the most diverse things that can be, fear, and rashness; rashness in the enterprise, and fear of the success. For, when we value the places your Highnesses sustain, we cannot but know their dignity greater than to descend to the reading of these trifles; and, while we name them trifles, we have depriv'd ourselves of the defence of our Dedication. But, since your Lordships have been pleas'd to think these trifles something heretofore; and have prosecuted both them, and their Author living, with so much favour; we hope that — they outliving him, and he not having the fate, common with some, to be executor to his own writings - you will use the like indulgence toward them, you have done unto their parent. There is a great difference, whether any book choose his patrons, or find them: This hath done both. For, so much were your Lordships' likings of the several parts, when they were acted, as before
3 This was Philip Herbert, a younger brother of William, and succeeded to him as Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery; though as different from him as darkness from light. Southey justly pronounces him “one of the meanest wretches that ever brought infamy upon an old and honourable name.” He afterwards became one of Cromwell's vilest footlickers; and for his servility to that faction of the Commons which abolished all the government but themselves, and the great usurper who in turn abolished them, Mr. Hallam says : “ The Earl of Pembroke, basest among the base, condescended to sit in the House of Commons as knight for the county of Berks; and was received, notwithstanding his proverbial meanness and stupidity, with such excessive honour as displayed the character of those low-minded upstarts.” H.
they were published the volume ask'd to be yours. We