Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Shakespeare's First Folio   By: (1564-1616)

Book cover

First Page:

To the Reader.

This Figure, that thou here feest put, It was for gentle Shakespeare cut: Wherein the Grauer had a strife with Naure, to out doo the life: O, could he but haue dravvne his vvit As vvell in frasse, as he hath hit Hisface; the Print vvould then surpasse All, that vvas euer in frasse. But, since he cannot, Reader, looke Not on his picture, but his Booke.


MR. William SHAKESPEARES Comedies, Histories & Tragedies, Published according to the True Original Copies London Printed by Ifaac Iaggard, and Ed, Bount. 1623


WILLIAM Earle of Pembroke,&c;. Lord Chamberlaine to the Kings most Excellent Majesty.


PHILIP Earle of Montgomery,&c;. Gentleman of his Majesties Bed Chamber. Both Knights of the most Noble Order of the Garter, and our singular good L O R D S

Right Honourable,

Whilst we studie to be thankful in our particular, for the many favors we have received from your L.L. we are falne upon the ill fortune, to mingle two the most diverse things that can bee, feare, and rashnesse; rashnesse in the enterprize, and feare of the successe. For, when we valew the places your H.H. sustaine, we cannot but know their dignity greater, then to descend to the reading of these trifles: and, while we name them trifles, we have depriv'd our selves of the defence of our Dedication. But since your L.L. have beene pleas'd to thinke these trifles some thing, heeretofore; and have prosequuted both them, and their Authour living, with so much favour: we hope, that (they out living him, and he not having the fate, common with some, to be exequutor to his owne writings) you will use the like indulgence toward them, you have done unto their parent. There is a great difference, whether any Booke choose his Patrones, or finde them: This hath done both. For, so much were your L.L. likings of the severall parts, when they were acted, as before they were published, the Volume ask'd to be yours. We have but collected them, and done an office to the dead, to procure his Orphanes, Guardians; without ambition either of selfe profit, or fame: onely to keepe the memory of so worthy a Friend, & Fellow alive, as was our S H A K E S P E A R E , by humble offer of his playes, to your most noble patronage. Wherein, as we have justly observed, no man to come neere your L.L. but with a kind of religious addresse; it hath bin the height of our care, who are the Presenters, to make the present worthy of your H.H. by the perfection. But, there we must also crave our abilities to be considerd, my Lords. We cannot go beyond our owne powers. Country hands reach foorth milke, creame, fruites, or what they have : and many Nations (we have heard) that had not gummes & incense, obtained their requests with a leavened Cake. It was no fault to approach their Gods, by what meanes they could: And the most, though meanest, of thins are made more precious, when they are dedicated to Temples. In that name therefore, we most humbly consecrate to your H.H. these remaines of your servant Shakespeare; that what delight is in them, may be ever your L.L. the reputation his, & the faults ours, if any be committed, by a payre so carefull to shew their gratitude both to the living, and the dead, as is.

Your Lordshippes most bounden,


To the great Variety of Readers.

From the most able, to him that can but spell : There you are number'd. We had rather you were weighd. Especially, when the fate of all Bookes depends upon your capacities : and not of your heads alone, but of your purses. Well ! It is now publique, & you wil stand for your priviledges wee know : to read, and censure... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books