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THE present volumes are the first instalment towards a collective edition of the dramatists who lived about the time of Shakespeare. As the series is intended neither for school-boys nor antiquarians, I have avoided discussions on grammatical usages, and I have not preserved the orthography of the old copies. In Elizabethan times orthography followed the caprices of the printer. 1
I desire to acknowledge in the fullest and frankest manner the obligation under which I lie towards the late Mr. Dyce. Perhaps it will be thought that Mr. Dyce's name occurs too frequently in the notes to the present volumes. In many cases the emendations he proposes would naturally suggest themselves to any sensible reader ; but I was unwilling to incur the suspicion of having furtively appropriated my predecessor's notes.
I have used with advantage the late Lieutenant-Colonel
1 Where in the old editions we find a plural subject joined to a singular verb, I have not modernised the well-authenticated con. struction. Such a line as
“Her lips sucks forth my soul ; see where it flies !” sounds very harsh to our ears; but if Marlowe so wrote the verse, an editor is not justified in making any alteration.