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To the Right HONORABLE HENRIE WRIOTHESLEY,

Earle of Southampton, and Baron of Titchfield.

I

RIGHT HONOURABLE,
KNOW not how I shall offend in dedicating my

vnpolisht lines to your Lordship, nor how the worlde will censure me for choosing so strong a proppe to support so weake a burthen, onely if your Honour seeme but pleased, I account my selfe highly praised, and vowe to take aduantage of all idle houres, till I haue honoured you with some grauer labour. But if the first heire of my inuention proue deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a god-father: and neuer after eare so barren a land, for fear it yeeld me still so bad a haruest, I leaue it to your Honourable suruey, and your Honor to your hearts content which I wish may alwaies answere your owne wish, and the worlds hopefull expectation.

Your Honors in all dutie,

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

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To the Right HONORABLE HENRIE WRIOTHESLEY,

Earle of Southampton, and Baron of Titchfield.

I

Right HONOURABLE,
KNOW not how I shall offend in dedicating my

unpolisht lines to your Lordship, nor how the worlde will censure me for choosing 80 strong a proppe to support so weake a burthen, onely if your Honour seeme but pleased, I account my selfe highly praised, and vowe to take aduantage of all idle houres, till I haue honoured you with some grauer labour. But if the first heire of my inuention proue deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a god-father: and neuer after eare so barren a land, for fear it yeeld me still so bad a haruest, I leaue it to your Honourable suruey, and your Honor to your hearts content which I wish may alwaies answere your owne wish, and the worlds hopefull expectation.

Your Honors in all dutie,

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

PREFACE

By ISRAEL GOLLANCZ, M.A.

EARLY EDITIONS

Venus and Adonis was first printed in Quarto, in 1593, with the following title-page:

VENVS
AND ADONIS

Vilia miretur vulgus; mihi flauus Apollo
Pocula Castalia plena ministret aqua

PRINTER'S

DEVICE:
An anchor with

the motto
"Anchoro spei"

LONDON:
Imprinted by Richard Field, and are to be sold at
the signe of the White Greyhound in

Paules Churchyard.

1593.

The text of Venus and Adonis is remarkable for its accuracy, and there can be little doubt that the poet himself superintended the printing of the poem, and was responsible for the wording of the title-page. A significant fact is Shakespeare's choice of the printer: Richard Field

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