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PREFACE.

BEFORE I advert, in some detail, to the character and contents of the ensuing volume, I wish to place in the hands of the reader the following Affidavit, sworn by me, and filed in the Court of Queen's Bench,* in answer to certain charges and insinuations contained in an anonymous tract, published towards the close of last year, entitled “Literary Cookery.”

The affidavit (taken in connection with the prefaces to my two editions of “Notes and Emendations to the text of Shakespeare's Plays”) to a certain extent explains the whole matter, and renders it unnecessary to notice, in any other way, the particular expressions of a libel, which compelled me, with the utmost reluctance, to apply for a Criminal Information. That species of redress the forms and practice of the Court did not permit me to obtain ; but the Lord Chief Justice took the opportunity of stating his conviction that I had cleared myself from all imputation, adding, in terms too flattering for repetition here, his opinion of me, whom his Lordship

* It was not filed until the beginning of May last, owing to a mistaken notion on the part of my legal friends, that the application founded upon the affidavit having been unsuccessful, it could not be placed upon record in the usual way.

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happened to know, and of my labours in antiquarian literature, with which his Lordship was also acquainted.

AFFIDAVIT.

IN THE QUEEN'S BENCH.

1, John Payne Collier, of Maidenhead, in the County of Berks, Esquire,

Barrister-at-law, and one of the Vice-Presidents of the Society of
Antiquaries of London, make oath and say :-

1. That in the years 1841, 1842, 1843, and 1844, I prepared for the press and published an edition of the works of Shakespeare :—that in the spring of the year 1849 I purchased of the late Mr. Rodd, of great Newport Street, bookseller, a copy of the second folio of Shakespeare's Plays, bearing the date of, and which I believe was published in the year 1632; and which copy contained, when I so purchased it, a great number of manuscript notes, purporting to be corrections, alterations, and emendations of the original text, made, as I believe, by the same person, and at a period nearly contemporaneous with the publication of the said folio itself.

2. In order that any person interested in the subject might have an opportunity of inspecting the said book, and examining the said manuscript notes, I exhibited the said book to and before the Shakespeare Society, and three times before the Society of Antiquaries, and it was inspected and examined by a great number of persons. The said folio has, since the publication of the volume next hereinafter mentioned, become, and is now, the property of his Grace the Duke of Devonshire.

3. In the year 1852 I published a volume containing some, but not all, of the said manuscript corrections, alterations, and emendations, and a facsimile of a part of one page of the said folio, with the manuscript emendations thereon ; and an “Introduction," setting forth the circumstances under which I became possessed of the said folio edition, and which induced me to publish the said volume.

4. In the year 1853 I published a second edition of the said notes and emendations, containing, besides the said "Introduction," a statement, in the form of a Preface to the last-mentioned edition, of facts and circumstances which occurred subsequently to the publication of my first edition of the said “ Notes and Emendations,”—a copy of which second edition is

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